Fashion has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, ingrained in my very mold from a mother who adores herself.
For those who have followed along, you may have read my stories of my fashion blogging days. I moved to New York City as a blogger back in 2014, before the term “influenced” was mainstream. My blog consisted of a mixture of high and low style, from thrifty finds to a secondhand designer bag. I often wore clothes and accessories created from friends or up-and-coming designers while pairing it with
I recently bought a shirt from J. Crew as nod to my hometown. Although I typically buy everything secondhand or created, I couldn’t miss out on this tee. I wondered, “what was the inspiration? Who at the J. Crew offices have a connection with Northern Michigan?
Today, J. Crew was the first major retail brand to file bankruptcy during COVID-19.
This made me wonder, what will things be like when the world opens up again? What will people be purchasing?
Will they be going for basics? Will they stock up on colors to feel joyful during this strange new era? Will people spend at all?
What will happen within the fashion industry in the “new normal?”
Over the past few years I’ve seen of my favorite brands fade away- even Henri Bendel, the longest standing store on Fifth Avenue.
Although change can be scary, even though something else ended, it creates space for something even better grow in its place.
My thoughts go out to J. Crew and its employees, family, shoppers, and friends- but I’m confident there are brighter days ahead. There always is.
Two years ago, after a magical and inspiring trip back to NYC, I realized working at my desk job wasn’t for me.
I went to work that Monday feeling discontent- my internal voice was telling me to create, especially after spending the day at the “Heavenly Bodies” exhibit at The Met. Full of life, beauty, and wonder, I felt more myself than I had in years- and it was apparent I needed to find a new path.
I had dinner with my landlord that evening, who told me “life is a stage, we are all actors.” Of course, the nature of our relationship made it clear he wanted me to continue with my stable job so I could afford rent- as would my father or any patriarchal figure in my life- yet my sacral authority was screaming, “create!”
I didn’t know how I would afford rent, but like always, I knew I’d find a way.
Authenticity has always been crucial in my life. If it doesn’t feel natural, it’s a challenge- which is why I stopped fashion blogging and styling items I wouldn’t actually wear back in 2016.
My heart and soul knew my creative talents were being wasted at a place that wasn’t appreciated, at a firm full of people who didn’t understand me- and I physically and mentally couldn’t produce work any longer. That’s the true 5-15 Channel in me.
Even before learning about my Human Design, I knew my intuition was strong- so for the past 12 years, my impulsive life choices were made by my sacral authority without even realizing it! The missed trains, those impulsive moves, and the gut feelings- they were all for a purpose.
So, the next day I called in to reflect. By the end of the afternoon, I had written my resignation letter.
I had no idea where my path would lead, but I knew it wasn’t at a Downtown Boston law firm.
Who had I been trying to prove? My father? My ex-boyfriend? The people I went to school with?
The only person I needed to prove anything to was myself.
I bought a sketch book and arranged all my inspiration on my bedroom floor. The following day, I quit my job after seeing a new set of angel wings by Hot Swat in Harvard Square along Church Street after taking the wrong way home. Pretty powerful.
If it weren’t for those wings I saw in Harvard Square as soon as I walked out of the unusual exit at the train station after work, I never would have called in that Tuesday.
There are many other events that happened in 2018 that inspired me to quit my job and start sketching, too.
Kate’s Spade’s death shook me- and her impact on my life was so apparent that even male friends I knew in passing over the years texted me about the news. Unaware of her battle with mental health, her passing inspired me to share the truth behind the clothes and my looks.
Had I not relapsed after my new art project didn’t manifest as soon as I wanted it to, I wouldn’t have been forced to take a pause to heal and dig deeper into my own story. Unlike summer of 2018, today I understand it’s not about the end product, but it’s about the joy in the journey.
Similar Kate Spade, I wanted to bring joy to others, but forgot to find the joy in my own life. I began being an actor once again- working jobs that weren’t aligned with my purpose, sipping alcohol again, and pretending I was “fixed” when I still had a long road ahead.
My personal struggles wouldn’t have inspired me to purge what no longer served in my closet, and my life. Through sharing who we really are- whether it’s at work or in our personal relationships- we are able to align with opportunities and people who are truly meant for us.
Sure, a colorful or shiny facade is pretty, but what happens when the colors fade? What is underneath?
Is the foundation strong like a rock, or will it float away in the breeze like a feather?
Hence, why I decided to start painting on rocks- and my three and a half years of life lessons are reflected on the messages I share throughout town.
I may not be an actor in my own life, but I have decided to write my own future- and thanks to a simple sign and a few twists and turns along my path, I gained the confidence to do so.
I’ve had a blast writing in the sun over the weekend, biking throughout town, and leaving little messages in secret spots.
Earlier in the week I was feeling manic- I was finding myself roaming from one room to another, starting one project but never finishing another. I was bouncing off other people’s energy, encouragement, and feedback, and forgetting to focus on what I was doing. Even for someone who writes about living in the moment, I can lose my sense of grounding, too!
