Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Facelift

Hello and happy Friday! As you can see, Polish My Crown had a little facelift this week. I wanted a streamlined, Pinterest and Tumblr-inspired template so selected this minimalistic two column template – what do you think?! I still have lots of formatting tweaks to fix {formatting and photo resizing} so I apologize for the bit of mess over the next few days.

A special shout-out to the lovely Hannah who created the custom logo and social icons and Brian who uploaded everything and answered all of my silly questions.

Enjoy your weekend {and how is it already June tomorrow?!?!}.

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What Love is Not

I’m currently reading Augusten Burroughs new self-help book This is How and have bookmarked several favorite parts. The author’s humor is dark and witty and certainly not like any of the other books of its kind. The particular piece I’m sharing is from a chapter titled “How to Identify Love by Knowing What It’s Not” and discusses the importance of being aware of your relationships and identifying them as toxic or life-giving. The list starts the chapter sharing simple but insightful reminders on what love is absolutely, positively not.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did! xx

Love doesn’t use a fist.
Love never calls you fat or lazy or ugly.
Love doesn’t laugh at you in front of friends.
It is not in Love’s interest for your self-esteem to be low.
Love is a helium-based emotion; Love always takes the high road.
Love does not make you beg.
Love does not make you deposit your paycheck into a bank account.
Love certainly never, never, never brings the children into it.
Love does not ask or even want you to change. But if you change, Love is as excited about this change as you are, if not more so. And if you go back to the way you were before you changed, Love will go back with you.
Love does not maintain a list of your flaws and weaknesses.
Love believes in you.

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Weekend Snapshots

Happy Tuesday and start to your (short!) work week! I hope you had a fabulous long weekend. A few highlights from mine: happy hour with a bunch of girlfriends, Saturday morning Pilates class, an impromptu sunset hike with Zach, dinner … Continue reading

On solo travel

Yesterday I read this beautiful T Magazine article all about solo travel. I’ve had vacation and traveling on my mind and certainly want to do much more solo travel in the next couple of years. Traveling with others can be lovely, but also – a complete disaster. What I love about exploring cities and beaches and new places by myself is that I can do everything on my own pace. I can take every sound and scent and moment in on my own terms, without feeling like I’m holding someone else up. Here’s my favorite parts from the T Magazine article:

I want to think new things on holiday and the best way to do that is to go it alone, allowing yourself a space — a beautiful space, with any luck — that is circumscribed neither by your need to perform nor your need to blame. Get up when you like. Skip as many museums as you like. Eat or don’t eat. Dance or don’t dance. Swim far out if you want to. Drink Champagne at breakfast. Write a paragraph if you have one to write. Say nothing for days and dream of home. Keep the light on all night.

I love a solo holiday. It tends to refresh the part of oneself that is most depleted by modern life — patience.

The wanderlust of the solo traveler doesn’t kill homesickness, it partners it, making the vacation all the better for involving one’s profound wish to go home to normal life a little changed.

The article reminded me of something I read in Shauna Niequist’s Cold Tangerines.

There are only two things I like to do alone: reading and traveling and for the same reason. When you travel and when you read, you are not actually alone but rather surrounded by other worlds entirely, the footsteps and phrases of whole other lives keeping you company as you go.

Now you tell me – would you travel alone? Happy Friday!

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A Prayer for Oklahoma

Yesterday hurt. After hearing about the tornadoes in Oklahoma and reading the news and seeing the photos, I felt weak and weary and very sick to my stomach. Why do bad things happen to good people, to innocent people, to children? I couldn’t think about anything else and I did what I try to go in good times and absolutely have to do in the not-so-good times, like late Monday afternoon – I pray. Here’s the prayer I wrote down as I lifted up those affected by those forty-something minutes of destruction yesterday. My words rambled on and on and most of the time, I didn’t even know what to say so I just sat there and listened and meditated and did my absolute best to surround these hundreds of thousands of people I don’t know personally with love.

Dear God,

My heart hurts so much thinking about how much pain and hurt and hard things are in our world. Newtown shootings and Hurricane Sandy and the Boston bombings and this Oklahoma tornado and my heart can’t hold it all in. I feel so sad and terrified for the children unsure where their own parents are tonight and for the partners who won’t get to tuck their sons and daughters into bed tonight. My stomach dropped and I feel sick thinking about it all, God. It’s so hard, but at the same time I’m reminded you are so good. You take ashes and turn them into beauty and you turn crying into dancing. You rebuild and restore and redeem even when it’s hard to see it all clearly as I sit here teary-eyed on my bed.

