If this shampoo and conditioning session was any indication of my life right now, then I think I’ve finally got it!

If this shampoo and conditioning session was any indication of my life right now, then I think I’ve finally got it!

At the time, I thought this weave was cute.

At the time, I thought this weave was cute.

Life has a way of teaching you things. Every experience, if you look for it–or in some cases, if you create it–has a story. Today’s lesson started as an accident, but became a defining moment of realization about how I have been doing everything in my life. It’s the reason why I ended up shampooing and deep conditioning my hair.

It was 109 degrees today and I had a steak I wanted to throw on the grill. “Let me go in the fridge and grab the meat,” I thought as I snatched the door open. In what seemed like a 300-word essay of thoughts, I saw my last three eggs, thought I should move them, decided against it because I’m so slick I can grab the tenderloin and not disturb the vulnerable cold chicken embryos, palmed my parchment wrapped parcel and knocked the eggs on the floor. I immediately verbally scourged myself.

Juices and berries? Where?

Oops! The eggs need to fix this dry hair.

I grabbed a bowl and tried to salvage what I could because, if the floor isn’t “that dirty”, as I lied to myself, I could fry them and eat them. One must save! “Waste not, want not,” I reasoned, reminiscing on this time last year when income was nonexistent and our borrowed shelf in the pantry where we temporarily resided was bare. My mother pleaded with me not to eat the eggs, claiming toe jam as the culprit of my absolute death if I went on with my plan to cook the eggs. I paused.

What could I do with cracked eggs? Thoughts of uses for eggs poured into my head: Fertilize a plant, egg wash for baking bread, breakfast food, conditioner for hair. Bingo! I found my solution since we don’t have house plants and mom’s toe jam pronouncement prevented me from using the damaged goods for food.

 

The Shampoo and Conditioning

I’ve never been a traditional natural hair girl, blogging and vlogging about the nuances of managing kinky hair without harsh chemicals. Yes, I produced natural hair events and blogged, but I rocked a shaved head at the time, eliminating any need for the routine and product obsession I saw in others. Five or more big chops, endless scissor happiness and 7 years of no relaxers and still am learning about how to manage my hair.

Deep conditioning and cowash

Deep conditioning and cowash

Recently, I observed that my hair did very well with Shea Moisture coconut cowashes and deep conditioners, stretching and wrapping it with teeshirts overnight. I’d made progress. Then, after years of product testing, I noticed that swapping out Motions hair lotion with Monoi oil completed my perfect recipe with Jane Carter Nourish and Shine and Hairobics Hair Oil.

Since I’d shampooed this morning, stretched my hair and wrapped it, it made sense to add the egg and the deep conditioner for some extra healing. I wet my hair, added my concoction and after rubbing it through, flat twisted the sections to allow my hair to continue to stretch as the mixture set in.

After about 20 minutes, I rinsed my hair and cowashed it again to make sure to get the egg out. I rinsed it clean and my hair felt great. I proceeded with a dime size of both the nourish and shine and a dollop of the Monoi oil. I finger combed and noticed something that made me stop and mentally outline this post.

I had one section of 3C hair that stared at me in desirable curl perfection, in a sea of heavenly spiraled 4B hair. Where did that come from? Like, after all these years, my hair has been the bane of my existence and now this managable hair wants to act like it’s always been there? Like although I know I had Rudy Huxtable braids and had thick hair that 1980’s relaxers and heavy-handed stylists burned out, you want to grow back and heal the relationship to what I had with my hair before the trauma? Like now you want to a fall and separate into Instagram worthy coils?

Juices, berries and the Balsam of Gilead.

Juices, berries and the Balsam of Gilead.

This amazement only continued when I decided that instead of using my jumbo wide toothed comb, I would use my Denman knock-off. I am the 30+ woman who would squirm and kick her braider because of tenderheadness. I am the little girl who has been fabled to have run home from the kitchen of the woman who did hair in the house on the corner at night alone to escape the death grips of the woman’s hand with a pressing comb. I am the girl who has permed, weaved or shaved her hair her most of her adult life to avoid dealing with the woes of hair combing.

