Your #BestSelf with Camille Rose Naturals


The increase in the use of the #SelfCareSunday hashtag on social media is a good indicator that in 2018 people are putting a large amount of focus on trying out different ways to make sure they are taking care of self. This is something I am personally a HUGE advocate of but my thoughts are two fold. For one, our society is already one that tends to only see things through the lens of “self” and that is something that definitely needs to be monitored but, there is also a huge population that are defined as “givers” and sometimes those of us that tend to pour into others need to recognize that we can not pour from an empty cup which is why self-care is needed.

Now this #SelfCareSunday trend looks amazing from the lens of social media but, I oftentimes find that the products and activities people are participating in are kind of expensive and this single mommy is on my Dave Ramsey tip trying to make sure that I can support my mini and create a future for her where she will not repeat the cycle of debt and being financially irresponsible (the stories I could tell you would have you like, “Really Brittany?!”). So, home remedies and learning how to pamper myself on a budget has been so essential.

Camille Rose Naturals has a line of products that are not only affordable but will also get the job done while leaving you feel like you have left a professional spa. I am sharing my top three favorite products from the brand below and encouraging you to become your #BestSelf.

The best aspect of this product is that you can literally use it on your body as well as your hair! It is an amazing scalp cleanser and will help with blood circulation and strengthen the hair follicles too. For your skin, it helps to speed up the healing of scars, acne pimples, and blackheads. I personally love soaps that have intense lathering properties and this bar fits the bill. The label reader in me turned hella cartwheels when I found out that this product is made with natural products and simple ingredients including: coconut oil, tamanu oil, tea tree oil, seaweed powder, and beeswax.


Cane and Sugar Balm

People are always complimenting me on my skin and I love it. But, my legs look and sometimes feel like alligator skin unless I drench my entire life in coconut oil. Since I have committed to being my #BestSelf, that includes a weekly bath complete with candles, my record player/a good playlist, and wine! Ending these weekly sessions with the Cane and Sugar Balm has been the best body exfoliant ever! My skin is retaining moisture well and I just feel refreshed.

Image-1 (1).png

This stuff is the holy grail! I have always had dark circles under my eyes, even when I was younger but the added edition of parenting has not made the condition any better. The rice bran really does reduce dark spots, whether we are talking about under your eyes, knees, or elbows no matter what type of skin type you have. Don’t suffer from dark spots? Well you are blessed! But, everyone can use a little brighter skin, right? Rice Bran will do just that with literally four ingredients: coconut oil, rice bran oil, seaweed powder, beeswax.


So, which one these products are you thinking about giving a try? We owe it to ourselves to consistently be our #BestSelf.

You May Also Like

Please Note: The product mentioned in this post was provided by Camille Rose Naturaks. This post is sponsored. All comments about this product are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not use on my healthy living lifestyle journey. 

The Ugly Truth: Why Do Women Have A Negative Self-Image?


The pressures of living up to society’s expectations of beauty is real and a widespread epidemic. It doesn’t matter if they are stay-at-home moms in their 40's or 20-something runway models—it’s irrefutably apparent that every single woman, at some point, struggles with accepting her physical appearance, overcoming self-doubt and dealing with her perceived flaws.

There are a variety of causes when it comes to the development of a negative self-image in girls and women. The most significant causes are a lack of direction and guidance from primary caretakers such as parents and teachers and the lack of good role models. It’s also caused by the negative mental conditioning from TV shows, movies, advertisements, magazines, social media and cultural beliefs.

The symptoms of a negative self-image may include a distinct lack of confidence in both the personal and professional realm, a tendency to attract and stay in abusive relationship, addictions, spending too much time and money on beauty treatments and surgeries, people-pleasing behavior and a lack of good social and relationship skills.


In my book, Beauty Redefined, I recommend a holistic approach towards overcoming these blocks which involves all aspects of your being – your mind, heart, body and spirit. A few of the key points include adopting a positive mindset and belief system, healing any past emotional trauma or pain with a trained professional, loving your body by giving it the nourishment and care it needs to stay healthy and living your life with a sense of purpose and passion.

We’ve reach an ideal time in human history, to shift from the old paradigm of beauty where a woman’s worth was based solely on her physical appearances to a more progressive outlook where we consider all aspects of her being – her goals, talents, aspirations, values, morals and compassion for others. By adopting these new standards, we can empower girls and women to feel comfortable in their own skin (no matter what they look like) and fulfill their highest potential.  

You May Also Like

SELINE SHENOY, author of Beauty Redefined, is a podcast host and life coach who focuses on personal empowerment, self-esteem, productivity, and wellness. As the founder of The Dream Catcher, a blog community that encourages people to live their ideal life, Shenoy’s inspirational message has been attracting thousands of people worldwide since 2014. She is a regular contributor to a variety of publications including Forbes, MindBodyGreen, Elite Daily, Project Happiness, and Global Love Project.

Service and Mindfulness in a Busy World


A little over 10 years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. I was juggling motherhood, work, and marriage as were many of my friends and family at that time. As stressful as it was keeping these balls in the air, it seemed to be expected, so none of us really questioned it. Well, almost no one. As a kid, I would question why things were the way they were, such as customs, traditions and norms. Yet, I was expected to be obedient and conform without questioning. So my youth made my questions seem disrespectful and I was quickly shut down. However, that didn't stop me from questioning, I just didn't do it out loud around certain people nor as often as I should have, thinking back.

When job stress started to impact my health, I took a closer look at my lifestyle and thought about the choices I had made. As a way to relieve stress I had started journaling at least once a day. Many of the entries were about the things I had been conditioned to accept. Through these writings I found the source of my pain. I realized that many of my choices were the result of wanting to please others and fulfill others' version of happiness, rather than my own. The pain showed me where the imbalances in my life were and I began working on the task of getting right with myself. Doing so made me think about other people I knew who also were unhappy with circumstances they believed they could not change, as I once believed. Now that I was seeing things more clearly, I wished I'd found this wisdom sooner, and how I might have steered my life differently as a result. Having this awareness as a younger person would have helped me make better choices, I believed. I wanted to share my realizations as I was noting a difference in the quality of my life now that my awareness was changing. I just didn't know where to begin. Then, serendipity came to the rescue.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.

Service, to me, meant giving one's time and effort with compassion and without expectation of a reward. I knew I wanted to serve others through the lessons from my own life experience. I felt very strongly that teaching others from a young age to think for themselves and make good choices would empower them for the rest of their lives. Within a couple of days after declaring my mission, the weekly city paper was delivered with an ad for volunteers interested in mentoring local young people in leadership training. The program was called “Reaching Higher”. Having been recently unemployed, I had time to devote to the program and was excited when I was accepted.

I was one of 10 adults tasked with mentoring a group of 22 high school students who were in danger of failing school due to conditions at home which were having an adverse impact on their studies. For eight weeks, we had weekly meetings with the group exchanging stories about challenges and hardships. Mentors shared how we overcame our personal experiences and provided them with tools for self - empowerment. We also checked in with mentees with a brief phone call and mailed home notes of encouragement. The students' circle of awareness grew surrounded by peers and teachers who supported their success. By the end of the program, grades had improved as had their self-esteem and their relationships with family, friends and themselves. Watching these young people blossom was a reward in itself. In finding themselves, they had become an inspiration to many, including me.

Through this experience, I came to regard Service as an aspect of Mindfulness. Service puts us into relationship with others and regardless of how large or small our actions, we are transformed into a conduit for upliftment. Asking “How may I serve today?” is a message to the universe that you are open to receive the opportunities and inspirations that will allow you to do so in as many areas of your life as you like. Random or not, service is an act of kindness. Always look for opportunities to kind and do so. The rewards far outweigh the effort. As you open from within, your outer world will open in reflection of you. That's all it takes.

You May Also Like

Sonia Guadalupe is an Associate Polarity Practitioner, reflexologist and artist. Through her work she teaches people of all ages how to use their energy to improve their quality of life. “Illuminated Universe: A View from The Source” (published by Balboa Books) is her first book.

