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The APRIL 2016 | Series No. 3, Issue No. 1

joy

Issue

Find Your Purpose with Kristen Kenney ALSO

CH OOS E TO P LA N • CO M P ROMISE YOUR D ESIGN • LISTEN TO YOUR LO N G I N G S


The PERPETUAL YOU


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

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We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messy, marvelously who we were born to be. – ANNE LAMOTT

The PERPETUAL YOU


L E T T E R from our E D I T O R

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ine months ago, if you had told me I’d be the editor of a successful online magazine that’s changing the way women feel about themselves, I would’ve scoffed. At that time, I had no idea what my life’s purpose was. Sure, I knew it would have to do with writing, but a magazine editor? I never would’ve guessed that. Prior to The Perpetual You, I had labeled my lack of purpose as a lack of diligence. If only I could stick to a schedule, stop procrastinating, and write those damn 3 pages a day, I could be the next great American novelist. I blamed fear, anxiety, low self-confidence, and even motherhood as the roadblocks keeping me from being disciplined enough to be successful. I know now that my PURPOSE—the thing I couldn’t “not” do, the calling deep in my soul, the light I’m meant to shine into the world is the magazine you {figuratively} hold in your hands. I feel blessed to have done a lot of preparation in my personal life so that I was ready for this purpose at the time it showed up. After almost two years of intense intimacy with my core desired feelings and much, much journaling, I’m ready to be useful to the outside world. I am eager to guide this brand and magazine, along with our beloved contributors and YOU—our readers—into the next phase. I believe we have built a product that is necessary for women everywhere because it is unique in its focus & forward-thinking in

its insistence that women can be truly happy just by being themselves. Because of that, we need to grow into our purpose, all the while staying true to the fun, adventurous, joyful spirit that got us where we are today. This doesn’t mean that who we are is changing, only that some of our approaches and offerings will change. For example, you might notice the titles given to myself and the members of my leadership team right away, and, if you continue to dig into this issue, you’ll notice the addition of our new Dwell products spread and the revamping of our back cover. I had an epiphany this past month; on International Women’s Day, I watched my Facebook feed fill up with positivity & love by woman after woman after woman–friends, mentors, colleagues, online connections, real-life crushes... Nine months ago, this wouldn’t have been the case. This magazine hasn’t just crystallized my life’s purpose; it’s brought me all of YOU. Because of that, I count myself among the blessed few living what Elle Luna calls “the dream in real life.” My dream for each and every one of you is to feel the same way!

lee lee


IN THIS ISSUE

Create

joy

by Choosing Purpose

realize

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Give Back by supporting local businesses, signing up for a Charity 5K, buying products with a purpose, purchasing only what you need and getting rid of what you don’t, building a wardrobe you love, and feeling free to change your mind.

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dwell Get Clear by decorating your home purposefully, displaying your values through accessories, and compromising on the design of your child’s room.

The PERPETUAL YOU


M O N T H LY M U S I C

Experience an epiphany and listen to our purposeful playlist.

choose Gain Insight into finding your purpose

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live

and blending it with the rest of your life.

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Go Forth by enjoying life right now, partnering with purpose, and shining the light within.

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SOCIALIZE WITH US

T H E P E R P E T UA L YO U M A K E R S

The Perpetual You wouldn't be possible without the amazing women who collaborate with us. Click on the Maker's handle or website to connect with her directly.

Kay

Walker Sisters Cover Story Photographer 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 or walkerstudiosllc.com.

Amy 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.

The PERPETUAL YOU


Meet our Makers and other special women by joining our Facbook group.

Kirsten

Maya

Senior Designer

Staff Photographer

@kirstenmariedesign kirstenmariedesign.com

@mojalvo mojalvo.com

Victoria

P.K.

Meg

Contributing Photographer

Proofreader

Contributing Artist

@victoriagloria victoriagloria.com

Connect on Facebook.

@MegShah3 meghanshah.com

Jazelle

Sarah

Jennifer

Contributing Photographer

Contributing Photographer

Contributing Photographer

@JazelleArtistry JazellesArtistry.com

@sarahannayphotography sarahannayphotography.com

@jenwenzelphoto JenniferWenzelPhotography.com

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SOCIALIZE WITH US

T H E P E R P E T UA L YO U T E A M

Lee Lee

Jessie

Creative Director & Managing Editor

Art Director

The Lee Lee is the #ladyboss of The Perpetual You. A writer by trade, designer by heart, and mother by choice, she seeks intentional practices and a positive mindset. Connect with her through Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Email. If you’re near Hamden, CT, she welcomes you to stop by her front porch.

Jessie Leiber is a multi-disciplinary designer & art director striving to make her world more pixel perfect. When she's not poring over mockups, she can be found singing (loudly) in her car or compulsively buying striped shirts. You can stalk her @jessieleiber or work with her at Little Legends.

Sarah

Brittany

Online Content Editor

Social Media Coordinator

Sarah Sandidge can often be found reading. A lover of language, cultures, and sociology, she’s a chatty introvert fascinated by people. When not reading or editing, she is spending time with her family—mostly taking care of her two beautiful children—somewhere in the heart of Missouri. Meet her at @LulainLondon.

Brittany is a social media guru and cabi stylist. She is often found on her phone curating hashtags or talking the latest runway trends, but also enjoys the perfect mix of chocolate and barre classes. You can plug in with her on Instagram @dressedtt9s or Twitter.

The PERPETUAL YOU


realize to align your daily practices with your

ever-evolving desires


Monthly Challenge Ready for #30daysofpurpose? Join our monthly challenge on Facebook or Instagram.

Choosy CHOOSE TO BE

The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy. – LUCILLE BALL

Laughing, enjoying life, and seeing the positive have always come easy to me. That’s not to say everything in my life has been perfect, but the influence of my always cheerful mom shaped my perspective on enjoying the moment and finding things in my life to be grateful for.

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ast summer, when my first daughter was born, that easy, carefree, joyful attitude was challenged. My husband and I had excitedly anticipated becoming parents for months. I knew it would come with lots of challenges, but overall we were just giddy about meeting our sweet girl and growing our family. Long story short, when Arwen was born she wasn’t breathing. That led to four weeks in the NICU and a very traumatic start to the journey of parenthood. Becoming a parent forced my priorities to shift rapidly, but it was spending four weeks in the NICU that made me aware of how precious life truly is. This became the catalyst for a new perspective through which I edited my life and relationships, and committed to being more intentional in both my scheduled time and my free time. Scheduling my life with purpose. Over the last few months I’ve been removing things from my life that felt more like obligations. At one point they used to bring me joy, but as the seasons of our lives change we must intentionally reflect on our commitments. I’ve been shifting how I volunteer and give back to my community. I realized that in the past I’ve been a people-pleaser, quick to say yes all the time, quick

to take on a new position of leadership. Now I’ve discovered the freedom and joy in responding, “I’ll get back to you.” Cultivating my relationships with purpose. Because I’m emotionally stretched to the max, I’ve also begun making more conscious decisions about the people I spend time with. When I’m creating time in my schedule to grab coffee or enjoy a glass of wine, I want it to be with people who foster hope and spread cheer. I want engaging conversation about real life victories and struggles—to really get to know people and be able to support each other. My husband is one of those people, his positivity is infectious. Simplifying my plans with purpose. My husband and I are in year five of owning our own business. One of the reasons for embarking on this entrepreneurial journey was to allow freedom in our schedule for travel. I imagined us living somewhere else for a month each year, typically exotic, like an island off the coast of Italy—exploring the new area, trying new foods & restaurants, meeting locals, working from adorable,

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inspiring coffee shops. For this reason or that, we haven't traveled nearly as much as we set out to. Now, with a baby and two big dogs, we have plenty of reasons to stay home! Why make things harder than they need to be—why a month? why halfway around the globe? We’ve adopted the 4-6 day getaway to places within driving distance and have enjoyed new foods, visited new breweries, and walked to new places. Quickly moments become years, and then decades—I want to make sure I can look back on a life full of joy and not a bunch of things I was waiting to do. I was chosen to be Arwen’s mom and want to be so “on purpose.” She’s inspired me to create joy in my life even when everything is upside down. She’s taught me that finding joy and purpose amidst curve balls is life.

Jennifer Whittington-Bookhout is an artist, tech-lovinggraphic-designer, and new momma to her precious miraclebaby Arwen. Bringing enthusiasm, a quick-wit and a love for problem solving to all her work, Jenny is committed to helping fellow small businesses look fantastic online (and offline too!). Jenny is known for her Hobby Lobby obsession and endless DIY projects. You can find her most afternoons on her back porch with her hubby Dan, hanging out with their two sweet pups and sneaking a whiskey sour during nap time. Connect with her at creativewhitt.com.

Start Today Here are some easy ways to be more purposeful and bring more joy into your day.

