How I Changed My Morning to Change My Life #LevelUp

from the Jerusalem files

Pop quiz, chicas! Answer the following-- 

When I first woke up this morning, I _____________

a. hit the snooze button (several times) and mentally declared that I 'can't and won't adult today' ... #FirstIDrinkTheCoffee #ThenIDoTheThings

b. immediately resumed worrying about ish I need to do, don't wanna do, or did and now feel bad about doing. 

c. checked IG, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter,, my 3 email accounts and replied to any and all the I-responded-in-my-head-but-forgot-to-respond-forreal-tho text messages

d. all of the above. I can't do mornings. 

This foolery right here.  It'll keep you right where you're at. 

Less Judgement, More Love

There's about three feet of snow on the ground and I see a woman who looks like she needs help. But I don't help her. Because awhile back I'd decided that this woman was mean and my assumptions wouldn't let me move.

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How Did You Find Your Voice?

When you want what everyone else wants, without discretion, you do what you see everyone else doing. When you believe that what you see, what's presented to you, is all there is, you try to choose a mold to squeeze into, even if it hurts, even if you can't breathe, even if you have to cut off parts of yourself to make it fit.

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You are Fully Capable of Pleasing Yourself.

I was old enough to feel like a woman but young enough to be shy about it. I used to sit in my bedroom in front of the mirror pretending someone was watching me. Usually that someone was my crush of the moment or someone I wished would notice me.

How I Lost 10 Pounds and Gained a Healthy Lifestyle

Liv writes:

Hello CurlyNikki community!  I wanted to share how I lost 10 pounds, maintained it for over a year, gained muscle, and trimmed my waist down simply by living a healthy lifestyle! With motivation, determination and discipline anything is possible!


When 'I'm not ready' really means, 'I'm not worthy'

Do you know how it feels to want something so badly that you dread it?

I'm talking about pushing away the very thing you want most, the very life you want most. Because deep down you don't believe that you can have it. Because you've romanticized it and your expectations have gotten so high that you are afraid you'll mess it up. And what will you have to give up to get it? There's so much uncertainty, so many questions. It seems unattainable so you pretend you don't want it. You talk yourself out of it. You see it coming and you run. All of this is disguised in a common escape:

'I'm not ready.'

Sometimes what we say is 'I'm not ready' but what we whisper is 'I'm not worthy.'

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why can't we talk about sadness?

I think the sadness started with my first awareness that my mother was sick. It meant that everything safe and beautiful was also tragic and temporary. All of my life has been about coping with that.

Sadness lives underneath my skin. It sits in my stomach and my throat and right behind my eyes. It is one of my favorite things to write about, but I don't talk about it much because I find that most people aren't comfortable with the topic. We are all coping with something. I actually think it feels good to talk about it. Sadness is one of those intimate and inevitable things like sexuality. I mean, I don't care who you are, you get sad sometimes, but you might be shy about openly talking about it. I’m not. I think we should talk about it more. It's an important part of a vivid life.

Sadness is not the same thing as depression.

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‘Cause my life is dope and I do dope sh*t’ #LifeHack

...famous Kanye quote (via Dave Chappelle). But seriously. My life is dope. And I get tons of emails asking questions about my philosophy and secrets, so I thought I’d share one of them right here, for #AllaYall.

A CN reader wrote me sharing that she feels stuck and unfulfilled in her current career, despite the 6 years of school she struggled through to land the job.  On top of Sallie Mae hitting her up on the regular, she's tired of corporate America and the politics and the red tape and the racism and wants her freedom.  She wants to follow her passion and create a green beauty business, but has zero capital, zero free time and zero inspired ideas.  She also wants a bae and children... and since she's well into her 30s, feels time is ticking and the clock is getting louder and growing ever more disrespectful by the day.  Every person in her life views her as a great success, but she wants more.  She went on to explain everything else that was wrong about her life, in the greatest of detail, and then kicked it to me.

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Appreciate Every Season of Your Life


Appreciate every single season of your life.  Whether the season is hard and you wish it would hurry up and pass, or the season is amazing and you're terrified that it will end.  No matter what it is, give yourself to it, and trust that you are experiencing exactly what you need when you need it. 

