Spirituality and Self-help

PRACTICING THE F WORD

There’s something about the beginning of a new year that feels significant. There’s a freshness to it that has most of us setting goals and writing out plans for a year full of what we’re turning our intentions toward. I’m a strong believer in goals and although I set them regularly, the perspective that surrounds a new year has my heart and my mind wide open. But what if achieving your goals and creating the life you truly imagine for yourself has nothing to do with goal setting at all. What if it came down to practicing something that gave you strength, taught you grace and resulted in freedom? I’m talking about forgiveness. We know the quickest way to keep someone from evolving is to hold them to their past. So why do we do it to ourselves? Because it’s easier to...

TRUST YOUR THERAPIST: MINDFULNESS WORKS

Take a look at any health magazine, social media feed or online wellness blog and you’re more than likely to see a post on mindfulness. It’s a healthy habit buzzword that may seem like a fad, but in reality, it’s a beneficial practice that can reshape how we think about the world and how we handle our own mental health. Dating back thousands of years, mindfulness has been intertwined with multiple religious and spiritual practices, but you don’t have to practice a religion to practice mindfulness. In 1994, Jon Kabat-Zinn intertwined the teachings of Buddhism and science to create the modern-day practice of mindfulness. Since then, the process of focusing on the present moment and acknowledging one’s feelings is a popular technique in cognitive and stress reduction therapy. Acknowledge The ...

WHERE IS YOUR MOST PASSIONATE SELF?

“Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other’s needs.” – Kristin Hannah How do you get the party started? Where is your most passionate self? You begin with you. A year ago, I probably would not have written this, nor would I have submitted it for publishing. Writing this today is me being true to myself and my thoughts. This is me talking. There’s a ton of discussion around authenticity, being authentic, yada-yada. The more we throw the words around, the more muddled the meaning gets. The concept sounds simple: be yourself, be real. And our general feeling or response is, I am being me. Maybe that’s the case, but even in my own ever-growing, ongoing journey to stay true, I slip and f...

STOP DEFINING YOUR WORTH

Stop defining your worth   by the amount of money you make,   by the presence or absence of someone in your life,   by the unmet or met compliances that your society, culture or education so blindly wraps you into,   by the boxes you tick on your to-do lists,   by the things you think you miss or have been unfairly deprived of,   by the people who accept you or don’t,   by the expectations of your mental laboratory about your future and present,   by the imperfections you find in your body and thoughts each day,   by the amount and quality of your sex or love life,   by the words of approval from other people,   by the traumas inherited from confused parents,   by the struggles you face each day,   by the emotional reci...

MENTAL HEALTH: ADVICE ON TELEHEALTH & THERAPY

Our ever-changing digital age often means we turn to our phones or computers to solve simple problems. Where should we go to dinner? Where can I purchase this new book for the cheapest price? How do I get from my home to this venue? A quick type and click allow us to answer most of our daily problems with ease, but until recently we’ve reserved this efficient search and discovery for small issues. Sure, we may look up how to get to our dentist’s office, but we certainly not going to take our own X-rays and send them through text. For life’s issues that require an expert’s opinion, we’ve resigned to the fact that there isn’t an effective way to use technology to increase the convenience. However, with the rise of telehealth, that’s not necessarily true. Telehealth is the process of receivin...

DEAR (FILL IN NAME), ARE WE THERE YET?

When, why, how? Ugh, I hate these thoughts. When will I get to start my business? When will I get married? Will I ever be loved? I hate feeling depressed, should I kill myself? Will I ever lose this weight? Should I have gone to college? I feel like such a failure in life. When will I be able to afford to travel the world? Why do I feel this way? Why do I have to be sick? What is wrong with me? We are so familiar with these seances of the classic “Are we there yet?” questions. The highlight reels of this so-called perfect world that shines through the faces of our screens which don’t share the grimy thoughts of our minds filtering like rewind on a VCR. The increased anxiety to deplete our true selves as we become puppets to the master of this digital world that create these emotions from t...

