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The Ease Issue

Tell Your Story with Filmmaker

Bernadette Slowey

LET GO (14) • EMBRACE IMPERFECTION (46) • MOVE FORWARD (86)


Shop Small IN THE TPY MARKETPLACE

Our mantra pillow reminds you to Choose Ease every day. Shop all of our uplifting products at bit.ly/TPYmarketplace.


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.


THE

L ET T ER from our ED I T O R

THE OFFICE The Perpetual You 101 Putnam Ave. Hamden, CT 06517

T H E C O M MU N I T Y Look for us on social media @theperpetualyou.

I

once read a convincing reason to have kids say "I'm sorry" — even when they're not! The theory goes that children

THE SOCIETY Meet like-minded women in our private FB group, The Perpetual You Society.

can practice the act of communicating an apology before they actually feel sorry. Then, as they mature and begin to feel true remorse, the child will already have the wherewithal to say "I'm sorry" when they mean it.

THE STOCKISTS You can pick up a print copy of our magazine at the following shops: SaltyGirl Boutique

Kennbunk, Maine SaltyGirlBoutique.com

Lovet Shop

Milford, CT ShopLovet.com

Dwell

New Haven, CT DwellNewHaven.com

I wonder if this is a way we could approach Forgiveness, too. We may not feel like forgiving someone—heck, they may not have requested such forgiveness in the first place—yet we can practice showing forgiveness now and when the true remorse/ reconciliation comes into being, we'll already have the skills to grant forgiveness. I like this because forgiveness, the abstract, feels like something I don't have control over. First, the person has to want my forgiveness. And they may as well change their behavior before I forgive them too! With the practice of forgiveness coming before the process of forgiveness, though, it feels like I can be in charge of my own emotions again. As you'll read about in this issue, forgiveness can take many different shapes. Regardless of the circumstance or conclusion, vulnerability will be a part of the forgiveness cycle. I don't know about you—but vulnerability makes me feel super uncomfortable. Perhaps taking back control over our experience of forgiveness will

THE S U B S C R I P T I O N Sign up for our PRINT magazine at bit.ly/TPYandyou.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

grant us the strength to be suitably vulnerable when the time comes.

lee lee Creative Director & Managing Editor @wordsbyleelee


P H O T O by @ J A Z E L L E S A R T I S T R Y

What makes us vulnerable is our greatest source of strength, because it teaches us strong things: like courage and how to love and what it takes to be kind. – CASEE MARIE The EAS E ISSU E

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FIND US @THEPERPETUALYOU

IN THIS ISSUE

Create Ease by Choosing Forgiveness M O N T H LY M US I C

Join us on A Journey Through Forgiveness" with this month's playlist, curated by Jen Evanson. Listen at bit.ly/TPYmusic." T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Choose

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Choose to rumble with your past and relentlessly pursue the truth of your story, with Bernadette Slowey, filmmaker and public speaker. P H O T O G R A P H E D by W I L LY W I L S O N

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Realize Chisel away at those long-held beliefs and

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high expectations that no longer serve the woman you are today. Accept yourself first, and then extend such graciousness to all those around you. Allow yourself to feel good, to move freely, and to be imperfectly you.

Lifestyle Accept, Forgive, Release................................ 14 Express Your Feelings.................................... 24 Notice Your Best Features.............................. 30

TPY Faves

24

Wise Books..................................................... 17 Eating Imperfectly.......................................... 18 Tequila (and Boundaries!)............................... 20 Intentional Movement.................................... 23 Windblown Style ............................................ 32 Forgiving Self-Care........................................ 36

Plus Take a day for yourself, with nature

30 T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

photographer @kristi.nb.

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Dwell Checker your home with things you love now, even if they've already been well-loved by someone else in the past. Find yourself by falling in love with your home. Surrender to the details, the quirks, and the imperfections.

Design Re-charge in Your Sacred Space....................... 40 Love Your "Now" Home..................................... 42 Reduce, Re-use, RELAX.................................... 46

46

86

Live Cherish your ideals, even while redefining your needs and desires. Heal from your past while living in the present. Feel close to others by first becoming your own best friend.

Mindset Befriend Yourself........................................... 76 Restore Relationships.................................... 80 Define Self-Forgiveness................................ 86

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FIND US @THEPERPETUALYOU

T H E MA K ERS

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

Willy

Allie

Cover Photography

Dwell Feature Photographer

@lifeunstill lifeunstill.com

@alliedearie alliedeariephotography.com

Willy is an award-winning portrait photographer

Allie Dearie is a photographer based in southern

specializing in documentary commercial and family

New England, who specializes in weddings and

photography. Her work appears in the book Photographing

elopements, as well as product and event photography.

Motherhood and she is the founder of the 100 Days

One of her dreams is to photograph all 59 National

of Ten Project. Willy exercises her creativity daily with

Parks in the US. In the rare moments that she's not

a continuum of art photography projects, which she

holding a camera, she's either sipping a cappuccino

often integrates into client work. Willy is a regular

while hand-lettering, planning her next adventure,

contributor to The Perpetual You and was the cover

or snuggling as many cats as possible. This is Allie's

story photographer for our November 2016 issue.

first collaboration with The Perpetual You.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Jessie

P.K.

Krystal

Art Director

Proofreader

Mantra Siren

@littlelegendsdesign littlelegends.com

Connect on Facebook

@krystalbrandt krystalbrandt.com

Cat

Taylor

Casee

Content Editor

Brand Stylist

Collaborating Photographer

@catballou24 amlofarms.com

@studio.ontheland studioontheland.com

@hopeandharbor caseemarie.com

Paula

Lisa

Amanda Luisa

Collaborating Photographer

Collaborating Photographer

Collaborating Photographer

@crash3328

@right_click_photo_n_design rightclickphotondesign.com

@amandaluisaart MandaLuisa.com

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Ann Marie

Michele

Rowena

Collaborating Artist

Collaborating Artist

Contributing Artist

@annmariedrury_artist annmariedruryart.com

@msddesign michelestarzec.com

@rowena.mcpherson.art facebook.com/RowenaMcPhersonArt

Calling all Creative Ladies! TPY collaborates with artists, photographers, writers, and more. Visit bit.ly/TPYcollab for current opportunities!

Let me help your brand

Words by Lee Lee

Branding & Graphic Design for Passionate Business Owners.

Values-Based Copywriting for Cause-Based Businesses.

Let's start a conversation! j@createlittlelegends.com

wordsbylee@gmail.com

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


to align your daily practices with your ever-evolving desires


A R T W O R K by @ M S D D E S I G N


A R T by R O W E N A M C P H E R S O N

THE LA DY

Maya Angelou Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Though sexually abused as a child, and having lost many friends to racial violence, Angelou experienced and practiced forgiveness. “All my work, my life, everything I do," said Angelou, "is about survival with grace and faith.�

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

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True forgiveness is when you can say “Thank you for that experience.” – OPRAH WINFREY

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


REALIZE

C HO O S E T O

Let Go with

Cindy Cuadra

To gracefully forgive is to create ease within ourselves and in our lives.

L

ike most things in life, the skill of forgiving and letting

Letting go may become easier if we approach it differently.

go becomes easier with patience and practice. Yet, as

Understand that:

comfortable as we become with vulnerability, society

continues to culturally deem forgiveness and letting go negatively—with the same perception as a defeat or loss. Is it our egos and pride that block our vulnerability? Is it the idea that forgiveness equates to weakness? Do we only forgive and let go when we have no other choice?

– Forgiveness is a choice that we must consciously make for ourselves in order to truly let go. – Letting go means opening up a space and opportunity inside to learn more about yourself. To forgive is to learn—not to forget.

Ultimately, forgiveness has very little to do with society, or any other external factor. To forgive (and let go) means to create ease and push growth inside the most important person in our lives: Ourselves.

continued on next page

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I’ve asked many women in my life how they forgive people for wrongdoings. Here are a few of the most popular answers I received: • I just forget about it and move on with my life. • I don’t dwell on it, I reflect and move on. • I forgive them but don’t forget what they did. Obviously, we are conditioned to forgive and forget (or just forget!). While it seems like the best solution in order to move on, many times life is not that simple. Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Letting go of wrongdoings means learning to consciously make a choice for inner peace and acceptance for the sake of your own mind, body, and soul. To dwell on a wrongdoing, in order to over your inner harmony.

