Pleasure Reading 11.23.14

November 23, 2014

The witch and the inner bitch

So… this leather mason jar sleeve is seriously amazing.

11 tricks for looking fairly cute… even though it’s freezing.

Teach people how to treat you. How to write clear, loving policies for your business and life.

Damn I love this.

Defining the Well-Fed Woman.

She whispers… you may adore me once I’ve learned to adore myself.

Before we fall in love.

Love :: 8 things Ev’yan learned from fucking the same guy for 8 years.

Numbers to watch to grow your online business without going crazy – really, really smart.

Mandatory merriment.

This week I’m seeking pleasure by… bringing this column to sweet, delicious closure. Over the last seven years, I have written a Sunday delicious link wrap up almost every single Sunday, and I have decided that I need a bit of a break. Starting next week, fresh content. My content. I absolutely adore every single post that I’ve shared with you guys over the last years, but it’s time for me to make a bit of a shift. If you’re curious what I’m reading, I recommend that you skedaddle over to follow me on Facebook, where I will share things from time to time. XO

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Pleasure Reading 11.09.14

November 09, 2014

How to bring more love into your life.

Dear body: A letter of apology.

Flourless chocolate (coconute) cake. Well, yes.

Molly Crabapple’s 15 rules for creative success in the internet age.

What are you devoted to creating in the new year?

30 Days of Sensuality is a delicious new course cooked up by Ev’Yan of SexLoveLiberation.

This week I am loving up the birth of Annapurna Living.

95% of Life is Learning to Withstand Feeling.

The bravery of my friends never ceases to amaze me. This one is particularly brilliant.

I really don’t care if you think I look pretty when I run

Oh how I love Rachel Cole’s Holiday Gift Guides.

This week I’m seeking pleasure by… chicken soup, being unendingly gentle, and supporting myself with oodles of energy work and CCT healing sessions around my intentions for what’s next.

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Living on Purpose

November 03, 2014

brussels

Today, I am thrilled to share my answers to an interview with Dr. Danielle Dowling about how I live on purpose!

How do you identify your spark? Do you have any rituals that help you return to your truest, most centered self?

I define my spark as that quick, quiet moment of noticing that something has peeked my interest. For years this moment was so slight, I barely realized that it was happening. Now, I notice it in the intake of breath when something catches my eye. Or the feeling of recognition in my heart. Or the goosebumps that creep up my neck.

When that spark shows itself, I work to not second guess it. I don’t ask myself why I have a sudden desire to start painting or taking an African dance class. I don’t tell myself that I shouldn’t want to do that thing just because I have never done it before. I don’t have to make my yearning mean anything or to qualify it in anyway. I honor it because I want to live a sparkly life and that following it helps me get there.

However, I’ve noticed that it is incredibly difficult to notice my own spark if I am exhausted or overwhelmed. When I find myself feeling particularly dismal or less-than-sparkly, I find my center by taking a peek at my self-care. Do I need sleep? Am I dehydrated? Have I been eating too much sugar?

I return to my center by keeping it incredibly simple and examining my self-care on a granular level. I am kind to myself in this moment. I don’t try to do it all at once. First step, a sip of water or a nap or a delicious meal. Then, I look for the spark.

How do you not get caught up in “doing it all?”

Ha! This is so tricky! Over the last couple of years, I have cultivated a peaceful coexistence with my to do list. I  have cultivated a bit of a ritual around it where I write down the things that I want to do for the week every Sunday evening on a beautiful piece of colored paper. Then, I look at the list and ask myself a few questions…

  • Could a human being reasonably accomplish the things on this list? (Because I’m not a magician.)
  • Can I do the things that I’ve written here while also taking really good care of myself? (Because I matter.)
  • Do I really WANT to do everything that I’ve written here? (Because, if the answer is no… I will drag my feet and hate it.)

By asking myself these questions I have been able to create more reasonable, good-feeling lists. Lists that are brimming with things that are inspiring and challenging, but things that I truly want to dedicate my time to.

Here’s the thing: We cannot do it all.

Something has got to give, always. And, I have made the decision for my life to prioritize the things that are really important to me – taking care of myself, showing up fully in my relationships, and bringing the brightest version of myself to my business. If I am unable to do those things, I have to find a couple of things on my list to remove or put off for another week.

water

What are some things you’ve said ‘no’ to so you can focus on what’s most important to you? What are you currently saying ‘no’ to?

For much of my life, I prided myself on being the kind of woman who almost never said no. I would suck up my resentment and frustration, and choose the needs of others over my own needs. I would make myself small in my desires, easily palatable, because I believed for many years that my worth was defined by how much I gave to others.

However, I hated feeling frustrated and resentful. Ultimately I needed to learn a new way of showing up in my life and in my relationships, so that I could feel free to give with an open heart and not out of that enmeshed place of constant obligation.

These days, I say no to a lot of things. I try to keep my calendar as streamlined and open as possible, so that I can say yes to the book that I am writing, to my clients, and to my partner. These days, I try to say no to the things that I feel like I should do or to the things I would only be saying yes to in order to make someone else happy.

I say no whenever I need to – whenever I’m not fully on board with something.

And, I absolutely say no whenever I feel like I want to say yes so that someone would like me, because I want to be liked for who I am and not what I can do for them.

What do you always say “yes” to?

I always say yes to myself.

