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Life Self

The Work

Healing
Can we talk about the work? The process of opening, examining, unraveling, and becoming. The work that most of us (if you read and resonate with my words) are in the midst of exploring. The work that is essential for us to discover ourselves and be free.

In these spaces, overflowing with the perfectly curated aesthetics, minimalist self-care quotes, sunflowers and bunches of sage…it’s easy to overlook the truth that this journey isn’t only full of love and light. And while those are some of the best parts, the easily instagrammable moments, the pretty ones that look and feel good, they are only but a part of the process.

I’m nervous that it isn’t pretty. That the edges aren’t clean and neat. And the corners are filled with too much. That I’ll never be the “carefree black girl” aesthetic and there is no filter to blur the mess. That, as hard as I try to make it look nice, it’s wild and it’s rough. ~ from my post Writing Like Nobody is Reading

The work? The going within, unlearning, rethinking, taking off the mask…It isn’t clean and neat. It isn’t pretty. It’s very much so wild and rough. It’s messy and confusing. It can be isolating and lonely. It’s full of dark spaces, rusty edges, and forgotten corners. And while those are some of the hard parts, the ones we don’t share for the world to see, the moments that feel uncomfortable the most…they are a valid part of the process.

On this journey, I’m learning that the things about myself I thought would work against me– the wildness, the emotions, the sensitivities, the messiness–are a part of my purpose. I have felt isolated from wellness spaces because my healing isn’t cute. Y’all read my posts, y’all know I go deep, and get dirty, and sometimes have to pull back because it’s too much. But that’s my journey to share. That’s part of my story.

So for the women who feel more dark than light during this current season, understand how necessary it is to lean into all of the moments. To embrace the shadows alongside the rays of light. To do the work, to love and spread light, and to explore dark spaces in between. ~ xoxo


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life Work

Back to the Light

Back to the Light

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
~ John O’Donohue

It’s been quiet around here. Between us, whenever the silence lingers for more than a few days, it’s probably a bit more than normal life things. I feel like y’all know this by now but in the spirit of making things plain, there it is. Unlike many of my past bouts of quiet, this one comes sans emotional breakdown and existential post full of muddled feelings. It comes instead with peaceful reflection and gratitude for understanding. I think I’m finally beginning to understand what it really feels like to give myself grace for growth and growing pains.

The quiet. The lack of words and writing. The lack of creativity and creating. Checking in with myself I see that this has become more than an off week kind of thing. It’s more of a mindset really, a life shift, behaviors and habits that have me slipping back into old things.

“You want to do the minimum amount of work to afford the maximum amount of time, doing the thing that you love. That’s the way I want to live.” ~ Will Smith

I think back to the first few weeks of the year. The ones where my schedule was open and I made space for all the good things. I spent minimal–but intentional and impactful–time on freelance work that felt really good. While the rest of my time was dedicated to writing, creating, learning, loving, and living. It was magical. Those days and the nights where I went to bed good and tired, only because I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Full of excitement at the next morning’s possibilities. Those are the feelings I want every day.

Lately, I find myself dragging out the evenings. Not ready to go to sleep and face the neverending to do list and growing responsibilities I’ve taken upon myself. Uninterested in the mundanity of it all and a tugging sense of overwhelm on the horizon, all of my own doing. Mindfulness has allowed me to see the path to this place clearly. Fear. A little uncertainty. A bit of doubt. And a convenient bout of amnesia regarding the things I know to be true. Because the truth of the matter for me is: I don’t like being busy. I avoid the grind at all costs. The hustle makes me uncomfortable. And when I’m faced with all of the above, I often drop the ball.

I thrive in the blank spaces in between. To create and live and breathe and be. Anything else brings me to moments like this.

I’m not upset. I hope that’s able to come across in my tone. Other times I have written in this slump, my tone has been one of desperation, exasperation, and even despair. This is a time of hope and anticipation at my ability to see and change.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.
~ John O’Donohue


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life

What’s for You, is for You

What's for You, is for You
Sometimes, I get overwhelmed. But by the good things. All the dope people. All the things they are creating. All the stories. All the knowledge. All the lessons and awakenings. All the opportunities. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a hyperconnected world. With all the access in the palm of our hands. All the time. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming.

