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5 Ways to Find Balance During the Holidays

5 Ways to Find Balance During the Holidays

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The holidays are supposed to be filled with joy, merriment, cheer and happy memories. How many of you experience the complete opposite? I spoke to a previous co-worker the other day and she said that she had a social engagement every Friday during the month of December. Insert bewildered look right here. Every Friday? Good grief. While well-intended, between the shopping, cooking, cleaning and attending events, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can drain you and throw you out of whack. Here are some tips to help you find some balance during the holiday:

  1. Build in some “woosah” into your schedule. Before accepting another invitation or saying yes to baking another batch of cookies, make it a point to schedule some quality time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.
  2. Say “NO” to the activities that sap your time or energy. Take stock of activities that you participated in last year that didn’t enhance you in some way. To quote Uneeka Jay, “If it’s not a hell yes…then it needs to be a no.”
  3. Rethink your errands and tasks. Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. Select certain days to accomplish tasks such as baking, shopping or wrapping gifts.
  4. Get moving. It’s hard to make time for exercise during the holidays, but it may help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
  5. Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way. There are 168 hours in the week…surely you can take a few to yourself. Read a book or get a massage. Make yourself a priority.

With love,

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They Are Watching You

They Are Watching You

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The importance of personal branding has been quietly building and folks are starting to embrace that they are indeed CEO, COO, CFO and CIO of Me, Inc. The problem with personal branding is that it comes with a misconceived notion that you must also be perfect. Pause right there. Perfectionism is a myth. Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. Perfectionism will keep you from taking a chance on an idea because you are afraid of making a mistake. Some of the best lessons are learned from failure and imperfection. Brand new ways of doing things are often discovered by messing up in epic proportions. Instead of trying to keep the facade of perfection buffed, shined and polished, allow others to see you imperfections. The fallacy of perfection doesn’t inspire people. It’s the authentic journey of learning from mistakes.

Jesse Williams Didn’t Need An Award

Jesse Williams Didn’t Need An Award

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If you haven’t heard by now, Jesse Williams, an American actor, model, and activist, best known for his role as Dr. Jackson Avery on the ABC Television series Grey’s Anatomy set the entire stage of the BET Awards ablaze during his acceptance speech for receiving a humanitarian award. When the camera panned over to him during his introduction, the look of determination and “I can’t wait to get up on that stage” was imprinted on his face. He was so ready to speak that he didn’t even wait for the introductions to be over. He had heard enough of his accolades. He had heard enough of about what the general public already knew about him. He was busting at the seams and ready to speak his truth and the truth of so many others. He had been given an opportunity and a platform to speak and he didn’t want to waste a single minute. I’m convinced that his acceptance speech was not rehearsed. I’m convinced that if you ran into him on the street or saw him at the coffee shop and asked him how he feels about the racial divide and inequality in this country, his response would be just as intense and passionate, if not more.  At his core, he is an educator. He once shared in an interview that becoming an actor just kind of happened. Something tells me that that even if he was still a teacher, he still would have found a way for the world to hear his voice.  He is authentic in his truth and he doesn’t need validation from anyone to continue work for what he knows he was called to do.

Are you authentic in your truth? Are you looking for validation? Are you waiting for someone to give you an award to tell you that you are doing an amazing job at work, in your community, in your church or other organizations? Are you waiting for standing ovation? Are you waiting to trend on social media before you realize that what you are doing actually matters to those who are benefiting from your passion?

With love,

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Register today for the 3rd Annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference where everyone is a VIP. Limited seating available. Click here to reserve your seat.

 

It’s All Good

It’s All Good

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Have you ever heard the clichéd saying, “When one door closes, another one opens”? One of the members on my board of directors told me that you shouldn’t be looking for another door, but a window. His analogy was that another door can lead to another room, full of limitations. Whereas a window provides infinite possibilities. No walls no restrictions. It allows you to be unorthodox and unique.

Are you looking for another door? Or are you going to look for a window? Do you want to be limited in what you can do? Or are you ready to share your brilliance?

