Categories
conscious living

How Mindfulness Reconnected Me With Fashion

When I started my personal style blog “K on the Bay” in 2012, I snapped shots of my hometown, sunsets, and my shoes.

If I could tie in a few local brands or thrifty finds, great! As a simple Tumblr site, my vision was to show how classic style and nature go hand-in-hand. As the years went on, I became more conscious of my content. I began taking photos to get the post out quickly, ignoring my initial creative vision and love for the process.

When it was authentic for me to put on an outfit, head into work, and snap shots along Grand Traverse Bay, great! Yet once I moved to New York City, it became a chore. I started to shift my focus from creative endeavors to relationships, which also served a good purpose- for the time.

Not only did I never wear heels unless absolutely necessary, I barely wore color, either.

NYFW 2014 with Dallas and Jacey


Then, I realized I was wearing clothes to make other people happy: not me.

The brands, the designers, the ad agencies- I was leaving behind my own vision to adapt to someone else’s.

I had to take a step back and think- what clothes do I feel good in no matter what?

What do I grab first out of my closet?

Although it wasn’t organic or natural for me to snap daily outfit shots in a busy city like New York- especially when I was single with a self-timer- I still had a lot of thoughts. I started writing for my friend Ashley’s website, Kinda Kind, two months after I mysteriously hit “delete” on my blog New Year’s Eve 2016. Leaving behind four years of photos, collaborations, and memories may have been hard, but I was ready to leave behind my materialistic past and figure out what truly made me happy.

My last few months in NYC were challenging- it was pure survival mode. Trump was running for President, the #MeToo movement was a year and a half away, and my own mental health needed a serious break.

I found peace in the park and spent hours writing by the reservoir. I pondered the meaning of life, wondering if I would ever find any sort of fulfillment.

I spent the next few years writing about my journey, what makes me happy, and learned who I am as a woman- without any distractions. Being conscious of what brings me joy- not what commercials, “influencers,” or Cosmopolitan Magazine tells me- was the first step in finding inner peace.

Instead of spending Saturday morning in bed, I would get up and take a walk across the Charles River Esplanade. I began noticing the patterns in nature, the animals at the park, and the familiar faces at my Cambridge Starbucks.

As I documented my path in Boston, I realized how tied I still was to fashion- at least, the creative process.

I had a different style than the other fashion bloggers- simple photos with little to no written content- no ads or frills, and no promises of a brighter tomorrow if you buy a new lipstick shade. This didn’t make me popular. That wasn’t the point- the point was authenticity.

As I shot a photo of my new bracelet alongside my notes for the day and coffee cup, I realized how fashion, technology, AND mindfulness can merge- but not in the way you may think.

I’ve been creating my own style for some time now, a style that hasn’t changed much since I was a high school junior in a black turtleneck and gray Express mini skirt. It’s always been basic, classic, and chic- with a few added surprises.

Fashion doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful, and neither do our lives. My time spent away from working in fashion made me realize how what I’ve learned can add to the industry once again- and never to change the style that is mine.

When I used to work or consult for others, my soul would be crushed when they didn’t like my content. After spending hours coming up with ideas, it could be a challenge to integrate my vision with someone else’s.

As an independent person, this also made me realize- stop working with people who don’t share your vision.

Although some women on the outside may judge me for choosing a bike over a Lexus, renting a townhouse instead of having a mortgage, and choosing a cat over a husband and kids- I chose this lifestyle for a reason.

I’m free.

I am free from obsession with “things,” the need for more, and the warped view that I’m not enough.

Now, I can simply enjoy the creative process- mindfully.

The Mindful in Style inspiration board 💛

Categories
self discovery

Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me

I’ve been a cat lover for as long as I remember.

When I was a little girl I tried to interact with a family friend’s cat, who immediately ran away from me as I vied for her attention.  “Well, this isn’t fun,” my four year old self thought.

We finally got a cat of our own, Kattie, when I was seven years old.  My mom took care of all the “heavy lifting;” the bills, the doctor appointments, and of course, the litter box.  Kattie wasn’t as cuddly as I would have hoped, though- and it was probably because I wasn’t patient with her.

