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The Fun Issue FEBRUARY 2017 | Series No. 5, Issue No. 3

Give Life a Chance with

ALSO

Lisa Sugarman

LOV E YO UR BO DY • CO-CR EATE • R EL I SH EVERY MOME N T


We believe in choosing, embracing, unleashing, and celebrating who you've always been – who you already are – who you want to be.

Be YOU...the Perpetual You.


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

THE

T H E OF F I CE

The Perpetual You 101 Putnam Ave. Hamden, CT 06517

T H E LI ST

To receive each issue of the magazine directly to your inbox, join our mailing list at: theperpetualyou.com/read.

T H E COM M U N I T Y

Look for us on social media @theperpetualyou.

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friend and I were talking about Valentine’s Day and she said something I’ve often said myself: “Why do we need a day about love? Shouldn’t we express love every day?” Yes, of course! Most of us probably do. Truthfully, though, I’m in it for the celebration, especially if there’s champagne. Besides, V-Day is about so much, much more than love, because LOVE is about so much more than Love. Love is…friendship, trust, honesty, intimacy, FUN, touch, happiness, confidence, and—in our book—Candor. To me, candor is the most fascinating part of love. Relationships start with fascination – curiosity – attraction. Not until we truly know the other person do we feel true love. Why, then, is love so tricky? Why does what sometimes feel like true love turn out to be torture instead? Because we have egos, expectations, & emotions. We have pasts, dreams, tempers, & limitations. We load the dishwasher differently than she does. We’re humans and we’re still learning to love ourselves, let alone someone else. If we can get to a place within ourselves (and our marriages, families, friendships, and societies) where we not only act with candor but accept the candor of others, we can fall in love with each other all over again, only this time it will be True—honest, fun, & authentic—Love. That’s what the world needs, and that’s what I want for all of you.

lee lee The PERPETUAL YOU


P H O T O by @ S I G N E D _ T . E L I Z A B E T H

Why does death catch us by surprise, and why love? We still and always want waking. – ANNIE DILLARD

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SHOP N OW

Shop the Marketplace The Perpetual You's curated marketplace of responsibly-made, small batch goods is online! theperpetualyou.com/the-marketplace

Collaborate with Us

The Perpetual You offers coaches + creatives the opportunity to showcase their work and/or viewpoint to an audience of women who value intentional living, purposeful buying, and thoughtful growth. The PERPETUAL YOU

To find out how you can collaborate with us, visit theperpetualyou.com/our-needs.


IN THIS ISSUE

Create Fun by Unleashing Candor The F UN I S S U E

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F I N D U S @ T H E P E R P E T U A LY O U

Realize Understand who you are and share that person with the world. Realize you and your body or eating habits or movement patterns are not one and the same. Accept the woman inside of you and give her the space needed to come out into the open and share of herself with the world.

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Dwell Unveil your deepest desires for your home and create a space in which you feel 100% comfortable. Be energized, make mistakes, learn lessons, and have fun. Compromise while co-creating, and bask in the results of living in a space you’re proud to call home.

The PERPETUAL YOU


M O N T H LY M U S I C

In Love with Honesty? Check out this month's playlist: "Love Means Love" on Spotify.

Unleash Unleash the truth about relationships and the certainty that life is worth being crazy about. With Lisa

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Live

Sugarman, syndicated columnist & author of Life: It Is What It Is.

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Unlearn what society has taught you about women’s bodies; let go of society’s expectations to act (and speak) like a lady. Listen, instead, to your true desires and embrace your core values. Share of yourself and reap the benefits of being who you already are.

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F I N D U S @ T H E P E R P E T U A LY O U

THE MAKERS

Our makers consistently share their time & talents. We'd love to introduce you to the lovely ladies who contributed to this month's issue.

Lindsay

Markie

Cover Story Photographer

Dwell Feature Photographer

@lindsay_stanford LindsayStanford.com

@markiejonesphotographyllc MarkieLynne.com

Lindsay Stanford is a photographer and fashion blogger located in CT. She specializes in styled sessions, fashion, weddings, portraiture, and landscapes. She will travel world wide. Past clients have included Bumble & Bumble, Artifact Uprising, Roof Top 120, North Detail, Dwell Magazine, Mieroglyphsapparel, and Stella & Dot. This is Lindsay's first Cover shoot with The Perpetual You.

Markie is a PNW Wedding photographer, mother to two adorable little fireball girls and two rather overactive dogs and loves to find new adventures around the Bonney Lake area. She enjoys photographing intimate engagement sessions and weddings throughout the Greater Seattle Area. This is Markie's first Dwell shoot for The Perpetual You.

The PERPETUAL YOU


P.K.

Lianne

Micayla

Proofreader

Editor

Book Editor

Connect on Facebook

@hilodaisy

@uggly_mugg zucchiniontheceiling.com

Jacqui

Maya

Becca

Contributing Photographer

Collaborating Photographer

Collborating Photographer

@jacquidepasphoto jacquidepas.com

@mojalvo mojalvo.com

@beccaolcott beccaolcott.com

Elaine

Kate

Krystal

Collaborating Artist

Contributing Artist

Mantra Siren

@elainewallerart

@ChickLitTHIS

@krystalbrandt krystalbrandt.com

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F I N D U S @ T H E P E R P E T U A LY O U

THE TEAM

Lee Lee Creative Director & Managing Editor @leeleeinp

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. If you’re near Hamden, CT, she welcomes you to stop by her front porch.

Lee Lee's Current Top 3 Snack: Fair Trade Chocolate Shirt: Simply Chickie Love Tank Song: "You" by Fisher

Kay

Jessie

Staff Photographer

Art Director

@walkerstudiosllc walkerstudiosllc.com

@littlelegendsdesign littlelegends.com

Kay Nass travels New England and beyond chasing sunsets, circling dance floors, capturing tears & laughter, all in the pursuit of preserving stories of love, friendship, and family.

Jessie Leiber is a multi-disciplinary designer 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.

The PERPETUAL YOU


to align your daily practices with your ever-evolving desires


The PERPETUAL YOU


I L L U S T R A T I O N by @ E L A I N E W A L L E R A R T

T H E L A DY

Sonia Sotomayor Well-known for her candor, Sonia Maria Sotomayor has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since August 2009. She has the distinction of being its first justice of Hispanic heritage, the first Latina, and its third female justice in U.S. history. She’s a testament to the strength, truth, and courage that comes from being yourself, no matter what.

W O R D S by P . K . M C G I L L

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Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are. – MANDY HALE

The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

UNLEASH

Your Body with Ana Rojas

Being candid about intimacy is liberating because it allows us to share in our humanity. Not the kind that has been pre-packaged for us—the truth we conscientiously piece together for ourselves.

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he room was dimly lit and it was dark outside. I didn’t even know what time it was. Catching a full body glimpse of myself in the mirror, I thought How will anyone ever find me attractive again? This was hours after I’d given birth, and one of the first quiet moments I’d had since my son was born. I went home swollen, saggy, and leaking from every duct, asking myself that question again and again. After giving birth, I was devastated by my crumbled physical state. I felt like a failure as a partner and mother. I felt that my partner would no longer find me attractive and my body would forever be embarrassing to my kids. And I blamed myself. I took on a burden that

wasn’t even mine to carry, from expectations outside of my control. That was almost 11 years ago. Today, I don’t feel that way at all. I have an incredibly satisfying intimate life and it turns out kids are embarrassed by their parents no matter what we do. What did I realize? My body is not who I am. It doesn’t make love to my husband: I do. It does not raise my children: I do. It doesn’t live my life: I do. My body is the vehicle. I get to take the wheel.

continued on next page

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Start Today Accepting your body for what it is (and is not) is the first step to living candidly and creating intimate relationships in which you will thrive. Be patient with yourself, and be honest. The following are some ways in which you can do exactly that.

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Be Transparent. Even if you don’t exactly know who you are, you don’t have to be pretend to be someone you’re not. Just be wherever you are. If you’re not ready to post a picture of yourself in a bikini, that’s fine! Every moment in which you’re honest is a powerful + empowering act.

None of this happened over night. I had to learn to unlearn so much. If I could go back to that night, I would tell myself: • Let your body do what it needs to do. You haven’t been destroyed, you’ve been transformed.

Discover the progression the beauty industry has made when it comes to transparency on page 32.

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When’s the last time you did something that surprised your loved ones? When’s the last time you surprised yourself? Getting out of our comfort zone can release pent up aggression and replace it with the pleasure that comes from experiencing something new.

• Turn off the noise. Don’t let anyone tell you about who you should be or how to define yourself. • Do the things you are afraid of. Fear is a liar and shame has no place in your heart or in your bedroom. • Try something new! Leave the lights on. Find new toys. Pick a new spot. Say yes when the mood strikes no matter where you are. • Do things your way. The fun is discovering what that is! • Be honest. Sharing your feelings and experiences liberates someone who thinks they’re the only one going through what they’re going through. Above all else, know that you are a person, not a body. The self-confidence we desire comes when we stop seeking external validation and realize we’re free to gift it to ourselves without prerequisites or cultural mis-expectations. The self-love we seek can be found once we discover our own self-worth.

The PERPETUAL YOU

Do the Unexpected

Looking for an unexpected dinner? Check out this month’s Food article on page 22.

