The Biggest Deja Vu #NostalgiaLevel9000 #MajorThrowback

Today after 18 years I was reunited with my incredible ski instructor from 1999! Cat Smiley was one of the very first women I ever truly looked up to. She was a true mentor. She did so much more than just teach me to be a fearless badass ripping around a mountain at the age of 9; she believed in me and instilled confidence that took me from daredevil to self-assured young lady who values independence, strength and joie de vivre. Through the magic of email pen pals we managed to stay in touch and even from a far she led by example, being the woman I hoped to be one day and truly LIVING life as a #girlboss with a purpose. I felt like I was that little girl again today as she led me down Couloir Extreme, ♦♦ against all odds, I felt fearless once again, skiing behind probably the best skier I’ve ever seen, making it all look effortless. It was as if no time had passed.

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Merry Bohemian Christmas! 

After eating far too much food over the past two days, it only seems appropriate to try to snap oneself back into shape after Christmas. After far too many injuries in 2016 (broken foot and wrist and a slew of back problems), after the magic of physio last week I was happy to get into a more regular gym routine. I am very proud to say that I worked out 6 days last week, even on Christmas Eve to prepare for indulgences like lobster Mac and Cheese. Tonight I plan to carry on a boxing day tradition of going to a rave, that started way back when Deadmau5 used to play at a little joint called The Guvernment. Raving is totally cardio right? 

But my inspiration to get fit for 2017 did not come from the usual New Years resolution formula. It was actually inspired by two lovely girls I used to go to Queen’s University with, Julia Marcuzzi and Rhiana Snead, who invited me to style and model in their shoot for Greenhouse Juice Co. These two beautiful bohemian babes are the definition of goals. Not only are they kind, caring, ridiculously artistic, creative and fun, but they literally glow. Their inner beauty shines through and I’m sure they would tell you that such sparkle is a result of their vegan lifestyle, but I think it is a little more than that. 

I feel so grateful to have reconnected with such positive beauties and their insanely delicious recipes from the Peace Love Green Juice “Mimosas and Mistletoe” cookbook could convince any carnivore to go vegan. They are that good! As my resolution last year I went vegetarian, and lasted until about August. But these two have restored my faith in a more plant-based diet and I plan to continue to eat less and less meat and dairy over the next year with the brilliant guidance of their recipes! 

This was the most beautiful set for a photoshoot I have ever been involved with thanks to Julia’s sister’s design skills. The shoot was just generally a workout for our cheeks, having a laugh at every turn. 


Photography by Vitaliy Latanskiy 

Makeup by Aleksandra Portillo 

Juices by Greenhouse Juice Co. 

Recipes and food by Julia Marcuzzi and Rhiana Sneyd

Styling by Lauren Gibson (me) 

To my little bro on his birthday 

​I know you’re in England, teaching kids in East London, doing good for the world, and that’s rad and all, but Christmas without you just ain’t right! Wishing my original partner in crime the happiest of birthdays today! It’s hard to find a sibling duo closer than us, and for good reason. You’ve always been a wild one, but you’ve grown into probably the smartest person I know, definitely the biggest intellectual in our family, and I would be willing to argue Dad to the death on that one. But it is your emotional intelligence that makes you truly special to anyone who knows you well, as well as the many people you are so open to meeting. You were the little boy who gave $20 of his movie money to a homeless man just because, you never judge anyone and embrace all of the different lights they bring, you are a gentle and insightful teacher, you are my favourite person to ski down a mountain with and dance at a festival with while you do that infamous head bob of yours. You will always be my cute little brother with the most infectious cackle in the world and I can’t wait for many more adventures on this ride together. 

Looking back on 2016 

My mother recently got Instagram. As someone who has never had Facebook and spends no time on social media, she has a refreshing perspective on it all. She said, “wow you have had an incredibly successful year or photoshoots!” Looking back, I’m overly critical of myself for not getting to post all the incredible shots I get back from photoshoots. I have gotten to know a couple amazing photographers this year, who I have developed relationships with and have been lucky to work with multiple times this year. One of which is Vitaliy. Vitaliy approached me about styling a bohemian shoot and I could not have been more excited this past summer. Since I’m pretty much known by many as “Chella” anything festival inspired is an automatic yes in my books. This was the first of many shoots we did together in 2016. I was lucky to have the gorgeous, Narley, as my canvas and style as well which made my job all the more easy and fun! 