I’ve lived with a variety of cats over the years, from Kattie to Cali, and later in Boston when I helped care for Clarissa and Tuxedo.  Now, at 34 years old, I decided to adopt a cat of my very own- and I’m his sole caretaker and companion.

Ollie and I have only been each other’s partners for a few days now, but he’s teaching me important lessons all of the time.

Before meeting me, he came from a hoarding situation and lived at the humane society for seven long months.  It wasn’t his favorite place, and many people overlooked him because of his shy nature.  However, as soon as I met him, there was something special- and I was thrilled to be able to give him a forever home.

He may have cowered away from me at first, but I understood he was scared.  I didn’t know what happened to him in the past, and much like a person, he probably had every reason to shy away from unknown people.  Oh, Ollie- how I relate.

Even though I’d love him to want to hop on my bed and give me affection, I know it will take him time.  Thanks to Ollie, I’m learning to be even more gentle, patient, and responsible.

He’s made me think about caring for someone other than myself, and at times, care for myself even more.  I’m more conscious of my home, my finances, and spending enough time with him.

We all have pain in our past, whether it’s loss, trauma, addiction, or loneliness.  Cats are no different.  He may be irresistibly cute, but I need to remember to respect his space, just like I would want from a person.

We’ve enjoyed sitting still together, playing with his bird toy, and exploring my townhouse.  I’ve found him in unexpected places, and he’s never failed to make me laugh or smile.

Learning to care for love a little being has been one of my biggest joys, and he gives me something to look forward to every single day.  I may not have any interest in having a human child, but I’m absolutely content with my beautiful fur baby.

Categories
self discovery

Take Time To Yourself While You Can

There’s no “finish line” of life.

Sure, life will come to an end at some point, but we never know where our journey will lead.

We don’t run the show as hard as we may try.  We can’t finagle our own little plans and designs to go our way, because the Universe already knows where we belong- and when pieces will fall into place.

While sitting at my favorite cafe, Brew, I chatted with one of my dearest friends who I met in 7th grade.  Both bullied, we bonded over the years due to our struggles and strength.  Today, she’s married with two kids, a house, and a lot of responsibility.

“Take time to yourself while you can,” she told me.

“I tell my sister the same thing.”  Her sister, also a friend of mine, is beautiful, strong, and sophisticated- and single.

Lately I have been feeling lonely (obviously- I left Boston to return to my hometown), thinking I want a partner.  I have been thinking about all the guys I have met, wondering why they didn’t choose me- and why people I know have partnered up and I haven’t.

Then, I realized:

I’m not quite ready.

Loving myself, spending time with friends, and embracing my family is where I am at now.  I’m becoming the most authentic version of myself that I can be, and I am no longer willing to let someone try and change me.

When he comes along, he will come along- and he will be strong. He will love me for me. He will encourage me to be thrive.  He will be ready for me, too.

But for now, I’m taking time to myself while I can.

Categories
self discovery

Listen to the Birds

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“Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds.”

Our minds race each and every day.  That problem I had last week?  I’ve already forgotten about it.  The worries I have today?  They’re going to be resolved effortlessly.

Our higher power speaks through other people, but sometimes our egos don’t stop and listen.  Meditation is a huge part of my daily life, but I often forget to ask for help.  Sitting by myself has its purpose, but connection with people is equally important.

Since being home, I have had an amazing time reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.  I’m so grateful to have realized I am loved, cared about, and can give my love back to them in return.

This is a whole new chapter, and I choose to listen to the birds, not the thunder in my mind.

Categories
self discovery

Check On The Strong Ones

You never know what someone else is going through.

Last summer, while living in Boston, my life seemed fantastic. I was working at a law firm downtown, living in a cute studio, and smiling for photos.

I visited friends in New York City, went to museums, enjoyed baseball games, and wore designer clothes.  I spent days in the Public Garden and wrote inspirational blog posts- yet what most people didn’t know was that I was on the verge of the unraveling of my final year in Boston.

