Your Goals + The Gift of Letting Go


When your path is calling it will require leaving old ways behind to step fully into your purpose. In nearly every case there's a certain amount of pain associated with leaving the familiar behind. But, in my own experience and those of the women whose stories of career transition we'll soon be sharing on The Career View Mirror Project, letting go is the first step to moving forward. 

I once did an outdoor obstacle course where the goal of one of the exercises was to get across a 50ft high tightrope by using a series of ropes dangling overhead for support.  In order to move forward on the tightrope, I had to release one rope to grab a hold of the other.

Choosing to hang on would mean being stuck in place, not moving forward or backward - going nowhere.  At the same time, I was terrified to let go.  The distance seemed immense and the idea of releasing both hands to jump full out with no guarantee I'd catch the next rope was too much!  But, I had two choices: remain stuck in place or release my viselike grip and leap. 

I took the leap and here's what I learned:  the toughest part is the space between.  Being completely off balance, up in mid-air, unsure of everything. At the same time, that space between is also the most exhilarating.  Truly present, feeling every single moment, you instinctually, creatively decide what to do next and follow through without analysis.  You come face to face with your own courage as you keep moving, releasing and grabbing hold, again and again, inching ever closer to your destination, you finally understand...

Courage is a practice. - tweet this!




Press: A Tour of My Home on Apartment Therapy

Magalie Rene-Hayes in Apartment Therapy

Sending a huge "YES!" to the Universe today for fantastic media coverage - my home on Apartment Therapy. Come on in and have a look around!

Check out:

  • My favorite DIY

  • Our biggest splurge 

  • My favorite thing in the living room

  • And, most importantly, how I store my shoes! (You guys already know they're a thing.) Let's just say limited closet space made me very resourceful! *praise hands emoji*




10 Books That Will Change Your Life

Beauty Joy Purpose - Headers.jpg

If you need a shift in perspective to begin approaching life with more positivity and possibility, the following books address different areas of life.  Each will change the way you live it.

1. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

True transformation begins with healing.  Louise explores how subconscious and unexpressed pain and patterns manifest themselves in dis-ease.  I see this book as the holy grail of transformational work and a great place to begin clearing whatever blocks you from living a fully present life. 

2. A New Earth by Eckart Tolle

If you've ever felt like drama, negativity, or "bad luck" find you wherever you go... or, if you've experienced a bad morning that spirals into a bad day, Tolle's description of "the pain body" will be a revelation. 

3. Colors & Numbers by Louise Hay

"Your Personal Guide to Positive Vibrations in Daily Life" this is packs a one-two punch of numerology and color psychology for high vibes. When I was going through a difficult time in my life small acts, even choosing a daily color, went a long way to lift my spirits. 

4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

Deepak explains how success and spirituality work hand in hand in a simple and digestible way. I keep the pocket sized version in my purse because it has a way of making me feel centered and peaceful - especially when I'm in my go-getter boss babe mode.  

5. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou

One of the highlights of my life was meeting Ms. Angelou in my senior year of college.  If you need a lesson in owning it, here you go. After reading her poem Phenomenal Woman for the first time, I felt like...a woman, phenomenally.  

6. The Prophet by Khalil Gilbran

Gilbran offers the most beautiful wisdom on all the main areas of one's life. On love: "Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls."  On daily life "Your daily life is your temple and your religion." My very favorite is his quote on work: "Work is love made visible." It's a must read.

7. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

I slept so hard on Gabby B. but after getting schooled by a dose of her spiritual realness she officially became a mentor in my head. Her meditations cause powerful shifts and some of them even come with warnings.   

8. Throw Out 50 Things by Gail Blanke

Without this book I might have moved across the country with a load of physical and emotional baggage.  The things you keep have weight - whether you realize it or not. Blanke goes room by room to help us discover see the difference between the the attachments we have to the things and the things themselves. Freedom awaits. 

9. Super Rich by Russell Simmons

Simmons offers a down to earth take on the Bhagavad Gita and a beautiful perspective on the true meaning of abundance.  

10.  Harry Potter by JK Rowling

The ultimate tale of triumph over circumstance and a reminder to let your inner child come out to play. Who's up for a trip to Hogwarts?!

Bonus:  Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur

If you're struggling to heal deep wounds, going through heartache, getting over heartbreak, or throwing a "thank God it's over" celebration party this book of poems is all the things.  A women's manifesto in four parts: The Hurting. The Loving. The Breaking. The Healing. Rupi Kaur's writing offers the ultimate gift of catharsis.   

Which of these selections is resonating with you (or not) and why?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and preferences in the comments section! 



