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studio news :: january

liz lamoreux

Last week, when I was making a list of the ways my business can most support people right now, an idea that has been tapping on me for over two years basically stood up and said: THE TIME HAS ARRIVED.

So here we go! Today, I'm so excited to share the very first Soul Mantras subscription box: The Talisman of the Month Club

 

 

A SELF-CARE BOX DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR EACH MONTH

Because we need words to remind of us what we know. Because holding something in our hand connects us to our own hearts and the hearts of others. Because, sweet soul, self-care is a deep breath, an act of resilience, and even an act of courage that you can make time for.

The Talisman of the Month Club is a monthly subscription that includes a delightful little box of inspiration and support delivered to your door. Each month presents a new theme that provides you with self-care ideas and practices connected to the talisman you’ll be able to hold in your hands.

 

 

The intention behind this box is to give you tangible practices and reminders to see and hold to help you create space to practice self-care each day.

Your monthly subscription includes (bolded items arrive in your box):

  • A handmade pewter pocket talisman hand stamped with a phrase to support you, infused with love and blessings, and packaged in a bag to hold close
  • A tiny print (all 12 months will create an inspiration deck for you)
  • Note from my heart to yours talking about the Soul Mantra phrase and monthly practice
  • A surprise additional gift
  • Monthly email newsletter where I dive deeper into the practice and share ideas
  • Invitation to a private Facebook group where we will talk about ways to connect with the month’s practice, share supportive stories, and so on
 

 

THIS BOX IS ALSO PART MAGIC!

Each month’s theme plus the talisman shape and size and your additional gift will be a surprise. This means your box will include all the goodies listed above but you will not know the exact details. Instead, you’ll be stepping into the magic of connection and intuition with me. 

Here’s what I mean: As each new month approaches, I’ll be listening for the phrase, word, or quote that we most need. While I may show peeks on social media, the full contents of the box won’t be revealed until we start shipping them out to the beautiful souls in this circle. 

There are several subscription options to choose from:

  • 1 month = $25 (for those who just want to try it out or pay monthly)
  • 3 months = $66 ($22 a month/save $9)
  • 6 months = $120 ($20 a month/save $30)
  • 12 months = $216 ($18 a month/save $84) plus receive a free soapstone heart bowl to hold your talismans 

Special Free Gift: 
If you sign up for a 3, 6, or 12-month subscription this week (through January 29), you'll also receive a free lotus necklace with your first box.

You can read more about the monthly box and subscribe right here on the Soul Mantras site. And yes, we are shipping internationally!

What I love most about this box is that it bridges the self-care and mindfulness practices I teach at my retreats and in my ecourses with the Soul Mantras I've been making since 2008. I love that I'll be sharing self-care ideas, we'll come together on Facebook to connect about them, and you'll be able to hold real, tangible handmade reminders in your hand in your corner of the world.

Enrollment for the February box has begun, and it's so exciting to see the names of the beautiful souls who are feeling the call to come along. 

courage, dear heart

liz lamoreux

 

Earlier this month, I shared some words about why I've chosen "attention" as my word of the year. Today, here's a little more about the phrase I'm also carrying with me: Courage, dear heart.

“But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, "Courage, dear heart," and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan's, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.”
- C.S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia books have some of my favorite stories of all time. I'm a huge fan of C.S. Lewis and his writings, fiction and non-fiction. I appreciate his honesty and doubt and even cynicism about love until he fell in love later in life. He writes about grief in raw, intense ways in his book A Grief Observed, which is about his reaction to his wife's death. The writing was so truthful and full of questions about his faith that he published it under a pseudonym. I find this all so fascinating.

Lewis has said that Aslan represents Jesus in his Narnia books; I think of him as God. 

So to me, this quote is about faith and reaching out for what is greater than you when you are afraid and being reminded that you must look deep within for courage while also trusting that you aren't alone in whatever is coming your way.

Big stuff.

Last week, while Joni Mitchell sang, I wrote down all that came to mind when thinking about this phrase. Focusing mostly on feelings and words that capture where I am in this moment. I pushed myself to let go of censoring (even if it felt like I was writing cliches) and just write, using a kind of mind map.

