Become Your Own Bliss

Comfort is the Enemy of Progress


It is of the utmost importance that you defy the limitations that others have discovered for themselves. What applies to them, may not apply to you, but you must be the seer of your own destiny.

In life, there are people who attempt to show us a framework of limitations based on love - their goal is to protect from pain and disappointment.

There are also people who echo all they've heard and all they've known for the duration of their lives. They believe that because they couldn't do it, that not only are you not capable, but that you shouldn't even try.

Our world is full of unexplored potential; diminished hopes and dreams, and the brilliant and beautiful things that could have been. To succumb to a life lived without intent contributes to the saddest narratives in our history as people. Comfort is the enemy of progress.

People will reject your work.
Lovers will leave you.
Mistakes will be made.
Pain will be felt.

Remember that all those contribute to the beauty that exists when you experience love, joy, and victory.

In love and in deed, do those things that bring the butterflies in your stomach to life, for they are indicating that it is then that you are truly living.

Love and bliss,

What have you been meaning to do but haven't yet begun?

It's More Than Just Baltimore

Photo Courtesy Zaiden Shannon

I recently made an attempt to engage in a meaningful conversation in order to understand why a certain demographic of the American citizenry felt the need to decry destruction of property instead of decrying the actions of a select few members of society, who have mercilessly killed people, who are supposed to protect and serve.

Here's what happened. They clung to their narrative, ignored the facts I presented, and for the life of them, they could not imagine themselves being in the position of the people who are being strategically, systematically oppressed and victimized.

One person engaged in the conversation is currently serving as a police officer. This person even tried to reassure me with a statistic - that my loved ones (who may or may not be targeted based on the color of their skin), has less than a 10% chance out of the population of being targeted and killed.

Was that supposed to make me feel better?

The fact that anyone should have to fear for their children's lives based on the skin color that they wear is abhorrent and should not be deemed as an acceptable element of the status quo.

The part of my interaction that left me disheartened was the inability of this individual - who proudly wears a badge - to be empathetic. S/he could not, to save anyone's life, would not see past the statement, "not all cops are bad," which I never did imply nor insinuate otherwise.

As a person living in these times and in this place who classifies as neither black nor white, I feel myself at an advantage, because although I am still a member of the minority in the US, I am educated. I come from a good family. And I have been given the gift by those who raised and love me to see this world in terms of facts and to not base truth on my own emotions.

I plan to raise children someday, and hopefully by the time they are old enough to pay attention, they will be spared the pain of helplessly standing by and watching while people are being targeted and hunted due to a baseless, inherited, undeniable prejudice that runs deep and wide within the historic and systematic DNA of this nation.

The next time you begin to say, "I can't imagine what that might feel like..." Stop and think beforehand, is it because you really can't imagine what the other side of the coin feels like? Or is it because you know that (based on a reason you would never admit out loud) that scenario would never touch your life?

A Lesson About Humility From My Beloved Mother

A few words about humility: 

Mother's Day is nearly upon us, and if you have read Become Your Own Bliss​, you know that most of the lessons I've passed on to my clients, readers, and friends came from my no-nonsense, loving, kind, goofy, take-no-shit mother. 

She and I went through a decade or so not liking one another very much. Don't get me wrong, we loved one another and would have done practically anything for one another, but growing pains are a bitch and by golly, we did not enjoy being around one another. 

It began when I was an angsty teenager. I thought I knew everything. My child brain was slowly dying to my adult brain, and my evolution was half the battle. The other half was the battle I fought with my admirable, patient, amazing parents. 

When I attempted to ascend upon my high horse (as most adolescent children of loving parents do), my my mother sternly, calmly, and lovingly brought me back down to earth. 

I remember one incident during which I was having a day and tried to take it out on her and someone else - a server at a restaurant. She quietly said to me, 

"Who do you think you are that you think it's acceptable to talk to people like that? What have you done with your life to make you believe that you are above anyone else? You've graduated high school. Great. Congratulations, but that's expected of you and doesn't grant you authority to speak to people like they're dogs. 

When you do accomplish great things in your life - which I've no doubt you'll do because you're my daughter and I know what you're capable of, even then, you still cannot talk to people however you want to because never will you be better than anyone. You will always sit on the toilet and shit like everyone else. You'll always have to put your pants on one leg at a time. You will never be above nor below anyone else; don't you dare put yourself on a self-made pedestal.

You are human, so act like it. 

There are people out there who would die to be in your place, so show a little gratitude and treat people with the respect you owe them."


Because of my parents, no matter how "successful" I become, I know that humility and treating this earth, animals, and my fellow humans with kindness and respect, is what will make the greatest impact. 

