Posted in Health, Self-Care

2020 the Year That Is [Fill in the Blank]

It’s been roughly 500 days since I’ve seen another person I’m kidding, but it’s almost the end of May, and in my brain, time doesn’t really mean anything anymore. Unless you count the fact that I track my shipments from all the random shit I’ve ordered online recently, then I know what day it is if a package is coming for me.

For much of this time, I kept thinking I’ll get back to writing. That has yet to happen until this very moment. Like many people, when this quarantine initially happened, I was not in a good headspace. I was craving human connection. I’m an introvert, but I wanted my people. I desperately wanted/needed to see my students and couldn’t. It was hard. Yet here we are at the end of May, and I feel like I’m adapting. Maybe even getting my creative flow back. It’s been a while.

The past two years I’ve done a lot. It was overwhelming, and I times I know I lost part of myself but was also recreating part of myself. I was swamped learning new things that I didn’t have time to connect to old things I love, like writing or creating new things. This wasn’t necessarily bad; my master’s degree taught me a lot about education and how to make the education system better. It also taught me a lot about reflecting on who I am as a person and educator and how I can take that self-reflection and create a more equitable education system for my students. This takes up a lot of emotional and mental space, though. I also feel like I went through a strange mourning period for the parts I was losing. Not that changing my mindset about education or equity is a bad thing, but my old ways of thinking had been a part of me for so long I really had to sit with them and let the old ways go correctly. I had to figure out who I was now.

The week of the last class of my master’s degree was supposed to be March 14th. We ended up moving the class online as this was the same week the Coronavirus really started making headlines in the U.S. That was also the week my school closed and decided to go on “extended Spring Break” for two weeks. We closed before I got to say a proper goodbye to my students. We had one more day of school left before Spring Break, and we canceled that day. This was also the same week I found out I was pregnant. To say that week was the biggest roller coaster of emotions would be an understatement.

Needless to say, as many of us, I have been in the midst of a lot of conflicting emotions. I’m grateful for so much, anxious, happy, and very sad all at the same time. So here I am 17 weeks pregnant (growing a human during a pandemic, wtf?), technically on summer break with no more grad school, finally finding my stride with this social distancing thing, and trying to figure out who I am again. I hope to start writing more and figuring out the direction of my blog.

This year has been a blessing and a curse, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next for me.

Posted in Humor, Self-Care

Confession: Glorified Sticker Charts Still Motivate Me

I don’t know how to put this any other way. I am a 32-year old woman, and I am still motivated by sticker charts and marble jars.

Everyone remembers when they were in elementary school, there was always a sticker chart or a marble jar to help motivate students to act like civilized human beings/not drive their teacher crazy. In the end, there would be some kind of prize. Hell, I still use that system in my classroom for my students. For some kids, it works; for others, they couldn’t care less about the damn marble jar.

Here’s the thing…that method still works for me.

Once I had a friend ask me what the purpose of a Fitbit was. “Why do you need to track your steps and exercise? If you know you’re working out, why does it matter? What do you even do with that information?”

The purpose is to motivate people like me who like to see a physical goal written down and then visually achieved. For example, Fitbit and Apple. I have since moved from Fitbit to Apple Watch (thanks to Santa Carlos), and let me tell you, closing the rings is my only objective throughout the day. I will do some crazy shit to make sure those rings get closed every single day. Is there a prize at the end? Nope, but the circles are whole, and that’s all that matters to my Type A mind. Right now, it’s almost noon, and two of my rings are already closed…I’m pretty thrilled with life right now. It doesn’t take much.


It’s not even just fitness. One of my goals is to meditate every day for at least 10 minutes. I use the Calm app and guess what they have a calendar and put a little blue dot on the day if you meditate that day using the app. I love it when my calendar is full of little blue dots.


Even when I’m working, I’ll make a list for myself. The goal to finish the things on it before the end of plan time. Seeing those little stars or checkmarks, I give myself really lights me up.

I think we should bring back more sticker charts. Stickers for making it into work, stickers for getting out of bed, stickers for going to the gym instead of happy hour. Think I can get everyone on a sticker chart bandwagon? Probably not…but I’ll still try.

So in this season of making resolutions (and probably breaking them), get yourself a sticker chart and see if that motivates you.

