Creating with mindfulness and Intention: Shades of Pink turns 1

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shades
Photo’s by Joel Ismont

Happiest of Birthday’s to my shade babes (a belated one to say the least, which is due to me getting my shit together for myself and for this blog). The best gift my blog could have possibly received was the major support and love that comes in the form of views and the positive words sent to me through comments and messages every day (even when I’m not posting, which absolutely warms my heart in a major way). I can’t say thank you enough. All of this love and support has kept me driven and put me in the position to monetize off of my blog. Thus far I am putting all of that money towards making Shades of Pink an even better experience for all of you. Through the ups and downs of being a new up and coming lifestyle blogger and being a twenty something here’s what I’ve learned during my time away:

The theme of “intention” seems to be really big in my life right now. I have learned in a few different aspects of my life, that nothing will change or improve until you move with intention. I used to think that mindfulness only applied to coping with anxiety and dealing with self when you are in a state of stress. But that is far from true. Being mindful opens your eyes to how you are living and coping out in the world. I am a firm believer that the mind and the body mirror one another. They send the conscious messages about what is going on in your subconscious. The subconcious is our ultimate truth underneath it all. Some of us are more in tune with this truth than others, naturally. But I think at some point or another that mindfulness beats our ass so crucially at some point or another that we have no choice but to shut up and listen. That without a doubt is mindfulness at it’s finest.

As a creative, being mindful (or not) affects your business and your brand both negatively and positively when we let it.  But furthermore it is a gateway drug to emotional intelligence (the best drug there is..let me tell you). I’ve kind of taken some time for me in the midst of figuring out who I am as a creative and what I want to do with my blog and my brand. Increasing my mindfulness and actually being able to identify what it is that I am feeling about myself, the people around me, and what I am doing with my life has given me an even bigger plan for Shades of Pink than what I initially started out with. I started with a small goal for myself and my potential, and now I have a plan. After getting myself together mentally, emotionally, and physically I can set my intentions. I know more often than not the cluttered mess in my mind and lack of time management is what keeps me from being consistent in my projects.

I had to remind myself the other day that when I first began working on my blog last year I actually had way more on my plate than I do now. What made me slow down was the pressure I felt to be the best at everything I was doing instead of being mindful of what MY best was. Understand this: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. What feels good to me and what is standard for society and those we feel the need to impress are two totally different things. What you think is being required of you is not YOUR best. That’s someone else’s standard. That’s someone else’s best. What is expected of me by my peers, loved ones, and what society is projecting on to us is not necessarily going to be what I want for myself in the grand scheme of things. I have multiple driving forces in my life that cause me to spread myself thin and opperate like a chicken with my head cut off. For some creatives like myself, having the time to focus in on one thing is the hardest part.

It also doesn’t help that the world tells us what success is and then we feel disappointed when the success or achievement we reach doesn’t make us feel full. Through this realization and through excessive amounts of FOMO (fear of missing out). I know what my best is and I know what success means to me. Success and how we define it is a very personal thing. I have a better understanding of what is priority in my life right now because of falling on my ass a few times and feeling disappointed. It’s necessary. It’s necessary to go through the motions so that we can understand them fully. The hardest part can be figuring out how to verbalize what it is that we are feeling. For the longest time I’ve felt like I’ve been working way harder than those around me, yet I was feeling like I was missing the mark. My achievements were no longer doing it for me. The bigger picture was: I was falling short somewhere.

I’ve busted my ass for a credential (for teaching) and for my current grades with in my actual major (mass com) that made me feel like complete shit afterwords because of lack of sleep, little to no self care, and ignoring my mental health just to get an A in a class I don’t really care about when it’s all said and done. Then in the midst of that my blog posts are far few and in between and so is my YouTube content. I had a social life that was completely lacking (but is slowly but surely becoming more of a priority again), I had no time for a significant other, and I was barely spending time with my family. But during this process of going through the motions and realizing how I felt, underneath it all I felt burnt out and spread thin. I felt like I was being mediocre in all the other areas of my life that were important to me and what I feel my true purpose is.

