Month: August 2022

Looking and feeling your best

Looking and feeling your best

We’ve all been there. We wake up on a Sunday morning and we want to feel and look good. Maybe to go to brunch, or maybe to go to church. But, alas, we look in the mirror and wish we had gotten more sleep over {read more}

Want to feel better now?

Want to feel better now?

We have all had those moments… we just feel like crap. We can’t seem to get our engine going again. Maybe we don’t even want to do the things we typically find joy in. And yes, we are probably scrolling the internet! So here are {read more}

Let your mind be an oasis

Let your mind be an oasis

Not a warzone.

Today’s post comes with sincerity and urging. When I think back to the ‘old me’… I recognize that my mind was NOT a healthy place. My internal dialogue was debilitating. The self-critic in me was winning. The awful things I was taught to believe, were choking out the truth. Can you relate?

Shed the old beliefs.

At some point during the year, I realized I needed to shed the old, and completely re-do the landscape of my mind. After all, it is where we spend ALL of our time. No matter where our physical bodies are, our mind is there. The picture our mind paints is either casting shadows into our reality, or lighting up the path forward.

Many may argue that what is happening in the world is what is actually casting shadows. And that it is hard not to be angry about what is happening around us. At this point, I’ve opened up here and there about my past experiences and traumas. Each of those things I have every right to be angry over. And also went through a healing process for each individual situation, as well as the unfortunate long term effects they had on me.

Additionally, this blog is NOT intended to spread toxic positivity. Therefore, I encourage anyone who has dealt with trauma, or has reoccurring anxiety or anger over the things happening around them or to them to seek appropriate treatment. Either through therapy, medication or removing themselves from the situation.

Much of the things that go on outside of us, or the things that happen to us influences our thoughts and what we believe about ourselves. As mentioned in a previous post about erasing some bad advice, similarly, we need to be aware of what is growing in our minds based on these experiences and on-goings in the world.

What does the landscape of your mind look like?

Growing up as I did, close to the Jersey Shore, often I’d see people having caricatures made of themselves. This is where the artist exaggerates certain features to make a cartoon like version of the individual sitting for their portrait.

If you were to have someone draw a caricature of not your face, but instead your mind; what would it look like? Are there common thoughts which the artist would exaggerate? Or perhaps, insecurities the artist would highlight and make even bigger?

Would your mind’s caricature be a flourishing garden or would it be a person carrying a heavy load? The great news is, YOU and only you can begin to tend to the thoughts in your mind. YOU have the power to change what goes on in your mind, and therefore what grows there. If you want a rose garden inspired by a castle, or maybe a field of tulips that you might see in Holland. Or perhaps, you’d like a grand mountain range with snow capped peaks.

Select the landscape which resonates with you, and begin to create that picture in your mind. Use your thoughts to form an oasis in your mind. A place you can go to escape to when there is no solace in the outside world.

Allowing your mind to be the oasis

Once you have the picture you’d like your mind to be. It is time to allow your mind to be that oasis. There are many instances in which I’ve used this technique. Two of which I’ll provide example for here.

Storytime: Dental Work

The first is when I had years worth of dental work done without going under. Over a decade ago I was in a super unfortunate situation (which I take full responsibility for). Because of that situation, dental work became necessary; however I did not want to go under due to separate fears. Along the way of getting everything fixed, I soon came to realize I would need a way to go to a different place in my mind. After all, pain is real. My desire to stay awake and not have to go under was greater than my fear of the pain. In addition, I couldn’t talk my way through the situation. (Haha, this makes me laugh as I write it, but I often just use talking as a way to distract from reality. Anyway!). So – I came up with a solution.

During these appointments, I would call to my mind’s eye an island oasis. Mind you, I’ve only been to one island. Somehow I had seen enough pictures over the years of the ocean rolling up on the beach and a palm tree swaying gently in a breeze; to be able to call to mind this scene. Through all the appointments, I would simply call to mind this scene, to the point where I could almost taste the salt water, and feel the warm air against my skin.

Storytime: Airport

The second place I’ve used my mind-oasis is while I am in the airport. Since the beginning of my career, flying became a regular activity. And wow has it changed over the years. Especially during the pandemic, but even before, the stress of travel can easily be overwhelming. In fact, in general, being out in public seems to bring a certain stress level. The airport is a special place. Some people are going on their honeymoon, others are on the way to funerals. Many are excited to reunite with loved ones. And still others, often me, are simply commuting to work!

At this point, I have no idea how many times I’ve flown; and for that matter, how many hands of new flyers I’ve held. Typically once in the air, I am in the zone. (I spoke on this in a post from 2021!) However, it is the time at the airport which can require a mindset shift! Perhaps not as great as being in the dentist office, being in the airport can just be all around a rough place. During the pandemic especially, people were on edge. Many of the vendors weren’t open to serve food; and even once the Charlotte airport didn’t even have running water. Between the massive amount of activity happening, as well as the potential delays; it can be a stressful place to be.

Therefore, when I am at the airport, if I can’t distract myself by talking to a stranger, or opening my laptop to finish some work. I instead go into the oasis in my mind and hang out there. Sometimes this is the same island scene, and sometimes it is imagining being home. Other times it is walking through the gardens at the Biltmore, or remembering a cozy room I stayed in at the Billy Graham property, The Cove (in Asheville, NC).

