Thoughts on life: Not all ‘friends’ are your friend

We indeed showcase different aspects of ourselves to different people. Some people see your funny side. Some see your stylish edge, while others may experience the empathic side of you. However, not everyone who experiences many sides of you is your friend. Today, in the age of social media and fading boundaries in employment, many people may consider you their friend if you follow each other on Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok. They get to see the sides of you that you wouldn’t typically showcase in a professional setting or around mutual acquaintances. This becomes a slippery slope for people to loop you into a friendship trap with ridiculous expectations. e.g. “You said you couldn’t hang out with me, but you posted yourself out with other people.” Sometimes, the irritation can be triggered when you agree to meet up with them for tea or coffee, but they want to take pictures to tag and post.

Another red flag is when someone claims to be your friend, yet they’re only around for the simple checkups or gossip. Sometimes, they ask if you’re okay; however, that’s as far as their friendship goes. They don’t want to dive deep into life experiences with you. These people often only want to be with you when you’re at your best and do not think twice about helping you find solutions to problems when you’ve sunk to your worst. So the question in all situations is, what do you consider friendship? Does it have the safe space and ability to communicate without judgement, or just have companionship for shopping sprees and clubbing? It’s subjective, though, depending on how you like to spend your time and your consciousness level.

So what do we do when we’re unsure? Well, realise the cold truth that not everyone is your friend, even if they claim that they are. Know yourself so well that you have an awareness of your needs and strong discernment to make the best decisions for you. Understand that people don’t even know themselves most times, so be wary when they claim that they know you so well. Likewise, when you feel a distance in your immediate friendships, understand that we are constantly evolving and that what worked for your friendships last year wouldn’t necessarily work for you this year. Finally, be patient because it’s okay to grow apart as everyone grows to find or reinvent themselves.

Until next time.

~J

Thoughts on technology: The truth about social media

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Social media is exhausting. It’s not my intention to start today’s post with a negative tone, and I certainly don’t want to persuade anyone to steer clear of it. However, throughout my years of observation, research and actions to support the visibility of my author brand, I am confident in stating the reality of the machine that is social media. It is exhausting. If you’re looking for ways to promote your brand or business online, you have most likely come across generic blogs that claim to have the golden formula for social media success. They draw you in with promising titles claiming their strategies will give you the upper hand with online visibility by beating the algorithms of social media platforms. The truth is, nobody really knows how the algorithms work. (Unless you work for the company). Yes, you can observe and test, but platforms can change these at any time. Therefore what may have worked yesterday may not work next week.

However, social media platforms provide a free way to help you build an audience for your brand. You can put in as much effort as you want, and it is possible to build a steady following relatively quickly depending on your niche, consistency and content quality. For me, social media has been helpful, although it’s often draining because of the consistency I chose to post. Most often, I need to detach from the world and go within for a few days and during this time, opening up apps to post content is at the bottom of my priority list. This is where I utilise social media post schedulers. However, I do like to see the engagement levels for each post. If I do this, though, I find myself bombarded with all sorts of stimulating content that drains my energy. So during my hermit modes, I choose to commit to staying entirely off social media for a few days to focus on my inner work.

This year, if you’re thinking about utilising social media to boost marketing for your brand and grow an audience, think about how much time you’re willing to invest in creating content and tracking your engagement. Make a conscious decision to be on social media purely for business but in a way that makes your account relatable. Also, remember that even if you’re online, you need to set energetic boundaries; otherwise, you’ll find yourself sinking with the distractions, which could be detrimental to your mental health.

Social media doesn’t have to be a monster, and when used correctly, you can leverage it to build your online community. Some people have significantly contributed to the elevation of humanity’s consciousness on social media by sharing knowledge, wisdom, motivation and remote support. On the other hand, some choose to deliberately churn out content that, if you lack self-awareness, will sink you deep in demise. And then, there are the people who have no conscious purpose for their social media usage. They just post, scroll and follow trends without questions. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you’re doing it for your highest and greatest good, whether to showcase your talent, boost your brand visibility, or raise awareness for a cause.

Until next time.

Thoughts on entrepreneurship: How to grow your side hustle in 2022

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Coming up with a side hustle idea is straightforward. Just do a quick search online, and you’ll find yourself with thousands of suggestions. It is also possible that no one else has manifested your side hustle idea yet, but this post, however, will not sugarcoat the process of creating a side hustle. Nor will it promise you secrets to generate millions doing what you love in a short time. Having a side hustle is hard work, but having the opportunity to create your terms, working hours and grow your income brings forth a rewarding feeling. For those of you who are already self-employed, I’m sure that you have a sense of pride when you look back at your progress from your first idea to your first successful transaction. Find ideas below on how to grow your side hustle in 2022.

