4 Ways To Transition Into Fall

It’s here! Finally! Fall is in the air!

Fall is a lovely time of year. It’s a time of resetting, releasing, preparing for winter. One can start to wind down and transition into the restful, fallow months ahead. I like to take this time to reset.

One aspect of my Full Witch resolution is that I’m getting more in touch with nature, including the seasons and their shifting. Here are 4 ways I’m making the transition into Fall this year.

Inspiration for my Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Inspiration for my Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Changing MY Clothes

I’m doing my second Fall Capsule Wardrobe.  I started transitioning from summer to fall clothes in September and am now totally into my fall wardrobe. There’s something really nice about putting away my hot weather clothes and getting out my cooler weather, nicer clothes. It’s a seasonal costume change! I really like all my shoes, hats, jackets and scarves.  I love that the colors in my wardrobe are in tune with the season, with rust, mustard, whiskey and deep red. Everything gets a little cozier, warmer, richer. I have several items that I’ve made, too, which feel great to wear. (More info on my Capsule coming soon! Here’s my Fall Wardrobe Architect board, where I save ideas about color, shape and vibe.)

MOdifying MY Diet

Capsule wardrobe is a sort of external reset, but there are internal resets I practice as well. This is the second year that I’ve done an Ayurvedic  Fall Cleanse as outlined here. The idea of this cleanse is to reset one’s digestive system as well as detoxifying the body. It is a nice way to demarcate the seasonal change, to “release” toxins and unhealthy habits we may have acquired over the summer, and to prepare the body for shifts in weather and tone that come with each new season. It’s important to undertake this process in the spirit of self-care rather than self-denial. It requires lots of rest and awareness of both the physical and emotional states. I have to say, I felt like garbage for the first few days this time, but am feeling lighter and cleaner as I am finishing up the 7 days.

October is also the month when I revisit Cycle 1 of the Virgin Diet. This is the 21-day period when I have to be really strict about eliminating eggs, soy, dairy, gluten, corn, peanuts and sugar. I’ll admit that I’ve never successfully eliminated sugar, but I have drastically reduced it during this period. After the 21 days, I retest eggs, gluten, soy and dairy to see if I have built more of a tolerance for them. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can handle some eggs, since I find this the most difficult thing to eliminate. It’s really hard to find gluten free baked goods that don’t use eggs, and I really love a poached egg in ramen or on top of basically anything, every now and then.

Other aspects of the Virgin Diet that I’m happy to reinstitute, as I’ve fallen away from them in the past few months, include when and how to eat. Meals are spaced in a way that maximizes digestion and nutrient absorption: eat a meal every 4-6 hours, don’t eat 3 hours before bed, and eat the proper ratio of healthy fat, lean protein, whole grain, low starch vegetables  and carbs, low glycemic fruits, and nuts. When I follow these guidelines, I truly feel more satiated and have more energy. I’m excited to feel that way again.

These are photos from my recent trip to Iceland!

These are photos from my recent trip to Iceland!

CONNECTING WITH NATURE

Last month I went to Iceland (!) and had my mind blown by how gorgeous the landscape is there. My friends and I drove around looking at the scenery, chasing rainbows and stopping to hike, jump in hot springs (in the wind and rain!) and gaze at waterfalls. I took a ton of pictures which I’m still combing through, but you can see above how beautiful the country is. I felt so intensely the pull to spend more time in nature, so I’m committed to doing more hiking, walking and even sitting outside this fall.

I LOVE being outdoors, but in the summer it is too damn hot. Fall is, of course, the best season for snuggling up to nature. Last weekend I went to Asheville and did some hiking and apple-picking. It was autumnal AF. Witnessing the beauty of the changing seasons, I feel a change in myself. We are connected to the world around us, which is also the world within us. We cannot deny our naturalness. To notice what’s happening to the leaves is to notice what’s happening in the endless cycle of life of which we are a part. (I have “Colors of the Wind” stuck in my head right now.)

