Say Something: Just One Way to Be a Better Ally

You hear the news. It’s not as shocking as it should be. It’s the same trending topic you heard about a month ago. Too soon. Too soon for another Black body to be gunneddowninthestreet. Another life gone. Another family member slain. Another fundraiser to support the children left behind. Another trial. Another uproar.

It’s not just another anything. Every single life is significant. Every story deserves to be lived, yet pages are torn away. Chapters left unfinishe

What do you do? You try to process this and wrap your mind around it all. You want to help. You believe that your liberation is directly connected to that of those you stand beside. For some reason, words don’t come easy.

What do you say when you and your Black colleague are face to face?

What do you say to your Black friend?

How do you broach the topic with the Black employee you supervise?

I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I don’t want to break anything. 

Let me tell you something: It’s already broken.  It’s not helpful to ignore it. Your silence – though well intentioned – is not helping to soothe the pain. Say something. Say something from the bottom of your heart. Be there. Ask, “How can I be someone you can count on right now?”

And then listen.

 

 

New Beginnings -Monthly Moment

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Tynesha and I spent our first Christmas as a married couple at the Mount. Soon, we were packing for our move to Loyola University Maryland in January.

Big Shout-Out to Veronica at Milagros Moments for creating the Monthly Moment Linkup. It’s a great way to meet new folks within the blogger community! Check out her blog for insight on wellness and happiness. You’ll be happy you did!

Milagros Moments

 

 

When The World Comes Together For Your Friend

Sometime during November of 2015, my close friend told me they were diagnosed with bone cancer. It was heart breaking. We are super close and have kept in touch via letters for the past several years. We met while doing an urban homelessness immersion program in Portland, Oregon.

It was one of those moments where I had absolutely no idea of what to do. How do you support someone from 3,000 miles away? I decided to lean on the More Love Letters community. They are a group of people that comes together to write heartfelt letters to people who are experiencing hardships in their lives. Someone nominates a friend or family member, and if chosen, they become a bundle facilitator. I submitted my nomination and became just that in less than 48 hours.

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Soon, my friend’s story was posted, and I began receiving letters and post cards from places like the UK, Australia, and New Jersey. It was amazing. Never doubt what asking for help can bring you. Later in December, the project ended . Scroll down to check out the results and my friend’s reaction in my testimonial.

Visit More Love Letters if only to witness what is happening right here in our world. I’m continually amazed.

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The Testimonial (originally posted here

Dear More Love Letters Community,

Thank you for being in existence. After two months of receiving letters from around the world (U.S.A., South Korea, Australia, Canada, and the UK) I was able to send Isabella 475 handwritten and loving letters. Isabella texted me when she got them and said she was overwhelmed with “happiness and awe”.

Sometimes I would hit a wall when reviewing each letter. Exhaustion crept in and tricked me out of putting forth effort. Eventually, I got over myself. I thought about much Isabella was going through. The mornings when she felt nauseous, the doctor visits, and all of the pain that comes along with having bone cancer. When I thought about her, everything changed. Reading the letters became an act of love. Each letter took me further and further on an emotional journey of thinking about my friend who lives 3,000 miles away.

I am glad I did this project. When Isabella notified me that she got the bundle, I told her “Of course I’d do this for you, you mean the world to me and have shown me nothing but genuine kindness since we’ve known each other.” I don’t know what the future holds for Isabella. Can any of us say what tomorrow will bring? What I do know is power of an anonymous community of people who come together to bring joy to the lives of others by writing and mailing love letters. I’m forever grateful for each person that ever takes the time to send a loving message. Each of you means them means the world to someone. And for this project, you have meant the world to Isabella.

Love Always,
Sinclair

Why Beginning is So Darn Difficult (FREE Worksheet Download)

Many of us will be planning our New Year’s Resolutions in a few months. But, what about end of year resolutions? Do you have something you have wanted to attempt or a project you want to complete? You never seem to get around to starting, or you keep saying: Darn, I meant to do that months ago! What’s my deal? 

I find that fear, over thinking, and excuses keep us from doing things. Truthfully, I find it easier to lose myself for 3 hours on social media. I have been fortunate to have people in my life push me to actually manifest some of the ideas I talk about. That’s how this blog was born, this eBook, this project to motivate Student Affairs folks searching for grad programs and jobs, and so many other ideas I’ve turned into reality. This isn’t me bragging. It’s me letting you know that it is possible for YOU to get started and get good things done. And no, they don’t have to be work related. It could be starting a blog, re-arranging your living room, or writing holiday cards to relatives. It is totally up to you.

If you need a nudge and some help with beginning, I have just the thing for you.

FREE STUFF YO! Check out the worksheet I made with you in mind by clicking the icon below.

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Get It Done – The Worksheet

What are you waiting for? Get good things done!

If You’re Feeling Like You’re Going Nowhere

I get this feeling deep down in my gut that something is wrong.

