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Embracing MORE in 2024!

What a year!

2023 was a year of paradoxes.  Up and Downs! Contradictions and Consistencies! Set-backs and Set-ups!  Joy and Pain! Mountaintop Moments and Valley Lows! Inclusion and Exclusion! Happiness and Horror!

But despite the individual and collective polarities we have experienced and witnessed in 2023, I am still convinced that goodness will prevail. I believe we ALL still have the power to change the world for our common good. I still know that we ALL are bright lights, and we can illuminate the darkness that robs us of our shared humanity.  Even though I am shocked, angry, and grieved about some of the trauma happening in the world, I am also STILL resolved, empowered, and committed to work for change.

Why?

First, I am grateful for my life!

Also….I still believe in US – you and me!

So, as we embark on a new year, I hope and pray that:

You can keep making the right choices for yourself even when the choices feel risky.

You keep speaking up for yourself and others even when finding the right words is difficult.

You keep standing up for yourself and others even if you stand on shaky legs.

You keep seeing the best in yourself and others, even if you must strain to see beyond your biases, constant propaganda, and great complexities.

You keep raising your hand to advocate for yourself and others, even when others act like they don’t see you or hear you.

You keep walking your own path even if the path is unclear, uncharted, and unconventional.

You keep listening to your heart and the wisdom of your ancestors even if you must ignore the crowd and leave long-term relationships.

You keep holding onto your faith even if you must cling tighter than you’ve ever clung to an unwavering hope in a Higher Power.

You keep protecting your integrity even when you are tempted to compromise who you are and what you believe for perks, power, and privileges.

You keep saying “no” even when saying “yes” is more comfortable, convenient, and profitable.

You keep establishing boundaries to protect and promote your health, healing, and wholeness, even when others call you divisive, selfish, or standoffish.

You keep making rest and restoration priorities, even though society keeps telling you that rest is earned and reserved for others who don’t look like you.

You keep learning history so you can appreciate the lived experiences of others, courageously confront your assumptions, and value differences in ways that honor and restore the humanity and dignity of others.

You prioritize your total health so that your mind, body, spirit, and soul get the nourishment you need to be the happiest, healthiest, and highest version of yourself.

You stay rooted in your truth while remaining open to new ideas so that you can evolve and transform without guilt, pressure, or fear.

You keep loving yourself even when your mistakes and memories fill you with shame, feelings of inferiority, and crippling doubt.

You keep choosing and working for justice even when the world keeps misleading you to believe in the policies of “JUST-US.”

You keep creating ways to generate income and financial freedom for yourself and your family so you don’t have to subject yourself to the soul-draining effects of assimilation, code-switching, microaggressions, and other types of corporate trauma.

You keep dreaming even when your current reality convinces you that your dreams are pointless, too big, or beyond your ability.

You keep hearing, prioritizing, and honoring your intuition, insight, instincts, and inner voice so you know what to do and when to do it.

You keep taking value-inspired action, so you don’t have to live with the pain of regret.

You keep reclaiming, reconnecting, and remembering parts of yourself that you left behind to fit into unwelcoming and unsupported places.

I hope you can keep DOING YOU – courageously, unapologetically, and effortlessly because you believe in YOUR FREEDOM, identity, humanity, and joy.

I am praying….

I am praying, dreaming, and hoping for all of us. I am praying because we – YOU AND ME – are essential to the world. The world needs us, and we need the world. We need each other to be more human and humane.

What I know for sure is that there is so much more in store for you.

There is so much more in store for me.

There is so much more in store for the world.

And if we dare to soar higher than everything we have been taught, told, seen, or experienced, we can create a safer, saner, more equitable world. And when we do that, we can create spaces to thrive and experience a little heaven on Earth.

Blessings to you!

I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

SharRon,

The Dare To Soar Mentor and Strategist

P.S. Remember to download your 2023 Year-End Review Booklet.

 

