Visualize your highest self and start showing up as her.


To preface this post, I fully see the irony of my last blog post being on minimizing public exposure and then deciding to bare my soul, but humor me.

I have been going to therapy on and off for 8 years. That’s right, with today being my blog-iversary, that is the same 8 years that I have blogging on http://www.clearingpreppysname.com for, yet I don’t think therapy has ever come up before. There are probably several people in your life who utilize the support of a counselor or therapist to help them fight through the struggles they face everyday and you may not even realize it. For me, talk therapy has been extremely important when I reflect on the successes in my life; both big and small. I suffer from generalized anxiety and have been an obsessive compulsive perfectionist for my entire life… so admitting the imperfection that is needing help from someone else goes completely against my nature. But the time feels right to share, because although the prior 6 months that I wrote about in January were very challenging, the 6 weeks that have followed them have been utterly transformative.

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Once I stopped throwing myself a pity party and started taking responsibility wherever I could for the disappointing realities that I have faced, trying to view the negative circumstances as life lessons rather than a death sentence, I felt a major shift. Some of this was therapy, a lot of this was self-help books, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training program at work and motivational pinterest quotes. It feels incredible! I am not bettering myself out of spite, but rather bettering myself because I just remembered that I am responsible for my own happiness and nobody else is.  Why do so many of us walk around as if that is not true? Any power that I gave away to anyone else in the past was  a choice that I was making and sometimes it’s so much easier to play the victim so that is the deep dark hole that we, as a society, fall into. One of my favorite t-shirts that’s over a decade old has a faded quote from Eleanor Roosevelt on it, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Damn straight.

In one of my recent therapy sessions my counselor asked about a goal I have and how I would know if I was living my life as a 10 out of 10 as opposed to a 6 out of 10, etc. I had to describe how I would feel, what I would be doing, what I would be wearing and who I would be with. This isn’t the first time he asked me to visualize my best self and to describe everything about that dream, but it was the first time I understood why he was doing this and allowed myself to see the possibility of being that dream girl. With bills and stress to blame, I have spent a lot of my most recent adult years in survival mode and forgot what dreaming felt like. Once I verbalized the things I could be doing in my life to better myself, I also realized that I was making a conscious decision each day to do them or not. If I say I want to be my most authentic faith filled, caring and loving self, surrounded by like minded friends and family, then what is binge watching the Cheer documentary on Netflix* while eating Ben and Jerry’s alone doing to get me there? Why keep people in my life that aren’t moving me towards that goal? If I don’t like the way my body looks then why keep eating so much pasta?

6 out of 10 Allison is not the person that God wants me to be and so she’s not who I want to be. I have been immersing myself in audiobooks (I highly recommend Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb and Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan), following a better morning routine that includes reading my bible and making smoothies and increasing my practice time for line dancing in a conscious effort to do better. I have been smiling at people and waving first, because I feel that people are innately good and almost always respond similarly if only more people would initiate this behavior! I am seeking to understand when other people talk to me, rather than just seeking to be understood. I am listening.

The facts from 6 weeks ago are still the same: I’m still working at the bank. I’m still single. I’m still not a multi-millionaire.

But my outlook is different, because I’m dreaming again and I’m taking small steps towards my goal of being 10 out of 10 Allison. It’s so exciting!! What does your best self look like? I am visualizing my highest self and starting to show up as her.

Allison

*side note, it’s super entertaining and I totally recommend it.

 

Over online exposure


It has been a very long time since I blogged (almost a year) and I am nearly at a loss for words. This is ironic, even amusing, because a lot happened in my life during my absence.. a new job, death in my family, a break up.. but I am unsure of how to adapt those experiences for online publication. I never felt this way when I would write on my site before, but perhaps the natural censorship and desire for privacy that comes along with adulthood has finally made its way into my online presence.

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I had a difficult time returning to my blog initially because my laptop crashed in May 2019 and I waited until October 2019 to purchase a new one, due to the financial burden and, quite frankly, lack of motivation. I spend 8+ hours a day on the computer at work, it was… dare I say… REFRESHING to be unable to spend even more time behind a screen. On the other hand this felt like an incredibly long hiatus to try and explain once I did have a laptop in my possession again, especially when every other influencer I followed seemed to be posting consistently. Successful bloggers and media gurus rarely expose the strain that can come along with publicly documenting so much of your life. There can be unwelcome opinions and pain from rehashing life events in front of a less than forgiving audience, that gets to hide behind the cloak of anonymity. I hope that by divulging that I have been struggling with putting out content over the past year and deciding against exposing some of my life events online another influencer will feel less ashamed for taking time off as well.

