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The FEBRUARY 2016 | Series No. 2, Issue No. 3

fun

Celebrate Your Sweet Spot with Desha Peacock ALSO

Talk to Yourself

Get Cozy

Love the World

Issue


I N THI S I S S U E

Create

fun

by Celebrating Love

realize

Discover tips & techniques for loving yourself: having self-conversations & establishing rituals; treating yourself to goodies and T H I S M O N T H ’ S COV E R : wearing the clothes you love; CELEBRATING CREATE the life, home, and winter weather, business you’ve always wanted natural skin, to have–that you’re meant to good books and have–your Sweet Spot. Featuring a fizzy cocktail. Lifestylist Desha Peacock, Feast on love! of Sweet Spot Style.

dwell

Curate FUN and function in your home by restyling your nightstand; rearranging a room or two; and rethinking intimacy, in the master bedroom or elsewhere.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

live

Awaken to the infinite possibilities of LOVE by befriending your body; showing up in your relationships; and sharing love with the world.


T H E P E RP E TUAL YOU VI S I ON

The Perpetual You is a movement in which women are encouraged to love and share who they already are. We believe in choosing, embracing, celebrating, and unleashing the best parts of ourselves-the parts that never change-our Perpetual Selves.

Welcome. T H E P E RP E TUAL YOU TE AM

LaKay Cornell

Lee Lee Thompson

Jessie Leiber

Co-founder & Editor of all things people-related

Co-Founder & Editor of all things words-related

Editor of all things design-related

LaKay is a true believer in consciously orchestrating your life. She is a lover of people, networking, champagne, the world of self-actualization and social media. She can frequently be found enjoying craft beer and introducing friends to things they didn’t know they needed. See what she's up to at lakaycornell.com.

The lee lee is a mother by choice, writer by trade, and designer by heart. She loves shopping, drinking, redecorating, and traveling. She keeps busy trying to do all of this while remaining true to her thrifty roots. Her online personalities include @leeleeinp and @boyswholovepink.

Jessie is a multi-disciplinary designer & art director striving to make her world more pixel perfect. When not staring at computer screens, she can be found singing (loudly) in her car or compulsively buying striped shirts. You can stalk her on Instagram @jessieleiber or see work with her at createlittlelegends.com.

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T H E P E RP E TUAL YOU MAKE RS

The Perpetual You wouldn't be possible without the help of our amazing team of volunteers. We would love to take this opportunity to introduce them to you.

Walker Sisters

Sarah A.

Photography

Photography

Photography

Sarah Annay is a full-time photographer, storyteller and globe-trotter. When she’s not taking photographs she’s teaching, blogging, relaxing by the waves in St. Augustine, introducing herself to the newest craft beers and camping in Vermont. Sarah’s newest project is teaching photography workshops for women in Kolkata, India. See more of her photography on her website or @sarahannayphotography.

Deborahhannah Neele has been traveling the globe since birth. As a result of growing up internationally and move countries every two years, wanderng has become her norm. She picked up photography out of gratitude for her crazy life. She lives in the Midwest, but since her bags are always packed, she may be across the ocean by next week. You can follow her on Instagram: @debneele.

Amy and Kay Walker traverse New England and beyond chasing sunsets, circling crowded dance floors, capturing tears and laughter, all in the pursuit of preserving stories of love, friendship, and family. You'll find a camera around Kay's neck, a paintbrush in Amy's hand, and joy on both their faces as they do what they love best. See some of their work online and connect with them at @walkerstudiosllc.

Jennifer Photography Jennifer Wenzel is a wedding and lifestyle photographer in the nation's oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida. She never leaves the house without her camera, because beauty is all around waiting to be found! You can connect with her on Instagram @jenwenzelphoto or hop over to her website.

Deb

The Perpetual You is a place where creatives and coaches can come together to showcase their work and be part of a movement designed to shake up the world. Interested in adding your talents to the mix? Email hello@theperpetualyou.com.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Kirsten Graphic Design Kirsten Eike is a creative entrepreneur with a love for food, photography, and design. When she's not curling hair for her bridal clients, she spends time dabbling in hand lettering, food photography, and yoga. She is a true homebody and enjoys relaxing with a glass of wine and a good movie. You can peruse her lifestyle photos on Instagram or her beautiful hair styles @kirstenmariedesignllc.

Maya Photography

Frances

Maya, of MOJALVO, is a cinematographer and photographer, capturing moments in hopes of telling rich stories of the world around her. Most days you can find her behind the camera lens, but she also enjoys snuggling with a big mug of coffee, baking something paleo, or exploring the northeast. See her work at mojalvo.com or on IG @mojalvo.

Photography

Photography

Born and raised in Chicago, Frances Iacuzzi began her photography career when she moved to Los Angeles in 2009. Previously, she dedicated her life to soccer, and played Division I soccer at Colgate University in upstate New York. She now runs her own photography business with a focus on weddings, portraits, and special events. She is known for capturing her subjects' honesty, inner (as well as outer) beauty, and joy! For more info, visit her website.

Jazell's Artistry inspires creative entrepreneurs to strengthen their brand by finding power and beauty on and off camera. You can find more of her work at JazellesArtistry.com or on Instagram and Twitter as @JazelleArtistry.

Jazelle

Desha Sarah S.

Video

Krystal

Editing & Proofreading

Video

Sarah Sandidge can often be found reading a book. When she’s not reading for fun, she’s reading for work as a freelance editor, which is also fun. Her love for language, cultures and sociology makes people fascinating to her even though she’s a bit of an introvert, albeit a chatty one. When she isn’t glued to a written sentence, she is spending time with her family—mostly taking care of her two beautiful children— somewhere in the heart of Missouri. See how cute they are on Instagram @LulainLondon.

Desha Peacock is an Author, Retreat Leader & LifeSTYLE Design Coach. She’s helped hundreds of people find their “Sweet Spot,” a self-defined place of success & beauty. Her first book Create the Style you Crave on a Budget you can Afford, was listed in the Huff post as “the book to give your girlfriend” & sold out in less than 20 days. She’s been quoted in the Huffington Post, Yahoo News.com, Career Rookie, US News Money & has made radio & TV appearances across the nation. Get your free Sweet Spot Style Life + Biz Guide or join her on retreat.

Krystal Brandt, Authenticity Coach, is a soulful, sensual siren who lovingly and powerfully guides highachieving women back to their innermost desires by reintroducing them to their own intuitive whispers of wisdom. She brings a provocative, feminine and powerful edge to creating deeply connective experiences where vulnerability is invited, divisive walls come down and your truest self comes out to play.

P.K. Editing & Proofreading Our resident proofreader, P.K. McGill can typically be found on her back patio—enjoying a cocktail, talking with friends, yelling at her puppies, cavorting with her husband—or all of the above. Her better-known alias is Nani: she has four amazing, smart, & talented grandchildren, who all take after her. Connect with her on Facebook.

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WE L COME

“The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

- Carrie Bradshaw

Celebrate being in love by listening to our Spotify mix.

I

am probably one of the most romantic people I know. Much like Mindy in The Mindy Project, I have seen every single romantic comedy/dramedy that ever was, and many of them more than once. Some of my greatest days as a mother were sharing Dirty Dancing, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Love Actually with my own daughter just as my mom shared The Way We Were, Gone with the Wind, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s with me. In fact, I am SO in love with romance as it is presented in Hollywood, that my favorite part of almost all of my relationships has been the part where we were falling in love. Is there anything more romantic than that moment when you realize what “your song” is going to be or you see beauty in someone who hasn’t fixed their hair or brushed their teeth yet? Imagine having that feeling for yourself. Can you remember the moment you first thought of yourself as beautiful? Just as our hearts skip a beat when we look at our lovers and imagine the next 25 years of our lives, imagine looking at yourself in the mirror and dreaming of the whole life you have ahead of you and all the amazing things that you will do.

Join the Movement.

Those of us who are proponents of the cheesiness that is Valentine’s Day will tell you that Hallmark created or not, it is wonderful to have a day set aside to celebrate love, even better if it is a day that calls for romantic gift giving. I have spent every Valentine’s Day since birth with the same person, myself. And still, I have never taken the chance to celebrate this person. This year feels like the perfect year to start because I am smack in the middle of falling in love with myself! This year, let’s buy ourselves romantic gifts, take long relaxing baths in bathtubs full of rose petals, dance sexy to our favorite music, find the perfect Valentine’s Day card and send it to yourself, and of course, pour yourself a glass of Prosecco and toast to the awesomeness that is you.


realize to align your daily practices with your

ever-evolving desires


7-Day Challenge Our Self-Talk Challenge starts on Monday, February 15th. Join our Facebook group The Perpetual You Society for details!

Cultivate a

Language of

Love

with Yourself T HE PERPETUA L YOU


REALIZE

There was never another love I needed more than my own. — Lauren Eden

Language. Speech. Communication. These are some of the most precious gifts we have as human beings.

