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The Joy Issue

Cultivate Joy with Boutique Owner, Amy

DiSabella

FIND YOURSELF (14) • ADORN YOUR HOME (46) • LIVE CAREFREE (86)


Become a Regular! Subscribe for Perks.* Share for Good Feelings. *Details at bit.ly/TPYandyou


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

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

W

hen was the last time you told yourself how beautiful/ accomplished/worthy/strong

you are? It isn't that these qualities are

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

rare in women; all women are these things, when they allow themselves to be. What's truly remarkable is a woman who KNOWS she is these things. A woman who walks

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

with the poise and grace that a heart full of self-love brings. Rarity, then, as I see it—and as we've defined it in this issue—is being yourself to the fullest extent, knowing yourself to the fullest extent, and loving yourself to the fullest extent. This is the relationship with self that will bring you long-lasting, immeasurable,

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

and—at times—ecstatic joy. Basically, we can all take a lesson from the cat in our life. Cats think very highly of themselves. They don't need you to tell them they are special; they know they are special. They intrinsically think of themselves first and they expect their needs to be met. They also don't mind asking for a little more...after all, they might just get it!

Milford, CT ShopLovet.com

In my experience, cats also return affection to those who appreciate their uniqueness.

Dwell

When we feel worthy, we show ourselves to be worthy. We expect others to feel we are

New Haven, CT DwellNewHaven.com

worthy too. We lean toward and build relationships with those who agree that, yes, we

Herein lies the remarkable effect the quality of Rarity can have on our relationships.

are worthy. I say: Let's do it! Let's strut our stuff and see what happens. Let's primp and preen and take an extra-long bath or nap—or both. Let's meet our own needs more often, even as we demand more from those who love us. You're worth it, my darling...We all are.

THE PERK Subscribers can use promo code YOUBEYOU through Jul 31 to get a 10% discount on any TPY marketplace item.

Meow (xoxo) lee lee

Publisher & Managing Editor @wordsbyleelee

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience. – EMILY DICKINSON

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P H O T O by C A S E E M A R I E

FIND US @THEPERPETUALYOU

IN THIS ISSUE

Create Joy by Celebrating Rarity M O N T H LY M US I C

Get in the midsummer groove with this month's playlist, curated by Cate Clother of @cordellamag. Listen at bit.ly/TPYmusic. T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


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Celebrate Celebrate the bespoke details—of your home, your business, and your life— boutique owner, Amy DiSabella. P H O T O G R A P H E D by C O N S TA N C E S C H I A N O

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Realize Create a life of Joy by noticing the details,

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naming what brings you pleasure, and indulging in sensory experiences both at home and on the road, from wearing a beautiful statement necklace to releasing your inner Aphrodite to finally visiting that long-yearned for destination.

Lifestyle Get to Know YOU........................................... 14 Make a Statement........................................... 22 Customize Your Beauty Routine..................... 30

TPY Faves

22

Books ............................................................. 17 Food .............................................................. 18 Cocktail.......................................................... 20

30

Movement ...................................................... 25 Style................................................................ 33 Self-Care......................................................... 36

Plus Get exotic with our reader-submitted travel stories!

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Dwell Cultivate a home of treasures and sacred spaces by reserving space for items special to you; displaying your most beloved collections; and maintaining an environment intent on showcasing your unique aesthetic.

Design Build an Altar.................................................... 40 Collect Art......................................................... 42 Create a Home You Love.................................. 46

46

86

Live Connect to the truest parts of yourself by re-writing your story; reminding yourself of your unique qualities; and giving yourself permission to spend the time you need.

Mindset Discover Your Beauty.................................... 76 Take Notice.................................................... 80 Go Timeless................................................... 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.

Constance Cover Story & Dwell Photographer @constance_schiano constanceschiano.com

Constance is a Netflix-binging, popcorn loving, destination wedding and lifestyle photographer. Based in Connecticut, Constance has photographed weddings all over the Northeast, in the Midwest and California. When she's not behind the camera, Constance is most likely walking her dog, reading an awesome book or planning her next adventure. This is Connie's first collaboration with The Perpetual You.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Jessie

P.K.

Casee

Art Director

Proofreader

Content Editor

@littlelegendsdesign littlelegends.com

Connect on Facebook

@hopeandharbor caseemarie.com

Cat

Payal

Krystal

Content Editor

Cover Story

Mantra Siren

@catballou24 amlofarms.com

@paypar38

@krystalbrandt krystalbrandt.com

Paula

Cate

Brittany

Collaborating Photographer

Art Liaison

Collaborating Calligrapher

@crash3328

@cateclother Cordella.org

@glitterandbold glitterandbold.com

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Ann Marie

Michele

Kaitlin

Collaborating Artist

Collaborating Artist

Contributing Artist

@annmariedrury_artist annmariedruryart.com

@msddesign michelestarzec.com

@kaitlin_strange kaitlinstrange.com

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


I L L U S T R A T I O N by K A I T L I N S T R A N G E , @ K A I T L I N _ S T R A N G E

REALIZE

THE LA DY

Georgia O'Keeffe At once grounded and pioneering, Georgia O'Keeffe most inspiring act was in the relentless refinement of her unique essence, style, and expression. Her intimate artwork reminds us that beauty can be found in the unlikeliest places and among the most minute details.

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Embrace the glorious mess that you are. – ELIZABETH GILBERT

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


REALIZE

C E L E B R AT E

You with

Cindy Cuadra

Our different experiences shape us into who we are, an irreplaceable soul.

A

year and a half ago, after taking the advice of a few people

Long story short, I moved back to Miami after finding a

in my life, I courageously made the decision to move to

rewarding and fulfilling job in my field. Though I didn't find a

New York City after my college graduation to try to find

job in NYC, I ended up finding something else; something I am

a job there. Moving was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever

eternally grateful for: myself and the greatest realization I could

done at that point in my life. I was leaving my normal behind: my

ever have: there is only one ‘me’ in this world. That fact alone

family, friends, significant other, and routine. For the first time,

makes me unique and rare.

I was on my own to figure things out.

Some of the realizations I had during that time are as follows:

Like a movie cliché, I felt like I'd entered a whole new world of experience. And like any 20-something trying to navigate the world for the first time, I was trying to live out what was

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

expected of me in the big city of dreams. I began to question

Realizing and trusting that our unique abilities are enough to get

myself—who I was and who I wanted to be. Overwhelming, to say

us exactly what we want is important. Self-actualization gives

the least.

us the permission to unapologetically be ourselves, and to know

There was something about being in the busy streets of NYC or

that we are enough.

on the subway, surrounded by hundreds of people, that made me really question who I was in this world. As I really observed the people around me, the word that came to mind was unique. I was in a city of about 8.5 million people, and every single person was

JOY IS FOUND IN OUR DIFFERENCES. Difference is beautiful. Complexity and dynamism come from

one of a kind.

the things that set us apart from anyone else. Individualism is

What did I have to offer? What makes me special? What sets

our differences.

only achieved when we decide to create joy through accepting

me apart? continued on next page

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C E L E B R AT E Y O U R R A R I T I E S . Think about it, there’s only one you that will ever exist. We are the only people that can decide who we want to be. Being completely you also means accepting that you will grow along the way. I thought being myself wasn’t enough to get me where I wanted to be. I thought I needed to make a drastic

Reflect + Release The following prompts will allow you to create joy by celebrating rarity! Take 15 minutes to think about and respond in writing to the following questions. •

Make a list of the experiences you have gone through in the past year. Choose one and take ten minutes to write about what you learned about yourself because of that experience. Why are you most grateful for this experience? How did this experience shape you to be yourself?

