Maintaining an Open Heart in the Midst of Tragedy

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Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
12/16/2017
There are times in life when it’s natural to want protect yourself, but a small “peep” or opening at the toe of your shoe encourages one to maintain an open heart (even in the darkest of days). The Peep Toe has an opening at the toe-box that exposes the toe line. A hint of skin makes the peep toe chic yet subtly provocative. A peep toe is common in many shoe styles, including slingbacks, pumps, platforms, and booties. A peep toe assists one in remaining open to love in all forms while providing a substantial degree of protection and security (physically and emotionally).
Symptoms
A peep toe is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: feeling emotionally closed off, needing protection, afraid of getting hurt, feeling attacked or wronged, a sense of vulnerability.
Warnings
Wear may create a sense of connection, trust, and openness. May lead to falling head over heals in love with oneself or another. Must be worn with caution while vacationing in Las Vegas!
For those that know me personally, they can attest to my generally positive outlook. Even with a naturally upbeat disposition, life can get strange and upsetting—and I suppose in times like these it’s necessary to call upon all of the tools that I teach and have diligently studied over the years.

A coyote killed my beloved pup a couple of weeks ago, and it’s brought up all sorts of issues to work through. I was outside with him at the time, and I’ve experienced a ton of self-judgment about having him outside in the dark, not keeping him closer, and not doing something, anything, differently.

The only answer is self-forgiveness. Forgiving myself for any and all of the judgments that present themselves. Forgiving myself for not being a better pet owner, forgiving myself for not installing a 10 foot fence, for not having a gun with me (although even if I had one, I don’t know that killing another animal would have really been the answer)… forgiving whatever strange (and most of the time unreasonable) judgments that surface. Most of them have an underlying theme of me being an awful person who allowed this tragedy to happen.

When I’m not judging myself, I’ve found myself judging God. Who created this food chain anyway? I mean, throw a bunch of living beings on a planet, and most will survive by eating each other? Seriously, Supreme Creator, that was kind of a twisted plan! I’m sure there is some really reasonable and divine explanation for that apparently cruel setup; I’m just having difficulty understanding it in this moment.

_DSC0457Valentino peep toe pumps shot by the talented Victoria Flower.

It’s times like these, when life becomes surreal, that we most need to open our hearts. For me, that means opening myself to receiving support and love from friends and family. Opening my heart to self-compassion and self-forgiveness. Opening my heart to the Universe—trusting that this is an important lesson, that I will ultimately serve the highest good. I want to blame someone or something, even if that person is myself, but when I tap into the higher aspects of my being, I know it’s really not about blaming anyone, but about loving everyone. Loving my dog, loving the coyote, and having compassion for the woman who did her best in an awful moment.

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I stand wearing a pair of peep toe shoes to remind me to maintain an open heart—especially when it comes to my own judgments of myself.

I’d love to hear how you’ve supported yourself to move from self-judgment to self-love?

 

Subscribe!– I give away free shoes!

A special thanks to Victoria Flower Photography for shooting the stunning images for this post!

Getting Grounded

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Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
12/16/2017
Feeling a bit out there? A great way to ground your energy is to slip your feet into pair of Birkenstocks. The sandal’s footbeds are made of cork and natural latex and contoured in the shape of a healthy foot. The shoe is famous for keeping one’s spine and legs in alignment. The soles actually mold to your feet, making them arguably one of history’s most comfortable sandal designs. A classic Birkenstock is characterized by two leather straps that secure with large square buckles; however, the classic sole is available paired with a variety of uppers including clogs and t-straps.
Symptoms
A Birkenstock is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: scattered thoughts or energy, feeling anxious or worried, unfocused and easily distracted, not present.
Warnings
Wear may instigate a clear head and steady emotional state. Prolonged use may create realistic, satisfied and rational outlooks—which may bring pie-in-the-sky floaters back to planet Earth.

Being grounded means being present. When we’re grounded we are focused on whatever task is before us at that moment. Not focused on future fantasy, worry, or magical thinking. It also means not concentrating on the past with regret or upset. Being ungrounded can show up as feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and unfocused.

Have you ever parked your car and realized that you didn’t remember getting to your destination? It usually happens to me when I’m focused on something that’s about to happen or running a negative story of something that occurred in the past. Whatever I was distracted by was clearly not the task at hand (nor a brilliant way to drive through Los Angeles during rush-hour).

