Dreamstorming


I decided to write a spontaneous blog post tonight about something I like to call dreamstorming.  It's the practice of intentionally writing out your hopes, visions, and dreams.  It's like brainstorming .. but for your dreams. It's a form of goal-setting, but in dreamstorming, you allow yourself to think BIG and you don't place any limits on what you hope to be.


By taking time to get in touch with what your innermost, biggest, and deepest desires are, you allow your dreams to shift from a secret place in your heart to the reality of your life. The first step in creating something out of nothing is honoring the validity of your ideas and allowing yourself to create a vision in the first place.



I have talked to many dear friends about my obsession with dreamstorming and how I'm so glad it's become a habit in my life. It has allowed me to naturally train my brain to be forward-thinking and proactive about my lifestyle and circumstances.



Do you want something? Have you always dreamed of it? Write it out. Really. Let your mind create a full vision of what could be and don't let practicality, potential drawbacks, or outside opinions enter into this space. Dreamstorming is a safe space for you to start envisioning your best life. What would you do if you could do anything? What would you really pursue if you knew you could?



What you do with your dreamstorming after the fact is largely up to you.  Circumstances, drawbacks, and opinions DO play a role in living out your dreamstorms, but they don't have to be the defining factor. Ultimately, you get to go through and decide what is worth it to YOU. You get to choose what is worth meditating on. You get to choose what is worth sticking out. You get to choose what needs to change in order to be living the life you want to be living.



"Living your dreams" isn't just reserved for pop stars or NBA players. Dreamstorming also isn't limited by age or income level.   Dreams come in all forms and I want to encourage you to start dreaming up your best life and then turning that into an action plan.  No matter where you are right now, I am in it with you and cheering you on. I can't wait for you to start dreamstorming and allowing yourself to live with a heightened sense of what really is possible.



This past year, I've dreamstormed (and prayed) my way through SO much to get me to a season where I am now doing what I love and in a position to continue pursuing passions.



I will now share just a few of my dreams:



1 - Be an advocate and a voice for mental health, body positivity, and dreaming big. The underwritten theme is helping others to know their worth and their potential. Despite obstacles, I want people to know they are worthy and capable of living a healthy, fulfilling, and meaningful life-- even if that looks differently than how others seem to live.



2 - Express myself creatively in the form of art. I want to paint more, sing more, dance more, and write more. Creating is freeing and I want to live creatively. My art is just as "valid" as anyone else's.



3 - I want to go to New York Fashion Week again in the fall.




WOOOHOOO! What are some of your dreams? Take time to dreamstorm and then let me know what you dream up!! I can't wait to hear what's in your heart and then watch you make it happen.



xx,


I'm 2!




Today marks TWO YEARS of blogging! I am so grateful for each and every person that has played a part in this journey. From my dorm room in college --> to backstage at New York Fashion Week, this blog has taken me to incredible places. The most exciting part is that this is just the beginning!

As always, don't ever hesitate to send me an email or Instagram message to say hey, ask questions, or share your thoughts.

I love blogging because it is a way to connect with people from all over the world in a creative space.

Cheers to 2 years!
xx,

5 Years in Nashville // Thoughts on Dreaming

The other day, I realized that it has been five years since I moved to Nashville. It has been five years since I was a bright-eyed teenager leaving Las Vegas and embarking on a new lifestyle in the South.

Las Vegas and Nashville are different for a million reasons-- but after five years, I have come to appreciate the differences. It was a huge adjustment to embrace an entirely new environment, but it taught me so much.

When I was starting college at 18, I had already been operating a company for 2 years--but I felt so far behind because it wasn't anywhere near where I wanted it to be. I felt inspired but also strained because I thought that if my dream didn't happen the way I wanted it to, then it wasn't as worthwhile as it could have been. If my ultimate vision for my business didn’t happen as I wanted it to, then it didn’t serve a ‘good enough’ purpose. But, I couldn't have been more wrong.

You see, the company started in the first place as a small spark of inspiration focused on the idea of making a difference. I had formulated ideas and acted upon those ideas until I had a living, breathing, and tangible company. I had developed campaigns, products, and a brand that told a story that meant so much to me (and still does). I was very much in the midst of my dream, but it felt like I still had so far to go before it “became something.”

It took me a long time to realize that although it was true that this specific venture didn't become the fullness of what I wanted it to be, it still became something great.

Sometimes in the midst of our stories, it is so hard to realize all that we are. We focus so much on the dream that we don't realize that we are already living the dreams of yesterday.

Dreaming is a constant journey. It's kind of like a relationship with ourselves. We figure out what it is that we are good at, what we desire, and how we can make an impact. If we are brave, we decide to pursue these things. In our journeys, however, it can be so easy to overlook the progress that we have made.


I’ve come to learn through my own experiences, that if we are good dreamers, we will constantly have new ideas and goals. The key is to celebrate our constant victories—every day. As we learn and grow, we expand our vision and dreaming, but we must also acknowledge that where we are currently is a place we had once only dreamed of.

