Consciousness, Create, and Collaboration
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These 3 “buzz” words are sure to be heard and seen in the daily news, instagram feeds and tweets. But do you really understand and can you really walk them out in your daily life?

Basic definitions:

Consciousness - The state of being awake and aware
Create - Bring something into existence
Collaboration - The act of working with others to create or produce something.


WOW, pretty basic things we were probably taught in kindergarten. Then why have we become a self centered and  selfish society? I am sure you know the answers to your own “why”. However,  I want to address the abundant mindset that will set forth these very values into motion.

When we think and act from a place of abundance and love, we can move mountains. Women working together at a primal level is a force of nature. A force for good. Men and women thriving together in life and business is synergistic magic. 

If you can help someone, why wouldn't you? In business and daily life we come across people looking for connections, introductions to others who might be able to assist them or even just a great place to go and have fun. But for some reason we behave like selfish brats and with hold information because we believe that someone might “get ahead” of us in life. The reality is that we are the ones who will be left behind with this kind of mindset. Creating abundance for all means losing the ego and implementing the “instrument mentality”. We are each in a place of helping another at some point or time. Think of this as an opportunity to do good and play your part. Give of yourself and information with a kind heart and an open mind and without expectations. It will come back to you in waves. That is just how the universe works.

Our world is energy and when we move in positive ways and flow through with affirming actions, we continue to collaborate with others to create a better world for all. Yes, there will always be competition. However, shouldn’t that we be with ourselves? To become a better version of ourselves with every growth opportunity?

Make a conscious effort to do this on a daily basis. Actively look for someone to help. 

“No matter how small the amount of goodness is, it is still goodness”

I met someone in business who was needing a specific contact to help create a sustainable supply chain. She would call and just have small talk but never asked for what she needed. Finally, I said to her, “Is there something specific that you need?”. She said “yes” and proceeded to tell me. Of course, I gave her my contact and went even further to do an introduction through email. This simple act on my part, blew her mind. I couldn't understand why. She said that no one is willing to share this kind of information. Especially, not in business. I said I was, because it created abundance for all involved. She would be able to produce her line. The manufacturer would be able to keep his workers busy and create a thriving business, and it filled my heart to know that I could be of service. 


So maybe I was the selfish one here because it made me feel good to help!

“Change your mind and your change the world.”
Tracey xo

Jessica Ricci
The Power of Unlearning
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So much of what I do as a transformational life is coach is guiding and teaching clients to unlearn specific behavior and habits. For instance, maybe someone in your past told you were worthless instead of worthy. You learned this language at a young age and have perpetuated it in all you do and all the relationships you enter in to.

Most people are really good at momentary success. They get inspired to change. Maybe they attended an event that inspired them. Maybe they got some news from their doctor and they need to shift lifestyle habits. Maybe life threw them a curve ball and they need to move. All of these can be life changing. My intention is to assist in bringing about an awakening within the individual that change is inevitable however, transformation is intentional. It will not happen by mistake or accident. It will need to be an intentional shift in your thoughts, words and actions to bring about a desired outcome. Then it will be repeating that over and over and over again. Until this new way of life becomes your new way of DOING life.

I am in quite a few homes and work with all kinds of different people, families, brand founders and their businesses. Most of the time the reason people are stuck when it comes to transforming an area of their life is fear. Fear around what others will think. Fear around having a lack in their life. Fear around if they will be successful with whatever it is they are desiring to change. Fear is a dream killer when you give it that kind of power. Fear will say “if you can’t do it perfectly then don't do it.” Love responds with “progress over perfection.” Even saying these 2 statements creates a different vibration in your body. One comes from lack and one comes from abundance. Teach yourself to know the difference. To know if it is your fear misguiding you or your intuition leading you.

Commitment and accountability are huge in the act of unlearning and transforming. Make sure that you have ways of keeping yourself accountable. Whether this is a journal, a friend or a coach and mentor. You don't have to do this alone. Super star athletes have the best coaches and best trainers so they can rise to the top. You can rise to the top of your life by being supported along this journey as well. Be willing and open to the possibilities on the other side of fear. Be willing to “unlearn” behavior that has no place in your life today.

Tracey xo

Jessica Ricci
Do you have a closet to die for?

Sustainable fashion, consumer choices and shifting our perspectives

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How influential is fashion in your life? If you answered, VERY, you are correct. It is said that over a 100 pairs of hands touch our garments before they make their way to our closets. Think about that. The choice you made to get dressed today, effects someone in the another part of the world.

