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The DECEMBER 2015 | Series No. 2, Issue No. 1

joy

Issue

Manifest Freedom & Expect Joy with Tessa Chittle

ALSO

Unplan Your Day • Design with Intention • Reclaim Your Holiday


I N THI S I S S U E

Create

joy

by Choosing Freedom

realize

Choose freedom this holiday season by scheduling unplanned time, taking care of yourself first, re-wearing your favorite party T H I S M O N T H ’ S COV E R : dress, going on a holiday home Homesteading maven and tour, and revolutionary mama Tessa foregoing Chittle shares her expert ho hum advice and real-life strategies gift-giving on how to plan an traditions.

intentional holiday.

dwell

Create an atmosphere of joy through intentional design, self-aware party preparations, stress-relieving dinner party strategies, and freeing paint treatments.

live

Enjoy your holiday once again by staying true to yourself, finding empowerment in saying no, and accepting your inner child and the wonder she brings with her.


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

At The Perpetual You, We are creating a movement that encourages women 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. You can find her on twitter @rootsandwings04.

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.


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.

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.

Walker Sisters

Sarah A.

Photography

Photography

Deb Photography

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.

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. Growing up internationally and moving countries every two years, wandering 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

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


Desha

Kirsten

Video

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.

Charlotte Graphic Design Charlotte Cobb loves all things creative, especially dabbling in new mediums for her firm, F & R Designs. Charlotte's perfect day involves walking the Dorset countryside with her daughters and her camera. Socialize with her @freshandrosy.

Dina Graphic Design Leicester-based Dina Mistry is a designer, illustrator and lover of food. When she's not running her own greeting card and graphic design business, she can be found killing it at the gym. See more of her work on Instagram.

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.

Sarah S. Krystal

Editing & Proofreading

Soul Siren

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 introvert. 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.

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.

Susanna Editing & Proofreading

P.K.

Susanna Brown loves traveling through time with words and often has her head buried in a good book. She enjoys trying new vegetarian dishes, shopping, and going places she's never been. She is a writer of both historical and contemporary fiction for young people of all ages, as well as an editor and proofreader. She lives in Memphis, TN with a Yorkie named Boston.

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.

T H E W E A LT H I S S U E

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WE L COME

Society Members, get in the mood for joy by listening to our FREEDOM Spotify mix.

“Freedom to me is a luxury of being able to follow the path of the heart, to keep the magic in your life. Freedom is necessary for me in order to create, and if I cannot create I don’t feel alive.” - Joni Mitchell

A

Join our mailing list & receive this month’s custom wallpapers to download for your computer or phone.

hh the Holidays. It’s interesting to me how so much can be tied

up in one phrase, The Holidays. Many women spend the holidays experiencing guilt from what they eat, drink, or spend. Many women spend the holidays full of anxiety over what gifts they will give and receive and whose feelings they might hurt. Many women feel constant pressure to have a certain kind of holiday–that looks like their mother's or that looks nothing like it! Whoever you are, it is likely that hearing those words stirs up something in you. And that’s where this month’s issue comes in. We thought, “what if every year when the Holidays come, you are truly full of joy?” When you see the word joy all over town in decorations, you are able to identify with it and realize that’s what the Season means to you. Joy. How can we create joy in a time that is full of so much, hmm, so much not-joy? And so we are here to give you freedom this month. The freedom to say yes to an extra glass of champagne; the freedom to say no to spending too much on gifts; the freedom to create your own holiday traditions; the freedom to do everything the way your mom did it; the freedom to share your decisions and values with some people and politely smile with others. Because here’s the thing, imagine if there were no guilt, no anxiety, and no pressure. Can you picture what would be left this month? I see a world with extra parties, twinkling lights, lots of baked goods and champagne, pretty dresses, cozy mornings, and more hugs and kisses and friends and family than any other time of year. Doesn’t that sound like true joy?

Join the movement.


realize to align your daily practices with your

ever-evolving desires


Freedom

Find in Unplanning T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Every moment is enormous and it is all we have. — Natalie Goldberg

As children, our Christmas day family tradition was simple: Don’t plan anything.

E

arly in the morning my brother, mother and I would gather to open our gifts, and once the gift exchange was complete, we were free to do whatever we wished, including nothing at all. Get dressed, or stay in your pajamas all day; eat a formal meal or spend the day grazing; explore your new gifts or play with your old favorite toys; stay up all day or nap until your heart's content; clean your room or bask in the holiday mess. The expectation was quite simple, for one entire day of the year we didn't plan anything. I grew older, and the holidays slowly morphed into a season of commitments rather than a time to relax and do nothing. My early adulthood was spent resisting

most of the expected holiday commitments because they were too overwhelming. The stress robbed me of the holiday cheer I possessed as a child. My husband and I are preparing to embark on our first holiday season together. I am excited to be sharing the holidays with him and I already feel the warmth, joy and excitement of my childhood years creeping back into my heart. But I can’t help wondering: how do we maintain the nostalgia and joy of the holiday season in a world that never stops moving, planning, and doing?

continued on next page

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7-Day Challenge To take our 7-day "Unplanning" Challenge, designed by Katie and beginning on Dec. 11, join the Society and stay tuned for details!.

Start Today Here are a some ways to infuse the spirit of unplanning into your holiday season: Take a Meditation Moment. Once a day, make a conscious effort to stop everything and take five minutes to yourself. Breathe slowly and deeply. Inhale joy for the present moment, and exhale any worry about future plans. 

Pick One to Pass. Choose one holiday invitation or expectation to gently decline. Grant yourself permission to do so and release any feeling of guilt, regret, or fear of "missing out on something."

Schedule Unplanned Time. The time frame for this can be as short or long as you wish. Allow yourself the gift of not doing anything pre-planned during this time. Take the opportunity to rejuvenate during the busy holiday season.

To answer this question, I simply have to turn back to my childhood years and remember the joy that not having a plan brought to my family. I must embrace unplanning. As I enter this year's holiday season, I bring to mind the Christmas of my childhood. Everything felt magical as we basked in the warm bubble of love and relaxation that only a day of doing nothing and the aroma of my mother’s freshly baked coffee cake could create. The release from the expectation of planning was incredibly freeing—a simple act that brought our family incredible joy. When we spend all our time planning the future, we miss out on the joy of the present moment. I challenge you to commit to yourself and to freedom this holiday season. Focus on the present moment. Embrace unplanned time and choose joy.

Plan a “Do Nothing” Day. The day after your last "planned" holiday event treat yourself to a free day. Take the day as it comes, mindfully, and release thoughts of what you “should” or “could” be doing.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

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.


freedom

in a Great Heroine

Society Members Learn why you should love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn in this month's edition of, “Did she really just...”

The Yorkshire Shepherdess

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Entertaining with Intention

by Amanda Owen, Pub 2015

by Betty Smith, Pub 1943

Susan B. Keene, Pub 2015

For Amanda Owen, becoming a shepherdess was a declaration of freedom. Never mind the early mornings, late nights, and snowed-in winters; her days filled with farming, mothering, hosting, and cooking are exactly the tasks she's meant to be doing. An example of the empowerment in finding the life that you are meant to lead, her journey also demonstrates the empowerment that comes along with living freely.

In this coming of age tale about a girl growing up in the slums of New York, the magic is in the Nolan’s daily heartbreak and struggle. Her impoverished parents shower her with love, wonder and hope that radiates through the slums and propels the young Francie into a life of art, words, and freedom. The simplest things like black coffee and family dinners reflect the simplicity of childhood and the endearment of family relationships. While reading such enchanting scenes, you'll appreciate the details of your own life all the more.

After planning a "perfect evening" that left her in tears, Susan Keene changed her approach to entertaining to one that began with intention, incorporated gratitude, and increased her awareness before, during, and after a party. Part-memoir, part-design book, and part-cookbook, Keene shares advice, recipes, and ideas in this useful entertaining guide for any woman wanting to experience more meaningful entertaining.

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The 12 toppings of a holiday breakfast buffet you can give to your true loves. 1. Cranberries 2. Sliced Almonds 3. Maple Syrup 4. Whole Milk 5. Currants or Golden Raisins 6. Dates 7. Pomegranate Seeds 8. Honey 9. Brown Sugar 10. Chocolate Chips 11. Star Anise 12. Cinnamon

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


Freedom

in a

Magical Morning Let me tell you something about real, delicious, whole food. It’s magic. When you combine it with the magic of Christmas, family, friends, and a great atmosphere, you have the perfect recipe. Allow me to take you there.

