life curation · Uncategorized

Bronze Butterfly Exclusive: An Interview with Tia Aya

Happy Friday, friends! As I promised yesterday, today is a very special post. This is the very first Bronze Butterfly interview! It has always been my goal to share, not just my own story, but stories of other individuals that embody this blog’s values, such as curating a high quality life, learning to transform our pain into triumph, and creating space for the sacred within and around ourselves. I am pleased to share with you all this incredible woman’s journey, which reflects all of the values previously mentioned. I’m positive that her story will inspire you.

I’m actually not sure when I first crossed paths with Tia Aya, but when we connected on social media, I had the feeling that our paths crossed for a divine reason. For starters, we share the same first name, and live in the same region of the US. We also shared many of the same views regarding women’s empowerment, the importance of self care, and the value of stepping into greater versions of ourselves.

Tia Aya (personal photo collection)

Tia’s story is similar to many of ours: a wife and mother, she found herself starting over again after escaping an unfulfilling and abusive marriage. She had to make difficult choices along her path, but she is a thriver, and now lives an authentically happy life, completely at peace with the path that she’s walked. In addition, she generously blesses all of us connected to her with kindness, wisdom and immensely restorative energy.

It is my absolute honor to offer my blog as a space to tell her story, in her own words. This is her unabridged account, and I’ll only pop in on occasion (you’ll see brackets each time I jump in). I hope that you all take the time and read through her story, as I believe that you will find it fascinating, relatable, and full of hope. Additionally, today is her birthday. I wish her the happiest of solar returns, and pray that she continues to prosper on her journey. Without further ado, here is Tia in her own words.

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(Tia A) It was indeed an honor and privilege to chat with you. I’m almost certain it won’t be our last conversation and hopefully the start to a loving, mutually respectful friendship [Absolutely! I can’t wait to chat with her again]. No matter, thank you for the opportunity to share some of my story. I hope that it inspires, motivates and sets someone’s soul on fire; to not only live their lives on their terms but to also share their own stories so that others might see that they, too, can #BETheirOwnHeroes. 


Here’s part of my story: 

[My question: What significant events were part of your metamorphosis into the woman you are today? ]


The journey of me #BEingMyOwnHero all started in 2014 when I was diagnosed with myelofibrosis; a rare, chronic blood cancer that I’d been unknowingly living and began developing around sixteen years old. It would take the detection of an enlarged spleen before doctors would do a bone marrow biopsy to determine that all the years of elevated platelet counts were indeed a marker of blood cancer that was slowly and chronically developing in my bone marrow. As one might assume, it was devastating news and I, like anyone else, went through all the stages of grief when I received the horrible diagnosis of cancer, and in many cases and for many people, what seems to be a terminal diagnosis. Yet something began to happen: I kept waking up each morning, taking care of my family and in the midst of this life-changing event… Life kept going on. Just like clockwork. My kids still needed me. The house still needed to be attended to, the dog still needed to be walked and my own needs and desires began coming forth and the diagnosis of cancer began becoming not so prominent in the front of my mind. 

Tia and her sons (personal photo collection)

Still, something most important to note, cancer also became a prime motivator in me doing these mundane everyday things while beginning to think and create the life I’d always wanted and NEEDED to begin living. Because I figured it as this much:If I’m going to live with cancer, I might as well live as fearlessly and unapologetically as possible. [Hear hear! I completely agree.] It’s almost as though cancer was the worst and one of the best things to happen to me because it took away every excuse I had to diminish my life and dim my light. So there began me setting out to BE and DO everything I could do to live my best life and this started with making a bucket list at the end of 2016; with goals and dreams that seemed to leap from the pages of my journal–almost as soon as I’d write them down. 


Within the next few years, I’d leave my toxic marriage, unfortunately, my children whom I desperately tried to bring along with me and sever every toxic relationship I had outside of myself; and some of these relationships were more than twenty years old. 


