love

How We Saved Our Marriage

How We Saved Our Marriage

LOVE IS A CHOICE, NOT A COMMITMENT. Each day we have the choice to show up in our marriage, to be courageous and choose to love with honesty, integrity, and empathy. Just like everything in life the moment you understand and accept that no one can make you fall in and out love, just like no one can make you be healthy or unhealthy; the power is yours to create the type of love you want to thrive in.

Woo Woo 101: The Basics of Healing Crystals

The use of healing crystals have been around forever, but thanks to Instagram and this current shift or trend of holistic health we've been seeing them in nearly every latte shot shared by your favorite yogis and wellness creators online. I know I'm guilty of it! Before we go on thinking that it's some New Age health trend, know that the use of crystals for healing have been around since the beginning of mankind used in talismans and amulets. The first site of crystals dating back to over 30,000 years ago. 

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What can crystals do for me? 

As we go about our modern day lives, we're engaged heavily with technology which drains our systems all day. So some people say that crystals help to restore our energy. Ok, before I lose you here, let's go to science for a minute. Each of us has our own distinct EME or Electromagnetic Energy Field. Every day as we use our phones or sit in front of our computers our energy reacts to the energy of the tech around us. When placing a crystal within 4 feet of our bodies, the crystal's EME will resonate with our own. This can act as a barrier between the electronics we use and our bodies deflecting some of the negative effects of being around our electronic gadgets for long periods of time.  

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Beyond that crystals can also be used to harness their healing power helping you manifest your intentions by elevating your frequency. Crystals are rocks that are connected to the earth because they come from the earth. "Crystal energy helps you on your spiritual journey because it holds you to your intention and reminds you of your connection to the Earth." Each crystal, stone, or rock has a frequency that it vibrates on. As crazy as this sounds, I remember my mom testing diamonds using a presidium instrument which tests a diamond's thermal conductivity for authenticity. Based on that theory and experience I would say I totally believe that each stone or crystal has a unique frequency. 

How do I choose my crystals? 

I'll admit when it came to choosing my first set of crystals I did it based on how it looked. I walked into a metaphysical healing shop to buy some sage and gravitated towards the shelf of crystals. I remember that the first one I picked up was a clear quartz and a smokey quartz. Out of all the beautiful other crystals, those were the two that I was attracted to the most. When I read the meaning of the two, it made sense to me why I chose those two or should I say they chose me. A clear quartz is a universal healer and helps balance all the chakras in the body. Smoky quartz helps with anxiety, depression, and overcoming any negative emotions. At the time I walked into the store I was dealing with depression and anxiety about my future

You can walk into a crystal store and tell them that you need something that helps with whatever challenge you might be facing or even take a simple quiz to find out what you need. I tend to just go with what I'm attracted to before reading the meaning. Then when I read the purpose of the stone or crystal, a lightbulb moment goes on and it's like "Yup...it makes sense why I'm attracted to that." 

Put your crystals to work!

So now that have these pretty shiny things all over your house. It's time to put them to work by giving them a job! 

First, you gotta clean them. This is such an important step and one that's overlooked. Clearing your crystals helps to remove any energy it might be holding onto especially if it been handled at the store by several people. There are several different ways to clear the energy of a crystal, my favorite and most simple is to run them under cool water. Another simple one is to use another stone like a quartz crystal, selenite, or amethyst to help clear the energy of the other. 

Next, hold your crystal in your hand, think happy thoughts, and think about the problem you're facing and how that crystal can help. For example, I have a huge black tourmaline on my desk and its intention is to absorb any negative energy from the electronic devices I work around and any of the stressful deadlines I get from brand partners. 

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There are other ways to incorporate crystals into your life through rituals which I haven't quite got into yet, but I definitely want to start. An awesome blog reader of mine sent Olivia and I this book called Crystal Muse which is filled with all sorts of rituals to help you manifest nearly every intention you can think of from cutting unhealthy energy cords to bringing prosperity into your life.

Where do I start? Which ones should I buy first?

Just like any other wellness-related decision base your purchase on what you need the most or go and check them out at a local store and choose them by how they make you feel or how you're attracted to them. 