How To Dream Away Your Stress


Exercise is a vital part of this 5-step de-stress process

Do you feel like you are constantly under pressure? Are you losing sleep and not eating properly?

Stress causes headaches, ulcers, heart disease, heart attacks, and numerous other illnesses. It attacks the areas of your body that are weak due to previous injury or where you are genetically predisposed.

When our bodies are confronted with stress, the “fight or flight” response of our nervous systems is activated. The hypothalamus signals the adrenal glands to produce the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which speed up heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and metabolism. Muscles contract and are put on alert, and pupils dilate to improve vision. Also during this process, the liver releases some of its stored glucose to increase the body’s energy, and sweat is produced to cool the body.


Long-time chronic stress comes from coping with draining situations like divorce or work pressures. This results in immune system exhaustion and causes illness. And when this happens, the nervous system senses continued stress and pressure and pumps out extra stress hormones over an extended period of time. The top reason for adrenal gland malfunction and exhaustion comes from too much stress, as well as from too much coffee.

How to combat stress on a daily and long-term basis? I call it the DREAM sequence – a five-pronged list of stress-reducing life habits.

First is diet. Bad food contributes significantly to stress. I see this every day with my two kids. Grandma will feed them tons of sugar and then I come home to find the girls either bouncing off the walls or miserably cranky after crashing from their sugar high. Good, wholesome foods that are not processed or refined and are free from trans fats prevent our energy levels from peaking and crashing throughout the day.


Next is rest. Getting enough sleep helps you keep your body and mind in top shape, making you better equipped to deal with any negative stressors. Most of your healing and repair takes place when you are sleeping. This is when the body recharges its battery. If you continue to deprive your body of sleep, your immune system breaks down and you get sick. It’s recommended that individuals get six to eight hours of sleep per night.

Next is exercise. This is the greatest stress-buster. Regular exercise can change your life. A study conducted at Harvard University concluded that brisk walking at least 30 minutes a day could reduce the incidence of breast cancer by as much as 70 percent. Further, a California State University study found that a 10-minute walk is enough to increase energy, alter mood, and provide a positive outlook on life for up to two hours. Exercise also helps regulate your mood, helps you sleep more soundly, and helps erase the little mistakes in our diet.

The fourth prong is chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractors locate and remove the pressure put on your nerves. The immune system fixes problems throughout the body using the spinal cord as a telephone system between your brain and the rest of your body. Chiropractic adjustments to the spinal column relieve the pressure of choked or pinched nerves caused by rotated vertebra. Essentially, chiropractic adjustments provide an increase in vitality.

The fifth part is mental attitude. Stress is like a snowball: If you let it roll, it will gain speed, momentum and weight, and soon you are overreacting, making even small difficulties seem like major crises. Counter a stressful situation with a calming action. Example: when rush-hour traffic is irritating, listen to a self-improvement audio. Some things we can’t control, but we can control our response to them.

In sum, stress can cause all sorts of health problems. It affects all ages, but it can be dealt with, and doing so consistently can help us pass any kind of stress test.

You May Also Like

About Dr. Raj Gupta

Dr. Raj Gupta (, who has more than 20 years experience as a chiropractor, is the founder of Soul Focus Wellness Center. He also is author of Wellness Center Solution: How Physicians Can Transform Their Practices, Their Income and Their Lives. He has a doctorate in chiropractic from Life University.


Limiting Beliefs And 4 Simple Tips To Overcome Them


Do you ever feel there’s something standing in the way of your happiness? Do you ever think When I get “there,” I’ll be happy or When I finally have “this,” I’ll find joy or If I accomplish “that,” I’ll be at peace and feel good?

There is something standing in the way of our happiness... OURSELVES! It’s difficult to notice just how often our own limiting beliefs - untrue stories about ourselves - keep us stuck living in mediocrity. We want joy and happiness, but our confidence – or lack thereof – and untrue stories keeps us trapped.

I’ve been there. My biggest setbacks and discouragements in life came because I owned stories, from a very young age, that others told me about me that simply weren’t true. Somehow their stories became my own and turned into limiting beliefs that held me back.

At one point in my life, I was completely consumed by fear, worry, and self-doubt. I was my own worst critic and never believed I was good enough. I was afraid to step into my own power. I became a master at shrinking to fit what everyone else expected of me—which I thought was very little.

Maybe you identify with a variation of this story. Every individual—no matter how successful or unfortunate, wealthy or poor, old or young—is capable of overcoming their limiting beliefs and allowing themselves to step into their own happiness.

Here are four simple tips to help us overcome limiting beliefs, whatever they may be.

Play in the space outside your comfort zone.


Getting comfortable with the comfortable is what keeps you playing safe and within the space you habitually play. But... outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. It’s time to believe in yourself and take a few risks. You can start by changing your routine up a bit – brush the bottom row of your teeth before the top or drive a different way to work tomorrow. Then graduate to doing things you’ve been a little fearful of – zip-lining, public speaking, even a new hairstyle. Create a bucket list! Ask yourself... What happens if this works out better than I ever imagined it would? Then let it and watch your confidence soar!

Surround yourself with support.


It’s important to find people who support your dreams and believe in you, even when you may not believe in yourself. Create a team you can turn to for help, people you feel comfortable will be there when you need them. Meanwhile, begin distancing yourself from negative people who drain you of good energy and think of their own success more often than yours.

Embrace gratitude.


Thank the members of your team often, for even the littlest things they do to support you. Look around and notice all you have to be grateful for. Keeping a daily gratitude journal will help you see the many things you have to be grateful for. That breath you just took. Be grateful. The person who held open the door. Thank them. Send thank you notes, even for little things. Ask yourself, How much better can it get?

Celebrate you.

florian-klauer-14840-unsplash (1).jpg

Find something - anything – to celebrate about YOU, every day. Meeting a deadline, a newly discovered talent, a good hair day. You deserve a 5-star award for what you accomplish. Be sure to applaud yourself every night.

Once we overcome our own limiting beliefs, we can transform our perspective, give ourselves permission to be our amazing, extraordinary, magical selves, and take back power over our own happiness.

More information about these four tips, plus concrete exercises and practical tools to remove physical, mental, and spiritual blocks to our happiness, can be found in Teri’s book, Be the Magic of You: Tools to Transform Your Life (Balboa Press).

[Buy the Book »]

Hire Teri to Speak

Motivating and empowering your employees or members of your team to break through their own barriers can reap huge dividends, not only for them, but also for you and your organization. To learn more about hiring Teri to speak at your office, event or off-site retreat, Click Here.

You May Also Like

Inner Renewal Brings Health and A New Outlook On Life


Over the course of five grueling years, I underwent lengthy treatment for a chronic disease, brucellosis. I had experienced attacks for 15 years before I was diagnosed, and a treatment became available. I had relapses after the first two treatments, which were physically and emotionally debilitating. How did I end up at this point?

I grew up in Chicago, raised by an emotionally abusive mother and a daydreaming father who was oblivious to my plight. The years of hatred, fear and rejection still haunted my memories. Despite having met and married a fine man, and then the birth of our three children, I was trapped from that joyous life by my illness. I had received Jesus as my Savior when I was nine. Through the years of adolescence, I clung to the verse in Scripture that says that all things work out for the good of those who are called according to God’s purpose. What good could come out of this torture?

As I lay in bed undergoing a third treatment, I said, “God, if you will heal me, and not just of this attack, but give me good health, I will study your Word every day.” As I look back over the years since then, I must laugh at my prayer. Big deal for God, if I read His Word daily. But, He knew I meant to be useful to Him. God took me up on my declaration to Him; He made a covenant out of it with me. It became the purpose of my life.


That third and final heavy antibiotic treatment finally did knock out the brucellosis, but I was still weakened in body and spirit. As I read His Word daily, I saw promises for an abundant life. But why was I not yet living it?

