Actress and singer Brandy Norwood has quite the resume.
When she's not performing multiple times a week as Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway, she's rehearsing. She's thinking about new music. She's a devoted mom. It's a wonder how she gets a full night's sleep, let alone manage to squeeze in a workout and meditation every day.
But a hectic schedule doesn't hold her back from focusing on her own health and happiness. The Huffington Post spoke to the Broadway star on how she prioritizes her well-being and what everyone needs to know about their body and their minds.
The Huffington Post: You post a lot about fitness on Instagram. How have your habits transformed since you started working on Broadway?
Brandy: They really started to transform before I was on Broadway, which is why I feel like I was able to adjust to the discipline that is Broadway. Before I got to Broadway I started working out every single day, just aligning my body with my mind ... and I fell in love with fitness. I fell in love with how I felt after I worked out and ate well so I just made it a regular part of my life.
What's your daily workout routine like? And what do you do when you can't make it to the gym or when you're feeling super tired?
It differs every day, but consistently I box. I box three or four rounds every day. I love that cardio.
[When I can't get to the gym] I do a lot of pushups. They're a good way to get your body warmed up and it works every part of your body. I also do squats -- about 30 of them for three sets. Jumping jacks are also good when you're by yourself and not doing to the gym. Those are my go-tos.
Let's chat a little bit more about your busy schedule. What do you do when you're feeling stressed out?
I meditate every day. I think that helps me find a center in the storms that I face.
I also think it's important to affirm every day what you truly want and to stay as positive as possible. We don't really understand how much that helps in life. If you're really thinking in the right way, then life has no choice but to respond to what you're thinking about. I don't put a lot of negative stuff in my mind -- I don't watch a lot of television or read a lot of blogs. I don't do that stuff because I understand that my mind is a garden and what I put in it -- my thoughts -- are seeds.
That's such an amazing lesson everyone can learn from.
Right. I'm in my own world, I affirm what I want. I meditate on it. And life is doing exactly what I want it to do.
I feel like many people aren't aware of the serious power behind meditation.
Yeah and just the power of your mind. It all starts with your mind first, so you have to be careful of what you put in there. A lot of people think it's the other way around: [They] think it's what they see in the outside world that is the cause of things happening in their lives.
Do you have advice for someone who is a first-time meditator?
You can't get to Buddha's level right away. Give yourself time to adapt to a new experience. Start with five minutes and gradually grow into longer periods of time.
We have to be gentle with ourselves when we start something new -- because it's a great decision to start something like meditation.
If you could describe your wellness routine in one sentence, what would it be?
"Being the best version of myself."
Comparing yourself to anyone else, competing with anyone else -- all of that fades away when you're being the best version of you. If you're being the best you, then you'll inspire somebody to be the best them.
Finally, can you tell me a little bit about your experience on Broadway? What has that been like for you and how does it compare to your other creative endeavors?
Broadway has given me a new life and a new perspective. It really helps me trust the moment and the work I've put into my character through the way I interact with different audiences every night. It helps me trust that the present will take care of itself. The present moment is really a gift.
Because the experience has been so phenomenal, it has sparked a belief in myself that I haven't really had since I was a kid. Broadway -- and the discipline I've gained outside of Broadway -- has just opened a whole new dream for me. I look forward to waking up every day to see what's going to happen.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
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