Business Leaders Need to Publicly Talk About Mental Health

As you may know, mental health is getting the spotlight in the media more and more. Celebrities are publicly talking about their struggles with mental health issues and are checking themselves into inpatient mental health hospitals for a concentrated treatment plan. Even royal families are getting involved in this movement to bring more awareness about the importance of managing our mental health

Yet, we are still hearing and reading news of celebrity deaths by suicide. We’ve learned that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death today. That 90% of people who die by suicide experienced a mental health condition. And workplace wellness initiatives still emphasize physical health, and at times don’t address mental health at all. 

There are many ways we define leadership.

And I think it’s time our personal definitions included being unashamed about saying,  “I’m not perfect.” “I need help.” “I struggle with…” while knowing and being assured that it doesn’t make you “less than” in any way, shape, or form. Not only knowing that you are “enough” in your imperfection, but being able to thrive in a culture where vulnerability, coupled with courage  is not ostracized, but rather a norm where people easily and readily can say, “yes, I struggle with anxiety too, I get it, and I see you.” 

Suicide is preventable. Mental health concerns are treatable and manageable. Healthcare access is more accessible when there is no stigma associated with both the terminology, as well as the act of seeking help for better management. For example, being able to ask for recommendations via a public Facebook post for a good therapist without being shunned for it. 

But we need to talk about it

We cannot heal what we sweep under the rug. 

Having honest conversations that encourage seeking support, that don’t minimize or invalidate experiences, and that show a struggling person that they are cared for, and that they matter, helps save lives. 

Investors are starting to realize that Startup Founders are struggling with mental health issues and addictions. They are hearing how the Startup lifestyle is literally killing their best talent and the creative genius that “could have been”. And they are taking pledges to offset that. It’s a great start! Large corporations have EAP, which is fantastic benefit to offer employees, but leaders themselves aren’t buying in. And due to toxic work environments that don’t truly hold space for wellness or wellbeing, neither are the employees. 

And what about mid-sized business owners? Small business owners? Freelancers and solopreneurs? The majority of small businesses are in fact very small. These very business owners don’t interest venture capitalists. So many bootstrap their way to making a living. Their identity is far too wrapped up in their ability to produce, and all too often for as little money as possible, leaving many earning less that 50k a year. How great would it be for small business owners to really support one another in our work environments of one to a few – by taking “mental health” days. Or vacations where we actually turn off our mobile devices and unplug? Or 60 minutes a month to play?

We talk about hustle culture, and doing whatever it takes…

What if “whatever it takes” is really about rest, restoration, and deeper connection?

What if whatever it takes is about having the courage to document standards for our businesses, so we can actually love what we do and work with people we love to work with? What if it’s about honoring those standards, even when others have no concept of boundaries and ethical standards, or walking with purpose? What about building a culture of health and wellness? A culture based on love rather than fear of missing out?

Can we start talking about how we had a great peer support group meeting the other day? Or how we worked through our anxiety with the five senses technique and didn’t have a panic attack on the way to a networking event? Or how thanks to taking Mental Health First Aid we were able to see the signs of mental health distress in a family member and encouraged them to text the mental health crisis text line and get help until they could get in to see a psychiatrist?

I’m very proud and happy to announce that Love Yourself Love Your Business has officially incorporated as a nonprofit organization.

We are establishing ourselves as a leading peer-led nonprofit that creates intentional spaces of support for small business owners and entrepreneurs who often deal with depression, anxious thoughts, loneliness, addictions, and work-related stress leading to burn out.

For the month of May, we are encouraging business leaders – from one-person shops to large Fortune 100s – to be bold and courageous about speaking up about mental health. 

We are asking you to take the lead about creating a stigma-free culture where mental health and wellbeing is a priority and not an afterthought.

We’re asking you to create space for open dialogue around mental health because not only is it an exercise in healing for yourself, but it is the bat signal to all who look to us for guidance and direction – those who want to be the heroes of their health and life stories too. 

Share your narrative.

