look on the bright side

gratitude is a deliberate choice. i’ll say it again, gratitude is a deliberate choice. you get to choose how you want to view situations. you get to choose how you want to talk about situations. you may not get to choose the situation. but you get to choose how you react to it.

i woke up this morning feeling very grateful and loved. i had ideas for rebranding and connecting my blog, twitter and instagram. i’ve been getting excited because i have more time to exercise, do yoga and do my hair. excited to sleep and get to recharge. i was feeling grateful for my family and my partner and overall feeling very happy. i had already done one of my workouts and some meditation.

then i had a thought of a situation that happened that made me feel unloved. it was time for me to follow a yoga class (one of the studios i thought about doing YTT at has free online classes right now), which i was also very grateful for. as i started the class i released the sad thoughts and started focusing more on my breath.

after the class was over i felt much better and went on to complete my morning routine. while i was doing it, anytime the sad thought would come back i would not give it any attention. i have so much to be grateful for and so many situations where i feel loved. why would i focus on the ones that i don’t?

i decided to focus my energy on being grateful. gratitude allows you to reflect on the good. there’s always something to be grateful for.

my message of the week for myself is take care. so the message of this post will be to take care of yourself by focusing on the good, investing in it and centering yourself in love and light. you got this!

maximize opportunities

our world has changed.

so what do we do know?

at first it can seem overwhelming to be at home, have more time to ponder and be unsure of what is going on in the world. here are some tips that i’ve used to create a smooth transition to this new life.

• clean your space- i started staying at home last Thursday and have thus far left the house twice (three times if you include that i got things from the store, brought them home and then went back out to the store). the first thing i did was clean. i disinfected and washed everything. it made me feel better and left my home a lot cleaner. everyday i have time scheduled in to clean so it’s not overwhelming. yesterday i cleaned the kitchen. today i cleaned my closets. tomorrow i’ll organize the kitchen and my desk. a little cleaning each day has made me feel so much better
• create a routine- these last few days i have strictly done no work and just taken time for myself. now that i’m ready to start working, i need a plan. i used the time block method so i have a calendar stating what i will do at what time. i know i thrive on schedules and want to maximize my time.
• do what makes me happy- yoga, eating good food, meditation, doing my hair and interactions with my loved ones make me happy. so i have carved out time for my favorite things within my schedule. a yoga studio i was thinking about doing YTT (yoga teacher training) at is currently offering free classes via YouTube. I did one today, as well as my own personal practice and it felt so good!
• invest in a passion- i’ve decided that i’m going to publish my poetry book i started last year during this time. i also have been wanting to rebrand myself (connecting my blog more to IG and possibly expanding into YouTube). so i’ll be working on content creation!
• healthy habits- “I’m only going to eat 1 cookie today.” and then you actually only eat one cookie. take this time to create healthy habits- working out, drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, or even doing yoga. these are things people say they want to do, but claim they don’t have time. i get it- i never work out either. but i’ve decided i have no reason to not work out and will be doing so. struggling with your natural hair? take this time to learn it! check out my blog post (https://lovemayah.com/2019/08/29/my-hair-routine/) for my hair care regimen!
• creating firm boundaries- mostly with yourself and others. the consumption of fake news is at an all time high. choosing to not engage may be for the best. other boundaries can be harder but more worthwhile- choosing to eat 1 cookie instead of 3 is a good example.
• get some sleep- last but not least! get some sleep! taking care of your body is so so important! this is a time to rest and recharge! take advantage of it!

why i do yoga

yoga is physically and mentally challenging. there are times where i am in practice, thinking “*insert explicit word, this is hard”.

yoga continues to teach me so many lessons, but the one i want to focus on is when to give up.
yoga has taught me when to give up or when to keep going by presenting me with a lot of opportunities to either push myself or to rest. when i first started doing yoga, the whole class was me pushing myself to remember the poses and how to do them. as i got more comfortable, it was pushing myself to rest and let myself take in the healing energy from the practice. right now, i think i’m at the place to push myself even when i want to give up.

yoga focuses on the difference between pain and discomfort. these are often used as the same word, but they’re very different. pain is not beneficial, it hurts you and could lead to injury and prolonged suffering. when something is painful, you must learn to let it go immediately and do something that’s restorative (like a restorative pose, my favorite is child’s pose). when you stretch yourself too far, there are no benefits because you’ve hurt yourself. discomfort on the other hand presents a challenge. maybe it’s a pose you don’t think you can do. and maybe you still are feeling uneasy about the pose, but you try it. discomfort may bring satisification because you tried something new. whether you “did it right” or not, you tried and that’s something to be proud of.

