Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Allie Faces Fears + #DarlyFacesFears

There is no question that I have some fears and anxieties over things. As I told a friend the other day, they are primarily things that could very easily cause me to pass out or vomit, so I think that’s pretty valid. Who wants to experience those things ON PURPOSE? Certainly not me. Obviously. Even if logically I know that the modern invention of Dramamine will help ease a lot of those side effects, my survival instincts are alive and well— there’s still that knowledge that this thing (water/needle/height/movement) has betrayed me in the past, and why would I WANT to go do that FOR FUN?

I realize, though, that some of these fears of mine have prevented me from both helping others and having fun with friends, depending on the fear. While I don’t necessarily feel like my life is lacking, I feel like perhaps approaching these fears could settle some self-doubts, increase my understanding of my potential in other areas of life, and just feel good to put to rest, you know?

And I never ever need to do these things again ;) haha jk, we’ll see.

I’ve picked three things in three different areas. All of the things I’ve chosen are safe and will have parameters to help me feel safe (gear, people I trust, good locations, etc.). You may laugh at each and every one of them thinking that you could do that thing in a second, no big deal. And you’d probably be right. But while I may be able to sing on a stage in front of hundreds of people no problem, that may scare the crumbs out of you. And while you don’t think twice about donating blood when the Red Cross calls, I think of the friends who have told me they’ve passed out, or the one friend who somehow had a temporarily paralyzed arm??!

We all have our things, and these are some of mine.

Over the next few weeks (through September) I’ll be sharing my three fears that I have faced! Today was just the intro. I picked my three things and am making plans.

Now, here’s where you come in.

I want YOU to pick YOUR things-- maybe 1 to 3 things that scare/intimidate you-- and from now until the end of September, I want you to face those fears. THEN I want you to tell us about them by posting on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #DarlyFacesFears. We’ll be featuring some of your posts on the Darlyblog, and there may be a prize involved at the end for one of the participants! (TBA!)

At Darlybird we believe in creating a beautiful, colorful, lively life, and sometimes that means overcoming the scary things to make room for the beautiful. So, let’s do this!

Love, Allie

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Question for You

photo by Alicia Fish 

What is making you happy today? Tell us in the comments!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

End of Summertime Playlist

photo by gary barnes, point loma, ca, july 2017

Did anyone else wake up this morning and realize IT’S AUGUST AND SUMMERTIME IS ALMOST OVER AND HOW MANY THINGS CAN WE DO BEFORE IT STARTS SNOWING? Because I did, holy moly. In honor of this, the last few weeks of summertime, I give you Allie’s End of Summertime Playlist. At just over 45 minutes long and no no-no words (so kid's ears should be safe), turn it on, roll down your car windows, and soak in these last few summer days.

The Man — The Killers
Take It All Back 2.0 — Judah & the Lion
On Board — Friendly Fires
There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back — Shawn Mendes
Lover’s Letdown — Goldmyth
I Saw You Close Your Eyes — Local Natives
Skydiving — LIGHTS
Prisoners — Static Waves
You Want The Sun by Niki & the Dove
Absolutely — Ra Ra Riot
Follow the Sun — Caroline Pennell
Heavy — Oh Wonder
Hug Of Thunder — Broken Social Scene


What do you have left on your summertime to-do list? Tell me in the comments— I need ideas!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Stop Carrying Your Sign

I carry my stories with me like a sign around my neck. As I started college, transitioning to a state, school, and friends, my sign said “Lead singer of the band.” It was my fun fact, my ice breaker, the thing that helped me feel cool when I really felt awkward.

There are other signs—perhaps like a “Scarlet Letter,” forever carried as a representation of our mistakes (disclaimer: I haven’t read the book, I just know the general story). Or we carry our insecurities, our negative self-beliefs, ways we have been injured, or other ways that we ache.

I carry these signs. Sometimes I share these signs with friends, and sometimes I share them very openly online. When I write/blog/instagram/own a business, those things help connect me to a larger audience and help people feel less alone, and that can be a very good thing.

On here and on my Instagram, I’ve shared a bit about my journey through emotional trauma recovery. I’ve kept it vague, both to protect my own heart, and to be respectful of those who were a part of that season of my life. I chose to choose kindness and respect, even when my whole soul felt shattered. However, I think I always figured that someday I’d say more—I’d completely put it out there and say, this is what happened.

Because that’s my sign. That is what I carry around my neck now. That is who I am.

This morning I felt different.

I’m currently writing this from my hometown. The last time I was here visiting, I was still in the midst of chaos from that traumatic situation. Truthfully, I was nervous to come home because of that—I didn’t want to be there (mentally) again.

This morning I woke up before everyone else, pulled on my trail running shoes, and headed to my hometown’s lake. The marine layer was still covering everything in grey (my family is from California, about a half hour from the coast, so we have nice overcast mornings) as I began to run the hills around the lake. I had an earbud in one ear with a podcast playing. I enjoyed the native Californian plants that were so different from the foliage in Utah where I usually run. I looked out over the lake here and there, but was mainly focused on making sure I didn’t step on any snakes (I didn’t even see one, thank the heavens). I didn’t notice the temperature, but I noticed the sweat dripping into my eyes as I hit mile 2, and then the sweat pouring down me as I finished up at mile 2.8.

I stretched at a picnic bench overlooking the lake as sweat continued to drip down my face, and I felt ALIVE. I felt happy. The park was peaceful and quiet, and I briefly noticed, I didn’t seem to be wearing a sign anymore.

