emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the category “Professionally Speaking”

Those Lyrics

I ended my relationship with him because his music of preference degraded, devalued, and denounced women.  How did we get to this place?  When did I become his enemy?  Surely, he did not think of me as a friend!

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you,” he would say.

Ughhhhhh, my frustration rose with every point he missed.  Of course the lyrics are not about me specifically, but its collective implication is placed squarely upon my shoulders.  The weight is heavy.  The conversation is lacking.  Maybe if I were not a professional woman, I would not notice?  Maybe if my life did not require me to be in situations where I am the only one, I would not be bothered?  How have we gravitated from R-E-S-P-E-C-T to O-P-P?  Perplexed and tired, I ended the relationship.

If you are wondering, yes we are still friends—the one, he says, “that got away “.  What an interesting choice of words when considering the bondage his ideology would have placed me under.  Walking away, I was left wondering if he would ever know A Woman’s Worth.  I can only hope so, but I still don’t know.

peace

Unless empathetic, people only seem to understand “a thing” if it has a direct impact on them.  Have we become so desensitized that we only have empathy when catastrophes occur?  Don’t we know that by the time we see the physical manifestations of inequity, inequalities have already run rampant?  Many seem to think that if they do not have a dog in the fight, then the fight is simply theater.  “Get over it”, they say.  “It’s not that serious”, they insist while attempting to bully via shame.  “You are too sensitive”, they sing.  Their perspective, however, does not change your reality nor how such attitudes affect your life.

“Oh, the lyrics are not about you” become about me when I show up to defend someone in court and have to check a dude who calls me honey.  They become about me when I am in a meeting and the males are addressed by their respective titles and I am by my first name only.  They become about me when the salary being offered to me is less or when I am overlooked for a promotion, not because of my work product, but because of this rule that a man—and many times a white male—is simply worth more.  How could he not be worth more, right?  People like to do business with people like them and most big business deals are done between men—white, wealthy men.  Now, you know like I do that most people are not white and wealthy and male.  Yet, the oppression amongst those of us who are not continues to pit ally against ally.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Although at times slow to make mainstream rotation, songs empowering women are being written and played.  Their vehicle is not limited to the radio, but more readily seen in life.  So, what songs do you turn up…or turn off?  Are the lyrics being sung about you?  The big picture, most miss.

My 2015: Professional Lessons

That time of year has come when I take some time to re-evaluate my year.  A year ago, I was determined to make some major changes and some major progress.  My spirit had reached the point where it was no longer interested in playing second fiddle to anyone or anything.  I knew that I was overdue in accepting God’s love and its manifestations in my life.  Sure, I had been saying for a number of years prior that I wanted all that God wanted to bless me with and I wanted to be a blessing to others.  The being a blessing to others part came easier for me.  Well, at least I was half way there right?

2014

Many, many, MANY years ago I got a very clear vision of me helping a large number of people.  What I saw was likened to actual footage of what this looks like.  Its memory serves as a constant reminder and motivation, but you can understand how at times it can be frustrating—can’t you?  Just think about it…there you are, sitting like a child at Christmas on Christmas Day looking at gifts with your name on them, but you can’t unwrap them (yet).  “What am I doing wrong,” I thought.  What must I change?

Around the middle part of 2014, I began to seriously consider relocating.  Some potential opportunities were presented to me, but my spirit was strongly against such change.  Trust and Believe! was my reoccurring message.  Oh, the struggle was real yet I challenged myself to remain still and to gather lessons of the season.  Being still forced me to be present.  Being present allowed me to become more conscious, more centered.

challenge be yourself

I made it a point to slow down.  Spending more time with my family replaced mandatory meetings.  Discovering new hobbies and returning to known ones creates for me environments which support my growth.  In doing so, I began to write again.  One of my 2015 goals was to complete my second novel for publicationDone!  What the mind can dream, one can achieve!  Now, I am looking for a particular literary agent.  I am looking for a literary agent who enjoys both topics of faith and that of gender.  (HELP ME by sharing this request/blog/post!  Someone may know someone or that someone may be you!  Email:  emergingfree@gmail.com  Now, THAT’S growth!)

In 2015, I grew professionally as well.  I finally understood the importance of surrounding myself with people who value my gifts and talents!  This was easier once I trusted God to provide for me professionally.  Being goal-oriented, it is easy to get so focused on reaching the goal that God is left out of your equation.  Once I surrendered to God being the equation, I confidently became uncompromising about my self-worth and the value of my gifts and talents.  He and He alone is my Source, my Provider, my Resource-Sender.  My ability to discern increased and this is vital for the sustainability of healthy working relationships!  Amazing and supportive environments are waiting for me and YOU to show up.  Show up!