Share your story of healing, hope, struggle, overcoming, constant battling, failures, successes, what you’re doing to manage your mental health and wellbeing, how you’re implementing mental health in your workplace wellness program. 

We’ve even created a starter kit for you here.

Join us during Mental Health month, (starting May 1st) and be sure to use the hashtag #EntrepreneursTalkAboutIt let’s make this a conversation that continues, and grows into real change. 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.


Making Peace with Your Traumatic Mental Health History

Awhile back, I noticed a theme of having the courage to reach out and connect with others emerge. This month, I’d say that I saw a theme around being willing and ready to receive the help you’re asking for. And in order to do so, you have to understand that “help” can come in the form having to touch base with uncomfortable emotions and experiencing scary change that could and possibly would transform your life. 

I thought about a lot of “what ifs” 

What if your deep-rooted truth revealed that you are not a victim?

What if you are revealed to be more than a survivor? More than a conquer? More than the labels you’ve internalized and reflect back onto yourself?

I saw this simple, yet highly important message the other day via Bad Girl Mystic and thought, “now how do we take that concept and own the whole truth of it’?

I didn’t need to look any further than my own lived experience, and what I’ve encountered along the way.

I’m quickly approaching the month that will mark my 10 year anniversary in mental health recovery. And I’m not ashamed to admit…I still haven’t got it all figured it out. Of course I don’t! And not only am I okay with that, but it actually keeps me motivated to learn more about myself, how I process the world around me, and how I heal while simultaneously dealing with the constant paper cuts from varying degrees of microaggressions. I’ve come to understand that recovery and healing is a process. It is a process because there are many things we are told about who we “should” be and what healthy is or is not. We have to be almost detective-like in order to uncover what pathways are buried underneath the pathways we are acquainted with.

Imagine the type of healing we can experience when armored with truth. 

I believe making peace with the totality of who you are is key if you want to heal the self and the collective selves that make up a society. But you have to be ready and willing to do the work of healing. Because well, life is a ride.

I think it’s helpful to know that you’re going to encounter views contrary to what you thought was the “right” and perhaps only way to go about things. For instance, I only thought of depression one way…a standard westernized definition. Then I encountered a broader definition of the word. In her book, “Women of Color Talk” Dr. Angela Clack defines depression as…

“a disconnect from your authentic and true sense of self, i.e., it is an identity problem; it is a disconnection from one’s health thought life; a disconnection from one’s body and physical self; a disconnection from one’s power source, once’s connection with a higher power; a disconnection from family, friends, and other social supports necessary for successful recovery; and a disconnection from one’s sense of belonging in this world because of racial/gender/ethnic disparities.” 

Looking at depression in that way changes how I think about, and how I approach my therapeutic relationships.  

In my own book about mental health issues, I debunked the story that “cured” was this set, static destination. I began embracing the idea that a cured life was one that encompassed an ongoing act of care, concern, and responsibility. My recovery and healing process then took on new meaning. It changed my story and the type of hero I was willing to be in my own story. Hint: I became more open, honest, assertive and hopeful. 

Life became more beautiful to me.

Seeking after the truth of a “cure” made my life more meaningful, even as truth feels so elusive. Because as I seek it I realize so many things going on outside of my tunnel vision. When I look around and stop chasing the single concept of what I think I should look like when I’m “healed” or rather what I should have looked like if I wasn’t “ill”, I see that my journey in and of itself is just as awe-inspiring as my proverbial finish line. I see that my journey isn’t only my ugly past, my ACE score, that I still kinda suck at martial arts 😉 or that I still struggle with anxiety and/or depression. No, my journey is also that I am persistent, that I am resilient, that I’m growing and that I see my fears and I press on anyway. But even better, is that I am more than just the sum of happy days and trigger days. 

I love this combination of quotes by author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In her TED talk she says that,

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” Then she goes on to say that, “Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but make it the definitive story of that person…Start the story with the arrows of the Native American, and not with the arrival of the British, and you have an entirely different story. Start the story with the failure of the African state, and not the colonial creation of the African state, and you have an entirely different story.”