Rediscovering Dreams, Nurturing Growth, and Embracing Authenticity

Yesterday was the first time in 20 years that I spent Christmas with my parents. Celebrating and enjoying the holidays with them was such a blessing.
While there, I saw this wonderful picture of me when I was 7. It made me ask myself:
👉🏾 What did this little girl want?
👉🏾 What did this little girl believe about her potential and purpose?
👉🏾 What did this little girl hope for and believe about her life?
👉🏾 When did this little girl STOP dreaming big?
I don’t know the answers, but this morning I am asking myself those questions because the little girl in the picture has wisdom that the adult ME needs.
The little girl in the picture has divine insight… insight that God protected from the unconscious, ubiquitous effects of cultural and social indoctrination.
Wisdom that God protected to ensure she stayed equipped, enthusiastic, and empowered to fulfill her divine calling. To do something significant, transformative, and legacy-producing in the world.
So, the adult ME is staring at the photo, straining to see beyond the social brainwashing and conditioning to see what the little girl wanted and needed so that I CAN give it to her.
The adult ME is resurrecting and reclaiming those childhood buried dreams – the dreams that society tried to kill – so I can be the changemaker that God ordained me to be.
The adult ME is revising narratives, identifying lies, and debunking myths that tried to make me settle for the status quo and a “toxic” normal that is making the world a scarier, sicker, and sadder place to live.
Questions:
  • What did your little person need?
  • What buried dreams do you need to resurrect?
  • What must you remember and reclaim to walk in your authentic authority?
Our childhoods hold clues about our greatness. And when we look under the pain, trauma, historical narratives, systematic oppression, cultural domination, and gender norms, we will uncover who we were divinely created to be!
As my elders used to say: You are higher than what you heard.
Let’s Dare To Soar Higher!
Blessings.

 

Don’t Let Your Village Cloud Your Vision

There will always be people in your life who will NOT and cannot SEE you!

Even if they work with you, live with you, worship with you, or train with you, they may overlook or minimize your brilliance because they are so tethered to stereotypes, labels, or their own understanding of who you are.

Do you know the type?

You tell them what you were called to do, and faster than a New York minute, they will attempt to discourage you.

They will provide reasons why your vision is too large, too unattainable, too risky, and too beyond who they think you are, to be realized.

When you continue to pursue your purpose without their approval and support, they will up the ante. They will use guilt to dissuade you, rejection to coerce you, and the fear of abandonment to intimidate you.

When you are not deterred by their mean-spirited antics or their empty advice (which is really thinly disguised envy), they start smear campaigns to discredit you or to discount your ideas.

👉🏾 Don’t be alarmed. Don’t retaliate. Don’t despair.

Recognize that your current village may not have the capacity to appreciate your future vision.

Recognize that you have changed and your desires and aspirations no longer align with the places that reared you.

Recognize that your birthing place has become a prison and that you MUST leave in order to bloom and build your new life.

Remember…you have a vision, which may require a new village.

Your newfound creativity may demand new comrades, collaborations, and colleagues.

That was and is my story. I bet it was your story, too.

That’s why in I DARE TO BE ME, we talk honestly about friendships, connections, and mutuality.

We honestly and courageously explore the importance of aligned partnerships that support your purpose.

🔗 Join the “I Dare To Ne Me” Waitlist by clicking here.

I look forward to sharing more about how fruitful friendships provide the safety, sustenance, and support you need to soar.

It’s your time to SOAR Higher, and having the right relationships will help you easily take flight.

Thank you, Pastor Dr. Kenneth Lee Samuel, for helping us understand the critical connection between villages and visions.

Only You Know What’s Best For You

So often, we believe we can only feel and think one way about a specific topic. We frequently feel bullied to choose between this or that, as if there are only two options to consider.

But life often exists in the grey; life is rarely black or white. There are few absolutes.

Yes, absolutes are non-negotiable; we must honor humanity, ensure dignity, and protect freedom.

However, most of life’s questions are full of nuances, complexities, and contradictions that challenge us to think deeply about our values. And those are the questions and decisions that don’t fit neatly into our cultural conditioning, religious doctrines, and social norms. The decisions that affect us the most are never this or that; they may be both or neither.

Bottom line: Don’t get bullied by binaries.

You can have multiple opinions, concerns, and feelings about one topic.

So, question everything and allow yourself to have mixed feelings about something until you know what is true for you.

Create space in your mind and expand the love in your heart to hold tension and dichotomies.

Most of all, trust and test your own inner knowledge because YOU and only you know what’s best for you.

So, this week, here are some journal prompts to help you get clear on your goals and needs.

Journal Prompts:

  • What feels suitable for me in this season of my life?
  • What nourishes my soul and stimulates my mind?
  • How does staying in an unfulfilling career or relationship affect me?
  • How does changing my routines help me rest, think, or heal?
  • Where do I need to think broadly about my life?
  • Why am I not advocating for myself at work or at home?
  • Who am I becoming, and why?
  • What could I do if I expanded my understanding of “truth?”
  • How would updating my definition of success create more capacity in my life?

Spend some time asking yourself these critical questions. And then, be sure to sign up for the free I Dare To Be Me Virtual Open House to get additional insight about creating a life that honors your deepest needs.

Don’t be bullied. You are too amazing to be shoved into a belief system that suppresses your soul.

Blessings!

SharRon

Start Sitting At The Right Tables

A few days ago, one of my mentors asked me why I was sitting at the wrong tables.

