Happiness vs. Wholeness

A few weeks ago I was reading something that I’ve since forgotten about.  But thankfully that day I was aware enough of my bad memory to copy and paste a quote that jumped off the page at me so I wouldn’t forget about it entirely.

“Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much… I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “is this contributing to my wholeness? And if you’re having a bad day, it is.’ ~ Huge MacKay

If I remember correctly, the article had something to do with the fact that people are always looking to find happiness instead of seeking the value of wholeness;  however the way my memory has been lately I could be way off.  But this is what I’m making this entry about.

So before I lose my train of thought… again …

The more I know the more I realize the pursuit for happiness outside of self is such an illusory hope.

Though I’ve come to this realization, I am still human… I fall for the sucker punch from time to time.  At times I may have been at a low point in life and to make myself feel better I’ll see something sparkly that I think would make my life perfect only to find out later that I’ve sabotaged myself again.

I’d fallen for the shiny illusion of happiness again, only to find out that I’ve wasted my time, money and energy on some new snake oil and there I am back in Sabotage City again. Maybe that snake oil made me feel better in the moment, but it always wears off eventually.

Why are we constantly waiting for “Some Thing” to make us happy?  We wait for money… the perfect relationship… the right job… the dress we saw in the store… or that extra ten pounds we want to lose before we think we will be happy.

While in between those times real life is happening.

Those moments of self disappointment and frustration count.  They make us whole… if we let them.  We eventually learn what our triggers are.  And with practice we learn to catch ourselves before we fall; and even when we do fall, we learn that those moments are where we find out who we really are at our core.  Those times can actually strengthen our core… but again… only if we let them.

The stronger our core the more whole we become.

So when I run into these reminders from time to time, they give me pause.  These reminders make me evaluate my thought patterns or they make me  reinforce or focus on what my expectations are out of life… which by the way does not owe any of us a damn thing… Check please!

So… Is what you’re going through today contributing to your wholeness?

Stay Whole My Friend.



Robot For Sale

There is almost nothing better than starting my day with a good laugh. I just saw this joke and thought it was so funny I had to share.



A father buys a lie detector robot that slaps people when they lie.

He decides to test it out at dinner one night. The father asks his son what he did that afternoon.

The son says, “I did some schoolwork.”
The robot slaps the son.

The son says, “Ok, Ok. I was at a friend’s house watching movies.”

Dad asks, “What movie did you watch?”
Son says, “Toy Story.”

The robot slaps the son.
Son says, “Ok, Ok, we were watching porn.”

Dad says, “What? At your age I didn’t even know what porn was.”

The robot slaps the father.

Mom laughs and says, “Well, he certainly is your son.”

The robot slaps the mother.

Robot for sale.



A day without laughter is a day wasted ~ Charlie Chaplin


Style Search and Rescue

Being a woman whose coming up on her fifty eighth birthday at the end of the year (2018),  I’m feeling a need to reclaim my style and be more comfortable living in it.  That being said, lately I have been on a search and rescue mission to find my lost sense of style which for the past six or seven years has definitely been missing.  I have no idea where I misplaced it and honestly I haven’t been very confident without it.

For almost seven years my wardrobe consisted of the same drab and unmemorable items that were hanging in my closet.  And I paired this bland ensemble with whatever comfortable flat I could find before rushing out the door to the retail sales job (that I quit over a month ago) to get even more confidence sucked out of me.

If there was a psychological term to describe my look it would be labled to have Style Complacency Syndrome, or SCS. (That’s not a real disorder by the way so don’t Google it)

At the time I was very lethargic and lacked any feelings of self confidence.  And my style… in my opinion… brought me no joy or feeling of self confidence.  To be honest, my wardrobe was literally mimicking how I was feeling about life in general at the time. And I don’t know which came first, the bad wardrobe just not caring about my wardrobe.

I’m sure most of us would agree that if there is anything that conveys confidence it’s a women who’s comfortable with herself in every way, especially with how she looks.  And usually and most importantly,  it doesn’t really matter if what she’s wearing is trending at the moment or how much money she spent on it. She just radiates positivity.  I know that when I embrace my own sense of style it helps me to be more confident in other decisions I make.

When a woman puts together her look purely for her own enjoyment it produces a certain energy around her.  Her energy is a positive one.  She is her authentic self and she is fearless in how she projects her authenticity to the world.  She has her own voice and her own knowledge of who she is.  And while a sincere compliment is always nice… she needs no acknowledgment from anyone nor is she interested in anyone’s opinion of any of her choices, least of all what she wears.

