(almost) weekly letters from my heart to you
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The new whole heart talismans are in the shop! 

Saturday
Apr182015

retreating

Ellie and I are in Arch Cape, Oregon for her first art retreat this weekend. It's just the two of us and it's pretty awesome to be here together teaching her the ways of retreating. We're painting and getting sea and salt in our hair and snacking and writing and laughing. And there's of course a heavy dose of remembering to be kind and learning how to take some space when we need it and creating a mess with our words and then hugging it out.

Our time here has me very excited to come back in June for the One Move Retreat (which has five spots left). And it has me thinking about writing a few posts with some thoughts about what I'm learning as we paint and talk and hug it out.

 

While watching her run on the beach with a new friend this morning, I started thinking about how parenting is so much about trying to stay rooted while the world feels like it spins faster. And I'm not talking about time. That's a given. I'm talking about how you go from knowing what to do in a moment and saying just the right thing to help her learn to hearing her laughter and see her joy literally bubble up around her like magic to watching her run too far from you until she can't see you, until you can't see her, while the tide is coming in and the moment suddenly tosses you over a cliff of worry and knowing you're going to have to pull out the serious voice while not totally losing your shit in front of wedding guests who are suddenly gathering on the beach where just 20 minutes before there was only you and her and adventure waiting. Somehow staying rooted, even if only by a fingertip, in moments like that. 

More soon...but I think it's time to nap while she naps...

Thursday
Apr162015

love this: scoutmob favorites (and a giveaway!)

 

For a few months now, I've been curating my favorites from Shoppe by Scoutmob over on Pinterest. As I shared previously, Shoppe by Scoutmob is an awesome site that supports makers by giving them a platform to sell a handful of their goods. It is full of gorgeous, fun handmade items.

Today, I'm partnering with Scoutmob to share a few Mother's Day gift ideas for under $100 AND to give away a $100 gift card to one reader so you can buy your own gift for Mom (or yourself!). Here are just a few of my current maker-made gift ideas on Scoutmob. (Giveaway details are at the end of the post.)


The DIY Scarf Indigo Dye Kit by Yellow Owl Workshop looks pretty darn awesome. I've been eying the indigo dye trend for a while, seeing DIY ideas on Pinterest, and I love that this kit comes with everything you need. If the mom in your life is the DIY type, this would be pretty perfect! 

There are quite a few rings on Scoutmob that I've been dreaming about lately. The Hammered Gold Eclipse Ring by Isla Loves Rick is gorgeous. And the circle can represent so many beautiful stories. I also love the Hammered Siren Ring, the Moon Dot sterling ring, and the Queen Crown Ring. Oh and the custom state quarter ring has become one of my most popular curated pins ever. It is pretty darn awesome!

The Flower Market Scarf Camera Strap by Bluebird Chic is great for the mom who carries her big camera around but wants to be stylish and have her camera hang comfortably from her neck or shoulder. Also really perfect for a photographer who takes photos at weddings and other events. Also really love this canvas and leather strap.

The Double Dot Enamel necklace by K.O'Brien Jewelry is adorable and on trend yet doesn't feel super trendy, and I love the color combinations it comes in! Such a sweet pairing that can represent a mama and child without being too obvious about it. A mom could also give the little dot to her daughter. Love this one!

The Herbal Bath and Beauty Kit from Herbal Organics looks lovely. Giving thoughtfully, handmade self-care products like these can be paired with a beautiful message from your heart about how it is time for the mom in your life to take some time for herself. Love that idea! The Sabbatical Bath Salts also look delightful and have maybe the best name ever.

The Leather Foldover Clutch by Rare Bird is gorgeous. I love how it could go from holding important stuff in your big everyday bag to date night easily. And the price is really great for this kind of leather craftsmanship. (This is pretty much on my wish list big time.) The Full Bloom Flower pouch is also so cute!

Giveaway details: The giveaway is open through 11:59 PM PST, Sunday, April 19. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment sharing your favorites from the gift ideas above. One winner will be chosen at random and will be announced at the end of this post on Monday. Be sure to include your email (not in the comment, just in the email space provided), so we can be in touch with you if you win. Good luck!!! And give maker made this Mother's Day. It's a way to give the moms in your life extra love.

Giveaway Winner: The winner is Lara who commented: #5 the herbal bath and beauty kit. Sometimes mum needs reminded that she CAN take time for herself. Congratulations Lara!! Check your email.

Note: Though I am partnering with Scoutmob for this giveaway, this isn't a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. The links above are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission when you explore the Shoppe through these links. 

Monday
Apr132015

how to fall in love with poetry {part two}

It's National Poetry Month, and each Monday, I'm sharing a few words about poetry in the hope that you'll fall in love. Today, let's get to the reading a poem part of poeming it out.

My life changed forever when I read Derek Walcott’s poem “Love After Love” in 2005. It was like looking into a mirror and upon seeing my reflection knowing I would never truly be able to believe my self-talk the next time I felt so damn lonely.

