You Have Permission

Clarity, Free Spirit, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simple Life, Simplicity

metanoia

As human beings we want to connect to others and use words to describe how we feel.

This is hard for me sometimes, because some things that I feel inside my heart are so profound that I can’t find the right words to bring it to life.

It doesn’t seem right to say that I’m just:

  • De-cluttering
  • Simplifying
  • Becoming minimalist
  • Going natural
  • Making room for priorities
  • Spending less
  • Saving more
  • Getting out of debt

and most of all

Living daily for who and what is most important in my life.

I found the word that describes my journey and I want to share because perhaps you feel it gyrating deep in your bones too.

METANOIA

We don’t have to be who we were yesterday. We don’t have to live on auto-pilot anymore. You have permission to let go, spread your wings, and be who your heart is telling you to be.

How-To and What to Expect with No ‘Poo

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simple Life, Simplicity

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We all have done experiments and changed our behaviors at some point or another. So, we know we can do it, it’s just a matter of doing it.

I’ve changed my behavior approximately 9,000,000,000 times in the last thirty-something years. Some of my changes stick, other’s don’t. We all change minute to minute throughout our lives, and that’s totally OK.

In recent posts I talked about my no/lo poo journey. This clearly doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does to me. It’s something worth experimenting because:

  • I want to save money instead of wasting it on beauty products
  • I want to spend less time primping in the mornings
  • I want to be OK with my natural, authentic self

That’s really the main motives behind this.

A lot of other’s are experimenting with the switch to no/lo poo as well. This is why if your interest is peaked and you go to research, there is so much information available that, quite honestly, makes it seem intimidating.

That’s because what works for one person, doesn’t for another. One person has xyz result and not the other.

So you are kind of frozen not knowing where to start because you simply don’t know what to do and are afraid of the outcome.

What I personally didn’t read a lot of was the honest-to-God truth about what to expect when doing the switch. It made me very leery at first because I know good and dang well that not everyone who does it has that much success, right?

I mean, I have lived long enough to just know better.

And so have you, which is why you may be scared to even try it.

How to start and what to expect:

Decision: You have to want to do this. It’s different from what you’ve always done. Years worth of sudsing up with commercial shampoo has created an exhilarating showering experience every, single day of your life for as long as you have known. If you go no ‘poo – you will not have this experience. You won’t be using shampoo so there won’t be any sudsing or bottled scents wafting in the shower any more.

If you decide to plunge, can you handle it? I mean, it sounds silly but seriously? Can you handle it?

If you are stuck in your decision process and just can’t make up your mind but still want to try it, there’s only one thing to do at this point:

Say eff-it and do it.

Get in the shower and don’t wash your hair.

Expectations: Please don’t expect to fall in love with your hair on this day. It’s going to feel grimy and oily and unmanageable. That’s because you aren’t used to having hair unwashed. Your hair is in shock because it’s actually being left alone for the first time in your life. It’s wanting to run free and roam the meadows.

Let it.

Just like any other change, getting used to unwashed hair takes time. It’s going to feel weird like you ‘forgot something’ and it’s not going to feel the same. You may feel self conscious because you are rocking some unwashed locks.

Don’t expect to style it the same way. At first, it would be wise to have a plan B on styling that day. For me, I twist it back with some bobby pins and go about my business.

After a few days of not washing your hair, don’t be surprised if you realize that you have never gotten to know your hair at all. It’s like a strangers head of hair and you will not know how to deal with it. Again, have a plan B until you figure it out – and you will, and I will too.

For some people, the unwashed hair stays oily for a week and for others months. You will not know how your hair will do until you try it.

Don’t be surprised if no one else on Earth even notices that you aren’t washing your hair. That will be a lightbulb moment when you realize you have been stressing over getting ‘perfect hair’ and no one else has ever cared but you.

Get excited that you will feel free and rebellious like a child that isn’t minding over-bearing adults. It’s like you are getting away with something you aren’t supposed to do. Because, after all, doesn’t everybody over-wash their hair? Doesn’t everybody continue to make commercial shampoo companies super rich while we spend hours a week primping in front of a mirror and spending oodles of our hard earned money unnecessarily?

No. Not everybody.

Don’t be surprised that after not washing your hair for several days that you start to love your natural self and question why you have ever put that kind of time in effort into your hair. You may question why you’ve been manipulating circumstances so much that you have totally ruined a perfectly good set of hair by constantly messing with it.

You may even realize that you are wild and free at heart and it’s not your problem if other people have an issue with what you do with your hair.

Best of all, you may just learn to love your beautiful, primal, loving, gorgeous, authentic self and just be happy with the way things are un-controlled.

