If there's one thing I know people from all walks of life strive to achieve, it's more happiness and vitality.
Whether you're a stay-at-home parent, a business owner, a student, or a corporate worker, at the end of the day, it's safe to say we all wish to go to bed feeling more relaxed, looking forward to the following day and overall, happy about our life path.
My brand is all about empowering individuals to consciously create a better life for themselves. The jewelry itself serves as a reminder that energy, to help you accomplish and reach your life goals by remembering to never give up and learning how to manage emotions during difficult times.
Seriously. You are very important to me; therefore, this month I decided to share 7 ways I have personally increased my own happiness and vitality (in no particular order).
When you're done reading, leave a comment and let know what your thoughts are. I'd love 💕 to hear if you have already implemented anything in this list in your life, or if I've inspired you to try something new!
1. Do A Juice Cleanse & Drink More Cold-Pressed Juices
Not going to lie. This is definitely the most difficult of all from the list. I had at least 3 failed cleanse attempts throughout a 2 year period before I completed my first successful 3-day juice cleanse in 2014. Plus, I haven't had a soda or fast food since 2012.
My husband literally had to drag me away from the refrigerator on the last day because I was in so much pain from the detox and I just wanted a piece of fish. The headaches came on strong on day 2 and the last 24 hours were the worst.
We require zero sugar to survive! In fact, our bodies are so incredible, we really don't need much to live!
The reason cleanses can be so difficult is because you have to retrain your body and taste buds to dislike certain foods that really are not good for you; but our addiction to those foods sends our bodies a different message.
I know what you're thinking... how can someone from New Orleans preach about healthy eating?!
For me, retraining my body to yearn for wholesome food was a process of slowly eliminating sugary and overly salty foods.
Not to mention, it's not easy to find 100% organic cold-pressed juices in this town, much less restaurants that don't over-season their food, or overly rich and modest-size plates. The flourishing food culture in Nola doesn't necessarily lean in a healthy direction.
Here's my top 3 go-to places for cold-pressed juices & delicious healthy food in New Orleans:
Do I indulge? Yes. Of course, I can't resist Cafe Du Monde's beignets, but I save it for a special occasion and do so 1, maybe 2x a year.
If you wish to improve your eating habits, remember this rule: 51% or more of what you put in your body should be nourishing, clean, nutritious and super healthy. You are what you eat, and if the majority is good and nourishing for your body, you are more likely to head a healthier life. Keep it as local as possible and the least processed as possible.
How highly you value your health and body will determine your eating habits. It's all about self-value. Once you get on a healthy kick and your energy levels boost, your body will not want "bad foods" because they will have a much more negative effect on you.
Everyone's body is different and I do not believe there is one-diet for everyone. To the contrary, I believe the best diet depends on your own genetics and geographical location.
Here are a list of documentaries, most of which I have watched and others were recommended to me, that I feel could help widen everyone's perspective on food.
- GMO OMG
- Food Inc.
- Food Choices
- Food Matters
- Global Waste: The Scandal of Food Waste
- Warning Forks Over Knives
- What The Health
Sorry, but not sorry, if any of that sounded harsh.
I strongly desire to see people value themselves more in every aspect - mind, body and spirit. It's hard for people to lead happy lives when they're too busy worrying about their health due to problems that could have been prevented if someone had only pointed them in the right direction and been brutally honest when needed.
2. Go Dancing
That's right! GO DANCING!
When was the last time you let loose and danced your heart out like no one was watching?
About 2-3 months ago, I decided to take my passion for dancing more seriously and signed up for West Coast Swing, Salsa & Bachata lessons with one of the local dance schools, Dance Quarter, located off of St. Charles Ave.
The decision to join the school came when I grew frustrated 😩 with the fact that I couldn't find a physical activity I enjoyed enough to drop everything I'm doing and commit to. My life & passion revolves around what I can do to move my company forward, and because I'm so invested, I found myself in a predicament I had told myself not to fall into, which is more time running the company than enjoying my life as a designer.
