Dress as Well as You Want to Feel

MiuMiusmokingslippersSUPPORTED

PrescriptionSYMPTOMS
· feeling alone      · insecure
· sense of heaviness    · self-doubt

RxPRESCRIPTION SUPPORTED
Outer: Smoking loafers by Miu Miu.
Inner: I’m fully supported and loved. I have great friendships that remind me of who I truly am.

warningWARNING Wear may lead to a boost in energy, enthusiasm and overall mood.

 

The day I met my husband, I wasn’t feeling great. In fact, I didn’t want to go anywhere at all, let alone meet the love of my life. That afternoon I was wearing frumpy sweatpants, un-brushed hair randomly gathered in a ponytail, and a pair of Ugg boots that my big toe had pushed a large hole through. I’d recently been laid off from my job, was worried about paying my bills, and still quietly moping over a break-up that had happened over a year prior. I felt like a mess, an unlovable mess. Why should I even bother “going out?” I mean, what was the point?

My roommate of several years came into my bedroom and demanded that I get up. She saw my sadness and said, “You look awful, no wonder you feel so horrible. Go take a shower and leave the rest to me.” I came back to find a simple, but elegant, black dress (which was hers) next to a pair of red heels that I’d forgotten I owned, and a hairdryer, curling iron, and makeup laid out on my bureau. She smiled and said, “We all have our low spells, girl, but I have a secret: a fresh hairstyle and a good pair of shoes can turn any situation around.”

GoodFriendsGoodShoes

I reluctantly sat down and watched as she blew out my hair and carefully wrapped it around the warm iron. As she proceeded, I couldn’t help but notice my mood was shifting. By the time I slid my feet into the bright red stilettos, I felt like a different person. I didn’t feel frumpy anymore. Heck, I felt hot!

I’d long understood that the way we dress affects the impression we make on others, but up until that moment I didn’t realize how it affected my own well-being. Many applied psychology studies have proven that everything about a person’s clothing, from color to fit, affects one on a psychological level. I was proof that changing one’s appearance could shift one’s mood.

ShoesSpeak

My girlfriend’s secret worked. I oozed confidence the evening I met my husband, and we’re now approaching 10 years of marriage. Her trick was simple but powerful—she reminded me of my self-worth and beauty. I still have days I don’t feel 100%. On those days, I head to my medicine cabinet, a.k.a. my closet, and prescribe myself an outfit that looks the way I want to feel. It’s not always easy, but as I step into my shoes, I intentionally step into a more positive and loving mindset. Intentions are meaningful, and our clothing can be used deliberately, whenever we choose.

Using fashion in a positive manner is an act of loving oneself. It is the responsibility of all of us to take care of our physical vessels, to keep them in good repair and running well. I dress the way I want to feel, everyday, no matter if anyone will see me or not. And I do my best to be the kind of friend who shows up with a curling iron and a pair of shoes when someone I care about is feeling blue. A little love can go long way. What does your outfit say about your mood today?

Step Into Greatness!

Christian-Louboutin-GREATNESS

Big news! After many requests, I’m relaunching my private life coaching practice– available WORLDWIDE! Please check out my services below and contact me if you’re ready to step into your greatness! No dream is too big or too small for these shoes:

STEP INTO GREATNESS COACHING WITH SHANNON BINDLER

We all want to live in our own shoes; to walk our own unique path, but it’s much easier to stay on the well-groomed trail that we’re “supposed” to take. It’s no wonder that from a young age most of us have been encouraged to minimize our wins, dim our lights, and draw safely within the lines. Creativity and vulnerability go hand in hand. Yes, it’s really scary to go after a dream… that’s why you have me. The self-love doctor is in!

I’ll walk with you, motivate and inspire you to recognize your greatness and encourage you to dial up your creative wattage. We’ll out-maneuver the self-doubt that’ll inevitably show up. In weeks, you’ll be dreaming BIG. Where you once saw a pathway filled with obstacles, you’ll notice possibilities.

We dream big and we MOVE on those imaginings. Dreams without actions are just wishes. I prescribe grounded, realistic action steps that turn your aspirations into REALITY. Most people turn around and go home when their goal feels overwhelming and out of reach. No dream is too bold for these shoes. We’ll take it together, step-by-step, until you arrive at your destination!

Oh yeah, and if you like fashion, you’re in the right place. I believe shoes and clothing can be used as spiritual medicine. Other coaches use mala beads, incense or crystals as spiritual tools. We’ll work with shoes (and other stylish accessories) to help you visualize and stay motivated. Watch my TEDx talk on the subject.

