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Back when I was working my corporate job, I had this image on the desktop of my work computer. It was an Anthony Burrill print that said “Work Hard and Be Nice to People.”

I displayed it proudly, feeling like it made a statement about who I was (or wanted to be). Humble, driven, people-pleasing, kind, focused.  And while this phrase still very much resonates with and motivates me, it’s my definition of work that’s shifted from then to now.

Work Hard

What does the word “work” even mean?

I have found that the definition changes from person to person, making this is a favorite dinner party topic of mine.

I have found that the look of and feelings around “work” are programmed into our brains in our early years.

It’s how we saw our parents define in it. It’s how our teachers rewarded it. It’s how we saw the world and how it worked. Essentially, we all adapt to our definitions of work as a way to feel like we belong – in our tribe, in our family, in the world.

My work story is a complex one. I grew up in a household where both parents had graduate degrees and worked in high level government and corporate jobs. Belonging in my family meant excelling academically and working in a large organization. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just how I was initially programmed to view “work” and “success”. So, when I got my high-level manager position at my corporate job, I felt a familiar sense of relief flood my body. I had made it. I belonged in my tribe. I had succeeded. But, if you know my story, you know that life was’t the right fit for me and I’ve been spending the last several years un-learning all of these mindsets and behaviors I took on to find my own sense of personal freedom and contentment in this world.

I was the girl who glorified the term busy. Busy meant important. Busy meant full. Busy meant belonging. But busy was hurting my body, my connection with my loved ones, and my access to my intuition.

Busy had to go.

And, even with all of my progress, I find this concept of hard work still comes up for me now and then. Now that I’m my own boss, I’ve found myself facing a new work story.  The work-so-hard-it-hurts entrepreneurial mentality I see permeating start-up culture doesn’t motivate me. It freaks me out and gives me the feeling that I’m at risk being kicked out of the pack if I don’t fall in line and do something that doesn’t come naturally to me.

So I don’t. I have been coming up with my own feminine prescription for hustle and flow.

How do we untangle from this concept of work being hard, a struggle, and exhausting? Here are some of my methods:

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inside my home apothecary

I just finished putting the final touches on my home apothecary corner in my new home and it is a thing of wonders. Most of my life, I’ve dreamed of being a medicine woman with my own garden of herbs, honeybees, and an area of my house devoted to crafting healing potions and herbal remedies.

I haven’t quite gotten to the herb garden and honeybees yet (stay tuned next spring!), but my apothecary corner is up and running. It’s a big change from stuffing bags of herbs into a box in the closet beneath our winter coats and working from the kitchen table (although that worked just fine). This new creative workspace is full of so much promise and nourishing potential.

A few of you have asked what herbs and supplies I keep on hand, and I thought it would be fun to share with you a peek inside my home apothecary. Below is a list of most things I keep on hand.

Mind you, it’s taken me 3 years to build up to this so don’t let the length of the list scare you. It all started with some lavender buds, olive oil, and beeswax borrowed from a friend. Let your curiosity take you where it wants to go.

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DIY Herb Fire Starter + Smudge Stick

We made it to our new home. And several epsom salt baths later, my body is finally feeling back to its old self.

I’ve got a new workspace that’s just itching to be dabbled on, and yesterday I got back to work. It started with a stroll around our front and backyard - scoping out all the herbs and flowers we’ve got going on. It’s late summer, and herbs are abundant! We’ve got sage and rosemary and lavender and so many other magical plants that I can’t wait to learn about.

So it got me thinking, you’ve probably got an abundance of herbs too.  So let’s make some simple, fragrant fire starters and smudge sticks. Smudge sticks, if you aren’t familiar, are bundles of dried herbs that are slowly burned to purify and cleanse a space. Tim and I burned some sage and lavender a few nights ago to help us feel more settled and grounded into our new home.

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Woo! There’s been a lot going on at this end of the magical interwebs.

For starters, we were rocked awake early Sunday morning by a 6.1 earthquake. It felt like we were riding a wave for 10 seconds, which immediately gave me the feeling of total reverence and awe for this great planet we live on. She can really shake when she needs to! Nothing was damaged in our home and we were okay – though I know our friends up in Napa were hit harder.

The next morning, Tim and I talked about upgrading our emergency survival kit. It’s something we’ve tended to put last on our to-do list, and I have been known to snag a bag of rice from our “earthquake box” when in a pinch for dinner (oops!). But after this quake, we got serious about upgrading our “in case of emergencies box”. This is a great guide, if you are looking to do the same.

And that leads me to the next big thing that’s happening — we’re moving!

After 4 years, The Dabblist HQ is moving from our 3rd floor apartment in Oakland, CA to a sweet little house beneath the trees of Mill Valley, CA. The moving truck comes this weekend and I’m currently writing you from the couch surrounded by packed boxes and bubble wrap.

This move feels like a big shift for me. I started The Dabblist in the little galley kitchen of our apartment. We got married and went on our honeymoon while living here. I have come to know just the right spots in the kitchen that get the best light at the perfect hour to take photos of my dabbles. I have my corner of the couch, where the kitties lay beside me and I take client calls. It all had become so familiar.

There are so many things to look forward to in our new home (space to garden, a whole laundry room meant just for us, a mini treehouse, and a wood stove fireplace) but I will always have such fond memories of our sweet lil apartment.

~

Natural Zit Treatment

 

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“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s
longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream,  for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human…”

- The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Last week, I was sitting with the ache of disappointing others and a dear friend read this poem to me.

It helped me realize that, when you dare to remove the mask of conformity and answer your heart’s call to create your own reality…disappointment, confusion, and judgement of others can be an unfortunate byproduct.

And as a recovering people-pleasing-perfectionist, this can burn a bit. To accept that not everyone will like, understand, or approve of your actions is a bitter but necessary pill to swallow. We are all precious human beings with our own tales of joy and woe. What I’ve come to realize is that I am responsible for what is real and true for me.

The journey from conformity to the realm of conscious self-approval and creative freedom certainly isn’t an easy one to travel. But to live life as a fully-expressed, love-filled, free human being? Well-worth a little ache and pain.

I love this video from Jason Silva where he riffs beautifully on this quote:

Those who were seen dancing were called insane by those who couldn’t hear the music. – Nietzsche

~

Rose Ice Facial Treatment

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