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Growing or Dying:

Do You Know a Narcissist?


July 15, 2021

The first time I heard the word narcissist I was learning Greek mythology as a child. In the story, the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope was named Narcissus and was known for his good looks. A sage told his mother that he would live a long life if he never recognized himself. However, young Narcissus drew the wrath of the gods for rejecting the attention of a suitor. (Depending on the story the affection was from either the nymph, Echo or the young man, Ameinias.) The gods punished him by allowing him to fall in love with his own reflection in the waters of the spring. He pined away and died. Some accounts say he killed himself. The flower that bears his name sprang up from where he died.


What a story! I used to really love Greek mythology as a child. As an adult, I came to understand the word “narcissist” to describe people who were insufferably self-absorbed. It’s only in the past year, that I’ve grown to understand Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as an actual condition. While it’s not considered a clinical mental illness and cannot be cured with medication, it is a deficiency in personal development and character. Personal development is so important to me I've built a business around it. From where I sit, when you stop growing you die. Life is about evolution. So, what stumps the narcissists? I checked in with my favorite narcissist-sleuth, Dr. Ramani. Because the word "narcissist" is a bit of a hot-button term and often misunderstood, I'm sharing her tips to identify the traits of these very troubling people in our lives. Let's all learn to navigate these difficult personalities with a bit more understanding. 


Dr. Ramani coined the acronym C.R.A.V.E.D. To learn directly from Dr. Ramani, you can access her video on her YouTube channel. Here's the breakdown:

  1. Conflict-Driven – Narcissistic personalities enjoy fighting even for small issues or lost causes. Whether the server forgot the ketchup, the weather is bad or they’re stuck in traffic, all conflict is worthy of focus, much like a sport.
  2. Rigid – While healthy personalities develop resilience and flexibility, narcissistic personality styles have difficulty with change and adaptation and admission of wrong-doing. These are often the people who find it impossible to apologize.
  3. Antagonistic – Narcissists employ lies, deceit, manipulation, exploitation, arrogance and gaslighting as par for the course. While they are generally toxic and hostile, they may also be charismatic on the surface and begin new relationships with "love bombing" or repeated praise and grand gestures of affection.
  4. Vulnerable, Vindictive and Victimized – Under it all, narcissists are deeply insecure and have low self-esteem. They often feel they are being treated unfairly and see themselves as victims. In response, they want to harm those they believe have mistreated them.
  5. Entitled – Despite or perhaps because of underlying insecurities, narcissists adopt an attitude of special privilege and believe rules don’t apply to them. When they don’t receive VIP treatment they may lash out in anger or employ manipulative and deceitful tactics to get what they want.
  6. Dysregulated – This is a new entry into my vocabulary. Dysregulation refers to an inability to keep emotional responses within a normal range of reactions. Sadness, anger, irritability, and frustration may come with explosive fits and uncontrollable tears.

Any of these traits may show up in a variety of different personality types. However, if many of these ring true for you, you may be dealing with someone with narcissistic traits and perhaps even NPD. 


I visited a therapist when I was in my late twenties who told me, “You’re swimming with sharks and you don’t even know it.” She was right. I’m an optimistic, glass-half-full girl. I love people and I easily see the best in them. Over the years as I’ve continued to grow and learn, I’ve realized that while some people move through life with a mindset of kindness and evolution, some get stuck in fear, trauma and insecurities. That stuckness can lead to personality disorders. In Buddhism, we call this a deluded mind. When delusions are allowed to grow unchecked, not only is it unhealthy for you, but it is also unhealthy for everyone around you. There are many types of delusions. Anger, jealousy, hatred, ignorance and attachment are some of the most common. They are all based on a misperception that is then projected as if it were true. Narcissism gives plenty of examples to choose from.


I encourage you to notice unhealthy personalities in your orbit so that you can understand with a heart of compassion while also protecting yourself from unnecessary harm. By building this heightened awareness, you will have additional motivation to work through your own fears and insecurities so that you can continue to grow into the beautiful flower you are so carefully designed to be. In this world, nothing stays still. You are either growing or you are dying. Self-awareness requires some work, but it is worth every moment spent. It is through this that you will find the profound gifts of authenticity and self-love.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is of a narcissus. If you recognize the plant, it’s because it goes by many names including daffodil and jonquil. If you’d like to watch Dr. Ramani’s video on this topic, you can find it HERE. If you want to grow in your journey and improve your relationships, click the button and let's chat!

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The Energy of Money:

Does Integrity Matter Anymore?


July 9, 2021

Are your pockets fat? I worked as a financial advisor for thirteen years helping my clients invest their assets and plan for their financial future. I’ve experienced money in my own life from many angles: a six-figure income, six-figure checks, six-figure loans and six-figure losses. I’ve won money, found money, donated money and held my breath when my checking account fell below a single dollar.


Money is a contract, but it’s also an energy flow.


Our money indicates our intention and our attention. Our intention shows up in the way we earn, spend and invest, while our attention shows up in the way we budget and track.


The week after Independence Day feels like an excellent time to share some of my favorite quotes and lessons about money:

  1. “You can have everything you want if you will just help other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar. Idowu Koyenikan offers another insightful variation on this theme, “The money you make is a symbol of the value you create.” You need to create value for others with whatever it is that you offer, whether it’s at your 9-to-5, on your podcast or with your own business. When I think of some of our most iconic tech brands: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google or Facebook, they all offered a specific service very well. You have to figure out what people want and find a way to give it to them, whether it’s encouragement, a ride to the airport or a tasty sandwich.
  2. “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” – Warren Buffet. I remember when my dad was in the final days of his life. He was sleeping in bed while his business was still turning a profit. That was a boss move, Dad. As I’ve worked with coaches and consultants in the past year, I’ve heard it over and over again, “Stop trading hours for dollars.” Building a legacy means, not only can you earn while you sleep, but even when you are no longer alive. If you’re Tupac, you can even perform after death, the ultimate flex. For some of us mere mortals, we might make passive income the old-fashioned way from rental income, good ole dividend-paying stocks and sturdy bond portfolios. These can also be used to create an endowment that lives on long after we’re gone.
  3. “Everything you want in life is a relationship away.” – Idowu Koyenikan. Conversations about leveraging relationships have risen to the surface of many of my interactions lately. Remember the old adage, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” We can see examples of this on center stage in our political system. One candidate wins a seat in the white house, then another family member follows. Whether it’s the Bushes the Kennedys or the Clintons, proximity to power and wealth matters. If you’ve read, Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman’s Guide to Spreading Her Wings, you know my preferred term for “networking” is “pollinating.” No matter what you call it, it’s all about relationships! We could all have more success progressing along our journey if we supported each other. Much like the African proverb, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And if you worry you don’t know the right people, remember the rule of “six degrees of separation.” The theory is that we’re all only six or fewer relationships away from anyone on the planet that we want to meet. So, you know more people than you think you do. The question is, when is the last time you reached out?
  4. “Don’t worry about being successful, work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.” – Oprah Winfrey. This one stuck with me. I remember singing along with Drake when I was working at Merrill Lynch, “I just wanna be suc-cess-ful…” I wanted to find great clients and pay my bills. I dreamed of being a top advisor. I didn't dream of being significant. Now, it’s the only thing I think of. How can I impact the largest amount of people in the most relevant way? Well, I hope Oprah is on to something with this one. Oprah is basically magic, so it must be true.
  5. “If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy.” – Unknown. Some days this is harder to do than others, but on any given day I can rattle off a few things easily: a sense of humor, peace of mind, a compassionate heart, a healthy body and the love of my friends and family. Have you ever had a difficult day set straight when you learned about someone else's death or illness? Money is necessary, but it's not the only important thing.

I encourage you to think about your relationship with money. What does it represent for you? Security? Freedom? Recognition? Generosity? Is money the only route to obtain the things you desire? Money is an exchange of energy. I hope the energy you exchange is always from a place of honor and integrity, because not only does integrity matter, it may very well be the thing that matters most.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is from @thoughtcatalog. I love the way money is used as a lens in this photo. Have you thought about working one-on-one with a coach to focus on what you value most? Learn more at the link below.

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The Daily Gift:

Can You Learn from the Departed?


June 29, 2021

Today would have been my older sister Cathy’s 59th birthday. It’s been 28 years since she passed away. It feels like forever, and yet since her passing, my family has always acknowledged her birthday as Daughter’s Day. I grew up in a family with four girls, my mom and my grandmother. With six women in the house, my poor dad must have been overwhelmed.


Cathy was the most enterprising person I knew. When we were kids, she was always busy. She used to sell Blair products and engraved Christmas cards door-to-door in our Brooklyn neighborhood. She raised money consistently for the March of Dimes. She even hosted a carnival complete with corporate sponsors to raise money for Jerry Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy charity at our summer home in Pennsylvania. I remember having large canisters of horse manure in our Brooklyn backyard for a science project when she was a student at Stuyvesant High School. She approached local ranchers to acquire said manure. Cathy wasn’t scared to talk to anyone, and this was all when she was only a kid!


My sister wasn’t always the easiest person to get along with. She had lots of opinions and knew she was born to lead. All of us younger siblings were well aware of her authority, whether we liked it or not. When people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would say “CEO of a major corporation.” First of all, what kid talks like that? At the time, I had no idea what she was talking about. But that was Cathy. She was a ball of fire, full of confidence and definitely not to be fucked with.


I remember when I decided to quit school to start working. I planned to get my bachelor's degree at night school. She said, “You can do that, but you’re making things harder for yourself.” I didn’t understand her at the time. I thought I had it all figured out. That’s something we had in common – much like the old Frank Sinatra song, we both wanted to do things our own way. (If you’re too young to know the song, "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, I need you to Google! Shirley Bassey also has her own version. I’ve been a fan of Shirley since I was a little girl. My mom loved her…)


Today feels like a perfect day to share some of the things I learned from my big sister. (Cathy was six years older than me.) Maybe you can learn from her too:

  1. Be your own best cheerleader. – Nobody wants to root for a team that doesn’t believe in itself. If you don’t show up with confidence and a “can-do” attitude, it will be hard to find supporters. So do like Cathy did and shout from the mountaintops. No one is better than you!
  2. Fight for what you want. – Be prepared for struggle. Some folks will try to tell you that you ain’t all that. They may say you’re too short, too skinny, too loud, too young or too annoying. If they come at you, they better be prepared to fight! Stand up for what you believe about yourself and your right to have an impact in this world.
  3. Nothing works as well as action. – All that cheering and fighting doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t hit the ground running and do the work. I remember the summers she worked at McDonald’s mopping floors, so, be humble and get the job done!
  4. When the work is done, pamper yourself. – When all the cheering, fighting and working is done, take your beautiful self to the mall, spa or nail salon. Get your hair done. Let your exterior be a reflection of your beautiful confident interior. When money's tight, soak in the tub and paint your nails at home. Treat yourself like the royalty you are.
  5. Be prepared to pivot. – As much as we plan, life can throw some curveballs. Be ready to duck, lean to the side and even hideout for a minute. When the train goes off the tracks, be prepared to lay new track.

My sister Cathy had a double major from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She spent her career as a corporate executive at Proctor & Gamble. She was the first one to take me to a spa. I’ll never forget our weekend at Gurney’s in Montauk, Long Island. She spent her life battling both sickle-cell anemia and later mental health issues. She had one child. She was only thirty-one when she died.


Sometimes we think our life will last forever. Or, we think we will always have the same mental and physical capacity as we age. We think we have an unlimited amount of time to have an impact. Cathy taught me that you never know how much time you have, so you better get moving! 


What can you learn from the lives of your family and friends who are no longer here? What can you learn from the lives of all the celebrities we've lost over the years? I hope you learn to breathe in each day as a gift and get on the path toward your dreams!


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!


Trish


P.S. The photo is of my sister, Cathy, taken on my wedding day in 1987. I'll be covering my weekly topics and more on Facebook LIVE, beginning on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 @ 8:30pm. Click the link to follow my page. I hope to see you LIVE!

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The Truth Behind the Lie:

How Can You Slay Self-Doubt?


June 25, 2021

I was interviewed for a virtual summit this past Tuesday. I told the host that I am the “Slayer of Self-Doubt.” Without missing a beat, she asked me, “How do you Slay Self-Doubt?” It’s a great question. Self-doubt is so prevalent, it’s safe to call it an epidemic. I discussed some of this in my April 10, 2021 blog, “Slay Your Thoughts: Is Imposter Syndrome Real?” As American writer, Suzy Kassem says, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” While Imposter Syndrome is largely comprised of self-doubt, self-doubt is larger than Imposter Syndrome ever will be.


