A couple of years ago my book club read "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. The first time I read it, I deeply appreciated her commitment to writing down the small daily moments she was grateful for. When I finished reading, I put the book in my library- a place reserved for books that carry life nuggets I want to savor. A few months ago, I read the book again, and took away another nugget- When Ann wanted to rush through a moment, worry, overthink, or simply complete a to-do list; she learned to slow down, hit pause, and let God speak to her heart instead. With God's help, she learned to simply soak up the beauty of God's masterpiece, to appreciate the life she was blessed with, and to let God lead in the more difficult situations. She became a woman rooted in purpose and living in lightness.
Ann did not scroll through social media to find a trendy solution. She did not allow her worries and anxious thoughts to take over. She did not scramble through her to-do list day after day in hopes of a slower day tomorrow. No, she CHOSE gratitude and laid each day before God, sought the beauty of His masterpiece for the day, and asked Him to guide her steps.
This is a book I will definitely read again and again, because I will never get tired of hearing the message to live fully and be led by God daily.
Here are a few simple things I do (or I'm in the process of incorporating) in order to be more intentional with my days:
1. Dive into Scripture + Prayer Daily
Have a conversation with God- Sharing the intricate pieces of my life and also the simple joys of the day.
2. Keep a Gratitude (Simple Joys) Journal
3. Reduce the Number of Social Media Platforms for my Business + Time Spent on Each
I like to call this "old soul" living. (Where would you like me to show up most consistently- Facebook? Instagram? Newsletters? LinkedIn? The Blog? Let me know.)
4. Hit Pause + Hear God's Truth in All Things (Do My Best + God Will Always Do Even Better)
Especially when I have a busy day, unexpected events arise, overthinking happens, etc. Knowing I am doing the best I can and God will always do even better than any of my attempts, helps me put moments into perspective.
5. Start the Day Slowly + End the Same
Carving out the time to savor the gifts God gives to me every single day. (My marriage, my family and friends, Dillbean, changes in season, simple luxuries, leisure activities, etc.)
How will you slow down and savor the opportunity to live fully? I would love for you to share your thoughts with me! Also, I am going to be reading "One Thousand Gifts" again SOON, so if you would like to join in please, leave me a comment or send me a message!
Last week I hosted the first official BP Spring Cleaning Lifestyle Challenge! It was an opportunity for women to come together via social media and support each other in making small lifestyle changes whether they were near or far. I absolutely LOVE that we have the ability to connect on a global level don't you?
The women who participated had so many creative swaps from artificial light vs. natural light, toxic care products vs. natural, and artificially sweetened ice cream vs. homemade cashew dessert! I was so impressed with the women who chose to show up and participate! (Hats off to you!)
Today, I want to share the three basic concepts I look at when it comes to spring cleaning my lifestyle... just in case you could use a little spring cleaning too!
1. Declutter/Detox- What is one aspect of my life I would like to declutter or detox? When I think about decluttering the lifestyle, I pinpoint what keeps me from growing or simply being content. Just like environmental and food toxins dive into our cells in our physical body; toxic relationships, environments, or time commitments integrate into our lifestyles and start breaking down our potential to be content.
Here are a few areas to look at when detoxing your lifestyle:
+ Toxic Friendship/Relationship- Is someone constantly being negative, dramatic, rude, or inconsiderate? Perhaps you have a person in your life who simply doesn't contribute positively to the relationship.
+ Items that No Longer Serve a Purpose or Foster Joy- Are there items in your space simply accumulating dust, adding to your visual and mental clutter, and no longer contributing to the lifestyle you want to live?
+ Tasks and Commitments Weighing Down the Schedule- Do you have tasks on your plate that you are holding on to simply because you committed to them two years ago? What activities are you doing simply to please others at the sacrifice of your own peace of mind?
+ Environmental Chemicals and Food Toxic to Your Body- Are you putting anything in or on your body that is doing more harm than good?
+ Negative Thoughts
2. Organize/Restructure- Are there places in my lifestyle that if I simply restructure the tasks/items or organize them a bit, they will cohesively build off of each other rather than fight against one another?
Here are a few examples of organizing areas of your lifestyle:
+ Making Your One-Hour Weekly Work Meeting a Two-Hour Monthly Meeting- You will use the meeting time for efficiently if you know you are only meeting once a month versus weekly.
