Yesterday I did end up spending 30 minutes writing in my journal as planned! Today, I took time in the afternoon to draw for about 35 minutes. I again used my phone to look at a picture of reference and also listened to music but did my best to focus mostly on my drawing. At the beginning of today I wasn’t sure if I would have the time to do so alone, but finding time to do so, even though I was around my family (getting ready for the Superbowl)- I’m glad I followed through! Here is a picture of my drawing.
Today I worked on tons of my homework for this class. One of those assignments was to sketch up some personal branding. Opposed to spending 20 minutes on this… I spent what felt like 2 hours (maybe closer to 90 minutes). Anyways, I have counted this as my daily challenge since this was A LOT of creative sketching towards my personal goals (and a majority done without any distraction).
Today has been a relaxing day. I did something I never do, and stayed in bed till 2pm! With that said, I knew there’d be no excuse to not complete my challenge today. I have not done it yet, but have made a gap tonight in which I’ll journal for 30+ minutes about my life currently. Journaling is a practice I was very thorough with for about two years… really up until this fall. I would consistently write about what happened in my days, how it made me feel, and what I hoped it could lead to. I came to a place where I needed to set that aside and focus on just living out some time (without writing it out or reading into everything that happened within a day).
I know there have been memories lost in the time I haven’t write. Along, with the mental, emotional, and spiritual processing that would have been accomplished in writing down what I was feeling. So my intention is to find a balance in not writing EVERYTHING down, but checking in with my journal every few days with the highs/lows of the past time. Tonight, I think there will be a lot to write down and work through on paper, but it will be a great start to finding value again in this practice.
Honestly, I’m off to a bad start… because I didn’t do my challenge today. I did read and write some today, but not for 30 minutes uninterrupted! I will say though, I did just change my personal challenge last minute (as in today) after deciding that my idea before would be too overwhelming. Tomorrow I will be sticking to the challenge I have described above AND carving out specific time to complete it!
Today I spent about 3 hours in Colter coffee working on different projects. My time consisted of finishing up financial aid, working on this weeks homework, and chatting with different friends that came through. After most of that time being on my computer, I took the last 40 minutes with no computer, only a pencil, and my sketchbook, drawing. (I did have my phone to look at a reference image of what I wanted to draw, but avoided using it for anything else). And honestly, it wasn’t too hard to draw for this amount of time. Actually, I was zoned in enough to continue, but I had another place to be! I won’t post a picture today of what I drew, because I will continue to work on it and share in a later entry, but I did complete my challenge for the day.
Today I ended up working five more hours past when I was scheduled, adding up to a 9 hour day. This usually wouldn’t be a big deal, but after getting off I had about an hour to get ready and head to Missoula to watch my cousin play music downtown. That hour would have left time for me to complete my challenge, except that I had an appointment to go look at an apartment. It became very real to me how easy it is to lose time and/or get distracted from your focus. In this regards, that focus is doing one thing for 30 minutes in the investment of myself.
What I am proud of myself for today is working towards a characteristic I’ve found very valuable to obtain. That character is RELIABILITY (this including authenticity and faithfulness). Practically, I’m trying to be intentional in doing things that I say I’m going to do. A week or two ago I made a commitment to compete in a latte art competition last night. Though when the time came to go, as tired as I was, I knew I needed to follow through with what I what I said id do. Today, the same situation happened with going to Missoula. There were many opportunities for me to bail on my plans to go see my cousin perform, but at the end of it all, I promised I’d go. And I’m glad I did. Now, its time to expand that practice in my school work.
PROMPT: Write a blog post about what you are going to do for the next 40 days and why?
This semester I am in a class called “Digital Portfolio Presentation.” Our first project in this class was to imagine our “ideal day.” practically, daydreaming of our best life in five (or three) years from now. Taking into consideration the practices we would carry throughout this day, we will be challenged to implement one of them for 40 days. So, that’s what this project is about! I will not only choose one thing to do every day for 40 days but also blog about my daily progress.
Sunday, Jan 27 (updated Jan.30): For my 40-day challenge I have decided to invest in three practices I want to practice strongly in my “ideal life” These are writing, reading, and drawing. I have provided room for variety in these tasks by setting a goal to do at least ONE of the three tasks every day, for 40 days. Though this seems very broad, I will measure my commitment by doing whatever it is for 30 minutes (or more of course) uninterrupted. My hope is this will help me keep a focus on the single task at hand (another quality I am in need of).
