Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: elise blaha cripe

Piqued

 

It was a quiet week – always grateful for that. I slept really well despite intense dreams, the cooler temps and darker mornings made for sleeping in some. We ate dinners at home, made it to the climbing gym and I got a haircut.

I feel like I did a really good job resting up before an overnight camping trip this weekend, 2nd Jimmy Eat World show in a month on Sunday plus traveling for work this coming week. I’m learning that I don’t just need recovery time after highly intense situations but I can build in “topping off” time to make sure my reserves are at their fullest before going into intense or tiring situations.

And now, a few links…

Kyla Roma is just a gem on her site. This post How I Live (Mostly Happily!) with Depression & Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not only an eye-opener about her experience, but also has a ton of links to resources and apps (!!). She writes “I had no idea how much of what I experienced daily wasn’t normal (and was optional!)” She makes the point that we only know the world as we know it, and if we’ve always felt a certain way, how can we know that that way is normal? More importantly, depression can make you forget you ever felt otherwise and obliterate you in its passing. It’s a good read.

“The process of making these books is good for you to help you process each season, appreciate it, and remember the details while also creating something to look back on in the future.” You may not know how much I love the idea of scrapbooking, but this list 10 Reasons To Give Scrapbooking A Chance hits on all the points of why I do. I just want to do it more and more. Journaling, blogging, photographing and scrapbooking. Tell all the stories!

I am continuing to learn more and more about introversion and being highly sensitive. I am not sure this applies to me for business meetings When Introverts Should Avoid Coffee, but in general, I am very sensitive to caffeine. Last weekend I had a mocha and was so wired I couldn’t think straight. Overall, I’ve switched back to tea, sip one latte a week (more for the comfort than caffeine) and avoid straight coffee entirely. Decaf doesn’t seem to matter, but the quality of the coffee does.

I linked to Elise’s blog before. Most recently she blogged her business story (you can read the entire thing here). In the last post, she spoke about her newest product idea, the BIG IDEA, the Get To Work Book. Crazy thing is, it isn’t even in production yet, and she won’t launch till July 2015. Being a paper / planner / Type-A / listmaker I am excited for the product, but more so, I am sooooo pumped she is sharing the process and behind-the-scenes of launching this product. #celebrationemoji

Years ago I wrote about stillness, and how I realized that it was never going to arrive, but instead be something I needed to actively seek amidst the activity of my full life. I think all the time – daily, at least – of TS’s Eliot’s lines from Four Quartets, We must be still and still moving. Being still in the middle of the busy-ness, that’s the goal, at least for me.  Finding ways to breathe and to be here, mostly because without doing that I miss my life.  And as I remind myself, over and over again, I chose this, this manifold set of responsibilities and identities which unfurl, shimmering, piling upon each other, beautiful and daunting at the same time.

The Slipstream of Life. Lindsey continues to break my heart and take my breath away.

Don’t forget to set your clock to “fall back” at 2am Sunday! Bye daylight savings time.

For the Halloween spirit, every year, Cathy Zielske wears a bee costume, and recently posts a video of her dancing as said bee. While the video is funny, the fact that she wears the same costume every year for 24 years is what tickles me. Check out the 2014 Bee Dance.

Lastly, h/t to my friend (and former boss) Emily for this delicious video of Patrick Fugit singing, rock star hair and all. #scorpio #obsessed

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Piqued

The week continued to be a doozy. It seems after the meltdown on Wednesday, things were looking up again. Thursday was quiet. Easy. Good.

Then Friday I ran around and hosted a big event. The amazing thing is that I have an assistant now and he rocks. This was the first time I felt like I was actually hosting an event and not just running around like a crazy person for 5hrs.

But back at home that night I cried and cried again – getting into an actual argument with H and melting down for the 2nd time in a few days.

What the heck?

Yes, it’s definitely hormones, but besides that, I still don’t know. And I’m not sure I’ll figure it out. But I have today to hang out with a good friend from college, tomorrow a video chat with another longtime friend and then completely free. Monday I plan to take an entire day to myself and go wander Pasadena, taking photos, sitting in cafes and exploring.

