Do you meditate?

Yes, yes. I know I promised a report from High Point, but we are saving that for a couple days because, quite frankly, my brain needs to calm down. And while we’re on the topic of calming the brain, I’m curious about something: Do you mediate?

Do you meditate? | Hannah & Husband

Depending on who you ask, you’ll may get different definitions of what it means to mediate and why one would even choose to do so. In my experience, the cultural perspectives of different individuals always influence this definition in one way or another. I’d be very interested in knowing your definition because there are parts of the practice of meditation, and mindfulness, that have been in the front of my mind lately.

As I understand it, meditation is about training the mind to calm down and to concentrate your thoughts. One tool that is often used in the practice of meditation is a mantra.

Mantra: (noun) A word repeated to aid in concentration

The mantra intrigues me. As we’ve talked about before, we put a great deal of emphasis on ritual and finding beauty in the everyday around our house. Mindfulness plays greatly into this, but when life gets busy it can be really hard to calm down enough to just sit and take it all in. 

So for the past week or so, I’ve been repeating a short mantra. My mantra has been a short prayer of “Thank you.” I try to repeat it any time there’s a quiet moment and my mind begins to wander a bit. I’ve also been thinking it when I find myself completely full of joy or when I feel like getting cynical about the future. (Disclaimer: This inevitably comes after the joyful moment. I swear it’s genetic.)

I picked Thank You because I personally believe that most of the universe is out of my control. Thank You helps me stop and acknowledge my creator and the beauty that surrounds me. It’s training my brain to slow down and (attempt to) concentrate more on the beauty that is here now and be grateful I’m experiencing it all.

A couple days ago, I was thinking that it’s also worthwhile to thank myself. Sometimes you have to stop and appreciate the place you are in and the work you’re doing. Be aware of that moment in time and say Thank You that you are further along in your journey than you were the day/hour/minute before.

My hope is that this mantra becomes a part of who I am. That I will train my mind to ponder gratitude.

What do you think? Do you meditate? Do you have a mantra?



Between Winterpocalypseicysnowmageddon and whatever was up with my brain yesterday, I am happy to say “TGIF!” Here are some rad links from around the internet.

Grace Coddington on Instagram | TGIF! Hannah & Husband

Grace Coddington is on Instagram, and she did a doodle of Peter Copping after his first show for Oscar de la Renta. There’s also a cat… because: Grace.

Anne Lamott "Stitches" |  on Brain Pickings | TGIF! Hannah & HusbandOne of my favorite reasons the internet exists is Maria Popova’s site Brain Pickings. This week, she did a post about Anne Lamott’s book “Stitches” that we both found fascinating. It’s about the difference between routine and ritual.

“… routine grants us the stable platform within, from which we can begin not only to tolerate but perhaps even to enjoy the shaky messiness without.”

(Click here to read about one of our favorite rituals.)

We’ve mentioned historic Twitter accounts in the past. Well, I’ve found a new one that’s a pretty funny play on the Civil War. (I know, that sentence sounds totally wacky to me too.) I started following @themarychesnut on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and this week I discovered there’s a tumblr that’s even better called “A Diary from Dixie.” See a sample below.

@themarychesnut | TGIF! Hannah & Husband

Saving the best for last…

Gael Towey's Portraits in Creativity "Maira Kalman: My Favorite Things" |  | TGIF! Hannah & Husband

Gael Towey is a professional idol of mine, and I have loved watching her add to her Portraits in Creativity series. This week, she released a new short called “Maira Kalman: My Favorite Things” that documents and coincides with Maira’s Show Maira Kalman Selects currently at the Cooper Hewitt Museum.

(For more of my swooning over Maira, click here.)

Curing Cabin Fever: Make Some Hot Tea

Curing Cabin Fever with Hot Tea | Hannah & Husband

If you have a case of cabin fever, might I suggest a spot of tea? As I’ve mentioned before, Husband & I try to make an effort to incorporate processes into our lives that have a little ceremony–a little time to slow down and enjoy the moment, the task at hand, and our surroundings. To that end, we’ve started leaving out our tea set to encourage us to have tea in the afternoons.

Curing Cabin Fever with Hot Tea | Hannah & Husband

Idea #3: Pull out your tea set.

It’s been funny because the silver tea set, that belonged to my Aunt Vangie, seems so over the top to our guests. My mother-in-law didn’t quite know how to react when I pulled it out to serve her on a recent visit. Are we the only ones that use our silver on days that aren’t holidays? If you’re trying to stylishly domesticate, and you’re blessed enough to have fun dishes and serving ware, get them out and use them! There’s no reason to have things that just sit on your shelf collecting dust.

How do you unwind in the afternoons?
Tea? Coffee? Cocktail?

Morning Ritual: Illustrated

They say that things in the South move at a slower pace. That we tend to take things as they come and appreciate the moment we are in, be it sitting on the front porch sipping tea or having Sunday lunch with the family.

However, I have a tendency to contradict this on a regular basis, which is one of the reasons Husband is so good for me. He regularly reminds me to slow down and breathe. To appreciate the moment we are living. And, to appreciate the processes that bring about the things that we love. The latest of these things? Coffee.

In February, one of our Valentine’s Day gifts was a coffee grinder you turn by hand and a French press. It has transformed our mornings.

Morning Ritual Illustrated | Secrets of a Belle

Morning Ritual Illustrated | Secrets of a Belle

Morning Ritual Illustrated | Secrets of a Belle

What is a daily ritual you love?