Real Girls Guide to Rockin’ Body Jewelry

body jewelry, lariat necklace

I gasped when I first saw Jennifer Aniston on the red carpet in her structured suit, bare chest and, yes, that amazing Amrit Jewelry body bling. It was incredibly sexy and simultaneously sophisticated. I was hooked.

Jennifer Aniston body jewelry

Aniston wears a lariat necklace in the first image and a body chain in the second. A lariat style necklace is a necklace that normally has no specific clasp on either end. Body chains, however, may clasp around waist, arms or other areas of the body.

While I wanted to emulate the look, I had to face a couple of realities. Ms. Aniston was wearing fine jewelry, which isn’t optimal for an experiment. Not to mention most women, including myself, don’t have Jennifer Aniston’s, er, assets.

Luckily my friend Anita Mawji, designer of Sage & Stone has been making lariat necklaces and body chains for years. She’s committed to creating affordable, high-quality body jewelry. (Lariats and body chains range from $60-$190.)

Lariat Necklace Style Rx

Here’s what I discovered in the process:

1. It’s impossible to wear a bra with this look. Celebs use boob tape, but I didn’t have any and was too lazy to drive across town, so I settled for a couple pieces of duct tape (works!) but be careful with removal (ouch!). Here is a tutorial I wish I’d read beforehand.

2. Layering and mismatching is a yes! I had fun piling on different strands, even mixing gold and silver.

3. This look is just as fun going down the back.

lariat necklace back

body chain back

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Getting Grounded

BW-1
Birk3

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).

BW-3.0
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.

Mom in the Middle

Arms_Finalsmgoddess lakshmi devi www.picturesgallery.in photos (6)Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother’ in Hinduism. She is often depicted with 4-6 arms balancing different elements.

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
12/16/2017
The ballet flat is prescribed for individuals who want to experience a greater sense of balance in their life. The design was modeled after a soft dance shoe. They are traditionally flexible with a hard sole and no (or very thin) heel. Some styles feature a decorative string throat, reminiscent of the ballet slipper's drawstring.
Symptoms
Signs of erratic behavior or mood swings, extreme or irrational thoughts, imbalance in how time and/or energy are spent, instability (emotional, spiritual, physical, or mental), lack of harmony between life roles (work, family, projects, etc.).
Warnings
May cause steadiness, a state of equilibrium, emotional and mental stability and centeredness. Extremists beware: continued wear may create an even disposition.

Mother’s Day always makes me reflect on my parenting abilities and style. A friend of mine recently wrote a piece called I’m Not the Mother I Thought I’d Be, and I have to say that I’m not either. I wonder if any of us are?

My mother was a trailblazer of the Attachment parenting movement. She ran the local La Leche League at a time when breastfeeding was still taboo, air-dried all of our laundry so as not to waste electricity or harm the environment, and cooked a healthy meal for us every night, seven days a week. She selflessly raised four kids, with several of us sleeping in her and my father’s king-sized waterbed most nights. All of that “attachment” seemed to come with a price. I rarely saw my mother take time for herself or spend money on anything personal. From a young age it was evident to me (the oldest of the bunch) that she was running herself ragged. Frankly, she had well-adjusted children, but she seemed endlessly exhausted. To this day, “I’m so busy” is one of her signature phrases.

20140411SOLERXFINAL-5

I didn’t want that kind of life. I had no aspirations of motherhood until I became pregnant. That may sound harsh or unfeminine, but it wasn’t that I didn’t love children I just loved my freedom. I wanted to continue my higher education and achieve a meaningful career. (I had no idea what that meant, but I figured with hard work and dedication it would eventually materialize…)

When I had my daughter, I was determined to set the rules. I was going to train her to sleep through the night. I bought On Becoming Baby Wise and followed it to a T. Not only was I going to master her sleep schedule, I was going to be a Tiger Mom, push my daughter to hone her natural abilities and become an Alpha Baby. After one particularly difficult evening, I gave in and let my two-month old sleep in the bed with us… Six hours later we were all still happily sleeping… Regardless of the mom I thought I was going to be, my natural style fell more closely in line with the way I was raised.

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Classic slip-on Ballet-Flat by ECCO is not only comfortable but pairs adorably with dresses, shorts, and cuffed jeans. The versatile design is elegant enough to wear to the boardroom and supportive enough to chase after a toddler on a playground. Rich leathers and an adorable bow lace detail make this the ultimate shoe for cultivating BALANCE.

I came to accept that I’m more of natural Attachment parenting style person—because of nurture or personality? I didn’t know. But I did know that I had to give up the internal battle I was having with myself. I didn’t want to become depleted like my mother! It was only when I faced that fear that I was able to allow myself to accept my mother (and my own inherent parenting style) and allow the sadness I held for years that while my mom certainly took great care of her children, she wasn’t so great at taking care of herself—which is something I think a lot of moms can relate to.

20140411SOLERXFINAL-25The Alchemist blue quartz crystal necklace by Pauli Ochi is an unforgettable statement. Available at Carol Young / Undesigned.

While I by no means have discovered the secret of balancing work and motherhood, I know that self-care is the way I remain a somewhat decent mother and person. I’m the best mom when I’m present. I stay the most present by taking care of my body (working out), taking care of my mind (by making strides in my career) and creating time for my spiritual life (meditation practice). By making those things a priority, my battery is charged so I can fully participate in my kid’s life as well as my own. When I let any one of those three aspects go, I find myself glossing over and simply going through the motions of motherhood. I start to hear myself saying things like, “I’m so busy” or “I’m overwhelmed.” Those are sure signs that it’s time for me to get back to my basic self-care routines.

