Why I’d Rather Be A Voice Than An Echo – The Myths Behind Social Media.

 

 

“Be Brave Enough to Start a Conversation That Matters’ – This quote has occupied my mind for the last week. So much of what we see and hear these days is fickle and lacks substance. I recently embarked on a VLOG project called #WakeUpToWisdom also known as #WUW via my Instagram where I post daily about various elements of life and my humble two cents. I love the engagement being created as a result of it all because it reminds me that we are a whole lot more human than we might allude to on social media and frankly it’s more beautiful than any perfectly curated page ( even though admittedly, I love a well curated IG).  I mentioned #WUW in my last blog post as an attempt for me to start new things  and to be honest, it’s so much more than just that. It feels as if the internet is full of a whole lot of nothing at times, specifically social media. We are constantly being run over by over-stimulation and very little  genuine connection or content. We see a lot of what looks great with very little or absolutely no substance behind it and we become accustomed to the standard of no standard. I started vlogging and blogging because I wanted to engage in conversations that matter, I wanted to be a part of a more honest story.

 

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The fact remains that there are times when I am either not interested in, or I’m terrible at being vulnerable in certain areas in my life  (or at least in my past experience) and yet I find myself stepping out of my comfy private box every morning, because I want to create a culture of change not solely within myself, but in general. We, essentially, exist within ‘delusions of grandeur’, that is, we create a beautiful life where we share the illusion of perfection yet run tirelessly from our reality or facing the parts of ourselves that need to be tweaked. Alternatively, some of us share way too much and regret it in the way in which one regrets drunk texting an ex they should never have been with in the first place.

 

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As a result of what I had been seeing I felt an inkling to say more and share more in a way thats quick and easy to swallow. Here began my morning VLOGS. I began recording sans makeup or editing and I actually, more often that not, seek to speak from a place of visual and psychological honesty and nakedness. Down to leaving my hair uncombed, I just want what I put out there, or at least this element of it, to remind people that it’s okay to be who they are, regardless of what that may be. That we do not wake up looking like beauty and style gurus and that we all eat, sleep …etc etc like any other human being no matter how perfect, successful or accomplished we may appear to be.

Let’s be honest, we have skin imperfections, we have character flaws, we have good days and also bad days, yet so many of us are hell bent on creating a visual based so heavily on perfection that I think sometimes we forget what the real world is.  So in a world where we are constantly bombarded by shallow interpretations of culture, character and worth, here are a few things I’d love for us all to remember…

 

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  • Its not magic it’s an illusion – What often appears pretty could just be shot in the ‘right light’, let me explain. Things look better when you project only the beautiful parts of what you want people to see and often we compare our lives to that. Even if you don’t do it everyday you’ve done it. We’ve all done it and there’s no need. All that glitters might just be glitter and not actual gold.
  • Maybe we need to redefine “gold”. Its almost as if human beings are captivated by what’s not natural. We are often embarassed by what we all have in common and don’t admit until someone is brave enough to step up and share the truth. Maybe the real gold is the gritand the fact that what genuinely draws us together is sometimes that which has brought us to our knees shows us that perhaps the struggle and the mess are actually more priceless than we notice and also more common.
  • Truly successful relationships aren’t always aesthetically pleasing, in fact arguments and difficult conversations are pretty ugly and tend to have the potential to bring out the worst in us. A healthy argument every now and then is normal and just because you don’t see people projecting such ‘dissatisfying’ imagery really doesn’t make it any less natural, normal or even healthy. Stop comparing your movie to a still life.

 

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  • A lot of people will go broke to create an illusion of wealth instead of actually building so as to create actual comfort and stability. Build instead of boasting. Be the real deal
  • Figure out who you are for you before you match yourself up next to a timeline.
  • Posting cute quotes on the internet are nice but being horrible in real life won’t add up. We are all imperfect and we all have off days or moments where we won’t flourish or thrive like we would like to, however nobody likes grimy energy in their space or to be extremely inspired and come to find out that the inspiration source is actually unsavory so be a good person as much as you can.
  • No ne has it all together all the time. Be understanding.
  • Everyone isn’t out to be “impressive” – Some people are just truly putting what they love out there with out actually seeking fame. Some are just projecting their passion and though it may bring fame that may not be their interest.
  • Timelines are just that , things that have occurred over time – try not to feel pressured to have it all right now when most things of value haven’t occurred in the 30 seconds it took you to scroll but rather, over a period of time.
  • Let go of ideals and stay true to your standards. – When we see things repeatedly they begin to feel like the norm, and some things should never become a norm. Stick to what you know to be right and good.

 

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  • Don’t assume you know everything about a human being because you follow them on a social platform. Even our friends and parents keep secrets. We all edit ourselves to some extent in certain areas of life so don’t assume you truly know anyone who you haven’t actually taken the time to connect with and get to know.
  • Make sure you enjoy your actual life just as much as you enjoy scrolling.
  • Put down your phone and read a book you might like it.

 

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Nothing counterfeit could ever compare to that which is real and true. So don’t be disillusioned by the hype. Don’t feel the pressure to share all of who you are or any for that matter and continue to be true to you. Above all else , the relationship and honesty that we have with our own self is the foundation upon which all else flows with others. While some create an illusion be sure to marvel and appreciate your reality because it might just be more golden than you may think. Things often look much better from the outside – let’s let go and live. Start a conversation that matters.

Special Thanks to Justin Newton for shooting this story.

 

 

 

Why We Should All Get Up Dress Up and Show Up …and SLAY!

I remember this day vividly. Khalil and I set out to shoot and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball in my bed and hug my most plush pillow. I felt pretty horrible that day but I was on a mission to feel better and do whatever I needed to to kick the funk I’d been in for a number of months.

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I felt like I was in a deep hole full of de-motivation and that I didn’t even have the capacity to dig myself out, mostly because I’m really bad  being sick and feeling unproductive. I was feeling sad and I am convinced that psychological sadness really has a negative impact on our physical health and the last thing I wanted was to feel any worse than I had already  been feeling.

My determination began to fester up inside of me and I  was certain the I could not possibly continue at the rate I was simply existing at. It’s too important to me to live, rather than feeling like I’m simply existing.

