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Relationship Expert Spicy Mari On How To Spice Up Our Self-Care Game

"It's important to fill up your love cup first, before feeling you have the abundance to pour love into other people."

Finding Balance

In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.

When growing up, we have so many examples of what a relationship looks like. We see how our parent(s) act when they are in love, we watch TV sitcom couples like Martin and Gina, and we even get front row seats to see our friends go through their romantic relationships. So, when it is our turn to pick our partner, we assume we have everything figured out. But when it comes to love, sometimes we need a bit of help. That is where Magnetic Matchmaker and Relationship Expert, Spicy Mari comes in to help guide you towards your purpose-mate.


Spicy Mari is the CEO and founder of The Spicy Life. The Spicy Life is a relationship consulting firm where she teaches the S.P.I.C.Y. (Self, Passion, Intimacy, Communication and learning to say "Yes,") Fundamentals to her clients in order for them to form and maintain healthy fulfilling relationships. Spicy has mastered the power behind deep connections through a B.A. in Communications from the University of California-Berkeley, an M.A. in Communication from USC, and a dating certification from the International Dating Coach Association. Spicy currently has an upcoming e-course where she is providing a six-week program of her proven S.P.I.C.Y. method.

Courtesy of Spicy Mari

What we all have to remember is that, when you are in a relationship, loving our partners does not mean we should forget about loving ourselves. When we commit to living our lives focused on our dreams and our "why", we attract the right person who will support us along the way. Spicy is a true believer in self-love. She understands how prioritizing self-love within your daily routine is the best way to find that balance.

In this installment of Finding Balance, we talk to Spicy Mari about the power of affirmations, healthy relationships, and the importance of recharging to ultimately find balance.

xoNecole: What is your WHY?

Spicy Mari: My mission in life is to restore the family unit. I believe I was put on this earth to educate and empower women and men in order to have healthy relationships. I want to break generational curses as well. I come from an upbringing where I witnessed my mother being married multiple times. I saw how it affected how she perceived her value. So at an early age, I began to study and research the fundamentals that you need in order to be successful in relationships. Now, I can teach that to the masses. Connecting with your purpose-mate has the ability to help you achieve self-actualization.

At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause and finding balance in both your personal and professional life?

I learned about pressing pause early on because I saw the ramifications of not filling up my cup. It's important to fill up your love cup first before feeling you have the abundance to pour love into other people. It was during college where I really started to prioritize self-care. If I don't do it for myself, nobody else will. But when I first started my business, I threw myself in there full throttle.

At a moment, I started to notice my hair was breaking off, skin was bad, and I gained extra weight. I couldn't even recognize myself. That was when I realized that I was pouring into others and stopped pouring into myself. So now when things get crazy with work, I have to remind myself to apply those self-care practices that I educate to my clients. Every now and then I say to myself, "Spicy go take a walk (laughs)."

What is a typical day/week in your life?

My weeks are crazy. The one thing I do like about my weeks is that they are consistent… but with craziness (laughs). So I always start my morning working out and saying my affirmations. I set my intentions for the day. After that, I have my client consultations and perform screening processes for potential clients to see if they are ready for the program. Then, I record for my podcast, editing, and a couple more client sessions.

Throughout the day, I am still connecting with my team and answering any emergency calls my current clients may have and need advice from me. I have made my husband and I dinner sometime in there too (laughs). But my day usually doesn't end until midnight.

"I started to notice my hair was breaking off, skin was bad, and I gained extra weight. I couldn't even recognize myself. That was when I realized that I was pouring into others and stopped pouring into myself. So now when things get crazy with work, I have to remind myself to apply those self-care practices that I educate to my clients."

Courtesy of Spicy Mari

Do you practice any types of self-care? What does that look like for you?

My favorite self-care practice is hiking. I LOVE to hike. Whenever I have energy to burn or I am feeling stressed, I am taking myself on a hike. I like to do it myself because that is my time to pray, talk to God, and regroup. After my hikes, I always feel recharged and ready to take on the next thing.

What advice do you have for busy women who feel like they don’t have time for self-care?

I like to affirm myself throughout the day. So in-between clients, I tell myself how amazing I am, how gifted I am, and remind myself that God gave me this task because he knew that I would be able to handle it. So having that conversation with yourself, whether it's an affirmation or an actual dialogue for two minutes, helps you be able to control your thoughts throughout the day. When you are able to control your thoughts, you have a better handle on your emotions. Once you have mastered that, you can show up for others better.

How do you find balance with:

Friends?

I try to stress the notion with my clients that just because you get into a relationship or start dating, does not mean you leave your friends to the wayside. The same mindset we have for dating our romantic partners, we should still be dating our friends. So for me, with balancing my friendships, I have a shared calendar with my friends.

My friends and I put scheduled events/make reservations to certain restaurants. We also started a book club to hold each other accountable and to check in. My friend group and I make sure that when we are checking in, we are still pouring into each other and sharing any best practices that could help our group in everyday life.

Love/Marriage?

I'm not going to lie, this is actually something that is very challenging for me. I am an alpha woman and we tend to have this strong masculine mindset. Being married to an alpha man, I have had to learn to sit in my feminine. So when my laptop is closed, I have to give my partner that level of attention that makes him feel happy or loved.

I also try to make sure I check in on him daily and I am not talking about the "how was your day" check-in. I am talking about those intimate conversations where we can talk about family, relationship goals, and affirming him on how much he means to me. I like our balance where my husband brings security and I bring the passion/romance.

"I am an alpha woman and we tend to have this strong masculine mindset. Being married to an alpha man, I have had to learn to sit in my feminine. I like our balance where my husband brings security and I bring the passion/romance."

Courtesy of Spicy Mari

Health?

Health has always been a top priority for me. I try to work out 4-5 times a week. But now that I am expecting a baby boy, it has been a lot harder to work out, OK? (Laughs) I have been challenging myself to put workout time on my calendar. I also work with my personal trainer and abundance mindset coach to push me and encourage me to keep going, even when I am not feeling my best.

Wow you’re expecting? Congratulations! When it comes to preparing for motherhood, what types of self-care practices have become more important for you than before?

Now this may sound unorthodox, but I believe sex is a part of self-care (laughs). There are so many health benefits to the female orgasm. I don't think us women incorporate that enough into our self-care regimen. I mean sex is how we got pregnant in the first place (laughs). But to continue having sex and keeping that part of my marriage alive during my pregnancy is a must.

I hear that! Now when it comes to self-care for your child, how do you plan on teaching your son the importance of self-care?

One thing that I think is important to know is who we are, what we want, and what we have to offer. Being clear on that will help my son in relationships, career, and friendships. But another thing I am super excited to teach my son is his cultural background. I am Black and Mexican and his father is Jamaican. So with the self-love component, I want my son to be proud of his heritage. That confidence in your culture really helped me growing up, so I know it will help him too.

Honestly, what does success and happiness mean to you?

Happiness for me is a state of peace. Happiness is knowing that I set myself on a path where I have set my intentions and I am still proud of myself, even if I don't hit the mark. Success is hitting the mark (laughs). Success is blowing ish out of the park. When you set goals for yourself and you make that checklist, I find success in being able to check those things off that list. So it is not necessarily those long-term goals. But even those short-term goals that help you see things come into fruition, which guide you towards your long-term goals.

To learn more about Spicy Mari, follow her on instagram @spicymari. You can also listen to The Spicy Life Podcast, here.

Featured image courtesy of Spicy Mari

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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