In 2012 I started my first blog. It was focused on fashion and beauty, with DIYs and updates on my life. At the time I was finishing college and starting to work my first professional job.
In February of 2018, I started The Gratitude Adventure as a way to share my life and everything that I had been through up until then. I started to curate my Instagram and blog to feature clean beauty and internal wellness, as well as fashion, which was my first reason for blogging!
They say unconditional love raises our vibration. That on a normal day, we don't walk around with a heighten awareness, but that maybe, just maybe, the right person will bring that glow out.
2018 has been the first year in my life that I have felt that glow.
And what a welcome feeling it is after the emotional pandemonium I experienced last year. Changes at home, in friendships, and with the dysfunctional political situation that is a continuing cycle.
TBH… I went into the first two weeks of January feeling demoralized and freaking emotionally/physically exhausted still. But I realized something about the New Year. I realized it was, for me, a really good time to wipe the slate clean and move forward with my life. I was healing and it was time to reset.
I thought to myself, even after everything, I wanted to and I needed to reflect. I wanted to feel some gratitude towards that time in my life, no matter what.
So, I did that and it ended up testing my personal strength. I fell apart a few times, but I always chose to rebuild myself. I became a bit more honest with myself and I saw (some of) my personal flaws very clearly for the first time. I realized I still have a lot to learn about humans, which is funny because I am an anthropologist. Here I was thinking I knew as much as I needed to… (Which on the other hand, is probably because I’m a Virgo.)
Something funny started to happen after that. I made a vision board and then I set goals for myself. And a few things manifested, I got my website up, I started making new amazing friends, and I found out I believe in forever-crazy about you-love.
And this is where Yannick makes his grand entrance into my life, just like all the romantic movies. I was working at the museum and I saw him in the front lobby. Now… there are a lot of people who walk through Balboa Park everyday and I never look twice, but I couldn’t help but stare at this man. He was Gorgeous, and yes it’s with a capital G. I went up to Yannick, we had introductions, and we started to talk. I started to get nervous, and I knew it wasn’t just my lunch digesting or something. My left armpit always gets really sweaty and my crystal stick wears off extra easily when I’m having a nervy b.
I politely excused myself, making some excuse about having to get back to my desk to wrap up my workday. He asked me to grab a drink when I was off my shift, and after “checking my calendar” (to seem aloof and cool) I accepted his offer.
The rest is history and since then I have happily built a life with someone I consider my friend and the best lover in the world. I have trust in someone for the first time.
Yannick completely loves me, is kind, and is honest with me. He’s made me feel like I can be my absolute truest self, and that I know I am truly loved for exactly who I am. With him life often feels effortless, we share similar perspectives that make our lives and personal goals mesh together. And most importantly, we both know we want to be together — no matter what. There are no games or rollercoaster rides on our commitment and love for one another. It is such a simple thing that means so much.
For a long time I really believed I’d never be married, have children, or do any of the traditional things. I never thought I’d trust someone enough to make those commitments. I guess that’s the funny connection between trust and love. You have to be willing to trust in someone to love them. I never understood how intertwined those two were until recently.
If I was to give my unsolicited advice on love, I’d say beware feelings of jadedness and fear. Embrace them when they come but keep your heart open to the possibility of things working out for you. All you have to do is believe!! (cue Disney music.)
Thank you Harini for these amazing photos. Everyone follow her on instagram @harinisaphotography
PS. Yannick, I love you. I can’t wait to continue creating our legacy together.
In my life I have been inspired time and time again by individuals who manifested a dream into something real. I was taught from an early age that no one, except yourself, could make your dreams come true. No one was going to show up at your house and hand you everything on a silver platter. But by combining hard work, some gumption, a little sweat, belief, and laughter you could accomplish anything.
Community has always played a big role in my life. I have received an abundance of support and love over the years from the different networks I have found myself included in. Through my personal journey I have been so blessed to meet other motivated and strong individuals of color.
