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

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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!