This this time I brushed my hair and the hair glided through that baby like the basketball off of Steph Curry’s finger tips. I did an internal praise dance in my heart at what had transpired. Brushing my hair did not hurt!

I Got My Entire Life!

Short hair, don't care.

Short hair, don’t care.

This hair epiphany wasn’t only an indication of me finding the right products and styling routine, it was proof that I got my life. Like Tamar Braxton, “She needs to get her life”-life-gotten. Like, I almost shouted and woke up my mom but I might have been slapped-gotten. Like, Cam Newton just proposed to me and we never had sex and I waited to get the ring and now we are the subject of everyone’s Christian-love-like-Ciara-a’nem memes-gotten. Like I just graduated from Howard University and I have an internship at BET but just had a meeting with the CEO about a job with a $20K sign-on bonus-gotten. My whole life is LIT.

I’m not overreacting, not even a little because if you understood what my life has always been and what it’s shaping up to be, I am very confident that this seemingly small feat is just proof that I’m finally understanding the flow of a happy and

Probably having flashbacks to the press and curl

Probably having flashbacks to the press and curl

abundant life. I’ll share a quick back story that I have battled depression the majority of my life. Even after experiencing business success and knowing what it means to be spiritually focused, I hadn’t grasped what happiness meant. In fact, it was evasive, even with money, accolades and the attention of admiring friends and family.

Things hit rock bottom one year ago when a financial reversal had me moving from pillar to post, with my health-challenged, aging mother. Like God always does, he came through, moving us into a home bigger and nicer than anywhere we’d ever lived and placing me at a dream job with ample pay to land us solidly where we needed to be. Just when I thought I could exhale, the company experienced a downturn and I was let go. The peace of God kept me together the first few days.

The Tenderheadedness of My Life

Head wrap doubling as an I-don't-want-to-comb-this solution

Head wrap doubling as an I-don’t-want-to-comb-this solution

I’ve learned that Jehovah had never left me, even when I slept on the floor in a house filled with weed smoke in the heart of South LA with strange visitors coming in and out. Now, losing the job wasn’t the death of me. The quietness of not having anywhere to go every morning and the calm of not having to go out every day to avoid being in an uncomfortable, unpleasant living situation while working hard to generate income to pull me and mom out of that mess gave time to process the reality of what I’d been through in the previous months.  Add to that, the dream job had quickly become a nightmare of micromanagement, stifling my creative ideas and draining me of energy and motivation. The calm after the storm brought on the winds of a concealed depression.

Only a few weeks after being let go, I’d landed two amazing clients in my business so money was not an overwhelming issue. However, completing my work and being present to deliver my best was becoming harder to do. When the dark feelings began to risk these wonderful relationships, I sought professional help.

The Deep Conditioning

I sobbed uncontrollably when talking to the girl managing the intake for mental health services. “I don’t want to go through this the rest of my life,” I wept. Understanding my concern and the trigger of lingering guilt about the job loss (I learned later that I was just the first of many let go, including key leadership staff), the social worker comforted me by sharing the experience of another woman who went through intensive therapy and was able to return to full-time employment. Her words led me to sign up for a six-month long group therapy program called Dialectical Behavior Therapy supported by individualized therapy and possibly treatment with medication.

I met the group facilitators that same week. They had smiles on their faces, almost like happy cherubs. It was refreshing. One man, had been through the therapy before and he acted as the big brother therapy tutor who helped ease any reservations people had about being there. I learned that many of the other group members weren’t “crazy people” but rather people out on disability from work or who had come from similar traumatic circumstances that brought them down from an otherwise ideal existence.

I later met a seraphim, my individualized therapist. Interestingly her name was Sera. This was a second career for her. She was a high powered East Coast executive who now was sitting before me doing psychotherapy and doling out career advice. She explained what happens in our minds and bodies when we experience prolonged trauma and assured me that with the pattern of unfortunate circumstance I’d experienced in my life that my reactions were normal but that I would indeed recover.

