I've come to believe that we all have an inner guidance system. A powerful light inside that will always lead us in the right direction. An internal compass that knows the way even when our mind doesn't. Problem is, we either don’t realize that it exists or we ignore it.
I was thinking that this idea...each of us being equipped with our own personal inner guide...should be taught in school. Ideally, in elementary school.
And then one day it dawned on me...most of us did learn it as children…
We learned it by way of the cinematic gem, The Wizard of Oz.
Glinda the Good Witch explains to Dorothy at the end of the film…
“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself”
It’s that simple.
Each one of us has the power and wisdom. We have an inner guide available to us. Always.
When we tap into that energy and really allow it to move through us and into our lives...we are beautifully guided. We ask the right questions, we discover solutions, we tune into our heart and pursue our desires.
Our very best selves begin to emerge and our very best lives can be lived.
When we follow the flow of our own inner guidance system, we become unstoppable.
But how can we connect with it?
Quiet your mind.
Guidance is yours for the asking.
I understand that this topic maybe seems a little new age and woowoo. If that’s not your thing (it's not really mine either), no worries.
Instead just call it 'intuition'.
Recognize this force and try to live your life with consideration for that ‘gut feeling’. I think it’s safe to assume that you’ve felt a sense of internal guidance at some point in your life.
There’s a certain feeling when you’re in the ‘zone’ and things are falling into place with ease. It’s the ‘feeling’ you get when you can sense that you’re on the right path.
Pay close attention to that feeling. Follow it…
Here’s a very recent, real-life example:
This week, I was working at Anthropologie when a customer called looking for a sale item. It was a ceramic trinket bowl with tiny cat feet, ears and tail attached to it. Sweet and silly.
Our inventory showed that we had two in the store. I placed the call on hold and went into the stockroom to search for the item. No luck. I asked several managers if they’d seen the cat bowl. They all knew exactly what I was asking for, but assured me that our inventory was wrong. They had looked for other customers. Definitely no cat bowl.
I returned to the phone and explained that I hadn’t found the bowl. But I felt a strong urge to ask the customer for her phone number, in case the bowl turned up before I left at the end of the day.
I just had a feeling.
It was a busy Friday, I completely forgot about the call and the cat bowl.
As I was preparing to leave the store at the end of my shift, I felt a very strong pull to look for the bowl one more time. The tug was difficult to ignore.
I went to the stockroom. A different manager assured me that she had just seen 'one of those cat bowls'.
I bent down and peeked on a bottom shelf. There they were. Two cat bowls.
I couldn’t help but smile at the incredible power of my very own inner guidance system.
There is a force or a voice or an energy inside each of us that knows the answer.
It’s a bit like the game of ‘hot or cold’ we play at our house during an Easter egg hunt:-)
In life, I believe you can tell you’re on the correct path when you feel the ‘getting warmer’ vibes from inside. And when you change directions and veer off course, you’re met with a quick vibrational cool-down.
Anyway, this is new to me. I’m learning to follow my gut more often. I think my inner guide has been trying to get my attention for many years...I’m finally tuning in and listening.
Do you sense the presence of your inner guide?
I’d love to hear your story...
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Note: Given today’s word, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the unspeakable tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas last week. I cannot imagine the sheer terror felt by those present on Sunday night. Their fear is on a scale I can’t even begin to process. I had already chosen my word for F prior to the start of this challenge, so I’m going to stick to plan.
My heart aches and my prayers continue for all those affected by the world's recent terrifying events. .
The fear I’m exploring today is internal fear.
Fear that holds us back. Fear that keeps us small.
Jack Canfield had it right, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
(Fun Fact: Author, Jack Canfield holds the Guinness Book World Record for having seven books simultaneously on the New York Times Bestseller List)
I’ve been outrageously fortunate. The bulk of my fears have been entirely fabricated in my own mind. For decades, I’ve lived with fears of my own making. My fears aren’t unusual. They aren’t unique to me. I share my fearful thoughts with most humans.
Fear of not having enough.
Fear of not being enough.
Fear of someone I love being hurt.
Fear of being hurt.
Fear of failure.
And the super sneaky, fear of success.
Basic, common, normal concerns.
It took me years to recognize that fear was preventing me from really thriving.
I didn’t realize how often the same unfounded fears reappeared in my mind.
