Last week I tried my first infrared hot yoga class and I loved it so much that I booked two more classes for this week. I’ve done hot yoga before, but this was completely different than that experience. This class was at Sweatheory, which specializes in infrared spas, yoga, and vitamin injections. I don’t think I am down to try a vitamin injection quite yet, but the yoga was for sure amazing. In a regular hot yoga class, it is just very hot. The heat usually rises to the top of the room and if you need a break from the heat, you can just put your head down and find some relief. Infrared gives you no relief.
The best way I can describe it is what I imagine it would be like to be microwaved. But like microwaved in a good way. It is hot and there is no end to the heat so you just kind of adapt. The lights are low and there is a giant salt wall in the room that flows from blue to red to green throughout class. The studio space itself is like a sauna. It has cedar plank floors and walls and a door that keeps all the super-hot heat inside. The class I took was a Deep Heated Stretch which could be why I loved it all so much. It wasn’t hard yoga. It was a looooot of stretching and holding poses and while I do love a good workout, I don’t think I could have handled an intense yoga class in that heat. I was so thankful that the most difficult pose to hold was downward dog.
Even with the movement and poses of the class being so light, I still burned close to 200 calories (according to my watch) during the class. I am going to thank the heat and all the sweating for that calorie burn. Because I sweat so much. More than I even knew I could sweat. By the end of class sweat was dripping into my ears and eyes, my clothes were utterly soaked, and every single part of my body was sweating. Even with all the sweating, I loved the class. I loved it so much that I have decided to make it part of my weekly routine. I also decided to buy a yoga mat towel… you know, for all the sweat.
You can shop some of my current yoga essentials below. And PLEASE let me know if you try an infrared class! I would love to know your thoughts!
Always Classy & Confused,
I have never really tried anything quite like this before… but I was really curious, so I figured why not? I had done a teeny bit of research online so I would have a little bit of an idea of what to expect. And I half wish I had some crazy story to share with you now, but the whole experience was pretty chill. The Reiki practitioner I chose to visit also offers massages and other holistic health type things. Her office was located in a more suburban area of Kansas City and she was wholly less eccentric than I had expected.
She had major grandma vibes, which made me feel much more comfortable. We went over what she would be doing; I would be lying on the table and she would lightly put her hands on me to cleanse my energy. She explained that I might feel warm or cold spots, tummy gurgles, twitches, and other things, but that all of this was totally normal. To paint the scene better, the table was a massage table with a plush blanket over the top. The room was small but had a window with drawn curtains, a table-top fountain that supplied a nice sound of bubbling water, soft instrumental music playing, and a lamp that softly lit the room.
I closed my eyes during the whole session and tried to repeat my new and oh-so-relaxing mantra of surrender over and over in my head to remind myself why I was trying this out and that if I wanted to get anything out of it, I needed to be open and surrender to the moment. Very quickly, my feel became cold. In the name of being totally impartial and giving you all the facts, I will say my feet are often cold. Something I couldn’t explain though was a warm feeling in my belly. It felt like I had just eaten really spicy food or drank something too hot (which I hadn’t). I absolutely cannot explain my warm belly. There was nothing on my stomach, no heater or anything like that. It was warm by its own accord.
I had lots of tummy gurgles and a few little twitches and chills throughout the session. After the session was over, the Reiki healer told me that I have a quiet energy and that my knee and feet were cold, which could mean that I am starting down a new path, but don’t totally know what my next steps should be.
I really connected with that analysis as I am feeling a little confused to what my next steps in so many of my endeavors should be.
All in all, I found the session to be interesting and maybe useful. I am feeling a little bit lighter today and am proud of myself for doing something totally new to me. Will I ever go back? Maybe. Would I encourage you to try Reiki for yourself? Yes, totally. If nothing else, you will get a great meditation session out of it.
