Posted in Mindfulness, Personal Growth

How to Be Okay With Change

Expectations are a two-way street.

Expectations are the root of suffering. Without them, there would be no story to compare the present circumstance to, no other way it should have gone, and no ideal version of what could be happening if things were different.

Expectations invite more suffering by perpetuating narratives of what’s changed and what didn’t occur, taking us further away from accepting what is. And further away you move from acceptable, the further from the present moment you become.

It’s natural to create expectations for ourselves and hold them for others. Expecting life to unfold in a particular way, people to behave accordingly, or treat you in a certain way because that’s what you would do, or how you’ve always received something. It happens, humans are creatures of habit which ultimately leads to assumptions.

The thing is, people are constantly seeing life through their own unique lens, one which is cultivated by different memories, experiences, and beliefs. Two people can be looking at the same exact scenario while seeing things from completely different perspectives because of the hue of their lens.

One can see problems where another sees opportunities. Expectations are no different; where you expect something to happen you can also invite a fresh perspective to welcome change.

Inviting Suffering Unknowingly

There is a connection between what is causing you suffering right now and an expectation that has been placed upon someone or something. When something happens, someone hurts you, something didn’t go right, chances are there’s an expectation that things “should” have gone differently, better, a particular way you’d imagined in your mind.

The deeper you dig into the narrative of what should have happened, the further away you pull from alignment and the present moment. If you’re constantly focusing on circumstances of the past that can’t be changed, on people and places that can’t be controlled, or stories the mind creates, you’re wasting precious energy.

But by choosing to recognize the expectations you’re holding onto, the ones that hold you back from being with changes unfolding now, you’re moving with the current flow of energy. Instead of focusing on what could have been, you’re standing in what already is, and that’s the place decisions are made.

Dropping expectations isn’t easy, but it is possible once you begin to notice where they have a hold on you. If you’re gripping onto a story rather than reality, focusing on opinions rather than facts, clinging onto the way you believe things need to go rather than accepting the way things are, you’re going against the ebb and flow of life.

When you find yourself holding onto what isn’t and pushing away what is, it’s time to drop expectations because they’re not serving you.

Learning to Be Okay With Change

The only constant you can count on is change. Change from within, change all around, change from the people in your lives. Time is always moving forward and although you don’t have to accept that truth, it doesn’t stop it from being true.

Just because you grip tightly to what once was doesn’t mean it still is, it simply means you haven’t moved into the present moment and have decided to hold onto past expectations. That’s what it means to live a life of resistance.

Deciding to be okay with change doesn’t necessarily mean you’re comfortable with it, or even that the change is something you’ve wanted. Being okay with change is less about your opinion of it and more about acknowledging reality as it shows up. Whether you choose to respond with resistance or acceptance change is inevitable, but the prolonged suffering that accompanies that change is entirely up to you.

There are plenty of opportunities that come up in your life to drop expectations. You’ll begin to notice them once you recognize all of the expectations already set in motions, the ones you hold for yourself, others, and life in general. Some expectations get so deeply embedded that it becomes something you identify it, that’s where the challenges come in.

It’s simple, but not easy. It’s possible but difficult. You’re either rooted in what’s expected or moving toward alignment, and you can always choose again.

How to Notice Change and Expectations

To sum up, there are two states of mind this blog focuses on: autopilot and mindfulness. The difference between the two is clear: mindfulness is to bring your presence to something, to pay attention, whereas autopilot is not paying attention or tuning out.

Autopilot isn’t a negative state of mind, but it is one that doesn’t require awareness. Without awareness there’s a lack of presence freeing up your thoughts and energy to be floating elsewhere. If you’re not bringing intention to what you’re doing, there’s a chance you’re just going through the motions.

To practice mindfulness is to bring awareness to those motions, those choices, those habits and day-to-day tasks. It’s not about doing anything differently, quicker or slower, but doing it with a sense of presence and awareness. Noticing what you’re doing and paying attention to how it’s done. This is the practice that will lead you to recognize expectations.

You can learn to be with discomforts rather than push them away.

