Category: Life Lessons (page 1 of 7)

What’s Your Dream Pie?!

Here’s One Way to Create It…

Now that Spring has sprung ?, a burst of renewed energy has been activated. As I have manifested seeds planted last Fall I am simultaneously planting the seeds that I will harvest next Fall. Can you relate?! If so, keep reading!

img_6686-1I am giving you (and honestly myself) permission to dream amidst the “busy” (see Lesson 15: Busy & Balance is Bullshit) buzz ? of Spring. I currently have my feet in two worlds—one wrapping up the school year and another making plans for the 2018-19 school year. As such, I too am dreaming? about what’s possible and how I’d like my work to shift.

The process* that follows is informed by my own need and desire to create my dream pie for 2018-19. Because intention is everything. Goals are attainable.  This is at the ♥ of Intentional Justice™ or what I’ve defined as bite-sized and deliberate action EVERYBODY damn day!

This process is an Intentional Justice™ activity because it guides you with bite-sized and deliberate action toward your dream pie. Yep, because who doesn’t love pie?! (If not, #sorrynotsorry). The point is these reflective prompts give you permission to assess what’s working (and not) because let’s be honest, it’s not all butterflies and rainbows. Believe me, I know

What you’ll need:

  • Paper / Notebook / Post-Its ?
  • Pen or markers ?
  • Your creativity
  • A dose of heart, soul, and a lotta Truth ?

To begin, what are you currently loving right NOW?

Don’t overthink it, seriously! Set a timer on your phone for 5 to answer the above Q and no more than 2 minutes each for each of the categories below (or 15 minutes total):

As it relates to…

  • Your home and family
  • Your career / job / professional path
  • Your health and body
  • Your finances and prosperity
  • Your essence and spirituality

Then spend another 10-15 minutes with 3 of my favorite meeting check-in Qs:

  • What’s exciting you in your life?
  • What’s sparking your FIRE ?
  • What has you persisting because of what you love?

Congrats ?You’ve completed Part 1 because if you’re anything like me, which no pressure if you’re not because I ❤️ diversity, that the above will give you plenty to think about, marinate on, and process. That said, give yourself the time to do so. Then move to Part 2.

What follows I’ll designate as Part 2, which simply means you’ve taken a short break in between (at the very least 15-20 minutes or a walk around the block) or you give yourself a day or two, a week or a month to swim in what has surfaced.

The point is when YOU feel ready take the 3 bite-sized steps outlinedbelow, you’ll putting one foot in front of the next ? towards your dream pie. Because to create a life by design, YOU get to choose your Dream Pie ?

Create Your Own Adventure img_1930

You now get to choose how much time to you allocate for each step. I do recommend setting a timer and sticking to it though if you get stuck. You get to choose!

1. Name your “Love Buckets” ?

These are the main themes of your work that you couldn’t imagine not doing or even long to do. Either way, remember, you get to choose. It’s often a healthy mix of both. If it feels easier to start with what feels like a struggle, then jump to #2. Yet, only if you promise yourself that you’ll return to #1 afterward. Here are two prompts to get the juices flowing along with my fav resources:

I was honored to share my unique intersectional framework as a teacher in the Compass Rose Summit (missed it? You can still sign-up to access the video teaching herel!) Wanna discover and claim your superpowers?! ?✨? Click here or copy/paste this address:

2. Claim the 20% ?

If over a decade in the workforce and five years of entrepreneurship has taught me anything, it’s that no matter what there will be tasks and part of the work that’s unsexy, not fun, and sometimes downright miserable. And you can either drag your feet and complain or buck-up and claim? At this point in my professional career, I’m trying to do more of the later. Now, it’s your turn…

  • What’s unsexy about your work and daily life?
  • What can be changed, shifted, or delegated?
  • What are you ready to buck-up and claim?

3. Annotate & Add the Layers ?

Using the personal data you’ve unearthed in Step 1 and 2, now it’s time to annotate and add the layers of time along with a do or delegate lense. I share my details below…

  • Time: As you consider the life cycle of each bucket or project, what’s possible with the time you have?Suggestion: Be REALISTIC! Base your considerations on your previous experience and/or shared knowledge in your field/niche or among your team, biz, or organization.
  • Do or Delegate? Taking into consideration TIME, as well as leveraging the funds at your disposal either yours or a budget your manage.

The goal is that the above gives you the recipe to discover the ingredients of your dream pie!

