Tag Archives: writing

around these parts…

5 Jan

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(image via)

Happy New Year lovely people!! I’m always a bit shocked when a new year arrives. Time seems to be moving at warp speed. Where did 2015 go, you know? Although, I’m ok with putting 2015 to bed…I like the sound of 2016. The number just feels good rolling off my tongue and I love the energy that a new year brings. 2015, was an intense year for me- intensely hard and intensely beautiful. I said it on my instagram account but it felt as if 2015 had two acts. Act one kicked my ass- it was filled with lessons, hard work, big questions & uncomfortable (albeit needed) personal growth. I can’t say I enjoyed that period but I know that it lead me to a better version of me, so, high-five Universe! Thanks for dragging me through the shit! I truly believe that we must go through dark periods to earn and appreciate the lighter ones, and act two of 2015 was just that…a big bright light. It was  one of the sweetest periods I can ever remember experiencing. I’m so grateful for the gifts it brought me.

This new year feels different from most for me. I’m usually all about starting the year off with big goals to accomplish in the 365 days I have. While I do still have goals this year (working on a new vision board now) my intention for this year is less about attaining things and more about enjoying things. It’s shaping up to be a year that I will have to be ok with things moving at a slower pace than I am used to. I officially stopped working last week until the babe arrives in May. I knew it was coming considering my job as a fit model is based on my measurements and they have certainly changed dramatically in the last few months. Even with the preparation, it was a hard pill for me to swallow. I really enjoy working and the idea of stopping sounded less than ideal. All my clients were great about it though. They were very supportive and reassuring that they would have me back when I was ready. So my plan is to go back a few months after he is born (granted I can get back to my measurements!). Even with their reassurance I found it hard to turn all my clients over to another fit model. I felt such a lack of control! I had to remind myself that change is inevitable and letting go was ok. There will always be new clients. On to a new adventure, right?!

So what am I going to do with myself for the next 4 1/2 months before he arrives? Your guess is as good as mine. Someone told me I could spend it getting his nursery ready. This idea made me giggle…who needs 4 1/2 months to ready a nursery? God help me if it takes that long! I’m hoping to fill my time with more writing & blogging. I’ve really neglected both for some time. I used to blog every damn day and now I’m lucky if I do once a week. I also hope to fall into a regular yoga practice. I haven’t gone to one class since finding out I was pregnant (In the beginning I was scared that I would hurt the baby but I think I am moving past my “scared of everything” phase). Ok so I definitely have blogging, writing & yoga to fill my days. My other ideas include a once a week artist date with myself, baking (because what better time to take up baking than when you are pregnant…I’m already getting bigger so why not just throw myself all in, you know?) & home projects (it’s so funny how strong the urge is to nest and ready your space before the baby arrives. Like he is going to care about the new credenza or which shade of grey I paint the walls!). Any other brilliant ideas about how I should spend the next few months?

 

project 30 – liz

18 Jun

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Liz, 40 / be love live

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

Well, let me start off by admitting that I am actually 40, so I’ve made it through my 20s and my 30s. And I am all the better for the amazing, beautiful journey that it has been! I’m going to try to do a little time traveling back to my 30 something year old brain, but just know that everything that I share from here on out is from a 40-year-old perspective. And, this 40-year-old perspective is oh so different from my 30-year-old perspective!

So many people are frightened of hitting the big 3-0. I was not one of them. However, I was freaked out, having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that I’d soon be leaving my 20s, unable to grasp the idea that I was going to be 30. A real adult, or so I thought. Still, I looked forward to turning 30. I was hoping that it would be “my decade”. And you know what? It totally was! (So far, at least!) In my 30s, I came into myself. I found the courage + strength to live life on my terms. I accepted and loved myself in ways that my 20 something self only dreamed of. I took the time to discover my own path, leaving the pressures and expectations of society behind.

I quit my stable job. Got divorced. Moved to Europe. And embarked on an incredibly freeing journey of learning to live an authentic life.