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While I missed blogging, I simply wasn’t in the mood to nor did I have  the energy to do much of anything. Nonetheless, I did my makeup packed my clothes in my car and set out to find graffiti ridden walls and cobblestones structures to act as the perfect backdrop to get myself back in action.

You see I’m the kind of person who often believes that there is always a way- a way to change your energy and shift that which we’d rather not be surrounded by, a way to find joy amidst the madness and a way to shoot for my blog when I feel like triple hell death. I felt like my blog was a great place to start and that creativity, as crazy as it may sound, has healing powers. Simply put I was on a mad mission to get back to the lifeI love to live.

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I was so aware of the physical changes in my body that I knew I had to change my mind, in order to alter how I was feeling. Often if we seek to change our mindset, our reality begins to change too.

Incidentally, here’s the backstory – December rolled around and I had been trying my best to put in a great deal of work and fulfill personal financial goals. I had been giving my job my all and barely taking time for myself. Essentially I found myself so burnt out and what I thought was a common cold spiraled into a series of not so pleasant events.

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I decided to sign myself a 30 day Gratitude Challenge and I have to admit, even I was a tad apprehensive as to whether or not it would really make a change. I started out anyway on my 30 day challenge and a daily observations for reasons for gratitude. I’m uber forgetful so naturally, I missed a few days but I’m not cheating I will fulfill all  30 days as I’m still on my journey. The 30 day period is up and though, I didn’t remember to document everyday I did remember to be grateful every single day. Much to my surprise I found myself feeling differently than I did before and for me this was the whole point of what I sought to do.

 

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So funny story… It worked! Things began to slowly evolve. My lack of inspiration began to transition into into motivation, not only for myself but I was also inspired to share with others.

-I felt a lot less fearful.

-I found so much more value in the experience rather than just the end goal.

-I also found myself being open to new experiences in a way in which I had never been before.

-I became more productive as I became more grateful.

My “cheesy” little experiment worked! I have been really looking forward, not only to where life will take me, but also to being more present in each moment and using what I have in front of me right now, in the present, to the best of my ability . I am now convinced that gratitude really does CHANGE EVERYTHING!

I learnt that essentially, nothing beats a try, because what happens when we open ourselves to something , is that we create a space for the ripple effects of that action. My life has began to evolve in ways that are so beautiful and I believe that it is perhaps because I found joy in my ‘little bit’ which then created a space to create my ‘a lot’.

Subsequently, when we plant seeds of gratitude we find ourselves creating a new reality. It is almost as if magic begins to happen and new opportunities simply begin to reveal themselves sometimes in ways we could never have imagined. I have always been a grateful person but, like anyone I have had my intense seasons of discouragement and heartache and I have to say that there have been times when those tough seasons really got the best of me. This past season however, was not about to take me for all I had to give and while i didn’t feel amazing initially I sought to get back to where I envisioned I could be little by little until it became the norm.

Life will not always be a bed of roses, however I am learning that we can shape whether or not it is a bed of thorns. It’s all in our approach. Some things are beyond our control, in fact most things are beyond our control- essentially, what we can control is OURSELVES. When life gives you lemons make like Beyonce and create an entire lemonade album. Seek not to aimlessly let your brain control you, but rather, take some level of control and awareness over your mind. Our capacity to create a different reality lies greatly within US. The choice is ours.

Hugs and Love People

…and click here to check out my latest project #WakeUpToWisdom – on my Instastories

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Jacket – Vintage

Cropped Tee – Atelier by Gigi

Belt – Moschino

Mom Jeans – Topshop

Velvet Purse – Stacy Stuart Lifestyle

Shoes – Ruff and Tuff Boutique

Photography – Khalil Goodman

-Creative Direction –

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Khalil Goodman & Gigi Farier

10 Simple Steps to Get Over being an Inspiration Junkie and Start Doing More

I recently started vlogging about what might be considered to be ‘morning motivation’ via my Instagram video feed. I can safely say that I’m really enjoying the engagement that comes from it and consequently hearing people’s feedback and views. Ironically, I couldn’t help but to wonder how many of us are more consumed with inspiration and motivation than we are with actual action?

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Step 1

So you’ve got stellar ideas but you’re not great at execution? What do you do next? Start by documenting what you seek to achieve so that you have a mapped outline or guide as to what your direction is. Sometimes trying to decipher great ideas in your head can become pretty cloudy and muddled up. Taking some time to type it out or write it out helps us to reason clearly about what it is we seek to achieve and often it allows us to recognize what else we may need in order to help us achieve what it is that we may need along the way. Chances are you will not figure out every single detail to ‘T’ , however the fact of the matter remains that more often than not, you will figure out a whole lot more than when ideas are just swimming around in you mind. The other benefit of writing things down is that you won’t forget the tiny awesome details of whatever you want to do, that can sometimes slip our mind when we get really busy or life simply gets in way.

Step 2

Create an accountability date that gives you a feasible timeline to achieve your project, goal or desires. Creating a timeline is extremely important to keep you on the right track or at least a track of action rather than distraction. Often we will come up with great ideas and get so busy or distracted that we forget about them. Sometimes months or years will go by and we may have achieved things, but perhaps not the things that we truly wanted to bring into fruition. Frankly it sucks when you look back and recognize that years or months have passed by and that incredible idea you had didn’t happen yet simply because you didn’t make it happen. It has definitely happened to me, where I didn’t have a timeline and at some point something reminds me that I wanted to do some incredible thing but never took the time to map it out and give it a real go and I have to admit it felt pretty disheartening when I noticed that there was nobody to blame but myself, in fact that feeling is actually what made me publish this piece.

 

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Step 3

Document why you want to do, what you want to do and no matter how tiny the goal seems, write a mission statement as to why you want to do this particular action. Why? Somewhere along the road you are going to run into a moment or moments where you may ask yourself “why the hell am I even bothering to do this?” and end up giving up when a little bit of resilience and that reminder of your why would have, not only kept you going, but also propelled you to another stage of life which opens you up to growth and even more incredible moments. Understanding why you are doing something and actually being able to physically see it makes your tough times easier. When the going gets tough it’s a lot easier to give up and let go of something brilliant simply because you had no clue why you were doing what you were doing it. Giving up is easy when you have no purpose. Create that purpose and stay in alignment with it.

