A resolution is about resolve. It’s about deciding. You don’t need to wait to January 1 to make a decision. You can resolve anything within yourself at any time. That’s the beauty of knowing your own mind.
But do you know your mind? Do you know what you want? Have you discerned what you need? For now and for the new year? What has the last year shown you were your strengths versus the areas that needed further . . resolution?
Goals Versus Tactics
Last year, instead of choosing one particular tactic as a resolution (lose weight, eat better, call my mom once a week) I realized I wanted to have better relationships in 2017. I resolved to do better in one area if my life and then allowed that to be my guiding star in the tactics I engaged in throughout the year. Sometimes that looked like calling family, or spending time with friends, or being more present for clients in workshops and sessions. A lot of times it meant really listened to my husband and empathizing with my kids. I was resolved to have better relationships. To be a better, mom, friend, coach, wife, sister, colleague.
the world is easier and much more fruitful when we go together
This year I have learned a lot. I met some incredible people – other entrepreneurs, content creators, coaches, new friends. I engaged with old friends. I grew closer to my in laws. My year of relationship was tremendous, and there really was no way I could have failed myself. I had so many options for how good relationships could manifest in my life I 2017. The key was focusing on one thing I wanted to be and then allowing that to guide all the things I did. So for 2018 I’m going for another win win resolution.
If this last year was about relationships and me showing up as better 1:1. Next year I have to stretch and go bigger. Those who know me know that I’m an introvert. I’m shy, and prefer to be alone and keep to myself. But more and more I see that the world is easier and much more fruitful when we go together. That was part of the impetus behind last year’s resolution. It’s why I think the logical progression is to resolve to being more engaged in community.
No Woman Is An Island
The news cycle reminds us that communities of people are at war in the world today. Politically, along race, and gender lines, along class lines many of us (especially in more marginalized groups) have found ourselves under attack in various ways. The only comfort we have in these times is the shared understanding and experiences that come from belonging. And that’s community.
I taught a workshop a couple months ago for a group of creative female entrepreneurs. Mostly freelancers and design professionals. And it was held in a great co-working space in Williamsburg. I was excited to attend because I like events that support women business owners (one of the many communities I ascribe to). But when I arrived, and as the evening went it became apparent that women of color were very poorly represented at the gathering. The majority of women who showed up were white, and I felt this overwhelming sense of sadness and disappointment. Where were all the women who resembled me?
Being a Black Woman in America is hard. I don’t think I have to convince anyone of that. Forums like Kinfolk Kollective on Facebook or following influencers like Ijeoma Oluo or Luvvie Ajayi show us that when times get hard there are places that people of color, women of color go to vent, seek understanding and quite frankly let go of the mask we sometimes wear to tolerate a world that seemingly would like to ignore us. But where are the resources that help us build?
Crabs In A Barrel
Everyone knows the adage of the crabs in a barrel. The metaphor of no one person able to get ahead because of the jealousy of others, and their spite constantly pulling us back. It’s the folks wanting to support black business but simultaneously asking for a discount. And yet, for a group of people that were raised to work twice as hard, while we may still not have equity, we do have something worth sharing. But too often we aren’t sharing it with each other, or using it to advance each other.
I think that’s why when Luxe LeBlanc said she was throwing a vision board party in 2018 I knew I wanted to partner. And not just for one event but for several gatherings throughout the year where marginalized women could come together and share, learn and grow from and with one another in ways that I haven’t seen enough in the mainstream. That’s what community is supposed to do right?
Getting My Kwanzaa On
In this season of Kwanzaa we are reminded that we can define who we are (Kujichagulia) and speak for ourselves in all platforms. There are no excuses for still being on the sidelines. When the Black one percent talk about the fallacy of pulling oneself up by their bootstraps they fully acknowledge that not everyone has boots. So if I got boots, it is up to me to make sure that others have a turn to walk in them, try them on, and pull themselves up too. That’s the p ower of community (Umoja), the collective, of us.
The Femme Totale
In 2018, In honor of my personal resolve to make my goal community, I am partnering with Kathleen Leblanc to form the Femme Totale. The Femme Totale is a community of women dedicated to pulling each other up in all areas of their life, even when that means taking the very boots off your feet to give someone else a chance. This is our year. Join us.
The inaugural event for the Femme Totale is a Vision Board Brunch being held January 13. We are being hosted by an awesome business coach, Nadege Fleurimond. Food is provided by the chef Tahisha Solages. And the fabulous Kathleen Leblanc and I will be hosting and facilitating what will be a magnificent event to propel women of color, our community, into the new year.
Want to learn more about the Femme Totale? Sign up here to join the mailing list and get first notice of other events happening in 2018.