I’ve been going through a cleanse of sorts. Not because I don’t want see the good things, but because it’s beginning to feel like a lot. I notice myself beginning to feel like I never have enough time or capacity to take in all the things. I was following everyone, reading everything, taking moments to bookmark and organize and subscribe. Not wanting to miss one glorious moment, tweet, story, person that would resonate with me. But there came a point where, I had to let go. Unfollow some of the people, step back from endless feeds, unsubscribe from the newsletters, opt out of the matrix. Letting go of the excess, holding onto the sacred. An exercise in taking what I need and leaving the rest.

At first it made me feel anxious. Like I might miss something. A conference that’s perfect, a conversation I just need to be a part of, a podcast I have to listen to, a person that will change my life. But then I realized that, what’s meant for me, is for me. The people I’m meant to connect with, the opportunities I’m meant to consider, the stories I’m meant to hear, the lessons I’m meant to learn. If they are for me, there is nothing that can deter me from receiving them.

This journey of discovery and understanding is most interesting. And oftentimes intense. It’s one of seasons and honoring them as I go is part of the process. I appreciate the seasons of gathering. Of absorbing as much as I possibly can to help me understand myself and my thoughts. As I move into a season of slowing down, savoring the knowledge, taking time to understand it, and giving myself room to grow in it, I’m thankful just as well. What’s for you, is for you. A daily reminder, for you and for me. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life

Coffee Shop Chronicles: Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books

I want to embrace the freedoms that I’ve worked for and have been afforded to me. More midday trips to the park. More random afternoons of play. More exploring and coffee shop working. More meeting up with like minded women, moms, writers, and entrepreneurs for lunch. ~ Things I Want to Do in 2018

We’ve barely started the year and already I’m noticing a difference in how it’s been progressing. Typically around this time of the month, I find myself wondering where the time has gone but, right now, I feel different. I feel good. Like the month is progressing at a nice pace and that I’ve accomplished a ton. Which I have. Between launching my podcast, showing up here in this space often, and landing a new branding client, it feels good to be following the intentions I set for the year.

Exploring my city and taking advantage of the freedom freelancing provides is one thing I’m focusing on, so when my friend/business partner asked to meet up for a late working lunch last week, I packed up my laptop and headed to her suggestion: Uncle Bobbie’s.

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books is a coffee shop meets black bookstore that opened up in the Historic Germantown section of Philadelphia at the end of last year. It’s the manifested dream of Temple University (TU!!!) professor and social commentator Marc Lamont Hill. Both of my parents spent a good portion of their childhoods and early adult lives in Germantown and I have many memories visiting grandparents and family there. To visit and see a black bookstore and coffee shop flourishing here brought warmth, hope, and pride to my heart.

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books
As soon as we entered, we knew this was something special. Head wraps and natural hair were in abundance, black folk from babies to elders were present, as well as all the black books you could want. Bookish friends, you understand the joy this brought. My friend wanted some insight and help with launching her blog (I am BEYOND excited for her new venture. It will be everything and I can’t wait for her to share) so it was her treat. I appreciate good friends who appreciate my work and experience in this space. Grilled panini with mozzarella, tomato, and spinach hit every spot I needed. Philly in January is notoriously cold so we warmed up with–wait for it–French Vanilla Banana Hot Chocolate with almond milk. I LIVE.

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books
We got there pretty late in the afternoon and settled in at a table near outlets (nothing we had was charged smh), but there were lounge chairs and couches, longer tables in front of windows to work and people watch, and a cozy room in the back with more space for collaborative work and exploration. The atmosphere was dope. So warm and inviting. It felt like home here and as the evening progressed, more people arrived and it soon felt like one big gathering of friends and family. We were so comfortable, we didn’t wind up leaving until around 8pm.

Before we left, we knew we’d found a new regular spot. Discovering black owned spaces like this in Philly has become a new adventure for us and this one did not disappoint. I fully intend on making this a routine stop during my coffee shop working days or whenever they’re having dope events. If you’re in the Philadelphia area or visiting, stop by, grab a book and a hot chocolate on your way. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life Work

The Unexpected Thing

The Unexpected Thing
Create without expectations. That was my intention. So honestly, anything that comes out of this year should be unexpected. But this, I was honestly, truly not expecting.

