Tag: Truth

Lesson 8: It’s a Journey Not a Race

♥ 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.

As the saying goes, “It’s a journey, not a race.”

Without a reference for this quote, just a knowing, as if it’s an absolute Truth, I have been on a 5-year journey of entrepreneurship. A Journey, Not a Race.

I can see it with rose-colored lens. Not because it has been easy. Quite the contrary. It’s more that I know I have traveled the path that was meant for I. Learning lessons that are now informing what’s next as I keep putting one foot in front of the next. The experience that has been the ultimate test of feeling all the feels, the highs, and lows and inevitable uncertainty like my favorite roller coaster with it twists and turns and no sight of the track ahead.

As I shared in Lesson 7: Change Begins with a Belief, I was in Chicago last week for the 4th annual Culturally Responsive Evaluation & Assessment Conference. It has been a full week since the conference wrapped and the learnings and future implications are truly just beginning to reveal themselves. I loved returning to the office and being excitedly asked by colleagues and leaders, “How was the conference?” Below are my…

Top 5 Nuggets of Love from CREA 2017 & Chicago

  1. Continued Insights: I am in a place of honoring that the learnings will continue to drip out in the various spaces and places in which I am invigorated to share my insights and resulting dreams. What’s magical is these are the same space and places where I lead and contribute.
  2. Research Validation for Intentional Justice™: Small action = the biggest impact 💫 This was one of my biggest takeaways from a roundtable I joined on Day 1, which is based in systems change research. As soon I heard this nugget of love, it was the confirmation that there’s power in bite-sized + deliberate daily action.
  3. What does it mean to be culturally responsive? Simply put, I would define it as an individual, community, or organization that responds to an individual or experience based on a cultural understanding or competency.In other words, how one chooses to follow the dominant narrative or create or tell a counter-narrative. With this understanding, I am grounded in how culturally responsive along with culturally relevant applies to education, and in particular, research, evaluation, and assessment. Mission accomplished!
  4. Seeds Planted: It was a magically powerful experience to walk into a room and look around to be in a community of learners with fellow Black women, changing the game as leaders. As such, numerous seeds were planted that I am looking forward to nourishing in the weeks and months to come.

Is the Intention: Knowledge or Insight?

In the same roundtable session, I mentioned above, there was also the opportunity to ask questions and dialogue to not just simply learn knowledge, but as I later realized to provide an experience in which we as learners would experience an insight.< strong>insight (n.): the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.

When I look back on my entrepreneurial and career journey over the last 5 years, as well as my experience in Chicago, one thing is clear.

Insight creates action. ~ mama j

In fact, find myself in a space of turning dreams into actionable outcomes. Project planning with intention. Honoring the time and space I have while also tending to individual relationship-building and collective community-building. The dynamic nature of creating within a system while also documenting the systems I’ve tested and begun to implement. Breaking each intention into bite-sized + deliberation action. This is Intentional Justice

Systems change research confirms that it’s the small action that has the biggest impact. We can simply focus on gaining knowledge or experiencing life and making choices that create the opportunity for insight. What will you choose: knowledge or insight?

Takeaway: There’s rarely such a thing as an overnight success. Many have said it before, yet now for I, it’s an insight instead of knowledge gained.

Intentional Justice™ in Your Life

So I ask, what bite-sized + deliberate action will you make in your life today to create insight?

It may feel like a leap, which often asks us to stretch our vulnerability and courage muscles, yet what I know to be true is it will be worth all the feels of uncertainty, as well as the twist and turns. That said, I leave you will a final Q:

What’s been your superpower in your journey?

Tell me in the comments below it’s where the magic happens.

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Lesson 5: Create What YOU Believe In

♥ 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.

I never imagined being the one to second-guess myself at the 99th hour, yet my worse-case-scenario became reality. We were just over a week away from my two scheduled workshops back in my hometown with only a handful of registered participants. In fact, I was ready to throw in the towel and postpone. So much so that I reached out to my collaborators and asked this, “Tough Q: Do you feel we should still proceed ahead?”

Even so, this is what I truly believed and shared with them, “I stand in this truth: At the end of the day, I know in my heart the right peeps will be in the room and feeling a bit uncertain…”

Even re-typing that I squirm at my resistance as I trail off with uncertainty. Nonetheless, I persisted. The learning in that lesson is for another post…wink, wink 😉 Today’s lesson is about making something out of nothing as the adage goes. Trusting while being lifted up that what you value matters. That there’s a space and place and the right folks ready to grow with you.

However, full transparency. The above was not clear until now, nearly two and half months later. Even as I write this I’m reminded of how far I’ve come in 3-5 years.

You know that favorite interview question: Where do you see yourself in 3 (to/or 5) years?

