What self care looks like for me this week ...

  • 20 minutes walks through Cornell's botanical gardens during my lunch break
  • Talks with old friends <3
  • Listening to my Nina Simone Pandora playlist 
  • Listening to Michael Bernard Beckwith & Oprah on Super Soul Conversations Podcast
  • Celebrating the completion of a half day self-care retreat and 5 month self care group for advisors at Cornell
  • Reading the "Daily Om" by Madisyn Taylor as a daily oracle and blindly choosing a message of the day

Early Spring: what self care looks like this week ...

Meditating along with short Yoga Nidra practices through my Insight Timer app

Short restorative and yin classes on YogaGlo

Connecting back with daily sun salutations (I did (almost) 10 daily throughout 2014)

Planning dates with my husband and utilizing the great care providers we love to watch our son

Responding to writing prompts in my journal shared from Cosmic Cowgirls' Mary Macdonald:

  1. This is an exercise that the writer Abigail Thomas gives her students that I LOVE. Take any ten year period in your life and write two pages about it using only 3 word sentences. Then choose a sentence that hums for you and write two pages around that sentence.
  2. I know I should regret it but I don’t.
  3. It makes me so angry when….
  4. It’s hard for me to say what I want because….
  5. People expect me to….
  6. I feel most in tune with life and myself when….
  7. I’m so sorry I….
  8. Tough times have taught me….
  9. There are limits and mine….
  10. This taste reminds me of…


Remembering this too shall pass


In a 5 minute future self meditation today, I connected with my 45 year old self 10 years from now.  Gratefully, I felt reminded that the struggles and concerns of my today will pass.  I felt comforted remembering that the issues that I and that my family are dealing with at this present moment will transform, will be ground up, will be composted and will become something brand new and different.  I felt peace in remembering that the issues of my 25 year old self (10 years ago) have been broken down and integrated into my 35 year old self of today.  Thank goodness!

This too shall pass, and I will become what I'm meant to become.  I need, simply, to remember my vision and step into that vision, day by day, step by step.  Instead of comparing, regretting or mulling, I felt grateful to be reminded that there is so much more to me.  I will become the person that I imagine myself to be.  I will transcend my challenges of today.  I will become more of what I'm meant to become.


On saying Yes to desire


I said Yes to something.  Something that I assumed other folks in my life wouldn't understand.  Something that I felt embarrassed and shy to say that I wanted.  It's Vivienne McMaster's "Be Your Own Beloved" Course.  I have been intrigued and moved by her photos and commentary over the years.  In the act of asking myself, what do we actually want?  I heard this class.  I felt the wave of happiness that comes unexpectedly when I say yes to an opportunity that I truly want.  In signing up for something that I have wanted to do for years, I have affirmed myself. And, I choose to believe that this choice tells my Muse, my soul and my artist that I'm listening, that I haven't given up on living a life that feels true to me in all ways.  So I'm becoming my own beloved, and allowing myself to feel the joy of seeing my self through a compassionate lens.  So grateful to Vivienne and the #beyourownbeloved community.  

Be Your Own Beloved

What I'm Doing Now

I love this blog idea from Leonie Dawson. 

What I'm Doing Now ...

Currently living in Ithaca, NY

Caring for my 7 month old son, Savion 

Loving resources for black women and black mamas like Mater Mea and Dear Black Women

Preparing to start round two of The Art of Money with Bari Tessler Linden

Imagining how to joyfully celebrate 10 years with my incredible husband, Peter

Advising and building new initiatives for underrepresented students and staff through Cornell's Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives

Visioning for Nourish and leading a self-care group for staff on campus using the text Trauma Stewardship

Continuing to grow in my GTD practices 


On Goal Setting and Visioning

Something that I often find surprising are the ways we can get so quickly and easily distracted from the goals that we truly want to reach. I find in my own life, someone else's successes can take me off track.  I notice a promotion someone else has attained or a project that they have completed, and I can feel envious or insecure.  However, when I give myself permission to interrogate those feelings, I am reminded that what I really feel insecure about is the lack of movement towards my own visions.  So, how do we ensure we are moving in the direction that we know in our hearts is in alignment with who we are and what is important to us?  

In answering this question, I found myself revisiting a coaching exercise from a beloved former coach of mine,  Caroline Kim Oh.  Early in our work together, Caroline encouraged me to craft a life vision that projects out two years from today.  She stated to craft this vision with as much visual and emotional detail as possible.  In this vision, I answered the following questions:

Where are you?  Who are you with?  What are you doing? How are you spending your time? How are you earning money?  How are you feeling nurtured and filled up?  

After completing this vision, we explored what has to have happened between now and 2 years from now?  What are the key benchmarks and milestones that will help you know you're getting there?  What knowledge and practices would support you in making this vision a reality?  I love crafting these and subsequently crafting the key markers to keep me on my personal map.  It is both encouraging and motivating!  

What do you see for your 2 year vision?  What markers will let you know you're on your way?

On Pain, Vulnerability and Transition

As I move into the third trimester of pregnancy, I find myself engaging consciously with change and transition: the obvious physical changes and the not so obvious emotional changes.  First trimester, I experienced sciatica pain for the first time in my life.  Second trimester, it eased up and today, I found myself once again in dialogue with this pain.  The vulnerability of this pain coupled with my own concerns as I move deeper into pregnancy, brought me to tears this morning.  I continuously find the experience of mamahood to be new and transformative.  The ways I show up and feel through this time are often not what I would have anticipated.  The needs I have of my husband, my sisters and my parents require me to be more communicative and vulnerable.  

My intention for today was to allow softness, and to my surprise, it came as I exited the elevator on campus towards my office.  I allowed myself to be soft.  I allowed myself to be vulnerable.  I reminded myself that I am safe.  I reminded myself that all is well in my world.

I wonder, where are the spaces that you could allow yourself to be soft, to be vulnerable?  Where are your personal edges in feeling safe and seen?  What do you need that you have felt too afraid to ask of others?

Here's to the ones who dream

What lies in your heart to create or to experience?  After seeing the beautiful "La La Land", I walked away thinking about commitment to our dreams and goals.  Not only did I feel inspired by the singing, dancing and story, I loved the messaging of honoring and pursuing our heart's desire. It can seem harder and harder to remember the dreams that held our hearts earlier in our life.  How important it is to honor these dreams, to defrost them and to lay them out in front of us.  Here are my lessons from La La Land:

1. State your dreams clearly

2. Seek out inspiration and honor the synchronicities

3. Identify those who remind you of what is most important to you, keep those folks close

4. Allow your dreams the time they need to be fulfilled

5. Do what needs to be done to give your dreams life

Slowing Down Shifting Identities

It's December 20th, 2016, one day before we head into winter season here in Ithaca.  As this year wraps up, I'm thinking about change and new identities I have been called to embrace.  This year brought big changes in where my husband and I live, where we work and the expectation of a new family member.  While there is much joy and celebration within those life changes, the newness demands more of us than our regular routines in our old home of Brooklyn, NY.  We are building a new life, and within that new life, we have to adapt to how our identities have changed, acknowledge who we have become and who we are becoming.  I think change can be so subtle. It can impact my well being in seemingly minor ways until one day I find myself spent: craving pizza, comfies, netflix and down time.  These are good signs that I am on the verge of a burn out. Ultimately, I am approaching this winter as an opportunity to listen to my needs, not always easy for me especially during the holidays, and slow down the speed of the changes I have been experiencing.  Slow down to try and catch up with myself.  Slow down and catch up with all of my many selves.