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Listen Close. Boredom can be a sign that we’re not honoring our true urges. Consider turning off media for a day and listening to what your body really wants to do. Maybe a hike or maybe a shopping spree. Maybe you just need a nap! The outcome isn’t as important as the process of listening. Hear about the impact of listening to your body’s natural urges in our Movement spread on page 24.

Ana Rojas Bastidas started PowerToPrevail in 2015 to help people find their self love by discovering their self worth. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband, 2 kids, and Obi-Wan Catnobi. Connect with her on Instagram @powertoprevail. Photos by Ana Rojas.


Keep up with all our book suggestions by following us on Pinterest. U N L E A S H C O N V E R S AT I O N A L TA L E S

Everything I Never Told You

Wuthering Heights

The Dance of Connection

by Celeste Ng, Pub. 2014

by Emily Bronte, Pub. 1847

by Harriet Lerner, Pub. 2002

Family dynamics have long been the study of literature and this book proves the subject to be as modern and compelling as it ever was. From line one, you’ll be rooting for Lydia’s family—a family left in the wake of tragedy with myriad approaches to moving on with life. Everything I Never Told You is about so much more than the damage a lack of communication brings; it’s about LOVE and healing and trust and starting new.

At the time this book was written, women weren’t allowed to write books. We’ve made great strides, in all areas of life, especially in love. Yet, this story remains poignant, relevant. Whether you see Catherine and Heathcliff as an enduring love story or heartbreaking tragedy, this novel is worth revisiting every once in a while—not only to redefine the boundaries and breaking points of LOVE but to remember its benefits as well.

The subtitle of this book – How to talk to someone when you’re mad, hurt, scared, frustrated, insulted, betrayed, or desperate – says it all. (Almost.) Yes, this is a guide to communicating openly by an extremely learned and experienced therapist. What this lengthy title can’t express is the purity of soul and loving intentions with which Dr. Lerner writes. This smart lady takes her own advice, and connects with us so that we may connect with others.

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The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

U N L E A S H A N EW

Experience with Rachel Haas

Creating something edible with the one you love is an undeniably intimate act.

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ushi is a daunting art form; something that world class Japanese chefs spend their entire lives learning how to perfect. Yet, when you take a class with your partner, standing there chopping vegetables into tiny little slivers, you will experience the unexpected intimacy of knowing you’re not alone in your eagerness to get it right. Making sushi tempts your senses: the feel of each delicate grain of rice, the brilliant colors and tantalizing aromas of pickled ginger and fresh seafood, the sound of knife tap-tap-tapping against a wooden board. No hallmark card can match this moment in which you lean against his or her shoulder, laugh, and taste.

Love is a complicated thing to decipher these days. Holidays, even those focused on emotions, can blur the focus. Let yourself be vulnerable in the presence of strangers; feel safe with your loved one by your side. Love is transparent, open, raw, & revealing. Learning with your beloved can be a thrilling way to share your true devotion and tenderness.

Feast on more of Rachel's food experiences at her @rlhaaswriter or R-L-Haas-Writer. Photo by Jacqui DePas

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Stay Tuned to our Blog for this month's Cocktail Recipe

The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

Blueberry French 75 Celebrate ALL the love in your life with a Galantine's Day gathering and a friendly, frank cocktail. When you bring together the women who inspire you, there’s no complaining or whining allowed. Toast one another's accomplishments, bask in each other's presence and, of course, drink something unabashedly yummy. Like the women in my life, the Blueberry French 75 cocktail is subtle but strong; tart, but sweet. The blueberry simple syrup is divine (and preserves well!), and rather than compete for your attention, the gin and champagne comingle perfectly. Clear the afternoon, chill the bubbly, and unleash plenty of grazing-friendly foods to linger for hours over with your beloved friends. At your Galantine’s gathering, the only agenda item is FUN.

Imbibe on Belinda’s dreamy, enthusiastic cocktails at @HappyCamperCocktails. PHOTO by Erin Perkins

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REALIZE

UNLEASH

Playful Movement with Julia Grimaldi

Authentic movement, which begins with an open relationship with our body, releases a wealth of untapped personal power. One of our most precious and primal relationships is the one with our bodies. Where else can we truly experience our authentic self? Movement is a simple way to knowingly connect with our bodies — to feel our bodies in “real time.” As we become conscious of our body’s movement, we no longer relate to it as a concept loaded with images, thoughts, and limiting beliefs. Even the concept of movement is a mind shift from the popular term exercise, which is seldom a natural experience. Movement is PLAY, accessible and loaded with good old fun! By unleashing our strength and flexibility, movement becomes a way to thank our bodies for helping us experience life and a means to attract our authentic desires.

The PERPETUAL YOU


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Product Placement Are you a shop owner or small batch maker? Fill out our product collab form to be featured in a future issue.

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The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

UNLEASH

#GoodTimes Remember when all you needed to have fun was a pair of comfy pajamas, some snacks, and a few willing Truth or Dare participants? We dare you to recreate the feeling of a girlie sleepover by inviting your besties to a midday soiree. Set up a table of organic snacks nearby, complete with fair trade chocolate, and paint each other’s nails with a natural polish (that actually makes your nails stronger!). Pair the small batch wine with stories of good time and lots of laughter. Everybody gets to have fun and nobody feels guilty the next day. To shop these products, click on the title of the item.

1 | Classic Print PJs by Love + Grace (from $98)

2 | Organic Tank Tops by Simply Chickie ($37)

3 | “Better Me” Game ($55)*

4 | Natural Nail Polish by HABIT ($18)

5 | Selection of Fair Trade Chocolate by Divine Chocolate, Alter Eco, Scharffen

Berger, & Chocolove

Save on Fun Use code "perpetual" to get a 10% discount on the Better Me game.

*Thanks to Southern Connecticut Wine Company for providing the wine for our p.j. party shoot. If you’re local, check out their Wallingford winery. If not, we highly recommend you visit the winery nearest you immediately! The F UN IS S U E

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Handmade modern heirlooms for your home

Modern ar t inspired jewelr y for the mildly rebellious flow-goer

casaandcodesign.com

leocadiak.com

Soy Candles | Ar t | Home

Handmade Leather Travel Notebooks

raynehomedecor.com

redpentravelers.com

The PERPETUAL YOU


REALIZE

UNLEASH A

Solo Adventure with Markie Wheeler-Jones

Visiting Las Vegas on my own was one of the most freeing things I’ve done for myself in a long time. I’m no stranger to flights alone, but spending a weekend with my own hotel room, finding my way from the airport to the hotel and back, navigating a city full of strangers: that makes for a completely different experience.

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he Bellagio tops my list of must-see locales. Just walking into the Bellagio is an experience, thanks to the gorgeous Chihuly Glass sculpture gracing the ceiling. Past this extraordinary sight sits the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which were in full bloom during my April visit, reminding me of classic Japanese botanical gardens. Keep going and you’ll find every chocolate lovers dream: a floor to ceiling chocolate fountain. Fun fact: The Bellagio Chocolate Fountain is the world’s largest chocolate fountain, standing 27 feet tall and circulates nearly 2 tons of melted dark, milk, and white chocolate. When you manage to make it out of the Bellagio, head towards the Cosmopolitan for a wondrous crystal display. The Chandelier Bar houses three unique experiences, all located inside (or around) an enormous chandelier. And yes, you can have drinks inside this 65-foot-tall chandelier, which boasts more than 2 million crystal beads. On your way out, pose next to the Giant high-heeled shoe!

The PERPETUAL YOU


Another must-see is the hotel New York, New York. Walking through this hotel is like strolling through a New York Neighborhood. Take in the adorable cafes and restaurants, or head through to the newest neighborhood, The Park, where you’ll find plenty of restaurants with outdoor seating, is perfect for people watching. After walking all day, my evening of choice was a refreshing bubble bath, thanks to a bubble bar from Lush at the Luxor. And even if I didn’t take advantage of it, I felt very cosmopolitan knowing that Starbucks in New York, New York was open 24 hours.

Markie is a PNW photographer, mother to two adorable little fireball girls and two rather overactive dogs and loves to find new adventures around the Bonney Lake area. Markie also shot this month’s Dwell Feature spread!

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REALIZE

Unleash Transparency with Leigh Schwab

The concept of transparency is gaining a lot of traction these days - from organic to non-gmo foods to hidden banking fees. It’s time that we demand transparency from our products and the companies we support.

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ave you always assumed that your skin care and cosmetics are strictly regulated for your health? If you have, then you are wrong. There is very little regulation of ingredients in cosmetics and skin care in the United States, though we’ve made some progress over the last year—going from the U.S. banning only 11 ingredients to now 30 banned ingredients. These include many ingredients found in antibacterial soap!

The PERPETUAL YOU

Fortunately, there are many companies out there producing highly effective products using safe ingredients that they disclose to their clients, not because they have to but because we as consumers have made it known that we’re tired of using toxic products. Some of my favorites are Beautycounter, Violets are Blue, and One Love Organics.


BeYOUtiful

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Small batch companies are becoming increasingly popular. Here are a few recommendations that exceed all expectations of highly effective and safe products. When switching to small batch, try going one product at a time so that you can fully enjoy each new experience.