+ Establish Carpool For Your Kids- You share the responsibility of getting them to school with other parents which opens up a couple hours for you each day.
+ Moving Items Around In a Space- The space better serves its purpose for you.
+ Bringing Like Friends Together- You can all meet together rather than always scheduling separate commitments for each. (Of course, 1:1 dates are still lovely sometimes too.)
+ Creating a Plan For Meals- Using how busy your schedule is for the week and selecting wholesome foodie options that will help fuel your busier days.
+ Plan Complimenting Plans with Your Spouse to See Friends- You have more time together alone.
3. Flourish/Nurture- What areas of my lifestyle do I truly enjoy and how can I continue to grow/highlight these areas? Which aspects of my life make me feel whole, make my heart flutter, and cultivate joy?
Here are a few examples of nurturing areas of your lifestyle:
+ Faith- Do you place your foundation on faith in God? Do you show up to meet with Him daily? How can you make Him more of a priority in your life? How can you cultivate a deeper relationship with Him?
+ A Person- Is there someone who truly and completely accepts and loves you? Do they help your grow in a positive direction? How can you spend more time with them? How can you show them you appreciate them and how they make you feel?
+ A Hobby- Is there something you enjoy doing so much you lose track of time when you do it? Perhaps make time in your schedule to do this activity daily.
+ Traditions- Are there certain traditions that foster the woman you aspire to be? Perhaps it is getting a fresh bouquet of flowers for your space, shopping the local farmer's market, or cooking a family recipe.
+ Quiet Reflection or Creativity- Do you find clarity when you take time to reflect? How can you create more time and space for such things?
+ Whatever fosters feminine lightness... focus on and cultivate such things.
Spring is the perfect time to embrace a little detoxing, organizing, and flourishing. Just as a space loves to be spruced up, a lifestyle does too. How will you spring clean your lifestyle this season? I would love to hear your plans! Please comment below or send me a message!
Happy spring cleaning my friends!
Your Lifestyle Consultant
Cold temperatures and windy days- If you ask me how I feel about them, my gut-reaction would be… Not great.
I have to be really intentional about incorporating moments of gratitude, self-care, and activities that bring joy to my life during the winter months. If I don’t, you will definitely see me dragging my feet as lethargy begins to take over my body and mind. I will be walking in the chilly fog of winter, setting my sights on being unproductive, and a season of “hermitude”. You may think I am being a bit dramatic, but truthfully, I am not.
The cold season really does impact me if I let it.
As I thought about my perception of winter, it occurred to me that I must also share with you how this same perspective relates to your lifestyle.
We have two options in this life we have been blessed to live.
Option #1- We walk around in the fog of relationships, work stress, poor eating habits, and the bitterness of not enough time and too much to do.
Option #2- We choose to actively and intentionally participate in striving toward a lifestyle we truly can embrace and experience lightness in.
These are our options. I think sometimes we get stagnant in the lives we live and allow the “weather” to dictate our feelings and our decisions for longer than it should.
So today, I want to encourage you to select Option #2 and take one action in your lifestyle today. It may be simply cancelling an obligation you only took out of courtesy, or it may be a bigger decision you need to consider making.
Choose not to let the physical weather or the weather of life dictate how you will live today. Get out of the fog and live the lifestyle you were born to live.
Yah, cold weather can definitely make me lethargic if I let it; but today I am choosing to see the beautiful white colors of the season, embrace the scent of crispness, and appreciate the preparation of the Spring that will come from this. Yes, I am choosing to not be worn out by the weather.
What option will you choose?
Every year I set about selecting one word I can come back to whenever I need a little reminder of the growth I would like to see in the year that lays before me. This year the word is "embrace" and I want to share a little bit about what this means for me and my 2019 lifestyle changes.
Over the years, I have learned that your strengths can also be your weaknesses. The very attributes that make you the All-Star of what you are good at, can also hinder your growth and ability to experience life to its fullest potential. Recognizing this, I knew that as I was navigating my word selection process, I wanted to challenge myself to grow "against my strengths". Wait, what? Let me show you what I mean.
A Few of My Strengths- Organization, Planning, Creating Schedules, Routines, Introspection
These strengths are what I rely on when it comes to my business, the flow of daily routines and goals, and my ability to be reliable for those that matter most to me. However, these strengths also inhibit my ability to enjoy the messy and creative pieces of life (unless its the structured kind of creativity- ie time carved out in the studio), may cause me to overthink various situations, and leave little room for impromptu events and moments.