Schedule a Purposeful Weekend. Have your weekends been lackluster lately? Without the pressure of the 9-5 grind, we often feel uninspired, even bored. If a weekend of sprucing up the home isn’t what brings you joy, find a purposeful adventure elsewhere. Call a local charity, plan a day to help out in the community garden, or participate in a fun run. Need more motivation? Read more about choosing your destination on page 22. 

Cultivate a Joyful Wardrobe. If you’re overwhelmed by the clothes in your closet— or even if you’re underwhelmed—set aside 30 minutes each day to organize. Standard categories for this exercise are Keep, Donate, Toss. According to tidying guru, Marie Kondo, knowing whether to keep something or not is as easy as figuring out whether it brings you joy. Hold the item close to your heart. Does it bring you enough joy to keep it around? Read more style tips on page 28.

Simplify your Beauty Routine. There’s nothing that takes time out of your day like searching for that one item you desperately need and not being able to find it. Our resident beauty expert, Leigh Schwab, encourages simplicity and selectivity when choosing and organizing beauty products and accoutrements. Grab your make-up kit right now! What’s one item you could toss today? Read more beauty tips on page 24.

The PERPETUAL YOU


Passionate about reading? Follow our Books To Read Board on Pinterest for monthly suggestions. CHOOSE A MODERN NOVEL

Passing

This Is No Ordinary Joy

by Nella Larsen, Pub 1929

by Sarah Symons, Pub 2013

In Nella Larsen’s novel, Passing, we are introduced to two women: Irene Redfield – a proud black woman who takes a stand for African-American rights, and Clare Kendry – a woman of mixed race who has totally rejected her African American roots. Set in 1920’s New York City, this story follows Clare as she ͞passes͟ for a white woman, concealing the truth of her roots even from her own husband. But when Clare decides she wants a piece of the life she left behind, she entangles her old childhood friend, Irene, in a complicated and dangerous world of pretending. This short novel is surprisingly full of depth. The deep-seated truth Clare discovers about living a purposeful and fulfilling life is that we must choose to be ourselves.

Sarah Symons was a songwriter, wife & mother, living and working in Cape Cod. She thought she was creatively fulfilled until the unexpected death of her mother, after which Sarah began to crave something more. She found the answer in a documentary about women and children exploited by human trafficking in Calcutta’s red light district. The horrors she witnessed made her act, and, today, she and her husband run Made By Survivors—a not-for-profit that helps trafficked women and children. Baring her soul, Sarah invites readers to share her journey, from uninformed bystander to participant in bringing about change. Those who accompany her are given a glimpse of the beautiful ripples created when purpose and true compassion merge.

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna, Pub 2015 A blog post started it all. A personal revelation that spread like wildfire. The post was about a girl, her passion, and her plan to follow the right path. The girl – Elle Luna looked at her career (one she had worked tirelessly at) and her desire to be a painter, and realized she had to decide. The two were not the same thing, her calling and her career. She leapt in the direction of joy and made a decision to act on her purpose, to push for the elusive MUST that pulled at her chest. In her picturesque manifesto, she walks us through her reasoning, sharing inspiration and imagery all along the way. What could be more purposeful than taking your decisions—your intentions—into your own hands, then picking the path on which you can become you.

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

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C H O O S E A C U R AT E D

REALIZE

EXPERIENCE

The PERPETUAL YOU


P H O T O S B Y TA R A Z A N E T T O F T L Z P H O T O G R A P H Y

M V W I N E F E S T R U N S from M AY 1 2 T H - 1 5 T H

Attending a food & drink event is a purposeful way to spend the weekend. We invited Marnely Murray from the MV Wine Fest to takeover this month’s food spread and give you a taste of a curated dining experience.

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ix years ago, I put my chef connections into practice and joined up with a sommelier and wine expert who had founded the MV Wine Fest. This four-day weekend event, which includes everything from private home wine dinners to a burgers and champagne picnic, is one that consumers who want the best of the best attend. Every winery, every brewery, every spirit house, and every restaurant or chef present has been curated specifically to bring the attendees the greatest quality and joy.

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The benefit to spending your weekend at an event with a good reputation is you know exactly what to expect. You can relax and taste to your heart’s desires. You can feel like a VIP, even if only for the weekend. During the wine dinners, you’ll be dining alongside the wine makers themselves, while getting cooking tips straight from the chef cooking the tasting dinner. Other events allow you to taste a variety of wines, beers, and spirits. By the end of the weekend, our hope is that you’ve discovered a new love! In creating the MV Wine Fest, I get to use my talents for a greater good – paying attention to detail, pairing chefs with the perfect wine for their dinners, creating amazing gifts bags, and ensuring everything runs smoothly. Seeing everyone enjoy themselves and know they made the right choice of which even to attend lets me know that all of my hard work was worth it. That, and being able to attend the Oysters & Bubbles Event–it’s what brunch dreams are made of!

Great Taste/Good Cause

In addition to being the co-founder and marketing manager of the MV Wine Festival, Marnely Murray is the pastry chef at an organic golf course. She also writes a food column for the MV Times, as well as curates her own blog, Cooking with Books. Anything having to do with food and social media is her jam!

The G ͞ rand Tasting at the MV Wine Festival includes a silent auction for guests to bid at while they taste. 100% of these proceeds go to their regional high school’s culinary department.

The PERPETUAL YOU


Move CHOOSE TO

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rab your family or friends and sign up for a race that benefits your favorite local charity. You can walk, run, or shuffle to the finish line; if you don’t care about your time, neither will anyone else! In addition to giving back to your community, you are giving yourself the opportunity to celebrate your overall health by uplifting your mind, body, and spirit. One of life’s greatest highs is the satisfaction of crossing that finish line. The J OY I S S U E

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Keep up to date with our monthly product selections by following us on Pinterest!

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Choose to Give Back There’s nothing more satisfying than purposeful buying. Self-generosity is a favorite of ours – buying what you love is a form of respect for the woman you are. This month, we’re taking those feelings to a whole other level with our curated selection of products with a purpose. Proceeds of the six products we’re featuring go to support women, children, and artisans all over the world. Wearing any accessory you love can bring you satisfaction, but stepping out in something you know has helped another woman? Now there’s a path to feeling good.

1 | Love Heals Burnout Hoodie by Thistle Farms ($35, buy it) * Supports women survivors of addiction, prostitution, and trafficking

If you love these products as much as we do, click on the "buy it" link next to each product.

2 | Heart Pendant Necklace by Elm City Wellness ($25, buy it) * Supports artisans in Peru

3 | The Dominican Necklace by Praising Hands Traveling Shoes ($25, buy it) * Supports survivors of slavery, child marriage, and other human rights abuses.

4 | Hilina Envelope Clutch by Connected in Hope ($48, buy it) * Supports women artisans and their families in Ethiopia.

5 | Frances Bracelet by Landmine Design ($28, buy it) * Supports women artisans in the "Mine Field Village" of Thailand.

6 | Learning to Trust Ring by Made By Survivors ($48, buy it) * Supports women and children in the Dominican Republic.

Get Featured The Perpetual You loves featuring handcrafted, locally sourced products. Send us a note with recommendations to your favorite goods!

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C HO O S E A N EW

Destination Purpose and adventure lend themselves to one another. Finding and cultivating our purpose helps us reach our full adventurous potential. On our pursuit of ultimate joy, we must be audacious and let go of paths no longer serving us.

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e work to be the best versions of ourselves. We grow and change. But sometimes we need to take a step back and reevaluate, ask ourselves, “Is this still what I want?” Setting intentions and engaging in motivations requires commitment. When we no longer have the same core desires, we must be brave and bold enough to choose something new. Look back over some adventures you’ve had in the past. How did those come about? Was the energy uplifting and fulfilling? Or tiresome and humbling? What can you do this time around to rise higher and experience the desire to be more purposeful in your dreams? Staying on the same path would be easier; riding the whim out until the end. We don’t keep reading books that don’t speak to us, nor do we continue watching a movie that isn’t what we want to see. The purposeful traveler does the same. The plot of your life’s adventures isn’t set in stone; you can revise it at any time.

adventure results when you let go of expectations and past experiences. Instead of repeating the past, use your memories to inspire a new destination.

When traveling with a purpose, let go of the idea of traditional experiences: go bigger or smaller than you have before. Incorporate visions of goodness and charity into your travel plans. Do something amazing, challenging, life-changing. Joy on an

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

The PERPETUAL YOU


Try This at Home A purposeful travel mindset means giving to others, even while experiencing something amazing for yourself.

Go Big. Instead of the usual vacation to get away, why not get involved? Get a global perspective with an expedition trip. There are travel companies that will take you from the Galapagos to the Antarctic. You can satisfy your wanderlust and connect with nature in a new way. 

Go Small. Where can you go on a tank of gas? Get in the car and go. Pack the bare essentials and see what happens, where you end up. Maybe you don't even make it out of your own town, instead you check into a local B&B. That's okay. Or, you go until you have to stop and fuel up. Don't over plan the adventure. 

One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.

Go Nearby. Is there an organization or event that speaks to your beliefs or desires? Join the conversation. Become a part of the process of creating, or protecting what you value. By intentionally giving your time to the society you inhabit, you’re bringing more adventure to your life.

