Dear Grown Up Soul,
Nobody told us that being an adult was so hard, did they? Or if they did…we probably just thought that they were wrong about us, knowing for ourselves that we would LOVE being an adult. Well, being an adult is no piece of cake.
It’s a really good idea to remember that it’s ok to let our hair down and be silly sometimes. It is so good to laugh, to play and to do things we loved doing as kids. It’s okay to be ridiculous, and be fun and dance around the room…even if we jiggle a little more than we used to and we might be a little sore tomorrow.
Sometimes we get into the habit of enduring and surviving, rather than enjoying and thriving. Sometimes we think the best way to be a responsible adult is to be the serious one who gets stuff done and puts their nose to the grindstone and holds everyone accountable. Wow, that stuff gets really exhausting.
You’re the same carefree kid you always were on the inside. That kid is begging for some fun, some lightheartedness, some sunshine and fresh air.
Everyone will be better for it if you take some time to be free, dear friend…you especially will be better for it. Get your friends and family to join in, especially the really serious and stressed out ones. Start a revolution of laughter breaks and time for recess. We all need it….more than ever.
You are so much fun…you just may have forgotten that you are.
You are so very loved,
Waddya know….our grandmothers had it right all along…
I want to share with you a simple little discovery that has brought a big dose of joy into my everyday life. First some background…
I become an empty-nester this year. Most of my friends have been empty-nesters for a long time already, but I have been raising children for over 36 years. I can’t imagine living without children in my home yet, but the time has come…so I’ve decided I might as well embrace it and make some changes at the same time.
I LOVE the idea of living much more simply. I like useful, practical things, and if something doesn’t have a purpose I’m not the kind to hang onto it. However, in this new chapter of my life, I’m adopting a new mantra to help me surround myself with things that are not only useful, but beautiful. I love this quote by William Morris:
“Keep nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
Simplifying to me means I get to let go of lots of things that have been cluttering up my life. I am packing up clothes, shoes, dishes, bedding and so many other things that no longer serve me by being either useful or beautiful and I am taking them to the thrift store where they will happily serve someone else.
Getting rid of things is one thing (yay for me!) but that’s just part of it. I want my remaining ‘stuff’ to be not only useful or beautiful but to be BOTH. Beauty is a language, don’t you think? It communicates peace, calm, okayness and even healing. Don’t you feel a difference when the things you use in your everyday life are pretty to look at, touch, smell and enjoy with all your senses? That’s what I want more of.
My most recent discovery is one that women all over the world and even my own grandmother knew about, but that I hadn’t paid any attention to: handmade washcloths…crocheted or knitted with 100% cotton yarn.
Crocheting is already something I love to do…I’ve been dabbling at it since I was about 10. Having something for my hands to do while I rest is deeply relaxing for me and helps me turn my mind off.
I discovered these sweet little beauties when I was trying to think of a simple, thoughtful handmade gift that wouldn’t take too long to make. When I receive a handmade gift, it means so much to me. So much thought and effort and time and love go into anything handmade, and I am always deeply touched to be on the receiving end. I want to be the kind of person who takes the time to give handmade gifts, even if they’re simple. So I tried making these handmade washcloths to use as gifts and for my own home, and I simply love how they’ve turned out…
They are SO pretty, but this is IMPORTANT….how are they to USE?? For years in my own home, I have been using white cotton wash cloths and kitchen cloths. I chose white in hopes that I would be able to bleach them and keep them clean and bright. But despite my generous use of hot water and bleach, I have been battling stinky, dingy, stained washcloths. And makeup is the WORST, isn’t it?
I have been conducting an experiment and I’m happy to tell you that not only are these washcloths beautiful and soft, they also stay clean and fresh-smelling. Even makeup like mascara rinses right through them! I have been using this yellow washcloth to wash my face at night. I use it to take off all my makeup…mascara, eye-liner and all. When I’m finished, I rub a little soap into it, rinse it and hang it to dry. To my delight, the makeup washes out completely and this little washcloth stays fresh and clean-smelling…no stains…no ucky-ness. Seriously amazing….
I am doing an experiment in the kitchen, too…a side-by-side comparison: my old white dishcloths vs a crocheted cotton one. I treat them exactly the same, washing them with a little dish soap when I’m finished and hanging them to dry. And guess what?! The crocheted cotton dishcloths stay fresh and clean and good as new. None of that icky dishcloth smell that I can’t STAND…just freshness. AND they do their job of cleaning dishes and countertops like a champ.
Want to know how to make them? They are super fast with a little practice. I like using a simple Single Crochet stitch (which is the first stitch you would learn as a beginner). Since they’re so small they take very little time, and the yarn is even inexpensive. I ordered 100% cotton yarn online for some big money…then I saw some at the local Wal-Marts for just $1.50. And one of these little skeins is just about right to make 1 washcloth.
I found a great little youtube tutorial that will teach you to Single Crochet…tutorial HERE. (PS…it’ll go on to show you how to change color…I wouldn’t bother with that. And finishing crochet is easy…you just snip off about 6 inches of yarn and pull it all the way through your last loop to make a knot. Then use a yarn needle to weave it in and hide it.)
