In lieu of my 33rd birthday, I put together 33 things that have been game changers for me-- a reflection of sorts. Things I wish I knew earlier, but grateful that I know now!
2019 has been a monumental year of growth, change and postivity for me, and I have already learned so much and it's not even half way through!
1. Life happens for you not to you
Learning that everything happens in good timing has made me slow down and become more mindful of everything around me and grateful for everything I already have.
2. Happiness is our natural state
Not everything has to be a struggle. Especially self-growth. If we can fall into flow & connect to our emotions we are able to walk back to our natural state: happiness
3. We are addicted to suffering
Suffering is everywhere: in the movies we watch, the music we listen to, the heartbreaks we hear about--it has become normal to suffer, so much so that we seek it out for ourselves making everything much harder. We fulfill our needs through suffering and completely miss the point of life. I never noticed how addicted to suffering I was until someone pointed it out!
4. We can heal our deepest wounds by connecting to our inner child
Inner child deserves a post, live, video and class of it's own. But if there is a single concept or reflection that is my favorite, it's inner child work! Learning that we started the suppression process when we were children, imagining our needs as children and finally being able to provide for the all children that live inside of us with the evolved person we are right now has solved so many dark & depressing feelings.
5. To fully love yourself you must accept who you are now
We are constantly trying to change ourselves--but instead becoming neutral to who we are now evolves us more than we know. We will never love ourselves if we cannot accept ourselves for who we are today, right in this moment.
6. Our brains are meant for survival, that's why it's easy for our thoughts to think of worst regardless of the situation
Our emotions & intuition are much more powerful guides than our brain. Our brain is made to help us survive--it can keep us in scarcity mode, in a place where we are acting from lack: fear, anger, frustration. It's powerful and can control every action and decision we make but it doesn't necessarily know what is best for us.
7. Empowerment can only come from within, not anyone else
Empowerment comes from fully loving ourselves, and guiding ourselves to do what's best for US. We can learn lessons and get inspiration from anyone we want but true and real empowerment can only come from something within us!
8. We often meet our 8 core needs by using external things: food, drinking, smoking, shopping, social media etc.
I would use all of the above to meet my need of love & connection--yet it was all temporary.
9. The stories that you tell yourself can sabotage your wildest dreams
Sometimes the stories aren't even ours but something that someone else told us--but then we started to believe it! Until I started to realize this, there was no mindset shift happening.
10. Seeking validation in others is just you running away from something deep inside of you
We seek validation when we know there is some emotionality that we aren't ready to deal with. But until we do, the universe will continue to give us similar situations until we finally reflect within.
11. Judging others is a form of judging yourself
Judging is a form of gossiping. You know what I learned from the book, "Sapiens" is that early forms of civilization formed groups around gossip, interesting fact-- but we are much wiser now and need to support each other more than ever!
12. We are all just grown up children
There are many times, from childhood, teen, young adult where we abandoned ourselves. Now that we are more mature versions ourselves often we can give what our younger selves needed. But we have to recognize what we needed and what happened when we abandoned ourselves.
13. Before you can truly help others, you have to fully love yourself first: #selflove then spread love
Without self acceptance and self love you cannot connect to your highest self. Your highest self will guide you, to be able to spread the magic you have inside of you to others.
14. Emotions aren't something to identify with but something to observe, be curious about, and then release
Emotions are what makes us human (duh) but dealing with them is a whole different ball game. We often suppress them first which is what makes us explode onto other people, check for validation etc. But there are healthy ways to release emotions so that we can continue to stay balanced.
15. We can change our thought patterns, but we have to get curious about them first
Every time I doubt myself, I would start to believe it. It wasn't until I started looking at myself from the outside and noting what I was thinking about, and the self doubt that I could ask myself "why do you think that?"
16. Integrating presence is the path to speaking from the heart
Many speak about presence but very little actually practice. Worrying about the future and thinking about the past gets us no where except more in our head, more full of worry & doubt. Taking a deep breath is the fastest way to clear the mind, get rid of nervousness and lead with the heart!
17. There is a huge difference between anger & aggression
Anger can be expressed by yourself in many health forms: yelling in a pillow, screaming in your car, singing at the top of your lungs, talking to yourself in the mirror but aggression is when you take your anger out on a 3rd party.
