The Shadow of Fear


Most of my life I lived with fear…more honestly, I was ruled by it.  It didn’t always appear as a scary witch wearing a cloak.  Fear changed its color and shape in order to lure me in.  Usually I just reacted to it;

Did what it told me,

Ran from something or

towards something,

Drank it, ate it, or

Broke-up with him.

Fear has more energy than most emotions – until you stop and face it…then it begins to back-peddle, diminish – you know – show it’s true colors…mostly screaming lies.

Don’t get me wrong, fear has some real things to say and listen to…it’s just the screaming crazy that takes away from what really needs looking at.
Learn to weed through hysteria and reality.

Take what you need from fear and then let it be.

Love forward and always,


Simply Positive by Felicia Sivells – “Winner of Design Love Now”

Felicia Sivells - 3rd Place

Felicia Sivells was our 3rd place winner in the “Design Love Now” contest.  Felicia won a guest blog spot and chose to write about the importance of positive thinking.  This is Felicia’s first time writing a blog post and I am so excited for her.  Thank you so much for sharing your love with us in both words and photos!

Congratulations again Felicia!



Throughout my life my thoughts are what drove me to be a better person and to do better. Positive thinking plays a key role in our lifestyle and in our success. Henry Ford says it best ” Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–your right.” Our actions and words follow our thoughts. Our everyday mood is based upon whether we choose to be positive or negative. Sure, many people have a lot going on in their lives, but that does not mean you have to allow it to choose your mood for you. We get caught up in what’s going on in our lives that we forget to see the positive in others, or even in ourselves. It is a mindset, period. That simple. If we want to be successful we need to be positive.
To take it a step further, we need to speak positive. Even the Bible speaks of having a positive or negative tongue. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Felicia Sivells

Creative Love


The beauty is in the process for me — the creating, the planning, the dreaming…sending “my new big thing” love and then watching it grow. It’s how I find me and lose me all at the same time. I love the heart pounding, brain racing, wake me in the middle of the night, pure pumped up desire that comes with it!

“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song” –Maya Angelou

My sister used to say “you’re either creating or you’re destroying”. At the time I didn’t I fully understood those words – I do now. I didn’t always know how to work with creative energy. Does that sound familiar? You wake up and you have that feeling, the creative itch, you want to create something big, something new and unique. There are a million thoughts running in your head and they all have something you can pull on and run with. Then it happens: doubt, overwhelm, exhaustion — what happened? For me it’s the judgement, the comparison and the coming up short that left me needing a nap by mid-morning. It’s what happens to me when I try to create from the outside. Wanting the world to view my new thing the same way I feel about it. This is where I spiral and begin to turn the energy from creative possibility to destructive implosion. “I am either creating or destroying”.

Desire and creating have always come quite naturally to me. I can get all pumped up about how I make breakfast. Really, excitement and passion were rarely my problem. It was directing the energy and staying out of the way which proved difficult.

Don’t get me wrong, there is clearly a space for creative tension and a deliberate push against our own walls. What I’m talking about here is not conscious creating. I’m talking about creative sabotage!

My innate desire to create had been squashed by my trying to strong-arm it to be something yet unnamed. In this critical state, my new big thing couldn’t breathe and it would fade away.

Knowing that it is the energy that needs directing, and not the creativity, allows me to continue creating. Learning to temper the passion and desire with love and understanding changed everything. I now know that my version of beauty will not be the same as yours, and it is not supposed to be. I now trust that it will reach those it is meant to reach…no more and no less. My role is to stay in the process, breathe and trust. This is where I can expand or implode. I can create or destroy — MY choice.

Creating is how I survive, how I keep my hands clean from the muck of the rest of life, it’s what makes my heart sing and my brain tick.

What does it for you? Where do you get stuck?

Everyone is different, finding their seed in places I don’t see. What is it that makes you sit day dreaming, itching to get to it? What gets you so hyped up that you sometimes need a nap before you ever get going?

Being open to the passion is a never ending path, how I do it changes all the time. The desire to do it has to come daily. I have to remember that creating helps me to unfold who I am and allows me to connect with the world. One of my greatest fears was breathing in the meantime – sitting, waiting, straining, certain that it would never happen again. Will I ever feel inspired to jump, to draw, to build, to write, to love, to paint, to move the flowers in just the right direction, find just the right outfit, run just the right run, and love just for the sake of loving again?

…and then it happens. My soul finds its wings were sitting patiently waiting and now it is time to direct the energy to trust. I step out of the way and see what is waiting to be born. My heart races, my hands get sweaty, my brain is moving fast but most importantly, I am alive, alive in the creating and the giving of myself to this moment. It all matters to me – all of it – always has.

Love forward and always,




With Arms Wide Open


With Arms Wide Open

My heart once was much easier to read. I could hear it, feel it. It was me and I was it. We moved as one beat, one pulse. Like the rain falling into the ocean, we were born of the same joy. It was an easier time and life wasn’t so loud back then. It was a time of trust and a belief in everything magical.

