Tag Archives: Life

Brain Dumps: You Should Add Them to Your Routine

My Introduction to Brain Dumps

My introduction to brain dumps was actually in the form of “morning pages”. I began doing my morning pages as part of my practices when reading The Artist’s Way. Later, I heard Tim Ferris mention using brain dumps as a way to have a more productive day on his podcast. I hadn’t been prioritizing my morning pages anymore. I had become fidgety with anxiety. Anything more than five minutes of still meditation (guided or otherwise) felt nearly impossible, but the idea of sitting for ten or fifteen minutes and writing seemed less daunting. I gave it a try. I sat for a few minutes with my Self Care Everyday journal and wrote. They weren’t complete sentences, it wasn’t a story or poem, it wasn’t even cohesive thoughts. It was freeing because there was no right or wrong, no expectation, just release.

Who Should Do Brain Dumps

Short list: everyone. Longer list:

  • Anyone who is creating a better life in any way
  • Anyone who is making decisions
  • Anyone who knows what it is like to have to hold many thoughts in their mind at the same time
  • Anyone who feels anxious, overwhelmed, or like their mind is overflowing with information
  • Someone who is working to determine their emotional triggers and needs to keep record of the people, places, and things that impact their feelings
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Therapists
  • People in therapy
  • Employees
  • Creatives
  • You
  • Me

How Do You Brain Dump?

First, let me make something clear: You don’t have to be a writer, artist, or creative person to do brain dumps. Second, there is no “wrong way”. Now, clear at least five minutes from your busy schedule. I prefer doing brain dumps in the morning and before bed, but you can take this practice throughout the day. Just grab your preferred medium (pencil, pen, paint, marker). I prefer to use my Release and Reset Clarity Journal: Use Brain Dumps to Declutter the Mind journal because at the end of each seven days, there are lined pages for me to evaluate my recurring thoughts and reset by making proactive decisions for the coming week. No paper? Use a sticky note, paper cup, napkin-whatever you can find. 

Take three deep breaths (because, science). Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Go! 

Write.

Scribble.

Doodle.

Do whatever gets the thoughts out of your mind. Your sentences don’t have to be complete. Your words don’t have to be spelled correctly. Your lines don’t have to be straight, perfectly curved or even meet. 

When you’re finished, you can keep it, throw it away, or burn your thoughts (be safe, please). Take another three deep breaths (still science). Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Add brain dumps to your routine for a few days. Come back and let me know how it benefits you.

10 Tools that I use as a Multi-hyphenate

mul·ti-hy·phen·ate nounINFORMAL

  1. a person, especially a celebrity, with several professions or skills.

Like so many others, I am a multi-hyphenate. I have my career with a financial software company where I support other professionals; my business and online store, Quest Creative Company, where I design apparel and products intended to motivate, inspire, and empower; this blog, where I share life lessons and tools in the form of blog posts and poetry; and soon, I’ll be releasing my first book on Amazon. I’m not the most organized, my focus has been on having comfortable workspaces, tools, and programs for creating so that I actually have something to organize. Below I’ve listed my top ten tools that I use to help get everything done.

Workspace Tools

  1. Microsoft Surface

I use a Microsoft Surface for work. I loved the slim, lightweight design. My previous laptop was extremely bulky and slow so when it was time to purchase a new laptop, the Surface seemed like the best option. I wasn’t ready for the Macbook price tag and the Microsoft Surface had great reviews. The great battery life and slim design have made it the perfect tool for working from anywhere.

  1. Monitors

My Microsoft Surface has a great design, battery life, and it’s lightweight so it is perfect for working from anywhere. When I’m working on a project that requires intense focus or multiple applications, I prefer to work in my office with my two additional monitors. The monitors are a must-have when I am locked in on a project because I can transition between apps seamlessly.

  1. Laptop stand

When I’m in my office working at my desk, I put my laptop on a laptop stand so that I can utilize all three monitors. I use a USB connected mouse and keyboard set. When I’m not in my office, the laptop stand allows me to work from a standing position to give me a break from sitting or being stuck in my office. I get a lot of inspiration in my kitchen. I often work standing at the counter, drinking coffee or tea from Chicly Brewed Tea Company (https://chiclybrewed.com/). If you are looking for a portable laptop stand option, a freelance friend of mine swears by this one.

  1. Lap desk

For those late nights when I want to have a relaxed workspace, I use my lap desk. When it comes to writing, I’m old school and prefer writing initial drafts by hand. My lap desk gives me a solid surface to work from.

Productivity Tools

  1. Asana.com

Asana is a work management platform designed to help you organize, track, and manage work. I use the free version for tracking ideas and keeping notes on progress of ongoing projects. For projects that include a team, I’m able to break projects into tasks and assign responsibility using the “Boards”. Having the option to use the desktop or app version of Asana makes it easily accessible and increases my chances of using it to stay organized on projects.

  1. Google Calendar and Drive

Since I have several calendars and Gmail accounts, I’m able to subscribe to all of the calendars and see all items at once across devices. I also use Google Drive for keeping up with documents, spreadsheets and other items within each project/email. Asana has an integration with Google Calendar and Drive that allows me to attach documents to the projects that I have created within Asana. I use this for attaching outlines and concept ideas to different projects that I’m working on or that are in the brainstorming phase. Google Docs is also extremely helpful when I am editing. 

  1. Canva.com

I can’t remember when I learned about Canva but about a year ago, I switched to Canva Pro and it has been a game changer. I use Canva for cover art, logo and book designs, and social media post creation and scheduling. I have also used Canva for my apparel designs. If you are trying to keep your creative business budget friendly, Canva is a great resource.

