Actress + Singer Jean Louisa Kelly on Cultivating Grounded Glamour

Jean Louisa Kelly

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the actress and singer Jean Louisa Kelly, probably best known for her role starring across John Candy in the film Uncle Buck and her role as Kim Warner on the CBS primetime series Yes, Dear. Kelly continues to take on film/tv projects like her latest role in the Yahoo web series Sin City Saints. Kelly’s career began on Broadway, so it’s no surprise that in addition to acting she’s been putting her musical chops to good use the past few years recording albums and several singles including my favorite, “Don’t Give Up.” Her latest EP of original music, entitled “Willing” will be released on April 14th.

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Kelly wears long cowl gown by Naked Princess and pear shaped gemstone earrings and gold rutilated spear necklace by Sage & Stone

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
12/16/2017
If there were a glamazon of the shoe world, it would most definitely be the embellished pump. The ultra glam heel is even more lavish when adorned with sequins, pearls or sparkles. An embellished pump has become a coveted status symbol seen on red carpets and black-tie events worldwide. Even the most unaffected woman can’t help but notice her inner movie star come out to play when she slips on a beautifully embellished pump.
Symptoms
An embellished pump is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: feeling ordinary or boring, feeling unseen, unheard, or invisible, fear of attention, feelings of unworthiness or lack, a poverty mindset.
Warnings
Wear may create a sense of unparalleled glamour and luxury. May lead to standing out in a crowd and even being mistaken for a leading lady. Must be worn with caution around paparazzi and ex-lovers.

Read full shoeology of the embellished pump

embellished pumpembellished pump

SB: You’ve been in the public eye since high school, yet you seem to have such a grounded, yet glamorous quality, which in itself is an interesting dichotomy as the words “grounded” and “glamour” represent a kind of dualism. It’s almost as if two apposing forces have come together and exist harmoniously in your sphere.

What does “grounded glamour” mean to you?

JLK: When people think of glamour they tend to think of high heels, sparkles, makeup, dresses… to me, glamour is more about the definition of the word that centers on creating an illusion. The first definition of glamour in the dictionary actually means: a magic spell. I like playing with that definition. In the true sense of the word, glamour is actually casting a spell of sorts. When you couple that notion with the idea of “groundedness” it becomes something even bigger. It’s about focusing on your source and being intentional about the “spell you are casting” in life.

When I’m lined up with everything that makes me feel good, when I have my priorities in place, my intentions are about being positive and being helpful. When I’m focused on what I can bring to a situation, over what I can get out of a situation, then the “glamour” or spell that I can cast is a good one. So while I don’t consider myself a glamorous person when it comes to say sparkles and dresses, I do my best to pay attention to what kind of spell I’m casting in my life and on those around me.

SB: Wow! I love the idea of casting a positive spell in life. How do you stay lined up with the intention of grounded glamour, or a positive spell, that you cast in life?

JLK: I meditate daily. I actually started my meditation practice because I was experiencing chronic migraines, and a friend suggested trying TM (Transcendental Meditation). That has been huge. Everyone says, meditation, meditation… and people say it for a reason because it works! Life’s so busy, and I need meditation to keep myself together, and if you are wondering, it really helped with my migraines, too.

I really try to take care of myself. Honestly, if I don’t I’m not much good to anyone else! I eat well. I attempt to get enough sleep. I practice my singing daily, which is as important for me as my meditation practice. When I sing, I’m grounded in my body and, on good days, in touch with my creative source.

Another way I practice self care is staying connected to family and friends and also being of service to the larger community. I do my best to remember to ask myself, how can I be helpful? The idea of being of service is just as much of a mindset as an action.

I’m no saint, I don’t do these things all of the time, but when I am working towards them I’m more grounded, peaceful and just happier.

Jean Louisa Kelly

Kelly reads Deep Winter by Sam Gailey.

 

What do Jean Louisa Kelly’s thoughts on grounded glamour spark inside of you? I’d love to hear your reflections and the ways in which you anchor this concept in your life. Please feel free comment and or send me a note!

