How to Dress for Your Brand

First things first, when you’re building a personal brand and up-leveling your already successful business, the best way to begin is to start with YOU.

Once you’ve built a brand that’s aligned with the essence of who you are, building a look, a feel, a wardrobe, or a style based around it is the easy next step.

Colors, style, flow, clothing that fits with your mission and values, textures on your site - all of it will be aligned and cohesive so that when people land on your site (in the vast sea that is the internet!), they stay.

They stay because they feel who you are through the images and the 2-D version of you becomes 3-D in their minds.

There’s congruency.

And this is the magic that I work to achieve with each and every one of my styling clients.

What to Do (An Insider’s Look at My Process)

I specialize in working with business owners, corporate elite and public figures who seek to embody their brand so that it comes out in every interaction with their audience.

I specialize in working with business owners, corporate elite and public figures who seek to embody their brand so that it comes out in every interaction with their audience.

Here’s how it usually goes:

1) Do an assessment of your body

What are your favorite features? What are your not-so-favorite features? Why?

Knowing this will help you choose clothes that play up those strengths.

From my 10 Style Tips for Everyday: Follow your lines. So often my clients come to me saying they feel fat or frumpy and 9 times out of 10, they are wearing clothes that are too big. Follow the architecture of your body. Let the fabric fall onto your body in the shape that you are… it’s as easy as holding a shirt up to your frame and seeing if it is too square, too round or too trim.

2) Create a customized body map

This is my signature style kinetics of aesthetics process where we look at how your body experiences emotions and energy.

When I’m working with clients, I’ll go through their body map to view their story through the lens of their bodies (not just through the lens of their minds). The body tells a story if you’re up to listening to it.

The process provides us with clues with how to wrap our bodies in clothes that support us.

3) Classify sections of our bodies where we need to enhance, release or protect

With each body part, ask yourself whether you want to enhance, release or protect it.

For example, when I’m feeling tired and need to be productive in meetings I will wear high waisted pants to support my lower belly.  I will also wear a flowy shirt that allows me to move with ease and stay relaxed as I call the shots throughout the day!

4) Develop your style archetype

This is where we start to look at the intersection of your brand and personal style.

It’s important to know your brand mission, although it’s less important to have your brand clearly defined at this point as it usually shifts slightly from this deep work.

If your brand and personal style were to have a love child, how would you characterize it?

What’s an archetype that captures the essence of both?

For myself, I’m a Boho Warrior.

This means that I see the ultimate version of myself as a justice-seeking artist on a nomadic freedom journey. Having this identity to connect with gives me a deep mission and impacts how I show up in the world.

It’s also a filter that I can use to choose clothes that resonate with this identity. I can build architecture and structure into my pieces.

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5) Consciously curate your perfect wardrobe

With this new information in hand that takes your body architecture, your body map, your brand and your style archetype into account, choose pieces that fill the requirements.

I like to call this part of the process the modern-day hunt.

When I work with my clients, I’ll will send them new clothes that fulfill their dreams and allow them to feel more comfortable and confident in their bodies.  So often my clients walk away feeling refreshed and renewed, not only with new knowledge about themselves, but a new personally curated wardrobe.  Meeting their style goals becomes an outward manifestation of their inner desires!

The Whole Point of this Process?

You’ll feel so comfortable in who you are and what you’re about that the essence of you will seep into every aspect of your brand.

 

How do you dress for your brand?

Let me know, what does your style say about your brand to your potential clients and customers?  I’d love to hear from you. 

Leave a comment down below.

 

xo

Carrie

 
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David Yurman Oval Extra-Large Link Bracelet with Gold

Your End of Summer Bucket List

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The end of summer is upon us, but before you start pulling out the sweaters, boots and pumpkin-spice everything, take the opportunity to check these items off your summer bucket list.

 

To Wear:

The only style rule for summer? Just have fun and don’t take anything too seriously!

Flowy dress that’s so yummy
Like this one from Innika Choo, Australian Bali-based designer.

 
 

Beach cover-up 
I love this one from Roberta Roller Rabbit

 
 

Giant, floppy hat
Here’s one that I’ve been crushing on from Free People

 
 

Full-piece bathing suits
Accentuate all the right places with this one from Soma

 
 

To Experience:

While the days are still long, squeeze in one (or more) of these quintessential summer activities!

 

Take a list trip to the market to gather all your favorite summer veggies.

My go-to’s include watermelon, peaches, blueberries, kale and swiss chard.