My clients leave our time together with a fierce sense of confidence. Each has blazed a distinctive trail. Some have become New York Times best-selling authors, others have created acclaimed art exhibitions and film projects and started successful businesses. Most importantly, all own their GREATNESS in whatever they set out to do. Sometimes ideas fail, but I’ve never worked with anyone who’s regretted trying. No dream is too small or too grand.

Are you ready to roll? Let’s put on our superhero shoes and get started.

3-Session Starter Series:
In three one-hour sessions we’ll uncover your dream, dispel what might be stopping you, and set up a series of realistic action steps.
$375 ($125/session)

6-Session Get Moving Series:
In six one-hour sessions you will gain clarity, squash limiting beliefs and thoughts, start moving with concrete action steps, and follow through even when the path ahead feels impossible.
$690 ($115/session)

9-Session Dreams to Reality Coaching Program:
In nine one-hour sessions you’ll realize what it is you really want, identify limiting beliefs and internal conflicts of interest, create an action plan, overcome roadblocks, and move forward fearlessly. This is my signature-coaching package with hundreds of success stories. This package is recommended for anyone with a long-term goal that requires consistent action (ie. writing a book, starting a business, marketing campaign, etc.)
$900 ($100/session)

SINGLE Session:
A single session tune-up can be use during life emergencies, transitions, or when you’re feeling off and need a reminder of who you truly are. Available to those who have had THREE sessions or MORE.
$150

 

Contact me here or via email: ShannonBindler(at)me(dot)com to schedule an appointment. Sessions are available in person in Los Angeles and worldwide via Skype, phone, or Google Hangout.

Experience a Miracle, Right Now

Shanali Martin wearing Romance Was Born for an America’s Next Top Model photographed by Jez Smith 

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· feeling lost              · seeking divine intervention
· desiring a “sign”      · feeling abandoned by the universe

RxPRESCRIPTION COMMON MIRACLES
OUTER:
Shattered mirror heels by Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte, Romper by Romance Was Born, Owl t-shirt by Burberry.
INNER: I recognize and appreciate the miracles all around me.

warningWARNING: Wear may cause boundless miracles and appreciation of the beauty of common moments.

magical-fashionAngela Lindval models Magical Fashion by Richard Burbridge, Harper’s Bazaar US

Are you waiting for something miraculous to happen in your life?

I’ve been asking for a miracle. It’s something I’ve done over the years for different reasons. “Please send a miracle, Universe” is a phrase I pleaded inwardly when a friend was ill with cancer, when I found out I’d need to have an early emergency C-section, while trying to pass a difficult exam, and even after circling a busy block several times in search of an open parking spot.

I think people ask for miracles in all sorts of situations. Most often when they need something or when they or someone they love is facing a life threatening challenge—or, in my case, whenever I drive on the 405 Freeway (I live in Los Angeles, folks).

Merriam-Webster says a miracle is:

  1. An unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God
  2. A very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement
  3. An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
  4. An extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
  5. Divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law

 

burrberryfallvidcapCara Delevingne models for Burberry’s ‘Woodland Adventure’ 

Last week I requested to witness a miracle—something that was so obvious and clear that I couldn’t ignore it. I was hopeful something stunning would reveal itself. I’d walk out to find a stack of cash on my doorstep or maybe a sign from nature like an owl sitting my balcony.

Instead, I came upon something horrifying. A mother and daughter were struck by a truck in a crosswalk in front of my daughter’s school on their way into class. The 4th grade girl sustained minor injuries, but sadly the mother was killed. It didn’t make sense. It wasn’t fair. Why would something so awful happen?

A couple days later I came across a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”

The accident made me realize it wasn’t the “boom” kind of miracle I was looking for; rather, it was the ability to appreciate the miracles that already are, the simple and beautiful moments I often take for granted. We are blessed with miracles around every corner, every day. As I open my awareness to the “common” miracles, I feel myself expanding and appreciating how phenomenal and miraculous being alive is.

Shattered Mirrored Heels by Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte for Harper’s Bazaar US.

Inspired by author Arvind Devalia, I came up with a “miracle appreciation list” to help remind me of ordinary (if they can be called that) marvels:

The miracle of existence. Energy flows through our bodies and through the entire earth. Solar systems form and dissipate, and the Earth revolves around the sun. How the heck does any of it happen? What makes a waterfall flow, a sunset glow, a volcano erupt? How do all of the species of plants and animals on this planet survive and evolve? I know there are scientific explanations, but even so, life is mysterious and miraculous.