T

he holidays are in full swing, you’ve been busy buying and wrapping presents, preparing and stocking up on everyone’s favorite holiday treats, going on family outings, and planning the festive activity calendar. The desire to spend time with your favorite people, be present, and truly enjoy this magical time is vibrant inside of you. But, you don’t want to make things too complicated for yourself. After all, you’re busy enough as it is. They’ll be plenty of elaborate parties, heavy meals and treats to be enjoyed, so you’re imagining something simple, easy and real. Picture your favorite people gathered together on a bright and sunny winter morning, enjoying a simple, easy, and delicious breakfast…reveling in the excitement, joy, and goodwill of the season. No one is rushed, stressed, overfed, or overwhelmed. Everyone is free to step back, breathe, appreciate. After all, isn’t that the point? Continue to let your imagination wander…the aroma and comfort of warm, creamy, oatmeal comes to mind. You see an ample bowl on the table with simple, beautiful, and wholesome toppings. A sort of makeyour-own oatmeal buffet. For your own bowl, you choose pomegranate seeds, brown sugar, and lush, creamy, whole milk. Your

closest friend sprinkles almonds, cinnamon, and maple syrup on hers. Your sister-in-law mixes figs and chocolate chips in hers. The atmosphere includes a warm fire, cozy sweaters, gentle music, natural lighting, and laughter in the background. There is warm herbal tea or strong coffee to pass around; for those who are young (or young at heart), steamy mugs of hot cocoa are poured. You take a bite and taste warmth, vibrancy, elegance, and simplicity. You chew slowly, savoring each bite. You see the same peace and content on the faces of those you love. You surrender to the full experience—the food, the company, the atmosphere, the magic. You emerge free, nourished, and glad. This holiday season, I invite you to claim yourself, your experience, your memories, and your taste buds and to share the goodness of whole food with those you love. Find freedom in a magical morning.

Amberle Evans’ calling is to explore and share the magic of life and true freedom through food, photography, design, coaching, and writing. A Certified Holistic Nutritionist through CSNN, she is passionate about real food and inspired, sustainable living. Some of her dreams include doing inspired living workshops/ mini-retreats, having her own show on Tastemade, receiving passive income, and living with her husband and a gaggle of children and animals in a big house in the country, all of which she believes will come true. T H E W E A LT H IS S U E

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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 Rudberg, founder of Crafted Taste, explains why their Aged Manhattan cocktail kit let’s you Create Joy by Choosing Freedom.

Use coupon code PerpetualCraftedJOY1215 for 10% off your order from Crafted Taste.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

I

love the principle of choosing freedom to create joy. One of the reasons I struck out on my own to start Crafted Taste was to have the freedom to create the life I wanted to live, one that made happiness a priority. When I heard this month’s theme, I immediately thought of our Aged Manhattan Curated Cocktail Kit. This kit includes one of my favorite products: a cocktail aging kit. With a quick 5-10 minutes, you can prepare a batch of Manhattans in advance, ready for you to pour during the busy holiday season. Aging cocktails is not just convenient; the aging process also helps to mellow and add complexity to your drink. With our kit, you get all the Manhattan ingredients you need plus fourteen cocktail recipes and bourbon food pairing ideas. Prepare your batched Manhattan, let it age at least 1 week, then just pour and imbibe! Now you have even more time to have FREEDOM during the holidays.


Freedom

in

Exploration This month, go on a walking tour of holiday homes in your town center or a nearby "big" city. Enjoy the lights, sounds, and smells; breathe in evergreen and cinnamon. You deserve a break from the shopping, cooking, wrapping, hostessing... Let the beauty of the holidays free you of overwhelm.

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Shopping Tip 5

Use websites like Scoutmob to browse local, handcrafted or small batch products all in one place!

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freedom

in Entertaining

Invest in these specially curated handcrafted entertaining products now—before you get too busy to do so! While you’re shopping, stock up on small batch cocktail mixers, appetizers, and desserts. You’ll enjoy the freedom of preparedness and your guests will love the tastes!

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Custom Printed Quote Coasters

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Small Batch Cocktail Mixers & Owl’s Brew

(set of 4 $34, Samsqwatch)

($16, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co | from $9.99, Owl’s Brew.)

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DRINK Linen Cocktail Napkins (set of 4 $28, Dot and Army)

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Wood Artisan Tray ($50, Coffee Diem Dry Goods)

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Vintage Stamped Cheese Markers ($20, Pumperknickel and Wry)

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Verterra Compostable Dinnerware ($15 - $18, Fallen Leaves)

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Bread and Butter Pickles and Beets ($12, Halifax Hollow)

Product Pinspiration

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Single- Origin Chocolate Bars

Click here for a full list of our product selections on Pinterest.

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Baroque Owl Gingerbread Cookies

($27.50, Posh Chocolat)

($6.18 each, Storica)

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Freedom

in Nontraditional

Gift-Giving

Hello, Holiday! Participating in the season is fun, if we do so while staying true to our modern selves. The practice of buying presents off of a gift “wish list” is hard to reconcile with an authentic life. Instead of relying on traditional gift giving where we put our creative energy toward the most perfect wrapping, what if we infused a spirit of adventure into our gift-giving?

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emember when your most prized gift was a coupon card good for “one free massage” or “chores for the day?” When resources were limited, whether due to youth or other circumstances, we rose to the challenge. As a young parent, I am equally appreciative of similar gifts received. So, what changed? When did a gift of “date night” for your friend and her husband or “a day at the beach” for your kids become a sign that you didn’t put thought into your gift? Or didn't plan far enough in advance? Actually, committing to an experience or outing in the future (be it with our family, friends) is a gift of more: a way for the recipient to carry the spirit of Christmas with them throughout the next year. If you appreciate the sentiment of alternative giftgiving but want to go bigger, skip the “gifts” altogether, and go on a holiday trip instead. Experience that culture and its festivities as a gift like none other. If now is not the time for you or your family to pack T HE PERPETUA L YOU

up and escape, infuse another culture's seasonal celebrations into your holiday and/or gifts. Cuisine, costumes, and stories all make wonderful gifts! Most importantly, enjoy what you choose to be a part of. If we are able and willing to find adventure and possibility in our gift-giving, we are able to further engineer a life we don't want to escape from. We can be grateful for traditions (and the memories they invoke) and also get creative in our gift-giving. Establish a gift-giving tradition that feels authentic to you and your lifestyle—that speaks to the person you are now, TODAY. This is the year to honor your past traditions by setting them free.

Life is so full of everyday moments that are worthy of recognition. Summer is finding her way, living this dream and taking a moment everyday to say thank you. You can find her at airabess.blogspot.com and Instagram @airabess or #findingmywaylivingthisdream.


The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. — Oprah Winfrey

Do This at Home! Offer an expression of your love and appreciation that isn't just about filling the space inside a prettily wrapped box. Instead of buying something tangible for your loved ones, set a date—once a month for a year—in which you will “go on an adventure.” Try a new restaurant, museum, or local attraction. Or travel to a nearby city! The true gift you're giving is a commitment—to be a part of their lives and also a part of the present, thus deepening your relationship and creating an openness to the way you celebrate together.

#fromwhereistand

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REALIZE

This month’s Self-Care Toolkit

Freedom

in Self-Care

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Garlic Eucalyptus Rose Quartz Ishtar


Each of us deserves a magical, joyful holiday season. It is the time of year when we want to slow down, snuggle by the fire, and drink delicious concoctions. Instead we often feel hurried, anxious or stressed, which can lead to us feeling run down or even becoming sick. The following essential wellbeing ingredients will help you stay refreshed for the whole month:

H E RB

ESSE N TI AL O IL

CRYSTAL

GO D D ESS

Garlic

Eucalyptus

Rose Quartz

Ishtar

B E N E F I TS

BE N E FI TS

BENEFITS

BEN E FITS

Fights internal and external infections

A natural decongestant

Helps with emotional healing

Goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex

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arlic is a delicious spice found in the typical pantry. Garlic can be used to fight both internal and external infections. Add it to all your winter stews, pickle it in vinegar, chop it and add to butter or olive oil, or try your hand at making Fire Cider, a traditional remedy used to fight off colds and boost your immune system. A familiar essential oil and plant, Eucalyptus, is known for its wonderful effects on the respiratory system as a decongestant. At the beginning signs of a cold, put a drop or two in a bowl of steaming water with a towel over your head and breathe in this effective oil. (Since Eucalyptus oil is too strong to be used with children under 5 years old, defuse lavender essential oil in their rooms instead.) Rose quartz is the stone that helps us heal our heart chakra by assisting with emotional healing and love— making it the perfect stone when you need more love for yourself or others. Meditate with this stone close

to your heart, wear it on a necklace, or keep it in your pocket so you are able to access its healing powers wherever you go. The message from this month’s Goddess, Ishtar, is: Love yourself enough to say no to others’ demands of your time and energy. What a great reminder that to really be caring, healthy individuals, we must first love and nurture ourselves. Using these simple tools to care for yourself on a daily basis will get you through the holidays feeling strong, confident and free.

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 frequently at her website  greenharmonyaromatherapy.com.

