I think #BlackGirlMagic in the kitchen needs a moment of its own. It's nothing short of amazing how these women can transform simple ingredients from the earth — well, mostly — and create beautifully-crafted, decadent dishes. From vegan to flexitarian, these black women can be found cooking up a storm and sharing their masterpieces for us to drool over and replicate with hopes of similar success.
Here are 11 black women chefs to follow:
1. Chef Lauren Von Der Pool
Who's hungry #NEWORLEANS? #AvocadoToast anyone?
A photo posted by I AM Chef Lauren Von Der Pool (@queenofgreen) on Jun 30, 2016 at 7:29am PDT
2. Chef Latham Thomas
Glow Foods- Rooftop Garden Greens and edible flowers and herbs. Straight out of Soho, NYC. Just picked these and have a few pounds more, wrapped in cloths in the fridge. It's growing so abundantly. So glad I don't have to go to the Farmer's Market and pay $12 for a 1/4 pound of greens and lettuces. We are so blessed to stay hooked up all summer with such a variety. I will be making seasoning salts, marinades, pickled veggies and special summer dishes and sharing tips on green kitchen and the summer- stay tuned. #glowfoods #summergreens #vegan #salad #edibleflowers #herbs #greens
A photo posted by Latham Thomas (@glowmaven) on Jun 1, 2016 at 11:17am PDT
3. Chef Ahki
Thanks to everyone who joined me on Live stream and periscope yesterday for Sunday dinner👍🏼
A photo posted by Chef Ahki (@chefahki) on Mar 21, 2016 at 11:31am PDT
4. Chef Carla Hall
I'm gonna get my daily dose of oatmeal in one way or another. This is my I'm-running-out-the-door-but-I-can-still-eat- well version. #quakerflats #RefreshAndRenew #breakfast #snack
A photo posted by Carla Hall (@carlaphall) on May 10, 2016 at 6:29pm PDT
5. Chef Yoli Ouiya
Tiny cleansing salad: cucumber, red pepper, red cabbage, carrots, celery, water chestnuts, sunflower seeds, collards. #WellthyHome #WHHamptons ....... #Montauk #Hamptons #salad #foodie #foodgram #travel #cleaneating #food #travelgram #healthyeating #nofilter
A photo posted by Yoli Ouiya (@yoliouiya) on Aug 1, 2015 at 2:21pm PDT
6. Chef Dee
Let's call it "the lunch special" Lemon Grass glazed Chicken with brown Jasmine rice and stir fry Veg #ijustcantstopchefingitup
A photo posted by Chef_of_the_year🍴🔪#Zphi (@chefdee305) on Jan 28, 2016 at 11:19am PST
7. Chef Kay Kay
Teriyaki Salmon #postworkoutmeal
A photo posted by Kayla Greer (@chefkaykay) on Jun 28, 2016 at 8:30pm PDT
8. Chef Angela
#Buttermilk brines are the way and the light. Juicy, tender, seasoned all the way through. You have probably tried buttermilk for fried #chicken, now try it for #bbqchicken! 🔥🔥🔥 #kitchenista #Chicken #grilled #smoked #bbq #bbqsauce #marinade #brine
A photo posted by The Kitchenista Diaries (@thekitchenista) on Jul 5, 2016 at 7:38pm PDT
9. Chef Alisa Reynolds
Return of the Mac @my2centsla
A photo posted by My2Cents (@my2centsla) on Jun 9, 2014 at 3:55pm PDT
10. Chef Q
I ask for #strength and #God gave me difficulties to make me strong. I asked for #Wisdom and God gave me problems to solve. I asked for #Prosperity and God gave me a #Brain and #Brawn to work. I asked for #Courage and God gave me #Danger to #Overcome. I asked for #Love and God gave me #Troubled people to #Help. I asked for #Favors and God gave me #Opportunities I asked for #Forgiveness and He did. I asked Him to shine thru me and He is. #CantYouSeeIt #KeepWatching #Oprah #HaveOne #Cajun #Shrimp #DevilEggs #TBT #Chefism #TBCE #1000plate #ChefLife #Mayweather #Chef #BeYou
A photo posted by CHEF Q (@chefism) on Jun 30, 2016 at 9:46pm PDT
11. Chef Sunny Anderson
Sunny's Easy Braised Tomato Chicken and Spinach with Fettuccine. #sunnyrecipeyo look it up xo. One Pan Plan! Pasta served in a pie pan. Sue me.
