Spiritual Practices for Your Well-Being

The term spirituality is one that has been floating around a lot recently. If you read self-help books, subscribe to the lifestyle section of YouTube or just simply have a genuine interest in learning about wellness, you have read or heard of this term.

Spirituality can be related to religion just as much as yoga, meditation, and relaxation methods.

In simple words,

“Spirituality is the belief that we [humans] are all connected to and by a force greater than ourselves which works in our favor and is looking out for our greater good.”

This force whether you deem it as God, the Universe etc is tapped into when you make a decision to not only believe in it but trust and allow it to manifest itself in your life.

I believe that it is through an inward process of self-discovery and developing of our intuition that we then grow in tune with the source and are able to love ourselves and love and understand other people.

Some spiritual practices that are beneficial are:

1. Gratitude – We can express it through writing things down for which we are grateful for. Speaking our gratitudes out loud. Meditating on our gratitudes.

2. Affirmations– The practice of speaking the truth over and over until it becomes a reality. ‘I am beautiful’. ‘I am intelligent’. ‘I am strong’.

3. Faith – Speaking the truth and believing it has happened. When you say you are beautiful, you believe it in your core, even if doubt creeps in every so often.

4. Manifestation – Speaking things which have not happened yet into existence. For example, you can say ‘I am grateful for the car that I buy in May…’ It has not happened yet but I am putting it out in the future that it will happen by saying it has happened. This act of speaking ‘as if’ things have already happens clicks something in my brain that then subconsciously motivates me to move towards achieving that thing.

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Do you believe in spirituality? If so, what are your spiritual practices?

Xoxo,

Mara

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Self-Care Practices to Refresh Your Body and Mind

You know when you’ve had a long of day of work (me today) and you feel like you want to retreat forever. Or when it’s just been a crappy day and things have seemingly not gone right for you. Those days when you’d rather be a b**** and simply tell everyone to f*** off. Those are the days that you should love yourself the most. Those are the days when you should intentionally treat yourself and let your body know that although these things are happening or have happened they by no means define the way the rest of your day or life for that matter is going.

Some ways you can self-care:

1. Take a bath.

Lights down low. Bubbles everywhere. Music playing in the background. Unwind.

2. Read a book.

I’m currently reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and its so freaking good. Stay woke. I try to squeeze in as much time to read it as possible.

3. Do your hair.

For all you naturalistas out there. You know what I’m talking about. It feels great after you detangle your hair, put seem deep conditioner on it and watch it come magically back to life.

4. Connect with good friends.

Friends that don’t judge you. The ones who will go watch Blank Panther with you for the 5th time, stay up late talking about those akward fangirl days (Beliebers out there you know what I mean..), and the ones who will pray with you no matter what situation y’all are both in spiritually. Those friends.

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How important is self-care to you? What are some of your self-care practices?

Xoxo,

Mara

The Root of Confidence is Self-Love

A lot of times when people talk about confidence they talk about the things you can do to make yourself feel more confident. Dress nice, stand up straight, you name it. Those things are great. Changing your physiology has a lot to do with your confidence. However, long lasting confidence comes from the inner work of self-love. Confidence translates into having faith in yourself and your value aside from what other people think or are doing. When you love yourself you don’t care about what other people think of you. When you love yourself you release competition with others. You are so secure in all that you are that you show up unabashedly in the Universe.

If you want the inner confidence that comes from self love some things you can do are:

  • Create a list of all of the things you love yourself. Do you often appreciate these things? If not, why not? What can you do to change that?
  • Look yourself in the mirror everyday and tell yourself you love you love yourself. Say at least three positive affirmations before starting your day.
  • Check your emotions. When an emotion comes up don’t react to it but rather reflect on it. Why do I feel this way? What are possible reasons for why this has happened?
  • Create a self-love affirming morning and night routine. Eat breakfast, journal, say your affirmations. Pick out your clothes the night before, read, listen to a podcast.
  • Journal. For gratitude, for self-reflection, or just to clear your mind. Make lists, write letters to yourself.
  • Read self help books. There are so many books out there.
  • Work out. Get your blood flowing. At least once a week.
  • Eat healthy. Meal prep. Limit the amount of times you go out to eat. Drink more water.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. PHYSICALLY. MENTALLY. EMOTIONALLY.

