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Photo by Teisha Miles

Hey there.

Thanks for stopping by my hopeful corner of the internet. My name is Sinclair and part of my purpose is to inspire people to be more hopeful, so they can live the better story they want to live.

This means something different for everyone.

For me, it means taking care of my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health as best I can. I experience anxiety, PTSD, and depression, so I’m actively working to set boundaries, stay active, and put myself in a healthy mindset.

I do this through:

I’m curious about what’s going on for you. Your pain matters. Your wins count. Your dreams are worth it.

What have you been wanting your life to tell?

Can’t wait to hear about it. Hit me up sometime.

xx,

Sinclair

 

Featured 

Shine TextThe London Times | Success Magazine | Thrive Global | Essence Magazine

 

Past Speaking

American College Personnel Association | The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders | The North American Federation of Temple Youth | Alvernia University | Saint Peter’s University | Loyola University Maryland | University of the Sciences | Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest | Stevenson University

 

Learn more about my speaking services.

 

Join my Twitter fam!

 

 

Someone Needs to Hear This: A Mental Health Series

Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash

The stigma is real. 

There’s someone that needs to hear that mental illness doesn’t define us. There’s a lot of noise out there about who we are and what we’re capable of. But, we get to speak for ourselves. That’s why this series exists.

It’s a small but meaningful addition to Mental Health Awareness Month.

Storytelling can break chains and make us feel less alone.

Our truths can help others see the other side of a thing, of a person. Our stories can help someone feel a little more empowered, and a little more hopeful.

Each series storyteller did the brave thing of sharing their truth.

Here are those stories.

Week of May 2 – May 5

Courtney

Kathie

Anonymous I

Week of May 7 – May 11

Kristin

Anonymous II

Anonymous III

Sara

Anonymous IV

Week of May 14 – May 18

Anonymous V

Kim

Anonymous VI

Marlissa

Week of May 21 – May 25

Gina

Emily

Gailen

Anonymous VII

Anonymous VIII

Anonymous IX

Week of May 28 – May 31

Anonymous X

Gus

Anonymous XI

 

The Suicide Series

Photo by ian dooley

 

If you are currently seeking support, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If this is an emergency, please call 911. 💙

 

Suicide. We’re talking about it more, but the stigma is very much alive.

I’ve experienced suicide ideation at several times in my life. It was rough. Scary. Alarming.

I’ve found that I’m having more and more conversations with people who’ve experienced their own battle with this. So, it’s time to for another series on mental wellness.

The hope is to hear raw and honest stories around suicide from people of walks of life.  We can end the stigma if we share more. We can remove the pain and shame around hurt if we speak out more. We can help someone feel less alone. 

 

Share Your Story

Submit your story by using the form below. Thank you in advance for taking such a brave step. You matter and I’m so glad you’re here today. I really am.

  • The deadline to share your story is Friday, July 6, 2018.
  • Not all submissions will be posted.
  • Authors will be contacted if their story is selected.
  • Stories will be posted on this website, social media, and elsewhere on the internet (ex. the Mighty.com, etc.).
  • All responses go directly to me at hello@thesapronextdoor.com and anonymity will always be respected.

 

Help someone feel less alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working While Black: Things We Endure in the Spaces We Occupy

Header photo x Victoria Heath

The purpose of this Q+ A blog series is to center Black professionals who’ve experienced hardship, racism, discrimination, racial battle fatigue, or any other impacts of oppression while on the job.

Not all submissions will be featured in the blog series.

Selected blog articles will be shared on this website and various social media platforms, and may be used for conference presentations. Anonymity is always respected. 

Email Sinclair with any questions at hello@thesapronextdoor.com

Hard deadline: 5pm ET on Monday, June 25, 2018.

Ready to submit something? Visit the Google Form. 

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Photo x LinkedIn Sales Navigator

 

Mental Health Mixtape: “My Anxious Mess of a Beautiful Life”

 

This is a mental health mixtape full of honest + raw stigma crushing storytelling. It’s for the people pleaser who compromises their values to avoid confrontation and avoid being alone. It’s for the person who has convinced themselves that who they are isn’t enough.

