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Shirt: secondhand Downeast Outfitters, $3.50 from thrift store
Necklace: secondhand, $4 from consignment shop
Skirt: Ross, $15
Shoes: secondhand, $8 from thrift store

This was Sunday's outfit. I liked it so much.

Sweater: Banana Republic, $25
Necklace: Etsy shop, $12
Shirt: Gap, $6
Skirt: Ross, $15
Shoes: secondhand, $12 from consignment shop

This is today's outfit. I don't like it quite as much, I think because there's too much similarity between a loose, long top half and a loose, long bottom half. The outfit I wore yesterday was much more comfortable and flattering, but such is life. I will press on. And thus ends my Weeklong Remix of the brown maxi skirt. You can see my other looks here, here, and here. (And PS: For whatever it's worth, I wore the skirt two additional times this week without blogging about it, so this item has gotten a LOT o' love recently. It needs a nap.)

Something I've been thinking about lately: mantras. A mantra can be a word, a phrase, a syllable -- any speech that you use as an instrument of thought. In Hinduism and Buddhism, mantras carry sacred symbolism and embody some kind of spiritual power, so the repetition of a mantra is a religious practice. I've read about mantras many times before and always liked the idea. As an English major and literary-type person, I totally believe in the power of words. That said, it was just a cool idea and never something I really intentionally used.

In the past few weeks, I've noticed that I use "mantras" frequently, except they're not the spiritually uplifting or helpful kind. I imagine that most of us get into habits of negative self-talk from time to time, and I sure fall into that trap. The harmful things I say to myself aren't planned or wanted, but they're with me nonetheless. I just fixate fixate fixate on what's wrong, so the mantra becomes "_______ sucks" or "________ makes me feel so horrible" or "_______ is always falling short."

On Friday, I had some menstrual cramps going on, and I decided to implement the positive power of words to deal with that. Whenever the cramps would sort of surge or become more distracting, I would repeat this mantra to myself: "This is a productive pain. It's nothing to worry about. My body is doing exactly what it's supposed to do, and it's doing it very well." Know what? It really did the trick. The pain was reduced, and the pain that remained wasn't scary or unbearable.

I'm trying to find a mantra or two that I can use for the emotional woes rather than the physical ones. Any suggestions? I've found some success with "It's okay to feel hurt" and other things to that effect, reminding myself that it's totally normal to feel upset when things I care about aren't quite right, but I don't think I've struck gold with my perfect mantra just yet. If you have any advice for things you say to keep things in perspective or make yourself feel better, I would lurve to know.

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