I guess, in a moment of truth, both with you and myself… “without expectation” may have been a bit, ambitious. Or at the very least, a half truth. Deep down, subconsciously, I did have some expectations. I expected to create things. I expected to love them. I guess somewhere I expected to create something that would eventually lead me towards my ultimate dream of creativity and financial sustainment. Or least give me a clear path to that thing. A path where I was neither a starving artist or doing empty work to pay the bills. So somewhere, in the midst of creating without expectations, there were a few.

The good news is, creating without them was/is my true intention which has allowed my mind space to be free. Space for good things to happen. Space for the unexpected.

The more I’ve been creating, the more I’ve been feeling free. Launching my podcast has been so liberating. I’m finally feeling Instagram again now that I’ve taken the pressure off myself. No more constantly feeling like I have to share share share. What I do post, is thoughtful and intentional. Not for brand recognition or a million followers but for the purpose of documenting the beauty of this journey. This blog, this blog! I’ve loved creating from a space where I’m not worried about pageviews (though I still check them from time to time, transparency friends) and solely on sharing my life for those who care to read. Besides, no amount of pageviews gives a feeling quite like seeing someone sign up for my very modest newsletter list. But, people are, which means I’m connecting and that’s why I do this.

My creativity has been free in a way I’ve never experienced before. And though, I’ve had my expectations of creating without them tucked deep inside my conscious, this surpasses them all.

So here’s to more creating. To less expectations. And to welcoming the unexpected good. ~xoxo


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life Self

I Want // I Am

I Want I Am
Language has meaning and language has power. And there’s something really powerful about the statement “I Am”. When starting a meditation practice, whatever (or whoever) you study, one of the first mantras that is introduced is OM. It means “I Am”. In the Bible, when Moses asks God’s name, He replies “I Am”. When we’re making affirmations and speaking things into existence, we start each one with “I Am.”

When I first began to explore this idea, how the language we use and how it can affect how we move and act, I started to understand the importance of using “I Am” when talking about the things I “want”.

Am: first person, singular tense of be.

“Be” has many definitions: to equal in meaning, to have identity, to belong to, to have an objective existence, to have maintain or occupy a space, place, or situation. Be is definitive. It just is.

Which made me think about how so many of us spend so much time wanting to be, instead of just being.

As we’re still riding the high of the new year and its possibilities. As we’re working on resolutions, goals, and things we want to do in 2018 (because I’m journeying with you all), let’s change our language. Let’s not want (to have or feel need, to desire). Let’s Be.

I am. ~ xoxo


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life

The Power of Your Story & I Started a Podcast

Sharing Your Story

Your story is the affirmation that someone, somewhere is searching for. ~ Tyshia Shante

So check it, I started a podcast real quick. Okay, so that’s my really lowkey way of controlling the excitement, anxiety, and stomach knots that are occurring as I write this. Y’all. I started a podcast.

If you’ve been following along, you know that my word for 2018 is Create. And one of the things that I have wanted to create for so long is a podcast. As much as I personally love writing, I understand the value in having another medium for me share my story and I welcome another way to connect with women in the journey beyond this blog. A podcast has always felt like it would be the perfect medium for me to do so.

It’s real, raw, barely edited, a bit all over the place. Everything that the perfectionist in me is screaming against. But it’s here and it’s out there which is all that matters.

In this first episode I’m talking about the power of your story. I discuss:

  • Why I’m adamant on sharing mine
  • The importance of black women sharing our narratives out loud
  • How sharing can open up endless possibilities for ourselves and others
  • And the one thing I know for sure about my purpose

There are so many wonderful women whose words have been some sort of validation or confirmation for me. This blog, my newsletter, and now this podcast are just a few ways I’m saying thanks and hopefully paying it forward. Take a listen and if it resonates, please pass it along and subscribe. ~xoxo

SHOW NOTES

Sharing Your Story


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey. Get my super simple Project Planner templates which helped me to launch this podcast when you sign up.



Life

Things I Want to Do in 2018

Things I Want to Do

In Create La Vie, I shared my word and intention for 2018. If you read it, you know that it was pretty abstract and open. No goals or resolutions, just a word and what it meant to me: creating the life. And while a big part of that as a creative, lies heavily in creating things, it’s just as rooted in experiences and actions as well. So in the traditional new year spirit, I’m sharing a few things that I want to do this year.

