Reflecting On a Better ME

i write this because we need to hear it.

Image result for man in the mirror gif

this week was utterly insane, do you agree?  besides the deluxe super blood orange blue hyper moon eclipse (i kid, it was dope), there was just a lot of other hectic energy floating around that everyone was trying their hardest to dodge.  but, we made it through!

Image result for dodge gif

 now it’s time to celebrate YOU.

Image result for bankhead bounce gif

from what i gathered through my latest anonymous survey, most of y’all have zero issues celebrating yourself on a regular basis, so you go, y’all!  let’s jump right in:

I make time for myself…

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 1.41.50 PM.png

i find it so interesting that 50% of participants have a daily practice in which they make time for themselves.  what gives me most joy is that zero percent of participants clicked on the “ain’t nobody got time for that” option, which means that at the core, people really do want to show up for themselves and do something that keeps us connected (even when we are going through tough times and have “who am i again?” vibes.)

Image result for mc hammer gif

so, how do we stay connected?  how do we stay in tune with the best parts of ourselves? and how do we move about in a cruel world without losing sight of just how incredible we are?

Related image

humor me for a sec.

my mom (who is probably reading this) is terrible with computers and devices, but she is the MOST CONNECTED PERSON I HAVE EVER KNOWN.  she is one of the most selfless, beautiful people on this earth and devotes her time to filling the spiritual / emotional tanks of those around her. she is everything i want to be.

but, what makes her extra dope is that even when a thousand people are leaning on her for support, she somehow is able to keep enough of that “secret sauce” for HERSELF.  she knows when to plug in and when to unplug. she can guard her heart and mind in a way that let’s her do for others while keeping a little bit tucked away for herself. y’all think i’m something special?  – just know I GET IT FROM MY MAMA.  after 35+ years watching her float through the world, i learned a few skills.  now, i want to share them with you:

Related image

  1. save some energy for YOURSELF first.

  2. give. share. give some more.

  3. know when to plug in and when to unplug.

  4. write down things that matter to you.

  5. don’t stop believing.

when you put these things into motion, i mean REALLY do them, you will see your life transform.

Image result for mary jane post it notes gif

the trick is to make these new areas of focus so easy that your mind doesn’t even realize how much you’ve changed until your heart relays the message.  until you breathe more deeply.  until you notice your tears drying up. your reaction time slowing down. your ability to recover happening at a faster rate.  your level of patience going up…

then, because your new normal involves all of these simple, yet amazing practices, you have the ‘heart space’ to look back into your life and celebrate (or forgive) yourself.  you also have the capacity to look ahead and celebrate (or prepare) yourself.


The last time I remember really feeling amazing was…

This morning! Nothing is perfect but I choose to wake up happy.

I’m feeling pretty amazing right now, this blue moon and the energy have me reflecting in ways I never thought I could. I’m at this point in my life where I mastered self love, and I just want to share it with the world.


It’s been a while


When I hear how valued I am as a person.

Yesterday, giving time and a listening ear to someone who really needed it. In my opinion, the only path to peace is giving to others.

When my son was born.

i mentioned my mom earlier because she is someone i really admire.  she knows how to fill all of the right emotional spaces that someone needs at any given moment. i’ve been loaning her out to my friends who need a mother’s love for years, and yes hit me up if you need to borrow her too.  i can’t be greedy with a mom this dope.

let’s see who our respondents admire:

I really admire…

I really admire people who struggle people who love even when they once felt empty. As a person of Color, gay, of Filipino decent, raised in a low income neighborhood in San Francisco. My heart is filled with love. Love from all the social toxins and micro aggressions, I’ve experienced. Love from the struggle of being a gay man, being bullied, silenced, and outed beyond my own choice. Love from a young brown boy, growing up in The hold figuring out where to fit in. The streets? The schools? The socials? The scene? My love comes from the struggle that burdened me through these years. The story that I chose not to tell because the pain and trauma I’ve come across. My story has been untold, twisted, and silenced causing me to be broken, betrayed, and unsettled. It’s a time of releasing and I’m finally healed. I admire the struggle.

Everyone with a strong work ethic. Sometimes I just want to sit down on the couch and watch Netflix after a 7 hour day, but then I think about people like my boyfriend, who is a bartender, who is on his feet from 4pm-3am, and makes less money than I do… And I get up off my butt and push myself to do something more productive. (Most of the time.)

People who rally other people, including strangers, to stay positive and be kind.

My sister. She gives of herself constantly, without fail and never seems to need “me time”. All of her free time, for the most part, is spent volunteering or doing something for someone else. She’s amazing!

