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Welcome to Starr Struck's February Newsletter! Your monthly dose of all things yoga, art, and living an inspired, creative, simple life. 

Lets hear it for the month of LOVE. 


Romantic love, BFF love, self-love, puppy love, ice cream love, whatever. I'm a lover [not a fighter] and I love celebrating any and all kinds of love. So lets do it!

For me, a big part of this concept of love is learning to love myself as I am in the present moment, flaws and all (!). It's hard being a perfectionist and learning to live with (and even love) the not-s0-fun parts of being yourself, but I think that it's an important aspect of our relationship with ourselves that we should all be working on (always and forever).


Here's a little anecdote to illustrate what I'm talking about: 

On a random Saturday last month, my husband's mom stopped by unexpectedly while I was out. It was my busiest week and weekend of the month, and our house had gone to hell. I mean gone. to. hell. Srrrriously.

When I came home and heard that Ben's mom had been over--had sat and chatted with him in our hairball-and-paperwork covered living room--after walking through our chaotic entryway and dishes-all-over-the-counters-kitchen, I was horrified. When he reported that she had looked around and said, "So this is how you guys live, huh?" I was MORTIFIED.

No part of me believes that she really cared how messy our house was (or that she was judging us), but I judged us. I judged myself for letting life get so chaotic, for letting our house go, for not being able to keep everything in order while running all over town. 

But, the more that I've thought about/obsessed over this incident since then, the more I've realized that this is a part of me that I just need to learn to accept. [And love...?]

So I let the house get a little messy when life gets busy--who cares? I've never been a neat freak (organization freak, yes, but neat freak, no), hairballs don't bother me *too* much, I can work amongst the papers, and it all gets cleaned up eventually. That's just who I am. 

I guess what I'm saying is that this whole situation got me thinking about how negatively we can treat ourselves. What parts of yourself do you judge or put down? How can you begin to accept them, or look on the bright side of these attributes this year? We're only one month into 2014, so I think right now is a great time to check-in and think about how you're doing at loving yourself thus far this year. 

How are you feeling after your January? Have you taken time for yourself? Are you headed in the direction that you want to be headed in? If not, lets take a bit of time to plan for a more accepting, more relaxing, more lerve-filled February... 



Theme of the Month
This month, I'm focusing on scaling back and prioritizing. I always start out the New Year revved up, chomping at the bit, ready to get back into my daily routine--only to quickly overcommit, overwork, and end up feeling slightly frazzled by the end of January. 2014 has been no exception thus far, which means that although I'm very busy and loving all that I'm doing right now, I need to take the time to prioritize how I want to spend my time and energy for the rest of the year. And you? 

Big Picture Goals of the Month
  1. Launching my new online classes. I had SO much fun teaching my live e-course last month, that I've decided to make regularly-scheduled online classes a part of my normal offerings. The first few classes take place this month (more info below), and I'm psyched. 
  2. Getting back to painting REGULARLY. In the last few months of 2013, I was a painting fool. I was almost living the life of a full-time painter, and although it was kind of crazy, I also really loved it. In January, I took a bit of a step back from painting, only working on commissions and using my "free time" to catch up on everything else. This month, I want to get back into a balanced, regular painting routine, without getting behind on life. Easier said than done!  
  3. Setting some clear work/life boundaries for myself. Propelled by my need to say yes to almost every opportunity in this new area, I've found myself working almost all the time. As we've discussed many times, this is not okay in the grand scheme of staying healthy and nurturing relationships/body/soul, so I'm working on it this month. 
What are your 3 big-picture goals for February? I hope that you'll take a moment to write them down today, so that you have a clear direction for your time and energy in the coming weeks...

