There are three things you should know about me: 1. I cannot cook 2. My preferred bedtime is 8:30 pm and 3. I would do anything for my children. Even cook for them after 8:30pm.
Read the entire blog I wrote for Grown & Flown
There are three things you should know about me: 1. I cannot cook 2. My preferred bedtime is 8:30 pm and 3. I would do anything for my children. Even cook for them after 8:30pm.
Read the entire blog I wrote for Grown & Flown
A funny thing happened to me (and millions of others) in the past few years, I got “Professionally Ghosted.” Not just once and not solely tied to a job inquiry. It happened in a few work situations.
If you are unfamiliar with what “ghosting” means or feels like, please keep carrying around that lucky penny. Ghosting is the practice of disappearing while in the middle of a professional conversation or interaction without any explanation.
Sometimes it is innocent, an inbox casualty impacted by the recipient’s busy week. Other times the recipient may be struggling with and avoiding delivering bad news or feedback. And once in a blue moon, it’s personal.
No matter the reason, it leaves the recipient feeling disappointed, isolated and with a negative slime energy all over.
The good news is you can remove that grossness right off of you in 4 easy steps. Let me show you how:
STEP 1: TAKE BACK YOUR POWER
Do you remember in The Wizard of Oz when Glinda the Good Witch told the Wicked Witch of the East, “you have no powers here, be gone” and waves her away like an annoying mosquito? Do that.
Whatever emotion you just gave your power to (anger, anxiety, heartbreak), please let it know that you are in charge and you get to decide where your thoughts and energy will go today.
STEP 2: PHYSICALLY REMOVE THE SLIME
All conversations, experiences and relationships have energy. You know how it feels when you’re surrounded by good Glinda energy, the kind that feels powerful, protective and validates your confidence that you know what you are doing.
On the flip side, negative energy has the consistency of a spider’s web. It’s a subtle stickiness that sometimes feels like it’s hard to find and remove.
You’ve heard the phrase “brush it off” right? Well this is physically brushing off the ghosted experience and it’s super easy to do.
Start with your right hand on top of your left shoulder and with pressure brush your hand down from shoulder to hand resulting in pushing that energy off that arm.
Do it again but with opposite hand and shoulder.
Return to right hand and left shoulder.
Then raise your hands over your head and throw your hands down to the ground with force.
Repeat this series two more times. Then take a moment to feel how that shook things up and off.
STEP 3: LET GO OF THE STORY
You cannot control what happens to you but you can control how you react.
Most of the damage we do to ourselves is through the stories in our head, the ones we then share out to others. If you don’t have actual facts about why you didn’t hear back and are fabricating a story arc complete with villain and victim then you are giving your power and your good Glinda energy right back to the situation.
Let’s assume innocent until proven guilty. We may never even know why it happened But attaching to the drama (whether it’s real or imagined) will not serve you well and will tangle you up in more spider webs vs allowing you to move forward towards something better.
Sometimes you have to rewrite or reimagine the story. “They had me jump through hoops going through several interviews and then radio silence” becomes “They juggled many schedules to get me in to meet as many decision makers as possible but it didn’t go further than that.”
Cliffhanger ending: “it didn’t go further than that.” That can mean you were not the best fit or headcount was killed or maybe they didn’t want someone who was smarter than them ; -)
Who knows? Who cares? Boy, bye!
Take a beat and get some nourishment. Go read Dr Seuss’ Oh the Places You Will Go or listen to LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out. Just spitballing here and giving you some ideas.
STEP 4: REFLECT
Last step in removing the slime is to hold your own post-mortem on how this all went.
First you were afraid, you were terrified (to lift from Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive) .
Next, you put on your F.U. socks and reclaimed your power (these are my favorites if you want to purchase yours today).
And finally, you reminded yourself and others that “you had the power all along my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”
Remember, you ain’t afraid of no ghosts.
It was 1990, I was attending University of Kansas (my 2nd stop in my college career after Emerson College) and I was taking a course in my very favorite subject, marketing. My teacher was excellent, the other students were engaging and inspiring and I looked forward to each and every class.