Fast forward, I’m feeling alive, more than I can recall ever feeling over a span of time. The tools that my

Recent afro gloriousness + soul glow

Recent afro gloriousness + soul glow

angels have given me has renewed my joy and productivity and has helped me move through any challenging days. I was given a nod of approval earlier today by Sera, that I had come a long way and was headed toward incredible success and happiness in my life.

She left me with this: “As we have this last appointment, I want to share with you the secret of life.” My butt cheeks clenched because I didn’t know if she was going to drop some mysterious cue-alien-music wisdom or give me a gem. She peered into my eyes and said, “Life is FOR you. Life is for you, Jasmine. It’s not against you. Everything in your life has blessings, even if the circumstances are bad. There is a blessing there and remember, life is for you.”

By repeating this, she was emphasizing that I could look forward to life behind something I can be hopeful and optimistic about, even moving through the extremely difficult times with a focus on the gifts life, and God, still provided me. The intense mental conditioning for a mindful, happy life has relaxed the hard to manage parts and led me to a smooth-as-whipped coconut oil outlook.

Head Wrapped

It’s all setting in. My oversized hand-me-down San Diego State t-shirt is wrapped securely around my head, allowing the creams and oils to do their thing, making tomorrow’s final primping to turn out perfect. I sit here allowing all of the lessons and blessings of my becoming settle in. Sure there will be a few strands that got bent the wrong way while drying, but nothing that can’t be edge controlled into place.


It has taken years of shaving off bad people and hiding behind the weaves of inauthenticity to get to a place where I can see the blessings of a life spiralling way up. I’m here for it, mindful of it and graciously wrapping myself in this phenomenal realization. And you know what? I’m going to let that keep soaking in.

How Can Brown Girls Heal and Thrive? Let’s Ask The Creators of Self-Care for Brown Girls

How Can Brown Girls Heal and Thrive? Let’s Ask The Creators of Self-Care for Brown Girls

A few days ago, the latest O magazine came in the mail. She replied to something that I wrote on Facebook (not really, but you know Oprah KNOWS women and our struggles, so I felt like she was talking to me) by saying You Are Not Alone,  in reference to depression, anxiety, PTSD and even perimenopause.

Women are suffering.

As a blog that has primarily attracted black women, it is likely that you are a woman of color who knows this. You too may have or know someone who has felt the crippling feelings attached to mental illness or negative emotions. You may also be feeling the very real physical affects that come with that.

But there is help. There is family, community members, medical professionals, therapists, good friends, church members and a slew of other people who we hope desire for you to be well. But they can’t get anywhere if you aren’t one who is willing to do this one thing:

SELF-CARE

In this very special mastHERmind, I wanted to discuss self-care and specifically Self-Care for Brown Girls, an initiative brought to us by Sattah K. Jallah, a certified yoga instructor and the Founder of Holistic Roots Movement, and Andrea C. Imafidon, the founder of Brown Girl From Boston an unapologetic blog for women of color who are looking to uncover their FLYness (Forever Liberate Yourself so you can Fearlessly Loving Yourself).

In this call, we cover:

  • Why Self-Care for Brown Girls is so important
  • Reasons why people may not seek the help they need
  • How social injustice affects people of color
  • How Self-Care for Brown Girls was promoted to help reach an audience that needed that message
  • Community economics
  • and so much more

This call is about an hour so be sure to be able to chill and get all of it. When I tell you we had the best, soulful, realest talk, I mean it.

I introduce you to the ladies of Self-Care for Brown Girls. Take a listen:

3 Ways To Teach People How To Treat You

3 Ways To Teach People How To Treat You

This is an updated version of the post originally published in May 2013. A version of this also appears in my upcoming book, Wear A Better Bra.

