Posts tagged growth
Woman x Self Practice
Paige Geffen_Self Practice
Paige Geffen_Self Practice
Paige Geffen_Self Practice

I’m honored to be featured on one of my favorite websites, Self Practice. If you don’t already frequent the site or follow along on Instagram - get on it. The founder, Lauren Trend, is a dear friend, and she is truly a wonderful human being. I am always inspired by her content, but mostly by her commitment to her own practice, in order to inspire others to create their own practices. There are so many beautiful intersections with the work of Object & Us. Interview below, and you can view it here.

Name: Paige Geffen

Occupation/Business/Creative Outlet: Interior Designer, Art Director, and Founder of Object & Us 

Starsign: Leo (sun), Libra (rising), Gemini (moon)

Favourite Number: 21 

First thing you did this morning? I made myself a hot reishi drink and went outside to view the beautiful landscape here.

What does 'wellness' mean to you?
I see wellness as a holistic practice, yet there is no perfection.  We don't graduate, so I believe we are constantly working towards wellness. 'Wellness' has become a trendy commodity, but it's something that cannot be bought. No matter the amount of herbs and healthy foods you buy, wellness comes from within. To me, wellness is about taking care of myself despite how messy life may be, despite how many supplements or items I don't have access to. Lately it's been about grounding in the midst of groundlessness

Products found in your shower/by your bath? Every product by F. Miller skincare, Lesse Official face serum (need more!), Dr. Bronner's lavender soap

Three things that can always be found in your kitchen cupboard? Nettle & Oatstraw for infusions, Cinnamon, Himalayan Pink Salt.

Favourite kitchen utensil? This spoon from Wild Poppy Goods - I use it to scoop herbs, adaptogens, to grab the last bits of ghee from the bottom of the jar

Favourite Travel destination? I spent a month in Copenhagen 8 years ago, and I have been itching to go back.  I honestly haven't traveled much for leisure in a long time, but I just moved to the countryside outside of Santa Fe, NM, and it's breathtaking here.  I'm on an unknown, indefinite adventure.  I highly recommend moving to a place you've never been before - it's exhilarating.  

Currently reading? When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, and An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Currently browsing (.com)? Locations for an upcoming shoot, and googling images of Timothee Chalamet ;)

Favourite breakfast food? Vegan/Paleo biscuit-like bread (I substitute flax meal for eggs in this easy-to-make box) or buckwheat with cinnamon & ghee, and breakfast sausages - in the spring/summer I make my go-to smoothie (avocado, blueberries, chard, almond butter, coconut butter, cinnamon, water).

Three items in your make up bag?  14ecosmetics foundation, a brow brush, some form of liquid/cream blush (still searching for the right brand).

An album/mix that calms your nervous system? Joni Mitchell's Blue.  I have her lyrics tattooed on my forearm, and my dog is named after her.  I am starting to tear up writing this. She is such a vision of freedom and independence, and I believe her voice can move mountains and bloom flowers simultaneously.  Also, Moon Safari by Air, anything Cat Power, anything Jon Brion.  I could go on and on... 

An album/mix that hypes you up? Swim by Caribou, It's Album Time by Todd Terje, anything Arthur Russell, Sebastien Tellier.  Again, I could go on and on...

Most commonly used apps on your phone?
Instagram, Spotify

Favourite form of movement/exercise?
Hiking, walking, and dancing - I like to keep it simple.

One thing you'd like to incorporate into your day/week that you're currently yet to?  Yoga - I used to practice and stopped when I was advised by doctors to limit my exercise due to health issues.  I feel ready to start again.  

Nighttime rituals?  I live by my rituals, and the work of Object & Us is rooted in rituals.  I wash my face and put on a face oil, listen to theta waves and/or a calming playlist, write a gratitude list.  

I feel most creatively fulfilled when... I'm cooking a meal for myself, I'm taking photographs (usually of still life's), I'm writing for Object & Us, or lying naked and thinking of/doing nothing and simply feeling connected to my body.

I'm currently working on... owning my darkness and embracing all of the parts of myself I was taught to be shameful of. I'm working on being whole in my magnificence, which means honoring the grit. I'm opinionated, I'm sharp, I'm fierce, I rage.  Someone recently told me that rage is apart of love and that I am so full of love and so full of rage. This duality is what drives me to do anything creative. This is also the duality of sexuality. I'm also working on embracing my desire - for lust, for love, for life. I don't mean chasing it, but meeting it.  

