Blessed by My BFF

Blessed by My BFF

It’s Day 59 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I can’t expressed how blessed I am by my high school BFF.

Serene at Home (Personal)

As I shared in yesterday’s post, ongoing Ds –– challenges women face –– this time in the form of dysfunctional relationships, threatened to throw me into a fit of depression. One of the ways I fought back was calling Josette, my Swan Soul Sister from another mister, for some much needed girl time to celebrate her upcoming birthday and three years cancer free after her double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. She’d texted that we needed to do lunch. My response –– Tomorrow? Before hanging up, however, she hesitated and then told me about an encounter with a hater of mine who tried to disparage me to her. Ever my champion, Josette graciously shut her down with a smile and sent her on her way frustrated because she got no traction with my high school bestie. Grateful as I felt for her having my back, last night I  felt wounded to be stabbed in it by someone who is supposed to be in my corner…Then today, I teared up when Josette apologized for upsetting me. I’m not upset, I assured her. Just blessed by you!

Sense of Style/Shop the Look (Personal Packaging)

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First day with somewhat fall-like weather in the 70s vs. recent record breaking 90s temps warranted breaking out brown handbag  & booties  paired w/floral top that reminds me of leaves turning, topped by a coral cardigan. All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx. Maximize fall fashion! : )

Spirit – Led (Putting it Into Practice)

Little did this hater know, but by attempting to malign me, she made herself look so malicious! Rather than doing damage to my reputation, her true colors came shining through without me having to say a word against her. Thus proving God’s promise is true –– If we stay still, He’ll fight our battles (Exodus 14:14, NIV) –– or in my case, let our high school BFFs do it for us!

I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose, like my Josette, the next time someone tries to drag you into gossip or rumors. If you are, you may bless another Swan Sister to minimize her barriers and maximize her best life.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Seasons of Her Soul (Publications)

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 

 

Book 2 in the Lee’s Legacy series, Hold on Her Heart, is in the works! Stay tuned….

 

 

 

 

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Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore & Back to Baseline with Blogging

Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore & Back to Baseline with Blogging

Though it’s been a little over a month since my last post, I started this one on Living Proof Life 2019 with Beth Moore on Day 56 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project (reset) and am just going to pick up here 5 weeks later to get back to a baseline with blogging…

The event turned out to be truly transformational and provided what I needed to sustain me through the personal and professional Ds –– or challenges women face –– I was already dealing with and those to come. Originally when the nonprofit where I’m the Women’s Center Director offered complimentary tickets for the two day conference, I’d hoped to use it as a team building activity for the whole group of women I lead. But due to staffing constraints and a D  in the form of a diagnosis for one staff member, it wasn’t to be.

Instead, my Swan Sister, Kibby and I made the most of the opportunity. Various other Ds limited our time together this summer, so meeting for dinner –– a good D! –– beforehand and riding together saved gas, parking fare and allowed a chance to catch up. Aware of my dysfunctional relationship Ds, Kibby –– a prayer warrior ––  had me share. And by time we entered the venue to worship and look at God’s Word with Beth Moore, expectancy filled the building, our hearts and those of the 5,000 plus women who’d convened for Living Proof 2109.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, in a favorite lace dress, pumps and floral bag.               All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx.                                                                              Kibby is pretty as a peach in a unique sleeveless top that flowed into a train and gorgeous dangly earrings.

Both sessions started with praise and worship. If you’ve ever been in a an auditorium filled with this many women lifting their voices to the Lord, you know it’s a glimpse of what we have to look forward to in eternity.  With our hearts turned toward heaven, we were ready to receive Beth’s teaching and she didn’t disappoint.  Her message, “In the Same Boat” drew from the different accounts in the Gospels about Jesus and the fisherman/disciples who became fishers of men. As an expository teacher, Beth breaks down the history, geography and etymology of words in her lessons. I took a whole booklet of notes over several hours of teaching, but my main takeaways were “From now on ________.” and “I’m saying no to ________________.” My fill in the blanks relate to the dysfunctional relationships and have empowered me as I move forward differently –– another great D!