My fearful thoughts about one topic have always been like a runaway freight train...
For as long as I can remember, I viewed all things financial through a distorted lens of lack. A few years ago, some very specific events served as concrete reinforcement that my fears were warranted. My mind seemed to breed thoughts of 'never enough'.
The habit was insidious. I placed my ‘financial lack filter’ over every thought. Every day.
I was tired of living with the constant fear of not having enough.
I began the grueling work of excavating this fear and shining a very bright light on it.
The process of shedding the old thoughts and beginning to let go really began after reading May Cause Miracles- A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein.
If you deal with recurring fears, financial or otherwise, and haven’t read it...I suggest that you grab a copy and prepare to crack your internal stories and limiting beliefs wide open!
This book invites you on a 40-day exploration of your fears and teaches you to see things in a new way. The lessons I took from this book are with me daily.
My fears no longer control me.
Here’s the thing...when we take a good hard look at our fears, most of them are completely imagined. We create the negative stories in our own minds. Then we choose the worrisome thoughts over and over and over until they become our truth.
Not only that, but our minds are masterful at weaving a grand tale...so we embellish and elaborate and fertilize our stories until they are GIGANTIC!
But still imagined.
Any lingering fears I have are never about what’s actually happening in the moment.
When I’m anchored in the Now, my fears have no place.
Instead, fears thrive on the momentum of past circumstances and they become super-sized when projected into the future.
Larger than life. Worst case scenario.
The human mind is utterly remarkable.
So why don’t we use our minds to picture the Best Case Scenario?
That’s always a possibility also.
Why not imagine that outcome? The awesome one.
And then keep adding to that 'awesome outcome option' until it shines so brightly that no dark fear can take root.
As I’ve been clearing out the crazy fears that definitely don’t serve me, I’ve begun to feel immense gratitude. There are so many people in the world who face legitimate fears every single day. People whose realities I cannot even fathom. Just that realization has done much to shut down my recurring thoughts of make-believe fears.
When I sense the old familiar fears creeping back in...I turn to gratitude. I give thanks for my ability to see things more clearly now. And I send love and peace to those whose fears are not imagined.
What fears are stuck on replay in your mind?
Have you found a way to sweep them away?
I’d love to know what works for you. Thanks for your comments. I'm so happy you're here for this challenge..
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Today's post will be brief since there's actually not a whole lot to share on this topic. But I've talked with enough people who have trouble sleeping and yet have never tried earplugs, that I decided to offer my thoughts on these squishy little peace creators.
I think I'm addicted to earplugs. I use them at home when I'm sleeping or napping.
I also love earplugs when I travel. They shut out loud airplane and train sounds beautifully and are much smaller (and easier to pack) than noise-cancelling headphones. They also provide soothing silence when trying to fall asleep in new places, such as hotel rooms and vacation rentals.
Sometimes I even pop them in when I want to read a book near my husband while he’s watching football.
I never used earplugs when my three children were small and I needed to be on the listen for every peep.
As my kids grew older and more self-sufficient, I realized I was still listening for every little sound. As a result, my sleep was suffering. So, I began to use just one. I’m a side-sleeper, so I’d put an earplug in the ear that wasn’t on the pillow. This was just enough to 'take the edge off' of the creaks and pops that were keeping me awake.
Now that I have three teenagers...I happily sleep with two earplugs every single night. But even with the earplugs, I can still hear them when they need me:-)
My favorites are blue Hearos. Xtreme Protection.
I order them from Amazon in a big pack. Since I buy in bulk, I always have a fresh pair on hand and there are extras to share with my family when needed.
While (I think) I can sleep without them. I love them so much I don’t ever try;-)
Do you use earplugs?
Have other tips and tricks for sound sleep?
Please comment below!
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Desire as a noun is a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. In verb form it means to strongly wish for or want (something).
I’ve spent much of my life shying away from the word ‘desire’. Somehow, a long time ago, I connected desire to sex. And not healthy sex, but instead, the idea of being an object of sexual desire. I’m not sure how or why I linked the two together, but I did. Whenever I thought about desire...it conjured a feeling of unwanted attention.
The things our minds turn into truths.
Sexuality aside, in doing the work of refining life for the next decade, I realized something crucial about the way I’d been operating for many years...
I rarely ever decided what I wanted. And I certainly never paid much attention to my desires.
