How to Find the True You

Book by Michelle DeRusha, True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created

"When I was big, did I ask my name?" It takes a couple tries, but I realize my 4-year-old is asking if he asked us What is my name? when he started speaking.

I chuckle at the thought and tell him no, I don't recall him ever asking that.

"But how did I know my name?" I now get what he's wondering.

So I tell him, "We called you by your name over and over. We said it to you so much that you just knew it."

That seems to appease him.

Then I feel God impressing on my heart: That's how you know who you are. I've been telling you since the day you were born. I've been saying your name. You are loved, you are chosen, you are created by Me with purpose. Do you hear Me calling you by name?

Too often I'm too distracted to hear it. Even in the "stillness" or in the apparent "quiet," I'm too often scrolling or filling my time with something that keeps my soul from really being still or quiet. Yet, it's in the stillness we know who God is, and I believe in the stillness is also where we hear God telling us who we are.

That's also the message my friend Michelle DeRusha shares in her new book True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created (affiliate link; see full note below). She emphasizes the importance of slowing down to really listen to who God says we are. Her message of getting quiet to let the soul feel its worth in the presence of its Creator: it's necessary.

As Michelle writes, "If you want to catch a glimpse of the soul's 'precious wildness,' you must get quiet."

My fear tells me that in the quiet I will be made a fraud, undeserving, unworthy, incapable. But the truth is in the quiet I find my identity, purpose, and belonging in Jesus who is undoubtedly true, deserving, worthy, capable. That sounds like a great foundation for my life.

"Our mind needs time and space to catch up with what our soul already knows," writes Michelle.

How do we do this? How do we get quiet and listen?

Michelle shares about her practice in "directed rest" to be quiet to listen, and the idea of "fukinaoshi of the soul" to let go of the false self. You can learn more about that and read Michelle's story in True You.

Here are some things that are helping me get quiet and hear God tell me who I am in this season...

Start a ritual.

Quiet isn't a one-time thing, so I've worked on building it into my daily and weekly routines in various ways. Lately, I wake up in the morning for some light therapy time and that's my quiet right at the start of the day. I also do quiet stretching at the end of the day. Then I shut down the technology for Sabbath and take a bath each week. These aren't live-changing practices, but get me back into the habit of being okay with quiet. Plus, they're doable and that's where I needed to start is with my routine rhythms.

Turn off screens.

Quiet and stillness aren't actually very quiet or still for the soul if screens are still on. So whenever or wherever I have my quiet, I make sure my phone is not a part of it. (You can always make an exception if you find value in a meditation app or a yoga video.)

Make a collage.

When I need something to do in the quiet, I make a collage card. It's one way to fill the silence that's still tuned in to my soul and what God might be trying to speak to me or about me. I am often surprised at the end result of the collage to see what's on my heart and mind that I might have otherwise missed.

Take a bath.

A bath is one of the few places I am truly still and quiet and completely okay with it. I add epsom salts and eucalyptus bubbles, and make sure the water is hot enough for me to linger a while. In the past I've leaned over the edge to look at a magazine or scroll on my phone, but lately I opt to just sit in the warm quiet. I've even added a string of soft lights over the mirror for a calmer atmosphere, and just let my mind wander. It's crazy what kinds of things can get worked out or what seeds are planted in that simple practice of just sitting (or laying) in the stillness.

Stretch.

This is a great end and/or start to the day. I used to make stretching happen during a show I was watching, which was a good use of the time. But lately I try to do my evening stretching before I go to bed without watching something. This helps create more of a meditative practice.

Read.

While reading doesn't leave the mind quiet, thoughtfully choosing reading material can still be a great way to hear God speak truth over you. Especially if it's from God's Word or from an author who points to God's Word.

Write what God might be saying.

If you're feeling doubtful or anxious or struggling with the quiet, pull out a pen and journal to write what you imagine God might be telling you. If He were writing you a letter, what might He tell you about who you are, how He created you, and where you belong?


The point is, God is saying your name. He is telling you your identity, your purpose, the place you belong. Be still and know that He is God and that you are His. He created you, He cares about you, and He is continuing to help you grow.

Are you listening?

>>>

also see:
new? start here...
30 ways to slow + rest
my favorite books
how to enjoy reading
grow life emails

*Note: Affiliate links used in this post. Purchases through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to the purchaser. Thank you!