Amidst my pondering, I heard about a healing service in a town nearby. I never heard a minister talk about a real, alive, Jesus with such conviction or of claiming the Bible’s promises for our lives today. I saw people experiencing physical healings, including several from deafness. The look on each face could not be one of pretense. At the end of the service, the evangelist said, “Someone is having a healing of the heart. Get up and receive it.” I felt like an electric net dropped over me, causing such an impact of heat and loveliness that I knew that God had done something to me. It felt like July fourth sparklers had fallen all over me. “She means me,” I thought. “But I don’t have heart trouble.” Then, I paused. “Oh yes, my trouble was a broken heart. That’s what she means; a healing of my emotional upset, the fears and disillusionment.”

For seven weeks, I got that healing of the heart promised to me. I also received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the healing service. I received a brand new spiritual heart and a lifetime of continued good health. God can truly work miracles when you turn your life over to Him and ask Him to care for you.

Friends, God loves each of you with that same powerful and total love. It isn’t dependent on you to be loveable because God knows how to rebuild each of us into a loveable, valuable person. I invite you to consider making your own covenant with God. I hope you will be as amazed as I have been at the inner wholeness He has in store for you.

Alice Gravatt is author of Exodus: The Master Plan, a book describing how God revealed His purpose and plan for human life symbolically to Moses through the building of the Tabernacle, described in detail in the book of Exodus.


Feed Your Soul


It is easy to come up with a meal plan or cut out foods from our diet in order to conquer our goals as it relates to our physical health but what about your mental health? What steps are you taking to feed your soul? I know, I know, everyone under the sun has been preaching self-care and self-love over the last couple of years and while massages and dating yourself are great tools to achieve the sensation that comes with unplugging for a while but then what?!


I am a huge advocate of meditation, and so many people that I interact with on a daily basis swear by it. But, I have also heard so many people state that their minds just won’t allow them to get into it. I definitely identify with the later because at first I was having a difficult time really disconnecting. I mean I can sit in silence but there would be so many things going on in my head. I could literally plan my shopping list, decide what I was wearing for the week, and talk myself out of a great day all while participating in something that I was told was supposed to be bringing me “inner peace”. But then I realized one major thing...there is no wrong way to meditate and just like I approach my physical health it was going to be vital that I come up with a system that works well for me.

You see, on some days I sit in my meditation corner on my “special rug” and I genuinely reach my “zen”, my happy place, a moment where everything in my life is great because I am able to reflect and be transparent with myself. But some days, I have that same moment taking a walk, being surrounded by nature, or even driving in my car (sounds dangerous but it has genuinely happened). I personally feel like people give up to quickly or decide that if their meditation practice doesn’t mirror that of their favorite instagram yogi then they are not doing it right. But guys we have got to stop being so hard on ourselves, let things happen when they are supposed to and just be patient and enjoy the process.

I am linking some of my favorite meditation apps that are great for beginners and those of us who just prefer to be guided through the process.

Part of being able to relish in the moment for me is looking the part. I don’t know about you but I feel a certain way when I look my best and being able to do that in comfy athleisure is the cherry on top. I am in love with my Activewear Women's Output Tech Fleece Tapered Pants and Hoodie from Skins and it is actually on sale right now too!

What are some ways that you go about feeding your soul so that you can function in this thing we call life?

Best Healing Foods According to Ayurveda

Featured image (1).jpeg

We have already discussed how this ancient healing system finds its place in nurturing our beauty and ensuring health and radiance in your skin treatment. In the spirit of prevention, Ayurveda also puts a great emphasis on nourishing your body with the right choice of foods, as our nutrition is the best way to prevent diseases, and help our bodies heal if an illness strikes despite our best efforts.

Healing Foods According to Ayurveda.jpg

Perhaps you’re struggling with insomnia, poor digestion or your immune system has trouble warding off seasonal colds, but if you look to your menu, you might discover that it is in the root of your health issues. Ayurveda focuses on the balance of spiritual and physical wellbeing, and as such, it can be your primary guide towards proper dietary decisions, as it takes into consideration the effects each ingredient in your meals can have on your overall health.

Snack On Some Almonds

Since we live in a fast-paced world, we often lose track of how much food we eat during each day, especially between meals, when we nibble on candy bars and various processed foods that are convenient and easy to find. But these foods are packed with toxins, synthetic taste enhancers and processed sugars that wreak havoc on your entire body, energy levels and immune system.

Snack on some almonds.jpg

On the other hand, natural, fiber-rich almonds and other nuts are the Ayurvedic go-to for healthy snacks that will keep you full for longer, give you enough healthy, balanced energy and provide your body with healing fatty acids and proteins.

Sip On Lemon-Infused Water

This citrusy fruit is famous for its high vitamin C content, but from the point of view of Ayurveda, lemon is a powerful purification ingredient in your diet, it helps keep your digestion healthy and gives you ample energy throughout the day.

Sip on lemon-infused water.jpg

The best and simplest way to consume lemon is to start your day with previously boiled lukewarm water infused with freshly squeezed lemon juice. When you drink it on an empty stomach and give it about 20 minutes before you take your breakfast, you will improve your metabolism and help your body flush out toxins.

Enjoy A Glass Of White With Your Meal

We’re all human, after all, and since we have our weaknesses, you can at least do your best to enjoy certain indulgences in a healthy manner. For example, do your best to cut out sugar, processed foods, alcohol and nicotine from your diet, since they are the main culprits of numerous modern diseases, from diabetes to various forms of cancer.

Enjoy a glass of white with your meal.jpg

However, you can enrich your meal if you enjoy a glass of white wine, which is a much healthier option than red according to Ayurveda, and it’s best when consumed with food instead of on an empty stomach. White wines often pair well with spicy, citrusy dishes, so you can go for a rich, lemon-sprinkled salad or curry chicken.

Spice Up Your Dishes

Ayurveda puts a great emphasis on creating meals that contain all six key tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent, and pungent. And could there be a better way to create a fusion of flavors than with healthy, healing spices?

Spice up your dishes .jpg

For instance, ginger is considered as one of the most powerful spices you can add to almost any meal, and it’s an excellent digestive aid, used to boost your immune system and help your body absorb the nutrients from other foods more efficiently.

Go Raw And Plant-Rich

Go raw and plant-rich.jpg

To preserve their flavor, and most importantly, their cleansing properties, do your best to consume as much raw, unprocessed food every day as possible. Fresh fruit salads, uncooked vegetables or those that have just been lightly steamed are best to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal.

You May Also Like

Eating Habits and Nutrients to Stay ‘Stress-Free’

featured image.jpg

Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we can completely remove stress from our lives, but there are many ways to become more resilient and better equipped to tackle it. We’ll find ourselves in many more or less challenging situations, but all of them have the potential to put your body into the famous “fight or flight” mode, overflowing your body with stress hormones.

So, among many short and long-term strategies designed to fend off stress, is your diet your friend or your foe? Various food choices, as well as how, how much and when we eat can profoundly impact our response to stress, either helping us overcome, or making matters worse. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can manage your diet to help you be better at finding your Hakuna Matata in times of stress.

Eating As A Calm Ritual

Eating as a calm ritual.jpg

Fast-paced living has lead to an epidemic of fast eating, and not just in terms of choosing fast food over home-cooked meals and healthy bites, but also in the sense that we’re not enjoying the process as much as we used to. What was once a family-honored tradition is now literally treated as another chore, and eating has become stressful instead of rewarding. Make it your mission to eat every meal mindfully and without resorting to digital distractions to “pass the time”, but rather enjoy the process. If it will help, open a window to let some fresh air in your dining room, play your favorite music, put an effort into creating the right atmosphere and take your time to enjoy every rich, sumptuous bite of it.

Moderation Is Key

Moderation is key.jpg

Do you love red wine, enjoy hot pastry, crave a cup of coffee, or you’re more of a chocolate fan? Whatever your “weakest link” may be, there is no need to completely remove it from your life if it makes you happy without going on a binge. And therein lies the rub!

