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The Importance of Feeling Beautiful + Next Photoshoot!

I want you to know that I hope the first issue of KERRY magazine made you feel beautiful.

I want to share a photo me from when I was 15. I came across this last year and decided to hang it up above my dresser. When I found this, my first response was awe. I couldn’t believe how beautiful, funky and confident the girl in the picture looked. The reason I was so surprised is because I didn’t feel any of those things at the time. This photo was actually taken right before I cut all of that hair off so I could look like Mia Farrow from Rosemary’s Baby. My mom was so upset. I didn’t understand why. Over 20 years later, I got it. I finally saw what she saw. I now know what she always knew.

15(I am seriously crying right now in a coffee shop as I write this. I learned not to stop the crying because it means I am feeling and feeling is healing. It may sound cheesy but I have been feeling a lot in the last year and a lot of positive change has been coming from it.)

I thought everyone else was beautiful and that I would never REALLY be beautiful.

I am going to be honest here and let you know that feeling that way led me to a lot of self-destructive behavior. It led me to hang out with a lot of people who did not value me as a person. It led me to learn how to be one way on the outside while being completely different on the inside.

(I have been encouraged to share my story more lately so this is the beginning of that. I hope to keep peeling back the layers so that my experiences can help others. The amount of tears flowing right now make me realize that this is a good start.)

I grew up and eventually had moments and times in my life when I truly felt beautiful. I feel very lucky to have had those times because I am now learning that not everyone does.

I started going back to my old ways of thinking after moving back to Arizona 2 years ago. I had gained weight. I had stretch marks from my pregnancies. I had acne scars on my face from horrible breakouts that happened the year after the birth of my first son. I compared myself to EVERYONE. I never came out on top. I was constantly saying negative things to and about myself in my head.

I remembering looking at this photo of me as a 15 year old and feeling an ache deep inside. Such a beautiful soul who had no idea just how beautiful she is. I knew that I didn’t want another 20 years to go by and to find a photo of my 37 year old self and feel that same ache. That ache of seeing the beauty in my younger self that I couldn’t see at the time.

I started learning about changing my thoughts. I discovered that I can actually tell myself “I am beautiful.” Who knew?! I had never said those words. I started saying them over and over again in my head. I started making a song out of it and dancing. I eventually was able to look in the mirror and say “You are beautiful” to my reflection.

I got more serious about my meditation practice. I started to really take the time to get in touch with my true self. That deep inner core that knows that I am worthy, amazing and, yes, beautiful.

I started to allow tears to come and not stop them once they did. I started to move out that old energy. That energy that didn’t think I was good enough.

I started to pay attention to what made me feel beautiful and to do those things often.

I started this magazine.

I wanted to honor the dreams of the girl in that photo. I also knew that other people might feel the way I have felt and I want them to feel beautiful too.

One of the women from the magazine wrote me after the photoshoot saying this:

“It was extraordinary. Really. It did me a world of good and honestly is the first time I’ve ever felt anything close to beautiful.”

I almost dropped the phone.

If you told my 15 year old self that when she was in her 30’s that she would help a woman feel beautiful and good about herself during a photoshoot for her very own magazine I know she would have smiled and said “That sounds about right but I won’t just stop there.” If she had the tools then that I have now it might have happened sooner than later. I have spent enough time in the past and am now excited to create a beautiful future.

It has taken me some time but I am finally ready to be myself and to find the beauty in that authenticity.

I want to do the same for others.

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If you want to be a part of the next issue of KERRY magazine please send me a message at kerryburki@gmail.com. I have the next photoshoot tentatively scheduled for Sunday, October 25th at my home.

If you feel called to do some deeper work please get in touch. I would love to help you find and feel your beauty and your worth. You can get in touch at kerryburki@gmail.com.

Remember, you are beautiful!!! XO!

Waiting to feel content?

youareI took a break from social media and emails for the past week so I could organize the house and get rid of stuff before my kids went back to school.  I tend to start feeling overwhelmed this time of year so it really felt good to give away so much old stuff that we were no longer using.

While I was going through everything I kept thinking about how great I will feel when I was done cleaning and organizing the house.

Then I came across a article about Santosha among my yoga papers. Santosha is Sanskrit for contentment.

The article talked about how we are all trying to obtain contentment by thinking things similar to:

“I will be happy when

– my salary is larger.”

– I lose 10 pounds.”

– I go on vacation.”

– this rough patch is over.”

