Life update for the month of November: my pumpkin candles are still lit, the Halloween decorations are still up, and I’m still lusting over the apple cider donut I had at Southern Hills Farm just a few weeks ago. Fall and winter in Florida are my happiest times of year — I can’t resist going outside, throwing on “layers,” and experiencing the light cold fronts! 🙂
October was a contemplative month for me — fitting, because my Happiness Project theme for October was to Contemplate the Heavens (in other words, adopt more of a spiritual practice). As most readers know by now, I embarked on a Happiness Project inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book of the same name for the year 2019. Each month, I choose a different theme and incorporate a few new practices into my life. (Monthly themes for previous months included boosting physical wellness, creating outer order through decluttering, practicing mindfulness, slowing down, making time for friends, learning constantly, resetting my physical health, taking a digital detox, and working smarter.)
For the month of October, I planned to incorporate the following practices:
- Rise above the worries.
- Learn more about my heritage.
- Find ways to make others happy.
- Use 5 Minute Journal to incorporate gratitude.
- Work on a meditation practice.
So how did I do?
October went a little differently than anticipated, but I think I still rocked it. The month began with a nasty cold-turned-laryngitis and a car that wouldn’t start. Even though I felt physically crappy, I still tried to keep the mantra of rising above the worries in the back of my mind, and I took on a few holistic approaches to getting better rather than over-medicating. I used the time to slow down and check in with myself, one thing at a time.
I am still struggling in adopting a meditation practice and figuring out where to squeeze that into my day. I do love to pull a card from my The Universe Has Your Back deck and keep the card’s message in mind throughout the day, but carving out time to truly meditate without letting my thoughts wander too far has always been a struggle. This is something I’ll continue to work on in the months to come.
I love the 5 Minute Journal app, where I can write in my daily affirmations and the things I’m most grateful for. It’s a great way to begin and end the day!
As for learning about my heritage, this month was the perfect time to do just that. I invited friends over to celebrate Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) on the first and second nights, took time to atone on Yom Kippur, and even read Rabbi Kushner’s To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking.
I really enjoyed learning some of the “why” behind the Jewish traditions and reaffirming some of my beliefs. I don’t consider myself particularly religious, but I found that just reading about Judaism was extremely enlightening for me.
Overall, I did a lot of reflection this month, and am looking forward to incorporating these practices as we get into another busy time of year!
For the month of November, my focus is to Explore. To do this, I plan to incorporate the following:
- Be a tourist without leaving home.
- Visit my happy place.
- Get my nature fix.
- Create a lifetime bucket list.
- Explore someplace new.
What are your goals for November? Have you embarked on a happiness project? Sound off in the comments below!