Have you ever lain flat on your back in the middle of your driveway? Probably not, because it’s weird, and could frighten your neighbors. Still, I’ve done this many times. I don’t have a spacious backyard, and while I do have a couch in mine, it feels cramped and surrounded by tall fences. I could go to a park, but that takes time. So the driveway it is.
WHY would I want to lie down in full view on the hard cement? Because it surprisingly feels good. Recently, I’ve made a considerable effort to literally look up more. I’m sick of being sucked into my phone’s vortex—always looking down. I have to hide my phone to stop mindlessly picking it up. I’ve been taking walks without it—consciously listening to the sounds around me. I never knew I had so many woodpeckers in my neighborhood. Suddenly, they’re all I hear. On these walks, I look up—taking notice of the morning moon, the odd shapes of clouds, the clusters of different colored trees. Simple observations, but they have a real impact on my mood. They remind me to pay attention and to actively pause distractions.
These horizontal driveway sessions started about a month ago. I was in the middle of working out and had to lie down for one of the moves. I noticed the sky was vividly blue (something we hadn’t had in weeks from the California fires). Doing this reminds me of a grounding meditation technique. I feel the vastness of my surroundings. I see clouds dancing, or a cluster of dragonflies buzzing above —sometimes I see two doves courting each other along our rooftop (this really delights me). I’m seduced by the wonderful feeling of paying attention.
Maybe you don’t have to lie down on a driveway to do this, but if you want to, I endorse it. (Just make sure to wave at people walking by so they know you’re not dead.)
Sally Rooney’s book, Normal People, is one of those popular novels that you either love or hate. I happen to love it. I think Rooney is incredible at capturing the intricacies of relationships. I devoured that book in two days! So I’m not surprised that I enjoyed this 2019 short story that she wrote for The New Yorker. Like in Normal People, Rooney writes about tiny, banal details of human interaction, but makes them intriguing. Somehow you get a strong sense of who these characters are without really knowing that much about them. I love it when a short story leaves me wanting more, and this is one I’ve been thinking about for days.
Climate change keeps me up at night! I fret over the future of our planet and what it will look like for my kids and their families. This was a very informative and eye-opening podcast about how climate change will affect the areas we live in. Highly recommend.
This is one of my favorite albums. When I’m in the need of a hug from a good album, I often turn to this one. It’s soft yet powerful. Nina is inspiring for both her fantastic music abilities and her activism. My go-to songs are: “Suzanne,” “To Love Somebody,” and “I Shall Be Released.”
I’ve been enjoying my new fall mixtape. As usual, it’s filled with a wide variety of music. Make sure to listen to it in order!
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