The State of Your Sock Drawer


I want you to get up and go over to your sock drawer. It may also be where you keep your undies, too. Maybe you have them split up. Whatever your arrangement, I want you to take a good, long look in there. Pull out one or two pairs of socks and undergarments. Assess the state of them. Survey your drawers, in general.

Are they packed tightly?

Is there room to breathe?

Are things mismatched? Do you have lots of socks with no twin?

Are there holes in things? Rips? Tears? Are things faded and threadbare or stained?


I want you to consider the state of your sock drawer as an indicator of your life, in general. I remember learning about this during my studies at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Every time I do a gut check of how things are going in my life, I start with my sock drawer.

I have two seasons of socks, basically. I have smaller, thinner summer socks and thicker, heavier fall/winter socks. I trade them out and store them during their off-season. This makes room and keeps me present for the season at hand. I don't have holes, tears or major stains on my socks. Underwear, same thing. In fact, I recently went and purchased a nice new package of Fruit of the Loom undies that I really loved from Old Navy. I have a lot of different brands but those really feel best. Is this an overshare? Perhaps for some of you. I'm sharing this much detail because I'm trying to show you how much I pay attention to this stuff. It matters. The intention and attention I bring to the very basics of what I wear each and every day is correlated to how I show up for my whole life.

The investment I make in my socks and underwear shows up in my investment in myself. When I didn't prioritize my sock drawer, I also didn't prioritize myself. I didn't book massages or coaching sessions with people or therapy or dental appointments or things like the brand-new Macbook Air I'm typing on this very moment.

I remember very well what this time in my life was like. When I had lots of money from a stable job, I was in the worst financial situation of my life. In the past 5 years, as I've worked tirelessly to build and earn income as an entrepreneur and recover from failed attempts (as well as put myself through grad school and fund my own major surgery that cost 5K+) I've learned a lot about my relationship to money. I've been financially independent since I was 16 years old. That's a long time to spend negotiating with dollars and cents. A lot of people have written about this topic, but I have a unique tale to tell--and I think the biggest lesson I've learned is the more I invest in myself in meaningful ways, the more my life improves.

As a business owner, I learned that I have to spend money to make more of it to live the life I want to live. And that life is different from the lives other people want to live. And I practice this, time after time, with smaller things like my socks and underwear.

Recently, I assessed the state of my undershirts. I wear white undershirts under everything. In the past year or so I went from wearing size SMALL to MEDIUM. I've grown a bit and the smalls were becoming comically ill-fitting. They showed signs of wear and tear, too. A part of me really had a hard time letting go of them. My former self fit those shirts just fine. It may sound silly but it was hard to accept that something simple like a stained undershirt held so much significance.

But they were yellowed and small and I looked a little silly. They no longer matched the present me. It was time to get a new package of bright white t-shirts--and the many things that represents for me.

Like I said, this may sound silly to you but I want you to take a good look at your drawers and see what you see. I am sharing this because I've seen it show up with my clients time after time. I've seen that someone walking around with holes that are bigger than the remaining sock material also seems to struggle with finding the money for just about anything that allows her to thrive. Not just get by, but thrive.

See what your sock drawer is telling you and I want to give you some homework. If the state of your sock drawers tells you that you need some new additions, go do it. Go to the store and pick out a few new pairs of socks. Splurge on a package of underwear or t-shirts or a couple new bras.

Pay very close attention to how the whole thing feels to you---from the noticing of your drawer right now to the action of getting in your car or on your bikes or the bus and get new things. Just notice it. Don't judge yourself.

I got super pumped when I went and got new socks, t-shirts and undies recently. It was fun to notice how much of a thrill I got from folding the new things after being freshly washed. I looked at my week and saw the correlation to other spending and earning I had done and all felt right in my world.

Hard to believe something so small could mean so much.

PS if you do go out shopping for new stuff, I want to celebrate you. Send me your pics for a chance to win a free coaching session with me! We can talk about your new purchase, or anything you want, really.

Email your pics and captions to dillan [at] dillandigi [dot] com.



