As Mercury goes into Retrograde and the Pink Full Moon is happening on Tuesday, it is the perfect time to look back & reflect on my experiences creating Mindfully Melissa! Getting feedback & reflecting on the process is the best way for me to continue learning and improving! Already, I am faced with so many emotions and feelings as I see how far it has come in just two short months but I cannot wait to see what the future holds!

I started this blog as my capstone project for my Digital Communications minor, but it has already become so much more. This process has challenged me in so many different ways and I cannot wait to see where it goes. I owe huge thanks to my professor for encouraging and empowering us to find our passion and also providing constant support & feedback throughout the process. Here are some of my biggest takeaways from this project:

1) Find what you’re passionate about & go with it

I have wanted to start a blog/Instagram for a little while now but never knew where to start. I had always been active and just recently started doing yoga & meditating but I had no idea what to do this project on! I did gymnastics for 15 years and fitness had always been a huge part of my life, but a lot changed when I started college at Rutgers. I lost my motivation to stay fit & stopped nourishing my body with what it needed. After I realized how much yoga & meditation improved my life, I knew it was something I could write about. I also conveniently started taking an MBSR course (Mindful-based Stress Reduction) this semester and everything seemed to fall into place. Practicing mindfulness really helped me choose a topic and also helped change my life! Starting to cultivate this passion sparked the idea for Mindfully Melissa, but this blog also sparks more interest in my passion!

2) Never Stop Learning

Creating this site has also taught me how much I do not know. I quickly realized how little I knew about creating a website, purchasing a domain, using WordPress. But I also realized how much more there was to learn about yoga, meditation, mindfulness and all things fitness. I was never one to claim I knew it all but this project really puts things into perspective. I find myself constantly wanting to learn more and every week I challenge myself to dig deeper, read more books and explore!

3) Be vulnerable

This was seriously the scariest part for me! I am totally introverted (meaning I need alone time in order to recharge and rejuvenate) and sharing my thoughts & feelings with the world was SO intimidating. But once I realized how much yoga, meditation & fitness really changed my life, it got a lot easier to talk about. I found that I had so much to talk about and I actually enjoyed sharing my thoughts with others! I started getting positive feedback from classmates and total strangers and I felt so comfortable sharing my journey!

4) Connections & Networks

Connecting with other like-minded people was another concern I had when I started this blog (and Instagram). Networking is hard, online or off! I was concerned about connecting with negative people and found myself struggling to find my “niche”. Instagram does this awesome thing where it shows you images that are similar to yours and what you “like”. So I started following some of their recommendations. Through these people, I found even more inspiration and started following anyone in my niche (yoga, fitness, healthy food etc). I could always unfollow them after all!

I also joined The Journey Junkies, Body Mind Soul Detox where I was introduced to the most amazing and supportive community! Here, I really felt supported & encouraged by everyone and my network continued to expand.

I learned just how much work goes into running a blog/Instagram etc. Making real connections is difficult! It takes time to respond and interact with others but you never know what you might learn from someone else. I am not longer afraid to put myself out there and connect with others! I am so excited to continue growing my network! I learn more and more about myself every day and it is all thanks to creating Mindfully Melissa!

5) Create, Reflect, Repeat

Make some time every so often to reflect on your creation. Ask for feedback whether you think you’re ready for it or not! Sometimes having another perspective is just what you need to take your project to the next level. Keep creating. Then reflect on your creation and make improvements as you see fit! I don’t think anything is ever completely finished…. Life is all about the journey. Progress & make changes when and where YOU think you need them!

6) JUST DO IT!

So, my final tip to you is JUST DO IT! If you are even thinking about starting a blog, Instagram, website, business start manifesting it to reality! Work on it every damn day and do not give up when you are faced with challenges. Be mindful of what you are passionate about and be mindful of how it makes you feel to share your journey. Even if you make one real connection, it was totally worth it to try. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and seriously… just do it!