The teacher loved my ideas and thoughts on various marketing problems he asked us to solve. He thought I had tremendous talent but at the end of the day I received a D because of my low test scores. I remember speaking with him directly about my final grade and learning that he was as confused as I was.
Around 1991, I had transferred to my 3rd college, SUNY Purchase which had an incredible career development team ready and able to help students secure their dream internships. Completely ready for dozens of interviews ranging from The Joan Rivers Show to MTV Networks, I went from office to office marketing myself in hopes of landing the coveted internship the following semester.
To be honest, my heart was set on MTV Networks as I was a die-hard fan of Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite. My interview with the human resource rep seemingly went well, at least in my head. But Ms. Hall said to me, “I’m sorry but you are not MTV Networks material” and passed on me right then and there.
I was determined to get into MTV Networks and to enjoy a successful marketing career because despite what I was experiencing, I knew deep inside that that was exactly where I was supposed to start and marketing was precisely what I was supposed to do.
My parents always told me, “don’t take no for an answer.” That was not coming from a place of always getting what you want. It was coming from a place of knowing myself the best and not letting others tell me who I am or what I should do. I’m fortunate to have had parents who gave me that pep talk and drilled into me that I had the power to make things happen even at times when I felt powerless.
I located some executives’ names (pre-internet thank you very much) and reached out to them directly with a passionate letter about why I wanted an internship on their team. It resulted in an interview at Comedy Central Publicity which was an MTV Networks channel.
My work at Comedy Central was crucial. It was their first year of existence and they were trying to grow their audience and distribution on cable channels. My project was to single-handedly pitch a show they had called Mystery Science Theater 3000 to college newspapers and radio stations nationwide. I did well and quickly my reputation led to MTV Networks’ channels and departments recruiting me to join them. I held internships with Nickelodeon Animation (just as Ren & Stimpy was finally debuting it’s 2nd season) and with Nickelodeon Programming where I helped plan marketing sponsorship opportunities that they sold to advertisers. I was runner-up for employee of the year.
As my career continued, marketing was always a major part of what I did each day. Over the years, I’ve won marketing awards for my work at brands like TV Land and Bravo. I’ve been recruited for think tanks to come up with new ideas. I serve as a mentor and coach in many organizations because branding oneself is also marketing.
I’m sharing this with the Grown & Flown readers because sometimes people get caught up in grades, other’s opinions and sometimes they choose paths out of fear. That kind of energy is sticky and won’t allow progress to be made.
Walt Disney’s newspaper editor told the aspiring cartoonist he wasn’t creative enough. A Baltimore TV producer told Oprah Winfrey she was “unfit for television news.” Thankfully, neither listened to naysayers and continued forward living their truth. There are tons of these stories and while all of us are not necessarily going to become a household name like Disney or Oprah, our success is no less important to the work we know we are meant to do.
1. Space and Time
The number one thing you can do for your student or young professional is to provide them with unlimited space and time to know who they are. There are many exercises they can engage in if they are feeling stumped such as the career assessment tests they take at school or through books like StrengthFinders and What Color is Your Parachute. Those answers do not need to be a perfect hit. They can be used to explore further. There are so many careers one might like and so many we don’t even know about yet.
2. Be Less Literal
Next in importance is helping your student or young professional be less literal about what they’d like to be. For example, a young child may have dreams of being a New York Yankee and maybe the talent makes it seem possible. But just in case it doesn’t happen that way, what other avenues can lead your child to the New York Yankees in a role they feel enriched by?
Are they talkative? Maybe they aim for the NY Yankee publicity department where they will be paid to talk enthusiastically about their favorite team. There’s a difference between saying “that will never happen” or “you should absolutely go for your dreams and see where it takes you.” Because who knows where a path might take someone. Maybe right to the dugout and maybe to the press team that gets to be right by their side cheering them on.
3. Encouraging Them
Encouraging people to aim for what they truly feel determined to do can only lead to good things. Jobs will come and go but knowing your true self and knowing that you can and will find your way is the ultimate in determination, resilience, problem solving and a success story in itself.
My name is Gennifer Birnbach. I got a D in marketing, and was told I was not MTV Networks’ material. Despite that, I became an award-winning marketer for MTV Networks and beyond.
