With Gratitude…

with gratitude - atg

{Saturday mornings.}

You couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous LA weekend! We just might skip spring altogether and head straight into summer at the rate that we’re going. No kidding boys and girls, my air-conditioning was on most of the day on Sunday to combat 90° temperatures just outside my door.

While it turned out be a rather lazy weekend as to be expected, I did manage to get out and have one of the best deep tissue massages I’ve EVER had (I’m still slightly sore from the “work-out” Pietro gave me, but I literally floated through the rest of the day I was so relaxed). After a successful stop at Trader Joe’s (meaning I actually found a parking space without having to growl at anyone), then an all too successful stop at Target for the essentials (and those not so much, because, hey – it’s Target)! I was on track for an amazing weekend.

And yet, though the sun was shining and I had everything I needed around me, I couldn’t shake this small funk I found myself in on Sunday for reasons I won’t bore you with. Nothing in particular happened (though as I write this, I can pinpoint where things took a turn Saturday afternoon). I suppose it’s just the ebb and flow of being human. We must embrace the highs with the lows and not beat ourselves up over it.

I know the best thing to do when you feel yourself slipping into a pity party for one, is to stop, take a deep breath, and focus on the good. It’s not exactly helping that it’s also Monday – you know, my favorite day of the week (enter sarcasm). I thought I would start the week with 10 things (large and small and in random order) that I’m grateful for at the moment to shake things up, lift this nasty funk, and get me back to the light.

With gratitude for…

  1. Everything about the picture above from Saturday morning. French toast with fresh-cut strawberries, eggs with avocado, and an iced coffee I made for breakfast. Add in my kindle on “Chapter One” of a new read I’ve been waiting over a month to start (because I was #22 in line on the holds list at the library forever) and I couldn’t have been happier.
  2. The universe put a sweet guy in my life (and he made me dinner on Saturday AND Sunday AND brought me macaroons for dessert).
  3. Steady employment (always a good thing and in the industry I actually studied in college – go figure!).
  4. Essie’s “Watermelon” nail polish. My at home mani/pedi over the weekend have my nails ready for spring.
  5. My health! Duh. (This should probably have come up sooner on the list).
  6. My “little” brother. He’s not exactly little anymore (though he always will be to me). Who knew the little guy following me around bugging me all day, everyday, incessantly as a kid would turn out to be a best friend?
  7. All I have to do is think back to the days when all I wanted was a car to go anywhere my heart desired. I watched with much envy in high school as friends of mine got that freedom much sooner than I did because I couldn’t afford a car. Hands down, this is STILL one of the best parts about being an adult: having a car I LOVE to drive with a full tank of gas to go anywhere I want…and I don’t even have to ask.
  8. Hot Tamales (yes, you read that right).
  9. The art of cinema, my obsession.
  10. Blogging. At this moment, that funk that I was in when I started this post has somehow, someway…just evaporated.

Let’s not forget the small things and live in gratitude. It’s the only way. Have a great week!

Love & Light,

Candi

Highlights

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We made it to Friday. And that’s my highlight. (Scrooge, much?)

I can’t say that February has been particularly kind so far. Things have been rather chaotic on all fronts to say the least, and because of that I find myself off balance and not feeling quite like myself. Always the one to stop and ask myself, “what is the lesson here?” – I’ve spent the last few days processing the answer. Consciously, I know that anytime something isn’t going the way I’d like it to (or how I think it’s supposed to) it’s because I need to change my perspective or how I choose to react to the situation first and foremost. Given that I’m completely aware of this, I still have a hard time executing it at times. And this is because I get stuck on the “why?” and the injustice of it all, when ultimately the answer is that there are things that are just out of my control. This I know: address what you can and let go of what you can’t. What’s frustrating is that if I know this, why is it so hard to actually do sometimes?

