How To Manifest

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Caption: A list of my goals from 2004. 

I am a huge believer in the law of attraction, in energy, and in our ability (in collaboration with the spirit realm) to manifest certain things into our lives. I have been in intense study for the last year or so, learning best practices and the methodology behind manifestation.

My earliest memory of manifestation starts with High School. I used to write these lists of my future goals, two of included graduating from college and eventually starting an organization. I am happy to know that those two things have happened. Here are some tips for manifesting things in your own life.

1. Bring the idea from your head & heart into the real world. Use all 5 of your senses in order to actualize what you want to manifest into the real world. What would it look like? What does it sound like? What does it taste, smell and feel like? You can create a vision board and/or journal to really get your ideas out of your head and into the world.

2. Speak to trusted people about the idea. When you verbalize what you want, you are that much closer to manifesting it. Especially when you speak to people who love you and care for you and want to see you have your hearts desires.

3. Ensure that people will not be harmed or minimize harm as much as possible (to avoid the cosmic/karmic boomerang). When it comes to manifestation, things are generally going to work out for your greater good and for the greater good of others. Be sure that in manifesting your desires you aren’t causing harm to others, because that may be the reason why your desires won’t manifest.

4. Make room in your life for whatever it is that you want. If you want to manifest a new business, start the process by securing the domains and social media handles. Begin writing your business plan. If you want to manifest love, take yourself on dates and give yourself the love you want from another. Create literal space and time in your life for whatever you are calling into your life.

5. Be sure that what you want is intrinsically motivated. Do not try to manifest something that is really to impress or please others. That’s not genuine or authentic, and you may in fact get it but be unhappy or unfulfilled. Manifestation has to be about you and your contribution to the universe.

6. Realize that time is more complicated than just dates… there are seasons… Understand that we do not have control over when things manifest in our lives. Sometimes it happens quickly… sometimes it can take years, but ultimately when and if it does happen, it will be at the time that is most appropriate for your life. Don’t give up faith and hope. Keep living life and before you know it, you will be looking at what you wanted actualized. Ecclisiastes 3 is one of my favorite verses:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

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Caption: A list of my goals at 18 years old. I actually need to go back through and add more checks to those things that I have accomplished. 

7. Keep living and firing on all chakras (cylinders)… Manifestation is connected to gratitude. It is difficult to manifest when you are working with energy of desperation, bitterness, or anger. Be grateful for what has manifested in your life, in order to make room for more. When your fists are balled up, you aren’t able to open your hands for more blessings.

8. Have a vision but also be fluid about the execution of the vision. Things may not manifest exactly as you envisioned. For example, if you want a house, you may get a condo at a really good rate. Ultimately the house is about ownership, and the universe may give you want you want in another form.

9. Do the work… What you want isn’t just going to fall out of the sky. You actually have to do the work!

10. Do the research… Do your due diligence to figure out the steps to manifest your dreams. Is there a financial component? Do you need to hire consultants or contractors (in the case of interior design or real estate)? Do you need a stylist or photographer? Write out the steps from idea to manifestation, and do your research so that you can know what you are getting yourself into.

11. Connect with others who have already manifested what you’d like to see in your life and LEARN. You will not likely be the first to manifest or the last. Try to connect with others who are doing what you want to do, or who have what you want to have and learn. Not from the perspective of jealousy or envy, but from the perspective of being a student of their success. Remember that you may not be able to take the same exact path that they took, but you can certainly learn lessons from them.

12. Be reflective. Think about what you are learning about yourself and others as you work to manifest. You are likely going to learn lessons about patience. About collaboration. About resilience. Be sure that you learn the lessons intended for you. Healers often say that lessons in life repeat until we learn what we need to learn. Do you find yourself facing similar challenges over and over again? There may be a lesson or a “board” that you haven’t been able to pass, but need to in order to get to the next level.

13. Understand that everything that is supposed to happen will happen and that just because you want something to manifest it may not…. but even that is ultimately for the greater good. “What’s meant to be will be.” “If it comes, let it. If it goes, let it.”

