A Day in My Life

The Ideal Me…The Compliment that C H A N G E D My Life

You Are MagicBlack and WhiteFIGHTER GIRL

A couple of weekends ago, I received what was possibly the most matchless compliment I have ever been given ❤
During what I'm calling Warrior Women Weekend, the leadership training I participated in at Gigi Yogini Studio, our final circle was about giving and receiving.
We all went around the circle and gave each person a compliment without using the word “I”. For example, consciously saying “You went out of your comfort zone, that was impressive” vs. “You went out of your comfort zone, I am impressed”.
I had no idea what compliments I would be given, but I couldn’t help but shed a few tears from the sweet and genuine feedback of my spirit sisters.
That being said, in the practice of receiving; the only response we were to give after receiving a compliment from each person was “thank you, that is true”.
I can remember being told “Karissa, you are beautiful” and getting several nods and “mmmhhmmm”s in agreement which made me want to cry.
While it was a very vulnerable experience to hear these personalized perspectives from my sister-friends, it was also all kinds of lovely.
The truth is; I can confidently say that I know I’m beautiful on both the inside and out. I have a very kind heart for all beings and have a tremendous amount of respect for the entire world. Also, my exotic facial features and naturally seductive eyes definitely make me beautiful on the outside which I have been told many times.
Contrary to what many people think, being able to take a compliment or affirm the positives about yourself does not make someone immodest. It shows that you hold yourself in high regard and have self-love.
In fact, did you know that in the original definition of “brag” which simply means “to speak proudly about”, there is no negative connotation to the word? There is nothing wrong with taking pleasure in your most positive attributes or accomplishments and speaking about them.
But back to my receiving experience…There was one compliment that was so unanticipated, I was literally speechless and will never forget that moment.
One of my fellow warrior women looked at me and said “Karissa, you already are the person you want to be”. Damn…
The fact that a beauty I had just met the previous day saw the light in me and my ability to be a confident leader, a shining example for women, and an all around badass lit my soul on fire. I was literally on fuego. “Is this how the rest of the world sees me?” I had to ask myself.
After reflecting on this feedback, I got really in touch with myself and I realize now that others are able to see this in me because of my ability to be my authentic self. I literally have nothing to hide and am an open book in every way. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I have a way of positively impacting people just by being me, but it also got me thinking…Who do I actually want to be? Or better put; What does the ideal me look like?
It’s interesting to think about, because there are literally SO many types of women I admire and want to incorporate within myself. I can imagine the image of a few of them…

*The free spirited hippie babe with blue hair, partial dreads, bohemian clothes, facial piercings, and a never-ending love for art, nature, yoga, and all things local

*The badass workout chick who can make wearing yoga pants and tank tops every day look effortlessly sexy and can handle ANY relentless fitness routine from restorative yoga to American Ninja Warrior

*The sophisticated fashionista who looks perfectly elegant all the time. She works in a high-end boutique styling other women. Her passion is to make sure that when clients leave her presence they have a new found confidence and know that the whole world is waiting for her gifts

*The entrepreneur who lives entirely on her own terms, lets no one and nothing get in her way, is not fearless but instead unbreakable, and doesn’t think twice about what anyone has to say about her endeavors. She lives for herself.

I know that in order to become the person I envision, I have to first have an image of who that bombshell is. Here are the qualities I see in my future self, she’s coming; just wait…

-Does yoga daily
-Does h a r d workouts multiples times per week
-Is organized
-Has a septum piercing
-Somehow a l w a y s has perfect hair
-Attends museums, restaurants, street festivals, and local hotspots regularly
-ONLY shops local
-Volunteers with nature
-Is a l w a y s fashionably dressed and amazingly accessorized
-Self Employed
-Writer and Artist
-Travels the world
-Cool and Collected
-Is always by the ocean (Earthing) ]
-Smiles often
-Has a vitality for life
-Has friends of all kinds
-Prioritized health and R E L A X A T I O N days
-Isn’t afraid to say “no”
-Knows what’s trendy in her city
-Is a positive role model and fierce leader

NOW it’s YOUR turn sister-friend! What qualities do you see in your future self, your inner bombshell?