Step 4

Let go of the Temptation of Procrastination because essentially, it stops us from making damn good use of our time. Yeah I know it’s really calming to scroll through IG or Pinterest or Facebook for hours and hours after a tough day of work. I get it, I really do. My job is highly social and while I don’t often feel like having actual conversation I am often quite contented to scroll through social media or Pinterest and take in a plethora of beautiful imagery for way longer than necessary. The fact is you and I both know that that time could be spent in far more productive ways. Yes rest and downtime are crucial but if you know you have things to do and you actually want to achieve them, cut down on the downtime that doesn’t add to the goals you have. If you must be online then find some edifying content that can help you to get closer to where you need to be. Action is not achieved by Procrastination.

 

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Step 5

Okay Motivation Junkies this step is specifically for you! So by all means please watch my #WakeUpToWisdom posts on weekdays and read my posts and whatever else may inspire you. Listen to podcasts, read books, watch youtube videos and even do courses. Do it because, motivation like baths, wears off and you must keep yourself replenished, so yes do what works for you, but here is the thing, at the end of the day ask yourself this – Is it really working for you? When you read, watch and listen what are you taking away from it all? Are you acting or just getting excited about being inspired and yet not actually doing much of anything? Are you inspired to action or just inspired to dream more. Dreaming is a form of planning they say, and to be blunt the only form of action I’m aware of is actually doing. Inspiration and motivation are fantastic and action and progression are even more fantastic. Don’t be so busy getting inspired that you never get started.

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Step 6

Idealism isn’t a Stop Sign. Allow me to explain – I am an Idealist- I deeply enjoy things being done in a certain way and I believe in a certain standard. It has taken me a long time to recognise that sometimes that same concept of Idealism and the illusion of Perfection are simply crippling and stop me and many people, from ever doing things for the fear that they will not be up to scratch. Perhaps I should say that I am an Idealist in transition, not that I do not value certain ideals, because anyone who knows me knows that I do, however I’ve noticed that sometimes more importantly than getting started perfectly, is getting started at all. Ideals are great and in fact they can often be great goals and at the same time it is very important for us to remember that just because when we started something wasn’t perfect does not mean we cannot continuously work to get things to a higher standard little by little till we reach or ideals and a whole lot more. Ideals can often be a distraction from getting things done. Don’t allow a lack of perfection to stop you from getting started.

Step 7

Be Proactive. There is often a little voice inside of us prompting us to do things within a certain timeline. Reminding us to prep and plan ahead. To save money for future projects and budget for life. Listen to that voice. It may sound airy fairy or slightly radical. The fact is a year ago I would probably have never shared this step and yet here I am sharing because I see the value in it. When something inside reminds you or prompts you to do something that can be a benefit, do it! Half the time when we get started on a journey I am convinced that there is something about the frequency of or actions that resonates and allows things to fall into place to assist in the manifestation of what we are seeking to achieve. It’s not to say that we will not have setbacks or that life will become some perfect thing. It is to say that when we seek to achieve something perhaps, sometimes the universe, or God or whatever you believe in, begins to put things in place for it all to happen. Listen to your ‘gut’ it might be a little ‘wiser’ than you knew.

 

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Step 8

Maybe Step 8 should have been Step 1. Believe in Yourself. Im about to sound like a cheesy motivational speaker and I’m still going to say it. Believe in you! You are capable. You are enough. The vision inside of you does not exist for no reason and if the vision was given to you, the know how exists within you as well. This does not mean you need to do it all on your own, or that you need to feel the pressure of carrying every single detail on your own. I bet that within your network exist all of the tools you need to make magic happen. I bet that within you is a lot more than you may have noticed as it relates to creating the vision and following it through. I bet that your’e also more resilient and capable than you may think. If the vision exists within us, the capabilities to achieve it exist within and around us too. You may feel that you have the ideas but you don’t know the first plan of action but you do. What we need is often within and around us. So open that mind and believe in yourself and go for it. Im actually glad this was Step 8 by the time you have done Steps 1 through 7 hopefully you’ve noticed how capable you actually are.

Step 9

Comparison. This word has stirred up many emotions among the masses. Some say don’t ever compare others say do it as a measuring stick. Here’s my two cents. Do not compare your “crawling phase” to someone else’s “running phase”. Do, however, compare your last year to this year and figure out if there has been progression or digression. In other words, don’t compare yourself irrationally to others, but do look at how far you have come and figure out what you need to be doing to get closer to you destination or vision. I don’t think comparison is horrible all the time, I must admit, I just don’t think it should be how you measure your value or worth as a human being. It can be a valuable tool in understanding where you are at and where you want to be and also how much you have actually grown. However, making it the be all and all of who you are is a mistake. You are more than a comparison. You are dynamic human being with many unique and individual facets. It’s never going to be as simple as a comparison because we are all so much more than that.

 

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Step 10

Go get started! life is too short and precious to waste any more time not doing what you have planned or envisioned. Get to it!

Have a beautiful day my darlings!

Boots, Bag & Dress – Stacy Stuart Lifestyle

Mom Jeans – Topshop

Photographer- Khalil Goodman

Flight to Freedom -Things I’d Say to My Younger Self

 

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As I enter into my 30th year of life on this thing we call earth, I’ve become pretty contemplative (cliché I know), yet in all my contemplation I often find myself getting back to the basics. A lot of what I loved in my teenage years as it relates to simple pleasures still matters to me and in fact, those things probably matter now more than before.

What I find these days is that most of us, including myself at times, are overstimulated and under-fulfilled. We appear to have and do so much yet we miss that thing that stops us from feeling empty. Don’t worry this isn’t some boring motivational blog post, an perhaps I write this one for myself just as much as for my readers, nonetheless, here’s what I’ve learnt thus far. and what I would probably say to my younger (and current) self.

