10 Blog Posts for Finding Calm Through COVID-19

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

If the Rona and all that’s come with it (like staying home, worrying about loved ones, trying to be a teacher, etc.) has you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I get it! So I’m sharing some of my blog posts (older and newer) that will help you overcome your overwhelm and find calm in the chaos:

  1. Guided Meditation for Anxiety and Overwhelm
  2. 4 Breathing Techniques for Calm
  3. Everything Is Working Out! A Guided Meditation
  4. 4 Ways to Clear Energy That’s Not Serving You
  5. How to Start A Home Yoga Practice: 5 Things to Do
  6. Finding Your Calm During Life’s Challenges
  7. 10 Affirmations for Your Root Chakra
  8. 8 Spiritual Practices That Keep Me Grounded
  9. 3 Types of Yoga to Try
  10. This, Too, Shall Pass: 18 Quotes and Affirmations for the Rough Times

 

If you find this useful, please share the link to this blog post with your people!

Do you have questions related to finding your calm? Reach out to me here; I’m here for you, sis. ūüíô

 

Mindfulness Meditation and Affirmations

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

This is the second blog post in the Mindfulness in March series.

First, I want to say I hope you’re doing well through all that’s going on. If you want to check in with me to let me know how you’re doing, and/or if I can do anything to help, I’d love to hear from you!

Now, in this post, I want to share how to do a mindfulness meditation that will bring you to the present moment and also help you find calm. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit comfortably with a straight spine in traditional meditation style, with your feet on the floor or kneel.
  • Close your eyes, relax your shoulders and body, and unclench your jaw.
  • Inhale slowly, fully and deeply, filling your belly with air like a balloon.
  • Exhale slowly and fully, allowing your navel to go back towards your spine.
  • As you continue breathing deeply, observe the thoughts that come to you. Don’t judge yourself for having them or the thoughts themselves. Try not to let yourself get too involved with the thought. Observe and acknowledge it for a moment, then it let it float on by. Allow yourself to be present.
  • Continue for 3 to 10 minutes (and so you’re not distracted by time, use your phone as a timer, an app or find a YouTube meditation music video).

Also, here are a few affirmations you can use to bring yourself back to the present moment when you need (especially during moments of overwhelm, stress and anxiety):

  • I choose to live in the moment.
  • I embrace where I am in my life.
  • I am in the flow.
  • I find peace and joy in this moment.
  • All is well, and I’m okay right now.
  • I breathe and focus on the here and now.

10 Affirmations for Your Sacral Chakra

Chakras refer to the wheels of energy throughout our bodies in yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda. There are seven main chakras that align the spine, starting at the base and through the crown of your head. Because they affect our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being, it’s important that the chakras stay open, fluid, and aligned.¬†

Located in the reproductive area, the sacral chakra connects to our feelings, emotions, sexuality, and creativity. When it’s unbalanced, you might feel:

  • jealous
  • guilty
  • shame around your body and sexuality
  • out of alignment with your emotions
  • a block in your creativity

When your sacral chakra is balanced, you are:

  • in tune with your emotions
  • more sensual and creative
  • allowing yourself to feel pleasure
  • more flexible and patient

Affirmations are a great way to balance and heal your chakras; here are 10 for your sacral:

  1. I embrace life with passion.
  2. I allow myself to experience pleasure.
  3. Creativity flows through me.
  4. I am co-creator with the Divine.
  5. I allow myself to feel all of my emotions.
  6. I enjoy my sensuality and sexuality.
  7. I love life, and life loves me.
  8. I deserve for life to feel good.
  9. I own my feminine magic.
  10. I am free to be who I am and enjoy my life.

20 Affirmations for Calm and Inner Peace

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

If you follow me on social media, you probably know that I post an affirmation every Friday related to finding calm and/or self-care. ¬†Affirmations are a great way to not only create calm but to also change your mindset so that you’re calm and peaceful more often than not.

Success coach and co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series Jack Canfield says an affirmation is a statement of your goal or desire now realized in the present time. They’re statements you can write down or record then repeat/listen to regularly so you bombard your subconscious mind with thoughts, images, and feelings you’d be experiencing if your goal was complete.

