Beliefs aren’t set in stone. You have the power to choose, change, or reject them. Beliefs become our reality.

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You’ve heard time and time again that nice girls finish last in society.

Society normalizes a plethora of habits that don’t make any sense: debt, foods that make you sick, and only two weeks vacation- ugh.

It becomes discouraging to stand your ground when everyone seems to hold some contempt toward how you show up.

People say nice girls finish last because they think you’re weak, that you live in a place of naivety, and victimhood. I mean, not saying you haven’t been there, but now you’re over it.

You don’t have to stop being a nice girl. You need to clarify your beliefs.

Step away from the chaos, the noise of life. Take time to sit in silence, to really think about what’s important to you.

Being a nice girl is censoring yourself to make sure you come across perfectly lovely, without offending anyone. You want to be liked. You don’t do drama. No arguments, speaking your mind, or clashes. Your signature meme is, positive vibes onlyConflict causes extreme anxiety.

Being nice is based on the thought that if you please others, behave, keep quiet, smile, and nod, then people will accept you.

A belief is having trust, dependence, and confidence in someone or something. Beliefs stem from what you’ve heard about yourself and your world since childhood. This may have come from your environment, learned knowledge, behaviors, past experiences, and imagination.

Beliefs aren’t set in stone. You have the power to choose, change, or reject them. Beliefs become our reality.

When you clarify your beliefs you start to live your life, not other people’s. You start to heal from past trauma. You start to take responsibility for your emotions not everyone else’s. You start to create boundaries.

As a child, you didn’t have much choice about what to believe. Your thought patterns have unconsciously shaped your whole life, until now.

Nice girls have been internally wired to think:

I’m not good enough just the way I am, without doing and giving or being someone else.

Disagreements are unsafe. If I engage in conflict I will get physically, or emotionally hurt.

If I voice my opinions I might get yelled at, shut down, talked-over, shamed, rejected, or have love withdrawn.

I’m responsible for other people’s emotions and making them feel comfortable.

Choosing myself, jealousy, anger, sexual expression, and other emotions I think are negative makes me a lousy person.

The opposite of nice is nasty- someone who is unkind, and unpleasant. You don’t have to become these things to set boundaries.

I guarantee someone’s going through a similar experience, with similar thoughts as you. You’re not alone in your aspirations, fears, and struggles.

Instead of having confidence in what others say and believe, find the courage to create new beliefs about yourself. You’re the best person to decide what you want.

How do you do this? By working on creating new thoughts about yourself.

Take a pause from everyone who has a direct influence on you. Your family, religion, friends, and traditions. Differentiate your beliefs from theirs. You will either strengthen old beliefs or explore new ones.

Get comfortable with feeling dread, shame, or mortified about your bad thoughts. They’re normal. What matters is if you keep them or not.

You were groomed to act perfect but that’s a lie. We are imperfect humans, we are complex, yet still deserving of love. Feeling uncomfortable challenges you and clarifies your values.

I believe I can fly.

Here’s how to create new thoughts:

1. Ask, “What types of beliefs do I want to have?”

Do you like having thoughts that emphasize not being good enough and shame? What ideas would you like to have instead and why? Maybe you want to support concepts about self-love because that’s when you feel your most relaxed and creative.

Sometimes self-affirmations don’t work because at the core you haven’t changed your beliefs.

Affirmations can feel forced. Your beliefs should feel authentic, like a sense of knowing.

Here are some prompts to get to the core of new beliefs.

What ideas did I grow up believing to be true?

Do I still agree with them? Why or why not?

What are some new ideas I want to create about myself? Why is it important?

What happens to my mental and physical health if I keep holding on to negative thoughts about myself?

How has holding on to these concepts kept me safe?

What am I thankful for about being a nice girl?

What happens if I don’t have beliefs that I feel aligned with?

What’s the worst thing that will happen if I don’t agree with the beliefs of my childhood? Am I alright with that? What support do I need?

These questions are the stepping stones to understanding your values.

2. Download your emotions, check for viruses

Trying to sort through emotions can be overwhelming. There’s no rush.

You’re processing other people’s feelings and have a hard time sorting through your own. Download an emotions list to explore exactly how you feel. Expanding your emotional range can give more insight into behavioral patterns and triggers. Journaling is a practical exercise to work through this.

You may need to practice expressing how you feel because for so long your emotions have been shut down and invalidated. People pooh-pooh you for speaking too soft or being too emotional. Understanding your emotions gives you better identification about who or what pushes you over the edge.

3. Well this is uncomfortable… and I love it.

Expose yourself to small doses of being uncomfortable. Expect this to happen, you haven’t built up a resilience to emotional pain. Processing emotion is about:

Allowing yourself to feel all emotions, not just the good ones.

Creating compassion by saying phrases like, “I’m still learning, silly me!” or “I overreacted,” creating a lighter attitude about relapses instead of beating yourself up.

Not taking it personally. Emotions are like your period. They’re expected. Sometimes they come easy, other times they’re a pain in your side; they’re messy.

Acknowledge that you have a nice side and a dark side, you need both.