 

 

Try stand-up paddle boarding or go for a leisurely bike-ride.  Basically, just bask in the sun and get those limbs moving.

 

 

Pack a basket and go on a summer picnic.

In my picnic basket this summer, you’ll find Canyon Road Gluten Free Bread, Applegate turkey and havarti cheese with sweet apple relish, blueberries, watermelon-infused water, and I never leave home without my Yeti Rambler 10 oz. Lowball

You might find a bottle of Whispering Angel summer water in there, too!

Lay out a towel and get in some beach reading time.

Here are the books I’ve been reading this summer:

Drums of Autumn book 4 in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

GUT by Giulia Endres


To Taste:

On the menu before summer ends? Anything fresh with a little Rose...

Watermelon

Berries

Summer veggies

Fish

Favorite summer cocktail

One I’ve been known to enjoy: Whispering Angel

 
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So there’s my end of summer bucket list. What’s on yours?  Leave a comment down below, I love hearing what other summer experiences are out there!

xo

Carrie

 
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The Best Accessory You've Got (you were born with it)

Hey Beauty -

I want to talk to you today about hair.

A.K.A. the best accessory that also happens to be with us all the time.

And there’s a reason they say that when you’re having a great hair day, it’s a great day, period.

I remember when I experienced my first hair insecurity. Four years ago I got sick and ended up losing a ton of hair.

Up until that point, I’d kind of taken my mane for granted. Losing it felt like a part of me had been stripped away.

The same thing’s happened to other women in my inner circle - my mother, friends during postpartum, family members coming out of chemotherapy.

That’s why I’m so excited to be partnering with Monat and their Renew, Revitalize and Restore hair care line.

I first heard about the products through an old NYC friend. We had a great visit at her new home in Phoenix this winter. She didn’t tell me she was hiding something. But in June she texted me this picture.  

 
 

Yup, she had lost a lot of her gorgeous silky hair from postpartum hair loss. What a shocker. But after only 3 months, she has seen incredible results and finally feels confident again.

For myself, the whole line has been life-changing. I have been keeping my hair short for a while, trying to find a way to grow it back out. After using it, I went from short, brittle, thin hair to now growing out my luscious locks. It’s growing fast, and it’s growing healthy! I am saying yes to the new-found hairline and more body!

Oh, and did I mention it smells amazing? As a chemically sensitive person, I am really limited on what I can put on my body.

And even if hair is something you’re not worried about, these products will help it remain something you never need to worry about.

 
 

I might be a bit hair-obsessed, but I now have a tried-and-true hair routine that is helping grow my hair--and making it look better than it ever looked before:

1.  Revive Shampoo

This is the shampoo you want when you desire bombshell volume. Revive is designed with fine, limp, lifeless hair in mind and is on a mission to increase volume, bounce, vitality & brilliance. The different cleansers are layered and work in concert to leave your strands clean, hydrated, and pumped up.  

Revive helps increase hair health, density, and scalp health. You'll enhance volume and provide your strands with weightless moisture for sky-high style. What's that? I couldn't hear you over the volume of my hair. Ingredients that improve combability and reduce friction, static, and tangling are packed into this shampoo.  

What you get is incredible volume without the dirty, greasy feel many volume products leave in their wake. Oh and did I mention the volume lasts for days?

2.  Revitalize Conditioner

This is a daily use rinse-out, and it also happens to be my favorite. It adds shine, bounce, vitality, and plumps your hair, making it look and feel fuller. This is one that makes clients and moms cry tears of joy.  Clients love the instant boost in volume; moms love the ease that brushing has after using this conditioner on long-haired little ones who hate the brush out after a bath.  

Revitalize contains water-and-shampoo-soluble film formers (that break down easily and do not build up) to plump up the hair from the very first use. This is a weightless, non-greasy, volumizing formulation that encourages hair growth, increases scalp health, and improves hair's appearance and manageability.  A quarter-sized dollop is all that is needed for even the coarsest of hair types.  

3. REJUVENIQE Oil Intensive™

Nourish and energize the scalp with an invigorating blend of 11+ unique molecular ingredients –including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids – that mimic the body’s natural oils! The proprietary formula reduces hair thinning, prevents oxidative stress and adds incredible volume, repairing the hair with instantly visible, long-lasting shine without the damaging effects of silicone.

So if you’re interested in a new shampoo + conditioner that only makes it look like you’re working hard to make your hair look good, Monat would be hands-down the first place I’d point you towards.

Want to learn more? Check out their natural, cruelty-free, non-GMO products here.