The single story being told about Indigenous peoples of this land I’ve often heard (in a westerner context) is that of drunkenness and laziness. I’ve also heard a similar story about the people of African decent…I’m still not entirely sure if these stereotypes came about during or after the free and forced labor of my ancestors. Negative connotation is often a single story of poor people, people who immigrate to other countries, what said immigrants are told about the people who were already here but are scapegoated, people who work multiple jobs and haven’t received advanced degrees, people with advanced degrees who have overwhelming debt with no job or jobs with very little pay that have nothing to do with their schooling…I can go on. And when I was younger, I fell for the okie doke. I know better now. 

I learned that the single story stunts healing and growth.

I realized how harmful “if I did it so can you” can be. This is especially true when it’s used to justify (read blame) the attitude and treatment of others based on socio-economic position. I realize how harmful that is when it comes to mental health. And I see it all the time in mental health communities. “I’m better than you because I can function at a standard-enough level of “normal” AND be a contributing member of society even though I have *insert diagnoses*, and since you can’t, there’s something wrong, lazy, “bad” about you.” Not only is it harmful, it’s often times untrue and an incomplete story that disregards the entirety of one’s story. 

My nonprofit is built around the concept of serving people who are often times the so-called “high-functioning” and contributing members of society (business owners and entrepreneurs), but them creating jobs and circulating dollars in their communities isn’t their only story. Their story also tells the tales of substance abuse, work-alcoholism, chronic stress, dysfunctional upbringings, and suicides. If there’s two sides to their coin, why couldn’t there be two sides to the coin of the person who isn’t what society deems as “worthy”?

In order to make peace with a history, we cannot disregard any part of it, especially the parts that don’t fit into the narratives of what story we wish to tell so to soothe our egos, or lid a box we’ve decided to group a people in. Healing cannot happen in a singular story. Healing happens as we unpack and process the layers of many stories we’ve been told, told ourselves, and project onto others. 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Donations welcomed and appreciated: This site is ads-free and runs on the sheer power of my love and determination. If what I share brings you fresh perspective, inspiration, new resources, and/or value of any kind, please consider becoming a patron of this blog with a monetary donation.




How Having a Morning Practice Strengthens My Mental Health







morning tea

Here we are, another new year and the hopes and wishes for a more evolved you. Since you’ve probably already been inundated with all kinds of ‘how to’s’ and ‘should’s’. I’m not going to even go there. Instead, I want to share with you how I do my best to start off on the “right foot” by developing a morning practice. I’ve found that incorporating a practice of consistent activities into my daily life has helped me find balance over the years. More importantly, I wanted to share how practice has given me a place to return to when everything else around me has become chaotic.

I’ve been trained in the art of “early bird gets the worm” since I was younger. I grew up in a household that followed the rule of, “if mom is up and at ‘em then we all are up and at ‘em”. And my mother was up before sunrise most days…I don’t remember her even sleeping in on the weekends. To this day, I don’t really sleep in unless I’m sick. I say all this to say, I’m a morning person. So I feel obligated to share that waking up early isn’t half the battle for me as it may be for others. 

Find Your Center

Because I’m a morning person, how I start my day plays a huge role in how the rest of my day goes. While I do have the ability to pivot for days that don’t start off so well,  it is much easier to ground myself and return back to my center when my day starts out with a focus on all that is good and lovely. Because all that is good and lovely will then become my go-to position in clutch time rather than panic and run, (or rather anxiety and procrastination). I don’t think I’m alone in hoping for a day where I’m not constantly putting out fires and trying to catch my breath. So, I’ve learned that when I start my day with ease, I go into the rest of my day feeling calm, cool, and collected, which makes me feel ready for the world. And the way I start my day became a practice.  

Proof is in the pudding

Science has been telling us for quite some time that having a routine alleviates stress and anxiety. But I believe even without the academic research, we can feel the difference when we do something with consistency and when we don’t. 

