Category: My Thoughts (page 1 of 11)

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 9: Coming Out — Not Just a One Time Event

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

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

Wednesday, OctobNational Coming Out Dayer 11th marks National Coming Out Day!

Hindsight is 20 / 20

What I wish an elder queer folk would have told me, though I’m quickly reminded why this was not so—secrecy and shame, what I would now tell a queer (the spectrum of LGBTQIA—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and ally) young person is that your experience will not be a one-time event. Instead, there’ll be THE first time that you will never forget. And then, the initial letting all the key people in your life know that will make it easier to know who’s got your back for you to stand in your Truth and keep living your life. However, due to our heteronormative culture—you know, the one that normalizes the relationship / marriage between a man and a woman as the only option—it will likely feel like a mini coming out with each introduction.

This is what I wish I could tell myself and share as wisdom to my younger LGBTQIA sisters and brothers. What follows is a peek into the progression of my coming out journey over the last 16 years.

The First Time Coming Out

I had my first coming out conversation with my mom over the phone on a cool May evening after the end of my freshman year of undergrad. I write about it in my master’s thesis Triple Threat: A Black Lesbian Student-Athlete in Search of Additional Black Lesbian Student-Athletes, in which I share this:

[When] I came out to my mother I hesitated to tell her the mixed emotions I had been feeling and continued to feel, but I knew in the deepest part of my soul that the feelings were not going away. The feelings engulfed me and there was no escaping them. However, I still wondered…could I really be attracted to other women? Will my mother disown me? Is the timing right or should I wait until I am completely sure. Ultimately, in spite of the short amount of time I had been concealing my emotions and actions, I wanted…I needed to share them with my mom – my best friend – the whirlwind of emotions and fears I was experiencing so that she could be my rock as the whirlwind continued. The conversation went something like this:

Jillian: Hi, mom! What’s going on?
Mom: Nothing, what are you doing?
Jillian: I was just calling to talk. I’m feeling really lonely and I miss you guys [her and my sister].
Mom: Well, what’s going on?
Jillian: I have something I to need to tell you, but do you want me to tell you now or when I come home in a couple weeks for your birthday?
Mom: A couple of weeks aren’t going to make a difference. Tell me now.
Jillian: Well…well…I’m…I’m…
Mom: You’re what? Just tell me…
Jillian: I’m…I’m… (This back and forth occurred for what seemed like half an hour until finally my mom said…)
Mom: C’mon, Jillian. It can’t be that serious.
Jillian: I’m…I’m…I’m gay.
Mom: I knew you had been acting weird lately. Not saying much when we talked…what’s been going on?
Jillian: Well, I have feelings for #*&^2, and it has become more than just friends.
Mom: I tried to tell you #*&^ was gay. Are you sure this is not a phase?
Jillian: No. Do you really think I would have had such a hard time trying to tell you?
Mom: How do you know?
Jillian: I’m pretty confident this is not a phase. My attraction towards #*&^ is not going away, and it all makes sense to me now why I have always felt uncomfortable on every level – emotionally and sexually – being with guys.
I could go on and on about the various twists and turns our conversation took that night, but by conversation’s end I had realized my mom had no plans of disowning me. In fact, she told me she still loved me, that I would always be her daughter, and that she was proud of me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she was completely happy with the situation, in fact I know now that all she wanted was to create an easier life for me and she felt that by claiming to be gay and acting upon it would lead towards a more difficult existence – similar to what she and my dad faced as an interracial couple in the late 1960’s – in the often cruel and disheartening society, the United States. After hanging up with my mom, I let out a sigh of relief knowing I had done the right thing and then immediately started to cry uncontrollably. Although it is hard for me to go back to that exact moment, I know that all I really wanted that night was the comfort of my mom’s embrace to physically feel her unconditional love. Instead, I was forced to find comfort in myself.

Note: “#*&^2” is a reference to an individual. I chose not to insert a pseudonym for the individual I am referencing – I felt it was important to note that understanding my sexuality was not tied to another individual – as I don’t want anyone to try to assume some significance to the name I picked nor was there any significance to the number or type of characters used.

