TGIF: WHY THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "THERE"

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"There" doesn't exist. It simply doesn't.

Every time you get close, your ceiling becomes your floor.

But let me first, back up.

When I came home on Monday and found a postcard in my mailbox from Patricia saying I was missed in blogland, I figured it was high time I get back to my duties.

Then when I was at the gym later that afternoon and got a text from Cris with a very similar message, I thought, "wow...this surely is a sign."
And then a phone call from Helen after my workout was like God himself speaking and saying "girl--quit fooling around and get back to that blog!". 
So from God's lips to my ears, here I am. 
And this is what's been on my mind this week. 
It's great to hear people list my accomplishments and how far I've come...but I don't always think about it in the same way they do (does anyone, really?). Now don't get me wrong--I am the first one to acknowledge that this business I now have was created from nothing but a late night seed of an idea and has grown organically into to a successful blog, interior design business, resale business and styling work for the top Atlanta lifestyle magazines.  I truly feel like it's quite the accomplishment, especially for a girl like me.   But I want more.  And accomplishing and achieving has helped me to become clearer about what I do and don't want to do with my career (and my life). 
So in essence, my ceiling has become my floor. 
And I think this happens for everyone. 
The things that you once viewed as your goals end up become the foundation for your next steps, and that means there's a lot of adjusting and recalibrating along the creative path. 
For anyone who's ever had a dream, a goal, or even a challenge, "there" has always been this magical destination where answers come easily, life is a little less unpredictable and living gets easier.  But what every dream chaser eventually comes to find is that that place surely does not exist. Because by the time you get "there", your latest accomplishment appears much easier than the process of getting there felt, and that goal then becomes the path by which you reach all of your new goals. 
It's like every time you take a step towards it, it moves back a little further. 
But that's really a good thing, because one random day you'll look up and realize..........             your ceiling has become your floor.
And things that you were once striving for, the thing (or things) that you once thought would be the epitome of your career will one day just become another part of the foundation that you use to expand your business (or your life). 
So for me that means things like:
-relaunching my website
-having my work published nationally 
-styling photo shoots
have just become other foundational bricks upon which I build my business. And I wanted these things so badly...but when I accomplished them, that adjusted my ceiling of expectation and my old goals had just become my new normal--does that make sense??
Life is constantly expanding, shifting, adjusting, readjusting, changing course, reversing and sometimes a mix of all the above...and that's okay! For me I'm finding that my shifting is actually leading me into expanding my ideas of what's possible. And that is exciting. 
So there is no "there", there's just right here, right now.
But that alone is something to shout about. 
Thank God for the floor. 

TGIF: AFFIRMATIONS

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I am safe in uncertainty, there is no place that God is not.


This is my favorite affirmation and I repeat it to myself all the time. 
As I talked about last week, there's a lot of uncertainty in being an entrepreneur but beyond that, there's a good deal of uncertainty in life itself. Things are constantly changing and while I welcome change (losing weight, better jobs, new friends, higher salary), it also means that I'm having to give up much of what I currently know to walk boldly forward into the unknown--and that's frightening. I know without a doubt that it will all work out in my favor but the lack of control and ability to see exactly what lies ahead gives me anxiety pangs from time to time. Some of the unknowns are minor and others are major (at least to me), but I press on because at my core I believe what my affirmation says:
There is no place that God is not.
What I leave you with today is this: create a personal affirmation--something you can say to yourself over and over when you need a boost or personal pep talk, to remind you that in spite of what it may look like now, things will all be okay in the end. Because the truth is, it really will be okay in the end. Everything good that's supposed to happen in your life? It will. Even if it comes later than you'd like or in a different way (or through a different person) than you expect, it's still coming. Those dreams that seem like they're impossible? They're not. Remember that life is always working in your favor. What's for you is for you and no one can take that away.
EVER.
Xo,
Dayka

THIS IS ME, NAKED & TALKING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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Let me totally honest--being an entrepreneur is hard.
There's nothing like the thrill of having a dream, a passion that becomes your life's work and feeling the fire in your belly to pursue it no matter what. But for a person like me, skepticism can become an unwelcome companion and as much as I'm constantly pushing forward, it's always there in the back of my mind asking:

 Is my work good enough? Does my work matter? Am I enough? 

This is a lonely road, ladies & gents.
I have friends and family here to support me & cheer me on, but most of the heavy lifting has to be done on my own...and you have to have balls of steel to get in this game. I like to say that entrepreneurship consists of a lot of faith work, leg work, and unfortunately, sometimes no work, but these are the lessons that build strength, determination, and a drive to succeed. Above all, I know that I have to believe in myself first before I can expect others to do the same. And I don't just mean believing in your person, but I also mean your message, the quality of your work, your values. The strongest professional networks, best life coaches, and most meticulous organizational abilities can't make up for the fact that no one can really get on my team if I don't first get on my own team. If you go at it long enough and approach your business as a Pro (and not an Amateur), entrepreneurship will bring some stuff out of you that you did not know was there...and some of that stuff is downright ugly. 
Irrational fearsInsecurities. Jealousies. Ego Trips.
Yup, I've been dealing with them all.  Still, this is a road I wouldn't trade for anything.