Pre-planned Relaxation Time for February
Here's what I've got scheduled:
  1. Finally take a bath (or, baths) in our new house! I have wanted to take a bath since we moved in, and for some reason, I haven't yet. I had gotten into such a regular bathtime routine in DC--and I loved it (!)--so I've decided it's time to make it happen here. This month = at least 3 soaks in the tub. Yes please!
  2. Take a digital day off: Many of my mindfulness role models do this regularly, but alas, I've fallen off the wagon. This month I'm going to pick a day and really do it. Take a day off from all digital connection. I am. Eeek!
  3. Visit from another friend! I have the best friends. It's true. And I'm sure you do, too, and I'm so happy for you. Good friends are the BEST, and visits from good friends are even better. We're having our second houseguest at the end of this month, which just happens to by my BFF since 5th grade (NBD), and I'm already super excited for a weekend of relaxation with her ;) 
Don't Have Any February Relaxation Planned Yet? 
Here are a few ideas:
  1. Schedule some self-pampering: Gotten a massage yet in 2014? Yeah, me neither = not cool. If you're not a massage person, book a mani/pedi, a haircut, acupuncture, a chiropractor appointment, whatever. Make yourself a chosen "I'm treating myself" appointment and keep it. For the sake of LERVE, peeps!
  2. Join me on my bath mission: They're simply SO healing and are also simple, free, and luxurious. Lets do it: at least 3! 
  3. Take a day off in the middle of the week: If you have personal days, or sick days, or if you work for yourself and spend your life working, pick a day this month--a day in the middle of the week--and play hooky. Take it off and do whatever you feel like doing. But don't clean the house or do your taxes. Relax. 
And now, for a few simple, sensory joys for the month...

Mantra of the Month

"Be a lamp to yourself. Be your own confidence. Hold on to the truth within yourself as to the only truth."
-Buddha

How can you live out this mantra in February? Wishing you a month full of truth-seeking and truth-finding...

Soundtrack of the Month

The [surprise] self-titled album by the one and only, Beyonce

She's got me! I finally gave in and bought the entire album, and I'm so glad that I did. The girl has just got it! She's been going strong for so long now and I'm so inspired. 

Book of the Month

Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

I keep hearing about this book, so I think that it's about time that I read it. Everyone says it's hilarious--and who doesn't love a good read that makes you laugh?

Personal Pose of the Month

Eka Pada Galavasana

I love this hip-opening arm balance, but hadn't practiced it in a while. Then we did it in class last week, and I was reminded of how fun it is (and how challenging!). I guess I should do a Mat Matters Episode on it soon, huh? ;) 


Poem of the Month 

Bottled Water by Kim Dower

I go to the corner liquor store
for a bottle of water, middle
of a hectic day, must get out
of the office, stop making decisions,
quit obsessing does my blue skirt clash
with my hot pink flats; should I get
my mother a caregiver or just put her
in a home, and I pull open the glass
refrigerator door, am confronted
by brands—Arrowhead, Glitter Geyser,
Deer Park, spring, summer, winter water,
and clearly the bosses of bottled water:
Real Water and Smart Water—
how different 
will they taste?
If I drink Smart Water 
will I raise my IQ but be less authentic?
If I choose Real Water will I no longer
deny the truth, but will I attract confused,
needy people who’ll take advantage
of my realness by dumping their problems
on me, and will I be too stupid to help them sort through their murky dilemmas?
I take no chances, buy them both,
sparkling smart, purified real, drain both bottles, look around to see is anyone watching?
I’m now brilliantly hydrated.


Painting of the Month 

 

"Flowers for Etta" by Lulie Wallace


I have spent quite a while looking through Lulie Wallace's website, and I have to say--I haven't seen a SINGLE one of her paintings that I don't adore. Her colors, her patterns, her signature style--it's all there and all makes me drool. Take a look--I think you'll agree :)

And don't you think a nice bouquet painting is perfect for February? Ben, if you're reading this, I want the flowers pictured above ;) 


Upcoming Workshops & Events

 
-Online ClassesI'll be teaching the following 1-hour, live online classes this month {Reserve your space here}...
  • Content Generation + Time Management for Bloggers- 2/12 from 7-8pm
  • Social Media Marketing for Yoga Teachers- 2/15 from 3-4pm
  • Branding 101 for Yoga Teachers- 2/24 from 7:15-8:15pm
-Absolute Beginners Workshop at Orleans Yoga + Pilates: Saturday, February 8th from 1:30-4pm

-Make the Jump! Advance your Yoga Practice at  Centerville Yoga & Wellness Center: Sunday, February 23rd from 1-3pm

-Costa Rica Art + Asana Retreat: Kimberly Wilson and I will be hosting a retreat to CR on May 24-31st, 2014. Visit this informational page for details, pricing, + itinerary, and sign up online here. Counting down the days already! 


 


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