The above picture is of Cater in a large box from a hiking backpack H ordered. Carter knows tons of commands, so with a little food bribing, we can get him to do lots of cool things. Like climb into a box and lay down, b/c it’s funny… but then he stayed there! So we gave him his duckie and towel and he chilled out for a while. Proving again, he is secretly part cat. Also, animals are so weird. And the best.

So now, some links:

Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Yes, I linked to this in other posts, but I love E. Gilbert and I will watch anything she’s on.

The internet has created the Facebook engagement reveal, blog-featured wedding, and Pinterest-worthy baby’s rooms – so of course announcing a pregnancy is also swept up in this series of public displays of “my life is awesome”. A couple announced their pregnancy by creating a Wes Anderson parody and I loved everything about it.

I want to set a calendar reminder to reread A Cup of Jo’s post 10 Things I’ve Learned In My Career every month.

She also linked an article she wrote for the New York Magazine about people who only wear one color. Being almost 38% done with my #30daysofdresses challenge, I am finding it more constricting than liberating. So I’m not sure I could wear only one color, but I do love me some navy.

Elise is sharing This Is My Business Story in installments and I can’t get enough. The details, the timeline of things, the practicality and the reflection. Elise is a planner, works super hard and really values the behind-the-scenes sharing which, in my opinion, is a great use of the internet and the other side of the coin to the above paragraph about everyone’s fabulous version of their life they share online. And as someone who is considering updating her blog / changing the path of my career, I love that she’s kept every one of her posts live, all the way back to the beginning. How’s that for behind-the-scenes?

Lindsey never ceases to amaze me with her words on memories, living, time and life. Time Folds Like An Accordion made me aware of my own life again, it’s little details as I sit here typing this for you, for me – to remember – H napping on the couch, Carter napping in the chair, a vase of flowers on the table, and arrangement I made for the event on Friday night. How time slips and slides and truly does fold back on itself.

And because I saw Gone Girl last weekend and b/c Jennifer Garner is gracious and adorable while being asked about her husband’s success with the movie even though she has TWO movies of her own out (ahem)… watch her on Ellen.

Think that’s enough for now. xo

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Technically, I should be traveling in Alaska while you read this, but I’ve pre-posted these links b/c I’m working to take my blog more seriously, and my serious I mean consistency is key. If I haven’t posted at all this week (due to wifi or just because, ALASKA) then I’m sure I’ve shared photos over here on Instagram.

This week’s dog picture was taken by me of (Prince) Potter, owned by friend & photographer Billye Donya – you can check out more of Potter on her Instagram (she’s also the one who snapped our engagement photos back in the day).

Loving my coaching sessions with Heidi Taylor – her post about investing in yourself is full of nuggets of advice.

Been thinking a lot about taking action for my own projects and feeling the motivation to actually put butt-in-chair. Elise hits on a good point in her post about consuming vs creating:

If you’re struggling to get your own shop going or your own blog running or your own business idea off the ground, reading about other people stories is only inspiring to a point. Eventually you have to turn it off and sit at a desk and hammer it out. You have to embrace that not as enjoyable part because that’s the part when it’s actually happening.

I thought this post by Paul Jarvis contained a multitude of practical go-out-and-do advice for experienced freelancers.

Tara Gentile’s Quiet Power series on Facebook is pretty cool. Strategy #1 and #2.

And on the quiet power note – and because I am a deep reader – I tend to agree with much of this: Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With (even though H isn’t a reader at all).

I know it’s an ad for Under Armour, but Misty Copeland? Holy crap. This is gorgeous and inspiring and kicks ass. Also, two weeks ago I tried on 10 pairs of leggings at the sports store and the only pair that fit me right was Under Armour, so win-win.

 

 

Not Responsible For Other People’s Success

We know that I care a lot about self-care. That self-care seems to be the best way for me to make myself happy, to have enough energy to deal, to feel my feelings and to be present in my days. I think a lot about how, when my reserves are low, I feel like a screaming 4 year old. And if my reserves are high, I feel like Superwoman.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with anxiety. It’s coming from feeling really out of control with my salaried job and from not having enough down time, even with vacation.

