At the beginning of the year, we’re all so excited about the promise of the new start and we make all sorts of plans for what we’re going to do but somehow things just fizzle out, my friend Najah is giving tips on how not to lose that sparkle.
Najah Drakes is the Chief Design Officer of DiviniCo, LLC, my Spelman sister, a boy mom (five times!) and the one who I literally send out an SOS to when I’m over it with homeschooling. She is one of those women who I totally admire because she’s able to sparkle even with the 200 things she has going on in life. I’m so happy to welcome her to my blog today!
5 Ways to Not Lose Your Sparkle in 2017 By Najah Drakes
One of my favorite past-times as a child was playing with sparklers. Sitting in that long non-descript elongated cardboard box sat 12 unsuspecting metal sticks just waiting to be lit. There was always something magical about watching my father light them, waiting for that moment, “it took,” and then watching the colors flail around as I elliptically cast my arms from side to side.
It is the same feeling I feel when I Sparkle.
You know the feeling. That feeling when you feel like nothing can stop you. Like you got a plan, and you’re going to werk until it works.
Everybody notices that extra pep in your step. That extra air of confidence as you reveal what you can no longer conceal. You’re going places. You’re all sparkle-y inside. And there’s nothing anybody can do about it.
I love that feeling.
I wish that feeling could last forEVER, but more often than not, it doesn’t
The same way that metal stick evoked so much joy, I also know its fate as I watch the sparkle inch its way down the wire stem. Eventually, time snuffs its sparkle out. While its glow might linger, eventually, the sparkler cools, and it will be lights out. Sparkle. Down.
All of us have been there. That point one day past the expiration date, where the bread hasn’t gone completely stale, but freshness has left the building. The truth is, sometimes we’re so on fire we just might spontaneously combust, and other times, we can barely find a flicker.
I love the excitement that the arrival of the New Year brings. Commonly, I see people approach the end of the year with the sparkle and hope that the dawning of a New Year brings. We start the race with bold initiative, expectation and fresh lights of hope. Ready to see, come and conquer, not realizing the frailty of our posture of hope.
So, how does that vibrant woman of January 1, 2017 remain that woman full of hope, expectation and ambition through December 31st?
While I know there will be days we feel less than…”sparkle-y,” here are several tips I have used to help me Sparkle, even when my situations don’t.
Tip #1: Sparkle ignites Sparkle
As I kid I remember my brother using his Sparkler to ignite mine. There was a sudden jolt of excitement once my Sparkler “caught.” Similarly, we can catch the “Sparkle.” There is a popular Scripture I love, A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. – James 3:5b.
People who Sparkle are just contagious. Make sure you have a couple of them in your friend arsenal. These are the friends you need to talk to often. They have that gift to cheer you up, bring perspective and even kick your butt when you need it. Don’t let these sparklers get crowded out of your frequent interactions. Allow your soul to marinate in their Sparkle. I promise before long, you will find yourself sparkling.
Tip #2: Have Sparkle Awareness
While in some instances, our sparkle is instantly snuffed out, I have found for me I typically experience a slow dimming. It can be triggered by a broad range of events. Not speaking up when I should. Saying yes when my heart is saying no. Trying not to shine too brightly. Sitting still when all I really want to do is DANCE. Shoving myself into a size, situation or fit not designed for me. Telling myself I’m not, when my Maker says I am. And the countless other lies I tell myself that dim what was created to shine.
Create a greater space to acknowledge and accept when you have allowed a person, place or situation to blow at your Sparkle. Like the blowing out of those birthday candles often resist the first blow, you can resist those blows. Remind yourself you were created to sparkle when you become aware your ability to maintain your sparkle is being challenged.
Create “go-to” affirmations for those areas you already know you struggle. If you tend to feeling easily rejected, you may create an affirmation like, “If God accepts me, who can reject me.” Or, if you struggle with insecurities, you may affirm, “God created me and my purpose with my flaws in mind. They can’t stop Him and they won’t stop me.”
Affirm your Sparkle every opportunity you can.
Tip #3: Protect Your Sparkle
Plain and simple. Some situations should just be avoided. I have watched so many people force themselves into toxic situations simply because they think they “should.” Another of my favorite scriptures is, Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. – 1 Corinthians 10:23
There are some people no matter how nicely you dress up and present yourself will find a way to reject you. They will passively, yet aggressively cause your soul to cringe and question. I’m not throwing myself on the battlefield for my soul unless I have to. There was a certain person who every time they called me, I literally felt I was going to vomit. What verbal assault would I be the victim of today? I would answer fearful of the resulting trauma. Then one day, a wise therapist once told me, why do you answer the phone? Huh? I responded. It had never dawned on me that I could choose to not answer the request for battle. I could simply, not answer the call. From that day forward, I would just let the call roll to voicemail. And truth be told, I would never listen to the voicemail. I decided to protect my sparkle. You can make a similar choice. Feelings may be hurt, but likely, “ain’t nobody gonna die.” The sparkle is valuable. Protect it.
Tip #4: Sparkle Much And Often
What makes you smile? You know… what makes you ooo-ey, goo-ey on the inside? What makes your eyes dreamy and gives you that uplift and uptick? Yeah.. that thing. Do it more. I mean like schedule it. Put it on the calendar and just do it.
Married folks, do it more…Yep, if you’re married, you know what “it” is. Be silly more. Hang out with friends more. Get a massage more. Date your spouse more. If we spend more time doing what we have to do than what we were made to do, why are we surprised when we feel depleted? Your wires were made to fire. They were made to transmit electricity, power and light. So transmit more. Sparkle on, my friend.
Tip #5: Make Downtime Primetime
For over a decade, my husband has worked at a major communications firm. In the communications industry, companies are dinged for downtime. In my world, the land of mommy, mommy, wifey, make it happen, with your eyes closed and hands tied behind your back, uptime is the primal enemy of downtime.
On most days, my spirit just yearns for downtime. I have found when I rob, steal and take my downtime, I am much better positioned to Sparkle. Literally after my grocery runs, I come home, sit in my driveway, play jazz, and …wait for it…just breathe. Yep, I am bound to receive a call from the kiddos asking why I am sitting in the driveway…again. I won’t answer because my downtime takes place even in primetime. My Sparkle is worth it. So, just do it.
So, as you prepare this year’s New Year’s Resolution, make sure, “keeping your sparkle” makes the list. No, it won’t happen by accident. Be deliberate, schedule it, protect it and sparkle on!
If you’re thinking you might need help with Sparkle, be sure to check Najah’s clothing line, DiviniCo (www.divinico.com) for her apparel line.
You were born to SPARKLE from the Inside Out! DiviniCo is a luxury lifestyle brand committed to ensuring you do just that. No matter your age or size, we create flattering rhinestone encrusted apparel that speak without ever saying a word. Our products Shine just like you were born to. So, catch the fire like so many women have and bring our one-of-kind collection home. We specialize in Affirmational, Collegiate (Spelman/HBCU), Sorority and Custom Designs perfect for Everyday, Swag Bags, Fundraisers, Class Reunions, Homecoming, Corporate Branding or that next Haute event. You were born to shine! Let us help you.
I really appreciate Najah reminding me how to keep the sparkle and sharing her tips! If you haven’t followed along with the rest of my series, you need to check it out. Over the next few weeks, I have friends giving advice to not only help you sparkle but also what to take to gym, how to manage your life, get organized! You need to check back on Friday to see what’s next in the series.