Reflect + Release

To forgive is to feed your self-love over your

The following prompts will help you choose

forgive, is to resist outside sources, and reclaim power

self-righteousness.

forgiveness and help you let go of unwanted energy

Release the negative energy taking up space in your

in your life! Take 10 minutes to think about and

mind and heart and make room for more love and

respond to one or both of the following questions:

compassion. Journal your unwanted feelings, meditate to clear your mind, or spend time alone to breathe into

Make a list of situations where it was difficult to choose forgiveness. Choose one and take 5 minutes to write about why it felt difficult to let go. What did you learn from this situation? How did letting go help you to heal rather than just "move on"?

What part of letting go is most uncomfortable for you? Name specific ways your mind and body feel discomfort. What have those uncomfortable feelings taught you? In what ways could these uncomfortable feelings benefit you in the future?

the ease. What does it mean to forgive? What rituals further the letting go process? Perhaps it means… • Meditating • Better self-talk • Reflecting • Spending some time alone • Being kind to yourself • Treating yourself Choose forgiveness by consciously making the choice

Choose forgiveness because you want to, not because you have to. Feel the power and strength you have over your mind, and own your truth.

to let go. Embrace the uncomfortability of the process, whether forgiving yourself, a loved one, or a stranger. Choose forgiveness to fully and honestly accept yourself. Accept the flaws, the mistakes, and the unwanted feelings in order to learn more about the humility inside of you.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

Cindy Cuadra is a clinician for children and families at a non-profit organization in Miami where she teaches parents and children the importance of bonding, communication, and self-soothing. Connect with her @CindyCuadra on Facebook. Photos by Jennifer Wenzel, @jenwenzelphoto


R E V I E W S & P H O T O by @ C A T B A L L O U 2 4

W I S D O M, T RI ED & T RU E

I’ve Been Thinking

Little Women

White Hot Truth

by Maria Shriver, 2018

by Louisa May Alcott, 1869

by Danielle Laporte, 2017

This collection of essays is a meditation on

This story of four sisters growing up is an

Sprinkled with references to Tibetan monks,

finding meaning. Shriver writes informally

American classic with timeless themes, one

goddess power, and yoga—LaPorte’s message

about her four children, four brothers, and

of which is "no matter how hard it may be, we

of forgiveness is easy to access. On our

60 years of learning and praying. Each short

must always try to forgive." Holding grudges

journey to accept ourselves and know that

chapter begins with a quote from a speaker,

is more likely to lead to bitter regret than to

we are worthy, says the author, we will feel

activist, writer, or spiritual leader and each

a sense of righteousness. Alcott reminds us

disillusionment. In those moments, we must

chapter ends with a prayer that flows from

that no matter what differences we may have,

listen to our inner voice, telling us which path

her heart. This book is ideal for anyone going

we need to support and respect each other.

is the right one. Short on time? Randomly

through the challenge of letting go, whether

Only then can we maintain a sense of our

opening to a chapter and taking what you

you feel like you’ve got it all together or like

own selves, discover our purpose, and find

need from this book of "truthbombs" is just as

it’s all falling apart.

real happiness.

good as reading from cover to cover.

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


REALIZE

C HO O S E

Imperfection with

Julia Grimaldi

Create space for ease, comfort, and joy in an imperfect kitchen.

W

e make approximately 200 food-related

the block, what's most important are the people you're

decisions daily. What to eat, when to eat,

sharing the food with—not the minute details of each and

how much to eat...hello, overwhelm! While

every meal.

we intend to make the “best” decisions, the responsibility can be weighty. We fear making the wrong decision and

By taking a broader look at what a varied diet looks like, we

feeling regret.

discover that letting go of perfection still fits with a "total

The good news about having a choice is that we can safely

always being good and always doing what's "right" from time

decide to be imperfect from time to time. Letting go of a

to time; aim for imperfection, and Enjoy!

nourishment" approach to eating. Give yourself a break from

perfect way to feed ourselves offers us the space to enjoy the choice we made in the moment; no harm no foul. Whether it’s pizza brought to your door, mac & cheese out of a box, or the #6 from the Chinese take-out spot down

Julia is a holistic health & food coach. Learn more about her at CoachJuliaG.com. Photo by Becca Brendler, @beccabrendler

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REALIZE

Choose Responsibility with

Crystal Cathcart

Lime + Tequila on the rocks offers a chance to drink responsibly and savor the evening.

Understanding how alcohol interacts with our unique body can often lead to the recognition that we need to make refinements, or pace ourselves, to create an environment of enjoyment rather than unintentional consequences: Hello hangovers, we see you! Managing immediate fun with the potential to invite a beast to the evening can seem daunting at first but luckily some small, simple alterations to the happy hour equation can help to avoid unwelcome situations. For starters, ditch sugary mixed drinks for liquor that can be savored and measured. An alternative to margaritas is tequila on the rocks, with a splash of fresh lime juice. Switch to a slower pace of drinking, and make sure to have a glass of water in between each drink. Envision yourself enjoying a night spent with friends without having to ask them, or your body, for forgiveness the next day. You can enjoy more adventures (without the hangover!).

Imbibe with Crystal’s sensibilities and style on Instagram @paisleyrosie. Photo by Lisa Nichols / @right_click_photo_n_design

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


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There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

P H O T O by @ K F P P H O T O G R A P H Y

– J AN E AUSTEN

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


REALIZE

Choose Release with

Jen Evanson

Our bodies are sacred containers for every thought, feeling, and sensation we experience.

L

etting go of what no longer serves us and forgiving

we choose matters less than the actual transformation

ourselves and others creates space, like letting out a much

that occurs.

needed exhale, for that which we desire.

Place focused attention on gratitude and forgiveness. Imagine

The inner sanctum of your being is where the deep work

emptying like a vessel being washed clean as your body

required for growth takes place; this is the delicate place within

prepares for her next beautiful assignment. Make room for

where you balance holding on and letting go. Healing means

your next breath. Let it all go. You are now ready to receive the

dedicating a safe space where you can move to the rhythm of

blessings you desire.

your heartbeat. A brilliant way to achieve this clearing is through intentional movement or release through physical action. Take a peaceful walk in nature or sweat it out in spin class. The type of release

Jen Evanson is Certified Reiki Master, Energy Coach, & Spin Instructor. Connect with her on Instagram @jenforyou. Photo by Rachel Hegarty, @rachelehphotos The EASE ISSU E

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REALIZE

From Top to Bottom: PENCIL SET OF 10 ($12) by Rifle Paper ∙ STATIONARY SET ($22) from Rifle Paper ∙ MAGNIFYING GLASS ($24) from Creative Co-op ∙ METAL DESK CADDY ($36) from Creative Co-op

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Left: APOTHECARY BOTTLE MATCHES, ($10) by SKEEM ∙ LAVENDER CANDLE, ($30) from LoveWild Designs ∙ MINERAL THYME SCENTED HAND CREAM ($14) from Illume ∙ THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER CARD ($4.50) from Rifle Paper. Right: HAND EMBROIDERED UNICORN PILLOW ($58) from KARMA Living

Choose Sentimentality Forgiveness ends with moving on. Still, we may need to sit with our pain a minute longer before bringing the process to a close. Expressing yourself, whether in a journal you'll never share with anyone else or in a letter you'll mail to the person you're forgiving, is at first bittersweet, then cathartic, and finally empowering. Use all the resources you have at hand to bring forgiveness to fruition (candles, lotion, a healthy dose of crying); we'll see you on the other side of this rewarding journey. We’re pleased to feature products by Dwell New Haven (@dwellNewHaven), the sister boutique to Idiom. The products in Dwell are tastefully curated and artfully displayed, so that you feel as if you're walking through someone's home as you browse. Special thanks to Lisa + Kimberly for their help in putting together this gorgeous spread. Shop for yourself at 1022 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT.

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.

Photos by Lisa Nichols, @right_click_photo_n_design The EASE ISSU E

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REALIZE

Choose A Day Alone with photographer

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

Kristi B.


The daily routine requires the careful balance of being true to ourselves and meeting the expectations of others. What happens, then, when we are in a time of transition, growth, or monumental self-acceptance? We may need to take a step back and ask ourselves what we really want.

Spending a day near the ocean or another body of water makes for a lovely, resonant backdrop when we're assessing our energy. The water reflects our purpose and symbolizes the ebb and flow of our lives. When called upon to do so, water rises higher. When no longer needed, water recedes from the sand.

Taking a day away—to yourself—without an agenda or demands on our time—allows us to renew (or set new) intentions, to reconnect with our core desires, and to reevaluate our motivations. If, upon reflection, our core desires have changed, we must be brave enough to change directions.

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Kristi Beisecker is a multimedia artist and designer residing in western Massachusetts. In her spare time she creates photograms using electricity and organic materials with analog darkroom processing. She also reads and writes about science and spirituality, composes and performs music and gives spiritual guidance. Follow her on Instagram @kristi.nb.

