ENOUGH of the hesitation and fear and sadness and questioning....it's OUR TIME WOMEN! It's our time to rise up and know who we are and stand in who we are. We need to support each other and raise other young women up.
There is a wonderful collective movement happening again because that's what great women do.....WE MOVE! Women are beginning to RISE up and here's what I know- one woman can do amazing things, but TOGETHER, we are an UNSTOPPABLE army.
So, here are some things we can do individually and collectively to SEIZE OUR FINEST MOMENT:
1. LIFT ANOTHER WOMAN UP.
I say this all the time and I really do mean it. Take time to lift someone up and I'm not talking about simply being positive with one another, but find at least ONE woman (or more, but at least one), whether it is a friend who is struggling or maybe a young woman you are mentoring and BE COMMITTED TO her success. LIFT HER UP. Help her. We've all been down and out and know what that feels like. Find one person and be committed to her success.
2. DON'T HATE.....CONGRATULATE!!!!
I used to go to a church and the pastor would say this ALL THE TIME!!! LOL!!! But, isn't it true? Don't hate. Congratulate. It doesn't help you to hate on other people! Just because someone is doing well is no reason to be hateful. Your life is your life and God has a great plan for you. Let's not let jealousy and pettiness steal us from discovering ourselves and celebrating what's great about us. And a little secret....the more you love yourself and accept yourself, the more open you can be to finding joy in the success of others.
3. BE A PHENOMENAL LEADER.
I have seen this all the time and continue to see something that breaks my heart....when female supervisors fail to be a great example or great leader to their female counterparts because of the whole inferiority complex or many times....simply put....jealousy. We need to be responsible leaders and be PHENOMENAL. If you are seasoned in your career, why not lift up all the women around you? Where is the fear and why not see the women around you through to ultimate success? I've experienced it firsthand where maybe a particular leader or maybe someone with some type of influence in my life could not find it within themselves to be complimentary and at times, may have even tried to hinder my success. If this is happening to you, don't be discouraged either! Find your own way of moving your life forward. But if you are a woman in leadership- BE A PHENOMENAL LEADER. Be approachable. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be assertive IN THE RIGHT WAY. We hear all this all the time about being assertive and I'm not saying that is not important, but WITHOUT LOVE and the right heart towards a person, your assertiveness isn't accomplishing anything. Seek the highest good for the women around you.
4. HAVE A VISION FOR YOUR LIFE.
Have you set aside time yet to work on your vision for your life? I know as women, it's hard to set aside time for ourselves. I believe we all need to set aside times to rest, but also set aside time to plan. You'll find that your years will pass you by quickly- more quickly than you think and you'll think, 'Where did all the time go?' LOL! You have one life to live and you owe it to yourself to seize your FINEST moments. You know what I do sometimes? Sometimes I go to my favorite book store and get a cup of coffee and sit along the window with my favorite fashion magazine and my journal and just ME! I take time out to relax my mind and then I IMAGINE. I IMAGINE my next step. I VISUALIZE. I visualize my future and what I want it to be. I JOURNAL. I write about the things that I want to accomplish and the things I want to do better. I even journal about my frustrations. Most of all, I determine the next steps for my life. Try it! However you do it, take time out for yourself and chart out your next steps.
5. DON'T BE AFRAID TO MAKE A CHANGE.
Life presents us with so many opportunities and it really is quite difficult at times to know which door to walk through! Listen, go ahead and make a change if you want to make a change. If you want to change your field of work, do it. Dreams do come true. You owe it to yourself to be happy and fulfilled. If you're not fulfilled in your career, NOW is your chance to admit that and GO FOR SOMETHING GREATER.
6. GET HELP.
There's nothing more BRAVE than saying to someone, "I NEED HELP." It will help you GREATLY if you find a few trusted friends and explain to them your deepest challenges. Please do that! Please don't DO LIFE ALONE. Honey, you're going to NEED somebody. You need someone to LIFT YOU UP. Be sure to reach out for help in any given area whether through a personal friend or professional help if need be. STRONG women ask for help!!!