I’d just turned 40 and for the first time in my life, I left my home state moved seven hours away alone with only $300 and used half of it in gas to get to my destination; bringing only one clothes basket, a bookbag and all the clothes I could discreetly conceal in the third row of my SUV because I didn’t know if I’d be sleeping in my truck and would need to use the middle row.

(photo courtesy Canva)

I’d spend the next eight months between two homeless shelters while becoming fully employed within the first three weeks of relocating. During my stay at the shelters, I’d save as much money as I could and spend all of my “free time” working extra shifts and spending most of my time journaling, organizing and creating my life; despite the insurmountable challenges that I faced, the rules set by the shelters and the timetables that I’d been given by them to find a place to live and the means in which to keep a roof over my head. This all left me feeling like I was living in a parallel universe at many moments; compounded with existing without my children, left me feeling numb yet I promised myself that I wouldn’t detach and become disassociated from my new reality. 


In some of my hardest moments, I began to remember the story of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey and how he described the parts of every single character (including us) becoming our own heroes and the roles in which other characters (i.e. the wise one, villain, Damsel in Distress, comrades etc.) all play their vital roles in our journeys and must present to teach us and help push us towards becoming to our heroes. At the same time, I began learning of an American, Buddhist monk named Pima Chodron and her teachings of bodhicitta (the softening of the heart) and how we can learn to sit with fear, uneasiness and every other uncomfortable feeling that exists to humans instead of becoming harden and apathetic. 

It would be October of 2017 that I’d move into my own place and thus begin cultivating my new life while attending to some unfinished business that I’d left in my hometown. I have lived peacefully in the same place while continuing to align with my dreams, goals and deepest desires. Within a short period of time, I’ve made such tremendous strides and have gone from surviving to thriving expeditiously. 
Living with cancer continues to be one of my most prominent reasons to live my life and continue to venture into uncharted waters. Cancer isn’t my life yet it’s helped me embrace the best in me and accept the worst in me and use it all to live boldly and not give much thought to what anyone thinks about me and my choices. 

Tia, after embracing this new chapter of her life

[My question: What self care or spiritual practices do you engage to restore yourself?]


I start my day in complete silence–no tv, no radio. This helps me center myself and set the tone for my day. I practice wakeful meditation while drinking dark roast coffee and reading positive affirmations and will meditate at work while working. I allow myself mental breaks with no permission at any given time; as a reminder that what I am seeing and experiencing in that moment, is not all there is to my life–it’s just a moment, not the entirety. 


I make time to rest and relax daily and be in the moment. It’s a non-compromise and not up for debate within myself or externally with anyone else. I don’t care how much I have to do, I make the time to decompress and just sit and BE; something that I define as being whoever or whatever you are in that given moment. I sleep late on the weekends and take naps late in the evenings; as I’m a bit of a night-owl and find that I become extremely creative during overnight hours. To me, learning to rest and allowing myself to do nothing has been most pivotal in keeping myself healthy, happy and allowing my body to self-manage its dis-ease state. I listen to music for hours while watching tv and reading/studying/working on projects and pay attention at great detail. I love my time and I’m very assertive and intentional about how I spend it. I’ve had to learn to love spending time with myself and doing so is one of the best ways I spend replenishing and recentering myself. 

I’m an agnostic atheist and despite popular consensus, I believe in a lot of things and concepts. One thing I love about being agnostic atheist is that it keeps me open to accepting that I don’t know everything, can’t explain everything (including if a deity or deities exists) and I’m perfectly okay with all of that. It’s also not knowing or being able to explain a lot of things (despite my love of science and philosophy) that keeps me both humble, accepting of others and childlike; filled with wonder, playful and learning not to take myself or others so seriously all the time. 

My religion is: be a good human–cause no harm and take no shit. 


[My question: What are some of the things that you find inspirational?]

I find other people’s stories deeply encouraging and it’s not just the ones with happy endings. I am a documentary geek and often watch hard-to-swallow ones. It’s not because I am a glutton for punishment or sadness but moreso me trying to understand and grasp the human capacity to survive, thrive and find happiness despite unimaginable pain and suffering. 


Many things can be disputed but not one’s own story. 