Self-doubt often begins in childhood. There’s an old poem, “Children Learn What They Live” by Dorothy Law Nolte that says, “When a child lives with criticism, they learn to condemn.” The condemnation may be targeted toward others, but often it’s targeted toward the self. Criticism is one source of self-doubt, but so is not being acknowledged or heard as a child. Most of us remember being picked for sports teams. Those memories of being picked last, or not chosen at all can impact self-esteem far into our later years. As we move through life, habits like perfectionism or hanging out with overly critical family and friends can also feed low self-esteem and self-doubt.


So how do you slay a habit that’s taken so long to develop? Here are my tips:

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. Many times, we cannot work through problems because we are unwilling to confront them. Face your feelings.
  2. Pull out your journal. Ask yourself where these feelings came from and journal your responses. What happened in childhood to make you doubt yourself? How does self-doubt serve you now? Does it protect you from embarrassment or failure? Who in your life now benefits from your self-doubt? What can you learn to improve your confidence? What resources can you access? Don’t stop with my list of questions. Keep going. World-renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins says, “The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you ask yourself.”
  3. Get in a supportive community. Work through your feelings with encouraging friends and mentors. Consider professional teachers, therapists or coaches. Stop hanging out with haters, naysayers and Debbie downers. Level up your tribe.
  4. Clean up your self-talk. There are plenty of people in this world who will tell you what you can’t do. They may say you’re not good enough or smart enough. Don’t be your own worse enemy! When you hear that voice saying, “I can’t,” change it to “I won’t.” When you tell yourself anything negative, find a way to turn it around. The negative voice lies. It might say, “I’m a failure,” when the truth is “I didn’t reach my goals, but I learned from my experience.” Get to the truth behind the lie.
  5. Use affirmations. Write down the statements you want to manifest in your life. Much like in Yung Baby Tate’s song, “I am healthy. I am wealthy. I am rich. I am that bitch!” Declare your greatness. Repeat it until you believe it. You can search online for affirmations to get you started. There are also plenty in my self-help memoir, Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman’s Guide to Spreading Her Wings and online at TrishAhjelRoberts.com/resources.
  6. Keep track of your accomplishments. In moments of self-doubt, maintaining awareness of achievements will keep you grounded in reality and boost your spirits. They can be anything your proud of, whether it’s your high school or college graduation, birth of a child or giving a great speech to a round of applause. Write down all of your accomplishments, big and small.
  7. Question limiting beliefs. Write a list of limitations you believe about yourself, then go back and examine if they’re really true. Your list might look something like this: I’m not really smart. I don’t come from money. I don’t have access to resources. I don’t know wealthy people. I’m not pretty. I’m too fat. I have a bad temper. I’m not a salesperson. Take each statement and challenge it. Maybe you have average intelligence, but so does everyone else. That’s why it’s average. How is intelligence measured, anyway? What are your special talents that you tend to be better at than others? Is it cooking, singing or writing? When you say you don’t come from money, what resources do you have access to? If you live in the United States, you are wealthy compared to people in many other parts of the world and have access to abundant free resources through libraries, government agencies and non-profits. You can Google your way to just about any information you need. Take time to challenge your beliefs about yourself.
  8. Keep track of your progress. My favorite new activity is keeping what I call the “Magic 7” journal inspired by my Beyond Barriers executive coaching training. You can use a traditional or digital journal. Each week I answer 7 questions:
    1. What did I accomplish in the past week?
    2. What am I thankful for?
    3. What did I learn?
    4. What am I most proud of?
    5. How will I celebrate?
    6. What am I most excited about for the upcoming week?
    7. Out of everything on my to-do list, what one thing will I make sure to accomplish in the week ahead?
  9. Work on new skills. Obtaining new skills and experiences is a great confidence booster, as is personal development work like the steps outlined above. Schedule time each day to work on yourself. Give up an hour of television or social media scrolling to invest in your biggest asset, yourself.

Self-doubt is incredibly common, but it doesn’t have to limit your joy, fulfillment or potential. Like a gnarly garden weed, it has a root and can be pulled and tossed from the beautiful garden that is you.


I wish passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!

  

Trish


P.S. The photo one of my quotes. It speaks to our limiting beliefs. Often we say we "got nothing done," when the truth is we got a lot done. If you are looking to blast through self-doubt, let's talk about it! Schedule a free call at the link below.

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The Gratitude Shower:

Can You Love Your Whole Self?


June 19, 2021

This past week I’ve been staring at my round belly in awe. I used to look away from it, unhappy with its fullness. Now, I’ve learned to rejoice in it. If you possess a soft curved belly, you can delight in it too. I fell in love with my belly, and I can teach you to fall in love with your tummy, your toes, your nose, your hair and all your bits and pieces. Today is Juneteenth, a perfect day to celebrate loving our whole selves no matter who may have told us we are unlovable.


Over the years I’ve learned to live in a place of deep appreciation. I started a gratitude journal many years ago. I write the things I’m thankful for: my family, my work, my health and far too many pleasures to count. (The sun, the moon, India Arie, Oprah, Trevor Noah, harem pants, matcha lattes, hot yoga… The list is endless.) Every morning I rise with an affirmation of gratitude. (It’s the foundation of my e-book, Mind-Blowing Happiness™ Guide to Self-Care.) I waded deep in my gratitude, but when it came to my body, it was hard to always be thankful. I compared my grown-up breasts, arms, legs and hips to my young adult body and photoshopped celebrity images. It wasn’t a fair comparison; it was like racing the Jetson’s fantasy flying car in my 2015 Beetle convertible. One wasn’t even real. I realized I had to learn to love this body of mine all the way. Not just the parts that got attention, but all the corners, including my belly. 


I do my best to take care of my physical health. I work out regularly, drink plenty of water, meditate and eat a mostly whole-food plant-based diet. But I didn’t want to only love old pictures of myself or crafty camera angles.


Then it happened.


A few months back I thought about how well my body has served me and how much I take it for granted. I got in the shower and as I lathered each part of my body, I spoke out loud thanking my body part for all it does for me. I call this a “gratitude shower.” As I washed my face, I thanked my cheeks for holding my laughter, my nose for allowing me breath and smell and my mouth for tasting both food and kisses. I thanked my shoulders for carrying my daughter, my laptop, my sweet puppy and my groceries. I thanked my breasts for being feminine, beautiful and healthy. I thanked my arms for all the hugging and loving they’ve done. I thanked my heart for its necessary rhythm and nourishment. I looked down and lathered my belly. I paused. “Thank you belly for processing all my delicious food. For absorbing all my nutrients. For being a good and healthy belly.” That wasn't so bad. I thanked my butt for supporting me as I worked for hours on end sitting in chairs and for looking cute in my jeans and leggings over the years. I thanked my beautiful feminine genitals for bringing the profound experiences of both life and pleasure into this world. I thanked my legs for taking me wherever I wanted to go. I looked at my feet in awe. Those two little appendages managed to balance and serve my entire body. I looked at each toe, such brilliant design. Then I looked again at my belly, this time with respect and admiration. I looked at my whole body. I looked at myself in a new way taking in each element and imagining what it would be like to design such an amazing machine. How had I overlooked the profound gift of my body for so long?


For years I had been wanting to buy waist beads. I did a visualization exercise during my yoga teacher training and saw an image of myself sitting on a bench in the sun, smiling in a beautiful green wilderness. I wore a crop top and had a small waist adorned with waist beads. When I came out of my visualization, I decided when I lost some weight I would buy the beads. After falling in love with my belly, I decided to adorn my waist no matter its size. Now whenever I change my clothes or take a shower, there she is, bejeweled and lovely. My belly is smiling at me, and I smile back. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a 28” waist again. I’m sure it doesn’t matter. I know what does matter to me.


I want to be strong.


I want to be healthy.


I want to love all of me, including my beautiful, bejeweled belly, the spaces between my toes and the very tip of my nose.


I want you to know that no matter the scars, the stretch marks, the cellulite, the veins, the moles or whatever “wisdom marks” are sprinkled along your body, they tell a story. That story is unique, Divine, beautiful and all yours. Make sure to love every inch of it.



I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is me and my decorated belly. If you are looking to blast through self-doubt and run headfirst into self-love, let's talk about how I can support you on your journey to a juicier life. Schedule a free call at the link below.

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Confidence to Dream:

What is Your Personal North Star?


June 12, 2021

Yesterday I had a conversation with my executive coaching cohort about confidence. We were asked to share one of our breakthroughs as we enter the final weeks of the program. I consider myself to be a confident person, but my breakthrough was the sense of heightened confidence that I attained as a program participant. I’ve spoken in the past about wanting to see a self-actualized world, and now I’ve learned to quantify that. I plan to teach 12 million people the 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness in the next 12 years. It’s a goal that’s both challenging and achievable. Moving from wishful thinking to specific measurable goals builds confidence. It's part of what I do regularly with my coaching clients. For some, it's the dreaming itself that's the hardest part.


There were times in my life when I felt particularly successful: when I married, purchased my first home, bought a brand-new car, started a business or gave birth to my beautiful daughter. In those landmark moments, I felt like I was exactly where I wanted to be. Over the years I’ve learned to be cautious in those moments. It can be easy to relax into life’s simplicity: providing for ourselves and caring for our families. When those things are accomplished, there may not be any motivation to do much else. We might fund our 401k and dream only of retirement. We can get too comfortable.


Ironically, when life is difficult it can also make us complacent: The constant grind becomes our primary focus. It’s like driving on the highway while looking at your hood ornament. Trying to make it to the next paycheck, the next light bill or the next meal keeps you stuck in survival mode. Dreams can't see the light of day.


Both comfort and struggle can create inertia. 


So how do you break through?


Sometimes struggle creates an easier path. Having less than what you know you deserve can create motivation to do more. Take a side hustle. Study on weekends. Or dream of a better life.


Sometimes comfort takes the lead. Access to resources can make it easier to take on new ventures, network in powerful circles and dream of creating change.


The breakthrough comes from defining your personal north star. What do you care about? What are your guiding principles? What do you enjoy doing? What are you most skilled at? What population do you want to serve? Once you identify those things, then you must muster the courage to dream big. 


Think back to your childhood. Be creative. Imagine a life without limits.


Maybe you care about kids with autism, and you are a skilled architect. Your big dream might be to build a global network of community centers for autistic kids and their families.


Maybe you’re passionate about the homeless population and you are a middle school teacher. Your big dream might be to create a national curriculum about poverty, disenfranchisement, marginalization and homelessness.


Once the dream is in place, guiding you like a north star, it’s all about execution.


Anything is possible.


We know that because Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison before becoming the first democratically elected president of South Africa. He dreamed of an end to apartheid.


We know that because Oprah Winfrey rose from abuse and poverty to become one of only eleven self-made woman billionaires in the United States. She dreamed of becoming a philanthropist.


As I wrote in Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman's Guide to Spreading Her Wings, "Who am I to say what is and isn't possible? Babies are created from a single cell. The sun is ninety-four million miles from the earth. The oceans follow the call of the moon. My body is capable of fighting infection, writing this book, listening to the rain and following its circadian rhythm simultaneously... I'm not convinced anything is impossible."


Usually, the thing that we care most about hits close to home and the population we want to reach includes ourselves.


In other words, the dream you save may be your own.


And, it's entirely, completely, utterly possible.



I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is the first gift basket that I sent off to a celebrity. It contains Thinking Outside the Chrysalis, the revised 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness and a few of my favorite things. I am relaunching 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness in time for my birthday on September 10, along with a new foreword from Marci Shimoff and some new content. Keep dreaming people! Stay focused!

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The Love M.O.B.:

Do You Know the Key to Self-Love?


June 4, 2021

Yesterday I had the privilege of appearing as an expert on The Quiet Storm on WBLS-FM NY for the second time. It was during a segment called “Confessions of Love.” I was asked whether love is earned or deserved. Without question, love is our birthright – it is the purest and most beneficial of emotions. As we begin Pride month, love is a particularly fitting topic for discussion. Many in the LGBTQ community have been oppressed, censured and even brutalized for their expression of love for others and even themselves.


Our early experiences with love, what I like to call our Love MOB, establish the foundation for self-love. The MOB consists of Mothers, Others and Brothers. Our natural mothers and other mother figures offer our initiation into the nurturing sweetness of love. Others refer to our other-worldly experiences of a loving God or organized Universe that offers a sense of structural safety in the world. Brothers are our extended family and community that expands our network of love and support far and wide. This powerful foundation helps us develop the pillars of self-love:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Authenticity
  • Confidence
  • Healthy boundaries

Self-awareness arises when we are encouraged to be reflective. How do you feel? What do you think about that? For many of us who grew up in the generation where children were “seen and not heard,” being self-aware takes some practice. Authenticity stems from both self-knowledge and acceptance. Authentic confidence builds upon that, enabling you to speak your mind knowing you are capable of learning anything that becomes necessary. With these structures in place, healthy boundaries become natural, allowing you to protect your mind, body and spirit from those who might do you harm.