The best deal is to become a VIP customer, so you get free shipping & 15% off all your orders. It's a one time $19.99 fee - for life. You also get a free gift worth $25 with each order. You just need to place 3 orders of $84 - and your first order counts as one.

They have something for every hair type. And it’s a no-risk solution, too, with a 30-day money back guarantee.

Here's a graphic that explains the different product lines. (I despise paying full price, or for shipping, so VIP is def the way to go.)

Leave a comment below!

With love (and good hair),

Carrie

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 REJUVENIQETM Oil Intensive

UNIQUE OIL BLEND

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How to Choose Your Brand Colors - The Intuitive, Soulful Way

How do you choose your colors when there are so many options that could work?

I use an intuitive process that leaves little doubt and overwhelm when it comes to picking brand colors that truly represent your brand. You too can do the same by following the steps below.

By anchoring your colors in your brand values and your energy (or in the chakra system) that aligns with them, the choice becomes easier.

How I chose my brand colors...

For me, choosing brand colors was a total attraction thing.

I wanted to keep things simple and achieve a soft, elegant feel. But really I am working on continually creating safety and security for myself and others in the world, plus activating my power in useful ways.  So I took the yellow of the 3rd chakra, the solar plexus, and represented it with gold. I took the red of the 1st chakra, the root (the place of safety and security) and softened it with my color chart to a lighter pink.

I tweaked the rose gold, over and over again, until I found the one that I loved.

I ended up with a neutral base (black, white and gray) so that the rose gold could really shine. 

 
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The 3-Step Process

Through this process, you’ll end up with 1-2 primary colors and 1-2 neutral colors.

  1. Get crystal clear on your brand values

  2. Choose your primary or accent color based on the chakras that align with your brand values

  3. Choose neutral colors that enhance and don’t compete with your primary color

It’s important to not just look at the color, but also consider the quality and tone as well when making your selections.

Chakra + Color Meanings

 
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  • 1st Chakra: Reds = Safety and security
  • 2nd Chakra: Oranges = Creativity, money, sexuality and sensuality

  • 3rd Chakra: Yellows and golds = Power

  • 4th Chakra: Greens = Heart-center

  • 5th Chakra: Blues = Communication

  • 6th Chakra: Indigos = Awareness

  • 7th Chakra: Violet = Spirituality

Here is the thing: these vibrant colors don’t always work with your brand. To help express the quality of your emotion or message, I created a color chart that shows the different tones of the chakra system. You can download it here.

One of my favorite examples is Kate Northrup’s branding. She uses a peach shade, which is about creativity, and turquoise, which is all about communication. Monetizing creativity and communication - two things that Kate excels at. This is the perfect example of a brand in complete alignment!

I’d love to know - what are your brand colors and how do they reflect your brand values?  Leave a  comment down below.

Lots of love,

Carrie

 
 

REPORT

Abena Perforated Slip-On Sneaker

P.S.  Clear The Rack Sale starts today until Sunday nationwide. You will get the best deal on whats left of summer styles.  Click here or visit your local Nordstrom Rack.

Cultivating a Creative Outlet

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There’s something about summer. Time slows, people have more space in their day to fit in the things they enjoy doing. Like going to the beach or having a family BBQ. That’s what makes this season perfect for exploring and cultivating a creative outlet.

It might be time for you to pick up that paintbrush, throw some clay, or do whatever your hands are longing to do to creatively express themselves.

Do you have no idea what your creative outlet is? Take the time to experiment with as many different ones as you can. (There’s a helpful list of ideas below to get you started!)

That’s what my own creative journey looked like - and it wasn’t until I’d gone through pretty much every creative outlet you can think of that I discovered mine had been there all along, hiding in plain sight.

How I discovered my creative outlet

I’ve been obsessed with style for as long as I can remember. I still intensely long for a pair of sneakers I wore as kid. Besides their vibrant red and blue, almost Wonder Woman-esque color  (which I can never forget), those shoes represent the earliest part of my childhood - the friendships while growing up in New York, escaping to the country and climbing trees.

I remember living in London at six years old, walking confidently out of my front door wearing my mom’s long gray wool skirt, her black high heels, a blue silk shirt, pearls and an Ascot hat - and strutting around the block all by myself. Style has been in my blood for as long as I can remember, but for so long I denied it and refused to see it as a worthy creative endeavor.

Believing it was superficial and shallow, I threw myself into every other creative activity you can think of - painting, photography, sculpting, jewelry making, you name it. And yet, when I was at home all I'd do is try on clothes and host dress-up parties for one.

