My Top 23 Lessons of 2014

In no particular order:

1. FAMILY IS EVERYTHING: With my Mom’s adventure through cancer and going through a breakup over the summer, I have really realized that family is where it’s at. I used to think I was too busy to see my family. They’re only 25 minutes away! C’mon! I’ve included it into my schedule to visit them every Sunday. It’s the perfect place to get some family love, unwind, catch up, do laundry, stock up on paper towls and toilet paper, and take a bubble bath. Take the time to get to know your family. Get along and be kind to each other.

Do What You Love2. EXERCISE YOUR WAY: Find ways that make your body want to move and shake that bootie! It’s so important to get exercise and what better way to do it than in a way that makes you happy. I love to dance! I love to stretch! I love to run! I love doing some ballet moves and leaps! I just recently started running up 19 flights of stairs and on each platform, switch between core and arms. Next time, I’m going to incorporate ballet, hip hop dancing, and core on the platforms. Why the heck not? I get bored running in a straight line. I need variety.

3. SAVING MONEY: Save as much money as you can, even if it just means a couple dollars here and there. This year I started a savings account where my purchases are rounded up and the remainder is put into savings. It’s really all adding up! This next year I’m focussing on my SEP IRA with my smarty pants financial friends. I’m a bit of a ding dong when it comes to this stuff.

WORDLOVE5. DREAM BIG: Sometimes it’s easy to not see the bigger picture when you’re in struggle mode. It’s important to make the bigger picture a daily priority! Do something every day to get you closer to one of your dreams.   A year ago, my co-inspirer Sahar Paz and I, were well under way for the planning of our #WORDLOVETOUR. Not only did we plan it, we raised our funds to make the tour happen and successfully spoke to 16 different organizations and schools in Denver and Los Angeles. It was such an amazing experience. Sometimes it’s so easy to be in the comfort zone, but if you really want to fulfill your bigger picture dreams, YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT!

My Biggger Dreams this year: Finish writing my book, record a new EP, collaborate with other musical friends, activate my space with creativity and amazing people, Pacific Northwest tour in a camper while speaking, playing music, and doing fun fashion shoots along the way. And plan trip to the Philippines.

6. LOVE DOESN’T NEED TO BE DEFINED: There are some relationships in life that you just can’t put a label on. One word to sum it up wouldn’t even do it justice. I have learned to love to the next level. The unconditional, hours upon hours of heartfelt soulful conversations, sharing every dang thing, the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. I have learned that love doesn’t come in a nicely wrapped box that can be clearly defined and given a label to. My love doesn’t need to be explained for somebody else to try to define for me. It’s what I know to be true and I embrace it in all the crazy angles that make it so beautiful. To some, it may seem complex, but to me, it is simple. And that really is all that matters.

7. EMBRACE YOUR GIFTS: We were each given a gift… heck, we were given multiple gifts. Recognize your gift and run with it, inspiring and helping others along the way. For some reason, I didn’t want to admit my gifts. I felt like I was being boastful. But then I realized that that is just silly. It is our duty to USE OUR GIFTS. I’ve learned that my gifts are in communication. Whether it be entertaining through music and emceeing, or speaking to others about doing what they love and loving what they do, I must move forward using this gift. And you must move forward using your gift.

friendship8. MAKE NEW FRIENDS: This year, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone a little bit and made new friends. I took a new friend up on “we should have coffee sometime.” And what has emerged is a new energy, new collaboration and new adventures. Sometimes it’s hard for me to break out of my little comfort zone. My world has expanded.

9. ALONE TIME ROCKS: This year I took a couple solo trips with just my dog and I. I stayed up at a friend’s cabin on a lake, having the whole place, and lake to myself. I was only going to stay for 2 days and then decided to stay for 5. It was one of the best things that I could have done for my mind and soul. I made music, played ukulele by the lake, went out in the canoe, watched Nacho Libre 3 times, and chilled out. I think it’s important to PLAN alone time or a vacation with your love after you get done with a big goal. It gives you something to look forward to and the decompression is the best!

10. GET OUT AND SEE WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE WORLD: I’ve often been so busy doing my own events with Fashion Denver that I couldn’t muster up the energy to go to other’s events. I started getting out of my foxhole and checking out what my fellow entrepreneurs and artists friends are up to and holy moly!! They’re up to awesome! It’s important for us all to go out and support. People have been supporting my events for years and I need to be supporting their events too. That is how our communities grow and expand and how we can support the local economy!

nurture11. NURTURE AND BE NURTURED: Whether it’s your best friend, your beau, or your dog, take the time to give them the love that they need. My Olive Dog loves to play. But I realized recently that I don’t spend enough time cuddled on the ground with her, just loving her. In loving her, I took the time to love and nurture myself.