Here’s my super-simple pattern:
- I use a size K hook and 1 little skein of 100% cotton yarn (don’t use acrylic…you’ll hate it)
- Chain 30. Turn.
- Single crochet (SC) in each chain for 30 SC. Turn.
- 30 SC again….repeat…
- Keep adding rows of SC for about 30 total rows or until it’s square.
- Tie it off. Using a yarn needle run the ends through the washcloth to hide them.
That’s IT. Super simple and a little handmade luxury to use every day. Simple. Useful. Beautiful. Bingo. (and no more bleach going down the drain). Here’s my latest one in progress…I think my favorite yarn is this unbleached natural cotton…so pretty.
I hope you’ll try this and come with me on a quest for a beautifully simple life. I would love to hear your secrets for this kind of living, too.
So much love,
As many of you know, we said goodbye to our son, Trevor, a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure of the words to describe what life has been like since then. Even if they do exist, I’m not sure I’m ready to find them yet. What I do want to say is thank you from the deepest part of our souls. Our family has received an outpouring of love that has truly held us up on the hardest days.
One thing love does is to show up when things are hard. What our family learned (again) during this experience is that love shows up in different ways, but no matter how it shows up it is deeply meaningful. For us, it showed up as cards, phone calls, Facebook messages and texts. Love showed up in hugs and hand-squeezes…it showed up in beautiful flowers. It showed up as generous gifts and handmade cards for his children. It showed up in person as people showed up with meals and treats, and in some very touching visits from friends and family at Trevor’s funeral.
Thank you for showing up for us in so many ways. Thank you for holding space for our family, for your prayers, and your thoughts. Thank you for noticing and mentioning how handsome our boy was…what warm and gentle eyes he had. Thank you for your concern and heartache for his children.
To those who knew Trevor, thank you for sharing with us your stories and your memories and for the glimpses into the parts of his life that we didn’t get to see. Thank you to all those who attended his service and for helping us say goodbye to him for now.
It’s always unsettling to notice the world continue to move forward as if nothing has happened when your entire universe seems to have crashed. Thank you for pausing in your world to honor our precious son, and to grieve with us even if for just a moment. Thank you for taking a minute to stand on our path with us and hold us up with your words and your prayers and your kindness.
We will always remember the love you have shown to our family.
kathy & family
PS. If you want to know more about our son, I have included his obituary and some photos below. He was a genuinely good man and a beloved gentle soul…he is already profoundly missed.
TREVOR C. WILKINS – OBITUARY
Trevor Clayton Wilkins, age 39, of Salt Lake City, Utah, passed away unexpectedly due to illness on January 24, 2017. Trevor was born on August 26, 1977, in Boise, Idaho to Jackie Neves Buie and Kurtis Wilkins. He spent most of his childhood in South Jordan, Utah where he displayed a profound love, empathy and compassion for animals – big and small. He graduated from Bingham High School in 1995.
From an early age, he was interested in tinkering with, improving and reselling anything with a motor, and this passion stayed with him all of his abbreviated life. Trevor found professional fulfillment and success working as a salesman, finance manager, and sales manager for Ken Garff, where he was known by colleagues and customers alike to be intelligent, soft-spoken, fun, silly, sweet and loving.
Trevor’s true love and life’s calling, however, was raising his children, with a soft voice and a gentle hand. Anything that he did in life – any achievement, any success – was for the betterment of their lives.
First impressions of Trevor were often based upon his physical stature – he was a giant among men. But even his great physical stature was completely overwhelmed by his spiritual, moral, and emotional greatness – all realized within moments of meeting him. This gentle giant leaves a hole in the world that is countless times larger than he was.
Trevor is survived by his children, Kaylee, Aliyah, and Rykr; parents, Jackie Neves Buie (Todd) and Kurtis & Kathy Wilkins; brothers, Jamison (Memorie), Tucker (Christy), and Jake (Ashlee) Wilkins, Joshua Brockbank, Spencer Buie, Casey Buie; sisters, Kallie Maughan (Jeff), Chelsea Merrill (Luke), Angie and Tess Wilkins, and Amber Buie.
We are full-speed-ahead on plans for Symposium 2017 and we are SO SO SOOO EXCITED!!!!! If you missed last year’s amazing Symposium, never fear…we have just posted videos of most of the amazing talks!!
- Kallie Maughan
- Melody Ross
- L’Erin Alta
- Jennette Nielsen & Melody Ross (the now-famous ‘Purple People’ speech)
- Kelly Rae Roberts
- Lisa Palmer
- Flora Bowley
- Cristina Orbe
- Shamanie Haneca
- Rachel Awes
- Keri & Rick Evans
- Yve Evans
- Erin Faith Allen
- Panel Discussion
Registration for Symposium 2017 (coming this JULY) is now open!
Fabulous speakers…with even more free time…more art…more connecting…more goodness…more FUN! (We’ve even added two free optional bonus days for chilling at the Riverside)
Dear Seeking Girl,
Human beings want love more than anything in the world.
We want love and we want acceptance. We want to be understood.
