Tagged: self care

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v41

Happy Tuesday! We’ve had a bit of a heat wave the last few days in DC with a return of humidity & as a result, the AC has been turned back on. Being this warm doesn’t get me in the mood to switch out my closet so I’m keeping the knee high boots and sweaters wrapped up until the temperatures take a dip. I’m ready for the onset of Autumn!

In the meantime, we can get to Tuesday Truths!

  • I started using a hashtag for moments when I am #livinahappylife and I try to remind myself that life isn’t perfect while making the most of what I’m trying to accomplish for that day. Growing up as an only child, I had the company of adults and my imagination and since my dad passed away when I was a teenager, I quickly learned how to be resilient.  My mom raised me as a single parent and she provided life examples in how to succeed. It was with experience and a deeper understanding of myself that I recognized what elements I need in life to be happy. It took me a while but I think I have a combination that can take me for the long haul. If you’re looking for ways to bring happiness to your life, then take a gander at these tips so you can create positive habits for yourself.

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  • If you’re a Gen X woman like me, this article may resonate with you. I’m still really processing it myself and although I don’t have the same circumstances as the women who are featured in the article, I understand the rage and concern. I sometimes marvel that I’ve gotten this far in life because I really didn’t have a plan for myself. I knew where I wanted to work and in what field and I certainly didn’t have a plan when it came to having children. Being a mother was never a priority so I sometimes wonder if I will ever regret that decision later in life. I don’t currently so I doubt that I will but you never know. I have joked about having a quarter life crisis when I was in my early-mid 20s and as I really move into the middle age phase of my life, I want my evolution to be centered on how I can continue to challenge myself professionally and maintain a sense of contentment in how life has turned out.

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  • So much of life is showing up. I have a friend who was a national deputy finance director of a major committee and recognizes that they got the job because not only were they talented, they also showed up and was consistent. It matters even more in your personal life. Taking stock of friendships who are there to check in on you even when they’re busy and keeping those connections alive are the friendships where I have the most investment. As I’ve gotten older, my social network has stretched to include a lot of people from different facets of my life. I’m not necessarily open to making new friends for the sake of making friends and it’s important to me to use time wisely by being with people and doing things that make a difference. Enjoying the company of a loved one, learning new things and sharing in experiences that make a significant impact on the people that matter are priorities in my life.

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  • I have always felt that regardless if you live in a small town or a big city, you can always feel lonely. It’s the connection to people that can bring your social network to fruition. If you aren’t engaging with others, it doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny studio in Manhattan or live on Main Street. Being a part of clubs or activities that allows you to socialize and have interaction creates bonds and relationships. It’s equally important to have a similar kind of setting at your work place. Individuals are so much more than their professional narratives. Those individuals who may have a more challenging time sharing may need an extra nudge to open up about themselves. You can combat loneliness in your work place by making an effort to get your teams more involved in knowing more about one another. A shared mission and shared bond creates a professional environment where people truly feel like a team. If you’re looking for ways to build a more collaborative work environment, check out this article where they also encourage socializing outside of work.

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  • I read an article about an AAPI woman who immigrated to the United States 22 years ago and decided to run for the city council. She got push back from voters who were appalled that a “foreign born” citizen was running for public office. If you’re feeling steam coming out of your ears then I feel you and if you’re not enraged, then you should stop reading my blog. The AAPI woman candidate has put an emphasis on diversity on her campaign and some voters are freaked out. #blesstheirhearts This is CRAY! Corporations have come to the table recognizing that diversity and inclusion are important to their success. They will not succeed if they don’t embrace the idea that people from different backgrounds will bring perspectives and experiences that can not be brought forth when you have a homogeneous workforce. Regardless of whether the impetus is the bottom line or actual progress, I hope that it brings everlasting change to the way people think about those who come from under-represented segments of society. So don’t be afraid to be intersectional and multi-dimensional at your work. I didn’t engage my AAPI roots until much later in life and people should be allowed to make choices in how they choose to engage. Those of us who recognize that society is changing will continue to move the needle so that inclusion and diversity are addressed and people are respected.