 

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Value your freedom. When I was younger I did not value freedom and perhaps it was because I had no clue what it was. I was happily living that awesome life many of us lived as kids, where amidst our problems we laughed, played, danced and just focused on what we enjoyed rather than what we feared or loathed or hated. I’ve decided as I approach thirty that I and really we, should all seek to find a few more reasons to genuinely laugh each day. I’ve discovered that my freedom is more important to me than most things in life and each day I seek to be more and more free. Find your freedom and live it!

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Love isn’t for losers. I’ve learnt that I’m also far more moved by love than I would liked to have admitted in my earlier years. Man, I thought I was so tough and I thought that not being vulnerable made me a badass. I never wanted to feel weak or at least what I perceived as weak. I thought I always had to be in control. I have learnt now that love is not about control in fact ironically it really ought to be about freedom. Fact is, being in control is overrated and I learnt that the hard way, by being forced to let go. Love requires bravery just as much as it requires gentleness and some days that means being soft and on others it will mean being strong but either way bending doesn’t make you any less of a woman.( just know what you “bending” for)

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Playtime isn’t over. Simple things make me happy even though I’m a complex soul. I realized that a lot of what made me happy as a child still brings me joy as an adult and I like that. I still love to dance and sing and not have to worry too much about that which I cannot change. Somehow I felt that when I became an adult I had to put away what I misinterpreted as “childish things” yet these things were actually things which truly added value to my life and to many of our lives but somewhere along the lines we tend to get things muddled up and we feel that some “stuff” just isn’t as important. I’d advise you to do more of what you love. It is important and i think balance helps to keep us sane while adulating.

 

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Work is important and careers  matter but… living matters more. So few of us do jobs we love and if there is any advice I could give to my younger self it would be don’t work so hard without living equally. I’ll admit I was a workaholic and as I work on this major flaw daily, I realize how beautiful life can be when we simply free up a little and cut ourselves some slack. Be great at what you do, but don’t let what you do be all of who you are.You deserve to live a life you enjoy and if you’re not doing the things you enjoy then what are you working so hard for? We often loose a lot while fighting for what society has led us to believe is success.

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Don’t be so afraid of judgment because opinions matter a lot less than we realize. Live with integrity but don’t loose yourself on account of expectations. People will always have a lot to say and we often take some mindless mess people have uttered and linger on it. We build insecurities and philosophies about ourselves based on some simple thing someone may have said without even really having a clue. Do your mind, body and soul a favor- let it go. “They” will talk anyway.

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LIVE.

Nudity – Why We all Need to Get Naked.

 

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Decisions, decisions, decisions! I can recall being 17 and feeling like I needed to know everything and understand everything in order for things in life to feel okay. I can remember feeling like I needed to know exactly what I needed to do in terms of my career and who I thought I needed to date for whatever reason and I feeling like I needed to have it all figured out and with no real reason as to why.

Flash forward to 21 and still having that feeling (and not that reality so imagine my dismay) and then at  age 25 beginning to learn, but still feeling lesser than I should have because I did not have it all figured out ( whatever “it” is). These practices resulted in me being obsessed with perfection. The reality is I would still make mistakes and be imperfect but if I ever stopped striving for perfection I felt like my whole world was crashing down and would continue to if I did not go back to needing everything to be just perfect. Sounds crazy right? I know. I also know that for a lot of us it also sounds so familiar. So I hope that people of all ages read this and hopefully take away something from what my humble 29 years have shared with me. Mostly I hope we start living more purposeful lives and less pressured realities. That we would be more driven, not by the capacity to impress not just others but ourselves, but rather by genuine deeply rooted purpose.

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Passion Purpose & Real Life

The reality is I can blab about passion from now till the damn cows come home and you and I both still have to wake up tomorrow and make sure our bills are paid and our kids and families are provided for. We still have to ensure that our responsibilities are taken care of. So I’ll start on a practical note.

We forget that we have options. We forget to implore strategy to those options and we limit ourselves by assuming we have no choice.

If you deeply loathe your job and stay in it only because you have to pay bills chances are the only thing being taken care of is your bills. You will probably be stressed, your health will probably not be at it’s best and slowly but often surely you will begin to deteriorate, bit bit by bit (I’m being blunt because this is truth). The same goes for relationships and any other area in your life thats feeds your stress hormones more than anything else. Yes be responsible but do not kill yourself in the process. What is the point of having life if you’re   spending most of your days speeding up your moment in the grave?

If your environment in  marriage, your job, familial situation or whatever else you may have going on, is really affecting you it is time to employ and exit strategy and get serious about taking charge of your life. Sometimes you need to just quit and lose it all in order to get a grip because you are so far gone. While it’s not easy or simple, it’s a damn good teacher and I promise you will learn from it and arise from the depths with fresh eyes. If all or nothing is not for you, however, start to plan – take your time to asses the options even the ones you thought were unattainable initially.

Free your mind to the reality of limitless possibility. Assess where you want to be at the end of everything and work backwards. Literally sit down and write it out. It does not matter if it’s not in perfect order, what matters is that you can sit down and visually assess where you are, where you want to be and how you will get there. Why take the chance? If you want a better life you might want to take a step in a different direction. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is madness. Habits Create Reality – Change the Habit and Change the Reality.

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Who Defines Your Why?

We often don’t realize how much society has written upon what was once probably considered our blank slates or as the philosopher Locke put it our “tabula rasa“. Our parents shape us first, then our socialization in schools and recreation as well our peers and then the list goes on.

For some of us we have already settled into thoughts of incapability because someone fed us a concept and we chose to believe it. We assumed we would never be rich or happy or beautiful or whatever because we decided to believe what someone else or many others told us. We did not even realize we had a choice sometimes we just took what was fed, to us ingested it  without digesting and breaking it down for what it really was and it now sits in the annals of our minds posing as a foundation when it’s actually a faulty fallacy ridden framework for an unfulfilling life.

Coincidentally, I am here to remind you that you have a choice. You can choose to abandon the things people told you about yourself, your life and what you are or are not capable of. A lot of times we have not even realized how much these things have affected us because they are so engrained in our psyche that we are no longer conscious. So how do we then begin to understand how to fix this?