7. BE THE BRIDGE. INCLUDE OTHERS.
You know, we see this a lot of times in the media or at events or at gatherings...the lack of inclusion of others. Let's make sure we're including each other and bringing diverse voices to the table whenever we can. Success is reflective. Young black women say to me all the time, "I've never met a black fashion designer. It's so inspiring!" You know, it reminds me how important it is, that in my brand, I INCLUDE ALL cultures and ALL women in my marketing- white, black, indian, asian, and more! Let's be sure that when we do events or host meetings or go about various initiatives that we INCLUDE others- it is SO BEAUTIFUL when we come together across all of our differences and push each other forward. Many times, we do not build those bridges simply because of fear or because of the unknown. I have always been a person who loves cultures and my friends are every color and culture you can imagine and I LOVE IT! Let's work to include others in everything we do.
8. SHINE WHERE YOU ARE.
We've all looked at other women at times and WISHED we were someone else. Everyone else's life looks so perfect, right? Well, honey, you gotta ROCK WHAT YOU GOT!!!! Be happy about who you are an enjoy your success. We need you to be your authentic self. You have a purpose and there's a reason why you're so AWESOME! :) When you are working in your job or in your business, know that you are needed. You fill a gap. You are a link. Be the link. Speak up in meetings. Give your opinion. Come up with new ideas. Do something amazing. Don't shy away from knowing that you are an asset wherever you go!
9. STRETCH YOURSELF.
Being uncomfortable is often a beautiful gift! Stretch yourself! Know that you can do even more than what you can imagine. You are more capable than you think. DO NOT underestimate yourself. You are amazing. You can go far. You can do. You can achieve your highest goals and MORE. Do not allow yourself to be limited and DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF.
10. BIG DREAMS, SMALL STEPS.
Your greatest moment is NOW. Seize it. Remember that we all take one step after the other to make big dreams come true! We are destined for greatness and we need to celebrate our progress every step of the way. Take a step towards your dream....BUT KEEP DREAMING BIG! Give yourself AND the people around you a chance. What's your dream and what small significant step will you take and keep taking to make your dreams happen!
WOMEN, IT'S OUR TIME!!! It's our time to SHINE IN OUR GREATNESS, face our obstacles and OVERCOME ANYTHING that comes.
Remember that we are amazing all on our own, and together, WE ARE UNSTOPPABLE!!!!
Love you and I believe in you!
Worry is a weight.
Worry is incessant fear.
Worry is a habit.
Excessive worry can weigh on your soul like a million pounds. Excessive worry can affect you in so many ways- your health, your well-being, but most of all, it can totally strip you from ever having peace.
Do you constantly feel weighed down with no peace? What do you constantly worry about?
Take a deep breath in and out....a couple of times. Do it again- deep breath in and out.
SLOW DOWN. Allow your soul to find a little peace.
There's life and energy inside of you and you can use it to get you into a more peaceful state.
The truth is that we all worry, but I believe we can catch ourselves and start TRAINING our minds to worry less. See, I think we're taught to worry. We're actually taught to fear.
How in THE WORLD can we live worry free?
Maybe it's somewhat of an ideal I guess because fear will pop up in our minds, but I believe that just like anything else, worry is a habit and habits are like muscles....they get stronger with PRACTICE :)
Here are just a few things that I do when I capture myself in those moments where my worry is EXCESSIVE or I just feel it's OVERTAKING ME.
1) TAKE INVENTORY OF YOUR THOUGHTS.
There's just too much going on in our brains sometimes. It's easy to just feel worried and overwhelmed for no reason. Stop for a moment and ask yourself what's causing your worry. Write down what's going on inside of you and perhaps you can write out some solutions to the things you're worrying about. Don't let fear eat away at your soul.
2) TAKE ACTION WHERE POSSIBLE.