18. Dieting shouldn't be as normal as it is--it's usually a band-aid to deeper emotionality
I grew up thinking dieting was normal. I don't have a great perspective on my own body, but I didnt even realize it was a problem until Dec. 2018. As women we are held to high beauty standards and we judge ourselves even more harshly then anyone else judges us. Also, we tell ourselves stories many that don't even stem from us but other people telling us how we "SHOULD" look, act, feel, dress etc.
19. "The most productive thing you can do is nothing" -Sam Skelly
To-Do list cancelled. Whenever we are in question of what we can be doing in our lives, the best thing to do and sit back and observe ourselves! Your highest self will guide you out, but surrendering is the key!
20. Self Care is a by product of self love & self acceptance
Once you fully love yourself & accept yourself then morning routines, healthy eating, finding exercise that you like comes naturally. But until your mind is right nothing will feel right.
21. Connecting to your emotions is a roller coaster, but the pay off is greater than any check
Connecting and understanding your emotions is the only way to reach your highest self. Emotions are exhausting: one day you can feel pure joy & the next you'll feel complete sadness but knowing that pain & joy both are the portal to truth is better than anything!!
22. You can release intense emotion through movement
Moving meditations have been a LIFE CHANGER. I always thought that meditating in sivasana was the way to go, and calm down the brain but movement had been healing mostly anger but sadness too.
23. We have to create relationships with our protectors in order to reach our highest selves
Protectors were things we created as children when we didn't feel safe. We continue to use them as adults but they can also be blocking us from our life paths. That's why it's important to identify and create relationships with them so that we understand that we are more mature, wise & safe now and probably don't need to rely on them as much.
24. The need to be perfect can ruin life, literally
Perfection. None of us are, but we still try to attain it. With a slew of should have, should be's and all the should's in between often create unrealistic standards for ourselves. All of it is related to suffering. Why be perfect, when you can be you?!
25. You can create positive friendships and meet your need for love & connection without gossip
Through all the self development classes I have taken, learning that you can be friends with women around you and have an inspirational relationship to talk about dreams & aspirations has taught me, gossip for what?! While bonding on gossip was a way to bond in the past, supportive friendships are worth much more and are beautiful!
26. Joy is the highest energy frequency
Joy vibrates higher than love! It's often one of the hardest energy levels to attain and I have learned that most of us are deathly afraid of feeling joy because we feel that when we are at our highest, something bad will happen. This was me for many years but as I am learning all about emotionality and connecting to them, I am learning to let go of fear and lean into JOY :)
27. Physical pain is a way of our bodies communicating to us
When we ignore our emtionality for too long, it starts to show up in places all over our bodies. Louise Hay's "Heal your Body" has taught me that pain in different areas of our bodies mean different things. Once we can identify where the pain resides we are able to reflect deeply on emotions that have probably been suppressed for years.
28. Suppressing emotions will only lead to an empty vessel
For years I suppressed my own emotions, and thought it was normal! I thought that's how life is supposed to be. not reacting to anything, not feeling any one emotion. But that only led me to an empty vessel with something large missing (MY EMOTIONS). I felt stuck and unmoving but ever since I have been able to connect, the more I am learning so many wonderful things.
29. When in a negative head space, think of all the things you are grateful for
The quickest way out of negativity & feeling stuck is to look at your life and everything you are grateful for--however small or big (even if it's that the sun came out). If you can find one thing your mind will start to remember everything. It also sparks joy within the soul.
30. Dating, socializing & everything is different when you don't drink
Most of my relationships to anything external was built out of negativity. That's why this year I made a conscious effort to stop drinking-- and everything has changed. At first you don't realize the benefits but it's also so socially normal to drink that people kind of look at you funny when you tell them you don't. New mission: reinvent the definition of fun!
31. Setting hard rules for ourselves only kickstarts a cycle of shame
When we set hard rules for ourselves, we are bound to break them. But breaking them means kick-starting a shame journey! It's where and how we start self-deprecating. Learning the difference between healthy boundaries and hard rules.. game changer!
32. If you don't enjoy the journey, you won't enjoy the destination
Did you know that we are 95% energy? That means that our vibes really matter! To be happy with our successes we must understand how we want to feel when we get there. When we can touch on that emotion, we must learn how to mimic those emotions in our now, those feelings.