I spent the weekend on my bike, exploring the city, and snapping shots of the beauty around me. Like magic, my sense of balance was restored and I felt like I had my wings of flow once again.
I sat by the Boardman River, aligning my rocks and accessories while I gazed into the water. As the river flowed, I felt my body loosen and my spirit light up. At last, the mania had begun to pass.
I can also thank my meditation teacher, Nilcee, a wonderful soul who I met back in my NYC days. She leads a Tuesday night meditation in Astoria, but has moved over to Zoom during the pandemic. Although we met four years ago, I’ve felt her energy with me ever since- and unlike other teachers in the past, she assures me she is a guide; I already have all the power within. I may have a difficult time listening to others who tell me what to do (my sacral tells me everything I need to know), but I feel extremely empowered when I’m guided along my path- or river, if you will.
She reminds me of my natural flow and rhythm, and to tune out distractions with tuning into myself. On Friday night, I even called in to a virtual Happy Hour to chat with the Astoria friends along the Grand Traverse Bay!
Near and far, it’s wonderful to feel connection, and it’s even easier to do so when you tune into yourself and live in the flow.
I’ll be leaving these around town throughout the next week, so keep your eye out for a few little golden words in Traverse City (and soon Boston + NYC!).
I realized the other day that maybe I’ve had it right this whole time.
The world said, “get a job.” “Find a stable life.” “Plant roots.” “Get married.” “Settle down.” My heart always rejected these concepts and my gut told me, “create. Move. Teach. Grow.” Although I’ve always wanted love, I knew in my soul it wasn’t time to stay in one place quite yet.
Now, the world’s “stable” foundation isn’t so stable- and we are stuck with selves. The mortage. The fancy car. The credit cards.
Those roots weren’t so stable, were they?
Now the world is beginning to see the need for building a solid foundation, a connection to Mother Earth, and to connect with one another. We may have operated on an “all for ourselves” plane in the past, but that is shifting- and the Coronavirus is very symbolic of that.
Leaving rocks around Traverse City is also representative of the solid foundation we all have the ability to build ourselves- without the fancy title, the busy social calendar, and the the seemingly perfect exterior.
You already have all the power you need within.
It’s pretty scary to start from scratch- but when I quit my job that sucked my soul, started drinking again, and lost my apartment, I sat with self- for a long time.
The key was looking within- and learning to create with what you’ve got. Not looking at anyone else to fill your dreams.
Finding a tiny piece of hope in this chaotic world was the first step to rebuilding my foundation- and although it wasn’t comfortable, it was worth it.
I wrote this poem a couple of years ago when I was feeling like my world would never get repaired- but somehow, it did.
When I was in treatment, I didn’t have much to work with- just books, self reflection, coloring pages, and my imagination. As an empath, it was nearly impossible not to pick up the negative emotions of the other recovering people around me- but I learned to create and sit with self during times of chaos. Although it seemed tragic at the time, living with 20 other people in treatment was the best thing that ever could have happened to this finicky only child.
I may not have had paint and a cell phone in treatment centers, but I totally had markers and made the most of the situation. 🙂 I wrote a poem after finding inspiration by Mystic Lake in Arlington- the original city I started painting words in gold. As a man rode by on a jet sky, he waved with a smile- and it made me think, “that’s what I want.”
Joy. Fun. Love.
But most of all, peace.
I may never fit into a box, but I’ll always fit into many worlds- because now I know my home is within. 🧚🏻♀️
People are often surprised when I share the stories of my past, whether it was about my impulsive cross-country moves, my battles with mental health, overcoming trauma, and finally living a life of recovery- but to me, it’s more about conscious living. Being present. Truly making the most out of life- and making the decision to live with joy.
As I got healthier, my choices became more solid, as well- because when I built a solid foundation for myself, I was able to maintain a much more mindful, meaningful life.
My stories can be heavy; but they’re freeing to tell. As I let go of the chains which used to hold me captive from happiness, I have also been able to connect with people from around the world.
My own experiences have inspired me to help others through my writing, art, and decision to become a life coach. I believe we attract the people and opportunities we are meant for, and being able to be vulnerable, open, and honest has allowed me to align gracefully.
This hasn’t been an easy time for many, but I want others to know I am there for them. Although I’m able to shine my light today, it took a lot of hard work, growing pains, and falls to get to where I’m at mentally.
A woman I met while in Mississippi told me a piece of good advice that I’ll never, ever forget- especially after all the times I made mistakes but remembered to rise again:
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
I didn’t know at the time I would soon move to Boston, start this blog, and begin sharing my stories of my falls, standing back up, and finding myself on the ground again. Although my path hasn’t been linear, I couldn’t be more grateful for it- because it gave me the experience and wisdom to help guide others along the way.
It has been an interesting month with our daily lives put to a halt, yet Mother Earth is smiling at us as we stay home. From the canals in Italy to the Los Angeles skyline, our world has started to heal from all of the damage our Human Race has caused it to endure.
