It was a furiously cold November night in New York City. While it is expected to be cold during the holiday season, this night was eerily different. The chill in the air was unexplainably tense but that’s not unusual when you’re an NYPD officer. Maria Gilbert wrapped up her shift at the precinct and made her way to her car. It was a little after 1am and the exhaustion of the day was starting to kick in. As she sat in her car waiting for it to warm up, she turned on the radio. She flipped through the stations, eager…


According to Wikipedia, the term non-binary or genderqueer “is a catch-all category for gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine — ‌identities which are outside the gender binary and cisnormativity. Genderqueer people may express a combination of masculinity and femininity, or neither, in their gender expression.” Growing up, I was exposed to the idea of he or she. It wasn’t until my 30’s that I learned about the community of people who had a preference in the they/them pronoun. I imagine for some, the idea of not identifying as feminine or masculine, or possibly identifying as both is…


Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s Street Art

Is it possible to walk down the streets of New York without being cat called? More and more, men have become comfortable with letting us know how they feel about our personal appearances and even what they want to do to us. For some, the negative banter can be offensive while others ignore it or see it as a compliment. For me, sexualized comments and cat calling are insulting and destroy the idea of gender equality. This idea may sound extreme but it is a reality that we face on a daily basis. Women have been stripped of the right…


Visiting Zaanse Schans in Amsterdam, Holland

I’d consider myself well-traveled. As a child, my mother felt it was important to visit different parts of the world. Over the years, I incorporated the concept of world-travel into my life. No matter the destination, I developed strategies to help me explore different countries and all they have to offer. Beyond exploration, traveling strengthens my spiritual connection with the universe. There is nothing like seeing the sun set against a foreign backdrop.

Last September during an impromptu trip to London, I made an attempt to travel to Amsterdam for a day trip. Amsterdam has an alluring reputation for openness…


It was a cold, rainy November morning when Latoya Snell prepared for the NYC Marathon. The plus-size model, chef and aspiring personal trainer was about to tackle the 26.2 mile run for the 8th time. As a “Jill” of all trades, she was no stranger to the runner’s life, having just completed the Chicago Marathon three weeks prior. She was ready to finesse her way through another victory lap around New York City.

Photo Credit: E. Snell Design

With four miles to the finish line, Latoya embraced the end of her marathon, knowing she’d soon be able to celebrate with her family. “It’s going to…


I burn sage for a variety of reasons. When my energy is low, if I’ve been around a lot of people with negative energy, if I’ve had people in my home or if I’m not feeling like my best self. Sage clears the contamination that negativity brings. It’s like a shower for bad thoughts, energy and feelings.

For introverts, sage is important to keep handy. I’ve made it a weekly ritual to burn sage (also known as smudging) on Sundays that way I can start the week on a good note. Since we can’t force people to chew on a…


A few weeks ago I got together with my friend Sadae for dinner. As we exchanged casualties, she asked me how I was adjusting to the freelance life. For me, that was a loaded, complex question. Since I quit my job, I’ve worked on my blog and devoted a few days a week to helping my pastor out at his office. While I try to secure writing gigs, I’ve found it to be more difficult than I originally thought. I expressed that I didn’t think it has been a successful couple of months mainly because I wasn’t generating an income…


Your speech has lots of power over your existence. It affects the energy you put out, what you attract and how you’re received in the world. Growing up, when I’d ask my mother to buy me something, she’d question, “do you need it? or do you want it?” There’s a big difference. Need implies lack or a feeling of not having enough. Usually if you need something, it’s because you’re running low or without.

Speaking from a place of lack will attract a feeling of not having enough. Something as simple as saying, “I need more money,” can set you…


The journey to live out my life’s purpose has been a long, bumpy road on a foggy highway. Because I can’t see, I don’t know where I am going. Still, faith keeps me from swerving onto oncoming traffic. Not sure when I will reach my destination. I just know that when I get there, the skies are clear and the sun shines brighter than ever.


Sometimes we go through life like a “Weekend at Bernie’s” movie; carrying dead weight around in hopes to live a normal, healthy, productive life. The truth is, in order to have a prosperous future, you have to shed the dead weight that you’ve been carrying. The moment you let go of what no longer serves you, you’ll move gracefully through the obstacles hurled your way.

I spent every day for the past two months with a “Bernie” draped around my shoulders. It wasn’t until I realized how counterproductive it was to hold on to things that no longer serve me, that I decided to LET GO and breathe.

You’ll begin to see advancement in your life when you let go of the dead weight. After all, it’s easier to maneuver without extra baggage weighing you down. Let go and LIVE!

Marsha B.

Marsha B. is a journalist from Brooklyn, NY. She in the owner of IntrovertNtheCity.com, a lifestyle website that aims to inspire and empower.

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