For instance, I like eating breakfast in the morning, it really is the most important meal of the day for me. If I don’t eat my breakfast (or any meal when I’m hungry) I get Hulk angry. But taking it a step further, studies show that, “missing meals, especially breakfast, leads to low blood sugar and this causes low mood, irritability and fatigue”. Feeling hangry is real ya’ll!

Find what works best for you

I think when you’re first starting to build habits it may be helpful to see what habits already come natural to you. You may be able to find gifts in the things you believe are a negative. Here’s a quick example: If you are a night owl and you have been trying your hardest to write in the morning because that’s what all your favorite influencers constantly say they do…you may be better off following the flow of your own body rhythm. Write at night, do your best and most creative work when you are at your optimally best. If it’s night, then it’s night. Here’s my personal example of a slower learning process to finding what works for me…

I already had a habit of reading books often. I love to read! However, I could not read myself back to physically fit. My physical health was the issue and I couldn’t read and then daydream my way into having the strong abs I used to have, and not being out of breath just climbing stairs. 

The problem was I couldn’t find the motivation to go to the gym. The strategy of giving myself a reward at the end of the week to convince myself to go didn’t fly. Going with a buddy, didn’t make it enjoyable or something to look forward to, and whenever I stepped foot in the gym everything just felt…not right. I attempted the gym many times and it just didn’t do it for me. What’s an ‘out of breath from stair climbing’ woman to do? 

Life shifts can come about in the most mundane of actions

So, I took what I did naturally, read – and I used my habit of reading to my advantage…instead of devouring my beloved fiction, I set aside time and started reading books about personality types and how to motivate yourself based on your personality. I started looking up research about the things that get in the way of achieving goals. I theorized that if I could look at my stop signs and red lights with courage, then maybe they wouldn’t be so scary anymore and I could triumph over how they affected my livelihood. I read books like The Four Tendencies and took a second look my personality tests results, (I’ve taken quite a few of them). I found great relief in reading that I may be more vested in other kinds of activities for physical fitness that I overlooked, rather than going to the gym. I experimented with suggestions.  

Surprisingly, I took a renewed interest in martial arts and nature walks. I don’t consider myself an outdoorsy or sports person, and I hate being terrible at things- especially in front of an audience…but despite that, doing these activities make me feel in touch with my body, and in turn my emotions. As a thinking personality type, this does not come easy to me. More and more I can see my fears and anxiety as if they were tangible objects. In this way, I can’t ignore them, I can’t deny them, no putting them aside with busy work, I have to face them. Journaling the morning after a rigorous martial arts practice the night before has really helped me focus my reflective writing. Throughout the day I am better able to look at situations in a different way and consciously learn ways to better cope. 

It started with a small shift. Instead of reading fiction for an hour right before falling asleep on week nights, I switched to reading nonfiction before falling asleep and everything else began to piece itself together from there. I still have a ways to go, but for starters, I’m no longer out of breath when I walk up the stairs. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a win! Which reminds me…

Celebrate the small victories

Just showing up to do the practice in and of itself is reason to pat yourself on the back. We don’t really get participation medals for making healthy choices and changes in our lives, but I don’t see why we can’t pause to acknowledge all of the mini battles we had to fight and overcome just to even get to the starting point. If you’re at, “Yay! I made the bed today!” after a major depressive episode, then go you! If someone shares how they have depression too and are able to function just fine…good for them! But this is your life that you’re fighting for…they don’t fight for it for you. Compare = despair…I don’t even want to play that game anymore. I am already my biggest critic, now, I’m learning to be my biggest cheerleader. I do that by pausing.

Pause is an important practice in my day. I am not a fan of hustle culture nor am I a fan of team no rest. I’m not interested in promoting a culture that teaches us to treat each other as if we’re robotic commodities only as useful as the sum of our good parts. Which brings me to what I consider the best part of how having a practice keeps me well…it’s there when I need it and I don’t beat myself down when I don’t follow it with perfection. I strive to not be married to the outcome of my anticipation, but rather, be open to the possibilities that intentional self-development manifests in my life. Enjoying the journey transforms practice from “just some routine” to a meaningful way to embrace the totality of my human experience in this world. The mental health benefits are a bonus or in foodie speak, icing on the cake. 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

Sign up here for a free copy of The ABC Method to Managing Your Mental Health While Running a Business.

