stupid relief tree

who are you,

you to me. I feel dispensable, a soap container

a plague, or mono. maybe. Never been kissed.

a tumultuous stirring, a soap box, anti-abortion signs in the middle of a college campus. I stop frat-


Internalizing every tidbit, every

upheaval, every breath


inhale, every breath restrains. thought leaves rustle. thoughts leave.

an anecdote, a pun, a pen, empty on its last limb


I feel as alone as a speck of sand in a toddlers shoe as she hurdles a tantrum. zen

I breath. Subdued. one. two. three.

every follicle, pore, every poor overworked thought tightening around my throat like a nuis-


I let go. one. two. three.

and I grow.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Golden Circle is comprised of the following: Why, How, What

WHATS: what products, what services, the job function, external factor.

HOW: how the WHATS are delivered. How something is different or better.

WHY: purpose, cause, or belief AKA internal factors. The why of a company is not to make money, making money . Companies that know their why differentiate themselves from companies that don’t know their why.

Companies with a strong WHY include Apple, Southwest Airlines, Disney. Those who have a strong why but diverge against it create an imbalance, and people notice. Example used is when Volkswagen created an incredibly high end car with all the bells and whistles, but this car didn’t align with their WHY – Volkswagen literally means “people’s car,” and is associated with the everyday person, the hipster, and should embody inclusion. Even though the high end car they put out had the best specs and was rated high, it was a failure and an volition of the Celery Test.

The limbic system is a portion of our brain that is responsible for feelings such as trust and loyalty. “Gut feeling” is actually derived from the limbic system, though it isn’t related to our logical, analytical or rational side, which is why sometimes it’s hard to put into words why we make the decisions we make.

Putting your WHY into words allows you to give a rational basis when you make decisions. As a leader, putting your WHY into words leads to accessibility and scalability even as your business expands. Those who follow you will be able to read and explain WHY which is important because the leader won’t always be there.

Visceral limbic feelings leads to loyalty. WHATs such as product, services, features are not WHYs and don’t lead to loyalty. WHATs are a proof of WHY.

Hire people who believe what you believe. The Celery Test is the power to filter decisions through your why. You can go to conferences, read books, get guidance and advice, but if it doesn’t align with your why, you’re wasting energy, time, and money.

TIVO failed because they were about WHATS – what their product did, what services they provided, etc. They used WHAT marketing rather than WHY marketing in order to rationalize the appeal of their product, leading to low sales. Sirius is another company that used the same tactics.

Partnerships are composed of WHY and HOW people. This type of relationship works because they WHY people have the vision, and the HOW people create a track to execute that vision.

Example of a WHY and HOW partnership that was incredibly successful is the Disney brothers relationships. Roy is the older, more practical brother who understood economics, business and finances, whereas Walt is the visionary who was always imaginative, optimistic and had his head in the clouds.

It’s important to have a WHY because WHATs never stay stagnant, especially in this technological era. Services, product features, price, etc. are constantly updated, but the vision, meaning and philosophy are inherent and don’t budge.

Anyone can be loud and have energy, but not everyone can be clear. Being loud to me is analogous to social media use in our current generation. On the exterior you can have fancy cars, perfect unblemished skin, a thicc booty and a 6 pack but clarity and why comes from the inside – it’s deep, never changing, and not fleeting.

Sinek describes the following leaders as being clear and having charisma, not just being loud: Dr. King, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. Being loud rallies people, but clarity and charisma inspires.

