Monthly Archives: June 2014

stop staring at your phone

I discovered this video via Lauren Gray on LinkedIn and had to share. The video reminded me of my TURN OFF YOUR PHONE blog post and just how important it is to disconnect and enjoy the real world, not just the online, digital world. Check out the video and read the text below. Hopefully you get as much out of it as I did and can take a few moments to ditch your phone, especially this weekend!

Full Text:
Look Up

I have 422 friends yet I am lonely
I speak to all of them everyday yet none of them really know me
The problem I have sits in the space in-between
Looking into their eyes or at a name on a screen

I took a step back and opened my eyes
I looked round and realised
This media we call social is anything but
when we open our computers and it’s our doors we shut

All this technology we have it’s just an illusion
Community, companionship, a sense of inclusion
When you step away from this device of delusion
You awaken to see a world of confusion

A world where we’re slaves to the technology we mastered
Where information gets sold by some rich, greedy bastard
A world of self-interest, self-image, self-promotion
Where we all share our best bits but leave out the emotion

We’re at our most happy with an experience we share
But is it the same if no one is there?
Be there for your friends and they’ll be there too
But no one will be if a group message will do

We edit and exaggerate, crave adulation
We pretend not to notice the social isolation
We put our words into order till our lives are glistening
We don’t even know if anyone is listening

Being alone isn’t the problem let me just emphasise
If you read a book, paint a picture, or do some exercise
You’re being productive and present not reserved and reclused
You’re being awake and attentive and putting your time to good use

So when you’re in public and you start to feel alone
Put your hands behind your head, step away from the phone
You don’t need to stare at your menu or at your contact list
Just talk to one another, learn to co-exist

I can’t stand to hear the silence of a busy commuter train
When no one wants to talk for the fear of looking insane
We’re becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies
To engage with one another and look into someone’s eyes.

We’re surrounded by children who since they were born
Have watched us living like robots and think it’s the norm
It’s not very likely you’ll make world’s greatest Dad
If you can’t entertain a child without using an iPad

When I was a child I’d never be home
I’d be out with my friends, on our bikes we’d roam
I’d wear holes in my trainers and graze up my knees
Or build our own clubhouse high up in the trees

Now the park is so quiet it gives me a chill
See no children outside and the swings hanging still
There’s no skipping, no hopscotch, no church and no steeple
We’re a generation of idiots, smart phones and dumb people

So look up from your phone, shut down the display
Take in your surroundings, make the most of today
Just one real connection is all it can take
To show you the difference that being there can make

Be there in the moment as she gives you the look
That you remember forever as when love overtook
The time she first held your hand or first kissed your lips
The time you first disagreed but still loved her to bits

The time you don’t have to tell hundreds of what you’ve just done
Because you want to share this moment with just this one.
The time you sell your computer so you can buy a ring
For the girl of your dreams who is now the real thing

The time you want to start a family and the moment when
You first hold your little girl and get to fall in love again
The time she keeps you up at nights and all you want is rest
And the time you wipe away the tears as your baby flees the nest

The time your baby girl returns with a boy for you to hold
And the time he calls you Grandad and makes you feel real old
The time you take in all you’ve made when you’re giving life attention
And how you’re real glad you didn’t waste it by looking down at some invention

The time you hold your wife’s hand, sit down beside her bed.
You tell her that you love her, lay a kiss upon her head.
She then whispers to you quietly as her heart gives a final beat
That she’s lucky she got stopped by that lost boy in the street

But none of these times ever happened. You never had any of this
When you’re too busy looking down, you don’t see the chances you miss

So look up from your phones, shut down those displays
We have a finite existence, a set number of days
Don’t waste your life getting caught in the net
because when the end comes, nothing’s worse than regret

I am guilty too of being part of this machine
this digital world we are heard but not seen
where we type as we talk and read as we chat
where we spend hours together without making eye-contact

So don’t give in to a life where you follow the hype
Give people your love, don’t give them your “like”
Disconnect from the need to be heard and defined
Go out into the world, leave distractions behind

Look up from your phone, shut down the display
Stop watching this video, live life the real way.


san francisco adventures: best views

A few week back, I started a mini series sharing my favorite places in San Francisco. This started with my Pinterest map, where I add pins of places I like to eat at and explore in the city. Each pin shows you a photo and the geolocation – super cool for navigating when visiting or just hitting a new neighborhood. I’ve already shared blog posts about my favorite coffee shops and brunch spots and today I’m sharing my favorite views in the city. You absolutely must visit at least of few of these!

