My, how you’ve grown! We may have been taught to build a life for ourselves but I don’t remember many messages about editing it as we grow. I recall being taught to get more and do more but not how to lighten the load for liberation. The things we have, the relationships we’ve developed, and the places we go are so because we made them that way. They are elements of our own design. Rather, our default’s design. So what do we do when the life we made and the life we know is too much in every way?
We embark on a process of discovery and then we widdle out the excess. When Intention is at the heart of the process we may be faced with the truth of what we truly need to be joyous and what we simply cannot let go of. There is a distinction between the things our default is attached to and the things we actually need for freedom. One could argue that when placed on lists and compared side-by-side, the list of things we need to be free is far shorter. This is because our freedom does not lie in the quest to do more and have more. Like The Afrominimalist says, “less is liberation.”
Freedom is in the editing. Freedom is in honoring the wisdom we’ve gained and revised our life accordingly. Freedom is in gratitude for the people and things we really love. Freedom is in decluttering the energy leaks. Freedom is in letting go. Freedom is in good stewardship. Freedom is in Intention. And we, the embodiments of sovereignty that we are, do not carry things that do not serve the elevation of our highest selves. We kiss them good night, baby!
Alexa, play “I Am Everything” by Beautiful Chorus.
Why do my insides want to hold so tightly to the last of these familiar habits, that so clearly stand in the way of my next level up, when the very thought of being stagnant out of fear makes me want to fight?
I ask myself, does commitment as an act of resistance against resistance forge the path to surrender? Like, if I do the things I said I was going to do and push through the resistance and really commit then I win my game… right? Well, energetically speaking, resistance is resistance. So, let’s try this again…
If The Inner Game Plan is the road, my life is the vehicle. My Intention level is the energy that drives it and my “who” is the driver. When I am committed, I surrender to the experience of the journey, trusting that I will arrive at the appointed destination safely… especially if that default making weird noises in the back takes a nap. That default is trying to overtalk the GPS, blurting out billboard ads for landmarks no one wants to stop for along the way. That default’s chatter is trying to resist the flow. Yo, default! Take a nap. I am committed to surrender.
I have lived long enough to fail. The harm from some of those missteps sometimes haunts and heckles my confident, highest self. Fear of failure is one of my defaults. For me, resistance looks like wrestling with that fear. Surrender looks like knowing that what I regarded as failures were brave attempts at growth before I knew this much. They were less “stop” and more “not yet” than I knew at the time. I owe so much to the things I learned from failed attempts at flawlessness.
Me now is daring and bold. Me now is confident and knows that missteps happen so I have grace for myself and others. Me now has performed so many different versions of liberation and tried on so many transformations that I know what really fits. I am the embodiment of survival, resilience, and evolution. Me now has practiced for this moment and is prepared.
I see you, resistance and struggle. Say another word and I’m going to have to put you out. I’ll place a mile marker where you stand so when I pass I’ll know it’s you. I choose to move forward without you. I am alive and you are not. Respectfully.
In last week’s episode, we talked about stepping out again. But some people don’t want us to be outside as People of Color living our best life and owning our greatness. So, when you come across the resistance of the world in pursuit of what you’re going after and dealing with those consequences, how do you be powerful in the face of no agreement?
There seems to be a universal state of no agreement around Black women and their power. So many people have an idea of what we’re not doing, what we should be doing, and how we should be acting. And none of these include just allowing us to stand in our power. Even in a game where we know the rules, for us, the goalposts keep moving, and we’re unpacking this reality and what you can choose to do about it in today’s episode.
Tune in this week as we discuss how to own your greatness and stand in your power in the face of the resistance that we face as Black women. We’re sharing how we’ve seen these dynamics play out firsthand, the intense thoughts and emotions that appear in these situations, and how we choose to deal with them so we can show up living our best life.