T

hink for a moment. Who is the person in your life that you communicate with the most? Is it your spouse, child, parent, sibling, or best friend? The answer is simple: you! Each and every day you have more conversations with yourself than anyone else. All day, every day, you are creating a language with yourself, and this language has great impact on the way you feel, act, and interact. In my practice as a therapist, I spend my days in conversation with others. During these conversations I am privileged enough to bear witness to the inner language my clients have created with themselves. Despite being incredibly caring, empathetic, and loving towards those around them, many of my clients are often critical, unloving, and unable to empathize towards their self. How about you? Are you in the habit of tending to the inner language you have created? What are the conversations you have with yourself like? Some of us are positive, enthusiastic coaches; more of us have an inner monologue filled with criticism and the

repetitive “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s.” Becoming aware of your natural style of self-talk is the first step to cultivating loving conversations with yourself. Some of my self-conversations are more positive and loving than others. There are certain moments in my day in which affirming self-talk comes easily and freely. At other times, cultivating a language of love toward myself is more challenging. I find that these moments occur when I am less in the present moment. If I am struggling to be consciously aware of my thoughts in the first place, controlling their tone is next to impossible. For example, I have strong self confidence in my abilities as a helping professional. I am often able to identify my strengths during my work day and find my inner dialogue to be positive; in this regard, I am my greatest cheerleader. Whereas, in other aspects of my life, I can become my biggest critic. In the winter

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months, when I spend less time outdoors, I’m less physically active. Engaging less frequently in physical activity combined with being inside more often creates the perfect breeding ground for negative self-talk. During this time of year, I have learned to make a more conscious effort to be gentle toward myself. Thoughts are powerful: here is a simple, cognitive equation to keep in mind; thoughts impact feelings and emotions. Feelings and emotions impact actions. It is important to think about the language we choose to use towards ourselves in our own thoughts. Our language has the power to shape our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions. When we speak to ourselves in a kind and loving way, we increase our capacity for self-love, which impacts how we interact and operate in the world. If we can begin from a place of self-love, we will become equipped at asking others for what we deserve. We deserve love and kindness, but in order to be able to fully receive this from others, we must start by giving this first to ourselves. Cultivate a language of love with yourself and celebrate the lightness, joy, and ease you will experience as a result.

Katie Lynch is a wannabe Buddhist, mindful psychotherapist, newbie wife, avid baker, and blissfully recovering perfectionist. She really believes that there isn’t any problem a hot cup of tea and a nice long nap can’t solve.

Start Today You can create a language of love with yourself by:

Observing. Take a moment right now to observe: what was the last thing you thought to yourself? Was it positive and loving? Throughout the day, notice what the conversations you have with yourself are like. Become aware of your natural self-conversation style; is it positive or negative? cheerful or doubtful? encouraging or disparaging? 

Recording. External surroundings affect our internal thoughts & feelings. Under what circumstances do you find it easy to speak kindly and gently to yourself? When is it more challenging? Pick a certain time during three consecutive days to record a thought you are having, and the circumstance in which the thought took place. Write (or type) these down in a journal.

Manifesting. Choose an upcoming day in which you will set an intention to be mindful of the way you speak to yourself throughout the day. Pick a mantra for the day that encourages self-love such as I am doing the best I can or I͞ am enough for everyone and everything. Practice saying this to yourself throughout the day, especially in those challenging situations where negative self-talk is likely.

Choosing. Select a day this month in which you will deliberately speak in caring, positive ways to yourself. Set a reminder in your calendar, and possibly throughout the day, to help you reach this goal. If negative thoughts occur (and they likely will!), filter them out by replacing them with a loving thought or positive mantra instead.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Find a Good Book Looking for something to read? Keep your list up to date by following us on Pinterest!

Every Good Heroine

loves

Herself First

Girl Waits with Gun

Make Every Man Want You

The Optimists Daughter

by Amy Stewart, Pub 2015

by Marie Forleo, Pub 2008

by Eudora Welty, Pub 1972

In 1914, three unmarried sisters are out for a day in the city when their buggy collides with, and is destroyed by, an oncoming automobile. The rogue owner– silk textile owner by day; possible thug by night–refuses to pay for the repairs. When the eldest sister, Constance, insists on being compensated, the cloistered young women become entangled with a disreputable gang. This brush up against danger brings out the best in Constance, who at 35, has yet to come into her own. Leaving her quiet country life in order to bring her nemesis to justice, Constance turns her love for her sisters and other voiceless victims into mad capped, at times hilarious, action. Doing so, she steps into herself, allowing us to witness a woman finding autonomy even while loving others fully.

How to Make Every Man Want you.... Hint: it begins with desperately wanting yourself. Small business and marketing maven, Marie Forleo does a kick-butt job of defining true confidence and helping us to cultivate it, for keeps. She poses a festering question: “What will you invest in, your insecurity or your irresistibility?” A crazy fun read, this book takes self-care up a gigantic step. If you are not already aware of the magnitude of self-love, be prepared to leap into your own happiness and fall madly in love with your entire life. Marie strips away all the pretense, and releases you–beautiful, irresistible you into the fun of loving and being loved.

Middle-aged and recently widowed, Laurel Hand returns to her hometown of New Orleans to deal with the aftermath of her prominent father’s death. Of no help is her step mother–a younger woman, who is selfish and conniving but fairly dumb. Laurel has built a life for herself in Chicago, a place she feels at home; but now, while grieving several losses, she must re-engage with the beautiful memories that reside in her childhood home. Amongst swirling conflict, and a tight-knit community of well-meaning neighbours, Laurel must find a truer definition of love and acceptance than the one that has controlled her thus far. In the end, both she and the reader are left with the closure that only comes from truly moving on.

Radically committed to magical mornings - Micayla is a wordsmith, entrepreneur, and mindset enthusiast living out a decidedly different post-secondary path while eating wholesome plants, drinking black coffee, hyper-organizing her days, and staying up too late working on poems. Lots more online and tweeting cheer from @Micayla_Vranic. T H E F UN I S S U E

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REALIZE

Throw a

Love Feast May We Suggest… If you prefer serving your love up the old-fashioned way, visit any of the links below to find recipes & methods similar to the ones featured here. • Rotisserie Chicken with Dark Chocolate Chili Sauce • White Bean Soup with Truffle Oil • Roasted Vegetables with Candied Nuts and Brown Sugar Butter • Honey Biscuits with Berry Compote

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Keep up to date with our recipe suggestions— past and present—by following us on Pinterest!

Celebrate your romantic, creative side by throwing a Valentine’s Day gala. Whether you invite your intimate family members, couples you never get to spend time with, or your whole tribe, this fun meal will tempt everyone to feast away.

A

divinely roasted chicken, drizzled with a dark chocolate chili sauce, offers a rich combination of flavors perfect for a special meal, complemented by a white bean soup with truffle oil and the vegetable of your choice, roasted with candied nuts and brown sugar butter. If that weren’t enough, we’ve topped off this feast with a sweet & savory finish: crumbly biscuits covered in homemade berry compote. To keep from making it into a time-consuming labor of love, consider purchasing some items pre-made: rotisserie chickens can be found in the readymade section of almost any market; pureed soup or roasted vegetables can be obtained from your local grocer; and local jelly or candied nuts from the winter farmer’s market are as yummy to talk about as they are to taste. Even biscuits can be ordered ahead of time! Whatever method of preparation you decide on, make sure you’re cooking/ordering enough for seconds. The dishes in this feast are meant to be devoured!

Whisk + Brush is a food blog & small-scale catering service with a side of craftiness. Our mission is to inspire you to cook, create, & live with passion.

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Order Your Kit Get 10% off when you order your next cocktail kit from Crafted Taste .

*

CRAF TE D COC KTAI L

Kat Rudburg, founder of Crafted Taste, tells why you’ll love their super fun Cherry Almond Fizz cocktail kit.

Use coupon code PerpetualCraftedLOVE0116 for 10% off your order from Crafted Taste.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Champagne often finds a way into our most beloved moments: a heartfelt toast to the newlyweds; clinking glasses at an anniversary; a tray full of coupe glasses waiting for the New Year or another celebration. When we want to feel special, be surrounded by love, or just have some good old-fashioned fun, we top it off with bubbly. The Cherry Almond Fizz begs you to take your relationship with champagne to the next level: the champagne cocktail. Infusing cherries and squeezing lemons might take a little more work than simply popping a cork, but the effervescent, easyto-drink Cherry Almond Fizz is so delicious you won’t mind. February offers plenty of excuses to throw a party–solidify your love for champagne and tempt your guests with this fizzy and fun cocktail.


Love

the Winter

You're In

This month, celebrate whatever winter weather you get! Whether your streets are covered in snow or you're still hanging out on the back patio in flip-flops, winter is the time we're less likely to get out there and move. Combat nature's compelling hibernation invitation by bundling up (if necessary!) and reclaiming those fun activities you loved as a child. T H E E A S E IS S U E

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Keep up to date with all of our carefully curated products by following us on Pinterest!

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5 3

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T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Treat Yourself to a Basket of

love

In place of wondering whether flowers will show up at your door this V-Day (or any other day!), shower yourself with love. This month’s traditionally romantic products–perfume, flowers, lingerie, chocolate–are just the goodies you need. Please: Don’t wait on someone else to purchase these for you. Double your pleasure and be both giver & receiver! You’re a lovely woman, and you deserve a treat.

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“Mojave”͟ Flower Bouquet ($50-80, Bouqs)

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Crazy Sexy Love Notes ($15, Kris Carr)

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Bourbon Women Chocolate Truffle Collection ($10), Art Eatables)

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Healing Red Rutilated Quartz Pendulum Necklace ($38, Kate Stephen Jewelry)

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͞Royal Apothic Conservatory Eau De Parfum (English Rose) ($55, Anthropologie)

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Ashley Graham Lacy Babydoll in Petrol ($99, Navabi)

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REALIZE

Bountiful Self- Love There are so many people to love: partners, friends, children, parents. While it's life-affirming to nurture the affection of others, we can only do so if we also cultivate love for ourselves. Why not treat ourselves to the bounty of love we so readily offer others?