As a mixed girl, and one who is white appearing, my sense of self has floundered for most of my life. I was often bullied at school for being “adopted” by my dark skinned mom, who had me as a teenager. Honestly for most of my life, I let others define who I was, because I had no concrete way to describe my ethnicity. I never knew my biological father, though I knew he was Native American and some kind of European.
My only real family is my maternal side. With most of my formative years spent with my mom’s parents, Pop-pop Identifying as African American and my Nana identifying as Puerto Rican. I grew up in a house and in neighborhoods full of different skin tones, hair textures, and languages. But it all left me hazy and with no idea of how I was supposed to define myself. Society told me that my skin tone was a privilege- that I was reaping the benefits of it each time I stepped out of my home. But the same thing that gave me privileges to the outside world, made me feel very isolated. Well into college I felt like a trivia question every time I met someone new, often being introduced by friends with a “Guess what race Faith is, you’ll never guess but try anyways!”
But despite being able to pass for different races, depending on what color my hair is this week, or how I dress, or what language I use. I found people to be initially restrictive with me, until I proved I was “enough” to be considered a part of their community. Which ended up making me second guess my own damn self over and over again.
Today I realize, Identity is understanding who I am in the world, and it’s split up into two parts, one is how others understand me, and the other part is how I understand myself. But no matter what someone else sees of me, I am a person of color. My experiences and culture have defined that for me, not someone’s perception of my skin tone
While the classifications of these things have played a big part in my life, so has the support and inclusion from various social groups. Over the years I have met so many talented entrepreneurs, actors, musicians, and creative people of color. Some of these I have admired from afar, others are close friends.
With that I’d like to introduce 5 people-of-color run businesses that have inspired me and are just some of my favorite! The business owners are all socially, politically, and environmentally conscious individuals. They are inclusive, strong, and share a common goal of solidarity and equality. These are the type of companies and brands I love to represent and I hope you all support them as well!
I have been sick this weekend.
For the first day or so I could keep my mind right. Made little mental lists of why it is good to take a break. I reflected on how nice my apartment is, how soft my bed feels, thought about everything wonderful I’ve been doing lately.
And then boom, I wake up from my 4th nap and I am tired of being in bed. It’s the weekend, I was supposed to be in Mexico lounging on the beach with my mom. My friends are out, things are happening, I’ve been invited to parties and events.
So why the hell am I in bed? Sniffles or not I’m getting up! But I still have this cough, and I don’t have much energy. So after a shower, a hot meal, and some tea. I wind up right back where I started.
Except this time, my headspace is nothing but negative. Which is no place for the healing, calming vibes I need.
I start to get more and more discontent. Then I realize why am I doing this to myself? Isn’t this a time for self love and care? What’s wrong with a little rest!?
I am currently still in bed battling with this but I thought maybe if I make a list of the 5 ways to stay positive (when you have a serious case of FOMO) it would help me out.
1. Listen to your favorite songs.
Turn on that Jason Mraz, or maybe you prefer Bryson Tiller, or Phil Collins, or Mariah Carey. It don’t matter who it is as long as you can belt out with it and forget your worries for a few songs. Added suggestion: pick happy songs...
2. Treat yourself to your favorite meal.
I don’t care if it’s a 5 Star steak dinner or a Wendy’s frosty. Order yourself something that will instantly soothe your soul. It’s not called comfort food for nothing.
3. Get dressed up!
Nothing makes me feel better than getting dressed up and serving some looks. Honestly even if you just go out for a coffee or to the grocery store for 30 minutes but feel foxy it will help.
4. Complete something on your todo list.
I think we all have those little things we procrastinate with on our to do lists... maybe it’s cleaning your closet or returning that brand air-mattress you bought at costco last June. Just get up and do it!