“If existence was ever a miracle, then existence is always a miracle.” – Andrew Schwartz

The miracle of our bodies. Blood pulses through our veins, our hearts pump, we breathe in oxygen and out CO2. Our wounds heal, our hair and nails grow, and our food is digested. Our bodies host all sorts of microcosms that work symbiotically, and it’s amazing how often I forget to appreciate the vessel I have that, for the most part, runs smoothly without much input or effort on my part.

The miracle of creativity. Imagination. A song.  Poetry. It’s the ability to put an experience into words that touch and inspire. Dancing, twirling, shaking to our very core. It’s found in the arts, nature, and in meaningful conversations. It can be simple but it always delights. Being creative beings is one of humankind’s greatest miracles.

The miracle of innovation. This absolutely falls under the creativity umbrella, but I felt it required its own paragraph because it’s so broad and important. The inventions humans have come up with never cease to amaze me: electricity, modern medicine, indoor plumbing, the Internet, sending humans to the moon. These commonly used innovations undoubtedly shape the world we live in.

The miracle of love. Loving friendships, romantic partners, and family are the most important aspects of most of our lives. The energy that flows between people is incredible and ineffable. It’s powerful and effortless. It’s a miraculous force that binds and fills us. Love is the most healing tool any of us can ever use or experience—and it’s free and always available if we choose to connect to it.

“Miracles: You do not have to look for them. They are there, 24-7, beaming like radio waves all around you. Put up the antenna, turn up the volume – snap… crackle… this just in, every person you talk to is a chance to change the world.” – Hugh Elliott

Miracles happen every day. It’s up to each of us to notice and appreciate them. What common miracles are you grateful for?

 

Please join our efforts in creating a safer crosswalk and better traffic solutions at the Citizens of the World Charter School in Hollywood by signing this petition. It can save lives!

 

Where Love Wants To Go

PradaHeart

UNBINDING LOVE

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· desire to control another    · feeling unloved
· broken heart    · feeling alone

RxPRESCRIPTION UNBINDING LOVE
OUTER:
 Heels by Prada, DIY sequin heart shoe clips, DIY shoe heart sole.
INNER: I connect to love and fill my cup to the brim.

warningWARNING: Wear may instigate a full heart and a desire to share that overflow with another. Caution: wear may instigate feelings unbridled contentment.

1These adorable heart clips are the perfect DIY Valentines Day shoe accessory. Make your own!

What is love? Sometimes we give it away, and other times we receive it. We withhold love, and it can be withheld from us. Love is more than an emotion; it’s an ineffable force, like gravity, that can pull, connect, and grow.

Love can catch us by surprise and disappoint like no other. That is, when we try to put it in a controlled container. Love is messy. Love is free. And we all want to experience it.

The best way I’ve ever been able to explain love is through this simple poem (author unknown):

Love is the sweetest thing that I know,
You keep it around by letting it go.
And you follow close and you follow slow.
Let love take you where love wants to go.

jasmine-amber-heart-shoesThere is nothing like walking with love on your soles. Image by Jasmine Amber Photography. Check out her site for amazing bridal photography.

Love is letting go. One of the greatest gifts we’ve been given is the gift of choice. To try to control love is futile. You can choose to connect to love. Or not. But none of us can exert power over it.

Love comes from the overflow. Fill your own cup. Respect yourself. Take care of yourself to the highest degree possible. When your cup is filled to the brim, it’s easy to extend that overflow to another. If they don’t want to partake, then smile and let them be on their way. It’s the same with a lover, friend, or even our children (or parents). Love never puts itself upon another or drains from another.

To love is to let go.

Love is always available. Ask to feel love’s presence, and you’ll be filled, not by someone else but by the universe. It’s always here, we just need to connect and invite it in.

ShannonPradaMarbleThis and the first featured snapshot were taken by my friend and creative muse Ayn Carrillo Gailey.

Fill yourself with love, and then fill another. And let love take you where love wants to go.