This book is important. It’s made me realize why I have’t attained ‘success’ yet. Essentially, I haven’t developed and expressed a clear Why. Am I a how person or a why person? I think I’m a why person who has been trying to be a how person. I’m trying to learn too many different skills in order to execute a blurry vision. I have to stop, focus, and develop a solid vision. In Tom’s interview with Tai Lopez seen here: he talks about having a tombstone goal. Create a tombstone goal and reverse engineering that – if I want the end of my life at age 90 to look like this, this and this, then I have to do these following things by age 80, and so on and so forth. Not only did this book highlight the importance of having a clear vision, it also helped me understand the difference between being loud versus being clear. Charisma and confidence is exuded by people that are steadfast in what they believe in. They derive power and strength by having a crystal clear vision, not by being the loudest around. Loud people eventually run out of steam, whereas people with charisma and clarity are more consistent because the message they deliver and their philosophy does not alter.


brown freckled skin leaning in sheryl sandberg style we’re both introverted. an inconvenient truth, heart on my sleeve it’s gore, all of it. you and me, sleepy and dreamy melatonin washes, lightly lapping my dream shore

seaweed avocado cream cheese, sashimi, my rice rolls as you squeeze me

i love you like a fat kid loves cake. i love you like a grandma loves to bake. like a seattle millennial loves to get baked. like a buff dude likes protein shakes. wow.

i love you like i get up in the morning after a solid 8 hours and i stretch, feels good, bones crack, lips sunrise into a smile, warmth, heat, kindling 

i’m corny, you lightly graze on my insecurities, loving dove pecking at the crumbs meticulously placed all around me, surrounding me 

warm hands cold heart you rub your heart of psalms against my welcoming cool soul, bringing it back, back to life, karmic, graze anatomy


2018: A Year of Reading

I read quite a bit last year. I made some graphs because I like nerd shit. I read a variety of books, I reread some books because I thought they were important and they were short and sweet and it helped me reach my 52 book goal. I read comics, essays and fiction. I read nonfiction, I listened to audiobooks. I read books about zombie babies murdering neighbors. I read a book Da Terminator wrote about his Terminator life and there were actual nuggets of wisdom that I deeply appreciated.

I read the last book one of the greatest scientists of our time wrote. I read books that made me cry. Books that made me pull over and replay the last 30 seconds because that stanza was just so damn beautiful, so thought provoking and insanely and gorgeously and painfully written.

I read about how Starbucks began. I appreciated the hell out of the story.

I read a book about Elon Musk’s larger than life story, a heart wrenching story about a neurosurgeon’s fight with lung cancer. Books about the big bang theory, event horizons, and books that provided a hypothesis that disproved Gods existence – which really fucked me up, but in a good way. A book by Seth Godin about how to stand out, how to use your imagination and creating with love because that’s what differentiates us from machines in a cog – “Linchpin” was the book that inspired me to start this blog. And James Altucher’s “Choose Yourself” taught me to train my idea muscle on the daily – I’m all about that swole idea muscle life.

I reread Carol Dweck’s “Mindset.” Why? It’s a book so fucking important it should be read at least once every year. I also read 2 books that taught me about meditation and the power of being present, and lead me to download Headspace, an app that has positively affected my life. “You Are a Badass,” “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck,” and “Rejection Proof” made me laugh out loud IRL, and the story of Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos in “Bad Blood” made me go WTF IS WRONG WITH PPL.

This chart shows how many books I read each month. I really picked up my reading when we moved out of our apartment. My commute became longer, from 30 minutes one way to almost an hour one way so I got through A LOT of audiobooks starting in the summer. Not only did my commute get longer, but I was also more awake and feeling much better after switching from night shift to day shift, which occurred sometime during March/April. Nightshift really killed any desire for me to read anything I had to actually digest and think about.
I used Overdrive/Libby and Audible to get most of my audiobooks. Shoutout to Tom Bilyeu and the Impact Theory team, they really kicked off my love of audiobooks by sending me 3 months of audible credits because I was a was a 2nd place winner for a contest they were running. I used Audible when I REALLY REALLY wanted the book and when the wait times for the library was like 6 months or longer cause I have no patience. Audiobooks and kindle books are easy to carry around, thus more convenient. I’m prone to laziness so when things are super convenient, I don’t have an excuse and I’m more likely to read. I try to follow this rule in other areas of my life. If I meal prep I don’t have to make food throughout the week. If i pick out my clothes the night before I won’t be late and I can be lazier in the mornings. If I follow a workout program I don’t have an excuse to not go to the gym. If you’re a lazy POS like I am, make it super fucking easy on yourself you’ll be able to develop that habit.
Nonfiction books are good for the brain, and fiction books are good for the soul. Fiction ignites a fire in your imagination. The majority of the books I read were nonfiction, but I didn’t just stick with personal development. I read true crime, medicine, science, biographies, and so on. Keep it spicy my dudes.
I went out of my comfort zone last year. I didn’t sky dive or give a speech in front hundreds of people, nay, it was much more tame than that. I expanded the type of reading I did. It’s important to read classics, and most of the classics are written by old white bros. It’s a fact. I’m still gonna keep reading books written by old white dudes, but I want to expand my worldview and to do that I have to read stuff from authors of different demographics. For 2019 I’m going to continue this quest.

