#13: Finished Books, Sweeet Sweet Yoga, and Weekly Favorites​

Heyy peeps!

I hope you had a great week and that you’re taking some time to appreciate all that you’ve experienced and accomplished. And extending some compassion to yourself for all the things you didn’t get to do or for not being your best self 24/7. We can’t do it all, and that’s okay. We are learning, breathing, and getting better each day. And you know what? I’m proud of us for that.

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As you know I gotta keep you updated with the weekly reflections, so here it goes! (I’m playing around with the format of my weekly reflection posts; let me know what you think of this one!)

Finished Books (Yay!)

Remember one of my last posts, where I talked about information overload and confessed that I haven’t been absorbing everything I’ve tried to read and digest? Yeah? Well, guess what! I sat down and finished You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero (after “almost finishing” reading it for a month now) and I ended up finishing Becoming by Michelle Obama today too. To be honest, wrapping up You Are A Badass was such a struggle for me. I kept getting all these inspired ideas, writing out plans, and my mind just kept wandering and wandering. I guess I didn’t want the book to end, in reality. It was filled with so many gems!!

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I highly recommend Jen Sincero’s book if you’re looking for an honest, transparent and anecdotal read that will guide you in your personal development journey. Not only is it personal but it gives you ACTUAL steps to transform your thinking (and by effect, your life). It’s nice to read a motivational story but it’s another to actually put in the work and get real with yourself.

Sweeet, Sweet Yoga

Besides the success of collecting information without feeling overwhelmed, today I connected my body and my breath and gave myself some mental clarity by doing some yoga exercises. I rolled out my mat and relaxed under the guidance of Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube. I noticed there were a few areas that were super tight and needed some extra love, but it felt so good to slow down and pay attention to what my body needed. I reveled in the slow movements, the extensions, the stretches – ahhh, the stretches!

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(Self-check: how does your neck feel? Stretch it out, one side at a time and see if you’re carrying a lot of tension there. I’ve learned that a lot of us carry tension in our necks and lower back – I certainly do.)

I feel like the last half of my week was much more fulfilling than the first half (considering the fact I can’t remember too much of what happened during the first half, HA). But I did end up going to the gym a few times this week, so I’m happy about that. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for what every day brought me. I’m learning how to slow down, trust my intuition, and guide myself back to love every day.

Weekly Favorites + Reminders:

Sending you lots of encouragement and growth this week ahead!

 

Featured Image Source: Business Insider UK

#12: Information Overload

I’d like to think of myself as someone who is ambitious, likes to learn, and who loves personal development. I mean personal development and growth are the pillars of this website for crying out loud.

But I have to be honest, trying to absorb all the information there is out there about being your best self and getting your life in order can be exhausting. The number of podcasts, articles, apps, books, etc. that are out there can be overwhelming. And maybe I’m talking into the void here, or maybe you’re like me, and you find yourself subscribing to tens of accounts and channels, trying to improve your life. Where do you start? What do you tackle first? Ughhhh.

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Send help!

*takes a deep breath* And to be honest with you, this has been an issue for me in the past. Taking on a lot of tasks or finding a lot of resources and not knowing where to start or divide up my time. So, I’m looking to minimalize and conquer.

To focus on ONE resource at a time, and to soak up all I can from it, before moving on to the next thing. For example, I’ve been digesting information from both Michelle Obama’s Becoming (as I mentioned in my last posts), and from the book, You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. And you know what? I’ve been reading YAAB for over a month… STILL HAVEN’T FINISHED IT.  Even though I know I want to finish it so I can internalize its lessons and move on. Even though it’s totally possible to read two books at once, I’m splitting up my time and energy and not finishing either of them – when really, I could’ve finished at least YAAB a month ago.

 

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Me to me^

 

Information overload happens not only with books of course but with social media and news and all that jazz. It’s just a lot sometimes. So I’m looking to scale back a bit, recharge, and work with what I’ve got now.

Have you ever experienced an information overload? Maybe watching the news too much has got you feeling irritated? Or maybe you’re not sure of which diet to try next between keto, paleo, avocado… In any event, I feel you.

Let’s make an effort to unplug, reset, and digest one thing at a time.

 

#10: Loving Myself, Michelle Obama’s Gems, and Weekly Reflections

What a week; I feel like time is flying by. And I can’t lie this week I wasn’t super productive, but I do have to pat myself on the back for doing a couple of things like continuing to listen to Michelle Obama’s audiobook titled Becoming, cleaning, grocery shopping, attempting to paint my nails, and most notably — going to the gym!

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Thank you, thank you *takes several bows*. Yes, I’ve been making it to the gym (after all, I can’t let this membership go to waste!). I’m working on distance running and toning up my body right now, so today I did 2.0 miles in 35 minutes including a warm up and cool down, with 4:45 seconds on and 00:40 seconds off. Then each day I alternate which region of my body I want to work. I’d say I’m off to a good start so far.  I’ve been working out with my best friend and let me tell you, she keeps me accountable.

I think a combination of going to the gym, eating well, and doing some end-of-the-year reflection has helped me love myself more as a result. Not only that but like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, journaling has been helping me out a ton too. It feels good to connect with my body and mind; to slow down and give myself that space. I feel healthy! Plus I’m here for the confidence boost too.