Feeling stuck with designer's block, I tried to joining a soccer team. Despite my love for the sport, for some reason, I still couldn't find the motivation to leave the office to go play a game. Maybe it's our hot & humid Louisiana weather... who knows. I just wan't feeling it.
I decided it was time to take my own advice and pursue something I felt was almost unrealistic and unattainable, but on a mission to prove myself wrong.
As an immigrant from Guatemala, my family's gatherings was naturally a festive occasion filled with lots of dance - merengue, salsa, bachata, punta, kizomba. etc. Pretty much everyone in my family knew how to dance the basics; so I guess I had a jump start because, well, it's in my blood, right?!
Thankfully, I picked up on things pretty quickly and signed up for some private lessons with a bucket list goal to get good enough to enter into a competition within one year to keep me motivated & committed.
In fact, I am loving & enjoying this so much, I'm sponsoring the Salsa By-You Dance Socials on Thursday Nights, put on by Bayou Movimiento, plus the upcoming New Orleans Salsa & Bachata Festival in August. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful this local dancing community is! People of all ages, all races and places are gathering here for the purpose of dancing. It's really a beautiful and magical experience to find other like-minded individuals gathering for a unifying purpose.
The people I've met and the friends I've made recently have brought more joy and fun into my life than I would have thought possible. I went in with only one expectation and that was to satisfy my craving for more physical exercise and learn. The people that attend these social events are mostly current and past students from Dance Quarter, but lately it has grown to attract more local people interested in learning; plus, other Latino-Americans, like me, who just want to dance their heart out, improve their skills and meet some cool people!
Let me say one last thing about dancing that I didn't really realize until I started doing it...
Now, three months in, I've danced with a few different instructors and gentlemen. I am completely amazed by how beautifully two bodies communicate and sync through simple body-cues and movement and no verbal communication.
One friend in particular I dance with occasionally is very poetic and lyrical in his dancing. I know when he asks me to dance, he wants to tell a story to go with the music. From the expressions on his face down to the movements of his fingers - everything he does is meaningful, like he's dancing from the heart & soul. When we dance together, I feel like we're actors performing to tell a love story.
I've noticed how people's dancing expresses who they are as a person. Another dance partner of mine, who in real life, his personality is very confident, knowledgable and intellectual (he's a scientist), dances with the same demeanor.
Dancing truly is an authentic expression of personality & emotion.
Regardless of where you live, find a physical activity you know you would enjoy enough that you will drop what you're doing to go enjoy yourself for a little while, preferably surrounded by other like-minded individuals for support. You'll be surprised at what's available around you when you start looking.
Remember your life force energy is easily drained when you're not doing anything to "refill the tank" every once in a while.
3. Read An Uplifting Book
Podcasting and audio books are great alternatives for those that can't bear to hold a book (like my husband 😝).
Personally, I'm a reader more than a podcaster/audiobook junkie. I'm also old school in that I prefer real, tangible books where I can flip pages, write notes on the margin, and highlight my favorite lines.
It only took one book to change my life completely before I realized the power books held. When I say change my life, I mean I lost 25 pounds and changed my mentality and perspective on what happiness is and the value of forgiveness.
There were people, instances, emotions and memories I had no idea I was subconsciously still hanging on to. You don't have to think about that time you got bullied by the lockers in middle school or that time someone mortified and humiliated you in front of your friends on a regular basis for it to continue to affect you.
Deep within us there are emotional wounds that stick with us until we make a hyper-conscious decision to forgive on a soul-level and let go of the resonating emotions.
We have the ability to heal ourselves more than we realize, and that's mainly because Western culture has taught us otherwise - to be dependent on a medical industry. When we adopt a holistic approach to health and wellness, the doors to healing open wider than most people ever imagine.
Books are powerful. Be careful what you read.
If they have the ability to heal they also have the ability to manipulate.
When people set the intention to write an uplifting, positive book, we immerse ourselves with their energy as we read each word. Find an author that inspires you and open your heart to their words of healing and wisdom. After all, that's why they wrote the book!
