Sunday, January 31, 2010

Inspired Sistah's Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #2: Live Deliberately. Practice Living a Life of Intention

Dreams. Hopes. Visions. We all got ‘em. So what’s the difference between those that are doing and those that are not? Some people are making things happen and others of are a-wishin’, and a-hopin’, and a-prayin’. Seriously? This is the season to get going! How long are we going to continue to keep peeking over the edge of the swimming pool wondering how deep the water is? I don’t know about you, but I get sick of hearing myself talking about doing something for too long. I tell myself, “Why don’t you just do it already?!”

What I’m trying to do is admonish you to live a Deliberate Life, a life of Intention, a life of purposeful activity that will actually mean something at the end of the road. What you may have to do is sit down and have a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting with yourself and evaluate how you’ve been living your life up until this point. Are you just meandering along only to find yourself at the end of a day, week, or month no closer to your goals? Perhaps you have a plan, but are lacking the energy to move forward due to stress, distractions or just a lack of direction. Whatever the hold-up, make a decision to deal with it so that you can get on the path to Intention.

I’ve come to a place in my life where I just want more. Not more stuff, but more fulfillment, more joy, more peace. And I believe the path to getting there is to live a life with deliberate intentions that will ultimately get you to your goal. Sure, there will be some wrong-turns and missteps along the way, but such is life. As the old saying goes, “Nothing beats a failure, but a try.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to end this life with my purpose bundled up in my bosom. I want to live a life well-spent, a life of purposeful intent. Shoot, I want to live a Deliberate Life! What about you?

Until next time, be inspired!

Inspired Sistah

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Little Girls' Games

I experienced something interesting today and I wanted to talk about it.

You know it’s the beginning of the year and a lot of people have made commitments to get in shape. Most gyms are usually packed out this time of the year only to find themselves running "specials” to entice new members by mid-year. As a result, the classes are often full for several weeks and then only the ‘regulars’ remain. Well, I went to my cycling class today at the gym and I noticed an all-too-familiar phenomenon that rubbed me raw. There are a group of regular women that come to the class and like to reserve their bikes early and sit together and they have sort of a “cliquish” way that they behave in the class. I noticed today that whenever a ‘new-comer’ tried to sit in “their” area, they shooed them away and began to giggle and comment and affirm their “territory”. I thought to myself, “Wow! Grown women are still playing little girls' games.”

I’ve learned in my interactions that age has nothing to do with maturity. And as women, we can be so vicious to other women when we feel threatened. For some, just being cordial is a strain. It seems that their first nature is to attack and attempt to protect what they perceive as a threat to what they’ve laid claim to. We see it all the time when a woman starts a new job and is just trying to find her place and learn her duties. But she becomes distracted by attacks of gossip and sabotaging by other women who feel threatened by her because she’s smart and articulate, and God forbid, attractive. You know, the unfortunate thing about that whole scenario is that the women who are on the attack are only further demeaning themselves by their behavior. What they are inadvertently screaming to the world is that they are insecure and are afraid that no one will want to play with them anymore if they let the “new girl” into their circle.

Sounds petty, right? But it’s a reality that’s being played out in corporations, social groups, and even gyms! How about trying a little experiment? The next time you and your girls are somewhere and The New Girl comes on the scene, why don’t you speak to her (without that hatin’ look in your eyes), invite her to have a seat and practice being nice? You’ll be surprised at the result. You may just gain a really cool girlfriend along with some brownie points in the maturity department. Who knows? You may prove yourself to be a stellar graduate from Little Girls' Games.

For more on this topic, visit my blog at and check out the Mean Girls series or stop by my website, and pick up a Mean Girls CD. You may not need it for yourself, but you can give a copy to one of your girls. ;-)

Be Inspired!
Inspired Sistah

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lessons from a drought...

I, like a lot of people, feel that 2010 is my year to prosper, thrive and win. I feel that this year I will be taken out of the shadows and into the light. I was quickly reminded, however, that there is often a process of pruning and preparation that goes on in the shadows to ensure that you are prepared for the light.

