How to Pray/Meditate | SELF CARE SATURDAYS

Moldmakers, it’s Self Care Saturday & today we are focusing on our spirits by spending time in prayer & meditation. These are just a few tips & suggestions for creating time, space, & purpose to spend in prayer & meditation. Leave a comment or other suggestion on how you pray, meditate, or reflect! #prayer #meditation #selfcare #reflection #inspiration#motivation #scholar #moldmaker #scholarvlogger

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Moldmaker Summer 2016 Reading List

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Moldmakers, feeding your mind & soul with purposeful information is just as important as feeding your body with healthy food. This summer I am committed to reading these four titles to gain more insight, more direction, & more wisdom for this year’s journey.

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinson

Jesus Entrepreneur by Laurie Beth Jones

If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for God’s What If Possibilities by Mark Batterson

Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan

Stay tuned for updates & reflections throughout the summer. I’m excited about these new reads!

A Month of Celebration! (Scholar Vlog – February 2016)

This was truly a month of celebration from having the opportunity to witness my amazing mentee, Jessica celebrate her many accomplishments through the Tomorrow Fund to keynoting the Black History Month program at a local church. Thank you for joining me on this scholarly journey!

A Month of Celebrations! Scholar Vlog – February 2016

Moldmaker on the Path to the Principalship – Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth

In honor of the Principals & PhDs series, it was my pleasure to interview Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth. She is currently pursuing her Masters in School Administration & is truly a moldmaker in her own right. Be sure to check out her blog at: http://blog.artisticexpressionsbyelisabeth.com/ & follow her on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtisticExpressionsE.

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Scholar Vlogger: What is the one thing that inspires/motivates you?

Elisabeth: In the Akan culture, the mythical Sankofa bird flies forward while its head is turned backwards to retrieve the egg from its back. This symbolizes the importance of looking into our past to truly understand our present and our future. In my culture, there is a rich oral history. Storytelling is a way to pay homage to the past. Throughout my life I have heard stories of hardships that have faced my people, obstacles that have been overcome, testimonies of faith, and songs of endurance.Even as an adult, I still love to hear people’s personal stories. I love to hear them tell their own account of how they have reached or are reaching their goals.Everyone’s story so far is so unique and I love that. What I’ve noticed is that no matter who is telling the story, those who are truly obtaining their goals have always faced obstacles and have been victorious. I literally feel excitement when I hear the passion in someone’s voice as they share their life’s journey. Their stories motivate me to continue pursuing my own dreams. I will note that to truly appreciate someone else’s stories, you have to learn that you are a unique individual and therefore your own story doesn’t have to be a mirror image of theirs. To truly embrace their story, you have to embrace your own.

Scholar Vlogger: Would you consider yourself a “moldmaker”? If so, why?

Elisabeth: Would I consider myself a moldmaker? Honestly, until recently, I would have never considered myself to be a moldmaker. In my imagination, I considered a moldmaker to be someone who accomplished goals that were so impressive that they could not go unrecognized. I envisioned a moldmaker as someone who knew exactly what they wanted and strove for it. When I viewed myself, I categorized myself as a woman who always worked hard, who set mini goals along the way, and achieved those goals. And as she achieved one goal, it would lead to pursuing yet another goal…maybe in the same direction or maybe not. I don’t recall consciously setting out to shatter molds; however, in retrospect, the truth is, I’ve never quite fit into a mold! In my own way, from the very beginning, I was always different. The journey to who I’ve yet to become is not like anyone else’s, but it also wasn’t meant to be. I now realize that that’s what makes me a moldmaker.

Scholar Vlogger: Is there one piece of advice you would give to other moldmakers?

