Fabulously Fierce Factor #4-Being, or becoming accomplished in the art of doing nothing with a focus on gratitude

In a world of a million things going on at once, it can actually be extremely difficult to enjoy the possibility of doing absolutely nothing.  I know that for me this is a serious challenge.  Anyone who knows me really well knows that the wheels are constantly spinning.  I am motivated and excited about knew ideas and bringing things to life….all day every day.  Also, I can probably be considered a true professional multi-tasker (even now as I sit here writing, I’m actually also doing my nails!).  It’s gotten to the point where I’ve actually had to schedule “do nothing” days….which end up becoming, “just don’t do a million things today” days.

Now here’s the thing, since this modus operandi actually gets me excited about things and motivated to keep playing this game called life, I really don’t consider it a bad thing.  It’s actually part of my joie de vivre.  The challenge is pulling out of that space, mentally, to recharge and soak up what actually already is and those around us.  It’s all about balance, and that’s what I’m taking some time to focus on today….

The Italians actually call this art, this mode operating, obtaining balance, and enjoying life, il dolce far niente…the sweetness of doing nothing.  It’s really all about soaking up the moment, taking in all that is around us: ambiance, environment, scenery, good weather, a great meal, fabulous company, you name it..just taking it all in and enjoying it all.  You know, even the news, one of our ways of keeping up with all that’s going on in our world, tends to keep us focused on everything that is wrong and hard and horrible.  This leads us to feel like we have to do always be doing something to either address what’s going on or just keep moving to avoid it all.  The reality is if we just stop, just take a moment to breathe, to sit and do nothing but pause, we’ll realize there’s so much to be grateful for and our whole outlook will change leading to a change in how we handle the hustle and bustle…becoming even more intentional about what we do to embrace the sweetness of doing nothing.

So where do we go from here?  Well, I think it starts with a focus on gratitude.  Someone I’ve looked up to and recently had the opportunity to be a classmate with, Freda Battle actually has a song, For All You’ve Done For Me, that points to what we would realize the moment we begin to think about all that we can be grateful for…we literally would just not have enough words, time, paper and pen to note everything that we have to be thankful for.  For me, when things do get to be a bit too much to handle, that’s where I go, to a focus on all that I have to be grateful for, focusing on everything that is great, fabulous in my life, with appreciation for each and every blessing, giving thanks to God for it all.  It just makes everything, for me, so much better.

This is tough though, again, because there is always something to do, somewhere to go, someone to be there for.  So, I’m heading to school folks…school of life.  This afternoon, I head to Italy and I’m going to spend a great deal of time experimenting in this dolce far niente, taking every moment I can to soak it all up while adding to my “Gratitude List”, giving thanks and praise for it all.

Here’s to the art of doing nothing!  And to the commitment to gratitude!  So, go ahead, start your list, and comment/share.  I’d love to hear what you’ve started to take note of in your gratitude.

Soundtrack of the Week: Zo!’s, Free Your Mind

P.S.-For those in the New England area, Freda Battle will actually be launching her new CD this Friday, July 20!!!  Check her out on Facebook for the details!

Living Fabulously Fierce Factor #3-Maintaining Your Ability to Accessorize with Your Smile

The past two weeks have definitely pushed me to learn more about how much I can handle.  There’s just been a lot of work with work, a lot going on with friends, and some of my own personal challenges.  I really can’t say that anything is bad, but it’s a lot of good things, great things, and things that aren’t necessarily bad….just unexpected if you will.  That being said, I’ve definitely been stretched, stressed and had to address some fear and anxiety (yes the fabulously fierce are human and experience these feelings too). Truly though, what doesn’t kill you ABSOLUTELY makes you stronger.

Throughout any challenges though, I really do always try to maintain my composure and focus on being positive…for myself and in managing my personal brand.  It’s just so important to always keep in mind that no matter what you’re going through, you’re always offering up an experience of your brand with others.  Whether you’re having a great day or not, all people remember is how they have experienced you, based on how you show up.  Now some of us wear our emotions on our sleeves and have to do a little more work to show up positively when interacting with others.  For me, and I would submit this is the case with most of us, it all really depends on the day.  Some days, I’m better at not letting things get to me so much that everyone can see I’m just not myself.  On other days (though rare) I don’t really leave much to the imagination in terms of what I’m feeling.

One thing that I think I have working in my favor though is that I am really able to be in the moment, no matter what I’m going through or facing.  If I’m on the train for my morning commute into the office and trying to mentally prepare for the day but the person next to me starts up an interesting conversation….I’m totally there!  If I’ve got a million things to get done with a task list already set up with check boxes for me to build that sense of accomplishment as I work through (if you couldn’t “see” my Type A personality coming through before, well, here you go) but there’s an impromptu get together or “Committee Meeting” called to order (Consuela, Faith, and Veronica know the deal), I’m totally there!  If I’ve just gotten some not so great news but a fabulous song comes on….I’m there, especially if it’s an old jam like MJ’s Smooth Criminal.  Basically, what I’m saying is that, no matter what’s going on, I try to be present in all situations, appreciating whomever I’m with and whatever we’re doing, what is actually happening…not what I “should” be doing, or what’s “supposed” to be happening.  This really helps me appreciate everything so much more, and smile a whole lot more in this world in the face of everything that can go a little crazy around us in this world, or have us feeling like we’re in a constant whirlwind.

So, today, I’m suggesting we all just make an intentional commitment of embracing everything we face….the good and the unexpected with the same accessory…a smile.  Super cheesy, I know, especially as, believe it or not, I’m sooooooooo NOT the mushy mushy type.  The reality, though, is that this really allows us to be present, in the moment, and soak up the best of everything and everyone around us.  So, go ahead….I dare you, just smile.  You just look so much better when you do!  And….against the feedback of my friend, Melissa, I’m inserting one here via an emoticon, just for you 🙂 !

Soundtrack of the day: Kirk Franklin’s I Smile