I’ve spent the past 6+ months feeling like “life is steam-rolling me and going with the flow is gonna get me sucked out to sea.” And I wrote about wanting to make a change. To create boundaries and understand what my priorities are, instead of just going with the next thing…and the next thing… and the next thing.

It seems that, to dig out from the back log, to create space, to feel in control, I needed a new tool.

So, I’ve started saying No.

It began with the hand-to-heart practice that Heidi taught me. That little action began to give me pause.

Then, I decided to clear my meetings for the next few weeks. Meetings take up tons of energy for this introvert, they suck up time and create even more work. I needed a buffer. I needed to go through the back-log from months of chaos. I needed to feel relieved and focused when I woke up, not dread.

Then, I listened to Tiffany Han on Elise’s podcast (episode 17) where she speaks about taking a social media break, being bored, and saying no.

“You are not responsible for the success of anyone else’s business endeavor…people need to be strict preserves of their sanity, because no one else is going to look out for you. Cuz no one else cares that much, honestly. We’re all trying to do our own thing.”

What?!

I am not responsible for other people’s success?

Of course I’ve heard this before, but for some reason, Tiffany’s no bullshit attitude coming through my headphones was like a sermon. I felt the grace of good advice run through me.

Because that’s how I feel. Often. That I am responsible for everything. And to start saying no, to separate myself from other people’s needs, to create some space to think about how I feel and what I want – this has felt like a game changer.

So, I said no.
No, I don’t want to go to Six Flags.
I don’t want to leave my apartment.
I don’t want to cook tonight.
I don’t want to host that event that maybe only 10 people will show up to.
I don’t want to stay up late.
I don’t want a glass of wine.
I don’t want to travel for work right now.
I don’t want to meet up on a Saturday.
I don’t want to go on a 10m hike.

These things are all awesome in the general context of life. I am not turning down bad things, if anything, I am saying no to things that seam unreasonable to say no to. But, it has to be done.

Because each time I said no to one of these items, I created space for downtime, for refueling, for quiet.

(We know, I need so much downtime to function.)

But also, each time I said no, I was able to say yes to something awesome too. Going to the beach for lunch, going for a run alone, meeting a friend for coffee, spending time with H, working on a cool project, blogging, reading. Or doing nothing. Things that refuel my reserves. Things that I deem worthy of my time. Things that matter to me.

So – as the deep summer is upon us – I encourage you to say “no” to something this week. Open up some space in your life. Maybe it’s something you hate, or something you said yes to once before and now feel obligated to keep it up. Maybe it’s something where the other person will be disappointed or you’ll feel guilty. Go listen to that podcast and try out that two-letter word. No.

Because you are not responsible for the success of anyone else.

You can be selfish, in the very best way. You can say No.

Piqued

Missed 2 weeks there due to my parents being in town + crappy wifi at the vacation house. The week went fast – H was down with a stomach bug and we were just coming back from family vacation and celebrating our two year anniversary. This is the first weekend in weeks where we are not scheduled by the hour and I plan on loving every empty minute of it.

My sister is a big Colbie Caillat fan. I feel a tad jealous that someone can have the looks + the voice + the songwriting skills etc buuuuuttttt I do love this story and new video: Colbie Caillat Is Tired of Being Photoshopped: Here’s What She Did About It

And if you’re into cute music videos that totally rock pop culture / hot topics by female singers who are great role models, watch Sara Bareilles help these kids get engaged:  

“To become a runner you must run. There is no other way.” – Hannah Marcotti’s post On Becoming A Runner.

Found Kyla Roma via Instagram (isn’t she the cutest??) and am loving reading through her posts and her Podcast Recommendations, but the most important thing is that she just adopted a HEDGEHOGI die.

Speaking of podcasts, listening to Tiffany Han on Elise’s podcast this week was just what I needed to hear  – Saying No to Say Yes (podcast will play in window). If I’m going to really own my time, if I’m going to prioritize what I want to do, I need to say “No” 100x more often. And remind myself that I am not responsible for anyone else but me. (Why is this so hard?!)

