Entries from August 2013

What If / New York

August 22, 2013

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I had my first taste of NYC when I was about 16 years old. Everything about it was wildly romantic and straight-up cool. The subways, the cabs, the crazies, the skyscrapers, the smell of garbage, the musicals! It was equal parts scary and sexy. I fell in love with the hustle. I was determined to move to New York for art school – I pretty much wanted my entire life to look like the opening credits to Felicity.

I bought a giant book that had details and information on art schools across the United States. It listed library sizes, majors, and tuition & fees. NYU cost something like $30,000 per year. OU (the University of Oklahoma) was in my backyard and cost about $3,000 per year. My parents generously offered to pay my way if I stayed close to home. So I did. I’m grateful that I graduated college without loans and I feel like I’m doing well for myself now. I don’t have any regrets but sometimes I can’t help but wonder … what if?

It was a little over 9 years ago that my parents made another generous offer to my brother who was forging his way in the world of sideshow performance. They knew he couldn’t make a living hammering nails in his head in Oklahoma – so they offered to pay his way in New York for a year. He moved a month before my sister gave birth to her first son. And since then he’s made a name for himself in the sideshow world. No, he doesn’t have health insurance. And yes, sometimes he’s just barely scraping by. But he gets to live what he loves. His job this week is mastering a new handcuff escape act before heading off to tour Australia for the month of September.

So last week Jeremy and I went and visited Donny at his home he shares with his girlfriend, Anna, in Brooklyn. We ate ethiopian food and sipped on honey wine. We walked across the Brooklyn bridge into Manhattan and ate cheap Chinese in Chinatown. Anna taught me Wu Tao in Strawberry Fields in Central Park. Wu Tao is a form of dance that functions like a moving meditation – it’s designed to open your meridians and is really quite amazing. In the middle of our dance a man with a bike and a few buckets, who had been watching us for a while, walked up and in an aggressive tone said “Dancers are the athletes of God. – Albert Einstein.” The credit to ol’ Einstein made the whole thing a lot less creepy. Only in New York. We ate bagels (oh boy, did we eat bagels), ice cream, pizza, and brunch. And we laughed a whole lot too. I admired the street art and bridges and got blisters on the bottoms of my feet for walking miles in flip flops – I know better, really.

So back to what if? As I was going through a young divorce a little over 5 years ago I thought “now is my time.” I figured I would finally have the opportunity to reinvent myself in Brooklyn. Maybe I’d even learn to breathe fire and become a part of my brother’s act when I wasn’t interning for a rockstar like Stefan Sagmeister for $2 an hour. But Jeremy happened and our roots in OKC started growing deeper. Today, for the most part, love exactly where I am. The slow pace of living here affords me lots of autonomy and space to not just survive – but thrive. I suppose I no longer crave the hustle of New York because I’ve made my own hustle – from right here. But even so… there’s something magical about The City. And every time we visit I can’t help but ask what if? 

 

Related:
• If you want to read more about my brother and his journey check out my sister’s now defunct blog Kind of A Sideshow 
• All photos were taken on my iPhone and processed using VSCO (and Photoshop). I post to Instagram (in the moment) here too!
• I’m doing a guest post on Emily Thompson’s blog about how living in Oklahoma affords me the opportunity to be a working creative. Check it out!

Life Lately

August 20, 2013

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Hello, friends! I’m in go-mode, catching up at Braid after a long weekend hanging out with my brother and Jeremy in New York. The photos above were taken at 30,000 feet both leaving and returning home. The clouds on the left made me hungry for cotton candy. The more moody clouds on the right made me feel like I was on psychedelics. The iPhone photo hardly does it justice. It’s funny because I boarded each plane agitated by the TSA but became completely grateful for the view once I was in the sky.

I’ll be sharing more bits and pieces from that adventure throughout the week but for now I thought I’d pop in and share a little bit of what I’ve been up to lately:

