It’s another day of being Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and this weekend I and my sister Zumba instructors led two hours of dancing for our annual Party in Pink Zumbathon with the purpose of raising funds for the fight against breast cancer –– a major D or challenge women face –– in the form of a diagnosis. All funds raised support the Zumba Global Research Grant for Breast Cancer Prevention managed by Susan G. Komen. As a Women’s Center Director for a homeless shelter serving women and children with one year under my belt as of last week, I still pop up every morning grateful for the opportunity to do social work –– at the boots on the ground level –– that I consider full-time ministry. Likewise, though this year marked my third Zumbathon as an instructor (I teach 2x a week and sub), I’m just just as stoked as the year I became a licensed and officially joined the battle to prevent cancer at my first Party in Pink with the purpose.
Sense of Style (Packaging)
Serene at Home (Personal Life)
Much of the time, I feel like I deal with the Ds on the daily! Lately I’ve battled depression around dysfunctional relationships. Dancing –– a positive D –– keeps my body fit. In fact, dancing led me to discover a 9mm tumor in my breast in 2014. It presented as stage 4 in every test. When biopsied, however, it came back benign. Either a team of physicians got it wrong or The Physician made it all right!!! Dance also resets my emotions to an even keel and keeps me from losing my mind! That release of endorphins you’ve probably heard about? All true! And no matter what music I’m dancing to, there’s always an element of praise and worship in it for me. God created dance as a form of expression and whatever I’m dealing with is laid bare before him when I’m on the floor…I try my best to leave it there and then go home to sleep GOOD! : )
My prayer for you as Breast Cancer Awareness month draws to a close is that you’d be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and complete regular self-checks (that’s how I found the tumor) along with having an annual mammogram. Finally, when you have a chance, attend a Zumbathon and show support for those who have fought valiantly and others who are currently in the fight of their lives. By doing so, you’ll help minimize this barrier and maximize beauty and best lives. Because it’s more than an awesome two-hour chance to dance, it’s a Party in Pink with a purpose!
It’s Day 29 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and viewing myself on video was eye opening. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, some Pink Collar Swans surprised me for my 50th bday by showing up for my Thursday class. Among them, was a Zumba mentor, Marina, who instructs elsewhere. She filmed me teaching Save the Last Dance, which is at the end of my playlist and captured me in all of my sweaty glory! Even so, because we don’t have a mirror at the Y, I feel as though she gave me the gift of being able to really see what my students do when I’m in front of them. Boy is it eye opening! It’s like the first time I heard an audio recording of myself and thought, Do I really sound like that? My voice sounded so high and had a country twang to it…And while I heard the twang loud and clear in my, Boom! Stay here!, it’s also clear to me that the joy I feel while dancing doesn’t show in my face. The smile in my heart is eclipsed by the fight to breathe through my asthma. Not the takeaway I expected from viewing myself on video.
Me, Pink Collar Coach in my Calvin Klein Performance wear and New Balance shoes.
All from TJ Maxx.
Dancing is one of the most effective strategies for me to deal with my Ds –– the barriers and challenges women face. In fact, though I’d been doing it for a few years prior to my hysterectomy, it wasn’t until I returned to Zumba after complications with surgery due to an additional diagnosis that I realized I needed the exercise to not only regain my stamina and loose the weight I put on during nine weeks in bed, its psychological benefits are tremendous. I believe my students would say I smile and bring positive energy to the class before and after, but asthma or no asthma, I should smile some during! By doing so, I’ll be further minimizing my asthma diagnosis barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. I’ll certainly look better while sweating!
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make the most of opportunities to critique yourself. Be it through watching a video, listening to a recording, or good old-fashioned self-evaluation for a performance appraisal…But here’s the catch: So often we’re only focused on our areas for growth. Instead, let’s focus on our strengths and maximize them. In my case, I’ve got everything going for me as a Zumba instructor because I love to dance and have been blessed with crazy good mentors who’ve helped develop this talent into a strength. Now I just need to amp up the smile factor to take my instruction to the next level. I suppose that’s the true takeaway from viewing myself on video.
It’s Day 28 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and a picture taken last Thursday while I was teaching reminds me that I’m working hard as a Director and on the dance floor! Captured toward the end of class with my hair a disaster and make up destroyed, it’s clear I’m a sweaty mess! And so proud of it. Working hard to lead and serve the residents, staff and volunteers of a homeless shelter takes tons of energy. So much so that at times, I wonder where I’ll get the rest to instruct a class afterward. Then, following a mad dash to change my clothes and make the drive, I arrive and see the expectant faces of the students. This kicks my excitement into gear! And to top that, last Thursday the students surprised me with a belated 50th dance celebration and showed up from a few different gyms and YMCAs. That made me so exuberant that I kicked it up another notch, which shows on my face! It speaks to the effort I put in working hard as a Director and on the dance floor!
