Hello, Dreamers! I have missed you.
After taking some time off from this space, I have poured my heart and soul into a complete rebrand of Jewels of a Dreamer which is now called The Dreamerie. This has resulted in new content, a new vision, and the launch of new offerings. It has been the most rewarding experience I could imagine. When I unexpectedly put my site on pause a year and a half ago, it was not by choice but by necessity. Now that I am back in this space, I have been inspired to open up some real and transparent conversation. I want to share with you what has been an extremely difficult period of my life (it is often these hard times in our lives that make room for clarity, purpose, and unexpected opportunities), how I came out on the other side (and in many ways am still moving through it all), and a few personal intentions for the future.
Let’s start from the beginning . . .
At the end of 2016, I felt more focused and clear than ever before regarding the direction of the coaching program I was planning to launch, which focused on personal style and dressing consciously. I had been working with my fiancé, Dan, at his technology company since June 2013, but I was ready to make the leap into my own business full time — I felt unstoppable in my decision. I had created weeks of content, brought my coaching program to 90% completion, and knew that in the upcoming weeks I would be ready to dedicate myself fully to my business. It had felt like the perfect time until suddenly it wasn’t . . .
In September 2016, Dan came back from a trip to LA facing a few very difficult hurdles in his business. I knew he needed my support in the day-to-day, so I immediately jumped in but still clung to the hope for my business.
Honestly, for those first few weeks, I held on to my vision for dear life, incapable of believing that I’d ever be able to accomplish my dreams if I let go at that moment. Even when the Universe was clearly telling me that Dan and his business needed me, I struggled to wrap my head around just letting go.
During those very intense months before moving into 2017, I really went inward and dug deep. I had never been under that much stress in my life, but through it all I had never felt more sure that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. During that period, I didn’t have time to write or create, and my blog took a backseat to the reality we were living in. But I did do a tremendous amount of reflecting, especially in regards to all of the situations that led to this point and what I knew I needed to do. I recognized that this was no longer about me but about supporting Dan, his dreams, and our future together. I trusted that my time would come.
In that moment, I decided to fully commit to supporting him. For the next few months, I jumped in to run the business. At the time, I thought it would be temporary and we would eventually find someone else to jump into the role. However, I surprised myself with the fact that I was really good at not only running the business but also managing our team. It gave me a tremendous amount of energy and I felt very in-the-flow. In December 2016, we moved into our dream apartment in Brooklyn Heights, and I was offered the position of president of the company. After a few days of contemplation, visualization, and meditation, I accepted.
So began an unexpected but welcome journey . . .
January 1, 2017
I became president and a partner in the company. I supported Dan and his best friend/business partner Andy by working tirelessly to rebuild the foundation of the company, hire a new team, and meticulously go through each detail of the business to stay informed and bring the business back to health.
As this was happening, I wrote the following in my journal:
“Over the past few years working with these special guys, an unexpected love and passion for their business grew inside of me and, like a magnet, I knew I had to be part of it. As much as I fought it (and believe me, I fought it hard), I kept getting pulled back in. Knowing that I wanted to grow my own business, create content, and build a community, I followed my heart and have worked the past few months to implement what I saw they needed, showing my support for the dream they were building, which also became my own, keeping faith the entire time that I would have the opportunity to immerse myself in my own work, and yet also realizing that now is not that moment and I needed to take the biggest leap of all and just trust.”
We were working 12-hour days, pushing the vision forward fearlessly. I believed so deeply in what we were doing and the team we were building. We continue to face hurdles created by decisions made years ago, before I was even in the picture. At times, I felt defeated, and at other times, I was overjoyed. Yet this I knew for sure – we would not give up.
Dan and I traveled to the North Fork of Long Island and choose our wedding venue, Bedell Cellars. Our wedding date was set for September 22, 2017. Our connection and love for each other was running deeper than ever, and after being engaged for three years, we couldn’t wait to be husband and wife.
We have a new potential hotel job in Santa Monica and decide to make a trip of it and spend the week in LA. Dan surprises me for my birthday with a hotel stay at Mr. C Beverly Hills and shopping/lunch at Barney’s. It was a dream day that left me with so much energy. I was ready to get back to NYC and keep pushing toward the future Dan and I were seeing for ourselves so clearly.
I begin to feel sick and, instead of listening to my body, I continue to push myself. Even when Dan begs me to stay home from work, I go in and work until 11pm every night. By the end of the week, I am in severe pain from my jaw and into my ear. During Memorial Day weekend, we made three trips to the emergency room. I am diagnosed with shingles, specifically Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, and within 24 hours lost full mobility on the right side of my face. I am so scared and in severe pain. My body was screaming at me to slow down and stop. When I didn’t listen, I was forced to. Our bodies tell us exactly what they need.
After almost two weeks in the hospital, I am able to go home. I spend the next two months in bed, I can barely eat and am in more pain than I can handle most days. But still, I am confident I will recover. I will be ok. Dan and I decide to push forward with the wedding. My little sister Kadie moves in with us to help take care of me and work at our company.
Despite seeing almost no progress in my healing journey, my mom and sisters come to NYC to go wedding dress shopping. I find my dream dress at Lovely’s Bridal but can’t help but feel sad and defeated while looking at my reflection in the mirror.
By the end of August, our company is just as sick as I am. While I was out of the office healing for months, our business partner Andy was also out dealing with his father’s illness. Dan is drowning in work and barely hanging on. I come back to work before I am ready.
