If Spring is Not Your Season, This Playlist is for You!

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It's May and things are feeling relatively Spring-tastic around here, so I'm back with the second installment in the series of EmPOWerment Playlists. Designed to help you kick butt throughout the year! 

As a therapist, I've noticed that each season can bring its own set of bleh-inducing moments. The colloquial idea of, "The winter blahs," comes to mind. (On a related note, click here for a link to my upbeat, booty shaking winter playlist.) Spring brings along images of flowers blooming, birds chirping, and people frolicking. While it can be a glorious time for some, for others it can be a season of heightened anxiety, pressures to create change, pollen-induced brain fog, and overwhelming moments of AHHH!!!! (Think: upcoming graduations, half the year is over, what am I doing with my life?) 

If Spring is not your favorite time of year (or this particular spring is sucking), this playlist is for you. 

Let's do this!

Meet Neena Buxani, Visual Artist Living Her Best Life

Everyone! Meet Neena Buxani, creator of vibrant, bold, beautiful art. She has had a nontraditional journey to becoming a professional, full time artist, and her love for this moment in her life shines through in her interview. Neena is definitely living her best life, and she has graciously shared her passion with us all. Hell. Yes! 

Tell me about yourself and what you do:

I am a visual artist. I attempt to create paintings that uplift the soul.  My artwork is an expression of a world I want to live in, where joy is a part of every moment. My portfolio is a combination of work that I create to satisfy my need for self-expression in addition to paintings created specifically for people’s homes and offices, interweaving their vision with mine.

What motivates you to do what you do?

It has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a professional artist, and I am truly lucky to have the opportunity to do just that.  My art’s purpose is to remind people to enjoy life and to be themselves. Life is too short to deny ourselves what makes us happy. In my experience, we are happiest when we are our true selves.

Tell me about a moment when you felt empowered:

I go through many moments when I don’t think I’m good enough, or when I feel like I might not be able to pull off a painting for a client. But when I hear the words, “Do what you feel is best, I trust you, you’re the artist”, then all of a sudden I feel like I can create anything. To me, when people believe in my craft, that’s empowering.

How do you get through periods of self-doubt?

I paint. I call my sister or my husband. I cry it out, and then I paint. Putting your artwork out there, whether it be at a show or on social media, is a scary thing to do. You’re essentially putting a piece of yourself on open display.  It’s easy to get caught up in people’s responses to your work and to compare yourself with the successes of other artists. Unfortunately, rejection is a part of everyday life for an artist. You need to stay focused on your goals and create, create, create. You can’t stop creating because you don’t feel good enough, because then you’ll never create. And isn’t it the whole point to do just that.

Who are the people that you look to for inspiration? What makes them stand out to you?

Strong women, like artists Ashley Longshore and Frida Kahlo, who are comfortable in their own skin. The women who don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. The women who wear what they want and say what they think and who are forever growing in their own way. The women who make the people around them comfortable to be themselves too.

What do you want other women to know about self-acceptance and self-celebration?

It’s important to live an authentic life. Confidence is beautiful, and we should always celebrate who we are because we are all unique in our own way. We all have something special about us that we bring to the world. We all have the power to change people’s lives for the better if we are just strong enough to be ourselves.

Neena’s enthusiasm for creating is inspiring, and I’m so glad that I got to interview her! There were many great takeaways from this interview. It’s hard to pick one! Mine might be her idea to push through the moments of self-doubt and continue with your work. That is a REALLY tough thing to do, and it’s a great way to prove the negative self-chatter wrong. Uch, so good! Check out her work here. (I’m partial to her floral series, but far be it from me to limit your perusing! :))  

-  Lauren, HHT

An Upbeat, Booty Shaking, Empowering Playlist to Fight the Winter Blahs

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Damn, y'all. We are DEEP into winter, and the short, cold, gray, yucky days are starting to wear on me. I can feel my energy and motivation wane as the temperature drops. (How am I supposed to make things happen when I am freaking freezing? UGH!) That's why I curated this upbeat, booty-shaking, blah-fighting, energy-restoring, enthusiasm-building, empowering playlist, and I am listening to it on repeat. I thought y'all might appreciate it too, so I'm passing it along! 

Support comes in all forms.

What songs get you moving? They might end up on the Spring playlist, because empowerment is a year-round effort! (Thanks to those who offered their song suggestions for this playlist!)