* * *

I want to read. A lot. Books by black women authors, the legends and the new additions. Books on spirituality and ones on life. Books on creativity and fiction that feels like non-fiction. Memoirs and poetry. I want to read everything from The Divine Sophia to Parable of the Sower to Sing, Unburied Sing, to We’re Going to Need More Wine. And everything in between. I don’t have a number in mind. Remember “without expectation” is a big part of my vibe this year. I just want to read and learn and read some more.

I want to travel. Like really travel. With my family. I’ve always held this limiting belief in my mind that it’s too hard, expensive, and borderline impossible to travel as a family of five. And so, travel isn’t something that has been a part of our journey together. Discovering blogs like Raising Vagabonds and others has inspired me to change my mindset and give my children (and myself) the experience of travel. We have a few destinations in mind but I’m open to where the wind (or flight deals) take us.

I want to start our own family traditions. Holiday ones like Kwanzaa and real Christmas. And others like movie nights and family dinners. Making costumes and summer beach trips. I’ll be honest and say that the older my children get, the faster the years seem to go by and I’m feeling the pull for meaningful traditions that will last as they grow.

I want to embrace the freedoms that I’ve worked for and have been afforded to me. More midday trips to the park. More random afternoons of play. More exploring and coffee shop working. More meeting up with like minded women, moms, writers, and entrepreneurs for lunch. When I made the decision to work for myself it was always about freedom. To work around my personal schedule, wherever I was, and make the income I needed. Ready to do just that.

I want to focus on holistic wellness. Mind, body, soul. Eat plant-based consistently and transition my family towards more of the same as well. Learn yoga and meditate daily. To fill my cup so that I’m able to pour into the ones I love the most.

If you haven’t shared your word or goals for 2018 yet, please let me know! I find it so inspiring reading all the words and intentions people are taking with them into the new year. ~xoxo


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life

Create La Vie

Create La Vie
Create. If there’s anything I know for sure about the direction I should take heading in the new year, it’s that I need to create. Every year, like many intentional folks/entrepreneurs/artists, I choose a word to serve as the focus, theme, or anchor of my year. For 2018, much earlier than I’ve done in the past, I’ve settled on a word that I think…I hope…I pray will take me to the places I’ve yet to see anywhere outside the comforts of my mind.

So why create?

Well, I’ve talked a lot about dreams here. In No Dreams Deferred I got real about my fears on not becoming the person I dream to be. In Do the Thing, I wrote about how as a dreamer I find myself stagnant, living lives in my mind instead of bringing those visions to life. In Crops I shared the truth that I’ve struggled with using my voice and gift for myself. The lack of creation, movement, and growth last year can be felt loud and clear throughout my blog posts, journal entries, and conversations over wine and coffee with friends.

There was no other word to choose for the year ahead except for Create.

And I understand that’s a broad term. Create what right? And isn’t the simple fact that I’ve been showing up here, writing, journaling, and even creating for work enough? In a way yes, but, these are all things that have been comfortable for me to create. In the spirit of growth and discovery, I want to get a little uncomfortable in order to create the life of my dreams.

And beyond that, I want to create without expectation. Without figuring how everything works together, without trying to connect the dots, without trying to see the end before the thing even gets started. I want to create without thinking about the how or what and create simply for the why.

I have a lot of ideas in my mind (and in notebooks strewn about) that I would love to see come to life. And I know the only way to manifest the things I want to see in this world is to create them. So that leads me to the big question: How am I going to do this?

For starters, I know that as much I want to throw all caution to the wind and dive in, it’s simply not how my brain works. But, I also know that if I’m not careful I can get stuck in planning mode without ever taking action to create. What I’m hoping to be a happy medium is listing the things I want to create this year, committing to a year of creating daily(ish), and using a simple planner to help guide me through it.

And of course, a huge part of the creating is the sharing so you’ll find the journey under the CreateLaVie tag here on the blog and #createlavie hashtag on Instagram.

Here’s to a year of creating the things in our hearts, manifesting our dreams, and living the lives we love. Create La Vie! ~ xoxo


Hey dreamers, I created a planner just for us that is simple enough to make sure we don’t get stuck in planning mode and straightforward enough to help push us through to the end of project. Sign up for my mailing list for the free download so you can create the things in 2018 with me!