As a result of my professional surrender to God, I realized I had a mental block that was thorn-ish.  (I think I just made that word up, but stay with me.)  Once I understood, however, the bigger purpose of what my professional pursuits serve, I was able to see its connection to the vision(Aha!)  Through my faith, I was able to find rest.  Do you think faith-based people generally identify their professional lives as being intertwined with their spiritual lives and divinely-inspired purposes?  Do you think they find rest in that?  For me, this revelation was MAJOR!  Don’t you just love it when you can see God’s work in your life?!  (I’m sure I will blog more about this later.)

i awake now

As I look back over the last twelve months, I can see progress and that fills me with excitement.  Thank You God for progress!  I have grown as a professional and I understand how such growth allows me to be a blessing within God’s Kingdom.  I am aware of the importance of setting boundaries and how such boundaries allow for life to be enjoyed.  If you are like me, there is a potential for us to become vulnerable spending time and energy doing good things because our flesh encouraged us.  Setting boundaries, however, keeps us focused on doing things directed by God because we understand our purpose.  I needed to apply this principle to my professional life.  I needed to merge my professional lessons with my God-inspired vision and grow.  Do you?

peace

 

Book Review: YES!

Shonda Rhimes?  Private PracticeGrey’s AnatomyScandalHow To Get Away With Murder.  Yes, you know the one!  YES!  The one who has ABC‘s Thursday nights on lock!  YES!  THAT Shonda Rhimes.  No, I don’t watch them either.  Well…maybe Grey’s Anatomy…maybe.

WriterCreatorVisionaryShondaLand.  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one!  College graduateMotherSingleDream CatcherHistory MakerYES!  The one who is not afraid to address “controversial” matters in honest, educational ways!  YES!  THAT Shonda Rhimes!  YES!  Sign me up!  I’m a supporter.

So, she wrote a book?  Really?  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one.  It’s entitled, “Year of Yes”.  (See:  http://books.simonandschuster.com/Year-of-Yes/Shonda-Rhimes/9781476777092)  Interesting….

OK.  OK.  I LOVE THIS BOOK!  It is a great balance of honesty and humor.  I enjoyed how she intertwines her experiences, explicitly including reflective examples of race and gender.  (YES, this is her life.)  Rarely have I seen that done in such a matter-of-fact, I’m-simply-saying, the-world-through-my-eyes way.  Through the chuckles, you realize that she is growing and that you are too.  Shonda Rhimes?  Yes, you know the one.

I’m glad I made time (specifically three days) to read this book.  In its pages, I discovered glimpses of myself.  It helped that like her, I am a writer and can relate to the solitude of the craft.  Finding inspiration, it did not take long before I began to say, “YES”, to more invitations and to facing fears.  After all, have I loss pieces of myself in the safety and security of the “No”?  Maybe.

You know, I have a strong sense that a lot of amazing things are coming my way.  Life is what you make it.  I am saying, “Yes”, to new opportunities; to working to achieve greatness; to being happy, healthy, and whole; to being unapologetically abundantly blessed and great beyond measure.  I am saying, “Yes”, to living!  What about you?  Need some motivation?  Check out Shonda Rhimes’ book!  Yes, you know the one!

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

Lambs Among Wolves

Cronyism is defined (via wikipedia) as showing “partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications….  Often, the appointer is inadequate to hold his or her own job or position of authority, and for this reason the appointer appoints individuals who will not try to weaken him or her, or express views contrary to those of the appointer.”  Do you see examples of this around you?

“Go!  I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”  —Luke 10:3

Yesterday, I saw a friend I had not seen in a year and a half.  We had an incredibly honest conversation while standing in the middle of a popular store’s Baby Section.  Interestingly, she began to share with me why she is not as involved with, as she terms it, “community obligations” as she once was.  Her experiences have caused her to re-prioritize her energies.

Mentor Needed

As she spoke, I could not help but to be surprised by how much I could relate to what she was saying.  On one hand, I was comforted by the bluntness of our conversation because it is not one I hear often.  On the other hand, I was sadden because, as she said, “People will see that you truly care for people and they will use that against you to stagnant your growth.”  Fortunately, everyone is not like this but there are far too many who–intentionally or otherwise—are.

