A terribly wise person once said, “You are the things you do every day.”
On the upside, this means that I’m a husband-cuddler, early-morning exerciser, and have a daily gratitude practice.
On the downside, it also means I’m a laundry procrastinator, have a terrible sweet tooth and waste a lot of time distracted on the internet when I’m not careful.
Our daily routines are vital opportunities for self-care and self-love.
We’re all creatures of habit — and our habits define us. So … what if we stopped going on “autopilot,” and instead made the very most of our daily routines and rituals? What if we infused them with luxurious awareness and self-love? What if, every single day, we took an extra moment or two to love ourselves?
Slowly but surely, we’d feel happier.
More loved and more loving.
Just because we carved out five minutes a day to be a bit more intentional and a bit more kind to ourselves.
5 Ways to Work a Bit of Self-Love into Your Daily Life:
1. Apply your products with intention and love
Don’t just plop that lotion on your thighs with a shrug. Indulge in the best lotion or moisturizer you can — and consider a plush brush or sponge to apply it. As you rub it into your skin, think kind thoughts about yourself and your body. “I love you, feet. Thank you for carrying me where I want to go.” “Hello, ankles. You are mysterious, and I don’t understand how you work, but I’m sure glad you do!”
2. Say one kind thing (aloud!) to yourself, each morning
After you’ve dressed and primped yourself, look in the mirror and say one kind thing to yourself. If affirmations feel weird and forced to you, rely on a compliment as a far more simple and genuine practice.
Even if you’re not in love with that dress, surely you can acknowledge that your hair looks great or that you’ve got your mother’s pretty green eyes. If you feel awkward intoning “I am a powerful and beautiful woman,” go ahead and give yourself a wink and shimmy your hips — have fun with yourself!
3. Eat real meals, at a table, with beautiful place settings
No more of this “in front of the computer, right out of the container” business. At least not all the time! Make even the most run-of-the-mill meal something special. Break out those lovely placemats and cloth napkins. Set out your best china, light some candles, and put on some music — even if you’re alone, eating leftovers. Ambiance is everything … and you deserve it!
4. Create a just-got-home ritual
What you do when you get home from work sets the tone for the entire rest of your day. Don’t just throw your jacket on the couch and then check your email. Change out of your office clothes into something more comfortable — but stylish enough to make you feel wonderful. Make a cup of tea. Cuddle with your pet. Put your feet up, and take a moment to calm your mind and reflect on your day.
5. End your day with gratitude
Regardless of how your day went — failed presentations, bad traffic, burnt dinner — surely you can find something to be grateful for. Maintain a gratitude journal, state your thanks aloud (even if it’s just to an empty room!), or share your thoughts with your partner.
Easy-peasy, right? These teensy daily rituals could add up to a big, happy difference. It’s all about getting present, intentional, and loving in your life. One mini-habit at a time.
Reflections for Your Heart and Home…
Share your insights and questions in the comments below or explore in your journal.
In Your Heart: What daily rituals and routines provide you with a deeper sense of self love?
In Your Home: How can you arrange your space to support these daily rituals? Can you transfer your lotions and potions to prettier bottles and display them nicely? Can you buy a sweet little journal for your gratitude scribblings?
Wishing you a beautiful week!
P. S. If you enjoyed this post I would love for you to share it with your friends!
Yes the rumors are true… I’m pregnant!
If we’re friends on Instagram or Facebook you have been in the know for a while (lets be friends if we aren’t yet!)…. but today I am SO excited to finally share this special news with our Beautiful Living community.
Sean and I feel so blessed to be welcoming a sweet little baby boy into our lives come the end of May/early June. We truly couldn’t be more grateful and excited!
Last week we talked about transitions….
well…..being pregnant is definitely the greatest transition I’ve ever gone through — in my heart and in my outer world.
My whole life I’ve been fascinated by transitions: the stages of newness, disorientation, and re-integration they bring us; the deep inner work of re-evaluating our identity; and all the inner, outer, and cultural supports we can lean on through them.
Right now, I’m smack-dab in the middle of this transition. This is the sacred chrysalis time, the transformational moment, the period of Huge Unknown: our child isn’t here yet, but I’m already forever changed. I am asking questions such as: What does being a mother mean to me? How will my life change? How will my marriage change? Who will I be? And how can I bring the very best of myself to this precious time?
