So, You Want To Learn Japanese?

Ah, I can recall like it was yesterday- sitting at my desk, one that served as just a mere link in the u-shaped chain of students the teacher had us in so they could see all our faces. Day after day, class after class our environment stayed the same. Only the teachers that entered the classroom marked the change of the subject.

After lunch, the clock would chime and that’s when you could hear the click-clacking of heels approach the room. “Hola clase!” The fabulously dressed tan-skinned woman would announce. And that marked the beginning of Spanish class. My nemesis…

Each day we would run through the grammar “Yo soy. Tu eres. El/Ella eles” and the vocabulary “gato. perro. lapis.” And each day I would get restless and bored. “Why do we have to do this?” I would say in my rebellious child-brain. “Speaking something different is cool. But why do I have to learn what they want me to?”

It didn’t take long for me to stumble upon Japanese. My 13-year-old self was already staying up past midnight to catch “Inuyasha” on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” block. One of my favorite parts, aside from all the half-demon fighting monsters in ancient Japan, was the opening and ending theme songs. Unlike the dubbed story content, they always aired in Japanese. Then, it dawned on me. Why not learn one of those very songs I loved? Cue music:

“Fukai Mori” by Japanese artist Do As Infinity marked the beginning of a lifelong journey. This one, simple decision shaped my entire life. Once I mastered mimicking the words of the song, I wanted more. I wanted to know what the words meant. Thus, I began self-teaching with the help of early 2000’s internet resources. Fast forward 11 years and I was enrolling in university to obtain a BA in East Asian Studies. Two years after that, I was packing my bags to live abroad in Japan for 5 months which turned out to be the time of my life. Let me tell you, there is absolutely nothing more empowering than living out a childhood dream or any dream for that matter. Fast forward to 2019, I found myself retracing my “steps-of-study-abroad-past” visiting all the places that still held so much nostalgia for me. Which brings us to today, an October evening in 2020.

Here I am, age 30 and still studying. Though my fluency may not be where I’d want or expect it to be, making my way through Japan alone last year is something I’m proud of! But I still need more. I just recently decided I want to study there again in a few years for six more months. I want to be able to buy books and read them. I want to turn on a Japanese tv show and understand it. I’m what you would call a “forever student” and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Self-study gives me direction, it gives me a purpose in life and brings me immense joy. Did you know the kanji for caterpillar translates to “fur bug”? Like, come on, that’s freaking delightful!! And the word for testicles is literally “gold balls”. Nuff’ said.

Anyway, you’ve heard my story, now I’d like to hear yours. Why do you want to start this journey? What brought you here? Why Japanese? What do you want to get out of it? How will it make you feel once you can start understanding things, not in your native language? Think about it really hard. Do you have a clear intention now? Great! Let’s go- 行こう!

My Japanese is all over the place thanks to the books I found on my own and learning different things in Japanese and American classrooms. Trying to find something that fit my level while teaching me new things and keeping my engaged seemed hopeless. I had no idea what my proficiency level was until I stumbled upon the golden trio:

  • Wanikani
  • Lingodeer (and Lingodeer Plus)
  • Japnese From Zero!

With the help of these sites and apps, I took the plunge and started learning from scratch and it is one of the best decisions I made since the initial one all those years ago.

Wanikani is a website and app that drills over 2000 kanji and 6000 vocab words into your head through the use of a smart system that spaces out what you know from what you don’t know. Its levels range from 1-60 and by the end of it, you will be able to read proficiently (or so they say, I’m on level 6). The first three levels are free but after that, it’s $9 a month. So worth it.

The next app is “LingoDeer”. Not only is the mascot super adorable, but it also has a second app called “LingoDeer Plus” that offers learning games to supplement the original. It also has more languages than “Wanikani” and “Japanese from Zero!”, making it more appealing to a broader audience. Throughout each lesson, you will learn new vocab, grammar, and have mini-quizzes.

Lastly, “Japanese from Zero!” has been my main go-to for learning new grammar and content. George, the creator of JFZ!, is an American who moved to Japan with his military father when he was 12. Since then, George has dedicated his life to learning (mostly) Japan, Korean, and Chinese. His insight as a “foreigner” looking in offers helpful tidbits for people who’s native language is English. He is also great at giving the “why” to language rules so you get a well-rounded view of what you’re learning.

Some tips before we dive in:

Learning a language is what you make of it. There are several different components to learning a language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and it’s natural to excel in one over the other. Consistent practice will go a long way.

Be patient with yourself. Learning a language will be a super frustrating times. I remember while in Japan, me and a few classmates walked out of the room because we were so frustrated we couldn’t understand what the CD was saying. Which leads to the next tip:

Context is everything! Learning things out of context can make things seem harder than they are. If you’re stuck on something, try making up a fun situation in your head that fits with what you’re learning or look up the proper usage online.

Below is a schedule that I have created for myself and am now sharing with all of you. It outlines all of Japanese 1 course 1 with “Japanese from Zero!”- a total of nine and a half weeks. You’ll notice I don’t list the use of “LingoDeer” in the schedule. You can use that as supplementary work. “Japanese from Zero” teaches Japanese in a different way than the typical starting places of many textbooks. Also, note that I provide the links to the videos on YouTube. You can take to the website instead of a more comprehensive look at each lesson, including a breakdown of the vocabulary and what you should be learning when.