Elisabeth: One piece of advice that I would give other moldmakers is this: Never compare your journey to someone else’s because comparing yourself to someone else only cheats you out of becoming the person you were created to be. There is only one of you. Yes, others you encounter may be pursuing the same dream, but every experience in your life, every obstacle you’ve faced, every path that you have traveled is designed to help you become who you are meant to be. I have finally learned that the beauty of achieving your dreams is in the process. Sometimes we spend so much time focusing on the end goal that we miss that part. As I pursue my doctorate in Educational Leadership, I am truly enjoying the process. I want to get all that I can out of this grand experience, and I hope to inspire someone along the way. I encourage you to do the same!

Distracting Myself from Me

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There are moments in our life when the hustle & bustle of real life pauses…when there are no incoming call or text messages…when there are no pressing deadlines or projects due. It is in those moments that you find yourself alone with yourself. What do you do when you are alone with your thoughts? What internal conversations do you hold in your own mind? How do you turn down the volume to your innermost murmurings & dial up the volume on your deepest conscience?

For many of us, simply finding the time to breathe is a small victory. However, when you are able to glean quality time with yourself, you might find that your mind begins to hold a myriad of conversations on the stage of your brain. If you are like me, your mind wanders around to and fro tap dancing on every imaginable topic from career to family, what-ifs, why-didn’t-Is, and if-only-I-coulds. The beauty in this moment is that as the only living expert on you, it should be easy to control these conversations right? Wrong! The mind, unlike other parts of your body, consists of trillions of mental files on millions of different topics, experiences, and perspectives you have gleaned in your life’s journey. Put all of those combinations together, and your mind could literally wander for trillions of miles!

Moldmakers not only think outside the box, their minds wander outside the box as well. Learning to mentally control your cerebal pathways allows you to discover new ways of thinking about old concepts. But what happens when you cannot control your mind & you try to “turn it off?” What happens when you try to distract yourself from you?

Jessica Perianza found herself in this very situation recently. She is a vibrant & intelligent moldmaker & college student who is spending the summer immersed in the heart of academia. She has been afforded the opportunity to live in Cambridge, MA & work at the Avery Dennison headquarters in Westborough as a project management intern for the summer. Over the past few weeks, Jessica has been following her dreams & surprisingly found herself alone with herself. Below she gives us a detailed & intimate glimpse into her mental journey & what she found when she looked within…

Undergrad has been a gateway to growing as a professional, engineer, & leader in my community. At any given time I’m either at a meeting, class, volunteer event, or just spending my bits of free time with friends. Being alone in a completely new environment was an experience I had sought out for as long as I can remember. I envisioned a fresh, clean canvas where new friends would be made, delicious food would be consumed, and alone-time would be enjoyed. Surprisingly, it’s not the party I thought it would be…granted I have met wonderful people & I have eaten enough to feed an army. For the first time in my young adult life I have the ability to ask: what does Jessica want to do today? When? Where? How? With who? Turns out, Jessica has difficulty answering that simple question when structure is the one thing lacking, & so begins the cycle of figuring that out, sometimes for hours, which ends in frustration and often ice cream to repair the damage.

What’s one of the first things a friend will advise when you’re having a rough day? It often begins with, “Why not find something to distract yourself?”

Ah! That’s just it! I should not have to distract myself from …myself! My mind should be my safe haven from the craziness of the world and not the one thing that leaves me wondering if I fit the description for a lunatic. It’s easy nowadays to distract ourselves & avoid spending time alone. To blanket unwanted thoughts or empty gaps of time with short rushes of euphoria obtained from food, exercise, other people, or sleep. No appointments are made to enjoy the silence within us. So now that I find myself with a 3 month long stay with my mind… I have the knee jerk reaction of rescheduling with concerts, trips, and (you guessed it) food. Don’t get me wrong, it’s healthy to enjoy the pleasures of travel. I just don’t want it to be what I do to hide from me. I want to be able to close my eyes & be filled with endless amounts of peace which is something I feel eerily confident about being able to achieve. I may not be there, and I may not have a direct roadmap to it, but I have the alone time I so often asked for, and two more months to take a few steps closer to finding that peace within me.