I Feel Like A Black Man in a White Man’s World

 

“What is BET?”

“You mean B.E.T.?”

“Yeah.”

“It stands for Black Entertainment Television.”

“Well if you have your own channel, why don’t we get our own channel?”

You Own Everything

“Because, every other channel is ‘your own’ channel.”

Everything Is Yours

This is an example of the conversations I’ve had to have over the years, and I’ve been quite diplomatic and graceful about it; tapping into compassion for their ignorance.

I Wont Be Apologizing For My Whiteness

This morning I was checking my updates on Instagram and I noticed I was followed by an account which posts sensual photos of scantily clad men. In most cases, I would’ve thumbed through and gawked at the smorgasbord of men with satisfaction, but I noticed something – ALL of these men were light-skinned. Not 1 of of these men was black.

I’ll entertain the idea that they might be going for a certain “look”, or “theme”, which is the excuse I imagine you hear if you’re black and you show up to an all-white casting call. This sort of unspoken oppression and unconscious discrimination is  the kind of sh*t that black people go through on a regular basis.

What also has me both fascinated and perplexed is the fact that black (and queer) people have influenced pop-culture for decades, yet, we still somehow manage to find ourselves stressed, oppressed, and our circumstances are still a hot mess. But I digress.

Everybody Wanna Be A Nigga.gifI frequently choose not to participate in the “black and white conversation”, because I usually don’t see in colour (unless someone calls me a nigger at a bus stop or in a nightclub, or I’m in a room full of white people when someone decides to drop the “N Bomb; leaving me feeling like totes awkward and uncomfortable). I’m a humanitarian and a planetarian above all else. I really don’t care what colour you are; I’m more interested in who you are, what you’ve been through, and where you’re going. In fact, my life and work are based around that statement and those questions.

That said, when I scroll through Instagram, or flip through magazines, or I surf the television, or I’m out at the nightclub, and I’m dominated by images of light-skinned men and women (the reason I spent years stripping my hair, burning my scalp, and wearing colored contact lenses), and I’m dominated by success stories about light-skinned people, and I’m dominated by chart-topping queer club anthems by white artists – with their “good hair” and “good eyes” and “good skin” – one begins to wonder.

Finally, and suddenly, I can’t help but chime in on the “black and white conversation”.

YES.gif

Why? Because my current reality is as such: I am a black, queer, and woke brother (which means, at any given time, I’m gettin it from all angles), and a hunch tells me that I’m not alone when I say I’ve been feeling a tad underrepresented, misrepresented, and unrepresented all at once (imagine that).

On top of that, what I’ve come to realize is that blacks are some of the most racist people, and queers some of the most homophobic. So, not only are we being oppressed and discriminated against by those who are different than us; we are projecting the oppression and discrimination onto ourselves and others. Starting to see my issue now?

Beyonce Hold Up Bat

I’m no stranger to hatred and discrimination based on my race, sexual orientation, and class, and I was the only black kid in my school, and one of few in the town, for 5 years. And get this – I’d still refer to myself as “privileged”, so one can imagine what circumstances might look like for someone who’s not “privileged”.

Still, I’ve managed to find a way to “thrive” within the confines of this limited reality, and I’m still optimistic that there’s hope for us all.

I’m not complaining – complaining is a wasteful and unproductive use of my energy, and I’ve moved beyond complaining and into action. You now have my attention, and I’m inspired to actively participate in the”black and white conversation”, the “human conversation”, and the “planet conversation”, on MY terms.

Beyonce Hold Up Smash 1

We’re all in need of a major wake-up call and a miracle, and I know it’s not going to happen overnight, but I’m passionately and patiently do my part by sharing my experience and my insight, not from a place of anger or fear, but from a place of compassion and empathy and love – an awakened place.

Yo. I feel you. ALL LIVES do matter. Like I said, I’m a humanitarian and a planetarian above all else.

The thing is, we don’t want to have a conversation with you about ALL LIVES at the moment – we’ll get to that. But right now, what we wanna discuss is Black Lives.

So, when someone says “Black lives matter,” all you need to say is “Yes brother/sister, they do,” and then take a seat and open your eyes, your ears, your mind, and your heart.

Waited 20 Years For ThisAnd, since the conversation hasn’t really been about us, unless we’re wild’n out like a bunch of “uppity niggers”, would you mind if we have the floor for 15 minutes or so, to share our experiences. Just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re an exception – we’re still human.

 

And then, those who are not down for the cause may go back to sleep.

Or stay woke, and join us in solidarity, because, the truth is this: I love you.