I’d love to know! Either share your experience in the comments below or send an email ?


img_6561Interested in co-creating Justice in your life?

I am currently gathering input for what’s next via Mama J’s Input Form.
One of the ideas percolating is a monthly Friday lunchtime virtual masterclass that I’d call the “Learning to Unlearn” Series…Ready to sign-up? Let me know here. For added motivation and love for your time, I’ll be selecting 2 winners for a $25 gift certificate* to the small biz/shop of your choice!

Because intention is everything. Goals are attainable.
This is at the ♥ of Intentional Justice™

In lovelution ?

*Winners to be selected randomly based on folks who complete Mama J’s Input Form by Mon,4/30 at 11:59 pm PST.

* Is informed by the countless meeting check-in Qs  drafted, opportunities to reflect on my own strengths and leadership via a global sisterhood mastermind, various teams for which I’m a member, conferences attended, and my own experience with two female leadership coaches, who support leaders and educators engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion work during the last 6 months. Much appreciation for this abundance of experience and knowledge!

Lesson 15: Busy & Balance is Bullshit—A Binary Breakthrough

You clicked and read the article giving you five steps to balance, outlines the benefits of achieving balance or how to manifest balance in your life. You’re craving it now more than ever that we’re amidst the “busiest time of year!” Yet, here’s my question…

When is it not a busy time of year?

Stick with me here. As an educator and one who has never left the field of education, there’s the Back-2-School craze, the Holidaze, then the countdown to Spring Break and state testing, and the big crescendo into the long-awaited break—Summer. Now imagine for a minute, the ease of long summer nights, pool or beach time, and family adventure. Aww…

Now, back to the reality of the next series of holidays: Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and then the New Year. Let’s just say, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of busy, especially since our society has a narrative around “busy” as social status. But let me let you in on a little secret…

It’s all bullshit. And, here’s why…

Reason #1: You get to choose.

Each of us has a choice. We get to choose. You have the power to say, “no.”

Did you notice an internal reaction when you read that last line? You’re not alone, I did too.

Here’s the thing to establish life-affirming boundaries requires a commitment to affirming what’s best for you and your family, especially during the holiday season. And often, the result of saying, “no” is not without the consequences of guilt and shame that then lead to the fear of inadequacy or worse FOMO.

For example, when you get that holiday invite, there’s no written rule that says you have to respond immediately. That’s your younger self-experiencing FOMO. You have a kid now, maybe, and even if you don’t, think about it, weigh out your options. By doing so, doesn’t mean you don’t love the person, doesn’t mean you don’t want to go,

just means you’re taking care of yourself and what you need. See it has an invitation, to be honest with yourself and look big picture look at your schedule.

I will say from recent experience that the kiddo gives us a lot of good reasons to say no because so much is out of our control: changes in naptime, not sleeping that the night before, or the unexpected sickness that hit us last week and is now spreading through the family.

As a parent, I have quickly become open to the idea that the plan is going to change at some point in the day. So, scheduling things make it somewhat challenging for changing plans. And of course, there’s always the events you’re good at scheduling like family vacations. In fact, we already have a tentative plan for our travels in Summer 2018. I digress…

The point is that in these intentional moments of wanting to see your community in the hustle and bustle you still get to choose. Yes, YOU get to choose! You get to choose to instead experience the JOMO (joy of missing out). So, what are you waiting for ‍♀️

Reason #2: Life is rarely equal.

When I think of balance, especially when in opposition to busy, equal measure is what first comes to mind. Being able to put both feet (or wheels) on the ground. So, is balance simply being grounded? Or is it more liken to the scales of justice and the desire to make them equal.

Since becoming a parent, I don’t often feel the scales are even in this life area. There are some weeks where it’s more of a juggle and that’s okay because I know it’s not always going to be that way because just like mama ocean, it’s an ebb and flow. As such, I see balance as more of a juggle. And, sometimes the juggle feels like you’re at the circus and things are going perfectly and other times, it falls flat and you drop a ball and it feels more like a struggle.

I think that juggle is the reality of balance. A reminder of a central thread of my work—intersectionality. At the intersection of our lives is the juggling of our choices. It’s in these moments that illuminate our superpowers.  

We all have cultural superpowers. It’s in examining our identity and exploring the assets that come together at the intersection that make us uniquely us to change the world and bring a bit more equanimity to our lives.

Want to discover your cultural superpowers?

Click here for the Intentional Justice™ Identity Activity to reveal yours!

