My time in Bosnia included… wandering cobblestone streets… Moroccan food… truly sobering & educational visit to the Srebrenica Galerija 11/07/95 … lost luggage (and then found again)… mosques and temples and churches… gray skies…beautiful people…old men playing life-size chess in the park… majestic mountains… calls to prayer…brilliant blue water…bullet holes…resilient people… stories of heartbreak and stories of hope.
After a lovely few days in London, I had the opportunity to travel to The Hague, in The Netherlands. It’s truly a beautiful city….cobblestone streets bordering deep canals…. bicycles at every turn… hints of Spring all around. While I was there I enjoyed… truly fresh fish… meaningful conversation… Latin & Japanese cuisine that truly was art for your mouth at Mochi… re-connecting with wonderful people… late night laughter and discussions about music… making new friends… Blossom…the Peace Palace… shooooopppping… long walks (some intentional, others not so much)… crocuses… train rides & tulips.
I recently got back from a little over two weeks of travel and it really was wonderful. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing some more pictures and details of my time in each spot I visited… I started the trip off in London and my friend Ashlynn joined me!
Our time in London included…beautiful countryside…truly amazing Indian food… checking an item off my bucket list (i.e. riding on top of a double decker bus)… Queen (the band not the royal)... late night strolls through cobblestone streets… fish & chips… re-connecting with wonderful friends and making new ones… a little Shakespeare… the Thames (I think I finally know how to pronounce it correctly)… Hyde Park… the Olympics (who knew curling could be so fascinating)…my birthday!…French cafes…free hugs on the tube…Tea, lovely, lovely Tea… Hillsong London… loooong train rides (that might not have needed to be quite so long if I knew what I was doing)…thumbs up…bagpipes in Piccadilly Circus…The Globe Theater…sneak peek behind the scenes at BPSFW…Valentine’s balloons from strangers… and a giant rainbow on the way to the airport. It truly was a wonderful weekend!
I just spent the most amazing two weeks traveling. It was an incredible opportunity. I can’t wait to share more about it with you over the next few days. That being said, since I’ve been literally a zombie thanks to jet lag this weekend I thought in lieu of a “Weekend Sneak Peek” I would share my…
top 5 reasons why I’m grateful to be home
5. My hair…just had two straight weeks of bad hair days thanks to the lack of outlets in the bathroom and my fear of frying my blow dryer by plugging it in. Einstein had nothing on me…
4. I’m not daily reminded of my propensity to overpack because I have to lug everything I brought with me everywhere I go.
2. My own bed. (nuff said)
1. DC ordered snow for my return (oh wait… I don’t want snow… booo… do over)
drum roll please….
1. Friends! I have the most wonderful friends, especially my roomies, and they make coming home so much fun!
Having girlfriends is the best.thing.ever. Someone with whom you can swap stories, giggle and share life’s wonderful moments. There’s so much wisdom that I have gained from the amazing women in my life; whether about the best product to get rid of dreaded frizz or advice on how to live my life with passion. My life is better because of the girlfriends in it. That’s why I started “Girl Talk“.
This is my friend Eileen.
She’s one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. I met her when I was a scared little freshman at GW and she instantly reached out to me and made me feel welcome. I remember being a little bit in awe of her and always overwhelmed when she would make it a point to ask me to hangout? Over the years she has been one of my best friends, a constant encouragement, an inspiring leader, a supportive cheerleader, my first call when deciding where to put my couch, my style icon, mother to some of my other best friends (two, soon to be three of the cutest kids in the world) and the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I’m a fan.
On top of that, Eileen is launching her new Blog – it’s sort of a ‘Joyce Meyer’ meets ‘Rachel Zoe’ guide to overcoming stress and anxiety in order to reach your dreams. I’m thrilled that the rest of the world is going to get to see all the wisdom and fun that I’ve seen over the years! It’s also another reason why I am beyond excited to have her on the blog today.
LAH – Tell me a little bit about your journey thus far?
Eileen – I’m a Long Island girl, who came to DC for College with a New York accent and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I bounced around, actually switching my major 5 TIMES (much to my parents chagrin) and right before I graduated – I discovered a passion for Art and Music.
I started using this passion to serve people in my local church, making graphics and writing music. Eventually I started my own design business, later becoming the Creative Pastor in my local church. I may have lost my accent – but I totally found my dream.
LAH – What were some of your dreams growing up?
Eileen – I have always had a deep desire to reach people, to impact them at a core level….I just had no idea how to do that. I remember as young as 5 years old I had dreams of singing “The Sun Will Come Out” from Annie, before large crowds. People were being super touched in my dream…really affected by my amazingly brilliant song!
It seems so silly – but I think the singing was a metaphor of my art, inspiring people. It’s what still lights a fire in me today.
LAH – What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in going after your dreams?
Eileen – At 5 years old, the same age as my “singing dreams” began, was the same year I had my first anxiety attack. On a normal everyday bus ride I started trembling, my heart started pounding at a rapid pace that totally scared me – and I got nauseous – all over the bus, in front of my friends.
Far into my 20’s, I continued to have these anxiety attacks at regular intervals. The anxiety also began manifesting in other forms like low self-esteem, insecurity, depression and eating disorders. I felt totally trapped.
