Every twist in our story, challenge we face, and obstacle we overcome is an important part of our story. These difficulties make us stronger and wiser and prepare us for what’s ahead. As we grow and succeed we may imagine that soon the challenges will fade away, but in our conversations with business owners, artists, creatives, academics, and others we have learned that the most common experience is that challenges never go away – instead they get more complex as we grow and succeed. Our ability to to thrive therefore depends heavily on our ability to learn from our experiences and so we are asking some of the city’s best and brightest: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Jeronia Murphy | Entrepreneur, Cosmetologist, & Esthetician
I would say the most important lesson I have learned is to keep the Skinsations Family (employees & clients) well taken care of while making customer satisfaction the utmost priority. Ensuring transparency & genuineness is given to every client is the key to my success.
YouTube: Skinsations Med Spa https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLMtuKddtP1IA5uE8nXTFuQ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLMtuKddtP1IA5uE8nXTFuQ
Josh Solis | Plant-based Chef & Founder of Soul Vegan Cuisine
The most important lesson I have learned on my journey has been to remain focused and be humble. To stay focused, I create and stick to a plan, execute it with precision, and stay humble while learning, implementing what I learn, and making changes when necessary. When I stay focused, I create for myself the opportunity to grow and accomplish my goals.
8 Laws of Health by Chef Josh: https://www.instagram.com/renov8health/
Tai Barksdale | Law Student & Future Entertainment Attorney
The most important lesson I have learned in my journey so far is patience and that everything for you will happen in its own time. When I started law school, I had a specific vision of the type of internship I wanted and the type of attorneys I wanted to work with. I knew the entertainment industry was difficult to get into, so I was not sure of how or when it was going to happen, but I knew it would. Fast forward to the end of my first year in law school, I landed an internship at an entertainment law firm with everything I envisioned. Now, my vision is bigger and I know in due time it will be fulfilled.
Adrienne ‘Poeticʼ Sharpe
That lessons in life are not derived from 1 experience, they are composed from several different factors over trials and tribulations of life ….. here were a list of mine:
1.) BALANCE – Balance is essential in not losing yourself, especially while enduring hardships. If you live/work in a toxic/stressful environment, you need to form a light while you guide yourself through the tunnel. This can consist of forming habits that support your mental & physical health. For myself I go to the gym, I work on my art/ tattooing, spend time w/my son&dogs lol, cook, I write poetry and read a lot of enlightening books (don miguel Ruiz, maya Angelou and Benjamin Zander), and did 3 different hot yoga certifications since I came to the United States , as well practice it almost daily…. which has been a major form of therapy and balance for me. Create an outlet for yourself.
2.) THE POWER OF EMPATHY – As humans, we naturally look at people face value and subconsciously draw judgments from it. It takes only a moment to change your entire perception of an individual by going further than skin deep. Youʼve got to learn to stop grouping individuals. I used to be guilty of this myself…. I would look at people and scoff thinking “that will never be me”, I would rate my life pain to thereʼs to factor in whether they deserved any form of sympathy/empathy from me. for example, I never met my father, and was told at 13 he had committed suicide- so anyone that spoke of their fathers illness/passing… I would feel nothing for them, because I would think ‘at least you had a dadʼ… I felt it began a tumultuous downward spiral in my life and I allowed it to make me very numb to certain situations, for the simple fact I didnʼt feel comfortable showing love&support, from a situation I had never experienced and felt anger towards. It wasnʼt until I endured nonstop battles of a similar cycle, that I became greatly humbled, it took a long time for me to understand the purpose of them, I had to unpeel layers of bitterness from each experience to bring myself back to a more open and natural state. This is where I learned what ignorant creatures we naturally are…..and not because we always choose to be, but because we have not been exposed to different measures in life. You donʼt necessarily have to sympathize/ feel sorry for people- but you CAN practice non-judgment and understand that everyone has a story. Do your best to not only see people through your perception, but through theirs as well. Practice random acts of kindness & give back to others less fortunate. The smallest thing can change someoneʼs entire world. We are no greater than the people we step over sleeping on sidewalks, and no less than those who sit in castles and eat on golden plates. We all feel the same pain even though itʼs from different situations. Empathy will nurture your whole being, it costs nothing to show kindness and understanding.
3.) BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT – We spend so much of our time dwelling on the past and stressing about the future …..that we forgot to appreciate life in the present moment. Tomorrow is never promised so do your best to stop obsessing over things that are irrelevant and do not presently impact you. Make memories, work on your happiness, spend time with your children over partying and learn to eliminate things your able too that have become daily stressors. If your surrounded by external factors that are creating a great deal of internal anxiety, create a silver lining within yourself so that you may enjoy the presence of simply being alive.
4.)LOVE YOURSELF – A simple title filled with great complexity. The greatest act of violence you can commit on yourself…. is comparing yourself to others. Even with similar goals, we all come from very different backgrounds and tread different paths. Some of us start on a beautiful sunny track with the freshest pair of Jordanʼs…. whereas others are in the rain on a rocky dirt road in bare feet. We donʼt always see this when we watch others easily attain goals… that weʼve shed blood,sweat , tears and gone broke/sacrificed for, to still not even be close. This in turn can create self-hatred, which majority of the time weʼre completely oblivious too. Please remind yourself that the magnitude & depth of your suffering is a precursor to the height of something much greater that awaits you. Destruction is sometimes inevitable in order to make room for monuments in your life, and may take much longer than others. Love yourself through every moment of life- the good, the bad and the ugly. Your whole soul changes when you begin to love yourself, your energy changes from desperation to happiness, you no longer seek for validation/approval&love from the outside because it already resonates within you. Loving yourself provides a strength that will help you identify the narcissists in your life. It will help you reclaim your voice if lost and recognize your worth. Take care of your health (this ties back into Balance), and trust your journey, donʼt ever give up on yourself regardless of external factors & people trying to deter you .
