Tag Archives: communication

How to… (one dozen super rad things I think you should do!)

how to do one dozen things

Y’all!

We’re in the dog days of Summer down here in South Florida. Heat index over 100 and daily afternoon thunderstorms that arrive out of nowhere and leave just as quick. It’s pretty bananas. So, Chet and I are escaping to Delray Beach for a few days. I’m going to sit my butt on the beach (with a couple good books + an iPhone full of podcasts), eat conch fritters, drink rosé, and soak in some #saltlife vibes.

I’ll get back to posting ’round these parts next week. But since you’re already here, why not stick around and check out some posts I pulled from the archives! Here’s how to do ONE DOZEN super rad things…

How to start a fascinating conversation with a friend (or stranger).

How to use stickers to stick to your goals. 

How to make a super cute calendar from burlap.

How to use jars for DIY wedding decor.

How to create the perfect care package. 

How to take meaningful breaks during long projects. 

How to give your office a style upgrade.

How to tap into the power of self-care.

How to work on your female friendships.

How to practice styling photos.

How to dance more.

How to pack for a weekend away in the Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week and I’ll see you back here soon! 🙂

P.S. If you have any posts (how-to’s or otherwise) you think I should tackle when I get back, LEAVE  YOUR IDEAS BELOW! Thanks. 

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mid-week round-up

fours up

How’s your week faring? I got a dose of winter over the weekend during my quick trip up to Kentucky. There was snow on the ground when I woke up Sunday morning and snowed the whole way down to the Nashville Airport (where I was flying out from). I was worried my flight wouldn’t make it out! I so enjoyed getting to spend some time with the Western Kentucky University Forensics Team and loved catching up with friends. A piece of my heart is forever and always reserved for these folks and that team. I’m beyond blessed whenever I get the opportunity to go back and watch new generations speak their truths and their passions. Ok y’all, have a fantastic rest of your week, and before you go, enjoy a perusal of the links below…

Kiese Laymon reflects on Bill Cosby and sexual violence.

When studying religion makes you a liberal.

Hospital bags around the world.

A wedding photographer opens up about her own rehearsal dinner.

It’s not just Flint.

People of all ages influence linguistic change.

Rehearsal recordings and demos from Full the musical.

This couple transformed an old church bus into a beautiful RV.

The midwives of El Paso.

Behind the scenes at a prison beauty pageant in Brazil.

How to become a powerful communicator.

Peek inside the pantry of a registered dietitian.

P.S. In case you missed it, check out my thoughts on saying “you’re welcome” and a new addition to my capsule wardrobe. 

(Bill Cosby and sexual violence article via Adam. Photo shared with me by my dear friend Corn.)

mid-week round-up

sunset

Happy Wednesday, pals!!! We’re heading up to St. Petersburg, FL on Friday to meet up with my sister, brother, sister-in-law, and mom for a belated Christmas celebration. I can’t wait to see them all (in one place!) and enjoy some quality family time. I guess I better wrap their Christmas presents tonight! Do you have any fun plans for this weekend? Let me know below…I’d love to hear what you’re getting into. In the mean time, here are a few links for your viewing pleasure…

Gorgeous Golden Globe dresses.

‘Making a Murderer’ and the power of words.

Obsessed with this jacket from Forever 21.

How cute are these car-themed valentines?

A photographer scopes out abandoned buildings for creative photo shoots with her pup.

Will the “real” Dietary Guidelines please stand up?

Minimalism gone wrong?

Hilarious lady tweets.

A mind-blowingly detailed dollhouse DIY.

The UN Library’s most checked out book of 2015 is a little unsettling.

Appalachian code switching.

A homeless shelter for young adults, created by young adults.

Strike a (power) pose!

cuddy_poptech.jpg

In her TEDTalk “Power Poses” Amy Cuddy explains how striking a new pose can change how powerful you feel. It’s true that people with power–media moguls, Olympic victors, monarchs–showcase that power through confident non-verbal communication. They stand up straight, take up space, maybe even reach their hands up high or relax with their feet kicked up on their desk. But Cuddy wondered if the reverse was also true. If expressing these same sorts of powerful poses could make a person feel power.

IE) If POWER —> POWER POSES, could

POWER POSES —> POWER???

Her study pointed to ABSOLUTELY! After asking participants to stand in various “power poses” for just two minutes, Cuddy found they experienced higher levels of testosterone (the “confidence” hormone) and lower levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone). As a result, she encourages people to use her findings when they may need a dose of confidence or find themselves in a stressful situation.