 

*Editorial strategy by Ayn Gailey, photography by Peter Lin Carrillo of Coventry Automatik

Living Juicy

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Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
12/16/2017
The sweetest shoe of them all is the slingback. And when I say sweet, I mean it. The shoe’s ladylike form is romantic and flattering rather than aggressively sexy, which makes it an appropriate choice for various occasions. Slingbacks are characterized by a strap around the back of the ankle in place of the quarters.
Symptoms
A slingback is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: feelings of displeasure, sour relationships with self or others, self-criticism, negative attitude.
Warnings
Wear may inspire playful, affectionate feelings that bubble outward into the world. Sour attitudes may dissolve into the nothingness from which they came.

“My aim is for ripeness of form. I want to make my forms so full, so juicy, that one could add nothing more to them.”
– Henri Laurens

Life is full of juice. Dead things are dry, withered, and stiff. Even in the driest desert if you slice open a cactus, you’ll discover the succulent life force hidden inside. Why is it that we’ve been taught to fear the juiciness of life? That living a luscious life is somehow sinful or wrong?

Being juicy is about being supple and alive. On a physical level dryness is often associated with disease. Dryness creates inflammation, which is the root of many health ailments. Many ancient holistic practices, such as Ayurveda, seek to lubricate the body’s inner organs (through ingesting healthy fats) as well as topically through our largest organ, the skin. The basic premise is that a juicy body runs more efficiently than a dry one—basically similar to keeping the fluids full in your car.

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A cherry earring gives a pop of sweetness to the outfit while old school glamour cat-eye shades shield from the elements.

When I think of stepping into a juicier life, it naturally brings up sexuality. Sensual experiences aren’t something we should shy away from; eroticism is a profoundly important aspect of human existence. In many ways it’s impossible to truly connect to the juiciness of life if one is cut off from the pleasures of physical embodiment. A juicy sex life is part of being healthy, expressive, and connected.

A sensual energy can be found in all kinds of physical avenues like being mindful as we eat, enjoying a hot bath, exfoliating our skin, walking barefoot through the grass. Being fully connected to our bodies and the physical world is inherently juicy.

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These glitter vinyl Rockerfeller slingbacks with fruit detailing look good enough to eat. The Prom Date clear lucite purse from Miss L-Fire highlights all of your juicy belongings.

Expressing ourselves in an artistic manner is the Vitamix of life. Even the simple act of daydreaming can bring up the juiciness that’s naturally within each of us. Anyone who’s ever been touched by art has connected to the nectar of the soul. I think that’s why The Future Islands lead singer Samuel T. Herring’s recent performance on Letterman blew up the internet. Talk about a ripe expression! That guy is connected to his juiciness, hands down. While I’m no aspiring rock star, I want more of what he’s got. Not just to watch, but as way to live.

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JuicyFruit embellished Jitterbug dress by Trashy Diva lends itself to feelings of retro romance. 

I’m curious, what does living a juicy life mean to you?

 

*All items (shoes, dress, earrings, bag, and sunglasses) are available at Miss L-Fire, which recently opened a retail store in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

**Photography by the ever talented and lovely Margalit Ward. Check out our Get Up Girl Coaching programs.

Experience a Miracle, Right Now

Shanali Martin wearing Romance Was Born for an America’s Next Top Model photographed by Jez Smith 

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· feeling lost              · seeking divine intervention
· desiring a “sign”      · feeling abandoned by the universe

RxPRESCRIPTION COMMON MIRACLES
OUTER:
Shattered mirror heels by Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte, Romper by Romance Was Born, Owl t-shirt by Burberry.
INNER: I recognize and appreciate the miracles all around me.

warningWARNING: Wear may cause boundless miracles and appreciation of the beauty of common moments.

magical-fashionAngela Lindval models Magical Fashion by Richard Burbridge, Harper’s Bazaar US

Are you waiting for something miraculous to happen in your life?

I’ve been asking for a miracle. It’s something I’ve done over the years for different reasons. “Please send a miracle, Universe” is a phrase I pleaded inwardly when a friend was ill with cancer, when I found out I’d need to have an early emergency C-section, while trying to pass a difficult exam, and even after circling a busy block several times in search of an open parking spot.

I think people ask for miracles in all sorts of situations. Most often when they need something or when they or someone they love is facing a life threatening challenge—or, in my case, whenever I drive on the 405 Freeway (I live in Los Angeles, folks).

