Getting Our Hands Dirty in a Culture of Comfort + a Free Gift

I was raised on a little ranch in Northern California. At the time I had no idea how lucky I was to be there, and couldn’t wait to leave once I turned 18. Back then, I craved a faster pace and big city lights. After going to college in Southern California, and now living in Orange County, I am surrounded by a completely different culture than I was raised in. I find myself around people who don’t share my same values and concerns, and haven’t experienced the power of a simple life.

Living in a culture built around comfort and accessibility challenges me daily to return to my roots.

To live out what I know to be true and beautiful, and not just conform to the tidiness and shininess around me. In everything from my business to my dream of having chickens and a veggie garden, I feel I must blaze a path that stands for more than exterior looks. I am generalizing, of course - not everyone here is like The Real Housewives . But there is definitely less land, less time, less obstacles, and less connection due to the conveniences of life. Though these are causes of development in society, we now run at a breakneck pace to make more money, take more trips, and find more free wifi. In the midst of this, I crave those stormy nights spent with no power, having a picnic in the living room by candle light.

Getting our hands dirty in a culture of comfort - Yellow Co.

I believe that our sense of humanity is cultivated most when we get our hands dirty to get what we need. I know that even when I am barefoot on the lawn, I feel most free. I love giving into uncontrolled circumstances, like a power outage or a truck stuck in the mud, and reminding myself that I am resourceful. Because truly, being stranded at home with no TV can be the best kind of day.

With all the surrounding pressure and that nasty thief of joy called comparison, I find it much harder to slow down and get back to this kind of lifestyle. I constantly have to remember things like how a homemade vase can be just as good as a store bought one, and is as simple as peeling the label off a glass tomato sauce jar. It’s silly, but so real.

In an effort to regularly get my hands dirty in a creative, resourceful way, I follow a few practices:
  1. I plant flowers and herbs instead of buying them
  2. I make things like pasta, bread, and pies from scratch
  3. I hand write all my thank you notes
  4. I use all natural remedies before trying over the counter products

I have not yet found the perfect balance between these lifestyles. Believe me, I love an easy Target run as much as anyone. But I know my heart, and that I have something to offer to this crazy world. So, I continue to try as much as I can to be that woman who brings back the basics of simple living and stays true to herself.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting” – E.E. Cummings

We loved this quote and message so much that we felt that we all needed a reminder. A reminder to fight for the person we were created to be and to allow that person to run free without compromise. Enjoy your free download below!

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Photos by: Valerie Denise Photography

Bailey Van Tassel Bio - Yellow Co.

Bailey Van Tassel

Founder at Abel Impact

Bailey is the Founder and President of Abel Impact, a social responsibility firm that helps business and families partner with charity to create meaningful do-good programming. Her background is in marketing, non-profit management, sales, and fundraising. She brings a wealth of knowledge from over eight years of studying the way the private sector interacts with the social sector, and is certified in non-profit evaluation. She has worked with companies like Google, MasterCard, Club Corp, and many others. Bailey’s passion lies in bridging the worlds of philanthropy and business, alongside her love for her family, yoga, cooking, and doing anything outside.