Currently, my home library has reached well over 200 books, most of which I've read and I would recommend.
However, here's a list of some of my top favorites by how uplifting and inspiring they made me feel:
- Love & Intuition by Sherrie Dillard
- Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss, PH.D.
- Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, PH.D.
- Resilience From The Heart by Gregg Braden
- The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
- Return of the Divine Sophia by Tricia McCannon
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- Path of Empowerment by Barbara Marciniak
- Earth: Pleiadian Keys to the Living Library by Barbara Marciniak
- You Are A Medium: Discover Your Natural Abilities to Communicate with the Other Side by Sherrie Dillard
- We Don't Die: George Anderson's Conversations With The Other Side by Joel Martin & Patricia Romanowski
4. Open Your Mind To Astrology
Oh yes, seriously. You can deny as much as you'd like that there is no merit to astrology, but the ancients knew way more about astrology than most people today and it was a respected science until religious authorities felt they knew better and attempted at any cost to crush the credibility, life and careers of real curious explorers. Remember what happened to Galileo? Mmhmm...
When you really think about how small we are compared to, oh I don't know, THE SUN, then perhaps you'll realize the magnitude of how much planetary energy really affects us as individuals and as a collective.
Astrology teaches us a few things:
- The positions of the planets at the moment of our birth is called a birth chart
- Birth charts express aspects of our personalities - what our strengths and weaknesses are
- As a collective, the planetary positions determine the climate of world affairs and how the earth will respond - via earthquakes, fires, floods, etc
- Love & relationship compatability
- Potential health problems
- Career & life path choices
- And much more...
In my spare time, I study Vedic Astrology and Numerology, with the intention to get a professional education and certification from teachers I follow.
One such teacher is Joni Patry, based out of Dallas, Texas and headmaster of the University of Vedic Astrology. I've been following her work for a few years now and she is the most accurate astrologer I've found yet. She's predicted numerous world events weeks, sometimes several months in advance.
You see, astrology is an art of analysis via an individual's intuition. It is an artistic and intuitive profession available only to those who feel a strong calling to understanding Cosmic Truth.
Joni produces monthly videos with her predictions for the following month. She is the only astrologer who accurately predicted Donald Trump would become President at a major astrology conference in October 2016. She produced this video explaining why.
More recently, however, Joni made a prediction that hit close to home. As I mentioned before, my family is from Guatemala and I freaked out when I received a push notification on my phone at 12:30 AM on Monday, June 4th that the Volcan de Fuego (Volcano of Fire) had erupted just 4 miles away from my father's villa. In this video, published on May 30th, Joni predicted volcanic eruptions were to come (see time 10:30).
Personally, I use astrology in my life to help me understand and manage my weaknesses better. For example, as an Aquarius, I am an Air Sign one of my "problems" is that I have a hard time quieting my mind because it tends to wander and think about all kinds of things. So, if you're also an Aquarius or one of the other air signs - Gemini or Libra - you may struggle with the same thing.
When you use astrology to understand yourself better, you can utilize that knowledge so you can strive to improve in areas you know you tend to fall short because it's in your nature, not because there is something "wrong" with you.
The same applies in understanding other people better, too. Notice the people closest to you in your inner circle and those you have chemistry and great relationship with. What are their signs? Do a little research about friendship compatibility and you'll be surprised to know why y'all get along so well, astrologically speaking of course 😇.
5. Meditate Every Day
Although I recommended his book earlier, I'm going to briefly paraphrase a few important points from Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now with my own personal thoughts and perspectives:The truth is, the truth is within us. We can look outside ourselves for guidance, but at the end of the day, home is where the heart is and when we learn to love ourselves and trust our intuition, we search within for answers.
We are what we think and believe. Buddha said, "What we think we become." This is another reason why we must be careful with our words, because the spoken word carries the vibration and energy of the thought it arose from - including the feeling and emotion.
Emotion is energy in motion.