I believe this will be a great practice to implement into every day, whether its a writing in my personal journal, reading a leadership book, or sketching a friend a tattoo; this challenge will give me both the flexibility and consistency I need to be successful. By being intentional with 30 minutes every day to invest in ME, my skills, my creativity, and my brain, I believe I’ll take much more away than a grade from this project.
Vision Statement – three versions posted on blog (45-65 words)
I’m in an elevator and have 45 seconds to sell myself… what do I say?
Hi there, my name is Felicia and I am most passionate about people, design, and experiencing new things. Combining this with my interest in illustration, fashion, visual art, social media, communication, and travel; I have been searching for work that fits all I am, and that which I offer. Since I was young I’ve wanted to influence people with what I do, while enjoying my field by utilizing my gifts.
Hi there, my name is Felicia and I have always had a love for design. Bouncing around from wanting to go to school for fashion, then business, then communications; I found myself beginning to travel instead. In the process of finding my self in experiencing new places and meeting incredible people; I’ve found deeper roots. Now I am here in Montana, working towards my dream to freelance.
Hi there, my name is Felicia and my brand is Fashion&Soul. F&S has started as a magazine with the intentions to become so much more. It’s the beginning of a platform that will connect women internationally to bring hope, justice, and new life in varying communities. The brand displays the power in simplicity, as the vision is to network like-minded people to create together. The purpose is to aid businesses, nonprofits, and teams whose goal is to also empower women.
I may mention to a new friend my Saturday night plans… church
or give reason to why I just spend 2 months in Europe… missions
“Oh, so you’re religious.”
The stereotyping begins. Easily defined by someone who: thinks they’re too good, judges others, follow all the rules, is modest, just doesn’t understand the outside world, is part of some weird cult, is going to shove religion down everyone’s throat …)
But that’s not who I am at all.
Actually, I am broken. I struggle many days. I could perhaps even say my life is harder now that I know God with than it was before. At the same time, it’s the most beautiful.
I have seasons where I feel on top of the world. Body, spirit, and soul: exceeding.
Other times, it’s as if every step I’ve taken has been in fall back.
Back to being broke. Back to being frustrated. Back to being depressed.
One day I cash a huge paycheck, reorganize my room, meet a new friend, kill it at work, climb a mountain, look into the mirror and grin…. some mornings I even dance.
The next week it’s all fallen apart. I miss my ex, hating every song that comes on. I can’t find anything to wear, frustrated that I’m upset about such a first-world thing. I come across terrible news about an old friend while fighting with my family. Now, I’m eating french fires till my stomach hurts. Do I dare look at my bank account? More fries.
(And yes, the truth is even funny at times)
I get sick of acting perfect, being social, working hard, going to bed on time, hanging out with positive people, eating healthy, and replying to important messages. Like seriously, this summer I even got sick of going to church.
So what do I do? I stop. Then, it all only gets worst. Now, I’m even more upset about it all.
Back and forth I go. It’s not often anymore that I despise getting out of bed. But today I did. My instinct brought me to listen to a sermon, which left me plenty encouraged.
Two hikes, amazing friends, shopping with my mom, and Mexican food (my favorite). Then one trigger, and it’s gone. Does any of this matter? Do I even know who I am?
I went on a drive… alone. I don’t love being alone.
I also don’t love drug or alcohol use, but many times I crave it again.
Sometimes I give in, and just as I remember. Emptiness, pointlessness, as the unfulfillment lingers. Nowadays, my body can’t handle it anyways.
My soul aches the most.
Still, it’s much harder to do good. To be that light. To rest in the joy of knowing God.
Why is it still a challenge to seek out healthy relationships? To let go of old habits? To write how I’m feeling? To pick up that stupid journal? Why do I mean to go on the Bible app and end up on Instagram? How long will I crave sexual attention and despise it at the same time?
My life is full of tension. Yet, the resistance builds my strength.
At the end of it all, I have become stronger. I hold a deep joy, a confidence, a love for and from God that no one can give nor take away.
Even when I’ve fallen back into the pit of self-pity, there is grace.
Every day it’s a battle to get over me.
Most days, I fail. Other days, I fly.
I know my pursuit of Jesus keeps me living for the marvelous, and not the mediocre. Deep within me, I still desire to love others with my life. Again, I fail.
