Being Human: Here Comes Autumn

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FALL TRANSITION

By: Gabriela Yareliz

And here we are. Inside of my little studio, French jazz playing, little amber candles burning and the drawers of my dresser only half closed. That’s the way it goes on a Friday where I don’t want to leave my house anymore, and I just want to start my sentence of self-imposed solitary.

Soon, the bridge will be glittering at a distance, and the sky will be amber, too. The world glows in autumn. It’s moody, it’s crisp, it’s romantic and it’s cozy. Every season invites us to something different.

Man Repeller had a piece on whether people still read personal blogs. If you are reading this, the answer is yes, and I thank you. I wasn’t even so much as interested in the article as I was in the comments section. It’s a relic of the “past” that people have nostalgia for– the non-influencer blog space. You know– where we just talk about life and feelings and thoughts, and we don’t try to sell you anything. We still exist. It’s real, and simple and only sponsored by our mothers who remain our number 1 fans. This golden age of blogging isn’t over– and to prove it, I want to launch a little section I am calling Being Human.

We live in an age of reboots. We believe we have advanced so much in so many areas of life, yet we still long for simpler times. I’d like us to explore what that simplicity was and what that reveals about us. This is just simple, today. Nothing new here, but it’s a seasonal reminder. The leaves may be falling, but this blog (and our humanity, for that matter) is here to stay.

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Image by Julianna Swaney, via Tumblr

CLEANING

With the seasonal shift, nothing gets me more clear-headed than a good cleaning session. It’s not just literal; it’s symbolic, guys. When I clean the corners I don’t normally sit in; When I tell the little spiders to pack their bags and relocate; When I empty the pantry and take a look at the random jar of jam I got in the TJ Maxx basement three months ago, life sort of takes a little pause. It feels as good as wiping a dry erase board with an alcohol wipe.

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via Tumblr

Cleaning is a pastime for me. It’s something I romanticize into a workout session, but with all natural exertion. (If you’ve read Mireille Guiliano, then you know). Nothing beats the satisfaction of an evening ending with your hands smelling like those cleaning wipes. I made a little list of each section of my house (because sometimes a room is too much after a day of court). And little by little (as life should be), the place begins to sparkle.

A clean space is an invitation to rest.

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Image by Julia Stotz

HEALTH

I take the new season to take inventory, you know, this isn’t just about wiping down the cabinets. I think about the things that make me feel good, and if they are missing, it’s time to make a little list and get them.

That includes:

  • Seasonal foods;
  • Supplements (are you running low on collagen? has it been a while since you took an iron or vitamin D3 supplement?);
  • Probiotics (game changer);
  • Workout equipment that needs replacing (resistance bands get stretched out, maybe it’s time to invest in a tool or leggings you have had your eye on);
  • Something that makes you feel beautiful on the outside (maybe it’s time to whiten your teeth or invest in a good serum to amp up your skincare routine).

I believe in investing in yourself, especially in your mind (books, podcasts) and wellness. Let’s just say the time and money you spend and invest in wellness, you avoid spending on the illness and repercussions of not caring for yourself.

We only live once. I always believe in optimizing that one life.

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REST

While everything dies outside, as far as nature is concerned, as the skies get darker sooner, I believe it’s a personal invitation to rest. We’ve talked about preparing our space and our bodies for rest. Some other things that are absolutely divine for a season of rest are:

  • A good candle or two. Make sure it smells yummy, seasonal and cute packaging that makes the glow cozy– it’s perfect.
  • I have a light in my entrance that is different from all the others in the apartment. it glows a soft yellow. Sometimes, everything in my apartment is off except for this one light because it makes the place feel more relaxing.
  • A physical book. There is nothing like a dog-eared book on a late evening, with nothing else on.
  • A good journal to scribble down the little scenes that pop into our minds.
  • Good socks. Good fuzzy socks are a very underrated gift. I love them. I use them. Socks. Forever socks.
  • A Bible study tool. Yep. More time indoors should mean we use that time wisely to dive deeper into timeless books, like scripture.

No better investment. Soul health.

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EXPERIENCE

I was restless on a Saturday morning, not long ago. I woke up at 4 am. I made myself some tea, and I sat at my dining area window. I watched as the sky turned orange and purple. Something about the sunrise moved me deeply.

I am often up when the sun is rising. But I am running around my studio getting dressed, pulling on a shoe while hopping on one foot, or hooking up my straightener to heat while I make some oatmeal. I don’t even look outside and stop to stare.

Stop and stare. Be intentional. Stop.

Some of our most “inefficient” moments are the ones that change us the most.

It may be in that moment that we make it quiet enough for an idea, which has been trying to catch our attention, to break through to us.

Pause to see the sunrise. Pause to observe the sunset.

When you are cooking, pause and breathe it all in. When you wake up, don’t hop out of bed flying like something is on fire (I am guilty of this, at times). Linger. Look at the shadows. Catch the light. Stretch. Take the moments to feel. Let the light that pours in touch you, too.

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Image by Samuel Zeller

NATURE

Just because temperatures start dropping doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go outside. There is something about NYC when it’s cold. It’s like the streets belong only to those brave enough to linger under the gray skies.

I, for one, will be taking more walks. It’s time to unpack the jackets, scarves and hats. Nature offers us so much beauty, and we often miss it by looking down at some screen or by racing to the next indoor location.

Remember when phones were landlines, and you left your house knowing that if someone called, they could just leave a message? Shall we landline our cell phones? #landlinecellphones

Now, I am not suggesting you leave it home, simply because emergencies happen. But what if we kept our phones out of sight, let voicemail do its job, and we lived in a world where no one was looking for us constantly.

We can put away the perfection, the expectations, the ideal aesthetics, and we can simply be joyfully tousled human beings.

If you let it, the wind will do its job.

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Be Human

Take a minute to feel the last rays of sunshine. Get yourself a warm drink and get one for someone not as fortunate. Write a letter. Make eye contact. Take time to listen. Connect with a stranger. Keep your hands free of anything that lights up, and instead, keep them busy turning the pages of a book, kneading some dough, with a pen, or holding someone you love.

“If you want to get warm

you must stand near the fire;

if you want to be wet

you must get into water.

If you want joy, power, peace, eternal

life, you must get close to,

or even into,

the thing that has them.”

C.S. Lewis

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via Tumblr @fleurisque

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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