June Mood: Sunny Disposition

As a child, I used to look at summer as a break from my daily responsibilities. It was when I could be free to come and go as I pleased, eat ice cream handed out by people who probably shouldn’t have been allowed to operate ice cream trucks, and escape reality into movies and books. I have been, and always will be, a warm weather child looking for the safest place to nap under a tree. I’m still channeling that kid who ran around in a swimming suit most days, but now the freedom I’m chasing is a bit more intentional and focused on a goal. That might sound counter-intuitive, as freedom is supposed to be all about eschewing plans, but as I really start to marinate in my 30’s I have discovered the joys of acting with intention in all things.

For some of us, freedom is frightening. For me, it’s a recipe for disaster. Without a goal, a journey, a prize, I start to flounder, and inevitably become upset with myself. For a long time I was aimless, and as a result, truly joyless. I didn’t see a point to most things and my primary concern was instant gratification wherever I could get it. I’m only now realizing how trauma, and the fear it instilled in me at a young age, has hindered me from being able to do things with not only intention, but confidence.

Every day is an opportunity to grow, if we’re lucky. So, I’m looking at summer as a continuation of the work and growth, not a break from it all. And you know what? It’s been a joy.

Now, on to the only two things for this month’s moody post. First, a beautiful piece of art that is a reminder I need to see every day. This piece is by Tyler Feder of the Roaring Softly shop on Etsy.

Anxious Girls are Brave Print Hand-Illustrated by roaringsoftly

Last, but never least, is a great video by The School of Life on “How to Overcome Trauma”. I post their videos so much (I know), because I love the clarity of their advice. It’s been a helpful tool for me as I continue to move with intention through my days and goals. This particular video arrived literally right on time for me and I hope you feel the same after watching. You can read their blog post with the video’s transcript, and other related content, {here}. Enjoy!

 

May Moods: Shameless Beauty

Sigh. It’s beach season, which means it’s right about time to be inundated with ads trying to subtly encourage us to starve ourselves, remove hair from every nook and cranny, and try to conform to very rigid standards of acceptable beauty. Sure, modern advertisements aren’t as overt with the messaging as they were in the past, and they’ve even adopted a code of body positivity, but the messaging remains the same: you’re not yet good enough as you are.

The parameters for beauty are arbitrary at best, dumb as hell at worst, and dangerous as all get out. When I was a young girl, I used to spend the morning and evening staring at my face and body, wishing I could change just about everything. I did crunches until my ribs hurt, pinched my nose to see how it would look straight and slim, and prayed I would grow to look like Aaliyah (which obviously never happened). I used to overhear my mother lamenting her looks, spent playtime with friends dissecting our features, and was very often told I looked like a boy – the worst thing a girl could hear in those days. All of these moments hinge on the unhealthy obsession with beauty we’re preached about from cradle to grave. Without beauty – the right kind of beauty – a woman has nothing.

Or so we were told.

What if we started seeing ourselves as works of art? And who would stop us if we adorned and honored ourselves for every crooked bend, lump, freckle, inconsistency and bit of cosmic weird? I’ve felt left down by the overwhelming symmetry and whiteness of the body positivity movement, where it seems the closer you are to the standard, the higher the likelihood of your acceptance. Being prettily different is the name of that game, and it just doesn’t work for me. I would rather hold onto the ways we make ourselves feel beautiful and how we present our unique magic to the world – perceived “ugliness” included.

This May I’m investigating what it means to be delicate and how it feels to be truly loved by the most important person in the room: myself. Through storm and cellulite, over mountains and across rivers of stretch marks, I am discovering the mysticism contained in my defiant reflection.

Beach season be damned.

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Shameless Maya
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Erato
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Stunning Adventure and Outdoor Photography by Jacob Nordin #photography #adventure #outdoor #landscape #travel
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Miyuwada
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Illustration & Design
Cynthia Kittler
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I’m so into these Miss Moti comics by body-positive artist Kripa Joshi, I can’t stop posting them.
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EPIC!!!!
Bill Steber

Eyes On The Horizon

Spring is traditionally seen as a time of thawing, when the things we’ve buried in the snows of winter are released in the renewed warmth of the sun. Our bones creak out as we shake off the cobwebs of hibernation. We move easier, dream larger, and strive to complete the tasks that appeared insurmountable in the short daylight of the colder months. It is the dawn of our time.

I started this space one year ago, with a post about what self-care means to me, because there was a beating in my heart that I couldn’t ignore. It was the pull to create. The desire to make a space that felt good, and useful, and safe for anyone who stumbled upon it. So, I started doing the only thing that made sense – I wrote. It has been the best decision I’ve ever made.

And Then I Lived has pushed me to meet new people, discover new ways to take care of myself, and create the world I want to occupy. It has only been one year, but in that time I’ve thawed out a piece of myself that had been in hibernation for long enough. My space has a humble following, but if you are part of it in any way I want to thank you for coming along on this journey. I hope you’ll stick around for what comes next!

