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I don't use an alarm clock to wake up anymore. I just wake up. Before I open my eyes, I catch myself. I stop and think, "what's on the agenda today?".

1. Finish cleaning out my closet

2. Edit and write a new draft of Chapter 3

3. Write a To-Do List for Phorbe

4. Write and post a blog post

5. Read 2 chapters of You're a Badass and a chapter of Destiny

"Okay, now what are my intentions for the day?"

To write and be productive.

I open my eyes and roll over to look at the photos of my siblings next to my bed. I haven't done much with any of them in a while. I miss them. But I know that in order for me to be a better big sister for them, I need to get my head right. I smile, ready to get to work.

As I remake my bed, I quietly say a prayer for Kendra Just and PrettyBossTV for providing me with the perfect morning ritual to start my days. I am awake, I am alert, I know what I want to do today and I am in a conquering mood.

I fluff out my pillows and immediately kneel to pray. I thank God for blessing me with another day to live. I express my gratitude again for my three points of gratitude from yesterday. I pray for my mother's happiness and health. I pray that my brother LeLand stays motivated towards his goals and that he finds happiness in his pursuit of success.

One of my favorite podcast #MarriedMilleneals taught me the concept of praying for those you want to forgive. They told the story of Oprah going to a friend, Miriam Williamson, and seeking council on a friend who had just betrayed her. Miriam Williamson told Oprah that the best way to begin forgiving that person and move on with her life would be to pray for that person's happiness for 30 days. Today is day 18 for me!

I say Amen and immediately lay on my back on the floor. I select a guided meditation for the day and get lost in the speaker's voice. Today's meditation is an exercise in letting go of negative thoughts and feelings. I imagine walking along a country road with flowers of all colors lining the highway. The sky is clear and bright. I hear birds chirping in the distance. Suddenly, I feel the weight of a heavy backpack on my shoulders. The straps are digging into my skin. The weight of it slows me down. The backpack is full of my negative thoughts and emotions. It is weighing me down.

Fortunately, there's a turn off up ahead. I follow that turnoff until I come upon a large hot air balloon. I take the backpack off of my back, open it up and start throwing the contents of the bag into the basket of the balloon. I imagine my negative thoughts as cans of food:

I am not worthy, I am alone, I don't deserve success, I am a failure, Nobody loves me. Before the moderator says it, I even throw the backpack in the basket.

Already I feel much better, but then I notice the large ropes tied to stakes that are holding the balloon in place. One by one I untie the ropes and finally, the balloon soars into the sky. I am free at last.

Fifteen minutes later I open my eyes. That was a great one. I will have to add that to my favorites list of guided meditations. I have three others so far.

I sit at my desk and start on my morning pages. I just recently began reading The Artist's Way for the 3rd time. This time, I know I will finish the 12 week course. Why? All of a sudden, everything Julia Cameron has wrote is so clear and relatable. I've had quite a few epiphanies during the last two weeks. Epiphanies that brought up questions. Julia Cameron knew exactly what those questions were and promised to help me answer them with this book. This book is over 25 years old, how did she know?

No matter, I start on my morning pages, a daily assignment for the course. 3 pages of long hand journaling every morning. I write about how I miss my siblings and how I need to make sure I won't revert to my old ways when I start to venture out of my little world I've created here in my apartment.

As I write, I realize that there is no way I can go back to overworking myself, putting myself last, and beating myself up when I fall short of a goal. I have changed. I have found myself again. Jasmine, the real Jasmine. I've missed her so much. I've taken time to get to know her all over again. I love her and want to protect her. I want the best for her. So, I've flipped the switch.

I vowed that I will do absolutely anything to reach her goals and see her happy and successful. I've reassessed my priorities and put them in check. God is front and center, she is a close second. Her career comes next, after that, her family. Finally, she is committed to giving back and making the world a better place. Jasmine is back in the building and this time, she's here to stay.

I wipe away my tears as I put aside my notebook. Thank you God.

I walk to the kitchen and make cream of wheat for breakfast. The smell of the hot cereal on the stove reminds me of summers with my grandparents. I feed my kitty, DK. While I eat, I play a few rounds of Temple Run and make a few moves on a chess game I am playing.

With breakfast done, I move to my first task for the day. I put Nicki Minaj's

Queen album on blast as I set to work. It's only 10am. I throw out the last trash bag by 12 and sit down for lunch. Finally, I completed the task of de-cluttering and deep cleaning my apartment. Out with the old and ready for the new.

While I eat my lunch, pasta, I read my chapters of You're a Badass. Afterwards, I pack up my computer and notebook and head outside. I make my way to the pool area where I sit for the rest of the day writing, blogging, and posting for Phorbe. I do some research for upcoming Phorbe projects. Do some window shopping for things I want to get for my apartment. Finally, I take a dip in the pool and relax.

Around 8pm, I head back to my apartment. While making and eating dinner I continue binge-watching what used to be LeLand and I's favorite show, The Originals. I sympathize with the characters who would do anything to protect their family and vow to re-devote myself to mine.

After a few too many episodes, my eyes hurt and my brain is fried. I get ready for bed and slide under the covers. I open up Purpose Driven Life and read through the days chapter. I answer the question at the end in my journal and continue on by writing down three things I am grateful for.

1. The opportunity to take time away like this

2. My apartment

3. The Originals

I pray one more time, thanking God for a great day of productivity. I thank him for my three points of gratitude. I flip on my white noise machine, choosing sounds that are familiar to my meditation from that morning and doze off to sleep happy, content, and relaxed.



I hope you enjoyed that sneak peak into my life during my stay-cation. Next week, we will dive deeper into some of the things I've learned during my first month. Until then, how did you like this? Were you surprised at what my stay-cation looks like? Let me know in the comments below!

I look forward to sharing with you my epiphanies and lessons learned. Stay tuned!

It's a great day to conquer the world, so go forth and slay!

-Queen Maree



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