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

Oh, how i wish I had taken my soul more seriously. I wish that I had listened to my intuition more and let the voices of others fall by the wayside. I have always been drawn to a life propelled and inspired by the inner world of our spirit. In my 20s, my heart and soul were all but screaming at me to just be true to myself, but I kept telling myself that my mystic, hermit ways made me a boring person. But, what I really wanted to do was simply enjoy the magic of being married to my husband, roaming the world together, living simply, having adventures, inspiring others through my words and pictures (not my husband’s dreams, mind you). I didn’t want a typical life – I craved something different. I craved the freedom of a gypsy soul.

But, I just couldn’t live like that. I was nowhere near secure enough to understand the seriousness of living life from your soul. I heard and felt the rumblings from within, but I just couldn’t set myself free quite yet.

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

I wish that I had taken my expectations less seriously. I wanted to make everyone around me happy. I truly believed back then that, if everyone in my life was happy and content, then I would be. And, in some ways I was. Ignorance was bliss.

So, life in my 20s was a crazy balancing act. I felt the call to live life authentically, to be free to be me; and yet, I didn’t heed the call. Instead I felt self-induced pressure to be more “normal”. I went through roller-coaster periods of feeling blissfully happy with my marriage, my stable job, and my small town life. I even dreamed of starting a family. And then, after some time, the urge to wander + roam the world, the urge to pack it all up and become a desert hermit in order to give my soul the attention that it needed, took over. I teetered back and forth between these two extremes all throughout my 20s, certain that I had to choose one over the other.

Until I hit my 30s. And then, I began to truly listen. And I found, with lots of help from friends, mentors, counselors, and graduate professors, the courage to act. I didn’t have to choose between married life and a monastic, pilgrim’s life. I just had to choose my life.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I am going to answer this question stream-of-consciously because I cannot remember a specific memory. Or, rather, I can remember so many different moments.

All of the memories that are coming to mind have a few something in common: they involve travel. Like the time my ex-husband and I drove across the country in our silver Toyota Four Runner, sleeping in the back, exploring the vast, beautiful country from coast to coast. Standing in the Painted Desert, feeling connected to the entire Universe. Dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean. Waking up on the Oregon coastline. Camping under the mountains in Glacier National Park. Photographing a buffalo in Yellowstone. Driving on two lane roads through barren, sky-filled South Dakota.

I am certain that this trip symbolized the freedom that I was so desperately seeking (not freedom from my life, but freedom from within).

Amazingly, I had the opportunity to make the coast to coast trip again about 5 years ago, when I was 35. This time, on my honeymoon with my Swedish wife. Wink.Wink.

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

In my early 20s, I thought that I would move to Europe and have a job that involved helping others. I desperately wanted to make a difference in the world – I knew that I was here to do that. And, I even more desperately wanted to live in Europe, perhaps even working as a retreat leader for people, while writing books and teaching classes. I could visit bakeries, walk everywhere, and travel the world. I ‘d live with the guy I’d met in Denmark as a young 21-year-old, and I was determined to find anything that would help me get to Denmark to live with him and share the European life that I had been dreaming of. I just knew that, even if it didn’t work out with him (and it didn’t), that I’d still find myself living somewhere different, working as a counselor/teacher/writer. Those were my dreams.

When that relationship ended, I saw my chance to move to Denmark fade away. But, I still felt passionate about travel and other cultures and making a difference. So, I thought I’d be a missionary. But, many people in my life didn’t think that was a safe/smart/good idea, so I decided to set all of those dreams aside and settle down – not at all what I dreamed that I would be doing at 30. But, exactly how I found myself living when I turned 30. Married. Stable job. Happy. Yet restless.

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

As I indicated in the previous question, my life was not the dreamy, romantic adventure I had hoped for. It was a good life, though. And, one that I now understand was necessary in order to do some more soul-searching.

