Thursday, April 17, 2014

Convenience Store Words and Wisdom

Post by Charissa Struble for the Kind Kindred series.

I’m standing in line at the convenience store, listening to a twenty-something talk loudly on a Bluetooth. She’s telling the person on the other end of the phone line that she’s in “survival mode” and been that way since college. I wonder what motivates her to share her story, in this setting, with a room full of strangers. Maybe that’s what makes her comfortable - the knowledge that no one knows her personally.

She’s taking her time at the counter, oblivious to the line forming behind her and the storm brewing outdoors. I shiver. My short sleeve sweater isn’t keeping me warm in this air conditioning. It’s just damp enough outside to be irritating. I feel my patience dwindling. I’m embarking on the first leg of a forty day road trip and I don’t like driving when it’s dark.

The girl goes on and on about her life. She spares no detail. I want to tell her that she’s not the only one in survival mode. We all are. Our existence alone makes us survivors. We’re all just trying to make it to old age. I want her to understand that in five years it won’t matter and that in ten years, she’ll have a hard time remembering that pain, the one she spent precious minutes of her life expressing to others. The cashier completes the transaction and much to my relief, Miss Oversharer leaves through the same door she entered. In her newly found haste, she’s forgotten something. It’s not the receipt that she’s missing. It’s her heart she’s left it behind on the floor of the convenience store for everyone to step around.

It’s moments like these that I remember the saying that everyone you meet is a teacher and today’s lesson involves embracing the unknown. As a regular goal setter and self-proclaimed self-starter, I know what it takes to make my dreams come true. I also know about processes and how longing alone will not make things materialize. If that was the case, I would have won the lottery long ago.

After years of go-getting, however, I realize just how sweet the journey is. Sometimes, the greatest rewards aren’t found at the finish line. They’re subtly placed in front of us in the people that we meet and the things that we do along the way. The true prize is the one that we receive as we test the waters, go for the gold and spring into action. It isn’t necessarily the one we hoped for at the start of the journey.

Author Danielle Laporte’s new book, The Desire Map, confirms the necessity of feelings in the goal setting process. After all, it’s not the desired outcome that we seek in most cases. It’s the way that the achievement makes us feel. We’re highly emotional beings. We want to live the good life but we need to be straight about why that’s important to us. What do we hope to gain from losing weight, building successful businesses, traveling the globe and meeting “the one”? What parts of ourselves do we lose by not going after the things we wish for?

Although our time together was brief and she wouldn’t recognize me in a crowd of people if she tried, that girl in the convenience store taught me something new about myself. She taught me that if you stop what you’re doing and really listen, you’ll hear the sound of the heart of the person standing next to you. You’ll feel their desire and know their intention.

Now, I hope you’ll excuse me. I’ve got a heart to pick up, brush off, and return to someone. I better be quick about it, too, because she doesn’t realize it just yet, but she has a big, beautiful life waiting for her.

Charissa Struble is a freelance writer, social media manager, and internet marketer. Her hobbies involve traveling, photography, volunteering, journaling, and creating art. Some of the other publications she’s been involved with include: Intuit, Generation X Finance, WiseBread, and Easy Journaling. You can learn more about her and her travels by visiting
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Not So Shabby Chic

Post by Amanda Walters for the Kind Kindred series.

photo courtesy of Steve Snodgrass on Flickr

Shop for Second-hand Dresses and Wow in Vintage

Vintage is big business in the UK, and fans of this style are well catered for with thousands of dedicated vintage retail shops online and on the high street. When it comes to a special occasion, such as a wedding or a prom, wearing a vintage dress offers the opportunity to stand out from the crowd, and convey a unique personality and sense of style.

The internet is full of vintage retailers, from independent outlets to old favourites such as eBay. Popular vintage styles include those from the 1940s right up to the 1980s.

The great thing about buying vintage is the seemingly endless supply of stylish one-off pieces. Searching for something extra special is part of the fun of following vintage fashion, and many a happy hour can be spent trawling second-hand sales and specialist markets. Charity shops may be a source of good quality pieces at affordable prices.

