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New Year, New Start?

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The beginning of a new year, for many of us, marks the opportunity for a new start. Some of us remain committed to doing things differently, others struggle to maintain momentum. New Year’s resolutions are great, and so are setting goals. What’s important to understand is that it takes more than that to make sustainable changes in our life.

If we want to experience different things in our lives, we have to be prepared to do things differently. If we don’t clear out the beliefs and habits that are holding us back from achieving our goals, we’ll continue to receive the same lack of results. In order to make this a new year in the truest sense, we have to create a new version of ourselves as well.

Recreating ourselves can be the scary part though, can’t it? Challenging beliefs that we’ve held for years, if not decades, takes serious commitment. Releasing negative habits and replacing them with those that serve us requires work. Not only are these things going to take time, but we also have to prepare ourselves for the backlash from friends and family who don’t understand why we need to be “different”.

The truth is that if we want to feel like we made major shifts in our lives by the end of the year, we have to be willing to get uncomfortable. We must be ready, willing and able to take risks, to embrace the unknown and to challenge our beliefs about what is possible in all areas of our lives. We have to be prepared for some of the people in our lives to not understand what’s going on and we have to remind ourselves that it’s not their job to get it, it’s ours.

The start of a new year can be the beginning of something amazing. It isn’t going to happen magically. You need to get clear on what you want, believe it’s possible, commit to making it happen and take action daily to bring your dreams to reality. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it!

Let’s do this!!!

Now signing off with the reminder: Don’t wait for the world to recognize your greatness, live it and let the world catch up to you.

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Ambitious AF

Self-Love Practice Tips From 12 of My Favorite People on Instagram

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We’re now about to wrap up the first month of 2019. How are those Self-Love resolutions you had set for yourself going so far? I hope you’re still feeling the same excitement you felt right before the ball dropped at midnight on January 1st.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve recently hit kind of a weird place in my life where there were so many opportunities being thrown my way but nothing was confirmed. I felt stuck, not sure what my next move would be and because of this I could literally feel my mental demons beginning to attack me. I’ve learned that when you’re in a place of uncertainty, that’s when the feelings of self-doubt and negativity will begin to consume your thoughts at an all time high. With that being said, I knew that now more than ever I had to really practice different forms of self-love, because ya know AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR NEGATIVITY. You feel me?

I hit up a couple of my close girls that are either IRL friends or some that I just stalk on a consistent basis (they’re my besties in my head haha) because I love their content and asked each of them to share their #1 self love practice tip.

Even though I’m writing this for you, know that I high key needed this article for me too. I loved putting this together, I hope you all enjoy.

Photo by: @elenamudd

@analisacantuAnalisa Cantu, CMO + COO of Trenza

My phone is in a constant state of Do Not Disturb, and I never – NEVER answer emails from my phone. In fact, I have push notifications for my email turned off. There is no fire too big that it can’t wait for me to pull out my laptop and write out a strategic, intentional response. People in media: Let’s stop working in an unhealthy gaslit state, please. 

All this to say, I am hyper aware of the energy I intake (through foods, movement, social settings, push notifications) and the energy I exhibit *because* of what I choose to intake; this is why I create strict boundaries. Me, my ideas, my productivity (a company’s source of revenue) is a result of everything I choose to let in to my orbit. 

Millennials don’t need more unlimited PTO or fancy office snacks, we just need to be in workspaces that allow us to feel enabled to actually clock out. To sleep, to be encouraged to have a life outside of work. Eat a real meal. 

A lot of my philosophy around work was fueled by the tech scene in Austin, which admittedly can be too relaxed, but there’s an underlying understanding that Rome can’t be built *well* in a day. I’ve never seen happier employees, or had more present managers. Whereas when I made the transition to the New York tech scene, the underlying understanding was: Rome can be built in a day, but we’re going to beat that time and build it in 15 hours, k thanks. And thus, I’ve never seen more unhappy, dysfunctional teams than my time in the NYC tech scene. 

So: Take a breath. Figure out what makes you feel good. Prioritize that above all else, and I promise everything will follow suit.

