My 2016 was riddled with high levels of stress and low levels of happiness at a macro scale. At a micro scale my life couldn't have been more perfect. I have a sneaky suspicion the incongruity between the two had a lot to do with my mental state—an intangible, very valuable facet of my life that was precariously hanging on to sanity solely by the amount of miles I forced myself to run, burning with it most insecurities, anxiety et al. On days when I did not run, I was brimming with that negative, excess energy that keeps you awake at night reliving past regrets and worrying tirelessly about the parts of your future you can't control. (In talking to other Miami-ans, I was surprised to find a lot of us have been feeling like this recently, albeit for different reasons.)
This year, in addition to being physically healthy, I am resolved to be mentally healthy. For me that means getting back to the basics. It means saying "yes" more, but only to what makes me truly happy. Ironically it also means saying "no" more in those moments when I know I am stretching myself too thin. It means taking the time to listen and learn from those around me and asking them for help when I need it. It means improving my mental acuity by reading more substance, than garbage. (A girl still needs her 50 Shades of Grey and tabloid fodder every once in a while...) Last but not least, it means taking the time to breathe, reflect and find peace amidst the fast-paced and overstimulated lifestyle we lead in the 305.
A friend recently sent me a post on Quora about what you can do within a month to become more charismatic. I had previously received the advice the article dishes out, but had never bothered to take it. For some reason, when I revisited it last week, each tip really hit home—not as a pathway to charisma, but as a means to recalibrating my headspace. Each week the writer incites a new challenge (to wear only what sparks joy, to hold eye contact longer, to improve your presence and power, and to develop your boundaries) that aligns with what I perceive as my path to getting my mind right for 2017. I share it with you in hopes that you find it helpful. Every Miami-an can benefit from these tips, if not to be more mentally stable then, at a minimum, to be more charismatic. (Really, bro, we're too quick to honk our horns, to go on the defensive, to be rude—¡ya basta!)
I'm a huge fan of leading by example so, for the first week's challenge to only wear what sparks joy, I am committing to cleaning out my closet of all those clothes that make me feel frumpy, sluggish, or that have been gathering dust for longer than one year. I am also committing to wearing only those outfits that bring me true happiness, starting with my favorite outfit from 2016. I share it below so that it may inspire you to wear your power outfit this coming week. What does it look like? How does it make you feel?
Dress - Alexandra in Red Star by Réalisation Par
Jacket - Leather Jacket by BCBG (Similar here, on sale!)
Shoes - Trooper Bootie in Black and White by Aska Collection (Similar here, on sale!)
Photographs by Carla Kruyff