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Soap Conventional soaps and body washes can contain harmful ingredients like triclosan and sodium laurel sulfate. It is best to choose an oil based soap that won’t strip your skin.

Leigh recommends: Willow + Birch Apothecary Soaps or Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castille Liquid Soap

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Deodorant

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There are plenty of clean and effective deodorants on the market these days. Make sure you look for one without aluminum. Most safe deodorants use baking soda but if you have sensitive skin look for one without this ingredient.

Leigh recommends: Meow Meow Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream or Violets are Blue NYC.

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Lip Balm Many conventional lip cosmetics can contain heavy metals like lead. Choose products that have been rigorously tested for heavy metals or look for clean versions of lip balm to insure that you are ingesting these harmful chemicals.

Leigh recommends: Moroccan Magic or Handcrafted Honeybee

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If we are to live intentionally, we must demand transparency in all areas of our lives, especially our daily skincare and beauty routines. We need to know what the ingredients ARE, where they come from, and also be able to trust that the products are still well-made.

Leigh Schwab 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. Learn more about her passion for a healthy and simple life on Facebook and Instagram @leighschwab.

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REALIZE

February’s Self-Care Toolkit

Motherwort Geranium Pink Kunzite Guinevere

UNLEASH

Deeper Connections with Ashley Dees

Treat Yourself Use Coupon Code "Wildflowers" for 10% off in Catching Wildflowers' Etsy shop. The PERPETUAL YOU


Connecting with your heart will get you out of your head so that you can be the truest expression of yourself. Often, fear prevents us from being our true selves, from being real. We put up walls and protect ourselves. If we can move fully into a place of love, we can find a deeper connection to ourselves and others.

H E RB

ESSE N TI AL O IL

CRYSTAL

GO D D ESS

Motherwort

Geranium

Pink Kunzite

Guinevere

B E N E F I TS

BE N E FI TS

BENEFITS

BENE FITS

Eases anxiety + lowers blood pressure

Balances the mind, heart, and soul

Opens your heart

Reminds us to choose love

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otherwort is an herb that connects us to and heals our heart. A wonderful heart disease preventer, Mortherwort, eases anxiety, lowers blood pressure, eases the strain of the heart muscles, and aids the nerve cells in the heart. This herb is also treasured for its use with woman’s issues such as hot flashes, menstrual cramps, and vaginal pain. Drink as a daily tea or add to your herbal blends. One of the best oils for balancing skin tone, Geranium also balances the mind, the heart, and the soul. Geranium opens your heart to be able to better give and receive, thus aiding lines of communication and increasing your intuition. Geranium is a very safe oil and is an anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, and skin healer. Add to lotions, shampoos, and diffuse during time of deep connection. Pink Kunzite is the opposite of anxiety and fear; it is pure love. This stone calms and opens your heart so that you can better express yourself, and send and receive love. Place the stone on your heart and imagine being open to all possibilities. Hold it there for at least

30 minutes, and repeat as often as needed. You can also place this stone in water and drink the elixir. The Celtic triple goddess, Guinevere, represents all phases of womanhood: the maiden, the mother, and the crone. She reminds us: “Take care of your hearts, and always search for great love, whatever or whoever it might be.” She stands for the importance of romance as a force of life. Choose Guinevere when you are in need of great and powerful love. Our fears, deepest secrets, and our anxieties restrict our hearts. Leave fear and anxiety at the door, and step into a loving environment which will bring you deeper connections and greater love. Stay close to your heart and follow where it leads.

Learn more about Ashley, and how she teaches and gathers goddesses together at Green Harmony Aromatherapy. Main photo by @mojalvo Photo of Motherwort by @earthlyremediesbyerin Photo of pink kunzite by @Catching_wildflowers_jewelry The F UN IS S U E

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REALIZE

Unleash Honesty with Caitie Sherrick

Only when you’re really honest, can you truly be yourself.

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enerously tell the woman next to you in the cereal aisle that she looks fabulous. Kindly get real with yourself about your potential for that job you’re considering. Compassionately let your partner know what’s really bothering you. Honesty spreads love, offers real support, and prevents unnecessary conflict. With honesty, you don’t have to worry about doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, or being the wrong person. You’re free to do the things you want to do with the people you want to do them with, and you can even do them alone. The PERPETUAL YOU

Honesty in style means buying pieces you like to wear: the leather jacket that screams biker chick, that you love because of how bold it makes you feel; the torn jeans that go in and out of style, that you love because they express your candid personality so perfectly; the lace blouse your spouse calls “too grandma,” that you love because it’s so detailed and delicate. Unleashing honesty in your wardrobe allows you to simply be yourself. No pressure, no expectations, no stress. Being yourself means more fun, and deeper relationships.


Unleash a Leather Jacket Bold and edgy, a tailored leather jacket easily adds more personality to your everyday outfits.

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Date Night Dinner and a movie or coffee and a long walk, a leather jacket works well for this week’s date night. Throw on a black blouse, a black pair of jeans and your most comfortable black ankle boots. The monochromatic look makes a major statement, and the jacket adds a sexy edge to an otherwise very basic outfit. Pictured: black leather jacket, black blouse, black skinny jeans, black ankle boots, Leocadia K. Crystal Fringe Necklace

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Girls Night Tapas and cocktails, pizza and bowling, or paint nights, we all want to look our best and feel our comfiest when we’re out with our girls. Go out this weekend feeling fashionable and comfortable by wearing your jacket with a turtleneck sweater, skinny jeans and some booties. The jacket doubles as a comfortable, warm layer and a stylish accessory. Pictured: black leather jacket, sweater, blue skinny jeans, black ankle boots, Leocadia K. Sun + Moon Necklace

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Day to Night Between meetings, phone calls, deadlines and much needed lunch breaks, it’s easy to be on the go for 8 hours straight when you’re at work. Keep it modern and professional by pairing your jacket with a blouse, a pencil skirt and some pumps. The jacket modernizes your blouse-skirt combo, and still keeps you looking professional with its neutral color and impeccable tailoring.

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Pictured: black leather jacket, blouse, pencil skirt, black pumps, Leocadia K. Rosy Necklace

Caitie Sherrick is a jewelry designer + stylist for mildly rebellious flowgoers at Leocadia K. She’s deeply inspired by modern art, has a boho heart + loves the warm, unconditional love of a good cup of chai tea. Join her on Instagram @caitiesherrick for daily inspiration + visit her shop for more every day outfit ideas.

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P E R S P E C T I V E S from T H E PA N E L

How have you achieved openness with someone you love?

Having a water birth at home was by far the most raw, animalistic, and intensely amazing experience I have had. The pure nature of being so vulnerable brought my husband and I so much closer. When you delete the artificial and infuse the sacredness of love, relationships deepen and connectedness skyrockets.

Lots of miscommunication, tears, discomfort, and hurt feelings combined with a willingness to be kind and forgiving to yourself and the other person, and to heal what is yours to heal and allow them space to do the same. Determination and the willingness to speak up is what creates openness, understanding, safety, and deep love.

For me, this means taking off the battle armor and embracing vulnerability. It means having that openness with myself. I have felt broken and flawed for so long and feel so keenly that need to accept myself - as is. As I come to a clear awareness of who I am, how I feel, and how I am doing I can give myself more compassion.

Natalie

Kelsey

Sarah

Modern Hippie Mama Boynton Beach, FL

Educator / Author / Healer New York, NY

Thinker, Writer, Wife, & Mother Calgary, Alberta

@themodernhippiemama heweloha.com

@kelseyfoxbennett kelseyfoxbennett.com

@sbachelder sarahbachelder.com

The PERPETUAL YOU


With my own coaches and mentors, I went on a spiritual journey where I learned to feel my feelings and openly express them. I learned that I can only change myself. The more open and loving I am to myself - the more inner contentment and strength I feel.

I rely on the written word a lot. Just when I want a question answered or a problem resolved I remind myself that someone else has struggled with the same question, and I seek out books on the topic. I recently started reading the 5 Languages of Love— an eye-opening book.

My daughter and I are deeply connected. I am 41, she is 19. Sometimes we act more like sisters than mother-daughter. Due to single parenting, boundaries got blurred early on, but I honestly wouldn't change a thing. We don't have to fake it. I have such an open, deep relationship with her.

Ashley

Gwendolyn

Holly

Transformational Coach Boston, MA

President of Simply Chickie Newport, RI

Zesty Entrepreneur Ithaca, NY

@ashelizabeth ashleymaina.com

@simplychickie simplychickieclothing.com

@norabloombotanicals norabloom.com

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I will live for love and the rest will take care of itself. – M ARI NA KE E GAN

The PERPETUAL YOU


to align your physical space with your ever-evolving self

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The PERPETUAL YOU


light bulb /'līt ,b lb / noun​ An electrical current which exposes reality and brightens fun.

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House Play H O W T O D E S I G N A H O M E T H AT R E P R E S E N T S Y O U with Sarah Bennett

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Opening up your home to match your true essence similarly requires courage and vulnerability, but brings the reward of a safe haven in which you can truly feel comfortable.

