joy

Are we afraid of the present moment?

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A little while ago as I was working away daily on clearing my home of extra clutter, I went through several “memory boxes” I had of old letters, journals and other mementos. It was a very interesting process because it had been so, so long since I last looked at these items. Most of them were from the 1990’s when I was an exchange student in Mexico or later on in college. A quick look at most of these items made me realize that by keeping so many of these although I didn’t look at them, symbolically I was living a lot in the past. I began to wonder- Are we afraid of the present moment?

I posted a photo of my memory boxes and journals on social media and so many people said that it would be so very difficult for them to get rid of those items. It made me ponder my own attachments to these letters, journals and documents. Yes, it is important to have a record of where you have been, and maybe my son or future generations would like to look at these items to get to know more of who I was or what I did in life and my relationships. On the other hand, by keeping so, so much of this old stuff, I felt a bit stuck in the past and part of me felt held back by even having so many boxes and bags of the past hanging around. It felt like a strange old security blanket telling me to hold on, but not to look at my present moment and live here.

Here’s what I did with those old memories that I feel at peace with here in my present moment. I can tell you that I had to take 2 passes at my old papers in order to be at peace with what I kept and what I recycled. I didn’t look at every single letter, but I did save sections of letters from people that still matter to me now in my present moment. The limit I put on myself was that I could keep 1 notebook full of old cards and letters and one box of memories of journals/mementos. The last go-round of looking through those things and making the notebook took over two hours. However, I really feel so very much lighter and able to live right now in this beautiful moment with the rain falling outside my window. Right now I am content with who I am and who I am becoming and some memories along the way that I did choose to keep brought me to this moment here today.

This process made me realize that I was really afraid of the present moment. I was hanging on to a large amount of the past in the physical form of these items. A lot of times physical and also mental clutter from the past can hold us back from living our true potential right now. Having fewer of these items means that i can begin to live in the now.

Beginning with paring down the past by de-cluttering my old papers and journals was a great foundation for me to build upon to start being less afraid of the present moment in other ways as well. I began to get curious about why I kept checking email and social media multiple times a day. It can falsely feel like we are living in the present moment by checking up on “what’s going on.” but really we are still not in the present when on our phones so much. Things people post have already happened and you won’t get an important e-mail every 5 minutes. I noticed that every day starting in the morning I would be continually distracted by checking way too many apps. I was shocked to see that I was spending sometimes more than 5 hours a day on my phone!

Determined to get that time back and be more present with myself, my family, my friends and activities that matter to me, I experimented beginning with last weekend. I decided I would spend very little time on my phone, especially in the mornings. Mornings are my creative time, a time when my brain works best on things like writing and creating. I made sure to start my day out with meditation, tea and breakfast instead of the usual round-robin of checking email and social media. It felt so relaxing. It reminded me of the few letters that I did keep. I remember a time that we couldn’t instantly share what was going on in our lives every single second. We would save up our news and write it into letters for those living far away. We took extra care and time with those letters. We could live our lives in the present moment more, and just take a bit of time to write letters when we wanted to communicate with someone out of town.

My weekend experiment worked very well. I only checked email a couple of times and didn’t check social media at all. I was amazed at how much time I had to read, study my Japanese, do a bit of writing in my notebook and just relax a bit with my family. I really did reclaim those several hours a day and my brain didn’t feel as scrambled as it did when I was on my phone so much. It felt like real rest, real connection to the present moment and real connection to myself and others.

My question to you is: Are you afraid of the present moment? Can you get curious about what is going on there? How can you change your connection with the present moment and be there more each day? Leave a comment below or email me at:

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need weekly/daily support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

trista.signe.ainsworth@gmail.com

Your Sources of Joy

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Allowing is a really amazing word. When we allow ourselves to feel joy, to find the good in life, to find the good in lessons that we are being taught every day through our actions we can feel true bliss. What are your sources of joy? They can be the simple pleasures in life and they can also be big milestones of achievement. I believe every source of joy is valid and worth spending time reflecting on. Here are a few of my sources of joy.

  1. Family

  2. Friendships

  3. Creativity

  4. Food

  5. Baking

  6. Reading

  7. Spirituality/Universe

  8. Nature

  9. Travel

  10. Tea/Coffee

I will elaborate more on these in a later post, but first I would love to hear your list of 10 sources of joy. What are they? I would love to know! Please comment below or send me an email at: info@thecheerychef.com

Thank you!

With lots of love,

Trista

The Path to Joy

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The photo of the path above reminds me of the many paths we would go down growing up. We were so blessed to have lived out in the country with lots of areas to roam around in. Along the path we would often need to clear away branches or most often brambles or blackberry vines. That’s what I loved about those days of wandering through the forest. There was always something new to see, to discover and along the way you would gently clear away anything in your way. I know that this is a key to our lives as we go along the path to joy. The path is not laid out in front of you perfectly, there are obstacles to clear away, but just as in this photo, there are always bits of light, bits of joy peaking through.

This is the reason why I am creating materials for a program that I call The Path to Joy. I will run this program through Patreon with materials, workbooks, videos and more on a regular basis that you can subscribe to. If you would like to hear more, you can sign up to get updates on what is available to help you navigate your path to joy here:

https://mailchi.mp/106f620d5b5c/thejoyfulpath

I am so excited to work on creating this program. Many of the materials will be out by mid-late January, 2019. I look forward to personally helping you clear your path to joy in many ways!