No matter if we agree or not, one’s own story is what it is and I find the more stories that I listen to and watch–the more I realize how we’re more similar than different; even with those who do inhumane things that we could never fathom doing. 

Animals and nature are other sources in which I find immense inspiration and motivation. I love watching documentaries about them because it reminds me there’s more to life than the human experience and realizing this helps keep me open to a bigger life and existence beyond just my own. I’ve always been fascinated by both and the more I stay engaged with them both, the more appreciation I have for my life and other forms of life. 


[My question: How would you describe your journey: the past, present and future?]

My childhood was filled with a big imagination, a deep love of music, art and dance while also experiencing horrific forms of child abuse and trauma. To be honest, I don’t know how I’ve been able to even survive it much less thrive despite it; still keeping a big imagination and a love of life and humanity. I’d dream almost nightly as a child and began having nightmares for almost twenty years leading into my adulthood–up until I saw a wonderful psychologist every week for almost a year and a half. I was a loving child full of emotions, ideas and complexities and the adults around me didn’t know how to help me channel nor process any of it, therefore suppression and oppression were prescripts of the day.

Photo courtesy Canva

No matter, I never simply accepted the reality that others tried to make me accept and always recognized the dysfunction even before I had the words to describe what I was seeing and living through. I was a unicorn who danced to the beat of my own drum that others tried to force into boxes that they, themselves, didn’t even want to live; so needless to say, I was always a nonconformist and little feminist before these things were widely accepted and spoken out loud.

As a child, it deeply affected me to see others suffer and I would cry at a complete stranger’s pain and dismay. It bothered me how others suffered near and abroad; never understanding why anyone had to suffer and being angered that they did. It’s as though I could look right through (or into) someone and see that their outer appearances were not really who they were and in some rare instances–were exactly who they were. I grew up in a deeply, southern religious family and went to a church run by an unapologetic misogynist who created a cult-like congregation filled with domestic abusers, pedophiles and addicts. It would be from these fire-breathing sermons (that religiously condemned women and children) that I’d develop a disdain for misogyny and patriarchy and those who enabled it; which included the women in my very own family. 

My young adult years were spent discovering, rediscovering and un-discovering who I was, who I thought I was suppose to be and who I thought I’d like to become with a lot of process by elimination experiences. I began to self-medicate and commit self-injuries and was scapegoated and blamed for all of it. There was no empathy to be found in those who should’ve protected me but instead I was mocked and reminded (constantly) that I deserved and had rightfully earned the mishaps that happened to me; even when I was a child and couldn’t consent to such horrors. 

I began seeking therapy on and off and with a lot of seeking therapy–therapists can often misdiagnose and overdiagnose the human condition. I hated myself to a level of suicidal ideation for decades until I began learning and unpacking that this all had been ways in which my brain and body had learned to survive then hold accountable (blaming myself first) those who’d never take responsibility for the harm they caused, stood by and allowed and were continuing to cause. 


In most recent years, I’ve severed ties with every toxic relationship I’ve had and it didn’t matter what the connection was. I no longer excuse or make excuses for abuse, disrespect or malice cloaked in well-meaning intentions. I had to first stop being abusive towards myself then begin eliminating all external sources of abuse before I could truly begin healing myself from it all. I’ve stopped self-medicating and numbing these days and prefer facing every difficult emotion and situation head-on… Even when I’m terrified and don’t want to because I’ve learned, it’s better to feel  and feel fully than not to feel and become apathetic towards those who do. 

Tia’s story reminds us to embrace our personal magic (photo courtesy Canva)


I’ve become my no. 1 reason to live, love and laugh loudly. 

It took the birth of my children and eventual diagnosis of cancer to eliminate my suicidal ideation altogether. It’s taken my rediscovery of living and loving life that’s set me free and put me on a mission of setting an example before my children and others. I don’t know what my future holds and that’s ok. What matters more to me is I’m now free and independent to live in each moment and wildly embrace both the beauty and ugliness of it all. To me this is the true definition and embodiment of: 


#BEingMyOwnHero


Thank you Tia. For existing.For daring to live in a world that would dare to silence you. For giving voice to others who might not speak otherwise. 

[Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. I am honored that you felt safe enough with me and my platform to share your story. My readers and I are eternally grateful.]

life curation · Uncategorized

What You Focus On, Expands

Hey friends! I have a VERY special post coming tomorrow. It’s so special that I actually decided to SKIP Fibro Friday in order to post this one. Yes, it’s that special. I know you’re going to love it, and there is a specific reason why I’m posting it tomorrow instead of today. So, be sure to come back tomorrow to see what I’ve got up my sleeve . . .

Until then, I’m going to reflect on a post that I had on my now-defunct blog. Back in 2015, way before I knew anything about Law of Attraction, I knew that focusing on problems could only create more problems, while focusing on solutions would create opportunities to improve my situation. I’m going to share a snippet of that post, and then I’ll come back with my 2021 thoughts.

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I am writing today because I’ve seen how some of us spend an inordinate amount of time on things that do not enhance our life or increase our happiness. One blogger, that used to write beautiful, inspiring posts, has descended into one of the most annoying people on my Blogger feed (I’m still trying to figure out how to remove her from my feed, but there’s something weird going on with my Blogger setup). Her descent into bitterness does nothing to empower her or her readers. This is the sad result when people chose to focus on what angers or hurts them.

I know that most of you that have been participating in empowerment forums/groups are well aware of the power of focusing on what we want. FOCUS allows us to keenly tune in, and can even give us extraordinary energy to tackle an obstacle or accomplish a goal. It’s been said that what we focus on expands, which is why I’ve been absent. I’ve been FOCUSING on creating the kind of life that will nourish and inspire me, as well as benefit my loved ones.

Here’s what I’ve been focusing on recently:

-Increasing my net worth
-Positioning myself among uplifting individuals
-Filling my life with rich experiences
-Removing toxic individuals from my circles
-Creating stronger, clearer boundaries for myself

There are some fantastic bloggers that are still sounding the alarms for women, lighting the way to true empowerment. I commend them and they deserve ALL of the accolades, because they are quite literally saving lives. For those that have moved past the “life-saving” phase, what are you doing for “life enhancement” or “life expansion”? Are you still overly focused on life-saving rhetoric? I’ve seen it for myself: women in empowerment circles spending outrageous amounts of time discussing negative, life-minimizing things. There should be progression, but for some women, I see that they are “stuck” and, as a result, regressive in many ways.

IF you are still overly focused and wringing hands over what groups or individuals have wronged you and mistreated you, HOW can you possibly focus on living a quality existence? IF you still get worked up over every negative meme or article posted about you (and women that look like you), HOW do you have time and energy to create a life that defies the negative stereotypes? In a couple of words, YOU CANNOT.

The best thing you can do for 2015 [and TODAY!] is think about the things you want more of (peace, love, wealth, joy, happiness, prosperity, whatever) and focus on how you can get MORE of those things. Some things may be tangible, others intangible. In any case, spend your time focusing on what you WANT, instead of thinking about what you DO NOT want. Your life will be better for it.

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Looking back upon this post, I realize I’ve done what I’ve said I would do: increased my net worth, positioned myself among groups of diverse, uplifting individuals, had some pretty incredible life-enriching experiences (even in the midst of COVID), removed toxic people from my life, and gotten clearer, stronger boundaries. All of these are works in progress, but I can see that, within the past 6 years, I’ve moved steadily in this direction. I’ve had some major wins, and I thrilled to know that I will get even more wins in the future.

So today, ask yourself, what have I been focusing on? The answers may surprise and inspire you. I hope you’ve been well, and focusing on what you want in your life! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

culture · international

Harry, Meghan and Oprah – My Thoughts

Happy Tuesday, friends! Most of the online spaces I frequent are buzzing after the bombshell interview that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, had with the queen of American media, Oprah Winfrey.

You all know I had to write my thoughts on the interview. There were too many lessons for me to keep silent. I’m breaking down some of my favorite takeaways from the discussion.