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ver since I was little girl, I have found great joy in creating my personal space. I am more introverted and a creative, so designing a private space has allowed me to play and express who I am. What better platform to reveal your essence? There are no restrictions and no one’s telling you what to do. Having a space that’s all yours to claim is liberating. When it comes to setting up my home, I take time to feel the space and respond to mapping it out based on my feelings. For example, I take into account where windows are and what sort of light comes in during the day. Since I work from home it’s important that I create a space that feels somewhat separate from my living area – a challenge with a onebedroom home! I’ve found ways to make it work by including pretty room dividers, curtains, and carving out a little nook that perfectly fits my desk. This allows me to feel a sense of separation. Small and awkward spaces are wonderful creative challenges; I’ve seen people make beautiful workstations out of a tiny closet! The first question I ask myself when I enter a new home or redesigning my space is “how can I illustrate my style and my story here?”. I like to bring in art pieces I’ve created, or paintings/photographs that close family and friends have created and of course interesting vintage items that are aligned with my style.

I’m a sentimental gal so I jump at any chance to showcase beautiful items that have a story linked to my family or chapters in my life thus far. Old quilts, weathered chairs or tables that have been passed down, the things I keep in my home tell my visitors about who I am. Incorporating words that are uplifting or welcoming in various areas of my home are another design element that brings me a feeling of ease. I purchased an “IT’S OK” banner from Secret Holiday & Co. because those simple words for me are reassuring and comforting to have present on my walls. When designing or decorating your home, write down a few words that explain who you are. From there you can start to pull together accessories that light you up! Maybe you splurge on a chunky merino knit throw blanket because it represents softness, warmth and that handmade quality. Or maybe you display old rusted industrial tools you’ve collected that exude your love for history and texture. Above all, have fun with it. Make mistakes, move things around, sit in your space with no other agenda than just figuring out who you are. There are no rules, sister! Liberate yourself from any restricting thoughts and have fun putting your stamp on your precious space and being unapologetically YOU.

Sarah is a vintage curator, designer, and stylist living in Oregon. Follow Sarah’s intentional design process at @ Sariehere. Photo by Mayumi at Celebrate Well The F UN I S S U E

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Fun at Home HOW BENDING THE RULES LEADS TO MORE FLEXIBILITY

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When we tackled the almost-finished basement, we had one goal: a family-friendly space where fun took precedence over rules. From hanging swings to installing easy-to-replace carpet squares, every decision we made was tested against the kid-proof, mom-will-loveit, dad-can-fix-it standards. As a result, our playroom, which is almost always a ginormous mess, is our favorite room in the house!

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hen we redesigned our basement to be a playroom three years ago, I had no idea how vital this room would become to our family’s habits. At the time, our kids were 6 & 1, and I had idyllic imaginings of them playing together downstairs while I sat on the couch and read a book, sipping my martini of course! Since then, our family has grown closer because our children are getting older. The kids do play independently, especially on weekend mornings while we’re still in bed, but they’re just as apt to join in on an activity we think up as they are to play by themselves. They’re also old enough to enjoy things like Mario Kart and board games – two of our family’s mainstays when it comes to fun. We spend a lot of our family time in the basement. Since the playroom’s inception, we’ve added an electronic drum set to round out our Rock Band capabilities, and a huge IKEA shelf to store puzzles and games that used to be relegated to a “not toddler appropriate” closet. Still, I’m glad we designed a room where, as long as safety concerns are adhered to, the children are free to be themselves and do whatever they want.

Go ahead—jump on the couch! Pile every single thing you own into a pile on the floor! Dump a huge tub of Lego’s out, too, while you’re at it! There are {practically} no rules. This amount of freedom equals tons of fun—ask anyone who’s visited our house and they’ll confirm. Sure, we have to do an “all hands on deck” clean-up from time to time but I’ve also observed our children learn firsthand that it’s difficult to accomplish certain tasks (like swinging!) when detritus is piled knee-high. Way back when, I set about to make certain parts of the playroom conducive to certain pastimes— for example, a reading nook with a special lamp and comfy cushions—only to be reminded on several occasions that children who really feel like reading will plop down anywhere with a book and cushions are more likely to be used in fort-building or landslides than they are in a place designed exclusively for comfort. Even parts of the playroom that previously bore no function in the design plan are now being

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TPY Archives Revisit Lee Lee’s original playroom article printed in our October 2015 Issue

utilized creatively. An awkward closet at the bottom of the stairway has become the perfect place to stowaway our ever-expanding collection of dressup clothes, and the garden level window sills have become good landings for older-kid toys such as video game controllers. This is the beauty and the unexpected genius of having a space where PLAY is the paramount activity. I stand behind my bright color scheme and bold graphics as welcoming reminders to have fun and ask questions later; but for the most part, this room has become so much more than we ever could’ve imagined. My one playroom “rule” is that the kids don’t take food or drink in the basement without asking. I chalk this up to a safety standard since they still leave wrappers wherever they land (no matter how many times I remind them!!) and frequently spill drinks that don’t have lids. Still, on special occasions we relinquish control and do an extra thorough cleanup the next day. In fact, I love that a room without rules A) actually has a rule, and B) that we break said rule from time-to-time.

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The real world is flexible and fluid; hardly anything stays the same forever. Where better to learn about the ways of the world, if not in the safe recesses of your own home? Our recent “exception to the rule” was New Year’s Eve, which we spent together in the playroom. We played video games, colored a nonsensical alphabet, and challenged each other’s Lego skills. We toasted with non-champagne at not-midnight, and cuddled up for some good ol’ Netflix counting down. We fought, we laughed, and we swung. A lot. Not only were we all completely comfortable, we were all allowed to be ourselves. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year, and I hope my kids feel the same for many years to come.

Lee Lee is a mother of two creative thinkers and future #changemakers. To date, she’s intentionally decorated half the rooms in her house with independence and possibility in mind. Connect her in Instagram at @leeleeinp. Photos by Kay Nass of Walker Studios LLC


Dwell on This If you don’t have room for swings in your basement (or don’t have a basement at all!), you can still promote freedom + fun in your house. The goal is to have a comfy, welcoming environment where being creative is encouraged. Here are some ideas that work in any space:

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Yay for Creativity! Having a chalkboard wall where family members can draw, doodle, or write is so ingenious, I plan to have one in every room! Magnets are another creative accessory that are easy to clean up; I can’t tell you how many dinner preps we’ve survived just by having a slew of kid-friendly magnets accessible nearby.

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Eco-Hoarding 101 If it can be cleaned, it can be saved. Bottles, boxes, envelopes, newspaper, Christmas cards to the previous homeowners…you name it, and we’ve re-used it. I keep several bins hidden around the house where I throw stuff that the kids know they can grab and use when their imagination takes flight.

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Use Your Words Word games are one of the most flexible ways to be creative. We’ve played 20 questions, “Would You Rather?”, and 2 Truths & a Lie around the dinner table. We also encourage singing at all times of the day; the sillier the song the better. The best part of word play? There’s no cleanup required!

Does your home bear the marks of intentional design? We’d love to feature you! Send us an email: hello@theperpetualyou.com

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Coming Together T H E C O - C R E AT I O N O F O U R K I T C H E N

Words by Tessa Chittle Photos by Markie Lynn Jones

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When we are making things, our guard is let down. We open. We get vulnerable. There is no hiding one’s full authentic self when in the process of creation together. The moments of conflict that may arise just further crack open our facades to let people in and allow us to engage on a whole new level.

C O - C R E AT I O N A S C O N N E C T I O N When I think of connecting, I immediately think of co-creating. I find that the best way for me to go deeper in a relationship — whether it be with a new friend, my daughter needing some extra time with me, or a husband who feels distant — is to share in the process of making something together. It might be as simple as gathering friends together for a crafting day or as big as cultivating a homestead. Through the process of co-creation, you learn about and start to appreciate how the other person sees the world: their thought processes, their style, their strengths, and their challenges. You are forced to work through things together (even when it feels impossible!), feel emotions together, and solve problems together.

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The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship. – BARBARA DE ANGELIS

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C O - C R E AT I O N A S A VA L U E S S TAT E M E N T One thing I recommend to anyone who is co-creating is to have a shared “manifesto” that outlines your shared values, collective strengths, and larger motivations for the project. My husband and I have a family manifesto that guides all our projects and answers the question “What do we want to stand for in the world with how we live our life, including every project we embark on?”

In the first few years of parenting, my husband and I haven’t gone on many dates. However, we stay connected through the many creative projects of cultivating a homestead, life, and business that allow us to embody our values. We find that while co-creating as a couple can sometimes be difficult (sometimes very difficult!), it allows our relationship to go to new depths with every project we take on together. Our latest co-creation was no different. Transforming the worlds ugliest kitchen into a functional and beautiful farmhouse kitchen, completely by ourselves and on a budget of $1000! We experienced many frustrated moments and disagreements, and the project allowed us to more fully appreciate each other’s strengths, connect deeper through our shared values, and forever be reminded of what we are capable of together every time we walk into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

Some of the things we want to stand for include sustainability, re-use, frugality, making beauty, creating community, and practicing creativity. Therefore, our kitchen was planned with these in mind. We settled on a budget of $1000 because our values meant we would be using mostly salvaged and used things, we would be doing all the work ourselves, and, with only limited funds, we had many priorities on the homestead that embodied our values more than brand new stainless steel appliances. I’m a lover of beautiful design, and I have the Pinterest board of farmhouse kitchens to prove it! Over the years, in anticipation of finally having a kitchen to love, I’ve stocked a cabinet full of antique finds. I wasn’t just looking for a functional homestead kitchen, but a place of beauty, where I could drink my coffee in the morning and feel inspired. It needed to be a place that people could gather around delicious farm to table food and feel connected.

