Living My Amazing Life

“If you wait for someone’s approval, for the right time, for that special someone, or for your money to be right – life may pass you by. LIVE in the meantime!”

~Angel M.

 

I was recently invited to be a guest co-host on the Toni G Campbell Podcast series to discuss Living an Amazing Life! During the show I spoke about the many hats I wear such as being an entrepreneur, an author, a mom, travel and deciding to add a new career chapter after over 25 years in the beauty industry!

I realized a very long time ago that the key to my inner peace is transparency and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to get through so many tough times in my life. Once I decided not to put up a facade, not to keep secrets aka lie to myself and others about my hardships, so-called failures and so-called embarrassing situations, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders and that my friends, empowered me to live life amazingly!

We cannot live an amazing life if we are not our authentic selves and living in our truth. With that being said, this is how I was able to change me reality, to live unapologetically! When I decided to publish my first book, A Maze In Love, I found myself having a conversation with myself that it’s okay to bare my soul for the world to see, for them to make assumptions, or to embrace my story in the form of poetry. I knew that by offering my truth, my pain, enlightenment of self worth, self love and self actualization, I had the power to empower and inspire many who may think that they are alone in their journey in life.

I have adopted the idea the “if they can do it, then so the hell can I”! Why not? I enrolled into cosmetology school almost immediately after I graduated high school due to  a financial aid mishap where I was previously enrolled in a junior college to become a Medical Lab Technologist. Since the age of 10, I held a natural talent and passion to “do hair” and decided to pursue a formal education in Cosmetology. Over twenty-five years later, as well as over 21 years as a salon co-owner, it wasn’t a half bad decision. But, as time went on, and the industry changed, that idea of “what if” was looming in my head and stirring in my spirit. On 2 occasions when I had my palm read, I was told that I was a nurse, or in the healthcare/medical field, so why not go for it? I did! I had friends who cheered my on, some who questioned “why”, some who snickered and some who unintentionally threw negativity and warned me of my new career choice, but hey, I was not doing this for them nor their approval. I had the same reaction when I decided to open a salon with no money at the age of 24, so I believed the odds were in my favor! Fast forward to present day, I have a degree and another certification R.T. (R)!

Along with adopting the idea “if they can do it, so the hell can I”, I also have fostered the mantra, “if not now, when?”. I love to travel, attend concerts, as well as dinner and a movie like most. I found myself not doing these things because I had no one with the same days off, interests or resources- and I was single. I admired those people I saw dining alone, sitting in the theater solo and even having peace and solitude on the beach, in the park, or strolling through the city. I figured, hey I like me, I can afford to date myself, and I definitely love a great time…and that’s when a love affair with myself grew deeper! 😍 I dined alone and loved it, I looked forward to sitting in a matinee solo, singing loudly and selfishly unchaperoned at a show, and more frequently flying freely with just me!IMG_9352

I share this with you because I want you to take the time to smell the roses, heck smell the pretty weeds too! Get out there and live your life and be amazed at the joy that will follow! IMG_9527

Please use the highlighted links to tune into the podcast and purchase my book if you haven’t already – they make great gifts! Especially my 2nd book, Amazing Journaling. If this is your first visit to my page- WELCOME and thanks for visiting! Make sure you scroll through and catch up on the articles and if anything touches you, inspires you, even peaks your curiosity, SHARE! Follow and join my email list 💌.  Be Well. Be Blessed. Be Amazing!

©2019 all rights reserved.

 

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I’m Trippin’

part 2: What to Pack

“When in doubt, don’t.”

~Benjamin Franklin

Welcome to part 2 of the I’m Trippin series! I hope that you’ve read and enjoyed part 1, Going With the Gut. Preparing for vacation can be exciting or it can trigger anxious questions such as what to wear, what will I need outside of clothes and basic toiletries, or what if something terrible goes wrong😯?! What you don’t want to do is not plan out your packing and take a bunch of what you don’t need! Checked baggage is too costly these days. In this article I will share what I’ve learned during my travels through good ole trial and error with a dash of research! For some of you,  there will be some Ah Ha 💭 moments as you read on, feel free to share, take notes, screenshot, or even print out this post! This article may act as a reminder of what you already knew as far as packing, but the intense feeling of elation from just the thought that you are leaving your cares behind and forging off to a new and beautiful place with bae, or the girls, has you distracted; have no fear, Angel is here to make sure packing for your trip is nothing short of AMAZING 😁! Included are tips on how to pack light to avoid those astronomical baggage fees, what to carry on in case that mofo called Murphy (Murphy’s Law*) tags along uninvited and a simple, yet potentially life saving bit of information that so many don’t know about!

