Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day and yesterday I spent precious time with two of The Lattes discussing leadership, loss and love.

Service on Purpose/Smart at Work (Professional Life)

Four of us –– three African America and one Caucasian, coffee with a little milk –– became close when we worked together as Leadership Coaches. Though we missed what our Milk brings to the mix, coming together made it a sweet Sweetest Day. Five years ago, I left the agency with the goal of maximizing  the Masters in Leadership and Coaching I’d soon earn. After a few almost but not quite right roles, this week will mark a year as Women’s Center Director – my perfect service on purpose fit! Terri soon earned a coveted spot as the agency’s first minority  Team Leader and Delorise recently came up through the ranks to claim the same title! So much leadership among us and reason to celebrate…

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Still, our rejoicing was tempered by a D ––  or challenge women face –– the unexpected death of Terri’s beloved husband of nearly  30 years on Labor Day. Heartbreaking. But hopeful. With a family history rife with Ds  –– in the form  of divorce and dysfunctional relationships –– for me their marriage serves a beacon of hope. Their kind of  love is rare but does exist! As Terri deals with her incredible loss, she can often be heard to say, “I go to gratitude”. Having been loved so well, she knows she’s among the blessed and highly favored. And of course, because we were at my Petite Retreat, talk turned to decorating and Shabby Chic style. Terri even laughed about being able to finally put her floral comforter on the bed now!

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The Lattes sans (without) our Milk!                                                                 Delorise, Terri and Me, Pink Collar Coach.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Being with my lovely, smart, strong Swan Sisters made me go to gratitude, too. Though I no longer see them on the daily, our hearts are connected and the time brought healing. The Lattes are leaders at work and in their families. In fact, Delorise adopted a toddler four years ago when his mother died of cancer though her two girls were in their preteens and teens… They have capacity for great love and to grieve losses graciously and find reasons to laugh. They are SO Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose. I’m blessed to have spent time with them because they truly demonstrate  how to deal effectively with the Ds to minimize barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives.  I just pray our Milk, appropriately named Joy, can join us next time for an even more perfect blend of The Lattes!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

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Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters

Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters

It’s Day 58 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m feeling blessed to be surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters.

Smart at Work (Professional)

I’m not gonna lie. Today has been a roller coaster ride. My work day started off well with me rising early to present about Hope House Mission where I’m the Women’s Center Director, at an AK Steel/United Way event. Because the former is featured in JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and the latter has Bold Goals around Income and a Stable Families Initiative, drawing the connection between these and our work proved to be a natural fit, so I felt well prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was being blinded by sunlight while trying to get to an unfamiliar location, traffic issues and dumb directions –– a new D or challenge women face ––  from my GPS, that had me discombobulated by the time I arrived!  Once there, however, what I shared was well received and set me up for a great work day on the professional front.

Serene at Home (Personal)

But like the glaring sunlight that blind sighted me, so did some personal dysfunctional relationship dynamics  that plunged me into a  depression.At times I feel as though I’ve been dubbed “The Queen of the Ds”…Rather than focus on my family of origin or the one I’ve created, instead I’m choosing joy and gratitude because I’m surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters.

Sense of Style (Packaging)

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Saturdays often have me Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters (2 weeks ago).   Me, Pink Collar Coach, in the middle with Marina & Kibby on either side. My outfit all Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx with exception of shoes, Stein Mart.

Summary (Putting it Into Practice)

It’s easy, and oh so tempting, to let myself get sucked into a pit of despair, but I believe God allows me to go through the things I do so I can share how I’m able to minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best professional and personal life ––  all to His glory.  In this instance, being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose means blogging (writing about painful occurrences to render them historical) and surrounding myself with positivity from my Swan Soul Sisters.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

I pray when you’re facing personal and professional Ds this post will inspire you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose in order to minimize them, too.

Be savvy & chic, 

~Pink Collar Coach

Seasons of Her Soul, Book 1 in the Lee’s Legacy Series (Publications)

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
I am currently working on Book 2, Hold on Her Heart. Stay Tuned! 
Keeping Calm and Practicing Self-Care at My Petite Retreat

Keeping Calm and Practicing Self-Care at My Petite Retreat

Good morning, Pink Collar Swans,

It’s Day 54 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and this post is coming out from my Petite Retreat this Friday morning where I’m keeping calm and practicing self-care. The non-profit faith-based shelter where I’m the Women’s Center Director was offered complimentary tickets to a Beth Moore conference this weekend, so yesterday I decided I’d take today off and spend it at my not-so-tiny tiny house before heading to the event this evening. Working in what I consider full-time ministry is Service on Purpose, but sometimes it takes its toll. Between dealing with the Ds –– challenges women face ––– in my professional  life as two of our team members have received devastating diagnoses this week, and in my personal life, mainly  in the form of dysfunctional relationships, in order to minimize these barriers and maximize beauty and my best life,  I needed time to keep calm and practice self-care at my Petite Retreat.

