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Updated: Feb 8, 2019

"Had to talk to God, dropped down, and prayed for this, to my surprise, He replied, said, “You made for this”." - Cardi


I talk a lot of shit about my job, but one thing it has afforded me, is the opportunity to dive into YouTube University. I’m of the mindset that if you use the phrase: “you don’t know something” or “how to do something”, you’re just making an excuse. With the wonderful world wide web, anything is possible. This is how I discovered, Dharma talks and writing lectures. (Dharma talks are sermons for monks.) During this one talk, he spoke about how society is obsessed with accumulating material things. And it got me to thinking. 

There have been three separate occasions, where I got something that I thought I wanted, only to get it and feel like meh. Trying to own up to my shady ways, I wanted to know why this happened. It came back to Oprah’s favorite concept, “intention”.  I thought that by obtaining these "things", they would make me feel better, more powerful, or validate my writing; I was seeking external validation. Which I, of all people, should know better. Those feelings of power, joy, can only come from within. The world can not give me these feelings. (Nor take them away)

The phrase “Living my Best Life”, gives me an anxiety attacks sometimes. For most, “Living Your Best Life,” is equipped with traveling, partying and/or having a total body transformation. It’s basically another form of shaming, those of us who don’t have it all together. It almost makes me understand why Nicki Minaj, would be fighting with Sarfee on Twitter. (Almost).  As I think about creating the life of my dreams, I'm realizing it’s not enough to just reach a goal. I’ll explain, it’s important for me to get an agent and have a book deal, because it will help me start a new career. I don’t think that writing is going to be easy. (And for the record, it hasn’t been to date.) But this is the treadmill, I’m willing to die on. The idea of getting paid, for getting lost in my own thoughts, literally sends tingles down my spine. When I received my first writing paycheck from XoNecole, it felt like robbery. I remember having a huge smile on my face and never wanting to forget that feeling. 

On the downside, I thought that getting published, would suddenly make me this official writer. And, I thought my followers would sky rocket. (Not!) The truth was, yes, my article was shared with a ton of people and received many comments, but in the grand scheme, it was just another think-piece. It was just another article, for people to argue about on social media. And honestly, that’s not something I’m interested in. I’m learning, it’s not arrogant, for me to admit that I want to make a change. To want to be a force for good and make an impact on the culture. It's ok, because it's my definition of success. Reaching that milestone, also made me realize, I’m not about the freelance life. I like to write about what I want to write about, when I want to write about it. Trying to come up with ideas to pitch, is draining for me. I noticed after a while, I was just pulling ideas out of my ass. And I don’t want to be that type of writer. As dramatic as it sounds, I want people to grow to have expectations of my work. To know, that I won’t just say something, for the sake of saying it. 

 I say all that to say, you must decide what your best life looks like. I’ve been trying to move away from just saying, “I’m living my best life”, to actually doing it. And let me tell you, this shit is hard work. I found myself overwhelm with trying to keep up with my mind, body, spirit, and credit. I knew there had to be a simpler way, so here's how I simplified trying to live my best life:

Defined My Best Life for Myself: This one is easy. Trying to live up to society version of “your best life”, will leave you confused and stressed the fuck out. On paper, to society standards, I am living my best life. Trying to start a new career at thirty, sounds crazy. Yet to me, continuing on how I am now, sounds crazier. The best version of myself is being a writer, who has work that lives and breathes in the world. It’s also being a thousand percent comfortable in my own skin and not being worried about money, weight or the opinions of other people. 

Identifying What’s Stopping Me from Living My Best Life: This part is just a little more difficult, because it requires a true level of honesty. If you are going to start to live your best life, you have to think about, what it’s going to take you to get there. I had to do some real self-evaluation, on what’s stopping me from getting to the next level. If I want to become this productive working writer with a killer body, better attitude and plenty of funds in her bank account; there were a ton of old habits and beliefs that had to go. So, I created a whole list of undesirable characteristics. Number one on the list, was my self-sabotaging ways. (It also included things like lacking self-disciple, consistency, budgeting, lack of planning, jealously and being extremely emotional.)

Picking My Three Top Issues: Trying to focus on changing everything at once, can not only be overwhelming, but it can also be harmful. Because there is no such thing as changing overnight. I figured, if I could just get the basic stuff together, maybe it will make all the other changes easier. Since I’m focusing on my writing. I picked the things that would help create better habits. (Self-discipline, consistency and planning) Pick one major area and focus solely on it. If you don’t have one area or you just don’t want to feel blah. Pick three things that will change it, it could be as simple as going out to eat more or hanging out with your friends. It doesn’t have to be this major thing, you can take baby steps to your best life. 

Planning My Best Life: As cliché as it sounds, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  I had to be realistic about how I was going to make this major change in my life. I’ve been finishing a novel for four years. This year has to be the last year, so I gave myself a deadline. My goal is to finish the novel, this year, so that gave me three months (it was more like seven months), to incorporate these new habits.  Then picked ONE thing to focus on each month; it’s like a staircase approach!

One of my biggest issues that stems from self-sabotage, is that I lack discipline. The first step for me, was getting a solid morning routine in place. My thinking was, if I can start my day on the right foot, hopefully it will end on a better one. So, all of June, I forced myself to wake up at six in the morning, walk Cudi for thirty-minutes, mediate, set my intentions for the day in my journal and pull a Law of Attraction card. The next month, I worked on making it a habit to do yoga, four days a week.  After that it was about creating a writing schedule. These things were push-ups to condition not only my mind but my body and spirit, for self-discipline. The key is to build new habits to replace the shitty old ones. Now I don’t even think twice about meditating and doing yoga. 

Reflect, Evaluate and Do It Again: If journaling isn’t your thing, make sure you pause at the end of your set period (mines is the end of the year) and see if you have made some changes. The only way to check your progress is to check yourself.  I'm a huge fan of journaling and writing things out. You don't have to do this daily, but you should have a way to keep track of your progress. You will be amazed at the small changes that occur over time. I also noticed that every time I write something down, it comes to fruition or I end up following through with the task. The universe loves to brag, so when you write it down, your challenging the universe to make it happen. 

 "Living Your Best Life", is about YOUR life. It's  also an active process. Your version of it will constantly change, but if you are aware and unafraid to do the work, you just may surprise yourself, at how quickly your life has changed for the better! I challenge you to join me in not just saying your living your best life and actually live that muthafucka! You deserve it Sis! 


Until next time:"Hardship and suffering are things that people tend to try to avoid, especially since we all experience them. But God uses any hardship or suffering for our benefit,even when the human mind can't fathom it. Instead of avoiding hardship and suffering, I find myself embracing {it}, knowing God will restore me and provide strength I didn't have prior to my hardship and suffering."

- Rest in Power Carvell Goodlow

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