With that said, here are some affirmations that will help you find your calm and inner peace:

  1. I let my worries go so I can be here for the beauty that surrounds me now. (Mary Davis)
  2. Today, I take a moment to press pause, get quiet, and simply breathe.
  3. When stressful situations occur, I remember that it’s possible to choose peace over worry.
  4. I let go, and allow the Universe to do her thing. (Gabrielle Bernstein)
  5. Today, I choose serenity.
  6. I am centered, I am calm, I am at peace.
  7. I make my calm and serenity a priority.
  8. Today, I relax and flow.
  9. I choose to experience life in a calm manner.
  10. I let go of all negativity that rests in my mind and body. (Louise Hay)
  11. It’s okay to make myself a priority.
  12. I relax, knowing that everything will be okay.
  13. I got this.
  14. I inhale peace and exhale overwhelm.
  15. I focus on the thoughts that bring me peace and joy.
  16. It is easy for me to tap into my inner peace whenever I need to.
  17. I deserve calm and self-care.
  18. My stress and tension melt away with each deep breath.
  19. I stay focused on the present moment, which brings me peace.
  20. I create my own calm.

Like these affirmations? Download this printable PDF or save it to your phone.


 

 

8 Spiritual Practices That Keep Me Grounded & Centered

 

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

About a month ago, I posted a photo on Instagram with my spiritual practices. I’d been feeling off mentally and emotionally, and I realized it was because I’d been neglecting to do those things. I wanted to share what I did to counter that off-feeling in case someone else could use the info. So, I decided to write a post about it; here goes — these are the eight spiritual practices¬†I do daily and/or on a regular basis¬†to stay grounded and centered:

1. Meditation & Yoga

Most mornings, I go to my meditation/yoga space and do a 10 minute meditation, and I try to at least quiet my mind and take a few deep breaths before going to bed. Many times, I use crystals while meditating. Sometimes, I’ll visualize and/or recite some affirmations as well. Also, I usually listen to meditation music or binaural beats from YouTube while meditating. (Here’s my current playlist).

When it comes to yoga, some days, I practice in the morning, and others, I practice in the afternoon or at night. Nowadays I mostly do my own flow, and occasionally, I do a video from Yoga By Candace.

How often I do this:¬†Meditation — daily; yoga — 5-6 days a week

2. Gratitude

In the morning, I write five things I’m grateful for that happened the day before in my gratitude journal, or I make a list of things I’ve taken for granted that I’m thankful for.

How often I do this: Daily

3. Visualization

This is my daily visualizing practice: After writing what I’m thankful for in the morning, I basically write down how my day went as if it was the end of that day. For example, I wrote today’s (Sunday’s) vision — what happened during the day — ¬†from Sunday¬†night’s perspective (hopefully, this makes sense). Basically, I write how I want to feel and what I want to do and accomplish that day. And although everything doesn’t happen the way I write it, doing this leaves me feeling optimistic and I feel it helps set the tone for creating an amazing day.

How often I do this: daily

4. Affirmations/Prayer

Usually, after I do the above items, I read my affirmations. I created a folder in my phone’s image gallery, and I either go through and read all of them or a few of them. I might also recite some of my favorite ones in the morning and throughout the day like “I am calm and centered,” or “I let go and allow the universe to do her thing.” One of my favorite places to find affirmations is Pinterest (and here’s my board with some).

When it comes to prayer, I say what comes to mind/how I feel, and I use an e-book I bought from Ra Sehki Store called Speaking with Spirit that includes prayers from the Diaspora.

How often I do this: Almost daily

5. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping

According to¬†the Energy Therapy Centre, “the technique works by releasing blockages within the energy system which are the source of emotional intensity and discomfort.” The blocks in our energy system can challenge us emotionally and lead to limiting beliefs and not being able to live harmoniously. I especially like to use EFT when I’m feeling super stressed or worried, or if I want to release blocks around money or abundance. I primarily use Brad Yates’s YouTube channel, and I love this video from Abiola Abrams.

How often I do this: 1-2 times a week

6. Smudging

Smudging is burning herbs, like sage, to clear negative energy from yourself and/or your space. You can find sticks at new age stores or even make your own. Here’s how to use it:

Light the stick, and let it catch fire.

Let the fire out, letting the smoke billow from the stick.

If you’re smudging your home, walk around along each wall (or close to each wall), allowing the smoke to go everywhere. If you’re smudging yourself, wave the smoke, starting from your feet and moving up, over you body in front of and behind you. While smudging, you can verbalize what you’re releasing; For example, “I release doubt. I release fear. I release anything that no longer serves me.”