Here's a great example. Most of us have experienced this. Maybe you have an ache or pain and it's really bothering you. Well then, WORRY and FEAR pop up, right? Then we've all done this at one time or another.....GOOGLE YOUR SYMPTOMS......OOOOOHHH MY GOSH....NO NO NO. While knowledge is wonderful, my gosh- we can OVER INDULGE in the world wide web of information. Rather than worrying, go to the doctor and get a diagnosis. Don't allow worry to overtake you. Perhaps it's a work matter or a business matter you're concerned about. How about taking some action?
3) CONTROL YOUR INFORMATION INTAKE.
Dear Lord, if you watch the news everyday, you'll be scared to come out of your house. How about do your best to be informed but also feed yourself some faith filled news too! How about reading stories, blogs, listening to news that is edifying and hopeful, not fear filled. There are plenty of good reads out there in the news and online. Maybe you have a thought leader or someone that you really enjoy listening to or following- how about filling up on that? We all gravitate towards what we give the MOST attention to. Minimize some of the negativity. It can eat away at you silently.
4) FOCUS ON CONTENTMENT.
I think, now more than ever, learning CONTENTMENT is so difficult....but it is the key. We are FLOOOOOODED everyday with instagram stories, media, news from 100 different sources...we're constantly watching the lives of others. We watch everyone else's life and often, we want what everyone else has. It just looks like everyone else is having more fun. You've got to focus on contentment. Thankfulness. Being present in your own life. Finally saying to yourself, "I might have a long way to go, but let me just enjoy this moment." Focus on being content with who you are. You are doing your best. You are reaching your goals. Don't be caught up in the glamour of everyone else's lives. Build your own dreams- enjoy your own life.
5) LET GO!
Oh the JOY of letting go! I constantly, constantly, constantly am reminding myself to just let stuff go. You cannot control everything. You cannot control certain situations. Know that. Let go. Let go of the concern over certain situations. Allow life to flow and see where things land. Sometimes we worry so much about life and about our problems that we try to force the results. You cannot force the results. Let GO and see what happens.
How about we practice something else other than worry? How about we practice FAITH, BELIEVING, EXERCISING THE POSITIVE, DWELLING ON THE GOOD, SEEKING THE GOOD, CREATING GOODNESS, IGNITING HOPE, FAITH AND EVERYTHING GOOD.
The greatest thing about frustration is that it actually makes you feel something.
You know some of us go throughout life without feeling anything and a life without feelings isn't life at all.
If you're frustrated, congratulations...at least you're FEELING something. Frustration pushes us in a certain direction.
Frustration leads to change. Frustration leads to action...if you allow it. The feeling of frustration is wanting something a certain way or maybe you're in a situation too long and your frustration is letting you know. Perhaps you need to make a personal change and being frustrated enough will force you to change.
Don't just settle for your frustration, figure out where your 'POINT OF CHANGE' is. What are you frustrated about and what needs to change? I believe the frustration is a expression of your inner desire to be at a new state of life- perhaps it's a signal to you that you need to move the needle forward somehow or someway.
This is not a 10 point article- just 2 points...how about that?
I'm learning to do one of 2 things when I'm frustrated, #1) Call somebody to help me find clarity or #2) Be alone, dig deep to get clarity.
#1) CALL SOMEONE. GET CLARITY.
The beauty about life is that we are connected. People are the greatest resource you have in your life. Even if you feel like you're alone, you're never really alone. You may have to stand up in certain situations on your own two feet, but I believe there is always a lifeline!!!! A friend of mine once told me that, "When you're ready...really ready to move your life forward, there are at least 5 people in your circle to help you move ahead!"
I really believe that.
I think there are times where you just have to vent out your frustrations to someone. Sometimes, a healthy chat is all you need. Sometimes, I believe frustration is just unexpressed emotion and it's time to GET THAT S*&^T OUT! Don't explode! If you don't express your emotions, you're going to EXPLODE or IMPLODE. I'm not sure which one is better or worse! Listen, you can get help on two levels- call a close friend and TALK to your friends about what's really bugging you OR if you feel like you're beyond that, you might want to additionally get some professional help.