That said, another thing I have been pondering is this idea that women of a certain age should dress for their age.  Do people still feel there are certain fashions that are off limits to women over the ages of 40,  50 and over… those of us in the more seasoned demographic?

Photos from: http://becomechic.com/

I recently read a short article on age as it relates to style:

Age Is More Than Just A Number When It Comes To Getting Dressed

By Amelia Diamond


“Within the last six or so years of working in an industry that revolves around clothes, I have noticed a considerable shifting away from”Age Rules” in fashion. Gone are the days of arbitrary parameters around what women must wear at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100… (I could keep counting decades — the rules used to feel this specific.)”

Amelia Diamond, Head of Creative at Man Repeller

So what do you think…  Are you still of the opinion that a woman should “dress for her age?”

I for one live by the “to each his/her own” motto.  But even though I tend to feel this way about other people and their choice of dress, I admit there have been times when I may have questioned my own choices based on my age.  I had to ask to myself if the reason I sometimes second guessed my outfit of choice had to do with valuing others opinions more than my own. Why is that? It really bothered me because who wants to be that person?

And so, here I am, on my reconnaissance/search and rescue mission to find out what my true base style is and  then reclaim and embrace it while adding to it pieces that speak to who I am right now.  Oh… and not giving a damn what anyone else thinks about it!

Be Well ~ ❤



Cultivating a Peaceful Home

Have you ever walked into someones home and felt instantly at peace and wonder admiringly how they seem to always have such a stress free clutter free space?  Well, there is an art to this way of life.

But achieving your own peaceful sanctuary, one that speaks to you personal needs is possible through daily ritual. I try not to use the word “chore”, it just sounds so… well like a chore.

Disclaimer: If you live with someone that is not quite as eager as you are to practice a life of uncluttered bliss, this can be a struggle.🙋🏾‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️

Don’t say you weren’t warned! But I have also found there is a balance in this struggle as there is always a give and take in any relationship… Right? And a healthy balance of give and take keeps your home pretty stress free as well.

An example of one of my morning rituals most always consists of making my bed.  I find that doing so,  I function so much better in my entire space.  The process of my bed making ritual is like meditation for me.  I am mindful of the every detail.  And with ever wrinkle smoothed there is an intention of calm… a positive hope of what the day will bring…  Or maybe a contemplation of some fragment of a dream left over from the previous nights slumber.


It also allows me to clear any negative thoughts or problems I may have on my mind.  This clearing offers the space I need to find solutions to issues I may be dealing with at the time.

Below I’ve listed some ideas that may help in your never ending pursuit clutter free home. Mind you I say never ending because it is a daily process.

Some of these tips I practice on a daily basis. Some of them I honestly could be more consistent with.  And others I may need to incorporate myself. Like I said, it’s a process.


1. Create a Chill Zone: 

This comes in handy especially if you live in a small space or with just live with other people in your spaces period. The chill zone should be a designated area that everyone knows is off limits to the rest of the madness that may be going on in your home. When you’re there anyone living with you should know that you need some space right now… OK!?

2. Make Your Bed Everyday: 

20180327_090819I mentioned this ritual above. But to be clear… You do not have to strive for magazine photo shoot ready perfection.  Just the process of pulling up the sheets and smoothing them out is a great feeling and adds to and over all stress free home. That said,  if you do nothing else for the rest of the day, at least you’ve accomplished one thing! And as Zen Buddhist Priest and author Karen Maezen Miller states, “The state of your bed reflects the state of your head.” So there!

3. Ditch the Alarm Clock:


The shrillness of a loud alarm clock is definitely a good way to start your day off on a stressful note. And that stressful energy lingers long after you throw the clock across the room to get it to shut up!  An alternative could be letting natural light be your wake up call instead.  Add translucent shades, blinds or curtains and let the sunshine be your wake up call!

4. De-Clutter:


If there is one thing you take away from this list let it be this… Don’t hang on to anything with negative energy!  This means gifts from past bad or failed relationships and old outdated or unwearable clothing need to go.  Throw these things out or bless them and regift them to someone in need.  But before you regift perform another little ritual by making sure wearable gifts are clean… Please and thank you! You can also cleanse unwashable items by letting them sit out in the sun to release any negative energy surrounding them before you send them on their way to a new home.  If you have unfinished projects laying around either finish them or let it go. Seeing these things in your space only clutters your mind with thoughts of failure or regret.