– EDITH WHARTON

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REALIZE

* Bonus Tip Look for a small symbol or date that tells you when your product will expire. A number, like 6 or 12, tells how many months the product will last upon opening.

Choose to Simplify Busy women with busy lives need simplicity wherever they can find it. A purposeful make-up routine will bring much-needed ease.

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y goal when leaving the house is to look polished but not overdone. In order to accomplish this without feeling overwhelmed, I have streamlined my cosmetics bag, choosing products I know I’ll use on a regular basis. As a Beautycounter representative, I have also taken an oath to only purchase products that are good for me and the planet. Because digging around in an overfull make-up bag or dumping out every product I own to find the one I’m looking for adds unnecessary frustration to my hectic morning routine, I pay close attention to product shelf life*. Using expired products doesn’t just take up valuable space, it can compromise my health, too!

The PERPETUAL YOU


Beauty on Purpose 1

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Multi-task Opening your makeup bag to reveal a million products can be daunting. To create more space & more joy in your routine, replace the products you use the most with ones that do more than one job. For example, a tinted moisturizer with SPF combines 3 products in one – moisturizer, tint, and sun protection.. * Leigh recommends… Beautycounter’s Dew Skin or

Suntegrity – Moisturizing Face Sunscreen and Primer

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Keep it Clean Cleaning your makeup brushes twice a month will result in cleaner makeup application and longer-lasting brushes. Use warm water and a light face wash or shampoo to do the cleaning. Lay your wet brushes on their sides to keep water from getting into the handle.

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* Leigh recommends… Bareminerals Well-Cared For Brush Conditioning Shampoo and Beautycounter’s Brush Set

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Choose Wisely Not all beauty companies are created equal! Certified B (Benefit) corporations focus on people & the planet first; profit second. Buying from these companies supports the global mission of getting safe products into the hands of all women, thereby bringing joy to you & to the world!

* Leigh recommends… Beautycounter, Badger, and Dr. Hauschka

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Simplifying my routine and streamlining my product selection minimizes stress and helps me feel “put together.” Being selective in a product’s ingredients, purpose, and company brings me satisfaction, and being intimate with my products in this way brings me more joy when I’m actually applying them each day.

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

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This month’s Self-Care Toolkit

Hibiscus Ylang Ylang Tiger's Eye Aeracura

C HO O S E T O B E

Inspired The PERPETUAL YOU


With spring all around us, we notice the little things that give meaning to our big lives–seedlings pushing through the ground, flowers bursting with their intoxicating aromas, baby animals rejoicing in the fresh weather. Indulge in the scents of the season, and you will find inspiration to pursue your purpose.

H E RB

ESSE N TI AL O IL

CRYSTAL

GO D D ESS

Hibiscus

Ylang Ylang

Tiger’s Eye

Aeracura

B E N E F I TS

BE N E FI TS

BENEFITS

BEN E FITS

Nourishes and revives energy

Restores and strengthens vitality

Encourages confidence & dedication

Puts goals into perspective

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uby red Hibiscus brings energy into our lives. Packed with vitamin C, this nourishing herb has a sweet and tart taste. Make a tea with Hibiscus by steeping the flower calyxes in hot water for 15 minutes. Add to other tea blends for beautiful color therapy too. These aromas of spring flowers calm us, ignite memories, and bring joy into our lives. Ylang Ylang is a favorite flower that restores and strengthens vitality and reduces blood pressure. Use 5 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil in jojoba to create a perfume. Tiger’s Eye is the stone of balance, confidence, and protection. This stone connects us to our root chakra, helping to keep us grounded and stable. During times of discovery and moving towards your purpose, keep Tiger’s Eye with you to stay dedicated and confident.

The Celtic goddess Aeracura is a multitasker, who helps us put our goals into perspective. Aeracura’s message for you is, “You are like a flower bud ripe and ready to open. Don’t try to rush this process, as it is part of your beautiful path.” Breathe in the natural aromatherapy of spring with every moment in the garden or afternoon in the park. Staying in tune with nature and being connected to your revitalized heart will bring clarity of purpose and, ultimately, joy.

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

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Fashionista Truth Say no to "fast fashion" and choose to rewear rather than buy new, Join the Fashion Revolution to ask your favorite brand #whomademyclothes!

Choose to Build a Lasting Wardrobe “Buy Less, Choose Well” – VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

Spring is a time for new beginnings. A time for cleaning out our home, garage, yard, and of course, our closets. Old is out. New is in.

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ith a new season comes new trends. We easily get swept up in the “it” item of the season—a practice that isn’t healthy for the environment or for our wallets! Worse, the search for “new” each and every season ultimately leaves us feeling unsatisfied with our closet. Of course, there is value to sorting through your spring/summer wardrobe and donating clothes that you no longer want to wear, but there is no joy in hanging it up in the back of our closets just in case we change our mind. By far, the most direct challenge of our “fast fashion” world is feeling satisfied with clothes we own that all of the sudden become last year’s trend. I once bought a black and yellow plaid-printed

The PERPETUAL YOU


Purposeful Style

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To build a closet that you love today and will still love next year, follow these three easy tips.

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Re-frame neutral. Your entire closet doesn’t have to be black, white, grey and beige, but having select basics in your closet allows for ease and versatility. Basics can also make up multiple effortless, but still stylish, go-to outfits for days when you need to look great but don’t feel very creative.

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Pick a color story. What’s a closet without some color and pattern? Versatility doesn’t mean ignoring color, but it’s important to buy colors you love and that you feel confident in. Try to stick to 3 or 4 colors. I tend to wear pink, red and blue, and certain shades of green. You won’t catch me wearing orange or yellow, in style or not!

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Ignore the trends. Take a look at your favourite pieces: the ones you wear most often, and the ones that make you feel positive about yourself. Is there a theme in how they fit on your body? Are there certain cuts, styles and shapes that you love? Knowing and sticking to these will help you create your own style that transcends trends of the season.

3 cropped jacket, a style that was “in” for a very brief time. I wore it once and never looked at it again. Imagine loving every single piece in your closet. Imagine if you didn’t have to throw away perfectly wearable clothes every spring. With purposeful buying practices, you can avoid trends and build a wardrobe you love. You can look and feel good in every piece in your wardrobe–not just today, but for years to come.

Elena Kazakevic blogs at The Curious Button, an ethically conscious lifestyle blog. The documentary, The True Cost, caused Elena to explore easy ways we can shift our lifestyles to be more sustainable. Before purchasing, Elena assesses how her purchase will affect people all over the world, as well as the environment. Visit her blog to find out more, or connect through Instagram and Twitter. The J OY I SS U E

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P E R S P E C T I V E S from T H E P E R P E T U A L Y O U PA N E L

How do you choose to “give back?” I Iove to declutter. Even something simple like my closet, a junk drawer, clothes my kids have outgrown. I donate to our local community shelter. I give to a mom who has kids just a little younger than mine. Thinking about someone and acting on it, sending them a positive message to help them start their day.

My favorite way to give back is sharing the lessons I’ve learned as a woman, entrepreneur, minority, and a Christian. Whether it’s speaking at a public event or mentoring one-on-one, I think it’s so important to share life lessons that help move us ALL forward.

As a mother and a teacher, I am always "giving back." What has made me happiest is when I may not intentionally realize I am helping someone, but then they tell me how much they loved a novel we read, or my class, or my style as a teacher. A few have actually been inspired to pursue careers in teaching or social work as a result of being in my class!

April

Cara

Katie

Coach & Branding Expert Houston, TX

Marketing Expert Baltimore, MD

High School English Teacher Arlington, MA

The PERPETUAL YOU


A favorite way to give back is to randomly smile at people. I’ve always been a chronic smiler! It is something I do effortlessly and one of my strengths! I like to whip out a smile on the morning commute or to people that look like they’re taking things too seriously or they could do with a lift. I know it’s helped me before when I’ve had a rough day to see a warm friendly face and connect with a stranger for a few moments.

Through a food drive that I organize with my dad’s company every year, we feed families a meal for the holiday season. The first year we fed 10, the second year we fed 50 and the 3rd year we fed 75. The food we give is one less expense these families have to think about. It has become something that the community has grown to know will be there for them and the number of people it has brought into my life is truly profound.

I love to help others that are struggling whether it is working through a difficult divorce, working through grief, or even working through challenges at work. I love sharing my story and giving them encouragement that there is light at the end and you can rise above the hurt and bloom. The difficulties you face are not the end of the story; you can make beauty out of ashes. Sharing my story and giving hope is how I love to give back.

Rachel

Ashley

Victoria Anne

Play Therapist Hong Kong

Life Coach + Motivational Speaker Paso Robles, CA

Counselor St. Peters, MO

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“A life of

contribution

is an outward-focused life. ” – ALLIE MARIE SMITH

The PERPETUAL YOU


dwell to align your physical space with your

ever-evolving self

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DW E L L

Design Joy C R E AT I N G A N I N T E N T I O N A L H O M E

Designing and decorating with purpose requires a keen eye and a willing spirit. The result will be a home you love—a space you feel comfortable in and want to share with others.

