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February is the month that honors the strength of the Black community as a whole, but also a time to love, appreciate and celebrate ourselves. Choosing to live and act from a place of love and hope is a powerful act of resilience. As we navigate this month and celebrate the accomplishments of our leaders and community, I am reminded again how individuals whose actions are rooted in love create communities of change.
Often, these are big aha moments, but they can also be small whispers that grow into a force, like the “I Love It Here” mantra that soon became an IVYinc SOARers t-shirt that features three hearts made up of different shades of black and brown to symbolize the celebration of our melanin. No matter the shade, our shine is sure, ask anyone who watched Sunday's Super Bowl Halftime show. The t-shirt design was my way to express my love living in my Black skin – to affirm that I love me. Within the mentorship community people share ways in which they help others win, or their need for prayer or support. Authentically, the resounding response became the appreciation of the safe space for growth, change and evolution and how much they "just love it here." The statement "I love it here" quickly became a declaration of love for each other and a community of beautiful Black melanin kings and queens.
For me, it was a lesson from the universe amplifying the positivity that we put out. Every time someone in the SOARers group shared, or even posted a message of positivity, our impact grew. Our efforts had a ripple effect in our community, but affecting far more than just each other. Kindness and love wasn't just an online concept, we were connecting hearts offline as well.
Loving ourselves is one of the most important things we can do this Black History Month. It is a celebration of our history, those who came before us, but especially our melanin. "I love it here" is a declaration of self-love at the highest level. There is no need to be lighter or darker, taller or skinnier because you are here, where you are loved and can grow freely. To move forward as a community, we must be willing to love ourselves.
So this Love Day, I challenge you to show yourself the same love and compassion that you share with your family, friends and spouse/significant other. Not sure how? Here are some fun ideas.
● Unleash your inner child and play - blast a song that makes you dance; challenge your friends to a game of tag; have fun and do what makes you happy. We forget how to enjoy life as we get older, and every decision seems filled with responsibilities. Sometimes, we need to take a break and enjoy the joy of being here now.
● Take yourself out - get dressed up, buy flowers, and book a reservation at your favorite restaurant. Be kind to yourself and make an effort to pay attention to what makes you happy.
● Celebrate yourself - acknowledge (personally or on social media) how far you have come, give yourself a shout-out. You deserve it. It's easy to forget to give ourselves credit and recognize our wins - big or small.
● End the relationships that aren't serving you - release yourself from toxic relationships. Don't let a memory of who they used to be or a shared history dictate their place in your present. Instead, ask yourself if they are currently supporting you emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually?
● Write yourself a love letter - express gratitude to yourself for your journey. Remind yourself of how far you have come, what you have overcome and the absolute joy that comes from being you.
Perhaps these activities may feel selfish to some, or challenging to others, but they are just a few examples of self-care and self-love. As you accept and care for yourself, you will notice that the universe slowly lets go of things that no longer serve you, bringing positivity and growth. Remember self-care and appreciation is the ultimate form of unconditional love.
Happy Valentine's Day! Start your day by you loving you and affirming the amazing, extraordinary gift of you. Join your voice with the chorus of others who have learned the power of loving themselves by saying to YOU . . . . I LOVE IT HERE! Meaning, I am not waiting on external validation, I'm learning to love me and the skin I'm in. Doing so lifts us and empowers us to live in harmony with love - because a person who loves themselves, can celebrate and love others.
I LOVE IT HERE!
JOIN ME LIVE TOMORROW NIGHT @ 7pm C / 8pm E for TUESDAY Mentoring Moments. Join us for the 2nd installment of our INCREDIBLE February series . . . #SOULofmyFeet.
Nearly 16K people tapped in last week, 90k people viewed our #OwnYourMark series last month, and MORE THAN 1 MILLION people joined us for #MMM last year. It's far more than a moment, it's a whole movement!
Thank you for joining me on the road to GREATER!