Self Care Central

When I left New York nearly a year ago to live on the road, I was in search of something. I wanted clarity, but I didn't know how to get it. I needed a change, but I wasn't sure of what magnitude or in which direction I should go to obtain it. Armed with a little fear and a lot of faith, I put one foot in front of the other and stepped off a proverbial cliff.

Cut to San Francisco, our first stop. I was a fish out of water. I'd moved to NYC fresh from college; I never lived anywhere else as an adult. In SF, we were staying in an apartment complex between Hayes Valley and the Tenderloin and I was trying to find my footing as a new freelancer. It was weird. I missed my Vogue coworkers. I wasn't sure how to drum up new work on my own yet. So what if I cried through an entire rainy weekend while binge watching One Mississippi on Amazon?

By the time we reached L.A. a few weeks later, I'd begun to find a rhythm. A routine was coming more naturally and new work projects were in motion. From there on out, the rest of the tour was a marathon of efforts--to stay positive, buoyant, leaving behind things I didn't need (physically and figuratively), and powering through our week-to-week travel schedule with my head above water.

Things were changing even though I didn't know it at the moment. I was creating space for myself. For the first time in years I could hear my thoughts. I was learning to focus my energy differently. But still, I found myself completely unhinged when it came to matters of the future. I obsessed over ways we could get ahead of potential failures. I thought I was being strategic, but in reality I was just spinning a hamster wheel of fear, negativity, and unnecessary self doubt.

Then I got my soul tattoo. It was as though I'd been given a marker, a starting point for new transformation and permission to go create more change. (Why we seek permission to live our lives, I do not know, but it's something I'm working on.) What resonated with me about the experience--and continues to resonate--is the idea of tapping into one's true self (ego and expectation aside) and beginning the journey to understand one's true calling.

Since then, I've been eager to get my hands on as many blogs, podcasts, and pieces of literature that can continue to serve me on this journey to a more intentional, mindful life. These are a few resources that I've come upon lately that have been constant reminders and sources of inspiration for a cleaner, happier, more mindful approach to living.

deenie hartzog-mislock at the beach

Free & Native

Ashley Glynn, the lovely sprite of woman who administered my path-altering tarot reading and soul tattoo, told me about Lacey Phillips and her blog. Lacey is a manifestation coach, and while I have not seen her for an appointment, I love her posts about manifestation, as it is an entirely new practice for me.

Josh Radnor

Yes, you know him as Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother. In case you haven't been keeping up with him, Josh is doing inspiring work as a spiritual seeker, kindness advocate, and positive force in the film & television industry. I especially like this article he wrote for the L.A. Times about kindness. And if you're into what Josh has to say, check out his You Made It Weird episode with Pete Holmes and Katie Dalebout's interview with him on Let It Out

The Power of Now

Full disclosure: I am still slogging through this book. It hasn't been easy to wrap my head around, but it contains a wealth of insight about how much control we give to our non-beneficial egos, ways to be more present in every moment, and how to work towards shedding the emotions and self-inflicted obligations that do not serve us. Up next on my list is The Untethered Soul.

Years of Advice I Have Ignored

A long time ago, I was going through what I now believe to be an early Saturn Return, but at the time I was just acting like a selfish idiot and floundering in my career. A good friend of mine (and I have had so many patient, amazing friends--you know who you are [thank you]) told me, "Hold yourself with compassion." This expression made no sense to me. In fact, it kind of annoyed me. There it was, an amorphous idea that I could not grasp, floating in front of my face.

Then one day, I hit a big emotional pothole. I'd been making poor decisions with other people's feelings and I was tired of myself. At times I felt wholly disgusted by my own reflection. After I'd relegated myself to a dark hole of self pity for being the heinous human I thought I was, it hit me: compassion. Maybe if I was a little kinder to myself--not just in this scenario, but in life--that I'd be a little kinder to everyone else. Maybe I ought to stop running from whatever fears and insecurities I have yet to realize (because they manifest themselves unconsciously in my bad behavior), and start confronting them. Maybe I should start this journey and have a little patience with myself. Things could only go up from here.

I carry around this mantra, along with other small, mindful meditations on life daily. When I'm anxious, worried, and falling into the terrible habit I have of creating problems that don't yet exist, I remind myself, "If it doesn't serve you, let it go." These are daily struggles. Sometimes hourly. But I figure if I use my energy to constantly make myself more aware, intentional, and mindful of myself and the world around me, isn't that better than using my energy to create problems and generate negativity? It's a journey, and I hope it's far from over.

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