Project Planner



Life Self

Reflections // 2017

2017 Reflections
Oh, 2017. If I can be completely honest here, with you friends, I’d have to say that 2017 was a very…cloudy year for me. As I sit here, ready but less than enthused to reflect back on the year behind me, my mind draws a blank. I, right now, can’t think of some monumental accomplishment or some major life change. Well, aside from turning 30, realizing I’ve been hiding from myself the past 29 years of my life, and uncovering a newfound spiritual path. So…I guess a monumental year after all?

In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston wrote, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” 2017 was a year of questions. All the questions. All the time. And not an answer in sight…

Looking back, I guess I should have seen this coming. This feeling as I sit here a few days away from the new year, reflecting on all the twists and turns this past one has taken me on–seemingly to no particular destination. I started out fully intending for it to be a year of growth, somewhere along the way realizing that I hadn’t planted any real roots. Not in myself, my work, or where or who I even wanted to grow to be. I pivoted to focus on consistency, thinking that if I made it a point to constantly show up in whatever it is that I was doing, I could eventually achieve the growth I desired. Somewhere along the way dropping projects, changing my mind, becoming paralyzed by analysis (or fear whichever word works) and ultimately realizing I didn’t even know what I wanted to be consistent about.

A year of questions.

Part of me wants to look back through my journal over the year to gain some understanding. Hoping that an answer is hidden amongst journal entries or thoughts in my Notes app or in the pages of my work planner. But, a bigger part of me understands that the insight I’m searching for will only be revealed to me some years down the road. In a year that answers.

As solemn as this all may sound, I’m thankful for it all the same. 2017 was most definitely a discovery year and while I may not have welcomed the questions it brought with open arms, I’m grateful for them now and have learned to see the joy in their presence.

So here’s to 2018. Hopefully, a year that answers but if not, most importantly a year that I’m here to receive the questions at all. ~xoxo


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life Self

Abundance

Abundance
Some months ago I wrote a journal entry after meditating on the concept of abundance. A concept that I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember. Sounds strange, but hear me out. I’ve not struggled with the idea of abundance itself. I embrace it, I yearn for it, I’m intrigued by it. But, I’ve struggle with believing that abundance is already mine. And this struggle has led me to chase so many things that don’t make sense, that I don’t believe in, that don’t align, feed or fuel me in order to obtain it.

But, how do you obtain something that is already yours?

If I’m to understand and believe that my very being is aligned with abundance, then the thing I need to do is follow those things that I’ve been called towards and am pulled to. My personal legend, as named in The Alchemist.

Why is that so scary then? The idea that, you can let go of the things that aren’t serving you, aren’t helping you grow, or aren’t bringing you joy? Why do we feel like, we have to do these things that are so opposite in order to receive the abundance…that we already have? Why do we feel there must be some pain, or sadness, or angst in order to have abundant life? How contradictory.


For me, I sometimes feel torn. Between the truth that my ancestors did not have such choices and the thought that, they fought for me to have such choices so why would I do anything less? It’s a constant battle in my mind trying to figure out if me deciding to wholeheartedly pursue my personal legend is in honor of them, or, a selfish disregard for their experiences.

Most of the time, I rest in the truth that I am here today. And the belief that abundance is mine. And the hope that I’m honoring even the slightest piece of my ancestors struggles by boldly living and walking the paths they laid out for me.

Anything less seems like a travesty.

I mean…that’s all I want for those that come after me. My children and their children and their children. To be able. Whatever that means for them. Not to be whatever this world tries to force them to be. I want only for them, to be able, in the highest sense of the word. And it’s that desire that catches in my throat, illuminating the uncertainties in the corners of my mind.

Will I be able to do it? Without pushing myself to fall in line and do the things that don’t align because they’re “safe”–er. Is this unconventional (to society) path something that will allow me lay a brighter path for them? Will I be able to leave them more than what’s left to me when it’s all said and done? Because isn’t that what we’re all just trying to do?

I have to believe the answer is yes. And I have to believe that the most important things, they have. I have to believe that abundance is theirs too. And maybe, believe the best thing I could do, is to help prevent them from ever feeling this struggle by laying the example. The one that encourages and inspires them to be able and to follow their gifts, curiosities, talents, passions with full confidence that is enough, they are taken care of, and abundance is provided.


