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 💛

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.

Positive People: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“Stay positive” has been a common term loosely used in day-to-day life, often by people who say they’re positive, yet act the opposite. Although the power of our thoughts and words are a major component in personal growth, the way one acts around others plays an even bigger part in the Power of Positivity.

Positive thinkers aren’t just people who avoid negative thoughts- they are people who know how to handle the negativity rather than avoiding it.

So, what else makes a person positive? Over the years I’ve thought about this quite often- especially when navigating my own challenges in life. Here are a few things I’m still working on myself, and may even help you along your own journey.

They Go With The Flow

Positive thinkers know they can’t control each and every situation. Instead of causing a fit when things don’t go their way, they find meaning and lessons in everyday life.

They Grow From Experiences

Have you ever noticed how the same challenges pop up in your life, but manifest in different forms? Whether it’s the sexist boss or the obnoxious roommate, you’ll continue to encounter these people until you learn how to handle them in a new, more productive way. The universe is funny like that.

They Admit When They’re Wrong

Positive thinkers are able to push their egos aside. They know when and how to be humble, and are comfortable admitting their shortcomings- especially when it affects the feelings of those around them.

They Know How to Say No

This is extremely important- setting healthy boundaries can be crucial to maintaining friendships and honoring one’s own self care. People pleasing may seem like the easier route, but will wear you out in the long run. It’s better to be honest and say “no” than to build resentments.

They Don’t Change Around Other People

Positive thinkers stay true to themselves around everyone in their life. They hold strong to their opinions, but don’t take offense when others don’t agree.

It takes a lot of practice to handle negative people or situations, but when you discover your truth- and walk in it- your life flows more effortlessly. You will no longer take everything so personally, not will the opinions of others matter so much.

When you love you, magical things start to happen.

“She’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.” -Rupi Kaur

Believe: The Gateway to Self

German philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.”

On this 12/12, I have been thinking about everyday magic and living in infinite possibilities.

Keeping my eye out for synchronicities and signs, I have made a conscious effort to stay connected, grateful, and in my own truth.

12/12 is a magical gateway to transformation, helping to guide you closer to your soul purpose and passions. This gateway assists in feeling confident, empowered, and loved; the old will begin to slip away and make room for a newness that will be better aligned with your heart.

You can find magic each and every day- you just need to be open to what life brings you. As we stop listening to what others on the outside say and begin to listen to what’s inside, a new peace is found and unexpected doors will open.

All you need is to believe in yourself- then others will, too.

11/11/18: A Powerful Day Of Manifestation

Did you know 11/11/18 is one of the most powerful days for manifestation?

2018 is an 11 year (2 + 0 + 1 + 8 = 11), which holds the energy of creation, spiritual enlightenment, and authentic expression. With three 11’s in the date, the energy is amplified, being three times as powerful.

Even the actual shape of the number 11 represents a gateway; if you notice, you’ll see how 11 looks like two pillars. This gateway is a direct portal between divine inspiration and grounded manifestation.

Do you ever wonder why you continually receive the same ideas over and over, but haven’t acted on them? Perhaps you see all the signs, have repeating thoughts, or hear messages from others reminding you of these ideas. For me, my own passion for helping others through writing has manifested over the years, but I continue to wonder how to take it further. What is the universe telling me? Even more importantly, how do I act on it to bring my ideas to life?

I have big goals and dreams, and I know you do too.

11/11 is the time to stop, meditate, and ask for guidance.

Think about what your heart truly desires. What signs keep leading you in that direction? What actions can you take now to bring your ideas to life?

For 11/11, there are many steps you can take to manifest your divine inspiration into reality.

First, clear your energy. You can do this through meditation, smudging (I recommend white sage), lighting incense, or clearing your aura with crystals. Clear Quartz is a powerful crystal for clearing work as well as amplifying the energy of your own spirit and the other crystals in your collection.

Next, find a quiet space to write down your dreams and goals. Focus on what you do want, not the things you don’t. Whether you write these goals down or create a vision board, your creative efforts will be recognized by the universe and the spirit guides who help lead you on the right path.

Now, ask for guidance. Meditation is a powerful way to let your guides know your intentions. I try and meditate for at least a half hour every day- sometimes longer. By centering my mind and spirit, I am able to clear the outside noise and connect with my higher, authentic self- the self I am meant to be.

It’s common to be confused about what your heart actually desires when society can sway you in many different directions. Meditation assists in reaching into your soul, not media messages or what someone else’s opinion is.

This 11/11, tap into what your soul’s calling is, and visualize the future you wish to manifest. Your thoughts are powerful, and so is your ability to create a life you love. ✨

Being Mindful of Your Social Media Consumption

I recently went through a major social media purge.

As I strolled through Copley Square checking my morning feed, I noticed how many irrelevant posts popped up on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Invitations to events across the country. Photo comments from people I hadn’t met. Accounts I followed that haven’t been used for years. From fashion brands to people I briefly knew in college, I wondered, “do I need to be seeing this?”

We underestimate how much the internet and media can flood our brains.

In my daily mindfulness practice, it’s also important for me to be mindful of what I consume online, too.

In one of my previous lives I was a fashion blogger, where I connected with brands, big and small, from all over the world. In one of my earlier pieces, “How a Fashion Blogger Became Minimalist,” I wrote about my shift in priorities, stressing the importance of quality over quantity, finding a signature style, but most importantly- finding happiness within.

Although I will never give up my love for style, it no longer makes me feel whole. I stopped looking at what everyone else “had,” and began finding happiness in my own world; not the world that someone portrays through a lens. This also goes for any social media use.

