LIFE OUT LOUD
I just returned from a family trip out to Arizona to visit my 97 year old grandpa. I never really thought much about it, but over the years, it's become apparent that getting older is a true stage in life, as is infancy, childhood and adolescence. Maybe it's become more apparent because we're lucky that he hasn't had any major health issues or concerns along the way... he's just getting older at this stage in the game. It's sparked a lot of curiosity within me to understand what is a common thread in my Papa that has allowed him to live this life for so long? And also, how can I be more present in my current life stage?
Just as everyone begins at the infant stage, goes through childhood and adolescence... everyone gets older. But it seems that there is this muddy, unclear and undefined period in life between 25-80ish. Where you might get married, might grow with your career, might have children, might move around and our stages in life get a little more variated. And trust me, I certainly see a difference in my 20-something self and my 30-something self. And then once you get to the "wisdom" years of 80+, most are in a similar stage again. In my short 32 years, I've been through many stages and i'm also aware that there are many still ahead of me. So when I'm 97, what could be my common thread? Food for thought, I suppose.
One thing I do know is that we are surrounded by stories of dear ones or acquaintances or family of friends or friends of friends who have suffered. Who have been hit with disease or illness and it's saddening. It hurts the heart to hear these stories. Maybe this is the predetermined life stage? That I'm not sure of. This is, though, a huge reason that I am so passionate about empowering and helping other people to make safer choices in health and personal care. To hopefully help to eliminate these stories currently and in future (and innocent) generations.
But back to the WHY and HOW and the common thread. What I see in my Papa is his constant curiosity and sharpness - through all life stages. He has the most brilliant memory of anyone I know - reciting stories that date back to the 1940s and 50s in full and colorful detail. His stories inspire me - to be thoughtful, present and constantly curious.
While I will never fully know what it is about him and his life stage, I do know that I am continually inspired by him, his wisdom and his curiosity.
What has inspired you most recently?
SAFE SWAP :: SUDS
SWAP OUT Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
(SLS and SLES)
These specific ingredients show up most commonly in things with SUDS. From hand soap, to dish soap, to face wash and shampoo, they're found in many different places! I recently did a FB LIVE on the importance of avoiding these ingredients - in short though, they have links to being endocrine disruptors (aka your hormones) and irritate most skin.
My new favorite (free of SLS and SLES) shampoo is the BeautyCounter Daily Shampoo. I use just a quarter-sized amount 2-3/week when I wash my hair and it feels great!
Become a label reader. It's pretty cool.
If you haven't purchased through BeautyCounter before, I offer 10% back to all first-time customers, along with the free 60-day return policy.
GREEN SELF CARE :: DETOX BATH
Need a simple, skin soothing self care practice? Baths! And if not for yourself, then add this for your little ones (and cut the recipe in half). Epsom salts help with muscle pain and increase circulation, while baking soda is a natural cleanser, skin soother (including sunburn) and helps balance ph levels. Cedarwood is my favorite this summer because of it's natural antiviral and calming properties (it's also great for bugs!)!
1 cup epsom salts
¼ cup baking soda
4 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
Fill cup with epsom salt and baking soda.
Add drops of cedarwood directly to mixture before adding to warm bath water
(this helps the oil disperse throughout the water)
Soak for 15-20 min & Relax
I've been doing a lot of dreaming lately and getting curious, exploring what it would be like if... (fill in the blank) and asking a lot from the Universe.
I want to know what it's like to feel my vital strength in the world. And I want the Universe to show me in a way that I can understand... because at the moment it feels massive and scary. I'm still trying to figure out how that will show up - haha.
This process has felt new (and uncomfortable). I am one to typically feel like I need to have everything figured out and planned and identified ahead of time. But at this moment in life, I'm feeling drawn to getting really curious. To understanding where my limiting beliefs show up and sitting with it to understand WHY. There is a vulnerability that shows up with curiosity. With being with the unknown and feeling ok with going through the process.
I want to know what it's like to not worry about having all the answers. I want to know what it's like to feel my uncertainty and to follow my deepest intuition.
Physically, I feel the work behind my heart.
This place that represents trust and support and guidance. It's a beautiful thing to observe and to sit with the unknown. So I'll be here, getting curious, dreaming big and soaking it in along the way. Would you join me?
SAFE SWAP :: SUNSCREEN
SWAP oxybenzone and octinoxate FOR zinc oxide
Hawaii has banned these ingredients for damage to the coral reefs, along with potential harm on the body. My favorite sunscreen this season is Countersun from BeautyCounter, and there many other great ones out there!