As she spoke, I remembered how active she was in volunteer activities—rather they stemmed from her church, the result of her profession, or via her social interests.  One day, however, she realized that the people she was being surrounded by were likened to wolves.  They did not really care how she was doing.  They were circling her looking for opportunities to take—-to take her energy, to take her skill sets, to take her talents, to take her breath—but never offering her any real opportunities for advancement or enhancement.  Those favorable circumstances were being distributed amongst friends.  When she understood this, she was insulted.  Upon this realization, many are.

Today, I sit still thinking about that conversation.  In fact, it was the third one of its kind that crossed my path within the last two weeks.  They have led me to wonder the very real and detrimental impact cronyism has on communities across the nation and on the world as a whole.  These are things that are not being talked about….enough.  Young people hear, “We want you to get involved,” but like my friend stated, “Once we do, we are silenced because of cronyism.”  What a powerful observation!  More so, what a loss for the community….many times for the very community we are assigned (at least for a season) to serve!

When many think of Christians, they limit our workplaces to sanctuaries.  This may be true for some, but a much larger number of us are to GO out into the world and work.  Hence, we are lawyers and doctors, teachers and artists, customer service agents and nurses, police officers and janitors, writers and business owners, bus drivers and scientists, bartenders and cashiers, executive directors and staff, in the forefront and behind the scenes….the list goes on and on.  We are young and old, from a variety of cultures speaking a number of languages.  Our personalities are as vast as the audience we are to reach.

Yes, we are uniquely made to GO, however, we must be clear about and committed to our purpose in life and in situations.  Why?  Because we will be met with opposition and without knowing our purpose, we can be easily discouraged, frustrated, and/or led astray.  Spiritual warfare is real.  Don’t let cronyism bench you!

We have people to serve, people to help, lives to touch in positive ways.  We have been commissioned to be on a mission.  We are to accomplish that mission in love.  So, let us agree to remain focused on God.  Let us seek Him for understanding and strength, for clarity and inspiration.  Let us walk His way, according to His will for our lives.  Let us remember that He is sending us out like sheep among wolves.  Be careful!

A Generation’s Responsibility

In my profession, it is not uncommon for me to know someone whose parent is an attorney or a judge.  This may be the same for you, or maybe you know of  similar situations.  Do you know someone in the military whose mother or father was in the military?  Maybe you know someone who is a teacher whose parent taught; or maybe a police officer whose parent was also; or a pastor, or a doctor, or a business owner?  Surely, you can name an entertainer whose child is an entertainer.  Many times children follow in the footsteps of their parents, good or otherwise.

For a long time, I looked at this passing of the baton from the standpoint of struggle.  This made sense for someone like me.  You see, I could easily see the number of obstacles in place to halt me as I pursued dreams not of my family’s business.  I did not have a relative (or family friend) introducing me to this person and to that person for professional advancement.  I had limited opportunities to overhear conversations for avoiding certain workplace pitfalls.  They were limited because you can only be proactive when you are aware of the potential hindrance.  As you know, life can be challenging.  Now, add the additional component of discovering the ropes without a tangible roadmap.  There are real trials and frustrations when you are the first to….do…..anything.  With no mentor, how can you not see struggle?  How could I not see it?

This morning, however, my viewpoint expanded.  As I was sliding on my business jacket, a series of images came to mind: businesses, land, and sacrifice.  I began to think about my ancestors and about the property they owned, the structures they built, the obstacles they overcame to make life better for those of us who have come afterwards.  Driving to work, I thought about the times in which they lived.  My thoughts grew to include the ancestors of others.  I began to think in general terms.  I wondered if our ancestors would weep or rejoice.  It was then that I understood, on a deeper level, that every generation has a responsibility.

Before this morning, I thought that every person has a responsibility to make things better for the next generation.  This is true, but it is finite.  Better, after all, is subjective to an individual’s moral and ethical beliefs.  It is also confined to one’s ration for another.  Now, I am aware that this responsibility is bigger than one person if we truly want to leave a viable legacy for those in succession.

Who wants the best of the best; the cream of the crop; the pick of the litter?

I DO!  I want it for me and for you.

“But how can we both have it,” I heard someone ask.

How can we both not?

Expand your mind to grasp the notion that we are all living at this time.  We are a generation, living.  Epidemics kill because we are connected.  Blessing multiply because we are connected.

Individually, we are each a part of a larger whole.  Our responsibility as individuals, as with our ancestors, is now and will be bigger than our sole selves.  Our ancestors understood this, many giving their lives for this truth.  Many cultures understand this, many passing down belief systems that emphasize its importance.  So here, today, I wonder……how many of us get it.

Mother-Daughter

Post Navigation