When you’re done, open a door or window to allow the old energy to leave.

How often I do this:¬†to my apartment — once a week; to myself — probably 3-4 times a week

7. Journaling

I generally do this when I’m feeling stressed, frustrated, or disappointed, but I’m trying to get in the habit of doing it at least once a week to process things and to make sure my mind is calm and clear.

How often I do this: once a week

8. Mindfulness

“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,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health, Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

When practicing mindfulness, not only are you aware of the present moment, you’re also in a state of emotional non-reactivity: No matter how good or bad the experience, you don’t judge it. Or if you do judge it, you simply observe your thoughts with a friendly interest, then release them. Ways to practice mindfulness include:

  • Doing one thing at a time.
  • Doing less.
  • Staying in the present moment.
  • Making cooking and cleaning meditation.

How often I do this: Always/Daily is the goal

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” – Bryant McGill

What spiritual practices do you use to stay centered and grounded? Let me know by leaving a comment. : )

Simple Tips for Getting Through a Sh*&ty Day

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

A little background: We have some bills but weren’t/aren’t sure how we’re going to pay them. So, I’d been reading about the Law of Attraction (LOA) (books and blog posts). I set the intention; I let go of how I thought it should happen; I focused on feeling good and just went about my daily life.

Fast forward to today and nothing had happened. Well, the intention I set didn’t manifest when I wanted it to. Of course, I was starting to feel anxious, I was panicking, freaking out, and trying to figure out what the hell we’re going to do. I Googled what to do when it feels like your life is falling apart law of attraction,” and I found this article, Manifesting When The Shit Is Really Hitting the Fan, which I highly recommend.

Here’s what I’ve done to help myself feel at least a little better and process things:

1. Cry

I let myself be sad, frustrated, sad, scared. All of the things I’ve read about the LOA says you should¬†always feel good. Well, I don’t believe that’s possible because 1) Shit happens; and 2) You’re human. When yucky things happen, you’re going to feel, well, yucky.¬†Here’s what Kelli says:

“Right now, you are being invited to release a shitload of energy that is holding you back, and the more you release, the more room you make for that better energy to flow in. The more you release, the more room you make for all sorts of things to show up for you…”

2. Yoga and meditation

It might not make you feel better immediately, but in the time you’re practicing, you’ll be able to clear your head and gain a little peace. 10 or 20 minutes will help.

3. Smudge.

This is burning herbs, mainly sage, to clear negative energy from yourself or your space. You can find sticks at new age stores or even make your own. To use it, light the stick and let it catch fire. Let the fire out, letting the smoke¬†billow¬†from the stick. If you’re smudging your home, walk around along each wall (or close to¬†each wall), allowing the smoke to go everywhere. If you’re smudging yourself, wave the smoke, starting from your feet and moving up, over your body in front of you and behind it. While smudging, you can also verbalize what you’re releasing: For example, “I release doubt. I release fear. I release anything that no longer serves me.” When you’re done, open a door or window to allow the old energy to leave.

4. Mirror work

In a nutshell, this is when you look in the mirror and affirm yourself/give yourself a pep talk. I went into the bathroom and just told myself what I needed to hear; it wasn’t planned or written down. I just said whatever came to me for a minute or two.

5. Affirm how you want to feel

Determine how you want to feel: happy, content, peaceful, secure, etc. Then repeat affirmations related to that feeling; look some up, or write/say your own.

6. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping)

According to Brad Yates, author and energy worker, “EFT is a wonderful tool for removing the uncomfortable emotions that limit our success.” I love using this when I’m feeling anxious or worried about a situation. I primarily use Brad’s YouTube channel, and I also love this video from Abiola Abrams.

7. Laugh

It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine, and it really does boost your mood when you’re feeling down. I usually listen to the 2 Dope Queens Podcast for a laugh.

8. Listen to music

I think we all know music is therapeutic. Turn on your favorite tunes and chill, cry, or dance. Whatever feels best.

9. Vent

A few ways to do this: Let it all out in your journal, tell a trusted friend what’s going on, or talk to your Higher Power. Or do all three. You’ll probably feel a lot better, and you might¬†even come up with solutions.

10. Practice self-care

When you’re in a slump, it’s easy to just wallow and forget to do basic things like eat or drink something. Make sure you’re taking care of you.