You can learn to be where you are instead of the story in the thinking mind that should have unfolded.

You can learn to be okay with change instead of putting up a fight of resistance at every turn.

You can learn to recognize when expectations have their claws deep in your beliefs, so you can practice mindfulness, turn off the autopilot, and make deliberate choices that bring you closer to acceptance.

Being okay with change really means being with the change, rather than being with the thoughts of what “would have been” easier, simpler, better, etc. To be okay with change is to be with what is, to be with what is present in your life.

The more you practice noticing your automatic habits, choices, and movements throughout the day, the more opportunities to practice mindfulness will surface. It’s in these moments of mundane everyday instinctual choices that you can invite intention and a fresh pair of eyes.

The difference between autopilot and mindfulness is your presence, a shift that happens in an instant, a choice that’s always within you. May you have the courage to make that choice today and may it bring you closer to a more peaceful version of yourself.

Check out the full live stream on Dropping Expectations and Being Okay With Change
Posted in Personal Growth

These Habits Are Keeping Me Grounded

May you be well and your soul at ease.

There’s been a good amount of change over the past couple of months that has thrown me off kilter a few times. Locating to a different town in a different part of the state has something to do with that. You know that feeling of staying at a hotel? It feels like nothing is yours so you tend to keep everything in its place. Or at least I do.

Now that I’m entering the fourth week of living here this place feels like our home. One of the things I noticed that makes that possible is blocking out time for whatever needs my attention. It’s so freakin simple but when I don’t do it everything gets complicated.

Time blocking my responsibilities and disciplines helps ground me into my purpose each day, especially because these days have been filled with time. For the past 6 months I’ve taken time away from my business to focus on my values, truths, and the conscious lifestyle I’m building. When there are classes, meditations, and programs on your task list it can be easy to know what to do next because it’s reliant on someone or something outside of me.

In my opinion, it’s easier to show up for outer accountability than it is when I’m doing it for myself. Without having a job outside the house rather than taking care of my home and family, I’m literally flailing with no guidance. Enter time management.

If you’re like me, then from time to time you suffer from time blindness a.k.a. having no concept of the hours in the day and how much you can realistically get done. That shows up for me on the days I think I can get food shopping done, clean the kitchen and bathroom, cook lunch, wash the produce and marinate dinner all within 3 hours.

It’s crazy when I type it out but honestly, my brain thinks I’m the little engine that could, as long as I’m thinking it can be accomplished. Even if all of that is possible to get done in such a small time frame, there’s no need to rush juggling so many tasks.

So what’s the solution to time blindness, rushing, and pushing through your responsibilities?

Thanks to one of my best friends for pointing out this insanely obvious trick when planning your day: put it into zones! All of my daily and weekly to-dos are categorized by a zone for instance creativity, shopping and prepping, teaching, cleaning, etc.

Rather than thinking about how many hours I have left before, during, or after a task, I dedicate a specific amount of blocked-out time to each task. Following this routine makes sure my day is filled with realistic responsibilities, instead of building a wishlist of never-ending things.

One of my core time blocks is for contemplative and meditative moments. The minimum amount of time blocked off for this is an hour, this way there’s plenty of time for yoga and reading while ending with a nice seated meditation. If I have time on my side that day I’ll spend a little more time on the cushion before starting my day.

Also, out of behavioral habit, I take out the parts of my juicer and assemble them first thing in the morning. It technically falls under the block of food and prep, but over time it’s become a constant opportunity for a mindful practice, connecting me to the fruits and veggies.

For my mental health to reach or stay at an optimal level, my mind and body need my attention first thing in the morning. If my first precious moments are given away to the lives and desires of other people,It’s my way of setting a foundation of focus, discipline, and groundedness so that if/when the day gets away from me I’ve got a morning practice to remind myself of. This is also why I put my juicing or breakfast time in with morning rituals, mindful consumption is a great way to take care of yourself.

