Tag Archives: Explore

project 30- alicia

22 Mar

AB 1

Alicia, 38

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Follow your bliss. I was too caught up in making money and following a path to securing an executive position in the fashion/publishing industry. Money isn’t everything and if you are doing something you love then the money will come.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Enjoying life, being young and free. Don’t get me wrong, my 20’s were a wild ride but I was so focused on my career that I wasn’t being true to myself. I moved to NYC from San Francisco when I was 22 years old, landed a job at Jane magazine doing marketing and events and was determined to become a power player.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself after I dropped out of college. I was worried I’d never find a job because I didn’t have a college degree and was nervous about entering the workforce. Thankfully, my Dad constantly reminded me that many successful people never finished college or even high school and went on to do great things.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

Hands down moving to NYC. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I really grew up and became who I am today because of it. I recently moved to LA after being there for the past 15 years, which is the longest place I’ve ever lived. Now that I’ve been in LA for almost a year now, I realized I’m more of a New Yorker than I thought and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I thought I would be married with two, maybe three children. Living in NYC and having a house by the beach.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like? 

I was not married but in a long-term relationship living in NYC. Traveling a lot both professionally and personally.
I took the leap of faith and started consulting after having a pretty successful career working at various magazines and fashion brands. I was really proud of what I had accomplished up until that point. I worked on some incredible high-profile projects and met some amazing people along the way. To this day, a majority of them are now dear friends.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Yes, all the time! I still worry about that now even being 38 years young. I see myself as a work in progress and I always want to challenge myself to do more. Life is a beautiful gift and I never want take it for granted.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

Discovering the value of self-love. Sure I “liked” myself enough but didn’t realize the importance of loving myself until my long-term relationship ended. I went to Rome by myself after the break-up to have my own Eat, Pray, Love experience and not only did I eat and pray A LOT but I realized how vital it is to love and nurture yourself. This was something I had neglected for so many years.

When you look out onto the horizon what do you hope your life looks like at 40?

Being happy and at peace with where I’m at in my life. I hope to have children, travel the globe and give back in some way.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

Follow your bliss. This is my mantra and my daily reminder to push myself to always do more.

*

Advertisements

spring has sprung

21 Mar

Holding-Flowers-by-Luisa-Brimble

photograph by Luisa Brimble 

Spring has officially arrived! Granted this means less when you live in sunny southern California (most winter days felt like spring around these parts) but it does signify a rebirth and renewal no matter where you live. The earth reawakens from her slumber, and explodes with new life. In our own lives, spring can be symbolic of starting new projects, sewing new seeds and coming forth with new ideas. I love the new energy spring brings. I also love that our sweet little boy will be arriving this spring season. He will most definitely be the best thing I have ever hatched in spring!

I had lots of plans yesterday to celebrate the Spring Equinox ( the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north) but I instead had to go with how my body felt and take it easy. At 31 weeks pregnant it seems to be the new normal around here. But that didn’t stop me from thinking (from my couch) about how certain aspects of spring can be incorporated into our daily lives.

RENEWAL

The earth starting to green up represents renewal: clear out the old to make space for the new.

It’s Spring cleaning time! To be honest I have been in spring cleaning mode for the last two months. I think it has something to do with the fact there’s a baby on its way. I’ve been obsessed with cleaning out closets and drawers and saying goodbye to things we don’t need or use. I want the house to feel open rather than cluttered. Brian is not a fan of such activities- that boy loves holding onto things we “might” need one day. But I believe-  if you haven’t used it in the past year, let it go. LET IT GO! Holding on to your old “material stuff” is also a representation of holding on to your old “emotional stuff” in my opinion. We still have a few areas to tackle before I will feel like the job is done but we are almost there.

I also believe that this is the perfect time of year to sage one’s home. Have you ever tried it? I wrote a post about it a while ago that explains the process if you’re interested.

BALANCE

The equal hours of day and night represent balance: a balanced life is a healthy life. Where can you find more balance in your life? I’ve personally realized that I need to find more balance in my work/play life. The last few months have been all about play, downtime and relaxation. Makes sense considering I’ve been growing a human and haven’t been working. I’m not going to lie, it’s been enjoyable but I am starting to feel unbalanced! There are only so many yoga classes one can go to and movies one can see before they start to go crazy. I’m craving order and structure. I miss working and focusing my energy on creative projects. While I know it’s probably not the right time to throw myself fully into work. I have been thinking about how I can find more balance in the day so that part of me still feels alive and well even with impending motherhood.

