Heart.

Balance, Clarity, Desire, Heart, Inspiration, Intution

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Our hearts are imprisoned for just one reason: The only language they can speak is truth. Unlike the mind, which can be persuaded to accept the most bizarre ideas (“Look, it’s the Hale-Bopp comet! Time to kill yourself!), your heart tells it like it is, without bothering to be tactful or socially appropriate. Free hearts rock boats, break rules, do things that disrupt the system—whether that system is a dysfunctional family, a bloated bureaucracy, or the whole wide world. –Martha Beck

I’ve come to realize one of the main reasons for my anxiety is the conflict between my mind and heart.

I never knew until recently the true difference in the two life energy sources, I just accepted the fact that my mind was telling me what my heart was saying.

There is a shift now where I am listening to my heart more and more and ignoring my mind.

My brain is composed of past hurts, failures, society expectations, negative thoughts, memories: although there is a ton of positive stuff, too.

It’s simply time to hear my heart out first and tune out the ever rampant not-so-truthful brain.

Unfortunately, my heart is quiet. I’m ready to listen but it is silenced. That is because I have imprisoned my heart for so long. I’ve told it to hush! I’ve tried to rationalize against my heart.

I’m opening up the communication slowly and will listen to every tiny whisper.

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The Shopping Pause

Capsule Wardrobes, Debt, Minimalist Shopping, Second-Hand, Second-Hand Shopping, Simplicity, Thrift Shopping

The Shopping Pause is something that I have had to practice and learn over time in my simplifying journey. I like to think of it as smart, intentional, frugal, and fun. I have always been an impulse decision maker – and my shopping habits reflected that. It resulted in over-crowed closets, unhappiness in my wardrobe, buyers remorse, and debt.

Now, I shop for discounted items and second-hand.

This type of shopping took a while to get the hang of, but is perfect for my new lifestyle.

Today, I was on the hunt for a new pair of blue jeans. My current pair had a button that broke off and was not fixable. I wear blue jeans all the time and knew this was something that I needed back in my wardrobe.

So, I shopped online at Target and found a pair of blue jeans on clearance! Yay! It was only $10.00 so I thought, no harm done. Well, then Target required a $25 checkout for free shipping. So I spent over an hour trying to find enough things I ‘need’ to make up for the shipping cost.

My cart was upped to $28 just so I could get enough ‘stuff’ for my true mission which was originally one pair of discounted jeans.

I decided to use the Shopping Pause before checking out and getting the carted items. I let my account just sit until my lunchbreak without buying.

Then, I went up the road to a local thrift store. I told myself, that if I didn’t find a pair of jeans there, I would checkout my Target order when I got back.

On the way to the thrift shop, I realized just how pissed I am at Target anyway. I am currently trying to pay off my credit card and they charged me an interest fee of $25 just this past month. TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS out of the $30 I paid went to interest.

Fuming about that, but also excited to hunt down a new pair of jeans at the thrift store, I searched through the rack. In all of about 5 minutes I found a new pair of Silver Jeans for $7.99.

silver

I tried them on and they fit perfectly and had zero flaws. These bad-boys are $85 brand new at Buckle.

Needless to say, I checked out very happy and even more happy that I paused before rushing my order and getting items that I truly didn’t need.

Shopping second-hand is the number one way that I am paying off debt quickly and also fulfilling my capsule wardrobe. I like my stuff smart, simple, stylish, and nice – and I intend to keep it that way!

How to Cultivate Positive Manifestation

Clarity, De-Clutter, Gentle Change, Meditate, Meditation, Minimalism, Passion Statements, Positive Manifestation, Positive Thinking, Simplicity

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I have tried to de-bunk positive manifestation for years. I truly wanted to believe that we just ride the waves of life and drudge through even if it is by the hairs on our head. But there is something great to this positive-thinking and positive manifestation energy.

Have you noticed when you are down in the dumps, so many things seem to go wrong. The longer the negativity, the worse it seems. One small thing leads to another and before you know it, you can barely get out of bed in the morning. Forget having any motivation whatsoever for fear that the sky might actually fall.

I’ve had been in that state for a really long time. When I was younger, I recall constantly pulling inner strength from positivity. I would purposefully be positive even in the worst of situations. I felt good. Even thought there were trials and hard times, I was still on the up and had plenty of energy to deal with whatever came my way.