At 30, I had been married for seven years to a good man. We lived in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, in a beautiful cottage about 5 minutes from the church where I worked as a minister and counselor. I had followed through on my dream to work in a helping profession, and it was a job that allowed me to travel and explore, taking young people and other adults with me. It was beautiful, wonderful work – guiding and mentoring others on their own journey through life. Writing and teaching and sharing very special moments with others. I was honored to have this job that I loved.

Still, I wanted more. I yearned for more. I wanted to go to graduate school. And, perhaps, I wanted a family. And I still wanted to move to some place different to experience another way of life. But, I had no idea how to do any of those things. At 30 I was still dreaming, but not quite ready to let myself fulfill my own dreams.

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

Hell yes. Everything about my 20s felt panicky. Like I had to have “it” all figured out. Like there was some race I was running. Against who, I have no idea. I worked hard to make things happen, things that never did happen either because I got scared of following my heart when others didn’t agree or the stars just weren’t lined up right. But, I absolutely thought that things should be done when I thought they should be done. The 20s was a scary decade. A miscarriage, an unfaithful husband, and the inability to claim the life that I dreamed of made my dreams all feel impossible. So, perhaps the only thing I learned that I could control was deciding to help others – to put everyone else before me. I wanted to control. I was terrified of the unknown.

But, oh how I have learned to live differently in my 30s. I learned to love the unknown.

Life is a process that we create. We are active, and yet we just let it unfold. Most importantly, we must stay true to ourselves. Because, when we tap into our souls and live from them, then the life that unfolds before us may not look at all like what we planned, but is pretty much always way more beautiful + amazing than we ever could have imagined.

Yes, our days are numbered. And we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So, the best thing to do is to just be. To simply be present. Right here. Right now. To give it time. To stay true + open + aware. We are creating our own lives with every single moment. And, everything falls into place in its own time. We can’t understand or predict it, but we can trust and breathe and soak up the life that we live. And, in time, it all makes sense.

My 40-year-old self, tells my 20 something self to relax a bit. And my 40-year-old self tells my 30 something self to keep on discovering and listening and being.

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

For me, the greatest gift of being in my 30s was claiming my life as my own. I learned to listen to my soul and to say “F*ck it!” to the expectations to be anything but who I truly am. And by learning to put being before doing, I found a deep level of inner peace that I had been searching for. From that peace, I took risks. I found courage. I changed my life.

I went to graduate school. I traveled to Europe again. I divorced my ex-husband. I quit my job. I sold my things. I took off to live in Denmark. I fell in love – with a woman. I re-married. I moved to Sweden. I left the church. I began writing. I found myself.

The greatest gift that I received in my 30s was freedom. The freedom to simply be me.

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

As you know by now, I have already crossed over this horizon; but I am a mere 40 something baby, since I just turned 40 a few months ago. I can say that, as a woman in my 30s, I did not have anything specific that I was aiming for by the time I turned 40. I was still coming into my own all the way up until then (and still am now). And I don’t make those kinds of plans anymore. I am much slower and much more in the present moment these days.

Not that I don’t have dreams and goals. Oh yes, I do. And they are out there on my 50 year old horizon. They inspire me and help to keep me aligned to my true self.

In my 40s, I hope to continue to evolve and transform. I hope to find even more peace. And I hope to begin to make a shift from learning (which I did in my thirties) to teaching and guiding. I want to continue to travel and write and photograph. I am currently writing my first book – a memoir that tells my story from my divorce to my 40th year. But my biggest, most practical goal hanging out there in the future is to shift all of this into a business. I’m not a business person at all, but I have to trust that things will unfold as time passes.

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

My blog is titled “be|love|live” because these are the ways that I discovered how to live an authentic life in my 30s, how to be true to who I am and to make a difference in the world. So, I’ll leave you with my three of my favorite quotes:

BE: “At the center of your being, you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tau

LOVE: “You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you.” – Frederick Buechner

LIVE: “Following your bliss is not self-indulgent, but vital; your whole physical system knows that this is the way to be alive in this world and the way to give to the world the very best that you have to offer. There is a track just waiting for each of us and once on it, doors will open that were not open before and would not open for anyone else.” – Joseph Campbell

My 40-year-old self has learned a lot. And has a lot still to learn. Though I have advice for my 20 something + 30 something selves, I am thankful for how they have led me to exactly where I am right now. Do I wish I had known more back then? Maybe. But, maybe not. Because it’s all part of the beautiful journey of life.

