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

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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 !