Whatever, whoever, it is that keeps you going, hold on to that. Press in more. If it isn’t big enough to give you the purpose you need, may it change? Always be open to change.
Yet if the only problem is that “life is hard” … life may always be hard.
But we do have a God, we have each other, we have a story, but no one … even “nice, young, Christian girls that get to travel the world, love their job, and live in great community” have it all. Because we get lonely, we struggle, and we get weary too.
No matter who you are, keep going. Be honest, be open, and know that no difficult season lasts forever. There is light all over this world, waiting to be found.
Writing this series has been incredibly challenging. Here I am, trying to empower people to seek truth, freedom, and renewal in their lives and wardrobe; yet, I am in need of these same revelations.
In my attempt to encourage readers to let go of what people think; there are still days I hold on. As I seek to encourage a healthy thought life; I am fighting every day to speak truth into my own mind. While I encourage readers to break out of their comfort zone, redefine boundaries, and reach into new waters of freedom; I think of all the times (even most recently) I’ve lived in immense captivity.
Writing before I’ve shared parts of my story, short summaries of sermons I’ve enjoyed, and revelations I’ve had in my own seasons; but for these pieces, I wanted to do something different. This blog series is meant for something more.
Within the words, I write I want to share what God says regarding these topics. Not because they’re easy to write, due to my own liking of them, nor for the reason, I think they’ll attract an audience. Instead, I write because I believe I’m called.
The ideas I have, the beliefs I hold, and the concepts I share are imperfect- incomplete- and perhaps not even relevant. Still, I believe there’s power to be found between the lines. I believe God can speak through me and that He has placed this on my heart for a time such as this. For that reason – I am grateful, excited, and deeply honored to make this attempt.
My hope is that these words become real to you; that they help, inspire, encourage, and bring light to you. I pray that they break through to you, and replace any insecurity in your life with beauty, kindness, and hope.
As we dive in together to discover what God has, may our efforts be blessed. May the search for truth, freedom, as renewal not stop here. May this act as a small spark that starts a great fire within us. May it warm us in every season to come.
Truth: Real, genuine, authentic, sincere, and not deceitful. To hold honesty, integrity; to be in line with reality. Uncompromised belief, immovable standards
Truth is a hard place to start. In a world filled with so many voices; it’s nearly impossible to know what’s true anymore. How do we line ourselves up with reality when we’re not even sure what is “true” in the first place. Every source stands for something different and speaks their “truth” over us whether we like it or not. Moving standards and unreachable heights fester into the frustration of us not knowing what to do, how to do it, or why. From there, it’s easy to speak over our lives incapability, insecurity, indecisiveness, and blame.
One of the most detrimental things I myself do is play with negativity for too long. I internally decide that I dislike a characteristic about myself (or another person), and eventually, it’s all I can focus on. In different seasons I jump to the conclusion that I am stuck or in a place without meaning, to soon lose sight of the greater purpose within my process.
I want to propose that no matter what our previous beliefs and experiences say, we have the choice to find goodness in all situations by simply shifting the way we think. For as we speak positivity over ourselves, others, and the present moment- we have the ability to control our thought life and end up on top within other parts of our life too.
As we point out the flaws in our thought life and take intentional steps in renewing our minds, Jesus will meet us in providing new strength and changing our perspectives.
Break the Victim Mentality
The worst place we can place ourselves is in the position of a victim. For when we view ourselves as inferior to others, we give up the authority we have over ourselves to be victorious. If we constantly blame our “lower rank” on the decision or character of another person, we need a reality check. No one on the outside can define your value – except for you, and if you allow them to, it will only continue to produce instability within your own identity.
On the other hand, if people in your life feel entitled to defining your worth, that’s something they need to recognize in their own journeys, as much as it needs denial in yours. It is in our control who we allow having a voice in our hearts, and whose words we allow to fall outside the front door.
So, when we take feelings of not being loved, cared for, or needed enough and place that responsibility on everyone but ourselves; we need to change our perspective. That starts, with changing our minds.
Claiming in your thought life that you have the ability to make decisions, and enforce obedience in your own life in a step into a victor’s mentality.
We aren’t fighting against people who make us feel crappy or needing to control how people view us. Instead, we internally need to view our own lives in a light that says “I am victorious. I am beautiful, worthy, cared for, loved, and capable of controlling my own thoughts, emotions, and reactions.”