The PERPETUAL YOU


B

are walls; a small but thoughtful kitchen; an open work and play space with potential; a family bedroom with intentions for calm and simplicity. These were the visuals and emotions I experienced as I stepped into our new, albeit smaller home some months back. We’d moved in as quickly as we had shuttled out of our previous apartment, and so I was eager to approach the nesting phase of this small home, with the plan to design and live with slowness and intentionality. The terms “slow living” and “intentional living” are all the rage, showcased by the many minimalist Instagram feeds I follow as part of my design day job. As a homemaker interested in intentional design, I was excited about this trend. I had plans to KonMari, to tidy up, to achieve that inspiring, minimal, and practical interior style I’d seen on hundreds of “liked” photos and Pinterest feeds. Yet, two months into the move, I found myself stumped on my proposed small space slow-down. Maybe it was the holiday rush that accompanied the move; maybe it was post-holiday laziness—but come January I found myself struggling with the space we

had. The more I pored over ideas of small space living, the more overwhelmed I felt about paring down. But our piles of unorganized boxes and belongings (and the pressure to be minimalist) wasn’t going anywhere! As I write this piece, we’ve been calling this “home” for about five months. I’ve since realized—through many days and nights of discontent tempered with acceptance—that keeping a home isn’t about feeling like I’ve achieved anything. A home can’t be styled for the sake of intention, nor can minimalism be achieved for the sake of minimalism. My home should never feel like it has “arrived,” if “arrived” means it could be featured on a popular design blog. A home is meant to grow with those who make it. Right now, I’m striving to make our home a place where joy can thrive; where purpose and care for our surroundings can be taught, by example, to my two young children; where chores are done with as much grace as decorating a gallery wall or styling a useful nook.

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Matching Energy & Design: The Living Room Let me share two areas of the home in which I intentionally pared down because it brings me more joy. The kitchen and dining room of our home speak to me of the energy of fellowship and breaking bread together. I like keeping a happy bowl of fruit on the dining table, to serve as an edible centerpiece and fresh décor element. In the living room cupboards, I keep candles or tea lights handy, to add warmth and create a relaxing setting for meal times and when friends come over. For the bedroom, where we value rest and relaxation, we invested in luxurious bedding rather than a television. I also created nooks to encourage a slowness of pace so that I can self-restore and be refreshed: on our dresser-console, I keep a scented candle and a single leafy branch in a slim glass vase; on my side of the bed, I keep our air purifier-aromatherapy diffuser (which has a clean, minimalist design, I might add); on my husband’s side, a small wooden stool doubles as a side table on which sits his current bedside books. Streamlining and letting go of everything but the essentials. Through the process of setting up our smaller home, I’ve realized that purposeful design can be design that gives back by considering its impact on the earth, or simply owning only what we presently need so that our home evokes joy and intimacy.

The PERPETUAL YOU

In this family-focused room, the energy we want is community and restfulness. To encourage this, get rid of any excessive “stuff” on shelves and tabletops. Style your surfaces with decorative, but useful items: A mix of books everyone can enjoy; textiles to encourage cuddling or lingering; pretty baskets large enough to house the accoutrements for the stage your kids are in (Legos much?). More stuff = more dust & more time cleaning. Snuggling is much more fun than cleaning!

These are the energies I want for my home and my family. What do you want to bring into your home?

Martine De Luna is a Manila-based freelance writer and content creator, specializing in website management, blogging, social media, and copywriting. Her work has been published in various magazines in print and online, including Good Housekeeping Philippines, Baby Magazine and Working Mom Magazine. Aside from curating her blog, "Make it Blissful," Martine consults for women-centric websites and offers social media strategy for small businesses. She also produces the Gather & Learn events, the BLISSMAKERIE, and the Work in Freedom Workshops. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.


“ Create the kind of self you will be happy to live with

all your life. ” – GOLDA MEIR

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T H E JOY OF

Memories C U R AT I N G A P H O T O G A L L E R Y WA L L

The PERPETUAL YOU


DW E L L

Curating a family photo gallery wall is a special reminder of your life well-lived and a value-laden tribute to the ones you hold dear.

L

ast year, my mother, along with her husband, bought a small bungalow just outside of downtown St. Augustine, FL. Excitedly, she planned every inch of their dÊcor, buying furniture and determining layouts of rooms before the new paint was even dry. Though her style is vastly different from my own and her process is much more fast-paced, I admire the intention with which she curated the pieces in her home. She knew exactly what she wanted and went out to get it. One of the most intentional decisions she made was to collect all of her family photos and create a gallery wall for them in an otherwise odd corner of the dining room. This would be the only place family photos were displayed: no pictures of the grandkids on the nightstand, clinging to the fridge, or stuck in the corner of the bathroom mirror. Along with my sister, I had the privilege of going through the lifetime of family photos and myriad frames she had collected and choosing which would make a cohesive gallery wall. This was no easy task! As is our usual manner, my sister and I debated the merits of each and every photo; the quality of each and every frame; the balance of the collage we were slowly, piece by piece, allowing to take shape — the literal, physical equivalent of swiping through your iPhone photos and re-living the memories of your life.

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Experiencing the past so viscerally made me wonder if I have been too quick to discard photos because of bad lighting, or to crop photos with mistakenly captured elements in the background. I’m still saving memories, but is it dishonest to only keep those memories that make a good photo? Perhaps it’s just that our values evolve along with technology: to me, keeping more photos than I’ll ever have the time to go through isn’t a purposeful practice. And sifting through folder upon folder of candid shots isn't a joyful activity. Making a decision on the spot—to keep or not to keep—is the more immediate version of "storing" photos, just as Instagram is the more immediate way to curate them. Witnessing my mom’s dedication to the family photo gallery wall invited my curiosity and, ultimately, won my respect. While I can’t picture a wall full of candid and/or studio shots of my children and the generations to come anywhere in my home, I did recently hang a big, beautiful, vibrant photo of our kids in the entryway that makes me happy every time I walk by. (Thank you,

The PERPETUAL YOU

Artifact Uprising & Walker Studios!) No matter the way in which you choose to honor your familial legacy, the process of curating your photographic memories is an invitation for reflection, not just to be reminded of special occasions, but to remember the value of capturing and collecting the people and memories who bring us joy.


Dwell on This

1

Whether you have a family photo wall or prefer to keep your memories digital, there are countless ways to display your values throughout your home. From pillows you switch out with the seasons to a handcrafted statement piece you invest in, the guests in your home will know what you stand for when you display it loudly & proudly.

1

Make a statement. Turn the trend of affirmational throw pillows into a meaningful reminder of the energy you want in your space.

2

Write it down. Personalize and proclaim your family values with a hand-painted “family rules� sign, or write them on a vintage chalkboard. We love the selection at K Patton Designs.

3

Open with it. Include a family crest, oversized family photo, or a really special family mantra on your foyer table for an inspiring, meaningful welcome to your home.

4

Hang it up.

5

Add whimsy and nostalgia to your values through the time-honored tradition of needlepoint craft. The resurgence of this art has many Etsy sellers sharing their talents. Jolie Marche is our current favorite!

5

Serve some love. Infuse the goodness of those special homemade brownies or the family casserole recipe by serving them in an entitled baking dish.

Share your Space Thanks to @casaandco (above) and @walkerstudiosllc (below) for sharing photos of their beautiful dwellings! Tag us (@theperpetualyou) on your interior photos to be featured in an upcoming issue!

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A well-loved home will always be a bit of a beautiful mess. – MELISSA MICHAELS

The PERPETUAL YOU


DW E L L

Design BAT T L E W H O S E R O O M I S I T A N Y WAY ?

A child’s room belongs to him or her, but the child’s mother must also enjoy being in that room. Even better? When the child enjoys his mother being in the room with him!

T

here is no better reminder that your son or daughter is growing up than when their décor tastes change. Like any of us, this happens naturally as interests and influences expand our worldview. Unlike the rest of us, this can happen in the blink of an eye. One day, baby boy loves bright blue, watching Curious George, and colliding trucks together; the next, his favorite color is black and he’s locking you out of his room!

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How do you purposefully design a room that doesn't really belong to you?