Society spends so much time comparing our own lives to other people- but we only know part of their story.

We check Facebook to see what our friends are doing on vacation, we compare our jobs, and we make up stories in our own minds as to what someone’s life is truly like.  We see people and their seemingly perfect families, adorable kids, and handsome husbands.

This is a reminder to check on those who seem to have it all together- the strong ones who may not seem to need help at all.

I never wanted to admit I needed help, that I was lonely, or that I was unsure of where my life was going.  Thankfully, I realized that I can’t write a story that wasn’t meant for me.

Now that I am back in Michigan, I can reflect on the good times, the bad, and have immense gratitude for surviving (and thriving!) through everything I experienced.

Remember to check on those friends who seem like they have it all together- because each story has its own twists and turns.

Categories
self discovery

Expressing Your Inner Goddess

We all have a Goddess inside of us.

We all have our own special inner powers, passions, and purposes to live out, but we have been conditioned to listen to our doubts, fears, and insecurities.

It’s time to let that Goddess shine.

I’m not suggesting you throw a Goddess party, wear a flower crown, or to book a retreat.  Those things are fun, but they don’t have anything to do with who you are- the strong, beautiful woman who has endless gifts to offer the world around them.

Divine feminine energy embraces intuition, inner wisdom, and the ability to both give and receive.  Strong and confident women are secure in who they are, lift others up, and know the importance of self-care.  They don’t have to overpower others to prove their point; they have a quiet power that shines through their everyday actions.

So, are you wondering how to start embracing your own Goddess within?

1. Leave your ego at the door

You don’t have anything to prove to anyone but yourself.

2. Open your heart

You may think it’s safer to keep it closed, but magical things happen when you’re open to receiving.

3. Love yourself without judgment

No one is perfect, and that is what makes us unique!

Embracing your inner Goddess is all about letting your authentic nature free and finally allowing your light to shine.

Somewhere along the road our spirit was crushed.  It may have been a parent’s divorce, childhood trauma, bullying, or a broken heart.  Maybe someone told us our dreams were foolish, or perhaps we were conditioned to think we weren’t good enough.

As adults, we can heal those wounds and go back to our original state of joy, dreams, and delight.  We can let go of what the world around us has said and start listening to ourselves.

From living beautifully every day to knowing the importance of setting boundaries in your life, you don’t need anything outside of yourself to embrace the Goddess within.

She knows the way- you just need to start listening to her.

For more Goddess goodness, please check out Emma Mildon’s “Evolution of a Goddess.” It’s such a great book, and I’m a total “Moon.”

Categories
mindful at work self discovery

The Law of Attraction: Love Yourself More

Just when you thought you loved yourself, go ahead- love yourself a little more.

We are all conscious creators on this planet, but many of us fail to realize the power of our thoughts and feelings.  Our society encourages us to take action, to see progress, and to quantify our successes, but no results can take place if you don’t truly care for yourself on the inside.

Be your own biggest fan.

The world quickly changes when you realize your greatest success is fearlessly loving yourself.

Life will effortlessly fall into place when you care for, love, and respect the you that you were born to be.  Everyone will have an opinion- but what is your own opinion about yourself?

Look within and listen to your heart.

Who do you want to be?

Once you know and embody the true you, you’ll see a change- a change within, a change around you, and a change in how you are treated.  Once you treat yourself with the loving kindness you deserve, remarkable things will shine through.

Here is a great manifestation video from Aaron Doughty- 2019 is a powerful year for attracting what you desire.  Get into your passion frequency, but first, it all starts with self-love!

Categories
self discovery

Two Years of Living Beautifully

Time flies when you’re making the most out of life.

When I moved to Boston two years ago I didn’t know anyone, but I found comfort in my writing. I started this blog to share my journey, process my feelings, and learn the power of vulnerability.

Two years later, I’ve grown so much, connected with amazing people, and learned to be much braver. Thank you for following along, sending emails, and for all of your love and support.

Here’s to year three!

Dunkin at Tiffany’s