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  • My podcast choices are based on professional development, Paris/French related, cooking topics and a myriad of other eclectic subjects. So seeing this list of 16 black voiced podcasts  widens my perspective and takes me out of my bubble. If you’re looking for options beyond Serial and This American Life, check it out!

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  • This year has challenged every fiber of my being to remember the idealism that once resided in my soul. People have turned politics and that of public service into a stereotype of corruption and an episode of “House of Cards” & “Veep”. Twenty years ago I returned home to DC to start a political careerand since it was pre West Wing, I hardly had a clue of what I was doing or where I was going when it came to having a professional career in politics. When I started getting burnt out from the stress, I took time away from the industry and I found my idealism once again. I have since learned a few things to keep myself sane and this year is another lesson in resilience. As with all things in life, there are nefarious characters who will test your integrity and that’s when you have to remember that you can’t allow cynicism to win the day. Even when friends who were in the industry return for a visit, our conversations are concentrated in the world that we live in and how we can make it better. The federal government isn’t leaving anytime soon and your energy will remind us why we wanted to get into this business in the 1st place.

Thanks for reading/sharing and please sign up to subscribe!

— Madalene

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v40

We’re in a new QTR and getting ready for the end of the year. It’s also a good time to reassess goals and strategize any kind of course correction. Over the weekend, I got a chance to talk with a group about basic fundraising and with the women who are participants of the WeLead program through American University’s Women in Politics Institute and with both groups, I reiterated that going through the process helps you to set your goals and move the needle. You can always modify your plans because nothing is written in stone so if you really want to track your progress, write it down! It’s not necessary for you to share your plans or you can choose to shout it from the rooftops. Putting these goals on paper allows you to see what steps you need to take to move forward and you get to celebrate every time you make progress, regardless of how big or small the step.

Let’s get to Tuesday Truths!

  • One of the questions I received while speaking at the WeLead program dealt with my self-care. Instead of really addressing what I do for myself, I talked more about what happens with my staff so that they recognize that they need to do it for themselves and for people who work on their team. I would rather teach by example so when people leave for their next opportunity, they will demonstrate the same kinds of habits that they experienced as a staffer in their new role as a manager. These habits shouldn’t limit itself to work. We’ve talked about expressing thanks and living with more gratitude/kindness. These steps can help you in establishing that kind of culture at least in your professional life and hopefully, it can be felt personally as well.

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  • Along with publicly thanking my team, I also work with them individually and privately on their professional development. We try to meet quarterly so that we can assess where they are on their goals as well as what I may catch as a potential bad habit (which we want to nip sooner rather than later). We initially talk about strengths and weaknesses and develop ways that they can neutralize whatever weaknesses were identified. As we continue to work together, I can provide feedback on what’s working. These can be tough conversations because who wants to point out other people’s flaws? What helps is that you’re both working together towards action items that can show improvement. Here are ideas when you need to give feedback to your staff.

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  • My office is a training ground for emerging leaders (I am like a proud mother hen!) because I have a slew of former staffers and interns who are making their way in their specific fields and ROCKING it. I like to think that their time with me helped to form them as professionals, not only in their work performance but also with how they work with their teams. Becoming a manager in politics does not come with a manual. When I recently worked with the DNC on a training, there was a session basically discussing how to be a good manager. This included performance reviews, working with people who may be much more older and more seasoned than you, and building relationships that are far flung when you have offices stretching miles across a state. All of these issues are important when you lead a team. Building cohesiveness while providing structure and discipline. All of these points aren’t necessarily taught in a campaign atmosphere because we’re focused on meeting deadlines and goals. What people don’t realize is that if you don’t set the tone immediately as a manager, all of your goals and deadlines won’t matter if your team is back stabbing and lacks the motivation to get through more challenging situations. So guess what? New managers need support and the ability to learn how to be good managers – that means take the time to train them and connect them to others who have the experience to help them navigate a tough situation. If you need help, read this article to figure out what to ask for so that you can get the skills you need.

