As November draws to a close, I find myself being pulled in a direction of deep self-reflection. First, because I think it’s important for all of us to take a moment to be mindful of the space we are in as the holiday season approaches. Second, because we often times don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve, or the criticism. How can we truly know ourselves and celebrate all that we are as individuals if we don’t take a moment to examine where we are and why we’ve arrived at that particular place?

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water & trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson

I can comfortably say that a significant part of the last year of my life has been spent treading water.—but I have finally stopped. I quit my job (not an easy decision), pursued creative endeavors that I was once too scared to dive into, built new spaces and energy, redefined myself, embraced all failures, triumphs, challenges and skills to the fullest (sometimes we fail to truly embrace all of this). November has been a month of swimming. Embracing the ebbs and flows. Refocusing. Reinventing. However, none of these realizations, changes and accomplishments would have been made without first, stopping.

This month I launched the Mind + Body portion of The Style Operandi. Throughout this development I’ve collaborated with beautiful souls who fuel my creative fire.

In From the Wilderness to the Heart, Elle illustrated a core value upon which this blog was built.

“Style is so much more than fashion. It’s spirit and individuality. It’s inward communicated outwardly, an instrument of self-expression and self-acceptance. Fashion on its own is just clothes and can mislead us into superficiality, unethicality, self-consciousness and comparison. Style can become philosophy, draping movement, communicating intimacy, inviting us into our bodies or permission to evolve.”

Photographer: Alec Matlock // Hat: Camp Brand Goods

In the same way that we detoxify our bodies, I detoxified my closet. This is my effort to end “fast fashion trends” and the over consumption that occurs throughout the United States, particularly in the fashion industry.

All of my clothing is available for purchase through Poshmark . It’s been an interesting process. There is so much beauty in letting go and in giving. I urge you to remember this as we enter into the holiday season.

I was a guest blogger for the Flexy Body Babes. Creating a brand and/or a business takes a lot of courage. Working with two dedicated and inspiring females who are doing that was beyond encouraging.

“I’m motivated by the different pieces people wear to workout. Just like the clothes we choose for work, school or dinner parties, what we adorn our bodies with can significantly impact our attitude, confidence and overall focus. Let’s be real, functionality is essential.

There is so much fear in the unknown and because of that, we fail to embrace it. If we quit our job, we won’t have money. If we take risks, we could suffer. If we abandon everything we’ve known for so long, we might abandon ourselves. If we dig too deep into our own souls, we might find a bigger mess, or something scary. And upon stopping and finding stillness, all of these things may happen. I’m not going to tell you that they won’t. But wouldn’t it be worse to continue to tread water? Wouldn’t it be worse to wake up and feel passionless instead of feeling all of it, including your brokenness?

It’s okay to move through a portion of your life at a rate of “WTF’s” per hour. It’s okay to abandon what you once knew, who you once were, and pursue other ambitions or another lifestyle. Maybe you’re on a new diet because you were diagnosed with Celiac Disease and you can’t go to your favorite restaurants anymore. You’ll find new ones. Maybe you woke up and your dream job has turned into a burden. Maybe you need to finish something. Maybe you need to start something. Or maybe you just need some time to listen to your inner voice.

In, Go With Your Gut, Rachel Hemphill, creator of The Chia Babe, teaches us how to listen to that inner voice and find our why.

“Create an opportunity for yourself despite the circumstances around you. This will feel better, and provide better results. Before you know it people will be reaching out to you for advice and guidance because they see someone who didn’t give up and stayed dedicated to their passion and purpose.
Why I’m telling you this and my point… it’s easier to just drift along with the reactive stream of life. And if you want to be proactive you may have to take the lead despite the circumstances. Living proactively is so much more rewarding and exciting. People might not catch on right away but eventually your passion becomes the change in someones life. My passion in life is the gift of nutrition, I believe everyone has the right to choose their health. You can make changes starting today. It’s never too late.”

Sit down. Write down your accomplishments. Make a map of your month. Where did you go? How did you grow? Who did you meet? Sure, there might be more to accomplish… Write that down too. Do you need to travel more? Pray more? Read more? Quiet your life.. If you need to stop for a moment, if you need to stop trying to keep your head above the waves of life, that’s okay. Let yourself swim peacefully in the direction you want and need to go… Or grow.

And I find it ironic, my Kansas and Missouri people… There were days over the past month, warm enough to go swimming.



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The Style Operandi

The Style Operandi is a website dedicated to exploring fashion patterns, ways of behaving, writing and performing that send a unique message, illustrate a lifestyle and define originality. Created by Kinsey Cates in 2015, The Style Operandi celebrates art, fashion, wellness and authenticity.


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