Life can get a little tough for all of us- never be ashamed to reach out for help. The key is, when you're talking to someone, listen to their advice, but most of all...their perspective. Most times, we are looking at our lives from only one direction. It's like sometimes we need someone to give us an 'ariel view' of our lives. We need someone to help us see that big picture.
For me, that person is usually a mentor or a spiritual guide. I've always had someone like that in my life that I can call and get some clarity. They don't give me the answers because that really comes from within, they just help TURN THE LIGHT ON. That's what we're all looking for. LIGHT. Clarity. A door. An open heaven of sorts to help us see our way though life.
#2) SPENDING TIME ALONE- DIGGING DEEP FOR CLARITY.
I believe that all of us are like WELLS. We have deep STUFF swooshing around inside of us and we just need to TAP INTO THE WELL. For most of us, our lives are like a RUN ON SENTENCE!!! Stop it already! LOL! We just need to come to a full stop....breathe...collect ourselves....then continue.
My mentor has really been encouraging me to get some rest...not just physical rest, but allowing my mind to rest so that I can be more effective in everything else that I do. I find that when I am fatigued, I waste a lot of time.
When you feel frustrated, a lot of times, your mind is just TIRED. It's hard and almost impossible to be at your creative best when you are fatigued and frustration certainly cuts off that creative energy. You have to find your place of calm...even in the middle of the storm.
Steal away time. Go and journal. Go for a walk...OFTEN. Take time off. Stop your mind from running. Even computers have to reboot and SO DO YOU.
Feeling frustrated is often a sign that inside of you, YOU JUST NEED TO SHUT DOWN. Shut down and hit the RESTART button.
But most of all, when you're 'shutting down'....LISTEN TO YOUR SOUL. All of us are looking for answers and something to ground us and for the most part, the ANSWERS are within us. Just like the body for the most part is a SELF-HEALING machine, we are also SELF-HEALERS within. We can soothe ourselves. Most of the time, we already have the answers to our own questions. We just need to QUIET the noise and LISTEN to our soul. I encourage people to journal and in your times of rest, write down the thoughts that come to mind and learn to listen to your soul.
YOU'RE RESTING TO GET CLARITY.
YOU'RE RESTING TO QUIET THE NOISE AND GET SOME ANSWERS.
YOU'RE SLOWING DOWN SO THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE...probably quicker than you think.
Maybe you can look at your frustration differently. I know it sounds weird, but maybe you should embrace it...it's telling you something.
What is life saying to you?
Take some time out. Get it all out. And you'll see it. You'll get the message.
I believe in you :)
Here's a short clip of the introduction of my new book, Unashamed, that comes out in June 2017. I'll be posting short clips over the next few weeks and it's my hope that some of my thoughts might inspire you.
I have always been a writer. I have journals going back to high school that I still have! I have always enjoyed expressing myself through writing. Well, now in 2017, they year that I actually turn 40...OMG...I've decided to let the cat out of the bag! I really can't run away from who I am. I am a creative spirit. I am an artist. I'm a designer. I'm a writer. I'm an entertainer and most of all......I INSPIRE PEOPLE. And that's what I do. And the truth is, I'm unfolding like a flower who God made and as I discover more of who I am, I am determined to live it out...because that's what I was born to do. My hope is that everyone, especially women, can come to a point in their life like I did, where you truly embrace yourself. Embrace your truth. I'd also like to put a disclaimer here: many times when we talk about embracing self and embracing truth, we can easily take on this 'superwoman' approach to life. I'm not superwoman. Although I believe I can accomplish great things, my ongoing success is a product of not only my determination and who God made me to be, but also a product of many great people around me who believe in me and I think it's so incredibly important to understand that 'knowing self' is key and also, keeping the right company, a company of champions can be a great key to your success! Know that and understand that...but this book....this book is about YOU. I want YOU to know YOU. I want you to never ever be ashamed of who you are. Well, enjoy the excerpt and if you want to support this project, you can pre-order the book and hear a clip of the song that will come out in June!
EXCERPT: Unashamed by AMMA JO
I have one goal with this book- freedom for every woman...everywhere.
