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Orlando.

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My heart broke into pieces this weekend. 49 pieces. The hateful events that took place in Orlando, the murder of so many people, people who were murdered because they were in a gay club on Pride weekend…

I am so sorry.

I wrote this on Facebook earlier but I figured I would put it in every forum that I have a voice, because it matters that the words be said over and over. In case I haven’t said this enough? To my friends who are gay or lesbian, who are transgendered, bisexual, who are intersex, asexual or who identify as queer in any way.

I love you.

I celebrate and support you .

Moving forward I promise that I will do better about speaking in support of you, in places where words will actually do some good.

I will make your community and your rights a priority, when it comes to my political choices. I promise to be more careful in ensuring the people I vote for are people who will actually support your community with their actions as well as their words.

I promise to do the same thing, with actions and not just words.

I will speak loudly when it comes to issues that affect your community, your rights, and your well-being.

I will do my best to get more involved in actively supporting the LGBT community where I live and elsewhere.

I will respect your safe spaces and I will protect them when I can.

I won’t just rely on words via social media, I won’t make the mistake of simply spouting my opinion on Facebook or Twitter anymore. Because that might as well be silence.

Thoughts and prayers are not even remotely enough.

I am so very sorry.

I support you. I love you.

Your lives are precious.

You matter.

Wear It.

What women over 30 should wear.

“Women in today’s world are hit from all sides. Do this. Wear that. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Speak softly. Smile. Agree, agree, agree. Assimilate. Shut up. Stay down. 

The last thing we need is other women telling us what we should and shouldn’t do. Stand up, ladies, and stand together. Don’t be like Kallie Provencher. (Especially don’t be like her.) Wear what you want, do what you want, and support one another! And like all of these fabulous ladies, don’t give a fuck.”

So here’s the deal. I found a system that works for me, right? You know why it works for me? Because it’s what I choose.

Wear whatever you want. If that’s a sparkly Hello Kitty shirt, wear it.

If you’re into selecting clothes based on a carefully curated “system” of color family and design line and you want to wear it?  Wear it.

If it’s not in your color palette and you want to wear it? Wear it.

If it’s a bikini, if it’s got sequins, if it’s above the knee and you want to wear it? WEAR IT.

Do not let anyone tell you what you can’t do because they have internalized an ageist, sexist bias and they happen to have an outlet that allows them to spew that b.s. into the public consciousness.

Wear what makes you feel supported, awesome and yourself.

I’m moving towards the end of my second (third?) week  with DYT and definitely liking it. Loving it, actually. I feel clearer and better since I started. I’m getting things done. Depression continues to slowly lift. It’s feeling very nice to have pared my closet down and it is definitely making the slog of clothing into less of one. No more hurricanes in the bedroom and no more piles of discards on the bed. It’s been a zero-stress two weeks when it comes to looking put together.

When I was working in the jewelry studio and selling face-to-face in Faire costume, I lived in ratty yoga pants and tee shirts and that was fine. Shlepping the booth, setup, tear down, none of this called for me to be face-ready in the world. In the world of Faire, you can show up with a messy bun and dirty jeans because you’re going to be grubbing around with tent stakes for the next three hours and everyone is basically ok with that.

But now that I am working as a doula and primarily selling my Honey&Ollie line of jewelry online only, well, that changes things.  I have interviews, consults, prenatals, and provider meetings. I run into clients around in town, just in the course of my day. I can’t just shlep to the market for coffee in a stained hoodie or drop off a box of packages at the shipping place in my pajamas (yes this might have happened a few times).  The lady at the shipping place might have a baby one day, you know?  I have to represent the profession well. I’m showing her what a doula is!

Finding a “face-ready” home-to-work wardrobe that works has been a challenge, is what it’s been!  DYT is really helping me out with that.