You see, dreaming is essentially creating something out of nothing. It is a creative process with unlimited potential. Nothing is off limits.

Dreaming, when done right, never stops. But the key is to realize this and to not wait for the victory to start living. Don't wait for the dream before you celebrate the win. The process IS the dream and the dream IS the pursuit. (Read that twice if you have to ;)

When you decide to follow your dream wholeheartedly, you've already won. There isn’t a destination to be reached or a hurdle to hop over. YES, keep goal setting—but don’t become addicted to the idea of “making it.” It’s a seemingly simple paradigm shift that can make all the difference. Pick a dream that makes you feel congruent—and choose it. Unwaveringly choose this dream and align your choices with it. Just like that, you are already living into your dream. It builds and it grows from our smallest of choices—so don’t you dare try to wait for your dreams to come true. Begin living from a place of victory right now. Don’t miss the fullness of your dreaming and journeying.

Although Salvation City wasn't ever "exactly" what I wanted-- It was when I stepped back that I was able to see it for what it was, instead of what it wasn’t. It didn't match what was in my head perfectly, but it was something that made an impact. I realized the mission proved true in ways that I hadn't been able to recognize at the time because I was so focused on making "bigger" dreams come true.


A final thought I will leave you with is this-- be willing to challenge society's ideals and what you think is "accepted". So often the people that have significantly changed the world have been people who are able to recognize and DISAGREE with what is seemingly agreeable to everyone else. It is vital to be able to think independently and also maintain a sense of empathy in understanding that society's norms are influential. Yet, somehow, we must gather up the courage to stand apart and fight for a new normal.

Live your truth and tell your story.

You might stand alone. You might not be understood. You might not know how exactly it will all unfold. But you must fight and protect the dreams that matter because the world really, really needs you -- they just don't know it yet.


xx,

Choosing to Seek

Last fall, I was in a class at Belmont University called "Social and Emotional Issues in the Entertainment Industry". It was taught by one of my favorite women, Cristi Williams-Gilbert. She is a celebrity life coach and she also happens to be the mother of the mega-badass lead singer of Paramore, Hayley.

Cristi was exposed to the social and emotional aspects of the entertainment industry as Hayley was immersed into the music industry as a young teenager. Cristi's experiences with her own family developed a deep passion within her to learn and explore mental, social, and emotional wellbeing for those in (and outside of) entertainment. Cristi's insight was far more valuable than I ever anticipated and it was one of my favorite classes that I took in college.

Throughout the semester, Cristi poured into us about her personal experiences. She taught us about embarking on our own journeys of mental and emotional wellness, but she also taught us about being empathetic and understanding of others.

One of my favorite lessons from Cristi's class was when she walked each of the students through a mental health exercise. We each had to close our eyes and envision a place of peace. She instructed us to imagine a place of complete contentment, light, inspiration, and a place where we felt at ease. She told us to envision ourselves being there and being completely unfettered. We had to acknowledge anything negative that tried to cross our paths, but we simply redirected our focus and let it pass by us.

At the end of the exercise, each person in the class opened their eyes and there was a universal feeling of contentment in the classroom. Each of us had been focusing on our hopes, the optimism of what we looked forward to, and the peace that we knew existed. At the conclusion of the lesson, Cristi emphasized the importance of recognizing the power that our thoughts have on us. Cristi simply said, "Think of this place that you envisioned and how much peace you felt. Know that you can always draw on this place in your mind. You can always access this." It was simple at the time, but it is powerful if you really consider it. Our circumstances are always changing and we can't predict much of what happens to us, but we can allow ourselves to learn how to respond to life. We can learn to find peace and light in the midst of anything.

I valued this mental exercise because I really believe in the power of our minds. Our mental and emotional wellbeing is crucial to our health and ability to live with a sense of contentment.

In my head during the mental exercise, I had envisioned a quiet little park down the street from school. It was a bright and sunny day and I was on a roller coaster. The tracks of the roller coaster were jumpy and sporadic, but there was sunshine on my face and wind in my hair. I couldn't stop smiling because I knew that the light on my face was my constant. I closed my eyes briefly as I dropped over certain hills on the ride, but I kept my eyes fixed on the beauty around me. There were children laughing as they played and there were people walking through the park. There was also a bench that I noticed that I could go sit on. There was joy and peace and although I knew I had to be on the roller coaster long-term, I knew I could go take a break and sit on that bench whenever I wanted to. There was never a true moment of fear because the light illuminated everything. Once the exercise was over and I opened my eyes, I smiled to myself and realized that it can be interesting to see where our minds go when prompted to think of peace.



