If you were to ask another person or even yourself what a full life means, you will probably get a million different answers. As for me, I used to think that a full life just consisted of a life with a lot of material things. You know the six-figure salary, designer bags, shoes, and cars. But as I grow and evolve, I realize that a full life to me is more than that. I think we all can agree that a life where we are happy, fulfilled, loved, and have no regrets is the ultimate goal. I recognize that if I am happy and live life with no regrets, those other things like my dream job, dream closet, and dream man will undoubtedly come too. For example, I'm shown time and time again that if I practice gratitude for what I already have, I am constantly blessed with more.
So, how do you lead a full life? Well, I've found that setting intentions for myself helped get me started on the path to fulfillment. Intentions can be set daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. It's truly up to the individual. To get started, first think about who you are at this very moment. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made but, are we operating as such? Oftentimes we are not. Now, think about who you want to be and how you want to show up in this world. This is where intention-setting comes into play. Intentions are simply hopes and manifestations of who you know that you can be and who you truly are. By setting intentions and then operating as such, you open yourself up to a deep sense of inner fulfillment that cannot be touched.
So no matter what your definition of a full life may be, these 10 intentions are sure to be a great start on the path to the full life that you were destined to live.
1. "I intend to forgive myself and others."
If you're anything like me, you probably find it easier to forgive others than yourself and that's saying something because I have been known to hold a grudge or two. But listen, it is so important to give yourself the grace that you so graciously extend to others. Some of us can be our own worst critics. You made a mistake. It's not the end of the world, no matter what it is. Learn from it, grow from it, forgive yourself, and release it.
As for forgiving others, it's indeed more for you than the person that needs forgiving. Holding anger and grudges in your heart isn't good for you. Forgive. Practice this intention until it becomes second nature.
2. "I intend to love myself unconditionally."
This may be cliche but self-love really is the best love. This intention is one I set for myself daily and sometimes multiple times a day as it can be easy to forget as we move throughout the day. Vowing to love yourself no matter what sets the tone for your life and your life's experiences. I once heard someone say that self-love is the bridge to where you want to go in life and how you show up, and I couldn't agree more.
3. "I intend to not let fear stop me from trying new things."
My good sis Beyonce said it best when she said that none of her fears can go where she is headed. So many amazing things are on the other side of fear. Last November, I decided to move to a new city. I had been in my previous city for almost 20 years. It was scary leaving the city that I was so familiar with and where all my friends lived to a city where I knew a total of about three people. This decision turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. Set the intention to try a new thing every day and watch your life transform.
4. "I intend to practice gratitude."
I believe in this one so much. I feel that when you practice gratitude, it immediately puts you in a better mood because you are no longer focused on what you lack but instead focused on what you have. Also what better way to tell the universe that you are ready to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have.
5. "I intend to see the goodness around me."
It can be hard to see the goodness around you when there are so many things going on, especially this past year. We've had to deal with so much in 2020; COVID-19, death, sickness, quarantine, political unrest, inequality, and racism just to name a few. But despite all the negative things going on in the world, there is still so much goodness. You just have to look for it. I know that some days will be harder than others to see it but I promise it's there. Set this intention and begin to see all the good that is happening all around you.
6. "I intend to be happy."
Happiness is a choice. Tough times and not so great things are a part of life and often out of our control. It's how we choose to respond to them that is up to us. It is human to be down or sad about the things that happen in our lives. But it is up to us how long we stay in that place. When I am going through a tough time, I allow myself time to feel my feelings but then I set the intention to be happy regardless. I surround myself with the people, places, and things that make me happy. If you set the intention to be happy, you will be happy.
7. "I intend to listen better and not just react off of emotions."
This one right here. Pray for my strength, y'all. I have a bad habit of listening to respond instead of listening to understand. I know, I know, I'm working on it though. We all think that what we have to say is more important than what the other person has to say. But I have to admit that I have learned more by listening than by talking. Not to mention, setting this intention will make you a better friend, employee, employer, spouse, and/or partner.
8. "I intend to let go of the past and things that I cannot change."
It happened. You can't go back and change it no matter how much you wish that you could so you might as well make peace with it. Setting this intention will save you a lot of anxiety. Trust me. Learn from it and then release it.
9. "I intend to trust that I am where I am supposed to be."
The world can sometimes make you feel like you are behind but please trust that you are not. There is no magic age for getting married or having kids. Nor is there an age limit on finding your passion. Setting this intention is a beautiful and necessary reminder that what is meant for you won't ever miss you and will happen when it is supposed to happen.
10. "I intend to appreciate and enjoy life."
If I've learned nothing else in 2020, I've learned that life is precious. Set an intention to be appreciative of the life that you have and actually enjoy it. Too often we forget that life is meant to be enjoyed because we are so laser-focused on work and building empires. Don't get me wrong, those things are important too but you can't forget to live. I once read an article that talked about some of the regrets that people on their deathbed had. One of them was that they wish they hadn't spent so much time working. Enjoy yourself from time to time. Work will be there when you get back.Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
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In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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If you followed Beyoncé’s career, then you know how hair has played an important role in her journey. Her mom, Ms. Tina Knowles, owned a hair salon when the multi-Grammy award-winning artist was growing up, and she has shared on several occasions how it impacted her life. We’ve also witnessed her many hair transformations throughout her career, from braids to her signature long, straight honey blonde tresses. However, it was her pixie cut in 2013 that had everyone talking.
Beyoncé and Tina launched Cécred (pronounced sacred), a hair care line that includes a clarifying shampoo and scalp scrub, a hydrating shampoo, a nourishing hair oil, and much more. The mother-daughter duo opened up about their latest business venture together to Essence in its March/April issue, and the “Alien Superstar” revisited her haircut and how it reflected a life change.
“It did. That’s right. I love how we associate a certain hairstyle with moments in our lives, like that short-hair moment. I remember the day I decided to just cut all my hair off. I didn’t have a particular style in mind,” she explained.
“It wasn’t an aesthetic choice, but it was a very big emotional transformation and metamorphosis that I was going through. So much of my identity as a performer has been connected to flowing hair. Cutting my hair off was me rebelling against being this woman that society thinks I’m supposed to be.”
Beyonc\u00e9 to ESSENCE Magazine on her 2013 pixie cut:\n\n"I remember the day I decided to just cut all my hair off. I didn\u2019t have a particular style in mind. It wasn\u2019t an aesthetic choice, but it was a very big emotional transformation and metamorphosis that I was going through."\ud83d\ude2d\ud83e\udd79— (@)
She continued, “I was a new mother, and something about the liberation of becoming a mother made me want to just shed all of that. It was a physical representation of me shedding the expectations put upon me. I just wanted it off.
Neal Farinah, my hairstylist and friend, was freaking out because it was really long, really thick and really healthy. I just got the scissors and chopped it off. It was very intentional. And it was what I needed to do. And after that, I became super brave. It was the first step to many more audacious decisions I made in my life and my career that have led to who I am now.”
Throughout the interview, Beyoncé shared how her new hair line is her “legacy” and how she wants to use her line to highlight the versatility of textured hair.
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Feature image by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy