Career Wishes Do Come True - Some news to share!

Career Wishes Do Come True - Some news to share!

Most of you may know that I love writing. What started out as a journaling practice over five years ago has evolved into a love affair with the written word. I'm so grateful for your eyeballs each week reading through my musings on all things career purpose. My wish has been to grow my writing to reach audiences on a bigger scale and have my articles published on larger platforms.

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Nice Girl 2.0

The nice girl.

I’ve always been her. And every time I stepped out of being the nice girl, I felt guilty for doing so and ran back to her like a scared little child runs back to her mama. Being the nice girl served me well over the years. She got me in with the crowd, she was unassuming, and played nice with others. The nice girl was my ally, she worked for me, and she was in it for the long run. But somewhere along the way, being the nice girl got old and I wanted to test what it would be like to not be her.

Case in point. A long time ago, I was living at home in Long Island and I was dating this guy named Jordan. Jordan and I had a hot date. Oooh la la. Only there was this one thing I had gotten locked into doing; chores. So I asked my bro to do it and he said, no. Can you believe him?!! Ugh! Didn’t he know I had a hot date in an hour?! I got so upset and yelled at him. It was a conscious decision to get angry with him because I felt he was being unfair and selfish. Afterall, I was tired of being the nice girl and decided to be challenging. I never yelled at my brother the way I yelled at him that day. The floodgates opened up. It didn’t matter if my anger was justified or not, just that it was there and needed to come out. Well that day my brothers anger must’ve been ready for take off too because he bought his anger out twice as much as I did. He yelled back and before I knew it; we were battling. And what did I do? I recoiled like a little garden snake and put up the white flag in surrender. I felt ashamed for my anger and regretted reacting angrily. Especially since I didn’t want to damage the relationship.  And sidenote: after the battle of the angry siblings died down, my brother and I made up and are as close now as we were back then. Love you bro!

I bring up that story not because I believe anger is the answer for a girl who’s always nice but to highlight that there was something inside of me that day that was tired of holding herself back. So while I may not have reacted in the most constructive way, I went along with my need to be heard that day and gave myself an outlet to do so.

Now what’s interesting to note from that story is how I recoiled in fear after my anger was matched with just as much if not more anger from the other person. When I was yelling and screaming at my brother, I wanted to appear bigger, stronger, and more powerful than ever. I wanted him to feel small like I always did. I wanted to be heard. But when he yelled back, I went back to being small. I didn’t feel defeated though, I just felt incredibly guilty for powering up the way I did. But here’s the thing, I didn’t feel like some angry person with a lot of conflict pent up; not by any means. But I understood getting angry was not the answer to my nice girl syndrome.

Well, let’s take a deeper look at what’s underneath all the nice?

Let’s go back to a time not long ago when I was on the phone with my colleagues, some of the smartest, successful women I know and they were talking about the book, “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. And honestly speaking, while I do applaud the book on it’s merits and bringing the challenges women face to the fore, I just couldn’t see myself in the book and thus could not relate to it. I hold myself back in a lot of ways but not taking a seat at the big table was not one of them. Not acknowledging praise and accolades for being listed as the worlds most influential person above Michelle Obama has never been a challenge for me.  I say that last example tongue in cheek, but you get the point. Sheryl illustrates these challenges in the book but I found it hard to relate to. 

And although I can connect with the women of the book, my story would be a different version of Lean In.  Anyway, I digress. Back to being on a conference call discussing Sheryl’s book. My colleagues loved the book and thought it was right on point. Instead of going against the grain and disagreeing with the majority who loved the book, I went along with them and said I loved it too. As the words left my mouth I was shocked at what I heard myself saying. I know full well that I had a different opinion about the book yet I heard myself conforming. And to an Aquarius who’s true nature is to rebel the status quo and go against the grain, seeing myself give in was quiet disheartening to say the least.

So rather than getting angry at myself about it, I turned it into a generic inquiry and asked myself, why did I say that? Why did I certainly feel the opposite about something yet still choose to go with the crowd? I’ll rattle off the obvious answers: to fit in, to be agreeable, likable, understood, normal, to be seen as equal, to not have to explain why I disagreed and risk sounding foolish. Anything else? I think the main take away was that in that moment I had the opportunity to prove that I could fit in with these three amazing successful ladies and I didn’t want to blow it. This was an opportunity to be respected and seen as an equal. Score! Why mess it up by being disagreeable, disruptive of the flow, or simply put, different? Who wants to do that?!! Clearly not me at the time.

So if what they say is true, ‘how you do one thing is how you do everything’, it could be diagnosed that the tendency or pattern of falling into the nice girl role is primarily driven by the need to fit in, be accepted, and not go against the grain. Sounds about right.

So what does that mean for us nice girls? 