Many of us enter into romantic relationships without a healthy sense of awareness about and love for ourselves. We may find ourselves losing track of our own needs, desires, likes and dislikes in our attempt to please our partner. The wrong type of partner will use our fledgling self-love against us, trampling over our gentle boundaries and delicate self-esteem. They may even attack our self-awareness with gaslighting and demand our silence when we attempt to reach out to our support network for guidance. We may even have been conditioned in our own families not to put our business “in the streets.”


So how do you find the right partner? What are the signs? Pay attention to the 3 A’s:

  • Admiration
  • Authenticity
  • Availability

Romantic relationships typically start with admiration. Whether it’s the personality, sense of humor, intelligence or swag. Someone piques our interest, and we like what we see. In healthy relationships, this expands from initial interest to respect, compassion and adoration. As we get closer, we reveal more of ourselves and become more authentic and establish intimacy. If our “representative” had been going out on dates, we now invite our whole selves. Finally, we make ourselves available emotionally and physically. We spend time together. We express our affection. We are one team. Ride or die.


This is the ideal.


Now, is it possible to spend 20, 30, 40, 50 years or a lifetime in a terrible relationship?


Absolutely.


The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself, whether you find an ideal life partner or not.


Treat yourself the way you want your lover to treat you. Admire yourself. Respect yourself. Be compassionate with yourself. Adore yourself. Move through the world with authenticity. Make time for your emotional and physical self. Practice self-care. Exercise. Honor your emotions. Take yourself on dates to the spa, the movies, the park or out to dinner. Buy yourself flowers.


Yes, it’s possible to spend many years in a terrible relationship with a partner. It’s also easy to foster a terrible relationship with yourself. I wish you LOVE, but first, I wish you deep abiding self-love.



I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is a quote from world-renowned transformational teacher, Marci Shimoff. Marci is the Co-Author of the Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul books as well as a featured teacher in the 2006 film, The Secret. She has graciously offered to write the foreword for 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness. I couldn’t be more excited!!! What a wonderful lesson her quote teaches us about self-love.

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The Gap:

What's Between You and Your Dreams?


May 28, 2021

About ten years ago I remember thinking if I died it would be okay because I had done the things I wanted to do in my life: gotten my master’s degree, married, had a child, owned a business, traveled overseas and had lots of fun and exciting experiences like skydiving and hang gliding. I remember I was driving my car in that moment, but I don’t quite remember the circumstances behind the thought. I’m sure it was a reflection of the sense of overwhelm and frustration that I had been experiencing at that time in my life.


The past few weeks I’ve noticed myself adding things to my dream list: learning to roller skate, play the African drums, belly dance and wear a sari properly are some of them. It’s as if someone lifted the roof on what I used to believe was possible. I know I can run the NYC marathon; I’ve run a marathon before, but could I roller skate for the first time? I’ve always adored the sound of African drums, but would I take the time to learn the techniques? This new openness in me is more than just me adding items to my to-do list, it’s an awakening to possibilities. The space between me and my dream job has become smaller and it’s affecting all the areas of my life where I dream.


I often coach women about limiting beliefs. World-renowned motivational speaker, Tony Robbins defines a belief as, “a feeling of certainty about what something means… most(ly) generalizations about our past, based on our interpretations of painful and pleasurable experiences.” They are rooted in the past and not necessarily true. I can’t count the number of times people have told me “running is bad for your knees” or “government jobs are safe” or “women can’t be firefighters,” etc. Beliefs are like supercharged opinions with the power to either push us forward or hold us back.


There’s a story I heard long ago about frogs in a bucket. If you put frogs in a bucket with a lid on it, the frogs will work hard to jump out of the bucket. Later, if you remove the lid, they won’t try to jump out anymore. The frogs believe it is impossible to get out of the bucket, so they give up.


Ten years ago, I hit my head on the top of the metaphorical bucket. I had accomplished the things that were expected of me and some more. I graduated college, found meaningful work, got married, started a family and even launched a business. I was satisfied and exhausted. I had done enough.


Now, the lid is blown off the top of my bucket and I have a laundry list of goals, dreams and experiences that I want to live and share.


How about you?

Are you living your life with the lid on your bucket?

Or have you blown it off?


Here are five tips to ignite your creativity and blow the lid off your personal bucket:

  1. Think back to your favorite childhood activities. What did you want to be when you “grew up?” What games did you enjoy most? Find ways to incorporate your treasured pastimes into your daily life now. If you loved to sing, try participating in karaoke or starting a glee club. If you loved to draw, consider enjoying an adult coloring book or art class. You got the idea, now come up with your own ideas to reignite the joy and wonder of childhood.
  2. Tap into your spirituality. – Although spirituality and religion can work together, they are not the same. Spirituality is a way of connecting with your Divine nature. When you know that you are more than just a biological creature on this earth, you are open to the limitless potential of the Universe. Spirituality allows you to dream bigger. Stillness will help you access the Divine within you. Try meditation, yoga, prayer circles, moon circles or whatever speaks to your heart. Just make sure any group you align yourself with practices from a place of love for all and doesn’t imagine themselves superior to other groups.
  3. Make a list of your 10 favorite icons, celebrities or historical figures. – What do they have in common with each other? What do you have in common with them? Think about how you can stand on their shoulders and be of more service to your family, community and the world. Dream big! Afterall, they did.
  4. Learn to manage F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real can show up in a lot of ways. It can appear in your life as self-doubt, catastrophizing or analysis paralysis. Take note of what scares you. Much like the frogs in the bucket who worried they would hit their heads if they tried to escape, your fears may be based in limiting beliefs. Take time to assess the things that scare you and create a strategy to get past them.
  5. Align with friends who are going places. – Friends from school and work are fine, but make sure to keep growing your network of connections. Reach out to leaders in your work or community who are where you want to be. Congratulate them and ask for their opinions. Offer to support the work they’re doing. Join charitable and networking organizations that are doing work you’re excited about and give them a hand. In Thinking Outside the Chrysalis, I refer to this as “pollinating.” When you pollinate, you connect with the intention of giving, not taking. If someone doesn’t want all the brilliance you have to offer them, it’s their loss, not yours.

Time is a precious commodity. It’s even trickier because none of us know how much time we have. We should live every day as if it were our last. I encourage you to reduce the gap between you and your dreams beginning today. Afterall, you don’t want to spend your life in a bucket.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is from last week’s photoshoot in Florida with my amazing new image consultant and Perfectly Captured Photography. I had an absolute blast blowing the lid off my bucket! If you are looking to push past self-doubt and limiting beliefs, I encourage you to sign up for my Passion Quest 6-Week Coaching Series or consider 1-on-1 coaching. Click the link below for more info or email [email protected]  

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The Guilt Stops Here:

Are You Holding Yourself Back?


May 21, 2021

Today I’m writing this blog by hand in my gratitude journal with a pen that has mindblowinghappiness.com printed on it. In less than four months I will reach the 2-year mark for my business. It’s been a process of trial and error, lots of writing, plenty of training, and, more than anything else, building a trusted team of partners, advisors and vendors.


Part of my training includes an executive coaching certification led by the amazing Nikki Barua that I will complete next month. In that course, we were asked to identify questions that we ask ourselves repeatedly and that serve as a guiding force in our lives. We should determine if our guiding questions are uplifting or demotivating, but we probably have both.


I prize myself for being both free-spirited and compassionate. The first guiding question that came to mind for me is, “Will this matter when I’m on my death bed?” I ask myself that question nearly every day. It calms me down and helps me prioritize both small and large things. It’s my litmus test. Through this question, I realize that few things will matter, but the big ones are clear – my family (including my dogs), my spiritual journey, my integrity, my ability to impact and motivate people  and my legacy all stand firm.


We were asked what demotivating question we ask ourselves. I didn’t think I had one. I’ve been on the path of personal growth and self-development for a long time. My internal voice is so kind, I call myself pet names and am quick to forgive my own shortcomings with love and kindness. Then, it happened.


Mother’s Day weekend I booked a nice hotel room with a view of the Chattahoochee River. I woke up in the morning and looked out the window to take in the beautiful view. As I peered outside, I saw a man rummaging through the items in the trash can along the river promenade. Then, I heard the familiar question in my mind, “What right do you have to be in a fancy hotel room when there are people struggling to find a meal?"


I didn’t recognize it as a demotivating question immediately. It struck a familiar chord in my heart and strummed at my compassion. What could I do to help, if not that particular man, people like him? I focus my charitable work predominantly on social justice, animal liberation, and women and children, but I care deeply about hunger and homelessness. It often knocks around in the back of my mind. I donate often to Goodwill, but I don't have a hunger or homeless charity that I regularly support. 


It wasn’t until I shared my thinking with my wonderful, new image consultant that I really woke up. I thought she might react positively with an, “Oh, that’s so sweet and compassionate!” but instead I heard her voice recoil as if I had admitted to having a deadly contagious disease. She paused, “Uhmmm. Ohhhh. Yes, some people think that way.” It hit me like a cold bucket of water over the head. Ouch! Clearly, the people who think "that way" were not very successful. Even Mother Teresa had the support of the Vatican. If she were without a place to live she couldn't help the homeless. If she were dying, she couldn’t care for the sick.


I would have sworn I don’t subscribe to guilt. I love myself fully. But here I was feeling bad because I was in a nice hotel room while another person was not. If that’s not guilt, I don’t know what is.


It was an epiphany for me.


So, what’s your motivating question? Can you make it better so that it guides you toward your goals in a more meaningful way?


Do you have a demotivating question that you need to identify? What is it? Can you replace it with a question that motivates you toward your purpose and passion?


I replaced my guilt-ridden question with this one, “How can you encourage, inspire and nurture the world if you don’t first love on yourself?”


I love asking myself that question as I nurture, encourage and invest in myself.


The guilt stops here.


You deserve a life of passion, purpose, freedom, alignment and effortless abundance. You deserve self-care. You deserve mind-blowing happiness. A great first step is confronting the questions inside of your mind.



I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!


Trish


P.S. This photo is from just now at beautiful Deerfield Beach, Florida. If you want to move forward in pursuit of passion and purpose, I encourage you to participate in next week’s Black Vegan Life™ Spring Day Retreat on Sunday, May 30 or my Passion Quest 6-Week Coaching Series beginning August 18. Click the link below for info and to sign up.

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Authenticity at Work:

Is Your Potential Left Behind?


May 14, 2021

Have you ever gone to work and left half of yourself at home? You know, the fun part. Or the creative part. Maybe even the confident part. I know I did. For years, I locked my sensitivity and intuition in the file cabinet above my cubicle desk. Each day I entered a war zone in a dark suit, accented by heels, perfect French manicures and gold jewelry. I thought my efforts would let the “powers that be” know I deserved to be there.


I tried to look the part, but could I play the role?


Could I show up as only a fraction of myself?


Every. Single. Day.


Did I even want to?


Do any of us want to show up in spaces as less than our whole selves?


Over the years, I have become obsessed with the idea of lost human potential. I realize now that I came close to losing my own potential in the years I spent working for large corporations. I’ve since learned I wasn’t the only one leaving my best self at home. Many of us are, and especially women. 


What happens to the self that’s left behind? Is it lost forever? Do we return home and pick up the pieces like nothing even happened? Hi Honey, I’m home. Please pass me the salt, a side of joy and my self-confidence…


It’s true that employers want specific skills from their recruits and often not much else. They ask us to separate our personal life from business, but when does that go too far? What happens when the part of ourselves that we leave behind is the part that’s most needed? 


What would our lives look like if we could bring our whole selves to work? Wouldn’t it feel amazing to show up authentically you in your next business meeting?

Here are a few tips to help you break free from office constraints and bring your whole, fabulous self to work:

  • Speak up. – When you step into a room with people who don’t look like you or anybody from your family, it’s easy to clam up. The thing is, the room needs your perspective. Diverse perspectives are valuable whether it’s across gender, race, culture, sexuality, ethnicity or any other type of identity. Bang on the walls of the echo chamber and speak your truth. Make sure to stay current with news and trends in your industry so you know your stuff. Remember your manners when you engage with others, and make some noise.
  • Get Creative. – Creativity isn’t just about painting murals, sculpting statues, writing novels and making movies. We are all born creators. We all started with our childhood imagination, whether we were building sandcastles and mud pies or talking to invisible friends. Simply put, creativity is in our DNA. Think of new ways to do your current job or processes to improve your department. Consider creating a new employee resource group or enhancing an existing one. Think outside of the business model and bring fresh ideas to the table.
  • Show your style. – Depending on where you work, the dress code might be super strict or totally fluid. Either way, you can bring elements of your personal style to the office. If big earrings won’t make the cut, maybe a statement necklace will do the trick. If bold colors are frowned upon, perhaps a pair of red pumps or a yellow purse can bring a splash of color and put a smile on your face. If there is a special heirloom that makes you feel connected to your personal power, wear it. If there’s something that you really love but don’t want to wear, carry it in your purse. You can do this with crystals, vintage pieces, heirlooms or any special item that reminds you of your whole and complete self.
  • Be Empathetic. – We often go to work with the heart of a soldier ready for battle. While competition is revered in our capitalist nation, the world needs more of the empathy so often left behind. Offer support to co-workers, particularly the ones who are newer to the corporate jungle. Remember when you were the new kid on the block, and be the big sister you wish you had met on your first day on the job. Be a mentor. You'll learn more than you imagined from the people you support and encourage.
  • Follow your intuition. – Facts and data have an important role in any business and should be highly regarded, but not at the loss of intuition. Pay attention to your gut when making important decisions and make time for regular periods of stillness so you can check in with yourself. Many times the quest for profits can lead to questionable behavior. Make sure to stay on the path that settles your spirit and allows you to sleep peacefully at night.

