23 December 2010

reverb 10: travel!

so you know what gets me, almost everyday, of this journey through reverb10? the synchronicity of it all! 2011 is absolutely turning out to be remarkable~thanks to the reflection & manifestation of all this goodness that abounds.

December 22 – Travel
How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?
you won't believe me when i tell you what i'm about to tell you {or maybe you will!} but here's what news i received exactly one day before this prompt: I'm going to Ireland in April!!!! And I just found out on Tuesday. and the best part? It's work travel to an amazing conference: The 2nd Annual World Social Marketing Conference in Dublin! Wow---I'm so excited I can hardly stand myself! A few reasons: 
1. I've been hard at work on a pilot program at the University of Louisville, and this program has been accepted for a paper/presentation at the Conference. I'll be attending alongside some spectacular individuals, a Communication professor and the director of UofL's Health Management Program (aka: my boss). 
2. I haven't been out of the country in way too long!
3. PW gets to join in on all the fun! We're going to make a vacation of it.
southwest ireland via
So, 2011, travel? yes please. I'm so thrilled. And if you're thinking "you should get married over there!!!", hear this: you're not the first one to think/say that. Ironically (or maybe NOT), I have always adored the wedding in Tristan & Isolde (my FAVORITE movie), where part of the ceremony involves Isolde floating in on a river raft made of logs with her paddling bridesmaids. I'm sure my sister would totally go for that, don't you think?

cheers to Ireland!!!

21 December 2010

trust what's ahead, 2011

{to be completely honest, i've been lying in bed/in pajamas since yesterday evening at 5:30pm. read: 27+hours of achy & exhausted & resting.  my body needed rest &it hit me hard monday morning. in an effort to be well, i listened. and its amazing what our bodies say when we listen. a. maze. ing! so here goes reverb10 after hanging in my nest alone like a little bird waiting for its wings}

beething's adorable nesting birds print available here
someone once told me that if God ever told us exactly what was coming, we'd never get out of bed.

if we had known what 2010 would bring, either we'd have been really eager or really scared (and perhaps some of the inbetween). never present. never peaceful. never with the ebb & flow of life.

i think said someone told me that when i was sixteen and my high school boyfriend had kissed another girl. classy. and by classy, i mean not classy.  and you know...

drama ensued. my whole world came crashing down because he kissed some other girl. in my corner of the world when i was a mere 16, i believed in the Jake Ryan's of the world: handsome, faithful, and ahem, behind the wheel of a porsche 911 turbo.

in the long run, the hot lips boyfriend wasn't that big of a deal (imagine that) but the lesson, that we can't know what our days will hold, has stuck to my ribs in the most meaningful way.

in a way that all things stick that are, at the same time, so poignant and so challenging.

the reverb10 prompt today had me thinking: 
what will 2011 hold and who am i to know 
(or even guess at it)

2010 was so blow-me-out-of-the-water good that i feel like all i can do these days is rise & shine & give every day my most whole-hearted self.

i could get specific, perhaps and write a letter to 2011 outlining a wee bit of what i hope for.  i will CERTAINLY map out a dream-board and make plans to greet the year with inspired action, but let's be very honest: i have a knowing deep inside that guides my decision making & {truthfully} has yet to fail me. call it what you may (God, intuition, the inner compass), but i have every faith that it will serve me well in 2011.

i hope you hold the same certainty (and challenge) in your chest as you approach the coming year.

20 December 2010

reverb10: ebb & flow

i know i'm not the only one feeling ever-so-slightly behind on my reverb10 posts. we could talk about that for days though, and talk about all the reasons why we're behind and whats been holding us and why we've thought about giving up and on & on. but in my heart of hearts, i think only one thing need be said: 

reverb10 is all about the ebb & flow. 

so gear up for a good long post and lets get to it! i am going to get specific, and ATTEMPT to keep this to a minimum of <3 sentences per prompt. think i can do it?