A single bar of dark chocolate such as Righteously Raw is a perfect snack to bring a smile to your face and give you a magnesium boost, but no need to reach for too much of the good thing, as it will no longer serve its purpose. Treat yourself to an occasional chocolate cookie, glass of wine or a fresh croissant, but the majority of your daily menu should consist of nutritious meals, not indulgences.

Don’t Neglect Your Micros

Don’t neglect your micros .jpg

The modern fitness craze has lead more people to start either counting calories, or for the true fitness buff, to mind their macros in addition to their calories. But what about the vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks of your immune system, and whose lack can trigger anxiety and depression, or at least nutritional imbalances and overeating. However, most of us struggle to get our daily five of fruits and veggies, leaving gaps in our diet when it comes to getting ample micronutrients to fend off stress. To that end, introducing healthy supplements like those you can find at most health stores or online which provide your body with the right amount of vitamins and minerals to achieve the right balance can be beneficial.

Find Your Comfort Foods

Find your comfort foods.jpg

Instead of your typical Ben & Jerry’s scoop of ice-cream when you feel the winter blues, why not seek out healthier alternatives that will simultaneously be nutritious and delicious to satisfy your craving palate?

A handful of almonds with dark chocolate is a brilliant replacement, oat meal is the all-time favorite and fiber-rich comfort meal, dark leafy greens are packed with folate, while antioxidant-rich berries raw, or added to your smoothie are as tasty as they are healthy. All of these foods and their content are going to flood your body with serotonin and dopamine, also known as the happy hormones, and ward off stress for good.

What are some ways that you stay stress-free? Which of the suggestions provided are you willing to try out?

You May Also Like

How To Let Go Of The Past And Find Self-Love In 2018

Stock Photo - shame-799099_1280.jpg

We all know how important it is to eat healthily and to treat our bodies well but what most of us forget is it is just as vital to our health to love ourselves. What we feel and think about ourselves determine the experiences we create. While returning to self-love is a process, one of the most important moves you can take in returning to self-love is to let go of the past.

We all have old hurts and wounds from our past that need healing and releasing. Some people are so accustomed to carrying around this old emotional baggage that they are not even aware how it is impacting their ability to love themselves. They have gotten used to the extra weight, so to speak.

Stock Photo -positive-954797_1280.jpg

The first step to letting go of the past is to become self-aware. Pay attention to your emotional reactions in your daily life. When do you overreact to situations? Can you trace your reaction to something that happened in your past? You are going to find that many times you are reacting in the present with a reaction charged in the past.

It is important to remember that when you are working to become self-aware, you must be as honest with yourself as possible. Nothing will change if you are not willing to be honest with yourself. It may be satisfying in the moment to blame the person who triggered your reaction. However, you must be willing to admit that maybe they are not why you reacted as you did and that just maybe you are still harbor hurt and pain from a past incident that they simply triggered and brought to the surface.

The second step is to uncover your beliefs you hold –consciously or subconsciously- that are keeping you tied to the past and separating you from self-love. Once you trace your present-day reaction to a past hurt, then you can begin discovering the beliefs birthed by the old hurt. Our old hurts, and especially our childhood wounds, created our belief system of how the world works and how we believe we are going to be seen and treated by the world.

Our past formed our opinions about what love is, what love looks like, and most importantly, what love feels like for us. To release the past, you are going to want to let go of the lies that you told yourself both about the world and yourself and replace them with new loving and expansive beliefs. Often what we think is the truth is merely a statement we heard over and over again until it becomes part of our belief system. Taking your power back by consciously choosing what you want to believe is a very powerful step in letting go of the past and choosing self-love.

Stock Photo -heart-2004021_640.png

The third step is to practice compassionate understanding with those parts of you (orphaned parts) that still carry the old wounds. There is nothing more potent than offering love to areas of ourselves that have only known pain. Once you begin to understand how you came to believe what you do about yourself, you can see how those false beliefs lead you to where you are now. You know you were simply doing the best you could while living under false assumptions.

Blaming yourself or others will not change anything however practicing compassionate understanding will change everything. Have compassion for all you have been through and experienced. Have compassion for the parts of you that believed the lies you told yourself. Have compassion for the parts of you that forgot they were worthy of love, forgot that they were valuable, and forgot that their love was good enough.

When you can practice compassionate understanding with yourself, then you will be able to practice it with others. Moreover, when you can do that, you will be truly free from the past and well on your way to living a life rooted in the truth of self-love. Make 2018 the year you fall back in love with yourself. You deserve nothing less!

Until next time, be the light the world needs and stay in love for all.

You May Also Like

Joffre McClung Profile Photo.jpg

Radiant Skin 101 - Strategies for Maintaining Youthful Glow


Wherever you look, there’s another miracle product, and we keep hoping that this one will finally do the work of at least ten other we’ve diligently used for the past several years. But it’s never that simple – we expose our skin to all forms of irritation every day, from water, air and soil pollution to sun’s harmful radiation, making it’s natural regenerating processes an even more challenging endeavor. But all is not lost, ladies, as you truly can apply several essential strategies that have stood the test of time and that can minimize and delay signs of ageing. Let’s tackle them right away and see how you can incorporate them into your life to safeguard your radiant complexion!

Youthful with Yoga

Youthful with yoga.jpg

Just like this ancient practice has many incredible benefits for your entire body and your soul, there are several useful exercises that are designed to help your skin regenerate better, improve your micro-circulation and keep your facial muscles toned and elastic – all for the purpose of smooth, healthy skin.

Instead of Botox, surgical lifts and other invasive alternatives, facial yoga exercises give you a natural solution to various issues. From saggy lids, under-chin issues, crow’s feet and smile wrinkles, these simple but effective movements can help you restore natural tightness.

Natural Scrubs


Perhaps the store-bought products have an alluring fragrance, but you’ll be surprised to find the all-natural, home-made solutions to be even more effective, and more skin-friendly. We all know that exfoliation is the only way to cleanse out your pores, but without it, you also cannot expect your anti-aging creams, serums and other strategies to work, if your skin cannot absorb them properly.

So, before you take out your arsenal of anti-wrinkle lotions, take the time to purify your pores with a mixture of fine sugar and honey, but other options include oatmeal, coffee and salt as well. Find the one that best suits your skin type and stay consistent every week to see best results and improve your skin’s ability to use those nutrients you’ve been slathering generously every day.

Rejuvenate with Moisturizers

Rejuvenate with moisturizers.jpg

If your pores are ready and buildup-free, then you can finally take out your favorite moisturizer that will give your skin all the nourishment you need to prevent early signs of ageing and reduce existing fine lines and wrinkles.

This is where science steps in to save the day – high-quality cosmeceutical skin care is the marriage between medical research and best practices from dermatology. It brings us moisturizers made of the finest, medically-approved ingredients that aim to fend off signs of ageing. Think: vitamin E, vitamin C, and other potent antioxidants, skin-nourishing oils, and gentle acids all working towards giving you a stronger, smoother complexion.

Massage the Wrinkles Away

Massage the wrinkles away.jpg

Think of it as another beautifying practice borrowed from yoga, and you can combine it with the aforementioned exercises that aim to give you a lift instead of surgery. Using various essential oils with healing properties and practicing specific hand motions to boost your skin’s micro-circulation and collagen production, you can rejuvenate with the help of a soothing self-massage.

Learn how to stroke your face around your eyes to reduce puffiness and eyebags, move your fingers over your forehead to reduce wrinkles, and tone your cheekbones as well. All of these movements combined with the richness of facial oils will do wonders for your skin health and youthful radiance.

Switch Processed with Wholesome

Switch processed with wholesome.jpg

All of the above techniques will do you no good if you still base your diet and lifestyle on highly processed and junk food, without paying attention to proper water intake and exercise. In fact, a healthy lifestyle is the only true fountain of youth, and when you switch to a whole-food diet, ample hydration and physical activity, your skin will naturally start to improve in health and beauty.