Over time, that positivity dwindled down to sub zero. I’m not sure where the turn happened. At that point,I was in the dumps, and literally every day was a struggle. It was like, every where I turned something went wrong. My life seemed like it was in mass chaos and over time, it beat me down – way down.

I gave up on being positive, because honestly, I didn’t have the strength for a single positive thought because I felt it would just be a waste of what mental and physical energy I had left.

One day, I felt that I had to make a change. My plan was to simplify my life so that I had that extra energy to express positivity again. I had to get my thoughts back. My luck had run out and there was only one way to turn: I would turn my life around and get rid of the negative roadblocks and replace it with positive manifestation.

Since there is no manual for a person to follow when changing mindset, I just had to wing it.

My life is no where near perfect now, but the simple changes made along with some serious positive thinking (even when I don’t feel like it) has made a huge difference.

How to Cultivate Positive Manifestation

  1. Change Mindset: This is sneaky because doing it for one day will not give you the immediate results you so need. It takes time. Be forgiving of yourself and allow plenty of grace. When you know you must change your thought pattern and admit to yourself that you need to switch thinking: that’s the first step. Begin by saying out loud a mantra like; “I am a positive thinker” “Today will be an amazing day” “I will laugh at my trials and enjoy this day” “I am successful.” Don’t discount the cheesiness. It’s important.
  2. Remove Distractions: This takes time, but begin removing things that bring you down. For instance: I deactivated my Facebook, I created an entirely new Pinterest account for complete inspiration and positivity, I no longer watch the news or depressing topics, I’ve added yoga to my day instead of scrolling online. You are what you eat: food as well as what you take in every day. Replace negativity with positivity, and with time you will reap the benefit.
  3. De-Clutter: If you have possessions in your home that are no longer serving you, it will take it’s toll. The less you have, the less you have to maintain. Begin getting rid of things that you don’t believe useful or beautiful. Start with one room at a time; or if that’s too much, one drawer at a time. Make it a positive experience. Thank every item you get rid of for serving you at one time or another and then let go. For instance: I got rid of my craft supplies and sewing machine because I felt guilty for not making time for crafting. The truth was, I didn’t want to make the time and didn’t want to spend time that way any more. I had fun in years past, but it’s not me anymore. Now, I only keep hobbies and items that serve me today, not Yesterday’s-Me or Future-Me.
  4. Reconnect: Reconnect with your spirituality or relationships that you may have been neglecting. Pray, meditate, or phone a long lost friend. Focusing on others and spirituality will give you a deeper sense of life and remind you of your values and priorities
  5. Time Out: Take a time out every day for yourself. It may be brief at first, but clear distractions and spend time getting to know your hopes and dreams again. Breathe. Rest. Focus.
  6. Passion Statement: Create a passion statement where you bring your priorities to life. Be clear on what is important to you. Begin getting rid of people or things that is blocking your way so you can get down to the good stuff.
  7. Fuel: Fuel up on good food, good rest, and good memories. Give your body a good rest and fuel to do good work. Not taking care of yourself is a sure way to get down and sickly. Begin by making choices that benefit you instead of take away.
  8. Be That Person: Probably most important of all actually be true to yourself and behave in accordance. You want to eat better? Eat better today. You want to be a runner? Run. You want to write? Start a blog. You want to be positive? Think and intake positivity.

It’s easy to get down on ourselves, but making better choices that benefit us each and every day pay off in the end. If you would like to change your mindset, start right now. Stick with it until it becomes a habit and you see your past negative self dwindle away.

Start Over & Rebuild

Clarity, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Meditation, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity, Sugar-Free Recipes

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Life’s experiences, choices, and decisions all have a way of compacting over time. One decision leads to the next, and so forth. It can become really heavy with time if we do not let go of some of the past, so that way we may grow and adapt as we age.

Some choices in letting go may bring up a tinge of guilt; perhaps you feel obligated to hang on to a relationship or item just because you spent time or money on it at some point. But, if you are in a rut, or are feeling weighed down by life in general, it may be time to let it go.

If something or someone is holding you back and no longer serving you, it’s OK to start over and begin anew. That is the beauty of growing, adapting, and changing. It is totally natural to begin fresh.