Individuals that genuinely love life

Anyone who’s stood up against someone who abused them.

Patience. I don’t have it, and while I work to improve that, I’ll watch those who do with admiration.

my mom

these responses are so so powerful.  it just dawned on me how important the word REFLECT is to the core of this post.  REFLECT is a word with two meanings, and both are equally crucial to our growth.  check it:

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 2.19.37 PM.png

“throw back without absorbing it” – that (to me) means to put out into the atmosphere the same types of things that we want coming our way.  right?!  or to BE LIKE THE PEOPLE WE ADMIRE, because they are versions of what we are striving to be.

Image result for twins gif

the other piece is to “think deeply or carefully about” – which means to make time to internalize, contemplate, re-think what you’ve already done before moving into action.

Image result for think back gif

so all in all, if we THINK DEEPLY AND CAREFULLY ABOUT OUR ACTIONS / INTENTIONS, THEN THROW BACK POSITIVITY INTO THE WORLD we will all be living our fullest, best lives.

Image result for whoa gif

then, we can really be proud of our contribution to the world.  we will feel more and more like we have purpose.

i was proud of my self the time i…

Didn’t give up.

I’m proud of myself anytime I make myself do something outside of my comfort zone, which is almost daily. Whether it’s a little thing or a big thing. I always feel good after I do it, even if it sucks along the way!

I’m proud of myself for learning how to be me without giving a damn about what society things. Being able to be beautiful inside and out. Self love is where it’s at, when you love your self fully and whole heartedly you’re able to give 100% to everyone and everything around you.

Heard my 4 year old daughter gushing about how much she loves her baby brother.

Walked away from a career that no longer satisfied or fulfilled me. I was doing things that would gain others (whom I didn’t respect) notoriety. Their buckets were full and mine was empty. As soon as I realized it would not change, I jumped. I jumped with faith in God and faith in myself. Sometimes you have to be your own hero.

Said “No” to someone that was toxic for my life. Finally pushed them out.

Stood up against my attacker.

we are stronger than we feel.  smarter than we know.  more visionary than we see.

Related image

i love myself today because…

I love myself today because that’s what I was sent here to do; autonomously. It’s hard to achieve anything when you’re caught up in the inner dialogue “I love me; I love me not”. If our inner voice just stops at “I love me” we can easily move forward and carry on with next level objectives like spreading love, teaching love, BEING love. I love myself because I’m fearless, capable, competent, resilient, loving, authentic, expansive and uncharted.

I love my self today because I’m brown, beautiful, and come from struggle. I love where I come from. I love that I’m resilient, I love that my love is sourced from others.

I tried my best. And my makeup looks amazing

I’m still here. Im still fighting to become the best version of myself with deeper understanding of others and to give more than I take. I’m seeing that’s where true contentment comes from.

I am the shit and Work with a bunch of Badass women that are empowering every day.

I don’t think I do


it’s not as easy as these blog posts make it seem.  beyond the quotes and the gifs and the attempts as co-creating a means for discussing for self love and acceptance, i know that it is hard.  hell, it’s hard for me.

me, also me:


I write these posts and source these quotes so that we can rely on each other – so that we can know that there are others out there thinking the same thoughts, with similar past experiences, who are also seeking to evolve and elevate who we are.

i write these posts as a reminder that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Image result for power ranger gif

we are the sum of our parts, not all of which is filled with glitter an sunshine. 

if we make time to discover new aspects of ourselves, to think about ourselves in a new light, and to perhaps chip away at old pain by allowing in new ways of paying attention to ourselves, we might just morph ourselves into something more epic than we thought we could be.

Image result for ugly to hot celebritiesImage result for ugly to hot celebritiesImage result for ugly to hot celebritiesImage result for ugly to hot celebritiesImage result for ugly to hot celebritiesRelated image




i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT


i write this for the ones who don’t want to cause trouble, and for those who need to speak [all the way] up!



Image result for communicate gifImage result for kelly bundy gif

a tap on the shoulder. a smirk. a vibe. an emoji. a thumbs up. smiles. a flirt, a frown, or an eff you! – all of these things directly convey a message from sender to recipient, and oh yeah bro, we get it.  it’s COMMUNICATION.

COMMUNICATION has been a make-or-break part of all of our lives since day one.  it’s fundamental, it’s amazing – it’s also scary and unavoidable.  we might be giving a friend a dissertation on why they shouldn’t buy those jeans, or trying to make awkward small talk with someone new; aggressively crying for no reason (me), busting up with laughter (me), or rolling our eyes (also me) – all of those show how we COMMUNICATE in a million different ways.