33. Freedom is a mindset that anyone can attain
Freedom is a feeling that is different to all of us, but often is a common goal amongst us. That's why we must feel what freedom feels like to us in the now, to have it come true in the future.
One of the best byproducts of self development work is that you start to do things out of love for yourself--since you become so curious about you: your emotions and analyze why you do everything that you do... becoming curious about your external habits comes second nature. 💕⠀
For me, questioning the stuff I wear on my skin came first! I suffer from eczema (on my eye lids of all places!) so finding products that wouldn't leave my skin and face dry are already a must but I also noticed that none of the lotions I was using were making any difference & regular make up was making it worse. ⠀
That's when EWG (environmental working group) became my bible. It told me what products were harmful, cancer producing, water retaining & still were sold in stores. Luckily, they have an app called healthy living you can download to scan barcodes in and quickly check scores. 🙌🏽🙌🏽⠀
My friend who was in the process of finding new skin care herself referred me to a site called follain-- where all products are low toxicity (normally a 2 or lower) which was brilliant!! A place I could get non-toxic products, especially that I use everyday? NO BRAINER. Being apart of Follain, I knew I was in good hands 💝⠀
Check out my quick 10 MIN morning routine and all product deets below. All products have an EWG score of 2 or lower! 📸: @shotbyonye ⠀
To get 15% off any Follain Products use my code: ref15_o2ohzl @follainambasssdor Also, link in bio 💕
What is Galentines Day?
My 1st Galentines
What is Choose What you Pay?
Everlane has a section where they offer 3 different price points for what you can pay. Currently there is a sale + you can choose of the 3 prices what you would want to pay. It's an amazing deal.
They have all sorts of high-quality ethical clothes including silk and cashmere almost 30% off!
My Top 9 Picks + 13 ways to style
13 Ways to Style
The Goodwill Guilt
I recently published an article on Medium titled "The Goodwill Guilt", which was all about my closet purge. I found a challenge online called Project 333 which is basically 33 items for 3 months without buying anything new. It was a good way to clean out my closet & stay minimal at the same time.
On the way to discovering this project, I was really researching ethical fashion. Some of you may know that I have been working on a clothing line for quite a few years. Although my main mission of this line is to ensure that all females have comfortable event wear, normalizing affordable custom sizes (denormalizing traditional standards), I also wanted to start a way for consumers to up-cycle their old saris or Indian clothes and turn them into new fashion. After my research on the ethics of the fashion industry, up-cycling has become a priority of my line.
This is how I stumbled upon researching for hours on end about ethical fashion and clothing.
Project 333 & Beyond
I am not completely done with this project, I am still testing out my clothes to see what I actually wear A LOT versus not at all. So this is still a work in progress-- however the fact that I did not have ONE PIECE of ethical clothing in my closet really started to bother me.
I believe to be someone who is socially conscious and always talking about self awareness, body positive etc. but my fashion didn't reflect any of that.
As a fashion blogger, I was feeling sick to my stomach over this & so I went researching down a deeper hole.
In that hole, I thought "it would be easier to literally get rid of everything I own and start from scratch
Although the norm. for sustainable fashion is Thrift or borrow before buying anything new, I wasn't feeling right about the fact that though the environmental footprint would be lower that where these fabrics were sourced from still would make me feel guilty.
What is Fast Fashion
Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing, that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.- Good on You
Some Fast Fashion Facts
Ethical Fashion 101
I quickly learned that there are rules to this game.
Brands that I really Love
You guys, I did endless research-- so many sites and these are the ones that I narrowed down to and are going to be my go-to (with dollar sign ratings according to me--because I AM CHEAP)
Minimizing my life has made me feel more light! The rumors are true, when you minimize your life, you have more things of quality that you can bring in. In fact, I find that I have more motivation to write (which I love doing). No, getting dressed in the morning is not easier (because now there are so many combinations to choose from) but I only have one side of my closet occupied which makes me feel good!
I am excited to start this new journey of my life & also to share with you my inspirations for living more ethically & minimally.
I feel that without actually minimizing my closet, I wouldn't be able to shop ethically. When I get bored of my old clothes and now I will turn to only ethical shopping brands (not saying I won't be tempted) but now that I have educated myself on the impacts of clothing production on the environment I will stay true to being more conscious of my choices.