Issue #19: All Hail Stevie Nicks
Finding Your Stage, A Meal Plan for the Week, and a Muse Moment ✨
A note: This is a longer missive, so you may have to expand if reading in an email browser that truncates. x
I recently was at a Stevie Nicks concert (all hail Queen Stevie!) when she started chatting with the audience about her tough time dealing with former Fleetwood Mac bandmate and best friend Christine McVie’s death. What began as a soulful monologue became an incredibly moving tribute that stuck with me long after the last note of Gypsy was sung.
One line particularly caused me to think for days after. She said something to the effect that the stage was where she kept coming back to when things got rough, when life got overwhelming, and emotions needed moving through.
It made me wonder, “What stage do I come back to?”
My instinctive answer was the page. I’ve always felt a magnetic pull to one of my many notebooks when the going got tough, even when I resisted. Especially when I resisted. The thought of writing through a destabilizing event, or a joyous one, or a compelling one keeps me up at night until I finally put pen to paper. Like a moth to a flame, writing is my stage.
I share this to encourage you to ponder: What stage do you find yourself returning to time and time again?
Maybe it’s singing or long walks by the water where your thoughts turn to smoothed sea glass. It could be drawing, dancing, or bringing people together.
Whatever your stage, I encourage you to return to it repeatedly. Even when the paint never seems to dry, when the well of tears is bursting, when you get married or promoted or finally feel peace and realize you’ve prayed and poured over the dream of calm for many moons.
Our stages save us, and I believe when we return to them, we have the ability to save others, too.
In sisterhood. Dancing! Singing! Likely shouting funny little nothings! From the stage,
Maya Angelou Moneta Sleet Jr, Johnson Publishing Company Archive, courtesy J. Paul Getty Trust and NMAAHC // Oceanid by Annie Swynnerton // Vintage Peggy Fleming // Stevie Nicks
A while back, I was dancing in the kitchen while shaking my protein shake, or lighting a candle as I read my book, or something of that sort + thought to myself, “These intentional moments really are my little muse moments.”
Pockets of my day that feel yes, intentional, and also magical. Like I’m tapping into my reserve of “me-ness” to make a moment more elevated. Hence the new feature, Muse Moments.
Today’s Muse Moment is brought to you by Alexa. Not really, but if the Alexa team at the ‘Zon wants to sponsor the next issue, let’s talk.
You see, every morning these days, I’ve said, “Alexa, play instrumental strings,” and like clockwork, my digital gal starts playing the melodic sounds of violin, cello, usually a piano in the background… It does a couple of things for me.
One, it has been nice not to kick off my day with a podcast first thing, which has been my go-to in the past. Playing instrumental music helps me start my day with my own thoughts.
Two, it has helped instill an air of ease in our home. I take the time to gently stir my coffee; I’ve noticed Aaron is no longer frantically pomading his hair before catching the train these days, and even Stabler enjoys his morning bask in the sun when the sound of an orchestra is filling our home rather than immediately beelining for the front door. I like to think he’s dreaming of playing the harp with Mozart and, of course, being rewarded with bacon.
I am the Head Chef of my house. God Bless Aaron, but when he chooses our meals for the week, they simply lack the joie de vivre I’m searching for + he wants to pull his hair out. Though there are some weeks I’m exhausted from it (in which I live for an Annie’s Mac & Cheese moment), it’s generally a task I truly enjoy.
I love searching through my saved recipes, pulling out my cookbooks, and settling in to devise my list.
In case you’re like Aaron, and it’s your least favorite chore, or merely can’t fathom planning one more meal this week, here’s a list of recipes for the days ahead!
Thursday: Creamy Lime Brussels Sprout Salad via
Friday: We make this chimichurri sauce and put it over grilled chicken, and underneath the chicken, put plain Greek yogurt. | via, my forever fave.
For lunch, I typically batch one or two things, and we eat them over the course of the week since breaking to make a full meal is daunting + often not feasible!
These are three favorites.
Lunch Option 1: Hot Italian Sub Sliders
Lunch Option 2: Macaroni Salad | We use Banza Pasta for additional protein!
Lunch Option 3: Thai Curried Carrot Soup | Stroll down on the webpage to see this version! I also added a can of light coconut milk when blending + it was divine. One of the times, I also added these homemade croutons to the mix.
Roses in the Mouth of a Lion by Bushra Rehman: This coming-of-age story is told in vignettes of Razia, a girl growing up in 1980s New York. We meet Razia as she’s navigating being a Pakistani American, her Muslim faith, and the cornerstones that make adolescence such a bittersweet time for all of us — discovering our sexuality, unearthing who we are outside of familial expectations, and the joy of friendship.
Flamin’ Hot: I recently watched Eva Longoria’s feature-length directorial debut, Flamin’ Hot, and absolutely loved it. The real story of the creator of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, Richard Montañez, the movie documented his start as a Frito-Lay janitor and his rise at the company throughout the years. It was both hilarious and dramatized, heartwarming and heartbreaking, and inspiring while showcasing the brokenness of the systems currently in positions of power.
British Vogue, March 2024: Is there a person who has done more for the Vogue brand in the last decade than British Vogue EIC, Edward Enniful? He has given a voice to vital voices, fought industry norms, and has served us nothing but the champagne + caviar of covers. His final bow of a cover is no-less, featuring 40 of his cover stars from over the years — people like Oprah, Laverne Cox, and Victoria Beckham making cameos — no doubt, a testament to a man who has forever changed the media + fashion landscapes for the better. You know I’ll be running to grab my issue at my international mag bodega!
I feel like discovering — or often, rediscovering — our proverbial stage can feel difficult. How is one supposed to tap into their childhood joy of fingerpaint when they’re in the midst of writing a report at work? Detect alignment when in survival mode? Find ways to express when raising three littles?
To be honest, I feel the answers there are incredibly varied depending on the person, in which I encourage you to schedule a 30-minute chat with me here (Intentional Muse subscribers get a free mentoring session), but I also feel that asking the right questions is pertinent.
Here are some questions to journal on when feeling the call to step out on your stage.