Merriam-Webster says a miracle is:

  1. An unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God
  2. A very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement
  3. An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
  4. An extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
  5. Divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law

 

burrberryfallvidcapCara Delevingne models for Burberry’s ‘Woodland Adventure’ 

Last week I requested to witness a miracle—something that was so obvious and clear that I couldn’t ignore it. I was hopeful something stunning would reveal itself. I’d walk out to find a stack of cash on my doorstep or maybe a sign from nature like an owl sitting my balcony.

Instead, I came upon something horrifying. A mother and daughter were struck by a truck in a crosswalk in front of my daughter’s school on their way into class. The 4th grade girl sustained minor injuries, but sadly the mother was killed. It didn’t make sense. It wasn’t fair. Why would something so awful happen?

A couple days later I came across a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

The accident made me realize it wasn’t the “boom” kind of miracle I was looking for; rather, it was the ability to appreciate the miracles that already are, the simple and beautiful moments I often take for granted. We are blessed with miracles around every corner, every day. As I open my awareness to the “common” miracles, I feel myself expanding and appreciating how phenomenal and miraculous being alive is.

Shattered Mirrored Heels by Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte for Harper’s Bazaar US.

Inspired by author Arvind Devalia, I came up with a “miracle appreciation list” to help remind me of ordinary (if they can be called that) marvels:

The miracle of existence. Energy flows through our bodies and through the entire earth. Solar systems form and dissipate, and the Earth revolves around the sun. How the heck does any of it happen? What makes a waterfall flow, a sunset glow, a volcano erupt? How do all of the species of plants and animals on this planet survive and evolve? I know there are scientific explanations, but even so, life is mysterious and miraculous.

“If existence was ever a miracle, then existence is always a miracle.” – Andrew Schwartz

The miracle of our bodies. Blood pulses through our veins, our hearts pump, we breathe in oxygen and out CO2. Our wounds heal, our hair and nails grow, and our food is digested. Our bodies host all sorts of microcosms that work symbiotically, and it’s amazing how often I forget to appreciate the vessel I have that, for the most part, runs smoothly without much input or effort on my part.

The miracle of creativity. Imagination. A song.  Poetry. It’s the ability to put an experience into words that touch and inspire. Dancing, twirling, shaking to our very core. It’s found in the arts, nature, and in meaningful conversations. It can be simple but it always delights. Being creative beings is one of humankind’s greatest miracles.

The miracle of innovation. This absolutely falls under the creativity umbrella, but I felt it required its own paragraph because it’s so broad and important. The inventions humans have come up with never cease to amaze me: electricity, modern medicine, indoor plumbing, the Internet, sending humans to the moon. These commonly used innovations undoubtedly shape the world we live in.

The miracle of love. Loving friendships, romantic partners, and family are the most important aspects of most of our lives. The energy that flows between people is incredible and ineffable. It’s powerful and effortless. It’s a miraculous force that binds and fills us. Love is the most healing tool any of us can ever use or experience—and it’s free and always available if we choose to connect to it.

“Miracles: You do not have to look for them. They are there, 24-7, beaming like radio waves all around you. Put up the antenna, turn up the volume – snap… crackle… this just in, every person you talk to is a chance to change the world.” – Hugh Elliott

Miracles happen every day. It’s up to each of us to notice and appreciate them. What common miracles are you grateful for?

 

Please join our efforts in creating a safer crosswalk and better traffic solutions at the Citizens of the World Charter School in Hollywood by signing this petition. It can save lives!

 

Where Love Wants To Go

PradaHeart

UNBINDING LOVE

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· desire to control another    · feeling unloved
· broken heart    · feeling alone

RxPRESCRIPTION UNBINDING LOVE
OUTER:
 Heels by Prada, DIY sequin heart shoe clips, DIY shoe heart sole.
INNER: I connect to love and fill my cup to the brim.

warningWARNING: Wear may instigate a full heart and a desire to share that overflow with another. Caution: wear may instigate feelings unbridled contentment.

1These adorable heart clips are the perfect DIY Valentines Day shoe accessory. Make your own!

What is love? Sometimes we give it away, and other times we receive it. We withhold love, and it can be withheld from us. Love is more than an emotion; it’s an ineffable force, like gravity, that can pull, connect, and grow.

Love can catch us by surprise and disappoint like no other. That is, when we try to put it in a controlled container. Love is messy. Love is free. And we all want to experience it.