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  • When you’re thinking about where you are in your career, you should also spend the time with where you are in life. Are you aligned with your purpose in life? Pretty deep question to ponder and it’s one that can provide you with fulfillment. The Japanese concept of ikigai doesn’t need to be grand. It needs to be specific to you and believe it or not, it doesn’t have to do with work or with income.

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  • One of the questions from the WeLead participants dealt with advice to our younger selves and one of the panelists talked about not being enamored with someone else’s job title. I can wholeheartedly agree with this concept. Placing value on your worth is about your ability and skill. Job titles are free and kicking ass everyday in whatever position you hold is about valuing yourself. Competition is healthy when it motivates you to say that you are working towards a goal or reaching an achievement. Compete with yourself to gain more skills and to be more qualified than you were last year. The jobs that you take in life don’t define who you are so don’t let others use that as a way to create doubt about your abilities.

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Thanks for reading/sharing! See you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v38

It’s another district work period for the House so I’m playing catch up and getting ready for BSM. For those new to the blog, “Hi!” and BSM is my mood at the end of the QTR because I’m BUSY. GETTIN’. MONEY.

So let’s get straight to it with Tuesday Truths!

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  • I’m a fundraiser so I spend a lot of time networking for my clients so that I can have a varied group of people who are interested in supporting the work that my clients do in politics and in non-profits. Could I ever learn to love that aspect of my work? The key to networking is better understanding the flow of information and how you can be a resource. You never know who you may meet that will have shared interests with you. It’s an invaluable way to meet influential people who may thank you later on for being helpful to them.

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  • Don’t get sucked into other people’s instagrammable moments and forget to live your life. People are starting to get depressed looking at other people’s lives and thinking that they’re not successful enough. Please don’t measure yourself to others because you’ll set yourself up for failure. It’s totally normal to strive to attain a life that’s similar to someone you admire. Also recognize your accomplishments along the way. You control your level of success and most importantly, its meaning to you. Here are 5 signs when you can tell if you’re successful (even when you don’t think you are!).

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  • I have a lot of people who call me to talk about running for office. I always ask them if they’ve had a chance to talk with people who are not a part of our echo chamber and if they’ve discussed their public policy proposals, let alone listened to voters who identify with another set of beliefs. It’s a lot harder than you think to convince someone that your ideas are better when they already hold onto a set of beliefs. Data doesn’t necessary help your case because facts don’t change people’s minds. Learn how you can give people the scenario to give themselves an out so that they can change their way of thinking.

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  • I’m often asked to speak on panels about politics and being an entrepreneur so I basically figured out my schtick, however to keep things fresh, I always need to see who else is speaking so that I can be aware of their accomplishments and figure out the type of audience the panel is addressing. Although I’ve done public speaking for a long time, I still get butterflies talking in front of people. Instead of allowing those emotions to get the best of me, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I’m not an imposter. You’re more likely to be comfortable when you’re more yourself so think of your time as an opportunity to have a conversation and to connect with your audience. Want more tips? Check it out here!

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  • Did you hear that there’s going to be a new iPhone released in a few weeks/months? I saw some hoopla and what really caught my attention was the Twitter flack people gave to an article about how they covered Apple executive, Angela Ahrendts’ attire when she took to the stage to talk about the launch. Ms. Ahrendts is the former CEO of Burberry and currently heads up the retail division of Apple. She’s also the only woman executive in senior leadership for Apple and is the highest paid woman in tech. I’m all about making sure that women leaders are listened to when they speak about their product lines or their accomplishments. Above all else the subject material is the highlight. How they present themselves only amplifies the narrative. Women in positions of power have used their wardrobe choices for visual affect and although the author of the article may not have a direct line to why exactly Ms. Ahrendts decided to wear what she wore on the day of the launch, there is much speculation to her decision. I do think people who are in positions of authority project an image and adhere to that image to maintain the brand. Its only recently that people have seen a less than polished version of me on social media because if you were to ask people what they think of my fashion choices, most people would say “put together” or “dressed up”. It’s my attempt to be more accessible as I start evolving my brand.

