How to Fall Asleep with a Smile

Yep that's my handy work. That squirrel was also a Christmas present... I love squirrels!

Yep that's my handy work. That squirrel was also a Christmas present... I love squirrels!

Whew, I am ready to start a new year.  First order for 2014 is all about that image to your right. Complete contradiction to my business you say? Contrary to popular belief, makeup isn't all about beauty on the outside (a lot is, but not ALL). The absolute best part of my job, is when I work with someone that doesn't realize how beautiful   she or he already is. That moment when I am finished and they bring the mirror to their face, and I see this light spread across it. That's the best. If there are tears, even better. It truly is not about masking flaws, it's about giving someone confidence they may have been lacking.  As cliche as it is, it's about making the outside match the inside. Inner beauty, that's where it is at this new year.

Aaand I don't just mean inner beauty in your heart, but in your house, in your family, in your relationships, in your whole life. 

The last few months of 2013 were pretty rough for me, my mom unexpectedly passed away in November.  Something like that changes you forever, especially when you are 26 and she is 57, healthy and happy. I'm definitely still struggling, and probably will for a long time, but I have also learned some key things about myself and this short life that I think are worth sharing.  Here is my start:

1. Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, sweat the small stuff. It just ain't worth it. It's something I'm still trying to teach myself daily (as I stare intensely at a certain someone's socks that mysteriously end up in every corner of the house). Letting little things go will free up so much of your energy.

2. Unplug. From social media, from email, from anything that masquerades as a 24/7 necessity.  Feel like you have to say yes to every get together? Say no sometimes. Focus on some quality one on one time with yourself. Instead of candy crush, take that hour and dedicate it to your partner, or someone else you care about. Watch your real-life physical relationships and inner peace grow.

3. Find balance, create boundaries. This goes hand and hand with #2. I'm not saying forsake facebook and twitter forever, I'm simply saying there is a time and a place. In the world of freelancers, life vs. job becomes a blur. If you don't set boundaries with your schedule, it's easy to realize it's 10 p.m. and you only ate a banana all day. I feel best on days where I decide how long I'm going to work, and when I reach that point, I stop. I imagine you would too. 

4. Set goals, start small, check them off. Need a big change? Always wanted to visit Hawaii? Seeking a new career path? There must be something you've been thinking about, and if there isn't, there should be! Find something that brings you joy, something you want, and seek it. It may be overwhelming, but you'd be amazed how great you would feel if you take one tiny step forward. You'd be even more amazed at what a chain reaction that tiny step could create. Five years ago I never dreamed I would be making a career doing exactly what I want, and I attribute it to a few small decisions that got the ball rolling.

5. Create a sanctuary. Whether its your bedroom, bathroom, your home or a tree fort. Make a place that brings you peace while you are there. For me it's my whole house, and it is a personal goal of mine to keep it that way forever. A Friday night spent in my pjs, wrapped in blankets, with a cup of hot tea in a hobnail ceramic mug. Perfect.... and apparently I am 95. Don't care! That's the fun, it's your creation.

6. Love, be thankful, and show it. It's pretty self explanatory. Don't count on the people you love being here tomorrow. Take every opportunity to let them know how you feel.  I'm also going to give you a homework assignment that I hope becomes a ritual. Each night, list 5 things you are thankful for right now. I bet you fall asleep with a smile.

None of these are perfect, and the list could have been endless, but I hope they give some inspiration this January. I'll leave you with this smiley picture of my friend and fellow makeup/hair artist Rebecca Gohl (you should know Rebecca specializes in vintage looks, and they are pretty dang amazing). We played around a few weeks ago at Julie Strating's first makeup workshop here in Grand Rapids. She is another friend and AMAZING makeup artist. 

I just love her glasses. 

I just love her glasses.