December 13 – Action. When it comes to aspirations, it’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. What’s your next step? (Author: Scott Belsky)
EASY! Next steps: 
1) set wedding date. 
2) sign up for road race(s). 
3) sign up for wellness coaching certification.
December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)
More than ever before, I appreciate the lives and stories of people sitting around the table with me. In the boardroom, on barstools, at the beach; I continue to find myself alongside human beings whose stories have meaning, value & heart. I feel able to listen with less judgement, more appreciation & increased gratitude than ever before.
December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)
(breaking my three sentence rule in place of a time limit. the prompt made me!) 2010 in three word sentences for 5 minutes. go! my golden year. pursuit of passions. change, challenge, & courage. picnic with paul. engaged! austin half marathon. get healthy now. eleanor beatrice. wing-wide. heart-centered. 2,400 miles to austin. celebration of love. back to school. new york city. energy & vitality.
December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)
The covenant of friendship is more sacred to me than ever before. I have seen how as our lives change, that which is central takes a certain focus, and we must determine, everyday, in each moment, what matters most. Knowing that, in a deep way, allows us to honor the decisions of our friendships, hold space for one another in a light-hearted way, while also honoring the beauty (and certainty) of change. 
December 17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)
I learned that I have gifts & talents that are recognized in many capacities, and the power to manifest my dreams in concrete ways, through simple actions & unwavering faith.  This will be a lesson that is learned and relearned throughout the years.
December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)
Kaileen, I'm so glad you asked! I didn't manifest something that I think would be beneficial and lead to increased well-being for many people. Its on the list for 2011. Stay tuned...
December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)
I never told the blog world about my sudden leg problem before the half-mary or about the little aches and pains along the way. I'm so grateful for my health & wellbeing, the little things always work themselves out. ;) 
December 20 – Beyond Avoidance What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)
I despise the world should, but in all truth: I should have been more reflective, more generous, more kind. 2010 was so good to me & there isn't enough that I could give or do or be out of the gratitude I hold for this year. 2011 will certainly offer up those opportunities. I just know it!

16 December 2010

short letters to the world

dear grapefruit: you're delicious and i could eat you every morning if i had the patience & time.

dear snowday: i mean, iceday really, you were much needed.

dear one legged squats on a bench: i found muscles in my butt & legs i never knew existed. sitting down was easy before you. see sarah eat knows what i'm talking about.

dear acorn & butternut squash roasting in the oven: you know i love you.

dear christmas cards: you could, quite possibly, be my favorite part of the holiday season. sending swanky holiday cheer to those near & far? gahh, i love it!

dear mailman: yes, that is my RETURN TO SENDER envelope you have in your hand, couldn't you tell as i handed you 6 envelopes that look exactly the same? whatd'ya know? an extra stamp for mailing things to canada.

dear earl gray tea: i think i'm convinced you're a pretty good substitute for coffee. don't tell coffee.

dear painter & sculptor extraordinaire (aka: my hairdresser): you rock. there is nothing like a refresh on my roots & a little off here & there to make me feel like a babe.

dear dental assistant who probed my gums yesterday in three-spots on each tooth then told me "you would do well to floss more often:" DUH! i already knew that.

dear coffee: i lied to earl gray tea. i don't know what i would've done without you yesterday after that gum-probing.

dear bréne brown: i just got my inspiration bundle in the mail (personalised & autographed bookplates, bookmarks, & inspiration cards). and you better believe i am singing your praises. so loud my neighbors can probably here. no shame here, bréne. no shame!

dear house: i'm going to clean you in just a minute. promise.

dear reverb10: you're really turning me upside down & making me think deeply about this year. i needed that in a major way. i'm really appreciative of the hard work of kaileen elise, gwenbell, and caligater for pulling this together. there are many ways to thank you. this is one.

dear NYC: see you in a few weeks! ready to rock this.

dear golden year: you have shown me a few tricks, a few treats, and a whole lot of refinement. i wouldn't trade you for anything. nop, nothing. you've been solid, sparkling, and just what i needed.

13 December 2010

full body integration: reverb day 12

December 12 – Body Integration: This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

Reverb 10- day 12

This goes without giving it too much thought: Half marathon self= body+mind+spirit =totally intertwined!

Read more here: the strong self 

12 December 2010

reverb 10: a little catchup session

wowza, i thought i was only a day or two behind. turns out i'm four. oh well. keep on, keepin on! i took the entirety of my day to think about yesterday's prompt: #11. and looking back at the ones i've missed, i'm comfortable moving straight on to #11. not that i don't like to think about cultivating community, celebrations, and the wisest decision of 2010, but because these aspects have been fully integrated into my work and life this year. new job, new blog friends, seeing some of my close friends be married; 2010 has been a loving, wise whirlwind, and i wouldn't have it any other way.

walk the golden way. it's hard to find, but there is a golden thread to walk on.

moving right along, i'll start with this prompt, a la yesterday:

December 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

PW can confirm: I am the queen of making lines in the sand. It must be tough to live with me, because one day i'm a vegetarian not drinking coffee or eating sweets, and the next day i'm training for a marathon and losing 15 pounds, and the next day i'm craving a hamburger and SERIOUSLY, please bring home some grass-fed beef!

