Category: Education (page 1 of 2)

A New Day: Guided by My Desired Feelings…

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 Our emotions need to be as educated as our intellect.

It is important to know how to feel, how to respond,

and how to let life in so that in can touch you.

~ Jim Rohn

And, I’m back!

I never really left. I simply took an emotional and intellectual break to dig deeper into what I truly desire in life as it relates to being a citizen of the world, a small business owner, a working professional graduate student, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.

Since the start of 2013, I have been educating my emotions by focusing on my desired feelings. In particular, I have found myself exploring the hopes and dreams of my soul in The Desire Map. What is that you ask?

Everything we do is driven by the desire to feel a certain way.

…We need to make our feelings the heart of the matter.

@DanielleLaPorte

Based on this idea, The Desire Map is a multimedia guide to what you want the most. In addition to this self-guided exploration, I took a course entitled, “The Business of Being an Artist,” as well as attended a 2-day workshop on Right-Brain Business Planning. The 8 months of contemplating such pursuits was a priceless opportunity to reflect, learn, and grow that resulting in me completing the Jillybeads 4 Justice business plan along with a visual one for inspiration.

Say what…you launched your business without a complete business plan?!

Yes, I did and I’m proud of the fact that I’m no longer part of the 70% of businesses that start without one. From the beginning, this venture has been a leap of faith (see Why I Started a Business) as I use my true and gained gifts to inspire and implement my passions in a tangible way. What’s clear to me now that was more vague then was that if I continued giving my gifts to someone else’s vision of “changing the world” and “making a difference” that I would remain stuck and feeling like a passive citizen. Those that know me would agree that staying in one place or being inactive are not traits that would be used to describe me. And so, I choose to follow my vision and desire feelings as I continue on this journey.

As a result of this personal and professional inquiry, here’s what you can come to expect:

  • Advocacy: I will show support for the causes I believe to be social justice issue and recommend simple while timely ways you too can show your support.
  • Education: I believe when providing a recommendation, it’s also your responsibility to inform. Though cognizant of my bias I choose to use them as my lens in seeing the world.
  • Accessorizing: A new piece bi-weekly (on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month) that will include the bead’s story, my inspiration for the piece, or highlight my creative practices.

Simply put, I am excited to be on this journey and to share it will you. Tomorrow’s the day of something new—I’ll be sharing the first new piece, so stayed tuned…

CALL 2 ACTION: Inspired to consider your desired feelings?! You should as…

Desire is the engine of creation.
Feelings are your road signs.
Desire mapping is how to get where you want to go.

For more information, go here.

Inspirational Beauty Everywhere | What’s Next for Jillybeads 4 Justice…

Photo Taken by Nikole DeZao

It’s hard to fathom that it’s been almost 3 months since the launch of Jillybeads 4 Justice! Now don’t get me wrong, there were many tasks that went into making such an event a reality. However, in many ways, it was simply the starting line.

Just like the athletes who did and will compete in London, when the whistle blows or the gun fires is truly when the real work begins—everything else was simply preparation. As many of you know, Jillybeads 4 Justice is not what pays the bills (at least not yet). As a result, the work happens in the evenings, during lunch breaks, and on weekends and holidays. For some, that may seem like too much to balance. For me, its easy to put in the extra time after an already long day when it’s created from my heart and passion—the desire to have something to call my own that allows for the intersections of my interests to Advocate, Educate, and Accessorize.

Advocate: to speak or write in support or defense of a person or cause.

Those that know me, know that I’m vocal about the causes I care about. They vary from women’s issues (e.g. Title IX, freedom of choice, empowerment, etc.) to LGBTQ rights and marriage equality to racial and economic justice to education to our Mother Earth. Despite the breadth, there’s a unifying factor—social justice. I’ve been privileged to have the resources to critically analyze my experiences as a Black queer woman living in a perceived “post-racial,” heteronormative, patriarchal U.S. society. I pull a lot from my personal experience, as it’s the best “data” I have at my fingertips.