USING MY HANDS

I love knitting and working with cold-weather fabrics such as flannel and wool. Working with my hands is very grounding and it feels good to create things I will wear as it cools down. I also start cooking more, or at least I have done so in the past. I’ll break out the crock pot and simmer some stews to eat over a couple of days or freeze for later. These activities remind me of the past, of my predecessors who quilted, crocheted, gardened and pickled. It feels good to have a connection to my grandmothers; it makes me feel rooted.

 

Fall is a time of rooting. We cozy up, settle in. We spend time with family over the holidays and celebrate community with harvest festivals and explore society with elections. We scare ourselves with horror movies and comfort ourselves with snuggles, warm foods and thick blankets. We join with other fans as we all watch the same shows and sports games. There are so many ways we come together as a community in the fall. How do you wind down, reset or root in the Fall?

On Moving Pt. 2

There are 2 Big Deals in my life this week:

  1. I have a summer flu. 
  2.  My house is a wreck. 

These things are not compatible. I am home from work for the 3rd day this week, surrounded by boxes both half-full and empty, and all I can do is watch TV, read and recover. This is HARD. All I want to do is go to work at my very fun job (I missed field day!), arrange my furniture, organize my shit and hang my art. I am sick, bored and frustrated. Woe is me. I was supposed to go to the beach this weekend but have to stay home. Maybe I can get some stuff done this weekend? Anyway, here’s some stuff about me and my house. 

Problem: I bought a big hulking piece of furniture based on a dream, and in reality found it to be impractical. It’s just too damn big. My house is small. It was an impulse buy. I was coming down with the flu when I bought it. I have regrets. Now I need to get it out of my house ASAP so…Craigslist? Right? We’ll see how that goes. Until I get rid of it, I can’t really arrange my living room. I can’t finish unpacking until everything is arranged.

Success: I got a new couch! This after my old couch, which we hauled here from my former residence, wouldn’t fit in my narrow doorway. Oh we tried. We tried hard. After a half-hour of trying to configure it creatively through the door, we gave up and I trucked it over to the thrift store. It was actually kind of liberating. I wasn’t in love with that couch and it would have been huge in my space. I need small, light furniture in here. So I went back to the thrift store with some friends and found this very comfortable, mustard green couch. It’s not an ideal color but I looked up some palettes incorporating the color and I can definitely worth it. Devo LOVES it. She’s barely dismounted since it was delivered. Bonus: it was only $80. 

mustard green palette

Problem: I have an enormous pile of laundry and no washer/dryer. My plan is to do my laundry at my sisters’ house until I can afford to buy a w/d (there is a hookup here) but I moved in with a pile and haven’t had a chance to get over there so…it grows. It’s taking over. I might disappear under it.

Success: My bathroom looks  great. I decided to go for it and got the microfiber shower curtain. Whoa, I know. The bathroom is one of two rooms that are put together. It was my top priority. The other room that looks great is my front porch. It has a ceiling fan! My plants are very happy out there.

Problem: There’s an ant infestation in my house. I’m using Terro. They’re in my bed. I hate it.

Success: I painted an old cabinet I have with black chalkboard paint and now it looks very cool.

Problem: The blinds in my bedroom broke and it’s seriously impeding my nudity, which is one of my favorite things about living alone. Time to get curtains.

Success: S hooks are very handy. I’m using them in the pantry to hang pots and in the closet to hang bags. There are a lot of wire shelving units in this house.

Problem: My shower. The tub is old fiberglass, not really big enough to comfortably take a bath, chipped and I swear it’s kind of squishy like there’s water damage underneath it. I tried to tell the landlord but he blew off the water damage theory. My dream of dreams is that I am correct and they will replace the tub. It doesn’t drain well so that I am standing in ankle-deep water throughout my shower. The faucet drips, which is not cool for the environment or my water bill. Boos all around.

Success: I replaced the shower head immediately. Nothing like a great shower head.

Problem: I really want some banana pudding, but don’t eat most of the ingredients. Also too sick to go get some.

Success: Can’t think of anything else. Ugh. Oh wait! I could make a banana pudding-ish smoothie?! That would be a success. Nailing it.