The Road Ahead Is Not Going To Be EasyPlease don’t fear us. Please don’t think that because I am a person of colour, you must walk on egg shells out of fear of confrontation. And, PLEASE, don’t shy away from the “black and white” or “Black Lives Matter” conversation; I honour your experience and your views, and solidarity means solidarity, and I’m interested in real solidarity – the kind that is inclusive, and compassionate, and empathetic, and human; the kind that stems from a desire for love and true unity, and not from hate and separation.

Beyonce Hold Up Strut

Finally, I will say this. My black brothers and sisters, while we suit up and approach the podium for our 15 minutes (and, hopefully, a lifetime) of change, let us not perpetuate the very thing we’re fighting to change by fighting fire with fire and hate with hate. I can only imagine your suffering, and I wouldn’t dare try to tell you what you’re feeling, or how you should deal.

I’m simply suggesting that whatever you decide, you do it with the best of intentions, and with peace and love in mind and at heart. Note: peace and love aren’t necessarily passive, but I suspect you know the difference between love and fear, hate and and compassion, deep down. Just because “they” wronged us, does not mean we need to wrong them. You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created the problem in the first place. So, let’s ALL come together in solidarity, stand united, and finally WIN. Or we can be victimized, once again, by the “divide and conquer” tactics of systemic oppression due to our chosen ignorance (newsflash, there’s about 1% of us that aren’t being f*cked by systemic oppression, so we may as well work together).

Beyonce Hold Up Easy Breezy.gif

We KNOW better, so let us DO better.

#ItJustGotReno

#PermissionSlip: On Loving You

What’s clear to me is our insatiable desire to see and be seen, to hear and heard, to feel and be felt, to experience and be experienced, to understand and be understood, to validate and be validated, and to accept and be accepted – fully and entirely.

 

In essence: to be loved. It all comes back to love.

 

The human experience.

 

But they may never see, hear, feel, experience, understand, validate, or accept you in the way you desire.

 

In essence: love you – the way you desire.

 

So what do you do?

 

You do you – choose to strive, survive, live, or thrive.

 

You love you – gently and fiercely.

 

You say “f*ck ’em” – lovingly.

 

“I don’t need to be good enough for you – I’m good enough for me.”

 

You educate ’em – respectfully.

 

You love ’em – compassionately…

 

And so much so that you just had to let them know what’s up.

 

It all comes back to love.

 

#ItJustGotReno

 

Join the IJGR Tribe on Facebook: It Just Got RenoConnect with me on Twitter: @MrRenoWinstonHit me up on Instagram: @MrRenoWinston

 

The Struggle Is Real…

Feet In The Clouds - Alex Wong
Via Unsplash; By Alex Wong

“F*CK – I’m doing it again,” I thought, as I traced my memory back to an experience I had days prior, in an attempt to share one of the powerful insights I had experienced, wrapped in some supposedly-captivating story. But sharing stories and insights wasn’t the issue. The intention was always serve, share, connect, and inspire. The issue was the mental and emotional space I realized I was writing from.

No more proving. No more pleasing. Only playing, creating, and serving.

I stopped writing and decided to skim through some of my previous work with the hope of remembering why the f*ck I started writing and blogging in the first place (because I can’t not write and I can’t not blog), and who I was when I was sharing my voice back then.

Authenticity“, my heart gently whispered to my head. “Share the journey; share the shit – remember.”

Riiiight. Duh. Naturally. I feel far more authentic, attuned, and aligned when I’m sharing the sh*t – and not just hiding behind the “good stuff”.

As I skimmed my “blog”, I felt a combination of inspiration, motivation, and deflation.

17 published blogs posts, and 63 drafts. I had written 80 f*cking blogs posts, 63 of which I had not published for whatever reason – fear or perfectionism or procrastination perhaps. Perfection is procrastination in pretty clothing. And fear, I love you, but you can f*ck right off – I got this. No more. It was time to get really real, and with that simple and profound decision, I remembered my “why” – I remembered why I had bothered to sit down in front of my laptop for all those hours and write, and record those videos once a week for all those months, and have all those transformational coaching conversations, and watch all those YouTube videos, and read all those books, and join all those group coaching calls, and host all those events, and take all those bold and frightening leaps.

To inspire, to liberate, and to revolutionize the way we do life, business, and relationships – authentically. And, because I can’t not inspire, not liberate, not write, not speak, not serve, not create, not entertain. It’s not just what I dooooooo, it’s who I beeeeeee.

I decided, during my 5 month stay in Ubud, Bali, that I would attempt to embrace and embody a sort of “radical” authenticity in the hope of living a really “rad” and really authentic life, and creating a really rad and really authentic business.