What makes it hard for you to be you? Be specific about the difficulties you feel about being yourself. What have you learned during these difficulties? What obstacles have you overcome that contributed to being who you are?

change—to push myself in the direction of a "better life." After moving back to Miami, though, I realized that I wasn’t just looking for a job or a direction, I was looking for validation that I was good enough or different enough to make it in such a big city on my own. At some point in our life, each of us will be put into a situation in which we can realize who we really are. And we don't have to get up and move across the country to find this out! The little experiences in life can contain the greatest values. Going to NYC and figuring out how to be myself among the crowd, made me discover the things that made me unique and special. Now, as I move forward, I can celebrate those qualities.

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.


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

A U T H EN T I C + I N S PI RI N G

Last Splash

Abide

Lotus

by The Breeders, 1993

by Andrea LaBeau, Pub 2018

by Shirley Nolan, Pub 2016

A nostalgic musical adventure, The Breeders'

A pleasure to read, Abide is well-written,

Lotus is a fast paced, engaging book set on

sophomore album from 1993, Last Splash, is an

honest, and inspiring. This raw, humorous look

the cusp of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake.

eclectic masterpiece: equal parts pure fun and

at the concept of friendship among women

As a pair of immigrants come to terms with

empowering motivation. Its short songs range

also addresses the spiritual implications of

their new country, they face obstacles beyond

from the cotton candy single "Divine Hammer"

female friendships. Andrea LaBeau shares her

anything they have known before. Both a

to a grungy, racing instrumental "S.O.S.” In

journey with humor and a writing style that is

coming of age story as well as a thriller, Shirley

the era of the baby doll dress, Deal confidently

easy to read, so that reading this feels akin to

Nolan’s debut novel is definitely a page turner.

stepped out in jeans and a t-shirt, and with

chatting with a good friend—a friend you'll

Rarely do we find a previously unpublished

a smile that sets her apart from the sea of

want to spend more time with very soon.

author to have such depth of character in

female singers.

her story.

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


REALIZE

Celebrate Your Role with

Julia Grimaldi

Discover your unique and precious place in the kitchen.

W

hat is your gift in the kitchen? Do you love to cook? Love to eat? Perhaps you like doing the dishes? Do you shop locally or purchase

organic foods? Maybe your part is simply to be you and show up, while others pay attention to the menu planning and recipes. The kitchen offers us a stage to celebrate our unique and varying talents. Whether you’re the Top Toque at home, or an equally important loving bystander—receptive to the culinary gifts of others—what matters is having an open heart and sharing your authentic joy. Essential and often routine, cooking also suggests an opportunity for a daily celebration! A party with the most essential ingredient – communion; no special skill set needed. Whether you cook, clean, or stand by and admire the show, you're part of something in which every moment bears the potential for unprecedented joy.

Julia is a food coach & personal chef. Learn more about her at CoachJuliaG.com. Photo by Life Unstill Photography @lifeunstill

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REALIZE

French 75 Celebrate your accomplishments with a special, summer cocktail. You've come a long way! Today's as good a day as any to toast all you've done. Was this the year you finally asked for that raise? Or you were moved to the corner office? Perhaps this past spring saw your dreams of being your own boss come to life; or you were finally able to award yourself a bonus. With the friendly Blueberry French 75, you can add cocktail-mixing to your repertoire. Though the flavors are sophisticated and subtle, the drink is simple to make: just mix gin, champagne, and a blueberry-infused simple syrup. Serve in your favorite glass (if celebrating alone) or throw some in a punch bowl (if celebrating with the ones you love). Take a moment—or an evening—to enjoy, imbibe, and celebrate who you've become.

Cocktail recipe + photos courtesy of @happycampercocktails

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


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REALIZE

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Celebrate the Goddess Within Each of us has a goddess inside and she is multi-faceted: always ready to serve in the way she is needed. Some days we need to radiate protection; others we need to offer guidance and healing to the world; still others find us cultivating hopes and passions long held within. Whether donning a statement necklace or purchasing a stone to display on your home altar, the reminder of your intentions will be strongest when the purchase has been purposeful. Click on the title of each necklace to shop.

From L to R: LACE AGATE PENDANT ($375) from Erin Deluca Jewelry ∙ TIGER'S EYE NECKLACE ($145) from DaVine Jewelry ∙ TEARDROP RESIN PENDANT ($28) from Lou Lou Boutique ∙ EMERALD LEAF PENDANT ($82) from Erin Deluca Jewelry ∙ ABALONE NECKLACE ($85) by Kaliada T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


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5

3

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REALIZE

Celebrate Smiling with

Shana Schneider

Your smile isn't like anyone else's – maybe you have dimples or maybe you have a few crooked front teeth. Whatever the unique features, your smile transforms your mood and those around you for the better. When we smile, we feel joyful because that curl upwards of our lips produces chemicals in our brain that make us feel good. Even better, the health benefits are both mental and physical. Smiling helps us release stress – relaxing our body and lowering our blood pressure. Best of all—a smile is contagious in all the right ways. Most people can’t help but smile back at someone who smiles at them first. So, go ahead: Celebrate your unique smile, and then use it to bring joy to the world.

Learn to Fit Style your life by following Shana on Instagram @fitstylebyshana. Photo by Jacqui Depas, @byjacquiphoto

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Love Tribe unites creative souls from Greater New Haven and around the region, to provide a forum for diverse people to express open-hearted connection in community by sharing their artistic gifts, creative responses and authentic life experiences in order to contribute to a more loving world.

facefoodnaturalskincare.com

lovetribecenter.com

Sleepwear for a Cause mct-usa.org

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Celebrate the Journey Traveling brings out a side of us that isn't readily apparent in our day-to-day existence. We feel freer, no longer encompassed by routine and expectation. Some trips are spontaneous—we just need to get away; others are taken in response to a deep longing to visit a certain place or find a certain feeling. No matter the reason or the destination, every journey has the potential to be remarkable.

This month, we asked several TPY readers to submit their own photos of a trip to an exotic location. Thank you to the women who've shared their experiences, and for offering reflections on their journey. If you're taking a trip this summer, be sure to tag us @theperpetualyou in your photos on Instagram so we can follow along!

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There are 3 things I’d say about vacation: go to a place where you feel closer to God; appreciate the time for family togetherness (for us that’s couple togetherness); get healthy both mentally and physically. Jeanne M., Colorado

Tibet is a fascinating place. My mother and I went together— starting in Lhasa, the capital, and end-ing at Mt. Everest's base camp. Something about standing in front of the tallest mountain in the world had me rooted to the spot. It was a moment I tried to memorize, but I'm already trying to find a way to get back as soon as I can.

