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 💛

Enjoying a Quiet Life

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As I sipped my morning coffee and watched the rain fall, an article from Elephant Journal appeared in my news feed:

It’s Okay to Want to Live a Slow & Quiet Life.

How often do you question if the life you are currently living is the life that feels most authentic to you?

One of the biggest questions I’ve mulled over the last eight months is, “What kind of life do I really want?”

As I pick through the versions of the lives I’ve lived over the last 15 years, what I keep coming back to is a life founded on simplicity. The life that resonates the most with me was a time I lived on a 50-acre vineyard and farm. My days felt like molasses—a slow, steady, and sweet flow.

It was a life of less in many ways but full of so much more richness because I was away from the busyness of life that is easy to get caught up in. I had time to experience the slow beauty of what was around me, the warm, summer breeze weaving between the apple trees, the distance cries from my flock of sheep, and green grass as it tickled my feet when I walked in it.

Amanda Whitworth

As I read the author’s experiences and journey to simplicity, I resonated with each word.  Being present is a beautiful thing, and could never be beat by bright lights or fast-paced glamour.

The reaction I usually get when people hear I moved back to Michigan is usually “wow, what a change” or “you must be bored.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even in Boston I spent a lot of time to myself and in quiet reflection.  I enjoyed days in the park writing and walked thousands of miles, just snapping photos and listening to music.  My life didn’t have any of the luxuries I was taught would make me feel “complete.”

I embraced what was right in front of me.

Although I used to spend my time going out, dating, and finding chaos, I couldn’t imagine living my life that way anymore.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than going home to a quiet apartment, reading a good book, or finding solace in nature.

Simplicity has become a big part of my life, and taking on the “less is more” mentality has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders.

It doesn’t take much to be happy when you’re happy within.  That’s the best gift of all.

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Simple Pleasures

The best things in life are free.

The older I get, the more I enjoy time to myself, strolling the streets, and taking in all the beauty around me.

As a city dweller, it’s easy to become conditioned to more- more action, more material things, and more excitement. However, with so much to see and so many beautiful things to take in, it doesn’t take any money or resources to have a wonderful day- just simple awareness.

I’m grateful to be able to stop and smell the roses- with a little mindfulness and gratitude, you’ll see that the simple pleasures in life truly are the best.

Sacred Space: The Significance of the Number 4

Yesterday I had the day off for Patriot’s Day- a holiday celebrated in both Massachusetts and Maine- and decided to spend my afternoon recharging in nature. Although I was tempted to watch the Boston Marathon runners along Beacon Street, I knew it would be best for me to connect my mind, body, and spirit with a dose peace and quiet.

We are a society on the go, and often times we neglect to honor our natural rhythms and cycles.

The number 4 represents the state of being- “things are as they are.” Through planting myself in nature, I got back to my roots and centered myself.

4 energy also represents a sacred space, a sanctuary, and embodies security- which is exactly how I felt sitting along the Charles River, breathing in the warm air and listening to the birds chirp all around me. I have my own sacred space in my home, but there’s nothing like being one with nature, allowing all feelings and thoughts to flow.

There are 4 seasons, 4 elements, 4 directions; 4 is an instrumental number, symbolizing a strong foundation and the natural cycles of life.

Since April is a 4 month, I’ve been focusing on developing my own solid foundation by taking small steps to build a peaceful and purposeful life on a daily basis. Whether it’s meditating by the river or being mindful of what you eat, consider what you’re doing today to honor your mind, body, and spirit.

You’re worth it.

Mindful Moments in the City Lights

The Public Garden is such a magical place in Boston. I spent my last evening of the long weekend strolling the park and taking in the beautiful city lights glistening on the pond. With my journal in hand, I sat on a bench and wrote out my intentions for the week.

Preparing for the days ahead by centering myself has been so helpful in staying grounded through stressful times.

Whenever I’m feeling uneasy, I just go back to my intentions and remember all the beauty around me.

Living with intention is key to a purposeful life- so don’t forget to take in those mindful moments of sitting in the park or enjoying the city lights. ✨

Sunflower Symbolism

I dated someone for a few days who called me “sunflower.” 🌻 We met on the street in Central Square and after a brief few days, I decided I DO prefer being alone (at least for now).

Nevertheless, it was a reminder from the universe to keep shining my light!

Now, I see sunflowers EVERYWHERE. My mission and purpose isn’t to partner up, live a conventional life, or to do selfish things any longer- it’s too help others and spread awareness.

The world needs it.

Living a High Vibe Life

I have a secret for you.

This morning I woke up with anxiety. Yes, every now and I still wake up uncertain about the day and wonder where my path will lead. However, now I know how to flip my thinking and realize how beautiful life is.

There’s no reason to worry- everything is happening in perfect and divine order.

This is a huge difference between my life today and my life before. I wasn’t the type of person to naturally smile through challenges, look for the positives when things got hard, and I definitely didn’t step outside of myself when I was stressed.

Today I’m able to live a high vibe life no matter what the circumstances.

As I stroll through the Public Garden on my way to lunch, I’m in awe of all the beauty around me. I watched children play among the ducklings, smiled at strangers, and hummed to my iTunes as I crossed over to Newbury Street.

It’s amazing how the simple pleasures can bring the most joy.

Maintaining a high vibration allows abundance to flow, both spiritually and monetarily. When you’re able to look at the good in the world around you and focus on your blessings, it attracts even more likeminded people, opportunities, and joy.

Even when the world seems dark, you have the chance to be the light.

Lasting Change Takes Work

Throughout my life I have made a lot of changes. When times got hard, I used to think a quick fix, move, job, or another outside influence would solve all of my problems.

Let me just say… I was very wrong.

You know how the saying goes: wherever you go, there you are.

From my past 11 years of life experience, I know that phrase to be absolutely true.

Although I’ve tried to reinvent myself and make big changes throughout my life, I’ve learned that the key to escaping the same patterns is self awareness. Once I was able to recognize what I needed to change- the inside- I learned that doing things differently instead of running was the only solution.

It gives me a huge sense of purpose to be able to share my lessons with friends, family, readers, and even people I encounter in my everyday life. I have learned that no one can save me; for I must save myself first.

I passed a beautiful mural in Brookline the other day after I visited JFK’s birthplace (who is a huge inspiration to me), which made me remember how struggle brings strength. Each and every challenge we face is an opportunity to think differently, teach us a lesson, and to grow from the experience. The butterfly wouldn’t survive emerging from its cocoon if it didn’t struggle to fly; and that reminder goes for us as humans, too.

I hope you have a beautiful week and remember how strong you are, too- even when you don’t know the outcome or solution.

You’ll find your way.