Yes, Jillybeads 4 Justice is a business. A business that advocates knowing that activism is political and courageously takes a stand for justice. I believe our purpose is to use our voice and networks to advocate for the great work that’s being done in the Bay Area, throughout the country, and beyond the U.S. borders. In order to do so, I believe it takes teamwork with like-minded individuals. Thus, Jillybeads 4 Justice (J4J) will be collaborating with causes and organizations to further support their work while getting the word out about J4J.

You might be thinking, “What will this look like?” The first action will be what we call, Challenge Week. Challenge Week will be a Featured Organization that Jillybeads 4 Justice is showing extra LOVE to during a specified week(s) by doing the following:

  • Donating $5 from each piece sold;
  • Offering free shipping on all custom orders; and
  • Giving Voice to the Cause through a guest post on the J4J blog.

It’s the kind of win-win we  at Jillybeads 4 Justice—a piece of jewelry is sold and great work is supported!

Stay tuned for the first Challenge Week, which will kickoff the launch of our Fall Collection…

Educate: to inform a person or group.

In many ways, education comes before advocacy. I could argue, you have to become knowledgeable—personally and intellectually—about what you care about before taking action. Much of my knowledge has been acquired traditionally through higher education, yet I believe knowledge is everywhere and should come from more than the dominant source. This work is personal. I will always share what I know from my mind and heart while a community of smart, brilliant, thoughtful, and passionate people that’s constantly expanding inspires my work. I also believe its just as much my mission to share the “mic” and give voice to those who are engaged in the work that Jillybeads for Justice supports.

Since launching J4J, I would say I have continued being a perpetual learner. Much can be learned from a book, yet I would say my favorite medium is through travel whatever the means—car, plane, train, or boat. Since April, I’ve had the great fortune to visit numerous cities, 9 states, and Canada through varying means. I enjoy exploring what each city, state, and country has to offer in terms of culture, food, shopping, and recreation while capturing the great moments through photos (See my album of 2012 Summer Inspiration). On many of these adventures, I’ve acquired the beads that will inspire the 2012 Fall & Holiday Collections.

This “live” education reminds me that we all have a role to play. One of these roles is teacher. I have the upmost respect for teachers and educators at every level. This is why I love my “day” job because I, as a member of a team of people, have the privilege of supporting teachers all over the country to conduct teacher-led professional development (lesson study) with high-quality resources. Then we research the impact these resources have on both teacher and student learning. As Deborah Kenny states in her book Born to Rise, “Education is not about developing products. It’s about developing people.” Even though Jillybeads 4 Justice sells a product, the product is simply a means of enacting praxis—a cyclical process of reflection and action. Thus, advocacy informs reflection and often more knowledge. It’s my hope that through this journey I can educate those who support Jillybeads 4 Justice.

Accessorize: to equip the public with high-quality unique handmade jewelry that inspires.

I have many ideas for the 2012 Fall & Holiday Collections floating around in my head. I’ve been inspired by the beauty in every city I’ve passed through or intentionally visited, as well as the many people I’ve met, the knowledge gained, and visions for which I aspire. I’m stoked to see how the beauty that’s been infused into my soul translates into beautiful pieces to wear.

Stay tuned for the results, which will launch in early October with the introduction of the 2012 Fall Collection!!!

~One love~

CALL 2 ACTION: For many the Olympics is over, not so! The 2012 Summer Paralympics Games kick-off this week in London (Wed, August 29—Sun, September 9). For more information, check out: http://www.london2012.com/paralympics/ and tune into the channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/USParalympics1. Show your support for ALL athletes!

Let’s “Occupy” Other Spaces!!!

In a compelling op-ed piece in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof suggests that we Occupy the Classroom.

“Want to close the equality gap? Providing early childhood education would be a great place to start, and it might even pay for itself.”

Let me know your thoughts…

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