Afternoon, beautiful people! Since we last spoke, I’ve been having a little (understatement) epiphany. I know an epiphany/revelation is normally like a lightening bolt that strikes in an instant and everything changes, but hey, what can I say, I guess my brain and I like to take things a little slower, so this has been gradually dawning on me over the past few weeks, maybe even months…

The revelation? That it’s A-OK to be truly authentic to your true self. In fact, it’s better than A-OK, some of the raddest people in this life are those who are unapologetically themselves and have made peace with the good, the bad and the ugly of their personality.

So, for this week’s 10 Ways, we’re gonna be sharing some of the ways we’ve been embracing our true selves, meeting our true desires and addressing our true, undeniable gripes in this life! From honest book loves (even if they are in the Young Adult section of the book store!), to exploring and balancing the two strands of life, as well as how we’ve been addressing some of our aesthetic insecurities (think thin patchy eyebrows and first signs of ageing! Gah!).

Get settled in with a snack, secretly kick off those heels under your desk (you badass, you!) and let’s get into shall we!?

One: the Brow Life

Ever seen that pic buzzing round on Pinterest that reads: ‘I didn’t choose the brow life, the brow life chose me’? I feel like if you identify with that quote, we can be friends.

But seriously, over the past five years, my cannot-leave-the-house-without-it makeup staple has migrated from an eyelash curler and mascara to my brow pencil and gel. Seriously though, I am naked without my brows!

Best just put it out there: I am not blessed in the brow department. They just lack lustre and size, and well, the right one is just pathetic, we’re talking whole areas missing! So when word of Microblading entered my sphere of consciousness, you better believe my brows ears pricked up.

Semi permanent eyebrow tattooing, where the artist simulates individual hairs to fill in bald patches, to reshape and create the brows of your dreams… I mean, can you even imagine just waking up with perfect brows?!

How does this relate to knowing yourself? Well, I’ve been denying myself this luxury, telling myself to get over it, just work with the brows I’ve got and get over it, but in light of my little epiphany, I’ve been a lot more ‘allowing’ to my desires.

So I guess this is a (very silly surface-level) lesson in knowing what makes you tick and running with it!

Apologies for the uncomfortable level of close-up in that last image, but I had to show you guys the level of transformation we’re talking about here!

Two: Hard-Core Gamer

Continuing in the vein of self-acceptance, here’s another confession for you: I am a gamer. Like, I REALLY love to game.

Yup, call me a country-bumpkin / home-bod, but I love nothing more than to hunker down with my beau, friends and family for night in with a board game.

Does anyone else love this?! Perfect for any setting and any season, spending an evening with your favourite game is time well spent in my opinion!

For all those evenings you get the dreaded FOMO, just get right on over it and do what you love!

Just stimulating enough, and sure to fuel plenty of laughs, this is a part of ourselves that we’re well prepared to own!

Three: Life Balance

I recently listened to a Rich Roll (LOVE him!) podcast with Arianna Huffington – you may remember we recommended her book, Sleep Revolution in the last 10 Ways we did – within that podcast (at around 19 minutes) they also briefly discuss the imbalance a lot of the modern world seems to have in life, our constant push for success and lack of time spent caring for ourselves, Arianna puts is beautifully:

‘Life for me now is these two threads. You know, there is a thread that takes us out in the world to achieve: to get things done, to contribute. And then there is the other thread that takes us back to ourselves: to refuel, to recharge. And when these two get out of balance that’s when problems start in every area of our life. If you think of it, every culture sees life in that way.’

It’s the Yin Yang principal in essence. A balance between the faster, brighter, louder self that we put out into the world, and the slowed, mellow quietness that we all need in order to feed ourselves.

For me, the acceptance of this in itself was an epiphany, but the realisation that the amount of Yin vs Yang varies from person to person, was a truly huge revelation. If (like me) you feel you need more Yin time, more time alone perhaps, or in security of your home to recharge for the outside world then allow yourself that. Or, on the flip side, if you’re all about the Yang, don’t let anyone dull that down for you either.

The balance looks different for everyone, live your best life!

This two-strand metaphor for life is so important, and I feel like it’s easily lost our modern age, so we’d just encourage you to know yourself, know what your balance point is and allow yourself that!

Four: Lip Service

Now, coming back to the surface for a moment after that last one! Let’s talk pet peeves, because I feel like owning your annoyances and embracing and addressing them is just SO freeing!

One of my pet peeves: dry, chapped, peeling lips.

Just, blergh. Thanks a lot Winter.

The best solution, which is quickly becoming (yet another) essential step in my skincare routine, is a sugar-based lip scrub.

Of course, Lush do a beautiful selection (you didn’t think I’d get through a post without mentioning Lush, did you?!). From Mint flavour, to Popcorn or their current seasonal ‘Kiss‘ pot, they’re all delicious and all amazingly effective. Simply rub in circular motions across your lips to remove dry, dead skin and rinse, finishing with your favourite lip balm.

And if you’re a DIY kinda gal, these scrubs are insanely easy to create yourself, check out this little cinnamon number!

Luscious, healthy looking lips. Like I say, nothing feels more satisfying than knowing and taking control of your personal pet peeves!

Five: Personality

Guys. If you haven’t already taken the Myers Briggs personality test, you need to get on that right now.

It. Is. Fascinating.