GRATITUDE

I find that the start of a new season is a good time to give thanks for all the joys, gifts and lessons that the last season brought. What did winter bring you this year? Give thanks for what you have and trust the Universe to continue to bring you more of what will serve your highest good.

What are your thoughts on the spring season?

*

“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” – Gary Zukav

currently

22 Feb

 

FullSizeRender_1

FullSizeRender_2

FullSizeRender

our attempts at a family selfie

reading:

If the book has to do with birthing a child or raising it…I probably own it. The pile of books next to my bed keeps growing. So many points of view on everything! So many details! I might just give up on reading them all and wing it.

looking forward to:

A trip to Sedona (one of my favorite places) this Friday for Brian’s birthday. I’m a little bummed I won’t be able to do as much hiking as I normally do (my OB has put a stop to overly strenuous physical activity) when we go but I’m sure I will find other ways to decompress. Maybe I’ll drink lots of wine instead….kiddddding. Most likely I will just do a lot of reading and if the weather permits I may take this baby bump for a swim in the pool.

I’m also looking forward to a few days in San Francisco in early March. Brian has to go for work so I decided to tag along. He will most likely be working non-stop so I plan to wander the city alone (well, I guess I’m never really alone right now am I?). I actually enjoy this…I can be such a loner sometimes. Any recommendations on places I should visit or eat?

Showering this baby boy! My mom and step mom are throwing a shower for baby boy on April 3rd and my mother in law and aunt are throwing another one for him on April 17th. Something about a baby shower makes it all feel very real…and his arrival  soon.

thinking about: 

birthing a small human. Brian and I toured the hospital a few weeks ago and let’s just say it made the fact that this babe has to make an exit at some point a harsh reality. I’ve been so focused on all the other stuff…baby names, baby room, baby shower, baby clothes….etc that I haven’t really thought about the birth in great detail. Well, the tour changed that. It was all going so well until I happened to notice the huge spotlights above the labor and delivery bed. There’s going to be a stage production happening at my vagina people! I started to break out in cold sweats when I saw those puppies. I keep reminding myself that people have babies every day. I am not special. I too will survive this. I think.

enjoying: 

The downtime I have been able to enjoy before the baby arrives. I haven’t not worked since I was seventeen! Although baby boy and I have done some fit modeling work for maternity lines. Clearly, I believe in child labor at a very early age. But mostly my days are filled with walks, lunches with friends, reading, nesting at home & writing in coffee shops. It’s amazing how fast the day goes when you don’t do anything.

loving: 

my husband, decaf iced lattes from le pain quotidien, pinteresting ideas for the nursery, feeling my son move in my belly, mangos & my girlfriends.

watching:

togetherness, girls, walking dead, life in pieces, grey’s anatomy, how to get away with murder…oh and house hunters international (it speaks to my soul!)

weekend in carmel

11 Feb

A few weekends ago Brian and I road tripped up to Carmel for a few days to celebrate a friend’s wedding. I haven’t been to that area since I was a kid so I loved exploring it for what felt like the first time. We rented a house with some friends through airbnb which was so much better than staying in a hotel. It was in a great neighborhood and walking distance from the main drag of town. I knew Carmel was going to be visually beautiful with the sea as its backdrop but I was surprised to learn it also has some great restaurants and shops. Granted the whole place shuts down around 9pm- definitely not a place to go if you’re looking for a night on the town. But at 6 1/2 months pregnant I’m usually in bed by 9pm so it worked for me! We had such a fun three days. I’ll let the pics speak for themselves.

