Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Art Of Caring For Your Spirit.

Jeans- ℅ Dittos, Jacket- ℅ Voi Jeans, Shoes- ℅ Shop Prima Donna, Shirt- Anthropologie

Do more. 
Be more.
Spend more.
Make more.
Get more.
Help more.
more. more. more. more.

I've been getting tired. So tired, in fact, that in longing to be more, I have actually become less. Life is an interesting balance of so many things. When I get on social media every day, the balance looks like it needs to involve a lot of things that I really shouldn't spend time caring about. For some reason I'm told that I'm supposed to care about this Kardashian drama, or that Miley Cyrus shenanigan, or that the top retailer in the country is having the best sale of the year and I need what they are trying to sell me. Sometimes I start thinking that I actually care about this junk and find myself spending 10 minutes of my life reading the most garbage articles my eyes have ever laid eyes on. And then I'm told that I'm not parenting good enough, or that my ideas of love and marriage are too old school, and that I can be better so I need to change xyz and w. 

You're told these things, too. If you scroll down just your Facebook home page, sponsored post after sponsored post and tags of what is trending tell you these things every day. I'm starting to get so cranky at everything because I feel like garbage is being flung into my daily life and I have no control over it. I had enough, and I needed peace, and space, and quiet. I needed to get away from work, and people, and phone and media and everything. So I do what I always do in the moment, and called my sister and told her that we were going to Sedona. Actually, my husband told me that I was going to Sedona… probably so that the poor guy could find a small ounce of hope that his crazy wife would stop going batty over little things, take a chill pill, and come back refreshed. And of course, my sister had to come with me because I can't do anything without her and I desperately wanted her new baby for 24 hours to be right next to me.

We drove. We drove up to where we retreat when we need more armor for battle and where we can sit and be still. Within minutes of arriving, my over anxious life started to feel like it was winding down and that I could feel peace. Peace, I have learned, is the only feeling the world can not mock. It's a feeling that only comes from God. It can't be faked or bought, it can't be mimicked or intimidated. It belongs to a higher power, and can only come to us when we're able to feel it. 

I live in this war with myself, a lot of you know what I mean.
My mind and my head are running around 200 miles an hour. I tell myself more and when I logically can't make sense of things or figure out how a situation could possibly end well, my head makes the rest of my body freak out. It controls me, if I let it. 

Sometimes my spirit will kick in. It will fuel up with hope and faith, and give me a little more love to offer. It tells me things will be fine, and it helps me regain focus on what is important. It helps me live a life that I want to look back and say I lived. But the battles between myself and myself get rocky sometimes. And I get caught up in listening to my head, all the while forgetting that if my spirit leads, things will be fine. But we don't live in a spiritual world. We live in a temporal world that tells us things that are contrary to the things that are really true. 

You need time in your sanctuary. You need to make time in your retreat, to guard up and add more spiritual man power to your daily fight. Get away… in your room, on a mountain, in a church or the middle of nowhere or on a bench in the middle of the city. And let it be quiet. Don't think about things, 
feel things. The art of caring for your spirit comes from having the courage to let trivial matters pass you by, while maintaining focus on love, service, living and light.

A soldier doesn't go to battle unprepared.
You shouldn't either.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fishtail French Braid

I've been so excited to share this hair tutorial with you. I teamed up with Harley Chapman for this tutorial, and she did my hair and make up. Images by Mallory Fraughton... You will need to know how to fishtail for this braid. If you do not know how, click on my sidebar under the hair tutorials link and I have a very easy one on there!  Make sure you tag @theshineproject on Instagram so I can see your final hair masterpiece :)

1- Pull a small section of hair from the top of your head. You will use this section as the first fishtail piece in the braid.
2- Fishtail only that section of hair about 2-3 inches, as shown in the top row of images above.
3- From the top side of your hair (use above your ear as a good reference point) grab a loose piece of hair and pull that into your fishtail. You will fishtail this piece into the first section that you have already braided.
4- After braiding 2-3 inches, pull a loose hair strand in from the opposite side of your head and start to fishtail this in.
5- Continue this process all the way down the back of your head. Keep pulling random pieces in to your braid, and fishtailing it a few inches before grabbing another loose piece.
6- When you get to the end of your hair, fishtail everything together and put an elastic in it, and you are DONE my friend. So, so pretty. 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Timeline Project

