Create More, Consume Less

Consumption has been at an all-time high in America, where the temptation to do more, buy more & work harder is encouraged. No matter where we go, we are consumed with technology, marketing & so much more.

Recently, I decided to reassess how much I’m consuming and how intentional I am at creating things in my life. I discovered that I’ve been spending too much time-consuming. So I decided to monitor what I’m consuming & see where I can create more.

As I monitor my consumption, I understand why my creativity is stagnant, especially in producing my next book project.

Creativity is the gatekeeper of helping our imagination evolve. Without time to nourish creativity, we become stagnant in our mindset. We begin to lose the joy of reigniting our childlike nature.

So what can we do to create more & consume less?

The first step is to be aware of what you are consuming, why you are consuming & it is hindering or helping you. Consumption in moderation is vital.

The second step is to figure out why you avoid nourishing your creativity. I realized avoidance of what you need to do leads to mindless consumption. Avoiding what needs to be done is easier than confronting the root of the problem. 

The third step is to set boundaries and time management around how much you consume through shopping, social media, or being connected to technology. It is okay to detox and disconnect from information overload. 

After completing these steps you can begin to start making space for your creativity. Overall, creating is about enjoyment, connection, letting things flow and allowing yourself to have space to implement things that bring you joy.

Disappointments Can Lead To Adventure….

Have you ever been disappointed or felt like what you desired and what you got were out of sync? 

I am sure we all have faced the reality of disappointment at one time or another in our lives. We may have been disappointed by the people, places, and expectations we set for our lives. However, I have realized that disappointments are a part of life, and instead of allowing them to make me bitter, angry, or fear the unknown, I have the power to let the disappointments of life lead me to the life of my dreams.

Disappointment has been a big part of my life. It started when I decided to leave home and venture into adulthood. My first encounter with disappointment started in my 20s with romantic relationships and friendships. I desperately wanted a man to love, appreciate and find me worthy, but I didn’t realize this experience was a massive disappointment because I didn’t require this of myself. Then the next uncomfortable moment of my life was learning the art of female friendships. I was tired of insecure women trying to compete; instead, I desired friends who wanted to celebrate, encourage and collaborate. However, when I started to set boundaries and work on my self-worth, I knew it was bringing me closer to my authenticity.

The most challenging chapter of disappointment I endured was when my two-year-old daughter died. I stopped believing in life’s whimsical, romantic things and allowed bitterness to create a prison of fear and hopelessness. But after all I endured, I had the right to feel disappointed by people, society, and everything at that time. 

So you may wonder, what did I do to let disappointment become a motivation to help me embrace a life of adventure? 

I decided to let it help me identify things I didn’t want in my life and start spending more time focusing on what I wanted in my life and making a plan to pursue those desires. I believe we spend so much time on our disappointments, creating stagnancy and hopelessness. As adults, we lose our childlike imagination and joy of living life whimsically. You have the creative ability to let every disappointment lead you to the adventure your life deserves.

Trust Your Dopeness

The essential thing I have learned in my life is when a person is insecure, they will use words of discouragement to tear down your confidence. When I wasn’t aware of my dopeness, I would minimize my greatness to make others feel more important, but deep inside, I was suffering. My suffering led to people-pleasing, self-sabotage, and not feeling worthy or enough.

When I began to cultivate self-worth, let go of self-sabotaging behaviors and flow into a self-confident version of myself, others became threatened. I was no longer dimming my light for them to feel better about themselves. I decided to love myself, face my inner issues and let go of my insecurities.  

However, I believe we all have to face the ugly mask of insecurity in our lives, but when these inner issues are unchecked, it creates self-misery. I have learned over the last year that insecure women are fixated on being accepted and validated by others. Their greatest fear is not being liked, so they migrate to the people-pleasing lane, and when another woman radiates confidence, she will spew words of hate to disempower another woman.

Although friendships have withered away, I understand that losing myself is no longer an option. Trusting your dopeness means walking in your confidence and being unapologetic about who you are.

Here are a couple ways you can embrace being “that girl” and exercise your dopeness.

