Thursday, July 31, 2014


Canoe{via Pinterest}

"In the rush of daily living it's easy to forget all the remarkable people, real or fictional, who have been a part of your life. But if you just imagine they are near for a moment, you will realize that anyone who ever touched your heart is always with you, patiently waiting to emanate warmth and support whenever you remember to think of them."
Barbara Sher

I have found myself revisiting this quote several times over the past few years, as my mind has wandered to some of the remarkable people who have been a part of my life.  I think when we talk about the remarkable people in our lives, many of us first think about family and friends or the people that make up our innermost circle.  (And no doubt, my family and friends are remarkable.)  But the reason I adore this quote so much, is because it pushes us to think past that inner circle, being more mindful of some of the remarkable and incredible people who have impacted our lives at various points along the way.  Maybe they were only a part of our journey for a short time; maybe they were someone that we admired from a bit of a distance, or maybe they happened to be there at just the right time, saying just the thing you needed to hear.  For whatever reason, these people have stood out in your life, they've touched your heart, they've changed your perspective.  My mind thinks of a staff member at a previous training site who was fiercely authentic and warm, and I always felt so personally inspired and connected to her, even though she was not my direct supervisor.  My heart thinks of previous students I have worked with, their resilience and their hope, as well as their undeniable courage.  Today a text from of a college coworker brought back the feeling of his unending acceptance and joy-filled laugh.  Sometimes, I even feel reminded of my favorite character from an oh so popular fictional book series.

Often, without these people as a part of our daily lives and "in the rush of daily living," we forget just how special these remarkable people are and how much we could use them in our current and daily lives.  But the cool thing is, that we can have them as a part of our here and now life.  Because if we stop for a moment, and imagine they are near, we can remember the way they touched our heart.  We can remember how they made us feel, what they challenged us to do, and how they inspired us.  We can take that memory, allow ourselves to be filled up with emotion, and go forward, changed, just as if they were with us.  That's right, I'll say it again.  We have the ability to take a memory from someone remarkable, allow ourselves to be filled up with emotion, and go forward, changed, just as if they were with us.  Isn't that incredible?  

Life is full of big decisions, scary moments, and joyous occasions.  Probably like you, I've been experiencing many of these lately, and at times, I find myself wishing all the remarkable people I've met were with me, next to me, radiating their goodness, encouraging me on.  But I'm reminded that their love, their encouragement, and their inspiration are only a moment away, and I have the power to channel and cultivate their remarkable selves, surrounding myself with their warmth and support.

Cheers to channeling remarkable people and keeping them near.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Happy Lately List

Wakeuphappy{photo from Moritz Fine Designs via Pinterest}

It's been a while since I posted a Happy Lately List, and early on this Tuesday morning seemed like a great time to celebrate all the small things making me happy...

Summer travelers making pit stops at our chateau (translation: house.  I'm fancy like that.)  One of the best parts of living in such a fun city is the number of visitors that pass through and make time for quick slumber parties at our place.  It's a great way to squeeze in some soul-nourishing time with the people we love.

My sweet little DIY succulent planter.  One of the few pieces of proof that Pinterest projects are actually doable.

"Disclosure" by Latch featuring Sam Smith.  This was my jam last summer, but now that Sam Smith has made it big, this song is popular on the radio and my hair flipping car jams are back in full effect.

Hosting our first big get together at the house and surviving to tell the tale.  (I made the genius suggestion to host a summer BBQ for Matt's department, not quite realizing the size of his department, especially once partners and kids are included.)  However, we rallied, pulled it together, and hosted a pretty fun little shindig.  And then after everyone left, Matt and I resisted the urge to instantly start clearing stuff away and instead sat and had a drink together, chatting about the party, funny stories the other had missed, and the food we loved most.

Desperately scrounging for five minutes to find a bobby pin and discovering one loner at the bottom of my purse.  Victory!

Carrot cake Luna bars.  Almost as good as the real thing.  (Almost.)