And it wasn’t until a client, who probably doesn’t even realize how significant that moment was for me, showed me my gift from her perspective and gave me the permission to create beauty as I saw it with clothing and personal style.

This isn’t to say that I don’t still enjoy other creative outlets because I do. I’ve just seen the power in recognizing my true creative calling. And you can too.

A recipe for discovering your own creative outlet

Your creative outlet is either already a major part of your life (whether you recognize it or not), or you’re about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys.

Use these questions to help you uncover your creative outlet:

  1. When you were a kid, what did you enjoy doing the most?

  2. When you’re alone, what do you like to do?

  3. Can you remember any moments where you got completely lost in what you were doing?

  4. If you could get paid to be creative, what would you do?

  5. Have you had any “I want to try that” thoughts?

Through these questions, some seeds should have been planted that point you in the right direction of your creative outlet.

Give yourself the freedom and permission to pursue it by scheduling regular time to practice and educate yourself in it.

If you’re still without any ideas, make a list (or see the list below for a reference) of any and all creative activities that come to mind. Choose 5-7 and then commit to trying one a week for the rest of the summer.

Here’s a list of 25 creative activities to get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Writing

  2. Crafting

  3. Scrapbooking

  4. Photography

  5. Gardening

  6. Sewing

  7. Sculpting

  8. Painting

  9. Drawing

  10. Jewelry-making

  11. Woodwork

  12. Knitting/Crocheting

  13. Creative Writing

  14. Mosaics

  15. Quilting

  16. Cooking

  17. Printmaking

  18. Macrame

  19. Dancing

  20. Filmmaking

  21. Digital design

  22. Music and Singing

  23. Weaving

  24. Interior design

  25. Styling

So let me know in the comments, how do you plan on making time for your creative outlet?

 

Lots of love,

Carrie

To Muffin Top or Not...the High Waisted Pant Is Back

Do you remember the days of low-rise jeans? You know the moment: you checked yourself in the mirror and saw this little pop of flesh on the back of your hip rise up and out over the top of those awesome new LOW-RISE jeans and you thought, “UGH!”  

They fit everywhere else but not my hips….seriously, all I hoped for was an elasticated waistline or an extended zipper to raise the waistline! When I lived in Maui, I remember my stunningly gorgeous friend giggling about the low-rise muffin top. I have always kept a high-rise option around because, well, it’s just more comfortable.

To muffin top or not….I vote not!

Recently I did yet another closet cleanse (you can grab my Closet Cleanse Course right here) to let go of the last pairs of too-low, not-so-flattering low-rise pants. I mean, there is nothing more uncomfortable than a pair of denims cutting off your ability to bend over, not to mention the unsightly butt crack!

Here are a few great tastemakers who are fabulous at curating the current high-rise trends. Check them out! I know you will love what they have to show you!

Check out @the_salty_blonde! She nails the high-waisted bikini.  

I love how @baileyschwartz creates this

monochrome white fresh summer style.


Now we can embrace our curves thanks to @theashleygraham.

If you feel like a an unsightly “mushroom top” is hanging out, then it’s time to adopt the high-waisted pant! Over the past 2 years, I have been introducing my clients to this new sensation (which is really a throwback to the 60s Mod, 70s Disco, and 80s and 90s Acid Wash).  Now we have a more modern look with the high-rise bikini or high-rise jean short.

Try it out!  See how it feels.  You might find some new feminine flair!  Leave a comment down below and let me know!

Lots of love,

Carrie

The Style Revolution

We just celebrated our Independence and Freedom here in the US. It’s my favorite time of year. Over the past 10 years I have learned to take an extended birthday and have some fun!

My Hidden Pond staycation was a fantastic way to kick off the holiday weekend in true chillax mode!

On Friday night we went to see a band called Rustic Overtones - it’s been about 20 years since I have seen them! The best part was that they played with my friend and a few teenagers from the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra. I loved feeling the flow of movement of my dress swinging back and forth as my hips swayed to the music.

It got me thinking, the way we are taught to dress is all wrong. It’s so disconnected from how we feel and how we want to feel. Trends take over and we often try to just fit into the latest threads that are being sold all over the marketplace. Or we give up and claim our style from a time in history and stay there, grasping at how it used to be.

The way we break down style in our world is so confusing. When I search for clothes for my clients, I sometimes think how the hell do people know what to buy? There is sooooo much out there to choose from.  

What is style really?

Style is about communicating who you are to the world.  It’s where the inner world meets the outer world.