Disclaimer: I made a comment in the audio that I wish to retract. The person who assaulted me is wholly responsible for their actions and it wasn’t anything he “saw” in me. I wish to correct this statement to eliminate any self-blame other assault victims may be going through. 

This blog post initially started as a talk that I’d recorded while driving on the freeway (I’ve added that talks audio below). Inspired by a conversation where I told someone to tell me what they needed from me, I wanted to capture the benefits that come from realizing that you DO have the right to ask people to treat you a certain way. Many of us know this much but don’t know how to while still maintaining positive relations.

Of course, we COULD demand the world and have a list of do’s, don’t’s, demands and desires like those of superstars like Katy Perry. But folks may not really like us then either. Here’s my three tips on how to have people relate to you the way you’d ideally like:

  1. Treat yourself well. “How can I love somebody else if I can’t love myself enough to know when it’s time to let go?” Mary J. Blige asks this poignant question in Be Happy. Really, though, how can you? What you do to yourself and allow in your life tells others what is or isn’t acceptable to you. Be conscious of what you take in, listen to, who you associate with, who you choose as romantic partners, how you interact with others and do to or for yourself. People watch and take cues on how they can or will fit into your space by considering a lot of these factors.
  2. Show them. Have you heard, Do unto others as you would have them do to you? When you enter into any relationship with someone, by default treat them with dignity. Don’t go into a relationship with feelings of entitlement, suspicion or negativity. By showing honor you put honor and dignity out into the world and show that you have a lot of self-respect–enough that you’re comfortable with allowing another person theirs. People usually give back what you put out. Try smiling and saying hello to people you pass on the street and see whether this is true.
  3. Tell them. Mind reading is something most people can’t do. There may be a lot of nonverbal cues to tell people how they should treat you. The best way might be to tell them. Don’t allow people to assign what they feel you are to you. You tell them what you are and what you will be to them. In the business space this may mean not letting someone intimidate you into lowering prices only because they feel entitled to free or discounted services (this seems to come from friends and family for some reason). In personal relationships it may require that you tell someone that you will not tolerate their infidelity and are ceasing all contact. Clear and dignified communication helps all parties know what is to be expected and gives both the opportunity to make a decision on how to best move forward.

When you become confident and truly know yourself, you clearly see what things are good for you and what things don’t lend to the enrichment of your life. Thinking in these terms will help you decide what you will tolerate and why. There is usually not ever reason to be unnecessarily rude or tactless, but you can firmly stand by requiring only excellence in your presence, by both you and the other person only putting out your best.

What are some ways you qualify positive relationships and command respect? Please share in the comments below.

7 Ways We Must Keep It Cute

7 Ways We Must Keep It Cute

Over the years, I’ve had my share of really cute moments and very ugly ones. It was so bad a couple of years back, I had two Facebook messages from concerned sistagirls telling me that my brows required a much needed arching. I was so depressed, financially bankrupt, and physically ill at the time that I responded harshly because of receiving their suggestions as an insult. But it was constructive and delivered to me out of concern. Not only had I not kept it cute literally, but I had gotten a tad ugly with how I was treating people who genuinely cared for me.

Fortunately, with a good eyebrow wax and lip gloss or a well-received apology, we can all get cute. If you need to refine your cuteness, checking out these seven areas may help:

1. Keep your space cute. Clutter is the one thing that has been a proverbial monster under my bed. If your bedroom, office or any place where you spend a lot of time is not in order, it’s time to make some changes. Engage a rule of thumb that “If I haven’t seen or used this in X amount of time, it’s trash.” Throw out things you don’t use. Get storage bins. Do a clothing swap (do more giving than taking here). Hire a relative or trusted friend to help you clean. Do whatever it takes to try to bring cleanliness and order into your immediate surroundings.

If clutter isn’t your problem and you’re just not gifted with making your space reflective of your personality, hit up Target. No, don’t do that. Target is from the budget-devil. Try Ross, thrift stores, yard sales or even DYI projects and start to hang up artwork and accents that really make your space become more homelike for you.