Velvet set by For Love and Lemons, rings by Vitaly, choker by Ava Emery

Flower Crown by Ezzy Lynn, choker by Ava Emery, Bralette by For Love and Lemons, top by Mendocino, shorts by One Teaspoon, gladiator sandals by Free People, bracelets by Forever 21

On Narley: choker by Forever 21, earrings by Urban Outfitters, crochet top and necklace by Coco Rose, shorts by Pily Q

Dress by For Love and Lemons, necklaces by Ava Emery, boots by Dolce Vita

Dress by Mendocino, choker by Ava Emery, necklaces and bracelets by Forever 21




Dress by Mendocino, belt by Free People, boots by Dolce Vita, choker by Ava Emery


Girl Date at the Christmas Market

My dear friend, Gina, is one of those incredible people who lights a fire in your soul when you speak to her. She has been one of the most positive sources of encouragement to me in the past year towards empowering me forward in my life. She is the definition of genuine. So, when she encourages me to continue to pursue my writing and art, I listen. I trust that she actually does believe in me. That is a really special quality to find in a friend. 

Gina is the youngest, in one of my badass female friend groups, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it. Yes she is a fine, tall megababe, but she is has a quiet confidence that assures you she is wise beyond her years. She works at Mars, a very cool company that helps guide budding entrepreneurs. She couldn’t be a better fit for the job. 

Yesterday, after a grueling week of work at Mars, Gina had the Monday off and she wanted to have a girl date. Being a non-nine-to-fiver, and the preproduction on the film I’m working on being further delayed, I was more than happy to oblige in taking my fellow Amazon babe to the Christmas market! We drank Chai lattes, spoiled my dog with treats, tried on expensive sunglasses (Santa please bring me those Retrosuperfutures), I filled Gina in on the rich history of the distillery district I learned on a Segway tour last year (nerd alert), and tried not to be too naughty! Perfect Monday.

Headband: Ezzy Lynn, Coat: Zara, Scarf: Aritzia

Birthdays, Rebirths, Full Moons and Our Stars

It’s 3 in the morning on a Monday, October 17th. Two days after my 27th birthday on Saturday October 15th. I can’t sleep. I have the worst insomnia of my life. To be fair, I’ve almost never had insomnia. This is one of the first times in my life I can’t sleep. I’m often embarrassingly narcoleptic in fact. (I’ve fallen asleep in very inappropriate places, like a Def Leppard concert, true story).
So the fact I cannot sleep is out of character. It only furthered my anxiety that has been building over the past few days. My brain has been in a state of constant conflict, indecisiveness, guilt, procrastination, yet has also had this newfound reflective energy and clarity towards optimism, gratitude, calmness and pride. I feel my binary forces more than ever. So after 2 days of having my absolute favourite foods put in front of me and being unable to find an appetite to eat them for no good reason (and I’m a foodie), I started to really feel some supernatural forces. I spent a family birthday dinner wavering from anxiousness, discomfort and feelings of inadequacy to moments of pure joy, gratitude, enthusiasm and peace. What gave me life was my father’s poem that he read about my tormented soul as a libra. It was the perfect birthday present. Here it is in his beautiful artistic handwriting:

We then opened the astrology book that was his present to me, and the undeniable truth in what I read further comforted me. 

Yet why am I still awake? My boyfriend who was my other source of comfort is currently snoring beside me. Why am I not able to close my eyes and do the same? Two episodes of Family Guy, then I did what any millennial would do, I started scrolling the Internet.  The answers were directed to me by chance. My dad’s poem made me think about my name, something I often felt didn’t fit my personality. So out of curiosity, I looked up its meaning. The answers were so eerily spot on that it spurred the real self-reflection I had been avoiding for years on my birthday. Down the rabbit hole I Go. I found multiple definitions for my name and they all fit. They all resonated. #relatable, #creepy? #whatistheuniversetryingtotellme 

I am Irish on both sides. I have a Celtic temper at times. I have been known to cause a physical fight, defend random strangers in the name of justice and valuing helping the little guy. Anyone who has seen me in Kung Fu class, or on a boxing bag swinging my left hook or racing on skis down a mountain has seen this fierceness. And I usually try to do it in an impractical outfit in the name of beauty.

My many ex boyfriends can vouch for that one. ^

My many ex boyfriends can vouch for that one. ^

Yep. Many people think they know me, but I have secrets no one knows. Pain I have hidden, torment I only shared with a handful of people.

I take pride in trying to connect with strangers and wanting to include everyone, after being so excluded myself. To the point that I get anxiety or FOMO about forgetting to invite someone to my birthday and hurting their feelings, hence why I hate the stress of planning my own birthday. I would invite random strangers to my house on a whim in the name of being the life of the party. I was up for anything. At the expense of my safety at times.

I take pride in trying to connect with strangers and wanting to include everyone, after being so excluded myself. To the point that I get anxiety or FOMO about forgetting to invite someone to my birthday and hurting their feelings, hence why I hate the stress of planning my own birthday. I would invite random strangers to my house on a whim in the name of being the life of the party. I was up for anything. At the expense of my safety at times.

This was my dad’s dream for me. I would probably make a great lawyer, I value fairness and justice to a fault and stand up for what I believe in. I am great at bullshitting and still winning arguments. I grew up with a litigator father, who saw himself in me. He was impossible to argue with and was so convincing that I eventually gave in and played along with his idea for me to go to the same university he went to, even take the a minor in political science, despite having no interest in it, take an LSAT course then chicken out before the exam. I had the best grade in my high school law class (it may have helped that the law teacher was a babe and I wanted to impress him too). Maybe law is the career for me? All in the belief that I could become a lawyer, and if I made my dad happy, I would also be happy. That was a huge mistake, that I punished myself and my parents for over and over for in the years following university. Wasting time was sacrilege to me, and yet I continued to procrastinate. I would waver from two dichotomies, Carpe diem and be a daddy’s girl.

This was my dad’s dream for me. I would probably make a great lawyer, I value fairness and justice to a fault and stand up for what I believe in. I am great at bullshitting and still winning arguments. I grew up with a litigator father, who saw himself in me. He was impossible to argue with and was so convincing that I eventually gave in and played along with his idea for me to go to the same university he went to, even take the a minor in political science, despite having no interest in it, take an LSAT course then chicken out before the exam. I had the best grade in my high school law class (it may have helped that the law teacher was a babe and I wanted to impress him too). Maybe law is the career for me? All in the belief that I could become a lawyer, and if I made my dad happy, I would also be happy.  That was a huge mistake, that I punished myself and my parents for over and over for in the years following university. Wasting time was sacrilege to me, and yet I continued to procrastinate. I would waver from two dichotomies, Carpe diem and be a daddy’s girl.

This was me in high school and university. I had many different friend groups, since I played so many sports and tried to participate in as many clubs as possible. I lacked focus. This further lead me astray. At the peak was after university, when most of my friends had found their way into adult jobs and my lack of focus made me feel worthless. Why had I not found my way after university. I resented my parents for not guiding me better or letting me go to an art school and follow my interest. I felt like I had been left behind, it was too late, no one could take me seriously now, this was not where I was supposed to be, I needed to get out, get away, get far far away…and one day I attempted suicide. That was the deepest I ever got in the woods and I am still not fully out.

This was me in high school and university. I had many different friend groups, since I played so many sports and tried to participate in as many clubs as possible. I lacked focus. This further lead me astray. At the peak was after university, when most of my friends had found their way into adult jobs and my lack of focus made me feel worthless. Why had I not found my way after university. I resented my parents for not guiding me better or letting me go to an art school and follow my interest. I felt like I had been left behind, it was too late, no one could take me seriously now, this was not where I was supposed to be, I needed to get out, get away, get far far away…and one day I attempted suicide. That was the deepest I ever got in the woods and I am still not fully out.

Oh the friendships that ended with other girls! The drama. The jealousy because I put too much value on the approval of men. Tumultuous. I thought the praise of boys would make me happy. Nicknames like “best in the league” might just be brushed off as locker room banter, but eventually a girl realizes that wild college story goals do not really keep you warm at nitht in the end. Again, I only got exploited and used and lead further off my own path.