Japanese 1 Course 1 Outline:

  • 3 lesson videos per week
  • 1 “One thing in Japanese” every two weeks
  • 2 Japanese in 5! per week
  • WaniKani 3 times per week

Week One


Japanese Pronunciation Basics (15 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

KIERU vs KESU – Japanese in 5! #1


Japanese Numbers PT 1 (1 – 99) (22 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Hitokoto #1 – AIKAWARAZU


Japanese Numbers PT 2 (100 – 9999) (14 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

How to say “You Should” in Japanese – Japanese in 5! #2

Week Two


Japanese Numbers PT 3 (10,000 to 99,999) (14 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

How to say “Because” in Japanese – Japanese in 5! #3


Japanese Numbers PT 4 (100 million and above) (25 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)


Japanese Numbers PT 5 (Zero) (7 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

I want you to… – Japanese in 5! #4

Week Three


Lesson 1: Creating Simple Sentences (22 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Japanese Particles in 5 minutes! – Japanese in 5! #5


Japanese first meeting (10 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)


Japanese age related (15 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Light hearted Japanese phrases – Japanese in 5! #6

Week Four


Working with a Japanese topic (30 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Japanese Punctuation – Learn Japanese in 5 minutes! #7


Possession and Particle NO (18 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Hitokoto #2 – ZANNEN NAGARA


Subject Marker GA vs WA (9 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

“Maybe” in Japanese – Learn Japanese in 5 minutes! #8

Week Five


Colors and Three types of adjectives (15 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

JI5 – Adverbs #9


Linking and Disliking (19 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)


Making things negative with Janai (15 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

JI5 – What is MITAI? #10

Week Six


The ONE pronoun (7 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)



Making い adjective negative (24 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Hitokoto #3 – NEN NO TAME NI


Locations and the どこ word group (10 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

JI5 – “Whether or not” # 12

Week Seven


The BUT Connector (11 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

JI5 – Speak Japanese Like A Pro #13


Months and Days of the Month (25 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)


Past Tense DESHITA (12 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

JI5 – Japanese Grammar HODO #14

Week Eight


Days of the week and Years (17 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

JI5 – Japanese Grammar TE MIRU #15


This, Next, and Last Dates (14 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Hitokoto #4 – KEDO


Asking for Things (20 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

JI5 – Japanese Grammar PPOI #16

Week Nine


Japanese Counters (30 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)


Time and Location Particles (22 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)


Telling Time in Japanese (22 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Week Ten


From and Until Particles (15 mins)

Wanikani (10 mins)

Voila! There you have it: a stepping stone to strengthening your mind and broadening your horizons. I wish you all the best and hope you have a blast with this journey! I encourage to you leave me a comment or send an email if you’d like to talk more! I’d love to hear from you 🙂

Love and light, 

Ze 💜

**Disclaimer: I am not associated with any links that I post. All programs, products, sites that I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are from the Google search engine. Where applicable, consult with any physicians necessary before embarking on a fitness journey.**

Abundance: Everybody Wants It, But Don’t We Already Have It?

The world, as we know it, is driven by desires. I want to buy this; I want to go here; I want to do this; I want, I want, I want.

On “The Abundance Code”- a series on Gaia, a streaming conscious media website, episode one, which is aptly named “The Scarcity Trap,” they explore what it exactly means to be abundant. Along with how we are influenced in our day-to-day lives to believe we do not have it.

As an American society, we traditionally believe abundance is associated with money. From childhood, we are brain-washed from the media and our parents of the grand influence money has over us. How it dictates what type of life we have and how we need an overwhelming amount to be stress-free. We learn that once we reach adolescence, we are to join millions of people in the workforce for the next 50, 60, maybe even 70 years. 

In addition to this, we are handed out these “rules”- ones most of us don’t think twice about- that we must abide. The biggest one is about education. You go to preschool, elementary school, then middle school, and high school- all while being bombarded with other people’s ideas about how life is. Then guess what happens after that: more school. Can’t afford it? No worries! You can take out loans to cover it. You’ll be paying it back until your 50, but who cares! You’re 19, and that’s a long way off.

Like so many others, I am a living example. By the time I was a teenager, I knew that I wanted to travel the world, and I knew that I generally liked to learn new information, so going to college straight out of high school was a viable option. I was willing to accrue debt for these things- because society said it was normal and what is money at that age besides video games and food? I went to a community college for a year then I moved out to California for a few months to pursue film. It was my first time living on my own. I ended up getting very sick, and I just wanted to be home. So I transferred to the school’s campus back in Boston. After three years, I finished the film portion of the curriculum and moved onto TV production- how to conduct an interview, which plug went into what- all things I didn’t care about. And the worst thing was I knew I was lying to myself.

In the industry, you traditionally started from the bottom and worked your way up- I knew that wasn’t going to work for me. So I transferred to my first-choice school to study what excited me: learning about different cultures and people. There, I studied abroad like I originally dreamed. After I graduated, I had a Bachelor’s degree, the same two jobs I held throughout school (waitressing and cashiering), no job prospects, and a mountain of debt. Hurray! 

Once I got into the groove of the “real world” with nearly 100k in debt and making not even 35k a year, it was incredibly easy to feel like I was living in lack. And I wasn’t satisfied with my education to boot! I wanted more. I began to volunteer to help friends with their classes because I wasn’t willing to accrue even MORE debt of my own. 

Over the years of not using my degree, I had been fortunate enough to learn what my true passion was through all of this: hacking the system very system that teaches us to live in lack and fear- what seems only mythical- and live a happy and healthy life. I wanted to show others how to do the same. I knew all of the prescriptions “they” were passing out was bs. It was an innate knowing within. Though I wish I would’ve come to this conclusion earlier in life, I know it has led me to this very point. But how do you know when something is your passion?

It’s something that lights you up from the inside out. An energy source unlike any other fills you up, so much so that it’s almost dizzying. By following this passion and being brave enough to pursue it, you tap into the “abundance code” and break free from that trap that millions of others don’t even realize they’re living in.

The other big way we fall into this “trap” is in our jobs. People mostly are not encouraged to do what you love or think about how it serves you and the people around you. Throughout school, you learn you either like English, science, or math, or hate them. From that, you being to think about which major in college pertains to those. That then translates to what kind of job you can stand doing and makes the most amount of money- even if that means it sucks your soul dry.