5 Questions to Grow a Capsule Mindset

How to Create a Capsule Mindset and Grow Your Life

How I dress has impacted my growth in a challenging season. Not in an unhealthy shop-to-fill-a-void kind of way. But in an I'm-worthy-of-this-life and I'll-dress-like-I-truly-believe-that sort of way. "Sometimes the being comes before the feeling," Chasing Slow (aff. link) by Erin Loechner. And dressing with a little more intention is the being that has contributed to feeling competent and confident.

Most of us already know about a capsule wardrobe and its benefits. (For those who don't: It's a wardrobe made up of essential items that don't go out of style and can mix and match outfits and seasons.) If we only wear 20% of our closet 80% of the time (I know I often do), then it saves time, money, energy, and space to simplify that closet and make the best use of our resources.

It also makes getting dressed a little easier, because we don't need to get decision fatigue right at the start of our day, ya know?

And that right there, the decision fatigue, is exactly why a capsule wardrobe matters to me. We all have a finite number of resources. Even if you're not limited by money or space, you might be limited by time or energy or decision-making power, and I am all about simplifying and automating whatever possible so that we can spend our best growing the most important parts of life.

Are you with me?

A simple closet is one small way to counteract the chaos in life. Easy to complete outfits can reduce one area of indecision in a new season of life. Feeling good about the space we begin and end each day in, and the way we look when we leave and return to that space, can create a small dose of renewal in life.

Ask me how I know. (See this >> post and this >> one for more on this "season of renewal" I've been trudging through.)

I've been meaning to create an actual capsule wardrobe for years. Then I re-realized, over time simplifying has given me a capsule wardrobe of sorts just through a simple mindset shift. Even if you may not find an exact capsule in my closet or dresser, there are a few principles that have become my autopilot when I shop and when I declutter my clothes that have helped streamline the process and find a little balance in it all.

I don't need extra things on my to-do list. I just need to know that my choices when shopping are helping my morning routine, not hindering it. I need to know that I'm making purchasing choices that are completing my outfits, not cluttering my closet. I need to know that I can feel good about getting dressed without getting caught in comparison traps that give me one more area to feel like I'm failing. I need to know that I'm showing up in this season of my life as my current best version of myself--inside and out.

Here's what I've learned over the years: The benefits of a capsule wardrobe don't have to be a "someday" dream. The capsule mindset can start growing today, making for a lifetime of enjoying capsule benefits without the work of creating a precise Pinterest-worthy capsule.

Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe the Simple Way


How to Create a Capsule Mindset


A capsule mindset grows from a few simple questions. I ask these when I'm in a dressing room trying on clothes, and I ask them when I'm going through my closet or dresser to decide what I'm done with. Questions #1 and #5 are also what I use when I'm getting dressed. If the answer is yes to both, then I'm likely to feel more confident and competent as I set out growing my life.

1. Do I love it?

This includes both how it looks and feels. There have been far too many items I've owned that were just okay or were merely a good price, always leading them to hardly be worn, if at all. Want to know how I know if I love it? I try it on and automatically think, "wow, I love this!" I'm not kidding.

If my inner voice starts saying "if it was just a little longer" or "but it's a little too [fill in the blank]" then I know that it's going be worn once or twice and maybe never again. Because that quiet little "if" and "but" will be there every time I see the item and it will make me pass it over for something that doesn't make me say those things. So I've learned to not settle for anything less than love.

2. Can I wear it more than one way?

Dress it up, dress it down (in the context that I dress up or dress down, which isn't much of a difference); wear it in warm and cool weather, except for seasonal items, of course; mix and match with more than one pair of pants and more than one sweater or accessory option.

It's just not worth owning items that can only be worn one specific way. Plus, it can cause me to try and waste more money on finding items to match it with and go down a slippery slope of buying stuff I don't love. Every item I own can be worn more than one way. When I feel stuck, I search that particular item in Pinterest for ideas, and only Pin outfits with items I already own (i.e., "black vest outfit," "chelsea boots outfit," "chambray shirt outfit").

3. Has it been in style for a while?

And will the quality let me keep wearing it for years? Sure, styles vary through the years. But there are some basic things that have longevity and those are the things truly worth adding to the closet. These are the basics and staples that everybody keeps returning to. A nice pair of jeans or neutral pants, a neutral button up that can be tucked in or worn open over a basic tee. Is your style louder and bolder? Get these basics in colors and patterns that can still be mix and matched.

The more of the closet that makes up these items, the more versatile. This is sort of the foundation for and essence of a capsule wardrobe. Of course this doesn't make up everything I own. But I try to keep my trendier pieces to a minimum, because I know I may not be wearing them very long. I'm also prone to go cheap on the trendier items for that same reason.