Tips for buying second-hand and vintage clothing:

  • Decide on the era: people are generally attracted to a particular decade and focus on this to narrow down their search for the perfect second-hand or vintage dress.
  • Hold clothes up to the light: this reveals any holes or badly worn areas that are likely to need repairing in the future.
  • Check the buttons and zips: vintage fastenings are part of an outfit’s charm, and if a vintage button is missing it may not be possible to source an identical replacement. Also, zips may have suffered damage over time.
  • Buy the best affordable dress: now is not the time to buy cheap quality – a special occasion demands a very special dress, so save up and buy the best one possible.
  • Don’t worry if the size appears too big: clothing sizes have changed over the decades, and cannot be relied on to be the same today as they were in the 1940s. 
  • Carefully check the measurements provided if buying online: although most online retailers offer a reliable returns service, it is worth double-checking the sizes given. 
The Telegraph offers more tips for buying vintage, with some smart advice for both new and established fans of this style.

What about charity shops?
Charity shopping has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years. Gone are the dark and dingy shops with the distinctive aroma of unwashed second-hand clothing. Charity shops these days are bright, well laid out and welcoming, and vintage clothes mingle easily with high street items.

UK urban newspaper, Metro, offers advice on how to find great second-hand and vintage clothes within charity shops. Scouring these shops in search of a little gem has become more than just a hobby for some people, who apart from enjoying the challenge, are saving money and buying something unique for their wardrobe.

Shopping around is key and researching the different styles associated with the various decades can be done easily online, allowing you to plump for the era that appeals most to you.

Amanda Walters is an experienced freelance writer. Graduating with a 2:1 in Journalism and creative writing in 2009, she has since enjoyed five years of creating strong relationships with a range of site owners and is now a regular contributor to Huffington Post. She loves to read, and has a passion for all things weird an wonderful. She strives to reach others through her writing. Follow her on Twitter
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pushing the limits

Post by Lynn DeVasto for the Kind Kindred series.

image courtesy of

Each and every day, I watch somebody do something they couldn't do before. Maybe it's 12 reps from 10, maybe it's 15 pounds from 12, maybe it's a 2 minute plank (woohoo)! For some of my clients it's being able to walk up the steps in the usual way, as opposed to having to step on each step, slowly, with both feet resting on each step before moving to the next one.

It is beautiful, and almost magical, to bear witness to people when they are able to push past what they previously thought they could do. As much as I like seeing that, what I find truly wondrous is what happens when they push them past their emotional limits. Like working out and weight loss, everybody's personal push is different. For some, it may be saying no to their grown children. For others, it may be saying no to alcohol,or shopping. Perhaps it's a new career choice, or furthering themselves in the career they have chosen. Maybe it's the decision to have a child, or not.

Whatever pushes your limits, know that it is incredibly worth it all when you push back and through them. Know that you have the ability to do it. Know that it is all worth it. What have you pushed through that you didn't think you could? I would love to be your cheerleader!

Lynn DeVasto is the owner of SuperGirl Workout. After losing 90 pounds, she made the decision to help woman be their own super-hero and find their own version of "fit and fearless", while being true and kind to themselves in the process.
~ Important but boring stuff: She holds certifications in personal training, holistic wellness coaching, sports nutrition and barre.
~ Perhaps unimportant, but fun stuff: Wakes up every morning at 4:30 (ugh), lives with her kitty love (Brady), has yet to meet a potato she doesn't like (especially if mashed).
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Today you will shine

photo by Jenny Ingalls Nelson

Happy Monday! I know, Monday and happy can sometimes be an oxymoron, but today I'd like to shine! Jenny chose a sweet quote to accompany her beautiful photo today, and I'd like to really speak into it.