There is gentle power in each of these steps. Together, they can make you a legitimate, authentic force of nature, standing with grace in the pursuit of your highest calling.


The more you show up as YOU, the healthier and happier you’ll be whether you’re at work, at home or any place else you choose to explore.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. I took this photo yesterday at Kennesaw Mountain. I’m honored to have the opportunity to walk in my authentic truth Every. Single. Day. If you’re looking to connect with like-minded women, join me in August for my Passion Quest 6-week Coaching Series. Click the link below to find out more.

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Mother Essence: 

How Can We Embrace Feminine Power?


May 7, 2021

In Buddhism, we are taught to treat everyone as if they were our kind and loving mother. The logic is that we’ve had so many millions of lives that everyone we encounter has once been our mother. Although it’s hard for me to wrap my head around this teaching, I find it immensely beautiful. If we treated other people this way for one day, it would change our day. If we did this for one year, it would change our lives.


Whether you believe in the concept of rebirth or not, all religions have some sort of belief in the disposition of the soul after death. Jews believe in a heavenly afterlife, while Christians offer both heaven and hell as possibilities. Catholics add the additional in-between dimension of purgatory. Kadampa Buddhists believe there are six possibilities for future lives: god, demigod, human, animal, hungry ghost or hell being. The Hindu belief system shares a common lineage and is very similar. Ancient Egyptians believed in complex preparation for their afterlife, made famous by the ornate tombs displayed in museums around the world. The Yoruba religion also believes in an afterlife. In Islam, "Akhirah" is the term used for life after death.


Whether your mother is with you physically or not this weekend, if spiritual history is any indication, she is still with you. She is still among us.


Because our spirits transcend our lives, it makes sense to work on our spirits.


The mother essence is the highest form of love and devotion. We are all mothers whether we’ve birthed our own children or loved and nurtured nieces, nephews, friends, partners or pets.


That essence may very well be the closest thing to the Divine here on earth. Here are three ways to tap into your mother essence:

  • Offer comfort. – Sometimes people just want to be heard. Not every conversation is the opportunity to provide a solution. Practice being a gentle mother and offering the gift of an engaged ear and a soft heart to someone you care about.
  • Be an encourager. – The best moms are the ones that cheer you on, even when they are the only ones in the bleachers. Be someone’s cheerleader.
  • Provide nourishment. – Mom’s feed us physical food, but they also nourish our spirit. They fill our cup with confidence and self-worth. They let us know we have a place in the world. Remind someone you know that they’re worthy, unique and special. Share a compliment with a stranger or a friend.

Our mothers are our first love story. For many of us, the relationship with mother is complex because of all the pain and tragedy attached to our mothers and ourselves. No matter your relationship with your mother, the essence of a mother is pure love. You can rejuvenate that essence in your own life whenever you want to feel the transformative power of mothering.


Shift into this beautiful feminine power and claim the mother goddess within.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is a quote from Mother Teresa. What a powerful example of mother essence! If you want to work on your inner goddess, join me for an upcoming event. We all need more love and connection in our lives.

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Magical Mental Health: 

Who's Sleeping on Your Lawn?


May 1, 2021

Growing up, we would sometimes say so-and-so was a little “touched.” Mental health issues were shrouded in mystery. Being “touched” could mean any variety of breaks with reality. It might mean you were talking to yourself, hallucinating or paranoid. It could mean you were a hoarder or constantly sad or angry. Some people are born into a world of mental health issues, while others develop complications over time. I’ve experienced my own share of anxiety and depression, and I’m not alone. According to a 2019 study by the National Institute of Mental Health, 51.5M adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness. That’s 20.6% of all adults and 24.5% of women. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness Like it or not, we are all at risk of being touched by mental health issues at some point in our lives.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a little time to check in on your own mental wellness routine. Sometimes we get so busy managing our hectic lives and working to fit in that we ignore trauma and hide from our real selves. Here are my 5 tips to make your “mental" magical:

  1. Practice gratitude. - Consider keeping a gratitude journal, repeating gratitude affirmations or consciously counting your blessings on a daily basis. Gratitude relieves depression, anger, anxiety, jealousy and a host of other negative emotions that can lead to poor mental health.
  2. Cultivate meaningful relationships. - Friends, family members, partners, mentors, business associates, spiritual leaders, healthcare providers, co-workers and role models are all important in creating a supportive community. Building community and connection is critical in keeping any sense of loneliness or isolation at bay. Humans are social creatures; we are not at our best when we aren’t in community.
  3. Forgive yourself and others. - Forgiveness doesn’t mean we absolve ourselves or anyone else from guilt for wrongdoing. It means we release our anger so we don’t harm ourselves or others. According to healthline.com, while anger issues don’t qualify as a medical diagnosis, they are the symptom of many mental health issues including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and grief.
  4. Have boundaries. - Learn to know and love yourself enough to say “yes” to the things that you want and “no” to the things that you don’t. Lack of boundaries can lead to mental strain caused by unwitting friends and family innocently sleeping on your emotional lawn, or by methodical abusers, like narcissists, who take advantage of your open fences. “No.” is a full sentence. Learn to use it to protect your sanity.
  5. Let shit go. - Learning to live in the now is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. The past is gone. The future hasn’t happened. All you can control is the current moment. Work to heal past wounds and trauma, and then let them go. Be mindful of the moment your in and do your best to enjoy it. You're alive, after all.

Depending on your background and circumstances, mental health issues may present themselves for either short or extended periods. Much like with physical ailments, preventative care makes a world of difference. We all know that regular exercise, a healthy diet and appropriate hydration can ward off most chronic illnesses. Make sure to have a fitness routine for your mental health as well.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is a quote from tennis legend, Arthur Ashe. It speaks beautifully to our journeys. We all work with what we have. Whatever you're working with, take time to work on you. If you want to cultivate new relationships while creating a space for preventative care for your mental health, join me for one of my upcoming events. Click the link below for more information.

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Stepping Into Full Color:

Are You Hiding in Plain Sight?


April 24, 2021

I’ve recently had to admit I’ve been mostly hiding in black clothing for the past few years: black leggings, hoodies, t-shirts, shoes and purses. Black had become my go-to neutral. It wasn’t always this way. As I review my journey with color and the clothes that went with them, I realize it reflected my stage in life.


High school was full of black and baggy clothes as I tried to process childhood trauma. Early in my corporate career, I wore fitted business suits in just about every color of the rainbow: bright yellow, lime green, magenta, pumpkin, brown, buttery beige and black pinstripes. After my daughter was born in 2000, I opened a women's fitness center franchise and wore comfy, muted tracksuits - prepared for working out, cleaning up, looking the part and motherhood. 


When I started in finance, I was back in corporate suits, this time with less color: mostly black, grays, beiges and browns. When I moved to the banking sector, the uniform got even more constrained with simple black, navy or gray suits. 


I was barely in that container at all. There was nearly no "me" left.


Toni Morrison said, “Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” 


When I started working for myself, I had to figure out what to wear. I only knew variations of the corporate uniform. I was having fun with harem pants... then the pandemic hit. I was home alone in yoga pants and hoodies on my best days and pajamas on many others. Now, I’m a happiness expert and Chief Happiness Officer of my own company, so what's the uniform?


As Black women, sometimes we're so good at the struggle, we don't know how to arrive. In other words, I'm free now, so exactly what am I gonna do with my freed self?


The colors we wear tell a story.


They may say we’re bold or daring. They may say we are part of a team. They may say we are in mourning or we don’t want to be noticed.


The colors we see impact our emotions.


They may be breathtakingly beautiful like a sunset, dazzling like a clear blue sky, or entrancing like the golden glow of a harvest moon.


Colors have meaning.


I realize black clothes allow me to hide. Plus they're slimming and practical, right?


It’s made me think about other ways women hide: sometimes we don't say what we mean or ask for what we really want. Sometimes we simmer in self-doubt or don't feel deserving.


Today, I encourage you to flip through the colors in your life. Notice how they make you feel. And, ask yourself the question, Am I hiding?


If the answer is yes, ask, What am I hiding from?


When loving, creative and intelligent people hide, the global community is destined for failure. We see it in the current global conditions, from environmental destruction to the wealth gap and from war to poverty. I want you to join me out of the shadows and step into your life with both feet, a big heart and full color.


Let's do this together.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is that beautiful Toni Morrison quote. She's such an inspiration. If you find yourself wanting to step into life more fully and completely as your best self, I encourage you to join me for my Black Vegan Life™ Women's Day Retreat on Sunday, May 30. We will relax, rejuvenate and step into our lives in full color.

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Screaming for Boundaries:

Are You Afraid of Social Media?


April 17, 2021

I launched Mind-Blowing Happiness LLC (formerly HoneyButterflyz LLC) nearly two years ago. Although I owned a fitness center franchise in the past, this is the first time that I’ve founded my own company based on my personal vision. Over the past year and a half, I have learned so much about the businesses of bookselling, life coaching, public speaking and what it means to have a platform. Having a platform is critical for business owners, influencers, thought leaders and just about anyone who wants to have an impact.


At the beginning of 2020, I realized that my writing is deeply connected to my desire to have a voice and shift the narrative on topics I care about. I want to help others by teaching, inspiring, empowering and motivating. It’s impossible to do those things in isolation.


I grew up in large corporations. I started working full-time when I was seventeen and have worked for some of the most well-known brands in the world including Revlon, American Express, Verizon, Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan. In the corporate model, your platform is as large as your job title. In many ways, social media has democratized the platform.


According to Nielsen, on May 25, 2011, the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show had 16.4M viewers.


Cardi B currently has 88M Instagram followers.


Michelle Obama has over 20.5 followers on Twitter.


My favorite 20-year-old TikTok sensation, Mona Swain, has 1.5M followers.


The fascinating YouTube therapist, DoctorRamani, has 566k subscribers.


The ability to instantly speak to hundreds of thousands of supporters without anyone else’s editing, approval or permission is game-changing.


Not everyone will have a huge platform. Not everyone wants one. It requires both desire and dedication.


Last week, I blogged about Imposter Syndrome, the phenomenon of heightened self-doubt that disproportionately affects successful women. This week, I wonder about the relationship between Imposter Syndrome and the fear of social media, also known as visiobibliophobia, characterized by fear you're missing out or fear you're too exposed. Both seem to correlate with feelings of self-doubt. As a woman who was raised to be polite and “not too loud,” I understand why women may want to hide from the busy, loud and often intrusive spaces on social media where we can be both seen and ignored.


These spaces scream for boundaries.


For the record, I am not friends with some of my family members on Facebook. As much as I love to connect with like-minded people, I take my personal boundaries seriously. In other words, I don't have time for anyone's shit.


Social media may push you to create boundaries that you’d rather not define. If you’re inclined to compare your life to other people's, it will bring that to the forefront. If you worry what others think of you, thoughts about who did or didn't "like" your posts might be maddening. If you feel insecure or jealous, photos of other people's weddings, vacations or job promotions might rub you the wrong way. An unhealthy relationship with social media can increase feelings of anxiety and depression.


