Secrets to Unlocking Mindfulness in { Not So } Secret Urban Gardens.

{ RMSC Gardens. Clockwise from Left: Tulips that smell of juicy-juice. Primrose herb. Lungwort herb. The RMSC Herb Garden is my favorite secret getaway in Rochester. }

BREATHE IN.

The RMSC Herb Garden

BREATHE OUT.

Mindfulness is an-all-in-1 spa, gym, + detox
for your mind, body, + soul. 

Mindfulness requires commitment, don’t get me wrong. Commitment in terms of minutes { you will have to consciously + constantly redirect yourself } as well as days + months. Just like resume writing + interviewing, no one is naturally good at Mindfulness; Mindfulness is a skill, + it requires regular practice. Which is good news! Because — Phew! — pressure’s off. With Mindfulness, you never, ever, ever, ever have to be … perfect. { 4 letter word. }

Here’s how it works!

You can practice Mindfulness all day, erry’day. To get started, pick-up Buddhist Monk + Nobel Peace Prize nominee Tich Nhat Hanh’s collection “Peace Begins Here,”. This was my 1st introduction to + practice with Mindfulness { thanks to a solidly progressive Creative Writing course my senior year at Pitt }. Until then … Here is what you do.

  1. Find a { Not So } Secret Garden. Big cities. Small Cities. Non-cities. They. Are. Everywhere. Promise. When I lived in Manhattan, both Central + Riverside Parks where very not-so-secret, but they also had idyllic secret nooks once you explored. Rochester has a ton! Here are 3 within 2 miles:
    • First Unitarian Church of Rochester. 220 S. Winton Rd., Rochester, NY 14610. They have gardens + meditative walking mazes, + anyone can enjoy them.
    • Rochester Museum & Science Center Herb Garden. 657 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607. Herbs, tulips, rose bushes, flowering trees, benches, side gardens, + lots of green grass for walking, picnicking, sports playing, dog walking, jogging, meditating, + relaxing.
    • Historic Gardens at Eastman Museum. 900 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607. Almost right across the street from RMSC, Eastman Museum has gardens for passersby, tours for those who want history, + Garden Vibes summer concerts 1 Wednesday each month, June-August.
  2. Just Breathe. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. Repeat. Since you have to breathe anyway — might as well hone + harness it. Instead of just oxygenating your lungs, think about the idea of oxygenating every single cell in your entire body. 2 simple steps:
    • Pause. As soon as you arrive to a comfortable spot within the garden, plant your feet. Look around. Notice the color of the sky. Feel the air. Smell nature. Pause and breathe normally. Say to yourself, At this moment in this time, all I have to do is breathe. And then, when you breathe as per usual with your normal breath, feel proud that you have accomplished all you need to accomplish. Feel proud that you have nothing more to do in this very moment.
    • Slow Down. Once you have enjoyed a few regular breaths, let your breath slow down. Do not force your mind or body to slow. Allow your slowed breath to be a natural guide for the rest of your body. Slow your breath in whatever way feels most comfortable. I like to start by inhaling a bit slower + deeper and pausing at the top of the inhale; and then exhaling with the goal of releasing more slowly than I inhaled, and pausing again at the bottom of my exhale.
  3. Let Go. Release your thoughts. Stay present in this moment. Easily the most intimidating part of “mindfulness,” as this part starts to invoke meditation. But both are actually very easy + natural once you try:
    • No Pressure. The goal of letting go, and so meditation, is not to be free of thoughts. It is to be free of the burden of thoughts. Practicing letting go, and therefore meditation, is actually quite freeing because all you’re doing is granting yourself permission to … let go. To say no. To say, Thought, I see you, and I hear you, and I say goodbye to you. Let thoughts come into your mind. In fact, welcome thoughts to do so. The more thoughts that enter, the more practice you have saying good bye.
    • Visualize. Most of us will vastly struggle with letting go of thoughts, at first. A happy bridge to full-meditation is the prop of visualization and/or mantras: both will help you say goodbye to thoughts. What do you visualize? Nothing. Because you visualize your breath. Focus on the air, the space between. Focus on a part of your body that needs more breath. Breathe to this space. If this doesn’t work, try a mantra. What do you say? Something very simple. Positive. Truthful. I am safe + secure. Flowers are beautiful, just like me. Sunshine feels happy. I believe in my values, + I believe in me. Say the same phrase over + over + over, again. Promise, you won’t be thinking 1 thing.

According to Tich Nhat Hanh, this is called Walking Meditation. You can do it anywhere. A room in your apartment. The pavement on the street. Halls at work. Aisles of the grocery store. Walking Meditation, + so Mindfulness, can be achieved anywhere we step foot.

I hope you enjoy trying. Let me know what you think!