On an especially lousy morning 2 days ago, my week saw an improvement in the simplicity of unexpected kindness. A colleague of mine walked over and asked me to join her for a coffee (let’s overlook the fact that I shouldn’t be drinking coffee right now recovering from a really nasty stomach virus). This is not too unusual – some of the gals and I grab coffee in the morning together a few times a week. What was kind about this particular excursion, was that she not only treated me to coffee, but asked me to sit outside and just talk for a while.

It’s pretty amazing how stepping away from my crappy morning, and indulging in one of my favorite addictions (iced vanilla lattes) over conversation about some of the things that had been bothering me lately and hearing about what’s going on in her life instantly improved my mood. The dialogue was at once helping me release a little pent-up frustration while removing the cloud over my head as I listened to her share her thoughts as well. In talking to her, it seemed like both of our spirits needed to take a deep breath and refocus. I could literally feel my perspective changing: Seethings aren’t so bad, you’re sitting outside on a gorgeous day sipping one of your favorite things, enjoying someone’s kindness and company. Smile, everything will be okay!

What I’ve come to learn about myself when I get riled up over something is that it oftentimes helps to just vent like crazy talk, to have my voice heard, even if I cannot change the situation. There seems to be some satisfaction in that for me. The funny thing is that this is not easy. I consider myself to be a pretty outgoing, opinionated, friendly person, but I’m not your classic open book that readily opens up to many people, and if I do – I do so very carefully.

So, again what’s the lesson here? You cannot change your perspective, if you can’t let go of what you can’t control anyway. (That’s a mouthful!)

It seems I found a way (out of thousands, I’m sure) to get the ball rolling on changing my perspective when things get sticky. Just taking a step back and intentionally doing something to alter my state of mind (i.e. joining a friend for coffee) released my attachment the “why?’ and the injustice of it all that I was re-hashing at the time. It even helped to constructively talk about some of the annoyances that had been bothering me that particular morning. It was through our conversation that I was reminded we all have “sticky” situations.

I’m not all suggesting that you find the next person available and verbally throw-up all over them, hashing and re-hashing things that happened weeks ago – but there really is something to that whole notion of enjoying someone’s company or talking about what’s on your mind if you feel comfortable to do so. Feeding off another person’s energy, advice, sympathetic ear, and kindness took me out of my self-induced funk. I found myself more present than I had been all morning.

The funny thing is that while I expressed my gratitude for the coffee and conversation, she’ll never know how that small act of kindness and simple invitation was the highlight of my week. I can’t say that the rest of that day or this even week went off without a hitch from there, because it didn’t. However, those 45 minutes was a lesson learned in the power of perspective. And I suspect, it will be one that I’ll spend this lifetime perfecting.

I love this simple, yet dynamic question above as I wrap up this post that I came across on Pinterest last night. Will most of what has made this week less than stellar matter in a year? The answer is no. Somehow outside of an iced latte and a good chat with a friend, my perspective just became all the more sharper.

Have a great weekend, guys! xx

Happy 2014! Inspiration to Get You Started.

1-Happy-New-Year

Back to life. Back to reality. Back to work. Today.

2014 has been off to a rough start largely because I got sick with a really bad stomach bug/flu/poisoning/I-don’t-exactly-know-what-the-heck-happened that had me resting for much of my holiday vacation once I got back to LA. Unfortunately, New Year’s Eve didn’t find me in a sparkly party dress sipping champagne over a delicious meal while conversing deeply about how 2014 will be best year yet. It actually found me in bed around 9:00pm – where I woke up just before midnight and heard my neighbors downstairs yelling the countdown to midnight. I smiled to myself, said “Happy New Year” to my boyfriend lying next to me, and went back to sleep. How exciting, I know.

Despite a not so ideal start to the year, I’m comforted that I was able to spend a bulk of my holiday vacation exploring the charms of Northern California; and when I was feeling better, to get organized at home with a little New Year’s purge and cleaning of drawers and cabinets in my bathroom. I got an incredible new jewelry box for Christmas and it spawned a need to go through years of jewelry to clean out the less nostalgic treasures I bought on a whim at Forever 21 that’s essentially tarnished crap now. The purge sessions and spending that time at home made me feel productive, as if clearing the way for better things to come.