It’s honest words about a life lived feeling afraid of everything all the time, the journey to get help and trust others, and the struggle that remains.

Get the free preview + order today!

 

Stop chasing people who don’t want you.

Header Photo by Thomas Young | Words by Sinclair Ceasar

🎧 Audio version of today’s newsletter. 

They don’t want you.

They’re not going after you. They never call you first, email you back, text to see how you are.

At this point, they’re probably ghosting you, but you’re thirsty and hungry for their attention and validation.  They know this. Maybe they don’t.

Either way, you’re not a priority for them, but you keep going after them. It’s not healthy. You need to let them go.

If you keep holding on, you’ll miss out on all the people right there in your life who actually want you and want to give you love. You’ll miss out on yourself and all the things you’d be sacrificing if you and this person actually did life together, business together, creativity together, making a family together.

You’re willing to compromise  your values just to be with them. You know you shouldn’t, but you ignore your truest voice.

You’d rather partner with fear instead.

Dear reader, I gotta tell you,  it’s time to stop chasing people who don’t want you. People who’d bring all that’s toxic into your life. People who won’t give to you how you’d give to them. People who are clearly disinterested in who you are and what you bring.

I know this because I’ve been that chaser so many times in my life. I’ve gone after the people who only want to cause me harm. I’ve gone after people who were only meant to be in my life for a brief season.

Everyone isn’t meant to stick around forever. Some people come into our lives for the job, the date, the money, the laughs, or the trip, and then they leave.

I’ve feared that letting go means losing something I’ll never ever get back: someone who loves me, someone who sees me, someone who wants to create with me. I have attachment and detachment issues. I fear being alone. I’m uncomfortable with too much silence.

Mostly though, I fear that letting go of people means that something is wrong with me. But that’s not true.

Letting go of someone could be the breakthrough you’ve been needing to give to yourself.

It could mean you seizing an opportunity you wouldn’t have otherwise. It could be making space for the people, the healthy habits, the practices, and  the love that would actually light up your life.

But, you won’t get any of that if you’re fixated on everything and everyone that doesn’t want you.
Make the shift.

It’s taken years, but I’ve made the shift through deep work with therapists, close friends, my wife, God, and myself. Today, I’m fortunate and thankful to have the relationships I didn’t have growing up. I’m no longer sticking with people who brought violence and pain and humiliation into my life.

Sometimes, I see myself starting to chase others, but then I think: Do I have the love I need?

I do.

How to begin shifting your own narrative.

Check those stories you’re telling yourself.

Ask yourself:

  • What am I afraid of losing if I let them go?
  • Why do I keep going after people who never go after me?
  • What would happen if I focused on what I love, instead of on who could love me? 
  • How am I grounded in the relationships I already have? 
  • What’s the loving choice in all this? What’s the fear filled decision? 

Sit with the real answers that arise. Write them down. Talk them out with someone you trust. Talk them out with me, you know I’m here.

But, don’t retreat  when painful realizations show themselves. We often avoid the truth because it’s hard to digest. Then, we spend years of our lives suffering, because we chose to act from a deficit, rather than make decisions that align with our values. 

Who do you need to stop chasing? What’s your next move with this? Whatever it is, I encourage you to carry grace with you during this process. Go slow with it. Go easy on yourself. It doesn’t need to happen today.

I hope you get to a point where you can say: I’ve let go of at least one relationship that was draining me. I was doing all the work, and they weren’t willing to. I’m glad I chose me.

Choose you, my friend.

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I send weekly emails to amazing people all over the world. If you can use some real talk and inspiration in your life, subscribe to the newsletter today.

Q+A w/ Jada Gomez: Executive Editor of Bustle & Inspiring Brown Girls Everyhwere

Sinclair: You shared something super touching the other day on Twitter: “I guess it’s safe to say now, I’m the new Executive Editor at Bustle. This is a dream. And all I can think of is the little brown girls who will see me and know they can do anything they ever dreamed.” Who inspired you to go after your dreams when you were a little brown girl?