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Though  this isn’t my first time serving as a Director, it is the first time I’ve dealt with a terminal diagnosis for a direct report. Being at my best to bless her and to support the staff who love her will require stamina and strength. I’m grateful for this time away from the center at my home/office with the Lord to build up both. And as I prayerfully consider some major decisions regarding personal relationships, I need clarity and space to receive wisdom on which path to walk, as well as a way to process (writing). Keeping calm and practicing self-care here provides all of these.

So I’m thankful for this short respite at my petite retreat.  Not only will  taking time away from the trauma to spend the day writing and the night with Swan Sisters help me in a professional capacity as I serve staff and residents, it enables me to minimize the barriers we’re facing and to maximize beauty and my best life.

If you’re anything like me and are facing Ds in your personal and/or professional life, my prayer for you is that you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and  intentional about keeping calm and practicing self-care.  Whether that means taking a much-needed day off, attending a conference or simply stealing away to pray and spend some time alone with God. (Jesus  himself modeled self-care for us  –– Luke 5:16). Doing it in a place that soothes your soul is even better… Then you’ll be able to minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life, too.

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 
 

 

 

 

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 20, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 20, 2019

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swans,

This morning as I pray about many of the Ds –– challenges women face ––– in the form of debt, death, depression, diagnosis, divorce, domestic disputes, domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, dysfunctional relationships, etc., I’m reminded of a truth from a children’s book –– It could always be worse. That’s not meant to minimize the emotions, pain and suffering these Ds bring, but to bring perspective. No matter how devastating our Ds, if we look for His hand in the situation, we’ll find God’s provision, comfort, care, guidance, deliverance, peace, healing and love for us and will be able to see how we’re blessed in the midst of our mess. And that it could always be worse.

Image credit to author/publisher.

That’s my prayer for you today. That you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and view your situation from this positive lens. When you do so, even if you’re unable to change or minimize the barrier itself, you’re mindset will be transformed and enable you to minimize the negative impact it has on you so you can maximize beauty and your best life. All to His glory.

Be Savvy & Chic ,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Viewing Myself on Video

Viewing Myself on Video

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.

What’s  yours?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Working Hard as a Director and on the Dance Floor

Working Hard as a Director and on the Dance Floor

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!

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Instead of the ugly cry, this is the ugly sweat!                                                                                            All performance attire Calvin Klein – it is quick dry and so appreciated.                            Preferred dance shoes – New Balance. All from TJ Maxx.

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 & Chic on 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!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

50th Bday Get-Together Puts New Take on The 3 Gs

50th Bday Get-Together Puts New Take on The 3 Gs

It’s Day 27 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and last night’s 50th birthday get-together put a new take on The 3 Gs. I’d just turned 26 when I started teaching with Terry and Brenda at a small Christian school. In our 20s, 30s and 40s, we became a tight trio. I dubbed us The 3 Gs –– thinking at the time we were from three different generations. Though I learned they’re both Baby Boomers and I’m Gen X, the name has stuck for two decades. Then last night, after visiting my Petite Retreat –– which Brenda pointed out is HUGE –– we went to her home where she’d prepared dinner. Our place settings had a plate that described her as Shoe Girl –– she has more than me and that’s saying A LOT; Terry as Cafe Girl –– she’s a natural foods guru and a Fresh Thyme manager; and me as Shopping Girl –– Need I say more? With that, the 50th Bday get-together was the last in a month of festivities and one of my favorite because it put a new take on The 3 Gs!

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Me, Shopping Girl and Brenda, Shoe Girl. The plates were found many years ago at TJ Maxx. My floral Calvin Klein dress last Easter at the same.                                                                        
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Me, Shopping Girl and Terry, Cafe Girl.                                                           Calvin Klein Pink cardigan –– my new favorite –– Wait for it –– Burlington! 

Doing nearly half of my life with these beautiful, smart, godly Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swan Soul Sisters has contributed so significantly to me being able to minimize my Ds –– barriers women face –– in the form of domestic violence, death, divorce, domestic court issues, depression, and the list could go on. They’ve been in it with me faithfully and have loved and supported me well enough that I’ve been able to maximize beauty and my best life. Now I’m looking forward to the next Bday where we’ll officially be in our 50s, 60s and 70s. We’re already planning a trip to celebrate that. Until then, I’ll be forever blessed by my 50th get-together and how it put a new take on The 3 Gs!

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and get together with those women you’ve done life with. May you talk, pray, laugh and cry like we did last night. And may you continue to help one another minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best lives, too.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach