Vulnerability is Empowerment

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” -Brené Brown

For the past three years I’ve used this blog as a journal to connect with others and document what I’m going through, what I’ve learned, and to share what inspires me.  Today I re-launched mindfulinstyle.com as a place to empower women to feel beautiful, inside and out. Through storytelling, journaling, and discovering your authentic style, my hope is to inspire others to own their story- no matter what other people may say about it.

I wasn’t always comfortable with being vulnerable, though.

For many years, I played chameleon and hid my insecurities.  I wasn’t open and honest about my fears, my alcoholism, and I certainly didn’t know how to own my shortcomings.  I played the victim and avoided people who hurt me- and those who I hurt, too.

Instead of letting the opinions of others get the best of me, I learned to take back my narrative and take responsibility for my past; for my past no longer defines me.  It’s made me the person I am today- the person who has overcome her challenges and is finally living out the life I always wanted to live.

Mindful in Style has helped me feel content in my own skin, and moving home to Michigan has been symbolic of no longer running from myself. Whether it’s helping women find their voice, their passions, or their personal style, I’m excited to see where Mindful in Style can go.

Step Into The Daylight and Let It Go

My love was as cruel as the cities I lived in

Everyone looked worse in the light

There are so many lines that I’ve crossed, unforgiven

I’ll tell you truth, but never, “Goodbye”

It’s strange how you can think about someone every day for half a decade, and then one morning… it stops.

He stops appearing in your dreams and haunting you in your nightmares.

You stop daydreaming about him being someone he is not, never was, and never will be.

Your nights are peaceful and your days are full of light.

You come to realize you deserve much more; more than he was ever willing to give.

You finally love right where you are, who you have become, and the future ahead of you. No longer dwelling on the past, you’re open to whatever is in store tomorrow.

On this particular morning, I’ve let go of the darkness and am ready to step into the daylight.

Giving Yourself Grace

It’s interesting to see old friends and bump into people who have known you for decades.  These are people who have known me through my innocence, the good, and the bad- and they love me nevertheless.

From the shy girl growing up in Traverse City to the hard-partying 20-something, I am no longer hiding in a big city, unable to face my past.

I’m not ashamed of who I am or what I’ve done- I’m proud I have overcome challenges and have made it out alive, healing, and happy.

Despite the grit, I have to remember to give myself grace.

After all, I am my own worst critic.

Living in New York City and Boston gave me the experience of meeting new people, recreating myself, but most of all, learning to love myself and all of my flaws.  Yes, I have made mistakes, but I’m not that woman today.

I no longer have to run and hide, I can be exactly who I am and unapologetically myself.  I am a woman with a wide variety of experiences, pain, passion, and purpose- and I will use my past to build strength in my future.

As I continue to write this new chapter, I will give myself grace- no matter what the voices in my head may try and tell me.

I will remember it doesn’t matter what others think- the only thing that counts is that I love the person I am today.

Social Anxiety and Doing You

Since November’s so nice, I’m writing twice.

Before moving back to Michigan I was afraid I would feel alone; lost in a place I used to call home.  That’s the furthest from my current reality.  Since being back, I’ve filled my days with writing, a lot of time with Mom, coffee and lunches, plus a lot of great conversations with old friends.

It’s important to balance “me time” with my social calendar.

From people pleasing to the pressure of explaining why I moved home, I’ve been feeling a little emotionally drained.

I had a lot of social anxiety growing up, so I kept to myself.  With one or two good friends (who I still talk to often), I had a very mellow teenage life.

Something happened along the way, whether it was college or coming back for summers, when I felt the need to be out and about all the time.  I worked in the restaurant industry from age 17-21, which is hyper social.  As a sober person and overall introvert, that social anxiety has returned, but in an entirely different way.

Instead of that awkward teenager, I’m now a woman who knows exactly who she is- and that’s the difference.

The social anxiety is still there- though I may not be awkward and uncomfortable around most people these days, I still get anxious when I feel pressure to “get involved.”  There are many events coming up, from author meetups to a book award festival, and those are things I’ll put my game face on for.

I know my goals, and I know the kind of people who align with my overall lifestyle.

Maybe I’ll become more of a social butterfly, or maybe I’ll always be be that girl who stays at home, writing in her leggings, chatting with old friends on the phone.  Time will tell.

I don’t have to attend everything I’m invited to, and I need to remember I am not obligated to respond to every message or email I receive.

So for today, I’m doing me.