14. Listen to your gut & your intuition. It is truly the 6th sense. In addition to the 5 senses, there is a 6th sense. Your intuition/your gut. It is just as valid in terms of processing information as the other senses, and some even argue that it is more helpful in processing information. Don’t be afraid to follow that little voice, or that feeling in your stomach.

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Caption: A list of my goals from college. The checkmarks represent those things that have been accomplished. I actually need to update it because I have more things to check off. 

15. Pray. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer! Pray to your God! Write letters to your God. Speak to your God. Prayer is significant, as I believe that we need spiritual guidance or spiritual support.

16. Fast. Fasting is a spiritual act. It helps you to hear the spiritual messages and clear away the spiritual clutter. It is a form of submission, and of gaining control of the “flesh” or carnal body.

17. Seek spiritual guidance. Seek spiritual advisors (pastors and priests). Seek healers. Seek astrologers. Sometimes you may need some insight from another spiritually strong individual.

18. Use crystals and other spiritual tools that are known to hold certain energy. Here are the top crystals for manifestation:

  • Citrine (manifests abundance)
  • Quartz (amplifies your desires)
  • Rose Quartz (for manifesting love)
  • Amethyst (for manifesting wisdom & spirituality)

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Another tool that I like to use is the Vision Board. You can read more about making a vision board here.

I created an ultimate bucket list, which I call my Manifesto. Check it out here.

Is It Time To Let Him/Her Go?

Whenever the seasons start to change, I think about what, and who I need to let go. Relationships take work, and it can be a challenge to figure out and establish relationships norms. Sometimes, you have to make a decision to let someone go, and to no longer be a part of your life.

How do you know when it’s time to let someone go (friends, romantic partners, etc. )

1. It doesn’t feel good to be in their physical presence. You feel discouraged, unhappy, anxious, stressed, etc. in their presence. The vibe or the feeling that you get is probably strong. It may also be evident when your feelings change immediately before engaging with the person.

2. The individual is the common denominator of “mess” “stress” or drama in their own & potentially in your life. Generally there is a pattern of behavior that keeps being repeated over, and over, with different people.

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3. The person is verbally, emotionally, spiritually or physically abusive to you. This could also include manipulation. Abuse of any kind is not acceptable. Take the necessary steps to ensure your safety and security, and seek healing if you have been abused.

4. You’ve attempted to help the person & they are not heeding your advice (or the advice of others). You do not have the capacity or the responsibility to help everyone, especially those who are unwilling to change or make adjustments.

5. The person is a “suicide bomber” who doesn’t have anything to lose or care for. They are destructive & volatile & its only a matter of time before they destroy you or things that you care about. Be careful with people who are willing to do anything to hurt or harm others. That same venom could eventually be turned on you.

6. The person doesn’t respect the boundaries that you’ve established. They call or text when you’ve asked them not to. They share confidential information with others. Express your desires and your feelings, and if someone doesn’t respect that, it may be time to let them go.

7. The relationship is one sided. You seem to be the only person investing in the relationship or friendship. You feel used, depleted or taken for granted.

8. Other people that you love & that love you express concern or notice red flags and it may be more than just one person in your life. EVERYBODY in your family isn’t crazy, or “hating.” People that love you may pick up on things you can’t see. Especially if you are “blinded” by love.

9. The person is regularly dishonest with you, so the trust has eroded, and non existent. Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Once trust is violated, it requires great care to rebuild it.

10. When you think about the future, you envision yourself and your life better without this other person. Close your eyes and imagine your future. Do you have positive or negative feelings when you consider the other person’s role in your future?

Why I Love Crystals…

My grandmother used to live in a housing complex called Holy Temple when I was a little girl. I have such fond memories of living there with my grandmother. What I remember the most was that behind her complex was “the woods” and attached to the facade of the building were these stones that my cousins and I would call crystals. My cousins and I would regularly pry crystals off the building and I remember being told to “stop messing with those crystals.” In my little girl mind they were endless. Thinking back they were both clear and pink. Likely clear quartz and rose quartz.