I down a glass of water and do some breathing exercises, but nothing helps.

It’s not a panic attack. It’s me feeling unsettled. Yes, I absolutely love my job and the work I do. I work with and for incredible people. But, if we’re being honest here: I get fed up with myself from time to time. Many of us do.

My career is not enough, my professional network is not enough, and do not even ask to see my resume and portfolio.

Some might attribute this to me being an over-driven and over-zealous millennial. I don’t know. I am not here to present any groundbreaking research discoveries or realizations.

I am just here to let you know that I am with you.

You, the person who is never satisfied with the promotion you get. Your job titles just get in the way of all the unrecognized and hard work you do (it’s recognized by your supervisor and others, but you would not dare give yourself too much credit). You, with a mind full of so many ideas, ambitions, and goals only to be told to slow down and enjoy the journey.

I get it. I want success. I want to be happy. I want to be respected by my peers. In the quiet of my private moments, I conclude that this really is taking too long. I’m not where I want to be. EVERYONE ELSE  is getting there faster. Much faster. Should I be doing more? Should I go bigger? Something tells me this thinking is all wrong. This thinking is dangerous.

If you feel like you’re going nowhere, you’re wrong.The ship is still moving, you’re just unaware of it.

If you’re like me, you can easily trick yourself into thinking that you’re going nowhere. You might even attempt to convince others that you don’t measure up.We don’t have to be okay with this. We can do better.

A mentor recently told me: Sinclair, you’re already the man. You just need to believe it. Those are powerful words to say to someone, and you’d have thought it shook up my world. I just pushed it aside. If I was the man, I’d feel like it and everyone would know it. That’s where I went wrong.

Truly realizing how competent, talented, and skilled we are is not something that anyone can convince us of. We have to believe it for ourselves, examine the realization, and continually come back to it. Knowing that you’re a bad motha-shut-yo-mouth isn’t about being over-confident or cocky. It’s about being self-aware, committing to your professional and personal development, and striving to be a person of virtue and values.

If you’re like me, you can easily trick yourself into thinking that you’re going nowhere.

What can we do in the moments when we feel stuck? I am not referring to moments of needed respite, or we have acquiesced to the pressures of life and our jobs. This is about the times where we can see our next step, and it’s only a few feet away.

This particular next step calls us to be more.

It beckons us to take time to improve ourselves. We realize that we need to challenge ourselves to go inward and take an honest at who we are and who we want to become. We need to set this process on repeat.

So, I’d like to invite you into my personal process, and I will begin by asking myself the following questions:

  1. Are you bringing your best self to the people and projects in front of you each day? There’s nothing wrong with being forward thinking and results driven, but that can’t be all you are. If you’re like me, you constantly daydream about the future, and about when your organization and team will advance. All the while, you have ample opportunities to improve the processes and functions you see your same team and organization struggling with. We have to be cautious, so that we don’t end up chasing the high of leveling up. We need to be able to be present to the boring, mundane, and uninteresting aspects of any long-term processes and tasks. It will make us better team players.
  2. Are you trying to be someone else’s version of you? When I was younger, my father told me I had the potential to make millions by being a businessman. Maybe I do. If I am being real, having a big bank account is not something I care about. I want to be financially sound and secure. Other than that, I am an educator and a servant leader. I am content with striving to help others live better stories. My line of work requires far more sacrifice than I will ever be compensated for. Yet, the past has had an impact on all of us, and sometimes thoughts sneak in that tell me I need to be doing more and earning more. When I identify these thoughts for what they are – thoughts -I refocus my attention on what I care about. I become less frustrated with myself and I get clear on the progress I have made in my career.
  3. Are you taking time to reflect on what you have done well? Some people innocently – but annoyingly – call me Mr. Positivity. They do it because I’m intentional about adding positivity into any environment I find myself in. But, I don’t do it because I’m naturally happy. I’m exceedingly sarcastic and negative in my own mind. Sometimes it’s not healthy. So you can see how when I do my daily reflection, I make an extensive account of all the things I did incorrectly. I can’t tell you how many people I made smile, but I can recall all the times someone was upset with me, ignored me, or when I dropped the ball. It’s necessary to take an honest look at your shortcomings, but they’re not everything. And, if all you’re doing is cutting yourself down everyday, you’re always going to feel like less than. I know because I’m an expert at putting myself down. The solution? I think a good place to start is by thinking of two positive things you did, for every negative piece of feedback you give yourself. Try it. When I have done this in the past, it’s worked. Now it’s time to get back to being more fair to myself. I hope you will too.

We have to be cautious, so that we don’t end up chasing the high of leveling up.

If you feel like you are going nowhere, you are wrong. The ship is still moving, you are just unaware of it. Take time to refocus, ask yourself different questions, and see if you don’t start enjoying the journey a little more. Take small steps. We can do this.