It is always uncomfortable to break out of old thought patterns. If you’ve struggled with worrying about what other people think, it can feel incredibly unusual to let that go. But, it’s only going to get harder the longer you do it, so break out now! If you’re used to self-hatred, or perhaps the opposite-pride, it’s going to be uncomfy thinking humbly of yourself (“Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less”), but totally worth it.
Whatever your game plan may be in order to shift your thoughts from negative to positive, and your position from pauper to prince/princess; it should be outside your comfort zone. New habits feel weird, but choosing to press into the discomfort of change will be so worth it in the long run.
Investigate the Root
Why is it that you think the way you do? Is your habit caused by a past relationship, experience, or habit that’s stuck with you for too long? The deeper we can get in digging up negativity in our lives, the more understanding we can have of ourselves, causing proactivity towards the future.
God can so clearly reveal to us where the roots are. Spend time in prayer seeking God in why you view particular situations or people in a certain way. Then, seek out what He thinks, and commit to taking that view until it becomes more real to you.
Sit down and seek out even one thought you have throughout the day that isn’t helping you or others. Start right there by altering it in a way that is beneficial. Focus on that small piece and don’t allow room for compromise. It could be telling yourself you are beautifully and wonderfully made the second you begin to self-hate. Perhaps it’s claiming tasks that you once saw as “difficult” as still difficult, but following it with saying you’re capable of that take. In work that you view as pointless, declare it as valuable in your mind.
If self-control towards your thoughts is too great of a task, don’t be discouraged. Make the change in something smaller. It could be committing to 30 minutes less of social media a day, reading a good book before bed, cooking one meal for yourself daily, or sending an encouraging message to a friend every week. These are all choices we get to make that are tangible! The process of realizing your ability to make these will help you step into breaking bigger habits, such as negative thought life.
Keep Goals Simple
We don’t need to stand in the mirror for an hour and recite an essay about how great we are. It’s not necessary to listen to five encouraging podcasts a day or remove every person from our lives who tend to be negative. Making realistic boundaries that are simple is key to long-term success. It truly is the small, consistent, care-filled (and realistic) things we practice in our day to day life that shows stable progress over time.
I have recently enjoyed setting three “escape thoughts (call them prayers if you may)” that I recite in times of mental drowning. They claim what the fear/worry/negative emotion that repeatedly clouds my mind is, yes. Then following, a counter clause which fights for positivity. For example, if I’m in a season of uncertainty regarding my next step I may speak over myself: “Yes, I am unsure what’s next; but I trust that the right time will come; and when it does, all this will be worth the wait.” Doesn’t hurt to also add other phrases such as, “This is a time of growth. I am being prepared for my next season. May I cherish these growing pains. Have faith in the process. There is value in each and every moment”
At the end of the day, it’s astonishing to be free from the bondage negative thoughts bring: and you are worth that freedom. Even if you’re starting small and keeping it simple, this is a valuable practice to implement in your life. Plus, with time, it will become only more natural.
No matter how weak you feel, you still have the power to change your mind and in return to change your life. If you are seeking that life change, I just want you to know that you are worth it.
Philippians 4:8 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (NIV)”
1 Corinthians 6:12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
Freedom: When you know you can, but you don’t have to; it’s not the rule that stops you, but the choice to follow set parameters that will keep you safe.
You roll out of bed in the morning and head straight for your closet. Another morning of “what to wear.” Your first hope is to look cute, with also taking into consideration your agenda for the day. Yet, after a few indecisive moments, insecurity seeps in. You begin to worry of what your body looks like, what’s in style, what you haven’t worn in a while (what if someone sees you in the same shirt?), and what others may think of you.
An hour and a half later your wardrobe is on the floor as frustration comes over you like a flood. “Nothing looks good on me, all my clothes suck, and why do I even try.” (I’ve been in this place a countless number of times). From too flashy to not flashy enough. One outfit is perfectly revealing if you run into “you know who,” but risky if you walk into someone else. After many doubts and concerns, the lasting question is: Why do we even care about what people think in regards to what we wear? Does what we wear even matter? Should we give in or give up when it comes to being “fashionable”?
Let’s start with identity. For when we know who we are, we know that our identity does not lie solely in what we wear anyways. Our individual style is a beautiful art in which we can express who we are, what we love, and the creativity within us; but it should not define us. When it does, simple tasks such as getting dressed become as overwhelming as the scenario above.
