Bon Voyage and Godspeed, Dear Kate

41OLqVyQ+iL._AC_US327_QL65_I, like many people, was shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Kate Spade. Kate, as we know, was the brilliant mind behind cute, quirky and beautiful handbags, shoes, clothing and housewares. I own 2 pairs of shoes and 5 of her fabulous bags and would love to have a collection. I bet they will be hard to find now.

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What really saddens me is her method. The report is of suicide. Darling Kate, what could have been so awful in your life for this to happen? Most anything can be fixed or replaced with something better. The only thing that would warrant a suicide is a painful, terminal illness and even then, don’t go it alone. There are doctors to help with that sort of thing.

We see this played out often in daily life. Someone with mental illness, severe depression, addictions, or severe pain – all truly a crisis. But there is always help. We get too far mired down in our own muck and we somehow can’t believe that there is anyone out there who cares or will help. We have distanced ourselves with too much technology and social media and forget how to reach out and hold someone’s hand. We don’t talk – we text. I read that you can even have Alexa or somesuch read your child a bedtime story. WTF.

Mental illness typically has roots in a chemical imbalance in the brain. We know that there are plenty of chemicals out there to balance them. However, some of the most simple things can change your brain chemicals. And one of them is human touch. A hug. A hand to hold. Tears to share. Laughter to lighten up. A kiss goodnight. Even petting your cat or dog will stir up the good chemicals. Do YOU do any of these things? There is ALWAYS someone out there who will hold your hand when you most need it. A nurse in the hospital. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know them, the chemicals will activate. Human beings are not meant to be alone so don’t suffer alone. Find someone to talk to if you find yourself sinking into a dark place. There is always another path for you.

Rest In Peace, Kate Spade, and thank you for bringing something for us all to smile about.

Opportunities and Boundaries

I recently read a posting on Karen Rauch Carter’s Facebook page about opportunities and front doors.  Karen is the author of “Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life”, a fabulous and easy-to-follow guidebook about using feng shui not only in your home, but your entire life.

IMG_0391The point of the posting was whether or not your front door allowed for opportunities to find you.  A front door that you could not see from the street or wasn’t easily accessible from the street sidewalk did not allow for opportune energy to find you.  Conversely having some measure of boundaries was also important, especially if you live at the end of a street or bend of a curve.

My front door clearly has both.  I hadn’t consulted the book before transforming our front yard.  It was the typical builder basic: grass, tree, three shrubs and bark.  The front door was black.  It is a cool-looking vertical house, but it needed a little. . .pizazz.

I’ve never been one to do things by halves.  And there is certainly no doubt where my front door is and how to get to it.  My sweetie and I made the hoop gate.  Along with everything else you see.

The red door and red hoops very clearly open the path to opportunities.  Red energy can work two ways, either draw energy to something or block energy from it.  I set the intention for both: allow the good stuff and block the bad stuff.

IMG_0392.JPGBoundaries are set with the iron fence, yet you can see through it.  Good personal energetic boundaries allow good things to flow into you, like love and abundance.  A brick wall is not a good boundary, either in a yard or yourself.  You quite literally shut yourself off from everything.  So our fence allows the energy to flow.  You can see the beauty inside, with the flowers and the landscape yet it blocks people and their peeing dogs from harming it.  No more than you want a peeing dog in your inner landscape.

There are a pair of planters flanking both sides of the fence.  A pair always represents good couple energy.  Flanking the fence means we share our boundaries equally.

Along the fence line, we planted the more interesting species.  Some rather erotic looking lilies and plenty of colorful tulips.  None of which are blooming at this time.  The tulip fest is done and the lilies haven’t opened their sleepy eyes yet.  I think this demonstrates that we are not afraid of letting our more “colorful” side be right out front to the public eye.  As it should be.  Why should we hide the very best parts of our inner landscape?

And sometimes we shouldn’t hide the more difficult parts. IMG_0386

Splurge and Purge

Barcelona: Tourism And Daily Life As Independence Crisis DeepensZARA is coming to Denver! OMFG, I will be in so much trouble. If you know about ZARA, you will understand that statement. If not, Google it.

ZARA is a Spain-based retailer of affordable clothing. But I am talking gorgeous, well-made clothing. They have a number of designers on staff, so they can quickly turn out a big selection of off-the-rack styles. Their clothing is stylish, contemporary and most often unique. Don’t let the models fool you, anyone of any age can shop there. They have an online shopping site too. My recommendations: look for the embroidered and beaded jackets. People will think you are wearing Gucci. Ah, lovely.6895252505_2_1_1[1]

I could do my entire wardrobe in ZARA. Not only would that be pricey and impractical, but I wouldn’t do it. I have many non-ZARA items in my closet that I love and will cherish until they are threadbare. However, I feel it is healthy to, on occasion, rotate items out of your closet. Things that you don’t wear just take up space in your closet and prevent you from seeing the things you love. They create stuck, heavy energy that can drag upon you when you are choosing your outfit for the day.

Ever look in your closet and think you don’t have a thing to wear?

That’s stuck energy preventing you from moving forward. It’s time to clean that sh*t out and allow yourself to present the best you. You ought to be able to look in the mirror and feel good about yourself.