W

hen you adventure into the unknown parts of your soul, you will realize that loving yourself is just as meaningful as loving others. To be the love of your own life—a soul mate for the self—pamper those parts of yourself that you usually neglect. Loving yourself is an inner exploration. Start by cultivating your hearts' desires. Create romance with yourself by setting aside expectations and courting desired emotions. Spend some time alone; meditate on what you want. What makes your heart happy? Where does the mind wander? That's where self-love resides. Whether it be long walks on the beach, bouquets of flowers and candlelit dinners, or boldly pursuing a new life purpose, celebrations of love do not require attachment to others. We can show ourselves grand gestures. We can gift ourselves intentional acts of understanding. Being adventurous with expressions of love toward other people is fun and beautiful, but celebrating love of self is even more empowering, even more fantastic.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Don't deny yourself an amazing adventure because it might only be a party for one. During the journey of self-discovery, the effects of personal recognition and adoration transcend the solitary. Loving yourself will imprint on everyone you encounter. And what better way to enjoy our own love than to have it reflected back upon us?

Summer is always enjoying the journey and making the most of the everyday moments. She is the wearer of many colorful hats; a yogi, mom, wife, writer and marketing & education coordinator in the Florida Keys. She is also the lover of really great red wine. You can follow her island life adventures on facebook, and instagram @airabess or #findingmywaylivingthisdream.


“It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” — Mary Dunbar

Try This at Home Proclaim love for yourself! • Take yourself out. Dream up the best, possible date experience and make it happen. The restaurant you've been dying to try, or the amazing meal you've been wanting to cook. Or maybe...a good wine and a good book is all you need to feel loved! • Buy yourself something. Every week, treat yourself to a gift, whether a bouquet of fresh flowers or a visit to the spa. Recognize this aesthetically pleasing token as a present celebration of your self-love. • Pamper yourself. That 'dream' ring you want? Bring it home! Instead of an hour massage, take a weekend retreat. Make a grand gesture because you love yourself that much.

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REALIZE

Love your

Natural Beauty

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.� - Coco Chanel

T

here is a time and place for putting on a full face of makeup but who wouldn't choose the au naturel look if they thought they could get away with it? I'm here to tell you that you can. Makeup is meant to enhance your natural beauty, not mask it. When you use makeup to play up specific features or just to feel polished, you will feel more beautiful and confident.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Using eyeshadow colors that complement my eyes means I can apply a lighter coat. It only takes a sheer layer of tinted moisturizer to brighten my complexion and make me feel ready to face the day. A light application of blush before powder, lightly near my hairline, helps me achieve a natural glow with staying power. To look well-rested, I simply swipe a pearlcolored eye shadow just under my eyebrow and in the inside corner of my eye.


BeYOUtiful…

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The following tips will allow you to amplify what you love about yourself.

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Renew Yourself. Natural doesn't mean dirty! Cleanse, moisturize, and follow with a lightweight primer, perhaps a face oil, to keep your skin glowing naturally. Use a lightweight foundation or tinted moisturizer with skin care benefits to even out tone and create a dewy finish. Leigh recommends… Beautycounter's Dew Skin – The peony flower root extract hyaluronic acid in this tinted moisturizer promote bright and smooth skin.

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Reflect Yourself. Whatever your favorite feature, you can play it up with minimal makeup and total ease. Make your blue eyes pop with bronze shadow or make your green eyes glow with a plum eyeliner. Use a cream blush and highlighter right on the apple of your cheeks to make your cheek bones pop.

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Leigh recommends… Pacifica Radiant Shimmer Coconut Multiples – The mineral formula of this highlighting cream creates a naturallooking glow.

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Relish Yourself. A bold eyeliner or bright red lip is a fun way to exude confidence. Feature one aspect to keep from feeling overdone or unnatural. For example, navy eyeliner with a nude lip, champagne eye shadow with a bold red lip, or a natural bronze glow with subtle eyes and lips. Leigh recommends… Bite's Luminous Crème Lipstick in Pomegranate - This bold offers attitude without any of the usual toxins.

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Too many influences say: Change; Mold yourself into this arbitrary attractiveness; Be just like her... Society wants us to “cover up” our natural beauty, which does nothing to aid our self worth. Rather than covering perceived “flaws,” start a beauty routine that enhances the facial features you love and are proud to flaunt.

Leigh Schwab is a mother of twins who uses her love for skin care to help educate women about the ingredients in their products and the need for proper skin care legislation in our country. You can learn more about Leigh’s passion for a healthy and simple life on Facebook and Instagram.

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REALIZE

This month’s Self-Care Toolkit

Create a

Love Ritual

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Red Clover Lavender Selenite Kuan Yin


Self-care is love; love is self-care. To begin walking down the path of self-love, turn daily acts of self-care into rituals. Pursue mindfulness in the smallest of moments, taking time to love the parts of your life that you usually breeze through. Whether it’s a walk in the garden or drawing yourself a bath... the more care you put into each action, the more special you will feel.

H E RB

ESSE N TI AL O IL

CRYSTAL

GO D D ESS

Red Clover

Lavender

Selenite

Kuan Yin

B E N E F I TS

BE N E FI TS

BENEFITS

BENE FITS

Heals respiratory issues and nourishes with minerals

Relieves stress and soothes the mind

Cleanses negative energy

Promotes compassion and gentleness

R

ed Clover is a beautiful flower found most often in the Northeast. A tonic herb, known for cancer-prevention, red clover can be consumed daily. This nourishing, delicious herb aids the respiratory system. Add 4 tablespoons to a mason jar, cover with boiling water and let steep covered for 5 hours or so. After steeping, warm on the stove or enjoy over ice.

The eastern goddess Kuan Yin says: “Release judgments about yourself and others, and focus on the love and light that is within everyone.” With gentleness in your heart, you can then begin to spread love to all the people in your life. Meditate on Kuan Yin to guide you when you’re struggling with hate, unforgiveness, and negative thoughts. Keep this ritual sacred by reserving a special, private place in which to reflect on your life.

The ultimate self-care oil, Lavender is great for healing. If you are new to oils, start with Lavender, which eases and relaxes you. For peaceful nights, spray a lavender mist on your pillow and sheets. Take a few minutes each day to apply lavender to areas of your body that need a few drops of extra love.

Use this month of love to create rituals that help you be mindful about the magic of each moment. Love can come out of any situation. Loving yourself fully means you can love others fully, too!

Selenite is a soft mineral that quickly opens your upper chakras, making this a great stone to meditate with. Selenite works wonders at clearing out negative energy from the body. Keep this stone around your house to clear the energy; meditate with it for purity, strength, forgiveness, and to make room for love in your life.

Ashley Dees frolics around Saint Augustine Florida, picking herbs, finding herbal remedies, and playing with aromatherapy, tarot cards and crystals. Learn more about her, and how she teaches and gathers goddesses together at her website  greenharmonyaromatherapy.com.

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REALIZE

Love Getting

Dressed Again

Have you given up on looking good day to day? Is getting dressed at the bottom of your priorities? What would happen if you celebrated your unique sense of style, got dressed for yourself, and wore clothes you love every single day?

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our years ago, I decided that wearing clothing I loved was pointless; my wardrobe would just get ruined by my children. Most days, I wouldn't even see other adults. Why put in the effort to dress stylishly when time and energy were so limited? With this mindset I succumbed to being “frumpy mom.” Jeans and t-shirt, with a sweater on top; ponytail, and no makeup. I put all my energy into the children; they deserved my attention.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

While there's nothing wrong with dressing casually or feeling comfortable, the mindset of believing we aren't worthy to take care of ourselves takes a toll on our self-estimation. We can rationalize the situation (I'm a mom—all I do is cuddle anyway), but not liking what we are wearing still leads to not liking who we are. Not getting dressed in a style I loved affected me negatively, so I committed to getting dressed—for myself—every day. The change was remarkable! I glanced in mirrors, and instead of cringing, loved what


Celebrate Your Style 1

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Classic + Colorful If you hopped on the yoga pant craze and never looked back, now is the time to make an investment in the look. The highest quality athletic wear will last from season to season, whereas less expensive versions found at big box stores tend to fade, pill, or stretch out. Invest in classic black to wear from season to season and supplement with this year's trends—a fun variety of colors and patterns more typical in nonathletic clothing.

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Cool + Comfortable Leggings and oversized sweaters are comfortable— and completely on trend. Try a heavyweight ponte legging, which are thicker and warmer than traditional ones. Bonus: they'll last longer! Keep it interesting by going for details like zippers, a tuxedo stripe, or piping. Balance out modern details with a fun bootie and fringe necklace.

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Cozy + Contemporary Some looks will never go out of style: jeans & a t-shirt; a black skirt & a button up; and winter's staple, no matter the year—the cable knit sweater. What does change, though, are the details. This year, look for subtle, monochrome patterns; marled texture; or faux leather trim. If you've always loved plaid, you're in luck! This fun classic is here to stay.

3 I saw. Unexpected knocks on the door, impromptu trips to the store, chatting with strangers...I did it all. I was me again, only better. Instead of thinking that getting dressed is just “one more thing on the to do list,” adjust your mindset: get dressed in something you love, because you love it. Your style doesn't have to be uber-trendy or ultra-fancy; comfy and cozy are just fine. As long as you are loving what you're wearing, you'll love who you are.

Alice Tegtmeier is a Personal Stylist and mother of three who uses personal style as one way of helping women live authentically. You can see more of her passion for personal style, coffee, and encouragement on Instagram and Periscope: @aliteg. T H E F UN IS S U E

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PE R SPE CTI V ES from THE P E RP E TUAL YOU S OC I E TY

How do you celebrate

By giving attention. The hardest and most important thing I can do for those I love is to give them my undivided attention. Phone calls to my friends, play time with my daughter, camping with my husband...I try to focus solely on them.

love ?

By giving away my troubles, literally asking love to

By sharing cute animal pictures with each other,

step in and guide me, and then relying on it to get me out of confusion and situations I can't seem to resolve “on my own.”

creating fun for my boyfriend and me.

