The fog of January is lifting. It’s maybe the longest bout of depression I’ve ever had, although I can’t recall for sure. These are tough time we live in right now. And while the world isn’t becoming any more hospitable, my mood has shifted and I’m finding that I’m able to focus a little bit more on the joy.

I wonder if this shift is a by-product of my intentional attempt to simplify life right now. Calina Leonhardt (formerly has written about mental minimalism – the act of intentionally spending your mental focus on areas where you want to invest your energy in order to live a more meaningful life. I don’t know how well I’m practicing mental minimalism, but I’m definitely trying to be more intentionally by peeling back the layers to continue to focus on a more slow and simple life. I’m limiting my social media time, trying to re-build some personal practice in my day to day life, focusing on living physically minimally so that we need less input (money, material goods, resources, etc.). By limiting both the topics I’m thinking about and the number of inputs I’m engaging with, I think that I’ve been able to lift out of the gloom that has been hanging around.

One practice that I learned in 2021 from some fantastic folks is setting lunar intentions. Sometimes my kids join as well. Most months we pick individual areas to focus on or a loose goals to accomplish and then revisit the intention throughout the lunar cycle to check in and see how things are progressing or if a shift is needed. Some months have been incredibly successful and others have fizzled. With this recent new moon, I set two new intentions: building practice and feeling more love gush.

First – building practice. Writing. Weaving. Making food. Slow work. These are the things that bring me joy in life. I’ve learned so much from Marlee Grace about the act of building daily practice. Practice can help ground us, focus our energies, keep us firmly rooted in that which helps us thrive. Even when I struggle through the practice, I find that my mental energy remains higher when I persist.

Second – love gush. This is a cute term that a friend taught me when I was breastfeeding my youngest. It described the feeling that accompanies the release of oxytocin to the brain. It’s almost a euphoric feeling that helps you connect with your new babe, but also helps milk to flow! That euphoric love gush that you get for your baby can be described as a feeling of peace, comfort, belonging, and security.

After naming this feeling, I realized that the same feeling happens at other times in life – those moments when you are blissfully happy and know that all is right in your world. Sometimes I can even manufacture a love gush by focusing intently on happy, peaceful thoughts. I think the feeling comes most often when we make space for it, when we notice those moments of pure happiness. My intention for the next lunar cycle is to hold space for more love gush moments.