The best way I’ve ever been able to explain love is through this simple poem (author unknown):

Love is the sweetest thing that I know,
You keep it around by letting it go.
And you follow close and you follow slow.
Let love take you where love wants to go.

jasmine-amber-heart-shoesThere is nothing like walking with love on your soles. Image by Jasmine Amber Photography. Check out her site for amazing bridal photography.

Love is letting go. One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given is the gift of choice. To try to control love is futile. You can choose to connect to love. Or not. But none of us can exert power over it.

Love comes from the overflow. Fill your own cup. Respect yourself. Take care of yourself to the highest degree possible. When your cup is filled to the brim, it’s easy to extend that overflow to another. If they don’t want to partake, then smile and let them be on their way. It’s the same with a lover, friend, or even our children (or parents). Love never puts itself upon another or drains from another.

To love is to let go.

Love is always available. Ask to feel love’s presence, and you’ll be filled, not by someone else but by the universe. It’s always here, we just need to connect and invite it in.

ShannonPradaMarbleThis and the first featured snapshot were taken by my friend and creative muse Ayn Carrillo Gailey.

Fill yourself with love, and then fill another. And let love take you where love wants to go.

 

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The Sanctity of Shoes: TEDx Malibu

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
12/16/2017
A red closed-­toe pump is prescribed for individuals who want to experience more confidence. A closed-­toe pump is a heel that has a closed toe and back. It tends to have a seamless vamp, with no laces, straps or buckles. Heel may vary in height, and color may range in shade.
Symptoms
A red closed-toe pump is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: insecurity, fear or timidity, not believing in self or ideas, feeling "less than" or inferior, lack of willingness to take risks.
Warnings
Side effects may include belief in oneself, increased courage, higher self-­esteem, and greater success. Moderate use may lead to job promotions and other unforeseen opportunities. Overuse may lead to dancing unabashedly in public.

I’ve written about my insecurities about speaking at TEDx Malibu this year, and I’m delighted and terrified that my talk just went live online. It took all of the confidence I could muster to stand on that stage, and it feels as if it’s being required to yet again reach out and share the video with the world.

Well, there is no time like the present, and I recently made a commitment to myself to stand in my power and to share my creativity, even if it scares me to death. I’m acknowledging my fear and moving forward regardless.

My talk is about using shoes as a spiritual tool. Yes, that’s right – SHOES! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know that I think shoes can be pretty magical and metaphorical, and if you’re new, this will be a quick and fun way for you get to know me and my ideas about spirituality, materialism, and shoes.

If you enjoy it, I’d love to ask you to consider sharing it with your community. It would make my day, and hopefully touch and inspire someone in your life.

GETTHELOOK1. Peplum dress by Zara 2. Red closed-toe pumps by Prada 3. Johasun Wireless Microphone 4. Red lipstick by Mac Cosmetics

What do you use as a reminder of your intentions?

 

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Off to the Races!

Carol_Young Shannon BindlerGALLOPING FREEDOM

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· feeling caged    · unadventurous
· sluggish            · overly cautious

RxPRESCRIPTION GALLOPING FREEDOM
OUTER:
 Vegan suede boots by Olsenhaus, Equine print silk dress by Stella Proseyn, Structure pendant, Intersecting Branch earrings and Hexagon bracelet, all by Sarah Loertscher *All available at Undesigned
INNER: I take a leap and fly, happily embracing new experiences.

warningWARNING: Wear may instigate wild adventures and a galloping spirit.

StellaProseyn

It’s the Year of the Wood Horse, which begins on Jan. 31. According to Chinese Astrology, it’s predicted to be a lucky and energetic year.

I don’t know a lot about Chinese Astrology – okay, any type of astrology – but I’m always intrigued to hear what the experts have to say. 2013 seemed to be heavy for almost everyone I know. According to the Chinese calendar, it was an energetically slow year of planning, so I’m looking forward to tapping into the galloping spirit of the Horse.

