No, I’m Not On A Diet

Over the past eight years I haven’t quite accepted the identity of being a “sober person.”

Yet.  So, that’s why I’m writing about it.

My thoughts about it have wavered; at times, I was accepting of myself, and at others, I threw the idea of recovery out the window simply to “fit in.”

I couldn’t stand explaining myself to people about why I don’t drink.

As I mentioned before, some people assume you’re defective, problematic, or trouble if you say you’re in recovery.  However, most of the time people are supportive and understand.

So, if people have been supportive, why have I held on so tightly to the ignorant responses of “are you pregnant?” “are you on a diet?” or worse, “are you a mean drunk?”

I simply can’t put mind altering substances into my body.

But why would I want to?  This world is beautiful.  It’s a gift to be present.

A lot of people have questioned why I can’t just have one drink.  “Why can’t you have a glass of wine?”  These people don’t understand that the one drink sets off a switch that isn’t shut off until I’m passed out on the couch of a stranger’s apartment in Brooklyn (true story).  I could write novels about all of my mishaps while drinking- and I’m lucky to be alive to tell the tales.

Glamorizing the good old days isn’t helpful, though.  Today, I can look back and smile at the good times, but remember that the very best days are the ones where I am living in the moment, not looking forward to the next- with a clear mind and open heart.

Living Beautifully

 

I used to get tied up in day to day monotony and focused on all of the things I “had” to do or “should” do.  This was especially prevalent in New York.  I didn’t always stop to enjoy the beauty around me or the small details that bring each day joy.

My life was so chaotic that I didn’t enjoy the little things, such as sitting to enjoy a smoothie at Starbucks, journaling, listening to the birds, painting my nails to coordinate with my outfit, or taking pictures of the sunrise.  I just rushed through life to get to the next moment.  That’s no way to live.

After leaving NYC last summer, I lived with family by the lake in a small Michigan town, away from the modern conveniences of city living.  It was the perfect “reset.”  I enjoyed coffee in the backyard each morning, relaxed by the water, and actually enjoyed my meals- I stopped rushing and began to enjoy the moment.

That was when my true passion for mindfulness began.

When I started this blog in the beginning of December 2016, I wanted to combine my mindfulness lessons with my love for style and living beautifully.  People have continually told me to relax and stop worrying about my makeup, outfit or hair- but those are things I enjoy.  It’s a part of “living beautifully.”

I believe there’s a fine balance between relaxing and simply feeling good for you.  Some days I want to run around in a baseball cap and flip flops, and others I want to wear my staple- the little black dress.  It all depends on the day.

Living beautifully is about balance.

Life in Boston has provided a perfect mix of city life and mindful living, as this historic city is so diverse with beauty, culture, nature and sophistication.  Mindful in Style came naturally to me after just six short days, and I’ve enjoyed writing about my life of mindfulness, minimalism, style and spirituality ever since.

What does living beautifully mean to you?

Minimalism in the New Year

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As 2016 comes to a close, I’ve reflected on my year and starting to think about how I want to start the next. Minimalism has intrigued me over the past several months, and after a few moves from apartment to apartment and city to city, I’ve appreciated the obvious benefit: more manageability.

Organization is an amazing feeling; it helps you remain mindful, in control and more at peace. The lack of clutter around my home (and in my life in general) has helped me stay on top of tasks, decreased my anxiety and be more productive. I’ve focused on purchasing quality items over quantity- instead of owning 30 purses (or more) like I used to, I now have 5 classic ones instead. Instead of keeping clothes I’ve had for years (yet never wear) I donate or consign them at stores like Buffalo Exchange or Crossroads.

Minimalism helps to stay organized, more mindful and less stressed, but it also has other benefits that make big differences in your life.

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Save time

When you’re not running around the house looking for something, it’s amazing how much time you will save. I used to forget where I would place things- simply because I had SO MUCH. Now I have a place for everything and know exactly where to go to find it. Simple things, like organizing all my art supplies in one place, color coordinating my closet, investing in jewelry organizers or labeling my paperwork / bills make a big difference. When you own less, it’s easier to keep everything together, too.

Do what you love

Do possessions truly matter? So many feel the need to “keep up” with their peers and society by owning the newest, best thing; a gadget, home, handbag or car. Whatever it is, it’s important to remember to invest your time in what YOU love- choose a career that fits the lifestyle you wish you lead. When you do what you love, it opens doors to live the life that you want. Set goals and invest in you- whether it’s a new car, a tropical vacation or a relaxing day in your own thoughts.

Better for the environment

This is another obvious benefit: less stuff, less trash. People would also be more mindful of what they recycle, and purchase higher quality items opposed to disposable ones. Another aspect of minimalism is choosing to walk, bike or take public transportation instead of driving a car. I sold my beloved Mini Cooper in early 2014 before moving to NYC and haven’t gotten behind the wheel since. I stay healthy (physically and mentally) by walking at least 5-10 miles a day, riding the train or taking an Uber.

Letting go of the past

I had a huge purge this past summer in-between moves. I used to be a big pack rat, keeping old cards, tickets, trinkets and memories from old boyfriends, only to bring up both good and bad feelings of the past. Unless it was extremely sentimental or made me feel happy, I got rid of a lot of things that were merely taking up space. I only keep what I need and what I love; and avoid letting bad vibes back into my life.

Be happier

When you’re content with what you have and where you’re at in life, it’s so much easier to be happy. Keep items that bring back good memories; frame a card from a family member, keep useful sentiments that remind you of experiences, invest in a quality journal and write down your daily gratitudes. Doing these simple things each day not only helps you stay mindful, but builds for a happier tomorrow.

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