The Conductor Finally Sets Down His Baton

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Introducing June's Author of the Month, Kyle Elliott. Kyle and I became fast friends working at San Francisco State University. After going through what I'd call a self-worth crisis, we both read Shauna Niequist's Present Over Perfect, and realized we needed to change our lives if we wanted to feel nourished and fulfilled in our day to day's. This led to Kyle leaving his job and going full-time as a Career Coach, a very successful one. You can click the link in his bio to set up your own consultation! 

It is amazing what a year can do for someone. I barely recognize either of us from where we were at a year ago. We are much happier, joyful, and always filled to the brim with lattes :)


Hello! I’m Kyle Elliott – a friend of Jayme’s and the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com. Through my work, I help people navigate career and life transitions. I also help them find happiness. I love coffee (if you couldn’t tell), writing and eating the same thing at different restaurants. I also love sharing my whole truth; as such, I share this story with you so you may sit with me in my journey to slow down and find silence – something that is becoming a little easier for me each day.


The conductor keeps waving his baton faster and faster and faster.

The orchestra produces more and more music to keep up. But really, they just want to slow down. They just want a break. They just want to pause. They just want to breathe.

The conductor has been waving his baton for far too long. He won’t slow down. He won’t take a break. He won’t pause. He won’t breathe.

The conductor’s passion has allowed the orchestra to produce truly beautiful music.

The conductor’s passion has also drained the orchestra. They are incredibly tried. They are exhausted. They want to slow down. They want a break. They want to pause. They want to breathe.

The conductor is my compulsions. My need to keep going and going and going. My impulse to work on projects at 2 o’clock in the morning even when I’m exhausted.

The conductor is afraid that if he stops waving his baton and producing music, he won’t be able to start again.

While this has allowed the conductor to produce truly exceptional music, he has also exhausted the orchestra.

The orchestra is my drive to succeed and the music is my output — work, work, work.

The music that the orchestra produces is exceptional, but they never get to enjoy their music. The orchestra is exhausted. They just want the conductor to slow down so they can enjoy their own music. They just want to breathe.

They want the conductor to wave his baton a little slower. The conductor doesn’t even need to stop. He just needs to slow down so the orchestra can experience the music and catch their breath. So they can experience the music. So they can enjoy the audience and not be overwhelmed by the loudness.

The orchestra wants to push the conductor off the stage. They want to tell the conductor they are tired and out of breath. They want to end the busyness. They want to reap the rewards of the music they produce. They want to experience silence.

But they can’t push the conductor off the stage. They can’t gather the courage. So instead, they keep playing faster and faster.

Until someone in the ensemble stops playing.

And then another person in the ensemble stops playing.

And another person in the ensemble stops playing, until eventually only one person is playing.

The conductor notices, so he waves his baton faster and faster, with the hope that the audience won’t recognize members of the ensemble have stopped playing.

People in the audience do notice. It has become a solo performance. But to the conductor’s surprise, the audience starts clapping and cheering. They appreciate the show. While the ensemble was good, the soloist is even more beautiful. He is able to shine without being drowned out by the other members of his orchestra.

The conductor is in awe – he recognizes that he can slow down. That he can take a break. That he can pause. That he can breathe.

So the conductor sets down his baton and enjoys the music.

The Art of Feeling Sexy

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Taylor has been part of my life since she was a Resident Advisor (RA) at California State University at Monterey Bay in my first year as a Community Director back in 2013. I love the fun, creativity, and her ability to make anything a fashion statement that Taylor brings to this world. Read for what she has to say about feelin' yourself!

Taylor was born in a small Bay Area city in 1994, and moved to Monterey in 2012 to pursue a degree in Business Administration from CSU Monterey Bay. She graduated in the fall of 2016 and lived in Monterey until January 2018, where she then moved back to the Bay Area. In her free time she enjoys tackling DIY projects, blogging (sometimes), and reading corny romance novels.
From a very young age, I realized my body was different. As girls grew vertically, I was growing horizontally. My body was taken over by stretch marks, and cellulite dimples; I became overweight, unable to eat junk food without feeling judged, and overall I was unhappy. I was so obsessed with looking like a model in a magazine, an actress, or even just looking like a normal girl in my high school that it was a chore everyday to get dressed in the morning. When we would change in the locker rooms before and after gym class, I wanted to hide and be invisible. When we had to do swimming for school, I wanted to curl into a ball and disappear. It was bad enough that boys had to see me in a hideous bathing suit with a shirt on top to cover any rolls, but then I had to get butt naked in the locker room. I tried dieting, exercising, Weight Watchers, calorie counting, and a million other things that just didn’t work for me. It wasn’t until part way through college when I realized I was stuck with the body I had until I got up enough drive to change it. I started experimenting with my clothing choices in the past year or so and haven’t felt this good about my body in a long time.


That’s not to say I overcame my body image issues. To be quite honest, I don’t believe that will ever be the case. And it’s not that I think I’m ugly, but I have never considered myself to be anything more than cute or pretty. The words hot and sexy just don’t come to mind when I see myself, but I wanted that to change. Back in December I asked a close, talented, friend of mine how comfortable he would be taking boudoir inspired photos of me and he agreed. For those of you who don’t know, in photographyboudoir refers to a style in which women pose for photographs partially clothed or in lingerie (see here for a BuzzFeed video). This was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I had ever done. As the days got closer to the shoot, I became more and more nervous and insecure, but I wasn’t going to back out. I bought actual lingerie like a grown ass woman and fortunately enough there was a no return policy. But I knew this was something I needed to do for myself, so I did, and the results are pretty epic if I do say so myself.   

Photographer friend Daniel Duddy (Instagram: @dan_duddy_)

But, my reaction to these photos weren’t as I expected at first. I was appreciative of my friend but I felt slightly embarrassed to look at them. All I could see were my flaws: the stretch marks I hate, the rolls I try to hide, and the dimples in my fat. It wasn’t until I showed some of the photos to a few close friends that they started to grow on me. I started to see parts of myself I always thought were ugly, as beautiful. My stretch marks have been with me for as long as I can remember, they’re a part of me. When I see my body I can’t picture it without them, or without the rolls of fat I have. They are what make me who I am and who I’ve become. I’m sexy because of them, and because of my growing confidence. To anyone who struggles with seeing their body as sexy, or feeling confident about it, you should do something that makes you stare at your body in a different light. That’s not to say you should go get naked in front of a camera, but do something that makes you feel good. Get dressed up in your favorite outfit, go out, and be around people who love you for you. You can feel confident without changing your appearance. Accept it and embrace it for all its differences because you’re worth it. 
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