Mix and Match Clothes:

For those who admire light packers, here are some items you can pack, and mix and match getting different “outfits” with the same base piece: pack a nice black dress or slacks that can be dressed up or down by accessorizing with a belt, cardigan, blazer, different tees, blouse, or with jewelry. The second item is 1 good pair of jeans- shorts, pants or skirt, switch it up with accessories just the black dress or slacks. No one would be the wiser that you’re doing a replay!

 

 A Comfort From Home:

Pack something that will be a sense of comfort, travel can be stressful, anything can go wrong, from a missed or delayed flight, traffic, having a fall-out with your travel partner, food poisoning, rain, your aunt Flo decided to show up unexpectedly, hangover, anything- Murphy’s Law*! Take time and go over my suggestions, close your eyes, and envision your go to’s when in need of a pick me up or winding down that will snatch you back to being centered and ready to Let the Good Times Roll!

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Throw It in the Bag! (carry on)

  • your fave candle/ essential oil
  •  a lightweight blanket
  • your fave tea
  • a special playlist for meditation or hype/ exercise music
  •  slippers
  • Poo-Pouri 
  • compression socks (Amazon sells stylish socks like these, and more )  They prevent developing blood clots during long flights
  • Amazing Journaling** book ( purchase here )

🚨 911-ish🚨: In the event of an emergency 

This is the proverbial last but not least of packing tips I will share; please, puleeze pack a first aid kit including basic essentials:

  •  Benadryl
  •  Tylenol
  • Neosporin
  •  itch relief cream
  •  Band-aids
  • antibacterial wipes (great for wiping down door knobs, faucets, toilet handle, toilet seat and remote control)

Most importantly, YOU MUST KNOW WHAT NUMBER TO CALL IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY 🚑🚒🚓. Not all countries use 9-1-1 as their emergency number, so do research before travel and add it to you contacts, memorize it, make sure everyone with you knows it, even write it down and put it in your wallet. Here are some emergency numbers

 

USA 9-1-1 

Caribbean 9-1-1 (Jamaica 1-1-9, Haiti 1-1-4, Martinique 1-1-2, Cuba 1-0-6)

Europe 1-1-2

China 1-1-9

Canada 9-1-1

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I thank you for visiting my page, I hope that you found some useful information; if you did, please share! My goal is to provide you with the knowledge that I’ve gained throughout my journey. In the meantime, Be well, Be balanced and Be AMAZING!

P.S.

* Although I referenced Murphy’s Law: “anything can go wrong, will go wrong”, I must admit that I don’t fully believe it, I’m more of an optimist! But we should always be prepared for kinks in a trip. And when we’re prepared, we can make lemonade out of lemons.

**I published an interactive journal, Amazing Journaling, there are writing prompts to assist in positive, healing through reflection and writing! If you’d like one for yourself or as a gift to another Amazing Lady or Teen, purchase here 💝

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I’m Trippin’

 

part 1: Going With the Gut

 

 

“it’s easier to prepare and prevent, than to repair and repent”

~Ezra Taft Benson

Traveling, whether by plane ✈, train 🚆or automobile 🚘can be stressful to our bodies- especially our guts. No one wants their trip interrupted because they have to spend extra time parked on the pot 🚽 fighting constipation 🚫💩, diarrhea💩 or nausea😷. Here are some item suggestions on what to pack to prevent or repair these symptoms as well as some tips for bypassing a gruesome gut wrenching trip glitch– say that five times fast 😂!