Instead, I would become very clear on what I did not want or desire, but never finished the work to define what I DID desire.
Then I'd wonder why I never received what I wanted...only more of what I didn’t want. Go figure.
I’m thrilled to finally see things in a very different light.
I now realize that my desires matter.
In fact, if I don’t identify what I truly desire...the chance of me actually obtaining those things or realizing those dreams is pretty slight.
I’m stepping into what I want and naming it. And I’m not embarrassed by my desires (both sexual and otherwise:-)
So many of us spend years unhappy with the way things are. We become very clear on what we don’t want. We know we want things to be different. But we’re afraid to really look at what we want to be different. And if we do identify what we desire, we often dismiss it as just a pipe dream.
We don't dare to deeply desire something, because we've already decided our desires are impossible to attain.
We desire a new car, but currently can’t afford one.
We dream of a week spent at a luxury spa, but don’t have time right now.
We desire a different career, but feel we're too old to change our path.
So we stuff down the 'wants' and trudge along unhappily.
The beautiful part?
Changing this habit of not claiming our desires is profoundly simple.
1. Acknowledge that you haven’t actively decided what you desire. Realize that you might have absolutely zero idea of what you truly want. That's okay.
2. Carve out some time for a brainstorming session with yourself. Prepare to really listen to your very own heart.
3. With a notepad and pencil in hand, start writing. What do you truly desire? Different job, new house, more time for yourself, healthier body, more sleep, a romantic vacation...
4. Once you know what you desire, you can begin to move in the direction of realizing those dreams. If the 'thing' you desire is available to you now...go get it! If not, then do this...decide where you can begin today to capture the feeling of already having what you truly desire.
Maybe you can’t currently spend the day at an expensive spa, but you could dig out the bubble bath you received four Christmases ago, fill up the tub, light a candle, find some soothing spa music on iTunes and sink in.
Ahhh. The feeling will match the day-spa experience and your attitude will begin to shift.
I began putting this practice to work in my own life.
Here's an example...
I realized that I really miss traveling and I'm currently not planning any extravagant getaways. Instead of letting this immediate reality drag me down, I decided to find a way to feel like I was traveling today.
I purchased a 17oz jar of Marcona almonds from Costco for $15.
You see, when Matthew and I travel, we are masters of creating a delicious local dinner 'at home' in our Airbnb or hotel.
In Spain, those dinners always include Marcona almonds. By incorporating something that I associate with great travel into my home life, I'm able to feel the 'feeling' of what I desire (the freedom of travel) without leaving my house. And it's divine.
It's almost too simple, but so effective.
Go find your Marcona almonds.
What do you desire?
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The coconut oil craze has been going on for several years. I was first introduced to this unusual solid/liquid on the beaches of Vieques. (Sending prayers after Hurricane Maria). Friends who lived on the island rubbed coconut oil on their two small children every day at the beach.
Instead of sunscreen!
At the time, my three children were young and I viewed commercial sunscreen as a necessary evil. I watched in amazement as my friend’s children didn’t burn, even after hours spent in the Caribbean sun. These Caucasian children weren’t the slightest bit pink. I was intrigued.
The following summer, I purchased a big jar of coconut oil. I first tested it on myself as sunscreen.
I began to use it on my kids for short outings in the sun.
Coconut oil has become a summer staple for us. We've even used it on vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina...no burning. I’m still somewhat skeptical, so I always have a tube or can of ‘regular’ sunscreen on hand. I’m not promoting the use of just coconut oil for sunscreen, I’m just sharing my first experience with this amazing stuff.
In general, I'm a bit of a late adopter, so I've kept coconut oil at a distance. Recently, several women have shared with me their devotion to this versatile oil.
Seems there are an unlimited number of ways to use this magic goop.
Here’s how I’ve been using coconut oil:
Sunscreen- It's easiest to apply it with a spray bottle. The oil is a solid at cool temperatures, so you’ll need to warm it up until it’s a liquid. Put the closed jar in a sink full of hot water for a few minutes or outside in the sunshine. Then pour the oil into a clean spray bottle. The coconut oil will turn back into a solid if it’s stored in a cool space, but will return to a liquid if you have it in your beach bag on a warm day. Simply spray liberally and rub it in.