Donations welcomed and appreciated: This site is ads-free and runs on the sheer power of my love and determination. If what I share brings you fresh perspective, inspiration, new resources, and/or value of any kind, please consider becoming a patron of this blog with a monetary donation.










“Love is as Love Does” a 2018 Year-end Reflection







This last post of the year is a review of the ups and downs and “meh” moments from 2018. It’s a personal reflection, a public display of vulnerability, and most definitely not a “how to review your year and plan for the next” type of post. If you’re looking for that kind of resource, check out Rosetta Thurman of HappyBlackWoman.com she has a great guide on it. 

Personally, I’ve been using a tweaked version of the Life in a Notebook annual planning system that my friend, C.J. Hayden developed.  I typically start with a brain-dump of desires, searching questions, and intentions for the year, and then I convert them into projects, goals, and/or commitments. I utilize both a coach and accountability buddies to aid in my own self-determination to turn my desires and intentions into reality. I’ll share more about the planning system in my upcoming event, More Than a Vision Board Party.

If you’re still here with me though, my hope is that through my personal experiences and the resources I’ve personally used and will share with you, you’ll gain some clarity, confirmation, new insight and fresh perspective.

As I’ve shared before in previous reviews, I center my intentions for the year around 6 areas or slices of life: Spiritual, Personal, Physical, Social, Professional, and Financial.

I also usually have a word and/or theme for the year that gives me a focal point for all the desires, intentions, commitments and goals I set for the year.

My word for 2018 was “Cherish” and my personal theme was “Love is as Love Does” with an emphasis on connections and community. 

I have actually had my themes for 2016, 2017, and 2018 since the end of 2015 when I felt a message stirring deep in my gut, to be intentional about “The Work of Transformative Love”. And so this year was about taking all that I learned about self-love and authentic expression (2016), having a love ethic in work (2017), and going out into community “the world” to actually put love into practice where you have no control of the reaction you’ll get and no expectation of reward. (When other people are involved the real lessons begin.)

Let me back up some…I chose the word “cherish” because around Christmas time in 2017, during a routine exam my doctor found a lump in my breast. I’m not sure how other people react to such news but I actually laughed in her face. I was sure only women who had big boobs had breast problems, certainly not I of the itty bitty committee. And I did immediately think worst case scenario, because that’s my default setting and clutch when I need to make sense of things I feel I have no control over. I believe I mentioned before that when I was younger I had a phase where I constantly thought about death; it was the only way for me to stop letting a fear of it control me. I think I looked over my life and grieved for about an hour or two before I prayed for peace of mind regardless of the results, but told G-d that I wanted to live because I still had work to do. The lump hasn’t gone away yet, but it’s benign and I’m gonna take that as the “go ahead” to keep on living and doing the work I was called to do. So, cherish became my word this year. 

After I got the good news report of no cancer, I landed myself in the hospital about 3 days into the new year. I’ve never been hospitalized in my adult life and the experience sparked a new passion for me to really integrate physical health with mental health. I gave up meat and became a Pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish/seafood) with significant reduction of dairy products and more intake a vegan inspired meals. I worked with a functional nutrition health coach. I started a food and health journal to track my eating habits, my water intake, days of GERD attacks, days of intense migraines, etc. so I could see pattens but also to have a track record for better advocating for myself in the care of doctors who aren’t always patient first. While I still love and cherish the experience of walking in nature or doing some yoga stretches in quiet solitude, I also wanted to cherish the connections I made and the communities I was a part of that I often neglected because of my need for a lot of alone time. 