A photo posted by Sunny Anderson (@sunnyanderson) on Feb 25, 2015 at 11:23am PST
Who are your favorite chefs to follow? Please share in the comments below!
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If you've been on the internet in the past few years, you've probably seen someone share an elaborate graphic of this quote in order to inspire their timelines.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Anonymous
There's some truth to this overshared quote though, and there are nine major types of intelligence that help you to find what you're good at, passionate about and ultimately what you should pursue, both in your personal and professional lives. So, what kinds of intelligence do you possess most? Check them out below.
What it means: Being in touch with nature, determining value among living things like plants and animals.
You're rich in this if: You're a farmer, chef, into gardening or taking care of and raising animals
What it means: People who naturally have rhythm and are always on pitch. Can you listen to a song and immediately translate it to your instrument of choice? This is you.
You're rich in this if: You're a musician (of course), a composer, producer and maybe even a mathematician (math and music share some common thinking processes).
What it means: Incredibly reasonable people who are able to view things symbolically to work through them. Able to make hypotheses and work through equations until a result is found.
You're rich in this if: You're a scientist, mathematician or detective. You love to play strategy games.
What it means: They take on the big questions in life — why are we here? How did we get here? What's next?
You're rich in this if: You're sensitive and not one to shy away from questions and theories about our existence or life in general.
What it means: These people are natural leaders because of their excellent communication skills, ability to understand others and their awareness of the moods and energy around them.
You're rich in this if: You're an empath, you work in a role that helps others such as a social worker or a teacher.
What it means: This intelligence is rooted in physical skill and, essentially, hand-eye coordination. People who possess a lot of this have the timing and instinct to excel at various physical activities.
You're rich in this if: You're an athlete, performer or you just really love DIY projects and working with your hands.
What it means: This includes skills such as writing, learning and appreciating various languages and communicating and comprehending things on a deeper, more complicated level than most.
You're rich in this if: You love to write, you're a poet, you're a public speaker or you love crossword puzzles and reading books.
What it means: The ability to reflect on ones own thoughts and experiences in order to understand the human condition in general.
You're rich in this if: You love psychology, philosophy and reflecting on why people are the way they are.
What it means: People high in this are great at thinking about space, graphic design and three-dimensional terms.
You're rich in this if: You love to sculpt or paint, you're an architect or a pilot and you do a lot of drawing and puzzles in your free time.
So what kinds of intelligence do you most identify with?
You can use these tidbits to explore what you most identify with, what else you might love and what areas you need to improve on to accomplish your career and personal goals. Use the nine types of intelligence to get to know yourself and improve your life in the process!
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Summer is clearly here (and not going anywhere for a while). Temperatures are steadily rising, your trips offshore have been planned and paid for, and Drake's album is the current soundtrack to your life.
This season is when things come into fruition. The word solstice means "standing of the sun," and it represents coming into completeness. During summer, all living things become abundant and beautiful, and we're reminded that nature is our first home, our sustenance.If you're thrilled by the longer days and shorter nights, now is your time to take full advantage.
Although pool parties, "bottomless mimosa" brunches and music festivals are a must, they can do a number on our physical and spiritual health. It's important not to forget to take care of ourselves even when we're young and just enjoying life. Take advantage of the daylight hours, but don't forget to charge up with these counterbalancing activities.
A bonfire is a great opportunity to meet up with friends or spend a quiet moment with yourself. A fire can represent your burning desire to fulfill your purpose and accomplish goals or even offer your protection from unwanted energies. A bonfire will allow you to soak up the sun all day and give the best view of the moon at night. Take this time to embrace the seasonal changes that occur in all aspects of life.
Grounding (walking barefoot in nature) during warm summer days can be very rewarding. Grounding has several health benefits, and being in tuned mentally, physically and spiritually can promote creativity and inner peace. All the sunshine will increase your daily dose of vitamin D.
There's no better time to perform a sun salutation than during the summer months. There's power in the poses. Learning different ways to move and bend your body can represent your determination to learn and maneuver through life with perseverance. Take a yoga class to revitalize. Summer is a great time to commit to increasing quality of life, and yoga promotes balance and evolution.
Focus on your self-development
Now is a good time to start a new habit or to reassess the areas that you need to work on. Life is just a series of obstacles — but really they're opportunities — to affirm continuous learning and growth.
