Categories
conscious living self discovery

Without the Show, This is Humanity

Today I came across this soothing shot, taken spring 2015 on 98th Street outside my Upper West Side apartment. 

Without the restaurants, shows, and Fifth Avenue shops, what is New York City?

Without the downtown bookstores, film crews, quirky dives, coffee shops, and comedy clubs, what is New York City? 

Without the tourism, the busy streets, the style, and the glamour, what is New York City?

New York City is humanity. 

New York City is quiet days of reflection in the park. It’s sitting on a bench and watching the squirrels.  It’s the creatives and the dreamers. It’s laughter and joy.

It’s clapping outside your window to honor the healthcare workers who have put their own health on the line. 

New York City is coming together. 

The best memories I have of my years in New York City weren’t the clothes I wore or the food I ate. It wasn’t the guys I dated or the celebrities I met. As much as I loved the entertainment and the opportunities, I also embraced the solitude; the anonymity combined with the feeling of never being alone. 

The best memories were the moments I learned, grew, and connected- and shared stories with others who felt just as lost, broken, yet hopeful as I did.

Without the show, New York City is full of soul.

The show will eventually go on, but with a different tone. After this time of reflection, uncertainty, loss, and fear, there will also be growth. There will be realizations.

Humanity will come together again, and hopefully, we notice those bright lights and glittery scenes in a new, healthier way.

Categories
empowerment

Sometimes You Connect, Sometimes You Don’t

An interesting trend I’ve noticed these past few months is how I’ve almost, like magic, repelled people who aren’t in alignment with me.

In years past, I attracted a variety pack of narcissists, fu*k boys, and energy vampires (often times rolled into one). I attracted men who wanted me to be their arm candy, mold me into a Stepford wife, and toss my opinions out the window.

Being me, I always resisted these efforts and would flee shortly after realizing the situation I was in.

As my energetic vibration rose and I let go of my old ideas of being unworthy, my confidence increased. I began to speak up without fear of being judged or misunderstood. I stopped worrying whether people would connect with what I was saying or what my values were and continued to live my life- which is how life is meant to be lived.

As I began to change, the people in my life did, too.

I stopped trying to connect with the people in my family who judged me. I didn’t look at them for validation any longer- and I stopped caring what my peers thought about me, too (not that I ever did).

My bonds either became closer or they fell away. Many people who used to know me no longer connected with me as they used to. Guys who ask me out to coffee drop me off at my front door without trying to come in.

At first, I wondered-

Is my haircut really that bad, or is it because my energy has radically changed?

Jokes aside, I know it’s not the hair.

~

A woman I met through work asked me if I was single about a month ago. I told her yes. Giddy, she exclaimed how I absolutely needed to meet her colleague. I agreed for her to pass along my info, and immediately, the guy found me on Facebook. A few days later, we met up.

The conversation was fine. I had a good time. However, I already knew he was the type of guy I used to go out with- the kind who flashed his smile and colorful socks as he stepped out of his Jaguar on his way to an advertising meeting. That guy. Not the kind of man I’ve been attracted to since going through my own awakening- he was the kind of guy fashion blogger in New York Kristin would have been seen out with at a West Village restaurant. Then again, I also hung out with artists who lived in their run-down Tribeca studios and out-of-work writers who drank with me during the early afternoon on the Upper West Side.

NYC Kristin was still pretty laid back, all things considered.

Needless to say, we didn’t talk after our date. When the woman who set us up saw me afterward, she busted through the door with apologies. “I am SO sorry about that date,” she expressed with sadness in her eyes. I blankly looked at her, smiled, and shook my head.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m used to city dating where you go out, have fun, and it isn’t a big thing. Don’t worry,” I said with a laugh.

Then, she exclaimed once again.

“He just doesn’t know what he wants!”

That’s what really got me. He doesn’t know what he wants?

I know what I want, though- and it isn’t him.