Thanks, Mom, I really was listening. 

About Breasts and Other Beautiful Body Parts


When you look at yourselves in the mirror, do you see your beauty first, or do you focus on the parts of yourself you've been taught to dislike?

Here's the truth about bodies and beauty. 

The standard of beauty propagated by the beauty and cosmetic industry are based on your insecurities. 

The features (and thoughts) you've inherited from your mother (and grandmother, and maybe your super-critical Aunt Sally), affect how you see and speak to yourself on a daily basis. 

So much of your world depends upon what you say when you're thinking and your self-talk. 

But what does this have to do with boobies?

I love breasts. I love my breasts. I adore and cherish my body. It has taken me over a quarter of a century to get here, though. 

As a teenager, I was obsessed with turning 18 so that I could buy breast implants. I wear between a B-C cup, depending on the time of the month. When I was about 15 years old, I watched an episode of MTV's True Life about silicone breast implants and how one woman's body didn't react well with hers. That was the first time I'd learned that in some instances, the body may detect the implants as a "foreign body." If my memory serves me well, the situation was toxic shock syndrome of some sort. The whole situation freaked me out about intentionally, surgically implanting a foreign body into my own and out the window went my hopes of wearing DD cup breasts.

That being said, it's my personal experience with choosing to leave my humble breasts alone. I've grown to like them the way they are. I don't judge anyone else who has chosen differently.

I know many women my age and younger who have had their breasts augmented. To be candid, I know more women who have implants than wear their breasts naturally. ALL of them, when talking about their purchased boobs, have justified their decision. They shouldn't be pressured to justify the reason they felt compelled to enlarge their breasts; their breasts, their business. 

This boils down to the fact that women are brought up to believe that the bodies they live in are not their own. That they have to justify their desires and cosmetic procedures to people who had nothing to do with their decision. Everyone's a critic yet no one has a constructive solution. 

If a woman's breast enlargement helps her self-esteem, so be it. If she wants to wear tons of makeup or none at all, that's her prerogative. If a woman decides she wants to walk out the door wearing little to nothing or a business suit, who cares? 

Women shouldn't feel the need to explain themselves about their personal cosmetic or health decisions, EVER. 

Her boobs, her business.

Another thing. Unless you are a doctor who is concerned about your patient's BMI/cholesterol levels, can you please shut the fuck up about someone being "too fat" or "too skinny?" 

I was a raging bulimic for over 10 years. People had everything to say. When I gained 60 lbs. (27 kilos) from birth control, I was told I was "getting fat too quickly." Please, can we focus on achieving and celebrating health?

All of this subjective, beauty-obsessed minutiae has driven me to the point of a book project. How do we teach ourselves to look in the mirror and see the beauty, instead of what "needs to be fixed?"

The next time you look in the mirror, focus on what you love about yourself. The next time you look at yourself naked in the mirror, stare in awe at that miracle of a body you live in. Love her. Feed her, Treat her with respect and admiration. After all, she exists to house your spirit.  

Rant: I'm writing about this in my current book project. I have a HUGE issue with how society is structured to create little girls who grow into women who are made to feel like our bodies are not our own domain to rule. 
We're always too fat, too skinny, too light, too dark, not tone enough, based on whoever is looking. I say FUCK THAT.

My wearing a shirt as a dress doesn't make me (or any other woman who wears revealing clothing) any more rape-worthy than, say, a nun wearing her habit. 

It feeds into the deeper issue. It's "indecent" for women to show breasts. Ours have a function. Men can go shirtless whenever. Their nipples don't even serve a purpose. It's meant to make us feel like we will never be "enough," or at least equal to men, because we're women. 


The Wife Life

Beyond my wildest dreams, the wife life suits me. I absolutely adore being my husband's wife. The evolution from girlfriend to fiance to wife didn't merely occur on paper for me. We changed after we said our vows.

Our bond became deeper in a way I didn't anticipate. It's as if the time we've spent after we got married changed. There's a certain level of comfort that accompanies marriage. All of the mundane aspects of life became different.

We lived together for 2 years prior to marriage, so we were able to learn one another's quirks and habits long before we decided to do the damn thing.

I'm experiencing an uncontrollably thrilling shift in my priorities. Although I remain quite career-centric, I feel less obsessed with certain aspects in my life and more open to others that once struck me as terrifying. So much in me has changed since I began writing this blog, nearly 6 years ago. I never thought that tapping my keyboard to share my thoughts publicly would ever lead to confidence resulting in writing and publishing my book.

