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Filtering by Tag: hand to heart

inviting in delight

liz lamoreux

Over in Hand to Heart this month, we're inviting in delight, so I'm asking variations of this question and providing some ideas all month long.

I love this word. 

But I know it can be a tough one.

It pushes me to wonder, "Do I really ever feel delight?"

Of course I do. But to focus on it can feel a little foreign, like wading into a level of self-care that might be indulgent. And indulgence can feel off or self-centered.

But what if delight was an access point to joy? To setting down old stories of being too much? To letting in more light into your everyday life (even when it rains)?

Take a few moments and ask yourself: How can I let in more delight today?

Think about wearing your slippers to pick up the kids at school because your feet just don't want to be in anything else.

Think about buying three more of your favorite candle because you're now going to light one every evening as your one act of delight each day.

Think about texting a friend just to say, "You bring so much joy into my life" and then the next day sending another one that says, "I want you to know I'm so grateful for you" and then the next "How's it going over there?" and so on. 

Think about taking just one bite of ice cream right from the container when you get home from work and standing in the kitchen savoring it as it melts in your mouth.

Think about taking your glass of wine right into the shower as you wash off the thickness of the day.

Think about playing another round of Old Maid with your granddaughter because she laughs so loud when one of you gets the Old Maid and you can feel your capacity for delight grow each time.

Yes.

You can invite in more delight in simple ways.

And if you want to talk more about this practice and other ways you can embrace the beauty and the grit of each day, come on over to Hand to Heart (it's free). We've got our arms open for you. 

a question to ponder...

liz lamoreux

This is the question that was flowing through my mind as I prepared for this month's Hand to Heart practice of "Let It Go." Last week, I found myself face to face with it as I was in the midst of...I might as well be honest...a full-blown temper tantrum in my mind.

My to-do list felt extremely overwhelming. Work stuff. Home stuff. Paperwork. End of the school year stuff. Summer is coming stuff. Family is coming to visit stuff. Not enough stuff. I'm too much stuff.

It was stacking up inside me as I paused everything to take a quick shower. Scrubbing my body with sugar scrub, I tried to pull myself out of the "stuff" by brainstorming the stories and prompts I want to share with this "Let It Go" practice.

And I found myself focusing on the question "What story could you set down?" as a starting place for our practice.

I noticed the irony of my own stories swirling, but moved on to washing my hair and brainstorming some more.

But the question kept tapping on me.

Finally, I felt these words tumble through all those thoughts and feelings:

I could set down the story that I'm too much.
I could set down other people's expectations...and my own assumptions about those expectations.
I could set down the fear that no one will ever really get the me that lives in that most secret part of me.
I could set down the "all this shit that has to be cleaned in this house before family arrives next week" to-do list until the weekend.


And then I heard this truth, "I just want to be outside of this house."

Working from home can be awesome, but it can also mean that you never really leave your home or your office. And that longing to just be in nature can pull on me. Finally, I got quiet enough to hear that pull.

So I went to my favorite park and stood by Puget Sound and picked up a few rocks to represent these stories that I wanted to set down. And I threw them. Far. Into the water. Watching the ripples swirl and finding myself recentered and a bit lighter.

Your Soul Homework: Take out a piece of paper and answer this question, "What story could you set down today?" And then when you are done, breathe and notice what you might need. Maybe you need to put some stories onto the page and "set them down" by writing them out. Maybe get outside. Maybe ask someone for a hug. Listen. You will know what to do next.

*****

If you want to circle with a group of women who are exploring these kinds of questions, come along to Hand to Heart my free ongoing community of women. Each month I share different ideas to add to your current self-care practice and we're here to support you if you're just beginning the adventure of learning self-care.

Learn more and request to join right here.

story catching and releasing

liz lamoreux

Each month in my Hand to Heart offering, I extend an invitation to the women in the group to send over a story they need someone to catch. I read their words and then I carry their stories with me and release them in a special ceremony.

Today, I want to share a glimpse into one of these ceremonies that have become one of my favorite offerings I'm putting into the world. I hope it will also be a starting place for you to create your own releasing ceremonies as you need them.

*****

On an afternoon in April, I sat in the quiet and reread all the stories that had been sent my way. Tucking them into my pocket, I walked outside and the first thing I did was gather up these little flowers from my front yard. I picked one for each person who shared her story with me + one to represent the whole group + one to represent me. I took them with me on the short drive to the woods in Point Defiance Park. A little round junco greeted me on my path as I began walking into the woods breathing deeply, trusting I would find the spot that felt like it was ready to hold our stories.

