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.

New Moon in Virgo: Time to Fly!

The New Moon is my favorite time every month, representing the beginning of a new cycle and phase of our lives.

We say goodbye to the last chapter, welcoming the new energy before us.

Now is the time to spread your wings and fly.

Have you been thinking about starting that new project, taking a leap of faith, or working on something creative?  With this New Moon energy, you’ll be beautifully supported in your latest endeavor.

Listen to your intuition- what is it telling you?

From one of my favorite sites, Forever Conscious:

August has held the potential to be a turning point month so if you are feeling like your life could use some fresh inspiration or motivation, if you have been feeling a little stuck or stagnant or resistant to change, set an intention or take a small action under this New Moon in order to seal this energy into your life.

The cosmos offer the energy, but we have to be the ones to take it and integrate it into our being. This energy only exists as a potential unless we step forward and make the most of it.

Seeing as this New Moon falls in the sign of Virgo, we are also going to receive the comfort and support from Virgo’s totem, the Virgin Goddess. Although she is a Goddess, her energy applies to all genders.

You can read more about the meaning behind the Virgin Goddess in my Virgo Season article, but essentially, this is a time of independence and for standing in our truth. It is also a time for getting organized and getting our priorities in order, including our health.

What are we giving our time and energy to that is not supporting the vision or life we wish to create?

Creativity is a huge part of my life, but in the past I’ve held back from fully expressing myself, putting my work out there, or believing in my own art.

As I spread my own wings and take a chance, my spirit is lifted and my creations seem to come naturally.

I’m excited to see what this next chapter brings- and I know I’m supported in my journey.

Bracelets: Olivia Burton and MantraBand

Who Are You Calling Fragile?

Over the past few years I’ve learned the benefits of vulnerability and the value of opening yourself up to other people. As a self proclaimed “counterdependent,” I often have a hard time sharing myself with others one-on-one, or showing who I am due to fear of making a connection:

But connection is powerful.

Taking back the narrative of your life and owning your truth is a gift that takes time, but reaps immeasurable results.

I opened myself up to many different people this past year- some in recovery, and some not. Thanks to my friends in sobriety, I learned to safely share my story with people who understand.

However, sometimes you open up to people who don’t- or won’t. That’s okay too.

I was recently in a situation where I was called “fragile” by someone I hardly knew- simply because I am sober in recovery and showed my vulnerable side. What?!

I’m not sure who he thought he was talking to, but I do know today to keep my standards high and my expectations low.

After years of settling for less or compromising my own morals, I’m no longer willing to let someone else dictate my value or worth.

Struggle brings strength, and although I haven’t always made the best choices in my life, I survived my difficulties and have been able to thrive because of them.

The butterfly represents transformation and new beginnings- if she hadn’t struggled to emerge from the cocoon, she wouldn’t have the strength to spread her wings and fly.

She may be delicate, but she certainly isn’t fragile- and neither are you.