Embrace the Scenic Route

Road trips can be full of fun and excitement with the anticipation of reaching a brand new destination ahead. Your vehicle is all packed with essentials, the music playlist is ready to go and you’re on your way! “You couldn’t have planned this trip better”, you say to yourself. You’re feeling good, confident and you’re on your way.

Discovering new paths and never before seen sights are just some of the many advantages of a travel adventure. Yet just like on any road trip, the route we had outlined in our lives at times can suddenly change. Sure, we may have the directions and some form of GPS device to help us get there, but what lies ahead really no one knows. Life can take us through uncharted territory and learning how to navigate through this, might be part of the unknown ‘new plan’. So you thought you had your life goals completely planned out but you quickly come to learn that it doesn’t always work out that way.  Sure, there are some exceptions to this and yes there are some people who are able to plan out their lives and are able to accomplish most of the goals in the way they sought to do them. That’s pretty impressive sure and how great for them, but for the rest of humanity, it may not necessarily always work out that way. So what do you do in this case? First, you accept the fact that you have to take a new approach and make some tweaks and changes to your roadmap. Assess what your options are and be ready for some changes along the way. Perhaps you were originally on a faster lane but now you will have to take a local path and your estimated arrival time will be a bit delayed. You may experience some detours, swirls and speed bumps which are masked as life’s frustrations, anger and disappoint and that is completely okay. Those emotions and circumstances are actually the fuel and battery jumper cables that you need in your tool box. They will help you move forward through life with greater wisdom and strength. It will empower you to dust yourself off, gain perspective and keep going. Before you know it you’re on a new road, appreciating the views along the way and finding the beauty of a new adventure.

The bottom line is that you have the power to make any endeavor whatever it is that want to make it. That scenic route may just have the answers you were looking for all along. Embrace it and enjoy the ride!

 

XO

Maria

 

Express Your Soul’s Creativity

Have you ever felt like courage likes to play hide and seek with you sometimes? We all remember the character of the Lion in the classic film, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and how cowardly he seemed for the most part of the movie? His wish all along the way to Emerald City was to gain some much-needed courage. Believe it or not, sometimes it really does take a great amount of courage to allow yourself to just follow your dreams especially if your dreams entail creativity. It takes courage to let your guard down and listen to what your soul really desires. Ever notice how children at a young age can get lost playing with their toys, drawing, coloring or playing an instrument? Those are the initial imaginative inclinations we are all born with but as we become adults, they get lost in this big busy world of logical thinking. The fact of the matter is that those creative passions never die and are deep-rooted within us and are a part of who we are as individuals. Many times you may crave to express those passions but because of fear, we tend to just give up and walk away. Sometimes the best thing you can do is invite fear in and have a long, needed facetime with it and just hash it out. Talk to it, write it a letter, make a date with it or have a cup of coffee with this big ugly monster. Facing it is the only way to get to the next steps.

Throughout my years as a fashion blogger, I have interacted with so many men and women utterly afraid to engage in their passions. They have asked what made me start a blog and how did I get here. My honest answer is because my soul needed to express myself in some way. After so many years of strictly working in the corporate world without any artistic outlet, the truth of the matter was that ‘restless feeling’ just got louder as time went by. It became so loud that with zero knowledge of what blogging was I made the decision one day to just take a chance. Getting there wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. How long did it take me? A long time, but the important thing is to start somewhere, anywhere and avoid suppressing those gut feelings or nudges in your heart and mind. Never ignore a creative calling because you never know where this can lead. Yes, you will encounter the fear of feeling too old or that you’re not good enough. The fear of what will family and friends think, being judged and ridiculed or not accepted. The list goes on and frankly, it’s completely normal to doubt yourself at some point. Let your soul’s passion be greater than your doubt. One of my favorite quotes by the late and amazing Dr. Wayne Dyer is so poignant, “Don’t die with your music still inside you”. So whatever it is that moves your spirit, just do it. This is part of your calling, authentic self and purpose. You never know along this journey – you just may end up inspiring someone else to do the same.

