Thursday, March 29, 2012

Get Grateful

It's Thursday so you know what that means, TIME TO GET THANKFUL!!! This Thursday I am thankful for a whole boat load of stuff, the first being caffeine without which I would have been so far from productive it's insane. Without further ado here's my list of things I'm grateful for this Thursday, how about you?

*A juicer via @LoveHealings that I finally assembled correctly thanks to Google today * 1/2 fajitas at Zocalo thanks to ScoutMob * My friends, family, Spirit Junkie sisters and everyone else who makes up my support team * Sleep * Mucinex, hot tea and tons of H2O * My Mel Boteri bag * Internet * iPhone * Work * Not working * My body-- which is small by design not because I diet or work out like a fiend, my mom was my size at my age * Midday naps * My hair * Rolling with the homies * Lazy afternoon walks * Love * Peace * Happiness * Patience * CUPCAKES!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stop Telling That Story

Close but not the exact'll do.

About 4 years ago I picked up one of my favorite quotes ever from little film called The Women, 2008 not the one with Joan Crawford. In it, Meg Ryan's character goes to Saks for a manicure where a chatty nail tech unknowingly gives Meg the goods on her cheating husband. Just as the chatty nail girl, played by Debie Mazar, realizes she is putting her foot squarely in her mouth Meg Ryan drops this line "please stop telling that story." (or something to that effect) While I drop this line at least once a week, today it has a special meaning because not only has this message come up several times today but I have realized that no matter how much I tell it to others, I need to start talking to the woman in the mirror.

You see we all have stories that we tell ourselves over and over that do not serve us. The stories range from "My grandmother got a divorce, my mom got a divorce, I'm going to be divorced" and "I have to have a certain job to be an adult" to "Money is the root of all evil." No matter what sob story you tell yourself and everyone else, I guarantee that it is not helping you in any way. Those Color Purple--as my mom calls them--stories do nothing but ensure that you constantly stay in a woe-is-me state, since we all know the thoughts you repeat become your beliefs and eventually create your reality. So by telling yourself that "Money is the root of all evil" ensures that you will never have any money unless you want to be evil. Not only does repeating those stories that do not serve you drag you down but tehy also drag down everyone you tell them to.

Don't be that girl...not cute.

Everyone knows a Debbie Downer, no matter how awesome your day is she manages to piss all over it with one story. Now imagine that your co-workers are chilling by the water cooler talking about life and such then you walk in and start telling them about how horrible your last date was and launch into your story "All men are losers and I'll never find a good one." If I were your co-worker I'd walk away and never talk to you again, unless it was absolutely necessary. For the record, not only does repeating your story drill it in to every cell in your body but it also makes people want to avoid you like the plague.  No one wants to hear those sad stories and the people that are tasked with listening--your friends and family--aren't buying that poison you're spitting.

Like I said from the beginning, I know all too well about the need to stop telling that story like a broken record. The things I tell myself are off the charts, Britney Spears when she shaved her head crazy but I have told myself those stories for so long that it is taking therapy, self-help books, life coaching and meditation. Brick by brick I have been outting the stories I need to stop telling and guess what? The minute I become aware of one story another one bubbles up, letting me know that I'll be telling myself stories for the rest of my life hopefully they'll get better.

So in the effort of being transparent, here are the stories I need to stop telling:

"Carrie Bradshaw had to have been a hooker because writers don't make that much money" Truthfully, Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character so her life has to be over the top so we buy into it enough to buy the movie, the DVDs and the books. TV is not real life nor is it an accurate mirror of real life, even the "reality" shows and that HBO's updated hipster version of Sex and the City, Girls, are far from real. That said, it is reasonable to think that an established columnist in her mid-30s could be making an adequate living off of her work. As an aspiring best selling author who writes a ton online and is tackling print one article at a time, it is counterproductive for me to repeat that you can't make money as a writer especially when I know at least one real life freelance who does. (FYI she is at least 10-15 years older than I am with an extra 10-15 years experience on me so I shouldn't be making her money...yet.)