Social media is an overlay world for our real world. Issues with social interaction that crop up in our day-to-day lives can be magnified. Here are my social media tips and in-real-life (IRL) Happiness Hacks to help you enjoy all the worlds you live in:

  • Post what you want and forget about it. You might want to give some thought to the purpose of your account. Do you want to connect with friends, promote your business or find work-out buddies? It might be all of that and more. Once you know the purpose of your account, enjoy posting and interacting, but don't keep score. (IRL Happiness Hack - Do the best you can and don’t get too attached to outcomes. That’s Step #8 in 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness: Embrace Surrender.)
  • If a post really bothers you, delete it. If you post something, you can edit it later if it needs to be corrected. You can also delete it completely on a whim. You're in control! (IRL Happiness Hack - If you make a mistake, apologize if necessary, do your best to correct your action and move on.)
  • Unfriend people who troll, bully or harass you, even if they are friends or family members. We teach people how to treat us. Tolerating offensive behavior will only lead to more of the same. Talk it out, give second chances, but if people can't respect your digital space, let them go. Facebook has advanced features now so you don't have to come right out and "unfriend." You can "unfollow" or make your posts invisible to specific people. (IRL Happiness Hack - Pay attention to your group of friends and do occasional house cleaning. Make sure the people in your circle are the ones you really want there.) 
  • Join groups that interest, engage and inspire you and leave groups that don’t. You don't need to have an explanation or a parting monologue before you leave a group. Just exit and move on to the next adventure! (IRL Happiness Hack is exactly the same. Leave the team, job, club, etc. if it doesn’t interest, engage and inspire you. It might be more difficult than just clicking a button, but living an authentic and inspired life is worth the effort.)
  • Use personalized DMs if you really want to talk to people. Most people don’t pay attention to group messaging, posts or spam. If there’s someone you really want to talk to, you’ll need to slide in that DM with a personalized note. (IRL Happiness Hack is the same. If you want to communicate with someone in a meaningful way and build relationships, you will need to speak live over Zoom or in-person.)
  • Don’t take it personally if people don’t respond to you. Whether it’s a post, event invitation, advertisement or DM, it’s not that serious. People are busy and social media algorithms are mysterious. Take note and try different approaches, but don’t internalize a personal assault against you that doesn’t actually exist. (IRL Happiness Hack - Not everyone will like you and you can’t control what other people think of you. Most of the time, people are too busy thinking about themselves to even think about you. So, let that shit go, for real.)
  • Know your privacy features and don’t post secrets. No matter what settings you use, don’t assume your social media posts are ever unshareable. Even if you only have ten friends on Facebook, one of them can take your post and blast it throughout the digital world. If you wouldn’t be comfortable seeing your post on a highway billboard, you probably shouldn’t post it. (IRL Happiness Hack - speak from your heart and be kind as much as possible. That way, if someone shares something you said it’s no cause for concern.)
  • If you don’t find what you want, create it. Most social media is free, and the possibilities are limitless. If you want to create a group for short women who like pink pants, college students who hate Facebook, guitar lovers who live in Harlem, or anything else, go for it! If it doesn’t work, shut it down and move on. (IRL Happiness Hack - Try new things and be creative. If something you try doesn’t work out, you’ll have a lesson to learn and a story to tell.)

Whether you are a social media influencer, a dabbler or hanging on the sidelines, if you want to have a big voice, you need a platform. Oprah found hers in the ‘80s on television. With the advent of technology, you can go far with nothing more than a smartphone and a big idea infused with passion and purpose.

If you've never thought about the things that interest you the most, I hope you take a few moments to do so today. 

  • What are you most excited about? 
  • What would you share if you had the biggest platform in the world?
  • Is visiobibliophobia keeping you from reaching your goals?
  • What else might be getting in your way?

I hope you slay anything standing between you and your dreams.

I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is a great quote about setting boundaries. If you find yourself struggling to say "no" to the things you don't want and "yes" to the things you do, I encourage you to join me for my Black Vegan Life™ Day Retreat on Sunday, May 30. We will relax, rejuvenate and say "yes" to self-care and reflection.

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Slay Your Thoughts:

Is Imposter Syndrome Real?


April 10, 2021

I just got the J&J vaccine this past week. I spent most of yesterday driving so my daughter could get vaccinated too. Neither one of us is a big fan of vaccines or traditional medicine in general, but it feels good to take a step toward returning to normalcy after a year of pandemic life, even with the angst surrounding vaccinations.


In this past week’s session of my Passion Quest coaching program, my cohort of eight accomplished and talented women had a conversation about Imposter Syndrome. It’s a topic that’s come up repeatedly lately, even in the new corporate coaching program that I embarked upon yesterday with another group of amazing women. As we get ready to return to a new normal, I’d like Imposter Syndrome to fade away into our old abnormal.


If you haven’t heard, Imposter Syndrome (I.S.) is a term used to describe feelings of self-doubt about competency, sometimes combined with a fear of being exposed as a fraud. It was first coined by the clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. People with I.S. may feel like their success is a result of luck or timing instead of talent, effort or qualifications.


The website impostorsyndrome.com says “Everyone loses when bright people play small.” I created my company, Mind-Blowing Happiness LLC, to inspire and empower people to live with passion and purpose to reach their fullest potential. The world loses when we don’t rise to our potential and share our talents. It’s remarkable that the best and brightest among us tend to be most prone to this affliction of self-doubt.


I.S. has more significance for women, and particularly women of color, who are already marginalized and regularly dealing with sexism and racism. We are often questioned more about our education, qualifications and access to affirmative action which may make us feel insecure about our abilities or worthiness to have a seat at the table. For young women, these feelings can be even more prominent. This fear of not being good enough can lead to shame and fear. It can also lead to mental health complications, like anxiety and depression.


I consider myself a solid Type B personality. When I was young my French-speaking mother often called me “blasé”. The way she said it made me feel like it was a bad characteristic. My favorite aunt later explained blasé was a good thing; it meant I wasn’t bothered by things. I’m not sure if blasé is good or bad, but I’m beginning to see how it plays out in my life. I don’t have the propensity toward people-pleasing or perfection that my Type A friends seem to have. While I.S., so far, has passed me by, it’s important for me to understand and support the transformation of my clients.

While I.S. is not recognized as a psychiatric diagnosis, it is a real phenomenon. If it resonates with you, here are some tips to help you kick it to the side and step into ALL of your magic:

  • Awareness is key. Just by reading this blog, you’ve made a move in the right direction. 
  • Start talking. Humans need connection. While talking about insecurities and self-doubt is never easy, we, as humans, thrive on the support of community. Understanding you’re not alone and finding kindred spirits will put you on the path toward overcoming your own self-doubt. You might find this among friends, in a support network, or working with a therapist or life coach.
  • Pull out your journal. Sitting with pen and paper at least once a week to write down your achievements, past successes and positive feedback from others will help you recognize and remember your accomplishments.

I love finding great quotes. They have a way of putting a world of wisdom into a single sentence. Here are two to think about:


“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts,

while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” - Charles Bukowski


“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

 - Charles Darwin


We’ve all heard that ignorance is bliss. When I was younger, I used to say I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. While I'm sure it's still true, my world was smaller then and, in some ways, more insulated. I encourage you to reach for the stars and slay anything standing in your way, even if it is your own thoughts.



I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential.


Trish


P.S. The photo is a quote from Suzy Kassem. It was shared with me in my coaching training yesterday. Wow. If you are dealing with Imposter Syndrome and want a space to work through your emotions, I’m taking registrations for my next Passion Quest cohort, beginning August 18. Space is limited so secure your seat now with the link below.

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Glimpses of Brilliance:

Does the Law of Attraction Really Work?


April 1, 2021

Oprah’s producer called to book me for Super Soul Sunday! I’m so excited!


Ok, that was my April Fool’s for today. I really hate pranks, and I’m not a big fan of April Fool’s Day, but this particular statement speaks to the power of manifestation. We can only achieve what we are first able to imagine. World-renowned thought leaders like Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, and esteemed personal development coaches like Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Iyanla Vanzant and Lisa Nichols all say the same thing. In my own life, I have found this to be true as well: We are what we believe we are.


Now, this doesn’t mean I can just tell myself I’m a surgeon and it will instantly be so. That is literal to the point of being outlandish. However, I can’t become a surgeon if I can’t imagine applying to and graduating from medical school. I have to believe it’s a possibility. I have to be able to visualize myself as a surgeon.


In my interview yesterday with Gloria Pope of Black Girl Everything, I talked about creativity. Every piece of furniture in your home, every app on your phone and every container in your kitchen was first conceived as an idea. Creativity is a divine gift each of us possesses. However, we are sometimes deterred from our natural creativity. At our jobs, we are often hired to complete or analyze tasks. We may be told nobody wants our creativity or opinions. We must only deal with facts or an established process. 


In reality, we are all creators. We conjure our own worlds into existence.


When you choose what to eat, where to live, whom to partner with, what career to pursue and what god to worship you create your world. When you decide how to nurture yourself, what you say “yes” to and what to walk away from, you are a creator. Through each decision you make and each time you choose not to decide, you create your life.


Of course, we all have the circumstances of our birth and our upbringing. We all start with a slate that isn’t clean, but rather painted with the brushes of our environment and our ancestors. However, at some point, we take our lives into our own hands. Much like in my favorite children’s book, Harold and the Purple Crayon, we realize we are actively coloring our own lives.


As part of my Passion Quest 6-Week Coaching Series, I watched the movie, The Secret, for the second time. I walked away reminded of a few insights I want to share:


Thoughts become things. – Whether negative or positive our thoughts often become actions. Stressful thoughts may manifest as diseases in our physical bodies that we may not even be aware of. Most often, thoughts are the precursor to our decisions and become the things and people that are present in our lives.


You are attracting whatever is going on in your mind. - Learning to meditate is a great way to learn to control your thoughts. When we focus attention on what we do not want, we put negative energy into the Universe. Instead of thinking, “I don’t want to be homeless.” Think, “I want to live in a beautiful home.” Just saying the word, “homeless” has power even if you precede it with the word “don’t.”


When you have inspired thought you have to trust and act on it. – If you can’t act immediately, at minimum, write it down so you don’t forget. Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx, says we all have million-dollar ideas. I believe she’s 100% correct. The thing is, most of us don’t act on our ideas. We second-guess ourselves even when we have glimpsed our own brilliance.


I encourage you to be mindful. Don't miss your brilliance. Pay attention to small things. Improve yourself. Create the world of your dreams. The Law of Attraction states that the order of the Universe is determined through the magnetic power of your thoughts. I've found it to be a powerful truth. 


And, by the way, Oprah’s producer didn’t call me, but Jack Canfield’s did. I’ll be airing my interview with him this month. Stay tuned!



I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is a little graphic I made up imagining that one day I will be on Super Soul Sunday. Because why not? If you're looking for ways to break free from old habits and step into a bold future you've created for yourself consider my coaching services. Find out more at the link below.

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Permission to Suck:

Is Anxiety All in Your Head?


March 24, 2021

Last week I met up with one of my old clients who works as a physician. As we were chatting, she suggested I blog about anxiety. After the past twelve months, it seems the whole world is on edge. While I’m grateful anxiety is not a constant in my life, I do have times when I feel anxious. For me, it’s a very chemical feeling. It feels like my body has overproduced adrenaline or some other hormone and I can feel it in my system. The best way for me to resolve the feeling is to either work out or go to sleep. Typically, either activity solves my problem. Thankfully, my personality type isn’t prone to anxiety. I often tell people I am a solid Type B. When I feel like I have too many tasks and not enough time, I do a good job prioritizing my activities and coming to terms with items on my to-do list that may not get done right away. I realize my Type A friends don’t have it quite so easy. Type A personalities are marked by ambition, competitiveness and rigidity, while us Type B's are less competitive and a bit more fluid. If you’re not sure where you fit in, take the 2-minute test at this link: https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/AB.php


Whether you are A or B or somewhere in between, what happens when anxiety doesn’t wash away so easily?


According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are five major types of anxiety disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) manifests as unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Panic disorder is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Social Anxiety Disorder is marked by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations.


According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many risk factors for anxiety disorders including childhood trauma and stress due to illness, work, financial worries or other issues. People with depression or other mental health disorders are often prone to anxiety disorder, and anxiety disorders can run in families. Drug or alcohol abuse or withdrawal can also cause or worsen anxiety. Because our mental and physical health are deeply connected, having an anxiety disorder can also lead to, or worsen, other mental and physical conditions, like depression, substance abuse, insomnia, digestive issues, headaches and chronic pain, social isolation, problems functioning at school or work, poor quality of life and suicide.


In other words, anxiety needs to be taken seriously. Most of us have had periods of anxiety. How do we prevent a run-of-the-mill anxious moment from turning into a full-blown disorder? Here are my recommendations:

  • Take self-care seriously. Have a personal self-care regimen, and reach out to a professional if you experience symptoms that are unmanageable. You can access my self-care gifts to you at https://mindblowinghappiness.com/resources There you can find guided meditations, restorative yoga and yoga nidra practices for you to explore. You might also consider other ways to relax like reading, journaling, soaking in the tub or watching a movie.
  • Stay active. Participate in activities that you enjoy that make you feel good about yourself. Whether you’re walking, running, skating, hiking or mowing the lawn, working up a sweat a few days a week helps keep anxiety at bay.
  • Build Relationships. Enjoy social interaction and caring relationships to lessen your worries. Having a reliable community of support can make a big difference in your ability to manage stress and anxiety. You might find this through family, friends, your spiritual community or other social and volunteer groups. 
  • Pay attention to what you consume. The same indulgences used to make you feel better in the short term can cause or worsen anxiety in the long term. Whether you choose alcohol, cigarettes, refined sugar or any other substance that alters mood, quitting can make you even more anxious. Try a self-help book, find a support group or see your doctor if you need help curbing habits or addictions. I really enjoyed The Naked Mind by Annie Grace when I wanted to cut back on alcohol. The movie, Fed Up, is a good resource if you want to reduce your consumption of sugar. No matter what, pay attention to good nutrition. A diet rich in whole fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds is ideal. Limit processed foods as much as possible. (You’ll know it’s processed if it comes in a package.)
  • Don't take yourself too seriously. Even with the world on your shoulders, you are not responsible for the world. If a task is delayed, life goes on.

