Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #2a: Creating the Vision…Continued

After my last update, a number of you sent thank you emails, sharing how motivated you were to actually put your vision board together.  So, naturally of course, I had to take it to the next level….I actually hosted the very first Living Fabulously Fierce Meet-Up!

A few of us got together and really honed in on our vision with no limitations!  “DJ Lynette” provided the musical inspiration and we let our minds run wild with purpose! Check out a couple of the resulting boards:

As for me and my vision (board)….
Well, I definitely took the limits off.  This exercise absolutely let me run wild with my goals and aspirations and forced me to take up my own ask of you in being true to myself and daring to dream grand. In terms of being true to myself, I have always known that you can never please everyone all the time and if that’s all you’re seeking, it is impossible to be true to you.  Knowing this is one thing, but actually being committed to this frame of mind, living it, is another thing.

What’s really helped me wrap my mind around being true to self is the following quote by Deng Ming-Dao:

“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.”

If that doesn’t get one to be committed to one’s nature, I honestly don’t know what would?  That being said, some of you have asked to learn more about me.  So here are a few truths about Farah Bernier:
•       African-American Female of Haitian descent
•       Christian
•       Oldest of three
•       Addicted to travel
•       Passion: Supporting the development of young girls, building their self-esteem and confidence                       through coaching and collaboration with fabulously fierce women who’ve influenced my life….

I think that’s enough for now, but feel free to send me a note with any questions you have about me and I’ll post answers as your inquiries come in.  All in all, these are the basic truths about myself that I am committed to staying true to no matter what that entails.  Each of these characteristics about me, and many, many, many others help define me and contribute to who I am no matter what I experience or am involved in.  That being said, I guess my truth statement would be that as an African-American female of Haitian
descent, I am the descendant of those before me who have had various struggles tied to their own identity, yet made significant strides so that I can be where I am today, proud of who I am, motivated by my Christian values, naturally forthright (though some may call it stubborn..and of course they’re wrong 🙂 tendencies as an “oldest” child, with a love of experiencing new cultures and different parts of the world through travel while inspiring others, young girls and women in particular, to be the best they can be in all that they do, through their own self-confidence and positive self-esteem.

Definitely a mouthful but I’ll trust you get my point.  All in all, I’m staying true to me, owning all of it…all of me!

Dreaming Grand!

In terms of taking the scales off the eyes of my imagination and building grand…well, I definitely did!  So, remember how my board began with two vision “paths” that I shared?  As a reminder, here are the two:

1-Farah=Joy==> Good-Looking==>Strong Brand==>Fabulously Fierce==>Admirable Presence==>Public Speaker

2-Farah=Joy==>Light for others==>Christian==>Example of Christ==>Missionary

Well, I took another look and focused on being grand!  So using the first path just as an example, check it out:

Farah=Joy==> Good-Looking==>Strong Brand==>Fabulously Fierce==>Admirable Presence==>Public Speaker==>Speaker at the 2020 Essence Women’s Conference==>Living Fabulously Fierce Talk Show Host!!! (Why not?)

Time to Work:
This exercise actually helped me identify additional interests that I didn’t even realize I had.  I love what I’m doing for work and all the ‘extrawork’ activities that I engage in, but I never really thought about taking what I love to do in my job-speaking, coaching, advising, consulting, developing and facilitating-and focusing in on how to take it to the next level.  Now that I have a defined, tangible end-goal, it’s time to start putting my vision into action.

So I’ve already taken the first step, thanks to the fabulous connection my fierce friend Veronica Chapman, a true jewel, shared with me, and called an agency that sets thought leaders up with speaking engagements.  I’ll focus on local opportunities for the time being, build up to larger audiences, then get to the Essence Women’s Conference, and then, host of the Living Fabulously Fierce Talk Show….and many of you will be guests. Taking the scales of my vision indeed!

Side note: Sooooooo, if you’re looking for a speaker on confidence, self-esteem, personal brand building, diversity and inclusion……well, you know who to call!

So how about you, what did you end up with and what actions are you planning to take?  Feel free to share.