  • Stay ready so that you don’t have to get ready.

Meghan was not given the opportunity to receive royal protocol training. However, Meghan quickly schooled herself enough (with the help of Harry) to pass the protocol tests with flying colors.

I’m certain that she had no idea that she would be under so much scrutiny, but as an actress, she knows that being flexible and adjusting quickly to change and unexpected circumstances is key. So, she learned what she needed to know and performed beautifully. If she had waited for the training to be offered to her, she would have failed miserably at impressing the Queen as well as the public. One of the things Meghan mentions as a regret was not being more informed about the role of “working royal”. So, if there’s anything to be learned from that, it’s this: stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. Prepare yourself as much as you can for each new circumstance, so when life throws you a curve ball, you can knock it out of the park.

  • Always have your own bag.

The Sussexes are not receiving any security or other financial support from the British royal family (BRF). For this reason, having your own “bag” (money) is key. The move from working royal to private citizen is challenging enough, but doing it with no money is impossible. Likewise, no matter what situation life finds you in, remember to save for a rainy day and always have your own “bag”, so you will have the freedom to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve you.

  • Legacy planning can save your life, as well as the life of your children, grandchildren, etc.,.

Part of the money being used to support the Sussexes is Harry’s inheritance from his mother, Princess Diana. Legacy planning isn’t always easy, but some measure of it is always feasible. Even if you can’t leave your children millions of dollars, strive to leave them something of value. That money may be just what they need to escape a dangerous situation in the future. Legacy planning is a literal lifesaver, and should be prioritized by everyone (but especially those among us that have children).

  • Prioritize your mental health.

The most heartbreaking thing about this interview was Meghan’s description of her suicidal thoughts. Whatever you do, always make sure to prioritize your mental health. Find the resources to help you to cope NOW. Many resources are available online for free, so you don’t have to be wealthy to get some measure of help. Take care of your mental health: your life depends on it.

  • Sometimes, the best way to win the game is to walk away from the table.

In light of this interview, it’s clear that Harry and Meghan made the best choice for their family. Their faces are obviously pained, but there is a peace still emanating from both of them. They won this game simply by opting out. They have endeared themselves even further to those of us that believe them and want them to be happy and safe. I, for one, am thrilled that they are forging this new path for themselves. They are sharing their story so that the world will know the truth. All of the world is watching, sending them positive energy, and hoping that they remain safe.

I wrote previously about what it means to step away from royal duties, and I’m glad that I watched this interview and got an even better sense of what this entails. I am so proud of Harry and Meghan, and I feel very optimistic about their future. I foresee nothing but success and happiness for them!

career · culture · international

Back in School

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all are doing well, and I also hope that you all had a restful and restorative weekend.

I’ve been busy behind the scenes (as I noted in this previous post), but I wanted to make sure that I shared additional details about what I’ve been working on. I recently was accepted into a certificate program, so I’ll be attending Cornell University for the next several months (that was the entrepreneur training I mentioned previously). I don’t anticipate that this will interfere with my posting schedule, but that remains to be seen.

At this point, I’m adjusting my schedule so that I can (fingers crossed) have enough time to do everything that I need to do. I’m getting back to using one of my old favorites: a planner than maps out your day, hour by hour. That way, I can stay on top of all of the things I need to do daily, and if I need to shift things around, at least I’m less likely to skip a task that desperately needs to be done.

Along with these Cornell courses, I’m taking two free courses on FutureLearn. The first course is Unleash Your Potential: Global Citizenship, focusing on the different opportunities that arise from being a global citizen. The second course is What is International Development (the title is self explanatory). These courses aren’t as intense as my Cornell schedule, so I’m fitting them into 30 minute chunks every day.

Between my classes, my job, and my writing, I am BUSY! But honestly, I love it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t bother to do all of these things. I have some big goals which means I have to take some drastic action this year. There’s no time like the present to work on everything I want to do, so that’s what I’m doing.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more musings, because this recent Harry and Meghan interview has my mind churning! Talk to you all soon.

Uncategorized

Working Behind The Scenes . . .

