28 March 2010

an inner panel

lately my inner critic has been spouting off quite a bit. it's loud and it is distracting. it is also, while i would wouldn't like to admit it, prevalent. some of the message are:
  • you need to be a better listener.
  • you need to express yourself as adequately as you pout.
  • you need to have it all figured out.
  • you need to tone your abdominal area.
  • you need to practice being more present.
  • you need to get up in the morning. on time.
  • you need to take better care of yourself.
  • you need all your friends to know you care about them.
  • you need to...the list goes on and on.

as you can imagine, these messages have left me feeling restless, inadequate, and honestly, a bit lost inside myself. it comes at a strange time, because finally there are many strong winds of change blowing about in my life (more on that soon), but instead of reserving my energy, i'm blowing fuses all over the place. i'm creating & losing battles from within.

i like to call these voices the inner critics. they are a panel of mean, hateful, bitter judges. they love to compare, deceive, criticize, and overwhelm. they are not constructive, compassionate, or thoughtful.

i have decided i am going to whip them into shape. they can serve me, but they are going to change if that's the case. a few weeks ago, after finishing "I Thought it Was Just Me" by the lovely Brene Brown, I whipped up this journal page:

the text reads:
"on the royal throne of life, we are, (without a doubt), our own worst critic.  sure, there are mean co-workers and unfair peers, but in the END we learn from them.  the bully teaches you to tuck your milk money in a safe place; your local weather(wo)man teaches you about 1980's fashion. but the inner bully? the forecaster who already creates a storm within? they will teach you nothing worth remembering...but they will scare and shame you.  THE CRITICS. it's their job to keep you locked up in judgement."

What does your panel of inner critics have to say? What is valid and what is bullshit? What do you do to tame the inner beast and bless the inner spirit? I would love to hear about your ways, your practices, your mantras and your inner panel. I think to myself: "I can't possibly be the only one!" So can you confirm that?

Everyone chooses these voices, chooses to silence them or let them shout. I am in the process of choosing the ones I want. I am the judge: I will only invite who I want on that panel and they will say what I want them to say.

20 March 2010

my old schwinn

this is where you'll find me today. on my old schwinn. bike basket filled with goodies: library books, a bottle of water, and my camera. visiting pw at work and sitting on the sidewalk eating some delicious lunch. wearing my wayfarers, pedaling into the sunshine, accepting the simple joys of this life. spending my golden year discovering new wonders on two wheels. it very well could not get any better than this. happy saturday.

16 March 2010

i feel like you need to know

i feel like you need to know:
 that i'm holding you with tenderness.
that i wish i was a better listener.
that what you feel now won't last forever.
that silence is ok.
that friendship is thick.
that you are beautiful, always & always.
that i have been wrong before and i will be wrong again.
that doubt exists.
that you can get exactly what you want.
that there is always something worth celebrating.
that we don't need words.
that love really is enough.
that when the days are long and the sun rises later, 
its all for a good cause.

13 March 2010

it is fair to say it's my gold

(above: will be listed in my shoppe soon!)

art is central to my soul. its my fire and my flame. it is fair to say it's my gold, and ultimately, my most free form of expression. after a season of sharing less than i should, i just feel a sudden need to share glimpses of my recent work.
(above: will be listed in my shoppe soon!)

(above: sold!)

(above: sold!)

(above: sold!)

(above: detail. will be listed in my shoppe soon!)

(above: sold)

(above: will be listed in my shoppe soon!)

i'm always open for business in my shoppe, where i post the most recent batch of handmade paper goods to surprise and delight. and i love custom work. so please, ask. happy saturday. xo.

09 March 2010

the week of worthiness (a la bréne brown)

my very favorite author, Bréne Brown, is hosting a week of worthiness over on her blog, Ordinary Courage. It is the collaborative celebration of who you are, right now, as you are.  what an outrageous thing to celebrate! you, not improved. just you, you, you. oh yes, and me, too! just as we are.

if i had more time, i'd probably create a collage to honor the occasion. but instead, i will leave you with a prompt. what makes you ordinary? what are your ordinary habits? when was the last time you stopped and celebrated those qualities? we get stuck in an endless pursuit of our better selves, and we lose sight of what is working. what is perfect about the way we are, just as we are. i encourage you to take account of those qualities. and celebrate them.

jump on over to help blog for more ordinary goodness! and while you're at it, order her newly released DVD, "the hustle for worthiness" or her book "I Thought it was just me." when i read Dr. Brown's work for the first time, I couldn't believe my eyes. she is courageous and inspiring and down to earth in the most meaningful ways. i hope you'll find your way to worthiness this week.

next time you find yourself in front of a mirror or window, take a slow moment and whisper: i am worthy.  (or shout, your choice)

xo, stephanie

06 March 2010

making full claim to your curls: part one

i often get a variety of questions about my hair. 
"has it always been like that?"
"what products do you use?"
"is it REAL?"
"can i touch it?"
"you MUST hate it."

and when i say often, i really mean:
every time i leave the house.