During the first full week of January, Atlanta was hit with record low freezing temperatures. During that time, we also experienced a little snow and ice. Also during that time, the water abruptly stopped running into my house. Although we retained power, we had no working plumbing. So that meant no showers, no clothes or dishwashing and no ability to flush the toilet! We endured this horrid situation for 10 days. Over the course of the 10 days I went from disbelief, to rage, to despair, to pity and then finally, to rejoicing. I could not believe this was happening. I was in the midst of preparing for my first solo IS Workshop and not having running water in my house was a tad bit distracting. Every time I opened my mouth up to complain to God, He would allow me to know, in one way or the other that I was, indeed, blessed. He would allow me to see the homeless man sitting on the corner shivering as I passed by in my nice, warm car. I got news of a former co-worker who died of cancer suddenly. Also, during that time, Haiti was hit with a devastating earthquake. I got to the point that I was ashamed to bemoan my situation because I had warmth and food and the ability to buy bottled water. I belong to a gym where I could take showers everyday and I had MONEY to stay in a hotel if I wanted to.

Once I got over myself, I began to seek God for the lesson. One of the lessons I learned is that diamonds are formed once they are exposed to intense pressure. Metals are perfected once the dross is burned off of them. On the journey to greatness, there is no escaping the Potter’s wheel or the Refiner’s fire because; it is only when you are tried, that you come forth as pure gold. Although the ordeal was still uncomfortable, once I got the revelation, I was able to rejoice. I rejoiced in the fact that I knew that if I passed this test with grace, promotion was sure to come and elevated is where I want to be. I’ve had enough of mediocrity, going along just to get along and singing sad songs. I’m ready to soar with the eagles. So I’m grateful for my lesson. Oh, and running water ain’t half-bad either!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Inspired Sistah’s Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #1: Live Authentically

Authentic: Genuine. Real. Accurate. Faithful. Dependable.

Do any of those definitions define your character? If I asked one of your girlfriends how she would describe you? What would she say? Would she say, “Tam is my girl. She always has my back. I can always depend on her.” Or would she say, “Well, you know how Tam is. She’s up one minute, down the next. You never know what you’re going to get from her.”

My point is that we should all strive to live a life with the motto: “Whatchu see is whatchu get. Good, bad, or indifferent!” Some sistahs tout this motto when they want to use it as an excuse of being that Neck-Snapping-Eye-Rolling-Finger-Snapping-Tell-It-Like-It-‘Tis Sistah. She’s the one that always has something to say about everything and everybody and calls it ‘keepin’ it real.’ And if you don’t like it, you know where you can go! Naw, I’m not referring to her. Who I’m referring to is a sistah who is genuine to da bone. She doesn’t put on heirs to try to fit in. She’s comfortable in her own skin whether she’s rockin’ a Louis Vuitton or a bald-head; Makes no difference. She is who she is. Can you picture her? I can. Her authenticity is attractive and people want to get to know her and be around her to glean some of her grace.

Now, being authentic may characterize itself in different ways for different people. But the point is that no matter how you display it, you should strive to be a person that ‘says what she means and means what she says.’ Your character should be genuine and you should be a person that people can depend on to stay true to who you are in the midst of disingenuousness and Fake n’ Phonies. That’s the journey that I’m on. Will you join me?

For the next several months, we’ll explore some Character-Building Attributes that will help us transform into or maintain a life that oozes a special kind of grace that only an Inspired Sistah can possess.

So, next month we’ll explore another Get-It-Together, Girl Tip. Until next time, be inspired!

Inspired Sistah

Inspired Sistah’s Get-It-Together, Girl Tips

I believe we should always be on a journey of self-improvement. What I find is that many of us want to make some changes in our lives, but are clueless as to how to implement those changes. Another common observation is that some sistahs are just clueless, period, and need a “mirror” to reflect some of the deficits in their life.

The Get-It-Together, Girl Tips are tools that we can use as a nav system to assist us on this journey of being our better selves. I use the words ‘we’ and ‘our’ because I’m on this journey, as well. I realize that if I’m going to encourage you to ‘Live on Top of the World,’ I need to be actively working on living there myself. Smile.

As always, I will present the information in true Inspired Sistah-fashion to make it real, relatable and attainable. So, I encourage you to take this journey with me and let’s make some real differences in our lives and the lives of the people we engage with—Inspired Sistah Style!

Be Inspired!

Inspired Sistah