That stress of feeling like “I have nothing to wear.” when you have a closet full of clothing is frustrating. So many “no’s” that I can’t return.  I don’t want to throw them in a landfill. The cheap clothing industry is not great for the planet or the environment, so opting out of that a bit more appeals to me! I think the DYT system for sure helps you narrow down the best options and it works whether you’re thrifting, making, buying handmade on Etsy or yes, even going to Target for something made in China.

I do want to acknowledge that this is a privileged place to come from. Having $99 for Carol’s program, the ability to discard something because the color is “wrong” and to buy something “better” to replace it with, that assumes that there’s $99 or extra money for clothing in the budget. The mental space to devote to clothing, or to earrings, or to even have that mental room for those things to exist above survival needs, I think it’s a luxury.

I haven’t always had that luxury.

I’m cognizant of that. And of the fact that not everyone does, and that cheap “fashion” comes at a cost to people and the planet.  I’m not entirely comfortable with that, but I don’t really know what to do with it either. You can’t live on this planet without consuming. So to that end, I’d like to consume with more purpose, to better effect, and with less waste.

I’m grateful to be in a place where I have the room to think about it, at all.

We get so many mixed messages. Consume. Consumption is bad. Don’t wear this, you are over 40. Don’t show your knees, you’re 50. Makeup is toxic. Undereye circles are bad, cover that up, nobody wants to see that. Wear toxic chemicals to make yourself smell nice. Deodorant is linked to breast cancer. The average woman is a size 12 or 14. The average woman should buy shapewear. Don’t take up space. Be authentic but not too authentic. Save the planet. Buy nothing. Shop the Memorial Day sale!

I mean what do you even do with all of that noise? With all the judgment.

For me right now I’ll leave it at, DYT helps me shut out the noise and the judgment. I’m good. It keeps me positive with the self talk. I’m enjoying clothes for the first time in my life. I want it to be fun, living in this body. I’m 46. It gets to be fun now. If not now then when, really? I have no space for anyone who looks askance. If you do? Welcome to space, please move quickly through the airlock and out of my oxygen supply.

I’d like to get really comfortable being seen and valuing myself more and DYT is really helping with those things. I’ll keep going for the rest of the 30 days just to finish the challenge, but honestly? I don’t need 30 days. I’m pretty sold on the system!

Welcome to my second blog post about Dressing Your Truth, Carol Tuttle’s innovative system to energetic profiling and bringing your innate energy type into your wardrobe and style choices.  In my first blog post, we talked about Carol’s system and how people are basically divided into 4 energetic “types.” 

Mileage may vary, but I found my “type” in Carol’s system to be very accurate. I read, “It’s Just My Nature” and knew I was a Type 2 – an introverted energetic movement. The book and video also helped me identify my secondary Type 1, which is a more extroverted energetic movement. In layman’s terms, I’m an emotionally connected introvert with extroverted social tendencies. The book and video helped me better understand my unique expression of those tendencies but I’m really glad I didn’t stop there. What made this into a paradigm altering experience for me was the actual Dressing Your Truth course.

Carol and the other folks in her organization have a lot of support for women. The validation comes across over and over. “You’re okay just the way you are. It’s safe to be you.”  The system is designed to meet and support you, exactly where you are standing. Carol’s system will never call you fat, tell you not to wear a pencil skirt, or make you feel bad about yourself.

It’s not a dressing yourself system. It’s an expressing yourself system.

The paid program breaks down the unique Pirate’s Code for each energetic type as far as clothes. To quote her book there are 5 important elements for each type and each is expressed uniquely. “Color, pattern, design line, texture and fabrication.” It gives you a pretty comprehensive base for being outwardly in harmony with your inner energy type.  Carol recommends that you give it a 30 day try – dress as your Type for 30 days and see how you feel. I’m about a week into my 30 days. I feel amazing. I feel really supported. It feels great! I want to dress up to go to Trader Joe’s! 

Plus? They offer GIRL LESSONS. Girl lessons are awesome.