What would you do if you had no fear?
What would you do if you had no shame?
And I mean NO SHAME. Absolutely none.
Who can you become when you are free?
What would you do if you could conquer those voices of the past who tell you negative things or set limitations for you.
What if WHAT OTHERS THINK wasn’t the main thing.
Who do you now become?
As women, we begin our lives as hopeful, limitless, dreamers. We think beyond our limitations...in fact we know no limitations. We talk about what we will do and who we will be. We envision for ourselves a very beautiful life.
Then as we live and as we grow...we make mistakes. We face disappointments. We fall short of our goals.
As a child, we are extremely resilient.
Yet, as we grow, we begin to absorb these incidents we call ‘failures’ and we become ashamed.
We become ashamed of our weight.
Ashamed we aren’t good enough mothers.
Ashamed we didn’t get the job we wanted.
Ashamed we didn’t accomplish the goal we wanted.
Ashamed of not having enough money.
Ashamed of a divorce.
Ashamed of having a child at the ‘wrong’ time.
Life becomes burdensome and we constantly have that little ‘nagging’ feeling inside of discomfort with our own being.
Where is the freedom?
Let’s define it.
Avoid the Biggest Killer- Self Sabotage.
Sometimes it’s just a comfort to know we all go through the same wind of emotions.
At times we feel like life is spinning out of control. We feel like we can’t catch up with ourselves. It’s like stepping outside of your own body and watching yourself try to catch up to yourself! LOL! The truth is that when you make certain changes in your life, there will be times that life seems like it’s a little out of control.
You start a business or a new job and it really seems like...well...chaos.
That’s what it seems like.
It seems like, ‘Darn, I can’t get everything done.’
It seems like, ‘Man, if I just had more money, I would just be better’.
You know, but maybe sometimes life is telling us to OWN where we are instead of being ashamed of where we’re NOT.
Have you ever thought of owning the moment?
Yes, own the moment. Own it all. Your good parts, bad parts, so so parts. It’s all a part of your story. It’s all a part of becoming. And maybe the chaos...just maybe that chaos is leading you into a certain direction...into a BIGGER version of yourself.
A version of you that requires more faith...more determination...less trying to figure everything out. The truth is that, we will never attain this place of perfection and that is totally ok. Allow yourself to just be yourself.
At these chaotic points in your life, here’s the most important thing: DON’T LOSE YOURSELF.
You may feel lost, but you don’t have to BE lost.
Life sometimes comes tumbling in and the first temptation, especially for us as women, is to LOSE ourselves. We lose touch of our dreams, burying our time and energy into other people and other people’s projects. We let our health slip at the expense of others. Because of guilt, we try to do TOO MUCH for others and we neglect our own health.
A lot of times, we just feel SHAME when it comes to taking care of ourselves. We feel guilty when we take the time for US….especially during times of chaos. During times of chaos, we feel so guilty that life is not perfect, we overwork ourselves trying to do everything, be everywhere, clean everything, organize everything….but inside, we’re slipping away.
Don’t LOSE yourself.
Don’t LOSE your faith.
Life can seem like it’s tumbling down on you and you don’t want to wake up in the morning or be around people or you just feel anxiety overwhelming your soul.
Don’t LOSE yourself.
Do whatever you need to do. Talk to your friend. Go work out. Go take a walk. Decide to clear your schedule. Maybe there are a few volunteer projects you can let go.
Do WHATEVER you need to do to create SPACE for you.
Create that space for yourself because that’s what life is demanding of you. Your life is wanting you to come up to a higher level of yourself….not necessarily a better version of you….but a BIGGER version of you.
This is your time to DIG REALLY deep, not a time to be everywhere overworking yourself.
This is a time to stop being ASHAMED of the bigger version of you and PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE.
THIS is the time to write that song….to be that person you want to be.
THIS is the time to start that blog.
THIS is the time to take that acting class you’ve been wanting to take.
THIS is the time to DO IT.
That BIGGER version of you is calling out. RESPOND.