each year i pick a word and a theme to guide me through the following twelve months. the past two years my word has been 'PATIENCE'. i've been committed to putting that word in to practice every day and everywhere i go. it hasn't been easy, but i've learned so much about myself and about my children and my lifestyle having that word following me around for the past two years.
this year, i'm changing gears and choosing a new word. or, rather, this word has chosen me. it seems as though after every birth i go through a major life change. not just the obvious change of becoming a mother, but some change within myself and within my world. how i approach certain aspects of my life changes with each new addition to my family. after william was born, the change was the obvious one of becoming a mother, navigating what that meant for our family and my marriage and everything in between. logistics was my main concern and i managed to go from scattered and relaxed to organized and productive. and maybe a little crazed.
following charlotte's birth, i discovered fitness and how i could incorporate it in to my life. i started running, a topic that i've discussed greatly on this space, and changed the eating habits of my family. when theodore finally graced us with his presence last april, the theme that followed me around was living a more conscious lifestyle. for me, that lead to a series of discoveries and experiments. i stopped blogging, broke ties with my stella & dot business, and took a few months off of anything external to really figure out how i wanted to proceed. i tossed nearly every item in our home aside from furniture and began the process of replacing them with safe, natural, and conscious items. i dabbled in essential oils and quickly fell for the products and out of the business of selling them.
i worked diligently and quietly, searching for products that met my strict standards, checking out small and local businesses, completely revamping our household budget to accommodate our new changes in how we purchase everything from groceries to clothing to bath tissue. i may have been a little crazed. but the last few months, ever so slowly and carefully, i've added things back in to my life. this blog, for one, i'm so thankful to be reconnected with. other things have stayed in my past, ever appreciative of their presence in my life, but no room for them in my present.
i hope to be announcing some new things coming with the start of the new year but am still waiting for some pieces to fall in to place. what i am ready to share now though, is my discovery of personal care products from beautycounter that check nearly every box on my conscious consumer checklist and actually perform well (the number of 'natural' and 'safe' products i've tried and DIY-ed in the past year that didn't work makes my head hurt). but what i really connected with is this brand's mission to bring safe products to everyone and make a positive change with the current legislation and policies in the united states. the activist in me immediately jumped on board, but the new conscious brianna needed a few months to do all the research, try out a handful of products, and make the ever-popular pro/con list.
so for 2017, my word and theme is CONSCIOUS. in every aspect. i've been working hard to educate myself of what exactly being conscious means to me within my life, and i'm confident that 2017 will be full of satisfaction and surprises. if living a more conscious life is on your list for 2017, here are a few simple ways i'm committing to it:
consumerism | being a more conscious consumer is the obvious first step. the bare minimums are shopping small, shopping local, and shopping safe.
consumption | food plays a big role in my life. i was raised to appreciate real food and not the 'food product' that most americans consume daily. shop the rim of the grocery store, don't buy anything with an ingredient you can't pronounce, and shop local and organic when possible.
involved | getting involved with a cause that speaks to your heart is at the core of living a conscious lifestyle. whether it's human trafficking (click here to check out the amazing dressember movement happening now), civil liberties, safe personal care products, or anything in between, find your cause and own it. after a tumultuous election cycle, many of us are left feeling hopeless and frustrated. arm yourself with information and get involved in any way you can. donate a few dollars every month, shop places that support a movement that speaks to you, or run for public office! the most effective way to make your voice heard is to get involved.