My word for 2014 came to me this summer when I was vacationing in Thailand. Up until then I had a few words sailing around in my head: listen; pause; awaken - but most of these were induced by the situation I was in at the time. What I wanted to do the most, what really makes up my character and defines my personality was the word - connect. And last year I cocooned myself from a lot of people shielding myself from disappointments, trouble, pain and worry
I am not much of a cocoon person, on the contrary I am the butterfly type who is attracted to colorful personalities and loves spending time with friends, family and colleagues. I missed connecting on a positive note a lot of last year and often felt as if I was set on "auto" to get through the days.
I want to connect with my family more deeply. My cousins, aunts and uncles are scattered across the globe and we lose touch of each other every now and then. I want to develop my relationship with them on a more regular basis by corresponding with them and hopefully organize a big family reunion this year.
I want to engage more profoundly with my husband. As he works in a different country during the week our time is limited and often we fall into a routine of doing the necessary forgetting that we need the twosome time. I want to change that and schedule date nights for just the two of us. I want to listen to him and his thoughts more openly. I want to learn to depend and lean on him more when I have worries. I would like us to spend an evening or two a month with a bottle of wine reading to each other or playing chess or scrabble.
Although Soeren and I spend a lot of time together and we already have some fantastic rituals, I want to enhance them further. We’ve already started on a good route – on three evenings in the week we write our gratitudes and celebrations for the day in our journals. We cut, paste, draw and paint – reading to each other from the journal. It has become our serenity zone bringing us down and making us grateful for the time with each other. I also want to spend more one-on-one time with him outdoors as we are both very active and energetic people. Due to the knee accident / surgery last year, I was very restricted with outdoor activities, often missing out on bike rides, inline skating or hiking. I still need to take it slowly with these activities this year but can ease into them slowly. I’ve taken Soeren on a few photo walks with me in the past and I’d like to intensify this further, doing it on a monthly basis.
I want to spend more time with my friends. Getting together with them more regularly again for dinners, picnics, brunches or just for long walks in the park. I want to pick up on the bimonthly girlfriend cooking evenings again. I want to connect with my blog/social media friends more genuinely. Instead of a quick tweet or a Facebook like, I’d like to interact with them on a different level. I’m already working on a little idea of mine for this – I’ll keep you posted as it develops! I also want to continue connecting and teaching my students at either my workshops or in the e-courses I am giving.
I want to indulge in myself this year. Take a gear down and slow down a bit. With all the things I have planned and want to achieve, it might not seem like I am slowing down but my focus lies on what comforts my soul and makes me happy. I want to feel free – carefree again without feeling the constriction I often felt last year. I plan to re-connect with body, mind and soul – and I want to do it consciously, with awareness and … savor it.
With the roller-coaster circumstances of 2013 I was not able to train or do any kind of sports, I did not read as much as I often do and the contact to my inner self got disconnected. 2014 will mark my comeback as I focus on my health, my state of mind and take a journey inward. I am back at the gym twice a week as of last month and will build up my strength and stamina over the next month. I would also like to start running / walking once a week. This would be great to combine with a girlfriend, my husband or my husband and son. To rest my ever active brain I plan to get 7 hours of sleep during the week and 8 on the weekends. To feed that active brain - read 25 books this year!
My happiness journal is therapy for me and it helps me connect with my inner self. I am totally enjoying writing down my thoughts and ideas. The great thing is that by defining the negative issues in a more positive way makes me look at the issue or the problem in a totally different light. I start and end the day with my journal sometimes with Vivaldi and Bach other times with the chorus of the birds outside. I am not much of a artist but I have bought color pens and pencils and am doodling in my journal – making the first connection with the artist in me! My journal is also a place for happy ideas, collections and celebration – as the pages fill up it inspires me on so many levels. The best thing is … I am connecting with my writing again!
I will breathe more and take a break! I know this … I have always trained myself to find little islands during the day, which help me re-align. Be it a short walk, a little dance or just reading a poem I’ve always found a way to come down. I need to get back on the track. When I feel the pit of worry or panic rising, I will take a moment, close my eyes, flag it – then I will allow things to relax and only then will I act … not react!
I will connect with my body, my soul, my heart and my mind. I will slow down and move deliberately. I will get quieter. I will listen more talk less. I will thank. I will show my gratitude.
And I will continue to connect and share my passions, the images, thoughts and stories with you right here.
As the temperatures begin to fall, the biting cold and clammy foggy days have taken over. There is crispness in the air, tickling the cheeks and nose pink. Coming back home after a long day, warming fingers on a steamy cup on milky tea we crave warming comfort foods. Nothing beats a rustic risotto that satisfies and brings warmth. This risotto, although bringing together distinctive flavors of radicchio and Roquefort, is homey, rustic and fuses the best of Italian and French ingredients. Using a dry red wine brings on more bold flavors and is wonderfully delicious.
This is the perfect dish for one if you want to connect with your inner self. Pull up a chair by the window, tuck a napkin onto your lap and simply laze into this risotto. Or invite your friends, open up a few bottles of red wine and spoon large steaming portions onto warmed plates and savor the moments.
If you want to keep it Italian then by all means use a good Gorgonzola cheese there are no restrictions here whatever connects with you ;o)
Thrilled to share some great news with you. My quarkkeulchen with blueberry compote is featured in Elle India’s current issue under the Elle Gourmet section. The feature portrays breakfast dishes from 5 bloggers around the globe. I am in good company too. I was delighted to be a part of the media in India … makes me beam from ear to ear. If you are in India please go get your hands on a copy and enjoy a few moments reading about some of favorite breakfast dishes. For those who cannot get a copy … you’ll find the recipe and the story behind the Quarkkeulchen with Cranberries and a Cinnamon Blueberry Compote here.
More risotto from WFLH:
|Lemon Thyme and Fennel Risotto||Lemon and Herb Risotto with Balsamic Roasted Asparagus||Pumpkin Risotto with Shrimps|
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