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Where are you in your self-love journey?

Xoxo,

Mara

Cultivate Positive Self-Talk

I wish I could accurately explain how mentally transformative practicing positive self-talk is.
When it comes to self-talk the main thing you should understand is:
Words have power. The words we speak and the thoughts we have cause a negative or positive reaction in our lives.
If you are interested in cultivating positive self-talk some ways you can do so are by:
1. Creating Affirmations.
Affirmations are important because they remind you of what it is that you want in your life. If you struggle with negative thoughts about your body and you want to fall in love with your body speaking positive affirmations about it will positively change that relationship between your mind and your body.
2. Gratitude journaling.
I have mentioned it in a previous blog post but expressing gratitude is life-giving.
3. Be your own cheerleader.
Interrupting negative self-talk or anxiety with a pep talk is amazing. Talk to yourself the way you would a friend or a lover. Tell yourself you are okay that you love yourself and that things are working out for your greater good. You will see how your mood will drastically change over time.
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What are your thoughts and experiences on cultivating positive self-talk?
Xoxo,
Mara

Become Intentional about Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Although the average person might not share everything that they experience mentally, as humans we go through a lot. We experience anxiety, which sometimes goes undiagnosed, we go through hardships, feel stress and occasionally have breakdowns. However, we aren’t all taught the necessary skills to cultivate mental strength.
Pursuing good mental health should be a daily intention. In order for us to have long lasting, satisfying lives, there are practices we can implement that will better equip us for when difficult situations arise.
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1. Check in with yourself.
You know yourself better than anyone else. You can feel when something is wrong. Don’t ignore it. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and why. This doesn’t mean you have to do anything about it but simply that you understand why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling. Be honest with yourself.
 2. Pause.
Put everything down. Restart your mind. Just like you know why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling the answer for how to proceed is already within you. It is so easy to get distracted by people, things and even your emotions. The answer comes when your silent enough to listen to the answer.
 3. Journal.
Write down what you’re feeling, positive affirmations, or even a gratitude list. There is something cathartic about putting pen to paper.
4. Communicate with your loved ones. 
Let them know you’re okay and express any concerns you might have. They love you and want what’s best for you. Check in with them as well.
5. Forgive yourself.
It is not healthy to constantly dwell on what you’ve done wrong. Don’t let your mistakes become your identity. Take it in. Learn from it. Move on.
6. TRUST in the Universe.
The Universe has your back if you trust it. Intentionally set aside anxiety, fear, and doubt in hope of something good. This is faith. This is peace.
7. Speak life.
Positive affirmations are so powerful. It tricks our brain into believing that what we are saying is true. It gives room for the Universe to manifest what we are speaking.
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Will you commit to being intentional about taking care of your mental health? What are some practices that you currently implement in your daily life?
Xoxo,
Mara

Personal Growth Books You Should Read in 2018

If you started 2018 with the broad intention of bettering yourself reading some personal growth books should definitely be at the top of your action steps for achieving that goal. In 2017 I really went in on my commitment to becoming educated on topics that would help me grow as a person. I wanted to become assertive and learn to love myself more. But overall I just wanted to grow. So I bought some books that I heard great things about and began my journey.
These are some of the ones that have had a great impact on my life:
1. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.
I’m going to let you know right off the bat: Brené Brown is amazing. After only reading one book of hers I became obsessed and decided to read all of them and have been so blessed by each and every one. In Daring Greatly Brené Brown explains the effects that shame has on our lives and how real people have built the resiliency to overcome it. Brown discusses the power that vulnerability has to dismantle shame and how when we dare greatly by entering the arena of life through sharing our truth we are stronger and more fulfilled because of it regardless of the hits and the hate from the people watching from the sidelines.

2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Of course I had to add at least another book by Brené Brown. In this book Brene Brown talks about the steps a person can take to start living wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedness is a by product of being vulnerable and embracing our imperfections. Once again she focuses on real people, people who intentionally battle with shame and pursue a wholehearted life. She found that these people cultivate courage, compassion and connection along with many other things.

