Advice, Career

How To Speak In Public When Nakedness Doesn’t Work

Dear Reader,

When did you first realize your talents? Deep breaths if you haven’t yet:  discovering diamonds takes time.

In 4th grade, I swept Fur Elise off her feet in front of 200 strangers. My teacher sent me to all-expense paid music camp. I don’t reminisce about prom, but that week of American-food-my-mom-never-made was life changing. I burped hot dogs for a month.

In high school, my drugs of choice were slow-release pesticide capsules. It’s every nerd’s wet dream to finish first at the science finals. My parents prayed harder for Harvard.

13 years later, this BU grad and struggling pescetarian had to present for Teachers Teaching Teachers. Mouthful, much?

When imagining everyone’s naked doesn’t work, here are 6 steps that do.

Step 1 Talk To Yourself

Whether you’re preparing for an interview or TED talk, talking to yourself “relieves loneliness, helps you clarify your thoughts, and tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

I tend to pace in my room while yelling AHA! at my world map. Practice what you’ll say while walking your dog or hugging your body pillow. Adding gestures give oomph! to your key points. Muscle memory will help if you freeze up.

Science agrees. Repeat after me: I’m not crazy. I’m GENIUS.

Step 2 Spin The Bottle and K.I.S.S

Remember that game spin the bottle and how quickly you learned braces suck?

“Rapid learning goes with play like pie goes with ice cream,” notes life coach Martha Beck. She’s rolling in 7 figure clients so best trust. Whether it’s a board meeting or a classroom, adding a well-placed joke goes miles. These 2 games transition well from day to night(adult beverages):

  • To introduce multiple intelligences, I had 3 people come up. Each held a name card to their forehead and asked the audience Yes/No questions till they guessed correctly. Ex: Am I alive? Am I a woman? Do I have a unibrow? Frida!
  • To emphasize Listening skills, I drew inspiration from body diversity she-ro Ashley Graham. 2 people to play. Person A asks rapid fire q’s. Person B answers. Test memory of Person A at the end. Excellent icebreaker.

Death to learning is boredom so  K.I.S.S: Keep It Short and Sweet.

Step 3 What’s your AWESOMESAUCE? 

Feeding cats popsicles = awesomesauce

Think of yourself as a barista making the special-of-the-day. How can you bring your unique approach, or awesomesauce, to your customers?

First, understand their needs. With sleep-deprived entrepreneurs, it’s all about the espresso. You’d serve mint tea to quell anxiety whereas spinners love anything green. For teachers, add wind surfing with Obama in the Maldives. Seriously. Though education is the backbone of society, we don’t get much credit. We’d like a Venti of purpose + positivity + a raise. Cue my Hunger Games monologue:

In penance for their uprising against Korean moms, each district shall offer up an educator. These honored individuals will be recorded as a warning to future employees about the dangers of PROCRASTINATION. Management will heavily edit any expletives they drop. Henceforth and forevermore this shall be known as 75th Annual Teacher Games.  

Conclude with 3 finger salute and Katniss whistle. You know how I do, baby boo.

Step 4 I Am A Mistake Maker! P.O.P

Nobody’s perfect

Perfection is a disease of our nations. It sets people up to fail and fosters shame for anything less. I prefer P.O.P. or Progress Over Perfection. Try this exercise alone or with your peers to encourage learning from our mistakes. Answer the following:

  • What is my mistake?
  • Why did I make it?
  • What actions have I taken to change?
  • I am a mistake maker! Loud and proud!

Question #3 provides a moment for reflection. We may recognize our destructive behavior but do little to create healthier habits. Start somewhere. How about today?

Step 5 Make It Clap By Busta Rhymes

Do you clap for co-workers/students/strangers before or after they do a good job? Try both. Building support from the get-go is golden.

Even at small organizations, we’re either too busy to mingle or just don’t gel. That’s OK. It’s important to hold space for each other. Don’t hover. Learn to read body language.

While respecting boundaries, a true leader knows how to unite. I began with a hearty round of applause. I ended the presentation with compliments. We lined up single-file and paid it forward. Where some were awkward, others got teary. Given the chance, genuine outshines skepticism.

I took May 9 as an opportunity to say: we all get there together or we don’t get there at all. Coincidentally, Korea voted in a new president the same waking hours.

Step 6 Affirmations: I Can Handle It

When it comes to food, I am not beyond bribery. Had things gone south, I’d planned to go Forrest Gump and whip out a Costco-sized box of chocolates.

Naturally, I forgot the sugar at home. Freud would call this subconscious in action: my desire to excel eliminated the need for a back-up plan. Riiiiight.

To assuage any panic attacks, I turned to affirmations. These are daily life-savers for reaching a calmer state:

  • I can handle it.
  • I’ve got this.
  • I am pure love.