Initially, I didn’t understand his comment. But I soon realized that his question was metaphorical and invited me to examine if I was spending time in life-expanding, soul-nourishing places.

So, being the thinker I am, I considered where I was spending my time to evaluate if I was metaphorically sitting at tables that were undermining or enriching my life.

I asked myself…

  • Was I sitting at tables of complacency that kept me stuck in old stories, outdated paradigms, and damaging stereotypes?
  • Was I sitting at tables where I could be easily un-seated if I disagreed with the group?
  • Was I sitting at tables where my intellectual property was stolen or altered without consent?
  • Was I sitting at tables that served stale religious dogma that demonized people with unique identities, realities, and expressions?
  • Was I sitting at tables where people showed they were aware and cared about how society treated me based on my social identity and social location?
  • Was I sitting at tables where people congratulated themselves for thinking about justice but failed to do anything for the sake of justice?
  • Was I sitting at tables where diversity was celebrated, equity was prioritized, and inclusion was embedded in the organization’s mission?
  • Was I sitting at tables where people had the maturity to disagree without disconnecting?
  • As the late Dr. Katie Cannon said, I was sitting at tables that required “numbing and dumbing?”

I am not sure why those questions came so quickly to my mind, but since they did, I knew I had to look deeper into my soul for answers. I had to tap into my intuition to access my body’s wisdom to see beyond public personas, hidden agendas, and unspoken intentions.

Asking myself some tough questions, knowing that the answers could change relationships and alter my career trajectory, was difficult. But whatever the cost, I had to tell myself the truth, even if the truth was uncomfortable and inconvenient. And so, I journaled, prayed, and relaxed my mind to hear the small sweet whispers of wisdom from my Creator.

In less than 3 days, I received some sobering answers. Most of the responses were not shocking because my spirit never felt settled and embraced at a few tables where I frequently dined and visited. So, bolstered by integrity and courage, I moved and took my “plate” full of my talents, gifts, and love to new tables where I felt seen and supported.

What I know for sure: I want to sit at tables where I feel invited, appreciated, and respected. I want to metaphorically sit at tables where love, acceptance, kindness, and soul-enriching affirmation are lovingly served. I want to dine in places where everyone’s humanity is honored and their decisions respected. I want to be surrounded by various views, cultures, identities, expressions, languages, faith traditions, and ages. I want to dine where curiosity is abundant, clarity is pursued, and courage is celebrated. I want to sit where my soul feels safe.

What about you? Where do you want to sit? What types of tables are worthy of you? What types of tables will stretch your wings and help you thrive? What types of tables feel like life-giving elixirs and not death-dealing abuses? What types of tables make you feel safe, seen, and supported?

This week, evaluate the tables you are sitting at and determine what’s being served. Determine if those tables nourish and sustain you. Ask yourself if those tables keep you mentally well, wise, and whole.

And if those tables don’t provide the spiritual and emotional nourishment you need, find the courage to leave so you can dine at new places that warm your heart, expand your mind, and revive your soul.

Journal Prompt: Where am I being fed the spiritual, emotional, and relational food that I need to sustain me in this season of my life?

Have a great week, and remember to only sit at tables that nourish your soul.

Blessings,

SharRon

 

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What’s Blocking You? – Part 2

actionHave you ever felt as if you were stuck in a rut? I have. There have been times in my life when I have felt stuck, cemented and confined by people, policies, places and positions.  A few times I felt so emotionally trapped by routines, responsibilities and relationships that I stopped growing, learning, loving and living.  I was emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually sinking, and I was sinking fast.

Thankfully some wonderful coaches and counselors helped me change the trajectory of my life and now almost 25 years later, I have learned a few things.   I have learned that self-reflection is the first step to personal transformation. Yes, I learned that I had to learn more about me. I learned that I had to learn who I was devoid of expectations, fears, traditions, norms and facades. I had to discover who I was outside of what everybody else wanted me to be.   Trust me, that was difficult; it required peeling back layers of my personality that I never knew existed.

For me, self-reflection was a painstaking process because I had to take off the masks and remove my disguises; I could no longer hide. I also had to stop acting, and the funny thing was —  I didn’t know that I was even acting. I thought my beliefs and behavior were self-directed; I soon realized that they were not. I realized that my beliefs and behavior were influenced by whole lot of people who didn’t know me, care about, support me or even like me. Yikes! What a wake-up call!

During my self-discovery journey, I was forced to analyze my history to identify patterns, themes and the orgins of my bad behavior. I had to understand why I  sabotaged my success, happiness, relationships and health. I was forced to evaluate my perspectives and define my truth, and honestly 25 years ago, I didn’t know I even had a truth. Imagine that.