Lifestyle

Why Earthing is E V E R Y T H I N G

Earthing

Toes in the Sand

I’ve always been a city babe, which is why at age 18, I moved to Chicago.
While from the bottom of my heart, I adore the skyscrapers, food, street festivals, and attractions The Windy City has to offer, there’s one thing (well I guess technically two) it’s missing that I personally can’t live without. The sunshine and ocean. In my opinion, they go together.
I have a tendency to be very affected by my surroundings, especially the weather.
There are many people that get a dopamine rush from thunder storms and others who find rainy days relaxing, but I can’t say I fit either category. Seasonal depression is a real thing for me.
There was one day I was walking to my adored studio apartment in Chicago’s Lakeview/Wrigleyville neighborhood back in Spring of 2014.
As soon as I stepped outside, I felt the perfect amount of sunlight and wind. In the span of about 5 seconds, my mood lifted from light to elated.
It took me a few minutes to figure out exactly how that happened, but I was so excited when I realized the reason.
It felt like LA weather, which was just another affirmation that the City of Angels was where I needed to be. Thank you Universe!
Just months later, I made my way to LA and naturally gravitated towards the beach on an almost daily basis. In fact, I was going so often and loved the feeling of wearing sandals so much, that I literally didn’t wear closed-toed shoes even once the first at least 6 months I lived in LA.
The salt air, the soft sand, the sun beams, the indescribable feeling of wading in the water. I was and still am o b s s e s s e d.
I’m so surprised at how many people who live here take this for granted and tell me they haven’t been to the beach in years. Oh well.

It didn’t take me long to conclude that being outside and in nature was something that was essential to my happiness. Now I make it a point to go spend time at the beach or go hiking at least once per week.

The amount of pleasure it brings me, is truly only something that Mother Earth can offer. A feeling like I’m walking on air.

I was so fascinated when just a handful of months ago, I found out that there is an actual term for what I was doing. It’s called “Earthing”. How beautiful is that? The definition of Earthing is “the act of being in direct contact with the earth”.
There are many ways you can do this, my personal favorite being walking on the beach where the sand meets the water. Other forms of Earthing are:
-swimming in the ocean
-gardening
-being barefoot in the grass
-napping on the ground under a tree

One of the most noticeable benefits of Earthing, is a mood shift and an instant feeling of calmness and serenity. And as if that’s not enough, there are a ton of health benefits that come along with this practice. I want to share them with you ❤

-An increase in energy
-Improvement in blood pressure and flow
-A decrease in stress levels
-Relief in muscle tension
-Improvement in sleep
-Regulation in circadian rhythm
-Speeds healing process

The list could go on forever, why? Because there's nothing Mother Earth can't do.

Even prior to knowing all of these amazing benefits of spending time with the earth, I have made it a priority in my life and have since noticed a paradigm shift and expansion of me as a person.
It is truly one of the most therapeutic and amazing things you can do for both your soul and your body; this is why I encourage you to try it.
Actually, I dare you. I dare you to try it and tell me that there's something better out there. Ready, go! I'll wait.

The Why Project

The Why Project: Chicago Babes in LA

My desire with The Why Project is to get people from as many different walks of life as possible. I’ve always had a thing for people watching and love hearing people’s stories. This married couple I have known since living in Chicago before they were even engaged.
Holly is truly the smartest young woman I have ever met in my life. Her very practical knowledge of culture, world affairs, feminism, and politics constantly blow me away. She is seriously one in a million.
Gianni moved to the United Stated from Greece in his 20s and is a musician and one of the best conversationalists I know. They came to LA this past July exactly a year after I had seen them last; this is what they said when I asked them each what their “WHY” was (is)…

Gianni

“When I think of something, I think why not? I guess for everybody, it’s to be happy in some way or another. For me it would be to be on the beach and not have to worry about anything.”

Holly

“To be open ended, I love that life’s open ended. I don’t want my life to be written out for me, I want it to be like a book with no ending.”

#2 and #3
Venice, California
July 2017

A Day in My Life · Lifestyle

LA: City of Street Art

Anyone who knows me well can tell you I don’t just live in this city,
I’m O B S S E S S E D with this city for 1000 different reasons.
I understand that no place is for everyone but to be honest, when people tell me that they don’t enjoy LA, I can’t comprehend it even a little bit.
No, it’s not perfect, and sure it has traffic like no other place in the world, but it also has perfect weather year round, activities from day to night, (there’s no such thing as getting bored), the beaches are serene, and the creativity is booming at all times. I don’t think it’s possible to go for a walk around any part of LA and not be inspired or get new ideas, but who knows, maybe it’s just my hippie heart. I’ve been told I’m a free spirit.
Well one thing that I absolutely adore about LA is the street art. It’s literally everywhere. No matter how many times I drive through a certain area I’m always discovering new murals. And then I can’t help but wonder things like:
-Who painted it?
-What inspired this painting?
-How long has it been there?
-Does it have significance?
-Why this particular spot?
-Did the person have permission to paint this here?

I also have to contemplate how many people walk by and don’t even notice…do locals take this expressiveness for granted just because they see it all the time.
Even though I have lived in LA for over three years now, I still fall in love with the palm trees, ocean, AND street art every time I come across them.
Maybe it’s because I spent so long wanting to live here that my subconscious soaks up every possible thing there is to appreciate here; and if that’s the case, I’m so very glad it does ❤ It makes me want to see what the rest of the world has to offer. More travels to come, but for now, I wanted to share some of the recent street art I have had the pleasure of coming across these past couple of weeks. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Blue ButterflyHighly Successful Beach BumGirl with WingsTypewriterDuet LipsPink WingsPeace and Love
Chihuahua
Dreamer
HelicopterBlue Beauty
World Wide Mind
Long Lashes .JPG
Why himSend NudesHummingbirdKoi

Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Review: The Butcher’s Daughter

Coffee MenuMocha HeartBoho DecorCome in for a Coffee SignHoney DrinkMint WaterButchers Daughter PizzaButchers Daughter Decor

The Butcher’s Daughter
Location: Venice, CA
Website: https://www.thebutchersdaughter.com

For the longest time, I had my reservations about this restaurant because I was thrown off by its name. As a newly converted vegetarian with a goal to be vegan, the word “butcher” completely deterred me from even looking into it. Later, I was to find out that the restaurant is entirely vegetarian which logically makes total sense to me now. (The daughter of a butcher was traumatized from the work her father did, therefore vowed to never eat meat again and became an animal rights activist) Get it?

Well I’m here to tell you that right off the bat I’m giving this place a 5/5 stars and it’s definitely going to be my go-to place for my out-of-town and even local visitors regardless of whether or not they are vegetarian.

Starting off with the decor…OMG, I couldn’t be more obsessed with the interior design of this place. It literally feels like you’ve died and gone to Bohemian Heaven. The decor of my future home will definitely be inspired by this Gypsy Paradise. It is perfectly lit with subtle lighting, plants are everywhere, and the art and furniture with hints of rose gold make it feel slightly exotic like you are in an American themed restaurant with a Balinese, Thai, or Fijian flare. It has a very welcoming energy and a relaxed ambience that makes you want to take your time while you’re there to soak up the energy and really be present in the moment. I have been to the restaurant twice now, once at night and once in the late evening and whether it’s dark outside and a little more intimate or still daylight and more on the casual side, it’s equally a good vibe and experience. If you get there at a time where it’s not crowded, they give you the option to sit inside or outside on the small patio that looks outside towards Abbot Kinney Blvd. and both are enjoyable options.

