WHY Are You The Most Important Person in the World?

You Are The MOST Important Person in the World.

Words you may never hear anywhere else.

But you are. Why? Because TO YOU, you should matter most.

Not in an egotistical way, as if everyone else doesn’t matter and not like a Kanye way – to brag about how great you are, but in a God-like way. A way that knows the WHAT and WHY you’re valued and treats itself as so.

I want you to nurture this knowing, which starts by acknowledging how valuable you are.

The definition of importance is:

  1. of great significance or value; likely to have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being.

What if you treated every moment of your life like it was the most important task at hand? Like each second in your day was an ounce of gold…what would be different? How would you spend it?

Would you be more aware, more excited about your life? Would you value the choices you made?

This is the mentality shift that I want us to make. From treating ourselves and our lives as a random, powerless acts that just happen… to making our lives SIGNIFICANT, VALUABLE and in direct correlation to the SUCCESS of yourself and others.

How can you make this paradigm shift?

Step by step, choice and action.

  1. Start with ACCEPTING who you are. All of you, scars + all
  2.  Next, FORGIVE your past mistakes, people who hurt you and let go of mindsets that make you the victim. Adopt a stronger story. Know, that you have the power to change your life, to be free and to overcome any obstacle.
  3. Then, spend QUALITY TIME WITH YOURSELF. Sit in silence, meditate, journal, ask yourself questions, find out what you love most, how you want to spend your time, with who, where. Discover all the things you love about your body, your mind, your heart. Take yourself out on a date. Be your best friend. Connect to God within, be powerful in you.

As you take these first steps (and this is not easy), you will begin to prioritize your needs + be mindful of your time and thoughts. You will want to treat yourself with more patience, love, kindness. You will guard your heart, mind, soul with a deeper understanding that you must let go to anything or anyone who no longer serves you. Protect the goodness you feel!

SamoraLife is a community to support you wherever you are. If you want to practice self-love on a deeper level, come join us. There are many ways that we can help get you there. Here are a few more.

Have any other self-love tips or reminders? Or want to share how your self-love journey has evolved? Please leave a comment! I would love to hear from you!

You are always loved,

 


Better Sleep = Better Life (SaSu Sleep Routine Included!)

I started having a hard time sleeping in the past few months. Not sure why, but my body wouldn’t relax and mind wouldn’t stop racing. At first, I thought it was stress, so I was sure to meditate a few hours before bed. Still no sleep. Then I thought it was my pillow. Got a new, more expensive one from a friend (thanks, Candice!) but still no sleep. I knew that my schedule got busier and I was getting to bed later than normal, but I was still confused that I couldn’t pass out after a while of laying still in bed. What was happening to me? After another few months of this, I became concerned. I started to do some research on how to get a good night’s sleep and began to experiment.

The first thing I learned is that it’s important to set the scene for your body to relax before bed. It’s like I need to re-train my body to gain a regular sleep pattern. Your body is on a time clock, and like a newborn baby, the body needs to be informed when to sleep. So I need to re-build this habit in order to have the highest quality of sleep.

The second thing is the IMPORTANCE of high-quality sleep. Here are some of what happens as you sleep well:

  • Skin cells rejuvenate
  • Hormones are balanced
  • Metabolism is regulated
  • Make healthier choices (with food and lifestyle)
  • Mind is more clear and sharp
  • Mood is better and more consistent

I also learned some important tips that can alter the quality of your sleep:

  • Avoid napping during the day. It can disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness. If you do nap, make it short!
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime. As well as TV, loud music, talking on phone or social activities While alcohol is well known to speed the onset of sleep, it disrupts sleep in the second half as the body begins to metabolize the alcohol, causing arousal. Any stimulant that causes high brain activity will be difficult to pacify during sleep.
  • Exercise can promote good sleep. Vigorous exercise should be taken in the morning or late afternoon. A relaxing exercise, like yoga, can be done before bed to help initiate a restful night’s sleep.
  • Food can be disruptive right before sleep.  Stay away from large meals close to bedtime. Also dietary changes can cause sleep problems, if someone is struggling with a sleep problem, it’s not a good time to start experimenting with spicy dishes. And, remember, chocolate has caffeine.
  • Ensure adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for older people who may not venture outside as frequently as children and adults. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
  • Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before trying to go to sleep. Don’t dwell on, or bring your problems to bed.
  • Associate your bed with sleep. It’s not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read.
  • Make sure that the sleep environment is pleasant and relaxing. The bed should be comfortable, the room should not be too hot or cold, or too bright.