I’ve always laughed and said that I was terrible at being a girl. But what’s real is that nobody ever taught me that stuff when I was growing up and I was too embarrassed to ask. I grew up before Youtube tutorials (and, er, internet). I was raised by a single father who felt bewildered (and probably a little impatient) when a scratchy pair of jeans or an itchy label would turn me into a wailing mess on the floor. I’m sure he dreaded taking me shopping. “It’s not COOOMFORTABLE!!!” was my tearful mantra, from the time I was verbal and every day going forward.

A scratchy label will still make me a crabby, tearful mess, 40+ years later. It’s just my nature!

I thought I was bad at being a girl. NOT TRUE. 

I was a girly girl hater. NOT FAIR.

I really, really love being a girl! I love clothes, hair and makeup. Sparkly shoes are not a moral shortcoming. I want sparkly shoes! I mean, not every day, but I want them. I may even, on occasion, twirl.

The Lifestyle section of Carol’s site has videos for each type. How to pick clothes. How to wear clothes. How NOT to wear clothes. They give you color guidelines to help you better understand the right colors for your Type but there’s no matching and no draping. You make the elements work with your own aesthetic. Dressing Your Truth helps you step off the hamster wheel of fashion trends, it’s body positive and people positive. It works for all body types. Imagine, feeling amazing in your clothes and not worrying about trying to lose 20 pounds.

The system even addresses how to bring in your secondary energies to make your style more personal.  For example, you know what’s great about being a secondary one? Austrian AB crystal is what’s great about being a secondary one. I’m just saying, y’all.

No black, plus sparkly shoes? Go ahead and take my goth card. I surrender it willingly.

I have proudly echoed Ani DiFranco for years. “I am not a pretty girl.” I thought I wasn’t and I had to make that ok. But each time I proudly said that, it was like a knife twisting in my heart. It hurt. I felt shame that I secretly wanted to be a pretty girl. I was raised to believe that character matters over everything and I do believe that it does. Ethics matter. Intelligence matters. GUMPTION matters. All those things matter. And? It’s not bad to want to look pretty and have ethics and character and a brain and have gumption. My grandma (also a 2/1) had more gumption than 10 women and her hair was always ‘did plus her shoes matched her bag every day of her life.

My feminism is not dead just because I discovered berry lip gloss. Throw out the bath water, not the baby.

I feel pretty, now. To paraphrase the brilliant spoken word poem from youtube, pretty awesome. Pretty amazing. Pretty kind. Pretty strong, pretty resilient, pretty good at what I do. And yes, also, just pretty. It isn’t what defines me but pretty isn’t a moral shortcoming either. I feel at home in my own skin for the first time since I hit puberty. The feelings of self confidence, of empowerment, and of being absolutely supported by this system are tremendous. I did a lot of foundational work to get here and I give myself full credit. But Carol’s system wants to be the cherry on the self-love sundae.

I’m chucking the “I’m bad at being a girl.” belief system in the bin.

Thanks Carol Tuttle. Not just for the lipstick tips but for the affirmation that it’s okay to be exactly who I am, every day of my life. You helped me truly appreciate the woman I have grown up to be.

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I am a paying member of the DYT program. I wasn’t asked to provide a review of their system, I just love it and want to share with others who may benefit as I have! In this review I’ve tried to respect the intellectual property of Carol Tuttle and Dressing Your Truth, and encourage you to check the program out for more information.

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I totally made a thing today.

All stash or slush bowl. Pure inspiration. All mine*.

A triple strand of dreamy aquamarine, pink-hued freshwater pearls, rose quartz rounds, amazonite and Austrian crystals for a touch of bling. Accents of moonstone and labradorite, with one mauve stick pearl to balance the sterling floral toggle closure. And maybe a touch more bling.

This necklace is happy like a box of puffy white kittens. It is cotton ball fluffy clouds skidding across a sunrise pink sky, morning sunlight sparkling off of cool water, and it feels like sinking back into a downy morning dream.

Put this on and feel your heart chakra expand.

This necklace says, “Have a cookie.”

*By which I mean, it’s totally awesome and I kind of love it and I’m keeping it because I’m allowed to do that sometimes.