Gennifer Birnbach is an award-winning writer living in Yorktown Heights, NY with her high schoolers and husband. She spent the past 25+ years working on brands including Nickelodeon and Bravo as well as smaller businesses in her own backyard. Her company Gennifer with a G, inc affords her the flexibility to see her kids more. But now their doors are locked so it’s a case of bad timing.
I’ve always loved reading and stories and colorful drawings especially when it is a book written for children. I earned a B.A. in Literature and, of course, there are many classics I studied through the years but it’s the children’s stories that I hold close to my heart and my pillows and blanket.
There are three short stories in this book, the first is called “Wish I May, Wish I Might.” In it, a rabbit wishes nightly on the evening star for a brand new lunchbox.
Many decades later and I still have to stop myself from wishing for a new lunchbox. And believe me, I am often wishing on the evening star (or an airplane, doesn’t matter, still good!).
#2 Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum and her parents think she has the perfect name. But when she goes to school the other kids make fun of her for her name. She comes home distraught but her parents help her through it.
“Chrysanthemum felt much better after her favorite dinner (macaroni and cheese with ketchup) and an
evening filled with hugs and kisses and Parcheesi.“
Here is a video version of the story narrated by Meryl Streep which I HIGHLY recommend enjoying. Please!
#3 Maisy Goes Camping by Lucy Cousins
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a sucker for the word “camp” and anything to do with going to a summer camp, camping and — unrelated to this book — camp-y things like Wes Anderson movies.
In this story, Maisy and her friends pitch a tent and then all try to get inside to go to sleep. I don’t want to spoil the ending but it’s impossible for them all to fit so they all sleep underneath the stars instead.
#4 Emily’s 100 Days of School by Rosemary Wells
Emily’s elementary school counts down to the 100th day of school. Each number is represented with a little blurb about what happened that day (as related to that day’s number).
Now, I’ve never been one for numbers (unless it’s birthdays or phones numbers) but I cannot get enough of each single and double digit entry. Here are some that I like (#92 is my favorite).
And mine is autographed to my daughter!!
#5 The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone
First of all, Grover is my spirit animal.
Secondly, as a child this book slightly scared the hell out of me. I mean, turning the page knowing something scary was at the end was really living on the edge of my comfort zone. But at the end we are reminded that Grover is considered a monster. And he’s adorable!
I think this book should be used in a college course or Omega Institute offering about reframing your thoughts so you see things differently.
The most special thing about my selection is that each book is either mine from childhood or motherhood.
I remember the feelings I had reading my stories and I will also cherish the moments where I watched my little ones imagining as I read to them.
A few years ago, I discovered that my life-long ability to deeply understand (and sometimes even feel) other people’s emotions had a name. It’s called being an Empath. Many of us describe it as a blessing (we can tap into it to help others who need support) and a curse (we often take on those feelings ourselves and it’s hard to shake off).
My earliest memories of being cursed with empathy was when I would watch Saturday Morning cartoons. In between each show there were a parade of commercials targeted to kids. Toys, games, fast food and cereal.
The cereal commercial that most-often triggers my anxiety around the feelings I’m feeling (on behalf of others) is Count Chocula and Frankenberry.
Frankenberry was a little more passive, talking about how sweet and delicious his cereal was. He seemed proud. Count Chocula had aggressive sales tactics and not only pushed his cereal as the more superior one, he often got in Frankberry’s face in a “come at me bro” kind of vibe.
Every single ad for this cereal stressed me out. I just wanted the kids eating cereal or ANYONE to tell them, “Guys, both cereals are great. People like both and we will take turns each morning choosing one or the other.”
Their office culture seemed toxic and they needed to work together not against each other. These were mostly the thoughts my 8 year-old self would have throughout the :30 seconds (and sometimes continuing after).
Then there was the Trix Rabbit who just wanted to enjoy the cereal that his face was on. The kids were not inclusive and teased him saying, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids” which is obnoxious. The cereal was obviously his idea and in addition to the kids not sharing, they insulted him and talked down to him. My brain chatter would be like, “What is their problem? Give the rabbit a bowl of his own creation and fuck the rules!”