This double standard never fails to make me laugh. As much as I wanted to declare how shallow and materialistic this guy seemed, I didn’t. I just glanced at my boss, who quickly added, “sometimes people connect, and sometimes people don’t!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Obviously, it’s human nature to wonder “what did I do wrong?” In this instance, I simply couldn’t. That just would have been my ego. It’s too obvious that I’m seeking connections with more depth- and I’m not just looking for “a” partner. Despite what society says, I’ve never been convinced I am built for monogamy or a traditional lifestyle, but having friends and companions who fit into your life at different periods seems to make sense to me.

I’ve never been a fan of labels, yet I don’t think we are all built to partner with one person for life. I’ve made some amazing connections with men throughout the years, many of them people I wasn’t “in a relationship” with. It’s clear we had a relationship, though- just not one defined by society standards.

I may never be the woman who comes home to her husband and kids in the suburbs, but I do know I won’t settle for anything less than someone who connects with my spiritual side. After all, that’s the true Kristin- not the one who buys her identity and finds her value in money, things, and status.

A similar situation happened over the summer- see Far From the Shallow.

Categories
self discovery

Along Harrison and 24th

1927639_583852687435_3455_n

Oh, how time flies… and how things change (yet stay the same).

It’s hard to believe I have officially been freelancing for a DECADE.  Back in 2008, my friend Steve and I started a small marketing company where we bartered with local businesses in San Francisco.

Steve made a little “nook” in the bay window that looked out onto 24th and Harrison.  It was there where we worked on our first website for Starboard Marketing, and where we used to eat, drink, and be merry.  That year, we threw a Chinese-themed party for the Olympics Opening Ceremony, played Sarah Palin Bingo, and watched the Giants play terribly (but loved them anyway)- we had no idea what their fate would be in 2010.

Above his apartment in the Mission District we also brewed beer, lovingly referred to as “Harrison Brewing Company.”  We named our first brew, a blonde ale, after his golden retriever, Mackerel.  We also made a hefeweizen that year named “Obam’ale,” which we (probably illegally) brought to the polls with us on election night.

35135046_10106517254182388_2503334380101959680_n

We thought we may be able to nab the new ice cream shop below his apartment, which we watched open as the retro stools were installed and the signs went up. He got their mail delivered to his address before they got their own, and were excited to run downstairs and try their “Secret Breakfast” ice cream after they opened. That ice cream shop is now the famed Humphry Slocombe.

From massage therapists and local restaurants to fashion designers and mobile shopping apps, my work has definitely changed over the years.  However, my heart still feels the same- I will only work with brands, causes, and companies I am passionate about.  Life is too short to not to do what you love.

7 cities and 10 years later, I’m still loving entrepreneurship, writing, and cultivating connections all over the world.  I’m beyond grateful for having a wild soul and free spirit that made me fearless and ready to take chances over these past 10 years.

2008 may have been a great year, but 2018 will be even better. 

35173706_10106517171093898_3520347550206918656_n
Starboard Marketing, Mack Dogg Ale, and

Categories
conscious living empowerment self care

Connecting the Mind, Body, and Spirit

When in the world did I become a gym person?

Well, I suppose this is proof that you can “never say never!”

A few years ago I wrote a post for Broke Ass Stuart titled, “Going to the Gym is Awkward.” Although I still agree that the concept of working out in a public setting can be a little strange, my opinion has changed a bit- and that is all thanks to the gym I discovered… and the change in myself.

Instead of being a scene or a social media bragging point (is that what this is? I hope not 😜), the gym has become my safe haven. My place of stress relief. An outlet for me to release my energy. Unlike other gyms I have been to, this one is all women- and unlike some yoga studios or bro-show gyms I have been to, I am comfortable at this one.

Not only is this gym different, but I am, too. My willingness to focus on healthy stress-relieving activities has overridden my old habits of being destructive, anxious, or stir crazy. My mornings spent writing in bed with coffee now include leaving the house by 6AM to catch the bus for my workout. My evenings that were once filled with mindless dates, Netflix, or happy hours are now spent working on myself- and growing even more comfortable in my own skin.

