StL-Moments #01: Breathe & Center

Hi, friend!

One of my favorite – favorite practices is a visualization that helps me to calm and relax my body if I’m feeling tense, stressed, and out of sorts. Now, even knowing that you are tense is something that requires a level of self awareness that can take a long time to develop. We might know that we’re stressed, but not realize how much that stress manifests into every part of our bodies.

Example: right now, close your eyes and feel your jaw. Is it bearing down? How much can you loosen and let go of the grit in your teeth? If you’re noticing that, just imagine how stress reverberates into parts of our body that we can’t name and feel.

It’s there friend, I promise. Stress is something EVERYONE talks about because we’re all experiencing it. Life is hard. Things get to us.

And it can feel impossible to know what to do because, in part IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

Yes. It’s true. It is impossible to work through stress from a place of stress. Your body is chemically unable to allow yourself the space and peace of mind to use thinking brain to solve problems. That’s why sometimes we find ourselves wandering around the house, the office, the internet when we’re under pressure. It’s not that the solution is out there, but some part of us is looking for a distraction to take away this feeling of chaos so we can take care of our shit.

In other words, if something stresses you out, the only way to eliminate the thing that is causing you stress is to come at it from a place of not-stressed.

That’s why I recorded and shared this visualization practice first.

Pro Tip: While it’s fine to watch this video anytime, anywhere, it’s probably not going to be very effective if you’re sitting in a public place and feeling like everyone is watching you. It’s not going to be effective if you’re running errands. And it’s not going to be effective if you’re so busy wondering when it’s going to end that you never actually take the time to try it.

So grab some headphones. Head into a dark room or a place with less outside stimulation. Close your eyes. And let’s get started!

 

So there it is. I hope this is as helpful for you as it is for me.

Please come back to this video as often as you would like. Use the visualization if you’re having trouble working through something challenging. Come back to it if you need space to clear your head. Come back to it if you can’t sleep. If you keep running the same series of thoughts in your mind. Come back to it on a sunny day when you have nothing else to do – for no reason at all.

Just come back. Keep working at it.

Because the more you practice decompressing/destressing the smallest muscles in your body, the more you are able to work through stress rather than being stuck in it, and the happier you’ll be.

Let’s make it happen. Together.

 

xoxo,

julie.

Noonday Sale to Benefit our Adoption!

Hey, friend!

If you’re popping in for the first time – HI! Welcome. I’m SO so SUPER glad you’re here! This post is all about the Noonday Collection sale that I’m co-hosting tonight with my amazing friend Awbree. Noonday is an amazing company that employs women in rural communities across the world to help them support their families with equitable wages, childcare, and a hot meal while they work.

Join the FB Event

To learn more about our story, read this post and click on the links within it.

To learn more about Noonday, check out this video.

Or, just go directly to the AMAZING jewelry and shop the sale here!

Shop the Sale!

And THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!

 

 

Support our Adoption Fundraiser!

Hey, friend!

If you’ve followed me for a while, I’m SURE you’ve seen or heard me talk about my nephew Cal. There is a long story to how he came into my life, so I’ll give you the short version and a link to read more about it.

Short version: a little over three years ago, my sister left he son in my care. It was a Saturday night and we were out getting pizza. When we came home, she was gone. In the days and weeks that followed, it became clear that not only was Cal severely delayed on all aspects of development, he was also malnourished and required a great deal of medical and educational care. He was not potty trained and nonverbal. He was six years old.

To help him, and care for my then 1-year old son, I left my career and dedicated countless hours to helping him become the healthy, happy boy that he is today.

Read Cal’s Story Here

Somewhere in between working through all of his needs, my mom and I (we are co-guardians together) sought legal permanent guardianship of him. We spent three years in and out of court, self-representing as long as we could, until we reached the point where we required legal counsel in order to go to trial (something required as part of the process).

It’s been a LONG battle. It’s been incredibly hard. Absolutely debilitating. Emotionally exhausting. And fully consuming.

But here we are, now awaiting the last piece of legal documentation to finalize the thing we’ve been waiting for – full, permanent, custody of Cal. A boy who loves with his whole heart and who lights up at the smallest act of kindness.