I also appreciate that it is both a coffee/juice bar, as well as a sit down, dining establishment. They advertise themselves as a cafe, but considering the size, the number of options on the menu, the portions of the plates, and the prices; I would classify them as a restaurant. They have a simple coffee menu and a decent selection of fresh-squeezed juice options. The coffee comes in smaller sizes than typically served at a traditional coffee shop, but the flavor and quality are top of the line. I have tried both an almond milk cappuccino and mocha, and everything from the latte art ❤ to the perfect blend of sweet and bitter make the drinks a treat in themselves.
The juice is a decent size for the price of $10. They each contain several fresh ingredients and are made on-site. The only one I have tried is the Honey Bee (pictured) which is grapefruit based and if you’re a juice person, I highly recommend it. Upon entering, there are also cute things for purchase such as plants, candles, teapots, and decorative bowls along with a to-go section where you can get pre-prepared food, and bottles of wine.

Now on to the most important part, the food. The food is to die for, which is no surprise since the restaurant has two executive chefs. I’ve had a variety of dishes, such as; pizza, cauliflower bites, GF macaroni and cheese, and a burger that had so much flavor, I couldn’t even tell a little bit that it was vegetarian. The portions are generous and you will definitely leave satisfied, you may even have leftovers to take home.
The prices of everything are definitely more than the average restaurant as appetizers are at least $10 and the average plate being about $18. But, with quality comes expense and the experience, the prompt service, and the well-prepared delicious food makes it all worth it. I highly recommend this restaurant to everyone.

If you do decide to try it, let me know what you order as well as your experience!

XOXO

Lifestyle

Being Selectively Social : Time is Irreplaceable

Emma and I
Heart Leaf
Prior to becoming involved with the self-development community, I never understood the impact of having a small inner circle.
Had you met me even just three years ago, I was a social butterfly who desired to know and be friends with as many people as possible. In my opinion, it was the more the merrier.

It’s amazing how things change, and it’s almost comical that here and now I think the complete opposite. Although I still have extraverted tendencies and am usually thought of as outgoing and approachable, I have come to understand that time is invaluable and I’m not just going to give it away to someone or anyone for the sake of having more people in my life.

Similar to a full tank of gas in a car, we all begin our days with a certain amount of energy within us; some more than others. In order to fulfill the things that we want to do in a day (getting coffee with a friend, writing a new blog post, doing yoga on the beach) as well as the things we need to do to continue living our best lives (working out, grocery shopping, replying to emails) it’s a good idea to distribute your energy adequately so you can feel accomplished and like you are moving in the right direction towards your ideal lifestyle. There’s nothing more dissatisfying than knowing that you could have accomplished something but didn’t because you chose not to make it a priority. Looking back and saying “I wish I would have written another chapter in my book today but I didn’t because I wasted time scrolling through Instagram” is a cause for regret almost every time.

Well the same goes for people. Understand that every little thing you do burns energy regardless of if you feel it or not. Even something as small as putting your jewelry on or brewing your coffee in the morning takes energy.
Just think…
Have you ever left the house in the morning without doing your usual morning routine and just thrown on the most comfortable thing in your closet because you simply didn’t have enough time/energy to do anything else? We all have.

Well talking and associating with people burns up time and energy too and the reality is, most people are not worth your energy. I know that sounds pessimistic, but hear me out.

Inherently, we live in a very self-centered world. It’s not that all people are blatantly selfish or wouldn’t help a person in need. However, majority of the time people don’t proceed with things without the thought of “What’s in it for me?”
People want recognition, people want more money, people want an upgrade. It doesn’t make anyone bad, it’s simply human nature.
Also, it’s important to be careful who you become comfortable around and who you share your business with. Very few people actually care, the rest are just curious. It’s not uncommon to think you know someone and think that they have your best interest at heart and then when you least expect it, they show you a side of them that you never imagined they had. Sometimes it’s directly, other times it’s when you read between the lines.

There are so many ways people expend their time and energy outward and don’t even realize that their giving a part their precious life away to someone who may not deserve or value it. Some examples we all tend to be guilty of are:

* Idle chit-chat talk with people in line at the coffee shop (just to pass the time)

* A long drawn out conversation with a roommate because it started out with “How was your day?”