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And sometimes, having crazy hair – don’t care is the best way to have it after all. Wild and free. Rebellious and empowered. Loved and loving.

Don’t Stress: No ‘Poo

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Minimalist, Natural Beauty, No 'Poo / Lo 'Poo, Simple Life, Simplicity

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I was really reluctant to ‘go there’ today with a no ‘poo post, but I do want to talk about it, so here I am.

Several months ago I toyed around with the no ‘poo buzz.

I updated my journey when I started this blog explaining the benefits of ditching commercial shampoo. After doing it for a while, I had to adjust to the transition because my hair would take a life of it’s on every, single day. Between the smell of hair – yep, it doesn’t stink, but hair smells like hair – and my fight with heated tools, I gave in and started washing my hair every day.

Although I felt it necessary to clean my hair everyday, I have continued using all natural shampoo and conditioner (store bought). In my dreams I would be using the baking soda and ACV rinse but I’m not there yet.

So, I’ve been doing that in the meantime until this past weekend.

It’s been 4 days since I have washed my hair, at all. Not even water, people! (I feel like I have to add here that I have bathed my body with soap).

It wasn’t intentional. I was swimming, playing with my daughter, lounging around, designing on my etsy shop, and shooting guns at the hunting club to bond with my Boo.

I figured that since I was so free-spirited that I wouldn’t worry with my hair.

Lo and behold:

It is not oily. It is not dry. It is not nasty.

I’m thinking that it has finally transitioned over time by using all natural shampoo and conditioner.

So, this post isn’t a how-to guide, it’s to inspire!

If my crazy hair can eventually transition, anyone’s can. Everyone’s hair is different and there are so many ways to no/lo poo. It’s about sticking with it, not stressing, and focusing on something else in the meantime.

As of now, I’m just gonna rock along until I have to wash it. It also helps I have a new self-imposed work uniform hair style. Until then:

No poo it is…again!

Take a Chance, Make a Change

Capsule Wardrobes, Clarity, De-Cluttering, Debt, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Meditation, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simple Life, Simplicity, Yoga

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We have a chance to make numerous choices every, single day. There comes a point though, when maybe our auto-pilot life becomes comfortable. Boring, stagnant, and comfortable. We realize beneath it all something is lacking. Our joy has been squelched due to the day-to-day demands that we dictate to ourselves. We measure our worth based on checking off the to-do-list and then beating ourselves up when we simply can’t accomplish it all.

That’s a rut. It’s a tough one to admit to, and a stickler to dig out of.

That’s where I was just a few short months ago. I started running – not walking – in the opposite direction.

It was time to take a risk: I have to change and take some risks, here. 

This realization and admittance that I am in fact, not Super Woman was a little hard to come to grips with, but there was truth beneath the surface.

I don’t want to be Super Woman.

I don’t want to be living in chaos. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed and full of anxiety. I want peace and joy.

The contrast between the two are pretty drastic.

That means I have to open my mind and try different solutions to my struggle.

Day by day, my slow changes are really easing my anxiety and happiness is finally creeping in. I do things a little differently now by:

  1. Getting rid of excess and clutter for clarity and less wasted time on organizing and picking up.
  2. Removing social media from my life so I can focus on myself and what’s important.
  3. Thinking positively by meditating and appreciating what I have and where I’m going.
  4. Letting go of other people’s behavior and my past.
  5. Changing daily chores: I hang clothes to dry, use less dishes and hand-wash when done, put things back where they belong, and let it go when I want to do something else.
  6. Eating well helps me feel energized and lose excess pounds.
  7. Paying off debt by getting my finances in order and stop useless spending.
  8. Daily Yoga helps my body stretch and tone as well as a great way to integrate balance in my life.
  9. Being conscious of my beauty routine where less is definitely more.
  10. Creating a capsule wardrobe so my style is consistent and less stressful when getting ready and wasting money filling the gaps for sake of fashion.

These 10 changes have taken time. I began slowly and deliberately and have really tried to understand myself and my past along the way. It’s been my saving grace in the stickabilty to a major life change like this one.

Knowing you need to make a change and then taking the plunge can be scary. But there is nothing to fear. You can always go back to the way things were before. I mean, what’s there to lose?

Financial Boss: Part 2

De-Cluttering, Financial Boss Series, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simplicity

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This is Part 2 of the Financial Boss series.

Within 24 hours I went from reactive to PROactive about telling my money where to go.

Because there are so many internet articles on how to budget, and how people deal with their personal finances, I want to tell a little bit about my history.

I opened up my own checking account when I was 19. Before then, I only made a little money at odd jobs and spent it all on clothes, of course. With time, my account would fill up with money, whether from work or from student loans through college. I never had a budget, I just knew I would be getting this much and could only spend so much.