Nika S., Tibet

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


I went to Bali, Indonesia to take part in a creativity retreat. Bali definitely has some sort of magic— it’s beautiful, but more than that it changes you. One of my favorite moments was getting a chakra massage from the local holy man whose mantra was “smile with your heart!” I loved that—and it’s so clear the people of Bali do.

Calee L., Bali

India still feels like home because it's where my roots are even though I never actually lived there. This trip was special because I shared my heritage with a few of my closest friends. There was this place called Amboli we visited and I think we all agreed it was the most beautiful place we had ever been. The fog came in and out and of course we got caught in the monsoon, but it was just breathtaking! Meghan S., India

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REALIZE

Celebrate Your Unique Beauty with

Leigh Schwab

Create a beauty routine with products you love and enjoy.

Each of us has a unique self, worthy of celebration. Beauty products can be used to enhance our unique attributes and make us feel comfortable in our skin yet confident in the person we represent. If we play up our unique features, instead of hiding them, we can learn to love the person we're meant to be.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

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 Amanda Luisa, @amandaluisaart


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BeYOUtiful I scour beauty products constantly in a quest to discover those that I can’t live without that make me feel comfortable in my skin yet help me feel unique and just like me. A beauty product that fills all of your requirements quickly becomes your beauty go-to: a staple that makes you feel confident and allows you to just be you.

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Enhance. My large eyes can be overwhelming when it comes to eye makeup so I keep it simple with a defined last line and curled lashes. Finding a non-toxic mascara that would create this look in just a few swipes has been a life long quest and I'm so happy to have finally found one that fits the bill.

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Leigh recommends...

Ilia's Limitless Lash Mascara ($28)

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Shine. Honestly I have quite a few freckles and moles on my face. While this bothered me in the past I have come to embrace the fact that all of these attributes make me unique. Foundation can be a tricky subject for most because while you want your skin to look flawless you should also let yourself shine through. I choose to use a light to medium foundation that covers any redness yet creates a natural glow. Leigh recommends...

Beautycounter's Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation ($42)

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Glow. Most people tend to focus on their face when it comes to confidence and beauty but let's not forget the rest of our body! Exfoliating your body is key to creating a glowing canvas for the summer months helping us feel confident during bathing suit season. Using a plant-derived lactic acid body mask will rid your body of dead skin without the abrasiveness of a scrub. Leigh recommends...

True Botanicals Resurfacing Body Mask ($48)

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P H O T O by C A S E E M A R I E , L E T T E R I N G by @ G L I T T E R A N D B O L D

– T ONI MORRISON

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


REALIZE

Celebrate Summer Moments Harkening back to the breezy, lazy days of childhood, summer speaks of freedom and a myriad of rare moments that blend into one treasured adventure. As adults, we realize these days are fleeting; however, living intentionally means we can still enjoy each lush experience fully, and with gratitude. In terms of getting dressed, summer lends an opportunity to engage that inner child. Lightweight fabrics in bright colors or patterns facilitate movement, play, and spontaneity. Sandals are worn for comfort day to night. Jewelry becomes minimal, as we select only those pieces we love the best. To enjoy the sun responsibly, we choose sunscreen and on oversized hat as ritual adornments. Whether on the beach, by the pool, or enjoying the sound of children running through a sprinkler, emotions take precedence over expectations. Carefree and casual, we are ready for the next special moment.

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REALIZE

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

Q

What's your most unique gift or talent?

I have the ability to help guide Curiosity. I feel a PERPETUAL

others through obstacles,

need to learn; to explore. Our

with ancient wisdom and an

families, communities, and

Joy is something I'm constantly

intuitive perspective. I am the

the world are full of stories,

trying to cultivate and share

friend people turn to in crisis;

subjects, and experiences that

with others. I think that people

the one who gives the pep

amaze, enrich, and engender

inherently want to be joyful,

talk and helps others navigate

empathy. The possibilities

to laugh and to play. Through

through the darkness to see

are, indeed, endless. At 58 I

teaching yoga, I encourage

the big picture. To be able to

temporarily closed up shop in

people to play and embody

help others see the light at the

joy. I try to be approachable

end of the tunnel and motivate

the States to move to England to pursue an MA in Shakespeare

and open so that others

them to discover their highest

Studies... I wonder what's next!

can be at ease and relax.

potential is a great joy of mine.

Diane

Jen

Alyson

Poet, Scholar

Yoga Teacher

Energy Medicine Yoga Teacher

@DiLo922

@joyfuljenyoga joyfuljenyoga.com

@healthscalling healthscalling.com

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


P H O T O by C A S E E M A R I E

Seeing the positive in the negative is my unique talent. Ironically, I used to hate when someone told me to look on the

The art of creating and

bright side, especially when I was

My ability to connect with

presenting food whether raw

feeling down. Somehow, through

almost anyone. To read the

or not, vegan or not, that is

the years, I have perfected this

energy that surrounds people.

appealing, delicious, and simply

ability and it helps me be a better

To tap into parts of people that

beautiful to those that have a

therapist, mother, and friend.

they have forgotten they had.

glance.

Laura

Cara

Joanne

Counselor, Art Therapist

Accountant, Counselor

Raw Food Chef & Teacher

@forwardemotion forwardemotion.com

@cara.m.czarnecki

@rawfoodjo rawjo.com

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REALIZE

July Self-Care Act Like You. Set aside some time to

recognize what makes you YOU. Create a list of your unique qualities and, when you feel less than joyful, refer back to it for a pick-me-up.

Dress Like You. Mindfully peruse your closet and joyfully choose an outfit that only you could wear. You know that outfit, the one that makes you feel strong, beautiful and like you can conquer the world.

C E L EBRAT E I N D I V I D U A L I T Y

Many situations in our lives ask us to show up in very specific ways. Personal values, individuality, and joy may be expected to take a backseat to social norms and expectations. This month's toolkit helps us to remain grounded in our uniqueness, which is how we remain in integrity with our values. Dab Neroli on each of your chakras to connect to your power and begin the road to self-actualization. Wear an opal to highlight your inner radiance. Call on the Goddess Aphrodite to bring out the goddess within. Write, draw, collage, paint, or experiment in a creative journal. If we make a practice of celebrating our most individual traits, we will elevate the collective joy.

E S S E N T I A L O IL

C RYSTAL

GODDES S

PRACT IC E

Neroli

Opal

Aphrodite

Creative Journal

BENEFITS

BENEFITS

BENEFIT S

BENEFI TS

Accelerates self-actualization and individuality.

Inspires individuality, promotes inner radiance, and releases inhibitions.

Encourages appreciation of feminine divinity.

Allows you to create and contain your rare joys, unique ideas, and favorite things.

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 U R E N A L E X A N D R I A P H O T O


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


Crystal A fulcrum of beauty and balance in an intentional home

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

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DWELL

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Arrange + Center with

Erin Mahollitz

Build an altar in a practice of self-love. She reserves a corner of the home for her altar:

altar. “Where would you like to go?� she questions the

a quiet, calm area where she can hear the subtle

quartz. She willingly sets aside any items not quite

workings of her heart. A celebration of herself, the

right for the moment. Listening for inspiration, she

altar is her most sacred place. Here, she aligns her

futzes and tweaks until all feels good and right.

values with her joy. Here she is vulnerable, strong, beloved, radiant, powerful, and wild.

