6 Ways to Become a More Independent Thinker

independentthinker4Do you find yourself relying on the opinions of others instead of thinking for yourself? I know that I have found myself listening to others in order to make decisions about my own life. When I hear myself say it, it doesn’t make sense, but I did it…a lot! Most of the time, the advice was ill-advised and I was left wishing that I would have just done what I was telling myself. Learning how to become an independent thinker takes some retraining of your brain…THAT takes time and energy, and a whole lot of patience. Ok, so I have a few steps that you (and I) can take to start thinking for yourself.

  1. independentthinkerLet go of your preconceptions. As an independent thinker, all of the things that were “instilled” in you or that you were indoctrinated into believing have to go. These are things that were given to you by people who you trust and you adopted the thinking. Sit down and think rationally and keep an open mind. Have you ever thought that those things that you were taught and now make up your reality may be wrong? Think about them…do this thinking without emotion and see what you come up with.
  2. Question all things! DO not just accept everything that you are told. Ask yourself WHY every once in a while. You don’t have to think the way the rest of them think or do what everyone else is doing. Just because things are being done one way now, does not mean that it will be done that way forever. Try to become more aware of independentthinker1all of the hypocrisy in your life and the lives of those close to you.
  3. Watch/listen to educational material. I am a reader and definitely listen to podcasts often, if not daily. Free education is everywhere. Take advantage of it in your free time. You won’t be sorry. And do your own research. Take your time looking for information that will help you make a fair judgment about things you have an opinion about. If you enjoy debates, you need to have information to back up your opinions. This way you can also form opinions using logic and not emotions…things get heated for no reason that way.
  4. Travel more! This is my ultimate favorite of course. For a change in perspective, we have to get out of our neighborhoods and see what things are like out there. Seeing independentthinker2the way other people live makes you realize that the environment that you live in is just a bubble, and there other ways to do things. Things are a certain way for each of us, but we should know that it is not going to be the same way for others. Get out there and see a different perspective so that you can learn more about yourself as well.
  5. Watch the company you keep. “If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”. DO you know that saying? I LOVE that saying because, for me, it is driving me to find people that are where I want to be. I mean, we all know something that we can teach to others and we should fill our lives with people who have knowledge that we are pursuing. It is especially rewarding to find others that are on the same journey or close to it. This way you all can expose each other to new ideas and lend a hand or two along the way.independentthinker3
  6. Read more! Honestly, there is nothing like curling up on the couch with a good book and escaping reality…if only for a couple of hours. Libraries are one of my favorite places, along with the book store. All of the knowledge that is waiting for us to grab! We need to continue to enlighten our minds. Reading makes us more well-rounded and insightful and The more we know, the more thought-provoking and solid our conversations, opinions, and stance will be.

Health Minute: Tumeric

turmeric1So I have been researching some natural ways to deal with inflammation. I admit that I am aging (nice and slow but it is still it is happening) and I am feeling the effects of it occasionally. So after looking at a few things, I decided to try Turmeric. And I was searching, I found a tea…I am a huge tea person so this should be perfect right?

Turmeric is a bright yellow-orangish spice that is used in curries and sauces and comes from the turmeric root. For thousands of years, it has been used for its medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties.

I had only seen turmeric in the spice or pill form, but I am finding out that Turmeric tea is one popular form of consuming the spice. It does have a unique flavor and it has some great health benefits.

  • Eases arthritis symptoms. Turmeric has very strong anti-inflammatory properties turmericthat can help ease inflammation and swelling in people who suffer from arthritis. It is said to reduce the painful symptoms. There was a study that found that the active ingredient, curcumin, was effective in reducing pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
  • Helps prevent cancer. The National Cancer Institute has recognized curcumin as an effective anticarcinogen, which is a substance that helps prevent cancer.
  • Helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease. There is a lot of research happening out there to find out what causes the disease, but they are finding that the curcumin found in turmeric2turmeric may help in the prevention of it. There has been research done that says that turmeric can reduce the synaptic marker loss and the accumulation of amyloids linked to Alzheimer’s development.
  • Boosts immune system. Studies have shown that turmeric can moderate the immune system. Its medicinal properties can boost the immune system, even in people with immune disorders.
  • Lowers Cholesterol. This one is part of the reason I wanted to try it as well. I have a
  • turmeric3thyroid problem, Grave’s that when it gets out of control, it throws a lot of things out of control. It has caused me to almost need to take a cholesterol med, which I have never heard anyone say that it didn’t have unfavorable side effects in their legs…not cool for me. I do not always eat the best foods so trying to control my Lower LDL without medication is a true goal of mine. Turmeric can help with that! In 2008, a study was done that found that a low dose of curcumin was associated with reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels.