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Freedom

in Re-Wearing

Picture yourself in the midst of all the holiday goodness—beautiful decorations everywhere you turn, special finds for friends and family, an oven full of cookies, presents in pretty wrapping paper, sleigh bell-filled music, steaming cups of peppermint mocha, special family traditions, parties filled with your favorite people, outfits and outfits and more outfits....

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o you read that list and feel overwhelmed? We often take something wonderful and create a culture of chaos in our lives. We desire to do it all and to do it better than before. Here's a simple trick to bring some much deserved joy in your life: wear one dress, styled in different ways, to all the holiday parties you attend. No more living in anguish over what you’re going to wear; no more spending hours trying on everything in your closet; no more 4-hour shopping trips to find “the perfect thing” to wear, and then wearing it only once.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Whether you have a favorite dress in your closet, or buy a new one each year, you can style this same dress in different ways to meet your needs. Best of all, the accessories you need are likely already waiting in your closet, begging to be chosen for the next special event! By choosing one dress and styling it different ways, you’ll save more than just money and time. Your mental and emotional energy can be redirected toward what is most important to you during the holidays—the family and friends that fill your life with love and joy.


“Like a frame to a painting, black ensures that the person is the first thing you see.� - Donna Karan

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freedom

to Wear It Again

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Here are a few ways to restyle that favorite holiday dress:

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Keep it Classic There's nothing wrong with choosing classy: a beautiful statement necklace; an elegant clutch; and some holiday-colored flats are your go-to ensemble for any occasion.

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Try on Trendy Take a risk and rock a trend. Faux fur and fringe are both trendy and widely available. Accessorize with these for your dressiest of occasions.

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Dress it Different My go-to "layer" is a button-up shirt underneath my dress. White is a timeless look, while a festive print adds something unexpected. Add in sparkle and metallic accessories to stay party-friendly.

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Go for More Layer something over your dress. A cardigan...a scarf... or both! A blanket scarf, cape, or shawl are all winterworthy accessories. Adding warmth means you can take your dress to the streets. Caroling anyone?

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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.

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Society Members To share your own feelings about freedom with likeminded women, join our Society Facebook group.

This year, we aren't traveling to be with family so that our six-year-old can wake up in his own house on Christmas morning and see what Santa brought him.

We want to hear your perspective! What is the most beautiful thing about your body? Email hello@theperpetualyou.com for a chance to be featured in next month’s issue.

Although it was a hard decision to make, since it means his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins don't get to see him, it will free us from the stress of holiday travel and allow us to slow down and enjoy our own Christmas and start new traditions. My son is still in the magical, innocent stage where he believes. Since that time is limited, we want to give him the gift of enjoying the holiday and give all of us the freedom to embrace our own family time. Katie H. (Arlington, MA, USA)

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


PE R SPE CTI VES from THE P E RP E TUAL YOU

How do you choose

freedom

during the Holiday Season?

By surrounding myself with the people I love and amazing food. Creating lasting memories rather than worrying about who is getting what, or that we're taking enough pictures. Enjoying my holiday season the way I did when I was a kid, when everything was magic. Emily H (St. Augustine, FL, USA)

By spending time with my family—Being together and enjoying each others company brings the freedom to share, reflect, and dream together. Marcie I. (Moscow, ID, USA)

By practicing yoga daily— creating the space in my mind to respond and not react to my eccentric loved ones! Meditation gives me freedom that enables me to stay vibrant and festive. Francesca (London, England)

By creating healthy boundaries, fewer

By focusing on the simple joys of life and the magical time of the season. Blessing and releasing stress, the need to please and perfection. Celebrating all the beautiful milestones that were made in 2015 and finding joy in the journey. Slowing down to make memories with those who matter most. April W. (Houston, TX, USA)

expectations, and new definitions of family. Tuning in to what my body and soul crave this time of year: candid dinnertime laughs, uninterrupted naps, and cuddles with some of my favorite people (and pets!) who know the meaning of unconditional love. Amanda S. (Atlanta, GA, USA) T H E W E A LT H IS S U E

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“ You were

wild once;

don't let them tame you. ” — Isadora Duncan

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


3 QUESTIONS WITH OUR

Cover Story Superstar

Tessa Chit tle

How do Joy & Freedom intersect in your daily practices? Those are definitely the two words that my husband and I have talked about in the past year or two—and we include our daughter in the conversation as she gets older. To make our joy and our freedom nonnegotiable in our lives, we put aside all the rules about what parents are supposed to look like and what entrepreneurship is supposed to look like and what homesteading is supposed to look like and really just decided what we want for our lives, consciously and intentionally, and created that life.

realize

What part of your home brings you the most Joy? I get joy by being creative, and I’m able to be creative because I have freedom in how I spend my time. I love making my spaces beautiful and making our home cozy: painting my front door and hanging a homemade wreath made from things we collected from our forest; including my daughter in those projects, getting her really engaged with the chores around the land; having the whole family be able to co-create and collaborate. This helps me feel connected, like I’m not on my own mission. We are all in the trenches, creating this property and this homestead together.

dwell

How do you keep your thoughts centered on Freedom? A quote I love says, “99% commitment is a bitch; 100% is a breeze.” Being 99% committed to the way you want to live or your values or your self-care feels really hard because every moment you are having to choose if you are aligned or not. If you are 100% committed, you don’t even have to think about that: you just know. You have clarity and you don’t have to waste your energy talking yourself into doing it. I live by that—I’m 100% committed to freedom.

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Society Social Join The Perpetual You Society for more fun and conversation with Tessa on December 17th!

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Finding

Joy

A Journey of Intentional Freedom

“Do you feel truly free right now? Are you doing exactly what you want to do during all hours of the day? Does your life feel intentional? Are you living according to your most cherished values? Have you created the world you want to live in—the world of freedom and joy?

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oo many of us cannot answer yes to these questions, but Tessa Chittle—a real-life, authentic, inspiring woman—can honestly say that her life is truly joyful. Tessa’s family lives according to a manifesto of their own writing, a process they went through to accept their selves, recognize their needs, and choose their values (see page 33 for the Chittle Family Manifesto). These specific measures help them stay true to their goal of having freedom and joy every day, in as many moments as possible. This family manifesto did not just appear on Tessa’s doorstep one day. Instead, her journey toward joy and freedom led her to the important decision to live intentionally. She started by assuming that what life is “supposed” to look like is not what her life was meant to look like. “It’s hard to find freedom if you think that you are supposed to be living by rules,” Tessa says. continued on next page

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like she wanted. Instinctively and courageously, she decided to “let go…and make happiness nonnegotiable.” This choice turned out to be a “seed that was planted” for her ultimate value-led life.

We live in a society in which “we are constantly judging ourselves or thinking that the world is judging us.” Going through the process to find internal joy and freedom among this external world of judgment means accepting who you are and what you want. Creating an “external environment” of freedom leads to internal joy, where “in every moment, you get to consciously choose what you want for your life.” Tessa calls this level of authentic acceptance “finding a home within ourselves.” Once you have accepted your true self, you will feel safe. “If you go within, you are not going to find that super judgmental voice that just hates on you,” she says. Acceptance leads to introspective decision-making. What kind of world do you need to create for yourself in order to be truly happy? Says Tessa: “If you get to

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create whatever you want, you might as well choose what’s going to empower you to feel more joy, freedom, and ease.” Creating her world did not come any easier to Tessa than it would to any of us. She points to the “very striving, academic atmosphere” of her childhood as one factor in her inclination to be self-judgmental, which led to a struggle with body image and emotional eating. The loss of her father early in life was yet another obstacle on her path to freedom. “My whole world became kind of this crazy place,” Tessa says, and, like many of us do in times of crisis, she “hit rock bottom.” The importance of that moment cannot be underestimated for the Tessa who exists today. When faced with the choice of living or not living, Tess chose to live exactly

Tessa’s world changed dramatically when she began to determine the values by which she wanted to live. First, she and her husband decided to move away from their tiny apartment in an urban area and buy six acres of land, on which they planned to homestead. This move led to discussions about how they would feed themselves, when they would work or not work, how far they would drive to make a viable income, and how their home environment could encourage them to pursue their passions. No one decision was more important than the others, nor was any one answer easier to come by. The process was one of deliberation— “really thinking about what makes us joyful, what our values are, what we want to stand for in the world, how we want to live our lives,” says Tessa. “And how do we create ease and freedom within all of that?” Next, Tessa and her husband set an intention for what they wanted their life to be. Instead of “operating on autopilot,” says Tessa, having an intentional mindset sets a precedent for conscious reflection, a practice of re-centering yourself in “the bold mindset of making joy and freedom nonnegotiable.” As you might imagine, the holidays are an area in which this type of manifesto can have a revolutionary


impact. Living according to your values is an important aspect of retaining freedom during the holiday season, but can be more challenging simply because of the heightened focus on family and the needs of others. The parents of a toddler, Tessa and her husband are “in the middle of” this exact dilemma—after several years of not having strong opinions over the traditions they followed or meals they partook in, the Chittles now desire to intentionally create a holiday that espouses the values they live by every day. With the specific events and traditions of the holidays in mind, Tessa and Ian must consciously choose the values on which they will place importance.

