Dec 20, 2016

Starting A Yoga Practice

Yoga has been a struggle for me since 2014, when I initially set out to start my practice. It was mainly a struggle because of the simple fact that I thought I couldn't do it. I was/am not flexible at all. I don't work out at all and my diet is still a little shaky. I thought all of these aspects of my life made me incapable of practicing and being successful at yoga. Little did I know, the only thing that was truly holding me back was my fear of failing. I was afraid that I wouldn't be good at it. That my body wouldn't bend the way it should. That I just was not fit enough and flexible enough to make it work for me. 

Now, here we are in 2016 and I find yoga to be the most exciting, relaxing and revitalizing thing to do on a daily basis (or as often as I can). I am still learning each day. I am still not at all flexible (yet) and I am still a beginner but the progress comes with trying. So here are my suggestions on starting, trying and making yoga work for you. 

The first step I made to ensure that yoga was apart of my daily life was deciding that it was for me. Deciding that my practice was not going to be like the other yogis out there on Instagram. Deciding that my strength was not going to be like everybody else when starting out. Deciding that the journey was not going to be an easy one but knowing that I was more than capable of taking on the heat. By making these decisions and affirming that I could do it, I was able to muster up the courage to being my practice and stick to it. 

Next, I had to find the best way for me to practice. I found it easier for me to practice with an instructor, either online or in person. I would suggest that you start out the same way because you want to make sure you are moving your body in the correct ways when surrendering into poses and transitioning out of them. This is not to say that you can't start a successful at home practice. This is to say that it is always better to consult a professional first before going out on your own. 

Lastly, I didn't give up on my self and I stayed consistent. Once I got into the rhythm of it and did it daily, it became apart of my ritual/routine. I forced myself to get up in the morning. I forced myself to make time in the evening. Now, don't get me wrong it is still a struggle. Some days, I take Ls, some days I neglect the practice all together. But again, the progress comes with trying.
I know I made starting the journey sound easy so some of you are rolling your eyes but truly it is easy to start. Just like it is easy to unlock your phone and go to social media. You just do it. 

So for those of you thinking about starting your journey. Please, just do it! It won't kill you to start it out. Go to a yoga class and see how you like it. Feel it out for yourself and decide if it is for you. You will not become a pro overnight and you will not be happy/content with your practice everyday but you have to try. The happiness you will feel just by trying will outweigh the feelings you have toward your execution of each pose. 

Just take a look at the  photos above. They are action shots from my practice this morning. My poses are not at all perfect but I could not be happier with my determination and how well I surrendered my body throughout the practice. Each day you will learn and you will succeed. Believe in yourself. 


Dec 16, 2016

Finding Closure

Breakups suck, that we all know. But what we may not want to realize is that we prolong the "releasing" phase by haunting our thoughts with questions. Questions that we want so badly for the other person to answer for us. We almost always seek validation and closure for relationships that didn't work. We often feel like it is our fought, so we want to know why we were treated badly, what we could have done to make it work and why our luck is so bad in the love department. By doing this (asking ourselves these questions) we never truly free ourselves from the relationship and the other person.

With that being said, I want to suggest freeing yourself by providing yourself with closure.

So how do we find closure on our own after the relationship ends and no true conversation was had? How do we find the answers we so desperately need after heartbreak and heartache? How do we move forward with a clear mind and a full heart? The answers to these questions are different for each of us. However, the way we go about finding these answers is the same.
Now this ain't easy love. Making the transition to a happier life after turmoil will seem almost impossible for some of us. But I am here to tell you, from personal experience, that it is doable. The deeper your desire is to connect with yourself and trust in the Universe, the easier the process will be.

Start by focusing on yourself. 

Do the things that you love to do. Isolate yourself if need be. Write down your thoughts. Your mind will try to bring you down by dragging those questions up and down your brain but remember what you have to do to find the answers. Look within yourself, affirm what/who you are and trust that the Universe has a better path for you to follow at this time. Don't spend this time replaying arguments, wondering how things would have been if you did this and he/she did that. Understand that this is your reality. This is the present. The harder you try to ignore it, the worse you will become. Take as long as you need to come to the realization that this is real. He/she is gone and it is for the better. I hate to say it but everything does happen for a reason and you need to know that the reason for this is a positive one.

Then, start reflecting on the changes you have to make. 