This was just a few of the benefits that I have found and seen for myself in the past month that I have been using it. There were more…just do a little research to see how you or someone who love can benefit from it.

SO do you wanna try to make this unique tea?


  1. Boil 3-4 cups of water
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric. Stir
  3. Simmer for about 5- 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea into another container
  5. Add lemon, orange juice, honey, and milk to taste if desired


Are there any potential risks?

It is generally safe as long as you have it in moderation. Taking too much can cause a blood-thinning effect or an increase in stomach acidity, which can cause ulcers. I would check into it before using if you take blood-thinners or have a gallbladder issue, diabetes(may lower blood sugars) or stomach issues.turmeric4

Turmeric tea is safe for most people to drink. It can relieve pain and inflammation just the way that NSAIDs do without the side effects they cause like ulcers, internal bleeding, and a reduction in your white blood cell count.


10 Reasons to Vacation Right Now!


IMG_0300Now more than ever I love traveling! My boys are older so I am more inclined to get up and go, with or without them to get away from home and get some downtime. We all need it. We need to be able to remove ourselves from the “every day” and refill our tanks. Even if we take a day off, I don’t know about you, but that day off from work is just a day off from work. I can find a trillion things to do at home that will make me think I should have just gone to work.

vacation1I have been taking yearly vacations now for about 6 years and I need it! It is like breathing for me now. And at least one vacation is a cruise. Actually, I will be going on one soon and I cannot wait!! I love seeing new places, trying new dishes that I never would have tried at home, and getting to know a foreign culture. Now that I started this, I do not know how I did life before. I have a wanderlust spirit now and it gets stronger with every new adventure I take.

Here are some reasons why you should take at least one big vacation a year…

  1. You will get to know yourself better. You get a chance to think in your quiet times and the opportunity to see how you react when you are in different situations. I journal during my vacation to check in on my feelings and think about my life. I also record things that happen that I may forget when I return home to the craziness.
  2. You become smarter. Going to all of these different places helps you to gain moreIMG_6276 knowledge about the world, maps, geography, cultures, and languages. I definitely have a better sense of direction after all of my travels so far.
  3. You get to experience something new. Nothing can really surprise you about where you live. It is different when you get out there and travel. There will be plenty of culture shocks…and it is a  beautiful thing. Staying in one spot for me is boring…might as well travel and get out of that.
  4. You make wonderful memories. Nothing compares to that! Collecting special moments will always be better than collecting things. I mean, after a while, where will you put all of that stuff? If you spend your life in one place, every day seems the same.
  5. You may just find out what the meaning of life is. I believe the meaning of life is a little different for all of us because we are called to different things and we have different gifts. While I travel, I spend time with me and think…write…pray. I always think about my purpose and the things I want to work on or change about me and my life while I am away. Almost looking for a fresh start in some areas.
  6. vacation2You sometimes get to see places that you have only seen in pictures. When you step into a foreign land that you have looked at on Google or Pinterest, it seems so magical. It is such a gorgeous feeling to actually BE in the places that you have dreamed of being in, knocking things off of your bucket list.
  7. You will inspire others to travel. Even though traveling is not a hard thing, it can be hard for someone to begin doing it. When you decide to get out there and make your dreams come true, you will inspire others to go and do the same.
  8. You will have exciting stories to tell. Our passports tell some exciting stories! When you have gone out there and experienced other places, you will have hundreds of stories to tell. Each day of travel brings something spectacular to your life.
  9. You meet some amazing people.
  10. vacation3 Every person on vacation has a beautiful and unforgettable story. You learn and you are reminded of the fragility and the intensity of life. I will never forget the awesome people that I have met on vacation, some of them are now great friends of mine and we plan to travel together in the future.
  11. You will become a better person. When I travel, I see a different perspective on life. Since I have been learning these new cultures, I feel like it is easier to be more tolerant. I am more compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and definitely more at peace.

