Inspired by Random-osity: Peaceful Retreat

Tamar of Random-osity shared a post about the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., a few weeks ago. It was a short post with beautiful photographs of the cathedral both inside and out and it included very few words. But these words struck a chord and sent me deep within myself and searching the furthest recesses of my memory:

“[I]t’s a stunning architectural work that I found to be my peaceful retreat early in my college years. The second I entered the main chapel I sighed and felt at peace.”

*This is not a sponsored post.

And so the thought process began: When was the last time I had a peaceful retreat? A time or a place where I could completely clear my head of all the responsibilities of life, all the stresses of parenthood, all the mundane every day activities that tend to wear me down over time? It probably was during my college years.

Poncho: Target (Similar here and here).

I didn’t find my peace in a religious temple as Tamar did, but rather I sought retreat in the library. I loved to get lost in the stacks by myself, alone with my thoughts. I would browse through the shelves and shelves of books, seeking out the oldest and most battered of them. The smell inside the pages could transport me back in time and leave me wondering how many other students throughout the history of my university picked up this particular book and leafed through its fragile pages. Did they have the same wonderment as I? Would future generations of students continue to be intrigued by the dusty scent of nostalgia that permeated the rows and stuck in the old wooden floorboards?

Jeans: Torrid Premium Ultimate Stretch Jeggings – Medium Wash from Torrid Salmon Run Mall.

I haven’t been to an antique library like this in over two decades. It didn’t really bother me or even occur to me really until I read Tamar’s post. I don’t even know if there is such a library where I live now. But as I sit here writing this post, I am hearing the call of those ancient pages beckoning me to visit, to seek out solitude and philosophical wonderings, to find a peaceful retreat…even if it is just for a brief moment.

Shoes: Charlotte Russe (Similar here and here).

In the meanwhile, until I can get to a place to like that, I will look for harmony all around me and within me. Sometimes, I find a spot right in front of me that offers that oneness with nature that we inherently crave as human beings. And when I do discover such a place, I am compelled to capture it in photographic form.

I want to thank Tamar for inspiring me and giving my creative thought the little jumpstart it needed. Without this community of amazing bloggers who continue to inspire each other daily with what they share, none of us would continue on this blogging journey. So I owe you all a huge gesture of gratitude for keeping me going!

Where do you find your peaceful retreat? And what keeps you inspired?

Keeping it on the edge,


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Stay tuned this Friday for my article “The Midlife Sex Conundrum” which will be appearing in the Autumn issue of Resilientista Magazine. There is also an amazing line up of many more wonderful articles to help you live your best life!

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I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

24 Responses

  1. So glad the post stirred something in you! I can see a library being a retreat!

    • Thank you so much, Tamar! I made a note of it the day that I read your post and finally got round to it! I think I want to start a regular schedule of “Inspired by…” posts! I am inspired by so many amazing bloggers. And I definitely need the inspiration every now and again. So thank you so very much!


  2. Great poncho! I love all of your photos!
    There’s nothing like an old library, I love the stacks of books too and the character of old buildings, there’s nothing like it.

  3. looking good Shelbee

    The Glossychic

  4. Such gorgeous photos, Shelbee! I love libraries and bookshops but I have the weirdest thing happen to me… the smell of the books makes me want to go to the toilet LOL! I have no idea why, so whenever I’m ahem blocked… I just go to my nearest charity bookshop he he he (I’m weird, I know!!). I can quite easily find solitude and peace at home because I don’t have kids or noisy neighbours. (Although perhaps not to much at the moment because I’m caring for three tiny kittens!!) Whenever new friends come to our house, they always comment on how ‘zen’ it feels here. I’m lucky I guess!
    Suzy xx
    Suzy Turner at Yogadocious

    • Oh my goodness, Suzy! That is hilarious. Thank you for sharing your unblocking method with me. I hope the charity book shop has a clean loo! I am cracking up over here! And yes, you are lucky to find solitude and peace in your home. I actually do love sitting in my backyard and working on my blog…when no one is home, that is! I definitely find it very calming to be out in the fresh air under the shade of my big tree. Thanks so much for this wonderful comment!


  5. Its marvellous to find a place we feel at ease. Love the lighting in these pictures.

  6. Cute outfit, really like the booties – perfect for Autumn. x Jacqui

  7. What a beautiful setting for your photos! Ponchos are so fun to wear and I’m loving your booties!

    Doused in Pink

    • Thanks so much, Jill! This was right behind a restaurant where Amy and I had lunch that day. We sat up on a porch that looked right out over the river. It was a really great dining experience! Have a fabulous weekend, my friend.


  8. Sometimes I find a peaceful retreat in shopping. I’m so focused on this activity that I’m able to block out most anything else (except for the occasional screaming child running around). Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences on this topic.


  9. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. The poncho is a great piece for the transition to fall.

  10. Really pretty poncho Shelbee! Thanks for joining the Style Wise link up today! Most appreciated!

  11. The library at primary school was one of my retreats. I loved all the books and the endless knowledge that was there to absorb. I love the seaside so that would be one of my centering places to go. I could do with a retreat by the sea right now!

    • That is awesome, Alicia! I am not a big fan of the sand, but I could totally relax in a beautiful house on the beach listening the waves. I am overdue for a peaceful retreat myself! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I hope you are having a lovely weekend.


  12. I love being by the sea, I find it very calming listening to the waves. The little town where I live has three canals running through it and it’s lovely walking along the canal path. especially on a crisp Autumn day. I love your fringed poncho!

    Emma xxx

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