* Commenting on social media pages for what turns into an hour

* Complimenting a co-worker on an outfit which turns into “Where did you get that?” to “Do you shop there often?” and becomes a full on conversation

I’ve made these errors in judgement way too many times and have consciously decided to be selective in who I give my time to as it’s something I will never get back.
Although I do go out with friends for the occasional lunch or invite people to go to farmers markets with me, most of time is spent at events with like-minded people, In fact, I don’t have time or energy for anyone who does not have the same values, intentions, or aspirations as me.
Recently, the only people I have chosen to spend time with are; my Bliss Tribe (women I met at The Bliss Project 2017), the goddesses I see at our Friday Women’s Warrior Circle, and people who are artists, yogis, writers, etc. Why? Because they add value to my life and vice versa. Anyone else, I have deemed not worth my energy at this point.
This is why, if somebody asks you for formal advice, I see no problem with asking them for compensation in whatever way works for you whether it’s monetary, work trade, or paying for your meal at a restaurant.

Now this isn’t me telling you to never strike up a conversation with someone in a line again or not to attend an event outside of the usual because those people are not in your tribe. By all means, continue to be yourself and be open to meeting people of all kinds because you never know, that person could be your future significant other or your next business partner.
However, I do encourage you to consciously decide whether or not a person or conversation is worth your time and whether or not you could expend that energy focusing on your own endeavors. There’s literally no shame in turning down an invite or reading an e-book on your phone while waiting in a line.

That being said, I leave you with three thoughts…
1. You are in charge of your social geometry, your circle can be as big or as small as you would like it to be

2. As your life changes, so will your circle (just like the moon, it all goes in phases)

and most importantly

3. Time is the single most important thing you could ever have. Although today it may not be too late, someday it will be. So remember, wasted time is worse than wasted money.

Lifestyle

Stop “Shoulding” on Yourself!

Vocabulary SnobGive Me A Break Babes

Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I’m very particular about context and semantics. No, I’m not a “vocabulary snob”, I’m not going to correct your grammar or tell you that you’ve mispronounced a word. However, I am a conversationalist and I value careful phrasing and making sure to be kind and deferential when conversing with someone; especially when there are multiple perspectives involved.

That being said, there is one word in particular that does tend to get a rise out of me, which is why I have completely eliminated it from my vocabulary.
That word is…(drum roll please)…should.

As such a commonly used word, it’s no surprise that we tend to overlook what we’re saying at the core. Well I’m here to tell you, it truly has no place in our conversations, speeches, or anything of the sort.

Some examples of should statements I hear too often are:

*“You should workout more often.”

*“I should go to sleep/wake up earlier.”

*“You should start your own business.”

*You shouldn’t have anxiety over something so small.”

*“You should have started earlier.”

Even just listing off these examples is grinding my gears. Well here’s a thought…Whose place is it to decide what “should” or “shouldn’t” be anyways?

You see, when you use the words “should” or “shouldn’t”, you’re not accepting what is, but instead affirming shortcomings.
Regardless of what supposedly “should” or “shouldn’t” have happened, what has already occurred is not going to change with the use of those words.
How does it benefit anyone to wish that something did or didn’t happen?
*Hint, hint* it doesn’t. What it’s doing is reinforcing the negative.

When you use the word “should”, what you’re really saying is “I want to, but I’m not” or “they could have but didn’t”, which whether consciously or subconsciously prompts a feeling of guilt within you or whomever you are speaking to.
Realize that when you tell someone that they “should”, “shouldn’t”, “should have”, etc. you’re not regarding that persons ability to make decisions for themselves. It implies judgement and reflection of expectations instead of progress or solutions. It’s ineffective communication, therefore “should” and acceptance do not go together.

The bright side is, there are several positive and solution focused words and expressions we can use in its place such as:

“Next time I will…”
“I feel accomplished when…”
“It’s really important to me that…”
“I would like it if…”
“I can choose to…”

Notice I was able to write this entire article without once stating that you “should” or “shouldn’t” eliminate this particularly unappealing word from your vocabulary. So give yourself and the people around you a break babes, and for the love of all that is good and pure in this extraordinary universe, STOP SHOULDING ON YOURSELF!