"I'm weird so it's hard for me to find a guy" To be fair I am pretty "different," however the main reason people see me as "different" is because I do not entirely fit the singular story that has been told about African American women. Is it my fault that only one story has been told about black women in America throughout history? No. Is it my fault that people believe that one story? No. Is it my fault that people see me and immediately try to cram me into that one story? No, but it is my fault that I allow their issue with who I should be make me feel inadequate. Growing up I was teased because Jagged Little Pill was my favorite album and California English was my preferred method of speaking-- hello I grew up in the 90s on a strict media diet of MTV, Seventeen and Clueless and like everyone else in my generation I added like to every pause and made every statement a question. Again, not my problem until I made my problem.

"I need new clothes every season." Actually that's not a story I tell myself that's just life, you need new clothes, especially when you work in fashion.

"Money is a struggle. If you don't work hard you'll never make bank." This isn't a story I told myself, it's a story I saw growing up. My dad constantly spoke of sacrificing time at home so that we could have a certain standard of living and my mom constantly fought an uphill battle with finances, so I learned that money was something you had to bust your ass to get....NOT TRUE. Yes you have to work but earning a living does not have to be a thing of sacrifice, toil, struggle, working three jobs just to get by. That is not necessary, trust me I know people who work hard, enjoy their life and make what they need and then some...and their parents aren't filthy rich.

Those are all the stories I could think of now, but if I think of any more I'll share for sure. More importantly, I want to know what BS, I had to walk 10 miles in the pouring rain, sob story are you telling?

Drop your story like it's hot!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm So Excited!

Being excited doesn't have to be scary.

This week's burning question is all about being sooo excited! Or better yet, how you get down with excitement. As a kid most of us are excited about 90% of the time about the teeniest things--Saturday's at the park, ice cream, petting a pony, going outside to play--but as we grow up disappointment teaches us that you shouldn't get excited until you know for sure that everything will work out. To that I say pish-tosh! Imagine how awesome life would e if you were as excited about having lunch with a friend as you are about getting a raise? Personally, I get equally excited about new emails, drinks with my friends, a new episode of New Girl and a million and one things that most people would consider to be mundane--hell I get excited about going to therapy every other week. You want to know something, being excited about the little things makes everything a reason to be grateful and to celebrate, and we all know that being grateful and celebrating makes you feel awesome and feeling awesome is the key to feeling even more awesome. So go ahead and get excited about your life even if you're just excited that we're one day closer to the weekend.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Daily Dance Break with Destiny's Child

This was soooo my jam in high school. Makes me think of cheerleading, talent shows, hanging with B and Dawson's Creek.


Two fish have a relationship because of the ocean. They can’t get water from each other, but they can swim in it together. Individuals can’t really get love from each other, but they can swim in it together.
via Super Soul Sunday 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lessons Learned from Samantha Jones

Although I'm mostly a Carrie with Charlotte tendencies-- I blame it on being southern--I have to say that Ms. Samantha Jones is full of juicy lessons. I mean you don't get to be as fabulous as she is without taking home a few frogs, racking up a ton of life experience and knowing the number for a killer plastic surgeon.

  1. Who you are in bed is who you are in life. 
  2. Men may come and go but your girls are forever. 
  3. You can be 35 for as long as people will believe it. 
  4. "A guy can just as easily dump you if you f**k him on the first date as he can if you wait until the tenth."
  5. Enjoy your life, love who you are and NEVER apologize for it. "I will wear whatever and blow whomever I want as long as I can breathe and kneel."

Friday, March 16, 2012


This is an oldie but a goody to inspire you to start feeling all kinds of good today.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Loss brings out our truest self. And while natural grace doesn't come naturally to all of us--especially when we lose --it can be go out of your way to be grateful.

Getting Grateful!

