Three Heel Clicks

Inspiration

Developing Your Morning Habit Routine

Fashion, DIY, How To, Healthy, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Lately, I’ve begin growing into the discipline of developing habit routines. After reading a few incredibly inspiring books like Thrive and The Power of Habit I’ve learned to begin my day the way I need to so that I set up a foundation to be kinder, gentler, more compassionate and most of all loving. There was a time in my corporate work career where I moved from one activity to the next without giving any thought to how it might affect my body, mind and soul. After a decade of living like that and burning the entire candle not just both ends, I’ve made a conscious and deliberate effort to change a life of chaos and develop a life of purpose, discernment and intention.

While hardwork and diligence is a discipline, I was far exceeding discipline and I turned it to a full obsession. I was a corporate supervisor’s dream… always ready to tackle more. Always willing to say yes. Never realizing that the more times I said, “yes” without hesitation or intention I was slowly become less of me and more of something I did not want to become. Late nights at work spilled over to not being able to sit still and enjoy time at home. I literally lived in chaos for a decade. Although I appreciate every single experience from that time, I now realize I can achieve a better life by implementing discipline into my morning habit routines that will allow my mind to have the space it needs to flourish. At the beginning of May I set out on a new journey. A journey to redefine my purpose - you can read more about that in last week’s post.

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After exptensive research and trial and error I begin to develop new routines. I start my day with a glass of water beside my bedstand. Before I even move or stretch I get this first glass down to fill my body with the hydration it needs. I spend a few minutes making my bed and stretching. I slowly let my body come alive instead of being my previous pop tart of a self. Then, I read a small meditation or excerpt from something inspiration and journal about thoughts. From there, I make a list of three categories:

  • One Big Thing I’m Going to Accomplish Today

  • Three Important Tasks

  • A Timeline for My Day

I begin with the end in mind which is how I am going to accomplish one big thing. That way if nothing else goes my way, then at least I knocked off one thing. Sometimes the one big thing is a long workout. Sometimes it’s a project or chore. My one big thing has become the center of the day. From there I list three other important tasks - pick up dry cleaning, coffee with a friend, or maybe write a blog post. I base my entire day’s timeline on these four items. I allow plenty of time to accomplish things and keep my schedule simple. I’ll be sharing my daily schedule with you guys over the course of the next few weeks on Instagram Stories.

If I could rewind the clock I would have been kinder to my twenty something self. I would have taken more breaks. Turned off work and slept more. Turned off the phone, the emails and late texts for work. I became consumed with being a slave to deadlines and projects. I literally could not go on a Sunday drive through the city without thinking as I passed by an industrial building that maybe I could help them become a client. While I do believe that many work inspirations can bloom out of the office, I was not being inspired… I had conditioned my mind to think only about work… about the next meeting, the next sale, the next goal I needed to reach to support my family financially. Now my days are different. My morning routine sets me up with intention. I realize what’s important and urgent and what can wait. At the conclusion of my day I reflect upon the things I put on plate and decide if it’s too much or too little. Whatever your current routine is I challenge you to start with just five minutes. Take five minutes to think about your purpose in life. Build your day around that purpose.

How do you prepare for your day? Anything especially helpful? Leave a comment or send me a tweet!

All photographs courtesy of the talented Andrew Sherard.

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Spending Time on My Purpose

Fashion, Healthy, Inspiration, Petite Style, Lifestyle, Photography, Style, Travel, VintageCrystal JacksonComment
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This is the first blog post I’ve written in weeks and feel like the break from everyday life was exactly what my spirit needed. At the beginning of this year I wrote the following on my mirror in pink lipstick:

  • Simplicity

  • Discernment

  • Purpose.

I’ve prayed over these three words and back in March I felt compelled to spend time alone addressing underlying parts of my soul. If you are one who has come to a point in life where you are seeking the deeper part of your soul, I can relate. I felt an overwhelming desire for discernment and purpose in my life. For months I battled with an internal struggle and what I would call spiritual warfare. My soul was literally battling with purpose on a daily basis. I decided at the beginning of April it was time to schedule free time (a contradiction in itself - haha!) to do some soul searching without the distractions of daily life.