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Caption: Me holding Smoky Quartz with inclusions. 

Growing up I was a tomboy and I enjoyed spending most of my time outside. I was most happiest when I could climb trees and be out in nature. Sidebar: Once, my cousin Vanecia and I were determined to build a real tree house. We created a floor using mesh wire, added carpet, and even had plans to call the phone company to get telephone service. We found all of the materials for the tree-house scavenging around the neighborhood. The tree was located in the back yard of our apartment. Kansas City Trees were made to be scaled and climbed and apparently developed into housing lol. Your girl has always been resourceful!

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Caption: A labradorite heart my husband bought me for my birthday. Visually this is one of the most magical stones. It literally looks like it has light inside of it. 

In High School I became obsessed with Saul Williams. His poetry and his writings inspired me to do research. His first project was called “Amethyst Rock Star,” and he frequently talked about Saturn. You can learn more about Saul here. I started looking up “amethyst” and “Saturn,” and getting into astrology, but it was astrology light, because I didn’t move beyond my Sun Sign.

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Caption: Me holding a large piece of my favorite stone – CITRINE! How I wish I would have purchased this beauty! 

Fast forward to now. The last year or so I have found myself returning to nature and the earth. I have found myself craving ground & being grounded. When I had a miscarriage with my first child in December of 2011 while 5 months pregnant, I found myself clinging and reaching for everything that I could grab hold to, and the one thing that I felt most connected to was God (“the source”) and Mother Nature. I also don’t think it’s an accident that one of my earliest memories is connected to a place that I used to live in called Holy Temple.

I’ve always been spiritual.

I’ve always believed that there is power in our daily spiritual practices – what we do day to day. How we treat people. What we decide to do with our time while we are here on this earth. These have all been things that I’ve thought about for as long as I can remember.

Currently, I have a pretty large collection of crystals. I like crystals because:

(1) When I hold them, I feel something. Depending on the stone, I have feel warmth. I have felt my heart rate increase or decrease. I always feel something.

(2) Crystals are thousands of years old and they come from near the earth’s crust. Something about that keeps me humble and keeps me accountable for my time here. In the scheme of the universe, our presence is nothing but a “flash.” I want my flash to be meaningful and to contribute to the evolution of our species and our planet.

(3) Our ancestors used them. From the Ancient Egyptians. To the Mayans. To the Ancient Chinese. Crystals have been revered and have been a part of ancient civilizations cultural significance and collective consciousness. There is so much that we can learn about now and about the future from our ancestors. To determine the trajectory of something, one only needs to look back and follow the patterns. Check out this powerful article written by one of my favorite guides Bri Luna in Essence Magazine here.

(4) In the same way that certain foods contain vitamins and minerals, I believe that crystals contain certain properties. There is no denying the fact that the sun shining on us, has an effect on us. There is no denying the fact that plants “cleanse” the air. Why would crystals be any different?

(5) I started my next trip around the Sun almost a month ago, and I want to get better at mastering myself so that I can focus more on my assignment on this planet. It is so easy to get wrapped up in things that don’t matter (see what I did there…). That is not to say that there is no room for fun or for joy. I just have this insatiable desire to learn and to work in tandem with the energy that is me, and the energy that surrounds me. Since I am nothing but a flash, I want to give light. I want to be a spark. I want to give warmth. I want to highlight paths. I want to be able to radiate so brightly that the darkness doesn’t matter.

Helpful Resources:

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Caption: The window display at Spellbound Sky, my favorite metaphysical store, located in Los Angeles! 

If you’re looking to purchase crystals you can do a search of “Gemstone Stores,” “Crystal Stores” or “Metaphysical Shops” and they usually come up. In Chicago, I usually go to Precious Possessions in the Loop. In LA, I LOVE Spellbound Sky (I was sold when I saw the unicorn in the Window).

Upcoming Posts:
(1) Manifestation

(2) How I Organize my Crystal Collection

 

 

It’s A New Dawn So I Cut My Hair!