As I shared in 35 Lessons at 35 Years of Life:

When I turned 30 (in 2012) I launched my first biz—Jillybeads 4 Justice—to pursue my passion for jewelry-making and justice. It was the result of wanting to take a leap in owning the reality that I too, like the organizations I had been employed by, needed to diversify my income streams. To say it has been a journey would be an understatement, more like a roller coaster with all it’s twist and turns and moments of hanging by a thread.

With this perspective, I can more clearly see now that my professional path has been one of continued learning and self-discovery to embrace the intersections of my multi-passion spirit and zones of genius as a love leader, equity + inclusion consultant, and data goddess.

It’s at these intersections that I know I can and will bring my vision and mission wrapped into one to life for each of us to Love Yourself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice™ ♥

📸: @micaymj “Heartland Values” by Sue Kalicki at Nebraska Community Foundation

This is the heart and soul of Mama J. Love Consulting.

It’s 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.

Will YOU Join Me?

Lovelution = Revolutionary Love + Intentional Justice = My Big Why?

Love To Freedom-hooks quote

Lovelution = Love. Justice.Freedom.  

We’re in one of my favorite months! So, it’s fitting that I’m back on the blogging scene just in time to show + celebrate love. Not just any love…a Lovelution of Love. In fact, it’ll be six years this V-Day that I entered the blogsphere with this post: Love: A Means Towards Freedom (read later) ♥

After re-reading it a few times myself, what feels evident is the importance of these three tenets: love, justice, and freedom. Then, a mere 26, I thought I had the love part down while still discovering what justice + freedom looked + felt like for myself. Now, on the cusp of 34, I see that I was fighting so hard for what I now have: Love. Justice. Freedom!!

So, how does love, justice, freedom relate to my BIG why?

These three words /concepts /feelings are how I want to feel in business as I am…

♥ Inspiring a Lovelution of Intentional Justice Each Day ♥

This is my BIG why! Cool, you say! So, what’s a lovelution?

I’m delighted you asked. It all started with a feeling. Really, a question.

How do you want to feel?

It was January 2014. My heart was open wide and I was ready to use my feelings as a GPS to Discover + Live + Speak the life I wanted then and going forward. My wife and I were taking a pFeeling Wordsause from trying to conceive, and I was determined to do everything in my power (success is 80% Mindset, right?!) to get in the ideal mindset. What I have now dubbed a Mama Mindset, yet that’s for another post. (More soon, I promise…)

I became obsessed with feeling words…Joy…Bliss…Alive…were just a few I explored. I created lists + filled post-its with how one may want to feel. I even referred to my tattoo (see below) to reference the words that felt so poignant when I first moved to The Bay and representative of my journey to date. MamaJPowerTat

One of the feelings I explored was love. It felt so simple. When I knew firsthand it’s complications. That’s when I was reminded of the image on the right. The light bulb moment! I don’t just want to feel love. I want to feel revolutionary love. The kind of love that makes you step up to the plate. The kind of love that evolves as you learn to love more and more of yourself everyday. The kind of love that takes work and feels worth it on the hardest day. The kind of love that’s a soft place to land.

The result re(love)lution. relovelution

While the word captured my core desired feeling, it was hard to say. So in true Gemini fashion to speak my truth, I created my own word by dropping the “re” and it evolved into lovelution. Love meets revolution. An evolution of love.

It begins with YOU and moves outward.

Let me repeat that first part. It begins with YOU.

Exploring. Learning. Discovering.

To know who YOU are and what YOU want is your power. Your birthright. Your journey. An evolution. A personal revolution. Love heals. Love Wins!

Mama J.’s call to…
My Big Why
is answered by

♥ Inspiring a Lovelution of Intentional Justice Each Day ♥

So, why? Just like the inquisitive toddler my daughter is quickly becoming.

I started asking myself this question publicly on my 30th Birthday when I launched Jillybeads 4 Justice and shared Why I Started a Business. As you can see, my why has lovingly evolved and I have no doubt will continue to as a Black queer mama + wife livin’ + learnin’ + lovin’ in Berkeley, CA. See the evolution continue as I claim 2016 as the year to use my voice to Live + Speak MY truth with love, justice, freedom in the #MamaJuggleStruggle …

Now, here’s Birthday Queen Jillianthe Question of the Week as we dive head first into a weekend of love with it concluding on Valentine’s Day this Sunday. We can choose to be annoyed by the commercialization + capitalist pursuits or we can use it as an opportunity to heal the injustice (#IntentionalJustice) to fall in love again – with ourselves, our wives / husbands, partners / spouses or a passion, hobby, or dream pursuit – so I ask:

Can you remember who you were before the world twitter_icon116told you who you should be? @DanielleLaPorte

Join me on the path of self-discovery, learn to create ease, live courageously bold + learn to love the #MamaJuggleStruggle!


This post was partly inspired by Kris with a K’s post on The Great Big Why in business.