The thoughts we think have everything to do with how we feel.

The presentation went beautifully. My boss even said, “you’re extremely talented. I enjoyed that more than I could’ve imagined.”

The best part? I didn’t need his validation to know my self worth.

writinginsoysauce

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Advice, Career, Love, Travel, Writing

Once Upon A Blue Moon In Aquarius

Dear Friends,

9 months and 20 days ago, I took a hiatus from blogging.

1 week ago,  I lugged 15 lbs of tables and chairs to my 2nd year of Diner En Blanc. Kudos to the stranger who shared a jug of Simply Lemonade (not virgin). THANK YOU to my beautiful, ever blunt friend Christina who demanded I blog again(“I’d tell you if it sucked”).

Point taken.

4 AHA! MOMENTS 

1.The Mother Of All Journeys

Your friends are doing “adult” things. They are Zuckerberging (creating empires and mini me’s). Be happy for them. Show your support. Then continue doing things that make no sense to anyone else, but feel right to you. This September 19, I’ll be volunteer teaching in Ecuador for a year. Do I speak Spanish? Nope. Do I know what I want to do with my life? Not at all. Am I one step closer to figuring it out? F^_^ yes.

A wise man once said: What if the journey does not hold an all illuminating answer? What if the journey…is to keep having journeys?

2. Leave Your Heart On

I ended a 4-something year relationship. Breaking up sucks, but so do 99.9% of important decisions. A huge takeaway that seems obvious, but too few take seriously? LIVE TOGETHER. It’s a surefire way to understand whether you’re meant for longevity.

Oh, and I’m going to write more about sex. Before you get too excited, or grossed out, let me caveat it’s not the square peg round hole kind, but rather, the art of INTIMACY. Gorgeous, ecstatic, emotionally and spiritually-fulfilling intimacy, the kind that comes with the sweetest sleep you’ve ever known.  If we were taught intimacy-ed, instead of learning how to put condoms on moldy bananas, then maybe, just maybe, our grown-a$$ selves would have a shot at understanding the complex, encompassing, amorphous nature of love(gay, straight, purple).

Leave the lights on. Leave your heart on. Belove your pairdom. Delight in your singledom. Brace yourself for kindred spirits. When you seek a lifelong bond the least…the universe may beg to differ.

3. Let Me Take A Selfie

It has taken me a long time to accept my family is ape-sh*t crazy: my verbally and physically abusive dad, my anxiety prone mom, my schizophrenic grandma. Would I drop everything to help them? Yes. Is it healthy for me to be in that head space more than once a month? Abso-fricken-lutely not. Share your family’s struggles: they are the truest extension of you. Denying their neuroses(or yours) is like Van Gogh trying to selfie without a mirror.

4. Unicorns Are Real

If you’re like me, music dominates your life. It’s hard to think with all that noise.  Take out your headphones. Listen to the wind tickling the trees. Observe. Reflect. Pray. Look up!

Once upon a blue moon in aquarius, you’ll stumble into a grassy knoll and come face to face with a unicorn: a person, place, or thing that alters the course of your destiny.

Forever? Forever ever?

Forever ever.

All my love,

writinginsoysauce

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Books, Career, Publishing, Writing

CUNY Publishing Institute Day 1: #PASSION

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June 3, 2013  CUNY starts continued education off right with pots of steaming coffee(Dunkin!), a ginormous fruit platter (Pineapple!), and a diverse array of bagels(Sesame!).  As a willing guinea pig of CUNY Publishing Institute’s  inaugural class, I give it a capital F for fantastic. For anyone who couldn’t shell out $$$, here’s a recap of vitals you missed. 
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Career, Publishing, Writing

This means war: the manager vs. the creative

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Have you ever had one of those days ridden with angsty anxiety? You can’t quite put your finger on it but there’s something off about the universe. Sure, a mac truck nearly ruptures your eardrum and there’s some extra crazy people screeching in your subway car…but that’s not it.

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Advice, Career, Publishing

What dreams may come: the first step to making a difference

dreamcatcher-wallpaper-1080Whenever I feel small, unaccomplished, insignificant, I try to remember that we are slated to make a difference; even if it’s placing a single, lonely pebble upon the vast miles of sand. With enough patience and time, these pebbles will become a formidable wave breaker, capable of stopping Poseidon himself.
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Advice, Career, Publishing

What dreams may come: the first step to making a difference

dreamcatcher-wallpaper-1080Whenever I feel small, unaccomplished, insignificant, I try to remember that we are slated to make a difference; even if it’s placing a single, lonely pebble upon the vast miles of sand. With enough patience and time, these pebbles will become a formidable wave breaker, capable of stopping Poseidon himself.
Continue reading

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