Refresh your wardrobe
It's hot, and summer colors to live by are sun-kissed yellows and fiery reds. Repurpose worn-out jeans and old sweaters. Take this opportunity to purge your closet of unwanted items to make room for new things. Seasonal cleaning is good for decluttering your mind and your life, and it even relieves stress.
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Yoga isn't this new and trendy thing to me. It was an elective I picked up in community college. I didn't expect to be good at it. I didn't expect to feel less fatigue as a result. I didn't do it to get in shape or to be more flexible. I didn't read books about the Kemetic backstory of the practice or do the research to learn who Paramahansa Yogananda was.
It started out as a class to get me one semester elective closer to transferring to a 4-year school. But it turned into three semesters and later became both the practice I live by and my method of self-transformation. Since I began learning about and practicing different styles of yoga I've been introduced to mantras.
What is a mantra?
Simply put, a mantra is a sacred spoken word, utterance or phrase that connects one to awareness and encourages enlightenment. Mantras are believed to be spiritually transformative and promote clear thinking and deep meditation.
It was Nikola Tesla that said, "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration." To that end, imagine how impactful intention is. When you amplify that intention with words and conviction, you alter your reality.
What is a mantra used for?
According to the Yoga Journal, a mantra is used in both physical and spiritual realms, having meaningful functions that "instill within the reciter a particular spiritual doctrine and to serve as a vehicle for meditation."
Here are seven mantras to know:
Meaning: The sound of the universe. It's the first, original vibration, representing the birth, death and re-birth process.
According to MindBodyGreen, the modern adaptation of chanting the sound Om has been proven to bring us into harmonic resonance with the universe. (Om vibrates at 432 Hertz, a natural musical pitch, as opposed to 440 Hertz, the frequency of most modern music.)
2. Sat Nam
Meaning: True name. It's a call to your higher self.
This mantra strengthens the divine consciousness in everyone. It's used as a greeting as well as the mantra for Kundalini Yoga exercises. To inhale is to breathe in Sat, or truth, and to exhale Nam, or your true name, self.
3. Aad Guray Nameh,
Jugaad Guray Nameh,
Sat Guray Nameh,
Siri Guru Dav-vay Nameh
Meaning: I bow to the primal Source of Creation,
I bow to the truth that has existed throughout the ages,
I bow to True Wisdom,
I bow to the Great Divine Wisdom
This mantra is for guidance and protection. Yogi Bhajan taught that this mantra should always be chanted three times in a row.
Meaning: Creative infinity, a name of God.
I just recently learned this mantra. It's used to generate and cultivate creative energy. It's the mantra of prosperity. It's great if you need encouraging energy for new beginnings, developing new habits or taking on new projects. It's the easiest way to add richness to your life.
5. Ong Namo
Guru Dev Namo
Meaning: I call upon the Divine Wisdom,
I call upon the divine teacher that is within.
Yogi Bhajan taught this ancient yogic mantra as a tool to relate instantly to the divine teacher within. It is most often used to tune in before Kundalini Yoga classes, to center us and to spiritually guide both the teacher and the students during the class.
Meaning: Sustainer, Liberator, Enlgihtener, Infinite, Destroyer, Creator, Nameless, Desireless
This mantra is used to break through deep-seated blocks. According to Yogi Bhajan, it helps to "cleanse the subconscious mind" and "it balances the hemispheres of the brain, bringing compassion and patience to the one who meditates on it."
7. Om Mani Padme Hum
Meaning: It's kind of hard to put into words but its meaning is profound.
These six syllables help to bring the person who recites them into pure understanding.
In a lecture given by His Holiness The Dalai Lama of Tibet at the Kalmuck Mongolian Buddhist Center in New Jersey, he says "in dependence on the practice which is in indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech and mind of a Buddha." and in Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says, “So in this way recitation of the mantra helps achieve perfection in the six practices from generosity to wisdom. The path of these six perfections is the path walked by all the Buddhas of the three times. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?”
It's said you should not seek Buddhahood outside of yourself; the substances for the achievement of Buddhahood are within. Let your life mantra mirror the one within.
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Meditation is so many things. It's being present, it's cultivating creativity, it's stillness, it's peace, it's pure and blissful.
Solitude is often freeing, a luxury that many take for granted. There is so much power in silencing the outside world. Focusing inward allows you to find peace and piece of mind. That said, I find myself in the most quiet corners of my home. There, I read, reflect, lift up my prayers and quiet the chatter long enough to reach a place where there are no worries, because there are no thoughts.