SIDEBAR: Interesting fact, there was a change.org petition to tell General Mills that Trix were also for rabbits. I see there are others who cannot sleep until harmony is restored.
Now I don’t want to be all Debbie Downer so I’d like to point out an ad where I felt someone was treated fair and that was McDonald’s. In most ads, the Hamburglar tried to steal the McDonald’s hamburgers any chance he got. He did not succeed. It was taken back from him. But these ads were more soothing for my empathetic soul because it was more about the act of stealing vs. an exclusive VIP club where his kind didn’t have access to these goods. Plus Ronald spoke to the Hamburglar the same way he spoke to close friends like Grimace, Mayor McCheese and those cute Fry Guys. And I appreciated his warmth and understanding.
If you also identify as an EMPATH and if these advertising situations just triggered you as well, here is a 5-step guide I discovered on how to protect your energy. You are very welcome, Gennifer with a G.
I realized years ago that the crush I had on the lead singer of a band had less to do with his looks and more to do with the words coming out of his mouth. The passion, the intensity, the purpose, the meaning of each word he sang set me on fire every time. I would totally put up posters of my favorite words or sentences the way others pay tribute to a favorite team, movie or work of art.
When my kids were little, I told them that the only bad words were ones you used to purposely hurt someone. That meant that if they dropped their ice cream and said “shit” in parroting my own sailor mouth, I had zero problem with that. They were expressing an emotion. I did caveat it by saying, the rest of society was not on board with this so for their own safety, they had to limit any curse words to my car or our house. Using them in school or at a friend’s house could cause trouble. They understood that and it never was an issue. Not once.
Words evoke emotion and really have the power to make or break a relationship, a project or a person’s sense of worth. I’m mindful of the words I choose with others but realized I was misusing words in a stream of sentences that was stripping away my own confidence and power. And that pissed me off quite frankly.
It wasn’t until I received a ring for my birthday from three caring friends that I noticed the strength I got from wearing words, sayings, sentences that I knew to be true or that I believed in. I started shopping around and found a handful of apparel, accessories and cosmetics that all were telling a story that I wanted to be a part of. Here are my favorite finds.
COMME des FUCKDOWN was born in Brooklyn, USA, at the beginning of the new millennium. A mix of creativity and innovation characterize the brand, active and predominant in contemporary streetwear. His strength and know-how are clear signs of influence that COMME des FUCKDOWN will continue to have on the stage of global fashion.
MOTHER was founded in 2010 by Lela Becker and Tim Kaeding. With extensive denim backgrounds, they were determined to do it all differently.
SNASH JEWELRY is 100% USA MADE! Our items are hand-carved, crafted and produced by our small NYC-based team. Our materials are ethically sourced and recycled metals are used whenever possible.
EVERYONE SUCKS⚡️BUT US was born on the streets of NYC. Using design as our voice, we want to show a new attitude. ES⚡️BU represents a growing group of like-minded people that are sick of people sucking. United in defiance and bonded by the resistance to fall into the mundane.
BLUE Q are proud designers and manufacturers of life-improving, joy-bringing products since 1988
I leave you with this Huffington Post blog that is interesting as shit about curse words. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/where-the-hell-did-cussing-come-from_n_57d84dfbe4b09d7a68802cbb
Marketing is a form of storytelling. It is not a one-size-fits-all-formula.
Every brand has a story worth sharing complete with bullet points unique to that individual company, org or person.
The narrative should be engaging, it should form an emotional connection to the desired audience and ideally it should be entertaining.
Think about some of your favorite marketing campaigns of all time.
Why did you resonate with those ads?
If it’s an older ad, does it still evoke certain emotions?
Did it make you try the brand or at least talk about it?
Here are a few campaigns from the past several years that I really enjoyed (and why):
First of all that copy line makes me green with envy and entertained at the same time.
Next, I developed a newly-formed connection to women who were moms to boys (specifically teenaged boys but I’m sure this will continue along my consumer journey as he becomes an adult).
I am still the one who purchases products for him and this became top of mind forever and ever.