Just read the labels.
If you haven't purchased through BeautyCounter before, I offer 10% back to all first time customers, along with the free 60-day return policy.
GREEN CLEANING :: TOILET BOMBS
These little toilet cleaning bombs are great to fizz up the toilet before having people over, or while cleaning. They're super simple to make with super simple ingredients!
1 cup baking soda
¼ cup citric acid
1½ tablespoon unscented castile soap
15 drops Purify Cleansing Blend
Stir the baking soda and citric acid together until combined.
Slowly stir in the castile soap and Purify. Stir until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Pack the pod mixture into a mold and let dry at least four hours. If the mixture expands above the mold, firmly press back down.
Once dry, remove the pods from the mold and store in an airtight container.
To use, simply drop one into the toilet, wait until the pod stops bubbling, and scrub away!
As life evolves, so has my journey into healthier options for my family and our home. Over the last 5+ years, I have consciously been working towards making better choices in foods, cleaners, health care, and products that we use in our house. Why? Because it's something that's important to me and I now know that everything on our shelves isn't always the safest for our bodies or our environment.
2.5 years ago, I jumped into a role of advocating for doTERRA essential oils. Because what I found is that not all oils are created equally and I found out the hard way when I was first pregnant, through unknown and serious skin rashes and breakouts from poorly created oils. I wanted to be a resource for people to not have to learn the hard way. So I made a choice to add doTERRA into my home and to replace our health care and cleaning products with essential oils because they work, they're simple and they're safe. I also made a choice to help educate people who want to learn about easy ways to do so in their life.
And now the evolution and my personal journey continues and I'm excited to share that I've decided to join another movement!
This one for me represents awareness and safety in the products I use on my skin, as a woman, every day. It's a beauty brand called Beautycounter and their mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone.
There are many studies out there indicating that serious health issues are on the rise and are due, in large part, to our exposure to toxic chemicals. This matters. To me and my family and also to the future of our children. These issues cannot keep rising and we have a choice to make a change.
I grew up with a love of fashion and the beauty industry. Obsessive over the latest trends and the latest must-haves. My obsession faded while working in the industry when I no longer felt like I was contributing towards something bigger. And now I've found two brands who I believe in and who I can say help contribute towards a larger movement.
I have been a customer of Beautycounter since 2015 because I believe in the safety of their products. And I've recently joined them as a consultant to, once more, be a resource for people who want to learn about safer options. Not to join another Direct Sales company, trust me when I say I was very hesitant to do so, but because I've been asked for a long time about what I recommend. (And I love supporting people I know and care about!) Wouldn't it be wonderful if our children didn't need to worry about finding clean products? I think so, too.
Now this doesn't mean everything needs to be doTERRA or Beautycounter. I use other clean products too! AND I find value and firmly stand behind what these two brands advocate for and the changes they are making on the health care and beauty care industries.
My desire is that we can all learn a little more about what we put in and on our bodies. And that from that, change happens for the future of our lives and the future of the little lives out there!
If you choose to shop these brands, here are links to do so:
essential oils || my.doterra.com/baileyysmith
beauty care || www.beautycounter.com/baileysmith
If you want to join these movements, please let me know! I'm always happy to jump in with people. Email me: email@example.com
When's the last time you made a conscious decision? Chances are you made about 35,000 of them yesterday (not a typo).
Did you make this decision based on necessity, or comfort? Limiting beliefs or the understanding that you are limitless? Was it influenced by your inner child or your older wiser self? Did you meditate/journal on it or did it just kind of fall into place?
I've been in a practice of intentional decision making over the last few weeks for something I'm personally working through. Upon this, I came across a 7-part meditation series all around making a decision. At first, the thought of taking 7 days to meditate on just one single decision amongst the 34,999 other decisions I'm making felt alarming, but then I knew it was just what was actually needed.
Now sure, I've taken time to make many decisions in my life. Days. Weeks. Months... we all have. But I wanted to give this particular experience a try. So I went through the series and it was more than I could have imagined. Maybe because I've not gone through this exact process before, but I came out with more clarity about myself, a deeper appreciation for the value of stopping to pause and a better understanding on why I make certain decisions the way that I do.
So the next time you might be feeling stuck on a decision, I invite you to step back and try these few daily practices:
Camden just learned how to give the sign "I love you" and in doing so, he's been spreading love all over the place (at Chipotle, at the grocery store, at the doctor's office, you name it and he's signing). It's a simple gesture that we give to each other when we leave. I'm pretty sure he thinks it's just an awesome shape to make with your hands, but I also know he is innocently sharing love with everyone he sees. Because he's almost 3 and as toddlers do, he has no reservations.
