Tuesday, April 19, 2016

you are going to have to fall



my one and only 


I had a plan.   I thought I would take a huge leap of faith that would change my life drastically, then I'd sit back and watch everything fall into place.

Because that is what people say:  it all falls into place.  

More accurate for me: it all falls apart and you learn to trust the fall.  

My plan was to leap, but I didn't think much about what would happen next.   I just knew that if I didn't leap, I'd be pushed and I didn't want that to be my story.

The past few years have taught me how important it is to approach both ups and downs with the same willingness.  I prayed for a lifestyle change and I got it.  But it didn't descend on me out of the sky.

If anything fell, it was me.

I fell out of favor with some, because I decided to focus on myself.  I fell off the radar, looking for myself in places where no one could reach me.  I fell out of love with old ideas of myself and others that were holding me back. I fell hard for my dreams and my imagination, because I finally started believing that they were mine for a reason.

Along the way I've learned to fall more gracefully.  It's not a one time thing.  You fall.  You bounce.  You soar.  It becomes a dance.  Every time you are lifted up and every time you drop, you gain wisdom that expands your mind and opens your heart.  How you fall becomes part of your artistry and your growth.  If only we could see falling as a sign of progress.

Falling off the pedestal allows you to be free.  

I know so many people who are afraid to fall for what they believe in because of what people might say.  Because of what is deemed responsible and acceptable and prudent.  I can easily think of dozens of unsolicited comments I've received from people over the years.  When I got pregnant with all these babies without being married. When I went natural.  When I quit my job.  When I stopped letting people's limitations become my own. When I embraced my style.  My pace.  My needs.  When I dared to be human and emotional and unashamed.  There is always someone who will judge and try to detour you with their disappointment.

The escape from all of that is to let yourself fall.  Fall for something that tests your faith and your ability to let go.  It's scary to come undone.  But it you embrace the fall, you can finesse it.  You can observe yourself and grow from it.  Do it with a little more honesty next time and a little more gratitude.   Try doing a flip or a spin in the air.  Arch your back.  Point your toes.  Do not be ashamed to surrender to the ride and make it your own.

I haven't enjoyed every part of my journey.  At all.  But I'm thankful for all of it and the rewards wouldn't be possible without the struggles.

You have to leap and trust the fall.

You might think you want something but you're afraid of what you'll have to sacrifice to get it.  The only way to learn is on the way down.  You might have issues that are so heavy, you think they'll pull you down and you won't survive.  But all things are possible.  You will only learn that on the way down.   There may be obstacles and problems you didn't expect, but it's okay, because as you fall you will see miracles happen, mind shifts and heart breaks, that change your whole everything:  how you live, how you think, how you believe, how you rise back up.

Prayers are powerful.  But blessings are not always obvious.

Plans are good.  But flexibility is magical.

Knowing all of this in theory is helpful but eventually you have to leap and you have to fall to find out for yourself.

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Spring has me feeling all kinds of new feels.  After hibernating most of the winter, I'm craving new sights and experiences and my calendar is filling up.  What about you?  Most importantly, are you honoring how you feel and intentionally giving yourself what you crave?  There are a few spots left for my my next writing and self-discovery workshop on April 30.  If you want to come, don't hesitate.  Join us.  I have to reschedule my May workshop in New York, so I'll have an update on that soon.   Atlanta, I'll be there in September.  Yay!  

Before I go, a few goodies I've been loving:   The Incense Box,  Balm & Co.'s Honeysuckle Turmeric toner,  The Zahir by Paulo Coelho, and Aunt Jackie's Hydrating Sealing Butter.   I'm not being paid to endorse these things, just looking for a way to share.  Talk to you soon.  xo 

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Friday, April 1, 2016

overcoming anxiety with minimalism { 10 ideas for a simpler life }





People make me nervous.

So do unexpected phone calls, overbooked schedules and uncomfortable clothes.

Life in general makes me nervous.  So many people and problems and energies and uncertainties.  I'm sensitive to all of it.

The older I get, the more of this world I consume, the more I feel overwhelmed and anxious.  But I know I need to be at peace and operating from a place of love, not fear, in order to live the life I want.  So I see this anxiety thing like any other challenge life throws at me, an opportunity to be creative with my life design.

Space eases anxiety for me.

To face my anxiety and understand what it's trying to teach me, I have to constantly clear my mind, body, spirit and surroundings of toxic energy and unnecessary clutter.  I have to create space, even when it seems there is none.

