Ladies, this week’s Word of the Week is “revitalize“…
No, you haven’t missed anything… Today is just the day I want to revitalize Uncaged Birds™ by introducing some new features to the program!
First, let me thank all of you for being supportive over the past 16 months! Your feedback and contributions have been wonderful, and that means a lot to me.
During my recent hiatus I thought a lot about your input and feedback, and listened to the direction my own intuition is leading. The result: An expanded selection of new and updated features for the program.
Now I feel confident about taking Uncaged Birds™ one step further.
The new and/or updated features to look for are
Regular blog features
Monday Musings – A Word of the Week to help you kick-start your week on a positive note!
Wednesday Wisdom: A weekly entry sharing insights and info relevant to personal development and the Afro-European community
On the Radio: A monthly online radio program featuring interviews with women from all across the Afro-European community who share their experience, dreams, challenges and strategies for successes! (Next date: 13 December 2011)
TableTalk: A twice yearly virtual round table where a panel of guests discuss issues pertaining to Afro-European women, also giving you an opportunity to share your thoughts with other women of African descent across Europe (Next date: 15 November 2011)
Webinar Series: “Eight Steps Back to Me” – A series of 8 sessions focusing on personal and professional development issues from an Afro-European perspective (Kick-off: 16 February 2012)
Twitter: I tweet about diversity, inclusion, working and living intercultural, etc. @360ofDiversity
Local Meet-Ups (more info in 2012)
Workshops (more info in 2012)
Retreats (more info in 2012)
Check back in the days to come as I flesh out each program with more detail, as well as share all the details about next month’s TableTalk and introduce our panel of special guests!
I’m very excited about the promise the next 16 months hold, and look forward to sharing the journey with all of you!
(P.S.: Is there anything you’d like to add or do you think anything is missing? Please let me know in the comment section or via mail, so I can be sure to address it in my specific posts about these new features!)
Although I mentioned asking Lillian to contribute a personal story, I just realized that only those of you who follow the Uncaged Birds group on Facebook have had an opportunity to listen to it. I don’t know why, but I hadn’t actually posted it here. Till now.
I’ve asked both Lillian and Jemitra to share a personal and self-care story with you all, and now it’s time for me to add my own story – a professional story. When I requested the other ladies contribute something, I had no idea that my own offering would be so timely. But instead of pushing this to the back burner and choosing something that I’ve had time to (over-)analyze and digest, I decided to go with this one, while the feelings are still new and raw.
Last Thursday I did a webinar for a client of mine. It’s the second project in a 3-project deal I signed with them at the end of 2010. Because this is a large international organization, it goes without saying that I was very pleased to have landed the deal. The first part – individual coaching of one of their executives – went extremely well.
During our last Fixe Jour planning meeting for the Uncaged Birds retreat, Trina asked Lillian to each share stories from our lives. This is in keeping with the retreats theme “Empowerment Means Telling My Story”. During the retreat, we will be providing ample opportunities to tell the stories that make up the fabric of your lives. The stories can be funny or sad. They can describe a happy memory or a more challenging one. They can be stories that describe your personal experiences or they can be stories passed down to your from your ancestors. I’d like to share a story from my own life. (Jemitra Hairston)
Fall is in the air where I live in Holland. Some of the leaves are already changing colors. It reminds me of where I grew up in North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, which are known up and down the east coast for their beauty, particularly during the autumn season. My story is my recollection of a phone conversation, I had with my mother perhaps two years before she passed away in 1999. I was still living in Washington, DC and we were reminiscing about my days playing the flute in Carver High School’s marching band. Our band was known throughout the state for our distinctively soulful and rhythmic marching style. Hence the name “The Highstepping Yellow Jackets”. My mother and I talked by phone nearly every day after I left North Carolina as an 18 year old. If I were to guess, I would say this conversation took place in early September–close to this time of the year. During this conversation, she said, “Hey Pooh. How is everything up there? is it getting cold yet? Whatcha eat good today?” my mother always began with a barrage of questions. When I answered them all to her satisfaction, she said, “Fall is certainly in the air here. It reminds me of when you used to go over there with your band uniform on to the football games. I used to be so proud. ou remember them big ugly shoes you had to wear? Them things was sho nuff awful looking, but y’all used to be stepping.” My mother would then pause and gather her breath. “You remember how hard a time you had learning to play the flute. You couldn’t get it to make no sound for the life of you, but you kept on trying ’til one day you could play it. I wonder what ever happened to Ms. Foxx who used to teach you music over at Kennedy. She was a cute lil’ thing. I remember how mad you was when she got married. You remember that?”, she asked. “Yeah, I remember ma, but I wasn’t mad at her though. I just thought she had a cool name”, I replied. “Yeah, that’s what it was. You didn’t want to call her by her new last name. I knew it was something”, my mother continued. I got quiet and waited for what I knew was coming next. “Yeah, I knew it was something like that. I ain’t as crazy as I look.” I smiled into the phone. That was one of my mother’s favorite phrases; one that I’d heard her say time and time again for as long as I could remember. I looked out of the window of my apartment to trees who’d begun to put on their party clothes and were resplendent in orange, yellow, red, and brown. Even though the leaves were changing, there were some things that always stayed the same.
If you have been following the information I’ve been sharing about the upcoming retreat (and I hope you have), you know Jemitra Hairston will be our coaching facilitating our
(re-)discovery of our own personal self-care stories
at the retreat.
On the weekends, most of us manage to fit some type of self-care regime into our schedules. But now – at the start of the week – I want to share an audio Jemitra shared with us about self-care as a reminder that self-care (yes, focusing on ourselves for a change, and not the other people/things in our lives!) isn’t a topic that should be relegated only to the weekends or vacation days in our lives! Having a personalized self-care ritual – in other words: one that fits your lifestyle and therefore actually works for you – for every day of the week can help replenish us exactly when we need it most, namely when we’re dealing with the bulk of the stress work or school, family and household can trigger in our lives.
Also: The July Retreat is scheduled for 29th – 31st of July, so Lillian, Jemitra and I have scheduled
a 2nd open call
to field more of your questions and hear your comments about the whole idea behind developing a retreat format specifically for Afro-European women.
Just in case you won’t be able to make the call, or simply want to make sure YOUR question is answered, let us know
What are the three (3) questions you would need to have answered about an event like this upcoming retreat before you make your personal decision to attend?
Yesterday Lillian Ogobogoh, Jemitra Hairston and I connected again virtually and put together a 2nd info call about the upcoming retreats. Here’s a quick list to the things we wanted to share with you:
The specific benefits of attending the upcoming retreat and sharing your personal, professional and self-care stories!
How you and a friend can get a discount on the registration fee!
The valuable give-aways and bonus prizes that are part of the package!
The original date for the retreat is fast approaching, and – now that more information about the agenda is available – I’ve received some feedback that there simply isn’t enough time between learning about the details and actually committing to attend. So much feedback, in fact, that I’m seriously considering a 2nd date option.
But before I kick the initial date to the curb, I’d like to know what you think!
If you are truly excited about the idea of attending a retreat especially for women of African descent living in Europe, how would having one more month to plan influence the likelihood that you’d sign up and attend?