Breakups are the best time to figure out what you need to change to better yourself (either for your next relationship or just period, for yourself). What things did you do throughout the relationship that wasn't genuine? Did you act outside of your character? Do you feel like you treated yourself the way you should have throughout the relationship? What is it that made you stay if you knew the relationship was toxic? Ask yourself these question and write down your thoughts. Try hard not to judge yourself throughout these exercises. Judging will only make the process harder. No judgment allowed. You are asking yourself this questions for one reason and one reason only--to better yourself. By doing this you are allowing yourself room to change. You are leveling up your frequency, so to speak.
If you actually do this, and believe in the steps and in yourself I am almost certain you will find your happiness again. You will find closure without it being provided by the person who left you in the first place. You don't need them to validate your existence. Let they ass go, but let them go without holding a grudge and without hate. And let me tell you, if your intent when letting them go is not pure, the negativity will fester. Trust me.

But if you affirm that you are great. That you were created perfect. That you are love therefore will always attract love. That you are amazing in all of your right, you will get over the heartbreak. You will find freedom. You will find peace. You will find happiness. You will relight your inner candle. You will shine bright. And soon you will begin to attract the people who truly deserve you. And that my darling is worth much more than shade throwing.

I wish you luck on your "releasing" phase my dear. Know that you are not alone in this journey.



Dec 14, 2016

DIY African Black Soap Shampoo

I have been natural for about 4-5 years now and I have no growth to show for it. Not that it has ever truly mattered to me. However, now it's about to be all about the growth. I have decided to start my hair growth journey, again. I feel like the change is needed for many reasons but mainly because I want to fully embrace my culture and my hair is a big part of that culture (we can discuss this topic in detail at a later date).

So now I've decided to grow my hair back, whats next? Well, to me the best way to jump start my journey is by providing my hair with natural ingredients that it needs and loves. After doing a lot of research on 100% natural hair care products, I soon realized that I could create an entire hair regimen at home for my naturally curly hair. Thus, the creating began.

First, I wanted to start by creating a shampoo since my hair is still very short and there is no real curl pattern coming through. At my current hair length, I wash my hair about every 3 days (that will change as it starts to grow). Before I was using a non-organic shampoo and conditioner but as mentioned, I feel the need to start making the transition to healthier products now if I plan to grow healthy curls in the future. 

With that being said, I found a easy recipe that contained pretty much all of my favorite ingredients for hair and scalp care. My hair and skin love African Black Soap infused in oils because you get all of the benefits of the detoxifying soap without the dryness. And who doesn't love that. I cannot tell you if your hair will love this shampoo but I think it is worth a try. 
100% Pure African Black Soap
Distilled Water
Jojoba Oil
Vitamin E Oil
100% Pure Vegetable Glycerin 
Tea Tree Oil
Peppermint Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil
Argan Oil
Lavender Essential Oil

Start by cutting small shavings of the African Black Soap and placing them into a mason jar. The smaller the shavings the better. Next, boil the distilled water and let sit for a few minutes until it gets to room temperature. Once the water is no longer too hot to touch, place 1 cup of water into the mason jar with the African Black Soap shavings. Cover the jar and let it sit until the shavings begin to dissolve. 

Once your soap is somewhat dissolved, add in your oils. I put 1.5 tbs of Jojoba Oil, 1 tbs of Vitamin E Oil, 1 tbs of Vegetable Glycerin, 10 drops of Argan Oil, 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil, 10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil, 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 10 drops of Peppermint Oil. Mix everything together and cover the jar. Let the mixture settle in for about 2 hrs before use.
This shampoo is packed with so much goodness to keep your scalp clean, soothed and your hair soft and lively (although this mixture will leave your hair soft, it is recommended that you follow up with a moisturizing conditioner).

So now you have a new organic shampoo that you made right at home. You know exactly what's in it because you controlled the ingredients. Your hair and scalp will thank you in the long run. If you try it out, let me know what you think. And as always, I will share my own thoughts on this shampoo soon.


Dec 5, 2016

New Year, New Me?

 The time has come for us all to begin reflecting on 2016 and decide what it is we want to change moving into 2017. Maybe in 2017 you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe gain 10 pounds. Maybe you are manifesting your dream job. Maybe you are determined to find your soul mate. Maybe you just want to be a better you. All of those are amazing changes that you can and will make in the new year...if you put in the work. Here me now. At the end of each year, we do all of the reflecting and judging and deciding what needs to be done but we rarely, if ever, start putting in the work to make those changes happen before 2017 begins. Often times we wait until January 1st or sometime there after to put our words into action. But this year, I am opening a gateway for you that you've probably never walked through. I am suggesting that you start your journey of 2017, right now.

By this I mean, start practicing what you preach. Start writing down your to do list now. Start aligning your energy with the energy you want to attract. Start your business plan. Start transitioning into your new diet. Start transitioning into your new way of life. Start to become a better you by changing your outlook on life. By preparing your mind and body now, you are telling/showing The Universe that you truly want and deserve a better life.

With that being said, I want to share how I have been preparing myself for the new year. But first, I must inform you that my new year's resolution is to follow my spiritual path.
I believe that in order to live a full and purposeful life here on Earth, we all must maintain a high frequency which allows us to be closer to The Universe. I know many of you are like "oh lord, here goes another one of those spiritual knowitalls". But no, let me stop you there. I am not at all an expert or an advocate for spiritual knowledge. However, I will always be genuine and share my thoughts on things that I believe in thanks to my experiences here on Earth.

With all that is going on in this world, I needed a sign/reason/purpose to continue life. I felt like there was nothing but negativity for me here and to continue my life in that state of mind was suicidal. So I began looking within to figure out where my happiness was hidden. Eventually, I found light in my dark space and that light was my spirit, my powerful inner voice, my true self before my subconscious beliefs and societal influences took over. And the awareness of this, made me happier than everything I experienced before.

There were many things that helped me become more aware of my true purpose--friends, family, public figures, books, blogs, etc. However, the one book that made this spiritual crap easy to understand was "You are a Baddass..." This is by far the best "self-help" book I have read to date. Aside from being brutally honest, this book shares straight up facts about how we have the power to create and recreate our lives each day.
By the end of this book, you will know exactly what you need to do (now) to make your new year's resolution a reality. For me, I found out that I had to remove all of the negativity from my life including people, things, ideas and beliefs. I also found out that I had to part ways from the past and lay the what-ifs to bed. I am definitely one to hold on to the past and I am also one to think thoroughly about the future. This was not going to help me get to a better space. These thoughts were only going to make the journey 100 times harder, so I needed to rid of these thoughts.

These are just some of the things I have become of aware of. I still have so much more to learn and to accept. But, each day I am making sure that my self-talk is positive, that my mind is always focused on the now and that I am not letting negative energy into my sacred space.

With that being said, here are some of the physical ways I am making sure these bad "habits" have room to change:

1. Mediating Daily (or as often as I can)
I am sure you all  have heard many times that meditation is something we need to do in order to become more mindful in our lives. This is true. If you want to get to a better space in your life, you must take the time to get to know your higher self/power because that is the only person who will get you to that better space. And right now, you are not aware of your true power so you are holding yourself back. Meditation will help you get to know your true power and also help you utilize that power throughout life. Mediation for me looks like sitting on the floor in quietness with a few candles. I like to focus on my breathing. Being aware of the breath as it enters into my body and as it leaves my body. In doing this, I always take time to show appreciation for myself. It makes me feel good, declutters my mind and makes me more aware of my capabilities.

2. Speaking Affirmations Aloud
I have found that by speaking affirmations to my self daily, I have become more aware of what I deserve and receive in life. It helps with gratitude, fearlessness, selflessness and self-love. And the more you say them, the more you start to believe them.

3. Yoga (beginners level)
I have always hated working out but every time I did, I felt amazing. So when I brought yoga into my life it became a happy medium. I am able to get a bomb workout in, I am relaxing my mind and focusing on the now, while also trusting in myself. All of which have helped me throughout my spiritual journey.

4. Practicing Self-Care
If you've been here a while, you know how much I talk about self-care and self-love. Well, I will never stop talking about it because it is SO important. This society will try its hardest to make you hate your skin, hair, nails, body, etc. But by practicing self-care and providing yourself with love daily, you are giving society the middle finger. You are saying to yourself and The Universe that I am aware that I was put here/created for a reason.

Please note, that there is no right or wrong way to provide yourself with care and love. Do whatever makes you happy. Read a book for 1 hr, take a bubble bath, listen to music in your room, go shopping, have a girl's day. quiet your mind, etc. Whatever you feel like you need, you give to yourself.
The key in all of this is you. You have made the decision to change something in your life in 2017. Now, you need to begin affirming that you deserve this change by proactively doing what needs to be done to reach the goal. Your goal may be different from mines but our mindsets must be the same if we want to live a better more fulfilling life.

I wish you peace, love, happiness and strength as you recreate your life in 2017. The journey will not be easy but it will be worth it.

Never give up my love. 

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