Photo by: @curlderon

@astoldbyfatouFatou Berry, Founder of PRGIRLMANIFESTO & AB Media Group

My favorite way to practice self care is to honor my energy in all that I do. By stopping to ask myself how my spirit feels about a situation or person. I give myself the opportunity to make sure that I am in alignment, enabling me to tap into the best version of myself.

Photo by: @bycarolinacastro

@joyvalerieeJoy Valerie, Digital Business Operations Consultant & Host of Basic Brown Nerds Podcast

My favorite way to practice self-love is by reminding myself of what I have achieved so far. Be it that week, that day or in the last 5 years. This reminds me that the past me probably wouldn’t have even dreamed of where I am now – and future me is looking back smiling, having had achieved so much more.

This is what keeps me going on the days I want to give up and hide into a hole.

@annettecAnnette Gonzalez, Founder + CEO of Beyond The Babe

My self love ritual / tip is to show up FULLY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY as you are.  
I’ve been told I’m too passionate –  this set me back from pursing my dreams, fearful people wouldn’t accept how I show up.  I felt my light dim, thoughts of “not enough” sink in and the apologies endlessly pouring out. I held onto that shit so long that it manifested into an emergency stomach surgery.  

It took a lot of self love,  patience and mindful disconnection to recover and accept myself and my worth in it’s entirety. It wasn’t until I came across a quote from one of my favorite authors:

“You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge. Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are.” 

– Danielle Laporte


Since then I’ve grown to appreciate that I’m not for everyone. This new mindset connected me to the most aspirational, outspoken individuals who encourage me to use my voice as often as possible even if I’m scared. 
Love yourself. You are enough. Show up FULLY and UNAPOLOGETICALLY as you are & SHINE.


@ms.wilson2u – Sheneya Wilson, CPA + CEO of FolaFinancial

My favorite way to practice self-love is by no longer committing to people or things that will alter my personal happiness. I found myself in very dark places due to overexerting my energy to people who didn’t deserve or reciprocate it, or trying to fit in at a corporation whose mission didn’t align with my personality or interests. I am allowing myself to be open to a universe that is filled with abundance. Knowing that every opportunity or person isn’t for me,  I can confidently decline, allowing space for something or someone greater to come and ultimately protecting my inner happiness and peace. 

Photo by: @claudiagomezph

@candycalderon_Candy Calderon, Health & Wellness Entrepreneur + Founder of the Glow Wellness Tour

The biggest self-love tip I can give to anybody is to learn to say NO. To have the courage to say NO to anything that does not elevates you mentally, spiritually, emotionally or puts money in your bank! So many times we are guilt-tripped to saying yes to things that we don’t want to say yes to, and we end up being on the short end of the stick. Knowing your worth is super empowering —NO is a complete sentence— and I hope more of us love ourselves enough to say NO more often this year!

@kelsiwithaneyeKelsi Paden, Creator of Self Love Sunday Mixers

My favorite way to practice self-love is to challenge myself by stepping outside of my comfort zone. The self confidence I find when doing so is indescribable. I just know it’s a great feeling of accomplishment knowing that I am capable of doing whatever I put my mind to, always. I also practice self love by reflecting daily and acknowledging my accomplishments throughout the entire year. 

@ismilesometimesssHolta Tegu, Educator + Dance Fitness Instructor

My favorite way to practice self-care is by choosing to live intentionally. Two things have helped me in this never-ending journey:

  1. Clearly establishing and defining for myself my living intentions
  2. Mindfully planning to actualize those same intentions

When you’re passionate about the work you do and the people you serve, it can become a 24-7 job, which can in turn make it easy to forget yourself and your own well-being. Balance between work and rest is always something I struggled with. It wasn’t until the last two years that I realized I can’t be my best self for my students and the community I serve, if I’m not taking care of my well-being simultaneously. I knew that in the same way I planned for work, I had to start planning for me.

“Write it down, and stick to the script, Holta!”

Before I did anything else, I first had to intentionally identify what my living intentions were for myself (these have changed and I’m sure they’ll continue to change over time) – i.e. What did I regularly need to do to help me take better care of my basic needs? What would re-energize and help center me? What boundaries did I need to set?

I then planned to actualize those intentions. In the same way I plan for work-related tasks and events, I now also plan for myself (daily, weekly and monthly). Do I always stick to the plan? Absolutely not, and that’s where forgiving myself comes in. I now more than even understand that I’m human before I’m anything else – this too is an important aspect of “self-care”.

