Annual ABCs of GRATITUDE

It’s that time of year once again- a time of thanks, of gratitude, of…. WAIT- isn’t that everyday?! You’re D A M N R I G H T. Even though some days are more difficult than others, I do strive to take mindful moments throughout and notice what I’m grateful for. Sometimes that consists of jotting things down in my notebook and really contemplating. And sometimes it looks like me crashing in my bed after a shit-hole day and just being grateful I made it through.

When I was diagnosed in 2016, I was inspired… ok, really, I was bored in chemo and just trying to pass the time… to do a spin off of my usual ABC lists I had typically used to help me fall asleep at night… oh, and that one time used to keep my mind busy while large biopsy needles were inserted into my massive prego boobs. So to continue with my thankful and grateful traditions, I’ve put together my annual ABC’s of Gratitude again.

I always find it funny to look back and see what has changed, what’s similar and what is the same… word. for. word. That shit’s pretty weird. See for yourself. I guess new years, same me! 2016 2017 2018

Annnnnd new year, same sweatshirt if you went back the 2016 post

Quick reminder, these are things I am truly grateful for, no matter how big or small they seem. And since it’s my game, I make the rules. Here we go! {In my best Mario Kart voice}

A- Audiobooks From The Library

B- Be Well Yoga for Cancer Recovery & Bubble Baths

C- Community

D- Disney +

E- Edibles

F- Family, Friends & F-Bombs

G- My Mini-Herb Garden

H- Health, Home, & Those Damn Cute Hummingbirds

I- Incense & Intentions

J- Jobs I Truly Enjoy Showing Up To

K- A Sig-O Who Is Incredible In The Kitchen

L- L O V E

M- The Moon & Movie Quotes

N- Notes… Sticky Notes, Note Pads, Phone Notes, Notebooks

O- Other People Sharing Their Stories

P- Pete-Doggy-Dog

Q- Quite Time

R- Rain & Rainbows

S- Safe Spaces & Sweatpants

T- Our Tiny Humans

U- That ‘Vintage’ Episode of Sesame Street With Smokey Robinson Singing To The Letter U

V- Vehicles That Allow Us To Safely Get From Place To Place

W- White Vinegar… What Can I Say, I Really Enjoy Cleaning

X- X-tra Hot Showers

Y- Yoga Practices & My Young C Pals

Z- Zoloft

Wishing you all Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you, Thank you (I just told the kids you HAVE to say thank you twice on Thanksgiving) for reading and for being so rad. I am grateful for ALL of you!

And if you feel like putting it out there, tell me- What are you grateful for? 🍁

Soul Seeds // Kickstarter

Today. Is. The. D A Y !

The Soul Seeds // Affirmation Deck is officially live on Kickstarter! So what does this mean? Basically, this campaign will allow me to see how many people are truly interested in the work I’ve done. On the Kickstarter page, there are several ways for people to help support and fund the project and it’s also a way to “pre-order” the deck. Once the project gets fully backed, I will be able to send the cards to print and that’s where it gets super exciting! All these months of hard work, learning, starting over… and over, loss of sleep (to be real, I don’t really sleep anyways), will all be worth it!

NOTE: If you choose to support this project, you will not be charged until the the end of the Kickstarter campaign, only if the the goal is met.

So, now you might be asking- “Why Affirmations?”

Positive affirmations have had a great impact on my life over the last several years.  And I’ve found that repeating positive phrases with intention and trust has ultimately helped get me out of some seriously shitty head space… losing my parents, a cancer diagnosis while pregnant, persistent anxiety… and most recently, preparing myself for a sudden appendectomy.  It wasn’t an overnight success but speaking kindly and supportively to myself eventually became natural and comforting. {As it should be, right?!)  And it turned out, all of these difficult moments became the inspiration for Soul Seeds // Affirmation Deck and created a tangible way to be able to share this inner magic with others.

Top Left: The Day Before Diagnosis, Top Right: Mid-Chemo Treatments, Bottom: Gang's All Here
Top Left: The Day Before Diagnosis, Top Right: Mid-Chemo Treatments, Bottom: Gang’s All Here

Initially, I tried to get someone else to create this deck.  It didn’t cross my mind that I would be capable of learning Photoshop & Illustrator or get past the fear of being vulnerable enough to really put myself out there.  But hell, here we are!

HOW I USE AFFIRMATIONS

I tend to write affirmations down that serve me in that moment (that moment being an hour, a day, a week, a month… whatever- you get it).  I carry them around in my purse on sticky notes, create reminders on my phone which pop up at random times, scribble them in my planner, I repeat them in my head and often use them as intentions during my yoga practice. I also love offering affirmation cards at the beginning of each yoga class I teach to remind my students just how rad each individual truly is.  Of course, there are no hard rules for positive self affirmations- only what works and feels right for you. 

SO WHAT IS A POSITIVE AFFIRMATION?