– when I get my house organized.”

The thing is, once you reach a “when” another one just pops up. And, honestly, probably 5 more.

The article went on to say that the key to creating that happiness we are looking for means being content with your home, car, belongings, money, health, friends, job and family.

Sounds easy, right? Ha! But it sure gives you a lot to think about doesn’t it?

How can you take something that you considered a negative and see it in a more positive light?

Here are some of my examples:

1. Feeling behind on emails and projects because I spent a lot of time with my kids this summer.

Becomes:

Feeling grateful to have kids, feeling lucky to have the opportunity to spend so much time with them, feeling excited that I have projects and ideas to work on and people to email about bringing them to life.

2. Worrying about the health of family members and friends.

Becomes:

Feeling blessed that I have people in my life to be concerned about and that their health isn’t worse than it is.

3. Waiting to be happy once all of the organizing I have/want to get done is done.

Becomes:

Feeling grateful that I have all these items to organize, feeling fortunate enough to have received a lot of them as gifts and that I have a lovely home in which to organize.

So, this is my challenge to you. Think about your “I’ll be happy when…” and try to put a positive spin on it. Write it down if that feels good. Smile at the fact that you can see the good in your current situation.

Does this sound nice but leave you still wanting a bit more? Good! Then you will love my favorite part of the article:

Being content with what you have does not mean you cannot discriminate and seek to progress in life. It doesn’t mean that you should not use your willpower and fulfill your plans. 

Life is meant to be lived joyously.

It does not mean that you should not become upset while you are striving toward your goals, frustrated or unhappy if you do not get what you want. The best striving is to keep pushing along the natural unfoldment of positive trends and events in your life, your family life and your business.

Contentment is working within your means with what is available to you, living within your income, being grateful for what you have, and not unhappy over what you lack.

Practicing contentment, or santosha, would be finding happiness with what you have… with your lot in life. Of course, you can work to improve it! The purpose of contentment is to help you see that you are exactly where you are to be right now. Know that there is something to learn from everything, everyone, and every experience that crosses your path.

So go after your dreams, feel your feelings, find the beauty in your life and learn the lessons presented to you.

It won’t always be easy but I’ll be doing it right alongside you and it will be worth it!

I am creating a magazine! 1st photoshoot + info inside!

magCollageI am so excited to announce that I am working on creating a magazine! I actually held the first photoshoot at my house about two weeks ago and it was a huge success!

I have wanted to start a magazine that showed more of the beautiful people I see in my everyday life ever since I was in grade school. I used to stare at a collage I made of supermodels like Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlingington and berate myself for not looking like them. Magazines rarely made me feel good about myself. I remember them making me wish I was more like the people in them.

I would wish I didn’t have freckles or was skinnier or didn’t have curly hair.

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IMG_0963What a waste of time! We are all so beautiful and I know that I see beauty in others where they see flaws. I began to I finally began to think “Why not me?” – Now I feel like I am ready to make this magazine come true. I asked Jennifer Lind Schutsky Art and Photography to help me with the project.

I thought I would start with a photoshoot of women wearing something that makes them feel beautiful.

I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction I would get since I was asking them to step out of their comfort zone and in front of the camera. I asked for volunteers on Facebook and loved the response! I even had people messaging me saying that they did not like their photo being taken but they just really wanted to be a part of this project.
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IMG_0975I was so nervous and excited the day of the photoshoot. I was hoping for 5 women including myself and ended up with 14! They came and shared themselves in the most loving and unselfish ways. They opened up about feeling beautiful or not ever feeling beautiful. They learned about each other and nodded their heads in agreement when others were talking. They laughed and cheered and smiled. They came and went over 3 hours.

It was one of the best experiences of my life!

There is nothing I have done that has had the feeling of this afternoon photoshoot with a group of women who did not know each other. I felt like I was on Cloud 9 and on the right track. I even had one women tell me after that it was the first time she felt beautiful in a long time!

IMG_0930magrenThe first issue will be out in September! You will have an opportunity to discover more about these women and what makes them feel beautiful. Other features I’ve lined up are:

  • a simple recipe
  • a handmade artist feature
  • a home decor inspiration
  • a restorative yoga pose
  • best music from summer festivals”
  • book review

If you would like to get involved or have a suggestion of what you would like to see in a magazine like this this please shoot me an email at kerryburki@gmail.com. I will also be looking for advertisers at a discounted rate for this first issue too. More info to come!