Okay, maybe it wasn’t THAT quick, but the transformation of our eldest son from little kid to big kid did seem to happen before anyone realized it, and definitely before I was ready. Fortunately, just as our 8-year-old was “growing up,” we moved to a new house–an event that’s conducive to purging childlike stuff, passing down ill-used toys, and pursuing an entirely new bedroom design. My son and I embarked on the journey to “I’m not a little boy anymore” land just about a year ago, and in that time I have realized there is no destination. We just keep traveling. He just keeps changing. How do you purposefully design a room for a constantly shifting identity? If that weren’t a big enough dilemma, we also have to reconcile that ugliest of design challenges: too many cooks in the kitchen. I knew Henri was opinionated

The PERPETUAL YOU


(he gets that from me!) so should have been better prepared for our disagreements on style and function, but we’re so much alike that I assumed similar personalities would lead to similar aesthetics. How do you purposefully design a room that doesn’t really belong to you? The third tier of my design dilemma, what I think of as the druthers of designing for children, is the battleground of organization and storage, where the If I step on a Lego one more time... and If you’re going to throw your clothes down, why not throw them down IN the laundry basket? wars are fought. How do you purposefully design a room that you know—no matter how much storage you provide— will never, ever be completely clutter-free? Lest you think I’m about to give you some golden ticket to the land where children think, behave,

and clean their rooms exactly as you want them to, let me just be clear: I have no answers to these questions! There is no magic trick or “that was easy” button. Like the act of parenting itself, you just keep soldiering on, winning some battles, losing others, and avoiding some altogether. Because even though I very much believe parenting is a battle, the point is not to WIN. The point is that you both stay alive. If I’d designed this bedroom with the intent of fulfilling my own needs and appealing to my own aesthetic, I would have failed—not because that wasn’t possible, but because that purpose would have brought emptiness, not fulfillment. Does that mean I threw my hands up in the air and let Henri— some days Awesome, other days Anarchist—choose away? Hell-to-the-No I did not. In order to be happy in my own home, all the rooms have to bring me Joy— even those I don’t sleep in or am sometimes allowed to step foot in. I had to listen to Henri, which begins with asking the right questions, and stay true to myself along the way. The design plan boiled down to a simple strategy then: a Venn Diagram. His needs/tastes/ desires on one side; my needs/ tastes/desires on the other. In the middle—in that sweet spot of true agreement—lies the proof that, in the end, the room speaks to both of us.

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Light the World Here are the design elements I care about that an 8-year-old boy doesn’t: hangers that match the color palette; multiple light sources; attractive & abundant storage; textural variability; and being able to walk across—or even see—the floor. Here are the things said 8-year-old boy would not negotiate on, no matter how big my bribes became: computer-as-God; an overabundance of stuffed animals; enough Legos to build a whole other bedroom (full-sized!); a reading light and fan by his bed; and a door with which to keep little brothers out and, on occasion, to slam dramatically.

The PERPETUAL YOU

Involve your child in the design of their room and teach them about giving to those in need by purchasing a ͞Luke Light͟ from Unite to Light. For each light purchased, another light is donated to a schoolchild who doesn’t have electricity in their house. The light, which is solar powered, means they can continue homework even after the sun has gone down! Your child can choose the specific country or project they want their charitable donation to benefit. Bonus: This light makes a perfect bedside reading lamp because there are no cords and it doesn’t get hot to the touch!


Here are the practical decisions I made, as both budget maven and adult who knows children jump on the furniture no matter how many times you tell them not to: Ikea, Ikea, Ikea. I had as many visions of Pinterest projects for this room as I have for any other space I’ve designed, but—in the end—a trip to Ikea, a large vehicle, and a credit card with some room is all it took to find furniture and storage that made Henri happy and will keep him safe. That industrial built-in bookshelf/ loft bed? Amazing idea! But also completely unnecessary and impractical, not to mention costly. Since this is a kid’s bedroom and not a compare & contrast essay, the balance of ME vs. HIM is totally skewed in my favor. The trick was in giving him “choices”– the outcome of which I could be happy with either way. For example, I know that any part of the room Henri didn’t have a say in would go unused, but I wasn’t going to budge on my penchant for organization. The solution? Large, easy-to-use toy bins, with the contents divided according to his

logic, not mine. He feels involved while I get to continue instilling our family value of cleanliness. Finally, I capitalized on all the areas in which we actually do see eyeto-eye: fuzzy & numerous blankets; displays of beloved collections & creations; and the ever-present design fallback—duct tape on everything! Fun, fast, and totally forgiving. You can make anything look purposeful with duct tape at your fingertips.

By the time I was adding in final details—plastic animal figures in a glass jug, yet another “You’re Awesome” reminder—I was more concerned with what Henri would like than what served my own purpose. I had also realized how much we actually have in common, the things we both enjoy—reading, chalkboard paint, and little tiny pins for the bulletin board, to name a few. On the day I announced the impractical decision to move our couch from the living room to Henri’s bedroom, I was surprised not to get much pushback from other occupants of the house. Then again, the boys are the only ones who use the couch anyway. I say “use” because they don’t sit on it, rather they climb onto and cascade off of it. I was also surprised at how much Henri liked it in his room. “Is the couch for me? Or for the photo shoot?” he asked, after I’d told

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him for the 50th time not to touch anything. “You get to keep the couch,” I said. Of course, I failed to point out that I like having a couch in his room so that I have a comfy place to sit while waiting on him to wake up in the morning or reading a book to him at night. The couch is my secret weapon in the battle to give him a room he never wants to move out of. In that way, it serves a much greater purpose here than in our not-yet-completelyfigured-out living room. I’m aware that our child is uberprivileged. He’s white, and middleclass, and has naturally good hair. He also has parents who see it as their primary duty in life to make sure he’s safe and happy. We don’t give him everything he wants, though—just what he needs, what he deserves, and what will encourage him to turn into a human being who gives back to the world he’s received so much from. In giving him the most awesome room either of us could dream up,

The couch is my secret weapon in the battle to give him a room he never wants to move out of.

The PERPETUAL YOU


Design Compromise Six ways to meet in the middle when designing with your child:

1

Color. In a kid’s room, you can be more daring with your color palette, which makes this an easy point you and your child can compromise on. You don’t have to paint the walls jet black or neon green; choose furniture or accessories in their favorite color to liven up your ͞adult preferences.

2

Collections (1). Kids’ interests are evolving constantly; when they outgrow a certain ͞beloved͟ toy, like matchbox cars or my little ponies, consider holding on to some to display creatively in the room. We installed a very narrow shelf just the right size for completed Lego creations that my son can’t bear to take apart.

3 I also gave myself a year of getting to know my child better, and of letting him get to know me. Together, we planned, shopped, bickered, and forgave each other; ultimately calling a truce on our warring perspectives. Out of the dust came a bedroom that immensely pleases both of us. In this room, Henri will grow into himself and discover his unique offerings to the world; he will try and fail and try again at being one of the lucky few who make money by doing what they love to do. In this room, we’ll read to him and teach him new things; he’ll ask us to leave him alone or give him privacy. In this room, everything has a purpose—not just the couch, but the mother who sits upon it. She waits for her son to wake up, and watches as he comes into his own.

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.

Collections (2). Some kids hang on to things that we would never consider valuable. Rather than just throwing these things away, show your child that you value their interests by organizing or displaying them. Since my son likes to collect rocks and odd bits of metal that I don’t find so beautiful, I bought compartmentalized boxes in which to store his precious tokens.

4

Comfort. You can’t offer too many choices of seating in a kid’s room; beanbags, floor pillows, and rocking chairs are all comfy options. I took advantage of my son’s oversized room to include a sofa where we can read books together. Give your child the room other kids want to hang out in – the more the merrier!

5

Creativity. Create a unique design element with your child. Even if the project turns out less than perfect, the experience is what he or she will remember. The boring red rug my son and I splatter painted together was a better idea in my head than in practice, but I swear there’s a twinkle in my son’s eye whenever he walks across it!

6

Contributions. Invite your child to participate in the design or execution, in whatever way they feel comfortable. Cardboard robots, duct taped outlet plates, and framed self-portraits all remind my son that I value him as an artist. They also serve as evidence that his unique perspective is present in the room.

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Keep up to date with our monthly product selections by following us on Pinterest!

The PERPETUAL YOU


Shop the Look Three items we can’t live without for a kid’s room? Storage, bookends, and a fuzzy blanket!

G E T T H E L O O K F R O M T H I S M O N T H ' S F E AT U R E D DW E L L I N G !

Click on the “buy” link next to each product to purchase.

1

2

3

1|

Grey Print Floor Bucket Set by From the Seeds ($52, buy it)

2 | Hand-Cut Agate Bookends by Anthropologie ($128, buy it)

3|

Coral Tribal Throw with Fringe by World Market ($35, buy it)

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Positive + Persistent corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2118-10

I’d Be Delighted corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2158-10

Empowered corresponds to Benjamin Moore CW-525

A P R I L C O L O R PA L E T T E

Infinite Reflection corresponds to Benjamin Moore 1566

The April color palette capitalizes on what the colors of nature have to offer: vibrancy, clarity, and waves of beauty. Freedom lies in the combination of these focused colors, whether in a child’s bedroom or elsewhere. Other suggested pairings:

I’d Be Delighted, Empowered, and Infinite Reflection. Blend honey-toned cabinets with vibrant and verdant touches of nature for an inspired kitchen remodel. Use the lush gray on a statement piece, like an oversized range hood..