In many ways life has moved on: we have fallen into normal patterns of daily routine, we have much less stress and much more certainty in our day to day lives. Things are good. But, like any period of extreme stress, we’re coming out on the other side, trying to put all the pieces back together.

If you’re familiar with adoption, you know how staggering the cost can be. And our story is no exception. The final cost, of all legal fees ONLY, will amount to $35,000, of which $15,000 is still outstanding.

Donate to Our Adoption here

You guys. Seriously. I’ll say this: no matter what happens with this fundraiser, if we only raise like $5, if we end up with a bill put on credit cards for the next 10years, we still have absolutely NO regrets.

Knowing Cal as he once was, and knowing who he is today, that change alone warms my heart. It gives me peace when I feel breathless. It is why I am today so incredibly positive. So unshakable. Because I know that anything – and I mean ANYTHING – is possible, friend. That anyone, given the right circumstances and care, has the opportunity to grow and change and live to their fullest potential.

And that’s why I’m launching the Spread the Love project. It’s essentially a giant THANK YOU to everyone that has been a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a reliable, caring, kind friend in a time when everything felt so dark.

The Spread The Love Project

So THANK YOU. Thank you for being here. For showing up. For reading this. For being who you are. For everything and anything you’ve ever done to support someone in a time of need. You are amazing. And the world needs more of you.

Here are some helpful links for more info on my story, this Spread the Love project, the adoption fundraiser, and my shop link, which has lots of fun smelling goodies to give yourself a little love in return!

And don’t forget to check back here, every week, to see how close we’re coming to our goal!

Be that light, friend. Shine bright.

xoxo,

Julie

StL-Moments #0: Introduction to Spread the Love Moments

I had this dream MONTHS ago to do something big. To dare to have a bigger presence in the world. And, while it took some time for the idea to come to fruition, it took even longer for me to get the guts to start this thing.

Then something happened. Well, a few things happened. A series of conversations with different people from across my life all culminated with me referencing this idea that I had, but couldn’t quite describe. And the more I mentioned it, the more it seemed to come to realization.

And suddenly, on a random Monday morning, for no reason at all, inspiration struck and I started this thing.

And I’m truly, truly joyful to share it with you now.

So here it is: Spread the Love Moments.

 

Spread the Love Moments

StL-Moments are meant to be a little boost for your week. An extra bit of goodness, of self-reflection, of care and kindness to kick off your day.

Inspired by the Monday morning yoga class that I teach each week at 5:45am, these videos are meant to give you an opportunity to take it all in, reflect, and start the day with a smile.

They are also meant to get right at the core of who you are. Of what you’re feeling. And of how you can work with that beginning body, as I call it, that beginning self, notice and know it, and work with what you have for the rest of the day, week, and month.

Because we’re always a little different. Because we’re never quite perfect. And because knowing who we are, working with what we are, and loving that process, is truly a practice you can dedicate a lifetime to.

So notice. Listen. Hear. See.

Let’s do this thing. And see where it takes us.

 

Find the JOY. Be the LIGHT.

xoxo,

julie

 

Be the Light

Welcome. I’m so happy you’re here! Let me tell you a little bit about who I am and what this site is all about.

My name is Julie. I’m a yoga teacher, blogger, and mama to two and a half awesome kids. I love memory keeping, photography, and sharing stories. I make pretty things. And I’m passionate about helping people connect with the deeper part of themselves. That inner voice. Intuition. The part of us that comes through when we most need it.

Here, you’ll find everything from yoga flows, videos, and meditations – to ways in which I live, eat, and purchase with a broader perspective – to stories, inspiration, and joy. For a good life. A life well lived. With joy in our hearts and enough support to weather the sunniest and stormiest days.

There are moments in life where it all feels impossible. Too much. An incredible burden. My hope is that this site is a place where you can recharge. Recollect. And feel a little more whole and ready for whatever comes your way.

You can read more about my story here. Get inspired here. And check out my shop filled with lovely goodies to help you reconnect, recharge, and add a little more joy to your day.

Let’s get started.

xoxo, julie.

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