Fear is my heart
in my throat
rattled by words I whine
Head in his hands, flying blind.
Hollow wind chimes
breed this dreamlike song,
but I know it only means a storm is coming.
He is the storm, I am the eye.
Primal are the cries of agony,
songs of my heart in overdrive.
Leave no trace; of what we leave behind.
Zakim Bridge | TD Garden lit up for the Grateful Dead (Nov 17, 2017)
Gear - Sony Alpha 7II, strap by Strapbyelroobs
Thinking about getting a fresh start for 2018? Read on for my guide to Traditions & Resolutions.
Clear Your Space
Last year I noticed a lot of material things in my place that were no longer “me”. Around the same time I discovered a documentary called Minimalism. It’s not for everyone but it inspired me to take a close look at what I had in my space and reevaluate what I needed. I made piles of things I wanted to donate or throw out and made a choice to live with less. Living simply has so many benefits; less to keep track of, less to maintain and more importantly, more energy to focus on things that are actually important to you. Our everyday lives can be complicated so having a place that is your own habitual sanctuary is a good way to enhance your quality of life.
Beacon Chic’s Space Clearing Tips:
1.) Only keep things you use, need or love.
2.) If you are unsure about something, put it in a corner and go about your life for a week (if you go back to grab it, it’s something you may want to keep but if you don’t touch it, you can probably let it go).
3.) Feel good about donating. You are doing a positive thing. Know that someone in the world may need it more than you.
Put Your Favorites on Repeat
When your space is clear, you have a canvas for a clear mindset. A simplified living situation enabled me to develop new traditions that were more true to the person I had become. One realization I had is that traditions don’t have to be for other people, they can be little rituals you do for yourself. The key to finding your perfect collection of traditions is trying new things and seeing what you like. Traditions should be sentimental but they are not obligations, if they no longer suit you, adjust accordingly.
Some of my favorite traditions:
1.) French manicures at my favorite salon.
2.) Home workouts on weekend mornings.
3.) Cake for breakfast on my birthday (preferably in bed).
Keep Getting Better At It
Think of what you’ve accomplished in the past year, what you want to accomplish in the coming year, and create action items that merge the two. The most effective resolutions are ones that are aspirational but attainable. When I think back on 2017, I think of times when I said no to going places or doing things because I needed a break. Similar to clearing my space, but more about simplifying my lifestyle. What I’m looking forward to in 2018 is combining simplicity, tradition and some fun new adventures in the mix.
My New Year’s Resolution for this year:
L i v e M o r e !
Overall, I want to say yes to new experiences and broaden my skillsets.
A few ideas I have are things like go skiing, take a boxing class, and start a YouTube channel.
Others are directional like capturing great photos around New England, getting more fit and planning a few trips. I’m looking forward to showing my experiences of living more here on beacon chic and I hope you enjoy following along. What are you looking forward to accomplishing this year?
About the Photos: A little bit of the post is inspired by my Christmas Tree this year. I took out my lights and ornaments and for some reason, the ornaments felt tired and too reminiscent of old traditions. Instead of using them anyway or rushing out to get new ornaments for the sake of getting ornaments - I decorated with a simple strand of lights and a gold star at the top. It was actually one of my favorite trees I've had. Next year, I'll make a point to wrap up the ornaments and donate them to a family in need so that they can bring joy to someone else.
Big thank you to Riverway Studios for her help with the photos. If reading this post inspired you to clear your space and you want beautiful artwork for your wall check out her shop!
I've been thinking about love..
the kinds we feel
and how with each person, its different.
Times I thought I was in love
love was an attachment, dependence.
And when it disconnects,
a part of you goes missing.
A memory shared is gone.
And the more that happens,
the more we hold back
on giving love
because we are afraid of losing it.
So I thought about transient love.
and instead of worrying about the love I had lost,
or the pains of the love I had to give.
To just f e e l l o v e in the moment.
About the Photos - I set out with no subject in mind. NYC is a cool backdrop for capturing interactions of people in transit. I like to imagine stories of love in these photos.
Gear - Sony Alpha 7II, strap by Strapsbyelroobs.
"Henry has imagination, an animal feeling for life, the greatest power of expression and truest genius I have ever known. "our age has need of violence," he writes. And he is violence..."
An excerpt from one of my favorite novels, Henry and June by Anais Nin.
I have a lot more from this but day just a few for now. I had never been to the Cliff Walk before; it was such a naturally beautiful place. Overcast skies make for some of the best photos in my opinion.
Snapped a few photos of Jen before a holiday party this week.
[ Sony Alpha 7II, 12.07.17 ]
We live in our own bodies, but there are times when outside influences can impact how we view our body image (both negatively and positively). The better we understand how these influences can affect us, the better we can react to them. Everyone’s experiences are different but these are a few that impacted my body image and how I learned to change my reaction to them. My hope is that reading this may help others reflecting on their own body image.
[ Restriction ]
Ballet was a big part of my life growing up. We wore tights & leotards and practiced in front of a mirror 10+ hours a week which made me feel a lot of pressure to be thin. I reacted to this pressure negatively by depriving myself in hopes of becoming thinner. I aimed to eat no more than 1000 calories a day which led to overeating impulsively, along with angst towards my body (would not recommend).
turn negative to positive by E a t i n g W e l l
I try not to associate food with calories, counts, being “good” or “bad”. Feeding my body well means I have energy for working out and getting stronger. When you think of eating well, think of these two things… WHAT you eat, HOW you eat.
WHAT you eat - Feeding your body well can mean different things to different people but for me it means water, protein, carbs/grains, fruits, vegetables and *treats* as needed. I group my “approved foods” into categories; breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner and then rotate week over week so I don’t get sick of things.