Do you ‘love on” your clothes? I mean do you have a personal style you have settled into or are you still letting the “fashion powers that be” tell you what is in? Style should be all about you, comfort, utility and whatever else you want to say to the world.

Most of us do not know how our clothing is made or what it is made from. That is an old mindset that needs to be updated, especially given todays climate of the industry and the world.

As consumers we have a lot of power in our wallets. They are our dollars but they are more influential than that. They are votes. They tell brands whether we love them or we will leave them. They tell the world our style and our values by what we choose to wear everyday. We get inspiration from each other and then purchase items based upon our desires.

The current fashion industry encourages consumption and it rewards you for doing it and for doing a lot of it. However, the message of massive consumption is outdated. We are experiencing a shift in the minds of consumers. It is up to the brands to be good storytellers. It is up to each of us, the consumer to begin to care about our purchases.

The fashion industry seems to be at a crossroads. On one hand, it needs to sustain itself by selling mass amounts of products to the consumer. After all it is a 2.1 trillion dollars industry. It clothes billions and employs millions of people. On the other hand, I believe it has a responsibility on the business practices it chooses to take part in. The brands have a responsibility to treat its workers fairly and give them safe environments to work in. To steward the natural resources that it is using to produce their goods. To put it into perspective. It takes about 3 years worth of drinking water to make one t-shirt’s journey from the farm fields to your closet. How many do you own? How many are in the world? Water is a precious commodity and the industry is polluting it and consuming it at alarming rates.

While the fashion industry is in a major shift, we as consumers can do our part to help. We can buy better and buy less. We can shop consignment, second hand and vintage. We can even shop our own closets. Most importantly we can decide what our own style is and not fall prey to the propaganda of the big advertising campaigns that feed this massive machine.

Let’s each do our part to help get through this transitional chapter in an industry that we love so much

Sustainably Yours,

Tracey Martin xo

Jessica Ricci
My Relationship To My Chosen Lifestyle

Disclaimer - not everything I speak about is for everybody.

Anytime we choose to make a positive shift in our life, no matter how small we believe it to be, it is a good thing. Something so small as getting to bed an hour earlier or a larger undertaking like shifting our eating habits, will all have a ripple effect of good. Not only for ourselves but for those around us.

I have been on a journey of transformation most of my life. This has not always been a mindful action. When I was younger, it was just “the way I was.” Now that I am older, I can see their was divine order in the middle of it. Today, it is intentional.

I came from a home where we tried to make the best choices for the best outcome before anything bad would happen. In other words, getting out ahead of the issue. These were skills I was taught from an early age.

I eat very clean, 90% plant based, no alcohol and work out about 5 days a week. Two of the three seem to be “normal” for a large portion of the population in todays world. However, the not drinking alcohol part, doesn’t seem to be considered normal. I am often asked, “why don’t you drink” “Did you have a drinking problem?” My response is, “No I never had a drinking problem, this is a conscious choice.” I choose to operate optimally in my life. I want to fully be present with people and I want to feel emotions in my life and in every situation. Numbing something just never made sense to me. 

When my oldest daughter was just a baby some friends offered to babysit for us so my husband and I could go out on a date. We went to dinner and out for a few drinks. Because it had been so long since had a drink of any kind…, BAM, the alcohol hit me like a ton of bricks. We went home and I crashed in bed around 2:30 am. A few hours later I was woke up with a familiar cry and flashing lights on the baby monitor. Mekenna was hungry….NOW! There was no time to gather my thoughts, eat breakfast or take a break because I was clearly hung over. I just had to take care of her and that was that. After feeding, she took a nice nap and so did I. I woke up a couple hours later to the realization that this was not worth it. I would never drink again. I was not on top of my game. I was crabby and cranky with my sweet little baby and she had done nothing. Life is meant to be lived, present and engaged. I clearly wasn’t. It really made an impact on me. The day “after” a night out drinking is a complete loss. You can’t get it back. That is where my thoughts went. 

Fast forward about 18 1/2 years and I still haven’t drank and do not miss it at all. My friends and husband love it because I am always the designated driver. See there is even a silver lining for those around me!

Sustainably Yours,
Tracey xo

Jessica Ricci
Is this really green?
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Green Products– How can we be so sure of what we are getting?