2. Keep your relationships cute. By relationships, I mean those with friends, coworkers, family and significant others. I understand that you’ve learned to be a certain way to protect yourself, or simply because it works for you, but if that way is cringe-worthy, or conversely, if you’re getting walked on, it might be time for an adjustment. 

Communication is often the issue when relationships are going wrong so shifting your stance to be one that is more assertive than either aggressive or passive may go a long way. Assuring people that you hear them and are considering their feelings will help in some tense situations. Other times, you just have to allow time and space to fix a a matter. Never get caught in the streets busting out windows or acting like you have no good sense. Think and behave in a dignified way because you are too cute for anything less. You can still get things done and reach a positive outcome when operating in cuteness.

3. Keep your thoughts about yourself cute. Negative self-talk, which often sounds a lot like the propaganda that has been fed to us over the years, can do more long-term damage to us than a real incident involving someone else. For instance, if you were called names as a young person, do you still question yourself now about the truthfulness of their words? Since how we think of ourselves has been learned over time, we have to do a reprogramming work and feed ourselves with messages that are contrary to what we may feel deep inside until we adopt these as truth. Instead of a sufferer, consider yourself a champion. Instead of romantically undesirable, consider yourself still in the market for someone who has good sense. It’s not a matter of lying to yourself. It’s a matter of telling yourself the truth–the truth from a healthy perspective.

Sidebar: If working on your appearance will help you to feel better, do so. Start by simply taking care of your hygiene and grooming. We all have had a dusty, stinky boy in school who grew up to be a polished and handsome man, all at the hands of grooming. For us, having our hair and makeup done (don’t be a victim of crazy eyebrows lest my friends chase you down), having clean clothes and shoes, and a clean body with a touch of fragrance generally helps us to feel better. Enroll a fashion forward friend for suggestions on playing with color, accessories and jewelry to feel better.

Truthfully, however, external is rarely the problem if you feel really bad about yourself, so as much work as you do on the outside you will have to spend a considerable amount of time making over your mind. Don’t be ashamed to get the help of a professional if you don’t feel you can do it alone.

4. Keep your health and wellness cute. Health depends on a balance of genetics and choices. Some things we can’t change, especially with illnesses that have a genetic predisposition. Even happiness has a genetic component. On the other hand, we can make choices that can contribute to our wellness. While nutrition and exercise are considerations, things like sleep and elements affecting our mood are to be reviewed. Especially in winter months are people prone to depression, so finding ways to take advantage of sunshine and warmth is helpful. Also, feeding our spiritual longing is something that must be done for our purpose and focus to be clear. By looking at each aspect of the things that make us feel good, we can be holistically and truly heart healthy.

5. Keep your finances cute. There is only one way to keep your finances cute and that starts with knowing what is going on with them. Being afraid to balance your checkbook or budget for fear of the things you’ll find out or because you don’t want to be accountable to limits is the worst thing for your ducats. By keeping close watch on where your money is going, and then becoming ruler over it, you can start to be a lot smarter about how to use this tool. Whether you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey, Patrice C. Washington or Glinda Bridgforth, you have to get your money right. Managing impulses, living below your means, and planning before you spend can save you a lot of headache and hopefully help you stop using spending to feel in control, to show off, or to medicate.

It always feels really good if making appropriate sacrifices or better choices affords you the things you really want. Some budgets can do it all, but if yours truly doesn’t, keep it cute and learn tools that will help you get what you need, even if it takes some time. Of course, money and income is often tied to our job or business, so taking the time to optimize our success in those areas can mean better wages or prepare us for other financially beneficial opportunities.

6. Keep your kids cute. No reasonable person thinks an ill-behaved child is cute. Neither is one that is being mistreated in order to make you feel in control. Harsh discipline is never cute, but neither is lenience. Finding a balance in what works for your child and helps them to be happy, safe, and productive children is what you want. Enroll the help of those who have done it before–an older relative or respected mother in your community–and see what tips they have for you. Also, don’t have your kids out here looking unkempt while you’re polished and put together. The imbalance will do more harm than good and is a manifestation of your selfishness.

