Sunday, May 17, 2015

may discipline: exercise curiosity

time and timing are a constant intrigue of mine. there are times when i desperately want time to slow down, it can feel like it's moving at warp speed. i even say outwardly, "i am not ready for this day to be over." in a really good way. and then all of the sudden when there is something on the horizon, the days begin to move at a snails pace. that's what i asked for, right? oh, but that can be difficult too. nature is always challenging us. patience and presence are on the forefront. when time is moving swiftly, it may be that we are not practicing presence. when time is moving slowly, we need to insert patience.

though i am definitely achievement oriented, i haven't rushed much in my life. i was probably the last person i knew to get a cell phone. i rented different residences for a long time and never felt rushed to buy. i didn't feel rushed to marry, as evidenced by my being just shy of 32 when i tied the knot. i just got my first mac laptop. i have only owned three cars in my 16 years of driving. i wait months and one time over a year between fertility treatments.

i am very motivated, i just don't have a nagging sense of urgency about most things. the other trait i have become aware of in recent years is that i am a nonconformist. my decisions are not based on the social norm. i kind of like to carve my own path. i am trying to author my own story and not let other stories impact mine. it's not always easy but i find it meaningful.

how does time play a role in your story?
how does patience impact your life?
do you have a sense of urgency?
when are you most present?

a few moments i wish could last forever:

sunset @ durham bulls game with my southern gent

helping my 13 y-o niece decorate her room

enjoying gourmet caramel cotton candy

an afternoon with these charmers

any time spent with my mom and gram

ice cream sammie food trucks

Thursday, May 14, 2015


i have recently begun a love affair with plants. i have a fiddle fig tree, a palm and a monstera deliciosa in our home along with several succulents. i have a snake plant and an ornamental grass on the screened porch. on the front porch i have a palm varietal and a rectangular planter filled with ferns and other greens. this is my favorite plant site. 
i also don't like to leave a vase lonely for very long. what if every room in the house had a plant or flower? #lifegoals

a guest room bedside comes to life with blooms

mason jars make great vases

peonies are some of my very favorites!

here i curated a bouquet with eucalyptus springs as an accent

purchase fresh cuts every week at the grocery store! another healthy habit to acquire

in high school i worked at a flower shop. here are a few tips to keep your florals lasting over a week. 

*fill a vase with an inch of water, any more only breaks down stems and causes quick rot. 
*snip the ends daily and replace H2o
*cut stems on an angle, it creates more area for water consumption 
*immediately place in water after snipping ends, stems callus within seconds
*pluck dead stems and blooms throughout the week to keep your bouquet looking fresh! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

may discipline: exercise curiosity

while asking questions of those around you, it's equally important to be asking questions of yourself. 

be curious about yourself. be self-aware. 

it takes emotional intelligence to challenge thy self and investigate values and beliefs. i have always had an internal dialogue. it's equal parts self compassion and self doubt. it can be exhausting, at times, but is all in pursuit of living a meaningful life and leading with love. 
i believe each of us has endless questions in our minds, but often hesitate to state them aloud. 

here are a few i would like you to ponder: 

do i examine my life enough? 

do i care too much what other people think? 

what do i really want to do all day? 

how do i want to be remembered? 

do i say yes enough? 

do i say no enough? 

what am i afraid of?

am i paying attention to incredible things around me? 

do i let myself fail enough? 

what is the meaning of the human experience? 
*i asked southern gent this the other day while driving down the road. though i initially caught him off guard, this question led to a wonderful exchange of thought and connection*

i hope you too are asking questions of yourself and those around you. 
life is fascinating, don't forget to wonder about it. 

on an airier note, here are some images from recent happenings in my world:

our nephew keegan turned 6

had a few fun nights on the town

neighborhood block party committee met at mi casa for some planning.
think food trucks, dunk tank, bounce house, sidewalk chalk, relay races and more!

have you checked out the website?
it wasn't my proudest moment. they guess your age and gender. hmmmm

loving my pillowscape with the new addition of the safari lumbar. see how it pulls everything together so musically? our ottoman has never really fit with the rest of our decor. it was my one big retail regret. it finally all makes sense. #patternmixing #findmarty

Thursday, April 30, 2015

monthly discipline: may

song pair: story of my life by one direction

january: do things differently herehere and here.
february: just make it hereherehere and here.     
march: mostly vegan herehereherehere and here.
april: wake up before the sun five days a week here, here and here

 april recap: i happily report an 86% on my april discipline. of the 22 weekdays, I woke up (and stayed up) 19 mornings. on 3 occasions i rolled over and went back to sleep. a B average is just right for me. it's been said that A students aren't historically the most successful. 
i loved this discipline. i have had lasting days and a great deal of reflection. i feel centered. 
this healthy habit will not end with april. 