12. IT’S OKAY TO FALL: Just get back up and do it as gracefully as you can! At our holiday market at the mansion, I was in a beautiful Gino Velardi dress with stilettos on and as I was coming down the stairs, I tripped and stumbled down 5 steps. Instead of panicking, I found my balance and all was well.

13. INVEST IN THINGS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE COMFORTABLE: For the longest time, I had a tiny little sink that made doing the dishes so annoying. I finally said, “enough!” and bought a used wash bin from Habitat for Humanity and seriously, it made my life so much easier. Stop making due with things that mildly annoy you and get what you need to make life smoother. It’s worth the investment. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. Recycle, reuse, use what you already have.

14. ACTIVATE AND REACTIVATE YOUR SPACE:  It’s important to make sure that the space you are in (be it your living space, your work space, or your live / work space) be ready to support your dreams and goals. Rearrange to accommodate your vision. Create a space that inspires you to work on the things that you want to focus on. If you’re in a tiny little studio apartment, arrange it to make a tiny little inspiration station. In it, have all of the things to keep you organized and inspired. Have photos and pictures up that make you want to get things done! Every quarter, I rearrange my space to clear out the old energy and bring in the new energy. I set up different zones that I can spread my creativity out and make messes of newness.

love15. BE LOVE: In all that you do, do it with LOVE. Simple as that. Your world changes when you do things with love.

16. ASK FOR HELP AND SUPPORT WHEN YOU NEED IT: I used to feel like if I asked for help that it would show that I’m weak. Guess what? It shows that I’m human. We all need help at sometime and it’s okay to ask for it. On the same note,  be the help that others may need. Let’s all lift each other up!

17. HAVE FAITH IN WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE: It’s easy to lose faith when things are tough. But believe. Believe that things will unfold the way they should and move forward fearlessly. When you feel that gusto of love and inspiration, remember how it felt and when you get down, know that that feeling is right around the corner waiting for you to run back in it’s loving arms.

18. HELP THE HOMELESS: This homeless man has been visiting me since 2007 when my businesses was in Cherokee Row. Every time I see him, he tells whoever is near that “I’m his girl” and that one day he is going to marry me.”

homelessOne day, years ago, he stopped by to help me bring in the chairs in front of the shop. I was afraid of him and promptly told him I didn’t need help but thanks anyway. I gave him $2.00 and hurried him away. A few days later, he stopped by and stuffed $5.00 in my hand and thanked me.

He visits me once a month, most recently with a bottle of 1993 red wine.

“I can’t take this.”.

” You better take it. It cost $100!”

He is always hustling, cleaning windows, sweeping or shoveling. I found out recently that he’s from Tennessee.

He shoveled the walk in front of the HQ and I made him hot chocolate and gave him some of my Christmas money.

I pray that he stays warm at night.

Everybody has a story. We can’t close our eyes and pretend that we don’t see these people. We need to #BeLove and do what we can to spread love, hope, and encouragement.

19. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELVES AND OTHERS: If something is bothering you, speak up. Speak up with kindness. Don’t hold in feelings and become resentful because you can’t express them and expect the other person to know how you feel.  If you have lost your zest for something, it’s okay to let it go and move on. There is no need to hold on to things that don’t make you feel good or inspired.

plants20. HAVE PLANTS AROUND: Plants give you responsibility to take care of things and nurture them. When I . And it’s a constant reminder to ourselves to take care of us. I’ve had this plant for over a year and have never seen it blossom like this! How in the world does a Christmas Cactus know to sprout it’s beautiful flowers around Christmas? Plants are little miracles!

21. FIND FRIENDS TO PLAY WITH: Being young at heart and doing the things that make you feel like a kid, keep you young! Find friends that love bring out that child like fun and play with them. Who says playing stops when you’re 13? Not this 39 year old!

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22. TAKE TIME TO ENJOY THE BEAUTY THAT SURROUNDS US: Even if it’s just a 5 minute break. Step outside and see the sky change colors! And while you’re out there, be grateful, pray, breathe, let the sun hit your eyelids, bringing light into your spirit! AMEN!

23. BE YOU: There is nobody else that will do a better job at being you than YOU! Appreciate and accept yourself for YOU!