Some anxiety is par for the course with our busy, over-worked culture. While it's rooted in the mind, anxiety can affect all parts of the body and overall health. Taking time to understand the source of your anxiety and manage your behavior can make all the difference in the world. Be kind to your whole self: body, mind and spirit to keep stress and anxiety at bay.


I will you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!


Trish


P.S. The photo is a quote from the writer, John Green. Giving yourself permission to not be great at everything is a great stress releaser. It allows you to move forward in the world with the wild abandon of children. Simply falling down and getting back up to try the next thing. Stumbling your way forward. Check out the link below for more resources to reduce stress and anxiety.  

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Grandma's Kitchen:

Can the Right Food Reduce Stress?


March 19, 2021

I just started my Passion Quest 6-Week Group Coaching Series this past Wednesday. As part of the program, we are following a whole-food, plant-based meal plan with no added salt, oil or sugar. We are also avoiding common allergens like soy, wheat and peanuts. I started eating this way after attending a wellness retreat last month in Florida. It made me feel so good, I wanted to share what I learned with other women.


I had an interesting conversation with a member last night. We both found that the diet was having a positive psychological impact on us. It reminds me of when I first went vegan. I no longer had the uncomfortable feeling of cognitive dissonance when I hugged my dog, saved a bug and ate a chicken.


This feels remarkably similar. I just sat down for a delicious plate of brown rice cooked with spinach, kale and chickpea salad, lentil and mung beans, raw shredded sweet potatoes, broccoli sprouts and red kraut. It was delicious, beautiful and completely healthy for my body. It put my mind at ease. I didn’t count the calories or worry about protein. I didn’t think about consuming too much oil, sugar, soy, gluten or anything else. I didn’t analyze unfamiliar ingredients. And, I didn’t worry about eating too much.


A diet that seems so restrictive has been absolutely freeing.


There are over 20,000 edible plant species in the world.


Most people have about 10-20 go-to meals.


Changing your diet doesn’t require you to change 20,000 foods, just the 10-20 meals that you eat on a regular basis.


I am a proponent of joy and pleasure in everything I do. I tell my Passion Quest participants that they must LOVE their meals. If you don’t love it, don’t eat it. Food is meant to be pleasurable and satisfying. If you need a dash of salt or oil, it’s okay, just use the best quality, nutrient-dense salt and oil and be aware of how heat impacts the oils you use. Anything you add mindfully in your kitchen will be less than what you would use if you weren’t paying attention.


Isn’t it something?


We don’t even know how to eat anymore.


We’ve been presented with so many packaged products, we’ve forgotten what real food looks like. I’m eating how my grandmother probably ate growing up. Cooking sweet potatoes, rice and lentils. Making salads. Boiling greens. Brewing teas. Pressing juices. Blending sauces and syrups. Making lemonade. Incredibly simple and delicious.


People often say a plant-based diet is too expensive. It can be if you spend a lot of money on processed vegan meats, cheeses and prepared foods. However, a simple vegan diet can save you tons of money, bring your health into alignment and improve your emotional relationship with yourself.


In my workshops, I teach people how to develop a greater sense of self-love. One of my techniques is to have students list the characteristics they'd like to develop in themselves. Maybe you want to be more outgoing, well-read or a better speaker. Maybe you want to learn a new skill like plant-based cooking, roller-skating, riding a motorcycle or painting murals.


Whatever it is, you have to move from wanting to doing.


It’s the doing that makes you look in the mirror and say, “Damn, I’m a baaaad mothafucka!” Even if you don’t always get it right, there’s pride in showing up and putting in the work. The work will always change you for the better. So even if you never master painting the mural or skating backward, you will walk away with lessons rooted in your attempt to do something new.


You will learn to master your life.


Today is the four-year anniversary of my first and only marathon. I wasn’t the fastest, but I showed up.


Today, I encourage you to show up for yourself.


Dream a beautiful future.


Follow your passions.


Live with purpose.


Try new things.


Because, yes, the right food can reduce stress both psychological and physical. Good nutrition improves heart health; reduces cancer and diabetes risk; improves mood, gut health and memory; encourages healthy weight, strong bones and teeth and helps with sleep. My favorite resource for nutritional information and great recipes is the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. (pcrm.org)


Whatever you do, make sure you’re having fun. Make this life the juiciest journey yet!


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is today’s lunch. If you want to join my 6-Week Passion Quest Coaching Series and learn more about eating well and following your dreams, it’s not too late! Click the link below.

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The Blueprint:

Can Journaling Be Harmful?


March 12, 2021

When I was a little girl, I used to keep a pretty diary with a lock and key that my mom bought for me. It was a place where I wrote what was going on in third-grade romantic relationships: who liked who and who was playing “show and tell” in the classroom closet with a boy. I also wrote my feelings about teachers and family. 


When I was in high school, I kept a notebook full of my teenage explorations with marijuana, sex and skipping class to explore Manhattan’s East Village. My parents found it and kept it for weeks, maybe even months. They didn’t know which entries were my dreams or my reality. We never had a conversation. I thought it was a brutal betrayal of my right to have my own thoughts, fantasies and dreams. 


By the time I was eighteen, I was pushed into a marriage. By then, I was smart enough to protect my personal thoughts while I worked through them. I did secretarial work at the time and kept an unlocked diary in short-hand that drove my then-husband into a rage. Ten years later, my second husband wanted me to destroy my old high school diary that had been sitting dusty in a storage bin for years. I complied. I wasn’t attached to it. It was just taking up space. By then, I had a new journal that I wrote in a few times a year. I don’t know when that last journal disappeared. I wouldn’t be surprised if an ex-lover decided to make it his own. I’m always fascinated by men’s desire to know and judge what goes on inside my head. The funny thing is, I’m such an open and honest person, you could just ask me if you want to know something. And, for the record, I’ve never cheated in a relationship although I've had a number of jealous partners.


It wasn’t until Christmas of 2015 when a good friend gifted me the Live in Wonder journal by Eric Saperston that I experienced the power of journaling prompts. Prior to that, I just wrote about events and emotions. The questions in that journal were about things I had never thought about before, and slowly it helped me learn more about myself and how I wanted to live. A couple of years later, I attended a juice fasting retreat and started my first gratitude journal. Each day I wrote at least three things I was thankful for and three things I wanted to manifest in my life. During my yoga teacher training in 2018, my yoga journal became my constant companion. It helped me process all the new realizations and emotional shifts that were part of my journey as a new yoga teacher. When I completed my coaching certification in 2019, I started a dream journal. I learned that dreams weren’t meaningless creations of the sleeping mind. They offered plenty of wisdom and could even be a portal to Divine intelligence. 


Damn, my journaling got DEEP! 


It's made my life rich with wisdom, passion and purpose.


My life got so juicy!


I’ve had profound realizations that may not have happened any other way. It’s also incredibly economical. You could buy Thinking Outside the Chrysalis, 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness, Live in Wonder and a blank journal for less than a single session with a therapist or life coach.


Journaling is an incredible investment in yourself. Here are a few life-changing benefits and one important warning:

  • Journaling forces you to focus on one thought at a time. Multiple stimuli often vie for attention: the TV, iPhone, grocery list or to-do list may be constantly swirling around in your head. Journaling forces you to slow down and process one item fully before moving to the next. This allows time for profound realizations about your feelings and the actions you need to take going forward.
  • Writing your journal by hand helps your brain process events and emotions better. You may have heard when you were in school that taking notes by hand helps you understand and remember information better. This is the same concept. If possible, you should keep a hand-written journal. That way, when you have an aha! moment, you are more likely to remember it and incorporate the new wisdom into your life.
  • Journaling allows you to recognize and celebrate your progress. Journaling can help you become more self-aware, tap into your inner wisdom and make more conscious decisions. It also records your progress. Sometimes when you change for the better, you can’t remember your old self. You might even kick yourself because you’re not where you want to be yet. Journaling helps you recognize how far you’ve come.
  • Journaling with guided prompts can help you avoid pitfalls. Like any tool, if used improperly, journaling can be harmful. If your journal is a place for anger and isolation instead of reflection and solutions, you can create an echo chamber of one. Guided prompts can keep you on track. If you don’t have prompts available, use these to get started: First, write down the present situation or future goals that are on your mind. Then, write what resources you are using to work on the situation or goal. (Are you using books, blogs, podcasts, films, personal connections or anything else to move forward?) If you haven’t started yet, identify resources that you can use. If you have started, jot down the progress you’ve made so far. What have you learned about yourself? How do you feel emotionally and physically when you address these topics? What and who are you thankful for today?

The path of inner wisdom and heightened awareness that journaling offers can lead to a life of passion and purpose beyond your wildest dreams. 


You can’t build a house without a blueprint. 


Journaling is the blueprint to your dream life. 


It’s only harmful when you don’t protect your privacy or you misuse this powerful tool to grow resentment and isolation. I've given you the tools here to keep you out of that trap. So tonight when you crawl into bed, before you turn off the light, take a few minutes to write in a journal and unlock the potential of your best life ever.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is an Oprah Winfrey quote that immediately made me think of my journaling journey. If you’re looking to move toward your purpose and passion in life, I still have space in my Passion Quest Group Coaching Series. We'll take deep breaths together; work on our vision for the future; eat a clean plant-based diet; and of course, we will journal. We start on March 17. Find out more and sign up with the link below.

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LAST YEAR'S BLOG POSTS

Finding Freedom:

Are Men Broken?


March 4, 2021

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I, like many people, have fallen in love with TikTok videos. They are mostly for laughs, but sometimes they have thoughtful content as well. I saw one recently with a Black male therapist telling women that Black men are NOT okay. And another with @tara.raani2 talking about patriarchy and why it’s not necessary to live with men. As she put it, we could live with out best girlfriends and have sex with men on the side for fun. I’ve been suggesting “Golden Girls” living with my friends for years. Or communal living. Or just something different. Both of these struck a chord with me, because I’ve been divorced twice and single for a long time lately. Definitely longer than I ever thought I would be. However, as I work in personal development and mental health, I find men are noticeably absent. Even in physical health spaces, their presence is remarkably low. The third Tuesday in September is National Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day, renamed from Take Your Man to the Doctor Day. (I cannot find the evidence of this, but I am working from memory.) As the man in TikTok said, “Black men are NOT okay.” It seems other races are doing a little better, but there's still plenty of work to do to move forward.


As a cisgender, hetero, Black female this leaves me with a few options. Of course, I can open my dating prospects to men of all races. I can also consider what I’ve talked to my friends about for many years - alternative living arrangements. I enjoy living alone, but I think when I get older I may want more companionship. This is where I bring in the Golden Girls model. If you’ve never seen the show, The Golden Girls was a popular sitcom from 1985-1992 where four women over 65 lived together as friends and continued to date men. It always looked like fun to me.


Tara from TikTok made an important point: marriage was designed to support the patriarchy. It really wasn’t designed for women. Oppressed women were convinced that marriage benefited them financially because they weren’t allowed to earn or manage their own money. However, they were free to raise their children full-time, often while managing an emotionally unavailable, demeaning or violent partner. They weren’t actually free to leave the marriage and were socially ostracized if they somehow managed to. Historically, they were often married so young they went from being children to being wives.


When I used to volunteer with a microfinance charity, I learned that microfinance loans were usually targeted at women, not men. Women were seen as more responsible and inclined to take care of family and community. While men were often viewed as more selfish and inclined to abandon both their children and their community in pursuit of gambling, alcohol and sex.


Let me be clear. I love men. Honestly, I love people. I find all kinds of people absolutely fascinating, and I can see straight through to your humanity, even when you can’t. With that said, there is a clear separation between the socialization of men and women that’s unhealthy on both sides. Men should be able to be thoughtful, emotional and sensitive. Women should be able to follow any career path and lead any group. While women have been fighting for our rights to be equals over the course of decades, it seems to me that men have not been fighting for their rights to be emotional equals.