"The compulsive thinker, which means almost everyone, lives in a state of apparent separateness, in an insanely complex wold of continuous problems and conflict, a world that reflects ever-increasing fragmentation of the mind.
Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgements and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God." (p.15)
What Tolle is trying to say is that our minds absorb information everywhere we go. The people you talk to, the media you watch, the news feeds you subscribe to - as a human being, you receive information via your senses and your mind absorbs this.
Powerful world governments and elites know this, because they use this to manipulate the masses through the media and other outlets they own.
If human will and minds can produce peace & healing, imagine what it can do on the negative spectrum - complete destruction. We do this to ourselves when we think negative thoughts about our self worth and value. When others say or do things to suppress others, they do so to take your power away from you.
Tolle's meditation method is quite simple. He calls it "watching the thinker."
"The good news is that you can free yourself from your mind. This is the only true liberation. You can take the first step right now. start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can. Pay particular attention to any repetitive thought patterns, those old gramophone records that have been playing in your head perhaps for many years. This is what I mean by "watching the thinker," which is another way of saying: listen to the voice in your head, be there as the witnessing presence." (p.18)
"So when you listen to a thought, you are aware not only of the thought but also of yourself as the witness of the thought. A new dimension of consciousness has come in. As you listen to the thought, you feel a conscious presence - your deeper self - behind or underneath the thought, as it were. The thought then loses its power over you and quickly subsides, because you are no longer energizing the mind through identification with it. This is the beginning of the end of involuntary and compulsive thinking." (p.19)
Another approach to understanding your own thoughts, which has really helped me in my life, is this:
I know my Higher Self is speaking to and through me when the message is rooted in light and love. If the thought is in any way shape or form other than positive and loving, I do not identify.
Since I learned how to manage and filter through my thoughts, I consciously choose not to accept unloving and unkind thoughts to fill my inner space. When you take control of your thoughts and fill yourself with as much love as possible, your demeanor will change because you've changed the type of energy you carry within.
Finally, when you are filled with love and kindness, you radiate that through everything you say and do.
You become love 💕
6. Body Healing: Acupuncture, Cupping & Massage
Massage therapy should not be seen as a luxury - it is a necessity to overall holistic wellness.
Our bodies are more complex and magical than science gives credit. Whether you believe it or not, our unhealed emotional baggage doesn't go away. Those wounds are absorbed by our bodies and have the ability to result in muscle knots and other physical pains.
When we suppress and bury painful secrets, those wounds can lead to even more physical health problems. Our genetic makeup does indicate what ailments we are predisposed to, but they are only triggered if we fail we prevent them from happening. Prevention includes how we manage our emotions and handle hardship.
Dis-ease occurs when our mind-body-spirit is not at ease.
Eastern medicine has taught us many methods to help eliminate toxic muscle knots and how to release buried wounds within our bodies.
Personally, every month I go see my amazing acupuncturist & energy healer, Noell Eanes, at The Space above Raw Republic on Magazine Street. I first tried acupuncture about a year ago because I was weary of needles (don't let my tattoos fool you 😬). I have struggled with insomnia for years - it usually takes me 2 hours to fall asleep - and I read from several sources that acupuncture can help.
Acupuncture and cupping have worked for me because it forces you to stay still and the initial pain quickly turns into a pleasureful release you can feel in the silence and stillness. By focusing on your breath and allowing your mind to wander freely, you'll notice that the thoughts correlate with the release of toxins from the body. When it's all over, you feel lighter and much more relaxed.
If you are not familiar with what cupping is and what the benefits are, this video will explain a bit more. It's an ancient practice that's been around longer than you'll probably believe.
Cupping, also known as Hijama, has the ability to treat the following:
- Back pain
- Constipation & diarrhea
- Menstrual pain
- Depression & other emotional conditions
- Weight loss
7. Let Go & Release The Bull Sh*t
While this is last on my list, this is certainly something that should be a high priority for anyone who is feeling unhappy in any way.