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REALIZE

Choose the Whole Picture with

Leigh Schwab

Balance out your desire for improvement with an awareness of all that you already are.

I

had a revelation not too long ago when in passing I

Because of my job as a beauty writer I am constantly examining

mentioned that I wish I had thicker hair and my four-

my physical being to take notice if a product is working or if

year-old daughter chimed in that she wished the same

there is something I feel like I need to treat. While it's only

for herself. I look at my daughter and see the most wonderful

human to examine ourselves, why not compliment our unique

creature on earth – a smart, imaginative, perfect on the inside

attributes while at it?

and out little girl. ?

Let’s take time to relish in the things we love about ourselves,

Why do we always gauge our self-worth and beauty with

as often as we make "adjustments" or "assessments" of things

our perception of our appearance? This encounter made me

we want to fix. Gaze at yourself in the mirror, and find that

reflect on the way I view myself and how I let that permeate

little girl inside. What do you want to tell her about her

my daily existence. I want nothing more than my daughter to

natural beauty?

be confident in her uniqueness as a human and her internal beauty as a woman. T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


BeYOUtiful

1

Sometimes, the physical attributes that bother us are due to a lack in routine or consistency or energy. While there are no miracle cures, supplements and exercise have been shown to enhance women's lives. Here's a few ways I've eased into feeling better about who I am, naturally:

1

Wake Up. Mommy brain has been a big confidence killer for me over the last few years. I have tried many supplements to help bring myself back. Gaia’s Mental Alertness has helped my focus to improve, which has helped me work more efficiently, which in turn has helped me spend more enjoyable time with my family. Leigh recommends...

2

Gaia Mental Alertness

2

Perk Up. Do more for your body so it can do more for you. Adding collagen to your diet can be extremely beneficial to both your insides and outsides. Benefits of this powerful supplement include better digestion, muscle recovery, as well as healthier skin, hair and nails. I add a scoop to my coffee every morning! Leigh recommends...

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

3

Get Up. Treat yourself to a monthly workout program you can do at home when it is convenient for you. Print out a calendar each month that is dedicated to tracking your workouts so you can see the pattern of the times and workouts that work best for you.

3

Leigh recommends...

Barre3 Online

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. Main Photo by Cheyenne Beverley, @beverbutts

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REALIZE

Handmade hOMe Handmade hOMe You found your soul, a new path, your ease. You've climbed those mountains and crossed those rivers, and now you can finally see the beauty in it all—life’s circular momentum. Your look is inspired by inward comfort. Forgiveness and self love are essential to your well being, and to be well your body needs comfort. With comfort your soul feels spacious, mind insightful… your body becomes your hOMe. Dressed in comfort from head to soul, you observe the simple moments of life and walk your ground with ease. Homesteading mama, artist and soulseeker Taylor Faria curated a look that is 100% raw, carefully sourced, and/or recycled to inspire you, our conscious consumer. A comfortable and intentional style will lead your mind right down the path of your soul’s mission— walk easily.

Products

Credits

RECYCLED GOLD HOOPS by Tiffany Anne Studios ∙ www.tiffanyanne.jewelry

TAYLOR FARIA, creative director & model studioontheland.com ∙ @living.ontheland

LINEN DRESS by A Woodland Gathering ∙ awoodlandgathering.com NECKL ACE by Studio on The Land ∙ studioontheland.com

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

MEG&MIKE PHOTOGR APHY, photographer meganmikephotography.com


Sleepwear for a Cause mct-usa.org

Bringing you closer to nature davinejewelry.com

ALL-NATUR AL SKINCARE ∙ BEAUT Y MARKET ∙ SPA

facefoodnaturalskincare.com facefoodnaturalskincare.com

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REALIZE

P E R SPECT I V ES from T H E PA N EL

What's the biggest thing you've ever had to forgive?

Shortly after my divorce

I tend to be pretty hard on

I had to forgive one of the two

myself, trying to be perfect. I

closest family members who

think I need to do better and be

I love dearly. This person's

better. I have recently learned

upbringing lacked receiving

ex-husband's girlfriend was

about the concept of 80%

love and attention in various

pregnant. I crawled into a dark

being perfect enough. Once I

family relationships. As a

space of anger and resentment

realized that I was doing my

result, this person developed

and licked my wounds there.

best and that 80% was above

resentment and anger and,

Until I realized that I was hurting

average, I felt a sense of relief

also, high expectations. This

only myself and helping no

and calm. I was able to get a

behavior was exhibited to a few

one, including our children. In

lot more done; the pressure I

of their own family members.

embracing them I have embraced

was putting on myself lifted

I have forgiven this person

was final I found out that my

a whole newly configured

and I found things that were

with compassion, empathy,

family and lots of love.

difficult to do, so much easier.

understanding, love and trust.

Diane

Laura

Joanne

Poet, Scholar

Counselor, Art Therapist

Raw Food Chef & Teacher

@DiLo922

@forwardemotion forwardemotion.com

@rawfoodjo rawjo.com

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


P H O T O by @ C R E A T E H E R S T O C K

The greatest thing I've had to

Myself. For all the things I

forgive is my body. My personal

thought I should've known and

struggle with infertility led

all the mistakes I've made and

to a lack of trust, disconnect,

continue to make, especially

and love of me. My confidence

I think one of the most

while raising 2 young girls. I've

was really depleted. There

challenging things is to

learned that self-compassion is

are times that I still question

establish a daily forgiveness

by far the best way to practice

myself. I have such a better

practice. Every day, we can

being compassionate with

understanding about my

practice forgiving ourselves

others. You cannot harshly judge

needs and how my fertility

for our own perceived

others if you are practicing being

impacts my life and decisions.

failures and inadequacies.

compassionate with yourself.

Julie

Jen

Cara

Counselor, Art Therapist

Yoga Teacher

Accountant, Counselor

@ChartreuseCenter ChartreuseCenter.com

@joyfuljenyoga joyfuljenyoga.com

@cara.m.czarnecki

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REALIZE

April Self-Care Reflect. Take time to reflect on negative

energy you might be hanging onto. Quiet reflection can create fertile ground for connection to what is truly important and to ideas or actions that no longer serve you. Choose a serene place outdoors or cozy spot at home to close your eyes and be with your thoughts. Ask yourself, “Who or what am I ready to forgive?”

Connect. Make plans with a good

friend or a few friends for a cup of tea and conversation. When we prioritize connection, we open up to more laughter, new ideas and collaborations, new ways of seeing the world, and new ways of being. In this way, connection fuels our souls.

CH O O S E N EW RO U T ES

Although self-care seems to be on our agenda, we often don’t make time for it. Self-care loses its priority because of family, obligations, work, and unexpected needs or events. Worse than missing out on self-care, we might also judge ourselves for not taking care of ourselves! By mindfully practicing self-care when you can (and forgiving yourself when you don't), self-care can feel like a joy instead of another item on your list. Use this month's toolkit to open up new routes to forgiveness. When we take care of ourselves, we can forgive ourselves and others with greater ease.

E S S E N T I A L O IL

C RYSTAL

GODDES S

HERB

Roman Chamomile

Citrine

Ostara

Rosemary

BENEFITS

BENEFITS

BENEFIT S

BENEFIT S

Decreases restlessness, tension, and anger

Cleanses and regenerates; brings peace to your soul

Encourages us to create new conditions in our lives

Releases pressure related to your spiritual path

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

T O O L K I T curated by @ LY D I A M A N D E L L , P H O T O by @ L A T O Y A B U R T O N _ M U S I N G


to align your physical space with your ever-evolving self

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A R T W O R K by @ M S D D E S I G N

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Incense /' in sens / noun An aromatic reminder to release our negative feelings

A R T by @ A M A N D A L U I S A A R T

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Submerge + Surrender with

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

Erin Mahollitz


DWELL

Ease into self-love. After entering the room, she locks the door. This is her

As she watches the water swirl down the drain, she

safe place where layers, burdens, and negative feelings

visualizes letting go of what no longer serves her.

are shed. Here, she confronts herself and surrenders

Relieved of tension and anxiety, she is abundantly

to loving herself. Clutter and distractions are absent;

grateful for simple things: flowers and plants, ancient

walls and decorations are minimal. She has crafted this

mementos, gently rubbed fixtures.

sacred space to support her well-being.