Exposing yourself to discomfort allows you to differentiate between unease about things you don’t value versus unease about things you value but aren’t used to, like expressing thoughts, opinions, or boundaries.

Project your voice, hold your head up, speak your piece.

Another new normal.

Once you gain clarity about your beliefs set boundaries around them.

The old nice girl believed that she wasn’t good enough. She let her partners call her rude names, speak down to her, even hit her because she thought it was her fault. She thought she couldn’t do better. She didn’t have enough examples of what safe people looked like.

The new nice girl vocalizes her stance. She says, “If this doesn’t stop I’m leaving.” More importantly, she believes that she can find love in a million other places.She makes it her priority to love herself first then surrounds herself with people who treat her with respect.

The nice girl with clarified beliefs thinks:

I can accept or reject the thoughts that come my way. I choose to believe positive thoughts about myself.

I make decisions that support my best mental, physical and emotional health.

I don’t have to hold on to my childhood beliefs. I may be met with resistance, especially from my family, but I’m able to stand it.

She treats others with respect and kindness but she doesn’t allow herself to be belittled or used until she is burnt out.

She sorts through and manages her emotions effectively. This helps her reduce stress, empathize with others, communicate better, and resolve conflicts.

She is self-aware.

She uses the tools at her disposal such as journaling, healing through creative dance, writing, drawing, and music. She listens to her body and takes rest when necessary.

Final Thoughts.

You don’t have to stop being a nice girl you need to clarify your beliefs so you can live your life, not someone else’s. This means you can share your gifts, talent, and authenticity with others. This means you are no longer taking on the emotions of others but managing your own.

You can design the life you want.


Originally published on Medium

Sometimes the strongest version is also the darkest. When you’re aware of both you become empowered.

I said what I said.

It’s okay to ooze confidence. It’s okay to stop smiling when you don’t feel like it, stop laughing at those uncomfortable jokes. Look them up and down, hold your head up, and strut away. Your side-eye alone should say, you wouldn’t dare.

You’ve got to reach into your “I could never do that” audacity and let her fight for you.

Look in the mirror and shatter everything you’re pretending to be. Unleash the over-the-top, picky, judgmental, arrogant, delusional, type A, passionate, vulnerable woman you’re ashamed of.

It’s not about faking it. You don’t have to stop being nice. Be selective.

The strongest version of yourself puts the priority on your well-being and happiness.

The strongest version of yourself recognizes your value. It surrounds itself with environments, thoughts, and people that support that.

The strongest version of yourself recognizes the way you self sabotage- how your actions don’t line up with your long-term goals. It doesn’t beat itself up. It’s the fight in you.

The dark places in you are where shame hides. Shame is a mix of self-hate, regret, and disgrace. It’s where the emotions you were told are “wrong” live.

Things like hate, jealousy, sexuality, lust, envy, and greed. All of those emotions have a purpose. They let you see different aspects of who you are and what you’re capable of.

You can’t strive to be better if you don’t know the hidden parts of who you are and how you feel.

When you accept the traits you want but ignore the traits you don’t- you fragment. You cause confusion in your mind and body.

Your “negative” traits help you survive. They bring you closer to the life you really want.

Maybe you’re jealous of your friend’s weight loss because deep down you want to be healthy.

It’s the part that, should you become trapped, will claw its way out.

Raise hell.

This is your life we’re talking about.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.- Matt 10:16

Plan. Be smart, cunning, vigilant. Watch patterns, observe behaviours. Cut threats out. Be everything you’re scared to be.

Being defenseless doesn’t make you good. Being dangerous but using it to make better choices makes you good.

The greatest weapon you will ever have is your choice.

“The only defense against violent, evil people are good people who are more skilled at violence.”- SGT Rory Miller

I’m tired of reading, and hearing about narcissists- people having an inflated sense of self. Let me be the narcissist for a while, heck give me attention. Shit.

I’m not saying this in disregard. I’m recovering from being a perpetual people pleaser. I lived in fear and anxiety. That is until I decided to find my power by being ruthless and fighting for my life- through resilience and building esteem.

The greatest lesson I learned was to take responsibility for my life.

You can’t passively wait to get your life back. You have to take it. You’ve got to stop giving people more power than they deserve. It’s not until they take and take, use and abuse, that you find the strength.

The strongest part of yourself, that darkest part, often comes right after your breaking point.

You need to be your greatest admiration and your most feared enemy. This is the beginning of shadow work.

Your shadow self holds deep-rooted belief systems carried in your conscious awareness. It usually involves childhood memories. Shadow work is exploring this hidden, often thought of as “bad” self.

You don’t need another 5 years of meditation. You don’t need to spend another $10,000 on a retreat.

It’s recognizing that you can take control of your thoughts and emotions.

Start by expressing how you feel,

Start by rejecting feelings of shame about yourself.

If you want to accept all parts of yourself. Read, The gifts of imperfection.

If you want to stop being fragmented, be whole, and stop hating yourself. Read, The dark side of the light chasers.


