GUEST POST: Finding Calm


Jenny called me a few months back and asked me to assist her with getting her blog back up and running. Usually on a weekly basis we jump on the phone when she’s driving (hands-free!), FaceTime when she’s not driving and exchange texts brainstorming new stories for social media or recipes and things to mention in the monthly newsletter. It was really only a matter of time that the request of a new post or having a guest blogger would be met with, “Hope, why don’t you do it?”

I started as a soup slinger in the original Souper Jenny Buckhead location in 2001. When I left Atlanta in 2007 I put on a more motivational hat. Keeping things moving on the production of Jenny’s 3 cookbooks, helping launch The Zadie Project website and constantly asking Jenny for content or document her life. However, outside of Planet Jenny, I am a wedding officiant and pre-marital counselor. (A More Perfect Union) The grooms and brides with whom I work generally need Zen not a cheerleader. 

Over the years, I meditated with a stressed couple on a street corner in Brooklyn before their wedding ceremony. I sprinkled lavender and ylang ylang essential oil into the hands of numerous brides and grooms so they could breathe in a little calm. And a few weeks ago a set of hockey playing groomsmen asked me for some lavender because they wanted to support an anxious bride.

Needless to say weddings are stressful, but so is life. Hell, I live in New York - the city that never sleeps. But we all live in a fast-paced world and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. I’m the type of person that likes to be productive and busy. If I’m not, I feel like I’m being lazy. I sometimes forget that my body and mind NEED breaks. Can you relate? We need to find calm in the everyday. But how do we do that?

Be Present and Breathe!

If you have a bit of time, turn off your phone and be selfish. Take yourself out to lunch or a walk in the park and people watch. Allow time to slow down. Get creative with paints or sketch with a pencil. Set a timer if you must, but be conscious about your surroundings and what you’re experiencing.

If you don’t have time? Well, I would really say you need to MAKE time. But we all have crazy days where we have just a moment. In those cases, take 30 seconds and close your eyes. Put one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. Feel the warmth of that connection. Then take FIVE full, deep breaths. Five full inhales and 5 full exhales. Allow your shoulders to release. After the fifth breath allow the eyes to flutter open. Thirty seconds and I promise you are one step closer to finding calm!

How do you feel now? What are some other ways you find calm?