One last thing…
One thing that helped me dream grand was really focusing on leaving a legacy.  Simply, put, I want to make sure to leave a mark on this world that makes a significant enough difference to positively impact others,
however that may be.  I dread the thought of one day leaving this earth and not leaving some sort of a mark that shows that I lived, I added value, I dared to dream and live my dreams, and in some identifiable way, left a legacy that encourages others to do the same.  What’s the legacy you want to leave behind?

Soundtrack of the week: Beyonce’s, I Was Here Continue reading

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Fabulously Fierce Factor #2a-Creating the Vision

Where we left off…

This week, I was reminded how much we all need feedback.  Sometimes, we think of feedback negatively because we associate it either with grades/report cards or an often-dreaded performance review from work.  Either way, one thing that I learned as an Associate in The Partnership Inc. (which is probably where my hunger for feedback began), feedback is just someone else’s assessment of where we stand as an individual or in comparison to others in a group.

At the end of the day, it’s just information.  We can actually choose whether to do something with it or not.  Either way, it’s something we need in order to determine if how we perceive ourselves is actually vibing with the way we want others to perceive us.  That being said, I’m so grateful for your direct emails, texts, Facebook messages and calls sharing your thoughts on my commentary so far.  My friend, Dionna Woodard (remember that name because you’ll be shopping her shoe line some day….DSW ain’t seen nothing yet:) ) made my day when she said that as she was reading livingfabulouslyfierce, she thought “this is so Farah, I love it.”  That feedback actually made me feel like I know what Mr. James feels when he is on the court, just meeting expectations all around!

disclaimer: I AM NOT A HEAT FAN, but I give talent respect when due and Lebron James has earned respect as an athletic freak of nature. #CELTICSALLDAYEVERYDAY!!!!!!

So, to all, a huge thanks and definitely keep the feedback coming-positive and not so positive/constructive.  This is as much your space as it is mine.  What do we all want to bring to this party?  Let me know your thoughts!

Rolling Rolling Rolling…

Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #2a: Creating the Vision.

Continuing our conversation around vision and how we really need to be intentional about it, if you came into my office, you would actually see a few vision boards.  I really do believe in creating visuals of what you want to see manifested in your life.  It ties directly to the notion that if you can see it, you can achieve it.  Pulling your vision from your thoughts, ideas, and imagination into something you can hold and see really does wonders for getting you to focus.

When D said “this is so Farah”, she reminded me that all I ever really try to do is live as my own namesake.  All that means is this: I know the meaning of my name, it’s a powerful meaning, one that I can own, make my own, and actually love living up to.  So, a quick lesson:

Farah is an Arabic name which translates to joy.  It’s been a few years now since I actually looked up the definition, wrote it out and then looked to the definition of joy to determine what it all really means.  Taking it a bit further, joy is defined as

  • an intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness
  • the expression or manifestation of such a feeling
  • a source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction

What’s really interesting is that in all of my travels, even in and around my own hometown, I run into people who have shared their understanding of the definition of my name based on their own culture.  From a gentleman in Dubai sharing with me that it means wedding and great celebration (then offering me 10 camels!) to a concierge in Paris telling me it means ‘the choice’ (I learned his name meant the ‘father of the nations’….you can imagine the conversation ‘the choice’ and the ‘fatherof all nations’ had in the lobby of this Paris hotel!), I have learned that if my vision simply remains tied to who I am, I’ll have a truly unique vision to live up to and really make a difference in this world by doing so.

So, my process of creating my vision really started with a depiction of words…pictures are being added as I collect a few magazines.  I’m more than happy to share what I pulled together in my journal but I learned that this medium, WordPress, doesn’t yet allow uploads of images.  That being said, until I switch over, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours….Shoot me an email with your depictions and I’ll be more than happy to do the same.

To help you visualize it for now, basically I put my name in the center of the page as Farah=Joy and all around that are the definitions of my name that I’ve picked up.  From those definitions are deeper definitions and more specifics around what each “looks” like in my vision.  For example following the “path” below:

Farah=Joy==> Good-Looking==>Strong Branded==>Fabulously Fierce==>Admirable Presence==>Public Speaker

Ok, if you insist :)…here’s another….