5. Talk to a friend on the phone.
More often than not, when we are feeling FOMO, we are really feeling lonely. But the truth is we always have someone who cares. Call a friend and just ask them about their week. You never know where that can lead, maybe you’ll end up meeting up for drinks, one of you will come over and watch movies, or just get wrapped up into chatting for hours. Remember true friends are the family we choose and they want to support us when we are feeling at our worst.
No matter what you choose to do in those down moments, something productive, even if small, will always make you feel accomplished and have you focused away from what others are doing and on what you can do for yourself! If you’re loving yourself and nurturing your happiness then you will allow yourself to feel comfortable in the days when you aren’t a social butterfly. Missing out is okay once and a while, and sometimes keeps us out of big trouble (or from getting a massive hangover.)
Bye for now, from my bed,
Lately I have been frustrated. My patience has felt tested. This has stemmed from a series of conversations with individuals who are either, not on the same page as me, or use language that I don’t understand. It feels like I’ve been teeter-tottering and trying to find my balance for a while now, and it’s become exhausting.
People always emphasize the importance of good communication. To be a good partner, or employee, or friend, you have to communicate well. But that quality is a practiced skill and it affects everything. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your conversations. Dialogue and communication, especially when something needs to change, is the number one thing that shapes our lives. Essentially our productivity and happiness depends on clear and meaningful conversations with the people in our lives.
Expectations, frustrations, or hurt feelings can either be transformed or worsened by the words we speak. Language is powerful AF. As individuals we have many choices on how we choose to communicate when things get tough. More often than not, I think the human emotional response is to speak poorly, be passive aggressive, resentful, or avoid communicating at all.
I think each of us have been a vessel and a victim of these behaviors. I know I am not perfect and often need to stop and think before speaking about important topics to avoid being too harsh or emotional. Many moments when I myself have sat in avoidance is because I am in a fearful place.
This is usually due to being afraid. Afraid to speak my truths, of rejection, misunderstanding, or backlash, but whenever I’ve indulged in these feelings, the fallout was inevitable. And maybe over something that was once trivial, like my boyfriend leaving the toilet seat up or my best friend forgetting to pay me back for a night out for the 3rd time. Then overtime like a disease, it spreads into something much larger due to hurt feelings and resentments.
I have lost relationships over these behaviors and ways of communicating, and have also been hurt from others communicating to me poorly. Though on the opposite end of that, my personal tendency has always been to overshare. This can also be bad, dependent on what place defensiveness takes in the conversations. I can admit I have been hostile, emotional, and over apologetic when in that place. And that "place" is never good.
Defensiveness itself is a black hole. It’s a feeling of being threatened or unsafe or questioned. Sometimes it has nothing to do with the actual words being spoken, but the tone and conditions of the conversation itself. Cultures of fear in my past relationships, workplaces, and even within my family have stemmed from defense.
But we cannot allow these things to stop us from sharing our thoughts. We shouldn’t apologize for our views and needs as an individual. It is hard to do, like way, way harder than me just typing it out. But softening our opinions is usually dishonest and only makes things worse. There is strength in vulnerability and being willing to listen when you disagree.
It is ironic right? I’ve experienced this my whole life, the more forceful I am about my viewpoint, the more resistant the person I’m talking to becomes. For a period of time, I made the mistake of constantly talking in absolutes. But just because I am passionate doesn’t mean I am right (though sometimes I am right, right??) I still have to be objective and kind. I can’t just sit in my beliefs like… “I’m right, everyone else is wrong and if they don’t agree with me then they are stupid and I’m going to SHUT THEM DOWN!”
That’s no way to behave or think or speak. It actually breaks people apart, and causes resentments that could last a lifetime. And it never gives the conversation a chance to end. It just puts a pause on the dialogue which will eventually (assuming you see the person again) cause the same issue to be brought up again and again, because you never heard the other person out and found a solution.
So what the hell do we do to change?
Be resilient when someone communicates poorly.
Apologize when necessary.
Set clear expectations.
Make a plan for what you want the ultimate outcome to be of conversations.
Be loving and kind.