Oprah’s done it. Marie’s done it. Danielle’s done it. Gala’s done it. Why can’t I – right…

Easier said than done. The norm in our society seems to be to please and avoid discomfort and uncertainty at all costs. And if you dare to embrace radical authenticity (or authenticity at all), you’re likely to face raised eyebrows, gasps, judgement, backlash. So instead of speaking and expressing what’s really true and really real, we embody some watered-down version of ourselves – to fit in, to keep up appearances (or just keep up), to be accepted, and to receive “love”.

You’re kinda damned if you do, and definitely damned if you don’t…

When you don’t, you find yourself feeling separated, comparing yourself to your seemingly-perfect peers and gurus, and feeling disconnected – from yourself, from your tribe, from your life, and from reality. Pleasing instead of living and being.

No thank you.

I’d rather be real and be”me” than please and be “liked”.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain.

I found myself on the side of the majority – firing off some flaky and disappointing blog post about my experience in Bali and Kuala Lumpur – and I decided to pause and reflect.

And here were are…

In full reality, and in honour of radical realness and authenticity, I’m “sharing the sh*t”…

  • I’m recovering from a “failed” business endeavor – an entrepreneurial project that I packed up my life and put my personal brand and business on hold to pursue. I bet on it, I played full-on, and it “failed”. But, I believe I’m better, wiser, and stronger because of it. I’ll be more certain once I reflect on what I gained from the experience.
  • I feel slightly defeated, deflated, and confused about what’s next for me – it’s kinda like a bad breakup after a relationship you were certain had met “the one” and you were all in. That’s the power of having (and not having) a definite sense of purpose.
  • I’m somehow thriving and barely surviving all at the same time – one of the pros of a positive attitude, a strong support system, a charismatic personality, and the fact that my humble and broke beginnings as a child quickly taught me how to turn nothing into something.
  • I’ve got debt and deadlines weighing on me – student loans, interest on student loans, investments in personal development opportunities, etc. Not nearly as bad as it could be though.
  • My integrity as a person and a professional is likely in question at the moment – when I found myself disconnected from my Self, I started slipping, and so to did my integrity and self-respect.
  • I’m trying to end the stretch of resistance and procrastination I’ve had around my desire to fully embody the makings of a brilliantly-bad-ass and radically-authentic writer, coach, speaker, facilitator, entrepreneur, and human being. “Turning pro”, as Steven Pressfield would say. This one’s particularly tricky, because I’ve been “out of the game” for a minute – so to speak – and my pitch and swing are feeling a little rusty. Still I rise.

And, I’m currently contemplating whether I should spend the night in, or throw on something sexy, go out, and bump and grind – to feel sexy, and free, and fun, and good.

A pro would be in bed already – or they’d be creating, so I guess I’m sort of a pro.

It’s after 11PM, and I’ve just had a Red Bull.

I don’t think pros stay up till 11PM, and I don’t think pros drink Red Bull.

I’m a work in progress.

I can hear the voices of those I look up to and who’ve mentored me – those who’ve chosen to “turn pro” – speaking taunting words of integrity in my head – “I guess you don’t really want it, and you don’t really care.”

*I decided to stay in.* Pros stay in – I think. It felt like an aligned decision.

I imagine this is the sh*t we don’t talk about on our journey to creating the lives, careers, businesses, bodies, and relationships of our dreams – the sh*t we don’t talk about while we’re in the sh*t.

This is the sh*t that makes us human, and makes this life, and brings us together.

The habits we strive to break, the old identities and old stories we have to shake, and the challenging decisions we have to make.

The struggle is real, and after a lengthy hiatus, I’m back (I hope).

And I’m sharing the sh*t – while I’m in it.

It. Just. Got. Reno.

Commitment-phobia Is The New Orange, & Orange Is The New Black (Or White, Or Light)

My bedroom was a reflection of what I was experiencing on the inside.

Unpacked boxes, unfolded clothes, unplaced toiletries – the only organized area of my room was the bed I habitually and proudly made every day, and the nightstand on the right side of my bed, because that was where I kept my Moldavite, Oracle Cards, and my “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” and “Oneness” books. Yes, you can be spiritual as f*ck, and not have your shit completely together – forget what you heard. I was like the guy who shows up to the party but doesn’t take his shoes or jacket off, because he’s not sure whether he’s coming or going – yup, that guy. Uno problemo… This was my life, and when Reno shows up to a party, he takes off his shoes, his jacket, and sometimes his pants – yes, I referred to myself in 3rd person, and yes I admit to occasionally taking my pants off at parties. #NoPantsDanceParty

I’ve learned – in my twenty-something years on this planet – that one small change can make a world of difference, how we do one thing is how we do everything, and that our outside world is a reflection of what’s happening on the inside, so I took the essentials out of the boxes, tidied my space, packed the rest away, and began the process of embracing the present moment. Sure, I might be leaving, but for now I was here. You’re probably wondering what any of this has to do with fear of commitment, or maybe you’re thinking that my resistance to unpacking my boxes was a fear of committing to being home from Bali (could be true, just hit me as I write this), and I’m totally getting to it.

