The Wisdom section of SWAG is designed to encourage and provide the human spirit with a regular dose of “soul food.” This category provides personal stories and insightful ponderings that will inspire people to gain the understanding of how a willingness to receive wisdom can transform one’s life.
Attitude of Gratitude
On November 25, 2017 SWAG collaborated with Yuma United Mixed Martial Arts Gym to bring the Yuma community empowerment event: “An Attitude of Gratitude.” During the event four guest speakers shared a message about how gratitude can impact your life if you let it. With prominent issues such as bullying, domestic violence, self loathing, economic inequality etc. SWAG has vowed to serve as a platform that encourages and speaks against social injustice by continuing conversations that require community to be socially responsible! Here’s a recap of the event!
“I love creating opportunities to give back to community and that’s exactly what empowerment event, An Attitude of Gratitude, was all about! When I was 19 years old I was homeless and had it not been for community resources that were made available to me such as the local food bank, soup kitchen or Catholic Charities I don’t know where I’d be now. Today, as a women with a heart for humanity, I am always pondering upon ways to improve the quality of life for those who are broken because I too know what it feels like to be misunderstood, stigmatized for having nothing and identified with as a lost cause.
What I’ve learned is that full healing comes in the face of true devastation only when a person’s physical and soul needs are met in tandem. For instance, if a person is depressed because they are dissatisfied with their job addressing the physical aspect of this issue only, which involves seeking new employment and switching jobs, will only serve as a temporary fix to a lasting problem. The soul issue, with regards to dissatisfaction in any area of your life, must be addressed as well; and when it comes to displeasure in the workplace, I’ve found that many are unhappy because they have chosen professions where they don’t have the opportunity to use their gifts and talents to make a purposeful impact -which leaves them feeling void and undervalued.
Where professional dissatisfaction is concerned addressing the soul issue tied to the dissatisfaction involves discovering what your gifts are (what you are naturally great at and enjoy doing: singing, building, organizing etc.) in order to identify how to use them to lead a fulfilled life for yourself and to impact others as well. Without discovering your gifts you will never have an opportunity to identify the personal or professional passion that inspires you to serve fervently and in turn when it comes to issues such as discontent in the work place you will continue to job hop in search of happy, when the true solution lies in a change of heart as opposed to a change of scenery.
I create/organize empowerment events to educate community about the importance of caring for one’s temple as a whole unit. In doing so, empowerment events like an Attitude of Gratitude serve by giving community the needed tools that will empower them to operate at the height of functionality by educating them about the prominence of being self-aware and the importance of tending to physical and spiritual needs simultaneously. Being self-aware and responding accordingly empowers community to attain the fulfillment that so many of us yearn for and often struggle to achieve. Nourishment for the soul is as equally important as nourishment for the belly and we here at www.stylewisdomapparelglamour.com are here to enforce that.” -Geneah Berrian
Attitude of Gratitude speaker Alex Garcia speaks of his gratitude for the tough times that he has endured throughout his childhood because it has prepared him as a mentor and professional to serve others who are presently enduring the same challenges that he has faced in the past.
Attitude of Gratitude Speaker Jackie Alves talks about the power of operating from a place of gratitude not because it could be worse but because it’s what you are supposed to do!
Attitude of Gratitude speaker Alan Reyes talks about the power of choosing your words wisely, affirming them with gratitude and deflecting all that is negative in order to begin attracting the life of abundance that you desire and deserve.
Attitude of Gratitude speaker Amanda Gail talks fulfillment, embracing the person that you are designed to be, being gracious in everything and discovering your purpose as a result!
To be apart of the full experience or to find out more information about our next empowerment event please contact Geneah Berrian at firstname.lastname@example.org
This weeks wisdom word is brought to you by fitness guru Spencer Aiken. He shares a special message about the importance of following your dreams via his own personal story. Not only are we excited to share his powerful message but we are also proud to debut our first male guest blogger as well!