@halamaroc- Hala Maroc, Content Creator + Brand Developer. Founder of On The Block Badass Bootcamp

My favorite way to practice self-love these days is putting RIGHT NOW first. Operating on satisfaction is the easiest way to consistently be happy, healthy, and vibrating high. I tend to ask myself a lot:

“How do I feel about this?”

Committing to a workout gives my day a productive start. Turning off my notifications makes me feel in control of my time & interactions. Giving up meat has kept me light on my feet. I’m not the best at meditation but when I really need to feel good I shower with the lights off, incense or candle on, and R&B music up. Works every time. But all of these things amount to being present and living life one great moment at a time! I move on inspiration and anytime something goes left, I repeat to myself: EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING FOR ME NOT TO ME.

@arielledonce – Arielle Donce, Media Personality + Digital Strategist for BET

My favorite way to practice self love daily is positive self talk . I believe you should be a cheer squad of one and speak nice to yourself . I haven’t always practiced positive self talk but I can truly see the shift. In the words of Biggie

“I went from negative to positive and it’s all good.”

The Notorious B.I.G.

Genuinely support yourself and see how the world you view even begins to shift!
I am also a huge Oprah Supersoul Sunday fan. I suggest this as a good start to self evaluation for someone on the go. 

@supawomnsupaflyShaniece Cole, Associate Producer for Steve + Superhero

My favorite way to practice self love is following my passion. In order for us to really follow our passion we have to first believe in ourselves. People may doubt you, not encourage you, or tell you no, but as long as you keep believing in yourself, you will be able to make your passion into a profitable life. When we follow our passion, it brings us happiness and it solidifies our purpose in this world.

Photo by: @davidayllon

@bianacapeart – Bianca Peart, Courtyard NFL Global Correspondent + College Board Educator

For me, self-love is synonymous with self-awareness. It is an everlasting experience to evaluate and act on all the nooks and crannies of my entire being.  And, through trial and error, self-love has taught me the significance of structure. To rid the anxiety of “who am I?”, “do I love myself?”, or “am I worth anything?”, I express self-love using a three-themed structure.

Mind – Acquiring and retaining knowledge is very important to me. I make it a priority to read at least two long-form articles a day, one each way on the train during my commute.  The articles can be from any topic as long as I am learning something new and, as a bonus, I like to reexplain the stories with someone else.

Body – I would love to say I go to the gym everyday but that is not the reality. Instead, my face goes to the gym (hear me out). I embrace self-love by staring at myself in the mirror.  I remain present as I wash my face in the morning and evening, instead of just going through the motion. I spend at least five minutes pressing my fingers in circular motions to massage my face with a moisturizer or mask to circulate the blood, to the point where my face turns a little red.  Massaging the face is a dual benefit because it helps de-puff my face in the mornings. I typically speak aloud positive affirmations beginning with the phrase “I love…” 

Soul – Specifically at night while in bed, my mind wanders to the negative “what if” or “why don’t I have” universe.  This is where I’ve learned to flip my perspective and speak aloud about things I am grateful for. If I’m stuck, I always say to myself “could things be worse?” and although in the moment the answer feels like a “yes” it is always “no”. In the moments when I have low lows I acknowledge it. This is where I’ve groomed my self awareness. I am very familiar with the low moments and allow the negative energy to release. I get all the ugly out and immediately flip the perspective on how I can leverage the low into high, or even a medium. In that uncomfortable process, the beauty of self-love conquers.

Editor Note: Some answers have been edited and/or shortened.

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COMMUNITY

Many Unite for R&B Holiday Benefit Concert To Raise Funds for Philadelphia’s Ronald McDonald House

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On Thursday, December 20th, several local R&B artists joined forces for the inaugural R&B Holiday Benefit Concert. This year’s showcase, held at Philadelphia’s historic Trocadero Theatre, benefited families being supported by Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.