I find myself thinking about motherhood and babies with a sense of simultaneous dread and anticipation. Although starting a family is on the horizon for us, we're thoroughly enjoying one another.

The process of dating then marrying has helped me become a calmer person in general. When unanticipated things happen, I'm less likely to freak out than before. I suppose there's a sense of security that I never realized I needed.

I had been so wrong about everything I believed to be true about love and relationships. I suppose true love is one of those things one must experience in order to understand, and not a moment before. The greatest misconception I once held was that no one would ever be good enough. That I was all I needed in every aspect of my life, and that no one could possibly love me the way I wanted to be loved.

I used to understand falling/being in love as the way people would describe the taste of the number 11. I'm so grateful that I get to live in it everyday. 

Powerful Women

How do we raise our daughters to grow up into women who unwaveringly know that they are enough - that they are beyond comparison?

How do we teach our daughters how precious they are; that their worth is not dependent upon what society dictates?

How do we effectively bequeath the notion to little female people that what they believe about themselves is what matters?

How do we instill in girls that their bodies belong to them? That the length of their skirts, the cut of their hair, the shape of their body does not define them, but rather, must be defined BY them.

How do we nurture the strong-willed, tenacious, bold, audacious little girls who create ways to achieve when they can't find the way that exists?

When will the generation of women rise who recognize and unapologetically embrace their inner goddess, inner bitch, inner sex kitten, inner CEO, who find joy in collaboration and boredom in competition?

The only way to raise little girls to become powerful women is to be examples for them. 

Live courageously and lovingly. Embrace your own strength. Show off those legs if you feel like it. Gain weight if that's what makes you happy. Start that business. Finish college. Eat well. Learn. Teach. Exercise. Make money. Spend money. Read. Laugh out loud. Play.


5 Things That Damn Dress Taught Us About Humans

There is a photograph of a dress that has completely freaked the internet out. You know which one I’m talking about. It’s the one you saw countless times on your newsfeed over the weekend. No one can seem to agree on what color the thing is because some folks see the colors change before their eyes. One minute, it’s blue and black (which are reportedly the actual colors of the frock); the next, it’s gold and white. In the end, it really doesn’t matter. It’s a dress neither you nor I would probably ever wear, but the mere fact that an object that many people have nothing to do with could drive them to litter the interwebs with absolute puzzlement lies in the very things we know to be true about the nature of humans.

1. We freak out when our sensory experience proves to be unreliable. 

The main reason it sent the internet into a frenzy is because we humans LOVE to be right. Our logical selves cling to what we believe and know to be true. We are sensory creatures and as such most of us rely on our senses to dictate how to feel about the world around us. Any deviation from the fact that we can absolutely 100% rely on our two eyes, ears, and other physical ways of dealing with the world could drive us insane and/or question everything we believe to be true. 

2. More than loving being right, we need to feel validated.

When a person looks at an object and sees something completely different than us, or experiences the same event in a different way, we subconsciously question if our experience was valid or correct. Not that it matters because each person experiences everything in their own, unique way.  

3. We experienced in real time how differently we process this world. 

Fundamentally, we want to believe and rely on "the truth." The truth is, the dress is blue and black. So does that mean that the eyes of the folks who see white and gold are incapable of seeing truth? No. Optical illusions abound in this world and that does not make people wrong. It just means that certain people will have to have faith in the truth versus what their eyes tell them. 

4. We have difficulty relating to those who see things differently. 

"It's blue" No, it's not. "It's gold." Are you crazy? Both answers are correct, depending on who's looking. The fact that the dress is black and blue can't ever be experienced as such by those who only see it as gold and white. 

5. We can be driven to madness by something that will never really touch our lives. 

Befuddlement, bewilderment, puzzlement, whatever you want to call it. This dress stumped the internet. 

We will never be on the same page at the same time. We each hold unique perspectives and that is what truly excites us. 

5 Types of People to Avoid

I have been blessed to know some of the most amazing people in the world. My family, friends, and mentors have been absolutely instrumental when it comes to my health, sanity, and work. As I have been blessed by people, I have also experienced my fair share of undesirable characters.

I mention often to not judge people, because it does very little good. However, it is necessary to be aware of who people are based on the patterns of behavior they have consistently exhibited in the past. The older I get, the more I realize that certain characteristic traits are intrinsic and beyond modification. Some of those traits are undesirable and downright toxic.

Below are categories of people who have exhibited behavior attributed to each label time and time again. It wasn't due to a circumstance like catching them on a bad day. I've encountered many versions and combinations of these characteristics in people I've associated with. Many of them are no longer on my social radar because ain't nobody got time to deal with this level of nonsense.