Farah=Joy==>Light for others==>Christian==>Example of Christ==>Missionary

I have a whole lot more…as you can imagine, but this is just the beginning.  As you take another look at yours or as you begin your own, here’s a tip…Start really high level with your vision and just make sure that wherever it lands, it’s with you being more concrete.  Make it something that you can actually see, touch, feel, experience.  Also, keep in mind, that I started off with my name because it really helped me, but you start wherever you would like.  For example, and I’m totally putting her on the spot (out of love :)) but Dionna could go ahead and pick up some of her designs for the shoes she’s pulling together and place them on a large poster board, then have cut out images of exactly where she wants her shoes to be displayed, who she wants wearing them, how that will build her fortune for the mansion that she will own, what that mansion will look like…. and we could go on and on but you get the gist.

Truth…Dare….

Sometimes the challenge with creating our vision is that we actually limit ourselves by what we can see and afford in the here and now.  We don’t actually dare ourselves to go outside of our own limitations.  So, this week, I’m inviting you into a round of truth AND dare with me.

In terms of truth, this week, I’m asking you to be true to you and take as least 15 minutes to either create or revisit your vision board, whatever form you put it in, and just build…actually create the depiction.

Dare?  Dare to dream big…take the scales off the eyes of your imagination and build grand.  Notice, I didn’t say big…it’s not about size, it’s about what will position you to come full focus on who you are meant to be…in a grand way.  I’ve never known anyone to need a butterfly to be big to capture his/her attention.  The grand flight of even a one-toned butterfly will make anyone stop for even just a moment….focus on your flight.

Let me know what you come up with.

And until we “meet” again…live fabulously fierce, however you know how!

Soundtrack of the Week: David Cook, Dream Big

From Artistry to Reality Creation!

Where we left off.
I was so inspired by all the calls, emails, tweets, texts, Facebook comments on what you all did for yourselves.  From hanging out with turtles in Trinidad to deciding to stay home and do nothing but make yourself a nice meal, I really loved every example of taking time out for yourself.

As for me, I decided on a few things:
1-I’d catch up on some of my Essence Magazine reading.  I’m definitely backed up in that area.
2-Took some extra time to “soak”…something I’ve been doing for years and that has really been taken to another level with my Church, New Dimension.  I guess you can call it mediation, but basically, I usually do one hour/week just sitting, listening to my favorite, most soothing and reflective gospel music focusing on all that I’m grateful for.  This week, I went into two hours of soaking and it was fabulous!  If this is something you want to get into, I suggest kicking it off with Israel and New Breed’s Hosanna.  It really sets the stage for an amazing time of reflection
3-I painted.  Now before I show you what I did, let me make it clear that I am in no way, shape or form an ar-tiste 🙂  BUT, I have found that there are only three things that I do that really allow me to totally empty my mind:

  • Running,which I’m on a hiatus from since I sprained my ankle 😦
  • Flying, which clearly I can’t do every day, at least not yet 🙂  There’s just something about being in the air, in the clouds, that really helps take my mind off of things.
  • Painting, inspired by a paint nite event I went to just to support my friend Dan Hermann’s new venture.  So, I decided I was going to give myself some time to just paint and relax. Here’s just one of the pieces I did. 

   

The rest are still in process….more to come.

Let me tell you, the combo of all of this set me up for a fabulous week of being fierce in everything I needed to do and fabulous for everyone I needed to be me for 🙂 How did it influence how your week went?  Please share!

Keeping the ball rolling:

Yesterday, I had the chance to meet with Mrs. Dima Hendricks, 2006 Miss Black Massachusetts, to discuss opportunities for us to collaborate in our efforts targeting young girls.  Dima and I have gotten to know each other over the past few years so of course there was a lot of work focus complemented by a lot of “sister talk”. 

 During our conversation, Dima said something that really got me thinking about our current state versus our reality.  As we were talking about things we’re in the season of and what we’re looking forward to in the future, she said, “I just know my current state, isn’t my reality.  My reality is just so much more than even where I am right now.”

Now before I really delve into this, let me just say that I always think it’s so important to really appreciate every season we experience.  The ups, the downs, the good, the great, they unexpected, and the challenging because at the end of the day, it really does come together for our good. Also, neither Dima or I is downtrodden in any way, we’ve just got our sights set on higher heights, and just loving the process of getting there.   Many of us spend too much time just focusing on our current state.  For some of us, we see challenges all around us.  There are challenges with school, with our finances, with employment, with our relationships, with our health, with our weight, with this thing, that thing and the other.  The list could truly go on for days, maybe even years.  It’s so easy to just stand still and focus on all of this.  As heavy as it can sometimes be, it actually is a lot more comfortable than getting up and doing something about it. 