Posted in Self-Care

Releasing 2019


Credit: Darrah O’ Connor


It’s that time of year where most of us lament about how hard this past year was. Real talk: That drives me nuts. Every year the same people post about what a shitty year 2019, 2018, 2017, etc. was. To say an entire year sucked and that there were no lessons in that year seems like a cop-out. It’s easy to complain and find the bad in the whole year and just blame the year and walk away. So very easy.

For me, this year was extremely challenging. However, that was a lot of great things that came out of it. I cannot describe 2019 as terrible or a “dumpster fire” that everyone seems to be attaching to it.  I struggled a lot this year with work and trying to decide what is next for me in my career, I struggled with working full-time, coaching volleyball, and going to school full-time all while planning a wedding. There were tears and emotional breaks, but overall the reality is that I had a job, I had the opportunity to work on my master’s, I coached some really amazing girls, and I got to marry my best friend.

Yes, there were tears, but so many great things came out of it. Best of all I did it, I made it through the year and accomplished a lot.

On Saturday night, I listened to the Yoga Girl podcast. Her latest podcast is an intention setting ceremony for 2020. It takes about 2 hours, more if you have a lot to write, but I highly recommend it. It was a grounding experience and let me reflect on 2019 and, more importantly, set my intention for 2020.

I know that this year I did not take care of myself as much as I should. I was burning the candle at both ends, 90% of 2019. I was mindlessly eating, not working out as much as I know I need and want, was overly absorbed in mindless scrolling on my phone, watched a lot of mindless TV. So my intention for this year is to live more mindfully. Listening to my body, listening to my heart, and doing what is best for my whole self. Recognizing when I’m eating something if it is out of boredom or if it is something that will indeed have a lasting impact on my wellbeing. Acknowledging that I’m picking up my phone and scrolling to avoid things and distract myself instead of picking it up and calling someone I am thinking about.  Understand why and where I’m spending money and if it is necessary.

I need to hit pause and think about my actions and words, both on myself and the people around me.

I need and want to be more mindful in 2020 in every aspect of my life. So with that, I’m releasing 2019 and thanking the year for all the lessons and am welcoming 2020 and all it has in store!

I’d love to hear your intentions for 2020! Send me a message or comment below!

Posted in Self-Care, yoga

Fred Rogers was the Yoga Teacher we Should have been Following

Over Thanksgiving weekend, we went to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Not only was it inspiring, but it was also heart-warming and thought-provoking. I have a small obsession with who Fred Rogers is as a person. I’ve watched the documentary too. The conclusion I’ve come to is that Fred Rogers is the embodiment of all Eight Limbs of Yoga. Did he practice yoga in the sense that he was on the mat every day? No. Did he still understand yoga better than most Westerners? Yes. Did he know he was practicing yoga? I have no idea.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga:

  1. Yama- These are the ethical practices to interact with the out world. The Yama is as follows:
    • Ahimsa- Non-violence
    • Satya- Truthfulness
    • Asteya- Non-stealing
    • Brahmacharya- Right use of energy
    • Aparigraha- Non-greed
  2. Niyama- These are personal duties or observances. The Niyamas are as follows:
    • Saucha- Purity (Keeping out environments and bodies clean and pure)
    • Santosha- Contentment
    • Tapas- Intense self-discipline
    • Svadahyaya- Self Study
    • Ishvara Pranidhana- Spiritual Surrender
  3. Asana- These are the meditative postures we generally associate with yoga. However, it can be any physical movement that prepares us for stillness in meditation.
  4. Pranayama- Breath control. Prana means energy, and through the breath, this is how you control the flow of energy through your body.
  5. Pratyahara- Sense withdrawal. This is the state of freedom from being reactive to the information that enters all of our senses.
  6. Dharana- Concentration. The ultimate presence. Keeping the focus on one thing instead of multiple things, which can be hard in today’s world.
  7. Dhyana- Meditation. This is the merging of individual consciousness and universal consciousness.
  8. Samadhi- Absorption/Superior Consciousness. This is the step toward enlightenment, where a universal union is created.