Moisturizer- I now keep a jar of coconut oil in my bathroom. To use it as a moisturizer, scoop a bit out of the jar and rub it together in your hands until it becomes liquid. Then apply it as you would lotion. There is no smell and it soaks in nicely. It feels amazing because it's all natural!
Cracked heels- Coconut oil has been a game-changer for my feet. I had given up on my cracked heels. I figured it was part of aging and I should just accept my old lady feet. As part of the acceptance process, I decided that even if my feet weren’t ‘pretty’, I could still treat them with love.
I made a practice of rubbing coconut oil on my feet every night. I apply it with gratitude for all that my feet endure during the day and then put on a pair no-show cotton socks. Much to my surprise, the cracks are completely gone! My feet look and feel incredible. So simple.
Hair- I apply coconut oil to my hair before getting highlights. I started this practice when my hair was platinum blonde. The bleaching process was so harsh and damaging that my hairdresser suggested that I put an oil on my hair before the bleach was applied. Such great results! Less breakage and healthier texture.
I also put a few drops coconut oil on my hair before a day at the beach. The oil coats my hair and makes it less frizzy.
Eye Makeup Remover- I rub a dab of coconut oil onto my lids and lashes to break up my mascara and liner. Sometimes I use a Q-tip and sometimes just my fingers. Then I wash my face with my normal cleanser. The coconut oil is more gentle than other eye make-up removers I've tried.
Brave new world...
I’m ready to expand my use of coconut oil:
Face wash- I have to admit that this one freaks me out a little bit. The idea of using an oil to clean my face seems counter-intuitive. However, I recently came face-to-face with a woman who uses only coconut oil to wash her face. She has the most beautiful skin! Truly glowing! So I’m going to give it a try. The method is super simple. Here’s how.
Oil pulling- Again, this one freaks me out. I’m not sure I can swish an oil in my mouth for 15-20 minutes, every day. But when I read about all of the benefits of this ancient practice, I think...let’s give it a whirl. Or a swish:-) So I’m going to start pulling oil. (There’s probably a bullet journal sticker chart to keep track of my progress:-) Want to give it a try? Here's how.
I welcome your thoughts!
Please share your experience with coconut oil or other oils you've used.
Thanks so much for being here.
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Over the past few years I’ve come to view ‘busy’ as a bad word. The dictionary defines 'busy' as having a great deal to do or to keep occupied. I’ve struggled for over a decade with having way too much on my plate and my list. I’ve foolishly believed I could do it all, only to find that my list was always growing and my plate was always overflowing.
I’ve decided that I want my cup and my heart to overflow, not my plate.
Courtney Carver creator of Be More with Less, suggested removing the word busy from our vocabulary. Striving to really pause before using the busy to describe our situation. Re-framing in order to see what we’re creating in our lives.
American culture views busy as a status symbol. Being busy means you're important.
But does it?
Or does being busy mean we’re not being wise and considerate with our one and only lifetime?
I recently had the pure pleasure of meeting Dr. Kathy Masarie (she was one of our incredible teachers at Nine Revolution 2017).
Dr. Kathy suggested that instead of saying, “I’m so busy”, we say, “I’m choosing to put more on my plate than I can handle”.
How's that for truth?
And from a Law of Attraction standpoint (more on that later this month) I believe we’re just bringing on more busy when we constantly talk about how busy we are.
Let busy go. Try to eliminate busy from your vocabulary for one day. One week. One month. Whatever feels right to you. Take a breath before you complain or brag about being busy. I’m not sure it’s something to be proud of anymore.
1. Evaluate what’s making you so ‘busy’- Take a long look at what’s on your list. What can you cross off for good? What can you streamline or combine in order to simplify your schedule.
2. Have to’s and get to’s- Really examine the things in your life that you have to do...re-frame some of them into get to’s. For instance, I don’t love going to the grocery store, but I’ve stopped grumbling about having to go...because I’ve reshaped my thinking to realize that it’s an incredible privilege to be able to buy food to feed my family. The same is true for exercise...I’m blessed to be able to move my body and continue to improve my health. Was a have to, now a get to.
3. Delegate- Seek help. My youngest son folds and distributes all of the laundry at our house. I choose to have a professional polish my toenails because it takes me forever and I do a dreadful job. Identify which tasks you can pass on to someone else...and then do it!