Jada: There are so many people who inspired me as a little brown girl. For starters, my parents were always supportive of me dreaming big dreams, and opening the door wider for the generations to follow. I’ve always admired Danyel Smith, an acclaimed journalist and author who created an entire era at VIBE, because she’s brilliant and authentically herself. Former president Barack Obama is my greatest hero. I discovered his book Dreams From My Father in college, when I was sorting my own identity. He’s always fought for the greater good, and he’s humble and confident in a way I hope to embody in the tiniest way. When I found out we share the same birthday, I officially named him my birthday twin!
Sinclair: What’s one challenge you think women of color face as they seek to progress in your industry?

Jada: One challenge is definitely the ability to get a foot in the door. In media, connections are everything, and there are some talented writers out there who just need access to a platform. I make it a mission of mine to nurture young journalists, of any gender or nationality, and to help connect them with the right people when I can. It can really make all the difference.
Sinclair: Have you ever felt like a fraud while on your journey to where you are today?

Jada: I’ve never felt like a fraud, but I have definitely had moments where I felt like I was too young, too quiet, or too something to really make an impact. I first started out as a reporter at TIME, and I’d sit in the newsroom meeting with so many incredible journalists—Pulitzer prize winners, journalists who’d been embedded with troops in Iraq, people I’d seen as regulars on CNN. What could I, fresh out of college, contribute? But I realized after a year or so, that I did have value. I understood the burgeoning impact of social media and how to incorporate it in traditional media. I had a diverse upbringing in New York City which is extremely valuable, and I had my own perspectives. Once I started to own that, I started to thrive. But it’s still a growing curve, and I’m still constantly changing and learning about my worth.

Jada (10)
 

“There’s always another door.” – Jada Gomez

 

Sinclair: When was a time that self-doubt was at its worst for you while on your career and life journey?

Jada: When I started out, layoffs in the industry were constantly happening. I was laid off at my first job after just a year, and I really never thought something like that was even possible in college. I blamed myself, and I thought there was something I could have done better in my job. But in fact, my boss was so impressed with my work ethic, that he actually recommended me for my next role! There’s always another door. But I do know that I feel nerves every time I start a new job because of stability. It’s nagging at times, but I try not to let it take over my brain so that I can truly do my best work.
Sinclair: What are your unshakable values and when did you become clear on them?

Jada: My core values are the same ones I have in my personal life: to treat people with respect first and foremost, to be honest and reputable, and to uplift with my words. In my career, I’ve been unwavering in the way I support my teams—there’s no hierarchy, we’re all valuable and in this together! It’s extremely important for me to treat sources with respect, and to tell their stories honestly and accurately. Trustworthiness is crucial in journalism. And I also tell the stories that will uplift communities, whether they are informed, or inspired. I have been clear on these values since day one.

Sinclair: What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with self-doubt and feeling like giving up on their dreams?

Jada: Keep going! It takes years for someone to be an “overnight success.” Make sure to do the work, and treat people with respect. If you’re interested in journalism, read everything you can get your hands on. Use everything you can as way to learn and grow. Don’t give up on you.

Sinclair: Imagine that all your life’s work disappeared and you only had 1 minute to tell the world what you believe to be true. What would you say?

Jada: I love this question so much, because it’s so easy to caught up in titles and accolades. I believe that we must take care of each other as humans, regardless of race, gender, or any other differences. I believe that light will always be the antidote for darkness. And I’d want people to know that I tried my best to be a good human, to myself, and everyone I’ve ever known.

💎💎💎

Jada Gomez is a Queens, N.Y. native, with a love of all things music, books, sports, and glitter. An NYU graduate and the child of New York DJ’s, her love for pop culture turned her childhood dream into a dream career in journalism, that led her to TIME, PEOPLE, HipHopDX, and Latina. Her spirit animal is a combination of a Care Bear and a Disney princess.

Learn more about Jada and connect:  Twitter | Portfolio | Website

P.S. This is how this interview even happened. Yes,  I jumped for joy. Yes, AMAZING people like Jada agree to share their time like this. Just reach out to the person you admire, ask, and see what they say.