Katerina (Clearwater, FL, USA)

Bri (Houston, TX, USA)

By seeing the love that surrounds me in my world —the love in the eyes of those close to me is my proof that I love myself. From there I create my world and all its miracles. Brenda (St. Catherines, Ontario, CAN)

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Brook (Southington, CT, USA)

By giving undivided attention. All that it takes to

By allowing myself a moment to sit back, relax, and appreciate it all. We

make someone realize you truly care about them is putting your phone on silent and taking the time to really hear what someone is saying.

make our lives so busy that it's easy to overlook all the love that's around us. Making myself slow down, be present, and enjoy the love that's around me has been my favorite way to celebrate it.

Charlene (Naperville, IL, USA)

Elaina (Cheshire, CT, USA)


By doing my best day in and day out to be love. I often ask myself what would the most loving, kind and generous Theresa do in the situation. Then I do whatever comes up. If I am being love, everything else falls into place. Theresa (Orlando, FL, USA)

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“Plant

your own

garden and decorate

your own soul. ” — Veronica A. Shoffstall

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dwell to align your physical space with your

ever-evolving self

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DW E L L

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Design

Love

The Infamous Nightstand

Ah, the nightstand! How we love to hate her so...

M

uch like a fickle lover, the nightstand is a piece of our lives that can look tantalizing until, after a few weeks, she betrays us by becoming unapproachable and convoluted. A need for control and a desire for comfort overtake our initial attraction and before we know it, we’re longing for a new nightstand—one that can magically combat our nonstop lifestyles. Before moving on, realize this: to dwell in the possibility of a clean nightstand you need only keep a small section of its surface free of life’s debris. Use the rest of the space to appeal to your senses: a vase of fresh flowers or scented candle on top; a unique mirror or piece of art behind; a noise machine (or purring cat) somewhere close by; and a stash of fair-trade chocolate hidden within. If, in the end, you still require an upgraded nightstand, remember how far we’ve come. You don’t have to have a pair; if you do, they don’t have to match each other. Celebrate these relaxed standards, and have fun on your hunt! There are no rules–painted or weathered; sleek or chunky; one shelf or two. You’re limited only by your tastes and budget. And propriety, which dictates that this infamous bedroom sidekick has at least one drawer. You know—for the chocolate...

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DW E L L

Falling in I was an odd college kid. While everyone else was out partying, I was at home cooking. My house was the go to place when people were hungry. Whenever my family asked me what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas, my list included things like dishes, knives or cookware. We spent our holidays going to antique stores where I could find treasures for my home.

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Love Again B

y the time I graduated from college and got a job, I was itching to create my own space, free from my former roommate's bad design decisions and 1970s furniture (I did love the gold velvet couch!). My boyfriend and I very slowly acquired furniture that was well designed and built to last, but met both of our design sensibilities. Settling on mid-century design with a few French Victorian pieces mixed in, we set up house. Once the furniture was in place, I found a beautiful rug and pillows for the couch, framed and hung my art, and even managed to put together some unique lighting, including a vintage dress form turned industrial light. Now and then I’d pick something up from my


travels or find a great piece of art, but everything else stayed the same. I thought I was done, but I was wrong. You get used to the state of your space. Ignoring the things that are broken or not quite clean. Not seeing what you pass every day. Then, one day, you decide to throw it all out and start again, even though you don’t really know why. Changing everything isn’t just expensive; it’s unnecessary. If there is a room you avoid, the answer isn’t starting over; it’s intentional attention (say that ten times really fast!). Try rearranging the furniture, or swapping out the art from one room to another. Even small changes will draw you in to enjoy your creative handiwork. Recently, I swapped my living room and dining room, and when I did so, I was able to move a piece of furniture against a wall instead of having it against the window it used to block. The payoff? I’ve started using the dining room more, enjoying my window sill full of plants. If moving entire rooms feels labor intensive, focus on one room and redecorate it with the unused things around your house—an antique vase put away in a

cabinet, a drawer of family photos, a fur-covered pouf you had to have but have no idea what to do with. Unlike going out shopping for new furniture or accessories, using what you already have at home is a low-stress way to have fun and play around with decorating your home.

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dwell

on this

Ways To Re-Love Your Rooms 1

Open Your Eyes. Pick a corner you don’t normally sit in and hang out for a while. Look at the room with fresh eyes. Make a list of things you don't “love.” If they don't have a specific function in the room, where else could you put them? If they're broken or in disrepair, feel free to tell them good-bye!

2

Move It and Groove It. The most common furniture placement is up against the wall, which isn’t always the most interesting option. Try flipping the room around or angling the furniture. Who says the couch has to face the fireplace anyway?

3

I find a new/old favorite and relive the memories associated with it as I decide where its next home will be. Moving things around gives me a fresh perspective, which makes me fall in love with my home all over again. Trust me, that rarely sat on pouf will get used more often in a place it can be use more. Mine recently became a seat for my bathroom vanity.

Kandy Christenson is a creator, maker, dreamer, photographer, traveler and Certified Interior Decorator. She believes design should be sustainable and transformative. Each space she designs is unique because she uses upcycled, handmade, vintage and local materials. She can be found trying out new ideas at meanderingdesign.com.

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Land with Purpose. Has your dining room table become a dumping ground for bags and mail? You need a landing zone. Move a chair next to the door you use most often and stash stuff there. You'll find yourself using that dining table a lot more when it’s clear!

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Repurpose and Reuse. When you're about to purchase something new for the home, look around for items that can fulfill the same purpose. A chipped bowl can hold potted plants, and jam jars make excellent candle holders. Bonus points if you reuse something you would have thrown away!

5

Play with It. Don’t worry about perfection. Do something unusual and bold—pillows on the floor; unmatched curtains; a “hall” table in the office... Your home: your rules.


“ The best thing to hold onto in life is

each other . ”

— Audrey Hepburn

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DW E L L

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Intimacy The New

How My House Improved My Relationships

“I am discovering that I can— and probably will—live with wall-to-wall toys, muddy floors, and cracker crumbs in my bed for the next ten years, because that's the milieu of happy kids, and happy kids create a noisy, messy serenity.” – Carroll Stoner

Perfect Privacy

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e’re all familiar with the “before” and “after” shots that splash across blogs and websites...the ugly room that desperately needed to be saved from its preserved seventies decor and now is light and bright, beautiful and perfectly curated. We gawk and ooh and aah, wishing we had the time, money and talent to create such a beautiful space in our own home. I’ve been one of those gawkers a hundred times over. I’ve also been on the other side with the beautifully finished home. After renovating our 1940s house over a two-year period a few years ago, we hired a professional photographer. The home was then featured on

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quite a few major blogs as well as in several home décor books, including Desha Peacock’s Create the Style You Crave on a Budget You Can Afford*. The publicity made us proud. We had worked really hard on that home, pouring our blood, sweat, lots of tears, and most importantly, time into that space. My husband did almost all of the work himself, so it was truly a labor of love. We moved into that house when my daughter was about 18 months old and I was pregnant with baby #2. My son was born in the room that would later become his. The very next day my husband was back to hammering and sawing. My son sat in my husband’s lap while he worked

Desha Peacock is this month's cover story superstar! Meet her on p. 48

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on electrical wiring. He crawled through piles of dirt, dust, and debris, sampling chunks of drywall more times than I care to admit. Our favorite room by far was the amazing upstairs bedroom suite, only for ADULTS. Not that the kids never came up, but it was rare. The master suite included our bathroom and a huge bedroom, with a living area big enough to house our TV and the comfy yellow velvet couch my husband and I snuggled up on, feeling relaxed and special. The space wasn't just beautifully decorated, it was free from the clutter—including toys—that little ones bring into the home. We also replaced our big, comfy king-size mattress with a more intimate queen so I could reach my arm out and actually find my husband. I found this gorgeous rococo headboard on Craigslist that

I repainted several times to get the color just right, and finished it off with an oversized painted red heart. I wanted the space to be romantic and private, worthy of all those other homes I’d been drooling over for years. To top it all off, we had a sliding door at the bottom of the stairs that locked and actually had the word “Private” on it. We'd found it when a local high school renovated and replaced their administrative doors. One of the features people commented on the most, the door was both really cool and symbolic. But yes—let me reiterate—we locked our two small children out at night. Did I love that space and the peace it brought to my chaotic days with babies and toddlers? Yes, without a doubt. The bedroom functioned as a much-needed haven, allowing me to regroup and remember who I was


as an individual. However, I'm not proud of physically locking out my children. Not because they suffered any psychological damage, but because I may have! Sure, we relied on two video monitors, one in each of their rooms. They noisily sat on my bedside table for two years. I could be down the stairs in a heartbeat at the first sign of any distress; however, the emotional chasm I often felt during those years was solidified by that thick, private door. I needed space and a reprieve, but I was shutting my children out of more than my master suite when I slid that bolt into place every night.

Lovely Chaos When we moved to another old house to start renovating all over again, everything changed. The kids were older (two and four), and I had fallen madly in love with each of them. Over the next year, I began to realize just how significant a part of our family the children were.