Believe it or not, I never imagined myself to be an entrepreneur growing up because I never thought I "had it in me". I thought this path was only for the born hustlers, A-1 salespeople, and those with an undeniable "it" factor...and truth be told, I've never seen myself as that person. Imagine my shock when, 15 years later, I found myself at a crossroads and exploring, with genuine curiosity, the path that came most natural to me. I wanted to go to law school as long as I can remember (took the LSAT & even did a few campus tours) but decided instead to take a chance on something I loved...Interior Design. Fast forward another 3 years and I am doing it(!!!). I've taken the road that I never thought was for me and I have fallen in love in the process. I'm proud of my accomplishments & success, and I'm learning to be proud of my failures as well. To have only been in business since November 2010, I am overjoyed with my progress and the business I've created from essentially, nothing but a seed of an idea.  What I want to leave you with today is this: Believe in yourself. Give yourself a chance to rise to a standard that you don't even yet know is possible. Be honest & realistic about your fears, but don't allow them to hold you back and miss out on everything good that you don't even know is headed your way. Strive to be and do better. What does that specifically look like? Only you know the kinks that need to be worked out in your life but I encourage you to begin the work.
Before you take pride in being the one who others count on, know, trust & believe that you can count on yourself.

Xo,
Dayka

postscript: I'm a Wisegal! Check out the feature my friend & fellow Spelman sister wrote on her blog, Haute Mama.  Thank you, Makia!!
postpostscript: Have you taken my survey?? What are you waiting for, I need you! Click here. 

**oh, and I left "love" out of the word mix but it's very important on this path. there would be nothing without love.

TGIF: FOLLOWING YOUR PATH

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If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's.

Good stuff, right? I shared a small bit with you guys this week about where I am and the new leaves I'm turning over. One thing I'm finding (yes, finding) is that success is hard work--more discipline & integrity than anything else--and there's no direct path to it.  I love to read about how other entrepreneurs do business and I get at least 3 daily emails from business coaches that I rely on to keep me on track. But with that being said, I know there is no direct path and what works/worked for a colleague--even if we're in the same industry--will not necessarily work for me. I just finished reading The Alchemist this week & if you've read it, you know it's all about finding and following your Personal Legend. Everybody's true calling is different, even in just the smallest way, because we are all different. The major roads may be paved, but I'm finding that this journey is going to require some off-roading through the woods...because that's where MY path is. Wherever each of you may be, I hope you can find the courage to chart your own course and follow your path...it truly is the only way to find YOUR treasure. 
Xo,
Dayka

TGIF: LOSS & COPING

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My father unexpectedly died less than two months after this photo was taken, the day before my birthday. Of course, if I would've known with certainty what was to come I would've taken more photos, asked a few more questions, & shared one last NYC hot dog with onions (our favorite),  but somewhere--deep inside, I think my spirit  knew that that end was near.
5 years later, I'm still so grateful that we were in a good place and no stone was left unturned. He always talked to me about how he didn't want to suffer in death/illness, so it makes me happy to know that in the end, he went the way he wanted to go which was totally fitting of his personality. But as a loved left to deal with the loss, grief can become quite the peculiar companion. I always correct people when they say it gets better over time because that's just not the truth--it never gets better. You'll never get over it & the pain will never go away...but the passing of time does allow you to develop ways to handle it better, so each time you think about your loved one you don't have to drop everything and retreat back to bed (like in the early days). 
I woke up today with my father on my mind and thought of this quote I found on Pinterest...
I'm grateful to have had him as a father so today, I'm thankful for (and thinking of) my dad, Dr. Bennett Robinson.
Hope you guys have a great weekend! 

TGIF.

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You're always in 100% control & have 100% responsibility for everything that has occurred in your life as a result of your actions or inactions. And no matter what has happened to you, you still have 100% responsibility for your actions. When you truly embrace this, your life will never be the same. Then, no matter what happens in the economy, what anybody said, did or didn't do, you will still be 100% in control.
      -Darren Hardy

TGIF.

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1. I picked up 2 new clients this week who both have projects I'm excited to work on...so grateful for that.
2. This post by (my blog friend from way back!) Katrina of Chic Little House, made me grateful for my best friends. Reading her post made me miss being back home and having them around to hang out like we've always done for so many years. Truly, there's nothing like a real friend.
3. My granny turned 90 yesterday and is still spry!
4. I stumbled upon an article this week on Facing Your Fears by Richard Branson. It was an excellent read and just the thing I needed to help me navigate some new opportunities and drum up the courage to embark on a few new ideas. 
5. Lunch dates. It's nice to take a break every now & then, and it's even nicer when someone unexpectedly offers to pick up the tab. Grateful. 

TGIF.

I love this video. 
It's a few months old, but something made me think about it late last night so I wanted to share it with you all here. If you haven't seen it before (and especially if you're an entrepreneur), please take 4.36 minutes out of your day to watch it. And if you've seen it before, take some time to watch it again, 'cause it just might be the message you need today. 

Today is June 1which marks the halfway point 'til the end of the year! I have huge goals for this year, some I've accomplished but the biggest one is yet still out there. Join me in recalibrating this weekend and focus on making 2012 your best year yet.