Every imperfection and blemish you try to battle only on the outside can only be reduced temporarily, but with the right lifestyle changes, you can be well in your forties and beyond, with supple, smooth skin free of irritations. Do your beauty a favor and lead a wholesome life, and your skin will become a reflection of your healthy choices!

You May Also Like

Foods that Impact Body-Mind Wellbeing

featured image.jpg

Have you ever wondered why you crave a certain food, such as chocolate or strawberry ice-cream when you feel overwhelmed by the winter blues, or you simply lack energy? Whatever may be your go-to snack to elevate your mood and give you an energy boost, everything you eat has a profound impact on your body, mindset and your spirit, especially over a long period of time. Food is our body’s and our mind’s fuel, and as such, it has the potential to either be a constant burden or serve its true purpose.

When something in your nutrition is out of balance, you might feel it as a temporary, subtle slump in your mood, a drop in your immunity, or the quality of your sleep. And in order to prevent those, or more severe, chronic issues such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, it’s essential to pick your bites carefully and safeguard your overall wellbeing through a wholesome, healthy lifestyle.

Our Eating Manners Matter

Our eating manners matter.jpg

Before we skip to the content of your plate and how it affects your health, the way in which you eat, and when you choose to do so also play crucial roles in maintaining your body-mind health balance. In fact, a study conducted at the University of Rhode Island concluded that fast eaters consume significantly more calories than slow eaters – because the signal “I’m full” takes time to reach your brain, so take your time and chew your meals thoroughly, it’s also very good for your digestion. Timing is also important, as skipping breakfast can lead to eating more food throughout the day. In order to avoid overeating, binge eating and similar poor habits, it’s best to create and stick to a healthy schedule every day that will promote healthy digestion and give your body the nutrients it needs to operate optimally.

Foods That Nourish And Protect

Foods that nourish and protect.jpg

We live in a fast-paced world, so it’s only natural that we tend to choose fast food as the most convenient option that saves time and effort. However, in the long run, consuming overly processed foods packed with additives, sugar, synthetic dyes and flavor-enhancers can only shave years off your life and decrease your quality of living. Hence the need to switch to a diet that’s based on whole foods, rich in vegetables and designed to prevent diseases. Spinach, lettuce, cabbage, peppers, carrots, garlic and onions, broccoli, and kale are just some among a slew of fresh items that feed your gut with healthy prebiotics, and are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers. Fruits, especially berries, are antioxidant-rich, and as such, they are incredibly healthy for strengthening your immune system. Mother Nature has provided us with ample plant-based choices, it’s up to us to create a diverse menu.

Bites That Boost Your Energy

Bites that boost your energy.jpg

When you feel that sugar craving rise, reach for a handful of almonds, peanuts or walnuts – these incredible snacks are loaded with healthy fats such as Omega-3, minerals such as magnesium and B vitamins, all of which are responsible for elevating your mood without causing a sugar spike in your blood. However, when we’re exposed to too much chronic stress, sometimes our diet may need an added boost from supplements such as Ethical Nutrients which are based on all-natural ingredients that help ward off the dangers of stress. One of the main ingredients, ginseng is a known herbal remedy mentioned even in the Vedas from India dating back up to 5,000 years, and it’s believed to protect and increase your cognitive capacity, alertness and reduce inflammation.

The Ingredients Of Happiness

The ingredients of happiness.jpg

A healthy, happy spirit can only reside in a healthy body, and the more you hand-pick your groceries, the greater your chances to fight off negative emotions and become more resilient to stress. Certain foods, when eaten in moderation, are known to help increase your happy hormones, such as serotonin, endorphin and dopamine.

Dark chocolate is packed with magnesium and a perfect way to elevate your mood with a bite or two, apricots are a delicious way to increase your vitamin B intake and simultaneously improve your mood, while probiotic-infused kefir and kimchi are an ideal method to calm your “gut feeling” and your brain into a comfortable Zen.

You May Also Like

How to Enhance Natural Beauty with Ayurvedic Rituals

How to Enhance Natural Beauty with Ayurvedic Rituals.jpg

Beauty is something we all dream about. The images of plush skin, glossy hair, delicately soft hands, and velvety smoothness of unblemished skin are in every woman’s mind when she thinks about that natural allure, that radiance that seems to come within. In India, Ayurvedic medicine seems to claim just that – that all health, and all our magnificent beauty, comes from the inside. Over 5000 years old, Ayurveda doesn’t focus just on finding a cure – at its heart, ever since it came to be, the key was prevention itself. To restore the natural balance, to align our body, mind, and spirit before disease even comes knocking on our door.

When an Ayurvedic practitioner does prescribe a cure for something, it’s always a very personal experience. After all, we are all very different – our habits, our constitution, our approach to life are unique, and as such, they must be taken into consideration when a body is ailing and in need of help.

Are you wondering how can you incorporate Ayurvedic practices into your everyday routine? Well, that’s why we’re here.

Wakefulness and morning nourishment

Wakefulness and morning nourishment.jpg

Ayurveda is being about at peace with yourself, and about listening to the nature and all that it has to offer. Sleep is a very important part of this, and going to bed late every night and frantically jumping up when the alarm clock rings is not the best approach. A restful night is a good night, and instead of panic and stress that usually follow the waking, try taking a few moments to breathe deeply and centre yourself. Think about the things you are grateful for, and what’s the best way you can use this day to its full potential.

Next comes the breakfast, and you should take your time with it. Chew slowly, enjoy the actual taste of food instead of just gulping it down in a rush. Prepare nutritious meals that will help you feel energized.



Also known as abhyanga, this is an easy part to incorporate into your beauty ritual. In the evening, take a nourishing oil (like almond or coconut) and massage it into your arms and legs, your back and your neck. Use slow, circular motions with your palms. This massage stimulates circulation, and it’s particularly good for achy joints or muscle pain (not to mention that it leaves your skin so wonderfully soft and glowy).

Adjust your skincare

Adjust your skincare.jpg

Ayurveda recognizes three basic skin types: Pitta, Vata, and Kapha which are based on three doshas. How you take care of your skin depends on its type, your lifestyle, and the general skin problems you experience.

Vata skin, for example, will need to avoid harsh cleansers and soaps because it often has trouble retaining moisture, and it can easily dry out. Skin oils, serums, and rich moisturizers are the key. Pitta skin is sensitive, and sunscreen is the most important thing to bear in mind, as well as avoiding alcohol-based products, or anything that has “perfume” or “fragrance” among the list of ingredients. Kapha skin will need deep cleaning, but you don’t need harsh chemicals. Instead, rely on oil cleansing methods paired with gentle syndets and cleansers.

Healthy digestion

Healthy digestion.jpg

Healthy digestion means less stomach-related issues, but it also means smooth, blemish-free skin. To aid your liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system, try detox tea and sip it every day, or at least drink simple lemon water with a few drops of aloe vera in it. To protect your intestine lining and stomach from harm, you want to focus on the prevention part of the Ayurvedic philosophy. You will need to consume plenty of antioxidants, which are generally the best way to prevent free radical damage and inflammation, and you can get this through food like acai berries, dark chocolate, kidney beans, artichoke, blueberries, nuts, green veggies, and others.

The healing power of Ayurveda isn’t a quick fix. It demands that you put your health first and treat your mind and body with gentle care. While this may be a huge step to take, especially in this busy world that leaves us with little time for self-care, the benefits are immense.

You May Also Like

The Answer to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution? Intention

 Photo by  Nadine Shaabana  

Photo by Nadine Shaabana 

This is it! This is the year that you’re going to use that gym membership, go through your old clothes taking up space in your closet, get rid of those hurtful relationships, start that savings account, learn Spanish, play an instrument and cook that delectable meal that seems too impossible to tackle. Yes, this is it, and you’re going to do it all (or even just one of these) with intention. That’s the key to being mindful and following through no matter the situation. Seem impossible? Well, with intention, you probably would not have arrived at the place you’re at today. There’s a level of conscious deliberation and desire that helps us move forward in our life (go to college, get that job, save money for a house, plan a vacation), where we arrive somewhere on our journey. If you plan on getting to a particular place, then you have to keep your eye on the ball.