8 Ways To Shut Out The World's Drama and Create A Grateful Home

What keeps you grounded in your home environment? How do you remember to practice gratitude? 

In case you thought Oprah's gratitude journal recommendation was purely a feel-good practice, studies have shown that gratitude improves our immune and cardiovascular systems.

Recently, The Greater Good Science Center a UC Berkeley partnered with the USC on a study to research the effects of gratitude on the brain.    Gratitude is more than a just nice thing to do.  It supports health and well-being so much it can extend your life expectancy.  Which means you can enjoy a longer and more joyful life simply by remembering to be thankful for what you have.  

If you're like me you may already practice miracle morning, yoga, or journaling.  Add that to the responsibilities of making life happen, on most days we're already doing #teamtewmuch.

So, the question I'm exploring in this article is how to be grateful without adding another task to an already full To-Do list.  Well, friends, I'm here to tell you there is a way to practice gratitude that doesn't involve another activity. Can I get an AMEN?!

Gratitude Spaces are areas in your home that infuse mindful moments into your day. - tweet it!

They are physical reminders to say "Thank You" to the universe.  Here are some ways to decorate your spaces with gratitude in mind:

Colorful Art - Combine art and color for a double dose of therapeutic impact.

Gallery Wall - Incorporate photos of friends and family, a reminder you're not alone. 

Photos of You - Hang images of yourself enjoying favorite moments, people + places.

Meditation Space - Create a simple and peaceful area to be still and return to your breath.

Love Altar - Find space in your bedroom (nightstands will do) that honors you.

Desk - Organize and decorate it in a way that inspires you to get to work.

Creative Space - Pay special attention to the areas in your home where you create - which means making something out of nothing. Whether its cooking, dancing, painting, sketching, or scrap-booking, everyone is creative and creativity is for everyone.    

Spirituality - Elements that honor your preferred belief system can be infused into all the options above. Whatever your connection to source, God, the universe, Buddha, Jesus, etc., I advocate bringing that into your home through photos, quotes, art, statues or books.  The intention here is to know that you are supported even when it doesn't seem so, and that no matter what you're going through all is well.  A reminder that The Universe Has Your Back (also the title of Gabby Bernstein's latest book!)


10 Tips That Prove It's Never Too Late To Change Direction *Featured*


As a supplement to that article, I want to share one of my favorite talks from author Elizabeth Gilbert on the hummingbird vs. the jackhammer on Oprah's Super Soul Series.  She explores the idea that as creatives not only is there no shame in exploring a variety of careers but taking the winding path can be liberating and empowering. 

Ultimately, it's certainly a challenge to change careers but it doesn't have to be a struggle.  


Life is messy, and that's okay.

Go ahead, say it out loud.  Now say it again like you're at least attempting to mean it.  Now close your eyes, inhale deeeeeply, breathe out sloooowly, and say it a third time. How did that feel?  

When I say it, my brain immediately hits me with a billion comebacks.  Somewhere in the area of 'hell no, it's not ok' and 'you're crazy'.  But, after a losing battle with perfection that had me stuck in "same self-beat-up different day" when it came to my goals, I decided to consider what life might feel like if I embraced this foreign and very uncomfortable concept.  

It means I'm not any less if the house is messy, because I can clean it this weekend.  I'm not a failure if I bomb my first interview, because I'll improve.  I'm not doomed because I haven't hit six figures since starting my business 4 years ago, because everyone starts somewhere.  I'm not a lost cause if I haven't found the love of my life yet, or a sucky mom if... and so on and so on. Yup, start contemplating the idea of embracing the mess, and things get really real - real quick.  

You might end up face to face with all the things about yourself, your relationships, and your life you've been holding to an unreachable standard of perfection.  There's that word again; holding us hostage to some version of who we should be, causing us to devalue who we are.  Perfection is the greatest trick of all because it doesn't exist, and if we continue to seek it...well, hamster wheel anyone? 

The only sane solution is acceptance - releasing our attachment to what it's "supposed to look like" and being grateful for what is while working on being our best selves.  (Sorry, the growing doesn't get to stop.) 

Sure it's a challenge, but it's worth the two incredible things that happen when we take our energy away from the guilt, shame, and stress we feel when things don't look the way we think they should:

  1. We enjoy what we have.

  2. We focus on what we want to create.  

Acceptance is a light in the dark, helping us find order in the chaos and mental space to plan our next big move.

Now say it again until it really starts to ring true - because it is.


Press: 28 Black Tastemakers - I'm On The List!