Grab a pen and paper (not your phone) and write down a list of 5 to 10 things that you believe about these topics:

Love

Wealth

Success

Happiness

Fulfillment

Health

Next to these beliefs I want you to put and “✘” for what is false and a “✓” for what is actually true and before you do so, really think about whether the idea s actually true or you just began to believe it was because of what you were told or taught for so long.

We often to do not question things we were told from a young age until some great epiphany brings us to a eureka moment – Well consider this your eureka moment! It’s time to ask yourself important questions. If you do not understand any level of why you do what you do, you may be moving through life blindly and unhappily and wondering why you don’t feel fulfilled even though you do so much. Sit with yourself and ask yourself questions write it down if need be. Sometimes the simple act of writing helps us to put complex things into a simple perspective. Do what you need to do to learn what will make you happy. Who the hell wants to be unhappy? Why are you settling when the answers to what would cure your ills, so to speak exists with you?

You have within you the power to be the cause and the cure. Be the cure.

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Why Are You in a Rush When You Have no Destination?

I’ve seen it many times. Heck I’ve been it many times. I’ve been going nowhere fast and working incredibly hard to get there and having no idea why so don’t worry I’m not judging you. I did however judge myself  and eventually I had to forgive myself, throw away all of what I thought were good practices which were not and I then began to slowly replace them with learning purposeful practices. Everyone did not get it and not everyone will. I believed that I had to always work overtime. I used to believe that I had to be all things for all people at all times and that if I said “no” I was damned to hell worse than hell itself created by none other than my myself. I was my worst possible critic (and enemy) and I did not treat myself very well at all. I also felt as if I did not treat other people as nicely I would prefer to because I was in the bad habit of being so harsh towards myself – bad habits in fact all habits tend to have a trickle down effect and the effect of the previously mentioned was not good.

What was most sad about the situation was the reality that one day it hit me that I was doing so much of what I was doing with no actual reason why. I was biting off way more than I could chew because I felt I needed to. I, like so many others, was stressing myself for no good reason. I began to become so unhappy that I began to become physically  sick often. My goals were subconsciously based heavily on what I had been taught or told without questioning it. I believed things about myself that were not actually true and as a result I based my value on my delusion of seeking perfection and too many of us do this.

We have listened to others for so long that many of us have forgotten or never even learnt how to listen to ourselves. We have no idea what our own voice sounds like because we have silenced it or never even noticed it was there. We have no idea how to say no without feeling guilty. We have no idea how to say no even if we do feel a little bit of guilt. We are scared that no one is going to pat us on the back if we don’t do everything they want of us. We are however, funnily enough, not afraid of self destructing which is, essentially what we are doing when we don’t take the time to listen to our minds and our bodies and the very distinct messages they send us if only we took a minute from our overly busy schedules to listen.

So let’s make a deal, take time each week to asses what you did, why you did it, what you want to do, and how you want to go about it all. Energy is not retractable, once we put it out we do not get back that exact energy we have expelled unless we invest it in the correct things. When you invest your time in the right things for your journey so much of what you do makes sense and flourishes and expands abundantly. A lot of us are making a whole lot of senseless decisions simply because we have no actual direction besides that which has been presented to us as our only options and your life has so much more value.

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Satisfaction Guaranteed 

 Finally I want to remind you of a couple things. People will always have their views of you. If your view of yourself is only about how much you impress your parents’ husband, wife, boyfriend, children or family etc, you are probably going to have a really hard time. Why? People will always have foul opinions. So you have to know why you do what you do and what your truth is. People will always have their desires for you which you may or may not enjoy fitting into but these people do not have the right to define or design your destiny(even if they birthed you).

Your genuine happiness and fulfillment matters and you are by all means allowed to and empowered enough to live the life you truly desire you have a choices. You have many choices. Always remember that.

Find value in your view of things. Find value in what you have to offer. Understand what you bring to your own table. Understand also what you bring to other’s tables. Be confident and own what you have to offer and own you journey. Each journey is valid we forget that far too often.

Lastly you are human. We have many difficult moments in our lives. We all have them so be kind to yourself while you are on your journey to your fullest most abundant life.

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Dress – Un Dimanche A Paris

Boots- Vintage

Hat – Urban Outfitters

Clutch – Metal Boutique

Belt – Vintage

Necklace – Metal Boutique

Photography – Khalil Goodman

Notes on a Scandal – The things we hide.

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We all have secrets, things we bury deep. The parts of us we don’t want people to see. Things we are ashamed of and that make us fear that if others knew they mightn’t  appreciate us as much as they do. The truth us we are more consumed by notions of self perfection than we may realize and what get’s complicated is when life begins to unearth these things, these elements within ourselves that we bury deep and sometimes won’t even let out spouses or closest friends and family know that we feel. The thing about this is I’m a hairstylist and for some reason we tend to feel comfortable talking to our stylist. It’s easy to sit in a chair that’s not in a therapist’s office and feel comfortable enough to share candidly and what I have learnt is we all have these hidden moments that can really hit us hard. So in this post I want to share how to cope with that little voice in your head and sometimes heart, that makes you feel lesser than, you know what I mean, the things we wish we could sweep under a magic carpet and pretend don’t exist and perhaps never existed.

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Feelings of Inferiority and Rejection

We all feel it! That’s the first thing we all need to stop and realize. Most of us are carrying around little phrases that other people told us were true about ourselves and we believed them. Why? Often because the people who have voiced their opinion are important to us and we love them and we value what they say. We give in to the idea that we are incapable in some way or another. We assume the roles we loathe the most and instead of remembering our victories and redemption, we linger on our loss, our failure, our moments of inferiority  and/or rejection. We give in to what people  thought about us,(sometimes on a whim without much thought at all). You gotta let go. You don’t actually have to believe all the things people tell you just because you respect them a whole damn lot – They, like you, are human and they don’t always get it all right. Each of us has a perception of things how they are, how they should be and sometimes those perceptions aren’t as sturdy as we give them power to be. At times we just get things wrong. We forget that people’s opinions aren’t always the truth because we become hurt before we give ourselves the chance to become logical.