Free now, she is ready to ease back into her life. With

She fills the tub and the room warms. Bath salts

her finger she traces a heart onto the steam-covered

transform the hot water into a peace-inducing

mirror. Loving herself is a choice, and forgiveness is a

solution, ready to absorb her stress and tension. Her

practice. She emerges clean and vulnerable, prepared

clothes fall to the floor, and she takes herself in. She is

for regeneration.

covered in stories: some beautiful, some hurtful. Entering the water, she breathes deeply and opens her heart. The loofa is her sacred tool, and she sheds skin as part of her transformation. She humbly retrieves the soap from a vintage dish, etched with stories unknown to her.

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DWELL

Perfectly Imperfect CHOOSING THE HOME Y O U H AV E N O W with

LaToya Burton

Instead of getting caught up in the mental burdens of all the things we must change to have a house that looks a certain way, we can find the gold in the home we already have.

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e lived in a partially furnished house we only intended to be in for a few weeks. The longer we stayed the more of a

challenge it was to feel at home in a temporary space we were hesitant to invest in. Eventually we decided to make the most of if it, and I am glad we did because we stayed for 2 years! I used the house to explore what really worked for our lifestyle at that time, falling in love with our home along the way.

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First, I did a realistic assessment of our lifestyle. We didn't

Next, I noticed what worked for our family's flow and

need formal living areas, so we completely flipped things

schedule. I love a kitchen that's the hub for all family

around. We entered the house from the back; used the living

members. With a young child, I needed space in which he

room as our bedroom and my creative space (thanks to a large

could do things with and alongside me. Not having a coffee

desk that was already there); and turned a spare room into my

table brought flexibility and more floor space for play; adding

husband's music space.

a small table and chairs and placing books and art at our

Next, I took time to get to know our home emotionally.

child's eye level helped him feel at home too.

Lingering in the doorways and spending time in each chair.

Remember: the choices you make in your home layout or

Noticing what first catches my eye in different rooms. I like

decor now can, and most likely will, change in the future. You

to have the first thing I see when I enter a space to evoke a

can make different decisions when the house is no longer

positive feeling, and often use plants or artwork to freshen

serving your lifestyle or needs. By embracing the crafting

the energy of a room.

of a home that allows you to enjoy your life now, you're establishing a pattern of ease, comfort, and being at peace with imperfections.

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Dwell on This Allow your home to be imperfect; being forgiving and easing up on your expectations can open up the possibilities of how your home can support you.

1

Change Things Around. Just because a room is traditionally used in one way does not mean you have to continue to use it that way. In the warmer months try moving your main dining area or little breakfast nook to the outdoors. If your bedroom feels tight and doesn't get enough light and your formal living room is not getting used and has a beautiful morning glow, why not try a swap?

2

Be Flexible. Plan for easy clean up by giving everything a specific home or allow for a space that can get messy and choose one day a week to reset it as necessary. Try beautiful baskets for toy storage and choose kids furniture that blends with your style. Using found artwork (or your own/your child's!) to decorate your walls is a flexible way to honor your creativity.

3

Give Thanks. Get out a pen and paper and write a love letter to your home. Start with the very basics: I am grateful for shelter, and the conveniences of running water, and a place to lay my head. Then move on from there to specific aspects of your house that you love. Although a letter is not dĂŠcor, it is a map to peace with what is, and can bring clarity as you move forward.

LaToya is a mama / imaginer / gypsy nomad who explores life through the lens of interiors imagination and inspiration. She lives on a bus with her husband and son exploring the Australian landscape. For more inspiration, follow her @latoyaburton_musing. Photos are courtesy of the author.

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Comfy at Home HOW MIXING OLD + NEW C R E AT E D A H O M E W E L O V E

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DWELL

When I think of home I think of comfort: a place that you can shut out the rest of the world and just be. A haven to comfort you after a rough day. This is what I love most about our home, especially our living room.

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e moved here in 2004, after two years of marriage—our first house we bought together. The house is old, but had been recently

renovated. We felt lucky to have a blank slate where everything was new since, of course, we wanted to make the home our own.

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Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we're all in this together. – BRENÉ BROWN

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I used to pour through home décor catalogs and magazines wishing my house would look like the ones they featured. I spent way too much time trying to recreate those pretty pictures, yet it never felt right. There was always something off. The vibe was too modern, or the paint too dark. The style didn’t match the rest of the house. Most importantly, it just wasn’t me. I have come to realize that you don’t have to spend a lot of money or buy something that everyone else has. Just like your personal style, your home should reflect yourself and who you are. Ours is akin to an old comfy pair of jeans that fit great paired with a soft knit sweater that envelops us in warmth. (And kind of like clothing there is always dog hair or cat hair on the furniture.)

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Finding my decorating aesthetic took a long time, and our

The living room is the first room that is seen by guests

home has gone through many transformations as styles and

when they walk through the door. I wanted it to look and

tastes have changed. Our living room doesn’t look like a

feel cozy, warm and inviting. I wanted them to feel that

page out of a magazine or a catalog. And I'm okay with that.

they could kick off their shoes and relax. I love seeing

More so, I'm in love with how this room came out and how

guests curl up in here with a glass of wine. Sometimes they

it ties in with the rest of the house.

get so relaxed that they even fall asleep!

My home is an eclectic mix of old and new. I like the twist

I, too, spend a lot of time in our living room. The big, comfy

of vintage items mixed with newer pieces. Since the first

couches are where my husband and I watch TV, listen

floor is an open concept I chose to carry on the farmhouse

to music, and read. We can sit among the fuzzy blankets

style by keeping the wall colors neutral and adding in some

and giant throw pillows for hours at a time, just talking or

warm colors with the rug and furniture. The room finally

laughing. On Sunday mornings, we drink our coffee in here.

feels "finished," though I may make a few more tweaks here and there. continued on page 52

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During the winter months, we turn on our electric fireplace and get cozy with fuzzy blankets and our fur babies. The architectural detail around the windows, which gives the house that old New England feel, is one of my most favorite things. The house is a duplex and the living room faces the sun, so the most amazing light comes in during the day. You will often find one of my dogs curled up in a sunbeam. In the summer when it gets too hot I close the shades to try and keep it cooler; in the winter, I keep them open to let all the natural light in. I picked up these faux bamboo blinds for a steal at a curtain and bath outlet. At night, I like to keep it cozy with candles and dimly lit lamps. My love of antiques has certainly grown over the past couple of years due to certain shows I watch on TV. I have incorporated a few of my favorite pieces into the living room. My coffee table is an old toolbox that was found in the basement of a home in upstate New York. I took it home, cleaned it up and stained it this dark color. That big old window provides the perfect back drop for a fig leaf wreath.

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Design Values

The little dresser next to the couch was another favorite find. It was in desperate need of being

If you love the feel of a designed room but not the prices

refinished so I chose this charcoal color to bring a

that go along with it, shopping in secondhand shops,

little more warmth into the room. It now serves as

browsing outlets, and finding smaller batch, smaller

storage for extra blankets, our iPads, and magazines.

priced goods are wonderful ways in which to save on the

The best things about antiques? They are one of a

budget. And hey—you might even have something lying

kind. They have history. They tell a story. I also love

around your own home that could be put to use!

that it gives an item a second chance to be used as something else. Toolboxes and dressers used as functional pieces in a living room? You bet!

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Flea Market Finds. If you're willing to forgive the flaws, secondhand décor and furniture is a wonderful, sustainable way to round out your rooms. Whether you need a small table for storage, or something quirky to hang on the wall, thrift stores & flea markets are almost certain to have it. Be willing to dig, and—to maximize your time—make a list of wanted items beforehand.

Fresh flowers are also a must. Not only do they bring cheeriness to a space but it is a great way to bring outdoor elements inside. The best way to bring a smile to your face and brighten your mood is to always have fresh flowers somewhere in your home. As you can see I like the walls to be filled with different items like the windmill clock and the vintage eye chart calendar. One of my favorite ways to decorate is to add in art with mottos on them. “It’s

2

Overstocked Outlets. For linens, pillows, and seasonal décor, outlets offer a wide selection for not as much money (or hassle!). A semi-annual trip to a warehouse sale can result in lots of good finds—or go online and see if you can purchase ahead. For the greatest of ease, you can even have your purchases delivered to your door.

so good to be home.” “Love grows best in houses just like this.” But my favorite is the decal I have hanging over the dining room. “The best journey always leads us home.” It is positioned so that it is the first thing I see when I come home and open the door. Whenever I see it, I smile because, to me, it means I am at the finish line of the day.

3

Love handmade accessories? Don't let Pinterest fool you into thinking making something yourself is "cheaper"! Unless you're using materials you already own, chances are the costs to create will be the same or even greater. If you want to make something, by all means go right ahead! But if all you want is the handmade look, then Etsy's your new best friend. Bonus: your purchase supports a small batch maker!