11. Forgive yourself

If things seem to be going awry in your life, you might be running down a list of all the things¬†you think you did wrong to make it happen. While it’s important to acknowledge and learn from mistakes you may have made, there’s no point in continuing to dwell on it. Recognize your role — if any — then forgive yourself, and let it go.

12. Know it’s going to get better

When you’re in a fvcked up time in your life, it’s hard to see how you’ll get out of it. It feels like it’s going to last¬†forever.¬†Logically, you probably know this isn’t true. But you just can’t see a way out at the moment. What to do: Try to recall all the other sh*&ty times in your life and how they all turned around at some point. It. Will. Get. Better.

“This, too, shall pass.”

How do you get through a sh*&ty day or period in your life? Let us know by leaving a comment! 

#CalmTip: Use Affirmations

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

A great way to create calm and even change your mindset so you’re more calm and peaceful more often is to use affirmations.

Using them not only has created a positive change in my life, I’ve also realized that it’s a powerful way to relieve stress, too. According to success coach and co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series Jack Canfield, an affirmation is a statement of your goal or desire now realized in the present time. They’re statements you can write down or record then repeat/listen to regularly so you bombard your subconscious mind with the thoughts, images, and feelings you’d be experiencing if your goal was complete already.

You can either use ones you’ve found or read, or you can create your own. If you choose the latter, here are a few tips:

  1. Begin with the words “I am,” and/or use present tense. You want to speak your affirmation like it’s happening¬†now.¬†(Because your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between reality and your imagination).
  2. Make it positive. Instead of saying, ” I don’t let negative people disturb my peace,” say, “I¬†surround myself with positive people, and that brings¬†me peace.”
  3. Keep it short.
  4. Be as specific as possible.

Some of my favorite affirmations for creating calm are:

  • I am calm and centered.
  • Breathe in peace, exhale overwhelm.
  • Just breathe.
  • Life supports me in every way.

And if you like guided meditations, here’s a sample meditation for creating calm from my ‘Meditation Audios for Calm, Happiness, and Success’ (which you can download here):

 

4 Types of Meditation to Consider Trying

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

You’re totally new to meditation — or you’ve tried it some — and you decide to open up your browser and do some research. If you’re like a lot of people, you probably¬†get overwhelmed by all the different types of meditations you see. But, because I’m here¬†to help you get started, here are¬†my favorite types of meditation you can start with (by the way, with all of these, you can sit in silence or listen to soft, relaxing music):

1. Concentration

With concentration meditation, you focus on a single point, like a single word or mantra, a non-moving object (like a candle or figurine), or your inhalations and exhalations, which is what I do primarily. For example, I will inhale and count to four, then exhale and count to four. Of course, the idea is to continue concentrating the entire time, but you still might find that your mind wanders. When this happens (and it will, no matter how “seasoned” you are as a meditator), gently bring your awareness back to the chosen object of attention, and let the thoughts go.

2. Mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation encourages you to observe your wandering thoughts as they drift through your mind. The intent is to not get involved with the thoughts nor judge them but to simply be aware of them, and let them float on by without giving them your energy or attention.

3. Affirmation

So, I don’t know if this is the “real” name, but affirmation meditation is using affirmations while you’re, well, meditating. You can choose¬†affirmations for whatever you might want to work on in your life like creating calm, abundance, joy, etc.

If you’re going to create your own, here are a few tips:

  • Begin with the words “I am,” and/or use present tense. Speak it as if it’s happening now.
  • If you’re having trouble believing what you’re saying (which is key), say something like, “I believe it’s possible to…” or “I give myself permission to…”
  • Make it positive. For example, instead of saying, “I don’t let negative people disturb my peace,” say, “I am only allowing positive people around me, and that brings me peace.”

4. Laughter

Okay, so I can’t say this is a favorite as I’ve never done it, but I thought it was…interesting.¬†¬†As I was looking for a photo to go with this post, I saw the above picture that I’d saved a couple of weeks ago, and it made me remember that I’d heard of laughter yoga. Then¬†I thought, ‘Well, there must be laughter meditation, too.’ So, I Googled it, and here we are.

According to do-meditation.com, laughter meditation has three parts: 1) Stretching; 2) Laughter, and 3) Stillness; and the best time to practice this is in the morning on an empty stomach; but if not, do it before lunch or dinner. To begin, stretch your entire body (one to two minutes) by standing on your toes, and bring your arms overhead with your fingers interlaced. You should also loosen and stretch the muscles of your jaws and face.