In the beginning, when I was just learning how to set my intentions and after (when I do my best brainstorming), I'd find myself distracted searching through YouTube and Spotify. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that guided meditations narrated by some guy speaking in an English accent wouldn't do. I found "soothing soundscapes" comparable to imitation crab: It was just not the same thing. Underwhelmed and unenthused, I compiled a list of my own.
Before retreating into a place of quietude, I like to begin with a calming and relaxing meditative mix and finish with the same mix, a sort of opening and closing routine. This guided playlist, I hope, lifts your spirit effortlessly and helps you to stay present, in the moment and open.
What songs do you use for your meditation mix? Let me know in the comments below!
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As you get older, you start to care less about how many friends you have and more about the quality of the people you keep in your circle. Inevitably, you reach a point when it's necessary to excommunicate yourself from a certain person or group that doesn't align with the vision that you have for your life or the person you aspire to be.
But no break-up is an easy break-up, even friendships.
I have yet to fully comprehend how to go about this, as I am still in the process of unlearning old habits and cultivating new ones. In doing so, I've been faced with the very ugly truth about how I've handled situations like these in the past. I've made the mistake of 1) trying to repair the friendship by compromising myself and my own happiness just off the strength of history, 2) completely invalidating my own feelings in the process, while 3) avoiding the problem completely. This only led to miscommunication on both ends, which then led to a brutally awkward silence. Too much silence leaves room for interpretation and mixed feelings, and too much of that can cause resentment as time goes on.
No matter how long I've known a person, the fact is there are only three things that are constant: Time, change and love. With respect for all three, it's important to acknowledge change when it happens and at least try to understand that with time things change with or without our permission. It can be a hard pill to swallow and it might take some time going down. If you love yourself and the person (or people) involved you owe it to yourself to be honest about how you feel. To that end, I realized I needed to pay more attention to how my friendships actually made me feel and what they're supposed to feel like.
This is how I managed to eliminate unreliable, confrontational friends and unbalanced relationships the healthy way:
Acknowledge when you've done all that you can do
This might be the hardest stage because most of us may never get to this point. In fact, it may take a very long time to reach this point. If you're like me, you feel like there's always something that can be done. There's something that can be said, a gesture or remedy to cure whatever it is plaguing your perfectly healthy friendship. Surely friendships, like people, catch the flu and simply need an extra dose of care and attention. There's nothing that a girl's night out, shopping date or movie night and take-out can't fix, right? Wrong. When you feel like you're forcing it, trust me, you are. At that point you really need to reevaluate what energy you're putting out and what's being reciprocated.
Voice how you feel
Don't go ghost on your friend and then switch up and begin acting like everything is good when you guys do occasionally speak. That's the easiest way to ruin a great friendship. And if you have mutual friends or are in group settings often, it makes things awkward for everyone. Calmly and carefully state exactly how you feel and why you feel that way. (And if your friend fails to see where you're coming from or refuses to accept your point of view, that's ok. This process is for you!)
Listen and accept
To be honest, direct and unfiltered honesty might not always the received well when emotions are involved. If you're willing to dish it out, be ready to receive it. Consider your friend's side and what they might be feeling. Be prepared to listen as much, if not more, when it's your friend's turn to talk. This is your best opportunity to learn why this friendship no longer serves you and might lead to many of the answers you need for your own closure.
Simply say that you are no longer interested in being friends
It's hardly simple, but it's a part of being an adult. This doesn't mean that the two of you can't be cordial and speak when you see each other. In fact, this might be the best thing you can do for your friend and yourself. Allowing people to be who they truly are without judgement is a crucial part of surrounding yourself with like-minded people. When you keep in mind where you want to go in life and can identify what it takes to get there, you better understand why everyone can't go along for the ride. There should be no misplaced guilt. Friendships have life cycles. You could tell your friend that you no longer feel like the two of you share similar interests or that you might be in two different places in your lives.
I'm a strong believer in allowing life to unfold before you, and that with good intention things work themselves out. Always be committed to being the best version of yourself without apology. That requires letting things — and people — go. If nothing else, remember: It worked out for Beyoncé.
How have you ended unhealthy friendships in the past? Let us know how in the comments below!
