Category: Mama J’s Story (page 1 of 5)

Resetting for the Lovelution

This week’s post is coming from the road. A flashback to the bite-sized + deliberate daily action taken this week, so a couple days tardy due to all tech losing its charge and then no service. To that, I say,  “Hallelujah” instead of “I’m sorry” because the latter would be untrue. And so…

I’m taking a pause from a post each week going more in-depth of using my identity as a Black Queer Mamapreneur + Love Leader + Wife storytelling and meaning-making into each of the 35 Lessons at 35 Years of Life. All that’s to say, stay tuned for Lesson 4: The Water Calls Me in a little over a week on Tuesday, July 25th. Until then…

What’s on My Mind…

While many of these lessons are inspiring reflection and writing amidst the beauty of the central coast of Cali, it has been family time that has taken front and center. After an unexpected year of experiencing firsthand the unearthing our country’s underbelly, its more important than ever to find ways to reset for the continued lovelution.

What’s a lovelution?

Love is the revolution. A revolution of love. An evolution of love. Love that heals. Unplugging, playing, and losing track of time is what has been on my soul’s agenda. Yes, a privilege. One I don’t take lightly. Therefore, I soak it in a bit more knowing that I’m refueling with intention and love with Mama Ocean and dreaming about what’s to come this Fall.

Here we are jumping for JOY! 🌈 Photo Credit: Natalie Zern

And so, I invite you to contemplate with I…
What can you pause right now? 

What’s calling you? 

What makes you jump for joy?

How can you Love Yourself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice™ ?

⤵️ I’d love to know, so please share your comments below ⤵️

And, I’ll be back with a new post on Tuesday, July 25th 💋

In lovelution…

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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

Lesson 1: Start Where You Are…

What’s one bite-sized action can you take today? 

What can YOU do to shift what’s not working? 

What advice would you give your 25 year old self?

These are the questions I have been pondering since culling this lesson in reflection of 35 Lessons at 35 Years of Life. The blog post that started as a birthday reflection and expanded to my own personal writing challenge and outline for my next 35 posts as I shed light on Mama J’s path of Intentional Justice™ one Tuesday at a time…

Now back to those questions, if I’m to start with the later, this is what I would say to a 25-year-old Jillian…

Advice to My 25-Year-Old Self

You already know who you are.

Enjoy the journey because you’re simply gaining the Truths for you!

Your love is limitless.

First, though you must learn to trust + surrender.

How to show up and ride YOUR wave.

You do NOT need another degree or more school.

Being in the trenches is where the work happens.

The growth. The resistance. Unearthing your TRUTH.

The journey has really just begun. What came before was merely preparation for life’s test of how bad do you want the dream.

Oh, and lay off the credit cards, it can wait! As Danielle LaPorte confirmed, when asked the same question at White Hot Truth – SF on Friday, June 19th at Grace Cathedral.

Making Shifts to Create Waves

The biz I launched 5 years ago when I turned 30 is not the one I am focused on now. From Jillybeads 4 Justice to Mama J Love Consulting, each tweak, twist, and turn on the path has created a ripple effect that leaves me in awe of what’s possible with changing your beliefs, doing the less sexy work of healing the inner girl that knows she’s only just began to show the world what she brings leaving a legacy for her daughter to build upon.

To do so, I believe in ripping off the band-aid and starting with 2 tough questions:

  1. What’s not working?
  2. What can I do to shift this?

Here’s an example I found while letting go of some Jillybeads materials over the weekend…


A reminder of how far I’ve come and the work that continues to claim my mamapreneur status and all I dream about. 5 years ago I was focused on getting my original jewelry into the world (aka selling it beyond friends and family) while supporting the organizations I care about the most at the local, national, and international level. This the essence of my then business–Jillybeads 4 Justice. Fast forward to now, the biz I’m running has evolved into a consulting firm that has been under construction (aka trial and error) since my last formal job/position ended as an educational researcher at the beginning of my third trimester in September 2014. This life change radically shifted my mindset on the brink of a second life change, becoming a mama.

While many lose themselves in motherhood, I ultimately, found myself in the process. 

These lessons and the stories it will unearth is the beginning of telling this story.

Creating Intentional Justice

By asking myself those 2 tough questions then and now, I can illuminate known data to inform my decisions and move forward with integrity. In other words, what’s one bite-sized + deliberate action you (or I) can take today? Tomorrow? Every day?

This question is the heart of Intentional Justice™

While answering this question for myself, I jotted some intentions for the week ahead, this summer (what I’ve dubbed #LovelutionSummer17), and by the start of 2018, I kept it down to 5 goals / intentions are less.

Why? Because if you can break your desire, goal, or intention into multiple steps then it’s likely too big. Start small. Easier said than done. I know because the dreamer in I longs for more in less time, which can and does lead to tying to do too many things in an unrealistic timeframe. That said, I’m still on this journey with you to refine and get better with bite-sized and deliberate daily action.

What does bite-sized look like in an area of our life? I immediately go to food, so let’s think about this together. One bite of pizza instead of the whole slice. A mini bowl of ice cream instead of the entire pint. Giving your loved one the last bite, you know the best bite you’ve been saving for yourself. Now let’s apply this to your life.

Take 5 minutes now (or after you finish reading this post) to “dreamstorm” all the ways you’d like to take action (aka do something for good) to feel Love, Justice, and Freedom in your life today, next week, or the next 3-6 months?

I highly recommend setting a timer either on your phone if you’re on the go or on the stove if you’re at home. Allow yourself to truly dream without holding yourself back. At the end of time, notice how much more time you could use to finish writing what has surfaced and add that to the clock to finish your Dreamstorm of Action.

Now use this list to pick your Top 3 or Top 5 max that you will focus on in the coming days, weeks, and months to come. This is what I’ll be doing to start where I am. Will you join me?

If so, tell me in the comments what step you’ll be taking. Plus, if you’d like more lessons like these to join the tribe of Justice Warriors + Revolutionary Seekers below…

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