Operating in awe! Moving in inspiration!

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I’m absolutely still in awe.  See, I have been blessed and favored to some incredibly amazing things in this world and I am beyond grateful for all of it!  From the Taj Mahal to the Galapagos Islands and everything in between, I can’t begin to express the appreciation I have for all things I believe we can agree are absolutely beautiful.  That being said, this weekend, I was fortunate to experience what I actually think is truly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen: Black Panther!  REMARKABLE doesn’t even begin to capture the beauty that it is but it’s a fair start.  Please stick with me here!

This is absolutely a thing of beauty and no, I’m not just talking about all the fabulousness that is on the screen but…how can we not go there?  This is an incredible masterpiece of artistic magic that has a boldness without that unwarranted force and yet still a force to be reckoned with!  (Let that sink in for a moment).  Everything, every piece, every decision around set, characters, lines, the details of the story….BEAUTIFUL!  Absolutely beautiful.  Wakanda…..WHAT!!!?!?!?!?!?! TAKE ME THERE NOW!  I know, I know….only in our dreams.  And. All. That. Melanin!  Every bit of it.  (Pause- can I also just say…..Ms. Bassett.  #AgingGoals #Flawless).

Now here’s where I challenge us to go beyond what the eye can see and dig deeper into leadership, community, purpose, accountability, and FUN!  

Leadership:  Every time I heard “General”, I just wanted to say, “I know that’s right!” With every action taken that was appropriately calculated, strategic, focused on the macro before jumping into tactical, yet without delay, there were major lessons to be learned.  And, the focus on bold and confident servant leadership-whoa!  I wish I had a pen a paper to take some serious notes but I just didn’t know class was actually about to be in session!

Community: From women fixing each other’s “crowns” to men focusing on the collective to the young prioritizing impact on the world through technology to….I can go on and on and on! What if we focused that way….no matter how we feel about  each other (“don’t scare me like that colonizer” hahahahahah!)?  What if we prioritized the whole of who we are together rather than what we want to be individually? And to extend this even further….my people, my people…the community instantly built in the theatres!  Yes, most of the audiences were black but the beauty of Black Panther is also that it is actually pushing beyond even what we sometimes  limit brotherhood and sisterhood to, extending to “familyhood”.  So, I’m in Silicon Valley and I definitely saw my Asian, LatinX, white and everything in between brethren sitting right there taking everything in with the rest of us and we were all there…..together!

Purpose: There is so much about knowing who you are that positions you to push forward in this life through any obstacle, challenge, and perceived barrier that shows up to take you off course.  Identity is not something to be taken lightly in any way shape or form.  I truly believe that what we are experiencing in the horrors of our present-day living is all tied to our individual limited awareness, understanding and appreciation of who we are…..of our identity.  And here, Black Panther spins so many micro-sessions throughout the whole movie calling characters, and us, to focus on our identity in order to hone in on progression in fulfilling our purpose.  Beautiful!

Accountability:  Can you say squad goals!?!?  I don’t even know what to say here without giving too much away but there are so many moments in which there is a challenge to actions taken and those not taken (eg Nakia and Okeye) and it’s all about accountability.  No one lets anyone off the hook….not even the “colonizer” (haha-yes, I’m still laughing at that one line).  And everyone is respected for their decisions, no matter if there is agreement in the decision or not….it’s about accountability!  Beautiful!

Fun:  What I also love is that everything on that screen, in this film, reflects a love for life in all of its glory.  There is celebration even in the midst of the struggle.  There is positive anticipation in the midst of intense preparation for challenge.  There is jovial, familial engagement and connectedness in the midst of heaviness and labor.  It’s about not settling into the one side of the coin that harps on heaviness, darkness, and challenges us to press beyond that, even stealing glimpses of light in the dark veil of weightiness because even in the pursuit of what is greater than us individually, there is always the silver lining of what our purpose can offer to the world.   Always. Beautiful!

