Categories
empowerment

Find Your Constants

What’s your constant?

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.

Categories
self discovery

Beating to your own drum

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I can’t remember ever being “normal.”

While there technically is no such thing as this, I can at least say that I never fit in with the crowd. Historically it has always been much easier to identify with people on a one-on-one basis; groups weren’t the best setting for me.

I’ve always spent a lot of time reading, writing, and normally do everything solo. I graduated high school a semester early and skipped all of our senior activities. I went to a college where I didn’t know anyone. I quit secure jobs to follow my dreams and freelance independently. From growing up as a only child loner to city hopping while my peers are getting married and buying homes, my actions seem to always go against the grain.

I get a lot of questions about this all. It used to give me great anxiety- having to explain my introversion on top of my off the cuff decision-making. Sometimes it was on a whim, influenced by a relationship, or to seek a fantasy; yet lately I realized that my experiences, cities, jobs and relationships have made me more prepared for what I do want.

In the past, yes, I made several major choices based on intuition, spiritual experiences and pure emotion. I am starting to feel more comfortable with my colorful story of the past decade, recognizing themes and realizing which cycles I need to break.

Although I never think I’ll stop doing things alone, following seemingly crazy dreams, being creative or constantly curious, I’m open to whatever tomorrow brings as long as there’s a notebook and coffee.

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Categories
conscious living

Living on a Minimalist’s Budget

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Every January I tell myself, “this is the year I will stick to a budget.” While my intentions are good, my track record has been less than superb.

To illustrate, I looked at my calendar and realized that 2017 marks ten years since I graduated college. Ten years. Boy, do I wish someone would have taught me then what I know now.

In an effort to live as minimally and stress free as possible, I have begun focusing on quality over quantity, purging what I don’t need and only buying things when I need them, yet I still have failed sticking to a budget.

My Expenses

Since I have minimal bills, there is little to no reason I should go over my budget every month. First, I listed all of the expenses I know I will have and came up with a rough estimate.

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Cell phone
  • CharlieCard (train / bus)
  • Student loan

That’s right- no car payment, no credit cards, no mortgage or gas costs. Yes, this is called city life for a single woman who has little to no attachment to things. Sometimes I wonder what my life would look like today had I settled in one place, lived minimally and invested in things like a home, but the good news is that I still have time. Although I may have spent my money a bit carelessly, I’m beginning to make an effort to spend less, save more and avoid excess clutter in my life.

Need vs. Want

I could definitely use a new Henri Bendel bag for my laptop. However, this purchase can wait considering I don’t even carry my laptop to work. In fact, it barely leaves the house these days. My point is, there are many things I can trick myself into “needing,” but then I ask myself:

1) Could I get this for less?

2) Do I need this immediately?

3) Do I need this at all?

Usually my purchase can wait (also giving me time to think it over), or I can find an alternative if there’s something I can’t wait to buy- for example, buying a drugstore brand instead of splurging at Sephora. I also trick myself into thinking I have more money than I do, so a $20 lipstick doesn’t seem like a big deal at the time- but it adds up quick.

Trading Things for Freedom

I like to think of my purchases this way: “would I rather have this item or the freedom to do what I want?” Time is money, and it takes time to work for a paycheck, so I’ve been much more conscious of each dollar I spend. Sure, marketers do an amazing job fooling me into thinking my life will ultimately be better with their products, but on those days I’m waiting for my paycheck I think, “I wish I wouldn’t have gotten takeout so many times last week.” Living paycheck to paycheck is never fun, so it’s rewarding to finally have the freedom to be able to do what you want when you’re more mindful of your budget.

More Experiences

Instead of relying on money to have fun, I’ve gotten creative. One of my favorite things to do is explore the city… I love to look at architecture, go out in nature, find free days at museums, take photos and window shop. Practicing mindfulness, enjoying each moment and taking in your surroundings is far more gratifying than having a bunch of “stuff” to sort through.

I’m a firm believer that everyone needs to live in moderation; it’s important to keep a balance and not to go too extreme with your saving or spending- after all, no matter how tight the budget, I’ll never give up my coffee.

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