#mindfulness

#bepresent

#belocal.

The (Skeleton) Key to Shopping Local.

SSSHH

MAKE-UP | JEWELRY | VINTAGE

IT’ A SECRET … {TELL EVERYONE}.

{ Changes ahead: I’ve focused mostly on feature posts. I’m adding more routine to the mix! Beginning of Week – Lifestyle. Mid Week – #ShopLocal Tips + Tricks (like this guy). End of Week – Wrap-Up (like the Week Wrap-Ups + Around Towns from before). Send me some love + let me know what you’d like to see!! ♥ }

ABUNDANCE COOPERATIVE MARKET | PEPPERMINT | MACHINATOR CHAOS 

TREASURE TROVE VINTAGE

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Today’s #ootd: 1980’s bouclé sweater – Treasure Trove Vintage. Handcrafted necklace – Machinator Chaos.

There are 3 undeniable best-case scenarios when shopping

  1. Sale
  2. Everything Fits
  3. Shopping Finds You

Over the past 2 weeks, all three happened to me. And that’s exactly where I’ll start – #3. That’s what this post is dedicated to: The (Skeleton) Key to Shopping. Keying yourself in to the very spots + circumstances that make shopping feel:

  • fit
  • fun
  • and flawless

your skeleton key awaits

NATURAL FOODS MARKET – It’s not just the food.

I love shopping Abundance Cooperative Market. It’s on Marshall St, near downtown, just off Monroe, and it’s: Quiet. Uncrowded. Local/Organic/IPM/Non-GMO/Fair Trade. Delicious. … Plus, they have a beauty isle. I strongly encourage all of you to buy:

and

  • Make-up! Abundance is where I bought this Mineral Fusion lip balm. Only $9.99 {well-priced compared to its competitors} + friendlier to the face.

{ Bonus: It’s the perfect dewey-pink to give me that – Oh, I just woke up like this – look. }

 

TRUNK SHOWS – They’re not just for connoisseurs. 

Stepping inside Peppermint is like going to the cool kids’ party. You belong. Peppermint on Park + Meigs rivals any boutique I’ve ever been in (which includes: Davos, Switzerland; Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and those along Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain.) Owner Tanvi Asher:

More?? … Decor rivals the racks. Tanvi is an:

  • entrepreneur, designer, and seamstress {think Asher Bridal}
  • who creates artistically renowned window displays and interior store decor.

{ She a lady boss. }

She also hosts Trunk Shows for artists like Machinator Chaos. Meet your favorite artist face-to-face + sip on wine or champagne and snack on treats. Aside from having the opportunity to buy this incredibly well-priced handcrafted industrial necklace from Machinator Chaos and meet its maker (who is another young Barb!), I love Trunk Shows. They are:

  • Affordable – quality, one-of-a-kind, well made, handcrafted art.
  • Unpretentious – who says class has to be an ass?? Not me. A Peppermint Trunk Show: vibe is always right.
  • Awesome – self-explanatory.
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Look at that craftsmanship! Handmade by Barb of Machinator Chaos. Purchased at Peppermint Trunk Show.

VINTAGE SHOP – You don’t have to be rich, a fashionista, … or a grandma.

Do yourself a favor and find your favorite vintage–or thrift–shop in town. If you’re from Rochester, NY, look no further: Treasure Trove Vintage. Convenient – it’s in the same building as Peppermint on Park + Meigs!

{ Pssst – Everything is well-priced. Sweaters range from $15 – $20 pops a piece. Coats are a steal! Get your winter-on, now. }

At this point, a good 75% of my working wardrobe hails from TTV. Day dresses, party dresses; sweaters, skirts; casual wear, work wear; shoes, bags. I could go on. Why do I find Treasure Trove irresistible?

  • On Trend – Morgan, owner, has that eye. Every single time I’m in that shop, I find exactly what I’m swooning over. At Treasure Trove Vintage, it exists.
  • Quality – Morgan is a pro. All pieces are in premium shape. Combine that with the tendency for older clothing to be made better, anyway, and … you will own this piece for another 20 years.
  • Fit – It fits. All of it. I’m not talking miracles. (An XS still does not fit me.) I mean decades. Be it ’50’s waists, ’60’s hemlines, ’70’s styles, or ’80’s cuts … clothing from Treasure Trove Vintage fits, really well.
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The iron broke… 1990’s pencil skirt – Treasure Trove Vintage. Picture doesn’t do it justice.

I’ll be honest

I didn’t mean to shop the past 2 weeks. Shopping found me. Quality, Unique, Affordable, Handcrafted, Good for Me + Good for my Community shopping.

{ Psst. – For all my #ShopLocal finds … Follow me @babsiell on Instagram. }

I love when that happens. … Now go find your Skeleton Key.

#shoplocal

XO.