What to Pack

  •  PROBIOTICS: begin using them 1-2 weeks before trip and daily during the trip to get healthy gut flora in the colon  
  • LAXATIVES: my go-to’s for instant relief are glycerin suppositories and Ballerina tea (taken the night before)
  • Alka Seltzer and Pedialyte:   for nausea and dehydration due to good times and bad decisions
  • Herbal Tea: peppermint, ginger, turmeric for upset stomach

PREVENTION

  • Drink Plenty Water: if you plan on boozing it up or allowing the kids to indulge in sugary drinks, 8-16 ounces when you wake up and before bed and 1 cup after each meal (avoid ice cubes in places where water isn’t safe)
  • Eat Fiber: be sure to include fruits, veggies, nuts and beans on your plate
  • WASH YOUR HANDS!!: when we’re on vacation we fall out of habit but this simple act will prevent unwanted bacteria in our guts
  • Consider packing food from home!: grain bars, nuts, dried fruits

 

Now this suggestion here is where I ask you to have an open mind, I learned this from a dear friend and client of mine (oh how I love hairdresser talk ), and did further research. This doesn’t mean not to dine out at all, but replacing 1-2 meals with homemade snacks or entrees isn’t a bad idea and OMG this is a major key to no bloat, diarrhea or constipation. You must have accommodations with a kitchen or at least refrigerator and microwave, then you’re good to go! I have prepared meals such as spaghetti, fried chicken, lunch meat, cereal and milk for family road trips, because it saves money and time if all you need to do is heat~n~eat, and the kids can serve themselves while you sip on whatever is in your “mind yo bizness” cup out on the balcony. But… BUT, I decided to do one better, for budgeting reasons and for the fact that I wanted to have all good bathing suit days without the bloat- I deep froze a couple of pre-cooked entrees, chicken and salmon steaks, that could be made into various meals! I am telling you that until this, I had it all wrong!!! First, I will tell you how I packed cooked food to travel out of the country and how it remained frozen for 12+ hours, then I will share the meals and surprising benefits to this amazing idea! Long ago when I was a rookie traveler, I thought that vacation meant spending lots of money on dining out and avoiding chores from home. As I grew to learn what makes me happy, I came to realize that I love spending time in the kitchen. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen during vacation- ain’t nobody got time for dat! Just allowing myself creative time in the kitchen was therapeutic, and did I mention a major money saver? Here’s how I packed my already prepared meats/main dishes for travel:

  •   I placed them in air-sealed ziploc bags and deep froze them for 12+ hours, I also brought raw, peeled and deveined frozen shrimp  
  •  Right before leaving for the airport , (YES the airport! I carried my food from Philly to Barbados!) I placed them in a soft insulated cooler, the cooler should be filled to capacity so the frozen food acts as ice packs to one another. If there is extra space/air, fill with paper towels (which can be repurposed while on vacation) the cooler went right into my carry on! 

Here’s what I made:

  •  chicken, shrimp and salmon alfredo ( I packed a jar of alfredo sauce and a jar of Lawry’s seasoning salt in my checked luggage- this whole entree could’ve been prepared then frozen in a ziploc bag but…)
  •   I used the remainder of the meats to top salads for lunch. (I went to the nearby market for fresh salad ingredients and fruits)

 

 I will add that on this particular trip, I traveled with my 12 year old son and we ate good off of 2 salmon steaks and a quart size bag filled with curried chicken that a friend made for me. I will state the obvious, everything ain’t for everybody, but this worked for me and the many families who shared tips online! The surprise benefits were that when my son was too comfy and we both were too worn out from the beach to get dressed for lunch, we had great meals on hand! We ate in our pj’s on the terrace, and had great bonding moments because there were no distractions from loud dining crowds and no server interrupting our conversations about whatever a preteen thinks is deep in that moment, such as his Pokemon card collection or the “code names” he and his friends give their crushes! 

If you find this article useful, please share using the social media buttons and join our email list here! If you’ve tried out these tips or have some you want to share, please comment below!  In the meantime… Be well, Be balanced and Be AMAZING!

Here are a few vids and pics from our Mother and Son vacation to beautiful Barbados!

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Teen Workshop

I was invited to speak and facilitate a workshop with teen girls at the Bridge Intensive Prevention Services in Philadelphia. My topic was defining love and beauty. I incorporated poems from my book, “A Maze In Love” and shared my journey in discovering the value of self love and acceptance; this encouraged the young ladies to open up, dig deep and recognize their own beauty that goes beyond what the eyes can see! Each girl received their own autographed copy of the book and I left them with a mirrored board filled with their own written definitions of love and beauty.