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There I was a few weeks ago, scrolling through my timeline. I scrolled past cute little animal videos and political propaganda. Past the enviously perfect Buzzfeed Tasty videos, all the while stopping every few scrolls to drool and cringe over the fashions at this year's Met Gala. After tilting my head and squinting my eyes a few times at some of the outfits and wondering how the celebrity and designer decided that it completely represented this year's Fashion in The Age of Technology theme, I stumbled upon a photo of the Smith siblings.
I loved everything about Willow and Jaden's garments and the energy they were vibrating into the universe while the photo was being taken. I smiled and went on my merry way. Cat video, food tutorial, Claire Danes' Met Gala dress, someone loses a phone on a roller coaster, another girl being bullied on the Internet by trolls (this has to stop by the way). Then I saw it, the same picture of the Smith siblings, only this time it had been turned into a meme.
"Sometimes I think we hate Jaden and Willow Smith because they are free black children and we don't know what free black children look like."
Maybe those of use who are inspired by Jaden and Willow have been saying this forever, but I've never heard it like this. Free black children. Immediately I reflected on my own childhood. The distant, murky pictures of my childhood danced before my eyes before slipping back into obscurity. So I thought of black children I know today, but I still didn't know what a free black child looked like. Are they full of joy? Are their eyes alight with adventure, promise and hope? Do they run full speed in grassy backyards with scraped knees, that faint copper smell wafting off of them?
For some reason, my mind conjures images of children taking care of their parents. I see the burdens of society patiently waiting in the background to rest upon their shoulders as soon as their minds begin to open. Maybe I'm suffering from a case of projectile insecurities. I want to know a free black child but I also want to protect them by teaching them. I want to teach them too soon to be cautious. To observe. To know differences in when to be silent and when to make sure you are heard. Too soon to stifle their innocence.
In a span of what must have been three minutes, I began to reevaluate my perception of the tiny brown humans I see every day. I have always been of the 'children are the future' mentality, so I always assumed that we needed to buckle down and really show the next generations why learning and knowledge will be some of the most important tools they carry on their journey through life. Now, I just want children to be children. I want them carefree in youth. I want them to ask questions about life while digging for imagined buried treasure beneath the perfectly manicured lawn. I want them to express themselves in the moment without reprimand or fear of the societal norms burdening us in adulthood.
I can't wait to raise some free black children.
What do you think a free black child looks like? Share your thoughts below!
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I thrive on the challenge of conquering new frontiers. My best friend, on the other hand, is the most content person I know. I marvel at her stability, and she at my drive. The beautiful thing about our friendship is that we don't judge or patronize each other. There are no attempts at conversion or condescending discourse over which one of us is leading our lives the right way. We genuinely respect our differences and value the influence we have on one another.
In the span of our more-than-a-decade long friendship, she would tell you that I have inspired her to expand her realm of possibility, while she has taught me the power of surrender. Girlfriend has a 12th degree black belt in nonchalance. It's not that she's apathetic or unconcerned, she's very proactive when it comes to handling her business. She just lives by the mantra that no amount of stress or planning can force fate. In fact, in most cases, worrying only inhibits the outcome. Of course this isn't some new groundbreaking revelation. What is noteworthy, however, is the impeccable consistency of her real life application.
The art of surrender is about understanding that once you've done all you can do, it's time to let go. It's about detaching from the outcome and allowing yourself to be okay with whatever happens, even if it means not having what you want. In my experience, it is at that point that the solution typically appears.
