Small Steps Count + July Wallpaper and Worksheet


Floral desktop wallpaper
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Oh hey July! Didn’t see you coming. Wasn’t it just January?

Where has the year gone? More than half of the year has passed and I am not really sure how I feel about that. On the one hand I am like “yay  161 days until my birthday” and on the other hand I am like “what the heck have I accomplished since January 1st?”

Ever feel like that? 

Chances are you’ve accomplished lots since the start of the new year but like me, you’re probably giving your small steps and small wins the side-eye like “that’s it.”

I am a huge proponent of taking stock of the things going right (and wrong) in your life and celebrating your wins. I do struggle with knowing what “win” warrants a celebration. Should I celebrate hitting publish on that blog post? Should I celebrate creating pretty digital goodies for you to download for a 3rd month in a row? Should I celebrate the fact that I’ve been mostly consistent in checking in with my accountability partner even if my weekly output has been less than ideal? 

Yes, yes, and yes.

Same goes for you too darling. Small steps count.

Small steps toward the goals you’ve set before you are still steps and worthy of celebration. Sure your steps might not be perfect and you may even trip a couple of times but you’re stepping and that is all that matters.

Keep going. Ok.

Make July beautiful and remember small steps count.

BONUS: I had so much fun making and using last month’s worksheet that I made another one. This month we break down our one thing into small steps (and check boxes cause nothing feels better than DONE and CHECK ha!). Sign-up for my newsletter. I’ll be sending printable like these out to my Beautiful Life Makers every month (psst: if you’re already on the list check your in-box for the Small Steps printable).

small steps worksheet

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Dance with Me (Part Deux)


dance with me vintage black women

In my effort to be the best me I can be and usher in my 32nd year of life, I have been a sweaty, disgusting, growling mess.

That’s right. I have been dancing.

If you are a part of the standard American cubicle village, you probably spend 75 hours on your arse and 40 of those using the virtual world to make your connections and get things done. I am no different. I like typing as fast as I can, getting things off of my to-do list, and checking out with Pinterest. Especially checking out with Pinterest.

But in my quest to get back to my more authentic self, I realize that I am missing connection. Connection as in, like actually touching people. Here in New York City, we play a daily game to see how we can get through the most crowded place in the nation while interacting with the absolute minimum. I find myself putting in headphones even when music isn’t playing to distance myself from the world. Although I did this originally to remain unfazed by the 384 cat calls I receive each day, I have quickly realized that the life I lead is one devoid of hugs, touches, and pats on the back. I am a Southerner. I cannot live like that, ya’ll.

In my effort to get back to what made 13 year old Kel Daroe smile, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time (and even more coins) on the dance floor. Monday is salsa. Wednesday is hip hop. Thursday is tap. Saturday is salsa party My back hurts, but I could not be happier. And the funny thing about happiness is that it can’t be contained. Happiness in one area of your life can’t help but spill into another.

Let me tell you a secret. I am in charge. I go to a job where I am known for getting things done. I stay there for an unreasonable amount of time. I go home to my single apartment, and arrangement that I have had for nearly 15 years. And I live the luxury of not having to ask anyone what I should cook for dinner or if they mind if I wear no pants.

It’s pretty luxurious at times. And other times, pretty freaking miserable. Introspection, therapy, and a session or two with a love coach have let me know that the characteristics that make me superwoman at work have me seem utterly unavailable and invulnerable to one of the things I want most–connection, community, and love.

But on the dancefloor, there is no pedigree. There is no superwoman. I cannot lead. The best I can do is follow. Truthfully, that is a great relief.

Deep down, I can’t change that much. I will still have to call the shots at work and at home. 

But on the floor, I can wait for him to give me a signal and react just in time. I am a girl, apart from current cultural norms and expectations. I am free and I can breathe.

And boy, oh boy, can I dance. 

kel daroe sig

image source

Pulling Yourself Out of a Ditch


black girl with freckles

Words cannot express how much I have missed connecting with all of you in our usual fireside chats. The reasons for my absence are everything but interesting. I let something that is a need (ie WORK) take over all the breathing space in my life. Alas, that’s not sustainable. After a little “Come to Jesus” talk with my best friends, my nutritionist, my therapist, and my dog, I have begun to eek out time for things that actually make me happy and healthy–going out on dates, eating vegetables, and talking TO YOU!

Pulling yourself out of the ditch is never easy and it’s all but impossible to do alone. Here are my failsafe steps to getting your groove back better than Terry McMillan.

  1. Name the beast. There’s a reason why everyone’s first step in AA is to admit that they have a problem. Things without names do not exist. We were all ushered in the world and called something, which allows us to go through the world being acknowledged. Allow me to re-introduce myself. Hello, my name is Kel Daroe, and I am a creative who masks her fear of failure by being a workaholic and kissing boys who are not nice!
  2. Throw your plans in the trash. If you are reading this blog, chances are you are a confident and smart lady who feels exhausted by the daily grind and needs a moment of restorative calm, pretty flowers, and puppy videos on YouTube. However, we often use the same approach that got us into predicaments to get us out. If you are feeling overscheduled and overwhelmed, it’s easy to create a list of all the things that would make you feel better (going to San Fran for a weekend, buying something from Jonathan Adler, going rock climbing). But those things take time and energy and you need relief now! Don’t think, just feel. Go outside. Call a friend. Take a jog. I guarantee you will feel better immediately. And THEN you can plan that trip to San Fran. Please take me with you.
  3. Don’t go it alone. No man is an island. Even the most self-sufficient women in the world are peninsulas at best. Reach out to your network when you feel like things could be going awry. Your family and friends love you and are just waiting on you to let them in so they can support. After my third 13+ hour day in a row, BC pulled me aside and reminded me that the beautiful life I wanted to create was NOT AT MY CUBICLE. I cannot thank her enough.

We are all teaching each other here, so I cannot wait to hear from you!

kel daroe sig

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