The Wardrobe Detox

green juice and wardrobe hanger

It’s springtime, and with it comes the energy of renewal and rebirth. The concept of spring-cleaning isn’t a new one. It’s an intuitive process, which has become a cultural norm for a reason.

As spiritual beings having a human experience, it’s easy to become bogged down on the physical plane by our “stuff.” I constantly work to be in harmony with the material world. To use and value the objects around me and to make them meaningful, everything of a material nature can have a spiritual significance if we value it as such.

One of the biggest toxic dumping grounds is our closet. We may be able to clean out a junk drawer or organize our fridge, but most of us have a closet filled with items that don’t fully represent our current selves. I cannot tell you how many people I’ve worked with who do not wear half (or more) of the clothes they have in their closets!

Are you one of them? I invite you to ask yourself a few questions:

Do you have any clothes in your closet that don’t fit?
Is there anything you haven’t worn once in the past year?
Is there anything that’s stained, ripped, or damaged in your drawers or closet?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, it’s likely time for a wardrobe detox.

A wardrobe detox is getting rid of what no longer serves you, so you have the space to welcome in new energy that meets you where you are, today. It’s a spiritual process. What we wear and own reflects how we feel about ourselves on the inside.

Take a minute with that concept; even better take a peek into your closet.

It’s not easy, but it’s important. What does the state of your closet (and drawers, etc.) tell you about your relationship to yourself? Is it messy? Beautiful? Current? Does it reflect the way you take care of and value yourself?

When I looked into my closet I saw a lot of ways in which I am holding onto the past and not tending to my needs, so in other words, it’s time to make some changes. I start my detox by coming up with an intention that will support what I am creating. For instance:

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The Heart and Spirit of Courage

As Coco Chanel would say, “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Courage comes from the Old French corage, meaning “heart and spirit.” In other words, courage is an innate, internal quality that resides within the core of your being.

I love contemplating the definition because most people tend to equate courage with the physical sense of the word—like walking confidently onto a stage or battling a dangerous beast, like a lion. But if we look at courage as meaning “heart and spirit,” it may be more accurate to equate courage with listening to your inner voice and doing the right thing, no matter what the consequences.

Courageous people:

  • Guide their own destinies
  • Stand up for their heartfelt values
  • Spend time reflecting and going inward for answers
  • Ask probing questions
  • Encourage others
  • Love deeply and forgive easily
  • Speak their minds
  • Leap beyond their comfort zones

 

I’m a fan of pairing gladiator sandals with leather pants for a daring and powerful look. Jambu gladiators shown here with leather leggings by Alice + Olivia and a color-block shirt from Rag and Bone.

For me, courage is an intention that I hold internally and step into physically—and there is no better way for me to anchor an intention than by actualizing it with a shoe that represents the quality I am seeking to manifest. If you haven’t watched my TEDx talk on using shoes as a spiritual tool, click here.

The gladiator sandal represents the quality of courage. After all, the sandal was created for the daring fighters of the Roman Empire, and it continues to offer courage to those who dare to harness the power of this historic shoe design.

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
08/20/2017
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.

Click to read full shoeology of the Gladiator Sandal

Jambu uses a sport-wedge design that makes the Sugar an all-terrain sandal—I’m not kidding, it feels supportive enough to wear hiking.

Sugar sandal by Jambu is a unique type of gladiator—one that represents both physical courage and the heart and spirit. While it appears to be a statement shoe, it’s remarkably comfortable and supportive. When I slide them on I feel as if they support both my physical and spiritual paths. It’s as if they hold me through the twists and turns of life so I can discover new places, out in the world and inwardly. All of that, and they look pretty sweet, too…

A memory foot bed makes the Sugar a perfect choice for people who spend a lot of time standing – like hair stylists, anyone in the food service industry, nurses and yes, fashion stylists!

What does the heart and spirit of courage mean to you? Message me or comment below. I’d love to hear how you plan to step into your courage this week!

