Dreaming + Believing

 Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ~ Martin Luther King Jr. 

 

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day and here in the U.S. this national holiday carries a lot of meaning for everyone.  Not only does is represent the dignity a man held within his life but also a level integrity that inspires me. This post is dedicated to MLK Jr., anyone who has big dreams or who is living out the life of their dreams. May we all begin to honor the dreams of everyone regardless of gender, color or principles.

It is natural for me to dream and as a child my mind ran as wild as my painted pony, Poncho on the vast open fields I called home for most of my childhood. When I think back to when I was a child I have to giggle to myself and at the same time I have a little bit of grief. I begin to laugh when I return back to my nine-year old self who bought a pony out of the classifieds and never thought for a second her dream would come true of bringing that pony home to the stable that awaited him. Disbelief was not in my vocabulary and it certainly wasn’t in my consciousness! If I refer to the dreams I hold in my heart today, I am a little sad because I long for the ability to make it happen without doing anything just as I did when I was younger. It seems quite simple, right? Just believe…well, that is not so easy for me, yet. I have so many concepts in my mind, beliefs and opinions from others. While my practice is to always listen to my intuition, which I call my Soul, I am tempted to listen to the voices in my head. Turning the mind off is essential for me to hear my true voice, that quiet whisper I hear way down in the depths of my being I rarely go. I will go as far as saying that my dreams scare me just a tad, which I see as a good thing. As soon as I begin to dream, my mind begins to tell me how it won’t happen and what I need to “do” before it will ever come true. Seriously, who does my mind think it is? Thankfully with a lot of practice I am able to redirect my thoughts to a cloud and send it out into the sky far away. I literally say to them, “thank you for the comment but you are not needed here”. One day I hope to be free of the chatter but for now I will practice stilling my mind and sending its beliefs to another place.

 

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Today, I have come to know the truth for me and here it goes: My mind is a house with zero style. It is trying to speak a language my heart can’t comprehend. The best part about my mind is that it acts as an awareness “catcher”. If I didn’t have my mind I wouldn’t be aware of what was going on and as we all know, it’s good to know what is happening. Most of the time I know the chatter upstairs is just jargon and not important but in order for me to get to that realization I had to believe it.

One thing I know for sure is that I am living my dream right here, right now in this moment and I cannot ask for more. I do have dreams of writing a book, speaking about my experience and learning more foreign languages; in the meantime I am grateful for the gifts I have been given. I don’t ask for my dreams in a way to “get” anything because I have all I need and that is something I never dreamt of saying out loud but I am because I believed in myself. I believed I had a purpose here or why else would I be here? I have experienced my life so far just as it was planned and let’s just say I am living the dream…it might not always be petals and bunny rabbits but it is an experience that brings me closer to knowing my Self.

What are your dreams? Does anything get in the way of them coming true? When you look at your life from the second row seat does it appear you are living out the life of your dreams?

 

Jocelyn x

 

 

Photo by Jocelyn Casey.

Let’s go to Positano!

I don’t know about you guys but I could sure use a break from the hectic rush of January. I am down right overwhelmed and even though I know a vacation is not the answer it doesn’t hurt to just “go there” in my mind. I love Italy, in fact besides Germany it is my favorite country in Europe. The people are friendly, funny and full of laughs. I don’t even know where to start when it comes to the food! Between pasta and gelato I somehow lose all self-will when I go to Italy and  this is just soooooo nice to enjoy. Have any of you ever been to the Amalfi Coast? Positano is on our radar for this summer and we need some help! Do you have any suggestions of where to stay or eat? If so, I would love to hear and please feel free to share in the comments section!

 

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If you could choose one place to go in your mind right now where would it be? Ok, back to reality which is just lovely as it is.

 

Happy day,

 

Jocelyn

A Soul Discovery & Expression

Good Friday everyone, I hope this finds you enjoying your day. What I am about to share with you comes from the more sacred nature of my life.  I am aware this may be pushing the boundary of acceptability and I encourage you to stay open to what I am sharing.