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Farmhouse Pinspiration Check out Tessa’s DIY Kitchen Pinterest board @thefarmstay for tutorials and inspiration!

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I used to think my love of beautiful things conflicted with my values of sustainability and my husband’s fierce conviction for living frugally. The truth is beautiful things don’t cost a lot or require the use of a lot of the earth’s resources if I embrace my full creativity. My husband holding me accountable to figuring out a way to make my beautiful visions happen for very little money was also of help!

C O - C R E AT I O N I N A C T I O N The first step we took was to rip out all the mostly broken cardboard-like cabinets and plastic green countertops as well as the half wall blocking the view from dining space to cooking space. We replaced the cabinets with used but

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all-wood cabinets and added decorative trim before painting them farmhouse white. We covered the existing countertop with a thin layer of concrete to get the look of a concrete countertop. Where there were no countertops, we made our own by gluing together wood planks and staining them to look like old barn wood. To fulfill my dreams of a shiplap-filled farmhouse, we created faux shiplap using plywood planks on the walls instead of buying the pricier version. We also added thick wood trim around our windows which had previously been surrounded by the typical plastic-y material used in manufactured homes. Take note, this small change that costs $10-

15 in wood per window is one of the biggest bang for your buck changes you can make in a builder grade home to bring in more of a craftsman or farmhouse feel! We completely replaced all our appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher) for $200 by using Craigslist and found a pair of schoolhouse light fixtures there. The biggest splurges in the budget were the antique butcher block and the farmhouse sink; since both were “antique with a story� they embodied so much of the style and values we wanted for our kitchen, and the cost was worth it.

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Tessa’s Tips I will be honest, sometimes it would have been so much easier to just buy something new or to hire an expert (i.e. plumber). For example, the China-made reproductions of antique bin pulls for the cabinets were easy to find and WAAAAY cheaper than the actual rusty antique ones. However, my manifesto helped me stay true to my values and wait until just the right EBay listing came up. Decisions like this are much easier with our manifesto in place!

Having a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have what you want. After all, we transformed our manufactured home kitchen into a beautiful, sustainable dream kitchen! These are my top recommendations for staying on budget without compromising your dreams.

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͞Paint over old flooring or existing cabinets with a low/no VOC paint. Cover existing countertops with concrete or paint. If you want the look of natural wood, you can make your own stains from vinegar, onion skins, red wine, or coffee. Or find a natural wood stain line such as Saman. Milk paint or chalk paint can be made at home and is great for a whitewashed look. Or just protect natural wood with pure tung oil.

C O - C R E AT I O N M E A N S COMPROMISE It’s important to acknowledge from the beginning of the project that compromise will happen and that will allow for a totally unique thing to be created. Whether it be differences in style of shelf brackets or style of how you get things done, the true beauty of co-creating is the unique combination of the two (or many) people involved. While in the process, my husband and I found ourselves often annoyed at each other’s very different work styles and sometimes our differing design styles created difficult moments that led to going to bed cranky. However, in the end, the creation is more beautiful than what we could have created alone. For example, the dark countertops weren’t what I envisioned in my light on white kitchen but my husband assured me it would be awesome and now I love the depth that the darkness brings to the space. The moments where differences come to a head in conflict are often the biggest opportunity for connecting. Those nights we went to bed cranky led to some of the most deepening conversations we have had as a couple, and allowed us to more fully understand, embrace, and appreciate each

Get Creative

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Get Crafty Use a sustainable source of plywood to create faux farmhouse plank flooring. For cabinets, you can add on bead board before painting or remove doors to create the look of open shelving. Upcycle cabinets from old dressers, buffets, dry sinks, sideboards, workbenches, credenzas, or kitchen islands. There are many tutorials online if you want to make your own countertops from wood planks.

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Get Choosy It’s easy to walk into a big box store and grab the first sink they have for sale. For us, finding cabinet pulls on eBay and a used sink on Craigslist was a way to adhere to our values and still get a good bargain. We even chose to use a non-toxic wood filler, which we had to order online because there weren’t any available options at the usual hardware stores!

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Get Coached If you really want a custom look but can’t afford to pay for it, Pinterest is about to become your best friend. There are countless tutorials, blog posts, and pictures about every home renovation project you can think of. Whether you’re making cabinet pulls from loops of leather or re-wiring an antique light fixture, someone out there in Pinterest land has already done it and has shared about it online. Why not make the most of their experience?

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other’s different strengths, values, and ideas for how to embody those values in our daily life. Also, our differing approaches were what got us through those moments that needed extreme creativity and diverse ways of seeing things, like when we had to move the plumbing without any plumbing knowledge or overcome a wood filler that turned our countertops bright purple! As a result of letting my husband have his say on the countertops, I’m now considering bringing in more of the dark color when we repaint the floors.

C O - C R E AT I O N B R I N G S OPPORTUNITY

Tessa's Approximate Budget •

French door bottom freezer fridge from Craigslist - $150

Stove from Craigslist - $50

Dishwasher from Craigslist - free

Antique farm apron sink from craigslist - $100

Antique Butcher block island - $150

Used base cabinets from Craigslist - $100

Faux concrete countertops over linoleum supplies left over from bathroom

DIY butcher block countertops from wood planks - $100

“Shiplap” walls - $100 (plywood sheets) + $50 (paint)

2 Window sills and trim - $30

Antique bin Cabinet pulls - $40

Antique light fixtures - $80

DIY open shelving - $100

Painted floor - $100 (to be completed soon!)

Total $1050

Co-creating with those you love has its complications and frustrations, and doesn't work for everyone; however, many people’s relationships can be taken to new depths by experiencing the process of creating together with their partner, friend, community, or child. Some of the most beautiful things in the world are a result of people coming together to MAKE things. In the end, through creativity and commitment to our values, I got my dream homesteading kitchen even with our tiny budget. More importantly, through being co-creators in the dream, my husband and I forever share the pride of making something together, the memories and funny stories of the process, and a kitchen that we can now fill with our love, laughter, and yummy food. We are forever bonded by what we’ve made together.

Tessa Chittle is a Homesteading Mama, lover of upcycled creations and beautiful design, and visionary of how to do things differently whether it be in business, life, or parenting. You can follow Tessa’s homestead journey on Facebook, Instagram @tessachittle and Pinterest @TheFarmstay. Photos by Markie Lynn Jones

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Re-plated corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2115-10

More Cream, Please corresponds to Benjamin Moore CW-105

Slightly Toasted corresponds to Benjamin Moore 1098

R E C L A M AT I O N

There is purity and honesty in the act of reclaiming something – whether bringing

A Slice of Turquoise corresponds to Benjamin Moore 658

back an old tradition or bringing forth a new purpose. This month’s color palette broadens the limits of a natural color palette. Inspired by this photogenic cheese board, we decided to reclaim our love of neutrals and give them their proper place, and added a boost of yummy turquoise just because we can. Intrigued? Here are some practical applications for today’s most popular aesthetics:

Bohemian Bling

Plum Preserves corresponds to Benjamin Moore CSP-465

An environment filled with natural elements can stand to loosen up. A reclaimed wood coffee table or natural stone fireplace can always benefit from a pop of turquoise and a little bling.

Art Deco Modern Pair artistic shapes with a clean palette of whites and woods. Let turquoise seep in where least expected – on a lacquered side table, for example, or a paint-splattered tablecloth repurposed as art.

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

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Product Placement If you’re a shop owner or small batch maker who would like to be featured in one of our issues, fill out our product collab form.

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Shop the Look Products Inspired by this month’s Featured Space

Choosing a farmhouse aesthetic doesn’t mean giving up on modern conveniences, thanks to the availability of handcrafted goods by small batch makers and updated bohemian lines at many major retailers. Here we showcase some of our favorite farmhouse-modern products, inspired by the accessories in this month’s featured space: Click on the title of each product to shop.

1 | Vintage Kitchen Scale by Williams Sonoma ($39.95)

2 | Imperial Caviar Red Wine Glasses by Anthropologie ($78/set of 2)

3 | Industrial Floating Shelves

by Henry Lewis Home ($134/set of 3)

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Spread love wherever you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier. – M OT H E R T H E R ESA

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to align your life story with your ever-evolving relationships

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THREE QUESTIONS

with What's one practice in your daily life that you have FUN doing? I genuinely have fun watching the people around me every day, whether friends or complete strangers. It’s enlightening—almost Zen-like—because it helps me decide who I do and don’t want to be like in my own life. It also helps me feel connected to the people around me. I guess that’s why I spend so much time away from my home office and hop from coffee shop to coffee shop to write. If people watching was a sport, I’d consider myself a semipro competitor.

Lisa Sugarman Which aspect of your physical space aligns with your ideas on behaving with CANDOR? Next to my kids, my house is the most honest, authentic reflection of who I am. When I’m home, more than anywhere else, I feel safe and comfortable and uninhibited. I can be the best, most honest version of myself because I’m surrounded by the people and the things that I love the most. Even after (over) thirty years with Dave, I still walk through our cozy little house with a feeling of pride in what we’ve built together.