The first step is to clear out the old. I recommend reading Mari Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. It is a very inspiring and useful method to clear out clutter and organize what you keep. It is kindly and practical and based upon “keep what you love”. You do that by holding the item and asking yourself if you love it. If you haven’t read it and want to, go to the Resource page on this blog and click the link. It will take you to Amazon and in just a few days you can have it in your hot little hands. Then you can start to change your life. It seriously works. I Kondo’d everything before we moved into our new house. Then did it again and I routinely go through my clothes and my house. I feel lighter every time. Plus I have room to buy something new. I know that sounds self-defeating, but life moves on and things change. Nothing lives forever and neither does that monster shoulder pad blazer you have from 1985. Although I miss the 80s.

If you want to live your best life, be brave and Purge so you can Splurge.

Me, My Selfie, and I

OMG, I can’t believe how good my hair looks today. I should’ve worn different earrings, they don’t really match my dress. My lipstick looks off. And. . . HHOOONNNKKKK!!!! Well sh*t, another double caramel macchiato ruined.

Didn’t your mother tell you to look both ways before you cross the street? To watch where you were going?

christmas-1871085_640The Selfie Obsession is overtaking the world. Preoccupation with looks, clothing, jewelry and location-location-location has nearly gotten many people injured or killed.

I remember as a teenager and young adult being overly concerned with how I looked. I believe that’s quite normal as you are developing a sense of who you are and who you want to be. Much of that includes how you appear to others. It might have been hours in front of the mirror, making sure every hair strand was where it was supposed to be and your makeup was perfect. Then a pile of discarded clothes as you picked the perfect outfit. I began sewing at a young age so I could have choices that I liked.

As you get older, you have less time to fuss and begin to develop an acceptance. Sometimes you would look in the mirror and think “f*ck” and go anyway. Those moments weren’t always the best choice when you figured out later in the day that white underwear wasn’t necessarily the right choice to wear under white pants.

mirror-1138098_640Since the creation of those magical cell phone cameras, preoccupation with appearance has morphed into obsessive levels. I’m not sure I understand it since I think I have taken one selfie in my life and promptly deleted it. I’m not that excited about close-up photos. I think selfies have gone way beyond checking your appearance or sharing a moment with friends. I heard on the news that it has now been termed “Selfitis”.IMG_0195

Let’s examine that word. “Self” meaning your essential being. “-itis” as related to inflammatory diseases. So does that mean you are an inflamed being? Are you a disease that needs to be treated? With what? Your cell phone camera?! I suppose it’s better than some drug. But why would you think there is something wrong with you? I’ve read that many people have such anxiety about how they look that they feel compelled to take a selfie. Don’t you know you are a beautiful human being?

Put your phone down, give yourself a big hug and smile. . .at everyone around you. They’ll smile back and then you won’t need a device to validate your loveliness.

The Men In My Closet

I know that sounds kinky. It’s not. Not even remotely. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I confess I have an attachment to fashion labels. Yes, shallow and easily swayed by a name. There is quite a crowd in my closet and I love them all. Tommy, Louis, Christian, Brian, Marc, Manolo, Franco, Michael and some I’m probably forgetting. Sorry guys. There are women there too – Kate, Cynthia, Miucci and Anna. But it seems that men are really good at creating beautiful things for women, especially shoes. I am thankful for this.

Why do women need Men In Their Closet? Yes, we know we have fourteen pairs of black shoes. Yes, we wear them all. It’s fun and it makes us feel good. When I put on a favorite outfit, I feel like I’m getting an upgrade. I smile. I stand taller. I start my day on happy

feet. A great outfit can actually turn a sh*tty day into something tolerable. Sure I look in the mirror, but why not? If. It. Makes. Me. Feel. Good. It. Is. A. Good. Thing. And if I feel good and am happy, then it radiates out to everyone around me and they feel good. Bonus!

Let’s hear it for the Boys!

Act Your Age

Photos Courtesy of Pixabay

How many times in your life have you heard this?  Add that to the prevailing attitude of retaining your youth and it is no wonder we don’t know how to act.

There are aspects to both of these that have truth.  To live your best life, you should adopt an attitude of joyful exuberance in whatever stage of life you are in.  Joyful exuberance is happiness and acceptance of self no matter your age.

Trouble comes when we get stuck on a particular number or phase in our life.  Have you ever noticed people, maybe you are one of them, who constantly talk about your teenage or college years as though that is all there is or will ever be?  I’m not a psychotherapist nor profess to be one.  These are things I have learned in my own healing journey or observed in others.  I believe that when we get stuck in a particular time frame of our life is the point where we have experienced some level of trauma or loss of self.

I once worked with a woman close in age to me, who constantly talked about her teenage years and her ex-husband/boyfriend-at-that-time.  Even her appearance reflected that of a teenager.  I especially noticed her liberal use of super-shiny, super-sticky lip gloss.  I use lip gloss, but her use was similar to that of young teens.  She rarely ever spoke of her present life, except to complain about her three children and all the troubles they were in.  She had her oldest child at nineteen and now that child was repeating the pattern.  She also went to school with her youngest child just to make sure the kid would go!  What trauma and life-changing event occurred in her teenage years that put a hold on her life growth?

