Clean

I just finished a 3 day juice cleanse. It was my own adaptation of the Hello Natural 3 Day Juice cleanse. I did some research and made my own green juices with organic vegetables and fruits using the Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700-Watt Juice Extractor  The first day, Friday, was tough. At work I felt nauseous for most of the day and I had crazy cravings for all types of bad food like pad thai and fried chicken. Day 2 and 3 were less difficult. I practiced yoga on Saturday to help speed up the detox process. I felt amazing and full of energy. By Sunday I was growing a little tired – probably because I stayed in bed most of the day. I ended up dragging myself to the gym to sweat a little more –then all was great.

Why did I do this to myself? Friends thought I was crazy for going through with it. I told them, surprisingly –your body doesn’t need FOOD, it needs the nutrients that come from the food. And I’m getting more nutrients juicing than you are getting from 3 days of eating processed food like products. They don’t hear me though. They really don’t. I cleansed because I was starting to experience some not so good physical symptoms (heart palpitations, fatigue, anxiety, blemishes). I was eating anything and everything (see: fast food). I wasn’t making my health a priority. I was eating to satisfy my hunger and not what my body really needed. I was killing myself and I had to cut that short.

Cleansing this past weekend also allowed me to shift my perspective. It was a real practice in discipline. My health was my number one priority, everything else came after that. I didn’t go out on Friday night. I rejected invitations to do some of my favorite things. What did I miss? Nothing at all. I stayed home and nourished my body and my mind. After doing a cleanse you can’t go back to the way you were before. If you do, your body will go into shock. It caused me to look at some other areas of my life as well –especially friendships. Are these people around when I’m focused on making a positive change in my life? Are they only in support of the destruction of my health and sanity? Are they giving me anything? I know it sounds like a selfish question but it’s really not. (material for another post, another day) For example, I’m not going to eat a cracker because it has no nutritional value.

I’ve still got some more cleaning to do before the end of the year, physically and emotionally. I encourage you to consider a cleanse if you need to jumpstart your life in a new direction, lose some weight, look and feel great from the inside out. I wasn’t doing this cleanse to lose weight but I lost 4 pounds and I’ve kept it off.

xo So

 

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Je suis…

waiting on my king in Versailles
waiting on my king in Versailles

I just got back from my European holiday about one week ago. As I mentioned in my previous post, this was my first time leaving the country and I was doing it by myself. Sure I did meet up with a friend in Paris, but much of the travelling part was alone. I learned a lot while on this trip – about myself mainly. My family and friends were concerned with my safety –welp I made it back in one piece. Never understood some people’s paranoia. I was more concerned with knowing the correct procedures for going through customs and border patrol and if I was pronouncing my words correctly. (Sorry to the French and Italians – I’m still mastering your language).

Paris was absolutely beautiful. You can tell that this city was planned and that the integrity of that plan has not been compromised over the years. Everyone in Paris is laid back, cool as can be. In America people are hyper vigilant with their kids – “Get over here Billy, where I can see you!” None of that happened in Paris. The dogs were unleashed and so were the children. It’s the perfect match for my laid back personality. Paris is very diverse, and in many ways a lot like NYC – just cleaner with prettier buildings and happier people. A good amount of people spoke English which was comforting. I remember tons of vocab words in French but I can’t put together a sentence aside from – Je suis perdu! Donnez un coup de main? We did tons of walking and photo snapping in Paris.

Fast forward through a 10 hour over night train ride to Milano. Milano was a bit different than Paris. The buildings weren’t as pretty and there wasn’t as many tourists. And in Italy. The people stare. Openly stare, no shame in their game. In the U.S. we try to maintain a level of secrecy in our staring – we don’t want people to know that we are looking. In Milano, in particular I remember this one little girl at the Linate Airport. She walked right up to me, her mother trailing behind, she poked her lips out (as to say I have big lips) she continued to stare until her mother came. The little girl and her mom sat two seats away from me and continued to openly stare at me. At first I thought this was a racial thing – but I did some online research and it seems that’s just the way Italians are. They don’t know you — they stare. But I couldn’t help but think that I was the first American black person that this little girl saw. Amazing. We didn’t do any partying in Paris, blame it on the timing and jet lag. But in Milano we went out twice –all our mid-twenties bodies could handle. The clubs there are amazing. Everything is top shelf, and they give you a free drink with your admission to the club. My friend and I were the only black women in the club at first and we were treated like royalty. Like, when does that ever happen in America? I’m pretty sure they thought we were celebrities. The bartenders are not pressed about leaving them a tip.