Because there would always be poetry.

Last week, I invited you to get into your poet's heart by being curious. Today, I want you to open that heart even wider by reading a few poems. 

Let's start with "Breakage" by Mary Oliver (though if you don't know "The Summer Day" or "The Journey" please read them both. Right now. I'll wait.)

Then go on to "Faith" by David Whyte.

Followed by "Forgetfulness" by Billy Collins.

And then "Early in the Morning" by Li-Young Lee 

And finally, here is one from me:

Yes, Just One
by Liz Lamoreux 

Just one? she asked.
I nodded.
But as I sat alone,
glancing at the menu,
I wanted to stand up and say:

Yes, just one.

Just one woman who has been broken open by love and sewn together by living.

Just one woman who has unearthed the stories she had tucked away inside the corners of herself.

Just one woman who holds grief in one hand and joy in the other.

Just one woman who hears the wind whisper the stories of those who came before her.

Just one woman who believes she must choose rest over expectations.

Just one woman who sees truth and beauty in her reflection.

Just one woman who swims with the whales while she sleeps.

Just one woman who cries when she hears Paul Simon play his guitar.

Just one woman who never thought she would be a mother.

Just one woman who feels cocooned by the push and pull of the sea.

Just one woman who listens for reminders to trust.

Just one woman who holds onto the hope of spring’s first crocus.

Yes, just one woman who opens her heart to love each day,
Even when it rains,
Even when the missing sets in,
Even when fear nips at her toes,
Even when it seems impossible.

Are you feeling it yet? The rhythm of poetry that lives inside you? If you're feeling a spark of recognition or even of something you can't quite describe, I encourage you to keep reading, keep searching for the poets who are just waiting to be companions for your journey. 

If you want to keep reading poems, here are some more favorites (be sure to also read the comments of that post).

"Yes, Just One" is from my poetry collection Five Days in April. You can read more about it and purchase a signed copy here.

Thursday
Apr092015

GlobeIn Artisan Box

Recently, GlobeIn sent over one of their Artisan boxes and asked if I'd share a review about it here on my blog.

Moments like this are when I really do think to myself, "Best job ever."

When the adorable little basket arrived, I waited to open it with Ellie, because I knew she would love seeing what was inside.

And right from the start I want to tell you one of my unexpected favorite parts of this subscription box: No unnecessary packaging. They really are standing behind their mission to build a more positive world, and one way is by having less of an impact on the environment.

Everything that came in the box was tucked sweetly inside the basket with a tote bag folded underneath. And what was inside was a little feast for the senses with rice (complete with a coconut rice recipe), lip balm, delicious cacao nibs, and a little bamboo bowl. The tote bag is the perfect size for groceries or packages to take to the post office and books to and from the library (which is probably how I'll be using it).

As we looked at what was inside, Ellie and I might have had to talk about how the stuff inside was really for me, like my own Kiwi Crate box, and that she could help me open it all but that it wouldn't be going in her room. Though we're scheming up fun things to keep in the basket, from hair bows to notes that list things we're happy about. And I've agreed that yes, she can eat the rice and use the bowl. (Insert that wink smiley face emoji here.)

A little information about the GlobeIn Artisan Box. It's a subscription box where each month you receive a themed collection of artisan­-made products from around the world. The products are often organic, fair­ trade, and support artisans and farmers from around the world. Each box also includes stories about the origin of the products product as well as the stories of the artisans and farmers. This special touch of including the stories makes me so happy.

And these stories gave me an unexpected opportunity to talk with Ellie about what it means to buy handmade from people around the world. Because of my business and my studio in our backyard, she already understands that some people go to work to make things by hand for other people, but explaining how we can positively impact the world when we purchase handmade items wasn't a conversation I'd really had with her yet. She was so interested in reading the stories in the little booklet and learning more about the people who made these items that were now sitting on our kitchen table. It was awesome.

Here's the thing, when you have the chance to review something, you hope you'll really like it and you want to be able to be honest in your review. I want to share the products I love here in this space. The products I would gift to my own mom, to my closest friends, that I would want myself. And I'm pretty much hoping that Jon gets me a subscription to the Artisan Box for Mother's Day. For real. (Honey, this is a big hint.)

Special just for you: If you want to gift yourself or someone else a subscription to the Artisan Box, you can use coupon code LIZ for 25% off a 3-month (or longer) subscription! 

Please note: GlobeIn gifted me one Artisan Box in exchange for this review. This post is not sponsored by them and the opinions shared are my own. Links throughout are affiliate, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase anything through these links. Photo at the top of this post provided by GlobeIn.

Wednesday
Apr082015

10 mantras to help you choose love

I work with mantras in my Soul Mantra jewelry line daily, but I also use these phrases as handholds that I can grab onto in the midst of my day when I need to ground and center myself.