To find the strongest version of yourself you need to reach into dark places. The dark places help you to discover hidden, subconscious aspects that are preventing you from achieving your goals and fully loving yourself.

Your dark places might encourage you to explore childhood beliefs. To explore stories you heard about yourself that aren’t true.

You don’t have to accept shame around your thoughts and emotions. They’ve helped you survive but you don’t always have to be in fight mode.

It’s only by bringing them to light that you can truly stop being a victim, take control of your life, and decide who you want to be.


Practicing self-care, spoiling myself, and adventure isn’t a white branded experience.

“You’re such a white girl”, he said.

This was coming from a date I was on with a black guy, who later confessed that he only dated white girls- but I was different, a different kind of black girl. He couldn’t wait to tell his friends that he was actually dating a black girl

Huh? Well, this was a new one. I was stunned, not mad. Even curious. I went on a few more dates with him. I wanted to understand his perspective of this-situation.

Shouldn’t I be outraged for all the black women out there? 

At the end of the day, maybe I’m jaded, but my hate is too high of a price to spare. People are allowed to love whoever they want, regardless of their race.

I think the outrage comes not from dating another race, but from simultaneously trash-talking and hating your own. Men and women are guilty of this. 

He was open and honest with me. His confusion, preferences, and identity issues weren’t my problem. Technically on a bigger scale, I’m sure they were, but I’d been down that road too many times before. Miss save-a-man-at-your-own-expense. Nope.  

During our dinner conversation, I got down to the root of his hesitancy about dating black women and my whiteness. His summary was that, 

  1. He was bored of seeing black women. Only to find out that he was 25-leaving me whitewashed and a cougar.
  2. My look and mannerism, associated with feminity, gave him white vibes. 

After some time our dates dwindled for various reasons. I became anxious wondering if I was going to be added to his- see, this is why I don’t date black women hit list. Who knew?

What Does Being Called White Washed Mean?

Is being called whitewashed a derogatory term or a backhanded compliment?

Perhaps first, we should look at what it means to be black. An Afrometrics research study questioned participants on their self-definition of being black. Six themes emerged.

  1. Struggle and resilience– Twenty-five percent of participants identified being black with the struggle for equality, justice, fighting against racism, and other forms of oppression.
  2.  Ancestry– Twenty-three percent of participants identified being black as having and honouring their African ancestors.
  3. Pride– Twenty-three percent of participants identified being black as having a sense of empowerment, rich culture, and dignity.
  4. History and Legacy– Fifteen percent of participants associated being black with a past story, roots, and continuation of the lineage. 
  5. African Descent Community– Thirteen percent of participants associated being black with having a like-minded community, embracing cultural traditions and values. 

Why Do We Call Each Other White-Washed?

We call each other white-washed when we assume that a person cannot adopt aspects of another culture while maintaining their own.

Does adopting aspects of another culture contribute to a loss of our identity?

We’ve felt rejected in so many areas of life that we can’t bear the thought of being rejected by our own people.

I too have been guilty of calling people whitewashed. Subconsciously I was scared, scared that I’d be contrastingly black around them, that I’d have to keep my defenses up, that we couldn’t relate. Wasn’t that the same mentality that caused hate crimes and slavery? Just saying.

We, as black people, need to start taking more chances on each other. 

We are the ones who put expectations on our blackness. We judge each other’s blackness or lack thereof the most. 

We’re not blind or delusional to the racism and limitations society has tried to place on us. In light of our protests, there have been increasing opportunities for advancement. Now is the time. Now, there are platforms to challenge the stereotypes of what it means to be black.

People say that slaves were taken from Africa. This is not true: People were taken from Africa, among them healers and priests, and were made into slaves.- Abdullah Ibrahim

Why We Should Say Goodbye To Calling Each Other Whitewashed.

Being called whitewashed is a barrier to healing, self-esteem, and acceptance. We should say goodbye to the term, as it undermines the multifaceted nature of who we are. We’re more than rap music, WAP, drama, and thugs. We’re tech nerds, punk rockers, outdoor adventurers, and classical music connoisseurs. Renaissance people.

Assumptions That Being Called White Washed Creates,

  • That it’s not possible for black women to enjoy or try something outside of their culture or environment.
  • That black woman can’t be associated with femininity, travel, adventure, or sophistication. It’s normal to be seen as ratchet, but you’re fake when you act otherwise. 
  • That white women are rich, prim, proper, and have never experienced struggle. 
  • That it’s not safe for black women to be vulnerable, ask for help, or seek protection because we’re used to the struggle. It opens us to abuse.

Closing Thoughts

 In calling each other whitewashed we put limitations on ourselves.

The story started with a date centered around expectations of what black should be like. It continued with curiosity about what it means to be whitewashed, or not black enough.

We are the ones who judge each other the most. We put expectations on our blackness, although in part, fueled on the backs of media and society.

Twenty-five percent, (the majority) of people identified being black with struggle and resilience. They also honour pride, history, ancestry, and legacy.

While it’s important to acknowledge and honour the struggle of our ancestors it’s also important to acknowledge that black is multifaceted. We clutch on to struggle for dear life, feed it to our children, and sing it’s praise when we can create black identities through our individual stories.