So, how do we escape the frustration of laying too much weight on our outer appearance?
Let it Go
How do we release ourselves from the expectations of others? What do we need to let go of first? What do we need to give?
I have learned that sometimes (perhaps even most) we just need to let go of any rules, regulations, and expectations that are holding us in bondage. If you have moments where you’re heart burns with desire… but then it’s put out solely by holding on to an outside influence too tight, I encourage you to seek a breakthrough.
It may start with publishing your personal writing, sharing a dream with your family, posting what you actually want to on social media, wearing an exotic piece of clothing, taking a break from school, a job, or relationship (especially if causes you to be bound or unhappy), just take a chance!
Still, there are boundaries that keep us safe, but also those that keep us living in fear. Meditate on or discuss with a loved one what it is that holds you back from freedom, and come against that in breaking perfectionism in your life.
Is it fear of man, fear of failure, or a negative experience in the past that haunts you? Love, let it go.
Focus on Someone Else
“While my journey from severe depression and amidst mental health challenges has been multifaceted, one thing I have learned is this: The more I try to fix myself, the more captive I become. However, the more I rest in my intrinsic value and worth, the more freedom I experience. Additionally, the more I forget myself, the more wide-awake I am to the people and experiences around me.”
“I’ve discovered the further I take a genuine interest in other people, the more secure I am with who I am. One beauty secret is this: You will become more beautiful in one day by loving other people than you will in one year by trying to get other people to love you. I now believe in the splendidness and freedom of self-forgetfulness.”
-Allie Marie Smith
Be Aware of Your Influencers
“If you’re concerned with understanding people around you and becoming a better, more confident, more caring person, be careful to not absorb feedback from just anyone. It can be difficult to have a full perspective of yourself from your own point of view, so this is when character feedback becomes important. Think about whose opinions you value: your spouse, your best friend, your parents; your boss, employee, or co-worker; mentors, pastors, or coaches. Whoever it is, determine who are the people who can best speak into your life and help give you direction. ”
Whose negative opinions are you weighing over the positive ones? It is so important to have honest people in our lives that give us honest feedback.
Take criticism from those who know you and want to help you. Honestly, without a relationship, we may not know if they do. Therefore, I believe it’s the people we are in a healthy relationship in with that should impact our decisions first and foremost. That is, after God. The opinions of old classmates, people we haven’t talked to in years, or strangers that we follow on social media shouldn’t be the ones we look to in time of need. To be influenced by so many people is overwhelming, can be detrimental in personal decision making, and may just be an overall waste of thought and time.
This idea may also propose that our closest friends should hold the character, morals, and lifestyle of one which we hope to be influenced by. Another thought to ponder.
Wear What You Love
When we look at our wardrobe as a whole, there are usually pieces we don’t even like, others we haven’t worn in ages; then there are pieces we can’t get enough of, and ones we’d buy the same of again. To add on, there’s usually even more than land in between.
I started making serious progress in the way I spent money, got dressed, and organized my wardrobe when I began to minimize my pieces by – keeping, wearing, and buying only clothes and accessories that I love. For someone like me, I know there’s a tendency to “love” a lot of items, so I took it one step further to consider functionality. What clothes are actually adding value to my life? Do they express who I am and what I value?
That may seem to be overkill to you- but really what’s the point of investing in anything that doesn’t add value to our lives or the lives of others? We may be quick to purchase something that is “in style,” but do we know ourselves well enough to discern whether or not we will actually wear it… and personally, love it.
This is another practice that starts small, yet eventually leads us to simplify our lives, understanding our identity, and standing strong in who we are. Why? Because we are seeking purpose in the aspects of our lives that were designed to be influential in the first place. How you dress is influential, and the first person it influences should be yourself. Then, the world too can benefit greatly from seeing who you are.
Give Yourself Time
We often jump into ‘discovery mode’ believing that results will remain the same. Yet, isn’t the best part of discovery is just that- the exploration into something new. When we step into newness we must accept that it isn’t going to look, smell, feel, or sound like before. The temptation to compare our present to the past continues. Grasping on to how things once were, how a relationship ended before, or how a past scenario went; we place ourselves in God’s position, “knowing” what is going to come next. Regardless, we are blind to what the future holds and what results are going to come from new endeavors.