We live such busy lives and it always seems like we are rushing to fit everything in, but coming home is the best. It means changing into your comfies and slippers, cooking something delicious for dinner and finally being able to take that deep breath you have been holding in all day. The only problem now is that I never want to leave!

Lesley is an accountant by day but her creativeness flows at night and on weekends. She lives with her husband Tedd, their two dogs Spike and Gretchen, and cat Ozzy. She enjoys cooking, decorating her home, cruising through the aisles of thrift stores and antique malls, reading, and tending to her plants. You can usually find her curled up on her couch in Salem, MA with a mug of coffee or glass of wine, depending on the time of day. Photos by Allie Dearie, alliedeariephotography.com

Etsy, Etc.

4

In Your Home! If you've lived in your house for some time, you might be surprised at how refreshing moving a longstanding piece to a new spot in the home can be. Wardrobes can become breakfronts for linens or stand-alone linen closets. Chairs can be mixed up or moved around. Even swapping your bedroom throw pillows with those in the living room can bring a feeling of New to your "redesigned" room.

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Shop the Look Comfort lies in the details: a vignette of thoughtfully curated, casually styled items that welcome you home. A hand-lettered sign can be customized with your philosophy, and scented candles can be tailored to your preferences. A well-loved shelf and some beloved (and useful!) items complete the look.

Suggested products for a similar look: HAND-LET TERED SIGN ($55) by Mason Dixon Handmade ∙ HAND-POURED SOY CANDLE ($20) by Ms. Frieda's Classroom ∙ MANTEL SHELF ( from $125) by JNM Rustic Designs T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Sunday Morning Coffee corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2115-10

Fresh + Green corresponds to Benjamin Moore 552

Haven corresponds to Benjamin Moore CSP-310

T RU E CO L O RS

Beloved Wood corresponds to Benjamin Moore CW-435

Gaining inspiration is fun and, often, helpful—but only if you can do it without losing your own sense of style! Your aesthetic is much more likely to feel comfortable if it comes from the colors and textures you intrinsically love rather than the latest trend you saw on HGTV or Pinterest. (Hint: What colors, patterns, and textures are in your wardrobe?) Color Palette is from our Dwell Feature, a cozy, comfy Living Room. If you already love your living room, try this palette in one of these other spaces:

Worn In

A Little Luxury

Beautiful and Bookish

corresponds to Benjamin Moore CC-962

Rich, chocolate on the walls, fresh greens on the

This palette—pulled from the well-worn covers

back of the toilet, creamy blue accents, topped

of hardback books—makes perfect sense in the

off with shiny, silvery fixtures. In a small space

library. Deep blue on the walls with dark toned

like a guest bath, this favored palette goes from

paneling and bookshelves provides a dressy

homey to divine.

backdrop, whereas found furniture and recycled shelving make the books feel right at home.

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Every choice is a world made new for the chosen.

P H O T O by @ L AT O YA B U R T O N _ M U S I N G

– B A R B A R A K I N GSOLVER


to align your life story with your ever-evolving sense of self


A R T W O R K by @ M S D D E S I G N


T H REE Q U ES T I O N S

with

Berni

What's one practice in your daily life that

What's one aspect of your physical

For you, what is the relationship of

brings you Ease?

space that brings you or reminds you

Forgiveness to Ease?

of Forgiveness? Yoga. It’s my daily mediation whether I’m actually practicing it or even imagining I’m doing yoga in my mind. What a journey yoga has been for me—a reliable friend to soothe my soul and deepen my awareness of alignment. Over the years, yoga has comforted me through a toxic work environment, three consecutive miscarriages, a career change, an identity crisis, completing my movie project, raising two teenage boys and the loss of loved ones. The ease of yoga grounds me and allows me to practice self-love.

We experience the four seasons where I live. Spring is my favorite; even after the cold stillness of winter, nature blesses us with new growth. Trees trust and honor this process. Autumn is the onset of climate change and trees know this and embrace it. There is an ease of allowing the leaves to dry and fall off, having full confidence that regeneration creates new leaves and a balance to the ecosystem. The deeper the tree’s roots are grounded into the earth, the wider the branches spread and the fuller the leaves grow back. Despite all the carbon dioxide and harmful gases they absorb, trees still give out oxygen to gift us with breath. For me, that is the physical reminder of Forgiveness.

Choosing forgiveness through the adversity has made me a stronger, more compassionate being. Knowing that I have the key to forgiveness and I mindfully let go of whatever isn’t serving me is incredibly empowering. I move from victim to the victor. As the victor, the experience doesn’t have a grip on me. Coming from a place of personal power, instead of asking “Why did this happen to me?”, I can be grateful for my soul’s growth and ask “How is this happening for me?” I can share the experience as a lesson learned, immediately connect with others as a result, and perhaps provide a duplicate of the key to allow others to free themselves.

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Own Your Story A C O N V E R S AT I O N A B O U T F O R G I V E N E S S , HEALING, GROWTH, & STRENGTH with Bernadette Slowey

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I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. – Ho'oponopono Meditation

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W

hen I first began my conversation with Bernadette Slowey on the topic of forgiveness she enthusiastically introduced

me to Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian prayer-like practice for those seeking absolution. Recently returned from a weekend Ayahuasca Retreat, Berni was on fire with insights about how we can choose to forgive and what gifts await us on the other side of our challenges. The ceremony surrounding Ayahuasca, a psychedelic tea, is an ancient practice led by shamans over a period of 5-6 hours wherein the drinker is likely to experience vomiting, hallucinations, and ultimately spiritual awakening. “They told me to talk to the plant,” says Berni, who used that advice to turn her experience into a “gentle, loving” one rather than an intense, cathartic process. As a result, she experienced a release. Berni’s kind-hearted, generous nature as she led me through her story, from her childhood in Vietnam to a spiritual reinvention in India, helped me to understand the full meaning of Ho’oponopono and the correlation between allowing and authentic growth.

THE IMPOSSIBLE IDEAL As a four year-old child in Vietnam during the war, Berni experienced trauma when her younger sister – barely two years-old – was abducted from the courtyard where they had been playing. For decades to follow, that loss would dictate Berni's feelings, bringing shame, perfectionism, and isolation. Once in the US, Berni experienced the tension created by the Vietnam war, including exposure to prejudice in the small Nebraska town where she joined her father. Berni was an outcast in her new society, and her home life was isolating: her mother was emotionally paralyzed after the tragic loss, and guilt and shame caused both of her parents to be distant. Plagued by her parents’ shame and convinced that her sister’s abduction was her own fault, Berni was swallowed up by perfectionism and the desperate need to make amends. No matter what she did, nothing was ever enough to bridge the familial divide. “It was never good enough just to be Berni,” she says.

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This pursuit of perfectionism fueled her life. After moving

reflects that the motherhood experience was skewed for her,

with her family to Denver and finding a more accepting

as a result of the pressure she put on herself and the toxic

society, Berni’s confidence blossomed in high school,

environment in which she worked.

where she became senior vice president and captain of the volleyball team. Her focus on achievements landed her in a banking career where she moved from teller to marketing

Eventually, Berni’s health took an extreme hit: she suffered multiple miscarriages and made numerous unexplained

manager by the time she had graduated college.

trips to the ER. Upon reflection she sees that this was her

Rather than enjoying being five years ahead of her peers

work/life standard.

body’s way of shutting down in refusal of an impossible

career-wise, Berni had to navigate the banking industry in the late-’90s, which was vicious toward women. Her leadership role in a male-dominated field meant she would

T H E S T R E N G T H T O S TA R T O V E R

be “challenging change,” she says. Unsupported by her

While Berni had intended to leave the industry sooner, she

female colleagues and silenced by the male contingency,

was unable to trust herself enough to do so until the collapse

Berni ended up in a dangerous sexual-harassment situation

of the financial industry, along with her body and spirit. She

with a sociopathic boss.

had to make a change. After a 20-year banking career, Berni

Despite intense challenges, Berni experienced great

finally started listening to her intuition.

blessings at the same time. She met her husband Joe and

Throughout her breakdown, Berni received more and more

became a mother to their two beloved sons. Still, Berni

signs pushing her toward her great childhood passion:

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filmmaking. Despite a lack of experience, she realized her

In true Berni fashion, she found herself being met with small

corporate background supplied her with many effective

encouragements from the universe. One day, while frantic

skills to create documentaries, most especially project

about the failed delivery of her passport, she took a shower

management. “Was I prepared?” she says; “No, but I had to

to re-center herself and heard a voice saying, “Trust me.”

have trust.”