I am not alone; many people are and have been in the same boat. Many people today are struggling or have struggled to understand themselves. Some, like I did, have and continue to struggle to find their purpose, accept their calling or even understand the need for transformation. Most successful people I know have been to THE place, the place of truth that helped them jump-start their journeys of personal transformation.  I call THAT place “Blessings at the Bottom” (Chapter 39 in I Have Learned A Few Things)

Yes, most of us have been to that the scary, unfamiliar and agonizing place that demanded that we become more self-aware.  I am sure that we all can agree that THE place is a challenging place but it is also an exciting place. It is a place of great promise, great purpose, great clarity and of great relief. During THAT place, we were forced to look closer, deeper and broader at the choices that we made or honestly consider the choices that we were failing to make. We removed our defenses and we became emotionally transparent to ourselves; we didn’t hide from our histories, failures, mistakes and secrets.  We became self-aware and as result, we were ready to embark on our new journeys, our journeys of personal transformation.

As we learned in the previous post, self-AWARENESS is the first step toward personal transformation. After you conduct a full life inventory and commit to continuous self-discovery, the second step on the road to personal transformation is ACTION. Yes, ACTION! If you want a different life, you must make changes; you must do something and many times, do a lot of “somethings” differently. As we say in the South, “you just can’t talk about it, you got to be about it”.

But even though we know we must do something, it is the “doing” that scares us the most. It is the “doing” that keeps up stuck, stagnant and stale in our lives. It is the “doing” that seems insurmountable, unfathomable and just down right undoable.  It is the “doing” that reveals our fears, unravels our resolve and makes us abandon our dreams. It is the “doing” that frequently stops us or makes us settle for relationships that are unfulfilling, jobs that are underpaying and lives that are unsatisfying. The “doing”, the failure to take action, is what limits our successes and negates our future.

actionchangesthings

So how do we address the “doing” so that it feels doable? I don’t know all of the answers but I have a few thoughts.

  • Get clear about what you want and who you want to be; determine your compelling WHY. Your WHY will create your vision, and your vision will guide and direct you. For example, when I started my healing journey, my WHY was that I no longer wanted to feel yucky inside. I was tired of feeling small, silent, suffocated and sidetracked. My WHY was not elaborate or deep; it was just honest.  More importantly, at the time that was all I could articulate but it was a great start. What’s your WHY?
  • Identify the resources that you already have and identify what you are already know. When I started my personal transformation, I knew that I had some money and I knew that I needed therapy. I knew that my prolonged feelings of malaise and sadness were not normal. I didn’t know too much more than that but knowing those few things was critical to me moving forward in my life.  So what do you already have and what do you already know?
  • Take a step, make a call, start a class, join a group or find support. I would say read a book but I have learned that reading books in isolation is never enough for sustained growth. Books provide concepts but an activity, practice or coaching provides the application. And to make the changes that you want in your life, you need both concepts and application. Just think about. You can read a book about swimming all day long but until you jump in the pool do you know if you can really swim? The same principle applies when learning new life skills. So, what are you doing to use, practice, apply or implement the knowledge that you are learning?
  • Don’t worry about understanding all the details. You may never know all of the details before you start a business, pursue your dreams or embark on a healing journey. Learn as much as you can and get started. No, don’t be reckless or careless; be calculating, prudent and analytical. But after you obtain as much information as you can, MOVE, DO, GO, BE, and TRY! Take action…..bold action. As you take a few steps toward your goals, more information, resources and support will show up. Trust me…I have been there.
  • Only focus on 3 – 5, preferably only 3, things that you want to improve or change at one time. Some coaches may disagree with me on this. However, from working with all types of clients, I have learned that personal transformation is challenging, and trying to do too much at once often becomes overwhelming. And what do overwhelmed people routinely do? They procrastinate or they QUIT! So, honor yourself. Organize your life and focus on a few things so you don’t fall out, fall down and fall asleep. Trust me, it happens.
  • Remember that success is a process, and sometimes a messy process. This weekend one of my mentors said something that resonated in my spirit. He said that “sloppy success is better than perfect mediocrity”. Wow…as we say in the Christian faith –  that was an on-time word. That phrase freed me! I now feel more creative, more committed and more courageous to pursue my own dreams. That little phrase empowered and embolden me to Soar Higher!

I encourage you to take Action! Never forget that motion motivates, activates and elevates. So get started because today is the first day of the rest of your life. And, don’t forget to get some support on your journey. If you need coaching or assistance, please feel free to call the Jamison Group.  We would love to provide you with support and guidance as you embark on your new life.

Always remember to DARE to SOAR HIGHER because You are ALWAYS worth your best!

(Reprinted from my upcoming book, I Have Learned A Few Things About Success)

Blessings,

SharRon