Every time one of us makes a decision to be a little more free and it shows in some way on the outside, the rest of us see it. Your freedom gives me permission to be free in that way because it looks so good on you. You are my example and I am yours. It dares me to be more free in a way that’s right for me because I may be the ember for a fire I might not ever see clearly enough to trace back to myself. I hope our collective flames burn so bright and so hot that we all feel it. I hope our collective elevation is fierce and permanently moves obstacles with the languid fluidity of lava.
I see you trying something new and winning at it. Your glow motivates me. Every time we level up I feel a “pop!” It is like the sound a soda bottle makes when you break the seal and let a tiny bit of the pressure out. It is like the perfect back crack that travels up your spine. If taking your shoes off at the end of a long, walking day and putting them directly into a warm water basin were a sound it would be that “pop.” It is the silent shifting of laws and regulations that protect vulnerable populations and provide opportunities that weren’t previously available. It is the sound of our breakthroughs happening in unison.
Our collective elevation is a series of very satisfying “pops.” Our collective elevation is a quilt of personalized squares. The more you live your best life, the more beautiful our quilt gets. Pass THIS freedom on. Our freedom is my favorite family heirloom.
I see you making time to sit with your suffering. Your healing motivates me. I’m so thankful we made it and I’m so glad you’re here for your rebirth. We are in metamorphosis and everyone knows. They see us because, even on the days when we are mess within a chrysalis, we are bound to be blindingly beautiful. And each time our butterfly-selves spread our wings to share our colors everyone else sees. There is power in visibility. Our beauty is contagious. Our light is catchy. Our spark is a wildfire.
Hustle is optional when the flow is natural. If entrepreneurship is in you, it is IN you and the desire to take that flicker and turn it into a flaming hot movement keeps you up at night. Maybe it is in “a striving for your goal” kind of way. Perhaps it is in a “I wish I had the time” kind of way. Maybe it is in a “I have given my all for this so it had better work” kind of way. Maybe it is in a “well, if it happens, it happens” kind of way. Whichever experience rings most truly, if entrepreneurship is in you, it calls to you. The voice of our inner thoughts is absolutely the voice of our Intention. So, the calling calls in the voice we give to it. Telling the truth about where we are as an Intention, who we really need to be to manifest our passion and what it takes to align grand visions with the truth of our heart’s joy is a daily undertaking.
If the calling has yet to come to pass it is a side-eye from within that looks at the things we do to avoid our calling with the loving confrontation of a thousand aunties. If that thang is thangin, there is a different way we walk. Embodying our calling shifts the way we engage with everything! In and outside of the lived experience of business ownership, an entrepreneur’s relationship with the goal can be such a major player in emotional and spiritual wellness. It may define our perception of fulfillment and wellness.
Embodying our calling is accessible before, after, and during the development of the full picture and we love that for us. It means that we simply ARE entrepreneurs. If it is in you, it was in you in middle school and it will still be in you in your retirement. Being yourself is easy work! Entrepreneurship is the flavor we infuse into the economy… always have. Entrepreneurship, creative survival, and the eye for taking what “is” and turning it into an experience is the stuff we are made of.
There is no old and no new. There is only us at different points in our existence in the time continuum and the things we accumulate that represent us in those moments. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh compares our personal journey through the past, present, and future to the life of a flower. The flower only blooms for a period of time in its life. Sometimes it is a seed. Sometimes it is a budding stem. Sometimes it blooms. Sometimes it wilts. Sometimes it is decomposing organic matter, enriching the soil for next season’s blossoms. At every point in this flower’s life cycle it is itself. It is the blooming flower as it returns to compost and it is compost as it brightly flourishes. No matter the point our “seeing” collides with the flower’s “being”, it is still the flower. Even when it is beyond recognition, it is still the flower.
There is no old flower or new flower. There is no old you or new you. There are no old things to get rid of or new things to acquire that impact who we are in this moment more than the moment itself. At best, we can breathe in and connect with the person we are, the soil we are planted in, the sun that shines on our face, the nutrients that help us grow, and the experiences that water us.
