gratitude

year in review...write it down...take a picture...

ok peeps, here we go. It's time to start our goal setting project. Get out your journals and pencils and let's get working.

You can't plan any sort of future if you don't have a clear understanding of where you have already been and what you did and didn't like about it. If you create a goal in a vacuum it tends to get sucked up into everything else. It is for this reason that the first step of .....

Okay, 2015 is almost complete. With 11 months under your belt, it is time for us to dig deep and ask some real questions of ourselves. This is where your journal comes into play. Write your answers to all of the questions below. Be specific and include details.

ask yourself this...

what is your best memory from 2015?

  • the best thing that happened to YOU (be specific)

My best memory of 2015 was hands down seeing my brother and sister-in-law become parents. While technically this happened to them, it gave me the opportunity to become fall in love for the first time. The specific moment for me was here in this picture. This was the first time I had ever held a baby )less than 3 months old) and the first time I held my nephew, Otis Wayne Hanks. This is me checking to make sure he had the right number of fingers and toes.

My best memory of 2015 was hands down seeing my brother and sister-in-law become parents. While technically this happened to them, it gave me the opportunity to become fall in love for the first time. The specific moment for me was here in this picture. This was the first time I had ever held a baby )less than 3 months old) and the first time I held my nephew, Otis Wayne Hanks. This is me checking to make sure he had the right number of fingers and toes.


What did you do this year that you are the most proud of?

The thing that makes me the most proud when I look back on 2015 was the fact that i took a huge leap of faith. I left a job that was part of my identity, a place I had grown up to come home and follow my purpose. It is no east thing to leave your comfort zone and trust yourself enough to know that you deserve to live in your truth, but that is the chance I took and I am not foolish enough to let that go by unnoticed by myself and be proud of the step I took.

The thing that makes me the most proud when I look back on 2015 was the fact that i took a huge leap of faith. I left a job that was part of my identity, a place I had grown up to come home and follow my purpose. It is no east thing to leave your comfort zone and trust yourself enough to know that you deserve to live in your truth, but that is the chance I took and I am not foolish enough to let that go by unnoticed by myself and be proud of the step I took.


what are you the most grateful for in 2015?

I am grateful for home more than anything. It wasn't the easiest year. There were issue with my health, building a business, finding a job, getting back into the swing of life in Oregon and needing to lean on everyone in my life to get me through. By coming home, I was fed, clothed, housed, lifted up and and taken care of. There is no possible way I could have taken the steps I took this year without that backbone. Whoever said you can't go home, didn't have a home like I do...

I am grateful for home more than anything. It wasn't the easiest year. There were issue with my health, building a business, finding a job, getting back into the swing of life in Oregon and needing to lean on everyone in my life to get me through. By coming home, I was fed, clothed, housed, lifted up and and taken care of. There is no possible way I could have taken the steps I took this year without that backbone. Whoever said you can't go home, didn't have a home like I do...

Did you learn something new about yourself?

Did you have a moment of clarity?

Did something specific happen?

If family and friends is what you are grateful for then be specific as to why that is. 

Remember that at the end of the day this project is about exploration and honesty. The more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

(I may have just had a deja vu moment to some childhood parental lectures, hmm..)


Once you have completed the questions, consider something bold. Share them with someone you trust. Saying them out loud and sharing them opens you up a little more. People who know and trust you might remind you of additional things to consider and remind you of some great things you bring to the table that you might ignore. We are always tough on ourselves and this exercise is about being honest and kind to yourself, so don't be afraid to open up and share your answers with people you know and ask if they think you should add anything else.

If you are really bold, you can even share some of your thoughts in the comments below. You don't have to share your specific answers but if you want to share your experience in coming up with your answers, feel free. It is always good to hear how people are approaching the process.

Friday, will be day two and we will talk about gratitude and acknowledgement.

A little throwback of the two of us around the time I entered my thirties....Throwback.

A little throwback of the two of us around the time I entered my thirties....Throwback.

P.S. My little sister enters the world of "Thirty, Flirty & Thriving" today. So sad I can't be there to celebrate it with her but so grateful to see her grow into the most amazing, capable, strong, smart and bold woman. Only the best is on it's way. Can't wait to see what you will do...

"the power and blessing of being a woman"

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

Excerpt from Regina King's Emmy speech (video below)

In a shock to everyone I know, I missed the Emmy's this year. It is a shock because I am actually known for my Award Show parties. Sadly, this meant that I had to watch clips afterwards, What really makes this sad is the fact that it really felt like the Year of the Woman (again), at least from social media and traditional media following the event.

Obviously everyone has been talking about the speech made by Viola Davis which and for good reason, it was beautiful, poignant and thought provoking. It aligned so clearly with not just the issues of women of color on television and movies but the entire culture of race continue as a global community to perpetuate. Between the increasing racial tensions in our country with regard to law enforcement to the Syrian Refugee Crisis we remain a world where hate spreads.