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“Our whole mentality is one of creativity over consumption,” says Tessa. Since they view traditional giftgiving as a system that limits freedom rather than encourages it, they would feel odd experiencing a Christmas in which their “daughter is receiving a million gifts,” even when those gifts are given out of love. Does this mean they are against presents altogether? Would they be okay with homemade presents instead? What if relatives give their daughter presents but they don’t? These are just a few of the many, many decisions a family must go through to celebrate intentionally, and doing so means being clear on your values. “What are the pieces— the smells the tastes, the people, the decorations–which part of those are actually really important to us and which ones aren’t?” asks Tessa. “Seeing the holidays as a clean slate, you may choose all the same things,” says Tessa, but this time around, you’re choosing “consciously instead

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of automatically.” You don’t know what choices you will make until you’ve established your values. To clearly communicate this system of values is the next step to an intentional and freeing holiday. The “added dynamic of honoring other people’s traditions and values” is one that requires love, but also courage, says Tessa. Too often we communicate our values offhandedly or passive-aggressively. You show up even when you don’t want to and expect others to pick up on your lack of joy. Instead, address your desires for the holiday with your family members directly. Tell them how you’re feeling, explain the reasons behind certain choices, and illuminate the values underneath those choices. This also means listening to their desires and, most importantly, discovering if there are any “underlying values” that you share. Says Tessa: “A lot of times we just assume that we have said our

thoughts but we haven’t said them in a very intentional way that’s not rigid—it’s our way or the highway.” How better to revolutionize this year’s interactions with family, than by sitting down in a “nonjudgmental, intentional space” while voicing your own needs and listening to the needs of others. The next step may be the hardest: compromise. Recognize, says Tessa, that some people just have a hard time with change and “some [people] are going to want to do what they want to do.” However, if you’ve already had intentional conversations, “you might be able to get to the bottom of what is really sentimental” to your family, “why they don’t want to let go of certain traditions and what really matters to them.” Knowing where a friend or family member draws the line allows for a different kind

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The Chittle Family Manifesto To see the full manifesto visit Tessa's website.

We the Chittle family... Stand for all humans recognizing the choice we each have in this moment to live by our values and the power this grants each of us to create the world we want to live in. Stand for doing it differently, whatever “it” may be, by getting off auto pilot and beyond “shoulds.” Stand for community, collaboration, and creativity being the answer to the hard problems we have in our own lives and in the world. Stand for changing the world through boldly modeling a life that embodies the world you want to live in. Stand for connected families who create, explore, and play together. Stand for sustainable living...sustainable for our earth, our families, and our communities.

We are motivated by... The trees, the ocean, the soil. An inner awareness that reveals an innate drive to create beauty and connection....in our spaces, on our land, and in our relationships with others.

Our children including the child within us that longs for connection, peace and purpose.

Each day... We minimize our use of resources, spend & consume consciously, and live in kindness to the earth. We feel empowered by “doing it ourselves” and using creativity to “do it differently.” We express love to each other. We experience a feeling of slowness and presence in our days. We choose not to be complicit in systems we don’t agree with ....voting with our actions. We raise our children and ourselves to be selfaware beings able to explore and shift our sources of suffering. We recognize the strength and passions of each family member, each person on this planet, and respect them wholly for who they are. We work to align our life so all these happen naturally as we live our life of purpose.

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of freedom: trading in control for a collaborative mindset.

and determine why there is a lack of joy.

In this way, you can create the kind of holiday you want to have. If grandma has the value of a special experience with grandchildren and you have the value of their being freedom in collaboration, then maybe a holiday potluck becomes a new tradition. Maybe giving presents comes out as being important to everyone, but the decision is made to approach generosity creatively, whether setting a limit on type or number of presents or agreeing to a spending limit per grandchild. The smallest decisions can have a big change in the happiness of everyone.

One possibility is that you may have reverted back to viewing your life through the lens of others’ lifestyle choices. No matter what amazing things you’re doing, there will be people who don’t get it. We feel judged because we focus on the fact that people are judging us. Reclaiming joy can come through finding a way to “reflect, but not in a way that’s degrading to yourself,” Tessa says. The judgment is “about them, not you.”

For the Chittle family, a focus on creativity during the holiday season comes from finding alternative methods of generosity: service projects, handmade presents, and spending time with someone over shopping for them. “We feel so much freedom knowing that we can create most things that we want to buy,” Tessa says. They find further joy knowing they are modeling their value of creativity to the world. Creating a manifesto, whether for a specific event or for your life overall, is not a one-time thing. The values of creativity, possibility, and reflection are ones that Tessa and her family re-discuss, as often as once a month even, in the form of a family meeting or “check-in.” If you’ve decided “joy is nonnegotiable,” says Tessa, and you aren’t feeling joy, it’s time for a “reflection.” Have a conversation or journal your thoughts honestly to “shift” your mindset. Take the opportunity to “look with fresh eyes” T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Living according to a “bold mindset—stepping outside the box and choosing each moment” is something that takes practice. Tessa likens it to meditation. “In meditation—you focus on your breath but it’s accepted that you are going to stray. Actually, the most valuable part of the process is that moment that you decide to bring yourself back to the breath–the moment that you catch yourself getting lost in your thoughts and bring yourself back to the breath.” With the manifesto, you can check in with yourself in much the same manner, by paying attention to those moments when you don’t feel free. For example, you catch yourself worrying about money even though you’ve decided to live with an abundant mindset. To avoid getting caught up in automatic thinking, you remind your brain of what really matters, of what is in the manifesto— that abundance means letting go of anxiety. In addition to checking in, Tessa points to the strategies of deep breathing and of truth telling.


Listen Up TPY's own LaKay and Tessa for a chat on Intentional Friendship Dec. 10th. Click to join RLI and get the details

“When you get caught up in your thoughts, remember they are just thoughts; at a scientific level, they are just neurotransmitters floating around in your brain.” Tell yourself the truth—“Ok I’m having that pattern happen”—then remind yourself of what matters, all the while breathing deeply. Tessa recommends picturing these thoughts in your head so that you can watch them float away. As soon as you let them go, they are no longer a part of your truth. Another challenge Tessa has encountered is with seemingly

contradictory values. For example, she values “not consuming and living off the land” while also appreciating beautiful home decor. Learning to reconcile these has meant learning to honor different aspects of her personality which in turn has lessened the hold of her inner critic. Actually, Tessa has so fallen in love with “cute” off-grid cabin living that her family’s next Bold Project is to run a Kickstarter Campaign so that they can build a tiny home on

Get your Guide to Stress-Free Holidays Click here for your free download of Tessa's Holiday Guidebook to ensure your holidays are joyful and free.

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Ready to Pursue Freedom? Are you interested in creating a Manifesto for yourself or your family, following Tessa’s Journey as a Homesteader, or participating in their Tiny Cabin Kickstarter Campaign? The following are all of the ways you can connect with Tessa Chittle:

Tessa's Projects To stay up-to-date on Tessa’s own Bold Projects and Manifestations, follow her on Instagram, or visit her website, where you can learn more about her Family Manifesto. There you will be invited to receive a free holiday guidebook. Tessa created just for your family!

Kickstarter Campaign If you’re ready to take the plunge and create a manifesto or a bold project, be sure to support Tessa and her family’s Kickstarter campaign, beginning in February, to build a tiny house on their homestead land. A cabin where people can come to stay, to step outside of their lives, the space will be “truly inspirational,” according to Tessa, and offer families “a time to connect & reflect, to create as a family….all while being nourished by farm breakfasts, farm activities, campfire s'mores, and adventures.”

Revolutionary Living Institute If you are an entrepreneur and/or coach, you will want to visit Tessa’s business site–The Revolutionary Living Institute–where she and her business partner, Kimberly Johnson, offer advice & programs on living, working, and creating in a revolutionary manner. Says Tessa: “We are super on board with collaborating–we are not into competition.”