Link includes three variations, I love the last one the best!
I am a dancer. I will dance anywhere.
I love celebrating life with all different kinds of people.
Levi’s fit me well but I haven’t owned a pair in decades.
This marketing campaign shows how their different styles is a part of different cultural celebrations and it really struck a chord with me.
I want to be in all of those scenes and now I want Levi’s because the brand seems to be aligned with my heart and soul. It ends with the tagline, “Let’s Live How We Dance.”
Yes! Agreed! Let’s!
This anti-smoking org has put out many amazing campaigns. But the one that I really saw sink in with my kids was the one that spoke about the impact on pets. And it’s not done in a preachy way (a total turn off for kids and teens). I love how it also empowers the audience to be the generation to end tobacco use. Very cool!
My manicure process is simple.
I pick up a color I like. If I also like it’s name, It stays. If I do not like it’s name it goes back.
Same color, different names. “Lucky Penny” or “Rusted Nails.” Which would you choose?
Essie is one of my favorite companies that puts out a collection based on a theme (and an underlying story that sets up how you’ll feel wearing those colors).
Recently they launched a Tea Time collection for spring with colors like “Pinkies Out,” “Tiers of Joy,” “Reign Check” and “Teacup Half Full.”
Not pictured but another brand that never ceases to amaze me with how they spin their story is Pizza Hut (how many ways can you make pizza new again? they seem to have the secret recipe).
SIDE BAR: When I was a young girl watching Saturday morning cartoons, I was watching the commercial breaks. That is where I saw the sugary cereals, McDonald’s, toys and more. Those storylines were far more entertaining and — quite frankly — better written than some of the shows. There! I said it!
Believe it or not, having a new baby and running your own business have many commonalities when it comes to managing various workstyles and personalities to keep things moving smoothly. Everyone involved has their own set of super skills and their own opinions about the right way to do things.
In business, there are also investors who weigh in on how the business is run and you have a certain obligation to take in their suggestions. At home, the investors are the grandparents.
It’s tricky to manage incoming feedback (solicited and unsolicited) from the older, wiser advisors. On one hand, they raised you and you have to assume they did some things right. On the other hand, there may be some things you know you’ll do differently. Everyone must acknowledge times have changed since the days when you were little and could cartwheel across the back of a station wagon at 60 MPH without causing concern from highway patrol.
No matter what concerns you may begin to have about everyone’s involvement, I have some tried and true business tips that you can apply to managing your working relationship with “The Grandparents.”
This is a great way to onboard a new employee and, if you think about it, getting promoted to grandparent falls into that category. However you want to share this (conversation followed by an emailed recap, a handbook of rules with a signed agreement), this is something you can even refer back to if everything goes off the rails.
You can even set up an “orientation” and invite them to attend courses with you like Infant CPR or How to Install a Car Seat. Some hospitals even do a Grandparent Boot Camp that teaches them current laws and rules around subjects like sleep safety.
Most grandparents will appreciate a regular check in with status items like “her first check up went great” or “he is sleeping cozy in the new pajamas you bought him.” Photos and even videos are great support material for the grandparent status reports. “I ventured out of the house and neither of us cried, please see photo reference [insert image of you and your baby enjoying being out of the house].” Grandparents are more savvy than ever and can easily learn how to FaceTime or Skype which you can schedule in advance or do on-the-go. This is a great way for them to see for themselves how things are going.
When you feed the updates to them, you will be less likely to receive a call when you’re in the middle of a chaotic diaper change or finally getting a 3 minute nap. It puts the control in your hands and is a great tool in “managing up” to your (original) leaders.
A new baby creates new roles, responsibilities and promotions. You were your parents’ child and still are but now you’ve accepted the new role as a mother or father. Your parents are promoted to grandparents. During this time, it’s helpful to have thoughtful conversations and an ongoing grace period for growth, trial and error. You as a newly minted parent will have ideas of how you’d like to run things. The old regime will have their lists of what works and what doesn’t.
Be patient, be open, be flexible, be able to pivot.