So readers, have you ever found yourself at this crossroads? Have you taken the plunge on a creative endeavor? How did you face that fear before diving in and taking action? Leave your comments below.

Photo: Pinterest

 

Spring: The Season of Renewal

Despite the frigid temperatures and having left over snow on the ground, Spring if officially here! Yesterday as I was having my afternoon tea, I noticed my tea bag had one of those little quotes attached to the tag. By the way, I’ve noticed I actually look forward to those little messages. I enjoy them more than fortune cookies these days. Do you? Now back to my herbal tea message. It said “Earth Laughs in Flowers” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I thought how perfect with Spring just a day away. It’s such a fine reminder that yes, our earth provides us with so many beautiful gifts regardless of the seasons. Spring comes with a such a strong sense of excitement. Warmer weather, sunny days, long walks and why not.. fun styles to try as well. Putting seasonal allergies aside, you can’t help but appreciate the early signs of flowers, plants and leaves budding on the trees. The colors get brighter, the daylight stays with us just a bit longer. Spring is a wonderful reminder of new beginnings. This is the time to shed our old skin, past habits and thought patterns and just embrace renewed energies that this season brings with it. If you had some new years resolutions and perhaps it has fallen off your radar, that’s okay. Let that go and start over! That’s the best part of a new season, it gives you the motivation to refresh your goals, see things in a different way or maybe just try a new approach. Take some time to reconnect with yourself and see what parts of your life could use a boost or recharge. Is it career goals, new activities you would like to try like a new hobby or perhaps just visiting new places you’ve never been to before. Start somewhere, anywhere. So treat yourself to to the magic of the outdoors, leave those winter blues behind and start planting new seeds that start from within you. So readers, what is your favorite part of this new season? Leave your comments below and share what are you looking forward to?

Happy Spring Equinox.

XO

Maria


The Power of Color for Home and Business

What is the power of COLOR? It’s pretty safe to say that colors have one of the highest frequencies which we interact with on a daily basis. If we think about it, from the moment we get up in the morning one of our first decisions we make is what are we going to wear and that usually includes a choice of color(s). Have you ever decorated a room, home or office space? If so, then you know that the right choice of colors can make or break the vibe of your space. At some point you may have shopped around for new paint for a home improvement project. Then you know there are so many options and it’s a little more involved than just saying, “I’m going to paint a wall green”. The choice you make will have a lasting effect on your space regardless of its size. Colors can symbolize or represent a variety of things in western or eastern cultures. Have you heard the term ‘Feng Shui'(pronounced fung shway)? In English it means “wind-water” and it’s the Chinese system of placing and arranging items at home to increase the flow of ‘Chi’ or energy. Color plays a predominant role in the proper execution in Feng Shui. (See below for some of the meanings behind the colors in this system) It is believed that many of these principles can aid in increasing good luck, money, harmony, health and all areas of your life. Seriously, who doesn’t want any and all of these things! So why not give it a try. Here are 9 simple tips to Feng Shui your home.

On the side of business, perhaps you are looking to launch a new website or are looking to purchase business cards for that business. Once again, the importance of your color selection will distinguish and represent your brand so you want to make sure that you put some thought behind this. Color can be persuasive and influential from a marketing perspective and according to an article in Small Business Trends, “Color can often be the sole reason someone purchases a product, where 93% of buyers focus on visual appearance and almost 85% claim color to be their primary reason for purchase!”

The color choices we make can make a difference in how we feel. If we believe that colors carry a certain sense of energy, then how does this translate into our mood? I believe we all bring our own source of energy to this world. When we combine this with certain colors that we gravitate to, then we can make beautiful music together. Learning about the meaning behind certain hues is important, but remember to go with what resonates best with you. Whatever you feel is best aligned with you and lifts your spirits is exactly the color you may want to bring into your space. So, how do you find the use of certain colors have impacted life at home, business etc? Have you tried using Feng Shui in any way? Would love to hear your thoughts!