This time last year, I wish I knew... that ultimate surrender and giving up my ideas of what I felt I wanted would lead me to the most unexpected, terrifying, and beautiful places

I'm grateful for... my inner voice, the warmth of the sun on my face, my best friend and soulmate Joni (my pup), Lauren Trend (seriously). 

Stripped: I Am Enough
Paige Geffen_St. Agni_Claire Cottrell

I’ve always known this intellectually, that I am enough.  I am whole on my own.  I don’t need anyone or anything to aid in being enough.  Yet, as I’ve been examining areas and experiences in my life, I’m finding that I’m not fully “there” yet.  I still at times experience guilt and shame for simply being me.  This is absolutely from past conditioning, which I’m working on stripping (it’s a process), hence the name of this series. 

When I dove into the feeling of not being enough, I realized that it has in the past manifested as presenting myself a certain way in order to be seen for who I am.  This has typically been tied to my possessions, not my personality.  It was extremely difficult to accept this as true because I’ve never used my “things” to prove anything to others.  But I have used my things as a way to feel like myself.  Perhaps it was filling myself with a false sense of authenticity - even if the objects resonated with me.  This is why I stress that this work is rooted in the relationship we have with our objects, not the objects themselves.  I can only be myself and feel like myself in my nakedness.  So when I’m seeking something from them (objects), I am unable to seek the same subject or theme from myself.  In simpler terms - I’m looking in the wrong places.  I have everything I need within, so when I look to external sources, even for self-confirmation of any kind (even if the sources are healthy people we love or ethical objects we love), I’m reverberating that in some capacity, I am not enough.

Lately, I’ve been going through the process of ridding myself of almost all of my things.  Not because I made the decision to, or wanted to, but because in a higher sense I am being asked to.  I’m simply choosing to follow that nudge.  At the same time, I’ve had some illuminating, painful, and beautiful realizations and “aha” moments (through Unblocked Reparent, meditation, and other intuitive work).  I realized that growing up, I had to deny so many parts of myself in order to exist in my environment - I was not able to simply be me.   The process I’m going through now - while incredibly uncomfortable - feels like a beautiful gift.  A gift of being born again, in order to rise as my true self.  I’ve been given a clean slate, to metaphorically go back into the womb, as a gestation period.  So rather than adding things into my life to fill any emptiness I may be feeling, I’m shedding life as I know it (ideas, ways of being, things) in order to open the space for me to be enough without any of it - with nothing but my naked self.  I have no crutch to fall back on, and I don’t need one.  No one does.

This work is not about curating a perfect lifestyle.  It’s about warmth and invitation - to yourself.  Your needs, desires, fears, flaws.  It’s an invitation to all of it.  To examine it so that you can form a new relationship with yourself in order grow.  Just like our relationships with people, our objects are our mirrors.  Examine each one of your objects.  First check-in with yourself, and then ask the object - what are you here for?  What are you showing me?

If you are looking to go deeper into this work, you can book a one-on-one session here

Photo by Claire Cottrell.

Objects & Attachment: Clearing Space
Home of Paige Geffen_01
Home of Paige Geffen_02

Last month I posted about objects and attachment in regards to letting go and surrendering to the process of change, growth (and outgrowth).  Some of you asked about delving deeper into this topic, so I’ve decided to create a series around attachment in order to explore it more in depth.  While this work is about letting go of attachment, detachment is not the goal.  This work is about connection - aloofness has no place here.  Our objects serve us, but it is up to us as to how.  They can do so in unwanted ways, by fulfilling a false sense of identity, power, status, or even wholeness.  We are whole on our own, and it is our job to do the work to be in this place of knowing.  Things like identity, power, and status are constructs, and when we use them to fill us up, we are being untruthful to ourselves about who we are, which really robs us of living authentically and to our fullest.  If we tear down these constructs, we can allow our objects to serve us by using them as vessels to connect to ourselves.