 

 

How To Ease Money Stress

How to Ease Money Stress | Whisper & Howl

OMG have I been stressing out about money. Some unexpected expenses have come up this month on top of my new car payment. Long story short, always file your state taxes or they will take a major chunk out of your ass in oh, 6 years time. Like a surprise $1000 chunk out of your ass. Like, your entire savings. It might also happen on the day that the security deposit is due on the house you want to rent. I’m just saying, it could turn out that way. That would probably be pretty stressful. If that happened to you, you might find yourself spiraling into anxieties about having no Emergency Fund where mere days ago there was a nice $1000 balance, or how you were definitely going to have enough money saved to not use your credit card for the big trip you have planned for the fall, or how it might take years to pay off your credit debt. Your brain might jump ahead to next year, when the landlord of your new house will probably raise the rent because they “don’t do” 2-year leases, and you’ll have to move again or spend even more money on rent, money that won’t be saved up for a down payment on a house, and you won’t be able to afford to live anywhere you want anyway because gentrification. Also, you might hate all your clothes and want to buy new ones and also be thinking about needing new furniture and why didn’t you include moving expenses in your very optimistic savings plan in the first place?!

If this happens to you, there is one tactic I know of that can calm the financial fear monster. No, it’s not budgeting, because planning in this scenario sometimes leads to severely overthinking, nay, obsessing (although yes, you should be budgeting).

I’m talking about gratitude.

There’s something about making lists of things for which I am grateful that is very soothing. Maybe it’s the list-making. Maybe it’s the realization that I have everything I need at this moment, that I’m safe and comfortable and free and surrounded by good things. Maybe it’s the reassurance of the Law of Abundance, that the universe provides, that all will be well. Maybe it’s just a distraction.

I don’t know. It just works.

My recommendation, should you find yourself in this situation, is to find a quiet moment in a cozy place. Take deep breaths. Light a candle. Make it a ritual. Focus your energy on gratitude. Give thanks to the goddess, the universe, God, light, the source, your own wits and talents and strength–whatever makes you happy. Grab a beautiful journal if you’d like. I write on scraps of paper and stash the lists in my God box (a great idea from Tosha Silver).

Sometimes it’s a stretch. I start with easy things and move on from there. Sometimes they are simple things, sometimes complex. Often, they’re related to things I’m stressed about. I remember all that I have and forget all that I don’t have, or can’t see that I have; the things I think will make me happy, the things for which I’m grasping; the things I’m afraid of losing or am afraid I will never have. I keep listing things until I feel better. That’s it. It’s not a cure, but it helps.

  • I am grateful for my family.
  • I am grateful for Devo!
  • I am grateful that my hair is finally long, even though it was kind of greasy today. High ponytails make a great swish when I jog.
  • I’m grateful for the park where I jog. Or, let’s be honest, speed-walk. I’m grateful I can speed-walk.
  • I’m grateful for kombucha and to the friend who brought me SCOBYs from his restaurant even though he was studying and has a small child. That was extra generous.
  • I’m grateful that I have a job that I LOVE.
  • I’m grateful for my cute little car that doesn’t feel as though it will break down at any minute. Driving is fun again!
  • I’m grateful for the Maximum Fun podcast network, especially Jordan, Jesse, Go, which makes me laugh my ass off.
  • I am grateful that the manager at the GAP let me exchange those jeans with the broken zipper for a new pair, even though I bought them a year ago, and to the customer service person who emailed me back and told me to bring them in. The new ones are better than the old ones.
  • I am grateful for the bugs making sweet music outside my apartment.
  • I’m grateful for my teachers, even the ones who make shit really hard, like Saturn.
  • I’m grateful for this really fun book, The Name of the Wind, that I’m totally enjoying (and for the friends who lent it to me).
  • I am grateful that I am incredibly wealthy in love, friendship, and support.

See? Not so hard. I feel better already.

My Favorite Smoothies

From the Nutribullet cookbook

I’ve really stepped up my smoothie game since I got a NutriBullet for Christmas. Not only is it the best thing since sliced gluten free vegan bread, it comes with a cookbook packed with delicious smoothie recipes. They’re not paying me to write this, I just love it a lot. (If they’re reading this and want to pay me, I’m on board.)

