Moving Lightly

Finding joy and rest in the margins

Ximena Vengoechea
5 min readMar 6, 2024

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balloon on sky

Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

Hello friends!

I’m hard at work on a few new projects that I’m excited to share with you soon! I am finalizing a stunning cover for the new Life Audit Book (out in October!) and we have beautiful interiors coming together for the Life Audit Journal. I can’t wait to share the final versions with you all soon.

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It’s been surreal to go so quickly from thinking about all things Rest Easy to thinking about the new book and journal, but also lovely. I’m trying to hold onto the lessons I learned on my rest journey everyday to keep overwhelm at bay. And honestly, it’s working! I’m paying attention to color corrections without getting so wrapped up that I lose a day hemming and hawing on details. (Truly, I can do this.) I’m looking at copy edits with a keen eye but without getting too obsessed with how the new changes “sound.” (I care a lot about tone in my books, but I’m also learning when to let go.) I’m listening to my body when my legs get cramped from sitting all day and taking it as a cue to walk and move around instead of powering through. I’m sticking to a Rest Easy inspired “rule” of not listening to podcasts or music while walking in the neighborhood when it’s raining, and listening to the peaceful pitter patter of the rain instead. (It’s been raining a lot lately here in New York, and I’m really enjoying this.) I love when taking a dose of your own medicine helps.

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Of course, things aren’t perfect: I have hand cramps from all the hand writing, illustrating, and computer editing these projects require, and I’m still dealing with a number of health issues that have been stubbornly plaguing me for over a year now. (Some have been around even longer than that.) But I am, I think, starting to figure out, at least a little bit, how to hold onto moments of calm and ease when they come, and how to inject more levity and lightness into my life. I’m making small talk with the nurses and doctors and medical staff at the many, often draining appointments I go to each month, trying to find small silver linings and moments of connection as I go. (A recent appointment involved breaking out into song and I’m not mad about it.) I’m cuddling more with my doggo (touch to relieve stress!) and delighting in spontaneously tickling my son, even when we’re running late for school. I’m ordering the hot chocolate at my local coffee shop because sometimes you just want to feel a cozy treat that reminds you of childhood. I’m even trying an affirmation or two, which is truthfully a little out of my comfort zone. I am still exhausted a lot, still crabby a lot, and have this week blown past my bedtime twice already. (Thank you, Lone Women, you strange and magical book.) But I’m finding small ways to rest, however imperfect, and cultivating small pockets of joy as I go.

So this month, I wish the same for you. May you bring lightness into every day, taking care with the things that matter (but not so much you drive yourself crazy) and letting go of the rest; taking space to tune inwards and listen to your intuition, without getting too stuck in your head; and taking time for yourself while still connecting with others. May you wear bright colors, buy yourself flowers, try a new dessert, take a different route home from work, listen to the rain, fall in love with a new book, and find yourself breathing more easily this month than last.

Cheers to March. Cheers to you.

  • I had a great conversation with at Deloitte about the power and value of rest for the WorkWell podcast. Give it a listen for more rest advice from yours truly.
  • The Rest Easy audiobook is on sale until 3/11! You can nab it here for just $6 for the next few weeks. I narrated it!

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🎧 📚 What I’m reading

  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt, AKA “the octopus book”. I love that this weird story — about an older woman grappling with grief and the octopus who befriends her — has found its way into readers’ hands. It’s also an excellent listen on audio; the voice work for Marcellus is spot on.
  • Lone Women, by Victor Lavalle. I normally wait until I’ve finished a book to recommend it, but I’m only part way through and already in awe of this book. It’s a cross genre novel and a blend that I never thought I’d find compelling… and yet! It’s part Western (enjoying this has been a big surprise for me), part adventure, part horror. It’s also impeccably written. The prose is sparse and to the point, which serves as the perfect punctuation for the bizarre plot.

💸 Currently coveting

  • These floating shelves for my son’s room. It takes a lot of interior design trickery to get furniture to fit right into my son’s narrow room, so these floating shelves are very appealing. But I also feel like, geeze, that much for a kids’ book shelf? And can’t we find something in more playful colors? Please send me your recs if you have them!

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📢 Coming soon

  • I hope you enjoyed the second episode of my new podcast, Rest Easy, with author and cartoonist ! We talk about the intersection of rest and creativity, parenting, play, and boundaries. Don’t miss it! Our next episode will feature author, dancer, and quilter. Stay tuned for the episode drop in the next update from me.

💌 Thanks as always for reading along and supporting my work. If you like what you see, hit the heart button, drop a comment, or share this with someone you think will love it, too. You can order my new book or book me for a speaking event here. 💌

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Ximena Vengoechea

Writer, UX Researcher, Author of The Life Audit ('24), Rest Easy ('23), Listen Like You Mean It ('21). ximenavengoechea.com/books