When you’re face-to-face with a big transition, support your heart and home in every way you can.
Today I would love to share the practices and perspectives I’m relying on as I navigate this transition. Whether you’re pregnant or facing a completely different transition (like a relationship change, a career shift, or even a personal growth spurt), — I hope these suggestions help you feel more supported, resourced, and clear.
1. Shift Your Space
Oh, there is so much I could say about preparing a space for a baby! (Stay tuned for a more detailed post about this soon.) For now, I’m learning, exploring — and keeping my eye on the big picture.
As I say so often: the spaces we inhabit reflect who we are back to ourselves. And when we update them — to align them with who we are now, and who we’re becoming — they can provide powerful support. This is especially helpful during periods of transition, when everything’s in flux, and we need to find our new footing in the world.
During my pregnancy, I have been shifting my space in a few ways. First, I’m editing it (way better than “decluttering”) to release old, outdated things and make room for baby. I’m also tying up “loose ends” in my physical world: completing our wedding album, finalizing my MFT licensure, and wrapping up other extraneous projects that have been sucking my energy. All of this feels like a good, important use of time right now, so I can be fully present and engaged when the little guy arrives.
2. Tend to Your Heart
Right now, in the middle of this transition, I’m being as open and gentle with myself as possible. I’m listening to what I need and giving myself permission to do/eat/be and feel those things. I’m surrendering to the entire process. I truly don’t know who I’m going to be on the other side of this journey. So right now I’m exploring the aspects of my spirit I know I want to bring forward … while opening myself and allowing this transition into motherhood to change me.
I’ve also been struck with (and surprised by) a strong sense of introversion during this pregnancy. I’ve become a little more private, quiet, and even a bit socially withdrawn. I have plenty of energy — yet I’m craving quiet and lots of alone time. I am trusting this, honoring it as much as I can and paying close attention to exactly what I need in any given moment.
Finally, I’m staying keenly aware of when I start comparing myself to other mothers or am trying to base my decisions and reality on the things that make other women happy. It’s such a practice, to return over and over again to my own heart, and listen to her wisdom.
However “common” the transition, everyone navigates it differently. Listen to the voice of your own heart: what will make YOU happy?
3. Cultivate Your Mind
Transitions are a mental activity, too: they ask us to shift our ideas about who we are, and what we’re doing in the world.
As I think about this pregnancy, I’m very aware: I’m a first-time mother. I’ve never done this before. I’m going be a novice at everything: childbirth, breastfeeding, swaddling, creating a new dynamic in my marriage as parents, and just keeping another precious human being alive and well.
So, of course: I have a certain level of fear and anxiety bubbling up. But rather than getting swept away by it or making it wrong, I’m trying to normalize and honor my fear. This is easier said than done….But I’ve learned over time: the most fulfilling things in my life have also been the scariest and most vulnerable. I am constantly reminding myself that these feelings aren’t a bad thing: they’re actually a sign that something wonderful, important, and precious is underway.
4. Honor Your Body
Pregnancy is more physical than many transitions — but I think caring for our bodies provides massive support, no matter what’s going on in our lives.
Right now, I’m doing my best to take exquisite care of my body. I’m listening to her cues, watching her change and getting to know who she is becoming. Consistent but gentle exercise has been essential, for me. Pilates and massage have been my go to’s. I’m also drinking plenty of water to keep my mind clear and my mood up.
There is no doubt… having a baby is a huge physical transformation. To say that my body is not my own is an understatement but it also one of the most beautiful profound experiences I have ever had.
5. Pay Attention To Your Relationships
Just as I am shifting and changing so are many of my relationships. Some are maturing and deepening to new levels, others have needed updating and re-evaluating and a few have completely fallen away.
Just as I have been grieving parts of my life that are going to dramatically change after the baby comes, I am also grieving how my relationships are going to shift as well. My time and energy already isn’t what it once was, and my priorities around what is most important to me are changing too. I feel my circle getting smaller. More potent, but also more spacious.
Having conversations with those I love most has been extremely important. Some have been concerned, annoyed and questioning of me. Others have been trusting, supportive and loving. I have found that sharing openly and honestly about where I am and what I need has worked the best. Spaciousness to change and the freedom to do so without judgement or expectation has been my greatest request.