Then there are those of us who are constantly day dreaming of “what is to come”, “what will be”, and oh “how all will be just perfect” once we get there.  I truly believe in keeping a focus on vision.  It’s an absolute necessity for progress….it truly, truly, truly is!  So, we have to get a vision of what we want, being very specific about what it is, how it is, what it will look and feel like for us.  It’s the only way we’ll know that we really do have what we want once we get it.  The danger here though is how easy it can be to rest on our laurels in day dreaming, never making any progress toward achievement of our desired reality. 

 So, what do we do to fill this gap?  How do we build the bridge?

 Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #2: Create, Own, and Work Toward a Vision.  Don’t worry we won’t be taking this all on at once.  Bit by bit.  So to start we have to create some representation of the reality we want to experience?  We actually get to leverage our day dreams here.  Let’s jump right in….get your markers, construction paper, notebook, whiteboard, journal, magazines scissors and glue stick, whatever it takes to get you to create a visual of what you’d like to see for yourself in the next 5-10 years, get it and do it!!!  Don’t forget to share.  I’ll be posting mine for you soon enough!

I’m baaaaack! With some self consideration

First, I have to admit I was a little disappointed in how I totally dropped the ball on my blog efforts….despite how excited I was about it.  Then, I let go of that disappointment as I soon realized the source of my distraction….I have been busy…actually living fabulously fierce 🙂  And really, that’s nothing to be disappointed about.

As I am one who loves to share the inspiration that I am fortunate enough to experience daily, I had to get back.  So, here I am and here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to pick up as if we never left off.  Side Note: I have a cousin, Patrick….he and I go looooooooooooong periods of not seeing each other-I’m talking years.  There is this bond between us though, that all it takes is a smile from me, and a big huge hug from him with a “sup cuz” greeting and it’s like the last time we spoke was just an hour ago.  That’s family love, and I’m extending that to you…you play Patrick and I’ll just be me (I think it only makes sense).

So, with a smile :), let me begin:

Last night, I had an opportunity to catch up with my sister, Aundrea Cline-Thomas (remember that name because she’s gonna be even bigger than she is now some day very soon).  We haven’t talked in a while so of course there were hours of catching up to do.  A lot of what we ended up talking about is what we do for ourselves to keep our mind right, our hearts healthy, our souls geared up, and our bodies in tip top shape.  Dre and I have very different approaches to rejuvenating…..she loves being in her place and enjoying some much needed quiet time….can’t blame her with all she has to do with her job.  I, on the other hand, though I enjoy a balance of reflection time and quiet as well as being out and about, I’m definitely more focused on the out and about doing things mode…really, I just can’t sit still.

We found that we both are not as good as we should be about focusing on what we need as much as we do focus on the needs of others.  We face many requests of “can you do…”, “can you help me…”, “would you mind…”, and because we’re good people who just like to also get things done it’s always “yes, I can do…”, “sure, I can help you…”, “hmmm, no, I don’t mind….”-and then we’re pretty spent with just a little left in us to do maybe, maybe just a little somethin somethin for ourselves.”  NOT GOOD.

Living Fabulously Fierce is as much about focusing on how you show up for others as it is about showing up for yourself.  In fact, I would submit that it’s more about showing up as best you can for yourself so that you can be the best for others as needed.

One of my friends has always done a great job of putting herself first and while a few actually consider her selfish for her approach to life, there is no one I know who does not want to be in her presence.  She’s just always “in a good place”, you know a good state of mind, so people can actually enjoy her company.  I learned a few years ago that she does not start a day or leave her house, not even if there is a 4:00a.m. flight to catch, without treating herself to a cup of tea and reflecting on an inspirational quote or Bible verse first just to give her a moment of peace before the kids wake up or the stress of work becomes a reality yet again.

Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #1: Self Consideration. Doing what eases your mind and fills your heart with joy and peace is fabulous!  So, what are you going to do for you within the next 24 hours?  This doesn’t have to be anything major or super special….just special enough for you to feel like you did something for you.  Thought about it?  NOW DO IT!  You’ll be better for everyone else if you do!