Manifesto of Style

1. Communicate who you are in all you do.
2. Style is multidimensional.
3. Style matters.
4. Authenticity is energizing, economical, and efficient.
5. Accentuate the positive.
6. People are like snowflakes—uniquely beautiful because of the details.
7. Pay attention to what attracts you.
8. Working from the outside in can create deep transformation.
9. Feel free to change.
10. True style is not dependent on wealth, and wealth does not necessarily create taste.
11. Cheap is expensive in the long run.
12. Use your best every day.
13. Choose from your heart, and your life will fill up with things you love.
14. Beauty transforms.
15. It’s always a good time to be yourself.
16. Only love is free—everything else costs.
17. Creativity + restraint = beauty.
18.Contrast makes things interesting.
19. Living is sensual.
20. Make more choices—moment to moment, day to day.

- from Style Statement, by Danielle LaPorte + Carrie McCarthy

 

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Stopped in My Tracks

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I can always feel it coming.

I'm on top of my game - checking things off my to-do list, making every social engagement, hitting every workout at the gym - and I'm in major need of a pause.

Despite a regular meditation and yoga practice, sometimes I need to be stopped in my tracks. These past couple of days have been exactly that. I've napped on the couch, watched six episodes of "Intervention," read an entire book and napped again. 

I've felt a bit of guilt creep up. The "shoulds," if you will. But as I get older I'm learning to respect my own natural rhythms. Much less hustle, much more flow. Even if that flow means I'm stuck on the couch for a couple of days.

Onto the next book.

The Reward of Work

On a call the other day with my coach, she asked how my relationship was. Answering truthfully I said, "This week it feels really hard."

I felt ashamed saying that and she could hear it in my voice.

She responded: "Why is hard a bad thing?"

Such a simple question with a profound impact.

She followed up with, "How do you feel after a really hard yoga class?"

I pondered it: sweaty, free, content, inspired.

"And getting there takes some work right?"

Oh yes. I always have the comfort of knowing that a big, juicy shifts occurs after some sacred time on mat.

Do I always wanna go? Absolutely not.

Do I make it there? Yeah, the majority of the time.

Am I 100 percent present the whole class? Oh, hell no but I am certainly a lot more present then how I walked in.

Why then do I have this notion that for something to be "right" it must be easy? as I get older I truly look forward to "the work" in all areas of my life. Every conversation, every argument, every adventure, every dilemma presents me with endless opportunity to get to know myself better, to become more fully me in the best of ways.

My generation is pretty spoiled. We don't like to be uncomfortable so we squirm and move and we don't stay still to learn. Sticking it out is when the work gets done. Hate our job this week? quit. Our partner annoys the shit out of us? Leave. This town is boring? Let's move to Bali. Sure, there's times when we should do just that but when a "grass is greener" mentality shows up everywhere maybe it's not everybody else that's the problem.

My new chosen thought: hard work equals freedom.

It feels so much better.

Love Letter to My Home

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When I moved to California I moved straight to the beach. About four blocks from the beach to be exact. I packed up my beach bag every single day and strutted my way out to the sand, armed with paperbacks and a green juice. I acquired a lot of sun damage during those few months but I had never felt so relaxed in my adult life.

I remember someone saying to me, "Oh, you must be new here because you still go to the beach." 

I thought how you could you live in California and not take advantage of the beach every single day?! 

Twenty-five-year-old me who was trucking it across the sand would be very quick to inform you that I didn't live in Los Angeles but in Santa Monica. Very, very quick. The whole idea of LA was daunting and it seemed dirty and scary and kind of crazy. Especially to someone with no car and only a single speed bicycle.

That being said I now live about 18 miles inland in the most majestic neighborhood called Silver Lake and I've never (ever) been happier.

Here's a list-like love letter to this city (all of it!) and a thank you for being my home almost ten years later:

The quirky, magical hills of Silver Lake

The guy who plays violin and dances between cars on Glendale Boulevard

That I can dip my toes in the ocean and hike a mountain in the same day

Farmers Markets all year round

That almost all my friends live in a four mile radius!

Cotton candy sunsets

Palm trees

77 degrees all year round

Getting Your Ass Kicked

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This past week kicked my ass. I'm sure it kicked yours too.