I love this Well + Good Article with other deep sleep suggestions and tips.

After all the research and practices, I FINALLY found a healthy sleep routine that works!

SamoraLife Sleep Routine is my 8 hour, deep, fully rejuvenated sleep program that keeps me energized, focused and clear through my long work days. It helps me feel more excited about my life and love it even more.

SamoraLife Sleep Routine

 

  • Regulate Essential Routines

 

Having a healthy eating and exercise routine makes your body more regulated in all it’s functions including sleep. It’s best to exercise in the morning and eat before 8pm at night. Try to also be in bed between 9:30pm-10:30pm for the most optimal rest. Everyone’s body is different, so play with routines that work best for you!

  1. Evening Elixir

Enjoying a nice warm beverage before bed soothes the body and soul. I use Kimberly Synder’s  Nourish Your Nervous System Elixir as a way to relax and get into sleep mode.

  1. Eliminate Distractions

I start turning off the TV, turning lights out and putting my phone in sleep mode so that I set the mood for my sleep. I actually don’t have any gadgets in my bedroom (I don’t even charge my phone in the bedroom anymore) as a way to create a sacred space for sleep.

  1. Feel Clean + Smell Pretty

I like to take a quick shower or bath before bed. I usually take a shower in the morning as well but bathing at night makes me feel like I’m rinsing off the day and going to bed clean. I also like to spray myself and my bed with some essential oils like lavender.

  1. Meditation

Although there’s mixed messages about meditating right before bed. I at least like to do some conscious breathing to clear my mind and calm my body. This also helps me breathe better during sleep!

And when I have my very hard to sleep episodes I take these natural sleep aids:

  • Melatonin: I take one 2mg pill an hour before bed and it has helped me fall asleep fast. “Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s released in cycles throughout the day. It keeps us alert during the day and at rest during the night, and it is what our body needs to in order to sleep,” Dr. Frank Lipman
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophane (5-HTP): Helps with sleep and mood and can also regulate eating patterns. This natural supplement boosts serotonin and gets you a good nights rest. I usually take 2-3 pills daily when I can’t get deep rest.

Other natural sleep aids to consider is recommended in the Well + Good Article.


Meditation ain’t for Suckas + Why

Meditation:  It’s for everyone, but everyone aint for it!

To meditate is to be with self, listen, breathe + BE. That’s it! Really. You don’t have to try to let go of your thoughts or think only positive thoughts or ANYTHING. You just carve out some time to be still. Breathe deeply and let everything be as it is.

I personally believe that everyone should do it at least 5 minutes a day!

Why am I a big advocate for meditation? Simple answer, Meditation is proven to enhance your mental, physical and spiritual health.

Here are a few reasons how:

  1.      Lowers Stress. In the journal Health Psychology shows that mindfulness is not only associated with feeling less stressed, it’s also linked with decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  2.      It changes the brain in a protective way. University of Oregon researchers found that integrative body-mind training — which is a meditation technique — can actually result in brain changes that may be protective against mental illness. The meditation practice was linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region.
  3.      It helps us even when we’re not actively practicing it. You don’t have to actually be meditating for it to still benefit your brain’s emotional processing. That’s the finding of a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which shows that the amygdala brain region’s response to emotional stimuli is changed by meditation, and this effect occurs even when a person isn’t actively meditating.
  4.      It has four elements that help us in different ways. The health benefits of mindfulness can be boiled down to four elements, according to a Perspectives on Psychological Science study: body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of emotion and regulation of attention.
  5.      It lowers depression risk among pregnant women. As many as one in five pregnant women will experience depression, but those who are at especially high risk for depression may benefit from some mindfulness yoga. “Research on the impact of mindfulness yoga on pregnant women is limited but encouraging,” study researcher Dr. Maria Muzik, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. “This study builds the foundation for further research on how yoga may lead to an empowered and positive feeling toward pregnancy.”
  6.      It supports your weight-loss goals. Trying to shed a few pounds to get to a healthier weight? Mindfulness could be your best friend, according to a survey of psychologists conducted by Consumer Reports and the American Psychological Association. Mindfulness training was considered an “excellent” or “good” strategy for weight loss by seven out of 10 psychologists in the survey.
  7.      . It helps you sleep better. We saved the best for last! A University of Utah study found that mindfulness training can not only help us better control our emotions and moods, but it can also help us sleep better at night. “People who reported higher levels of mindfulness described better control over their emotions and behaviors during the day. In addition, higher mindfulness was associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress,” study researcher Holly Rau said in a statement.

8.      My favorite –  It lets us get to know our true selves. Mindfulness can help us see beyond those rose-colored glasses when we need to really objectively analyze ourselves. A study in the journal Psychological Science shows that mindfulness can help us conquer common “blind spots,” which can amplify or diminish our own flaws beyond reality.

Over time, you can notice how much meditation plays a role in keeping you grounded, balanced, clear minded and LOVED. Want to give it a try? Start with my Guided Meditations.

I would love to hear about your personal experiences with meditation! SHARE!


Becoming Lifeless: Chasing the Quick Love Fix

Becoming Lifeless Chasing the Quick Love Fix

It really is a game. I learned that the hard way, surrounding myself with people, parties and everything in between. I needed it. Or at least I thought I did.

The reality was I was lonely and confused. I had just moved to NYC from college with the dream of being a TV Producer and the reality of being an actress/model/ part-time waitress that happen to land TV production gigs very rare and far between.

All of this was unacceptable to me, I was not trying to struggle after struggling four years in college with limited resources and support. Nope, did there done that…what’s next?

To cope with my disappointment and stress, I partied. Everynight. And I felt GOOD. I felt loved and happy and connected.

Not connected to myself or my purpose, girl no. I was connected to the promoter, bartender, and bouncer who kept my fix going all night long, day after day until this became my purpose.

The priority was the dress and shoes I was wearing to that night’s event. Working to get into TV became a last minute thought as I stumbled into the house the next morning.

SO the more I partied the more blurry my vision became and the worse I felt, and then, the more I partied.

Until I was so tired, I literally could not get out of the bed for a few days. I was sick, sad and sullen. I began to beg God to give me energy and focus to change my lifestyle. I was done.

But then there were boys.

Now, I didn’t party as much but I began dating a WHOLE lot. It was like I needed a replacement fix from the high of the night life. I started working more steadily, some in TV, and some in acting, and some as a teaching artist. But I felt more grounded and ready to play again.

This time, the party was in my bedroom. I had a few of those a week. I loved dating, I loved flirting and I loved sex. These, of course, were all quick doses of love that I still lost for myself, but thought I found in these random men who had nothing to offer me but a fun night. And I had no standards, none.

I dated anyone who asked. Not all came home with me of course (I had some standards left), but most of the dinners I ate in my twenties were paid for by men I can’t even remember.

The low point in this phase was when I went on this date with “white Ryan” (I called him that cuz I had an ex named Ryan already but he was black). He was cute and funny and wanted to wine and dine me. We went to this “authentic” italian restaurant where all the servers spoke only italian and so were the menus. I was vegetarian at the time, so I wasn’t sure what I could order. Long story short, I ended up ordering a mushroom pasta dish that I scarfed down out of hunger and tipsyness, just to find out that it had pork all in it. I was so sick after that and told myself I had to stop pimping myself out for free food and attention. Once again, I was done.