It’s often not easy to face these nasty little truths but you must. You must let go of the ugly things you think to yourself about yourself. Stop feeling so bad about them because the truth is you aren’t alone and we all have them in ways that people looking in from the outside probably wouldn’t even notice. Subsequently, when we have these naughty little nasty thoughts about ourselves and feel low defeated and just about as derelict as an old chattel house on slipping soil we have to remember how great we really are. So when you think “I just suck and I really will never be as successful as I want to be” please stop yourself and create a new habit – a new thought addiction- say “I will do what needs to be done for me to achieve the success I want.” Eventually correcting yourself begins to stick and you slowly begin to let go. This doesn’t always make the journey in between easier, but I’ve been trying this all year and it does help us to bounce back faster from the tough times. We create nasty habits of thought, in regards to our self image and it’s time to create good clean habits and understandings of ourselves no matter how much we fall short. Remember little by little makes a lot and determination is incredible fuel for most things, even thoughts.

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On Feelings of Failure

So you set out with a plan, you thought that you considered all the variables. You tried your best, you gave your all, you got excited … and then poof like magic it all fell apart anyway. You did all you could possibly have conjured up to do and really thought you covered all your bases and like a thief in the night, all the joy and hope you had feels like it’s just been snatched from you without you even understanding clearly how it all fell apart. So what do you do when a moment or even back to back moments make you feel like a big ole load of nothingness? You stop being irrational! Remember that your failures may be tough but you must find a way to rationalize how they can be used to serve you and perhaps serve others. Most of us have a horrible outlook on what it feels like to have a bunch of things or even sometimes just one thing fall through. It can feel like the end of the world, or at the very least, the end of your world. You beat yourself up, but the truth is failures will always occur because we have to learn and we aren’t going to get everything right every single time. Human nature, in and of itself is the epitome of what we, as human beings, define as imperfection so why do we hate our natural state so much? Maybe its just life? Perhaps this ebb and flow, this push and pull, is what life is all about and we have to stop lingering and the “kicks” and valuing the good times more than we value the bad times. I’ve noticed that we learn more about ourselves in the bad times than in the good and yet we hate those times more than any other but, it is in fact ur toughest seasons that tend to show us who we really are, who we want to be and what we actually need to do to get there.

We win some we loose some. We won’t always get it right even if sometimes we have done all we could. I’m a firm believer in many cases that there’s always a way so moments like this always hit me hard and it’s in a large way due to my natural way of processing things. When you think nothing is impossible it’s hard to discover that something wasn’t possible or at least not at the time. So maybe tweak your analysis a touch and think ” I did my best for now and next time my approach will be different because now I know better” or let it go. Sometimes we fight for things that aren’t meant to be fought for and in time we understand why. You are not a failure in life just because you have had failures in life. You are learning – think of it as a class rather than a massive failure.

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On Loneliness

You’ve  loved and lost. You’ve had friends who no longer exist or loved ones who’ve passed away. Sometimes you’re in a room full of people but still feel like you don’t quite fit in or you miss those so much who you found understanding and companionship in. In some cases you’re married but still feel just as alone as the single folk. Loneliness is more linked to companionship and belonging than it is to physical presence. Some of us frankly will never fit in and for some of us finding true intimacy or companionship is really tough for one reason or another and it’s heartbreaking. I can definitely tell you it’s really tough pill for me to swallow and I’ve choked on it many times. In fact I’ve found that to be honest, for me few things feel worse. We work on ourselves sometimes and still we feel like we could just appreciate the joy off having someone to share it all with. I don’t know that I always even have the answer to this one, but when you feel lonely fake it till you make it. Stop and think about at least 1 person in our life who has cared for you … call them up and spread some care to them. Take a minute to wish people a good day. Stop yourself for a second and think of all those who you are thankful for … even if it’s just the postman who says hi every morning or your pets who are happy to see you. Loneliness is a tough pill to swallow but sometimes if you take a moment to jump out of the lonely and sad pool you may realize that there are a few more people you could be sharing moments with than you had noticed before and if you truly don’t have those people … read. Sounds odd right? … but when you read books or listen to music people have written you are forced to remember that everyone feels like this and if you stay optimistic,  change often begins to manifest when you least expect it. Stay hopeful don’t linger in your loneliness. When all else fails remember that your own company can be pretty damn awesome too. I’ve heard so many people who are coupled up wishing for moments away from their companionship so maybe there’s something or a few things that aren’t so bad about being lonely and being just with yourself. The grass always seems greener but even hay serves its purpose i.e. even dried up grass is good for something 🙂 Perspective is everything.

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Social media is interesting in the sense that it actually makes us a lot less social and we give in to far too many unrealistic ideals. I try my best to use the concept [of social media] to express authentic truth and to actually be social as it pertains to the issues and concepts I try to touch on. So there you go the above are things we all feel but hardly post. We all hurt some days and cry on others… ( even me and I hate crying so much that my eyes are actually naturally dry). We all have our low moments and our horrible thoughts about ourselves. We all feel like we just want to give up and we hide. We hide the things that make us seem less than perfect because we fear that we won’t be accepted. It’s understandable but it’s best to just learn to be okay with all of who you are. Seek to better at what you can but love it, love it all! Sometimes the acceptance we look for on social media, in our environs and from others is the acceptance we need to find within ourselves. Instead of creating an illusion of a pretty picture let us seek to actually paint the picture we really want little by little each day. Remind yourself daily what loving one’s self really means. When we learn love within ourselves we understand loving others so much more. We all have secrets, go easy on others, go easy on you.

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Shot on location in my little ole bedroom which is heavily decorated with a ton of items- tid-bits and trinkets- from Dwellings. As always special thanks to Khalil Goodman for bringing out my inner and outer beauty lol in a way only he can and to Un Dimanche a Paris for creating and retailing pieces that I love to wear to both  fancy dinners and to lounge at home because they all make me feel so comfy and still gorgeous.

Truth or Trickery – Are you giving into guilty “pleasures”?

