Category Archives: self-love

breathe

One of the most awesome things I do every year is devote some focused time to, put simply, reflect on where I’ve been, where I am and where I want to be, both literally and figuratively.  I do most of this through both a self-designed personal retreat and a program called the Stratejoy Holiday Council.  Once the dust of this reflection settles, one of the many things I emerge with is a theme.  It may be a word or a phrase.  It may have a whole story that builds up to it or it may have been born out of my time of reflection.  It falls into the rhythm of my heartbeat, speaks truth and inspires my goals.  For me, the value of my theme for the year (or whatever amount of time it remains) is grand.

All that said, I wanted to share my theme for the present time.

Breathe.

I could write much more to draw out the beauty of how this theme developed and what it means to me, but, instead, I will share the visual representation and encourage this process of listening to your own voice, creating a collage of cravings and moving with more strength and love through YOUR journey.  🙂

breathe

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and now…

…to explain my absence…

I made a conscious decision to take a break from blogging. It was well into the holiday season and I had an awesome new job and some fabulous new projects going. Opportunities were abundant. I was feeling overwhelmed by time and did not want my blog to be something that drained me. I always desire for writing/blogging/creating to be something that challenges and inspires,  so giving myself a little breathing room to shift focus was intentional.

Stepping away for eight months, however, was never the plan and feels a bit shocking in the present.

I got lost in the new things, which in and of themselves were not at all bad, but before I knew it, I was just sucked up into day to day life survival and my own pulse was feeling faint.

Don’t get me wrong. There have been many awesome things that have happened over the last year. My world has included an incredible and successful new business with a company I love, people that I can’t even fathom not knowing, a fabulous creative space, good hard work, plenty of wine, laughter, positive changes, moments of rejuvenation and lots of inspiration. The problem is that I feel weary and have never craved health, creativity and balance more.

Image found on GabbieBrownsblog via pinterest

 And, so, now it is time to return. It is time to bring some focus back toward the things that help my heart to beat strong. It is time to find a way to embrace moxie again. Now it is time to maintain all of the fabulous new things, but to also do what I need to do .

If I have any point in this whole post, it is that I am finally starting to accept the possibility that by making my own heartbeat my focus, all of the other things that extend will carry more life.

This is huge.

And guess what? I can’t even prove that it is true yet, but I look forward to sharing as I journey on.

take time

taketimefull
found on saying images via pinterest

tiny beautiful things

“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.”
―Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

I have not read Wild (yet). I have a note in my journal from January that says, “read Wild“. There is even a copy sitting in the house.  I will read it.  But the first book I ever read by Cheryl Strayed will always be tiny beautiful things.

On the surface, this book is simply a collection of advice column letters and answers.  But, if your heart is open, it is so much more than that.

This is the sort of stuff that makes my heart want.  It is people.  It is stories.  It is real.  It is all three combined.  And then those real people are brave enough to reach out by writing in to an advice column.  In return, this beautiful writer, then known only as “Sugar”, reaches back with such raw emotion, both delicate and passionate, woven into words that address real life in a way that made me want to laugh and scream and cry all at once.

Read it if you are a human that lives in the real world and wants to embrace real life.

break the shell

For the second time this year, India Arie has made an appearance in the “pretty much the most pertinent song that could possibly exist right now for me” section of my life.

shining on

ImageI’m back!  I have been through a whirlwind of self-reflection over the last couple months and needed some time to focus on, well, myself.  Thank you to everyone who has been commenting, tweeting and emailing to encourage me to keep up with the moxie!  It means so much to me.  I can’t imagine a more perfect way to reemerge into my online world than with a quote from my friend Molly at stratejoy.
Let your brilliance shine!

a little self-love…box

self-love boxComing into this new year, I spent several weeks defining goals, dreams and cravings and mapping out a road to success in achieving them (much thanks to my wonderful friend and founder of Stratejoy and her program, The Holiday Council…check it out!)  There is sooooo much awesomeness I could share about all of this, but one of the most important moments of clarity I gained from the experience was this:

I need to be LOVING MYSELF.

This might seem an obvious thing to do as a human, but somewhere along my journey, I completely missed that turn.  Now don’t misinterpret my feelings.  I don’t dislike myself.  In fact, I am a positive person with what I consider a fairly strong self-awareness and sincerity and I take pride in my strengths and accomplishments.  However, I have struggled to truly focus on myself in a way that nurtures my soul and instead focus on others with unbalanced abundance or walk straight into selfishness in an unhealthy way and then wonder why I still feel unfulfilled and even guilty.  My heart has been awakened to the reality that there is a distinction between selfishness and self-love and that I should be pursuing healthy self-love.
And so, I made loving myself one of my main goals for this year.  Figuring out how to do this took some time and brainstorming and is still developing, but one tool that I have created is what I call my self-love box.
I started by making a list of ways that I could love myself.  Then, I cut out a bunch of little hearts and wrote the items from my list on them.
Some of the thinself-love heartsgs from my list?

buy yourself a special t
reat
reach out to an encouraging person
get dressed up
take a nap
do something that inspires you
forgive yourself
dream, plan and go on a personal retreat
stop. breathe deep.
write yourself a love note
get a massage
be grateful.  make a list of things you are thankful for.

