This past weekend I hiked for the first time in six months. Being on the trails is therapy for me, and I really missed it. Hiking is more than just walking around outside. It’s immersive with striking visual beauty as well as its own smell, taste, feel and sound. It’s an orchestra led by chatty birds and backed up with the whistle of insects, the crunch of deer hooves, the caress of the wind and the rustle of petals.


This morning I went to hot yoga for the first time in 2020. Another immersive experience. The instructor leads the chorus this time with a confident baritone, backed up with the sounds of soft music, deep sighs and exhalations. We breathe together as if we are one body. It’s sweat and incense. Intensity and smiles. Deep release, exhaustion and renewal.


I’ve longed for them both. I’m so grateful to be back. I know that many people live in concrete jungles and war zones, whether literal or figurative. Sometimes the war is within our own minds. Every morning when I wake up I remind myself to be grateful. It’s the least I can do for myself. It’s the least I can offer the sun that so confidently and consistently rises every morning.


Back in October, I wrote an affirmation:

Wake up with gratitude.

Nourish your mind, body and spirit.

Work with passion.

Rest completely.

Repeat daily.

It whispers in my ear every morning and nudges me to start my day with a smile. It inspired me to write my very first e-book, Black Vegan Life™ Guide to Self-Care, where I delve deeper into the meaning behind each verse.

We are nourished not only by the food we consume 

but by the words, music, images and energy we allow into our world. 

Affirmations are powerful. 

They remind us who we want to be.

I wonder what kind of police we would have if they woke up grateful for the communities they protect? How might our military recover from trauma if they nourished their minds with healthy affirmations? Would our elderly population be more nimble and resilient if they had more opportunities for movement and stretching? Would our leaders think before they acted if they made time for meditation, wise prayers and spiritual study? Would our children be more joyful and confident if they were given a recipe for identifying their passions instead of choosing their favorite cog in the wheel? And what would our nation look like if everyone got a full night’s rest, free from stress and guilt?


I love horror movies, hip-hop and corny reality TV as well as yoga, meditation and nature hikes. I do my best to maintain an awareness of the messages I consume. Partly because I’ve been fortunate enough to receive an education about the impact of media as early as in elementary school, and again in college. 

Human beings are not just fancy machines. 

We are complicated spiritual beings. 

We need nourishment from the inside out.

Even though I wrote the affirmation, sometimes I have to remind myself to wake up with joy for a new day. I have to remind myself that the present is a gift. Rashard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and so many others didn’t wake up this morning. However, you did. You woke up to this glorious new day with the option to smile or frown. To sing or dance. To play or study. To exercise or rest. Congratulations! You are the grand recipient of a new day. There will be a day when you don’t wake up. Make sure the whispers you listen to are the ones you really want to hear.


I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!


P.S. The photo is the recommended movie list from the ninth chapter of my upcoming self-help memoir, Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman’s Guide to Spreading Her Wings coming to Amazon NEXT WEEK!!! It was not easy to find movies that addressed the topic of patience. Read book testimonials and get more info here: 

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