The cookbook is hilarious. It’s full of photos of smiling, active, elderly, white, straight couples enjoying life. It’s divided into sections based on medical or health conditions, with recipes designed to be nutritive and healing. My favorites are the anti-inflammation, digestion and detox sections, since I am plagued by tummy troubles and inflammation (damn you, leaky gut syndrome!).

Below are recipes for 3 of my favorite smoothies (or “blasts,” as NutriBullet calls them). Just add all the ingredients to your blending machine of choice and pulverize them into delicious health food beverages. I didn’t include amounts of liquid. If you want thicker smoothies, use less liquid, and vice versa. I usually drink mine in the car on the way to work and prefer them to be less viscous, so I add max liquid. Enjoy!

Pink Detox Blast, My Favorite Smoothies | Whisper & HowlPink Detox Blast

Beets and celery are great for a gently detoxing the digestive system, the avocado adds healthy fats and creaminess, and coconut oil is great for your gut. The apple gives you a nice dose of fiber and strawberries are healthy and delicious. This drink’s gorgeous pink color puts a smile on my face, making this my current favorite smoothie. 

1/4 Medium Avocado

1 Stalk Celery

1/2 Strawberries (Cherries are also great)

1/2 Beet

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Coconut Oil

1/2 Apple (Granny Smith is my favorite)

3 Ice Cubes

Coconut Water (I often use water instead)

Belly Bloat Blast, My Favorite Smoothies | Whisper & Howl

Belly Bloat Blast

The bromelain in pineapple and curcumin in turmeric help to fight inflammation, while the celery and ginger aid in digestion. This “blast” is light and bright and wakes me right up. 

1 Handful Kale (or Spinach)

1 Cup Pineapple

1/2 Inch Ginger

1/2 Stalk Celery

1/2 Lemon, juiced

1/2 Inch Turmeric (dried also works but fresh tastes better!)

Coconut Water (again, I almost always use water)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Blast, My Favorite Smoothies | Whisper & Howl

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries (or Cherries) Blast

This one is delicious and feels like having dessert for breakfast. Instead of the protein blend in the recipe, I use Orgain Chocolate Protein Powder. 

1 Handful Spinach

6 Strawberries (or cherries)

2 teaspoons Raw Cacao Powder (or nibs)

1/4 Beet

1 Tablespoon SuperFood Protein Blend

1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk

 

You can find a ton of recipes on the NutriLiving website…or wait for me to pare it down for you. 😉

 

 

Adventures in Austerity: This is Happening!

Spending Fast Guidelines | Whisper & Howl

Not Spending = Saving, right?

This is happening! I embarked on an Adventure in Austerity (not to be confused with a Spending Fast, which is a trademarked phrase created by the brilliant Anna Newell Jones of And Then We Saved)!

One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to reexamine my spending habits and jump-start my savings. I struggled with the decision to freeze my discretionary spending, because it’s hard. It means spending money only on essentials and exercising a lot of restraint. I realized it would be easier to start if I took a month to prepare by making a list of things I wanted (like new Chelsea boots and a harmonium) and upcoming expenses throughout the year (yoga insurance renewal, contacts). I evaluated the “wants” and chose a few things to purchase, and I planned out the upcoming expenses so I’d remember to budget for them. I think this really helped, and not just because I now have a nice pair of boots that I wear almost every day and a harmonium I play every night. The process of prioritizing and scheduling things out was useful.

Because I’ve been living partially on savings and my (very low interest) credit card for the last 5 months, my bank accounts are basically down to $0. I’m starting from scratch here, but that’s okay. I just got my first paycheck from my new full time job and I am so excited to put a big chunk of it into savings!

It also helped to set goals.