Next, I block time out for “homemaking duties” which change from day to day but for the most part have the same rotating responsibilities. Some days I’ll block out 9-11 so that I can shop, clean, prep, and then make lunch, while other days are chill when all I need to do is sweep the floors and wipe down counters. It’s not so much what has to get done that throws me off, I can deal with things changing day-to-day, it’s not blocking off time to do it.

Seriously if I know what to do but haven’t been given time restraints, well then nothing gets done or what could easily take me 20 minutes will now extend to four hours.

Another block I use is study and creativity, giving me ample time to write, record, edit, read, teach and do all of the fun little practices that help my creative mind expand. When it comes to studying or learning a new subject I like to give myself about 90 minutes otherwise, I’ll stop paying complete attention and start drifting into space.

But for creativity, I like giving myself a few hours because after years of creating content and shooting videos I’ve learned that the more warmed up you are the better the footage. Rather than being rigid while recording just to get it done sooner, I choose not to feel rushed in the creative process, nor do I want to hurry up and memorize meanings while learning whatever topic I’m currently studying.

I love learning, especially now that I design my own curriculum, so why would I want to rush into knowing what I could slowly be learning?

Feeling calm, grounded, and present are important intentions used when showing up for each block. Whether I’ve done it a hundred times or I’m doing it for the first time, each task deserves my undivided attention with a fresh pair of eyes. Unless there is a time to start and stop, my mind will be wandering into all of the other things that need my attention.

And you know what? That’s okay.

It’s taken a really long time to accept who I am and how I operate, instead of trying to fix it. It isn’t easy for me to remain disciplined on things, no matter how much I logically understand their significance and meaning. Making juice because it’s healthy or meditating for my mental health doesn’t happen without an immense amount of effort, will, and consistency.

Of course, there are days when I fall off track, and rather than beating myself up for falling short, I focus on not extending the days to weeks. Because at some point I have to stop beating myself up and start building myself up, it’s as simple as how to respond when things don’t unfold according to my plan. It’s in these moments that the practice of mindfulness is ready to help me ground, center, and begin again.

TLDR: Let’s recap

This is what’s currently working wonders in my life so I wanted to pass it on.

Time management hack: break it into zones and stick to timelines. If you know creativity takes more time than cleaning, schedule accordingly and give yourself a break. Just because there’s 24 hours in a day doesn’t mean each moment needs to be planned out.

Learning to factor in my challenges: Recently I’ve been accepting some of the neurodivergent challenges I’ve had all my life. It’s brought me to the empowering point where I accept what cannot be changed, focus most of my efforts on what I’m great at, and leaving room for where I tend to really struggle. Since building it into my routine I anticipate obstacles with a welcoming point of view: sure it sucks that I have a short attention span but that won’t stop me from honing in improving focus with daily zones.

Focus on the comeback, not on the fall-off: This piggy-backs off of factoring in my challenges. The more aware I become of my patterns the more accepting I am when I find myself playing them out. For instance, if I plan too many activities in a short span of time and completely overstimulate myself, I’ll focus less on why I did this for the millionth time and focus more on how to ground my mind-body back into the present moment.

And now it’s your turn for weekly insights:

What areas of your life could you block out more time for?

Maybe it’s something major like a deep cleaning or studying for an important test.

Maybe it’s something smaller but just as important, like a self-care day or making that hair/nail/massage appointment.

Whatever it is, there’s something about you that deserves your attention. So this week notice some of your habits, get curious about their level of effectiveness, and practice some self-compassion for just how much you’re getting done.

Until next week friends, enjoy your moments.

Posted in Mindfulness, Personal Growth

One door closes, another one opens

It’s the Sunday after my 30th birthday.

As I write this I’m reminiscing about my homemade baked goods yesterday as I adjust the cheap tablecloth my laptop is sitting on. Right up until our first guest arrived I was baking my first attempt at a 2-layer cake which was a major highlight for me. Although the steps were simple it was the follow-through I was proud of, I have a tendency to get excited when making the fire but sustaining the flames proves difficult.

But there’s something about this place, my new home, that’s proving to be different altogether. And I think I’ve figured out why.