Oh the friendships that ended with other girls! The drama. The jealousy because I put too much value on the approval of men. Tumultuous. I thought the praise of boys would make me happy. Nicknames like “best in the league” might just be brushed off as locker room banter, but eventually a girl realizes that wild college story goals do not really keep you warm at nitht in the end. Again, I only got exploited and used and lead further off my own path. 

Oh the number of blonde moments I could tell you about! To be fair, I am a natural blonde. I made so many stupid mistakes innocently. I flooded my parents’ house. I am terrible with tools. My film prof asked me if I knew which way to turn sink faucets, I did not know. I have a terrible sense of direction, especially in shopping malls.

Oh the number of blonde moments I could tell you about! To be fair, I am a natural blonde. I made so many stupid mistakes innocently. I flooded my parents’ house. I am terrible with tools. My film prof asked me if I knew which way to turn sink faucets, I did not know. I have a terrible sense of direction, especially in shopping malls.

I have struggled with saying “no” at my own expense in an effort to make people value me. My loyalty and lack of judgmental thinking has actually hurt me. Even my middle name was spot on.

I have struggled with saying “no” at my own expense in an effort to make people value me. My loyalty and lack of judgmental thinking has actually hurt me. Even my middle name was spot on.

How? At first I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. But then I really started to reflect. I had played so many different Laurens over the years, trying to get people to like me, something I felt deprived of in high school. I was still the nerd, who never got asked to prom deep down, but I overcompensated so far to the otherside that I got completely lost. I could relate to anyone, anywhere, and though that might be considered an asset in the entertainment world I was working in, it lacked true fulfillment. 

But this one took me on a turn. I finally realized I was in control of the character I played. I could be my own casting director. It was time for me to finally take back the reins to my life again. This was the real Lauren. It is finally time to get her back. The Deja Vu moments I had noticed increasing in my life over the past few years started to make sense.  

Everything happens for a reason, I was beginning to embrace that comfort once again. 

So the fact I cannot sleep is out of character. It only further serves as a sign that I have strayed too far from the real me in the past decade. I had let my rising sign of Gemini take over in order to survive as a young woman, lost, looking for her identity.  I was praised for my chameleon-like flexibility, charm and grace. But, I only just realized that this praise I was seeking was the wrong kind. I had almost been method acting, playing a character on and off to survive exploitative jobs and social situations. I ALWAYS KNEW DEEP DOWN IN MY HEART THAT I WAS STRAYING FROM MY TRUE SELF. I would stop during this past decade on the path and have moments of epihany, but would retreat back to the caricature of myself I had created to distract from my feelings of insecurity and inadequacy in what I perceived to be the minds of my peers. But this feeling was new. It was exhilarating rather than defeating. The resistance to self-actualization was finally actually going away. I began to feel aware and accepting of my past, the present moment and my uncertain future. Things that had once made me feel guilt, shame, resentment and torment to the point of wanting to end it all. But, this time it felt impossible that I could ever give up. I didn’t realize that it was because of the Full Moon in Aries in the window beside my bed. It was a sign from my Nana, an Aries herself, and one of the strongest women I’ve ever known, whose mantra was “Never Give Up!” I didn’t realize until after she passed and my mother told me more about her how similar we really were. I felt her presence all of last night and I’m glad she is there in spirit to support this new cycle in my life I know I’m embarking on. It was a distinct sense of comfort.

I move back to reading about astrology. I’m not getting any sleepier. It is 5 am now. I find out a girl with the same birthday as me on Saturday also felt these forces so hard and wavered between crying and feeling joy all day and was also unable to eat. I had been so conflicted on my birthday, I felt so angry and guilty and conflicted I threw up my arms multiple times and ran to bed bursting into tears wanting to just cancel all the plans I was too indecisive to decide on and pretend the day never happened. 