  1. Be Authentic: Know who you are, walk in your power and maximize your voice.
  2. Be Unapologetic: God created you to be the best verison of yourself even when others don’t embrace you.
  3.  Be Around People Who Want To See You Win: When you are around people who want to see you win then, the conversations are different. Make sure you let go of toxic connections in your life (heal from toxicity).

A Nerdy Girl’s Summer…

Hot girl summer has been a trendy term since 2019, made famous by the rapper Megan Thee Stallion. However, for us ladies who love bookstores, rom-coms, a bottle of bubbly or wine, and all things nerdy, I decided to make a fun list of essential things for an intellectual girl to have an unforgettable summer.

  • Find a beautiful bookstore or library. Try a vintage bookstore or an independently own bookstore; here you will find some classics and treasures.
  • Watch Black & White Movies. I love black and white movies like Casablanca, It Happened One Night, Sunset Blvd & many more.
  • Shop at a thrift store, vintage consignment shop, or boutique to find unique pieces to put in your wardrobe.
  • Read your favorite genre, whether romance, thrillers, or suspense.
  • Go out in nature or sit at your local park & connect with God’s creation.
  • Create a fun playlist with all of your favorite music.
  • Have a dance session in your home.
  • Watch a favorite foreign film without subtitles.
  • Listen to the rain.
  • Do some stargazing.
  • Find a receipe & cook a meal.
  • Listen to classical music.
  • Go watch a sunrise or sunset.
  • Spend a day doing nothing, no technology.
  • Sit in silence.

Embracing A Slow Summer…

The summer is a time to bask in the glow of slowing down, finding your rhythm, and diving into the routine of stillness. However, we find ourselves encumber with an extensive to-do list, places to go, and itineraries to accomplish every summer. However, when we decide to take a different route by slowing down and infusing ourselves in the present moment, it is in this instance we can enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing. 

An Italian term, il dolce far niente, is translated into the meaning of the sweetness of doing nothing. Doing nothing requires us to be still and detach ourselves from the concept of mindless busyness. However, in America, we are brainwashed into believing our worth is connected to how hard we work, and our busyness equates to productivity. Recently, I have realized that slowing down has helped me become more productive. Also, I have discovered doing nothing is practical too.

This summer, I began to embrace an idea of a slow summer, with no agendas, no rushing, no plans, and accepting stillness. When my daughter was out of school every summer, we would plan our family trips and travel. But since she graduated, things have changed. A month ago, I told her we could make a down south road trip, and instead of anticipating her excitement, she declined the offer. At first, I was frustrated because it was routine for us to take summer trips, but I had to understand she was no longer in high school and her priorities had shifted. And so she suggested I take a summer trip by myself, and for the first time, I accepted the idea of asking myself what I desired to do for the summer?

Slowing down has become a new lifestyle for me that has been fun to implement. The slow living movement started in the 1980s with Carlo Petrini in Italy with the concept of the slow food movement. And now, in the United States, people are jumping on to this trend for a slower life. With the onset of the pandemic, people have felt exhausted in their careers and opted for a more sustainable and slow life.

Below are three key ways you can embrace summer’s slowness and enjoy the moment’s stillness.

  1. Say No to Overwhelm & Say Yes to what you want to do. When you say no to things you don’t enjoy, it makes room for what you really desire to do.
  2. It’s Okay To Do Nothing. Doing nothing is a form of productivity too.
  3. Be Still. It is easy to be busy but being intentional in getting away from the noise takes practice. 

More articles on slow living:

My favorite Youtuber for slow living: https://www.youtube.com/c/HelenaWoodshelenawoodstravels/videos

Treat Yourself Like Royalty

Listen to podcast episode here: https://tinyurl.com/nhatzhmy

Before you can understand how beautiful, complex and intricate you are first you have to break open all those lies you have believed about yourself.

When was the last time you believed positive things about yourself and had someone affirm those positive things?

Lately, I have been reflecting on the painful words people spoke about me. And the saddest part is I started to believe the lies about how other people saw me. I began to see myself in the image of others’ opinions, manipulative comments, and misconceptions.

