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Letters from Zeynep: A Restful Day

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Dear friend, Just before the pandemic broke out in the West, I happened to be in Miami, taking a mini
 

Letters from Zeynep

April 14 · Issue #19 · View online
Weekly letters that nurture you to find everyday wellness. https://zeynepesin.com/

Dear friend,
Just before the pandemic broke out in the West, I happened to be in Miami, taking a mini-vacation, alone. I wrote the note below on a sunny, restful day, leaving myself gentle reminders of what made my day restful, and remembering what usually makes my days busy, trance-like and stressful. 
A few days ago, as I read again my signs of a restful day, I felt the sadness of not being able to stand on a beach, dipping my feet in the water, next to seagulls. As I read my signs of a busy, trance-like day, I felt the sadness of still putting myself through days like this, even as we sit through this pandemic, globally suffering. 
Sadness is okay. Sadness is more than okay. Sadness is there sometimes, and it is our friend. It is there for us to hold tenderly - like a flower - and care for deeply. Sadness is one of the many things that make us beautiful and human. 
Here is a letter on “1000 joys and 1000 sorrows”, as they say in the Buddhist tradition.
May you find space in your heart to hold them all.
With love,
Zeynep

How To Have A Restful Day
Signs that you had a restful day:
  • You found yourself sitting at a table somewhere with a cup of coffee. There’s good music playing.
  • It’s 3 pm and you’re not sure what you did all day. 
  • When you woke up, you told yourself that you didn’t need to accomplish anything that day.
  • You took a nap.
  • You wandered around.
  • You saw a cat.
  • You called a best friend to chat.
  • You called another best friend.
  • You might call two more.
  • Your breakfast took 2 hours.
  • It’s possible that all you did today was to eat breakfast and eat lunch.
  • When you see your to-do list, you say “Not today.
  • You looked deeply at some beautiful palm trees.
  • No cafe seemed worthy of sitting down.
  • You stood next to the water, on the beach, looking at the seagulls who were standing next to the water, on the beach, looking at the ocean. 
  • You’re wearing high-waist skinny jeans, a basic white t-shirt, and white sneakers.
  • You treated yourself to a light make up.
  • You feel tired because you finally allowed yourself to relax, and all the fatigue rushed in.
  • When your friend asked you on the phone if something was going on with you, you finally had the space to say “Yes, there is.” and to talk about it. 
  • You looked at your hands, really looked at your hands, for the first time in a long while. You really like this ring you wear every day without noticing you wear it every day.

Signs that you had a busy, trance-like, stressful day:
  • You calculate the number of minutes you have in between calls and if that’s enough time to finish _____.
  • You only had __ minutes for lunch.
  • You realized that you forgot to respond to that important email.
  • You are spent and it’s only 6 pm.
  • You told your best friend that you can’t call her until 10:30 pm.
  • You had to choose between journaling, meditating and exercise. You are glad you were able to “get done” at least one of them.
  • You go from goal to goal, from task to task. Some of your tasks are to set goals.
  • You spent a good chunk of the day worrying about lack of alignment and miscommunication.
  • You have this deep deep sense that you didn’t work enough today. You certainly could have worked more.
  • You wondered a few times if you are a good fit for _______.
  • Your back, shoulder or leg is hurting from sitting too much.
  • You were late to at least one call. 
  • You don’t remember your larger core purpose.
  • You’re not thinking straight.
  • You’re not processing new information as fast as you normally do.
  • Your hands seem to have a life of their own.
  • You typed the wrong email address, again.
  • You could do 20 minutes of yoga right now to alleviate back pain but you could also do one more slide on that deck.
  • You don’t know anything personal about this human even though you have a meeting with them every week.
  • You have 6 back to back meetings in one afternoon.
  • You saw yourself in the mirror, in passing. You didn’t like what you saw. She seemed ugly, tired and distant.
  • You remembered that you still haven’t responded to that important email. 
  • You count the days of the week as they go by. Only 3 more days until Sunday, which is your only non-work day. 
As I stood next to the water, on the beach, looking at the seagulls who were standing next to the water, on the beach, looking at the ocean.
As I stood next to the water, on the beach, looking at the seagulls who were standing next to the water, on the beach, looking at the ocean.
Reflection Questions
  1. What are some signs that you had a restful day? How does a restful day feel, look, move?
  2. What are some signs that you had a busy, trance-like, “there isn’t enough time” type of day”? How does a busy day feel, look, move?
1000 Joys
Last Saturday, we met on YouTube Live to learn 7 ways of rewiring your brain for more sticky positive experiences. The recording is below, if you’ve missed it!
Next Saturday, we are meeting at 19:30 Paris time on YouTube to learn how to go from a painful comparing mind to rejoicing in the abundance and happiness of others. See you there! 🤗
7 Tricks To Make Positive States More Sticky
1000 Sorrows
So many of us have been feeling sadness over so many things lately. Join our community, Mudita, this Wednesday for a talk and meditation on Holding Our Grief Tenderly. Our multi-cultural and international community is full of kind souls. We will meet on Zoom at 19:30 Paris time. You can RSVP here.
Our community's special guest, Pitre, who often meditates with us on Zoom! 😄
Our community's special guest, Pitre, who often meditates with us on Zoom! 😄
Book Club
As a community, we are starting to read a new book this Saturday, April 18th at 15:00 Paris time on Zoom. This book is one I’ve read and loved, and can’t wait to re-read as a great remedy to our current struggles right now.
It’s The Book of Joy, which is a wonderful conversation between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, two of the most influential spiritual leaders of our time, about finding JOY in the face of suffering and grief.
If you would like to enjoy this book with us, at a slow and lovely pace, RSVP here
The Book of Joy, a wonderful conversation between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The Book of Joy, a wonderful conversation between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Small Gifts
Here are some pieces that filled my heart with love, joy or grief in the last few weeks:

  • 🏠 A Cup of Jo piece called Love In the Days of Corona. Make sure you read the comments under the essay as they are authentically talking about the sorrows of relationships these days, whether you are single, in partnership, in separation.
  • 📖 An amazing School of Life essay, On Confinement. It starts with a quote from Blaise Pascal (‘The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he cannot stay quietly in his room.’) and it ends with convincing you to look at past holiday photos.
  • 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 A heartfelt tribute to the famous category of More Than Friends - all those people you loved deeply and intimately without having sexual relationships with them. The near-miss kiss, the “we only cuddled”, the many unwritten or unopened letters. 
  • 🧘🏻‍♀️A 9 min meditation by Rick Breden with 6 questions to ask yourself every day during COVID-19. These questions have been lifting my mood at the end of the day, and making me feel I had a positive time despite the difficulties.
  • 🎼 This Andrea Bocelli concert from Milan Duomo, Music for Hope, that I enjoyed watching with my community on Sunday evening as well as the 2.7 million people that watched it live! It is truly moving.
Thank You ❤️
Thank you for reading! As always, please do not hesitate to
  • reach out with your questions,
  • share how you are doing during this difficult time,
  • share what has been lifting your spirits.
With love and care,
Zeynep
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