Out of sheer curiosity, I thought it would be interesting to poll a few creatives to get some perspective on how this dynamic plays out in their lives. Here's what they had to say:
"Every time I write a poem with the intention of finishing it on the spot, I fail miserably. It's not that there isn't a structured approach to writing, there is. I can structure the poem, l can free write it, I can do both – but the work is complete only when I allow myself to hear the message that my spirit and subconscious are trying to send and they don't operate on my schedule. I've written poems that have taken anywhere from minutes to as long as a year, but regardless, they all took the amount of time they needed. Writing is a matter of will, but it’s also a matter patience and surrender." — Joe Brundidge (@Element615)
"I had been writing my first novel for eight years. I was offered a publishing contract and finished it in thirty-two days. Great, huh? Well, I sat around beating myself up about taking so long to do it in the first place. So, to top that off, I challenged myself to write my second novel in thirty days. And I did it. That still wasn't good enough. Recently, I finished a three-book series, writing a whopping 30,000+ words over a weekend! A WEEKEND! Now, I'm trying to write 150,000 words in a month. Are you seeing a pattern of insanity here? Do I have a reputation for accomplishing the impossible? Yes. But I am also a slave to myself because of the amount of pressure that I put on myself to produce. After an intervention with my wonderfully loving husband and daughters, where they told me that they were proud of my accomplishments but wanted me to just “be” sometimes, I had an epiphany. I surrendered to my humanity (the need to sleep, eat, and watch senseless sitcoms on TV) and to the fact that greatness requires a balance of dedication and relaxation. Taking time to breathe not only recharges my energy, but my creativity as well. " — Jamesha Henderson
"If you would have told me that at the age of 23 I would be single, living in another country, volunteering at an orphanage and seeing my family a few times a year, I would have told you that you were out of your mind. When I graduated high school, I was obsessed with the idea of having a life plan. Being on a different continent from all that was familiar to me was not part of it. Yet, for the past three years I have been working as a missionary in Haiti at an orphanage for over 100 children. Getting to see these kids grow up, learning a new language and embracing a different culture has been the most rewarding adventure of my life. By letting go of my need to control the outcome, I was able to discover my life's purpose." — Mathew Paul
In your experience, how do you know when to grind and when to let go? Comment below.
On Saturday, May 21st, we’re hosting our inaugural conference about how creativity and technology are changing our daily lives, from our hobbies to our work. Will you be joining us? Tickets here.
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At the end of 2015, I told the world everything I struggled with. Since then, I’ve experienced the kind of discomfort that usually comes when you’re onto something great but weren’t quite ready for it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It's important to celebrate growth. It affirms us in our development and helps other people see that it’s possible. But we should not romanticize it. It’s not comfortable. And like puberty, weird things happen that we can’t explain and don’t understand until much later.
Career decisions can be fraught with uncertainty. The scariest ones for me haven’t been about good or bad, but something much deeper: How well I know myself.
Don’t eat their gumbo
Trips to my grandparents house, especially in the summertime, meant good laughs and better food. If we got lucky, my grandfather would whip up his world famous gumbo. It was the type of meal that would bring tears to your eyes and laughter to your heart. Good ideas are just like that meal I miss so much now that he’s gone. They cook slowly and methodically, a delicate process of adding, steeping, stirring and repeating. It requires patience and preparation because the time you take to make it has a direct impact on how good it tastes.
Not knowing yourself leaves you open to someone else writing your narrative.Those authors aren’t always malicious or seeking to destroy you. It’s not about the people who doubt us or want to do us harm. It’s much more nuanced than that. It can come from those who love us most and only want the best. We do far more damage accepting a good idea of who we could be instead of the persistent discomfort of discovering more about who we are. Sometimes their love can tell an even more harmful story than hate ever could.
We want comforting lies instead of unpleasant truths. So much so, that we are willing to let other people tell us stories about who we can be that feel easier than the actual stories we want to write for ourselves. If someone has spent more time thinking about you than you've spent knowing what you want, their ideas for you will always win out.
Creative confidence allows you to pass up great opportunities simply because they aren’t right for you. No need for justification or guilt.
It doesn’t feel good, though
You microwave popcorn, not growth. It‘s not pictures of sunsets with a prearranged life planner or a color-coded schedule filled with perfectly-sized sketch notes of clouds and ideas bubbles overlaid with the Crema filter. This sh*t is brutal. People get hurt. Relationships grow apart in the short term so they can be healthy in the long term. You fail at things. It’s confusing. You ask questions no one can answer and even fewer want to engage with. You know people really don’t want to try it with you because you don’t even want to be around yourself.
I fear we’ve tried to romanticize the idea of personal growth, that we deify people who are doing it and ridicule ourselves that we aren’t further along in our own process.
Creative confidence is imperative during periods like this because it keeps you focused on what you can control — your time and sustained effort. Discomfort and discipline aren’t meant to be cruel masters. They are necessary guides on a road that is uncharted and doesn’t have cell signal.
Your greatest challenge might not be finishing your book, getting into grad school or launching a business. It might be fearlessly telling your own story and rejecting anything and everything that's not a part of it, even the ‘good’ things that might come along. There will be no shortage of opportunities as you continue to level up, but there is a limit on how many you should choose to take on.
Growth makes your entire life feel like a comment section with unlimited scroll. You don’t want to go there, everyone looks crazy, and, after a while, you get confused as to how you even got there in the first place.