Have you ever heard the adage “whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right?” Abundance follows the same principle in the way of whether or not you live life poorly. Yes, having less money is a more tangible thing, but perspective truly goes a long way. And now I would love to share some tips and truths on finance and abundance that have helped me adopt a more positive outlook:

ONE: The “Game”- the stark truth is money is a game played by high rollers and as long as they’re making it, they don’t care who is affected by it- as long as it isn’t them. That doesn’t mean, however, you have to play along. By spending your money consciously (such as shopping local and putting it towards things and people that do good,) you can take back control of a corrupt system and help fund the humanity our society desperately needs.

TWO: The “50/30/20 Rule”- The idea is 50% of your income AFTER taxes goes to needs (bills, food, transportation, etc.), 30% goes to wants (travel, shopping, etc.), and 20% goes into savings. (If the word “budget” causes a visceral reaction, try switching it to “healthy spending.”) Though it may be unattainable for a lot of people, following this rule or getting as close as you can to it can help cast a light on your finances and serves as a great platform to see where your money is going. Financials are a “taboo” thing to talk about so I’m going to be real transparent here and tell you exactly how I put the 50/30/20 into action:

I have a full-time job and a part-time job. The income from my full-time job goes to bills, weekly food, gas, and my credit card. I have my paycheck automatically go into two different bank accounts. One is labeled “bills” and the other “day-to-day.” My part-time job (two days a week) goes strictly into a savings account. The 20% that goes into your savings is ideally for emergencies and retirement. In the past, I have used that for travel. I am not perfect, and I am always trying to refine my spending and save rather than spending it ALL on seeing the world. It’s a learning process. There is nothing wrong with baby steps. (side note: if traveling is a passion of yours as it is mine, find ways to make it cheaper rather than cutting it out completely. Never snuff the fire within.)

THREE: Manifestation- make a vision board, write in a journal, or the notes on your phone what you want in life like you already have it. Feel it. But don’t just stop there. There needs to be action behind it. Create small ways (steps) that will help you achieve those things. There is an idea that originated in Japan called “Kaizen.” According to Manisha Thakor, founder of “Money Zen,” the premise is to try to find the smallest incremental step that you can take to work on the area you are thinking about working on. And just do that. Start ridiculously small. By doing this, you are soothing your amygdala (fight or flight response because change is scary) and keeping it calm and quiet. “Kaizen” can apply to any aspect of your life. 

For example: since everything is on my phone, I like to transfer all the leftover change from my bills and day-to-day accounts into savings. This extremely small step allows me to put money away every day and helps me feel like I am taking action now rather than later. Another example is if you want to travel. Try picking a destination as the first step, the first day of the task. In a day or two, research different attractions or what you would like to do there. In a few more days, look up where you would like to stay. Don’t do these things all at once. Along the way, right down numbers and at the end, tally them up for a total. Then divide that number to figure out how much you need to save every day. The ways this can be applied are endless. 

FOUR: Gratitude- there are countless things to be grateful in this world: a roof over your head, clean water, a working bathroom, a shower, flowers, the sun & moon, etc. Within the things/people/places you are grateful for is true abundance. Once you take the time to start thinking of all the small things that make life beautiful, you begin to unlock a greater sense of peace within. It’s amazing. Some ways to cultivate gratitude in your everyday life are to write down in either a journal or the notes section of your phone 1-3 you’re grateful for or try a short mediation that centers around the subject. The more you do it, the easier it will become to call upon it, and pretty soon, abundance and gratitude will be a part of your everyday vocabulary. You start realizing all of the things and experiences you do have – related or unrelated to money. The more you’re in this state of abundance, the more of it you attract. It’s about shifting your mindset and your energy. 

FIVE: Shift the process- money as we know it is an outdated, broken system. And most of it is spent unconsciously. Rather than piecese of metals and paper bills, think of money as an energy exchange- because that’s what it is. Your time and energy doing something are compensated by money, which you then exchange for something else- another form of energy. Thinking like this can help some to be more aware of how money and time are being spent. “Do I want to put all the energy it took to earn this and blow it at a Walmart or Target?” (We’ve all been there) Put it towards things and places that make you feel good and have a good mission, something you believe in, behind it. 

If you take anything away from this, please have it be to think for yourself, follow your heart and gut, and realize you are more than what society says you are. Abundance is all around us. We just have to open our minds and our eyes to see it. 

Love and light, 

Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not associated with any links that I post. All programs, products, sites that I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are from the Google search engine. Where applicable, consult with any physicians necessary before embarking on a fitness journey.**

CTL Book Club

Now, some of you may be more of a Gaston:

While others may be more of a Sam:

But since you’ve clicked on this post, I suspect you’re more like Sam. So let’s talk about books!

Reading is something that I adore. But, ever since I graduated from college, I no longer had hours to spend on a train doing that and the number of books I’ve read has plummeted. 

Short story: When I was younger, I hated reading. It took too much time and was so boring. I’d much rather be doing anything else. It wasn’t until high school that I picked up a book for entertainment’s sake. You could say I liked school as much as anyone (take what you will from that), but everything else seemed pointless to me, Most classes were borderline painful.

One day saw a friend reading a book with a tantalizing cover. It turned out to be a story about vampires (before it became a thing) and suddenly it was everything my 14-year-old brain wanted to be involved with. No, it wasn’t Twilight… that obsession came later on. This friend had a library in her locker and lent me the first book in the series. From that moment, I was hooked. Thus began my decade of reading and paying more attention to stories than the goings-on of a classroom.

Fast forward to my 29-year-old self who works two jobs (one being a book store) and is pretty okay at hanging out with people (pre-corona), I don’t read as much. With that being said, I still try to get a book in now and then. In the past, I wrote a book review on Spirits and Guides by DJ Conway (which you can view here) and I would like to continue to write reviews. This time, however, instead of doing one at a time, I’ll share short and sweet summaries of the books I have read over the past year or so.

You’ll need tissues when reading this book, but if you have ever loved and lost a beloved pet, this book will give you a different perspective on death- helping you to heal. Losing someone dear to you can leave behind guilt, pain, fear, and more, but after reading this sweet book, all of that will lessen.