2

4

5

6

8

9

11

12

13

14

16

17

IMG_1801

18

IMG_1810

19

IMG_1813

20

21

23

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

47

49

50

*

big magic

2 Nov

IMG_4206

I just finished reading “Big Magic : Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert for my book club. I’ve been a fan of Gilbert’s work ever since I read “Eat, Pray, Love”- a book that people either seem to love or hate. I personally loved it. I remember devouring it in a few short days and being consumed with her journey. Considering I am also a travel nut I enjoyed reading about Italy, India & Indonesia. That book planted a seed in me to one day visit Bali and the famous medicine man Ketut, who she receives a reading when in Bali and I did both last year on our honeymoon. I was feeling very connected to the lovely Elizabeth Gilbert in that moment!

“Big Magic” is a guide of sorts on how to live a creative life. That doesn’t mean just writing (although Elizabeth does talk a lot about writing because it happens to be her creative passion) but encompasses something larger: instead exploring any activity that takes you out of yourself and opens you to the experience of wonder and joy. This could mean weaving, drawing, dancing, it could mean running a farm, tap dancing, learning a new lanugaue…the options are endless!

I have been seeking inspiration recently so this book spoke to me. It made me think about the times in my life that I have been most fulfilled and it is most definitely when I feel creatively alive. I think back to when I started this blog- I was in a funk at the time and instinctively knew that to break free from its hold, I had to create, write, explore & learn. I had to get back in touch with the part of myself that comes alive when I am living a creative and inspired existence. That year I learned how to cook, I learned how to tango, I drove across the country taking photos and writing. All these activities brought me such profound joy and isn’t that the point of living? Why don’t we give our creative pursuits more energy?

This book reminded me that it’s ok to spend an afternoon painting for no other reason than it feels good and makes you happy…and that is a life worth living in my opinion.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from the book…

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”

“Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

“creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that—merely by being here—you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.”

“But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”

“The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust—and those elements are universally accessible. Which does not mean that creative living is always easy; it merely means that creative living is always possible.”

“Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.”

“But never delude yourself into believing that you require someone else’s blessing (or even their comprehension) in order to make your own creative work.”

“Because often what keeps you from creative living is your self-absorption (your self-doubt, your self-disgust, your self-judgment, your crushing sense of self-protection).”

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all the paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise- you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”

*

Gilbert explored some of the ideas in the book in two TED talks, 2009’s “Your Elusive Creative Genius” and 2014’s “Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating.”

meditation update

13 Oct

 

unplug_meditatio_mug

In an attempt to meditate more frequently I signed up for a month-long membership at Unplug Meditation. It’s a guided meditation studio in Los Angeles that offers 30 and 45 minute group meditation sessions. They range from mantras to crystal healing classes. While I would like to get to a point where I am meditating by myself at home, I thought a group atmosphere and guided practice might jumpstart my practice again. I was right. This place is a little oasis and it makes meditation easy. It’s a calm atmosphere with soft light and candles. They offer cushions that fold into little chairs on the ground- you can keep them flat if you want to lie down or fold it to give you support when you sit. These cushions are pure gold- I’ve found that if I am not physically comfortable during my practice then my mind never stills. Instead I’m focused on the fact that my foot is falling asleep and my back is aching.

I’ve taken a range of classes at Unplug led by a different people and found that each teacher brings a whole new energy to the practice. One guided meditation that I absolutely loved (it may sound a little strange) the teacher led us back to the days of our ancestors- we weren’t told how far to go back so I decided to visualize 100 years or so back. I found myself standing by myself on a hilltop in Ireland…different shades of green as far as the eye could see…I could literally feel the wind in my face and hear the waves crashing on the rocks below. It was so incredibly powerful. I felt tethered to all that came before me. It was interesting letting my mind explore the new world- I wandered villages, watched people work, children play & animals wander.

When I left class that morning my perspective had shifted from what I could only see and touch in front of me to a vast and endless world beyond…past, present & future. It’s truly amazing where your mind can take you.

My visualization looked much like these photos…

1

Slea Head - County Kerry Ireland

3

My membership ends at the studio soon (after the month-long new student deal it’s pretty pricy to continue- major bummer!) so I will have to develop a space in my home that inspires me to calmly want to sit for long periods of time. Preferably one that Frank can’t bring his tennis ball into.