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their property. A cabin in which they will eventually live full-time, the home will be like a timeshare— anyone who contributes to the Kickstarter will get to stay in the cabin. In that way, they can share their values with others while also realizing more fully their dream to not pay rent or utilities. Perhaps the most important gain in Tessa’s life has been the “random joyful moments” that happen as a result of being free to spend time as they wish. For example a “meaningful walk out in the forest” where the sounds of birds and trees and her daughter’s giggle are all that she hears fills Tessa with joy. “The present moment is really beautiful,” she says. “We are okay and life is really beautiful.” Free time leads to spontaneity, which leads to joy, which results in freedom. Ultimately, the Chittle Family Manifesto is a baseline. If they feel disconnected or overwhelmed, they return to this document to check in on their values and visions, their motivation and momentum, their desires and declarations. “The Manifesto is our foundation…a doorway to connect, communicate, and collaborate,” states the Chittle family’s website. Also, the “inspiration and momentum” of creating the manifesto together reminds them that they are “part of something bigger.” Living in an off-grid cabin, working from home, feeding your family on a five-figure income…these are things Tessa is proud of, but not what is most important about her journey. What she loves to talk about, what she believes in more than anything, is the joy and freedom of intentional living. People who decide their values and choose to live by them are “magical,” she says, “They have flow in their life. They feel at home within themselves, whether they live in a tiny cabin or a mansion.” H


dwell to align your physical space with your

ever-evolving self

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DW E L L

Freedom

in Design Paint the Way you Want

If you want to feel more freedom in your life, then your home should reflect that. You can experience freedom in design by balking at some of the paint traditions we’ve been conditioned to follow. Allowing yourself to embrace an unconventional paint color, technique, or treatment is a bold move against tradition. And if you don’t love it—you can re-paint it!

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erhaps you have a dark room and don’t know to do? Instead of changing the lighting, try embracing the darkness and choose a dark paint color like Soot by Benjamin Moore—a super dark, almost black grey. Pairing a lighter color on top will keep the room from feeling overwhelming. Tired of various shades of brown & grey flooring options? Try painting those old floors rather than sanding & refinishing. After a thorough cleaning, tape off your design and paint away. (For durability and shine, be sure to allow for plenty of drying time, and finish up with a heavy duty varnish.) A different way of rebelling against convention is painting the trim the same color as the surrounding walls. The result is nothing less than liberating. Remember: rules—even those in Design—are meant to be broken. Bring your passion for freedom full circle by painting with colors and in places that bring YOU joy (not some designer who’ll never see your home again!). Freeing your home from meaningless conventions will feel good now and look good forever after.

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Recipe for

Joy

Add a Little Preparation with a Lot of Awareness and Top Off with Freedom

My first Christmas in Chicago, I hosted my boyfriend’s parents. Despite also working and going to school, I set out to make the complete Christmas dinner from Martha Stewart’s magazine including a bûche de Noël, a dish it takes days to make. The house also needed to be flawless so I cleaned from top to bottom. Offers were made to bring a dish to dinner, but I refused. When my boyfriend offered to help scrub the toilets, I told him no.

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nly I could do things perfectly. (There may have been some lingering fantasy of being the whirling dervish in the kitchen my mom had been.) While trying to make meringue mushrooms, I cried. My cake turned out like a lump of I don’t know what rather than a lovely fallen log. By the time dinner came around, I was stressed out, anxious, and shorttempered. Gracious had left the building. After that Christmas, I made myself a promise to do things differently next time around. I wanted to spend time with family and friends instead of pressuring myself to have the perfect home and perfect meal—fun for no one!


Stock Your Pantry In addition to puff pastry in the freezer and a jar of olives in the fridge, I also keep the following recipes stocked:

Recognizing that being in control did not make my life any better, I started letting people help. A friend brought dessert to my next party. Guess what? The world didn’t end. Then I threw caution to the wind and asked a friend to handle appetizers. Finally, I hosted a potluck without controlling what people brought to eat and people had a good time with good food. Especially me. Letting go of perfectionism was a multi-step process; however, in losing full control, I gained freedom in return. Now I spend time with my guests—laughing, drinking, and eating—instead of hovering over a hot stove (never mind a filthy toilet!). At my last dinner party, a friend told me he felt genuinely at home and I made everything seem so effortless. Rather than remind him of my perfectionist tendencies, I smiled, enjoying the moment of high praise. After all, I am a great hostess.

Sugar Cookies (recipe from A Spicy Perspective) Red Lentil & Chickpea Soup (recipe adapted from The Full Helping) Spaghetti w/ Canned Tomato Sauce (recipe adapted from The Naked Kitchen)

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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Dinner Party Empowerment on this

Whether you are the hostess or an attendee, dinner parties have stress potential. Follow these tips to be yourself, and enjoy doing so.

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Make a Value List. Instead of choosing a number of

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It's Okay to Cancel. Claim the freedom to cancel plans

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A Word of Thanks. Hostesses do not throw parties so

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Be Prepared. Party preparation is part mental. Have a dinner party buddy you call when things get stressful, or you’re feeling anxious—his or her only responsibility is to remind you how fabulous you are. To relieve the physical pressure of being prepared, have the ingredients of a few “go-to” recipes on hand and program the number of a home-cleaning company into your phone now!

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Accept help. Overcome the need for everything to be

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Choose freedom. Finally, don’t let getting together

events to attend in advance, make a list of your values and the types of experiences you enjoy. When an invite comes along, compare the festivities against your list and you’ll easily be able to respond, guilt-free!

when you’re tired or feeling out of sorts. If you’re not going to enjoy an event, there’s no reason to attend. Resting when your body tells you it needs a break means you’ll be ready the next time a fun event comes along.

they can receive gifts! Giving is an act of love; if offering a token of your friendship brings you joy, then, by all means, give them a gift. A word of thanks, a hug hello, or offering to help are also ways to express your gratitude.

in your control. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness! Friends and family want to spend time with you, not watch you cook and/or clean. Whether they’re assisting in the kitchen, taking the kids/pets for a walk, or delivering goodies from the local bakery, they’ll have more joy if they can help free up time for you to spend together.

with distant friends or family members become a 20/20 interview. Choose the freedom of not engaging when someone makes comments about your appearance, lifestyle, home or career. Smile, nod, and change the subject. Another glass of wine anyone?

Susanna Brown is a writer of both historical and contemporary fiction for young people of all ages, as well as an editor and proofreader. She loves traveling through time with words and often has her head buried in a good book. Susanna enjoys trying new vegetarian dishes, shopping, and going places she's never been. She lives in Memphis, TN with a Yorkie named Boston.

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“ I Dwell in

Possibility, a Fairer House

than Prose, More Numerous of Windows, Far Superior for Doors. ” — Emily Dickinson T H E W E A LT H I S S U E

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Freeing

The of My Foyer Or How I Applied Intentional Design to a Space I Didn’t Use, Need, or Like “Your spirit recharges itself in your home, so it’s important to feel good every time you walk through the front door.” – Amanda Ross

I

never imagined our front entryway would be difficult to design. Then again, I never really thought about designing it. Until, one day, I asked: why is it that we don’t use our front door more often? Is it really just more convenient to go in the entrance near where we park? Or is there something more? Once I decided to try my hand at designing this awkward little space, I realized how hard it would be. With no must-haves, like closets or windows, nor any dedicated tasks that would take place there, the foyer is quite superfluous. In fact, we didn’t really use our entryway at all, except to pass through it on our way to someplace else. continued on next page

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Practically speaking, not using our entryway as an entryway made sense. In our typical New England home, entry points abound while storage is an afterthought at best. Using the front entryway as storage for coats seemed like a good use of the area. Because of its location between the main floor and second floor, the foyer became the place where forgotten things ended up–books without a shelf, toys without a home, and Lego creations without a creator. Once we decided the best place for the cat box was in the nook by the front door, all hope of purpose or prettiness officially disappeared. We lived with it like that for over a year and didn’t think much about it. On holidays, I tried sprucing it up a bit—a collection of miniature bunnies and other animals made their home there from a week before Easter until mid-summer. No attempt was very serious, though. Not to say I

didn’t hate the piles of coats and smelly cat boxes, but they had no other place to go. Did they? If we ignore the cat boxes for the remainder of this article (and I think we should), the mess boiled down to inefficiency and inadequacy. In other words, we have more coats that we do closets. The argument could be made that a foyer is meant to hold coats, particularly in a home that lacks a hall closet, so why not just switch out the coat hooks for a closet and be done with it? That idea didn’t sit right with me. I’m not good at compromising and I’d decided to design a foyer, not a closet! This led me to wonder: how much of the lack of attention we gave our entryway was due to its lack in design? I guessed the answer was quite a bit. Obviously, the coats and other things previously mentioned needed a new home. But that only

solved half the problem. Without a dedicated purpose, the entryway would be impossible to design with intention. The time had come to go on a purpose hunt. Things that have purpose fulfill a need, but I’d already established that the needs of our family were at odds with my vision for a beautiful space. One thing I knew couldn’t be ignored was that, for part of the year, we do throw a number of parties and people do use the front door. Our holiday season began the weekend before Thanksgiving, with our eldest son’s birthday party, and will end on St. Patrick’s Day, with our annual sing-for-your soup party. Typically, people drop in and out at our events, following whatever schedule makes sense for them. We like the freedom this offers, for guests and for us, but it does make it seem like someone is always coming

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

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or going, which makes it hard to have the typical “greet and take their coat” moment. Then there’s the problem of the guest having to get through throngs of people before passing a drink or dessert station. Parties would be much less stressful if the bar cart were on the front porch. Whoa. Wait a minute. What if the foyer was more than just a first impression? More than just a place to hang your hat? What if our foyer bore some of the responsibility of entertaining? Parties would be so much easier if the bar cart were in the…foyer! Once I had a purpose decided for the room, I turned to Pinspiration and made my vision board. This is a critical step in my intentional design process—one I never skip, and that’s not just because I’m a procrastinator. My personality is, at heart, a reactive one, and seeing

what other people do in their own homes really solidifies what I want to do, as well as what I would never, ever, ever do. After I’d pinned several front entryways to my board, I realized that I liked the ones with actual furniture, not those bogus halftables that don’t actually offer any real space to put things on. I measured every wall and decided that, if the pieces were small, we could fit three, maybe four different furniture items. Most of them were bold but casual—for example, a patterned wallpaper in a bright color—and they all had a surprise element: a furry rug in one a sawhorse table in another. Storage was an aspect but not the main point. Lastly, they were each sophisticated while also favoring natural accents.