Positive + Persistent, Empowered, and Infinite Reflection. Let gray take over your bedroom and you have

Winsome Clarity corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2000-10

The PERPETUAL YOU

instant calm. Bring in pattern and texture with a black honeycombpatterned blanket or by hanging a leaf-patterned wallpaper on a feature wall.

Positive + Persistent, Infinite Reflection, and Winsome Clarity. Elevate this classic combination in your living room by framing a traditional wingchair in vibrant red with industrial fixtures. Gray accessories, like a wool rug and mohair blanket, will soften the look.

Color Inspiration For more ideas & inspiration, follow our Color Palette Pinterest Board.


choose to align your life story with your

ever-evolving purpose

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Find Purpose your

The PERPETUAL YOU


ON FINDING MEANING & CHANGING THE WORLD with Kristen

Kenny

In 2007, on a trip to Africa, Kristen Kenney contracted malaria. Her life-changing experience in getting treatment led to the creation of the non-profit organization, Malaika for Life. Running this organization meant relying on her strengths while accepting new challenges. Along the way, she has learned that you don’t have to change who you are to change the world.

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T E L L A STO RY , CHANGE THE WORLD

O

n her personal website, right above a picture of her with a group of young boys in Africa, Kristen’s philosophy for living is stated loud and clear: “Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Surviving malaria. Going local. Skiing the double blacks in Utah. All things that are normal fare in Kristen’s world.” Kristen traveled to Tanzania in 2009 to film a documentary, but ended up the subject of the film rather than the one telling the story when she contracted Malaria and had to travel for several hours and try several different hospitals before receiving treatment. After which, she stayed in the hospital for three days. Her bill for the stay and for the Malaria medicine was $7. Kristen was shocked—not because treatment was so inexpensive but because treatment is actually not affordable for people living in Africa, many of whom survive on $1 a day. This, along with the astounding statistics of

The PERPETUAL YOU

Tanzania: A Journey Within Watch the trailer of the documentary Kristen filmed while in Africa here. To find (or host!) a showing in your area, visit Tugg.com.


annual deaths from this “completely preventable and treatable” disease, served as a call to action. She came home and asked her friends and family to start donating. Soon after her return home, she started Malaika for Life, a nonprofit organization that sells handbeaded bracelets made by women artisans in Africa. This creative and practical solution to a monumental challenge showcases Kristen’s innate creativity. She loves to paint and has recently taken up cooking, but the creative passion that keeps her going is telling stories. By partnering with the Tamiha women’s group, the makers of the bracelets they sell, the organization is also supporting the creativity of others. Starting the nonprofit was one of her biggest challenges—from setting it up to figuring out the best fundraising avenues. Fortunately, she was able to combine forces with an existing 501(c)3 –Hope Through Opportunity– which made it easier. Regardless of the difficulty it brought to her life, Kristen never second-guessed what she was doing. “I felt like it was my purpose, my calling. I went through something and, rather than do nothing, felt empowered to do more.” Since its inception, her charity has saved over 34,000 lives.

“I felt like it was my purpose, my calling. I went through something and, rather than do nothing, felt empowered to do more.”

BUY A BRACELET, CHANGE THE WORLD Many women—whether they’re running a charity or volunteering at their local soup kitchen—get overwhelmed if they stop to think about the odds. Malaria is defined as a “major public health challenge” in Tanzania because over 93% of the population is at risk of infection. Due to a lack in resources and funding, over 11 million of these people die annually, most of whom are pregnant women and young children. If a pregnant woman does not die, she remains at risk for anemia and premature birth.

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What’s in a Name Malaika (pronounced Muh-Like-Uh) means Angel in Africa.

The PERPETUAL YOU

These numbers, which were shocking to Kristen when she first heard the statistics, are why Malaika for Life was important enough to her to quit her job as an SEC football reporter and give 100% to raising funds for the treatment and prevention of Malaria. According to Kristen, she was called to this work: “I just felt compelled to do that. Being in Africa was life-changing for me, and I felt motivated to do it.”

for themselves, but then many became more involved. For example, an aunt living in Florida began buying bracelet stock to sell at her annual pub crawl; another young friend started an Instagram campaign to sell bracelets to her own friends, family, and classmates. The demand for the bracelets and the willingness of people to help affirmed Kristen’s decision to run the nonprofit full time.

If she had had any doubts, the support of her friends and family set them to rest. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without support,” says Kristen. At first, people just bought bracelets

Kristen’s dad, Robert Kenney, was the most influential and supportive person in the establishment of the charity. As a doctor, he knew the effects of successful, compassionate treatment


I wouldn't have been able to do this without support.

firsthand. On the Malaika for Life website, Kristen describes her dad as dedicated to “giving back and giving people a reason to smile.” His value for life was the reason he supported Kristen in her radical change of life. Without this influence, she would not have had the courage to give up a successful career and adventurous life to sell bracelets. The bracelets, which are made by Tanzanian women, sell for $15. Thanks to a partnership with Malaria No More, just one dollar can provide a test and treatment for a child in need. Therefore, the sale of only one bracelet can effect monumental change in a community. The bracelet production program also contributes to the economic growth of Tanzania, as well as the empowerment of the women artisans who make them.

After several years of training women artisans for the bracelets to arrive in consistent and saleable condition, Kristen hired a fulfillment team that packaged and shipped orders. When a celebrity wore one of the bracelets and was photographed, Kristen knew her little nonprofit had made it big.

To raise awareness and tell her story, Kristen relied on the passion and drive to succeed that had propelled her thus far in life. She didn’t change who she was, rather her “experience in Africa became a part of [her] identity.” In fact, Kristen had a longstanding history of tenacity and grit where passion was concerned.

C H O O S E PA S S I O N , CHANGE THE WORLD

In college, Kristen was a Division I soccer player at Elon University in North Carolina (where she also studied broadcast journalism) when she was injured on the field. Despite this setback, she later transferred to the University of Miami and played soccer once again. She also earned her degree in communications there. In 2007, she became a news correspondent at the Orlando PBS station where she was working when she traveled to Tanzania.

Early success at fundraising gave Kristen the opportunity to do what she does best: tell the story. Her mission in life became raising awareness about malaria through her personal story of contracting the disease. “Malaria was a firsthand experience that opened my eyes to what the world goes through,” says Kristen. “With a little amount of funds, you can make a big difference.”

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She knew she wanted to be a sports reporter, even while filming the documentary in Tanzania. Sportscasting, for women, is a tough field. While there are a lot of female sportscasters, there are not a lot of positions available. And even those positions aren’t the most desirable. You’re more likely to see a female correspondent on the sidelines than in the booth. These odds didn’t turn Kristen off from becoming a sports broadcaster, which was a natural career for someone with her athletic background. “My whole life I’ve had the drive to push myself beyond my limits and see how far I can go,” says Kristen. In order to be successful, as a female correspondent, you just “keep climbing.” There are days when you fail, when you don't want to push yourself anymore, but “something

The PERPETUAL YOU

inside of you says keep going,” says Kristen.

S E E K J OY , CHANGE THE WORLD By 2012, Kristen was more than a success; she was the host of her own show on FOX Sports Digital, was a “One Woman Band”covering ACC and college football recruiting, and was headed to report at the London Olympics. Thanks to her tenacity and hard work, she had made it—she had reached her goal. Just before leaving for the Olympics, she spent her birthday weekend with her Dad in Orlando. That would turn out to be the last time she saw him. While she was in London, her father—the most influential and supportive force in her life—passed away.

“Loss is the worst thing somebody could go through,” says Kristen, “but it also shapes you into who you are today.” Her father was the reason she was multi-passionate and successful, but she realized after his death that these weren’t the only values he had exemplified. Although a successful doctor and businessman, her dad had always valued time away and time with the family, whether vacationing, coaching soccer games, or riding bikes on the weekend. By examining her dad’s life, Kristen, who was easily “consumed with [her] career,” began to seek balance. Her father’s death forced her to appreciate the present moment and made her want to enjoy the life she had built with the people she loved most. Going through this loss made her seek a different kind of joy and focus on what she truly wants. She began


choosing assignments intentionally, accepting only those that brought her closer to her long-term goals. For example, though Kristen does want to return to Tanzania one day, visiting exotic locations is no longer as important to her. She values spending time in comfortable locations, seeing family and being places where there are memories of her dad. Joy is about “appreciating more what’s in my life than trying to search for other things.”

