Friday, September 13, 2013

A Fond Farewell

Dear friends & readers,

While it has been a wonderful ride creating and writing Beauty Au Natural, our time has come to an end.  For over a year now I have gone back and forth on my feelings about this and finally decided to take some time for myself to see how I feel.

What was I able to accomplish on my break?  I started a new business venture and signed on as a design consultant with Madison Handbags, a company whose products and mission I really believe in.  I took classes and learned to quilt. I went on fun day trips in my area.  I saw art exhibits. I read entire books.  I spent quality time with friends.  I watched a friend's kitties while she was out of town. I got back into meditation.  I did EFT Tapping. I signed up to be a brand ambassador for Liz Lovely. I had more time to cook and clean.  Meanwhile I still worked full-time with an hour-long commute both ways and dealt with the usual personal stuff too.

I am learning more about how important it is to take time for myself, to take care of myself, to just plain like and love myself.  Part of that involves letting go of what no longer serves you.

My blog no longer felt like fun to me.  It was starting to feel like a weight on my shoulders.  I didn't realize how much until I took a break from it.  The break was funny, at first I kept checking things and had to tell myself, no, you are on a break.  Then I kept thinking, I shouldn't quit, what if...what if... and then I didn't miss it at all.  That is when I knew, it was okay to let go.

For a time I tried various things to motivate myself.  I tried to get people to follow me, thinking more people following would make it feel better.  It didn't.  I tried to make money from blogging.  I did finally make a little money, it didn't make it feel better either.  What was it that I really wanted?

I had a longing for community and sense of interaction that I could not get here. I had a deep desire to be passionate about something and share it with others who might also enjoy it or fire up their passion too.  I wanted to be creative and express myself.  I wasn't getting that from my blog.

I do get decent amounts of traffic and most of it is unique visitors from Google searches which is exciting.  I plan to keep my blog up so that it can remain a resource for anyone looking for information or pictures relating to the products I have reviewed, makeup looks I have done or the baking, travel or health and wellness topics I have written about.

In my years of writing Beauty Au Natural, I have connected with some amazing people and great companies who provide natural products.  It is so exciting to be able to say that Leslie Blodgett, Alicia Silverstone, Indie Lee, Lissa Rankin MD, and many others have seen my blog.  I am honored that anyone looks at my blog, honestly. The fact that some companies seek me out to do reviews is really amazing but it became too much for me.

I also noticed another change as I took my break.  My desire to simplify became more and more clear.  I actually don't want all these cases and shelves of beauty products anymore.  I want a simpler beauty routine so it is easier to pick colors and have fun again.  I plan to keep plenty of it, don't worry, but I certainly don't need all of what I have.  I plan to gift, donate and sell what I decide to part with.

When I first had chemical sensitivities, I had no idea what I could use and now look at the amazing world opening up to us all.  There is actually so much that it is too overwhelming to keep up or even try to.  I feel like I am at a point where, yes, it is fun to try new things, but if I am really happy with what I am using now, why change?  Why spend more money?  Why try more new stuff?  There is so much available now that I feel like people need a bit less guidance.  There are also wonderful resources available that have experts who can really help you learn more. I feel that my voice is no longer needed in this area.

With all of this in mind, it is time for me to officially announce my retirement from Beauty Au Natural.  I may blog again, about what?  I am not sure yet. It is time for new adventures and discoveries.  My Facebook page and profile, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram accounts will stick around, at least for now.  You can always reach me there.  I am always happy to talk.

My love and thanks to you all! I am so grateful for the past 4.5 years.

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