One thing I have underlined for myself over the last several years is that I want to be fully awake to my life. I want to notice the little moments and the big moments. I want to remember, even in the hustle and bustle, that I am ALIVE. I mean, really, when you stop and take a moment to consider it, being a living and breathing entity is truly amazing. It fills me with wonder and in my experience, wonder is a one-way ticket to gratitude. When I feel grateful, I feel more satisfaction and pleasure. It takes practice though, this observation of the little things, but it is completely worth it. Gratitude also has a greater impact on my overall sense of wellbeing than sending me off to a good night’s sleep.
Why practice gratitude?
Did you know that generating a sense of gratitude can build your resilience and help to more easily navigate all of life’s ups and downs? Practicing gratitude can actually make you a happier and more positive person. Hard to believe? Gratitude can actually support your brain to perform at its best. An efficiently functioning brain leads to greater creativity and energy which in turn supports your ability to adapt and “surf the waves” of life. Shawn Achor dives into the science of this more deeply in his TedTalk titled, “The Happiness Advantage”. Feel like you should be grateful but just don’t feel it? I enjoy Hailey Bartholomew’s TedTalk “365 Grateful Project” (yes, I am a TedTalk Lovaah!) . I appreciate that she weaves the arts into her gratitude practice, and I definitely felt a bit choked up when she said, “I wouldn’t have seen it, if I hadn’t been looking.”
A Decadent Experience
So, Erika and I have been looking and then looking again at the last year. We have gathered all the little moments that create the sweetness of our lives in one list which we call our Nectar List. Co-creating our annual Nectar List is one of our favorite ways to practice gratitude. It’s an idea we have borrowed from Sierra Vandervort whose original blog introducing the idea seems to have vanished from the internet. Or, at least for these ladies over here! As Sierra describes it, "It's a lot like a Bucket List, but instead of listing the things we want to do before we kick the bucket, we list the things that have been the nectar of our existence so far." Creating our list truly feels like a decadent experience; much like savoring a delicious honey. It reminds us to look closely at our lives and to stay AWAKE. It’s a process that always involves laughter and leaves us feeling good. I’ll share more of our list in a moment, but first, care to join us?
How to Make a Nectar List
I’m a big fan of achievable goals. My guess is that you have at least 5 things that happened in the last year that are alive with beauty. If you are feeling stumped, warm up by opening up the photos on your phone, or scanning your InstaFeed - what captured your attention this year? Which moments held that indescribable sweetness of life? You know those moments that stoke your soul fire? Yes, even the "quiet" moments. Sometimes it’s the tiny things that make all the difference. We love to start with a big piece of paper and just write moments down that come to mind. You have full permission to add and delete whatever you want. Let yourself think outside of the box. Maybe it’s a song, a sunset or a voicemail. This list is for you, after all. There is no doing it wrong. Make your list and feel free to share in response below. We would love to savor your nectar moments from 2018 with you.
That Indescribable Sweetness - Finally, THE LIST!!
You are definitely on our list! Thank you for reading, commenting, joining us in ritual, dancing and creating with us! We are so grateful for you and all the ways that you show up with your authenticity and playfulness. (Sarah & Erika)
Our backyard oasis in our Ojai Casita - can you say magical trees?? (S & E)
Watching Adam Rippon at the Olympics this winter was pretty fabulous (S)
Momasita’s visit in the Spring - Girl Time! (S & E)
Boogie Boarding (E) & Popsicle Making in the Summer (S)
Spiced Hot Chocolate at Chi Chocolate - we can’t even…it’s like Juliette Binoche from “Chocolat” blew into San Diego (S & E)
Family Reunion in Bend - let’s just say there was Harry Potter and Star Wars woven into one wedding, mmmkay? (S & E)
Kabocha Squash…in a TACO! Yes!!! (S & E)
Sunday Girl Chats with our sister-friends. Such sweetness! (S & E)
Launching our website - we built our virtual home! (S & E)
Dancing with kids almost every day! (E)
Launching Enflesh - our mask and movement series (S & E)
Making and building a relationship with my drum (S)
Autumn Jubilee - let’s just say there was a hoedown involved and someone lost an earring (S & E)
Fairy Pirates for Halloween - kids actually guessed our costumes!! (S & E)
Weaving Class with Sister Friends - more reasons to gather yarn! (S)
Beach Dance - need we say more? (S & E)
Puzzle Making - sometimes it’s the simple things that delight us most (S & E)
Fire Spinning with the Dragon Stick (S)
Shock Army Hip Hop Troupe! Baby Girl Cricket is in the house! (E)
AAAANNND, kitty cuddles. Because how could we not?? (S & E)
Thank you for joining us on the Nectar List Adventure. Please share a few from your Nectar List below - it’s good stuff!