This is what it feels like
Creative confidence has a few distinct manifestations that I’ve seen and experienced. It looks different for everyone, but for me, it has shown up in my life in a few different ways:
"Am I right about this?" becomes "Is this important?"
"I love you" becomes "Let me show you what you mean to me."
It’s remembering that people take you for granted only when you don’t know your own worth, and how to communicate it.
It helps you act like your own entity, instead of just a freelancer or contractor.
It's the act of learning yourself and the application of that truth in real time.
It's entirely yours and grows with you.
It reminds you that loyalty is never based on comfort.
Creative confidence keeps you up at night, but it also allows you to rest because what you’re doing and/or making is a part of the future you want.
If those definitions feel too nebulous, let me ground them with real people I know, doing it every single day. Thankfully they all have Twitter accounts, so the gems are free — but the application will cost you:
My life has felt so messy this yr - an insane amount of transitions + awakenings. Yet, deep down I know that I'm being set up for greatness.
— Melissa Kimble (@Melissa_Kimble) February 17, 2016
Cosign yourself. Validate yourself.
— Anthony Frasier (@AnthonyFrasier) March 24, 2016
I'm not into what we already know works...I'm interested in what else could work.
— Darian Symoné Harvin (@dariansymone) March 24, 2016
slowly learning to be more selfish with my time and not feeling bad about it. progress is a process.
— Everette Taylor (@Everette) March 31, 2016
- Best advice was and is to keep your
head down and work in silence.
Your achievements will be the noise.
— #MakeItHappen (@mercedesfbenson) December 30, 2015
18/ Wanna know the real difference between them and me? I don't fit your pattern. You have no archetype for me. So the bar for me is higher.
— Matt Joseph (@_mattjoseph) March 19, 2016
Believe in yourself.
Just keep pushing.
— tristan walker (@tristanwalker) March 13, 2016
Monthly user numbers from 12 months ago. -- stay low and build. Consistent focus will help you grow. pic.twitter.com/wRuuDlwghP
— Morgan DeBaun (@MorganDeBaun) February 25, 2016
Providing value > whatever the latest version of cool is
— Tiffany Hardin (@tiffany_hardin) March 10, 2016
If it's not their lane don't ask their opinion.
— Besidone (@iamBesidone) March 3, 2016
I've decided to hold everything I touch to the same standard I hold my full-time work. Trust me, people peep the difference.
— Joymarie Parker (@heymissparkerr) February 27, 2016
...and on and on it goes.
The margin for error
Creative confidence is not reserved for the Etsy shop owner or the personal branding expert. It's for anyone who has touched anything that required a decisive action. It's not bound by your design skills or the long list of clips you’ve amassed. It’s not even the thing you're doing right now or even necessarily your future.
Your ideas need as much oxygen as you do, particularly the bad ones. You are more than the sum of what you make, even when it doesn’t feel like it. We are trained to celebrate output and shun rest to the detriment of everyone and everything. Evaluating the outcomes of creative work before they happen ensures you will never know what to create, and you will never develop the confidence to push through your own ruts.
We treat passion as if it is the only fuel used to accelerate creative confidence, but it's often a controlled byproduct. I don’t always feel passionate about writing. Truthfully, I didn’t like writing most of what you’re reading. It was slow, sluggish, overwhelming and felt like garbage the first few drafts. Sentences felt like root canals. I thought about deleting it, scrapping it, or worse — sending it where writers send things they are embarrassed about but aren’t ready to delete yet —the drafts folder.
But I love a good story. Great ones can encompass a lifetime in a single moment and change how people see themselves and the context of where they are. I love when the words fit together after days of trying to find their place. I love when the chaos of my life can make sense in the confines of a page. I love when people see themselves in words I’ve written. It's in those moments I feel awake. I grow through words.
We leave parts of ourselves in the work we do, even if we aren’t defined by it. As creatives, we would do well to remember that. Creative confidence reminds us that we are more important than our ability to produce. That freedom, and the realizations that come with it, allow us to make things that will outlast us.
Come work on your creative confidence at Blavity's first ever conference! And share this post on Facebook below.
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New-York-studio Bold & Naked believes nudity has a very important role in yoga. They offer co-ed naked vinyasa-style classes along with gender exclusive classes.
Take a look at this video, as the founders talk about their studio and experience with the newfound phenomenon.