Being called whitewashed creates barriers to esteem and acceptance. 

Being called whitewashed says that it’s not okay for black women to be vulnerable, feminine, and protected. 

Being called whitewashed says you can’t explore another culture without hating or abandoning your own.

Let’s change the narrative on what it means to be black. 

Black is expansive. Black can’t be boxed. 

Stop calling me whitewashed.


Originally published on Medium in an Injustice.

Please share 🙂

Give yourself time

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We barely got over one hurt before they gave us another, sometimes dropping them off at the same time. We would run back and forth between them, soothing one while flaming the other.

We gave them names like “never again” and “only this once”. Some stayed many years while others were fleeting.

Some returned to visit although we kissed them goodbye. We treated some like lovers listening to their incantations,

why me?, why me?, why me ?

We handled them gently as they etched their way into our hearts.

We couldn’t let them go. We studied every detail of their memory, we remembered every drench of sweat they made us work for.

We hated them, and we loved them. We loved hating them, though it was fleeting.

Those hurts came in flavours. Some bitter in the same instant, while others a steady sweetness that faded away, but most came in rancid, simply stinkin’ rancid.

So we worked. We worked until we knew them well. We worked until they did not sting, until they did not burn. We worked until they did not scratch.

We worked until we were strong.

Originally published on Medium

Creative therapies have been linked to decreased anxiety, depression, stress levels, increased immunity, self-worth, and social identity.
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I’m a Registered nurse, writer, and spoken word poet. I dabble in various forms of creative arts.

I’m most balanced in my health and emotions when I’m creative. I’ve called it the sixth vital sign.

Creativity isn’t optional, but now a necessity for my health.  

Creativity is a non-negotiable part of holistic health, especially for women. John Gray, authour of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus says that women have twice as much stress as men. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is twice as high when she walks into the house. She’s thinking about everything she has to do.

It may not necessarily be that she has more stress, but that she feels more stressed. This is why socks on the floor or dirty dishes may send her through the roof. It’s added to her list of stressors, while it may not be a big deal for her partner.

This may contribute to women losing attraction and sexual desire for their partner.

The quickest way to a woman’s heart and libido is doing anything that promotes less stress- it’s probably the same for men as well. 

Hey, let’s stop stressing each other, and ourselves out. 

Gray, suggests one of three de-stressors women can do for themselves is to, 

“do the things they love to do.”

Enter creativity.

Throughout documented history, people have used stories, drawings, dances, and chants as healing rituals.

Music Therapy

Music therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety. I help facilitate a depression and anxiety seminar by Dr.Neil Nedley and we specifically use classical music to help with reducing anxiety. 

Studies show that enjoying music with someone can also create emotional balance.

Even music that’s added to positive words is shown to reduce the effects of pain. Research results on cancer and coronary artery disease patients showed a reduction in heart rate, oxygen demands, and tension levels- producing a calming effect after music therapy.

Music is an expression of what is felt but not said. It represents the range of your emotions. Music represents the range of your personality. 

Practical Use

  • Try incorporating, specifically classical music into your day, in your car ride, or as you wake up.
  • Use it in combination with other health modalities such as walking outside, sunlight, or while taking a hot-and-cold shower.

Here is my Spotify writing playlist. It’s not all classical, but some of my favourite tunes.

Visual Arts

Art helps us express experiences too difficult to put into words

Visual art is a part of self-expression that can help you think good about yourself, especially if you’ve received a new health diagnosis. 

In trauma, cancer, dialysis, and chronic illness patients the positive effects of visual arts therapy were identified as, a distraction from thoughts of illness, reduced depression, improved outlook on self-worth, life experiences, and social identity. 

Women participating in art, especially things they could touch, such as pottery, textiles, card making, collages, and pottery saw 4 specific benefits.

  1. Focusing more on positive life experiences.
  2. Increased self-worth and identity by creating opportunities to overcome challenges, grow, and reach personal achievement.
  3. Positive social identity by not letting their illness define them.
  4. Expression of feelings in a symbolic way when words are difficult.

Practical use

-Incorporate touch with creativity. Sleep on silk sheets, arrange flowers in your home. Wear a plush bathrobe. Make a vision board. Create multiple levels of healing.

The first time I went for therapy they had adult colouring books. I didn’t even know it was a thing back then. All I knew, was that it brought my anxiety levels down and made expressing myself easier. 

Movement Based Creative Expression

In middle-aged women, elderly patients, and breast cancer patients, movement-based therapy has shown improvement in physical symptoms such as walking. But also in mental, such as learning ability (through theater training), and mindfulness.

I’m memorizing lines for a theatre audition right now. It’s sure exercising my recall ability, which doesn’t seem to be as sharp as before. Wish me luck! 

Body movement is linked to the mind. Movement moves emotions. 

There’s a type of primal therapy, which encourages the release of suppressed emotions through instincts like screaming, dancing, and movement. 