Reason #3: Redefining Balance

As this post came to life and I pondered my relationship to balance, I shared this image and post on my @mamajlove1 IG feed…

I’m not a huge fan of the word balance either @katenorthrup because quite frankly it feels like bullshit. One’s life is rarely like the scales of justice ⚖️

That’s where Intentional Justice™ comes in as we take bite-sized + deliberate daily action today, tomorrow and EVERY (damn) day!



But this definition that @sadielincoln @barre3 founder + mamapreneur shares on the Kate & Mike Show podcast this week really resonated and made me feel like maybe I could welcome the word back into my life. (Ditto ?)

Because some nights “balance” (based on the definition above) looks like falling asleep with JJ and watchin’ my new guilty TV pleasure, Queen Sugar. Other nights, it’s staying up when the rest of the house is asleep to keep fueling my writing dreams.

As I began to embrace this new definition of balance, I also came across my own attempt to redefine the term 7 years ago as I mapped out my New Year’s Goals. Balance is what I aimed to achieve. While no notes were written on its general definition, the acronym—B.A.L.A.N.C.E.—gave me permission is embrace my own dose of balance on my own terms. Here’s the B.A.L.A.N.C.E. mantra: 


  • Breathe
  • Awareness
  • Love
  • Acceptance
  • Notice
  • Compassionate
  • Energy

I invite you to try it on and see how it works for you!

Breaking Down the Binary: Busy & Balance

Our world is filled with binaries, especially as it relates to social identity.

Black and white. Male and female. Boy and girl. Gay and straight.

Our world is set up as a system of binaries.

We get to choose. See Reason #1. Because it’s the bite-size and deliberate action we take everyday that matters. It matters because this is how we find Justice in our life. By making the small choices and knowing they add-up to something bigger.

Will you choose to get caught in the binary? Or choose to break free?

Good versus evil or do we see the beauty in the continuum. Do we see the magic in the mundane choices? Although mundane, those important moments. The moments that matter. The magical moments that matter.

So, yeah, part of breaking down the binary is breaking through the binary to build bridges.

What if time turns out to be our most valuable resource to bridge our dreams and desires as women?

While our relationship with time and sleep (see Lesson 13: Sleep is the Best Medicine) are doses of soul medicine (see Lesson 14: Find Your Soul Medicine)—an act of experience of connecting to our inner knowing. With this preface of time and sleep, I share a quote from a poignant Ted Talk from TEDWomen 2016: It’s Time

None of us has time to sleep — we need to be woke as hell.” ~Mia Birdsong.

Can I get a heck yes! And here’s the link to the entire talk…

Intentional Justice™ in Your Life

Now I turn it back to you as I invite you to ponder:

  • What has been keeping YOU woke at night?
  • Do you believe busy is a mindset?
  • Is balance possible or “attainable”? Or who cares?

? Sound off in the comments below??

Now Choose Your Own Adventure

I want to give you the opportunity to Choose Your Own Adventure…

I am currently working on two paths of content around my core concept of Intentional Justice™—bite-size and deliberate daily action today tomorrow and every day. You can choose to receive Mama J’

Intentional Justice Identity Activities & Guide


Get on the “First to Know List” for

The Soul-Medicine Sisterhood Collective

launching April 2018

Wanna know if this is for YOU?! Keep reading…


The virtual collective (with in-person options throughout the year) is intended to feed your soul for the Lovelution. This space is for the incredibly passionate female and mama* warriors who are fighting for love, liberation, and freedom at the intersections of our very own front porch/door.

Giving ourselves permission to change the narrative through bite-sized and deliberate daily action.

Doing so is about revolutionary love during the injustice that we currently live while raising our voices to break open the white supremacist capitalist imperialist narrative. Thanks bell hooks for this framing! 

The Soul-Medicine Sisterhood is about tapping into what self-care means for you and ultimately how you want to feed your soul. It’s about how you want to feel—mentally, physically, and spiritually.  

Does this sound like your cup of tea or joe? 

⇓ Add your name and email to the First to Know List” ⇓


Lesson 14: Find Your Soul-Medicine ✨

♥ Part of the Series 35 Lessons at 35 Years of Life

With a commitment for bite-sized + deliberate action today, tomorrow, and every day, I keep putting one foot in front of the other to create what I believe in—Intentional Justice

Soul Medicine (v.)

 ✨ an experience or action to be present with your essence or inner knowing ✨


As I shared in Lesson 11: You are the Mama (Guardian) of Your Soul, the “simple act to try something new led to my first commitment to my own personal dose of soul medicine.”

