Oprah's Top 10 Rules for Success

This month I wanted to share this video by Evan Carmichael about Oprah Winfrey's Top 10 Rules For Success.

Usually at this time of year, more than enough of us would have fallen off our New Year Resolutions or we do not look at our vision boards often enough for them to serve as reminder. We've slowly started falling back into our regular routines. With this video I hope you can remember that even if you fall off or go astray you can always go back and start over or continue from where you left off.

Oprah's Top 10 Rules for Success

  • Understand the next right move
    • The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself "what is the next right move?"
    • (Do not get) overwhelmed by this because you know that your life is bigger than this moment.
  • Seize your opportunity
    • Luck is the preparation meeting the moment of opportunity
    • everything that has happened t in your life is preparing you for what is to come
  • Everyone makes mistakes
    • You don't have to hold yourself hostage to who you used to be or anything you ever used to do
  • Work on yourself
    • Your real work is to figure out where your power base is
  • Run the race as hard as you can
    • The way you step up your game is to not worry about the other guy in any situation cause you can't control the other guy
  • #Believe
    • Always believed there was something bigger for herself
  • We are all seeking the same thing
    • Everyone wants to fulfill the highest truest expression of yourself as a human being
  • Find your purpose
    • The moment you can figure out what it is that you are supposed to be doing, the sooner you are able to get about the business of doing that
  • Stay grounded
    • Although I could have more shoes, my feet stayed on the ground
  • Relax, it's going to be ok


Mask Off

Now that January is over, has that “New Year, New Me” guilt started settling in?

I’m very much of a “new year, same me for the most part. I’ll be better by December for sure though”. With that being said this is the first year in a while that I haven’t set my goals for the year as I usually do. I still plan on getting around to it. Hopefully before February is over. I almost feel that the year will pass me by and I would not have actually accomplished what I should have.

In our first episode of the year (More Life) I guided Cadacia and our listeners through an end of/ beginning of the year reflection. I find myself going back to the supporting blog post and revisiting the questions we discussed.

I shared in our that episode that I’ve hidden parts of myself to avoid having to confront my true feelings and thoughts . As I begin to enter the last year of my 20s, I feel that this is important to do.

Not only do I want to be real with myself I’d like to be a bit more transparent with those close to me. Most of 2016 & 2017 I distanced myself or parts of myself from friendships due to not wanting to deal with some of the things I was experiencing.

With social media, this can be tricky. It is to easy to fall victim to oversharing and with podcasting it is easy to end up divulging way more than you originally intended. So with being more transparent, I will be mindful of this. 

I titled this post "mask off" because my personal goal is to be my most authentic self as often as possible. I wear glasses and have big hair. Two things that at times have served as crutches while becoming things I can hide behind & under. With podcasting, it is not live and we aren't being filmed. It is in its own right, another form of hiding. At least for me. 

I'm looking forward to seeing how I grow through this self-imposed challenge and how my life will reflect the changes I make in order for me to be most authentic. 

Reflection Questions

  1. What is your "word" for this year? 

  2. Do you have any crutches or masks you "hide" behind? 

  3. How do you step away (if you do)?

  4. If you don't, what is stopping you?

11 Affirmations to End the Year With

As the year begins to rapidly come to an end, I felt like keeping things light and share some end of the year affirmations that I've found. We have to keep that same energy that we had at the beginning of the year despite how difficult it may feel.

  • I am grateful
  • I release worry from my mind, body and soul ( found here )
  • Today I did my best ( found here )
  • I am centered and focused ( found here )
  • I am committed to the kind of life I envision ( found here )
  • i am at peace. I am loved ( found here )
  • I welcome and embrace all lessons today ( found here )
  • The right people are searching me out - Joel Osteen
  • new opportunities, new levels are in my future - Joel Osteen
  • Divine connections are coming my way - Joel Osteen
  • I am safe ( found here )

That's it! Short and sweet. I know it is all too easy to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to finish the year strong. We begin to race the calendar. As much as I want you to keep that same New Year spirit over the next few weeks. It is more important to me that you do not burn out or beat yourself up.

What are some of your affirmations? Which ones will you be using from this list?

Getting Through Creative Blocks

This month we’ll be talking about “creative funks” also known as creative blocks. 99U lists the following 7 types of creative blocks.  

  1. Mental - where you get trapped by your own thinking. You’re so locked into a familiar way of looking at the world that you fail to see other options.
  2. Emotional - aced with the unknown, you may be scared of what you’ll discover or reveal about yourself.
  3. Work habits that don’t work -  you’re just trying to work in a way that isn’t compatible with your creative process
  4. Personal problems -  it’s hard to concentrate if you’re getting divorced/ dealing with toddlers/battling an addiction/falling out with your best friend/grieving someone special/moving house/locked in a dispute with a neighbor.
  5. Poverty - this is not limited to finances, could be time poor, knowledge poor, poor network, short of equipment
  6. Overwhelm - You’ve taken on too many commitments, you have too many great ideas, or you’re overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming demands and information.
  7. Communication breakdown - sometimes you get blocked by phantoms — merely imagining your work being booed by audiences and mauled by the critics. And sometimes this happens for real and you have to deal with it.