New Video Series! This month starts our 4 part video series with Desha Peacock, Create Your Sweet Spot Style. Desha is the author of one of our favorite design books, Create the Style You Crave on a Budget You Can Afford. Watch for it to be released this month in The Perpetual You Society private Facebook group.

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What was missing from most of these inspirational designs was an impressive color scheme. I confess I’m not one for the light and airy side of life; as you’ve no doubt learned by now, my designs are nothing if not vibrant. I love saturated color, especially in small spaces. Plus, designing in the late fall made me long for deep and soothing hues: blue the color of evening; golds & pinks reminiscent of a desert sunset; and a plum or magenta that would make any room feel warm and sophisticated. In place of white or ivory, the “neutral” would be a shade somewhere between brown and gray. An unexpected color scheme that also feels completely right.* The next trick to figure out was the wow factor. I took this as the opportunity to bring in a few of my favorite things, all in one place. Pattern was a must; color was

Check out this months' color palette on p.52

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Want some help finding handcrafted goods for your next redecorating project? Check this month's carefully curated products on p. 17.

a given; and forest animals were a definite possibility. Luckily, I found all of these things in a wallpaper pattern, the color of which was on the spectrum somewhere between coral and plum wine. Perfect. I also found a different pattern that wouldn’t let me go, so I ordered a yard of fabric—apparently a cornice board was in order. The time for real fun had begun: furniture hunting. Though I found quite a few entryway table inspirations that were DIY dreams, I didn’t have the time to find a craftsman and get anything ordered and my saint of a husband had already been roped into helping with the wow factors. I had to settle for items that were simply unique and ended up liking the fact that

each piece was original while they all shared a similar aged patina finish. I got very lucky and found all the pieces I needed, as well as a mirror, all sized appropriately, at a local thrift shop that gives proceeds to charity. My entryway remodel started to feel even better! Every cliché statement about adding in the accessories to a room you’ve just designed is true: they are the icing on the cake; they do pull the room together; they are worth every penny. My personal style is eclectic, which gives me the freedom to buy accessories anywhere from the local Goodwill to Macy’s or Nordstrom’s. Most of all, I love browsing local and/or handcrafted goods shops and was thrilled to discover a few websites whose missions

are making work by artisans available worldwide. I also have no shame in hitting Home Goods or Target with the buy-totry mindset. Even if I end up taking things back, the process helps me discover styles I’m gravitating toward for that particular room and during that particular time of my life. This time around my assortment ended up natural but glamorous; festive yet understated and tasteful; and global/vintage-inspired (or plain old vintage!) with clean finishes. Of course, I maintained my “more is more” policy—those of you who love jewelry more than the clothes you’re wearing know exactly what I mean.

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And an Entryway was Born. Just after the front entryway was finished, we had friends over for dinner. We did our usual prepare-forcompany routine, which is getting up that morning and cleaning like hell until we realize if we don’t start cooking there won’t be any dinner. On this particular day, we added baking a cake and reorganizing the living room media center to the mix. Around 4PM, I noticed my husband in the back yard, sweeping the sidewalk that leads from the back gate to the back door. When I asked what on earth he was doing, he said that he wanted the walk to look nice for our visitors. They’ll probably park over here and can walk through the way we do, he said. Um…what? I reminded him how we now had a magazine-worthy foyer and suggested we let them knock on the front door, like proper guests. Hard to make a first impression when your guests come up the back stairs! I’m sure my husband likes the entrance at the front of our house much more than he did before, and I know I do too. Old habits die hard, I suppose. I don’t expect us to become formal folk just because we have a beautiful foyer, nor did I design it in order to change who we are. But just this once, I did want to show off our handiwork. Happily, they came to the front, and—after much knocking and us discovering the bell doesn’t work—we were glad to invite them in. (Turns out it is easier when folks just walk on in…) We don’t hang out in our front entryway, and I doubt we ever will, but the space has taken on new significance since its makeover–it may still (primarily) be a pass-through room, but it’s also a place of beauty and simplicity that I love as much as I do all the other remade spaces in my home. The pictures, as lovely as they are, don’t do it justice. Entryways are best experienced in the flesh, don’t you think? So come on over—don’t worry about ringing the bell! Just make yourself a cocktail or pour a glass of something bubbly, or don’t. You are free to be who you are—my entryway doesn’t judge and our door is always ready to be opened.

Lee Lee Thompson is learning to be intentional, whether mothering, writing, designing, or imbibing. A true collector and bargain boss, she’ll shop you under the table at the thrift store of your choice. Follow her journey through pictures, through words, or through her hopes and dreams. You’re also welcome to come hang out on her front porch.

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5 ways to "free" your Foyer 1. Offer DIY Drinks The best way I've discovered so far to alleviate stress from yourself and your guests alike is to have the bar cart front & center. Offer a suggested drink, or just stock it with crowd favorites. Bonus—the bar cart doubles as a place for an abundant collection of barware!

2. Include Unexpected Storage If there's one element your foyer can't live without, it's storage—but please don't feel the need to go all basket-y, unless you like baskets. The small dresser I found will house anything from mittens to junk mail, and look good while doing so.

3. Go Bold or Go Home You only get one chance to make that first impression, so if there's any part of you that wants to try out a bold color scheme, try it in the foyer! You'd be surprised at just how well a small space can handle larger-than-life colors.

4. Have a Seat Every room in the house needs comfort & warmth, and a bench topped off with a comfy blanket is an easy way to work that in. It's also nice to have a place to sit down when you're going through the mail or waiting for your kid to put on his shoes.

5. Layer on the Love Whether it's a certain color, a special heirloom, or a fabulous find from last week's flea market binge, make sure to include something special in your foyer. After all, it's a room too! Why not show it some love?

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Resplendence corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2159-10

Canyon Spirit corresponds to Benjamin Moore 084

Bella corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2083-10

RE ADY , S E T, D ES I G N.

On the Rocks corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2142-50

This month’s color palette is warm and inviting without being boring. Use all five colors in a space where you feel comfortable going bold—like the front entryway we’ve featured this month! Other suggested pairings:

Bella & On The Rocks. Blend these luxurious colors into your guest bedroom and/or bath scheme and your guests may not want to leave!

Evening Clutch corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2058-10

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Resplendent, Bella & Evening Clutch. These saturated colors say ͞Love me or Leave me͟; let them take over a small space like a hall bath or linen closet.

On The Rocks, Canyon Spirit & Evening Clutch. Complement this cool gray with an alternating pattern of pink & blue; this versatile combo will bring fun to an office or raise the sophistication of a nursery or playroom.

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


live

to align your innermost thoughts with your

ever-evolving perspective

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LIVE

Joy

Find Within

Crisp air surrounds us. The holiday season is right around the corner, bringing with it wonder, joy, and happiness.

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In past holiday seasons when I’ve felt alone or uncertain, I’ve struggled to understand why things were happening for others but not for me. I questioned my path and direction more times than I can count. My challenges always seemed heightened by everyone else’s holiday cheer.

his beautiful time of year also offers seasonal challenges. Some will mourn the loss of loved ones. Others may have to contend with adversity or hardships. Even a new, positive chapter in our life might bring pressure to perform harder, do more, or be the newest, most marvelous guest at the party.

Despite being difficult and exhausting, I often wore a mask and pretended things were okay, restrained by the imaginary boundaries I had set for myself and others. Other times, I chose to stay at home, which was easier but awkward in the long run. Last Christmas, after a long week of internal deliberation, I resolved to leave my mask at home while attending family events.

Yes, for some of us the holidays can be exceedingly challenging. Have hope! We are extraordinary women with amazing abilities to do what we need to and surround ourselves with joy.

