breathe

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I try to have a rhythm for what I post: self-care, inspiration, design, my brides and some personal thoughts. "Don't mix personal with business..." I hear in the back of my mind.  But I've never been able to keep them separate. And today especially. It has been a day of blurry vision and a few tears. So I invite you to sit with me in it all. 

About five years ago I went through one of the toughest situations I had ever gone through. I had no words and I didn't know what to do. Then my husband gently said to me, "Hey, why don't you go dance?" It's always been how I found my words, how I process. There happened to be a dance therapy class that night, so I went. The exercise was to grab a cloth in the color that represented how you felt and start moving. I grabbed a white cloth because all I wanted to feel was whole. All I wanted to feel was peace. As I moved about the room, I realized all of my movement looked like I was cleaning up, wiping something away.  

I wanted so deeply to fix it all - To quickly make my life clean and presentable (my '3' coming in strong). All the while I was leaving little pieces of me scattered about it in the mess. After what felt like hours I felt something begin to shift in me. My movement began to shift. I was still holding that cloth, but I held it confidently as it now represented my peace. My heart got lighter, words started coming to me - a release happened. 

Yesterday I showed a friend this picture of me that was taken by my husband in Merzouga, Morocco. I told her how I carry my wedding dress around with me in my backpack when I travel. The fabric is so great it can honestly fit in my purse and doesn't get wrinkled :) It sounds strange, (she thought it was) but I'm a strange little bird and, honestly, I just like slipping it on as a challenge to see where I can... in a tree in Africa over some elephants, in a castle in Spain...I've posted a few before.

Lately, I've been examining myself. Laying Whitney out on the table to sort through to see what she needs to hold onto or leave behind. It has brought on a lot of tears. Today, between timelines and stations lists, I sat on the bottom of the shower with my ears plugged feeling the water. And I was thinking "WHY do I bring my dress around the world with me? What started that?"

Then so clearly the answer came to me: "It has been you learning how to hold on to who you are, wherever you are."

The tears poured. 

Life is tough. Hard things happen that pull you out of rhythm. Life gets messy. But breathe. Over time things will mend. Messes will dissolve. Don't lose sight of who you are.

How do you find your breath again? How do you hold onto your peace? 

Love who you are. Hold it close. Make time for it... dance with it. Choose yourself.

Take care.

I realized yesterday that these words lead in well to a new project I am introducing today. Another realm of events that have organically blossomed over these last few months. The first one being event producing for a dear friend’s incredibly talented dance company, Numinous Flux. My first show with them will be this summer. The heart of Breathe is to raise awareness around the stigma of mental health in our community and provide resources for people to better take care of themselves. - Follow @numinous_flux for more information.

the heart of woven.

It has been a year now since my first woven wedding. It's been a year and still I carry this tiny business in my hands while in turn it carries so much of my heart and soul.

I have been thinking since the summer that I wanted to start a page with words for you. A place where you could understand why this business is so much a part of me. I have delayed it long enough but now feels like the perfect time to start. So here we go.

I am from Asheville, NC, and I went to school for events, focusing on non-profits. I assisted a few weddings and did my very first wedding in Atlanta. But after a trip to Central America, I fell in love with the place and moved there in 2010 to teach dance and help begin a sponsor student program for the locals. I lived there for the most part of four years. Eventually I met my husband in Nicaragua, we got married and moved to Spain in 2014 until we returned to his hometown of Nashville in 2016.

My life has been full of hospitality, mentoring and believing in people and their dreams around the world. I set weddings aside for a while but little did I know everything that I was growing was going to bring me full circle. I was good at the task of wedding planning and design, but during those years my heart was beginning to understand what this dream was all about.

For so long I watched bridesmaids let their insecurities surface and steal the joy of the season. I watched brides grow tough skin in a season where they should have been left soft. I remember listening to the groom argue with a grandmother on the wedding day about something that could have gently been handled before the wedding. If they had just been given the space to talk.

My heart ached to change the stigma that fell around weddings and the season before it. Why should this be a season that we just tell people to ‘push through?' How can I cultivate space for brides, grooms and their families to have those conversations and clear the way for the wedding to embody the spirits of the bride and groom. To create an atmosphere of peace around their wedding.

That’s what is happening and this is the journey of Woven.

Why Woven? - Weaving is a process of making strong fabric from two sets of yarn. So many elements coming together in accord. It’s the word and a process that symbolize all that goes into such a sacred moment in time.

But most of all, Woven, that was the name of the song two dear friends wrote and sang over my husband and me on our wedding day…

Continue this journey with me. I want to learn from my brides, grooms, families and vendors on how best to serve you during this season. Let’s exchange chaos for peace, together.

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