Where I Am Now / New Years Manifestations

Its unbelievable to think how much can change and happen in a year.
Personally its surpassed my wildest dreams. As I look back on the list I had made last December, several of the concepts I wanted to manifest or invite more of in my life seemed to materialize in various ways. I discovered mindfulness, became enamored with the principles of cognitive awareness, I let go off expectations and doubts,  I became more in tune with what I wanted and pursued my own adventures. I did reach my academic goals and my perseverance certainly paid off. Although I didn’t wake up at dawn so much as find sleep at night-owl hours (to be addressed). On a personal level I feel full with serenity and ease. There were several points this year where I experienced epiphanies and confronted my fears in order to better my self & health. 
I found alignment with what I want to produce as a writer & maker. Discovering Lauren Singer & her “zero waste” principles along with participating in the Project Green Challenge allowed me to be creative and perhaps rediscover my passion and the content I wish to produce. I want to inspire others to live & thrive consciously as well as being kind to our precious earth and each other. This platform  will serve as a guidebook & community for sustainable living, zero waste, and the conscious consumer.  In the new year I am excited to work with more companies, makers, and folk who align with these values as well. 
  

2017 Manifestations

The art of slow living / Where zero waste was my catalyst in this current year, I am ready to transcend and disconnect from the hyperactive lifestyle that dominates much of our everydayness. We lose focus and detail in the created rush of needing to complete and can end up depleting us. Inspired by a recent podcast featuring Beth Kirby (Local Milk) who is a pioneer on “slow living”. We gain enrichment by slow-living which is truly about being mindful whether its n your work, life, or creating. To promote quality over immediacy, to savor experiences by recording them by being present. I am a burst of energy so “slow living doesn’t come naturally to me but when I consider what I desire more of in my life, the answer is to have a life well lived: sustainably, conscientiously, productively.  Read more about slow-living here as well as the Danish concept of “hygge” which is ““creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people” or experiencing joy in the little things. 
Chase down goals /  Sometimes we may expect opportunities to happen by chance, and sometimes they might but I am ready to tap into my creativity and innovation to go after what I want to materialize. We have to make moves in order to reach goals but this doesn’t need to mean pressuring yourself or doubting your potential – by building up assertiveness and learning from what goes well, or doesn’t go well, is a better perspective that will enable us to continue flourishing. Jessica Murnane of the One Part Podcast has great episodes on this featuring Mckel Hill& Amanda Chantal Bacon

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Seek experiences / This year gave me the pleasure of engaging in more wanderings & meanderings: concerts in Silverlake, farmers market hopping, trips to the ocean cities, and driving a mini boat (terribly). In the coming year I long to invest more in experiences and some travel. In the past I have avoided this because of my autoimmune condition that required planning out and downtime but I know I can overcome it gracefully. 
Read more / this need not a lengthy explanation. Reading is my method of reconnecting to my inner child – the activity I did so often to escape, unwind, and feel. Even in the age of technology my favorite part of university were my breaks where I’d sneak off into the computer lab to read or write.
Seek out biodynamic food / similar to organic farming, biodynamic farming doesn’t rely on synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers. The farming methods must meet the National Organic Program standard and farmers use regenerative, local sources instead of exporting in materials. Finding biodynamic food doesn’t mean you must visit farms, the number of companies that are Demeter USA certified (nonprofit formed promote Biodynamic practices) are growing – just look for the label in natural health food stores. Additionally visit the locator to find products and retailers in your area.

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Grow more / I will be focusing on cultivating a mini garden – this is easier said than done but not impossible. This is one aspect of m life that I will choose to put a bit of money in – think LED or solar grow lights and hopefully a mini potting area. But my goal is to be more sustainable and grow my own food and perhaps even compost.
Nightly unwinding/ the moment my head hits the pillow is my moment of clarity and peace. Maybe some will disagree with me on this but for me this is the optimal time to unwind by thinking about what I wish to achieve and bring forth. I don’t do this in a frantic or worrying way, but rather it’s an alternate meditation of letting my guard down and focus on tomorrow in a positive light in hopes I will carry on that same momentum when I awake.
Live with less / in all honesty having too many things exhausts me. With the exception of books and pieces of natures (crystals, flowers, & herbs) Of course de-cluttering is nothing new but I don’t like being surrounded with so many objects that aren’t of use to me. With the exception of a few products that I have to use up, I’ve already replaced and donated most plastic in my home. 2017 will be centered on needing less and discovering sustainable swaps. What I no longer need will be donated or recycled properly.

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Live the life you love / I don’t think we often hear this but perhaps we should. It’s akin to an incantation or fortune that has been there all along. Find what drives you. Ask yourself what are you passionate about? Then assess how to get there or make it happen. This can be on a career, personal or self-care level. Check in with yourself throughout the year – are you following your purpose and taking care of yourself? Even if you are working through a situation or area that isn’t completely fulfilling make sure to find ways to integrate activities or time for yourself.

