SEE JANE RUN – I AM BEAUTIFUL

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The following is an excerpt from chapter 7 of my book “See Jane Run” Encouraging Mother Daughter Communication. 

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Although beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, the feeling of being beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld.  ~Martha Beck

SEE JANE RUN – I AM BEAUTIFUL

At one time or another every young lady feels as if she is not beautiful.   I met with these unkind thoughts early on in my childhood. Unsure of why I was so insecure at the time, I often played over and over in my mind (the thoughts of comparison) how my nose was too big, my lips were too full and my body type too skinny. I remember specifically thinking that one of my best friends was clearly prettier than I was because she was a lighter skin African American. I felt as if the boys liked her better and that I was not as desirable because I was of a darker skin tone. I wish that I could say that I eventually got over this negative perception of self while I was yet a little girl, but it wasn’t until I was a young adult that my thought process began to change. I had taken a job in my career field and was leaving my office one day. I remember an older gentlemen walking toward me in the parking lot and, as he approached me, he stopped to say, “You are such a beautiful young lady.” Those seven words from a stranger that day lifted my spirits a world over. They brought a smile to my face and, most importantly, helped to change the weight of the perception I had held over the years.

Now, I have no problem saying to myself and believing it, “I am Beautiful,” because in the mind of the beheld (my mind) my perception, my self-worth and self-esteem are much higher.  I have learned to accept my differences, whether they’re in skin tone, facial features or body shape, and appreciate them as unique, and uniquely me. 

Mothers – encourage your daughters to embrace their “uniqueness” and leverage its power in life.  

Daughters – Be Uniquely YOU!

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“Your Favor ain’t Like Mine”

opninionseveryoneDreading a change in schools recently, my eldest daughter shared with me a negative comment repeated to her by one of her peers of which was overheard from an adult, regarding her soon to be school. Such a comment had her (my daughter) very much uneasy about the new school environment.

To her comment I answered “Do not allow the opinions of others to become your opinion before you have had your own experience with a particular person, place or thing”.  Why? Because your favor is different from their favor…..the environment, the atmosphere, certain personalities will respond to you entirely different than it would/will to another individual. These were not just words of comfort for my dear child but words of which I truly live by.

Prime example, have you ever had a negative experience with a person, place or thing and shared that experience with someone else who had also encountered the same person, place or thing? Only to realize that their experience was 100% positive? In that moment of sharing, you probably found yourself trying to justify your negative experience as not only the norm but to convince the other person to see things the way that you – experienced it.

Outside of that moment, once you have had the time to reflect, what did you ask yourself? Hopefully one or two of the following;

  • What were my motives for sharing this negative experience?

  • Can this individual/audience handle this negative experience? Consider this especially in the realm of young people.

  • Was my experience the overwhelmingly consistent “norm” regarding this person, place or thing?

Grantland Rice says it this way “A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows the public opinion”. The Bible says it this way “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions”. (Prov. 18:2, NIV)

negativeopinionAlthough we all have the right to freedom of speech, that freedom of speech or opinion for that matter should never be to the detriment of another individual’s right to the same. Simply because we as individuals, with unique identities and favor will meet with life and life experiences differently.

Because “Your Favor ain’t Like Mine”, I choose to always add my own personal clause, the “Negative Opinion Clause” (NOC). This is done by stating that the opinion for which I am about to share is my opinion and my opinion only. That then, empowers others to not have to conform to your/my experience as the absolute. The end result – a people rich in experience and wise in living.

By the way, the experience for which my daughter dreaded proved to be all but negative for her. She in turn is enjoying her new school environment and have met new friends, with (positive) common interests. 

Remember to either like our blogs, share our blog or invite someone to follow our blog. JANENOTDOE promotes “Identity” among Sisterhood…..Be All that YOU were meant to be unapologetically!

Gamification

ImageGamification the symbolism of gaming on steroids has transcended the years and normality range of Sega Genesis, Atari, the Wii’s, Xbox and now PlayStation. Just when we thought we had arrived, here comes yet another level in the technology (business) corridor that thrusts the average individual into the social gaming craze. Gamification is the act of gaining points, badges and levels upon successful completion of real life challenges. With a goal to make the gaming experience a personal one, it seems the industry has accomplished its mission. Once an ideal competition between two or four close encountered individuals, the gamification plateau has opened us up to bigger and better challenges within a self-manipulated virtual world.

