Coming in hot with another monthly wrap up of the things I loved. And by that, I mean – nearly a week after the month ended. 😅 January FLEW by for me and it also had a ton of personal growth and presence. Which, to me, means I don’t have a ton of documentation of the month as far as photos (and also, my personal growth is just that: personal).
What I love most about these monthly wrap ups of the things I loved is that it encourages me to go back each month, as I did for September, October, November and December to review what I did, what I saw, what I learned and what I loved. I mention in my morning routine article (as well as in my YouTube video going into detail about why my morning routine is so important) that gratitude is a practice I check in with daily. This practice of wrapping up the things I’ve loved each month gives me a deeper gratitude and reverence for the beautiful things in my life.
First and foremost in January – I’m grateful for my birthday! I turned 35 this year and I had the best birthday I’ve ever had. I have to share a little background about why this birthday was so great: I used to place *way* too much value into the wrong things when it came to birthdays. I judged the outcome of my birthday on superficial things: expensive dinners, designer gifts and number of birthday shoutouts. Placing such massive expectations on my birthday, and failing to recognize the important things, led to me having “bad birthdays” in the past. (Plot twist: they weren’t really bad I just perceived them that way.)
What was different this year? Well, firstly… I’m different. What I value is different. What’s important to me is different. My expectations are different … because I don’t have any anymore. I allow myself to receive what is meant for me instead of controlling what I “want”. Shedding my expectations and letting go of trying to “control” how my birthday turned out left room for God to grant blessings upon me.. and Omg she totally did.
I woke up so incredibly grateful. Grateful for every moment I’ve experienced (the good, the bad, and the ugly) that led me to this state of bliss, beauty, and bounty. From my gratitude journal:
It was a rainy day on my birthday. I took a shower with the intention to wash off the debris from the last 35 years.. to start fresh and anew. The moment the water hit my head… sunlight creeped through the clouds and shone in the window upon me.
I went to get my hair done and while I was there I had beautiful conversations with the colorist and stylist. In that time at the salon God gave me SO MANY BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES.
Angel numbers have always been prominent to me, a sign that my guides and angels are with me. The stylist complimented the angel wings tattooed on the back of my neck and then shared his back of the neck tattoo with me. I’m in a 5 year, personally, and I can *feel* that this year is going to be different, shifting, impactful. The woman sitting across from me in the dryer was wearing a hoodie that said: 5 ⚡️“No Joke”.
While I was having my hair washed I noticed a beautiful golden hue of light outside the salon.. the sun creeping through for a sunset (my favorite) and overheard “there’s a stunning rainbow!” I didn’t have to see it to know it was there for me
I got dinner with some of my family and good friends and it was not only *so delicious* but just overall just an amazing time filled with so much love and laughter. I haven’t smiled so much in a long time.
At the restaurant I looked over and noticed that the grout that filled the tile was filled with gold. It felt like such a powerful symbol of gold filling the cracks (our lessons, mistakes, heartbreaks, etc) in our lives. And, if you know me, you know I love dessert. The dessert spread of tiramisu, pumpkin butter cake with cinnamon gelato, zeppole’s and cheesecake put me in a very happy sugar coma.
Descent: a Journey to the Heart
Each Monday in January I joined Amy of Higher Heart Path for her Sacred Container: Descent, a five-week journey to the heart. Amy creates a loving, non-judgmental space and in that space I was able to unearth messages from my higher self and guides/ancestors. In that uncovering, I shed layers of myself that were really to be let go of and in that same space I uncovered parts of me that were ready to be discovered.
Descent gave me a confidence in myself, my purpose but also my heart that I’ve never had before and I fell deeper in love with myself through the journey work in Descent.
The greatest part about Descent? She’s hosting it again in March! You can read more about what to expect from Descent here.
Creating & Sustaining Self Love Through the Seven Senses
While on the topic of Self Love gained from Descent… in January I announced that I’m hosting my first ever zoom class on February 14th: Creating & Sustaining Self Love Through the Seven Senses. This class just kind of dropped in for me as something I need to do when I realized my own self love has been cultivated through learning myself, trusting myself and through the God-given gifts my senses posses. All the details about the class can be found in my blog post here.
If you’ve read any of my previous “Things I’ve Loved” wrap-ups – you likely noticed that there’s always a bit of food I loved in each month. This month was no different! I *love* to make tzatziki (I pasted my unconventional recipe below) and this month I decided to put it on top of kimchi and CHANGED MY LIFE. I also loved that, despite it being January, I was able to have my afternoon ginger tea outside in the sun a few days this month. Lastly, I made salmon cakes and served them with black rice, avocado and cilantro and topped it with a spicy mustard and coconut amino glaze. SO DELICIOUS!!
I’ve been on the hunt for a clean shampoo for over a year now. I’ve experimented with making about 10 different blends of my own shampoos but the only one that gave me the clean feeling I was looking for, also gave my hair a darker tint (which I really didn’t like). After seeing multiple ads for Viori – I decided to try out their Shampoo & Conditioner bars. The ingredients are mostly clean. They don’t specify if the sodium lactate that they use is organic, which likely means that its derived from conventional beets and corn (which are, typically, heavily sprayed with glyphosate). I’ve sent them an email asking them to go into more detail and will update when I hear back!
In the interim, these products are still some of the cleanest I’ve found and I am so impressed with how well they work. They make my hair so clean, lightweight and SHINY! I’m really impressed with the way they work and will definitely be ordering again. I opted for the unscented, because why add more fragrance in our lives if we don’t need it?
Reading Nightly by Candlelight
I mentioned in my article, Things I’m Doing this Autumn to Support my Mind, Body and Soul all the reasons that I’ve been opting to read by candlelight for an hour or so before bed. And I mentioned in my article, Things I’m Doing this Winer to Support my Mind, Body and Soul – that I’m continuing this habit this season.
Reading by candlelight at night lulls me into such restful sleep. I also started re-reading the Harry Potter series (I haven’t read it in over 20 years!) and I find myself excited each night to get into bed and tune back in to the book I’m on (I started the 5th book last week).
Sunsets & Offerings
If you’re new here – I’m going to tell you a little secret, sunsets are some of my favorite things. In January I didn’t catch many sunsets but on the last Monday of the month (which was also the last day of the Descent journey I mentioned earlier) I chose to go to a park in my town where I can watch the sun go down over the bay.
The sun was perfectly aligned on the path down to the beach which was special, in itself. After sitting and watching the sun go down, I walked along the shoreline and stumbled upon an offering someone had made of pink and red flowers (two colors that have been speaking to me very loudly lately).
The evening, the sunset and the offering gave me such a sense of peace and joy and a deep gratitude for this time that I’m spending in the town I grew up in.
As quickly as January went – it had some serious moments of growth and change for me. I found myself, for most of the month, in a deep state of gratitude. Not because everything is “perfect” but because its all perfect for me. There’s perfection in my imperfections and I’m grateful for it all – especially this practice I’ve been cultivating! Wrapping up the things I loved each month is a beautiful reminder of all the things that I have to be grateful for and the more I focus on the things that I have to be grateful for, the more it shifts my mentality to be grateful for even the “seemingly bad” things.