Today, in honor of Spring, I want to share some beautiful images which capture the essence of freedom I feel in the sunlight and when I’m writing. These monthly mood boards have been excellent tools for directing my goals and intentions. Organizing my thoughts has always been a struggle, but through this exercise I’m able to hone in on what I want to convey for the month. As I go forward with my space, I want this month to be focused on brightness, self-discovery, and fearlessness in any endeavor. I hope you find some inspiration among the images.

Onward, ho!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jonathan lipkin captures the ocean's fleeting nature in composite photo series

Sleep inside my Soul ღk

 

 

 

 

 

Media Links:

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What does Spring mean to you?

My March 2019 Mood Board Is For The Girls

I really and truly love being a woman. We rise to the occasion no matter the cost. Our bodies are at once battlegrounds and fertile soil, and our minds can conjure solutions to any puzzle thrown our way. We’re storytellers, soldiers, protectors, artists, scientists, stylists, mothers, and friends; what’s not to love about us?

My greatest defenders have been women. When I was so low the sun couldn’t reach me, I was pulled up and back into the light by the hands of women who dared to fight for a broken person. Thanks to them, I get to constantly rediscover the beauty of this life. Thanks to them, I get to reshape my world. That’s why today’s post – my March mood board – is dedicated to women.

Love us or hate us as you will, we’re not going anywhere.

jane austen.
Jane Austen
Solange
Samantha, Hel Looks
Samantha, Hel Looks
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Mermaid Crowns
Chelsea’s Flower Crowns

Single Fawn

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Kinuko Y. Craft

momoirostudies: “ [25.03.17] Better-late-than-never spread partly inspired by @smoinerd bc her spreads are just stunning 🌸 I don’t know if you can tell but I like flowers. ᕕ(✿ •◡•)ᕗ �

Floral Women's Baseball Cap. Hand Embroidered Flowers. Summer baseball cap. Womens hat. Gift for Women. Dad Hat. Gift for hiker.
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staycation ideas

F-ing beautiful!

Girly stuff, illustration by Inna Moreva @inna.moreva

Just ordered my copy of the latest @honeybenaturalmag #LettersToOurDaughters! I love the strength exuded by the young Queen on the cover and the messages inside are so powerful! Head over to HoneyBeeNatural.com to order yours AND read the digital version. #BuyBlack #SupportBlackBusiness
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Blueberrybucket
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@taryndraws
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Ode Chapter 1: Cover

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Captain Marvel
Zendaya for Lancome

Thank you for reading! Happy Women’s History Month!

My February 2019 Mood Board

February is only awesome for two reasons: Black History Month and not being January. Just hear me out on this, ok? Sure, January is all about new beginnings and all that jazz, but with the beginning of things comes tons of anxiety. Resolutions, expectations from others that are a little outrageous – I usually can’t wait for the month to be over with all those things swirling around my head. I think of February as a deep breath. If I’ve fallen behind on my goals, I take a breath. If I’m feeling scared about what’s to come in the rest of the year? Another breath. I’m working on looking at February as an opportunity to slow down, take stock of how I’m doing, and continue on as I see fit.

On to the content! Black History Month speaks for itself. You’re welcome for the peanut butter, traffic lights, Second Wave Feminism, and all the best types of music. Honestly, what’s not to celebrate? I’m eternally thankful for the people who came before me, so I look forward to celebrating in a way that’s socially acceptable for around 28 days. Thus, today’s mood board is a celebration of blackness, art, and re-visiting goals you might have fallen away from after the first of the year. Additionally, I want to continue to champion adventure in all its splendid forms! From channeling knighthood to organizing your space, this mood board is about shameless forward movement. I truly hope you enjoy the images I’ve compiled.

One final note: You might have noticed I didn’t mention Valentine’s Day. Aside from being a holiday created by Scorpios to create even more Scorpios (wink wink), it’s not really my bag. I prefer to do loving things with the people I care for as often as possible. Therefore, it isn’t a holiday that I look forward to, nor one that moves me.

Without further ado, the mood board! Enjoy!

Silver for monsters, Steel for humans | pinktofuart: another illustrated animation ! Had...
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It only takes a moment to turn someone's whole day around! �� - - - #quotes #prettyquotes #pretty #fae #fairy #faerie #aesthetic #happy #smile #soft #inspiration #motivationalquotes  #happy #sweet #pink #smilesarefree #fairywisdom #kindness #randomactsofkindness #raok #bekind #Regram via @BpirzHEH02z

Suffragette chronicles the struggle for the vote in Britain. It also brings to mind our own suffrage story.
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Everything You Need To Know Before Starting Your Locs
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some things will always sting

18 Beautiful Illustrated Inspirational Quotes Don’t be afraid of your first attempts. Be afraid of no attempts. What will you see when you step outside of the box? Believe it will be right. Awaken joy.Let your imagination soar. See the beauty in all you hear, touch and view. Speak kindly. Rejoice in the simple and …
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This little corner of my room has turned into quite the perfect little office space for me! I love sitting by the window and gettin’ stuff…
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m o n / / m a y 8  another history mindmap and a very yellow kanken
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