My Own Mental Health Awareness

This will be quite the disclosure post…

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My cousin Mike showed me this photo in 2017. I have not seen it since it was taken back in 2001. Seeing it now as my present self, I don’t even recognize that girl. & yet, I feel her. I worked through her. Here’s how:


There’s a day during my freshman year in High School I recall so vividly. So much, I can still feel the sensation in the pit of my stomach. It was in Ms. Knife’s English class…just days before Winter break. She paired students to imagine giving a gift to one another. The class was uneven and she included herself. Lucky me, I was paired with her. When it came down to what she would gift me, she said she would gift me a smile.

I felt a knot in my abdomen and tensed up 😳 All while trying to not let it phase me.

I felt so vulnerable because she saw past my anger. She noticed a mask I wore in attempt to cover my sadness and anger towards myself.

It was that moment that I realized how she was right. I didn’t smile, couldn’t remember when was the last time that occurred on my face. She forced me to be aware of how truly unhappy I was & as much as I tried to hide it…I was only fooling myself.

That moment hit me hard. Now that it was brought to my attention, what options did I have? Continue ignore it? Lie to myself that I was “okay”? At the time, I chose to act on it.

During High School, I excelled academically and overly involved myself with friends, after school activities, work and a not-so-good relationship. That’s what my teenage self thought would help make me appear happy. It worked for the most part. I covered my depression with alllll these activities that eventually lead to burnout 😓

Senior year, I took an AP Psychology course. Mental health just spoke to me. I fell in love with everything to do with Psychology. So I went ahead and majored in it (without a doubt) at Stony Brook.

Once more, I had another moment of “ah ha!” This time, it was Summer 2005 during the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP). I made a promise to myself that I would continue to just shine. I remembered what my HS teacher told me she would gift me. & that Summer, I decided to gift it to myself.

In the Spring of 2006, I went to the University’s counseling center, saw my first therapist (of many thereafter) but also, I found mindful meditation.

This month, my intentions are; to have fun whenever possible, live less in my head, let my guard down (cause Lord knows I’m so protective of myself) & to remember how far I’ve come.

Taking care of my mental health has been a combination of many things, including my therapists’ couch, a Yoga mat, through journaling, talking to my close friends, music, massages, traveling, meditation, prayer and even through my work with my patients.

Till this day, whenever I start to feel the slightest bit of sadness, pain, or uncomfortable feelings, I feel it completely. Meaning, I choose to not ignore it. I acknowledge it. & I gift myself whatever it needs to better cope.

Thanks 🙏🏽 for reading. Please be the most nicest person to yourself. Tell yourself kind thoughts/comments. Love yourself like you’d Love someone else

Namaste

✨’New Beginnings’ Magic

Feliz FriYay 🥳

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Today’s also the first day of my next Yoga Teacher Training

Since my Yoga Teacher Training in the Summer of 2015, I kept telling myself this “Yoga Teaching” would be something separate from my professional work. It was a hobby I had all to my little self 😈.

Deep down though, I knew both Yoga and Psychotherapy would merge…I just didn’t feel it yet.

Mindful meditation and later having a Yoga practice is what helped me cope both as an Undergraduate and Graduate student. My therapist has always encouraged me to continue having a steady practice. & it was during a session that I vocalized having an idea of being an instructor out loud. My therapist watered that seed 🌱

November 2015, I came across Prema Yoga Therapeutics as I was looking into Yoga Therapy certification programs. That following Spring, I took the Ayurveda training & found a new home 😌

Just last week, it was announced that Prema Yoga Institute is now officially fully accredited as an IAYT Yoga Therapy Training School. Blessings on blessings peeps 🙏🏽

Here’s to the Magic in New Beginnings.

Whether it is the beginning of the day, a new month, a new season, training, a new job, meeting someone new…

Whatever it is, make sure to always 👇🏽

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Namaste

Just Enjoy

Jumping right into this Monday morning was quite ROUGH (definitely blaming it on the bottomless wine from last night)…I was not feeling it AT ALL 😒

🌈What has helped me especially on days like Monday mornings is keeping a light morning routine. I make sure to enjoy getting ready for whatever type of day is ahead 🌞

What helps me get into the swing of things on Monday mornings is making sure I enjoy every step of the way. No matter what.

First thing is making a pot of coffee ☕️ (unless my mom beats me to it). I LOVEEE the smell of coffee, cheers me up instantly. Once in the shower 🚿 , I used a new charcoal sugar scrub from Fit Fab Fun Spring box. Lathered my dry legs with Nivea. I walk to my room with coffee in hand, turn on the radio or to a Podcast episode (Whoreible Decisions has been my new jumpoff) as I get ready. Once I get something playing in the background, I do my skincare followed by getting dressed. Last is my hair and most mornings I have enough time to put on some make up 💁🏻‍♀️

Was very proud of myself for packing my gym bag! Although I wasn’t feeling 100%, I made sure to not let however I was feeling at that moment get in the way of how I could potentially feel later. Been loving the feeling of getting out of the gym. To add to my little celebration of packing my gym clothes, an Hermana texted me “Gym today?”. That boosted my mood. 🥳

By the time I made into the Social Service department, this quote on my desk is a daily reminder to Enjoy the little things in life….So I thought I’d share. What does your Morning Routine look like? 👀

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5-Minute Golden Milk Recipe

Here’s a quick step by step recipe on how to make your very own Turmeric Tea aka “Golden Milk” 💁🏻‍♀️


What exactly is Golden Milk & Are there any benefits?

  • This warm drink which is packed with Turmeric has been valued for its medicinal properties in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries!