For example, it felt ludicrous that Valentine's Day—a “holiday of love”— should be spent in any other way than with my entire family. With the diaper/toddler phase behind us, Mothering didn't feel like a chore anymore, at least not all the time. I could really enjoy my children, and appreciate their amazing little personalities. Also, I realized that, since they made up half of the family, they were entitled to enjoy the spaces in our home as much as the adults. Trust me—I’m not really a “kids are entitled” kind of parent; I just want them to feel like they’re a significant part of the family instead of being shoved off in a corner where they should be seen and not heard. In our new house, there is no “sacred master suite” upstairs. Instead, three decently sized bedrooms are tied together by a landing and one bathroom we all share. The space isn't huge, but cozy fits our family right now. With this arrangement, our proximity

dictates our closeness, not just as a couple—as a family. We didn’t manufacture a new version of intimacy; we were forced into it. You want to hear the big surprise? I LOVE it! Ironically, we’ve got a door at the bottom of our stairs in this home too, a feature I used to think was unusual. The door locks just as our previous one did, but, this time, we’re all snuggled up in our little nest together every night. Our once private and perfect “adults only” space has now become a place the whole family congregates. In the evenings, before the kids go to bed, the most intimate, fun, and sincere times happen. Usually my husband takes them up to wrestle or do gymnastic tricks on our bed. We read, talk, pray, and become a family again after being scattered during the day. I used to think intimacy happened behind “private” closed doors with my

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To see what inspired our designs, check out our Dwell Board on Pinterest.

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husband. But 16 years of marriage, two kids, and five houses later, the meaning and practice of intimacy is completely different. We made the very deliberate decision to turn the queen mattress in for another king so the kids could easily wrestle, snuggle, and crawl into our bed in the middle of the night without too much disturbance. This proved to be no small affair; we actually had to tear a wall out around the door to the stairway to bring the mattress up.

For a while, the king mattress was on the floor, which meant the kids could be completely wild without any worry of them falling off and cracking their heads open. Alas, civilization won out and we purchased a cheap, temporary steel frame. It looks nice and “normal,” but I do worry quite a bit more when the kids are doing cartwheels a few feet off the ground! Instead of being consumed with décor decisions, I’ve concerned myself with how the setup is affecting our conversation and

playtime. The glaring overhead light—we call them “illegal lights” in my family—was vetoed in favor of a lamp by the bed and I found a weathered end table upon which it sits. The soft glow when we read books at night feels more peaceful, and—shall I say it again? More intimate. Despite their affordability, the end table and lamp suit my sensibilities. I take great pleasure in well worn pieces, peeling paint and all. The continued on next page

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little table has myriad hues of my favorite color— blue—and a shelf for the dozens of kids’ books that somehow migrate to our room. How I love seeing our books all mixed together on this little table! Part of the reason I haven't “decorated” is practical—the room isn't finished yet. Trim still needs to be installed and painted, and wallpaper under the paint has been partially torn off in places. Sometimes it’s annoying; other times, I feel like I’m living in an Anthropologie catalog, which is a good thing! Waiting, though, has given me the time to bring in pieces serendipitously. An antique chair that used to be in Lula's room matches perfectly with the ancient rug we found at a flea market in Prague on a trip to Europe for our 15year anniversary. The colors in these two items are muted versions of a quilt I bought on sale that I simply couldn’t live without, all of which perfectly matches the vintage coverlet currently covering our hideous (temporary) steel bedframe. I didn’t attempt to match any of these things, but somehow they all ended up with the same tones and color scheme: deep-seated orange and purple, with hints of reds and blues, and touches of neutrals.*

I admit the layout of our home dictated the level of intimacy our family now enjoys, but my heart was ready for the change.

Items in the room that are purposeful are the matching pillow covers that spell “LOVE,” another reminder of the most important element in our home. Similarly, our one-of-akind, 15-drawer dresser that Jay built out of a grandiose teak workbench I fell in love with many moons ago reminds me how blessed I am to have a husband who is able to create designs out of my dreams. Even if my tastes change, this is one piece that will always find a place in our home because it speaks of his love for and his desire to please me—a very practical reminder every time I get a pair of undies out of the drawer!

See how Sarah's mix of neutral and warm tones inspired this months' color palette on p.46 T HE PERPETUA L YOU


The other unique features of our room are the built-in closets and window seat—something I've long wished for. The odd layout of our upstairs meant that, for all practical purposes, there was no closet space in our master bedroom. Since the room is rather large, we were able to use up some floor space for beautifully customized built-in closets, also an example of my husband's handiwork. Speaking of window seats, one of my favorite recent memories is of the kids coming in early in the morning just as the sun was coming up. Jay and I were still groggy, so they moved to the window seat to give us a minute to wake up. I looked up to find them silhouetted there in that space, perfectly framed, whispering quietly. My sweet babies. I grabbed my phone, of course, and snapped away. I didn’t want to miss that precious moment.

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Unexpected Intimacy Intimacy is messy and rich. Messy as in toys right under my feet as I’m cooking, and blankets and sheets thrown all over the floor after the latest wrestling match. Rich as in late night conversations that reach the depths of my stoic daughter’s heart and super tight arms around my neck from my extra cuddly son. I admit the layout of our home dictated the level of intimacy our family now enjoys, but my heart was ready for the change. Being forced into a different situation caused my perspective to change too. Now we’re turning other unusual aspects of our home into opportunities to further the culture of love and intimacy in which we want to live.

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Since the layout and function of our home has a huge influence on our relationships with each other, we're learning to be purposeful in our design choices. We want our kids to know we’re accessible and available to them. Not only are all of our bedrooms shoved together in our current home, we have gone one step further—a big step for us! Our bedroom door stands wide open throughout the night and the kids are welcome to roam in and out as needed. And, almost every night, they do. “I had a bad dream”, “I can’t find my bunny,” “I need more water,” “I wet the bed,” “You didn’t kiss me good night”... Believe me, intimacy has

its frustrations too. I frequently tell my husband that our kids are trying to slowly kill us through sleep deprivation. (I may or may not have moved my stuff out of the “family” bathroom due to feeling a bit too cramped.) But we haven’t once considered going back to the “perfection” privacy afforded us. When I can hear all the movements that take place during the night, I feel like I’m doing my job well. More importantly my heart is full of love and a kind of intimacy that I didn’t know existed. My son calls out in his sleep, and I go in to rub his back and straighten his blanket. When I find my daughter, who sleeps like a rock, in a sweat, I pull the covers back just a little.


Ways to Create Intimacy in Your Home 1

Create Cozy Use rugs, pillows, throws and soft lighting to create peaceful places that are comfortable and cozy. Tuck a colorful, exotic blanket onto your couch to instantly add inviting, casual comfort. Can’t afford anything new? Try moving things around to the most important spaces.

2

Create Conversation Look for "nooks" or unused spaces in your home to set up additional conversation areas. Arrange comfortable furniture so that chairs or sofas face each other, and have large floor pillows or other low-to-the-ground options available for young ones.

3 How could I have missed these peaceful, sweet moments for the first few years of their lives? Regret would make me sad and I know the only reason to look back is to double-check that my now is working. At a time in my life when I felt like if someone else touched me just one more time I might scream and never stop, I needed that “Private” door. Now, I cherish the moments when my son burrows under the covers from the bottom of the bed and snuggles right against me, face pressed to mine. That sweet, soft skin and stinky boy feet make me smile, feel at peace, feel complete. Now when I reach out my arm, I might find my husband, or a random children's book. Or, I just might find a small person seeking comfort. To me, that is intimacy.

Sarah Sandidge can often be found reading a book. When she’s not reading for fun, she’s reading for work as a freelance editor, which is also fun. Her love for language, cultures and sociology makes people fascinating to her even though she’s a bit of an introvert, albeit a chatty one. When she isn’t glued to a written sentence, she is spending time with her family, mostly taking care of her two beautiful children somewhere in the heart of Missouri. See how cute they are on Instagram @LulainLondon.

Curate Calm Clean and organized spaces are more conducive to conversations; though if you have small children, they may want to bring a favorite animal or toy to the conversation nooks! Aim to have at least one technology-free conversation nook for an opportunity to truly connect.

4

Curate Comfort Be aware of varying moods and personalities before delving into a serious or intimate conversation. Some family members are night owls while certain friends only open up after the first cup of coffee. Respect boundaries, and take advantage of your observations.

5

Curate Community Intimacy comes from trust, honesty, and togetherness. Encourage the entire family to clean up, when needed. Stack freshly laundered towels as a team. The bonds you make during these routine tasks will heighten the chance for meaningful conversation when the work is done!

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Darling Clementine corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2169-20

Our Beloved Queen corresponds to Benjamin Moore CW-625

Mama Fox corresponds to Benjamin Moore 1314

C E L E BRATE WARM & COZ Y

Lady Aubergine corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2070-20

Our February color palette celebrates all that we love about winter: comfort food, cozy nights by the fire, and cloistered fun. Fill up even the largest of rooms with these warm, saturated colors. You might not need that fireplace after all! Other suggested pairings:

Darling Clementine & Lady Aubergine. Purple and orange

Winterlover corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2108-60

have a longstanding love affair. Use these colors for a sensual powder room or a daring playroom.

Our Beloved Queen, Lady Aubergine, and Winterlover. Mix these shades of blue, purple, and beige to engineer a soothing, yet rejuvenating, master bedroom.

Mama Fox, Winterlover, and Our Beloved Queen. This fun spin on the classic red, white, and blue palette will turn your front porch into an inviting bohemian-chic gathering space.

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Color Inspiration Click here for a closer look at the February color inspiration board.


celebrate to align your life story with your ever-evolving love

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This article is based on an interview with Desha in December 2015, as well as information from her book, Create the Style You Crave on a Budget You Can Afford and her website.

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Find Your Sweet Spot

Yourself by Finding

with Desha Peacock

Spend a few moments with Desha Peacock and you’ll be certain of one thing: she loves herself fully and wildly, without apologies or qualifications.

