living intuitively

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Posts tagged fashion inspiration
W E I R D O
Model: Lily Cuoio  Images by Whitney Ann Photography

Model: Lily Cuoio

Images by Whitney Ann Photography

We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird.And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it LOVE.
— Dr. Seuss

Normalcy is an illusion.

We’re all different from one another. We’re all one of a kind. Who’s to say what is acceptable? Did we elect a Normalcy Nazi who decides what is and is not allowable? One who sets the standards to which we must conform to be considered normal? (If so, I’m staging a coup d’etat - WHO’S WITH ME?!)

See what I’m getting at? It’s all subjective y’all!

It’s weird not to be weird.
— John Lennon

You do you! If you still do care about what others think, that’s okay - no judgment here. But I highly advise you to join the “Don’t Care Club” because it is a truly liberating way to live.

Try to slowly wean yourself off of contemplating how others will perceive you. It’s a muscle - exercise it. Just like with regular muscles like quads or biceps, some people are born with stronger “so what” muscles than others. Does that mean you’re doomed to a fate of weakness in that particular area? Hell to the no. Just do exercises to strengthen it. BOOM.

For example, if there’s an outfit you REALLLLY want to wear but feel people would consider you under/over dressed - you wear that outfit! I do it all the dang time. I’m almost always over-dressed for events. Is it because I’m unclear on the proposed dress code, or unsure of what others will be wearing? N O P E. It’s because I choose to honor my style. And when you live in a smaller city like mine, you must create your own opportunities and grab any chance to wear those bougy heels you just got. Will you get looks? Most likely. But try to learn to be okay with that discomfort. I’ve been fortunate in that I was born with a pretty strong “screw it” muscle, but it still gets tested time to time. There is an ENTIRE WORLD on the other side of your fear of judgment. A pretty rad world, I gotta admit.

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If you’re a parent, hopefully you’ll extend this freedom to your kids as well. I’m not a parent myself but can appreciate how tough it is, so these next words are by no means parent shaming or judging. I was talking with a friend once who didn’t want their kid to do a certain (common!) extracurricular activity for fear others would perceive the kid as a weirdo or a nerd.

I urge you to ask yourself what message this sends your kid? That they must repress/deny their interests/talents in favor of others’ opinions? For fear of earning a certain label? What if that activity lights your kid up like nothing else and brings them pure bliss - would you still deny them the opportunity? Or what if the kid has world class talent in that area, and you’re blocking that opportunity for a bright future purely out of fear of a short-lived junior high/high school status? This also sends a message of conditional acceptance, and discourages authenticity.

What a beautiful world we live in BECAUSE of variety. Think of most of the musical/literary geniuses out there. Many of them admit to being ostracized in school for being different - yet look where that weirdness got them!

What makes you different or weird - that’s your strength.
— Meryl Streep

Plus, out-of-the-box thinking is what generates societal and technological advances! Creative thinking is usually what yields ingenious solutions to problems.

And what about nature? Think of all of the different flora and fauna on earth. How boring it would be if we only had brown cats and red tulips (adios carne asada, peace out pepperoni pizza, ciao calla lillies).

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One of my best amigas handled a related situation with her daughter brilliantly. Her daughter wanted to wear her shoes on the “wrong” feet: her left shoe on her right foot, and vice versa. Rather than immediately shutting her down, my friend gently responded with a compromise that honored her little girl’s uniqueness, but also accommodated the typical way. She replied by acknowledging her daughter’s individuality and creativity, and offered, “The typical way of wearing shoes is with your left shoot on the left foot, and right shoot on the right foot. How about when you go to school, you wear them that way, and when you’re not at school, you can wear them how you would like?” Well played.

One of my major life approaches is to live and let live. As long as your weirdness doesn’t cause hurt or destruction, what’s the harm?

Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.
— C.S. Lewis

Know this: You can count on others having an opinion, no matter WHAT you do. But are you ready to reclaim your power and your life? Stop letting others control your life for you, via their judgments?

It’s not really my problem if they think I’m weird.
— Sid Vicious

Have the courage to live your truth!!

Love you, you weirdos.

xx,

-w-

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D A R E to be Y O U
Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously.
— Sophia Bush

Let me start off by saying this is not directed at any particular person (man, what an opener, right?).

I really want to express gratitude for all of the good vibes thrown my way lately, specifically about my physique. People have been so kind and complimentary (vocab check: in addition to “free” it also means “expressing a compliment; praising or approving - fun fact for the day!).

People have noted I look thinner, and have commented on how svelte I look and how hard I’ve worked to get there.

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The truth is…I haven’t. Worked hard at it, that is.