4. Breathe and accept- I still have days that the old me would consider very busy. But the new me sees it in a new light. On paper, my schedule might show a full and potentially stressful day, but I remind myself to breathe and accept the fullness. If I can’t change the situation (school or sporting events, appointments, necessary meetings or phone calls) then I face it with patience and lots of deep breathing.
5, Expect the best- When my day turns out to be more full than I’d like, I move through it with high expectations. I remove any dread from my mind. I believe that things will flow smoothly and that I’ll finish what needs to be done with ease. And, it usually works:-)
How do you deal with being busy?
Bonus: My delightful store manager at Anthropologie just shared this article with me. It's explores the 'disease of being busy'.
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The Bullet Journal. I'm actually ill-prepared to write about this topic. I just started my very first bullet journal. Like, two weeks in, complete beginner. It’s really too soon to report any success or failure. But I figure a girl can speculate and share what’ she’s learned so far…
If you've never heard the term Bullet Journal or have only a vague notion of what it is, here are the basics. In a nutshell, it's a notebook that's used to house all of your calendar items, lists, ideas, wants, needs and more.
It's like a diary and a desk calendar and a to-do list all bound together.
I’m a self-proclaimed paper person. I’m not exactly sure why, but I have a long-standing obsession with paper.
Truth be told, I came to view this situation as a problem even before Marie Kondo brought it to the forefront of my tidying project. I tend to have too much paper in circulation at one time.
Too many notebooks, too many lists, too many journals, too many calendars.
I realized long ago (with my sweet husband’s help) that I needed a new system. Enter the online calendar. Which definitely has it’s perks. Using an electronic calendar has greatly improved my life in many ways.
But I've found that when using my Google calendar, I fall short in one crucial area of execution...I rarely manage to transfer my to-do list items onto my Google calendar.
And if I actually do assign each task to a day and time...I rarely follow through and do the task! Seems I don’t refer to my laptop or phone when it’s time to DO the to-do list.
Then with little accomplished and more to do, I reach for a clean sheet of paper to scratch out a new list.
This method works just fine until I've started five separate lists. Then it’s madness. There’s no hope of actually completing anything!
Next I gather all of the little lists and rewrite them...creating one GIANT MASTER LIST! Ta Da! All good. Except most of that stuff never gets crossed off or transferred to my online calendar.
What's a modern paper-loving girl to do?
Enter the Bullet Journal.
I saw several inspiring women using this method at the Nine Revolution. (The retreat I attended in September, more info here). I was intrigued by their stylish, personalized, creative notebooks. I heard whispers of the wonders of bullet journals. I wanted one!
Upon returning home, I decided to explore the available options in the world of Bullet Journals.
I learned that I needed a notebook. A pen that made writing fun and didn’t bleed through the pages. And maybe a few colored markers or stickers.
Then I took myself on a field trip to Michael’s craft store. Big mistake.
An entire aisle is dedicated to the goods one might need to maintain a proper bullet journal. Stickers and stamps. Calendar templates and Washi tape. I wanted it all!!!!
Until I paused long enough to take a breath and remember my truth.
When starting a new project, especially one that involves cool supplies, I have a tendency to go ‘all in’ too soon. Stocking up before I'm sure that the 'new thing' is really my thing.
I’m thrilled that I now recognize this about myself.
I’m proud to say that I bought just one pack of fancy stickers at Michael's and a hard-cover notebook at Costco (came in a three-pack, I gave the other two to Matthew). I found a fast-writing ballpoint pen and a few Paper Mate colored markers at home.
I watched a few informational Bullet Journal videos. And it was time to begin.
For me, the toughest part was actually putting pen to the first clean page and hoping I didn't mess it up. Once you get rolling, it’s quite fun and peaceful to have everything in one place.
The early report:
So far, this system is working for me. I still use my Google calendar for the big picture. The bullet journal allows me to keep track of what used to be on five different lists. And the best part...there’s an actually X’ing out of the finished tasks! Woohoo!
I was really missing that part with my Google calendar:-)
I’ve committed to using a bullet journal for the rest of 2017. I figure that will give me enough time to see if it actually works for me.
And if this method is a keeper, I will welcome 2018 by sprinting into Michael’s and stocking up on all the bullet journal things!
