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In this life I have required different ingredients for happiness, health and success. Over the years I've had to re-evaluate in different seasons of my life, and now I think I have a hold on the fact that our recipes often change, and that's a good thing.

In my life and on my journey I have failed, made mistakes, developed bad habits and survival vices, and ultimately taken my fair share of L's. I have also grown, healed, learned and racked up some pretty hefty W's. Some of my previous roles have included working with young people which will prompt some to ask me what I would say, or if I will speak to young adults (which for the record despite what my ID says I'm a young adult). They often ask me about my journey and how I got to this seemingly great place.

The short-ish answer is that I just lived through life.

Early Me & My Foundation

I largely grew up in a black single mother home in middle-class suburbs in Southern California. Although I dealt with discrimination, racism, sexism and just a lot of bullshit; I still was privileged enough to receive a solid education, travel the country playing sports and have access to affluent black people.

My brother and I were able to start a band because we had a drum set, electric guitar, bass, amps and a keyboard. We also had a large home we could rehearse in. Though I went through my fair share of trauma, I never had to worry about surviving or where my next meal would come from, or if I'd be safe walking to school (even when them racist ass kids would talk shit and call us nigger, burnt toast and orphans because our dad had passed away).

I had the luxury of playing basketball at a highly competitive (and expensive) level, reading AP and beyond books, practicing Spanish and writing love songs about crushes I had or made up in my mind. There were very few times in my childhood I had to worry or stress about my basic needs of shelte

r, food and overall safety.

Roses, Thorns & Life

It wasn't always roses, but it's important when I speak with people to lay that bare so you can understand my perspective. I did deal with a lot of death by the age of 14 (maternal grandmother, father, god mother, brother, etc.). I did have dysfunction in my family and tons of pressure to perform at a young age. I've been deeply depressed, divorced and dismissed. But through it all, I've survived, I've lived and now I'm working on thriving.

So, there's no cheat code or fix. None of it is easy, but when you hustle you have good days, great days and bad (shitty) days. But, you hustle to grow, to get to the other side as an avenue for your success. That's why I hustle for my happiness every day because happiness is a hustle. In understanding and loving myself I've been able to identify things/people that contribute to my happiness.

My HIAH Recipe for

the Current Season

Thus, this is my HIAH recipe and what has been working for me recently. What works for me may work for you or it may not. Yours may have different ingredients and steps and processes; and that's fine. You may not need a recipe, also fine. Sometimes I bake mine, hydrate it or even fry it:

  • Dancing & listening to music (daily)

  • Laughing at myself and humorous situations (hourly)

  • Mini vacays locally or not (once a month)

  • Amazing food and drinks (weekly)

  • Exercise (daily)

  • Affirmations to myself and positive words to others (daily)

  • Attitude of gratitude (hourly)

  • Self check ins (at least weekly)


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