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mag2My goal is that this magazine will have you feeling like you are hanging out with good friends. You will smile, feel nurtured, be inspired and most of all feel good about yourself. 

I have decided that photoshoot like this one will be a part of each issue. I also plan on developing a workshop or retreat around the photoshoot too since it was such an amazing experience. I can already see myself traveling to other cities to meet more amazing women to feature in the magazine.

IMG_0916My theme for this month was “I relax into the flow of life.”

For me that meant to stop resisting a dream of mine, to stop thinking I am not worthy of creating something like this magazine and to get out of my own d*mn way!

I am going to work hard but also relax into this new direction knowing that if I can help people feel better about themselves then they are more likely to go out and do more good in the world.
mag7The magazine will be released online and when it is a success I plan on doing a Kickstarter to get it in print. I am so excited!

The photos here are the candid phone photos from that day. You can also see a few of the professional ones on Jennifer Lind Schutsky Art and Photography’s Facebook page!

I want to thank Jennifer for saying yes to working with me and I want to thank all of the women who enthusiastically volunteered to share their beauty.

Summer Projects + Summer Movies – Free Watercolor Printable

summer1It’s summer! It has been warm in Arizona for a while now and my boys have been out of school for a few weeks. I am someone who starts out with big plans but does not see all of them through. I wanted to take some of the extra time I have this summer to work on some projects and to watch some good movies. My usual problem is that I talk about all of the projects and movies but never write them down so when I actually have the time I end up just watching tv. Not this summer!

I have created 2 sets of printables to help keep track of the projects I want done and the movies I want to watch. I have included my family in on the fun too. They have been happily adding to the list.

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So far on my lists are:

Summer projects:

  • Wall map – my husband received a huge wall map that we want to mount and frame with painted moulding. Can’t wait!
  • Tips from my parents – I want to create a list of advice from my parents to put in a booklet, scrapbook or frame. I might end up with a printable for this too.
  • POOL sign – we want to make a light-up sign that says POOL by our pool. Definitely need to do some research on this one.
  • Stuffed animal clothes – my boys have tons of stuffed animals and they have asked for little shirts for them. I have tons of extra fabric and just need to make a pattern. Cute!
  • Little pennants – I want to make little pennants with saying on them like “Smile” and “I love you” to hang around the house.
  • DIY lip scrub – it is dry here in the summer and I want to make my own moisturizing lip scrub to use daily.
  • Plants in every room – I hoping to have at least one plant in every room by the end of summer. Then I will have to set reminders to water them. Lol!

Summer movies:

  • Aladdin – my boys have been wanting to watch this forever so we are on the hunt to find it!
  • E.T. – my husband is pretty excited that my older son is ready for this classic.
  • Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three – I bought a poster for this at the Printers Row Book Fair in Chicago years ago and was told it is a great movie.
  • The Apartment – Jack Lemmon in New York City and I am sold!
  • Double Indemnity – This movie is so famous and I have never seen it.
  • His Girl Friday – When I was hired at the 5 & Diner after high school my nickname was Friday after this movie because I was going to have different jobs around the restaurant. I have been meaning to watch it ever since.
  • Roman Holiday – An Audrey Hepburn movie that I have never seen!

What will be on your list? Happy summer!

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Get your Summer Projects + Summer Movie Free Watercolor Printable here!

 

On a Bicycle Built for 3

That’s me, my two little boys and our new commute to school in the morning. Today will make 5 days in a row!

I have always wanted exercise to just be part of my life. I have never done well exercising just for the sake of exercising. I was always fortunate enough not to have to worry about my weight until after I had kids. I LOVED eating ice cream straight from the carton that rested on my pregnant belly.

After my first son, I started a more rigorous yoga practice that I enjoyed and helped me lose the baby weight. After my second son, I have stuck to a much more gentle practice that has benefitted me on a lot of levels.

I am very good at paying attention to what my body is capable of and not focusing on how it looks. But I have not lost any baby weight. In fact, I weigh more now than I did when I came home from the hospital with him.

As you can tell from the photo, I do not have much to lose but the extra weight has definitely affected my energy levels – meaning I have a lot less of it (not that having two little boys doesn’t affect that!). I don’t necessarily seek weight loss as much as I seek better health.

So here’s to embarking on a new adventure that brings me and my sons out into the sunshine and saying hello to ducks every morning which will benefit all of us physically, mentally and spiritually!