After doing more research on my Enneagram type, I considered taking up dance class and/or martial arts. I did both when I was younger and knew from experience that I felt most alive in the movement arts. In a class setting, I’d connect multiple slices of life such as personal, physical and social. I ended up going to a ballroom dance class after a Facebook friend invited me out. It was fun, but not really my style. Nevertheless, I hope to host more dance meet ups in the future, and I’ve already found a fantastic instructor to facilitate. By coincidence (maybe) I happened to be reviewing my life in a notebook and thought, ‘oh man, the year is almost over and maybe I should see if there’s a decent dojo near me where I can at least go watch a practice’. I got an email from Meetup about a Kendo and Iiado group and took it as a sign to check out. Well, I went into full practice on the 1st day instead of just observing and pretty much got hooked. It’s kicking my butt, I have like level 0 stamina right now, my coordination is waaay off,  and I’ve already aggravated an old knee injury, but I am very happy with my choice and looking forward to seeing my growth while hopefully making meaningful connections to cherish for a lifetime. 

my dojo

When I first came up with the word cherish, it was about cherishing my life because the fragility of my humanity became spotlighted with health issues. However, somewhere along the lines I got caught up in the cycle of enough/not enough and began to think I needed to create a life worth cherishing more. *sigh* I said ‘yes’ to a lot of things this year. But this time, which much greater discernment. Some cool things included: a trip to San Diego for work, a trip to North Carolina to have sister time, a comic con, a trip to DC to visit the African American Museum, and a hiking adventure with my bestie. However, my favorite ‘yes’ adventure was an opportunity to go to Spain. I realized that because of all the hard work I had put in the year prior (2017 theme) and the gift of a grant from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Quakers), I was able to afford something I had always wanted to do, go on a spiritual pilgrimage! So, I went. I wasn’t quite sure why I wanted to go or why I wanted to go with the group I went with (Mystic Soul Project) until I saw this quote during my museum trip…

Mystic Soul Project goes to Avila, Spain

When I came back, I felt refreshed! I met some amazing people, new friends I hope to see again next year at a conference we all intend to go to… yet still, something was missing. I was trying to wrap my mind around the experience and what I got out of it, but struggled to find meaning out of what I saw and felt. I struggled long after the trip was over to write the right words to convey what having this space and place to ‘be’ did for me. Hence, I never blogged about it. 

It wasn’t until I came across this text,

“this experience and others like it showed me how the collective unconsciousness of the external world can determine how we experience things as individuals. I came to realize just how much I had internalized external messages of racism and homophobia and projected them onto myself. I saw that I had internalized the message that I was not worthy to be in the space, a part of this practice, in this community, in this lifetime.”

that I understood what I needed to clear out, and how having this space gave me enough breathing room to finally do so. I could fully grieve the pieces of myself that had been hurting for years, to find relief that I wasn’t alone in both the feeling of this deep sense of unworthiness that creeps up in the places of shadow, manifesting as self-sabotage over and over again. And now that I could pinpoint a cause and effect, I could consciously give myself permission to be at ‘home’ within myself and anyplace in the world. The author, Larry Yang then goes on to reflect, “that was for me a moment of waking up. And waking up gives us the power to choose to move toward what is calling us to be free.” Wow! and heck Yes!

I already knew how important spiritual community was to me but after being in a POC-centered setting for spiritual enlivenment, I realized how much I really desired to be in and lend my gifts to communities that gave precedence to people who felt “other”, who were unorthodox, who wanted to simply “belong” and were tired of a inauthentic sense of belonging aka just trying to fit in by way of conformity to mainstream thought and practice even if it conflicted with and often times contradicted their own principles and values for living. Through my involvement with the organization I’d pilgrimed with, I started a POC-centered monthly fellowship where we explore the intersections of contemplation, activism, and healing together. You’re welcome and encouraged to come, (or any of the community groups if you’re not in my neck of the woods). This journey also led me to seeking more knowledge about spiritual activism, healing justice movements, philosophy, physics and theology. I may be going back for my Masters in the near future, or at least taking more spiritual studies coursework. I’ll keep you posted!