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Yoni Baths- part 2 of Women’s History Month Tribute

Yoni:  “the source of all life”, “ sacred space”

I’m back with part 2 of my tribute to Women’s History month (read part 1- the Va Jay Jay workout HERE ) by honoring the passageway in which we all arrived into this world- the Yoni! The Yoni is where Women’s history begins, and I will celebrate our sacred biological gift by sharing some ways to pamper your Yoni, holistic Yoni baths! Physicians will tell you that the vagina is self cleaning and needs no help, but from my experiences, sometimes special attention is required. When there’s an overgrowth of bad bacteria or an imbalance of ph in the vagina, you may experience a mild odor* or discharge, when this occurs, the Yoni needs some assistance in cleansing; you may have a yeast infection, BV, or just completed menstruation. These suggestions should be practiced as preventive care or along with treatment- not to replace treatment from the doctor. I have these ingredients on hand in my kitchen as well as bathroom because they all have multiple uses.

Preparation: thoroughly clean and rinse the bathtub, set the mood with incense, candles or rose petals and relaxing music. Water temperature should be warm, never hot!  Keep a glass of water nearby- detoxing requires drinking water to assist in removing toxins through urinating.

  • ACV (apple cider vinegar) Bath: adding 1-2 cups of organic ACV to a warm bath and soaking for 20-30 minutes will fight odor causing bacteria within the vagina (as well as the feet and armpits) and promotes healthy ph.
  • Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda):by adding 5 tablespoons-2 cups is beneficial in treating UTI, yeast infection, mild odor*, detox- soak 10-40 minutes in warm water
  • Tea Tree/ Lavender essential oil: 2-4 drops mixed with epsom salts or milk (allows even disbursement of oil molecules) added to warm bath. Both oils act as natural disinfectants and will aid in odor* control, yeast and BV- not to mention leaves the Va Jay Jay feeling tingly clean!

*When I mention mild odor, just a twang or unfresh feeling; if you are experiencing a strong odor down there (fishy/garbage), please seek professional help! After you have been treated, try these as preventive rituals.

BONUS: Yoni Steam. Hear me now! Yoni steams, an ancient worldwide practice, to rejuvenate as well as heal the womb/vagina; it is believed to promote postpartum healing, tighten vaginal tissues, decrease period cramping, detox, increase fertility and something I learned after my own experience- increase libido! I did a Yoni steam at home and here’s how I did it, along with my experience. I purchased a disinfecting yoni steam treatment from Steamychick.com, I chose disinfecting (they offer a variety of treatments) to use following menstruation. The instructions says to use 10 days straight- honestly I didn’t plan to commit to 10 days but upon completion I cannot wait for days 2-10!

I don’t own a steam chair but this is how I made my own. You will need: a slotted chair, heavy blankets, crockpot (optional), drinking water and again set the mood for relaxation.First, I added 1 sachet of herbs to a gallon of water and simmered for 20 minutes.

(ingredients: cnidium, sophora root, atractylodes, cornsilk, dandelion, witch hazel, chamomile, white sage, peppermint, lavender, mugwort).

Second, I added the mixture in a crockpot (to keep the mix steaming) on high setting; if you don’t have a crockpot, place pot on a trivet to prevent damage to your floor. I placed the chair over the crockpot, sat down (bare from the waist down) and draped the blankets around my waist and chair, isolating the steam.

My Experience: I was immediately soothed by the aromatic fragrance; I played yoga music and practiced mindful breathing. After 3 minutes, my lower extremity muscles were relaxed and I felt like I was in a sauna. Ten minutes in, I was in euphoric bliss, I couldn’t believe how great I was feeling down there with no sexual stimulation! I made a video during the steam- view here (I’m all wrapped up). This steam felt so invigorating, yet relaxing, that after 40 minutes I didn’t want it to end! Afterwards my Yoni felt warm, moist, and like it had taken a deep breath and a large exhale! One effect that I didn’t expect, was that I’d become aroused (a sensation I have when using the yoni egg)- it’s like my womb is awakened, similar to a post orgasmic sensation.  I am definitely sitting on that throne for days 2-10 if not for any other reason but the great feeling when I complete the steam treatment.

If you have found this article informative or even entertaining- please share using the share buttons below, subscribe to the blog or add yourself to my email list here .

! Be Well, Be Balanced, Be Amazing!