Seeking Comfort in my 20s + Early 30s

The need to find comfort in myself became a theme during my 20s and early 30s. This pivotal moment to courageously act and speak my Truth ignited a desire to reveal and unravel my identity. Maybe this is the moment when I set on the path to love myself the way I dream and deserve or what I have now framed as Love Yourself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice

Since I have told a version of this pivotal moment along with my interpretations of what followed, the story crystallized when I worked for a small LGBTQ-focused nonprofit in which part of my job was sharing my coming out story. Doing so marked a time in history for I as an individual and our collective history as I shared my experience with young adults as they crafted their own to share with their peers and adult educators. The magic and messy of this work is that I was supporting courage and vulnerability when I too was being asked to do the same to stand more and more upright in my Truth. Both sadly and surreptitiously this work ended due to a shift in funding toward marriage equality for which I can now proudly say I am a beneficiary.

While much of my 20s was a highlight reel of adventure, love, and growth, the transition into my early 30s marked the experience of coming out as it relates to the beginning of our conception journey and systemic oppression as it relates to my body and being deemed infertile by the medical profession. In turn, then becoming a privilege in which I could access medical services via my employer-based insurance. While there is much more I can and will say about the experience and journey of becoming Mama J, for now, my inner circle of mean girls are triggered, who are saying that I created this situation for myself.

Coming Out: Truth or Life Choice?

While I remind myself that’s my internalized oppression talking because what I know to be true is that I made the decision over 16 years ago to stand in my Truth and I will continue to do so as an act to bring visibility to same-gender love, same-sex marriage, and the creation of our two-mom queer family. I am proud of who I am. I am proud of who I have become. I am proud of what we (my wife + I) have created. The result, so much JOY and so much LOVE!

I recently found myself compelled to respond to a Facebook post by a college friend that focused on men being the leader of the household and making the final decisions in a relationship / marriage between a man and woman and the interplay of Christianity. I had this to say,

It requires a man, which is not the only way. While I recognize this is where we disagree, it’s important to note the differences in family structure and the dominant narrative of patriarchy that rules most religions. I am proud of who I am with no shame or fear of “sin.” With love, a married Black queer mama + wife ? 

While I Iearned the post I had responded to was connected to a previous post, this was noted after this sentence, “I completely respect your life choice.” There it was. The reminder or passive shame that I had chosen this path. I have learned to not take this personal. There’s no one but everyone to blame for clutching to the dominant narrative. I could have said nothing, which felt easy and then I was reminded of the numerous young people I have encouraged to speak up, so I thoughtful responded with…

I appreciate you for respecting my choice, and I will push back that the only choice has been to stand in my Truth instead of living a lie. I would say the goal of marriage is to live an intentional life with love and healthy boundaries as equal partners, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. From my experience though, equity ebbs and flows and is often experienced as a give and take. In lovelution…

Co-Parent & Wife in a Two-Mom Queer Family

img_0059This is what coming out now looks like as a 35-year-old Black queer mama and wife. Now as a two-mom queer family, each new interaction is an opportunity to come out. In fact, just last week while dropping off Jaylin at preschool, a kid that I later learned is in Jaylin’s class, asked this:

Kiddo: “Are you her mom?”

In response, I shared, “Yes, I’m Jaylin’s mama. She has two moms.”

The kiddo responds with “Oh, I met Jaylin’s other mom.”

“Great, he’s got it and he’s 3 or less.” I thought in my head.

By asking this question, this boy was breaking the down wall. One brick at a time.

By standing in My Truth and coming out to this boy, I removed a brick as well.

This is how the wall of injustice will fall, brick by brick.

Intentional Justice™ in Your Life

So I ask, what brick or …

bite-sized + deliberate action will YOU take in your life today to create an environment in which ALL LBGTQIA individuals feel supported to take the courageous act to come out?

Not sure? I give a few tangible next steps below.