What did I learn? I want to learn to speak french fluently. It was difficult to be there and not be able to engage in casual conversation. I also want to learn more Italian and Spanish. Communication is so important. I want to travel more, make it a part of my routine. I realized how fortunate I am. While I was over there I did a lot of reflecting on my life experiences thus far. I’ve had a pretty privileged upbringing compared to many. I’m grateful for every opportunity I get and I know that there will be more.

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La tour eiffel

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At the top of the Duomo Cathedral

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last nite stepping out
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Have a good day, with happiness in your heart.

 

Introspection Challenge.

This is random. I challenge you to set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write about yourself. I don’t mean what you look like where you are from or what you are doing. Write about the essential qualities that you feel make up who you are as a person.I just did it, very interesting.

This is a ten minute challenge for me to write about myself. I feel that what defines me is my grace. When I was in high school I did a guided meditation in which God gave me a gift. And guess what he gave me? Grace. It allows me to easily flow through life. I’m able to adapt to new situations and I welcome change. I’m a giver in everything. I think a lot about my dreams at night and sometimes they end up being quite surreal, sometimes even prophetic. I am open and candid about most things, although emotions sometimes elude me. I’ve experienced quite a few emotions. One emotional experience that outweighs everything is the feeling of JOY. Not because of external factors but all because of internal ones. I’ve experienced prolonged joy but it went away. I felt like I caught a glimpse of heaven and now I’m trying to get it back! I can sometimes appear as an airhead but it’s because I have so much going on up there, but I know a little about a lot. I love music that resonates with emotions or makes me want to dance. I love to read and write although I don’t do it as much as I should. I’ve always been introspective and curious.

-time

that was harder than I thought it would be. Who knows what to say about themselves other than “my name is blank, I work at blank, I went to blank and blank college.” Now, the next time I meet someone I’m not going to tell them everything I’ve listed above, but it is definitely a starting point. A lot of the time we only focus on the surface –but what’s going on inside that makes you, you? What do you know about yourself? I can say that a year ago my “Introspection challenge” would have been much different. It’s a good practice to check in with yourself to see where you’re at along your journey. Try it out.

❤ xo So

It’s a journey

In my last post I mentioned my hardships of finding a travel companion and the possibility of going overseas solo. Well, some magical things have happened since. A very dear friend of mine is meeting me in France in October. I booked my ticket yesterday. I’m sitting here like, “is this really happening to me?” But I must say that now that I have a plan set in motion I’m wondering why I haven’t done this already. Finally I’m able to take my first real vacation. I wasn’t one of those people who went on frequent family vacations to the Turks and Caicos or even Disney world. I didn’t even study abroad in college. I’ll be leaving the country for the first time at age 25. Wow. 

I’ve been interested in the Law of Attraction for about two years. At a turbulent point in my life I began learning about it. I read it and agreed with all of the ideas but I didn’t really put them to practice. I watched “The Secret”, I’ve read “The Power” but I didn’t really have a clear action plan to put the law of attraction to work for me. Not until I began reading, “Ask and it is Given.” It’s a book written by Esther Hicks through the spirit of Abraham. According to Ms. Hicks, the spirit Abraham guided her to write this book. At first, not gonna lie I was a bit thrown off by that. But wherever the message is from it’s definitely a truth that resonates with me. It’s already began to work for me. One line in particular has helped me through the past few weeks, “We love where you are right now even if you do not. Because we understand how joyful the journey will be from where to are to where you want to go will be.” This message was so striking for me because personally, I have so far to go personally, professionally spiritually that it frustrates me at times. Since reading this book I’ve been mindful to be patient and enjoy my everyday tasks as they are bringing me closer to all of my goals.