It felt like I had a full day ahead of me, and in each moment of the day, I could do something to feel good. I could choose to be happy—which I think I always try to do, but it’s a bit easier when that sign isn’t weighing me down, you know? I think that sign is made of concrete.

Maybe someday I’ll share that sign, but I’m grateful, even if just for a moment, to set it aside, with all the heaviness that comes with it.

Do you have a sign that you carry? Who do you choose to share it with? I know a lot of people who share seemingly everything, and people who quietly carry the greatest burdens and keep it all to themselves. I don’t think there’s a right way to do it, though I do think we should each be mindful of what is best for ourselves and for those around us.

I love this quote by BrenĂ© Brown: “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: "Who has earned the right to hear my story?" If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our shame stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.”

And if BrenĂ© Brown isn’t your thing, how about some Moana: “They have stolen the heart from inside you. This is not who you are. You know who you are.” (Cue the tears, EVERY. TIME.)

Whatever your sign or your story may be, I hope you find a way to make the heaviness lighter—whether that be sharing with the right people, working with a professional to help you process the heavy things, doing things you love to help lift your heart, or whatever it may be. You don’t have to carry your sign forever.

- Allie

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Anatomy of a Good Day

source: cleo wade
A few months ago, I arrived home at the end of a long day and realized that the day had been a really good day. Not just a good day, but a very satisfying, fulfilling, joyful and good day. I pondered my activities for the day: teaching yoga, visiting with a couple different friends, making and door bell ditching some treats to people in my neighborhood, cooking a satisfying dinner…

And I understood what elements made my day so good.

The anatomy of a good day (for me): Creativity, Connection, and Movement.

I also include religious study, prayer, and general productivity (to do lists!), but those things come more naturally to me. I often have to be more intentional about creativity, connection, and movement.

For me, this looks like:

Creativity: Cooking, baking, working on projects, practicing a new skill, sewing, knitting, calligraphy, singing, playing guitar, and even practicing yoga can feel like a creative practice for me!

Connection: I feel most fulfilled with one-on-one connections. While group activities are great, I don’t always feel like that fulfills the need for connection within me. Visiting with a friend for a half hour though? Fills my soul. (I do include group activities though, as well as texts, phone calls, service, letter writing, etc.)

Movement: Running, hiking, yoga, weight lifting (doing just a bit of this, still new at it!) and more! Those are just my go-to’s.

What makes a good day for you? What aspects of your day make it really, really good? And how can you be more mindful about incorporating those things into your day?

I should note, it’s good to have options here. I don’t always feel like running. I don’t always have the opportunity to spend quality time with people I care about every day.

Last week I decided to finish up some sewing projects I had started but set aside (I think I want to enjoy sewing more than I really do). I had bought some beautiful Lotta Jansdotter fabric months ago and decided to make a dress out of it. I made a plan and got started. I made it out of muslin first, noted the changes I needed to make in sizing, then started with the Lotta Jansdotter print. I was more careful than with probably any other sewing project I had ever attempted. When I did make a mistake, I carefully took the stitches out and tried again. I decided to put some elastic in the waist and started working on that. I did it, tried it on, didn’t like how it looked and…

I lost interest.

I kept the sewing machine and dress and all of everything out for a couple more days. I felt obligated to finish this dress. I was so close! I loved the fabric! I owed it to myself to finish this single project!

But it wasn’t bringing me joy anymore. Not in the moment.

I bagged up the dress and materials, put my sewing machine back in the box, and put everything back in the closet. If it wasn’t going to bring me joy or fulfillment, that wasn’t part of my good day.

That day, cooking was part of my good day. Running was part of my good day. Going with a friend late at night to pick up Frostys from Wendy’s was part of my good day.

Maybe that dress will be part of a good day next week, but if not, it’s okay. I’ll finish it when I feel excited about it again.

Friends, I’d love to hear what makes your days good! Tell me in the comments! (Or, you can vent about that sewing project that you’re also not wanting to finish, haha! Share your stories in the comments!!)

Love, Allie

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New York with Rachel and Hannah!

Our Darlybirders Rachel and Hannah spent the weekend in New York, digging through warehouses for hidden vintage treasures (which means, new Darlybird goods coming soon!).

 Visit the Darlybird Instagram for some tidbits, and follow us on Instagram to live vicariously through Rachel on her Instagram Stories on these trips ;)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Family Friendly Utah Hike: Rock Canyon

Distance: 5.6 miles out and back (according to alltrails.com)

Elevation gain: 1768 feet (according to alltrails.com)

Terrain/Environment: Paved at the beginning, then rocks and dirt. As is common for most canyon trails, just be careful for loose rocks!

Population: There is usually quite a bit of traffic at the beginning of this trail, but it clears up the further you go.

Other: This is definitely a popular hike for families. The incline is not too extreme, at least in the beginning, and as usual, just keep an eye on your kids. There are loose rocks, but not more than any other trail in the area. Because it’s an out and back, you can head back anytime. I should also note that I did this with my pregnant cousin, and she does it regularly still.

The parking lot has bathrooms and picnic tables. It’s a well developed trailhead—Thank you, Provo City!

Rock Canyon trailhead connects to other trails such as the Bonneville Shoreline Trail and the Squaw Peak Summit, so there are a lot of places to explore. This is also a great place to rock climb and boulder, and you’ll probably see people doing this along your hike