Speaking of better things to come, I came across this incredible message from Aaron Paquette that I saw yesterday in my Facebook feed that a friend shared. It literally talks about the power of our words. I can’t think of more compelling language to inspire a new beginning for an extraordinary new year. I’m looking forward to sharing it on All That Glitters with you. Happy 2014! Here’s a little inspiration to get you started…

Your Words Create Worlds

We wait.  We say we aren’t ready. We say it’s not yet time. We say “One Day.” And all of it is true. Because what we say is what we create. Our words form our fate.

I am guilty of this. I have held myself back from where I know I should be in life. I have always said that I am working toward the man I want to be, and this is true.

But you know what I have never said?

I’ll tell you in a moment.

First let me share my challenge…OUR challenge.

We have this incredible light inside of us. We have all this strength and goodness and fire. But we don’t know what to do with it, we don’t know how to use it.

Sometimes we’re not even sure it’s even there.

When we are young it almost tortures us with its presence but because we have no idea what this thing is we get angry. We label it pain and because of all the pain we’ve already experienced we use that power to lash out. At ourselves, our own bodies, our own thinking, telling ourselves terrible things. And we lash out at others. We hurt and hurt and hurt.

We carry it into adulthood and stop believing we can make the world a better place. We start believing the world has dealt us a bad hand, that it’s dangerous and so we get frustrated easily. We get mad at other drivers, we stress out about time, money and relationships.

But that’s not who we are. That’s who we become when the setting is on autopilot. Our light is so buried under all the garbage that we mistake as life that when it does shine it’s shocking! And embarrassing because it makes us different.

Others would tear you down because of your light.

How dare you shine!?

Our words are so powerful it’s almost a magic. Maybe it is some kind of magic. I prefer to see it as a gift we have all been given. A piece of the Creator in each of us.

Our Words Create Our Worlds.

We bring something out of nothing. We say we are going to do something, we take action and the thing exists!

I am an artist. I love to paint. My paintings are just imagination, but with my hard work, with my effort and with my love they form and become real. If they speak to others, then I get energy back, sometimes as money and I can buy more paint!

It took me many years to realize I could paint my life into existence. The kind of life that would be meaningful to me and provide value and service for others.

You have the same power.

And it starts with the things you think and the words you speak. You are singing your reality with every breath, with every firing of your synapses.

We are free to make choices. We are free to decide what our lives will be. You may have heard that before and not believed it.

Believe it now.

You are stronger than you can ever imagine. You are more beautiful than any society can define.

But you have to believe. You have to act. You have to become aware of your own truth.

The truth is you can change the world. No matter who you are, what you are doing, how old or young…you can change this world!

You can become the greatest leader for good in our time. Nothing can stop you, Everything is pushing you forward.

But there are some things you have to leave behind.

Self Judgement. You are only as good or bad as you think. If you are defining yourself right now on past actions then you are deluded. You don’t exist in the past. You only exist RIGHT NOW. Whatever you did means nothing. What matters is what you choose to do NOW.

Judgement of Others. You don’t get to judge. And no one gets to judge you. Other people are just as lost and scared and angry and troubled and awesome and beautiful as you!

Nothing is Good or Bad. This is a higher form of non judgement. Only the Creator gets to decide what’s good and bad and even then, the jury is still out. There is fear and there is love, that’s all.

Stop trying to judge and just start walking the path of love. That’s the path of a true being. Fear is the path of a person who can’t see their own light.

If you are judging these words as bad right now, you are afraid. If you are judging them as good, you are seeing light…but now be the light. Then the words will simply BE.

That last part is a big thing to ask. For now just smile.

