Creating with mindfulness and Intention: Shades of Pink turns 1

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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

Protecting Your Peace 101

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[This Photo does not belong to Shades of Pink. If you know the artist feel free to contact me.]

 

Class is in session ladies and gents! Get out your notebooks, your pens and pencils, and get your life. I’m about to teach y’all how to stop being the victim and attract all that peace you swear you’re lacking (when you really have it right at your fingertips). If you are constantly stressed out, dealing with nonsense, or finding yourself to be easily angered or upset I suggest you keep reading. This one’s for you!  Also, keep in mind this blog is not for the weak and sensitive. So yes, I’m about to tell you about yourself. But relax, it’s all in love and a little tough love ain’t never hurt nobody.

I can honestly say 2017 beat me up and snatched me bald but what I took from it was a game changer. The levels of unbothered I have reached in 2018 makes me question who I am all the time. I don’t know who this girl is that projects all this cool, calm, and collected but I sure do like her! But I didn’t become her without doing the necessary work. First and foremost I want you to start monitoring who and what upsets you. What triggers arguments between you and those around you? What is bothering you to where your mood is always so stank? If any of the answers to those questions had to do with someone else or another force outside of yourself, you have major work to do.

Don’t get me wrong, are there people in your life who bring about negativity and drama ? Sure. Is it possible for someone to have disrespected you ? Of Course. You may even be in a situation spiritually, emotionally, or financially that you’re extremely unhappy with. All of those things are valid and genuine reasons to be upset. But life gets better when we take accountability. What happens to us or what others do may not be our fault but we always have to recognize that how something happened (because you allowed it) and what became of the situation (how you reacted) was all up to you. When I reached a point in my life where I was tired of being the victim I began to own up to how I played a part in my own nonsense. Reflecting and looking at every issue from an “I” perspective changed my temper and my quality of life drastically. It’s easy to place blame on others and to be angry at everyone and everything but yourself in a situation. The reality is the only person deciding your fate and your journey is you. Everything begins and ends with you. So the next time you complain about your life and victimize yourself consider these 3 tips:

  1. Relationship Maintenance

I’m gonna need y’all to go through your relationships the same way you go through your emails and hit that delete button. Be realistic and honest with yourself about whether the company you keep is really aiding to your happiness. A year ago one of my biggest sources of unhappiness was my relationships with others. It took a whole lot of frustration and heartache for me to learn that boundaries need to be set and your inner peace needs to come before any and everything else. Is a relationship or friendship really worth your sanity? HELL NO. And tell anyone who says otherwise they can fight me. Never settle or compromise in that area of your life because you will lose and drain yourself of happiness every time. The most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is monitor your relationships check in sometimes and ask yourself if the company you keep is adding to your happiness or stripping you of your joy? I know better than anyone that the closest people to you can be energy vampires. Your own family can be just as toxic as your ain’t shit boyfriend. Toxicity is all the same it just comes in many forms.

One of the best decisions I ever made was to put myself and my needs before all else. That doesn’t mean being rude or selfish to those that love you, that means knowing what you want and don’t want, then moving accordingly. I didn’t want love to hurt so I left a 6 year relationship. I didn’t want to be miserable so I distanced myself from those who were constantly being negative and ruining a good time. One of which is one of my closest friends. Literally EVERY TIME I was around her there was an issue or she was complaining. She’s an amazing person but geez life is not that damn bad. I don’t love her any less but when I’m on a personal high and life is feeling good I wanna soak that in, not be brought down. So instead of being miserable along with her I love her from a distance and deal with her when I have the patience for it. There are certain family members I only see occasionally because I don’t like the energy they bring. AND IT’S OKAY TO BE SELFISH IN THAT WAY.