I read short books, essays, books with pictures, ebooks, I listened to books, I read books by brown people who look like me, read books by women, just like me. That felt good. Empowering. In October I was stressed the hell out wondering how I would get to my 52 book goal and I went into Overdrive (pun intended). I felt like I was back in college, with only one week left of finals, but like, in a more fun way, not the “Oh shit I’m gonna fail this fucking class if I don’t cram all this information inside my brain which I will immediately dump out soon as I finish my test” kind of way.

My favorite books of 2018 are David Goggins “Can’t Hurt Me,” “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, “Relentless” by Tim Grover, and “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. My goal for 2019 is to read 30 books and to even more books by authors from diverse backgrounds. My goal is lower this year because a higher priority for me in 2019 is to network and really cultivate deep meaningful relationships. I want to apply what I read instead of just consuming vast amounts of information, which often leads to inaction. Inaction is one of my greatest weaknesses. It’s easy to stay at home and read in my own little introverted bubble, life’s more comfortable that way. Ideas and people grow when we interact with others. Growth occurs when you put yourself in uncomfortable situations, and I’m trying to develop that David Goggins type of calloused mind 💪🏾🧠

when you ask me

i look back craning my neck 90 degree angle, perfect, at the scene of you hunched over the computer screen pixelated 420p, take a smoke break. single black tolkien hairy hobbit toes stroking different cats for different folks. you’re a forlorn folktale, toes up and down the calico’s spine mouse click clack, back cracks as you look back craning your neck 90 degrees single dotted line black eyes piercing mine, perfect

amorous dissonance

I push you closer, hoping you would go away.

Leave me be as i wrap my arms around your waist like an unwanted Christmas present from my grandma once removed twice removed third times the charm.

I remove myself from the heated argument. I just want to clear my head. I wear your sweater and I like how you smell, unfamiliar familiarity, the warmth coats my worn shoulders you press up against. It’s like i don’t know who you are anymore.

Hands rough. I want you closer, so i push you away.

Go away,

closer to me.

My porch

I read Linchpin by Seth Godin.

I also read Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.

How do I change the world? In order to change the world, I must first change myself. I can do this through action. Through routine, I obtain freedom. I will change my world. I network, read, create and share my art.

My art, my work, is a gift. I will give this gift freely, easily. My word, my vision, my empathy, my ideas, my soul.

Through routine, by nourishing my body, my mind and my spirit, I will slowly but surely obtain what I desire.

In order to create an impact with my art, I have to exercise extreme ownership in my craft, in my life, because by owning up, I exercise control over my own world. I am in control of my actions, I own my emotions and my feelings, I control me. It’s easy to blame others, it’s not easy taking blame. Nothing world while comes easy.

Welcome, to my front porch.

I sweep it, consistently. Every day my porch is cleaned, freed of dust through my controlled movements. I hold the broom and I create. My art develops as it’s shared, from my heart to yours

Daring to Forgive

This week, I practiced forgiveness.

Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly allowed me to reflect on my culture, and on my relationship between my Hoyo and me. Hoyo is the Somali word for mom.

My parents grew up in an entirely different culture so they developed mindset that helped them survive in that environment. These last couple of days, I analyzed my relationship with my mom; I spotlighted our relationship specifically because I’m a mother myself, and as different as we are, I embody her; I often catch myself using my Hoyo’s mannerisms.