The Self-Care Event of the Year!

 

EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE FOR $129 

In college? Experiencing financial hardship? Email Sinclair @hello@thesapronextdoor.com for the secret access code to the $79 offer.

💎💎💎

This all day event combines expert teaching, dynamic engagement around topics of accessible/practical self-care and holistic wellness, and hand-on activities to help participants live better stories.

Logistics

Saturday, October 6, 2018. The Ideal Arts Space, 905 W. 36th Street, Baltimore, Maryland. 9am-4pm. Introvert friendly. Intimate setting. Next door to delicious vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options.

The problem + what we’ll provide

People struggle with taking care of themselves and believing in their worth and value. We will teach participants practical ways to take a more holistic approach to self-care and wellness. This day will be catered towards busy people and helpers who are willing to commit to cultivate new habits + challenge themselves to be vulnerable.

Program overview

  • How to Eat – All things nutrition, meal prep, and reflecting on what you put into your body
  • How to Move – Body positivity + dancing till you sweat
  • How to Explore – A conversation about how to engage more with nature, and integrate mindfulness and yogic practices into daily life.

What the day looks like

  • Kickoff and setting intentions
  • Nutrition and meal prep for busy people
  • Time to reflect and connect with others
  • Surprises
  • Hip Hop dance workshop and body positivity
  • Exploring mindfulness, nature, reconnecting with self
  • Accountability clusters
  • Closing + Send Off
  • The absolute best after party ever

Speakers

Diana Sugiuchi |Nutritionist/Dietitian, RDN, LDN | Nourish Family Health

Cynthia Chavez | Dance Instructor & Executive Artistic Director | Movement Lab & Baltimore Dance Crews Project

Molly Gallant | Outdoor Recreation Programmer | City of Baltimore, Parks and Recreation

Ambus Hunter IV | Financial Coach | Navy

Jen Cusick | Outdoor Adventure Specialist | Loyola University Maryland

Dan Kelly | Assistant Director of Student Conduct & Restorative Justice Trainer |

Loyola University Maryland

Sinclair Ceasar | Assistant Director of Student Life & Mental Health Speaker | Loyola University Maryland & This is My Brave, Inc.

Packages

The Glow Package – $159 

Total Value – $449

Full Program + Exclusive Self-Care & Wellness Bag + “Celebrate You” Reflection Journal PDF + Access to Secret Facebook accountability group

The Shine Package – $189 

Total Value – $649

The Glow Package + Exclusive surprise + 20 minute on-site massage

Additional Offerings:

On-site 1:1 Financial Coaching

On-site 1:1 Empowerment Coaching

Nearby hotel  + airport

Embassy Suites by Hilton – Baltimore Inner Harbor

BWI

Refund Policy

All tickets are non-refundable and cannot be transferred. We believe making lasting changes in our lives start with making commitments to ourselves and following through on them.

Questions? Email Sinclair Ceasar at hello@thesapronextdoor.com

Actually, you deserve to be here.

Photo x Noah Buscher

Each week I hold a Twitter chat called #ClarityTalk on Mondays at 9pm ET.  And each week, today’s guest author, Angela Delfine, blows me away with her honesty and words. In her message to us she writes: “They’ll do what they can to bring you down because they aren’t happy with their own lives.” I know. Hits hard, right? If something in today’s message speaks to you, reach out to Angela. Let her know. Connect. See where the conversation takes you. As always, I’m thankful to have you here, dear reader. – Sinclair 

 Words by Angela Delfine

I need you to hear this loud and clear: you deserve to be where you are. Often times we question whether or not we belong in that seat at the table. We worry that what we are saying is not valid or worth anyone’s time. We feel like imposters in our own lives.

Imposter syndrome is very real and all of us experience it at one time or another.

I need you to know that it’s ok to feel that way sometimes but, in the end, you need to realize that your feelings are real, your ideas are valid, and you deserve to triumph.

My journey has been a long and sometimes painful one. As humans, we all have experiences where certain people in our lives tell us that we’re not good enough or smart enough. Even though I like to believe that people are naturally good, I’m not naïve enough to overlook one fact: sometimes people are just plain mean.