Finally, the most beautiful part of all of this is what is happening now.  Even as you read this.  Our minds, perceptions, realm of understanding each other is expanding.  There is a shifting of the times-slowly but I have to believe surely.  I got to see more people on a screen who look like me, doing incredible things, in a ways that was all inspiring than ever before, in all of my life.  Think about that for a moment.  And this is not just about me.  This is about an overwhelming feeling that what was missing for me as a kid is no longer the same limitation that little black and brown girls and boys will face.  New realities are developing that are challenging us to think bigger, broader, and for the love of God, MORE INCLUSIVELY! We’re hearing and seeing more about Afrofuturism, a term first used over ten years (thank you Ms. Alondra Nelson, Mr. Sam Delaney, Ms. Octavia Butler) but just now getting the attention needed to get us all to push through our our limited understanding and appreciation of the world and what we think it is and should be.  There is self-love brewing! From the young to the old, identity is being positively influenced, reinforced, re-established and confirmed!  YAAASSSSSSS!  BRING IT!  

So what does one do with all of this?  It’s pretty simple actually.  I would submit that we just take it all in.  Embrace it all, even in the face of blatant hate in many forms tied to this work and piece of awe (shocker, there are many who are actively trying to take away from the impact of this work).   Then, take it a step further, go beyond that beauty seen and observed, and operate in inspiration, the inspiration to play your part in taking that awe  into the day to day to facilitate moments of magic just like this, in our own ways, facilitating inclusion, fostering familyhood, across the board!

So, yup, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen….not just because of what is seen on the screen, but also because what is yet to be seen but already in motion and being experienced!  Black Panther!  If ya don’t know, now ya know……and get your ticket.  I’m about to get another!!!!

And to think…..this actually started as a two-line facebook post: “Black Panther, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  Time to get another ticket!”  #Inspired

Inspired indeed!

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Keys to Living Fabulously….YOU!!!!

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“Let’s live our 2018 fabulously fierce!”
“Please write a post on living FF with tips!”
(Here you go CF & TM 🙂 )

I so appreciated this request from a couple of friends at the start of the year for various reasons but mostly because it was a beautiful reminder to me that none of us is on this journey of living fabulously fierce alone and a few key reminders never hurt anyone.

So, living fabulously fierce….what exactly does it mean? My mom is one of the most committed Living Fabulously Fierce brand ambassadors! She rocks her sweatshirt whenever, wherever she can. Early on, after being asked by friends and even strangers about her gear, she came to me, “Farah, what is this LFF? What does Living Fabulously Fierce mean?”

Now, my mother is the sweetest, nicest, gentlest, most peaceful person you will ever meet. But, when she asks a question, your answer better be on point, clear…and quick! Talk about being ready for a rocket pitch at any point in time! So I shared, “…well, it’s basically just a call to action to be your most daringly authentic self…at all times, knowing who you are and committing to being as true to you as you can be. It’s not about perfect. It’s more about authenticity beyond measure…role-modeling that mode of living and inspiring others to do the very same!”

“Oh, ok! That’s good!” Thanks mom….#MsSuperReservedandComposedAtAllTimes 🙂

So how does that translate to our reminder for today? Well, to live fabulously fierce…
Know you. Sounds simple but this comes down to having to answer the deep questions of life, including

  • Who am I?
  • What do I represent?
  • What do I value? Not the values I’ve inherited….what are my self-determined values?
  • What do I bring into this world and what would be missing if I weren’t here?
  • How am I unique?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What am I not so great at but actually interested in improving?
  • What do I really care about? What don’t I care about?

Embrace you…just as you are… all of you…every. bit. of. you. We live in a world that constantly encourages continuous self-comparison and devaluing self-critique. It really takes away from the opportunity to look at the whole picture of who we are, what we bring into this world and our unique experiences. We actually have to commit to embracing all of the positive pieces of who we are, validated by us and others, as well as those characteristics that may not be so valued. These pieces may position us as not comparatively the best, distinct, or even unique but they are part of the masterpiece that is us. This is all about self-definition, deciding for ourselves that which is valuable. The challenge is that until you and I embrace the whole of who we are, we don’t fully appreciate the beauty that is us. The distinction. That which we and the world need. So drop the pursuit of being flawless and commit to leveraging the whole picture of you- strengths, blemishes, and opportunities for continued progress. Works in progress…they still work…still have value.

Be unapologetically you. I recently saw a post quoting Mindy Kaling. She shared “I do idiotic things all of the time and I say crazy stuff that I regret. But I don’t let everything traumatize me”. What this says to me is that not only does she embrace all of who she is, she doesn’t let hiccups or the huge mistakes keep her from still just showing up as Mindy…unapologetically. Nothing ‘mess up’ brings her to the traumatic point of holding back on being herself. She is unapologetically her and takes the good, the great, and the consequences of it!