If you'd like more information on Bullet Journals, I suggest spending some time on YouTube. There are dozens (and dozens) of videos to help you get started. Keep in mind that there is truly no wrong way to do this. Your journal can be simple or elaborate...you decide what works for you.
Okay, your turn.
Do you keep a bullet journal?
Please share your thoughts and tips!
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Happy October! Welcome to Write 31 Days. My topic for this year's challenge is...Simply Now - knowing, learning, yearning. In case you missed it earlier, I'll be using the A-Z method again. Each day this month, I’ll offer a word or words. I'll share my thoughts on that word and how it is currently playing out in my life.
I’m hopeful that a few of the words will ring true for you and that some might even ignite a fresh curiosity or spark a new passion.
While I really love this challenge, the first day always feels a bit like being on the edge of something big...ready to leap. Thank you for being here with me. Deep breath.
What I expose over the next 31 days is my truth and I offer it to you in hopes that you’ll find comfort in my honesty during this magical month of October.
The words I’ve chosen have special meaning for me right now.
Some days I'll be channeling my inner Oprah and sharing "What I know for sure". Other days, I’ll be letting you see what I’m eager to learn or yearning to include in my life.
I always welcome your comments.
FYI- As the month progresses, I'll post a link to each day at the bottom of this first post. That way you can always refer back here for any of my Write 31 Days 2017 posts.
Okay. Here we go…
I might as well dive right in! I’m starting off this challenge with a word that scares me.
If I’m completely honest, it’s the opposite of alive that frightens me. I mean, think about it, the word Alive doesn’t get the same attention that Dead demands. Many of us take ‘alive’ for granted.
Thinking it’s a given, only it’s not.
I rarely ponder death, but I’m beginning to more seriously ponder life. Maybe it’s my age, but I’m lately I’ve become much more in tune with being alive. I'm realizing that this ride is fleeting, fragile and freaking fabulous!
For years, I read about awakening and living life in a state of awareness. Intellectually, it made sense. I understood the concept, but I didn’t really live it. I don’t think I really knew how.
Immersed in the wild and woolly years of raising three small children, I rarely felt awake. And let’s just say that my concept of awareness was significantly underdeveloped. I was certainly not feeling the full magnitude of being alive.
I feel it today. I feel it every day.
I’ve had the humble privilege of witnessing the miracle of birth. Obviously, I was present for the birth of my own three children, but I’ve also been wondrously blessed to share this experience (as a doula) with many other mothers.
The change in energy is undeniable. As a new life enters the room, there is a shift. The anticipation turns to bliss as the first cry is finally heard.
The awe of human life is almost palpable.
When do we lose that feeling? When do we forget how truly special it is to be alive?
The worries and stresses add up over the years and we grow numb to the incredible gift that is our life-force. We become immune to the innate and universal wisdom of the human body.
Until we begin to sense that it won’t last forever.
I’m there. I fully grasp that life is finite. There is a limit to our human existence.
That knowledge has the power to change everything.
Once we realize and then really tap in to the truth of our temporary lives…we can begin to live bigger. We can set out to create lives worthy of this miraculous human experience.
It’s time to wake up.
Embrace the pure joy of being alive!
In order really honor my ‘aliveness’, I’ve been incorporating the following into my life.
1. Breathwork- We have this amazing built-in mechanism for finding peace and presence. It's always available to us. Our breath. At any moment, we can return to our breath. Feeling and savoring the inhalations and exhalations. Slowing down to the wise rhythm of breathing. A quick Google search will offer you lots of options for working with your breath. My favorite is the 4-7-8 Breath from Andrew Weil. I find it very helpful when I'm having trouble falling asleep.
2. Love hard- Our ability to love is more powerful than I ever truly understood. It is cleansing and unifying. It may well be ‘all there is’ and ‘all we need’. It is universal. Don’t hold back. The beautiful thing is...love doesn’t run out. Similar to a flame, love can be shared and given and it does not weaken. Offer it freely. Open your heart. And maybe begin with loving yourself a little bit more.
3. Pay attention- Focus. Be curious. See things as if for the first time. This requires us to stop rushing. Our world is a most remarkable place and too often we are zipping full speed past moments we would really enjoy if we’d just slow down and witness. Even just once a day, take a moment to really pay attention...to your kids, to the clouds, to the taste of your coffee...anything that reminds you that you're alive.
