The Variety Pack Rainbow of Hate Means We Need to Replace The R Word

The Variety Pack Rainbow of Hate Means We Need to Replace The R Word

Words are weapons -- breaking bridges of misunderstandings, forging identities, and leaving deep cuts through slurs. Language is at the core of what it means to be human.

Racism and racist are triggering words. Use the R word and people pass out in disbelief, clutch their pearls and run for the “not me, I’m not one of them!” hills. The issue with this loaded response is the word has become so monstrous and unsightly that using it to call out someone’s problematic behavior or to fight racism, becomes bogged down and halted in the hang ups around the word.

One of my favorite bits from comedian Dave Chappelle grapples with one of the biggest questions of language - how are words created, especially the ones with the power to harm others?

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What a Little Boy’s Surprising Exchange With a Homeless Man Taught me About Openness and Creativity

What a Little Boy’s Surprising Exchange With a Homeless Man Taught me About Openness and Creativity

Jermaine looked to be about seven years old -- an age where life is driven by curiosity and unabashed exploration. He was fascinated by the scene unfolding in front of him on the subway car we shared. A man, who looked homeless, stumbled onto the train, covered in a smudged and stretched all blue sweat suit outfit. His t-shirt gaped at the seams, and had “Choose Jesus” splashed across the center.

I aptly stuffed my earphones into my ears ready to tune out the man’s tirade. He started with yelling to the subway car about his current plight, and his needs. His rant then dived into personal stories, a glimmer of a life before hardship. It’s a standard sight on New York City subways, a mirror of unaddressed mental illness that tears your heart apart a little every time you see it, leaves you helpless even when you give the dollar they beg for, and washes you in numbness so potent that turning eyes and ears away from the sight seems to be the short term answer to a problem that needs to be solved, but doesn’t have a simple, silver bullet solution.

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How Your Pain Can Improve Your Creativity

How Your Pain Can Improve Your Creativity

My Earliest Memory of Pain

The sun hissed from the concrete, creaking in pain from the dry, Utah heat that sucks the moisture out of the air and leaves your elbows the color of ash.

I wandered outside of my apartment, edging towards the gravel parking lot in the center of the complex. There was little grass or open areas to play in, so local kids made due with what they had -- turning rocks into coveted instruments, and runt sized twigs fallen from trees into action figures. All of these items would morph into inventive, and sometimes dangerous, games we all wanted to play.

Twenty feet away from my apartment door I spotted a group of girls I recognized, all around the age of 5, same age as me. They were fixated on a razor-thin white rope, stretched as taut as a balancing act between two wooden stakes in the ground. The rope spanned a grassy island on the edge of the lot, and was a marking left over from construction work done earlier in the day. Each girl took turns walking up to the rope, which was thigh high on their little bodies, hopping over it to see who could clear it without taking a tumble. I wanted a part of this new game.

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3 Lies About Your Career That Need To Go

3 Lies About Your Career That Need To Go

As of today Rihanna’s hit song “Work” has 904 Million+ views on YouTube -- and I’m at least a solid 100 of those listens. When I first heard “Work” I happened to be at work, blasting the song into my crappy earphones to tune out the inter-office chatter while banging out another email.

I imagine thousands (hell, maybe millions) of people listening to “Work” are at work, using the smooth vocals and catchy synth harmonies to focus, get through the day, and get work done.

I think about work a lot. Not just the wind-em-up, dance party type of work Rihanna’s referencing, but the soul work. The work we’re dedicated to every day of maintaining basic food and shelter and getting paid some sort of money for the activities executed day in and out, either as an entrepreneur/freelancer/creator or as an employee.

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Chasing Money is a Losing Game, and It's Why Traditional Goal Setting In Work Needs to Change

Chasing Money is a Losing Game, and It's Why Traditional Goal Setting In Work Needs to Change

Staring down at the mad libs style question, “When I’m older, I want to be a ________,” I scanned my young brain for the answer.

I had a love of underwater docu-style shows, featuring sun weathered adults clad in black wet suits and scuba diving gear, falling backwards off of boats into water in hopes of discovering the depths of our alien Oceans. I was transfixed by shows uncovering the ominously dusty tombs of mummies with the english accents of narrators describing the puzzling accomplishments of Egyptian society, one Discovery channel marathon at a time.

These jobs seemed..

Absolutely.

Lit.

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What Pepsi and Shea Moisture's Flops Can Teach Creators About the King Kong Effect and Selling Out

What Pepsi and Shea Moisture's Flops Can Teach Creators About the King Kong Effect and Selling Out

There’s an iconic scene in The Nutty Professor where the main character, Sherman (a.k.a Eddie Murphy) falls asleep on his couch into a nightmare about his ballooning weight. The dream opens with Sherman on an operating table, a staff of medics looking down and judging his condition. His body begins to swell, first breaking the emergency table. His belly then proceeds to expand, bursting the glass windows in his hospital room and swallowing up a medical assistant in the process. His growth is rapid, with the next scene showing Sherman stomping through his hometown as a Godzilla sized beast, while terrified onlookers dart away in horror. A young Dave Chappelle, playing a comic in the film, screams up from the terrified crowd, “Damn, everyone run for the hills!!...He looks like King Kong with titties!”

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3 Lessons from Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" about comparing yourself to others

3 Lessons from Kendrick Lamar's "Humble" about comparing yourself to others

Youtube is a procrastinator's dream. Every video click educates the platform to serve up more content to feed the insatiable consumption need, and when I saw Kendrick Lamar's music video titled "Humble" float across my screen a few days ago, I went down the music video vortex faster than Trump's approval ratings.

The video opens with Kendrick standing in a cathedral in pope-like attire, a single beam of light casting dust filled rays across his shoulders. It's an immediately recognizable symbolism -- whatever he's about to spit are words of personal worship.

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Stop Asking For Permission

Stop Asking For Permission

I love a few things: Providing motivation and insight to others. Elevating overlooked perspectives. Twerking in unexpected places, like the frozen food aisle of my local grocery store. Soul music. Shea butter. But I love nothing more than good, quenching, one-on-one conversation -- the kind that warmly cuts through the small talk into the deeper inner layers, with limited distractions.

Recently my one-on-one conversations have taken life with other women. Women who are creators, writers, entrepreneurs, and founders. Each conversation was a small window into their businesses and passions, with the hopes that I could provide strategies for how they can better position or promote themselves and their work to the world.

As each conversation unfolded, a pattern emerged...

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A Conversation on Hard Won Confidence and Gut Wrenching Vulnerability

A Conversation on Hard Won Confidence and Gut Wrenching Vulnerability

Whenever I hear a new song with an addictive beat, I immediately imagine myself on a spin bike, with a tiny neon crop top on, yelling at the exercise class to move to the rhythm, “Come on ya’ll pick up the pace! Let’s get it! 1, 2, 1, 2.” It’s a fantasy that plays out in my head because if a song moves me and inspires focus, maybe I can aspire to move others with it?

That fitness confidence plays out in my head and hasn’t fully translated to real life (I can get it poppin in the front row of a spin class, but definitely not instructor level yet), but one thing I’ve discovered about confidence is it’s ironic relationship to vulnerability...

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What Do You Do When You've Out Grown Your Religious Upbringing?

What Do You Do When You've Out Grown Your Religious Upbringing?

With every growth spurt I’ve gone through, both vertically and horizontally (sigh), there’s been a physical mark left it its wake. Marble brown lines lace across my hips as a permanent sign of the changes.

What marks are left behind when that outgrowing is intangible? When we cast off rituals or social expectations that don’t feel good, or match who we’ve become, while rejiggering the pieces that do?

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