With all the distractions that we continually encounter – the alerts on our phones, the kids needing your immediate attention, that sale at Nordstrom – we are often diverted from our original goals that seems so attainable just moments, weeks or months earlier. Why do we let this happen? The simple answer is that you’ve developed a habit of allowing distractions to pull you away from your intention. A habit is an automatic reaction to a stimulus. Whether is to assuage anxiety, avoid a call from your mother in law or procrastinate to avoid a short term discomfort, we all are susceptible to losing focus, even though we really, really want to reach those goals.

 Photo by  Tim Goedhart  

Photo by Tim Goedhart 

When you set a goal or an intention, there’s a lot of planning. Part of the plan has to include what to do when you get distracted or off track. And, I don’t mean beat yourself up for losing focus! It’s likely that something in life will ultimately challenge you to lose your focus, but getting back on track requires another type of plan. One that includes self-compassion and empathy. And, a way to get right back on that horse. In order to do that, you have to develop a new habit. One that redirects your attention to the original goal. But, finding your focus in that moment will also require practicing the art of focusing. You can do that with meditation.

Now, don’t go rolling your eyes at that word. If you’ve heard it but haven’t yet tried it, it’s pretty basic. Sit with your eyes closed, in a comfortable position, and notice your mind… you may find that your mind is racing, that you can’t stop the streams of thought. That’s exactly what you want to notice. Try to pay attention to the activity without joining the story line. And, notice when it starts to quiet down, even for just a few seconds. Now that you are noticing your mind’s activity, find an anchor – something to focus on – it can be your breath, or sounds. Your breath is always with you, so notice the cool air in your nostrils and your lungs expanding. Notice how your back moves when you take a deep breath. Notice how your abdomen moves up and down. These are all aspects of noticing your breath. If your anchor is sound, pay attention to the volume, the tone or the silence. Your mind will wander away from these things, but your intention is to bring your focus back, again and again and again.

With deliberate practice on focusing your attention while meditating, your life will soon take on an intention and deliberate focus when a simple distraction takes you away from your goals. You’ll be able to say, “hold on, I’ll be right with you,” or, “Sorry, can’t do that today, I’ve got other plans.” Try it for a day or a week. Notice what keeps you away from what you really want, and refocus your attention on your goals.

About the author

Laurie Goldey, MFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and holds a master’s in psychology and counseling from California State University, Northridge. Goldey has been a student and practitioner of mindfulness in her own life, and she regularly shares her mindfulness practices with her husband and teenage son. She currently resides in Agoura Hills, Calif. To learn more, please visit

You May Also Like

3 Things To Do As Soon As You THINK You Are Getting Sick

 Photo by  Hush Naidoo  

Photo by Hush Naidoo 

As an educator and a single mom I look forward to any break I can get. So, with Thanksgiving break being a full week this year I was super excited to spend some much needed time with my threenager Peyton and just exist without boundaries. My plans all came to a halting stop when the Friday before the break started. My mini me woke me up with a pouty face and a temperature of 104 degrees. Of course, I go into panic mom mode, until I realize that a temperature is just the body’s way of fighting back on viruses that are attacking the immune system and that as long as I monitored her, it was going to be okay. But then my mind starts to wander into ways to avoid getting myself sick in the process of caring for her? I didn’t want to spend the entire break alternating germs so I put a plan into action and guess what? It worked because we had an amazing break together. What did I do?

Apple Cider Vinegar To The Rescue

 Photo by Alexander Mills

Photo by Alexander Mills

I am unsure if it was in my head or not, but immediately I started to feel some throat pains, and because I got the flu and strep twice last year I just knew that was beginning to take over our household. Daily I consume a shot glass of ACV in the morning as soon as I wake up, but as soon as I start to THINK there is a chance I may get sick I double the dose taking one before bed and another as soon as I wake up. According to, drinking a tablespoon or two of ACV at the first onset of a cold or the flu—or when someone close to you has it — will help prevent the full on bout of sickness. This works because apple cider vinegar, as acidic as it tastes, actually helps to alkalize your body. When your body is more alkaline it may be more effective at fighting off viruses that cause colds and the flu. So adding the vinegar to your routine can help. If drinking ACV straight up is too much for you, dilute it with a bit of warm water, or hot tea, apple slices, and some maple syrup. You can also add it to salad dressings.

Get Some Rest

 Photo by  David Mao  

Photo by David Mao 

I am naturally an introvert and love being at home more than most people realize but even when indoors I am normally running around like a chicken with my head cut off. You remember when I told you that a fever is your body’s way of communicating that it is working to fight off infection? Well, if you sit your butt down and let your body do its job without interference then you can stop the sickness before it starts by just being STILL.

The OILS are Essential

 Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  

Photo by Kelly Sikkema 

When you walk into my home or my classroom you are greeted with a hug (if that is your thing, I have recently become a big fan of human contact in the form of hugs) and my favorite essential oil blend. Essential oils are amazing not only because they provide an amazing scent that can brighten up your mood on contact but most importantly depending on your symptoms or need can act as a natural remedy to cure most ailments. As it relates to cold and flu season keeping thieves (Clove, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus ) in rotation is always a good move because it provides you with amazing benefits like supporting healthy immune functions. Just putting 10 drops in your diffuser can clean the air around you. I also put a couple of drops in a spray bottle full of water to clean most surfaces after either Peyton or I have symptoms of any type of illness.

The whole goal is preventing sickness at all costs. I am sure that no one wants to spend their day feeling bad and would avoid it if possible. What are some ways that you guys fight germs in your household?

You May Also Like

It's OK To Not Be OK

 Image Oscar Lozada Photography

Image Oscar Lozada Photography

There is such a huge stigma that comes with mental illness, especially in the black community. While I do believe that many of our thoughts and the things we project can lend to making your day “good” or “bad”,  sometimes it is bigger that that. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, how hard you pretend, no matter how many inspirational quotes you read, prayers you pray, or smiling selfies you post -  inside things just aren’t matching up.

I, for one, do not think that there is anything wrong with that and I am making it a priority of mine to discuss openly and with all transparency about the symptoms, causes, books, support groups and everything in between when it comes to living with mental illness. There is nothing to be ashamed of and if there is anyone in your life that makes you feel differently then you literally need to tell them to kick rocks, because you do not need that type of energy in your life. What you (read: we) need is people who understand that it is not a choice.  Understand this: NO ONE would chose to wake up each day and deal with the feelings associated with mental illness.

I am hoping that over time people can understand that is a safe place. We are all about growing your mind, body, and soul. That goes for everyone, because the people that are living with this shouldn’t have to do so alone, and the people that are closely associated with those people need support and understanding just as much as those affected.

For those of you who think you may be suffering (or if you just aren’t sure what is what), I’ve compiled a list of the types of mental illnesses that frequently plague.  Hopefully, when you know better you can do better within yourself and/or with someone who may just need some understanding.

Types Of Mental Illness

The most common mental illnesses are anxiety and depressive disorders. While everyone experiences strong feelings of tension, anxiety, or sadness at times, a mental illness is present when these feelings become so disturbing and overwhelming that people have great difficulty coping with day-to-day activities, such as work, enjoying leisure time, and maintaining relationships.

Join me monthly as we attack the stigma, address concerns, questions, and create a safe space to learn, grow, and encourage one another.

Affirmation: I am not my circumstances.

What are you speaking over and into your life?

You May Also Like

It's Ok To Start Over

 Photo by  Ariel Lustre  

Photo by Ariel Lustre 

It seems like with the changing seasons comes an opportunity to start anew. Now, that does not have mean an entire reinvention of yourself but, taking small actions like readjusting your goals, creating a new action plan, realigning the energy in your living space, or just changing your look can be a great way to kick start a new chapter of your life or just find a fresh perspective on things.

