Noticing Neighbors With Julie Ryan Lindstrom
It’s that time of year. The grass is green, the trees are just starting to bud with new flowers, and all the to-do lists for spring cleaning are coming to mind. At least that’s what was on my mind when I sat down to chat with Julie Ryan Lindstrom. With bright teal glasses and the nails to match, Julie brings an honesty into the wellness space that is refreshing. We were ready to talk about all things self-care. Hayley: Before we get started, I have got to ask what all this cute stuff is on your desk! You said that you're a Noonday Ambassador? Julie: Yes, it's an accessory company. We partner with artisans for fair trade in 15 countries around the world. So I get to see all this beautiful jewelry. Look at these! The new collection has so many teal pieces!
The production of these handmade earrings and necklaces provide a trade for women that gets them out of poverty. It’s essential for giving a way out to women who are being exploited in sex trafficking. So that’s why I use this picture as my zoom background—it shows that we can all make a difference together. Hayley: That’s so wonderful. Thank you for contributing in that way.
You commented on our post recently to share one of your habits for cultivating self-love. I’d love to hear more about that. Do you happen to have your journal there with you?
Yes! Here it is. This is my Gratitude Journal, and I use it every day.
That’s a really great habit. How did you get started? What does the routine look like for you?
So I had one before that required a lot of time and writing space. I love that I did it, but when I saw this one come up on Instagram I knew it would fit into my schedule a little easier because the layout is so simple. It’s called a Gratitude Finder! Hayley: That’s an amazing name. Where is it from?
What I love is that you can see the whole week at once. So when I write, I get to see this amazing snapshot of everything I’ve been thankful for all week. Hayley: How neat is that. Julie: There are prompts like: write three people you’re grateful for, and write down a positive word to focus on for the week. What I love is that it’s so simple and makes it so easy to jot something down every night.
What made you want to start using something like this?
Julie: Last February I noticed negative thoughts starting to slip back in. It showed up in different ways, like feeling my temper if someone cut in front of me while driving. That’s when I knew it was time to start a gratitude journal again, because it really helps me focus on the positive. Hayley: That takes a lot of intention to do something about it. That switch doesn’t naturally happen on its own. Julie: I just knew what I needed. I needed to get my headspace back to that healthy, balanced place. This really does it for me. So when me and my daughter had a sit down to chat about goals for this year, one of mine was to start this gratitude journal.
I know you said it’s a habit for you right before bed. How did you choose between doing it in the morning or at night? Julie: I really love how it feels at night. Everything is peaceful and the day is winding down, so it feels like the right time. There’s also just the fact that I am just not a morning person. I’d love to be part of that 5:30 am club that gets up and has time to read my devotional, but I’m still waiting for that to kick in. So I work with who I naturally am and keep it as part of my end of the day.
Picture Credit: Denise Albright
Hayley: Have you noticed any differences in yourself throughout the day? Julie:
You know what, I have. I do have to make a conscious effort to make that switch in the morning and want to start the day. But then once I’ve made that choice, I’ll use positive self talk to remind myself that something good is going to happen. I know that I’ll need to find something to write later, and that’s when the day starts looking up. It starts looking differently. You’ve just got to keep your eyes out.
Is there anything you’ve been thankful for recently that you can share?
I am really thankful to be a part of Noonday. This has been a journey for me because I started this business right when quarantine hit, and it was a month after my dad died. I was grieving, and it really brought me a sense of purpose. I have all these new women in my life that are such positive influences.
At the beginning of lockdown, I was watching everything that was going on in the world. Just seeing the whole picture, the impact worldwide. I had this feeling like I wanted to do something bigger, because I do want to feel like my life has made a difference. It was a godsend at the right time. Hayley: Are there any specific moments you’ve felt that fulfillment?
I would say it’s the moments where I catch myself happy to put in as much time as it takes, because the purpose is what I care about. I’m not watching the clock while I work. I was driving one day recently and I just said out loud, thank you for this life.
Which doesn’t mean everything feels that way. At the end of this past week, my Facebook got hacked and I can't get into it. I ran out of gas today because I'm in a rental car since my car got hit by a UPS driver six weeks ago. So all of that is going on, but because of the things I've learned along the way it all bounces off and I just know that stuff is all fixable.
There is an old me who would have been in an uproar and would have been panicked. But that is the number one thing I have learned: it’s all fixable.
You can have all that going on, and not internalize it. Julie: Right. Hayley: I love that. Would you have any advice for someone looking to do wellness spring cleaning? How can they start a gratitude journal?
Julie: You can start out small, even just getting a completely blank journal to write down one or two things a day. It doesn’t need a lot of detail, because it’s about the little things. It isn’t always the big moments that really change us, I think it's the small moments that add up. That’s what the days really are.