Soma & Ulte is officially back... and, honestly, we are feeling better than ever!
When it comes to running our own business, we recognize that a major key to success is knowing when to bend, shift, and embrace change. So we started out 2019 listening to our intuition and are now gonna OWN our transformation.
The shifts in our lives have been significant this past year. Both of us have really started to tune into our bodies more and really focus on our overall wellbeing. Previously you couldn't get either of us to drink water regularly or even exercise all that often, but now it's become a part of our daily routine. We recognize how much we've taken these little miracle centers for granted and are now nurturing our bodies for ourselves, and even potential future babies.
We have also started truly listening to our inner voices/critics and been more reflective on what she is saying. This part has particularly been impactful for me. All of this time, I had been running Soma & Ulte's fashion section the way that I thought it "should be" or the way that I've seen. Put on cute #OOTDs, review it, tag the merch.
"Okaaaaay, but SO WHAT??"
Yes, folks, that has been the voice I've been ignoring in my head all along. How could I be into fashion yet not care about these clothes? I felt like a total fraud. And yet, there it was... the answer to why I was feeling more and more half-hearted about the #OOTD. Talking about the status of these clothes did not bring me any meaning. I love clothes, but not just purely for aesthetics. I love clothes because they are truly an emotional experience. I love the way they make me FEEL. I love the way clothes allow me to communicate to others without saying a word or can empower someone to walk more confidently in their own skin. Yet, I was not often writing about that. Why? I felt like I needed to be more like the other bloggers. I mean, just typing that sentence sounds so absurd to me now.
So here's the deal. I am not a fashion blogger. I am definitely not a model and do not have a desire to be one. I, personally, do not care about brand names. However, I do care a great deal about people, the power of transformation, teaching about the psychology of clothing, and a healthy pursuit of happiness. All of this is why this year's first fashion post is called "7 Ways to Celebrate Self Love" and not "Lipstick & Loungewear" lol. And, for the record, none of this is an #ad.
So without further ado, here are 7 ways to celebrate self love....
1. Put on something that (as Marie Kondo would say) "sparks joy".
When I am lounging around the house, I find it really easy to fall into all kinds of complacency. When I have crappy sweats readily available in my closet, I will absolutely wear them. There's nothing wrong with that, but subsequently, I more easily fall into a sluggish phase and spend the rest of the day feeling quasi glum. This is not uncommon for us busy humans. However, I want you to be aware that the clothes you wear can highly affect your mood. In fact, it can reflect your mood!
So, I urge you to show yourself some love by investing in a nice pair of pajamas or loungewear. This is purely an act of self love. Just because you won't be seen in public doesn't mean you can't also show up for yourself. I particularly like this pair because I can wear it while I'm on my Zoom calls. It totally passes as a "Work from Home" outfit ;) Whatever you choose, make sure to pay attention to the way it makes you feel. Do you feel safe? Sexy? Relaxed? Loved?
SHOP THIS LOOK
CloudFleece Wide Leg Pant on sale for $39.95
CloudFleece Wrap Top on sale for $39.95
2. Be aware of what you're reading.
I noticed that I stopped subscribing to Fashion magazines a long time ago, but never really thought about why. Nowadays I realize that I often felt bad about myself or just plain annoyed by all the marketing material after reading one. Also, there is so much photoshop everywhere. It can really skew your perspective on what is real and what is not. So as an act of self love, I chose to read things that inspire me, like this Mindful Woman mag I found at Walgreens. It's all about practical ways to care for your wellbeing and happiness! Yes, I will totally buy that subscription. Worth it!
3. Indulge in your favorite drink and SIT DOWN.
I know most of the population swears by their coffee, but I've always been a tea person. I particularly like indulding in a Yogi tea because it's like opening a Christmas present or a fortune cookie every day. If you don't know, their little tea bags come with lovely lil quotes. They usually make me smile, ponder an insight, or put my negative thought into a positive spin. Whether you prefer tea or coffee or hot chocolate, pick something that allows you to sit down, sip slow and savor. This little ritual can really start your day on the right foot by allowing your mind and body to relax. Do not rush. Smell the aroma. Feel the warmth. Taste. It's all so simple, but you'll surprise yourself by how often you can rush through this process.
4. Journal to release emotions or organize your thoughts.
The mind can be so beautiful and yet so destructive sometimes. If you're feeling overwhelmed, I highly suggest journaling to guide you through the internal vortex. Both Connie and I have journals to release our emotions, and both of us can attest that when you do this, it can immediately help you calm down. By physically writing out your thoughts, it forces you to slow and really absorb what you're thinking and even help organize the reasons why you're there in the first place.
If you're intimidated by the blank page, I highly recommend using the CALM THE CHAOS book. It has helped prompt me to think about my day and my wellbeing. Because I'm a bit of a workaholic, it is a nice reminder to check in with myself and get me back on track.
5. Light your favorite candle and turn on some sexy tunes.
Sexual healing doesn't have to come from a partner. In fact, showing yourself some love is a healthy way to reconnect. After a long day at work, I like to light my candle, play some R&B music, and stretch. This helps to relieve any tension I've been holding all day and the candlelight allows me to see my body in new ways. How often do we go through the day without taking note of what this body has done for us? I suggest taking the time to gently touch each part of your body very lightly and really notice how you feel. Too often we are desensitized to pleasure. However, taking this time is how I've gained that power back.
6. Rest and be Mindful... or as some like to call it... "Meditate"
This is a practice that I've been doing regularly for about a year. I actually styled a commercial for the CALM app and as a bonus I got their app for free. I previously used Insight Timer, which was also great, but I preferred the voices on CALM, and lo and behold I started a habit I never would've guessed would stick. I've tried meditating on my own before, but it wasn't until a friend of mine taught me all of the miconceptions about meditation (it doesn't have to be difficult and it is not something that needs to be perfected), that I started taking it seriously. Then once I had the CALM app, I got hooked. I now start and end my day with the app because it reminds me to breathe. Isn't that insane that we might need to be reminded? Well, I know throughout my busy days I take more, shallow breaths. Anxiety, fear, and stress totally kick in quite easily. However, when those emotions start creeping in now, I'll just listen to the app and within 5 minutes I'll feel so much better.
One of my favorite meditations is called "Loving-Kindness." Honestly, it makes me cry. It amazes me how much just reminding yourself that you are loved can be so healing. Self love is so important. It's also the key to sending loving-kindess to others.
7. Pick your healing medicine of choice.
I use Palo Santo every night because it is meant to clear energy. I do this for myself and for my house. Palo Santo is "Holy Wood" and smells absolutely wonderful. I prefer it over incense because it smells more natural. I light it as part of my nightly ritual to separate my work from "me time." This is particularly helpful on days when I've been around a lot of people. Whether you recognize it or not, other people's energy can really impact your mood or even your thoughts. I'm a feeler so I often feel someone's emotions for hours after I've seen them. I have to actively clear my space to reset myself. Whatever you may choose (herbs, crystals, etc), try to do it with as much mindfullness as you can. Creating a ritual that is sacred to you, could be the best way to celebrate self love.
Let us know how you celebrate self love!
Soma & Ulte