Whether it’s fashion, a lavish vacation, or a family photo, it’s been important for me to remember that looks can be deceiving. While I hope everyone feels content in their own skin, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Instead of focusing on what everyone else is doing, get out there, enjoy the simple pleasures, and create your own mindful life that you love.

Faux Extrovert

The other day I picked up the book “Quiet” at the library. It was a timely find, as I’ve been reflecting on my own self care needs, causes of anxiety, and everyday interactions with those around me.

As I read the first few pages of Susan Cain’s book, one paragraph struck me:

“Now that you’re an adult, you might still feel a pang if guilt when you decline a dinner invitation in favor of a good book. Or maybe you like to eat alone in restaurants and could do without the pitying looks from fellow diners. Or you’re told that you’re “in your head too much,” a phrase that’s often deployed against the quiet and cerebral.

Of course, there’s another word for such people: thinkers.”

Oh, how I relate.

Lately I’ve been exhausted; not due to a lack of rest, but with the amount of social interaction I have had. This has been a month of healing, but it has also been a month full of groups, social activities, and sharing my story, thoughts, and innermost challenges. In a community setting it can be difficult to find the space and time to sit and reflect; there’s always someone talking, somewhere to go, or someone critiquing what I say. Sure, I have no problem speaking up, but I am easily drained when I don’t have time to just be.

Over the past decade I’ve been extremely outgoing, which served its purpose when moving to new cities, recreating myself, making friends, and succeeding in the workplace. Alcohol helped with that, too. However, alcohol no longer serves, either.

It’s time to embrace who I truly am- on my own.

As I’ve written numerous times before, I grew up as a shy only child, spending my days drawing, reading, and writing. “Boredom” is not in my vocabulary- I’ve always known how to entertain myself through creating. However, somewhere along my path I became a social butterfly, only to find myself lashing out when my batteries weren’t charged. I never considered that my mood swings were partially due to a lack of energy.

Someone explained the definition of “introvert” to me years ago: someone who gains energy from alone time. An introvert is a very misunderstand type of person; they’re not necessarily timid or weak- an introvert holds a modest strength that doesn’t need to be proven through loud words, social interactions, or attention-seeking.

As I dig deeper into the person I once was, who I’m becoming, and the person I want to be, I have realized the power in quiet. Truth be told, extroverts tend to annoy me. How can these people be so loud? How can they be so needy? Can’t they just learn to sit still and create something instead of constantly consuming?

Of course, it’s not my place to judge people who gain energy from activities and social interactions; diverse personalities make the world go ’round. However, I have always gotten along best with fellow introverts- those who are introspective, creative, independent, and calm. I prefer one-on-one interactions to groups, deep conversations to small talk.

I’ve also learned that I don’t have to pick up a drink and be the life of the party; I can find my tribe by being myself. I can develop meaningful relationships, a purposeful career, and live a happy life by embracing my introvert characteristics.

Susan Cain describes people who pretend to be extroverts just like I have; it’s a breath of fresh air to leave that facade aside and own my introversion. I may not be loud and aggressive today, but when I do speak up, I do have something meaningful to say.

I’ve found solace and strength in my writing, and for that, I am grateful. I’m no longer afraid to speak my truth- my whole truth- and admit my struggles. More on that later. As for now, I’m enjoying my Saturday afternoon curled up with my book, writing in my journal, and soaking in the sunshine from my window.

Quiet is a beautiful thing.

Saturday Self Care: The Power of Positive Thinking

Good morning from the Mystic River!

It finally cooled down here in Medford- thank goodness! 🙂 As usual, I walked down to the river to enjoy my coffee and write. Whenever I feel a bit stir crazy or my mind runs a million miles a minute, there’s nothing like nature to ground me and calm down my thoughts.

It’s a busy Saturday here, so I wanted to start the day off on the right foot by stepping outside of myself and sharing some tools that help me tackle a hectic schedule, negative thoughts, or worries.

I have a few meetings today and wanted to put my mind in the right place before I started overthinking or questioning myself. We could work on ourselves each and every day, but we are only human. Focusing on what we are grateful for, what we like about ourselves, and what we can offer others is huge and makes a world of difference when combating any negative thoughts.

Let’s do a little exercise. Grab a pen, a piece of paper, and get your imagination ready. Writing never fails to help me set the tone for the day, and I’m confident it will help you, too.

First,

  • Write 10 things you’re grateful for
  • Write 10 qualities you like about yourself

This seems simple, doesn’t it? You would be surprised. I have spoken with many others who have told me it’s a challenge to think of their positive attributes. Although this is so surprising to me (we seem to see ourselves in a much more critical light than those around us!), many people aren’t used to thinking this way.

Society tries to tell us we aren’t enough- that we need more money, more material items, more recognition. We are told our lives must look a certain way to be happy. We are taught as young girls that we are princesses, and a handsome prince is the key to happiness. What happens when we don’t get those things? What if a prince wasn’t supposed to save us after all?

When we realize happiness comes from within, we learn we must save ourselves.

💞

Now, once you’re done, think about those 20 things above.

  • Write 5 things you can do to benefit others today.

Yes, helping others is a huge form of self care. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; it could be simply buying someone a coffee or paying a compliment. It could be giving advice, being a listening ear, or helping someone with a chore.

No matter how big or small, kindness is contagious- and the world needs more of it.

I’d love to hear your own lists and how your Saturday goes. By sharing your own inspiration, you inspire those around you, too!

Have a beautiful day. ✨