If you were to ask most people if they are filled with hate or are prejudiced against other people, they will say no. Nobody admits to being hateful. They make excuses for what they do based on a variety of experiences, religion, history etc. Think about it, most people will admonish the atrocities of World War II and the concentration camps or the Civil Rights Movement yet so many are standing by and watching as the refugees are hit with fire hoses and dogs or another video of a black American being beaten or killed by an officer of the law. 

So what does all of this have to do with the title of this post?

The other speech that impacted me but got less coverage was that of Regina King. Her speech was not necessarily out of the ordinary for an acceptance speech except for her seemingly very sincere shock at having won. There was one section/line though that stopped me.


It is a small but powerful sentence that I haven't been able to get my mind off of it since. It seems that we hear and see in the media a lot of the negatives and burdens of being a woman but rarely see the "power and blessing" being extolled. It is why I think this phrase needs more attention.

I study, speak and educate on women and it took me a minute to determine if I had ever expressed the power and blessing I feel being a woman. My stomach dropped as I realized that I don't honor that enough. Women are the most powerful force in the globe. Many will argue with me I am sure but let's really think about here.

  • 1st and foremost we are the caretakers of the world. Without women, our children wouldn't become healthy and contributing adults to society. Women literally are raising the future.

  • We are responsible for 80% of all purchases

    • advertiser's want our money

  • We have a seat at the table - in some cases at the head of the table

  • We are big in numbers and we are good at organizing around a cause

  • we have more women in high places

  • the power to influence - in my mind, women are the most influential people and yet in the past have never received credit for this 

  • We are educated 

    • 70% of all high school valedictorians are women

    • 62% of all associates degrees

    • 57% of all bachelors degrees

    • 63% of masters degrees

    • 53% doctoral degrees

now that is power...


So that is the power of being a woman, let's talk about the blessings.

It's a blessing because we have a voice and using that voice is changing the world in big ways. I feel blessed to call myself a woman when I see all of the amazing things women are doing. I feel blessed to be/have:

  • We are blessed enough to live in a time where we can get educated and fight for a career, a family and more and there is power in all of that

  • lots of conversations around women and girls now

  • to have a voice

  • empathetic to others

  • to be a caretaker

  • to be able to like sports and wear nail polish at the same time

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

I totally burnt the cookies. It is probably good for everyone that I am not a cook.

  • that women in my generation earn more than our mother's and grandmother's on average and get to spend that money the way we want and still are selfless enough take care of everyone around us

  •  I don't have to wear heels to cook in ( I actually don't have to cook) but I can

  • I can do anything I want but I don't have to do anything I don't want to do


Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

Some of the girls from Marymount School for Girls after our discussion on Purpose, Passion & Drive

The real blessing in my life is that I get to help other girls and women by sharing my experiences

There is power and blessings in being whoever we are and it is imperative that we dig in to realize what it means to us so that we can celebrate and express gratitude for who and what we are. Once we realize our own blessings we can be more empathetic to others and open up opportunities for people who don't have them; whether it is welcoming refugees into our country and caring for them, volunteering our time to help others or opening up roles for women of color and other individuals in our art. You may say these have nothing to do with each other but the do. The art that these women do open our eyes to the experiences of others.


Quick tip, be sure to look up the show Regina won her Emmy for, American Crime. It was an amazing look inside ALL sides of a single situation and the struggles we still see around race and gender in this country.


the economy of gender in sports...my day with the university of san francisco

This week I had the pleasure of being able to speak at the University of San Francisco. It was such a great experience to talk about "The Economy of Gender in Sports" with a group of people just embarking on the career as students in the Sports Marketing Master's Program. You can see how excited they are to start the next chapter and be part of an industry that they love. There is something contagious about that. It almost makes you want to go back. (I said ALMOST)

The part that excited me the most was seeing how many women were in the room. Traditionally sports hasn't been the most welcoming place for women but in the last decade or so things have slowly started to change and these women were proof of that. What struck me though was what followed my presentation. A number of the ladies came up to me (which is common after speaking) but it was what they said that was truly inspiring to me. 

One of the women explained that she had not previously known how she would fit into the industry and if it was the right place for her but seeing the data and information, she saw it and was excited about what that could mean for her future. Another said that she had always wanted to do this but that this just made it real. And yet another said that she had never been on the dge of her seet for a presentation before adn for this she was. The reason for this had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the content. 


Often times as women, we know what we want to do or we know we want to do something but it is rare that we are able to see in advance where the opportunities are and how we can ft in and being able to share details of the industry and how women fit in allows women to see a path and have the confidence to move forward. It is not lost on me that I get to be the microphone for that cause. It is because of this I thought I would share a little bit of the information I shared with them to hopefully help you get inspired to get out there too.

with education comes opportunities and financial security, look how many women are getting educated, not just in the US but beyond.  - SOURCE:    Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan

with education comes opportunities and financial security, look how many women are getting educated, not just in the US but beyond.  - SOURCE: Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan

Interested Yet? Want to learn more? Have an event, company or occasion you need a speaker for? Let's talk, go to the HIRE ME page and connect with me.

P.S. One last thing. Major shout out to the University of San Francsico Sports Marketing Management program for inviting me to participate and the students in the program for having such a great dialog and reminding me why I do what I do.