This left my account empty for many, many years.

As I got older, I started working full-time and slowly began making more money, but also paying bills. I got a car, student loan debt, cell phone, gas, and insurance. I managed my bills the same as I always did: I received so much money a week, and owed so much money a month. I just knew not to spend more than I made.

Easy enough.

Then, time went on and I switched careers, got married, had a baby, and bought a house along with more bills on top of my ‘early years’ bills. I continued making more money, but increasing the money that I owed by buying more stuff. At this point, my credit card debt was minimal, and if I ever used credit cards, I paid it off quick. I knew how much I made, how much I owed in fixed bills, and then I wouldn’t charge more than I could pay off quickly to credit cards.

Insert AWESOME credit score here.

I didn’t have a hardcore budget in place at this time. I just made sure I wasn’t going in the hole. This made it possible for me to pay all my bills on time, with just enough discretionary to get what I needed. However, no money was leftover at the end of the month and I had no idea where my money was going. But, I continued on in a reactive approach. My bills were autodrafted on time, and I just didn’t spend a lot on frivious things. Still, I had no idea where my money was going. I just knew I had zero at the end of the month and nothing to save.

Insert JOB LAYOFF here.

Oh man.

I got laid off last year. Since my finances were stretched to paycheck to paycheck I certainly couldn’t pay my bills. I don’t know if you are familiar with unemployment income…but it’s not enough to pay the basics such as a mortgage or car. It’s better than nothing or you would surely starve to death, but beware: if you have debt over $800 a month you are about to spiral down to a hot mess just like I did.

Insert CREDIT CARD purchases here.

Because I couldn’t afford diapers for my child.

Now, this is extreme and I don’t take fault for this part, but it changed the way I view my current expenses.

Insert TRASHED credit score here.

If we are not prepared for the worst, the government will not cover your expenses even if you live ‘modestly’ as I do. By modest I mean: a modest house, car, and insurance. Forget it.

So, I am now trying to pay off my debt, reduce my expenses, and find out ways to survive on my own should this ever happen again. Like, gardening, savaging and the like. Sounds extreme right? Well, not really.

What would you do if you lost your job? Or, if you stay home and husband/wife supports the fam, what would you do if he/she left?

It’s something to think about, for sure. I always put those thoughts out of my mind so I wouldn’t be scared about my future.

But if disaster strikes, we need to be prepared.

This is what inspired me to boss my money, instead of letting it take on a life of it’s own without my direction.

Part 3 will discuss my first steps in de-cluttering my wallet/credit cards and getting a game plan in order.

Financial Boss: Part 1

Clarity, Debt, Financial Boss Series, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Minimalist, Money, Simplicity

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It totally happened yesterday.

I am now in charge of my finances aka THE BOSS.

Financial advice is totally rampant on the internet because so many of us live reactive to our money.

I want to share with you how I went from reactive to proactive in 24 hours. Sounds to good to be true? Well, it is and it a’int. It was a long day yesterday getting my finances in order:

but I went to bed PROactively in charge of my money last night. 

I’m going to break up this explanation in parts because it is a little lengthy. I want to share my personal history and background and then tell you how my strategy changed drastically.

It’s not a magic potion or fix-all. It’s just a financially lazy, simple girl’s way of shaking up the way I do things and TELLING my money where to go.

You may be in the same place, but scared to make a change. It is kind of scary, but when you have your mind made up that you must do things differently, take risks, and are in an energetic, positive mental state: It can be done.

So, follow along if you want to hear about it. It’s time for change and it’s time to be the boss.

For starters:

That picture above was my stack of credit cards as of yesterday. Wow. Let’s just say that it has reduced drastically as of today, only 24 hours later.

We run things, Things don’t run we

Free Spirit, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Minimalism, Simplicity, Yoga

I have this really amazing playlist I made for my yoga practice. It’s not ocean sounds and birds chirping like you would imagine (although, I love that too and need the zen sometimes as well). This particular list has songs like:

Radioactive

Boom Clap

Holla Back Girl

We Can’t Stop

I’m So Fancy

You know, just your basic ‘gettin’ into it’ music. Anyway, I am who I am and I like a little funk and pop while I fold into a pretzel sometimes.

In the middle of my side crow pose, We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus came on.

Now, what do me and Miley Cyrus have in common you may be wondering?! Not a damn thing. Except the lyric:

We run things, Things don’t run we

It hit me then that my things: whether it is my material possessions, stress, guilt, shame, fear, frustration, other people’s behaviors, finances: have all been ‘running’ me for far too long.

In truth, I AM THE ONE WHO RUNS THINGS, not the other way around. I am taking the power back to my center. I am taking control back over my heart and mind. I am choosing what I do and what I allow in.