“Va Jay Jay” Workout

“ The Va Jay Jay, Feminine Flower, Love Box, Coochie, Hoohah, Yoni, Cookie…is the sacred entrance to a Woman’s Temple, brings forth life and is a muscle that requires a workout just like the rest of the body”~ Angel

As we approach the end of March, Women’s History Month, I thought it to befitting that we discuss what makes most of us women: Let’s talk about the “Va Jay Jay”! If you have a vagina, whether you identify as a woman or not, it is a vital part of the body. I overheard two young ladies discussing how holding their pee was a good thing, that it was strengthening their bladders because it was a form of Kegals- I cringed and intervened: “NO NO NO!!!!!”. Holding your pee weakens your bladder and can lead to incontinence. They were shocked to learn this and I briefly schooled them on the importance of a Va Jay Jay workout- and holding your pee aint it! If you are guilty of putting off a potty break you would definitely like to keep reading!

Symptoms of incontinence can be as mild as peeing when you sneeze, laugh or cough to frequent uncontrollable urges to urinate; these can be due to medications, pregnancy, childbirth or trauma. If you fall under that umbrella, read on…if you don’t fall under that umbrella, read on because incontinence effects 80% of women by age 65.

If you’re still reading, CONGRATULATIONS, there is preventative measures to ensure that you do not need Poise pads in your future… The Va Jay Jay workouts!!! Yes, the vagina is a muscle that like all other muscles can stand a workout and here are some that I will share.

  • Kegals: highly recommended by gynecologists, Kegal exercise is a simple workout that you can do anywhere at anytime…even during sex! (Thank me later) This is what you do, squeeze your vaginal muscles in rounds of 10 pulses throughout the day. The object is to isolate the vaginal wall muscles- your stomach, inner thigh and butt is not part of the workout, just the Va Jay Jay. When you have mastered the pulses graduate yourself to holding the squeeze for 3-5 seconds at a time. Kegals not only prevent incontinence, but aids in a healthy labor and beneficial when it comes to enhancing vaginal orgasms! Yassssss!!!
  • Yoni egg/ yoni popping: After you’ve become a pro at Kegals, pop in a yoni egg to gain an even tighter grip (hahaha) and get to yoni popping! A yoni egg is an egg shaped crystal that has been used by women for centuries dating back to Ancient China. Use of a yoni egg builds strength and resistance to the pelvic floor. They are available in various sizes depending on your coochie strength- start with large or medium and work your way down. There are workouts designed specifically to when you’re using/wearing a yoni egg; there’s  yoni popping, yoni yoga and yoni weight lifting- YEAH you read right! Ladies, it is healing to the vagina and it feels so good while wearing it and added bonus is that you can get a tight grip on even the smallest of penises.
  • Masturbation: Okay, so if you have decided to abstain from sex, or you’re a nun, masturbation is marvelous exercise for the Hoohah! A little story: someone I know practiced celibacy for an extended amount of time and experienced pelvic floor prolapse, she was told by her doctor that in order to avoid surgery, she needed to exercise that Cookie! Yes ladies, masterbation is an amazing way to keep that Vaginal Flower feeling like a rose, so go ahead and order some C and D cell batteries!!
  • Sex: Sex isn’t just for recreation, or pleasure, it’s kinda like a necessity! Experiencing vaginal orgasms contracts the muscles of the Love Box, and muscles contractions and releases are indeed a workout.

So try any or all of these workouts and your panties shall remain dry until it counts!

No vaginas were harmed during the making of this blog! But seriously, I want you all to be informed and intuned, women’s health should not be an embarrassing subject to discuss and you need to know what makes you tick and how to control it! The Power of the Pussy is endless, even outside of the bedroom. Be Well. Be Balanced. Be Amazing!

If you found this article useful, please do one or ALL of the following: subscribe to my blog by filling out the contact sheet below, share this article on social media by utilizing the share button and subscribe to my email list here! You can also purchase my book: “A Maze In Love” by clicking on the title.

 

Amazing Things Jar- saving up for an emotional rainy day

“There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them” ~ Andre Gide

A few years back, I co-facilitated a self empowerment workshop for women and adolescent girls.  One activity that I came up with was designed like a gloomy day bank- I call it the “Amazing Things Jar”! This project was simple yet immensely beneficial to self empowerment and our mental wellness.

