This past weekend was simply wonderful: I had the opportunity to be Cinderella at the ball. Once again, another valuable lesson was learned:
I have always been a pants, shirt and sneakers chick. No fuss, no frills, just everyday folk. Sure, I know how to talk the talk and walk the walk but my preference is shirt, pants and sneakers. I am not readily excited about black tie affairs, dressy events or fancy dinners--typically I shun them and would rather stay home. That was until my epiphany.
As I put on my garb--the evening gown with all its shimmer, the shoes with all their sparkle, my elegant clutch, jewelry and makeup--I started to feel the part. The inner person that first said, you'd rather go anywhere but there/you won't fit in, suddenly was the little girl that loved playing dress up. (I understand why they say clothes makes the man; accessories must make the woman.) As I arrived with my friends, I suddenly warmed up to the valet parking, red carpet and photographs. I was giddy and excited at meeting the big wigs, high profiled people and organizers. Caught up in the whirlwind, God suddenly tapped me on the shoulder. His message?
You belong anywhere and EVERYWHERE I open a door for you to enter. It's not the roles I have you play but the fact that there is an audience assigned to you that needs what you have and they need it right now. How can you take a healing message to the nations from your couch or the comforts of home/your comfort zone?
So I ask you all the same question. Some of us are so use to constantly struggling, dreaming, fighting and clawing that we're use to pushing to open doors versus walking through open doors. You don't have to be an author, blogger, radio show host or any of the various roles I serve in. All of us have an audience that God assigned to us and they are desperately waiting for what God put inside of you. No one can tell it like you tell it or have the same experience that you had to relate to your audience members. Put on whatever the garb is for the occasion--kente cloth, ballroom gown or a sari--so that you can deliver your message to world and not die with your work undone or your pain being in vain.
--Alesha Brown, The Joy Guru
No matter where I go there are two things that everyone seems to be talking about: the Hillary Clinton email scandal and Creflo Dollar’s $65 million request to his congregation for a private jet. If you want to hear my personal opinion on Creflo Dollar’s $65 million request, tune in on Sunday, March 22nd to Let’s Face It w/Wil Strayhorn and Friends and I’ll tell you. I already weighed in on the Hillary Clinton email scandal during our March 15th broadcast—that should be available within the next 24 hours at letsfaceitradio.com.
Regardless of how you weigh in on the Creflo Dollar matter, there is one glaring message that remains: what do you tolerate or allow in your life? See, we can argue until Sunday on how right or wrong he is for asking parishioners for such a huge amount of money. We can continue to beat the proverbial dead horse of mega churches, their leaders and how they are “pimping their members”. None of these were the first question or thoughts that came to my mind when I heard this story.
Just think of it this way: if Creflo Dollar did make a $65 million dollar request to the church for a private jet, then obviously the environment or culture is one that he feels comfortable enough to make such a request. Only time and research will tell but I’m sure this is not the first big monetary request he has made from that church nor will it be the last. If you sum up the multiple things this church pays for in support of their Pastor and leaders, the total would probably exceed $65 million dollars. Again, my point is that, if this story is true, Creflo Dollar feels COMFORTABLE ENOUGH to makes such a request (right or wrong).
Moral of this story: don’t get mad or upset with those in your life that request of you the unthinkable, the ridiculous and the outrageous. (I know it is easier said than done and I repeatedly teach myself the same thing.) What you really need to analyze and ask yourself is, “have I created the perfect environment for them to feel comfortable making this request from me? Have my actions, words and deeds supported their request or demands?”
Sometimes the answer is no and that person is simply an opportunist looking for a yes and will ask a million people in the hopes to get what he or she wants. (Some of us could use that type of persistence in our business and personal lives although maybe not the same approach.) However, if your answer reveals that they are comfortable asking the unthinkable because you have continually enabled them and built the perfect breeding ground for their behavior/requests, then the problem is not them but YOU.
I had the wonderful privilege of being interviewed by Miriam Stevens, The Brand Paramedic. Miriam is the CEO of MsStevensPR.Com which provides C.P.R. to revive your brand image and resuscitate your social media presence. Below I share with you a short video of the time we spent together on my four tips for successful event planning. Not only will you be able to see another side of me but you will also learn some techniques that will make your life easier.
March 7, 1965, known as Bloody Sunday, is infamous for leaving its mark on society. There are no mere words to adequately describe the impact, devastation, loss of lives and violence inflicted upon its victims but you can find a short synopsis here:
However, I did want to take this time to ask you this: what bridges are you crossing in your life? See we can all complain about the injustices, challenges and lack of support but it only matters when we take the steps to do something about it. So, again, what bridges are you currently crossing in your life?
If you're struggling to answer that question, start with the things that matter to you most. Not just what you say matters but what you spend the majority of your time on. Sometimes in life you will find that what you say matters the most is not where you spend most of your time, energy and resources indicating that an adjustment is needed. Nevertheless, frequently ponder this question because no day is promised to any of us. If your life was all over today, what mark would you leave on this world that would illustrate your significance?
Now this is how you pay forward: as Selma illustrated, you cannot give up and you must keep moving ahead because someone else needs you to forge a path on the road THEY must travel! Your failures, setbacks, devastations, disappointments--every bad thing you have experienced--all can be used to breathe life into someone else. Just like a parent who stands a few paces ahead and lovingly urges the baby to "come on" or to take the first steps, you owe the same to others in this world.
Don't look at how far you have to go; just KEEP MOVING because others need YOU! #Selma50
Image courtesy of: http://birminghamview.com/online/2015/02/11/selma-jubilee-focuses-restoring-voting-rights-bloody-sundays-50th-anniversary/