Fear or False Expectations Appearing Real is a debilitating condition which can lead to the actual prevention of us living the life we desire. However, once we learn to conquer fear, there are no limitations to what we may accomplish. The difficult part is realizing that fear is only in our head and it is not a physical limitation but merely that which we perceive it to be. Fear can present itself in many ways….fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of success; fear of change, and in fear of fear itself. However, all fear can be overcome. It can be overcome, by simply realizing that you CAN. You can by deciding you’re stronger than your fear. Fear can be overcome by deciding you’d rather succeed then allow fear to hold you back. Fear can be overcome by simply wanting it more than the fear prevents.
Overcoming fear is a choice, a choice that is better to make now than to live with regret forever. We all have the power to make a choice! The power to decide we are stronger than fear. Life is about choices and fear is a choice. We can just as easily choose to not be fearful. We can choose a life of accomplishment, of overcoming, of succeeding, of no regrets, of never giving in to our fear. Think back on a time when you let fear win – every one of us has. However, realizing you let fear win allows you to think about new opportunities in the future. Opportunities to never let fear win again. I will speak on a personal matter about how I let fear win and about how fear would never win again.
At certain points in my life, I’ve beaten fear. At certain points in my life I’ve let fear win. Everyone has that moment in time where fear is winning but being content is all they care about. Content in life. Content in business. Content in personal relationships. For me looking back, I spent many years unhappy. Heck, I was miserable. I was making a living with no stress at a job I could sleep walk through and be successful at, but miserable nonetheless. I was unable to sleep, unable to create, unable to be in control of my own life. And worst of all, I lived in fear of what continuing this life might lead to. Something had to change. Fear could no longer be in control and dictate my decision making. Fear could no longer keep winning. Then came a conversation with my former boss about the future and about my employment. During this conversation, a light bulb moment led me to make the best decision of my life and defeat fear in one bold statement. “You’re right and I’m not happy. I need to be happy. I can’t do this anymore so it’s time for me make myself happy”. With that I no longer had that job, BUT I also was now free. Free to make myself happy. Free to control my life. Free. Fear no longer kept winning. Fear no longer held me back.
In more detail I love teaching. I love helping others realize their dreams and helping others learn about health and fitness. This has been my greatest sense of joy and my career for more than 10 years. For quite a while, fear kept me from being able to really teach my joy and reach the audience I knew I could. Working for a company that kept me limited, held me back and never allowed me to be creative, created and fed my fear. That fear kept me limited and miserable. Teaching every day should have been an amazing experience, yet my own misery and fear kept me confined. Until that moment. That moment of overcoming fear with one simple statement. One moment of strength. One moment of clarity. One moment of joy opened the doors to the best life I could ever imagine. Overcoming fear has let me teach in multiple countries. I can call myself an international fitness educator. Overcoming fear has allowed me to travel the United States while teaching fitness. Overcoming fear has given me control of my life. Overcoming fear has let me wake every day with a smile. Overcoming fear has let me embrace with joy every Monday. Overcoming fear has let me work every day doing what I love. Overcoming fear let me reach a worldwide audience as a fitness educator from the comfort of anywhere I want with an internet connection. So what does this all mean to you? It’s simple. You can beat fear. You must beat fear. You should defeat fear. It’s that simple. Take your stand. Make your statement. Decide what you must do and I’m sure it will lead to the you living the best version of your life you can imagine!
Spencer Aiken,CSCS 951-296- 7993 email@example.com
On Saturday May 20, 2017 SWAG founder Geneah Berrian hosted “Fighting the War Against Insecurity.” This Event was held at the United Mixed Martial Arts Gym in downtown Yuma AZ and it was an interactive conversation lead by three guest speakers and held between a group of 20 women who discussed the importance of disowning negative behaviors and habits that encourage us to embrace our insecurities. Topics such as physical health, emotional health and sexuality were the themes of discussion used to guide this conversation.
The first guest speaker of the evening was Kella Price. She is a fitness and nutrition guru in the Yuma community and she addressed how physical health can impact your life when it comes to tackling individual insecurities. As she shared her own challenges that she’s faced with developing relationships with peers in her adolescence, weight and infertility in her adulthood she invited the audience too, to get vulnerable and write down one struggle that we are grappling with that is encouraging us to embrace personal doubts today.
