There are different types of sites we all like to frequent; humor, life, poetry, manic depression pain ridden men who write about anything that pops into their Lost Minds. But there is one site that is, in my opinion unique. You get a combination of life tips, encouragement, spirituality, and if you read her amazing promo ‘Female Focus Friday: One Q&A from Allison of Long&Luxe’ then you know about The Real Sexy.
Combine those qualities into a long haired blonde with big beautiful eyes and you end up with one groovy lover of love.
Let me introduce to you . . .
I asked Allison for an interview and she graciously agreed. Then her answers ended up being so great that this was originally a two part interview. But now I have combined it for easy viewing for those who want the complete story.
ALLISON: Awesome kick-off! Well, I consider my blog a journey of uncovering our highest potential, so it’s all about our journeys together. I wish for all of my readers that their self-discovery journeys last long enough to uncover the true luxuries of life: peace, love, joy and creativity.
ALLISON: Yes, spirituality is the birthplace of everything meaningful in my life. I believe the universe, that divine energy, call it what you like, is what ignites our passions and keeps us coming back to play and serve. So to answer your question ‘where does it come from’ I would honestly say it comes from my soul. I’ve always been deeply spiritual and believed in a higher power.
These folks in particular have inspired me deeply and taught me much of what I know today to be true: Marianne Williamson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Oprah Winfrey, Gabrielle Bernstein (check out her incredibly powerful book May Cause Miracles), Brene Brown, Maya Angelou, Mastin Kipp (check out The Daily Love website), Rain Wilson (check out SoulPancake website).
ALLISON: Thank you! I adore the blogging scene. It is astounding that we can connect through our creative endeavors this way, across time and space. It blows my mind. Obviously, people are the heart of social networks and the potential for collective, inspired change to happen quickly is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s an incredible time to be an artist. When I first began, blogging was a creative outlet for my love for fashion. I wrote all kinds of fun tips and tricks about clothing, accessories and beauty. I loved the power and fierceness of a woman’s beauty and the mystery of uncovering it; I wanted to invite people into that. Over time my passion evolved into writing about what makes us beautiful, fierce and loving from the inside. Not because I don’t still love me a fabulous pair of jeans, but because I had some deeper convictions that were beginning to want to claw their way out onto the page. I began to see myself as an inspirational writer and a spiritual seeker. I want to lift people up – that is my number one goal. So I let my writer run wild and began posting original poetry and sharing my transformative journey. Now I’m all in, writing from my most authentic place and sharing with the intent to inspire others to be their most creative, artistic, brave and wholehearted selves. All in, baby. It’s my spirit work, my offering.
RW: There is an obvious skill in your writing, not only in what you write but how you write. What experience did you have in writing prior to your blog, such as perhaps classes, University, workshops?
ALLISON: When I was very young I wrote all the time, poetry, prayers, journals, essays. It was just part of how I made sense of my feelings and experiences. In 2000, I graduated from Penn State University with my BA in Liberal Arts. Most of my academic work was writing intensive in the areas of English Lit, Creative Writing, Sociology and Psychology. Unfortunately, once I started working in a corporate environment and raising my son (he’s now 16) I made less and less time for writing. It was still in me though, stirring to come out. Finally, after reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art a million times, I gave in and started pouring my soul into writing. It’s been saving my spirit ever since.
RW: With that type of degree, I would think there was likely an intent to write something other than a blog, perhaps something lengthier. Do you plan to do any kind of publishing, perhaps of your poetry, or is there a story in the works such as a novel, or some spiritual journey philosophy?
ALLISON: Yes! Some of my poetry has already been published in a book titled Heart Whispers, a compilation of poems by poets whose work focuses on the quiet musings of the heart. Heart Whispers features three of my original poems: Begin, Open, and Cry which can also be found on my blog. The indie poet book Heart Whispers can be purchased at Amazon.com. I also have a debut book in the works that will include more of my original poetry and just what you reference “spiritual journey philosophy.”
ALLISON: I think it is becoming increasingly important to come forward and talk about our connection to a higher consciousness and a transformed way of living. I want to make that feel invigorating and accessible for real people who feel called to do soulful work but they don’t know where to turn to talk about it or explore it. People still have this way of thinking that it’s “out there” to honor your intuition and your spiritual connection. It’s not out there at all – it’s who we are at ground level, it’s our greatest potential, it’s our molecules. And the more we understand about our divinity the more we can come to understand our tremendous potential for love, creativity, compassion and peace as human beings. I want to get my story into the world to invite others in and to hear their stories.