If we are going to take the step into finding God, ourselves, our style, and what works best for our life; we gotta remember that not everything is going to work. And, when they do, they probably will not start working right away. So my friend, give yourself time. This journey is a process.
Galatians 5:13-14 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Renewal: to make like new: RESTORE to freshness, revive, rebuild, resume, restore, repeat
New is exciting. I witness over and over again in my life the excitement of a new beginning. Yet, no matter how much I desire change, I often feel stuck in the same old routines. “I’m the same old me, with the same old goals, relationships, job, struggles, and hobbies.”
I urge for enhancement in position without enduring the process necessary. And if that enrichment doesn’t happen fast enough, then it’s off to the next. (talk about impatience!)
The need to experience the newness of change disturbs my present commitments as it becomes more important to “keep up” and “keep moving” than it is to “hold on” and “press in.”
I propose that this type of approach is caused by our present society driven by “instant gratification,” and it’s stripping value from the power of wait. For me, it’s also a root leading to constant anxiety about my future.
So, when we arrive in the stir-motion of “I want this and I want it now,” we may only need to declare the inaccuracy of “the grass is greener on the other side,” and break out of the box we’ve put ourselves in. I love the quote “the grass is greener where you water it.”
The box is built by the predetermined boundaries, beliefs, fears and the doubts that keep people out, us in, and the world small. It’s the walls in our lives that hold us in the captivity of hopelessness, which eventually holds us back from all we can become. Such a box is a place where we sit alone and let bad experiences eat away at our ambition.
Being quick to believe a negative situation has no way of changing, that something we’ve been given to us has no sense of value, or restraining our future by claiming that the past will always define us, will quickly rot away the beautiful potential within us that we have the right to. When we become trapped in the box of negative thinking, we give that right away.
There’s a great chance we’ll also get stuck by remaining over-fastened on something, someone, or even a place: leaving no room for adjustment. These times are amplified by conclusions such as “ if this doesn’t work this exact way, it can’t work at all; and if it doesn’t work at all, there’s no chance of another opportunity like this coming.” Now, we have placed ourselves back in the box, away from the hope for miracles, good stories, and new beginnings.
As our expectations, thoughts, and practices remain old, so do we. For the predetermined belief that something (or someone) is incapable, unchanging, or worthless instantly devalues any potential placed within that person, place, or thing but God to become great. Seriously, the worst of the worst still has room for redemption into new… no matter how broken or old.
Aim for Excellence
Despite what season we find ourselves in, there’s always situations, relationships, projects, and so on, that we could work better at. Even in our own self-care, hobbies, and skills; there’s always room for improvements along with the potential for excellence. This has been challenging for me in seasons that I’m not doing exactly what I love. The flaw is that it’s my choice whether or not to love what I’m doing. Plus, I always end up enjoying the work I do when I complete it with excellence. That for me means no shortcuts. It means doing it the best to my ability and completing it in the time I’m given. This can look like doing a thorough job on a task given to you at work or loving well in a friendship; practicing forgiveness, authenticity, vulnerability, and integrity with the people already placed in your life.
Gain New Perspective
There comes a time that you just gotta lock down and love yourself; as well as open your mind to more than you already know. Do whatever you can to gain new perspective; it will aid you in turning old pain into new energy- hopeless into motivation.
Do what you can to see your story in a new light. From there, you can broaden that blaze in other areas of your life.
I think it’s incredibly important to know how you process and put that to use. For me, I am a verbal processor, so if I need a new perspective I must talk it through with another person. Perhaps it’s better for you to write, challenge yourself physically, create a piece of art, listen to music, or spend alone time with God. Make space in your days and weeks to get out, meet with friends, practice self-love, and pursue travel.
The first step to finding renewal may simply be going something new, even for a day; and that’s up to you.