If you have met your match and feel like you are carrying the world on your shoulders, it may be time to shake it up a bit.

How to let go and start fresh

  1. Meditate: I’m not talking about sitting on a pillow with incense. I’m talking about getting some time to yourself to really inspect your insides and heart. You need to calm the outside world and internal noise long enough to really admit where you are and what you would like to change. This doesn’t have to happen in one day. As a matter of fact, it may take a really long time. But, if you are wanting the weight of the world lifted, you must put yourself first for a while and get clear on your mission.

2. Be Honest: Admit that you are not on the path you would like to be on. It’s OK, we all have been there a million times. Just because we are on one path doesn’t mean we have to stick with it if it’s no longer doing any good. Admitting that you are not happy with your current state is the best way to motivate change.

3. Dream: Having hopes and dreams can get lost in the chaos of a busy life. We get in that rut or that grind for so long taking care of families, jobs, chores, and children until we are buried under the dirt. It’s time to dig out and dig out fast. Give yourself permission to dream of where you want to be. It is reality that you can be that person if you begin dreaming again. Start a dream board, star gaze, focus on your desires with absolutely no guilt whatsoever for a change.

4. Start: Perhaps the scariest step of all, but when you get clear on the path you want to explore, and let go of extra baggage weighing you down – start. It doesn’t matter where you start because there is no perfect solution. Once you begin and have success, you may tackle the next obstacle.

5. Journey: Change doesn’t have to be drudgery. Plan to set yourself up for success. Start a blog or journal. Invite creative vibes and exploration in your journey. Call it an experiment. Write a book. You are free to change as many times as you wish. Welcome failure, that’s where you learn the most. And if you do fail (and probably will), keep going. Your only competition is YOU. The one looking back in the mirror. It’s not your friends, spouse, parents, or children competing with you. You owe it to yourself to have a little fun in life and be that person you want to be.

I wanted to talk about this because I have attempted change a million times in the past and failed. Then I let guilt get to me. I felt like I was letting everyone down. But, with a little grace and practice mixed with some perseverance and humor, change can be welcomed and fun. Life doesn’t always have to be so serious.

So, if you were wanting to make a change today – you know, that little voice that is saying disappointing things in  your ear all day every day? Tell it to hush and get to work.

It’s a new day, today. Seize it. And you know what? Tomorrow will be a fresh start too. That is the biggest gift of sunrise. A new day to change, make a difference, to love, and to enjoy. And when you lie down at night, take a breath, let it all go and start again tomorrow.

Multi-Season Capsule Wardrobe: A Clean Slate

Capsule Wardrobes, Gentle Change, Letting Go, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

Sometimes along our journey we have what I like to call a good problem to have. Those are the best types of problems even though they require a little finagling to work around.

You see, I’ve been living with less since the beginning of the year. Slowly but surely, I am weeding out the unnecessary so that I may enjoy the best of the best.  Three of my simplifying focuses have collided and require attention:

  • Weight Loss
  • Capsule Wardrobe
  • Spending less

The good news is that I have lost 40 pounds! The bad is that all of my clothing in my current summer capsule no longer fit. I’ve been donating my clothing throughout this last year: got down to the bare bones, created a capsule and now, I have worn them as long as I can. In an effort to spend less, I have been enjoying my clothes and wearing them as long as possible. But it got to the point where I was overall frumpy. My capsule wasn’t cohesive enough to be practical, and my clothes were swallowing me whole.

Since my solution is not to gain the weight back, I had to dip into my ‘spending less’ focus.

This is a good problem and I handled it the best way possible by getting rid of the majority of my current too-big frumpy clothes, starting over, and most of all:

buying second-hand.

This has allowed me to stay in line with all that I am trying to accomplish.

I spent $80.00 total and now have a complete, cohesive, workable, multi-season capsule wardrobe.

I present to you my new multi-season capsule wardrobe! I plan on this carrying over into fall by adding a few pieces here and there to battle the cooler weather in the near future.

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I am really excited about this capsule. It shows my personality along with a palette that is a neutral, with just enough detail and color to not be so monotone and boring. It is also easily functional throughout most of the seasons; only needing to add warmer pieces when needed.