Primal therapy says, let me run free, like how I was as a child. Even during social distancing we can go into a quiet spot in nature and move our bodies.

Practical use

-Dance, put on some music, loosen up, even if just in your living room.

-Transmute your suppressed emotion into repetitive action, chopping wood, boxing, knitting, sewing.

You’ll find me at home or on the grass dancing, doing cartwheels, stretching, or air boxing while listening to Sia-The Greatest.

Expressive Writing

Last, but not least, my baby, writing. 

Pennebaker, a leading researcher on the healing aspects of journaling and expressive writing, has seen countless results in people who have improved their illness by writing. 

People who write about their traumatic experiences have significant improvements in physical health, immune system function, and their ability to socialize.

In HIV positive, chronic, and fibromyalgia patients the positive effects of writing have shown improvement in CD4 lymphocyte counts. Low lymphocyte counts can indicate infection or illness. Writing has also shown improvements in feelings of anger, pain, lethargy, and depression.

I’ve used journaling most of my life to work through my emotions. I also use it to write my prayers when I feel too distracted to say them out loud. I think it’s kind of neat to have documentation of my life. 

I’ve also had positive experiences in poetry therapy, where I’ve met with other like-minded individuals to analyze, create, read, and express emotions through poetry.


Creative expression is beneficial for emotional, and physical health. If you’re feeling discouraged, if you’re out of ideas if you want to feel grounded again, start with creative expression that feels right for you. You’ve had an emotional year, you’re allowed to give yourself a break. 

Given the benefits of healing through creativity, I wonder…

Why isn’t creative therapy a bigger part of health care? 

In the hospital, I’ve noticed creative therapy being used frequently with children. 

What about adults? I have an inkling that we’re not as open with our creative minds. We want a pill for everything. Hey, I get it. If there was an eat-healthy-pill, I’d be interested. 

Many patients come into the hospital for stress-related cardiac or anxiety events. Yes, we treat them with medication, but that doesn’t fix the underlying problem we all have. We’re stressed. 

We need more than a pill, we need a lifestyle change. While we might not be able to change the circumstances looming in the world, perhaps we can incorporate more play in our lives. More healing through creativity.

It’s not easy, especially in the climate of politics, illnesses, and economic strain.

Now, is the best time to heal yourself, as history has shown, we’re going to be faced with different versions of the same events. There’s not always going to be a perfect opportunity.

While creative arts therapy has come a long way, it’s up to us, to not wait, but recognize the importance of these practices in healing.

We can start healing by bringing creating backinto creativity. We can sit in our stillness and start healing ourselves through creative expression. 


Originally published on Medium

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Stuckey HL, Nobel J. The connection between art, healing, and public health: a review of current literature. Am J Public Health. 2010;100(2):254–263. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.156497

Ask yourself whose hero are you trying to be? And why? You may find that the life you’re living isn’t even yours.
Photo by Joshua Abner on

You’re struggling with not feeling good enough. Someone told you through their words, actions, or lack thereof that you weren’t enough for them just the way you are, without doing or being anything else- and you believed it.

Feelings of inadequacy are fueled by shame. Shame is uncomfortable. It’s a self-conscious emotion that comes from looking at yourself poorly. It makes you feel anxious, exposed, deceived, and powerless.

Unaddressed feelings of inadequacy create people-pleasing behaviour. This comes at the cost of destroying your core being, who you really are, not the person hidden behind your spouse, gender, or religion.

You were not meant to be invisible. You were meant to enjoy life, add value to it by being yourself, and express your unique personality, talents, and skills.

Women are multidimensional, we are not easily compartmentalized as the world would like to have us seem. We are vines shaped every day by our experiences. We twist, turn, adapt, grow, and continually bloom through different seasons of life. The song lyrics that come to mind when I think of this is Alanis Morissette’s, “ I’m a bitch, I’m a mother, I’m a child, I’m a lover, I’m a sinner, I’m a saint, I do not feel ashamed.”

Shame is a thief that robs you of power. To disarm shame you have to get to its root, which is almost always the thought of, I’m not good enough.

You must have a defiant spirit that is able to take an ego bruise, yet be your unwavering motivator.

It’s that kick, scream, claw blood, and skin, until you break nails, type of determination.

There are two key concepts in taking your power back when you feel like you’re not good enough.

1. Reject the cycle of shame, and feelings of low self-worth by relentlessly choosing yourself.

Reduce people-pleasing.

Make small choices about what you want to do. Take time, scan your body to figure out what feels right, safe, and authentic. At first, it will go against every fiber of your being. It may bring up feelings of guilt, pain, and loneliness. People in your life might get upset but stick to it.

Exercise the discomfort of repeatedly choosing yourself, knowing you will get through. Choosing yourself is not going to tip you over into some self-absorbed world of no return where you don’t care about other people. Caring is too ingrained in your psyche for that.

Continue to people-please and see how you feel. Hey, why not? Take note of the pain, self-loathing, and resentment you feel afterward. I would convince myself to do just one more favour for someone, even when I was tired or just didn’t feel like it. To be fair, I felt that they were for completely valid reasons- it was for my friends, it was for church, it was for someone uber nice, it was for someone who had nobody else, it was for someone who was sick, and the list goes on.