I've had to look closely at my old assumption that more stuff would bring me more happiness and validation.  I want to live slowly and savor my experiences a certain way, so I have to protect what is meaningful to me and let the rest go.

What stresses you out and makes you anxious day to day?  Start paying close attention to your triggers without assuming that you are wrong or weird.   Ideas flow more freely when you are not judging yourself. Notice what upsets you, what relaxes you, what angers you and lights you up, then one by one, start making adjustments.  Life does not have to feel so abrasive.  You can change your experience.

The lifestyle changes I've made are grounded in minimalism, creativity and most of all, love.  

Because when anxiety has me in its grip, worry and heaviness distract me from being present and open to what I love most.  Do you want to free up more energy and space to love what you love and do what you do with more clarity and intention?  I DO.  So these are just some of the ideas and adjustments that are helping me do that.

simple abundance.  creating more space and intentional energy in my mind, my home and surroundings.  simplifying my schedule.  spacing out my obligations. releasing the need to be everything to everyone. letting go of negative thought patterns. making sure everything that takes up space serves a purpose of function, nourishment, play or inspiration.

capsule everything.  less clothes.  less jewelry.  less makeup. less decisions. discovering the bare necessities that make me feel like myself, add value to my life and nuance to my aesthetic.  more time, space and energy to shine without fluff that just makes me feel awkward.

creative self-care.  less products. mostly natural and DIY.  the process of researching, experimenting and making my own products and regimens soothes me and has become a creative outlet.  discovering natural solutions makes me feel more resourceful in all aspects of my life and boosts my confidence.

cultivated certainty.  more yes, more no, less maybe.  lingering decisions make me nervous and distracted.  trusting my intuition and owning my decisions without regret creates the energy needed to move forward confidently, ready to accept the results of what I do.

social mantras.  before I go into social environments, I set my mind on being myself and not giving into intimidation, inadequacy or irrational fears.  I tell myself that I am enough, I am present, I am safe and I am grateful.

savor sensuality.  prioritize pleasure.  escape from stress and welcome sensation.  whatever strokes your femininity, make space for it.  have you ever written a romantic or erotic story?  choreographed a chair dance?  try it!

aromatherapy.   essential oils.  incense.  sage.  anointing myself with oils several times a day burning incense everyday.  my favorite for anxiety is an oil blend called peace that includes vetiver, lavender, ylang ylang, frankincense, clary sage, marjoram, and spearmint. (you can shop for high-quality essential oils including peace in my doTerra shop.)

visualization.  calming meditation + breathing exercises.  sit in a chair.  stare at the wall.  visualize your fears as clouds, floating by.  don't cling to them. let them pass without giving them energy. breathe in deeply and picture yourself breathing in clear, fresh air, full of hope and light.  breathe out and picture grey smoke leaving your body, full of doubt and fear.

art therapy.  write. color. draw. dance. paint. sing. sew. decorate. design. photograph. travel. cook.  transform your feelings and moods and passions into creations.

build community. creative soulmates. church friends. mom groups. sister circles.  yoga buddies.  book clubs.  running partners. whatever it is, get yourself a tribe that cares, understands and supports.  avoid gossiping and complaining.  surround yourself with people who talk about heart and soul and growth.

When you set out each day with peace as your priority, minor vexations don't bother you so much.  

You start to notice the people, places, and conversations that no longer serve you.  You see opportunities to grow and become more rooted in places where before you felt completely reactive and at the mercy of your surroundings.  You look at anxiety and stress as what they are, signals that you need to settle more deeply into your truth and your faith.

What I've listed above are just a few themes that have been prevalent for me.  But it all stemmed from professional therapy and doing my own research on anxiety, minimalism, mindfulness, high sensitivity and introversion.   I would love to hear how you are taking baby steps and huge leaps toward living a more peaceful, spacious life.   Please share with me in the comments!


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Thinking about giving up on something?   Read this for a different perspective.    Feeling unmotivated by your goals?   Consider this.    Feeling stuck and afraid about making changes you know you need to make?  This is for you.    Are you signed up for my newsletter?  If not, you missed out on the free coloring pages and affirmations I sent out.  But no worries, you can sign up here as I'll be sending them out monthy.  And don't forget to reserve your spot in my next workshop in DC on April 30.   Okay, love you, bye.  xo

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