There are a few staples that I think are a must have at some point in your crystal collection:

I tend to purchase my stones and crystals during my travels, this is my way of bringing home a souvenir that integrates into my home seamlessly and gives me a story and memory to tell about where I've been and how I felt at that time. I also purchase them online from SoulMakes, The Celestial Goddess, and Energy Muse. One way to tell whether or not your crystal is real is to check the stone for bubbles. Real crystals won't bubbles formed in them, but glass or plastic will. Here's an easy guide on spotting frauds. 

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Soul Makes has these awesome sets you can buy if you're looking for some place to start but don't know how or where to begin. Their collections are curated based on the intention you want to start manifesting in your life. I purchased the happiness collection from Yoga Outlet because it was slightly cheaper. 

use coupon code: GOFITJO to get 15% OFF your purchase from Soul Makes

How do I use healing crystals in my own life? 

I use them in my meditation practice. I bring in the stones or crystals that I need the most in that moment to help center me and light some palo santo and get my woo woo on! (I'll get into this one in another post) 

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I rock this labradorite East West Prism by Asha Patel when I need an extra oomph of guidance in my life or the Nazar Moonstone Necklace when I need to get in touch with my feminine soft side. 

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use coupon code: GOFITJO to get 15% OFF YOUR ASHA PATEL DESIGNS ORDER

I also just place them all over my house. Most people think they are there for decoration but really they all have a purpose for why they are there. I have a collection in my living room right next to my diffuser and essential oils within there you might find a Dalmatian stone to help promote childlike joy and playfulness into our lives.  I remember picking it up at the store and thinking "Oh man this one is fun!" I checked my Stone app on my iPhone and lo and behold, the app read "We all need little reminders that, yes, even you only live once, and for real, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke." SOLD!

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In my bedroom I have a large clear quartz to help to protect my husband and I and clear any negative energy from long days of parenting, moonstone to help our sleep, lapis lazuli to help raise our awareness for our own potential, and a few agate points to help bring harmony. 

Last year during my start to my crystal collection, I got my daughters into them too and they now have baby collections in their rooms. 

Growing up in a Catholic household this stuff was seen as witchcraft, but there was always a part of me that knew I was connected to a higher being in life and to the Earth. I grew up internalizing this belief that both worlds can exist because to me it just made sense. If I emit a certain energy or vibe in life then so did other objects that came from the earth. It's just something that made sense to me. The moment I defined my personal spirituality as the quality in which my soul or human spirit operated rather than a religion or belief system, I opened myself up to new ways of integrating crystals and stones as a part of my modern day life.  

Your turn: Do you love crystals? What do you do with them? Do you have a story from your stones?  Please share below! 

How Self Reflection Can Help You Smile

Do you remember a time when opinions of others didn’t matter? Hmmm...what was that answer?

No...me neither.

The older I get the less time I seem to have, and when I do find the time I really feel the necessity to invest in taking care of myself by slowing down and hitting the pause button. It’s so easy to fall into the trap, get caught up with what other people are doing, and how they’re living their life. Sadly, what screws us up the most in our life is this picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be.

wearing the coziest lounge wear from Third Love

wearing the coziest lounge wear from Third Love

One day it just clicks… you realize what’s important and what isn’t. You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you SMILE. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.

You learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You realize how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover.

Anxiety happens when we worry about the future, planning for it, and trying to predict it, as if figuring it out now will cushion the blow. The thing is the future is always changing and will always be a place of uncertainty and fear. But the future can also be the home of our wildest dreams and hopes. Don’t hold yourself back because of something you cannot control, instead adapt. The quicker you can learn to adapt and redirect time and energy the easier it become to get things things you value in life accomplished. Looking back at the past only causes us to ruminate over things we cannot change. Give yourself grace. Failures are an opportunity for us to reflect on what we did and how we failed, so we can change the mindset and path in the present moment.

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A lot of my self reflection happens in those few moments I get to pause, while I’m home lounging around in comfy clothes like this new lounge wear from Third Love. It’s when I can strip off any of the fictitious labels that workout clothes puts on me as a fitness blogger or influencer and I can just think for myself. It’s funny how clothing can do that to a person, but it does. We often say “here are my regular people clothes” when referring to items that are not exercise gear so I guess I’ll label my lounge wear as “my pausing from life” clothes.