Light-Chasers Manifesto: How To Defeat & Overcome Self Doubt

In my own life, I had never really addressed the unwelcome dance between “self doubt” & I. In my interactions with those around me (friends, colleagues, family members) I consistently saw the same sentiments of self doubt, of wanting to accomplish something – be it a goal, dream, desire, etc. There always seemed to be reasons for why not to do something, instead of a reverse mechanism of listing off all the ways that they could turn their wishes into reality.
There are plenty of reasons why people hit these “blocks” or obstacles. Sometimes it is internal or external criticism. Sometimes its other factors like finances, or perspective. We try to encourage others but when we find ourselves in that similar situation – fearful to accomplish something no matter how greatly we may desire it- we aren’t always very kind to ourselves.The intention is there but the spark needs igniting.
I personally dont believe in perfection (anymore). I like the idea of balance but balance takes self mastery, self discovery, and sometimes hard work. This year I want to address how I feel and attain what I desire. I realized roadmaps can be helpful and I complied a list of ways that could help silence self-doubt in order to sprout. What if we spent more time inspiring one another? What if we spent more time encouraging ourselves? This is the light-chases manifesto. This is chasing your own light and making it burn brighter. 

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1) Develop one (or more) mantra that applies to you or what you want to achieve. this could be something like “I am/will be successful”  or “I am deserving of what I wish to achhieve.” When you discover your own message, practice mantra meditation by repeating this to yourself. Then say it out loud. Yes out loud. I do this before I go to sleep with the lights off and my mind clear. I dont even think about the mantra I simply repeat it. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel conflicted of self-doubt – repeat to yourself and remember meditation isn’t about perfectionism, its meant to move you forward. Its meant to empower you. 
2) Kick self-doubt in the face. Whenever self doubt starts to appear or those feelings creep up simply reply with a “No.”  Counter those thoughts little by little. Even if it feels impossible or if something is telling you its not possible, discover that you don’t have to give in to someone else’s perception. 
3) Throwing yourself to the wind. Explore stream of consciousness options like journaling, coloring books, etc. The goal is so create something without expectations. Shake off the dust and get moving
4) Surround yourself with positive people or like-minded ones. I cannot stress how valuable this is. Seek people who will encourage your growth and goals, find a group (in your community or even online). Reach out to someone you admire and let them know. Never underestimate the power and potential of genuine camaraderie. 
5) Forget expectations. Its easy to look at others or different situations and needlessly compare ourselves and feel negative; as if we aren’t “achieving enough” – this thinking can set us back and make us lose that confidence. Instead release the concept of expectations and focus on what you want and how to attain it. The truth is that everything takes time and effort. Behind every picture of success is a story of how someone got there. Focus on the journey not the endpoint. “Decide to rise” a wonderful mantra from Danielle LaPorte with a great motivation piece on overcoming doubt (P.S. I am currently reading her book The Fire Starter Sessions and truly recommend it)
6) Plan. I used to avoid any kind of planning medium because I didn’t think it was necessary. However as the years passed and the busier I got I realized how easy it is to forget ideas, thoughts, and plans. By writing these down you create visual (and hopefully organized) outlines of keeping things on track while priming you to do something that day/week/month.
7) Step back and ask yourself what you want. Why are you not feeling motivated? Why is this doubt kicking in? Sometimes our paths & desires change – & this is truly okay. To better ourselves we have to be honest with ourselves and address what we want (or don’t want) in order to move forward.
8) Accept yourself. Once you accept who you are, what you want, and wish to do – you then gain a power and confidence with realizing your potential. The only happiness that matters is your own, when you act against what you really want, you can’t grow. “You’re freer than you think you are.”

Winter reflections; New Year Manifestations

Happy New Year! I for one could not be more refreshed and content that we have made it through another cycle, entered winter, and I feel really energized to start a new chapter.

I want to spend my days  living consciously, spend them creating and discovering what makes me happy. Even if you don’t think its possible or in your reach I encourage you to to spend your time in the pursuit of what makes you feel alive, safe, driven. Spend your moments as you wish to remember them. Even you find yourself alone, be your own company & fall ridiculously in love with yourself. Years from now I want to reflect and find that I spent my days living, saying “no to doubt” and “yes” to self-care and nourishment as well as discovering freedom in going forward.

While I do have “goals” for this new year, and that can be a controversial concept for some, I watched this wonderful video by Lauren Toyota (also a vegan cook for Hot For Food) about manifesting, visualizing & ultimately what I took from it: carving out what you want for yourself. Please check it out! I am sharing here what my own 2016 Manifestations are. Perhaps they can be seen as goals but I liken them more to mental seeds or moldboards we create

2016 Manifestations
Create
Adventure always
Cultivate good genuine friendships & camaraderie
Worry Less
Wake up each morning & read for a while
Continually declutter-donate
Believe + encourage yourself
Be more mindful
(Try) to meditate
Get in Nature, imbibe it
Do something that scares you
SMILE. Embrace freckles.
(eventually) wake up at dawn.
Help animals
Follow your bliss
Disconnect, recharge when needed
Try to bring out the best in people.

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