examples of pain vs. discomfort are present all the time in my practice. i often have wrist pain (i’m working on better distrupting the weight in my hands and working through emotional stuff). when my wrists hurt, i do variations of the pose. i’ve even had instructors give me extra props or offer other variations for me. but if my wrists hurt when i’m in a posture, i stop because that’s painful and i know it will not help my wrists heal faster. doing wrist strengthening exercises though does cause discomfort. but this is temporary and i know i should push through it because my wrists will feel better.

this is a lesson i am currently working on in my life. when do i let go? when do i ask for more support? when do i strengthen myself? is something really harmful or is it just uncomfortable? what are the benefits of me doing this? what are the possible effects?
these questions and many more are some of the ones i use when i’m pondering on what to do next. it can be hard to make decisions. but the most important thing (to me at least) is to take time and think about what you’re doing and why. it helps things make more sense in the long run.

i’m writing a book (maybe? yes? no?)

yoga is the one thing in my life that will always make me feel better. writing sometimes makes me feel better, but always helps me think through what i’m going through. last year i started writing a book, about heartbreak and healing. it’s a collection of poetry that looks at heartbreak from multiple lenses, all from the perspective of the individual experiencing the pain. the collection in and of itself is raw, it explores many emotions that are painful and complex. i’m a few days into editing and honestly i love it. i can’t wait to see how the collection grows, what changes i make and how publishing works. while life is forcing me to sit and be still, i will be using my time to create, meditate and expand my yoga practice. i pray i grow stronger mentally, physically and emotionally. and i hope the same for you.

please enjoy one of the pieces from the book:

for years i was searching for someone like you
for someone to love.
i wanted more than anything to find you.

and today i looked up and i realized that i was the person i was waiting for all along.

that the universe was right that everything i needed truly was within me.
and i’m so sorry it took me so long to see it. but so grateful i see it now.

because my love you are amazing.
you are beautiful on the inside.
your heart is big and kind.
you think before you speak. you are deliberate with your words and on the occasion you are not you reflect. you think critically about what happened and why and what you were supposed to learn.
you work to diminish your ego, so that lesson may be easier for you.
because of your sensitive spirit words hurt you. and people hurt you. but you allow yourself to feel the pain and try very hard to get over it. even when it’s hard.
you admit when you are wrong. no matter how embarrassed it makes you feel.
and it took you a while to learn to admit when you needed help, but you’re learning it.

you love unconditionally and you set firm expectations
the act of you loving is healing to yourself and to others
you give just to give, but you demand to be respected.

you work hard to protect yourself and those you love.
your anxiety makes it so that you are prepared for every scenario possible because you made a promise to yourself over 7 years ago and you still work EVERYDAY to keep it your dedication to yourself and your growth is unparalleled.

you are loyal and honest. you hold the people you love to the highest standards because you know they can do it. you support without pushing, for you understand that everyone is learning where they are and if you interfere, they may not learn as much as they could. and to you, learning is the most important thing.

you know when it’s time to go. you leave early and return to a world that you created for yourself. you nourish your body and your soul, on purpose.

you stay away from things and people that have hurt you. you want more than anything to protect yourself. your boundaries with yourself may not always be easy to adhere to, but you know it’s worth it.

my love you are the greatest blessing in my world. you are a blessing to the world. and i promise that know that i see that, i will always remember it.

everyone needs different support

so i was doing some reflecting on my healing process and how i healed. and how it was mostly individual and how i really didn’t feel supported by much of anyone, besides my mom and my two sisters. and i was thinking about why and how i try to support others.

and i realized its because i needed different things than other people may need. while i do believe with healing space is necessary, i do feel that i was not supported in that space.

but that’s because i had to learn to stand on my own, so i had to have the time alone.

and if i’m being honest, i still have a lot of alone time. and i am a little nervous about going back to school and living on my own. because i don’t really have anyone close to me. i don’t have a best friend.

but i’m learning to make my peace with that, and in this moment i am feeling a little sad about it.

but i have faith that all will be well. and that i just needed something different.