3 Steps for Intentional Justice™

  1. Words Matters: Language matters. Kiddos notice. They pick up on what you say and they hear. This is not simply my experience, yet backed in research. Here are my top 2 suggestions to shift your language to be more inclusive:
    • Use parent instead of assuming mom and dad. This goes for forms and in conversations.
    • Ask the parent or child what they call one another. This takes away the assumption and allows for the individual to name it for you.
  2. Book Selection: We love books in our house! We have been intentional from day one to include books that reflect our families reality, as well as includes the spectrum of diversity. Here are my top toddler books for expanding the conversation of family structure:
    • Mama, Mommy & Me + Daddy, Papa & Me
    • How to Make a Baby
    • What Makes a Family
    • Families, Families, Families
  3. Asking Qs (aka questions): If I was to name one rule, it would be simply to not assume. I know our assumptions are based in what we expect from a category or group. By instead being curious, you are inviting an opportunity to learn something new:
    • What’s your preferred gender pronoun?
      • While not connected to sexuality or family structure, this Q allows for the individual to express their gender as they identify.
    • What do you call your parents?
    • How do you address or speak about various family structures?
      • A question I will be exploring as a member of the school communities I am part of currently.

While I could probably think of a zillion more bite-sized + deliberate actions, this is post is much longer than I plan, so I pause for now to invite you to consider:

What step above will YOU take for justice in your life?

Already know? Tell me in the comments below It’s where the magic happens. And if, you…

In lovelution…


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Love-ing the World

Leading a Path of Intentional Choices: 5 Things I Know 4 Sure Right NowLove the World

It’s hard to believe that October is almost a wrap and we’re days away from November. While I have enjoyed being in front of the camera to share my daily musings on this journey of self-employed motherhood (check out my 2014 #Vlogtober Playlist), it’s a nice reprieve to pause and put my thoughts down on paper.

When I started my self-employment journey in September, I had grandiose visions of all that I would accomplish. How I would structure my day in order to get the most done now that each minute and hour was mine to fill. Fast forward almost two months later and I have moved into a daily experience of bliss that equates to flow, ease, and simplicity. That’s not to say there are days in which certain things need to be done (e.g. submitting my unemployment insurance claim or figuring out our budget for the coming week), yet I have managed to find an equilibrium, a calm, a serenity that works for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m quite aware how this will likely all change the moment Baby Z arrives and that’s okay. In fact, I welcome the transition. As I mentioned in Day #15/16/17 Part 1 and Part 2, I’m in a state of Radical Transition, a neutral zone of sorts, that is shifting daily as Baby Z gets bigger and my wife & I get closer to Z’s impending Birth Day. That said, I thought I’d share…

5 Things I Know 4 Sure Right Now:

  1. There’s power in recording your daily thoughts weather you share them publicly or not. Take the time to write them down or a record a short video that you can return to later. By doing so, you’re capturing a moment in time—how you feel, what you’re doing and thinking about.
  2. Gratitude begets gratitude. When you can focus on what’s working, then it becomes more clear what you should do to continue that feeling. Click 2 Tweet: “Gratitude begets gratitude” @Jillian4Justice
  3. Procrastination works as a form of motivation (at least for me). I find inspiration in a deadline. And sometimes things are meant to come to life under pressure. Just like diamonds. 
  4. Feeling accomplished daily is a core desired feeling. Although I’m not sure how this gels with my definition of or desire for bliss, this is my new conundrum to uncover.
  5. There’s still confusion about what services I offer and what I do.

In response to the last bullet point, this has undoubtedly been the journey of the last year—to get clear on my vision for Jillybeads 4 Justice and how I can best use my passion, knowledge, and skills to best serve, change, or…better yet, LOVE the world. As such, this is what I’ve settled on as I prepare to sign-off for a three and half month maternity leave, which will begin on Wednesday, November 12th when you receive my last planned newsletter/blog post of 2014.

In 2015…

Using the current mission of Jillybeads 4 Justice of “Advocate & Educate, all while Accessorizing!” I will be:

 Advocating Authenticity & Educating Social Justice, 

all while Creating Handcrafted Jewelry to Accessorize Your Life.

In other words, I now see myself as a…

Mindset Coach + Social Justice Educator + Artist.

The movement I am creating is a LOVELUTION.

Join the Lovelution + Team Justice here.

I will let this marinate…

AND please share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Justice Happenings (aka blog post on Thurs, 11/13) where I will share more of what I’m planning to offer in the New Year.  In the meantime, don’t forget to download the Team Justice Primer here or checkout My Channel on YouTube.

With love + gratitude,

Jillian Sig with Heart


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