It took great courage to give myself permission to show up as the real me. But I knew the time had come to accept myself, and share her with others. I’ll admit, I was a little terrified initially. My stomach was in knots and I felt insecure without my mask, but I was ready to

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take the risk and move forward with this uncomfortable step in my journey. And I did. Thankfully, the majority of my family and friends embraced and comforted me. I felt so much love. Although most couldn’t relate to what I was going through and struggled to find the right words to say, my vulnerability invited connection. To my relief, I didn’t ruin the party or bring everyone down! In fact, it was freeing to my heart and soul to see how others embraced the real me. The holiday season quickly became delightful for me. As a result of my incredible courage to tear down those walls and let others in, I knew true joy. On this journey to freedom and release, I discovered that joy comes from within: from the courage to free ourselves from temptation—to be other than we are— and pressure—to be who others expect us to be.

trust. In place of pretending you have it all together, let someone know you need help. Expose your true feelings to the light of truth, and watch them shrink. By removing your mask, you are no longer the sum of your feelings; you can create who you want to become. Free yourself from the temptation to stay home when you should go, and the pressure to go when it’s best to stay home. We’re all growing, learning, and trying to figure out how to live this life. Since relationships are not perfect and not all families get along, we may avoid situations and pull away from those who want to help us even when we need support. Grant yourself permission to take care of yourself in moments of pressure or uncertainty. When you have realized your own

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Free yourself from the temptation to spend more than your means and the pressure to exceed your budget. Memorable holidays come from having fun, not material gifts and certainly not from financial pressure or exceeded budgets! Be present, and enjoy each fleeting moment. Create traditions wrapped up in the abundance of the season. Discover ways to hold onto memories long after the gifts are gone. Free yourself from the temptation to wear a mask and the pressure to act as if everything is perfect. Being insincere or hiding behind politeness can be exhausting. The truth is, you cannot enjoy happy, healthy relationships with others while wearing a mask. If you are hurt, share it with someone you

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strength, worth, and value, you can decide whether to show up or stay home without feeling guilty afterwards. Free yourself from the temptation to compromise your goals and the pressure to prioritize the needs of others. Free will is the first condition for happiness. Not everyone will understand your decisions, your situation, or your journey.

Just Be Yourself The following ways will help you be your true self this holiday season:

1

Be Authentic. Politely decline foods, drinks, or

2

Be Spontaneous. Plan a movie night with

expectations that do not align with your values.

popcorn, hot cocoa, and blankets on the living room floor; or a baking day with warm cookies, candles, and uplifting music. No gifts allowed!

Because they haven’t walked your path, they may only view it from their level of perception. Let go of the need to please others, the desire to convince them of your point of view. Let JOY take the place of anger, bitterness, anxiety, or greed. Claim the victory of loving yourself. This holiday season, let go of what’s weighing you down and ignite your inner joy. Set a personal goal to make your happiness a priority. Choosing to love and take care of yourself is a necessity for a joyful holiday. When nobody celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody compliments you, compliment yourself. Remain present in every moment and embrace the possibility in the season! The foundation of your life is freedom, the purpose of your life is joy.

3

Be Present. Document all you’re thankful for this year, complete with photos of your holiday fun; store this memento with holiday goodies to be revisited year after year.

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Chrissy Kirkman’s soul ignites when helping others overcome adversity and achieve their dreams. A Kansas City, Missouri native, Chrissy is a life coach, worship leader, mentor, wife, and bonus mom. Connect with Chrissy at chrissykirkman.com, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


“ Freeing yourself was one thing,

claiming ownership

of that freed self was another. ” — Toni Morrison

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LIVE

The Empowered Woman's Guide to Holiday

Freedom

I love the seasonal cheer: the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the holidays send me into a blissful sensory overload! I think of all the opportunities that will arise to connect with loved ones—parties, presents, and punch—lots of punch! Guess what? I also think of the people that leave me feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Yep—I said it out loud—spending time with family and friends is not always the healthy option.

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astering the challenges and cheer of the festive season means regularly taking time to reflect on our own personal situations and internal state of being. Optimal health and wellness come from knowing what your unique combination of social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and financial needs are, then paying attention to and honoring them. Since these needs are fluid in nature—dependent on the demands of life and the skills and supports at your disposal to cope with those demands—this time of year can be particularly stressful. Our nervous systems get kicked into overdrive while we try to manage schedules, budgets, relationships, and expectations. Unfortunately, a season full of party invitations, event planning, and social functions with family, friends, and co-workers may lead to financial pressure or result in unwanted isolation. To replace feelings of worry, stress,

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

or even dread with the joyful excitement the holiday season deserves, empower yourself to choose freedom over obligation; relaxation over over-scheduling; and reflection over reaction. Know your limits. As an introvert, I NEED alone time to refresh my energy levels--when I’ve been surrounded by groups of people for hours, I am drained! Some of you may relate to that, while others may need the parties to fill up those energy reserves. Whichever it is for you, communicate these needs to those that you share your holiday time with. This season of celebration can quickly turn into a chaotic time of year if left unchecked, leading to depleted energy, strained relationships, and drained bank accounts.


Before this happens, take time to consciously reflect on your present state. Are you thriving or surviving? Are there any toxic people in your life that you need to take space from? How much can you realistically afford to spend? How much time do you need to relax and rest in order to show up as your best self at events and functions? In deciding where limits need to be set, you are honoring yourself, as well as those who will be engaged with you over the holidays. They want what’s best for you, and the best of you. Let go of pleasing. When did no become a bad word in our vocabulary; a response we need to feel guilty for giving? The idea

that we need to say yes to everything is crushing the spirits of women everywhere. Being assertive is not rude: there is only one of you, after all. I have been a “yes” addict—even while feeling that I just can’t do any more for anyone, it was hard to say no. The pain, stress, tears, and sleeplessness that followed wiped me out! Because of that, I burned out fast and hard. If you’re feeling the pressure of obligation this holiday season, do yourself a favour and give yourself permission to say no to whatever doesn’t serve you in a meaningful way. Instead, make a schedule that’s full of things you are absolutely stoked about doing, and overflowing with people and places that delight you. You will most definitely not regret it! continued on next page

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Take ownership of your choices.

Commit to taking 30 minutes a day to yourself.

Whether you love being the center of attention or you prefer to stay out of the limelight, the choice is yours. You don’t have to do anything. A radical concept, I know, but it’s true. Everything is a choice; the things on your to do list, are there because you put them there. Reflect on who plays an important role in your life and plan to attend the social gatherings that bring you closer to those that have the most meaning in your life.

Break it up into shorter sessions if you want to, but take the full half hour every day. Use this time for whatever lights you up inside! Go for a run, paint, dance, listen to music, play an instrument, take a bath, write, meditate, or simply take a nap. From experience, I can tell you that I have not found a better way to improve my health, mood, or focus. These 30 minutes are precious and personal—YOUR time to gain clarity and insight so that you can consciously create the most wonderful festive season.

This might mean staying home more often, choosing to be with immediate family as much as possible, or ditching parties altogether. Remember, it is not disrespectful to unapologetically decline a request that does not align with your desires. Center yourself daily. Taking time to ground yourself and relax is not selfish! It is both necessary and important. Rest, exercise, and good nutrition keep you healthy and keep your energy levels up, resulting in greater patience, better mood, and improved focus. The more grounded you are, the more creativity, connection, and joy will be present throughout the holidays.

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When my son was 3 months old, I decided that—since I was off work to take care of him—I would take on preparing our family dinner. I made everything from scratch. Two days later everything was prepared but the food budget was blown. On Christmas day, I cooked and cleaned all day prior to serving the meal. By the time we ate, I was exhausted, as was my son. After all the guests left, I had another full day of cleaning! For the next couple of days, I reflected on my choices. I NEED alone time. I NEED to stick to my budget. I NEED rest so I can show up as my best self and share and THRIVE in the holiday excitement and cheer. I remembered a favorite quote, by Dr. Seuss: “Be who you


are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” The next time I spoke to my family I let them know how I was feeling and that I would not be doing the Christmas dinner again. I made sure they knew I would love to see them all, but that I would not be traveling on Christmas day. Instead, I would be at home with my son and if anyone wanted to join us for Christmas breakfast they were welcome. Thus began a new holiday tradition in my family. On Christmas day, after breakfast, I spend the day playing with my son and enjoying his gifts from Santa. By recognizing my limits, letting go of pleasing my family, taking ownership of my role in the holidays and ensuring my inner desires were being honored, I was able to find a way to connect with my family without draining my bank account or my spirit.

I hope you too will free yourself of the guilt that comes with declining an invitation, request, or demand. Be clear. Be concise. Be courteous. Be conscious about your priorities and love every minute of the holiday season. Replenish and rejuvenate on the daily! When you decide to live outside the obligation box, you are owning your life choices, kicking blame out the door, and taking responsibility for your own happiness.

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.

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LIVE

DEC EM BER M A NT RA

I give myself

radical permission to speak and act in

alignment with my inner voice of truth.

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LIVE

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


The

Wonder

of our

Inner Child Reclaim Your Holiday & Retell Your Story

Jingle. Jingle. Jingle. Shining, sparkly lights everywhere. Singing songs of joy and celebration. The smell of holiday goodies. The sparkle and magic of the Holiday season.