The 5 Types of People to Avoid 

The Flake

The Flake gets the top spot on this list because more often than not, dealing with a flake involves that person making you feel like their friend, gaining your trust which in turn provokes you to invite him to parties and other important functions or tasks only for him to make some dumb excuse at the last minute about why he can't make it. Or, he agrees to do something important for you then loses your number altogether and he's never heard from again. You end up feeling puzzled at first, because that person was so aspartamely sweet, but then you soon realize it was all a front and the flake might as well be a fake because he didn't mean any of it to begin with. 

Don't give people like this space in your life; you'll continually be disappointed, and you'll believe you have someone on your side when you really don't.

Full Disclosure: I confess, I have been known to miss a wedding or two (mostly because I f'n hate weddings, no matter how much I love the person - the event makes me anxious), but I'm mostly pretty good about keeping all other commitments.  

The Egomaniac

You know the one I'm talking about. The person who does and says things that are beyond realm of comprehension. Like the bridesmaid who forgot your marriage ceremony was a week away because she was too caught up in demanding that the Universe makes her soon-to be ex-boyfriend to be miserable without her. She wishes suffering to those who don't cater to her whims and she feels like the world owes her everything. She's the person who the relationship or friendship is all about. It must be her way or the highway, and if you don't tell her what she wants to hear, it's your fault she's having a bad day. 

Drop this hot potato. You will end up spending more time outside of the relationship working through frustration you experience within it. You'll find yourself complaining to your other friends and your pets about the level of incomprehensible megalomania this person brings to the table. If you really want to be proactive, check out these symptoms for Narcissistic Personality Disorder and if they sound familiar, nudge the Egomaniac you know to maybe go and get help. 

The Closeted Hater

Ooooh, these take years to recognize at times. I've learned that closeted haters are, more often than not, close family or friends. She dons the cheerleader outfit for you, pigtails, pom-poms and all, but the second you leave the room, you might as well be the dog excrement stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She is an enthusiastic friend and confidant but you have an inkling there is a level of maliciousness simmering beneath the surface. It's in her eyes; it's in her intonation when she says certain things. The friendship with her feels good superficially but leaves you with a level of uncertainty. The turning point is usually when a mutual friend approaches you and say, "Hey did you know that So-and-So was telling us...not...good...things...?" You gasp in shock and horror but deep down you knew it was happening. So that's why she always makes snarky comments. Mm-Hmmmm.

Toxic, Toxic, Toxic. Having this person in your life is the soul equivalent of sticking a cigarette dipped in heroin into a hot dog and eating it. That probably won't taste very good, and leaves you with the same sort of aftertaste as the way this person leaves you feeling. Remember that your time is your currency. Do not give it freely away to people who leave you feeling bad or unsure of yourself, just because you've known that person all of your life. Set your boundaries. Keep a safe distance, because if you don't protect yourself from this kind of hatred, no one else can do it for you.

The Saboteur

Ah, this friend is my favorite. The one who binge smokes and drinks in front of you after you tell him that you're in the middle of trying to quit smoking and not drink so much. He orders 3 large pizzas after you tell him that you've been eating healthier. Remember that hottie you met last night that you were too shy to ask digits from? He's on a date with her tonight. At first he's irritating, but then you wonder if bro fam is out to ruin your chances at ever achieving anything in life. 

From what I've experienced, these people straight up hate themselves. They get off on competing with you without your consent. They, either intentionally or unconsciously set you up for failure so they come out ahead. Leave this person alone unless you want to be on the losing end of a friendship - and of life for the duration of your relationship. Why keep spending time with someone who wants you to hate your life as much as they hate theirs?

Lastly, we have 

The Leech

She's the friend who has the worst case of the Gimme Gimme's. She takes and takes and takes and never even so much as offers to contribute anything meaningful to your life. The taking doesn't necessarily have to be material; there are energetic leeches out there who are far more dangerous than someone who comes over and drinks up all your drink and eats up all your food then raids your closet. She leaves you wondering what value she brings to the friendship and you're probably still asking that question as you read this. 

At first the friendship with this feels good because it feeds your altruistic craving. It doesn't take long for you to feel funky whenever the leech comes around. Eventually you dread spending time with this type of person. So, don't. Leave them be. Let someone else be drained of joy and blood. 

I realize that as humans, we all carry a trace of the tendencies at least one of these characters possess. However, it's really important that we acknowledge which people don't feel right. It's also extremely beneficial to be aware of the cues people give us. None of us are the best people all the time, and that's to be expected. It's about knowing when to cut the cord to someone who is draining you. 