When she is done arranging the elements of her altar, she feels radiant with self-love. While tending to this

Because her Self is constantly shifting, she regularly

space, her inner voice speaks of her inherent, rare

reworks her altar. She considers the season, the moon,

worth. At ease with the ebb and flow of her life, she

her cycle, her desires, her intentions. She searches for

takes a step back, admires her work, and goes about

sacred objects that tell the story of her being: statues, crystals, pictures, business cards, plants, oils, candles.

the day. At any time, she can return to this peaceful, joyful place.

As the assemblage merges, a kind of self-portrait is formed. In this space, she takes a few deep breaths, calms her mind, and intuitively moves the objects around her

See how Erin embraces the act of homemaking as sacred and feminist on Instagram @magicalhomemaking. Photo is courtesy of the author. The JOY ISSU E

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Featured Space We'd like to thank Kristy Beresford, @the_nest_cairns, for sharing her space. T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


DWELL

Creative Spark with

LaToya Burton

Art is a wonderful way to fill your home with joy.

T

here are many things on the market today that make for easy decor choices, but how delightful to take more time in finding

uncommon things to add to the mix when making your house a home. Kristy and Rick Beresford have done exactly that in their home in Cairns, Australia. The Beresford's house is divided into public and private spaces by a hall which is open to the main living area. This "spine" plays the role of the main gallery wall for their larger art pieces. The smaller works are displayed on the remaining wall space and mixed in effortlessly with other artwork and everyday items.

continued on next page

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The large expanses of glass add to the open feel and the

a beautiful piece of music (the creative expression of ourselves

natural light keeps the space bright and welcoming. The open

and others). Bringing these objects and moments into our

floor plan flows into the outdoor space—as does the art, where

homes adds a bit of the unusual to our everyday reality and

more durable pieces have been displayed, chosen to survive or

gives us a chance to see the world through the eyes of others.

age with the weather. These homeowners live a creative-filled life, supported by What I really love about this home is how every piece feels like art—from the cups to the towels to the planters; the furniture is a beautiful, as well as a functional backdrop from which to enjoy the creativity. Each day I spent here I was pleasantly surprised to find new details and treasures to joyfully explore.

a home full of gallery art—works by some of their favorite local artists as well some of their own. Though their home is newer, the collection within has grown over time, like an ever-evolving story. The attention to detail in their curation, along with the numerous invitations for reflection in their

Joy is a feeling that comes from within and can be activated by

collection, reminded me that the joy of art is both in the quest

that which we come into contact with, such as a good book or

and the display.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Dwell on This Art is a beautiful way to introduce rarity into your everyday. Collect treasures with thought and care and display your finds on your walls, windowsills, and shelves to spark joy every time they catch your attention.

1

Meet the Artist. When looking for special one-of-a-kind pieces for your space, start by reaching out to artist friends and family or get to know a new artist. Stop by their gallery shows and open studios and ask questions about the works prior to purchasing anything.

2

Mix it Up. Fill your walls with a mixture of 2-D flat pieces (framed and unframed) with 3-D sculptural items of a range of mediums (paintings in oil, acrylic or watercolour, drawings, collage, ceramics, fabric, found objects, etc.)

3

Make a Statement. Sometimes we can only bring ourselves to select small pieces, but don't be afraid to go big and bold as well. Even if you purchase a large blank canvas and give an abstract intuitive painting a go to add a personal touch.

4

Meander. Take your time. When you are first starting your art collection, select a few key items that really speak to you. Make sure you love each piece before you purchase. It's wonderful how the right pieces always speak to us—you will know it is yours!

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 by Maria, @zenphotography_au

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


FROM

House

Home TO

Words by Amy DiSabella

Photos by Constance Schiano

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DWELL

Though not what many would consider a dream home, as a young newlywed couple, we couldn't have been more proud to call our small, outdated Cape Cod style house...Our Home.

W

hen my husband and I bought this home 22 years ago, it was a far cry from the home we cherish and adore today. For starters, the

kitchen still donned the original 1940s metal cabinets, glitter linoleum tile flooring, and pink ceramic wall tiles. Today some might call these features “retro,� but to be honest they were just old. Evenings after work and weekends were consumed with do-it-yourself projects like steaming years and layers of wallpaper off walls, demolishing kitchen cabinets and countertops and tiling bathroom floors. Though our life wasn't glam, we were in this new journey together and it brought us pride and a sense of fulfillment.

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Home isn't a place, it's a feeling. – CECELIA AHERN

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Throughout the years we occasionally entertained the idea of moving to another house, but we always came back to the consensus that we could not envision our family anywhere else. Our home tells our story and is a reflection of who we are and the things we love.

OPEN FLOOR PLAN Our two children were born here, and this house has witnessed their journey into becoming young adults and all the life lessons that have come along with it: countless birthday and graduation parties, Christmas Eve dinners, and raucous dinner parties with friends that have lasted into the wee hours of night. This diamond in the rough has gone through many transformations throughout the years. From the knocking down of a wall between our kitchen and dining room to create an open concept eating area conducive for entertaining to breaking ground for the addition of bedrooms and bathrooms as our family grew, there were a few “nonnegotiable� items on my wish list. As someone who loves to entertain, one of the prerequisites when designing the remodel of our kitchen was that the room needed to be large enough to fit a dining table that seated at least 8-10 people. Wish granted. Our custom farm table made from reclaimed wood from an old Connecticut barn is still one of my favorite pieces in our home.

COMFORT + EASE The aesthetic of my home had to be comfortable, effortless, and easy. Living on the New England coast, I wanted to create a home that reflected the chic simplicity of the relaxed seaside lifestyle. We accomplished that coastal feel with a light and airy color palette of serene blues, soft aquas and soothing greens.

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It may seem like a bout of insanity that with three dogs and a revolving door of teenagers in and out of our home that I intentionally chose to have most seating in our home slipcovered in white muslin fabric. Au Contraire! White slipcovers reflect the effortless look of our home and are a breeze to clean. For example, whenever my beloved vintage chaise that I found at an antiques mall and had a custom white slipcover made for gets dirty, I just throw it in the washing machine and Voila! Same goes for my white slipcovered dining chairs. Hint: bleach hides a multitude of sins.

V I N TA G E F L A I R When designing our home, I was very conscious to surround myself with things that I love, that have meaning to me, and that bring me joy. I am a sucker for a unique vintage find—the more patina and chips the better. A passion for time-honored treasures and “the thrill of the hunt” have led to countless weekends spent scouring flea markets, antique stores, junk shops, yard sales—and even stops on the side of the road—in pursuit of that one-of-a-kind piece.

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Read more about Amy's shop and life as owner/ maker, in this month's cover story, beginning on page 61!

