Categories
empowerment

Sometimes You Connect, Sometimes You Don’t

An interesting trend I’ve noticed these past few months is how I’ve almost, like magic, repelled people who aren’t in alignment with me.

In years past, I attracted a variety pack of narcissists, fu*k boys, and energy vampires (often times rolled into one). I attracted men who wanted me to be their arm candy, mold me into a Stepford wife, and toss my opinions out the window.

Being me, I always resisted these efforts and would flee shortly after realizing the situation I was in.

As my energetic vibration rose and I let go of my old ideas of being unworthy, my confidence increased. I began to speak up without fear of being judged or misunderstood. I stopped worrying whether people would connect with what I was saying or what my values were and continued to live my life- which is how life is meant to be lived.

As I began to change, the people in my life did, too.

I stopped trying to connect with the people in my family who judged me. I didn’t look at them for validation any longer- and I stopped caring what my peers thought about me, too (not that I ever did).

My bonds either became closer or they fell away. Many people who used to know me no longer connected with me as they used to. Guys who ask me out to coffee drop me off at my front door without trying to come in.

At first, I wondered-

Is my haircut really that bad, or is it because my energy has radically changed?

Jokes aside, I know it’s not the hair.

~

A woman I met through work asked me if I was single about a month ago. I told her yes. Giddy, she exclaimed how I absolutely needed to meet her colleague. I agreed for her to pass along my info, and immediately, the guy found me on Facebook. A few days later, we met up.

The conversation was fine. I had a good time. However, I already knew he was the type of guy I used to go out with- the kind who flashed his smile and colorful socks as he stepped out of his Jaguar on his way to an advertising meeting. That guy. Not the kind of man I’ve been attracted to since going through my own awakening- he was the kind of guy fashion blogger in New York Kristin would have been seen out with at a West Village restaurant. Then again, I also hung out with artists who lived in their run-down Tribeca studios and out-of-work writers who drank with me during the early afternoon on the Upper West Side.

NYC Kristin was still pretty laid back, all things considered.

Needless to say, we didn’t talk after our date. When the woman who set us up saw me afterward, she busted through the door with apologies. “I am SO sorry about that date,” she expressed with sadness in her eyes. I blankly looked at her, smiled, and shook my head.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m used to city dating where you go out, have fun, and it isn’t a big thing. Don’t worry,” I said with a laugh.

Then, she exclaimed once again.

“He just doesn’t know what he wants!”

That’s what really got me. He doesn’t know what he wants?

I know what I want, though- and it isn’t him.

This double standard never fails to make me laugh. As much as I wanted to declare how shallow and materialistic this guy seemed, I didn’t. I just glanced at my boss, who quickly added, “sometimes people connect, and sometimes people don’t!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Obviously, it’s human nature to wonder “what did I do wrong?” In this instance, I simply couldn’t. That just would have been my ego. It’s too obvious that I’m seeking connections with more depth- and I’m not just looking for “a” partner. Despite what society says, I’ve never been convinced I am built for monogamy or a traditional lifestyle, but having friends and companions who fit into your life at different periods seems to make sense to me.

I’ve never been a fan of labels, yet I don’t think we are all built to partner with one person for life. I’ve made some amazing connections with men throughout the years, many of them people I wasn’t “in a relationship” with. It’s clear we had a relationship, though- just not one defined by society standards.

I may never be the woman who comes home to her husband and kids in the suburbs, but I do know I won’t settle for anything less than someone who connects with my spiritual side. After all, that’s the true Kristin- not the one who buys her identity and finds her value in money, things, and status.

A similar situation happened over the summer- see Far From the Shallow.

Categories
empowerment self discovery

Balancing the Light with the Dark: What Grit Means to Me

A couple of weeks ago I had a few thoughts about toxic positivity and the “good vibes only” culture. I do love good vibes- but I’ve also learned how to navigate the bad ones.

