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I’ve been writing for a while now. I started out with journals, no real direction, just half-hearted attempts at getting down on paper the thoughts and feelings that were floating around inside of me in no organized fashion. My oldest journal is from 1996. I was sixteen at the time and going through some pretty heavy stuff. That journal is fancy, it has a repeating fish pattern on it, without gaps, in gold, blue and orange. The covers are padded and the pages are blank and smooth.

After my first journal I would buy Mole Skins. I wanted to feel a sense of importance, status. As though the outside of the journal stated the importance of its contents. I have a few still empty, which I imagine I will use eventually, but for now, the journal I keep regularly is a medium sized sketch pad for its cheap yet versatile applications.

I got hooked on journaling in a consistent manner not to long ago after I discovered a community of people who “Bullet Journal”, a system of journaling originated by Ryder Carroll. At its most basic, it is merely a system by which specific “bullets” indicate a variety of modifiers for individual tasks. For instance, a bullet, * can be modified by a > symbol, which means it’s been migrated to a future or different list of actionable items. An x over the original bullet indicates that an item is complete.

The system in itself is innovative, but the layouts that people create are stunning. The color, creativity, materials, each unique in their own ways with their own personal goals and dreams attached to them. It’s like a personal blog in the form of a journal. A place to organize the chaos that life seems to mount, becoming increasingly disorganized while we’re busy planning for something else.

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for some time, but I’ve been having trouble finding a voice, a vehicle for my ideas. I also enjoy the idea of renovating something. Be it a house or what’s not working in our day to days. The sense of gutting the old, what does not work and replacing it with something that is pretty, functional, well organized and lasts for a lifetime is appealing to me. It seems that few are focused on building something that lasts. We’re too concerned with how we are perceived in the here and now. And unless we’re keeping pace with whatever trend is popping up currently, we’re going to be left to die a very lonely death.

However this, I feel is not the case, or doesn’t have to be. Following trends leads to fear-based thinking which leads to bad choices. I’m not saying we ignore everything new or trendy. Some trends are worth exploring. However, most are fads through and through. And this is the ethos behind me wanting to write “No Labels Living”.

I grew up with a family that confused acceptance with personal image. I’m sure I’m not alone but this was a very cold environment to be raised in. It seemed as though the women in my family were always shopping. I can remember many a trip to the local department store rummaging around for clothing when we already had a house full of clothing. It’s all a bit sad and this was where I felt a lack of self-worth growing up. That and the large amount of trauma, neglect and abuse I’ve experienced.

So “No Labels Living” is really a place to make the U turn from fear-based thinking, to wholeness of being. Not through shopping, but through cutting out the things we don’t really need in our lives and instead, leave their void filled with a few, well thought out, expertly crafted items or more importantly, relationships, so we can get to the heart of what’s important to us. Living the life that makes us happy and leaves us whole.

It’s a lifestyle that’s based on; sustainability, cleanliness and a well-organized living space, that imbues life into all of its facets while fitting each person’s unique personality. I think and feel that too many people are afraid of confronting the person they are, the one they would find if they stopped, cultivated and cared for the life they find right here. Which is unfortunate because they would be creating a more comforting place in life for themselves and those around them.

And it’s this that drives the fear-based decision making. The “I need to be accepted by those I find to be whole and complete in order to be complete”, not realizing those we assume are “whole and complete” are searching for the same things we are. So we focus on the things they wear, do and drive instead of looking at how we want to be in relationship with each other. It may not be sexy, but who we are is so much more than how we look on Facebook, or what we look in the latest fashion trend.

Tending to the unattended corners of our life is capable of bearing so much fruit that all the trends throughout time would pale in comparison. There is more to life and that’s my aim, to find it. I hope you’ll come along for the ride and throw your two cents in if you feel so inclined! Thanks for stopping by :]

Image credits: Kimberly Barre

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