 

courage dear heart journaling

 

I want to try to do this same practice every month - journaling with "courage, dear heart" as my prompt. There will probably be repetition but it feels powerful to push aside swirling thoughts and hone in on the feelings under the feelings with this phrase as a prompt.

Courage and attention, two words that feel important as we march forward into whatever is to come. I look forward to bringing them with me and using them to keep myself focused and supported as I find my way.

What words are you holding close these days? I'd love to know. 

(print above from Cheerful Ink)

making the bed.

liz lamoreux

At around 12:30 AM on January 1st, I made Jon help me put clean sheets and a different duvet cover on our bed because I just couldn't sleep in 2016 sheets. Silly, perhaps. But sometimes we just need to feel like we have some control.

The next morning, I made the bed. Later that day when our daughter was in our room, she said, "Who made your bed?" This should reveal a lot to you my friends. 

We've been making it every day since.

It feels like such a simple but profound act of attention. A way of saying to myself (and Jon) that I care enough about us to set this one thing back upright again before diving into the day.

Here's the truth: I've never really made my bed. I'm not a neat person. (I feel like) I have too much to do or say or write or experience to stop and upright things all the time. 

And I've had an internal battle hanging out inside me about that "truth" at different moments throughout my adult life. It came in like a lion last year when we were moving. Which resulted in me releasing some of the layers of shame of not living a life that is as organized or "neat" or ready for a magazine shoot like my mother's home or the homes I see on Pinterest or Instagram or in my head.

It's an ongoing releasing adventure as I continue to be honest with myself about this: There are stories that aren't our stories that we carry. And then there are our stories that we need to own and be truthful about how they're keeping us stuck.

Maybe you relate to pieces of this.

My point? Somehow this little act of making the bed, for 12 days now, has become a symbol of how I can turn the page on all those old stories. Perhaps even rewrite them.

I smile every single time I see that bed with those pillows stacked up and cozy wool blanket tossed across it. Even when it is a bit messily made. Even when clean laundry and two boxes I still haven't unpacked (since last summer) and Jon's pile of who knows what on his side hang out all around the room.

Because I'm making at least one move each day toward the life I imagine with this little gesture of attention.

Today though, instead of making any profound statements about how I've changed or how I expect to be making it for the rest of my life, I'm just noticing and gathering evidence and holding myself a little more accountable by telling you about it, too. 

This Is My Year Mini Bundle

liz lamoreux

 

DEAR BEAUTIFUL SOUL,

The “This Is My Year” mini bundle is a gathering of a few of my Soul Mantra favorites to help you keep your Word, Phrase, or Intention of the year close to you. Because I deeply believe in this practice of wearing your word and carrying it with you, I've priced it at more than 20% off

This special bundle includes the following:

A customized pewter bar necklace (or brass if you prefer) hand stamped with your word or short phrase. These pewter pendants are quite thick (thicker than we've had in the past) and will hold up well to daily wearing. 

A hand stamped pocket talisman with your word or short phrase. There are three talisman options: Heart, Thick Small Circle, Large Circle, so you can choose the one that best works with your word or phrase.

 
 

This is My Year manifesto 5x7 print written and designed by me. It is part declaration and part prayer, and I hope you will find yourself within its words. It is printed on thick card stock and comes packaged in a sleeve with backing to keep it safe. You can frame it, tape it right onto a wall in your home, put it on your inspiration board, or use it in your journaling projects. 

A This Is My Year sticker to use for journaling, scrapbooking, and so on.

A 2017 blessing postcard that you can fill out with your word (see below).

A reusable cloth bag stamped with This Is My Year that fits all of your goodies inside!

 
 

You can find all this goodness in the Soul Mantras shop right here

And if you need some ideas about choosing a word or intention of the year, check out this post.

attention :: my 2017 word

liz lamoreux

 

The word "attention" started tapping on me about a week after the 2016 election.

Literally "attention" was saying "pay attention to me." 

