What’s Sparking Joy for Marie, Winter 2020

With my new book, “Joy at Work,” coming out in the spring, I’ve been reflecting on the rituals and routines that keep me balanced when my days are full.

Here are a few grounding practices – and objects – that spark joy when the weather is colder, the days are shorter and the nights are longer.

01

Cooking at Home

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Eating dinner with my family is one of my most cherished activities. I keep it simple – white rice, poached fish or a chicken hot pot prepared in my donabe – so I can focus on the conversation and not worry too much about the ingredients.

02

Aromatherapy

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Scents made with non-toxic, plant-based fragrances can help to cleanse the air and brighten a room – I use them to maintain a purified space after tidying. The Queen’s Guard Candle has a fresh, floral scent reminiscent of a dewy English garden. Its solid brass container catches the light from the flame – a lovely effect on dark nights.

03

Meditation

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Meditating in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, and burning incense is a special part of my practice. Tennen’s incense, inspired by natural elements – such as Japanese dry gardens and the Sonoran desert – burns for about 20 minutes, the length of good meditation.

04

Teatime

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I make a point of taking breaks throughout the day – especially if I’m working on my computer. Savoring a cup of tea allows me to quiet my mind and refresh. I don’t always have time for a full tea ceremony, but brewing a cup of loose leaf tea is a satisfying ritual in its own right.

05

Journaling

Winter months are the ideal time to go inward and plan for the year ahead. Journaling is how I sort my thoughts and tidy my mind. I use the opportunity to identify tangled feelings and worries – and to clarify issues I can and cannot control.

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