As raindrops fell upon my head, a man standing under a shelter meant for picnics began playing a hand accordian. For real. I couldn't help but laugh out loud, "Only in the Pacific Northwest." He set the background music for my walk further into the woods.

After a couple of minutes, a huge tree called out to me from a distance. As I got closer, I saw that it was thick with moss and ferns who decided to make their home right there toward its roots. Its leaves were just unfurling up toward the sun, and it was as though a whisper said, "I can hold all of this and release it to the winds for you."

Yes, a little woo woo. But also, true.

As I stepped over a few overturned logs to get to it, I realized it had a perfect little crevice waiting to hold the flowers I'd brought. Thinking about the words shared and the hopes I have for each person in our circle, I tucked the flowers in one at a time while continuing to take deep breaths. The moss surrounded them like soft blankets.

I stood there for several minutes, my hand to the mossy trunk of this tree. Noticing the sounds, the smells, the shades of green surrounding me. As I was breathing, I felt this visceral sense of calm within and around me. I said a prayer of thanks to that beautiful tree and asked it to hold our stories and then release them into the wind and the rain so they could become nourishment.

As I turned to walk back, a junco was hopping right along the path. It stopped and looked at me for almost three full seconds and then flew away.

Soul Homework :: Think about how you can incorporate simple rituals like this one to help you let go and connect. You might want to talk a walk into the woods this weekend and leave behind in offering at the base of a huge tree or even under a pile of leaves. Let the wisdom of the earth that has been here for so many years hold your stories for you.

And feel free to send over any questions that you have.

UPDATED: Hand to Heart is now a free private Facebook group for women who want to be in conversation about self-care practices and how we can hold the beauty in one hand and grit in the other. Each month we explore a new theme to add to our current self-care practices, and this month, I'm sharing weekly stories about my own journey of learning to stand in my light. You can read more about the group and request to join right here.

Learn more and become a member here.

hand to heart

liz lamoreux

The words above hang on the wall at my retreats. I wrote them last year as I focused on what I most wanted the experience to be for all of us. It really comes down to a safe space where we can each just show up as our whole selves.

Yes.

As Hand to Heart has grown into an intimate, nurturing comunity over these last few weeks, it's become apparent to me that the safe space created at the retreats now has an online home.

And this feels like pure magic to me. 

The magic rests inside the way that the members of this community are using this safe space. Some of them have a quiet presence, sharing mostly with me via email. Others check in with the group on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. Some turn to the montly practice each day; others adapt the practice to support their own ongoing self-care. Each person is finding a way to create space for what they need.

The thread that runs through it all is this simple but life-changing act of pausing to bring your hand to your heart, taking a deep breath, and listening to what you know.

*****

On this Monday morning, as I sit here in my studio with blue sky peeking in on me through the window, I know this: My deepest wish for you is that you remember you don’t have to go it alone. 

Hand to Heart is my offering of a companion for your journey. It’s a soft place to land on the tough days. It’s a safe space to practice connection. It’s an invitation to listen and remember what you know. 

Together, we stand tall in the defiant act of seeking beauty even in the midst of the hard, messy times. We practice bravery as we share the stories of how we hold grief in one hand and joy in the other. And we do this by just showing up as ourselves each day.

This program is meant to be a support for where you are right now. Think of it like a companion that helps you reconnect with yourself while guiding you in creating space within and around you. It can be a quiet source of support, always there even as you venture into other online communities and ecourses. Or it can be a daily space for connection. You get to choose how it best fits in your day-to-day life.

Upcoming Practices

In May, we'll explore the practice of "get outside." From taking five deep breaths to artist dates to photography walks to simply letting the sunshine warm our shoulders, we'll look at ways to connect with the world around us as a way to support us on our paths. 

In June, we'll explore the practice of making just "one move" each day that supports our self-care and being present practices.

And this is the part where I tell you: It is okay to come along just for one month or to pick and choose what months work for you. I deeply appreciate how full our lives are. If you feel May's practice calling to you, come along for just one month of community and connection as you explore this practice. 

UPDATE I'm excited to share that Hand to Heart is now a free community of kindred spirits on Facebook. Learn more about Hand to Heart and request to join right here.

five deep breaths

liz lamoreux

Every day in January, I paused to take five deep breaths. Hand to my heart. Creating space inside me. Letting in light and even love with each breath.

I'm doing it again this month. 