I had no idea how completely reliant we were upon each other, how pulse needed beat and the rain needed the ocean. But, I guess – you never know what you don’t know. I couldn’t see it coming. There would be betrayals and disconnect. Someone stepping on someone’s toes, the usual story of “You never listen to me.” Oh, and let’s not forget the ultimate “I know better than you” moments. Then of course, there’s the “Come on, why not? It’s easy and you’ll feel better!” times… Pulse is baffled, beat is so sure it knows better…backs turn. And soon, we’re walking away from the gentle music of home.

Separately, we can’t seem to find our place. Reaching for something to fix me, you, us. Fix the separation, the isolation. Remembering the warmth that once seemed so natural, but we don’t know how to get there anymore. Time takes time and sometimes we walk so far away it’s a struggle to hear the pulse.

Remembering to honor what I can’t see is my daily practice. Acknowledging what makes the whole beautiful thing come to life is my journey. I believe the not trusting the gift is what made it up and leave in the first place. Leaving me to work to find it and win it over. I will need to be true to it – and earn back the right to hear its wisdom.

This is work I am blessed to do and a path I rail against…

The truth is that the path becomes difficult sometimes. I tend to have an eye for shiny things, so I lose my footing, again and again. Yet, somewhere, something is always there patiently waiting. Smarter and way bigger than me. It always leaves the music playing just loud enough to hear in the distance. Close eyes, breathe deep and with open arms receive. It’s here in this place of receiving that the shift begins!

Ahhh yes, FLOW is experienced.

Receive the gift, share the gift, and live in the moment with arms wide open.

Lessons Hard Earned – Big Mistakes


Lessons Hard Earned – Big Mistakes

We all have that one lesson that hooks us, kicks our butt and keeps us coming back for more. We know it, we see it coming and we fall into again. Here’s mine:

I used to roll my eyes when someone would ask that question, “What was the hardest lesson for you to learn?”… I was irritated because I hated to admit how many times I have done the same thing over and over and over again. What is it they call that? — the definition of insanity? …

“I can’t believe I did it again!” has been an anthem for me. Following my instincts is without a doubt the number one lesson I struggle with. Learning it was easy; following it, well that’s another issue.

Here’s how the story goes – I have to go to the store to pick up Y item. Easy enough, I will take Bloom Street and head straight…

CAUTION, CAUTION, alarms go off all over my body — why, that feels like something I should pay attention to. I notice all the emotions, the thoughts and the panic that goes with it.

Here’s the interesting part: “Why?” my head says, “Excuse me but we’re on a mission here — heading to the store — why do we have to listen to this drama all the time…it’s just a trip to the store, RIGHT?”

It’s never just a trip to the store in my world.

The struggle between trust and power. Let the battle begin. Very in tune body and spirit gets big insight only for smart brain to kick into override mode and ignore all the signs. I decide it’s not that big a deal, just keep going. So as I head on to Bloom Street, it happens…the construction zone becomes traffic hell — big grumbles:

I knew this was coming, didn’t I? Sure I did, my instincts were screaming at me to head in a different direction! 

As I sit in traffic, I swear this will never, ever happen again. I will trust my instincts and not allow my brain to smart talk me anymore. This day it’s just a trip the store. What about the moments that I dismissed the warning about the boy, the business deal gone south, the deal that sounded too good to be true? I’m sure you can fill in the blank of your own horror story. I’ve rubbed up against this one so many times. There must be a better way.

Ahh, but lessons are only lessons when we can see what they are teaching us.

The lesson underlying this for me is about trust. Trusting what?

Trusting me,
Trusting life,
Trusting my experience…

Letting go of my perceived power, the ego that reins in small wins, the ability to “save” 30 seconds of time. Trusting that what is truly meant for me will be there – on time. No shortcut required.

Well, this time I get it – I will listen from now on. Well, of course I will, won’t I?

Two days later, my call with web designers is taking place. Awesome, I want to love them. I feel good about this. We’re moving forward…hmmm, interesting…

CAUTION, CAUTION, alarms are ringing, this feels cold and awkward. I want to feel warm and fuzzy. No worries, breathe in — smart brain is about to step in, “Ok, we need this to work. This site needs to get done NOW”. Again with the drama! Good, great, let’s do this — send the contract! What? Override, override…

Can you guess how well this played out? Yep, we suck as a team. We cannot create one thing that we agree on. Shock? No, not really. Oh, WHEN WILL I LEARN?

What is it I’m trying to gain by going against my grain? It’s the fear that the Universe will not give me what I want, as fast or as pink as I want it. It’s here that I’ve had to be still and breathe. Putting down my armor against the perceived withholding from life. Go forward and trust. Anything I grab for isn’t worth the having. Pink can be more beautiful when mixed with other colors. All I ever have to do is show up and listen. Ahh, the grace to lean in comes when I show up and listen. This is what allows my heart to beat slower and more steady each time I stand in that open space. I only lose my footing when I try to get ahead of myself.

