Sister Girl Magic: Femme in Bloom

Last week, I met phenomenal women including Rene Daniella, one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers. Rene flew to Chicago and organized this fun event which included a phenomenal women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship panel to close out Women’s History Month. The knowledge in that room was just amazing! Anyhow, I wanted to share just a couple highlights and will revisit other lessons learned from this event during future Life Untangled posts. 

To share a bit about the panelists, there was Lifestyle and Travel Blogger Rene Daniella of course plus Fitness guru Katie Wildhagen (Founder of the BAKESHOP), Freelance Travel Journalist Megan Snedden and Deun Ivory and Lauren Ash, co-founders of Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash, and Art Director and Creative Director of Black Girl In Om.

In addition to the fab host and panelists, the other attendees in the room were just amazing. I love a space where women get together and support one another, boosting and lifting each other up like the sisters we all are.

The topics our panel covered included how to… start your brand, secure sponsorship, pitch, grow your audience, build your website, merchandise and so on. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the intimate event. 

“Explore the range of your capabilities.
Don’t be afraid to say yes to God. Be faithful. Honor your individuality and passions.”
-Deun Ivory

“Explore your curiosities. Throw out the timing of things and just start doing things. It will grow from there. Leave room for the unknown,  even if you’re a planner, so there is room to see you’re on the right path to cultivate your passions.” -Lauren Ash

“What’s the thing you do naturally that you don’t realize is your purpose because you do it so naturally?” -Megan Snedden

“Take my fear and worry from me and replace it with service and creativity.” -Katie Wildhagen

“Take ownership of how you want to define femininity.” -Rene Daniella

I learned a lot of encouraging, challenging and practical things to help me and others on paths of empowerment and entrepreneurship. I will share more in future posts especially as I put into practice the tips I gathered. For now, do yourself a favor and check out the links in this post and share the love. These women are doing incredible things! 

L to R: Rene Daniella, Deun Ivory, Lauren Ash, Megan Snedden and Katie Wildhagen

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Happy New Year 

In this final hour of the first day in a new year, I just want to send light and love. 

I hope everyone who reads this has plans and purpose for each day this year. 

An awesome quote that I put on canvas and hung in my home is this:

“If you want 2017 to be your year; Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Be fierce. Don’t gossip. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave.” -Lessons Learned in Life

May you Live Untangled. Happy New Year! 

Global Citizen

It has been a hell of a week in many ways. An emotional roller coaster to say the least but I’ll save the dive into those thoughts for another time.

I am American and we all have some things to figure out yet which is clear if you have seen any of the unrest that extends not just to this week but in many months and years and decades and centuries before this. Hopefully after America has had more time to collect itself more, we can revisit. For today I want to focus on something else. 

November is generally a month for being thankful. With the Thanksgiving holiday just over a week away, now is the time when people begin to look forward to spending times with friends and family while celebrating what they are thankful for. 

This week one thing I definitely was thankful for, encouraged and inspired by was the chance to spend time as a true global citizen. I am an American and I celebrate the power and strength I find in also being a global citizen which to me is loving and celebrating the world and acting as a sister to all who need. 

On Thursday afternoon I participated in a live-video focus group. It was a very cool experience and I had a lot of fun. The technology that exists to do something like that is really amazing. 

Other than me on the video feed from Chicago, there was also a person in South Africa, one in Ireland, one in Nigeria and two in the UK on webcams for the focus group.

We spent two hours answers questions from our moderator and sharing feedback on a project each of us had been involved with in London. 

It was just great that even though we didn’t know each other, we could see each other and share in conversation from around the world. I truly love being connected to people around the world. I am a global citizen so I do my best to treat others with the kindness and respect I like to see come my way.

We got to engage each other in conversation and feed off each other with the topics as we gave feedback. 

Because we were on live video feed in different countries and time zones, we really had to pay attention to each other. We couldn’t interrupt otherwise no one benefits from the discussion. We were thoughtful and patient and encouraging to each other. 

I had small insightful moments like this throughout the week where I could feel the power of humanity and it felt good.

Diversity of people and thought is so powerful in today’s world we live in. i believe we can be our best selves when we connect to others through empathy and compassion. We can empower each other to be respectful and thoughtful in our understanding of the growing world, ourselves and the people around us. 

I read something else this week that encouraged me so I want to share it in this post. Even if you are not religious, the point of the words will hopefully still land in the right place.

“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care — then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.” Philippians 2:1‭-‬4 MSG

Apparently today is World Kindness Day. You can be anything. Try being kind. We’ll all be better off. Don’t you agree? 

Everything is Figureoutable 

Lots of focus and attention lately on figuring life out.

A friend of mine from London shared this brilliant video with me. During the video the lady being interviewed says exactly what I have been reminding myself all week…Everything is Figureoutable.

Chase Jarvis welcomed Marie Forleo as his guest on 30 Days of Genius, a special series of Chase Jarvis LIVE featuring the world’s top creative + entrepreneurial minds of our time.

Marie Forleo has built a digital empire on her massively successful career as a life coach. In the video, you learn about Marie’s own frustrating search for fulfillment and financial independence, and how she can help you become the person you most want to be.
Hopefully you can find time this week to listen to it. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jhi6zW1cUws&feature=youtu.be  

This week I also printed this amazing workbook created by Rosetta Thurman, founder of the Happy Black Woman brand. She is a great blogger and speaker, now hosting retreats and training to teach people how to live their best life, create their own business and be location independent. Rosetta moved from DC to Hawaii a few years ago to run her business. 