Compromising your sanity for others leaves you functioning less than normal in major areas of your life. Don’t allow people to leave you empty. Love is an exchange of energy and power. It should be exchanged equally whether it be your significant other, your friends, your family, etc. If you want to be a source of light in this world you need to be around those who help ignite that within you. If someone is dimming your light let them go or love them from a distance. As much as I hate to admit it, there is some truth to when my mother would tell me “you are who you hangout with”. To a certain extent I disagree because Nori is Nori, and Sally is gonna be Sally. But I think the company you keep and the energy they bring becomes your energy. What you surround yourself with has a way of transpiring over into your life. So ask yourself what you truly want for your life. If you want success and money consider loving your friends who are always broke from a distance. If you want to be the happiest you’ve ever been, you may want to cut off the negative Nancy’s in your life. If you wanna avoid the drama stop hanging out with messy and dramatic friends. You get the picture.

2. Be Happy Rather Than “Right”

I certainly have my moments, but unless provoked I’m usually not an argumentative person. But let me tell you, the right person can bring all of the wrong things out of you. Being in the wrong relationship for years made me not even like the person I was while I was dating that person. But going through all of the toxicity developed the standards I have for myself today and I don’t regret going through any of it. I know that when I’m dealing with a man and he makes me constantly have to step out of character, cuss him out, or I feel like I have to be defensive all the time to protect myself…. it’s a no from me. I like my peace of mind way more than I like these men. I sleep fine at night not going to bed angry, upset, or having to yell at anyone. When my relationship ended I decided I wasn’t going to yell anymore. I gave it up as a New Year’s resolution and to adapt a new way of life. I could yell until my face turned blue and it never made my ex hear me any clearer or want to listen to me more. So I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t yell at anyone anymore. Not for them, but for me.

Yelling, throwing a tantrum, throwing hands (or for the proper: fighting), is all a huge use of energy that can go towards something positive that’s being used on negativity and pettiness. I’m not at all perfect but I’ll cuss you out while cool, calm, and collected before I let a whole other being (whether it be male or female) stress me out. Being that easily brought out of character shows the kind of control someone has over your emotions and the idea of someone else controlling me was enough for me to want to get it together. I’m not a complete pacifist, because I do believe in self love, and to me loving yourself also means not allowing disrespect. Therefore, I’m not asking you to let people walk all over you or to always turn the other cheek. I’m more so asking you to try diffusing a situation or “letting miserable people stay miserable” (my favorite phrase). What I mean by that is there are some battles you won’t win. Not because you’re losing per say, but more than likely you’re talking to a lost cause and won’t get through to them.

If someone doesn’t want to hear you out or respect how you feel they won’t. Don’t yell, don’t beg, don’t even give them your energy. Let the careless and closed minded remain that way. Leave them to be miserable while you stop dealing with them and do what is necessary for you to be happy. That’s what I mean by being happy rather than right. I rather take my happiness and leave negativity where it’s at while I continue to be happy and stress free. Arguing for the sake of arguing or being right isn’t as appealing when you’ve experienced your own little bubble of peace. When you truly create that for yourself you aren’t going to compromise it for anything or anyone.

3. Take Accountability

I mentioned this in the beginning and I’m saying it again because you will FOREVER think you are the victim until you do it. HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE. That toxic relationship you got into: you allowed it. The friend who uses you for money and rides but never supports you in any way or returns any of the favors: you kept them around. The drama you constantly found yourself in: came from the people YOU decide to surround yourself with. These are all decisions you made. The crappy misfortunate events that keep popping up in your life happen because you walk around like you have no control over of YOUR life. Everything is up to you from the company you keep to the actions you allow and don’t allow from others.

But don’t beat yourself up! There is hope for you and you are still blossoming into the beautiful flower you’re supposed to be. But in order to grow you have to be able to function. Flowers grow and function from being watered, exposed to sunlight, and being fed and nurtured from the soil it’s growing in. If you aren’t growing maybe the love you thought you had isn’t watering you in the ways you need. Maybe your friends and family are dimming the light you need to grow. Maybe you planted yourself in the wrong soil and need to uproot yourself. DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO BE HAPPY. Other’s may not agree or like it but you don’t live for them, you live for you. You have to be happy with the decisions you make. Protect your peace the way you protect your money; with your life. Happiness has never been a destination it is worked at with constant effort. It does not come from other people or entities outside of your being. So the next time you complain about life being shitty or not feeling loved, remember it is you who is running the show and controlling your destiny. Stop allowing yourself to be the victim, take control of life and make it your B/tch!

xoxo,

Nori <3