This book.  I am actually pretty knowledgable about the topic of mindfulness, and I use it regularly with clients, but I decided to go back to basics and check out this book.  It's an easy and relatable, yet profound and inspiring read for anyone looking to become more aware of their emotional experience.

TNT's "Rizzoli and Isles."  A fairly predictable, lighthearted crime drama full of girl power...count me in.  (Every once in a while I catch myself relating different parts of my personality to either Jane or Maura, and I realize I might be in too deep.)

This delightful Greek salad, which I ramped up with chopped artichoke hearts and bowtie pasta instead of spaghetti noodles.  I served this at the previously mentioned party, and one of the party goers said it was the best pasta salad they'd ever had.  Umm cooking rarely gets that feedback, so I'd suggest making this ASAP.

Getting some extended hangout time with my little brother.  My family was visiting for a week, and given some unexpected family circumstances, their visit was extended, and my brother spent an extra solo week with us in Chicago.  After a semester with him halfway across the world, it was nice to have extra time with the little cutie.

Colorful, printed dresses.  I've put an intentional hold on buying any more black.  Sure, its versatile, but sometimes it's just not nearly as fun.

Getting back to blogging.  It's been awesome to reconnect with so many of you through Instagram, Facebook, and email.  Thanks for sticking around and welcoming me back.

Help spread the happy...let me know in the comments below or on Instagram what's making YOU happy lately!

Monday, July 21, 2014

I'm Baaaaack!

Greece{via pinterest}

Hello?  Is anyone there?  Can you hear me?

I'm afraid that after nearly six months away from this little space, all of my sweet readers are gone, and I'm typing this for my mom.  (Who am I kidding, it's been so long, I doubt my mom even checks for updates on my blog anymore!)  But nonetheless, I'm here, I'm writing, and I'm excited to reconnect.

Life lately has been a little...different.  I struggled with what word to use in that last sentence, and I eventually settled on "different."  Initially, I wrote "hectic," then realized that isn't quite accurate.  Life hasn't been nearly as stressful or busy as it has been in previous times.  I started to type "great," but felt like that was too simplistic and overly fluffy.  So after some thinking, I settled on different.  And here's why.

For most of the past seven years, I've been in school or advanced training.  I've been focused on one single, solitary goal.  The journey was long, winding, and filled with loads of self-doubt, but I kept my eyes on the prize and focused on the day I'd walk across the stage and become Dr. Allison.  And then that day happened, and it was awesome.  And then I quickly focused on the next step, my postdoctoral fellowship, and then my licenesing exam.  I thought, if I can just make it through, if I can just get on the other side of this, I'll be free, I'll be done, and I can start living life.

Well guess what?  I hopped both of those hurdles and then was suddenly standing in the spot I'd dreamed of for so many years.  And you might think that I'm headed down the path of saying, "It wasn't what I dreamed of, it was unfulfilling, etc," and thankfully that isn't where this is headed.  But it was most certainly odd, unfamiliar, and different.  To be in a place where I don't feel like I'm scrambling to the next phrase or the next step in training has been weird.

I've been focusing on working and establishing my professional identity.  I've been coming home at night with little "extra" to do.  No job applications to turn in, no essays to edit.  Just me.  And Matt.  And our little life that we've created, and now suddenly, have a lot more time to build together.  We've been working on the house more, spending time with friends, developing hobbies, and figuring out how to live our life post-grad school.  The shift has been welcomed and wonderful mostly, but at times it's a bit challenging and well...different.  

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about how I want to live my life at this point in time.  (And it's not that we weren't living our lives while in grad school; we realized quickly into the journey that if you wait to live your life until you're "done with school," you won't ever make it.)  But this new chapter is different, and it's prompting a great deal of reflection and mindfulness on my part.  I'm inspired, excited, and eager, and I'm also anxious and a little bit afraid.  Yet, I think that's a healthy and realistic place to be at this point in my life.

So I'm embracing those seemingly contradicting emotions and braving the road ahead.  I have some pretty exciting things in the works for the next few months, as I think I'm finally ready to bridge my personal and professional worlds, creating an even more authentic place for myself.  I hope you'll join me on this journey as I embrace different.