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I have probably rocked every hairstyle imaginable – from the Jheri Curl of my pre-K years, to beads and braids, to the locs I wore from age 16 – 24. When I turned 24, I got tired of my locs and decided to have them combed out as I craved versatility.

From there I went to sew-ins, box braids, Senegalese Twists and faux locs. My motivation for hair care has always been whatever is easiest in terms of maintenance. I enjoy my hair looking nice, but I’ve never wanted to be the one to do the maintenance myself. Even when I had my locs, I went to a loctician who would retwist my new growth and put my hair into various styles including rod sets and loc buns.

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Caption: For bad hair days, or when I don’t feel like being bothered I always rock my The Wrap Life wraps. I have about 15 of them of both the Traditional African Fabric and the solid colors. 

Around November of last year, I started getting that itch that it was time to do something else. I can always tell when it was time to get my hair done because I can’t keep my hands out of my head. Not to mention, many of the hairstyles that I was wearing, if I washed my hair the hairstyle wouldn’t look as good. Eventually the hair holds a weird odor, plus I started to get oily build up.

Many of the hairstyles I wore were considered “protective styles” meaning they were meant to protect your natural hair. However I started suffering from hair loss around my perimeter and started getting even more concerned. I’ve tried every growth treatment known to man and nothing was working.  I’ve even rocked frontals with sew-ins.

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Caption: Me before my cut. Super nervous but ready for the change. 

During my research I came across Razor Chic of Atlanta. I lived on her page inspiring by the women who had the courage to make such a drastic change to their appearance. I decided that I was going to cut my hair and that it had to be done by Razor Chic of Atlanta. I also decided to relax my hair. My natural curl pattern is so tightly coiled that with my workout routine and lifestyle, it was nearly impossible for me to manage. I booked my appointment and my travel arrangements and decided to make this change just before my birthday (which is Sunday, January 21st). I haven’t had a relaxer since I was 14 years old! Exactly 20 years ago!

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Caption: Razor Chic doing her thing. Side note: I need a ring light lol. 

Razor Chic confirmed for me many things that I knew intuitively and I’ve already learned so much and it hasn’t even been 24 hours.

(1) The braids and the weaves were too heavy for my hair. I was told to never wear them again to avoid any further damage.

(2) Wigs don’t allow the scalp to breath and in order for the hair to grow it needs Oxygen, All I could think was that most living things require Oxygen, why would my hair be any different?

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(3) It’s incredibly liberating to let go of things that are dead. I wasn’t sure how much of my natural hair we’d keep and how much I’d have to let go. There was much more dead hair than I anticipated, and now I can basically start over.,

(4) Confidence is key! No matter what you decide to do, hold your head up high and own it.

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(5) I’ve always had a love affair with accessories and now I get to showcase them. All of my earrings and necklaces were buried under my weave.

(6) Now that my scalp is breathing, I feel like my brain can breath.

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(7) My nighttime routine is so much more simple. All I have to do is sleep on a satin pillowcase. No bonnet. No scarf. It’s the simplest evening routine I’ve ever head.

(8) In the morning all I have to do is shake and go. No curling irons. No elaborate time consuming processes. A little spray sheen here and there. A quick comb and I’m done.

(9) My features are popping in all of their glory and I’m happy about that. I can see my cheekbones, my jaw line and I feel good.

(10) Razor Chic gave me several products that will help me maintain my own hair and make it healthier. Shampoo, conditioner, wrap lotion and even a special hair growth treatment for my problem areas.

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Razor Chic recommended a stylist for me in Chicago that I will see periodically to maintain my style. She told me to commit for at least one year to the cut so that I can see what my hair will do, before deciding to do anything else.

This was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made but I jumped. I’m thankful to my husband who supported me 100% and I’ve received so many wonderful comments on social media.

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Just wrote the first page of Chapter 34! Thankful to God that I’ve been able to revolve around the sun 34 times and hopeful for more blessings, courageous acts and radical acts of self-love and acceptance.

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Vision 2018

What a blessing to wake up to see a New Year. What a blessing to be alive!

