As we enter a holiday season like no other, it is my hope and prayer that despite this legendary year of stress, trauma and loss – whether collective, personal or both for you – you’re able to find a few reasons to anchor yourself in gratitude, generosity and love.
For some of us this may be easier said than done; yet I invite you to join me in treating ourselves as the gift that keeps on giving, understanding that as long as we practice self-care and takes steps to get whatever rest, support and care we need to shore ourselves up, we’ll be better able to show up strong, healthy, helpful and loving to and for others.
Consider what positive thoughts and actions most often bring you hope, peace and enjoyment, and allow yourself to revel in those simple and significant pleasures during this season, without guilt or hesitation.
Hold onto something good and know that greater is coming.
I’m sending you a virtual hug, heartfelt prayers for healing and hope, and a wish that you cling to your dreams, no matter what.
Wishing you a meaningful Thanksgiving, filled with a few things that make your heart smile.
I had such a thoughtful conversation with my 19-year-old son recently – about really seeing and hearing each other as human beings, worthy of uniquely full lives and flourishing dreams, and deserving of respect.
He is my introverted, yet self-confident “thinker” who uses words sparingly. So, whenever he launches into conversation with me, I listen – to hear what’s on his heart and mind, and to learn more about what he values and how he’s navigating life. It’s amazing to witness the man he is becoming and to learn from him as he grows.
When we, the teachers, are also open to being students, we stretch beyond our comfort zones, lean into unconsidered truths, and perhaps come out on the other side wiser for the journey.
Which do you prefer – flattering words that charm you or insight that informs and refines you?
Which do you believe will make for a better you, and as a result, a better world?
Perhaps this next generation has answers for us to consider. We’re never too old to evolve and appreciate the process.
There has always been a light within you. Now’s the time to really let it shine.
Shine where you are.
Shine as you are.
Shine because you are.
Whatever mistakes or flaws you’ve obsessed over, today let them be. Celebrate them for helping shape you into you. Allow them to help you grow stronger, wiser, more resilient, more insightful.
Choose to truly see yourself and love yourself, so that you can authentically lavish the gift of that grace on others.
Where to start and how to start?
By looking within and acknowledging the flicker that is your passion and your purpose. By embracing it and not looking back. So that as your light grows stronger and more vibrant, everyone you encounter will have a chance to slowly, and surely, react in kind, in their own unique ways.
Regardless of whether you get to see or experience the impact of your steady light, trust that its existence is not for naught, and that every place and every person touched by your words, actions and being have caught and carried some of that shine. – Stacy Hawkins Adams
I’m honored this week to be a featured guest on Earrings Off!, a podcast focused on the journeys of women and men of color and how we are navigating this world with hope, authenticity, daring and candor.
Thank you to Earrings Off hosts Lou Ali and Teresa Vaughan for featuring me in Episode 35! I share how my love of writing developed as a young child and has been nurtured throughout my life by family, friends, mentors and readers.
Listen and be inspired to chart your own course from dreamer to doer, whether you’re a writer or passionate about some other endeavor.
Whatever your gift or talent is, you’re meant to share it with those in the world around you, so that in their joy of experiencing you, you too are rewarded.
I learned of Juneteenth when I was 21, during a summer internship in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A young black couple that befriended me took me to my first-ever Juneteenth celebration and opened my eyes to why it was significant.
I wondered then why I’d never heard of it, and it’s a reminder today of the truth that many of us “don’t know what we don’t know.”
Today is an excellent day to spend some extra time seeking information through Google or your favorite search engine; to buy some ebooks, audiobooks or print books that detail the rich history of African American dreamers and doers; to watch some of the documentaries that add context and revelation to the pandemic that is known as racial injustice, such as 13th or the classic Eyes on the Prize or others you discover through your own research.
Juneteenth is “a thing” because it took forever for freed slaves in part of these United States to learn that they’d been free for a while, yet were still treated and viewed as someone’s property.
Today, let’s loose shackles of every kind by pushing ourselves – whoever we are and whatever we look like – to learn something new, do something different, and become better and wiser comrades on this journey called life.
My drive this past Saturday through downtown Richmond, Virginia, my longtime city of residence, was a reflective one – from thinking about the slave ships that docked here by the multitudes hundreds of years ago to seeing businesses on Broad Street and in Carytown boarded up due to recent protests to witnessing the peaceful gathering at the Arthur Ashe statue, and just a few miles away, the moving tributes to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others at the base of the statue of Condeferate General Robert E. Lee, which is coming down.
I hope to always remember this juxtaposition of history, heartbreak and solemn efforts to heal, but not have to live through again what has brought us to this point.
The marathon to snuff out hate and brutality while building bridges of understanding and solidarity is just beginning (with generations of previous work serving as the foundation).
None of us who cares can let our weariness win or give up mid-race; for our basic humanity is at stake, and our children (many of whom are in the trenches and leading the way) are watching and counting on us. We must continue to #saytheirnames. We must find a way to #risetogether.
Do something today that reminds you of life’s goodness.
Dance like no one’s watching.
Perform a random act of kindness.
Tell those you care about how much you love them.
Laugh with others and at yourself.
Spend time embracing what makes you smile.
Say yes to one or two baby steps that move you closer to the vision in your heart.
Don’t have a vision? Say yes, then, to discovering what one could be, by spending more time with your thoughts and treasuring yourself for being the gem you are.
As Michelle Obama declares in her Becoming documentary on Netflix, there’s no “going back” to what our lives were yesterday. Our task – and opportunity – is to create a meaningful (and exciting) next chapter that allows us to evolve, impact others and enjoy ourselves along the way.