Next, I found an inexpensive heart shaped box at a craft store and plastered it with some meaningful and inspiring pictures.  The little self-love list hearts went inside and I am challenging myself to use the box several times a month.
Creating this simple little box and using it has been a rewarding and wonderful experience thus far and I recommend doing something like this to absolutely anyone.  Whether you create a box or a list or not, though, please remember to LOVE YOURSELF!  You are worth it!
xoxo

vulnerability

Early last week (after an interesting handful of days), I typed the word ‘vulnerable’ into the search tool at a local bookstore.  Five minutes later, I had Daring Greatly by Brene Brown  in my hands.  Fifteen minutes later, I was spilling chai all over the book.  (I was already sold, but that sealed it) Two hours later, I was watching her TED talk…

getting it together

Ok, so one month is long enough for my “yes, please winter wonder” (see previous post) retreat.  I spent much of this time writing, walking/skiing/hiking in the crisp air, focusing on defining my priorities, cravings and action steps for this year (thanks Holiday Council), writing, experiencing a lot of serendipitous moments, going on a mostly spontaneous New Years day venture where I came face to face with myself and my demons, listening to my heart and writing.  Did I mention that my journal was open a lot?  One important and wonderful thing that I discovered during this time is that this blog is aligned perfectly with what is important to me right now.  I crave moxie.  And three of my top priorities for the year are health, creativity and balance.  And so I am back in blogland and ready to pursue my passion and to do more, share more and grow more here.
About a week ago, I was staring at an emotionally filled journal page when this song popped up on pandora.  I was dumbfounded.  Many of the words that fill this song were the same as the exact words filling my page.  It feels like this song was made just for me at this very moment of my life.  It will be hard to convince me otherwise as I get it together, heal my heart and learn to fly…

rainy day sunshine

live swim drink


originally found on pinterest (the pin wont link anywhere, so that’s all I can reference…)

homemade honey nutmeg mask

As I’ve mentioned before, my sensitive skin and I are on the search for some great homemade beauty products.  When I saw a post about this acne mask, I knew I had to give it a try.
All three of the ingredients in this mask help to heal the skin.  Nutmeg has long been known and used as an anti-inflammatory and has antiseptic properties, making it incredibly healing.  Honey is a natural moisturizer and is packed with antioxidants.  It heals, protects and rejuvinates.  Milk is naturally soothing and lactic acid is also a great exfoliator.

I was a little nervous about this one because I had read some reviews in which people complained of their skin burning (most likely due to nutmeg sensitivity), so I tested a small area before I smothered it all over my face.  Green light.  The mask was simple to make and easy to apply.  I have to admit that while it was on, I felt nothing.  I wasn’t sure that it was actually doing anything, but once I took it off my skin just felt happy.  I look forward to using this again!

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Raw Honey
1 Tablespoon Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Milk (recommend whole organic)

1. Combine ingredients.
2. Spread mixture generously on face and neck and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
3. Wash mask off with water.


found recipe on huda beauty

doing what i love

I have been on a blog hiatus.  On purpose.  Kind of.  Life got busy and I needed some room away from all the screens to breathe.  While I was away, I found some fresh air, but I lost the motivation that comes from the discipline of making my thoughts, photos, musings, projects and inspirations public in blogland.  Not only does it motivate me, but I genuinely love the creative outlet of blogging.

And so I am back.  Doing something I love.  Looking for motivation to do more of what I love.  And to let this love infiltrate all that I do.

What do you love?  What would you love to do?

homemade cucumber mask

If you know me, you know I have crazy sensitive skin.  (yay!)  If you don’t know me, you know that now too, I guess.  I sunburn in about a half a second, have a bazillion allergies and have been trying forever to find beauty products that I can use safely.   I don’t know why it took me so long to get in on the homemade beauty product scene, but I am there now.
Below is a recipe for an oatmeal cucumber face mask.  All of these ingredients have benefits for your skin.  Basically, I just threw it all in a blender and then put it on my face.  Simple.  It pretty much looks like cucumber oatmeal out of the blender.  (Okay, so it basically is cucumber oatmeal)  I was a bit apprehensive at first…thought it was going to slide off of my face and get all over my clothes.   Still, I was hopeful, so I put a headband on, put a towel on the floor and put the mask on.  I also set aside a couple cucumber slices for the eyes.  Let the healing begin!
About a minute into the experience, I thought, “I have cucumber oatmeal on my face.  What am I doing?”
Two minutes into the self-made spa moment, I realized the mask was not sliding off my face, but I was still feeling a little silly.
Then, somewhere around minute three, I felt the mask working.  It tightened and my skin felt tingly and cool in a refreshing sort of way.
I kept the mask on for about 20 minutes.  The last 17 minutes were spent trying to let my body re-teach me how to relax.  Seriously, when is the last time you actually cleared your mind and tried to relax your muscles intentionally?  It had been a while for me.  (sleeping doesn’t count)
After I washed the mask off, my skin felt and looked refreshed.  And, surprisingly to me, I felt refreshed.  Overall, this was a very positive experience and I will absolutely make this mask again.


Ingredients:
1/2  Cucumber, cut into chunks
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1 T. Raw Honey
1 t. Aloe*
1 t. Avocado Oil*

1.Combine ingredients in blender or food processor.
2. Spread mixture generously on face and neck.
3. Lie down and relax for at least 15 minutes.
4. Wash mask off with water.

*The aloe and avocado oil are optional and avocado could be used in place of the oil as well.

Enjoy!!

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