I started a new job two months ago today, and it was finally time to fill my out-of-the-office time with something other than long walks, thrift shopping, episodes of Mrs. Maisel, and writing. It was time to work on myself- even more.

For me, the gym isn’t about losing weight or the physical- it is to connect the mind, body, and spirit. It’s not about goals, camaraderie, or teams- it’s about my own mental strength.

It’s about feeling stronger, more confident as a woman, and whole- on my own.

The past two years have been all about shedding bad habits, learning new skills, and becoming more mindful- so now felt like the perfect time to add an additional facet to my life.

Although I swore I would never be a gym person- let alone take a photo in the mirror at the gym- I feel it is finally authentic. It’s for me… and it feels good.

I wouldn’t expect any more gym selfies, but I will keep you posted on how the next few weeks go- and if the gym has helped me in staying more focused at work, calm during stress, and even more connected with my soul- and the people around me.

💕

Categories
mindfulness

Giving Too Many F’s

Tonight I have Book Club- the first Book Club of my life that I willingly decided to go to.

My friend and old roommate, Brenda, coordinates a monthly gathering with a group of her friends.  Like any book club, they chat about life, nibble on snacks, and discuss the book, of course.  Last year, when I was still new to Boston, I was hesitant to join groups or get involved with activities while I was “figuring things out.”  It took me a long time to feel like meeting new people; it’s never fun to chat with a group of seemingly together human beings, all while thinking, “what the hell am I doing with my life?”

A year has gone by and I’ve been feeling better than ever.  Honestly, too- no more putting on a happy face for the sake of appeasing others.  I’m no longer insecure about where my life is headed, and I’m no longer shy about expressing what I want out of life- even when it’s drastically different than the norm.  As I meet new people, my honesty gets bolder and bolder, and like Brenda would say, “there’s no such thing as too much information.”

That brings me to the book of the month: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.”

Now, what does this have to do with me and my sudden change of heart about Book Club?

Everything.

When I moved to Boston I gave too many fucks.  Too many f’s about what people thought about me, too many f’s about whether I was happy with my job or not, too many f’s about whether I should go out with that guy on Tinder.  I gave too many f’s about whether or not my family approved of me, about the things I did when I drank, how I looked in that picture someone posted on Facebook, or whether or not the blacks in my outfit matched close enough.

I gave too many fucks about everything.

When I started this blog, I didn’t have much.  I didn’t have the job I have now, the apartment, the friends, or the peace of mind.  But I did have one thing- fearlessness.

I had enough ups and downs, mistakes, failures, and embarrassing moments to be shamelessly vulnerable.  So, with three packed bags and nothing to lose, Mindful in Style was born in my little Airbnb.

A couple of days later, I got my first job in Boston and met Brenda.

It didn’t take me long to get back on my feet, but it definitely took some time to feel comfortable in my own skin, even though I was putting my heart and soul into my blog.  I still questioned myself as I pressed “publish” and second guessed myself quite often along the way- but I kept writing.

But today, I really don’t give a F what other people have to say.

Things will fall into place no matter what- the difference is, how are you reacting to life in the meantime?  Are you giving too many F’s and putting your energy toward things that don’t really matter?  Are you following the crowd even though it doesn’t make your heart happy? Are you worrying for the sake of worrying? 

Needless to say, things in my life have changed a lot- but it began with my mindset.  Would life be as great today if I had continued to give too many F’s?  Nope,  I don’t think they would be.

So tonight I’ll head back to my first Boston home- The Nest- and share my own experience with giving too many fucks, fearlessness, and the power of vulnerability.  Today, I’m no longer shy to share my experience with new people; in fact, I am excited see who connects with my story.  Book club is no longer something to avoid, but something to embrace- just like my own vulnerability.

img_9783

In other news, it’s the Red Sox Opening Day! I’m wearing my Sox gear to work to support The Jimmy Fund.  I may be a Giants fan, but I still can love the Sox (and why would anyone give a F? 😉 ).