I’m in the process of getting rid of a storage unit full of all of my possessions (other than my clothing/accessories, some books, and a handful of other objects).  These are things I haven’t necessarily outgrown.  Things I cherish and love.  Things that used to serve a positive purpose (and have potential to in the future), but right now, they are just sitting in a dark room, unused and unappreciated.  My decision to let these items go did not come quickly or easily, but I felt a heaviness from holding onto them.  An intangible weight - they’re taking up space in my life.  Not physically, but metaphysically.  For me, keeping the storage unit has meant waiting for something “better” to come along.  I’m currently living in a lovely, tiny cottage, but it’s not conducive long term for two people and a dog.  The storage unit has acted as a representation for what’s next.  “Once we find a bigger place, we can put the credenza here and…”  It takes me away from the present and from my relationships with the objects I currently do live with.  From where I am in my life right now.  From acceptance.  I may move somewhere new in one month, or it may take years.  I don’t know what the future holds, and that is magical.  Anything is possible, so I’m creating space for all that I don’t know, for all that I can’t imagine - to make room for the possibilities, for expansion, for growth beyond my current understanding.  I don’t want to stay stagnant in what was or even in what I want things to turn into,  I want to be here, in the now.  And for me, that’s a spacious way to live (even in 300 sq. ft).  

This process may seem drastic, and I’m not suggesting that everyone should do the same.  These types of decisions are deeply personal and individualistic.  Check in with yourself.  What is weighing you down metaphysically?  How can you create space in this area of your life?  Does it involve clearing physical space of any kind?  This is a great journal exercise in order to look at where you may be holding on, in order to shed attachment and create space for the great unknown.  If you’re looking to dive deeper into the work, sessions are now open again.  

New Year, More Growth

On New Years Eve, I spontaneously wrote a caption on my instagram post - an honest and raw account of how I was feeling as I reflected on 2017.  I told myself I wouldn’t repeat it in a post on the journal, yet here I am, still reflecting and feeling compelled to expand.  To expand on that post, and to expand in my life.  In order to expand, I have to be in the truth.  In my truth.  I’m still reflecting, going within, and spending most of my time alone.  I’m sitting with what happened last year.  Not to relive it, or to cleanse it, but rather to allow myself and my body some time to move through it (my body has gone through a lot and is in need of major rest).  2017 was excruciating and exhausting (politically, personally, etc.).  It was a whirlwind.  No…it was a shit show

As I reflect, I see that I asked for it.  I asked for it in my commitment to my growth.  In my commitment to my truth and authenticity.  I asked for it in my vow.  In 2014, I made a vow instead of a resolution - vulnerability.  That year I learned to love myself in a deeper way than I ever knew I could.  I committed to being with myself.  To being more in my body.  And that presence required the allowance to love myself.  That year I met Jeff, who returned that love.  He also showed me that my vulnerability was beautiful because he accepted me in all of my messiness.  He accepted that I was flawed, and he supported my commitment to my self-work.  Every year I now make a new vow.  

The definition of resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”  Often, it’s giving something up - restricting, withholding - and it almost feels punishing.  The definition of vow is “a solemn promise.”  Some synonyms include:  commitment, affirmation, word of honor.  Every year I make a promise to myself by honoring that word of commitment.  The vow is an ongoing affirmation that never ends with the year’s closing, but begins with the year’s opening.  It’s not linear or limiting, but rather, fluid.  It’s soft and forgiving.  I make sure to create all of these vows with love, in order to grow and expand beyond my current understanding of self and of others.

My vow to myself for 2017 was to lean-in more.  Immediately after making that vow, life as I knew it blew up.  But I didn't blow up (even when I wanted to). I leaned in.  I listened.  When everything around me was chaotic, when I was crying and screaming and questioning everything, I never gave up on my truth.  I never compromised my own faith in myself and the universe.  As I lay in bed with a cold, reflecting, there's so much to continue to lean-in to.  And that is something I feel immense gratitude for.  That there will always be growth (if I commit to it).  Most obviously, I am grateful to have my own bed to rest in (after not having a bed for so long).  I am grateful for my body, despite having been through so much and so weathered down, she is still here, deeply yearning to heal.  And I am committed to healing with her.  To continue to say no to what doesn't feel right in my intuition in order to say yes to things I wouldn't expect to be in front of me.  To continue to shed - to strip ways of being I picked up that don't serve me, in order to become more and more of who I truly am.  This year, my vow is for unapologetic acceptance.  To not only allow myself to be unapologetically me, but to also accept her - whether in the stillness, the rapture, or the crash.