ImageAs Gamification affects the individual, it too affects the family. For generations the family as a vital institution within society provided not only early stage nourishment but was the ultimate source of socialization. Today, that is not so as the gaming industry has grown bigger and more advanced. As a matter of fact, it no longer accentuates family time but has evolved to take the place of what once was quality time.  In many ways it has become a babysitter for the all too busy parent, and the crutch for a fast paced society that (in my opinion) no longer promotes outdoor play for children. If we teach the family to exist within the virtual world, to spend more and more time in that virtual reality it makes it harder and harder (especially on our children’s impressionable minds) to distinguish what is real and what is not. What is the future of the family nucleus and can we win back the quality time we once knew?

ImageStamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner Inc. predicted that by 2014, “an estimated 70 percent of the top 2,000 public companies in the world will have at least one gamified application. This strategy which has already began amongst such industry giants as Verizon and Samsung. The goal is to focus on creating such a highly personal experience for the customer while too building a community. The customers seem not to realize that they have not only given over their loyalty but have evolved into brand specific groupies. Not that this isn’t good for the businesses or for the entrepreneur who learn to use such tactics. It is evident those who provide excellent customer service with a little over the top adage are the ones who thrive in the business.

While gamification is trending less as a leisurely activity and more as the norm, it should not become the way of life. The way of life is reality, not what is built simply around our virtual imaginations, and deceitful optimism. Why? Because it is simply not real, we do not live in a game as some would suggest. We exist in a real world where real life happens and real decisions have to be made. Life is the existence of what we experience and how we handle that experience. To many simply put REAL Life happens.

Empowering YOU to Nurture the Vision in today’s YOUth

Visionimages VISION is pursued in YOUth achieving what is most important to YOUth. As Albert Einstein said, “I have no special gift, I am only passionately curious.” It is with that passionately, curious outlook on life that we Dream and Dream BIG. Such passion and curiousness begin early (infancy) on in our human existence.

If we are not careful as parents, caretakers, grandparents, mentors, leaders, we can hinder that curiosity and thus stifle a child’s ability to Dream and Dream Big. Dreaming allows both them and you to grasp the VISION for life….

The Bing dictionary (online) defines vi•sion [ ví’n ] “as the eyesight: the ability to see”…..I venture to say, its one’s ability to see their future being, to forecast what it is they want in life, it simply gives direction to activities and motivates one to move forward to achieve a desired goal.

These are a few tips to help in nurturing the Vision in today’s YOUth!

  • Give them the Freedom to think, to feel, to be them.

  • Be an Example of a Creative Person in Action, we are our children’s   primary role models therefore be creative and open to new adventures, activities. Follow your own interests and passions.

  • Respect their imagination, for that is where creativity begins.

  • Practice affirming them in their Vision. Such affirmation statements nurtures a creative environment in which to allow them to pursue their Vision;  You are so creative, Tell me more about your dreams, visions, and Wow that sounds like a great idea.

  • Appreciate their Creativity and encourage inquisitiveness and a sense of wonder.

  • Envision them as the wonderfully unique individual that they are. Such self-fulfilling prophecy is a strong influence on children’s behavior, including creativity.

  • Maximize Success by giving children every opportunity to develop their interests, experience new things as well as build new skills.

  • Have Fun by laughing, having fun while they Dream and Dream Big, encouraging more creativity and a sense of enjoyment while they pursue their VISION.

Let it be okay, let it be great, let it be the norm for YOUth to express themselves in whatever (healthy) way that feels good to them. Then will come the Albert Einstein’s, the Steve Jobs, the Michael Jordan’s, the Barak Obama’s, and the Oprah Winfrey’s of the next generation…. When we foster a “Free To Be You” environment and allow the same for ourselves, life takes on a greater meaning, a meaning of Purpose.daretodreamimages

It never too late to pursue your vision as an adult neither is it too soon to help our YOUth in pursuing theirs. I believe that former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said it best “You rarely achieve finality. If you did, life would be over, but as you strive new visions open before you, new possibilities for the satisfaction of living”. As long as there is breathe in your body, you have another chance at Dreaming and Dreaming BIG…. Enjoy your today to the fullest!