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You’re a Horse if you were born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and, of course, in 2014 on or after Jan. 31. Want to know what your Chinese Zodiac sign is? This was the tool I used. If you’re born before January 31st, be sure to check your sign before reading your horoscope, as your sign will be the year prior. No matter what your sign, we’ll all feel the effects of the Horse:

“Horse energy is free-spirited, wild, willful, and independent. Horse has a refined instinct that acts fast, on the spot. The time for pondering was 2013 Snake year. Horse year is time to act fast – buy that home, launch that business, travel the world, make a big purchase, get a promotion at work, have a breakthrough – take a leap and fly. If it’s right, then there’s nothing to think about. Just follow instincts. Even if you miss the mark, you’ll have all of Wood Sheep year 2015 to get cozy and enjoy life’s comforts in all their artistic forms.

Casual and outdoorsy, Horse year is about freedom, returning to nature, and enjoying life and life’s adventures. You won’t always want to focus on work because it’s easy to be distracted by fun, good times, and parties in sexy Horse year. Because Horse can be impulsive, act now and think later, avoid the mistakes of overspending, enabling others, and denying when there is a problem. Overspending is easy in a Horse year because if you feel you deserve something or want a reward, the impulse to buy is strong. Horses often buy what they feel they deserve without realizing how their purchases effect their long-term planning because Horse rarely plans for the future.” – Read Astrologer Susan Levitt’s full 2014 report.

OlsenHaus OlsenHausOlsenHaus vegan shoes’ mission is to merge passions for design, fashion, and function while being a voice for animals, the environment, transparent business practices, and unwavering values in ethical and social responsibilities. Talk about freedom from business as usual! All that, and the lines’ design and durability can stand toe to toe with any traditional luxury brand.

Like everything, the Year of the Horse comes with its light or “positive” aspects (adventure) and its shadow or “negative” ones (being impulsive). I welcome more of a care-free attitude this year, but I’ve also shown poor judgment in the past when it comes to overspending and getting distracted by fun (especially if there’s a major shoe sale involved). For me, it’s going to be a dance of embracing the constructive qualities of the Horse while remaining conscious of making hasty decisions and/or purchases.

SarahLoertscherearringSarah-LoertschernecklaceSarahLoertscherSarahLoertscherbracelet
Sarah Loertscher’s fascinating jewelry reflects both the landscape she grew up in and her interest in the underlying structure of natural objects. Her architectural pieces draw inspiration from a mid-western skyline of power lines, sweeping skies, open fields, silos, and granaries.

As the Chinese say, “A good horse never turns its head to eat the grass behind.” So, this is a year to look ahead, not back.

Shannon Bindler

How do you plan to harness the energy of the Horse?

 

* All items featured can be found at Carol Young’s store Undesigned in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. Young is a former architecture student who became intrigued with the needs of urban nomads while living abroad in Asia, studying design in NYC and traveling far & wide. Taking subways, walking and cycling about town, she found herself seeking clothing that would allow her to move, keep dry and comfortable, but also express her individuality. Each carefully selected piece in Carol’s distinctive boutique is a testament of an uninhibited galloping spirit. 

The Power of Positive Focus

SydneyBrownCollagePOSITIVE FOCUS

symptoms SYMPTOMS
· negative thoughts    · self-criticism
· wanting to give up   · self-doubt

RxPRESCRIPTION POSITIVE FOCUS
OUTER:
  Sandal High heel and Carbon platform boot by Sydney Brown, couture stretch lace dress by Magid Bernard
INNER: I maintain a positive focus even when I feel like hiding and/or giving up.

warningWARNING
May increase perseverance and dedication.

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I don’t want to write this post, let alone press ‘publish.’ I suppose if you’re reading it, I somehow made it through the struggle, but it hasn’t been an easy process.

The mind can be tricky. I’m usually good at recognizing self-doubt and moving into a space of self-observation. I know how to reframe my thoughts, but every once in a while my mind yells so loudly that I believe that I’m not good enough.

Why would anyone want to read what I have to say? This blog is a colossal waste of time and money. This internal conversation’s been gaining momentum the past few hours. In editing the photos that accompany this post, all I feel is self-loathing. I look awful, ridiculous, in fact. I’ll look back at this as dumbest thing I’ve ever done…I should take it down, erase it all.

SydneyBrown1Sydney Brown’s shoe line is a testament to maintaining a positive focus. She set out to construct a sustainable and beautiful shoe that was non-toxic and ethically made. She kept hearing it couldn’t be done, but she persevered and has successfully created some of the most interesting (and conscious) shoes on the planet. 