Overcome by a sense of calm, Berni then experienced the

Synchronicity worked its magic when spiritual teacher—and her personal friend—Harrison Klein invited her to attend a retreat he was speaking at in India. Upon discovering the

shower as a symbolic washing away of all her worries. She later found the elusive passport under a potted plant on her front porch.

nature of the conference – the science of spirituality – she

Another boost came in the form of advice from her sister

decided to take on the project as her first documentary film,

Lucinda, when she met Berni at the JFK airport after her

determined to be successful.

flight from Denver. Berni asked her sister what she thought

With more than $30,000 committed on travel to India and hiring local film crews, and with only five weeks to prepare her materials, Berni dove headlong into a project most people thought crazy – including her husband. Although

about the documentary idea, and she said: “Berni, don’t ever ask that question again. Don’t ask anybody what they think about it; it only matters what you think, and what you believe.” Berni never asked that question again.

Berni knew that Joe was upset about the amount of money being spent, she trusted the process and her instincts.

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Watch the Film Berni's Journey Watch the Trailer on YouTube, or Purchase the DVD Online via bernisjourney.com

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The Guru Within

T H E U LT I M AT E J O U R N E Y Once in India, the project fell apart before it could really begin. A scheduled tour in Hyderabad was

Our unique story is a gift we have been given

cancelled by the guide without a word; the conference schedule was altered without warning; technical

to contribute to the world around us, if only

difficulties left Berni with insufficient audio in her

we will trust in its value. By owning our story

conference coverage.

and choosing to live as our most intentional

Joe’s frustrations grew and Berni’s patience fled as

self, we can tap into deeper wisdom and lay

she spent the Christmas holiday away from her family.

the groundwork for powerful change. The

Berni felt foolish; she had been ignorantly willing to

following steps, inspired by Berni's journey,

take the leap into her project. Yet, like The Fool in the

will start you on that path.

deck of Tarot, she says, that naivete would ultimately prove to be a gift. In an attempt to revive the documentary, Berni

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The surest way to release perfectionism is to embrace your authenticity. Stepping outside of your experience can allow you to better understand your unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Some ways to do this are writing an objective letter to yourself or asking a friend to give you a heartfelt, compassionate assessment.

banded together with the help of the conference’s spiritual teachers and her colleagues in India, including her conference roommate Bianca and expat/producer Les Nordhauser. Though she still had no idea what the subject would be. Reality came to Berni in the shape of a snake encounter near Agra. Faced with a cobra and terrified

Value Yourself.

2

Stay Open. One of the lessons Berni's story teaches is the importance of honoring your physical space. Pay attention to the synchronicity happening around you, then match those events up with your own feelings. Stay open to internal communication by repeating back (or writing down) whatever your heart is saying.

of the creatures, Berni experienced an emotional breakdown on the side of the road, which slowly became the catalyst for a greater awakening with help from author and spiritual seeker Jennifer Hough. Together they explored her response to the cobra and the greater reasons behind Berni’s emotions. “Letting life live us means letting go of what we think we

3

Be Present. There are profound layers to being present, as Berni's story shows. True presence comes from surrendering to trust, settling into the unknown, and letting go of what we think is right. You can start settling into your present reality by meditating for 5 minutes at a time, or taking a walk in nature without a set agenda or timeframe.

know,” Jennifer told Berni. “Even the judgement that it’s chaos is a judgement.” Berni realized she was on the precipice of great soul-change, and she invited her crew to journey through the darkness alongside her. “I wouldn’t have gone to India if I would’ve known the story was going to be about me,” Berni says. “I wasn’t emotionally, psychologically in that place. I didn’t have the self-confidence of feeling like I had a story. I was going there to heal….I didn’t know that I was going to be the protagonist.”

4

Get Ready! Your authenticity, awareness, and presence will surely lead to even greater personal growth. Berni shows us that when you actively tell your story you develop a stronger grasp of your natural gifts and unleash lasting connection. Continue recording your journey in whatever way makes sense for you—whether an Instagram post a day or by keeping a journal you can refer back to later on.

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Her deeply admirable goal is to develop community and encourage women to stand in their truth. After her experiences in a sexist corporate world where women were given the option to commiserate or be competitive, she is excited about the shift of female energy occurring in the world today. Berni’s grace and kindness are an inspiration to all of us with stories to tell. Her example shows how diligently telling our stories can lead us to forgiveness and resolution, while encouraging other women to do the same. “The more that we tell our story," says Berni, "the less it owns us.” When I thank Berni for talking with me and express my admiration for her strength, she responds with grace and compassion. “What you are recognizing in me, you already have in you,” she says. And, in fact, I did see my own experience of healing from anxiety reflected in her storytelling. The film documents Berni opening herself up to the wisdom of the spiritual teachers and the influence of India’s rich culture. The result is a beautiful

Berni's passion to guide women to own their

and intimate voyage into the human experience, and an examination of the

stories is understandable, which makes

way forgiveness, presence, and allowing can help us transcend our own

it no less admirable and remarkable. She

greatest challenges.

knows, better than anyone, that a journey toward personal healing will awaken us to

The film manages to evolve with every viewing as Berni’s awakening, Joe’s

our own greatness. “The real journey,” she

determination to be supportive, and the wisdom of the spiritual teachers

says, “is those eleven inches from our head to

create layers of experiences. “I went to the land of gurus to learn that I was

our heart.”

my own best guru,” Berni says, reflecting on the resilience of the human spirit. “I must be really powerful to have created something in this way.”

THE CHOICE OF HEART OVER HEAD Berni has expanded her journey from filmmaking into coaching and speaking, delivering a powerful talk for the TEDx Crestmoor Park Women event and establishing Burning Journeys, her coaching business where she aims to help women connect with the innate wisdom already inside of them.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

Casee Marie is a motivational writer and intentional poet living in New England with her rescue pup, Blaze. She is the author of the online journal Hope & Harbor where she writes to encourage a deeper relationship with compassion and vulnerability. You can connect with her at caseemarie.com or on Instagram at @hopeandharbor. Photos by Willy Wilson, lifeunstill.com


Connect with Berni ï‚‚ @BernisJourney bernisjourney.com

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In moments of allowing and surrendering to trust, whatever is happening to us is happening for us. – B E R NAD E T T E S L O W E Y

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to align your innermost thoughts with your ever-evolving perspective


A R T W O R K by @ M S D D E S I G N


Tulip Tulips, like forgiveness, blossom just when we need them most. As the winter relents, our hearts warm in the comforting sight of these longawaited bulbs. We easily forgive these precious flowers for fading too quickly; so too can we forgive our loved ones simply by letting go of expectations and enjoying them for who they are.

I L L U S T R AT I O N by ANN MAR IE DR URY @ A N N M A R I E D R U R Y _ A R T I S T

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Little choices add up to be revolutionary changes in your life. – SARAH BAN BREATHNACH

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LIVE

Self-Care YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND with

Meghan Kacmarcik

Embracing authentic self-care is a journey that begins by forgiving our body and befriending ourselves.

“S

elf-care” is kind of a buzzword these days. A quick

that dermatologist appointment, or it gets forgotten between

#selfcare search on Instagram will pull up posts of

blind dates and 8am team meetings. On those days where we

people doing yoga, drinking coffee in their pajamas,

“go, go, go,” taking time for ourselves doesn’t make the cut.

walking outdoors, drinking wine with their feet up, and a lot of quotes about how important it is to take care of yourself. .

With this mindset, feeling positive about anything can be a

It’s true: self-care is important. By taking care of ourselves,

time with your body. Despite evidence and intuition that

we improve our mental and physical wellness and we’re able

Indulging in self-care can help us feel more positive about our

to take better care of the people in our lives. If self-care is so

lives, our goals, and our health, body love is still one of the

important, then why do women continue to feel ashamed for

most vulnerable topics for many women.

taking care of themselves?

challenge; let alone feeling good about your body or spending

I’ve recently undergone a transformation with my body: how

We are born knowing how to care for ourselves and knowing

I feel about it, how I think about it, how I care for it. I used

what our bodies need. When we are young, we have no

to hate my body and would spend hours criticizing every

problem asking for a snack when we are hungry, or running

part of me, down to my too-round face and my too-wide

around outside when we feel like playing. We know when

fingernails. For six years, I starved myself as punishment,

we are tired, even when we ask to stay up just another ten

eating minimally, exercising obsessively and living in anxiety-

minutes (!). In tune with our bodies, we feel no shame in

filled misery.

asking for what we need. Somewhere between our teenage years and adulthood, we forget about self-care completely. Self-care gets put on the back burner along with renewing our library cards or making

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Self-care was not part of my vocabulary. I could not relax;

the woods on a path near my house. Rather than working

watching TV felt like I was wasting precious time, spending

in the evenings, I caught up on news, read articles I had

time with friends just took away from time I could be at the

bookmarked, and even drew in my adult coloring book. On

gym, and laying down when I was tired just left me trapped

weekends, I watched movies and enjoyed wine.

inside my sad, lonely, depressed brain. Taking time to myself felt unnecessary, narcissistic, and selfish.