Even with this Paris trip. I’ve always kept a box that looks like a book and I put little nick knacks in it. I look at it every day. Paris is on my vision board. Now that I’m going after all these years, I wanna see what other things I can do and I think I’m on the right path. Despite job, car woes, everything else –it’s all bringing me towards something. 

 

Solo Travel

MiaMor of youtube has reignited my desire to take this international trip alone. As an introvert I do a lot of things by myself and I really don’t mind them. For instance, I love going shopping by myself. I’m not influenced by others to buy or not buy something. I have the freedom to spend 90 seconds in a store or to spend 90 minutes. There’s something very liberating about doing things by yourself. Well, this year I want to go to Paris and Milan. I have never left the country. When I tell people that I am thinking of going by myself they warn against it. But honestly, if I wait around for one of my friends to have the time and money to go to Paris and Milan– I might never go. I have a hard enough time getting people to commit on a trip to NYC, and that is only 90 minutes from me. If I want to travel to the places I want to go, I am going to have to do it alone (as with many other things in life).

I know that the journey will be lonely at times. But honestly, I am looking forward to that. I know a bit of French from high school and I am learning Italian with the Duolingo app. In Paris I want to see all of the touristy attractions like the Louvre, Versailles and Tour d’Eiffel. But I also want to learn about their African history. It’d be nice to take a cooking class also. I haven’t really thought out everything that I’d like to do but I’m sure I’ll find things. And as far as Milan, I have no idea what I want to do there. My decision to go their is simply based off of inspiration from a dream that I had about my late mother. She said to me in the dream that one of the places she’s always wanted to go was Milan. I feel like there is something special there waiting for me. Call me a crazy dream chasing lady but my dad also had a dream about me going to Europe to model. Not saying that is exactly what is going to happen for me in Milan but I am eager to find out. And of course, since she never went, my journey to Milan will be for her.

Its important for me to remember that all of the great and fulfilling things in my life happened because I made a decision and I stuck with it all on my own. If you’ve traveled by yourself your advice is welcome!

xo So

 

 

Gypsies

Hello 2014. It is I again. I’m going to be that bad friend who hasn’t called in months but acts like nothing happened. Shall we? This year has a strange feeling already. The stars tell me that this year is my year. Technically, every year is, but this year promises to be auspicious. Everything I experience is a journey and it all means something.

I don’t know about anyone else but from time to time I speak with mystics, some may call them psychics or healers. As a child I was afraid of psychics because of my painfully narrow views on Christianity. What I didn’t realize is that many psychics are Christian. Many start their session with a prayer. My first encounter with a psychic healer was back in 2011 at a street festival in Manhattan. I had a quick palm reading. The woman knew so much about me from just observing me and looking at my hand. I knew I had to see another one to get a more detailed reading. My second encounter with a mystic was at a laundromat in 2012. There was a woman with 4 little girls dressed in kitten heels and flouncy dresses with what looked like months of laundry. The carnival was in town, we assumed she worked there. My friend and I immediately thought *gypsy*. We would’ve normally quietly observed and shared side eyes and giggles at this woman and her unruly flock of children –but she had other plans. First she came to me to ask for money to finish her laundry. I told her no. She asked again, but this time she offered to give me a reading in exchange for money. I said no, I’m all set. But this lady was persistent, even pushy. A few minutes went by and one of her little girls came up to me to ask for money to get a snack from the vending machine. Do I look like I have a purse full of bankrolls. This experience was especially strange because she wasn’t asking anyone else in the laundromat for money. She only talked to me. She knew what wasn’t being said. Finally when I sat down the woman came up to me and said “Can you pay me if I pray over you?” I refused to give this woman any money. Then she finally said, “I know you’re going through something that you can’t go through alone. Please let me pray over you. For free.” How could I oblige? What harm could a prayer do? The woman, my friend and I  bowed our heads and closed our eyes as she began to frantically pray over me. When it was said and done, she didn’t ask for anymore money and her children left us alone. My mother was in hospice care at the time and she passed shortly after. I’m grateful for what she did that day. It was better than any sympathy card, any church service or grieving guide. That was exactly what I needed.

Since then I’ve been intrigued by mystic’s healing power. I’ve met with two psychics since then. They’ve both been extremely helpful. As corny as it sounds, they’re doing the lords work.