Accept inspiration. None of us, not one, not friggin one of us has everything figured out. It is absolutely impossible to and anyone who says they do or portrays they do is flat out lying or playing up a facade that serves absolutely no one. Yup, got a little passionate there…ok, a lot 🙂 ! I was actually recently hurt by someone trying to pay me a compliment. Wait for it….a coworker…she asked, literally through tears “What do you mean you don’t know what you’re doing on this? You always have everything figured out and you walk around like you know everything and you just do everything right.” My response, “Ummm, false, but I appreciate your perception of me….though clearly it’s serving neither one of us.” My point? See, that woman you think has it all together, appreciate her. Appreciate that she’s actually just like you, a work in progress…but beyond that she’s caught your attention in how she’s embracing being a work in progress. Accept the inspiration she is offering in her role modeling as just that, an offer to leverage it, not to compare yourself or your skills to her, diminishing your own value of self. And feel free to tell her you think she’s a badass! But leave it at that, as inspiration….and move on applying it as motivation. And if you can’t do any of that for whatever reason, it’s ok, you’re human, just take on a bit of grace and keep it moving.

Be an inspiration. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, in the face of the frustrating days and seasons, as well as the fabulous ones, recognize that there is at least one person striving to get to where you are, as you are, and others watching you and every move you make because you’re a model for them. Hold yourself to a standard that reflects how you would want others to reflect your strengths, your fabulousness, your fierce.

Ignite new motivation, fuel, and fire for yourself every day through intention setting. Life is short. There’s never enough time. Never. I learned very, very, very young that no next day is promised. Losing friends and family early in life sucks, but it teaches you to be grateful for every day and every experience. Also, it reminds you to be intentional about your living. No this doesn’t mean be perfect. It means no matter how bad the day before was, how busy your morning is, set an intention for the day…even if it is just to make it through. Decide how you’re living for the day, don’t let the day decide.

Celebrate! Celebrate you. You. are. amazing. You are such a gem. You are worthy of all that you’re experiencing. You are such of model of strength, positivity, influence….even if you can’t feel it, see it…or don’t even believe it. See, you woke up today. Even if on a scale of 1-10 you’re kicking in at a .05 on being fabulously fierce, that’s enough to pick up, keep moving and get to 1 tomorrow, and 2 the next day, 5 next month and 10 whenever you’re ready.

So there, don’t tell me living fabulously fierce is hard…or that it’s too much of a call to action for you….or that it’s a heavy level of accountability. YOU’RE ALREADY DOING IT! Just take on the opportunity to elevate that state of living! So glad we’re on this ride together!
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What if New Year’s Had Nothing to do with Resolutions?

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(Dedicated to CF & TM…Pt 1 😉 )

Truth moment:  I’m so not a resolutions kinda girl.  I know that may sound weird coming from someone who’s so goal-oriented, a planner, super “Type A”, and has the bold audacity to serve as a coach for others.  I know, I know.  But here’s the thing, I am for and support all of those things and approaches to living, but the hype around New Year’s…enjoyable, but the resolutions bit….it always gets me….gets to me.

I won’t go so far as to say that I’m anti-resolutions but what I find is that we often set resolutions in an effort create a new us….establish a different persona….distinguish ourselves away from our uniqueness and in some form or fashion in alignment with other’s expectations of who we should be, even when we say that it’s all about us and what we want for ourselves.  Example: The most popular new year’s resolution is to lose weight…..not to be healthy.  Also, according to research by private health company Bupa, 63% of people fail their new year’s resolutions.  All of this being said, to each their own, right?  And I will always, always, always respect another’s approach to their own means of living fabulously fierce…living fabulously whatever he or she chooses.  However, what if New Year’s was more about embracing who we are more and more, every day, recognizing that the more we focus on that, the more it is inevitable that we continue to unfold into our best selves over time!

See, we all come into this world as an incredible force to be reckoned with.  We are all literally fearfully and wonderfully made.  Think about that for a minute….really, let it sink in.  You are fearfully…wonderfully made… in all of your uniqueness, areas of flawlessness and areas full of blemishes.  It’s all you and it’s incredibly extraordinary!  We all know this but with the passing of time, we grow, we experience, we develop and we learn more about what and who others are before we spend more time in learning and understanding who we are.  We forget how fabulous and fierce we are.  Then, we come into seasons, opportunities, and (I swear I’m not ba-hum-bugging here) hype opportunities that call us to think of the “new me”…like New Year’s instead of focusing on the “now me” and how the me today can serve the ever unfolding you of tomorrow, the next day, the day after that….etc, etc.

