Category: Life Lessons (page 1 of 3)

Lesson 6: There’s Always Something to Learn

I am a Lifelong Learner.

Being a learner is all I’ve know. Learning has been part of my everyday since I can remember and has been aided by the fact that I have never left the field of education. That said, let’s consider the definition of what it means to learn…

learn (v.): gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.

I truly believe we all have an innate ability to learn, to explore and understand our curiosities and in turn igniting our love and passion for particular skill or knowledge. To do so, requires a willingness to take risk and be uncomfortable, and likely fail once, twice, or more only to try again. Yet, what I’ve come to know to be true is that this is where the growth happens. It’s in what my wife calls F.A.I.L (frequent attempts in learning). With each F.A.I.L, we’re invited to learn from the repetition and make adjustments accordingly to continue to grow.

Even when you build or create something based on your strengths, you are asked to stand confident and trust these assets when the days get hard and you’re braving the wilderness as an individual, leader, or parent.

As Pema Chödrö urges us,

When we are willing to stay even a moment with uncomfortable energy, we gradually learn not to fear it.

This wisdom has been further highlighted by Brené Brown’s new book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, in which I was invited to learn something new. In less than 48 hours of starting and finishing this book, I can now see that I have been in the wildness becoming the wilderness learning to stand alone and belong to myself 💕The result, learning to Love Yourself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice™ Because with bite-sized + deliberate action we can ALL be the wildness 🌲✨🌴

I’m ready to use the “braving” tools in my own life as I continue the dance of being a mamapreneur + love leader while embracing my role, responsibilities, and impact as both an Instructional Data Manager & Champion at a small charter management organization in Oakland, CA. To do so, I have learned a new software and platform that a year ago I was just beginning to learn along with the structure and culture of an organization. In Reflections on the Learning Curve, I share my insights with fellow Data Champions who may be new to such a role or simply listen in to learn more about my work.

Since this recording, I was invited during a recent team meeting focused on community-building to answer my “why for the work” and this is what I shared:

As a lifelong learner who has never left the field of education, my why of this work is using my love of data to tell a compelling and holistic story as I live + ignite a Lovelution of Intentional Justice™

Which leads me to the biggest lesson of all that has come from my decades of perpetual learning…

Lesson 6 Mama J

Three of favorite ways to learn is…

  1. reading a book,
  2. taking a class/course, or
  3. attending a conference.

In fact, I recently took a leap to find and then request support (time and professional development funds) to attend an evaluation and assessment conference focused on “cultural responsiveness.” The result, a week from today I will be at the beginning of a new learning journey, which will be 4 days of learning and integrating at a leading conference (without the fam–all the feels!) on the topic next week (September 25-29) in Chicago. Woot, woot!

I can’t think of a better way to step away from the juggle of life, motherhood, and entrepreneurship than to learn and explore a new topic that I can immediately put to use and aligns with my dreams and desires. That’s Intentional Justice™ 🌈

Did you know I share my daily journey over on IG?

Click here to follow along.

Now I invite you to consider…

  • What’s been your biggest lesson from exploring a topic or skill that was once new yet now is old hat?
  • What’s something that’s recently invigorated a love of learning?
  • Does learning more about it have you willing to take a leap out of your comfort zone?

And if you feel compelled to share as a way to take action, then answer one or more of the Qs below in the comments as it’s where the lovelution begins…


Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences.

♥ Gloria Steinem ♥

Each of us as individuals and members of our collective sociopolitical context (family, community, country, and globe) have a new story to tell as it relates to DACA, Harvey, Irma, Barcelona, and let’s not forget Charlottesville. This just in the last 30ish days. The constant wave of notifications and news updates of tragedy and injustice seem endless.

As a Justice Warrior, Freedom Fighter, and Revolutionary Seeker, it’s exhausting, emotional, and weighs on our psyches. That said, I’m answering the call I hear of folks yearning for a safe place to dialogue, especially in-person. Sound like YOU? Add your name to Mama J’s “First to Know” Interest List here for deets on future Intentional Justice™ Circles.

In lovelution…

Lesson 3: Freedom is a Moving Target 🎯

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This is part of the series: 35 Lessons at 35 Years of Life

Happy 4th of July fellow Americans 🇺🇸✨♥️

In today’s Take Action Tuesday, I explore freedom and what it means to me while asking the question:

🇺🇸✨What leads YOU to freedom?✨ 🇺🇸

⇓ Tell me in the comments ⇓

🇺🇸✨What leads YOU to freedom?✨ 🇺🇸

Lesson 2: Love Makes a Family 🌈

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This is part of the series 35 Lessons at 35 Years of Life.

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First, first comes love. Then comes marriage.

Then comes the baby in the baby carriage.

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Anyone else sing this ditty as a girl? I most definitely did. However, what’s SO clear now is that my happily ever after would veer from what was hoped or expected for I.

Instead of a prince, I would find my non-dress-wearing, gender non-conforming princess to love. More of a delicate flower grounded with strong roots. My very own cherry blossom tree.

In fact, that’s where she proposed on a spring day in D.C. under our very own cherry blossom tree. Ironically (or serendipitously) to the West, where we’ve planted our roots, of the Washington Monument amidst the world-renowned Cherry Blossom Festival. 

Although Steph didn’t get down on one knee (thank goodness!), she thought it would be funny to do so after the fact 😉

I had an inkling all day. The woman who couldn’t sit still on the lookout for the perfect place to sit. Well, knell post rap. Yep, she proposed to her on beat solidifying she was my one.

Before our first marriage, the non-legal binding one in July 2011, I would question that love. Not hers of I. Instead the love for myself and how willing I would be up to the challenge to tackle and heal the darkness of my soul. Because with light, darkness is sure to fall. Mine just before “I do.” Or in our case…

I do…it because it’s the least I can do.

I do…it because I learned it from you.

I do…it because I want to.

This our final vow. A shoutout to our righteous babe love pulled from lyrics of Ani DiFranco’s Joyful Girl to conclude our personalized vows to one another. 

Joyfully United | July 3, 2011 Photo Credit: Cara Gardner

While I’ll save the details of the darkness for another day because, in the end, this was not my defining moment but instead my invitation to rise from the ash I had created. Resulting from the unintended consequences of the unhealthy and toxic love I had experienced as the observer of a dysfunctional marriage. All this to highlight…

Love saved me. Love change me. Love made my family possible.

The legality of our marriage (Thanks, SCOTUS just 4 years ago—June 26, 2013!) adding to our rights yet not our commitment. Because I never imagined it would be legal again.

With marriage equality obtained, opening the doors to our next chapter, the dream of the baby in the baby carriage. Aka, really an opportunity to learn all that had been skipped in sex ed when being taught about my body. Unfolding the secret that would lead to the 10-20 percent chance of conceiving.

So, when I chant the call: What makes a family?

And respond with, Love makes a family.

I know in every cell in my body that no truer words were spoken because love my dream possible…

Love for my Truth

Love for wanting more

Love for making changes

Love for believing in the love of another

Love for dreaming the impossible

Love for trusting the process

Love for my family.

No matter how your family is formed. Love is the driving force to building your tribe. Find your peeps and create your own lovelution!

This is my Tribe. My clan. My family.

🌈✨The Roth’s | Camping, Camping, Camping ⛺️

Our mixed-race two-mama Queer family made with love and intention 💕 #IntentionalJustice

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I’d love to hear in the comments, what makes your family unique?

In lovelution…

💋 mama j

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