Image result for communicate gif

looking at the big picture, COMMUNICATION can be broken into a few major categories:

Image result for verbal non verbal chart

it seems so complex, but at the same time it makes perfect sense.  the key is for us to balance all of these things while finding the ebb and flow in every type of COMMUNICATION we have with others.

Image result for drake degrassi gif

the things i am [re]learning about communication are:

  1. VERBAL: MY WORDS CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF [MY] HISTORY, so i need to speak up (and be careful)

  2. NON-VERBAL: MY FACE AND BRAIN NEED TO GET ON THE SAME PAGE, or i will COMMUNICATE without meaning to and potentially cause some trouble.


Image result for drake poker faceRelated imageRelated image

Image result for drake gifImage result for drake gifImage result for drake gif

i think one of the most difficult things about COMMUNICATION is a fear of judgement.  ugh, i know, i dropped a bomb.  fear of judgement.  it is the worst, most ever-present piece of crap stronghold that affects every single one of us from time to time.
Image result for dont judge gif
think about the kid in school (possibly yourself) who never wanted to raise their hand to answer a question, would never volunteer to participate in class, or who would do the homework but not turn it in.  that is a prime example of what i think of as a ‘microfear’ – it’s not big enough to acknowledge at the time, but 15 years later you’re like “GAH! i can totally relate to Jimmy Brooks in the 7th grade!” – you realize that the microfear of judgement has stifled your ability to openly share, participate, and COMMUNICATE.
Image result for drake tears gif
Another area that affects our ability to COMMUNICATE is our families.  look, friends, I am keeping my Oprah Winfrey hat off this week, but I just want us to consider this:
our family members are real, actual people. the titles of Mom, Dad, Sister, Uncle are just assignments that are given out by default.  we treat these people as super heroes, and their opinions / words / vibes can make or break us at the core.  they often hold the key to our self esteem, our growth plans (or lack thereof), and how we decide to present ourselves to the world. consider the stories you’ve heard about your family members, consider their actual lives outside of molding and shaping you as a child.  think about their hardships, their habits, the money they did or didn’t have.
Image result for family gif


FORGIVE THEM.  forgive them for the things they said, for the things they didn’t say, and for the vibes / looks / moments that put tiny fractures into your giant heart.  it will open up room in your heart for new / more love, and you will breathe deeper than you ever knew you could.  it will take time, and it wont be easy – but it will be worth it.

FORGIVE YOURSELF for not being who they wanted you to be. for wasting time trying to be someone you are not. and for not speaking up for yourself when the opportunities were there and you could have changed things. it’s okay.  you’re okay. we’re okay.  it’s going to be okay.
CELEBRATE YOURSELF for becoming the strong, amazing, evolved, resilient being that you see looking in the mirror.
Image result for drake gif
now doesn’t that feel good?!
Image result for aubrey graham gif
but it is hard as hell.
I asked a few anonymous friends about COMMUNICATION in my latest survey, and whoa – i was legit blown away.


Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 11.10.05 PM.png

Do you ever hold back from saying what you feel in order to keep the peace? How do you feel in those moments?

All the time and I feel stifled when I do, mad at myself for being worried about others feelings more than my own. It feels like I sacrificed my peace for theirs.

Sometimes. I’ve always been a believer in “think before you speak” and not always blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. I’m patient and watch before saying what I think and how it could be fixed.

For the sake of my mom I withhold saying what I need to say. How I feel in those moments is frustrated, angry and unappreciated. With friends I say what I need to say and let it be if it cost me my friendship then we were never friends.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve created a very clear line of when I should speak my mind or hold my tongue. But because I’m so stubborn, I sometimes don’t listen to myself. I think it comes from growing up feeling less-than & constantly hiding my feelings; Holding my tongue sometimes reverts my mindset back to being a kid and feeling inadequate & ignores all he progress that I’ve made, so suffice it to say, I don’t like it. But it’s necessary evil sometimes and, I think, a part of being a full fledged adult: knowing when to shut up.

Always. The idea of conflict gives me anxiety. I try to avoid it at all costs. I honestly don’t feel strong enough to deal with it most of the time.


Do you fear confrontation? Do you have any tips on how to approach difficult conversations?

I do not fear confrontation. In dealing with people I usually ask a lot of questions to understand why they thought their actions were acceptable when it hurt my feelings.

