Resolutions

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I love resolutions. I make them often and have little problems with seeing them through. One day I can resolve to pick up a daily yoga practice and like that I’ve got my leg behind my head. The next day I can resolve to stop eating grains and never look back. I can decide I want to see the sunrise over Everest and book a ticket to Kathmandu – all in one morning. I can quit my job and find more success doing my own thing.

But I’m often left in a tailspin of never enough and what’s next.

Every New Year’s Eve Jeremy and I play this game where we pick one word to describe the past year and one word to focus on for the next.

This year I have four words – four concepts – that I want to focus on defining, capturing, shaping, and sharing throughout 2013. I’ll elaborate further, throughout the year, but for now here’s where my head is at for now:
Illuminate // From within…
Radiate // This little light of mine…
Liberate // I want to celebrate live-out-loud non-conformity.
Hydrate // I’m thirsty for knowledge, story, travel and adventure. I also need to drink more water.

So this year I resolve to explore these words and how they can bring focus to my present moment. To let the way I want to feel, and the person I want to be, dictate my actions. To forget about the destination and instead focus on the adventure that’s happening right here, right now.

What is your word (or words) for 2013? 

P.S. The image above is a sunset I was admiring the other day from I-35 in OKC. I tried to capture it on Instagram but it hardly did it justice. You can follow my Instagram here: http://instagram.com/andkathleen

Does the Canvas Matter?

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I’ve been thinking about art a lot lately. A lot, a lot. I’ve been wrapping my brain around complex questions and peeking through every nook, cranny, and brush stroke to try and find the answers. I’ve been picking brains and conversing with friends, new and old, over coffee about the value of art (and the artist) in today’s world. I’ve been reading books like The War of Art (amazing) and watching TED talks on creativity. I’ve also been doing the work – creating, questioning, and answering by getting my hands a little dirty.

In one of those coffee shop conversations my friend Dave posed the following question: does the canvas matter? You can read my response here.

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A Story About My Hair

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I started thinking about my hair when I was 10 years old. I remember watching movies like Labyrinth, The Legend of Billie Jean and Madonna’s Who’s That Girl. I remember seeing clips of Jennie Garth as Kelly Taylor on 90210, even though we didn’t watch that show (my family opted for shows like Twin Peaks and Star Trek: The Next Generation and our favorite soap opera, recorded daily on our VCR, All My Children, accompanied by meals of Rice-A-Roni). Anyway, I remember seeing Jennie Garth and feeling this pain in the pit of my stomach – a sharp awareness that I didn’t look anything like her – and that that was a bad thing.

I remember feeling a sense of urgency to remedy this situation of not looking like Jennie Garth. I marched straight to the bathroom of our 1980s suburban home and staring at my dirty dishwater blonde hair – crazy curls, frizz, and uneven blunt bangs. I searched the cabinets for anything that would make me look like Jennie Garth, Madonna, Billie Jean, or even David Bowie. I remember feeling completely clueless but totally determined.

Fast forward 20 years. Over two decades I had run the gamut of hair styles. From a Michelle Williams pixie to a jet black David Bowie shag – and everything in between. I had employed an army of bleach, toner, stylists, straighteners, and curling irons to transform me into anything I wanted to be. At 30 years old my hair and I were finally in this place of “blonde” and “pretty” and “respectable” and on some days “hot”. But I wanted more. I wanted to be Sarah Jessica Parker. With the same sense of urgency I felt to be Jennie Garth, I found myself scouring YouTube for hair tutorials to figure out how I could look just like Carrie Bradshaw at her most refined self. That was seven months ago.

After a couple hours and countless videos of gorgeous Asian girls showing me how to transform my hair into that of SJP, I walked into my little 1920s bathroom and plugged in my best curling iron and my heavy duty hair dryer. I risked blowing a fuse but I didn’t care. I gave myself a good close look in the mirror and once again felt completely clueless but totally determined. And with that, instead of grabbing for the hot curling iron, I grabbed a .5″ section of hair behind my ear and starting twisting and ripping it until it formed a knotty dread. I felt the opposite of hopeless. I felt completely and totally liberated. And now I feel like Kathleen.

35 Ways to Prepare for the End of the World

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My end of the world preparedness kit. 