And hopefully things can get a little bit better.
I am BLESSED YALL.
Months ago when I decided to rebuild my brand from scratch, I can admit I was nervous and uncertain. Everything about my self esteem was rocky at that point but I was slowly rebuilding and beginning to see myself in a new light.
It really all began when I was in London last December and took a hard look at myself. It was the first quiet moment I had, had in the months post my break up and the consecutive fall out after. It was in that moment that I had my Britney Spears 2007 moment and went to a hair salon. I said CHOP IT OFF AND MAKE ME BLONDE. Mentally I wasn’t at my best, but... little did I know that, that one move was going to kick start a fire in me. I have always experimented with my looks but I never knew that one haircut and some time away could transform my life.
Since then things have been a whirlwind. I began my website and went through my Instagram... It was a visual representation of everything I'd done right and the things i'd been misguided on. Slowly I started picking apart my life from the past two years and began erasing, with clear intention, the pieces that no longer fit. And with those few decision, I completely fell into my own.
At the speed of light everything I had wanted manifested into my life. An amazing new roommate, new friends (who are so full of empathy, love, and motivation) and a meaningful and beautiful new romance, all which fell into my lap in a matter of weeks.
I also began traveling every weekend again, a habit that brings me so much joy. I started to remember who I was again, and through going to events, networking, and most importantly meeting strong and badass women, I just felt positive and good. The transformation was both visual and spiritual and I knew it was in work, when people around me started to vocalize that they noticed.
At at one event in particular, I was introduced to Christina. Hilarious, beautiful, and sweet (and a hell of a force to be reckoned with.) We connected after over instagram and I started to read her blog www.growwitheflow.com. I suggest checking it out (seriously go... but wait until after you finish reading this post.) She is an entrepreneur focused on travel that bring women of all backgrounds together. Her company is called Wildflower tours, and here’s the best part: I GOT TO ATTEND THE FIRST GETAWAY.
I was so excited to connect with the other women attending the trip. Everything was planned for us, I received the itinary and was like.. woah!
We gathered together on Friday night in our suite at the Hyatt Palm Springs, and set out our intentions for the weekend. This is when I went... DAMN the women here are AMAZING!
We had Christina of course, then Taylor, the hilarious, real AF, hottie beauty blogger, and creator of California Bloggers, a community of creatives and professionals in California. Next, Kenesha, a style maven, slayin' model, stylist, and recent East Coast to West Coast transplant. Then Carmen, a badass, "quit-my-job- cause i'm a boss ass bitch" and laugh-out-loud funny cutie. And last, but not least Kayla, gorgeous, sweet, and motivated chica, who... did i mention? used to be a fucking Marine! OVERALL this was a group of educated, sassy, sweet, and funny women. I was like hells...YESSSSSS, my people!
Saturday can be described as a tornado of fun. And I need to give a shout out to all of the amazing sponsors from our weekend away. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Suja Juice, Health-Ade Kombucha, Rebbl Organics, Justins Nut Butter, That’s It Fruit Bars, Holl & Lane Magazine, Ritual Energy, Wild Hearts and Halos, Paru Tea & Coola!
And a special shout out to Notch and Fletch jewelry www.notchandfletch.com for setting me up and making sure I was all beautiful for this trip.
Photo: Myself wearing Mini Hula Earrings with Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and a New Lander Stacking Ring.
OVERALL WILDFLOWER TOURS GETS A 10/10 REVIEW
and I can't wait till the next one.........
I leave you all with some photos.
and in the words of Tay "See Ya"
When I was 15 I was introduced to the Law of Attraction. It was an eye opening experience and led to a lot of research, a ton of reading, talks with friends (and science experiments but we can discuss that another time) and finding new ways to bring joy into my life.
Over 10 years later, with many bumps along the way. I know that life is not meant to be a struggle or miserable, no matter how bumpy it gets. Everyday is meant to be joyful and the Universe has no limit to what it can provide. You can have it all, I can have it all. Since we are purely reveling in energy (and the energies of others) at all times, it really is just a matter of being in the right mindset. Surfing on the preverbal waves of gratitude and abundance.