And this also helps, Born Hatin’: Why Some People Dislike Everything – b/c while I have a critical eye, I’m learning that there are just people who flip the f-out when presented with a new idea. More and more I feel if you’re not presenting a different idea or approach, if your criticism is not coming from a place of making an idea better, but instead to just keep us from trying something new, I have no time for you.

xo

Piqued

I spend a lot of time online – reading and absorbing. And I’ve seen how other bloggers post link round-ups, but I hesitate to do the same b/c I don’t want to create more entry points to the black hole of the internet. So I’ve decided to have a (hopefully) weekly post where I collect things that have caught my eye, sharing them with you, but mostly throwing down a snapshot of my brain in web-links.

Oh, and it will (hopefully) include a weekly photo of Carter Cash b/c…
Carter Cash.

Last night, we sat in OVER AN HOUR of traffic at MIDNIGHT because the 405 was CLOSED. Happy Mercury retrograde!!!

Abide With Me and Staying Near, by Lindsey Mead (and the quote below) made me feel and think, but I’m finding Lindsey’s writing often does that to me:

Just being – ourselves, with someone else, aware – is no small feat for most of us. Being present to someone else with our conscious self. Bearing witness to someone else without judgment. Listening to someone else without agenda. This is a true gift.

Medium: started by the founder of Twitter & Blogger, Ev Williams, a new platform for longer stories. I’ve been thinking about longer stories and how I want my blog to hold space for that kind of writing. Will share if I actually sign up & post on Medium.

As the art critic Harold Rosenberg once wrote: “Being loved is a kind of fame.”
And, in America, we seem to see anonymity as being the polar opposite of what we all believe we value most: authenticity.
Authenticity is this God-term that encapsulates what we as Americans find sacred and it is the heart our culture of romantic individuality.
I’ll define authenticity as that which what we feel is most real, true and original about ourselves.
And authenticity has this interesting correlation with fame.
As in: the more I’m seen and known, the more famous I am, the more authentic I am.
Despite the fact that fame, as we all know, is in its essence a kind of persona or mask and also a kind of un-reality.

(Above quote) Speaking of longer stories, my friend Steve, who is the person who suggested that I should try therapy b/c I would probably enjoy it – is blogging! We have these epic 3-hour-long lunches where we talk & discuss & delve deeper than regular conversations, and reading his blog gives me that same feeling, and though it doesn’t replace our convos, it’s a good bridge till the next time.

I met Jen Lee and watched her film, Indie Kindred, when she toured last year. I felt so special Jen took time to chat with me one on one – it was like she was there just to see me. She’s one of my creative heroes and I’m happy to share Indie Kindred was released in streaming form online this past week – and also, I’m included in the trailer. Weeeeeeee!

I have to admit, when I heard Elise was launching a podcast, Elise Gets Crafty, I felt jelz. Like, really. I want a podcast haha. But I’m only 6 episodes in, and I have to say, where it lacks in polish, it more than makes up for it in awesome information & discussions. It’s a testament to having an idea, launching, and figuring it out as you go – which is more than most people can say. Episode 3 is my fav so far.

West Coast – Lana Del Rey. This song is officially my summer jam. I don’t know many songs that make me want to dance and make out.

Down on the West Coast, they got their icons
Their silver starlets, their Queens of Saigon
And you’ve got the music, you’ve got the music
In you, don’t you?

Down on the West Coast, they love their movies
Their golden gods and rock and roll groupies
And you’ve got the music, you’ve got the music
In you, don’t you?

 

Annnnddddddd a few of my favorite link round-ups:
Something Good, by Jill Salahub
Five on Friday, by Kelly Purkey
Web Time Wasters, by Yes and Yes

 

Not Your Momma’s Scrapbook

So, all of a sudden, I have a small scrapbooking hobby. It seems a natural progression – journal, take photos, combine writing + pictures = scrapbooking.

But this ain’t your momma’s scrapbook.

There are no cheesy stickers of soccer balls for soccer-themed photos, no cutting photos out into odd shapes, and certainly not just a bunch of bits and pieces glued down in a book (though that can still work).