My Savings Goals

  1. Get my Emergency Savings back to $1000. It has pained me to watch this dwindle. I had to dip into it for essentials each month that I was underemployed, and at this point it is down to the minimum account balance requirement: $25. Ouch.
  2. Pay off credit card debt. At the moment, this is at an all-time, scary high of $2100. I didn’t touch the thing in February (another reason my Emergency Savings is gone). In the interest of full disclosure, I might make one final purchase on it before laying it to rest for the next 6 months: $200 plane tickets to Iceland. Which brings me to my next goal…
  3. Save up for birthday trip to Iceland. Yes, my priorities could be better. No, I am not going to reconsider. This, also, is happening.
  4. Build 3-6 months of Emergency Savings. This is 3-6 months of what I would need to live off of if I had absolutely no income. I’m estimating that 3 months would be about $4500.
  5. Build General Savings, or save up for more specific goals (buy a house?! Is that crazy?!).

My PLan

  1. Don’t increase spending just because income has increased. In order to save money, I have to stick only to planned purchases. This means budgeting based on my anticipated needs rather than leaving in extra “just in case” cushioning. Living on less these last few months has helped me to trim some fat from my budget. For instance, I’ve reduced my food budget by nearly half since this time last year. I’ve also cut way back on miscellaneous personal items like toiletries, and I rarely buy clothes or home-goods. Now I have a better idea of what I need to budget for based on my needs, not my desires, and on m
  2. Set saving priorities–and get excited about them! See above for goals.
  3. Set spending priorities. Determine needs v. wants. I use the word “needs” loosely to define things I am not willing to part with, such as sewing club, acupuncture, and Netflix.
  4. Shop with intention. Have a plan! Make lists! Stay on task!
  5. Think before purchasing. Take a moment. Count to 10. Breathe deeply.
  6. Don’t shop when hungry or stressed
  7. Make do and mend, reuse creatively, make things, use what you already have, borrow from friends, and find free things to do!
  8. Think of this as an ADVENTURE!

THIS IS HAPPENING! I started March 1st. I have paid for gas and my sewing classes (needs) but have refrained from buying some fantastic rayon-cotton blend jersey fabric that is on sale and would look gorgeous as a tee shirt dress, but that is categorically not a need. I have plenty of sewing projects lined up to keep me busy for months, and I already own the fabric! It’s the little victories, you guys.

How do you feel about saving? Is it easy or difficult, or have you never considered the fact that you’re 31 and have $40 in your Simple IRA account?!?!

 

 

 

 

 

Years

Goodbye, 2015. You were a great nasty beast of a Teacher. Thank you for all of your lessons.

Hi, 2016. I am so happy to meet you! If you could take it easy on the real heavy shit, that would be nice.

Love to you both!

A Week in Witchiness (or, One Witchy Week): 9/9-9/15

I’ve been a good little witch this last week.  With the New Moon in Virgo on Sunday night, my earth-loving, purifying, refining nature has been out in full force. Here are some of the things I’ve done:

5 ways I’ve been witchy since wednesday

Handpainted eyeball gel manicure | Whisper & Howl

Number 1

 I painted eyeballs on my fingernails.  I am obsessed.  When the paint inevitably peels off, I will be so, so sad.

Number 2

I undertook an Ayurvedic cleanse.  I’ve been taking herbs for a while and they seem to be helping, so I decided to do a Fall Cleanse right as the weather decided to drop 20 degrees!  Unexpected bonus: I’ve lost 3 lbs.

NUMBER 3

Because of the cleanse and its morning practices, I’ve been getting up much earlier than usual and am loving it!  I do some cleansing practices, make breakfast, shower and do yoga all before work.  It’s giving me more time in the evening, since my sadhana is already done, and has jolted me straight into a beautiful morning routine.  I’m getting a little closer to becoming a morning person every day.

Eclipse Healer by Mystic Mamma

Number 4

I taught 4 yoga classes last week, including the New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Virgo class on Sunday.  I love teaching the moon classes.  I get to learn all about what’s going on astrologically and impart it to others along with lots of my favorite poses (chandra namaskar or moon salutations is my favorite sequence).

Number 5

I got a book on Shakti mantras and am excited to dive in!  I’m headed to the beach tomorrow afternoon and expect to be reading lots of yoga texts and doing lots of chanting–along with playing cards and board games and watching horror movies with my Mom and sisters.  I’ll be sure and collect some nice shells for my altar while I’m there.

