Say Goodbye to New Year Resolutions!

We’ve all been guilty of it. We have written down resolutions for the new year with hope that they will motivate us to jump on the “New Year, New Me” bandwagon.  We have either created a list of all the things and pounds we will be giving up in the new year or screenshots of random images, that will serve as reminders of resolutions that will remain in the lost untouched files that are just taking up space in our phone. We all have failed at them and then you hit a “deer in the headlights” moment when mid May comes around and you are far from that summer body you intended to work on. There goes the New Year Resolution list, it becomes a long lost memory, and “Oh what the heck! Bring on the Margaritas!”  becomes the new resolution because after all, who is really counting? You can’t keep up with a New Year resolutions list, let alone how many Margaritas you consume throughout the year.

Oh what the heck! Bring on the Margaritas!

I gave up creating New Year resolutions a couple of years ago when I realized they weren’t  ever effective. I think I stressed myself more creating the list than actually attempting to execute it into action.  Then at some point in the year, I would come across the file on my computer, and go through a whirlwind of emotions as I read all the things I totally failed to do. So I let go of it and promised myself I would no longer wait for the beginning of a new year to set short or long term goals for myself.  Ultimately, time is what I make of it and I don’t have to let social pressures push me to an anxious state of mind. Instead, I shifted to setting focused intentions.

“I gave up creating New Year resolutions a couple of years ago when I no longer found them effective.”


What are “focused intentions”? And how are they different from New Year resolutions?

The first thing that differentiates focused intentions to new year resolutions is that you can set them at any time in the year. Focused intentions are actions that you want to come into fruition in your “journey” not the “year”.   For example, instead of wanting a new “summer body” by the month of May, as a focused intention that new year resolution becomes an intention to be healthier so that you can live a healthier life. A healthier life will ultimately allow you to have a better physical experience in your late years on this earth. Focused intentions shifts from a “year to year” mentality to a “journey of life” mentality.   So if you don’t make it to mid May with your new summer body, instead of having a deer in the headlight moment you use that opportunity to set a new focused intention for a healthier lifestyle.

“Focused intentions shifts your mentality from a “year to year” mentality to a “journey of life” mentality.”

Focused intentions are not items on a bulleted list. They come from prayer, meditation or simply reflection. The key is awareness as you encounter experiences that don’t sit well with you. Experiences that your intuition calls for you to do something about. Listen to your intuition. It’s the little evolutionary gift our ancestors left behind for us to take advantage. As you begin to explore your focused intentions for your life’s journey, begin writing them down or recording yourself speaking them into existence. It will be more of thinking aloud rather than writing down a list of resolutions that are not truly intentional. Intentionality has a bad rep. However, being intentional means that you are acting with purpose rather than out of impulse or pressures imposed by society. Always explore your truth, what is best for your journey in this walk we call life, be intentional and be focused!


AfroLatina Natural



Photo credit: Pexel 



The biggest lie we tell ourselves

Between daily tasks and indispensable routines to make sure the household does not crumble into chaotic cries of all who share the same roof over their heads including yourself, as women, we often put off so many things we want to accomplish four ourselves. This leaves many women feeling like they are not living their best life.  This is very unfortunate but  often very true for many.

In my opinion, three of the most essential pieces to living a life of fulfillment is spirituality, health, and peace of mind. All these pieces working in harmony makes life so much easier. However, that’s easier said than done. From personal experience, once an unexpected life event throws a monkey wrench into my harmonious symphony of life, I go into survival mode and I just focus on the top priorities… my family and my job.

Anything related to my wellness and enjoyment goes down by the wayside. Maybe because I think I’m super woman and can handle it all. Because of course, if I don’t do it “Who is? “…right?  So I begin making excuses for anything related to my self-care and personal-growth goals and before you know it the sensation complacency takes over. Complacent with life as is.

Have you ever told yourself one of these phrases in the past year?

“When I have some more time, I will go to the gym.”

“When I pay off that credit card, I will start saving additional money.”

“When I have more time, I will begin working on that project.”

“When all this personal drama is over, I will be in peace”

If you haven’t, you probably have said something similar involving time and money and putting something off for tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and it never gets done. We are so focused on making sure everything else is well taken care of that at times we are living on survival mode and not actually living because of lack of time, health, money, etc…However, that is the BIGGEST LIE we tell ourselves.

The truth is that we fail to accept that we really don’t lack any of those things…we lack SELF-DISCIPLINE. Yup! I said it. We need to stop blaming TIME and MONEY when we should be blaming our lack of self-discipline to do things essential for our self-preservation and accomplishing tasks for our personal growth.

So STOP lying to yourself. Do some soul searching on what you really want to make a priority in your life. Our priorities can change from time to time and that is ok. After all, this is life and as we all know…life is ever changing. We need to be fluid in our journey.  Go back to the drawing board and begin writing down what are things YOUR REALLY want to accomplish to improve your wellness and personal growth. What are your focused intentions for the next 6 months or for 2018 as a whole? Once you have that in place make a plan to work towards it. A dream never becomes a reality unless you act on it. Is it hard? Yes! Does it take work? Yes! It’s hard work to practice self-discipline but the results are monumental.


So next time you consider saying “When I have more … I will get to do….” Stop yourself and rephrase it. Instead rephrase it to “I will accomplish…. Because I’m going to do X, Y and Z to make it happen”.  When you have an attitude of commitment to your focused intentions and ultimately yourself, you have won half the battle.