B E YO U R S E L F , CHANGE THE WORLD Another change in Kristen’s life has been the decision to let Malaika for Life be what it is meant to be—a small nonprofit that she runs in her spare time—rather than trying to build it up to the level of a major one-to-one company, such as TOMS shoes. Being successful is “a constant battle to keep yourself and the company relevant,” says Kristen. At one point, celebrities were wearing Malaika bracelets. The charity had momentum. The bracelets were new and fresh. In as short of a time as a few weeks, though, there was a lull in sales. To be successful in the product game, Kristen realized, “You have to reinvent yourself constantly and reinvent the product constantly.” When she started Malaika for Life, charities that sold products weren’t as popular as they are today. Thanks, in part, to giant b-corporations like TOMS shoes, the landscape has changed dramatically. Products with a purpose are mainstream and desirable. Companies that give back are flooding the market. Kristen had completely left her sportscasting life behind, but realized

that going back into that career could actually benefit her nonprofit. She could use contacts and rely on networks to help keep bracelet sales going. However, the transition meant losing any free time she had for a good part of the year, which makes it hard to manage a nonprofit. Since she’s now the one boxing up bracelets, and she travels constantly, it can take

My whole life I’ve had the drive to push myself beyond my limits and see how far I can go

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Joy is about “appreciating more what's in my life than trying to search for other things.”

up to three weeks for someone to receive their order. Still, going back to boxing up bracelets out of her house reminds her of when she first started and she and family members were shipping orders out, so she doesn’t mind. “I like having the bracelets in my house,” says Kristen, “It’s more personal this way.” She often includes a handwritten note with the order she’s shipping out. Juggling a nonprofit and a full-time job sounds like it would make her life harder, but she actually has found managing expectations and being realistic has brought her ease without dulling any sense of

purpose. For one, she no longer has to worry about supporting herself, which relieves stress. “If you’re doing too much, it’s hard to be good at one thing,” she says. Nor does she have to spend time worrying about the amount of money she’s bringing in. “I have to be okay with raising $300 a month because that’s $300 more that people can have for malaria medicine.” Remaining a grassroots organization lessens the focus on production and returns it to passion – passion for the cause, as well as the people of Tanzania, specifically the women who make the bracelets and the hospital workers dispensing treatment. “We have done a lot and we continue to do a lot,” says Kristen. Organizational goals now include receiving monetary donations, rather than relying solely on bracelet sales. Kristen’s goal to change the world has never faltered. In this journey, though, she has realized that instant gratification and joy are not synonymous. Seeking the former means “you’re going to be let down,” she says. “There may be moments when you feel like, ‘Yay, I achieved that goal,’ but you have to think about longevity and picture where you want to be long term.” She has discovered that joy isn’t only one thing: you can be present in the

The PERPETUAL YOU

moment and still maintain long term objectives. This blend brings contentment and clarity. Kristen’s story is equal parts “being in the right place at the right time” and tenacity. As someone who had no experience or background in charitable work or managing a non-profit, getting started took a “leap of faith.” She maintains that that single first step, the passionate impulse that led to a more purposeful life, is what made the difference. Purpose “takes a lot of work,” says Kristen, “but if you’re passionate about something, it doesn’t seem like work.”


Be a Game Changer Put in the hours, put in the time. Research what you need to know. Depend on the kindness and support of friends and family. Learn from your experiences. Trust your gut and just try. “Go after your passion,” says Kristen. There will be “bumps along the way” and at times giving up will seem much easier, but “stick with it” and your purpose will remain clear. You will discover reliable techniques and you will depend on relevant strengths. You will remain who you are, even while changing the world.

April 25th is World Malaria Day. Help bring this disease to an end by doing one (or all!) of the following on that day:

1 / Tweet It! ͞"End #malaria for good, defeatmalaria.org"

2 / Buy a Bracelet, Save a Life! 3 / Donate to Malaika for Life

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

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3 Q U E S TI O N S with...

Kristen

What are some things you do from day-to-day that relate to or support your life's Purpose?

What aspect(s) of your physical space brings you the most Joy?

Every day I live with purpose— doing good​,​ meaningful work—and that purpose is everchanging. Today it is to enjoy life, appreciate what I have and make a difference. Tomorrow could be focused on my profession. Purpose is like setting an intention—a goal—​and doing it to the best of your ability.

I live in an area that is close to the water, the mountains. Waking up around this environment is inspiring. I live where I interact with people. You walk outside my door and people are riding bikes, skateboarding and shopping. My home reflects my life experiences and my biggest joys: photos of family, friends and Africa, and art that reminds me of my travels and the snowy mountains of Park City, UT.

realize

dwell

What is the connection between Joy & Purpose? For me life with a purpose is joy. I experience joy when I am purposeful. The two are like Draymond Green and Steph Curry—the winning combination.

live


live

to align your innermost thoughts with your

ever-evolving perspective

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LIVE

A L E AP OF

Faith by Jennifer Sterling

Creating joy is a choice we make every day. We get to choose how we respond to situations and circumstances, and whether we will move in the direction of our dreams. Choosing joy isn’t easy, but it will give you a greater sense of fulfillment and self-worth than fear ever will.

W

e’re really good at making excuses – creating reasons why something won’t work or isn’t a good idea. We put our dreams on hold waiting for the perfect timing, the perfect opportunity, to be the perfect weight, or have the perfect body. My excuse for many years was “I’m not good enough.” It’s an all-encompassing excuse, really – sounds like one excuse, but really it’s 10 different excuses all rolled into one. I’m not smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, young enough, rich enough, capable enough, cool enough, and in my case, white enough.

The PERPETUAL YOU


Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens. — Mandy Hale

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a ballerina. To float gracefully across a stage in a pretty pink leotard and pale pink pointe shoes. I was so excited when my mom finally enrolled me in ballet class — a dream come true! My excitement was short lived, however. My legs were too short, my feet were too flat, my butt was too big and I was the wrong color to be a ballerina. Those words from my ballet instructor crushed my spirit. I internalized her words: I wasn’t good enough – everything about me is wrong. I’ll never be a ballerina. Those words stayed with me for the rest of my childhood, reinforced by media, other women, and my own insecurities. I beat myself up every time I made a mistake. Answer a question incorrectly—not smart enough. No date for senior prom—not pretty enough. Didn’t get a job I really wanted—not good enough. Feeling "not good enough" kept me from doing many of the things I wanted to do in life. It started with dancing, but bled into every aspect of my life. I didn’t apply for jobs that I really wanted, didn’t take classes I wanted to take, didn’t talk to people I wanted to talk to. I didn’t feel good enough to take part in life, so I settled for a job that I hated and put all of the hopes, wishes, and dreams I had for my life on hold – waiting until I was enough to fulfill them.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that feeling good enough isn’t something that just happens. You don’t wake up one day and suddenly feel pretty or smart and have the right complexion. It would take me five years to come to that realization – five very unhappy years of working a job I hated, making very little money, and not having any friends. Despite what my childhood ballet teacher told me, I still wanted to dance. Every time I walked by a dance studio, I felt the ache of regret and deep down I knew that in order to feel fulfilled I needed to dance. I was too old now to dance for any big dance company, not to mention I lacked the technique to be able to make it past the first round in an audition. Still, I longed to lace up a pair of ballet slippers and leap across the floor with ease and grace, so I did. I took a leap of faith. I wish I could tell you that there was a 12 step internal growth process that I went through to push past my doubts, fears and insecurities and show up for class, but there wasn’t. I didn’t feel like enough when I walked into class and definitely didn’t feel like enough as I struggled to learn the choreography and stumbled across the floor as if I had two left feet. The thing that motivated me to get on the train and go to class was my inability to live with the regret of not doing something that I really wanted to do.

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I was tired of feeling miserable. I was tired of doing things that made me unhappy, And I knew that if I didn’t stop making excuses and create change in my life, I would regret it.

The funny thing is, when I’m dancing I feel like I’m more than enough. The voice in my head that doubts and worries quiets down and leaves me to move in passionate bliss.

We like plans and steps because they make it easier to grasp concepts and accomplish things, but the only “step” I have for you is to leap. There’s never a perfect time to do the things that you love. Feeling like you’re good enough isn’t something that you can perfect – there will be days when you feel pretty enough, smart enough, and thin enough; other days, you will feel like covering your head with a brown paper bag and living out the rest of your life in seclusion.

I see the same results in the women I work with – taking that leap of faith led me to change course in my career and I now help women battling with the same issues of self-doubt and self-worth that I dealt with. My life’s purpose is to see them become confident, gorgeous superstars who dance to the tune of their own happiness every single day.

If I had put off my dancing dream until I felt good enough, then it never would have happened. Pushing past the fear—taking a leap of faith–saved me from years of misery and opened up my life to so much joy. Dancing makes me feel weightless: free from the physical, mental, and emotional weight of life. Dancing, I feel alive and more connected to myself and my body.

The PERPETUAL YOU

Courageously moving in the direction of passion opens up a world of possibilities and gives you the opportunity to live the life you've always dreamed of – one full of joy and purpose. It’s time to leap. Are you ready?

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


“ Live

your truth, losses be

damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home. ” – MARTHA BECK

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Love You, Mean It T H E J O Y O F P U R P O S E F U L R E L AT I O N S H I P S Words by Katie Lynch; Images by Victoria Gloria

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LIVE

Getting to know yourself leads to meaningful connections and a more fulfilling, joyful life.