Building your oasis

Hopefully these examples have inspired you enough to build your own mind-oasis! If you need the help of actual pictures, perhaps it is time to make a new Pinterest board. Maybe even, have an actual picture as the background of your phone to use as reference. Either way, come up with a scene or multiple scenes where you can go in your mind to relax. My examples may not resonate with you, maybe your scene is at a restaurant in NYC, or at home with a loved one by your side. Or maybe, it is a forest you’ve hiked in. Perhaps, it is a fully fictional scene you’ve created or you’ve seen in a movie.

No matter what, build your oasis and allow yourself to go there. Once you have an oasis in your mind, no matter where you go, you can come back to yourself and feel peace. Let this be the encouragement to create your scene today!

Where ever you go, there you are.  Bring your oasis with you.  Create a space in your mind to retreat to when what is happening around you isn’t pleasant.  

Inspiration Spotlight: Music and our Brains

Inspiration Spotlight: Music and our Brains

Recently, I had the pleasure of having dinner with some amazing people. One of which was Dr. Jonathan Burdette, a professor of Neuroradiology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is working on important and inspiring things with VR (Virtual Reality) and has previously worked {read more}

How to prepare for a job interview

How to prepare for a job interview

Preparing for a job interview? Want to feel confident going into it and know you’ve got the job? My video on how to prepare for a job interview will put you in the right direction for success! When preparing for a job interview, we can {read more}

How well do you know your purpose?

How well do you know your purpose?

Knowing your purpose is good for your health

Little did I know, that knowing your purpose is important and good for your health! Both mentally and physically. Upon deeper reflection, this makes total sense. After all, an individual who wakes up and goes about their day with no purpose is likely to develop depression. While a person who is eager to start their day and organizes around their purpose will find more fulfillment in the mundane.

A research study showed that having life purpose decreases risk of death. This article by Mara Gordan presenting research around purpose convicted me. A noteable quote below:

People who didn’t have a strong life purpose — which was defined as “a self-organizing life aim that stimulates goals” — were more likely to die than those who did, and specifically more likely to die of cardiovascular diseases.

Mara Gordan,


Last year I completed a fun course called “Purpose to Impact” led by Harvard. It was an amazing program which helped explore individuals purpose through a series of answering questions aloud, reflecting and sharing feedback. The class itself was fun and enjoyable and led to some eureka moments for each one of us.

Prior to taking the class, I would not have really said I knew my purpose in life. Not that I was aimless, but I wasn’t really ever sure if I was on the right path. At some point I was getting antsy and wanting to know what was next for me. In order for me to answer the ‘what is next’ question, I knew I had to make a few decisions. As well as explore the options. However, as you may well know, there is only so much introspection that can be productive. Easily, I was at the end of the productive side of thinking.

The class was a great tool to gather feedback, with the other people in the group acting as listeners and almost positive listeners. It just so happens I came across my notes from the end of the class, where we state our purpose. Mine was one word, “Nurture.”


It all makes sense

The common response to those in the class was a moment of surprise realization. Followed by, “ah yes this makes sense” once we discussed one another’s purposes. One person had never seen herself as the, Yoda, which I so affectionately called her. Another realized the direction she was going in was just ever so slightly creating a separation from her purpose, resulting in daily frustrations. And yet, another knew his purpose but realized he was in need for more recognition for his contributions.

And then there was me. Growing up, I was told I was more of a math girl; raised to be more stoic than soft. It would not have naturally occurred to me that nurturing others would be my calling in life. One particular moment, I shall never forget was when a friend angrily debated with me that I was simply a cog in the corporate machine. (I’ve mentioned I grew up in New Jersey, right?)

Although I’ve jokingly accused of being a cheerleader in more recent years, and known for my bright eyes and never-ending smile ;), it honestly never crossed my mind that being a nurturer would be my purpose. However, after taking the class and listening to others reflections, I was able to agree that being a nurturer fits me. Furthermore, if you were to listen to my life-stories, it would show up more and more that my happiest moments occurred while taking care of a plant, animal or person. To be clear, not just babying and spoiling but nourishing and empowering.


It started with a book

Perhaps it all stemmed from reading the book “Nurture” by Lisa Bevere which is listed on my inspiration page. I distinctly remember reading this book, the first time in 2013, on an airplane from Ohio to North Carolina. Each page spoke more and more to my heart, my head nodding and even a tear or two escaping down my cheek. In this book, Lisa speaks on creating meaningful connections, encouraging one another and lending our talents and strengths to raise another up. Given the timeframe which I was reading this, it most likely was the first time I was learning these concepts.

Thinking back to the first time I read this book, I can still feel the inner yearning I had for someone to show up in my life and be an example of this gentle but radiant light. Then, one day I woke up and realized that woman needed to be me. Eight years in the making, and I do my best to be the gentle, radiant lady everyday.


Level of Purpose Quiz

With that said, below is a quiz from the Berkeley Greater Good Site. It measures your level of purpose.  My results are down below, and yes I floss my teeth, exercise and go to the doctor. 


Sad news…

Sad news…

Well blogfam. I appreciate yall so much. This post comes with the sad news, that my side kick, and the dynamic part to the duo has crossed the rainbow bridge. My sweet Bianca Bear, Bianca Potts, Muffin, Potts Smith has left us. She passed peacefully {read more}