Mister Rogers embodied all eight. He was a vegetarian, he never wanted to hurt or harm others (Ahimsa). He tried to teach others healthy ways to deal with their emotions and act in a kind, loving way (Pratyahara). He would go swimming when he had feelings that were less than kind, which I believe was his Asana. He would focus his attention on being present with whoever he was with and whatever he was working on. Admittedly he and his wife both said he was not perfect but was striving to be the best person he could. That is the true essence of yoga. Many people travel the world looking for a yoga teacher, the best and closest to enlightenment. Many have been disappointed in search of a guru. I think I have found mine, in the form of a former PBS children’s show.

Seane Corn, in her book Revolution of the Soul, said multiple times, “Ignore the story and see the soul.” Fred Rogers was never just a children’s tv show host, he was the yoga teacher we never knew we needed. He is the type of person I strive to be, I have a long way to go, but now I have a direction.


Posted in Self-Care

A Month of Hygge


Last year for Christmas, I received an Ancestry DNA kit last year. What I learned was every Scandanavian country? I’m that. So this year, after getting married to my husband, who is Mexican, I thought it would be fun to have a Scandinavian-Mexican theme for the holidays in our house. So I started researching traditions from both cultures, and it turns out, there are about a million. So I have found some foods that I will be making over the holiday season, as well as some fun decorations and traditions that I cannot wait to participate in. I’ll write more about those later on.

My favorite thing I discovered was Hygge. This isn’t a holiday thing, it’s more of a lifestyle, but it typically coincides with winter as the days are shorter and darker. Apparently, this became trendy four years ago in America, so if you know what it is, then go ahead and skim this paragraph. I, however, just discovered this magical thing. Hygge is a Danish word essentially meaning, “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” (New Yorker, 2016). Mostly it is appreciating the simpler things in life and connecting with what matters. Sipping tea by candlelight, turning off phones and TVs, reading a book, and connecting with loved ones.

This week I unofficially started by taking the time to connect with many friends and enjoying their company. Let me tell you, by the end of all of these lunches/brunches/Christmas market, my energy already felt replenished.

For December, I will be “unplugging” and appreciating time with my husband, friends, and family. While I will continue to write, in fact, I hope to write more with my free time, I will be off social media for the entirety of  December. I may even go into January if I’m really enjoying myself. My phone will be silenced, and sometimes it may also be in a completely separate room. My time will be spent on things that fill me up rather than deplete me, and I will give myself space to hit pause. I want to drink coffee, tea, and mulled wine by the Christmas tree undisturbed. I want to play board games with friends and family.

Why does this appeal to me, now? Over the past year (let’s be honest, two years), I feel like I have been going at a crazy pace. Between working on my master’s degree, teaching, going through yoga teacher training, and getting married, I haven’t stopped. And to say I am burnt out is an understatement. I rarely write or create anything, which is the core of who I am. I need to find that again and to do so, I need to create space for myself. Hopefully, everyone can find the space they need and deserve this holiday season.



**While I’m disconnecting myself from social media, I will still be writing here, which automatically posts to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I hope to share more about my multicultural holidays as well as my Hygge journey. Just be sure you are following me on those platforms:

Facebook: @flourishingboldly

Twitter: @JessicaLenore7


Posted in Self-Care

Where the hell have you been?

Jessica + Carlos Sneak Peek_0002

As fas as my computer and writing for enjoyment is concerned I have been MIA. I have been missing for a very long time.

Between finishing my master’s degree, working, coaching, and getting married (!!!) I have been exhausted and frankly uninspired to write anything. 

However, here I am writing words on a page, that I am going to publish even if I don’t want to because that’s where I need to start.

Let me first say, I am incredibly grateful for all the life changes that have been coming at me. I’m almost finished with my degree which will hopefully bring on a new change in position. I love teaching and am having a hard time coming to terms with leaving the classroom, but I know it’s what I need to do to affect more change in education. I will complete my degree in March, which I know will free up some mental capacity. Thank goodness, because I’m working at a brain deficit right now…at least that’s how it feels.

I’m incredibly thankful for the students and families that I’m entering my 6th year working with. They drive me insane and bring me so much joy all at the same time. 