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Birk1Vintage fringe leather discovered at the bohemian paradise Tavin Boutique. Read an epic story about the fringe leather jacket my mother used to own and how it mortified me.

When we are ungrounded we lose our power. It can feel like a physical sensation of feeling lightheaded, or even airheaded, “Ummm, like, what was I doing?” All of us get ungrounded at times (and use the word “like” as a vernacular pause, but that’s an entirely different article…). These are a few of the tricks I use to bring myself into alignment when I’m feeling off:

Become aware of your body. Sit or lie down and focus on each piece of your body, starting at your head, down your arms and torso, all the way to your feet. When we bring our focus to our physical selves, it helps us become more present.

Bring awareness to the chatter in your mind. Have you ever noticed yourself running a story over and over in your head or thinking about moments that are upsetting? Sometimes the simple act of redirecting our thoughts to what’s happening at the current moment can change our entire mood. Repeating a positive mantra, affirmation, or intention can also be helpful if you notice that you’re having a difficult time remaining present.

BW-2.0Birk2Tunic by Isabel Marant, vintage beaded necklaces from Double RL & Co by Ralph Lauren.

Get your bare feet on the ground and/or wear Birkenstocks. Y’all know how much I love shoes, but physical contact with the Earth can really help us ground our energy. Kick off your heels and walk around on some grass or sand for a few minutes. Wiggle your toes and feel a connection with the Earth. Okay, maybe we can’t all walk around barefoot all day, so if you are feeling particularly ungrounded I highly recommend wearing a Birkenstock sandal (or one of the many versions that are available this season, from Zara to Givenchy). This type of sandal is designed to mold to the shape of your foot while providing stability, balance, and a physical sense of groundedness.

Drink water and eat. Hunger and thirst can exacerbate an ungrounded state. I know I get particularly cranky and unfocused when I’m hungry. It’s best to avoid low blood sugar in the first place by eating regular healthy meals and snacks.

Carry a crystal in your pocket, handbag, or wear as jewelry. All you couture hippies have permission to pull out your secret quartz stashes. Crystals have powerful cleansing and grounding properties, and I think they are pretty awesome-looking as jewelry, too.

BW-4.0 endThe classic tan Birkenstock sandal is the queen of cultivating a grounded energy.

Center yourself. Bring your attention to your energy, body, and mind. Visualize yourself connected from head to toe and rooted all the way to the Earth. See yourself whole and harmonized. I like to envision white light surrounding my entire being. I’m going to go super woo-woo and tell you about how I sometimes imagine that the water coming out of my shower is actually activated with cleansing white light. (That may have been a bit too much information, and you’ll never read my blog again without thinking about me taking a shower in my “special water.” A risk I was willing to take… you’re welcome.)

When we’re in a grounded, steady state we are able to be the best versions of ourselves. Aren’t we lucky that the Birkenstock sandal is having another moment in the sun this summer? I have a pair on right now!

How do you keep yourself grounded?

 

*Photography by Jade Loop, retouching by Sesha NYC.

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.

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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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.”

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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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To Write Love on Her Arms

Welcome to Midnight Shannon Bindler

LEAN IN

PrescriptionSYMPTOMS
· anxiety              · depression
· fear                    · self-injury

RxPRESCRIPTION LEAN IN
OUTER: Welcome To Midnight t-shirt by TWLOHA, recycled metal Tree of Life cuff by Alkemie Jewelry, hand crochet beanie Krochet Kids, Jodhpur boots by Sweedish Hasbeens available at Chay.
INNER: I lean in and support those who are struggling.

warningWARNING
Wear may initiate a desire to reach out to a friend or stranger experiencing pain.

TWLOHA Shannon Bindler: To Write Love On Her ArmsLadyoftheLakeface

A true teacher ignites something within that changes you forever. Their very being, though most likely unintended, leaves a lasting impression, a way of seeing that’s simultaneously unsettling, inspiring, and unforgettable. I recently met such a person; his name is Jamie Tworkowski.