Yum.

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A few weeks ago, I fell into a particularly compelling internet rabbit hole. I’m not 100% sure how I stumbled on it but if I was a betting man I’d say it was via Facebook.  I came across a woman named Carol Tuttle.  She has this outrageous idea of supporting people in living the truest expression of who they are on this planet and in being 100% okay with themselves. You know who else did that? 

My hero, Fred Rogers, that’s who.

This woman is totally my neighbor.

At first it seemed like another “color” system that tells you how to dress. You know, the ones that promise you’ll lose 50 lbs, be happy, and people on Tinder will swipe right? Remember when seasons were in and everyone was being profiled as a Winter, Summer, Fall, or Spring? Back in the 80’s some lady put some swatches next to my face, said my hair was naturally “ashy” (it was actually dyed shocking pink and I was mildly offended) and told me that I was a Summer. Then she said that I should wear mint green. I immediately dismissed it all as complete silliness!  Mint green? ME? I was very serious and important in the 1980’s, you guys. I wanted to be a Winter. 

I tossed the swatches and the color movement went on without me. 

Fast forward 30 years, I actually kind of like mint green. I get positively giddy when it is combined with pinks and lavender. Don’t even get me started on celadon.

Celadon completes me. 

But I digress.

The whole Dressing Your Truth system is based on what Carol defines as “energetic profiling.”

“Wow!” I said, when I first saw this. “I’m in! I’m an energetic person, I totally do Reiki!”

Now as you might have noted from my sad seasonal tale above, I tend to respond to rules with a flippant, “You’re not the boss of me.” I won’t lie… I went through a little bit of that with this program. I balked at being told there were limits on my color palette. For all that I’m Lawful Good 99% of the time, I have a love/hate relationship with rules. If you tell me I can’t do something, I’m gonna feel super compelled to go do it. As a, um, rule. Because, I can. That’s why. Yes I’m 46 and super mature. At the same time? I really hate to actually break the rules. I get right up to the edge, I double dog dare, and then I get worried and no laws are actually broken.

The Dressing Your Truth system definitely has some clear guidelines to follow once you have figured out your type. But before you go and kill it with fire, let me caveat it!  There’s a why for everything and the why makes sense, as they’ve created it. And we are all unique, we evolve, and what you do with it is up to you, you’ve got free will! There’s no clothes police. Nobody is actually wanting to be the boss of me, which makes following the system as they’ve created it feel okay for me. No inner threenager here, nope! 

The other thing that makes it all okay? We all know that “guidelines” basically equal “Pirate’s Code.”

I do think that people should wear what ultimately makes them feel happy. What I like about this system is that it helps you find things that make you feel really happy. I have personally found that following the guidelines feels great. I look and feel awesome and Carol’s whole program is profoundly healing. It may or may not be your thing, but it’s helped me lift myself out of the awful depression I’ve been sunk in. Things are flowing more easily for me right now. These are good things.

So what is it all about? Let me tell you…

The Dressing Your Truth system is based in the expression of our innate energy in the body, not in color draping or typing, and not so much in our personality traits and behaviors. Those can be learned in our different families of origin, during various times during our lives. We can often express traits that are at odds with our innate energetic nature. It can be a survival mechanism – if you’re not safe expressing your primary nature, you might shift into your secondary or take on other traits to survive. The idea is that this ultimately causes disharmony which can lead to illness and other issues. Giving myself permission to let that go and just be me… very healing. That’s the magic and what really makes this system shine for me.

In this system, people are divided into 4 primary “Types.” There’s a primary energetic expression, then the others sort of fall into place as a secondary, a tertiary, and then the final type brings up the rear. In my case it just sort of sits in the background and twiddles its thumbs most of the time. We draw on or express each of the different energies in different situations and our one of a kind energetic expression is what makes up our unique, beautiful self. 

After doing the free web course, my dominant energetic expression felt pretty obvious and I just melted into it. What a relief! Like putting on a soft pair of yoga pants, really. I wanted more, so I read her book. I just found this to be a really intuitive and smooth process.