You are too awesome, too talented, too creative and too damn fantastic to be limited to a room. Listen to the little birdie. Look for the window. The world is waiting for you.

With love,

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P.S. Limited seating is available for the Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016. Click here for more information.

 

Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016

Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016

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When people ask me about what does “work your package” mean, I tell them it’s knowing that you already you everything you need inside of you to be extraordinary – AND living your life to fulfill the purpose for which it was intended.

It’s when you realize that your purpose in life goes far beyond what others have planned for you. It’s about knowing what you bring to the table in every facet of your life and being confident what you have to offer is valuable.

When you have a desire to do more, be more, have more and give more in the areas of life most important to you become unstoppable. That’s what the content of the Work Your Package conference provides – the “how-to” of getting clarity around your goals and then creating an action plan to make it happen.

Working Your Package™ is the act of making a conscious decision to acknowledge you are unique and only you can deliver the special gift you were created to share with others. Are you headed in the direction of fulfilling your purpose or do you need to make some changes so that you can live your life authentically?

If you want for you what I want for you – to be a better version of yourself and embracing the extraordinary  – then I invite you to join me and other like-minded women for the Work Your Package Conference. Register today!

Click here for a list of confirmed Work Your Package 2016 speakers.

With love,

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Being Extraordinary Requires Stamina

Being Extraordinary Requires Stamina

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About a week ago, I made a promise to myself to walk up as many flight of stairs as possible everyday. There is a total of 28 flights of stairs that I’m determined to climb throughout the day. Until I made that commitment, I was complaining about my weight and eating a cupcake. The decision to walk up the stairs didn’t require a lot of deliberation on my part. The truth is, it was easier to sit at my desk and complain than take off my pumps, lace up my sneakers and do something.

Sitting is easier than standing.

Standing is easier than walking.

Walking is easier than running.

Because running requires stamina.

It’s easy to be mediocre. It’s easy to stay comfortable and settle. It’s easy to stay still rather than move forward and face the unfamiliar. To be extraordinary and going after your dreams requires stamina. The journey to being extraordinary is a marathon. To be a trail blazer, a thought leader, an icon, a legend, a role model requires you to push beyond being comfortable.

What are you literally and figuratively sitting on? What opportunity are you missing because you are too afraid to get out of your seat? You have everything you need to be extraordinary. You just have to get out of your seat…

With love,

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Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

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It’s more than just feeling blue. It’s about no longer being the person you once was and not having a concrete reason why. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and according to NAMI  (National Alliance of Mental Illness) 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime and every American is affected or impacted through their friends and family.

Prevalence of Mental Illness

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—10 million, or 4.2%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3

Consequences of Lack of Treatment

  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.15
  • Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.16

Mental Health Screening Tools

101 Self-Care Suggestions for When It All Feels Like Too Much

Self-Help Tools

For helpful articles and information, follow The Green Dress Project, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter @TGDProject.

Sources: NAMI, MHA (Mental Health America)

With love,

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Stop Shining So Bright

Stop Shining So Bright

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Know-it-all, cocky, arrogant, always trying to be number one and the center of attention…

If you’ve ever been told that you display one or all of these behaviors, depending where you are on the confidence and maturity scale, those words can hurt and do some serious damage to your confidence. When you are told that you are a “know-it-all” and 99.9% of the time you really do know the answer and the answers solves challenges for others and it is done with good intentions…it might be difficult for you to comprehend how and why it is viewed negatively. It’s a triple-edged sword. If you share information, you are a know-it-all. If you keep the information to yourself, then you aren’t a team player. If you play dumb, then you are doing an injustice to the natural skills and abilities that you were blessed with. So what do you do? The desire to help everyone unfortunately can be viewed as an attempt to steal the shine from others and there will come a day when you will be told to stop shining because it’s offending others and making them uncomfortable. If you are waiting for me to tell you to turn off your light so that other people can be comfortable, keep waiting. That’s not going to happen. Not. Ever. Your light is yours and yours alone. Don’t you dare turn it off.

