Keep Calm and Practice Self-Care

Keep Calm and Practice Self-Care

It’s Day 8/9 of being back to blogging and in yesterday morning’s work prayer meeting a wise organizational leader reminded us to keep calm and practice self-care. In social service/ministry, we often deal with trauma. And trauma is vicarious. It can transfer from those we serve onto us. If we’re not careful, it can infect us and make us physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually sick too. Keeping calm and practicing self-care is the key to preventing this in our work/ministry lives.

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Keeping Calm and Practicing Self-Care is Key! 

What I’ve found, however, is that those of us who are nurturers often find it a challenge to provide ourselves with the same level of care we generously lavish on others. This was evident in the meeting when those of us who were dealing with the death (a huge D or challenge!) of a young woman and mother kept voicing concern over how it impacted everyone else. But when the group circled up around the two of us who worked closely with her and knew her best –– both of us women –– the depth of our pent-up pain manifested itself in tears that once released refused to be staunched despite the box of tissue we wept through. So why were we selfish with ourselves about our need to grieve and weep? It’s only natural that the loss of someone we tried so hard to save is devastating. In fact, when Lazarus died before Jesus could arrive to save him, the Bible tells us, “Jesus wept.” – John 11:35 (NIV).

Becoming completely vested in someone else involves experiencing their triumphs and their tragedies. In that sense, exposure to trauma is an occupational hazard. But its vicarious effects can be mitigated by acknowledging the myriad emotions we experience through being a part of another human’s life when the outcome is not what we  hoped it would be. Sometimes the work still results in a world of hurt. And when we’re hurting, it’s not only ok to give ourselves some TLC, it’s necessary because we can’t help others heal if we won’t do it for ourselves.

So if you’re anything like me and are at work on purpose to serve others –– on the home front or in the workplace –– and sometimes feel your world is spinning out of control,  I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, keep calm and practice self-care.

Be savvy & chic,

Pink Collar Coach

 

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Sister Let Me Be Your Shelter

Sister Let Me Be Your Shelter

It’s Day 7 of being back to blogging, and I wish every sister in need would let me be her shelter. Yes, I’m the director of a women’s center –– a homeless shelter for women and children –– and am blessed to be able to provide a safe physical place to stay. But I’m talking about something that goes beyond a building. I’m talking about being a safe emotional, relational and spiritual place of safety for women whose needs run so much deeper than needing a roof over their heads. I’ve poured out my heart to these hurting women all of my life –– in personal and professional settings –– prayerfully  believing they would see Christ in me and be drawn to Him. And I’m so thankful to say the times this has happened I’ve felt blessed and humbled beyond measure to that the Creator of the Universe would use little insignificant me. Today, though, I learned of the loss of a sister…Ugh! I don’t even have words to express my sorrow. Because I literally pleaded with her, begged –– in vain –– for this sister to let me be her shelter.

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As a believer, I’m going to hold on to the hope that this sweet, beautiful young woman may have recalled the truths I spoke over her life –– that Jesus loves her –– and that my prayers for her to accept the gift of new life He offers were answered. I have to choose to believe she is safe in His arms tonight. I also don’t want to lose another sister to the Ds (challenges women face i.e. drinking, drugs, depression, dysfunction, domestic violence, etc.) and have to let you know that if you are ever in need of a safe haven –– emotionally, relationally or spiritually –– I’m here. So be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and reach out sister. Let me be your shelter.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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The King of Heaven Wants Me

The King of Heaven Wants Me

It’s Day 7 of being back to blogging, and as I contemplated what word of encouragement to send to a loved one struggling with their identity, I heard these  lyrics from Tenth Avenue North’s song “Control”:  The King of heaven wants me!

Talk about a word of encouragement! As the song played, I sang with all my heart:

God you don’t need me

But somehow You want me

Oh how You love me

And somehow that frees me

To take my hands off of my life and give You control

The King of Heaven wants me

This world has lost its grip on me.

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The King of Heaven Wants Me! 

If you’re like my loved one and struggle with your identity in this world, please know you’re the one that the God who has everything loves so fiercely that He desires an intimate relationship with you.  Resting in that knowledge, I hope can relinquish control and feel the world loosen its grip on you. Then you can be truly Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and give the King of Heaven thing He really wants.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

High School Sisters by Heart

High School Sisters by Heart

It’s Day 6 of being back to blogging and I’m still glowing from time spent with one of my BFFS –– we’re high school sisters by heart. In many ways, Josette saved me in the 10th grade. While in junior high I’d tested into a Walnut Hills, a college prep school , but unlike most who did, I didn’t start as a 7th grader, which meant all of the cliques had already been formed by the time I showed up as a freshman. Thirty-five years later, I can honestly say it was one of the worst periods of my life. I was bullied for being a Peppermint Patty –– black on the outside and white on the inside –– and didn’t fit in with either group of kids. Add to that the fact that my junior high boyfriend AKA best friend dumped me for an upperclassman who rallied her friends to bully me too, and there were days when I felt I’d rather die than go another day. Only my faith, family and friends outside school got me through. Beautiful, funny, sweet Josette befriending me the following year remains one of the things for which I’m forever grateful. God knit us together in so many ways that we truly became high school sisters by heart.

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High School Sisters by Heart –– Josette and Me, Pink Collar Coach.                                           Josette has always had beautiful hair and it’s growing back in that way.                                      I’m in a floral bell sleeve top and black jeggins with shorties. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. 

Thirty plus years later, though life has not afforded us very many opportunities to spend time hanging out, every interaction feels as though no time has passed. Our discussions no longer center around cute boys, Prince and challenges with our home lives. Now they’re about dealing with the Ds ( the challenges women face like divorce, diagnosis, etc.) but the level of comfort, ease and depth of connection remain the same. This was the case when I treated her to a 50th birthday dinner a few months ago. And the birthday was the best I’ve ever spent with her because she’s conquered a huge D as a one year survivor of stage 4 breast cancer and a double mastectomy. I have ALWAYS loved Josette. Now I absolutely treasure and look up to her more than ever.