And here we are in 2018!!!!!!!!!  I am SO EXCITED!  I just have this feeling in my gut, in deepest area of knowing, that something big, magnificent, unreal is already unfolding.  If you’re struggling to set a resolution or two (YASSSSS:), I’d like you to join me in just making a simple commitment to embracing you, just as you are, all day, every day…..and in doing so, seeing what unfolds!  I think it’s going to be remarkable.  And if you have already set a resolution or two, no, you’re not excluded.  In fact, I really believe this will help!

Embrace! What does this look like?  What will it involve?  What do you need to do?  Well, it’s actually pretty simple….just requiring a little bit of practice until it becomes habit and then is just part of who you are.  Simply put, make it a daily practice of embracing the whole you, just as you are, understanding that while not perfect, works in progress are actually more productive, alluring, attractive, resonating and inspiring than what we might consider to be perfect.  And because practice results in progression, we’ve got to go beyond just setting this intention of embracing the whole you to defining how you will practice this.  

It could be as simple as waking up every day and saying out loud I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  You might wear a piece of jewelry  or another accessory that reminds you of how fabulously fierce you are because of the story behind it.  You might end your day by writing in your journal one significant moment in your day where you showed up courageously and even impressed yourself!  Whatever it is that will remind you that you don’t just need the date to be January 1 to set a new intention for a new you, but can take every day as an opportunity to embrace the you that you are and are continuously beautifully unfolding, do it, do it, do it!  In my mind, that’s worth a daily toast that’s usually reserved for Jan 1 stroke of midnight.  With that, CHEERS to you and continuously unfolding into the fabulously fierce you of today, the here and now, and all of your days to come!

 

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Sometimes, going solo is more about gaining more in the deep than just going alone….

As human beings, we need each other. Beyond just what we experience emotionally,, scientifically speaking, it’s actually been proven that lack of social connections can have consequences on our health and life experiences.  Scientist Matthew Lieberman once shared “different cultures have different beliefs about how important social connection and interdependence are to our lives.  We are not meant to live this life alone and go along as if there is no one else in the world.  We need each other.”

All of this being said, there are parts of our journey that we have to embrace going solo.  My friend Megan has this daily ritual of walking the beach in the morning.  What a peaceful way to start the day, right?  She does this solo.  No one goes with her (though, she’ll keep me honest as I think the dogs may join her from time to time :).  It’s her time.  And she downloads so much during that time, much that she then also shares, vulnerably and bravely with others.  I think I can safely say and get your agreement in the truth that she wouldn’t gain as much in the way of insight and reflection if she opted to just follow-the hustle and bustle of everyday living just because that’s how we’re “supposed” to live…especially true Northeasterners.  Megan demonstrates the understanding of sometimes needing to walk alone.  

 

Albert Einstein once said, “The woman who follows the crowd will go no further than the crowd.  The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”  I don’t know about you but I really do want to find myself in new places, and if that requires going some parts solo, I’m game….heck I’m in it 🙂 What this really boils down to is embracing the balance of our need for others and our need that alone time that yields

  • Insight, defined as the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing….that person being you and/or things being your circumstances and the situations you’re currently facing,.
  • Depth of self-awareness.  There is something to be said about learning more about who you are when you’re rolling solo…even if it’s just for a bit.  Some folks find it strange that I actually enjoy my annual trip abroad by myself.  I love my travel buddies and we always have a blast wherever we go, but for my solo trip, I consistently learn something more and am able to go deeper into who Farah is and what she is continuing to become!
  • Enhanced elevation through experience.  The more we live this life, if we’re conscious, I believe the more we learn to get above the fray, especially in times when we get to explore on our own.  We just get to become better observers, understanding that we are actually less and less at the affect of things and the actions of other people and as a result can choose to rise above the day to day nuances that can challenge us in different ways that may not be productive.
  • Activation.  There’s always more or renewed motivation experienced during these times that really affords us the opportunity to take action on the insights gained.
  • Self-Reflection.  These days there is more and more at our disposal in the way of resources to leverage in our mindfulness practices and efforts to become more conscious and self-aware.  Our solo time affords us the self-reflection to heighten both

So, why this conversation (yes, in my head we’re actually talking 🙂  now?  Every year, when we pray at the Christmas dinner table, no matter who says the prayer, we always remember to think of those who don’t have the good fortune of family and friends to be with during the holidays and just ask that they experience the grace and favor we do in some form or fashion.  On the flip side,, I also always remember the coaching conversations I’ve had the week prior to the kick off of the holidays, especially with those preparing to spend the holidays with inlaws, focusing on “how to make it through.”  It’s funny right?  Same coin, different experiences, both benefiting from leveraging or making some solo time.  