Always Classy, Confused & Cosmic
This is a guest post by one of my best friends. Jess is a writer and high school English teacher. I’m not going to give her much more intro than that or add any of my own comments to her post. I believe greatly in the power of words and I want her words here to be completely her own. So, here’s Jess…
2019: A Year Without Social Media
Yeah, you read that right. I’m a married 20-something on the cusp of 2020, and I have been absent from social media for a year. I’ve had to think about who I really am and what really matters to me, and this is what I know: I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, the words in the Bible are truth, and I stand on more conservative than liberal values. I’m an anxious, people-pleasing woman seeking approval from the world even though I know my worth is found in God alone, and I’m a teacher in a public school. In my short career, I’ve learned to be very careful with my words for fear of bringing politics or religion into the classroom. While I used to love writing and blogging, I’ve become crippled with fear of judgement because how I strive to live my life doesn’t align with modern American culture.
This isn’t meant to be polarizing, but I needed you to know who I am before I share what God has done in my life during 2019 through my lack of a social media presence. I used to be ALL about it, and don’t mistake me, I don’t think it’s inherently bad. I think my anxious, people-pleasing self became addicted, and all it did for me was put me in the trap of comparison and jealousy and make me lose sight of what really matters.
A few other things you need to know about me: I’m 5’10”, taller than the average model, but my body type is far from what’s seen as beautiful on Instagram, and to be honest, I’ve let myself go with no consistent diet or exercise. I know I don’t look the way I could, and I struggle with that. Also important: the social media accounts I completely wiped were my Snapchat, my Instagram, my Facebook, and my professional Twitter. I did keep my Pinterest, and I also picked up a YouTube habit over the last year.
I don’t miss it.
The first thing I want people to know is that I didn’t miss social media this year, not even once. I truly thought I would, and while sometimes it was awkward when I’d pick my phone up in a situation where I previously would’ve checked social media, I found other things to do on my phone, including binging YouTube and playing games. I don’t advocate for too much of either of those pastimes either, but for me and my mindset a year ago, neither YouTube nor game apps sparked the feelings in me that Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter did.
I would love to say I used my phone less, but I’m not sure that’s true. I do know that I felt more present in my own life since I didn’t have to constantly think about how I was going to portray each moment on social media. You hear the people who do exactly this and act like they don’t say over and over again: people post their highlight reel to social media. We all know that by now, but in my brain, knowing that didn’t make it any easier to look at skinny, pretty girls I both knew personally or didn’t know at all post “effortlessly” about their perfectly imperfect lives.
Another thing you need to know about me: I developed anxiety and depression for the first time in my life during the fall semester of 2018. There were some things going on at work that were too much, and remember how I said I’m married? Yeah, that’s actually super tough and not at all happily ever after. I was in a bad headspace, and social media was my escape, but really all it did was taunt me and make me think my life was even worse than I already perceived it to be.
I found out who my friends are.
Another thing a year without social media has taught me is who my true friends and even family are. It’s so interesting to see who’s really there for you and who’s not when there’s no post for them to like. Not having social media has forced me to have some hard conversations with people I love, and unfortunately not all of those conversations have gone well. That’s been difficult to navigate, but the good news is that in real life, you don’t have to worry about deciding to “unfriend” someone or not, and you don’t have to post to make it seem like you’re doing great just because they’re posting like they are.
I feel like my relationships are more natural and authentic because people are either in my life or they’re not. It’s still a two way street, but before I’d look at my News Feed and think I had so many “good” friends, and now I can count the people I actually know and personally connect with on one hand and maybe a couple more fingers on a good day. 10 versus 800 “friends” is a drastic change, but it really puts my life and my relationships into perspective.
I officially deleted my social media accounts on New Years Eve 2019 after posting this message to my friends and followers:
Since graduating college, my life has been a whirlwind. Truth be told, I didn’t really have a plan for my life after college, and even if I did, college didn’t go as I planned it at 13-years-old so it wouldn’t have mattered anyways.
I live a very full life and God has blessed me with so much, but most days, I don’t see that. Most days, I only see the worst in my job, in my marriage, and in myself. I know that nothing in life will ever be perfect and I also know that I’m not the one making the plans; however, I used to believe that the good always outweighed the bad and although I don’t make the plans, I’ve learned that I do make the decisions every day.
