I'm so excited to share this playlist with you guys. It's one that has been the source for a lot of my Friday yoga classes recently and it's perfectly upbeat and chill at the same time. I've pretty much only been listening to tranquil songs (with some shameless T. Swift thrown in on sunny days) recently, but these, strung together, have such positive energy. These songs inspire hopefulness in me... to rise above the daily ups-and-downs of our lives and to live our own honest truths loudly and without fear. Once we've done that, we can feel a settling within that is sure and steadfast and ours to own. Because after all, dust settles, clouds part, and truth rises.
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This January-inspired playlist is all about peace and quiet. This year I resolved to take care of myself and with that I'm attempting to rest more — physically and also emotionally. I've never been good at being still. Even when I am sitting still, I'm usually reading, crafting, making something, but I've gotten better and have come to crave the quiet. The days surrounding the new year were all about curling up in bed and letting myself recharge for whatever is ahead. Give your heart the space and stillness to breathe. The energy will come, if you let it.
I am happy to see 2014 go. It wasn't a bad year, but a challenging one, yes. I am blessed that I learned what I did over the last twelve months and now I am ready to dive into 2015 head first. I have a gut feeling that it'll be a transformational year for me, and I'm excited to start with a clean slate in many ways. I hope to achieve some of the things in the photo above. I want to connect with my friends and community on a real level, read more, disconnect from my digital life more, and for the second year in a row, drink a crap-ton of champagne. Here's to a kick ass 2015... hold on tight!
A little boost of confidence for your Tuesday-Combined-With-Monday brought to you by Meryl Streep:
I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.
Rainy days call for moody music, and I made this playlist about six months ago one a day just like today. There used to be this really great website called Designers.MX, where graphic designers would make playlists of music they're loving and then design cover art to accompany them. I was bummed when the site took a break for about a year, but it's on it's way back and I'm thrilled! It's a great source to find new music and be inspired by other creatives' work. So I've been thinking about making playlists and covers again, and I wanted to share an old one in the meantime. Enjoy!
Beach reads are often a challenge for me. You have to find a book that's going to be so good you can't put it down, light enough you don't feel like its work or get sent into a tailspin of depression, and relevant and meaningful enough that it's worth the time. Well, I found one meeting all three requirements and finished it in a day and a half.
This memoir (my go-to genre) is a fast, engaging read from an author who is totally funny and totally relatable if you fall into the "No way I'm getting married in my 20s and I'm not just saying that because I haven't found anyone yet" category and/or the "Having a family in your 20s sounds like the biggest nightmare I could possibly dream up right now" category and/or the "I just want to travel all over and have a freakin' blast" category. And I happen to fall a little bit into all three.
Sitcom writer Kristen Newman spends each chapter telling a tale of one of her many multiple-week-long international trips, often solo and rarely without romps around beaches or mountain towns with sexy looking foreigners. She says she's filling her time while her friends are busy making babies, but once she gets to the back half of the book you realize she's doing a lot more than that.
Inspiring me to not ignore my desire to someday travel solo, to see as many places as possible, to jump on a plane and go even if you're scared, to trust the process: in not planning everything, not controlling everything, not seeking anything too specific, this girl does what many of us haven't and probably (sadly) won't.
I'll go ahead and join the others who are calling this the Eat Pray Love of our generation, but be warned there's a lot less yoga and a whole lot more hooking up going on. That, along with her Hollywood-writer-sized travel budget and unlimited time off, is really the only part that felt unrelatable and possibly exaggerated to me, but her honesty and forthright means of sharing is incredibly touching and truthful. I haven't read another author who makes me feel totally normal for not wanting a registry, a white dress or a drawer full of pacifiers anytime soon, while also acknowledging that wanting that eventually isn't bad either.
I always end up judging a book by how it makes me feel at the end and this one did all the right things: Made me actually think about the pain points and revelations, made me happy with the resolutions, and made me sad that it ended. I don't like letting go of characters (I never have, it's why I like tv better than movies) and by the end of page 290 I didn't want Kristin to go, I wanted to be her friend.