  • I believe personal style is about curating your life's preferences, needs and desires.

  • It is a feeling that speaks for itself.

  • Words cannot describe it.  

  • Personal style comes from knowing yourself and what feels beautiful to you.  

  • It is a form of communication.  

  • It is a visual representation of who you are.  

I am committed to creating a STYLE REVOLUTION. I want you to look good, that’s for sure, but as a woman who cares deeply about the experience of humans here on earth, I want you to feel good, too.

Look good vs. feel good, that is the question here.

So let’s try something. When you get dressed, check in with your needs for the day.

Do you want to feel more flow?

  • Then put on a flowy dress.

Do you want to feel strong and confident?

  • Then throw on a great structured shirt, your favorite jeans and a great pair of pumps.  GO rock it!

Do you want to just relax and let go?

  • Then grab those sweats and some sneakers, go for a walk, shake it off and give your body some space.

The biggest secret to THE STYLE REVOLUTION is in your body. Yes, your body knows all the secrets that desire to be expressed. Find them, feel them, set them free.

Don’t get trapped in a style rut by wearing the same thing every day. Find your spot of freedom of expression.

Let’s get back to the basics here. I am creating a STYLE REVOLUTION. I want you to join me.  

As I write this, I am poolside at my parents’ house near the beach. My body is ready to go relax and chill with my friends. My body wants to dip her toes into the cold water and listen to the children play on the beach I grew up on.

All I have to wear is a soft, cotton, flowy beach cover-up and my bikini to step into my style today!

How is your style going to make you feel today? Come on over to the blog and leave a comment. I can’t wait to learn more about your style!

How is your style going to make you feel today? Leave a comment down below.  I can’t wait to learn more about your style!

 Lots of love,

Carrie

 
 

Roberta Roller Rabbit: Priya Anu Kurta

Top 10 Style Tips for Everyday

One of the first questions you ask yourself each morning (or evening if you’re a planner!) is, “What the heck am I doing to wear?”

It’s a fact of life that we get dressed each day, so it’s a question we all have - and people ask me ALL the time what they should wear on a daily basis.

It’s a regular part of life, adorning your body so that it looks good and feels good every day. Just because you deserve it.  

That’s why I made this list of 10 Style Tips for Everyday. Whenever you have trouble picking something out, come back to this list and pick a tip to work with. You can even print it out and hang it in your closet! Even just one of these will help you transform getting dressed into a more pleasurable experience.

  1. KISS - Keep It Simple Sexy - nothing more or nothing less. If whatever you put on feels complicated, remove a layer or take out a color or pattern.

  2. Know Your Audience - Start by visualizing your day.  As you stand in your closet, think through what your day has in store for you, who do you need to meet, where do you need to be, what activities do you need to do.

  3. Inner Radar - Check in with how you feel - acknowledging and witnessing how you feel allows you to be present with yourself. It brings you one breath closer to you.

  4. Power Play - Ask your body what it needs to be as effective and powerful as possible in that day.  Your body wants to speak to you. If you listen, it’ll tell you what you need to know.

  5. Color Theory - Pull the color out that you're most drawn to. Our mood can be lifted or sustained by color. It can light you up or shut you down. Choose the sensation you desire to express.

  6. Body Architecture - Follow your lines. So often my clients come to me saying they feel fat or frumpy and 9 times out of 10, they are wearing clothes that are too big. Follow the architecture of your body. Let the fabric fall onto your body in the shape that you are… it’s as easy as holding a shirt up to your frame and seeing if it is too square, too round or too trim.

  7. Express Yourself - Choose 1-2 accents. (Go back to #1….. K.I.S.S.) So often we try to mix and match too much. Look for one accent, meaning a contrast fabric like leather, lace, twill, or piping. Or you can add a little jewelry to dress up or dress down your look.

  8. Stay Fresh - Box up and donate what doesn’t fit.  Easy to say. Hard to do. Just let it go. Make room for the new to come to you.

  9. Asset Awareness - Dress for your assets. I used to be told that I should enhance or expose my boobs and legs because they were big and long, respectively. But honestly, it never felt good to me. I have reframed “assets” to be those parts of the body that I desire to enhance or release emotionally. I consciously dress for relaxing shoulders and an open heart. What do you need to enhance or release? You can define your own assets.

  10. Value Game - It can be so easy to buy on trend.  It will even seem cheaper because the discount stores carry on brand and change their goods all the time. That’s an easy way to spend a lot and still feel empty and “not you.” Once you know your true style, then you can play the value game. Looking for good quality clothing for a great price can be fun and adventurous. I call it modern day hunting!