4. Reality check- As my sweet mom is known to say when discussing growing older, "It beats the alternative". Remember that being alive is an honor. The greatest blessing. It's not a given for everyone. If you're lucky enough to be alive, celebrate it!
I'd love to know your thoughts.
How does the word Alive make you feel?
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Thank you for following along:-)
Below I'll add a link to each day's post for easy reference.
1. Alive (this post)
2. Bullet Journal
4. Coconut Oil
11. Impostor Syndrome
12. Jade Beall
13. Jade Egg
As September wraps up, I’m excited for October. It’s the magical month of pumpkins, crunchy leaves, crisp air...and the Write 31 Days challenge. For the past four years, I’ve participated in this online event and I thoroughly enjoy the stretch of writing every single day for an entire month.
Not familiar with Write 31 Days? Here’s a little background.
As a result of my 2016 challenge topic, (Simply 50- refining life for the next decade) I’ve spent the past year looking at my life and myself under a zoom lens.
Quite frankly, it was terrifying at times!
I’ve been relentlessly inquisitive in an attempt to identify and tweak the areas of my life that I felt needed reworking.
And then, a few weeks ago, I journeyed to Vermont to attend a week-long women’s retreat. NINE Revolution.
It was the very best thing I have ever done for myself.
If you’d like to know more...NINE.
If retreats aren’t your jam but you're a little intrigued and want to be inspired by cool women...you can follow @nineforwomen on Instagram.
Before NINE, I had a slightly different idea for my Write 31 Days subject. But after a week of deep self-exploration and unbelievably powerful female bonding...I’ve changed lanes.
As a result, this year’s topics will include things I’m certain of at this stage in my life, as well as subjects and ideas that I’m deeply curious about and currently exploring. Most of the topics I’ll cover were already bubbling up inside of me...but some came about solely because of NINE.
My goal is to make each day’s topic as relevant and relatable as I can...and to maintain a somewhat cohesive flow throughout the entire month.
Big ask. I know. We’ll see how it goes:-)
I’m hopeful that some of what I share here will resonate with you and provide a bit of encouragement or validation to your life experiences.
If even one day’s subject hits home and guides you or makes you say, ‘Yes, that!’...then the pressure of creating a fresh post every day will have been so worth it.
To see what I’ve explored in previous years...please click below for a complete list of that October’s 31 posts….
31 Days of-
Simple Style (2015)
Simply 50 (2016)
I’ll be using an A-Z format again this year. I’m a rule follower. I like clearly defined boundaries, so this method helps to keep me on track as I sit to write each day.
My plan is to approach each day as a 30 minute free write...letting my inner wisdom guide my keystrokes swiftly and with little editing (so thank you in advance for some slack;-). Since I’m often compelled to write for hours...this timed method will help me to remain available for the other areas of my life where I like to focus my attention...my marriage, my children, my work, my health, etc.
A few pre-challenge admin items...
If you already receive my Weekly Updates and you want to follow along this month, there's no need to do anything! You'll receive each day of this challenge in your inbox.
If that's too much, I completely understand. No hard feelings should you choose to unsubscribe. Hopefully, you'll return here again in the future.
you could just file the posts and read them later:)
Or use the fabulous and free Unroll Me (thanks to my NINE bunk-mate for this great tip:-) to collect all of the subscription emails you enjoy but don't have time to read every day. This service is genius, easy and did I mention free?!
If you don't currently receive Weekly Updates, sign up here and you won't miss a single day of Write 31 Days.
Thanks for the love. I can feel it.
I'm excited to share the coming month with you. I always love reading your comments...so please don't hesitate to offer your story or thoughts or two cents.
Go wrap up the final hours of September doing something you love!
The days are inching towards fall. Anthropologie is proudly showing signs of the delightful season ahead. The Spiced Cider candle pictured above is already on the shelves:-) While I'm not quite ready for a true cold snap, I'm excited about the new styles that are arriving almost daily. It was nearly impossible to select this round of favorites since I keep swooning over new pieces every time I work.
This list is top-heavy.
I threw in a few other items, but Anthro’s sweater and jacket game is especially strong right now, so I wanted to share these gems before they are gone.
Just a note:
As I pulled together the photos of the items listed below, I realized that (in my opinion) all of them look better in-person and on regular women than they do in the photos. I’ve seen each piece on myself and lots of clients...I’m thrilled to say the non-model body works better for this collection.