Alta Plaza Park {one block from my apartment so if you’re here, you better come say hi!}

Battery Spencer {view of GG Bridge and San Francisco from Marin}

Billy Goat Hill {and a rope swing – pictured above!}

Corona Heights

Golden Gate Bridge {obviously!}

Lombard Street

North Beach {the ‘Little Italy’ of SF}

Ocean Beach/Outer Sunset

Palace of Fine Arts

Sutro Baths {beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean, especially at sunset}

Twin Peaks

You can more of my favorite places in SF on Pinterest here and read the original blog post here. Stay tuned for more highlights from my Pinterest map soon!


inspiring women, part 12

Hi queens! I’m super excited to share with you another interview in my Inspiring Women series. Today, I’m sharing Katie Den Ouden’s story with you. I discovered Katie’s magic originally on Twitter and I’m constantly inspired by her positive spirit and encouragement she spreads online {and no doubt in person!}. She is a Denver-based Soul & Life coach, blogger and spirit who has made it her mission to help women live their best life ever – all with a focus on joy {my favorite!}. Plus, that flower crown photo! The cutest. You can follow her blog, Twitter and Facebook for more too! I’m thankful she took the time to answer a few questions for me that hopefully inspire and encourage you today. xo!

Read more stories from inspiring women on Polish My Crown here.

What story is your life telling right now, today?

My current story of adventure: the essence of stepping into and owning my full and true womanhood. While I’m nearing the end of my 20s and a decade of so much growth, insight, and becoming…it wasn’t until very recently that the true essence of womanhood started speaking to me. Calling me. Welcoming me. (And no, I’m not pregnant nor do I have kids:)).

Since a young age I’ve experienced life events before many of my peers – parental divorce, caring for a mother with multiple sclerosis, the prospect of death several times, self-sufficiency by the age of 8 and more. Many of these may be “adult-like” in nature…but, today, right now, I am truly learning they are not real womanhood for me.

Womanhood, for me, is the path of owning my genius, gifts, strength, wisdom, wild and untamed-ness, desires, full story, contagious joy, vulnerabilities, playfulness, intuition, and power at a level that I’ve never experienced before. It is profound, scary, and exhilarating all at the same time. And, it’s through this that I am holding the space more tenderly, fiercely, and lovingly for other women to do the same. It’s an honor that I never knew I could experience.

It’s hard to describe in words…can I just let you hang out in my heart for a bit and feel it? :)

What woman inspires you and why?

Right now I’ve been mega inspired by (and girl-crushing on) Amal Alamuddin. Yes, I know that feels a little cliché to me as well since she’s engaged to Mr. George Clooney… but man, this woman is single-handedly impacting the world through her brilliance, defense of important social justice issues, and her killer beauty, poise, and style. While I’ve simply managed to conjure up an idea of who Amal is (basically what I desire at my core and impose it on her J), the inspiration to “have it all” and“change the world” calls to me. I do not desire to “have it all” based on what magazines or society tells me, but the “all” that my souls longs for…to live with purpose, presence, joy, freedom, empowerment for others and a good dose of style and true beauty.

What are three things you’re thankful for?

1) The women in my life. I am surrounded by some of the smartest, most awakened, most alive and vibrant woman who not only support me but stretch me into the highest and truest version of myself…allowing me to give my gifts and genius to the world and literally create the ripple effect of change >>> joy, freedom and truly LIVING. They know my weaknesses, secrets, AND genius and they champion me on like no other.

2) Uncovering, pursuing and living a “career” that fills my soul on a daily basis… I call it my purpose (at least for this point in my life).

3) My family. They keep me laughing, loving, and grounded.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned that you can share with Polish My Crown readers?

We MUST embrace ownership of our lives, fully. Meaning that the entire way we feel and experience our lives is our responsibility – no one else. I call this radical responsibility and the day we acknowledge this and take action…guidance, freedom, joy, abundance and more will flow like no other. We have the power to shape our experience of life – don’t give someone else that power.

Women who allow themselves to have a direct experience with their life, who allow themselves to fully experience their feelings, sensations, moments, intuition, and desires – meaning what they desire, why they desire it, and making sure it is in alignment with their actions and values – are freaking world changers – in the best way possible. We have the opportunity to create ripple effects every day of contagious joy…it’s your choice. It’s your responsibility.

Design your life. Do not default into someone else’s desires. The world needs the true and full you. I need YOU.

Oh, and choose joy, daily. xo :)


20 Things I Wish I'd Known In My 20s

My good friend Caitlin posted this link from Mind Body Green {20 Things I Wish I’d Known in my 20s} earlier this week and it was too good to share! Here’s a few of my favorites from the list. Definitely check out the full post to read all of them though!

P.S. Check out my friend Cait’s new blog documenting her personal journey training for her first marathon! Super inspiring and awesome. XO

2. Don’t focus so much on the future that you ignore what’s in front of you.

This applies to everything! Don’t future-trip in relationships. Don’t work so hard that you can’t enjoy the little things. Don’t spend so much time “pursuing” happiness that you forget that you have access to it at any moment you choose.