O

n a sun-drenched late summer afternoon, the haunting, emotion of Ingrid Michaelson singing flooded the ears of my loved ones: “Wise men say/only fools rush in./ But I can’t help falling in love with you.” I had chosen this song because the lyrics so beautifully captured the crazy, fast, passion-filled journey that my husband and I had happily taken to reach the point of marriage. I also chose it because those who didn’t know me all that well could easily misunderstand our union as fools who were falling in love fast and hard! How the heck did we ever find each other? (A little secret: online dating played a role!) One could make the argument that we were both in the “right place at the right time.” But so much more went into the creation of this partnership than simply being at the mercy of the universe’s hands. I had deliberately chosen to put myself out there. I had signed up for the service and

made the profile. Not because of some misguided belief that “my true love” was out there waiting for me but because I was ready to find my forever partner. This hadn’t always been the way I partnered up. Like many of you, I spent the majority of my twenties drifting in and out of relationships of all kinds— friends, lovers, almost lovers, coworkers, roommates, housemates, flatmates, and acquaintances. Lovers were found through friends, at parties or bars, or due to chance circumstance. Roommates, housemates, and flatmates were discovered through Craigslist. As I took job after job in attempt to figure out what the heck I wanted to be when I “grew up,” professional partnerships were formed, which led to many “work” friends becoming a mainstay in my social life.

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Go back to this time in your life with me for just a moment. How often did you put any thought into how each individual came to be a part of your life? How often did you just assume that chance circumstance was involved? That these relationships happened as a result of being somewhere at the right (or for some, wrong) time? That people were brought into your life as a result of knowing the right (or, again, the wrong) persons? When you reflect back, how did these “just so happen to be” relationships make you feel? For many of us, these relationships and partnerships left us empty. About a decade into consistent heartache in my adult relationships—both personal and professional—I’d had enough. I began to look around at what others appeared to have: loving, caring, fulfilling relationships. I wondered, “Why don’t I have the same fulfilling relationships that others do?” Since no answer was readily apparent, I blamed myself. There must be something wrong with me; maybe I didn’t have “what it took” to be in a relationship like those around me had. At the age of 33, I went through a paradigm shift. I was ready to dive deep into my soul, to get to know myself more seriously. Guess what I discovered? There was absolutely nothing wrong with me. PHEW! What a relief that was! The reason my relationships weren’t fulfilling me was that I didn’t know who the heck I was. I was approaching my relationships all wrong! Because I wasn’t super clear on who I was as a person, I was unable to show up authentically in my relationships.

I was unable to seek out and ask for what I desired in all my relationships. My relationships were haphazard, rather than purposeful. So what did I do? I got deep, down, and dirty with the inner me. I dug and dug and dug, and then I dug some more until I could finally articulate what made me happy, what brought me joy, and what got me feeling good deep down in my bones. As I slowly became clearer about who I was, and I became more intentional in what I was putting out into the world – what I was asking from the world—my relationships began to change too. One monumental step in all of this? I began to let go of relationships that no longer served a purpose in my life, relationships that no longer brought me joy. You know the ones—those relationships that feel like lots and lots of work but lack all the ooey, gooey,

The PERPETUAL YOU


good-feeling stuff. Those relationships had to go. I took a good hard look at them all: romantic relationships, friendships, acquaintances, family, coworkers...you name it. I asked myself, “Does this relationship bring me joy?” If the answer was no, I gave myself permission to LET IT GO!

husband and I how lucky we are to have found each other, or even how our physical attraction to each other is borderline gross. (Sorry, not sorry?) No matter the comment, I smile and take a moment to remind myself of how grateful I am to be in this place—a purposeful partnership I worked hard to be ready for.

“Letting go” of relationships took many forms. Sometimes letting go meant that I was ending the relationship, while other time I just needed to adjust my boundaries within the relationship. This was far from easy, friends. There were many uncomfortable conversations, sore feelings, and—at times—tears. But each time I came from a place of purpose and the desire for joy, what I desired in my relationships and in my life became clearer. Life began to open up.

Purposeful partnering, whether romantic or otherwise, means developing an understanding of ourselves: what we desire, what we can give to others, and what we want to receive in return. Approaching relationships from a place of purpose and intention enables us to confidently create partnerships that fulfill us. As a result, our friendships feel more genuine, our home life is more peaceful, and our professional lives align with what we want to give to the world.

As a result of this hard work, I am less resentful in my relationships. Rather than drain me, my relationships fulfill me and bring me joy. I understand myself and am confident in my ability to identify and ask for what I need and desire from others. My relationships flow, and bring me more joy. When I met the love of my life, I was ready for the partnership. I never tire of hearing people tell my

Katie Rose Lynch, LICSW is a professional mindset coach + psychotherapist and a semi-professional newbie wife. Katie Rose brings compassion, humor, love, and a contagious positive attitude to all of her work and is committed to moving women confidently in the direction of their goals Katie Rose is also rumored to be an avid baker, and blissfully recovering perfectionist who really believes that there isn’t any problem a hot cup of tea and a nice long nap can’t solve.​Connect with her online.​ Photography by Victoria Gloria. The J OY IS S U E

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APRIL MANTRA

I find my purpose by cultivating the love and joy

within me . Mantra by Krystal

The PERPETUAL YOU

Krystal Brandt, Authenticity Coach, is a soulful, sensual siren who lovingly and powerfully guides high-achieving women back to their innermost desires by re-introducing 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.


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The PERPETUAL YOU


LIVE

WITHIN P U R P O S E

L I E S

by Tami Reagor

You have a longing inside. You feel that you were meant to be doing something greater. You have a unique purpose you are meant to fulfill. Listen to the longing inside, and discover your purpose within.

P

urpose. You know what it means but you cannot put your finger on what it means for you. So, you ponder: what is this thing you keep hearing about purpose? what is purpose really? Purpose—“life purpose” or “your soul’s purpose” are big catchphrases these days. Everyone seems to be talking about them and many of us feel the call to have one (or more) in our lives. Some say purpose is having a job, or being married, or being a mom. Those are roles that may fulfill you, but Purpose is much more than that.

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We’re not talking about how society tells you to be a good worker, a good wife, or a good mother. We are talking about the unique purpose that is the reason you are here. YOU have a higher calling—to do or share a unique gift that you and only you hold. No pressure—You can choose whether or not to share your gift. The only person who will know will be you. Before you choose to select the easy way out and just go with the flow, I want you to take a good look at what you are doing—not just to yourself, but to others too. Your gift could change ten lives or thousands; without it, many of these people’s lives would go unchanged in the way you are meant to serve them. If you choose to forgo your purpose, please keep in mind those that would miss out on something beautiful and meaningful as a result of that choice. On the other hand, if you listen to your calling, and decide to share it with the world—to make the world better—your life will fill with love, joy, and happiness as you feel the thrill of committing to your soul’s purpose and seeing how it changes people’s lives. Is the idea of finding your purpose overwhelming? You are not alone.

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Nothing can dim the light which shines from within. – MAYA ANGELOU

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Many of us grow impatient trying to find it. Before you start down that path, here are some clues to help your search. Your purpose will be found within. Your purpose is connected to your core identity, and comes from within. No one is going to tell you what it truly is (although some may try) and wandering aimlessly will not make it show up quicker. Instead, reflect on what calls to you. Your purpose will be found a little at a time. Start doing things that fill you with joy and happiness every day. It doesn’t need to be for a long time—5 minutes will do as long as it is enough time for you to really feel into the activity, to feel love for the activity. Doing something that you love everyday will rekindle past memories and how it made you feel. These feelings will guide you to where your purpose lies.

The PERPETUAL YOU


Your purpose will be found through intuition. While doing these things, listen to your soul. Listening comes through your intuition. Your intuition can be a gut instinct or butterflies in the stomach or excited giddiness. Be mindful of these signs; they are your soul’s way of communicating with you. Do not worry about missing something! (sure-fire way to drive yourself batty)—if the sign was meant to be seen, it will show itself again and again and again until you get it.

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Your purpose will be found with courage. Once you have plugged into your intuition and you are doing things you enjoy daily, it is now time to look into doing those things you yearn to do—if you were only “brave enough.” Your purpose may well lie on the other side of the challenge, but it will not come to you unless you are willing to step outside your comfort zone. Your comfort zone has no momentum—if you want momentum, you must take the leap

The PERPETUAL YOU

of faith and step out into the world boldly. If you are still listening to your soul (and you must!), it will guide you on the path to finding your purpose effortlessly. Your soul wants you to show the world how beautiful, smart and powerful you are as a divinely inspired woman. You can have all life has to give and feel fulfilled by embracing this part of yourself that wants to be embraced unconditionally.

Do you have the courage to step away from society’s role-based purposes and embrace the purpose you are meant to LIVE instead?

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


ART BY

Meghan Shah

C O N N E C T W I T H M E G H A N : meghanshah.com or @MegShah3

ON THE BACK

During the day photography is for her clients, but at night, Kay keeps the passion alive by spending time for herself photographing sunsets.

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P H O T O G R A P H Y by K AY WA L K E R , @ WA L K E R S T U D I O S L L C

Create Joy by Choosing

Purpose

Create Joy by Choosing Purpose  
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