Dude and I are having this powerful conversation about “light”. My NUMERO UNO core desired feeling is without a doubt light – love it, live it, spread it, feel it, and if it ain’t light, it probably ain’t right. I’m talking radiant, weightless, energetic, powerful, fiery, nourishing, vitamin-fucking-D-elicious light. I wanna float through life like a sun beam, feeding and energizing everyone I come into contact with. I wanna shine so bright I stop traffic. Again, what does this have to do with fear of commitment… Breathe, I’m getting to it.

So we’re talking about light, and dude shares some profound wisdom with me, and *click* *ding* *BOOM* – a shift, an insight, a miracle. Here I am, all radiant and shit, talkin’ ’bout how if it ain’t light, it ain’t right, meanwhile I’m packing on the weight, dimming the shine, killing the energy, smothering the fire. Heavy thoughts, heavy feelings, heavy decisions, heavy life – all of my doing. I had convinced myself that the weight of the world was sexy, and a necessary pre-requisite to “Life 101”. It became quickly and blatantly obvious that my light was actually heavy as hell, and for some reason I had completely missed it – that’s the funny thing about competing commitments. On the one hand I’m steady screamin’ “TEAM LIGHT” from the bleachers, and on the other hand I’ve got these voices of childhood and adolescence past – mostly the male figures in my life, who will respectively remain unnamed – telling me that living light is just not the way things are done, and that hard work and blood and sweat and scars are a symbol of success and manhood. Booourns. #ByeFelicia

The voices – old, washed up, and so not true. What’s true, in this moment, is that I’m committed to living in alignment with my core values, my core desired feelings, and the truths that feel oh-so-truthful to yours truly – ME.

Then it hits me. DUUUUUDE! What if commitment phobia isn’t necessarily a bad thing!? WHAT IF commitment phobia isn’t even commitment phobia!? WHAT IF commitment phobia is just another way of articulating a desire for fluidity and flow and freedom and light!? What if “society” has it all wrong and commitment phobia has been wrongfully accused? AAAAAND! WHAT IF all they’re really saying is that they wanna feel light, and all we have to do is honor that ish – let ’em have options and choices and all that free-feeling goodness – and in giving them what they desire, we get what we desire… Didn’t Deepak mention something about this in one of his powerful books… Seek to understand to be understood; give what you want and you’ll attract what you desire.

They – “they” being the commitment-phobes – will eventually come around, because they value integrity, and if they don’t, then you’re probably gonna wanna reevaluate beloved. #JustSaying

Commitment-phobes, consider yourself free to feel freerespectfully so of course. And seriously, try messing with the sun and see if you don’t get burned. You gotta work WITH the light.

Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.
With Love, Light, & Liberation,

A “commitment-phobe” – or whatever you wanna call me.  #ItJustGotReno

Join the IJGR Tribe on Facebook: It Just Got Reno

Connect with me on Twitter: @MrRenoWinston

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Discovering Your True Purpose & Transforming Your Life Through Consciousness & Intention

Credit: Unsplash (Daniel Beilinson)
Credit: Unsplash (Daniel Beilinson)

 

WOW! 2015’s off to a very enlightening start. Happy New Year to you all!

I’ve been managing my energy in new ways, committing to the things that matter, spending less time doing the things that don’t, and really getting clear on my intentions (not goals) and the feelings I want to bring in a big way  – though logging unnecessary time on Facebook, and getting to bed before 10PM still seem to be a couple hurdles I’m committing to overcoming.

I’m pumped to dive into today’s topic because it really served me in a profound way when I was caught up in this idea that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing – I wasn’t “living my purpose.”

 

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“I don’t know what the f*ck I want to do with my life,” thought nearly everyone at some point.

“I have no clue what my purpose for being here is.”

This might confuse the crap out of you for a hot minute, but I’m certain you’ll begin to understand it by the end of our engagement: “It is in being you and doing you that you are living your purpose.”

I repeat. It is in BEING YOU and DOING WHAT YOU DO that you are living your purpose.

Kind of a head-scratcher right? It was for me too, but I’ll break it down for ya.

What you are doing right now, in this very moment, is living your purpose, and moments from now, what you will be doing is living your purpose. Now, you may be thinking “So what you’re telling me is that as I’m sitting here reading this, and it’s quite possible that I’ve reached my one of my lowest lows, and I basically feel like I’m doing jack-sh*t and just kinda going through the motions, I’m currently living my purpose,” and my response would be “In essence, yes.”

Purpose has become the proverbial carrot, on the end of the stick – always just out of reach. And it’s not so much the carrot that we crave, but what it represents – a sense of meaning and validation. In our quest for our all-mighty purpose, we believe or begin to believe that until we’ve found it – this magical, hidden treasure, buried in the thick of Life – we are incomplete and our lives have no real meaning. This is FALSE.

Do not get it twisted. One can certainly aspire to realize their deepest and their most potent and purposeful PASSIONS – saving lives, transforming lives, bettering lives, positively-impacting the planet – but it is my belief that in being and doing you, you are living your purpose.

Pause – – – Really think about that for a second…

Word on the street is that living your purpose is essentially engaging in an action and/or series of actions that possess meaning and significance, and create impact (and who doesn’t love meaning and significance and impact).

If this is true, then in your every action you are living your purpose – that is – you are creating an action or series of actions that possess meaning and significance, and create impact – whether or not you consider your action(s) meaningful, significant or impactful. For example, that time you received an award for being bad ass and doing that thing that you do so well. Yep! You were living your purpose. Or, that time you slept in, got toothpaste on your shirt, and ended up being over an hour late for work. Again, living your purpose.

Seriously though. A simple interaction with a cashier at a local business not only affects you, but it also affects the cashier and the cashier’s being and doing (intentions/actions), which then affects the being and doing of those who the cashier engages with. Even my writing this post might affect a reader in some way that will create insight and potentially inspire them to think and act in some particular way.

Crazy if you think about it. You’re one powerful motha-SHUT-YO-MOUTH!

Whether you are simply going through the motions, or moving through life with intention, you are significant, your being here has meaning, and your actions affect and impact your surroundings.

In this busy, bustling, and booming time, where everyone is clamouring to be seen and heard and validated, it can become very easy to discredit some of the simple things we do, and how they affect the universe on a grand scale. The mosquito, the bottom-feeding fish, the glutton, the “nobody” are all living their purpose, and they are all significant, because their actions possess meaning and significance, and create impact. Whether sucking blood, eating the feces and waste of the feces and waste, consuming junk food and junk television, or going through the motions with no idea what the f*ck it is you’re even doing here, you’re presently living your purpose.

“So what now!?”

Two words, three syllables each, and INFINITE POWER & POTENTIAL.

Con-scious-ness.

In-ten-tion.

When you do what you do, don’t just do it to do it. MEAN IT. INTEND IT. That is conciousness and intention. No more going through the motions. Don’t just DO Life, BE Life. Two of the most powerful ways I’ve been able to embody such values is through applying the following practiciples (practical practices and principles) to my life:

Practiciple 1: “It is in the breath that I connect to All That Is.” Close your eyes right now and inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, and then slowly open your eyes. Notice how you feel… Still and in the here and now. That’s presence, and that presence grounds you and connects you, and it’s that connection to HERE and NOW – this moment –  that invites consciousness and intention.

Practiciple 2: “Why will guide you through your depths and into that which you are seeking.” For the next 24 hours, starting right now, I want you to ask yourself “Why” – “Why am I signing onto Facebook,” or “Why am I eating or drinking this,” or “Why am I engaging in this activity,” or “Why am I feeling the way I’m feeling?” The more “Why’s”, the deeper your journey. Be gentle with yourself during this process, and feel free to take some time to pause if you become far too overwhelmed. The intention isn’t to drain you, it’s to help you become more conscious of your actions and intentions. It may seem silly at first, but I guarantee it’ll change you if you purposefully apply it.

Now, if it’s your passion(s) you seek (which I find is often mistaken with purpose), that’s a conversation I’d be happy to dive into and help you gain clarity around.

In fact, we’ll take a look at that in an upcoming post, and I’ll tell you how I discovered mine and help you discover yours.

 

With Love, Light, & Liberation,

 

 

Join the IJGR Tribe on Facebook: It Just Got Reno

Connect with me on Twitter: @MrRenoWinston

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Styl’d 4 Success – What Organizing, Coordinating, Styling, and Emceeing An Event Taught Me About Business, People, & Potential

First off, I’d like to say thank you for your patience and consideration as I return from a hiatus; you’re all so compassionate and I love you for it. While I had hoped for much rest and relaxation over the holiday, I spent more time and energy trying to manage my time and energy, with all the holiday events, celebrations, and family engagements. I’m excited to be back, connecting with you all, and I’m looking forward into 2015 with excitement (more on that later).

I wrapped a fashion/style-based entrepreneurial networking event (that’s a mouthful) in December, and I needed some time to recover from all the time and energy and effort I had put into that. This experience pulled me right out of my comfort zone and taught me some valuable lessons, which I share with you below.

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“Bossed up.”

This empowering, liberating, and sexy term seems to be the best way to really sum up everything I learned – and in two words no less. The powerful “B”, the commanding “O”, the hissing “S”, and the punch-packed “ED”, the alluring “U”, and the smacking “P” – it’s truly perfection.