Third Love recently launched loungewear which is awesome because there are days where I just don’t want to be in workout clothing and silky PJs is just a little extra. It’s made with seamless bamboo, which means no itchy seams and naturally antimicrobial to keep you dry and cool.

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ThirdLove is an internet based company who utilizes tech in order to help you find the perfect bra fit from the comfort of your own home. They even offer bras with half-sized cups which is incredible because I feel like I’m one of the 50% of women who fall between standard cup sizes. To start, you can take the Fit Finder Quiz.

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ThirdLove let’s you Try Before You Buy (choosing from one of their best selling bras: 24/7 Classic T-Shirt bra, 24/7 Classic Full Coverage bra or 24/7 Push Up bra) or my personal favorite the Longline Lace Balconette Bra. You just pay for shipping and try it out (even wash it) for 30 days. If you like it, you keep it and if you don’t like it, you can return it and the bra is donated to both local San Francisco charities and women’s charities through their Bras for All program where they’ve given over $1 million worth of bras to women in need since 2013.

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Thanks to ThirdLove, a brand I love and trust, for sponsoring this post. Partnerships like this make GOFITJO possible.

photography by Encarnacion Photography


Shop my favorite things from Third Love:

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, going somewhere with a gazillion things to pack for one tiny human, the responsibility of raising a capable adult, and everything in between are what make being a parent tiresome yet fun all at the same time. The idea of motherhood frightened me when I was younger and some days still manages to scare me. It’s a huge responsibility that is also a gift and blessing.  


Children mimic everything you do. I wish someone had told me this 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter so that I could be more prepared for what’s to come. When it came to Olivia, our second I sure thought she would want to do everything her sister did, but come to find out she wants to be just like her mama from my love for fitness, what I like to eat, and even how I dress. It’s probably one of my biggest motivating factors for constantly working on bettering myself to make sure I’m not only a role model for the women in our society, but to my daughters too. From the time I was younger I was always a go-getter. I constantly go against the grain just to discover my superpowers, being a bad ass woman. This is something that I see so strongly with my daughters, especially within Olivia.

The idea of motherhood frightened me when I was younger and some days still manages to scare me. It’s a huge responsibility that is also a gift and blessing.  

Athleta’s mission is to ignite a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other to realize their limitless potential. A mission that touches me to the core. Last summer Athleta released Athleta Girl, a high performing active apparel line encouraging young girls to live a more active life! We recently picked up a few pieces for Olivia before she went to yoga camp this summer and she’s been in love with them since.

She has a tendency to wear them where ever we go when it comes to something active, like hiking, bike rides, and even during her yogi playtime.

The moment I became a mother, I wanted everything to be perfect for my children including myself and even more so I imagined that I CAN make it perfect for them. And when things aren’t perfect, my own insecurity can get the best of me. It’s easy to be fooled by the beautiful posts you see on media where the archetype of a good mom is a woman who’s house is impeccably tidy, her kids have never seen a speck of dirt on their clothes, and dinner is always a 4 course meal. But then something clicked: my daughters have never had another mother in their life and everything that I am doing and everything that I am is PERFECT AND ENOUGH FOR THEM!

If there’s one lesson I hope that they will learn it’s that life is isn’t about perfection. It’s about chasing your dreams, believing yourself, and empowering others along the way.

This post was sponsored by Athleta and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own

photos by my talented 13 year old daughter, Airis Alexandra Encarnacion


 

Love Authentically

Love Authentically

The one thing that has held us together was our honest and open communication. We're still learning what that looks like from time to time, but the more and more we practice opening up to one another about our fears, concerns, hopes, and dreams the easier it becomes. Sometimes I wonder if I had been more open about some of the issues I was facing with other friends who were married than maybe we could've saved ourselves a few nights of going to bed in separate rooms furiously angry at one another. Last year when my husband and I were going through some rough patches I was actually open about it to women and a few men around me. I can't tell you how much hearing from other people who would just say, "GIRL, we've been there too..." helped. It was as if the feeling of loneliness, shame, and lack of self worth had subsided. It's crazy how when you get married, you somehow feel like you're supposed to be some love expert, when the reality is you've just opened up a whole new chapter of messiness to sort through with your "till death do us part" partner.