Although every day may not be your most happiest, fulfilling or amazing day, we have small, large and in between amazing milestones happen in our lives that deserve to not only be celebrated but also deposited into our “Amazing Things” jar. Think about it, it’s like saving up for a mental or emotional rainy day! When you have met a work deadline, crushed your to-do list, aced an exam, finished your daily water intake, completed your workouts, earned a bonus at work or anything that gives you a sense of accomplishment- write yourself a note about how proud you are and drop it in the jar. Another idea is to jot down the daily affirmations shared in the Amazing Lady Tribe on Facebook (click here) and add those too! The next time you’re feeling a little down in the dumps or you need encouragement, just pull out a note or affirmation, read it aloud and recapture the feeling you felt when you made that deposit! You will remember that you are capable of doing amazing things! Here’s what you need to make your own “Amazing Things Jar”, this is also a great activity for the whole family; you can drop nice encouraging notes in each other’s jars without them knowing- what an amazing pick me up that would be!

Amazing Things Jar

  • mason jar (or empty oatmeal canister)
  • 8”-10” ribbon
  • index cards cut into 2” strips (try the colorful cards)
  • colorful pens (vibrant colors boosts our moods)

*poke a hole in a strip of the index card and write “Amazing Things” on it, slide the ribbon through the hole and tie a decorative bow around the neck of the jar. Commence to make your deposits soon enough you will come to the realization that you rock and there is no impossible, just keep pushing!

P.S. Another little trick I do to boost my mood is 10 jumping jacks! It gets the heart pumping and those endorphins going. The other thing I do is look in the mirror and smile- read the first half of the blog here to see what I mean.

If you find this article useful to yourself or believe that someone you know can benefit from it, remember sharing is caring! Subscribe to the Amazing Lady emails here and receive updates on new articles, events and free gifts: currently a printable Amazing Journal with 10 entry prompts and journaling tips! Would you like me to host a workshop for your organization or next girls night in? Use the contact form!

Be Blessed. Be Balanced. Be Amazing!

Shine On

“You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars” ~Gary Allan

During my last night in sunny California, I decided to offer up my gratitude and meditate on the balcony. I lit an aromatic frankincense and mehr incense, purchased from Shades of Afrika, and a candle to set the mood with the Pacific Ocean waves rolling and crashing under the commands of the waning full moon as my soundtrack. I released all thoughts, replayed my day, exhaled and gave thanks for this wonderful opportunity to meet new people in a place I’ve always dreamt to visit- all while promoting my book A Maze In Love .

This thought alone brought on more gratitude because publishing a book wasn’t even on my radar for 2018, yet it is becoming the platform I’ve intended to have in order to reach and empower women. After concluding my quiet time, as I exited the balcony and began to close the sliding glass door, I noticed a multitude of glistening stars. Myself, being a stargazer, didn’t bother to search for stars as I usually do, this night I was distracted by the other marvelous wonders that surrounded me- snow capped mountains, swaying palm trees and beach bonfires. But nothing, and I mean nothing compares to a star lit night. I sat back down on the chair, wrapped myself in a blanket and took it all in- how amazing God is to bless us with free gifts.

The twinkling of the stars were mesmerizing and prompted me to say to myself: “we marvel at the twinkles of the stars, but they are indeed the product of the stresses in the atmosphere”. Stars twinkle due to the turbulence in the atmosphere of the Earth. As the atmosphere churns, the light from the star is refracted in different directions. Imagine- we too at times are shaken by turbulence from our surroundings and from afar, yet in the eyes of others we shine!

At the closing of the day, just as I thought I’d given thanks for everything, I was blessed with one last lesson of the day! An amazing lesson that was literally written in the stars! Stay focused Amazing Ladies, and realize that as you are shaken up by daily crap, you are still shining. Shine on my sisters!

If this article touched or inspired you in some way, join the Amazing Lady Facebook tribe for more spiritual nourishment. Sign up here to receive a free printable Amazing Journal.

Here are some photos from my trip to sunny California.

Relax Relate Breathe

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths”  Etty Hillesum

I just celebrated another revolution around the sun and am ever so grateful. I am energetic, optimistic and the number of times I’ve revolved around the sun does not show on my face! I practice mindful living, thinking, eating and self care. But I will keep it real with you- my life is jammed packed with a plethora of shit to do and a deadline to have it done! This is the case for oh so many sistas, wives, single moms and women wearing multiple hats.

I, at times feel overwhelmed by the never ending list of tasks I’ve assigned myself, and I don’t feel accomplished until it’s completed. The kid needs home cooked meals, clean clothes, one on one time and entertainment! Mama is a full time student, promoting a newly published book and co runs a business! Every now and then I will let the laundry pile up or order take out just to catch my breath.