In November I sat down at a table with a team of 3 other young entrepreneurs – notebook full of ideas – and proposed an event to rival all previous events. As the ideas leapt from the pages and into my eyes, and left my lips, the white board was no longer a blank canvas but a vision for “Styl’d 4 Success” – an event with the intent of supporting a good cause, and showcasing local fashion and style, while empowering young entrepreneurs and professionals to look and feel their best; afterall, that is very much a part of what the It Just Got Reno brand is about.

I had surprised myself with the way I handled everything and articulated my vision, and I had apparently impressed everyone else, because they agreed to let me spearhead the project, and so the planning, coordinating, and team building began.

There’s something about working on a team and executing a vision that brings forth a lot of… colour. You begin to see the depth and complexity of yourself and of those involved in the creative process, and there’s beauty and value in the way these colours bleed together – complementing and clashing – a beautiful mess of sorts. The end result – a masterpiece to be reflected upon.

Sure, I had worked on fashion events before, but not in this capacity and with this many duties – I dove right out of my comfort zone and face first into uncertainty. See, you’re never really going to be ready, and confusion, concern, fear, and hesitation are all part of the journey. They’re not there to stop you, they’re convinced they’re protecting you, but that’s not always the case, which I quickly learned.

As I continue to swim deeper and deeper into the ocean that is the world of entrepreneurship, I learn more and more about myself, about people, and about what it means to “boss up”.

No failures, only lessons.

I’ve learned that when people reveal who they are the first time, you must believe them – this is neither good nor bad, it is simply a fact. I’ve learned not to “bleed” around “sharks” (I’m a bleeder, so this is particularly difficult). I’ve learned to trust my intuition and instinct – my heart, my soul, and my gut. I’ve learned the value of my intellectual property and the importance of protecting it. I’ve learned that asking for help is okay, and that it’s okay to not have all the answers. I’ve learned to embrace being powerful, and that it’s okay to express my power. I’ve learned to speak up and be honest and open about exactly what it is that I’m thinking and feeling, and to leave little to no room for ambiguity (when unnecessary). I’ve learned to take some things at face value. I’ve learned to plan, and plan, and plan again – every little detail matters.

I’ve learned that “Please,” “Thank You,” “Sorry,” “Love,” and “Light” are some of my favourite words. I’ve learned that due diligence is a must – dig deeper. I’ve learned that leadership, delegation, gratitude, and authenticity are an entrepreneurs best friends. I’ve learned that team work makes the dream work, and that team meetings, and clear, safe, and open lines of communication are essential. I’ve learned the importance of making sure that you “get yours”, because you better believe that everyone else is hustling to get theirs. I’ve learned that in business strength and toughness are required, but there’s still a place for love and light. I’ve learned that there’s a place for assertiveness, and that assertiveness does not make you an asshole – being an asshole makes you an asshole. I’ve learned to measure twice and cut once. I’ve learned the value of friendship and relationships, and that people really do show up for you when it matters most.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that in the thick of all of this, it’s important to remain grounded in your truth, and to remember who you are, what you value, and what you’re capable of.

It becomes very easy to get lost in the chaos that is life and business, and suddenly realize that somewhere along the way you fell out of touch with YOU and what YOU value in life. I once spoke of the value of existing like the tree – “affected by the wind, and my roots firmly planted in my foundation – love light, and liberation” – and I believe this metaphor is a beautiful visual for how we might begin to experience life.

Somewhere in the chaos of organizing, coordinating, managing, styling, and emceeing an event, and the technical difficulties that would ensue, I realized the extent of my potential, and how powerful I become when supported by passion, vision, love, light, and a team of amazing people to support myself and one another on the journey. Delegating became natural, and the natural-born leader arose – like a phoenix from the ashes.

Then it hit me: I had always been “bossed up” – I just needed to be reminded.

 

With Love, Light, Liberation, & Style,

 

What’s coming up for you as we kick-off the first month of 2015? How can I help you, or be of service?

Also, I’m eager to hear how 2014 was for all of you! Please do not hesitate to share, as you and your stories are nothing short of inspiring.

What would make 2015 a transformational year for you? Please share in the comments, on Facebook, or Tweet me!