Loaded with pictures of sound waves, you visually get to see the audio waves of positive versus negative words and truly grasp the idea that is vibration. People seem to either love or dislike Doreen Virtue, but putting that aside, this short book is unlike any other in which you are presented with the opportunity to see how you say affects you.

This book provides you with tools and a foundation to begin a spiritual practice – from remembering dreams to confronting your shadows. “The term quantum warrior is a metaphor for what is possible in our life, and around this metaphor we build am elaborate mythology based upon the truths that quantum reality reveals to us.” It teaches us wisdom as old as time itself: we are a part of consciousness and we are all one. Drawing parallels between theology, mythology, and the human experience we know today, I will be reading this book again.

Compiled of 111 different “vibes”, this book starts from the root chakra and works it way up with short blurbs and a meditation about how to align with your highest self. You can do one a day or use it as an oracle and flip to what the universe wants you to know immediately. This book is great for people who want to incorporate some type of spiritual practice into their everyday lives. Also, the cover is shiny. *_*

Sophia’s Tale is just as it states in its subtitle: a fairytale for adults. A retelling of the Gnostic myth, Pistis Sophia, our protagonist, Sophia, lives in the City of Rainbow Light and dreams of a prince. Once her father forbids her to go to him, she leaves her home to follow her heart. Thus her journey from child to woman begins as she uncovers truths about herself and the world around her. This novella is fast-moving and easy to read that keeps you wanting to turn the page. “Wisdom is a language. Silence, its tongue. Wholeness, its destination.”

The first in a series of seven, “Throne of Glass” is a book about Erilea’s notorious assassin, Celeana Sardonthian. Saved from slavery in the salt mines of Endovier, we follow Celeana through a tournament of champions to win her freedom. However, one by one, the champions are brutally murdered. Celeana needs to find the murderer before she’s next and looses her second chance at life. This book is engaging, to say the least. It switches perspective from Celeana to other characters in the story, only giving the reader pertinent information as the story unfolds its enticing mysteries. Young adult fantasy fiction is my jam and this book satisfies that.

As we get older and like with most things, just sitting down and reading can be a challenge. After a long day at work, you would rather mind-meld into a show, eat mindlessly, and go to bed. I’m aware that reading culture is strong for a lot of people- as it once was for me-, but times ebb and flow. If you are like me, I’d like to share a tip on how you can start reading once more:

I try to dedicate 30 minutes a day before bed for fiction and 30 minutes on my day off for nonfiction. Just set the timer on your phone and read until it sounds. Your brain will be so much happier. Reading an actual book stimulates the brain differently from a tv show or a video game. Don’t get me wrong, I binge things on Netflix and turn on my PS4 from time to time, however, there is no imagination involved. Your mind isn’t at work mentally painting the sidewalk of a city, constructing the face of a character, or mapping out the walk from the forest to the castle.

Love and light,
Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

Coronavirus – An Unpopular Opinion

By now, I’m sure you are well aware of what is going on in the world pertaining to health and wellness or lack thereof. The infamous “Covid-19” has plagued the planet and people are running scared, hoarding groceries, and filing for unemployment. And what are we to do you when the entire world is telling us we’re all sick? FEAR LIFE ITSELF, of course. Right? Absolutely wrong.

Just as day turns into night and one season changes into another, life is also a cycle filled with good things and bad things. It’s how we learn to appreciate what we have. Every generation seems to go through a monumental event in time- a war, an economic collapse, assassinations. The Coronavirus is serving as just that for this generation.

The stillness that this has brought upon us has (hopefully) caused us to stop in our tracks and think. One thing you can count on in this world is change- transformation, evolution. Another thing you can count is that everything is a matter of perspective. Perspective during troubling times can either make or break us teaching us who we are in the process.

“Fear is just a prayer for something we don’t want.”

Dr. Debra Gambrell from Gaia’s “Real Immunity”

Ever hear someone say “stop worrying, you’ll make yourself sick?” There is truth in that. Fear, stress, and worry literally lower your immune system. They target your adrenals and thyroid glands which are your body’s way of handling stress. Don’t believe me? Check out these articles:


“To conquer fear is to gain wisdom.”

Gaia’s “Real Immunity”

 Along with words like “Coronavirus” and “Covid-19”, the media is also throwing “social distancing” and “quarantine” our way. These have become synonymous with our current existence.

As we also know, the media is a fear-mongering mechanism that mostly shares the terribleness of what’s going on. I’m here to tell you that it is okay to step away from the news- from the chaos and the fear. You don’t have to watch it 24/7. Quoting a dear friend of mine, “you need to know what’s going on, but it gets to a point where watching the monkies dance just becomes depressing and you need to have some humor to balance it out.” This is also a fact. It’s scientifically proven that laughter boosts the immune system: “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke”  

Side note: If politicians and government have already known about the virus before it blew to the proportion that it has, how then, are you sure you can trust the very information they are shelling out on the media? Flipping the coin, it’s not worth it to cast blame. The point is that it is here now and the way you react sets a standard for yourself and others.    


Can we also please change the terminology that’s been springing up? It’s not a “disease” nor a “war”. It’s a virus and a new challenge to overcome with help from everyone around the world. Let us be thankful that here in America, it’s not an actual war where people are dying in the streets at the hand of another. With wording like this, we create resistance within ourselves. Resistance creates stress and as we know stress lowers the immune system.  

During the past 2 years, there has been an emphasis in health and wellness routines that encapsulate mind, body, and spirit- mostly confined to the “new age” community and millennials. The whole Corona Virus thing has just kicked all of that into high gear. Because of this, there is a good portion of people who are thrilled to have ample time for self-care, meditations, journaling, reading, etc. There is also a good portion of people who are asking themselves, “how do I even do that?”, “where do I start?”, or even “who am I without the people and things I’m used to being around?”  