Most importantly make the safety of your children your priority, even if it requires sacrifice and difficulty on your part. That’s part of being a good parent.

7. Keep your social life cute. All work and no play makes Jackie a dull diva. Even a professional woman needs to kick up her heels and turn up every now and then. Self-sacrifice can go too far, and not allow you to fit some time in for you. Doing things that allow you to meet interesting people, see interesting things and have new experiences should be something that you pencil in your calendar. If doing something big isn’t possible, hanging out at the bookstore or striking up conversations with people you meet while you’re out and about can make life a bit more fun. It always helps if that person you meet is also cute!

Sisters, we have our ugly moments, but make a conscious effort to optimize our existence. It may take lots of work, support and the changing of our priorities, but living our best life counts on us keeping it 100% cute.

From Rejection To Restart: How To Start Over

From Rejection To Restart: How To Start Over

Being dismissed, whether it’s from a job, from a boyfriend, or heck, even from the room, is the worst feeling. In your heart, you feel like you needed to be there and if there was any inkling that things were wrong, you either had hope that things would change or wanted the dignity of being the first to roll out. It sucks because it feels like the rug has been pulled from under you and if you’re not prepared, my friend, you will NOT look cute if you lose your balance and fall face forward.

Therefore, it’s important to do a few things to deal with the very deep emotional pain you are feeling. There’s no hiding it, stuffing it down. Fool, that mess hurts, so feel it. But put a cap on how long you will stay in it. Your body may feel like it has given out, but by putting a limit on it, you can resume living the rest of your life.

What you are dealing with is being completely disoriented by what you thought versus what it really is. It’s over. Done. Still, the blessing here is you don’t have to deal with a situation that’s not for you ANY LONGER. Now, it’s up to you to find out what really IS for you and to rebuild the confidence that most likely has been damaged by this event, especially if constructive criticism (useful) or insults (not useful) came with it. Take what’s constructive and make a list of what you can do with your new awareness. Dismiss all the other stuff you can’t even process.

What about finding out what really IS for you? One thing that can be helpful in determining this is taking stock of everything that you have done before now. What did you like? What didn’t you like? What did you do well? What did you struggle with? Now is a time to try to become very in tune with what matters to you deep down inside, especially now that you’ve experienced this life change. Now is also a time to make sure that you are caring for your needs and not putting stock in something outside of you for your happiness and grounding.

Although it will be a challenge, taking steps toward the life you want after a change is critical. The past shouldn’t hold you back from pursuing other good things. I think sometimes we think of things as the be all end all and like if we don’t have this one thing, we can never be happy. That’s the furthest thing from the truth. Surely if you think of the life you had five years ago, you couldn’t foresee the great things that may have happened to you within the last five months. You don’t know what awesome things that await you but you can begin pursuing great things in a purposeful way right now.

Starting over is like learning to walk again. You’ll have to do it one step at a time and as you become more fluent in your new way of being, it will become easier. Want a new job? Update your resume one day and the next, attend a networking event. Want a new boyfriend? Go to Starbucks to work and strike up a conversation with someone about what’s going on in the news. Being goal-minded and determined not to remain stuck is what’s going to drive you out of the tough spot you are in.

Whatever you do, don’t lose your way blaming yourself endlessly for what has just occurred. It’s a blip in a long life of winding roads. You just have to look for the road that takes you toward the most fulfillment. And remember, you’re now one step closer.

Ever had to restart after a terrible rejection? What where the steps you look to resume living a purpose filled life? Share below.

5 Ways To Get Clear On Your Goals

5 Ways To Get Clear On Your Goals

If you’re a creative, you probably have those nightly epiphanies inspiring you to plan for world takeover. I can see you nodding because you know what I’m talking about. It’s like you either can’t sleep or you are asleep and when you go to take your midnight tinkle, you feel what Elizabeth Gilbert spoke of during her TED talk talk about that elusive creative genius that hits you and must be chased. You chase it down with your pen and moleskin journal or my personal favorite, your cellphones recording app, and there, you have the foundation for what will consume your next few days, months or even years. You have found your thing.