while 90% of the time, these questions are in the form of compliments, it's utterly and totally hysterical because i can generally tell when they are coming. forget eye contact or men staring at my breasts, i get the "hair stare," meaning, a normal human being will stare at the curls on top of my head, as though they are ringlets in colors of psychadelic purple and robust red, like i am wearing a clown wig or something of the like.  then, there is a noticeable illumination, when the person realizes, "geeze, i think that's really her hair!," only to be followed by a compliment or comment.  i have heard it all: lioness (you know who you are), 2-for-1 perm special (you ALSO know who you are), and my particular favorite, from my favorite author, Bréne Brown:

its fair to say that there have been some bad stories, too, and my mother can most certainly vouch for me in this arena.  random people reaching out and groaping my head in the middle of anthropologie (among other places); times when haircuts have gone wrong, very wrong; and conversations that get really awkward, really fast, because really, and truly, both of my parents are white and i don't know what else to say, it's a mutant gene? sometimes i have to defend the authenticity of my curls and that seems like the downside to this physical trait (which generally i consider blessing).

i've taken a few leaps, such as:
  • posing as a model for my art major roommates in college (above)
  • getting my haircut at Ouidad in New York City (i was hoping they were looking for a model! its fair to say i'm still hoping...)
  • taking a leap and got my first real pseudo-afro style last year (and i still love it!)
  • rocking hair accessories like it's nobody's business (especially my prized, thanks to pw)
all of this is to say that day in and day out i make full claim to these curls, and i think that's what attracts people the most. i don't think it's that my curly hair is really all that more curly or vivacious than yours (though I'm sure you're shaking your head right now saying, "um, yeah, it is!"). And while your curl questions and your curl love is so flattering to me and much appreciated, I want to communicate THIS to those of you who are asking: you, too, can have a vivacious head of curly hair.  however, you will have to make the decision to honor its erratic nature,  to embrace the inevitable bits of frizz and to let go of the control.

so here is my question for you:
what advice do you need concerning your [curly] hair?
what is/isn't working?
what questions do you have?
how do you handle your curls?

i would love to open this forum to discussion about curly hair, it's majesty and it's out-of-control-but-beautiful nature. i am here to answer your questions, and my stepmom, alicia, who is a professional hairdresser, and i are planning some fun hair-centric posts (with videos!) for the near future.  please leave your thoughts, questions, and inquiries in the comments section. i promise to check and respond to all of them!

your curly haired queen, Stephanie

05 March 2010

a new love song

pw and i have a new love song. this song makes me want to slow dance by a quietly flowing river [barton springs in austin would be perfect], with the bowerbirds on a huge rock nearby playing the acoustic version of "northern lights."

you be the judge of the beauty i give a blue ribbon to...

pw presented this song to me quite casually on Monday night, and i swear it was written about us. i love it. you will to.truly, his ability to find beauty everywhere might be one of the things i love about paul. his quiet, mighty ways, his beautiful voice (he is currently blushing) and remarkable ways of knowing. just knowing.
happy weekend. there so much to love.

03 March 2010

march first

"a new spirit is being born,
 and a new awareness of our place
 in this delicate balance."
{the earth charter}

march first. i can hardly believe it. the goodness that has found its way towards me this year is almost unbelievable, as is the list of intentions that grows with each day of 2010. while it does seem to grow, i think is planted with more seeds of goodness than life-strangling weeds.  goodness abounds, and for that, i am ever grateful.

what drives me is my own goal setting, goal achieving. i live by check boxes in my planner, which i use as checks & balances in order to achieve my personal health goals. right now, and in the past two-point-five weeks since the austin half marathon, i've really backed off exercising, which doesn't make me feel great. so the start of a new month makes me jump back on the horse!

inspired by the simplicity of my pretty pennie's march salute, the constant postive outlook of my tea and tulips appreciating friend, and the zen approach of melita (who did a BEAUTIFUL job on her life wheel), i have layed out five simple goals for march:

1. One self care action everyday: hot bath, journal entry, artist date, etc. Keep log on piece of college ruled paper {like the good old days}. Self report on April 1, 2010

2. Carve out needed time for well coach training, starts Wednesday March 10!

3. Stick to my check boxes! Every week, I aim for these output and input goals: 3 hrs cardio, 2 lift sessions, 1 yoga, 5 days of pushups, 3 drinks, 1 dessert, 1 free night, and...Gratitude Everyday! which means, thanks to the girls' at Spring Inspiration!, I make a list of 5 gratitudes every night before bed!  (am i a quantifier, or what!)

4. Wear skirts/dresses as often as possible. I just feel sassier when I do!

5. Revamp morning routine. Try new things to get myself up and moving with a smile.


These concrete goals are being laying out now because I need to a jumpstart! A winter-is-almost-over-YOU_CAN_DO_IT shake! they are the things I can control list, because there is also a list of things I can't control out there...and those things will ultimately take care of themselves. I just want to be as best prepared as possible.

what are you hoping march will bring? oh sunshine & warmer weather & celebrations of spring? you got it. that and all your other dreams, too!