Last month I had a TEDx rehearsal in Malibu. I left the eastside of Los Angeles two hours early, assuming I’d stop at the beach and practice my speech beforehand because I’m the type of person who’d rather be early than show up late. I pulled onto the 101 freeway and instantly knew I was in trouble. ‘Carmageddon’ is a kind of hell-on-earth that every Angeleno deals with at some point or another. There are times where going 5 miles can take 50 minutes; this was one of those afternoons. I eventually made it, albeit an hour late.

Alkemiccuff2AlkemiecuffA tree always grows towards the light. “As we go through life, we must always move towards holiness and light, reaching ever higher for that which is beyond us.” (Talmud Berachot 48a)

My uneasiness showed as I stepped into the rehearsal that was well underway. I shifted my weight back and forth and aimlessly scanned the room. I felt a hand on my arm and turned to see a pair of friendly, sparkling eyes. The stranger introduced himself as a fellow speaker and guided me to a slice of pizza and an open seat. It was a simple action, but he noticed my discomfort and chose to lean in. What does “leaning in” mean to me? It means expanding when I’d rather contract, connecting instead of disconnecting. It means showing up, loving deeper, and taking action when it’s easier to sit back and observe from the sidelines.

Alkemiccuff3Forged from 100% reclaimed metals, the Tree of Life cuff is equal parts art and accessory. By creating new designs from existing materials, Alkemie translates something that would otherwise be landfill-bound into wearable art.

It wasn’t until I listened to his speech the following weekend that I understood the power of living a life that leans in to support others. Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit that presents hope and finds help for people struggling with depression, anxiety, self-injury and suicide. His message (whether it be his blog, events, speaking, or clothing line) doesn’t just offer words of hope but leans in by raising and investing over a million dollars for treatment and recovery.

KrochetKidsBeanieThis beanie was hand-knit in Uganda by Santa Viclam, just one woman who’s life has been changed through the non-profit Krochet Kids. The Krochet Program is currently working to lift over 150 women and their families out of poverty.

I experienced Jamie’s capability to reach out to a complete stranger, and I knew that I could share more of myself in a similar way. I’ve experienced deep sadness, heartbreak, and had the “blues,” but I’ve never struggled with clinical depression or had thoughts of ending my life. To be brutally honest, being around people who were experiencing that type of pain used to scare me. I unconsciously subscribed to some wacky “spiritual” notion that negative energy was to be avoided. I strove to be around positive people and situations that brought out the “best in me,” which seems ironic even to write. I had many moments where my response to someone’s pain was to run from it like it was a communicable disease. I wonder if the opposite reaction could have made a small difference? If my hand on a stranger’s arm could have brought a moment of comfort, if reaching out could have changed someone’s experience? Saved someone’s life?

LadyoftheLakefeetSwwedishHasbeens1SweedishHasbeensJodhpur clog-bottom boots by Sweedish Hasbeens were made to soothe tired soles. This pair can be found at the ever inspiring Chay.

Love alone isn’t always enough. Sometimes it takes determination to extend that love through tangible actions. As Jamie says, “The Universe works in love, speaks in love, and is revealed in our love.”

LadyoftheLakeQueen of the Angeles, fondly known as the Lady of the Lake, stands in Echo Park as a symbol of hope. She was sculpted by Ada Mae Sharpless and given to the City of Los Angeles in 1938.

Are you struggling with depression, addiction, anxiety, self-injury, or thoughts of suicide? Check out To Write With Love on Her Arms, I especially love Jamie’s piece, “Welcome to Midnight.” Is someone in your life struggling? I encourage you to LEAN IN.

 

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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?

Sacred Sunday

Fortress of Inca Oxford Boot
RESTORE + RECHARGE

PrescriptionSYMPTOMS
· depletion      · sense of overwhelm
· tiredness       · lack of energy

RxPRESCRIPTION RESTORE + RECHARGE
Outer: Oxford boots by Fortress of Inca, straight-legged stretch jeans, flannel shirt by Patagonia,
House of Karm hair jewelry, and a good book.
Inner: I unplug from technology and recharge and restore my energy weekly. Repeat as necessary.

warningWARNING
May cause an irrepressible surge of will and energy come Monday.


Oxford boot Sole Prescription

With such a busy workweek, it’s easy to spend the weekend running errands, doing chores and/or catching up on projects. Somehow I allowed Sunday to become just another workday, which is exacerbated by my addiction to technology (email, social media, blogging, etc).