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And so I made plans. Although the course of the plan did end up shifting and maybe one day I’ll feel it is placed upon my heart to dive into deeper details, just know that I was meant to be in the very place in time this past month. Something happened one day when I was driving home. I had knots lining my shoulder blades for the past month. There were over 15 spots that ached daily. It was excruciating. I was told I had a build up of lactic acid.

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As I am behind the steering wheel suddenly so many things in my heart, soul and mind came together and I realized I’ve been carrying around the weight of my past experiences. I also realized in this moment that every wrong choice, circumstance and event in my life led to the preparation of this moment where my purpose in life was revealed to me. Within 30 seconds my knots disappeared.

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I awoke each morning this week with a peace I’ve never experienced before. The knots are still gone and my eyes shifted to focus on my purpose which has been known to me by Jesus. I prefer on this blog not to share religious or political viewpoints, but to make it a space to encourage you to live a better life.

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What about you? Are you at a place in life where you are going through an unexplained internal struggle or spiritual warfare? Please share your experiences!

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Building a Better Foundation for Life

Fashion, Healthy, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Petite Style, Style, VintageCrystal JacksonComment
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This is hands down the most personal post I’ve ever written. One of the benefits of running a blog is that you get to control the message you are putting on the internet. Since 2012, I strived to make this a space to inspire your life in many areas including beauty, style, interior design, travel and recently deeper discussions. Today I enter 30 days on a retreat to address many underlying issues I chose in the past to stuff inside. I am taking time to put my air mask on so that I am a better mother, partner, family member and friend.

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I mentioned on Friday’s post that I deal with panic attacks. After working with a psychiatrist over the past year we decided a full immersion in counseling and behavoiral cognitive therapy was the only way I’d learn to cope properly without the use of medication. If you know me, you know I hardly take anything related to pharmaceutical drugs. For many reasons, I prefer a more hollistic approach to treating health issues for myself. I only take medication if it’s absolutely necessary. To achieve this in regards to my anxiety I have to put in new techniques and strategies in my life.

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I think that this is going to build a foundation for me to live a better life. I’m spending 30 days on myself in a remote retreat location with no access to the internet, a cell phone, email or social media. I know. Crazy huh?! I delegated my personal responsibilities and my family is helping out a lot to fill in during this time. I decided to take a break to get down to the bottom of things. After a few life or death situations and past experiences, I know that learning how to deal with them is going to better me as a person in the long run.

In preparation for time away, I’ve prescheduled 3-4 blog posts a week. I’ve also pre-scheduled social media posts to announce blog posts and additional things I’ve prepared. I encourage you to comment, respond, DM me, etc. I will be checking any and all messages upon my return and love hearing from all of you! Just because it feels one way for a few weeks, I’ll be back and responsive in no time!

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I wanted to share a little more about preparing for a month long trip. There were a lot of things that had to happen from financial to childcare. I want to encourage those of you who need a break to not be afraid to ask for help. A break is good. A break is rejuvinating. A break allows your mind to gain the space it needs to respond appropriately to situations. I read so often that people feel discouraged after scrolling through social media after an hour. So take a break. Take a break from all of it. Line up your responsibilities. Prepare as much as you can. Delegate to willing and able trusted parties and take your break.

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The more I’ve been reflecting upon entering this transition in my life the Psalm that states for us to “Be Still and know that I am God.” comes to mind over and over. I am choosing to be still. To remove myself completely from the public eye, social media and the constant noise of society. No I’m not a hippie, but I do believe the soul craves for us to be still. I believe that it’s impossible to be your highest self and push on the gas pedal constantly. Life needs breathing room and when I feel like I’m suffocating I’m not my truest self. I have no room to be because I’m barely surviving.

So, the break is here. For 30 days I pushing the reset button. I cannot wait to share about this experience when I return. In the meantime, I spent time this month not only preparing blog posts for the duration of my leave but also enhancing my navigation menu on the website. You will now find a variety of sub-categories if you scroll across the top of the site. I created a little video for you here if you are interested in better ways to navigate Three Heel Clicks.

I will leave you all with one note - Listen to your inner voice. Listen to your gut. Listen to your heart. Those are what makes up your soul. Take time to nourish those parts of you so that you can be your truest self. So that you feel at peace even when the world is cycloning around you. Take the time to breathe. Take time for breaks the best way you know how without guilt. Rest your body, rest your mind and rest your soul.