Lately I have been noticing bloggers and writers sharing more and more the concept of mindfulness; which is refreshing to say the least. While this act of being aware of  thoughts and behavior is not new to me I will say it has saved my life and at the same time allowed my mind to step aside and let the real me shine through.

Let me ask you this, have you ever experienced those moments of creativity flowing through you like a gentle stream? If you have then you understand there is nothing quite like it.  Have you ever sat with a pen and paper where your feelings flow like watercolor on silk paper? I have come to believe this natural state of flow is our soul expression made tangible and visible. We are all here to create beautiful works whether you are a builder, blogger, dentist or hairdresser. When the mind is quiet and empty of fear, the light within can shine and that is exactly what it does when we produce great works.  These are the things that bring tears to our eyes. You know exactly what I mean. I cannot be the only person in the world that feels that inner sensation of pure love revealed as a tear. You know that feeling, right?

 

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The first time I experienced this was when I began to write more about what was meaningful to me. First step was getting clear on my definition of “meaning” and where it showed up in my life. After a lot of wandering around the design of my interior life I was introduced to my Soul. I was relieved she hadn’t gone anywhere! I realize this may sound strange and even bizarre to some of you but as I said before, it is my belief and this post is in no way meant to sway your belief, whatever it may be. I remember the days when I gave my mind more attention than my Soul. I would praise my mind for its occasional clever thought or creation not knowing it was my true self, my Soul, expressing Its genuine nature. At the time I was still confused and thought a lot about what the connection my heart had to my mind and my self to my soul. One day I was sitting under a tree looking out at a peaceful lake and something within me “clicked”. I felt this sensation just behind my heart and instantly I was filled with what felt like a warm blanket. Naturally, I was led to material that spoke my new but instilled language that was coming into my experience and finally, everything began to make sense. I had longed to know who I was for so many years and finally I was beginning to return…to my Soul, that light behind my heart that is always quiet and still.

My life has changed immensely since my realization and acceptance of my inner design and there is no turning back now for I have found my home. Every day I wake up with the sunrise I quiet my mind, get rid of yesterdays “grit” and walk through my day with mindfulness. The more aware I am of my thoughts and fears the more I can quiet them and let them float by like a cloud so my true self can respond to what life is handing me.

When we begin to hear the voice of our Soul and witness the light we hold within, we will notice it in others and that my friends is what peace and harmony is all about. Recognize your own spirit every moment of the day and be sure to acknowledge it in others. We can be beautiful hand crafted mirrors for one another if we choose. Let’s bring the goodness of our Soul into expression, consciously.

May we all be taken back to our divine self ~ one creation, skill and ability at a time.

 

Jocelyn x

 

 

 

 

Photo by Jocelyn Casey. 

That thing called a conversation….

It occurred to me the other day the idea of a conversation has lost a little bit of meaning somewhere between Twitter and I don’t even know what. What ever happened to a deep, meaningful chat? Does it seem this way to you as well, has it disappeared completely? Instead of whinging about  it I decided to find my own recipe for what makes a well-baked convo. After a few days of contemplating the idea of what makes a good conversation I have come to my own answers and I would like to share them with you.

I realize every judgement is a self judgement so naturally I took a good look at myself and where I could sharpen my conversation skills to a level in which I hold true value. What I found was this: I am a good listener; I hold the space for whoever is in front of me no matter what. If I am asked, I will respond and only from my experience. Anyone that knows me knows full well I will never give my opinion unless it is asked for. I used to be horrible at this until Moe gave me the practice of not giving my opinion for 24 hours. I invite you to try it, it ain’t easy. With time, I have learned to respond from my heart and not my chatter filled mind. When I am with someone I am “there”. I am present. I am open. I am loving. I have realized my life is less about me and more about others and I am very happy with this so having a conversation with someone is thrilling for me and I thoroughly enjoy everyone I meet. I love to hear people talk about what matters most in their lives and what they dream of.  Listening is not the only element of a conversation though, there is more!