However, I realized it was generating self-hate. I began to believe that I was not enough or not worthy of good things. I was starting to settle for friendships, relationships, and living a life beneath my standards.

Recently, I had an epiphany about how I was not seeing myself in a clear light, the way God saw me, and the person I am. I knew it was time to let go of the lies, toxic thoughts, and self-hate. Before starting this royal process, I knew digging up unhealthy beliefs was the first step to seeing my royal image.

Before starting your royal journey, here are a few things to start your process.

  1. Write a list of ten negative things people have said about you and circle all the ones you start to believe about yourself.
  2. Now make a list of ten good things you think about yourself.
  3. Ask this question: Are the adverse/toxic people still in your life who said negative things? If so, then why are they in your life? (journal your answer)
  4. Another question: How can you disconnect from people who make you feel bad about yourself? (journal your answer)
  5. Ways you can rebuild your self-confidence/self-esteem & self-image:
  • Therapy 
  • Personal Development (books, find supportive communities, join memberships/clubs that foster your enjoyment & passions)
  • Get a life coach
  • Prayer/Meditation

Three Ways To Revive Your Mind, Body & Soul

How often do you check in with yourself?

Have you been feeling out of alignment?

If so, maybe it is time to revive your mind, body, and soul. Often we let days, months, and years pass before we decide to reconnect with our inner being. And we find ourselves out of alignment after feeling the pangs of overwhelm, stress, or burnout. Life can feel rough, leading to dead ends and taking us off the path we desire to go. However, reconnecting to the spirit within can lead us to a road of fulfillment to get back on track.

In the last five months, my life has felt out of balance. Somewhere between relocating, dealing with unnecessary drama, and settling in a new place has made me feel abnormal. However, last week was the first time I felt like my life was taking a turn in a positive direction. The positive direction was a sign of everything calming down in my life. And I began to realize how reestablishing self-care routines, spending alone time, and creating a schedule for well-being is vital.

When we take a daily inventory of our emotions, we will bring awareness back to ourselves—spending more time reconnecting and disconnecting from things that disrupt us from living a well-balanced life.

Below are three powerful ways you get back in alignment, find fulfullment and honor your soul within.

  • Put Yourself First. This new self-care movement has everyone finding ways to fill up their cup, but surface self-care isn’t enough. When you are intentional about asking specific questions to gain clarity, you will find that putting your needs (mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.) first will assist in moving in the direction of alignment.
  • Go M.I.A. It is okay to disappear and not feel like you need to be in the midst of everything. When you take the time to regroup, it allows you to see things from a better perspective.
  • Slow Down. When our life is disoriented taking time to slow down can guide us back to our place of fulfillment.

If you desire to reconnect with your mind, body & soul check out my free ebook on creating a self-care plan.

Living A Soft Luxurious Life

Access this podcast episode here: https://tinyurl.com/45pef69b

It is never easy to have a life filled with challenges, losses, and heartbreak. However, you get to decide how you want your life to be and feel each day. Each moment, you have to be willing to let go of the past and create a future that aligns with the person you desire to be. And who you choose to be is specifically up to what you are willing to invest in yourself.

Thirteen years ago, my life was on a rollercoaster of ups and downs where feeling vibrant and happy was buried underneath heaviness. The heaviness came from the death of losing my two-year-old daughter, losing friendships, and eventually not recognizing myself. Despite the struggles, I knew I had a choice to allow the pain to define me or find joy in the pain. After different processes and inner healing, I decided to let go of the struggle and embrace ease amid challenges.

We know that life doesn’t always look or feel like a wonderland, but a life of luxury can happen if we implement moments of pleasure and ease. If you look up the word luxury, it is defined as the state of great comfort and extravagant living. How can you live comfortably or extravagantly when things are falling apart? First, you have to be willing to change your perspective and give up the concept that struggling is a way of life.

Lately, I have been researching a “soft” life movement. According to the urban dictionary, a soft life is making stress-free decisions and choices that will align with your peace of mind. And now is the time to embrace the luxury of a gentler life even when challenges arise. 

Here are a couple of ways to live a soft luxurious life without breaking the bank.

