Don’t Let Someone Else Create the Yard Stick for Your Life.

Lilly Crider for Tom Tailor Denim Campaign (Spring-Summer 2013) photo shootAt some point or another, we’ve all measured our lives against yard sticks we didn’t create. We have internalized ideas about what successful relationships, careers, bodies, lifestyles, and families look like, even though they’re completely irrelevant to our own lives.

Either we’ve decided to forge our own path but haven’t created a yard stick to measure our progress, or we’re chasing someone else’s definition of success and constantly falling short.

Both are surefire ways to make ourselves miserable. We’ll wind up constantly comparing ourselves to other people or feeling confused that we never feel good about getting the things we’ve been chasing for so long.

Your definition of success will depend on your values, the lifestyle you want, and the goals you set for yourself.

(Shameless plug: the Define Your Dreams workbook will help you get hella clear on those things. I’ve created an extensive exercise in my upcoming ebook that walks you through creating your own yardstick but getting a clear vision for yourself is the most fundamental step.)

Once you start trying on your own definitions of success, it’s a whole lot easier to throw out the ones that don’t fit you. Here are a few powerful mindset shifts that will help you start using your own yard stick:

Enjoy the journey. If you’ve constantly got your nose to the ground chasing the next shiny penny you’re missing your entire life. While there are totally times to put your head down and do the work, no dream is worth constant misery. Find ways to make the journey enjoyable and if that’s utterly impossible, it might be a good idea to go back to your yardstick and figure out whether this dream is really a good fit.

Accept where you’re at. Longing to be somewhere else is pointless. Taking consistent action towards where you want to go is powerful but stop beating yourself up for not being there yet. Remind yourself that the journey is part of your story and it’s all shaping who you are. Learning to be okay with where you’re at (and even love it!) is what will get you out of the comparison trap and allow you to fully step into your own life.

Good for her! Not for me” is a real gem from Amy Poheler. We get to want whatever we want but we don’t have to want “it all.” Sometimes it’s easy to get sucked in by the shiny allure of other people’s success and this phrase is an easy way to snap us back to looking at our own yard stick, without diminishing how great those things are for someone else.

Next time you find yourself feeling like an utter failure, ask yourself: are you measuring yourself against your yard stick or someone else’s? Take a moment to revisit your goals (I like to reread mine every morning) and decide on a small action that will bring you into better alignment with your own definition of success. Everything else is good for her, but not for me.

Love, neon lights, & dandelion wishes,

Photograph by Billy Rood.

Liberation & Love in London.

urban-retreat2Hearts bursting open.

Tears flowing.

Dancing wildly.

Connecting deeply.

Nourishing fully.

Expressing freely.

This was the experience of Saturday’s Liberation & Love Urban Retreat. It was truly a deep dive out of the head and into the heart.

And babes, let me tell you, it was transformative.

urban-retreat1Jayne had just came back from two months in Costa Rica and was able to share so many lessons, remedies, and rituals that she’d learned during her travels. It was an intimate, exclusive event, which allowed us to go so much further with this work than ever before.

There were raw cacao elixirs. Embracing of the dark of the light. Uninhibited sharing and intimate healing. There were rose petals and grounding foods and homemade chocolate. Laughter and tears and new friendships. There was dancing and yoga and deep, deep relaxation. And of course there was a glittery goodie bag, filled with treats from our wonderful sponsors: Nikki Strange, Sparkle Child London, Indigo Herbs, Ombar Chocolate, Napiers, Teapigs, and Signature Fragrances.

I came away with the a strong understanding that we crave this. We crave time in the circle with other women. We long for open and honest conversations. We want to be together creating deep connections.

Workshops and retreats are a great way to facilitate and create space for this and take things to an intimate place more quickly than in every day life. But it shouldn’t stop there.

urban-retreat3 We need our sisters and we need to create spaces to connect with them. Blogging is a great way to find your tribe and make friends all over the world, but there’s something so important about tangible, face-to-face interactions.

Personally I’ve felt called to organise monthly, lady date brunches with my girl gang and I can’t stop thinking about other ways to bring the circle into my everyday.

Coffee dates. Mastermind groups. Skype calls. Dance parties. Book clubs. Sleepovers.

Regularity and consistency is key. Make it a ritual. Give it a purpose. Keep it fun.

When we allow ourselves to be raw and real with each other, we all heal and expand and grow.

I really hope to see you at one of my future events but if you’re on the other side of the world or it’s just not your cup of tea, reach out to the women in your life. We all want this. Be the one to alight the spark.

Love love,

Snapshots of a Sunday.

Snapshots of a Sunday.I adore Sundays. For me, they’re synonymous with slow, luxurious, and relaxing. They seem like the perfect time for so many of my favourite things. Lazy lie-ins. Long walks. Markets. Girl date brunches. Fancy cooking endeavours. Getting lost in a book. Cuddling on the couch with a movie. Working in the garden.

But I have to stop myself from trying to cram it all into one Sunday, because that would be the antithesis of slow, luxurious, and relaxing.

This past Sunday managed to tick a lot of those boxes, but at one point I thought it was going to be ruined.

It started off well. We woke up around 9am and drank our coffees in bed. I set to work launching my new opt-in while Matthew did a few things around the house. But I got tripped up on a few technical pieces and the whole thing took a lot longer than I’d expected. I hadn’t had breakfast and I was hangry. Totally irrational, nothing-could-make-me-happy kind of hangry.

I actually started weeping at the bus stop because I didn’t have any clean tights and my over-the-knee socks kept falling down. It wasn’t pretty and I was having trouble pulling myself together. I just wanted to give up on the day and go back to bed (it was only noon).

Then I remembered listening to Alexandra Franzen’s interview on The Lively Show last week. She talked about a thought she’d had on a day when she’d wanted to give up and get into bed, too: Today is not over yet.

I took a deep breath and decided to push the defeatist thoughts from my mind. I became determined to cram the day with as many good things as I could.

There was a vegan breakfast. Stocking our cupboards with healthy foods. Peering in the windows of a toy museum. Drinks with Matthew’s parents. The Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit with two of my favourite ladies. A delicious homemade dinner. Cuddles on the couch. A few chapters of Paper Towns.

All in all, exactly the kind of Sunday I relish.

The lesson? A simple attitude shift can be all it takes to turn around an entire day. And always eat a good breakfast.

Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.Snapshots of a Sunday.snapshots-of-a-sunday09Snapshots of a Sunday.I’m wearing a flower crown c/o Camden Town, a striped top from H&M, a leather jacket from Danier, a Stella McCartney skirt, tights from Boots, NeoSens boots, and a bracelet & necklace c/o Orelia London.

I wear a lot of statement jewellery and OTT hair accessories but sometimes I prefer something simple and chic so that they don’t steal the show. I recently received these pieces from Orelia London and I thought they were the perfect match with my oversized flower crown. The three stones on the bracelet offer a perfectly delicate sparkle and I love the bunting look of the triangle necklace. As much as I think you can tastefully mix a bunch of bold pieces in an outfit, I also have a soft spot for more classic jewellery. How about you?

And I’d love to know: do you become a complete wreck when you’re too hungry? What are your favourite things to do on a Sunday?

Love, pink tulips, & enormous chandeliers,

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