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Home Love One source of design inspiration is a girls’ trip

Longing for that relaxed and easy look that is also inspiring and

I make twice a year with my girlfriends to the

beautiful? Below, Amy shares more about her personal design

Brimfield Antiques Market in Brimfield, MA. We

aesthetic, along with tips and tricks for accomplishing the Loved

rent one of the biggest U-Haul trucks possible

Home look.

and fill it from front to back, top to bottom, with found treasures. My main goal for the trip is to scout out unique finds for my shop, Sophie

1

Mix Metals + Styles. Don't be afraid to mix styles and finishes in your home. My home office is a combination of modern champagne gold bookcases, a contemporary glass top table with chrome legs that I re-purposed as a desk, and a tufted desk chair with brass details. The addition of a pair of very traditional chairs that I purchased at an auction, reupholstered in a soft green, which hold fun, fluffy, furry pink pillows, add a

Claire’s*, but I have been known to snatch up a piece or two for my home. On one such trip, I found a pair of super chippy shutters salvaged from a barn that now flank the French doors into my home office; another time, I scored a once gaudy gold round frame for five

touch of glam and whimsy to the room.

dollars, which I painted white and added a mirror to. Now, it hangs in all its shabby chic glory above the fireplace in our kitchen.

2

Combine Style with Function. When designing your room create a space that not only inspires you, but that is functional too. In my home office, I was sure to include a mix of items that have meaning to me and bring me joy when I look at them, but that also serve a purpose. A piece of pottery that my daughter made is the perfect vessel for paper clips. My grandmother’s vintage glass hobnail sugar bowl holds a set of crayons (stress relief!). A mercury glass vase holds hydrangeas from my garden. Combined, these things create a happy, inspiring space.

Flea market and vintage finds like these can be found scattered throughout my home, aged treasures incorporated into every room. From the vintage floral china that hangs on my sitting room wall to the white hobnail milk glass and green jadeite glassware that sit prominently on a kitchen shelf, my vintage collections fill me with delight whenever I look at them.

3 Transforming this house into a home has shown

Add Flowers. I can’t imagine my life without flowers; having a party is just another excuse to be surrounded by all their beauty. In fact, arranging flowers is my favorite part of preparing for a party! Whether flowering dogwood branches in tall clear vases in the spring, tightly massed hydrangeas in short bowls down the center of a summertime table, or a small bud vase of winter ilex berries in a powder room, flowers make any occasion seem a little more important and special.

me that the things that excite you are not random; your talents and interests are connected to your unique purpose. Whether it be creating a gathering space where my family and friends can feel loved or curating my shop with unique treasures for others to cherish in their own homes, living and working with vintage items and rare furniture pieces is a passion I love sharing with others and a purpose that brings me joy.

4 Amy DiSabello is the owner of Sophie Claire's: A Unique Boutique for the Home & Her in the seaside town of Milford, CT where she has created a unique shopping experience filled with treasures for the home, vintage finds, fine gifts, fashion and accessories. Join her Instagram and like her facebook page for daily home décor inspiration and the latest trends in fashion. @sophieclairesshop. Photos by Constance Schiano

Use the Fine China. The things you love are meant to be used! I’m drawn to beautiful glassware from the Depression Era because of its colorful, uplifting colors. I use the pieces in my collection for unintended purposes, like a green depression glass water pitcher that doubles perfectly as a unique vessel for a bunch of my favorite blooms, tulips. One of my most cherished pieces, a white milk glass cake stand was gifted to me by a beloved family friend before her death, and I make a conscious effort to use it regularly as a loving tribute to her. The JOY ISSU E

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Shop the Look An extraordinary vignette is all about scale + texture. For height, stack accessories unexpectedly (like a plant on a scale!) or start with an extra-tall vase. Natural textures like linen, stone, and metal blend harmoniously with the green of a plant or make a neutral backdrop for a colorful bouquet of flowers.

Products listed below can be purchaed at Sophie Claire's or online at www.sophieclaires.com. MARBLE AND MANGO WOOD COASTERS ($26) ∙ TALL COT TON CANDLE ($28) ∙ T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

VINTAGE REPRODUCTION GROCERY SCALE CLOCK ($95)


Floating Away corresponds to Benjamin Moore 907

Aged to Perfection corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2121-30

Verdant Era corresponds to Benjamin Moore 2031-50

S U BT LY S EN S U O U S

Rose Petals corresponds to Benjamin Moore 1335

Details and decor blend with ease in this home office vignette. Housing routine accessories, like paper clips and crayons, in unique vessels of various pale hues elevates the stuff of life. A mirrored tray provides more depth, grounding the display within the surrounding palette of neutrals. Color Palette is from our Dwell Feature: an office with details galore. Create your own vignette in this palette with these ideas:

Fresh Display

Sacred Space

Rare Collection

Fragility

Make yourself a farm-fresh

Collect your favorite pale-

Aged glass bottles come in a

corresponds to Benjamin Moore OC-17

accessory by piling summer

hued gemstones and display

variety of shapes and colors.

fruits in pale shades of pinks

them together in a clear dish

Arrange your favorites across

and greens in a antique

or line them up on a mirrored

the mantel with a single

pewter bowl, with a bit of

tray. Sprinkle with fresh

blossom in each. Or, leave

lace or handcrafted doily

blooms from the garden.

empty and sprinkle dried

underneath.

herbs around the bottles.

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P H O T O by C A S E E M A R I E , L E T T E R I N G by @ G L I T T E R A N D B O L D

– MARY O L I VER


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

Amy

What’s one practice in your daily life

What's one aspect of your space that

For you, what is the relationship of

that brings you Joy?

brings you or reminds you of Rarity?

Rarity to Joy?

I practice an ‘attitude of gratitude’ by finding three new things each day for which I'm grateful. I’m not regimented with this – I don’t journal about it each night or morning, I just make time for this each day. I’ve noticed that my attitude toward obstacles and my business changed dramatically when I started doing this. I am inspired and I feel I attract more good things just by noticing good things.

In my home and my shop you will see a mix of styles, everything from French to Shabby Chic. I wanted my space to keep me both in the past and present, but above all to stand out and be unique! I devote a great deal of time to finding unique pieces to adorn my home or to bring to my customers, and more time re-imagining that piece by repainting or refinishing in some way.

I bring passion, enthusiasm, and energy to everything I do. Part of my job is taking vintage furniture pieces and transforming them from dark, dated and drab to "shabby chic fab" – the process is often monotonous, but using my talents and gifts to bring new life to an item that will bring a customer years of happiness provides joy in what would otherwise be a mundane process.

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A Joyful Life HOW & WHY TO LIVE IN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF YOUR RARE GIFTS A conversation with

Amy DiSabella, boutique owner, interior designer, and furniture reclaimist

Words by Payal Mehta Photos by Constance Schiano

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The owner of Sophie Claire's—a lifestyle boutique in Milford, CT— Amy DiSabella is a woman I could see myself relating to immediately. A wife and mom of two children, someone who had a varied career as a traveling TV producer, then a rewarding career of teaching, and is today a business owner and home décor design specialist.

I met with Amy right after she came home from a design consult at someone’s home. Amy has two children, albeit older, and a husband—and I remember thinking, "Isn’t she tired? Isn’t she hungry?" I was tired and I hadn’t even left the house all day!

Amy was energetic and even a great listener—as I found myself relating my own personal challenges and joys with creating beautiful rooms in my house. While we can't ever truly understand someone in one short conversation, I appreciate all that Amy shared with me about herself, her family, and her business. and I’m pleased to share some of that with you today.