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eing with her is mesmerizing; just knowing that a woman who looks and functions just like the rest of us can be so in love with herself is awe-inspiring. Desha (pronounced DA-SHAY) is an ultra-curious and multi-passionate Master Manifester; but she’s also a mortal, just like you and me. What makes Desha different is that she has spent the last three years cultivating her “sweet spot”—in her business, her home, and her life. Through trial and error and a fierce amount of self-love, she has figured out the actions and intentions that will get a woman what she wants in all areas of her life. Through her stories and

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experiences, she relates how to clarify our dreams and desires, communicate our needs and wishes, and celebrate both our life stage and our selves. In the making of her brand, Desha has spent a considerable amount of time pursuing gratitude. “You don’t sit around and think about all the things that are naturally good, unless you make a conscious effort,” says Desha. “We forget about those things; we take them for granted. We have to consciously turn that around.” Gratitude, in turn, leads to love and acceptance, which are the keys to living sweetly. Desha is even grateful for the accident that started her on the path of freedom and abundance. After being in the hospital for a week after breaking her femur,

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she received insurance money that allowed her to stay home for a year after her daughter was born, which in turn gave her the time and energy to start the journey toward a life she had always wanted to live. After clarifying her dreams and desires, she knew she wanted to spend her life traveling with and being an inspiration to other women.

to an external life that reflects exactly “who you are.”

In the three years since, Desha has become a successful lifestylist, coach, and author. Under her umbrella brand, Sweet Spot Style, she helps women manifest abundance and ease in their careers, their homes, and their lives. A sweet spot is “all about creative expression...in your home, in your personal style...your career,” she says. The inward process of discovering your “right spot” leads

Desha decided on a three-part brand because she craves “a lot of change.” Newness brings her energy and encourages selfexpression, allowing her to inspire others to do the same. At which point, abundance follows. For example, Desha just did her first webinar on January 1st. With very little investment and just enough research to feel comfortable in front of the camera using webinar

Why do we always complicate things? Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way.


software, she earned over $10K in sales, all the while doing what she loves: helping women find their groove. In addition to being successful at her coaching practice, Desha’s clarification of her dreams and desires has led her to a different sort of sweet spot: her bed! This sacred space, where she often retreats from after seeing her daughter safely off to school, is where she works on the creative projects that fuel her career and satisfy her curiosity. “I want to coach people into their sweet-spot,” says Desha, “but also—for me to be a coach—I need to have my own creative projects.” Thus far, Desha has found that creative expression writing books, through which she helps women find the sweet spot in their homes. Her first book, published in 2014, focused on the home in general.

Now, she’s working on a more particular angle, one that combines her creative focus with her chosen career: creative workspaces. From entrepreneurs who have a fullblown office to women who have merely claimed a corner of their house in which to pursue their passion, Desha believes that having a creative workspace that "fuels, rather than depletes" their career is integral to success and happiness.

As with the rest of Desha’s strategies, knowing what kind of creative workspace you need is directly related to discovering what kind of person you are. When remaking her own home, she created two spaces in which to work—one of which is a cabin behind their house she and her daughter co-decorated with found items. Desha, though, rarely works in her “beautiful and sweet” designated spaces, preferring instead to land anywhere “comfortable, with light...wherever I can set my teacup down.” You might be wondering if a woman who doesn’t like working at a desk is qualified to write about workspaces, but that would only be true if Desha wasn’t aware of and okay with this seeming contradiction. The thing about sweet spots is that they’re entirely personal, and Desha’s lies among feelings of ease. “Why do we always complicate things?” she asks, “We are taught to over-analyze. Sometimes we just need to get out of our own way.”

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When someone says my home is a reflection of me, I take that as a compliment. That’s the goal.

Clarifying her desires and dreams paved the way for Desha to communicate her needs and wishes, pertaining to both her career and domestic life. As a partner and co-parent in what she labels an “unconventional relationship,” the sweet spot she has settled on is compromise. If that’s a word that doesn’t sound appetizing to you, Desha can change your mind. She has felt both gratitude and empowerment learning to express her needs while also respecting the needs of those around her. While the structure of Desha’s family isn’t unconventional, some of their agreements are. Desha travels often, staying at least a month in Mexico each year. Yet, her relationship with her husband hasn’t suffered, nor has she felt guilt or

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fear. It’s an arrangement that’s “really good for our relationship,” she says. “There is complete and total trust.” Still, all relationships grow stale from time to time. One way Desha found to combat this natural tendency was through a gratitude project. “Gratitude yields abundance so I want to focus my gratitude on what I want to grow,” she says. For nearly a month, she wrote down what she was thankful for about her husband. At the end of the month, she gave it to him as a gift. This practice caused a shift in their long-term relationship. “Just changing the focus, focusing on all the good things” made their relationship not just “better” but “easier” too.


Desha also recommends dancing! “Having fun and dancing is the very best therapy that we could have together. He is really crazy on the dance floor and hilarious. He really gets down! He has so much energy.” If you can find something fun to take away the pressure—whether it’s dancing or another activity you and your partner both love—“that is what sparks the love,” says Desha. Just finding that “connection.” Desha’s other domestic role is that of mommy, and she approaches it in much the same manner. “I do not have mommy guilt,” says Desha. During her time in Mexico, she misses her daughter, “but she knows that mom is always there.” In addition to an increased chance for her husband and daughter to bond, Desha’s time away from the household also gives her 9-year-old daughter the chance to be independent. “She gets a lot of attention,” says Desha, “it’s good for her to realize there are things she can do on her own.” Of equal importance is that her daughter witnesses Desha being a strong, successful woman. “I feel like it really breeds confidence in them when they see what we are doing,” says Desha, who wishes all the same possibility that exists in her own life for the next generation too. “I want to foster creativity in my daughter. I want her to go off and do her thing without feeling guilty.” In matters of the home, Desha’s compromise often boils down to different habits and personalities. Where she prefers creativity over cleaning up, her husband likes a “clean, tidy, perfect space.” “I’m willing to do that,” says Desha, “we all deserve to feel good in this space.” The focus is not on individual needs being met, but on making decisions with which everyone in the tribe can be at peace.

Tips on Manifesting with Ease 1. Get Focused. 2. Stay Focused. 3. Expect Blessings. 4. Acknowledge those Blessings. 5. Have Faith in the Process.

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Desha has even come to a sort of “compromise” with herself! While she admires efficiency and beauty in one’s home, she is, at heart, something of an old soul. Having “at least one space that’s beautiful”—something she counsels in her book—doesn’t mean styling your house so that it looks like it belongs in a magazine. You won’t feel satisfied in your house if you don’t stay true to yourself. “When someone says my home is a reflection of me, I take that as a compliment. That’s the goal,” wrote Desha in her 2014 book. She finds this dilemma to be common among female entrepreneurs who work from home. “We need things to be tidy enough that we can find things easily,” she says, “And we need things to be pretty so we are inspired.” Once again, it boils down to finding your sweet spot. “Do

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what makes you feel good,” says Desha. “Your space reflects your mind.” Desha ascribes to the Marie Kondo philosophy of “getting rid of everything you don’t absolutely love” and will often reorganize or go through and get rid of joyless items, just to feel “a breath of fresh air.”

with the life stage that she’s currently in. For starters, she is experiencing what she set out to experience: travel, companionship, peace and ease, whether home or abroad. Her practice is getting stronger every day. She is in her sweet spot.

Before de-cluttering, Desha recommends a serious conversation with yourself. “I like the idea of only having the stuff that you really love around you and not stuff that you have because your mom gave it to you or your uncle gave it to you and he might come over one day in the next ten years and see that you don’t have this plaster peacock up.” If it doesn’t “bring you joy,” she says, trust your intuition, and pass it along to someone who will love it.

Her decision to lead a luxury retreat in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is the perfect example of the process Desha has gone through. Three years ago, she recognized that she could not be “healthy and happy and thriving” if she spent winters in Vermont, where she lives with her family. Not only does she live with Seasonal Affective Disorder, her soul feels most at home in a warmer climate. She communicated this clearly to her family, telling them “I have to go. I want to go... my soul is called there, and it’s my work.”

After clarification and communication comes celebration. Desha is nothing if not enamored


Fun is allowing yourself to live in your higher purpose. Take a risk and do the thing you love.

Due to the strong familial relationships, she got both the compassion and support she needed. Her retreat, which began January 31st, is not just a culmination of hard work or the furtherance of her career; it’s proof that you can have what you want if you ask for it. And—it’s lots of fun! “Fun doesn’t mean you are going to a party,” says Desha. “For me, the deeper meaning of fun is allowing yourself to live in your higher purpose. Take a risk and do the thing you love.” According to Desha’s website, you know you’re in your sweet spot when you are “consciously creating a life, biz, or home that reflects your

essence, your values, your dreams, and who you aspire to be.” If that seems out of reach or undefined, know this: finding your sweet spot begins with finding yourself. Participating in all areas of your life—being open to abundance and love—is a process you can start today. “It takes time to shift your own thoughts from immediately being negative to switching over to more love and acceptance,” says Desha. Within each of us are desires and dreams; clarifying these can lead us to an acknowledgement of our needs and wishes that we can then communicate clearly to those around us (as well as to ourselves!).

You are in a unique stage of life; recognizing this means celebrating the woman you are right now, today. This is the kind of self-love that leads to exhilaration and tons of fun. Tempted? Go ahead and take the first step. Your Sweet Spot awaits.

Lee Lee Thompson is the Cofounder and Content Editor of The Perpetual You. Since the inception of this magazine, she has had the privilege to interview and write about seven amazing women who love themselves fully. By telling their stories, Lee Lee hopes to inspire other women to choose, embrace, celebrate, and unleash the best parts of themselves–their Perpetual selves.

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3 QUESTIONS WITH OUR

Cover Story Superstar

Desha Peacock

What loving routines do you follow in your daily life?

