March is one of my favorite months. It’s my birthday month and I share that with some pretty amazing humans in my life. When I think of March, it’s the beginning of new possibilities. Spring. Flower buds starting to bloom. The air is dewy and warmer. The rain feels like a seasonal earth cleansing. A renewal. March is the month where I know I’m heading into the time of year that gives me a deep soul nourishment. Sunshine. Nature is greener and feels more alive. I get a renewed pep in my step. I shine different in Spring and Summer. As I lay in bed and begin to come up with this month’s insight. I realized just how much this past year has taught and reminded me. Birthdays for me in recent years bring about time for me to not only celebrate another trip around the sun but to seriously reflect, check-in and decide on my path forward. So, I decided to share some of my perspective on how losing can actually lead you to some of the greatest lessons and reminders of your life.
I don’t want to go too deep down the 2020 rabbit hole. We were there. We know what happened. Well, in May 2020 I lost my job like many others at the start of the pandemic. It was the Thursday going into Mother’s Day weekend. And I just remember being so calm about it. I remember saying to myself, “I’m still going to enjoy my flowers this weekend.” And so, it began. A time of rediscovery.
A Job Does Not Define You.
I was at my company for over 10 years. When it came to an end, it was a huge shift— it made me wonder, “How had my time there shaped my life?” My job had been a constant. A place where no matter what else was happening, I had that and I could put my all into something outside of my personal life. My success was measured daily. I took pride in my work ethic. I always had that when anything else seemed unsure. I knew I got it right there. When I began to write my “goodbye” note, I realized that, yes, it was in fact a place that I showed up for professionally in every moment, but it was the personal connections that I made that meant the most. When I started to receive the messages back, it made that even clearer. My colleagues wrote sweet notes speaking of my light, my thoughtfulness, my cool/calm/collected energy, my kindness. In a moment where self-doubt can most certainly take over, those words showed me that it’s not the job that defines you. You define you— even at work. It’s about how you choose to live. That’s what people hold onto. That’s what I held onto in that moment and continue to hold onto.
Allow Yourself Time to Rest.
It’s important to rest. After moving to New York, rest became a shunned word in my mind for some reason. I fell into the trap of thinking that always on the go meant fun and productivity. After losing my job, I noticed that I needed time to just be. I needed to rest in some areas of my life so that I could come to a different place of intention and wonder. When we are always moving, there’s no time to put energy and thought into areas that actually need it. Rest isn’t just taking a nap or getting enough sleep. It can be taking a walk and actually seeing the beauty in every day. Sitting in a room with candles lit, beautiful flowers arranged sweetly in vases and listening to one of your favorite playlists. It can be meditation or cuddling up with a good book. Binging on a new show and snacking all day. Taking a long drive. Picking up the phone and chatting with someone who fills you with joy. Laughing and being silly with your daughter. Rest lightens the load of life. We all need it. We all deserve it. Rest.
Reconnect to Self. Reclaim Self.
Self. Self-care. Self-love. Self-worth. Self-celebration. Self-belonging. Self-awareness. Self-acceptance. Self-esteem. Myself. Say it with me, “SELF.” We have lived in a society that for too long has made us feel guilty for thinking of ourselves. Especially women. We give every last drop we have to our families, our careers— societal expectations. Yet, when we say, “I want.”, “I need.”, “I deserve.”, we are immediately deemed selfish. We should be happy with our Saturday mani/pedi breaks and keep it moving, right? Well, I’m here to say that’s not enough if you need or want more. We were all placed in this world with a specific life to live. Thus, speaking for and identifying self are keys to living a life that we love, respect and feel confident about. We can’t trust ourselves if we don’t know ourselves. And knowing ourselves comes from being honest about our needs and the things that we want. We can then make good decisions for ourselves and feel empowered by choosing what’s best for us. When we prioritize ourselves, we in turn make space for abundance. What we say “no” to is equally important as our “yes.” Actually, our “no” is sometimes even more important and impactful. It may be uncomfortable to say, but for me not having peace is way more uncomfortable. Growth is a journey. We must allow room for the evolution of self. Caring for self and honoring self is beautiful. It’s not selfish, it’s essential. And I’m thankful for the self-care revolution happening now. May we fully and forever embrace it.
Owning Your Power & Walking in Your Power are Two Different Things.
My intention for 2020 was all about owning my power. I realized that recognizing areas in my life where I had given my power away was one thing. Owning the power that I have is another. And walking in that power is yet another step in the process. I can look back on 2020 and see where I owned my power. Yet something was missing. It’s like holding something but not seeing it fully in action. Like meditation and saying “no” for me in my life, this too is a practice. I took steps, made decisions with my power but walking in that power comes from making myself a priority daily. We have to think of ourselves every day. Not just when we hit a wall while working or have a medical scare or have just completely exhausted ourselves. We owe it to ourselves to walk in our power daily by making choices that reflect our joy and truth.
So, I’ve shared some lessons and reminders that will help carry me into another trip around the sun. I want to end my post with this thought: I watched a Variety Magazine Q & A, a few weeks ago for the film Malcolm & Marie. John David Washington starred in the movie alongside Zendaya. The moderator asked John David a question regarding his preparation for one of his big scenes where he has a lengthy monologue in the film. A piece of his response struck me deeply. He said, “Like a mentor told me, ‘Don’t get it right, get it true.’”
Tiffany Reneé is a writer, poet and activist based in New York. She is a free spirit who loves to truly connect with others. She believes that life gives us opportunities to learn and grow daily if we are open to see the beauty in the expansion. Family time, deep conversation, wine, cooking, music, laughter and travel are a few of her favorite things. She’s a soulful dreamer from the Midwest who has always been drawn to the city lights and the possibilities that exist in choosing “more” of what allows you to live a life that you love.