My Year of No: How One Simple Word Helped Me to Finally Live Free

My darling, I’m in a flow right now. I’m in a floooooooooow.”

I think I whispered those words to a young girl who approached me while I was sitting at the library.

I say I think because I was listening to music while she was talking. MC Lyte’s Paper Thin wafted through the earplugs into my ear canal, silencing the world around me.

My own words dropped from my pen matching the rhythm of MC Lyte’s lyrical style.

As she rapped, I wrote.

When she paused, I paused.

And with each pause, I watched as the young girl went from table to table, speaking to each table occupant about whatever was important to her.

I’m not sure what she wanted to talk about. I barely looked up at her. I felt her approaching, but I kept writing. As she got closer, she stuck something in front of her body. I guess she started talking. I couldn’t hear her anyways.

I probably rudely interrupted her because I whispered:

My darling, I’m in a flow right now. I’m in a floooooooooow.”

I breathlessly let the last word waft over my my lips, feeling my chest cavity collapse as the air emptied from my soul. She paused, stood up straighter, then shuffled over to the next table.

The Problem With My Yes

I was reading Shonda Rhimes’ bestselling book Year of Yes. “You never say yes to anything,” her sister muttered to Rhimes one day.

Shonda Rhimes and the cover of her bestselling book

Rhimes says that those “six startling words” helped her become a different person. She started to say “Yes” to every opportunity for an entire year.

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The #NOMOChallenge – Why I’m Doing It

Why am I seeing his pulled pork masterpiece in my newsfeed again? I wondered to myself.

About four days earlier, a friend in my friends’ list posted a photo of the piece of pork he grilled on his barbeque. Four days later, it was still showing up in my Facebook newsfeed.

I was irritated because although the rump looked yummy, I don’t eat pork!

And if Facebook is designed to show you what’s relevant (and no longer what’s most recent), then it was violating my choice to practice porkism (my prejudice against pork).

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Calling All #Influencers: Have You Written 3,244 Words in the Past 4-Days?

Some of the biggest influencers in our history have written some of the most influential pieces of poetry, plays, and ideas.

  • King David wrote most of the psalms in the Bible and it is read by many Christians who find comfort through his words.
  • William Shakespeare wrote a collection of plays which are still staged 500-years after he wrote them.
  • Maya Angelou wrote some of the most iconic and most memorable poems of our time which women of many races embrace as their feminist anthem.

To influence is to write and to write is to influence…

In the first four days of the 21-day Write Early Challenge, the participants have written just under 40,000 words in just 4-days.

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Why You May Be Tempted to Unleash a #MamaPope Inspired Rant But Can’t

Maya Lewis, the mother of Olivia Pope on the award-winning television program called Scandal, laid it all on the line when she unleashed a soul-ridden rant. Here’s the almost two-minute monologue by Mama Pope (played by Khandi Alexander).

The monologue really resonated with viewers. Here are just some of the reactions to what’s known simply as Mama Pope’s Rant:

Like Maya, I bet that you really want to gather an audience and express your frustration, unfiltered, over being there for everyone all the time…

But unlike Mama Pope, you’re not starring on an award-winning television show. You’re not going to get an award if you go on a rant. No one is going to write articles saying that your words were refreshing.

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In a World Starved for Love, Kindness Is Mistaken As Fliration

I love hearing people’s stories.

Their lives lived are a source of entertainment, wonderment, and lessons learned. When I meet someone new, I act like a biographer seeking new discoveries through every conversation I have.

Each person is an example of living history and I’m eager to open their book and read their pages.

Little did I know that some people have no one who’s interested in them…

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How I Answer the Troubling & Vexing Question of “Who Is Your #RoleModel”

I’ve struggled with answering these questions:

  • “Who’s inspires you?”
  • “Who is your role model?”
  • “Who do you look up to?”

People don’t inspire me…

They’re inherently flawed (including me). I don’t worship celebrity culture. In fact, if you ask me if I have a favourite celebrity, it’d take me a long time to answer.

Recently, I became clear that my inspiration comes from, not who, but what

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Getting Inappropriate Comments on Instagram? Here’s What You Can Do

I’ve stopped using both Twitter and Periscope because they do not do enough to make using their services enjoyable to use.

Instagram, a younger entry in the social media family, helps its users flag inappropriate comments…

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The #DIY Guide to Creating Your Own #VideoMeme (The One With the Black Lines at the Top and Bottom)

It’s inevitable.

Do something for a bit, then people want to know how you do it. I don’t blame them. I was in that position myself not too long ago.

After searching high and low, I finally found the tools needed to create video memes for myself.

You know what I’m talking about, right? 

It’s those videos that have the black bar at the top and bottom with the video playing in the middle. There’s usually a short headline in white text which is clever enough to make you want to hear the contents of the video.

For a month now, I’ve shared a 45-second video clip (or less) through my social media channels every weekday. On Instagram, my video views went from 25-30 views to now nearing 100 views per video.

Not bad, eh?

So here it is…my do-it-yourself guide to creating your very own video meme (or meme video, not sure what it’s called)…

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#GenX: We’ve Been Ignored, But No One Can Ignore Our #Innovation in #Tech

Generation X didn’t invent the Web, but it largely built the damn thing. Generation X gave you Google and Twitter and blogging. Not that it gets any credit.” – Mat Honan

Generation X, or GenX for short, are between 36-52 years old in 2017 (or 33-56, depending on the demographer). It is the smallest cohort stuck between the Boomers and the cohort they sired, the Millennials.

GenX has been ignored over the past 20-25 years…

No, we’re not okay. We’re groaning under the weight of expectations we didn’t sign up for, like living with mom and/or dad while also taking care of financially-dependent children. Or, working in jobs that hold no meaning. Or, watching as the media fawns over the aging Boomers and the exciting Millennials.

Despite that, there’s one thing no one can ignore – our innovation in tech…

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6 Questions to Ask Before Appearing as a Guest on a Brand New, Yet-to-be-Launched Podcast

Have some criteria. Nothing wrong with that. Talking to no audience is like being a street entertainer on a back alley…no traffic, no ears, no purpose.

That’s what a colleague said to me after I shared my nervousness about appearing on a new podcast.

I received an invitation to be a guest on a yet-to-be-launched podcast. While I love sharing my story, I also need to protect my time and brand.

And here’s the reason why…

I’ve had some weird situations happen with newbie podcasters…

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