Hey everyone! I realize there hasn’t been a post for a few days, and there’s a good reason for that.

I’ve bitten off more than I can chew LOL!

I’ll be completing an intense training series for entrepreneurs starting next week, which means this week required a LOT of “wrapping up” and finishing existing tasks. That would have been okay, except for the fact that the weather is changing and my body is having a hard time adjusting. So yeah, not much got done this week.

It’s okay, though: I’m not at a standstill. And for that, I’m thankful.

I’m finally feeling a bit more energetic so I’ll be back to my normal shenanigans starting tomorrow. Until then, here’s a YouTube video that has no particular relevance to anything on this blog, other than I liked it.

reading list · Uncategorized

Books Read in February 2021

Happy March 1st, and Happy Women’s History Month, friends! This post is going live super-late, because yours truly has a new set of nails and I’m typing extra slowly (don’t laugh, I’m serious!)

Anyhoo, let’s move on to the topic, which is the book list for February. I was, once again, a tad disappointed by how many books I read. But something is better than nothing, right? I’m learning to appreciate my progress no matter how small, but my old perfectionist ways still get the best of me sometimes. It’s a struggle.

Without further ado, here is my list of books read for February:

I’ll be able to devote more time to reading this month, as I’m already clearing my calendar for some major book time (no less than 30 minutes a day, every single day). I also started two books in February that I’ll complete this month, so I’m looking forward to that.

That’s it for my book updates. I’m anticipating some better news at the end of this month! I’ll talk to you all soon.

health · life curation

Fibro Friday – How I Made Peace With My Diagnosis

Welcome to this week’s Fibro Friday! For those that are curious, I enjoy discussing an aspect of my fibromyalgia experience every week. This condition is more than a diagnosis: it’s a shift in my way of life. But as I continue to learn my “new normal”, I find myself seeing the silver lining every single day. And, if my experience can offer a silver lining for someone else, then I’m delighted that I can make this path easier for another person.

One of the most difficult things about learning that I have fibromyalgia is making peace with my diagnosis. It’s so easy to rebel against the diagnosis and throw myself into a cycle of over-extension, then drastically long recovery periods. I resisted this diagnosis for over a year. I would have one good day, try to do as much as I can, then I’d spend the next week in bed because my body ached terribly and my mental faculties weren’t up to par.

Untitled design

I resisted the diagnosis because I hated feeling “less than”. I hated the fact that I had limitations. I really despised being face-to-face with my own frailty and, by extension, my mortality. I hated the fact that I wasn’t who I used to be, and there was nothing that I could do about it.

When you hit your lowest lows, that’s the point where you learn to release your death grip on your beliefs and to accept that your own resistance is what’s keeping you in your pain loop. Those lows teach you so much, but, mainly, they teach you to let this moment, and every moment you experience, be enough. When the moment is enough, you no longer obsess over why. You lean into the experience, and, just like magic, the solutions to your problems start to appear.

For me, the moment I started resisting my pain and just allowed it to be so, I felt a measure of relief. After that, the relief increased steadily. I’m not pain-free yet, but being present in the moment and observing my body – its pain, fatigue, mental fog, and inability to perform tasks like it used to – without judgment, freed me up to find solutions to my pain. My medication started feeling more effective, my mind started to clear a bit, and I started taking note of what physical activities felt like “just enough”, and which activities were overdoing it.

Instead of resisting my diagnosis and judging myself, I started approaching my diagnosis like a clinician. I analyzed my symptoms from a neutral standpoint, and, eventually, I started treating myself better than any doctor could. Much of my peace from my diagnosis is centered around the fact that I view it as neutrally as possible, which allows me to accept the symptoms without villainizing them, and to forgive myself for not treating my body as well as I could have over the years. When you know better, you do better. And I’m finally doing better by my body, which only came on the heels of accepting my diagnosis and moving forward.

That’s it for today. I hope this post encourages you and inspires you to make peace with the things that you can’t change, and to allow that peace to open the door for relief and solutions to whatever bothers you. Take care, and I’ll talk to you next week!

