Today, I was happy…

Today, I was happy. Not to be confused with joy. Even in pain one can have joy. I experience joy but today I was happy. Just happy for no particular reason at all. I’m more aware of and appreciative of happy after experiencing melancholy more than usual. Melancholy likely due to grief but even in those moments, joy has pushed through, and every honest smile from within feels like victory. I win! I was happy today. I say that with sincere and deep gratitude with my whole heart. Sometimes sadness feels like it will last a lifetime and happiness only for a moment. So I choose to acknowledge her (happiness) whenever and however she chooses to arrive. Today, I was happy. Not to be confused with joy but I was happy for no particular reason at all. Happiness…

Be beautiful,

Katherine White

image

Inequality Hurts. Self-Worth Heals…

Sexism and/or racism have been apart of my story in every single job that I’ve had in some way. From corporations to non-profits, schools to churches, and of course in business. Its not always blatant and I am not always quiet about it but leadership and/or executives would likely excuse the behavior in the name of just doing business, the greater good of the company, or worse, in the name of Jesus (depending on the industry). I haven’t talked about all of this much and I will go into detail at a later time. This is controversial but inequality exists. I experience it and I have a responsibility to use my experiences (both good and bad) to help other women. You don’t have to be the stereotypical version of your characteristics (woman, black, plus size -yep! that too) to be victimized by inequality. You can be strong or submissive, thin or big, have lighter skin or darker skin, degreed or non-degreed, and experience a myriad of issues related to inequality in the workplace and business. I am making a point to talk about this now (A) Because it is wrong & hurts  (B) Because I hope to be a light of encouragement and empowerment beyond the cloud of inequality. It is ridiculous and reality that unfortunately is not changing today but I want to offer some ideas that continue to help me along the way. While inequality hurts, self-worth heals.

Women working with inequality in the workplace and/or in business…

-Pray

-Love yourself

-Know your worth

-Demand respect (they don’t have to like you but they do have to respect you)

-Live consistently in your truth (this will come in handy when lies are prevalent)

-Don’t take additional projects just to be impressive or for recognition or “hoping” to get a raise

-Take projects to do your job and to do it well even if you are not recognized (they may never say thank you)

-Only hope to get a raise when documentation is involved

-Do the job you are being paid to do

-Pray

-Help when you can

-Be clear on the difference between working (paid) and volunteering (unpaid)

-Don’t volunteer more than you work at the expense of your living, finances, family, sanity, or free time

-“I wish I could pay you what you’re worth” is an excuse not to pay you what you’re worth

-Gain clarity

-Know the expectations

-Leadership or management may never care or congratulate you. Be okay with that.

-Celebrate yourself

-List your accomplishments and share with those you love. Those who care.

-Decide on what you will do and what you will not do. Stick to that.

-Pray

-Don’t let anyone make decisions for you

-Be grateful for the truth of “No”

-You are better than a fallacy of “Yes”

-Don’t take less just because it is being offered

-Don’t expect more just because you need it

-Don’t change to make others comfortable

-Get what you need, until you get what you need

-Pray

-Do your job until you are ready for the next

-Learn even in unfair environments

-Know when it is time to leave

-Be wise

-Be bold

-You are always your own boss (you make your choices in life)

-Don’t let a title or position define you (this can crush you)

-Be true to who you are before and beyond titles

-All conversations are “on the record”

-Pray

-Documentation with signatures are final (a conversation does not seal the deal)

-Communicate clearly (in conversation and in writing…email counts)

-Be quiet when necessary

-Pray

-Create the work environment that you need to be successful

-Control your own joy

-Smile anyway

-Be calm

-Be kind

-Be professional

-You are enough

-Pray

I am still learning, still growing, accomplishing, and making mistakes. I have been afforded opportunities to work and grow in various industries. I have been truly blessed and I have gained wisdom. I hope these thoughts help some woman, college student, intern, or even little girl to be aware of inequalities but also to learn how to reach her goals beyond the differences.

Love yourself. Know your worth. You are enough.

Be Beautiful,

Katherine White

image

Don’t waste thoughts on flaws…

I was standing in the mirror next to my colleague in a restaurant when I started to pick myself apart. I looked at my skin and I was still pleased with my complexion. I looked at my eyes. Then I looked down and noticed the grey cami under my red cardigan that did not match. Then noticed my love handles. While I would have liked to see less handles at that moment it was okay because of a few recent healthy lifestyle consistencies and results would be showing soon was what I was thinking. Then I made my way up to my hair which I recently decided to wear short and natural. I love it! However, old mindsets and negative defaults of insecurities attempted to push through my thoughts in a matter of seconds. To the point that I almost expressed negative thoughts to my colleague about myself. I was going to say that my hair is much curlier today. I wish that it was this way on yesterday but the humidity made it all crazy and flat. I need to trim it, curl it, shape it, color it, etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah! All of this was going through my mind within 30 seconds of looking in the mirror at the restaurant. Then before I could even begin to think of opening my mouth I glanced at her and I was reminded of her situation. She is seasoned in age, mother of several children, wife to a husband, and a new grandmother. Oh and she has breast cancer again. Yes. For the second time! She was actually on the way to receive her 5th cocktail of chemotherapy. So in the 30 seconds that I looked at all of these small nothingness of flaws in myself I was immediately reminded. Reminded to keep my thoughts focused on gratitude and being compassionate. I was reminded not to waste my thoughts on flaws in myself or others. She and I both stood in that same mirror. Me, with my short and natural hair that never curls the same and my love handles. Her, beautiful but forced by cancer to wear a wig after losing all of her hair due to chemo and dealing with poison running through her body just so that she can only hope to be well. In those 30 seconds I shifted my focus and made a decision to humble my thoughts and to admire her strength well over focusing on my small nothingness of flaws. Next time you attempt to pick yourself apart. Think about the circumstances of the person standing next to you. Choose gratitude and compassion. Don’t waste your thoughts on their flaws or yours…

Be Beautiful,

Katherine White

Prayers for my friend and colleague to be well and to kick cancer’s butt again…Amen