It’s never too late to start or pivot

Change your mindset to elevate your hustling game this year. Perhaps you’ve tried different ideas that haven’t worked, or maybe you’re stuck with the feeling that your plan won’t work out because someone else has already done it. Perhaps you think you’re too old to start a self-employment journey. Whatever the block is, understand that it’s never too late to turn things around. Sometimes you need to take a step back and reassess the plan to change what isn’t working. Breathe.

It takes money to make money

And it sure does. It could be hundreds or thousands, but realistically you may need to invest in your business to give it longevity. Branding material, marketing strategies, buying stock and storage space, wifi, notepads and pens etc., these all cost money. See where you can cut corners but don’t go cheap just because it’s cheap. Prioritise what’s worth more significant investments and keep your receipts.

Research

Find resources on your chosen industry. Just because you read a book two years ago or have a degree in business doesn’t mean that you’re up to date with current trends and developments. Connect with like-minded people, find free podcasts and Youtube videos or read books. Can’t afford books? Go to your local library.

Use social media to your advantage

If you hate the thought of exerting energy into posting on social media, don’t fret. There is plenty of content management software to help you manage your time and create engaging posts quickly. Social media is a great way to boost your online reach for free. Even if you have less than ten likes on your post, the fact that people are seeing your content is still motivating. Be consistent and create clever content to boost your engagement.

Until next time.

Thoughts on survival: How to preserve your energy during the holiday season

We are now in the holiday season, and regardless of your beliefs, you’re bound to be surrounded by people who feed off your energy. Energy vampires are not always a threat, especially when you have mastered yourself and set healthy boundaries; however, during this time of year, it’s pretty difficult to avoid them if they’re your family members or run in the same social circles. Below are a few tips to help you master your energy so that you can recognise when to set boundaries and protect your mind, body and spirit.

Let go of self-judgement.

Sometimes we have negative thoughts that surface in our minds, and as much as it is vital to stay positive, it’s also important to acknowledge them. You can do this by writing a journal to express your emotions and thoughts without judgment. This will enable you to let go of suppressed feelings and accept circumstantial occurrences as they are. Journaling also helps you see the thoughts and situations from a fresh angle, allowing you to see what steps to action.

Sip relaxing tea.

Several herbal teas can help you recline into relaxation. You often do not see how tensed and stressed your body is because you’re busy with your daily responsibilities. So when you feel overwhelmed, take a break to sip some hot tea that is also healing. Peppermint, rose, lemongrass & ginger (my favourite) or green tea for a subtle energy boost.

Go into your quiet corner.

Whenever you feel your energy being drained during social events, allow yourself a moment to retreat into a quiet space to recharge and breathe. Sometimes, we feel like we have to please others and grace them with our undivided attention although, it’s essential to ensure our batteries are fully charged.

Plan gatherings 2-3 days apart.

Everyone’s starting to book time off and making plans for holiday dinners. Whether it’s for professional or leisurely meetings, try to plan activities 2-3 days apart, as this will give you enough time to recharge your energy and reevaluate in preparation for further upcoming events.

Take time to reflect.

Are you the energy vampire? It’s easy to claim we are affected by other people’s actions and habits; however, it’s difficult to face ourselves. Therefore, taking time out for reflection is essential, and it is a constructive approach to analysing our habits and actions. This way, you become one step closer to mastering yourself, making understanding and coexisting with others more palatable.

Indulge in the small luxuries.

Take time to enjoy the small luxuries in life, such as sipping a cup of gooey hot chocolate, tasting a delicious tipple or just going for a walk in nature to enjoy the crisp air when the sun is out.

Don’t avoid hermit mode.

It’s perfectly fine to decline invitations. It’s also okay if you prefer to revel in hermit mode because, understandably, this time of year can become quite stressful. However you decide to spend your time, ensure that you are doing what is best for you and creating a safe space of comfort.

Until next time.

Thoughts on spirituality: My spiritual item must-haves

Waking up and being enlightened has been an incredibly personal journey. Despite what is promoted on social media, the journey is not always positive and uplifting. Yes, it is empowering to understand the universal laws and be in touch and aware of oneself; however, it’s not always an easy journey. The below items are my must-haves for a comforting spiritual practice.