 

Join the IJGR Tribe on Facebook: It Just Got Reno

Connect with me on Twitter: @MrRenoWinston

Hit me up on Instagram: @MrRenoWinston

 

"Reno, Creator of Styl'd 4 Success, with the Co-Founders of YES International @ Styl'd 4 Success Event
“Reno, Creator of Styl’d 4 Success, with the Co-Founders of YES International @ Styl’d 4 Success Event

 

YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
Reno, Founder & Creator @ It Just Got Reno - YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
Reno, Founder & Creator @ It Just Got Reno – YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
Reno, Founder & Creator @ It Just Got Reno - YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
Reno, Founder & Creator @ It Just Got Reno – YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
Reno, Founder & Creator @ It Just Got Reno - YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
Reno, Founder & Creator @ It Just Got Reno – YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl'd 4 Success
YES International & It Just Got Reno Present: Styl’d 4 Success

 

Giving Myself Permission To Rest, Relax, and Rejuvenate

It’s winter here, and I’m in rejuvenation mode.

Sleeping. Snacking. Juicing. Communing. Connecting. Relaxing. Reflecting.

There’s much to share, but, for now, I must take care… of myself.

Somehow, I’ve still managed to connect with those in need, and fill them up with some of what I have left, but now I must refill.

Moderation baby. Moderation.

I will return in a week or two, but I felt it necessary to keep you all in the loop, because my relationship with you is important to me.

I love you all, and I wish you all a happy holiday.

I will leave you with something I recently shared with the world, in hopes that we might all have a more conscious Christmas:

We Are Living On This Planet

Question: What favours are we doing the youth and our children by teaching them to value consumerism over consciousness? Where’s the lesson in going broke for Christmas presents, so that you can keep up with “tradition” and “The Jones’s”? Why do you HAVE to buy Christmas gifts? Why do you HAVE to be broke, stressed, and up to your ears in debt come January? I don’t believe you do.

Ask yourself where these ideas and beliefs about what Christmas come from…

We lead by example, and people are watching – our children and our youth are watching – and it’s likely they will follow suit. I know we have the best intentions, but intentions are nothing without actions that support them.

This year, give the gift of consciousness.

With Love, Light, and Liberation,

Your friend, your brother, your soul sibling – Reno

‪#‎SleepNoMore‬

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Back To Basics – How I Misplaced My Bliss, & How I Can Help You (Re)Discover Yours

Inn
Credit: Unsplash

When you’re in the business of looking and feeling good, there’s a sort of looming anxiety that occurs when you begin to disembody the very essence you propagate – when you suddenly cease to practice that which you preach.

“Who am I to suggest this to others?”

“Am I a fraud if…?”

And, to add insult to injury, you slowly begin to “lose touch” (not to be mistaken with sight, because it’s staring you right in the face) – with yourself and with this experience called Life, and with All That Is.

“If I’ve stopped doing what I do, am I who I am? Who am I?”

This is a beautiful place to be, and these are beautiful questions to be asking.

The recognition of your sudden disconnection from that which fertilizes the crop that is your soul – practice – is a sign that there is no disconnection. This recognition signifies a call for clarity, a journey home, and a return to basics.

“In order to be more of who you were, you need to do what you did.”

Daily practice was and is and will be an integral part of my life – a part of my life that, when consistently honoured and applied, allows me to fully show up. It’s the difference between a shitty day and an amazing one. It’s the difference between me locking my fucking keys in the house, and me consciously flowing through my daily tasks. The catch though is that when I’m honouring and applying these daily practices, it becomes such a natural thing that life can creep up and convince you that one or two or more days missed will not make a difference in your life. Suddenly you’ve fallen off the proverbial wagon… I had done just that.

“There was this love and light and energy that I emanated, and it spilled over into everyone and everything I came into contact with. What if I never experience that again?”

I took a good look around, a good look inward, and, a few insightful conversations later, it had become crystal clear that it had little to do with who I was with or where I was. Not to say that it was completely gone, but somewhere along the way I had let go of the practices that allowed me to experience and embody and exude the love and light and energy that spilled over into everyone and everything I came into contact with – exercise, meditation, prayer, creation, deep conversation, self-inquiry, contemplation, reflection, visualization, service, fellowship. I was still able to conduct myself in such a way that allowed me to be of service to others – those who can’t do teach – but it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the version of me that I aspired to be – my best version of me.

BOOM! That was it. The daily practice returned like it was going out of style, and the love and light and energy that I emanated and that spilled over into everyone and everything I came into contact with returned with a vengeance. I experienced life from the inside-out. I connected with people from the inside-out. I felt music from the inside-out. I witnessed nature from the inside out. I connected with All That Is from the the inside-out.

Simple, yet not. Profound, yet obvious. 3 words.

Back. To. Basics.

Where are you feeling out of alignment? Can you recall a time where you felt in alignment and in flow? What were YOU doing? Who were YOU being? From experience, I recognize that it’s natural to contribute feelings to circumstances, experiences, and individuals, but the truth is that those feelings could not exist if they were not already present within you, no matter how deep. Your bliss does not lie in the hands of others. Your bliss is found within – a by-product of the soul. It’s that describably-indescribable space that is the link between the Human Experience and the soul. Bliss is like a a seed – you must feed it and water it and nurture it and love it until it blossoms into a full-grown, and when it does, you must continue to feed it and water it and nurture it and love it, as you would pet, or a plant, or a child – your inner child.