If continually extending yourself to other people turns you into a bitter, unrecognizable person then you’re living in inauthenticity.

A wise quote says that God loves a cheerful giver, being a cheerful giver comes from being happy with yourself and your life.

2. Stop the spread of shame by having grace, empathy, and self-compassion. You must choose to believe more of the good stories about yourself over the negative ones.

I don’t know about you but when I mess up, my default is to beat myself up. I say you should have known better, how could you let this happen? and the negative self-talk continues. I wouldn’t say these things to my friends, so why do I say it to myself?

It’s hard to have self-compassion when you’re a perfectionist, when you see mistakes as a weakness or when you hold yourself to a high bar.

Ask yourself whose hero are you trying to be? And why? Most of the time the things we’re doing, the life we’re living have nothing to do with us.

No wonder you’re hard on yourself and unhappy. This isn’t even your life.

Cultivate self-compassion by having grace, by saying more kind words about yourself. Below are some of my favourites, when I’m present enough to remember (eek face), if not you can always remind yourself after the moment.

I’m still learning

I’m in recovery.

This is something I still need to work on, good to know.

This is still a trigger for me so I need extra support.

When thinking you’ve done something “stupid” you don’t even want to hear about compassion. It’s challenging to talk yourself out of negativity, but no one else can do it for you. Each new experience helps you learn triggers and is a reminder that healing work is continual.

We can summarize grace by a quote from Brené Brown, a researcher in shame, vulnerability, courage, and empathy, that says,

Grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame.


We struggle with never feeling good enough when people tell us through their words, actions, or lack thereof that we aren’t enough for them- just the way we are.

These feelings of inadequacy are rooted in shame. If we don’t reject shame it will destroy our core being, robbing the world of our talents, values, and unique personality.

We can take our power back by rejecting shame through…

-relentlessly choosing ourselves,

-having grace, empathy, and self-compassion by believing more of the good stories about ourselves. We also do this through the words we tell ourselves like, I’m still learning.

Lastly, I want us to remember that shame is all around us, it can be overwhelming, daunting, and discouraging, but the most powerful thing we can do is to decide, decide that we are moving forward no matter how slow or how long we take, continue to reject shame.

Originally published on Medium

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When your life didn’t turn out how you thought it would.

I’m working on a stress reduction e-book. The more I work on it, the more stressed and defeated I feel.

The feelings seemingly came out of nowhere. I have a few things on my mind, but my environmental stress is minimal. I have a job, I’m not starving, I have a quiet place that I don’t have to share with any extroverts. What’s my problem?

Have you ever felt sad for no reason?

You’re a beautiful soul. You aren’t sad for no reason, though it feels that way. You’re sad because even if your life is relatively stable- you’re not homeless on the streets- you’re told you should feel happy. But you feel the weight of a life bigger than your own. You feel an undertone of constant grief from pushing against the world.

Everything is a fight, not with guns but with your essence. You grasp to keep pieces of your soul, each day trying to grip tighter. You feel like a fraction of who you once were.

You see the emptiness behind people’s smile, you see the innocent child and think of their future of ups and downs.

No matter how happy you are as an adult freedom doesn’t feel the same as childhood, back then, you didn’t have a care- or bill payment in the world.

I guess that’s what the ancient Bible story means when it references the tree of life. A tree that held the power to know good and evil. When its fruit was eaten by Adam and Eve (who were newly created by God) their eyes were open. They weren’t carefree like children anymore.

Likewise, you no longer view the world through the eyes of a child, you have a sense of responsibility. You have a sense of right and wrong and sometimes seeing all the wrong makes you feel defeated.

You hear the buzz of the media, though you try to tune it out. You see more deaths from a pandemic sweeping the nation, you see increasing numbers of violence, racist attacks, and death.

Maybe being so aware, so well-read, so educated, or such a self-help enthusiast makes it worse. In theory, you can figure out how to be happy, and you have moments of genuine happiness. In fact, you have a bank of happy memories for the future.

You know you need to live life in the present, but there’s a nagging that says, “how long will the good times last?”

I guess that’s why they call you a dreamer.

This is for the people who dream too much, people with beautiful minds. You can’t be lied to. You think far beyond the moment because deep down you have hope that you can save yourself from your future.

You believe that you can save other people from their future. It’s like you’re living in a time warp. You keep jumping to the same timestamp trying to warn them, but you’re always too late.

You’re far from being sad for no reason. You’ve loved, mourned for love, and dreamt about love. Life didn’t turn out how you expected, but you’re still here, making the best of it.

You’re sad for many reasons that aren’t yours. You’re sad about the suffering, and deceit in the world. It’s an unknown longing that also brings an eerie sense of peace.

That’s why you’re complicated to understand, but I’ve never met anyone like you who wasn’t resilient.

You don’t have to drive the future of innovation. You don’t have to save the world, but you want to, not in a tycoon type of way, but from your place of understanding, a place of healing.