Using this list I can acknowledge that the two blocks I often experience are emotional barriers and work habits that don’t work.  I as of lately I have been feeling as if I’m losing my skills and I anticipate my drawings not turning out how I imagined them to and I would have wasted time trying and failing. I often set myself up mentally to discourage me from even trying. As far as working habits that do not work, between my commute to and from work, actually working  and podcasting, it has been very challenging for me to be as consistent with my art as I would like. I procrastinate a lot. 

I'm currently in a creative block and I’m pushing myself out of it. One of the first things I did to help me to start moving past this was acknowledging my feeling or lack of feelings and call them by name.  This prevents me from lying to myself and helps me to hold myself accountable. Here are 99U’s solutions for each block

  1. Mental - you need to change your mind
  2. Emotional - need to face the worst 
  3. Work habits hay don’t work - take a step back and look at how you’re working and where the pain points are
  4. Personal Problems - Solve the problem or find a way to cope. Maybe taking a short term break. Helpful to treat your work as refuge.
  5. Poverty - Either you save up time/ money or other resources or try to achieve as much as possible with what you have
  6. Overwhelm - time to cut down, start saying "no" put ideas in folder called "back burner", block off down time
  7.  Communication breakdown - beef up your influencing marketing or networking skills.

For the month of October I decided to take part in a 31 day, daily art challenge called #Inktober. All you have to do is post a sketch or drawing everyday and use the hashtag. For the last few years the creator has provided a prompt. Si I've been following that to push myself out of this creative funk. Even if I miss a day I double up and I'm only a few days shy of completing the challenge. Outside of that I was gifted a story prompt book where combining 3 cards you are to make a story based on what they say. For instance card1 " after many failed attempts, card 2 "a tin man" card 3 "buys a bicycle". So using these three things you have to create a story. This has helped me to think creatively as well. I've challenged myself to write at least 2 stories a month from this book. If you're a writer, photographer or just about anything I'm sure there's probably a challenge or "prompt" for you to help get back to where you need to be.

I think between these two exercises I'll be making progress and back into a creative mindset again. I do not put too much pressure on myself by setting really ambitious goals. I'm trying to succeed and I know I'm liable to make falling short feel like a bigger thing than it it. For others maybe instead of a 30/31 day challenge try 3 days, 5 days, 7 then work your way up. You you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone however you have to get comfortable again in your zone, that takes some grace and being kind to yourself.

How do you get through creative blocks? 


Photography Challenges | Writing Challenges | Art Challenges



Self Lovin

This month’s Motivation was came to me as we were recording our upcoming episode “ Pretty Hurts”. The episode was inspired by Beyonce’s song and we talked a lot about body image and how we perceive ourselves. If you know me you should know that I am a huge advocate for self love and self care and that is why I wanted to highlight a few self love/ self care influencers. 

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First influencer is Alex Elle. I discovered her Tumblr a years ago and was immediately drawn into her writing. I also follow her on Twitter where she shares a lot of affirmations and Instagram where she has migrated her moments of transparency for others. She is an author and has a few books out that I'll link at the end of this post. Her writing creates a space that Black women can find comfort in, however it is not to be consumed exclusively by Black women. Alex shares journal and aspiration challenges across her social media platforms and has a podcast "hey, girl" where she talks with people that inspire her. I chose to share Alex because I've saved a few of her affirmations and have hung them up as well as participated in her challenges and I deeply appreciate the vulnerability in her writing. 

Next up is Francheska aka HeyFranHey.  Fran is one of the OG natural & wellness youtubers. I discovered her on Tumblr as well. Every post of hers that came up on my dashboard were super informative and simplistic I was like "let me just follow this chick and see what she is about." I briefly met her about 5 years ago at a "Those Girls are Wild" event here in NYC. Since then I've watched Fran become a significant digital influencer all while contributing to inform her growing tribe on all things wellness. She Cohosts a wellness podcast called " The Friendzone" where they discuss various topics to promote mental health and awareness. Like Alex she shares journal prompts, reflections and various exercises for the listeners to do. Fran is such a giving person that shares so much information, resources, products and knowledge, I continue to learn a lot from her. Fran is like THE definition of self care. 

Lastly, I have forever friend in my head Andrea Lewis. I've been a fan of Andrea since her Degrassi days and when I came across her tumblr I was ecstatic (clearly Tumblr was the plug). I then learned that she and a friend had a youtube channel series called "Those Girls are Wild". I loved it. They were just like my friends. Whenever they had events in NYC I made sure to attend. Since then Andrea as grown to create 2 webseries "Black Actress" and "Beyond Complicated". With all of this going on she also launched a more personal youtube series " Self Love Saturdays". As you can imagine every Saturday she drops a gem for us. I strongly advice watching these three videos if you are starting your self love journey. If you're further along in your journey then maybe these can be a jumpstart for you . 

- Resources -

Alex Elle

Website: alexelle.com

Instagram | Twitter | Podcast | Blog


Website: heyfranhey.com

Instagram | Twitter | Podcast | YouTube

Andrea Lewis

Website: missandrealewis.com

Instagram | Twitter  | YouTube

- Reflections -

  1. What does "self love" & "self care" look to you?
  2. How do you practice each?
  3. What are some ares you can be show more love & care to yourself?