By no means am I saying screw your education. I know a degree is worth a lot these days and it can save your ass on many occasions, as well as being an asset to financial stability. But I’ve learned that to me, my worth is not determined by a degree. Attaining a degree does not come before my mental health, and most importantly it will never mean more to me than this right here. With the understanding I have now, there are a lot more moments where I am facing a school v.s. self dilemma, and I choose myself. I choose to get the sleep I need and turn an assignment in a day late when it’s necessary. I choose a little less study time so I can get myself together after a hectic day. Sometimes I’m going to do C+ work so that I can cater to my blog. But I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to do so. If anything, its NOT okay to run myself into the ground for a grade. A degree will help further what I want to do but it’s not the end all be all for me. I’m no longer afraid of getting a B or a C. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t be the best at everything. But as long as I’m the best in the areas that are everything to me, I’m able to feel full.

With less than a year left of college I know where I stand with what I want and with that being said, my priority is myself. I won’t keep spreading myself thin and missing out on what is important to me. I am challenging myself to make more time to get a better balance on what works for me. I think that’s something all 20 somethings are searching for. How do we balance school, work, passion projects, friends and family, and a love life without losing our minds or spreading ourselves thin? Listen to your body and follow your heart. I would have laughed at that staement a year ago because I am always this “oh so logical, everything has to add up and makes sense” head ass, as I’d like to say. But the mind and body follow one another. If something doesn’t feel right (like your body telling you it needs to rest) listen to it. When your heart tells you something isn’t right listen to it. Work on what is lacking especially when you see signs of it wreaking havoc in your spirit.

I don’t have all the answers as to how to balance life and a busy schedule successfully, but I’ve decided I am dedicated to figuring it out and sharing it with you. I know it starts with intention. I know it starts with being mindful. I know it ends with emotional intelligence and being able to identify how you feel so you can identify what actually works for you and makes you feel whole. This comes with doing things that aren’t fun sometimes, so that you have time to spare. It will come with not being able to please everyone. It will also mean unlearning whatever you thought success was and redefining it for yourself.

As I start my journey, I want to begin with getting back to what I love most. I’m pushing myself to write even more often than before. I’m challenging myself to post every Sunday. I’m challenging myself to share a lot more of this journey of figuring out how to navigate life through all of its craziness. I’m challenging myself to be vulnerable. I want to end this with saying thank you to my friends who push me and are on my ass about me posting and continuing what I started. I also want to remind everyone that it is never too late to change how you think and process the world around you and start new habits. If you have a new habit you wish to create for yourself: Start today. Start where you are. At this very moment do something that will further move you into the direction you need to be in. Even if it’s a small task, get started. Fall back in love with what you do and prepare to have to make the effort to fall in love with it over and over again. The grass is only greener where you water it. To everyone who continues to read and share S.O.P thank you for your love and support. Happy Birthday Shade Babes !

20 something, stressed, and doing her best,

Nori <3

Kicking Seasonal Depressions A**

I don’t know if it’s the stress of finals that had my brain on such low functioning levels last week but I totally forgot to add my latest video on here. It means so much to me that people have reached out and told me that they enjoyed this video and the tips that I mentioned. All I truly want is to create a platform for myself so I can continue to share and help as many people as possible. I think our quality of life needs to be our top priority. If anyone ever made you think being happy and enjoying your time on this earth comfortably was wrong… Tell them to kiss your ass. PERIOD. I hope everyone is making it through winter and spring comfortably. Summer is almost here, so soak up that sun and good vitamin D my babies. Don’t forget to follow me on instagram and twitter: @shadesofnori and to like, comment, and subscribe to my youtube Channel Shades of Nori.

xoxo,

Nori <3

 

Hot girl or hot mess?

Ladies… I know its’s 2019 and we are in the midst of our hot girl & City girl summers. I know that in today’s times we think very highly of ourselves, our financial stability, and the value of our time. I am genuinely here for all of it. The girl boss entrepreneurship and attitudes, and the transparency of our standards is amazing to see. However, this confidence does not replace one small but important factor: nobody owes you a damn thing. I know Megan Thee Stallion said “yeah I’m in MY bag but I’m in his too”…. but some of y’all forgot the “MY bag” part.

