Category Archives: Monday Musings

The Word of the Week…

…is RESURRECTION!

1. The act of rising from the dead or returning to life.
2. The state of one who has returned to life.
3. The act of bringing back to practice, notice, or use; revival.

After being on the road for business for several days, I slid into the Easter weekend thinking about both the Christian and non-Christian significance of the season. The choice of the “Word of the Week” was therefore pretty much a no-brainer. However, due to a death in my family on Easter Sunday, my thoughts about this entry were thrown off track. Losing someone you love seems to be the very antithesis of what the Easter story calls for us to celebrate. My mind was suddenly blank.

A Facebook friend also lost a loved one this past weekend, and – before flying off to join her family for the funeral – she wrote a quick post sharing how facing this death had affected her outlook on life. This loss has had an impact on the way she wants to experience life in the future, and – in memory of her loved one – she’s committed to making some changes.

Her post really touched me and made me feel melancholy at the same time. Maybe because she is quite a bit younger than me, and I intuitively felt that she still has so many more option than I do?

That feeling only lasted for a short time. Early this morning I discovered an article online that not only touched me in a similar way; it also pushed me past the temporary feeling of stagnation and self-pity that were paralyzing me.

Called “20 Good Habits You Need To Start In Your 20s” I immediately realized that these are not only great suggestions for those just starting their adult lives. The article also helped me remember that…

…it’s never too late to start doing the right things in your life!

20. Focus on the activities and people that make you happy.
19. Trust you instincts on new opportunities.
18. Build the courage to face your fears.
17. Focus on the resources you already have a access to
16. Be less busy, and more productive.
15. Make your goals your priorities.
14. Accept your humanness.
13. Seek less approval from others.
12. Ignore society’s comparisons.
11. Believe in your ability to succeed.
10. Manage your money before it starts managing you.
09. Let the wrong people go.
08. Appreciate your true friends and return the favor.
07. Understand right from wrong.
06. Choose happiness.
05. Learn to cope with anger effectively.
04. Make your own destiny.
03. Create priorities.
02. Stay away from a routine-based life.
01. Always keep in mind that life is somewhat predictable.