Short story: There was a moment after a relationship had ended where I realized I didn’t know what to do when I was by myself. And at that moment, I vowed to change it and embarked on a journey of self-discovery That meant finding out what I enjoyed, what made me excited and becoming my own #1.  To begin walking this path and befriending yourself, here is a good list of questions to ask that I found on Instagram:    


You can also ask yourself has there been a project you wanted to start or a skill you wanted to pick up? What about a book you’ve put off reading? Is there a place you always wanted to travel? Plan it out for the future! This isn’t going to last forever, you know (but a lot longer than 2-weeks). Find out what you’ve always wanted to do, learn, and aspire to be. Think about the steps you’ll take to get there. When you get sad, depressed, angry- whatever- feel it, express it healthily and move on.  

Another thing to think about is what this is teaching us as individuals and as a collective. A couple observations I’ve made are:  

1. It is teaching us how important self-care is. This is the time (always, but especially now more than ever) to take care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

2. It is also teaching us togetherness- yes, there are loads of people who are frantic and panicking that they will get sick and are in turn acting from a place fear, not putting their best selves forward, BUT that can’t be said for everyone. It is an active choice one makes to display compassion and kindness during times like these. Below are accounts and people who had made/make that choice:

Here are some more things to think about:

  1. You guys, SPRING IS HERE! Birds are chirping, bulb flowers have begun to awaken from their slumber, there are buds on trees and greener grass!
  2. With all of this mandated quarantine,  the earth gets to heal from all the nonsense we have wrought upon her. She gets to breathe again and breathe anew. That’s beautiful.
  3. There are so many people offering free services and classes right now. Look around the internet!
  4. People are becoming more conscious- more aware- of their thoughts and actions.
  5. Positive Pioneers! There have been loads of individuals stepping to the forefront to help society, both locally and abroad.
  6. Your body wants you to live. There are more forces working for you than against you. Trust that everything will be okay.
  7. For the love of all divine, please do not spend all of your time sedentary. It will drive you mad. There are lots of workouts being created daily and ones targeted to boost immunity specifically. Move your body! It will make you feel better.
  8. Take it day by day. Make a routine for yourself. Have a task list of all the things you want to accomplish. Stay focused and present.
  9. Please keep in mind small businesses- restaurants, convenience stores, specialty stores, hair salons, etc. If you have disposable income, buy from them. If their products are unattainable, buy a gift card. It’s the small businesses we want to see thrive and they actually need our help.

And if I may take a moment to share my feelings on this pandemic: *clears throat* I will no longer accept a negative mindset or shy away from my perspective. I am putting my foot down and choose to stand by the tools that have helped me overcome all the propaganda and collective social BS. Hope is not lost. Everything happens for a reason. Your truth is your truth and mine is mine, but mentality sets the stage for how you deal with this. Let’s all just respect that.  

Honestly, I hope that when we all is said and done, things won’t be as they were before. As this has all taught us, it can’t be. Think about how complacent our lives have pretty much been, expecting that we can just go to the movies, dine out at a restaurant, go to school, etc. Our society needed something to shake us out of our stupor and look at things with a new lens. The world needed to change. Have you noticed how we are all more of a global community? This is something that we are ALL going through and it is tremendous. And I for one, am really excited to see what the future holds. Like I said in the title, this is my unpopular opinion.   

Please remember, everything will always, always be okay. You are not alone. Our humanity is what unites us. We will adapt and overcome as we always have. That is what we as humans do. Stay present, take it moment by moment. This too shall pass and when it does, don’t forgo everything you’ve accomplished and acquired during your social isolation.

Do your part: sanitize things, wash your hands, respect social distancing (easy for most introverts, am I right? 😉) and breathe.  

Love and Light,

Ze ❤️


**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**


Where Is My Mind?

Meditation has become more integrated into our current society. It is not all that uncommon to hear the word, how it has helped people, and how they have made it a part of their daily lives. But if you haven’t tried it or have tried and couldn’t get your mind to settle down, you may have already counted it out as unattainable. I’m here to try to convince you why you should give it a go.


A lot of this world promotes being outside of yourself and gives you plenty of resources to do so- endless tv shows, social media, alcohol, drugs, etc. only to bait and hook you and your desires for more and more product consumption. And when it becomes socially acceptable to be mindlessly consumed by them, the only solution to become mindFUL. All of what you’re looking for is already present within you.



Learning how to cultivate peace and tranquility from within is something that takes time. It’s about learning how to step back and become aware of your thoughts rather than getting caught up in the story behind them. Adding a meditation regimen to your day is one of the most rewarding things you can do- I can personally attest to this.

Some back story: My mind always lived in the future. I was always thinking about what was going to happen next- next week, next month, next year. It got to the point where I didn’t even care to make friends because I didn’t plan on staying where I was. Life was passing on, but I was still just waiting for my “plan” to come to fruition. What happens when you live like that is you never appreciate what is right in front of you or how your actions and words affect others. Living with a future mindset also riddles you with anxiety since you’re always anticipating something. It’s not fun.

I had heard of meditation before, but it always seemed a little too “out there” for me. I was shy about it and felt self-conscious even trying to begin. When I became more dedicated to living a life of wellness, that was when I gave it a shot. I had already integrated things I loved to do into my day-to-day by starting with just 5 minutes. As “corpse pose” helps your body integrate everything you have done in your yoga practice, I decided to use meditation to integrate everything I do in the morning before I went into the world.

Through meditating, I have gained an awareness of my thoughts, actions, and interactions with all things around me. I learned (and am still learning) to take things day by day and not live in the next moment before it even happens. My anxiety has decreased significantly and I am aware of the things that trigger it which helps to prevent any attacks.

If you don’t believe me, believe science! Here are a few great articles about what meditation can do for you:

  1.’s “The Science of Meditation”
  2. Psychology Today’s “The Science of Meditation” (yes, both articles have the same title)
  3. Greater Good Magazine’s “The State of Mindfulness Science”.

