Book

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

 

 

I’m super excited to announce the launch of my book, The Black Girl’s Guide to Calm!

It’s a quick guide that shares practical tips and advice for creating more calm and peace in your life. You’ll learn:

  • Why and how to meditate, plus breathing techniques
  • Ways you can use affirmations to find your calm
  • Basic yoga poses
  • How you can make self-care a priority
  • And more!

Additionally, you’ll receive audios and videos to accompany the book.

The Black Girl’s Guide to Calm launches on Tuesday, September 15th, but you can download two preview chapters here.

#CalmTip: September 8th, 2015

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Practicing mindfulness is simply being aware of the present moment, not judging or reacting to what’s going on around you. Whenever thoughts come, you observe them with a friendly interest then let them go. Today, practice mindfulness by doing one thing — and one thing only — for at least five minutes.

“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

#CalmTip: September 1st, 2015

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

We live in a culture that glorifies busyness, grinding, and hustling. Of course, there are times when you’ll have to work a little longer than you want, and you may have to make time sacrifices, particularly if you’re an entrepreneur. But making time for rest rejuvenates your body and mind, and regulates your mood. Take breaks, and schedule time (even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes) to rest.

 

15 Reasons You Should Start A Meditation Practice

 

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Like I mention in my story on this site, I’ve been meditating on a daily basis since last year. When I don’t meditate (or make time to sit in silence for a few minutes), I can tell the difference: I get stressed and overwhelmed more easily, I’m in a hurry, and I don’t really live in the moment. Meditation had definitely been life-changing and beneficial to me.

You might be thinking, ‘Okay, it’s great that meditation has changed your life, but I just don’t have time to meditate.’ But here’s a cute quote that puts the importance of meditation like this:

“If you don’t have time to meditate for 15 minutes, you need to meditate an hour!”

Now, I’m not suggesting that you meditate an hour or even 15 minutes; you can begin with just five minutes a day. If you need some motivation to start your meditation practice, here are 15 benefits of making that time each day:

  1. Meditation helps you change your mindset from negative to positive and helps you control your thoughts.
  2. It develops your intuition.
  3. Meditation helps you realize what’s really important and helps you ignore the petty issues.
  4. It helps you keeps things in perspective.
  5. It decreases your tendency to worry.
  6. Meditation helps increase productivity.
  7. Meditation brings your mind, body, and spirit in harmony.
  8. It helps you develop a closer relationship with God.
  9. It helps you become more mindful and live in the moment.
  10. Meditation improves your focus and attention.
  11. Meditation reduces stress and reverses the flight-or-fight reaction.
  12. It creates a sense of inner peace and calm.
  13. It improves resilience against pain and tough times.
  14. Meditation improves your decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  15. Meditation also strengthens your immune system and reduces cardiovascular problems and chronic pain.

If you want to start a meditation practice but not sure how, check out my free video series, or sign up for my free meditation audio. And check out more meditation benefits here.

Do you meditate? How has it benefited your life?

 


Discover breathing techniques, various ways to meditate, and more in BeCalm Bootcamp: Meditation for Beginners! Click below to get all the details; we start August 15th.

 

Photo Credit/HONGQI ZHANG

 

#CalmTip: August 25th, 2015

 

Black Gitl's Guide to Calm

Focusing on what other people are doing and comparing yourself to them can cause you to feel frustrated and stressed about what’s happening in your own life. It’s important to remember that we are each on our own journeys, so there’s no point in comparing yours to the next person’s. Concentrate on creating the life you want and bettering yourself.

“The grass is always greener where you water it.” – Unknown

20 Quotes That Encourage Self-Care

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

 

One of the best ways to find your calm is to practice self-care. As women, many of us have the tendency to make sure everyone around us is taken care of before we worry about ourselves. And some of us don’t think about ourselves and what we need until we experience burnout or get sick. So before you get to that point, it’s important that you make self-care a priority. Of course, there are many ways to care for yourself — meditation, yoga, hitting the gym, reading a book, doing absolutely nothing — whatever it is, make sure you do something just for you at least once a day.

Still not convinced? Hopefully, these quotes will encourage you to make that time:

  1. “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn
  2. “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
  3. “Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.” – Claudia Black
  4. “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?” – Maya Angelou
  5. “Before anything (or anyone) else, make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you are not treating yourself well on the inside, you will not be healthy or happy on the outside. Self-care is essential to your wellness.” – Healthy-chicks.com
  6. “Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” – Parker Palmer
  7. “Today do something for you: Relax, clear your mind, take a break, go for a jog, watch the sunset. Enjoy the simple things. Enjoy you.” – Brooke Griffin
  8. “It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” – Mandy Hale
  9. “Remember to be kind to yourself.” – Unknown
  10. “Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the way you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” – Deborah Day
  11. “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” – Jen Shinoda Bolen
  12. “For those of you who struggle with guilt regarding self-care, answer this question: What greater gift can you give to those you love than your own wholeness?” – Shannon Tanner
  13. “Occasionally indulging a do-nothing day is more than worth the price.” – Malcolm Forbes
  14. “Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” – Ashleigh Brilliant
  15. “Everyone should take time out once in a while to recharge and revitalize their energy.”  Michael Lee
  16. “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid
  17. “You have to learn to say no without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries is healthy. You need to learn to respect and take care of yourself.” – Powerofpositivity.com
  18. “Self-love is asking yourself what you need — every day — and then making sure you receive it.” – Chooseselflove.com
  19. “Self-care is an act of self-love.” – Unknown
  20. “It does not do any good to be a rundown martyr. Strive to lead by example and become a model of healthy, vibrant self-care!” – Dr. Carla Marie Greco

Take care of you because you deserve it!