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hat happened to the magic? Why does dread set in? When does the bah humbug moment come? When you realize that the holidays no longer represent what you remember them to be as a child? When you start to think about how much work you have to do, money you need to spend, cooking you want to do? When did JOY become about more? Let me tell you the story of a typical holiday for a busy woman such as yourself.

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Once Upon a Time...

The Heroine Fights Back...

Feelings of celebration fill you up. You feel the rush of the excitement to decorate the tree and revisit the music stored away from last year. You cannot wait to rip open that box of decorations and ornaments. Thanksgiving Day comes and you spend it waiting excitedly for the day after to put up the tree or decorate the yard. The excitement makes you giddy, just as you were when you were a child.

You commit to yourself that this year, you are going to do things differently. You resolve to slow down and enjoy the magic. But... that never happens. You start the day after Thanksgiving with this new refreshing look and then BAM overwhelm/exhaustion/insecurity hits you like a lead brick. You have this to do and that to do and what about that and...and...and... Happily Ever After...?

Danger on the Horizon... A part of you loves the holidays, but a part of you hates them too. The guilt and shame of not being able to keep up replaces giddy excitement for decoration; the knowledge of all the crap you will ingest replaces savory longings for family recipes. You fear weight gain and wonder if you bought the right gift for the right person. The holiday magic of your childhood disappears.

T HE PERPETUA L YOU

Before you know it, the whole thing is over. You are relieved, but also, you are left with this feeling that you somehow missed something important along the way. You start to focus on all you did wrong—I ate too much, I drank too much, I spent too much, I did too much, I hurried through everything—Humph! (Blow hair out of face in despair). Well that sucked! I set out with good intentions but I guess it is just not meant to be.

How did you arrive here? You promised yourself that this Holiday season would be different, so why wasn't it? What is it with the holidays that makes you feel like a Mack truck just hit your wallet, your body, and your overall mojo? The holidays have become a high pressure status quo game: Who can eat the most and complain the most about the weight they are going to gain? Who buys the most gifts? Who buys the most extravagant gifts? Who goes to the most parties? Who holds their liquor better? Who makes the most cookies or other holiday treats? Who has the tallest and/or prettiest tree? The list goes on.

The smells, tastes, and overall feeling of the holidays are Lush— warmth, joy, grace. When we allow


others to push their agenda on to our traditions than we lose sight of what the holidays mean to us as individuals. We intentionally torture ourselves so we can fit in, not stopping to think whether it's worth it or not. And next year the bar is going to be raised even higher. Many people will tell you that the holidays are all about everyone else but that is simply not true. The holidays are about you (first and foremost) and your family—partner and kids and maybe parents and grandparents. Doing anything outside of taking care of you and your family is your choice—not your friends or your co-workers—Yours. You get to choose how you spend your time, how you celebrate, how you breathe, and who you celebrate with. Okay. Breathe. Take a deep breath in. Now, blow it out. Tell yourself the

following: The holiday season doesn't control me. I create the holidays I want and they only need to suit my needs and dreams. Does that feel far–fetched or doable? Start at those tickles of glee—the excitement of the coming season. Those tickles are there because they represent that part of you that really wants the holiday season to be grand. Think about those holidays gone by. What were you most excited about? As I child, I loved Christmas. Listening to the classics with my Dad as we decorated the tree. Every ornament that came of the box out had its own significance for him. He would tell us where they came from and how old they were. He would share his memories of Christmas with us. My Dad had a particular style to his trees that I still try to mimic.

While we decorated the tree, my mother baked yummy chocolate chip cookies and other goodies. My brother, sister and I would try to wait patiently for our turn to lick the spoon and the bowl too. Just thinking about this makes me connect to that child within who sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Your inner child did not disappear at age 18. Instead, she has been locked away inside. When the holidays (or other seasons) come that make you stroll down memory lane, your inner child beckons to be let out. Maybe you, like me, dream of decorating the tree just like it was when you were a child. Acknowledging this piece of ourselves can make us excited, until the rigors of being an adult and having responsibilities an adult has,

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Society Members Join Krystal Brandt for a special 4 part video series, “Your Perpetual Soul.”

T HE PERPETUA L YOU


we quickly gag our inner child so she is forgotten and packed away yet again. In this moment, we lose sight of how our heart and soul yearn to experience the magical feelings of the holidays—joy, love, grace, and gratitude. Having fun and enjoying the small things. These happy-go-lucky feelings are too easily replaced with competition, greed, guilt, shame, judgment, anger, stress, and disrespect. Not everyone experiences all of these; for the lucky few, there may still be a light in their Holidays, but for most of us, the magic is lost in the hustle and bustle of adulthood. The holidays are supposed to be about being grateful and celebrating everything already in your life— our health, body, home, family, etc. Instead, it has become about giving the biggest and best gifts. How does standing in a long line on Thanksgiving Day to fight over (and potentially trample) someone else's dream gift bring love and joy to the world, or to your life? Put simply, it doesn't. Do not get me wrong—I love to give gifts. But the thought behind the gift is what should count, not the gift itself. Someone loves you enough to share part of their abundance with you. How sweet is that? As children, the excitement of just opening the gift was enough. Beyond competition, the holidays are filled with guilt, shame, and fear about how bad you are eating, what other people think about what you are eating, and how much weight you are going to gain. This mindset is ridiculous. As children, we ate and enjoyed every morsel.

Your body loves you and it only wants to please you. Eating holiday goodies while telling yourself that you are going to gain weight is telling your body that is what you want. Words and thoughts become actionable items in our bodies. Your body thinks: “Hmmm...Okay so you want me to store all this extra away —okay got it.” Then, you get on the scale and you have gained 5 pounds. No surprises there - you asked for that weight. Imagine giving yourself permission to enjoy every last morsel of food you consume. How good would it feel to eat without the guilt and complaining?

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Have Courage This holiday season I wish for you to have courage... to create the holiday season that feeds your heart and soul to spread joy, love, kindness and grace to everyone around you by being you to enjoy the food and festivities with gratitude and grace to experience joy and heartfelt laughter

See what happens when you tell your body: “I am going to enjoy this yummy food and I give you permission to keep what is needed and get rid of anything not needed via the normal channels.” Last year, I did exactly that. I gave myself permission to enjoy my mother's chocolate chip cookies and other goodies—wheat, sugar, and all. I enjoyed every morsel—oh, they tasted so good! All the while, everyone around me complained about how much weight they were going to gain and how they shouldn’t eat (don’t deserve) all the good food around them. Drowning out everyone else’s guilt–fest, I managed to keep myself to my goal of enjoyment. Through this experience, I realized that holiday parties are giant pity parties where everyone spews the awful things happening in their lives and compares stories and tries to outdo each other. Yuck! There is no laughter, fun, joy, or gratitude in

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complaining and trying to one up everyone around you. Not only did I decide to enjoy every morsel, I chose not to take part in the pity party. I will tell you—this perspective made me lonely and any attempt on my part to change others' perspectives was not received well. I got this look like—Really? You aren't going to take this thing I have away from me. Regardless, I chose to sit in the corner by myself and to count my blessings as I ate chocolate chip cookies. After the holidays were over, I felt fulfilled, grateful, and happy. I had not gained an ounce (I actually reduced my weight a bit). I was free to be joyful and gracious, conscious of everything in my life and still feeling the lingering magic of experiencing Christmas through the eyes of my inner child again. I couldn't wait to see what the new year would bring. As children, we loved the holidays because life went at a much slower and more enjoyable pace. We had

the time to actually experience things. Today, holidays are what we make of them. They can be awe inspiring—lived through the eyes of your inner child—or you can continue to buy into the hustle and bustle of society’s rules. Take a step back to reflect on what you really love about the holidays and focus on that—anything outside of that is extra so you get to choose whether to add it to your routine. I wish for you to have the courage to bring that child within who still loves the holiday season out into the open. Hold that child's hand, embrace her excitement and wonder. Allow your holiday story to include Joy once again.

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 wellbeingis.com into a world where they practice gratitude and accept abundance together.


POE T RY BY

Micayla Vranic Potential Her dress left hanging by the door Her mind left whirling What’s in store? The words of wise And grand and sure Conjure up images Of futures spurred By shear possibility And power of will Great books lie in piles Next to her fears But the books overcome As she open each one Passion-Like a slow burning muscle Takes hold of her heart, her hands, her hustle. A brain impacted, Impermeably contracted To see glowing goodness In a world Overflowing With it.

To see the glowing opals Of the dying stars Right before their final call. A marching band Decorated differently Singing loudly in her brain Of unlimited fields Of ultimate gain. The quiet silence of this glee Pure joy! She shouts, In unrivaled reverie. The quiet nature of this plight Pure joy! She shouts, A silent might.

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Society Join the Movement

Create Joy by Choosing Freedom  
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