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, embrace it all.  If you find yourself rolling solo, embrace the freedom you have to just focus on you, your needs, your wants,  and where you’d like to be.  If you find yourself with a jam pack family- and friend-filled holiday break, make sure to create your own ritual for some alone time to just think, focus, and prioritize you, even if just for a few minutes a day. The yield is well worth it!

What if we all just….

operated with each other with just a little bit of grace?  

Can you picture it?  It’s actually a bit tough, isn’t it?  

I believe part of the difficulty is the consequence of the fact that we don’t actually see and experience this on the day to day as much as we’d like….quite frankly as we should.

Well, by now you know I’m someone who just appreciates level-setting with definition.  So, what does grace actually mean?  Quite a bit if we really do a deep dive around it.  When it comes to operating with each other though, it’s actually pretty simple.  See, the definition I like is the following:

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In the whirlwind that is our day-to-day, we don’t always experience the love, kindness or goodwill that would most favorably define our interactions with one another. So far today, how many have approached you in love, kindness or goodwill?  On the flip side, also consider that in our hustle bustle daily experiences and focus on me, myself, and I (let’s be honest here), we don’t always maintain a disposition to benefit or serve another with intention, actually exercising grace.  It may happen because we’re just good people and we know how to be nice and not intentionally be malicious.  But, what if we set the intention of loving, showing kindness, compassion and mercy, seeking to benefit those who interact with us?

Here’s what I am finding to be more and more true, amongst other things, as life continues to progress: It’s downright friggin hard!  It just is!  Life is a constant series of opportunities to grow, develop and progress which is fabulous, but is definitely does not come without challenge.  It’s just not easy.  And to top it off, you know what makes it even harder….harder than it has to be?  Us!!!!!  Yes, sometimes unknowingly and again even though without malintent, we make life tougher for each other!

Moment of transparency: these past two weeks have been ridiculously tough for me.  

People say things (you would gasp if I shared just a few comments made to me)….

People do things (I’d have to help you pick your jaw up off the floor)….

People fail to say things (ya know, like a simple thank you)….

People fail to do things (yeah like things they said they would do)…

It all just makes the things that are hard even harder.  

But what if instead of just moving day in and day out, just moving with the flow of things, we chose to show up with love?  

What if we actually set a daily intention of just being kind?  

How can we actively demonstrate compassion, mercy and favor to each other?

What if we just maintained and sought, daily, to elevate a disposition of benefit and service to one another?

What if we just operated with a little more grace to with each other?  It takes the act of exercising, but what if?

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Now, can you see it?  Now, won’t you do it?  Often times, living fabulously fierce is more about empowering others while balancing the elevation and progression of self.  To living fabulously fierce….with grace!

“Thank you, for saying what we white women in the room needed to hear…really, thank you.”

I spent that past weekend in Denver, Colorado with the group of Emerging Women that the fabulously fierce Chantal Pierrat pulled together for the fifth time…..and it was AMAZING!  I am so grateful to have been included again this year.  When someone trusts you with their platform, that is nothing short of a great compliment and a major responsibility, not to be taken lightly!  I had the honor of being on a panel, moderated by Chantal and serve as a coach for a few attendees during the coaching corner!  My heart is so full….can’t even begin to tell you!

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The panel, titled The Future of Business: Creating Cultures where Women (and Men!) Thrive, focused on a number of different priorities, primarily honing in on the role of corporations in the day-to-day lives of their employees.  As it relates to diversity and inclusion, we just got real about what underrepresented groups experience or don’t get to experience depending on an organization’s culture, as well as the additional taxes some of us, yes, especially minorities, have to manage and the extra work of carrying the mantel of diversity and inclusion, educating others, being and enhancing our own cultural dexterity as well as that of others.  One message I really tried to drive home is that we individually, “those who actually have power to change the culture must play our part, especially when we see minorities carrying the load of this on their own.”