Back to my birthday- part of my celebration was to give myself 2 hours for a “spa day”- like, I really had to convince myself that I could spare 2 hours to let go and relax! This prompted a conversation with my sister-friend and how we tend to pile so much on our plates and don’t decompress as we should! Yes, I will vacation once or twice a year, but I have come to realize that that isn’t enough to keep me going from one day to the next. African American women- myself included, are the number victims of heart disease and stress is huge factor. Relaxation and recharging is one of the ways to overcome stress induced hypertension. Here are some self care ideas I use to keep me grounded and relaxed:

pure lavender essential oil: a drop or two on a tissue, lay it over your face and breathe- diffusers are nice too

•controlled breathing: be aware of your inhalations and exhalations- take 3 to 5 minutes throughout the day for this

meditation: clear your mind from the clutter, chatter and swirling thoughts- as they pop up in your head let them pass like a car passing on the freeway until you’re coasting on an empty road in your head, relax and breathe

take a scenic walk: you don’t have to go to a walking park or trail, even the concrete jungle is scenic, the squirrels, cute ferrell kitty, the sneakers hanging from the telephone wires can help you to escape your thoughts (how long have they been up there..how did they get up there…who put them up there?) and even the weeds we call “wishes” embody beauty- don’t forget to breathe

a fragrant detoxing bath: a warm bath with your favorite essential oil and epsom salts will literally pull the stress out of you- light a candle, and again- breathe and read a couple of poems from my book, A Maze In Love

If you didn’t notice, all of my suggestions are mindful thinking and a form of meditation. We can clear our minds, lower our heart rate and stress by controlling our breathing and how we think. However you decide to decompress, make it a daily treat to yourself! You are Amazing and you deserve to Be Happy, Be Blessed and Be Balanced! Join our tribe on Facebook: Amazing Lady

 

 

Smile

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile” ~Charlie Chaplin

It has been scientifically proven that smiling releases endorphins that boost our moods. The bigger the smile, either from turning up the corners of our mouths to flashing our teeth, determines the level of those feel good hormones that are shot out into our system. Our brain doesn’t realize if we’re smiling because we’re happy or just going through the motions, and pow, those endorphins (hormones that make us feel good) are released! What’s best about smiling is that it’s contagious, an ice breaker in social settings and found to be attractive to most! I’ve tested this out myself and I must agree that when I’ve found myself deep in thoughts of the stresses of adulting and just smiled- I felt a release of stress. I actually began to laugh at myself for smiling for no reason which made me feel even better!
Recently I decided to make an improvement to my smile, yep to increase my attractiveness to that special someone to be, and invested in Smile Direct Club aligners. Smile Direct Club offers an invisible alternative to braces by cutting out office visits. Here’s how it goes: they sent me an impression kit which included a “smile stretcher”, putty, trays and step by step instructions;after the kit was received by SDC, I received and email informing me that I was an approved candidate along with a 3D video of my smile transformation (so cool!); I chose form of payment- in full or monthly payment plan and received my aligner trays for the whole process as well as tooth whitening gel in one kit. The trays are packaged and labeled by week and month- my treatment was decided to be a 4 month plan. When I inserted my first set I was taken aback- those little lightweight thangs hurt! It was a snug fit and I even was afraid that I would snap them putting them on, but I didn’t. The pain quickly subsided to slight discomfort. I really love that they are truly invisible and also prevents snacking during the day- nobody in their right mind is going to keep popping those bad boys on and off, let alone attempt to eat with them. Smile Direct Club recommends to wear aligners 22 of a 24 hour day. I took progress photos because I just wanted to see the gradual results over time. I must admit that I am highly satisfied and impressed! 2BB24FEE-9292-4CA3-8942-DEFCD29B2C36I wore metal braces for 4 years (and didn’t keep up with the retainer) which is why I recorrected (did I just make that word up?) my smile. I was skeptical that in only 4 months I’d have an improved smile, but this is the first week of the fourth month and I’m overjoyed! What a great investment in my smile! I now have a new reason to smile for the hell of it!
This is not a paid ad- just a review. If you want to tighten up that grin, use my referral link and in turn get a discount on your impression kit. Be balanced. Be well. Be happy.

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