3. Courage is a decision.

It’s not an emotion, it’s a choice. Your fears can’t shape your life unless you’re happy being unhappy. You don’t need to be “ready” to make a change. You just need to acknowledge your fear and take action anyway.

4. You aren’t too old for a career change.

No matter how many degrees, time, and money you’ve put into something, it’s a sunk cost. You don’t get it back by sticking out something you don’t love. Don’t listen to your parents. (Sorry, mom!) You aren’t “playing it safe,” when you’re doing something you don’t love. You’re playing it scared. Do you really want to live with regret because you were afraid to pursue your dreams and embrace your potential?

6. Nobody’s opinion is more important than your own.

Other people’s views are not more relevant than your own. It doesn’t matter if they’re older, more successful, or better educated. Their opinion is simply that, an opinion, and nothing more. Learn to cultivate self-trust, knowing that what’s right for you is your truth, no matter who disagrees.

8. You don’t need to know what you want.

There’s so much pressure to know “what you want to be when you grow up.” Most of us are in careers that have nothing to do with what we studied in school. We’re taught to pick a career and stick with it forever, but that’s an antiquated view. If what you’re doing is making your skin crawl, you probably won’t “grow into it.” Don’t commit to something just because you’re supposed to. It’s fine to play it safe as long as you’re experimenting with things that actually light you up.

10. It’s OK that you’re single.

You aren’t more valuable as a person just because you have a partner, more Facebook friends, or any other form of external validation. Until you can self-validate, you’ll always feel like you’re lacking.

11. Be aware of what you’re really upset about.

When it’s hysterical, it’s historical. If you’re going from 0-60 because they forgot to give you extra hot sauce with your order, it’s triggering an old wound that hasn’t been healed. Don’t take it out on the delivery guy.

13. Other people’s baggage is theirs to deal with.

This one is huge. You aren’t a good friend, lover, or family member by taking responsibility for other people’s problems. The goal is interdependence, not codependence. Support others in a loving way, but allow them to work things out on their own.

15. Acknowledge that this moment won’t last forever (even if it feels like it will).

Everything in my 20s felt like it lasted forever. Waiting for a guy to call me back, getting a promotion, for things to “go my way.” When I was struggling with severe depression, my best friend gave me a ring that said “gam zeh ya’avor.” Modeled after a magic ring of King Solomon’s, it translates from Hebrew as, “This too shall pass.” Whenever I was sad, I looked at it and found the strength to continue. (And I tried not to look at it when I was happy!)

17. Forgive yourself for past screw-ups.

I’ve made so many mistakes. For most of my 20s, it was the only way I learned anything. But after learning the lesson, I held onto the pain and guilt instead of surrendering and forgiving myself. Often, we focus on forgiving others instead of forgiving ourselves. And while it can be painful and challenging to have compassion for ourselves, it’s the first step to letting go of your old story and writing a new one. The truth is that you can’t go back in time, but you can focus on what you want to create in the future.

18. Find gratitude for the good, the bad and the straight up ugly.

One step of past forgiveness is gratitude. While that may sound crazy, it’s the fastest way to accept who you are and where you’ve been. It’s easy to find gratitude for the good things, but being thankful for the painful experiences allows you to embrace your growth and transformation.

20. Find your tribe.

Just because you were friends as teenagers or in college, doesn’t mean you need to stay as close. As you develop into your true self, you’ll align with people who mirror that. Transition can be lonely, but you’re more likely to find real friends if you’re your real self.

Bonus tip: Nothing good happens after 1am and nothing good comes from drinking alcohol in the form of a shot.

 Image via here.


san francisco adventures: brunch

Last week, I kicked off a mini-series sharing my favorite spots in San Francisco organized by category. Last week I shared about coffee shops and today, I’m sharing about brunch spots! All of the places can be found on this interactive Pinterest map I created highlighting my favorite spots in San Francisco! All of the links below go to Pinterest so you can see quickly see where in the city each restaurant or cafe is. Enjoy!

Brunch Spots in San Francisco:

Brenda’s French Soul Food {near Civic Center}

Griddle Fresh {in Noe Valley}

Mission Beach Cafe {in The Mission on Guerrero/14th Street}

Nopa {in Nopa/Alamo Square}

Outerlands {in Outer Sunset}

Plow {in Potrero Hill – pictured above}

Sweet Maple {in Pacific Heights on Steiner/Sutter}

The Grove {multiple locations – Fillmore Street, downtown and Hayes Valley}

The Plant Organic Cafe {multiple locations in Marina, downtown or on The Embarcadero}

You can more of my favorite places in SF on Pinterest here and read the original blog post here. Stay tuned next week to see a list of my favorite views in the city!



on happiness

I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.

Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life



this quote