There is no sidestepping the path, the path is the path…I often think of this when I’m out for a run. My head loves trying to get to the third mile, while my body is still at the first mile. That can only happen by placing one foot in front of the other and being in the space I am in. This is my lesson.

This is my crazy. I know it, I see it, and I still do it. Now I do it less but I still struggle with my head overriding my instinct.

The inside story of this is about trust and fear. My instincts are all about trust and knowing from a place of simply knowing. No real effort, it’s the gift of guidance we are all born with. The gift I have tried to ignore and beat down. This is where I sabotage and where I need to love more — my place of trusting.

I call this lesson hard-earned because I suffered greatly in the owning of this one. I punished myself for not trusting then overrode the knowing again! Breaking this cycle required lots of love and patience. It was slowing down the process and lots of blind faith.

I have more days on the side of trust, but I still wander to the “lessons to learn” side. Instincts and thought are both brilliant in their own right…they simply need to reign over their own realm and not step on each other’s toes. It’s then that flow occurs and I find myself in sync with my life.

Trust, balance and the grace to allow them to flow.

Inside the Making of “the Inside Design PROJECT” and Me



“Listen to the Whispers”

I love that place – the one where you can hear your heart – it’s just a whisper, but it can guide everything you do and from that everything you do is filled with purpose, generosity and grace.

It’s the place I remember when I was seven and running through the grass in our summer rental in Rocky Point. Sun, sand, water, trees and flowers – all was right with the world. I actually remember thinking thoughts that went something like this- this is the most beautiful moment, I will never forget this moment, July 12th at 1:23pm 1972…

You know when you’re young that place of dreams and desires – big, big hopes and even bigger emotions – is all there is. Create big things, help lots of people – rule the universe and love everything. But of course – why this seems perfect!

This is my story of how I lost my footing, found my balance and uncovered my path – from the inside out. This is my version of how I tried to drown the whisper of grace and how I came to believe I was never ever broken, I simply needed to remember who I was. The gift of this journey is my understanding that my truth is not yours – my joys do not fill you up and your wounds do not leave their scar on me. We can walk together and learn to honor who we are.

I hope you will hear something that resonates for you. Have you walked away from the whisper, how far away, can you hear it?

Life has a way of getting in the mix of things – louder voices, big fears, living on the outside, others opinions, trust, doubt… For me it was a long, slow, beautiful and tedious journey – away from and back to me.

Being a bit non-traditional was my gift and my downfall. a bit too left of normal and just slightly right of standing in my strength. I faltered, slowly at first…you know those little moments that scar your soul…the ones you think – ouch – that sucked.

Please listen carefully, this is where the conflict begins; hate the way I feel, don’t wan’t to be alone, love making them laugh, those jeans really do look good on me, one joint, one beer, one step away – not that big a deal, everyone does it – right! Maybe, but this is about to get ugly – this conflict is about to take on a whole new meaning – I will need to shut down the noise of how bad it feels to live life from the outside.

Whispers get louder and little girls grow up – the further I walked away from my heart the louder the whisper became – the more I needed to do to silent them. Hence the ugly battle of what can only be viewed as a soulful wandering in a dark place.

After a valiant attempt at drowning out the whisper with anything I could get my hands on – drugs, alcohol , spending, moving, the new guy in town – The miracle happened – I gave up, gave in and stopped long enough to hear what all the noise was trying to tell me – An interesting thing happens when you’ve tried everything…you must finally admit defeat, surrender to the cycle, admit it isn’t working – start from scratch.

stop, be still, listen and the path will unfold of itself.

and so it began for me – the journey to be still, remember, strip away the old and find the seedling of me that remained and love it, grow it, share it – protect it and yes, then decorate it with all that is beautiful to me.

And so it begins – the inside me – the one you can’t just paint pink or decorate with a new outfit, a shiny car, or a sparking diamond. This one required an honest space, a place for beauty and failings and death and births — you can’t paint your life pretty and expect it to be protected from the elements. You need to build the foundation from where it all starts and where it all ends and that my dear friend is with your beautiful and glorious and perfectly imperfect heart –

Remember listen to the whisper – and the universe won’t have to yell! Well, my universe was yelling and I was trying to drown it out.

Please remember to listen to the whisper…

Please, please listen to the whisper –

that’s all you can hear. and you just know you can create anything

This is what I was born to do – this is where I am gifted – this is where I am most helpful…So, what took me so long to get here. That’s what I always wanted to know and here is where the creation and the blending of stories begin;

I don’t believe I am any different than anyone else out there – we hear the whisper, we feel the pull, we want to do this thing here, the one that brings joy, smiles, light hearts. You know the life in your heart, the one that is quietly waiting for you to pay attention to it. Not just on vacations, not just when you hit the wall, or when out in the garden or running that trail…the one that sits knowing and waiting for your attention.

This is the moment the time the place the path –