I’ve hesitated to use this word to describe myself, especially publicly, because it’s something I’ve learned is so very real in our world today yet it’s also something that gets tossed around like it’s nothing so I don’t want to disrespect anyone whose struggles run deeper than mine. Ironically, there lies my problem in its entirety: comparison. My depression, I’ve discovered, is real to me and I have to do something to manage it.
At the end of this past semester, a semester that will go down in my story as a terrible nightmare with many lessons learned, my freshmen and I did a unit focused on the question, “What does it mean to be happy?” Our summative “make” was a commentary on happiness, and it broke my heart when several students confided in me that they don’t know how to write about happiness because their lives are too hard. So many of us, myself included, are right there with them.
When I was in high school, I wrote an opinion piece in the January 2012 issue of the school newspaper called “There’s More to Life Than Facebook” about why I deleted my first Facebook account in October of 2011. Even then I recognized the poison that social media can be if you let it; in fact, I wrote, “Our generation seems to be fueled by sympathetic comments made on negative posts.”
Today, my issue with social media runs deeper, although I still find that statement to be true when I scroll through my newsfeed. I see my own addiction manifesting in coveting people I don’t even know that look “good” on social media and posting myself in hopes of being just like them someday. I’m cringing even making this post because I don’t want sympathetic comments from anyone on this extremely negative post. I just want everyone to be aware of why they’ll no longer be seeing me online.
I made a new Facebook account (this one) when junior prom rolled around that same year I published the option piece because I wanted everyone to “like” my pictures. I guess 16-year-old me wasn’t as wise as she wanted to be.
The other social media revelation I feel is worth mentioning comes from when I was the VP of Risk Management for my sorority in the spring of 2016. I constantly saw all of my sisters breaking the rules and making poor choices on Snapchat but was never able to do anything to truly keep them accountable. It completely rocked my moral compass and reminded me why I despise social media. Yes, I have a problem with control, and yes, I know I can’t control the actions of others, but why constantly expose myself to something I don’t have to see? When I resigned from that position early, I deleted my first Snapchat account. This is when I truly learned to appreciate that ignorance is bliss. Unfortunately, I made a new Snapchat account around college graduation, but I’m proud to say I don’t use it much.
Here I am, over 10 years wiser than when I first began exploring the world of social media, and I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with past selves that were wise beyond their years. Comparison on social media is the thief of MY joy. Besides the engagement and baby announcements, I don’t want to know half of what I see on social media because it never fails to make me feel some type of negative emotion, and 9 times out of 10 I find myself having to then deal with an issue in real life that wouldn’t have existed had there not been a post about it. I’ll say it again, I’m not posting this to get sympathy or be challenged to change my mind. I just finished reading my favorite novel Fahrenheit 451 for the third or fourth time because I FINALLY get to teach it to start off second semester, and when I finished it, I knew God answered my prayer about whether or not I should delete all of my social media accounts to kick off 2019. If you want an explanation there, go read the book and then call me so we can have a real conversation about it.
Tonight at midnight, I will be hitting delete on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even my teacher Twitter (I have to practice what I preach). My goal for 2019 is to journal my experience being part of the few in my generation absent from social media and then decide if I’d like to rejoin the many for 2020.
Thanks for reading. Have a happy new year, everyone! I’ll see you in the real world 🌎❤️
I received positive feedback, and a couple of people from my past that I had lost touch with genuinely reached out at first but unfortunately most faded away when my online presence was wiped. As for the goal I set, I journaled day one and day two, and then not really again until this month. That makes me sad because I love looking back on my documented past to see how God moved in my life, something I actually really loved about social media; however, I did journal in my Bible when I studied the book of Revelation in the spring, I did organize every photo I’ve ever taken EVER on the Cloud over the summer, and I do journal after reading devotionals more than ever before in my life. I didn’t exactly reach my goal, but I feel satisfied with my year hiatus from social media nonetheless.
Will I be back?