Uncategorized

February Goal Update

As you all may recall from this post, I have a list of goals that I would like to accomplish during 2021. Just as a reminder, here’s my list:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

I mentioned previously that I would post updates as a way to remain accountable. It’s easy for me to lose sight of my goals in the midst of living, so I’m making it a point to share my progress here, on the blog, Here is my progress on my goals for 2021:

  • Publish 5 books
    • Almost done editing the first book, and started working on edits for the second book
  • Lose 15 lbs
    • Set up an eating plan that I will start implementing in March
  • Manifest 3 international trips
    • No trips yet, but I’ve selected one of the countries I would like to visit (more about that in a future post)
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
    • I’ve earned some money in one of my businesses, and I’m currently working with my clients for another business. My expected income from future projects is roughly $1,000.
  • Read 100+ books
    • Currently at 8 books, but I’ll be on a reading spree this weekend.
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
    • I bought one of these items! It’s featured in the video embedded below.
  • Cure my fibromyalgia
    • I’ve been working on my overall health, which will be supported by the eating plan I’m implementing next month (see Fibro Friday posts here, here, and here)

As I mentioned above, I got one of my luxury items on my wish list! I recorded a YouTube video about my purchase (embedded below)

I’m looking forward to seeing how much progress I make during the next few weeks. I’m excited to see all of my goals come into fruition!

business · life curation · writing

Create Your Vision – A Sneak Peek Into My Latest Guided Journal

I decided to take a break from Writers Wednesdays, since I’m still editing and doing last minute changes. Instead, I want to take a little time to do a deep-dive into my latest journal, Create Your Vision. This was a special request, and I was delighted to do it for one of my wonderful customers.

Two of the Create Your Visions covers available (25 designs in all)

In this journal, I provide my step-by-step formula for lifestyle redesign, using the power of writing. In the video below, I even give an example of how to change a key area of your life (I use the example of changing careers) by journaling. I’ve successfully used these techniques to change my life and get the results that I’ve desired. Every time I feel the need to change something in my life, I refer back to this formula, since it worked so well.

That’s it for today. I hope you can use the information in this video. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links.

culture · international · life curation

Embracing The Year of the Ox

We recently saw the beginning of a brand new Lunar Year on February 12th. Somehow, I was a bit late this year, and I didn’t realize that the Lunar New Year occurred until two days after.

What can I say? It’s been a challenging year for all of us, and if I miss a couple of holidays, it’s only because this year has done a number on most of us.

Anyway, back to the Lunar New Year. I thought of the significance of this year’s animal, the ox. I reflected back on the last lunar year, the year of the rat. I think of mice and rats, and how these animals, while indicative of abundance (they are always in places with adequate food supply), can overconsume and leave desolation where abundance used to reside. I think the year of the rat, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, was a collective wake-up call. We are abundant, but, as a society, we have taken too much from nature, and balance must be restored.

Enter the year of the ox. This hardworking beast of burden only consumes what it needs to sustain itself, and it’s purpose for existing is to produce through manual efforts. Unlike rats, whose body waste is toxic and often spreads disease, oxen are useful all the way down to their fecal matter, which can fertilize and restore balance to the soil. The ox is sturdy, reliable, and work-oriented. It is the animal that’s most representative of the attitude we need in these times.

I think this year will be a year of restoration and balance. Life will get back to normal, more or less, but what is considered baseline normal has changed. We’ve had roughly one year to stay close to home, spend more time doing domestic activities, and to closely examine what matters to us. Now, we have our work to do.

It’s time for us to produce. We’ve been incubating our skills and talents during lockdowns and quarantines: now is the time to put out into the world what we’ve been creating during our downtime. And yes, I understand that many of us were too stressed and otherwise limited to “create” in the traditional sense. But, our creations need not be tangible: they can be our musings, creative nudges or even inklings of necessary change in our personal lives or in society. We have all created “something” in the past year: now it’s time to unleash it.

May the year of the ox give you great favor and lead you closer to a wonderful existence.

That’s all for today. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!