A month ago I decided to start taking a modern-day Sabbath. One day a week, I kick up my heels, read a good book and restore my energy. For me, this includes unplugging from all of my technological distractions. I allow myself to answer or make actual phone calls that include real-person conversations, but besides that, I’m doing my best to put the computer, tablet and phone away for the day. (And if you are wondering, I wrote this blog post and set it to publish yesterday.)

Sunday style requires uber-comfy pieces that cultivate a relaxed state of being. I’m smitten with these high oxford boots by Fortress of Inca. They are comfortable and unpretentious, yet still chic—just because you’re lounging doesn’t mean you need to wear unsightly slippers for goodness’ sake!

It’s pretty amazing what one day of restoration can do.

What do you think about the idea of practicing a modern-day Sabbath?

 

More from House of Karm hair jewelry:

Snapshots by Ayn Carrillo Gailey. Check out her creative projects at AynGailey.com & Wondermint

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Fail Fast, Succeed Sooner

Broken heel sole prescription
Photography by Tanya Nager

I had a dream, and I decided to go after it. I did my research, got clear inside, and on New Year’s morning a couple of years ago I started working. This wasn’t some weeklong resolution that would putter out and die—it was a lifelong goal, and I was motivated to see it through to completion. I’d been preparing for this moment for years—studying, honing the proper skills, and creating the financial stability to make it a reality.

Leading up to my fateful launch, I prepared by taking the advice of several of my self-help heroes. I knew what my “bliss” was and was ready to “follow it” as Joseph Campbell advised. I created my own “purple cow” as Seth Godin smartly suggested. Taking the advice of my long-time guru Louise Hay, I cleared emotional blocks and limiting beliefs. I organized my office and created project lists with help from the “getting things done” guy David Allen… The list went on. I stopped reading the books and started applying them. And it worked, sort of…

I finished the project in a year’s time, after devoting a minimum of six hours per week (sometimes many more than that) until it was complete. I felt proud of the well-honed and stylized book proposal I’d created. I landed one of the best agents in the business and things seemed as if they were working out. Everyone I showed it to thought it was like nothing they’d seen before, and we all thought it was going to make a big splash.

It did. It garnered a ton of interest when my agent went out with it, but a week went by and then a month. Then two… There didn’t seem to be any serious offers. My “out-of-the-box” idea seemed to be a bit too “out-of-the-box.” Wait a minute—did they just call my cow too purple?

I was devastated. How could this have happened? I followed all of the “rules,” did everything “right.” I visualized, prayed, lit candles and sent all of the “good energy” I could muster out into the universe. Not only that, but I worked my butt off. I spent hours in a chair, hundreds of dollars and countless moments of my life on this project. What’s up, The Secret? Got to say, it feels like you left me hanging…

Broken heel 2 sole prescription

After moping around for two weeks I had an “aha moment” as Oprah likes to call them. I realized that my biggest fear had happened: I was a big fat failure! You know what? Failure wasn’t all that bad. My life continued on, friends stayed friends, work stayed steady. Failure wasn’t even close to the awfulness I’d expected. In fact, I felt surprisingly better than I ever had. I faced failure straight on, and it held no power over me anymore.

I’ve never felt lighter or more creative than I do now. I am continuing to move forward with my dream, and I’ve started two new projects. I feel like it’s just a matter of time until one of them ignites, and I know I have nothing to lose if they don’t. After all, the worst thing that can happen is that I experience failure again, which I’ve learned is nothing compared to the regret of being too afraid to try.

That’s why my new motto is, “Fail fast!” If something doesn’t work, I try to get it out of the way as quickly as possible so I can try something else. Something along the way is bound succeed. It’s simply a matter of odds, practice, and not letting a little thing like “failure” stand in the way.

 

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A Pair of Sandals Saved My Life One Summer

Gladiator Sandal Courage

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
12/16/2017
The gladiator sandal is prescribed for individuals who want to increase their sense of courage. Originally designed as footwear for gladiator fighters, the sandal has a hard, protective sole that is attached to the foot with leather straps, cords or braided thongs. Many styles are embellished with studs to provide security and act as a weapon.
Symptoms
A gladiator sandal is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: cowardice, spinelessness, fear, inability to stand up for oneself or speak one's truth, feelings of dejection and/or weakness of spirit, gutless thoughts or actions, urge to flee uncomfortable situations.
Warnings
May inspire bold behavior, even when you’re scared to death! Wear can create an increased sense of bravery, greater nerve, gallantry and valor. Discontinue use if you develop a dangerous desire to wrestle lions.