It makes me wonder if the true meaning and traditions of yoga have been lost in a sea of trends and hunger for notoriety. Although you won’t catch me anywhere near a nude yoga class, it’s hard not to imagine what that experience might be like.
Be honest, would you try a naked yoga class? Let us know in the comments section below.
On Saturday, May 21st, we’re hosting our inaugural conference about how creativity and technology are changing our daily lives, from our hobbies to our work. Will you be joining us? Tickets here.
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It's time to face the music: Millennials are here to stay, and will have a significant impact on daily operations as they swarm into position. Also known as Generation Y, millennials are highly connected, diverse and educated. They are ready to make a significant impact and most companies simply don't understand the magnitude of change they will bring.
Take Facebook, for instance. These are the pros and cons of working at Facebook according to an article from Business Insider:
The best aspects of working at Facebook:
"Flexible work hours, work from home, 21 days of PTO."
"The food is awesome."
"Work is very social - no cubicles, you can walk over and talk"
"More work than there are people to do."
"Great opportunity to grab what you can and shine."
"Everyone seems to genuinely be invested in making the product better."
"The world sees the impact of what you're working on. All my friends and family use the product and it's rewarding to work on something that keeps us all connected."
"The culture is very open internally were projects are discussed and ideas flow."
"The most valued benefit to working at facebook is the ability to basically set your own hours, freedom to work from home when you want and as much as you want/can, and all this with little to no interference from management."
"You really learn a lot, since you get thrown into the mix quite quickly."
"No potential of any amount of 'potential' earnings once they go IPO is worth being treated like second-class citizens or just a fancier sweat shop."
"Politics are heating up as the pressure to succeed increases."
"Ripsticks hurt a lot when they hit you"
"The open-desk style doesn't work for everyone (like me), I find it hard to concentrate and end up working at home more than I would like to, just to catch up."
"Palo Alto kinda sucks; [it's] a bit suburban for city dwellers."
"Sometimes there needs to be a clearer product vision earlier in the process"
"Some of the younger folks here (and there are many) have never worked anywhere else and they have no idea how good the place is. This often leads to a sense of entitlement which would never fly at another company."
"The company is getting too big to let it grow freely. We need a bit more organization now."
"Management is inexperienced—typical for a company growing from a startup mode towards a more mature company"
It's anticipated that by 2025, millennials will account for approximately 75 percent of the workforce. How do millennial minds differ from those of baby boomers and Gen X'ers? Companies are already preparing for the perpetual shift in demographics, with many even forming task forces to address any potential barriers.
Here are 4 things millennials will bring to the table:
Millennials seek meaningful work. In other words — impact! Busy work will not fly for long. Overall, they care more about the work, rather than the office politics.
Millennials have a different opinion on how the actual work gets done. They are more open to a flexible schedule rather than the traditional 9-5 job. But there is a huge issue — many companies are simply not ready for the virtual office atmosphere or flexible schedules.
Millennials tend to have a more open and collaborative mindset, welcoming an open and honest culture of transparency. If there is a conversation, they will have no problem pulling up a chair and joining in. They are breaking hierarchical barriers and make no apologies for being seen or heard.
Millennials take command of technology and make it work to their advantage. They are keen on building a collaborative organization to push company goals forward. The ability to leverage social networks and collaborative think groups are a plus.
What are some changes you have seen or expect to see from the millennial takeover?
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We’ve all heard the anecdotes about self-love and, as with everything, it’s easier said than done. “Love yourself first. Self-love is the greatest love of all. Once you begin to love yourself, everything else will fall into place,” they say. Because there’s no written guide to loving yourself. Every person’s self-love journey is different, it is as specific to you as your hair type or genetic makeup. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t learn and grow from the self-love journeys of others. If you’ve fallen out of love with yourself or have been struggling lately to foster that sense of self-love, here are 15 lessons from Andrea Lewis that will help you along the way:
How to start your self-love journey
How self-love will give you freedom to live
How to break through depression
How to live without letting others steal your joy
How comparing yourself to others is unhealthy
How to deal with stress and worry
How to give yourself permission to love yourself and everyone around you
How to deal with anxiety
How to find confidence within yourself
How to "DO YOU!"
How to take risks and learn your worth
How to enjoy being alone
How to become comfortable with the uncertainty of life
How to get rid of negative thoughts
How to be patient with yourself on your self-love journey
Like what you’ve seen? Watch more of Andrea Lewis’ #SelfLoveSaturday videos here.
What video is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
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