Bonus

This one isn’t witch-related, but I did get my Autumn Capsule Wardrobe figured out and have started transitioning some pieces in.  More info on my process and results will be coming soon.

What have you done to feel like a wild, weird, witchy goddess this week?

I Once Was 30: A Year in Review, Pt. 2

 

Review

And we’re back!  I wanted to take the time to do this review because I discovered so many new things in the last year of my life and I want to share them with you.  It’s also a nice way for me to take an inventory of everything that’s happened, so that when I feel like I’m not making any progress in certain areas, I can look back and see the strides I have made in other areas.

A Year in Being Me, Pt. 2

March 1st, 2015-August 31st, 2015

March: Baby’s First Capsule Wardrobe!  Having completed The Great Discard on New Year’s Eve of 2014, and having contemplated and researched capsule wardrobes for a month or so, I started this practice on the first day of Spring.  I also started teaching a regular vinyasa yoga class on Monday mornings at Heart of Yoga School, where I did my first Teacher Training in 2012.  I’ve kept this class since then, and also teach a bi-weekly Lunar Yoga class on the evenings of the full and new moons, as well as occasional workshops.

April: Despite Mercury’s being in retrograde, I decided it was high time to start this blog!  I’d been thinking and talking about it for so long, and finally decided what the general idea would be–to write about all of the things I am learning about, with tips and advice from my experience. I was also doing a lot of babysitting and bartending in April.  I had more money, but less time.  And!  I finally got a spot in Mulberry Silk’s Tuesday night social sewing class!  I finished a skirt!

May:  I began taking Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with the incomparable Allison Dennis at Heart of Yoga School in May.  It was a hard decision to make since this course is not cheap (although to be fair, it is very reasonably priced), but this was an occasion when I felt very strongly directed to make the investment.  I am so glad I am doing this!  We meet once a month for an entire weekend of asana and study, to earn an additional certification and dive deeply into our psyches, yoga philosophy, history and practice.  I have made wonderful new friends and deepened my interest in and understanding of practices such as naadi yoga, mantra, tantra, shakti, and so much more!

June: What happened in June?  It was hot.  I fell in love with kirtan.  I started walking more often and I finished a dress.  I began my first Summer capsule wardrobe and it was hot.  So hot.

July: Ditto June.  I started doing acupuncture and that has been amazing.  I haven’t gotten sick since then, and that is pretty incredible considering my track record of sinus infections, gut issues and cold-catching.  Plus, it feels great.

August: And finally we come to August.  Last month, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 Myelodisplastic Syndrome, an aggressive blood cancer.  This news has been devastating.  I love my family more than anything, and this is the worst thing ever.  We’re all dealing with it.  We’re processing.  We’re handling.  I’ve spent a lot of time crying.  It comes and goes, the heart-wrenching sadness and fear.  I was having a lot of trouble sleeping for a while.  Dad started chemo last week and is home now.  I’m going home as much as possible to visit.  My parents live 30 minutes away and my littlest sister has moved back from Maine to live with them and help out, and my other sister lives a few blocks away from me.  We’re all very close.

Anyway, this is how I ended my 30th year, and the reason for my reflection/resting v. mad celebrations.  I am tired.  I’m also grateful, full of love, mostly happy, peaceful, supported, relatively healthy and have, in general, enough.  I’m reading a lot and sleeping a lot and trying to eat well and avoid watching too much TV.  I’m doing my sadhana, castor oil packs, snuggling Devo, visiting family, and sewing.  Everything is what it is, and that is fine.

Next time, I’ll tell you about my 31st Birthday Resolution.  It’s pretty great.

I Once was 30: A Year in Review, pt. 1

Birthday in BedFriends, family, strangers, rejoice!  For today is my 31st birthday!

That’s how this would normally go, but life has recently gotten intense, deep and complicated, so my traditional months-long birthday excitement has been less about CELEBRATING! WITH EVERYONE! and more about reflecting, resting, and planning for the upcoming year.

