WHOA BABY, it’s been a hot sec since a Monday Mantra popped up around these rosy parts! Which is SO BAD, because I love ’em, you love ’em…we all love ’em, and I think they’re basically the quintessential way to start a Monday. Or, they’re just my way of self-therapizing through Monday – ha!
BUT BABY, THEY’RE BACK.
Today’s Monday Mantra is merged with Part 3 of my Phoenix Travel Guide series. (ICYMI, here’s Part 1 and here’s Part 2!). At the end of November, team CUR headed west for a few days, soaking up the sun in Phoenix, Arizona. And it was so so so good. We wined, we dined, we spa-ed, we hot air ballooned…and we rode horses through the desert, which was as epic as it sounds.
So in the spirit of the new year, and of trying new things, enter today’s Monday Mantra:
Why the hell not?
Jean jacket (my mom’s! Similar here, here – the wash on this one is near identical! – and here) // “Why the hell not?” tee (similar here) // Black distressed denim (SO SO SO good! Debating a whole blog post entirely around ’em, ’cause they’re just *that good*. ON SALE for $36 + come in regular, tall, AND petite sizing! Runs TTS) // Over-the-knee boots (ON SALE for 50% off right now!!!! I sized up one half size.) // Gucci belt lookalike (under $15 – SUCH A GOOD LOOKALIKE, YO. This is the smaller logo, but this one is the bigger buckle for around $17 (I just bought it)! // Red lipstick (“ruby woo”) // Sunglasses (they’re designer lookalikes!)
Why the hell not?
It’s what you say when you’re faced with a choice – an adventure worth taking.
It’s what you say when you sense an upside, and aren’t too sure of any downsides.
It’s what you say when you intentionally push any fears to the wayside.
It’s a declaration of fearlessness, and a vow to live life ignoring life’s fear-driven what-if’s. Why the hell not?
There are a few things we say around here quite a bit, so you’ve probably gotten the gist by now. One of my personal faves: Make it happen. You need to make it happen. Because…why the hell not? Our lives can be full of joy, intention, ambition + action, or our lives can be full of disappointment, regret, carelessness, + fear. One of those sets is a whole heckuvah lot more fulfilling, amiright? The difference, tho, in the outward manifestation of our goals, dreams, and desires often comes with the seemingly simplest of mindset shifts.
The haves have one thing that the have-nots do not have. And it’s all in the mind.
To do truly great things in life, we have to be willing to take truly great risks. Everyone’s idea of “risk” is different – some might think of investing a large sum of cash, while others think to interpersonal relationships or a cross-country move. We all have risks to take, and we all have fears to face. And our definition of “risk” is oftentimes most closely correlated to our definition of “fear.”
But fear is all in our head.
What is true versus what is rational are skewed when we are faced with our fears. Why the hell not? is a Mantra often maintained only by those with a little bitta booze in their system, because it encourages this idea of fearlessness…which oftentimes, unfortunately, is only brought about by some substance or another. Which is so sad, because we are destined to be so much more than that!
When you’re facing a fear, you can think of 32 reasons why it’s a bad idea to attempt XYZ.
- Speak in public? You’ll probably vomit in front of a room of people if you dare open your mouth.
- Talk to that cute guy in your class/at work? He’ll 100% laugh in your face, or he just won’t even acknowledge your presence and you’ll just be standing there awkwardly wanting to disappear.
- Start a blog? You have no clue what you’re doing, other people are already doing it better, you don’t “have the time,” and you don’t know if people will like it.
But let’s take fear out of the above pictures.
Speak in public? Why the hell not? Sure, maybe you’ll flub up a word or two. You’re scared of looking silly to others, but a LOT of people share your pain and aren’t the biggest fans of public speaking. You might not be perfect, but nobody is. You have something important to say, and speaking in public might mean that somebody who needs to hear your message hears you when they otherwise wouldn’t. Plus, you’ll feel amazing afterwards, for either proving yourself wrong and knocking it outta the park, or for simply getting it done (or both!).
Talk to that cute guy? Why the hell not? Sure, maybe he won’t show interest back. You’re scared of feeling unwanted or uninteresting, but a LOT of people share your pain and aren’t the biggest fans of making the first move when you already feel vulnerable. You have an opportunity to connect with someone – how they respond is not in your control (ever). Fate may make some things happen, but fate can’t make much happen if we lock ourselves up in our rooms and wait for a lightning bolt. Sometimes, we have to make a courageous, bold move to kickstart someone else’s boldness, too.
Start a blog? Why the hell not? Sure, it’s friggin’ HARD, especially in today’s day + age. Everyone and their mom has a blog, and there is just SO much that you’ve gotta know to get the ball rolling. But there’s this thing called Google – and it’s pretty helpful. 😉 You get started the same way as anyone else – by having an idea, and deciding to make it happen. Then, you research. You do your due diligence like anyone else, too, to learn the ropes – we all start somewhere! Don’t “have time”? No one does. We’ve all got the same 24 hours – it’s what you choose to do within that timeframe that determines the layout of your day (and life). You don’t have time, you make time. And quite frankly, no one is liked by everyone. It’s not about the follower count – heck, Jesus started with only 12. 😉
Fear stops us from doing what we are destined to do.