So, what can we do as women or emotionally evolved men? Here are my ideas:

  1. Share this blog with a man and have a conversation.
  2. Encourage a man you love to get in touch with his feelings through any modality: books, coaching, therapy, yoga, meditation, etc. Create a 30-day challenge. (You know men love challenges! Lol!)
  3. If you’re a parent, stop telling little boys to “man up” or stop crying. Let your sons have emotions.
  4. Create or join a men’s group that discusses feelings, philosophies and ideas. (Yes, I think the guys really need a safe space for this.)
  5. Buy copies of Thinking Outside the Chrysalis and 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness and share with men in your life. 
  6. Invite men to my free monthly workshops. This month we’re talking about reframing anger for a more joyful life. It’s a powerful message. Find out more here: https://mindblowinghappiness.com/events

I often talk about my dream of a self-actualized world. A world where everyone can reach their fullest potential. This isn’t possible if any of us are cut off at the knees based on societal norms. So, to the question, "Are men broken?" We're all a little broken. Let’s help each other heal and find our freedom so we can all benefit from a sweeter society.



I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is a quote from one of my favorite male leaders. This idea of freedom comes from alignment with thoughts, words and actions. I hope you have the opportunity to cultivate this in your own life. I'm launching Passion Quest, my first coaching series on March 17. Click the link below to find out more. I hope you will join me.

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Reframing Anger:

Does Forgiveness Make Sense?


February 24, 2021

I had a conversation with a friend this past week about forgiveness. I told her it’s not a word that I use often. To me, it implies that you are excusing the abuse or betrayal of another person. I was surprised to find that Mirriam-Webster defines the word forgive as, “to cease to feel resentment against (an offender).” Dictionary.com offers a definition closer to my own,  which includes absolution. They define the word absolve as, "to free from guilt, blame or their consequences." This is where the waters get muddy. You can forgive someone so you don’t harbor anger or resentment without absolving them of their own responsibility and repercussions. That’s not your job. You don’t hold any authority over them. Whatever your spiritual belief system is, Universal law says that actions have consequences. This concept is often referred to as Karma.


In other words, you have to choose the right kind of forgiveness.


The one that frees you from anger and resentment.


Not the one that absolves abusers from guilt.


So, what do you do in the face of brutal emotional assaults? Cheating husbands, unloving parents, greedy siblings, emotionally unavailable partners or backstabbing friends?


What about physical abusers? Rapists, muggers, violent partners or battering parents?


How do you move on?


First, you leave the decision of guilt, blame or consequence for God, the Universe, Karma or whatever you believe in. Again, that’s not your job. 


Then, you protect and heal yourself.


How? First, move out of harm’s way. You may need to change or end a relationship. Once your new boundaries are set, you can work on healing through whatever modalities you choose: books, therapy, journaling, yoga, or working with a coach like me.


Then, you forgive the right way, by reframing your anger. 


To do this, find a comfortable chair or cushion in a quiet place in your home. Take a few deep breaths and think about the person who harmed you. What do you know about them? How was their childhood? What were their struggles? Where have they failed? Are they in pain? Do they have hope for the future? Do they have friends who care about them? Do they have a partner? Do they suffer from physical or mental ailments that are diagnosed or undiagnosed? Are they angry and bitter? Imagine them as a joyful and innocent baby before the world took hold of them. Do you feel compassion for that baby? Can you generate a feeling of empathy for your adult abuser? Relax into these feelings and let them fill your heart. You should feel calm.


You can feel deep compassion for your abuser without allowing them to continue to abuse you.


This peaceful feeling will free you of your own anger. It will allow you to protect your heart and heal your spirit. You can repeat the exercise as often as you need to until you no longer hold resentment, anger or grudges toward those who have harmed you.


What about if you are the one who did something wrong?


What if you need to forgive yourself?


The process is the same. You are not in a position to absolve yourself from responsibility for wrong actions. Karma will take care of that. Every action has a reaction in this life or the next. In the bible, it says the children pay for the sins of their fathers to the third and fourth generations. Whatever you believe, consequences will happen. 


It’s not yours to worry about. You cannot change the past.


You must, however, release yourself from self-directed anger and replace it with self-compassion. As Maya Angelou famously said, “When you know better, you do better.” Make a commitment not to repeat the offending behavior. No one is perfect, but with baby steps, we move forward into the person we want to be.


If you need to forgive yourself, repeat the previous exercise with yourself in mind. Think about your childhood and all the struggles you’ve faced. Aren’t you deserving of compassion? Let that feeling of compassion replace any self-loathing, guilt or shame. Remind yourself you are doing the best that you can and you’re working to make yourself even better. Sit in that knowledge for a bit and enjoy it. Remember who you used to be and look at how far you’ve come.


You can forgive yourself and others if you forgive them the right way.




I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is a quote from T.D. Jakes that hits the nail right on the head. Make sure to download my free e-book and sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss out on my upcoming workshops and retreats. Click the link below for more info. I have beautiful things in store for you! xoxo

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Feeling the Shift:

Are Retreats Worth It?


February 17, 2021

People often ask me why yoga is so important to me. It is difficult to explain. The best answer I have is that changing the position of my body changes my emotions. If I’m stressed out, I can fall to my knees and collapse into child’s pose to recover. If I’m feeling hopeless, I can lift my arms up toward the sky and stretch through both sides of my body into upward salute to regain my enthusiasm. If I feel uncertain, I can stand on one leg and plant the sole of my opposite foot against my outer calf, sliding prayer hands up to the sky to feel a gentle, graceful power. It’s so much more than this, but this is a start. Changing the position of my body changes my emotions. I might feel strong, joyful, prayerful or grateful. I might learn patience. I feel a shift.


I attended my first yoga retreat in 2015. I hardly had any money but scraped a few dollars together to take the trip to Jekyll Island, GA with one of my friends. It was my first retreat of any kind. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I loved it. Being in a community of like-minded learners was just what I needed.


Since then, I’ve attended a (partly silent) meditation retreat, a juice-fasting retreat in a mansion, a writer’s retreat in Costa Rica and an online wellness retreat in a tiny corner of my bedroom. Each experience was unforgettable. I’ve also hosted many of my own Black Vegan Life™ retreats. There’s nothing like a change of scenery. The same way I’ve discovered that changing the position of my body changes my emotions, I’ve also noticed changing the physical location of my body can have similar effects. I feel one way in Central Park, another on Stone Mountain and another on Miami Beach.


When we retreat, we mindfully move our bodies out of our normal routine and environment. We join in community with a purpose. It’s vacation with intention.


Is it possible to stay home and grow?


Absolutely.


Can we change our emotions without moving our bodies?


Of course.


However, there’s incredible value in a shift in perspective.


There’s an old parable about a group of blind men who stand next to an elephant, not knowing what it is. The first man touches the trunk and says the animal is long and spineless like a snake. The second man touches the tusk and says it is hard to the touch like a turtle. The third touches its side and says it’s massive like a rhinoceros.


To see the whole of anything, whether it’s ourselves or something else, we need to change our perspective. It’s up to us to choose how to do that.


I had a session today with a holistic scientist. He said the brain doesn’t feel pain. When we get a headache, it’s really a scalp-ache. The actual tissue of the brain is so busy processing what’s going on in other parts of the body, it doesn’t have much awareness of self. What a metaphor for life. We’re often so busy with worldly concerns like money, reputation, criticism and entertainment, we have very little understanding of who we are. We don’t think it matters, so we don’t make time to find out.


Who are you?


What feels good to you?


What improves your mood?


What characteristics do you want to develop?


What are you curious about?


What is your greatest potential?


I hope you make some time to retreat. You can take a physical journey, enjoy a day retreat in your town or city, sign-up for an online retreat, or simply set aside a day for yourself at home. If you need to, tell your partner or your kids not to bother you. Plan in advance and create a schedule of things you want to do, but never seem to have time for: journaling, yoga, meditation, a bubble bath, cooking healthy plant-based meals, and consuming spiritual, inspiring or educational books or movies. Take a break from social media and television. Yes, you can retreat for free. It might be your best or only option.


You will never regret the time you spend caring for your emotional and physical health.


I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!



Trish


P.S. The photo is me and my canine assistant, Cooper, on our water-fast retreat. I'm sure this will go on my list of unforgettable experiences. If you're interested in exploring a yoga program, visit my current yoga school at www.myvinyasapractice.com  If you want more information on upcoming workshops and retreats click the link below and make sure to sign up for my mailing list. I can't wait to retreat with you! xoxo 

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All Talk. No Action.

Are You Emotionally Lazy?


February 9, 2021

I was chatting with a friend recently. We were talking about ex-boyfriends the way we sometimes do. We’re grown-ass women now, so we understand that we are partly responsible for our own failed relationships. We’re able to dissect them in the aftermath, whether they’re romantic fallouts or platonic unravelings. Lately, we’ve been talking about the term, “all talk and no action,” even going so far as to coin the abbreviation, ATNA. We’ve all met people who show up in the world like that, flapping their gums and saying nothing. Inspiring hope only to set you up for disappointment. Promising to start a business, earn a degree, travel somewhere exotic, invent something spectacular or really love and cherish you like no one’s done before. Words waving in the wind like a flag, flapping but never going anywhere.


Perhaps they really do intend to do the things they talk about, but just never make it out the gate.


The timing isn’t right.

          They lose confidence.

                    They become distracted.


Perhaps they didn’t ever have the intention to move into action, and they just enjoy hearing themselves talk, like a fish enjoying the sound of the water. Maybe they enjoy the wide-eyed, leaned-in enthusiasm they get from the people who believe them.


Maybe they just like to shoot the shit to the trees and the breeze.


Maybe that alone is satisfying enough,

          to talk about a dream 

                    with no intention of moving toward it.


I wonder how those folks feel as they move deeper into the middle of their lives. Are they still talking about the things they want to do someday? Are they paralyzed by the fear of failure? Are they scared of the emotional fortitude required to try new or big things? Do they blame others for their own inertia? Are they simply emotionally lazy and unwilling to make an effort to improve themselves? Or physically lazy and unwilling to put in some work?


Age will one day wake them up.


Even if they make it to one hundred, they will not live forever.


How will they feel when their best days are behind them?


When they are left only with the memories of the things they were too scared to try?


As a self-actualization coach, I know that limiting beliefs are powerful. It’s one of the most difficult aspects of coaching. Most people live in a psychological box created by years of conditioning from family, teachers, media and society as a whole. It defines how they think others view them, their perception of their own beauty, talent and intelligence, their hopes and dreams for the future and their sense of both responsibility and possibility.


There is a quote I love, often attributed to Albert Einstein, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”


The female poet who wrote under the name George Eliot is quoted as saying, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”


Old wisdom from poets and scientists still rings true today.


So, what are you waiting for?


What is your genius?


What untapped dream is in your heart?


What community are you uniquely qualified to serve?


What’s your superpower?


If you don’t know the answers to these questions, search your heart, then ask your best friend, or your partner, or your parents or your siblings. Sometimes we just can’t see ourselves the way other people see us.


The world doesn’t know all of us, but it definitely has clues.


Take inventory.


Don’t be the person with a life path full of missed opportunities, forgotten dreams and ATNA.


You are here because you are supposed to be here.


You are supposed to explore opportunities and try new things.


You are supposed to leave a legacy of love, passion and purpose.


Now get to work.



I wish you Passion, Purpose and the realization of your fullest Potential!


Trish

P.S. The photo is the new cover of Time Magazine featuring our youngest inaugural poet, Amanda Gorman. She made our nation so proud. What a shining example of living the dream and working with passion and purpose. If you want to push through things that are holding you back, talk to me about my special coaching package in celebration of Valentine’s Day. What better time to show yourself some love and start moving toward those goals? Click the button below for more info.

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Uncomfortable:

How Do You Know Your Path?


February 2, 2021

Today I joined the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA). I’ve had my MBA since 2000 and except for a brief year with the organization, I was never a member. It’s not because I don’t like hanging around Black people, and it’s not because I didn’t intentionally pursue my MBA. I love Black culture and community, and I find business, economics and finance fascinating. My issue was that I found the group to be extremely corporate-minded, and although I’ve worked corporate jobs for most of my life, there was always a loud entrepreneurial free spirit inside of me that didn’t take well to all the rules of corporate structure.


So why did I work corporate jobs for most of my life?


It seemed safe.


It felt prestigious.


It was the only path I knew.


I grew up in a family where my options were clear: I could be a doctor, a lawyer or a businessperson. I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor – I wasn’t interested in sick people or blood. I briefly considered being a defense attorney after sitting on the jury for a murder trial when I was only twenty, but quickly changed my mind. I settled on business. I have always been creative and loquacious, so I enjoyed marketing and advertising, and finally settled into the world of corporate sales, first in telecom and later in financial services.


I was trained to be on someone else’s path.


My training was so deeply embedded that I came to believe it was my only path.