So this elimination list, oh yeah, shame wanted to have a HEYDAY with this one. I had to think about it all day long, and read everybody elses lists, and cozy up with my own judgement and shame for a bit. Then, covered in the weight of comparison, discontent, and totally disarmed (no courage, capacity to make a meaningful decision, a bit sad), i finally crashed. like whatever. what a lame prompt. la la la la la...and not in a christmas carol kind of way. 

Finally, i got a hold of myself, conjured up the courage to shut down the lap top and go on a run. I got all my gear on, stepped outside, and it started to rain. I said, "WTH, I'm going anyway." Grabbed Paul's raincoat, and hit the pavement. I never felt so much resolve. Such satisfaction. 

Knowing your own breath and listening to your own heartbeat is a healing, spiritual act. 

I encourage each one of us to explore that connection (which interestingly enough leads us to prompt day 12---those reverb folks are SMART!).

So I came back to the house with a clarity that surpassed all the judgement, shame and discontent. I wasn't going to settle for a list of what I shouldn't have, I was going to generate 11 things that were truly getting in the way of me finding the fine golden thread each day.  That's a long story, but its a true one. And I really felt like sharing.

11 Things to Eliminate in 2011:

  1. The Snooze Button: You know the drill. Roll over: Snooze. Snooze. Snooze. "SHIT! It's 8:30!" No more. I don't know how I'm going to do this, but I am determined.
  2. Stomach Aches: When I'm eating properly, I don't have knots in my abdomen. I know what causes it, and I know exactly how to keep it from occurring.
  3. Clutter: Piles of what I did yesterday around the house just give me another thing to trip on. 
  4. Shortcuts: I am the queen of cutting corners. Dropping things. Taking too much on at one time and needing to modify. Will take the long way, the real way.
  5. Shoulder pain: I haven't shared this on the blog, but I've been dealing with persistent shoulder pain since earlier this year. Ergonomics at my workstation? Worsening posture? I'm really not sure, but I'm ready to get healing.
  6. Negative Self-Talk: Little by little. Let the negativity be replaced with affirmations.
  7. Ill-fitting clothes: A great looking work wardrobe is expensive, but worth every penny. That goes for fun clothes, too.
  8. Seconds: This idea was borne out of Michael Pollan's S policy: "No snacks, no seconds, no sweets — except on days that begin with the letter S.”  Sometimes I eat too fast and its a weird reflection of this "never enough" belief---(see #9)----so eliminating seconds will hopefully help me appreciate the abundance of round one.
  9. Lack: I was telling PW that I want to practice a belief in Abundance in 2011. I don't know what that means, but this is a preliminary thing to eliminate...I can get a feeling of lack pretty easily "nothing in this fancy NY boutique will fit me."  "They never have size 11 shoes." "Waaa waaa waaaa" Plays into #7 & #8, no?
  10. Noise: Lately I've noticed I have struggled with silence. I want to call my mom or turn up the radio the second I get in the car for my drive home. I think this is a pretty stark reflection of what a busy bee I've been---and that's OK---but I want to get rid of some of the noise in my life. The constant internet access, the lack of journaling, the dine & dash meals, the fully-charged ipod on every run.  Silence can be so healing, and necessary in this noisy world we live in. I really want to appreciate it anew in 2011. 
  11. Sentences that start with "When I..."  ...sign up for another race, ...get enough money, ...find the exact time, etc. etc. etc. If 2010 has taught me anything, it is that RIGHT NOW, in this VERY PRECIOUS moment, you can be, do, have, and appreciate every thing you've ever dreamed of. Live your dream. and start this very minute.

If you've read this far, you're brave, and I am appreciative. Thanks for holding this space with me, without judgement or comparison. Its time for some fresh air and a loud heartbeat. 
Sending love, xoxo

11 December 2010

my favorite christmas card/custom work order...ever!

i interrupt my regularly scheduled reverb post to share my favorite christmas card/custom work order...ever!

one of my nearest & dearest had moved to austin, tx a few years ago, and being the path maker she is, she picked up a new hobby: Yoga.

this is someone who, quite literally, couldn't touch her toes.

she: speaks fluent spanish, has seen many corners of the globe, does the gator chomp, and can eat massive amounts of galletas. she lives your cut-of-the-mill adventure-filled life.

so when she asked me to make her a custom card to gift her favorite yoga instructors with, i was, to say the least, flattered. i just found the picture of it in the archives of my computer and wanted to share with you today.

let's spend more time in this posture during 2011.
let's turn 2011 on its head 
excavate all the goodness waiting to be unearthed. 
sending love. 
xoxox stephanie

p.s. i love custom work requests. please contact me if you're interested.