HOW you eat - Eating well takes planning. Plan what you are going to buy, bring your meals/snacks with you, and keep track of times when you are planning to go “off path”. Failing to plan makes me more susceptible to making impulsive food choices so planning is just as important as what I decide to eat. I bring a list to the grocery store and stick to it. I bring my food on-the-go and that’s what I choose to have.
Have a positive relationship with food! You are absolutely in control of what you put in your mouth. The more consistently you eat well, the better you feel, and the more it becomes second nature.
[ Comparisons ]
Social media highlights carefully curated moments (perfect body, makeup, clothes, vacations etc). The pressure to look good is something that I think many women struggle with today. When I rediscovered fitness I’d see photos on IG that made me think “I wish I could look like that” and it bummed me out. The bottom line is, you can’t be someone else. Use social media as inspiration but not to dictate your own path or timeline.
turn negative to positive by B e l i e v i n g i n Y o u r O w n F i r e
Look in the mirror and find features that you like about yourself and emphasize those. Identify health and fitness goals that are attainable for you and make that your focus. Track your progress, celebrate your successes. You don’t know what’s behind someone else’s photo (hair/makeup, filters, photoshop, etc). The best you can do is wake up everyday and aim to be better than the person you were yesterday. Believe that you are fire in your own way. Also know that fire isn’t just about what you look like to others, it’s the positive energy you exude when you are confident and happy with yourself.
[ Sharing Yourself ]
I mean a few things by “sharing yourself”… 1) your presence online, (stories, snaps, photos), 2) your actual physical presence (going on a date or being intimate with someone).
I used to post more photos of myself online because I felt like it was part of my fitness journey but after a while, people would have false expectations that because I showed my body in photos that they were somehow entitled to see my body. Showing your body does not translate to sexuality. Personally, I was developing strength and confidence (see above: believing in my own fire) and photos were part of documenting that. But some people couldn’t relate to the context and assumed that I was looking for attention or “acting provocatively”.
turn negative to positive by P r o t e c t i n g Y o u rs e l f
It took a lot of hard work to get where I am; work that I’m not about to let another person compromise. You have to protect yourself from other people’s perception if it has the potential to impact you negatively, which is why I generally share less on social media or just share with people who understand me as a person. Don’t be afraid to remove people from your life if they no longer are part of your journey. Health and fitness have absolutely changed my life, does everyone understand that? No. Do they need to understand that? No. If someone no longer shares your vision be empowered to remove them from your life. On physical presence, connections are an 'act of trust' so trusting someone with your body is part of it. When you trust your body with people who don’t respect you you are giving them the opportunity to hurt your body confidence. Don’t put yourself in situations where someone can take your hard work and break it down.
In conclusion… Notice when I spoke about negative experiences those were visual cues, but when I talked about turning negative to positive - those were feelings? Body image doesn’t have to be about how you look, body image can be just as much about how you feel (such as strong, confident and in control). I think back on times I felt bad about my body because I was thinking about how it looked to other people. But over time I’ve learned to love my body for how it makes *me* feel everyday. I am so grateful that I rediscovered weight-lifting and that it has made me a stronger person. I’m a big fan of cooking and enjoying food. I protect my mind and my heart because they too can be the strongest or weakest parts of my body.
I love my body for all of the things it can do and especially, the joy it brings me when I dance! Ask yourself, what do you love your body for and how could you love it more?
Photo Credit: Huge thank you to my friend Laura of Riverway Studios. She is very artistic and does a lot of ballet-inspired illustrations so I knew she would be the perfect person to capture these photos.
I’ve always kept a diary or a notebook of some sort. Writing helps clear my head and is a way for me to process the past, present and future. More times than not writing has come pretty naturally to me.
Writing for an audience is another thing entirely. In many ways, it feels like writing for a class, putting something out there and giving others the opportunity to have an opinion on something that is significant to you.
I guess that’s what social media is - posting moments that were once just our own and making them accessible for anyone to see, critique, compliment, praise, etc. It can be a positive thing, because I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration from social media but I have this feeling personally, that when I share a personal moment on social media it no longer feels like just my own.
Over the past year I would post things I liked (on my personal account or other social media platforms) and people’s comments or opinions discouraged me from posting. I was also told to remove posts because they were “unbecoming” or “portraying the wrong image.”
I don’t write this because I feel like I have to explain myself, but I do think it takes a lot of courage to truly be yourself. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past three or so years working on my personal growth and I want my photos and writing to reflect that.
So, on to New York City!
I stayed in the Lower East Side at the Hotel Indigo. I’ve stayed in a bunch of hotels in New York and this was one of my favorites so far. It has a boutique feel but its part of the Intercontinental group so still a little corporate (in a good way, I appreciate the consistency that comes with chain hotels). They have a nice lobby, amazing coffee just across the street at Ludlow Coffee Supply, and I mysteriously got a room with a terrace (I’ll take it).
I didn’t have much time so just checked out a few places. I’d never actually been to Brooklyn before so I linked up with a friend and we visited the Brooklyn Bridge, Washington Street - DUMBO, and Green-Wood Cemetery.
Brooklyn Bridge and Washington Street are tourist-gimmes but Green-Wood was pretty cool too. There weren’t many people there because… who goes to a cemetery for fun but I appreciated the serenity as compared to the hustle and bustle of Brooklyn.
Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend,
Up before the sun
his hands deliberate, eyes steady
soothe the animal in me
sun peeks in.
and birds that sing
swinging in open air
'til he goes again.
Looking back back for my tall tree;
back to the one that holds me.
This was the day after my birthday so it sort of felt like a part 2 of my birthday.
It was an early wake up to get to Minot Beach by 5:25am sunrise...
Minot Beach is one of my favorite places. My friend set up a tripod to get some landscape shots and I relaxed on a towel with my feet in the sand.