From the book, Life Makeovers, by Cheryl Richardson

I want to use Wednesdays to write about the exercises in books I work through. I don’t happen to have such a book at the moment. When I don’t, I’ll dip into something like this Life Makeovers.

One of the chapters is about Life Accessories. I like that concept. Like you’d add a scarf or a piece of jewelry to accessorize your wardrobe, you can do the same thing for your life. Cheryl is talking about the things we can use to support us during the day. The accessories that help us to feel our lives, to experience it more fully. “Things you love to look at, listen to, taste, smell and feel.”

I have filled my office with things I love to look at. There is a silver heart that hangs beside my monitor which reminds me to have a heart full of love. On the other side is a fish on a sacred string that represents abundance and the flowing nature of life. Sitting on the printer shelf, above my eye level, I have two 1-inch picture frames. One is me as a child and one is my husband as a child. Anne Lamott asks us, as writers, to look at our projects in one inch pieces. Start small. That reminds me I don’t have to do it all at once.

I was reluctant this morning. Some days I jus’ doan wanna. I want to go back to bed or play or talk to a friend. It is good to allow yourself to do those things, sometimes. But you can’t do it all the time. There’s a time for everything and this morning, I needed to do some work. I popped on some music and whammo, I’m into working again!

I have this love affair with the group America. They have been with me for a long time. As a teenager, confused about life and boys and the future, America was always there. Looking cute, singing sweetly and calming me down. They still do that for me! Someone once said my life may have taken a different turn had I used drugs or sex or any number of other tempting soothers. America kept me sane and out of trouble. Today, they bring me back to my center.

I have many spiritual objects that bring me peace and remind me that all is well. Candles and incense create a mood. The colors in my office excite me and bring me joy. I also have a couple of pictures of my spirit animals given to me in a Shamanic healing session. I have pictures of family and loved ones, too.

I enjoy a good rock now and then. Smooth stones feel good in the hand. You can use one as your gratitude stone. Every time you pick it up, remember how grateful you are. There’s a lovely story about a gratitude stone in The Secret movie.

Cheryl goes on to suggest more tactile things like a lovely cup for tea or an animal to pet. We can use our senses in other ways, too. Drinking that cup of tea, slowly, with awareness. On Cheryl’s list is also great-smelling hair products. You can use the accessories around you. I have a massage pad I put on the sofa and float away. Life Makeovers reminds us to use the heaters in the car seats. I keep thinking about putting up a pretty sheet in front of where I pull my car in the garage. Add a dash of colorful paint somewhere to spruce things up. My afternoon cup of tea and the stashed sweater in my desk on the job made me feel more like I was home. Cheryl likes to put on cozy socks when she’s at her desk. Even something as simple as a pen you love can remind you that life is good and there is much that supports you.

If you look around, you are likely to find many Accessories that can make you feel better. All you have to do is be aware. What scents make you feel peaceful? How does different music affect you? What feels good against your skin? What makes your heart warm when you look at it?

My Five Favorite Life Accessories:


Incense and candles

My massage pad or foot bath

Cold water to sip

The objects in my office