Friday, July 31, 2015

Finding a Better Way to Think about Traveling

My friend Titus Hamlett recently embarked upon a nature trip where he visited a number of national parks and Lake Tahoe. You can read all about his reflections on his trip here. Now, he's been traveling on a cross-country road trip from Los Angeles to Baltimore, and he swung by Texas to chat with me about being in nature and getting recharged -- see the interview below!

(Pardon the busy intersection noise -- believe it or not the loudest sounds were edited out! If anyone would like to contribute to getting me state of the art equipment, email me!)

Talking with Titus got me thinking about how important it is to find your own method of traveling away from the chaos of daily life to a sense of serenity. You do not necessarily need to travel far to do this. Simply walking around the sidewalk of your home can give you a figurative and literal breath of fresh air. Let the nuggets of wisdom shared in the video be an inspiration to you all!

Sitting atop the jeep that's seen so many miles!

Titus M. Hamlett is a professional psychologist and will be working as a US Navy Officer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. He is also a travel blogger. To connect with Titus, follow him through 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Finding a Better Way to Transition to a New Phase in Life (Music Monday #25)


Car packed and ready to roll!
Lowe's: Where a Young Adult can be a kid
The past week has been such as whirlwind as I packed up everything from home and moved out westward to go to medical school! It is so nice to drive towards a new destination. It allows you to really take it all in. Would you believe that I've been meaning to finish this post ever since last Monday when I started it?! Time surely flies. Especially when you get inspired to DIY with your new apartment and visit dozens of stores from Lowe's to local furniture shops! Maybe there will be a home decor post once I'm all done...stay tuned,,,

As I officially embark upon this new phase in life, I have been reflecting on what's uniquely different this time. This time, I truly feel a bit wiser. Remember my Quarter Life Culmination concept? It's happening. The thing is becoming wiser, as it turns out, doesn't necessarily come with age, That's the common misconception. It is a choice to become wiser, not  a default. To allow past situations and observations to make you a better person as a result of having gone through them is a daily choice.

When I first left home home to go to college, it was more of a going-through the motions of life. Do not get me wrong, I loved my undergrad experience - the good, the bad, and the organic chemistry - as much as the next person. However, I just feel that there can be so much power in taking time to contemplate a life path before embarking upon it. That's what I have done here. The decision to pursue medical school took a lot of consideration, and now I'm mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared to allow this new experience to continue to mold me into the person I'm meant to be. Not just a physician, but a more patient, more compassionate, more faithful individual. Oh, what you didn't know that all those things came with the MD degree? Well, I'm not sure that's the case for everyone going through my program, but I have no doubt that's on the curriculum for my life.

(On an academic side note, for my young scholars out there - if you're going to take a year off, and you have the opportunity to pursue a master's degree in a related field in the meantime, I'd do it. Also, for my young scholars out there, if you have any questions about your academic path/timeline, feel free to contact me! 

Music Choice for this Monday

A friend of mine once said, "with change comes excitement, new friends, and new journeys." (Can you quote someone before asking them? I kinda just went with it. I'll ask him later...) But this simple yet powerful phrase speaks volume to life's transitional experiences. It is such a mix of excitement and natural apprehension, of new friends and old, of an uncharted, yet familiar journey. So, here begins the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wayfare of how Jasmin becomes a patient, compassionate and faithful physician. So many glorious lessons and blessings behind, as well as before me. I have a clear space for growth. Which brings me to my song selection for today: Dixie Chicks 'Wide Open Spaces'. I used to sing this song at the top of my lungs when I was 9, and as I traveled last week, I sang it in my head. It wasn't a solo road trip - I don't subject people to my unique singing voice in confined spaces.

