Posts Tagged ‘calm’

The Joy of Saying YES to Yourself!

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How many days do you give yourself permission to follow your heart? To listen to your body? To be in charge of your own schedule? When I am consulting with other business people and creatives, I call this driving the bus. And it sounds great, doesn’t it. Many of us want to yell “Hell yes I am in charge of my own life!” but how many of us really are? Probably very few.

We are taught from a very young age that someone else is in charge of the “rules.” We are expected to meet other peoples’ expectations and deadlines and parameters. We learn that we “should” do a lot of things and that we “have to” be a certain way or check certain boxes or finish certain activities to be accepted, successful, popular. We learn that life is all about achievements and belonging instead of following your heart or your gut.

There is a lot of lip service these days given to being authentic, to “you doing you.” But I don’t feel like we give ourselves or others permission to really do that. And I have to tell you that I am over this masochistic way of living. It takes a toll on your physical and mental health but especially your happiness and joy. I have been a rule follower for about 45 years now. But I am tired of following the rules someone else created for me, or worse, that I set for myself based on achieving some level of success or attaining the approval of others – my family and society.

Whether your personal set of rules and expectations come from your parents and their core beliefs (this is where most of us start our rules), from society, from your professional industry, from your political affiliation, or just from your own super-high standards like I have, it’s time to challenge those rules, to dig deep and have the courage to design a life that really brings joy. It’s time to say YES to ourselves.

I want this more than anything for my daughter. Recognizing now that I am a recovering workaholic – addicted to work and achievement – I have a lot of wisdom to share with her about what an authentic life looks like. I know that no amount of success, accolades, awards, or accomplishments really feed your soul. And trust me, being on this sort of hamster wheel is exhausting. I’ve learned that the things that are truly meaningful in life are about connection – true connection with those you love plus loving and accepting yourself and a whole lot less proving, hustling, and trying to work our way to some level of happiness. Working your way to Joy just doesn’t happen long term.

So as you may recall, I have two resolutions this year – yes only two. That is saying a lot, because this major goal-setting, workaholic mama is crazy about goals and resolutions. I have had years where I had 10 or more. Geez! How did I think I could focus on 10 things at once?!? But this year my two resolutions are find more joy and love myself more.

And loving myself more means saying YES to myself. So what does that mean? It means when I feel like lying in bed all day on a Saturday or even on a Tuesday morning…I say YES and rearrange my schedule! It means when I feel my gut and my neck get all tense and tight because I have committed to something that I shouldn’t have and I ask myself if I can back out of it…I say YES and I make the call to un-commit! It means that if the old version of me is saying I “should” be accomplishing my next big goal or dream and my authentic self says I just want to lay low for a while and rest…I say YES! Saying yes to yourself takes courage. It means ignoring FOMO or “the fear of missing out” in exchange for putting your health and wellbeing first. It means taking a chance that someone will be mad at you, disappointed, or that they will forget you or not ask you next time and that’s scary. But it’s also empowering.

Most of us, especially women, spend a lifetime denying ourselves and our wishes in exchange for doing what makes other people happy. Especially in the South, we are taught to be quiet and look pretty. We are taught to go along with what other people want and don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. We are taught to say yes to everyone and everything but us. We are taught the “responsible,” “admirable,” “appropriate” thing to do is what other people want us to do, or what we said we were going to do. We are not supposed to change our minds. In many ways, we are not supposed to be honest. We are not supposed to cause a problem. We are supposed to suck it up and do what makes everyone else feel good. And I am here to tell you that doesn’t equal health and happiness. That is not a recipe for joy.

So what would it take for you to stop telling yourself you have to, should, must, ought to, promised to and all those other absolutes you are pummeling yourself with, and start saying yes to your heart, your body, and your mind? What would it take for you to have the courage to say I thought I wanted that, but now I want something different? Or to say, that was great for a season of my life but now I am in a new season? Or as Maya Angelou said, when I know better I do better? What would give you the guts to do better with being kind and honest to yourself and saying YES to what you really want?

I know it’s hard, but it’s oh-so worth it. Be true to you before you commit to anyone else. Keep your word to yourself about what is right for you and what you really want. We’ve heard it so many times and it’s so hard to really believe, but life really is short. And it’s way too short to live a life that you dread every day or that sucks the life out of you on a regular basis.

We are supposed to feel good every day. We are not supposed to be constantly exhausted, stressed out, and overworked only leaving the miserable, grumpy, tired, and depleted version of ourselves for our families to deal with at the end of every day. If you are feeling that way on a regular basis, something is wrong. I’ve been there. And I am so happy to be in a much more relaxed state these days. I’m sure my family is happy about that too! (wink)

If you are creating a ridiculous schedule where your life is so full of noise and very little peace, how can you ever even hear your body or mind when it’s screaming at you that you’ve had enough?

Listen to yourself. Love yourself and say YES to yourself. Remember that no one ever says on their death bed, “I wish I had worked more” but most wish they had followed their hearts.

You deserve it.

Joyfully yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Ways to Survive the Holiday Chaos

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This time of year can be magical and special, but if you’re a small business owner like me, it can also be stressful, frustrating, and insane. Interior designers especially know what I mean because half of our clients want us to transform their homes into a showpiece in the 2 weeks before their guests arrive for Christmas.

It can be hard enough to balance your work and your personal life on the best of days, but it is incredibly hard to do during the holiday season when everyone wants something from you right now. What can you do? I have 4 ways for you to keep the crazy at a minimum so you can enjoy the best of the holiday season!