I am sure that after all of that riveting information, you have been inspired to try it yourself! winking-face_1f609



How do you begin? By making it easy for yourself! Start out by doing it 2-3 times a week, 5 minutes a day for at least 3 weeks. If you are thinking that is too much, think about what else you may do for 5 minutes every day already *ahem* scroll through social media perhaps? You are most certainly capable of taking 5 minutes to do something good for yourself. Heads up though, doing something mindlessly for that amount of time versus mindfully will feel different. It may feel like an eternity in the beginning. Mindfulness and awareness are skills to be acquired, but in the process, you will learn more about yourself and navigate through this world with eyes wide open.

Sidenote: Anyone can do it! Unlike the “” definition precariously suggests, meditating isn’t solely attached to any religious practices.

Did you know meditation doesn’t even have to be sitting cross-legged in silence? There are guided meditations (my personal favorite), mudras, chanting, and moving meditations. Here are some free tools to get you started:

  • Simple Habit: This app is my go-to after “Calm” became nearly subscription access only. Simple Habit is heading that way, BUT they still have free programs such as “Ease Your Fear and Anxiety”, “Foundations of Mindfulness”, and “Detox Your Thoughts”- and it is all guided. When a new program comes out, there is a free trial period. The great thing is that it will be available until it’s not- no payment required. Simple Habit also has an “On The Go” section where you choose what you are doing and the amount of time you have. And if you like pretty relaxing sounds, they have a “soundscape” section as well.

  • Daily Mudras: This app has a library of different mudras (hand positions). It gives you some background on their uses and benefits. Each mudra is typically held between 10-15 minutes and there are several background sounds/music you can choose from. While these meditations are not guided, they provide an alternative from the traditional. They also send notifications for their short and sweet blog posts about healthy living.  

As for moving meditations, I recommend Qi Gong and Yin Yoga with affirmations. Qi Gong focuses on breathing with intention as you release and guide energy in your body. Yin Yoga with affirmations focuses on static stretches while repeating a sentence over and over again while observing your inner reactions. Check out these YouTube channels and videos if you’re interested:

Qi Gong Channels: Yoqi Yoga and Qi Gong

Qi Gong Videos:

  1.  Qi Gong Full 20-Minute Daily Routine
  2.  QiGong For Beginners
  3. Daily QiGong Routine

Yin Yoga Channels: Yoga with Kassandra and Yoga with Heather

Yin Yoga Videos:

  1.  Yin Root Chakra
  2.  Yin Yoga with Affirmations for Self-Love & Healing
  3.  Yin Yoga with Affirmations for Peace & Guidance

P.S If you caught the song reference in the title, check out my favorite rendition here.

As always, I wish you all the best and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out!

Love and light,
Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

The Road To Happiness

Happiness is not a destination,  it’s a journey, it’s progress, and most importantly, it’s the present moment.

In order to have a brighter tomorrow, we first need to go into the darkness within ourselves and heal. There is no magical pill nor is there anything we can do over night. It takes work, consistency and dedication. But it is so incredibly worth it.

As we’ve all come to learn in this world, there are opposites to everything. Hot and cold, positive and negative,  light and dark, yin and yang. And although people strive to stay on the more pleasurable aspects of life, the opposites are a necessity. They are not to be regarded as bad. They provide an alternative and much needed perspective in order to find harmony and balance. As individuals, we all want light and positivity, but, we cannot experience it without the dark and negativity. The dark represents introspection. This is where our journey begins and shadow work comes into play.

What is “shadow” exactly? According to Scott Jeffery of CEOSage, he describes it as such:

The shadow is the “dark side” of our personality because it consists chiefly of primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire, and the striving for power. All we deny in ourselves—whatever we perceive as inferior, evil, or unacceptable—become part of the shadow. The personal shadow is the disowned self. The shadow can operate on its own without our full awareness. It’s as if our conscious self goes on autopilot while the unconscious assumes control.

So then, shadow work would be actively delving into our shadow and unpack everything that has been stored there overtime. Doing this is what helps shift us into a new reality, changes our perspective, and allows us to be happy.

We are made up of more than just of our physical body. We also have an energetic body and it is within the energy body that houses pent up emotions and traumas and can lead to manifestations of disease. When we fill up on toxins, whether they be from our food, environment, resolved issues, etc., they can spread to the physical body in the form of sickness. Shadow work can help with the release of these blockages. I thoroughly believe healing your emotional body can relieve stress and tension, and heal physical symptoms.

At this point, you may be asking yourself where to begin. How can you work on healing your shadow self? By dedicating time in your everyday life. In time, you will heal your body and mind piece by piece.

I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to do this is with affirmations. For example, by telling ourselves a positive statement such as “I am beautiful and worthy of love” you may agree with this or your body started to tense up and feel uneasy. It’s easy for us to compliment others, but we can have a harder time saying it to ourselves. The next step is to ask yourself “why do I feel this way?” and the exploration begins.

For all the active bodies out there, Yoga with Kassandra started a new series “Yin Yoga with Affirmations”. In these videos she explains shadow work as well, and suggests to have a journal nearby to write anything down that comes up. Below is a trailer of the series on her app. I’ve included links to her free yin and affirmation videos at the end of the post.

I also recommend checking out Jeffery Scott’s post Shadow Work: A Complete Guide To The Shadow. There, he explain about the topic in-depth and offers several different methods on shadow work.

It’s so interesting what you can find out about yourself just by sitting back and observing how you react to different things.

Aside from yoga, meditation and observing my reactions, I also use my dreams as a tool. When I was younger, I knew that dreams for something special for me and have forever used them as a way to learn, heal, and escape. Pay attention to themes, reoccurring dreams and write them down and as you work on energetic healing, watch how your dreams manifest and shift.

As the seasons change around us and days get darker faster, Winter is the perfect time to check in, dive deep and explore all that you are. Be the detective, the scientist, the scholar and when negative emotions or reactions come up, ask yourself “why do I feel this way?”. I promise you that by the time Spring arrives and the warm sunshine glows, you’ll emerge as a much happier and even more beautiful flower than ever before.