*Photography by SRGKRPNKO

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I’m in a Dysfunctional Relationship—with Myself

Dedication--Running-shoe-Rx

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
08/20/2017
Oh, inertia is an interesting earthly principle. A body or object in motion tends to stay in motion. So how does one move from stagnation (in mind, body, emotions, or spirit) to flow and movement? Running shoes! Running shoes have soles that are made to support and propel the physical body as it moves. Whether they're made of foam, silicon, air or gel, cushioning systems are one of the most important aspects of the modern running shoe. Long distance running requires dedication, and this shoe is designed to support an athlete to stay on course until she reaches the finish line. These shoes can also be used to remind non-marathon runners to remain dedicated to whatever goal line they intend to cross—be it literal, metaphorical or simply a deadline.
Symptoms
A running shoe is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: lethargy, distraction, wanting to “give up”, feeling stuck or confused.
Warnings
Wear may incite boundless energy, confidence and staying power. May lead to unwavering leadership abilities and dedication. Overuse may create a surplus of accomplishments on the worldly plane.

Read full shoe Rx for DEDICATION here

I’m in love with a girl who doesn’t always treat me right. She’s dramatic, angry and can be annoyingly uptight. My girl is impulsive and moody, but when she’s centered she shines blindingly bright. And on those days, I couldn’t imagine loving anyone more.

We dance, we sing. We talk through the night. We fight. I hate her. I love her. We make up, again. No matter how many times I wish I could leave her, it’s impossible to escape her scrumptiously devious ways because my lover, my lady, she is me.

This is my first blog post in several months. I went on a journey. I swear in a past life, I must have been a monk because every few years or so I feel the need to abandon the world and retreat. I question who I am, what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it. I pull away from distractions and attempt to realign with what’s really important.

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This summer was simple but profoundly beautiful. My main goal was to remain as present as I could with my daughter. Not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. We hiked, went rock climbing, sea kayaking, to the water park…  I attempted to listen to everything she said (and she says a lot, so this was challenging). I found moments where I felt like a kid—giggling like my ten-year-old self would have as we made up songs or played freeze tag in a wave pool.

I also went on a physical outer/inner journey. I attended something called Peace Awareness Training (or PAT) in Lake Arrowhead. For a few days I felt unshakable, as if nothing or no one could throw me off course. I understood the universe and my place in it, and that knowing was beyond amazing! Then, I returned to the world, and a few weeks later I found myself, well, dealing with the world. It was frustrating to feel that kind of solidness and then seemingly loose touch with it, but now that I’ve experienced whatever that was (kind of an ineffable thing to talk about) I’m aware that I’m still changing in ways that continue to unfold… the word would be ‘etcetera’…

On my quest, I learned some important pieces about my relationship with myself. You may ask: What is it that you discovered? Well, I’ll tell you (whether you really want to know or not): I really like my lady, myself. I’m getting a kick out of my quirks and realize that those messy aspects are what add character to my masterpiece called life. And on the darker side, I became aware of the ways in which I was sabotaging my relationship with her. I was unconsciously withholding things from her that she needs to be happy (like being dedicated to writing this blog, neglecting my exercise regimen or forgetting to make time for fun). I’m recommitting, I’m backing myself up. I’m dedicated to loving her and sticking it through. It’s not easy… she can be a real character… but she’s mine, and I accept her unconditionally.

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So with that recommitment, you can continue to find me writing here. I’m reminding myself that it’s a marathon, not a race. I’m back in it for the long haul. I think that like actual marriage, our relationship with ourselves needs to be updated and revisited. I’m committed. I’m devoted. I’m dedicated. It’s all gonna be all right.

Send me a note—I’d love to say, “hi.”

Getting Grounded

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Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
08/20/2017
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.

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.
08/20/2017
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.

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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

Living Juicy

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Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
08/20/2017
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.

In the Groove

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
08/20/2017
A shoe with a leather sole is perfect for individuals who want to get down and boogie. The most classic design is a traditional dress shoe, but modern styles offer a variety of options from formal oxfords to leather-bottomed sneakers. Unlike rubber-soled shoes that stick to the dance floor, natural leather soles let the foot slide, spin, and glide. Wear may create feelings of being "in the groove."
Symptoms
A natural leather sole is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: feeling stuck, out of sync, rhythm-less, unexpressed.
Warnings
May inspire spontaneous movement, feeling the beat, as well as fancy footwork. Wear may lead to John Travolta-like moments on the dance floor.

I’ve always loved to dance. I’ve had an inkling that dancing had greater benefits than simply exercise or stress relief. It’s always made me feel great (yes, it increases serotonin in the brain), and now it’s been proven that frequent dancing apparently makes us smarter!