I encourage every woman around me and every woman reading my blog to require from a man what you require from yourself. It’s important to be equally yoked and for your requirements, wants, and needs to be met. But what is NOT okay is that some of us carry this mentality of looking at a man as a check and overlooking good men because they aren’t offering to pay your rent. I’m never opposed to a man wanting to take care of me, but I don’t find it okay or the least bit flattering if that’s what’s happening and I can’t take care of myself. It’s one thing if you’re down bad temporarily and the man in your life offers to help you out.

But more and more over social media I see women talking about requiring men to pay for their every expense. I’ve seen arrogant statements about certain women not even wanting a man to call them unless it’s about paying some of her bills. Statements like that are why I feel genuine love is hard to come by. A man helping to take care of you is the icing on the cake. The cake itself is the important qualities like compatibility, love languages, and common goals, which are being over looked. Then as a result of this mind set men my age are walking around thinking everybody wants something from them.

I think some of us have taken the lyrics of today’s female rap artists and ran with it in the worst way. I think the bigger picture here is to boss up and expect stability from yourself then require it from someone else. There is nothing hot girl-esqe about not being able to support yourself but requiring another individual to, in return for your time. We have to stop acting like having a vagina is all we have to offer and that because of it a man should pay up and worship us. Unless you’re looking to live a sugar baby or escort lifestyle (which I am not judging at all, get it how you live girl. I respect everyone’s hustle and look down upon no one.) leave it out of your relationships.

Your love interests and boyfriends are not a bank, they’re not your pimp, they’re not your father and you look like a bum treating them as such when you can barely pay to get your own nails done. Get realistic and decide what you actually want. Do you want a boyfriend ? Do you want a check ? Do you want both ? Figure that out before you call the next man a bum for wanting to take you on a real date instead of taking you shopping on your first encounter. Something else to consider is the position you are putting yourself in.

If your relationship is centered around money and you, yourself barely have any… that never ends well. The amount of stories I’ve heard of where women wind up stuck in a relationship they’re unhappy with because they are living off of a man and have no other option is ridiculous. When you move in with a man make sure you have the means to exit that situation in case it doesn’t work out. If a man does love you and value you enough to pay your bills make sure regardless you can still have the means to pay them in case the day comes that you no longer want to deal with this person or they decide they no longer want to deal with you.

Even more importantly think of the power you lose when you don’t have your own. You give men a lot of power over you when you’re driving in what he paid for, your living in his home, and living a certain lifestyle with his money. There are certain men who will use their financial power to control you or keep you. Men like this will view you as a possession rather than a person.Truly ask yourself if that is worth any amount of money or perks ? You can’t be a boss b*tch with a bank account that is in the negative while also living a lifestyle that is completely funded by someone who can decide to stop catering to your financial needs at any time.

Have your own and require someone to meet you at that level. If he happens to have it more together than you and wants to spoil you it’s a plus. But don’t stop your grind and the potential you have for anyone. Don’t allow these lyrics to have you stuck and using your femininity as your only means of income. Value yourself and your mind just as much as you do your female power. I’m not saying it’s bad to allow someone to spoil you. I think all of us deserve that kind of love. But make sure with a man present in your life or not that you are taken care of. Always always always have your own and spoil your damn self! I promise every man you come across will respect you more. It’s a lot harder to keep a woman who can’t be be bought. A real man will rise to the occasion.

Xoxo,

Nori

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A very first and very special shade babe post !

I am super excited to finally be posting the talent of other women who want to have a voice in writing or already do! All of our experiences and stories matter and deserve to be told. It’s been something I’ve been meaning to implement for a while and I’m excited that so many people have asked me about collaborating. Thank you guys for all the love and support that floods my messages, comments and DM’s from all over. I promise I listen to all suggestions and criticism (and take it with a grain of salt ;)).