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This week I’ve also been collecting all of the gems from Michelle’s book. I love how self-aware she is, how real and candid she is about how her relationship with Barack started and how it’s evolved over the years, and how compassionate she is. Listening to this book is making me think about my own aspirations, patterns, relationships, and development. It also prompts me to ask myself, “What do I want my life to be like in X amount of years?” How do I want to write my story?

And on that note, here are some weekly reflections and favorites I came across this past couple of days:

  • Intuition is powerful. Listen to it. In silence, before making a decision, and before asking others for advice.
  • Our thoughts affect our mood. That may sound obvious, but we underestimate how amazing we can make ourselves feel through thought alone. When we think positively about ourselves and what we have, when we think in terms of gratitude, affirmations, favorite memories, and the like, we naturally raise our mood. We do that, simply by thinking! To me, that’s an incredible superpower.
  • Note to self: spend more time with the people that make you feel full and in flow. The feeling you get from that is unlike anything else in this world.

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  • I am more than enough. You are more than enough. We are abundant. We have so much value; our abilities, our manifestations, and our existence are magnificent.
  • Decide to decide, show up, and flow.
  • Favorite: The app Digit — I just started using it to work on saving for goals like paying off student loans and making a “fun” budget
  • Favorite: Sweet potato! Yummmm! I’ve been making a salad complete with leafy greens, sweet potato, hummus, avocado (if I’m feeling like it) and some dressing. Delishhh.
  • Favorite: Running!

I hope your week went well and that you recognize the power you have to make next week even better. Keep thriving, sis.

All the best,

Valencia

 

#9: Taking Care of Myself, “Becoming,” and Weekly Reflections​

This week mostly consisted of me sleeping in until around 10/11am, hanging out, watching lots of Marvel movies, and finding moments to center myself. And you know what? I’m soooo glad I got that time to reset, connect, and reflect. I think I needed a shift from the usual stuff, of being studious and mobile.

Speaking of shifts, this week I came to the conclusion that I’m in the midst of a big, energetical shift. In a spiritual way. Things are changing, and the best way I can describe it is that I feel as though I’m growing new wings; I’m learning new skills, adulting a lot more, and giving myself the space to BE. To create, and fail, and win, and work.

Perhaps the shift is that I’m prioritizing myself. The feeling of it feels new and beautiful.

It’s in the moments that I find myself coming back to myself, the moments when I get quiet and listen to my needs, that I feel amazing. I feel present. This week reminded me of that. I think what helped was that I finally picked up a paper and pen and started journaling again; that physical act of writing helps me ground myself. Do you have something like that? Something that brings you back to your present being and helps you tap into your intuition? For me, writing is my go-to.

 

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Source: Soul Pancake

 

Speaking of prioritizing myself, I got a gym membership! —- Nowwww, before you roll your eyes and peg that I only got it because of the new year, that’s not the case. I just happened to buy my membership at the exact time that an explanation like that would be predictable LOL, but in reality, I got it because now I feel like I have a better understanding of what works for me. And since I’ve attracted a lot of athletic people in my life, I have a little bit of guidance if I need it. Plus now I happily have a few gym buddies willing to go with me! Not only that, but I’ve been working on letting go of limiting beliefs about my body and my abilities.

I’ve also decided that comparing yourself to people in unhealthy ways is a trash way to get nothing productive done. The reason I mention that last bit is that for a while, I think that’s what subconsciously held me back from putting my fitness first. It’s easy to compare yourself to someone you perceive to be in beautiful shape, feel bad about it, and do nothing as a result. That’s easy! And it’s limiting. You know what takes a little more energy but gives you a lot more satisfaction? Acknowledging the beauty in others, and realizing that it doesn’t minimize your own. Applauding those you deem as beautiful, and using it as motivation to help you. Almost like a little reminder to love yourself and work towards being the greatest version of yourself; the version that feels happiest and healthiest.

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This week I started and continued listening to the audiobook of Michelle Obama’s, Becoming, and I love it. Even though I’ve lived a very different life experience from Michelle so far, there are certain messages that stick out to me. As if she’s speaking to me. Some of those messages are that 1) failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result, and that 2) We continually choose our partners. I felt, perhaps too well, her story of being asked by another black girl why she “talked like a white girl”. I remember experiencing that in 6th grade and being so confused and oddly offended because I knew it was mentioned to me in a way that made me seem “other”.

I listen to this audiobook when I’m doing practically everything, and now I’m up to the part where Michelle talks about meeting and interacting with Barack. I highly recommend picking up a copy or downloading it on sites like Audible.

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Some of my weekly favorites and highlights this week were:

  1. Movie: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (loved that movie!)
  2. Book: Again, Michelle Obama’s Becoming
  3. Song: SUMMER by The Carters
  4. Video: Jay Shetty on Impact Theory (I am fascinated by his story and mission; this interview made a real impact on me to the point where I’m ready to watch it over and over again).
  5. Weekly Highlights: Seeing the beautiful tree at Rockefeller Center, doing yoga, spending time with someone sweet, and calling my best friends.

I enjoyed this week. I consumed a lot of good content and, amongst connecting with others, I took some time to connect with myself. Sounds like a solid week to me! My intentions for this upcoming week are to enjoy the holidays, go to the gym, hang out some more, and to push myself a little further. Let’s see how the week unfolds and what manifests.

Wishing you wellness.