This Holiday Benefit Concert was a labor of brotherly love, with every single event organizer and performing artist involved having direct Philly ties. Attendees were serenaded with hits from each emerging artist as well as several of their favorite holiday classics such as “Joy to the World,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Silent Night” and more. This year’s concert lineup included:

  •  Julian King – contemporary R&B artist fresh off a concert tour in China
  • Star Castillo – Trenton native with the ability to fuse R&B, Pop and Soul into her renditions
  • Judaea – previous America’s Got Talent contestant and rising R&B star
  • Good Girl – R&B quartet from Philly striving to revive and lead the next girl group era
  • Audrey Jackson – internet darling, R&B songstress and head of It’s All Music, The Movement LLC
  • M!SHEL – Armenian and Jewish singer / songwriter powerhouse heralding from the suburbs of Philadelphia

“We could not be more excited to be able to come up with such a fun and engaging way to give back to our community,” says event organizer and host Delilah Dee of Delilah & Co. “Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly important during the holiday season so I’m grateful that I, alongside Revli Management, AB Media Group and Kelsi with an Eye, were able to rally together to organize this showcase benefitting the families of Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.

All those involved decided a month before show date they wanted to team up to give back to a local organization while also providing a platform for local talent. In less than a month, a venue was secured, non-profit organization was selected, artist line up and vendors were finalized for the concert. Not sure how the turn out would be since the team only had a short amount of time to put together this event, it is safe to say all involved felt a deep sense of gratitude to see that the community supported the initiative – the concert ended up being a sold out event.

What a great way to close out 2018.

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You Know That Comfort Zone You Love So Much? Leave It!

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Everyone has a comfort zone which is more than just a mere place, a place where we have psychologically and emotionally constructed to offer peace of mind as we go about our daily lives. Being a comfort zone is synonymous to being a place where comfort, safety, and security are guaranteed. It describes a patterned world that exists basically for an individual, comfortable and calm enough to remain free of stress and anxiety to a greater degree. While creating a comfort zone can be ideal for a lot of people, understand that stepping out of your comfort zone is a necessity for growth, transformation, and development.

Yes, stepping out of one’s comfort zone may come with stress and anxiety but if staying calm in your comfort zone forever is what you feel comfortable with, you might be missing out on so many things. You might not be able to experience new things and new challenges. Taking the risk to leave your comfort zone can make a big difference in your life. You may experience difficulty making the change but growing and transformation will definitely be the reward.

The most fearful things about daring oneself to leave one’s comfort zone is the fear of uncertainty and failure, the fear of not knowing how to get there, but the truth is, we all have the ability to overcome hurdles and obstacles, little effort added to our daily routine out of our comfort zone can actually result to a huge success and change our world entirely.

You are missing out on so much when you choose not to step out of your comfort zone. Here are a few benefits when you decide to take that leap of faith and try something new:

 

Opportunity To Grow

Daring yourself can help you reach the peak of your performance. I’m sure you’ve read that quote where insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. It’s not possible to repeat the same routine on a daily basis and expect to reach a new level of growth in your life. If you want to grow as an individual, taking risks is an important thing.

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Learn About Yourself

Everything in life requires risk, for instance, if you want to make new friends, you’ve got to take the risk of starting a conversation by introducing yourself. It is a risk because you can’t be certain that the other party wants to be your friend. The same thing is applicable to work and every other aspect of life.  This risk will help you grow, build on your weakness, teach you how to excel through your interests, strengths, passions and show you how capable you are. When you achieve something through the risk you take which you weren’t sure about in the first place, you’ll learn to be more confident and owning that leader within you.

 

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Increase Your Self-Confidence

Taking action to tackle the unknown and uncertainty may boost your self-confidence and break the boundaries and limitation of self-beliefs. Trying and failing is better than not trying at all, by making an attempt, you are building your self-esteem, by taking action, you will realize many things are possible.

via GIPHY

Build New Relationships

Meeting new people can actually help your career and personal goals.  You’ll learn about new things, be given new perspectives and new ways to challenge your thinking when you put yourself out there in front of new people. This is a different level of growth you’ll receive than when you are constantly with the same set of people.

via GIPHY

Keep in mind that good things don’t happen because we wish for them to happen, good things happen as a result of the action we take and our willingness to leave behind our comfort zone to search for a new experience life may have to offer. Where we are today is a result of what we did yesterday and where we will be tomorrow will be determined by the action we take today.

Be great today and always everyone. Believe in yourself, we believe in you.

 

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