Simply put, they are positive words, phrases, and statements that are used to challenge negative thoughts.  They can motivate and boost low self-esteem or encourage an overall positive shift in your life. They can help to decrease stress and increase feelings of self worth.  Affirmations are designed to alter the beliefs we have about ourselves so that we think more positively. Personally, I truly believe that our thoughts create our actions and our actions create our reality. Because, if we’re constantly inundating ourselves with negative thoughts, we will take negative actions (or lack of action)… thus creating our reality. So just imagine the beauty that can come about from speaking kindly to ourselves.

ABOUT THE DECK

  • 52 Card Deck
  • 90mm X 90mm Square Cards
  • 400GSM {The Thickest Cardstock Offered}
  • Matte Lamination
  • Sturdy Two-Piece Storage Box

A FEW WAYS TO GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR CARDS:

Feel It

Connection is key.  You don’t want to just grab at any affirmation. Or jack your pal’s affirmation of choice if it doesn’t really speak to you. You feel me?

Say It As If It Already Is

The most important part of this practice- at least as I believe- is that your affirmations are worded in the present- as if they/you already ‘are’.  For example, if you are wanting to channel inner strength, you would say “I am filled with strength and courage” instead of “I will be strong”. 

Short and Sweet 

Keep it short and to the point so that you’ll actually be able to remember and reference back to it.   

Let It Happen 

If you try to force it, you may resent it.  Not just affirmations… but so many things in life.  Let the practice of affirming become a natural and organic part of your day.  Trusting in the process and repeating them daily will help to reprogram your mind in a positive manner. 

Think Positive

Be specific to what you do want instead of what you don’t want.  Our subconscious tends to skip words like not, don’t, won’t. An example of this would be “I radiate positivity” instead of “I won’t be a total bitchwad today”. 

Trust

If you are pulling an affirmation card from a deck, close your eyes and take a couple of breaths.  Trust that whichever card you pull is the card that is meant for you in that moment. If a card ‘jumps out at you’ trust that you are absolutely meant to have this card.

Breathe. Affirm. Repeat.

Give yourself a moment to quiet the mind and connect with your breath.  Read or say your affirmation out loud, paying close attention to each word, how they resonate, observing any emotions or sensations that arise. 

Above are only recommendations as to how you can work with your affirmations but the truly joyous part is that YOU get to choose what works best for you!

Checkout the Kickstarter campaign here!

**This project would never have made it this far without the help of my friend Blaire. She believed in me from the very beginning (aka when I tried to convince her to make this deck) and continues to believe in me and guide me throughout this crazy creative process and project. Blaire- there are never going to be enough words for me to express my gratitude. Other than- bitches do indeed love nebulas.

***Fun Fact: The night I texted to Blaire that I thought she and another specific friend should make an affirmation deck, she immediately responded that her and said friend were actively working on an oracle deck- which turned out PHENOMENAL! You can check it out here: The Threads of Fate

T H R E E YEARS!

Today marks 3 years since I got the call confirming what I already knew… And what we all now know.

What I didn’t know at that time was- What would happen to the baby growing inside of me? What would my husband and 1 year old do if something happened to me? How would I choose to handle the news? And I definitely did not comprehend how dramatically my life and outlook on life would change.  

That call obviously shook my world and the world of my family and friends.  And I often wonder if baby Wyatt could feel it too.  But after speaking with my team of doctors, my first concern was addressed.  The baby in my belly would be perfect… and he is. Sometimes a perfect pain in the keister but still perfect.

And thankfully I am still here to witness the great father John is to our little humans. And I get to see Harlon growing up to be an amazing child. AND it turns out, I handled the diagnosis and what followed pretty OK.  Of course, I had and continue to have my shit days.  And my complete shit days.  And my “I’m never leaving my bed because life isn’t fair” shit days. But I try to keep a positive outlook as often as possible (while giving myself permission to throw the occasional pity party). And I remind myself that I get to choose if I walk around miserable and mean or if I want to choose to look at the positives and radiate joy.

This way of thinking is not for everyone, I get that.  And I have never tried to push my views on life onto anyone else.  I mean, we all get to walk our own paths.  But I remember reading a quote by another survivor right after I was diagnosed which said “Breast cancer can change you, but the change can be beautiful”.  I have tried to wholeheartedly embody that idea by looking for the beauty even when it seems to be pure shit surrounding me.

I know I don’t post very often about my story anymore.  But it’s not because I am “all better” or “over it”, but it’s because I am busy living this life I’ve been blessed with, spending my time with the people I love and who spark pure joy in my heart.  This disease has taught me what is important and what is not, where I want to focus my energy and where I can let go.  I am busy with my family, teaching yoga, supporting others who’ve been diagnosed, working on projects… all with the goal to leave the world better and more joyous than I found it and to be the light for others when the darkness tries to consume them.

Truthfully, anxiety still haunts me, as it always has.  And I’m not sure if I’ll ever get past the feeling of ‘running out of time’.  But life continues to be put into perspective and it’s nice to know we are all in this together…

So cheers to many, MANY, M A N Y more years to come!