It has rained for almost two straight weeks in my world. Rain isn’t terrible, and I know we need it, and sometimes I even like it. Sometimes, the rain feels right. But not when it rains continuously for days on end. Luckily the sun came out this weekend and the earth is starting to dry up, but I just saw the weather forecast for this coming weekend and, guess what? It just might snow again!
“Yes, your workplace is sexist. If you’re interested in learning more about things like the gender pay gap and glass ceilings, then this podcast is for you. Jeannie Yandel and Eula Scott Bynoe break down how sexism works in the modern workplace. And with help from some badass experts, they bring you real tactics you can use to fight back.” I’ve been completely aware of some of these issues for quite some time but often I feel helpless to do anything about them. That’s where this podcast comes in, and is the reason I love it so much: they actually give you some solutions to these issues! And the solutions feel completely doable. This podcast might change your life and your world… or at the very least, your sexist workplace.
Lore is one of my never-miss shows. From the website: “Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Lore exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction. Each episode examines a new dark historical tale in a modern campfire experience. With more than 19,600 5-star reviews on Apple Podcasts and over 155-million listens, that’s clearly a good thing.” What I enjoy most about this show is the history it presents. That’s actually what I love about most ghost stories, ghost walks, etc.; I like learning about the thoughts, culture, and life during the times of these tales, and the host does a good job of weaving history within the macabre.
Spooked is a production of WNYC’s Snap Judgement. If you like the sound and feel of Snap Judgement and want to hear some ghost stories, then Spooked is for you! This one is my all-time favorite but it’s only out for 13 weeks of the year – the weeks leading up to Halloween! It just finished its second season and if I’m being totally honest, the first season was much better. But it’s still worth listening to if you’re like me and can’t get enough of those spooky tales year round.
This is “the parenting show for everyone with stories about the surprises and absurdities of raising other humans—and being raised by them. The Longest Shortest Time is an award-winning podcast about parenthood in all of its forms. But you don’t need to be a parent to listen.” As a new parent, I like hearing all of the stories of parenting fails and wins, and I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone out there, trying to raise a little human.
Per the website, “Hidden Brain helps curious people understand the world – and themselves.Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, and the biases that shape our choices.” I find the majority of these stories so fascinating. They touch on some topics that I’ve sometimes thought about and wondered why it is, and other topics that I never really thought about and didn’t know I was so interested in. For example, one episode explores the psychology of why we like surprise endings. I mean, how interesting is that?!
Happy New Year!
I’m ready to make some changes. And not just “I’m going to go to the gym three times a week” changes — although that is something I need to do and will be considering for the sake of my heart health — but real, lasting changes that will help me live the life I truly want. So this year, I’m going beyond the new year by establishing some “new life” resolutions!
I was given a new lease on life when I survived a spontaneous coronary artery dissection – a type of heart attack that comes out of nowhere for some healthy women and men – last year, which really etched into my being the fact that this is the only life we get. We should take advantage of all the good things and make this life one that is truly worth living, defined by how we choose to define it. For me that means being healthy to honor my body not giving out on me, doing more for the environment, creating a living space/environment that always makes me feel comfortable, and doing what I have to do to be the best Nikki that I can be so that I can truly lead by example.
A few things I want to do:
Hi, everyone! It’s time for the yearly winter solstice post! *This post was originally published on 12/21/2013 but is being reposted below with a few updates*
No matter what our spiritual beliefs, or in what part of the world we live, we all share the turning of the sun on the solstices. Today is the 2018 Winter Solstice, or as it’s more commonly known, the first day of winter.
The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night, the beginning of winter and the return of the sun. After this night, the days will begin to get longer and we’ll have the opportunity for a new beginning.
This is a natural time for letting go and saying farewell. Release your resentments and regrets into the darkness, knowing they will be transformed with the return of the light. Renew your visions for the new year and remember that it is important not to judge yourself by “success” or “failure” in this past year but by the true quality of how you lived your life and whether you were a good influence on your world.
In the coming year, try to create enriching experiences for yourself and continue to look forward. See this as an opportunity to shape your life more positively, with awareness and intention. Dedicate all of your happy, joyful experiences to every living being that is able to share that good energy, and dedicate all of your painful, difficult experiences to uplifting yourself and others.
Death and rebirth, the passing of the old, and the slow emergence of the new. Helping one another through the dark. Sharing with the less fortunate. Being thankful for our past blessings and for prosperity in the future. The natural cycles of our world. All of this is the spirit of the solstice, the season I celebrate.
This year for the winter solstice, I plan on lighting some candles and reflecting on all of the things I’m grateful for from the past year and letting go of all the resentments I might hold. For anyone that has lived through 2018, you can probably agree that this could be a really helpful step for preventing so much negativity in the coming year. I want 2019 to be better, not just for me, but for the world. This is what I will reflect on tonight with my candles. If you’re interested in doing the same, it’s really easy. Here’s what I’m going to do:
- Write down my resentments and regrets from this past year on a post-it note
- Write down my visions/resolutions for the new year on another post-it note
- Quietly reflect on the negative note, and then let all of those feelings go. Burn the note with a candle.
- As I burn the note, I’ll begin to focus on the positive for a new year and make a promise to myself that I will try to create enriching experiences and do all that I can to positively shape my life in the coming year.
Celebrating the solstice/winter is very easy, even if you’ve never done it before or are just starting out in this journey. Here are a few other ideas:
- Greet the sun at dawn on solstice morning by ringing bells.
- Create rituals, having feasts (pot-luck), and a gift exchange
- Create your own family tradition by gathering in a circle around candles. Each person can light a candle and talk about something they’re grateful for or something they wish for another person in the coming year.
- Gather around a bond fire and have each person state what they would like to give up about the past and what they envision for the future.
- Light candles: a different candle for each of the twelve months on the 12 days before the solstice. Light the center candle on solstice day (represents the return of the light)
- Contribute to wellness on the planet: donate food or clothing, meditate for world peace, make a pledge to do some form of good in the coming year.
Creating a meaningful celebration of winter solstice can help us cultivate a deeper connection to nature and family and all the things that matter most to us.
Happy Winter Solstice, everyone!
Hi, I’m Nikki. This is where I blog about my life and personal style. I’m a wife and mom, sushi lover, wine drinker, and coffee enthusiast. Welcome to my little corner of the world where I try to lead by example!