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Be a Better You with a Little Self Love

Fashion, DIY, Healthy, Houston, How To, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Petite Style, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Self love. It’s been a topic on my mind so much lately. Maybe it’s because I spent so long without it. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to figure out now, at 33 years old, how to be my best version. Maybe it’s because not long ago I realized I couldn’t keep going the way I was, but my perspective on taking care of myself dramtically shifted.

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Taking Time for Yourself

More than I ever have before in my lifetime I’ve been focusing on listening to the inner voice. How can I begin to love myself better if I don’t even listen to myself? Being healthy, balanced, and simplifying are daily priorities but I can’t work through those priorities if I don’t take the time to do so. Time is funny - it seems to go wherever you direct it to. I’ve begun in the mornings to sit down and write the top priorities for the entire day. Asking myself the following questions helps ensure I stay on track throughout the day:

  • What am I doing today to nourish my body?

  • How can I move my body today?

  • How do I express my truest self today?

  • What will I do to allow my body to rest?

  • How can I glorify God today?

  • What will keep me organized today?

  • How will I challenge my mind today?

Each question serves to make sure I am the best version of myself. I wake up so often tired and uninspired, but after I journal asking myself on the above questions my perspective changes. I usually feel happier and lighter knowing my day is not controlling me.

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Start Small

We don’t get into the habit of not taking care of ourselves overnight. It’s not like I woke up one day and said to myself, “I am going to run myself ragged, starve my body of nutrition and gain a few extra pounds from stress and exercise.” I don’t think there are many people in this world who sets out to have a day like that. But I do think we get into small habits resulting in the above scenario. Day after day we chip away at ourselves giving more and more away leaving our souls to run on empty. If prioritizing a million ways to achieve self love seems overwhelming start out small. Set aside just 15 minutes at the beginning of your day for you. Do one activity that makes you feel good. Maybe it’s making tea or coffee. Maybe it’s skincare so spend that time regularly doing facials or slathering on comforting products. Maybe it’s getting to go for a run or sketch. Just start with a few minutes first thing every day. As you make time for yourself regularly, you can then increase as you go.

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Stop Playing the Guilty Game

After years of constantly doing things to please others you may find it’s difficult to do something for yourself and actually enjoy it. The thing is, we must enjoy our alone time. We must let ourselves rest when we need to rest. It gives us more energy and stamina for us to focus on loving others. This is your life, your masterpiece, and your legacy. Do you want to be grounded in yourself or do you want to be remembered as someone short tempered and run down? Self love gives us the opportunity to be better as a person. It grounds us and focuses us on our priorities. Feeling guilty about taking that time is the opposite of being grateful for it. Give yourself time and then make the most of it by enjoying each second.

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Expect the Worst

It was probably part of growing up in the military but expecting the worst is now a regular thought process. While it can be looked as negative thinking, I’ve found a way to turn it around for better quality of life. As I go through life I expect that my child will wake up early if I have a deadline and try to work last minute. I will be bombarded with questions on every car ride. The laundry has to be folded daily or it overwhelms my life. All of these things happen so how can I prepare myself better for them? I now keep a book downloaded on my phone for delays in meetings. A tripod is always in my car so I can take the time to photograph something I enjoy. Packaging snacks at the beginning of the week ensures I have less to worry about nutrition wise. Expecting the worst makes life run smoother because it forces me to slow down and prepare for the day.

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Surround Yourself with What You Love

I love quiet spaces with beautiful surroundings. My nightmare is being in a grocery store the day before Thanksgiving. Chaos increases my heart rate and makes me feel so anxious. I now plan around this. I know I want to eat at a pretty restaurant and not wait in line or for a busy waiter. Now I go in off peak times like 2pm for lunch or a late night week day dinner. I use tools like Yelp to find pretty atmospheres! If surrounding yourself with things you love means staying home in an organized space and ordering pizza then do it! Take a few minutes and jot down the types of atmospheres and settings that bring you joy.

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Be Grateful

Whether it’s 5 minutes or 5 days of self love, start out with making a list of things you are grateful for. It sounds corny, but we are sum of our parts and being grateful for those parts is the beginning to resting our soul. I now prepare to have a few minutes before going to the nail salon to make sure I have downloaded a book onto my phone to read or have a podcast ready to start playing. I touch my makeup up before going inside and make sure that I have everything easy to access so I don’t have to dig around with wet nails later on.