And somewhere along the way I finally listened to my soul. I took one risk after another, afraid of losing it all at one time. But, I listened. And my soul sang for me. And here I am. Just me. There’s no use trying to be anything else. We all have been created to be exactly who we are, the challenge is to find the courage + the strength + the craziness to listen to that inner voice, telling us to just be…. well, us.

connect with the lovely Liz / blog / instagram: @belovelivephotography / facebook: Be Love Live

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Oh, hi

2 Jun

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Well, I’m back. I hadn’t even realized it had been two months since I last blogged until I sat down to write this post. Where has the time gone? Where has Spring gone for that matter! It’s June already?? What’s that…I’m going to be 33 next month…whhhaaaat?! Sigh. It all goes too damn fast, doesn’t it? Anyway, I have many reasons as to why I haven’t blogged recently but the biggest reason…I was feeling creatively tapped out. Does that ever happen to you? The well was dry as they say. And who wants to read a blog written by a dry well. I kept trying to push myself through it, forcing myself to sit down each day and blog but in turn it was starting to feel like a job and not a creative outlet- which is not why I do this. I do this to connect with others and stay present in my day-to-day life as well as motivate myself to make my dreams a reality. So I decided to do the unimaginable for me after almost four solid years of blogging…take a break.

I took some breathing space to fill up the creative well.

Last week I began to feel the pull again though and found myself once again sitting at my desk with my trusty computer. Ideas and new energy swirling within me.

So happy to be back.

Here are a few snapshots over the last two months…

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 “What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.”

 

 

daily happy recipe

11 Mar

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photo by One Part Gypsy

Maybe you’ve noticed by my lack of posting recently but I’ve been in a serious funk. Usually, my funks only last a day…at most a week, but this funk has really grown some roots. I’ve been buried by it and in turn I’ve been uninspired, pessimistic and just plain UN-fun. All of which is very unlike me. BLAH. But today for no reason at all I woke up feeling like my lighter, happy, connected and grateful self again. Making everything appear rosier despite nothing having changed. Ahhhh, perspective. It got me thinking about what actions and habits bring me joy each day. I decided to write them all down so I can be conscious of what I can do each day to make the world rosier and my heart lighter despite what else may be going on around me. It’s become clear to me that I haven’t been making a point to do a lot of these things recently and I’m starting to think that is part of the problem. Because I do believe we are responsible for keeping our side of the street clean.

My Daily Happy Recipe:

waking early – I fight this habit often because I love my cozy bed but I’ve realized that when I wake up early (think 6am instead of 730am) I feel better. It gives me some much-needed quiet time to get in touch with myself and set intentions for the day.

morning pages– have you ever read the book “The Artists Way”? It’s brilliant. One of my faves actually. One of the exercises in it is writing three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness first thing in the morning. They aren’t meant to be high art. They can be about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. I used to do them often but haven’t in months and I miss them. They provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand.

meditate – nuff’ said. Again, this helps set the tone for the day. It helps center my crazy & anxious mind.

long walk with Frankie – I love our morning walks together. They bring me so much simple joy. We see a lot of the same neighbors and pups each walk and I love saying hi to everybody. I love the fresh morning air. I love watching Frank sniff every flower. I love seeing little kids heading off to school. I love the newness in the air.

jamming in my car – I’ve been on a Pandora kick recently and I’m loving my morning dance sessions in my car. It’s hard to be in a funky mood when you’re dancing and singing in traffic. Also, there is something about music that can turn any mood around and helps keep it light and playful.

working – I actually really enjoy working. As much as I complain about certain aspects of fit modeling there are parts I really love about it. I love the people I work with, being part of the creative process and contributing. I’ve also always enjoyed being independent…so financially supporting myself brings me joy.