Now we come to the question of whether or not I’ll rejoin in 2020 because I didn’t just deactivate my accounts, I deleted EVERYTHING. I would literally have to start from scratch, which I think is a good thing, but at this point, I don’t even know what I would post or where I would draw the line with my “friends.” As I’ve pondered rejoining over the last month, I’m constantly having to check my heart because I want people to see what I’m doing more than I want to keep in touch with the people I love. Also, I’m a crazy dog mom and every single picture on my camera roll from 2019 is of my two pups, so my husband suggested I just make an Instagram for them, but I think I would still fall back into “creeping” on other people and therefore compare myself to them, which is something my YouTube habit has taught me I’m still not over.
What’s next for me then? I don’t know. I’m inspired by Stephanie May Wilson, Jordan Lee Dooley, The LaBrant Fam, and Nate and Sutton. I’ve thought so many times about restarting my own blog, lessonslearnedlifeloved.com, but as I mentioned, my job in public education makes it tough to share my personal opinions, and I don’t want to post just to be seen as someone else conformed to this world. I want to share my true, authentic story because that’s what I believe I’m called to do. 1 Chronicles 16:24 says, “Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.” It’s by the grace of God that I’m able to live my life each day and share what He’s teaching me (thanks to Maggie and her blog right now), and I give Him all of the glory for what 2019 without social media has been for me.
In my seemingly never-ending quest for meaning and a bright and beautiful life, I have adopted an “I’ll try anything once” attitude. Recently, I tried out tarot, which is something I have been interested in for a while but have never taken the time to learn more or find someone to do a reading for me.
As a quick disclaimer, I don’t think these types of things are bad. I know people (who probably read this blog… sorry) that would feel as if tarot and other spiritual things get you further away from living in the light rather than closer to it. Something I’ve found really cool about beliefs is that everyone is entitled to their own. While someone might believe something is wrong, another person might find comfort and healing from it. To each their own!! So if tarot is something you would never go near, that’s cool and I totally respect that. But if you are interested in learning more about my experience, read on friend!
Okay so I started digging around the internet for a book all about tarot and how to read the cards you pull. In my search, I stumbled upon a website that offers free readings. I decided to try it out and I am so happy I did! I sent my reader a question “How should I be focusing my time and energy in 2020?” and waited for the reply. It took about a day before I heard back, but my reading was really great.
The reader went over what cards they pulled for me and what each of those cards might mean in my life. The reading touched on my anxiety and how to change things up in 2020. And to top it off, the animal card that was pulled was a cat!! How fitting?!
As a totally logical adult, I know that using cards to plan your life might be a little bit wonky. But as a person open to the magic, wonder, and synchronicities of the universe, I love being shown another reminder of what I already feel is true for me. I have been struggling with anxiety for as long as I can remember (I know so many of us are) and having a random stranger on the internet see where I am at now, and encourage me on my path to better myself feels good to me. I wasn’t told anything I didn’t already know, but I love having reassurance that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
If you want to try this service out for yourself, this is the website I used biddytarot.com
I would love to hear about your experience!
Always Classy, Confused, & a Lil’ Mystical,
At this point in my life, I basically freelance full time. I also have a retail job (yay Lululemon) and a job working the front desk at a local barre studio (yay Barre3), but my main source of income is from freelancing jobs as a social media manager and blogger. Freelancing is something you can choose to do full time or you can use it as a side hustle. The beauty of it is you are able to choose what jobs you take on and how much time you devote to your freelancing ways. Right now, I have four clients and I would say they take up about 25ish (sometimes more) hours of my week. I am still taking on and looking for more clients (so if you need social media help, hit me up) and have started testing out ways to automate different parts of the job I do for each client to free up a little bit more of my time. Once I get a perfect system worked out there, I will let you in on all the tools I use (and the tools I don’t).
But in this post I wanted to take the time to help you get your freelance on!
First (and most importantly), you need to figure out what you are good at/enjoy doing. Are you great with social media? Do you have a knack for graphic design? Do you write great blogs? Can you create a working ebay or shopify store? Think about your skills and what you wouldn’t hate doing every day. If you are a great writer but hate writing, maybe don’t try to freelance based on that skill. If this is going to work for you, you have to enjoy it.