Feel the season you are in. Feel the point in time you are in. Who we were or who we are becoming do not define us more than the totality of our journey. We are on our own life continuum of evolution and who we are being right now is all we can be fully accountable for. It is the energetic power we have the authority to infuse into time itself.
Close your eyes and take a spirit walk through your day. Walk through your workday, your home, your check-ins with loved ones. Do the people, places, and things reflect the space you truly hold at this point in your personal journey?
Breathe in connection. Breathe out and clear out anything that belongs to your past or your imagined future that does not align with your right now.
That which does not tend to your present self with the tenderness and care of a growing life can be released. That which comes to strengthen you is survivable. That which comes to celebrate you can be embraced. Those who come to nurture you can be received openly. This is just the point in our lives that it is. We are here and we get to decide what and who gets to be here with us.
So, breathe in clarity and breathe out clutter. Breathe in purpose and breathe out chatter. Breathe in the higher levels of Intention, Sovereignty and Surrender. Breathe out Suffering and Sacrifice. Breathe in the presence of abundance and breathe out to clear out anything you don’t want to trip over on your way to your season of extended blossoming.
What a joy it is not only to be free but to know it for yourself. There are no limits to the things we can do when we know ourselves, where we come from, the reason we do the things we do and then become with Intention. We are the legacy of survival and celebration. We are the legacy of grand wishes and people who believed in futures they would never see in person. We are the legacy of knowing that we are so connected that our individual steps forward are as much ours as they are our grandchildren’s. We embody freedom because we know that it is ours. We know.
The recent Juneteenth holiday reminds us that there was a time between the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the full knowledge of freedom for everyone previously enslaved. Time passed and the truth was withheld. There was a gap between who we were and who we believed ourselves to be. In that gap, someone else’s Intention for our lives. In that gap, the belief that life will be better and the efforts to make it so. Time passed before we knew that the American institution of slavery was written out of the law by way of the Thirteenth Amendment.
This is our Juneteenth prayer: Let the full knowledge of our freedom come in like an army to Galveston Bay, Texas. Open all the doors and let us enter into the chapter of our lives where we call ourselves something new. There is an “I am” that lives in our story about who we are that no longer aligns with the “I am” of our future and we vow to get to know it. In fact, we already know. The “I am” we believed in exists now. Any gaps in our experience of that truth are evidence of an old reality trying to remain relevant. We know now. We embody freedom because we know that it is ours.
The familiar Cherokee tale of the two wolves tells of a conversation between a wise grandfather and his grandson. The grandson asks which wolf gets strongest and the grandfather replies, the one you feed. That’s usually where people stop telling the story. What happens to the one you don’t feed? The old Cherokee simply replied, “If you feed them right, they both win.” and the story goes on: “You see, if I only choose to feed the Light wolf, the Dark wolf will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves.
If there are two wolves within me, do I push the parts of me I want to shrink into the shadows and hide them and shame them? Bring in conversation about defaults and the way they sneak into our thoughts. Discuss shadow work. Invite our default into the light by way of naming and a thank you letter. Invite people not to shame the default but to lay it to rest.
AM: Bringing up the past is like going back to my old house to rob me. I’m not even there anymore. Have at it. How to really move (on, on up, b****, over, etc.) to ensure you don’t keep the “stuff” you don’t need in your new space and make room to redecorate. A lesson on the layers between inner transformation and the outer manifestations of Intention.
Restrictions are being lifted and in the words of Diana Ross, we’re coming out! Well, some of us are and some of us have decided that the risks of going out are still too high. Regardless of where you fall on the topic, you are still coming out of one season and entering into another.
This summer, what do you want to go out for? Are you desperate to leave the inside, metaphorically or literally? We invite you to explore your intentions and bring awareness to the risks in this week’s episode.
Join us today as we discuss the experience of re-entering the world and why we choose to take some risks while avoiding others. Life is inherently risky, with or without a global pandemic. When we bring awareness to these risks and make a choice out of consciousness, our game becomes that much more intentional and purpose-driven.
