life curation · reading list

So . . . About NaNoWriMo

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My literal expression when I write (photo courtesy of Clipart Library)

 

I got a book update for you all!

So, it’s December 1st, which means NaNoWriMo is officially over.

But (surprise, surprise) my book isn’t finished.

What does that mean?

It means I get to continue working on it through December LOL!

Now, I had every intention of getting 50,000 words in writing between November 1st and November 30th. But, life happens. I did get some writing done, which is better than doing nothing.

And, don’t forget: I’ve been posting here DAILY. So I’m writing, just not much in novel format.

However, I like the story that I’m forming in my mind, and I’ve written a lot more this NaNoWriMo than I did last year. So I’m celebrating that!

Anyway, enjoy your Friday, friends! I’ll chat with you all tomorrow!

life curation · style

On Becoming More Elegant

Elegance is Refusal

(from one of my favorite blogs, The Vivienne Files)

I’m unclear who said it first – Coco Chanel (the person that is more often credited) or Diana Vreeland – but it’s noteworthy that this simple quote has been attributed to two of the most stylish women in history. I often heed these words when I’m inclined to pile on jewelry, or add an extra-frilly accessory, or even opt for a print that outshines my personality.

I stop. I think about it. I refuse it. I am instantly more elegant.

Even my writing style has undergone some changes and leans more towards elegance nowadays. Sure, I still occasionally indulge in wordiness, but chances are, I’ve done some heavy editing before even the “wordy” stuff reaches your eyes.

I love words. But elegance is refusal, so I opt for simplicity more times than not.

The only place I don’t apply this particular stance is cooking. I believe that “just enough is enough”, and that doesn’t always mean refusal. I don’t oversimplify my seasonings, my effort or the number of courses for a fancy meal. I seek perfection. And yes, that can mean using less. But it must be perfect, or it won’t work. I’m picky like that.

Refusal: it is elegant. It’s also liberating. It’s simultaneously classic and modern, the perfect blend of seemingly opposing sides.

 Refuse, and be free.

life curation

Preparing for 2018: Releasing Tolerations

Happy Monday, friends! Can you all believe that we are just a few days away from the LAST month of the year?!?! I am in awe of how quickly 2017 has passed. This was a good year, but I’m excited for how awesome 2018 will be!

As part of the Preparing for 2018 series, I want to share a very powerful tool for clearing mental/physical/emotional “space”. This practice can really help make room for all of the good stuff that you want to come into your life.

The practice is, of course, releasing tolerations. This involves removing anything that doesn’t enhance your life or boost your energy. The energy drainers may be physical (living with lots of clutter is a good example), emotional (perhaps some unresolved issues around self-worth) or mental (maybe a colossal to-do list that never seems to shrink). Additionally, this is a way of “clearing the deck” so you have more energy to focus on the things that you enjoy. If you’re curious about learning what tolerations are, check out this post and this one, over at Good Vibe Blog. Jeannette Maw has done an excellent job of explaining tolerations and how they affect your ability to create the life that you want.

To prepare for the upcoming year, I’m going to work on clearing my physical space even more. I have some big plans for the upcoming year and reducing my possessions is one thing that needs to happen in order to best realize at least two of those big goals (I’ll share more about those goals in 2018).

I’ll be doing the 30 day challenge as mentioned by Terri Savelle Foy in the video I’m linking below. Information about the challenge is at the 21:30 mark (start at 19:35 for all of the tips related to releasing tolerations):

Every day in the month of December, I’ll discard an item corresponding with the date of the month (one item on the 1st, two items on the 2nd, 3 on the 3rd, etc.,). I will keep going until I reach December 31st, by which point I would have eliminated nearly 500 items from my life. Some items will be thrown away, while others will be donated to charity or given away to family and friends. In any case, the items will be leaving my space for good.

You can either try this particular challenge, or maybe try one of Jeannette’s recommendations. No matter what you decide to do, eliminating tolerations is a great way to prepare for the upcoming year.

Have you missed the other Preparing for 2018 Posts? Check them all out here:

Preparing for 2018

Preparing for 2018: Before Setting Your Goals …

Preparing for 2018: Commit It In Writing

Preparing for 2018: Listening to Your Intuition

Preparing for 2018: A Resource for Developing Your Vision

Preparing for 2018: Prioritizing Fun

 

life curation

In Case of Emergency . . .

If you have never felt despair, frustration or sadness, then you may not need this post. In fact, if you’ve never felt these feelings, please leave a comment below: I’d love to know how you make that happen!