XO

Maria

Photo:Louisem.com

New Direction: Beyond the Fashion

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”― Author Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Today’s post is a little different than most. I know you stopped in (thank you for doing so) very likely expecting to see an update on the latest fashion, trends or style. Well, the truth of the matter is that today I am going in a bit of a different direction. If you have been following One Style at a Time you know that this is the home base of all things fun and fabulous fashion. Today, I want to take off the fashion blogger hat and just have an honest and transparent conversation. You see, for quite some time I have been on quite a personal journey that includes a bit of self-discovery and includes change. I’m sure if you are reading this you can relate on some level because aren’t we all on a path of improvement or transformation. Sometimes you can’t move forward unless you take a step back and take a deeper look at the things that really matter. Now for everyone this introspective peek inward may be different. For me it meant remembering what are some of the things that I enjoy from life. As a blog writer and active social media participant, I’m surrounded by so much information and fast-paced news so the art of research comes in handy. In my search for finding more information I discovered that bloggers are put in a box with tons of labels. From day one, I have been asked, “how do you monetize your blog? how many followers do you have? what is your niche?” I have even been dismissed by people close to me and total strangers because they don’t think ‘blogging’ is a serious venture or because I’m not following the ‘popular formula’. For one, I made a conscious decision years ago that I wasn’t going to be a street style blogger and it’s great that it works for many but fashion blogging is not a one size fits all. I have had endless propositions to promote brands and products that just did not fit my with my style, audience or message. I stand behind projects and partnerships that make sense and that I sincerely believe in. I don’t believe that you can put a price on ingenuity.

Last year I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’. You may know her from her best seller book and movie, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Interesting enough, this book suggestion came to me from a complete stranger on YouTube who recommended I read this book. I took the suggestion and never looked back. What a great book for anyone on a creative path. Although Liz talks from the writers point of view, this book is a great and inspiring read for anyone who is afraid to own their creative gifts and follow their path. This book brought some great insights and made me think back to a time when I was a child. As children at some point we are asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer was to be a writer, painter, fashion designer and an architect. Most kids say, fireman, doctor, teacher or nurse. Not me, I guess early on I sensed I had multiple creative passions. For so long anyone who had multiple passions was considered by society to be confused or simply a flake. I doubt you can say that about many famous names throughout history and even today. Case in point, Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, geologist, mathematician among many other things. Harrison Ford is an actor with a love for flying helicopters, Jane Seymour is a well-known actress and painter, Stan Lee is an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. Do you see where we are going here?

If you navigate around One Style at a Time, you will find that although the main topic has always been fashion, it is not a one dimensional blog and I am proud of that. I’ve learned that it is important to stay true to yourself no matter what the analytics show. Nothing against the stats, but without inspiration the content will not feel right with your audience or with yourself. So in the spirit of staying truthful, I am taking a new approach. As of now, this blog will begin touching on additional subjects that are NOT strictly related to the fashion world. My personal life in the last couple of years has taken on different layers that I feel are meaningful and worth sharing. This is not to say that I won’t continue sharing all the fun fashion content with you all (I’m a fashion girl at heart), but there are more topics that I feel guided to include here. It’s all part of the evolution and growth of this blog and I do hope that you stay with me on this ride that includes a bit of change. I appreciate the longtime support and hope that I can bring some additional value to each of you. I will continue to share any shifts in direction as they happen. Thank you for your readership and if you are someone who has many passions like cooking, dancing, photography, designing or writing, my advice is don’t stop working on it! If you haven’t started or are afraid to take the next step, work through that fear and go for it anyway. Never let your gifts go to waste and never allow anyone to talk you out of going for your dreams. Never stop exploring and continue to keep the curiosity alive one step at a time.

“I want to be a Renaissance woman. I want to paint, and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do everything.” Emma Watson

I welcome your thoughts in your comments below.

xo

Maria