Hey girl hey! I had a great conversation with one of my clients and a topic, all to familiar, came up. "As a minority woman I feel I am operating in survival mode. Working to take care of bills, family, and friends. Just doing things to get me to the next thing; not really enjoying the moments." CHIIIIIILE!! I know this all too well. As a black woman I have always felt like my life was a never ending bootcamp. Everything I experienced was training me for a battle that really wasn't mine to fight. I recently ran into a note I wrote myself back in 2015 when I was at the peak of my true survivor mode and didn't even realize it was that:
We have to train our hair
We have to train our chests
We have to train our waists
We have to train our muscles
We have to train our men
We have to train our pets
We have to train our kids....
Now I don't know what prompted me to write this, but I can feel through the words that I HAD ENOUGH. I was done with the never ending to-do list of things that didn't grow me into my fullest potential. I was over "preparing" a life rather than living it.
Remember that song by Destiny's Child "Survivor"? They completely glorified the depiction of women going through bad experiences all because they made it through. Why must our value be dictated by our struggle? Why are we now competing to see who has the best worst "glow up" story? Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy the song. I am all hear to celebrate a good glow up. But behind the struggle to survival, there was much casualty. For me, I have lost friends, family, faith, money, hair, time, and my sanity trying to "survive". Putting all my energy in just getting through, leveling up if you will, I missed those moments to exhale and be in gratitude for getting as far as I did. I just don't believe my glow up and everything I have been through is all I am about. I believe that when I leave this earth, the moments I laughed, loved, and served will be my legacy. Nobody is going to remember the time I was on the struggle bus in college rubbing two pennies together to hopefully have a enough to pay for ramen noodles; but graduated degree in hand. Or that one time that boy broke my heart; but I showed up to work the next day with a smile and killed that presentation. None of that will be in my eulogy sis.
So why should I not be LIVING MY BEST LIFE NOW? My old habits of surviving are no longer working to my benefit (did they ever?). Working extra hours for a paycheck that is the same regardless - and they still take the taxes. Sending all my paycheck to household bills each month and not putting anything aside for some "self love" time. Letting my vacation balances roll over...and over...and over. Skipping family reunions and time with friends because I have to keep working to get to the next level - which has another level, and another, and another. No more! This is my season to THRIVE hun-ty! I have picked up new habits of building vacations in my work schedule and budget. When I show up smiling it is going to be because I am reflecting on my beautiful trip to Jamaica with sand still in my hair and the smell of street jerk chicken in my nostrils. When I accomplish a new milestone with my business yes you will see me celebrating epically. When I turn another year FINER my birthdays will be a month long fete okaaaay. THRIVING IS THE NEW BLACK for me. In my coaching sessions and my book I am very transparent on how I shifted into my thriving season and how intentional I had to be to maintain this new direction for me.
SHANICE'S 5 WAYS TO SHIFT FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING
Do one thing every day that makes you feel good
Write a line in your monthly budget for that thing you love, but put on the back-burner or sacrifice. (for me was vacation and eating out)
Write a list of 10 items that would make your life worth waking up to
Prayer and meditate daily over #3
And lastly, don't compare. Live your life, your way - no one can do you better than you!
I CHALLENGE YOU to step out from your habits of surviving each day. Make every day a day you can't wait to wake up to. It will feel different, selfish, scary, and unfamiliar. That is okay. Anything new is all of those things, but growth comes from shifting into a different direction. Obviously what you are currently doing isn't working for you - right? Thrive in this next chapter of your life; unapologetically. You will thank yourself for it!