Next, start smiling softly; broaden your smile, and begin laughing without force. Deepen your laughter so you feel it from your belly. Try and laugh ‘with’ yourself but not ‘at’ or ‘about’ someone or something; be mindful of the moment of laughter — whatever you’re experiencing in that moment, laugh with it.

Finally, stop laughing and close your eyes. Come to stillness, and if you were standing, find somewhere to sit. Become aware of the silence, and when thoughts come to you, let them go, and focus on the sensations in your body.

Have you tried any of these meditation techniques? Which are your favorite? 

“Meditation and concentration are a way to a life of serenity.” – Baba Ram Dass

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

This, Too, Shall Pass: 18 Quotes and Affirmations for the Rough Times

 

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

Let’s face it: Some days¬†are shitty. Even the most calm, cool, collected among us have days that just plain old suck. And when they occur, it’s easy to get stuck in a space of¬†overwhelm, frustration, and feeling sorry for ourselves. Now, I’m not suggesting that you don’t have a right to feel the way you feel when things go wrong (you totally do!); you just don’t need to stay in that space. Reading and repeating inspirational words are one of¬†¬†my favorite ways to get my mind back right. Here are 18 quotes and affirmations for the rough times in your life:

Quotes

1. “Every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath, and start again.”

2. “Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next.” – Denis Waitley

3. “The things that go wrong for you have a lot of potential to become part of your gift to the world.”¬†– Krista Tippett

4. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

5. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”¬†– Lena Horne

6. “Within you is the power to rise above any situation or struggle, transform into the brightest, strongest version of you EVER!”¬†– Your Inner Sparkle

7. “This, too, shall pass.”

8. “Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack ¬†and live there. Cry it out and then refocus on where you are headed.”¬†– Unknown

9. “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”¬†– Oprah Winfrey

10. “When times get tough, the key is not to stay strong…the key is to stay grateful.”¬†– Liv Lane

Affirmations

11. Happiness and peace are an inside job, so I choose thoughts that allow me to feel both.

12. ‘Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.”¬†– Louise Hay

13. I got this.

14. No matter what’s happening in my life, I can always access that inner peace within me.

15. I let go of what I can’t change and do my best with what I can.

16. When I go with the flow, my life is easy and filled with joy.

17. I cannot control everything that happens to me; I can only control the way I respond to what happens. In my response, is my power.

18. ¬†I handle life’s issues with a relaxed mind and body.

Do you have a go-to quote or affirmation for your tough times? Let us know by leaving a comment!

 

 

7 Mantras to Start Your New Year Off Right (Plus a Free Printable!)

 

Black Girl's Guide to Calm

Using mantras help you focus on the positive and on what you want to happen in your life. Saying them regularly helps shape your day and keeps those intentions in the forefront of your mind, making you more likely to live the mantra.

Here are seven that I think are great to carry into this new year (and beyond):

1. Just breathe.

When you’re in a situation that’s causing your stress or anxiety, remember to stop and take a few deep breaths. That way, you’re calmer and better able to make good decisions concerning whatever you’re dealing with.

2. I am enough.

It’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough as a mom, entrepreneur, employee, wife, girlfriend, friend, etc. and that you could be doing more. However, it’s important to remember that¬†you are enough and you do enough. You’re doing the best you can with the resources you have. Be okay with that.

3. I believe the best about myself.

What you believe about yourself and your life on the inside is what will manifest on the outside. Trust that things will always align for your best and believe that you’re the type of woman who can (and will!) co-create what she wants.

4. I am the best version of me.

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to do what other people do or be like they are, particularly when it comes to social media. But you have to take your eyes off of others and work on being the best YOU that you can be. One of my favorite quotes is from Kimora Lee Simmons: “Live life on your own path. Everybody’s got something different. You can’t keep up with all those people, so you better keep up with yourself.”

5. I live in the moment.

Commit to going with the flow and staying in the present, and watch how calmness becomes a bigger part of your life.

6. I let go of what no longer serves me.

Letting go of people, situations, beliefs, etc. that don’t benefit you any more allows you to make room for better.

7. I am open to receive all the good Spirit has to offer.

Spirit wants you to have good in your life, so stay positive about what you want, do your best to feel good, and take inspired action.

“I know for sure that what we dwell upon we become.” – Oprah Winfrey

Want a way to keep these mantras fresh in your mind? Download my free printable to be inspired to make them a part of your life! Go here to download.