Where do you find yourself stuck?  What time in your life seems all-encompassing and your last best years?  There is so much in your life that you are missing out on by keeping yourself stuck in the past.  Your present life is what is important as it is where you create your best future.  Stop being stuck.  Heal your past, make friends with it and put it behind you.  Find the self within you that you stopped being.  Reinvent who you are.  Adopt the attitude of joyful exuberance.

And act your age.  Whatever that is.

Noteworthy news: Older women being featured on style magazine covers is rapidly growing.  Check out some of these beauties: Maye Musk (Elon’s mommy); street style babes Lyn Slater and Sarah Jane Adams; former Playboy Bunny Dorrie Jacobsen; and the grande dame of all, Iris Apfel.  There are countless others being added to the influx of fabulous older women.  The fashion industry is finally taking note that beauty has no limits.  Rock on!

I Am Not Beige Yet

Beige sounds so. . .drab.  Like walking into a newly built home in a suburban sprawl neighborhood and everything is the same color.  Did somebody just throw up?

I prefer Nude.  Sounds much sexier, don’t you think?  Nude stockings, nude heels, nude lingerie.  Like you are walking around naked, but covered.  Just not recommended for public appearances.

I have often noticed that when you are in a department store, you can always tell the section that they seem to dedicate to older women because everything is either beige or plum.  Now I love plum, but beige?  Is that so the older woman can blend into the house paint?  “We have this pant suit in Benjamin-f*cking-Moore Desert Sand, would you like to try it on?”  Now, no offense to Benjamin Moore, they brew up some fabulous paint in delicious colors.  They should make fabric too.

If your closet is filled to the brim with beige it might be time to weed it out.  Why are you trying to hide yourself?  Don’t you see a beautiful woman looking back at you in the mirror?  Love those wrinkles and gray hair.  Change them up if you are so inclined.  Hair color is really good and inexpensive – who says you can’t go blonde at 60?  Then march your blonde self right back into that department store and tell the snippy sales person that you want that pant suit in flaming red!

If The Shoe Fits

I love shoes. OKAY, maybe I am a bit OBSESSED with them. What’s not to love about a beautiful, well-made pair of shoes?

My artist’s soul is drawn to shapes, colors, and textures. Shoes combine all three elements into something, that’s well, artwork for your feet. And the fact that you can wear this portable artwork makes me feel good.

You should take good care of your feet. They get you places. They let you do fun things. Feet should be supported, nurtured and nourished. Massage, pedicures, podiatry visits help maintain the health of your feet.

Do something nice for your feet since they do so much for you. How about buying them presents – in the form of shoes – complete with a pretty bow on top.

Get Real

I decided to expand a bit on my recent posting “Alter Ego” and discuss being authentic. What does being authentic really mean? In gritty terms, it is exposing your sh*t to the rest of the world. It is not being afraid to look the way you really look, act the way you really are and do the things that matter to you. It does not mean acting like an a$$hole, being destructive or harmful to yourself and others. Those things are in total opposition to being authentic. They might even be a way to avoid being real. Addictions are often a cover-up for facing painful emotions. Billie Holliday was quoted as saying “Smoke, drink, don’t think”.

Being authentic is being bone-deep happy with yourself.

Most people don’t know how to get there. So, if you had all the time, energy and money you needed, what would you do with your life? That will at least identify what excites you. So how do you do these things given the time, energy and money you do have? I work full-time, have a home and love spending time with my sweetie. I also like to write. Many years ago I was in a writers group and the theme for writing a book was “a page a day”. That does not equal to a huge time suck. It takes me about 20 minutes to craft these blog posts. Just sayin’.

You might also look at areas in your life that are a total time-waster. How much do those things matter? If you quit doing them, or said no to requests, would there be awful consequences? Probably not. Unless you are performing open heart surgery. If you gave these things up, how much time would you gain to do the things that make you smile?

You only have one life and you should fill it up with the things that matter. Think “a smile a day”.

Long As God Can Grow It – My Hair

I recently decided to quit fighting with my hair and let it do its natural thing. My hair Vaticanhas always been wavy and for many recent years I spent a lot of time trying to straighten it. A blow out, then setting it in large rollers, finishing off with a flat iron. If it happened to be humid or rainy that day, it would go right back to waves. A lot of wasted effort, not to mention the heat stress of the dryer and flat iron.

In the last couple of years, my hair decided it wasn’t satisfied with just being wavy.  No, it chose to grow into ringlets.  Back in the 80s, I would have paid a fortune to have hair like that.  Remember those spiral perms?  I am talking MAJOR ringlets.  Then one day after fighting to straighten them out, I just decided the hell with it and let the curls fall as they may.  And did DSCN1566it the next day and the day after that.  Even resurrected the 80s mousse thing.  I wasn’t sure about it until women started commenting about how much they loved my hair.  Well.  Hmmm.

Lesson here: if you go with what God gives you, your inner beauty shines like a beacon to the world.  So. . . Full Power, Rudolph!!