I calmed down on dating for a while. I prayed for God’s help in getting myself in a better place.

God helped me. I was good again. I decided to put my energy into church instead. I wanted to be grounded, disciplined, healthy. And I was. I got my priorities straight, started working for a non-profit managing arts programs that I loved, I made more money, moved into my own place, got a boyfriend…all of these things began to happen for me. I felt good. I felt happy.

I started serving at church. I was there as much as I could be. I met new friends at my church, I made business partnerships at church, everything seemed to start to fall into place for me and once again, I felt loved.

Then something strange began to happen, I started to feel closed in. Like, there was nothing else I could do. I felt stuck. I started to feel cautious and like I wanted people to like me. I felt judged all the time and like I couldn’t be honest with myself or others. I found myself not truly being happy with who I was and that I always needed to say things a certain way, think a certain way and, act a certain way in order to be in the “church elite” circles. I was in too deep and I didn’t like who I was becoming.

A few events led to me leaving this church. One when church people stop being “my friend” when my “church boyfriend” and I broke up and I started dating someone new. Two, is when the pastor start calling feminism a “movement from the pits of hell”. Three, is when I was introduced to meditation and realized that God had more to say to me in the quiet of my spirit than anyone can say to me in the pulpit.


Self-Discipline

If you can conquer your physical and mental being…you can conquer anything in the world.

To have the type of power over yourself to stay focused, to control your emotions and to do whatever it takes to keep yourself healthy is difficult in an instant world with so many distractions.

Here are some simple ways you can practice self-discipline to eventually kick habits that hold you back so you can move forward.

  1.       Meditation: you know I LOVE meditation and recommend it to everyone as a way to connect with self and calm the mind. If you can set aside 15mins a day to close your eyes and breathe. Let go of any thoughts and allow yourself to be still.
  2.       Exercise: Did you know that the best way to start a routine is through physical activity? Physical movement creates muscle memory, so exercise is an easy way to get your body acclimated
  3.       Wake up early (at the same time if possible): When you discipline yourself to start your day earlier giving yourself ample time to eat breakfast, read something positive or do your morning motivation…you create a routine that structures each day and gives you a sense of discipline. If you conquer your mornings, you can conquer your life.
  4.       Eat healthier: You are what you eat. Literally. If you start to think of what you put into your body as if you’re feeding a new born baby, you may make different choices. When you exhibit self-control by not eating the first free donut that work puts on your desk- then you’re already putting yourself ahead of the game of life.

If you practice these basic steps to self-discipline, you will feel better and start to create change in other aread of your life. Anyone can master a skill but it takes a super human to master one self.

Are you ready? Try this 30 day Morning Motivation challenge as a starting point towards self-discipline.


How to Make Service an Adventure!

The best part of life is the giving part.

I travel all over the world a couple of times a year and I’ve been doing this my whole life. I call these trips “adventures” because I always end up learning new things, seeing new places and meeting new people.

Of all the adventures I’ve been on, the best ones are the ones that incorporate some element service- I call them Service Trips .

Service is an act of helpful activity usually for people who are less fortunate than you. Service is the work that many religions are built around and the example of how we spend our time with one another.

We are created with a desire to serve. When you help those in need, you are creating more space in your life for responsibility and growth. You are opening your heart to empathy and a genuine connection to the human race, understanding that we are all the same and want to be loved.

It’s a beautiful experience to serve. I challenge you to find a local organization you can volunteer with and dedicate some time to volunteer. This small act can change your life. Or if you want to join me on a service trip to help those in third world countries, please come!

How does service play a role in your life?


Alters

My grandma transitioned at the age of 94. I was 29 and going through my own life transition. I was about to leave my comfy job and life in NYC and start over by building my own company in LA. I was having anxiety around it all plus entering into a new decade made me feel confused.

My grandmother’s death sparked a disconnect for me. For so many years, she was my go to person. Always there to talk and listen, my cheerleader and friend. I always admired her strength and adored her dearly. She was old and ready to let go of life but I wasn’t quite ready to lose her.