Love and light,
Ze ❤

To view Yoga with Kassandra’s Seasonal Yoga videos, click here.
To view Yoga with Kassandra’s Yin and Affirmation videos, click 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.
To read a witchy take on shadow work, click here.


  • Try playing some healing vibrations while you’re sleeping or studying, by visiting Healing Vibration’s YouTube channel.
  • In the mood for a quick energetic shift? Click here for Yoga Galatica’s Shamanic Breath Work and Sound Healing video.

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

I’m Sorry You Guys, I suck.

I’m Sorry You Guys, I suck.

How many times do you hear people say things like that around you? How many times do you say things like that to yourself? How about your friends and family? Maybe you don’t even notice you’re doing it.

Our society has built up an “ideal person” for everything so it’s easy the feel inadequate. There’s an ideal woman, an ideal man, an ideal worker, an ideal partner, the list goes on forever. Who created these standards anyway? No one knows. These ideals actually have nothing to do with you. But how do they get perpetuated? Through us. Through me and through you.

Let me ask you this: Would you ever say to your best friend “omg you’re so bad at this how do you even function? You suck!”? How about “you look so fat in that you should never go outside again!”? I really hope the answer is no. But, I bet at some point in your life you’ve said something like that to yourself.

As much as we might want to be, humans are not cookies. You can’t roll out the dough, use a cutter, and expect all of them to bake the same. Sometimes one is thicker than the other. Sometimes one is darker, smaller, crisper, etc. (Unless you’re an adept Baker. To which I am not so those are what my cookies look like). There are different flavors, added ingredients, different baking times that all effect how we come out. Actually, maybe we’re more like cookies than I thought…

As humans, our brain is hardwired towards negativity. It’s a survival strategy that we’ve integrated from way back when. So, it’s not all our fault. But guess what, you can change that! That’s right, you can rewire your brain to think more positively and it starts with being nicer to yourself.

Don’t apologize for something out of your control! (Obviously unless its condolences) I hear people talk themselves down quite often, especially when they are starting something new- a new job, a new physical activity or a new project. But think about it, how are you supposed to be amazing at something if you have literally never done it before? It’s a learning experience. We’re humans. We learn stuff.

I am so very tired of hearing people talk themselves down. It hurts to think that they are putting that kind of energy out into the world and into themselves. Starting treating yourself kinder and like you’re your own best friend, because guess what, you are. You are with yourself in your head 24/7 so wouldn’t you rather that space be filled with more positive, loving, and encouraging thoughts? Changing your mind to embrace a new thought process is 100% possible. I vouch for it because I have been on the other side of it. That’s why I am such a big advocate for affirmations and meditation.

It’s not a joke to say bad things about yourself or others. Words vibrate at certain frequencies on a range from low to high. I’m sure you’ve heard the terms “good vibes” , “positive vibes”, “bad vibes”, etc. These are actually based on something legitimate. Words can act like a liquid poison seeping into every inch of the body twisting and decaying it. Or, they can act like a like an elixir, one that nurtures and heals the body. Your energy body reacts regardless of if words are spoken aloud or internally. In a paper I once wrote for school, I described this topic a bit further:

Recall the scene in Jurassic Park where its dark and rainy and the children are stuck in the park Jeep. It’s silent. One of the children notices a ripples in a cup of water- there’s a light vibration. Then, the ripples increase as the T-Rex draws nearer, causing fear and panic. Put this on pause for a moment and shift gears. Imagine a friend comes up to you and calls you beautiful. How does it make you feel?  Uplifted? Brings a smile to your face? Now, they call you ugly. How does this make you feel? Shrunken? Does it bring you down?  These words can make you feel different things because words have energy.

Going back to the rippling cup of water, imagine “beautiful” and “ugly” as droplets falling from the Ether into our bodies creating the same ripples the T-Rex’s footsteps did. What follows in the wake of that droplet- how you react- is completely up to you. Thoughts, spoken words, and written words all produce their own vibrations that effect us on a molecular level. 

On a scale ranging from low energy to high energy, negative thoughts or words are on the low side and positive words are on the high side. Think of the word “no”. Feel it. Embrace it. Feel how your energy body reacts. Its vibration is low, short, and has some nasty residue to it. The following words live on the same spectrum: “broke”, “poor”, “sick”, “war”, “murder”, “betrayal,” and “lie”.  Low energy words make us feel sad, depressed, angry, and significantly impact how we view ourselves and the world around us. Now, think of the word “yes”. Its vibration is higher. It has a “going uphill” feel to it, making you just even the smallest bit brighter. High energy words make us feel good and help attract good things. Some examples of these words are “happy”, “healthy”, “positive”, “love”, “beautiful”, “warm”, and “light”. Just by reading words full of high energy, you should be able to feel your body react, even slightly.

I recently started a book called “Quantum Warrior” by John Kehoe that takes all of this a step further. This book mentions six universal laws that govern our thoughts, minds, and consciousness and I would like to share them with you.

Law #1 Thoughts are Real Forces. Every thought is a force and an energy and is having an effect on your life.

Law #2 Law of Transmission. The mind is a sending and receiving station of thought.

Law #3 Law of Attraction. Thoughts that are emotionalized become magnetized and attract similar and like thoughts.

Law #4 Law of Control. We are forever experiencing thoughts, but we have the power and the ability to either entertain these thoughts or dismiss them.

Law #5 Law of Insertion. We have the power and the ability to insert any thought of any type into our mind.

Law #6 The inner and outer worlds are connected.

So folks, we do have the power to change the wiring in our minds and kick that negativity bias to the curb. We are in control of how we think and how we react to those thoughts and it all starts with you becoming your own #1. I leave you with some affirmations for self-love to repeat to daily. And also, just give yourself a damn hug!

  • I am mentally and physically strong
  • I am capable at everything I do
  • I am worthy of love
  • There is endless abundance all around me

To check out John Kehoe’s “Quantum Warrior”, click here.
To learn more about “The 6 Laws of The Mind”, click here.