Thanks for reading/sharing and I really appreciate your notes when you let me know that something really resonated. See you next week!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v37

We’re back to regular programming with a full work week! Hope that you’re finding your rhythm after the summer break. The weather is starting to get cooler and that puts me in a good mood. I’m finding joy in the little things in life because when life keeps coming at you, finding the happiness in the small joys can do a lot to lift your spirits.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • If you’ve been reading the blog, you would know that I’m a big believer in making your own luck. You might feel like you don’t know how to start making change and all it takes are small and consistent steps to get you where you want to go. There are times when I’m a hot mess and when I get to that stage, I re-assess where I’m heading. Do I feel out of sorts because I haven’t written things down? Am I acknowledging that there’s a plan and if not, what am I doing to put together one? This chart can help you get started, however you can choose to ignore some of the fashion related tips (or all of them!) although it may help you if you want to have more focus on your wardrobe along with the rest of your work life.

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  • As a self described ambivert, I know when the introvert and extrovert parts of my personality are out of whack. When I’m at conferences or bigger events, I usually am connecting with people who I already know and get introduced to people who are a part of other people’s networks. During these times, I try to stay engaged and not allow my brain to wander. Finding ways to connect can be challenging and if you treat it in a way that allows you to be authentic, you’ll be able to find people who are working towards similar goals. If you’re looking for ways to prepare yourself for those days when you need to be more “on” then you may find these tips helpful.

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  • Being self aware is critical to being a good manager/leader and it also works towards your brand. You can have internal reflection as well as external awareness to help you take notice of how you view yourself vs how others see you. Taking a temperature from your network can give you a better sense of that internal/external alignment. Doing this can open your eyes to more objectivity and you can do the work, if necessary, to correct any negative behavior.

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  • Studies show that getting enough sleep per night over time can help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and you can reap daily benefits of better concentration, enhanced creativity, and good mood vibes (who doesn’t want more of that?!). As I’ve gotten older, I can feel the difference in my performance when I don’t get enough sleep. I feel sluggish and my brain seems to work in the slowest drive possible. Here are do’s and don’ts for a better night’s rest.

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  • I hope you’re taking steps to keep your mental health in tip top shape. I’ve mentioned in the blog that I’m just mentally exhausted which leads me to physical exhaustion because I lost my pick up and go. The energy that I once had no longer exists and I’m slowly digging myself out of the hole so that I can return to a more positive place. If you’re looking for an assist, here are 7 mental health apps that may give you a boost.

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  • The 10 essential ways to plan a successful day was once my life. I have fallen off the wagon HARD and it’s been such a process to get myself into a routine that I actually enjoy. There are obstacles and challenges that continue to mentally block me from getting to a better place and I’ve given myself the space to say that I will return to a routine when I’m up to it. When I was in a good rhythm these things were important for me to get organized and to feel a sense of accomplishment when I ended my day. What works for you?

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  • Everyone knows that I’m all for creating opportunities for diversity and women, especially from communities of color. It doesn’t matter the industry, women are lacking in senior level positions throughout and when you talk about winemakers in the Champagne region of France, you’re talking about a handful of women when there are close to 5,000 winemakers total. Lindsey Tramuta recently wrote an article for Food & Wine on The Women Working to Bring Diversity to Champagne and it’s an interesting read, not only for the history but also for what women winemakers are doing to improve the situation. So the next time you have some French bubbles, think about whose making it!

Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v36

It’s back to school and back to having Congress in session (at least for the next 2 weeks until they go back to a district work period!). I’ve got my call sheets and a new pack of sharpies and pens and highlighters and notebooks and and and….can you tell that I’m a little excited about the back to work part? In all honesty, I enjoyed the last few weeks of cooler temperatures and the change of scenery. I was always the kid that enjoyed the days leading up to back to school (all of the frenzy to get my new backpack and school supplies) and later when I was in college, I was an Orientation Leader who helped the Freshmen get acclimated to Tulane. It feels like a new day so whenever “back to school” starts, we can readjust any previous attitudes to a more positive one. Who needs January 1st to have resolutions when you have the ability to revamp your goals and ideas of what you want to do in life just as the seasons change. Evolution is constant so take advantage of the time to add or subtract your goals and most importantly, take stock of who you want to be.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • Lately I’ve been reflecting on my career goals and where I want to go next. I decided that I wanted to go in a different direction and have taken steps to not take projects that would be incongruent with my goals. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less patient and have found that I’m unwilling to do things that I once did when I started out. It’s not that I deem the work less than me. It’s more of I’ve already done this in my life and want to do new things. So if you’re searching for who you’re meant to be and how to harness your passion(s), then look no further because who else but Ms. Oprah can give you an exercise to work it out! Find out what you’re great at and what you can do to keep you moving forward while being successful. So if that didn’t help you, you can also try this version in finding your purpose. Life is too short to be doing something you don’t enjoy. It may mean that you may have less financial resources or a less comfortable standard of living. It also means that you might be happier with your life where you know that your work is aligned with your values.