 

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The Sanctity of Shoes: TEDx Malibu

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
02/25/2018
A red closed-­toe pump is prescribed for individuals who want to experience more confidence. A closed-­toe pump is a heel that has a closed toe and back. It tends to have a seamless vamp, with no laces, straps or buckles. Heel may vary in height, and color may range in shade.
Symptoms
A red closed-toe pump is prescribed to individuals suffering from one or more of the following feelings or experiences: insecurity, fear or timidity, not believing in self or ideas, feeling "less than" or inferior, lack of willingness to take risks.
Warnings
Side effects may include belief in oneself, increased courage, higher self-­esteem, and greater success. Moderate use may lead to job promotions and other unforeseen opportunities. Overuse may lead to dancing unabashedly in public.

I’ve written about my insecurities about speaking at TEDx Malibu this year, and I’m delighted and terrified that my talk just went live online. It took all of the confidence I could muster to stand on that stage, and it feels as if it’s being required to yet again reach out and share the video with the world.

Well, there is no time like the present, and I recently made a commitment to myself to stand in my power and to share my creativity, even if it scares me to death. I’m acknowledging my fear and moving forward regardless.

My talk is about using shoes as a spiritual tool. Yes, that’s right – SHOES! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you know that I think shoes can be pretty magical and metaphorical, and if you’re new, this will be a quick and fun way for you get to know me and my ideas about spirituality, materialism, and shoes.

If you enjoy it, I’d love to ask you to consider sharing it with your community. It would make my day, and hopefully touch and inspire someone in your life.

GETTHELOOK1. Peplum dress by Zara 2. Red closed-toe pumps by Prada 3. Johasun Wireless Microphone 4. Red lipstick by Mac Cosmetics

What do you use as a reminder of your intentions?

 

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Off to the Races!

Carol_Young Shannon BindlerGALLOPING FREEDOM

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· feeling caged    · unadventurous
· sluggish            · overly cautious

RxPRESCRIPTION GALLOPING FREEDOM
OUTER:
 Vegan suede boots by Olsenhaus, Equine print silk dress by Stella Proseyn, Structure pendant, Intersecting Branch earrings and Hexagon bracelet, all by Sarah Loertscher *All available at Undesigned
INNER: I take a leap and fly, happily embracing new experiences.

warningWARNING: Wear may instigate wild adventures and a galloping spirit.

StellaProseyn

It’s the Year of the Wood Horse, which begins on Jan. 31. According to Chinese Astrology, it’s predicted to be a lucky and energetic year.

I don’t know a lot about Chinese Astrology – okay, any type of astrology – but I’m always intrigued to hear what the experts have to say. 2013 seemed to be heavy for almost everyone I know. According to the Chinese calendar, it was an energetically slow year of planning, so I’m looking forward to tapping into the galloping spirit of the Horse.

Carolyoung33

You’re a Horse if you were born in 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and, of course, in 2014 on or after Jan. 31. Want to know what your Chinese Zodiac sign is? This was the tool I used. If you’re born before January 31st, be sure to check your sign before reading your horoscope, as your sign will be the year prior. No matter what your sign, we’ll all feel the effects of the Horse:

“Horse energy is free-spirited, wild, willful, and independent. Horse has a refined instinct that acts fast, on the spot. The time for pondering was 2013 Snake year. Horse year is time to act fast – buy that home, launch that business, travel the world, make a big purchase, get a promotion at work, have a breakthrough – take a leap and fly. If it’s right, then there’s nothing to think about. Just follow instincts. Even if you miss the mark, you’ll have all of Wood Sheep year 2015 to get cozy and enjoy life’s comforts in all their artistic forms.

Casual and outdoorsy, Horse year is about freedom, returning to nature, and enjoying life and life’s adventures. You won’t always want to focus on work because it’s easy to be distracted by fun, good times, and parties in sexy Horse year. Because Horse can be impulsive, act now and think later, avoid the mistakes of overspending, enabling others, and denying when there is a problem. Overspending is easy in a Horse year because if you feel you deserve something or want a reward, the impulse to buy is strong. Horses often buy what they feel they deserve without realizing how their purchases effect their long-term planning because Horse rarely plans for the future.” – Read Astrologer Susan Levitt’s full 2014 report.

OlsenHaus OlsenHausOlsenHaus vegan shoes’ mission is to merge passions for design, fashion, and function while being a voice for animals, the environment, transparent business practices, and unwavering values in ethical and social responsibilities. Talk about freedom from business as usual! All that, and the lines’ design and durability can stand toe to toe with any traditional luxury brand.