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Responding is something that took me a long time to understand and like I said before, I used to be an opinion giver to anyone that would listen. Today, I realize I can respond from my heart but first I must center myself there; which requires mindfulness. If I am in my head I will respond from my mind and that is about the worst place I could  come from. My mind is full of concepts and beliefs I don’t even consciously live by so why would I want to speak from there? From my heart is where the love is extended and a conversation is not complete without love.

I can imagine you may be thinking my idea of a good conversation sounds more like a sound board for others to talk and in all honesty you’re not far off. Do you ever feel as though you are brought into someones life for a reason? Well, I feel like that every time I sit with someone, I let them lead and see where I am needed from there. As I mentioned before, my life is not about ME in the sense of getting what I want, it is about giving and this makes me the happiest woman in the world.

When I sit at a kitchen table, living room or café with anyone, I design my time with them carefully and sincerely. There are no cell phones around, no computers and no need to answer to social media. There may be an occasional cold, wet whippet nose gracing the side of a leg though!

Nothing makes me happier than to have a conversation with someone who is present and centered. Have you thought about the way you converse back and forth to others? I would love to hear your recipe! Please do share. It is safe here.

Jocelyn x

 

 

 

Photo by Jocelyn Casey. Paris 2013.

New Year + New Site

Hello everyone and happy Sunday! I hope this finds you enjoying your weekend and relaxing before the week starts. I wanted to share some very big news with you regarding the shift I mentioned a few weeks ago. As some of you may know, I am an interior designer and have been in business for quite some time now. I chose to keep it quiet for a while as I felt the vision of the business morphing into what is now a complete yet ever evolving brand. It is my pleasure to invite you to visit jocelyncaseydesign.com. While I waited patiently for my business to shape and take form I was concerned I would have to wait 8 months for my site to be built until……..I found Promise Tangeman and Sitehouse. I cannot say enough about this amazing woman and her gift for creating websites that reveal more than just a brand. Together, we customized and went live in ONE day! Joanna Waterfall of Waterfall Creative created my logo which I am beyond happy with. I am so excited to be creating a new blog with Meg Long which will be live in a few weeks. For now, we will meet back here but once the new blog is up we will have a new “living” room to meet in.

 

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Do you know the feeling when you truly feel at home somewhere? You know, when your heart feels situated and your mind is calm? Well, that is how I feel now with my new site. Once the blog is finished it will be the final accessory to the room which is “me”. I will be here all week sharing some deep and meaningful thoughts with you so please be sure to come back.

Wishing you a beautiful day….let your spirit soar….

 

Warmly,

 

Jocelyn xx

 

Logo by Joanna Waterfall

A simple and soft January mood {board}

Part of my morning routine is browsing Pinterest for inspiration. Today I found myself gravitating towards a shade of blush, flowers and beautiful words. I don’t know about you but everyday I have a new favorite color?! What is your mood for January? Do you have one yet? Mine is simple, soft, yet significant. My reminder this month is to stand out, don’t get lost in the shuffle and never step out of  my integrity. I am going to be writing more about what integrity means to me a little later this week. Tomorrow I will be driving to California to see a friend in Ojai so I will be sure to get some pics for you and share them on Friday.

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If you are looking to refresh your Pinterest inspiration perhaps check out some of my favorites: Happy Interior Blog, MadameLove, Judith de GraafBesotted Blog and Elizabeth Messina 

I wish you and everyone in your day a string of wonderful moments!

Jocelyn x

 

All images via Pinterest

Buddha said it….

Sometimes all that I need is read a few words that state the Truth for me. I don’t need to read a long book or pour my heart out to someone. All I need is to lay my eyes on something that makes sense and take it all in. I love this message from Buddha, do you?

 
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Happy Tuesday!

 

Jocelyn x

The Real Truth behind my Anxiety and Learning to Love the Silence

Please note : This post is personal and a tad on the deep side. I encourage you to read it because it may help someone you know. My intention for sharing is to tell the truth and I hope it reminds others know they are not alone or crazy. Thank you. 