It started with noticing how I kept using the word, saying that I didn't want to become complacent, that I was so hopeful those of us feeling such grief and a fire within us after the election would continue to "pay attention" and not lean back into our privileged complacency.

And then I saw a quote from Mary Oliver:

Attention is the beginning of devotion.

When I started thinking about it as my word, I was pushing back because it didn't hold a warmth for me. Not that it is a cold word, but after this year, I feel such a deep longing for warmth. 

But as the events of 2016 continued to unfold and as I reflected on my own growth and stuckness, it began to feel like it was indeed the word I just might need alongside me. 

These other words from Mary Oliver, found in Our World and quoted here, speak to another layer of this word that feels so deeply important:

It has frequently been remarked, about my own writings, that I emphasize the notion of attention. This began simply enough: to see that the way the flicker flies is greatly different from the way the swallow plays in the golden air of summer. It was my pleasure to notice such things, it was a good first step. But later, watching M. when she was taking photographs, and watching her in the darkroom, and no less watching the intensity and openness with which she dealt with friends, and strangers too, taught me what real attention is about. Attention without feeling, I began to learn, is only a report. An openness — an empathy — was necessary if the attention was to matter. Such openness and empathy M. had in abundance, and gave away freely… I was in my late twenties and early thirties, and well filled with a sense of my own thoughts, my own presence.

::

My favorite movie is Lincoln. This drives my six year old crazy because 1) she isn't old enough to see it and 2) she really wants me to have the same favorite movie as her or at the very least choose a Disney movie because they are obviously the best.

Recently, I was explaining why I love the movie so much. First, it is simply a fantastic movie. The acting, the editing, the story itself. All of it. Second, Abraham Lincoln becomes more of a hero to me every single time I learn more about him. Such a complex man serving our country at such an intense time while holding his own internal and external grief plus depression. Just wow. Third, Daniel Day Lewis. 

This needs its own paragraph: At some point in between the first and second time I saw Lincoln in the theatre, I read an article where Daniel Day Lewis said something like, "I just miss him" when talking about how he felt about the movie. He meant he literally missed Lincoln because he was no longer submerged in playing him daily.

That kind of commitment, that kind of all in, well, it makes me weak at the knees.

I was telling someone about this and said something like, "We reward Daniel Day Lewis with an Oscar and critical acclaim when he submerges himself in the world of Lincoln and literally pretends to be him for months. If I suddenly said, 'This is the year I will pretend to be Mary Oliver each day and will walk every morning and then come home and write a poem.' And I will ask those around me to call me Mary; well, people would think I was crazy."

I suppose it would make for a very cool blog and Instagram persona. Though perhaps a bit more than a little odd because Ms. Oliver is still alive. 

But wouldn't it be something to infuse yourself with the wisdom and daily practices of someone you admire?

::

This idea of attention being a combination of openness and empathy alongside deeply noticing the world around you (and within) stirs something deep in me. 

I might not take a walk every single morning, but I want to keep this idea of attention as a way of devotion, as a way of making sense of things, and as a way of staying open and connected to empathy - as a way of learning about others and finding connection - close to me. I want to live a life of attention.

In many ways, I already do. But I'm ready to go deeper. I'm ready to embody more of what I teach and write about. And I'm ready to be a student and listen and listen some more.

I'm taking a companion with me on this journey, courage. Specifically, the phrase "courage, dear heart" from CS Lewis' book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. More on that in another post soon. 

As I always do, I've started a Pinterest board with inspiration for my word, and you can find it here. This can be a great way to stay connected to your word while also continuing to unpack the layers of meaning it holds for you.

I'm also going to take Ali's class and work with my word in a few other ways. Again, more on that soon.

I guess I should say this: I'm officially going to start blogging several times a week again. This blog is where I first started unpacking the idea of being present (hence the blog name "be present, be here") and before the world of social media, I would capture my photos and words here. This space became evidence of the ways I was paying attention in my life. Well, I'm ready for that to begin again. So here we go...

You can find the pocket talisman I've been carrying with my word stamped on it in my shop over here

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