Living on Purpose and Leading an Intentional Life

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It’s so invigorating sitting at a table surrounded by fearless, bad-ass, creative and multi-talented women who are breaking barriers. Lately, I’ve been reminded the importance of living on purpose and being intentional, so it was only right that I lead the discussion with that topic at my  Queens & Conversation brunch. This past Sunday, I was joined by a group of inspiring women including Olivia, Karyn, Rekha, Ashton, Desiree, Rochelle, Donnet, TiyeSydney, Kara and Keisha. We met at Hanks, a woman-owned restaurant that is definitely Insta worthy, not to mention they just released a delicious brunch menu just in time for our gathering.

We had an enriching conversation that centered around the power of being intentional from creating opportunity for people that are underrepresented, owning our narrative, being aware of what we consume in our mind and bodies, what we’re sharing on social media, and consciously investing in our community. The more intentional we strive to become, the universe will align in our favor.

“Never underestimate the power of intention. Your thoughts, words and actions are the keys to your future.”

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What’s interesting is that most of the women didn’t know each other before this brunch, but once we began introducing ourselves and sharing our passions we immediately noticed how much we had in common. One of the beautiful aspects of hosting this experience that I enjoy most is bringing women together from a variety of backgrounds and industries to gather and grow through fellowship.

When I decided to create this brunch series a year ago, I knew that I wanted it to be an intimate experience where women could share their professional and personal experiences, while discussing ways we can collaborate to serve our community in a meaningful way. From intentionally hand-picking the guests to determining where we would gather, it is based off intention. I’m so grateful that I’m able to use my gifts to create opportunities for other women to be seen and reminded of their power.

As the year slowly comes to a close, I want to remind you that you still have time to finish strong. I encourage you to take advantage of the time you have and use it wisely. Prioritize what matters most and start working towards it. There is no better time than now. Live everyday with intention to learn something new about yourself and others, take on a new challenge that will bring you closer to your goals, surround yourself with those that bring out the best in you and encourage you to keep going.

Surround yourself with energy that takes you up. Be around people who make you feel good. They’ll help you manifest what you want. 

Much love

Alexandra

 

 

 

 

Boss Up Season: Seizing Your Moment & Living with Intention

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Last week I traveled to New York to kick off Fashion Week with NaturallyCurly. As you may know, I’m a full-time editor there where I edit and write articles about all things curly, partner with haircare brands to showcase their latest products and feature visionaries who are leading the textured hair community. Each year NaturallyCurly hosts, Texture on the Runway  and this year was beyond the biggest one yet. From having over 900 attendees to Amara Le Negra co-hosting the show, the event was nothing short of amazing. Being that it was my second year attending/working it, I knew I wanted to make this experience memorable by being intentional in all that I did. From getting my hair done by Tara to staying  a few days after to explore New York, I made sure that it was out of pure intention.

With pure intention comes pure opportunity.

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When I started working at NaturallyCurly two years ago, my main role was to edit articles and manage contributors. Being that I was new to the team, I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes and at times I found myself dimming my light to make others feel comfortable. As time went on, I was asked to be a part of video projects, but I was so afraid of speaking on camera that I cringed at the thought of doing so. Over the past several months, my role as an editor has expanded. I’ve challenged myself to conquer my fears and take on new projects such as being a part of video campaigns, covering live events and interviewing people on camera and leading meaningful conversations in person. All of this lead me to being prepared for moments like the picture above where I had the chance to go backstage at the Cushnie show to interview the lead hairstylist, Ursula Stephen. In case you don’t know, Ursula is the Queen of hair! She has worked with celebrity faves such as Rihanna, Zendaya, Serena Williams and many more. Having the opportunity to meet her was confirmation that everything that I’ve been challenging myself to do was preparation for unforgettable moments like these. To be in a room full of boss women who are dominating their industry and walking in their purpose was a reminder that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and it all started with intention and being confident within my ability to show up and own my greatness.

Direct experience is the only valid confirmation.

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Once work was done, I made it a point to explore New York and I stayed at a cute and cozy Airbnb in Woodside to get the real New York experience. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I’ve been prioritizing my health and wellness and it truly has been the best investment I’ve ever made. Earlier this year one of my writers featured a Latina woman who is changing the fitness industry for people of color, Samantha Ortiz. She is the founder of the Triple Threat Boot Camp in Brooklyn and was named the best fitness instructor of NYC in 2017. She invited me and my friend Kiana to attend her class during our visit and of course I had to take her up on her offer. As we walked into the beautiful fitness studio and heard the music bumping from the speakers, I was immediately inspired by the energy in the room. It was the toughest workout I’ve done, but it was well worth it. It was so amazing to be led by a woman who is truly invested in changing people’s lives through fitness. I’m glad I was able to finally meet her and witness her passion in person.