Last night I felt so free letting go of the old me. I was able to rid myself of the clothing that no longer served me with absolutely no hesitation. I kept a few pieces that I love and added new second-hand pieces giving those thrifted items a new and fabulous second life!

Minimalism isn’t about deprivation and rules. It is about functionality and loving what you have. It’s also about spending wisely and being your best self. It’s OK to edit your life – clothing, relationships, hobbies, careers – as a matter of fact, it’s imperative because human beings are ever-changing.

What’s important is knowing that it’s OK to let go to the past. You have no obligation to keep everything you have ever acquired.

Welcome a clean slate.

You have permission to start over however many times you wish so that you may fully live, enjoy, and love all that was meant for pure joy.

How Will You Spend Your One Life?

Free Spirit, Minimalism

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How would you answer the question:

“So, tell me how you plan to spend this one beautiful-crazy life of yours?”

It doesn’t matter where you are in your life. The question is: how are you going to spend it?

For the last 30ish years of my life, I’ve never really given this question serious thought because I’ve been spending my time on auto-pilot and following the crowd.

For reasons unknown, when we meet a stranger we don’t really want to know anything more about them than where it is they work and where they rank on the status scale.

Well, we all have the ability to just show up at a job and work the cog in the wheel now don’t we? All of us can just jump in line and go with the crowd.

It doesn’t really set us apart much more than the actual name of the company you work for.

The question should really be deeper:

How are you going to spend this one life of yours?

Are you going to spend it behind a computer screen? Are you going to continue going to your auto-pilot job to stay afloat? Will you continue to dread your alarm clock and traffic and stress?

Or, can you realize that today is a clean slate? We can change directions and go after what are heart is telling us to do.

You don’t have to do the same thing you did yesterday. You can be someone new: that someone that you always wanted to be. That can be you. That can be me, too.

Slow Down: Sacrifice for Impact

Clarity, Debt, Free Spirit, Gentle Change, Minimalism, Minimalist

impact

It’s so easy to forget our mission in life when busyness, procrastination, clutter, and to-do-lists overtake our time. It seems a majority of us are in the cycle and it seems there is no way out. At some point, we accept it and just call it ‘adulthood.’ And once we name it, we own it. We tick through the rest of our life vaguely aware of our surroundings. Guilt seeps in when we want to take time for ourselves. We become weak, agitated, frustrated, and overwhelmed. We continue at this pace because we are supposed to.

I’d like to meet the person who told all of use that we have to live this way.

Because I truly think this ‘person’ does not exist at all.

This ‘person’ could be society. We feel that we have to compete with others and one-up our status. This one-upmanship is also known as Keeping-Up-With-The-Jones. Sure, we all agree that this keeping-up is not the best way to live – but if we are honest, we live that way anyway.

Our Facebook post has to look cuter than someone else’s. Our car has to look fancy so we can show everyone that we do, in fact, have a job and are contributing to the pot of society. The American Dream is being lived, y’all! But at the end of the day it’s no dream at all. We know it deep down, but we can’t break this cycle because we don’t want to come across as lazy, unfit, or less-than.

So, debt and possession rule our lives. It comes in between us and our families. We have no friends, because we have to work ourselves to the bone to pay for that new loveseat. It’s cute though, but unfortunately we don’t have time to host friends over because we are at work. And when we aren’t at work, we are at home cleaning, organizing, and moving around our stuff.

When our friends ask us how we have been or what we’ve been up to lately we respond:

Busy.

Yes, we have been busy. We’ve been busy trying to create a lucrative life at the hands of our employer. We’re busy thinking about acquiring a luxury lifestyle and living beyond our means.

We haven’t been busy contributing to what’s most important, which I feel safe to say is:

  • Family
  • Helping
  • Serving
  • Resting
  • Relaxing
  • Creating
  • Wanderlusting
  • Traveling
  • Exploring

Those are my most important things in life. And I’ve neglected those things for far too long.

It takes time to shift to a more simple, deliberate, slow lifestyle. But, when we realize that we need to change our path and begin to clear the distractions: clutter, busyness, overwhelm, we can gain clarity and shift focus to what’s truly important.

We won’t be remembered for our career, but we will be remembered for our impact.

There’s more to life than just paying bills and then you die.