08 December 2010

reverb10: day 8: different & beautiful

Prompt: Beautifully different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different - you'll find they're what make you beautiful.

day 8 of reverb 10.
the things that make me {beautifully} different.

i am the most proud aunt i know.

i love to move. dance. run.
my grandmothers (i have 4) are some of my favorite people.
i never straighten my hair. but, when i do... i feel pretty sexy ;)
i LOVE colored sprinkles. like, REALLY love them.
i have beautifully big feet. ahem, size 11.5. but let me tell you: they've gotten me so far!

i love to make things: more on that here.

i have many little quirks: i love pw. gorgeous paper. traveling. wine. decorative pillows. honest conversation. change. challenges. jeopardy. goal-setting. redken products. my nieces. but the biggest of my quirky beauties is that i hold a deep knowing that i'm loved. no matter what. thick & think. belly to belly kind of love. the kind of love that doesn't change with the season, it only evolves.  this a deep knowing and one that influences everything the i am. different & beautiful still. loved always.

xoxo stephanie 

06 December 2010

day 6: make.

reverb 10 day 6 Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

oh gretchen, i'm so glad you asked! i've been wanting to share this project for a while! i have a darling friend paula who is a colleague, a stress-management facilitator, a fashionista, a mentor, a ZUMBA instructor, and perhaps most importantly: a dear friend.

for her birthday, i made a "wonderful things about Paula jar," inspired by this project over at kenner road {which i've been wanting to do since 2008! thank god for bookmarks!}. i started with a clean little jar who in a previous life held roasted red peppers.
step one: find a suitable jar & pull up the tutorial (online)!

step two: gather good looking paper scraps 

step three: thread top paper to base paper. use beautiful sparkling thread. hole punch both ends of wrap.

step four: use adhesive to firmly adhere wrap to jar.

step five: make "label" (used turquoise paper, french dictionary, marker & sparkling gold frame)
then use glue stick to adhere to wrap.
step six: use different color thread to hold wrap together firmly.
place buttons on both ends for decor. decorate top of jar with coordinating papers.
step seven: use scraps of coordinating papers and bundle for people to leave  a special love note. 
upon completion, i think you'll notice you've offered your creativity time to surface, and others' the opportunity to celebrate someone you admire! i try furiously to carve out time for this kind of goodness because its reward benefits me exponentially. 

05 December 2010

day 5: let go

day 5 Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

wow. this one is always a work in progress, no? i'm always practicing non-attachment to something, be it a big event in the future (wedding anyone?) or comment that rubbed me the wrong way (seriously!?!).  but in a deeper way, letting go moment by moment will always be a work in progress.  a non-ending cycyle. and i'm at peace with that.

this year i let go of what i knew in order to receive what i could only hope for.  in a lot of ways, i think many of my reverb posts will reflect this same sentiment. 2010 was a big one. a life shaker. and in a very good way, i felt both boundless & safe. i let go of mediocrity (thank god!) and freed my hands up to embrace adventure, new horizons & limitless possibility. 

looking back, i see that i let go of the molehills for the mountains, and i tell you what: the view is damn good.  the hills are steep but my legs are strong. and the valleys? also totally worth it. go. go. go.
let. let. let. go. go. go.
let go. 

p.s. went hiking at bernheim today. this imagery is so fresh. more on that adventure soon!

04 December 2010

reverb 10 days three & four

conveniently, days three and four are a mash-up for me.  perhaps the moments i remember are also those that fill me with wonder. perhaps its because i want it that way, or because that's the way it happens for me. but that's how i remember it. here are the prompts:
day 3: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards) 
day 4: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

this year was really about being more alive for me. it was about the leaps & bounds, not the chains & bindings. mostly in regards to my personal quest to be more me and less reserved in life. but a moment when i was most aware of this alive feeling, humph. hard to come up with this one. i sat with it and thought about standard responses i could use:

but in all honesty-those weren't moments, those were monumental life shifts. those were huge. those were stories for grandchildren. a moment is one you savour. a moment is one you think: this will never be the same. a moment is an instant. and for me, a moment that is memorable is almost always one filled with wonder. so while i was stuck, day three's prompt became day four's prompt. perfect timing, reverb 10.