  1. Create Luxurious Moments.

Every day, add a little luxury to your day:

  • Reading your favorite book for fifteen minutes
  • Taking a short walk in nature
  • Sitting in complete silence

Luxury is a state of mind, not money.

2. Prioritize Your Peace. Make up in your mind that your peace is non-negotiable and eliminate anything that disturbs your peace (people & environments).

3. Embrace Ease. Everything doesn’t have to be complicated or a struggle, so make better decisions that will help you save time and money and be at peace.

4. Flow Into Your Feminine Energy. It is essential to tap into the power that your feminine essence holds, whether slowing down, listening to music, or creating movement in your body; these things will help you become rooted in your feminine power.

5. Release The Past & Embrace The Future. Be willing to let go of the past version of yourself to tap into your future self.

Spring Clean Your Emotions

Access this podcast episode here: https://tinyurl.com/m9x7k3rp

Spring is the perfect time to take inventory and declutter your life. However, we often limit spring cleaning to our home and disregard utilizing the same methods to spring clean our mind, body, and soul. Lately, I realize how important it is to declutter my emotions, plug into a healthy emotional state, and let go of the toxicity. 

The last couple of months of my life has been emotionally draining, and I’m ready to take my power back. I spent the last three months living with someone during my relocation journey, which affected my emotional state. When you are unaware of others’ toxic behaviors, it can cause emotional distress. Emotional distress can cause anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and much more. It is vital to take inventory of how you feel, identify your feelings, and find solutions to foster emotional well-being.

Emotional self-care sets the foundation for handling your mental capacity to deal with daily challenges in life. I decided to implement self-love, self-compassion, and self-kindness as essential points to overcome emotional meltdowns. Overall, taking care of yourself should always be on your daily agenda.

Below are a couple of ways to spring clean your emotions to relinquish the unhealthy emotional roller coasters in your life. 

  1. Identify how you feel. When you are honest about how you feel you will be able to work through every emotion even the uncomfortable ones. (Journal how you feel about an issue or situation and list the emotions that resonate with you.)
  2. Treat yourself with kindness. It is vital to not to judge how you feel but be kind to yourself & give yourself time to process each emotion.
  3. Release the emotional baggage. After you go through your process take time to let go of the toxic people, things & environment that contribute to your emotional roller-coaster.

Elevating Through The Growing Pains

Access this podcast episode here: https://tinyurl.com/k6wtbh9w

It never feels good to feel discomfort, uneasiness or being out of your comfort zone; however, to soar to new levels in your life, you have to be willing to trek through the growing pains. Growing pains often stretch your capacity, build character and force you to face the uncomfortable. The biggest lesson I have learned is that growing pains is vital to your evolution. For example, I decided to stay with a friend after relocating, but the transition was challenging because my daughter and I gave up our privacy and personal space. And it was eye-opening because it revealed why living with friends can sometimes create pressure within the relationship. Overall, the journey made us stronger, wiser, and better along the way.

When life is challenging, it causes us to grow to a deeper level in our lives. We are encouraged to become a better version of ourselves. I believe growth happens when we take a leap of faith and decide to leave our comfort zones. Although my journey has come with stress, wins, and aha moments, I realize I would not be where I am today. Growing pains are never easy, but they are worth the evolution you experience mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Below are some tips you can apply to help you use your life challenges as stepping stones to an upgraded and elevated life.

  1. Be kind to yourself during the process. Sometimes the way we desire our life to transpire isn’t the way we experience it, so it is essential to be kind to yourself when life is not kind to you.
  2. Have Faith. Faith is having an unshakable trust and confidence in the intangible. When you exercise you faith in adverse situations it gives you the strength to move forward even when it is hard.
  3. Be better, not bitter. It is easy to be upset when people, things & circumstances are against you, but it is better to take every bad life experience as a lesson to create a more assertive character within yourself.
  4. Detach Yourself. Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from people, environments, and situations that stunt our growth, contaminate our peace of mind, and violate our mental health. Detachment is a form of self-love.
  5. Evolve to Elevate. To upgrade your life, you have to be willing to evolve through all the hurt, pain, and joy that motivates you to become an extraordinary version of yourself.