This won’t last forever, though.
We will eventually go back to our daily routine, and the pollution will start up again. Face masks have begun to flood the oceans and lakes, while friends of mine are doing their part to pick up litter during the quarantine. Nevertheless, being mindful at home and in our everyday actions play a big part in how our Earth continues to heal.
How do you already reduce your carbon footprint? Here are a few things I do on a daily basis- and although they’re not feasible for all, even a small part makes a big difference.
Reusable K-cups- you can buy one for the price of a cup of coffee
Walking- I haven’t driven a car since I moved to New York City in 2014!
Painting on natural surfaces and recycled items instead of buying new materials
Using recycled tote bags when shopping- I can customize them for you, too 💫
Look out for some Earth Day rocks coming soon to Downtown Traverse City- I can’t wait for you all to see what I’ve been working on.
Although we may not think throwing a wrapper out the window or a cigarette on the ground is a big deal, those small things add up- so this Earth Day, please consider how even the tiniest effort make an impact.
It could be picking up your guitar, going for a swim, cuddling up with a good book, or spending time with a pet.
A constant is one of those things that just makes you feel good, no matter where your head is at.
For me, spending time by the water and enjoying the fresh air always brings me back to center. Whether it’s journaling with my morning coffee or snapping photos on an afternoon stroll, there are many constants that helped me learn to sit with self- and to enjoy life right as it is happening.
While living in Boston, I spent the majority of the time by myself. From exploring the city to writing in my studio apartment, the majority of my time was spending writing, reflecting, but most of all, healing– and I was able to do so through art.
During my free time, I started painting sayings from the blog as well as symbols that meant something to me. Painting, writing, and art has always been a constant in my life- no matter how I’m, feeling, I have an immediate sense of purpose when I get my messages out into the world.
No matter how small, it’s the little things in life that can mean the most.
A few weeks ago I started gathering rocks and painting them in gold, capturing the same phrases I once painted on blank canvases and in notebook pages. From evil eyes to red balloons, I began adding new colors to my golden rocks- and started scattering them around town.
Spreading light has been another constant in my life- one that not only benefits me, but can help brighten someone’s else’s world, too. Although Goldie Rocks aren’t a solution to our issues today, it’s a gesture that helped light my own way when the road was dark and grim. The simple words can mean so much in times of worry- and I hope my rocks have brought a smile to someone’s day.
When I had nothing and was feeling alone, painting balloons and a few joyous words gave me a glimmer of hope in an otherwise uncertain world. As my light began to shine, others would try to put it out- but others, the ones who appreciated my light- needed me to continue to shine even brighter.
I needed to continue to shine for myself.
Remembering to take care of yourself is so important during this quarantine- and every day of the year. Prioritizing your own needs and daily joy is imperative to living a balanced life, whether it’s a simple constant or indulging in some major self-care.
When you shine for yourself, you shine for the world- and maybe your constant will brighten someone else’s day, too.
In our lifetime, we have never seen an event such as the Coronavirus pandemic.
In my 35 years on this planet, never have I walked down city streets in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon to find everything closed with barely a person on sight. As I safely left my home to lay rocks outside of businesses and in hidden spots downtown, I stopped to think about how others are feeling.
With a smile on my face, feeling full of purpose, I paused to considered those who haven’t quite seen the light at the end of the tunnel.
My heart goes out to the restaurant owners, retailers, and businesses who have halted their daily routine to flatten the curve. That’s why I am focusing my energy on doing what I can to help- even if it’s small.
You are stronger than you realize.
I thought about what we can control in terms of our media consumption and the conversations we have with family or friends (check out a post I wrote a couple of years ago about how you’re lowering your energetic vibration without even realizing it).
What are we focusing on? Fear? Financial insecurity? Health concerns?
Many of us feel compelled to join the negative conversations and will embrace some of their fear- much of which isn’t your own.
That’s why we need to focus on the helpers, not the problem.
I read an amazing article by author Steve Pavlina, who shared his views on the importance of lightworkers in today’s society:
“The lightworker’s duty is to serve the health of the body. Lightworkers strive for a healthy, sane humanity. They’re like white blood cells fighting diseases such as cruelty, apathy, depression, disempowerment, dishonesty, and cowardice. Such diseases damage the health of the body. The #1 disease lightworkers battle is fear. Wherever there is fear in the body of humanity, lightworkers are driven to respond.”
Yesterday I chatted with a few friends who are visibly concerned about their health and safety. I am, too. However, my focus isn’t on the news and the negativity. It’s about focusing on what I can do in the now.
We all have a choice of what messages we want to send- do we want to spread the fear, or send light?
Do you want to look at the problem or the solution?
Even though we have to stay home, there is so much we can do both online and within our own homes to raise the overall vibration- and choosing what conversations you partake in is a part of this.
I am doing my best to be mindful of the energy I am putting out- and instead of fear, I have faith.