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  • Sometimes life can be overwhelming and for the most part, I don’t let it get to me. Most of the time, my friends/colleagues think that I always have my shiz together and yes, it’s mostly true however, life isn’t perfect and I will feel that things can be a little out of control. I’ve said in the past and continue to say it now, that I’m a procrastinator and I know it. Which means I have to take measures that will allow me to curb that bad habit. I try to schedule as much as possible knowing that I need to cushion time for me to get things done. People think that I’m a hardass when I decline invitations to hang out because I’m writing or whatever I do on any given day that I’ve set a schedule. Yes, I’m missing out on fun but I don’t have FOMO because I know the consequences of me pushing off a deadline. It’s not good for me and trust me, I’m more about creating less pain for myself in the long term then having more fun in the short term. That doesn’t mean that I won’t be spontaneous. It just means that I won’t let my procrastinating behavior take over the goody two shoes side of me. If you find yourself overwhelmed, take a breath and get focused. You’ll get it done once you create an action plan.

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  • If you’re returning from vacation, I hope you’ve had a stress free period of your life. No one ever really knows whats happening in people’s lives so if you’re outwardly exhibiting a kickass life but am inwardly waging war, please know that there are ways to make life less chaotic. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and the little things in life can make a big difference. Here are ways that you can practice self care in 15 minutes or less.

Thanks for reading/sharing – see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v34 VACATION EDITION

Photo credit via

I’m out of DC & am super happy about it. My brain is still in motion because white supremacy doesn’t stop for anyone so having conversations with white folks continues to be an educational process for everyone. It’s a test of my patience and helps me to articulate my argument other than “stop being a racist” so that can be exhausting.

As a result, this week’s Tuesday Truths is dedicated to self care and how to keep yourself in peak mental health.

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  • Here are 4 changes that you can make so that you can live a healthier life. I’m so into the power sleeping. I’ve noticed a marked difference in my attitude and overall thought processes when I’ve gotten enough sleep. My least favorite is breakfast. It’s my least favorite meal yet I know that I have to eat so that I can have a productive day.

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  • I have to admit, I’m a big compartmentalizer (is that even a word?) so I tend to put my emotions in check about all sorts of things so when I’m overly tired, my emotions tend to fray and I get a bit more frazzled. I’ve had my share of time talking to my therapist and I’ve recognized that a lot of emotions are static, depending on what negative moment I experienced and didn’t really address. My mother used to tell me that she didn’t want to see me cry because she didn’t want to see me unhappy. I love my mom and that mental pressure to be happy all the time only made me hide from my negative emotions. I’ve come to realize that it’s OK to be vulnerable and that I’m giving myself the space to be self-compassionate.

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  • One of the things that I miss during these times is the warmth of my friends. So many of my closest friends aren’t physically close. With time differences and the trials of daily life, my tribe sustains itself with much scheduled coordination. In fact, I was able to visit with a dear friend 15 hours after she gave birth while I was on a work trip. Friendships are meant to be nurtured and at the same time, it is a matter of give and take. You can be yourself with your flaws while trying to face life’s challenges and your friends will ask for nothing in return. These deep ties further cement our memories and create joy for all of us.