Since the event, one of my closest friends lost her husband unexpectedly and it rocked me because divorce runs rampant in my family and  they were one of the only examples of a happily married couples (29 years) I’ve had. They loved the way a  I Corinthians 13 tells us to… Then my staff member’s terminal cancer diagnosis took her from us two weeks ago tonight, two days after her birthday. Looking at the dates of  her sunrise and sunset my focus has been on the dash in-between and how she maximized it to the fullest. Both of these deaths have added significance to my “From now on ___________.” and “I’m saying no to ___________________.” I’ll never be the same.

Taking what I learned from Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore, I’m going to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and put the teaching into practice (TIP). Beginning with getting back to a baseline of blogging. Pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and determine ––– an awesome D –––  your “From now on ______________.” and “I”m saying no to ______________.”, too.

Be  savvy & chic ,

                                                                                                          ~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

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 
 

 

 

 

 

How Wonderful Life Is While You’re In the World

How Wonderful Life Is While You’re In the World

It’s Day 31 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as we head toward my daughter’s Sweet 16th birthday this weekend, I’m sentimental about a lot of things, including my high school best friend and how wonderful life is while she’s in the world. My freshman year was so hard. I didn’t start at my college prep high school until freshman year while almost everyone else did 7th grade. They’d already formed their cliques and made it painfully clear there was to be no acceptance of  a black girl who wasn’t “black enough” to fit in with the them. But I wasn’t white which made  admittance to that group a no go as well . Add the fact that my middle school boyfriend dumped me for an upperclassman who went all the way with him right away after I hadn’t in almost three years…I became a social pariah. All of her friends bullied me to the point where there were days when I honestly wanted to die. Then sophomore year, beautiful, popular Josette did more than befriend me. In many ways she saved me. Love and gratitude for our lifelong friendship made us wrap our arms around each other and sing along as we watched Rocketman on the big screen and a young Elton John, masterfully portrayed by Taron Egerton, serenade his best friend Bernie with “How Wonderful Life Is While You’re in the World”

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My BFF Josette and me, Pink Collar Coach, the day after Rocketman opened in theaters. She’s sporting her post-radiation short hair vs. her long locks and is more beautiful than ever.       I’m in a Calvin Klein royal blue jumper with white handbag with cut out details. My royal blue shoes have the same detail but were cut off by the stranger we solicited to take the pic!            All TJ Maxx. 

Life has taken us down different paths and hasn’t always made it easy for us to get together. But when we do, the thirty-four years that have passed since we were sophomores fade away and we’re both Sweet 16 again. Connected at our core. Giggling over guys. Grateful to God for each other. And always singing songs…Part of the reason I wasn’t considered “black enough” is my love of a wide variety of music, including that of Sir Elton John. Josette and I share that and sang throughout. We also shed several tears. You see, my sweet, strong Swan Soul Sister is a recent D –– challenge women face –– survivor. In the form of a breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy. With amazing faith, positivity and reconstructive surgery, she’s minimized this barrier and is maximizing beauty and her best life. In doing so, she’s become one of my she-roes. Which makes life even more wonderful while she’s still in the world.

I pray you have a special Swan Sister who’s been in your life as long as Josette’s been in mine. And that even if you aren’t a fan of Elton John and wouldn’t want to see the movie ––- which was weird and wonderful (from my favorite “Benny and the Jets”!) –– with them, you still may want to let them know “How Wonderful Life is While You’re in the World”.

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

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 13, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – July 13, 2019

The cover a book full of inspirational quotes gathered for those facing a diagnosis –– one of the Ds or barriers women face –– and those who love them. It is meant to strengthen their resolve and comfort their souls.

Whatever D –– diagnosis, a death, debt, depression, divorce, domestic court, domestic violence, discouragement, discrimination, dysfunction, etc. –– you are facing right now, may the words and this simple post do that for you.

Given to me by my Swan Sister, Kibby for my 50th Bday, may it especially encourage you today! And Holly, my Kinder Care Sister, may it do that for you because you’re one of my s-heroes! You both got this because ultimately, God’s got you!!!

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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