We all love the idea of taking care of the planet. However, despite our best intentions, eco-friendly brands just sound more expensive, especially when it comes to clothing. And how do you know what you’re really getting? Organic cotton, hemp, locally sourcedsustainably manufactured, etc. It all sounds great but what does it all mean? And how can you be sure that some “100% organic” tag wasn’t slapped on a $2.00 t-shirt shipped straight from some sweatshop in China?

There are a few key ways to ensure a company is practicing what it preaches.

We have three tips to help you make shopping on your own a bit easier:

  1. The more specific the better: Look out for products that contain precise information about how and where they are manufactured.
  2. Certifications are your friend: If a garment is labeled as GOTS or Fair Trade Certified, you can rest assured that this brand is working within global regulations to ensure that each garment is produced with fair labor, safe and hygienic working conditions, organic textiles, and is free of harmful chemicals.
  3. Give to those who are giving back: You can see through brands that are simply throwing the words “green fashion” out just to make a buck. But if they’re specific with their manufacturing information and certifications and truly  create social change through philanthropy, you have found yourself a winner.

There’s a plethora of beautiful clothing lines out there with competitive pricing doing amazing work to better the world. Keep clicking around our blog for ongoing tips on our favorites, from shoes, to clothes, beauty and home wares. We are here to do the digging for you!

Jessica Ricci
Vocation or Occupation

From the moment you are able to talk, your parents, grandparents and family ask you the age old question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

John Lennon said it best when he was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. Young John wrote down on a piece of paper “I want to be happy when I grow up”. His teacher said “You must not have understood the question” to which John replied “you don’t understand life.” Wow! Out of the mouths of babes! What a firm grasp we have on happiness at a young age. So why do we let it go? Why do we take jobs that we can’t stand knowing it will make us miserable? Make us dread getting up in the morning to face another day.

Have you ever compromised your values to perform a certain job? I have a good friend who is in pharmaceuticals but lives the most holistic life you can imagine. She says she does it strictly for the money. She tells me that with every drug that she is selling she feels her values slip from her little by little. She feels like a walking contradiction. She knows there is a better way to live but isn’t sure how to go about living it.

To begin the journey to a happier career we must first know what our “currency” is in our current job or career. It seems that when you dislike your job, you really like the pay and you are willing to “put up” with a lot of crap. When you really like the job, you dislike the pay. However, the benefits are felt in more places than just your wallet. If you currency is one at the expense of the other, it might not be the best fit for you.

Once you find your true calling, or your vocation in life, you will be able to align both the job and the compensation. Your currency will change. Your soul will be filled up in ways that you could only imagine. Careers versus jobs give you purpose, happiness and a sense of well being.

Now that you are aware of your currency, I invite you to investigate your purpose. To do this you should begin to look at ways of simplifying your life to create more peace thereby giving yourself permission to tap into your passions and purpose. Start by taking an honest look at your expenditures. Are you living beyond your means? Where can you cut from? Where is it important to spend wisely? Is there extra cash lying in your closet, garage or homes? Most of the time we have things we can resell to earn some extra cash. Use this to pay off some bills and give yourself some breathing room.

Schedule a weekend away to a quiet place to really reflect on what feeds your soul. You are always going to have bills to pay, why not pay them with money earned doing something that you love? If after this time you have come to the conclusion that this is not the time for you to change jobs, start creating an exit strategy after work and on the weekends. Spend at least 30 minutes a day laying out your plan. Not only will this begin to create a shift in your life it will also begin to give you hope.

Always ask yourself, “How committed am I to making this happen?” If it is the right timing, don’t waste another day. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. Choose Happiness, choose bliss and choose YOU!

Tracey xo

Selfish or self-aware?
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Spirituality can be defined in many ways but it can never be defined in a “religious” way. Religious ways are confining, boundary laden, judgmental and fear based.

A truly nurtured soul is at the center of your individual spirituality. We are a 3 layered being: Mind, Body and Spirit. Except most of us are driven only by the body, our outward expression. We are concerned with what we feed ourselves, how we clothe ourselves and what we adorn ourselves with. This is mainly because we judge and are judged by appearance. When it comes to the mind we are totally clueless… but that is for another blog post. We are probably only utilizing one-tenth of our brain’s capacity.