Like everything, the Year of the Horse comes with its light or “positive” aspects (adventure) and its shadow or “negative” ones (being impulsive). I welcome more of a care-free attitude this year, but I’ve also shown poor judgment in the past when it comes to overspending and getting distracted by fun (especially if there’s a major shoe sale involved). For me, it’s going to be a dance of embracing the constructive qualities of the Horse while remaining conscious of making hasty decisions and/or purchases.

SarahLoertscherearringSarah-LoertschernecklaceSarahLoertscherSarahLoertscherbracelet
Sarah Loertscher’s fascinating jewelry reflects both the landscape she grew up in and her interest in the underlying structure of natural objects. Her architectural pieces draw inspiration from a mid-western skyline of power lines, sweeping skies, open fields, silos, and granaries.

As the Chinese say, “A good horse never turns its head to eat the grass behind.” So, this is a year to look ahead, not back.

Shannon Bindler

How do you plan to harness the energy of the Horse?

 

* All items featured can be found at Carol Young’s store Undesigned in Los Feliz, Los Angeles. Young is a former architecture student who became intrigued with the needs of urban nomads while living abroad in Asia, studying design in NYC and traveling far & wide. Taking subways, walking and cycling about town, she found herself seeking clothing that would allow her to move, keep dry and comfortable, but also express her individuality. Each carefully selected piece in Carol’s distinctive boutique is a testament of an uninhibited galloping spirit. 

The Power of Positive Focus

SydneyBrownCollagePOSITIVE FOCUS

symptoms SYMPTOMS
· negative thoughts    · self-criticism
· wanting to give up   · self-doubt

RxPRESCRIPTION POSITIVE FOCUS
OUTER:
  Sandal High heel and Carbon platform boot by Sydney Brown, couture stretch lace dress by Magid Bernard
INNER: I maintain a positive focus even when I feel like hiding and/or giving up.

warningWARNING
May increase perseverance and dedication.

SydneyBrown3

I don’t want to write this post, let alone press ‘publish.’ I suppose if you’re reading it, I somehow made it through the struggle, but it hasn’t been an easy process.

The mind can be tricky. I’m usually good at recognizing self-doubt and moving into a space of self-observation. I know how to reframe my thoughts, but every once in a while my mind yells so loudly that I believe that I’m not good enough.

Why would anyone want to read what I have to say? This blog is a colossal waste of time and money. This internal conversation’s been gaining momentum the past few hours. In editing the photos that accompany this post, all I feel is self-loathing. I look awful, ridiculous, in fact. I’ll look back at this as dumbest thing I’ve ever done…I should take it down, erase it all.

SydneyBrown1Sydney Brown’s shoe line is a testament to maintaining a positive focus. She set out to construct a sustainable and beautiful shoe that was non-toxic and ethically made. She kept hearing it couldn’t be done, but she persevered and has successfully created some of the most interesting (and conscious) shoes on the planet. 

I feel incredibly vulnerable. I started blogging as a way to creatively explore my two loves: shoes and self-help. My intention was to accept myself (both inner and outer) and convey the process through my favorite medium, fashion. If I could learn something about myself every week, and if one other person found it uplifting, then it was a success.

Why, then, am I feeling so self-conscious? As I ask myself this question, I immediately think of my daughter. Before every major growth spurt, she becomes highly sensitive and cranky. A few days later she starts talking, walking, reading, whatever the next developmental stage is… Maybe I’m just experiencing growing pains? Goodness, I hope this is all part of an awesome “up-leveling” that’s about to take place.

I’m not really sure, but even as disapproving thoughts roll through my mind, there is a subtle voice that says: Keep going. This too shall pass.

Sydneystudio Sydneystudio1Behind the scenes at the Sydney Brown design studio in Glassell Park, CA.

Instead of trying to reframe my negative thoughts with positive ones, I’m working on maintaining a positive focus. A teacher of mine once said, “Positive focus is a direction that allows for negativity, failing, and set backs. It’s an intention that we persist in, regardless of the conditions we encounter.”

He further explained the concept of positive focus with a story that went a little something like this (this is not a direct quote, rather the gist):

If you find yourself drowning, thinking positive thoughts are not going to help you to breathe underwater. However, positive focus is when you look out to the shore and concentrate your energy on swimming towards it. If you can keep your mind and actions positively focused, you’ll make it to safety.

Sydneystudio4 sydneystudio5sydneystudio3Brown diligently creates her next collection.

