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. 

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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!

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Focus on One Thing June Desktop Wallpaper + Worksheet


focus desktop wallpaper

DOWNLOAD WALLPAPER HERE: 1920 x 1451 | 1280 x 967 | 1024 x 774 | iPhone + Android

“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” 

Henry David Thoreau said that. He was on to something.

What am I busy about? 

I’ve clocked more over time hours (which I don’t get paid for by the way) in the last six months than I have in the last six years. Since November, I worked more 12+ hour days spinning my wheels and accomplishing very little than I care to share. I blame multitasking and saying yes when I should have said no. Juggling fifty eleven things at work doesn’t make me #boss; it makes me #bitchy and when I’m bitchy the quality of my work suffers and more importantly the quality of my relationships suffer.

This month, I am scaling back. Multitasking is a liar. She’s dead to me.  One thing at a time is my commitment. 

Are you with me?

I’m committing to doing one thing at a time with as much care and attention to detail as I can muster. And when the work day is over, I am making a beeline for the canvas or computer where I’ll spend my evenings focusing on what matters most – making beautiful messes and the occasional magic….the artist’s way.

BONUS: a WORKSHEET yay! I’m obsessed with printables and worksheets. Focus on one thing with this pretty printable. Grab a pen, pencil or crayon and write the one thing you’ll focus on this month in the pink watercolor circle then post it somewhere where you’ll see it every single day. To download this pretty worksheet. 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 My One Thing printable.

focus on one thing printable inspired by Beatrice Clay


Focus on one thing for a beautiful life.

bc sig black NEW

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