5. End the Evening with a Ritual:


Like your morning ritual a night time ritual or two can be very meditative and relaxing.   Like washing and putting away the dishes before bed. This and also keeps your stress down in the morning… Because who wants to wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes?  Or maybe choosing and setting out your outfit for the next day so that you’re not feeling rushed in the morning.  Ending the evening with a hot cup of relaxing tea is another nice way to end the day and keeps your home energy stress free as it quiets your thoughts for a pleasant nights sleep.

6. Keep House Plants or Buy Fresh Flowers:


I love seeing and taking care of nature in my space! Studies have shown that plants reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and also cleans the air in your home.  I can testify to all of that! Another way to bring some calm and beauty in is to treat yourself to fresh flowers every once in awhile. You don’t have to wait for someone else to declare it a special occasion… You are the special occasion… Be nice to you!

7. Use a Kitchen Timer for Your Least Favorite Tasks:https://img.staticbg.com/thumb/gallery/upload/chenjianwei/SKU026830%20_33.jpg

I honestly haven’t tried this one but I definitely will consider adding a kitchen timer app to my phone cause a sistah hates folding laundry… Nope… folding laundry is definitely not my favorite thing. It would also be good for another one of my least favorite things to do… answering or deleting email. Just set the timer for 15 – 20 minutes. When the bell chimes it releases you from your drudgery and you can move on to the something more enjoyable…. like eating cookies or netflix bingeing… Or both…oooh at the same time!!🤔

8. Unplug Electronics When Not in Use:

I try to do this nightly as I am overly stimulated by all the on stand by lights and humming electronics create.  I sometimes even do this during the day.  Hey… If I’m not using something electrical, why have it on?  I know it’s not feasible to turn off everything, like the refrigerator for instance.  But cell phones, laptops, televisions, etc… It’s just too much! And in the evening it could be keeping you from getting a good nights sleep as well.

9. A Place for Organizing Small 

Searching for your keys or your glasses all the time is just one more stress inducing activity! Little things like keys, glasses, remote controls and mail should have a place of their own; maybe a decorative box near the t.v. for the remote controls, a hanging basket on a wall for mail or a shelf my the front door for keys so they are easy to find and out of the way. As for eye glasses, makes sure they’re not on your head first… What? It happens!🧐🤓

10. A Soothing Color Palate:


Calming colors throughout your space gives an overall feeling of peace and tranquility. I know… some people love their bright bold colors.  And I say to each his/her own!!  I have gone from bright to mid-tone and now to neutrals and whites and grays.

Currently I have found for me that less is more as far as inside colors go.  Colors have such varying effects on different people.  Lately I’ve tended to be very sensitive to loud colors in my own private space.  For instance… right now anyway… there is nothing more stress free, peaceful and comforting as climbing inside a bed of white cotton bed linens. But moods change… right? So go with what feels right for you 😉

I hope that you try some of the ideas on this list of ten.  If you do, or if you have some your own you’d like to share, please do so or leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from from.

Live Well… Ellavate7!

Easter Morning

It is five o’clock on a Sunday morning. I sit in front of my computer. My thoughts are like elusive gold fish; fast and slippery. They swim erratically through my mind and I fail to lure any of them long enough to catch.

And then something occurs to me… It’s Easter Sunday. What better time to start again, renewed, refreshed… alive.

It also seems the perfect time to introduce to you the reasoning behind the title of my website/blog… Ellavate7.

Ellavate7 is a combination of my beloved mother Ella’s name and the fact that I am her 7th. child. It also signifies this moment in my life. It is a call to action. An internal longing to rise higher… to elevate!

So as I finish doing my morning stretch, turn the coffee maker on and check my phone, I sit back down at the computer. That school of elusive fish have disappeared, and my thoughts are calm.

I close my eyes.

An image of my mother appears and she is standing over my bed. I am a child again and it is Easter Sunday morning. A gloriously beautiful morning… but I am still in bed hiding from the world.

The early morning sunlight finds its way to my bedroom window, winks around the edges of the vinyl roll up shade and encases my mother in a breath taking halo of ethereal light. She pulls the crumpled bed sheets from my head… I giggle. In my heart her voice beckons me… “Get up Andrea… Elevate. It is a new day!”


Happy Sun~Day.