Laurali
Hi, I'm Laurali! I live in a tiny, seaside fishing village in Florida where I nurture my plants, go hiking in the woodland, and wear flowers in my hair.

Festive: A Mantra For Family Get-Togethers, Forest Gatherings, and Sparkly, Fairy Lights

Outdoor gatherings in mother nature with moody, outdoor lighting and white shabby chic farm to table celebrations
Festive: A Mantra For Family Get-Togethers, Forest Gatherings, and Sparkly, Fairy Lights is my resolution to celebrate the fall season and beyond!  Somewhere along the way this year, I started feeling more like my old self, and with that came a feeling of wanting to celebrate life more.

In order to understand how I came to this agreement within myself, I must start by telling you how it all began.  At the beginning of the new year, I chose a word, my mantra for the new year.  The word that resonated within me was the word connection, though, at the time, I wasn't exactly sure why this new year's resolution and mantra resonated within me so much.

You can read more about why I chose the word connection for 2019' right here.  It's important that you read it in order to understand my mindset at the beginning of the year and how I was beginning to feel the first inklings of new life within me again, after a dark period in my life.

It turns out that I couldn't have chosen a better mantra for myself!  This year has been all about making connections, rebuilding relationships, strengthening the bonds of family, and letting my guard down and letting people back in.

Naturally, as the golden age of summer was ending, I found myself feeling a new word, resolution, and mantra bubbling back up within me.  Another piece of the puzzle.  The word that resonated with me this time was the word festive, and with that, I immediately knew that it would help get me through the next chapter of my life.

When the word festive came to me, it kind of popped in out of nowhere, as most of my resolutions do.  There was a specific feeling associated with it, as well as made word connections, and visuals.

Festive:
  • Party
  • Indie Music
  • Outdoor Gatherings
  • Family Get-Togethers
  • Connections
  • Fairy lights
  • Sparkly
  • Friends who are like family to me
  • Fun
  • Woodland Gatherings where we forage for food and have a cookout
  • Capturing magical moments
  • Nostalgia
  • Time Capsule
  • Making Memories
As you can see, festive is my new word mantra, my resolution, and my goal for the rest of the year and beyond.  It also works perfectly as a natural complement to the word connection I chose at the beginning of the new year.  Festive + Connection = everything I want in life!

I chose the word festive because when I was listening to my favorite, sparkly indie music it resonated within me and resounded on a spiritual level that made me feel alive.  It felt like I was having a sacred, private dance of celebration by myself that I suddenly felt a need to share with everyone.

I remember calling my oldest daughter up and telling her how I wanted to have a small, intimate gathering in my backyard with fairy lights, festive music playing in the background, and a table set up in the backyard for having a forest gathering of fruitful harvests.  

You can read more about my outdoor gathering goals to get a better picture of what festivities I have in mind.  Long before this picture ever came to mind, I had been feeling a strong desire to make connections with people and to work on building a sense of community within myself, like the kindling of wood on a wildfire.

Where does this desire come from?  I had kind of a lonely childhood.  I was a sweet, quiet, introverted kid.  I had a few close, personal friends that I held onto for dear life, but due to my lifelong illness of severe asthma and allergies, I lived a very lonely existence.

I was the only kid to get out of physical education class and the other kids resented me for it.  I was weird, childlike, imaginative, and wanted to hold onto childhood for as long as I could.  While other girls my age were trying to grow up too fast, I wanted to remain a kid and hated it when the time came and I was forced to grow up.  

I was sexually abused by a family member at a very young, impressionable age, and because of that, I had trouble feeling comfortable in my own skin.  I spent a lot of time daydreaming and building castles in my head.  I think it was my way of coping with the loneliness and body awkwardness.

You see, I was severely underweight due to my medical condition and spent the portion of my childhood bedridden and in makeshift oxygen tents, my mom had set up for me.  My best friends were my dolls and my books, because in my books I was healthy, whole, and my imagination could soar!

I only realized the other day that I had been hiding all of my childhood insecurities in the secret, hidden places of my life.  I had no idea that I had been responding to a childhood memory of loneliness that I hadn't truly dealt with.  

I had called on Archangel Mariel for the first time ever the other day, she is the angel that remembers everything that has ever happened in our life, and this is when I realized that the past needed to be reconciled with my future.

The isolation of being that weird, skinny, sick girl carried with me into my awkward teenage years and even well into adulthood until we arrive at today.  I've had many friends throughout my life, fair-weather friends, but I've only allowed myself to have a deep connection with just a few people.

My best friends are my mom and my daughters and hopefully, someday soon, my husband.  For the most part, I'm very happy with that close, familial bond.  I'm content with what I have.  Family is more important than anything to me.

But, I want to have friends who are like family to me too.  I especially feel this way about my business.  From the very start, I wanted Everyday Laurali Star to be a close-knit community of friends who are like family to me.  A group of spiritually like-minded individuals that have come together to share their lives in some way.  

I don't think I've conveyed that enough.  I'm so appreciative of the readers I have and the people I have collaborated with through my sponsorship to highlight their brands in special ways.  There's something about doing business with real people that makes me feel happy.

I never thought I would like doing this kind of work because I'm usually very protective of my energy working with other people.  It turns out, I love it!  I love working with like-minded individuals who have similar goals in life.  I discovered that not only do I love it, but I'm actually very good at it!

So, as you can see, both making connections and living a more festive lifestyle go hand-in-hand together!  It works somehow.  It works in my personal life and in my business too.
An outdoor wedding chapel with outdoor mood lighting in the butterfly gardens of Hammock Park in Dunedin, Florida

Festive: A Mantra For Family Get-Togethers, Forest Gatherings, and Sparkly, Fairy Lights

I remember when I was a young adult and well into my late twenties, I'd read articles about how to make a festive holiday Christmas party and New Year's Eve celebrations.  I always wanted to be the type of person that could throw small, intimate dinner parties and celebrations.  

Unfortunately, my anxiety would always edge out any possibility of me ever being able to fulfill that dream.  I was always socially awkward and didn't feel natural around other people unless I knew them.  I'm the type of person that has to warm up to people and it takes time for me to forge a connection.  

I was left empty-handed and wanting more.  For the longest time, unless it was family or close, personal friends, I couldn't allow the real me to emerge.  I didn't know how to be myself, because I often hide that part away from the rest of the world.  

Today, from this moment forward, I'm working on letting down my guard and letting people in.  Through working with eco-friendly, green brands, I've made some personal connections along the way.  

Yes, it's a working relationship, but it's more than that.  I've made friends who are like family to me.  That's more than anything I could have ever hoped for!

With the word "festive" as my mantra and resolution I feel like the real me, the part that I managed to keep hidden for so long, is emerging and coming full circle.  I feel like I can finally be myself but still do the things that I always imagined myself doing, like having kinfolk style dinners in the backyard with a fall harvest that we gathered and cooked together as a family unit.  

There's a reason why this blog's tagline is, "A woodland gathering of simple delights."  It all accompanies my sense of purpose and passion for a close-knit community.  You can read all about how I came up with my tagline here.

Moving forward, I'm using my new mantra and resolution to add a little sparkle and festivity to my life.  It brings to mind images of warmth, happy people, great music, and festive party food above all else.  But, it also brings to heart the connections I want to continue to make moving forward into the sparkly new era of my life.  That is what means everything to me!

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