  • Some of the benefits include: aiding in weight loss, improving heart health, supports digestion, immune function and liver function

  • Turmeric (Curcumin) is known as the “Spice of Life” —Many chronic diseases have inflammation at their root (Read more here)

  • I’ve enjoyed this best right before going to bed—as it also aids with relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping 😌 💤


What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of milk of your choice (coconut*, almond, oat...)

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

  • A pinch of black pepper

  • Tiny piece of freshly peeled ginger root

*Optional Ingredients: pinch of cayenne pepper & 1 teaspoon of raw honey/maple syrup

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Blend your choice of milk and ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth

  2. Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot (do not boil)

  3. Sip & Enjoy 😌

How To Get Away With Loving Yoga

Everyone has been one….a Newbie to Yoga

TBH: Yes, it’ll be a little weird, different, there’s a lingo that Yoga teachers speak and you’ll be asked to do some breathing exercises. But quite honestly, the less judgment you go into a class about Yourself, you’ll see what all the craze is about All Things Yoga.

I went ahead and compiled a list of items and suggestions to get you started—so that you can hop on your mat & feel at least Intermediate 😉

First thing’s first, you’ll need a Yoga Mat.

You can walk into a Yoga studio & trust their rental mats, but nothing yells “I came for Savasana!” more than having your own surface to practice on

My very first Yoga mat is by Gaiam. She’s my Ride or Die ✊🏽till this day, so I highly recommend their mats.

Here’s Gaiam’s Beginners Kit (it includes: yoga mat, a yoga block and a yoga strap for those hard to reach areas) for $29.98!!

You’ll be walking around like a pro, no one will suspect you’re new to the game


Unless you’re a person who doesn’t sweat ever (ps. I don’t trust non-sweaty folks) You’ll find microfiber towels to be your bestie.

They come in handy whether you take a class in room temperature or try a hot style sesh, you’ll work up a sweat and don’t want to be slipping and sliding 😅 Yes there’s stretching in Yoga, but trust you’ll create some body heat. I picked up a Yoga Rat towel from a Marshall’s some years ago and she never lets me down.

You can find some on Amazon starting at $7.99


🙅🏻‍♀️This one is for my Bronx peeps🙅🏾‍♂️

What better way to try different Hot Yoga classes than never having to leave our borough & do so at a great starting price?! 😲

Grab your bestie or that Yogi in your life and lock in a Month’s worth of Unlimited classes. New Year, New Yogi? 👀

I signed up earlier this month and I am loving their variety of class types such as Bikram, Bodhi and Yin. They’re conveniently located at 5500 Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463. Bikram Yoga Bronx GroupOn for $51.00 ($140 Value)


Recommended Yogi Read Alert 🚨

“Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Guide to Finding Joy in Unexpected Places” By: Sam Chase Besides him being one of my favorite Yoga Teacher Trainers… his writing style and explanation of finding joy is relatable, to the point and while reading just felt like I was in a classroom once more with him (& trust he doesn’t put you to sleep)

Do yourself the favor and grab yourself or someone you love a copy—available in paperback & kindle.


I must share my new jump off…a Podcast recommendation 🤓

J. Brown has what I consider a similar passion and desire to share Yoga as I do. He describes his work as “a quiet revolution, based in healing. [He] seeks to change the dialogue, and direction, of yoga in the west”.

The discussions have been refreshing to hear and relate to as a yogi student/teacher. It reminds me of how awesome Yoga is and will continue to be 💕

Yoga Talks has featured Pedro Luna IG: @Yogimemes, Dr. Loren Fishman, and so many others. Plug in to Yoga Talks today.

Side-note: Dr. Fishman is on the faculty at Prema Yoga Institute for his Yoga for Back Care expertise. I’ve had the pleasure to sit in on his lectures for PYI’s Yoga In Healthcare Training. Side-Side note: I received a Prema Yoga Therapy application I must get to ASAP (ah!)


Last but certainly not least….Have you seen my first YouTube Vid yet?? Check it out 👍🏽

Color Faded

I remember her….

Her scent, the deepness in her eyes, the way she swayed as though nothing can get through her.

She carried herself like no other I’ve seen before.

She made me believe.

That’s what drew me to her in the first place.

I felt alive the very moment I noticed her.

Instantly I felt warmth from her shine,

Like that of the Sun’s rays on a Spring day

She was vibrant

Her smile...I can’t erase, even if i tried

Her hair was lustrous, eyes were full, skin was smooth. 

I couldn’t resist imagining getting close enough to experience her touch.

Naturally, another season came

Some took her for granted 

She came around less 

And I felt a sense of loss

Her smile wasn’t what I remembered it

One day, she wasn’t even recognizable 

She had an evident lackluster presence

Intuition told me she was hiding something

Then one day. 

The one I looked forward to see,

Made a comeback

I’m glad I kept waiting for the day

I had to let her know she was missed

& praised her for always letting her true colors shine

No matter how bright or dull they became

I loved her the same*

Secret Life

You have this glare in your eyes

that reels me in

I give you my undivided attention

My drum beat speeds up in my chest

I’m forced to think about my breathing

I have to calm myself around you

& You

You strut around as if none of this is wrong

You step all over me

Know just what I’d want you to say & do

& I

I feel like I’m doing overtime on my downtime

Every time you come around

& You

You treat me indifferently

Which drives me insane and spins me out of control

How the fuck do you do it?

Every. Single. Time.

& You

You walk away like nothing

& I

I clean up the mess you leave you behind

I called to tell you…

We are living separate lives

& only one of them is real