But in the end, my guilt and worry about people not actually having fun celebrating my birthday was unfounded and I had one of the best birthdays I’ve had in probably a decade. It felt like the beginning of something really big. Like I was on the cusp of something wonderful that would get me back to the real me and where I’m meant to go, be and do. I basically feel like Jon Snow at the end of the 6th season of Game of Thrones. I know I am not alone in these feelings. So if any of this resonates, find comfort in knowing that it is because of the supermoon that is about to change everything for us all. An Astrologer by the name of Divine Harmony explains it pretty perfectly saying, 

“This Full Moon is nearly EXACTLY conjunct Eris… and brings the Eris archetype front and center into our experience…”“Eris is definitely the Goddess of discord and chaos but when she uproots things or creates chaos she does so because the facade has gotten toxic and it’s time to really face and see what lies underneath. She actually brings harmony and balance by shining a Light on the shadow.“She releases anger and rage that has been stuck, stagnant and repressed for far too long and could become even more toxic and explosive if not given an outlet NOW…”“Because the moon is involved emotions can be HIGH at this Full Moon and building up to it days or even a week beforehand.“If you find yourself feeling angry, rageful, irritable, reactive or impulsive- know that Eris is stirring your pot and navigate the fiery energies consciously so they are creative rather than destructive.“On the flip side- if you find yourself feeling depressed, apathetic or disconnected this Full Moon is asking you to get in touch with what you have repressed within…”“Communications, perception, thinking and speaking can be intense but also penetrating and revealing right now.“With the ruling planet of this lunation Mars approaching Pluto (exact 10/19) some very powerful energies are brewing that we REALLY want to work with consciously.“Mars/Pluto can help us align our lower egoic wills with our Higher Wills- so actions we take are masterful, full of integrity, personal accountability and maturity.“OR Mars/Pluto can be a battle of wills- lower versus Higher- with egos clashing, power/control dynamics erupting, with manipulation and even violence erupting.“The Great Mother asteroid Goddess Ceres is also involved in the Full Moon- her position at 29 Aries puts her in conjunction with the Moon at the karmic completion degree (the 29th degree of any sign has this energy).“There can be big things up right now around home/family situations, safety and security, the environment and Mother Earth at large…”“Using this Full Moon to really FEEL all our emotions- especially the ones we tend to want to disassociate from like anger, rage, grief and pain.“The path to healing requires that wefeel things all the way throughwithout getting stuck in the emotions but also not avoiding them entirely or shutting them down…”“We live in a society that reactively expresses or represses- not one in which healthy ways of dealing with emotions gets modeled. We have to model this for ourselves.“Particularly in the spiritual community- there often can be a judgement around negative emotions as though one is not as evolved or awake if one feels anger or grief or attachment…”“Emotions are part of the human experience. We did not come down here to shut off our emotions and disconnected from our humanity. We came here to be fully embodying and feeling it all– and wake up while in the fullness of our humanity!“This Full Moon is wonderful for awakening and liberation from things we have been repressing, holding back, holding onto or disconnecting from- both emotions, people, things, attitudes and more.“…this lunation is particularly potent and intense. The very yang, fiery, aggressive energy of Aries is exacerbated by Uranus/Eris on the moon as well as mars in Capricorn (ruler of the Full Moon) approaching Pluto.“There’s just no getting around this astrology- so may as well call a spade a spade rather than dress it up in a pink tutu and call it a unicorn 😉 but we can work with these force field energies with consciousness.“Uranus helps us to break free and revolutionize our lives! Mars helps us to take definitive action! Pluto helps us to confront shadow, purge what no longer is valid, transform and empowerourselves. we can embrace these energies at the time of this full moon if we so choose.“Of course the true test to mastery is when you can find and keep your center even when the rest of the world around you is losing theirs. A tall order and one to rise up to this month for sure!“I leave you with Ellias Lonsdale’s Star Sparks meditation for 24 Aries reminding us that we are partnersin the dance– one part of a greater whole. The key is to relate to others consciously and with deep integrity, deep respect and deep honoring.“The healing of the split within and without happens when we all do our part and treat each other as we would like to be treated as we each make our journey Home…”

 