*

For any of you interested in meditation here are some tips that have worked for me.

meditating in the morning before the day begins. I find my head space is clearer at this time

setting a timer for a desired amount of time so my focus can be on my practice and not the clock

stretching my body before so I feel less restless and more open

putting on light music or an online guided meditation (these free guided meditations are great)

focusing on my breath to anchor in the present moment

lastly, when unwanted thoughts appear I gently let them go by returning my focus to my breath. Don’t try to stop your thoughts; this will just make you feel agitated. Imagine that they are unwelcome visitors at your door: acknowledge their presence and politely ask them to leave.

*

“Meditation is to dive all the way within, beyond thought, to the source of thought and pure consciousness. It enlarges the container, every time you transcend. When you come out, you come out refreshed, filled with energy and enthusiasm for life.”
David Lynch

 

fall / winter 2015

9 Sep

tumblr_mfgr67IakL1r7m9kyo1_500

(image found via pinterest)

With 2015 nearing to a close…I know, I know, we still have four full months, but once September hits I can’t help but reflect on how I want the year to wrap up. September – December always seems to fly by and I find myself surprised every year on January 1st- it almost seems impossible that we are there again. The next four months also happen to be my absolute favorite time of year- I find myself most creatively alive during this time. I also love everything to do with the holidays and what they represent- family dinners, our wedding anniversary, carving pumpkins, dressing Frankie up for Halloween, cooking, warmth, bundling up, decorating trees, cuddling & new beginnings.

The last eight months have been an introspective time for me. Rather than exploring the world around me, as I usually do, I have been instead making the journey within. I knew at the start of 2015 that something was off.  I had baggage that I still hadn’t worked through and I was dragging it around with me. I couldn’t hide from it anymore. It was time to do the hard work, even if that meant that other things had to be put on the back burner. Something very hard for a person who desires immediate results like me to come to terms with. Instead I had to trust the process. It reminded me of that quote by Zora Neale Hurston –  “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” Thus far this year has most definitely been asking me some questions. Ones that needed answering and ones that positively shifted something in me once I did. I feel empowered and for that I am incredibly grateful.

Life man, such a wild ride sometimes, right?

When reflecting about how I want the next few months to unfold, it was clear to me that I want them to feed my soul, creative mind, relationships, home & belly. I want to soak in every bit of goodness that 2015 has left to offer me. I have a feeling the next four months will bring an entirely different energy than the first eight did and I am ready for that new energy.

Some of the ways I would like to spend the next few months…

Deepening my meditation practice. I know I have only been scratching at the surface and I am feeling a pull towards more. In addition to developing a stronger home practice I want to explore Unplug Meditation, Against The Stream & Shambhala Center.

Reading! There are fifteen (I might be setting myself up for failure on this one) books I would love to read before the end of the year. I’ll share them in a later post.

Cooking- I plan on spending some quality time in the kitchen! Again, there is something about fall and winter that inspire me to want to cook. I love hearty recipes and the feeling of warmth that comes from the kitchen this time of year.

I would love to put a small dinner party together in our home each month to bring our family and friends together. I want to make a point to enjoy the ones that matter most in my life. I also love to entertain.

I want to finish a few work projects that have been on the back burner for many many many months. As I mentioned previously, I put some things on the back burner to focus on me and it’s time to dust them off. They involve getting two book proposals finished and ready to submit in the new year and revamping my personal website which has been in purgatory for the last six months.

Practicing yoga. I want to make my yoga practice more of a priority over the next few months. My love for it has been renewed recently and I would love to keep the love affair going. My body just feels so much more balanced when I am practicing regularly.

I would love to finally find a property for the business Brian and I have been building with a few partners this past year. I can’t wait to share about it in the new year! Granted we find a property and the ball gets moving.

My home life- one of the most important aspects of my life. It has been in an incredibly solid and fulfilling place and I want to continue to watch it grow.

*

There are years that ask questions and years that answer,

Years that

fall apart

and years that come together…

There are years that cry and years that laugh,

Years that wonder

And years that strike and clap and thunder.

. . .

Your job isn’t to know — not right now, not quite yet.

Your job is simply

to breathe,

to trust,

to rest

To know that it is all a part of the path —

The mystery and the clarity

The hardship and delight

The darkness and the light alike.

. . .

Dear One,

Haven’t you heard?

“This place where you are right now

God circled on a map for you.”

*