I instantly knew that in my mental visualization, I had created the roller coaster as a symbol of my life. I view life as a ride and a journey that is often unpredictable, really high, and sometimes low. It is an adventure and a journey that serves a distinct purpose. I am on my ride for a reason. The light in my vision was my faith and the presence of God in my life. No matter what I walk through, I know I'm not alone in it. The children playing and people walking through the park represented the people that come into or pass through my life. Although they may not be on the roller coaster with me for the entire duration, I see their joy, potential, beauty, and light-- I am grateful for them. Lastly, the bench represented the time that I take every single day to step out of my circumstances and look inwardly. For me, it is essential to take "quiet time" each and every day to pray, meditate, journal, and think about life and the bigger picture. In order to stay optimistic, I must remind myself that life is but a journey that carries significant purpose. Taking time to get in touch with my innermost thoughts, desires, and revelations is something that grows me.

This mental exercise was something that I'm sure was meant to be a brief part of Cristi's curriculum, but it was something that really resonated with me. It reinforced my belief that mental health is vital to our overall wellbeing. I have been passionate about mental health and holistic wellbeing for much of my life and something as simple as a mental exercise in a college classroom encouraged me to continue to explore MY OWN mental wellbeing.

Ever since that lesson, I have made it my point to own my thoughts and take them captive. I have made my best effort to be intentional in where I let my mind wander. Tough times come--it is inevitable. But over the past year, I have come to practice and train myself to redirect my thoughts back to the light.

Each person's "peace" is different. For some, a mental visualization may not come as easy--and that's okay! Ultimately, it comes down to knowing ourselves and knowing what fuels us. It's about realizing that when we can't control our external scenarios, we can do our best to have grace with ourselves and seek the light that can be found. When we discover an internal light, external circumstances can't ever fully extinguish it.

I encourage you to take some time to be introspective and find what fuels you and what brings you contentment. As you learn to place your attention on deeper dreams, motivations, and joys, it is amazing to see how much peace you can train yourself to find. Faith, spirituality, and inward growth are powerful things that can radically transform your life if you choose to seek. Just always remember to have grace with yourself.

Oh, I also must mention that the photo above is the exact spot at the park that I had envisioned in my mind. I stopped by the park last week to go for a walk and was reminded of the season of life I was in at this time last year. So much has changed and yet these hopes, the light, and my journey still stand.. only they have been deeply strengthened.

xx,

Social Media

Social Media is a phenomenal thing—it has the ability to connect people and allows us to stay in touch with friends and family all over the world. It is a powerful tool for communication and disseminating information. I LOVE social media and see its goodness—but it is vital to realize that in the midst of using it to connect, it shouldn’t become something that isolates.

I launched my blog last fall and slowly built it up to the point of gaining more momentum and a bigger audience. In hindsight, it all happened rather quickly. When I started my blog, I was not entirely sure what I wanted to develop it into or what I wanted to convey. I have always been intrigued with the artistic and creative expression of personal style and I loved the idea of partnering with entrepreneurs I believed in. However, I didn’t have a solid plan in place and just worked on it when I could alongside school and, well… life. As time went on, I spent more and more time on Instagram.

Right as I was launching my blog, I remember reading a blog article posted by one of my favorite style bloggers. She came clean and admitted that she had gotten burned out from social media and that her husband had helped her recognize the harmful effects that it was having on her. I was understanding what she was saying, but I had no idea yet about the fight for balance that comes alongside a job in social media and blogging. It sounds easy to say, “Yes, I understand..but it’s about intentionality. I won’t let that happen to me.” But it is an interesting thing--the very nature of social media is about posting things to be seen.  Each post encourages an unhealthy need for validation and approval. Now, I'm not saying that social media is bad or that everyone on it is seeking approval or validation--please hear me say this. But I guess what I’m saying is that it can be easy to lose sight of the opportunity it presents us to connect. It can distract us and isolate us by making us think that the types of posts that are most “liked” are the only types of posts we should make. Or that the posts that don’t get any likes shouldn’t be posted. Once it becomes a business, it can be easy to aim to please and it can be hard to stay true to a genuine expression of creativity. 

My blogging journey has been so much fun and I am very, very grateful for the amazing people I have connected with and worked with. I am also very grateful for everything I've been able to learn thus far.  What I am doing now, though, is just sharing my experience in the hopes that it can be used as encouragement in one way or another to someone else.

In the wake of my Instagram crashing over the past 24 hours, I have been presented an opportunity to think about every aspect of social media. I have realized that my passion for blogging is okay—and even a good thing! But I have also been able to step back and be honest with myself in realizing that even if my audience goes away (haha..literally..) then it is still okay. It is encouraging me to be true to writing and creating content that I believe in without regards to whether or not it is “liked” or “shared” or “followed”. As this has unfolded, it has given me a healthy affirmation in blogging, and in every other area of life, that the work we do must be done with integrity and a genuine heart—regardless of who is around to read and see it.

I am grateful to you for reading this and I encourage you to continue to do work that you believe in. Be confident in knowing that it is more about the heart of the work and journey than the validation or recognition that it may, or may never, bring about.

Sending you warmth and gratitude today and everyday.

xx,