4. Is it a color, pattern, or style I naturally reach for repeatedly?

When it comes to buying the more "eccentric" pieces of a wardrobe, they need to very closely match my style or I know I won't wear them often. I know this by the history of what colors I actually wear and which I've bought and neglected. I also know this by how much I love it. My style naturally strays away from too crazy of color or patterns, but they also make the perfect way to perk up an outfit.

I love wearing greens, warm yellows, florals or greenery in those colors, and black and white stripes. I reach for those repeatedly, so they're worth owning within reason. I don't keep adding options, because I know I don't wear patterns and colors often enough to justify that. So I usually need to be done with one color or pattern shirt before I buy a new one.

5. Is it the look I'm aiming for in this season?

Or another question that sometimes helps: Can I imagine my style "icon" wearing it? I usually have an idea in my head of what style I'm aiming for, and I have to keep that image in my mind when I go shopping to make sure I don't settle for more comfortable pieces I already own.

This image in my head helps guide my shopping list for the season (I usually only need a couple items to replace or build on what I already have), and it helps keep me looking put-together. Comfort is the top of my priority list, so even if I'm looking for nice or dressier items, I still make sure it's comfortable.

Create a capsule mindset to put your energy to growing your life...

Additional Outfit Tips


+ Find your "uniform."
The go-to example of a uniform is Steve Jobs' jeans and black turtle necks. The main perk is that it limits options when getting dressed which helps save energy for more important decisions. It also reduces unnecessary shopping and keeps closets and dresses neat and tidy. A uniform can be a little broader. Take whatever your go-to favorite outfit is, replicate it, and you've got a uniform.

+ Know yourself.
Learning more about who I am as a whole person has done the most in helping me figure out my style and find what makes me feel like my best self. It also helps me know whose advice to follow, and when to say "good for you, not for me" when something looks good, but isn't what I want in my wardrobe.

+ Know when enough is enough.
Many of us have been there--shopping when there isn't anything in particular that we need. As you get more into the capsule mindset, you'll get a better idea of what's missing in your wardrobe or what needs replaced, and what's just plain unnecessary. Telling ourselves no and resisting the urge to fill the cracks in our lives with shopping (or whatever your vice may be) is absolutely necessary for becoming healthy whole people. It can be a challenge, but your closet, budget, and heart thanks you for learning when enough is enough. (It's a lesson I'm learning and re-learning.)

+ Get two options in your go-to staples.
I tend to overwear my go-to uniform pieces, so I like having two options. This helps reduce how quickly I wear things out, and gives me better options for mixing and matching. For instance, I own a tan skinny belt and a leopard print one; a basic black glasses frame and the other a fun patterned green; tees in heather grey and black-and-white striped; a tan sweater and a black sweater; a chambray button up and a plaid button-up; a grey crew neck sweater and a striped crew neck sweater. I love these items and wear them regularly, so when I double upped on them, I did so with two different options that help me create lots of no-brainer outfits.

+ Learn easy ways to "complete" an outfit.
A front-tuck or fully tucked in shirt; a belt (patterned or not); a "third piece" like a cardigan, a vest, or a button up; and a simple accessory are all easy ways to complete an outfit. Any combination of these help me feel more put-together in my really simple outfits.


The point of a capsule wardrobe isn't to have one more list of expectations to measure up to and adding one more thing to your to-do list. The point is to wear what you love and love what you own, shop less, be sure of your purchases, keep your clothes a long time, and look put-together with minimal effort. Plus, that little thing about saving your time, money, and energy for growing life.

You don't have to have a specific 9-piece capsule or wear only 33 pieces of clothing to make that happen. (Although I love a good Project 333-type clothing challenge.) If you don't have the time or the desire for those things, then just start growing a simple capsule mindset with the questions above.

You can start enjoying the benefits and put your precious resources toward what really matters in your life.

>>>

also see:
new? start here...
glasses love at first try-on
create life balance
goal-setting brought me back to life
grow your life emails


*Note: Affiliate links used. Purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. Clicking affiliate links before doing your online shopping is a little known way to support the bloggers, writers, and online creatives that you love. So if you choose to do that here, thank you!

Glasses Love at First Try-On

Love at First Home Try-On -- How to order glasses online from Warby Parker with confidence.