May: exercise curiosity

when i tap into self awareness and ponder my personal characteristics, the word curious comes to mind. even as a young child, i have always asked questions. it was not uncommon for me to befriend my seat mate on an airplane, regardless of their age. i have always been curious about people and don't tire of hearing life stories. this trait has served me well in my chosen profession. my job is to ask thought provoking questions. i also believe being a psychotherapist has inhibited my curiosity trait. i don't always seek listening roles in my leisure time. while on vacation, southern gent and i usually don't meet new people. i think it's equal parts we get lost in our own happy world and also that i need a break from hearing people's tales. 
i know my personal curiosity has gotten lost. this month i am going to find it again.
do you ever notice yourself talking about the weather? the majority of conversation we have is on a surface level. below is a fuzzy graph of the level of intimacy in communication. join me in digging deeper. join me in asking more questions. not all my questions will be meaningful, i plan to ask silly questions too. discussion should be way more interesting. i will share my experience along the way. happy chatting! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

april discipline: wake up before the sun, 5 days a week

song pair: Everyday by Dave Matthews

hello and good mornings! yes i meant the plural. my mornings have been so good. i am happy to report i have been fiercely loyal to this discipline, up before the sun. there was only one weekday when my alarm clock jingled...i rolled over...snuggled southern gent...and fell back to sleep.

not every morning has been easy. some mornings i perch up, contemplate a bit (imagine the devil and angel on each shoulder) and ultimately embrace the day. i think of you guys, i really do. i know acting in a trustworthy manner will increase my oxytocin. you didn't realize you were improving my life, did you?
i have felt wonderful with this early-to-rise lifestyle. i am more productive. i am paying attention to small details and i feel more energized. i wasn't a slacker previously, things always get done in my world...just sometimes in a rushed manner. those hours open more time to slowly water plants, throw in laundry, make lists, create a southern gent smoothie. all that domestic stuff that doesn't come naturally.
the biggest reward has been for my dogs. sounds silly unless you are an avid dog person like me. those extra hours free up the chance to see things more clearly, including their wrinkly faces. i have been cleaning their face folds and soft little ears. our english bulldog, Rocky, has a sensitive eye that is often in need of a wet tissue. he has been healthier because of this change.
it's just a peaceful part of the day for me now. quietly seizing the day.

prior to this discipline i thought i was slowly easing into each day, but really i was just sleeping as long as i could before it was time to wake up and hop right into the shower. i would butter my toast, prepare a sack lunch, kiss my three favorite guys {southern gent and the dogs} and head out the door. the next time i would emerge would be 8:30pm. at that point i was too fatigued to even notice face wrinkles, mine or anyone else's. now that summer is here, i have my partner-in-life back to share duties. life is looking brighter people!

speaking of dogs and brightening lives, remember when i did my photo shoot as an extra oomph to get Marty into my office?  today we are on week 6 of Marty Mondays and they are going swimmingly. if you have ever met my sidekick you know he has the most delightful little personality. i adopted him in 2008 as a rescue. he was 1.5 years old. whoever had him before me treated him like gold. i don't think he has ever known evil. he came to me well trained and oh-so-loving. i don't take credit for the great dog he is, but i am so fortunate he is ours. he isn't the type of soul who should be locked in a house all day. he needs to see the world and impact lives. marty comforts clients, makes clients smile and adds a wonderful energy to the room. he leaves a footprint everywhere he goes.

here is a little photo montage of his first few weeks as a therapy dog.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

cortisol & oxytocin

song pair: Never Say Never by The Fray

stress happens. even when it's productive stress, it can negatively impact our systems. the good news is we have a great deal of control over offsetting stress in our lives.

cortisol is a stress hormone that pulses through our bodies when we are experiencing stress. this steroid hormone is produced in the adrenal gland and can be erosive and toxic. cortisol underlies disease and illness. we all experience stress. an effective way to annul cortisol is production of the hormone oxytocin.

oxytocin counteracts cortisol. it is naturally produced in the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary gland. thankfully, there are activities we can engage in to trigger an excess of oxytocin in our bodies. when oxytocin is secreted into our brain, a sense of relief and hope is instilled.

below are a few examples of activities we each can turn to when we need to battle everyday stressers on this wild ride called life:

  • self-compassion statements "I am strong and determined."
  • embracing a loved one (10 seconds of sustained touch from someone: massage, hugs, rubbing neck/back, stroking hair). 
  • positive social media, kind and supportive posts & comments
  • laughter
  • generosity
  • seeking an adventure
  • walking outside in the sun
  • talking to a friend for 15 minutes
  • behaving in a trustworthy manner
  • listening to soothing music
  • slow, deep breathing
  • eating eggs, bananas, and/or black pepper
  • eating a meal with loved ones
  • nurturing your pets

Let's all generate more oxytocin into our systems!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

hair update: the evolution of my mane

song pair: FourFive Seconds by Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney

you may have noticed my ever evolving hair. it has been a humbling journey. when one decides to do things differently they don't always account for error. i actively try not to regret the risk. people alter their hair everyday. i have been bleaching mine for more than a decade. i wanted a change. i just didn't know the complexity of the change.

attempt # 1, i requested brown hair. 

when auburn hair emerged, i tentatively embraced it.
a few weeks later, the color became a strange I returned back to the salon.

the stylist layered it with darker color, hoping it would cover the emerging hue. it worked for awhile, until it began happening again. look closely at the image below. the first layer at the top. it was discolored where i had breakage or split ends, where my hair was least healthy. the PH balance of my locks were impacted by the years of bleach. the purple/blue spectrum was surfacing.   

the color layering continued, 4 times. it was always a lovely product initially, but inevitably began changing tints in the less healthy areas. 

after four stints in the salon chair and a friend commenting that my hair looked black, i ultimately i made the decision to change direction. 
insanity = doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. 
things were only temporarily improving and i needed a plan. vanity was getting the best of me. 

a friend recommended a stylist {who i love!} she is concentrating first and foremost on the vitality of my hair, not just veiling imperfection. 
we started with a good chop. i will have deep conditioning treatments for six weeks before she will assess the color. she believes my hair was previously two shades lighter than it should have been and is currently two shades darker, relative to my skin tone. i couldn't agree more. 

i am feeling hopeful with this new plan in place, and trying to giggle at myself along the way. 

This site was made with love by Angie Makes