IMG_6233These are just some of the benefits of travel. Every time I pack my bags, I am deciding to create another adventure and leave my mark in those special places. I am no longer afraid to step out of my own little world and see what is out there. Memories and excitement are out there waiting for us…I am actually getting ready for my next vacation as I write and I can’t wait. See you out there.



Have You Heard Of Smudging?

smudgingHave you heard of smudging? It is becoming more popular as of late but Native Americans and indigenous people have burned sage for centuries as a part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space of negative energy, and to promote healing and wisdom. It has been used since Roman times to treat digestive issues, memory problems, and sore throats. The name sage comes from the Latin word “salvia”. It means “to feel healthy”.

The practice of “smudging” has become more popular in other cultures as well. Recently at the makeshift memorial of Nipsey Hustle, a young lady burned sage to rid the area of any negative energy.

It is said that sage “metaphysically un-clings the things that cling to us that are no longer needed–spiritually, mentally, and physically…almost the way a sponge does.” The medical benefits have not officially been well- studied.

Sage comes in different varieties. Most healers and herbalist use white sage. The white sage is used for purifying and protection. There are others like lavender sage, black sage, smudging3common sage, and blue sage, which is used for cleansing and healing. They all have their own unique qualities.

You can harvest sage yourself or buy it in bundles at a health food store, farmer’s market, or on the internet of course. Just make sure whether you grow it or purchase it, it was harvested sustainably and responsibly.

How do you burn sage? 

You light the end of the bundle and let the smoke waft into the air. If you are cleansing a room, you walk around the space with it. You can also just place it in a shell to catch ashes as it burns and just let it sit in the room.

smudging1Sage is a flavonoid–plant compound that has medicinal properties; lavender is in the same family. Some of these compounds appear to improve brain health and guard against diseases like Alzheimer’s. In some studies, sage helped against depression and anxiety, digestive problems and soothing upset stomachs. It is calming to the gut and mind in the same way that lavender is.

Be careful burning the sage because although there are no studies on the risk, it is just like burning incense and that has shown to give some people allergies or lung issues with prolonged burning. Burning for a short period of time should not cause any issues but if you have asthma or lung issues, I would consult a physician and get their opinion.

If you are worried about burning the sage, you can always try essential oils as ansmudging2 alternative.

Have you tried smudging before? Do you do it as a regular practice? I would love to hear about your experience and how you feel about the practice.

Why Have Boundaries?

boundaries1No matter how much I have accomplished in this life, I know that I am capable of achieving so much more. I am capable of finding what it is that I am looking for…even if I am not quite sure what exactly that looks like right now. I am definitely capable of being happier than I am now, capable of having the right people around me that add value to me. I am learning myself and understand me more thoroughly and I am capable of being the best version of myself, the one that hides nothing, whose confidence glows and she who exudes beauty, empathy, and purpose. That is my mission…what I am adopting as my philosophy. I wake up like this…with this on my brain.

Now this took a lot of work, and I am honestly not fully living this way, but I am working on it, intentionally. It took me what seemed like forever to realize that if I really wanted this I would have to honor and respect myself in a way that reflects this. I mean, if I really wanted to grow in this way, learn about myself, and create the ideal version ofboundaries2 myself, I have to behave in a way that allows me to do so. I had to get to a point where I would be free of expectations, the pressure of commitments that make no sense and negative people.