Well, first things first, let’s redefine some things and get clear. To be “nice” doesn’t mean you always have to be agreeable. You can disagree on something and still be accepted. In fact, you’re more likely to be respected if you can state your difference of opinion in a meaningful way that doesn’t put yourself above others but still honors who you are. Being nice doesn’t mean you are submissive or that you always succumb to the opinions of others at the expense of your own. The good girl can wear many hats; she can wear that hat that allows her to stand her ground and still respect the opinion of others even if it’s not in line with hers. She can also wear the hat that allows her to fight hard [inner] battles so that she is heard and always speak her truth even if her voice shakes.

So cheers to all the “nice” girls out there who have an opinion that happens to be different from the crowd. She’s speaking her truth in the nicest way possible and she will always be better for it.

And before I sign off, there’s one last thing I want to say in case it wasn’t clear before. I did not, repeat, did not love the book Lean In. I love you Sheryl Sandberg but did not love your book. Let’s still be friends.

Love Ariane “reformed nice girl”

 

Top 6 Blog Posts of 2013

Whether you're a long time reader or just discovering my work for the first time today, I want to thank you for stopping by today. I've been journaling since 2009 and most of my writing on here has been a manifestation of my purest thoughts in written form.

Take a moment to peruse through some of my favorite posts of the year so far.

#6 Flowing Through Struggle – June 25, 2013

Although struggle is a part of our daily human existence when does it become something we come to identify ourselves with in our daily lives? Here is my recount of what happens when we experience ‘struggle’ and how to break out of it and into a more peaceful rhythmic flow. 'Flowing Through Struggle'. Read on.

#5 3 Ways To Meditate (or commit to any practice) Daily – May 27, 2013

From the days of starting and stopping a meditation practice without really getting into the flow of it, I finally discovered a way that has brought me to the cushion every single day. When what we value aligns with inspiration there’s nothing that can stop us. '3 Ways To Meditate'. Read on.

#4 To See Us Dance – February 6, 2013

Following an internal nudge I had received that led me to take up dance classes, I decided to post a video of my learnings. So much of what we do comes from an internal desire to move and be in flow. Dance brought me closer to movement through mind, body, and soul. I highly recommend if you have the desire to move your soul, follow it. 'To See Us Dance'. Read on.

#3 5 Lessons For Your Spititual Path – May 1, 2013

At some point in our lives we find ourselves on a spiritual path. Whether we know it or not, we’re always on the path. And when we become aware of this we hold ourselves to a higher standard as we learn to let go of the trivial things and embrace a new understanding of life itself. This post points to some of the challenges we encounter while on the path and the 5 lessons that will keep you grounded. '5 Lessons For Your Spiritual Path'. Read on.

#2 Love Is – February 22nd, 2013

During an early morning rendezvous with my journal, I found myself feeling particularly connected with this idea of Love. To define it from words does it no justice. It is a sensation truly meant for connectedness between each other. 'Love Is'. Read on.

#1 A Letter To You, From Change – January 30, 2013

In creating this post I knew I wanted to write about ‘change’ but what else could we possibly say about change that hasn’t been said before? If we look at change from a different perspective, instead of experiencing it with anxiety and nervousness, we learn to look at from a softer view. Read on for a thoughtful letter from an inevitable part of our lives that only wants the best for us. This is 'A Letter To You, From Change'. Read on.

 

Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing with you in this space for the remainder of 2013.

Cheers!

 

Ariane Hunter

Breaking the Status Quo & Living Greatly

 

 

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice --

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

"Mend my life!"

each voice cried.

But you didn't stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

detemined to do

the only thing you could do --

determined to save

the only life you could save.

~ Mary Oliver

 

 

Love Is

Love is...

The blueish hue of the morning light through my window pain;
Blackish bronze painted finger nails squeezing the pen, wooshing across the page as I write;
Silence, meditation, stillness in the air;
The hush of a whisper, a laugh or a cry;
An instinctual heart that beats forevermore entering it’s cosmic force into the Universe.

That is what love is.

It gives birth to new ideas, sizes and shapes them to be sent out into the world.
Love is adorned with rose petals and water droplets;

Love creates and love cures.

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10 Reasons To Take A Walk

 This post was inspired by an article in the February edition of THAT Mag for Women. It is amazing just how nurturing a taking a simple walk can be for your mind body and soul. We do it so often; especially us New Yorkers who pound the pavement day by day. What if we began to make walking not only a mode of transportation but an act of self-love.


Here are my 10 Reasons To Take A Walk Today

1. You will clear your mind of distracting thoughts.
2. You will feel calmer and melt away stress.
3. You will raise your awareness.

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To See Us Dance...

Is to hear our heart speak". - Aztec Proverb

 

For the past three weeks, I’ve been taking dance improv classes with the amazingly wonderful Nandi Riguero of Danza Niwa. And although I’ve learned only a few dance steps, I realize I have been dancing my entire life.

My heart is a dance. My words are a dance. The way I choose to wear my hair, is a dance.

Nandi has taught me that there is dance in everything and in everyone. It is not only a physical form of a movement but the way your heart chooses to expresses itself to the world. She explains it as a secret that only your heart knows and only you can share. It is the essence of who you are; full of amazing light and brilliance that can never be taken away.
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