In growing my spiritual life, and staying true to wanting to support people who feel “other”, I launched the in-person meet up aspect of my mental health for business owners initiate, Love Yourself Love Your Business. It was decided that we would form a nonprofit organization in 2019. I’m feeling hopeful and grounded about the project and could use all the help I can get with it! 

Taking a step back, I realized that one of my biggest motivations for even caring about my financial slice is any contribution I can give to help build healthy and “beloved” community, protect our environment, and create more peace in the world. But it’s a balancing act. Sometimes an overwhelming balancing act, but boredom will never be an issue! I admit, was more lax in my efforts to make money this year compared to last year which meant more money going out than coming in. On the plus, it forced me to redo my budget and my numbers AND reach out to the finance community with questions regardless of feeling embarrassed about my lack of know-how. I’ve concluded that I can be more impactful with money in my pocket and food in my belly so yeah, I’m going to be operation pay off debt and save money next year.  

This brings me to how I actually do that and find balance. I chose to work in the Virtual Assistance industry because it offered me an opportunity to leverage skills I already had, but also left the door open to possibilities for growth in ways that I feel only entrepreneurship/running a business can give. Being an independent professional, I get to choose the type of clients I want to work with and in turn they choose me as their partner. 

As much as I love seeking deep truth and meaning in the world. as much as I could literally spend all day getting lost in my own personal research, I go nutters if I’m not getting things done in a practical and graspable way to aid the bigger picture. Setting up a crm system so a client can follow up with someone who is willing and able to pay top dollar is instant gratification for me. Learning that said person who paid my client top dollar no longer has to take pills for diabetes or was able to turn a new leaf in their organization because workplace culture improvement…that’s the sweetest reward and satisfaction. I wanted to honor our partnership by increasing my skills, the kind of skills that a robot can’t fulfill such as emotional intelligence, being more ethical in my work, etc. I enrolled and graduated from AssistU and am now connected to a whole community of highly skilled professionals with extensive networks. (And quite frankly, they are just really amazing women.) 

And because I feel at peace in my work, I am more creative and intentional about how I spend my time outside of the work that pays the bills and funds my heart-work projects. As I grew more intentional about how I spent my time, I came back around to the original reason why cherish became my word for the year. I didn’t need to go out and create more “worthy” life experiences to cherish. My life is already full. Even as things fall apart and build back up, as we learn and unlearn lessons, war within ourselves, find peace within ourselves, life is beautiful. Sleeping in a warm bed through the night is cherished experience. Eating good food to heal my body is a cherished experience. Drinking clean water is a cherished experience. Laughing until tears run down my cheeks is a cherished experience. Hugging my friend as she mourns the loss of a relationship is a cherished experience. Feeling deep sadness and disappointment for mankind because of the hate and anger in the world is a cherished experience. Finding a spark of hope from a kind gesture that reminds you that people still care, is a cherished experience. Looking at all the amazing accomplishments of peers via the limited scope of their social media posts and deciding, plus believing that my life matters and is just as valuable even without “all that jazz” is a cherished experience. 

When I view love as a verb, I understand that I do not have to earn my place of belonging. Because “love is as love does” is more about how I live in accordance with the truth that I am already worthy of belonging. That you are already worthy of belonging. And how we honor and cherish the sacredness of this inherent sense of belonging is by how we treat ourselves and one another.

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

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The Courage To Reach Out







It started with a mood change.

A couple of months back I felt a shift in my mood, and it took far longer than I’m proud to admit before it finally dawned on me that while the lack of sun made me wish for more beach day weather, I wasn’t taking Vitamin D like I was supposed to and it was probably the main culprit in my melancholy filled days. I’d been avoiding picking some up because I hate taking pills and I figured if I just ate enough veggies I’d be fine…blood work said otherwise, and I stopped being hard-headed and made my way to Vitamin Shoppe. After asking for some help and voicing my strong disinterest in taking pills, the store associate helped me find a liquid version that would do. 