And trust that G-d, whoever that is for you, whatever form, whatever expression, from faith to science, trust that all things are working the way they are supposed to.

Trust that you are here for a reason. Be it some cellular connection that woke you into awareness or that a higher power has a plan for you – you are here for a purpose.

That purpose is to serve. Serve with all your heart, mind and strength. Serve your fellow being, serve the planet, serve the universe.

Serve by being authentic. Serve by being joyful. Serve by being YOU.

Which brings me to my earlier thread.

Here is what I never said to myself, and today is the day. Now is the time.

I am no longer working toward the man I want to be:

Today I am that man. Today I will be the person I was always meant to be.

Mom, today I move past the clipped wings, the manatee, and the dolphin.

Today I embrace the White Buffalo.

I don’t know what it’s going to look like, I know there will be stumbles and falls, but I am taking on the responsibility and the burden and transforming it with light.

Maybe one day I will walk with the others in your dream, I don’t know yet. Time will tell.

And my prayer is that others are inspired to speak the words that make their worlds.

If we give voice together we transform this humanity, we start the process of taking away the stuff that binds us and instead reveal our true light.

The light we would shine if we had no fear.

As angels sang to poor shepherds:

Be not afraid

I say to you: shine.

Your light isn’t little, so don’t shine a little.

Your light is brighter than the sun, it’s bigger than you dream, it’s an extension of the Creator and all creation.

So Shine. Glow. Explode with light!

Speak the words that your soul has been longing for.

Say that you are awesome and feel the liberating humbleness that accompanies it.

Be your best self. Speak your truth but care for your words so that they don’t harm others. Your best self is ready.

You are just waiting for you.

And not only is it time, but you really are ready.

Speak your Words. Create your World.

And be the light you were always meant to be.

By Aaron Paquette

Source: https://www.facebook.com/AaronPaquetteArt


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Words from Rumi

1-Sun

If you are seeking, seek us with joy

For we live in the kingdom of joy.

Do not give your heart to anything else

But to the love of those who are clear joy,

Do not stray into the neighborhood of despair.

For there are hopes: they are real, they exist –

Do not go in the direction of darkness –

I tell you: suns exist.

– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

There was a time when this week meant something more than work deadlines, trying to get to the gym, the grocery store, getting my laundry done, and a car wash. Spring break always sounded so exotic to me. In part, because I would hear the plans of my peers for their week of unadulterated freedom that included short road trips or jet-setting to Cabo for some fun in the sun.

In college, spring break was always the first week in March, but we would also get a few extra days off around Easter. I went to school with a lot of wealthy students whose parents paid their way for everything. Spring break for me was looking forward to some time off from my classes, but I would still work and might drive home to Orange County to see my family for a few days. Unfortunately, I never could afford to do much more than that.

I remember the times I used to watch T.R.L. on  MTV during spring break wondering what that experience would be like – where you pack your bags, hang out at a gorgeous resort, and live in a bikini for a whole week. In retrospect, I might have hated consistently being around a bunch of drunk people and would have much rather been at home taking naps, working, and reading (as was my typical experience). Then again, had I been able to afford those cliché spring break beach getaways, I imagine it would’ve been a lot of sleeping, partying, flirting with cute guys from different schools, lounging, and laughing mixed in with lots of unnecessary drunken drama. I’ll suppose I’ll never be 21 again to find out.

What I am looking forward to is the day that I can actually take myself on an extended vacation to an exotic resort and sip margaritas all day minus the annoying drunk college students. The best part will be that I paid for it all on my own and, as such, it would be a much richer and well-deserved experience.


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| Vacay inspired accessories. ||

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|| Banishing doubt.||

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|| Strawberries & cream crepes // recipe here. ||

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|| Corner nightstands. ||

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|| Prada arm candy. ||

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|| A little Easter bunny humor. ||

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|| How to decorate a cupcake by Stephanie Franz, pastry chef at my favorite cupcake shop – Cupcakes Couture. ||