What a lovely surprise it was to be asked to participate in this year's 28 Black Tastemakers series by Angela Belt (Stylist, Designer and Market Editor extraordinaire).  It's an honor to share the space with such a talented and innovative collective of designers and creatives - some I've followed for years, and others this project has introduced me to.

Head over to her site to check out the feature and to discover the black girl/boy magic highlighted over the 28 days of Black History Month.  


10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Make Your Home Happier


Create a Meditation Corner

  • The mental, physical, and emotional benefits of meditation are astounding - from lowering stress levels and reducing inflammation to slowing HIV progression and literally changing your brain.  It doesn't take much more than a soft pillow to create a space where you can mentally disconnect.  

Add Plants

Find an Area to Honor Your Family History

  • An Emory University study found the knowledge of family history correlated with higher self-esteem and a better ability to manage stress. 

Consider an Aquarium

  • Aquariums lower heart rates and blood pressure, and studies have found those numbers get even lower the more fish are added to the tank. 

Use Aromatherapy  

  • The benefits of essential oils extracted from plants include the relief of anxiety and depression as cited by the Mayo Clinic.  Between the crazy long list of aromatherapy's other benefits and the divine smells that are lavender, sage, and, peppermint (for starters), your happiness factor will skyrocket once you incorporate them into your daily routine.

Incorporate Affirmations

  • Similar to a mantra you might repeat to yourself, decor that visually reinforces the values you hold is a fabulous way to infuse your daily life with intention.  Think stylish typography, quotes, affirming words on walls, mugs, doormats - nearly anything in your space can become a reminder of the good life and keep your spirits lifted.

Add a Rug

  • Touch is one of the senses directly associated with productivity.  It's as simple as being drawn to "soft, cozy, warm" and repelled by "cold, hard".  Soft rugs are in line with the body's natural inclination to relax with the touch of a softer texture.  

  • Rugs and/or carpeting also create a barrier to sound.

Create a Reading Nook

  • Reading improves memory function, makes you more empathetic, fights Alzheimer's, reduces stress by 68%, and alleviates insomnia. 

  • Stephen King said it perfectly: "Books are a uniquely portable magic."  A space for enjoying them in your home, no matter the size, will bring magic into your life. 

Get a White Noise App - Better Yet, Raindrops

  • Focus supports productivity, and productivity (the feeling of making progress towards your goals) makes people 72% happier.  Sound is one of the keys to focus. 

  • Productivity dips up to 66% if you're involved in a task-related activity in a loud, conversational environment. So, the next time you're trying to conquer the world, download the white noise app and set it on the sounds of raindrops (sounds of ocean waves and rain increase cognitive function and lower heart rates, muscle tension and stress.)

Don't Forget The Art

  • Make Art: Dopamine is the ultimate "Feel Good" transmitter, and just for good measure it also wards off depression and protects the brain from aging.  Every time you engage in art, a high dosage of it comes your way. You get the dose whether you're "talented" or not and no matter what the creative activity. '

  • Decorate With Art: Art has the ability to take you out of yourself by pulling your attention away from rumination and self-focus and into a world of beauty and imagination.  Line your walls with it, and watch it light up your inner world.


Press: The Importance of Joy, Design, Mindfulness, Plants & Art in the Classroom

What a privilege it was to join Yong Pratt, owner of Elko Arts Academy, on her smART Kids 2.0 Podcast.  We discussed how the design of learning spaces can inspire smarter and more confident kids for the next generation.

Here's what we discussed (and the exact times so you can get right to the point):

  • [2:49] How Kid-Smart Spaces™ began

  • [5:42] Why is the design of classroom is so important for kids in learning?

  • [6:31] The role of joy in our classrooms

  • [9:35] Increasing learning capacity with plants

  • [11:36] A 3-minute mindfulness makeover at home

  • [13:48] Tips for parents when creating space for their kids

  • [19:36] How temperature affects learning

  • [29:59] And, the Kid-Smart Spaces book due out in 2017

How to Find Meaning and Joy in The Mundane

Why shouldn't a cup, a bowl, a drop dead gorgeous hamper bring you joy?  It's not about being hung up on material things either.  It's about intentional living.  A process that begins on the inside and extends to giving attention to the external - the things... situations... people, we bring into our space.  Are they making us feel heavy, depressed, annoyed, stagnant?  Or, are they enhancing our experience?

What we surround ourselves with reflects and affects the thoughts we have, how we feel, how we act, and ultimately the life we choose live.    

Beautiful, uplifting objects have the power to support your dreams and purpose.  Here's to creating the lives we want and feeling good in the place we call home.