connecting with my family and friends – making a point to call the people I love to see how they are and honestly sharing how I am in the process. There is nothing better than being reminded we are not  islands.

writing – It’s pretty simple…If I don’t write something…ANYTHING..each day I don’t feel as fulfilled. Writing is my medicine.

moving – for me this means getting to a bar method class or a yoga class each day. It makes me feel like I am taking care of myself. I also always feel happier after I move my body. Yay Endorphins!

cooking dinner– who would have thought I would have this on my daily happy list a few years ago- NOT ME! But I’ve come to love the process of making dinner each night. I watch the news while I cook…usually with Frank at my feet waiting for something to drop. Cooking has become a moving meditation for me. I feel fulfilled by having a nice dinner on the table for the man I love who happens to work much longer hours than I do.

eating healthy– for me this is light on the dairy, sugar and gluten. I just feel better physically and mentally when I do…and what’s more important than that?

connecting with Bri emotionally & physically– sometimes life gets hectic and it can feel like we are two moving ships trying to manage everything. But I find that when I really make an effort to connect with him each day I feel happier…more complete. He’s not only my lover…he’s my best friend.

watching tv shows with Bri – It probably sounds a bit silly to put tv on my happy recipe list but there’s some seriously good shit on tv these days! I also love cuddling with Bri on the couch with Frankie at our feet chewing on his bone. It’s the only time of day our little family of three comes together.

reading– I love reading a bit before bed. It can be a great book or an article in a magazine and it doesn’t matter if it’s a one page or 100…it just matters that I make the time to read.

Sleep – I’ve come to realize that I am nothing without a good nights sleep. NOTHING. Sleeping a solid & peaceful eight hours is important to my head space and overall well- being.

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So what’s your “daily happy recipe”?? Post below- I’d love to hear!

“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”
Alice Walker

find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitter, facebook

currently…

7 Feb

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Hellllllllo weekend. I’m SO very happy that you have arrived because you are going to be a good one. Tonight Brian and I are having a date night- we have three different restaurants in mind that we could possibly hit up. It’s between Mexican, Pho and Cuban. Tomorrow during the day I’m taking my little sister Ana on our second date….miniature golfing here we come! Tomorrow night we are having two of our favorite couples over for our monthly dinner club…we usually go out and try new restaurants but this time we are staying in because we have a new addition to the group…baby Margot!!! Hopefully Margot likes pizza and wine. And Sunday Brian and I are going to tackle booking hotels for our honeymoon and probably just be cuddly at home all day.

currently…

reading….The Goldfinch for a book club that I started recently. I have been falling behind on my reading and needed a little pick me up. I used to read every night when I got in bed but now I seem to fall asleep on the couch while we watch tv. Pathetic! There was a time not too long ago when I didn’t even own a tv! I got so much more done. I also love hanging with my fabulous girlfriends and will find any excuse to have them all in one room, so I thought…I should start a book club! Our first meeting March 22nd. Are any of you guys in book clubs? Do you have any tips on how to throw a fabulous one? Or any great questions to ask?

working on…writing various personal essays. I’ve written four in the past few weeks. I wrote one about the body image issues I developed after ten years working as a professional fit model, one about an interesting encounter I had with a neighbor, one about our trek through Nepal and lastly one about my seven-year battle with anxiety – which I’m happy to report I’ve been winning recently. Each essay has a life of its own and I’ve enjoyed the process of writing them. Oh and the feeling I get from putting them in a little folder entitled “finished  essays”…pure joy. Now, I plan on writing more and trying to get the others published.

watching...sadly, not much of substance lately. I’m patiently waiting for Walking Dead, House Of Cards & Grey’s Anatomy to return and in the meantime I have found myself watching episodes of The Real Housewives Of BH. I know, I know…truly embarrassing.