Spirituality or “soul care” is at the center of who we are and why we do what we do. How do you nurture your soul? Or do you even think about it? Are you aware of your feelings or do you just suppress them? Are you healing your soul or hurting it? Are you blossoming or are you a withered flower? Are you expanding your world or constricting it? When was the last time you read a book that truly “fed your soul” or are you content to mindlessly sit in front of the television to watch whichever show is “trending?” When was the last time you took a walk? Wrote in a journal? Baked cookies? Danced with wild abandon? Made love for hours? Snuggled? Talked to a friend for hours without caring about the time?

When you become the sum of your parts or a 3 layered human you become balanced. You think differently, you speak more mindfully and you create a better life for yourself and those around you. You begin to think about purpose, identity, growth, abundance, expansion and personal evolution. You show up differently.

Many people may observe and say “my you have changed”. You can answer that with “no I haven’t, I just discovered ME”. Once you begin to do your “soul care” work and exercise “self love” your relationships will change. It is OK if people are left behind. You have been their teacher. Self care is never selfish. It is “abundant” thinking!

xo

Are your beauty products safe?

Guest blog by: Olivia Stanfield Smith

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If you are anything like me, you have drawers full of beauty products you never use and wonder what to do with. I don’t want to throw anything away because my products weren’t cheap, yet I am not sure if they are good either for my skin or the environment. Who knows how long this stuff has been in my drawers and where it came from? I definitely wasn’t as aware when I started purchasing these products as I am now working here at Threads of Evolution. So I wanted to know what the best rules of thumb were when watching for makeup safety, both for the environment and for myself. Here is what I found out.

You want to look out for cancer-causing parabens (a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products). They are found in a lot of adult and – sadly – baby shampoos, and are full of estrogens that emit carcinogens. So yeah, toss anything with parabens in it. Here is a tricky one for me because I love it so much, but fragrance, I know this isn’t great for the skin, but it is so addicting! Why is it so bad?! The FDA requires that food, drug and body care company’s list their ingredients on their products—but chemicals used to scent products are usually just clumped together under the vague term “fragrance.” This is found in everything from shampoo to deodorant. A single product’s secret fragrance mixture can potentially contain hundreds of toxic volatile organic compounds. That doesn’t mean we won’t be using anything without scent, it’s just something we need to investigate further because so much can clearly be thrown into this fragrance category.

This isn’t so scary, so let’s look and see what else is bad? We might as well start tossing and making room for good stuff! “Nanoparticles,” for instance are minute untested ingredients many scientists are very concerned about because of their potential health effects. Apparently these nanoparticles can be found in lotions, moisturizers, make-up and particularly sunscreen. So check the back of the aforementioned for any mention of these tiny particles and in the bin these products go. The next ingredients won’t give you a moment’s pause in ridding yourself of certain products because they are just disgusting to be frank.

Here goes. Formaldehyde, yes, formaldehyde yuck! A common hardener in nail polish and ingredient in bath products, this chemical is a known carcinogen. Nail polish also often contains the developmental toxicant toluene. To avoid any dangerous emissions from nail polish there are so many AMAZING brands out there making natural polishes that last just as long as those we are more familiar with. Check out Butter of London if you really want to be blown away!

All right, we have a few more revolting ingredients to throw your way. Look out for a group of plasticizers known as phthalates. These hormone disruptors have been linked to male genital abnormalities, liver and kidney lesions, and higher rates of childhood asthma and allergies. They’re often hidden in the fragrances of an array of products for men, women and children, and listed as dibutyl phthalate in nail polish.

Now for petroleum by-products, listed as mineral oil, liquid paraffin, toluene or xylene. These chemicals are found in a dizzying array of products, including many shampoos and soaps. Of most concern is the fact that they are often contaminated by cancer-causing impurities such as 1,4 DIOXANE, which is a probable carcinogen. The beauty industry has done very little to prevent such contamination. You should also look out for triclosan, a primary ingredient in anti-bacterial soaps and products. It has been linked to hormone disruption and the emergence of bacteria resistant “superbugs.” Lead is also commonly found in lipstick and men’s coloring kits. It is a potent neurotoxicant, so kind of obvious to steer clear of. And finally, mercury! Often listed as “thimerosol” it is still used in cosmetics such as mascara. This is also a neurotoxicant.

You can be sure I will be making some room in my bathroom drawers after delving deeper into this. If this helps us to at least make more educated decisions when purchasing in the future, than we have done our job today!

xx
Olivia Stanfield Smith

Jessica Ricci
Mom lessons – How deferring to your dog and consulting with your kids can bring you clarity!