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  • Want a better weekend? Studies show that having eudaimonic happiness over the weekend will lead to a better quality of life. We’ve become more isolated in recent years and so the idea of socializing needs to be re-introduced into our lives. That means actual human interaction and not by a digital platform. Lately, I’ve been having people over for dinner and we’ve set limits on what we can discuss (no work!) which forces all of us to talk about hobbies and topics of interest. I need more play into my life so who wants to hang out and just have fun with me?

I hope you have a chance to take a breather and living your best life. Thanks for reading/sharing & I’ll see you next Tuesday!

— Madalene

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v29

I’m getting ready to get back on the road again! Leaving for the Bay area to do another training and hopefully experience cooler temperatures than the DC humidity. On a non work related topic, whose been watching GoT??? I’m loving the women characters from the premiere. Lady Mormont maybe small and she doesn’t need anyone’s permission! #FeminisimRules

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

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  • Work is work and sometimes we get caught in the notion that you have to love your work to be happy in life. Life isn’t meant to be perfect because you need the ebb and flow to understand gratitude. Recognizing when the benefits of your work outweigh the challenges is really the key to understanding if you’re doing what you love. It’s probably the reason why I continue to review the past 15 years as an entrepreneur with rose colored glasses. I can barely remember the times when I wanted to throw in the towel because all of the benefits outweigh the challenges. It’s good to know what drives your purpose because when your work becomes a career, it can also be an adventurous journey. Here are a few extraordinary women who share how they made their careers into an adventure.

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  • As a woman, I know all too well the pressures that society places on my gender in both a professional and personal context. For the longest time, my own mother (who has been an independent woman for all of her life) really didn’t understand why I didn’t want to get married and because she raised a stubborn daughter, I pointedly didn’t get married when she wanted me to just so that I could say that I did it out of my own choice and not by being harangued into it. Living in DC, where everything is not normal, I see women who chose to have children later in life and women who decided to get married in their 30s+ or not at all. I have also shared how the “outside/normal” world thinks about women candidates/elected officials who are single or who don’t have children. Society continues to place pressure on gender roles and finding a workplace that takes that into consideration is extremely forward thinking. This has led to new opportunities for businesses to fill in the gaps. There are now maternity concierge services that will help women with the issues that they normally deal with so that they can focus on returning to work. It’s helpful in getting the tasks done so that women aren’t trying to do it all however it doesn’t address the same societal pressure that it’s women who have to be the ones responsible in executing these tasks.

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  • I’m trying to be more present these days which means, I don’t look at my phone. I have an app that tells me each week how much time I spend on a particular app where I’m trying to curtail my engagement. I try to spend one day of the weekend where I don’t read my email and I don’t respond to work. I don’t want my life to be a series of hours that were meant to catch up. So if you’re learning how to unplug, here are a few suggestions so that you can properly decompress and come back refreshed.

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  • We live such crazy hectic lives that it seems a little out of place to slow down. I have to be honest and tell you that I have a lot of guilt if I’m not doing a million different things (which is a horrible habit). My brain is constantly firing away at different thoughts and projects that it physically hurts when I have to focus **all** of my attention to accomplish one action. You should have seen me last week responding to my French tutor in French in an email. It’s been more than 6 months since I used my brain to speak, let alone think, in another language. You could virtually see the steam coming out of my ears because my brain was working so hard. So it’s a nice reminder to everyone, including myself that it’s OK to slow down. I used to drive a lot more than I do now and I used to listen to NPR or the BBC on the radio and I can’t do that anymore because listening to the news is too depressing. So the alternative to listening to the news is silence, which is an act of kindness to myself. Silence is so rare and I do my best thinking when there is no noise but my thoughts. Hence, my best thinking comes from when I take a shower, but maybe TMI. Nonetheless, I like driving in silence and I can say that I’m meditating (sorta).

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Thanks for reading/sharing and please don’t forget to subscribe! If you can give Arum Group a LIKE on Facebook and me a follow on twitter that would be awesome! Appreciate it! Feel free to comment below or on my other social media platforms.

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v28

Big day today! We’re getting a new U.S. Representative for CA34 sworn into Congress. Exciting times! This past weekend, I was in Los Angeles for another client, America’s Opportunity Fund (AOF) doing a training for AAPI campaign operatives and candidates. It was terrific to meet local activists and help them move ahead with their political careers. I’ll be in the Bay area in 2 weeks and can’t wait to see everyone!