I’m not willing to sacrifice my life for stuff and status. I am however, willing to sacrifice my life for change, memories, and impact.

I’m Wearing Black Because it Makes Sense

Capsule Wardrobes, Gentle Change, Minimalism, Minimalist, Simple Life, Simplicity

There’s a lot of talk among aspiring minimalists and oodles of Pinterest examples of the Capsule Wardrobe. I’ve read up on it and have been inspired for a really long time to make my own capsules and ditch the excess.

It’s been a really positive experience so far, and even when I think I have my capsule perfect, something else sparks my interest and that’s OK, too.

Earlier this week, I got super excited and inspired by a post called Why I Wear the Same Thing Every Day and it’s like everything just clicked in my mind as far as my wardrobe goes.

It’s true, most of our well-known famous world-changers wear the same thing every day. They have their ‘signature look’ and keep their look simple and streamlined so that they can focus on important stuff, instead of wasting energy on the not-so-important daily decisions such as what they will be wearing that day.

In the grand scheme of things, I think it’s safe to say that our clothes is not all that important, huh?

If you had of asked me last year if I would have felt this way this year I would have looked at you like you had 6 heads.

I’m a girl that has always kept up with fashion, and have been proud that I dress a little different or outside the lines a bit. I don’t know why, really but I have a hunch that society and highschool may have planted some type of seed that our clothes are more important than anything.

So, many years and much debt and unhappiness in shopping and wasting money on clothing later:

I’ve adopted a capsule and a self-imposed work uniform.

Drumroll please….

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Yep, that’s a dark pair of jeans and a black shirt.

I showed how I broke up my capsule into work and weekend the other day.

It just so happens that I had (3) black shirts in my capsule/closet anyway so it makes sense to me that I’ll be wearing black mostly with my one pair of jeans. What? One pair? Yes.

And I have a few other shirts that I might rotate in. But then again, maybe not because just a simple black shirt seems pretty dang flawless to me. Black and dark colors are slimming and it’s classic. They don’t show dirt and smudges or nasty pit stains. It’s solid so there’s no question does this print go with that print. I mean, can this even be messed up or go wrong? I can’t imagine so.

Also, I figured I would have a work uniform hair do’ too, because why not? It’s just pinned back with bobby pins so I no longer will have to use heated products to style or fight humidity in this hellish Alabama summer heat.

This hairstyle is pretty much the easiest thing ever.

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After 3 days of wearing a black shirt and the same pair of dark jeans not one person in my sphere has commented. That tells me that even the closest of loved ones could care less about what I’m wearing.

They say to dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.

Well, my friends:

A Bachelor’s Degree in Business and 10 years of career hunting and climbing ladders and layoffs and playing office politics later, I can say without question that dressing for the job you want is paramount.

Which is why I am dressing simply and in jeans. Because if my job requires me to use my clothing as my leverage in life, then that’s no job I want at all.

That’s playing games and I don’t have time for that.

I’ve been there done that and thank God out of those situations.

My current job is a good one and I can dress like this if I want to.

And I do.

Have You Seen My Balls?

Free Spirit

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So, just wondering if you or anyone else has seen my balls?

I meditate a lot these days, and one recurring theme keeps coming back nearly every time I clear my head and focus:

Where in the hell did your balls go?

Did you give them away?

What have you been so afraid of?

It’s imperative that you either get your balls back from whomever or whatever you gave them to, or grow a new set – a better set, quickly.

Just to clear the record: I am female and I’m not talking about actual testicles.

Balls are something we all have deep down. It’s that yearning, hopeful, self-preserving, primal gusto that somehow gets buried and dissolved into nothingness after so many of life’s slip-ups.

We own our balls. No one can ‘take’ them, yet we freely give them away to our spouse, family, friends, marketing tactics, employers, and society in general. It’s like, we forget who we are because somewhere along the line we decided to be straight-up people pleasers all the time and God forbid we actually look out for ourselves for one minute. Do we just go a long with the crowd to ‘fit in’ or to not step on someone’s toes?

I am totally not about being hateful, rude, or anything like that. It’s just, don’t we have dreams to follow here? Don’t we have an actual life to live?

I’d like to get my balls back or at least grow a pair pretty dang soon. I have a great feeling that once that happens, I can get some serious dream-work done.

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?