This is why I needed some boundaries REALLY bad! Setting personal boundaries is so huge for someone that is looking to become who they are truly capable of being. Without boundaries, there was so much drama…



  • I was a horrible people pleaser. It was so hard for me to tell people “no” and I suffered and complained but still said yes.
  • I took on everyone’s needs, wants and desires as my own and before my own.
  • It was hard for me to let go of dead relationships or relationships that did not add to me
  • I let people stay in my inner circle too long, family and friends, that drained my energy and all of my good vibes.
  • I let other people’s needs outweigh mine. I mean where I barely acknowledged my own needs at all.


I spent many years like this and as a result, I had lost my sense of self and the relationships, especially the one with myself, suffered anyway. Because I was letting all of that occupy space in my life, it took on a life of its own.


Setting boundaries reminds you to say no to bad habits and things that are not serving good to you…mind, body, or soul. This is not just from others, but from yourself; you do not want to be influenced to do anything or be anyone outside of who you want to be or what you want to do. “No” is not a negative word….not at all! boundaries

Saying no, to someone, something, or yourself, just shows that you are being authentic and clear about what you want in your life. You are loving yourself! Doing something just for you…something you don’t have to feel guilty about or apologize for. You should never feel guilty for wanting to better yourself. We should NEVER feel shame when we are living and speaking our truth.

When we say no for our own personal reasons, there is so much power in that…the biggest thing is your truth. And you don’t need an excuse to live it. No explanation needed! That is a boundary…that is your truth. You are putting out into the world what controlyourself2your truth is…and how you want to live it.

At the end of the day, you are human and you have a vision for who you wanna be and how you want to live this life. There are things that you are not going to stand for, nothing less than what feeds your personal best.

A boundary is you having the courage to love on yourself, even at the risk of disappointing someone else. The sooner we see that the sooner we can get on with truly being happy…having joy.

Easy Peasy…just like that. Say no….stop putting up with things, people and thoughts that do not serve you. You know what is not healthy for you; what is not going to help you get to where you wanna be…yeah that….boundaries!

boundaries4I started small and just showing that little power has affected me in some big ways. Boundaries are powerful and you will grow more consistent and aggressive with them.

Things have gotten so much easier with boundaries. Once you put up one small boundary, you will see the effect it has on your life as a whole. It will give you room to add the things that will bring nothing but goodness in and push you toward being your best you…




5 Reasons Child-Like Behavior Isn’t so Bad

childlike-wonder2When we were children, there weren’t many things that could put us in a bad mood. If we really think about it, the older we have gotten, the shades of life have unintentionally dimmed our lights. We move away from home and moved away from looking at our world with excitement and awe, wonder and fresh eyes….like we did as children.


The last few months have been so eye-opening for me. I am really living life on purpose and being intentional about enjoying it. I am bringing the excitement and curiosity back and man does it feel good! I have taken time to weed out what doesn’t serve the good in me and created space for wonder. I am so much happier now that I take chances and do childlike-wonder5things that I normally wouldn’t… I get excited over the silliest things like having tea alone downtown or hanging out by the lake having ice cream. There is so much fulfillment and warmth in those things and I am feeling a little like a kid again…

I wish everyone could feel that feeling again. We should be people that speak to a person that walks by or open the door for someone else. It is nice to see people small talk to the barista at Starbucks, or compliments strangers…just happy to be walking the planet and showing it.

I am learning to be more open and welcoming. I am more mindful of the little things around me and grateful that I get to experience it all. I love feeling this “spark”. I love feeling this sense of awe and wonder and at times…silliness! It is so freeing.

Think about this. As a child, there was no past and no future. We were not thinking about bills or 401Ks, and not one thought of dating or to-do lists. We were in the moment, childlike-wonder1entertained by every little thing, not a care in the world.

Now that we have grown up, we take all of those little things for granted. We let our jobs and responsibilities weigh us down. We think that it is no big deal when the ice cream truck passes by or when we see an impressive cloud in the sky. We have to stop letting the sometimes heaviness of life outweigh the excitement and zest for life we used to have. We have to stop allowing the pressures of life and the planning of our future kill the spark that we had.