For you, what is the relationship of CANDOR to FUN? I don’t think any of us can experience pure, unfiltered fun unless candor is involved. If we’re not being truly open and candid, then how can we experience genuine fun? How can we experience real joy or excitement or entertainment if we’re not fully open to it? It’s so important to try and be present and open-minded to the experiences we have so that we can truly enjoy them.

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Living on the Candid Side of Life WITH LISA SUGARMAN

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it is what it is

You know what’s rarer than true love? Meeting a woman who is obviously and confidently her true self. A woman who oozes authenticity and attracts the same. A woman who answers honestly, no matter the question. A woman who is so in love with her life, there’s no cause for faking it. Lisa Sugarman is one such woman.

H E L LO , I LOV E YO U I arrived in Boston on a sunny-but-cold Monday morning to interview Lisa Sugarman – syndicated columnist, published author, and all around admirable gal. To say I was nervous is putting it mildly. This meeting was to be my first “in person” interview with someone I’d never met and I was using all my positivity tricks to keep from second guessing the decision.

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In walked Lisa, in a cable knit sweater and ankle boots, her curly hair popping out from under a cute winter hat. We ordered – I was happy to note she was dairy free like me! – and chose an uber-sunny table at the front of the café. Not two seconds passed before she blurted out: “Do you mind if we move? I’m sweating.”

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THIS LOVE IS REAL Let’s be clear. Lisa’s life is pretty darn enviable; if I was the jealous type, I’d be jealous. She lives in Marblehead, MA – the town where she grew up and where she and her husband are raising their two daughters, Riley (19) and Libby (16). Their home is filled with light, laughter, and the lingering mementos of people who’ve devoted themselves to parenting. Being the mantra devotee that I am, I was drawn to the countless reminders that life is what you make of it, from the “It Is What It Is” paraphernalia—which the family assured me just shows up in their lives without any seeking on their part—to the bold graphic signs on nearly every wall. Though their dog, Lily, did her best to be my most favorite accessory.

From that moment, I felt comfortable with her. How many women do we all know (myself likely included) who would’ve just sat there and sweat in the sun? Or who would’ve silently cursed themselves for not wearing easily removable layers? Or who would’ve lived with their discomfort, but allowed it to intervene in the genuineness of the moment?

Being in Lisa’s home was further proof that what you see is what you get. Her family was welcoming yet they were themselves—at least, as much as a family that’s getting photographed can be. One daughter disappeared briefly for a Starbucks run and the other focused most of her attention on the dog, but I was assured these behaviors were par for the course.

Lisa doesn’t do disingenuous. She’s—literally—the most candid person I’ve ever met. While total honesty can sometimes be shocking at best and off-putting in the wrong circumstances, Lisa’s had lots of practice being herself by writing her weekly column “Life: It Is What It Is,” in which she writes with the same warm spirit and caring nature that governs her life off the page. To read her is to know her. And to know her is—you guessed it—to love her.

Once we’d released the younger Sugarmans to go back to their rooms (teenagers!), Lisa and Dave, her partner of 31 years, gave us the tour of their beloved Marblehead, including their favorite store/café Shubie's—where pretty much everyone knew Dave & Lisa’s name and vice versa—and the

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bookstore where Lisa had dreamed of having her book since she was a girl. (They currently sell it!) Lisa and Dave could easily be professional tour guides; whether recounting summers spent at Children’s Island or revering the local establishments and their quirky owners, they embody hometown pride. Hanging on the beach is not my preferred vacation, yet I was ready to sign up for a weeklong stay just to spend more time in a place so loved. Truly, though, I’ve rarely spent time with a family so at peace with their place in this world. As Lisa (or was it Dave?) was quick to point out, much of this had been luck of the draw: they’d been fated to grow up in this region. After briefly attending college elsewhere, they chose to raise their family in Marblehead; however, even this seemed more like destiny than a decision.

THERE’S NOTHING LOVE CAN’T DO I don’t mean to imply life is perfect for the Sugarmans. In Lisa’s columns over the years which, as I’ve mentioned, are nothing if not brutally honest, she discusses concerns for her town and scandals in the system; she calls people out on rudeness and other poor neighborly behaviors; and she wonders if life isn’t just getting to be a little too technology-oriented for our own good.

Like most parents, Lisa and Dave experienced the heartache of “friend drama” with both of their girls at different times: friendships coming and going, being excluded, or the challenge of having to put yourself out there and forge new relationships. What I found comforting about the situation was their matter-offactness: life, sometimes, isn't perfect. Our friends, sometimes, let us down. Our community, sometimes, looks the other way. The Sugarmans are an example of how you accept this as the way of the world without giving in. Through communication, honesty, and love, a challenge can be met head on and a family can remain strong.

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Life can and will (and must) go on. This is a great segue into how the title of Lisa’s column came to be. According to Sugarman lore, she and Dave were in the car, discussing, among other things, what she should name her column. Lisa goes off on a tangent, as Lisa is known to do (!), about something seemingly unrelated and ends with the line: “It is what it is.” Lightbulb! Life is what it is. Thus, the column was named. The PERPETUAL YOU


Free Yourself

The name, just like Lisa’s approach, fits the column perfectly. Her writing steers clear of proselytizing and her themes stay accessible. “I want everyone to recognize that we’re all going through the same stuff every day—dealing with the same kinds of anxieties and struggles and challenges—just under a different roof.” In fact, Lisa’s been told that reading her column is like conversing with a friend through the walls of a bathroom stall. Because Lisa is Lisa, she took this as a compliment, which explains why the cover of her first book is a woman sitting on the toilet. I, too, love the bathroom stall as a metaphor—where better to achieve that tricky balance of vulnerability and honesty that candor requires? Remember the “I can’t spare a square” Seinfeld episode? If I were caught in the stall without toilet paper, I’d want Lisa to be my mate. If I may extend the metaphor, her columns are like squares of toilet tissue – sure, you could get by on just 1 or 2, but 4-6 will provide more comfort, protection, and a more enjoyable experience. This dependability factor, which stems from the ability to relate to predicaments of others, is what Lisa relies on when she sits down to write, and ultimately what has made her successful. As she likes to put it, “I’m you and you’re me.” Meaning, she knows her audience intuitively because, like her, she’s the average woman. “I’m a normal person. A soccer mom. I’m carpooling and food shopping and refereeing fights between my kids every day. I don’t have a Ph.D or a long list of titles after my name. I’m living the same day-today story that the majority of people out there are living,” says Lisa “That resonates with people. That gives people comfort.”

Lisa’s second book, to be released on March 7th, is titled: Untying Parent Anxiety: 18 Myths That Have You in Knots—And How to Get Free so I thought it would be fun to discover other myths she’s discounted over the years, in writing her column about life being what it is.

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Myth: Relationships are Hard. ͞If there’s one thing I took away from meeting and reading Lisa, it’s that family and friends are part of the FUN in life. For Lisa, even difficult transitions— like her daughter getting her learner’s permit and no longer needing to be chauffeured around—are a chance to remember what a relationship means to you.

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Myth: Routines are Boring. In an early column, Lisa hailed Mr. Rogers as the hero of the day because he was predictable. On our afternoon of fun in Marblehead with Lisa and her family, I got to witness firsthand her love of their usual, ordinary life and, I have to say, I was convinced that the every day can be thrilling.

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Myth: Learning is Limited. Whether suggesting we all go back to college or just humbly receiving an individual lesson, Lisa is without a doubt in the camp of “knowledge is power.” One thing she knows for sure? There’s no limit to the amount of growth a human being can undertake, particularly when she has a supportive community on her side.

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Myth: People are Mean. Okay, maybe this isn’t so much a myth as a fact of life that we can totally look past if we want to. Time and again, Lisa writes of the power of kindness, friendliness, and open communication: In her book, ‘”being real with people and being with people who are real themselves” isn’t just attainable; it’s non-negotiable.

* Stay tuned to our blog this month for more of Lisa’s bite-sized life lessons.

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“People need to be inspired,” says Lisa. “People need to be reminded that we’re not supposed to be perfect. When I start talking about how we all have insecurities and stress and self-doubt, and that having them is perfectly normal, people start to relax. I love that.” In one of my favorite columns, Lisa proposes a town initiative to “be nice to the nice;” in other words, to acknowledge the small kindnesses that make up our day. ”Happiness,” she wrote in a later column, “is a conscious choice. Everyone has the capacity and fundamental desire to be positive.” If an expert were to say this, I’d second guess her authenticity. Lisa, though, is the real deal. She’s a mom who eats breakfast and dinner with her children as often as possible; she’s a wife whose banter serves as evidence that she adores her husband; and she’s a woman who considers helping others one of the greatest parts of her life. Thus, I propose we all listen up.

LOV E I S YO U , YO U A N D M E If Lisa’s columns and books are about anything, they’re about the power of being who you are, which necessitates a certain amount of self-reflection. Says Lisa, “Once we admit that we’re inherently flawed, we can laugh at ourselves and just strive for our own individual best. Once we acknowledge that our screw-ups make us human, we can focus on having real, authentic, and fun experiences.” Perhaps because she writes reflectively week in and week out, Lisa knows better than anyone the relationship of reminiscing to recognition. In living (and writing about life) with total honesty, she aims to raise the “collective consciousness” about growth through positivity and support.