In November I made the decision not to renew my website’s hosting services, after a costly and frustrating experience with HostMetro. This decision led to my previously designed Headway layout being incompatible with WordPress’ free hosting and ultimately left me feeling disappointed. I lost my Clearing Preppy’s Name logos and branding with their cursive pink writing and pearls, as well as my clearingpreppysname@gmail email address that was hacked, giving some cyberbot contacts and connections I spent years establishing. These were symbols of my blog’s identity for just under a decade.

When I did consider writing online again I was somewhat embarrassed and kept thinking “What are my goals for this post?”  and “What am I trying to address?” instead of just ranting about whatever would come to mind like I had previously. Writing mindlessly was a wonderful escape for me and I thankfully didn’t abandon it all together, rather I switched to good old fashioned pen and paper during my time away from my blog.. keeping journals stuffed to the brim with the rants and emotional documentation of the highs and lows of the past 6 months instead. Arguably, I should have been keeping these records for myself since the formation of my site, maybe even instead of publishing it all for the online world to see. Thankfully I don’t think there’s anything too exposing out there, minus embarrassing photos and over-exaggerated opinions on preppy fashion. With a new mindset now I wonder if I have forgotten how to write publicly without considering who will be reading it though. This might not be a bad thing. The youthful naivety that once allowed me to openly post my thoughts and opinions has been slightly tainted by life lessons, but I don’t regret them. I’m just learning more about myself and my needs. I am so glad I didn’t stop writing overall, but the writing is now just for myself, as it’s an incredibly therapeutic creative outlet for me. And I simply am not willing to share everything online anymore.

 

Celebrating Galentines Day with Buffalo Gal Organics


I love lipstick. I am notorious for wearing bright shades of pink and red and coral, all year long. If I take the time to think about it, I hate that I have no idea what’s in my lipstick though. When it comes to many of the beauty products I use I plead ignorance as to what I am actually putting on my body… Unfortunately after talking with the owner of Buffalo Gal Organics Kasia Cummings I learned that I am not alone in my naive approach to beauty products and the chemicals we expose ourselves to.

Years ago Kasia’s daughter Erin suffered from rashes after using hand sanitizer frequently at school, such a commonplace formula made up of unpronounceable chemicals, that were causing her to break out in rashes. Maybe it was motherly instinct, maybe it was her background as a medicinal chemist, but regardless the hives and skin reaction drove Kasia to concoct a lotion to treat her daughter’s redness and pain. She described this experience as the catalyst that launched her towards making the high quality cruelty free, plant based organic skincare products that Buffalo Gal Organics prides themselves on today.

There is a community of strong successful women behind the doors of Buffalo Gal. When they invited myself and 4 other local bloggers into the store last Saturday for a “Galentines” party I noted a common theme (besides pink glitter and hearts!!) almost immediately. Whether I was speaking with Kristine Koch, licensed esthetician, Brittany Fruchtel massage therapist (I highly recommend her!) or Graciel Evenstorm, floral curator and tea extraordinaire, each specialist emphasized their concern with helping people to make better choices.

I had a skin consultation with Kristine of Nickel City Skin Care where she asked me about my goals for my skin and what products I am currently using to reach them. I laid down on her table and she examined my face under a black light, where she walked me through it with brand new eyes; pointing out oily patches, early signs of aging and black spots on my nose that I always shrugged off as unchangeable black heads. She recommended that I use their Skin Renew Cleanser 2-3 times a week in shower for 5-15 minutes and explained that the hyaluronic acid might be just what my skin needs. I have only used the cleanser twice since leaving the shop, but it smells and feels great! I’m going to make an appointment for a facial treatment with her next. Learning about the “science of beautiful” from each of these ladies was so interesting and informative!

Graciel, of the Soul in Bloom, and I had bonded quickly when I visited the store in the spring, sharing a common love of tea and flowers. We picked up where we left off when she started talking to me about how I could use teas to change my life. She asked about what I am experiencing or need in my life and my mind immediately went to a solution for my anxiety (read my last post for a little insight on that). Graciel gave me a loose leaf herbal tea blend of rose and peppermint, intended to help me relax. I like having this healthy option that tastes delicious, to calm down with.

Our Galentine’s Party included That Vegan Baking Betch sugar cookies, Papercraft Miracles homemade valentines and great company, but it was the education that I left with that really sticks out in my mind. I didn’t feel like anyone was trying to sell me anything, I felt like these hard working women wanted to help determine how to make my life better! What better way to celebrate Valentines Day, than by showing yourself and your skin, the love that you deserve? On that note I just booked myself a rose oil massage with Brittany… until next time ❤