Change is both inevitable and unavoidable. If that sounds esoteric AF it’s because, like most broad concepts (time, truth, beauty, love, disgust, happiness, etc) it is abstract. Change can be fluid like water, pregnancy, or breathing (sends a quick blessing over all of our good health), or abrupt like fire, birth, and death (repeats said blessing over all of our good health). While the fear of change resembling the latter may be palpable, chances are, those that serve our continued existence look more like breathing than a catastrophe. (We’re still here, aren’t we?)
The change indicates our continued participation in life itself and thus, a journey into some small element of the unknown. This part about change can be terrifying. When who we are in the present moment clings to the things we believe about the past or the future, we sometimes feel safe in the certainty of “knowing.” Our stories about our childhood feel 100% true. Worries about the future can feel so real that we begin to fear change, resist it even. Our default behaviors and efforts to survive can become primary hindrances to the process of transforming our spirit craves.
Even when we see potential beauty on the other side of embracing inevitable change, we sometimes avoid it entirely. Our bodies clench up and we grasp for ways to remain in control that mirror the familiar. As such, we put a pause on the very thing that makes us most alive: growth.
But, that’s not why you’re here. If you’re reading this, you want to change. You embrace metamorphosis.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave addresses this familiar human phenomenon. Let’s review…
Plato imagines a group of prisoners chained inside of a dark cave with their backs toward the sunlight and their faces toward the wall since birth. They are unable to turn their heads or move their bodies but the world around them carries on outdoors moving, living, and making sounds. To them, reality IS the shadows the light behind them casts against the wall. They name the shadows as concrete objects because that is what they see. As a community of prisoners, they agree that a tree only exists as the shadow of a tree. Their subjective perception is their complete understanding of reality.
One prisoner becomes free. He ventures outside and immediately experience change as actual physical pain. The sun hurts his eyes, images are blurry and distorted, rotating his head causes nothing but discomfort. The process of evolution and increased understanding dismantles everything he knows to be true and his instincts are to reject it. But, he is surrounded by people who know life differently than he does and seeks understanding. The process of change becomes more efficient when he enlists a new community and immerses himself in their alternating perspective. When he believes the shadows are the true objects, they explain to him that they are merely reflections of the real thing, cast by the sun. Our hero, now free, begins to surrender to a new understanding and expand his perceptions. He grows to know the sun and the diversity of truth. He sees shadows outside of the cave for what they really are and fully regards the beauty of it all.
Our newly enlightened hero decides to return to the cave and tell the rest of his mates what lies on the outside, on the other side of change. When he goes back into the darkness, his eyes can’t adjust. To his counterparts, he no longer understands the world and has detached from their reality, like a madman. To them, the prospect of change sparks fear, and their need to protect the validity of their understanding sparks anger. They defend their suffering existence, the devil they know, with violence.
Those of us who dare to step out of the cave know that there may be a period of discomfort as we adjust, but it is always worth it. Please note that while discomfort can be a challenge, it does not have to be hard or messy. “Hard” exists in the resistance. When we resist change, it becomes hard. Surrendering to transformation can be effortless. Let go of the belief that we are superior beings when we are forged in the fire of adversity. Release any attachments your ego has to the old “you are an overcomer” identity. All you have to do is turn around and walk in a new direction. Consider the possibility that it may be easy and your reward will be equally sweet.
We are all just doing our best to understand the bigger picture: The meaning of life, the definition of truth, the value of love, the quest for satiation and joy, the measures of success, the qualifiers for health and wellness. So many of these things are dependent upon our surroundings, the company we keep, and our internalized experience of reality. Things in the physical world that we regard as reality might simply be flawed reflections. So, don’t be afraid to shift the conditions of your perception of them. Take a walk outside of your cave and look around. Surrender to the experience of newness in the present moment and trust that everything you see and feel serves your expansion.
Thank you for the steps you are taking to serve your evolution. Thank you for elevating your Intention. Thank you for venturing into the sunshine to see the shadows outside of the cave.