Women work hard! Being balanced takes intentionality. Far too often, we let our careers, family, other activities, etc. get us out of the habit of doing the things we love for self-care. Yes, I’m a paid Zumba instructor who appreciates the ancillary income, but I also dance to deal with my Ds –– barriers or challenges women face. For me these are mostly manifested in dysfunctional relationships and ongoing issues with being divorced. But oh, do I feel better when I’m dancing! The stress just melts away. Right along with my make up!!! Dance is a positive D and one of the main contributors to me being able to minimize my barriers in order to maximize beauty and my best life. Ugly sweat and all! So glad I was at least wearing my signature pink for the pic!
I pray you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and not only work hard on your job but that you’ll set a goal to work hard at a workout routine. Whether you’re getting one going for the first time in awhile or ever… I can attest from personal experience that the positive release of endorphins is worth it. They boost your emotions and can put a positive period on the end of the worst work day. Not to mention the cognitive, physical, social, and even spiritual benefits. No matter the playlist, there’s a part of me that’s connected to God in worship. I’m especially blessed that I receive financial gain from teaching dance classes as well. For me, it literally pays off to work hard as a director and on the dance floor!
Despite a recent D or challenge women face –– my car is down and in the shop –– I still got to dance this morning! Thanks to these Pink Collar Savvy & ChicSwans ––Sonya for the ride, Cherie for the Dance Fusion class, and Cookie for the photo! All such a blessing! They helped minimize my barrier to maximize beauty and my best life!
Hope you are Pink Collar Savvy & Chictoday and surround yourself with a support system that helps you minimize your barriers and maximize your beauty and best life, too.
It’s Day 18 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and I’m feeling so much love after a belated birthday dance party! Yesterday evening when I rushed from work to teach my Thursday Zumba class, finding a good # of friendly frequent participants, plus seeing the dear face of Osha –– a visitor from another gym where I dance on Saturdays and occasionally sub –– provided a needed energy boost. Then as the class went on more visitors showed up in the form of my sweet Zumba sister, Cookie –– we got licensed together –– and one of my marvelous mentors, Marina. With sensational Sonya assisting –– she yells verbal cues when my asthma prevents me –– all of the amazing Zumba loving ladies celebrated my 50th with a belated birthday dance party!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Swan who just turned 50, if I had any concerns about dealing with the Ds –– barriers or challenges women face (depression, discouragement, dread, etc.) –– when I hit 50, they’ve been blown away by other Ds –– like dancing and a belated birthday dance party!
The next time you’re facing a milestone that presents potential challenges, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and minimize your barriers with whatever benefits not only the body but the soul to maximize your beauty and best lives, too.
It’s Day 3 of getting back to blogging and it was also my first chance to dance in 2019! The Y where I teach resumed Zumba classes yesterday, but though my spirit was willing to attend, my body was weak from the a nasty holiday bout with the flu. I refrained from attending and conserved my energy to teach tonight. Even so, I needed reinforcement from a regular student –– the amazing and talented Sonya Pope –– to make it through the hour! Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swans like her and those who showed up tonight made my return to class a good time –– lingering flu fatigue and all! And some of my other Zumba loving friends pictured below at last fall’s annual Zumba for the Cure make every chance to dance a party!
The New Year is a time of resolutions, often around getting fit. So much so that those of us who are regulars at the Y/gym are frustrated January through mid-February because there are no parking spots and standing room only on the dance floor! By Valentine’s Day, the resolutions are abandoned, leaving us a place to park and dance…
From my experience, the way to maintain your resolve is not to focus on getting fit but finding yours. For me, though I enjoy yoga, walking, swimming, lifting –– none of them hold the appeal of Zumba! I think God just designed me to move to music! Chances are, He designed you to enjoy something too. So if you’re anything like me, perhaps you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and make this the year you find your fit. If you do, like me, you’ll get why I’m so stoked about my first chance to dance in 2019!