5.) BELIEVE IN YOURSELF – throughout your journey you will come across a lot of external factors and people trying to deter you… it can literally become a fight in order to keep your vision. Through my journey , there was factors continuously against me that at times really made me question why I was here. I went through a lot of spiritually breaking events. I told myself it could always be worse, but wasnʼt doing anything to make myself better. It took me almost losing my life to realize I had to get back to focusing on my potential. I went on welfare because I wasnʼt able to get student loan due to my credit, and went back to school to pursue a media writing certificate and BA Kinesiology degree (along with minoring in Art &Dance)…. I constantly struggled but not once did I stop believing in myself. Even when I had people laugh in my face while telling them my goals, even when people told me I wasnʼt good enough , or that it wouldnʼt be possible because I was a single mom with no support, even when I was at the lowest of my life- I never once stopped dreaming and believing in myself. I knew that I had to find a way, and if I kept pushing and cleaned up my life , that it would come and find me if I couldnʼt find it. Youʼve GOT to learn to deflect negativity and keep hope through every situation in order to believe in yourself. I used all the factors Iʼm telling you now, to pull myself through these moments. Sometimes we have to experience hell before we reach heaven. You believing in yourself will inspire someone. What you give will come back tenfold.
6.) LIVE IN TRUTH- this is a day and age where majority of us live in a false narrative. Social media allows people to have a million followers and imitate a grandeur lifestyle, while lowkey living in a friends basement rent free. People will show off all their successes but not the people that funded it or their failures. What Iʼm saying with this… is donʼt think what you see is always real and do not feel self conscious about living your truth. Live how you must in order to attain your goals, but do not feel like thereʼs something wrong with being transparent about real life issues and living within your means. Donʼt stress about material objects and creating a false image- itʼs ok to display everyday struggle and show emotion… itʼs ok to be human. Main thing is just knowing how to live your truth and navigating with it. Practice what you preach, donʼt act godly on the gram to turn around and act like the devil in real life. Transparency is key for long term peace of mind and to avoid miscommunications/misrepresentation of who you are. Whatʼs in the dark will always come to light.
7.) PROTECT YOUR ENERGY – This is key if youʼve survived traumatic experiences, battle mental health issues or are simply just trying to find the root cause of repetitive bumps in the road of life. Do what you must to stay in a positive mindset. Even if it means forcing yourself to let go of situations & people that you care for…. if it stresses you more than it serves you, re-evaluate the situation. If your in a healing stage of your life, do not place a time limit on reaching your higher state. No one is living your life but you , and whoever you come in contact with will leave a vibration that creates a ripple effect to your energy- so be mindful of who you give your time too. How others make you feel will reverberate within you much louder than material gifts and looks. Once you make the changes necessary to protect your energy , the universe will work around that decision. Thereʼs no rights or wrongs with this , only possibilities that shift with your energy. Please remember through these decisions to keep your heart and mind tied, itʼs all about working as a whole with your intuition to create a healthier soul.
8.) FOR ALL MY SINGLE PARENTS WHOʼVE EXPERIENCED LOSS&LONELINESS- Donʼt think that you have to find a ‘replacementʼ or that your child will suffer from the absence of a parent . The key is LOVE. Thereʼs a ton of households with both parents that consist of absolute chaos. Thereʼs a ton of people who have full family and friend support and STILL are in a loveless home. Do not ‘searchʼ for a partner and do not bring just anyone around your child. Allow these situations to happen organically instead of trying to force a family. If you begin to feel lonely, use that time to better yourself. You can turn loneliness into simply being ‘aloneʼ and empower yourself. For years this was my downfall until I realized there is no definition to what a family is supposed to be ….. my son and I were enough for each other. I accomplished the most I ever did in my life, when I first came to the United States in 2015 and had absolutely no one in the country besides my son. I used that time to better myself and improve my relationship with my him. My sole focus became US. You and your child ARE a whole family, and thatʼs all that matters.
9.)FORGIVENESS- Practice forgiveness to others and yourself. Harboring bad feelings is like drinking poison, because it will continuously eat away at you. We cannot reverse past mistakes weʼve made, nor the wrongdoings people have done to us. But we can let go of resentments and seek acceptance and peace. We continuously inflict ill feelings within ourselves if we can not learn to forgive.
10.) I hope my tips were able to resonate with some of the readers. I included several personal experiences, for the sole purpose of understanding that no matter what youʼre going through… to not give up on
Instagram: @inkzonepoe (main page) & LEVEL.SACRED & 6QUEEN.FIT
Most important lesson I’ve learned so far is that it’s worth going the extra mile to make the client happy. Taking as much care when finishing the bottom side of a table as you do the top can seem insignificant but it goes a long way to show your client that you take pride in your work and that they’re getting an excellent product.