What would it be like if every single person he signed to was completely open to receiving this energetic love? Are you open to receiving love or joy from a stranger? Or when things get rolling (and maybe scary) are you opening your heart or only letting a little in because of fear? I know I'm not always open and when things get scary, I have allowed my personal limiting beliefs to run the show at times. But lately I've been reminded of the power I have within me - because parenting a toddler and infant is no easy task and more importantly my growth as a mama has taught me more than I could ever imagine. I have the ability to control my reaction, thoughts, words and action as I attempt to set a good example for two little humans.
If this energetic talk is all too much, just try this on for size... The next time you notice yourself retracting, closing off, or retreating to comfort, try remaining open and repeat:
"I am enough. I am worth it. I am open to receive."
From The Untethered Soul , "Your inner growth is completely dependent upon realization that the only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself". We have the ability to control how much energy, joy and love flows through us, so get out of the way!
Emotions. What an interesting relationship you and I have.
In my younger years, I bottled them all up inside of me and prevented ANY emotion from coming through. Mostly because I had no idea how to handle them and also because I had convinced myself that it was necessary to protect myself.
I'll never forget when one of my dearest friends told me she had never seen me cry. She was right. It was then that our relationship changed. It was at that moment that I broke open... we're talking floodgates. Everything that was bottled up inside for over a decade, came rushing out... I couldn't help it. And at that moment I needed to create a new relationship with these (at times scary looking) emotions.
Fast forward a few years and life lead me into the corporate world. Working in high intensity, high stress and fast paced environments. I was in over my head. Why did everyone hide how they felt and why was it that the harder on the surface you were (especially as a woman) the more seriously people took you? Why was there so much drama behind the scenes, which was where people talked about how they really felt? Don't get me wrong, I understand that business decisions need to come from a place that is less about emotion and more about strategy. I understand that your best decisions are made when you can disconnect yourself from the outcome and work through the process. But I didn't (and still don't) understand why it is seen as a fault if you are emotional. Is everyone just secretly afraid of dealing with emotions? We are human after all.
I'm a woman. I'm emotional. Is that so wrong?
And then I hit another turning point. My director told me I was too emotional in my annual review. He said I was too connected to my emotions and I needed to hide them a little more in order to climb the ladder. Really? That's the perspective? No thank you.
Fast-forward a few more years to taking myself off birth control (hello natural hormones!) and pregnancy (hello random floodgates). And now I am raising two little boys and trying to teach them to talk about their emotions. How can I show up for them without showing up for myself and having a relationship with my own emotions?
Moment of truth. I'm still figuring out this relationship thing with my emotions, but I'm now at a point where I have more tools at my fingertips than I know what to do with.
So I invite you to come with me along this journey. I know many other people out there have these experiences, who have bouts of highs and lows due to various circumstances, and so I've put together a collection of my favorite things (mantras, yoga and essential oils) to get through some of the deepest emotions.
You are enough and you are perfect just the way you are.
This year, the new year hit me hard for some reason. I felt this great amount of pressure on myself to have 2018 figured out. To have it all planned out, personally and professionally. So naturally, I went to Target, shopped the planners, got new pens and starting planning... what I told myself would be a grand 2018!
But then I found myself getting into that comparison cycle over and over again... "oh my goodness, I need to have all of my events in order, I need to have some BIG intentions set for the new year and I need to share my intentions with the world! She's sharing them... do I need to do that too?!" and on... and on... We're two weeks in and you can imagine how that ended.
Listen, I LOVE the new year! I love the energy that everyone emits. It's this lightness of new beginnings, freshness and ease after the holidays. It's a time to reflect and a time to honor the growth that happened over the past year. The yoga studios are booming and classes are full of breath - we see it every year and I LOVE it!
So why was I taking myself so seriously this time around? The only thing I can seem to nail down is that when life feels out of control, I seek out control. And this was my control... so I thought. Little did I know though, I wasn't being of service to myself, caring for myself or my family and certainly not LOVING myself (which is my intention this year). I was actually driving myself (and my sweet husband) crazy.
So I let go.
And am still letting go (because I'm not perfect and this is a constant practice). I am choosing to step away from my own inner pressures to plan an elaborate 2018 and am working to surrender into trust. Trust that my own efforts, energy and path is just how it's meant to be. And if I mess up? I'll try again. And if I fall? I'll pick myself back up again. THAT I can control.