Kella suggested we may be warring over dissatisfaction with personal relationships, unhappiness in a job or feelings of regret as parents and instructed every member in the audience to write their issue down, crumple them up and throw them away to physically and metaphorically rid themselves of their troubles. Kella followed up this exercise by sharing the importance of healthy eating and exercise. She expressed that these two lifestyle changes not only impact physical health but emotional health as well. By incorporating healthy habits that reinforce discipline through repeatedly making healthy choices Kella reaffirmed that we can begin to identify and consciously choose positive coping mechanisms that will effectively prepare us to combat against triggers that cue feelings of inadequacy in our life -successfully helping us to fight against the war on insecurity.
Amanda who is the owner of the United Mixed Martial Arts Gym she prefaced a conversation about the importance of emotional health. She discussed the power in building up the psyche by employing the use of positive affirmation to reroute the brain from defaulting to negative thinking. Amanda began her presentation by sharing a bit of her own personal story. As a body building competitor who competed over the years she discussed that this part of her life was a lie and that she used much of her training and relentless effort to distract her from other personal areas that needed tending to. As Amanda recognized that balance was uneven in her life she began to explore ways to regain the inner peace and functionality that she was craving to become her desired self.
Through positive affirmation, self-inflection and personal development material, Amanda could gain the balance she desired and so began her journey to positively fighting against personal insecurities. As Amanda shared her story she touched on the power of words. She expressed that the way to lead a life filled with intent is by constantly affirming positive words that reflect the heart of who we desire to be. Amanda then passed around several heart shaped papers and instructed the audience to write on both side of the heart shaped sheet. She asked us, the audience, to write something positive and negative that we constantly affirm about ourselves.
She then challenged each audience member to concentrate on how both affirmations impact us emotionally. As our eyes were shut Amanda guided us through breathing techniques that help focus the mind and relax the body. When the audience finished the entire exercise, we expressed how we felt when we focused on each positive and negative emotion. The consensus was that focusing on the negative rallied up feelings of anxiety and frustration while focusing on the positive brought us peace. Amanda used this exercise to show us the importance of how our thoughts and words impact us. If we focus on the negative we cannot see the good that naturally exists even in the most challenging of circumstances; but, when we train our mind to default to positive thinking we can begin to start leading intent filled lives because we are not being lead/misguided by emotions that shift our thinking to a place that will only lead to dysfunctional living.
Troy Love who is a licensed therapist and the President of the Yuma Counseling Services in Arizona he spoke about Sexuality and how it impacts the way we see ourselves and treat each other. Mr. Love took the opportunity to invite the audience into the boxing ring at the gym where this special event was hosted.
Troy who placed four signs, that were labeled with a variation of words, in each corner of the ring, he began an exercise which he used to gage our views and education level on the topic of sexuality. As we stood on the outskirts of the ring Mr. Love asked the audience to walk towards the sign in each corner which best described our personal outlook on sexuality. One of several questions that Troy asked to gage our perception of sexuality was how often did your parents address the topic of sex? Some of us stepped into the corner with the sign that was labeled never, while others opted to walk towards the corner of the ring with a sign labeled as sometimes or always.
According to our response Mr. Love asked us to answer the question and expand upon why we chose to step in a specific corner of the ring. Without sharing privileged information as we all answered each of us learned that there are a unique set of psychological an environmental factor that contribute to the development of our views upon sexuality. And each of those factors affect how comfortable we love our mates, how we project personal insecurities upon one another and how we raise future generations to view sexuality as well. At the end of Troy’s presentation there were a lot of revelations, some tears and truths that left us all hanging on the ledge of a cliffhanger as Style Wisdom Apparel & Glamour announced that it will be collaborating with United Mixed Martial Arts Gym to bring a wellness retreat to the community as we focus on the importance of improving the quality of life for everyone through personal development education -stay tuned for that announcement! For more information about Troy Love’s upcoming book “Finding Peace” keep a look out for its arrival on Amazon in the next upcoming months. To learn more about the services he offers through his organization please explore: http://www.yumacounseling.com/
Dana who is a well renown poet in the Yuma Community she ended the evening with a powerful poem entitled “I Am.” It was a powerful piece and it spoke to the heart of who we are truly as opposed to the person society perceives us to be.