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


B E Y O U R S E L F. For the last five years, Amy has carefully curated items for her

she had the courage to keep that dream alive even when life

store, Sophie Claire’s, with an eye for alternatives to what can be

circumstances took her on various other path.

found in other retail stores. In addition to offering unique and, often, small batch products, Amy offers "special attention you can't get in a big-box store." This personal experience is what brings repeat customers and word of mouth sales, which leads

Focusing on a unique shopping experience was a courageous move as a new shop owner, but Amy felt confident enough in her “unique qualities" to move forward as a one-of-a-kind

to sustainable revenue.

decor shop. She knew she was honoring her own rarities by

More than this, Amy is a person for whom being a business

to be different, Amy recognized that her talents and particular

owner fulfills her. She fulfills all the obligations and duties

interests—what makes her "rare"—are what would make her

working women share – taking care of family and her home —

successful as well.

staying true to herself. Rather than questioning the decision

without ignoring what lights her up and what calls to her. Sophie Claire’s was a dream of hers long before it became a reality;

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B E VA L U A B L E . Even before owning a store, Amy gladly helped friends and family with design-related questions—anything from picking out window treatments to suggesting paint colors. She loves the process of helping a person discover their particular style and selecting unique pieces to fit their personal space. She also loves the "personal connection" she feels when seeing the end result of joy and delight to the person she's helping. Similarly, when Amy searches for a piece of furniture to repurpose for her shop, she spends time looking for just the right one—not just what she thinks a customer might like, but also what Amy herself likes. When something appeals to her, she knows it will appeal to her customer because they are drawn to her unique style. “When I stay true to myself instead of going along with the latest trend,” says Amy, “my customers can replicate that in their homes and their lives.” The balance of being true to herself and allowing her customers to discover something unique about themselves is truly a unique brand of value Amy provides, and one she has been given a enough positive feedback about to know that it's appreciated.

BE OF SERVICE. A grounded business owner, Amy finds joy in even the minute details of her job. For example, rather than focusing on the pressure to sell, she indulges in the pleasure of being of service. “I am not under the illusion that what I do is as important as finding the cure for cancer or solving world hunger,” says Amy, “but if I can help someone feel happy in the space they live in, then I have provided a service that is worthwhile and of value.”

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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


The Joy Within What are we truly seeking in our lives?

When Amy finds a piece of vintage furniture and then undertakes the effort

Sometimes we may tell ourselves (or be told) that

to transform it to that just-what-you-

there is a formula for constant joy: earn a certain

wanted item, the process is tedious,

salary, achieve a specific title in the corporate

from sanding down to painting several

world, get that fancy corner office. As we gain

coats to distressing it. Amy doesn’t just “get through” this process; she enjoys it

more life experience, though, we learn that the

by “finding a way to translate that into

fundamentals to living a life of joy are much

inspiring others to create a home and life

more basic, and—often—right within ourselves.

they love.” Amy remains joyful through simple and genuine appreciation for her own efforts

1

Know Your Worth One of the things most attractive about Amy is that she knows what makes her feel fulfilled—and this is partly because she knows the cost of not living in alignment with her "true joy." In fact, the leap to be herself, while courageous, was easier than staying in a career that didn't feel authentic. When was the last time you assessed the value you hold—whether in the company you work for, or in your own life? Make a list of the qualities and skills you bring to the table. Where are you using those gifts? How are those talents and passions being utilized to create more joy in your life? The breadth and depth of your applied gifts are what leads to you feeling confident in the worth you have to offer.

and the enjoyment she gets out of her business. Thinking of her customer's reactions, as well as the long-term results that come from loving a piece of your dwelling space, is how she finds joy, even in repetitive tasks. “When I help someone pick out the perfect gift for someone and see their eyes light up and hear them say ‘she will absolutely love that!’ – that’s joy!” says Amy.

2

Find Authentic Purpose When Amy shifted from an attitude of selling to one of service, she found "abundance of purpose and joy" in what she was doing. What lights you up? And—more importantly—how can you incorporate those types of feelings into your life? Maybe a re-frame is needed, like Amy discovered, or maybe a bigger change is warranted. Take a moment to step back from the daily grind and assess your overall life. Those things bringing you joy—no matter how big or small at the moment—are where your purpose lies. For Amy, that was being of service; for you, it might be traveling the world or pursuing a loftier career goal.

B E B R AV E . We all have secret dreams which we may or may not share with others; we may not even acknowledge them to ourselves! A few of us, though, have the courage not just to acknowledge these dreams but to then put in the effort to make them a reality. Because she has led her life by following her instincts and intuition, instead of living life to meet expectations of others, Amy is one such example. While a source of present joy that was born out of her dreams, Amy's business requires sustained dedication and renewal of passion from day to day. Where with a 9 to 5 job, many of us can compartmentalize and leave work behind, Amy’s shop is part

3

Stay True to You Amy spoke of an "a-ha moment" when she came to the realization that she was wasting time and energy by "focusing on competitors" rather than her own unique offerings and vision. Comparison envy can rear its head in any career—whether you're working for yourself or for someone else. The type of success that brings joy, though, isn't defined based on the ability or accomplishments of others. Long-lasting joy and authentic pride comes from knowing you've done what you set out to do, and that everything you've accomplished falls within your natural talents and deepest dreams.

of who she is: if she isn't thinking of her current list of to-dos, she's dreaming of ways to improve upon her original concept.

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Why wait to "look back" on your life until the very end? Take a moment today—or as soon as you can feasibly manage to do so—and assess, honestly and with compassion, whether or not you're living a life of true joy & fulfillment. If the answer is no, then rest assured: you have within you all the gifts, talents, and rarities to bring that Life about. You need only look within.

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Still, Amy is the first to admit how fortunate she is. Her passion drives her income, not the other way around. Plus, she gets to harness her creative energy instead of working hard at something that is creatively or spiritually draining. By bravely following her intuition and working hard, Amy has landed in the right place at the right time. For that, she is positive, grateful, and full of joy.

A second generation Indian American, Payal Mehta was raised by small business owners, which in turn led her to chase a life of corporate servitude. She recently escaped, and now works from home and spends time cooking, writing, and acting—and basically doing whatever else she wants. Connect with her on Instagram @paypar38. Photos by Constance Schiano

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


Connect with Lisa  @sophieclairesshop  @sophieclairehome sophieclaires.com

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– AMY D I SAB EL L A

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

P H O T O by C O N S T A N C E S C H I A N O , L E T T E R I N G by @ G L I T T E R A N D B O L D


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


Jade Vine A symbol of fortune and gift of rarity, the Jade Vine is a lagniappe from the Universe to anyone blessed enough to behold her. At once effeminate and empowered, this vine reminds us of the remarkable effect a single token of benevolence can have on the recipient.

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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T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


LIVE

Journey to Self-Love with

Lydia Mandell

Moving past the Inner Monologue to see what feelings are underneath is the first step to body acceptance.

