Do you remember my last post? The one where I mentioned that technical glitch that caused the previous blog posts and some design changes on the site to disappear? Well, I was able to find the original first post of the year. Yipee! Actually, part of the post made up the first issue of the FemmePowered Useletter. I’m calling these lovely notes that will (once you subscribe) pop in your inbox one to two times a month, ‘useletter’ and not ‘newsletter’. Newsletter to me, sounds boring. Useletter sounds cooler and is a coined a phrase for useful-letter. I’m hoping these notes do prove to be useful to you. Below is the post that went missing and issue 1 of the useletter.
So, it’s 2016! It feels good to be in a new year. Something about the calendar flipping over makes me feel hopeful and full of anticipation.
I’m still amazed at how 2015 flew by, as if it had wings. It was a good year, in retrospect. Often, we start the year with resolutions and a list of things we want to achieve. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when things don’t work the way we hoped, we feel like we fell short. Just a reminder to you; life is not about to-do-list! Try not to be too rigid about measuring a ‘great year’ by what you struck off a list. It’s good to have goals and plans. Just don’t be so focused on the end goal that you don’t appreciate the journey in getting to them. When we ignore the journey we miss the beauty in the moments when things go off script. I’ve found that sometimes the best things happen when we veer off track.
I started 2015 feeling confident and did my best to maintain it throughout. There were days I felt uncertain and overwhelmed. But I just kept thinking of all the great things I wanted to achieve and see in the year. Many things I hoped for came to pass and I had some extra good stuff thrown in along the way. It was a good year but it is behind me and I’ve got a feeling that 2016 will be epic for FemmePowered and also for me. I wish an epic year for you, too. You deserve it 🙂
So let me share on something that been working on my nerve today. ‘Success‘.
With a new year rolling in there has been much talk about ‘being a success in 2016’. And it’s coming from everywhere. My sage pals on social media, the dude or gal in my inbox trying to sell me a coaching program, ebook or some ish, much is being said about what will make 2016 a success. With all that bombardment the word ‘success’ is now starting to annoy me at day 5.
As I think of it, the reality is success is such a personal construct. What looks like success to me may vary from your definition of it. Some days, feeling like a success is just making it to fitness class when I promised myself I would. It could also be remembering to feed my dogs Ellie and Lola on time because I’m so sucked into my work (don’t call GSPCA on me). It could also be managing to have catch up with dear friends as planned and agreed to, when I’m chained to my desk. But if I don’t does it make me unsuccessful? Does it?
The reality, according to Carlana, is that we are already successful. Gasp! Some of you may agree but I’m sticking to my guns! I think most of us are pushing it and giving it our all. We know what our lives look like and we are the only ones to determine if we are succeeding or not. We don’t need another 10 step guide on how to be a success or some other whatever.
Please don’t let some ‘new-year-philosopher’, social media pundit or someone trying to hawk their products make you feel like you aren’t. Life can be challenging. It think for the most part we are giving it our all. Sometimes the most successful thing you can do is get up out of your bed to get to work or wherever you need to be. To someone looking on it may not be a grand thing. But you know all you want to do is pull the covers back over your head and go back to sleep or give up. As some wise person once said ‘sometimes success is just a matter of hanging on‘.
I’m not saying be a slacker and don’t push. I’m saying don’t take up someone’s definition of success and beat yourself up if you don’t measure up to it. Just do your best, give your all and 2016 or whatever year, should be fine. If you don’t manage to always do your best or give your all in every situation, the fact remains that you are trying. So give yourself a bonus cookie just for making an attempt! But don’t go through 2016 carrying someone else’s definition of success. Or what they think success should look like for you. That’s a recipe for a crappy year.
I’ll get off my soapbox now and run off to make a pot of coffee and catch a chapter of the book I’m reading. I Thought It Was Me, by Brene Brown is one of those books that can change your life and thinking. Please grab it if you can. I believe it will enrich you.
Before I go, I must tell you about FemmePowered’s first workshop for 2016, Self-Defense for Women. All women need to know how to defend themselves. So, I’ve partnered with some experienced and professional guys in the field of self-defense to conduct the workshop. I’m looking at having it a Saturday in March. I’m still coordinating the exact date, but I’d love if you can spread the word and sign up to attend. If you can’t make it, why not register a friend or family member who would value a workshop like this? Workshop fee is $30 and you can register here.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.