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Be patient with yourself and plan for hiccups. Being able to actually sit down and enjoy a few moments of rest helps improve anxiety and your overall well being. You’ll find that your thought process improves as you improve the ability to enjoy more, do less and feel better. I’m all about sharing the love and want to know how you guys make time for yourself? Is it daily, weekly or monthly?

Leave a comment about one thing you do to show yourself love!

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Houston Hotspots: The Whimsy World Part 2

Fashion, Houston, Inspiration, Photography, Lifestyle, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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Let’s talk more about art today. I was wondering how many of you make it a point to go see art exhibits? There were a few years where I was working 14 hour days in sales and I didn’t have as much opportunity to view nor create art. You may be surprised to know that art has be a huge part of my life from a very young age. It was an area in school I excelled with ease. In college, I funneled those skills into a practical form including drafting and interior design. However, I’ve never lost the passion to create pieces. There’s something so exhilirating about sitting down with a blank canvas with zero ideas in mind.

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Sometimes when I sit for a painting I have little idea where it’s going to go. Before you know it my brush is taking over and a few hours later some sort of design or image appears. Art is magic. It’s transforming for your soul. Over the past few months I’ve been yearning for more soulful actions. After a decade of working in corporate America I’ve been left with aching for more depth in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the time I spent learning how businesses function, leadership skills and most of all how to upsell intangible services. But now that I’m almost mid-thirties my focus shifted. I need more art. I need more depth. I need more that makes me want to jump out of bed excited to conquer my day. Most of all I need to play again.

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Play is important for the soul, body and mind. Think about how free you feel when you play a game of kickball or badmitton. Look at how animals play when they get a burst of energy. As adults our lives become centered around billpaying, to do lists, adulting you may call it. Calendars quickly flood with another doctor appointment, dance practice or school event for our children. Maybe you are single and you work long hours that leave you exhausted. For years I stopped playing. I stopped creating. I was going through life just trying to survive instead of living. I was depleted and sad inside. I was unspired and bitter. Very bitter.

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Then, one day it just had to stop. A switch inside of me turned on and I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t fill that space with more work. I couldn’t have a glass of wine to numb the emptiness. I couldn’t go through my day with little sleep or rest. I couldn’t live like that anymore. Being run down is not living…it’s surviving. I remember sitting on my couch and aching for myself to come back. It was like I lost myself and suddenly I needed to find her.

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These days are different. I no longer work a high power job I work for myself and take care of my family. No longer do I jam pack everyday. I get up early when I’m awake and work into the afternoon when I take a nap. I stretch my body and do yoga to release tension and help focus. If something on my to do list doesn’t get accomplished I no longer punish myself with doubt. Nothing is perfect over here, but I am slowly regaining myself. I am slowly finding more and more of her everyday. I am beginning to see the world as a beautiful playground where I’m ready to share what inspires me.

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No matter what season in life you’re in you have the ability to change things. You have the ability to make small adjustments and fine tune your life. Maybe you need quiet time before you start your day? Try getting up an hour or two before your family. Maybe your body needs more rest? Try sitting still in silence for just ten minutes and breathe deeply. Maybe you soul is aching to play? Get out and find those whimiscal corners of the world. You don’t have to live in a big city. You don’t have to have to make life a big ordeal. If you love art, search Pinterest for inspiration. If you love to write, buy a journal and start jotting down ideas. If you love to explore get out and take long walks. If you love to cook, make something new. Slow down and enjoy each activity. Put your phone away when you are doing these things to fully immerse yourself in them (unless you are taking pictures and then just turn to airplane). Set expectations with your family and let them know you need this time for YOU.

The results? You’ll find too that your to do lists are shorter. Your priorities may shift. Your life may change and you just might get yourself back. Today’s post is not only about playing playing in the whimsical world that Shelbi Nicole created (you can read more about her Houston exhibit in yesterday’s post) but about playing in life. Live your dreams one moment at a time and create a life well-lived. I hope you find inspiration today and a little motivation to be your best and truest version of yourself.

What are ways you stay inspired?

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