 

I know getting dressed can be frustrating, but when you shift the perspective to an inner lens it can be so freeing.

Leave a comment down below!

 

XOXO

Carrie

 

What I am crushing on

Free People Sweet Talkin’ Jumpsuit

Integrating Into Your Style

Have you ever thought of relaxing as an activity, something you need to do? I do, all too often.

It was the Tuesday morning after Memorial Day weekend. After spending the weekend with my family at dinner parties and brunches and then a cold and wet Memorial Day in our apartment painting the bathroom and entryway, I woke up Tuesday feeling depleted. That kind of feeling where you go, “How do I do this day? Do I have to? What ‘must’ be done?”

After reviewing my top priorities, I sat on the edge of the bed in my robe, hair wet from my shower, thinking about my clients. The ones that tell me oh so often that they stand in front of their closets and think, “What would Carrie do?”

So I sat there, looked out at the clouded-over sky, and asked my body what it needed to be the most comfortable and effective today. That allowed me the strength, connectivity and desire to approach my closet.

Don’t you want to feel connected to your body when you are adorning it?

Fatigue can often cloud the synapses firing for you to feel yourself.  

What if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you could receive small bit parts from yourself throughout the day that when totaled would help you release the fatigue and revive you?  

It’s possible. It’s called integrating your style with your desires.

Here’s the approach I have found works every time.

Standing in my closet, I found a long, flowing silver skirt. I instantly felt my body release the fatigue and step into a bit of excitement. I then found a long, black chambray button-down that gives me a little structure but still has a chill feeling to it. My cowl ankle black leather boots were ready to meet my feet. I made the gold accent buckles on the boots appear seamless against the silver by adding small brass studs, a brass ring and a great gold and black bracelet. I wish I had captured it for you!

By finding the flow my body needed, I released and received the relaxation I needed to move into my day.  

When you get dressed do you find ease in the experience? Or does the To Do list take over so your body becomes a forgotten creature waiting to be covered and moved along?

When that happens, take a step back. Give yourself one breath and one question: what does my body need? It will tell you if you give it the space.

I would love to hear how your body is feeling today. Did you allow it to inform how to dress yourself? What did you choose? Leave a comment down below. 

 

WHAT I'M CRUSHING ON:

Magdalena Skirt

I love the mix of gold and silver!

I love the mix of gold and silver!

Working hard to relax? How to ease in and receive it

Hey Beauty,

Do you ever get tense and find it hard to relax?

I’ll be the first to tell you, relaxing feels like a job to me. I am not good at it. I love excitement. I love connecting. I love to make things happen. I love to create. I love hustle and bustle, but my body tends to disagree. So do I really love all of that if my body tires so easily?

The past few weeks have been active. Filled with commitments to clients, to my tribe, to my partner, to my puppy, to my family, to my business. I consciously knew that I was overfull and was excited and worried.

Have you had that feeling of potential and fear in the same place? It sits in my belly and can get a little confusing sometimes unless I curate a more conscious experience.

So I carved out some me time. I made sure I hit yoga class as least once a week. I went to physical therapy like a religion 2 times a week. I took longer walks with my pup 3 times a week. I chose limited social engagements. I finally made that Valentine’s spa day gift appointment.

But I still couldn’t relax. I couldn’t lie back and let go. I had to keep talking and doing. I mean, I love to create.

Over the past 4 years, I have been working on relaxing interpersonally and personally. I thought it was about balance, but it really is about integrating my life and my needs and creating my ability to receive relaxation.

I was at yoga class the other night, and we were doing a very gentle shoulder expansion. (I gave up aggressive flow classes a few years ago to have a slower, more expansive and restorative experience with my body).

Yes, this receiving relaxation thing has been a process for quite a while.

I lay there in my galaxy yoga pants, face into the floor. Breathing deeply as my arm extended 90 degrees out from my body and 90 degrees up from my elbow. I gently rolled into my extended arm to expand the frontal space of my shoulder.

I knew with every breath that I was receiving relaxation. I was receiving a desire that my body had been craving. Yes, I was doing yoga, but I really felt like I was just being with my body.

Learning to receive is like working a muscle when you have been blocking it all your life.

Next time someone says, “I like your dress.” All you have to do is receive it and say, “Thank you.”

No excuses. No explanations. No pardons for your appearance. Just plain thank you! Breathe it in and allow your body to feel it.

How does that feel?

Lots of love,

Carrie