Do Your Best First
A powerful place to start it by doing the best you can…. with what you’ve already got. It’s unreal what can happen when we utilize the objects/relationships/gifts laying right out in front of us. Open your eyes, get creative, practice gratefulness. Don’t trade in who you OR what you already have, for what is “new” “cool” or “in.” Instead, live a life of trend by being who you are, expressing what you’ve been through, pouring into positive relationships, practicing mindfulness, and work towards your dreams one day at a time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, but remember the small changes we can make to arrive at a new place. If your best is to put two dollars aside a day to go eat lunch out of town on the weekend- do it. If it’s putting one hour aside to invest in someone besides yourself, even if it’s for your own well-being too- schedule it. We are beyond blessed to be able to make these commitments for ourselves and in the process better our longevity of living better, loving well, and reinstating renewal.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
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I believe with my whole being that there is truth, freedom, and renewal waiting for us all. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’re from, or how people see you; you have been gifted with potential deeper than understanding. I believe no matter how empty you feel right now, there’s a fullness offered to you beyond comprehension. No matter how dead, dark, hopeless, pointless, or reckless your life may seem, there is a light at the end of your tunnel.
This isn’t a scheme to get you involved in a particular religion, organization, or cause. I’m not trying to talk you into believing what I believe. This is not a bribe, but it is also not a joke.
This is real, its raw, it’s relevant, and it’s life changing.
So, if you have never accepted Jesus into your life, He can renew and redeem your heart, your mind, your work, your family, your relationships, your perspective, your past-present-and future unlike any blog, person or practice can.
The best part is we don’t have to measure up to anything to follow Him. There are no rules, regulations, expectations, bondage, or barriers in choosing Christ; instead truth, freedom, renewal, blessing, and life.
He is solely the one that has helped me execute all that I’ve written in here and more. My biggest dream is for you to know that power and love too.
It as simple as asking Jesus right now into your heart. As I affirmed before, you are worthy of a full and abundant life, and I believe this is the new beginning you’ve been waiting for.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and is justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
Hello there! Welcome to the introduction page for Fashion&Soul. You may be an inquiring artist desiring to collaborate, a friend that wanted to check out what I’m currently working on, or a total stranger that knows nothing about me or this project – and just ended up on this page somehow. No matter who you are, I invite you to read on and learn more about an upcoming publication I’m creating called Fashion&Soul.
I would love input, critiques, ideas, and of course collaboratives! If you or anyone you know share a similar vision, or is an artist looking to be a part of these publications, please don’t be shy! I will be sharing ways to get involved throughout this blog.
The first publication will begin assembly at the end of August (2018) to be presented in September. Therefore, it’s in the next few weeks that artists must submit artwork to be selected! The SPECIFIC criteria for submissions, along with my contact information, is included at the bottom of this page.
Ignite kingdom culture in the fashion/art industry
Show women how to dress out of self-love instead of worldly expectation
Provide media that offers freedom to people worldwide
Collaborate Christian ministries, leaders, and churches with secular brands, artists, events, and influencers.
Create content that aligns with biblical truth, speaks life, and is visually AWESOME
Provide content that encourages viewers to seek a greater purpose and relationship with God through Fashion photography
The combination of a Multi-part BLOG and a Self-assembled LOOKBOOK
Lookbook: a set of photographs displaying a fashion designer’s new collection, assembled for marketing purposes.
Blog: an online publication that typically relates to a particular topic and consists of articles and personal commentary by one or more authors
This project is going to combine both of these! As the lookbook promotes the online blog, it will also include the content. The hard copy will appear as a miniature fashion magazine/lookbook. The coexisting online format will be a multi-series blog (shared on this site) containing most of the same imagery.
FASHION&SOUL (publication 1 – Fall 2018)
This first publication will include:
Printed written content, fashion photography, and other images of personal artwork over the format of 20+ pages
A coexisting online blog (shared on WordPress)
Credits to all involved artists, including names and social media platforms
30+ photos (by submission) of fashion-related content inspired by four written topicsTruth
Though I am in most need of photography, I am open to submissions of other forms of art, along with personal writing. If you feel lead to creating a piece that can be photographed or printed for this project PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Also, if you’d like to write a short poem, paragraph, or testimony – I’d love to include that as well!
I’m truly open to any ideas and eager to work with people from across the globe! This is a total test-run, but I believe this first issue can have incredible potential for further projects to come. I have big dreams for Fashion&Soul and am so excited to initiate this beginning (and be sharing it with you).
Lastly, if you are struggling to find truth, freedom, blessing, or renewal in your own life – you are not alone! Again, don’t hesitate to contact me or seek further guidance from a family member, mentor, or friend.
Thanks again for inquiring, and I hope to hear from you (and see your artwork) soon!