As a way to honor her and connect with her, I built an altar. Ancestral altars are used as a way to remember your loved ones who passed away.  I learned how to build my ancestral alter from a priest in the Santeria tradition.  Many people thought this was voodoo or associated with darkness, but altars are prevalent in most religions, cultures and spoke about numerous times in the Bible as a tool to pray, connect with spirit and to talk with God.

Writer Susan Starr puts it best, “Building an ancestor altar in your home is a time-honoured way to connect with departed loved ones, both physical and karmic, known and unknown, and ask for their blessings. The altar is their home within yours; it is a place for them to stay and a place you’ll know where they are. You can give thanks here, while giving back ancestral influences that don’t serve you. It functions in a similar way to a cemetery tombstone, a locus for attention and remembrance, a place where you can talk with your ancestors and build or continue a connection from the comfort of your home”.

My alter for my Grandma Marie Hunter Suber, allowed me to mourn, celebrate and heal in the time I needed most. I would talk to her, feel her presence and bond even deeper than before. It was significant for my growth and desire to move forward in my own pursuits.

The power of the alter is an ancient mystery that’s still so strong.


Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the ultimate act of love- It’s the backbone of most religions and it can make or break your life experience.

As many have said, holding resentment or unforgiveness against someone is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies, You only hurt yourself. So practicing forgiveness is a form of practicing self-love.

One of my favorite books is ‘Radical Forgiveness’ by Colin Tipping. In the book, Colin has developed a way of helping people resolve apparent problems or situations by encouraging them to look at the assumptions underlying their distress. In this guide he shows, in a practical way, how we can begin to work from the deepest part of ourselves and thus benefit ourselves as well as others.

This book taught me that forgiveness takes empthay and empathy comes with awareness. Being aware and understanding that we all have the same capacity to make mistakes, to kill, steal and destroy will help create this empathy needed to forgive.

Forgiveness frees us…and is the greatest love of all.


Resistance

I have an obsession with freedom…

For as long as I could remember, I’ve always made choices based on how free it will allow me to be. Never had a “clique”, mostly self-employed or worked from home and I love options! The more choices the better.

I look for freedom in my relationships, work, and even my social activities. I actually have had committal issues as a result.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my wanting to remain disconnected as a disguise for “freedom” was a form of resistance.

Resistance is the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action. It’s like I wanted to live in my bubble, away from anything that may elevate me or change me. Of course there’s some things I should avoid, but my behavior was only perpetuating the 17 year old version of me who had no care in the world and no one to answer to. I didn’t want to accept responsibilities or be held accountable for

Resistance can show up in many ways: over sleeping; over eating, the need to escape (travel or relocating); partying, drugs & alcohol; watching too much TV or listening to too much music; people pleasing; attachment to your cell phone, etc.

Basically, resistance is a state of mind that distracts you from reaching your fullest potential. The resistance mentality causes you to look for ways to derail yourself by participating in activities that prevent you from thriving.

How is resistance showing up in your life? Do some self-discovery and take note! Then you can abandon resistance and move into acceptance 🙂


No Doubt (not the band)

Doubt is the thief of dreams, the cousin of fear and the killer of self-worth. It always seems to come out when you’re embarking  new journey, a new destiny or have a purpose to pursue. It keeps you immobile when you need to make a move and it keeps you distracted when its time to change courses. Doubt will leave you neither here nor there.

To battle doubt is very tricky. Your mind will give you reasons why you can’t, won’t and never will. Meanwhile your heart + soul is pulling you and urging you to make a move. THE ONLY WAY TO OVERCOME DOUBT IS TO DO THE VERY THING YOUR MIND IS TELLING YOU NOT TO.

It’s not easy, not fun…but as I’m typing these words, I am overcoming my doubt of being able to blog, produce content, connect to an audience…and the more I move forward the less I doubt.

It’s almost like the expression I love “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. I got one for you “Do What You Doubt You Can Do”…and do it over and over and over again. One day you’ll realize that the doubt disappeared.