Today I WILL shine. I will set that as my intention for this day and I will keep it with me. Shining doesn't have to mean that I will pretend or be fake or wear a mask. Shine can just mean that I will approach things with new eyes, instead of old habits. Maybe I can shine by doing a special act of kindness for today's #365daysofkind. Maybe I'll shine by giving everything I do today my all. Maybe I'll shine by recognizing the ways I already shine, and giving myself credit for them.

However today ends up, I will know that I set a beautiful intention for myself, and that's one way I shine.

Thanks for being on the journey with me. I think we all shine.

❤, Lara

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dear KOM, why can't I change?

image courtesy of

This week, I chose a Dear KOM email that speaks about something very present in my life right now. Our writer wanted only initials shared. Thank you, J.W., for sharing a piece of you with us.

Dear KOM,

I've been reading your site, and many others similar to it, for years, and keep waiting for the change to kick in. I find myself continuously repeating patterns, be it eating poorly or slacking at work. I've read 7 Habits and lots of other self-help things, but nothing ever seems to work for me. Why can't I ever seem to change?



Dear J.W.,

Wow, J.W., you're kinda in the EXACT same place that I was in, not too long ago. You know the place - the one where you know all of the right things to do, but you never seem to do them? Then, you get really mad and judgmental at yourself for not doing what you know you should be doing? Yeah. I totally feel you!

Let me make 1 quick disclaimer: I fully, wholeheartedly, 100% believe in the capacity of any human to change, as long as he or she truly wants to change. I even believe in my own capacity to change, and I've seen myself do it. What I've learned recently; however, was a game changer.

I learned that change doesn't come from reading the right book, finding the right diet, or even from reading the right blog (although clearly reading KOM daily is still pretty awesome!). I learned that change actually becomes integrated into our lives when we first start by accepting what is. I know, it sounds pretty new-age/woo woo, and maybe it kinda is, but humor me here.

Like most women, I've gained and lost more pounds than I care to count in my life. I've lost weight because I've felt out of control, I've lost weight because I've been insanely in control, etc. What I've NEVER done, is loved my body, no matter what it looks like. I've never fed it things that make it feel good, or moved it because that refreshes it. Anytime I've dieted or exercised, it's come from a negative place. This also applies to anytime I've changed jobs, to the 5 year period when I moved every year, etc., etc., etc.

Recently, something hit me like a ton of bricks, and simultaneously felt like it lifted a huge load from my shoulders. What if I loved myself through this process? Whatever "this process" is, what if I just loved myself. It was a pretty big shift, and it didn't "stick" right away, but through lots of coaching and quiet time and writing, it sank in. AND IT FEELS GREAT!!!

So my wish for you, J.W., is to find one small thing that you love right now. Whatever it is - your eyes, your shoe collection, your work ethic - anything - and start there. Start loving that right now. In this moment. As is. Realize you created that. Really let the gravity of that sink in, and then start expanding that feeling. See if you can come up with more things. Start feeling the little shifts in your body and mind, and see where they take you. It probably won't happen over night (and if it does, I'm totally envious!), but my bet is that it will happen.

Love yourself through this process.

Thanks for being on this journey with me.
❤, Lara

Dear KOM is an opportunity for all of you to write to me with any questions, comments, curiosities, stories, etc. ANYTHING you want to share! Every Saturday, I will choose 1 Dear KOM email and respond to or share it here!

~See an awesome news story or quote that you know KOM readers would enjoy? Bring it on!
~Have a question for me, about me or about Kind Over Matter? Hit me!
~Want a little free (and yes, we can ABSOLUTELY make any part of this anonymous) advice about something from a total stranger? I'm ready.

Consider this a wide open door. Bring on the questions, stories of love, sharing, and advice seeking. Bring it here.

Simply email and put Dear KOM in the subject line. That's it! I will respond to the email that will be featured that coming Saturday so that we can work out any little details. Don't worry if your email doesn't get a response in the same week - I have a hunch that I'll feature it in the future, and will contact you when it's your week!

Share your stories, questions and general awesomeness. I promise, it will benefit everyone.

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