Draw your boundaries. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging that it's time to move forward with an open heart for some potentially awesome friends because you are, after all, as good as the people you surround yourself with. 

Collaborate, Don't Compete

When I see a woman doing big things, creating a name for herself (in my industry or another one), my first instinct is to get to know her. I usually reach out to see how I can help elevate her and her work. I don't ever view other founders/CEOs/entrepreneurs as competition. That's an antiquated, inherited mindset.
Collaborations await. There's enough room at the top for all of us. Reach out to people who can elevate you. Elevate others. That's how you establish relationships that will help you and your business grow.
The top isn't meant to be lonely; it's meant to be the place where you throw a party!

Breaking Up Is Fun To Do

OK, so maybe they're not FUN to do, but they sure are necessary.

This guy I used to kind of but not really date once tried to tell me who I could and could not speak to, so I NOPED all over our relationship and kept it movin'.

I think our last conversation went something like, "I'll talk to whoever the f... I damn well please. Bye."

I tell this story because I am fairly certain that because of all the hype that's generated with Valentine's Day, some folks were severely disappointed, and others (might I dare) woke up this morning solo, when they thought they had a pretty good thing going.

If you are in a relationship and your gut is telling you that you shouldn't be in it, chances are high that your instincts are right. When I was a teen-aged lass, I dated this dude for what ended up being 5 years. That is half a decade and we broke up when I was in my early 20s. I was with him for a quarter of my life at the time. That's a long-ass time, if you ask me.

Anyway, this guy, we'll call him "Bro," for the sake of privacy and my refusal to admit to his identity, talked me out of breaking up with him at our 2.5 year mark. I was bored with him. I felt no spark. I was beginning to explore other dating opportunities - he was SO damn boring. I'm sure someone out there would have found him great, I was just ready to move on.

I tried to break up with him. "No more," I said. "I'm bored and I don't feel anything for you anymore. I think it's time we went our separate ways." My young, people-pleasing self screwed me when he said that it was normal to feel that way because the "honeymoon" phase is over. Even then, my 19 year-old mind thought, "There's gotta be more to this," but I went against my gut and stayed for another couple of years until he broke up with me out of nowhere. My heart shattered into a million pieces on the floor.

I cried. A lot. I cried in the shower, I cried in bed, I cried while I was driving (bad idea). I cried to my dog. I cried, not because we ended. Not because he left me, but partially because he was no longer in my daily habits and because I had never experienced that type of alone-ness before. I cried because I didn't kick his ass to the curb first when I should have. Then, I tried to cry to my mom. Who, in her wisdom said, "It's been a week. You're still crying. Don't you think you've wasted enough time on this guy? Is crying making you feel better? Do you think he's crying because he left you? Give yourself a few more times to cry then stop. Tell yourself that you've had enough and leave the memory of him be. You don't need him to be happy."

It wasn't long before I realized that being single was an upgrade. He was kind of a bum. I paid for everything. He was boring (did I mention that already?) and we didn't even have the same sense of humor, nor did we have chemistry. Who I was when I was 15 did not want the same things as my 5-years-later-version self.

It was then that I made myself a promise. That I would no longer settle for someone just because I got comfortable, and that I would, from then on, refuse to stay with a person in a relationship purely to save their hurt feelings. I guarantee you there's someone out there who's more suitable for your awesome self.

When the heart tells you to move on, do it, because life is short and you deserve someone awesome who makes you feel like a kid on Christmas morning every day (most days, anyway) of your life. 

Spring Detox: Clear Away the Bull$#!+

My favorite time of year is upon us once again. Springtime summons blooming flowers, longer days, and shorter skirts. The urge to begin anew rears its pretty little head, along with the inevitable need to clear out the old.

Bad habits, toxic friends, a job you hate, are a few examples of the things in life that may take away your joy. Giving space to any of the above keeps you trapped in a cycle of tolerance for bullshit that you shouldn't subject yourself to. Yes, quitting smoking isn't easy, and you may have known that friend your entire life. I'm sure that job sustains you in some way, but is it fulfilling you?

If it does not serve you well, slowly work it out of your life. There is no shame in evolving, and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise. 

Kick that habit. 
Send that friend on his/her merry way. 
Figure out your life purpose and chase it with all your heart and soul. 

No more excuses. 

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Information and ideas expressed on any and all websites, videos, books, and coaching calls, written, owned, operated, and conducted by Veronica N. Cuyugan and The Blissification Company, LLC is not meant to take the place of legal or medical advice. Coaching results may vary.