Yesterday I threw a 90s theme 30th with long-time friends at the brand new townhome I moved to at the beginning of the month. Add to that the confidence-boosting haircut I got the day before I moved, you could say I was vibing high.

My home and heart were filled with good vibes the day of the party. From the moment I woke up to the end of the day the energy was funny and loving. My friends got the most intentional and heartfelt gifts I could have received, right down to the wording in each card. At the end of the night, as Ivan and I were cleaning up all the food and saying our goodbyes, I paused to express gratitude for all that I’ve been blessed to receive. That’s when I realized something.

As everyone packed up food and headed to their cars, I realized the party wasn’t the only thing that had ended that night. The anticipation I’ve held for over a year in my heart has officially stopped because I got everything I asked for.

I baked a 2 layer funfetti cake, yellow cupcakes with chocolate icing and banana muffins.
Posted in Personal Growth

A Week of New Beginnings

It’s the Sunday before my 30th birthday. As I slowly sip on my orange carrot juice, taking deep breaths of the cool breeze on the balcony, I allow myself to bask in the moments that are my life. Some things are perfect, other things aren’t the best, nonetheless I’m gleaming with gratitude and excitement for this current chapter.

With that said, I have nothing figured out and I think that’s an important piece to share. Lots of times people are grateful what what they already have, or what they know is coming. There is a giant question mark over one of the most important areas of my life, career, where a plan once lived but disintegrated once its false foundation was realized.

It’s all about how you perceive a situation that makes it catostrphic or right on track. If I focus on the plan I’m letting go of, life feels like a failure. So when my thoughts and beliefs are locked into what I wanted to happen, which is also what didn’t happen, I’ll never move forward. However, if I focus on what I’m receiving as a result of letting go of that plan, life feels like a blessing and I’m trusting in whatever lies ahead to be great for me.

I’m choosing blessings, over and over every day.

I know how easy it can be to let doubt creep in, urging the question of where I “should be” by “this particular time and this particular place in space.” I’ll admit it has stolen my attention quite a few times over the winter months. But as time goes on and I turn inward, I rediscover the truth which is I am always exactly where I need to be, even if it’s uncomfortable and unknown most of the time. Sure it’s not what I had planned or sometimes even wanted, but there are divine plans placed upon me that have proven time and time again it will always work out.

My intention for the year is to welcome my 30s with the theme of unbecoming anyone or anything I have space in my identity that isn’t aligned with my highest self. There’s SO MUCH to release and this season may last years because of all the facades accumulated in the past, ones I was once so proud of constructing now only remind me of how scared I was to be myself. As time ticks on the most important matters are always revealed and the act of stifling authenticity will begin to weigh heavy on the heart and soul. I’m continuously dropping dead weight.

I let go so I can leap.

The month of April holds incredibly palpable energy that pumps through me each year. It’s fierce, unfolding, full of wonder, and oftentimes chaos. Maybe it’s because of my birthday or maybe it’s because this is the true new year, springtime. This year is no different the air is brimming with potential, I have to work intentionally to slow myself down to see there’s more than just how I’m feeling right now. With the exception of some minor details in appearance and environment, this feeling is a familiar one I’ve been known to take great leaps from.

Okay so maybe the actual detail changes in my life aren’t minor at all, like getting a bomb-ass haircut and moving into a home with the kitchen of my dreams thanks to the love of my life. These all mean a great deal to me, so understand when I say minor I don’t mean to insult or diminish anything. These are all moments and experiences I’ve slowly cultivated through visualization, patience, and deliberate action.

Its details themselves, the microscopic vision of our lives, that must remain minor. If details are paid too close attention, they could cause you to forget the bigger picture unfolding. An example of details being minor is when you receive what you asked for but it didn’t show up the way you wanted it to. You can choose to either focus on how nothing went according to your plan or you can choose to focus on how everything unfolds in your favor.

By zooming out of the specifics you’re able to see the grand picture, and find gratitude in the how rather than frustration in it.

Letting go of your plans is a major part of unbecoming.