A mantra is a phrase that you can use to invite in mindfulness to your daily life. You can also use it as a focal point for meditation, which is where the word mantra originally comes from. 

Three ways to use a mantra:

1. You can repeat your mantra silently to yourself as you breathe and let this repetition be a space for your mind to rest while you meditate. It helps you enter into the silence meditation is helping you find by giving your mind something to focus on.

2. You can use your mantra as a touchstone during your day. When I want to pause for a moment or two and reboot myself a bit using a mantra, I inhale and think the words, and then exhale and imagine all that I need from the mantra surrounds me. Then I breathe all that in and say it again to myself. Doing this a few times creates some space between whatever is happening in my life and where I want to be.

3. You can use a mantra as a journaling prompt to help you peel back the layers of how you're feeling about something. Let yourself freewrite with the mantra as a jumping off point. (Freewriting means just putting your pen to paper and writing for several minutes without stopping.)

Here are 10 mantras to get you started. These are a few I turn to again and again, especially when I want to invite in more love in a moment... when I know I want to choose love. 

I open my heart.

For the days when you feel yourself "armoring up" to protect yourself only to find you're far away from the beauty and joy that surrounds you. 

How I use this one: Crossing my arms in front of me, I inhale, thinking it silently to myself while beginning to open my arms wide and away from my body. Then as I exhale, I bring my arms back to cross in front of me over my heart. This becomes a way of telling myself that even as I open my heart, I can set boundaries.

I can set down this story.

For the moments when you feel the old stories threatening to take over.

Setting down a story that isn't serving in the moment (or at all) can be a very powerful practice. Notice when the old stories come up and see what it would feel like to relax your shoulders and set them down. Recently, I shared about one of my own old stories and what happened when I made the choice to set it down.

There's room enough for everyone.

For the times when envy or jealousy arise, and for the times when your ego pushes you to move from a place of scarcity.

I find this one really helpful for moving through social media and the feelings it can bring up. Let these words push you to remember that we all have gifts and stories and hearts that we bring to every moment.

You can rest today.

For the days when you're physically and emotionally exhausted.

Because it is much easier to choose love when you aren't tired. Give yourself the gift of even just a few minutes of rest when the grumps make it feel almost impossible to choose love. And rest isn't only for the tough days. Sometimes the really good times can cause us to feel a lot more tired than usual. Listen to your body. Let breathing in this mantra invite in rest.

I allow love to guide me.

For the moments when you need to let the people in your lives just be themselves or when you need to invite in more trust.  

This is one to say with your hand on your heart. Breathing. Trusting. Letting the love that is available to you in every moment guide you. Allow is a word that has been appearing in my life for a few months now. It becomes a whisper that helps me feel less uncertain as I navigate the relationships and decisions in my life.

I don't have to be right (even when it feels like I am).

For the moments when your ego wants to take over.

I pretty much added this one to the list because I want to remind myself of how helpful it can be. This is one that comes up for me in my marriage, but I find it's beginning to come up with my daughter in the moments when I feel like I have to "correct" her. I don't want to be that mom who says "because I said so," yet the moments come up when it's about to roll off of my tongue. I'm also her guide who helps her figure things out as she grows, and there are times when I do simply know what's best. This mantra helps me navigate the stuff that comes up with all of that. (Something tells me our world would be a bit easier to navigate if we all used this one a few times a day.) 

Shanti. Shanti. Shanti. (Peace. Peace. Peace.)

For the days when you feel weary and worried that love won't win. 

During my yoga teacher training, hearing my teacher chant these words became a place that felt like home to me. Whenever I need to reconnect with the love, the hope, that exists in that space where one person can make a difference simply by choosing love, I chant these words. You can hear me chant them at the end of this audio love note I shared a couple of years ago. 

Know my truth.

For the moments when you know it's time to say how you feel.

Telling the true stories is something I feel very passionate about, but we also have to choose who we tell these truths to and think about the timing of our sharing. There is a difference between following a sometimes reckless need to "speak our truth" instead of sharing our truth from a place of love. This phrase, "know your truth," helps ground me as I make these decisions. While diving into my archives recently, I came across this post where I shared my "aha" moment about this phrase. 

I can let in more light.

For the moments when it's time to shed something that no longer serves you to bring in more light.

Sometimes you're simply shedding the stuff that piles up each day. Other days you might be shedding the belief that you can't allow in joy because you need to protect yourself. And some days you have to shed the words of others that swirl around inside you. This line from Leonard Cohen, "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in," speaks right to this mantra. When we let ourselves open up to the beauty, even in the moments that feel impossible, there is always light. I use this mantra to connect with that light within and around me. 

I can choose love.

For the moments when everything from the annoyances of daily life to the big tough stuff you see on the news pulls you far away from feeling love within you.

Can you let yourself choose love today? Instead of wondering, turn this question around to a statement and gently whisper to yourself that yes, "I can choose love today."