I want you to think of your “shine” as the various lights you find on a car. Depending on the time of day or weather, you have to use different lights while you are on the road towards your destination. Your daytime lights for the everyday, routine stuff, the stuff that you can do without much thought. Your headlights are for when you need to provide unorthodox suggestions to resolve a problem. Throw on the high beams when you are pushed out of your comfort zone and have been asked to lead a major project. Your fog lights are when you need to weather the storm of adversity, ignore the naysayers, listen to the little birdie and achieve a goal that you might think is impossible. Use the interior lights when you need to take a moment to step away and focus on yourself. Change the type of light you use, sweetheart, but never..ever..turn it off.

With love,

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A Proportional Response…And Other Lessons Learned from TV

A Proportional Response…And Other Lessons Learned from TV

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This weekend while cleaning my bedroom, I watched the West Wing television series on DVD. West Wing is still one of my favorite television shows. I remember looking forward to “West Wing Wednesday” every week, eager to watch the witty banter by the staff in the White House. President Jed Bartlett is one of my favorite fictional presidents not just because he was brilliant. He was  also kind, had a wicked sense of humor and he loved his wife. One of my favorite episodes from Season 1 is titled “A Proportional Response”. Now for those of you who have never watched West Wing, here’s a brief synopsis: After being offered “a proportional response” to the Syrian military’s downing of a U.S. military plane on a medical mission (and carrying his newly named personal physician), the president asks “What is the virtue of a proportional response – why is it good?”and then demands an option that will have greater impact. His Chief of Staff gradually talks him down, but the President is snarky with everyone, including his wife. The president ultimately agrees to the initial option, but is not happy about it. The president wanted to bring down the “thunder of God” on the Syrians. He wanted the response to be such a devastating blow, that no other country would even think about harming another American citizen. Are you asking yourself, What the heck does this have to do with ‘working my package’? Of course you are. Stay with me. This episode made me think about how people respond whenever we feel we are being disrespected. We tend to overreact in fear that someone else will try to disrespect in the same way. I thought about my “disproportional” responses and I wondered if my anger and need to set the record straight was best way to handle conflict. To be perfectly honest, because hindsight is always 20/20, there some things I should have left alone. I should have ended many conversations sooner than I did because it was clear neither side of the disagreement would be heard but egos can eliminate common sense and courtesy.

Are your responses to conflict proportional? Seeing a situation and a person for who they are, not who you want it or them to be can keep you from overreacting and giving too much time and energy towards people and situations who quite frankly just  don’t deserve it. In the midst of conflict do you think, “If I let this person get away with it, then everyone will think they can do the same thing?” Do you talk about how you are going “set some things straight?” Do you go for the jugular to make a point or do you want a mutual understanding? Do you want crucifixion or correction? Now ask yourself, is it even worth it? Victory is not always in the public defeat of your opponent, but in the calmness of your mind and the ability to just walk away…

With love,

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Register today for the Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016! Speakers and full agenda will be announced on April 29.

What’s In It For Me? Absolutely Nothing.

What’s In It For Me? Absolutely Nothing.

When asked to do something, how often do you think, “What’s in it for me?” If you are thinking about the “what’s in it for me?” before serving others, you are robbing yourself of meaningful and authentic connections. Thinking about what you can get out of a situation before you contribute to it can set you up for never-ending streak of disappointment. We’ve all heard that you cannot give when you are empty. The same applies to relationships, both personal and professional. Selfless acts of kindness and generosity may not yield instant gratification or even a “thank you” but opens up the possibility of developing a long-lasting, substantive relationship that can be cultivated to be mutually beneficial. Helping a co-worker finish a project probably won’t garner you a raise or a promotion but it positions you as a team player. You might be thinking, “I’m not going to be a door mat and just say ‘yes’ to everything.”  Being selfless is not being a doormat is about doing what is kind and gracious even when no applause is sure to follow and no one is looking.

I challenge you to be selfless and rid yourself from the downward spiral of “what’s in it for me?” and help someone just because.

With love,

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