However, if you have experienced those emotions – or some other unhappy feelings – you may be able to relate to what I’m going to write.

Sometimes, you need QUICK relief. A temporary shot of relief can give you the boost that you need to keep going. It won’t take away every pain, but at least it’s a sort-of bandage: it’ll mend you for the time being.

In the midst of one of these dark times, I created an emergency self care kit.  The idea behind the kit was to put things in it that can give me relief when I need it most.

I made sure to select a beautiful box that would bring a smile to my face as soon as I saw it. I also wanted to make sure it would be large enough to accommodate all of the items that I intended to put inside.

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My kit contains tissues, a journal and pen, chamomile tea, hot chocolate, a mug for my tea, a copy of “Rejuvenate: It’s Never Too Late” by Eartha Kitt, some crystals, and photos of loved ones. There’s a lot of empty space in my box: I have plenty of room to add additional comforting items.

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Funny enough, I find that just looking at the box can create feelings of calm and relaxation. Crazy how that works.

Would you ever consider making a self-care kit? Let me know in the comments below!

 

life curation · relaxation

Currently Listening To …

I was JUST talking about my love of Oprah yesterday (in my Words of Wisdom post). So it should be no surprise that I’m currently listening to pretty much every episode of the SuperSoul Conversations podcast (I listen on iTunes, but it’s also available on iHeartRadio, Podbean and Podbay .

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I love being able to listen to SuperSoul Sunday without having to be physically located by a television set. I also love that I can have little bits of inspiration everywhere that I go.

My current fave episodes are the ones with Phil Jackson, Iyanla Vanzant and former Vice President Joe Biden. I’ve listened to each of them more than once, as I try to glean all of the wisdom that they offered.

 Do you all have any favorite podcasts? Let me know all about them in the comments below!

life curation

So, What’s Next?

Happy Monday, friends! As you all know, yesterday marked 100 posts on Bronze Butterfly. I’m excited to have reached such an epic milestone, and even more excited that I got to share it with you all!

There’s only one question remaining:

What’s next?

I have a few things I’m mulling over as the year comes to a close. And honestly, I’m keeping an open mind and remaining flexible because I don’t know where this journey will take me. I used to have such a big list of things that I wanted to accomplish but even as I ticked things off of that list, I still had this gnawing feeling that I was unsatisfied.

Simply “accomplishing” things wasn’t enough to give me REAL satisfaction.

So I’ve got a list that I’ll share at the end of the year, but I’m confident that my happiness doesn’t depend on getting those things or having those experiences.

I create my happiness. Every day I choose it consciously.

And I’m so glad that each of you will be able to see it on this blog!

If you have some time today (or at any time this week), ask yourself, “What’s next?” And then be open to wherever you’re guided.  Remember,

 

“You never get it done and you can’t get it wrong” (Abraham Hicks)

life curation

Preparing for 2018: Prioritize Fun

Oh, you thought that the Preparing for 2018 series was done? Not hardly, mes amis!

Despite all of the more “serious” posts in the Preparing for 2018, I want it to be clear that preparing for the upcoming year is FUN! You should be enjoying this process. If you aren’t having fun, then it’s time to prioritize fun and indulge in it regularly. The best way to get what you want – in an enjoyable manner – is to approach it all with a sense of fun and hopefulness.

I mean, you could work hard, hate making certain moves, and eventually get to the end goal that you desire. Lots of people trudge their way to their goals, and embracing extraordinary difficulties is often praised in our culture (so much so, I’ve seen people go out of their way to make things harder for themselves!).  I’ve seen the notion that the only way to have an “authentic” journey, worthy of a grand goal at the finish line, is to experience many pains and hardships, along with zero happiness as you make those critical moves.

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But how much nicer is it when you punctuate your journey with joy, levity and adventure? Every day may not be a party, but we’re shooting for, at minimum, periodically pleasant. Having some fun can often give you the push you need to keep going forward with your plans.

And if your plans are constantly depressing, draining, or drudgery, it’s time for new dreams. Seriously. Sometimes what we want has changed and we don’t even know it. Or, we’ve invested so much to get to this point that we’re afraid that we’ll lose everything if we switch gears.

Only you can answer whether your investment (of time, energy, finances or other resources) is worth continued misery. For some, a short period of misery may be worth it. But sometimes, it’s better to scrap the entire plan and start over.

In any case, start prioritizing fun. Remember to do things that make you laugh, warm your heart, or give you a sense of satisfaction.

And do it TODAY. Tomorrow is promised to no one.