Acupuncture :: my first dose of soul medicine

A mind, body, and soul connection similar to that of being on the basketball court, my first love and physical soul medicine. Unlike basketball, acupuncture is an opportunity to lie still and simply listen. Listen to the swirling wonder in my thoughts, a curiosity to hone-in on the themes rising up and asking to have a seat at the table. Then a stillness that comes from simply noticing. Scanning the mind and body for what’s asking to be heard.

This is how I experience acupuncture—a tool to my inner knowing. Now let me be clear when I began this journey, this was not what I imagined experiencing. Instead, I had a goal for a specific outcome—”a dream to slowly and methodically decrease my bipolar medication because one thing was for certain–I did not want that medicine in my body when I conceived.” (shared in Lesson 11)

That’s the “quality of consciousness” I brought to this action. As shared in Oprah’s new book, The Wisdom of Sundays,

An intention is a quality of consciousness that you bring to an action. ~Gary Zukav

While I have unconsciously lived this wisdom for years, it wasn’t until I began noticing a theme being reflected back to me—the intentionality I bring to everything I do—that my goals shifted to intentions.

Intentional Justice™ IS…

…Your Personal Soul Medicine

Intention is everything. Goals are attainable.

Only YOU know the quality of your consciousness.

This, the heart of Intentional Justice™—bite-sized + deliberate daily action today, tomorrow, every day!

The ironic thing is that I did not set out intending to embark on my own personal journey of seeking justice. It simply began with love, leadership, and trusting my vision for becoming a mama. In doing so, I found the ideal dose of soul medicine to Love Myself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice

My Current Soul Medicine

Let me count all the ways I love to feed by heart and soul. Here are just a handful of my favs…

  • Writing
  • Walking the dog
  • QT with my daughter and wife (together and 1-on-1)
  • Scandal or Empire
  • Laughter
  • Dancing
  • The sun
  • Organic + whole-as-possible yummy food with libation as a bonus!
  • Family adventures

The later, family adventure is what resets me for The Lovelution as I continue to seek Intentional Justice™ (bite-sized + deliberate action) in my daily life when things can feel like a struggle in the juggle. 

From our recent November adventures…


This family adventure candid sums up my “sol” medicine

Day of Gratitude

Thanksgiving 2017

Family Tradition: Hiking

Family Tradition: Hiking

Listening to Your Heart

We all need a reason to come home…

A place to be our authentic self or at the very least to put our best foot forward as we take bite-sized + deliberate action to feed our souls.

  • What if, all you needed was space to listen to your heart?
  • What if, you were your own fuel?
  • What if, you committed to improving the quality of your consciousness by investing in YOU?

There’s no need to keep wondering because I’m answering the call I felt nearly 5 years ago when I set a powerful intention to listen to my heart about how I wanted to feel.

I’m thrilled to share that I’m in the process of creating The Soul-Medicine Sisterhood. A virtual collective that feeds your soul for The Lovelution—a journey to self to lead with love + revolution in your life + career + community. This is how we achieve justice in our lives, or better yet Intentional Justice™ Because…

We all need a reason to come home…

A place to love ourselves the way we dream and deserve.

This collective will invite you on a monthly journey to tap into your soul medicine by listening and tapping into your own cycle cypher: an invitation to name your Truth, claim your power through the intersectionality of your identity, and accountability to take action in releasing, living, and relearning.

This activates your inner knowing allowing yourself to G R O W as you…

Listen, Love, and Live your Call to Action.

 ✨ Igniting your Own Intentional Justice 

Intentional Justice™ in Your Life

Does the Soul-Medicine Sisterhood sound like your cup of tea or brew or cocktail?

Click here to have your name added to the list of “First to Know” as I share details about this new offering in 2018.

Now it’s your turn, I now invite YOU to consider…

  • What feeds your soul?
  • How does this Soul Medicine assist you in tapping into your inner knowing?
  • What resonates with you when you consider the “Soul Medicine” in your life?

?Please share your thoughts below in the comments ?

It’s one way YOU can take bite-size + deliberate action TODAY!

In lovelution ?


Join the Soul-Medicine Sisterhood…

⇓“First to Know” List⇓  

Mama J’s monthly Lovegram, which includes insights, a roundup of these posts,  and ways to take bite-sized + deliberate daily action directly to your inbox!

⇓Ready for Intentional Justice™ in Your Life?! ⇓


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