Let me explain. I actually liked the way I looked before my [slight] weight loss (it’s not like I’ve dropped 20 lbs, but even minor weight fluctuations on my petite frame are noticeable - for “good” and “bad”). It was a long road to escape body dysmorphia and the sick societal “six pack or bust” ideal. I learned to truly celebrate my curves and embrace my body type. I understood strength and fitness trumped physical form. What I could do and how I felt doing it were far more important than what I looked like [doing it].

Don’t waste so much time thinking about how much you weigh. There is no more mind-numbing, boring, idiotic, self-destructive diversion from the fun of living.
— Meryl Streep

Obsessing over what I looked like was consuming a ridiculous amount of mental and emotional bandwidth. ENOUGH. Honestly, I just maxed out (physically, mentally, emotionally). So I dug deep and got to a fantastically solid place. I lived intuitively, I ate intuitively. Life was good.

And then randomly my appetite started ghosting. I don’t know about you, but my appetite naturally ebbs and flows - independent of my physical activity. Sometimes I’m barely hungry, other times I’m a food fiend.

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This time, however, my appetite stayed extremely low, oftentimes non-existent. It’d reappear every once in awhile, but for the most part - gone-zo. We’re talking 6+ months. For an intuitive eater honoring their appetite, I was knocked for a loop. I only ate when hungry, so when you’re never friggin’ hungry, you can see how this starts to mess with you. When you get to the end of the day and you’ve only had a piece of fruit or two and a salad, you feel you should eat. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to thrive, and it’s not like I’m couched up all day doing nothing (even then, you still need a minimum amount of calories to, you know…EXIST).

Every so often I’d eat just to eat, to keep my energy levels up. I felt fine - nothing else seemed wrong physically. I dialed back on my workouts to protect my caloric expenditure. What got me was the mental aspect. I started missing eating! Sure, you should lean more toward eating to live rather than living to eat but what’s so wrong with enjoying food for food’s sake?!! It’s one of life’s pleasures! I can’t tell you how stoked my salads make me. You can still honor your appetite while feeling gaga over grub. Eating is a necessity, so why not feel blissed while doing it?!

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Your diet, exercise routine, and stress level lay the foundation for how you feel, so fuel your body with good nutrition, break a little sweat each day, and set aside time to unwind.
Because it’s hard to feel bad about a body you’re taking great care of.

Okay, bringing it back to my post’s purpose. Amid all of the kind words and good vibes, I felt compelled to clarify my weight loss isn’t intentional. Personal evolution in all of its forms is a beautiful thing, and I don’t discredit it in any way, but…I think it’s important for us to push back against a world insisting we look a certain way. A world that praises emaciation over health. Visible muscles over a healthy metabolism. This is my reminder for us all (YES - ME INCLUDED!).

I’m not going to sacrifice my mental health to have the perfect body.
— Demi Lovato
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Simply because I’ve grappled with it myself, one of the causes for which I’m most passionate about advocating is self-acceptance, in all of its various forms. Especially in an era where social media heightens the stakes, amplifies the risks, and elevates the standards.

Shoutout to all the people out there trying to love themselves in a world constantly telling them not to.

Society offers conditional acceptance based on our physical appearance. The strongest, most rebellious act you can do is DARE to be your own self. Accept and love your body. Exercise and nourish it to amplify its health and strength, not its aesthetic and sex appeal. Honor and work with its natural rhythms. Stop fighting it, just because social media demands you look a certain way. This includes de-fogging the lens through which you appraise beauty (others and your own!) and rejecting the unattainable beauty ideals. Unconditionally loving and accepting yourself in a world that’s doing its damndest to change you is the most revolutionary act of all - and one that is CRUCIAL to your health and wellbeing.

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We come in all different shapes and sizes.

You do you, boo.

xx,

-w-

I would only lose weight if it affected my health or sex life, which it doesn’t.
— Adele
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DO IT TO IT
Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.
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Have you ever had a task you know you need to do, but you just cannot find the motivation to do it? You have a chore to check off, or an errand to run, or a call to make, or a paper to write.

Or maybe it's not yourself you're trying to motivate - maybe you're trying to prompt someone else to do something. You're trying to encourage your kids to do their homework, or your husband to start a garden with you. 

Wanna hear a cool motivational hack I found?

To give credit where credit's due, I'll start by saying I heard about this neato trick while listening to one of my fave podcasts: The Tim Ferriss Show. Tim was interviewing Daniel Pink, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author about work, management, and behavioral science so...bro knows his stuff. 

Here's how it works:

Let's say you're trying to talk yourself into getting your bunz off the couch and working out. Start by asking yourself: on a scale of 1 - 10, how motivated am I right now? Let's say you rate yourself at a solid 2. So you then ask yourself: Why am I not a 0? (Maybe a different direction than you thought it was going, right?) In response, some of the following reasons may come to mind: "I know exercise is good for me"; "I want to be healthy"; "I want to lose weight"; "I want to tone up"; "I want to be healthy for my kids"; "I'm training for a race and want to be ready."