Being in a state of limbo can be powerful when we stand fully in, and open to, everything that is unknown. – Click To Tweet
Even though I feel familiar with the process of transition, it’s still a huge deal and I’m certainly not immune to the disorientation and anxiety that comes with it. These tools truly are helping me navigate this moment, and dance with all the Big Unknowns with more presence and ease.
I feel so honored by the opportunity to welcome this precious new life into the world and I’m grateful for the beautiful ways I have already grown and will continue to grow as I make the full transition into motherhood.
Reflections for Your Heart and Home…
Share your insights and questions in the comments below or explore in your journal
In Your Heart: Think about a transition you are going currently through or have gone through in the past…. What practices have helped navigate the roller coaster of change?
In Your Home: How do you handle the unknown? What tangible items that provide you comfort and support when you are feeling anxious or fearful?
Sending Love, Rebecca A note about the photos… Taking maternity photos wasn’t something I had planned on doing but and I am SO glad I did. Not only do we have beautiful images to remember this precious time by, but it also felt so luxurious to spend an entire afternoon focused on getting my mama glow on and feeling beautiful and feminine. It was such a special experience for me, and one I would highly recommend if you are expecting! Special thanks to… Paige Green for her warm presence and gorgeous images. Melanie Kluger for helping learn how to style and feel great in my new body. And Sherrie Long for always making me feel and look my best.
“Your life is a story of transition. You are always leaving one chapter
behind while moving on to the next.” ~ Linda Seidler
I don’t know about you, but change has always been really hard for me. (Yep: even exciting, positive change.)
I’ve resisted it. Feared it. Tried really hard to stick my head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening.
Worst of all, I carried all of this around like a secret. I thought I was the only one having a hard time with change — like I wasn’t there the day they passed out the “grown-up” cards.
Eventually, I realized: change isn’t going anywhere. It is inevitable in this lifetime — and I might as well learn how to deal with it.
So I became a student of transition. I studied change, and learned about it’s rhythms and melodies. I got more and more comfortable with the process of transformation — both within myself and in other people. And I quickly learned:
Transitions happen to everyone. Not one of us will get out of this lifetime without having gone through a major transition — or two or ten.
We don’t talk about them. Our culture doesn’t know how to deal with transition, or support people through them. So we all walk around feeling lost and alone.
Most often, they are really, really freakin’ hard. Growth is uncomfortable, and transitions aren’t all roses and rainbows.
Naturally most of us try to avoid transitions, at all cost. “Transcend” them. Out-smart or sidestep them. Cover our eyes and run home to the familiar, fast as we can.
This is such a shame. Because the truth is …
Transitions – beautiful, painful, and messy – grow us into the fullness of who we are and all that we can become. – Click To Tweet
When we try to avoid transitions — or simply go through them unconsciously — we miss out on vital opportunities for growth. We stay stagnant, and continue living out the same old, unhelpful patterns. Or we disintegrate, chicken out, and go through the motions without reaping the deep gifts.
Your happiness is directly related to how well and resiliently you can support yourself through life transitions and integrate their lessons.
The first step in embracing the power of transition is educating yourself about the process. Through studying this topic in my own life (and through my work with clients), I’ve identified six reliable phases of a transition:
Six Phases of a Transformational Transition:
1. The Preparation:
You feel the change a-comin’. Like the buildup to a ginormous sneeze, you may have a little advance notice. The unrest in your relationship before the breakup; the rumors of downsizing before you get fired, that inkling that you want something bigger before making that cross-country move.
2. The Leap:
The window of opportunity (or crisis) opens, and you walk through it (or get shoved!). You have that life-changing talk, make the call, get the news, or sign the papers.
3. The Uprooting:
Suddenly, you’re in new surroundings … and don’t quite know where you are (or who you are!) Everything feels unstable — like you can’t quite feel the ground beneath you. Things feel a little (or a lot!) chaotic and out of control.
4. The Grieving:
Some transitions contain obvious elements of grief. The loss of a loved one, divorce, miscarriage. Yet even the happiest changes entail some sort of loss — of your old mode of being, your past status quo, or your out dated dreams. You may feel like a part of you is dying, and aching to be grieved.