If you’re curious about what all of that means, you can check out her free web course here and check out your own energy profile. It may not be what you think! And if you are still curious after that, I definitely encourage you to read the book – It’s Just My Nature – it’s free on Kindle Unlimited right now! The book was really what helped me go deep with all this.  If you want more after THAT, there’s a lot of free stuff on the web. There is also a paid course that you can buy once you know your type. I did, and I have to say that it was totally worth it.  Yes, I am even gleefully following all the guidelines for my Type and you know what? They work for me! I LOVE clothes now. I might even be getting into shoes. All the stuff that was hard about putting my face out into the world? Not hard anymore. Guidelines ROCK! Who knew?

I am not affiliated with Carol Tuttle’s organization. They didn’t ask me to review the program. I am just a huge fan and it’s really working for me. Two thumbs up, highly recommend, 10/10.

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“So what IS your Type, what wisdom of the Universe did you glean?” you might ask. Or maybe not, you may not care. That’s cool. But if I’ve piqued your interest, stay tuned. I’m going to be doing a whole series of blog posts about my adventures. Next up, a little more about actually implementing the DYT guidelines, how I’m keeping it real with my own style origins and aesthetic, and why that’s been completely amazeballs for me.

Hint: it doesn’t involve wearing black. I might have had to get out the smelling salts… shockingly, I’m not missing it.

No seriously. Hand me that mint, will you?

Well. I’m home.

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Has it been over a year since I wrote a blog here? Holy cow, it has. What happened???

So much has happened.

I think for purposes of this blog, it’s safe to say that primarily a crippling depression happened. That seems to happen every few years. By now I’ve learned that it always goes away, one day the sun comes out again, but it can be hard while I’m in the middle of it. I’ve been doing a lot of emotional and energetic healing. 

I decided to take a year off of the Faire and festival circuit. My last show was Thanksgiving weekend. I came home from that, unloaded the boxes into my garage, cried, and shut the door on my studio for 6 months. Literally. I sat at the bench and worked on a piece of jewelry for the first time since before Thanksgiving, yesterday.

It felt good.

I’m clearing out a backlog of repairs and overdue club packages – sorry about that. It happened. I have no excuses. I’m working on getting it all cleaned up.

I have no excuses but did I mention the crippling depression, anxiety, and a complete shut-down of pretty much everything that makes my life feel happy and worth living? It’s been going on since before we moved down off the mountain, but the last 6 months have been particularly bad. Like walking through fog and quicksand. We decided that this whole Northern California experiment was going tits up in a bad way. I can’t live 300 miles away from my partner ⅔ of the time and he has to work where the movies are.  Captain Sexypants and I had a come to Jesus chat and it was unanimously decided that we will be relocating back down to Los Angeles this summer. I’m so relieved I can’t even tell you. That was the first lifting I’ve felt in months.

It’s hard to blog when you have brain fog and feel shrouded in sadness. I could really only focus on one thing at a time and I couldn’t maintain here and build my doula business at the same time. Did I mention, I became a birth and postpartum doula earlier this year? I did! I love it. But it has been taking up what little available brain space I’ve got, that’s for sure.

My hope is that I will be able to more gracefully balance the two loves of my life – birth and art – going forward. I won’t be taking on much by way of shows on the traveling circuit for the remainder of 2016 OR in 2017. I’ll keep you posted, there are a couple of shows I might try to do but it’s hard to travel when you’re on call for babies! I’ll be keeping the online shop open though, whether we’re on the road or not. New stuff soon, I hope! 

I missed blogging here. I missed making jewelry. I miss making art.

I missed being myself, here, and I missed having a space where I could write freely without keeping it topical and focused on one thing all the time. Not that I ever LOST this space, I just couldn’t bring myself to use it for a while. 

Feeling a little better, now.

I have a lot to catch everyone up on, and not all of it is sad. Dust off the page, take the sheets off the couch, because I’m home.

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