They’ll do what they can to bring you down because they aren’t happy with their own lives.

As a child, I was severely bullied because of my weight. I was the chubby girl with glasses that loved school. It took me well into adulthood to learn how to love my body and to realize that there is nothing wrong with not being a size 2 (but also, there’s nothing wrong if you are).

On top of my struggle with body positivity, I had also been in an abusive relationship and other relationships with abusive tendencies. I was told that I wasn’t pretty enough, was made to feel like I wasn’t smart enough, and found myself continuing to hate who I was and what I looked like.

It took years of actively choosing to be single, focusing on my career, and making happiness and self-care a priority in order for me to move forward. My 3 years of working at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame (an all-women’s college) was where I grew the most. I learned to love myself and my flaws. I learned that even though I am a woman, I am intelligent and deserve success. I found peace with myself and my world.

 

That is what we all must strive for.

 

During that time, I focused on “dating” myself. I took time to reflect on the things that I am good at. I went out on Saturday mornings to the farmer’s market and did things that truly brought me little bits of joy. I learned to realize that I am an awesome person who truly deserves the job and life she has worked for.

 

Your self-love journey will not be an easy one. There are people and events that may crush you. You may fall over at times. But when you get back up and keep on walking, I assure you that the road will be a better one. I’m not expecting you to find joy and confidence immediately. I’m asking you to at least strive for it. Know that you deserve it. We all do.

 

Know that when you keep your head held high you will go places, my friend. You are so worthy. Your concerns, ideas, triumphs, and challenges are all valid. There are people who hear you and see you. We’re rooting for you all the way.

Now take your seat at the table and know that you belong there.

Headshot - Delfine

Angela Delfine is a graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She enjoys blogging about self-care, traveling, reading with her cat, painting, eating Pad Thai, and making people laugh. Follow Angela on Twitter or email her at  angela.delfine24@gmail.com.

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I send weekly emails to amazing people all over the world. If you can use some real talk and inspiration in your life, subscribe to the newsletter today.

Journal prompts for the person wanting to write from the heart.

Photo by Jess Watters on Unsplash

So, this happened on a whim today…

And a lot of beautiful folks responded, here’s one…

And so, I created a PDF with prompts to get your juices really flowing. You can use it write that next blog post, journal, reflect, or whatever else you can think of.

It’s free. Share it with anyone.

To get access, simply view and download the document. 

Community of Awesomeness – June 2018

Photo by Crown Agency on Unsplash

Shout-out to everyone who submitted something to this month’s Community of Awesomeness post. Folks shared requests + offers for everything from international pen-pals to a YouTube web series. I’m truly blessed + thankful to be connected to so many wonderful people all around the world, and hope to do this project again in September 2018.

If you’re reading this you’re invited to participate! 

Aight. Here’s how this works.

  • Take a look at the lists below, and reach out to anyone you’re willing to support and/or solicit resources from. All exchanges come at zero monetary costs. If it eventually turns into a business thing, that’s for you both to discuss.
  • Be kind, be honest, and don’t spam anyone.
  • If you’re nervous to reach out, that’s okay. Just start your email to them with, “Hey, I heard you were requesting/offering _______ from this post and go from there. Then, press send.
  • Everything is posted in alphabetical order by name.
  • You got this. Amazing-ness happens when you do the brave thing. Reach out to someone!

Awesome Requests 📬

Alexandra is requesting career advicealexandra.coreen@gmail.com

Courtney is requesting an academic writing buddy to commit to a few hours of writing each week, in addition to a weekly writing debrief (in person or by video conference, text, email, fax, carrier pigeon, etc). crgibbon@hamilton.edu