So I've been riding the freedom train for 16 days now and it has been enlightening in more ways than one, not that I'm fear free and totally hooked up to instant manifesting like my boys JC and Buddha but I'll be there one day lol. Anyway, as a part of my 40 Day Fear Cleanse I was tasked with getting grateful for my freedoms. Well, as someone who is unemployed and suddenly single it's been hard to think about the freedoms that I have in a positive light, or I should say it was.

Yesterday I went for my weekly visit to my therapist--I'm American we all have/need a therapist--where the two of us got down and dirty with the roots of my codependent behaviors. She got in my face for a second and told me that my avoidance of setting boundaries in all of my relationships, work, romantic and otherwise, as well as my tendency to create idols and my deep seated desires to do whatever it takes to keep the people I care about in my life at my own expense all stem from a period in my life from around age 11 where within a year my parents separated and my grandmother that I was close to died. This sparked my core fear, that everyone will eventually abandon me, and codependency became my security blanket. But what does this have to do with my freedoms? Well once we got down to the root of my issues, she turned to me and said "Anastasia you have some amazing insight and thankfully you are figuring this out now while you're young. You have your whole life ahead of you to figure out what makes you happy and to break that cycle." I felt like a weight was lifted and as soon as I could I called my mom who expressed that she had similar issues when she was in her 20s and that I should be glad that I figured this all out before I got married and had kids like she did. She told me you don't want to wake up at 35 and wonder what has your life become because you have given up your power to be someone's wife or to have a certain lifestyle. Oddly enough her words rang truer than she knew because I had begun that way about my last relationship, yes I loved and still love my ex but a growing part of me was so caught up in the frame that I would do anything to hold on to someone who made me feel like I was worthwhile because of him. That brings me to the freedoms that I am grateful for.

I am grateful for having the freedom to get down to the truth about me. The freedom to explore what makes me happy not what makes my friends, parents or some guy happy. I have the freedom to hop on a plane to Paris and look for a job if I have the money and the desire. I have the freedom to accept a job where I'll be traveling 80% of the year or to do yoga for the next 30 days or to sit on my ass and do nothing. Thanks to s break up and losing my job I have found the freedom to shake off the person I thought everyone wanted me to be and to become the person I always was but have been hiding behind a hoard of shoulds. Now if only I had the freedom to breathe easy in the Spring without the need of Mucinex, drinking a pond full of water and killing my productivity at least once a week. Damn you allergies!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Me Too...

Do you remember when you thought you could do or be anything? Yeah, me neither. It's time to remember what it feels like to believe that there is no limit to your life or love.

Miracle Moment

I had a beautifully amazing Miracle Moment all written up about how I get down and get over those crappy feelings that tend to come over even the happiest people on the planet, but my inner guide who is part Chola jumped in and said "Delete that crap and speak YOUR truth, whatever that means." So, I highlighted my rather lengthy post on showing fear the door and sent it to the trash bin. That left me with a lovely blank slate where I was free to get down and dirty with myself and speak my truth to the world which is...I don't know. I know what my truth is, my truth is that I don't know. (Let's pretend we have some sense and not get caught up in an Abbot and Costello skit ok.)

Knowing that you don't know can be both frightening and empowering, depending on where you take it to. Think about when you were a little kid, you didn't really know much about the world and everything was new, fascinating and amazing.  You totally relied on your parents and the other adults in your life to teach you what was what and as you became familiar with the nouns around you, things became less fascinating, amazing and magical and more mundane. However life is always amazing and magical, we just think we know everything so we take it for granted and dismiss what doesn't fit into the boxes our mind made when some adult told us what was what way back when. The second you stop and say "Maybe I don't know everything about everything and maybe that's not the point," you open yourself up to learning all kinds of new amazing stuff that you could never have learned while you were busy telling everyone how much you know. You also get to relax knowing that no matter how many books you read, lectures you go to, degrees and certifications you earn or how many people kiss you tush YOU CAN NEVER KNOW EVERYTHING and neither can your teachers, pastors, big sister, life coach or therapist. Experts are never experts on everything and the only thing that separates them from you is the amount of time they devoted to learning one thing, not everything. (Ever heard the phrase "Jack of all trades master of none?")