I do fear confrontation. I have a tendency to feel like I did something wrong even when I didn’t. ESPECIALLY if I need to confront someone. I go in feeling like the bad person just because I have to express my feelings. I fear the other persons reaction…I fear a pretend scenario. What I try to do is step away from that mind frame and remember that I’ve done nothing wrong and that I need to have more faith in humanity… that it will not turn into a battle or argument.

Tips: go in with a positive mindset, visualize your ideal outcome, don’t take yourself so seriously, write out what you are trying to express before the conversation and take 5 deep breaths before the confrontation. Deep breaths are key for all things in life.

I absolutely fear conflict. I’m still learning on how to approach difficult conversations. Someone gifted me a book on how to. One day I’ll actually read the book.

I fear confrontation, but my progress that I’ve made acknowledges that fear but continues in spite of it. I have absolutely no tips on approaching difficult conversations. It’s always such an intricate and delicate dance of feelings that I don’t believe is the same for anyone and any situation. Unless you don’t give a shit; Then make yourself heard any way you can. There’s a freedom in that, but it’s not always possible.


Who is the hardest person in your life to communicate with? Why?

My mother. I have always been one to try to skirt the issue with her. I do have moments where it’s hard to talk to her because she is very hard in her beliefs.

Some of my friends, my mother, and my child’s father. I don’t think they understand me, my thoughts, my feelings (or they won’t understand). I don’t want to be judged by them.

My parents and my ex partner. It is challenging at times communicating with my parents because they don’t have a place of reference managing people. Being an entrepreneur and then a creative. So at times there are large gaps in our communication or I have to go back to set up the foundation to our conversation then have our conversation and it’s exhausting. I love my ex partner and at times I struggled in speaking to him about how I feel and situations that have taken place. Immediately he would take things personal and no accountability because it’s always someone else’s fault.

My mom because she’s so sensitive, my white friends because they are truly oblivious to the struggles of black folks.

My dad. We have good conversations but there are certain subjects that I tend to stay away from. He’s very consumed with work and a little shut off at times. He can be stubborn and shut you down if you’re telling him something he doesn’t want to hear. He doesn’t always hear me..literally he can’t hear very well. lol. He also is quick to react if you have an opposing opinion. BUT, he is capable of having intellectual conversation if you can break past the initial reactive part of the conversation. I tend to not push the boundaries of our conversations though. Maybe I’ll try a little harder and be more aware of any excuses I’m trying to make for expressing myself…like I mentioned in the first answer.

I don’t have one person, but more of the type of person. That is of a coworker. The coworker/friend line is ever wavering & that relationship is incredibly complicated & just as fragile. We all slip from time to time in our communication with friends/family but if you slip at work, those consequences could be severe and long-lasting.

Image result for drake gif

Image result for drake gif

so, friends, how do we do better?  how do we get beyond our microfear of judgement, how do we align our verbal and non-verbal COMMUNICATION?  how do we improve the way we COMMUNICATE with others?

i’ve got a game plan.

Image result for drake mind gif


  1. Have a clear mind and clear thoughts.
  2. Have empathy toward the person you are COMMUNICATING with.
  3. Get over fears from the past.
  4. Adjust your COMMUNICATION style to meet the needs of the other person.
  5. Be respectful, and always be respected.
  6. Be ready for feedback.
  7. Keep your mind, heart, and body language in check.
  8. Don’t freak out.



Image result for drake lyrics gif


i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

Related image


Presence: The Gift That Gives Back

guilty as charged. i write this with myself in mind.

PRESENCE: when you are completely, utterly, fully existing.

Image result for black mirror gif

Related image

ok – so let’s just start this off by keeping it real.  social media and the iPhone ruined it for us all by turning life into a video game.  this crazy, loco new age world we live in has trained our minds to crave constant stimulation – from the moment we wake up until we close our eyes at night.  it’s messing with our ability to be PRESENT, and breeds a vibe of constant FOMO (fear of missing out – for the old heads) that we just cant shake.

Image result for black mirror gif

the world we currently live in has basically turned into the show Black Mirror – we are constantly seeking validation and approval from those around us.  technology has jedi mind tricked us into thinking that ‘likes’ and ‘engagement’ make us better people, and now we seek approval digitally just as much as we do through IRL human interaction. (IRL = in real life, oldies).

Related image

it’s making us sacrifice who we are at the core; it’s causing these micro-spikes in our esteem and altering the way we navigate the world.  it’s effing with our true, at-the-core PRESENCE. ugh! something has got to change, and i believe that the change is already living inside of each of us.  we’ve just got to tap into it (no double tap necessary).  we are all true, real-life gifts to this earth and we must protect ourselves by constantly seeking ways to be[come] holistically ever-PRESENT.