M

y body and I have had a complicated relationship

and teased my hair in my best Siouxsie Sioux style. I decided

for most of my life. In my teen years, I was obsessed

I didn’t care about beauty standards and created my own.

with attaining very specific weight goals. I judged

Though the inner monologue was dying down, I still had a long

myself harshly and restricted my food intake. I did a numbers game in my head all day to add up the best way to use my self-imposed allotted 1000 calories. Exercise was used as a punishment for not being perfect. I deprived myself but

way to go. As I moved into college and into my career, that inner ugly would show up and attack my perception of my abilities and

convinced myself that I had to.

tell me I was a fraud, an impostor. I would tell it to where to

Even if the weight goals were achieved, I still didn’t feel good

guess myself.

about myself. My judgment of myself for not being what I thought I should be was uglier than my physical appearance could ever be. That thoughts I was consuming about how I should look, feel, and act were an endless running monologue in my head. It was ugly, unkind, and hurtful. On some level, there was awareness that this was about more than just my body; it was about my self – worth, about feeling I wasn’t enough. I had no role models. Body positivity didn’t exist as a concept or practice in the eighties. Every woman around me was complaining about or hating her body, no matter her size, shape or weight. I knew, on some level, that I could do better for myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

go. Sometimes it would; other times, I'd listen and second

During graduate school, I gained a significant amount of weight. I was stressed as it was, and the inner monologue returned. I wasn’t enough. I was too fat. I was certainly not smart. I was constantly assessing and adding things up to equal mostly negative thoughts about myself. The unkindness to my body was relentless. At that time, I made a conscious decision to recognize the beauty in and love for myself, my accomplishments, and the strength of my friendships and relationships. A huge realization was that it was never about my body, it was about my feelings about how my body connected to my self-worth. I realized that body and mind were not opposing forces.

As I came into my own as a young woman, I let go of some of those beauty standards and ideas about how my body didn’t fit in. I made my own clothes, wore my best thrift store finds,

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As I moved into my career, the old monologue would surface when I was about to make a change. I would attack my body mentally, with punishing exercise and the next great diet, and not face whatever stressors were actually there. As I began to explore my underlying issues—what I really wanted out of life and why my body was my default setting for blame—I developed a more integrated relationship with mind, body, and spirit. A couple years ago, after returning from back-to-back trips to Peru, Baltimore, and Guatemala, I had some stomach issues, aches, pains, and I felt exhausted. I started feeling uncomfortable in my body once again; judging my body’s abilities and appearance. When I mentioned this to a friend, she said, “You climbed mountains and ruins this summer in that body.” She'd reminded me to challenge that old story of my body not being enough. At age fifty, with all the changes happening in my body, this would be a perfect time for that old monologue to return—and it creeps in a little every once and a while. T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


I am opting to choose out of that thought process because I have been on a long journey to self-love—especially body-love. I continue moving forward as my body is changing and I move into the next phase of my life. I have decided that whatever the aging process throws my way, I’m up for the challenge. Some days I am hit with hot flashes that make me feel like my head is on fire and I’ve been drenched with a fire hose. After a long battle, I have decided to make peace with my white hairs, even the ones in my eyebrows. I am beginning to love my round stomach. My body is starting to look different. I’m sometimes surprised when I look in the mirror. The difference for me at this age is that I love what I see. I feel a profound sense of deep love for the beautiful human I see in my mirror. For all the changes, journeys, challenges, and wasted time hating myself and my body, I apologize. I forgive myself, my brain, and my body. I am a whole and complete woman.

Lydia Mandell is a coach, breathworker, artist, and performer working with people seeking to overcome personal and creative blocks.  By offering tools to close the disconnects between mind, body, and spirit, Lydia connects clients with their true selves. Connect with her at LydiaMandell.com. Photos by Paula Athans, @crash3328

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When we give the world what we want the most, we heal the broken part in all of us. –

EVE ENSLER

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


LIVE

Remarkable You with

Casee Marie

When we pay attention to—and celebrate— our rare qualities, our rarity feeds itself so that we can continue to grow inspired.

T

hroughout my completed journals there are dog-eared pages with letters written to myself. I can’t say why or even when I began

this small practice, but reading them again helps me to reconnect with the brave, empathetic woman I’ve become. An interesting thing happens when I write these letters to myself: I become not me, but a friend to myself. And as a friend I’m able to view myself from the perspective of “other.” From the perspective of a loved one, I’m able to appreciate what a rare gift it is to be me.

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Dear Self: I want you to move through your life with softness and surety, with quiet courage. I want you to follow Rilke's advice to be always beginning. I want you to breathe, strongly. And I want you to devote yourself to whatever helps you do that.

exam, I texted during times I thought she’d need them most: after her drive to school, during her lunch break, and when her exam was expected to be over. Each text served as a fresh reminder of support, motivating her to believe in herself just as I did. Through my "Dear Self" letters, I’m able to reach out to myself in a similar way. What began as an effort to be more selfcompassionate has, in fact, turned into an unfailing part of my self-care routine. In every journal I experience growth across

When meditating on the blessings of my life I didn’t always think to look within. My empathy, my loyalty – they just felt

the pages; my heart warms when I flip through a full journal and bear witness to my own progress and healing.

like my natural colors. But re-reading my letters show me the depth of my kindness, the strength of my patience, and the thoughtfulness that always drives my good intentions. Once when my sister was struggling with anxiety over an impending college exam, I sent her daily text messages with cute pictures and notes of encouragement. On the day of the

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

Dear Self: I dont' judge you for not adhering to your goals. Instead, I admire you for never giving up on being a beginner.


Not everyone in our lives will celebrate our rarities, which is

The gifts I give are the things I naturally have in abundance. I

perhaps a great reminder for us to celebrate them ourselves.

love to give love, to show empathy, to support and encourage

How many times do we, as women, give of ourselves and our

what I admire in others. When I take the time to appreciate

talents without receiving anything in return? Mistakenly,

this aspect of myself my gifts come full circle, reminding

our assumption will become that we don’t need anything in

me of all the ways in which I can naturally, actively love and

return, and at our lowest we may see that assumption evolve

support myself.

into, “I don’t deserve anything in return.” Thoughts like that take us from unassuming to downright self-sabotaging, and the act of celebrating oneself goes straight out the window. It’s in these times that I return to the dog-eared pages of my journals, to the letters of encouragement and love written there.

Casee Marie is a motivational writer living in Wallingford, Connecticut 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. Photos by @joanna_fisher

Dear Self: Remember to admire yourself. Believe that you have light enough to get yourself through the dark times. You may need to cry, and try not to worry if you can't. Just be there for yourself and take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, speak and act kindly to yourself. You know how; and when you don't manage, remember to admire yourself for beginning again.

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Uplifting Podcasts to Listen To Le vital corps Salon Sonic comfort + conversation for women who don’t have time for BS or burnout

A podcast about fertility & modern family building.

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– EL I ZAB ETH G I L B ERT

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THE GIF T OF

Carefree timelessness Words by Julie Blackburn

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


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Time is a gift given and received when it’s shared.

I

am inspired everyday. I find beauty in the world around

seeking kiddos. What would it mean if you could enjoy any

me. It’s not in some far away place. It’s right here, generally

moment with an open mind and spirit?

right in front of me. The challenge is being open to it.

