Kiawah Island: Peaceful Living Family Travel Within Reach

Kiawah Island: Peaceful Living Family Travel Within Reach

Thank you to the sponsor of this blog post: The Andell Inn, Kiawah Island!


This is the first installment of a series of “local” Peaceful Living Travel blogs!  I am writing these with my Carolina tribe in mind. But, don’t stop yourself from indulging in reading these blogs OR visiting the places I’m covering just because you live further away than the Carolinas. Because these places are ALL WORTH THE TRIP!


Whenever I mention Kiawah Island to my friends here in Charleston, the common refrain is, “Oh it’s beautiful there, but so expensive!”  Well, I am here to tell y’all it really is within reach both physically and financially.


Bring Magic to Your Routine with Walking Meditation

Bring Magic to Your Routine with Walking Meditation

We are entering a great era in which bliss is chic and a centered, grateful heart is the coolest accessory. It’s amazing to watch things like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness become mainstream. All of us are benefiting from the focus on well-being and healthy living that is finally sweeping through the western world.

As this happens, many ancient eastern traditions are becoming more commonplace. This is especially true for meditation. Today, people are talking about it and actually engaging in the practice of meditation now more than ever before in the west. 

But as mainstream as meditation is today, many folks are still getting acquainted with different types of meditation and how it can help. Today, I’d like to enlighten you to the amazing practice of a walking meditation. 

In traditional meditation, you sit still for a certain amount of time and either participate in a guided meditation or quiet your internal dialogue in a zen-based meditation. 

In walking meditation, you are literally walking and moving throughout your meditation.  As you walk, you focus on your breath. You also focus on the physical sensations of walking such as: the sensation of the ground under your feet, the movement of your limbs, and the sights and sounds around you. 

During a walking meditation, try your best to focus all of your attention on the act of walking and all of the sensations that accompany it. Similarly to a sitting meditation, you take note of a thought that is vying for your attention but you gently let it go and re-focus back to the act of walking. 

Given that walking can be an incredibly sensory-rich experience, it is almost easier to practice thought control and quiet your mind in a walking meditation.  If we compare this to a sitting meditation (wherein we have very little sensory experiences to focus on and distract us from our thoughts) a walking meditation is simply a delight for the senses and extremely fertile ground from which cultivating a quiet mind is less strenuous and more accessible for all of us. 


But here’s the magical part of walking meditation:  It teaches us in vivo that we can adopt a meditative state of mind anytime, anywhere. 


As you practice walking meditation and enter a meditative state, you start to experience the certainty that yes- you can bring peace to any moment. Your spiritual self does not have to lay dormant until you have a quiet opportunity to whip out your meditation mats again. You can bring peace to your mind in the here and now, even as you take your morning walk. 



Guest Blog by: Diane Webb, LMHC.  Diane is a psychotherapist in upstate New York that specializes in anxiety reduction, post-traumatic stress disorder, overcoming depression, transpersonal therapy and achieving emotional peak performance. For more information and how to work with Diane, visit: The Peace Journal  Connect via Facebook Here: The Peace Journal Facebook

Approaching Fashion From An Authentic Perspective

Approaching Fashion From An Authentic Perspective

Nelson Mandela said it best, “I never lose, I either win or learn.”

Our perception of anything impacts our success in it as well as our self esteem. Higher self confidence pushes us to conquer new opportunities others only wish for. It means not settling for less and having grace to learn from mistakes.  


Beauty Is The Means…

Beauty is a key topic when it comes to finding greater self confidence because it determines how we express ourself in our own style. It may seem a little backwards how we regard beauty: especially how we relate it to makeup. How can you get a “natural look” with something artificial? Shouldn’t it just be called, embellished beauty? Let’s stop for a second to look deeper.

Broad Terms

Does beauty lie in our opinion alone and does fashion mean runway? Is Fashion the same thing as Style? While finding the relationship between beauty and fashion, I’ve narrowed down working definitions. We’re going to look at “what is fashion, beauty, and style?” as well as the importance of a healthy approach to these terms


Beauty is often such a blanket statement when we talk about appearance, but as humans we understand it has to be more. It’s not something found in a lipstick: after all it’s just chemicals and pigments. In the larger sense beauty operates omnisciently–it’s not in one person or place at one time, but everywhere at once. It reveals what’s truly there– uncovering characteristics worthy of pursuit. On the same thread beauty can’t be given to you but is brought out from what’s already there. There’s a beauty in all living things and it’s how we communicate our uniqueness that sets us apart from others.


Makeup has been classified under the beauty category because of how it makes us feel. It’s more about what it brings out in us, not what it “gives” us. When talking about make up, the same principle applies. Let me give you some examples of what I mean. Contouring doesn’t give our face shape, it enhances the shape already there. Similarly, nail polish makes our nails pop; and lipstick follows the same idea. Individualizing yourself and showcasing your uniqueness is not a bad thing: it can actually be positive, but it solely depends on you being true to yourself and doing what makes you feel good rather than trying to be someone else.

Fashion and Style; What’s It All About?

Many people will say that they love Fashion. That encompasses discovering and shopping the latests trends, following fashion events, cultivating their own personal style, and keeping up with key figures in Women’s Fashion. Fashion itself is commercializing the production of clothing and accessories. It has created countless jobs and remains one of the largest industries today. Think about the history from handmade, custom clothing to online shopping. I mean, can you even imagine a time where clothes weren’t as readily accessible? Now, designers create collections of various styles that trickle down from runway to local and online stores for the next season of fashion. There are so many things we don’t know when it comes to fashion specifically runway, where trends are born.