I circle your promise in Isaiah 54. ‘Oh storm-battered city, troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you on a foundation of sapphires and make the walls of your houses from precious jewels. I will make you towers of sparkling rubies and your gates and walls shining gems. Terror will not come near.’

I pray desperately for the old and weary and the hurting ones tonight – whether hurting in mind, body or spirit. I pray that they seek you God – and turn to you as their source of comfort. I pray they cast their cries and their cares on you – that they take the weight of pain and questions and hurts off and give to you. I praise you for the power of transformation, for making all things new.

Thank you that in moments like this when my stomach drops and my heart hurts that the only thing that brings me comfort is meeting with you here. I’m so thankful I can crawl into your arms for safety like a little girl. I’m thankful you take my fears and sadness – and the fears and sadness of everyone here – and circle them with peace and safety and warmth.

Terror will not come near. Amen.

oklahoma Please consider finding out what you can do to help – more info here.

On swimsuit season.

I finished Shauna Niequist‘s first two books within a couple of days and was so upset to have the books come to as end. I recently downloaded her third and latest book Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes and of course, totally enjoying it so far. I just finished a quick chapter on the plane back to San Francisco discussing summer and swimsuit season and immediately pulled out my laptop thinking “I HAVE TO SHARE THIS ON MY BLOG!” It was a beautifully written chapter about embracing self-love and confidence over shame and fear and exactly what I needed to read. I have a feeling it’s exactly what a lot of us need to read, as the days in May quickly roll into the warmth and summer of June. xo!

I’m a summer girl. Summer is my favorite season. Summer is long days, going barefoot, sunsets on the lake. It’s fireworks and lazy mornings and no school and no routine. It’s flip-flops and sundresses and tan shoulders and ponytails. It’s farmers markets and Long Island Iced Teas and fried shrimp in a basket and boating and swimming and sandy toes and pink noses. Summer food is my favorite food – berries and corn and peaches and tomatoes and everything cooked on the grill.

There is, however, one tiny thing I don’t like about summer: I’m not wild about swimsuits. I love being at the lake, of course, but at the beginning of every summer, I have to do a little internal business, organizing my thoughts and feelings and phobias, getting myself ready to let everyone I know see me in a piece of clothing that could fit into a sandwich bag.

But as my friend always reminds me, no one’s actually thinking about me as often as I think they are. Probably my friends are not counting the days till summer to see if I’ve finally turned into a supermodel. Probably they’re thinking about their own lives or current events or any number of things that have nothing to do with my chins.

That’s what shame does, though. It whispers to us that everyone is as obsessed with our failing as we are. It insits that there is, in fact, a watchdog group devoted completely to my weight or her wrinkles or his shrinking bank account. Shame tricks us into believing there’s a cable channel that runs video footage of us in our underpants twenty-four hours a day, and that all the people we respect have seen it. Shame tells us that we’re wrong for having the audacity to be happy when we’re so clearly terrible. Shame wants us to be deeply apologetic for just daring to exist.

But I’ve been watching that footage on a loop for too long. I’ve been my own watchdog group for decades. I want to do something risky. I want to dare to exist, and more than that to live audaciously, in all my imperfect, lumpy, scarred glory, because the alternative is letting shame win.

So here we are again, my favorite time of year – summer! The idea of anyone seeing me in my swimsuit makes me feel a little anxious. I want to find any and every excuse to stay covered, stay inside, stay invisible. So this is what I’m going to do: I’m going to swim. I’m going to make sand castles and make-believe and make memories. I’m going to live in the body that God made me, not because it’s perfect but because it’s mine. And I’m going to be thankful for health and for the ability to run and move and dance and swim.

This is the promise I’m making: this summer, I’m not going to be ashamed of my body. Or at the very least, I’m not going to let a lifetime of shame about my body get in the way of living a rich, wild, grateful, wide-open way.

I’m not going to give into the cultural pressure that says women’s bodies are only beautiful when they’re very, very small. I’m going to take up every inch of space I need. I’m going to practice believing that I am more than my body, that I am more than my hips, that I am more than my stretch-marked stomach. I’m going to allow my shoulders to feel the sun and even (gasp!) my thighs, instead of making sure I’m always, always safely covered and out of your view.

I’m not going to bow to the voice inside my head that says I should be ashamed of myself for being so unruly and wild. I’m not going to develop a relationship with my cover-up that borders on obsessive. This summer, I’m not going to hide.

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