Stop lying to yourself, go back to the drawing board of priorities, plan and practice self-discipline by committing to YOURSELF.



Angie from  AfroLatina Natural

Media pic credit: Gordon Johnson


After the storm

By: Angie Galván-Rodríguez

“Mama, can we go back to Puerto Rico for our next family vacation?”, my twelve-year-old daughter asked me days before the school year began. I thought to myself, someone was already counting the days to our next vacation before school even started.  “Yes, I think we can work that out” and I grinned with content.  The conversation ended, school started and Puerto Rico was penciled in my calendar as a focused intention for a family trip in 2018.

Weeks later, on September 20th 2017, the island of Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane the island has faced since Hurricane Felipe in September 13th, 1928. There had been many more hurricanes in between but Maria came with intense magnitude and transnational trauma that gives way in these current times via social media real-time coverage of the good and the bad.  I couldn’t detach from the news casts or social media live posts of people on the island before they lost total power and communication .

I wept and my heart grew with melancholy as I watched the island that saw me bloom into late childhood, before I came to Chicago, be destroyed by a natural phenomenon.  My mind transported me back to my childhood memories playing in the hills of Colinas de Cacao in Carolina, the streets of Bayamón, Saturday afternoons flying chiringas in El Morro in Old San Juan, fun filled trips to El Yunque rainforest, and the beautiful scenery that would hypnotize my young eyes as I looked out the car window during family road trips through the island to enjoy Fiestas patronales.  Those beautiful memories began fading away and were overshadowed by reliving the terrifying memories of Hurricane Hugo I experienced as a child. I knew firsthand what people were feeling on the island. A feeling of despair and fear I don’t wish upon anyone. As the hurricane magnified through the island, I felt helpless and reacted by feeling numb and overwhelmed with sadness, a defense mechanism that I’m still trying to overcome.

After a day or two I was emotionally exhausted of watching horrific videos of floods and dangerous zinc plates dancing in category 4 winds, I contemplated fully unplugging after making a monetary donation towards hurricane relief funds. I attempted to detach to move forward with my week but my heart still felt for the island and the feeling of subtle despair remained.  I couldn’t manage to shake it off.

Among the various hurricane relief fundraising events in Chicago, I came across AfriCaribe’s Bombazo Para Puerto Rico!!!  , a fundraising event by Africaribe in collaboration with the  Puerto Rican Agenda’s  Hurricane Relief fund.   At that moment, my heart and soul new this is where I would find some relief for my emotional turmoil.

AfriCaribe was founded by Evaristo “Tito” Rodriguez back in 2000, after years of being a key community member of preserving and teaching AfroBoricua dance genres to Chicago youth.  Thanks to Tito’s community work, I myself found my re-connection and appreciation of AfroCaribbean dance at the age of twelve when I took Bomba y Plena dance classes with him. Back then, young Tito taught classes at “El Centro Cultural Ruiz 20170923_203839Belvis” when it was located on Milwaukee avenue in Wicker Park. Taking his Bomba classes and eventually attending AfriCaribe’s Bombazos as a teenager and then into adulthood, has served as a way to continue embracing that part of my identity that is grounded on Puerto Rican Heritage as a child as well as my Afro-Dominican roots. AfriCaribe has always been fully embracing and inclusive of all that embodies my multifaceted AfroLatinidad and sense of “Hija del Caribe”.

On Saturday 23rd, days after the Hurricane devastated the island, I attended the Bombazo with my two children. They too had to be part of this healing.  Along many others, we sat on the Batey-styled Casita de Don Pedro garden in Humboldt Park.

We listened to the drums “repicar” echoes of hope and the singing voices ring with strength.  We watched people step into the dance floor to dance Bomba and pay homage to the island and as well as a Puerto Rican art form that has transcended decades and has remained resilient among its people.  A bit rusty from what I once mastered in my youth, I stepped into the dance floor and I allowed the music take over.

 That night, music and dance filled the air and served as a vehicle of healing to help us embrace the love and the power of humanity.  It is what those in attendance needed, it is what I needed. It it is one of the many tools  of resilience Puerto Rico needs in this difficult journey ahead. 

As we exited the Bombazo, with heart full of hope that strength in solidarity will help those affected by the storm, I no longer felt numb with sadness.  And although I may not be able to keep my promise to Leilani that we will visit Puerto Rico in the months to come, we will make it there when the time is right. In the meantime, I will share with 20170923_205216Leilani stories of resilience from the island and the process of overcoming life-changing circumstances so that she can see it as an example of the strength among people she shares a common heritage with.  Most importantly, I will share with her the acts of kindness and humanity that shine through in catastrophes such as Hurricane Maria, so she sees the value of giving, unity, love and faith.




Mixed chicks: New product launch! 

Sooo excited to get a complimentary box full of new goodies from @mixedchickshair hair line! So happy to be one of the gals of @yourhairstoryseries to get to try out this new line of products. Plus I love that they have the descriptions in 3 languages  (including ESPAÑOL🤗)  I can’t wait to try them out! Reviews will be coming soon! //🌎 Estoy tan emocionada de recibir esta cajita de productos de “Mixed Chicks”. Estoy muy feliz de ser una de las chicas que vamos a poder tratar esta nueva línea de productos.  También me encanta de que tienen las descripciones en español para el público hispano y franco hablante. #afrolatinanatural  #mixedchicks #yourhairstories #afrolatina #curlyhairproducts #pelorizado #pajon #productosparapeloriso #teamnatural #bilingualbloggers