Anyways, it’s called the Life Mapping Workbook: Design Your Ideal Life in 7 Key Areas. 

The workbook is part of Rosetta’s 31 Days to Reset Your Life personal transformation program. 

It’s a sort of life map that I’ll be working on in the coming weeks as 2016 comes to a close soon. This is the time of year I also start working on my vision board for the new year so makes sense to be doing it all at the same time. 

This particular workbook is about visualizing what you want in the following areas: lifestyle & fun, career & work, money & finances, health & wellness, family & friends, love & romance and personal growth & spirituality. 

Everything is figureoutable. 

Never Too Late

It’s never too late to make life what you want it to be. 

This week I had a great privilege to do some public speaking as a guest for two different events. Both great opportunities for me to continue in professional career development but also a chance to do what I love best…coach others by sharing experiences, stories and advice. 

One of the events was an invitation for me to do a “Lunch and Learn” with a group of male and female staff at the University of Chicago. They asked questions about my career journey, how to network, what to look for in a mentor, how to break the glass ceiling in the workplace, etc. It was fun and insightful for both sides in the conversation. 

When I arrived they shared a short list of questions to have me think about. The meeting ran more like an impromptu interview with questions shot my direction from anyone in the room. 

One question on the list that no ome asked but I wish they had. ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

When I first read that question I got chills because it made me so happy. I am just 5-6 weeks from being 30 years old and totally LOVE that I can still be asked that. To me that means I don’t have to have had it all figured out by now in spite of what societal pressure tells me. 

I mean by some standards technically I’m behind the ball if I’m not in my lifer career, married with kids, owning vs. renting and the list goes on. But screw that because I am happy and free. 

Earlier today I was online and saw this great post that I wanted to share about where others were when they started success. Some of the most successful people started on that path late in life. 

No don’t use that to create excuses for what you are capable of creating and controlling NOW but think instead, it’s not too late if you haven’t figured it all out. It’s not to late to make changes in your life and create the life you truly want if you’re dissatisfied in even some small way with the one you have. It’s never too late. 

Whether you’re 18, 25, 30, 50, 75, 90 or anywhere in between. When was the last time you thought about that question. Have you made it to where you want or is there more to come for you. What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I will leave you with this other food for thought:

At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.

At age 24, Stephen King was working as a Janitor and living in a trailer.

At age 28, J.K. Rowling was a suicidal single parent living on welfare.

At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.

Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at 40.

Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.

Samuel L Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.

Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at 52.

Louise Hay didn’t launch her publishing company, Hay House until she was 62.

This was also in the post and probs my favorite part.

“If you haven’t found your dream career yet, it’s not too late. You aren’t a failure because you haven’t found fame and fortune by the age of 30. Hell, it’s OK if you don’t even know what your dream career is yet. 

Never tell yourself you’re too old to make it.

Never tell yourself you missed your chance.

Never tell yourself that you aren’t good enough.

Whatever you were born to do, You can still do it.”

I am so grateful to have people in my life who encourage me to dream big in that way. 

Me with one of my Professional Mentors, Laura Hoke

1986. What a Good Year

A fabulous weekend celebrating my friend’s 30th birthday. She had friends and family fly in from across the country to join the good times.

The weekend kicked off with an 80s/90s baby theme. We dressed up in different styles from the two decades. The night was complete with throwback snacks and music. 

Saturday night was a fancy evening where we snapped hundreds of photos, danced, ate delicious treats and drank tasty signature drinks. 

I had such a great time and plan to steal many ideas as I plan for my own 30th birthday coming in less than 2 months. 

Age 30 is such a milestone. It’s the leap to another side of adulthood. 

I am reminded that 30 is another beginning, a new decade and life continues on, hopefully getting better with age is the goal. 

I don’t yet have a bucket list of things to complete before I reach the milestone. I have lots of friends who have done such a thing and it always sounded so cool. Maybe I’ll make a list of things to do in my year of 30.

Either way it goes, the most important thing I am focusing on is living life to the fullest no matter the age. I am having the most fun by focusing on that.

Keep Your Coins, We Want Change

If you had the power to change anything in the world, what would you change?

What a powerful question right? It can lead down so many paths and to so many answers. What do women, men and children around the world need – individually and collectively? What is broken, has been perverted, is full of distrust, hate, sexism, bigotry? What/Who is lacking love and respect? 

I have a list that could be almost eradicated if we lived out these major things: 

All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others. -Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“Imagine what seven billion humans could accomplish if we all loved and respected each other. Imagine.” -A.D. Williams

It makes me think of real life examples, movies, documentaries and even songs that get me emotional. I want peace in our world so badly in every corner of brokenness. I have heard whatever makes you cry or angry is part of your calling in the world. It might become part of your personal mission. 

There are a few such issues near and dear to my own heart. I mean, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” -Dr. Suess

Music has always been a strong communicator of things I wish for the world and all the people in it.

I think back to a couple years ago when I was part of a cool video to the backdrop song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles and this year “Price Tag” by Jessie J which both have powerful messages to me now about things that are important. 

Love, empowerment and respect can help humanity focus on the right priorities which can impact the world we live in. It probably sounds too idealistic but sometimes you have to remain idealistic and hopeful otherwise you lose the point of it all.

We each are powerful enough on our own to change the world. We don’t need to just sit back and wait on the world to change.

We know we need change. One day I hope we see how much we need each other to see change. We Are The World. 

“We Are The World” Lyrics

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We all are a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well…well…well
Let’s realize that a change can only come 

When we stand together as one