This song for me paints a vivid picture of setting out on your own for a new phase in life. My favorite line pretty much sums up how I'm feeling about my own:

"It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn't yet guessed"

~Glow and Tell Challenge Update~

Day 14
Post Day 21
Lastly, I wanted to give a final report the Glow and Tell Challenge I participated in. (Pardon the puffy eyes in the pics! In my defense, a) it was late each time they were taken, and b) IT HAPPENS)

It's been 21+ days of using Mary Kay's Botanical Effects day and night, and I can honestly say my skin feels so soft! As we do get older, it is important to take more tender care of not only our minds and souls, but also our bodies - from within with the foods we eat to without with the products we apply. I encourage anyone to find what works well with them and their unique body. Learn how to properly love the skin and body you're in, and, embrace the wellness! 

Well, until next time, my friends, be well and always vote for peace and love :-)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Finding a Better Way to Smile (Music Monday #24)

Practicing yoga in nature,
old pic - not from this morning's class
Hello blog-o-sphere! First off can I please just say how incredible it feels to do yoga in the morning?! Words cannot describe. I forgot the feeling! I ended up going to the morning session today rather my usual Monday early evening session because a dinner got switched from Saturday to Monday. It wasn't until after I confirmed my attendance at the newly set day that I realized this change would mean I would miss my last yoga session at the studio before I move! Naturally, I was bummed. For like, 24 full hours. Then, I remembered the Monday morning sessions that I usually didn't intend.And, like I said - it's just a different feeling doing yoga in the morning versus the evening. Even though it wasn't what I originally planned on, it was an invigorating change, once I welcomed it.

Which got me thinking about "things not going according to plan". It's easy for me to go with the flow of change with things like yoga sessions or even having to defer entering into medical school, like I did last year. But, with some other things - not so much. Not literally but quite figuratively I feel like I leave a comfort zone kicking and screaming in other areas of my life - especially when it comes to personal growth, relationships, and such like. We often hear that God opens doors for us. Over the past couple of months, it has become abundantly clear to me that He also emphatically closes - nay, SHUTS, doors, too. Which is not as fun as an open door, trust me. So, what do make of these disappointments or unexpected setbacks? What do you do when you feel discouraged or in a rut? I've not quite figured it out, and something tells me navigating through those waters is different for everybody. So, why not just smile? What else are you gonna do?

I'm not advocating smiling to hide your pain. I think repressing painful emotions is a sure way to have them erupt at the most inconvenient times. Conversely, smiling in spite of the pain requires a subtle strength that facilitates personal growth. I'm convinced that smiling is a better way of coping. So, smile. And enjoy TWO song suggestions for today.

Kirk Franklin's "Smile"

Favorite Lines
I know God is working, so I smile
Even though I've been here for a while, I smile
Sure would hate to see you give up now
You look so much better when you smile, so smile 

And, here's another one. Which, I may or may not have already used on a Music Monday post before...feel free to check, I'm not going to at this moment. 

 Vitamin C's "Smile"

Favorite Lines:
But, you get what you give in this life that we live
And all that you do come back to you
Life, it ain't easy, it's so tough, it ain't easy,
So, whatcha wanna do, whatcha wanna do
Put a smile on your face!

It's plain and simple, but not easy. Takes practice and diligence. So, what puts a smile on your face? 

Lastly, speaking of smiling. Here's my Love the Skin You're In (aka Glow & Tell Challenge) Update:

I have been using Mary Kay's Botanical Effects skin care products for 12 days now, and I do think there's a bit of a glow there! Maybe it's the lighting. You be the judge. But, I can definitely say that my skin feels SO much softer and smooth! It's just very refreshing to have a skin care regimen with products where you can almost immediately tell the difference. Morning & Night - cleanser, toner, moisturizer. Twice a week - skin mask! It's takes 5 minutes, tops, and it's just so refreshing. 
That's my health & wellness tip for the week. Whatever products you choose, just stay consistent! 

And, don't forget friends, smile :-)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Finding a better way to... Loved the skin you're in!

Hey guys! I am participating in the Mary Kay Glow & Tell Challenge. That means for the next 21 days I will be using their Botanical Effects skin care products day and night. I'm so excited to embark on this journey! It's got me the about how much we should all continuously find innovative ways to love the skin we're in!

Introductory Video 

Basically Day 1 Before Photo