Erin is requesting content ideas for a YouTube series and writes: “I co-created a web series called “The Adventures of Fab Jenkins”. It’s a blaxploitation parody about a stylist that is driven to save the world from a tacky fashion empire. I launched the show in 2016 with the goal of creating additional content promoting independent fashion and beauty brands. I plan to create an inclusive, global community celebrating diverse voices within the industry. After a number of setbacks, I am committed to revamping the Fab Jenkins brand in 2018. I am requesting ideas for content. If you are an up and coming fashion designer, launched a skincare line, or are making other moves in fashion and beauty, this opportunity is for you. If you are interested in being involved in any other way, I’d love to hear from you too. To view Season One, visit the watch page. johnson.erina@gmail.com

Hilary is requesting relationship advicehillaryonyuo@gmail.com

Jamier is requesting acting opportunities and writes: “I’m starting out in the acting business. If you know casting directors that are looking for actors or any great casting calls, please don’t hesitate to contact me.” jamiercampbell27@outlook.com

Jeanie is a medical student requesting advice and encouragement and writes: “I’m a  non-traditional MS1 starting this August. I’m seeking current or recent medical students for advice/insight, encouragement, studying resources, and/or friendship.” jeanie.elle@gmail.com

Katie is requesting a book club to join that can help with finding good summer reads. kaitlin.muttitt@gmail.com

Marisa is requesting a pen pal and writes: “I am a high school English teacher from New Jersey who loves to write. I think this is a great opportunity to create a new friendship while adding a little zest to our lives.” marisaferris@yahoo.com

Wren is requesting a bucket list partner and writes: “I’m seeking bucket list partner pen pals for mutually supporting each other’s willingness to dream and act on those dreams.”  schoeneckwren@gmail.com

 

Amazing Free Offers 📤

Amy is offering been there, done that advice to people considering or actively pursuing graduate degrees. ajebecker@gmail.com

Ana is offering to proofread/edit your work (i.e. paper, thesis, presentation, short story, blog, etc.).  amc912@hotmail.com

Benedicta is offering to be your pen pal, and said, “I love meeting new people, sharing stories, laughs, and memories! I lavish in the beauty within human connections and think they are so important!”  oloniluab@aol.com

Betsy is a longtime professional artist and creative with an art degree offering feedback on the work of any young artists (school age through college) + offering encouragement to any young creatives who are wondering what to do with their careers/lives. Feel free to check out Betsy’s work before you reach out. mail@betsystreeter.com

Dr. Prime is offering leadership advice, personal development advice, public speaking advice, mediation + relationship advice with co-workers, and advice on how to improve your interactions with people. drprime26@gmail.com

Emily is offering a handwritten letter to any destination in the U.S.A. and will even put stickers on the envelope in true kid pen-pal style. rock.emily@gmail.com

Jasmine is offering summer reading recommendations and book reviews and said, “Writing is my absolute passion. Last year I started a blog. It offers simple, easy-to-follow recipes, toddler arts and crafts and everyday stories about parenting, good and bad. I enjoy offering these blog posts because, as a stay at home mom, I understand how important it is to be able to relate to others and not feel alone through the journey.”  rodriguez1308@gmail.com

Jennifer is offering encouragement. Especially for anyone experiencing panic or anxiety. fowler_scorpio@yahoo.ca

Katie is offering to send out love and send up prayers for anyone who needs it. k5kt@prodigy.net

Lacey is offering a resume review to current students and recent graduates, and said, In my career, I’ve hired nearly 100 interns and staff positions, and looked through many more resumes…I can and I will prioritize requests of those from low-income backgrounds, students of color, or those who are first-generation college students. Please share as an editable Google Doc. I will do my best to respond to all requests.” lacey.n.dunham@gmail.com

Megan is offering travel tips and recommendations for anyone visiting South East Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR), China/Hong Kong, London, New York City, and northern Florida. gitmospecial1976@gmail.com

Rachael is offering coaching + mentoring and said, “I usually work with people involved in education, simply because I work in this field. However, I’m happy to coach/mentor people with other occupations.  I just might need you to explain your job to me.” rshaw@res-ed.co.uk

Sokari is offering travel advice for anyone visiting Southern Spain, Morocco, and the UK (London + the Lake District). sokariekine@gmail.com

 

If this works out for you, or if you have any feedback on this project, hit me up at hello@thesapronextdoor.com anytime.