There are many definitions of the word “flourish”. One definition says to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, while another says to achieve success or prosper. When I think of what it means to flourish, I envision always striving to become who and what you love, within your own defined limits, and in your own time.
Flourish with Bijul was created to encourage women and girls to literally flourish into the best versions of themselves. Whatever the best version of you is—it’s time to strip away all that’s covering it up and holding you back, so that you can finally become her. This journey is just as much for me, as it is for you—we’re constantly evolving together.
This space was created to help us enhance overall wellness and expose different areas of your life that need awakening. I hope that as you flourish with me, your journey to introspection takes you to heights you’ve never gone before. No area of your life is too small to be ignored. You can be your wildest dreams.
On paper, I’m a graduate of Spelman College where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a licensed attorney, licensed psychotherapist, and the mastermind behind this space for us to grow together. Going a little deeper, a few hard lessons have confirmed to me that everything happens for a reason and all things work out for our good. The experiences I’ve had were purposed so that I could flourish and show others how to do the same. I’ve always had a deep interest in all things related to wellness, and I hope that as you flourish with me, you’ll also come to prioritize this for yourself.
Check out the Podcast!
The podcast is where our journey to flourishing truly begins. With each episode, we’re gonna get down to all the things that build us up, break us down, make life worth living…and some trivial things in-between. Listen and subscribe to Flourish with Bijul on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
“If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” – Toni Morrison
Part of flourishing is creating the story of your life. While we do that, we’re lucky enough to read the stories written by others. I’ve always been a big reader. Growing up, I’d get in trouble (sometimes!) for reading in class or reading while I was supposed to be asleep! Here are some of my favorite books. As you’ll see, they’re all over the place—a good book is a good book.
“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you.”- E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
When I was in the 4th grade, our school library only had one copy of this book and it was always with me. I borrowed it from the library so often that I was eventually banned so other students would get a chance! I can’t tell you what I loved about this book, but it will always be on my bookshelf.
“You can't write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.” -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun
While not a history book, this novel is set during Nigeria’s Biafran War (1967-1970), a real-world event that personally affected me, decades before I was born. At its core, it is story about development, which is what flourishing is all about.
“We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body.”- Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score
This book goes into the science behind trauma, and how it affects our physical bodies even long after a traumatic event. As the title reflects, our bodies truly do keep score of everything. It’s important that we heal from trauma, even if we think we’re “over it”. You’d be surprised at how things still affect us, even subconsciously.
"There is a way to be good again...." – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
Set in Afghanistan, this book tells the story of two boys growing up: one from a wealthy family, and the other, a servant to that family. You’ll read about their relationship and the trauma that changed them forever. This book forces you to think about your own life, second-guess what you think you know, and of course, what it means to flourish. It’s not a pretty story and some parts are difficult to read, but it’s definitely worthwhile.
“Never, ever, blame others for what befalls you, no matter how horrible it might be. Trust you, and only you, to be responsible for your own life.”
― Diane Von Furstenberg, The Woman I Wanted to Be
The world knows Diane Von Furstenberg for her iconic wrap dresses. Reading her memoir made me to admire her and how she literally became the woman she wanted to be. She reveals a lot about herself, her journey both professionally and personally and makes no apologies for who she is and what she’s done.
“Chaos is often God’s way of inviting us to step into our calling”—Marshawn Evans Daniels
Sometimes chaos happens to us…a lot of times we create it for ourselves. Either way, you’ve got to do the hard work to put your life back together. Marshawn’s book is about resilience and how God uses even the most difficult experiences for our greater good, by encouraging us to step into all that we were created to be. Next time you are tempted to be bitter towards a horrible situation, ask yourself “why is this my lesson to learn?”
“Where there's hope, there's life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”-- Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
This was required reading for me in high school and in 2019 I visited Anne Frank’s house during a trip to Amsterdam. While we know the value of Anne Frank’s diaries, it’s amazing to think that this young girl was only pouring her heart out, while trying to survive the Holocaust. I’m sure she never dreamed that long after her writings, her words would impact generations to come. What are you doing in your life right now that seems ordinary? Don’t underestimate how you can impact others—someone is always watching.
“And as hard as this choice is, we break the pattern before the pattern breaks us.”
― Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us
Why do we sometimes repeat toxic behaviors that we saw in previous generations… even when we know they’re toxic? Because a lot more than hair and eye color gets passed down and it takes a lot of effort to unlearn what we’ve always known. The lesson here is that we don’t have to settle for “how it’s always been”. You can decide that it ends with you.
I’m always refreshing the bookshelf so be sure to follow
@FlourishWithBijul on Instagram to see what we’re reading next!
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