5. The “Wishy-Washy” Phase:
This is the liminal, the ambiguous, in-between, the nowhere-feels-like-home phase. You know you’re not who you once were, but you also don’t know who you are yet or what you really want. Here, things can feel foggy, unknown, and even “dead and boring.” It’s often difficult to vision, and the future can feel very unclear.
Note: This is the moment when many of us run back to our old ways or cling to the first solution that presents itself — but these choices ultimately rob of us from the fruits of transition. Instead, this phase invites us to listen, to surrender to the mystery, and to be patient with our inner formation … so that we may change and grow.
6. The Integration:
Finally, you start to put down roots in your new life and in your new identity. A “new normal” begins to emerge, the earthquakes subside, your emotions even out, and you start to find some solid ground again.
As you integrate you’re able to look back over the entire transitional process….acknowledging where you’ve come from, how you’ve grown and who you’ve become. You will begin to know yourself differently and live your life with greater meaning, intention and beauty.
While these phases are common, not every transition will move through them neatly or in a linear order. You might move from one phase to the next in a matter of moments … you could be in two phases at the same time … or you could skip from the second to the sixth and back to the third.
Simply understanding the common phases and elements in transitions can support you through them — and make you feel a little less crazy when you’re in the thick of things!
Are you going through a transition?
I am currently offering 3 spots in my new Interior Life Design Program:
Intimate coaching through life’s greatest transitions.
Learning to navigate transitions is an essential life skill, but one we’re often not taught about. I’ve supported countless people through transitions. If you’re facing a life change right now (big or small, happy or tragic), I’d be honored to support you. Click here to learn more.
Reflections for your Heart and Home…
Share your insights and questions in the comments below or explore in your journal.
In Your Heart: What phase of transition are you in? How does it feel?
In Your Home: How do you see this phase reflected in your home?
Stay tuned! Next week, I’m spilling the beans about a BIG life transition I’m currently going through … and what I’m doing in my heart and in my home to navigate it. (Seriously: BIG news!)
Oh, Valentine’s Day. It stirs up so many emotions, doesn’t it? Feelings of deep love and appreciation for your partner; feelings of inadequacy and loneliness if you’re alone (and don’t want to be)… even anger and eye-rolling at the whole hallmark holiday are common.
But for just a minute, let’s drop all of the hype, angst, and overblown chocolate-and-roses expectations … and go straight to the sweet, cream-filled center of this holiday.
Whether you’re in a relationship or not, you can make Valentine’s Day a celebration of romance, sensuality, and L-O-V-E. – Click to Tweet
These things are worth celebrating, my friends.
They’re central to what makes our lives joyful and meaningful.
They can be celebrated regardless of your relationship status.
And one of the most powerful ways to honor and deepen your sense of them … is right in your very home.
Today I want to talk about my 5 favorite ways to bring more love into your life by working on your home (especially in the bedroom!)
I use many of these tips with my clients and definitely put them to work in my own life. They’re small and simple, but their impact is mighty.
Whether you’re single and searching, or in a relationship and want to deepen your connection … these tips will help invite more love, sensuality, and romance into your life.
1. Turn Your Bedroom into a Love Nest
Every room in your home should reflect the function and deep, meaningful purpose it serves in your life. Your bedroom is really a haven for sleep and sexuality … and these deep purposes should guide every choice and change you make to this room.
As much as is practical, remove technology, TV’s, and gizmos from the bedroom. Not only do they interrupt our ability to slow down at night, but studies have actually shown that they detract from our intimacy and empathy with our partner. Think about it: do you really want all of your Facebook friends in bed with you? Learning the art of setting boundaries to protect your relationship — whether with yourself or your partner — is critical. Taking a stand for no electronics in the bedroom is a challenging but worthy feat! (And, no: I’m definitely not perfect at this one. It’s hard!)
Also, create a safe, protective cocoon for yourself at night by closing all of your bedroom doors before going to bed (even your closet door.) This is a simple way to promote feelings of calm, safety, and protection. Besides helping you sleep better (which makes us all better in relationships!) this might make you feel safe enough to get a little more open and vulnerable — in your current relationship or in the one you’re looking for.