Love and Light,
Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only. All images are obtained from Google search engine.**

Back To Basics

Hi guys! It’s been awhile. Things seemed to have finally calmed down after what felt like a very, very long build up. Between work and preparing for an international vacation, any energy I would normally use to write had been depleted. I can proudly say that I am rejunivinated and have gained a new sense of clarity. I’d like to share something that happened to me on my trip to Japan, an inward moment that has since helped me more definitively in thought and action.

The Prelude

As I lay in my hotel room alone in Tokyo at 3am, I can’t help but question, well, everything. Walking around the streets of Japan, I see everyone with a phone in their hands traversing through a technological wonderland- including me (thanks to the power of roaming). All of this has got me thinking- where do I stand in all of this? Who am I in a sea of people? Who am I when the crowds are gone, when there is no one around me, and it’s just me, myself, and I? What defines me against all others? What makes me me?

The Wake Up Call

This is the first solo trip I’ve taken and it has been amazing thus far. I’ve put myself out there and have been “where the people are” for the majority of my time. But, thanks to the rain and jetlag, for the past 3 hours I have been willingly confined to my hotel room watching numerous Jenna Marbles videos and “The Good Place” episodes. Everything was fine and dandy until I got a YouTube upload notification from Boho Beautiful. The video is called “Terrible Vegans” and their content has brought me to the previous questions and more.

This video momentarily shattered me. I felt like every inch of me was a piece of shrapnel hanging in mid air as time was frozen around me. What are my ethics? What are my morals? Where do I put my foot down in life and speak out against what I believe in? What are my inspirations, my passions, my motivators? This video had also presented an opportunityan opportunity to look at my entirety and learn about myself. I had the chance to look at all the pieces and select only the best to reconstruct a better “me”. But, to even begin to look within to find the answers, I needed to go back to basics.

For the past 4 days since I had arrived, I hadn’t meditated, hadn’t studied Japanese,  and had only done one work yoga video- all things that usually help me keep ahold of my identity. To go beyond this default and even begin to address everything I asked myself, I began here:

Question #1 – What do I believe in?

Belief #1: eating whole, non synthetic foods. I am all for eating veggies and fruits. And things with minimal ingredients.  Some vegan alternatives freak me out with all the things they combine just to make a vegan burger, mac n cheese, etc. Processed food is processed food.

Belief #2: committed to raising my frequency towards positivity, love and light. And offering others a way to do that in a world that perpetuates unhealthy practices for the sake of comradery.

Question #2 – What moves me? (always seek out these things out)

  • Nature
  • Esoteric/Occult/Metaphysical studies
  • Plant based food
  • Writing
  • Physical activities

With this now in mind and 6 days remaining in my trip, I have been given a gift to redefine myself…

Since returning from my trip, I have let my “what moves me” list guide me and so far, the results have been astounding. By realigning with I believe to be my purpose in life, everything just clicked. It has helped me step out of my comfort zone, act more confidently, and take action. This self work goes beyond one post of course, but I feel that answering “what do I believe in?” and “what moves me” are pretty good places to start.

So, my friends, I leave you with this: vacation is a great way to take you out of your element and reevaluate your day-to-day life while you’re on the outside of it. Does it resonate with your morals? Does it ignite your soul? If not, go back to basics.

Love and Light,
Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**

Mindvalley: Continued Education for Personal Growth

I’m the type of person who loves learning constantly. I went to school without a career in mind and just studied what I wanted to study. Now that I am out of school and going back isn’t really an option (thank you student loans), finding a way to stimulate my mind beyond books is a must.

Back in December 2018 through sufficient YouTube advertising, I discovered Mindvalley. It’s one of those places that offers free online seminars they like to call “Masterclasses”. I’ve ignored it in the past, but it wasn’t until the “spiritual fitness” class rolled around that I actually took a look at the site. Before I get into the spiritual fitness program, I’ll share with you more about Mindvalley.

Mindvalley was founded in 2002 by Vishen Lakhiani. It is an online institution, but they also meet all over the world. Mindvalley mission is to help people continue learning but cultivating real-life skills, most of them laying within the metaphysical realm. The different classes fall into the categories of productivity, mind & spirit, health, relationships, and careers. I’m aware that there are people who do not believe in such things as manifesting, affirmations and energy work. So if that’s you, consider that your heads up. 🙂

They offer loads of free 60 to 90 minute seminars with very interesting information. Of course towards the end, they will try to sell you the program, but of course, you do not have to enroll. Regardless, you get a pretty good, entertaining seminar. Before the program begins, they email you a link to a printable workbook to take notes during the class.

The spiritual fitness program called “Unlocking Transcendence” with Jeffery Allen is a 2-month meditation program. It is broken down into six 10-day focuses:

  1. Self-Awareness (Location and Time)
  2. Body- Awareness (Physical and Energy)
  3. Mind-Awareness (Inner and Outer)
  4. Spirit-Awareness (Intuition and Connection)
  5. Emotion-Awareness (Feeling and Empathy)
  6. Impact-Awareness (Personal and Global)

Each day there is a 10-20 minute guided meditation. Within the focus, the meditations build upon themselves. Jeffery Allen urges that if you miss a day, don’t worry about it and just continue on with the meditation for that day.

Honestly, I never imagined signing up for a program like this, but I had some pretty powerful experiences. I am glad I enrolled, and now I have the program to always go back to. Having a mind expanding tool like Mindvalley in your arsenal is integral when you feel blasé about life. It gives you something to think about and new avenues to explore. The length and flexibility of the Masterclasses provide a snippet of education for those who like the setting of their own home and not spending a dime!

To visit Mindvalley, click here
To view the Unlocking Transcendence Masterclass, click here
To view current Masterclasses, click here
To visit Mindvalley’s YouTube channel, click here

Ze ❤

**Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any links that I post. Any programs, products, sites, etc. I mention are for sharing purposes only.**