COFFEE: MY DARK SOULMATE

Being half Brazilian, I share roots with this magic bean called coffee. But my love story with the wake-up potion goes deeper than that. So, if you are a coffee-ista like me, you’d know by now you should have your cup ready before you go on. And if you’re not, then I’m sorry to say you can’t handle what’s coming next. “It boosts your metabolism,” they said. So, just like any story of attraction, it starts off physical. Then the chemistry kicks in when coffee forms a golden foam on the surface in an effort to appeal to your taste buds; coffee is saying, “I like you, too.” And don’t get me started on the first kiss—oops, I mean the first sip. It slaps the brain awake, but it is so irresistible that one kiss is just not enough. Can you tell I’m still ...

ALWAYS PUT YOUR SOUL FIRST

Your soul speaks. Every time something feels off, or out of our character, it lets you know.  It is tired. Often, we don’t give our soul space to breathe when it is in desperate need of healing. We put ourselves aside and search for the next thing that can quench our thirst when, in reality, our soul needs us to sit. And listen. The meaning of self-love can be mistaken as being what we give ourselves on the outside, but the most tedious love is worked on from within you. In times of confusion, I have sat by myself and wondered where I can get answers and where I can escape to. When a failed attempt at love surfaces, when we are rejected, when our hopes fail us more than once, we must learn to step aside from what has caused a bruise from within. When we do not tend to internal wounds...

FROM THE GROUND UP: GROWING INTO MY PURPOSE

I was lost. A child born in the summer, now living as an adult stuck in a perpetual state of winter. My fire was out. I had not one drop of desire to continue living. Depression had sucked the energy and happiness from me, anxiety sat heavy on my chest with its claws of tension clasped tightly around my throat, my body and head screamed in pain; I did not want this to be my life. I was tired, defeated and clinging on for the sake of the people who love me. My final straw was not being able to go to work and do what I loved. Migraines were becoming more frequent and debilitating, and my anxiety could not take one more conversation with my boss about why I could not come in when my head felt like it had an axe buried in it, and even the faint glow of my cellphone had me crawling to the toile...

5 RESOLUTIONS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN 2019

This New Year is the Same You, Just with Newer Capabilities —The term “New Year, New Me” often is thrown around from corner to corner, but lands in the same place every time. Our bad habits make turns, our trauma leads the way, and dirt covers up the truths we hide from the people we love the most. Why? That’s because though we might choose to start over every year, we are not perfect. Nor can we believe we are, or ever will be. There can be no permanent “new” in the lives we have lived, unless God intervenes. This year do not put pressure on yourself to be new, but rather renew your abilities to be better. Build a habit, so they can be long lasting, not short lived. This year is the renewal of your abilities to grow into a new skin that is boundless. This is what to anticipate of the next...

HOW TO START THE DAY RIGHT

It all ends well when it all starts well. Or something like that. Or at least we should try and aim for a good start even when we don’t feel like it. When I was younger, I’d think that all we needed to do was fix things as they come– tackle and go. The older I got, I realized that this is taking up so much of our energy. And no energy eventually leads to stress. If you don’t have the energy for doing much, how are you going to get that cortisol down? How are you going to focus and relax? That’s when I realized I needed a morning routine. We need rituals that would allow us to get in a state of flow early in the day. I find a morning routine to be more important than any evening ritual of self-care. Although I do have an evening self-care guide, it doesn’t go that bad when I don’t fol...

AN ODE TO 2018

As this year comes to a close, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the people and the lessons that were shared this year. I want to take the time to be thankful for the people that I gained on my journey and cheers to the ones left behind. 2018 saw me grab the reigns on my mental health and peace of mind. I was put to the test this year more than I had been in the past, but 2018 let me know that I can withstand all trials and tribulations thrown at me and then some. Even though my spirit and mental health took a hit, I still was able to take that and build it into some life lessons that I want to share. Selfishness does not always have a negative connotation.  I spent a lot of time in 2018 not working on myself and leaving myself behind when things were getting overwhelming. We have t...

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