Which part of your physical space do you love the most?

How do you focus on remaining a loving person?

Ladies, life is short and I intend on soaking it up. After I take my daughter to school and everyone is out of the house, I often go back to bed. That's a bit sinful, right? But, I absolutely LOVE the feeling of being in my cozy bed all alone for just a little while each morning. Then I wake up slowly to chimes. I savor a 3-part meditation in intervals of 5 min on clearing, gratitude and abundance. Then it's tea and get to work time!

I work from home, so it's important my space is tidy, organized and pretty. Although I have an office, I generally work from either a big comfy armchair, my kitchen bar, or the bed. I have lots of little "sweet spots" in my home that make me feel cozy and creative.

I often facilitate gratitude challenges with my online groups and for the last one, I focused on 21 days of gratitude for my husband. Each day I wrote on a little piece of paper one thing that I was grateful for. When you are with someone for as many years as I have been with my husband, it's easy to take that person for granted. I've learned you have to put conscious effort into keeping the love alive.

realize

dwell

live


live

to align your innermost thoughts with your

ever-evolving perspective

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LIVE

The Journey to

Befriending Your Body

Light-skinned or dark-skinned... Fat or thin...To tattoo or not to tattoo... Those aren't the questions. Nor are they the answers. How you look isn't even the real debate. Why is it so easy to hate our bodies?

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W

e look in the mirror and see stretch marks, cellulite, and a body that is slowly succumbing to gravity. We get lost in the imperfections, convince ourselves that we’re not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough...anything there is to be enough of, we’re definitely not it. The negative chatter in our heads is powerful because it is constant. Negative thoughts, feelings, and self-talk affect our mood and self-esteem all day long. Thoughts like I need thinner legs, or I wish I had a flatter stomach and less flabby arms cloud our body perception, masking our actual bodies, which are beautiful.


One look in the mirror and any positive thoughts or feelings we had about ourselves disappear, replaced by harsh judgments and criticisms we've been conditioned to feel. I grew up in predominantly white neighborhoods and saw beautiful white women on television and in magazines. All of my friends had fair skin and long flowing hair. I didn’t. My skin was brown and my hair was puffy and anything but flowing. I envied my friends because they were beautiful, just like the women on television and in the magazines. I believed I was ugly. I walked with slumped shoulders and hung my head, avoiding eye contact. I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin that I hid in baggy clothing and tried hard not to bring attention to myself. I was ashamed of myself and the body I had been given. When I wasn’t hiding, I was desperately trying to change myself—straighten my hair, make my butt smaller, lighten my skin, and make my already thin body even thinner. I convinced myself that if I did these things I would finally be beautiful. I was at war with my body. I lost weight, stayed indoors so my skin wouldn’t get darker than it was, and chemically straightened my hair. In the end, I was still miserable. I still felt unattractive and ashamed. No effort to change my appearance worked because the battle I was fighting wasn’t external. In order to heal my relationship with my body, I needed to turn inward and get rid of the toxic thoughts and negative chatter in my head.

The first step in my transformation was to notice just how much negativity was swirling around in my head. I made no effort to change it at first, just noticed. I was amazed at how mean I was to myself, meaner than I'd ever been to anyone else. I constantly berated myself for not being able to do things perfectly and criticized myself for not wearing the right clothes, not exercising enough, or not eating the “right” way. Paying attention to my internal dialogue afforded me the opportunity to change how I talked to myself. First, I needed to find the things I did like about myself. Instead of looking in the mirror and critiquing my body, I made a list of all of the things I liked about myself, things that had nothing to do with appearance. Things like patience, kindness, and my giving spirit. Each time a negative thought popped into my head, I would remind myself of these qualities. These constant positive reminders eventually became louder than the negative chatter and over time I was able to re-train my brain to have more positive thoughts than negative. Each positive thought boosted my confidence and allowed me to see that even though I wasn’t happy with my physical appearance I wasn’t a bad person. Shifting focus away from my appearance allowed me to see that my physical appearance didn’t define me. There was so much more to me than my reflection. I supported my internal efforts with external actions and started treating myself with the same

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I love the person I've become, because I fought to become her. — Kaci Diane

loving-kindness that I showed others. I purchased beautiful greeting cards and wrote notes of love and appreciation. I mailed these notes to myself and when they arrived I would take the time to read them, soaking in every word. I bought myself flowers. I took the time to cook delicious, nourishing food for myself. Changing the way I treated myself created a big shift in the way I thought about myself. I felt loved inside and out. Treating myself with love and compassion made it harder for me to look in the mirror and critique myself. I was able to look in the mirror and be grateful for all of the things my body did for me each day—all of the things I took for granted—like the effortless flow of breath in and out of my body. I was able to run my fingers along my cheek and appreciate the softness of my skin. I became fascinated with the beauty in the little things and this fascination eventually carried over into the bigger things. I was able to appreciate my body despite my flaws and imperfections. Treat yourself with the same tenderness and kindness that you extend to others. Buy yourself flowers or send yourself a nice card. When you start to criticize or judge yourself, change the dialogue to one of love and kindness. Make this your mantra: I deserve the same love I give to others. Negative thoughts and chatter will

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not disappear overnight, but focusing on the positive aspects of self will quiet the negative chatter to a whisper. A new voice—your natural voice—will emerge that is kinder, gentler, and much more compassionate. We think that if we can fix "our flaws" we’ll be happier, feel less ashamed of our bodies, and become more worthy. Love isn't that simple. Healing your relationship with your body doesn’t happen by changing your external appearance. In order to heal, we must cultivate respect for our bodies, and for ourselves, from the inside out. Become aware of your negative self-talk so that it cannot take over. Create a mantra to repeat until your natural voice emerges. Allow yourself to look beyond your physical appearance and celebrate the qualities that make up YOU—your sense of humor, your commitment to being a great friend or parent, your honesty. Befriend your body, the one that sticks with you no matter what. Celebrate her strengths, have fun with her quirks, and love her timeless beauty.

Jennifer Sterling is a Certified Holistic Health and Movement Coach, who uses her signature BodyLove Method™ to help women struggling with body image and disordered eating learn to nourish their bodies with food; dance their way through the tough stuff; and, love themselves unconditionally.


“ Love

yourself first, and

everything else falls into line. ” — Lucille Ball T H E F UN I S S U E

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LIVE

Choose T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Love Everyday


Being in love can be the most beautiful, exciting, and passionate experience of our lives. We all desire love and spend our lives seeking it out. Magic happens when we fall in love. Two people coming together and becoming one entity. Once made, the choice to love someone can have monumental impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

O

nce love finds you, it needs to be maintained. Being in love isn’t all fun and games. The weekends away and the holiday parties fade; the routines of daily life take over. Finances, kids, pets, household chores, and the pressures of work can erode even the most passionate of romances. Realistically this cannot be avoided; however, it can be balanced by choosing to show love to each other every day.

Loving others and allowing yourself to be loved is a choice. Often, we get caught up in the rush of work and family obligations and forget that we can choose our experience. You can choose to be anxious or excited, angry or relaxed, taken for granted or appreciated. When you’re stressed out about work or money, you might choose to volunteer an hour at your local animal shelter or help a neighbor out. Why? Because doing for others makes it impossible to feel any worse. Similarly, on the days when you or your partner is stressed out or worried or just plain tired, if you focus on love, you will start to feel better. Every minute you spend choosing love in your life will be minutes spent creating experiences that will bring opportunities for growth, compassion, joy, and excitement in your relationships.

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What does choosing love every day look like in real life? The following three strategies—touching each other, playing together, and learning forever–have been instrumental in helping me choose love every day. They are also proven ways to increase the fun in our love life!

Touch each other. Physical touch is necessary for humans to thrive. Get to know your partner’s comfort level with touch— both public and private—so you both feel safe in the relationship. Holding hands, foot rubs, massages, kissing, cuddling, and, of course, sex. Setting a goal to have sex every day is unrealistic and unnecessary. Instead, make time each day to touch each other in some way. A 20 second hug is all it takes on some days, whereas, on a different day, you might end up making out on the couch like young lovers! Increased pleasure comes from prioritizing communication. What would you like to do more of? Is there something you need less of? I'm comfortable holding hands anywhere; however, kissing is something that I prefer to do privately. For many, the thought of sex after a long day isn’t at the top of the list. The key is to share your needs and desires with your partner, no matter what they are.

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Play together. Play is important; it can relieve stress and it increases endorphins. Make time each day to do fun things with those you love. Dance. Laugh. Sing. Play games. Have a picnic. Paint. Cook at home. Eat out. Check out local entertainment. Color. Be in nature or with animals. When you start adding playtime to your relationship, you will wonder how you ever lived without it! Communication can once again save the day. Do you even know what gets your partner smiling and laughing? Are there pastimes you share? Comedy shows, board games, snowball fights. I’ve been known to pull out relationship-focused quiz games and personality tests; you may choose cards or board games instead. Feelings of love are comprised of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual attractions. Play is the way to tap into all of those areas.

Learn forever. We’re not talking academic courses—though if you and your partner lean toward the intellectual a night course at the local university could be a good fit. The point is to find something that you are interested in that can be shared. Perhaps you both love animals, travel, sustainable living, cooking, or art. Adult education programs are popping up across the country; have fun


attending one together, either on a date night or over the course of a few weeks. Brad and I share a love of animals and nature, so when a rather spontaneous stop at a local ranch to see the animals turned into conversations about a mutual desire to care for horses and take riding lessons, we got excited. Now, this beautiful and connecting experience is something we share with our children as well. What can you learn about that inspires both of you?