Most Sundays I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life Work

No Dreams Deferred

No Dreams Deferred
This past Sunday, my newsletter was about all the feels I had while watching the Humans of New York series. I’m telling you, for a girl who lives in her feelings, just one episode gave me enough to think about for a lifetime. And while I could make this post about every last one of them, I’ll focus and say that mostly…I thought about how we all have dreams. Shocking right? And you know, contrary to things I say on my blog in moments of deep introspective thought, I’ve always been a dreamer and I’ll always love a good dream. So of course the stories that made me think the most were the ones where people didn’t become who they wanted to be.

I think that’s probably one of my biggest fears. That I’ll never figure it out. That I’ll never “get myself there”, as one New Yorker so eloquently put it.

If I’m creating something, building something, then I’m alive. When I’m not creating something, I’m not alive.

How I want to be remembered is, as someone having achieved their dream. If I haven’t achieved my dream…I don’t deserve to be remembered.

Why do I give up? I lost my energy. I get tired. I get tired of the struggle. I’m not a fighter. That’s why I give up. You gotta be a fighter. You gotta go out there and pitch and sell. You gotta be on.”

~ Humans of New York: The Series Episode 2

I felt this dreamer the most. There was something so familiar in him. An actor who’d imagined he would have made himself a movie star by now. Directing films in Hollywood. Big dreams, us dreamers. And like him, I felt tired. You know, you do have to be fighter. And it can be exhausting. The struggle can be exhausting. But the truth he shared made me understand…I can’t give up. I guess I gotta get out there. And pitch. And sell. I gotta be on. Because like him, I feel alive when I’m creating. And I want to be remembered for me…the girl who chased her dreams…which if you’ve learned anything from me by now you know I believe that that’s quite literally the dream itself.


I’m working on something for us dreamers. If you’ve ever related to any of my posts about chasing dreams, manifesting, and all that good stuff, sign up for my mailing list. I share all the good stuff there first. ~ xoxo



Life

‘Tis the Season

'Tis the Season
Yesterday, I finally made my way into our garage to begin gathering the Christmas decorations. Last year was my absolute favorite tree. Like of all time. We don’t buy real trees around here (yet) and a couple years ago was the first time we got one that wasn’t a cheapie throwaway. This will be our third year using it and each time it keeps getting better. But last year, in particular, it was the best so far. I really wanted our tree to be simple but magical. I wanted it to have that real feel good Christmasy vibe. The boys were in charge of decorating it as usual and my only request was silver and gold with white lights. It was everything I imagined. This year, we’re building on that same theme and adding more holiday home decor things in the mix. You remember my Soulful Spaces post right? Well we’ve made some progress and I’m finding my footing so with the holidays here, I’m excited to see what we create.

Sorting through the decorations felt really good though and started to lift the funk from earlier this week. Ever since I wrote that post, I’ve been thinking about how to lift my spirit. Not just for the holidays, but for life. It’s obvious something is going on but I’m usually such a Christmas girl at heart so the fact that I just wasn’t feeling good has been weighing on me.

'Tis the Season

As I was going through everything, I came across this ornament that made me pause. This cross is probably the most expensive ornament I’ve ever bought. It’s heavy and brass and sits at the top most branch of our tree, right in the front. I got it last year but, I honestly had forgotten about it until that moment. And when I saw it, I immediately felt at peace.

I don’t know when or why I let my mind and body become consumed with all the things of the world. I still can’t tell you exactly what has been making me feel so uneasy but what I can say for sure is that, I definitely have been letting things that don’t matter get in the way of the things that do. This cross was the thing I needed to see to pull me out of the fog and to remember the reason. Peace, love, hope, joy, and all that good stuff. ‘Tis the season.


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life

Feelings…

Feelings

Aptly titling this one feelings because I’ve said the word “feel” more times than normal for me. I’m sure you know by now I feel all the things all the time. And so to be fair, this is no different…just more. 

***

I truly was not ready for the holidays this year. If we take it back to October, I was the mom telling my kiddos that we were going to make Halloween costumes and it would be epic. We had plans. Lists and details and all those things. And yet, I found myself rushing down the aisles of Party City on Halloween (cringe) buying the last of a too small minion costume and an over priced lego one. I feel like we had barely finished up the last candy from the very brief walk around the neighborhood (that I basically had to drag myself out of bed to do) before Thanksgiving was here.