I spent my New Year’s Eve hanging with my family. I did something I’ve never done before, I brought the New Year in with a good physical cleaning – a hot bubble bath filled with all of my favorite aromatherapeutic Lush products and a guided meditation.

In 2018 I really want to focus on growing and elevating my spirit and my internal world. Once I finished my meditation I did some journaling and then I finished my Vision Board:

Here are pieces of the board:

Full Board:

Take some time to think about who & what you are calling into your life. I hope that this is your best year ever and that it brings you the things your heart desires!

Happy New Year!

What Are We Truly Prepared For?

We all have ideas – lists, dreams, goals and wishes.

We visualize and we have all of these plans for the future money that we will make. We take test drives of the cars we want to drive (I see you Tesla!). We get fixated and obsessed with the things we hope to accomplish.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the role that preparation plays in manifesting our desires. Sometimes God, the Universe, Allah, etc. does not give us what we want because we are not prepared for it.

I’m a spiritual person and I believe in the school of thought that say God knows all and God doesn’t make any mistakes.

We see everything that we want, but we don’t always see the sacrifices that have to be made to accomplish certain things and I believe that our creator, our God knows what we have the capacity and the bandwidth to withstand & to uphold.

So what does that look like on the ground? Everybody wants to be a millionaire, but few invest the time and the energy to diversify income streams to reach that million dollar status.

Lots of people want to be married… but few have the stamina, the commitment & the resolve to sit through the hard and dark times.

Many rush to have children, but many people can be naive about how lots of the energy has to shift from ones self to caring for another human being, sometimes resulting in postponed or delayed dreams, and splintered time.

During this time of year as we reflect on the current year and make plans for next year, I encourage you to really search your heart, go in your prayer closet & ask yourself are you prepared for the things you say you want? You may not be able to answer the question right away and that’s ok, but it is a question that we all have to wrestle with, because the answer (whether we speak it aloud or not) is what the universe is manifesting, for our own good (even if we don’t see it or can’t imagine it to be so).

How Not To Freak The F*** Out In Times Of Crisis

A little over a week ago, my car was stolen while I was moving groceries in. To add insult to injury, it happened the night before my entire family was coming to Chicago to celebrate my grandmother’s 80th birthday. I was supposed to meet my mom at the airport at 8:00 a.m., and the remainder of the family members at the train station later in the day.

I immediately felt my heart rate increase, and then I felt incredible overwhelming sadness… but then I went into DC (Damage Control) Mode.

Step 1: Call The Police – When theft, or other criminal activities take place, if you can’t handle it on your own, you may need to call the police. Not to mention that a police report is often required for insurance purposes.

Step 2: Call The Insurance Company – The first thing the Insurance Company wanted to know was were the police called. I gave them a report number. Then I asked “What is the process.” I was informed that in 48 hours, I’d be eligible for a rental car, and in 14 days if the car wasn’t recovered, it would be considered a loss. In times of crisis, the best thing that you can have is information. That way your brain (and your heart) don’t have the opportunity to dream up ridiculous scenarios. Keep the foolishness in check by getting informed on your options.

Step 3: Create an immediate/temporary plan. – I have Uber & Lyft on my phone. I’ll take that to meet my mom at the airport, and then we’ll uber back. I spoke to my sister-in-law who lives across the street from me, and made arrangements to use her car later that day to pick up the rest of my family members from the Amtrak Station. She was also going out of town for the weekend, and said that I could use her car while she was away. Temporary crises of stranded family members – averted.

Step 4: Work The Plan. Once you know the steps to rectify the situation, you just work the plan. Be sure to record the names of the people who give you the information just in case there is a discrepancy later. Follow up & follow through with any additional paperwork and follow the process.

BUT WAIT… A FEW THINGS HAVE TO BE IN PLACE BEFORE THE CRISIS ACTUALLY HAPPENS!