Trying glasses on in your own homefor freemight sound too good to be true. I assure you it's not. Finding my prescription glasses and sunglasses was love at first Try-On. I've mentioned I get comments from strangers complimenting my glasses or asking me where I got them... here's the low-down.

Affiliate links* used. See full note below.

This is specifically about our favorite glasses company's free Home Try-On. If you want to see all the reasons we love Warby Parker (glasses starting at $95 for frames and lenses, they donate glasses for each pair sold, and their free Home Try-On) then see my page >> Sharing My Love for Glasses.

Order Glasses Online with Confidence
(Do a Home Try-On)


Like most online glasses boutiques, Warby Parker has a virtual try-on, where you can upload a photo of yourself to see the frames added to the photo. But the real perk is Warby Parker's free Home Try-On, where they'll send you 5 frames to try on at home for 5 days. Seriously, no strings attached. You send them back and don't pay a thing until/unless you decide to purchase your favorite pair.

Here's how it works...

1. Order your Home Try-On.

Choose 5 frames (glasses and/or sunglasses) from WarbyParker.com and add them to your Home Try-On "order." If you can't find five you want to try on, they'll auto-fill the box with others you might like.You enter credit card information as a back up in case you never return the frames. They put a charge of a dollar to ensure there are funds in the account, then that charge disappears after a couple days.

2. Try the glasses on.

We usually receive our Home Try-On within a few days from "ordering" it. You have five days to try on the glasses. Share pictures on Facebook or Instagram if you want input from family and friends. I like looking at the frames in the mirrors I already use on a daily basis and maybe even with a couple different of my go-to outfits. It helps me feel more sure that I'm choosing frames that really fit my style.

3. Send the glasses back.

When you're done trying on the glasses, or by the fifth day of the Try-On, the glasses need to be sent back. The instructions are clearly printed in the box. The glasses get put back in the same box they came in, and the enclosed shipping label is put over the box, then drop it in the mailbox. Easy Peasy.

4. Order another Try-On or purchase your top pick(s).

At any point in the Try-On process, I can choose a pair (or two ;) to order and get filled with my prescription. Or I could order another round of 5 frames to try on if I didn't find any I liked in the first round. And if I decided I didn't like any or didn't want to order at this time, the whole process still wouldn't cost me anything.

A few things to keep in mind when it's ordering time: You need a copy of your prescription updated within the last year (you have to send it after you order). You'll need an accurate pupillary distance. And if insurance will cover a portion of the cost, get those forms from your insurance provider so that you can submit and get your reimbursement as soon as possible. You can read more about this all >> here.


Tips for Finding Your Best Pair:


+ Branch out to try on something you wouldn't normally choose.
Be sure your Try-On includes a good mix of shapes, patterns, colors, and sizes. This will help you narrow in on what you're really looking for. You can do another Home Try-On if you want to compare frames within your preferred shape, color, size.

+ If budget will allow it, consider looking for a statement pair and a basic pair.
My most complimented glasses are my round green tort, but I also like having my basic whiskey tort that don't distract if I'm wearing colors or patterns in my outfit. One pair is also bigger/looser that feels more comfortable if I have a headache (a fact of my life). And I wear glasses every single day, so it's worth having two pairs to rotate or to fill in if something happened to one of the pairs. (I do the same with my sunglasses--which came in handy when I lost a pair on vacation.)

+ Know who's opinion to ask for/listen to.
I usually need confidence to get the more trendy pair, because it's what I love. So even if I post pictures and get other's opinions, I mainly listen to the people I trust who are encouraging me to get the fun pair.

+ Measure your current glasses.
If you already have a pair that's a size you love, then measure the lens, bridge, and temple arm to compare the numbers with the frames on Warby Parker's website. You'll find these numbers on the glasses product page under "measurements" with numbers in millimeters representing Lens Width - Bridge Width - Temple Arm Length. Glasses can look bigger or smaller in photos, so this will help you get a more accurate idea of what you're looking for.


Finding glasses you love doesn't have to be overwhelming or intimidating. The pressure of choosing glasses at a store with sales associates who don't know me giving their opinions used to stress me out. (Do I sound like a total introvert? Because I am.) Now, I not only like the selection, price, and customer service better, I actually love my glasses.

Order a free Home Try-On from Warby Parker and see for yourself.

And when in doubt, get the statement glasses ;)



>>>

also see...
new? start here...
sharing my love for glasses
email signup

*Note: Affiliate links used. Any purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. This is a little known way to support the bloggers, writers, and online creatives that you love. So if you choose to do that here, thank you!