If you had to give a name to the season you are going through right now, what would it be?

Loving Yourself Naked

My youngest daughter always says, "Mommy move your hair so I can kiss your spots." What has been a source of insecurity for me is something my daughter loves unconditionally.

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Why I'm so Damn Happy! #LifeHack

Wanna know why I'm happier than you?

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Why I Don't Set Goals or Care About Them At All


I smile to myself when clients ask me about goal-setting.  I'm not the one for that.  At all.  I'm the free-spirited coach who will tell you to write your feelings and get to know them instead of focusing on goals. I  don't pretend to care about goals because they are not what drives me. When I realized this about myself, my mind completely opened up and I became more creative, more productive and definitely happier.

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When Your Default Emotion is Sadness

"Creation is an extension of thought. Think lack and get lack. Think abundance and you get abundance."  - Marianne Williamson

I can't get enough positive affirmation.  Can't get enough truth and stripped down honesty and inspiration. I'm never satisfied.  Always looking for growth and life lessons and proof of grace.  Because I have always been drawn to sad things and melancholy, anything emotional and heart-wrenching, so I instinctively seek to balance that out.  With meaning and enlightening ideas.  Faith and creativity.  This is the only way I know how to live and thrive.  I'm not always happy, but I'm always hopeful.

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Remembering Who You Are and What You Want

 by GG Renee of

In which I take my own advice and just start writing.

Because I know that I desperately need to shut my mind up and open up to my soul.  Here, in this space, I need to reconnect.  Getting back to the days when I would write blog posts that weren't planned, that weren't centered around a product launch or a series, but were necessary simply because the words needed to come out and be felt.  Sometimes my words are little warriors, and I send them out to look for signs of life when I'm fighting a battle.  Is anyone else out there fighting this battle, too?  Let's fight together.  This is what they whisper, in between the lines.
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Awkwardly Authentic


I had a phone interview recently.  I felt laid back at first like I was having a chat with a friend.  Then throughout the call I got more and more worked up.  My thoughts went into overdrive and nerves started taking over.  I couldn't say anything without stuttering and repeating myself.

I was frazzled.  I struggled to provide straightforward, concise answers to questions that should have come easily to me, having answered them dozens of times before.    Long gone was the calm, be-your-self-ness that I felt when the interview started.  When the call ended, I hung up feeling uneasy.

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Use Your Imagination to Create the Life You Want

When you are afraid of something and you think about this fear a lot, you based your actions around it and you give it energy.

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All Your Best Stuff Comes From This Place

I was an intense kid and I learned early on that it wasn't a 'cool' thing to be so I did my best to conceal it.

But everything stayed with me. I felt that I carried not only my own problems around with me but those of everyone else. The homeless man on the street. The elderly woman looking sad and confused in the grocery store. The family that lost everything in a house fire. I thought I was weird for obsessing over all these sad things all the time. But I needed to take my time with them and let the emotions flow through me. Same with joy. Just as I had a deep capacity to explore sadness and pain, I felt intense joy at what others considered to be small things.

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I used to tell myself to be patient.

I'd say, "Your turn is coming. Blessings are on the way."

This mindset kept me envying other people's 'turns' and overlooking today, in favor of some tomorrow. 

Real Life is Not Picture Perfect

It's always been important to me to be thought of as pretty and polished and nice to look at.  Sounds vain, but as a woman, perhaps you can relate.  I talked about the roots of this a bit here.

With that said, I work diligently to position myself as a champion for shameless self-possession.  I celebrate all the many layers.  And some of those layers ain't pretty.  Feeling pretty is like happiness.  It's a choice and a feeling that comes and goes depending on what's going on.

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Redefining Yourself, for Yourself.


"People like me more when they think I'm pretty."

I can't tell you when, but at some point in my childhood I began to believe this was true. This is what the media, my environment and even my mother taught me.

The media taught me to compare myself to touched up, perfect images and the more I looked like them, the more acceptable and loved I would be. It taught me to fix myself to fit certain standards of beauty and that life would be more charmed and happy if I did.

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