PRE-CRISIS STEP 1: Get your paperwork in order. When it comes to property, purchase the extended warranty, the insurance, etc. All of these items seem expensive and unnecessary and the truth is that you likely won’t use it most of the time… but the one time you do need it, the peace of mind & the fees to repair or replace your product or device make it worth it in the end. I think of these things as pay now, or pay more later. In our household, anything that is over a certain amount (around $300+) gets insurance. This includes electronics, vehicles, appliances, etc. Remember to keep copies of all of the warranties and policies. I actually digitize all of my files using this and I keep all of my files organized in my Dropbox account. That way my files are easily accessible & searchable.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 2: Have a vent-partner. One of the best parts about being married is that you have a built-in vent partner. If you are not married (and even if you are married) be sure that you have someone that you can call to complain, cry, reason, laugh, etc. with. Often in times of crisis, my hubby and I bounce the responsibility back and forth so that neither of us gets burned out or overly frustrated. When it came to the first few steps of addressing the stolen vehicle, I handled the initial stages of contacting the police and the insurance company etc. Once our vehicle was recovered (thank God!) he took care of getting the estimates and dealing with the dealership to have the car serviced. My sister-in-law was instrumental in serving as my co-PI as my keys have a tracking device (TILE) which alerted me that my keys were in the area, leading to us searching the area and ultimately finding my stolen vehicle parked on the street.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 3: Copy the front and backs of all of the contents in your wallet. In the event that your purse or your wallet is stolen, you can quickly contact all of your banks and loyalty cards to get replacements. Most cards also have the phone number on the back that you should call, in case of emergency.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 4: Back up all of the contents of your computer into the cloud AND onto a hard-drive. I’ve endured at least two hard-drive crashes in my life. I’ve known friends that have been robbed at gunpoint of their briefcases and laptop bags. I have a little piece of mind knowing that all of my music, photos, important files and documents etc. are backed up using Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud Drive.  I’m a fan of all three systems because they are super easy to use, accessible anywhere you have the internet (let’s say you forget your laptop at home) and in many cases, other people can be given easy access to the files.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 5: Travel with a copy of your passport AND travel with at least two credit/debit cards. Anything can happen with your passport. I always keep a copy or two of my passport in different areas of my luggage. My husband recently finished a world tour with DJ Jazzy Jeff. While in Japan, an ATM machine ate his debit card. It’s important to have at least two different credit/debit cards in the event that something happens to one. One of these days I’ll have to write a whole post about crisis and travel! It really does deserve its own blog post!

PRE-CRISIS STEP 6: Learn how to use Find My iPhone and Find My Device (For Android). This has saved me so many times. Especially in situations where there was a large group and my phone or iPad went missing.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 7: Make a habit of cataloguing and keeping lists of things. This is usually a standard for home owners insurance, but you may want to get in the habit of keeping receipts and logs of your valuables so that if you need to file a claim, or if you need to replace the items, you can do so quickly and effortlessly.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 8: Write down key emergency contacts and have them easily accessible. Set up your Emergency SOS in the settings of your phone, if you have iPhone. Keep emergency contact phone numbers in your wallet, just in case you are unconscious so that members of your family can be reached.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 9: Get your car Emergency Ready. Keep your own jumper cables, and spare tire (if it can fit) in your car. Consider a membership to AAA or another road-side assistance service. Check out this article for tips on how to prepare your vehicle for Emergencies.

PRE-CRISIS STEP 10: Get your home Emergency Ready. Be sure you have a smoke detector & Carbon Monoxide Detector in your home, as well as be sure to check the batteries regularly. Do an annual fire/emergency drill in your home. Be sure that your door is labeled correctly so that people know that you have pets. Most pet stores and vets carry stickers to alert emergency personnel.

Last but not least, stay prayed up! Having a calm and faithful spirit is the best thing that you can have to regulate stress and address problems that inevitably come up in life. It is also helpful to have mechanisms for addressing stress – a healthy fitness routine, an active social life, appropriate medication and therapy where appropriate, journal writing (one of my favorite methods for processing stress and thinking through problems). If you have any helpful resources or advice, please drop them in the comments below!

NOTE: Shoutout to my sister Linedda for always encouraging me to write a book. If it be God’s will, one of these days I’ll be a New York Times/best-selling author. Writing was my first love!