Hurt and frustration and anxiety can come from trying to get our worth and our acceptance from other people or from anything that is outside of our own selves and our own deepest truths. We simply cannot MAKE others love us, or accept us, or even understand us.
When we can get in tune with our deepest truths, the truths that only come from listening to the very force that created us and placed this knowing inside of us we can find peace whenever we need it.
When we do the work necessary to learn who we really are, we can find the love and acceptance we so need, whether we have other people in our lives and in spite of who the world may tell us we are,
Be o.k. with YOU, beautiful friend. Be o.k. with the moments of aloneness that come, and that sometimes stay. Be o.k. with sometimes feeling that no one understands or that no one is giving you exactly what you need, because the only WHOLENESS of spirit that will come is from your own self and your own deepest truth.
This is where you will find peace.
You can give your SELF love and acceptance through listening to your deepest truths that come from your Creator. It will be real, true and authentic. And it will be enough.
It really will. It will be enough.
You are so very very loved.
Dear Pulled-In-Every-Direction Girl,
It’s completely okay to walk away from things that the world tells you will bring you happiness, and towards small, simple, and good things that others usually just walk past.
Never forget that the simple, small things in life are very often the best, and they feel so much better to your soul than the shiny, fancy, and ‘popular’ things.
If you’re overwhelmed by the ‘too-muchness’ pulling at you…by things and situations that are too shiny, too fancy, too false, too noisy, too demanding, too insistent, too chaotic…just too too much….
…maybe it’s time to choose something more simple…away from the crowds and malls and rushing and social media. What would it feel like to spend an evening beside a quiet fire with your beloveds…or reading a favorite book…or listening to music you love…a card game or baking or just conversation with no background noise…
Take some time to listen to what your heart is telling you about what might be overwhelming and over-stressing you, and consider choosing something better.
Remember, you get to choose. Choose what is best.
You are so very LOVED.
Dear Perfectly Imperfect Girl,
It’s hard to remember that we can’t be much good to anyone at all if we don’t take care of ourselves.
Even though there may be people all around us who need help, who need assistance, who need advice, who need a hug, who need a friend, who need a clean towel, who need a sandwich…..we’ve all got to have the energy to do these things each day, and we cannot expect our bodies to carry us forward without recharging. We cannot expect our mind to have fresh ideas and our hearts to have patience. We have to refill ourselves.
Just like we are told on an airplane before a flight…before reaching out to help another in an emergency, we must have our own oxygen masks on.
It is not taking anything away from anyone else when we take some time each day to catch our breath, recharge, restore and remember.
Take time to take care….you are so important. You are loved.
Dear Merciful Girl,
There are enough hard-sell tactics, massive pressure and ‘not-good-enough’ messages blaring out the speakers of everywhere we go in this world to last us the rest of our lives. For this reason, dear girl, it is so important to be kind and gentle with ourselves in every manner of communication.
Of course there is weariness from all of this beating down, and the place to get healing salve gently rubbed into our wounds really must be in the quiet moments that we have with our own selves. The last thing each of us needs is more mean self talk, more pressure or more disappointed and disapproving commentary going on between our ears.
Be kind to your dear, beautiful self. Tell her the things that matter. Tell her that it’s going to be okay. Tell her that you are proud of her for how hard she works every day at making it through the craziness that is life. Let her rest when she is tired. Encourage her when she is discouraged. Lift her up when she is beat down.
And for the sake of all that is good and true….show her some good times. Take her out to play. Let her see beautiful new things and experience exciting new things. Take good care of her…for she is so very beloved and so very important.
Walk as if you are beloved…behave as if you are beloved…because the truth is that you absolutely are.
Today is the day for more kindness and more gentleness.
You are so very loved.
Like a thick stinky brown cloud of yuck….negativity is everywhere.
And it’s sooooo easy to be part of it…it takes absolutely no effort to complain and criticize and judge and point fingers. It takes no creativity or bravery or goodness to just go along with it.
BUT here’s the thing….at the same time ugly cynicism is everywhere, SO IS BEAUTY. SO IS GOODNESS. SO IS LOVE. It’s ALSO THERE…all around us.
Let’s see it, let’s fill our hearts and our brains with it, let’s go out and create it…talk about it, point it out, be grateful for it, turn our faces away from the much and towards the sun…let’s feel its warmth and energy. Let’s share the goodness…build it…insist on it…notice it…BE IT.
Let’s be brave. Let’s be rebels. Let’s walk away from negativity.
It’s HERE and it’s more than we could ever have imagined! We’ll be starting the new Soul Restoration TODAY, and we hope you will too!!
WHAT: Soul Restoration Online Session, Fall 2016
WHERE: Online, inside Brave Girl University
WHY: Because the world needs ALL of us to be our strongest, healthiest, truest, bravest selves…and that’s what Soul Restoration is all about.
WHEN: As a self-directed online course, you’ll be able to take Soul Restoration on your own schedule and at your own pace, beginning Sept 7, 2016.
ALL ABOUT SOUL RESTORATION
and what it will do for your one-and-only BEAUTIFUL LIFE