Show up for yourself in ways that no one else can.

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As my NY trip came to a close I wanted to be sure to be intentional with every minute and I spent the day surrounded by beautiful fearless women at the Fanm Djanm brunch. I met the founder of Fanm Djanm, Paola Mathe, a few months ago in Austin for a shoot and I’m extremely inspired by her creativity, passion and boldness. She has attended NYFW several times and this year she wanted to be more intentional by bringing women together for an intimate brunch. She hosted an exclusive brunch at the Refinery Hotel in Manhattan and it was filled with good vibes and great conversation. I believe there’s so much power by gathering women in an intimate space to share our experiences, lessons and celebrate one another because when one wins, we all win!

Be around the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters and the game changers. They’ll challenge you, break you open, uplift you and elevate you to rise to the occasion. Your association determine your destination.

New York can be daunting, chaotic and exhausting, but it’s a reminder that we have the power to create a meaningful life everyday that we’re alive, so make it count. Be intentional with the time you have. Seize the moment and be present in all that you do. I encourage you to conquer your doubts, insecurities and fears. Challenge yourself every chance you get to become better and learn something new. Practice discipline and remain to your purpose. Make your vision so clear that your fears become irrelevant. Trust your intuition and own your greatness. Show up for yourself and watch God work.

Much love and many blessings

Alexandra

 

 

 

 

SisterlyLove Celebration

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This past weekend I visited Corpus Christi, TX for a much needed girls trip with my family, filled with lots of love, dancing, endless memories and fellowship. I was raised in a family that is founded on unconditional love, vows to show their support in every way possible and always puts family first and that’s why I cherish my family so much.

“My family is not only my foundation, but my motivation.”

My cousin Constance Staten recently started a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to the spiritual growth and empowerment of women, called SisterlyLove Celebration. She was inspired to create this organization to remind women of their power and purpose, strengthen and celebrate diversity and encourage growth in their journey with God. What’s so beautiful about this organization is that it’s a place for my family to bond, build and create new memories for generations to come.

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During our trip we shared unforgettable memories singing our favorite songs on karaoke, danced until our feet hurt, walked the beach and relaxed under the sunset, poured into each other and hosted a panel on the future of dating where we discussed self-love, love vs. infatuation, healing, faith and sisterhood. There were so many gems dropped and meaningful experiences shared that I wanted to share them with you to be a reminder for you a long your journey.

Self-love: Give yourself love, give yourself attention, give yourself time, give yourself power and give yourself to you. The more you believe in yourself and practice who you want to become, God will position you exactly where you need to be. It first starts with you. Reclaim your power and always be aware of your value. Respect yourself and show others how you prefer to be treated with love and compassion. The more you love yourself, the less you seek validation and approval from others. Set boundaries, be clear on your expectations and focus on being a powerful source from within. The better you love yourself, the better others learn to love you. Show them the way.

Sisterhood: Find your tribe of sisters who uplift you, encourage you to stay the course when you feel lost, and offer guidance and support without judgement. Sisterhood is a special and sacred bond that is honest and empowering. Remind them of their magic so that they don’t feel the need to look for those characteristics in a potential spouse. Check in on your sisters, lean into them, let them know how much you love and appreciate them, remind them how proud of them you are, shower them with love and check them when they need it because that’s what sisters are for.

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Healing: In order to serve others, you first have to sort through your own mess. Healing comes in waves, lean in your truth, acknowledge your experiences and let go of what no longer serves you. Doing the work is what facilitates healing. In order to mend, we have to show up for ourselves in ways no one else can. Give yourself permission to heal and forgive yourself and others in order to grow. The very moment you allow what happened to you to strengthen you, you win. Choose victory over being a victim. Rise up and conquer from within.

Faith: At the end of the day, all you need is hope and strength. Hope that it will get better and strength to hold on until it does, because it always does. Walking authentically in your light will lead you in the right direction. Trust that your journey is yours & it doesn’t have to mirror anyone else’s path. God is aligning the right people, ideas, places and opportunities in your life. All you need to do is be ready to experience them when they come. Choose faith over fear and God’s favor will put you in positions hustling can’t.

Love vs infatuation: With everything at the touch of our finger tips it’s easy to get infatuated with someone and become obsessed with how they look on the internet. But sis don’t let their looks fool you, dig deeper. Get to know them, their passions, their family, their goals and their relationship with God. That will tell you much more than any photoshopped image on social media. Love is an action not a word. Falling in love is easy, but choosing to stand in it, even through adversity, shifts, and change is the hardwork that isn’t picture perfect. Love requires practice, patience, understanding and partnership. Choose a love that is rooted in God, faith, friendship and commitment. Love is learned and it unconditional.