I believe that growth, true growth, is outgrowing molds you’ve made yourself stay in to play small, to stay safe, to please others, to keep quiet, to dull your own shine. Unbecoming is to delayer, to take off what wasn’t supposed to stay on too long, to strip away the traits and mechanisms that helped you while in survival mode, but now only hinder your progress. To grow is to practice unbecoming. Unbecoming is to let go of what is no longer working or serving you, even if it’s comfortable and familiar.

There is a balance that may not ever be achieved but can absolutely be practiced continuously. Have a plan and give it flexibility. Create visions for your life and be willing to receive the outcome in many other ways. Be determined in your pursuits and know when it’s time to pause for a while. Be willing to let go and be willing to receive, don’t stay stuck in either mode too long. Growth requires acceptance of what is before moving into what will be. Listen to your heart and learn to turn fear into excitement. Recognize when you are playing small so you can let go and learn to fly.

As with all adventures you embark on, it’s important to recommit to yourself on the journey of unbecoming. Be prepared to fall into familiar patterns and behavior traps of the past, and in the same breath be prepared to express loving compassion toward yourself for it. That’s how you practice balance; enjoy the journey rather than rushing toward the destination, while accepting the fact that you never truly arrive. They’ll always be another place, something more, something else, and so really the destination is always the present moment.

Enjoy the moments that find you and allow yourself to feel them.


Posted in Personal Growth

My Truth About Productivity (spring 2021)

I cleaned the bathroom today. Which to some probably isn’t as big of an accomplishment as it felt like for me. After putting it off for so long, and coming up with excuses as to why another day would work best, I finally had enough of my own shit. And I’m not even completely done, or at least satisfied with the tub. I just read online about using a broom with liquid dish soap to scrub without hurting your back and knees.

Mama needs all the efficiency she can get.

But as I write this now the sink, toilet, floor, and bathroom have been scrubbed and sanitized. There’s nothing I can’t accomplish with some good music, magnificent dance moves, and a little bong hit. I’ve come to realize it’s more about the mood and intention setting than the actual task itself, half the battle is the attitude you bring to it.

Having it all “together” isn’t necessarily my strong suit but I show up when it’s time to in my own way. Trying to find a balance between personal life and homemaking, while creating offerings for my community, what a trip it’s been. There’s so much I’ve learned and yet an endless amount left to soak in. I’m taking it day by day because before I know it I’ll be looking back on this time with gratitude.

Subscribe to get access

Read more of this content when you subscribe today.

There is so much wisdom to be absorbed from any type of housework or responsibility. No matter how tedious or challenging the task is, you can find your reflection in it. Like cleaning for example.

Cleansing takes place on the inside as well as the outside to make room for new and fresh opportunities. It always seems to rain when I need it the most. Maybe it won’t make going to ShopRite all that fun, but emotionally I need the rain today.

When nature cleanses herself she cleanses me too. I always feel called to go within, journal, document, dance, listen, and let something go- hence the cleaning. This isn’t by chance it’s by design. I love the rain.

Twerking and scrubbing a toilet, while it sounds hilarious, is also a powerful choice to make and a very intentional one too. While Beyonce’s Homecoming album played in the perfect order she intended it to, I felt in sync with the feelings flowing through each song.

Twerking while cleaning is a decision I willed into my experience. I wasn’t particularly enthused about this responsibility, considering how long I had been putting it off.

So instead of making it the miserable experience I built it up to be, I decided to bring joy into the unpleasantness of it all. Every day there is an opportunity to make a conscious effort toward making the best out of every situation. I chose to twerk.

I’ve decided to take my time in between cleaning to put on a performance in my bathroom or take a moment to just be in my feels. It’s all a part of the cleansing process anyway. After all, I’m not just cleaning the bathroom, I’m being cleansed too, even if I didn’t know it until halfway through Beychella’s performance.

Mother nature always shows up when it’s time to remind me what to do next. When I listen to her I am led to exactly where I need to be, the trouble is I wait too long and things get foggy.