If you find yourself in a situation where you are pushing to make something work to no avail… look no further than to your furry friends or those beautiful little beings that you’ve created for a hand! As adults, our life experience tends to lead us into trying to make things work even if they just aren’t.  We try to look for the good in even the worst of situations. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however one must know when to say when! In moments like these,  I look to my dog for a reaction or sit and have a chat with my kids. After all, they can’t be fake. What you see is what you get and they are not afraid to tell you the truth, whether you like it or not.

You can’t pick and choose when you want your kids to be authentic and honest. They don’t know how to be any other way.

They say that dogs and kids have a sixth sense. I truly believe this. Have you ever been somewhere and your kids hide behind your legs? They “feel” something that makes them uncomfortable. Their intuition is telling them what to do! Teach them to trust it. Dogs too. They know who they like and who they don’t.

We were at a Christmas party a few years ago with my youngest who was 8 at the time. We didn’t have a babysitter so she tagged along. It was your typical company Christmas party. My daughter was talking to people and having fun, next the dinner was served and finally the drinks started flowing. I looked over at my daughter and she had tears in her eyes! Shocked, I wrapped my arms around her and asked her what was wrong. She said “I don’t feel safe any more and the energy changed in the room.” Out of the mouth of my very own little baby girl came something so pure and honest. In a split second I had to make a decision to either say to her “oh honey, you are fine you’re with Daddy and I… nothing’s wrong” or I needed to honor her instinct and leave. My mom mind fast forwarded to my daughter at a teen party being confronted with peer pressure, alcohol, and who knows what else. I wanted her to learn to trust her gut and even in that situation know that it is ok to walk away and stay true to who you are. So, I told my husband that she and I were going to leave and we would come back to get him. He asked why and I filled him in. Then he too agreed and we said our goodbyes. The next morning my daughter said “thank you for leaving last night. I felt better knowing you supported me.” I told her that I was so proud of her for speaking up and listening to her inner voice.

It just goes to show that some life lessons come at the craziest times and from the most unexpected people!

Tracey XO

Grow Your Brain

Everything starts with a thought. How healthy are your thoughts? What does your “self talk” sound like? Positive or negative? Encouraging or discouraging? Kind or self loathing?

What if what we said to ourselves was played out loud? Yikes! There is a thought.

Today I want to talk about “growing your brain.” Not just thinking positive thoughts but literally changing the way you think. Did you know that you can actually create new neurons and pathways in your brain just by thinking and acting differently? Neuro-plasticity is the ability for the brain to reorganize and create new connections during learning or experiencing new things. WOW. We can actually do that?! This creates lasting change in the brain and it can slow the aging process as well.

What you think becomes your reality. Think about a new project you want to create and visualize it. Exercise your brain through meditation. You will accomplish this because you’ve moved energy toward it and the universe will answer you with matching energy to bring to fruition whatever you want. You have created a “new you” and a new experience.

We behave in habits. What I mean by this is that when we are experiencing something, we mirror the act based on past experiences. We have already predicted the outcome of a new situation through our thoughts about the past.

Our internal conversation might sound a bit like this:

“I am not smart. I have this test coming up and I know I am going to fail it no matter what I do” or “this always happens to me” and the old classic “I don’t do well at this (x,y,z)” “I’m not good at (x,y,z).” We have shot ourselves down before we’ve even tried by pulling up a negative experience and using it as a yard stick for our life. Not a good way to live. By doing this you are setting yourself up for failure by your thoughts and the “habit” of being you. You are creating a negative reality by speaking things into reality. You have that kind of power!

The good news is that this works in the reverse as well. We can change our world for the better by changing our thoughts.

So for 30 days, I want you to do the exact opposite of what you would normally do in a familiar situation. If you drive to work the same old way, take a new way to work. Look at the new surroundings. If you normally drive to a familiar coffee shop on the way to work, seek out a new one and try it. Not only will this actually grow your brain, it will lift your spirits as well. Trust me. Give it a try it and give us some feedback. Changing your world takes work, are you up for it?

Little things matter too. Sleep on the opposite side of the bed. Sit in a different place at the dinner table. Take a shower in a different bathroom in your house. Seriously!

“To change is to think greater than the environment, to think greater than your circumstances and act greater than the conditions in your life,” Dr. Joe Dispenza. Look into this man’s brilliant teachings and his books. One of my favorite is “You are the placebo.”

Tracey xo