When the name “Mindful in Style” popped into my head back in 2016, it was created with a vision of living consciously and embracing whatever style was yours- work style, writing style, and overall lifestyle. As a former fashion blogger, a lot of people related my choice of the word “style” to “fashion.” Yes, clothing is a type of style, but my play on words with the blog name was so much more than that.

It’s about being true and aware of your own way of life.

I have my own style of living mindfully, and it isn’t about wearing mala beads, sitting on a meditation cushion, or exclusively focusing on the light. It’s about embracing the grit while shining in your own unique way.

To me, grit isn’t a catchy term CEOs and “thought leaders” use to motivate employees to work harder. Grit is accepting your dark side. It’s knowing how your past shaped the person you are today. It’s accepting your mistakes, your flaws, and facing your problems.

Grit is vulnerability.

If I had an easy childhood, I probably wouldn’t have the same sense of humor as I do. I wouldn’t be called to write, and I certainly wouldn’t have as many experiences from my attempts at geographical cures.

I didn’t have a father at home to tell me I was doing a good job. I didn’t have siblings to watch out for me when I was followed and harassed on the playground. I didn’t hang out with the popular girls in school who played tennis (oh, I tried, and played terribly). Instead, people constantly bullied me, told me what was wrong with me, and laughed about my misfortune behind my back.

I mainly kept to myself and continued doing what I was doing- until I could run away for over a decade.

Today, I want to talk about it. I finally took my power back.

In October I moved back to Traverse City, a town where mean girls were a dime a dozen, with a brand new view of the world through my oversized sunglasses. I began seeing people for who they were- humans- who were simply trying to do the best they could. Perhaps those people have their own grit beneath the surface. Maybe highlighting my problems made them feel better about theirs.

Grit is taking back your narrative.

Do you have grit if you made 20 more phone calls at work than the guy sitting next to you in your cubicle? Probably not. Nevertheless, perseverance and a sense of humor through life’s biggest challenges is true success to me- whether you’re a surgeon or are serving burgers with a smile.

Enthusiasm for life and being fully present is what I treasure the most these days. Instead of focusing on the things I don’t like or didn’t work for me, I consciously fill my thoughts and energy on the things I love. I revisit stories of my past and use the grit to help others. My darkness fuels my creativity today- mostly because I am proud of myself for learning to heal the pain and insecurities that once crippled me.

Sometimes I still cry when I think about things that once happened to me- but I can embrace those feelings today. I can embrace how far I have come. I don’t have to hold onto resentments- I can forgive, move on, and share stories.

To me, that’s grit.

Here’s another post I wrote about “grit” back in 2018.

Good vibes with a dash of darkness.
Categories
mindfulness self care

Enjoying a Quiet Life

77358496_10108136978846178_1159279447774330880_n

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.

76760025_10108136978831208_4666397364838203392_n

Categories
self care

I’m Not Ignoring You, I’m Just Living In The Moment

Each minute of every day, we have communication right there in our pocket (or in my case, a Henri Bendel handbag).

From texts to calls, our phones never cease to ring, beep, or buzz.  We receive social media alerts, Tweets, and comments.  Since it’s so easy to get a hold of one another, people sometimes forget that we all have our own lives, obligations, and self care to attend to.  It’s not necessary to respond to everything we receive right away.

In this day and age, it’s crucial to take the time to go “off the grid” to focus on what’s right there in front of you.  Whether it’s spending face time with friends and family, reading a book, or enjoying time in nature, it’s so important to put down the phone and be in the moment.  Embracing what is right in front of you is what life is all about.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why it took you a few hours to respond, nor do you need to feel obligated to check your Facebook feed every hour.  It’s important to remember that life is happening around us every minute, and although the virtual world can be fun (and important for staying in touch with our loved ones), being mindful and in the moment is the greatest gift of all.

So, put down your iPhone and do something that takes you back to your childlike joy.

Your mental health will thank you.

Categories
conscious living mindfulness self care

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.