I stay up with my daughter when she’s sick; I cradle her in my lap, sitting on the uncomfortable toilet cover for hours so the steam from the hot shower relieves the pressure in her sinuses. Even long after she falls asleep. I learned that love from my mom.

My Hoyo tells us she sacrificed her life for us kids. She never finished her E.S.L classes or pursued a job or developed deep connections with other people because she was too busy caring for us. She never ate before we did, never slept longer than we did, and never bought nice things for herself. She engrained in us that she sacrificed her life, her soul, every fiber of her being for us.

My love for my daughter is fierce, and beautiful, because I learned how to love from my parents, specifically, my mom. I found myself working to the bone to provide what I thought was the best for my family. I believed, fervently, that scrubbing the tile in the bathroom on my hands and knees was an expression of love, the ultimate sacrifice.

Why then, did I feel so unbelievably empty, and alone?

The mindset of tremendous, soul-crushing sacrifice played a critical role in my depression. I used it as the only tool in my toolbox to quantify my love to those closest to me; it was the only tool I kept sharpened and oiled, not knowing there were other ways to practice love.

I went through the majority of my life feeling contempt towards my parents.

Today, I release that resentment because resentment hinders growth.

I forgive my parents, especially my mom. I will forever be grateful for my parents. They did the best they could with what they have. They loved us the only way they knew how.

Sacrifice is important, but it isn’t the only tool at my disposal. I can simultaneously want the best for my daughter, my husband, and my family, while also wanting the best for myself.

I will pursue my dreams and take time for myself. I will read books and seek experiences that will help me grow. I will go to the gym and eat healthy. I’ll cultivate meaningful relationships. I will be happy. I will exemplify grit, confidence, strength, independence, humility, and passion. If I don’t exemplify these qualities and pursue a life that I want, how can I expect my daughter to?

Thanks for reading.

Read 4.5 Books in 12 Days

I read these books since I posted last:

  • Mindset: The Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (reread)
  • Choose Yourself by Dave Atulcher
  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King
  • Relentless By Tim Grover

And I’m halfway through The Personal MBA.

How do I do this?

I made these 3 small changes in my life.

  • Read more, watch less

I didn’t cancel my Netflix subscription and I’ll jump on Instagram/Facebook once in a while. These days though, I don’t have much time to dedicate to social media or binge watching the latest show on Netflix. Instead of cutting things out, which is negative reinforcement, I simply increased my reading time. I’ve cultivated my love and need for reading this way. I thrive on learning new things, exposing myself to new ideas, and being able to get through books so quickly. The more I read, the less time I have for other stuff.

  • Make it simple, make it special.

I make it easy to read. I listen to audiobooks when I’m doing chores, when I’m on the treadmill for 15-20 minutes before I lift, at the grocery store when the lines are long. I listen to audiobooks when I ride my bike. I carry my kindle or a book with my when I’m going somewhere. I get a minimum of 2 hours of reading on my workdays because my commute is so long.

I make reading special. I read with my kid. The time I read to her helps me bond with her. She’s awesome. We make jokes, do silly voices for characters, read books with pictures, books without pictures, classic books, audiobooks. It’s fun. Don’t have a kid? Read to your grandma, or fish.

I share what I learn from reading with my family and others. I highlight and write down quotes in my journal. I read reviews about books and try to understand what other people learned from that book and compare and contrast. I look up words I don’t know the meaning of. I read books from different genres and age groups. I read poetry and essays. I don’t let myself get bored with reading.

  • Listen fast, read fast

Listen to audiobooks at 1.5 speed and above. Start with 1.25, then up the speed when you get used to it.

Lastly, I invested in a program that helped me read faster. Athletes pay coaches insane amounts of money to become elite. Businesses pay consultants like, hella money yo to increase their profits and efficiency. I take reading seriously; if you do too, throw some money down on a legit company to help you read faster. If you don’t have money, look for free resources on Google or Youtube.

That’s it. Promise. It sounds easy because it really is.