I would love to hear some of you share which one resonates most with you – and why!

~~~

In Memory of Russell Davis (1950 – 2013). You are loved. You will be missed.

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Filed under Affirmations, Coaching, Monday Musings, Wednesday's Wisdom

The Word of the Week*…

is EXPECTATIONS!

Are we the products of our environment – or are we the products of expectations?

What do you think, ladies?

  • What societal expectations of you as an Afro-European woman shape the way you perceive your possibilities in life/your career?
  • What positive expectations (from family, your community or from within) empower you to combat any negative societal expectations you encounter?

~~

Find out more about The Other Wes Moore and Discovering Wes Moore!

~~

*Click the link to listen to this week’s podcast

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The Word of the Week…

…is ASK!

In the beginning, I wondered how I would come up with a regular Word of the Week. One that was not only relevant enough for me to want to meditate on, but also relevant enough to want to share.

Once I put that question out to the universe, though, all I had to do was keep my mind and eyes open, and pay attention to the things I pay attention to…

A perfect example of the Biblical: „Ask and ye shall receive“.

I follow black American blogger and essayist Danielle Belton’s critically acclaimed blog, The Black Snob. A few days ago she announced that an essay she’s written – „The Problem with Marriage“ – is featured in an upcoming book called „Where Did Our Love Go“. Part of the chapter on divorce, Danielle’s essay focuses on a crucial weapon in the war being waged on what she calls „Forever-and-Ever-Amen“ marriage.

Instead of getting married at a fairly young age and figuring out how to best navigate the adult world together as a couple, people in Western society now go through a longer and longer phase where they are dependent mostly on themselves. A kind of “post-adolescence”, if you will.

Young people study longer, land their first jobs, set up a pension funds, travel, become property owners – all while they are still single. It’s expected that they spend time “discovering themselves” and taking life only on their own terms. They’re brought up the believe they should try to get their way in life, and feel perfectly within their rights to throw a tantrum if they don’t.

And – when you think about it – that’s what (esp. US) society rewards you for in the West: being (successfully) independent. Being “self-made”.

  • Think of the Republican slogan from the last US presidential election: “We built that”.
  • Think of the notion of the “creators” versus the “takers” who are only in it for “free stuff”
  • Think of the the ridicule of “The 47%”

But: What’s the flip side of that coin?

The virtues of consensus, compromise and compassion – while still alright for Sunday School or high school civics class – have become the trademark of losers. For mid-30-somethings taking their 1st stab at it, marriage becomes a battlefield, because neither party feels they can afford not to be right. Not to dominate 100% of the time. Not to win.

What does this have to do with the concept of “asking”, you wonder?

Late Sunday evening I settled in to watch a TEDTalk I had bookmarked. It’s by musician Amanda Palmer and is called “The Art of Asking”. In her talk, Amanda examines a new relationship between artist and fan. A new relationship that is reflect in everything from payment for gigs or music to where she and her band sleep on tour.

This admittedly has nothing to do with marriage, but it does have a lot to do with (the quality of) relationships – and control. Fighting to hold on to it versus trusting the universe enough to let it go.

The Germans have a saying: “People who speak (up) can be helped”

For many of us, though, asking for anything is a sign of weakness and failure. It shows we’re not the bright and shiny super-heroes we were taught to believe we need to be in order to succeed. Many of us would rather bite off our tongue than ask for anything, and – if we are honest with ourselves – we look down (at least a little) on people who do.

I can remember my first job in marketing. I was working on an international naming project for a line of sports attire. Part of my job was to do a legal pre-check for conflicting brand names in the trademark directory. And every single name we generated either had a direct hit or one so close even I knew our recommendation wouldn’t be legally viable. A few times my boss asked how things were going. “Fine!”, I assured him with as much fake optimism as I could muster.

Finally, on the day before we began to prepare the actual presentation, my boss wanted to see the list of names that had cleared the pre-check. As you can well imagine, my response hit that conference room like a bomb.

No, my boss didn’t yell and I wasn’t fired. But it was made clear to me, that by not asking for help, I lost the chance to get support from the team and jeopardized his opportunity to come up with the best way to manage our clients’ expectations in a timely fashion.

I’d like to say that incident cured me, and that I now know how (and when) to ask for help. But that’s still only partially true.

How would your life or relationship change if you trusted enough to ask for what you need?

Check out Danielle’s blog and Amanda’s video. Tell me what you think of them.

Share how you feel about asking…for anything!

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Filed under Affirmations, Monday Musings

The Word of the Week*…

…is PLAY!

Suggested Reading: “The Value of Play

When do we – as “grown-ups” – still get to play?

  1. As an adult, do you still “play”?
  2. Did you have a favorite game or fantasy in childhood?
  3. Looking back, what did that game/fantasy give you? Is there any part of you still carry in your heart?

~~~

*Click the link to listen to this week’s podcast

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The Word of the Week*…

is OBLIGATION!

1: the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)

2a : something (as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action

b : a debt security (as a mortgage or corporate bond)

c : a commitment (as by a government) to pay a particular sum of money; also : an amount owed under such an obligation <unable to meet its obligations, the company went into bankruptcy>

3a : a condition or feeling of being obligated

b : a debt of gratitude

4: something one is bound to do : duty, responsibility

 

How is it with you?

1. Who are the people and what are the situations where you’ve noticed yourself taking on obligations you don’t really stand behind?

2. How do you recognize that it’s a commitment you resent or feel uncomfortable with?

3. What would be the worst thing that would happen if you would say „no“ to unwanted obligations more often.

~~~

*Click the link to listen to this week’s podcast

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The Word of the Week*…

…is TRANSITION!

1
a: passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another :change
b: a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another
Where do YOU want to land? And…
  1. Know what you’ll feel like when you get there!
  2. Realize that what you say “no” to during the process is as important as what you’ll be saying “yes” to!
  3. Understand that you can’t control everything during the transition. But you can control how you react to it!

~~~

*Click the link to listen to this week’s podcast

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The Word of the Week*…

…is MARATHON

1

: a long-distance race:

a : a footrace run on an open course usually of 26 miles 385 yards (42.2 kilometers)

b : a race other than a footrace marked especially by great length

2

a : an endurance contest

b : something (as an event, activity, or session) characterized by great length or concentrated effort

(Source)

In 2013, if you only promise yourself three things, remember:

  1. To trust the „helicopter view“ of your life, and refer to it often
  2. To stay open to course corrections, and not be afraid to change a strategy or plan when unforeseeable circumstances make it necessary
  3. To remember that even in a marathon your sprint – and long-jump and hurdles – skills are a valuable asset

Welcome to 2013, ladies. Ready, steady, go!

~~~

*Click the link to listen to this week’s podcast

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