loving…nesting and working on home projects (I spent far too long mulling over different shades of grey for our walls. Don’t worry the perfect shade has been chosen. PHEW), planning and daydreaming about our upcoming honeymoon (I can’t wait to be away with Brian for a whole month. We so need it) Apples with almond butter (it’s becoming an everyday occurrence), my new Polaroid camera (FUN! although Frank doesn’t seem to find it too fun. He barks and hides when the picture pops out), the coral mirror that my darling husband painted for me (he’s a keeper), trying on my bridesmaid dress with Rachel for her upcoming wedding ( I LOVE it and her) & dinner dates with my beautiful pregnant girlfriend Taline ( I still can’t get it through my head that my best friend is going to become a mama. It blows my mind)

eating…paleo. I’m not strict about it everyday but I’ve been sticking to it Monday- Friday and I really feel a difference…more energy, flatter stomach, better digestion…blah…blah…blah. I’ve even gotten Brian into it. He says he likes it.

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“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” – Roald Dahl

inspiration, gratitude & surprises

24 Jan

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what inspired me this week?

this quote another blogger shared…

Whenever you start guiding yourself by caring about how you feel, you
start guiding yourself back into your Stream of Source Energy, and that’s
where your clarity is; that’s where your joy is; that’s where your flexibility
is; that’s where your balance is; that’s where your good ideas come from.
That’s where all the good stuff is accessed from.
— Abraham-Hicks

29 ways to stay creative

a session with a possible new life coach

putting together a book club with some of my favorite ladies. first up- the goldfinch 

spending time with my new little sister

compiling a list of inspiring ladies to approach to do the project 30 q & a

what am I grateful for this week?

we booked our honeymoon to Vietnam and Bali! April 24th-May 17th!

my momma for being the best grandma a pup could have…she takes frankie on dates when I have to work long days.

I finally finished our wedding thank you cards.

frank…that little guy can brighten the shittiest of days

white roses

candles…seriously, I can’t imagine a world without candles

my girlfriend Jen for always saying the right thing

my little brother returned safely from his three-week adventure in Australia…meaning his overbearing sister can now breathe a little lighter

my husband…always my husband

what surprised me this week?

I’m going to go with when Brian dropped coral paint all over our concrete patio

meeting new neighbors that I like

Find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitter, facebook

around these parts…

16 Jan

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the above picture has nothing to do with this post- I was just compelled to share the cuteness with you all.

I could not be happier that the weekend is almost here. It’s been a bit of a blah week for me. Not for any specific reason..my head space has just been BLAH. I think I might finally be coming down from the high of the wedding. I didn’t really have a chance to mourn that it was over because we went straight into the excitement of the holidays. It was a joyful few months and I don’t think I was prepared for it all to end. I’m not saying that life can’t be joyful after the wedding…I’m just saying I’m a little sad it’s over.

Despite my blah mood, I was able to make some progress with a few of my goals this week.

I worked on a travel essay about our trip to Nepal, which I plan on submitting as soon as I finish it (hopefully this weekend).

Brian and I finally settled on our honeymoon destinations- Bali and Vietnam here we come. I just LOVE having a trip to look forward to.

I have my very first date with my little sister, Briana set up for this Sunday. I still have no idea what to do with her…must come up with something…soon.

We’ve also made a lot of progress with our home this week- we picked paint colors, met with a furniture builder and found two killer pieces at the rose bowl flea market this last weekend- a fabulous new turkish rug and mirror for the entryway. The mirror is currently white but I plan to paint it coral this weekend!

Other than the thrilling activity of painting the mirror coral this weekend…I plan to do a bit of cooking (paleo cauliflower soup), reading (finding your own north star), writing (travel essay), organizing (the clutter that has developed in our cabinets is crazy…I was almost killed by a falling juicer the other day) and taking a few walks on the beach with my pup and husband.

Hoping that I will have a little more umpf next week!

On another note…did you see the new header on the blog?! I love it. I just die over Frank’s regal pose. Thank you, One Part Gypsy for creating such a fabulous header for me.

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Find me elsewhere: instagram @kate365, twitter, facebook