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In fact, the next time I start to feel like nobody gets me, I’ll be opening up my copy of Life: It Is What It Is and digging in. Of course, I could also, as Lisa once candidly wrote, just pick up the phone and give her a call. I’m more likely to text her, and I know she’d text right back.

Lee Lee Thompson is the Cofounder and Managing Editor at TPY. She has had the privilege to interview 21 amazing women who inspire others to choose, embrace, unleash, & celebrate the best parts of themselves–their Perpetual selves. Photos by Lindsay Stanford


Get in Touch Need a little more candor in your life? Here’s how to hang out with Lisa: Online: lisasugarman.com On

ď…­:

@lisa_sugarman

On Amazon

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Life isn't perfect..it's messy, chaotic, and sometimes downright mean. But it's also joyous, fulfilling, and endlessly surprising. – L ISA SU G ARM AN


to align your innermost thoughts with your ever-evolving perspective

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The PERPETUAL YOU


F L O W E R S selected & donated by @ W I L D F L O W E R A T M O S A I C

No. 129

Twin Tulip (Tulipa Gemellus)

Cultivated to become an expected token of our most sincere emotions, the tulip represents both affection and appreciation. The two-headed or twin tulip encompasses this sincerity while offering the unexpected gift of two flowers in one—reminiscent of the tulip’s wild origins and, indeed, of the unpredictability of love itself.

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LIVE

Love Yourself H O W T O C H O O S E A U T H E N T I C I T Y O V E R N E G AT I V I T Y with Meghan Kacmarcik

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Loving yourself authentically and candidly means learning to love all the parts of your body, even those we are taught to hold in or cover up: the lines on your face or the cellulite on your legs; thighs that rub together when you walk; a squishy, bloated, or stretchmarked tummy.

W

hen was the last time you were your true, authentic self? When was the last time you laughed without abandon, didn’t censor your reaction, or let all of your guards down? Unfortunately, we live in a society that rarely encourages that kind of candid authenticity. We live in a society that encourages and teaches women to fit neatly into a box where we are well-behaved, feminine, and polite. Society teaches us that our currency as women is not what we have to say, but how we look. From a young age, we’ve been taught that we connect to other people through our bodies; we’re shown how to use our bodies as tools to create friendships, establish standing, and foster romantic relationships. We are told to look and act in ways that impress and please others. All of this teaching necessitates that we learn to quiet our inner voices and fall neatly into that box society has created. I was in middle school when I first started to believe that my stake as a woman depended on the way my body looked, that my attractiveness was what I had to offer a potential partner. There, boys who hadn’t learned to talk to girls yet made inappropriate comments; girls discovered their sexuality through clothing and makeup; adults spoke of our changing bodies as something to be ashamed of, and taught

us how to act more “ladylike” and appropriate. My authentic, candid self didn’t stand a chance. The never-ending pursuit of perfection is the antithesis of authenticity. It sets arbitrary rules and goals, puts us on strict schedules without listening to our bodies, and allows no time for us to sit back and think about what we really and truly desire. It forces us to quietly abide by the rules without questioning them. Living under the veil of diet culture and body negativity can be confusing, awkward, painful, and almost unbearable. When I was in the days of my eating disorder and obsessive exercise, there was no room in my life for authentic living. My strict diet and workout schedule did not allow for play, fun, or even a break when my body was calling for one. Eventually, I got so complacent that I stopped listening to my mind and body outside of just food and exercise choices. I stopped trusting myself and did what was best for other people. I nodded and agreed and let people walk all over me if that was what they wanted to do. I assumed that they deserved to take up more space than I did. I was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually hungry. I had no energy to be my goofy, funny self. I

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What would happen if, instead of worrying about what you had for breakfast, you focused instead on becoming exquisitely comfortable with who you are as a person? stopped laughing so much. I stopped being the silly person I had been my whole life. My conversations were empty. I didn’t have the bandwidth to do the things I loved most: reading, writing, going out with my friends, snuggling in bed to watch a movie. When I chose to recover, I chose authenticity. I could no longer suppress the things I wanted to hide. I could no longer afford to be complacent. I started speaking up when things bothered me and communicated with my partner, friends, and family. I engaged with people, rather than just nodding along. I felt and expressed happiness and grief and sympathy and joy and gratitude. Choosing authenticity is not about being ladylike or fitting the image of the “perfect” woman, but accepting all parts of ourselves. Sometimes we have weird bodily functions; this is not something we need to be embarrassed about. Being able to laugh loudly and speak up when we want to means not listening to the rules and restrictions society sets for women and our bodies. Of course, laughing when you want to laugh and saying what you want to say is only part of living

The PERPETUAL YOU

– LISA TURNER

authentically; being your authentic self is so much bigger. To live honestly takes discovering what makes your soul sing and pursuing it in whatever way you can. It means making time for things in your life that make you happy or bring you peace. Unleash authenticity and love yourself. Reject that box society wants to put you in and build your own box. Some of our boxes will look different. Some of them won’t even be boxes. Some of them might not even have walls. The places we settle—our homes—our safe places, where our bodies and mind take residence— those comfortable, candid spaces are where we deserve to exist.

Meghan is a blogger, body positivity advocate, eating disorder survivor and Registered Dietitian. You can follow along on her adventures on Instagram @sundaesforthesoul or read her blog at sundaesforthesoul.com. Photos by Jacqui DePas


@LIFEBYKAY

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U N L E AS H B O DY P OS I T I V I T Y

All across the Internet, there's a courageous tribe of women posting photos of themselves that celebrate the female body - in all its raw + real loveliness. These #bodypositive photos are inspiring portayals of the empowerment that comes from being in love with yourself.

Tag @theperpetualyou in your #bodypositive photos to be featured on our Instagram feed this month!

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LIVE

Mindful Pleasure H OW CO N N E C T I N G TO YO U R D ES I R ES LEADS TO CONNECTION WITH OTHERS with Katie Rose Lynch

The PERPETUAL YOU


Understanding what brings our minds and bodies pleasure and creating mindful pleasurable moments in our day will mean we are more engaged and connected to our true self.

Pleasure. What comes to mind when you read this word? Does it make you feel happy? Does it stimulate you? Does it bring a smile to your face? Or does seeing this word invoke feelings of unease or resentment because you can’t remember the last time you felt pleasure? Pleasure is fun. Pleasure is good. We all want to have fun and to feel good. So why does the word pleasure bring up complicated feelings for some of us? To reclaim pleasure, we must first acknowledge that thinking about our experience with pleasure may come easy for some, but for others may be incredibly difficult. So let’s take a moment to be in this place together. What makes it easy or challenging to think about pleasure? What comes immediately to mind when I ask myself this question is guilt. I spend so much time both personally and professionally thinking about others, I actually feel guilty thinking about myself and what brings me pleasure. When my therapy clients are struggling with feeling unhappy in their relationships (with themselves or with others), I often ask what types of things they are currently doing that bring them pleasure. Women, especially, have

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a difficult time identifying even one way they are engaging in pleasurable activities for themselves. Often, we are so disconnected from pleasure, we can’t identify even one small thing that brings pleasure to our lives. Rather, we focus on the resources we don’t have: time, money, energy. Can you relate? I sure can relate to this. And I am going to challenge us to reframe the notion that we lack the resources needed to experience pleasure, and ask that we embrace the idea that it is not that pleasure itself is missing from our daily lives, rather it is the attention to the pleasurable moments that we are missing.

The PERPETUAL YOU

If I slow down and think about my day, I am able to identify numerous small moments that bring me tiny pleasures. The first taste of coffee, the warmth of the dog on my feet, standing under a hot shower, the smell and feeling of my favorite lavender body lotion, the sensation of the sunshine hitting my face when I walk to the car. Our days are filled with micro-pleasure moments, but we are often so busy getting through the day that we forget to slow down and give ourselves the gift of momentary pleasure. Where do you find micro-moments of pleasure in your day? Are


you able to slow down and give yourself the gift of experiencing pleasure? The next place my mind goes when I think about pleasure is the realization that pleasure is not static. What I mean by this is, what brought me pleasure at 12, 16, 21, 25, and 30 is not necessarily what brings me pleasure at 37. As my life has shifted and changed, so has my connection to pleasure changed. For example, when I was younger, I often relied on others for pleasure. Whether that meant receiving praise, love, affection or physical touch. While I still do experience pleasure from others, I understand myself better at 37, what I need and want, and can create pleasurable moments for myself. I do not have to wait for others to provide these opportunities for me.

Our lives are not static; they are fluid, and so is our experience of pleasure. We must take time to check in with ourselves, in all of the seasons of our life, about how pleasure’s role in our life has changed. As your own life has shifted and changed, how has your relationship to pleasure changed? How has what brings you pleasure stayed the same? What is different now for you in regards to pleasure? I know for me, the times in life when I am feeling the most disconnected from those around me, are the times I am feeling most out of touch with my true self. When we understand our own relationship with pleasure we increase our sense of connectedness. Think of a time when you have felt really disconnected, either from yourself or from others. Feeling a disconnect either with ourselves or someone we love can be challenging. We can easily feel lost in trying to feel less alone and find the solution to the pain of feeling disconnected. One of the ways we can better reconnect with ourselves and with others is by grounding ourselves in understanding of our true desires. Pleasure is a great place to start. When we are able to understand the role pleasure has in our lives, we are able to increase our connection to ourselves and our connection to those around us, be them romantic or otherwise. As we practice gifting ourselves with mindful micro-moments of daily pleasure we become more comfortable with pleasure being a part of our daily lives, we become more comfortable asking for and receiving pleasure from others. Therefore, our reengagement with pleasure can lead to more connection in our everyday lives. How would mindfully bringing pleasure to your day bring more fun and connectedness into your life?