I am a very goal oriented person. It's how I track where I'm at in my life, where I want to be, and what I need to do to get there. Setting timelines gives me a tangible goal, and allows me to focus on what I need to do right now to make it happen. I will usually write down my goals in my planner, but I just discovered The Timeline Project - an online tool developed by Bayer HealthCare that helps me organize and plan things all in one place. 
I have several goals for this year, three of which you can see above. Some of my goals seem like they contradict each other. I want our social media to grow so we can reach more people and empower more inner city youth, but at the same time I want to be able to unplug so that my work doesn't overtake all the other aspects of my life. It's a tricky balance, and I have learned that if I don't set limits, boundaries, and clear goals, areas of my life will suffer. Life is about prioritizing what's most important to you. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made, but if you find yourself sacrificing all the things that make you who you are, then you might have to reconsider if you're heading in the right direction.
Earlier this year I really struggled with keeping my home and business life separate, being a good boss, and being a good mom and wife. I felt as if I was doing horrible at work because I was worried about not spending enough time with my family, and at home I failed because I was stressed about work when I was with my family. It was this horrible cycle of feeling like I was striking out in all the areas of my life that are the most important to me. My sister sat down with me in my office one days, because she realized I was about to lose all my dang marbles. She told me that I needed a plan, and then helped me come up with one. I decided what was most important and the plan I would make to feel like my life was more balanced, and then created a timeline of events so things could change for me.
It worked. 
Write out your goals.
Create a tangible Timeline.
And follow up with yourself.
To create your own online Timeline, click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How To Stop Having People Walk All Over You.

Shoes- ℅ Movmt (get 40% off with code SHINE40) Bracelets- Threads

I used to be a softie. I thought I was tough, but in reality, it was difficult for me to speak up when someone was taking advantage of me, or doing something that I didn't like. I'm not sure when things shifted, but I hit a point where I realized I can say "no" and that my opinions matter. I have friends who struggle with this, and always feel like they are undervalued, are stressed because they have too many commitments, and feel like their life doesn't belong to them anymore.

Put your big girl cape on, because it's time to stop letting people walk all over you:

1- Say no- "Can you watch my kids this weekend?"… "Can I borrow your favorite shoes even though I broke 3 other pairs you lent me?"… "Will you come fix my life again because I can't stop making bad decisions and I know you will bail me out?"… "Can I borrow more money?"
No. If the same people have been asking you the same things for a very long time, say no. This is your fabulous life. You're not a get out of jail free card. You're a person, with emotions and deadlines and goals that you are in charge of dealing with. There's a difference between service and being taken advantage of. If you feel walked all over, but feel bad doing anything about it, have you ever considered that you are only feeding into anthers bad habits? Always giving in enables someone to never have to learn how to be accountable for their actions. You're not their babysitter, and you're not a bad guy if you say NO. Say it out loud. Right now. Ten times. Feels good, ya?

2- Have opinions- There's one person that I will never be able to have work for me, and that is someone who doesn't have opinions. You know what I'm talking about. The person who doesn't care where you eat…ever, or who says just do what you think is best all the time, or who genuinely has no thoughts or feelings about a situation. Express yourself. If someone asks you a question, answer it honestly. If you disagree with what is being shared, said, or planned, voice it. It's okay to want to walk a different direction. Dang it, say you don't like something!

3- Stick up for yourself- Alright, I'll admit it, I still am a softie in certain aspects in my life. Example A: Recently I hired someone to help create a new product for us. I got the samples and price quote back and it was absolutely, completely, terribly, no good. They did it wrong and expected me to pay for it. I had this moment where I reverted back to old habits and thought, "I'll just suck this up so I don't rock this relationship. I'm not going to say anything." After a second of thinking I couldn't believe I justified their wrong doing and put it on myself. Their mess up was not my fault. So I told them that it needed to be fixed, and guess what, the world didn't explode. Stick up for yourself, or you will find yourself loathing everyone who you never said anything to.

4- Don't put the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can only do so much, help out so many times, and be inconvenienced in so many different ways before you have to realize that some people won't ever change, you're not their punching bag, and you don't have to spend your life fixing their bad behavior. Be there when completely necessary, but don't become a slave to someone else's problem, especially if they don't value your space and perspective.

Help others help themselves, and stick up for you!