LAH – How have you overcome them?
Eileen – It was so frustrating! I totally felt like was on one side this “chasm” – riddled with insecurity, overweight and anxious. On the other side of the chasm - there was this fearless, bold, HOT version of me…but I had no idea how to get there.In my twenties, I began to resign myself to the fact that I would never get better. My days became filled with fear about having another attack publicly (my worst fear).It wasn’t until my husband Harrison, said “….so what if you have another anxiety attack? If you give up, and stop trying to fight – that’s when the enemy wins.”
That one statement started giving me a vision to fight. I began to see I was going to have become fierce with fear – because fear had been fierce with me. I became a woman determined. Focused upon creating a bridge to the other side of the chasm. I began to fight fear with a plan.
LAH - Oh wow! That’s so interesting. Tell us more, how did you go about creating this bridge?
Eileen – It was when I started examining the lives of successful people, that I discovered that my thoughts were the bridge.
My negative, anxious mind was what was keeping me on one side, and positive faith-filled thoughts could get me to the other side. I had no idea I could choose my thoughts. That I could think “good thoughts on purpose” – was totally new information to me.
An ancient proverb says “As a man thinks in his heart; so is he.” Once I got a handle on that – I began a total mind-makeover.
LAH – What inspired you to start writing?
Eileen – To share what I’ve learned, in an effort to save people all the time I lost – and frustration I went through.
It took me close to my thirties, to finally have peace of mind, to feel truly great about myself. That’s too long! I really want to save people time so they become their best – sooner than I did. So they can have more peace, more confidence, so they can be the weight they want – with the joy they deserve, as a child of God.
It’s one of the reasons I started the free GLAM thoughts….because we are all super busy, but yet we need quick, power thoughts to get us going!
LAH – Ohhh GLAM thoughts, I love it. What does GLAM stand for?
Eileen – GLAM thoughts stands for “Gorgeous, Loved, Amazing & Magnificent” – because the reason we live so far below our potential is because we fail to recognize the stunning beauty that we possess. It’s impossible to become your best self listening to a soundtrack of negative self-talk.
And let’s be honest – we’re all living full, busy lives! So GLAM thoughts are aimed at injecting quick, power thoughts to get your mind straight, and you feeling great. Like a great latte before jumping on the metro…power thoughts are the key to crossing the chasm.
LAH - What’s your heart for you blog?
Eileen – To inspire and inform people to become the best version of themselves.
Studies show over 40 million Americans are seeking treatment for fear and anxiety related issues. 9 out of 10 women claim to have a faith in God – yet women are 60% more likely to suffer from most anxiety disorders as men.
As women of faith, supposed to live fearless lives – the question is “Why are we so afraid? and more importantly – is there a way out from feeling this way?”.It’s not that we don’t see who we’re meant to be, it’s that we have no idea how to get there from here. We have failed to connect faith to our everyday lives.
This is what I hope to do with my blog. Through the Daily GLAM thoughts and weekly posts I want to give readers the practical tools they need. I want to help people cross that chasm. To get rid of that fear. To get to the absolute best version of themselves.
LAH – If there was one thing you could say to the dreamers among us what would it be?
Eileen – I would say, “Why not you?” Plenty of people not as intelligent, not as creative, not as good-looking as you…have accomplished success beyond their wildest dreams. Why not you?
At just 5’ 11”, Russell Wilson, the Quarterback for the Seahawks, who recently won the SuperBowl said that his father would always say to him, “Why not you, Russ?”
So why not you? why can’t you be as successful as you want to be? why can’t you start that business? publish that book? why can’t you be the weight you want? be the best version of you?
and why not start now? because just one thought can change everything.
Find out more about Eileen’s Blog and GLAM thoughts at www.eileenwilder.com
I love these photos from our #YouSparkle photo shoot a few weeks back. The color combination, the sparkle, the polka dots…the details. So much loveliness. Each detail drew me in to take another look.
“The details are not the details. They make the design.” - Charles Eames
I know the common phrase says that “the Devil is in the details” but I actually think that the DELIGHT is in the details. The details add depth. They add richness and they add story.
It’s the same in life.
We each are allotted the same number of days each year and the same number of hours a day. If we’re not careful those days can blur one from another. What makes a day stand out from the rest are the details it contains.
Who did you meet? Where did you go? Who did you hug? What made you laugh?
The true treasure of each day is in the details. It’s in the shared laughter. The kind smile. The beautiful flower. The delicious first sip of coffee (or tea in my case). It’s in the time taken with people. It’s not in the busy agendas. The endless “to-do” lists.
I watched this movie recently called “About Time”. I’ve wanted to see it since it came out, but it took a super long plane trip for me to actually make the time (ironic? Just a bit). It’s a wonderful story.
Spoiler alert – you will cry.
At least I did. A lot. There’s lots of twists in the story line (some require you to suspend reality just a bit) but the ultimate message of the movie, I believe, is simple… make the most of the time you are given. Savor the moments. Delight in the details. Time moves quickly.
Treasure the moments you’ve been given. Delight in the details that each day brings. Appreciate the beauty all around you. It’s there. You just have to stop and look for it.
A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching.
- Swami Sivananda