It’s different for straight A people, they see logic-they are good at completing projects and finding solutions. Some aren’t concerned about the abstract concepts that you are. Some aren’t feeling the emotions of hundreds of people. They execute because things need to get done.

You have a challenging time doing tasks that don’t have personal meaning or value. It’s difficult to carry out work you’re not passionate about.

I’m going to make it more complicated. What if you’re able to toggle between the two? No wonder you feel defeated.

You still strive for kindness when you have a plethora of reasons not to. You maintain your character, even though you seem like a ruff rider on the outside.

You are a survivor in a war that only a few can see. Many people think you’re losing, but you’re not fighting their war.

Don’t let defeat get you down, you have a warrior’s heart. A heart that values legacy, character, and truth. Success has a deeper meaning for you.

We often measure success by productivity, by doing, and constantly going. We have no time for stillness, and when there is, it brings anxiety. Stillness makes you painfully aware of the life you want, wish you had, and life you’re not even sure you want.

Some of us are stuck in stillness, some of us are stuck in productivity. Are we so different? One has a difficult time getting started, the other doesn’t know how to stop. Both slaves of not being good enough.

We aren’t sad for no reason. We feel the weight of a life bigger than our own.

We are constantly being told what to do, how to feel, and how to act.

Find freedom from pressure, expectations, or advice, even if for a moment.

If you’re deep in your feelings today, you may already know how to get yourself up, you don’t need more advice, you don’t need to feel pressured to do anything.

Just let yourself be…(if you want to)

This story was originally publish on Medium

This year has been the emotional roller coaster you never expected

At the beginning of this coronavirus pandemic year, I remember waking up with a tingling through my body that said, this is the most alive I’ve ever felt.

It’s not something I said out loud because it wasn’t about glorifying death and chaos, it was about becoming interested in life. It was about challenging beliefs, stretching the depths of who we are as humans, a sense of knowing our purpose, of empathy, and healing amidst sudden life changes.

This year has been the emotional rollercoaster you never expected. The kind that leaves you cliff-hanging with the anticipation of when it will start again.

You’ve lashed out at the very people you love in efforts to sort out your own emotions.

You’ve reclaimed emotions you weren’t aware of. Things that were bubbling unconsciously, but have spilled over to the surface.

You’ve come face to face with how you really feel about yourself. Your perceived lack, your hidden blessings.

This year has brought a lot of changes for you. This has been a year of self-discovery.

This year you’ve realized your thirst for love

You realized that even though you can do it all on your own, you don’t want to. You’re tired. You want to have someone that means more than just a place to exchange toxic sexual fluids.

Maybe hookup culture is not all it’s cracked up to be. You can feel what you want but don’t know what it looks like, or how to get it.

This year has taught you to surrender. To stop hiding, to just ask.

You’ve recognized the people who have snuck into your heart. The ones that mean the most to you, while others have escaped, they were also the ones that meant the most to you.

You’re scared. You’ve seen loss all around, it prevents you from getting close to people. You never know when they’ll leave.

You protect yourself by shutting people out, by becoming a master of self-sabotage.

It’s been an emotional year, you’re allowed to be unsure of what’s next. You’re allowed to temporarily retreat.

This year we realized that life is short, this isn’t a reason to act out of fear, but it’s reason enough to cut all your bullshit. Cut through the need to protect yourself, cut through your insecurities, cut through your fears, look in the mirror, and face yourself damn it. You might be surprised that we’re all facing similar fears. The right people are more accepting than you realize.

This year you’ve lost love

This year you realized that while you were busy living, you let the people and things you love slip away. You’ve accumulated dry bones, missed the heart of your love, become empty, strangers.

You’ve been disconnected for a long time, this was the catalyst needed to realize that you weren’t watering your relationships.

You think you’ve grown on your own, when in fact each person you meet is meant to challenge you, rub you the wrong way, catapult your growth.

This is a year of mourning. You’ve faced broken relationships, engagements, marriages, families, and friendships.

You’ve lost love, and reclaimed pieces of yourself.

This year you’ve faced death

Death is a fickle thing. My cousin passed away recently and I stared at my phone replaying her voice notes, not fully understanding how she could be gone. Death takes a while before it becomes real. It changes your perspective.

You’ve had to deal with the loss of people you love. Even if you knew it was coming, you could never really prepare. You still weren’t ready for the shearing effect it’d have on your heart. You’re not sure how to deal with the feelings of hurt, even resentment beneath it all. You’re questioning if there was something more you could have done, words you could have said, anything to make it better.

Life doesn’t stop. I imagined that life would pause and say, here humans, take time to reflect, but it keeps going. It makes you realize how insignificant a body is. A body is just a conduit for your soul. The essence of your being is in everything you are, everything you’re passionate about. We spend so much time surviving that we never really live.

We think we need to do more in life when it’s usually a matter of doing less.

In the end, all we’re left with are the memories we make. Make memories, make fierce, passionate, compassionate, shake your head, ghastly ones.

Loss came in many forms. Some have lost jobs. You’ve spent months in anxiety, searching for the next meal, trying to keep a roof over your head.