Will I be exhausted at the end of the day? Yes, but I’ll be lighter too. Lighter for taking care of my inner and outer environments, cleansing the old, and preparing room for the new. Springtime Aries energy at its finest.

Check out this 4-minute video on how to notice negative thinking

It’s Friday and it has been more on the productive side. Up at 615 for my mindful morning routine, followed by celery juice and grocery shopping before 8am. Coming home to make pancakes, bake banana bread, and get an hour of writing in before I’m off to babysit my niece and nephew.

At one time in my life, this was an incredibly normal morning for me, running personal errands and making sure Ivan’s got something to eat before running off to slay more duties. But this is not my normal anymore. In fact, I’m blown away that I had the energy and bandwidth to accomplish all those things today when not too long ago I could barely even peel myself out of bed for a shower.

It’s funny how through pictures and quick glimpses it can really look like people live a flawless life, completing tasks with ease and transitioning from wearing one hat to the next without breaking a sweat.

And it’s not necessarily a lie because it’s not like everyone claims their life is so simple. It just becomes an assumption of those looking in on the life you’ve displayed before them. That’s why it’s important that I express to my community that mindfulness doesn’t look like meditating every day and having your life completely together.

Sometimes it looks like your life falling apart and you becoming aware of how you’re responding to it. Sometimes it looks like the seasonal comeback after falling apart, where you’re just happy to be here and take nothing for granted because you remember how shitty it can be.

This week feels like the beginning of a transition into a better version of myself. Like my spirit is finally taking the reins from my ego, although she is kicking and screaming reluctant to let go of the oddly satisfying comfort zone that comes with depression. It’s wonderful to have the capacity to consider the needs of others while also being able to show up in a healthy and well-rounded way.

However, like I said, it’s the beginning of a transition out of bad habits into better ones. There’s a long road ahead and that’s okay.

One bad habit I have is procrastinating to the point of stress, angst, and anxiety to get things done in a timely manner. Food shopping is a great example of the lengths of bullshit I will go through to avoid responsibility.

I will be lazy and justify my procrastination for days until we SERIOUSLY need food. I’ve had rotting bananas inching their way toward the trash because I neglected them when they were bright yellow. I kept buying them hoping that I’d see them and be reminded of the smoothies and fruit bowl breakfasts that are so good for me. But that didn’t happen.

The beauty of the transitional week is slowly being able to start thinking of solutions rather than focusing solely on problems, like baking a banana bread instead of wasting food. I’m still a bit impulsive when it comes to doing whatever I want but I’ve begun to think through the consequences more.

Like making pancakes at 10pm because the munchies told me to, not wanting to clean the griddle so using a single pan, getting lazy halfway through because I can only make one at a time, and wrapping up the leftover batter for breakfast.

In this season I’m so fucking proud of myself for getting out of bed before 10am, having the energy, and putting forth the effort to shower and look good. Caring about my appearance, saying affirmations, and moving my body with intention rather than disgust.

During this season I’m happy there is fruit in my apartment to actually start to spoil, and I’m thankful for the perspective not to see a waste of food but a way to transform it into a sweet dessert. Celebrating the little things reminds me there is a bigger picture and I’m a part of it.

The more responsibilities I juggle the more I come to the realization that there will always be juggling, no matter the season. Sometimes I’ve got all my balls in the air and it’s magnificent to watch. Seamlessly gliding from one hand to the next, in the flow of productivity, creativity, and maybe even joy. Other times it’s like watching a train wreck occur in slow motion as the rails make an obnoxious halting sound.

Both of these versions are who I am, she’s phenomenal and a work in progress at every moment. So instead of trying to achieve this perfect looking life of organization and practicality, I recognize that there will be a season for that, it’s just not this one.

So if you’ve made it this far into my rambles of this week, bless you. Take a moment to remind yourself that “having it all together” is not a thing. It’s a construct we’ve made up in our minds comparing how things are to the way we believe they should be. Stop shoulding all over yourself.

How you are feeling, thinking, and doing, at this moment is your truth. Maybe it’s ugly, maybe it’s enjoyable, but it’s always yours.

So learn to love it, flaws and all.