(Note: Of course, if you’re parenting kiddos, closing the doors at night may create more anxiety for you than relaxation — so do what feels best for you, given your life situation right now.)
2. Bring on the Beauty!
In all of our rushing and endless To Do lists, I think most of us are starving for beauty. Carving out time and mental space for beauty makes us so much more available for sensuality, romance, and satisfaction.
Add one or two beautiful things to your bedroom, and just see if that doesn’t open your heart a notch or two. I recommend flowers, beautiful bedding, or artwork that carries a calm, sacred, sensual energy. (Even if you think The Scream is beautiful, you might not want that energy in your love life — so you probably want keep it out of your bedroom too!)
One of my favorite ways to bring more beauty and romance into a space is candlelight. After all: why should fancy bistros and special occasions have the monopoly on this soft, cozy delight? Bring some of that elegant, lovey-dovey magic into your home by lighting candles in the bedroom, at the dining room table, or anywhere!
3. Pair it Up
I’m a big believer in placing things in two’s around your home to invite more love into your life. In fact, before I met my husband, I placed pairs of lovebirds around my home as a tangible reminder of my readiness for a loving relationship.
Consider placing artwork featuring two things around your home, or creating duets of decorative items like vases, candles, or statuettes. Remember to keep the pairs in close proximity, because ultimately this is what creates “relationship.”
4. Make Space for Your Beloved
If you’re not currently in a relationship, look around your home: is there room for another person in your world? If not, create some! Take this as literally or metaphorically as you like: you might empty out a drawer for that special someone who’s on his/her way … or you might just clear out some of the physical (or mental/emotional) clutter in your life, so there’s enough spaciousness for someone else to come in and co-create with you.
I truly believe that it wasn’t until I de-cluttered my life, on a huge level, that I had the room to enter a relationship. All of my clutter (seriously: I had packed closets, and a storage unit full of boxes!) kept me “safe” from being vulnerable — and prevented me from opening to the intimacy I truly craved.
Try setting up your bedroom for two people: position your bed so there’s access from both sides. Also consider placing a nightstand and lamp on each side. These small details will reflect your commitment to equal support and respect — which will deepen your current relationship or invite in a new one.
If you’re already in a relationship, this practice is still incredibly important! In fact, one partner having much more or less space can be a big metaphor for what’s happening in your relationship.
Awhile back, my husband Sean told me he’d love a little more room in the closet. And I instantly snapped, “The closet’s for me!” Oh, boy! We processed the huge message underneath that, about my needs and his, and came to a much more spacious place in our relationship (and closet!), ultimately with more room for communication and flow.
5. Change it Up!
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, stagnancy squashes romance. Keeping the energy alive by changing things up is one of the easiest, and most powerful things you can do in your home for relationship!
Try opening your bedroom windows in the morning to air things out. This is a great way to refresh any stagnant energy and keep things flowing. You might also try spritzing some essential oils, shaking out your comforter (outside!), changing your sheets, fluffing your pillows, rotating your mattress … or finding other ways to change and freshen things in your bedroom.
Even small tweaks can make a home feel fresh and more alive. (Want more ideas? Here are 63!)
Intention trumps details. In love and in your home. Always.
All of these tips are invitations to tie your intentions to your physical world. This is what makes working with our homes so powerful! And this is why finding your own unique flavor and personal touch is far more important than blindly following any one set of “rules.”
As always: make these tips your own. It really can be a fun, enjoyable process! After all: what could be more exciting than enhancing the love you have … and inviting even greater love into your life?
In the Comments: Have you been wanting to Love-ify your bedroom for a while? What little thing can you do today? Can’t wait to chat in comments below!
“I want to change my space so badly!
BUT: I just don’t have the time or money. Help!”
I hear you! When we take a hard look at our space — and get excited about making some changes — it can feel overwhelming, fast.
But here’s the thing: you really don’t have to spend tons of time OR money to shift your space in a big way. In fact: it’s often the teeny-tiny tweaks we make in our home that add up to make a big, beautiful difference.
To get you started (and to inspire your own ideas!), I want to share dozens my favorite tiny tweaks that will make a huge impact in your home. They’re categorized by the things you might be craving (more organization, more beauty, more coziness, etc.) Best of all: each one only takes a few minutes — and many of them are free (or close to it!)