Each time I'm taking a photo and pausing to listen in the space just after I finish the fifth breath. I'm seeking evidence of this moment, of who I am, of what I most need to remember. Then I'm pairing the photo with the words I hear. Words like:

Five deep breaths right here alone for just this minute.

Five deep breaths while steeped in gratitude and trusting my gut.

Five deep breaths even in (especially in) the rainy dark.

Five deep breaths as prayer before nourishment.

Five deep breaths in that blurry space of exhaustion.

Five deep breaths in the rain knowing it's okay that I don't have all the answers. 

And as I take these deep breaths, I really feel like I'm coming home to myself. 

 

If you want to circle with a group of women who are exploring these kinds of practices, come along to Hand to Heart my free ongoing community of women. Each month I share different ideas to add to your current self-care practice and we're here to support you if you're just beginning the adventure of learning self-care. I also share more insight into the five deep breaths practice.

Learn more and request to join right here.

come along to hand to heart

liz lamoreux

 

Beautiful Soul,
This is your invitation to say:
Yes to seeing the beauty in the simple moments
Yes to kindreds circling
Yes to showing up as you
Yes to magic found in the stillness
Yes to dance parties + poetry + mugs of tea
Yes to feeling the joy and the grief
Yes to opening up to love again and again...
Yes to all of it

 

Hand to Heart is a soft space for you to land daily as you listen to the wisdom within you and practice what you know. When you join, you become a member of an ongoing community of kindred women who will be exploring a new soul care practice and theme each month. These practices will light the way as we find the YES in our beautiful, messy lives. 

Some of the themes and practices we'll explore over the next few months include:

  • Creating space within through accessible being-present practices that will help you find your breath, sink into your body, and quiet your mind. 
  •  
  • Creating sacred space within our homes through gathering the treasures, inspirations, and words that speak to where we are on our journeys. We will look at ways to create small altar spaces to honor who we are, where we have been, and where we want to walk next on our paths.
  •  
  • Creating space for ourselves throughout our days by seeking the beauty in the everyday, connection with kindreds, journaling through photography and writing and even putting color to the page, poeming it out, getting out into the world for short creative adventures, and using our cameras to capture who we are through self-portraiture.

We’ll begin with diving deeper into a few of the practices found in my “Yes, This” program, exploring them for a month at a time instead of just a day. In March, we'll pause to find the stillness each day as we take five deep breaths (including capturing that stillness through our cameras) and look at how this practice can ground us and give us the space to reboot in the middle of our day.

Your monthly membership includes:

Practice Notes: A PDF at the beginning of the month with guidance and inspiration about that month’s practice. This might include stories, an audio meditation, printables, worksheets, and so on. There will also be 1-3 additional emails per month with encouragement and love from me to you right in your inbox.

Monthly Spreecasts: In monthly video chats on Spreecast, I’ll share stories and thoughts around the month’s practice and other ideas we’ve been focusing on in our Facebook group. You’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and connect with others using the chat feature. You’ll also be able to submit questions ahead of time and watch the Spreecast later if you aren’t able to join in live.

Monthly story releasing ceremony: Once a month, I’ll send out a love letter via email with an invitation to reply with a story or words that you need someone to hold space for. I’ll gather up the stories sent and through a small ceremony release the stories into the Pacific Northwest woods.

A private Facebook group that will include:

  • Connection with like-minded souls seeking the Yes in their days.
  • A “thought of the day” from me each weekday morning (which will be posted when I'm drinking my morning coffee here in the Pacific Northwest on PST). These will be invitations, reminders, inspiration, and quotes that will set the tone for the day and invite us to be present in our corners of the world. 
  • Discussions about how we integrate these practices into our day-to-day lives and stories about the ways I do this in my corner of the world. 
  • Safe space to check-in and honestly answer the question, "How are you in your corner of the world?"
  • Weekly Poem It Out Thursdays: A day devoted to poetry each week where I’ll share a poem for you to explore + ask you to share your own favorites. Once a month there will also be a poetry/writing prompt inviting you to put pen to paper.
  • Moderation Monday-Friday each week
  • And so much joy and magic that will come from the synergy of all of us gathered together!

Other good things: You will be the first to know about my future offers, there will be shop discounts just for you, and so many other beautiful goodies that will reveal themselves as Hand to Heart grows and teaches all of us.

 

 

By becoming a member of Hand to Heart, you will receive ongoing connection from me as your guide and from a circle of like-minded souls. I truly believe that this is the group you've been waiting for. 

Membership: Introductory price of $39 a month

Learn more, read the FAQ, and become a member right here