We’ve been here before. You know… the end of the world and all. It was 1999 and we just KNEW our computers wouldn’t be able to handle the transition to 2000 – that they would come to life, gain intelligence, and revolt.

So as December 21st, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, looms over us as the newest threat end of the world, very few of us are convinced. You guys already know that I live (or am at least dressed) for the impending apocalypse, but I think it’s a different kind of apocalypse that doesn’t involve fire or brimstone or zombies or desert wasteland or Mad Max style attire. But I don’t think that kind of end of the world is happening any time soon.

But I do believe with my whole heart that tomorrow marks the beginning of a new kind of world. It may not backed by science or history or fact but a very strong feeling. I feel a shift in energy that seems to manifest my thoughts, desires, and ideas at the blink of an eye. I feel connected to the universe and an ever so subtle hum of truth. I feel full of purpose. Do you feel it too?

So tomorrow I’ll be prepping for the end of the world – or the beginning of a new world, rather. And not by stockpiling food and water, or sealing off my house with plastic and duct tape – but by doing things to raise my vibration. Below are some very specific ways I’ll be doing that – you’re welcome to try it out too.

35 Ways to Prepare for the End of Times Beginning of the New World 
1. Drink a Green Juice
Flood your cells with all the good stuff kale, spinach, apples, pears, celery, and ginger has to offer.

2. Eat Local.
When your food has been harvested close to home, by a farmer whose purpose in life is to feed her neighbors… well, it just tastes (and feels) better.

3. Do Some Yoga.
For me, it’s a moving meditation that helps me feel grounded in my body. I like a nice and sweaty Vinyasa class. You don’t have to be a human pretzel, though, to do yoga. You can also try some more restorative Yin Yoga or meditative Kundalini Yoga.

4. Meditate.
I’ve been calling myself an atheist since I was 8 years old. But over the past year, through a daily meditation practice, I’ve found something bigger than myself in the place between my thoughts. Even if it’s a peace that resides within, it’s there, and it transcends the ego. It’s a good place to go on a regular basis. Here’s how I practice meditation.

5. Reflect on How You Want to Feel.
I’ve been working through Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map. It goes beyond goal setting and resolutions to really tap into how you want to feel. I’m going to be spending the day really tapping into my core desired feelings. Danielle’s Desire Map is a great tool to get their but if you can’t afford it, the gist of it is to ditch your list of to-dos and focus on how you really want to feel – and ways you can start cultivating those feelings (vs. finding yourself miserable just checking of a list of goals).

6. Dream Big. 
The time it takes to manifest your deepest desires is no longer limited to a 5-year plan. In fact, I find that time is beginning to feel irrelevant. So take this time to dream big. Imagine what it would feel like to cultivate your best wishes – whether that be to work for yourself, travel across the world, create art, or do some yoga every day – and then watch those wishes become a reality now.

7. Purge the Things That No Longer Serve You.
Whether that’s 80% of your wardrobe or that drawer of old makeup, purge the things that no longer serve you. My minimalist friend, Liz, is always on a never-ending edit of pairing down her things to the most useful and most beautiful – feel free to find inspiration from her. Leo Babatua is another great writer on minimalism.

8. Burn Some Sage.
This is excellent for clearing some of that mental clutter and bad energy that no longer serves you.

9. Get It On.
Make out with someone you love or get it on with your own rad self. Celebrate the beginning of a new world with a bang.

10. More ideas: 
French press your coffee. Book a massage. Read your horoscope. Paint your nails. Use your best china. Drink some tea. Make art. Listen to your favorite album. Say a little prayer. Buy a nice bottle of wine and share it with a friend. Take a bath. Get your palm read. Wear your fancy undies. Create art. Bake something tasty. Look at a globe – make a list of all the places you want to visit. Burn some incense. Buy a plane ticket. Write in your journal. Watch a documentary. Hire a life coach. Bust out your old Holga and take some photos. Build a fire. Make a fort. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Fiber Art

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You can’t go to Palm Springs, California and not fall in love with fiber art. I found this gem at a midcentury modern consignment store for a steal – $20! It’s been hanging on a nail I happened to already have in the wall in my bedroom, but I’ve recently found a more appropriate home for it in the hallway. I like the way it contrasts against the black and white stripes.

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