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • I tremendously loved reading this post because I’m a horrible small talker (yes, believe me especially since I work in an industry where communication is key) and really alerted me to a basic reminder: everyone just wants to connect with the people they meet. Strangers may or may not become friends but they become less strangers to one another. The secret to small talk is being unafraid to be awkward. Easier said than done. So when I remind myself to give zero f*cks, I became a more open person to opportunity and connection. Be your awkward self and people will see that you’re authentic.

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  • Being a woman is HARSH. There are so many challenges and outside variables that nag at your self confidence. Are you married? Do you have children? Where are you in your career? Is there a growing competition between older and younger women? I am fortunate to have good genes that disguise my mid 40s age. I also have a mindset that allows me to stop thinking about age (whether it’s me or my friends/colleagues). For the longest time, I couldn’t track my friends’ ages. I knew that we were relatively in the same age group due to job experience etc but it wasn’t until they publicly celebrated milestone birthdays did I really see an age attached to them. IMO, there are women who are truly ageless, not because they look a certain way, more because they have a variety of friends of different ages, generally are current on technology and are compassionate/passionate advocates for their work & lives. I see the women who mentor me who are in their 70s & 80s and think, when I started in this business they were well into their 50s and they continue with such grace and veracity. The ageless generation (women who are in their 40s-50s) are my inspiration to keep myself curious and creative.

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  • I obviously love what I do because I spend a lot of my weekends doing it as well! I remember when I worked in the hospitality industry and realized that my schedule no longer aligned with my friends (they had weekends and my definition of a weekend may have been a Monday-Thursday and be non-consecutive). I recognized that the industry wasn’t right for me and also that I’m the type of person who would easily give up a traditional weekend if it meant doing what I loved. So if you’re in a job situation that doesn’t meet your passion, then you should consider a few things before you decide to throw in the towel. You maybe feeling a little stuck and you’ll have to assess the situation but if you’re living only towards the weekend, it’s a red flag that’s also blinking DANGER DANGER.

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Thanks for reading/sharing – we’ll be back next Tuesday!

— Madalene

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Tuesday Truths 2017 Edition v7

Over the weekend, I was in Baltimore for the DNC Future Forum supporting one of the Vice Chair candidates, Rep. Grace Meng in her re-election to the DNC. Years ago, I worked on another Vice Chair race for the DNC when Rep. Mike Honda was elected to that position and this go around reminded me why I’m a Democrat (not that it really takes much to remind me of my personal values). I hold particular personal views about who I am as a Democrat and my travels around this country have always reminded me that my version of being a Democrat isn’t necessarily someone else’s version, but it doesn’t lessen the significance when we talk about our allegiance to the Democratic Party. We talk about the D Party being one of a big tent: welcoming those from different faiths, gender, ethnicity – the whole gambit. Yet when we talk about how much of a progressive are you, we start towards the slippery slope to having a litmus test. I once worked at the New Democrat Network and was deemed “Republican lite” from my colleagues in Labor and the more progressive wing of the Party. That doesn’t sound very much like a welcoming attitude :/ Every person should be allowed the space to evolve in their views. With education and awareness, people can actually move towards ideas that were once not so welcomed into their personal sphere. Respectful discussion can create opportunities for evolution. Any kind of talk where attack of character or the disdain of geographical difference or industry only leads to more conflict. Understanding each other’s perspectives and teaching one another contrasting stories helps to educate and better understand what it means to be in someone else’s shoes. Just like we can’t expect all of the U.S. to fit a particular model, we can’t expect a Party that has diversity as its greatest asset to be of one particular mindset. We may all share core values and want to promote those values together so let’s also welcome the diversity of ideas that allows all of us to proudly say that we’re Democrats.

Here’s Tuesday Truths!