Cheers to 2018 - you're a BOLD ONE alright!
The holiday spirit hit me this week (hooray!). It happened after an in depth and very necessary conversation with my hubs about.. slowing the "F" down. Hey, whatever works, right?
We have been in a constant hustle of moving forward for the past almost 9 months and it's been a roller coaster of fun and also of challenge. There have been plenty of times when I have stopped and looked down convinced that the floor was going to come out from under me! But... it never does. A belief of mine is that we are given all that we can handle. It's funny how it's necessary to hit that wall sometimes in order to wake up and see what is happening before you. I have known for a while now that this is what I was craving, what I needed and what was necessary, but my own personal fear of saying "No" to too many things has gotten in my way.
"FEAR IS A NATURAL REACTION TO MOVING CLOSER TO THE TRUTH" - Pema Chödrön
Truth. Thank you Pema. So in short, we've decided to say "No" to more things (and please don't take it personally). What if you celebrated someone every time they said "No Thank You"? They're likely honoring what they need most.
So with all of that - Happy Holidays! May this season be filled with slowness, peace and ease for you. You deserve it!
Do you remember life before social media?
I vividly remember the days when you could only have a Facebook account if you attended university and only certain universities participated. I also remember it taking hours to upload photos... I would get my computer all set up, start uploading (from my digital camera of course), go to class, and come back in hopes it worked. Quite exclusive and complicated in those beginning stages nearly 14 years ago.
Now... things revolve around social. Social media has given us things at our fingertips. It has allowed many of us to connect to people, movements and inspiration we ordinarily wouldn't find or have access to!
I love the things that social media brings into this world! I have personally been positivity impacted by the influencers and leaders I follow through social media. I also know that it can have an impact on the way we view our own experiences or actions. A gentle reminder everyone - social media captures just a snapshot of reality. We get to wear any mask we choose (thanks for the reminder Lewis Howes).
Most recently I was inspired to take a digital detox because I was feeling all consumed by social media, TV, email, and outside influences. I was out of touch with my own thoughts, my own feelings and my own experiences. I didn't do this because I think there is harm in all of these things, but I do know there is power in moderation... as with everything.
There have been moments over the last few years that I felt pulled to take a break from social media to focus on SELF... after having babies, after the election and in moments when I felt disconnected to my purpose and truth. This time around, I wanted to take it deeper than just social media, which is why I chose to cut out digital in total.
side note: If you know anything about me, you know that I preach about self care. This is because I teach what I need to learn most. Because when I'm feeling out of balance and not cared for, I know it starts with self care. I've seen the impact time and time again.
What did I do?
Took 1 week to detox. I set parameters for myself and committed to myself. This included:
What did I notice?
It took a few days to break the habit of going to my phone for things, but I quickly began to observe and notice:
What am I going to do about it?
This time around was so much more transformational than I expected... which means it needs to continue. So I've committed to:
So what does this all mean? I'm not here to bad talk the digital world, I ask you to notice where are you in your body, mind and spirit? What's in alignment and what's out of alignment? If things stem from your time being spent on digital, would it be so bad to step away for a moment?
Today and every day.
What's the last thing you told yourself?
Was it something you would say or think about someone you love unconditionally? Or was it a little harsh? Without judgement and in all honesty, think about it.
If someone else spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, would you keep them around? What would your relationship look and feel like? I am one to encourage others to surround themselves by people who make them better. To keep the people who lift you up in your community. But that is also true about ourselves, right? Yes. How can we lift ourselves up if we are constantly putting ourselves down? It's not really possible.
This idea of self compassion came out of a class I was in last week and it has continued to evolve over the days. I have taken the time to closely observe my own thoughts. I've observed what I tell myself when I am around my kids, my husband, and my dear friends. I have noticed the patterns that come up and with awareness of this humanity, I have introduced a stronger practice of self compassion. And day by day I am trying my best.
I wouldn't say that I was in a pattern of constantly putting myself down, but moment of honesty: doubts, guilt and negativity creep in from time to time. We're our own worst critic. So with that, how can I teach others (and mainly myself) to constantly lift up? To raise our own vibration. How can I inspire and teach my sons to always have compassion and love for themselves. As someone who experienced years of low self esteem and confidence, this has hit a chord with me. So here comes the practice.
Try this on for size: each time you brush your teeth, look in the mirror and say something positive... about YOU! Bonus? SAY. IT. OUT. LOUD. Awkward? It'll get easier. Manifestation comes from our thoughts.
I'll be there right with you, putting this practice into play!