“Style is the catalyst of individualization.”


Designers offer collections with the latest trends but it’s up to each person to piece together their own style. Your personal style is your impression to the world. It represents different parts of our personalities and what you find valuable: a diverse style represents the need for to reinvent yourself while progressive styles represent visual innovation.

Happiness Is The Point

If fashion involves developing your style of self-expression, beauty represents the underlying qualities of what’s desirable. The Huffington Post asserts that the real definition of beauty is happiness. Renowned philosopher Aristotle asserted that happiness is the only thing we pursue for its own sake. If that’s true, a healthy mindset is essential or we are left unsatisfied searching for the wrong things.

Yes, we are visual creatures, but it’s sought after for so much more: People are looking for 1) what works 2) positive, infectious energy 3) happiness 4) confidence 5) and comfortability. People are attracted to a fearlessness and authenticity of being yourself no matter what. And both your style and uniqueness go hand in hand. Let’s encourage each other!


We’ve taken a look at the deeper meanings behind fashion and beauty, but we must not forget the important connotations around these words. Yes, there we will talk about “beauty” within the large sense of what makes people feel good about themselves and happy while also discussing our spin on popular topics within the “beauty” category (brands, routines, how to’s, and more).

The point of this section is to empower women relating to practical everyday ideas, questions, and struggles; and say it’s ok to not be so “put together” and “glamorous” all the time. We don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, hours to take getting ready, and energy to invest in what people think we should do. We’re after helping others gain confidence and joy when finding their individualized style.

You Can Do It!

The reality is the fashion industry is not going away nor will billions of people lose interest in fashion. A more positive approach than believing negative connotations is becoming a better version of yourself in any way you can. Personal development is essential, and it’s one of the main topics on The Illumine Blog. Everyone has their daily routine but finding what works best for you in your own time is what matters! For more on Women’s Fashion Subscribe!


Fashion Guru and Lifestyle Blogger Megan Bales is the creator of The Illumine Blog, a blog designed to empower others to live healthier lives and develop successful careers. Through personal experience, a degree in Communications, and background in Marketing she uses her skills to focus on topics such as finding your personal style, developing healthier sustainable habits to live a full life, and finding freedom in health! Join the community and raise a glass to your best life!

Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all @theillumineblog

Don’t forget to Subscribe!

The opportunity that came to be, would have never come…..

The opportunity that came to be, would have never come…..

Do you ever hear the tapes that play within?

“You are TOO old to…”

“You are TOO young to…”

“You are TOO sick to….”

“You are TOO scattered to..”

There are moments in my life (large moments) when I too have these tapes play.  I gave up the opportunity to try to apply to multiple colleges because my tapes played:

“I don’t have enough money to pay the application fees.”

“My parents are too busy paying for other things to help me.”

Now, to be clear, I never heard these ideas from my parents, specifically.  I only heard background conversations they had about money that I placed my own perceptions on.  Perceptions that actually hurt me instead of worked for me.

Do you notice how you might not even try something because of the perception you may have placed on it?  Be aware, sometimes these thoughts are debilitating for you and your potentially awesome life!

How do we break these barriers?

To begin, we must first look at the task at hand.  Are we asking the questions and looking at the concerns we may honestly have, before we finalize our thought?  Have we placed a wall up by what we perceive to be truth, instead of looking at what may actually be true?

Three years ago in November, my husband and I spent our anniversary in a cabin in Ellijay, GA with my love. I woke one morning with a short children’s story book in my head and immediately got up to write it down.  After I finished I read it to my husband, to which he replied, “you may have something there, Britt.”  With this new confidence in mind I began to search for ways to publish it.

I asked friends who were editors, I asked friends who were authors, friends who took writing workshops, all to no avail.  The majority of advice I’d received was that I “need an agent.”  Well, how? How do I get an agent? That answer did not come easily.

It seemed as if publishing a small children’s book was unattainable.

Had I stopped searching for answers and instead listened to the tapes that played:

“I can’t find an agent.”

“I need an agent, I’m not good enough for that.”

“This is a PIPE DREAM.”

“What am I thinking??”

The opportunity that came to be, would have never come.

    It was a rainy afternoon and I made my way to Charleston for a Women’s Conference where I would have the pleasure to teach Laughter Yoga to a group of entrepreneurs, as a way to break the ice.  I had a fabulous time with all of them and received business cards – one in particular from a publisher.

Two weeks later, I contacted her just to ask, “Do you publish children’s books?” A resounding, “Yes!” came through my inbox. To make it even more sweet, she had an illustrator that worked with her as well! I was ecstatic!  After a successful meeting with both of them I was excited to learn that they would work within my budget to get this dream of mine completed.

If I had listened to those tapes. . . oh, those little tapes, I would have never experienced what is now turning out to be something better than I could ever imagine.

Perhaps we, “TURN DOWN! FOR WHAT?”

For our SANITY, that’s what… Turn down these lil’ tapes that may play and live your fantastic dreams, my friend!

Until we meet again, off or on the yoga mat.


Brittney Hiller is a professional yoga teacher, speaker, and founder of Effervescence YogaSpa and author of The Little Laughing Yogini.

She loves living a life of inspiration, joy, and happiness! She genuinely teaches others how to create and live in their own happiness through her Yes To Possibility! Coaching Program and Laughter Leadership Certification Training launching Dec. 1st! Find out more here.  She may be reached personally at