I feel incredibly vulnerable. I started blogging as a way to creatively explore my two loves: shoes and self-help. My intention was to accept myself (both inner and outer) and convey the process through my favorite medium, fashion. If I could learn something about myself every week, and if one other person found it uplifting, then it was a success.

Why, then, am I feeling so self-conscious? As I ask myself this question, I immediately think of my daughter. Before every major growth spurt, she becomes highly sensitive and cranky. A few days later she starts talking, walking, reading, whatever the next developmental stage is… Maybe I’m just experiencing growing pains? Goodness, I hope this is all part of an awesome “up-leveling” that’s about to take place.

I’m not really sure, but even as disapproving thoughts roll through my mind, there is a subtle voice that says: Keep going. This too shall pass.

Sydneystudio Sydneystudio1Behind the scenes at the Sydney Brown design studio in Glassell Park, CA.

Instead of trying to reframe my negative thoughts with positive ones, I’m working on maintaining a positive focus. A teacher of mine once said, “Positive focus is a direction that allows for negativity, failing, and set backs. It’s an intention that we persist in, regardless of the conditions we encounter.”

He further explained the concept of positive focus with a story that went a little something like this (this is not a direct quote, rather the gist):

If you find yourself drowning, thinking positive thoughts are not going to help you to breathe underwater. However, positive focus is when you look out to the shore and concentrate your energy on swimming towards it. If you can keep your mind and actions positively focused, you’ll make it to safety.

Sydneystudio4 sydneystudio5sydneystudio3Brown diligently creates her next collection.

I’m doing my best to keep moving in spite of my discomfort and doubt. I’ve heard successful people of all kinds speak to the power of perseverance, and in that spirit I’m pressing ‘publish,’ even though I’d rather crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my face, and re-watch episodes of “Game of Thrones.”

SydneyBrown2

I’d love to hear about how you keep moving when your mind tells you to stop. How do you maintain a positive focus?

 

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Golden Happiness

Opening2GOLDEN HAPPINESS

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· despair              · hopelessness
· self-loathing     · sense of longing

RxPRESCRIPTION GOLDEN HAPPINESS
OUTER:
 Gold sustainable platforms by Sydney Brown, silk jumpsuit by Chay, coyote hat available at Chay boutique.
INNER: I accept and embrace my life circumstances, whatever they may be.

warningWARNING
May create an uncontrollable urge to frolic in the sunset’s golden light.

Shannon Bindler desert

Shannon Bindler

 

Every birthday, I start the day by looking at myself in the mirror, with no makeup or fancifying. Not my every morning make-sure-there-is-nothing-awful-caked-to-my-face kind of glance, but an inquisitively deep look, the kind that seeks to see beyond new wrinkles and penetrate the places of my soul I try to hide even from myself.

JTREESMILEI’m currently obsessed with the emerging designer Chay. Her collection is filled with simple designs that can be dressed up or down and always make you feel like a million bucks – with zero fuss and practicality in spades.

My first thoughts inevitably take stock of the surface. I’m aging, and it’s visible in ways I haven’t seen up until now. Wow, that whole losing collagen thing is real… That doesn’t really bother me. I’m as concerned about my appearance as the next person, but aging has never been something I’ve feared. My entire adult life I’ve sought out beautiful older women as inspiration—wrinkles or age spots don’t really affect a person’s beauty in the way that bitterness and regret can.

Sometimes it’s age that makes something (or someone) exquisite. Joshua Tree is a perfect example of how cracks and decay create a masterpiece. Life and death, intermingling in perfect harmony.

hatbrushcolageIn addition to designing her own collection, Chay has filled her third street boutique, appropriately called Chay, with inventive gifts, home wear, and inspiration of all kinds like this coyote hat. 

I still my mind, and I notice something that somewhat startles me: happiness. Not perfection, but there it is, a sense of happiness. I’m able to recognize this state of being from the contrast I’ve experienced on past birthday mornings.

JTREEshoe2Sydney Brown is one of the most inventive shoe designers I’ve encountered. Each pair is not only a piece of art but is handmade in Los Angeles with 100% sustainable materials. Now that’s something to write home about!