 

Photo Credit: luminastock/123rf.com

#CalmTip: August 18th, 2015

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Trust the process of your life, and know that everything happens when it’s supposed to. So, don’t fret about the future, and do your best to live in the moment and take things one day at a time.

My First Experience With Hot Yoga

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

I’d been wanting to try a hot yoga class for a while, and I finally got up enough nerve to actually go on Monday. This was my first time going to any type of yoga class, but overall, it was a great experience.

I was super nervous about going for a few reasons:

1) I figured I’d be the only Black person there (I was), and I thought the other attendees would look at me like I was crazy. They didn’t. During class, we were all focused on the movement and not passing out (at least I was), and afterward, I actually talked with some of the ladies, and they were cool.

2) It’s hot yoga. I go to the gym, so I’m used to getting sweaty from working out. But moving around in 90 degrees is a whooole different ball game. The first maybe 10-15 minutes were okay, but by the end of the class, I was literally covered in sweat — head to toe. It was pretty intense, but it felt good.

3) I was trying something new, something out of my comfort zone. I’m an introvert, and I’m not very fond of crowds. I can also be self-conscious and a perfectionist, so the thought of practicing yoga in front of others made me feel really uncomfortable. But once the class began, and I focused on myself and my breath, I forgot about everyone else in the room for the most part. And that’s what yoga is about: “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” (The Bhagavad Gita)

Like I mentioned, the class was an amazing experience, and I definitely recommend it. Here are a few tips if you’re about to head to hot yoga for the first time:

Drink at least one bottle of water before you go. (And bring one to class). I already have migraines, and dehydration triggers it. I made the mistake of drinking very little water beforehand, and I could feel a headache coming on in the middle of the session. Also, there were a few times I got a little lightheaded. So make sure you drink up before and after.

Wear a sweatband or headband. You will get super sweaty in hot yoga, and the sweat will get in your eyes; wear something to prevent that from happening.

Wear suitable clothing. 90 degrees is hot, and it feels even hotter when you’re holding poses. Make sure you wear clothing that doesn’t restrict you or that are uncomfortable. I wore yoga shorts and a white, cotton tank top.

Bring a towel (or two). You’ll want to cover your mat with a towel (either a towel you bring from home or a yoga towel) so it doesn’t get slippery from the sweat. You might want to bring another towel to wipe your face and hands as well.

Try to remain focused on your breath — and keep breathing. The first time doing hot yoga (and probably the next couple of times after that), your mind will wander, thinking about how hot it is and wondering how much longer you’ll have to endure. Instead, try to let go of your thoughts, keep breathing fully, and focus on your breath.

Have you tried hot yoga? What tips do you have for newbies?

P.S. — I’m now offering one-on-one calm sessions! If you could use some assistance with finding more calm in your life, I’d love to work with you. Get more info below.

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

#CalmTip: August 11, 2015

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Yoga is one of my favorite ways to find calm. Practicing yoga helps you de-stress, learn to stay in the moment, and reminds you to breathe through whatever is going on and how you’re feeling. I know a lot of people think yoga is for “flexible” people or certain body types, but it’s for everybody– and I do mean EVERYBODY. With several types of yoga to choose from, find the one that works for you, and hit that mat!

6 Resources I Use for Finding Calm

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Since this site and brand are all about helping you find your calm, I wanted to share some resources I use that help me stress less and/or find calm:

1. Yoga By Candace is my go-to virtual yoga teacher. I practice yoga almost every day, and if she’s not doing a monthly yoga challenge, I just choose a video from one of her playlists. Candace also has videos for beginners, and she breaks down many yoga poses. Oh, and she just release a free app, too.

2. Zen Habits. Created and (mostly) written by Leo Babauta, this is one of my favorite blogs for inspiration on simplifying my life and mind.

3. Calm is an app I recently found out about from my friend, Dea Winn (founder of Pretty Girls Rock Dresses). I actually just downloaded it a couple of days ago. The app has options for you to watch/listen to certain scenes while you meditate (like the ocean or rain), it has a timer, guided meditations, and a seven days of calm program.

4. Another meditation app I’ve used is Meditation Helper. If you want to practice meditation without music or sound, this app has a timer so you can put any amount of time you want to meditate.

5. Affirm Your Life is another site I love. On it, Che Garman has probably hundreds of quotes and affirmations for whatever life situation you might find yourself in. I’ve written down and use many of the affirmations she’s shared.

6. Smell Good Spa offers incense (among other things) that are great for making your home smell amazing and for use when you’re meditating or relaxing.

Honorable Mentions (i.e., other sites I love):

Do You Yoga

See Body Love Self

Radical Selfie

What resources (blogs, apps, websites) do you use for finding calm? Let me know by leaving a comment!

 

Photo via 123rf/Pavel Timofeev