See, here’s the thing, we’ve been moving into reemphasizing the women’s agenda which is absolutely, so unquestionably critical to the brighter future we are all so desperately in need of.  This is the catch though, we have to remember that within the group, within the broad demographic of women, we must acknowledge and remember that those of us who have been historically and continue to be underrepresented, your brown and black sisters especially, have yet to have our demographic prioritized.  Additionally, when we try to advocate for ourselves on our own without the broad demographic support….we’re not only bossy, we’re aggressive….we’re not only aggressive, we’re angry…we’re not only angry….and I could continue but ultimately we are then alienated, isolated, discounted further, isolated, and there continues the cycle of just even trying to be seen and heard let alone, get a seat at the table in order to lean in and hopefully be heard.

So what?  So, now it’s time to just agree that we are all light in this world and we need to stop focusing on how much our individual illumination may be diminished by this circumstance and that.  Focusing in on how we’re impacted individually and how we can individually come together, collectively, with our own individualistic agendas is actually more limiting than we realize or are willing to accept.  We must hone in on the truth that we actually must opt to put our lights together, creating a fire we can leverage to turn this world right-side up!!!  Then, no one has to wait for their turn, for their agenda, their priorities and concerns to be the priorities and concerns of the others because in the end, aren’t we all one?

To the woman who thanked me “for saying what we white women in the room needed to hear”, I so wish I got your name, but thank you (and I will always remember that gentle smile)!  Thank you for accepting my boldness even when you didn’t know that sometimes it’s really hard to push yourself beyond the invitation and just take a seat to raise your voice.  Thank you for not letting the discomfort of the truth position you to shrink back and just sit and reflect or just think about it.  Thank you for seeing me, for recognizing that you are me and I am you and we, we got this!

To all of us, this week, be bold enough to speak your truth.  Encourage someone else to speak their truth.  Push past your own discomfort. Welcome, embrace, let go of your flickering flame and contribute to the fire!  It’s rising time and there’s no luxury of any of us turning back now.  Let this be your march of the moment!

Standing Out

I know it’s pretty tough but it looks like it is actually getting harder and harder for young girls to feel like it is absolutely ok to be different, to be unique to not follow the crowd, to be themselves, embracing authenticity.  I recently did another workshop for a group of thirteen- to fifteen-year-old girls  and they were absolutely fabulous!  I mean, they were on point with everything and just downright fierce!  The group of 17 showed up so confidently and they also showed up as one collective, supportive unit.  They had a great day together, laughing, playing, joking, encouraging each other and really absorbing all that there was to discuss and take in.

At the end of the day, I asked “so after today, what will be the biggest challenge for you in keeping your promise to yourself and each other to just be you, no matter what?”  One brave soul raised her hand and said,

“well, I like me…I love me…and I know I’m good, you know like I’m pretty cool.  But I’m different….I’m just really different….we’re all different from each other, and most of the people at school.  What’s hard is just being different because people notice you….and it can make you feel a little uncomfortable.”  

Then the entire group said, in unison,

“really uncomfortable.”  

Ugh, I just looked at all their beautiful faces and thought to myself, different group, different times, same bottom line challenge.  Being different is hard!  And we still have so much work to do in facilitating appreciation of differences.  I mean, I can’t think of one person who hasn’t looked through their Facebook feed even just over the past week alone and not realized that we, the adults, grown folks, even lose our minds when different perspectives arise.  How can we expect our young, up and coming women to operate any differently?

Dr. Seuss said it so simply

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”  

Great question but man oh man can it be hard sometimes….often times.  So what do we do about this? Action plan for the week:

    • Accept that it can be hard.  It just is.  Fact.  So accept that it is.  The moved into reflection, thinking about all the hard things that you’ve done in life, despite the fact that they were difficult.  What’s the gain?!?!?  LOTS!!!
    • Accept that though being different may be hard for you, it may be even harder for others, those who just don’t embrace your differences….and that’s really just not your problem…so keep it moving.  Imagine the loss to the world, your circle and those with whom you interact if you didn’t allow yourself to stand out?, prioritizing others’ comfort around you over your own unique value?  What a loss…..
    • Decide how you will stand out.  For some of us it’s our hair, our shape, our skin color, our personality, a whole slew of things.  Decide what your “stand out” factor(s) is/are and decide what you think of it before anyone else does and walk in it!  