(As always, I’m not compensated in any way by Anthropologie for sharing my faves. I share what I love and what my customers love...in hopes that it makes your life easier.)
Okay, on to my current faves...
Clare Wool Tunic $98
This is a sell-out classic! Fine-gauge Merino wool. Beautiful cut. You'll wear this one until it's threadbare. Also comes in ....pale pink, true lavender and green (the green is more Kelly green in person than on the website, better actually)
Knotted High-Low Shirt by Cloth and Stone $88
Just what you'd expect from Cloth and Stone. Soft, wearable, easy favorite. Also comes in a royal blue and grey, same gingham.
Tisbury Pullover Turtleneck $98
Soft is an understatement. Yummy and playful, this sweater is a awesome! Comes in black, also. You might need both!
Jaye Cape Jacket $98
Modern shape. Ideal for blazer lovers wanting to change it up this season. It's urban and edgy and hanging in my closet already:-) The fabric is crepe and it's lightweight. Fun alternative to a traditional jacket or cardigan.
Chenille cardigan $128
This is a fan fave. Rich and weighty. So, so dreamy. You might want to wear it every single day. It's cut full and the fit is over-sized. Also in navy and nude (blushy pink). Wonderful in all three colors!
Mixed Stripes Kimono $118
I thought this piece would be bulky when I first saw it. It's not. It's long and lean and quite chic. Effortless. Nice addition to a closet full of solid-colored sweaters.
Cozy Nights Cropped Kimono $118
The luxurious furry sweater is back again this season. It's incredible with denim or a dress. The kimono shape looks good on most body types. This is one size only. If you love it, don't wait. It will be gone soon.
Angie Sweater Coat $178
Pale grey stadium length coat. Looks and feels like boiled wool...but with zero itch! It's acrylic, nylon and spandex. No wool! It's amazing. I prefer it with denim. Perfect weight for chilly fall and winter weather.
Aleah Dress- Plenty by Tracy Reese $158
I rarely share dresses because I rarely wear dresses. I usually stick to posting only what I love and wear...but this dress is so pretty.
It comes in several different patterns. I love the dark green...it's more jewel-toned-forest green in person than it appears online. The fit is awesome. Extremely flattering. Needed to toss this into the mix since a dynamite dress is hard to find.
Pilcro High-Rise Slim Straight $148
Last but not least, denim. My clients often ask for classic, straight leg jeans. Some seasons, they're nowhere to be found. If you've been looking...it's your lucky day! These are a solid 'go to' option. Great cut, great wash and well under $200.
Happy to help...
Please let me know if you have specific questions about any of the items mentioned, or about anything you see in Anthropologie. I'm happy to offer my tips and thoughts virtually.
Quick life update...
As many of you know, my daughter recently started her freshman year of college...many states away!
Drop-off was brutal.
The days following were empty and sad.
Greta is settling in nicely and our family is slowly beginning to find a new sense of normal.
If you’ve been through it, you know;-)
And if you haven’t, but will...love your kids hard and fast.
Starting now, because the years are short.
Then brace yourself for move-in day to be worse than you could possibly imagine. Just saying.
Thank you for your support and patience while I continue to regroup.
I will be away next week. I have received an incredible opportunity to do something that’s been on my Bucket List, now Live List for years...
Attend a retreat.
I’ll be reflecting and recharging and preparing for the next chapter.
I'm honestly so excited that I can barely sit still!
I’m looking forward to returning to this space just in time for
Write 31 Days in October.
This will be my fourth year participating in this fabulous challenge.
For more info about Write 31 Days...click here or here.
This year, it’s even better...if you don't have a blog, there’s now an Instagram option!
And there will be prompts available in case you don’t have a topic you’d like to explore...or become stuck along the way.
If you care to take a peek at my previous Write 31 Days topics, I've linked the first day of each one below. From that page, you can view a list of the entire month and click to read a specific day.
31 Days of...
Simple Style A-Z (2015)
Simply 50 - refining life for the next decade (2016)
I hope you find something helpful in my past posts:-)
If you plan to try the Write 31 Days challenge, please let me know so that I can follow along!
If you don't already receive my Weekly Updates, sign up here so you won't miss a single day of Write 31 Days 2017 this October!
Have an amazing September!
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,