When we think about actually creating change in our lives, sometimes it can seem overwhelming and as if it is a distant dream. Sometimes, we think that it may be ‘too late” to do things differently but, guess what? Whether you are looking to boost your career, finances, fitness routine, image, or overall outlook on life; it is NEVER too late!

Instead of limiting yourself to the same old routine, it is time that you realize that you CAN change your life in ways that can make you happier and more productive, starting now. It is up to you! You can reinvent your life - yup, I said it. The only thing stopping you is YOU.

Resisting change will only hurt us and interrupt the flow of abundance into our personal space. We have to be open to allowing new energies and influences to create shifts in our lives so that we can continue to evolve and grow.

Here are my 3 go-to ways to redirect yourself and embrace the new season and start fresh!

Reconnect With Your Vision and Set New Goals

 Photo by  Estée Janssens  

Photo by Estée Janssens 

What are things that you truly value? What is your purpose in life? When you look at your future what do you see? Using your internal compass to help redirect your steps is essential to the growth you desire. Once you have equipped yourself with this new level of “self” knowledge it would probably be the perfect time to write down your goals. This is the most exciting part because once you put your vision to paper, it gives it purpose, it makes it real, and it is now a tangible goal that you have no choice but to crush like the boss you are. You want to know what the best part is? You now have some extra ammunition because you are fully equipped with the wisdom and lessons from your past experiences. You know what they say, “there is a blessing in every lesson,” and I for one really believe it!

Enhance Your Look

 Image Aquatic Ambiance

Image Aquatic Ambiance

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT throw away all of your clothes when you are in an emotional tizzy. Only to wake up and realize you still have the same job you did the day before with no pay raise in the near future (this actually happened to me). Instead take inventory of your clothes and invest in 5-10 staple pieces that can easily mix and match with other pieces and can enhance your look. Sometimes a new look creates a confidence boost - you know what I mean? Have you checked out Prana’s new fall collection? I recently received their Jenna Pant and these black pants have been EVERYTHING. I can dress them up or down and they kinda got your girl’s booty lookin’ pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

Use code "FABG15" until 11/22/17for 15% off

Accept Responsibility For Your Own Failure

 Photo by  Nik Shuliahin  

Photo by Nik Shuliahin 

When it relates to failing, our egos are our own worst enemies and really limit us if not nipped in the bud. If you've made a mistake, admit it and grow from it. But, do not - and I mean this - do not allow it to take over your life. None of us are perfect, we all have faults, we are all trying to get better and as long as you are being intentional with your actions, that’s all we can really ask. Welcome to the human race! Don't blame others or circumstances.

We can sit around and have a pity party or we can dominate this thing called life. It really is up to you.

You May Also Like

Two Types of Forgiveness

 Photo by  Toa Heftiba  

Photo by Toa Heftiba 

For decades, counselors, therapists, ministers and more have been telling us about the importance and the power of forgiveness.

It doesn't matter if someone hurt you 2 months or over 20 years ago, forgiving them is a gift that you give yourself… More than one you give to them.

But forgiveness isn't easy. You just don't turn the other cheek; we all wish it were that easy.

True forgiveness begins by working with a counselor, therapist, or minister and going into your anger, rage, resentments at the hurt that was bestowed upon you by someone you wanted to trust. But what many people don't understand is that there are actually two forms of forgiveness.

As a #1 best-selling author, counselor I’ve been educating clients for 27 years now on the importance of understanding these two totally different types of forgiveness.

In the past we are told to forgive someone because it's the right thing to do, and welcome them back into your life. But that can be the absolute worst thing someone could ever do. In my number one best-selling books on positive thinking, I recall the story of a married couple that I worked with where an affair had just happened.

Over 12 months of working together I had to bring them into the existence of forgiving each other, and then making a decision to either stay together or walk away.

I made it quite clear that forgiveness was crucial for their own mind, body and spirit, but that if they needed to separate and end the relationship, that they could actually use a fairly uncommon form of forgiveness called forgiveness and release.

 Photo by  Ben White  

Photo by Ben White 

What this simply means is, you forgive the person for hurting you, and you let them go, without the need or desire to communicate with them ever again. This couple decided to forgive and stay together, but just the fact that they knew they had an option of forgiving and letting that person go, gave them a sense of inner peace.

The pressure that many people feel is that we are supposed to forgive someone who hurt us… And keep them in our lives. That is not the best option for many.

I have worked with other clients where the exact opposite has happened. A mother who abused her daughter from the age of 6 to 18, needed to be forgiven, but through the exercises that I gave to the now adult daughter. The daughter decided to take her mom out of her life, never to communicate with her again.

While to some people this might seem harsh, but depending on the damage, and the lack of willingness of one party to apologize for the damage they inflicted, the best move might be just to let them go and never communicate with them again.

The decision may not be an easy one, but working with the right counselor or minister or coach can help the person then decide if they should forgive someone, for their own emotional and physical health and keep them in their lives… Or if they should forgive them, release them, and let them go forever.

Forgiveness is powerful. It's free spirit. It releases anxiety. Resentment. Anger. Guilt. Shame. Forgiveness, as an action step, is the key to being able to live a healthy, productive and passionate life.


David Essel, M. S., Is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach, and international speaker whose mission is to positively affect 2 million people or more every day, regardless of their current circumstances. David's work is also highly endorsed by the late Wayne Dyer, chicken soup for the soul's Mark Victor Hansen, as well as many other celebrities and radio and television networks from around the United States of America. Celebrity Jenny McCarthy says "David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement". 

You May Also Like

I Think I Found What I Have been Searching For: 4 Places I Felt God at MegaFest

MegaFest is home to Manpower, Girl Talk, The International Film Festival and the world-famous Woman Though Art Loosed. There were people at MegaFest that represented over 26 countries across the world. Prior to attending MegaFest I was walking through ending a never-ending relationship. I was looking for value in invaluable places. I was looking for God under my bed. I was searching for clarity of life through social media memes. But when I left MegaFest it was confirmed I found was I had been searching for.

Love and Dating Rebecca Lynn Pope

 Image RebeccaLynnPope via Instagram

Image RebeccaLynnPope via Instagram

While searching the MegaFest empowerment schedule I came across a session entitled: Love and Dating by Rebecca Lynn Pope. Perfect. What single women in her thirties does not want to hear someone speak at MegaFest about Love and Dating. While waiting for the session to begin I thought to myself “God, please don’t let this beautiful MARRIED woman tell me to wait on my Boaz”. To my surprise Rebecca Lynn Pope blew my mind. Mrs. Pope was the first speaker I have ever heard that acknowledged the struggle between wanting to live as a Godly woman while dating in the 21th century. Mrs. Pope walked the audience through the 4 stages of dating:

Dating, Courting Exclusively, Engagement and Marriage.
Rebecca reminded us that if you are looking for healing in a man it is in relationships where God will reveal what is wrong with us. “We do not get what we want in life, we get what we are ready to receive”. In this session, we were dared to surrender our desires (blessing blockers) which were typically rooted in fear and to DITCH THE LIST. We were invited to make ourselves available to love through four steps: Surrendering to God. Healing our heart and Mind. Being Authentic. Opening our hearts to receive. Remember 9 out of 10 men are not ready but you only need 1.

Believe it or not I felt God in the conversations about love and dating. Rebecca made a statement that will stay with me forever: “God uses your desire for love to draw you into a closer relationship with him”. I felt God telling me that he has not forgotten my desire to become a wife. I felt God telling me I needed to trust him with my relationships moving forward. Honestly, why wouldn’t I, I have tried it on my own and have failed miserably. I will dare to say many of you reading this have failed as well so why not give our relationship desires to the true match maker, God. Every success requires a sacrifice!

Surrendering is the only shortcut to the life of your dreams.
— Rebecca Lynn Pope

Rebecca Lynn Pope is the founder of the Godly Girls Club and the author of Love and Dating in the 21th century. 

