Style, Spirit & YOUR Story

If this is your first time visiting “Style Your Spirit,” welcome! If you’re seeking ways to simplify your space and find peace and inspiration in the place inside you — your spirit — this is for you.

I am super excited to share something that once scared the crap out of me, something I was ashamed about — my own personal style. Tomorrow, Apartment Therapy, one of my favorite home design platforms, is featuring my home and story. Ahhhh!

Here is a video diary that talks about who I am, how I started this “Style Your Spirit” YouTube series, how SYS aims to make your life more beautiful and why I am sharing design tips that will inspire you to elevate your style and spirit.

What do style and spirit have to do with your story? A lot. They are core to the way you live and who you are. The place you call home is directly related to the space inside you — your spirit. So why is style so important? It’s how you broadcast yourself to the world. Change your physical place and shift that space inside you.

My family arrived from war-torn Vietnam with 10 of us crammed in a trailer park in South Sacramento, California, my first home. Based on the sordid start to my story, no one would ever think I would now live in a home that rises to meet me, not to mention a career that inspires others to be better and do better, not only for themselves, but for others. We all have the power to inspire change, whether you’re a mother, teacher or bus driver.

My roller coaster of a career has led me to this next chapter, where LIFE + Style + Spirit intersect. The truth is, growing up, I was so ashamed and embarrassed to have friends over to my roach-infested, spring-springing-out-of-the-couch furniture home, where I had no room to call my own, just mattresses on the floor adorned with re-purposed burlap rice sacks stuffed with tattered hand-me-downs. I say “was ashamed,” because now I embrace where I came from and know my ancestors and everyone who took the time to show me the way in life have led me here, to this present moment.

My goal with everything I do is to inspire you to be present. Present to the beauty around you — be it nature, the interior of your home or a beautiful conversation — and to feel that beauty inside you. 

I’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support around this “Style Your Spirit” project. From my former days as a TV reporter, PBS host, motivational speaker, instructor at two universities and producer of a documentary on Asian American Caregiving heroes, the thread that connects all my passion work is STORY. Nothing excites me more than when I see an “Aha!” light someone up because of how a story I told lifted their spirits, shifted their perspective and gifted them a sense of peace.

I see you all. For those of you who have written in to tell me that you now light a candle at dinner to remind you to be present, I see you. And those of you who say I’ve helped you declutter your space around you and inside you so more opportunities could flow in, I hear you. For all of you who say you buy fresh flowers regularly because it’s a gift to your home, to those who live in it and to yourself, I feel you. 

I also feel my two grandmothers, who inspired this project. I talk more about them and how style is woven into my story and your story and how it lifts our spirits. Please share your thoughts and ways I could help you solve a design dilemma, so your physical home and spiritual home can be healthier and more joyful. 

If my simple design tips create a spiritual shift — or uplift your spirit — the best gift you can give me is to share your story with me and “Style Your Spirit” with those you love.

In gratitude,
Toan

More info at www.StyleYourSpirit.co!

About Go Inspire Go
Go Inspire Go (GIG) is a multimedia platform that inspires you to GO get INSPIRED and GO take action. We have two video series: Everyday Heroes & Style Your Spirit.

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About Style Your Spirit

Every week, you’ll get fresh, quick videos with a SIMPLE design tip to create a BIG shift in your perspective. These videos were borne out my mission to inspire you to be aware of the beauty around — and inside you.

When you change your space, you change the place inside you. It’s even more exciting when you find it and share that spark and sparkle with others. Some of us just need a little inspiration to discover it and take action. You’ll find it here.

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1 day ago
If you've got it, flaunt it! One of the most important design and life lessons that took a long time for me to learn: Show off the things that bring you joy. #StyleYourSpirit https://t.co/f818qbcr1t
4 days ago
From reducing waste to elevating your dining experience, here are some reasons to “wipe right” on cloth napkins. #StyleYourSpirit https://t.co/EsselNr8EB
1 week ago
From candles to name tags, here are some simple ideas to make your next dinner party one to remember. #StyleYourSpirit #tablescape https://t.co/GLEHg5oHMf