When You Aren’t Feeling Grateful

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Gratitude is a huge part of my daily life.  There isn’t a moment I don’t notice something- anything- that brings me joy or makes me feel grounded.

Sometimes that isn’t enough, though.

Sometimes you just feel agitated.

Maybe your roommate left passive aggressive notes in the bathroom, or maybe someone pushed past you on the train.  There are endless reasons for you to roll your eyes at the people in your life, society norms, or just the mere thought of human existence (it can’t just be me, right?).  We all have those days; and that’s okay.

That’s when you need to practice self love.

Don’t beat yourself up for your bad mood- give yourself a break.  Be kind to yourself when you’re irritable.  Do something extra special- even if it’s just stopping for your favorite latte.  These little things add up- and soon you’ll forget about the other little things that brought you down.

Whether it’s a phone call from a friend or a beautiful bouquet of flowers, remember- it’s the little things in life that bring the most joy.

Even when you’re not feeling upbeat or grateful, those simple pleasures will bring you back.

💕

The Best Things in Life Are Free- Looking Within

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They say the best things in life are free, and from my experience, that is absolutely correct.

For years I looked everywhere I could to fill the void in my soul- I was addicted to shopping, I sought out approval from others, I moved from city to city, and I tried to slow down my brain by drinking excessively.

I went from bar to bar, boyfriend to boyfriend, job to job, and handbag to handbag- yet whatever I had was never enough.

Sitting still wasn’t even an option- and back then, I didn’t realize how amazing stillness could be.

When I started Mindful in Style, I had just left my fashion copywriter life in New York City.  I dated actors and Wall Street attorneys, bankers and startup entrepreneurs.  I mingled with designers and screenwriters, fellow fashion bloggers and alcoholics.  I justified my behavior by associating with people in the same circumstances as me, for better or for worse.

What I failed to do was look within to improve myself.

Battery Park, 2014. Photo by Rik Parker

I thought that if things looked okay on the outside, they must be fine on the inside.

I couldn’t have been more misguided.

Although I seemed to have everything, that hole in my soul was still as deep as ever.

What they don’t seem to teach you as you grow up is that life doesn’t have a “happiness” finish line or an invisible box to check in order to reach fulfillment.

Living a beautiful life doesn’t mean grandiosity, status, or material gains- living beautifully is about living in the now, embracing life’s simple pleasures, and making the most out of what is right in front of you.

My best days now are strolling through the city, enjoying my coffee by the river, or sitting quietly with the cat.  It’s the peace I have found within that makes my life so beautiful- and although I still enjoy a great handbag, true happiness is found in the mindful moments that I used to take for granted.

Not So Glamorous

Marcel Broodthaers Preview at MoMA in New York, 2016

I can’t lie- I loved drinking.  It did something to me that made me feel invincible, interesting, and sophisticated.  Little did I know, it actually did quite the opposite.

As much as I loved a rooftop bar, museum opening, or fashion event, I also loved a good dive- and all the debauchery it brought.

If I hadn’t loved drinking (or at least the chaotic lifestyle), I wouldn’t have gone back to it repeatedly despite the negative effects it had on my life, my relationships, my sanity, and my health.

People suggest, “just have one!” yet quickly realize I do terrible, uncharacteristic things after one- because one always leads to eleven or twelve.

As I began to grow spiritually, I realized alcohol didn’t have the same place in my life.  It blocked my intuition, my connection to my higher self, and stripped me of all my inner peace.  Alcohol leaves me wanting more, hopelessly aware of the emptiness inside of me that a healthy spiritual condition fills.

Do I wish I was that person who could just have one?  Of course.  I never would, and I never will, though.  I’ve accepted that reality.

Instead of drinking to fit in or make others around me feel more comfortable, I’m happy with my carbonated water or Diet Coke today.  It certainly helps me remain centered, mindful, and grateful for the moment.