 

There is a phrase commonly used in America and it is “I am going out of my mind”; I remember the days when my anxiety ran my life and I would repeat these words as if it were a mantra. If I didn’t stay busy with cleaning or organizing my home I would be in silence, which was about as scary as being in the dark with no flashlight. With every task I kept my mind running and spinning, I basically took it to an aerobics class every waking hour. I would rearrange my sock drawer until everything was lined up perfectly and afterwards I felt I could breathe again. I would fold laundry but I wasn’t folding anything at all, I was running story lines in my head and thinking about the next thing on my to-do list. Where was I during these moments of being in my mind? Well, I know now I was in the past or future. I did not have the capability of being in the present because that was too painful and it hurt to feel the hole in my heart. You see, I was in a marriage that was slowly dying and I was dying with it.

 

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Today, I am grateful that my anxiety has been dissolved over the last three years of intense work and assignments with my mentor, Moe Ross of Hollyhock Retreat in the Illinois countryside. After a year of introduction material and mindfulness exercises I slowly began the practice of meditation. When I first began doing my work I had a hard time focusing on what was outside my mind and in the moment. I would often cry so hard my brain felt frozen. All I wanted was for the stories to stop running and for there to be moments where I didn’t have one single thought. I spoke to many friends who said they had a pill that could take care of “it” but my heart knew that was not the answer. How was I supposed to be quiet when the rat race was taking place in my mind? It took time but one day I took a walk  in the desert with my dogs and just focused on not entering my mind. Eventually, I began to understand the purpose of meditation; it was not to reduce stress or become more relaxed although that was generally the outcome. With lots of practice, I began to feel my mind quieting and my heart opening to my real voice, the small voice within that carried all the answers. I remember the first time I felt this shift and it was something invisible and yet so palpable. In that moment of profound realization I knew I was capable of being out of my mind and for once, I felt at home. For once, I wasn’t thinking of my divorce, where I would live, what others would think of me or anything…I was just in the moment, pausing and allowing the small still voice inside to gently speak. We’ve all heard this voice at some stage in our life, some call it intuition.

 

Today, when I take a walk I am able to pass the older couple sitting on the park bench gazing out on the lake instead of power walking to get my workout in. I stop, look and just witness the love. I don’t allow my mind to wonder randomly anymore, I keep it quiet with one practice and that is: as soon as my mind wonders to a place that does not move me forward I remind myself I am HERE and the time is NOW. If I were to continue letting my mind run who knows where it would end up! As many of us know, the blessings and the miracles are in the present, they are true gifts.

 

I can now be grateful for my divorce as it took me to levels of deep pain that led me to discovering my true self. The hole in my heart has now been filled with the love that already runs through my veins. The journey has not been easy and I would not wish it upon anyone but I will say it has been profound and significant. In the moments of darkness I found the light within me. We all have it and it begins and ends with awareness. If you know someone who is experiencing anxiety please share this as it may drop a seed and with your love, it will sprout something beautiful.

 

With love,

 

Jocelyn

 

 

Image taken by Jocelyn Casey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freshly prepared Principle for 2014

Hello everyone and welcome to the last day of 2013! I am so glad we get to share it together. If I haven’t mentioned it before I am grateful to be writing with you. Every time I sit at my computer I am led to write something meaningful and significant and today is no different. This year has been beyond fantastic and I am amazed at how much I have learned. With every person I’ve met I have discovered something new about myself I didn’t know existed. My passport is full of stamps and with every one I carry beautiful memories of the world.  Within me is a design, a blueprint for the way I choose to style my life. My new signature style will be the main thread running through the fabric of my life and with every thing I do.

The design I currently hold within is a result of three years of intense work on my interior life. Let’s just say there were a few areas that needed updating and the light bulbs needed to be replaced.