Once you’ve established your dream team of people who love and care for your little one and have plans in place so everyone can be happy and thrive, it’s time to acknowledge everyone’s hard work with perks and bonuses. Everyone loves to hear they are doing a great job and grandparents are no exception. Recognition and appreciation goes a long way. A bonus can be doing something their way (if it differs from yours) when you are visiting them at their home. Maybe a handwritten note of appreciation or a “World’s Greatest Grandmother” gift is the way to go. Celebrating what’s right and acknowledging what they bring to the table really goes a long way and serves as positive reinforcement for all of the big and little things they do for your family.
Just remember, grandparents want to be recognized for doing a great job.
More importantly, grandparents are coming from a place of love. You just need you to make some executive decisions and then lead the charge in how you want things done.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “a mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Nobody appreciates this sentiment more than Margaret “Peggy” Kim, award-winning Executive Producer and Founder & CEO of iSTANDtv and the FUTURE NOW MEDIA FOUNDATION, a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit and leadership incubator in media and entertainment.
Peggy recently produced the second annual FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference, of which WICT NY was a proud returning sponsor, and it was an amazing example of what happens when you connect the next generation of leaders with mentors who can guide them.
Of the 177 students who applied to attend, 127 of those accepted came from across the country to New York City for the opportunity of a lifetime. During the two-day conference, students heard from some of the media industry’s top executives and professionals and had opportunities to network with and be mentored by them during the networking luncheon, mentoring sessions, and on media tours the second day where they got a close-up view of what it’s like to work in the industry.
In a recent conversation, Peggy shared, “Many of the executives were so impressed by the quality of the FUTURE NOW students, that they welcomed them to connect and meet with them one-on-one even after the conference. The feedback has been phenomenal.”
“Amazing amazing amazing event! In the next 5 years this event is going to be THE event to go to if you want to be in media. This conference has so much potential Thank you again!” – Deanna
FUTURE NOW was born out of Peggy’s love and passion for the industry, recognizing its needs and challenges, and her keen desire to see change. “FUTURE NOW is about building future leaders NOW, leaders of integrity and excellence, providing equal opportunity, and opening the space for more diverse perspectives and stories to be seen and heard. And, the way that we do that is by opening the doors, educating, equipping, connecting and empowering future leaders in the media and entertainment industry.”
“I had a life-changing experience this past week…I gained so much knowledge, learning from some of the best in the media industry…and I am inspired more than I have ever been. Thank you.” – Joshua
Peggy served on the board of WICT NY from 2008-2015 and continues to be an active member, and credits WICT NY for helping to prepare her for what she is doing today. “I have learned so much from my 10 years so far with WICT NY. I started out as a volunteer, joined the board, served on the Prime Access executive mentoring committee, and led and organized the Executive Women’s Luncheon for many years. And, I have made life-long friends. So much of what I have been able to accomplish with the FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference and establishing the FUTURE NOW Media Foundation has been due to my experience as a member of WICT NY. And, that WICT NY would stand with me and FUTURE NOW, not just in word, but with its time and treasure, I am touched and deeply grateful.”
In fact, several members of WICT NY participated in the conference as speakers, mentors, and two of them also serve on the board of the FUTURE NOW Media Foundation, including Meeka Jun Bondy, HBO’s SVP of Legal Affairs, and Anjali Walter, a consultant with Tone Networks. WICT NY’s Melanie Ashley and Kari Ickert also gave out ten (10) free one-year memberships to the students in a special drawing at the event.
“One of the things that makes FUTURE NOW unique is that every single speaker and mentor is not only extremely talented and successful, they all have a sincere heart and desire to give back. We all recognize the critical importance of helping the next generation succeed,” said Peggy.
“I loved the energy everyone brought to the discussions and panels. Every speaker was motivated to teach us something about the industry and they were very inspiring to people that are about to start their careers.” – Marta
Peggy continues, “Also, these executives and professionals are themselves coming from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and areas of the business. They are also at different levels and stages of their careers. By providing visibility and speaking opportunities not only to C-Suiters, but also to emerging and mid-level managers, FUTURE NOW is elevating their profiles, so that they can advance and reach their pinnacles of success. Let’s help people break through. It’s time!”
The dates for the 2019 FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference have been set for May 30-31 and will be held in New York City. The FUTURE NOW Media Foundation will be extending its programming throughout the year with quarterly and monthly meetups, educational talks and events. If you and/or your company would like to get involved, please contact Peggy Kim at mkim@iSTAND.tv.
MINDFULNESS MATTERS: BUILD YOUR BEST LIFE
As 1st quarter was nearing its end, I was reminded to reflect back on my optimism on New Year’s Day where I announced, “this is my year!” Armed with my checklist, I took some small and big steps to start achieving my goals.
I drafted a vision board, I started to follow more empowering accounts on social media, I joined organizations and set myself off to make my dreams come true. Finally.
My one reoccurring goal I had yet to achieve was “guilt-free selfcare.” I’ve had this goal for years since I became a working mom with a 3-hour roundtrip commute each day.
The most powerful things I’ve done so far in self-care was sign up for the WICT NY “Create Your Blueprint” Vision Boarding Workshop with Shushan Aleaqui. This was a full-day commitment on a Saturday, in the city AND we were without power in our house from the “Blizzard Cyclone” that left my town in a state of emergency.
Regardless of the chaos around me and the maternal need to make ensure my family had a warm place to go, I got myself to this workshop.
Once we got to class and finished introductions, we answered questions like, “What is one great big dream you have that would thrill you to the core if you achieved or manifested it?”
Everyone selected magazines, glitter glue, scissors and a poster board that would hold together what we wanted in our lives. We poured through magazines collecting images and words that spoke to us and sometimes to the others at our table.
Shushan asked us to be mindful of how we felt when we found images and words that would support what we were asking for. This reminded me of that book “The Magic of Tidying Up” and how touching an object and asking, “does this bring me joy?” helps clear the clutter.
I mysteriously came across exact images in random magazines that 100% matched what I wanted. This validated “the law of attraction” theory for me and I was purposeful in finding exactly what I wanted or needed without doubting I’d find it in the publications I ended up with. It was such a transformative and emotional experience for myself and those around me.
Some things that were on my list logically matched, but I didn’t feel as excited when I considered them. Other photos and language were exciting to find, but I felt nervous as if they were unobtainable or really not meant to be found. And then when I found things for those at my table, I felt my normal self of satisfaction in helping others. The women at my table were, in turn, finding me things. That made me feel heard which was validating.
After the freeing experience of just grabbing it all, we then had to go into an elimination round. The board size was not going to change so we needed to ask ourselves, “what would make it to the final round and what would end up in the trash?”
I found myself surprised at what I was throwing away. Things I thought I wanted, I actually did not. Through this simple, but impactful exercise, I have shifted direction. Wow. That’s really big!
My vision board was complete, and I must say that I was REALLY excited and feeling empowered. Shushan moved around the room to check-in with each individual to learn more about where they landed. When I took her through mine, I felt like this was really all a big dream and not possible. This wasn’t from anything she said or did, but I guess saying it all out loud scared me. What if I fail? What else do I have to dream about?
Shushan asked us to place our vision board somewhere we could see it every day. I had a late start given we had to move from house to hotel to house until our power was restored. When I finally did find time to set up a shrine for my vision board, I began to see possibilities.
SO FAR, SO GOOD
We learned that our belief systems become habits and our habits become us. It takes 40 days to break a pattern and it takes 21 days to establish a new one. So far, so good.
It’s been six weeks since this workshop and I’m rereading my goals to see what I’m hitting so far, what needs to be reimagined and what is just a hard pass. I will say things are accelerating beyond my wildest dreams around many of my must-haves. The biggest one will take time, but I’m steps closer each day.
I’m curious to learn how the others are pacing and I’d like to report back around the 6 month-mark to share back how these vision boards are or are not driving the boat.
Regardless of how fast or slow these things take, I encourage everyone (myself included) not to lose sight of what you want, but to also check in to see if it’s really what you want.
For more information about Shushan Aleaqui please visit https://shushanaleaqui.info/ and for more about what WICT has to offer under its MINDFULNESS MATTERS: BUILD YOUR BEST LIFE theme for 2018, please visit: https://www.wictny.org/events/