Fighting the War Against Insecurity: Part I
With future plans of a Mother’s Day post for blog SWAG in mind, A month ago SWAG founder, Geneah Berrian, invited six moms to participate in a photoshoot which took place at The United Mixed Martial Arts Gym located in downtown Yuma AZ. The photo-shoot is part one of project, “Fighting the War Against Insecurity.” It was decided that the shoot would take place in a gym because it stays in keeping with the idea that many of us women are fighting a battle against our insecurities that will require us to stay fit mentally to combat against and overcome everything that leads us to embrace self-hatred. These six mothers stripped down to their sports bras and yoga pants, bared their physical and emotional insecurities, shared empowering insight about the dangers of embracing self-hate and stood in solidarity celebrating their diversity as women.
Celeste, Mayte, Kella, Geneah, Lana and Zayda.
Celeste is a devoted mother to three children and she shares a recent story about an experience that touches on the hurtful and unnecessary nature of girl-on-girl hate. She also speaks about the importance of believing in yourself as opposed to trusting in another’s warped perception of you.”I was practicing a routine strength training drill when a couple of women gathered to watch me exercise. They proceeded to taunt and make unkind remarks about my body, and my performance as I worked out. It’s hard enough coming to the gym and trying to focus on bettering yourself physically and emotionally without having to carry any further stress that comes along with the insensitive nature of people who take pleasure in being entertained by watching you exercise.” For every women who is struggling to accept her self in the face of her critics, I want to encourage you not to give up on yourself! People who make it their mission to make you feel inadequate, it speaks to who they are at their core. Their perception of you has nothing to do with who you are! So, be inspired by the woman that you know yourself to be on the inside. Allow her to motivate you to continue pursuing your goals as far as your body image and health is concerned!”
Mayte is a phenomenal mother to four great children. She shares pieces of her personal journey and touches on why women are stronger when they remove themselves from situations that are damaging to the soul. “I spent years in an unhealthy relationship where I was unappreciated and it debilitated the value of my self worth. I felt alone, I was grabbed by the folds of my skin and told repeatedly that I was fat, unattractive and undesirable. I was made to feel as though my body was a safe haven for destructive words that reinforced my inadequacy. Today I can say what has gotten me through such a low time in my life is moving on. A lot of women we stay in unhealthy relationships because we can’t imagine finding happiness outside of them; but, I can guarantee you that staying in a position that requires you to accept that you are playing a role in depreciating your self worth it breaks you beyond comprehension. I know it’s challenging but I want every woman to know that there’s hope if she can find the strength to look up and move forward.”
Kella is a dedicated mother and business women who is passionate about health and serving community. She shared some insight about her self love journey and touches on the importance of having people in your corner who inspire you to love yourself. ” I had a really hard time especially in high school with being comfortable in my own skin; and even though I was an athlete and involved in a lot of different things, I struggled to develop lasting relationships with peers and I didn’t get the validation that many girls do through friendship -that was difficult for me. What has helped me come a long way is my husband because he loves me as I am.” The important part to take from Kella’s message is that it is not the quantity but the quality of the relationships that we share with people that often effects the way we gauge our own self worth. Several women and girls who are struggling to build their self esteem they feel lonely and they isolate themselves because they feel unaccepted. If we can incorporate a message in society that reinforces the importance of identifying those strong support systems that are here to build us up, then we can encourage women to improve the quality of the relationships that we share with ourselves by sharing emotionally edifying relationships with others!