I came across an article written by Richard Powers for Stanford University that clearly explains a study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine on the effects of recreational activities on mental acuity in aging. Here’s Powers’ elucidation in a nutshell:

Albert Einstein College of Medicine conducted a 21-year study of senior citizens, 75 and older, to measure mental acuity in aging by monitoring rates of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Scientists wanted to see if any physical or cognitive recreational activities influenced mental keenness. They studied mental activities (reading books, writing, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards and musical instruments) as well as physical (playing tennis or golf, swimming, bicycling, dancing, walking, and doing housework.)

One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can absolutely be health benefits, but the focus of the study was the mind, in particular memory. There was one important exception however: the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent – drum roll please – dancing!

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17a98d6b396f5c3e2f2285a5cf55d91e_largeNatural leather soles make these GRV kicks the king of the dance floor.

Here are some of the studies’ results:

Reading: 35% reduced risk of dementia
Bicycling and swimming: 0%
Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week: 47%
Playing golf: 0%
Dancing frequently: 76%

Dancing was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.

The basic conclusion is that dancing forces the brain to create new neural pathways. Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity.

If you’ve ever needed a smart “reason” to get on the dance floor, you now have one. Let’s boogie!

Preorder a pair on the GRV Kickstarter campaign and be one of the first to really get down on the dance floor.

Subscribe for a chance to win a free pair of shoes.

Step into your greatness! Check out my coaching programs.

Dress as Well as You Want to Feel

MiuMiusmokingslippersSUPPORTED

PrescriptionSYMPTOMS
· feeling alone      · insecure
· sense of heaviness    · self-doubt

RxPRESCRIPTION SUPPORTED
Outer: Smoking loafers by Miu Miu.
Inner: I’m fully supported and loved. I have great friendships that remind me of who I truly am.

warningWARNING Wear may lead to a boost in energy, enthusiasm and overall mood.

 

The day I met my husband, I wasn’t feeling great. In fact, I didn’t want to go anywhere at all, let alone meet the love of my life. That afternoon I was wearing frumpy sweatpants, un-brushed hair randomly gathered in a ponytail, and a pair of Ugg boots that my big toe had pushed a large hole through. I’d recently been laid off from my job, was worried about paying my bills, and still quietly moping over a break-up that had happened over a year prior. I felt like a mess, an unlovable mess. Why should I even bother “going out?” I mean, what was the point?

My roommate of several years came into my bedroom and demanded that I get up. She saw my sadness and said, “You look awful, no wonder you feel so horrible. Go take a shower and leave the rest to me.” I came back to find a simple, but elegant, black dress (which was hers) next to a pair of red heels that I’d forgotten I owned, and a hairdryer, curling iron, and makeup laid out on my bureau. She smiled and said, “We all have our low spells, girl, but I have a secret: a fresh hairstyle and a good pair of shoes can turn any situation around.”

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I reluctantly sat down and watched as she blew out my hair and carefully wrapped it around the warm iron. As she proceeded, I couldn’t help but notice my mood was shifting. By the time I slid my feet into the bright red stilettos, I felt like a different person. I didn’t feel frumpy anymore. Heck, I felt hot!

I’d long understood that the way we dress affects the impression we make on others, but up until that moment I didn’t realize how it affected my own well-being. Many applied psychology studies have proven that everything about a person’s clothing, from color to fit, affects one on a psychological level. I was proof that changing one’s appearance could shift one’s mood.

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My girlfriend’s secret worked. I oozed confidence the evening I met my husband, and we’re now approaching 10 years of marriage. Her trick was simple but powerful—she reminded me of my self-worth and beauty. I still have days I don’t feel 100%. On those days, I head to my medicine cabinet, a.k.a. my closet, and prescribe myself an outfit that looks the way I want to feel. It’s not always easy, but as I step into my shoes, I intentionally step into a more positive and loving mindset. Intentions are meaningful, and our clothing can be used deliberately, whenever we choose.

Using fashion in a positive manner is an act of loving oneself. It is the responsibility of all of us to take care of our physical vessels, to keep them in good repair and running well. I dress the way I want to feel, everyday, no matter if anyone will see me or not. And I do my best to be the kind of friend who shows up with a curling iron and a pair of shoes when someone I care about is feeling blue. A little love can go long way. What does your outfit say about your mood today?

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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