Teddies arren't supposed to talk. 

Now back to that little kid that doesn't know anything and is aware of that. If that same little kid is frightened by something, say a curtain that looks like a ghost in the moonlight, all he has to do is ask for help from someone who knows more than he does. Usually the kid calls screams for their parent in the middle of the night and the parent comes in, turns on the light and tells them there is nothing to be afraid of. From that moment on the kid knows that the thing dancing in the moonlight is a curtain not a ghost and is able to fall asleep. Just like a child's fear of the unknown can turn into the boogey man or a murderous Teddy Ruxpin--don't judge 5 year old me, Teddy Ruxpin was creepy--an adult's fear of the unknown can turn into a fear of being alone or not living up to their potential. Why? Well simply put, no one is a afraid of things they understand, for the most part. Do you know anyone who is afraid of the present moment? Exactly. We're always afraid of what we think is going to happen next. Newsflash, you can't know what;s going to happen next. Even when you think you know what's going to happen next, you're really basing that assumption on what has happened before and jut because it happened before doesn't mean it'll happen again. Ask any good psychic and they'll tell you that the future is not fixed so it doesn't pay to obsess over it. Just chill in the not knowing every now and then, which is way easier said than done. 

This morning I woke up feeling pretty shitty about some things that I don't know and it took me stopping and saying "I don't know how this is going to work out, and I can't do much about it" for the mood to start moving. Do I know now? Nope. Am I stressing about it? Nope. Why? Because it's not my job to know what's going to happen next week, next month or next year, it's only my job to focus on making today as amazing as possible and allowing space of the unknown to work itself out in ways that I can imagine and ways that I couldn't even come up with in my wildest dreams.

Monday, March 5, 2012

This Week's "Burning" Question

This week's Burning Question is quite literally a burning question. Inspired by a story told to her about traveling Irish folk, for some reason this made me think of Johnny Depp in Chocolat, who burn their boats upon reaching their destination Danielle has asked her readers what boats would they burn, figuratively of course. (It's literally a burning question not because the question is on fire but because the question is about burning however, it's about burning figuratively...that just made me smile.) Word/grammer nerd minute over, here's my answer.

I'm not really a bridge, or boat for today's purposes, burning type. I see value in sometimes being able to go back where you've been in an effort to reset and carry on in a different direction is exactly where you need, kinda like the saying you can always go home. However, I don't think that's what Danielle is trying to get at via her question. I think what's she's after, correct me if I'm wrong, is the boat filled with lessons that we don't want or need to repeat. The boat that is weighed down with internships, shitty bosses, past relationships that didn't serve you, basically the boat that is carrying a full set of monogramed Louis Vuitton luggage with all of your life lessons in it. While I'd be happy to get rid of the mistakes it took for me to learn the lessons, I don't want to burn the lesson or the boat that carried me to where I am unless I'll be able to build/buy another boat when needed. All of this is generally speaking of course. In particular, I would love to throw a container full of lighter fluid and a match on the boat that brought me to where I am in my career, which is unemployed. The boat that carried me here is full of disappointment, feeling less than worthy of a job outside of retail, rejection, low self esteem and a fear of never accomplishing anything on this go round. I could totally stand to lose those feelings and my ties to working as a sales girl ever in life.  I do want to keep every positive experience I've gained in the past few years but the rest of it could totally go up in flames, and that's the point. Burning the extra crap allows me to swim the last few miles to shore with complete confidence that I am ready for whatever is next because I took the time to learn the hard lessons along the way.

Miracle Moment

My two fave OG Spiritual Gangsters, Russell and Rev Run. 