This shifting is monumental and also necessary for change. 

So, thank you Miley for allowing me to get deeper into my poses, have some fun while I sweat, and reminding me that it is WE who run things.

A De-Cluttering Past

De-Cluttering, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism

I stumbled across the idea of minimalism when I found the website zenhabits.net in 2007. That’s a long time ago. It was prior to Pinterest and prior to the big ‘buzz’ of the unconventional lifestyle mainstream. I remember being intrigued by the notion of how small habit changes daily, can change your life! From there, I attempted to make changes. I was young, fresh out of college, unmarried, and pretty dang hopeful.

From there, I spent years on and off of the simple life. I would declutter and be excited, then feel lost and go on a shopping binge. Just like any other addiction, really.

Then there was marriage and combining stuff and moving a few times and major life shifts.

You know, the usual.

This binging and purging of stuff and debt over the years has left me mentally, physically, and emotionally drained.

Partly because in my heart I am a simple girl. I want the simple life. I don’t want the excess and mess – but somehow society creeps in and tells me that I just have to have it to be successful.

So, I try that and in the end feel worse than I did before.

I’ve done massive, MASSIVE decluttering stunts in the past. And, I always feel better afterward. But then, I want to do DIY Pinterest crafts…so I go to the thrift store, load up, repaint and refurb, and then store the junk. Then I feel guilty.

Endless!

My last major declutter was last year after I was laid off from work. I was able to stay home for a while and thought it was a good time to get rid of some stuff.

Well…I did.

But, then I just kept it ALL down in the garage in case I needed it.

Somewhere, between then and now ALL of that junk made it’s way back upstairs and in my living space.

Now, I am decluttering the same stuff and then some again!

I don’t know about you, but it sounds pretty insane to me.

This time, I have a serious, serious rule.

What I donate and do not need gets loaded into my car and taken to the donation center right then.

It’s been working like a charm.

I’m different this time. I am focused this time. My life is slowly changing for the better.

This is where I want to be.

Enjoy the Journey Up

Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Hippie Life, Hippy Life, Letting Go, Minimalism, Simplicity

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When I was telling my best friend about the biggest, hardest, tragic, most emotional event in my life she said the comforting, lovely words to me: “Shit happens.”

Well, that was pretty blunt and why I love her so much.

Not what I wanted to hear necessarily, but it was definitely a shot of truth. Over the last few years I have tried hard to accept some truths about my situation and life as hard as it is. And then, last night I finally had a revelation. I mean, I’ve know this revelation, but somehow it just sunk in and gave me peace.

See, here in Alabama we are hardcore college football fanatics. It is serious business. And, being a University of Alabama football fan – we hear it all the time:

When you are at the top, there’s only one way to go. Down.

This is our justification for winning so many championships and taking it to heart and being spoiled so when we lose it is pretty much the end of the world. Panic strikes and there are tears and toddler tantrums from adults.

Could it be that I am tired of the swampy heat and craving some rotel dip? Probably. Or could it be that it makes sense and that my life circumstance could also apply the same concept?

I’ve been on top of the world. I busted my tail to get where I was. As far as I was concerned I had ‘made it’ and my life was about to be gravy. My hard work and conscious decisions lead me to where I wanted to go: great credit, awesome SUV, husband, cute house, baby, and a stellar job.

I mean, what else really is there?

The ‘what else is there?’ is that you can fall to the bottom quick. Should the stars not align perfectly one day, you can be knocked off the high horse. Deep down we know that can happen – I mean…who’s gonna stop that tornado from demolishing your home, or a sickness, or wreck, or any other crisis? Not me, and not you.

The problem was that I clung so hard to my life that I created. I did it. It worked out. But it was A LOT of pressure to keep it there. Constantly on the defense. Always stressing and worrying about getting knocked off.

And then it happened.

I was knocked to the bottom and nearly lost everything.

Not of any fault of my own – it just happened and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

So here I am with a mess.

But secretly (and here was my acceptance and revelation)… I am thankful.

What? How in tha? How did I do that?

Well, if you are at the top there’s only one way to go…down.

But, if you are at the bottom there is only one way to go…UP!

Yay!

I can let go of the control and pressure from the top. The top is where I was using all my energy for worry and defense and stress to stay there.

I am at the bottom and it’s an excellent way to do things differently. I can now do things the way I want and not the way society tells me I have to.

I can let go and enjoy the journey.

Because truth is, I feel the same as I did at the top except I don’t have the pressure to stay there. I can ride back up with a different set of eyes. I can create something new and beautiful. I can learn from the fall. I can learn to trust intuition and destiny.

When you have nothing to lose, you lose nothing.