  • A common habit that I’ve noticed in people in senior leadership positions is their inability to listen to feedback when having a tough conversation. I totally understand what it means when someone is coming at you with negative criticism. When I share feedback, I do my best to come from a place where everyone involved understands that I want us as a team to do better together. When one piece is dragging, it brings everyone down and if we’re performing at our peak then we’re hitting all the right notes. When you represent a client or a MoC or someone in a hierarchy, your actions also reflect on that person and/or organization. I’m all for nipping bad habits in the bud so that they don’t continue and they don’t spread. When a supporter shares feedback, it’s to help and to figure out how to do something better. When you’re not present or when you try to win the “battle” of this is how we’re doing a certain task, it doesn’t endear you to your supporter. In fact, it can cause them to walk away because you’re not listening. The urge to be right can be overwhelming. OMG – it’s like a drug – the feeling you have when you KNOW you’re right and you want to stomp out your opponent. Guess what, when people are on the same team and giving you constructive criticism, you want everyone to be right.
  • More self-care tips! This time related to not going crazy when you’re following all of the DJT news. On my personal twitter, I keep lists and that allows me to step away from the constant political barrage, but there are times when even on my lists for “fashionista” and “culinary inspiration”, tweets seep in regarding DJT and that’s OK. Just the act of reading something else un-related to work can help soothe my constant feeling that I need to be doing something for the resistance. It helps that I journal more and that allows me to recognize how much gratitude I have for life itself. There are times when I feel some guilt for having fun and that’s not good for me. Being able to spread and share joy into the world is important so I hope that you’ll take the time to do that for yourself and others. Vogue has ideas on how to manage anxiety as we continue to move forward in a DJT administration.
  • I don’t consider myself a fashionista (I can’t tell you from which collection an accessory or piece came from — Spring, Winter, resort etc but I do have a sense of what I like) so it’s cool when my social media feeds gets populated with more fashion news than usual. New York Fashion Week (NYFW) has started so seeing designers weigh in with political commentary through their creations is an added benefit. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has partnered with Planned Parenthood of America to create pins. Choosing how to dress as a political statement has been historical with how women have chosen to push the boundaries. Being forced to wear a corset vs being Madonna and doing it whenever you want is about choice & not social conformity. PoliticsxFashion is an interesting intersection.
  • If you had to read one thing in Tuesday Truths for this week, read this! Excellent outline on how to re-shape or course correct your life. It’s not just about today because every action you take leads to something else so that it brings you to your destination. Stop moving long enough so that you can take strategic steps to get to your bigger picture. I find that most people who talk with me about how to move forward in their careers aren’t thinking about the big picture because they haven’t stopped long enough to recognize what they truly want. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can think BIG and you can work towards those bigger goals when you take the time to reflect.

That’s all for now, folks – looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday! What self care measures are you taking this week? Drop me a note in the comments section! Thanks for reading/sharing!

— Madalene

 

 

 

Tuesday Truths 2016 Edition v48

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I hope that you had a relaxing holiday! I’m ready to tackle the next few weeks so that I can mentally prepare for 2017. Tis the season for reflection and setting goals. So let’s take a look at Tuesday Truths to see how we can jump start the new year.

  • Sometimes when you set goals and not meet them, you wonder if they were too lofty or question if you have the stamina to reach them. What’s important is to realize that you need to set your goals that motivate you to achieve them vs make you more frustrated. Here are a few tips that you can use so that you can make those goals achievable as well as keep you moving towards the bigger picture.
  • With the new year comes a fresh start and there are times when we take risks to shake things up a bit so how do you make a risky move less risky? Before you jump into the deep end, you can do “life design interviews” to see if a change in careers is really in the cards for you. Something I probably should have done when I had my quarter life crisis!
  • Women have a more challenging environment in our professional careers because it’s not the social norm to have a life that includes family and professional achievement all rolled into one. We are questioned about our priorities of having children over the financial bottom line for the companies where we work. It’s a time in our lives when we start to question how do we prioritize? How does this connect with our personal achievements and goals? Ambition isn’t a dirty word. It’s also important to recognize that women have complicated roles in society and when we’re placed in positions where men are the norm, there are societal pressures that put women in a bind. We are constantly asserting ourselves while trying to please everyone else.

Thanks for reading/sharing and if you have any tips that you care to add, please share!

— Madalene