John Gray (Press) Interview

 Image TheRealJohnGray via  Instagram

Image TheRealJohnGray via  Instagram

MegaFest allowed the opportunity for journalist to attend interview sessions with the various speakers through the conference. John Gray was the speaker that I was most intrigued to hear. If you are unfamiliar with John Gray you are missing out on a blessing. John Gray is the associate pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, he has a reality show along with his amazing and beautiful wife, Aventer Gray, on OWN The Book of John Gray, he is the author of a book entitled I am number 8. Through television I knew all the things I previously listed about Pastor John Gray but after the interview session I knew for myself he was a life giver who believed in people. When John entered the interview room there was a line of journalist waiting for the opportunity to interview him.

Through my time in the interview session two moments stuck out to me, the first was when a new journalist was having technology issues and the moderator asked her to move to the side so that the next person could begin and how John was adamant about assisting her to rectify her issue so that she would be able to document her interview. I believe in that moment John silently (through his actions) spoke life into that young journalist life, he reaffirmed the value in the work that she did that day and in the future. The second moment with John was when he was asked about his book: I am number 8. John talked about how he is overlooked as a child in school, with friends, with women and most importantly by the lack of relationship with his father. Through his venerability John showed me and continues to show the world that God keeps his promises. John is now a voice for the unseen, an advocate for the lonely and a product of God’s promise coming to pass.

I felt God when John stopped his interview to help this new journalist fix the glitches in her technology. I felt God saying come to me with what you have and I will fill the gaps, come to me and I am never too busy to help you, to hear, and to support you. I felt God when John Gray gave life instead of taking it from that journalist.

What I learned was that the more you commit to the process and the more you trust God for increase in every area of your life, the more God allows the scales to tip in your favor until one day the momentum is so tremendous that there is no going back to the life you knew.
— John W. Gray III

The Perfect You Dr. Caroline Leaf

 Image DrCarolineLeaf via Instagram

Image DrCarolineLeaf via Instagram

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc in Logopedics and Audiology, specializing in metacognitive and cognitive neuropsychology. I know, what that means is Dr. Leaf researches and observes the various encounters with the brain. Prior to this session I was semi-familiar with the concept of mindfulness but was not sure how it applied to my life. I was too busy using my mind to remember how hurt and broken I was to be mindful. My mind as a reminder of all the ways my life was invaluable. But, Dr. Leaf challenged me to rethink how I used my brain. Through her session I learned that I am my thoughts and luckily, I was in control of what I think. Through several pictorial diagrams Dr. Leaf showed us how every single one of the 75-100 trillion cells of your brain and body are responding to your thoughts instantaneously. If that was not enough grab our attention she created several connections between what we eat and how it affects our brain—you can find out more about impact of the foods you eat in her book: Think and Eat Yourself Smart. In conclusion, she reminded us that “You cannot control the events and circumstances of your life but you can control your reactions to those events and circumstances.”

In this session, I felt God telling me it is time to unlearn so many things about myself and relearn who I am in God’s eyes. I felt God telling me to surrender my thoughts, desires and ways of thinking and get in his word to hear the truth about his love. I will be honest this session's application has been the most difficult for my life because I am having to retrain my brain though my thoughts. I would invite you to join me on this 21-day detox of the mind through Dr. Leaf’s book Switch your Brain. I would also challenge you to ponder on these questions: Who is in control of your thoughts? What are you telling yourself every day? Are you willing to take the power of your mind back? What will you change today? Remember, If the brain gets worse by constantly focusing on the problem. Then the brain can get better by constantly focusing on the solution.

Don’t react. Learn to respond.
— Dr. Caroline Leaf

Before it’s All Over TD Jakes

 image BishopJakes via Instagram

image BishopJakes via Instagram

As MegaFest was drawing to a close it was time for Woman Through Art Loosed! This particular morning drew thousands of women (and hundreds of men as well). Bishop Jakes used the biblical point of reference of Lazarus. Jakes reminded us of how Mary and Marta came to Jesus to let him know that their brother Lazarus was dying and they wanted him to save him. As the story continues Lazarus ended up dying, Mary and Marta were so angry with Jesus for “letting” their brother die. As Bishop Jakes begins his sermon he tells us that Lazarus’s life purpose was to DIE. Lazarus needed to die for a bigger purpose than himself; but what Mary and Marta needed to trust was that with God death does not mean the end. Jesus said to Lazarus I am going to get you out of it and when is over, we’re going to switch places. I just need you to SET IT OFF. If we are going to follow Christ, we must take up our cross and die to ourselves. God is not going to come into a situation until we are willing to let it DIE. God will pick up where we give up (control). You can fast, pray, get hands laid on you but until it is dead nothing will happen.

I felt God reminding me this is just the beginning. What you lost needed to die. I heard him so clearly say that God has been using all my broken moments to be a gap filler. God needed me to be so low that he was my only option for up. I felt God freeing me from the embarrassment of my past, pain from my plans, and promises me that he created me for this moment. Remember until you drop off, God will not pick up. What won’t you let die so that God can handle it? Bishop Jakes reminded us that every relationship that we go through is a test. Are you passing your test? Leaving out of the Kay Baylee Hutchinson auditorium I was a woman that was LOOSED.

You want it but don’t ask how much it cost
— Bishop T.D. Jakes

The thing about MegaFest, like many other conferences is that there are so many opportunities for knowledge and growth that you may not feel the value of the information you have received until the experience is over. I did not know while walking through these 4 very different experiences that I would see God in so many different forms and fashions. MegaFest taught me that I can read as many books as my heart desires, I can tell as many people as will listen about how I have received the short end of the love and life stick and I can fast for 100 hundred days but, to receive the love my heart craves, the peace my soul longs for, and the purpose my mind desires I must find the God in me. The God that is strong when I am weak, the God that forgives no matter how many times I fall short, the God that calms my worries, the God who waits patiently for me. Ester 4:14 says “Perhaps this is the moment in which you were created for” MegaFest was the place where I came alive to the call God has put on my life, the place where I promised God I was starting over for the last time.


Where will you come alive? Join me and FitXBrit next year at MegaFest 2018 and dare to come alive.

My Top 3 Snack Nation Picks

Last month, I told you guys all about how I was making attempts to introduce my students to some healthy alternatives with the help of Snack Nation. Well, this month, I am keeping all the snacks to myself but, I am going to share my top three favorites from this month’s box and I am going to give you guys the chance to try out one free box for yourself! Sound like a plan?

Now, I know we touched on this gem last month and I told you guys that you needed to get a little seaweed in your life but, I have to emphasize how excited I was to see it included in the box again this month! This snack is filling, low in calories, gluten free, and just all around tasty! It’s a change of pace from the traditional Korean seaweed. I found that they sell this particular brand at Whole Foods as well as Target and Peyton has been going through these like candy, which is not a problem for me because seaweed is a great source of iron!

These energy bars are the perfect snack on-the-go and are full of an assortment of nuts, seeds, and fruits. In all honesty, this is the first snack that my mini Peyton is not a fan of but. I am not upset at all because that just means more for me! Healthy and delicious can sometimes be considered an oxymoron but in this case they pair so well together and are the perfect description for the products that I have tried from this brand!

I was a little skeptical at first glance because the packaging was so small but that age old adage is true: don’t let the size fool you. Chocolate-covered cherry anything is already a win in my book but then, I headed to the ingredients and guess what? I could pronounce them all, there was a minimal amount of items that went into creating the bar, and it literally melted in my mouth! I kid you not! With seven other flavors to choose from, I am super excited to give this brand a try!

The reality is, I would have never experienced any of these brands had it not been for Snack Nation ! I love the fact that each month I am introduced to new things that are curated by the team at Snack Nation and that they can be tailored to meet the needs of almost any dietary restrictions or goals that you may have in mind.

Want to try out a FREE box for yourself? Let me know what you think!

You May Also Like

Please Note: The products mentioned in this post were sponsored. All comments about these product are my own and I have and will always remain transparent about my opinions. I will not endorse any products that I would not and do not use in my own household.