February 14, 2017

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: Product Designer Elayna Spratley’s Balance in Mind, Body, Style and Spirit

What are you working on—on the side?

“Balance: Mind, Body, Style, Spirit” (#BalanceMBSS) is a lifestyle project that focuses on promoting higher mental, physical, fashion and spiritual well-being. After years of going in and out of depression, anxiety, worry and self-hate, I found a book that helped me learn how to tune in and train my emotions to a place of peace. In February 2016, my best friend Missy Yarbrough introduced me to the book “The Inner Matrix: A Guide to Transforming Your Life and Awakening Your Spirit” by Joey Klein. I had the pleasure of reading this book with a meditation group at my IBM job. After several weeks in the group, I started noticing things in my life I never noticed before. I could feel when I was going into a lower emotion (like fear) and I began to recognize my actions, words and thoughts when I was in this state. I soon learned that my fear-based states were not serving me well. With the assistance of guided meditations provided for free from Joey Klein through the Inner Matrix Groups, I was able to train myself to shift my emotions at any time. THIS CHANGED MY LIFE! I discovered that I can choose the emotional state that I want to be in! So I chose joy!

As I began practicing joy and Klein’s teachings in my life, I decided to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat: askmisse, Instagram and YouTube) to start documenting the progress I am making in my life. Joy motivated me to make positive habit changes and stick to them. The core changes I made in my life are the following:
Mind: I meditate daily, tell myself stories that are grounded in love and check in with my state every hour. 
Body: I stretch daily and eat a plant-based diet. 
Style: I focus on wearing the clothes that bring me the most joy and confidence. 
Spirit: I pray, read the Bible daily, contribute to my journal and do activities that give my spirit life!
How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

I try to integrate my core content around my lifestyle. One of my biggest pillars is my plant-based diet. I do a 3-hour meal prep every Sunday, and I use Snapchat and Instagram while I’m cooking. These platforms have been the easiest for in-the-moment documentation. By linking accounts, I have been able to push the content onto more channels. So my Instagram is connected to my Twitter and personal Facebook. I just wish there was a way to connect Instagram to my AskMissE Facebook page. Currently, that process is quite manual. (Dear Reader, if you have any suggestions, please let me know. 😄) The platform that is most behind chronologically is my YouTube channel. Recording, editing and uploading video is a long task compared to Snapchat. So now that YouTube has live broadcasting, I may start going live there, so that the content builds up more on that platform (Reader, if you like live video, please tell me on which platform you like them).

I used to manage social media platforms for hair-care companies, so I give a lot of thought to this. I have got to set aside enough time to formalize this plan of pushing content. More than anything, I try to focus my day on pushing as much positive content (if not more) than what I actually consume. This is balance for me.

Why have a side project?

Documenting this journey has assisted me in being consistently being consistent. 😄 The side project has become a practice that holds me accountable for the actions I take in my life. For me, living this transparently is freeing. I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, they already get me.

In addition to my own personal benefits, my practice has been a positive influence on my family and friends. My Dad now eats vegetables in every meal! My friends are eating smoothies regularly now and actually care if certain foods are organic! This is big deal! Everyone in my circle, myself included, were living an unconscious life before I began my journey. Now we are all making better, informed and conscious choices about what we do in life. This level of awareness has helped in how I relate to others. I do not feel “out of the norm” or “strange.” Daily, I feel understood, loved and accepted.

I truly hope that my personal outlet helps others realize that the joy they are searching for in life already lives inside of themselves. To the reader of this interview, I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and I love to hear about the transformation of others. Feel free to drop me a line on any of my socials. Become my friend, join @AskMissE. I look forward to connecting with you.

Peace. Love. Balance.

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Diptych courtesy of Elayna Spratley.

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Read more about the joy of side projects.

This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.

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