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

The 3 R’s

Photo does not belong to S.O.P

One of the most cliché but true sayings I have ever heard is “trust the process”. I used to think it meant looking at your life being in shambles and just letting it fall to shit just waiting for it to magically get better with blind faith. To a certain extent that is true, but it’s much deeper than that. It’s understanding that although you are hurting and things are not perfect at the moment things are going to work out in the best way possible and that there is a purpose behind it all. But there’s work to be done within that realization. I had to learn to trust that there is a lesson and a reason behind my pain.

There has been a theme of loss in my life for the past couple years. I’ve had so much happen in such a short amount of time that you would think I would be feeling angry or hopeless. I’ve let a lot of people go. I’ve let go of old ideas and old parts of myself that are no longer true to who I am that I once thought were so concrete. Some would have expected me to be bitter or angry about these hard experiences but I found myself to be the exact opposite. I’m content and proud of myself.

Life brought me to a point of having no other option but to trust what is going on with me. If there’s anything I trust it’s what the universe has in store for me. I’ve never gone without. I’ve never been put in a situation I wasn’t able to handle. In doing so, I catch on to the purpose of my lessons much quicker. My intuition carries me through every situation. Even when I hit rock bottom something inside of me forces myself to pick up the pieces and keep going. If I didn’t keep my grass cut and stop watering dead relations, if I didn’t step out on faith and quit my job, if I didn’t break my own heart and let go of toxicity I would have lost so much more than the temporary losses I experienced.

My intuition brought me to every scary decision I have made and it is yet to fail me. When things aren’t right in my life my whole body will reject everything I am consuming both mentally and physically, that is poisoning my being. When you know yourself you can never lose. When you do it’s more often than not a temporary loss that comes with that kind of clarity. But I’ve learned I rather lose the worldly things that are tangible and lose people around me than to lose myself.

I would have lost myself and compromised what I require. There are times where if I didn’t listen to myself I know my life would have been way worse than just having bruised feelings or experiencing disappointment. You can bounce back from that. But discounting yourself and losing yourself trying to please others will leave you empty. We all require different things to function properly on an emotional level. Think of your requirements emotionally as apart of your survival and you’ll never discount yourself again (it’s like a life line and if you cut my life line I’m ready to fight and get rid of you completely). Your emotional well being is what helps you survive. Walk away from any and everything taking away from your survival. If your mind isn’t right your body won’t be either. They mirror one another.

Being forced to walk alone has made me rely on the only person I have at the end of every day: Myself. I have to be okay with me and with my decisions and the direction of my life. If nothing in your life seems to be working for you, if you find all of your relationships and business partnerships are leaving you empty, if nothing seems to be making you happy: Regroup, reflect, and reinvent. The three R’s I just mentioned center me often and bring me back to a place that is grounded, a place of stability. I’m about to give you guys the keys to being content with yourself. I fought like hell to get to this space so I hope these realizations help you get to a place of peace within yourself too.

When you are greatly unhappy and can’t figure out why, when you are always seeming to be misunderstood or overlooked, or if you are just plain bored with your life: REGROUP. Take a look around you and ask if you are happy with that job that makes you a ton of money but gives you no sense of purpose or joy. If there is constant drama in your life, or you are constantly stressed out, feeling less than around people who are supposed to be loved ones, etc. then take a look around you and ask yourself if you’re holding on to something genuine or if you’re holding on to what’s familiar and comfortable ? Maybe it’s time to weed out who no longer adds to your life and no longer makes you happy. Maybe the people you love have been stunting your growth. We outgrow people sometimes and that’s okay.

It’s important to reflect on how you got to be so unhappy or how you got yourself into all these one sided surface level relationships with others. Take responsibility for your habits. Understanding why you repeat certain unhealthy cycles is the first step to breaking that cycle. Identify what feelings trigger you to make decisions that bring you pain or temporary satisfaction. Make yourself a promise that you won’t keep repeating the same mistakes and set standards and boundaries. Set a standard for your life. Set a standard of what the job you are meant to have should be like. Set boundaries for those around you. Make it clear what is bothering you or what you need for a healthy relationship with others. Those that love you will respect those boundaries. Those that don’t will walk away. Let them. They didn’t respect you anyway.

Set a standard for what friendships and love should look like to you (but be realistic). Set a standard for carrying out your self worth. Set boundaries for how you treat yourself. If you are your biggest critic make an effort to be more kind to yourself. Uplift yourself, allow yourself space to make mistakes and be less than perfect. We teach people how to treat us. And our thoughts run parallel to what is going on in our life. Change your habits and change your way of thinking. All else will follow. If you don’t know about law of attraction look into it and watch your life change drastically.

Last but not least don’t forget to take your reflections and your new understanding of self and turn it into something great. R E I N V E N T you life, yourself, your mindset.  Your life can be art. Your life can be a whole ass masterpiece if you take control and decide that’s what you want. Have a vision and get started. If you don’t like what you’ve started on… YOU’RE THE ARTIST. Reinvent yourself. Start over as many times as you like until you get it right. Treat your body and your decisions like the masterpiece they are. When you’re an artists you’re sensitive about your shit (Erykah Badu). Be sensitive about yourself about everything that makes your entity what it is. Protect yourself (your art).

Don’t just let anyone treat you any kind of way. Don’t let people take over your vision for your life. Don’t allow just anyone around your canvas/your masterpiece, be selective. Don’t just settle for the shit people will try to feed you. If you think you deserve better in this life go find better. If you think you can be better than the version of yourself that you are right now go find a way to do that. But do it with the understanding that you might have to walk alone. You might not be able to relate to the people around you anymore and that’s okay. When you’re living your truth and your life has purpose you’ll meet YOUR people. Like minded people, who will push you to grow and be your best self. People that will respect your feelings, what you’re about, and what you require. You will find everything that’s meant for you; every opportunity and every ounce of love and success meant for you when you’re doing what’s best for you. Know yourself first.

Xoxo,

Nori <3