I’m doing my best to keep moving in spite of my discomfort and doubt. I’ve heard successful people of all kinds speak to the power of perseverance, and in that spirit I’m pressing ‘publish,’ even though I’d rather crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my face, and re-watch episodes of “Game of Thrones.”

SydneyBrown2

I’d love to hear about how you keep moving when your mind tells you to stop. How do you maintain a positive focus?

 

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To Write Love on Her Arms

Welcome to Midnight Shannon Bindler

LEAN IN

PrescriptionSYMPTOMS
· anxiety              · depression
· fear                    · self-injury

RxPRESCRIPTION LEAN IN
OUTER: Welcome To Midnight t-shirt by TWLOHA, recycled metal Tree of Life cuff by Alkemie Jewelry, hand crochet beanie Krochet Kids, Jodhpur boots by Sweedish Hasbeens available at Chay.
INNER: I lean in and support those who are struggling.

warningWARNING
Wear may initiate a desire to reach out to a friend or stranger experiencing pain.

TWLOHA Shannon Bindler: To Write Love On Her ArmsLadyoftheLakeface

A true teacher ignites something within that changes you forever. Their very being, though most likely unintended, leaves a lasting impression, a way of seeing that’s simultaneously unsettling, inspiring, and unforgettable. I recently met such a person; his name is Jamie Tworkowski.

Last month I had a TEDx rehearsal in Malibu. I left the eastside of Los Angeles two hours early, assuming I’d stop at the beach and practice my speech beforehand because I’m the type of person who’d rather be early than show up late. I pulled onto the 101 freeway and instantly knew I was in trouble. ‘Carmageddon’ is a kind of hell-on-earth that every Angeleno deals with at some point or another. There are times where going 5 miles can take 50 minutes; this was one of those afternoons. I eventually made it, albeit an hour late.

Alkemiccuff2AlkemiecuffA tree always grows towards the light. “As we go through life, we must always move towards holiness and light, reaching ever higher for that which is beyond us.” (Talmud Berachot 48a)

My uneasiness showed as I stepped into the rehearsal that was well underway. I shifted my weight back and forth and aimlessly scanned the room. I felt a hand on my arm and turned to see a pair of friendly, sparkling eyes. The stranger introduced himself as a fellow speaker and guided me to a slice of pizza and an open seat. It was a simple action, but he noticed my discomfort and chose to lean in. What does “leaning in” mean to me? It means expanding when I’d rather contract, connecting instead of disconnecting. It means showing up, loving deeper, and taking action when it’s easier to sit back and observe from the sidelines.

Alkemiccuff3Forged from 100% reclaimed metals, the Tree of Life cuff is equal parts art and accessory. By creating new designs from existing materials, Alkemie translates something that would otherwise be landfill-bound into wearable art.

It wasn’t until I listened to his speech the following weekend that I understood the power of living a life that leans in to support others. Jamie Tworkowski is the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit that presents hope and finds help for people struggling with depression, anxiety, self-injury and suicide. His message (whether it be his blog, events, speaking, or clothing line) doesn’t just offer words of hope but leans in by raising and investing over a million dollars for treatment and recovery.

KrochetKidsBeanieThis beanie was hand-knit in Uganda by Santa Viclam, just one woman who’s life has been changed through the non-profit Krochet Kids. The Krochet Program is currently working to lift over 150 women and their families out of poverty.

I experienced Jamie’s capability to reach out to a complete stranger, and I knew that I could share more of myself in a similar way. I’ve experienced deep sadness, heartbreak, and had the “blues,” but I’ve never struggled with clinical depression or had thoughts of ending my life. To be brutally honest, being around people who were experiencing that type of pain used to scare me. I unconsciously subscribed to some wacky “spiritual” notion that negative energy was to be avoided. I strove to be around positive people and situations that brought out the “best in me,” which seems ironic even to write. I had many moments where my response to someone’s pain was to run from it like it was a communicable disease. I wonder if the opposite reaction could have made a small difference? If my hand on a stranger’s arm could have brought a moment of comfort, if reaching out could have changed someone’s experience? Saved someone’s life?

LadyoftheLakefeetSwwedishHasbeens1SweedishHasbeensJodhpur clog-bottom boots by Sweedish Hasbeens were made to soothe tired soles. This pair can be found at the ever inspiring Chay.

Love alone isn’t always enough. Sometimes it takes determination to extend that love through tangible actions. As Jamie says, “The Universe works in love, speaks in love, and is revealed in our love.”