As you may know by now, I am big on the Birthday Resolution.  I started setting these several years ago and have found it is a lovely way to create some intention and focus for the upcoming year.  I find this much more meaningful than New Years, although I have been known to take any excuse to plan and evaluate (as a Virgo, this is my birthright).  I love a good moon ritual, embrace the solstices, and enjoy any day off that I can dedicate to wardrobe editing, desire-mapping, or guided meditation.

Before I talk about my 31st Birthday Resolution, which I have been setting up for the past month or two, I want to take some time to review my 30th year on this Earth, which was enormous, full, scary, wonderful, and heavy.

A YEAR IN BEING ME, PT. 1

AUGUST 31ST, 2015-FEBRUARY 28TH, 2015

August 2014: 30th Birthday Resolution: Become fiscally responsible!  This mostly involves creating a monthly budget, reviewing spending monthly, and trying to save some money.  More than keeping me on track so that I’m not getting (more) massively in debt, it has made me consider my wants and needs in life and ultimately has led me toward a minimalist path.  I’m taking baby steps, but this Resolution was smart, necessary, and has had far-reaching impacts in my life.

September 2014: My first job out of graduate school began in mid-August, so September was my first full month in my first office job as an arts administrator.  I moved back to Carrboro, to live with my friend Nureena, who is a lovely housemate, and my sweet cat Devo, 1 mile from my workplace and a few blocks from my sister, Jaimie.

October 2014: I discovered, committed to, and successfully followed a life-changing diet, which has been incredibly healing to my poor, injured gut; has eliminated by recurring back pain; given me more energy; and strengthened my confidence that I can commit and carry through big life changes.  When I finally went to see a gastroenterologist in December, she was so impressed with the results from this diet that she wanted to recommend it to her patients!  Big thanks to Jaimie for telling me about it (and my Dad for telling her, even though he doesn’t remember this).

November 2014: Started sewing!  I take social-sewing classes with the most badass women in town at Mulberry Silks.  I thought I’d make a skirt for Thanksgiving…but it’s clearly for Thanksgiving 2015, as I didn’t finish it until March!

December 2014: I started The Artist’s Way (and completed it 12 weeks later!).  This was also a life-altering event.  This book is mind-blowing.  It truly helped me get deeper into my own psyche, to rediscover my creativity, and to relax and embrace life and my inner child.  It got me more in tune with my Self and the world around me.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  I am amazed at how many goals I laid out (discovered, really) in my morning pages have actually happened!  I remember writing that I wanted to be a yoga teacher and a painter.  In December, I subbed my first yoga class since getting my certificate in 2012 and have been teaching regularly ever since.  I also did (most of) The Desire Map for New Years.

January 2015: I took an intuitive painting workshop this month let by my wonderful friend Heather Gerni, which really helped me to find an artistic voice I didn’t even know I had!  Heather is an excellent, nurturing teacher.  This way of painting is all about letting go of your expectations and letting the images arise naturally, painting with your intuition rather than your critical brain.  I absolutely love this and have kept it up all year.

February 2015: A friend and mentor gifted me with membership in the Soul Caller Training circles led by the lovely Amy Oscar.  I wrote a long email expressing my dissatisfaction (venting to my friends) with my job and how I felt unfulfilled and like there is so much MORE out there, creatively and spiritually, and at the very last minute I had an urge to send the email to an incredible woman I worked with in grad school, and she sent me the most amazing response and offered me this training.  It was a truly wonderful experience that helped me to be more in touch with my spirit guides (or, the Universe, God, angels, devis, the True Self, intuition, any other name you could possibly ascribe to this otherness that is also, fundamentally, You).

Coming up next time, March-now!  Isn’t this fun? So much has happened to me in the past year that it is difficult to remember it all–except that so much of it was significant.  I made lots of awesome new girlfriends, creative projects, and diet-modified dinners.  My spiritual world has expanded exponentially.  My cat is still the cutest thing in the universe.  And now, as it is my actual 31st birthday today, I will take a break and do…whatever  I want.  See you soon!