And I am thankful to be married to my best friend and love of my life, Carlos. I would have never taken on this master’s program without his encouragement and support. I would have never made it through all the days/nights of crying about my exhaustion and how I just can’t do all of this.  He has lovingly pushed me and encouraged me and I am so grateful that he is now my husband. A word, I never really thought would be in my personal vocabulary.

Jessica + Carlos Sneak Peek_0003

I’m so grateful and yet still trying to find some pieces of myself that have gotten buried in all of the changes and busyness. I am trying to dig deep and find my love of writing and my love of creating.

This is my attempt at forcing myself into creating again until I rediscover my flow. Which I will, soon.

Posted in Self-Care

The Benefits of a Morning Routine


I have written anything in a really long time. My life has been in a constant state of chaos lately between, work, school, moving, maintaining relationships, taking care of pets and their plethora of health problems, and trying to maintain my own sanity. I was really feeling uninspired and stressed by everything.

This past weekend I completed my move into a new apartment, which I needed to do for many reasons. So with a new space came the desire to create a new routine. This week I’ve been waking up slightly earlier and doing a quick morning yoga practice and meditation to become more present, then I journal, and sometimes I pull out my goddess oracle cards just to give me some inspiration. It’s amazing what a mood shift this has created for me throughout my day. Even one day this week, I had barely slept and then had woken up way too early. I sat down on my mat and began my practice. By the time I was finished, I had forgotten how exhausted I truly was.

Everyone from Richard Branson to Mark Zuckerburg talk about the importance of a morning routine. Some of their’s are a little extreme for my liking, like eating the same thing for breakfast every day to prevent “mental fatigue.” That, I’m not into, but I can see the benefits on my mood for the entire day. I even see the benefits in my energy.

Recently, I read the book The Joy of Less by Francine Jay. She says to start with a 5- minute activity (meditation, reading, journaling) and then gradually add on until you have a morning routine that benefits you. I jumped right in and went to about 20 minutes, but so far it’s working for me.

Here is what it currently looks like:

Yoga practice 5-7 minutes

Meditation 5-10 minutes

Journaling/Goddess cards 3-5 minutes

I think in the future mine will grow, I would love more yoga in the morning, but that would also require waking up earlier than I do, which is already pretty early. But maybe the motivation will hit with more consistency. I will say that I find it incredible that in 20-minutes or less, I can change the whole trajectory of my day.

Posted in Self-Care

Yoga- My love-hate relationship

My whole life I have wanted to like yoga, but have kind of always hated it. I was never sure why that was. Naturally, I decided to sign up for Breathe for Change, which was training for educators around mindfulness, social-emotional learning, and yoga. This would certify me to become a yoga instructor, which is great for someone who hated yoga.


Before the training, we were supposed to be going to yoga 3 times per week to prepare our bodies. I did not start right away, I didn’t start going until a month before the training. I was procrastinating. When I finally signed up for some yoga classes, I asked myself every day that I was on the mat, “What is it that you hate?”  My initial responses were: “It’s too slow.” “It’s too difficult.” And it was difficult, I could do kickboxing and high-intensity workouts no problem, but yoga was a challenge. I never felt good at it. I soon realized the other thing about yoga, you have to be fully present. If you’re distracted, you’re going to fall on your face. That was difficult for me, presence didn’t happen for me without a lot of effort.

That’s when I realized I needed yoga more than anything.

So then I started the Breathe for Change training. On day 2, I sincerely considered quitting, we were doing yoga and meditating far more than I ever dreamed I could. I didn’t feel like I could handle it. Luckily they had broken us into mentorship groups and those women kept me going for those 10-hour days, 16 days in a row.


Now during this insane 16-day period, I also had to stay on top of my homework for my master’s degree. I thought for sure there would be several epic meltdowns. However, thanks to meditation and yoga, I was my most focused self. My boyfriend even commented on how I was a “changed woman” by day 8. I was not having any issues with anxiety and I wasn’t stressed, even in moments I really thought I should be. I truly had learned to better regulate my emotions. I was sleeping like a baby and I was happy, really happy.

Here I am, back in the real world away from all my loving, supportive yogi friends. However, I have clarity. I want to bring this same feeling to every educator who is feeling stretched to his/her limit. I want to make sure educators stay in teaching longer and don’t feel burnt out. I truly feel yoga and meditation can reignite the fire for educators.