Most of the time, our unhappiness is a result of draining our energy on people or things that do not give us a return on our "Life Force Energy Investment."
Stop hanging out with people that no longer serve your evolutionary growth.
This was a hard one for me, especially.
There was one person in particular within the last year I had to confront and inform that I could no longer be in their lives because I genuinely felt my love and energy was not only taken for granted, but just outright unappreciated. You know how it is, when someone flakes out on you going on multiple times with no explanation, no call, no text...
Then, after you call a few times, you go from aggravated to concerned, so you check their Snapchat or other SM and they just recently posted they were with another person or group of friends and having a great time.
Ain't no body go time for that.
When I call someone a friend, I mean it, and I treat them like one. I stopped feeling bad about it rather quickly once I felt the sensation of relief. True friends won't let another true friend just walk away... and this person didn't make an honest attempt to get me to change my mind. What more confirmation could you ask for?
When it comes to jobs and careers, it is much harder to just stop what you're doing and start something else if you're unhappy, but that does not mean it is not possible.
If you do find yourself in this predicament, the good news is that you recognize it. I'll close and leave you with wise words from Mr. Tolle's book again:
Freedom From Happiness
"Do you resent what you are doing? It may be your job, or you may have agreed to do something and you are doing it, but part of you resents and resists it. Are you carrying unspoken resentment toward a person close to you? Do you realize that the energy you thus emanate is so harmful in its effects that you are in fact contaminating yourself as well as those around you? Have a good look inside. Is there even the slightest trace of resentment, unwillingness? If there is observe it on both the mental and the emotional levels. What thoughts is your mind creating around this situation? Then look at the emotion, which is the body's reaction to those thoughts.
Feel the emotion.
Does it feel pleasant or unpleasant? Is it an energy that you would actually choose to have inside you? Do you have a choice?
Maybe you are being taken advantage of, maybe the activity you are engaged in is tedious, maybe someone close to you is dishonest, irritating, or unconscious, but all this is irrelevant.
Whether your thoughts and emotions about this situation are justified or not makes no difference.
The fact is that you are resisting what is. You are making the present moment into an enemy. You are creating unhappiness, conflict between the inner and the outer. Your unhappiness is polluting not only your own being and those around you but also the collective human psyche of which you are an inseparable part. The pollution of the planet is only an outward reflection of an inner psychic pollution: millions of unconscious individuals not taking responsibility for their inner space.
Either stop doing what you are doing, speak to the person concerned and express fully what you feel, or drop the negativity your mind has created around the situation and that serves no purpose whatsoever except to strengthen a false sense of self. Recognizing its futility is important. Negativity is never the optimum way of dealing with any situation. In fact, in most cases it keeps you stuck in it, blocking real change.
Anything that is done with negative energy will become contaminated by it and in time give rise to more pain, more unhappiness. Furthermore, any negative inner state is contagious. Unhappiness spreads more easily than a physical disease. Through the law of resonance, it triggers and feeds latent negativity in others, unless they are immune - that is highly conscious.
Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess? You are responsible for your own inner space; nobody else is, just as you are responsible for the planet. As within, so without: If humans clean inner pollution, then they will also cease to create outer pollution." (p. 77-78)
Final Thoughts ✨
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, whether you're a paying customer or not is totally irrelevant. You're here. You are present, here with me, right now.
The ability to connect with the world via my online business has given me a tremendous gift and responsibility. The message I choose to send will always be a loving 💞 and positive one because this is the mark I wish to leave on this world.
Since I overcame, what I felt was an endless depression, I'm more full of life now than ever before. I feel unstoppable. Teaching others how to transform their lives as a coach and healer, I discovered, is a calling I could not resist.
For the past year and a half I have been studying to earn my doctorate in Metaphysics and certification in Holistic Life Coaching so I can help transform as many lives as possible. I thank you for your time and the opportunity to inform you on these 7 ways I have brought more happiness and vitality into my life. I hope I have inspired you to try something new!
⬇️ Leave a comment! I read every single one!