Amongst my closest friends I have developed a Rev Run like reputation for sending weekly inspirational texts that bring a bit of the mystic into the mundane. I started this years ago when I was still living with my mom as a means of spreading a kind word, support and a few lolz by signing it Rev Ana. Anywhoo, I've decided to take these miracle moments public since my nearest and dearest aren't the only ones who could use a minor shift on a Monday morning.

Today's Miracle Moment came to me while I was on gchat with my bestie Amber as we were trying to chat me through a crazy moment that deals with my ex and his ex. I felt myself going crazy stalker ex-girlfriend for a minute and reached out to my most grounded pal--in the relationship arena that is--to help me through. All she did was offer an ear so to speak and gave me the space to talk it out with me really. Our talk turned from my drama to how I cope with my intuition shouting something that my brain is not ready to accept. This lead to my first miracle moment--that's right I have 2 big, beautiful shifts for you--I told her the only way I can shift my focus from dwelling on the past and the future is to acknowledge that everything that is meant to happen in my life will eventually happen and all I have to do is show up! This may seem a bit too pre-determined for some of you, but for me it just means that I'm completely putting my faith in a higher power who knows my life's plan. It doesn't mean I'm going to sit on my ass and not work towards my goals, it just means that I'm going to let go and get in the flow. There is no reason to fight an uphill battle all your life trying to make something happen, if it's supposed to happen it'll happen with the right amount of hard work and divine intervention. 

After that little nugget, our conversation shifted gears to the ways in which society constantly reinforces the notion that the keys to happiness and success all lie in the arms of someone else or in a certain job, living in a certain house, making a certain dollar amount, wearing the right clothes or basically anywhere outside of you. Hence the reason people continue to sign up for and eHarmony and spend their entire paychecks on having the right car, the right cell phone, drinking the right coffee and buying groceries at the right store. This reminded me of my favorite quote by Gabrielle Bernstein that goes a little bit like this, "when you place your happiness in the arm of someone else, you're screwed." (Miracle Moment numero 2) Actually, anytime you place your source of happiness, success, self worth, love, peace, security etc outside of yourself you are totally effed. Why? Simply put, everything outside of you is subject to change whether it's the man, the job, the money, the house or the Choos, they are all fluid and temporary, the only constant in your life is you. So if you don't have a good relationship with you and your Source--by Source I mean God/the Creator/the Source of all things, I don't say universe because that feels silly to me but it may work for you--then you will continue to look for whatever you think you lack on the inside, outside and you will never find it. Trust me, I've found happiness in the arms of a man, the bottom of a bottle and the shoe department and the one thing I noticed is none of those things made me happy for long. So chew on that with your lunch. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Now Reading...

Codependency has been the big word popping up for me, and some of my pals, lately. Speaking solely for myself, I mean who else can I speak for, but my fear of being alone for the rest of my life has consistently manifested itself in some not so nice behavioral patterns that could pretty well be labeled as codependent. Basically every time I let my ex get away with something that didn't serve me or put his needs before mine or thought of him as the strong one who I needed in order to be happy, healthy and wise, I was engaging in codependent behaviors and thought patterns. His desire to be the one to save me only reinforced this. So here we were trapped in a pattern where I needed him to feel loved, supported and worthy and he rose to the occasion. (I'm not blaming him FYI, my parents and friends have also supported my "poor wretched me" behaviors as well.) The point is, since codependency has been the word in my life for quite a while and since I've noticed its patterns and characteristics making themselves known when my girls talk about their relationships I've decided to do something about it. Namely, picking up Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More to get to the bottom of these thoughts and release these patterns before I do end up alone or worse, I have a daughter and pass these patterns on to her.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Quoted...Dr Seuss

In honor of the man whose books helped so many of us master the art of reading, here are a few of my fave Dr. Suess quotes.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.
 Don't give up! I believe in you all. A person's a person no matter how small.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the mor places you will go.
Will you succeed? Yes you will indeed (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)