Over the years, I’ve made changes to help me lead a more intentional and centered life. There is something I’ve learned that has truly changed how I interact with others that surpassed all other things I’ve learned about communication and observation: “carefree timelessness.” As tough as it is to describe, it’s an absolutely amazing way to experience your life. Think of a beautifully wrapped package, topped with a sparkly bow. This gift contains moments great and small; deep conversations; and more intimate relationships. Too often those great moments are missed due to distraction: busy thoughts, over scheduled days, overall stress, attention

T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

LEARNING TO BE CAREFREE When I first heard of carefree timelessness, I was searching for more from my relationships. My heart and mind were open. I was willing to try new things. The year was 2008 and I was completing my internship at Joliet Area Community Hospice. My life was changing in so many ways… I was completely unaware just how much I would grow from those experiences. I was co-facilitating an evening grief support group. There was a petite woman who had lost her spouse who regularly attended the group. I was familiar with her sense of humor


and had grown fond of her unique point of view. On this night,

was nothing less than amazing! My Grandma Heiden shared

she shared her experiences with carefree timelessness—her

stories about raising her large family. My Grandma Bakosh and

approach to living presently.

I both love art. We would talk about and share our artworks

Listening to her, I was in awe! This woman had it right. She

and just chat over tea.

was talking about what I couldn’t put into words. Carefree

During that time, I had been undergoing treatment for

timelessness was a puzzle piece that could easily fit into my

infertility. My husband and I decided to end treatment and

life and would be much more comfortable than the rush I had

pursue family building through foster care and adoption. I

been living. I knew this carefree timelessness concept was my

really valued both of my grandmothers’ opinions and views

next step to being the person I was striving to become.

regarding how these children would be included in our family. It really was easy to ask questions and learn from them after

PLANNING TO BE TIMELESS

developing a more intimate relationship.

My grandmothers were the chosen guinea pigs for my practice of carefree timelessness. I wanted to spend time with these women and get to know them as people. This

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Though their responses were quite different as they shared

Our kids through foster care adoption are blessed by their

about their families and values, they were similar in their

great grandmothers. On a recent visit, my Grandma Heiden—a

commitment, love, and acceptance for the children that

shutterbug like myself—pulled out some pictures. I truly

I would eventually have in my home. Having these open

believe my daughter to have an old soul and she was so

conversations meant so much to me as I was exploring how I

engaged in the stories and the images. She was so gentle and

was going to build my family.

thrilled to hold 80-year-old pictures.

C U LT I VAT I N G O P E N N E S S

RETURNING TO INNOCENCE

Carefree timelessness is unique to the relationships I have.

As I was going through the process of integrating carefree

I have found a way to listen to my body and know when a

timelessness into my life, I really thought about other times

conversation is coming to a close. I allow myself to be present,

in my life when I was carefree, when time was not my worry,

listen with my entire being, and share my heart.

or I could simply live in the moment. I often thought about

I’ve learned that I can even practice the attending skills in time-limited situations. I simply set a timer in order to not be

growing up in rural Illinois, where I had lived in a subdivision outside of town.

distracted by time and I’m intentional to share my personal

In the summer, we would play well into the night – Ghost in

limitations. I am so much more engaged with others than in

the Grave Yard and Capture the Flag were favorites. We were

the past. What a beautiful way of relating!

called in for dinner and when it was time for bed. We didn’t ever wonder when we were going to stop playing. We just waited for our parents to call us in or listen for our whistle.

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Life was simple. Finding innocence and spontaneity again can be tough in a world full of obligations and responsibilities. Carefree timelessness is that adult version of playing in the moment, of sincerely being present in a relationship. We can take some of these life lessons from our childhood and bring them into our adult world in a way that’s useful.

LIVING CAREFREE As a person who was always running late, I wondered how carefree timelessness was going to work. I found,

Tips to a Carefree Timeless Life 1. Set aside a chunk of time – hours – when planning

to spend time with others. Be sure to share your thoughts of simply spending time for a while or clarify if there needs to be a determined end time.

at first, I would get caught up in a conversation and then be home later than expected. Over time, I got comfortable reserving more time and sharing with

2. Set an intention of being in-tune with the conversation and the moments.

my husband if I simply didn’t know when I would be home. He understands that I enjoy living in the moment when I visit with friends and family. Carefree timelessness offers opportunities for relationships to flourish into something wonderful.

3. Pay attention to the ebb and flow of the discussion. 4. How long is too long? Attend to your body, you will know when the time together is coming to a close.

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Once you learn how to live in carefree timelessness, it’s quite easy to integrate into other aspects of life… your interactions in work meetings, your love relationships, your family and friends and even strangers become more meaningful. When you really think about it, how present are you? Think about the number of commitments of the day, the stresses of work, the shopping list. Be honest: Are you really “all in” when you are with others? How would living with carefree timelessness change your life?

Julie is a Licensed Clinical professional Counselor and Registered Art Therapist who specializes in fertility issues, perinatal concerns and grief. She offers support through the podcast Embrace Your Center; an online school that offers self-help courses and support communities; and positive intentions videos on YouTube. Married for 15 years, she has two kiddos and a lovely dog, Ralphie. Connect with her at www.ChartreuseCenter.com, or on Facebook. Photos on pages 86/87 & 89 by Markie Lynn Jones; Photos on pages 90-92 by Julie Blackburn.

Take a Breath.

Are you ready to feel inspired and more alive in your body and soul? Are you ready to step into your true power and free yourself from limiting beliefs? Want to feel whole and complete exactly as you are right now? I help women close the disconnects between mind, body and spirit with Coaching and the profound power of Conscious Connected Breathwork. Schedule a free connection call at lydiamandell.com T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU

MANDELL


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LITTLE SOUNDS

Sasha Hawes is a Baltimore-based mixed media artist, who came to embroidery after a whirlwind series of life, love, and latitude changes. Stitching is her metronome with which to practice meditation—each stitch a deliberate act, an inhale and an exhale, little sounds that ground and center. Her hand embroidery features a juxtaposition of geometric lines and soft watercolors, the former creating structure and the latter evoking movement: a play between static and dynamic central to all her work.

Sasha Hawes Find Sasha on Etsy Instagram @_littlesounds_

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@HOPEANDHARBOR

@THEFUNKYHIPPIE101

@IHADALOVELYTIME

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@THELINGUISTICYOGI

@RISEYOGA

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CEL EBRAT I O N S

When we choose to celebrate rarity, we choose to be fully present. We are able to acknowledge the gifts hidden within a moment, a relationship, or even a reflection. This presence serves as a gateway to gratitude. Look for the rarity in art, nature, connection, freedom, and expression. Lean into the beauty of the everyday and open yourself up to the brilliance of a joyful life. T h e PE R PE T UAL YOU


J U LY MA N T RA

M A N T R A b y K R Y S TA L B R A N D T P H O T O by C A S E E M A R I E L E T T E R I N G by @ G L I T T E R A N D B O L D


P H O T O by C O N S T A N C E S C H I A N O , L E T T E R I N G by @ G L I T T E R A N D B O L D

The Perpetual You_Joy through Rarity  
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