I had been toying with the idea of heading to the mountains for the weekend. Ditching the “traditional” thing that’s never really been tradition for me all. Growing up in a blended/broken(?) family means every year, you’re bound to end up somewhere for else for the holidays. I had visions of spending the weekend in a cabin by a fire with the husband, kids, food, and wine. Sounds magical right? But I just thought about it, tricking myself into thinking I had more time than I did. And once it became too late for that to be a reality, or at least, that’s what I told myself, I had settled on just having a small dinner at home. I’ve only cooked Thanksgiving dinner once before and really enjoyed it so it seemed like a good idea. Until there I was the Monday before with no menu, no groceries, and stressed with some work we’re doing on our kitchen. We wound up ditching that plan too.

Now, here I am feeling like Christmas will be here in the blink of an eye. By this time, I typically have up all the decorations, am playing Christmas music all day long, and making plans for the family to enjoy this month. We celebrate Kwanzaa too so the last couple weeks of December are always my favorite. And yet, here I am, feeling like I have been all season, so behind. Unprepared. Not ready.

I’m not sure where the magic has gone this season. I feel like this is just another page in this weird chapter of my life that I’ve been reading.

Maybe it’s perspective. Maybe it’s intentions. Maybe it’s a disconnect. Most likely it’s a combination of the three. Looking at life, my journey, and my present through a jaded lens. Having the wrong intentions behind my actions. And the huge disconnect between what I want and what I actually do. I feel like this has been a season with the recurring message of “doing the most and getting nothing done” or “doing the most and getting nowhere” or “doing the most of the wrong things”.

I’m not sure how to fix it, but I recognize it’s there. I feel like I need to make a major change. I can feel it in the pit of my stomach and thoughts about what exactly that change may be have been running wild in my mind.

I hope none of this sounds ungrateful. The truth of how blessed I am and God’s grace is not lost on me. There’s just something going on beneath the surface that has me feeling a bit lost and I’m praying I find my way soon. For now, I’ll look towards the season of magic and wonder in hopes it’ll light the way.


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life

Soulful Spaces: Home

Soul Spaces: Home
It’s funny how creativity works. It’s magical, of course, the way it can manifest in a person. How it shows up in many forms, unique to the individual. For some it’s visuals, others it’s words. And others still it’s art, music, or design. For some unicorns it shows up as all of the above. And for others, one area can can be full of beautiful creativity and another completely absent of it. The last one is me with writing and interior design. I can tell and create these stories that conjure up beautiful images…But translating that same creativity when it comes to actual beauty in my home is next to impossible.

Home. I’ve been thinking about that for awhile. Because our house doesn’t really feel like a home to me. It doesn’t tell our story. It’s not full of warmth. There aren’t any pieces of our lives, memories, or experiences. It doesn’t feel lived in. Doesn’t feel loved.

And for a homebody like me, where home is my sanctuary and sacred space…the disconnect is becoming harder to ignore.

In thinking about how to transform our house into the a home, I have to take a real intentional approach. Because this is not something that comes naturally to me, but it’s something that’s important. I used to approach design the way the professionals do. With labels. Which, if we’re being honest, makes no sense because I’m a person who despises labels. And so it never worked. I could never really see it. But, since I’m much better with words than I am with design, I figured I’d start there. Instead of what style I wanted our home to look like, I asked myself what words come to mind when I think about what I want our home to feel like?

I want our home to embody: Love, Warmth, Soul & Life.

The Colors | I see wood, earth tones against soft white walls. Leafy greens, earthy browns, burnt oranges, and subtle yellow. The occasional pop of color where least expected.

The Details | I see family photos with VSCO A5 vibes. I see plants and lots of them. Soft textures, textiles, and open space. And places for creating, learning, and living.

The Vibe | I see lots of natural light (I’m thankful) and pieces of our life. Travel memoirs and coffee table books for the culture.

That feels good to me. That’s what I want our home to feel like. And with that, I’m off to create our soulful space called home. Know of any designers or shops with home decor I might vibe with? Please let me know, if so. I’ll tell them you sent me. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.