Happy New Year and welcome to the start of a new decade!!! There's been so much excitement around this year and the significance of 2020. I'm here for it, but some of it can feel overwhelming and be a bit gimmicky. There's a lot being planned for 2020. It could be your wedding, a graduation, your calling, the book you've been writing, your family reunion or a career shift. Whatever it is, focus on your path to maximize the opportunities you have to do great things this year.
"How do I do THAT Suzette?" I'm glad you asked. I say, "Set your intentions!"
For the past 5 years or so, I've created vision boards and hosted fun gatherings around them. Vision boards are great motivational goal setting tools and I have 3 around my house right now. They work and many things on them have actualized over the years, as a result of me visualizing my goals and putting the work in. But this year, I wanted to do something different that would still impact my life.
In walks Koereyelle of @werkprayslay.
Well actually, I watched an IGTV video she posted called "Manifest the life of your dreams" and she talked about setting our intentions to create room for more manifestations of dreams in our lives. When Koereyelle said that, it resonated with my Spirit. She showed us how she listed 19 of her intentions for 2019, but charged us with listing 20 for 2020. Koereyelle created this on a 8x11 sheet of construction paper, with her intentions hand written on colorful post-its. Simple yet powerful. I accepted the challenge.
I decided to use a 3x5 index card and wrote 10 intentions on one side and 10 on the other (actually, I've only come up with 17, but will decide on the remaining 3 this week). I then decided that I would fold my index card and put it in my wallet so that I could pull it out and reference it regularly to focus on the things I want to manifest in my life. Yesterday, I pulled out my index card while waiting in the line at TJ Maxx and read through them to remind me of what I'm doing and why.
The intentions I've listed are not frivolous desires. They cover the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual things that I want to have come into my life. For example, I set my intentions on operating in increased wisdom. I don't want to make foolish choices in my life so I decided to ask for more wisdom to help diminish that.
I've also set my intentions on spending more time each day reflecting on what I'm grateful for. One of my favorite songs that redirects my focus on this is Hezekiah Walker's, Grateful (click blue to listen). It settles me and makes me feel so thankful for the wonderful blessings in my life. For the simple things, I am grateful.
So, whether you create vision boards or intention cards, what matters is your focus being on the things that you are assigned to in 2020 and no one else's work. What's for you, is for you. Just do it!
What an amazing year 2019 has been! I've had a myriad of experiences that have "Wow'd" me and I'm so grateful. I've had the pleasure of creating some awesome curated events with my amazing clients and friendors. I've traveled to various parts of the world for celebratory events, collaborative projects and learning meet ups. I've also grown tremendously with understanding myself and others in this thing called life (speaking in my Prince voice). This was a mind blowing/life building year for me.
So, as I reflected on what one of the most invaluable things were that I received this year, my soul rejoices. Why? Because this invaluable thing has set me up for LIFE. This one thing literally opened up my Spirit to receive great things in the decade to come and beyond. "What is it Suzette?" I'm glad you asked.
I learned that there was no benefit at all in me being upset with people who did not value me in their lives. Period. It didn't matter who they were to me, my being upset with them for not valuing what I bought to the relationship, held me in bondage. I kept wondering, "Why didn't they do 'this'?" "Why didn't they say 'that'?" "Why didn't they give me 'this' because I earned it?" Over and over again, I asked these questions feeling horrible because "they didn't" and hindering my advancement because "they wouldn't."
But freedom came when I asked God what the lesson was (there's always a lesson) and He revealed that I did not value who I was to them in the midst of the situation, so I gave myself away for cheap and I felt the loss. Not just financially, but mentally, emotionally and physically. I have talents and gifts that I let someone else disregard because they didn't value me.
I learned that waiting for someone else to value you and then demonstrate what you're worth, puts your value in someone else's hands and that's dangerous. Marshawn Evans Daniels said it this way at the MunaLuchi Bride Coterie Retreat, "If you allow yourself to settle for less, no one is obligated to stop you." It. Is. Your. Responsibility. To. Decide. Your. Worth!
So I realized that I "over delivered and undercharged" in certain situations. **clutching pearls** I have to set the standard for how people will treat me and what I will allow; and in some instances, I allowed an uneven transactional exchange to occur.
When that "Wow" moment happened, my whole life changed and I stood in a new light. I felt free and I no longer lived in fear of someone else's decisions over what I deserved in life. I decided for myself that my value was worth more than I had previously established. So, I'm leaving 2019 with my mind right for 2020 and the years to come. I decided that I will no longer over deliver and undercharge for all that I bring to the table in business or personal relationships. I've had rich experiences that drive my decisions, suggestions and direction. I have a wealth of knowledge that equips me to lead others wisely. I am enough and I know my worth. Watch what comes next!
I completed my undergraduate studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Go Big Red! It was the best 4 years of my young adult life. But as in life, it was far from perfect. There were highs and lows, but overall, the best choice for me. I have awesome memories and friendships that have transcended time. While matriculating at Cornell, I had the opportunity to take courses at the highly ranked Africana Studies and Research Center. The Center’s founding Director, Dr. James Turner, was well known for his brilliance and no-nonsense approach with students to the education process. He did not play games and expected you to deliver at a high level of excellence. Only those serious about engaging on that level, entered his classroom.
Needless to say, not everyone voluntarily signed up to engage and deliver at Dr. Turner’s level. Whether or not you entered his classroom, Dr. Turner was well known and revered for his expectation that everyone come prepared for every life situation and intelligently articulate their informed position. He was tough indeed, but FAIR.
The wedding and event planning business is tough, but I LOVE IT, even when it is not fair. We encounter many people who don’t understand why industry professionals charge what they do for their products and services. Some think that things should be given for free because of relationships and there are some who don't understand the immense value we bring to a situation.
But if we factor in: (1) the hours spent getting clients and materials together before an event; (2) the time spent creating dope designs that take experiences to the next level; (3) the amount of money it costs for the equipment needed to catch all those angels on the special day; (4) the amount of ink it takes to print “fire” menu cards and thank you notes; (5) how expensive lobster is for that mac n’ cheese; (6) how stressful it is to squeeze those last minute guests into an already completed seating chart without renting an additional table, tablecloth and centerpieces for the over budget reception; (7) how many hours it took to find just the right shade of blue for the matching bouquet & boutonniere; (8) how we finessed our relationships that we’ve nurtured for years to get the hottest vendor team to collaborate on the celebration of the year; and (9) budget in taxes, health & business insurance, staff, childcare, tuition, mortgages, etc. . . we legit can’t run successful businesses on favors as much as we would like to.
These are examples of things we will do and more to provide top notch service to our clients, but it’s hard work and expensive. So, the next time we quote a price for our products and services, please remember that it’s Fair . . . Not Free. We love you.