My mind flashes back a decade, remembering myself, door locked to the bathroom I shared with two other women, tears involuntarily pouring down my cheeks as I came to grips with the sense of longing and hopelessness that pulsed from my reflection. I was a low-level assistant at a struggling magazine and a waitress in the evenings. I worked everyday (usually double shifts) to barely afford my shared housing situation and a leased economy Toyota Corolla. I was in a new relationship that felt hopeful, but we were so different I wasn’t sure if it would stick. The idea of having a family, a fulfilling career, stability, and lifelong friendships all seemed out of my reach. I just tried to get through each day. I drank, smoked and partied to cope with an overwhelming sense of disappointment, which would inevitably lead to bad decisions and more disappointment.

JTREEshoe1Sydney Brown’s golden platform adds undeniable glamour to an outfit while being surprisingly effortless to wear. I’ll be highlighting more from Miss Brown’s collection in future posts, so stay tuned to see other designs and more on her methods and inspirations.

All of those feelings returned, and I imagined myself now, sitting with my younger self. I lovingly told her that it’s all perspective. Things may seem tragic, but I couldn’t see back then how all the things that appeared to be desperate were actually stepping stones that would lead somewhere – maybe somewhere different than I expected, but somewhere golden nonetheless. I told myself that the assistant job would soon turn into a promotion as Lifestyle Editor, and in a decade I’d be contributing to some of my favorite publications. The man who seemed so different would become the yin to my yang, and we’d get married and start a family. The roommates I shared that bathroom with would stay friends, and we’d see each other through marriages, divorces, re-marriages, having children, losing loved ones, welcoming foster children, and so much more… It would still be messy and unpredictable, but in a decade I’d be undeniably happy.

JTREEcollageChay’s green jumpsuit is the perfect outfit to wear to dinner, the office, or a movie premiere. I love the versatility and effortless allure of this outfit.

My only resolution for the year is to remember the lesson of perspective. Things that feel awful may not be so horrible when seen through a different lens or through the filter of time. This year, I’m going to embrace and accept all of myself. I just might call upon my older self once in a while to remind me that the struggles and the celebrations are all just part of creating a golden life.

Shannon Bindler Joshua tree

Shannon Bindler

 

What does a Rx of ‘Golden Happiness’ mean to you?

Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner

sole prescription boldness
BOLDNESS

PrescriptionSYMPTOMS
· trepidation      · insecurity
· fear                   · timidness

RxPRESCRIPTION BOLDNESS
OUTER: Bold Shoes of Prey heels designed by Romance Was Born, leather dress by The Row, silver studs by Robert Lee Morris, pave diamond lace ring by Tamara Comolli
INNER: It is safe for me to be seen and heard. I am comfortable revealing my true colors.

warningWARNING
Use may lead to spontaneous dance mobs, singing at karaoke nights, and heads turning in your direction.


Shoes of Prey Bold Style
Let the bold shoes stand front and center. Pair with sleek pieces that support their brilliance like this
leather dress, simple studs, and an elegant ring. (1. Shoes of Prey, 2. The Row, 3. Robert Lee Morris, 4. Tamara Comolli)

I’ve spent a lot of time in the corner. I listened to people when they told me to sit and stay quiet. I played small. I was safe there in my corner. The center, on the other hand, was a dangerous place.

One day, I realized no one was putting me in the corner anymore. I’d voluntarily put myself there for a long time.

What would happen if I put on a pair of bold shoes and marched into the center of the room?

I discovered that I could dance.

Shoes of Prey Sole RX
Design your own bold shoe on the Shoes of Prey website.

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One Step at a Time

Jimmy Choo sole prescription
Shoe by Jimmy Choo

No one climbs a mountain in one giant leap, so why is it we sometimes expect to do that in other areas of our lives? Success requires many small steps over time.

Here are my top 10 favorite quotes on the subject:

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. – Lao Tzu

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything. – Scott Reed

If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time. – Marion Wright Edelman

To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping. – Chinese Proverb

One step at a time is good walking. – Chinese Proverb

Champions know there are no shortcuts to the top. They climb the mountain one step at a time. They have no use for helicopters! – Judi Adler

One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time. – John Wanamaker

What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Courage is one step ahead of fear. – Coleman Young

Keep putting one foot in front of the other and one day you’ll find yourself admiring the magnificent view.

 

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