In my hometown, teenagers spend their junior-­high summers lounging by the river. The summer after 7th grade, while I wasn’t legally old enough to work, I landed the only under­-the-­table job my small town offered—I’d be pedaling an adult-sized tricycle around town, selling ice cream out of a large cooler attached to the front.

Every Wednesday afternoon, I’d cover several miles of the town’s main streets, strategically ending at the park center where a small orchestra played. This was a smart business move, as most of the townspeople gathered there to listen to live music and get in as much gossip as they could before winter. My boss had an inkling that ice cream would be a colossal hit with the summer crowd, and his inkling proved correct.

I was an athletic preteen. I hiked, biked, and swam at the town waterfall most mornings, so the several-­mile ascent up Mountain Street didn’t scare me. There was something, however, that I found terrifying about the new job: the all­-white safari uniform and oversized straw-­brimmed hat I had to wear. I wasn’t thrilled about working all those summer evenings, but now I’d have to parade around town like a big, white, ice­-cream­-selling park ranger. I wasn’t sure I could stand the humiliation, and the more I thought about it, the worse I felt. Quite possibly, this job could equal social suicide.

I went home, flopped onto my bed, and stared up at my bedroom ceiling, in tears. Then I remembered the promise I’d made to myself: I would work as hard as I could every summer between then and my senior year and save every penny, so I could go to college. I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to pay my tuition, and it was either this or winning the lottery. Even as a kid, I knew my odds were better with the ice cream trike, so I weighed my options: four to six years of small town mockery or a lifetime working at McDonalds… That was it, I was going to ride the darn thing and rock that safari hat as best as I could!

The only freedom I had with my uniform was my choice of shoes. I took the decision seriously—they’d need to be perfect if I was going to have a chance of getting asked to the prom one day… I’d recently studied Roman History in my Global Studies class and learned all about gladiators—their harrowing bravery as they fought, often to their deaths, for the mere possibility of eventual freedom. I saw my Creamsicle-­on-wheels as the arena, and my college future as the prize. Now all I needed to do was to find my pair of studded gladiator sandals, which would give me enough courage to fight to victory.

After locating them under a pile of winter boots, I latched on the sandals and prepared for battle. Climbing onto the tricycle, I found out right away that the heavy cooler made it frighteningly unwieldy. My thighs burned over the steep hills, and my calves hurt from braking though the valleys, but like a warrior, I kept going. I rang the bike bell loud and clear and braced myself before the final hill leading to the park center. The looming descent was no problem on my pink Huffy, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to balance the Ice Cream Trike of Death. I looked at my sandals. I was going to do this! I pushed off and courageously glided down the hill.

I managed to get to the bottom of the hill alive, but that wasn’t much consolation when I noticed my friends gathering in the park. I contemplated turning a street early and discreetly wheeling the freezer back to my boss’s house. Just then, an older boy rode up alongside me on his mountain bike and said, “Hey, what a fun job! Can I ride with you? Oh, cool sandals…”

He wanted to ride with me, Ranger Nutty Buddy? He didn’t seem to notice my goofy outfit—he was too immersed in a story about the restorations he and his father had made to his mountain bike. The next couple of hours flew by. My wingman stayed cooler­-side throughout the concert, and my friends came by to say hi and buy a cone or two. I was glad I hadn’t chickened out because I now was hanging out and making money. For the rest of the summer, I’d spy the curly­-haired boy on his mountain bike, and he’d chivalrously escort me and my freezer to the park. I even scored a two-­dollar raise from my boss, who was impressed with how many cones I’d managed to sell.

Gladiator sandals became my footwear of choice from that summer on. The following year, when I was of legal working age, my boss offered me a legitimate job at the Creemee Shack, selling cones from the store window. By the time I was seventeen, I graduated to become a rollerblading waitress at the A&W drive-­through the next town over. I managed to climb the ice cream ladder all the way to college. And somehow, I still got asked to prom… by a certain curly-­haired mountain bike rider… And that was cooler than ice cream.

 

Just for the record, while the above are beautiful, this is more what the actual shoes looked like:

gladiator sandal