In short, I became a friend to myself; rather than always

When I chose recovery, I inadvertently chose self-care. In

to myself, I saw my other relationships grow—friends, my

the body positive world, self-care is a central theme. At first,

partner, family, and co-workers. By taking care of myself, I

this was confusing: What did feeling good about your body

had care to extend to the people in my life.

and spending an hour reading at night have to do with one another? The longer I stayed in that community, though, the more clarity I found. I realized that it’s impossible to love your

running from the idea of being alone. By becoming a friend

Wherever you are on your body acceptance journey or selflove adventures, I challenge you to try to go back to the most

body without taking care of it.

basic forms of self-care. Allow yourself one hour of “me” time,

In the months following that, I made it a point to take care

from work, or right before bed. You can put minimal effort

of myself in ways that felt intuitive. Instead of forcing myself

into self-care and reap a lot of reward.

for a six-mile run like I used to do, I went for a walk through

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whether before your day gets started, after getting home


Start small, if you have to. Take fifteen minutes on your lunch break to read your favorite book. Paint your toenails your favorite color. Take a bubble bath. Light a candle and meditate. Sit outside and enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning, without phones or laptops or tablets. Become your own best friend. Plant seeds of self-love and self-care and then watch those seeds grow. Watch how you start to love your family a little stronger and love your friends a little more. Watch how you start to love yourself in bigger ways than you ever could have imagined. * This article is a slight adaptation of Meghan's article, The Benefits of SelfCare, published in the October 2016 issue of The Perpetual You.

Meghan is a blogger, body positivity advocate, eating disorder survivor, and Registered Dietitian. She loves nature, coffee, empowering women and belly laughing. You can follow along on her adventures on Instagram @sundaesforthesoul. Photos by Joanna Fisher, joannafisher.com.

Handcrafted Leather Notebooks TO CAPTURE YOUR IDEAS, ORGANIZE YOUR SCHEDULE, INSPIRE YOUR CREATIVITY, AND HELP YOU TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.

"Be You" Traveler's Notebook in Marigold, by Red Pen Travelers for The Pereptual You Marketplace. Shop at bit.ly/TPYmarketplace or RedPenTravelers.com

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LIVE

Choose to Forgive HOW UNCONDITIONAL LOVE CAN RESTORE FA M I LY R E L AT I O N S H I P S with

Alyson Iannicelli

Forgiveness is an expression of unconditional love, pure acceptance, and non-judgment.

L

ast year, I had the opportunity to look my father in the eyes and say, “I understand why I chose you – and mom – to be my parents.” Receiving a brief

look of bewilderment, I explained that learning to accept him and my mother exactly as they are and celebrating what they have taught me, even through the hardships, has been liberating.

continued on next page

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According to the teachings of Edgar Cayce, and many other

As a whole, I placed a lot of blame on my parents, used them

visionaries, each soul chooses its parents based on the

as an excuse as to why I was unhappy or why my life wasn’t

lessons it needs to learn. When I was first exposed to this

how I wanted it to be, and constantly looked outside of

belief, I reacted with an eyeroll and an, “Ugh...why?”

myself for maternal guidance.

Through most of my adolescent life, I was frustrated with

Yoga taught me that all of the guidance I need is truly within

my relationship with my parents. I wanted my mom to be my

me and that we all are flawed, yet perfect just as we are with

best friend – to not judge my choices or see right through

a divine purpose. Each soul is on its own unique journey

my naivety, and to be less critical. While she has always been

in life. Still, we are all on the same path: here to learn to

my #1 fan, she has been the most difficult fan to please.

love, forgive, cherish the present moment, and give back

From this, I placed pressure upon myself to appease my

to humanity.

mom, which created an underlying layer of fear that filled

When I first was told I must unconditionally accept my

me up with anxiety, self-doubt, and insecurities for most of

mother, exactly as she is right now and still love her, I wasn’t

my life. Though her intention to guide my life came from a

sure if I could. This message was delivered to me during

place of love, her laser sharp vision was often hard for me

my yoga teacher training, by my militant-like teacher, who

to receive.

commanded “You must practice acceptance!”

When my mom and I wouldn’t see eye-to-eye and a fight

At this moment, my energy, heart, and entire being shifted.

would erupt, I always looked to my father “to put her in her

As if a hammer hit me over the head, I realized I cannot make

place,” which—of course—he would never do. In my eyes, he

it my job to save my parents or anyone for that matter, but

became passive and meek, so I devalued his character.

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rather love all people – and myself, unconditionally, precisely

I believe I chose my mom to learn discernment from her, as

as we exist in this moment.

well as persistence, and I chose my father to have a guide

After my personal revelation, I returned to my parents with a tremendous outpouring of love and gratitude. By letting go of judgments of my parents, I accepted them as the imperfectly perfect people they are. I knew they did the best

through my own spiritual exploration; what I critiqued in him as "passive" is truly his own unconditional love and openness for all living things. They are the set of parents I needed to become the person I am.

they absolutely could and raised me EXACTLY as my soul

My parents protected me, cared for me, and provided me

came here to experience.

with the best life they could; it was only my perception that

What is right and deemed “wrong” (or less right) does not need to exist in the realm of personal forgiveness.

created disharmony. Because of the process of atonement, our relationships has been restored.

Surrendering to this belief requires an immense amount of strength, practice, compassion, self-love, and frees us from the entrapments of our mind. To say I suddenly love everything my parents do would be false; however, forgiveness has created more space for me to love them as-is. I don’t have to love their choices to unconditionally honor the divine light within them. I also have learned to let go of anger or resentment towards them, choosing gratitude for the life they have given me instead.

Alyson is passionate about living a harmonious life, inside and out! After completing a 200-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training, Alyson left a position managing a non-profit to fully dedicate her life to yoga, health, and helping others. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Art in Integrative Health and Healing and is a part of developing the Energy Medicine Yoga curriculum. Alyson believes that by combining mind, body, and energy work, we can each achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Visit her at healthscalling.com. Photos by Amanda Louise, @amandaluisaart

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Advertise with Us Below is a timeline showing our upcoming themes for Series 9 and the deadlines for submitting your ad. Learn more at bit.ly/TPYpartners.

ISSUE 3

IS S UE 4

JUNE 2018

J ULY 2018

Create Fun by Unleashing Kindness

Create Joy by Celebrating Rarity

DUE: APRIL 13

D UE : M AY 11

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Being able to step into a new reality requires a great deal of letting go. – KELSEY FOX BENNETT The EASE ISSU E

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Is Self-Forgiveness Needed? MY COUNTERINTUITIVE CHOICE TO MOVE FORWARD

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LIVE

Self-forgiveness is about getting comfortable with not getting what we planned and still being able to move forward.

M

y daughter got married on top of Aspen Mountain with only her sister and her sister’s boyfriend as witnesses. No other family was

in attendance. She'd bought a new white winter coat and hat, just for the occasion. Less than two weeks before her elopement style mountain wedding, my youngest daughter called with quiet expectation in her voice to tell me about her decision. She and her boyfriend of nine years were going to get married in ten days. She'd been best friends with her boyfriend since they'd played saxophone together in middle school. Somewhere along the line, the relationship morphed into a romantic one, with none of the conventional rituals that finding a mate requires: only group dates, joint adventures, and splitting the bill. “Mom, isn’t it just perfect?” My daughter's voice was excited when she asked. My intuition told me she wasn’t expecting an answer, so I pushed down the lump in my throat. “Of course it is. It sounds like you’re happy, Honey.”

GOING BACK AGAIN When I gave birth to my first daughter, I struggled with the decision of whether to stay at home , or go back to the teaching career that was my passion. I had pictured myself as both a teacher and as a mother, but once my baby was in my arms, I couldn’t see how I would give my best to both my daughter and my classroom. Although the decision was a hard one, I chose to put my teaching career behind me, and the birth of our second daughter sealed the deal. I traded my concern over my students for the connection I had with my girls. Assuring my daughters' healthy emotional development became my primary purpose. I set out to help my girls cultivate a self-awareness and a deep knowing that their self-worth wasn’t contingent on what they did or how much money they made. They were daughters of God and they were enough. I wanted them to understand they didn’t have to settle. They could turn to their faith and tune in to their internal instincts, and they’d find their answers to any question. I took my role seriously; as if it was my job to instill in them a solid self-confidence, combined with a loving self-acceptance.