Say goodbye to your overwhelm … and lets start making those little home shifts today!
To Get Organized + Clear…
- Arrange your shampoo/beauty product bottles in a visually pleasing way.
- Fold or roll your towels in a pretty way
- Straighten your bedside table
- Find a fun way to display your jewelry
- Refold the items in your dresser drawers (think: tank tops, sweaters, etc.)
- MAKE YOUR BED! (“A messy bed = a messy head.”)
- Clean underneath your bed (sweep or vacuum, too!)
- Edit 5 items from your closet that you no longer use or love
- Replace dead light bulbs
- Clean out your fridge: inside (toss old food) and outside (remove outdated notes, pictures, reminders, etc.)
- Empty and organize your junk drawer
- Straighten and organize your Tupperware
- Clean out your pantry
- Sort through your pens: throw away any ugly, chewed, broken, or dead ones
- Go through the house looking for any old junk mail that may have gotten tucked away … and recycle it
- Throw out any old, worn dish towels
- Tidy the books on your shelves
To Beautify + Awaken Your Senses…
- Place fruit in a colorful bowl on the counter
- Add a lavender sachet to your lingerie drawer
- Open your shades, blinds, or windows (especially in the morning!)
- Pick wildflowers and arrange them in a surprising spot like your bathroom counter
- Put those bags of spices, herbs, or grains into lovely, display-worthy glass jars.
- Make your home smell fabulous: spray essential oils, boil some water with rosemary and lemon, or light that candle you never do
- Paint one wall a fresh color
- Try a new dishwashing detergent or hand soap (so you smell something new and lovely)
- Fluff your couch cushions and throw pillows
- Play music to set the mood
- Get a fun doorknob (or two!)
- Change your doorbell chime
- Hang a beautiful tapestry on the wall
To Get Cozy, Comfy + Peaceful…
- Buy a soft rug and put it by the side of your bed so your feet touch something luxurious first thing in the morning
- Add a space heater to chilly rooms
- Add a throw blanket within arm’s reach of a cozy spot
- Use a humidifier at night
- Get some soft slippers to wear around the house
- Spritz essential oils on your pillow before bed
- Get an eye mask you love (to block out light at night or for naps)
- Fill a little basket with everything you need for a luxurious bath (candles, a book, bath salts, etc.) and then use it!
- Make a little nook for quiet reading, knitting, journaling, etc.
- Get a Himalayan salt lamp, mini-water fountain, or rock garden for a side table
- Replace light bulbs with a softer wattage in your cozy spots
To Spice Things Up + Break Out of a Rut…
- Move your bed to new position in the room
- Change your bed linens or blanket (it shifts the feel of the whole room!)
- Replace the photos or artwork on display with new or updated ones
- Rotate the art on your wall to a new place
- Rearrange your furniture for better flow or lighting
- Swap out the throw pillows on your couch or chairs
- Place a lamp in a dark corner to brighten it
- Change your window treatments (home depot is a great place for affordable options!)
- Replace your shower curtain
To Connect with Your Spirit, Self, and Home…
- Arrange a little spot for quiet reflection or conversation (with chairs, cushions, soft lighting — whatever you need)
- Invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones so you can always find a quiet spot (especially good to drown out street or construction noise and/or for moms with a house full of kiddos running around!)
- Light a few candles
- Take a moment to set an intention for yourself and your space
- Create a little “altar” with photos of your family, a little Buddha statue, or whatever is deeply meaningful to you
- Tour your home and find one way you can rearrange things for better flow
- Take the time to set the table for dinner: use cloth napkins, a tablecloth, candles, etc.
- Make and display some artwork: a painting, frame a poem you love, display your wedding vows, etc.
- Have a “house blessing” (more on what this is and how to do one to come …)
- Set loving intentions for the use and purpose of each room in your home
- Make your front door or entryway more welcoming: repaint it, place a plant or water element, or get a beautiful welcome mat
- Make a beautiful label with your name on it and stick it on your mailbox
Fun, simple stuff, right? I hope you try a few of these out … or get inspired to think up your own small changes.
In the Comments Below… What tiny tweaks have you made in your home that have made a big difference?
Wishing you a beautiful week.
P.S. If you found this list useful I would love for you to share it with your friends!