20140411SOLERXFINAL-11The Sara Dress by Carol Young / Undesigned will be one of my favorite summer dresses. Its loose fit makes it effortless to wear while ruffle sleeves and two front pockets add loads of personality. 

I’m probably never going to be an Alpha Mom, nor am I going to move to the country and have several children who sleep in my bed every night. I’m something in between. I’m an in-the-middle kind of mom. The kind my daughter will probably someday strive not to be— none of us really want to become our parents, right? I accept and love who my mother was (and is) and all of the ways I am similar and different. And I sincerely hope that my little one will someday feel the same way about me.

*Photography by the amazing SRGKRPNKO, retouching by the magical Sesha NYC

Step Into Greatness!

Christian-Louboutin-GREATNESS

Big news! After many requests, I’m relaunching my private life coaching practice– available WORLDWIDE! Please check out my services below and contact me if you’re ready to step into your greatness! No dream is too big or too small for these shoes:

STEP INTO GREATNESS COACHING WITH SHANNON BINDLER

We all want to live in our own shoes; to walk our own unique path, but it’s much easier to stay on the well-groomed trail that we’re “supposed” to take. It’s no wonder that from a young age most of us have been encouraged to minimize our wins, dim our lights, and draw safely within the lines. Creativity and vulnerability go hand in hand. Yes, it’s really scary to go after a dream… that’s why you have me. The self-love doctor is in!

I’ll walk with you, motivate and inspire you to recognize your greatness and encourage you to dial up your creative wattage. We’ll out-maneuver the self-doubt that’ll inevitably show up. In weeks, you’ll be dreaming BIG. Where you once saw a pathway filled with obstacles, you’ll notice possibilities.

We dream big and we MOVE on those imaginings. Dreams without actions are just wishes. I prescribe grounded, realistic action steps that turn your aspirations into REALITY. Most people turn around and go home when their goal feels overwhelming and out of reach. No dream is too bold for these shoes. We’ll take it together, step-by-step, until you arrive at your destination!

Oh yeah, and if you like fashion, you’re in the right place. I believe shoes and clothing can be used as spiritual medicine. Other coaches use mala beads, incense or crystals as spiritual tools. We’ll work with shoes (and other stylish accessories) to help you visualize and stay motivated. Watch my TEDx talk on the subject.

My clients leave our time together with a fierce sense of confidence. Each has blazed a distinctive trail. Some have become New York Times best-selling authors, others have created acclaimed art exhibitions and film projects and started successful businesses. Most importantly, all own their GREATNESS in whatever they set out to do. Sometimes ideas fail, but I’ve never worked with anyone who’s regretted trying. No dream is too small or too grand.

Are you ready to roll? Let’s put on our superhero shoes and get started.

3-Session Starter Series:
In three one-hour sessions we’ll uncover your dream, dispel what might be stopping you, and set up a series of realistic action steps.
$375 ($125/session)

6-Session Get Moving Series:
In six one-hour sessions you will gain clarity, squash limiting beliefs and thoughts, start moving with concrete action steps, and follow through even when the path ahead feels impossible.
$690 ($115/session)

9-Session Dreams to Reality Coaching Program:
In nine one-hour sessions you’ll realize what it is you really want, identify limiting beliefs and internal conflicts of interest, create an action plan, overcome roadblocks, and move forward fearlessly. This is my signature-coaching package with hundreds of success stories. This package is recommended for anyone with a long-term goal that requires consistent action (ie. writing a book, starting a business, marketing campaign, etc.)
$900 ($100/session)

SINGLE Session:
A single session tune-up can be use during life emergencies, transitions, or when you’re feeling off and need a reminder of who you truly are. Available to those who have had THREE sessions or MORE.
$150

 

Contact me here or via email: ShannonBindler(at)me(dot)com to schedule an appointment. Sessions are available in person in Los Angeles and worldwide via Skype, phone, or Google Hangout.

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.

Carolyoung33

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. 

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?

My Sunset Sky

umbrella
RENEWAL

Prescription

SYMPTOMS
· weariness      · stagnation
· self neglect   · dullness

 

Rx

PRESCRIPTION RENEWAL
Outer: Foldable rain boots by Butterfly Twists, rain jacket by Viktor & Rolf.
Inner: I give myself a fresh start, whatever the weather or circumstances.

warning

WARNING Wear may lead to puddle skipping and dancing in the rain.

 

rain

Clouds inevitably float into my life, sometimes with warning, other times rather unexpectedly. Sometimes they issue a moody storm that pounds and pushes all of my petals to the ground.

Shannon_Pink_collar
Shannon_Collar
I love the dramatic collar of this Viktor & Rolf rain jacket

Other days, drops gently clear away the smog and dust. I run outside and let the silver liquid kiss my wrinkled brow and pitter-patter upon my umbrella. My daughter and I slosh in mud puddles to see who can make the biggest splash. Rain!

ButterflyTwists2 Butterfly Twists
Fold down rain boots by Butterfly Twists are easy to carry in your purse.

I try to take it all in, the fickleness of my soul’s seasons. I smell the rain, feel the wind, and remind myself that this, too, shall pass. Each heavy drop washes away what no longer serves me. I embrace a clean slate, which inevitably adds color to my sunset sky.

 

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

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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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