“I like coffee exceedingly…” ―
My love of coffee knows no particular place, but I lust after and linger with it most at coffee houses. There’s something to be said about the lost art of creative, eclectic, and independent coffee houses. You can’t replicate vibes and the very best cafes produce them effortlessly and consistently. Today I’m at Sweet_ness 7 Cafe in Buffalo, New York. I believe I’ve discovered and tasted heaven on earth. Copious amounts of charm live within the walls, words are flowing freely, and my lavender latte has given me a new purpose in life. Seriously, it’s that good.
I like to talk and write in coffee houses, and usually, I prefer the company of strangers. The majority of my passion projects are centered on exchanges with people I’m unacquainted with or I’ve been interested in meeting. There’s something to be said about connection and discovery. Unearthing is enlivening.
For the people closest to me or most familiar with me, this fika thing is a mystery. Sure, we fika. Pausing with the ones I love is forever a favorite past time. But there’s a curiosity about the greater vision within my fikas that remain unclear to them. Truthfully, I like it this way.
I am knee deep in collecting and curating stories. I am grateful for the power of connection and the undeniable value within a good cup of coffee.
This is my current state…just in case you’re wondering.
I am all up in the exercise scene lately. Just click here, here, or here. Seriously, my relationship with kettlebells is deep and ever-evolving. But there’s something else that exists with this new lifestyle I’m living. Truthfully, it’s a longtime struggle. And it’s one of those situations where knowledge isn’t enough. This evolution isn’t solely physical. It’s mental, emotional, and in the spirit of being transparent, somewhat spiritual.
Food has been my downfall. What I eat, how I eat, and when I eat is something I’ve battled with and lost on numerous occasions. Why? Short term mindset. I was using food as an excuse or motivator for how I look. Rarely, if ever, did I link food to how I feel.
I’ve definitely done my fair share of fad diets and programs. Some worked while others failed. But all of these attempts, albeit successful or not, were tied to extreme efforts. Nothing was sustainable. And in my ten plus years of trying to get myself healthy, I’ve never thought about the long term function of food.
Enter FitFabMoms. In the spirit of fika, I was gifted some quality conversation before a meal plan was presented. It started with a food diary but it soon became a confessional of sorts. And while I was bearing my soul, my trainer and dietician were listening and creating something special. My meal plan is a result of an evolutionary exchange. There’s a focus on fulfillment while reiterating feelings.
Am I happy? When was I hungry? Did the snack satisfy me? These simple questions guide me through workouts, daily duties, professional commitments, and personal obligations or outings. This mindset gets me far from the trap of timing. I’m no longer trying to lose ten pounds in a week while starving myself. Instead, I’m fiercely focused on talking about and responding to what I need to feel good.
I don’t have all the answers about food. But what I’m learning and loving is that the conversation begins with a question. I’m consuming comfort and gaining confidence. This happiness is the most delicious thing I’ve tasted in a long time.
“How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvelous.” ― Norwegian Wood
One of my biggest passion projects this year is based upon and determined entirely through letter writing. I’m writing people letters and asking them to fika. And while the request might seem simple, it’s actually quite complicated for many. These letters are the essence of vulnerability and an invitation to partake in intimate and soulful conversations.
Why so deep?
Have you ever wanted to ask someone a question that seems invasive but imperatively linked to understanding them better? Or upon reflection, do you know the history of your friends or connections? I believe that talking to others about their lives and/or mutual connections equips and empowers us to think differently and more carefully. Moreover, there’s nothing more special and sacred than a conversation over coffee if it’s done right.
But it all starts with a letter. Snail mail has my heart forever. I have some people who need to know things about their influence on me. I have more people who I want to hear from. Paper. Pen. Stamps. Mailbox. Magic.
When’s the last time you wrote someone a letter? Consider the time. Revel in the impact.
As always, thank you for reading. May your week be filled with fikas.
“It may sound paradoxical, but strength comes from vulnerability. You have to ask the question to get the answer, even though asking the question means you didn’t know.” Majid Kazmi
You need help. I need help. We all need help.
But sometimes asking for help is as overwhelming as the task that sends us searching for something more or different.
These days I fight the urge to become a Google expert. Do you know about this phenomenon? The people who Google everything and therefore they know everything as well. But I’m not an expert in everything. In fact, I lack expertise in most things. And there are certain situations where help is beyond my wanting and is plain old necessary for success.
Enter the evolution of my health and wellness. I’m entirely too lost to know where to begin. There’s a science to this stuff, which is why I need an expert. I need a certified trainer and dietician to educate me.
The first step is admitting my lack of knowledge in this area. Being aware that I need help is a success on its own. I celebrate honesty and welcome vulnerability. The second step is centered on time. Specifically, how I see and use time. I need to take the time to search for the answers to the questions that are critical for consistency and longevity. Because this isn’t some challenge with an expiration date. There’s no specific number on the scale that I’m obsessing over. It’s a lifestyle. Therefore, I need to discover and delve into the world of personal time investment. And finally, the third step is focused on listening. After asking questions I need to listen to answers while keeping an open mind. Asking questions is scary, but sometimes the answers are scarier. Here is where the truth lies. Owning this truth and working towards a better or brighter one is where I find myself now.
It’s funny how these steps are similar to the ones I undergo in my writing. But they’re much more challenging when applied to my well being.
There is strength in vulnerability. I am in need of help. Luckily I asked for it and it appeared in the form of FitFabMoms. Now I’m listening. To them, to my body, to my heart. There’s some truth in there that has yet to be discovered. It’s probably behind my abs, which are currently burning due to Turkish Get-Ups. Google that.
“Solitude is where I place my chaos to rest and awaken my inner peace.”
At 6:58 p.m. a miracle happened in Madison, New Jersey. The children were in bed and asleep. My husband was engrossed in a basketball game, and the house was clean (enough). Enter solitude.
I’ve been lusting for some solo time to write, wander in my thoughts, and hang with no agenda. It’s freeing to surrender some stuff and simply be alone. These days, solo silence is rare.
But isn’t it funny how programmed we are to believe we must be busy? It almost feels wasteful to sit and journal, drink some tea, and do nothing. Yet nothing really is something.
These quiet moments are where I root myself. It’s where I leave the loudness of the world behind. And when there’s no noise I’m able to acknowledge, accept, and accelerate the truths that need to be told and the adventures to be embarked upon.
Quite simply, the art of being alone is often my greatest inspiration. So to stillness, solitude, and this Saturday night miracle, I extend sincere gratitude. For you, I wish peace.