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Much love from my family to yours,

Alexandra

 

You Don’t Have to Have it All Figured Out to Move Forward

 

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Two weeks ago, I hosted Queens & Conversation, college edition at St. Genevieve. We talked about the importance of intentional networking, knowing your worth and negotiating pay, choosing faith over fear, prioritizing self-care and leaning on others and knowing that you don’t have to do it alone. As I get older, the power of sisterhood is something I appreciate more and more. I’m forever grateful to gather women and empower them to live a limitless life because we are so much stronger together! Thank you to these beautiful young women for joining me and sharing your passions and goals – God has so much in store for you and I can’t wait to witness it.

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This brunch was very special because I didn’t have any knowledge of what life after college would look like for me. I didn’t have a mentor sharing advice, had no job or interviews setup, so I wanted to be sure to pay it forward and share my experiences with these women as they stepped out into the real world. I’ve been out of college for three years and there is so much I wish I had known about transitioning into adulthood. With graduation around the corner, I wanted to share my biggest lessons to hopefully help make your transition smoother and more intentional.

  1. Credit is key: Just because you’re making money, doesn’t mean you need to spend it. Believe me, I know how good it feels to secure your first full-time job, but try your best to create a financial plan that works for you and stick to it. My first two years after graduation I did freelance work which involved helping small businesses and local organizations with their pr, marketing and branding strategies, plus worked events as a brand ambassador. I roughly made $20K a year my first two years post college. I look back and have no idea how I made it through, but God made a way. It taught me the importance of saving and building my credit. Having good credit is essential for leasing a car, apartment, furniture, and so much more so protect it. I recently got a credit karma account to monitor my credit and it’s a huge help to get free access to my credit report and track my credit score.
  2. Network with a purpose: I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, it’s not what you know, but who you know. This is so true! I understand networking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and can be dreadful at times, but if you do it with a purpose you’ll find it to be more successful. It’s important to build a network of professionals you can learn from and grow with. Depending on where you live, there are several networking events, workshops and happy hours for young professionals, but remember you don’t have to be at every event. Use eventbrite and Facebook to find events that interest you and challenge yourself to attend one per week. Ask yourself what do you want to get out of this event? Who do you want to meet? Bring your business cards and encourage yourself to connect with at least 3 people. You never know who’s watching, assume everyone is. Own the room and be confident.
  3. Self-care is essential for your sanity: I never understood the importance of a morning routine or self-care for that matter, until I worked from home and my life had little to no structure. In order to protect my peace I quickly found that it was essential to set boundaries and be intentional with my time. Whether you choose to meditate, pray, stretch, go for a run/walk, or journal be sure to create a morning routine that sets the tone for your day. Self-care is truly how you take your power back. Even throughout the day when you feel overwhelmed or under pressure, pause, take a moment to go outside and take three 3 deep breaths to refocus. Remember, self-care doesn’t have to be an hour or cost money, but make it a priority to invest in yourself. You’re worth it.
  4. Know your worth and negotiate like a boss: Before any interview, research the company and the desired roles salary. Recognize your strengths and know the value you bring, regardless if you have direct work experience. Don’t undervalue your transferrable skills, there are many skills that are transferrable such as being a part of the student council, leading projects and volunteering. Don’t be afraid to ask for more, be confident, explain why you’re with it and watch what happens.
  5. You don’t have to do it alone: Even though, you’re capable of doing it all, you don’t have to. There are so many people that are rooting for you and willing to help if you ask. Reach out to your community, friends, family and co-workers if you’re needing support. Asking for help is a sign of strength. Get out of your own way and make room for others to join you a long your journey. Team work makes the dream work.

Congrats to all the college graduates and continue to lead with love in all that you do. Take life as it comes and embrace every shift because change is the only constant in life.  Go at your own pace and honor the process.

With love,

Founder & CEO

Alexandra

 

 

 

Self-care is How You Take Your Power Back

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I’m still in awe of how fast this year went by. I’m even more in awe of how much happened this year. Lawd. This has been a hell of a year. To be honest, 2017 was mentally challenging, emotionally draining and filled with countless acts of terror and hate, yet it still provided growth and opportunity for lessons. As I reflect over the year, there’s a few lessons I learned I’d like to share. Even when you feel like the world has let you down, remember who you are and what you stand for. Be gentle with yourself, you’re evolving even on the days you don’t feel like it. Healing comes in waves. To whom much is given, much is required. Rest. Reset. Climb on.

“When life feels like it’s trying to break you, don’t focus on your problems. Focus on your blessings. Take a moment to be thankful for everything you’ve gotten through. You’ve prevailed. You’re blessed & highly favored Queen.”

