Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens Brown paper packages tied up with strings These are a few of my favorite things.
A few weeks ago, my supervisor sent out an “All About Me” questionnaire to each of us on the team to fill out and return to her. It was primarily about favorite things. This is always hard for me because I have many favorite foods, movies, music, flowers, etc. How can I pick just one in each category? One of my favorite movies, “The Sound of Music,” has that well-known song about favorite things. Maria uses it to lift the children’s spirits when they are feeling afraid and show them that thinking of our favorite things can bring us comfort and joy whenever we are feeling down.
Favorite things can also help us to celebrate ourselves when we have a special day, milestone, or accomplishment, and to elevate ordinary days! Yesterday was a day of favorite things, thanks to Mother Nature and my husband Art. After a week of chilly weather, the weekend arrived with sunshine and warmer temps. In honor of my birthday, Art took me to my favorite place for brunch, La Madeleine. After enjoying omelets, croissants, and mimosas, we went to the nearby outdoor mall and shopped at a few of my favorite stores. Later in the day, we listened to favorite music, made tacos for supper, and watched a movie on Netflix. The day was filled with goodies and “good feels.”
What brings you joy, contentment, and comfort? When and where do you feel most alive? We can’t always access our favorite places and things, but we can fill our minds with those happy thoughts and images. We can also find beauty, bounty, and bliss right where we are if we raise our awareness. Take some time for yourself each day and breathe in love. As your breath flows in and out, use your five senses to notice and connect to what is around you. This will ground you in the now and increase your awareness.
As we learn to notice and savor our present experience, we begin to realize that favorite things are all around us. This morning as I snuggled in my bed, nestled in peace and comfort, I heard the dove cooing on our balcony. I could see sunlight beginning to saturate the room. My favorite coffee was ready to be brewed. Awakening to a new day is like opening a package filled with favorite things.
Sarah Ban Breathnach offers these suggestions in “Simple Abundance”:
Start to treat yourself more generously. Begin with $5. Buy one beautiful flower for your desk, enjoy a French pastry with your morning coffee, stop at a fancy salon and get yourself some almond-scented shampoo. Just do something out of the ordinary that you normally wouldn’t do that will lift your spirits.
Life can be hard and overwhelming, so we need to give ourselves plenty of grace. I love this line from “We Can Do Hard Things”: I continue to believe that I'm the one for me, and because I'm mine, I walk the line (Tish Melton). You’re the one for you, and your favorite things can help you do the hard things. Treat yourself like you are your favorite person, and you are the one who can love you the best. We know that when we come to know and love ourselves more deeply, we increase our capacity to love others. It is, in fact, the most generous and compassionate way to live.
Cheers & Chocolate,
Elisa J. Juarez