I did this late last year, using the incredible website 16personalities and man alive was it freakishly accurate. Like, I felt like the writer knew me better than I knew myself! As I mentioned, the website is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). Katharine Cook Briggs, together with her daughter, developed a convenient way to describe the order of each person’s Jungian preferences – this is how the four-letter acronyms were born. There were four possible pairs of personality traits:

  • Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E)
  • Intuition (N) or Sensing (S)
  • Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

Fascinating stuff and not only was it a super interesting little test to do on myself, but I genuinely feel like it’s helped me to understand myself (and others!) a whole lot better, as well helping me to recognise traits within myself! For example, I’m an ENFP, and we typically find it hard to make decisions without having experienced the possibilities, so when I recently struggled to decide whether to take up a regular Pilates or Yoga class, it took a visit to each kind of class to give me the clarity to decide which to go for!

Knowing yourself in this way can actually be really empowering, and knowing your friend/partner/family member’s preferences can definitely help you engage and offer the right kind of support or interaction where needed.

Have you taken this test? Let us know if you thought it was accurate and helpful in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!

Six: Kale Yeah!

Another lesson in knowing yourself, and knowing what makes you tick.

So, usually I’m totally on board with Panetone’s colour of the year, but 2017’s choice, Greenery, just did not float my boat.

When a good friend sent me this beautiful post, denying Pantone’s choice and offering up a preferred choice, Kale, I was really inspired.

Why go along with the trend if it just doesn’t work for you? We all see colour differently, heck, we all see the World differently! Embracing and owning your style, your taste, be it in colour, fashion, music, food… Whatever! There’s some real value in that.

So thank you, friend, for reminding me of that!

Being true to your authentic self. Tricky stuff, but so satisfying. (Even if we are just discussing the triviality of Pantone’s colour of the year!)

Seven: Lani

Find what feels good.

That’s what my favourite Youtube Yogi says, and her repetition of this mantra is kinda catching! I’ve found myself applying it to all areas of life recently and feeling so rewarded as a result.

In this instance, I’m talking hair care. I feel like it’s an age old story: you find a product you absolutely adore, it works for you and gives you the results you desire, but somehow you still find yourself trying new products in its place, eventually forgetting your old faithful ever existed.

Do you feel me? Yeah, well I’m trying to quit that habit! If you’ve found something you love, whether it’s the most on trend product, or a homemade recipe your grandma passed on to you… Stick with it!

For my dyed hair, which has a tendency to err on the dry side, that favourite product comes in the form of Lani’s Tropical Hair Treatment. Simple, clean, uncomplicated ingredients that just work!

Seriously though, the silkiest locks I think I’ve ever had – pre or post dying my hair blonde!

Eight: Holy Grail

Because I’ve been something of a beauty product junkie this month, here’s one more for you!

This one came with a realisation that this month I will officially be in my ‘late twenties’. WAHHH.

No, I’m kiddin’! Age is just a reference in time, and I honestly don’t care (anymore at least!), but nevertheless it seems only sensible to look after your body’s largest organ, your skin, with your age in mind.

Enter the Body Shop’s Drops of Youth range, specifically the Youth Concentrate.

My GOSH. This product is pretty close to Holy Grail territory. The Body Shop describes it:

‘Our certified organic range has been created for the first signs of ageing. This innovative concentrate helps to enhance surface skin condition, leaving it looking smoother, fresher and healthier.

  • Helps enhance surface skin condition
  • Smoothes
  • Instantly moisturising
  • 99% of ingredients are of natural origin’

Just a couple of drops cover your entire face before applying your daily moisturiser, and honestly my skin is looking smoother and plumper already.

And the entire range is vegan, ticking all the boxes!

Nine: Relax Milk

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll know that the legalisation and medicinal use of cannabis is a preeetty hot topic right about now. If you haven’t and wanna catch up on the goss take a look at Netflix documentary The Culture High and have a listen to this episode of the Yoga Podcast on Spotify, that should catch you up a little!

The latest advancement in this realm is the release of London’s Rawligion’s hemp oil infused almond milk, known as ‘Relax’.

Featuring only the legal relaxant cannabinoid CBD, and no THC (the chemical that gets you high) could this be an exceedingly more natural answer to problems like anxiety, depression and insomnia?

Such an intriguing topic, and knowing the judgement-free facts, knowing your self, your needs, and how you feel about these products is something I’ve been enjoying exploring this past fortnight.

Ten: Now Reading

And finally, continuing the theme of being honest with oneself, knowing what you like and desire, and feeling no shame in that… This week’s Now Reading comes to you from the Young Adult’s section!

Call me a sap, but I am a sucker for a story of young, heady, dizzying love and when Free People’s Madisyn recommended Rainbow Rowell’s, Eleanor & Park, I was all over it! As Madisyn put it:

‘This book may fall under the YA (gulp — Young Adult) category, and I may be 25, but hey, who cares? I love a little nostalgia in life. A good young love story makes my heart feel all fluttery. You know how I mentioned getting a BFF out of a novel? Well, Eleanor is one of them. Her big red hair, questionable outfitting, and misfit behavior mixes perfectly with her sweet, sweet love story. 5 out of 5 stars on this one.’

No shame, I will be reading this one in the coffee shop, by the pool, on the train! The sweetest love story, perfect for the month of love.

And that’s it guys! I hope we leave you feeling encouraged to be your most authentic self, to own your struggles (however little, or superficial they may be), to be proud of the things that make you tick and to embrace your every desire. What a whole heart-filled life that’ll be!

Have a beautiful weekend, and we’ll see you on the flip side!

 

Peace + Love

 

Clare XO

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