ALLISON: Thank you! I am so, so blessed and humbled to welcome every single reader into my world. It is an honor and a privilege to have my work read by another interested person. I think (I hope) I connect with people because I write from my truth and if that resonates with someone else, then we know we are kindred spirits. We can trust each other. I pretty much love my readers to bits. There are so many good people out there doing tremendously inspiring things – it rocks my spirit to know them! The energy I put out comes back to me tenfold, that is a fact. My readers make we want to give it all I’ve got. They are my teachers and they light me up something wicked. I hope they know that.
RW: Allison, I have to say I am disappointed in you. You lied to me. Okay you didn’t lie to me, I asked why Long & Luxe, and right now your answer IS what it means, but you started your site as a fashion tips site . . . come on . . . what was the real original meaning to Long & Luxe?
ALLISON: You got me! So my original reason for L&L is kind of similar but more fashion angle – ready? My favorite song of ALL TIME is Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by the Hollies – my favorite thing to wear is long flowing hair and a long maxi dress so luxe! Luxe to me was and is always about comfort – that is the ultimate luxury.
SET UP ALERT!!!
*****RW: Perfect. This just shows how things mature and change over time, even a site now matures into something more than we thought it would be. I set Allison up for that question because I recalled that when we first met she said something about it had to do something with something from her earlier days. So yes, Allison Marie, I gotcha on this one! And you can all hear the song at the bottom of the screen and now you know why I have the slide show above today rather than yesterday.*****
RW: We share a common bond in that we don’t write or blog to gain followers. I personally think of everyone that ends up clicking to follow my blog as Finding a new Friend. To me it’s more of a support thing than a following thing. What is your own personal philosophy of blogging?
ALLISON: I know just what you mean. If you are up for the lengthy version of my answer on this question do feel free to check out my 25 Tips On Beginning A Blog That No One Else Will Tell You. It’s not only tips for beginners but also my blogging philosophy in general. For the quick and dirty summary, I offer you this quote from the article: “Don’t write for numbers. Numbers are OK left alone. Write for people. Write for people because people don’t want to be alone.” In a nutshell, that’s what always brings me back home.
Where does your deep heart come from? Is there a history?
ALLISON: You know, I’m really not sure where my deep heart comes from. I was always a sensitive, empathetic, introverted type and studied psychology because I have always been very interested in people, why they think and feel as they do, what choices they make, and what philosophies they adopt as their own and why. I do think I love big and I hurt big and it just comes naturally. A friend of mine and I talk about being ‘empaths’ or people who feel what others are feeling. I suppose a lot of my inner conviction to follow my heart comes from my mom, who died eight years ago very young. The experience of seeing my mom go through tremendous physical trauma to fight her cancer, and then to go through dealing with her death, has taught me that nothing is guaranteed in this life. It’s up to us to love deep and spread love wide in the time we are here. It’s the only thing that really matters.
ALLISON: Well, for sure my 25 Tips are my best gems so far. As for burnout I would say ask yourself why you got started in the first place and go from there. Maybe you need to go in a new direction? Maybe you need to post less often? What is so important to you that you couldn’t go another day without sharing – write and publish about that. I would also say that the more authentic your writing and connecting, the more likely you are to want to stick around. It becomes part of who you are, your way of sharing – of giving and receiving.
ALLISON: My husband is thrilled that I found blogging. I think I’m kind of a pain in the ass when I don’t have a creative outlet and this one seems to suit me quite well. The rest of the family doesn’t really get that involved. My blog isn’t for everyone and that’s totally ok with me. I think it should be that way – if you are writing from your soul, some people will groove with that and some won’t. It’s your job to stay true to you. It’s sort of a good life lesson as well.
ALLISON: My mom, I think! It’s so funny you say that because in all honesty I don’t know why I connect to the peace, love and grooviness vibe but it shows up in my world all the time. I love the music and clothing of that time and I love the peaceful revolutionary mindset of possibility and change. I have been channeling my mom’s spirit more and more lately and from what I understand she was quite an earth angel back in the day. I believe that love and peace can change the world. There’s a freedom of spirit there that – you guessed it – I dig. We are going through a time of global awakening and people are looking to come back to center, through meditation and mindfulness and a re-evaluation of our priorities. We know as a species that we need to change in some fundamental ways if we want to protect our precious lives and our planet. Greed will not get us there – love will. That is why I think my old soul always finds its way back to a peaceful revolutionary place.
I doubt anyone was surprised with that last answer. Even though I had never asked her before, when that word came back to me, it was no surprise at all. I want to thank Allison for the interview and those great answers that turned some simple questions into what I think will be some life eye openers for some who read this interview series.
I leave you with . . .
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