It was a wicked combination of Donald Trump, hormones and the stars and man, it was tough terrain to navigate. I deleted my social media apps from my phone, increased my "sitting" time and tuned into Vice news.

I have the privilege of going about my life and tuning into what I feel like and getting upset when I feel like it but then returning to "regular programming," if you will.

This is the problem.

I craved a conclusion. To know why our country is falling to pieces, how you could possibly hate someone because of their religion or the color of their skin and how we got here in the first place. But there will be no tidy conclusions. There's messy conversations and big, messy work to be done both inside and out.

Those people who sit on the sidelines and let others get their ass kicked in the arena? I know I'm guilty of it on many occasions. I feel immense sadness and shame and responsibility and I should.

As Sas Petherick wrote: Be humble and ready to fumble.

Stop trying to be "good" or "safe" and let's just be human and join the other humans who need us speaking up.

Here's a few resources or blog posts that have been stirring up a lot both in my heart and head. I'll be adding to the list as I find more:

I Need To Talk to Spiritual White Women about White Supremacy 
Five Ways to Be Online, While the World Wakes Up to Itself 
The Sugarcoated Language of White Fragility

Morning Rituals

When I was little my parents would have my brother and I crawl into their big bed and we would say the Rosary before we went to school. A shorter version, not the whole thing. I grew up Catholic but an accepting, open-minded and progressive sort of Catholic. Our own hodge podge of beliefs and values and messy love.

I really didn't like doing this before school. I wanted to eat breakfast and watch TV and probably put on more mascara. But in retrospect it was a really powerful time for us as a family and something that's stuck with me.

I, myself, have been playing with rituals and what works for me. By taking this time to pause both in the evening and in the morning I can direct where my day is headed rather than spend that time reacting to a barrage of emails, texts and social media notifications.

Here's my morning rituals as of right now and what I'm loving.

I wake up to a normal alarm clock around 6:45 am. I keep my iPhone downstairs on Airplane mode for the evening. (I try to power down by 8 pm but sometimes by 9 pm.)

I make myself a delicious mushroom coffee. I haven't been drinking much coffee since this past March. I noticed it made me feel really, really anxious and overwhelmed so I switched to mushroom coffee which only has 40 mg of caffeine (like a chai tea) and mushrooms to support mental clarity, energy, etc.

Then in order to "unlock" my phone, I meditate. Some days it's five minutes and most days it's around 12. I'd love to work up to a 20 minute sit but I'm just not there yet. I breathe, sometimes listen to an Elena Brower or Tara Brach meditation and just sit. Lately I've noticed I've been offering up a lot of prayers and asking for some help. It feels good.

Then I start my day. Quiet, intentional, spacious and easy. 

It's Been a Minute

Since I was a little girl I've been documenting my life. From the time I could write I would handwrite out little newspapers called the "Third Grade Gazette," depending on what year I was in school, photo copy them and hand them out to everyone. Man, I got lot of grief for that but I loved it and I honestly didn't care.

I went to college for writing and majoring in Journalism and studied a lot of creative writing. Then I went on to a couple of internships and eventually landed a job working at National Geographic. I wrote in a blog I called "Ananda: Sanskrit for Bliss" during that entire time. It was on Blogspot and I can't find it now. Either way, it was a huge part of my life and something that brought me so much joy.

These past few years have been filled with so much change. Like a rapid fire, swirling kind of change where I couldn't get my finger on the pulse and wasn't sure what I'd say if I did. Pair that with an overly-curated world of Instagram and paid blog posts and all sorts of other content overload. I was burnt out. On all of it. 

I need to write again. Because I just do. 
I need to write mostly for me but also because I love community and vulnerability and creativity and all that good shit.

So allow me to reintroduce myself:

I'm Mary Beth LaRue. I'm an almost 34 year-old Virgo that lives in a bohemian-esque treehouse in Silver Lake, Los Angeles with my husband Matt and our eight-year-old bulldog Rosy. I love reading in our sunlit living room, practicing in my yoga space, exploring new neighborhoods, crafting yoga classes, being with our best friends and family. Oh, and I'm a yoga teacher and a mentor and the co-founder of Rock Your Bliss. 

I feel much more in touch with my 12 year-old self lately than my 24 year-old self. I feel a sense of me-ishness that I never have before and will have a lot of write about in these next few months. Oh boy, like so much. And I can't wait.

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