Similarly, perfectionism stops us from doing what we have to do. And really, perfectionism is just a fear of being imperfect – of being and/or showing flaws. And it’s silly, since we are ALL flawed!!!
In last night’s CURation, we talked about getting it perfect, versus getting it done. One is nearly impossible to attain, especially on the reg, and keeps us stagnant and stressed out. The other is essential to any sorta progress in our lives. Because it’s a matter of doing rather than waiting.
You’ve just gotta start, and you’ve gotta start now. Why the hell not?
Why the hell not? is ALSO what we said when we were asked if we wanted to got hot air ballooning over and horse back riding through the Arizonan desert. I mean, mine was more of a OMG HECK YES!!!! But you get the gist. 😉
Our last full day in Phoenix began with horseback riding at Fort McDowell Adventures, on a desert trail ride. And it was definitely one of the coolest experiences of my entire life. Neither my mom nor I had ever ridden horse before, but it was on both of our bucket lists – so we were totally living for it. It was just us, our girl Trish from Visit Phoenix, and Cowboy Jake, our trail guide. And it was just a full hour of riding through the desert, through sand and stone, up hills and through the river. If you follow along on Instagram (@ericaligenza – it’s a party!), you might’ve caught this live in action on my Stories. But one of the FUNNIEST things was my mom. She was taking up the rear of our little single file line, and her house was a REBEL. First, her horse bit my horse’s ass. And my horse was having none of that. So my horse kicked both of its hind legs AT her horse. Somehow, I stayed on my horse even tho I had my phone in one hand and had no idea what was happening (clearly I was just born to be an equestrian? I think so.). And her horse got the picture to BACK TF UP.
THEN, suddenly I hear Ma laughing in the back, yelling up to Cowboy Jake, “UH JAKE, MY HORSE IS STOPPING FOR A SNACK!” I turn around, and sure enough, her horse has a whole branch in his mouth, going to town. Cowboy Jake yells back, “We feed our horses quite well before any ride, so he’s actually not hungry – he’s just testing you for dominance.”
So apparently, horses will do this to their riders (any equestrian in the house that can speak to this?) – if they’re seeing if you or them is the dominant one, they’ll do random rebellious things to just see how you react. If they get away with it, they know they’re in charge. Whereas if you can pull the reins on their antics (literally), you’re the boss.
Naturally, as a new rider, mom had no idea what the heck was happening. So as we began moving again, I turn back and see her horse friggin’ CARRYING THE BRANCH with it for the ride. It just had this bigass tree branch in its mouth, mindlessly chewing as if to say I WIN. 😉
After horseback riding, we grabbed lunch with the Visit Mesa team and enjoyed the Fresh Foodie Trail. My FAVE was handsdown at Queen Creek Olive Mill, which is this amazing, family-owned, award-winning olive mill – and the only one in AZ producing 100% olive oil (and they ship anywhere! Woo!). We sat through the most *informative* tour to learn allllll about olive oils – it was probably the best tour I’ve ever experienced for something like this, because the girl was just SO DANG KNOWLEDGEABLE and basically rocked our extra virgin worlds. FYI, you should ONLY be using extra virgin olive oil ever.
And of course we went HAM in their in-house shop – ma and I spent, like, $200 and had a whole BUNCHA fabulous oils + vinegarettes shipped back to PA. They have everything from your traditional EVOO to flavored varieties – and same went with balsamic vinegars/vinegarettes. I have been obsessed with a chile olive oil, which I spray on popcorn or use in stir-frys for a spicy kick, and a fig balsamic reduction, which we’ve used on everything from salads to desserts! ALL SO GOOD. They also have olive oil-derived products there, which are super good for your skin. So the whole place is basically a little goldmine!
Later at night, we did the “Wine Me, Dine Me” chef culinary dinner series back at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, with a four-course dinner and tequila and wine pairings. LAWDY LAWDY, what a feast. First up was a lamb chop with crushed pistachios – it was the best lamb I’d ever tasted. The second dish was a corn soup that was probably the best soup I’ve had in my entire life. We were stuffed out of our minds, but so satisfied. The tasting is something I’d TOTALLY recommend if you’re just visiting with one other person, since it’s such an intimate experience. You really feel like a TOTAL foodie by the time you’re done!
So, for a day’s worth of “travel guide” inspo for what to do in Phoenix:
- Desert trail ride with Fort McDowell Adventures
- Fresh Foodie Trail Tour for Lunch in Mesa – Queen Creek Olive Mill!
- Wine Me, Dine Me Chef Culinary dinner series at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch
And for more inspo of what to do in Phoenix…
What’s your Monday Mantra for the day? How can you adopt “why the hell not?” to your week?
I really hope you enter this week with an added pep in your step – that pep being a sense of fearlessness that will only increase as you continue to intentionally step towards your goals.
Rooting for you!
P.S. For more loaded Monday Mantra inspiration, click here!