It’s Day 357 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and an offer to teach a third Zumba class enables me to keep building my business a brick at a time. If I view my agency, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, as a building, each of my roles ––author, life coach and speaker –– is a level that produces a stream of income. I’ve also begun to monetize this blog and am making a bit of money here…But because I’m still growing my fan and coaching client base as well as securing speaking engagements, having a steady foundation of income is a good thing. Add to that the fact that I’m a debut novelist with only one novel, Seasons of Her Soul, under my belt with sales subject to flux, as are client schedules. This and gaps between speaking opportunities make teaching Zumba consistently every week a welcome source of consistent income. It wouldn’t be enough if I was the primary or sole breadwinner…Thankfully, I have a wonderfully supportive husband who is our family’s main provider. That solid foundation, along with another Zumba class strengthening it put me firmly in position to keep building my business a brick at a time.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose entrepreneur, operating a start up business is a dream come true. At times I regret the fact that I didn’t stay home after my divorce and pursue my dream of being a full-time writer. Then I remember that my time working for others developed my coaching, leadership, speaking and yes, writing skills. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have discovered coaching without being promoted to a Leadership Coach role when I applied for another position. I even discovered Zumba while working at a school readiness fair when I was a Family and Community Services Specialist. I suppose all of my workplace experiences could be considered foundational in building Pink Collar Savvy & Chic. Getting to teach a dance class that provides fun, fitness (faith on Sundays), models the healthy lifesylte I advocate for my clients, and is yet another foundational piece means I’m not only building my business a brick at a time but making it a success, too.
How are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about making income that allows you to build your business or to pursue other interests?
It’s Day 329 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I had to Keep Calm and Zumba On! while teaching my Friday class. I started teaching Zumba at work two and a half years ago when I was the director of a life coaching program but didn’t become licensed until the fall of last year. During that time, I also subbed. But never have I felt stressed teaching – until this afternoon. With a great turn out, things were going well like they always do until noon. Then, suddenly we began experiencing technical difficulties. The Zumba playlist saved on my phone wouldn’t cooperate, and I couldn’t connect to WIFI to pull songs up that way. One woman – with her gorgeous English accent (I’m an Anglophile and could listen to her all day) – tried to help me figure out the phone issue and offered her own when that proved to no avail. But alas, her phone wouldn’t fit the Y’s speaker system chord. Another woman attempted to come to my aid but realized she’d left her phone at home. And another instructor who has my playlist on her phone couldn’t make it because her daughter is sick. After five minutes of fiddling, it seemed class might be over early. We all attributed the problem to the extensive roadwork going on right outside – perhaps the Internet was down? At any rate a few women graciously told me not to worry about it as they headed out the door. Just when they’d left, the music – at least some of it decided to play. Someone ran and got them back before they headed downstairs and we resumed class. If you could call it that! My schizophrenic playlist had a mind of its own – playing only what it wanted – and had me leading songs I haven’t practiced in ages. To say I improvised is putting it mildly. I had no idea what I was doing but had to try and Keep Calm and Zumba On!
The great thing is, every woman there showed me much grace. Even a newbie to my class. She could have easily thought, This is a hot mess! and thrown in the towel. Instead she repeated what had quickly become my mantra: At least we’re moving! By the end of what was the most stressful teaching situation I’ve ever been in – I was a literal hot mess! I always perspire profusely when dancing – thanks to hormonal changes in my almost fifty body, but this was different. You know that stress sweat they talk about on that commercial? Yeah, that was me. I’m having a flash just recollecting it now! I must have apologized twenty times…Tell her it isn’t usually like this! I rasped out numerous times with my asthma at full throttle. Erratic as the routines were, my newbie and all of the other women said they’d be back. Furthermore, many went out of their way to hug me and say how well I handled the situation. If I appeared calm, it was nothing but the grace of God combined with their graciousness…
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Zumba instructor, I try to make dancing a wonderful experience every time. Part of that includes engaging women, not only in class but before and after. On the two days I teach, I send out a post with some type of image or inspiration. Yesterday I came across one – above – and felt it would be perfect to post for this morning’s class. Never could I have imagined how apropos it would be! So here’s a thank you and shout out to all the lovely Zumba loving ladies who demonstrated what it really means to Keep Calm and Zumba With Me!
Have you ever had to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and Keep Calm in a home or work situation that felt anything but? What insight or inspiration did you gain?
It’s Day 230 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and yesterday reinforced how women feel better when we’re dancing. As I mentioned in Saturday’s post (I didn’t hit publish until after midnight so it showed up on Sunday), I took a nasty tumble getting into the shower that morning as I prepared to present at the High Heeled Success and Pink Collar Savvy & Chic women’s workshop on networking. After falling my first concern was about how it would impact my performance at the event; my second was It’s going to hurt more tomorrow, so how will I teach Zumba? Thankfully, pain meds and prayer got me through Saturday, but Sunday morning I woke up so sore and stiff, I thought I’d have to do low intensity to get through class. What I didn’t bank on was having about twenty high energy women show up ready to go full throttle. I shared my mishap and then showed them my proof copy of Seasons of Her Soul. Their combined empathy, enthusiasm and excitement throughout made me feel as if I had wings! I was able to lead the class pain free. Women really do feel better when we’re dancing!