3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Although this is a short book it was nothing less than life changing. Coelho creates a story about a Andalusian shepherd that has a dream in which he needs to find a treasure in the Egyptian pyramids.  The dream is so real that he believes he sets out in search of the treasure. The reader basically journey with the shepherd on his mission. They grow with him as he learns to trust his intuition and follow his dreams.

4. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin

I first learned about 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by watching a Tedx talk by Amy Morin. Amy Morin has gone through some very difficult moments. She lost her mom when she was 23 years old and then 3 years later on the anniversary of her mother’s death she lost her husband Lincoln. Although she is a therapist and knows how to encourage others to get through these type of situations these loses of course hit her very hard. A couple of years later she remarried an amazing man and then unfortunately finds out that her father in law had cancer. Afraid of the grief she would experience again Morin was inspired to make a list of things she should not do if she was actually going to get through this experience. Although the concepts are simple they are definitely revolutionary.

5. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

I’m going to be honest at first I was a little bit turned off by this book. When I first read the book I didn’t know much about spirituality and didn’t understand the purpose or believed in the validity of some of the practices she wrote about such as chanting. However after going through and reading the book I understood and appreciated the way Sincero delivered the message and the overall theme of the book. Sincero explains that the life we want is available for us to have but we don’t have it because we’re too busy accepting lousy lives. We do that by thinking and speaking negatively about ourselves and others and also by not working hard for what we want. With a tough love approach she explains that we should think and speak positively, visualize what we want, and get rid of all of the BS we believe/accept and wake up to the life we have always wanted.

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I hope you find some of these books helpful!

What are some personal growth books that have been beneficial to you? What books are you already looking forward to reading?

Xoxo,

Mara

Habits that Promote Wellness

Wellness relates to actively working on or pursuing your overall health or well-being. It encompasses all areas of life you know of and would like to work on. This includes but is not limited to physical, mental, emotional, or financial health.
If you were to examine the lives of seemingly overall healthy people you would note that there are a number of good habits they implement into their daily life to maintain their wellness. Habits are simple actions that are engraved into a person’s daily routine such as washing your teeth, locking your house door every time you leave the house or washing your dishes after everyone eats. You execute them without even thinking about it.
When it comes to wellness there’s no doubt that habits are essential. You may start off having to remind yourself to practice your habits consistently but eventually doing these things will become second nature.
Some habits that you can implement into your daily life to promote wellness in your life:
 1. Reading/Education – Maybe it’s just me but I love reading. It takes me to a whole other world in which I’m entering another persons world and learning from the lessons in their lives.
2. Writing – Creative/Journaling –  I say this about a number of things BUT there is something so cathartic about writing. I especially enjoy journaling but every now and then I work on that story that I created about a year ago. It brings me joy and disconnects me from this world for a bit.
3. Affirmations – Positive self-talk. What you say to yourself, in your mind or out loud becomes a reality. Rather than manifesting a shitty reality through negative self-talk its vital to become intentional about speaking life-giving words over ourselves. I am smart, I am beautiful, I am capable. I am successful. The battle is in the mind.
4. Meditation – Disconnection. Head Space. A lot of times we really get in our heads. There are a lot of thoughts circulating in our minds and we can’t think clearly to make effective decisions. Meditation is like pressing the restart button on our minds. It gives our body and allows us to start up again optimum functioning.
5. Physical Activity – Dancing, running, exercising. Moving our bodies releases endorphin which are hormones that make us happy.
6. WATER. – It’s crazy that are bodies are 80 percent water but we actually are dehydrated a large percent of the time. It’s so important to keep our bodies hydrated by drinking water daily. Even just a whole water bottle a day is better than nothing.
7. Healthy food – I’m not the best at this one at all. Honestly my main opinion is to make sure you’re eating three times a day and don’t skip breakfast. However, I have some close friends that vouch that eating healthy is so important for overall well being so I won’t knock and I would say try it out. I can vouch that I feel better when I eat a tasty salad in comparison to a pizza.

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Are there any of habits that you would like to commit to this year? What are some wellness habits that you already practice? Let me know in the comment section.

Xoxo,

Mara