Image courtesy of What Bart is Wearing


Signing up to be stigmatized: why it's so hard to come out and why we celebrate when someone does

I woke up this morning and heard the news that Ellen Page came out as gay, which was great because it left me wondering, “hmm, not a lesbian? ok. cool” and there was that question in my mind about her choice of label. Maybe it was intentional, maybe not. I also noticed the way her right hand shook and moved about, keeping time and meter with her speech, as if its motion provided her comfort that as long as it moved, she could keep talking. I’ve felt that same feeling, rather like facing a firing squad. It is exhilarating and horrible, in equal amounts.


And then all the People of the Land rejoiced that yet another person stood up on a stage and shared something extremely intimate and personal to “help others”. All the People of the Land celebrated another person facing and overcoming the decision to face a lifetime of being stigmatized based on one identity of many that made that person a whole person. And they applauded her courage and bravery and welcomed her into The Club--the association of people who lead the pack of being open, honest and vulnerable while others live their lives off the radar of dissection, opinion and criticism.

Ellen Page came out. Michael Sam came out. We see these headlines and then we see the backlash and the flag-waving supporters and it’s a media frenzy. I sit and wonder why we are still dealing with this issue of stigma. What are we being taught? What have we not yet learned about stigma and difference?

"Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary."  

-Uta Hagen

Something that occurred to me while reading the post on Autostraddle about Ellen and the video of her coming out at the HRC event was the bittersweet quality of coming out. It prompted me to write this piece about what it means to sign up for a lifetime of being stigmatized, why it’s hard to take it on and why we celebrate when someone does.

First, I gotta say this. LGBTQ people aren’t the only ones living outside the lines and they aren’t the only ones being brave and outspoken. The big elephant in the room here is that there are no lines. We celebrate people coming out of the closet, specifically about sexual identity, because we think it signifies someone defying norms and not being afraid to be different. It’s a hoax, folks. There actually is no such thing as normal. There is nothing but difference all around us. We fool ourselves into thinking this isn’t the case and the truth is staring us in the face. Coming out moments are mere reminders that we aren’t honoring the reality, the pure, naked, obvious reality that this country (and world) is still a place that sees differences as differences instead of the truth about us humans. Uniqueness is the only true norm we share in common.

Coming out represents what it means to be stigmatized, to be separated from “the pack” based on something that makes you different in some way. It’s hard to do that, to expose this thing (or things) that make you different because often that becomes the only thing that people see. They miss the kaleidoscope of your complex identity because “the thing” blinds them.

It’s also hard when others get to play it safe and not be so brave because their identities make it easier to cheer from the sidelines. People, like Ellen Page who are "lying by omission", get to choose the level to which they open the closet and expose their skeletons, or whatever the heck else is hanging out in there.

It’s hard to come out when you know the things people hide, things that aren’t socially acceptable, and yet everyone does a great job of faking it. They hide it. They play the part so well that everyone else is convinced they are the broken, weird one and then no one feels comfortable to be authentic. And because no one feels comfortable, many people hurt the ones who DO step outside the lines (those lines that aren’t real, remember) to make an example out of those who dare to live out their difference. Sometimes, the brave ones get tired of being brave and take out their pain, called internalized oppression, on each other. The “community” can sometimes become anything but a safe place to be different.

That’s why we celebrate so much when someone does come out--about something, anything that is stigmatized. Divorce, abortion, rape, religion, weight, height, adoption, stay-at-home dads, mompreneurs, learning disabilities, to name just a few. When someone speaks up or comes forward we celebrate, individually and collectively, because it shifts the culture one notch closer to the reality we all seek and crave: a culture that accepts human uniqueness and complexity as a given and the only true norm. It reminds us of something we understand but is deeply nestled in our brains: stigma only exists because we’ve failed to make it obselete.

I look forward to the day that coming out becomes boring and commonplace and people don’t feel like they are facing a firing squad of their peers, who, ironically, would probably be facing a squad of a different sort.

But for now, every time someone comes out, we will celebrate. We will celebrate the surmounting of silence over the persistence of stigma. We will celebrate the liberation of a hidden truth and we will feel inspired to be a bit more authentic, ourselves.

In other news, how did I NOT KNOW about this HRC "Time to Thrive" conference? #signmeupfornextyear