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I started this blog post and had no clue as to what to title it. It was born out of an epiphany I had that was longing to be birthed for quite some time. The thought crossed my mind after writing one of my Wake up to Wisdom post on Instagram that a lot of times our feelings of guilt about pleasing people come from a place of finding our value in other people’s perceptions of us. If someone expects us to be incredibly outgoing even though we are quiet modest some of us give in to the ideals and expectations others have of us. Ideals are often not reality and human beings tend to perceive things, situations and people from a limited perspective thus forming a limited perception. The fact is our perception is simply that, OUR perception it doesn’t always mean it’s born out of truth or it may have originated in truth, but it sure enough does not always end up being truthful. I speak a lot about defining ourselves for ourselves which is based on a famous quote by Audre Lorde, but what does it really mean to define ourselves for ourselves?

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I’m far from being as social as people think I am, so I know all too well the horrid feeling of disappointing people who I appreciate when I am too tired to go out after work or I just don’t have it in me to face a massive crowd. It’s hardly ever anything personal I just feel so incredibly drained after some outings and the older I get the less inclined I am to give in to the pressure of doing things that really don’t feel good for me. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good night out, a good drink and socialising but personally there are times when it doesn’t have the effect me that it would on some other personality types. Some thrive and feel incredibly alive when in the company of many others. In fact there are those who love the vibe of a crowd rather than a couple. Let’s just say that I’d pick a partner any day over a gang. The irony of this is that my image and some elements of my taste would allude to a belief that almost seems to be the polar opposite of my truth. I’m certain that I can’t be the only who this happens to. I love fashion and style it’s my art. My body is and always has been my canvas, my way of expressing how I feel artistically via a style medium. I don’t dress for attention though I love and value appreciation for my artistic attempts, I can’t deny that (lol). However, I’m not attempting to be stylish because I want people to notice and treat me like a demigod out of sheer narcism , essentially I am just being me and being what some may term as normal in my appearance just doesn’t feel like I’m being true to myself. It got me to thinking how do we

1. define our own selves even if we look like the opposite of what we are and that baffles people

and

2. feel comfortable and confident about it ?

Self assessment is vital in life it’s vital if you want to have successful relationships, want to be professionally successful, if you want to happy and the list could go on forever as to why assessing yourself makes a big difference. To understand who you are is to understand what you are capable of, what you need, what you do not want, what you love, what soothes you etc. Taking the time to do this requires self reflection, sometimes being alone and perhaps even meditating. Understanding yourself seems obvious but so many of us know ourselves a lot less than we really should. My first tip would be get to know you it makes life a hell of a lot more manageable.

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Be honest with yourself. After you understand what you’re working with to a greater extent it’s far easier to be honest with yourself about what you are willing and aren’t willing to do , feel, or put up with. It’s also much easier not to be easily swayed by other’s opinions of you because the fact exists that you know the truth. You have to know what you can handle and what you really don’t have the capacity to withstand. This part takes time because it’s often here where guilt sets in.  You feel that you know what’s good for you but it may hurt some people or at least disrupt their day or company or whatever because it’s does not create the ideal for them. Remember that being a good person and pleasing yourself from time to time will not always mean being as convenient a  person as you can be for everyone else, at the same time this doesn’t make you a horrible person either.  We cannot please everyone and everyone cannot please us. It’s simple you win some you loose some. Assess who and what truly matters most to you and then assess how your actions will impact the situation and what is the best way to approach it all. You are not a bad person because your fulfilment doesn’t always align with other people’s comfort.

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Guilt is fine if you actually did something wrong, but if your feeling guilty because you fear not being accepted or fitting in or just hate disappointing people because you loathe judgment and/or confrontation you might want to find a way to nip that practice in the bud. In life you will be judged whether you notice or not it sounds tough but it’s true and it’s not the end of the world I promise. Eventually, if not being judged and self imposed guilt trips are what control you, chances are you will probably get overwhelmed because as I mentioned and you may have noticed, pleasing everyone is never going to happen. In fact, some days everyone might hate you for a minute or two but you can’t allow this to redefine who you see yourself as. Know who you are and more importantly love who you are enough to know that one or two slip ups don’t make you the devil. Feeling guilty is natural but it shouldn’t be habitual or based out of a lack of regard for yourself and a bad habit of people pleasing especially when it’s detrimental to you. If you’re wrong accept, apologise, reflect and see where you can do better. If you have a valid reason which makes sense for you not to do something or put up with something then breathe deep and let it go. The which does not serve us, often depletes us.

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Oft times we can become hell bent, especially women, on being all things to all people and I’m not one to single out gender but it’s a fact. You don’t need to be all things to all people sometimes in fact you need to stop take a minute or 10 to asses, to breathe in the good after you’ve exhaled the unnecessary and to focus on what matters most in your life. I’m not talking about your ego and you being more important than anything with some intense air of narcissism, but I am saying you need to define who and what matters most to you. Energy is too precious to invest in things that do not truly hold value to you or in situations which do not truly value you either. We must seek to define ourselves, our why and our truth before other’s are given the liberty to dictate such a precious thing for us. May your week serve you beautifully and thanks for being a part of the musings of my uber intense mind.lol :0)

Have a fab week everyone!

 

La Vie Boheme

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I have been oddly inspired by Bohemian style so much recently (I say oddly because I was little miss minimalist for quite a bit of this year). Throw in a little Parisian appeal and you have definitely got me. For this editorial I wanted to feel like I was in the middle of the desert somewhere in Arizona just taking in the beauty of it all, but I’m based in Barbados so instead my photographer Khalil Goodman recommended this awesome spot in the North of the island called Little Bay in St Lucy. I’d previously been introduced to this beautiful place after shooting one Sunday and completely forgotten about it but I fell in love with it immediately. It’s one part desert meets a touch of chalky rock, an ounce of grainy sand and a touch of greenery. For me it beats the desert because we are right next to the ocean and for me few things compare to the beauty of being close to the sea. I can’t wait to revisit this sweet spot in Pie Corner St Lucy it’s editorial heaven.

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The Magic of Meditation – For Non Hippies & Hippies Alike.