With that being said...
Here are my top 5 daily ways to tap into your inner joy and positivity:
1. Embrace the first good thing of the morning! Find something every morning to be excited about. Did you get a bomb ass parking spot? Did your partner clean the dishes? Are you having a fabulous hair day?? Finding one thing to be grateful for in the morning will have a ripple affect. Watch that energy completely channel into what you attract for the rest of your day!
2. Become one with nature! Go for a walk. Sit out in the sun, even if just for a moment. Buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of Flowers for your house! Cook yourself a fresh meal and really smell the herbs and ingredients! Soak it all in, the possibilities are endless on this one.
3. Make a to do list! Taking a moment to put out your intentions for the day will not only kick start your productiveness but will also whisper to the universe what you want to accomplish!
4. Listen to a really good song! Dance your ass off! Sing as long as you want! Pretend you are in a music video... starring you. Not only does this help in a traffic jam (hello SoCal) but it also makes you feel sooo amazing. Personally my favorite to belt along to is Justin Timberlake...
5. Eat healthy and drink healthy! Having fresh foods and lots of water will always make you feel good physically. And if you feel good on the inside and outside, that will only help you mentally! Eat something you love that is also nourishing and delicious! My go tos are watermelon, blueberries, and lots of green tea!!
Changing my lifestyle to include these habits was such a defining step into making my life the best it can be!
What’s the most important and fun part of your daily routine??
With all my intentions, and despite my post title, I can honestly say that I hoped I would be a more compassionate person. But alas, there is always today, tomorrow, and the days after this that will allow me to be better!
The past couple of years have been difficult. I think it started when my mom became really ill, to put this into context it was right after my dad himself was released from the hospital for open heart surgery. She was at the hospital for almost four weeks until they discharged her, sent her home with a caregiver, told her to stay in bed for a while (and change her entire lifestyle.) For a while I enjoyed my solitude while dealing with my own emotions surrounding my family. I worked on bettering myself as an individual or so I thought, my physical health rapidly improved, but mentally I did not. I held onto a lot of resentments I had surrounding various relationships, friendships, and people who did not show me kindness during those harder times in my life.
Fast forward to 2016, I was in a very beautiful but serious relationship, with a man I still love very much. We decided to move in together. It was one of the happiest decisions I ever made. And it came crumbling apart last year. I hurt the person that mattered the most to me. One who loved me with patience and kindness. In the months since I can openly admit, I felt ashamed and broken.
After the fact I had many people voice their opinions. And I found myself taking refuge from friendships over harmful words and actions. I had to choose to love myself even when I didn’t like myself very much. And damn it’s painful to see yourself honestly.
Going into 2018, I thought everything would be better. But at first it was very bittersweet. The past few month had been turbulent and I was slowly putting my life together again. A lot of days it doesn’t feel right. I was obsessed with everything being perfect instead of loving my partner and all of the perfect he was. But in that I learned that I want to accept what people offer, if it’s good, I want to sip on their koolaid. Take their love and give it back x100. I want to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. It opened my eyes people! 2018 isn’t about being perfect for me, it’s about being human and healthy and genuine. Mental health is my priority this year and being as gentle and loving as possible. Soaking up the happy, sweet, bits and pieces of life.
It’s been nearly six months since that relationship ended. And in these months I have had this amazing opportunity to look inwards and really embrace myself. The importance of self love has been in the forefront of my mind and I have to say, I have been so freaking giddy and reflective for the past few weeks! 2018 has been beautiful for me and continues to prove so! (Thank you thank you universe!)
This being said I have found that many things I believe strongly in, are even more predominant than usual. I believe in love, hard work, independence, apologies, and remaining humble. I believe in karma for the moments when you do those things right.