LadyoftheLakeQueen of the Angeles, fondly known as the Lady of the Lake, stands in Echo Park as a symbol of hope. She was sculpted by Ada Mae Sharpless and given to the City of Los Angeles in 1938.

Are you struggling with depression, addiction, anxiety, self-injury, or thoughts of suicide? Check out To Write With Love on Her Arms, I especially love Jamie’s piece, “Welcome to Midnight.” Is someone in your life struggling? I encourage you to LEAN IN.

 

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Golden Happiness

Opening2GOLDEN HAPPINESS

symptomsSYMPTOMS
· despair              · hopelessness
· self-loathing     · sense of longing

RxPRESCRIPTION GOLDEN HAPPINESS
OUTER:
 Gold sustainable platforms by Sydney Brown, silk jumpsuit by Chay, coyote hat available at Chay boutique.
INNER: I accept and embrace my life circumstances, whatever they may be.

warningWARNING
May create an uncontrollable urge to frolic in the sunset’s golden light.

Shannon Bindler desert

Shannon Bindler

 

Every birthday, I start the day by looking at myself in the mirror, with no makeup or fancifying. Not my every morning make-sure-there-is-nothing-awful-caked-to-my-face kind of glance, but an inquisitively deep look, the kind that seeks to see beyond new wrinkles and penetrate the places of my soul I try to hide even from myself.

JTREESMILEI’m currently obsessed with the emerging designer Chay. Her collection is filled with simple designs that can be dressed up or down and always make you feel like a million bucks – with zero fuss and practicality in spades.

My first thoughts inevitably take stock of the surface. I’m aging, and it’s visible in ways I haven’t seen up until now. Wow, that whole losing collagen thing is real… That doesn’t really bother me. I’m as concerned about my appearance as the next person, but aging has never been something I’ve feared. My entire adult life I’ve sought out beautiful older women as inspiration—wrinkles or age spots don’t really affect a person’s beauty in the way that bitterness and regret can.

Sometimes it’s age that makes something (or someone) exquisite. Joshua Tree is a perfect example of how cracks and decay create a masterpiece. Life and death, intermingling in perfect harmony.

hatbrushcolageIn addition to designing her own collection, Chay has filled her third street boutique, appropriately called Chay, with inventive gifts, home wear, and inspiration of all kinds like this coyote hat. 

I still my mind, and I notice something that somewhat startles me: happiness. Not perfection, but there it is, a sense of happiness. I’m able to recognize this state of being from the contrast I’ve experienced on past birthday mornings.

JTREEshoe2Sydney Brown is one of the most inventive shoe designers I’ve encountered. Each pair is not only a piece of art but is handmade in Los Angeles with 100% sustainable materials. Now that’s something to write home about!

My mind flashes back a decade, remembering myself, door locked to the bathroom I shared with two other women, tears involuntarily pouring down my cheeks as I came to grips with the sense of longing and hopelessness that pulsed from my reflection. I was a low-level assistant at a struggling magazine and a waitress in the evenings. I worked everyday (usually double shifts) to barely afford my shared housing situation and a leased economy Toyota Corolla. I was in a new relationship that felt hopeful, but we were so different I wasn’t sure if it would stick. The idea of having a family, a fulfilling career, stability, and lifelong friendships all seemed out of my reach. I just tried to get through each day. I drank, smoked and partied to cope with an overwhelming sense of disappointment, which would inevitably lead to bad decisions and more disappointment.

JTREEshoe1Sydney Brown’s golden platform adds undeniable glamour to an outfit while being surprisingly effortless to wear. I’ll be highlighting more from Miss Brown’s collection in future posts, so stay tuned to see other designs and more on her methods and inspirations.

All of those feelings returned, and I imagined myself now, sitting with my younger self. I lovingly told her that it’s all perspective. Things may seem tragic, but I couldn’t see back then how all the things that appeared to be desperate were actually stepping stones that would lead somewhere – maybe somewhere different than I expected, but somewhere golden nonetheless. I told myself that the assistant job would soon turn into a promotion as Lifestyle Editor, and in a decade I’d be contributing to some of my favorite publications. The man who seemed so different would become the yin to my yang, and we’d get married and start a family. The roommates I shared that bathroom with would stay friends, and we’d see each other through marriages, divorces, re-marriages, having children, losing loved ones, welcoming foster children, and so much more… It would still be messy and unpredictable, but in a decade I’d be undeniably happy.