With lots of love,

Trista

Let the Magic Happen

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The title for this blog post came to me as I was drifting to sleep last night. It occurred to me because some of the events that have been happening in my life as of late seem purely magical, like everything that I have been wishing and hoping for, putting energy, work and action towards are coming right to me.

A Place Made in my Dreams:

Tomorrow I will be going to a working interview at a local cooperative worker owned farm.This farm is called Our Table in Sherwood, Oregon and they host farm dinners, brunches and other events throughout the year. A dear friend of mine found the ad for a job opening there for a baker that comes in part-time, 2-3 days a week. As I read the job posting, I realized that this job was exactly what I was looking for and everything that they mentioned I had experience in, every single thing! It was as if they wrote the job ad just for me. Last week I went in for an interview with them and was taken by the beauty of the farm, the farm shop, the lovely kitchen and the wonderful people that worked there and how much they care about their community and workers. This feels like a place that is truly aligned with my heart. I will keep you all posted on my work here and hope that you all will visit one day to taste the local bounty of the farm and what we as a kitchen team dream up!

I then realized that I had written exact descriptions of a place very similar to this one that I wanted to start and own. I mentioned growing a kitchen garden, having people to tend to it, having community meetings there and much more. I was awestruck by the similarities. Here is a quote from the notebook about an employee-owned place:

“I want to explore this idea (employee-owned/profit sharing) because I believe that it’s important for ALL employees to have a real sense of ownership and a stake in the cafe. People are important and I believe in treating everyone as owners.”

At Our Table all of the workers, members or producer partners are owners in their beautiful organic farm! It truly is a dream come true! I realize that a place that I once dreamed of and thought that I needed to create from scratch actually already exists and I was finally in alignment to be in the right place at the right time to join in the community. I am so thrilled!

Let the Magic Happen:

The lesson from this experience that I want to share with you is that you need to put your dreams out there. I used to think that the only important parts of the equation were action and hard work. Those are still part of the puzzle, but they are not ALL of it. I truly believe the process involves many moving pieces along your path that lead you to your dream. Here are all of the pieces of that puzzle that I have observed:

Visuals of your Dream:

For around a year I have had a vision board that is labeled: The Cheery Cafe Community. It includes pictures of fruits, veggies, a lady on a farm with a milk bucket, people working together farming and working with herbs, a farmhouse style building, coffee, pastries, lunch dishes and people smiling and enjoying meals together. That powerful visual greets me each day in my office here where I do my writing and business work.

Writing about your dream:

I have also written about my dream in my notebook that I now call my “magical notebook” where I have listed my plans and ideals. This very detailed vision for the cafe has really shown me that the farm is a match for all that I have written there. Allow yourself to write down all of your dreams, projects, money goals and more in great detail in a notebook. The key work is “allowing.” Allow yourself to write exactly what you want, in great detail and allow yourself to dream about those things. Allowing does not mean obsessing however. It is important to write it down, think of action steps to take towards it, but not reading it every day or obsessing over it when it hasn’t happened yet.

Putting your intentions and needs out there:

In my blog post “Dear Universe” I really put my intention out there to the public, family and friends to let them know what kind of job, clients and work I was looking for. I believe that this is key. Let others know what you are looking for. You can’t get help towards your dreams if you don’t ask and you don’t make your desires known. If what is want is truly a win-win situation for yourself and others involved, they will be more than happy to help you find what you need. I used to be more afraid to ask for help, but now I am getting braver and I am happy to let others know what I am looking for. I believe that is why my dear friend brought the job ad to my attention. I would have never known about that opportunity if I hadn’t put my exact intentions out there.

Matching up action steps towards your dream:

Just putting up visuals and writing about your dreams is not quite enough. You will need to match actions to those dreams. You will find that the writing, visuals and asking for help will fuel you to take action though. Think about things that you need to practice to make those dreams a reality, ways that you can master certain skills you might need or ways you can share your passions through a blog, photography, meet-up groups or more. The possibilities are endless, but you need to be practicing many times a week.

Matching up your attitude on a daily basis:

I find that this step is the most important one of all. If you are complaining and blaming others every single day, stepping into victim mode and having constant pity parties for yourself, you are not going to have your dreams leap off the page for you. Of course you are going to have difficult days, you are going to complain here and there and sometimes things may not go your way. That is completely fine. As you all know, I went through a month of not feeling optimal after the coffee shop closed, I just had to go through a bit of a low period before I was able to bounce back into action. However, once you are able to get back on track after life deals you some difficult circumstances you can focus on the things that are going right, be grateful for the abundance and the goodness in your life and find as many happy and fun things to do and say every day as possible. The better you feel, the more opportunities will come your way.

To close, all dreams are possible, your never know what is already being created for you in this magical world. Be patient, be kind to yourself, dream, put it out there and never give up!

What dreams are you going to put out there today? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or you can email me at: info@thecheerychef.com

UPDATE: As of today, I got the job at the farm! I am so very excited! Thank you all for following along on my journey and let me know if I can help you with anything!

With love,

Trista