My healing is not showing the progress Dan and I had been hoping for, so we decide, with unbelievable sadness, to call off our wedding. I am sick, our company is sick, and Dan’s mental, physical, and emotional health is at an all-time low. After being dealt some very difficult news, we decide we have no other choice, it was time to close the doors of the company after being in business for over 16 years. On the weekend our wedding would have been, we finalize the closing of the company.
During the last few months of the year, we worked tirelessly to field calls, complete the necessary paperwork and tie up any loose ends. We then took time to rest and recover so we could begin planning our next steps. It was scary for me to admit out loud, but suddenly I am hit with an overwhelming sense of freedom. This was the moment I had been waiting for. It was time to tune back into my vision and what I want to create and make it happen.
Since then, I have been working day and night to bring The Dreamerie and my Sessions to life. As Dan navigates his journey of deciding his next career path, we packed up our Brooklyn apartment to live with my in-laws for a bit and plan how to get to California, or wherever we belong next. Everything we own is in storage, my face is not healed yet, and I have no idea what the future holds… and yet somehow it feels like the perfect time to start.
Throughout this past year, I have learned a lot about myself, what I am capable of, and what is important to me.
Here are a few things I know to be true . . .
Self-care is a non-negotiable
Self-care is not something to fit in “when there is time” or “when you get to it”; it needs to be a priority (and that means that you will need to schedule it). It is always necessary and it is crucial to stand up for what you need mentally, physically, and emotionally.
My self-care is constantly changing but a few practices + routines that have supported me through this time are:
- Kundalini yoga & my daily meditation practice
- Utilizing a teacher to guide and support me (I work with Taylor Eyewalker)
- Journaling each day
- Facial massage and facial exercises to support my healing
- Epsom salt baths
- Morning oral care routine including oil pulling + tongue scraping
- Listening to mantra
- Cuddling with our cats Bodhi and Zoey
- Seeing at least one friend each week
- Lots of Facetime calls with friends and family
- Drinking my tea in quiet
- Cooking dinner with Dan
- Adaptogenic lattes
- Writing and sharing myself online again
- Afternoon naps
- Abhyanga (Ayurvedic self-massage)
- Mental health days
- CBD (I love the Hmbldt Calm Pen)
- Netflix in bed with my phone on silent
[ Leave me a comment below with the self-care routines that are energizing + grounding for you ]
Perfection is not real
I typically would never have started something or put myself out there during such a hectic and unstable period of my life. Moving out of our apartment and putting everything we own in storage, not knowing where we will be in the next few months, and dealing with the fact that my face isn’t 100% healed—but this is exactly why there is no better time than now. I reflect on the years I have wasted waiting for the “perfect” time to do something only to never actually do it. (Can anyone else relate?) It is all truly meaningless because there will never be a perfect time! The time is now.
And that brings me to . . .
Start before you are ready
We all have goals and dreams we are working toward. Small actions each day add up in a very powerful way. If you show up for yourself and practice self-care each day, you will build an internal energy and strength.
In my experience, everything I have wanted to achieve has originated from meaningful and intentional, small steps. When that voice creeps in and tries to convince me that I need to do more or I am not doing enough, I remind myself that it is not real. What matters is the fact that I am moving forward.
This space started with an idea, which soon became a discussion and a possibility. Each day, I consistently worked at it, and the vision became clearer as time passed. Plant your seed and nurture it. I am still sitting on dreams that make me uncomfortable; at the top of my list? Being on video. Instead of focusing on what I am not doing, I choose what I do each day to further my vision to inspire and brings me energy.
Trust. Trust. Trust.
Having faith in the journey. Each experience is necessary because it will support you as you become exactly who you are meant to be. It might not all make sense right now, and those dark, confusing times when we have to dig deep are uncomfortable, but they are also the most transformational. There have been countless times when I felt stuck and scared at the uncertainty, but after allowing myself to move through the emotions without judgment, I learned how to look for the light. We all have the power to look at our situation, ask ourselves how we can improve upon where we are, and continue to move forward. The Universe has a plan.
Reach out for support
Asking for support (and not assuming my friends and family are mind readers) has been crucial in not only my healing process but also moving past those dark moments. The saying “the only way out is through” is the truth, and those times are a lot easier to move through when you aren’t doing it alone.
Equally as important is giving support and showing up for the people in my life that matter to me. I have found that to be one of the most energizing and heart-expanding actions a person can make. Giving support is just as important as receiving support.
Get real & be authentically YOU
I am so excited by the transparent and honest conversations happening both in real life and on social media. For most of my life, and when I first launched my blog, I focused on making my life look pretty vs. sharing my reality, which led to feeling burnt out and uninspired. I have realized my mission is to be myself fully and completely, and I want to encourage you all to step into your uniqueness and share your stories.
Let’s stop acting like we have everything together. Be real with people because everyone is going through something. By sharing your story, you deepen human connections for yourself and at the same time, show others that they are not alone.
What’s next . . .
I feel I have been given the blessing of a clean slate and anything is truly possible. I am ready to share myself more authentically in this space as I move through life, expressing myself fully and trusting in the journey. I am dedicated to deepening the conversation around self-care, supporting women in understanding how to take better care of themselves from a holistic and loving perspective, and showing up each day with a full and open heart.