My new design also comes with a new mission/principle in which I style my life. I mean, what good is a brilliant design without impeccable style? It would be like having the frame of a beautiful Italian sofa with no fabric. From this point forward my life is less about me and more about others. It is simple, when I walk into a meeting about the book I am writing it is not about me, it is a story about a part of my life that will hopefully inspire, support and encourage others to never give up. When my client’s come to me it is not about my name being stamped all over the interior of their home, it is about them. I will be acting as a guide to help them realize they too have the potential to create beautiful functional spaces that bring peace and harmony. Again, my life is less about me and more about others.

When I meet someone for coffee I listen, deeply. No matter what, I am there to lift them up, support them and not sway them with my opinions and thoughts unless asked. In my experience, simply listening to someone can shift his or her day from horrible to fantastic. Once more, it is about them, not me.

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Blog posts will be altered slightly to compliment my new outlook as well. With every post my intention is to share meaningful and profound material that will shine some light on others. I am genuinely fascinated by the way the interiors of one’s home reflects the interior of their life. The new blog will be more than just posting about companies and the products they sell. I want to bring you the real stuff, the deeper more sincere work that allows us to connect and learn from one another.

Many questions have come up regarding how I will be able to handle this new principle. How can I make it about others and not myself? It’s easy; it is my belief and my knowing this is my way. For instance, when I given the opportunity to share a speech I am not on stage to get kudos or to become “famous”.  I am on stage to be of service to others, if my story helps another then I have done my job and there is nothing that can top that.  This is what gives me energy! At the end of the day, what I do and how I work  is no “better” than anyone else, it is just different.

 

I wish you and everyone in your day a wonderful New Year’s celebration!

See you next year,

 

Jocelyn xx

Writing to Right – Communication

This time last year I thought  I knew how to communicate with people fairly well. Little did I know my journey into the blogging world would take me through streets of awareness and highways of realizations when it comes to engaging with readers and other bloggers. I first started to take notice at The Hive in Berlin, a conference I took part in this summer to begin building a community and meet other creatives whose passion was sharing their inspiration was similar to mine. It was during that rainy weekend in May when it hit me; I was about to learn a lot about life from blogging.

What I wasn’t fully prepared for was the rejection and turndowns I received from many “bigger name” bloggers. After many unreturned emails and late cancellations I was aware I wanted to be different and became grateful for my experience.  I will admit it was at times a little hurtful; my ego got slammed when the door was closed in my face but in return I learned a lot. I made it a principle to place communication at the forefront of my personal and business life. For me, relationships are more important than money, fame or recognition. In my knowing, I learn the most about life through being relational with people and I knew my readers were no different.

When it comes to life in general {especially as a blogger} the communication “field” as I call it is vast. Imagine with me a large plot of land in Montana, covered in beautiful grass and wildflowers in the summer. In one corner there is email, the one thing that seems to always have useful weeds growing in it. In the middle is social media where every farmer in the state is watching how you care for  your land. Around the edge is personal contact, real, live interactions with people, which require authentic communication. We are in the field, taking in all the opportunities we are given to establish relationships with people just like us. My question to myself is always the same, “Who do you want to be in this field, ordinary or extraordinary”? Keeping in mind one is not better than the other, it is just different. Would I like to be someone who responds from a place of mindfulness or a woman who has become too busy to give back and make life more about relating to people?

 

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I know myself quite well and when I cannot find the time to respond to a comment whether it is social media, email or a phone call I have become distanced from my true self, which is not where I want to be. Do you ever notice how alive you feel when someone responds to your comment or note? It amazes me how much of a difference one simple gesture can do. Communication is everything and there is no such thing as “too busy” for me. I have a lot on my plate and I choose to make it the way I do but I also have principles in which I live and work by that make designing my life a meaningful process.

By writing a blog, I am not only sharing my life, I am righting my life and that is profound and significant. Will you join me in this movement of making it a practice to respond, communicate and engage with others even when you feel you don’t have the time? Are you willing to take a few extra moments and acknowledge even more than you already do, another person? If we all do this together we can create an environment, a field full of kindness and genuine wildflowers that bring everyone happiness….it is simple yet significant.

 

See you in Montana!

 

Jocelyn