What daily practices are you committed to honouring in the name of self-love and bliss? They work if you work ’em! 😉

With Love, Light, and Liberation,

Permission – Why You’re Waiting For It, Where To Find It, & Why You Don’t F*cking Need It

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

 

“Permission”

I remember hearing that word throughout my childhood and youth. Kinda makes me cringe…

I was on the phone with my mom one afternoon when she told me how exhausted she was, and that she felt tired and overwhelmed with all that she had to do, but all she wanted was to sleep. I asked her why she didn’t put everything aside and get some rest, and then I assured her there was no harm in doing so, and helped her justify that fact, to which she replied “Isn’t it funny that I had to call my son and get his permission to take a nap.” Funny, sure, but the truth is that not just my mother, but many of us, are waiting for someone to give us permission to do what we already know we’re capable of doing.

Permission…

It feels heavy, but that probably has less to do with the word and more to do with the fact that permission slips were the bane of my existence; it meant we’d be frantically scurrying till the last minute to find the dough so I could join the other kids, but my parents always came through. Not to mention, I’ve always kinda had an issue with authority; “why” was my favorite word, and I frequently deemed it necessary to practice my right to “why”, and to challenge the norm. Many school days were spent in the hallway, day dreaming as the judging eyes passed the self-proclaimed rebel with a cause. But, I digress.

It seems we’re all kinda standing around, waiting for the next motivational message to feed the fire in our belly and potentially set us free – finally. We’re waiting for the right moment. We’re waiting for assurance. We’re waiting for a push from a parent or a friend. We’re waiting a book to fall off a shelf. We’re waiting for an omen, or a sign. We’re waiting for the perfect sentence, crafted in the perfect way, from the mind of that perfect person. But, what if the person you’re waiting on to liberate you isn’t who you think it is? What if you’re the person you’re waiting for. “But why would I be waiting for me?” BINGO! My thoughts exactly.

It’s liberation you crave, not permission. You’ve been duped, and it all started the moment you were told you were to be seen and not heard. The moment you were told to raise your hand if you had a question or a potently-powerful truth you wished to express. The moment you had to ask to use the restroom. The moment you required permission to cross the road. The moment you required permission to stay home and heal. These are the moments that cultivated and nourished your perceived need for permission. Kinda fucked up, isn’t it? Agreed.

So what do we do about it!?

Your inner child is waiting for you; waiting to be set free.

Permission – the duct tape and rope that bind your inner child; a self-induced and unnecessary grounding.

Consider this your permission slip – your call to action.

The coast is clear.

The permission is yours to give yourself. Blow a goodbye kiss to the teachers, parents, authorities telling you what to do or wear or say – it’s YOUR life. Respectfully so.

That blog you’ve been waiting for someone to give you permission to create. PRESTO! Permission granted!

That book or blog post you’ve been waiting for permission to write. That trip you’ve been waiting for permission to take. That dead-end job you’ve been waiting for permission to quit. The energy-sucking friend or partner you’ve been waiting for permission to kick to the curb. That business idea you’ve been waiting for permission to put into action. That dream job you’ve been waiting for permission to apply for. That “ME” day you’ve been dying for permission to have. The truth and the message you’ve been waiting for permission to speak, and share, and express. Whatever it is, just do it, and do it with PASSION baby!

In life, more often than not, we regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did do. From here on in, every morning when you wake up, I want you to say to yourself “I give myself permission to want what I want, feel what I feel, and do what I do, as long as it is serves me, and may allow me to serve others.” You might not mean it right away, but eventually you will begin to believe what you are saying, and you will start to embody such truths. Practice this every day for the next 21 days, and watch your world change right before your eyes.

The silver lining. When you give yourself permission, people around you love that shit, and when they’re watching you, they follow suit. That makes you a leader! The leader you were waiting on to hand you the permission slip you didn’t need. Kinda cool eh!?

The days of permission and permission slips are long gone. Last time I checked, you paid your bills, you had your own cell phone, your own home, and your own bank account. You’re a big kid now.

It’s time soul sibling. Set ‘er free! Let ‘er rip and roar and soar!

 

Need some help getting started!? Head over to my “Work With Me” page, connect with me via email, and we’ll setup a Skype call.

For more It Just Got Reno goodness, head over to the Facebook Page and click “Like” to receive updates and inspirational musings. I also invite you to join me on Twitter, where I share some of my most candid thoughts and lessons.

 

With Love, Light, & Liberation,