A Game of Books

I’ve kind of been focusing on my writing for my last few months of blogs, so it’s time for a twist! Yesterday, Conner and I did one of my absolute favorite things everrrrrrr: we went to the botanical gardens after church and just lay out on Maasai blankets on the grass, reading. Many pictures were taken because it was such a beautiful day and many words were read. All in all, it was a serious win. I forget sometimes that I’m a sunflower child and I need to be outside with a book more often 🙂

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I’m now nearly halfway through Dances with Dragons: Part One and I have to say, I think it’s my second favorite book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series so far (the series that the TV show Game of Thrones is based on, for those who don’t know). I only have one book left (Part Two of Dances with Dragons) before I have to join the giant crowd of groupies clamoring for George R.R. Martin to finish and publish the next book in the series. Sigh.

Buuuut anyway. We also had some visitors while we were chilling!

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So, yes. Basically the best day I’ve had in a long time. My best friend / love + outside + nature + trees +sunshine +books +birds = best thing ever.

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How to Love Yourself

Sometimes I come at life from the wrong angle, especially when it comes to taking care of myself, and I’m sure many of you can relate! This is partly why exercising regularly, for example, is difficult for me. Instead of thinking “I love and respect my body enough to take care of it” and viewing exercise as a way to love myself, I think “I had better get out there and run or I’m a failure at life.” Like I said, the wrong angle. And I have to remind myself of this often.

So! Reminding myself and you, here are some ways to love yourself, respect yourself, and treat yourself well. We’re worth it. ❤ ❤ ❤

  1. drink more water! the cells in your bod will thank you.
  2. exercise more! but make it fun (dancing, playing a sport). endorphins = yay.
  3. eat well! love yourself enough to only put good things into your body, not low-key poison (MSG, anyone).
  4. connect with nature! give your cells some vit-D, give your lungs some fresh air, and remind yourself that you’re a human being with a soul, not a robot. be outside and listen to the trees and the wind and the birds.
  5. do fun things for the sake of them! not everything has to have a point. color because you like coloring. bake because you like baking. garden because you like gardening.
  6. know your self-care things! maybe it’s sitting down for half an hour with herbal tea and a magazine. maybe it’s knitting. maybe it’s making soap. it doesn’t really matter what it is-just figure it out and then do it daily. you deserve to be taken care of, and who better to take care of you than you?
  7. get more/better sleep! there are several things you can do to improve your sleep quality, and beyond that, make sure you’re sleeping enough. don’t skimp on sleep for anything. the rule of thumb is, the more stressed and busy you are, the more important sleep becomes.
  8. eliminate the bad stuff! take a look at who you spend the most time with, and what you spend the most time reading or thinking about. I’m not saying be in denial, I’m just saying that you’re no one’s trash can. don’t allow yourself to be one. you. deserve. more.

Do you have any other self-love or self-care tips?

Soul Machine

gears grind like gnashing teeth
chopping up the bowels of me
blood gushes, thunder rumbles
the soul machine never ceases

once there was a person here
her heart still beat and wind still
roared through dark, damp snakes
the tunnels in her lungs

blood pulsed to a thudding beat
skin warmed and shoulders shrugged
off worries like little snowflakes
sweat glowed, body shivered

the soul machine grunts and groans
scrapes heavy metallic feet on the
icy steel floor, leaking red ink and
words fall to paper like forest leaves

Soul Machine, a collection of poetry, will be out soon. To stay updated on new releases and special deals, subscribe to my newsletter here! -V

Poem Ashes

For some reason, I haven’t written poetry in a while. I think it’s because things have been so stressful, and the chaos of it all makes me feel utterly disconnected from myself. Writing in general keeps me sane, but writing poetry especially keeps me sane. Isn’t that the way of things, though? When things are stressful and you most need to do your self-care things, you end up shoving them aside because “there’s no time”.

On the other hand, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I can muster up a poem just so that I can write an inspiring blog post. Read the title, people: attempting authenticity. So instead I’m just going to say that whatever it is right now that’s holding you back, whatever it is that’s making you feel disconnected from yourself and out of touch with the things you used to be entwined with, don’t overthink it. Just be. Struggling in water doesn’t make you swim, you know?

So be patient, and don’t waste energy worrying. You’ll find your way back to yourself soon enough. ❤

Thursday Thoughts: Breathe

We forget so quickly that we’re human. We want to be machines who can smoothly and efficiently get up early, work, clean, and go to sleep again. Like robots. Like clocks, just ticking away the time. We forget that we have beating hearts and rushing blood and souls that need desperately to breathe. It goes against the way the world works to take time to be still and calm. To take time to rest. To take time to breathe life back into yourself, and more importantly, to have Life breathed back into you by the One who made us the way we are.

When you’re busy and tired – breathe. When you feel like you just can’t anymore – breathe. When you feel lost and confused and overwhelmed – breathe. Do the thing that makes no sense. That is what it means to love yourself, and if you can’t love yourself, you’re not going to be able to really love other people. The whole “love your neighbor as yourself” thing is a coin with two sides, and we like to ignore the second part.

So today, breathe. Just breathe.

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