Real love exists outside of romance novels. I didn't know that real, authentic love existed until meeting my fiancée this past year. He showed up in my life in the middle of a parking lot after I had spent years learning to love and accept myself and creating a life that I was proud to share with someone. Having done that work prior to meeting Brad, I was able to recognize his love as worthy of my making an effort. Some nights, I lie in bed holding the hand of the strongest man I’ve ever met in my life. A man whose resolve to love me and my son was far greater than his fear of being turned down or of losing us. He has patiently stood by me, unwavering in his love, support, kindness, and encouragement, quietly letting me shine when I was at my best, catching me when I fell, and loving me even more when I’m at my worst. Not once has Brad ever missed a day of choosing to love me. Choosing love on a daily basis is the best thing I’ve ever done, and practicing it has become the cornerstone of my relationship with my fiancé, and everyone else in my life for that matter. The choice to love looks different depending on the nature of the relationship, but the underlying value is the same. Joy can be shared between two people when both of them are willing to accept the other for who they are and choose love every single day.

Julia Rose is passionate about working with women and mothers around creating their best life possible. No stranger to the challenges that life can and will throw your way, she has learned that setting limits, saying no, owning her choices, taking care of herself, and being unapologetic and authentic has brought more peace, joy, and connection to her life. She desires for every woman to know that she already has everything she will ever need inside of her. Connect with Julia Rose through her website juliarosecoaching.com or email julia@juliarosecoaching.com.

Love is Shown, Not Said Entering each day with a loving mindset is only the beginning; you must then choose actions based on those mindsets. Here are three value-based action plans to get you started:

1

Practice Gratitude Doing things together cultivates feelings of gratitude. Going to the local farms or markets can be an opportunity for sharing positive feelings about the food you eat or the ability to provide healthy ingredients for your family dinners.

2

Show Kindness Set an agreement to be kind to each other even on the hardest of days. Make your hardworking partner a cup of tea before bed. If your partner is a sleepyhead, take an extra 10 minutes the night before to program the coffee maker. Bonus points if you can do this as a surprise!

3

Have Fun! (in bed) To increase satisfaction in your relationship, keep an open mind in the bedroom. Take the focus off of the act of sex, and try new things. Draw a bubble bath and invite your partner in. Race to see who can get their clothes off first. Tickle your partner until you both end up laughing.

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T HE PERPETUA L YOU


FEBRUARY M ANT RA

I let my heart speak

open, wild and free. her truth

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LIVE

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Welcome to the World of

Unconditional It's Valentine time— A glow in the distance— glimmers of pink and red. Snow falls while the cold wind blows. Whether you're with someone, or alone, I hope you are being loved.

H

Love

ow did this fun and joyful holiday become something we dread? The world's view of Valentine’s Day is narrow: the day is for showering your lover with gifts, candy, dinner, and lots of sex. Valentine’s Day can be so much more—you can make it special for you, no matter what your relationship status is. Valentine’s Day is not just about sexy love; Valentine's Day is about unconditional love.

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Unconditional love is a love that holds no bounds. Unconditional love is one of our strongest emotions. It drives everything—how we feel about ourselves, how we treat others, and how we treat the earth and her creatures. Pets are the best at showing unconditional love, as are children—they love you regardless of how successful you are, how much money you have, or whether you have a partner in your life. They love you for being you, just for being here on the planet. This Valentine's Day, start by unconditionally loving the one person who matters most in life— YOU. Yes, even above the kids and husband. Being able to love yourself unconditionally means taking the time to care for yourself. How do you show yourself unconditional love? Start by treating yourself to a spa day, a massage, or a nice meal. True unconditional love, though, comes from within; loving yourself fully.

Brighten Another's Day. Next time you're at the mall or grocery store, make an honest connection with the person checking you out. Smile at them, laugh if they make a joke, and say thank you all while making eye contact. This simple act can change someone's day in a heartbeat. You could be the only person that shows them you appreciate the job they do. You can lighten their day—maybe for only a minute or two— but still, a light in what could have been a dull day. Bonus: When she smiles back at you, you get unconditional love right back!

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Stand in front of the mirror and say the following out loud: I love my body as is! I love my personality and who I am today as is! I deserve to be loved and I deserve to love myself! I love me! These are hard things to say for many women because we have been taught that loving ourselves is selfish. Here's why you deserve loving all the time: You show up every day to get through your day— your body, your personality, your legs, your eyes—YOU.


Unconditional Love is a love that bears no grudges. Loving yourself fully—accepting your body's imperfections and being grateful for them—increases confidence. Wait—what? I have to be grateful for my imperfections? Yes! Parts of your body may not function perfectly or you may not love the way you look, but you can still be grateful. Imperfections serve a purpose in your life. For instance, I am near sighted and wear glasses in order to see distances. My eyes are not perfect but that doesn't mean I'm ungrateful for what they do allow me to see. See how that works? Maybe you are little overweight and have some rolls. Guess what?

Fat serves a purpose in the body— like keeping you warm on cold days. Are you not thankful for that? Being grateful for something does not mean that you cannot work to make it better, but that you unconditionally love it just the way it is in that moment.

Unconditional Love is a love that forges connection. Loving yourself allows you to share love with as many people as possible, from loved ones to strangers on the street. Unconditional love binds society together—revealing that piece of us that wants to be recognized

Society Social Join us on for this month's Society Social on Sunday February 21st at 8:30PM with our expert, Desha Peacock. RSVP through our private FB group, The Perpetual You Society.

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as unique and be appreciated for our individuality. Just as we desire love and acceptance, others want to know they are special. Imagine what the world would be like if we all walked around radiating love! Have you ever been out and had a stranger say hello or gave you a compliment? Did you lighten up and smile back or maybe share a few words? This exchange is unconditional love at its finest. Someone else noticed you and in the kindness of their heart they gave you a gift of recognition, warmth, and love. Unconditional love doesn't even require words. If we just smile at each other more—

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

there will be more peace, joy, acceptance, laughter, abundance, and happiness.

Unconditional Love is a love that takes time. Sometimes making connections is easier said than done. I work in the 5th unfriendliness city in the U.S.— New Haven, CT—where the vibe is to walk quickly, look at no one, and ignore anyone’s comments. I have been called a bitch, shoved, and almost run over—all while waiting in a crosswalk! Then there are the disgruntled hagglers seeking spare change; I must avoid eye contact or be harassed. While a part of

me longs to interact differently, conversation with the masses is not in my comfort zone. Still, I have experienced the kindness of strangers. This past spring, I tripped and fell on the cobblestone while carrying my lunch. With no hands to break my fall, I skidded across the sidewalk and watched in slow motion as my chin headed for the sidewalk. Seconds after my chin and the sidewalk connected, I was surrounded by strangers that I had passed by seconds earlier without acknowledgment. They asked if I was okay, helped me up, and offered to walk me back to my job if needed.


Did You Know?

Even in this unfriendly town, people care. Sadly, we avoid connection for fear of being taken advantage of. My fall made me see that all is not lost in New Haven. The people around me—a stranger I walk past or someone who smiles at me that I choose to ignore—all want the same thing: to be loved and acknowledged for who they are. Every time a passerby tries to make contact and I ignore them, I am choosing to judge them instead of love them. Nobody wants that! Now, I make a concerted effort to smile back—not just smirk—really smile.

Making connections, verbal or just through a smile, takes time & practice. To acknowledge someone's kindness, just ask for unconditional love to be sent to them. The energy of unconditional love can be sent anywhere with an intention to do so. Even just thinking about sending unconditional love to someone can make you feel good!

Try This... Next time you're driving and someone lets you in or lets you go first, send the driver unconditional love. Next time you walk by a homeless person, send them unconditional love. Next time a fire engine or an ambulance goes by, send unconditional love to the occupants of the vehicle. Next time there is a tragic event, send unconditional love to all those affected.

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Unconditional Love is a love that boosts energy. Unconditional love can be a nonverbal energy exchange from one person to the next. Smile for a moment. Hold it, just for 60 seconds. Can you feel the difference in your energy? Do you feel more uplifted? That is the energy of happiness and love. Smiling at someone sends energy to them. If they receive it—either by nodding their head or smiling back— your feelings of goodness increase even more. If more us of spend our day sending each other unconditional love,

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there will be more peace and happiness in the world. Simply put: making connections of love will make this planet a better place. One person shares a smile and then that person shares a smile or two and then it organically grows from there. If unconditional love is a new habit for you, you might show love only occasionally at first. That is perfectly okay! Sharing unconditional love even once or twice a week is a great start; it only gets better from there. Unconditional love will make as big a difference in your life as it does in others. By focusing on what you want to love, you will

be more at ease in your life. You will focus on good rather than complain; you will dream big rather than worry. No matter your talents or circumstances, you can give love. I invite you to a NEW "every day" Valentine’s Day, where we cherish everyone—just for being themselves—including ourselves! Welcome to the world of Unconditional Love.

Tami Reagor helps women change their thoughts and perspective from a lack mindset to abundance overflowing while they create the life their soul desires. She is leading a gorgeous group of women at unleashyourinnertiger.com into a world where they practice gratitude and accept abundance together.


P O E T RY BY

Kate Kearns

Awake Hour The trees shift outside the screen. They tap each other, side by side, like fingers. The dark moves around and over itself, wraps every limb for night without a moon. Warm as breath, the breeze can’t tell the difference between one tree and another. Thunder in the distance like a heavy ball shudders a pulse through all of it. A cool wind from the west presses against the sheltering heat. Soon light will separate each thing from its other. The living have need of the living. I focus on your breath to fall asleep— you are ruining my loneliness.

Reprinted by permission of the author from her chapbook, How to Love an Introvert. T H E F UN I S S U E

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Society Join the Movement

Create Fun by Celebrating Love  
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