Crystals

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Whether you believe they work or not, crystals are beautiful and are here to assist and support in achieving specific goals. Check out the Crystal Council for further information on their uses and how they work.

Incense and Smudge Sticks

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Sage, palo santo, patchouli or whichever scent you are drawn to is a great way to clean, smooth and elevate the vibe in your personal space. You can purchase these in various metaphysical stores, online, or even make your own, but please be safe when handling these.

Music

High-frequency music that resonates with you is a great way to elevate your consciousness, meditate, or even relax after a long day. Try some Tibetan singing bowls, 432 Hz or even the sound of nature.

Body oils

Body oils are a great way to add a touch of luxury and enjoyment into our daily routines.

Fresh flowers

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Regardless of the seasons, having a bouquet of fresh flowers in the home is a great way to elevate your mood and raise your vibration.

Journals

You can literally manifest your goals and live your best life with the act of Journaling. Check out my previous post, The Useful Art of Journaling or my short ebook Journal Your Way To Your Goals: How to manifest your desires and live an abundant life with a simple act of Journaling. Journaling has been the most consistent exercise that kept me on track throughout my journey and even if you are not manifesting anything specific, it is a great way to write your thoughts to process your emotions during challenging situations.

Watch like-minded instructors on Youtube

Even though spiritual growth is a personal journey, there are communities and tribes out there to help you move forward. Find ways to connect with authentic people to swap resources and tools that will help you on your way. Be sure to stay safe and always use your discernment when making connections.

Until next time.

Thoughts on change: Going with the flow

As we enter autumn, the day closes earlier, and the cold weather seeps into our pores. Remember to move with the flow of life and take some time to reconnect with yourself. This is a time to elevate your self-care routine and indulge in the fall aesthetic as well as balancing productivity. Immerse yourself in creative projects and open your perspective to abundance. If you can see a better life for yourself, know that you have what it takes to create it. Take manageable steps and stay aligned with your discernment. On a metaphysical note, the veil is now thinning, therefore protect your energy and mental health. Do the work required to manifest and stay aligned with the best version of yourself. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, deep breathing or journaling, make time for your practice. Remember, the fiercest character most times evolves from chaos and uncertainty. I wish everyone the very best in doing what is best for you.

Until next time.

Thoughts on self-reflection: The Useful Art of Journaling

Let’s go back to our childhood and remember the ‘Dear Diary’ moments. As much as some of you may cringe at such memories, the art of journaling may have helped us to connect with ourselves. In the privacy of blank pages, journaling allows us to open the heart’s vault of our deepest desires or help us to release emotional trauma without judgement. Today, journaling can be just as soothing and cathartic.

Journal your way to reducing stress

In today’s hustle and bustle of our daily responsibilities, it may become easier to hoard an abundance of stress that could hinder your mental health. You can pen your positive daily habits and break down your responsibilities in a fun to-do list to lighten the load off your plate.

Manifest your desires with journaling

You can use journals to understand what you desire and work with this tool to manifest your goals into your reality. There are plenty of strategies for this, such as practising the Law of Attraction. In addition, a Journal can be utilised for your vision board, mood board, affirmations, expressing gratitude and intention setting, etc.

Sketch your way to good moods

A journal doesn’t always have to be for expressing yourself in the form of written words. For example, you can use a journal to sketch your thoughts or your environment.

Journaling is also a way to enter a meditative state which can aid a more peaceful approach to life. At the least, it can help you process your thoughts, which could turn into a book or an art portfolio. I began journaling when I started my spiritual awakening. It started with a few lines a day which eventually turned into a few poems a week. It was then that I realised that I could become a published author. The spiritual journey was arduous, but I found solace in creative writing. There is no right or wrong way to utilising a journal for your personal growth. The journey is yours to be experienced.

Until next time.

Thoughts on Strength: You are strong

Just a reminder to reinforce the knowledge that you are strong. Much stronger than you think you are and much braver than you thought you were. Life is full of twists and turns. Even when you feel alone, believe in yourself. Yes, friends and family can support and nurture you; however, you are the key to making your success happen. Don’t put blind faith in people when you don’t believe in yourself first. Use your discernment and trust in divine timing. The weather has been horrendous, reflective of some of our internal struggles, but the more we choose to stay in alignment with our highest and divine self, the more we can push past obstacles and make our mark on this world. People will come and go but keep learning the lessons and remain aware to manifest your dreams better. Life is not over until we choose to give up.

Until next time.