Honestly I still am turmoiled with the idea of ego, and this is where compassion lies.
I had never seen myself as a judgmental person. Believed I always wished the best for everyone, I don't hate anything, and I have tried for as long as I can remember to discover and understand why things happen, and why people act a certain way. Lately I have realized that I went through life basing my expectations of others on what I am capable of, not what they have to offer as an individual. Your priorities and my priorities are not the same. And thats okay. That's cool. This is how we learn from one another.
And maybe I won't always understand, but I can be compassionate.
I can only be compassionate, when others are different from me. I can only be kind to them.
Whether it is for a job, or money, or even for love. And I don't mean education about a career, I mean life skills, understanding how to treat people, being street smart. Each of us makes mistakes, so instead of judge, I can empathize and I can change my reactions.
Do you know how therapeutic it is to realize that?!
I know that wanting to be a better person has a lot to do with an individual. It is personality, it is actions, it is discovering yourself (your bad side.) It is a choice, plain and simple.
Who we choose to surround ourselves with, represent pieces of ourselves.
And as quickly as I changed my outlook, I am once again living the life I have always dreamed. Traveling, creating content, teaching, and thriving. I acknowledged that my trajectory had gotten off course, I was surrounded with extremely positive, confident, and motivated people again. 2018 has made me feel so blessed and full of life. I feel supported, loved, and like nothing can stop me. I have many more exciting trips planned coming up now.
Struggling is human, but you can choose gratitude and optimism any day and that really gives me hope for my future.
My name is Faith. My birthday is September 6th 1991. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, I have traveled extensively and can say this objectively: San Diego, California.
I am 5’7 and have had my hair every color you can imagine. Today it is silver (but almost blue.) My little brother is probably more fashionable than me and my younger sister is way better at beauty.
I am currently writing this at 1:15 am eastern time, in Brooklyn while one of my best friends in the world sleeps next to me. I’ve been blessed to have an international league of friends who are the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. They are also who I call for spontaneous crash pads when I book plane tickets randomly.. it happens way too often.
I love to dance. Though not particularly fond of the dancing rituals within traditional American courtship. Please don’t grind on my booty.
This might be why I’m not in a relationship, though to be fair my last relationship ended only 6 months ago and was quite serious. I lived with my past partner, he is an incredible human being and is someone I admire to this day. I have not one bad thing to say.
And yes I like men. I have no type, I don’t discriminate based on looks. I enjoy the company of genuine people and personality is key. If you love to travel and can cook that’s a plus too, but by no means a deal breaker. I’m a bit of a romantic and an optimist at heart. Though someone would have to keep up with me to get there. I’m constantly doing things and enjoy the company of others who are motivated and positive.
A few of my passions in life. I’m a singer, I play guitar, I love photography and I enjoy being photographed.
I work for a social justice organization. It is extremely important to me that people understand their value. I’d love to help others recognize the microagressions and biases they grew up in. For young people to understand how important they are. To live in an inclusive world. To have everyone be identified correctly. To be able to talk about these things in a non judgmental honest way. Encouraging others to be the best version of themselves and in turn reflecting on who I am and being that way myself. Practicing what I preach. Decolonizing our minds is the first step and quite honestly it’s hard. How do we reflect and undo the colonial European influence on our lives and our prejudices.
Mostly I think it’s about being more accepting. I think that my lived experience has pushed me into this kind of advocacy role. My childhood was unique and though I’m a white appearing person I grew up in a multicultural family. My community was a cornucopia of brown magic. It taught me to be thoughtful on how I speak, what my own limitations are and what microagressions are.
But my childhood was also silly and soft. Spice world was probably in my top 5 priorities and Harry Potter was my bae. I played video games with my cousins and idolized *NSYNC. Today I’d say I’m still really really into all of the above but my experiences have expanded and I’m super excited to share more with the world.
So HELLO WORLD. As I post more I’m going to share my life. I think of it as a gratitude adventure. And I hope that we can be friends!!