Today was a full-circle moment for me. I joined NBMBAA because I wanted to, not because I thought I should. I discovered they have a membership for entrepreneurs, and I thought, “That’s me!”


I’ve been in many spaces over the years because I thought I had to be there. Not because I wanted to be there. I defined work as the activity I somewhat enjoyed on the road to receiving a paycheck. It wasn’t the way I would spend my time if I had a choice in the matter. I used to believe “Work isn’t fun, that’s why we call it work.” And I quipped, "Work is interfering with my life!" I’m so glad I’ve moved past that belief system. Working with purpose and passion is FUN. It is also WORK. When the two combine it's magic, much like when sex and love come together.


I am a true believer in Fun. Joy. Happiness. Pleasure.


I don’t subscribe to the belief that you must suffer to live a good life, although I do believe you must work. If you want to grow, you must get uncomfortable.


Are you working with passion?


Are you standing in your own truth and authenticity?


Are you on your own path or someone else’s?


One of the great things about the pandemic is just about everything is virtual now, and more accessible to most of us than it would have been only a year ago. I encourage you to explore new paths to living your most joyful and fulfilled life. Try an online yoga class, yoga teacher training, a writing workshop or an art class. Sign up for a virtual open mic night or a music lesson. Join a virtual book club or movie discussion group. There is a vast world right outside of your comfort zone waiting for you to explore. All you have to do is get a little uncomfortable and reach for it.



I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!



Trish


P.S. The photo is the road that leads to the top of Kennesaw Mountain here in Georgia. If you’re interested in my recommendations for online resources, reach out to me at [email protected]  My FREE Monthly Workshops begin this week. This month's topic is "Six Ways to Fall in Love with the REAL You." Use the link below for more info and to sign up.

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The Power of LOUD:

Amplify Your SuperPower


January 28, 2021

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to participate in a full-day retreat with Jack Canfield, the acclaimed author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. His manuscript was rejected 144 times before he found a publisher. Now, he’s sold nearly 600 million books around the globe. As he spoke, he used phrases like “law of attraction” and “quantum field.” He guided the group of us through a powerful meditation and visualization exercise. He was speaking my language. I receive my most powerful inspiration, intuition and breakthroughs when I’m steeped in stillness. Yesterday was no different. Jack guided me through a journey to a pivotal moment in my childhood: my first memory of fear. I came to realize that, as much as I’ve found my voice in many ways, it’s not nearly enough. I still find myself shrinking at times. I don’t want to bother people with repeated phone calls or emails. I don’t want to constantly toot my own horn. I think, Who do I think I am? Then I really run the risk of forgetting.


I am uniquely gifted and divinely talented.


So are you.


We have superpowers, you and I.


I hosted a virtual “Passion and Purpose” workshop last week. During the event, we did an exercise where I asked the participants to write down five things they love to do. I offered my own five as an example: writing, teaching, yoga, hiking, running.


Teaching what I’ve learned is my passion. I realize when I have those moments of fear and self-doubt, I lose the power of my voice. Yesterday, during the conference, I posted my aha! moment on Instagram: “Be LOUD in pursuit of your PASSIONS.” I can’t just identify and pursue my passions. It’s not enough. I must also be LOUD if I want to make an impact.


What does more noise mean for me?


Finally starting my podcast,

     Posting more videos,

          Doing more live streams,

               Sending more emails,

                    Making more phone calls.


Jack Canfield said, “The last five letters in the Law of Attraction are ACTION. We all want to be great, but we’re not willing to pay the price.”


You know what, I see you Universe, and I’m listening to all the lessons you’re sending my way.


So, what are YOU loudly pursuing?


Everybody wants money, but we have to offer something in return. Otherwise, it’s vapid and imbalanced.


Are you pursuing Education? Healing? Spirituality? Self-love? Purpose?


Whatever good work you pursue, make sure to open your heart and your throat, and BE LOUD.



I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!



Trish


P.S. The photo is the Instagram meme I created yesterday. If you want inspiration in your inbox every week, sign up for my newsletter at the link below.

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Privilege and Pleasure:

What Motivates You?


January 22, 2021

After watching Joe Biden and Kamala Harris get sworn in on Wednesday, and before watching the inaugural concert, I managed to slip in a conversation with a podcaster. As we were talking about how to identify talents and work with passion, the conversation shifted to a discussion of working for “free.” She wasn’t getting financial compensation to create her podcast, nor was I for my interview. We are both promoting ideas that we love. We are pursuing our passions. As we finished our talk, it became even more clear to me that money isn’t our only currency. I work to promote and teach ideas as a service to our world. It is my purpose. I work to inspire others. I work for the love of my daughter, my dog and my new grandbunny. I work to take care of my physical self. I work to open my eyes to new parts of the world that I haven’t seen before. I work to heal and grow myself and others. I work to knock down doors, open up minds and uplift people. If my primary currency were dollars, I’m sure I’d be doing something else.


In my books, Generosity is the first of the advanced steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness™. It’s the point where you pivot from foundational ideas like healing, spirituality, community, self-love and peacefulness, to less-obvious paths. In Thinking Outside the Chrysalis, Drop #6 is “Give it Away for Free.” In 12 Steps to Mind-Blowing Happiness, Step #6 is “Throw the Boomerang.” Both point to the importance of generosity, not only as a way to help others, but as a way to help ourselves. Money isn’t our only currency. We work for joy. We work for passion. We work for the privilege and the pleasure of sharing our talents with the world. Of course, we all need a place to lay our heads at the end of the day. Money is necessary, but it’s not most important.


I spoke to another podcaster earlier in the week who quipped that people in public office must be self-centered; why else would they aspire to that? It’s true some are motivated by narcissism and power. We just had four years of that. But some are motivated by service. Some are motivated by compassion. Some are motivated by justice. Some are motivated by love.


Now, that we’ve survived the first three weeks of 2021, let's try being motivated by love.

  • Wear a mask to protect other people, even when you find it awkward, unnecessary or uncomfortable.
  • If you catch COVID, notify the people you've been around so they can take steps to take care of themselves, get tested and reduce the chance of spreading it further.
  • Maintain a social distance from others as you pass them on the street or in other public places so that they can feel safe and comfortable.
  • If you’ve been around higher-risk, untested people (like my very own college student) self-quarantine to be sure you don’t inadvertently spread the virus.

I hope the Biden/Harris administration brings back a return to basic decency in government. We have a lot of work to do, but if we want to change the world, we’ve got to begin by changing ourselves. We must learn to take pleasure in the process.


I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!


Trish


P.S. The photo is of me wearing my #pearlsforkamala on Inauguration Day. If you’re looking for ways to identify and ignite passion, purpose and pleasure in your life, sign up for my virtual workshop this Sunday, January 24 @ 7pm at the link below.

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This Too Shall Pass:

Self-Care Tips for Difficult Days


January 14, 2021

2021 is making 2020 look like a walk down Easy Street. I know it’s only been two weeks, but I’m trying to recover from last week’s insurrection in Washington, DC while preparing for this week’s domestic terror threats across all 50 states. I’m deciding between the potential for catching COVID-19 and the possibility of side effects from the vaccine. I’m determining whether it’s better to stay indoors and virus-free or go outside for my daily trip to the gym or yoga studio to maintain my sanity. I’ve opted for outdoor exercise, and I’m trying to balance that between the fickle nature of weather and the demands of self-employment. I’ve opted for at-home yoga, but it’s so easy to be distracted when I’m in my own home. I've got issues.


Sometimes I can’t stop watching the news. Sometimes I can’t get a good night’s sleep. I feel like I’m being pulled in a million directions, and it’s only been two weeks.


It’s not just the chaos and negativity that has 2021 feeling like a challenge. We’ve had unbelievable highs as well. I never dreamed both Georgia and the U.S. Senate would flip blue. That amazing high on January 5 was quickly crushed by the insurrection on January 6. Then hope sprang anew when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were finally certified by congress after the attack on the capitol building. The decision to quickly impeach the chief instigator felt like relief, only to be followed by threats to elected officials who don’t fall in line with our current dictator-in-waiting and his mob of supporters. I’ve never known so much violence and potential for violence in our nation against a backdrop of so much potential. We have our first Black and female vice president for goodness sake! The contrast is downright bipolar.


I say all that to say, sometimes we feel stressed out. Unless we sit down and take an accounting of what’s going on around us, we may not know why. We might just notice we feel uncomfortable or anxious. If you have financial dilemmas or other personal challenges on top of the ones we are all dealing with, you have even more stressors at play.


We can’t work to solve problems unless we first acknowledge them.


Listen, we’re in the middle of a shitstorm.


There, I said it.


We are all stressed out. People of color are even more so because we are the favorite target of hate groups in this country. I would imagine my LGBTQ and Jewish friends are quite concerned too. But, at the end of the day, any thoughtful person who’s been paying attention to this mess has at least a little bit of low-grade agita.


My tips:


1. Be grateful for what you have.

2. Don’t skip your exercise.

3. Take breaks from the news.

4. Do your best to get quality rest.

5. Whether you read a book, take a bath, chant a mantra or do a meditation, make some time for stillness.


I’m here to tell you this too shall pass. 2021 has more goodness in store than grief. More hope than horror. More love than hate. We’ve got this.



I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!



Trish

P.S. I’m a huge fan of Zora Neale Hurston. The photo is one of my favorite quotes from her. It speaks directly to racism or any ism in such a beautiful way. If you’re looking for a place to connect and share self-care tips, join me tomorrow, January 15 for my Virtual Self-Care Gathering. You can register with the button below.

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Room to Recover:

Who Profits from Conspiracy Theories?


January 7, 2021

January 6, 2021 is a day we will never forget: The Day of the Insurrection. Images of the U.S. Capitol Building being stormed during a congressional session to confirm the Biden/Harris ticket will remain in our collective memories for many years to come. The fact that we were ushering in our nation’s first Black woman as Vice President creates a remarkable dichotomy, highlighting the chasm between the old guard and the hope of progress. While the attack was outrageous, it was a long time coming. The wound that broke open yesterday had been festering since the birth of this brutally conceived nation. The lies that have been told to the American citizens scaling the walls of the Capitol are no different than the lies of white supremacy and national superiority that have been told for centuries. What has changed is the speed at which these lies can be disseminated.


When I was a kid growing up in the eighties, we learned about the impending age of information and technology, but nothing prepared us for their impact on these same lies embedded in the psyche of our nation. We imagined quickly accessing and sharing music, art, movies, research and science. There was no such word as “disinformation” back then. There was no internet. We didn’t know lies could be monetized quickly and strategically: the bigger the lie, the greater the profit. Conspiracy theories went from the corners of dusty rooms to the center of a profitable industry. Our disgraced president has collected over $250 million dollars from his disinformation campaign. Misinformed American citizens believe they are fighting for justice. It’s sad to be in the presence of profound ignorance, but even worse to be in the realm of strategically orchestrated malice.


2020 was a year when many of us were forced to bring self-care to the forefront of our priorities. We simply had to maintain our mental health under the pressure of a multitude of simultaneous environmental stressors. 2021 is off to a hell of a start. The good news is the events at the Capitol Building yesterday could very well be the catalyst our nation needs to take action. Legislators can enact laws to counter disinformation and radicalization within our borders. Laws to contain the power of an unstable president. And laws to make sure our governing bodies accurately reflect our diverse population.


But what do we do when we can’t stop watching television? When we find ourselves fearing the dissolution of the imperfect and fragile democracy that we call our own? What can we do with our pent-up energy and stress?


We can follow what our courageous leader, Stacey Abrams, did when she came under fire. We can take our energy and use it for a just cause. We can do what Nancy Pelosi did after congress was attacked. We can get on with the business of doing good work. We can do what Hillary Clinton did after losing a sexist election to an unqualified conman and narcissist. We can dust ourselves off and keep going.


Before we do any of this, we must give ourselves room to recover.


Today I encourage you to pause. Turn off the television for an hour or so. Light a candle. Read a prayer or a poem. Meditate or sit in contemplation. Take a nap. Let your mind and your body rest. And when you’ve allowed yourself respite, take a moment to think about how you can turn your outrage into action.


Check on a friend. Support what John Lewis called “good trouble.” Bring positive energy into a space that’s full of anger. Discuss solutions.


When I was a kid, nothing prepared us for the weaponization and monetization of lies at the speed of light. This nation lost some of its last bits of innocence yesterday. It’s time for us to grow up and confront the monster we created with all the maturity of a well-raised adult.


I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!



Trish


P.S. The photo is of our beloved shero, Stacey Abrams. Congratulations to her for her amazing work in turning Georgia blue AND electing both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate. I still can't believe my dream came true! If you'd like help dreaming beyond the chaos of yesterday and into a brilliant future, join me for my Vision Boarding Workshop this Saturday, January 9 at 1pm. You can sign up with the button below.

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