Categories
self discovery

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.

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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? 😉 ).

Categories
conscious living empowerment

Real Queens Fix Each Other’s Crowns

“Crown and anchor me, or let me sail away.”

Over the years I used to try to be what others wanted me to be.  This left me irritable, lost and confused.  I’ve roamed from state to state, city to city, looking for who my true self is.

I used to compromise my values for friendship, approval and love.  I looked for my crown in all the wrong places.

One person who has always anchored me, reminding me who my true self is, is my best friend.  We have faced the same struggles and have the same nervous thoughts when our anxiety gets the best of us.  We laugh about the same quirky things and have the same pet peeves.  Whenever I’m feeling a little uneasy, I know she will understand.

Near or far, the best friendships are the ones that know no distance.  Although we have both ventured from the shores of Lake Michigan, we always pick up exactly where we left off.

She’s given me the strength to be myself and to sail away from negative situations, thoughts and people.  I have found a sense of purpose in my passions, and she has supported me through it all.  

I’ve learned to raise my standards and rely on the universe.  Our thoughts are powerful, and I realized recently that I’m still trying to repair old relationships and habits that no longer suit me.  If I accept the way I am treated, then the universe will give me the old junk that is unhealthy.  I don’t have to live like that anymore.

Thanks to female strength and the women who have helped fix my crown, I no longer have to accept the things I did in the past.  “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.”  Today I will settle for more, reach high and find those people who will fix my crown- not try and take it, move it or change it.

“If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress.” -Buddha


Categories
empowerment mindful at home

Healing Through Art

Hand painted inspirational art

The arts have been a major part of my life ever since my earliest memories of drawing, creating handmade cards, writing poetry, and illustrating storybooks.  

Creativity has also been an outlet for me to express my emotions, from drawing to daily fashion.

“Keeping it simple” is something I try to embody on a daily basis- life is such a complicated journey that it is imperative to stay grounded in order to stay sane.  While I used to love more of everything and a variety of anything, today I adore simple beauty and minimalism.  I decided not to complicate things and stick with white and gold- less is more.

With every brush stroke, I gained a little bit of strength and began to let go of insecurity, fear, and doubt.  

A coach of mine once suggested the “post-it practice”- sticking affirmations on your walls or mirror- and ever since I have been mindful of writing down positive thoughts to remind myself every day that I am, indeed, enough.

This coach even put me in a hula-hoop and told me that the only thing I could control what was inside that hula-hoop: me.

Since I began painting I have also been inspired by so many amazing women in my life.  Their love has helped me gain confidence and heal, so I have started to make art for them, too.

Together, no matter what our struggles, we can help one another by sharing our own inspiration and journey.

Be brave. Hand painted inspirational art.
Categories
conscious living self discovery

Choosing Grace, Not Aggression

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“I want peace. I want to see if somewhere there isn’t something left in life of charm and grace.” -Margaret Mitchell

Life sure is funny.  Just when I was beginning to feel strong standing on my own two feet, the universe threw me a curve ball to test (and strengthen) my skills and strength.

This past weekend was challenging.  Despite the joy I was experiencing, the wonderful community I have found and my own practice of self care, outside forces triggered past pain and emotions- and this scared me.  Instead of self destructing as I have in the past, I took a deep breath, sat on a bench and called a friend.

Setting healthy boundaries has been a huge part of my own happiness and recovery, as I have experienced insecurities, pain and fear due to the messages I have received throughout my life.  This includes family members, teachers, peers, boyfriends and even public figures.  I have consistently questioned my worth, second guessed myself and backed down when I began to achieve some form of success.  I had no confidence- if what I was doing wasn’t “perfect” it wasn’t worth doing.  My self esteem and foundation were always a bit rocky, but old feelings of fear crept up on me when someone’s criticism and judgment set me off out of nowhere.

The defensive Kristin came back- and it was extremely uncomfortable.

I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder toward people who try to dominate me, thus acting out and being overly defensive and aggressive.  I have held on tightly to this defense mechanism through the years, only to realize how awful it made me feel.  I remembered traumatic experiences- bullying, sexist messages, abandonment and physical abuse.  I have kept all of this inside for years.  Had I been acting out for decades without realizing it?  Yes, I had.  It just took me thirty-some years to learn it.

After speaking with friends about traumas I suppressed (and failed to recognize as abuse- I thought it was all my fault), I am grateful for these triggers.  Old feelings of shame came to the forefront, and I was able to meditate on these uneasy feelings.  So, as always, I walked to the water for solace.

Water brings me such peace.  It is the closest way for me to connect with my higher power, so on Sunday I meditated on a rock and prayed for the courage and grace to get through the day.

I received just that- strength and hope.  I faced the day with grace, not aggression, and everything worked out just fine.  I tried not to let the negative messages affect my mood, so after leaving the pond I turned my negative energy into productivity.  Since art and writing has always brought me peace, I decided to stock up on art supplies to paint inspirational messages for my friends.  I’ve received endless love, compassion and hope from the friends I have made in Boston, so instead of living in my one-woman pity party, I decided to give the love back to those who have helped me.

As I go about my Monday, I will remember the feeling of peace and serenity I experienced by Spy Pond.  When I walk with grace, the world is a little lighter, a little freer.  If you’re also experiencing some aggravation, try a meditation to bring you back to center.  Remember, your true home is within you- everything outside of yourself is not in your control- but you can control how you react.  Once you’re able to manage outside factors with grace, not aggression, you will feel better- I promise.

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Categories
self discovery

Gratitude

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“You can’t be fearful and grateful at the same time.”

As I reflect on the past five months in Massachusetts- where I was at before I arrived, where I was at when I settled in, and where I am at now, I think about how resistant I was to ask for help.  I felt I needed to be strong; that I needed to do everything on my own in order to prove to those around me (particularly the naysayers) that I could bounce back from a difficult year.

It was a lonely place- a place I was stuck in until very recently.

I have always been fearful of rejection and criticism.  Instead of focusing on self-care when I got here, I focused on appearing like everything was fine.  Deeply lonely but throwing myself into work, I journaled, read self-help books, created my blog, meditated and more- but I still found myself isolated and empty.

Over the years I looked for external ways to fill the void inside; shopping, alcohol, dating. Although I learned that those things only made me feel emptier inside, I failed to do the one thing that I had been resisting for so long: looking for spirituality through other people.

With a clear head and wide eyes, my fear is starting to slip away. Over the past couple of weeks I have opened my heart and myself up to those around me; the people that have given me love, hope and strength.  There have been many changes in my life and within my own perspective that I have recently acknowledged, and one of those changes lies within my purpose.  I have felt I have merely been “going through the motions” for the past few months, wondering “what exactly is the meaning of life?”  As I continue to write, help others and look for a career that fits my passions and my purpose (spreading the message of hope to others who have been through what I have), I have nothing but gratitude from the women in my life, especially here in Cambridge, who have shown me that I am whole on my own.

This morning I have an immense amount of gratitude to those who have helped make my transition easier, have taught me to lighten up, and helped me learn to love myself.

Thanks to a little help from my friends, I live in the solutions- not the problems.

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