Tools for Stress Management

  1. Release and Reset Brain Dump Journal

This is the first journal that I published. It is a guided journal designed to give you a space to brain dump. You use the journal twice daily to release the thoughts of the day, but can use it as many times as you see fit, as long as there is space. I use the journal to brain dump as soon as I wake up and right before bed. It gives me a place to release my thoughts and concerns, as well as organize my thoughts. I’ve learned that a lot of my stress and anxiety comes from having too much on my mind. I have a therapist, friends and family, but sometimes, I don’t want to share what’s on my mind. This journal has been the solution that I needed. At the end of the week, I evaluate my main stressors and decide what changes I want to make to have a better week. I’m then able to go forward with organized thoughts and a plan of action.

  1. Keurig

For YEARS I have been saying that I would never get a Keurig because I can just use a coffee maker. Plus, I mostly drink tea. I buckled and purchased a Keurig about two months ago and I am so glad that I did. As I’ve said, I’m not the most organized so there are workdays where I’m running late for work…and I work from home. On those days, I don’t have time to make coffee. I need something quick. My Keurig has been the answer. I pop in a K-cup and press the button and voila, liquid joy is flowing into my cup. Coffee has become a source of joy that I look forward to on especially busy days. When I am feeling like I have too much to do and I’m stressed about getting it done, coffee is the answer. Amazon has been having sales on Keurigs off and on for the last few months so grab yours during their next sale.

  1. Headphones

Have you heard of getting into a “flow state” or “the zone”? Studies have shown that you can program your mind to get into a productive, focused, state of flow by listening to certain music or creating rituals. My ritual is putting on my headphones. I usually listen to music through bluetooth speakers so when I put my earbuds in or headphones on, my brain knows that it is time to work. Currently, I’m using Skullcandy Ink’d earbuds, SESH wireless, and RIFF on ear headphones. I love Skullcandy’s but I’m actually in the market for noise canceling earbuds or headphones. Which headphones or earbuds do you use?

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s the top ten must haves in my workspace, productivity and stress management. What tools do you use in these areas? As I am increasing my skills and the usage of my skills, I know that I will have to become more organized. Other than Asana and Google, I don’t currently have any tools that I use for optimizing organization but I would like to. Do you have any tips, tricks, or tools that you use to stay organized?

If Words Were a Hug

I would be lying if I said that this is how I expected my life to be. I’m grateful, but truthfully, most days I’m frustrated with myself. I can be so hard on myself, as if I could see the future when I was making decisions. I’m further along than many, but I’m far behind where I want to be. I’m in an endless cycle of burnout and exhaustion on this “journey” to figure out what actually matters to me. Healing isn’t always pretty. It’s not just hot baths, flights and flowers; some nights, it’s crying in the mirror and saying all the things that you want to hear from someone else, until you feel safe and loved. This is the result of one of those nights.


I love you.
I love you.
I love you.”
I’m sitting in front of the mirror. The room is illuminated by the dancing flicker of the flame from my chakra candles.
Green for my heart. Orange for my Sacral.
Nobody exists but me.
Nobody is coming to “save me”.
Tears fall, but I keep talking because I need to hear it to feel it.

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.
I forgive you.
I forgive you for the times you didn’t listen to your intuition.
I forgive you for putting the pleasure, joy, and well being of others ahead of your own.
I believe in you.
Today. Tomorrow. Every day.
Clear the noise and know that I am proud of you.”

As a smile spreads freely across my face and the salt of my tears touches my taste buds, I am reminded that all is well.

Let this be a reminder to you:
All is well. Though you may not feel it now, you are whole. You are loved. You are valued. Every day.

Moment of Silence

Moment of silence for the loves lost

at the hands of a woman

the hands of a man

who took it upon themselves to play God.

After the year and some change

of virus related loss,

pain and anguish ripping through families

leaving whole cities, states, countries and continents

frozen in fear, burdened and oppressed by sorrow

you have the audacity to take a knee on a neck

“mistake” your gun for a taser, even after

much training, even after releasing the safety

even after raising to aim and pulling the trigger

Don’t insult my intellect.

you have the nerve to murder at a traffic stop

pepper spray a uniformed soldier

assault your neighbor because you

can’t possibly believe that this black beautiful being

shares the same space and air as you.

The audacity. The gall. The fuckin nerve of you.

Moment of silence for the loves lost.

Moment of gratitude for the lives spared.

Peace, love and healing to those suffering from the trauma inflicted on us as loved ones, bystanders and witnesses.

Moment of silence because I’m tired of talking when I’m enraged and disgusted

because it’s a broken system and “reform” and “repair” aren’t enough for these discussions

since these systems are doing what they were created to do

and that was never to provide liberty and justice for all

when the men writing it saw my people as

property, savages, and less than a man.

Moment of silence because

folks are getting tired of this shit

and things go from talking to violence.

Thus,

I’ll observe this moment of silence.

Something Like a Spring Garden

Small moments mean the world to me because I know what it’s like when those moments don’t happen. I ask you to help me build something or to teach me your perspective because those are moments we didn’t get before.

As I’m growing, I have learned to look at you as a man, not just my dad. That shift in perspective helps me see you. Not your mistakes or shortcomings, just you. It allows me to extend patience and speak freely.

You’re my dad, but I choose for you to be my homie.

This is my healing. This is me forgiving. This is us growing.

Every project completed and every honest conversation is a step forward.

I’m in therapy learning skills that allow me to navigate the blocks engrained in me since conception, but it’s out here with you that the heavy lifting happens. I never say it aloud-I get that whole “taking shit for granted” vibe from you, but I’m learning-but I appreciate the times you show up. I’m grateful for you and look forward to seeing you grow because you’re never too old to do your best.

Ay Da! Thanks for doing yard work and asking to take a picture with me on Easter, that’s major.