During the last year, I’ve invested in working out at my “spiritual gym” which is personal development for my mind and soul. I exercise this muscle by reading books, listening to podcasts, watching movies and documentaries. I found that this practice is just as important as exercising my body and eating nourishing foods. My mindset has completely changed for the better. These are the things that I do to build my spiritual muscle.
The first thing I do after I wake up and while I drink my coffee, is write in my journal. I love The Five Minute Journal because it gives you prompts of the things you are grateful for and I AM affirmations. I always carry my moleskin journals around with me. I have the unruled ones so that I can draw in addition to writing down my dreams, fears, and thoughts. Journaling has been beneficial for me because it lets me dump all of my thoughts on paper whereas before, I was just carrying around all of the thoughts in my head.
I started meditating last year because it was a point in my life when negative thoughts kept seeping through my mind. I started with headspace, an app for your phone and went to MNDFL in New York City. I also use guided meditations on the Spotify app. Like anything in life, it’s a practice and I was a faithful student for the last year. I’m at the point now when I’m able to sit for 15 – 20 minutes on my own and just focus on my breath. Sometimes, I’ll say a mantra, other times an affirmation. It really depends on my intention for that meditation. Meditation has helped me so much during this last year to redirect my negative thoughts. I truly believe thoughts become things and it’s paramount to have the right mindset when you’re starting a new life. When I first started meditating, I couldn’t sit still for 5 minutes; now, I crave meditation and do it twice a day.
These are my favorite self-development books. For $20 and less, I got insight into my past wounds, healed them and overcame a lot of my “stories” that I made up. I read and listened (on audible) to some of these books twice because they spoke to my heart. For more thorough descriptions of these books, watch the youtube video above.
- Thrive by Arianna Huffington – This was the first book I read after I quit my job. I realized I was burnt out, not sleeping enough and I needed to redefine my definition of success.
- Wild and Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
- What I Know for Sure by Oprah
- Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss
- Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks
- You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
- Big Magic and Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Rising Strong by Brene Brown
- The Universe Has your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
4. PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE YOU
There are so many people who inspire me and I research them through various forms of media such as books, documentaries, and google searches. These are just some that have inspired me in the last year:
- The Last Black Unicorn book by Tiffany Haddish – She went from being homeless to stealing the spotlight in the movie, Girls Trip.
- How to be a Bawse book by Lilly Singh – She became famous through her Youtube channel she has 13 million subscribers! Her book is a hilarious take on conquering life and doing what you love.
- Tony Robbins: I am not your Guru Netflix movie – I love Tony Robbins and I WILL meet him one day. This was truly an inspiring documentary on how we need to overcome our “stories.”
- The Defiant Ones on HBO – I love this documentary about Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. I watched Straight Outta Compton so I knew Dr. Dre’s story but Jimmy Iovine’s story is truly mind-blowing. Also, how Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s friendship transcended race and background. They were able to join forces and create history, I really have no words to describe this!
5. LOOK AT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” by Jim Rohn. Last year, I went through the painful process of doing a people audit of my life and carefully distancing myself from negative and toxic people. I knew this would be the hardest thing for me to do because I’m a very loyal person and letting go of people is something that is really hard for me.
In order for me to achieve my dream life, I knew I needed to surround myself with positive and good vibe people. It’s that simple, people are energy and we need good ones to have the right mindset. Do you have a girlfriend who only talks shit about other people? I’ve learned that it’s her; it’s a reflection of her own insecurity and wounds that she’s dealing with. The minute someone around me starts talking negatively, I change the subject or walk away. People who have a good mindset don’t talk shit about people. They stay in their own lane, focus on what they’re doing and spread positivity. Right now, look at who you surround yourself with and do an audit. It sucks but it’s necessary.