Lest you wonder why I’m using the collective term “women”, I’m not the only one who expressed feeling better. There are at least two women in attendance recovering from surgeries, but they attend because a modified dance session is better than none. One Sunday class lover returned because I reinstated the class after a few years without it. The first two classes she was miserable, but this week she was back in her full-on dance zone. Another let me know life has settled down in all other areas so she can now resume dancing, which she’s missed. A young college student, a true Dancing Queen, has expressed interest in becoming a certified instructor. And a Zumba frequent flier who attends classes throughout the week, confessed she gets so into it she has to make herself not sing along so she won’t disturb other dancers. Having one of my mentors attend class and lead a routine and express that I’m doing a great job was so cool and encouraging. An Indiana transplant who just moved here for her husband’s job is finding her tribe with Zumba and I believe will become a friend of mine – she’s another Tammy (with a “y”). And I had the joy of watching at least three newcomers fall in love with Zumba right before my eyes. A beautiful thing to behold. Once the bug bites you, you’re a goner – in the best way!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Zumba instructor, I’m humbled by the way my classes have been received and feel so blessed to be able to serve women in this way. It’s not just dancing, it’s ministry for me…Case in point, I received a text message following yesterday’s class from a woman I hadn’t seen in Zumba in a long time. Knowing that she’s been dealing with some major Ds (challenges), I’d been concerned about her. She told me she ran into one of the other instructors who let her know about my class. She thought it was wonderful and plans to attend each week. She’s also going to read my book and do some life coaching with me as she continues to pursue her best personal and professional life. All because women really do feel better when we’re dancing!
Oh, and doing my first book signing EVER for a someone who brought her copy wasn’t too shoddy either! ; )
How about you? What makes you feel better? Are you like the women in my class who fight through the Ds to do it? How can you incorporate more of what makes you feel better into your personal and professional life?
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach
To preview or purchase the ebook or print copy of Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.
It’s Day 201 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and though I didn’t post yesterday, I’m still making it begin to look a lot like Christmas in my children’s bathroom while exercising childlike faith. While my Friday was productive, spent primarily working on professional tasks and meeting with my book launch coach, I felt discouraged (another D or challenge) about some personal matters. Then, after wrapping up my work, I finally got around to doing my daily devotional. It was entitled “Childlike Faith” and spoke specifically to discouragement. It stated that a child’s faith in God knows no doubt. The prayer at the end asked that God give the kind of faith that doesn’t give up despite discouragement, and that trusts like a child would. I’ve always had that kind of faith but yesterday I felt it waver. After praying that God would renew it, my spirits lifted immediately! I should know by now not to delay doing my devotion! With my childlike faith restored, I set a Santa with silver glitter on top of a cabinet and his smiling presence made it look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas in my children’s bathroom.
Today, I remained in good spirits. For one thing, I not only got to dance, I got to lead class. Our wonderful instructor had car problems, so I got the class warmed up with two songs. Invigorating and excruciating is how I’d describe it! I’m still not back to full strength…But more than anything, it was just pure joy. I ALWAYS feel better, at least emotionally, when I’m dancing. : ) And no matter what my body feels like during, I never regret pushing through the pain. Hanging out with my hubby tonight was good for me too. From the beginning, he’s admired my childlike faith, so when I’m with him, I try to focus on the positive. He truly brings out the best in me.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose holiday decorating enthusiast, a through and through Zumba lover, and a child of God, I thought blogging about holiday decor would be a lighthearted endeavor. But it has called up some emotions I try hard to suppress. Dancing really does help. Still, the truth of it is, the holidays can be hard. I admit that not to discourage, but to encourage. Sometimes, we have to acknowledge our feelings and cry out for help during the hard (I cried buckets yesterday) in order to get the encouragement we need. Because just as we parents and lovers of the children in our lives long to give them good things, like a bathroom that’s beginning to look a lot like a Savvy & Chic Christmas, God longs to bless us, His precious children. Call out to him with the faith of a child. He’s a good, good Father, and will answer.
Are you facing the D of discouragement this holiday season? Be of good courage – the opposite of discouraged – it’s the season of good tidings of great joy! Baby Jesus was born!