SHOW ME THE T O N I

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.”

-ARISTOTLE

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TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING | IS TOO MUCH

We currently live in a distracting world and an over-active society, exposing us to more information than ever before. For some, this has created anxiety or even mental illnesses such as ADD or FOMO. We tend to believe that success requires us to multi-task and actively pursue something at all times. Having felt the effects of this pressure, I was eager to find relief.

I tend to be a ‘yes’ person. If you’re anything like me, you probably have the tendency to bite off more than you can chew. While being busy is great, I’ve found it’s equally important to build in periods of inactivity or stillness. In order to find balance in work we must have balance in life, otherwise we experience overload (aka overwhelm).

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Although my personality allows me to successfully multi-task, I would often feel scattered or stressed. I began to wonder, how could one be fully aware if the mind is in two places at once? It became clear to me that in order to be present one must fully focus on the topic at hand.

This notion became clearer when I first met my favorite teacher at Chapman, Cory O’Connor. Cory provided the blueprint I needed to realize there might be a more effective way to work in today’s digital age. A believer in meditation, Cory brought the practice into the classroom. He was the only teacher I had that led group meditations before class. As a result, I began to experience class in a new way; I was focused and therefore enjoyed myself since I was sharp and present.

This opened my eyes to a new world of effectiveness, and I have applied his advice to all areas of life. As 2016 is already off to a busy start, I feel compelled to share with you some helpful habits to cultivate in order to stay focused and achieve your goals. The biggest message I hope you take away as I did with Cory is: tune in, listen and find balance. I promise, once you master this self-awareness you will find perfect alignment in any area of life you apply it to. Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part II when I’ll offer some tips for welcoming abundance and success this year!

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In Memory of Cory O’Connor

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THE M A V E R I C K MUSE feat. TONI

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| PHOTOGRAPHY |

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G Y M CLASS HERO

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

– Henry David Thoreau

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Recently I’ve focused my energy on strengthening my inner power. This essence is something that can only be felt and therefore transcends any impermanence of the physical. Personally, I think this makes it even more desirable because once it has been achieved, it can never be lost. This mental workout has been great in breaking down several emotional and mental blocks that were previously holding me back.

The goal of this exercise is to free yourself from destructive self talk, old habits and patterns. Like most things in life, it’s easier said than done. One must first be willing to acknowledge the illusions or “problem areas,” and then consciously desire to fix them. Then and only then can one re-wire the mind to see what it wishes to believe instead of the impressions of the past. Once you can move past this barrier, you begin to regain a sense of strength that’s attached to the power of  c h o i c e.

The ability to create your own concept of reality holds so much power when you realize your external world is a result of your internal; it all stems from your imagination and what you choose to believe. I have been manifesting my reality by choosing which ‘truths’ to hold onto and which to let go. In addition to this I have also been visualizing positive outcomes I wish to see while recognizing the negatives from which I’ve grown. This process is like gardening the mind. First you remove the weeds to create a fresh space; then you plant the new seeds and watch them flourish. The outcome?

Restored balance and beauty.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetThis technique has helped me transform any self-love, relationship, or abundance issues. I begin by releasing any stress caused by lower frequency feelings such as fear or anger and transform them into positive feelings such as faith and love. By giving myself adequate time, I patiently allow the negative vibes to evaporate while the good remain and permeate my being. I repeat this process everyday until I begin to see new pathways form in my mind, which lead me to new open doors. You see, perception is the key to unlocking the mind.

Much like physical exercise, this process of re-wiring the mind requires focus, dedication, repetition, and strength. The brain, like any other muscle in the body requires consistent workouts in order to tap into its power. Begin slowly and through repetition, gradually increase the amount in equivalent relation to your improved level of stamina. Over time it will become effortless and a part of your daily routine as we are creatures of habit.

If you so wish to begin a similar journey in self-improvement, I encourage you to try several methods until you find the one that works best for y o u. Don’t follow, just listen to your inner voice (which will get stronger with practice) and it will lead you to the finish line. For me, my exercise is to find comfort in my own skin and emerge into who I know I am destined to be, regardless of my past. In knowing this, I am already paving the way for things to fall into place with each progressive step taken. Struggle is disappearing and I’m beginning to feel this sense of lightness and grace take center stage as I dance through life.

My goal in mastering my mind is to become the best possible version of myself. Over the course of a year, I have realized I am my only component and in order to become who I wish to be, I must feel as if it is already mine for the taking. To help cultivate this mentality, I believe dressing the part plays a major role. My day can range anywhere from strength training at the gym, to a night on the town tearing up the dance floor, or a long day of modeling on set (which also tends to turn into a dance party). As spontaneous as I am, my Adidas Pro Model’s are suitable to my lifestyle and provide the reliability I need in a sneaker.

 If you place importance on looking good for a reasonable price I highly suggest checking out West Egg. This online retailer offers a variety of designer products, such as Adidas, for lower prices. As the queen of thrift, I have to say I thoroughly enjoy getting the value of a Givenchy bracelet for less. My next blog post will feature this beauty so stay tuned!

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|| MAV MANTRA ||

Are you dominating your thoughts, or are you letting them dominate you?