It is not that our strengths are negative attributes (actually quite the opposite), however, if you do not shake up your strengths from time to time you miss out on fully embracing the life you have been gifted.
So... Although I am carrying my strengths into the new year (I will still be maintaining somewhat of a daily/weekly routine, setting goals for my business, and navigating thought-provoking conversations), there are a few things I am challenging myself with for 2019. I will be sharing the detailed lifestyle changes in a later post, but here are the highlights:
Make Goals- But- Don't Create All the Solutions
Have a Schedule- But- Allow Messy to Happen
Be Business-Minded- But- Let It Build Naturally From My Lifestyle
Be Introspective- But- Shutdown the Overthinking
Choose to Grow Always- But- Allow It to be Organic
Have a Plan- But- Take Time to Hit an Unexpected Pause and/or Detour
Have a Direction- But- Pray for God to Lead
Live a Meaningful Lifestyle- But- Know Not Everything Needs to be Intentional
In a word- EMBRACE- life and the life moments that make it so special. Although I will always have a plan, a direction, and a heart and mind for growth; I need to remember to embrace the moments that are often undefined, messy, and just plain lovely to experience.
Here is to embracing the year and this life my friends!
If any of these resonate with you, and you would like to jump on board the "creating a lifestyle you love" bandwagon, send me a message, call, or simply connect with me!
(Oh, and hey, if you want my nifty little process for finding your word for the 2019 year, let me know by dropping a comment or reaching out to me on any form of social media!)
Happy New Year lovely lady!
Here is your Autumn Reminder for the week...
Get back to your roots.
As the weather cools, the ground becomes cold, the air dry and crisp, and the leaves fall from their hammocks. These particular not-so subtle changes remind me of departure and lack of security. They suggest everything is in a constant shift; and ebb of flow of sorts. Although this may be true, I also find myself reflecting on what is happening underneath the surface. The things we do not see.
You see, the roots of those trees; those trees with their leaves changing color and falling to the hardened and cold soil, their roots remain strong. They contain warmth and energy, growth and security for the trunk (the core) of those very trees.
What if we used Autumn as an opportunity to get back to our roots, our core, our strength and security?
Roots of Family & Friends- Think slow dinners and nights spent in with those you love and who love you unconditionally. Think deeply rooted conversation around a table, sipping wine and breaking bread. Thinking subtle touches of warmth and moments to cherish.
Roots of Culture- Think your story and those that came before you. Think community and the history of the city you live in. Think creating depth and understanding of your lineage. Think about how beautiful having this connection to culture, to history, is.
Roots of Passion & Purpose- Think spending hours doing what you love; those things that resonate with your heart. Think intentionality and purposeful work. Think reconnecting with like-minded individuals who just "get it" when you mention living a life of meaning and taking a leap for what matters.
Our roots are strong my friends. They are strong in a way we may not often understand, and quite possibly, do not take the time to remind ourselves of. Autumn is an opportunity to dive into our roots.
Let's create warmth, connection, and security with the "stuff that people cannot see".
Dive in and dig deep to find your roots.
Life. Is. Messy.
You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. And because it is so messy, we often create for ourselves nice little tidy boxes in order to help define who we are, what we do, and how we interact with the community we live in. We desperately seek to shove "good stuff" into all the crevices and remove all of the negative, the undefined, and the uncomfortable. We want to be able to package ourselves up and deliver what we offer this big ol' world of ours without any muss, and certainly, without any fuss.
But what may we be depriving ourselves of in this process?
What would it look like for you to live for a moment in time in an undefined mental and physical space? Put more specifically, what would it mean to you to make a bold decision because you KNOW it is better for your deeper sense of self and how you choose to live, without having a SPECIFIC plan in mind for your future?
Would it make you uncomfortable? Do you get itchy just thinking about it? If this is too scary, think about this- what would it mean to you to spend an entire day with NO PLANS, NO SELFIES, NO POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA?! How would you possibly define yourself to the world without documenting who you are as a hiker, a foodie, a human being?.... It is in moments like this that you are choosing to live "Undefined". Your titles, your social media, your career, your family and friends are not there to determine if your package (YOU) is "defined" enough, and instead you are living defined by your internal sense of self and the importance you give to the moment. Do you get where I am going with this?