Geneah Berrian is a Mum to one amazing boy and founder of blog SWAG. As a woman who has experienced and witnessed the detrimental effects of bullying, body shaming, girl on girl hate and self-loathing She has made it her personal mission to speak out against de-humanizing practices. “I’ve had a lot of experiences in my life with being bullied and victimized via girl-on-girl hate and it left me feeling emotionally destitute. I recall a specific instance in high school. This experience is particularly vivid in memory because the bullying was accompanied by physical abuse as well. I was persistently shoved, hit, threatened and torn apart emotionally by this peer. It seemed that she had it out for me for no other reason than because she did not like me. As a child I was physically abused by my mother. There were instances she would beat me until I bled or until my body was bruised black, blue and purple. This disciplinary action/abuse was common in my household and it was paired with my family’s authoritative parenting style which encouraged me to be submissive to a fault throughout life. I believe this is why I accepted the abuse I endured in the classroom setting. I didn’t speak up about it then because I was afraid things would only grow worse if I did. This is the unfortunate reality that many young women are facing today. They are being victimized by their peers and there is a unique combination of environmental and psychological factors that impact why we as women protect our abusers at the expense of compromising our self worth. It’s important that we share the stories that empower each other to speak up and speak out against everything that requires us to watch ourselves fall apart. I’ve decided to be apart of the solution because I never want any child or women to feel they must endure any sort of abuse for any reason.”
Lana who was pregnant during the shoot, she is a proud mother to not one but two beautiful newborns. Lana is a professional and an L.A. native and she had a no nonsense message to share about insecurities. “When women body shame each other or obsess about being too fat or too skinny I think it’s important for them to ask themselves is this what really matters in life? Everybody has zits, cellulite or something about themselves that they are displeased with, its life. But in the context of life is that important?”
Zayda is a passionate mother to three awesome children. She shares a personal experience of her own that reminds us all that their is a power in words and when used carelessly they can promote feelings of inadequacy and encourage us to embrace insecurities. “I was a new mother and I was excited to share a story about breast feeding my baby. As I shared my nursing experience with a group of women one person turned to me, looked at my chest and with a perplexed expression she said, you can breast feed? I was caught off guard by her words so I paused before I could answer the question with a yes. See, I’ve always had a small chest and that is something I’ve struggled with in terms of body image issues. So, when this individual questioned my ability to nurture my baby because of what appeared to her to be underdeveloped breasts, it hurt. I think what’s important to take away from my story is that we all should aim to be mindful of the words we say to each other. There are women battling with insecurities that not everyone can identify with; but, you never know how insensitive words, even perhaps with no ill intent, may impact a person who is struggling to stay afloat emotionally in their self acceptance journey.
We at SWAG would like to give a special shout out to every woman who participated during this empowering shoot! We appreciate these woman who came together to take a stand and fight the war against insecurity. No matter the time, place, or content if it empowers we will share that information with a community of women who want to grow -and here at SWAG we stand with ever women who’s mission is to do the same. We hope you enjoyed Part one of Fighting the war against Insecurity. Stay tuned for Part two of this special project which is an interactive conversation between an audience of women and 3 three guest speakers who address how emotional health, physical health and sexuality impacts how we see ourselves and treat others as well. Until next time please enjoy the rest of the gallery from this empowering photo shoot. Happy Mother’s Day and stay empowered!
None of this magic would be possible without wonderful photographers!
Photographer: Regina Moneypenny
Photographer: Kristen Kahne
I Spoke to a friend last night and he said something that made me tear up inside. Kindness is a prerequisite for friendship. I mean duh… but it hit me in such a way that you may not understand if you have not been hurt over being compassionate towards people who do not value kindness as a core principle. 6 months ago my heart broke. I was kind to a friend who does not value my compassion and for the first time in my life I was reduced to tears as I truly began to understand the statement: “Being kind is hard.” I’ve never felt that way before about kindness. People have been very cruel to me throughout my life but somehow I’ve always been able to just push through it and search for the lovely in humanity despite some of my unfortunate experiences. It’s simple in most cases for me to be kind, empathetic, accommodating and fair; but, the day when my patience and kindness was tested by a person I considered to be my friend -I was left in utter disbelief that this particular scenario was even occurring in my life. So, I stepped back and reacted as I would in most conflicting situations, with kindness and silence then I walked away. After I removed myself from the circumstance I had time to look at it for what it was and I made a choice that I will no longer stay in positions with people who are willing to take advantage of my kindness, to use me for what I’m worth to them in that moment, who don’t support me in my efforts to grow, who enjoy watching me struggle, who are jealous of the way I love others, who are selfish and more concerned about how I love them and fit into their lives and less concerned about how I need to take time to care for myself. Relationships are hard people! But I think when you’ve been to a place in your life where you’ve been hurt to the point of almost no return and by someone you would have given your life for, it makes walking away from anyone else who does not have your best interest at heart easy. You get silent. You start watching the world around you. You start to recognize things that trigger your codependency and attachment to unhealthy relationships-such as you begin to identify the negative behaviors of those who thrive to makes you feel insecure and in turn you stay away. As time goes on the universe will test you to see if you are really over embracing relationships that are of no value to your personal development and it will send you the same type of negative people and experiences until you master the art saying no to everything that intends to damage your soul. When you pass that test you’ll start to realize your experiences with people are changing. Good people will come to you. People who want to love, respect and see you grow they will come to you. Your spirit will begin to feel full again as you are investing in time with people who can receive and appreciate that you are good for them and vice-versa! People, stop settling! Stop settling for relationships with those who will suck you dry like a leech. Stop trying to please everyone and accommodate those who could give a shit less about you designating time away from them to water your own soul! Stop entertaining the same people who will take from you but never invest anything of any value back into your life; yet, shamelessly stick around to see how they can continue to use you. It’s going to be difficult for you to break away from those who you love -but if you do not need to entertain them because its burdensome then stop!