In Every Drop

At this point it’s hard to know which bruises hurt more. The physical wounds are antagonizing. But the emotional distress is truly torturous. What am I so sad and low spirited about though? The fact that I have a new struggle to add onto, or the fact that life betrays me after every promise of a smooth ride? I guess that’s why we don’t trust in mankind or the life mankind has to provide. I should be rejoicing in the rain, in every drop God sent to remind me I am blessed. But how can I do that with a million different thoughts flooding me? I am drowning in a sea of questions, in oceans of uncertainty, in man made lakes of doubt. I am not just interrogating myself on where I have found my worth, but I am also wanting to question everyone and everything around me. My trust has failed to prevail once again. Setting up borders higher than the lasts. Building walls that don’t vanish in the horizons, hiding the frontier in which I can see a brighter tomorrow. If the grass IS greener on the other side I am not envying it. For I am locked in a dam, I don’t believe in grass and if there is grass anywhere it must be dead. Water doesn’t exist in the deserts outside the thoughts that drown me. I wish my mind was dry and empty like the west. I wish my mind was silent and abandoned, that every last thought I am fighting against decided to leave me like my good fortune. Solitude, now there’s a word that I find comfort in and yet cringe at. I am okay with being alone when it means in my head. But how I long for your spirit to reside next to mine. I yearn for the soft caress of your fingers on the back of my hand. I don’t want to be without you. But I want to be alone. Why are my spirits so low? Is it because thinking of us is thinking of the toxicity we poured on each other within the same water we used to grow? It’s thinking of the stones we threw when we decided you’d condemn me and I’ll condemn you. It’s thinking, and thats what I want to step away from. Every thought that invades my place of rest and incarcerates me. I am locked away in a jail that I sentenced myself to when I didn’t know how to love. I should be rejoicing in the rain, every drop God sent to remind me that his blessings are among me. His promise already fulfilled. But the boisterous winds of my past still haunt me. I can hear the storms whistling at the distance. Almost as to promise me that they will make a way into my present. The clouds aren’t clearing but the rain, the rain is a reminder of blessings. I am still. Not because I desire for the dry storms to catch up to me, but because I know this stormy weather won’t allow for old storms to arise. I look back but for what? All I see is the tornados that tore my home a part and spat it out into the far future completely intact now looking for new homes and cars to devour. Maybe I’ll leave a snack, for when it reaches this point I will be long gone. I should be rejoicing in the rain, in every drop God promises me blessings. So I turn my gaze ahead, I move one step forward and step out of my comfortability. I’ve got to align myself, my soul, my spirit, and I know my mind and body will follow. Submission, now there is a word I look forward to but toil with. Is it because I find submitting to the one that can bring the rain to me so beautiful, but can’t control my surrounding environment to submit with? It would mean to let go of me, if I’m not in love with who I am but in who you’ll make me…. why is it a brawl to lose me? I’ll go around the valley and starve my flesh. Once I am lost, completely lost in myself it will rain. I will rejoice in the rain, every drop God filling me with his blessings. I will find who he has planed for me to be. I couldn’t tell which bruises hurt more and now my wounds he healed. In the rain, he healed me in the rain.

A poem submitted by Blanca Flores.

Follow her on Instagram @_yeeeli !

Me and My Best Friends First YouTube Video!

 

Happy New Year everyone! A video/channel for my blog is still on the way, but sadly my health hasn’t been the best. I don’t do mediocre so I rather feel at my best and give you all my 100% before I release it. In the mean time my channel with my best friend is up and running and ready to go (which was a lot of work on it’s own while I’ve been dealing with this bronchidal infection and juggling my other projects) but I had plenty of help and I’m super excited for what’s to come! I’ve been quietly working hard and you’ll see what I mean soon.  Check out our first video below and be on the look out for a shadesofpink/shadesofnori Q&A really soon!

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An Open Letter to Women

Art belongs to Hippy Potter

The past couple of weeks have been hard for me. I’ve sat on whether I should share my slightly traumatic experience or not or if I was ready…and after sitting on it a while I think I am. It’s more than needed and much bigger than just me. Me and one of my closest friends decided to go out a few weeks ago on a Friday. We specifically were going out because my social anxiety has stopped me from going out completely. I’ve never been a home body but for the past 6 months that is exactly what I’ve become. Something inside of both of us knew going out that night didn’t feel right but since we felt we had already went out of our way to get ready then we might as well.