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I began to recognise recently how important simply living in the present is. I found myself consumed with worries about the past and thoughts of not so positive what ifs for the future. Essentially, through my meditation practice I began to realise how much over-thinking truly does not serve us well as human beings. The nature of this mindless practice isn’t healthy for us and it manifests in the psychological as well as the physical.

The question for me became how does one break this practice when, they’ve been an over thinker for just as long as they could  could remember? As a teenager I can recall wanting to sleep but my mind was always so busy that I would end up staying awake, chatting to a friend on the phone or writing as a means to distract or counteract my over-worked mind. The day  I found meditation was the day my life began to change, of course I wasn’t consistent at all and the results weren’t either. Recently, However (the past 2 years) I have been practicing my meditation more often. I have dipped and dabbled between different philosophies of meditation and I am yet to touch some, what this practice has done for me is beautiful and of course I am going to share it with you my lovely readers.

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So without a doubt this has been a season of great change in my life- jobs, relationships, scheduling, habits- so many things have evolved, been done away with or simply changed from what they were before. Loads of change can mean loads of anxiety and I was incredibly anxious as these changes kept happening. I kept asking myself if I was making mistakes? If I was acting out of fear or genuine desire for improvement? If I was being overly emotional or rational… and the list of questions went on and on. Eventually I remembered the value of silence and the fact that we can find our best and deepest, most honest answers when we simply stop and stand still. You may ask how can someone who clearly thinks about all kinds of things way too much master meditation? The answer is practice. So I embarked on practicing more and more. I wasn’t afraid to start small first with 5 minute sessions and now Im up 30 glorious minutes on my better days.

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Within my silence and stillness I began to realise almost effortlessly but over time that a lot of my worries and anxiety were so deeply rooted in either things from my past or things that were yet to occur and in fact, might never occur. I began to take a step back and look more deeply into the value of actively meditating on and letting go of a few things because the fact is I can’t control the future nor can I change the past. I can only really change my perspective and/or perception and thus my attitude towards the task/emotion at hand. Of the things I sought and seek to give up, these are a few:

-Judging myself based on the past.

-Worrying about all I was scared I would not achieve in my future.

-Worrying way too much about what people may think.

-Succumbing to perfectionism (and clearly forgetting that I am human).

In essence I  was always in my head about everything. Though I am yet to master many things. I must admit that I have noticed myself thinking differently and it’s something I’m very thankful for. Though I do feel bad and at times I get disappointed I do not linger on things in the way in which I used to and  I am learning day by day, more and more the importance of trusting one’s journey – something many of us chat about but rarely actively seek to do. At different stages of our lives this tends to mean manifest in different ways and as with everything, some stages are tougher than others.

… And speaking of manifestations I have also learnt a bit more about the power of thought and having some level of control over the mind. You see what we think is what we become, often without even noticing. The beauty of this is that, what we actively think about and meditate on is also what we manifest. The beauty of practicing something is that we get better at it – while I am sure you probably see where I am going with this let me break it down for you.

– Shift your focus! Use your mind for good. Use your thoughts to focus on actively seeking to achieve that which you truly want to manifest. Allow yourself to get in the habit of a process of thought that serves you well and resonates on the positive end of things. Believe in yourself and forgive yourself and others for things of the past, we cannot reverse history so there is little to no sense in latching on to spilt milk. Let go and I repeat let go of negative self talk … you know the type, ” I hate my …”, “Why couldn’t I have more…?”, “I am so silly”, “Nobody will ever want me because …”,” I’ll never be able to get … point.”  If you don’t like something seek to change it and then … actually change it. You actually do possess the power to change your reality and it lies within your mind and your actions which follow. –

We get so hell bent on so many things in life which have no longevity and really don’t do much for us or those around us. So I challenge each of you to do a little bit of “nothing” which ironically, can change everything.

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Click here, here, and if you’re ready for the big fish, here, for a few links which might help as you get started on your personal meditation practice and if you feel like you can do it on your own here are my simple  top 5 tips to start a healthy “Medi-Moment”.

  1. Find a quiet comfortable space where you can be unbothered for the allotted time.
  2. Sit with good posture or lay down in a comfortable position.
  3. Do not beat yourself up as thoughts race through your mind this is natural and it will dissipate over time.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Be open to finding the type of meditation that suits you as an individual. Be unafraid to explore and find your perfect fit. Meditation is like a good pair of jeans … everything ain’t for everybody.

 

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Special Thanks to MPeople Magazine for featuring me and the blog in their most recent issue be sure to grab yourself  a copy for more of the beautiful images shot by the uber talented Khalil Goodman. Though the shoot was styled by me, InterMIX Boutique was kind enough to supply this look and the ever amazing Tennille Griffith did a stellar job on my face if I may say so humbly. Special thank you’s to all involved. Wishing all my readers  a lovely weekend and here’s to a life full of mindfulness, meditation and miraculous manifestations.

No Junk In This Trunk! – The Island Bag Trunk Show.

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A warm Saturday evening with lots of beautiful treasures to be found! The Island Bags by Lilian Russell Trunk Show was the perfect way to close out my Saturday evening.The Lone Star Restaurant served as a fitting back drop for this eclectic mix of bags, jewellery and clothing and let’s just say the ladies who came out had no reason to be disappointed. Island Bags have long been an easy and convenient choice of mine. They are lightweight, spacious, washable, and that simple tassels detail ads an element of elegance. They are easy to dress up or to wear with denim or even a bikini – so when I heard that the brand was expanding I was excited to see what they had to offer.

True to form, they brought out a selection of pieces that are both aesthetically appealing and yet practical. Breathable fabrics make them great for tropical climates and yet easy to layer if you’re going to need to bundle up.

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The aesthetic of the evening was all about tassels, stripes and tribal influences accompanied by delicate yet chunky jewels that work as the perfect statement pieces against voluminous cotton blouses or the brand’s meticulously adorned kaftans. The stripe clutch above was one of my favourites of the evening and I almost stole Esther’s top right of her! (as seen below) I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this brand and to get my hands on this gorgeous top… I already know how I am wearing it.

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Special Thanks to Esther Lussan (the leading lady behind Island Bags) and her team for inviting me to their delightful event – Twas my pleasure.

To experience more from this brand check them out here and here.