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The Golden Life!

 Dearly Beloved, 

"We're gathered here today to get through this thing called life!"

2021 has come in like a lion. 2020 was a little quieter coming into being than going out, but 2020 absolutely pales in comparison (in audacity and not as in parity) to just the first 6 days of 2021. But if there is one thing that 2020 taught us or reminded us of was to survive. Many comedians color a social crisis as something that minorities (African-Americans) don't tend to panic when times of austerity are pressing. Several of us have been figuring out a new way of life to survive this pandemic. You know that's what 2020 taught you, if nothing else. There are sisters out there that have opened their dream side hustles or kicked that 9 to 5 to pursue their dreams of selling their favorite craft or family sweet potato pie recipes. 2020 taught us how to diversify our portfolios on the stock market and diversify our squads and financial streams. 

But just as a great word once said, in all thy getting, get understanding. And yes, you're thinking, getting understanding could play the role of procrastination or hesitation and worst of all, stagnation. (All 3 of these are my kryptonite, by the way.) Well, yeah, but we're talking about being prepared to live your best life this 2021. And with all that understanding coupled with the notion to plan, we should have learned about ourselves, others, and our country; during this past year, it's high time to set some goals, settle somethings and start living.  If for no other reason than that life is precious and time waits for no one,  2021 is my thermostat for meaningfulness, a Golden Life experience, and definitely a litmus test for my squad. I will take this year to be about my self-awareness to get understanding, being grateful for my many blessings... to prepare, and being intentional with my loves and my passions in life so I can keep my glow up!

Being Self Aware is Being Strong: I am big on self-reflection. It proves to be a cathartic exercise if done correctly and can be enlightening if it is not seen as a loathing venture. The treacherous year of 2020, by way of Covid-19,  consistently displayed an aggressive schadenfreude towards families and friends of many women of color and women of color themselves, a sick notion of somehow those individuals were getting their just desserts in some manner.  African American women were walloped by this new flu-like virus, which stressed us out to the max. Though covid-19 is a bitch, taking names and kicking asses, she has brought a lesson with her that requires salute and contemplative attention. Her grand message is to check yourself! It's as simple as that. How have you participated in your current situation? What steps did you take or didn't take? Could you have handled that situation differently? What are your specific thoughts on a thing? Do you know yourself, your value, worth, non-negotiables, desires, and fuel for your ambitions? Did you give thought to those things yet? Covid-19 gave us enough time to self-reflect, to check ourselves, and to expect better of ourselves. She gave us an environment to consider how we fit in this space.  ...opportunities galore to sit quietly and self reflect on how we live our lives in these times. 

Pearls can benefit from being open with themselves to consider their values, emotions, interactions, and engagements. Considering these pieces of ourselves in real-time tends to be the most effective use of this technique. That real-time reflection, in turn, can increase good decision-making. Self-awareness equals Strength in your positions in relationships, business, and life. 

Being Grateful is Being Resilient: If we are self-reflective, then it should easily be considered a normal progression to be grateful.  Can you count the number of times when you reflected on a situation and realized a small or even a great fortune? Everyone has heard the saying, "It could be worst." And the sentiment always applies in some form of reality. Covid-19 is a rapacious teacher, striking her whip seemingly indiscriminate of social-economic status and gender. When it hit my own family, and when I was not freaking out about the member receiving the appropriate care, I was grateful for my own steps towards protecting my health with exercise, diet, and vitamins. I was thankful that covid-19 was kicked off the premises, hopefully, never to return again. I am thankful that many of my family members are still healthy and taking covid-19 seriously. I am thankful to be in a position to manage my responsibilities. Many people are not as fortunate; I am aware. I pray things will get to a place where the world can get back on its feet to walk erect again or give people a better way of life than this Worldwide Pandemic. 

Research states that being grateful increases the white matter in the brain section that deals with decision-making. Check out this link for more on Gratitude and the Brain. A friend of mine had previously mentioned to me about gratitude and how practicing it would alter my thoughts and perspective and that I should try it. While I agreed with him, I rationalized that I was already grateful and in no need to put another line item on my daily list of obligations. LOL. But of course, Covid-19 had other plans for me and my indifference to being more grateful. And again, here I was faced with dealing... so my gratitude journal began. It seemed that when I would write down what I was grateful for, anything that I wanted to complain about was forgotten, and I would go onto be inspired to either complete a task or prepare for a new task to tackle. In my self-awareness, I discovered the physical impact of being grateful, and that mind shift arrived like a nightingale...saving the day! Being grateful allowed me to stick to my schedules and routines, to become more productive, creative and sharpened my ability to discern. Increased gratefulness brought about increased productivity and better equipped for business opportunities, directly impacting my funding streams, business connections, and revenue. Gratefulness equals Resilience because the only way you can keep getting up when you're being knocked down is when you realize your blessings and get up to get going.  Leave a note on why you're grateful and how it impacts your life.

Being Intentional is Being Luminous: Ahhhh, this is always my favorite part of the blog... seeing the results of my work. Self-work is key to your success, but it's usually viewed as the most difficult sect of the journey that individuals tend to overlook or be reluctant to address their area of need. I recently spoke with an educator regarding the country's recent deplorable events, their impact on students, and how to have those difficult conversations. Still, first, Educators must do the self-work/self-reflection before these instances. Doing this work will allow for an environment for learning the facts without fear of punitive measures. Even in the school setting, self-work is pertinent to success, whether your own or someone else's success. And on another point, self-awareness leads to increasing your love for those things and persons that are apart of your community of support, so show them some love. 

This year, 2021, will be my year to LOVE HARD on those in my circle that LOVE HARD on Me! Now, before you began to think negatively (which, when unwarranted, is banned from this blog page), I want to be clear that no one will get less love from me, but My Squad will receive much, much more. To that end, 2021 will reflect my intentionality! Luminously shining from my intentions to love my squad/community with transparency, loyalty, and accountability, I will be sure to share that light. This new year will be the time when I will look for more opportunities to reach back, go out of my way to create environments where others are supported, encouraged, and empowered to take steps to execute their plans.  So if you want 2021 to be your year to be luminous in your engagements, take a note to be grateful for your supports. You can send a token of your love, and it doesn't have to be a bouquet of a million roses, but it could be an email or social media post demonstrating gratitude. (here we go with that notion of gratitude Get to know your squad's goals and develop a common bond of loyalty where you can demonstrate positive speak for your peers and create opportunities for advancement for those in your squad/community. 

Lastly, but definitely not the very last step to being luminous this calendar year, is accountability.  This behavior or action is the top bar for me. To be accountable, one must be intentional with their efforts. Be luminous this year by intentionally being accountable to yourself and your community. My accountability to my community is curating transparent expectations in my relationships, whether business or personal, and upholding my commitments to myself and others.  My grandfather had a saying, "Say what you mean and mean what you say because your word is your bond." Clarity at its best! Knowing your bandwidth and being clear in your expectations, boundaries, and non-negotiables is key to being intentional will definitely find you in that golden light this year. How are you going to be intentional? What is something in your world that needs you to be more intentional this year?   Intentionality is being Luminous in 2021! 


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