Image result for black mirror gif

it’s a new year, friends.  and everyone typically creates these super-lofty goals and resolutions.  we make all of these internal promises to be “better” than we were the year before.  “better”, yes with quotes.  i struggle with that word, because better semi-implies a…i don’t know what it implies but it makes me feel weird inside.

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 9.35.19 AM

okay, well the dictionary proved me wrong.  the word BETTER is back on the table. i just don’t like it because it implies competition in some ways.  and there is no need to compete against your former self – it’s more about EVOLVING, being PRESENT in the moment, having a stronger PRESENCE in the world, and setting INTENTIONS to make your goals come to fruition.

Even if 2017 was all:

Image result for black mirror gif

it’s about coming into the new year feeling like:

Image result for black mirror gif

there are a few simple, practical, easy-to-implement things that i have added to my life’s routine that help me remain PRESENT and cut through the FOMO. i want to share them in hopes that it sparks something within YOU.  bible – sticking to these simple practices have helped me maintain balance and truly helped cut through the madness so that i can appreciate the life around me.

let me get my Erykah Badu on for a second:

Related image

  1. Find your rituals – mine are: drinking a glass of water before i leave the house every day, saging my house and watering my plants every saturday morning, and using aromatherapy to keep my emotions in check.
  2. Do something for ME – every pay day, i do something small for myself.  i buy a new book, or some crystals / rocks,  or a shirt i’ve been eyeing.  nothing life changing, but just a little “good job” from me, to me. (oh, and i usually buy myself a donut somewhere in there too!)
  3. GIVE – i regularly make it a point to treat someone to coffee, donate clothes and money, surprise someone with something, offer a listening ear to a friend, support local artists and causes, or give genuine compliments to people who cross my path.  it makes me feel good inside and really makes me feel really PRESENT / in the moment to do something, even if it is small, for someone other than myself.

i asked a few anonymous friends to answer a survey about PRESENCE and to share their truths.  here’s what they had to say:

where did you focus your energy the most this week?

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 10.03.45 AM

what is the BEST gift you’ve ever received?

Motherhood. I was young and it accelerated my evolution. I’ve experienced nothing as challenging nor as rewarding as keeping separate, independent pieces of my heart alive outside of my own body.

Honestly? The adversity I’ve faced because it’s molded my self-identity and my perseverance. Gotta thank life for that one.

Nothing particular out weighs anything, anytime I’m shown compassion I’m sincerely greatful

When I really started getting into putting on make up my friend bought me a set of pink make up brushes (pink is my favorite color)

discuss a time when you were SELFLESS.

2017. for every 1 day of self pity, I would hustle 10 days for others.

Provided an entire thanksgiving dinner (fully cooked along with extra food for the month) for a single mother that also takes care of her family.

Selflessness is less of an instance of time and more a daily intention.

I typically would describe myself as such so this Q is particularly a difficult one for me. I think the best example I can give is that I said goodbye to someone I loved because I knew we weren’t a good fit and I wanted him to have everything he deserved, everything that made him happy — and I knew that was a life beyond me.

in life, when do you feel most PRESENT?  what are you doing, who is around?

Every time I get on a plane.

I’m most present when I’m one on one with someone who wants to learn or teach. I’m most present when I’m engaged in intimate, passionate conversation where walls are broken down and there’s a yearn to understand or to be understood.

When I am alone. Any other time I am struggling to find the right words

When I have volunteered in my daughter’s classroom. I am engaging with her and her classmates. I am observing the skills of the teachers. I am grading papers and sorting finished work into the individual folders. I’m fixing broken classroom books.


Image result for feel connected gif

PRESENCE is what keeps the volume turned down on the voices in our head.  it’s also how we know when to turn that volume back up and listen to ourselves – it’s how we know when to trust our gut.

Related image   Related image





it’s knowing when to put the phone down, when to stop giving your energy to a situation that is not likely to improve.  it’s not being afraid to focus on yourself, for once.  it’s saying no and sticking to it.  being PRESENT is deciding not to apologize arbitrarily. PRESENCE is listening to and truly learning yourself. it’s doing things that make you feel like a whole person. it’s staying connected.

it is what you (and i) deserve.

actual footage of the new, more PRESENT version of ourselves:

Image result for birthright gif

Image result for self love gif


i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @CALLMEKYLA

Image result for black mirror gif