The thought of losing my high school BFF has made me more intentional about not letting as much time pass between spending time with my Swan Soul Sister….Hopefully my sharing will inspire you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do the same with your old friends. After all, you can always make new friends but you can’t make old ones like high school sisters by heart.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

RX for Kitchen Cabinets

RX for Kitchen Cabinets

It’s Day 6 of being back to blogging and I’m thrilled to share my RX for my tiny house’s tired kitchen cabinets. This past summer I began renting a tiny house for personal and professional use. It actually lives quite large at about 1,000 square feet. And I love every inch of this gorgeous 1905 shotgun boasting incredibly high ceilings, tall windows with original transoms, thick white-painted hardwood trim and character to spare. With all those vintage details going for it, the apartment grade refurbished oak kitchen cabinets were the only thing that weren’t pretty. Good thing my landlords were up for letting this DIYer give them a much needed facelift. They even provided the paint and supplies for the RX for my kitchen cabinets!

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Creamy semi gloss paint from Sherwin Williams partners perfectly with Shabby Chic decor! The mug rack, mugs, crystal lamps with lace shades, blue glass caddy/glasses, recipe box, cake stand, & cake piggy bank are all treasures from Target’s Simply Shabby Chic line.

 

After two weekends of sanding, removing knobs and pulls, priming, painting and then reapplying the knobs and pulls (I did the top cabinets first, took a break then attacked the lower with renewed vigor!) the kitchen looks like it goes with the rest of the house. All of the time and elbow grease were well worth it. Not only because the room is now aesthetically pleasing but because of the sense of satisfaction that comes with having done it myself.

And you can too. Have cabinets in your home or office that need a refresh? Why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and tackle them yourself? You don’t need lots of money, just the will and the work ethic. As a first timer painting cabinets, I can tell you from experience , it will be worth your while if you give provide a little RX for your cabinets!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Loved Being in the Library Local Author Fair

Loved Being in the Library Local Author Fair

It’s Day 5 and getting back into the routine of blogging allows me to share how I loved being in the library local author fair this fall. I’d applied to participate back in the summer and had nearly given up on it when the acceptance turned up in my inbox. Given the fact that it arrived much later than I’d anticipated, I’d sold most of my the latest box of books I’d ordered from my publisher for such events. And though I quickly ordered a box when I knew I’d be attending, it didn’t make it in time for my maiden book fair voyage. So my fifteen-year-old daughter and I packed up the the books I had on hand, along with all of my marketing materials, and headed out to set up. Since she’s more tech than I am, I put her in charge of the Square Reader and money box. The table got a lot of traffic, including a former student from my middle school teaching days and her mom, as well as fans and a few new readers. Connecting with author friends a making new ones made the time fly by. Before the end of the two hours, we’d sold out. With no more copies, we resorted to taking orders, which proved to be a great way to further engage with readers. I must say, this outcome was one of the reasons I absolutely loved being in the the library local author book fair!

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Local area authors, including my friend and coaching client, Janet on the front row, far left, Michelle, a fellow writing group member, front row, third from left, and Ms. Helen, a dear godly woman who attends another of my writing groups, second row,  third from right. She’s next to me, second row, second from right.

Besides that and those who came out to show support, having my daughter by my side is a memory I’ll cherish. Not only was she wonderful helpful with set up, customer service and sales, her pride in her mom warmed my heart –– and the hearts of those who stopped by. She let me know she’ll gladly help me out the next time I’m in a fair. I’ll take her up on that and look forward to my next event not only because I loved being in the library local book fair but because of the opportunity to experience my mini-me being there.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, and my daughter at the Midpointe Library Read Local Author Fair. Faux blush suede dress, zipper sweater cardigan and loafers all Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx.

 

If you’ve never checked out my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do so. Thank you!

Be  savvy &  chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
Women’s Center Director Position Cause for Celebration

Women’s Center Director Position Cause for Celebration

It’s Day 4 of being back to blogging and my recent appointment to Women’s Center Director position was a cause for celebration. With a little over two months under my belt in the role, I’m just getting a chance to share how the two women who were instrumental in me landing it blessed me when. In 2017, I left my former job as a director at an agency where I oversaw the care continuum and led the team of life coaches. It was there that I met two Savvy & Chic Swans who I trained to become lead coaches. Leaving them behind when I moved on and began operating my own comprehensive coaching agency, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, and publishing my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, I grieved no longer working with them. Little did I know God would use my transition to evolve our professional connection into a personal one. As they supported me in exploring my options, our relationship blossomed. New gig or not, that’s a reason for me to celebrate.

Now both women are dear friends and Soul Sisters. Few in my circle were as thrilled as them for me to be offered an opportunity that is an even better fit for me to live out my purpose of maximizing my strengths to coach, encourage and inspire other women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their best lives –– all to His glory! They took me out to lunch, showered me with cards, gifts, and so much love! This and being the Women’s Center Director at a homeless shelter that provides a holistic, faith based program are truly causes for celebration!

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Valerie, Julie and me, Pink Collar Coach celebrating my Women’s Center Director position. My sweater, jogging, shooties, and handbag all Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx.

Having such accomplished, beautiful, godly women in my life makes each time I’m with them a celebration. Having them share life’s good times –– and the bad ones –– well, that’s not only a reason to celebrate, it’s a reason to rejoice. I hope you are Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and rejoice in the special Swans and Soul Sisters God gives you on the home-pfront and in the workplace –– for all the reasons and seasons.

Be Savvy &  Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach