i want to breathei want to grind

Me First….Always.

February 28, 2017 — by Toni Carey1


I’m an empath, and I think I’ve known that since I was in elementary school. I remember walking through Wal-Mart with my mom, you know, just being a kid, and we walked down an aisle meeting another child, around my same age who was disabled. I immediately melted into tears. And while, I didn’t understand it at the time, I eventually realized that I have the unique ability to deeply feel energy and emotions, good and bad.

[Read: 30 Traits of an Empath: How to Know If You’re an Empath]

Growing up solitude was my best friend. While most people would consider me to be pretty popular, I really didn’t say much and my friends list was pretty much non-existent. Although “loner,” has so many bad  connotations, I was okay with doing my own thing.

In college, the perception was that I thought I was “better than everyone else,” but really, it all circled back to needing the space that I subconsciously understood was important to be operating at 100 percent. Most days it left me internally screaming, “Why am I like this?!?!”

Accepting the accusations that I was anti-social didn’t happen without some age under my belt. I continued to keep my circle small and avoided large gatherings unless I absolutely had to be there.

Although challenging, working in public relations helped me grasp this phenomena a little bit more, but launching Black Girls RUN! truly helped me uncover what was really going on.

After events or meet and greets, I’d leave feeling completely exhausted and depleted. It was literally as if all of my life force had been sucked out of my entire being. After a few days of rest and deep sleep, I’d feel back to normal, but at the height of our growth, the frequency of events and appearances increased so much that some weeks (and months) I was never able to really re-charge.

And then one day, I had an “ah ha” moment. My personal energy levels were directly influenced by the amount of external stimulation I experienced from situations and people.

I started to become even more aware of how I felt after leaving certain situations or being around people. But even more importantly, I started to make subtle shifts, eliminating circumstances and people that tended to drain my physical and mental energy.

Have you ever met someone and you were immediately turned off, but not sure why? Or have you walked in a room and immediately felt overwhelmed, trying to find the first excuse to escape?

This is your internal wisdom telling you to run! If only we would listen to that voice a little more.

But it’s more than tuning into the people or things that are energy suckers. Could it possibly be key to your success?

The article, Why Is It So Hard for Women to Be Selfish?, suggests that protecting yourself of these energy suckers is the major key to being successful. The author says,

I have always believed in adopting a giving attitude toward relationships. Never keep score. Expect the ebb and flow of changing life circumstances. But, especially during life’s most taxing periods, you must get a return on your investment in order to stay sane. As the saying goes, “Givers must set limits, because takers rarely do.”

It all comes down to setting limits and boundaries. Knowing when to give, but being honest about giving too much. When you can put in those few extra hours of work, or when you need to end the work day early. When you need to pass on a night out with your friends and when you should give yourself a day to do absolutely nothing but sit on the couch with a good movie.

It’s putting yourself first…..always.

i want to breathei want to grindi want to sweat

[Keeping] Balanced

December 1, 2016 — by Toni Carey0


Are you [Keeping] Balanced?

First, let me start by confessing that this project is long overdue. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but life, fear, the need to be perfect, and a host of other lame reasons has kept this space at the edge my consciousness. Periodically, the universe would send signs or messages reminding me that I have a lot more to offer the world, but I’d find some way to side-step the calling and give myself 99 reasons why, at that moment, the time wasn’t right.

Well, you can only ignore the signs, messages, etc. for so long, plus after losing my job, I figured, what do I really have to lose. So, here I am and here we go.

Welcome to Keeping Balanced. Earlier this year, my husband, Kris (who you will hear a lot about, and occasionally hear from), sent me an article, Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness, or Friends: Pick 3, lovingly called the “entrepreneur’s dilemma by Randi Zuckerberg.

The idea is, that at any given time, you’re only able to focus on three things: work, sleep, family, fitness or friends. As I read the article, I knew immediately, what my top three were. I texted Kris.

“Sleep, Work, Fitness. I’m Sorry.”

His response?

“I know.”

See, here’s the thing. “Balance” is something I struggle with. I’m the “go hard or go home” type of girl. With work, I dive head first, working obsessively until I realize I haven’t pee’ed for 12 hours. With running, I’ll take a few weeks of training off, then jump back in with 5 milers and two-a-days, instead of easing back into my regular workout routine. And sleep…..I mean, I love sleep. Not much else to say about that.

As I proceeded to have a pity party because family and friends were nowhere near a priority for me, I realized Randi was absolutely correct. Certainly, for entrepreneurs, it’s impossible to have enough energy to to meet the demands of building a business, while prioritizing family, friends, catching zzz’s and health. But, my guess was it wasn’t just a challenge that entrepreneurs faced. I saw it over-and-over again with members of Black Girls RUN!, friends and family. There are simply too many things to do, with not enough time. So, byeeeeeeee family and friends. You’ll understand, right?

As my pity party continued, I finally settled on the big question. Is there such a thing as work/life balance? Heck any type of balance really? And if so, how do I best achieve that for myself?

Thus, Keeping Balanced was born. Now, I’m not proclaiming to have this down to a science, and I’m certainly still on a quest to define (and constantly redefining), what “balance” really means in all aspects of my life. But more importantly, how can I help others find this for themselves. If the demands of the world aren’t going to change, how can we still live our best lives with the cards we’ve been dealt?

Mind blow, right?

Here’s what I do know. The answers won’t be easy, and it will take some trial and error. But no one ever said that that wouldn’t be the case.

With Keeping Balanced, my goal is to share my learnings, experiences, failures, and successes with authenticity (I may drop an F bomb here or there), transparency (I’ll probably talk about my poop), and a little bit of humor (okay, maybe a lot) to help you find the balance in your life, while introducing you to concepts, theories, studies, products and people to help you gain even more clarity and actively pursue your own journey to keeping balanced.

If this sounds like you’re type of party, I invite you to come along as we all walk the tightrope to keeping balanced.

xo –


i want to breathei want to grind

Note To Self

December 24, 2014 — by Toni Carey0


Note to self: Graciously welcome closed doors.

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