But let me backtrack some…during this rough month of a sinking mood, I caved in on myself. I wasn’t journaling as much, but I was journaling. I didn’t exercise consistently, but I still exercised. I still went to support group and I was busy with work. I figured whatever it was, I’d get over it. Every now and again the “check on your strong friend” post comes around. And I remember  thinking, “what does that even mean?” and if I were the “strong friend” what kind of check-in would I even want that didn’t interrupt my sensibilities as an introvert? My introversion had turned down so many efforts to get me to come out and play, surely who would waste their time reaching out to me and my constant, “maybe next time” or my “I’m in between financial blessings right now”, or even my flat out, “I really don’t like being around a lot of people like that”…? 

On the flip side, I wanted to call up friends and cry or vent or rant or something, but sometimes you get so used to being the person who inspires, the person who uplifts, the person who is sending out the positive vibes in a crazy world in the hopes of giving some kind of balance between good and evil, that you forget that the ones who truly love all of you will know that you’re human and that you need a hug too sometimes. So, instead I thought, “I don’t want to be a burden.” “They’re busy with work and family stuff.” “They’re going through things too and I don’t want to give them my baggage on top of their own.” 

Beware of Stinking Thinking.

Of course, I did eventually notice where my line reasoning was heading and made the vulnerable decision to reach out until someone would listen to me as I shared my struggles and the fears that were keeping me from being…myself, I suppose. Which led my bestie who happens to be a nurse to get on me about taking my vitamins. Even I have to remind myself that loving someone, starting with myself, is hard work, and that it takes effort and a commitment to do that work. Effort presents itself in such subtle ways…ways like not making assumptions about what other people are thinking or their availability to be there for you when you need a helping hand. But also, I recognize and acknowledge that to even be at a place where I can notice my mood dropping and do something about it before it becomes more than that, took years of mental health recovery work. And that my mental health recovery and now ongoing maintenance journey was, and still is my own…

Then I thought about the fact that we are a society that salutes those who are “self-made”, those who pick themselves up by the bootstraps, and have “don’t get sick” health care plans. We wear how tired we are as badges of honor and testament to our value. We are driven by the notion that we must all be able-bodied and able-minded “strong friends”.  In which case, wouldn’t we then need to check on each other since we’re all so “strong”? Yet, we don’t.  Despite being told over and over again, either from the spirit of our hearts, the gut intuition,  or 75 year strong Harvard studies,  that the quality of our life emotionally, physically, and mentally is directly proportional to the quality of our relationships. We still struggle with the very vulnerable position of being the friend that needs to be checked on, to the point that it paralyses us from asking for help in the first place, or even receiving help when it’s offered. 

Have The Courage To Be You.

And there’s that word again, vulnerability. Relationships, whether they are friendships, romantic, business, or internal take vulnerability. And “Once [your] vulnerability is ‘regulated’ by an abiding self-acceptance, [your] sense of personal power is almost unassailable. It can no longer be threatened by some external force beyond [your] control.”  We have to have the courage to be vulnerable even though it’s uncomfortable, even though it isn’t easy…and getting comfortable with vulnerability is something we can learn. 

When I was a little girl, I can remember a time when we would have lunch and then go out for recess. There was a few times when I was slow moving and everyone had already gone on ahead and split into their friend cliques to play tag and such. As I looked over at all the fun, I really wanted to play with everyone else but they seemed so far from me…But whenever I thought to give up, to make myself small…despite my awkwardness, there would always be some kid that would run up to me and silently ask through their playful eyes, “why are you standing here all alone?” and then they’d offer me their hand, and I would in relief and graciousness take it.

The older I got, I would reach for someone’s hand and hope that they would take it. In doing so and depending on who I reached out my hand to, my hope was that they would accept my love and my vulnerability…sometimes they would and sometimes they wouldn’t. And when they wouldn’t, life would still go on…go figure! Eventually, I learned to be the friend who ran up to someone and offered my hand, my time, my resources , or simply my presence. I am constantly reminded about how wonderful it feels to both offer a hand, and to receive a hand after mustering up enough courage to reach out. 

Until Next Time…Peace!

Oh! By the way, if you want to learn more about the blogger of this post feel free to check out my about page.

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