 the moment of wonder occurred at my dear friend victoria's wedding weekend in section, alabama. 
it occurred as i stood alongside some of the most talented, intelligent & whole hearted woman i know.  
{the ones that weren't present that day, i held in my heart in a special way}

and not only did we stand together, but i saw how much we'd grown thanks to one another.
these were the women i met in college--freshman year--who ended up becoming some of my closest companions on the journey of life.
but the moment: 
sunshine and alabama.
dresses and fresh flowers.
seeing the world through a soft net.
standing among some of the most gracious people i know.
seeing so clearly that i, too, must bring something deep & wise to that group.
the awe and beauty of who these women are, led me to see my own wonder clearly.
and seeing, we believe.
and believing is a powerful thing
because our inner whispers change pace.
our confidence turns into courage, grace, motivation.
and these tools fill us with the spirit to:
speak from the heart
tell our story
listen well
hold hands
serve others
so much more. 

talk about a moment of wonder.
xoxo stephanie

03 December 2010

day two {a day late}

it's appropriate that i skipped day two, right? the prompt:

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

ahem. well. i write all day long: i craft emails that i wordsmith meticulously because i care deeply and passionately about great customer service.  however, when i get home, and i'm on "my time," i don't write for me with the same care & compassion. 
blogging, letter writing, and heart-to-heart emails to friends are too few and far between. everyone says this, and its also true for me: by the time i've worked 8+ hours in front of a computer screen, and written 20+ page papers for graduate school, i'm literally want NOTHING to do with a computer.
but i'm still guilty of not journaling or writing the letters, too. i'm often too busy in the present moment to be present, and that's something i certainly want to work on. there is no excuse.
still, in spite of the exhaustion and fatigue, i need to write more honor on the mirror of my soul. i need to be cognisant of the quiet words that i'm writing all day. carelessly scribing in my thoughts and in my intentions.  these written words are more like engraved, are they not?  
so its day two of reverb 10 and i'm a day late? in perfect stephanie fashion... i'm writing possibility on a post-it and sticking it to my keys. i'm carving out time for this, and putting something else on the "TO DO later" list instead. xoxo back later this evening with Day 3.

01 December 2010

day one

reverb10 begins today. a few things begin today. but as always, we carry more than we're able to share in a single breath. so let's keep it simple and celebrate day one. i have a feeling this month promises to be a rich & unearthing one. 

can i just take a quick moment to introduce myself?  i'm stephanie. part trail blazer, part lover, 100% youngest child.  wholehearted, big-haired, and bright spirited. lover of all things adventurous, good with the big picture, often caught over thinking the details. fiercely loyal,  creative & honest & open.  loves postal mail, red wine, and hot yoga. 

2010 has showed me a great deal about what it means to be a young woman finding her way. my heart is so glad to have a time for reflecting on my golden year and manifesting whats to come in 2011. you can always contact me via the comments/email.

December 1 One Word.

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

2010= ground-breaking, in a golden kind of way
2010 has been so big for me, so GOOD. i caught a good glimpse of myself in 2009, after finally encountering the beautiful woman within, and decided it was time to stop holding back. i'd settled for a mediocre job and i knew there was more. mondo beyondo was a major spark for me.

so in 2010, i took a good hard list at my mondo beyond list and my reflection in the mirror, and i started chipping away at the old block. and i mean that in a michelangelo-carved-the-david kind of way.

maybe it was finding out i was an ENFJ. or running a half marathon. or hearing that kaileen elise got a new job and believing, somewhere deep down inside, that i, too, deserved to be that happy with the work i was doing everyday. or maybe it was that kate spade handbag i won from {still loving this beauty!}

whatever it was, 2010, you rocked! you've rocked me in such good ways: getting engaged to pw. an awesome career move. a darling apartment in a charming neighborhood. graduate school. wellcoach training. half-marathon. adventures, nieces, culinary delights, awesome boots, and some delightful new friends. geeze what more could a girl ask for?

2011: you've got big shoes to follow. but to tell you the truth, i'm so ready to be a sponge to all this goodness. to be more present, more mindful. to listen deeply to stories. to spend more time in nature. to not sweat the small stuff. as cliche as that sounds, i mean really, seriously: there is SO MUCH GOODNESS to give your full self to---why worry about the nooks and crannies of negativity when there is so much to celebrate? i imagine a reflective, confident Stephanie, blogging it up on 12/01/11, admiring the harvest of 2011.
(and not ironically, harvest was the word that most struck me about my future with pw. read more about that romance...}

yay for reverb 10! be sure to leave me a comment so we can stay in touch! xoxoxoxox stephanie