Stop Silencing Your Excuses

I think Nike killed the feminine gift of place making. Nike and their athletic gear counterparts, airing shiny commercials of powerful warriors hurtling over their obstacles, barreling out of planes without parachutes, growling down wolves who stood between them and their bench press. Powerade and Gatorade drip from the pores of gods and goddesses who finished their 26-mile run across the Mojave desert. Just. Do. It. No excuses. The only thing standing between you and your goals is you.

Winning Lionel Messi GIF by Gatorade Football - Find & Share on GIPHY

This cultural shift has walked over the gentle necessary healing art of place making. It has silenced the guiding voice telling you what you need to support yourself in your journey. No parachute? No problem. Hurl yourself out of that plane, land in a sandpit, run those miles. Don’t stop yourself. No legs? This guy scaled a mountain without any. How dare you breathe an excuse as to why you can’t meal prep?

In practice, this has not brought out the Spartan warriors in all of us. Instead, it’s been crippling.

In a world where all objections are an excuse, all considerations are excuses, and all excuses are unacceptable, your guiding voice can not take care of you. You feel anxious and depressed because listening to your excuses is shameful.

I argue that the journey toward accomplishing your goals must start with deep listening to and acceptance of your excuses. Not only start with, but end with, and middle with. For a lot of women it’s not just the starting of a task, but the middle, the ongoing. We silence our concerns, our aches, the things that don’t feel quite right. We stop listening to our inner voice that wants a tweak, a change, some variety, and shame those voices as “excuses” and ourselves as “excuse-makers.”

In reality, our excuses are the key to sustainable change, greater well-being, and stronger self-esteem.

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What Are You Doing for Yourself in Quarantine?

Woman holding a growing plant

What good things have come out of your time in quarantine?

I bet it’s something and I want to know what it is. Did you learn how to play the ukulele? Have you finally mastered the perfect ratio of bubble bath to water? Did you learn something about your partner you never knew before? Was it that he is actually a ghost from the 1970s and has been dead this whole time? Because obviously, we all want to hear that story so stop being so selfish and tell us. Or maybe you organized your pantry or whatever.

Regardless, I want to know what you have learned, started learning, excelled at, or changed during this most unusual time in all our lives. Here’s mine:

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Decorate Like a Damn Witch

Woman in a witch hat reading a magic book

You’re a little witchy, aren’t you? You mystical huntress. Maybe not all the time but on occasion, when you are very lucky, you will step in exactly the right place and find a supernatural force that seeps up through Mother Earth till it finds the soles of your feet and lets you know: life is pretty magical and so are you.

This is our favorite feeling, isn’t it? Feeling attuned to the hedonistic unknown? That full moon, warm summer night, stolen kiss feeling? Mmmmmmm, Magical Calgon take me away.

I want to talk about cultivating that witchy spark in your home. How to feel like you live in a faery castle, or deep in the woods surrounded by healing waters, or in a white curtain-lined sex yurt complete with a naked Witcher. I also want to teach you how to do it without turning your home into a tacky head shop which, let’s face it, is your worst fear.

Henry Cavill Witcher GIF by NETFLIX - Find & Share on GIPHY

Decorating has never come naturally to me. I am drawn to overly feminine pieces or trendy garbage that never translates into my own life, and I tend to quickly turn on patterns and colors, first welcoming them into my home, then quickly becoming skeptical, and eventually loathing them. Before I know it I find myself once again burying a vase in my backyard in the dead of night, sobbing that it was an accident, that next time it will be different. The vase won’t betray me. I’ll love the vase. We’ll be together forever.

If you are like me, and it’s important to you to have an environment that fosters creativity, sensuality and a little bit of magic, I have some trend-free tips for you that should keep you out of the acquire, love, loathe, kill cycle.

Bette Midler Witch GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Why You Should Have a Life Philosophy

A carved buddha statue

I am not one of these people who take Pinterest quizzes. I am not new-agey. I don’t like a whole bunch of fuss. I’m not sentimental. I don’t have a spirit animal. I am the most pragmatic person I know. Ironically, I would never read a post called “Why You Should Have a Life Philosophy.”

The whole idea summons images of inspirational print art, t-shirts claiming my heritage as a mermaid or unicorn, and Tony Robbins… then they get all blurred together as a mental picture of Tony Robbins having sex with a mermaid with a scrawly script above it that says “Everyday is a good day when you’re fucking a mermaid!”

Mermaid GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

But having a life philosophy is not about higher thinking or spiritual fulfillment or having sex with mermaids.

It’s about organization.

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How to Be All Classy and Shit

Woman at the beach with a sun hat

I have been thinking a lot about class lately. My thirtieth birthday is right around the corner and I have really been trying to hone my style. I’ve always been horrified by my mother’s butterfly bedazzled bell bottoms and the ever presence of “big gulps, tractors, and pink camo” in my sordid memory bank. But what makes someone classy? The internet has nearly convinced me that the whole of classiness is kept in the human cuticles and if they aren’t on point, I should just hang myself with a length of the Confederate flag while standing on a crate of Pabst.

Not one to believe everything the internet tells me, I thought about real life. Who was the classiest person I know?

For me, that person is my dear friend Betty. Betty is a landscaper and ironically has the most mangled cuticles I have ever seen. When she comes by my place, covered in dirt, cursing up a storm, she brings with her an armload of dahlia bulbs or a length of hose for my yard. She clasps my face with both of her hands and tells me how beautiful I look that day. She tells me that my orchid is too dark green and will be happier in a sunny spot. She exudes a level of class that I strive for. Intelligence, warmth, openness. She is just so damn classy.

So put away your wallets and, cuticles be damned, today we are talking about the dos and don’ts of how to be all classy and shit.
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Putting the “Ho” in “Home Decor”

Rose in a vase with faux fur rug

I think we all have those things we really want in our lives and appreciate while simultaneously having no interest in learning how to make them happen. Maybe it’s how to do a classic updo, how to rock an Instagram eyeshadow look, change a tire, or cook a souffle. For me, that thing is interior design.

Bored Monsters Inc GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I really appreciate a well-appointed room. I find them comforting and luxurious and soothing and amazing. I think having a polished and beautiful home is totally worth having. But when I start to read articles about “layers” and “textures” and “complementary colors,” it makes me want to tear my own arm off and then use it as a conversational piece on my coffee table. “Oh yes, I made it myself,” I will tell my impressed house guests.

But here is the thing about “adulting:” you should learn how to bring the things you want into your life, regardless of whether you have a natural talent for it.

Home cooked meals are worth eating, being able to pull yourself together for a classy event or meeting is important, being able to change your tire is important and having your home serve and suit you is important.

So here are the DG tips for those of you who have no attention span for interior design:

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