Boom. You just articulated your own, autonomous, intrinsically motivated reasons for doing it. Not someone else's reasons. YOURS. It elicits and spotlights why you recognize it's something you ought to do. It can realign you to your initial motivation for committing to the goal. 

The key here is whenever you're able to prompt yourself/others to articulate your/their reasons for doing something, you're/they're more likely to follow through. 

Powerful, right?

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In a later post, we'll discuss intrinsic (internal; originating within the person) vs. extrinsic (external) motivation. 

Peace and blessings!

xx,

-w-

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IT'S NOT ME IT'S YOU
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Even if you're genuinely the sweetest person alive, you've felt frustrated by another person, right? Or you've gone after something sought by others, like a job, or a house...or even a parking space!

Let's say you and someone at work are competing for an opportunity. There is only one spot available and you both have your sights set on it. 

On a basic level, what is your need here?

Spoiler alert: Your need is NOT for the opportunity itself. Depending on what the opportunity is, your need may be for financial security. It may be for growth and progress. It may be for acknowledgement of your hard work. That particular opportunity is a vehicle, or method, for fulfilling that need.

So ask yourself: Is there another way to get your need(s) meet without this specific opportunity? 

YES!

You could get a promotion or an award. You could even change jobs or branch out on your own. You could find another source of income.


The point here is:

No two people’s needs are ever in conflict. Only the strategies for getting those needs met are in conflict.
— Neil Strauss

 

Reflect on a recent conversation that could have gone better, or a conflict you experienced. Maybe you're battling with a significant other, or a friend, or a boss, or a customer service representative. Strip away the rest and drill down on what your common, basic needs are. Maybe it's the need to provide a cohesive, stable environment for your kids [spouse]. Maybe your needs are to feel supported and heard [friend]. Maybe you need to feel valued and trusted [boss]. Maybe the needs are efficiency and reparation [customer service rep]. 

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Focus on those common needs and remember: at our core, we all have the same basic needs. What varies are our ideas for how to meet those needs. Some seek validation through fancy possessions and high socioeconomic status. Some look for love in toxic relationships. Some think hoarding what's "theirs" [time/money/ideas/energy] is the only way to ensure there's enough for them. Some of these methods work, and some not so much. Some are harmless, some are harmful - to self/others. Whatever your method is, try to choose one that serves the highest good. So let's do our best to remain open and empathetic to others as we navigate life and work on getting those needs meet. 

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Negative feelings come from unmet needs.

Anger could stem from a need for respect that isn't honored. Confusion could signal a lack of communication and honesty that are needed. Impatience could be from a need to be understood. Or lezbereal - maybe you're just friggin' HANGRY and need some F O O D!

Strive for internal and external awareness, and look for ways to meet those mutual needs. If you're ever in doubt regarding just what those needs are, do your best to communicate with an active ear and an open mind. If possible, eliminate assumptions and seek confirmation from the other person/people. Put down the gloves and halt the hostility. Sometimes opposition/competition is unavoidable (e.g. vying for a job, or spot on a team, etc) but at the very least, identifying those needs helps you relate to and empathize with the other(s). 

One love,

-w-

On The Fringe
Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Images by Brooke Richardson Photography

Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it.

I have so many random pieces in my closet. As with many things in my life, I like to have options. Whether we're talking a fragrance, lippy, shoe, or jacket, I've never liked limiting myself to just one, or even just a few. Not only are my tastes versatile, but I'm always compelled to align my current mood/vibe with my scent/look. (This also extends to music and candle selections, but enough about that.) For me to fulfill this urge, I need a sufficient selection!


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As a stylist and photographer, having a wide-ranging wardrobe with random pieces spanning multiple decades/eras is invaluable. Literally money in the bank. It's fantastic for business and for my creative needs. If a client wants a retro look, BOOM. I'm all over it. If I feel inspired to style and shoot a '90s grunge concept shoot, I'm set. The tradeoff is having a garage full of clothing because you ran out of space inside. Oops. Owning my own clothing boutique has most definitely enabled contributed. 


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I adore the thought of minimizing it all to a capsule wardrobe (a collection of a few essential items that don't go out of fashion, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces). I find beauty and value in reducing my wardrobe to a small number of classic, quality, timeless pieces. Creating my own personal style legacy, in a sense. But then a rad gold puffer jacket catches my eye, or a darling romper, and the collection grows. 


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It makes my heart sing to have a wide variety to choose from, and to throw random pieces together, like this animal print top with a fringe vest. The hat is from Zara (my fave store), a gift from my sister during our last trip to NYC (isn't she the best?). 

 

Which do you prefer: a broad closet or a capsule wardrobe?

 

xx,

-w-

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