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From the desk of Lauren Palmer

Local cinematographer, Elizabeth Justice, began conducting interviews to preserve the memories of this time in quarantine, and to understand how different people are coping. I was honored that she selected me to interview and enjoyed our phone conversation that Elizabeth recorded and transcribed. She took these photographs from the street with her long lens. She said, “just be causual and come as you are.” Which is what we did. no ‘photo-worthy’ clothes and fussy prep. Just us, and I love them! Definitely head over to Elizabeth’s Facebook Page to read more interviews. They are fascinating!

Part 1:

“That just doesn’t apply to me. That’s what I have to say about news or rants on social media. That really doesn’t apply to me right now. What applies to me is keeping my family mentally in a good place. So yeah, we’re in quarantine, but we’re still laughing. We’re still smiling every day. We’re still listening to music. In order to maintain a wonderful life for myself, my husband, and for my boys I’m very selective on what kind of information I choose to ingest.

I am participating right now in a Facebook challenge with thousands of other entrepreneurs. Really successful individuals are speaking every day for 20 days and teaching entrepreneurs how to hang in there during this quarantine. I heard Dean Graziosi speak last week and he said, ‘Are you worried? Are you scared for your business? For your tenants or for your whatever?’ And he said, ‘You are? Oh good! Welcome to being human, but you’re an entrepreneur. You are in the business of solving problems. So start solving them. Don’t just bury your head in the sand and wait for this to be over. Pick up the pieces and start solving problems.’ And that was so impactful to me. I’ve always had an idea of what I wanted to create instead of really thinking, what are the problems of my readers. How can I solve them? That’s one way that I’ve changed The Art of Living Beautifully. I am going in with the mindset of solving problems. Do I think people need to laugh today? I will post something funny for National Pet Day to make them laugh. Are people struggling with health, exercise and eating well? Okay then, I’m going to publish something about how to exercise during the quarantine or healthy snacks. I’m definitely going to keep this mindset moving forward, you know once we get back to some sense of normal. Is what I’m working on really solving problems for my readers?

This has been a wonderful time to create more content because everything has shifted. People are really searching. There’s time to recognize, ‘Hey, I need some help. I’m not happy. I’ve been on auto pilot.’ In that aspect, honestly, it’s been a gift to communicate with my readers through this. I’ve had much more engagement because people have time to read and look at their lives. To look in mirror and see if this is the life they want to be creating or is this just a life of going through the motions?”

Part 2:

“I publish a magazine four times a year- spring, summer, fall, winter. I’ve had to delay my summer magazine because all of my advertisers backed out because of COVID-19, which I understand. I mean, I work primarily with small businesses, and I get it. How can you advertise for your store when your revenue has been demolished and your doors aren’t open, or whatever the circumstance? It is so sad for me to have to delay a publication, but I try really hard not to dwell on things. Let’s pivot and move forward. What can we do? I think that’s how I stay sane and happy by not dwelling on the loss, but by finding a new way to gain. It’s affected us in different ways, but I always try to take solace in the fact we’re okay. We’re still alive. We still have food. We still have toilet paper. I know that’s not the case for everyone. There is also a lot of opportunity to give right now. People really need help. My brother was infected with COVID-19. He’s well now and he didn’t have to go to the hospital, but I know that’s not the case for everyone. It’s touched my family and it’s touched my business. We try to remember to be grateful for what we do have, and I think that’s the best way to keep your mind set in a positive place.

I work with primarily small businesses. I’ve seen them be terrified. I’ve watched them go from so excited, to maybe they are expanding. Maybe this is going to be a record breaking year! To gone. Overnight. I’ve seen them shift from being excited, to being dumbstruck, to being terrified. Now I’m seeing them show an insane amount of strength and creativity. It is incredible. To see a community of phoenixes rise from the ashes and live again. It is heartbreaking to see and very humbling. As bad as it feels right now, I am so proud of them. Small businesses are creating new revenue streams because their old models no longer serve them. When the quarantine is lifted, these businesses will keep what they’ve learned. They don’t have to go back to the old ways. They now have many ways. I really believe the brave ones will look back and say, ‘Hey, that sucked, but look what we did. Look how we survived, and now we are going to thrive.’”

Part 3:

“People need joy. They need a positive outlook. If you can smile and be an energy giver, not an energy taker, we will really see spirits lifted. People need positive vibes and good energy and I’m in a place where I can give that. Any time I go live on The Art of Living Beautifully I always try to bring as much happiness and energy as I can muster because we need that. I need it. I’m never one to go on social media and complain. That’s not my style. I don’t think anyone needs to receive my complaint. Digital platforms are very essential right now because they are really the only way we can communicate. We have to be careful of our energy. Together time has been a big blessing. It’s difficult for me to have so little time to work. Any time I sit down someone pops in, ‘Hey Mom! Hey Mom!’ That’s how it is right now, and I have to let go. I let go of my work a little bit to be what they need. It opened my eyes. Maybe prior to this I wasn’t what they needed as much. Maybe we relied too much on their technology so I could work more, but now it’s important we are together. We’re spending quality time living a life that is fulfilling and enriching. If it was pouring rain and storming there’d still be so many blessings around us. Recognizing the things we’re grateful for and the wonderful parts of life, that’s going to keep us sane. We can really come together as a human race right now and think of each other. Not just think of ourselves. Be one with our world and recognize what we do have.”

To learn more about Lauren and The Art of Living Beautifully, please visit our ‘about’ page.

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