But so many of us have never found that thing. In this Ken Johnson’s TED talk about revolutionizing education (you can tell I love TED and the brilliant minds that speak there), he mentions the many who are walking around just existing, not living their passion, but doing things they are good at or things that would earn them their income. For them, setting a goal around achieving this thing that would propel them into a life they love seems just as elusive as Gilbert’s genius. ‘What DO I really want to do?’ becomes the question that stirs them at night instead of a magnificent idea they wish to realize.

I’m a firm believer that you can’t just MAKE inspiration happen, but we can make goals around the things that we know move us. For example, you may have read that I love to travel. I knew this the moment my parents took me on a cross country road trip to visit family in Florida when I was eight years old. I haven’t known a lot about some of my other passions until exploring them more deeply in recent years, but I knew about my love of seeing the world early on. With this in mind, it would make sense to make a goal around getting to do more of that one thing I love.

For you to do the same thing, it would require that you

1. Pay attention to what excites you.

I’ve never been one to get organized only in my mind. I’m a visual person, but also a forgetful one, so whereas audio recordings of my ideas makes sense, writing down what I think and learn is vital. I need to see what I am thinking. The organizer in me will start to draw arrows and boxes to connect ideas and create some logic around what I am thinking about, often turning this into plans that I can act on soon after. Perhaps it’s not that the people Johnson mentioned don’t know their passion, they may have never taken the time to

2. Write down and analyse ideas as they come.

With this information, especially if there are a lot of things inspiring Aha! moments and self-awareness, patterns will start to become clear. Those passion-less people may simply have never given credence to some of the things they possibly considered mundane, like going out to eat all the time at fancy restaurants, or their obsession with corgis (I don’t get this obsession, but plenty people love this little doggy.).

But it’s not enough to know. Afterall, last week, I found out my top 5 strengths from a Gallup test. Now I know. Yay. The next step to figure out what to do with this information would be to start to

3. Do additional research around this awareness.

With passion-inspired goals, there isn’t usually one thing, unless you’re a savant or you just are a very focused person that has one-dimension. No shade, I just have never met anyone who doesn’t have different facets and passions that drive them. But to remain focused and to have a very targeted progression past awareness, it’s important to know for real for real (repeated for emphasis in case you care) what is it about this thing you just figured out you love.

For example, I love to travel and I like the idea of going to and possibly moving to Costa Rica, but before I do anything, I’d better know what all is involved. Not that I want to research and get lost in that forever or get caught procrastinating on moving forward because of analysis paralyis, but I should know more than a surface awareness before diving headlong into that or any thing.

Research will also help…

4. Prioritize and plan goals in order of importance and according to a timeline.

So Costa Rica may not be something I want to do during a tropical storm season so pushing it back a few months might be wise. Until then, I could focus on my other goal of loosing a few pounds by the time of my trip so that I can feel good about shaking my bon bon on the beach. If the trip is in August, I have over six months to focus on weight goals. Just as simply as this I can start to

5. Create an action plan.

Let’s talk about you now. You like to eat and you like corgis. Just don’t eat corgis or I couldn’t be your friend. Perhaps your goal could be to travel to the corgi convention and then do some food tourism while you’re in the convention city. Heading to Frommer’s and Priceline might be the first order of business. Buying your ticket and grabbing hotel accommodations next. Whatever you do, you have nailed down what you want to REALLY want to do, and have started moving toward that which fills you.

Goals don’t have to be around any of the things I’ve mentioned here. They could be more career focused or around personal development. But the more you know about yourself and the more concrete your awareness of what you love, the more concrete your goals will start to become. They may even end up being pruned or altered in the process of research and planning, but starting with these very basic steps will help some sort of focused action begin to happen and ultimately help you go toward what you want with greater clarity.