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H A N D L I N G T H E PA I N My husband and I met as college students, finding a mutual connection in our love for learning. We were both easygoing, and his sense of humor made academically challenging days fun and filled with a sense of ease. Even though our majors were different, we enrolled in two courses together… astronomy and ballroom dancing. Practicing our dances in the off hours in the cafeteria added lightness to my days. Often our evenings were spent under the stars talking about the constellations and dreaming about the future… even before we knew that our future would be together. We were married two months after I graduated. Ours was a comfortable relationship. No loud arguments or outward differences. I was content and happy, which is why I felt completely duped by his announcement. After 20 years of marriage, my husband told me that he had been having an affair...for three years. After just two counseling sessions, it was clear that my once light and fun husband

HOPING FOR THE BEST Their dad's allegiances and behaviors had made a clear and massive shift, and at a critical time in their emotional development, my girls sadly began to learn that they couldn’t count on their father to be there for them. This cut them to their core. Like any other mother, my instinct was to protect my girls from pain. The stable foundation they had known, was understandably shaken. And my drive was now stronger than ever to preserve my girls self-

was gone.

confidence and keep their emotional strength in tact.

Yet, I still didn’t expect our divorce to take the

I intuitively knew just how damaging it was for a 13-year-old girl when

nasty litigious turn it did. My daughters and

the father she adored told her he’s “having a tough time choosing”

I didn’t see it coming. The once very present, loving dad, seemingly overnight, became an absentee father.

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What seems to be at the crux of my pain is that I believe she’s settling. She and her fiancé have fun together, for sure, but she’s only ever dated him—if you can even call “going together” at age 13 dating. Her father and her boyfriend are the only male role models she’s known. Because I believe I’m at fault, I can’t seem to get beyond some pretty harsh thoughts in my head: •

If only her dad and I didn’t divorce, she would have had a solid foundation for her own future relationships.

What should I have done differently that would have bolstered her self-confidence more effectively?

...because clearly this is about self-worth.

For her to settle... I really dropped the ball and let her down.

I feel shame and guilt for not doing enough. This is not the future I hoped for my daughter. How will I be able to forgive myself?

DEFINING OUR FEELINGS I read a definition of forgiveness as "the ability to make peace with the word NO.” This was a mindset shift moment for me. Having my daughter get married so very young, on the top of a mountain, to the only guy she’s between spending time with her or being with his girlfriend. “I

ever dated, without her family present to support her…

love you both,” he said. (It’s nearly 10 years later, and this memory

well, that’s not what I wanted for her.

still crushes me.)

As a coach to smart, empathetic women, I often share the

Every night, I’d pray that my girls would grow into emotionally

following truth with my clients: We don't have control

strong young women who would not be negatively affected by

over our circumstances, but we do have control over how

the experiences with their dad during those key development

we respond to them. Why couldn't I recognize this truth

years. My worst fear was that their sense of fulfillment in future

in this situation with my daughter?

relationships would somehow be compromised.

I can see now that I was essentially blaming myself for the divorce, taking sole responsibility for the choices my

TA K I N G O N T H E B U R D E N Hearing my daughter's words on the other end of the phone was confirmation that my worst fear had come true. It’s not the unconventional “marriage on the mountain” that gnaws at me

girls made, and blaming myself because the choice that was made wasn’t one I wanted. Rather than making peace with the word NO, I was blaming myself for something I had no control over in the first place.

so much. Nor the fact that my daughter didn’t choose a church

Getting caught up in holding grudges against ourselves is

wedding or invite family and friends to be her witnesses.

all too common for women. We blame ourselves when we

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


are let down. That voice of blame is so very loud. And that loud

Self-forgiveness takes time and effort, requires self-reflection,

voice is holding us back.

and can be uncomfortable. In essence, we’ve got to sit and

Yet, the truth is that we ALL let ourselves down. It’s a normal

experience regret for a bit.

behavior in humans. Even though everyone does it, we link the

But what if you don’t need to forgive yourself at all? What if

act of letting ourselves down to a character flaw of some sort.

you’re NOT at fault? What if, like me, you perhaps identified a

Eventually, we mindlessly go into self-flagellation mode.

normal behavior (like letting yourself down) inaccurately and considered it a wrongful behavior.

SITTING WITH FORGIVENESS Is there something that you feel shame or guilt over? According to the APA*, in order for us to truly forgive ourselves, we need to do three things:

Let’s try that on for size. Here are four steps to determine if self-forgiveness is appropriate. 1. Think of a situation in which you feel guilt or shame. 2. Take time to examine the evidence.

1. Acknowledge that our behavior was wrong.

3. List your wrongful behavior.

2. Accept responsibility.

4. Determine the degree of your responsibility.

3. Resolve to change and choose to behave differently in the future. continued on next page * "A Consensus Definition of Self-Forgiveness: Implications for Assessment and Treatment,” American Psychological Association, 2017, Vol 4. No. 3.

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Running my situation through the prior four steps, I now see

found in the simple acceptance that we aren’t meant to be

clearly that I did nothing wrong, which is why I wasn’t able

perfect, when we release the illusion of control.

to identify my wrongdoing. As a matter of fact, if I could go back in time, I can’t think of anything I’d change about the

If you’re carrying shame or guilt, I encourage you to check

way I raised my girls.

in with the steps of self-forgiveness and determine if

Sometimes self-forgiveness is not what’s needed. In the

move forward with a sense of ease, when you stop berating

absence of a wrongful behavior, there’s nothing to forgive.

yourself for something you have no control over.

Rather than working hard on forgiving ourselves, I suggest that we consider implementing gentle self-acceptance and loving self-compassion instead.

ACCEPTING OUR IMPERFECTIONS

forgiving yourself is even needed. You will only be able to

My gut tells me that perhaps self-forgiveness isn’t what you need. Embrace self-acceptance and compassion; Treat yourself like you would your best friend; and I’m going to bet that you’ll experience the sense of ease you’ve wanted all along.

We weren’t created to be perfect, so it’s not helpful when we hold ourselves to unattainable standards. And that’s exactly what I was doing when I felt guilt and shame over my daughter’s wedding decision. Let’s be less critical and judgmental of ourselves when we engage in normal human behavior (like raising our kids to the best of our ability). A feeling of ease and a sense peace can be

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

Lisa Bobyak, founder of Living Fully Balanced, LLC, is dedicated to helping smart, empathetic women who are exhausted from keeping all the balls in the air. Lisa’s been transforming women’s lives for over 13 years through her inspirational and educational presentations, private coaching, and her proven signature program, Love Your Life Again. Learn more about Lisa at LivingFullyBalanced.com. Photos by Paula Athans, @crash3328


LIVE

T H E FO RG I V EN ES S PRO CES S

The charged energy around forgiveness sometimes results in our discomfort with growth. These images were created to depict the Ease possible when we let go of the hope that our past will change and give in to living in the present.

About the Artist Christy M. Johnson is on a mission to bring creativity and encouragement into the world; through Art, everything is possible. @cmjohnsonart ¡ ChristyMJohnsonArt.com

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@KHILL2973

@HOPEANDHARBOR

@CHRISTIANAMARIA

@STEPHANIE1MACKAY

@ARTL8DY

@THEFUNKYHIPPIE101

@WORDSBYLEELEE

@LYDIAMANDELL

@NANCYELENA.ART

L ET I T G O

We resist letting go—holding on, in fact, for as long as we can until we're exhausted. The irony is that Ease only arrives when we make our peace with the past and move on. Whether a sage bundle, a mantra, or a monumental hair cut (!), a visual sign of Letting Go records our intentions and aids us in moving on. Share your "Letting Go" moment with us, and tag @theperpetualyou so we can cheer you on.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


A P R I L M A NTR A

I surrender held hurts to create more space for love.

M A N T R A b y K R Y S TA L B R A N D T PHOTO by MEG&MIKE PHOTOGRAPHY


PHOTO by MEG&MIKE PHOTOGRAPHY

Choose Forgiveness

The Perpetual You_Ease through Forgiveness  

April 2018 Issue featuring Bernadette Slowey, of Berni's Journey

The Perpetual You_Ease through Forgiveness  

April 2018 Issue featuring Bernadette Slowey, of Berni's Journey