From ELLIAS LONSDALE: “Aries 24 A harp which plays itself“I empty myself of my own experience and I am filled by what we are moving through here.“I deprive myself of the privilege to make my own music. Then the music that exists finds that I am just the one to tune and respond.“I am greatly delighted to be able to make way. It releases me from the burden of separative selfhood.“Each arising occasion becomes yet another opportunity to divest myself of baggage and become attuned to something I’ve never had before, I’ve never been ready to make way for till now.“When I am on, everything that needs to happen flows through me and I facilitate events, experiences, encounters, epiphanies.“That frequency of staying on the beam with what arises in the free moment is where I can shine, for I know how to be light, clear, effortless.“I am aware of what it takes tolet all of us be present, each of us as fully as we can be in this crystalline breath.“I do not know what to do with myself when I am supposed to get on with my own concerns. I have nothing really to do. I only come alive when the pulse is engaged.“There is nothing else to even prepare for or pretend to be aroused by.“So I come across as simple-pointed and almost narrow.“I certainly am purposive and steady on.“But it’s the receptivity, the availability, the quiet interior resource which is actually what I manifest in this life.“I am a partner in a dance. I am one part of a greater whole.“My facet is complete unto itself. Yet it really takes a shared moment for this to come alive as intended.“I live for the sensation of being tapped, of being asked to give of my essence and let the truth resound all through my being.“How can I not seek the charged moment of encounter?“I am the breath of new life, awaiting winds that blow.”

The only thing that seems right at the moment is my urge to write. It is the only thing that has felt natural in the past few days. It culminates all my recent feelings of epiphany. I have been overly reflective and hyper aware of my need to take action in my own imminent self-actualization. I have been lost for the past decade. This feeling of total uncertainty and discomfort and apprehension has pervaded my body for far too long. I can feel something magic is about to happen as long as I direct my energy back towards myself and my true Sun sign of libra. The past year has been one of my most crazy, memorable, wonderful and terrible all at once. I have some insane stories and wild memories that I will look back on with a smile, because though I made so many mistakes, I learned so much. It takes some time, but eventually you begin to appreciate learning over anything else in this world. Or at least I do now.

But, I feel fairly sure it is the end of a bad cycle. I feel as though I am finally coming into my own. As a young woman, this feeling is incredibly energizing and comforting. More stimulating than any drug out there. Though I have had many wildly profound and euphoric moments in the past decade, this type of euphoria is different.

I got a taste of this calm sense of purpose and reassurance after I had my astrological chart read by a woman who can only be described as an angel, Jennifer Lavina. As I return to the stars to guide me again, I know I am finally getting back to the real Lauren Emily. I happened to find out tonight in my desperate online scrolling attempts to fall asleep that my name means fierce crowned beauty. I finally feel like I can like my name, since it is true to what I love and stand for. I’m not sure what this new chapter in my life will bring exactly, but I am sure that it is something better than where I have been. I also have the wisdom now to know that I could not have got to this place without all of the terribly dark and tormenting times that have urked my soul in the past 27 years. I have a great sense of gratitude for this exact present moment, every moment in my past and exhilarating excitement for the future. I guess this means I’m growing up? Maybe this is what becoming an adult is? Maybe I always related to inner turmoil of the members of the 27 Club and making it to the age of 27 without dying, affirmed that my existence on this planet actually does matter? #existentialthoughtsintheweehours

I’m ready to accept and appreciate my past, present and future. I can only fail if I am not true to myself. This is the beauty of life in this incredible universe. We all are a part of something way bigger, beyond ourselves. We just need something to remind us of that sometimes. I think I can finally shut my eyes now.

Before the moon on the water with my Leo love.

A love letter from my dog, Kailey

​She is the only one I share my boyfriend with. He is always looking for ways to make both of us happy, that is why we adore him. Last night, I came down with the worst case of heartburn ever, it was dibilitating. He ubered to me and drove me to set and waited until 5 a.m. when we wrapped, even though he had work this morning. He does, sweet, thoughtful, generous things like that all the time. As Wayne and Garth would say, “we are not worthy.” So in the spirit of Man Crush Monday, here is a cute little note Kailey, my pup told me to write to show her appreciation too:

He takes the best care of me. He always rubs my paws when I come greet him with my downward dog, I wink at him, he winks back, he wraps me in blankets, I get to help him do the laundry, he lets me wear his soft t-shirts, he walks me late at night even when he is tired, he lets me sleep between him and my girl, he gives me pizza crust, and my favorite cigar, and wins me new toys at the fair! I love my #mancrushmonday, Eric McKinnon.