Some have lost independence. Your safe place. You’ve had to share living spaces, been forced to move out, to leave toxic environments, to disrupt the only world you’ve ever known.

Loss doesn’t just come in physical death, it comes as everything in between.

This year you’ve had to learn to self-regulate your emotions.

I’ve blown up at a few people, whoops. The beauty I’ve learned is that my emotions are my responsibility. I can’t force anyone to make me feel better, everyone is already at their emotional capacity. I can’t necessarily depend on others to heal me. We need to learn coping habits, new ways of being, how to regulate ourselves. We need to be able to self soothe, to make ourselves happy.

Here I am drinking my green smoothie, listening to smooth writing music on Spotify, a candle burning beside me, and spilling my heart to you on this “paper”. In this single moment, I have everything I need and am happy.

Give Yourself A Break

You’ve turned to addiction, drinking, smoking, drugs, and lashing out to numb the pain. The pain that comes from the cycle of questioning, am I good enough, what have I done with my life? What do I do next? Have I done enough? What’s the point of all this?

We live in a world of doing, productivity is what keeps many of us alive. We perform because people are relying on us, we have families, fans, a mission, a purpose that doesn’t stop. I understand that.

You’re allowed to have off moments. Moments where you’re quite not yourself, moments where you’re a little sadder than before, moments where you need to pull away from everyone, moments where you take care of yourself first, moments where you don’t put in 100 percent, moments of screaming into the air, crying into a pillow. Just don’t pull so far away that you never come back. (advice from my Mom)

You don’t need to beat yourself up this year, not after everything you’ve gone through. Everything you’ve survived.

You don’t need to take things personally, everyone is a little off-kilter, a little more volatile, a little on edge.

Give yourself a break, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop going. It just means that you can reject the negative dialogue.

I help facilitate a depression and anxiety workshop and one of the best and most difficult exercises for my mental health is not saying anything negative for 14 days. If you say anything negative, you restart the process. It helps you realize how many negative things you say. It helps clear the mind.

Another way to stop being so hard on yourself is a lesson I learned from behavioral expert Marissa Peer. Instead of beating yourself up, use the phrase, “oh silly me”, then move on, try next time to correct your behavior.

Give yourself a break. You’ve had a year of aspiring to love, you’ve had a year of lost love, you’ve had a year of death, you’ve had a year of overwhelming emotions.

We are being forced to evaluate our lives, refocus our purpose, face who we are and what makes us feel most uncomfortable.

When we are burned in the fires of tribulation, we forge new, better versions of ourselves.


Thanks for reading. This article was originally published on Medium’s publication, Assemblage.

A tale of love addiction

I’m not in love but this shit is still going to hurt like hell.

You didn’t know that I never live in this world, my head is in the clouds and I come down once in a while to pretend to live, to pretend to belong.

You didn’t know that I live in addiction, love addiction that I fight with, grips my brain and squeezes every matter out of it.

Loops in my head after two seconds with a man I connect with, change my life, wife, knife zombies, stay with you until the end of the world.

I’m not in love but this shit is going to hurt like hell when I can feel your hands over me, the same ones I force you to rip my heart through my chest with.

Drain that blood until I’m sick, that’s how I like it.

Then I crawl and gather guts and bones to create myself again with.

So, that’s why I don’t do casual very well. My light, being, force, wild beast of a feral woman scavenges.

She scavenges hearts and feeds on pieces. I keep her on an iron chain, scrapping, choke, collar, rope but sometimes she suffers through the pain and burrows in the dark wet shadow of the closest heart that feeds her scraps.

And there I am, left to find her. Months, years after, she starves there. I don’t recognize her, I only hear her deep beast cry, I try to lure her back to me.

She wasn’t even in love but that shit still hurt like hell.

She’s a love addict, they spit in her face, piss in her hair then rub it in telling her it’s not real. She’s delusional, crazy, rabid, seething.

Poor girl, I watch her dance in euphoria, throwing her clothes to the wild, then craving the blood of his heart, his love that he throws her in pieces. Nevertheless, she’s hooked, then dependent, drugged up on fake love, then pulling back, in bed for days, sweats, nausea, the bile of withdrawal into relapse.

They tell her it’s not a real thing, so she stops talking about it, she just feels it and knows this shit hurts likes hell, but she’s always made it through.

A little more empty, brick wall, fence, barb wire, fortress around herself. Cold, they say she is cold.

And here I am always trying to save her, trying to chisel away at her walls before she is gone. So you see, we are both, never really here.

We don’t do casual anything very well. We are intense, bring down heaven, raise hell women who are bearers, protectors, gatekeepers of warrior hearts in a world that is darkening.

We’re not in love but this shit is still going to hurt like hell. Our love is meant to encompass something bigger, but here we are, the irony of fighting this love addiction.

Thanks for reading,


It’s a strange thing to be aware of a supposed problem you have but being on the slowest road to recovery. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching myself in slow motion. What is a girl to do? Write.

This piece was originally published on Mediums publication the Assemblage.