JTREEcollageChay’s green jumpsuit is the perfect outfit to wear to dinner, the office, or a movie premiere. I love the versatility and effortless allure of this outfit.

My only resolution for the year is to remember the lesson of perspective. Things that feel awful may not be so horrible when seen through a different lens or through the filter of time. This year, I’m going to embrace and accept all of myself. I just might call upon my older self once in a while to remind me that the struggles and the celebrations are all just part of creating a golden life.

Shannon Bindler Joshua tree

Shannon Bindler

 

What does a Rx of ‘Golden Happiness’ mean to you?

Allowing 100%: A Stocking to Myself

LouboutinTree

Sole Prescription Pharmacy Dr. Shannon Bindler, M.A., C.E.C.
02/25/2018
The ballet flat is prescribed for individuals who want to experience a greater sense of balance in their life. The design was modeled after a soft dance shoe. They are traditionally flexible with a hard sole and no (or very thin) heel. Some styles feature a decorative string throat, reminiscent of the ballet slipper's drawstring.
Symptoms
Signs of erratic behavior or mood swings, extreme or irrational thoughts, imbalance in how time and/or energy are spent, instability (emotional, spiritual, physical, or mental), lack of harmony between life roles (work, family, projects, etc.).
Warnings
May cause steadiness, a state of equilibrium, emotional and mental stability and centeredness. Extremists beware: continued wear may create an even disposition.

PradaXmas

I hate to sound like Scrooge, but the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be my least favorite of the year. I love Christmas Eve and the actual day of Christmas but can do without crowded mall shopping, blasting holiday music, and the general feeling of overwhelm that seem to accompany the season. Every year, I tell myself I won’t let the holiday season stress me out, and every year it does (or, rather, I allow it to).

I’m a bit of a mess right now, but a little less of a mess than in other years because this year I made an oath to take care of myself. I’ve never been one to buy myself birthday or Christmas gifts, and even though holiday shopping can be overwhelming, I adore giving presents to friends and family and would normally never dream of spending part of my gift budget on myself. However, this year I decided to make myself a stocking that represents my commitment to taking care of myself in the next year.

shoestocking1

As I wondered what fully showing up and supporting myself meant to me, I was surprised to discover that what came forward was the concept that I deserve to experience the feeling of something being 100%.

That might sound like a strange concept, but growing up in a large family living on a modest income, I became accustomed to making things work that really weren’t 100%. For example, when I was given a pair of hand-me-down boots that were a size too large, I wedged toilet paper in the toes and gratefully wore them. I trained my eye to see past small stains on t-shirts or piles of other people’s things cluttering the living room. None of that was bad, but I’ve also stayed in relationships and work situations that no longer served me 100%.

Twotree

I’m not willing to settle for 90% anymore. I’m worthy of 100% of my own attention to details. While I haven’t worn clothing with stains for years, I’m aware that I still sometimes allow people, situations, and items into my experience that aren’t up to par.

My stocking is a metaphor for entering a new phase of my adulthood where I take 100% responsibility for caring for my well-being. If something is not at that 100% level, I need to make it so or let go of it. I realize this might be tough, especially when it comes to aspects of my life like relationships and work, but I think it’s possible to make subtle changes that will shift those experiences. I might need to give more of myself to bring an experience up to the 100% mark, to share my authentic 100%, communicate at my 100%, love at my 100%, accepting myself and others 100% …

Kors

My stocking contains simple but significant reminders:

Shoe Sizers, because I have 9-and-¼ sized feet. I’ve spent my entire life sizing up or down, and from here on out I am taking an oath to add a Sizer to every shoe that doesn’t fit 100%.

sizers

A pair of Keysocks, because sometimes I want to wear socks with heels and find myself settling by showing socks that I don’t 100% love or choosing not to wear a pair of socks even if that means I’ll get blisters. No more!

keysocks

And, finally, a pair of foldable Butterfly Twist ballet flats, because I hate lugging a second pair of shoes around when I wear heels; or, worse, keeping on a pair of heels when my feet are sore. These flats can fold into a clutch and allow me to tap into being 100% balanced anytime I want.

butterflytwits

Bring on 2014, because I’m embracing 100% of it!

XmasLouboutin1

What does allowing 100% mean to you?

 

In the spirit of easing into the holidays, this will be my last post until 2014. I wish you and yours a fantastic New Year.

You can still follow my holiday outfits and updates on Twitter and Instagram.

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