Take care of yourself!
You’re a workaholic and addicted to anything that keeps you from indulging in an idle lifestyle -as you should be; but, at what point do you recognize the dysfunction in choosing work over a break to unwind. As humans we are wired to always do but there are times when in the doing we get stuck. We stumble across roadblocks that we sometimes confuse as minor obstacles to great challenges when instead these “hitches in the road” are life’s way of saying stop -Stop, because you are missing out on spending time with your children. Stop because you are putting your incessant desire to run, move and be involved in everything above your personal health and or stop because this hitch in the road is not a challenge to conquer -it instead is a warning sign that is prompting you to be present in all matters that involve self preservation.
Today, If you are struggling to push past what appears to be a ginormous obstacle, Stop. Stop and consider that the obstacle is possibly and indication of some sort that is asking you to take a break -one that will make way for a clear and free mind and give you the opportunity to place your energies where they are needed as opposed to wasting them where you desire to exhaust them instead!
This week I took the opportunity to address soul matters and I’m using this subject as a platform to talk about my outlook on being single because I know there are a lot of women everywhere, myself included, going through the struggles that come along with being in a relationship with yourself. For instance, we as women get impatient waiting for “the one.” We get lonely sleeping in our beds at night knowing that we weren’t made to exist without a mate and we become disgusted with the ridiculous options that seem to repeatedly present themselves as gifts but when revealed they turn out to be nothing short of a “no.” Lets start with this. Relationships aren’t easy, they are work but so is being single. Being single is a time to reflect, to get it together and to fall so in love with you that you are prepared to live a life that does not require you to depend on a mate for happiness but instead allows you to expand the happiness that is already yours by sharing your life with a person who compliments you and vice versa! None of that means that the waiting process while single, which is vital to one personal development, is fun.
Staying is not always the best course of action when you’re trying to salvage those connections that were only supposed to last for a season and if you have to force the love like pushing a square peg into a round whole then maybe it’s time to consider that you weren’t made to force love to go where it doesn’t fit. So what happens after you walk away? Well every persons story is different but as a woman who is single and working on me I’ll say it gets really lonely sometimes so much so that it hurts but you learn to focus less on feeling alone when you focus on personal development: your children, education, business etc. You work on building in these areas not because you want to be distracted from the pain of lost love but because you have to continue to want the best in every aspect of your present life. At the end of the day my advice to everyone, but woman particularly because I am addressing single women, is to never stay in a place where you are clearly unwanted. The damage that staying in bad relationships (no matter the type of relationship: personal or professional )takes on your soul is terrible.
A wisdom word of encouragement from the Editor
I don’t care if you were a prostitute, a high school dropout an X convict etc. You always have something purposeful to say, something important to share -and no one can put a price on the wisdom you’ve gained in your struggle. So when they talk bad about where you’ve been, who you are and where you are going remember they did that to Jesus too and hell he was perfect… It’s in the nature of people to look for our imperfections and to hold our weaknesses against us as they so swiftly forget that their eagerness to criticize speaks to a story that reflects their own character flaws; but, when you realize your weaknesses are your strengths, learning tools to empower others to grow -then no one will be able to negatively use against you the experiences that have empowered you to learn and teach others how to grow!