Now it’s less theme-y and yet still all about capturing our lives. It’s about preserving stories, showcasing gorgeous photos and playing with paper.

I still haven’t found my groove yet. One reason is that I’m hesitant to dive into this hobby full-force. What if it becomes a pile of unused supplies? And where the hell am I going to store the final products when H already has nightmares of my journals overtaking our living room???

My entry point was some combination of Project Life, reading Elise’s blog and listening to a scrapbooking podcast without actually scrapbooking. I’ve been doing Project Life since January and I’m about 8 weeks behind. I am OK with this. (Apparently many people start to freak out they’re “behind”. I am just impressed I still care about this project).

I’m enrolled in Ali Edwards’ Hello Story class – and while I’m loving the IDEAS, I’m still hitting resistance in actually making anything. I’m confident this will work itself out.

Asking myself these questions:

  1. why do I want to tell stories?
  2. how do I want to tell them?
  3. how do I want to share them?

That is all.

Just a quick marker for where I’m at, and a list below of the sites that I now visit since I care about this niche. Also note that I am super-duper trying to not fall into the consumer panic of new products / over-shopping / hoarding. Instead, I’m hoping I can get creative and make what I need rather than buying it.

We’ll see.

My style is potentially some combination of these:

Project Life (Becky Higgins)

Elise Blaha Cripe

Ali Edwards

Marcy Penner

 

Minimalist & gorgeous:

Pink Ronnie (Rhonda Mason)

Paislee Press (Liz Tamanaha)

 

Much brighter / busier in design but so FUN:

Amy Tangerine

Kelly Purkey

Ann-Marie Morris

 

Other resources:

Paperclipping Round Table podcast

Big Picture Classes

A New Hobby

Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to the Paperclipping Round Table show for a while. I have no recollection of how I found it, but I’ve listened to over 100 episodes. It gets me through my commute and running mileage.

Maybe it’s because I found Elise Blaha Cripe’s blog.

Maybe it’s because I want to capture and tell stories, and to use my free time to be creative.

Regardless, here I am at the start of week 3 of 2013 and I’ve completed 2 weeks of Project Life. (You can go here for more info). It’s awesome it’s finally here, that I’m taking photos daily and trying to work in bigger picture journaling here on the blog, with my very acute writing of morning pages in the AM, with the short stories & pictures of the PL spreads.

I’m aiming to find a balance, some type of niche for each that serves its purpose. I’m running my weeks Sunday to Saturday, and working on it on Monday evenings.

It’s all helping me focus on what matters. It’s allowing me to find a rhythm. And it’s giving me a sense of ease.

I don’t know if I’m obsessed or “so in love” with it, but I feel it in my gut as a year long project that I want to complete, even if it evolves. Last week I thought I didn’t have anything to tell, but I had more photos than I knew what to do with. It’s awesome.

In an effort to not go product crazy, I haven’t bought anything and am using only what my husband bought me for Christmas. I do want some stickers and tags, but saving money and capturing the stories is most important. I plan on printing my photos once a month and probably won’t share actual spreads as I can’t imagine doing anything crazy with mine.

If you’d like to see a few people who I’m digging check out: Elise Blaha Cripe, Ali Edwards, and Marcy Penner. Somehow this is all feeding into my One Little Word, which I haven’t written about here much yet, and my need to love what I love. Structure, classy, sparkly, clean and story. Yes.

Happy Birthday Ricky!

Happy 25th birthday to my little sister Ricky. Quarter-century! If she’s that old, then I must almost be 30. Eek.

Tonight we have plans to go out country-line dancing in the Valley of Los Angeles. At a gay bar. Should be hilarious.

I bought her the Project Life Cobalt kit and some pocket pages. I am so excited to embark on (aka jump on the band wagon of) a year of Project Life and got my sister interested as well. Unfortnately, the kit I want, by crafter Elise Blaha Cripe, still isn’t available yet. Worst case I’ll get the Amber kit.

Yay for having my sister in Los Angeles and living in my apartment – partners in crime.