+ Tara and I are writing a book on branding for creatives! It’s in the preliminary phases of production + pitching but we’re so excited for the opportunity and potential. We were approached by a publisher in London – I took it as a sign that it’s probably something we need to do.
+ I’m having THE ultrasound today. We will be finding out if this little bean is a boy or a girl but we’re keeping it a secret from even ourselves until Saturday when we can share the results with our whole families. Regardless, I’m anxious to see this little bebe for the first time since our first ultrasound at 9 weeks.
+ I’ve been wearing an UP Band by Jawbone for a solid week per Laura’s recommendation (I got it in grey). It’s SO fascinating to see and track my movement, sleep patterns, and consumption.  It may or may not be a glorified pedometer / iPhone app but it’s holding me accountable for my health in a really great way (especially since having to slow down my typical fitness routine).
+ My whole house is in serious transition right now. Since the Braid office moved to it’s own space we’ve been slowly but surely rearranging and redecorating our space. It’s a pretty clear metaphor for the transition I’m going through in my own life right now, as well.
+ I’m looking forward to Designer VACA in Palm Springs. I can’t wait to see my old friends and make new ones! (Holler at me if you’re going!)
+ I need a good book to read. I tend to like non-fiction and memoirs. Any recommendations?

I’ll be back tomorrow with more from New York and a new maternity series post on Thursday. In the meantime, let me know what you’ve been up to lately. What’s got you inspired? XO

18 Weeks | Bebe Glows

August 15, 2013

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The worry started early in my pregnancy, when just a week after I discovered I was pregnant I started bleeding. Unfortunately, this all went down as I was in a small surfing village in Mexico and had not yet established care with a hospital or midwives. Every Google search told me to get to the emergency room ASAP – that I could be suffering a miscarriage or worse – an ectopic pregnancy that could result in my own death. I so badly wanted to be cool but two days of bright red spotting and the threat of oh, dying, had me feeling very anxious. The bleeding stopped just as the nausea really began to set in. I met with my midwife – she found a heartbeat and measured the baby at 9 weeks along. I was so relieved. But to this day I still check for blood every time I go to the bathroom.

Still, the following weeks in my first trimester continued to promise uncertainty. I felt like I couldn’t escape really sad stories and surprisingly shocking statistics of miscarriage. I began to internalize the grief as my own and was convinced that this whole thing was going to end badly. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Then I started feeling guilty that my fear alone was doing more harm to the baby than anything else. This is clearly a terrible way to move through life. I shared these fears with Jeremy. He’s incredibly rational and stoic. His philosophy of life keeps me grounded and anchored, so while he tried to calm and reassure me, he couldn’t promise that everything would be okay, nobody could – and that’s all I really wanted.

I needed an intervention and I knew it needed to come from the inside out.

So here’s what I did – a meditation:
• I bought a new stick of sage and a box of my favorite incense
• I burned the sage and banished fear from my consciousness
• Then I lit the incense, lined up all of my lucky charms (+ my crystal necklace), and did the following meditation:
Sitting with my legs crossed and spine erect, I visualized my feet, legs, and core rooted into the earth – knowing it was supporting me with billions of years of evolution and wisdom. I visualized my chakras opening from sacrum to crown and opened myself up to the universe – knowing it was supporting me with creative potential and prosperity.  I set an intention to be brave and nurturing. From there I moved my attention and breath to the little bebe in my belly. I imagined it’s little chakras opening up – then I imagined it surrounded in a bubble of bright white light – this light not only served as protection for my little bean but as a creative force to be reckoned with. I let the light expand and fill my whole body with love. I sat with this this light for a good while until I felt closure. 
• Since then I found myself carrying my lucky kitty in my pocket and wearing my crystal necklace daily. I’m a bit superstitious about it but not OCD.
• I also take time daily to acknowledge, nurture, and meditate on the light radiating from this little bean growing in me.

Things go terribly wrong all the time. From miscarriage, to stretch marks, to vaginal reconstruction from a labor and delivery gone wrong, to sleepless nights, sore nipples, and all the sacrifices to be had as a mom. This whole parenthood thing can be a battleground – lots of moms have war stories to share and with that, wounds to heal.

Now I’m a warrior carrying precious cargo, and I’m choosing to walk into battle with no armor on my heart. And this baby … she glows.

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Field Notes & Observations:
• Each day I can feel the baby moving more and more. It’s my very favorite feeling right now. I can’t wait until Jeremy can feel it too.
• I’m starting to feel like my belly is forming a legit bump – it’s become a little more hard. I can feel it when I bend or roll over.
• I felt uncharacteristically maternal towards Boots & Dinahsaur when they seeked refuge from a thunderstorm under our covers the other night. (Unlike dogs who are more human-like, I usually feel like cats can fend for themselves).
• We bought curtains and a rug for the baby room and took inventory of baby gear leftover from my sister. Things are starting to get real.
• My placenta encapsulation was confirmed!
• Some days I can button my pants. Other days not so much. I really need to get around to investing in maternity pants but I’m trying to hold out for the weather to cool off enough that I can just go straight to leggings.

Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla
• 14 weeks | It’s Like Puberty
• 15 weeks | It Takes Time
• 16 weeks | Vivid Dreams
• 17 weeks | Pump It Up

Shop Good & Warby Parker

August 14, 2013

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Fact: I visit Shop Good‘s Warby Parker showroom and try on glasses frames almost monthly. Unfortunately, I have perfect vision and zero need for glasses. Shop Good owners (and friends), Audrey & Justin, have promised that they wouldn’t tell anyone if I wanted to get prescription-free frames. I tried to justify it in my mind as just another way to accessorize but a deeper part of me has a hard time faking a seriously disability just to look cool. Last month I even went and had my eyes examined justincase. I spent $250 for a creepy eye doctor to tell me I had 20/20 vision and no need for some rad Warby Parker glasses. Damn.

So last Thursday Jeremy and I hit up Shop Good’s 4th annual Mustache Bash. Sam, a Warby Parker rep, came all the way from The Big City (that would be New York) to OKC for the stache bash … with sunglasses! No prescription needed! We became fast friends when I told her that my baby bump usually disappears after going to the bathroom (yup, that’s how I keep it really real in real life). We chatted a bit more (about things other than poop), she hooked me up with a pair of sunglasses, and we ended our conversation with a hug. That kind of exchange is precisely why I shop local and love companies like Warby Parker. Plus, Warby Parker has a higher purpose – for every pair of glasses purchased they give a pair to someone in need. That’s just good business.

The rest of the Mustache Bash was spent eating homemade ice cream from food trucks, listening to live music, making new friends, and catching up with old ones. We stayed out past our bedtime but it was worth it – seeing a little corner of OKC come to life makes me so proud to call this place home.

I’m wearing Warby Parker Sunglasses in Percey Striped Sassafrass c/o Warby Parker. I rarely accept c/o items here at & Kathleen and all opinions are my own. I just really do love me some Shop Good & Warby Parker. The scarf is Block Shop Textiles.

Coaching for Creatives | Is It True?

August 12, 2013

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I’m going through 8 months of extensive life coach training with Martha Beck. My decision to become a life coach for creatives came from my own adventure in discovering the power of writing our own narrative and designing our own lives. But sometimes the stories we tell ourselves can hold us back or keep us feeling stuck. This column on & Kathleen will be exploring the lessons and concepts I am learning as I become a coach.

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I’m broke.
Everything is shit.
There isn’t enough time.
I’m afraid of failing.
Nobody likes me.
I’m spread thin and scattered.

These are very common statements I hear from the creatives I coach. (Yup, we all like to think we’re special snowflakes with our neurosis, but the truth is we pretty much all suffer from similar and surprisingly predictable insecurities.) The thing is, our thoughts make up our reality. So if you think “Everything is shit” then you’re probably going to have a pretty shitty reality. So, my favorite line of kind interrogation when it comes to dissolving these self-limiting beliefs is asking the simple question:

Is it true?

9 times out of 10 the response is almost immediately “No, but …” and that when we get to the core – or the reality – of the negative thought. Here it is in action:
“Nobody likes me.” 
“Is that true?” 
“No, but … I do lack community and creative collaboration.” 

See how limiting it can be when you stop the story at “Nobody likes me.”? You’re a victim, completely powerless to everybody and “nobody”. If you can recognize the reality of the situation you can change the narrative. “Nobody likes me.” is now transformed into a recognized need for community and creative collaboration. Joining a club or finding a mentor is a whole hell of a lot easier than the impossible task and unrealistic need of making everybody like you.

I love using the question “Is it true?” on myself when I’m being completely irrational but can’t seem to get out of my funk – statements like “I suck” or “I’m fat” are great ones to question with “Is it true?”. Some other questions you can ask yourself to get even deeper are: “Is it really true?” – asking twice can jolt you out of your line of thinking if you’re really stuck. Or “When is the opposite true?” helps to create another path of reality to acknowledge vs. the singular negative line of thinking.

Try it out for yourself and report back!

P.S. As I was composing this entry I accidentally erased my entire post just as WordPress was auto-saving my progress. I lost everything. I exclaimed “This always happens!” I asked myself “Is it true?” And the truth is no… I post almost every day without any hitch. Was I still annoyed? Yeah. But by acknowledging the reality of the situation (that this actually never happens) kept me cool and from playing the angry victim powerless to technology glitches.

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.

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