Every day people make a living doing what they love and as unrealistic as living your dream life may seem it’s possible. Hell, look at entertainers like Jim Carey… Who would of imagined that you could make a lucrative living out of making a literal fool of yourself in the way that this comedian has? This week as I’m exploring new and creative strategies to make blog SWAG more marketable, I’m considering the importance of embracing change. I’ve been afraid to travel and participate in workshops or to invest substantial money in the strategies that can improve the quality of blog SWAG. Part of this is because I’m afraid of change; but, this morning as I consider that empowering women to be confident is my passion, I know that it’s time to prioritize and jump outside of the comfort zone and make those investments. Jumping outside of the comfort zone forces you to face yourself and identify the negative things that you need to change for the sake of embracing success. That can be scary. One of my weaknesses has been that all my life I’ve felt the need to gain permission for everything. As a child, I needed permission to use the restroom, to drink water etc. and as an adult that submissive spirit instilled in me by my parents, it had me thinking for the longest that I needed others approval to be great. But what happens when there’s no one there to guide or restrict you from making choices? It forces you to act on your own.
The other day I watched a more recent four-part series of the return of the Gilmore girls. The series documents the present-day adventures of a mother and daughter duo and after a decade of hibernation in fickle film making suspension the snarky, inspiring and lovely production has resurrected again! In the final episode of the four-part 90-minute series, Mother, Lorelai finds herself at a crossroads. Confused about where she is heading in her romantic and professional life, she is inspired by the book “Wild” to go on a retreat into the woods where she joins several other women who are also journeying to experience enlightening self-exploration. After being stopped twice by park rangers from exploring the wilderness, the first time due to bad weather and the second time due to a misplaced permit, Loralie decides to accept that her hike isn’t going to happen and goes to find coffee instead. When she arrives to a coffee shop she finds that it is closed so she explores the area a bit to pass the time, only to find that there is a breathtaking view of the wild right around the corner. Everything she was hoping to experience on what proved to be a forbidden hike it was all right within her reach. In that moment as she inhaled the beauty of nature and solidarity she had a life changing epiphany that would lead her to call her own mother, bringing some needed closure to the both of them in light of Loralie’s father’s death. (I’m not going to tell you everything because you might want to watch it, if you have not already).
After her phone call to her mother, Loralie left with the clarity she was craving; but, it was only after coursing her own journey to self-discovery as opposed to traveling some popularly beaten path to get there. It was in that moment as I was sobbing over the connection Loralie and I shared in the transparency of the human experience, with being at a crossroads in my very own life personally and professionally, that I heard these words: “You don’t need permission to go into uncharted territory.” With all of my apprehension when it comes to embracing change in my life, I tend to search for signs or some sort of permission so to speak to validate that what I desire when it comes to attaining success is not some outlandish and unrealistic aspiration; and what I realized, as Loralie was having her very own epiphany, is that I am my own validation. My life is my own. I am responsible for my happiness and I can make a living professionally by marketing my quirky, honest and silly personality to empower women to unapologetically be themselves. I can be who I want to be and I don’t need anyone’s permission or validation to approve the visions that are so deeply rooted in my heart. I am in control of the choices I make for my career, as a parent, with body and the list goes on! The same goes for you too! You don’t need permission to go forward with building the envisioned blueprint of your life. You can literally take the metaphoric crane by the reigns and boulder down others expectations for your future and start in the present from square one. As this week progresses I encourage you to start over. Get the noise out of your head. Start doing your own research. Stop asking others if your business ideas are cool. Don’t speak about your dreams unless you must, always act on them instead. Make a list of goals that will land you closer to your aspirations and be brave and make choices that will support your commitment to those outlandish visions that others doubt you can achieve; but, don’t do all of this to prove your doubters wrong, do it all because a shot at your dream life is worth fighting for.