Instead of hunching in a chair scrolling through notes on your iPhone, spend a few moments before a big interview stretched out as big as possible in the nearest bathroom stall. Have a big presentation at work? Close your office door, kick your feet up, and stretch your arms behind your head.

When I first watched the video of Amy Cuddy’s presentation, I really needed it. I wasn’t feeling all that powerful. I needed to find a job. I needed to make friends. I needed to do all those pesky-scary things that come with being in a different place from the one you’ve been in for seven years. In fact I was feeling pretty powerless. I’m sure my non-verbals weren’t doing a great job at hiding that fact.

But Cuddy’s “fake it ’til you make it” advice made a lot of sense. I knew from years of dance and competitive speech & debate that my body and my posture and my physicality could speak volumes and impact other’s perceptions of me. But now I realized I could turn that knowledge on it’s head and impact my perception of myself. I started doing yoga regularly (warrior poses are fantastic for this) and I began to make the conscious decision to take up more space.

Fast forward a few years and a few promotions (score!), Cuddy’s instructions began to sink in. I was in a position of power at my job and when I needed to communicate and exemplify that power, even if just to myself, power poses fit the bill.

My go-to posture in this new position became the same pose Cuddy opens with in her presentation; hands on hips, wide stance. Think: Wonder Woman. If I needed to persuade a customer or discipline an employee or haggle with a vendor, I was ready.

One unruly and frequently belligerent customer found himself getting familiar with my new stance of choice. When he was around trouble usually followed. So I wanted to feel powerful when confronting him. I also wanted him, and my employees, to know I. meant. business. I would saddle up to the scene, hands on hips, stance wide, spine straight. After finding himself on the receiving end of a Wonder Woman a few too many times this dude started to get…how shall we say, comfortable. He actually started mimicking my moves and mocking my posture.

“How dare he?” I thought. “Would he behave this way with a man?!” But each time he did this I continued to hold my ground. (Even when he would refer to my pose with such colorful language as “sassy” or “bitch.”) And then after his brief ridiculous displays were over he would follow my instructions, apologize, calm down, or rectify whatever other issue he had instigated.

These interactions proved to me the veracity of Cuddy’s claims. Because this dude was clearly threatened. A human twice my size with the ability to get twice as loud was threatened by my 5’3″ frame, soft voice, and calm demeanor.

I stood powerfully so I felt powerful. And this guy, for whatever reason, didn’t like that.

But guess what? My body didn’t need to speak apologies for HIS wrong-doings. Just like yours doesn’t need to speak apologies when you’re feeling powerless in front of a crowded room or when you’re feeling powerFUL.

So, yeah. Stretch your arms over your head before that interview, take up space, be noticed!

It feels pretty good.

If you’d like to implement the benefits of Power Poses, may I recommend this yoga video or this one. If you want to pose for a few minutes before an important, stress-filled happenin’ then check out this helpful chart

A quick catch up between friends.

outside cafe

If we were on a coffee date this morning we would sit outside in the cool promise of a Summer early morning. We would drink iced coffee from mason jars and split three baked goods, still warm, because we couldn’t make up our minds so early in the day. I would, perhaps, slide off my sandals and tuck my feet up under my thighs in the cross-leg position I prefer, because at nearly 30, the idea of sitting lady-like for too long still evades me. We might unapologetically admit the rapidity with which we completed the latest season of Orange Is the New Black. Surely agreeing that Piper is the literal worst. Maybe I mention seeing a Bluegrass band at the beginning of the week and how it’s a weekly event and free. Maybe you say we should catch the next one. We both agree we need to make Pimm’s Cups and bulletin boards made from thrifted picture frames and wine corks, but not necessarily in that order. I would pull the book I’m reading out of my backpack and you’d read the jacket cover, nodding. Perhaps we discuss an article we’ve pored over, perhaps we discuss people’s ridiculous Facebook posting habits. As I check the time on my trusty iPhone, I’d probably get distracted and ask you to reveal your most used emojis and then share mine. A last, random anecdote to smile about each time I look at my phone for the rest of the day.

Later that evening I’d text you, “Thanks for the coffee date! You are the literal OPPOSITE of Piper Chapman. *coffee cup* *kimono* *crying while smiling face* *knife* *prayer hands* *poop*”