Email submissions to email@example.com
Include: Name, Country, Instagram Handle
Photos formatted to JPEG
Submissions open: August 7th – September 1st
The artwork must be photographed by the artist who’s submitting it
People photographed are credited (names included, Instagram handle if desired)
Artist has read through Fashion&Soul’s mission and vision (all shared on this blog)
The artwork is inspired by or can relate to one or more of the written topics of truth, freedom, blessing, renewal
Artists meet the deadline of August 23rd, 2018
Artists can submit up to 15 photos with a minimum requirement of 1!
Last but not least!
People have been asking me what the “theme” or “overall look” of this project is; and as of right now, it is very indefinite. I will be assembling the lookbook by what photos/pieces complement each other on each page, and each page will look different. There will be a lot of variety, so don’t worry about your work “fitting in!” Just send in something that represents you as an individual artist and displays your creativity 🙂
I didn’t ask for this to happen to me again . . . especially now. How is it that depression sneaks in when we least expect it? When we’ve done everything in our control to prevent it?
One thought quickly leads to action, that action developed into a mindset; and suddenly I fear my mindset once again turning into a lifestyle. What if this tradition of returning to fear and shame become a habit I cannot escape?
Depression and anxiety can be situationally triggered, other times they come without warning. As many things in this life are, they wipe us our when we stop looking . . . when we believe they won’t come back. For me, it’s been the triggers that have come unexpectedly. I wouldn’t have guessed that the struggles I experienced 3 years ago, nor the people who were part of them, would come back on the haunt . . . but they have.
“Felicia, don’t you already know how this all ends? Haven’t we been through this before? Why go back? Why allow yourself to be back at this place?”
So quickly I become a captive within myself. A prisoner to a self-doubt battle that I alone cannot win. I worry that what I’m doing isn’t going to work and what I’m chasing after isn’t real. Meanwhile I miss out on the work being done now, overlooking the realness of today. I get overwhelmed by all my future options, while losing gratefulness for my present blessings. Noticing this ignorance can quickly cause me to experience sadness . . . once again.
As a kid, people in my family had high concerns regarding my emotional health. Several family members recommended I saw a doctor or tried taking ‘happy supplements.’ And to be completely honest, they still do at times. Overall I am a very happy person. I have tons of fun and spend most of my days laughing. Even in high school, when I was an “angry teenager,” I rarely had trouble making friends, cracking jokes, and smiling at people walking by. But still, I have days — as demonstrated two days ago — that I lose ALL hope.
As depression overtakes my being, a cloud of darkness hovers over my body, and the feeling of drowning begins again.
“None of this matters”
“There is no such thing as progress”
“You’ve only been wondering in circles”
“It’s not worth it”
“You’re not worth it”
“You already screwed up once, might as well continue down the path you’ve chosen”
And it’s these thoughts that MUST be stopped. They are the words of hate and defeat — the words that can control and kill us if we allow. They are a demonstration of Satan.
I cannot fight this battle alone, let alone win it.
Romans 8:37 says…
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loves us.
I’m not trying to throw bible verses at you, or say Christianity is the only thing that will free you from depression, anxiety, or sadness. But for me, it has been in Christ alone that I have found an ever-lasting freedom from this all . . . and more (over and over again).
It’s not a religion, special church, or good deeds that will get you there. Running away or hating these things doesn’t help either. What saves us in the midst of any struggle is simply calling on God. Trusting that He is good, that He CAN and WILL rescue you.
No matter where on the faith journey you are, this is an act we must all do in every circumstance to overcome our battles. We are fighting what is bad, in order to experience all that is good. Whether it be financial provision, inner peace, healthier relationships, true joy, energy, ambition, self care, deep love, or compassion that you need today: God wants to help. Perhaps it’s hate towards people, clinical depression, drug addiction, an eating disorder, or anger that you just want to overcome already: there is freedom.
It isn’t a one and done, and there is no promise your same struggles won’t come back . . . because mine have. But in all circumstances, we have a choice. To accept that we are weak, and what we need cannot always be bought or given with human hands; because what we need is a Savior. A faithful King, a good Father, a leader and Lord; we need Jesus. Or at the very least I do. For I can no longer can be ruled by the sadness that attempts to overtake my life. I refuse to take my own life due to depression, because, deep down I know that Jesus died that I will live . . . and live abundantly with Him forever.
I found my life, when I laid it down.
I was freed from depression when I called on the Lord my God.