We spent the night going to a few bars and we stopped at an art gallery. At the last bar where we were at the longest, we had a two drinks and talked to some people we knew. The last thing I remembered was talking to a mutual friend and after that I remembered nothing. 2 drinks in and I am suddenly in the car with my friend and her car is stuck on some train tracks in an area I couldn’t even identify. That part I only remember briefly. Apparently I got upset that my friend started freaking and being completely incoherent (just like me) and I wandered off in the middle of the night having a bad trip off of god knows what. Never in my life had me or my friend blacked out off of only 2 drinks. It was obvious something was slipped into our drinks just based on how we were acting. The fact that all of that had to be relayed back to me and I couldn’t remember anything or who I was around after that point is scary as is.

Luckily I had enough sense to call my mom after wandering off and my friends were able to get to me. The night resulted in me injuring myself and I have tissue damage from a high ankle sprain and I’ve been on crutches for the past two weeks. But the worst part was my sense of peace that has been taken away and the confusion. I am 90% nothing was done to me and that we left at a good time. But reality has set in, in a way I would never wish on anyone. Of course as a woman you know that things like this are serious and can happen to anyone. But you don’t truly think it can happen to you until it does. I always assumed date rape drugs were only slipped into drinks at house parties and Frat events. Never did I think while at a bar with tons of people there, that someone would try something like that in such a crowded place. In a sense I blame myself for being so naive.

But on the other hand I blame the intentions of men. I blame parents that never enforced respect or consent. I blame society for putting out silent messages to men that they are entitled to a woman’s body. I’ve been sad and I’ve been angry. I feel violated and yet I feel grateful. Grateful because I don’t fully know what the intentions were going to be behind that person putting something in my drink. I don’t know how that situation would have turned out had we stayed any longer than we did. I’m glad something told us to leave. But I am saddened to know that this is common. It makes me sad that there are many other girls who weren’t as lucky as me when it happened to them. This situation is so much bigger than me and has opened my eyes immensely. This further emphasizes for me how important it is as women for us to stick together. I have a brother, and he was just as angry as I was when I woke up the morning after. This is why it is so important for more men to be feminists. We need your support. We need good men as allies to call other shitty men on their entitlement and cruelty.

I tried to tell myself that this was no big deal because I turned out fine. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jumpy while out or that my anxiety hasn’t been through the roof. It would be dishonest of me to act like I didn’t lose sleep over this some nights or like that gap in my memory of that night doesn’t haunt me. I’ve blamed myself for what happened to my friend and for leaving. I’ve blamed myself for being so trusting. But quite frankly, fuck all of that because I should be able to go out and have fun and feel safe. I shouldn’t have to feel like there is a target on my back when I’m out with a friend to have fun and enjoy myself. Unfortunately that’s the world we live in and I had to learn the hard way that I need to go to more extreme measures of protecting my well being than I had been. I’m okay with rising to the occasion but I ask of all of you to do the same for yourselves and each other. I hope this is something we can all learn from.

To all women,

I sincerely will never sleep on the possibilities of what we go through/could potentially go through again. Never again will I turn a blind eye to when another woman may be in danger or need help. I ask for all of you to check in with your fellow women when you see them out? Pay attention to your surroundings for yourself and for the sake of other women. Tell other women about potentially harmful men. Speak up about your abusers, tell us who they are. I personally would never judge another woman or shame her for coming forth to tell me that a guy I know is known to rape or assault women. We need to make it easier/safer for one another to reach out for support or help. I ask this of all of you because only we truly know what we go through. We read the body language of each other so well. When you see another woman being harassed check on her, walk with her, have 911 on speed dial. Be a source of light and protection in a world where a girl can’t even safely go out with her friend and get a drink. To the men who speak up, who protect women, who respect women, and their consent I salute you and have nothing but love for you.

Sincerely,

Nori <3