 

  • Strut in it.  Slay in it!!!!  Stand out!

 

 

Readiness to Receive!

God has been generous to me, more than I deserve.

I asked for strength, God gave me difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for wisdom, God gave me problems to solve.

I asked for prosperity, God gave me brains and muscles  to work.

I asked for courage, God gave me dangers to overcome.

I asked for love, God gave me people in difficulty to help.

I asked for blessings, God gave me opportunities.

I received nothing that I asked for, but I received all that I needed.

 

Pretty intense reframing there, huh?  I wish I knew who the author of this is because it’s pretty profound if you ask me.  What I take away from this is that sometimes, when we are comfortable asking for what we want and need, we assume that we also have a say in the final outcome of what results from our asks…the how of the fulfilling of these asks.  Unfortunately, yet fortunately, we actually don’t….not always.   

See, while there is a truth to the fact that she who asks, receives, there’s also the truth that to whom much is given much is to be expected.  That being said, if there’s such significant expectations placed on those who receive, the process of receiving can’t be as easy as we’d like.  Not 100% of the time, but a significant portion of the time, we’ve got to go through some stuff to get some stuff…and there lies character, patience, strength, wisdom, prosperity, courage, love, blessings.

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Consider….

If it’s  strength you desire, are you ready to embrace the difficulties that build said strength?

Want wisdom? Ready to take on some major problems to solve?

Who doesn’t want prosperity?  Are you ready to work your intellect and current level of strength for it?

All your talk about wanting to be brave and courageous…ready to overcome some serious dangers and fears?

Still pursuing love?  How willing are you to offer your love to those who need it most?

Want that overflow of blessings?  Are you ready to take on all the opportunities that come with it?

So today, as you think of all the things you’re desiring, hoping for,  all the pieces of life that you want to come together, be accepting and be grateful that the process of obtaining may not actually look the way you would expect it to and that’s actually ok….because it’s going to be so much better because of what’s going to come through for you in the journey of attainment!

Disappointment

One of the potential consequences of being one who is always looking at the brighter side of challenging situations, seeking out silver linings in dark clouds, setting intentions of looking for the good or positive and staying hopeful even where there is evidence enough to just move forward with experience-filtered lenses, eyes wide-open is the reality of disappointment.  It’s real.  

We go through life with expectations of how things will work out, how we will progress and move throughout our journey, and, what potentially is most taxing, the hope that those who we believe should treat us as valuably as we do ourselves, and them, will reciprocate.  I mean it’s only fair that if we treat others as we seek to be treated that they would offer us the same respect, honor, love and basic human kindness.  Reasonable.  Beyond reasonable actually.  And then there come those moments, multiple moments, where others fail us.  When they fail to meet our expectations or more basically, meet us at least at our own level of giving, being, existing with and for them.  Yeah, not everyone operates at the same level of this mindset that we do.  And because of course our worldview, values and perspectives must be right, the door is swung wide open for the grand entrance of disappointment.

We all go through this.  At one point or another, someone we’ve cared about, loved, been there for, you name it, is present and able to do the same for us but is actually unwilling….and flat out tells you or shows you so.  Disappointment is actually defined as the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.  It is totally ok to have expectations of others.  This is actually how we hold each other accountable and to a level of esteem that elevates humanity…at least to a degree.  But if we’re honest about disappointment, it really has almost very little to do with others’ failure to meet our own hopes and expectations.  Debatable yes, but what I think is less debatable is the truth that often, we refuse to let go of our expectations of others, consciously or unconsciously.  Then, when we get to that final straw, we’re almost broken because we can’t even fathom the reality that when someone has the opportunity to simply show up the way we have for them, they wouldn’t.  From there, we start to , if we’re brave enough, reflect back to other instances in which their behavior demonstrated the exact same thing you’re experiencing with them now.  Quite frankly, as they’ve maintained more consistency in their failures to show up for you than not, they’ve don’t nothing “wrong”.  But you still hold out hope.  

We point to different things that would talk us into moving forward from distrusting and/or limiting our expectations of others, believing, surely he’ll do this for me…..of course she’ll support me in this….why wouldn’t they let me____?  I let them do the same when they needed. And then their consistency shows up again…and the punch to the gut.  