We spend so, so, so much of our time making sure our lives are defined so that we may be understood by the outside world, but in doing so, we neglect taking the time to filter through WHO WE ARE in the UNDEFINED. In order to live fully in ourselves, we must know who we are in all of the space that is messy and undefined. We must seek to understand our values and our priorities with 100% clarity, so we can get comfortable in the undefined, because that is when we KNOW with certainty that we are truly ourselves regardless of situation and of circumstance.
This week, try not to define, try not to wrap yourself and your life up in a nice little package tied with a bow, and try not to get too definitive in every aspect of your life. Instead, embrace the undefined, hone in on what truly matters, and share yourself just as you are and who you have the potential to grow into.
The undefined may be your space for growth.
The past week, the hubby and I flew down to Las Vegas for a billiards tournament (needless to say Tanner did swimmingly). During this trip, something kept showing up for me on a daily basis; something I already knew, but had forgotten about. I LOVE BIG CITIES! Does this get you thinking, "Then why do you live in such a small town?". It should. Let's talk about showing up for yourself regardless of where you may be or what you may be doing.
A few things to consider before you take on the task of showing up for yourself are- who are you (what makes you YOU), what are your priorities (what is important to you), and what do you do with the leftovers?
WHO ARE YOU?
The biggest thing for you to sort out is WHO YOU ARE. Take some time, put pen to paper, and define what makes you so uniquely you. For me this may look something like- I am a Christian woman who prides herself on being the best wife I can be, who values family and close friendships, and embraces deep conversations around a delicious meal. My description may also include the fact that I do love big cities for the culture and the ease of public transportation, I am a creative at my core, and I need "me" time to restore because I am, my friends, a complete introvert. I am a foodie, a mover and shaker (literally, I am obsessed with movement), a writer, and I can be a bit heady. Alas, the list goes on. The important piece here is you take the time to define and "know thyself." Got it?
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
It's ok lovely lady, life happens, and somewhere down the line you may have forgotten what is most important to you. Next on your to-do list is to write down your priorities. What are the BIG things that matter to your soul? If this is too difficult for you to sort out right now, that's o.k. This task can be BIG and SCARY if you have not focused on what matters most to YOU in awhile. If you need help, let's connect! (I mean it, I am here to help you sort through the muck!)
But if you clearly know what is most important, write them out, number them, and pick your top four-ish. These priorities are what should define your life, where you put your energy, and what consumes most of your time. They are what allow you to be YOU most easily. My life example- My faith is my top priority! Thus, everything I do should be a direct reflection of my belief system and guide how I live. When I get off track, I know, because it is like a gut punch to my soul (literally). When you know your priorities, you know when your life matches up to them, I promise.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS?
The leftovers are the items in your life that you choose based on your priorities, but they do not necessarily match perfectly with who you are or what you enjoy. Once you have established your priorities, hopefully you have begun the process of aligning your life with them. They are too precious to be neglected girly. They are your priorities after all. (Again if you need help with sorting through the crap, I'm your girl.)
Once you are done with creating a life that is in line with who you are and your unique set of talents and priorities, there will be bits and pieces that match your lifestyle, but require you bring yourself into them. What does this mean?
Let's go back to where we started. One of my priorities is family- I embrace the moments gathered around a family dinner, creating subtle memories of running errands and going for evening walks, and seeking advice from those who saw me grow up. Family and my closest friends are important to me, and they are important to Tanner. The fact that family is a priority for the both of us impacted our decision to stay in the Black Hills rather than move to a larger city that would have made it easier for us to embrace what we love so much about city life.
The beauty is, my friends, that it is easy to bring everything you love and everything that makes you, you, into the aspects of your life that you have chosen to create.
Knowing Rapid City is my home, I actively seek out creative opportunities. I walk to and from sessions, the grocery store, and events whenever possible. I create moments of "good eats" and dinner parties, and I never forget that I can do A LOT in creating a "big city life" in this place I call home. It is simply a matter of perspective and knowing I can make active choices in my life.
So there you have it! Phew! A bit lengthy, but I truly don't know how to do it any other way! No matter where you are today, lovely lady, you can CHOOSE to SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF. It is simply a matter of knowing who you are, what your priorities are, and bringing yourself into the leftovers!
What are you waiting for? Go SHOW UP!
Celebrate + Savor Life
All of the fun little details, tips, and inspiration of a lifestyle design journey!