Once you have an idea of what skill/services you can provide, you need to figure out how much they are worth. This is where Google comes in handy!! See what people offering your service are charging and what people looking for your service are willing to pay. Price can get tricky because at the end of the day, this is your time we are talking about. You can absolutely never get it back, so don’t sell yourself short. I think when you are starting out, it is definitely okay to charge a little less as you gain experience and a client base, but set your limits on how little you will accept and stick to them.
Decide how much time you can give to your clients. If you only have an extra 5 hours a week and want to do some side hustling as a social media manager, don’t take on a ton of clients that you can’t really give your time to. I know that seems like common sense, but when you start looking for work, it is hard to remember how much time you actually have to give. Figure it out before you start your search. Really look at how much the clients you find need and then seriously ask yourself if you have the time to give it to them.
Get the necessary tools of your trade. Don’t hire yourself out as a photo editor if you don’t own a single photo editing software. All I needed to start my freelancing work was my cell phone and my laptop. Depending on what you decide to offer, you might need more than those things. Make sure you have what you need, but also don’t go crazy with buying gadgets and software and supplies before you start to gain clients. Get the bare minimum of what you need and then add to it once you have some money coming in from your work.
Make your intentions known!! If you have social media, make a post about what services you offer. Encourage your friends and family to share your post or at least let them know what type of work you are looking for so they can pass things your way. I know it can feel weird and embarrassing to put yourself out there in this way. It was one of the things I look forward to doing the absolute least. Buuuut it actually helped me get a client that I am so excited to be working with, so I’m thankful that I put my freelance status out into the world.
Start looking for work. There are so many ways to try and find work. For my social media business I literally message small businesses on facebook and offer my services to them. It feels weird at first, but it has actually helped me gain clients and make connections I never would have made if I had just waited for work to come to me. I also use UpWork to find work! Their platform allows you to search for the exact type of job you want and how much you want to get paid for it. Fiverr is similar to this. To be honest, I haven’t had any luck on Fiverr and would recommend UpWork over it any day, but maybe it will work for you! You can also look for jobs on Indeed or Linkedin.
Once you start getting some leads, offer to send proposals! This not only helps you get a good idea of the scope of work and the time it will take you, but it gives potential clients a better understanding of you and your services. It is also hella professional. I use Canva (it’s free) to make my proposals.
Don’t expect a yes from every proposal you send out. I would highly suggest taking the time to understand why a client said no. Were your prices too high? Were you not offering what they needed? Whatever it is, do your best to learn from it.
I hope these tips help you land your first freelancing gig! If you need more help or advice, please reach out to me! This is uncharted territory and it can feel really lonely at first, but I am definitely here if you have questions or just need someone to vent to.
Also, check out my top books for personal growth as you travel along this freelance journey! http://classyandconfused.com/2019/11/09/my-top-6-books-for-personal-growth/
Always Classy & Confused,
So, I have started my own social media management company. I promise to do a full post explaining all that comes with that once I decide on a name. But until then, I wanted to share with you some amazing books that have helped me not only on this journey through freelancing and building a business (so crazy), but also in my life in general. I recently posted a picture of a book I had read on my facebook and I had a lot of people message me asking about it and saying they wanted to add it to their reading list! And while that book (Work Party) was a huge catalyst for change in my life, it wasn’t the only book that has helped me along. So here are my top life books and a few I plan to read next! Also, I love listening to inspirational/self-help books because then it feels more like a pep talk. If you aren’t an audiobook person, I would recommend giving it a try at least once! It really feels like a friend or advisor is speaking directly to you about how to pull yourself up and get your sh*t together.
Work Party-Jaclyn Johnson
So I was actively listening to this book when I made some life changes and I am 100% positive if I hadn’t been listening to it, I wouldn’t have been able to handle things the way I did. I started this book thinking, this isn’t for me, I don’t own my own business. But by the time I ended this book I was full time freelancing and realized it isn’t just for those people that decide to go for it and build a business or side gig. This book is full of great advice for women or millennials in the work force. It has sections on how to negotiate salary, how to move past imposter syndrome, and just how to have a “work party” every day and not hate your job or life. Jaclyn herself reads the audiobook to you and it feels like a close, but stern friend is helping you navigate both work and life issues.