I shared the following recently:

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What I would submit is that instances of disappointment are seasons for us to make a decision to stop giving folks opportunities they have absolutely no interest in.  Accept it….productively.  Don’t begrudge them…just move on, wisely. Refuse to

  • offer your expectations as opportunities
  • position yourself for frustration, unreasonable surprise…and disappointment
  • keep investing in him…her…them…expecting a return that will never come

I’m not for the “this for that” mode of living with others but there is something to be said for moving away from generosity that requires unsuitable sacrifices around your logic and willingness to accept truth.  It kind of boils down to the saying that “when someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  I’d add to that, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them, and stop setting the stage for their encores….draw the curtains and get some tickets to another show.  You’ll save a lot more in the end!”

Pssst…..

Sooooo, I’ve got a little secret to share…..

Ready….

I still struggle….

I struggle….

Sometimes…

Ok, almost always, I struggle with asking for help.  I know-shocker!  Here’s the thing, I’m not one of those “I can do anything and everything on my own so I don’t need anyone’s help” kinda gal.  What I am though, is the kinda gal who just figures so much out on her own, on the day-to-day (life is such a puzzle sometimes) that I fail to recognize opportunities for help.  I literally don’t even see them.  Until…someone sees me…and says, “can I please help you?” and I realize oh yeah, that would make this so much easier!

Picture this, my mornings are pretty much hustle and bustle getting myself together, out the door and then into the office…..Then as soon as I’m there, it’s jump right in mode.  I always stop and get my breakfast though…two boiled eggs (just the whites), oatmeal with flaxseed and shaved almonds (missing the days when I could add all the honey and brown sugar that I wanted…but ya know, #FitLife), and of course my cup of coffee.  Usually, I’m one of at least a few grabbing stuff and heading to the elevator.  For some reason though, this day, I was only one of about three and I was ahead of the other few folks, so I’m leading the way in holding the door open, pressing the elevator button to let us on, and then….once we got on, I was going to hit my floor and whatever other floors folks asked be pressed.  Now remember all that stuff I’m usually carrying?  Yeah, hands full.  Farah’s solution: just put the coffee cup in your mouth and hold it by your teeth for the quick few seconds you need to press the elevator buttons.  And then, before I get to put the cup in it’s holding spot, this gentleman chimes up, “can i please help you?”  Silence…you know, from me being stunned that I hadn’t even thought of it…he says “Please?  What floor?”  Chuckle and I ask him to hit five.  He just says, “I mean, it totally looked like you had but…I mean…” and we both just laughed.

I then immediately thought of my friend Alesha.  A while back she was in on my fitness journey, helping me in the lifting space.  I remember she had me set up for some bicep curls with what I thought were ridiculously heavy weights.  She stepped up to help me with the last few reps and I said, “no, you can’t because you’re not always going to be at the gym with me….I need to try to do this.”  She sasses me….with that annoying friend eyeroll too…you know which one…you have friends who do that too…post-sass, she says, “yeah, but I’m here now.”  Duh!  Cray, I know but this is what I still struggle with…and I know I’m not alone in this!

See so many of us spend more time preparing for having to do things on our own, either because we actually really want to or because we blindly just don’t even perceive that there can be help for us…and a myriad of other reasons in between.  Here’s the thing about help though, it’s not just for you.  It’s also for the helper!

See, we all have different things to offer each other,  Helping others, helping each other, is just one way through which we offer up our gifts and make space for better, for enhancements, for ease where possible, for peace, for love, for all the good stuff.  When we try to just do things on our own, we not only limit ourselves, we limit the impact of others and quite frankly, also limit their strength in being able to ask for help from us as well.

So what?  So glad you asked.  Well, as you can see this is a persisting challenge for me.  The reason: I actually don’t practice giving others space in which to help me.  Someone usually shows up (blessing, favor, mercy, grace…always on my side) but there’s still space for me actually asking for, welcoming and embracing help.  In addressing anything in our lives that needs some adjustment, it just takes practice.  So, this week, join me in leveraging help!

  1. Identify two things that you need some help with.  Just two so you can stay laser focused.
  2. Get really granular about what help you actually need.  Specificity is what positions you for the win here.
  3. Identify who can help you!  It may actually be more than one person.
  4. Reach out!  Let them know you need them.  Yup, get vulnerable. It’s takes bravery but it’s not a matter of life and death so….just do it!
  5. Watch the abundance that comes for you and your partners!

And then…..CELEBRATE!!!!!!