I believe that great things really do happen when you enjoy all that you have surrounding you in your present. When you are excited about life instead of acting like it is just another day…

  • You are happier. You are creating space for surprise and wonder…things that make your heart race; make it smile. You can go beyond being happy and feel joy…something that cannot easily be taken away.
  • You don’t worry about being good enough. You do what you can the best that you can and you leave it there. You’re not thinking about judgment. You know that you are doing your best.
  • childlike-wonder3You allow your inner light to shine. You are living with confidence and being optimistic. Everything will not be and go perfect all of the time but you are looking for the good and how you can take that with you into the future to help you succeed.
  • You feel more certain. You will feel sure that you are living the life that you are supposed to be living.  Things will not always go as planned but be sure that whatever you experience is supposed to happen in that season for a purpose. Have fun figuring it out and move forward with a purpose and optimism.
  • You won’t have to work so hard on that fake smile. You won’t have to worry about fitting in or being anyone other than you! There is so much freedom in that. Nothing worse than having to “change faces” just to be in the room with certain people. We have all done that in our adult lives at one time or another.

We need to have courage…and be a little goofy and just enjoy these beautiful lives that we have been given. We should stay curious…awestruck and hungry for more. We shouldn’t even care if we look a little silly…so what! Loosen up and enjoy your days. Stop trying to look and be like everyone else. Look for the next opportunity to be awestruck…wowed.

Take a walk and talk to the cute little puppy out taking a stroll

Get excited about going to get an ice cream cone in the park

Bubblewrap (my family knows how I feel about that). Enough saidchildlike-wonder4

Anyway, drop your guard and have some fun. Open your mind. Be in the moment. We all deserve to set our inner child free, if only for a little while.

Adults can smile and laugh too!



Beauty Bit: Jade Roller

jaderollerSo I am always looking for new ways to help me beat the aging clock. Not bragging or anything, but I do not look my age at all and I want to keep it that way! I mean, I am 46 years old with a son that just turned 26…I still can’t believe that. Anyway, I make sure that I have a morning routine and a night routine and I try to add different things to them to shock my skin and keep the most youthful look I can.

I recently walked around in Marshall’s and saw the facial rollers. I looked up the different varieties and what their benefits to the skin are so that I could choose what would best benefit me if I wanted to try it at all. I chose the green jade roller for now, but I definitely want to getIMG_4178 my hands on the rose quartz next.

The Jade roller is a trending tool that had me wondering if it could do anything to help me ward off looking like I am almost 50 years old. I have been using it as part of my nighttime routine for 2 months now and I have to say that the benefits are many and I love it!

Jade rollers have been a part of Chinese skincare routines since the 7th century. It is like a mini face massager and it is believed to have healing and protective benefits for the skin. They are made out of green jade stone and have a rolling piece and some have a smaller roller on the other end for reaching smaller areas on the face.

jaderoller2I put my jade roller in the refrigerator because I like it cold and it feels refreshing. My night routine is washing my face, my witch hazel, and I use Drunk Elephant’s night duo…then I apply the jade roller to the mix.  It helps with circulation and helps the oils and serums that you apply to reach a deeper level in your skin. I just roll that puppy up and down,  side to side on my face, working around the contours. I also read in a few places that the jade roller can help with lymph drainage if you start rolling from your nose and outward to the sides of your face, middle of your chin towards your ears, and the top of your neck and rolling down towards your chest. This path is said to help detoxify your skin. I have only done this method a few times so I am not sure yet how much it helps.

The benefits?


  • reduces inflammation and puffiness of the skin
  • reduces the appearance of circles under your eyes (especially if the roller is cold)
  • stimulates the  lymphatic system and blood circulation
  • brightens your complexion
  • tightens pores
  • reduces the appearance of fine lines
  • allows your skincare products to penetrate your skin deeper

I use my jade roller as a part of my nighttime skincare routine because it always makes my skin feel calm and cool. You can find a jade roller in most places where skincare products are found like Ulta or Sephora, and Amazon of course. I did read that the best jade roller to buy is one made of pure Xiuyan jade, which is what I purchased.

Seriously, try it out! I have my green jade roller, but I am ready to try the rose quartz and see what the difference will be in my skin. Happy rolling!!!