Girl, Wash Your Face & Girl, Stop Apologizing- Rachel Hollis
Rachel Hollis is an inspirational powerhouse and both of these books will pump you up to be your best self. Between the two of them, Rachel leaves no self-sabotaging stone unturned. She leans into the imposter syndrome you might be feeling about any aspect of your life and helps you rise above the feeling that you (or your business) aren’t good enough. I cannot recommend these books enough and I can’t wait for her next one to come out!
Eat, Pray, Love- Elizabeth Gilbert
This one might be kind of cheesy and like a “duh” book to add to this list, but I really found a lot of inspiration in this book. While the other books on this list mainly speak to you, the reader, this book is just Liz taking you on her adventure to find herself. There are times in the book where I was so annoyed with her and times when I loved her and connected deeply with her. She truly shows you herself and I think that is an important thing to see when trying to figure out your own self. And yes, there is a movie, but I promise you, you will not get the same takeaway from the movie as you will actually reading (or listening to) Liz’s words.
The Universe Has Your Back- Gabrielle Bernstein
I am currently in the middle of listening to this book and have been using it more as a daily meditation/life guide than as an actual book to read for enjoyment. There are lots of points where Gabrielle encourages you to think of things and apply her words to your own life. I always pause the audiobook at these points and typically get lost in my own thoughts stemming from the prompt she provided. It really makes you think and look at your own life, which I think is always a good thing.
You Are a Badass- Jen Sincero
This book literally jostled me awake. It was the first self-help book I had really ever listened too and I came across it right after watching The Secret on netflix, which is all about manifesting the things you want in your life. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is one of those books I want to buy for my friends and family and pass out at holiday events! If you are looking for a different perspective in your life, or are just looking for something that speaks into the positive perspective you already have, this is the book for you.
Have any good suggestions on what I should read next? Leave a comment below!
Always Classy & Confused,
Y’all, you can get a free Google home mini with your spotify subscription right now. Like even if you already have Spotify. I know, I know, sounds scammy, right? I felt the same way! That is until I got our new Google home mini in the mail. Want to get one too? Read on dear friends, read on!
- Bop on over to Spotify’s homepage
- Then you can choose to sign up (if you haven’t already) or click the “Get your Google Home Mini” link if you’re already a Spotify member
- You’ll get a little code to redeem in Google’s online store
- AND THAT IS IT!
I am adding some Google home items and compatible devices below in case you want to grow your sweet little Google home collection. Also, don’t wait on this deal! It will only go until supplies last.
Always Classy & Confused,
Some of my favorite things from Kate Spade right now
The makeup I use daily
All the funky fall clothes I have my eyes on
Brown boots for all the seasons
Fall is so here! Nothing gets me hyped like friggin’ fall! I love the weather, the smells, the colors, the pumpkin spice, the cozy clothes, the food, and the excitement of Christmas being right around the corner. This past weekend, I went to a winery with a few friends to peep some leaves and enjoy an apple cider flight! It was perfect. The winery was cute (and packed!!!) and the cinnamon apple cider was delicious!
After that hardcore fall activity (we took pictures with pumpkins), I naturally thought our own home needed more of a fall makeover too. So I gathered together a cornucopia of seasonal goods to share with y’all.
I think these mercury glass pumpkins are so pretty and would look good as your decor year round. I also love fall, so I might be a little biased!
I use trays on everything. We have one on our coffee table and on our dining room table. They just make everything look a little bit more pulled together, without you having to put in a lot of decorating effort. Just add a candle, a plant, and maybe a mercury glass pumpkin and you have yourself a perfect little centerpiece.
I saw my mother in law wearing a sweater like this the other day and it just looked so dang cozy!
A pumpkin colored turtleneck? Yes, please! This comes in other colors too if you aren’t feeling the pumpkin vibes.
I love how warm and versatile cardigans can be! I think this one is the perfect mix of fall colors and would look super cute with a white tank top and some jeans.
PSL jammies, enough said.
Always Classy & Confused… and obsessed with fall,