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1. Remember to say no. You can’t say yes to every client request and you shouldn’t say yes to every event or party that comes along, too. There’s only so many hours in the day, and only so much of YOU. Say no to the good to make room for the great! Choose wisely so you can give your very best to everything that you say YES to.

2. Buckle down early. Put your head down and focus on your work in the first two weeks of December, so you can really let go and enjoy yourself with family and friends during the weeks of Christmas and the New Year. You don’t want to be the one at the office on Christmas Eve, so keep your eye firmly on work so you can get all of the tasks on your list completed and checked off. If you aren’t an early planner, make it your goal next year to do your client gifts and cards in October so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

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3. Schedule some ME time. Find one hour here and there to get a massage, meditate, take a yoga class, anything to calm your mind and help you relax and recharge. It will make you better able to deal with clients and to enjoy your family!

4. Check out completely. On those days that you’re supposed to be off with your family, turn off your phone and be present with your family. The world won’t end if someone can’t get in touch with you. Take a deep breath and enjoy the season.

I hope these tips help you keep the magic of the season first and foremost as your goal! Let me know what you love about the holidays in the comments section below!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Tobi TV: 3 Tips for a Stress-Free Retreat

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I’m known for using bright palettes for my designs, but I also love to use soft colors to create serene rooms that are perfect for a relaxing retreat. These spaces are a great place to recharge, and to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of a busy family life – and that’s especially important during the holidays!

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It could be a bedroom, a study, a library, or even your own yoga room – but we all need a place to get away from the stress of our days. So how can you create your own oasis at home?

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite soft and serene designs!

Don’t you feel calmer already? I know I do! Let’s review those tips for your relaxing room:

  1. Try platinum, icy blues, and mirrored surfaces to create a serene bedroom you may never want to leave!
  2. Pair relaxing colors with classics like black and white. This pairing is surprisingly calming and fabulously chic.
  3. Soft pinks make a great palette for a serene energy like an office or yoga room!

I hope these tips for creating a serene retreat help you make your space spa-like and ready for relaxation! Get those ideas flowing and let me know about your calming rooms in the comments below.

Wishing you a stress-free day!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

For more tips and ideas, be sure to check out my YouTube Channel, featuring every episode of Tobi TV!

Not Everything Is an Emergency

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Have you ever had a client call you after hours in a panic to tell you something had gone horribly wrong with their project, only to find out that it was something minor or that could have waited till the next day? Of course you have; it happens all the time in business. But how did you respond?

Did you immediately answer? Did you promise to come up with a solution right then and there? Or, worse, did you then start calling others to get them involved in the drama? Because that’s the key – how you respond to those “emergencies” can make or break you and your business.

Yes, customer service is the keystone of any successful company – I talk about that all the time. But there’s customer service and then there’s enabling, and you have to understand the difference and know how to handle those non-emergency panic attacks.

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Business is just a series of calm and crazy, especially when you’re dealing with so many players. And sometimes you’re working with people who just seem to thrive on drama. We can find ourselves getting absolutely nothing done because we’re putting out wildfires that didn’t really need our immediate attention. And there are two particular reasons for why immediately responding to a non-emergency is not a good idea.

First, you get caught up in the crazy – especially if you’re responding to all of those “emergencies” after hours. And sometimes, if you get caught up in the crazy, you can help spin it even further without meaning to. It can escalate in the heat of the moment. So it’s good to have some space, and allow things to calm down to a more rational point before you deal with it.

One thing you can try is to let calls from your clients go to voicemail after 5pm or 6pm. If it’s truly something important, you can call them back immediately. But if it isn’t, you can call them back the next day, during working hours. It sends the subtle message that you have a life, too, and that there are boundaries that need to be observed.

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The second reason for avoiding those panicked non-emergencies is that they will take your eye off the ball. You can end up spending most of your time doing someone else’s bidding, not the important (planned) things on your to-do list, or the projects that are on deadline, or even REAL emergencies. In other words, sometimes we let other people’s agendas, poor time management, poor planning, and procrastination, take priority and control over our workday goals. And that’s not good.

Yes, plans rarely go exactly as planned, especially on interior design projects. But save your energy, your time, and your stress for real emergencies. For your own health, don’t let those faux panics wind you up, too. And be sure that the actual priorities on your to-do list get the attention they deserve. Sometimes, the squeaky wheel shouldn’t get the grease.

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

What Is That Color? Serene Gray

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There are certain photos in my portfolio that just seem to resonate with people. And this room from the Build for the Cure Showhouse a few years ago is one of them. It is consistently repinned on Pinterest and saved to idea books on Houzz. And one big reason is definitely the color – it’s Sherwin-Williams Pearl Gray, which helps give the room its a serene and calm vibe.

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The gray color has a green undertone, which gives the room that spa-like feeling. The white trim keeps the look crisp, and the combinations of gray, taupe, cream, and green in the fabrics makes a dreamy palette that’s perfect for a bedroom.

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You know you’ve achieved your interior design goal when you can evoke an emotional response with a room you’ve designed, so I’m thrilled that so many people love this space. It was especially important to have that happen in a project that was for such a good cause – finding a cure for breast cancer. I wanted this room to be a lovely retreat for anyone recovering from treatment, to help them find solace and hope in the light-filled space.

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Is there a color like this Pearl Gray that gives you an emotional response? Which one is it, and how does it make you feel? Let me know in the comments section below!

Colorfully yours,

Tobi-Signature