Katie Lynch, LICSW is a psychotherapist dedicated to helping women and couples live more mindfully and love more purposefully. You can connect with her at presentheartcounseling.com. Photo on p. 87 by Markie Lynn Jones Photo on p. 88 & 89 by Becca Olcott

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P H O T O by @ J A C Q U I D E P A S P H O T O

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F E B RUA RY M A N T R A

Each moment invites me forward to be more of my playful, honest, and true self!

Mantra by Krystal 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. Connect with her via krystalbrandt.com.

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Wake Up, THE BENEFITS OF AN HONEST LIFE

Words by Lee Lee Thompson Photos by Jacqui DePas

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LIVE

Look at the person next to you: your mom, your daughter, your friend. Do you know what she’s thinking right now? Would you tell her what you’re thinking right now? Do you believe in the power of open, honest communication?

FROM EXHAUSTION TO POSSIBILITY There comes a moment in every woman’s life when she yearns to be loved for who she really is. On that day, in that moment, she will no longer be able to take part in false friendships or unhappy, unfulfilling relationships. She will only want truth. To get to that truth, and the true love she knows she deserves, she must accept herself as-is and start living with genuine intentions and honest interactions. In essence, she must love herself so much, she can no longer hide. She must be her true self. That time in my life came about three years ago. After almost twenty years of struggling with

The PERPETUAL YOU

depression, anxiety, negative self-worth, low self-esteem, fear of intimacy, and distrust of those around me, I was given an unexpected gift: a therapist who, at my initial consult, saw right through all of these feelings to the scared little girl behind them. When she asked if I was willing to check into a hospital, I knew that what she was really asking was if I was ready to truly let go of all my defenses and accept myself – whoever that might be. When I said, “Yes, I’m willing,” I knew I was making a choice to become my true self. The truth is, I had decided prior to that meeting that I could no longer pull off the charade of not being myself, which was exhausting and depressing. I could either become my true self – and love my


Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one's life. – KATE CHOPIN

FROM MYTHS TO BENEFITS

true self – or I could end my life. While this sounds futile, this was the exact mindset I needed when making that next decision – to try (to live) or not. Ironically, I have always been labeled as a brutally honest person; I have learned in the journey since that decisive moment about the critical difference between speaking your mind and speaking your truth. I believe that difference to be LOVE. Love had been missing from my life thus far. I’d had relationships – some loving, on the surface anyway. I’d had a family who cared about me and supported me in the ways they knew how to do so. I’d had a massive amount of false bravado. I’d had obsessions, cravings, longings, and passion. Still, I had never allowed myself to know, accept, or receive true love – because I didn’t love myself. Without fully knowing myself, how could I love her?

As my opening states, I believe all women eventually come to this moment of recognition and yearning; however, I believe just as strongly that you don’t have to be at the brink of death to make the decision to love yourself. If you, too, are at the place (or even flirting with the place) where you want nothing more to be loved, then I ask you to consider whether you truly love yourself. The good news? Loving ourselves begins by getting to know ourselves. Just as with any relationship, the more we get to know our true self, the more we will love her. After all, she’s a great person! She’s fun, witty, amicable, giving, trustworthy, spontaneous at just the right times, and she can fold laundry piles the size of tall buildings in a single bound!

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When you’re getting to know yourself, a good place to start is to double check everything you’re thinking. While this sounds exhausting, I can assure you it’s not as tiring as living an inauthentic life. Maybe start small, though. I’m going to propose four different very common myths women tell themselves for us to start re-thinking.

Acting with well-thought-out conviction allows us to become trustworthy – to ourselves and to those around us. Be the person they can count on, not because you say YES to everything but because you say YES to the things you want to and are able to do. Then, showing up will be the easy part. Myth 2: “I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.”

Myth 1: “I feel as though I have to do this.” Intuition will get you pretty far, but to live and act in completely honesty, we need to go further. Ask yourself: what do I really want to do in this moment? What am I able to do in this moment? By replacing action with conviction, we make clear decisions that we won’t regret later.

The PERPETUAL YOU

Women who act with conviction still worry about how their actions will affect others, but putting the perceived needs of others before our own is just another excuse not to live our truth. By replacing selflessness with compassion, we will live a life of authenticity that also invites others to do the same.


You’ve chosen this path of truth but not everyone else will be ready. Express your truth with compassion and listen with intention. Eventually, you will inspire your loved ones to share their true selves back with you, even if it’s just in tiny doses. Myth 3: “I don’t know what I really want.” Second-guessing ourselves is a common way in which women do not live honestly. We’re conditioned to wonder if we’re doing the right thing, particularly when no one else is acting similarly. By replacing uncertainty with courage, we will inspire confidence in others and receive love and loyalty on our journey. Truth: we do know what we want. Remember conviction? If you’ve taken the steps to be clear about what you want and what you’re able to do, then recognize this myth for what it is and continue to act intentionally and with compassion. Believe in yourself and pack extra courage, if you need to. Myth 4: “I’m not good enough to do ___.” Ironically, as soon as we know ourselves enough to know what we want, our inner critic steps up to tell us we aren’t ready or aren’t good enough. This is nothing more than fear surfacing its ugly head. By replacing fear with confidence, we invite genuine experiences to become a routine part of life. Remind yourself of actions you’ve taken up to this point that were scary or nerve-wracking or took you away from your comfort zone. Bravado comes in handy here; you already know that this is the thing you want to do, and deep down you know that you’re able. Recite a mantra; reflect on your awesomeness. And get out there and act!

Releasing Expectations My mom once told me not to expect anything of anyone and I’d be much happier. Turns out, this is harder to achieve than I thought. The thing is, I want to trust people, which often comes with expectations. A philosophy I’ve recently come to appreciate more is to expect something from someone only when a prior agreement has been set in place. Have you ever stopped for a drink and arrived home to an upset spouse? Or perhaps you’re the one waiting at home in disbelief that your partner hasn’t called or texted? With an agreement in place, these feelings would not occur. An agreement doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous, only that you make decisions that honor any prior agreements. Perhaps you decide to join your co-workers for an impromptu happy hour only after you’ve called your partner to let them know. And perhaps you bring dinner home with you so that the rest of the evening’s schedule isn’t thrown off. Can you think of any areas of your life in which you’d like to set agreements rather than expectations? How would your life be different if you sat down with a loved one and communicated openly and honestly prior to acting or expecting?

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We use social media to purport fantastic lives – Disneyland vacations and magazine-worthy homes. We spend our precious free time in these elaborate fictions, where children’s faces are always bright and rosy-cheeked, and where napkins are always tied up in handspun twine. As someone who hopped on the positive mindset train full speed ahead, I understand the value of stopping to Instagram a picture-worthy meal or outfit or moment, as long as we are placing that value and paying attention before or after snapping the photo. As long as we are being honest that not every moment looks this way. As long as we are having fun in the process!

F R O M FA N TA S Y T O A U T H E N T I C I T Y I love the show “Bones” because everyone in this world is quirky but each is accepted for who he or she is. They communicate honestly, openly. Problems, whether personal or professional, are always solved. Sure, there’s conflict and drama, but the “good guys” always end up speaking their truth. Perhaps because of the constant reminder they’ve surrounded themselves with: life is short. Contrast this world with another show I got sucked into watching: “How to Get Away with Murder.” Here, everyone lies to everyone, all the time. They’re all miserable, as is the viewer. The entire show is a train wreck you can’t help but watch. Society, it often seems, is more akin to the latter show than to the world of Booth and Brennan. Dishonesty is so prevalent in our society, we’ve created entire holidays from cultural myths, and continue to celebrate those holidays despite the setting straight of those mythological records.

The PERPETUAL YOU

If we act with conviction, speak with compassion, love with courage, and live with confidence – and if we afford ourselves these same courtesies – we can, and will, experience those moments of pure bliss, those Instagram worthy, Disneyland-esque fairy tale experiences. We will also experience real, raw life: everyday messes and the clean-up they require; dull periods of burrowing, gestating, and waiting; unexpected simple pleasures; ups and downs, highs and lows. We will experience every moment, and we can enjoy – and love – them all.

Lee Lee chose falling in love with herself over inauthenticity three years ago and has since been living as honestly as she can. She started this magazine to encourage women everywhere to make the same choice. Photos by Jacqui DePas


F E AT U R E D A R T I S T

Kate Kearns

Promise To need no light but the moon bolt— no curtains, no color, only your canvas hands and my pocket full of words spilt on the floor. I will always need to flee; I’ll always return. Tonight inspiration is just a word for breath. The F UN I S S U E

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HOW TO LOVE AN INTROVERT a collection of poetr y by Kate Kearns

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