Yesterday I hosted my last Queens & Conversation brunch of 2017 at Caroline Restaurant with Brenda, Riley, Ishia, Mica, Angela and Alexis. Being that this was a tough for year us all, I wanted to utilize this time to be transparent, vulnerable and supportive. I felt it was important to focus less on what we endured and more on what we learned and overcame. We each shared one thing we learned about ourselves this year which included life lessons such as: Remember, our timing and God’s timing are not the same – trust the process; You are much stronger than you think – believe in yourself ; Offer yourself the same forgiveness you give others – you are deserving;  Listen to your body and give yourself permission to heal, grieve and push forward.

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It’s interesting because most of the women didn’t know each other before this brunch, but once we began sharing our stories and experiences we immediately noticed how much we had in common. That’s one of the most beautiful parts of this experience I enjoy most is bringing women together from a variety of backgrounds and interests to gather and grow through fellowship.

We also shined a light on the importance of self-care and how vital it is especially as women because we’re constantly loving, supporting, nurturing and giving to others that we forget to provide that same care for ourselves. I encourage you to take your power back and make yourself a priority. Do what you love. Surround yourself around those that feed your soul, help you grow and make you happy. You are worthy.

Much love & many blessings

Founder & CEO

Alexandra

Break Free From What No Longer Serves You

FullSizeRender-76 Sunday’s are meant for reflecting on your week, decluttering your mind and centering your energy. Oh, let’s not forget brunch! Today, I spent my Sunday surrounded by resilient women for a very inspiring Queens & Conversation. We met at Grizzelda’s, a cute lil’ spot on the eastside of Austin, which is known for their adorable pink decor and bomb margaritas. I was joined by Ashton, Irma, Farah, Meghan, Jeena, and Kay.

We discussed the importance of remaining true to ourselves and the power of letting go of relationships that no longer serve us. I’ve been there, I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. Giving your all to others while losing yourself in the process. Being fearful of being alone, it’s comfortable and convenient, so you settle. It’s interesting because the more we shared, the more we realized how much we had in common regardless of our ages, ethnicities or upbrinings. We each endured a relationship that was stifling our individual growth and had to find the strength to take our power back and break free.

“I am the ruler of my life. I am in charge of my own happiness. I am learning to let go of what’s holding my heart hostage.” -Alex Elle

FullSizeRender-75We also shared the importance of self-care and how it’s okay to be selfish. It’s ironic because the word selfish, has a negative conotation, but it’s essential to be selfish in order to protect your peace. If you won’t, who will? If not now, then when?

Be selfish with your time, energy and passions. Invest in yourself. Be mindul of the people you surround yourself with.

Your life experiences are only as powerful as your ability to turn them into life lessons. Find peace in what you can not change. Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith everything will work out. Re-set. Re-adjust. Re-start. As many times as you need to, continue to conquer from within.

You have the power within you to move mountains in every area of your life. The biggest catch is, the biggest mountain you’ll ever have to move is within you.

 

Much love

Founder & CEO

Alexandra

No Risk. No Reward.

FullSizeRender-74This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of gathering 12 brilliant women who are shining bright and serving their community. When I host Queens & Conversation, it reminds me of my purpose, potential and passions. What I value most is that each one is unique and I leave feeling inspired, affirmed and empowered from the amazing conversation we share. There is something so beautiful about creating something you want to be a part of and sharing these special moments with women who you can relate to and fuel you to keep going.FullSizeRender-72I’m very intentional about handpicking each guest for Queens & Conversation and this was definitely an amazing group of women that vibed well. I was joined by Shayla, Ashley, Stephanie, Leslie, Arielle, Angela, Devanne, Lauren, Molly, Crystal, Ishia, and Mica. We met up for brunch at Eberly, which was founded upon a resilient and courageous Texas woman, Angelina Eberly, and is known for attracting creative risk takers, so I knew it would be a great fit us! Our theme was no risk, no reward.

We discussed the importance of stepping outside of our comfort zones, taking that leap of faith and letting God lead us very step of the way. Often times, we are stretched beyond our limits to be reminded of how powerful we truly are. We shared the sacrifices we had to make in order to get where we’re at today because regardless of what social media shows us, the journey won’t be perfect, but it will be worth it.FullSizeRender-73We closed out by each going around the table sharing what success means to us. Being that we live in a world that revolves around money, no ones answer had anything at all to do with material things. We all shared a common theme of having the freedom to create the life we deserve, seeing the people we love taken care of and leaving an empowering legacy for generations to come.

I can’t thank these women enough for showing up and being present, it truly means so much to me. I appreciate your time, energy and efforts to go against the grain to be the change you want to see. Continue to trust your greatness and respect your journey. Even though you may not be reaping the rewards right now, keep sowing your seeds and your garden will begin to bloom beautifully.

Surround yourself with people who see your value and remind you of it.

The next brunch will be held on July 23rd, more details coming soon!