I say yes to resting more, playing on the beach, and going out of my way to make the most delicious food that I can imagine for myself – even if it’s only me that I’m cooking for. I say yes to the perfect cup of coffee and showers that are longer than they need to be. I say yes to the tug of my creativity, working to ply her with the resources that spark her interest. I say yes as a practice, because I have noticed that in saying yes – and granting myself permission to want what I want – I become a little bit happier and more fulfilled, everyday.

And I almost always say yes to my sweetheart.

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The Soul Sessions Blog Tour

Today I’m sharing how I live on purpose in support of my lovely friend Dr. Danielle Dowling and her new book The Soul Sessions, a 5-week guide to crafting greater joy and making big things happen. Skip on over here to check it out.

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Healing for the Inner Good Girl

October 27, 2014

The feeling is so familiar.

The gripping, churning feeling. The promise of repercussion. The flinch before the fallout. 

The moment when my bright and shiny light sprung from my carefully folded hands, trespassing against my best attempts to keep it under wraps.

For many years I skirted the dance of my ambition and my fear of shining too brightly.

I stood back against the wall, awkwardly shifting from one foot to another, as I ached with the yearning for vibrancy. As I ached to be the one in the center of the circle.

Even now I feel the cool of the brick against my back as beads of sweat gather at the remembering.

You are going to be in trouble. You’ve been found out. You’ve been bad. 

But I haven’t been bad. I’ve just been myself. 

And, the thing is, I don’t remember ever being told that I was bad.

I don’t remember ever being told that there was a right way or a wrong way to do things.

It’s as if these beliefs seeped through my permeable skin, prancing through my open gates and taking up residence in my heart.

And I was wide open for the taking.

I wanted desperately to be good. I wanted to do all of the right things. I wanted to be pleasant and lovable. I wanted to have a nice life.

I wanted to shave off my sharp edges and mold myself into something relatively inoffensive.

But, inside, I am sharp and brazen. Inside, I am chandeliers of mega watt bulbs and sparkling golden intention. Inside, I am unapologetically self-assured.

Bide your time. Do it the right way. Channel your brightness into safe channels and projects that don’t call attention.

The thing is, I am breaking free despite myself. A little bit more each day.

I find myself spilling over my carefully defined edges and showing up in spite of my most carefully laid plans.

I used to believe that if I showed the world who I really was, I would be alone forever.  But, now I know that if I don’t allow myself to be who I really am, I will belong to no one – not even myself. Now I know that there is no greater loneliness than not belonging to yourself.

Our spirits will not be denied. 

I laid the bricks myself. I am the imprisoned and the guard. I mitigated my own shine.

My spirit will not be denied. 

She breaks through in crashing waves and fits and starts. She is my oxygen tank when I am pressed with my face against the glass ceiling of my upper limit. She is a living, wild thing vibrating in my limbs, and no amount of distraction with dissuade her.

She growls. 

I am allowed to have my own life. I am allowed to create it in whatever way I see fit. I am allowed to nurture and nourish this life as it if were my sacred responsibility – because it is. I am allowed to do things that are threatening or make other people uncomfortable. I am allowed to make choices that don’t make sense to anyone but me. I am allowed to curate my own happy ending.

She will not be denied. 

And I am left with the shell of that former good girl, that piece of myself that wishes she would just be quiet already and stop causing so much trouble. She was so sweet. She took such good care of me.

And I mourn her, because when she was me safety was clearly outlined in the dos and don’ts of Miss Manners. When she was me, she was easily satiated by the piecemeal life that I had handed her. When she was me, I knew the rules of the game.

But there is healing in the union of these two parts. 

The healing is in knowing that there is room here for the two of us.

The healing is in knowing, in truth… I am an adult and there is no one left to get in trouble with. 

The healing is in the balancing of becoming who I really am.

The healing is in knowing that I have a responsibility to tend to this life as if it were my best thing, because it is.

The healing is common ground between in the chandelier and the sweaty, feverish fear of being too much.

The healing is in carving out space like a snow angel, expanding my edges and allowing true self to shine through.

The healing is in speaking to the good girl in the sweet tones that we use with someone that we love. Thank you. Thank you for keeping me safe. You did not disappoint me. I do not need to rebel against you. Can we coexist here, peacefully?

The healing is in knowing that I have permission to be who I am in this moment. Permission to change my mind. Permission to change the rules. Permission to rewrite the ending of my story.

Permission to take up space in my own life. 

bravelove

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Pleasure Reading 10.26.14

October 26, 2014

I am seriously adoring these woodland creatures felt masks.

A New Moon creation story.

Wondering what to wear to your first yoga class? Curvy Yoga’s got you covered.

Your desire matters. Truly. 

My sweet friends Sas Petherick and Meghan Genge have put together a deliciously free offering called Heart & Hearth for the month of November that will blow your socks off.

This metric for determining what you get is pure gold.

Lately, I have been in a nesting, DIY frenzy over here. Want to join in on the crafting adventure? This Pinterest board has the goods.

Questions to ask ourselves for improving self-care.

Dramatically improve the communication in your relationship. Hell. Yes.

Crucial :: DIY natural dry shampoo.

It’s time to stop bullying yourself.

This week I’m seeking pleasure by… buying every succulent and air plant that I can get my hands on, mopping on a Friday night, sleeping past nine am, convincing my sweetheart to go on adventures with me, and walking my cup of coffee over to the ocean so that I can start my day with the lush, healing energy that exists all around me.

bravelove

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