The 1 ingredient for a perfect world.

This picture just makes me smile.

 

I’ve been asked about what a perfect world looks like. Honestly, I’m a closet optimist. I believe people are good and are actually really great at self-regulation. I mean, whatever you believe in – we came here whole and complete. We are just what the world needs in all our glory.

We’re just not fully self-expressed. In our full self-expression – we are not constrained by our fears or shoulds and should nots. We are a full expression to out commitments in life – whatever they may be.  In full self-expression our self talk is not running the show.

 

By the way. Your self talk does not look that nice.

By the way. Your self talk does not look that nice.

 

The reason why I think full self-expression is the key is there is no wrong way to fully express yourself. If you are drawn to nature or beauty in the world that can show itself in many ways such as: drawing, dancing, child rearing, speaking, coaching, etc.

Full self-expression is hard because it’s not everything that comes to mind. It is not blurting out “You shouldn’t do that.” I think it’s being in alignment with your commitments. It’s the expression of “Self”. Not the self that is constantly surviving, manipulating, and judging. But the self that makes you take a stand, that acknowledges, that listens, that sees people for who they are.

I don’t want to oppose these two as a “good” and “bad” self. Rather I want to give them the context of “Your commitment” to delineate whether it’s “Self” or “self”.

When you are moving through your daily choices, you make decisions based on thousands of considerations. Seriously, even something as simple as stopping to get fast food or going home to eat involves a lot of your brain. To get the enormity of what happens let’s just list it out.

 

That was in 1 second. And the list can go on. (Isn’t our mind amazing?!)

Now, these considerations – these thoughts, how many of them are related to our commitments in life? How many are actually connected to what we are up to in the world. The thoughts that are not are the molasses to your full-self expression.

I believe self-expression has us speak to those we don’t know why . I believe self-expression has others drawn to us. Do you ever notice how a certain group of people are drawn to you and you don’t know why? They are responding to your “Self” the one who has commitments bigger than you can even imagine.  Our journey in this life is to continually wipe away the molasses – to clear the glass so we can be of service.

Oh – and another thing. Self-expression doesn’t leave you exhausted. You might be tired, but that is what bodies do. The mental exhaustion that can come in our day is because we are fighting ourselves. It’s a stalemate. Your “Self” doesn’t get expressed. And you end up exhausted. Sounds like fun?

 

Yea, how long until that gets old?

 

And things like not having enough money? That’s a symptom of not being fully self-expressed in your life. If you are the shining beacon that you are meant to be, people will throw money at you. Think of the people you give money to. Why did you do it? It wasn’t because you had to. And yes, that includes utilities. You pay utilities out of a commitment to your family. Your commitment is to make sure your kids have all they need to excel.  That sounds full like self-expression to me.

I’d love for you to comment and point out the flaws in this argument! What do you think?

 

P.S. Full self-expression does not exists in good or bad. The actions you take are a result of a commitment you have. Therefore, if it is better to let your kid sit in jail so they can learn a lesson – that’s great. If it is better to bail them out – that is also great. It just depends on what serves them (your commitment).

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So words matter?

I love reading. More than that. I love words. It has always fascinated me that our world is constructed out of words. The only reason things work is because we agree that that should be so. (Can you tell I almost drooled in existentialism class in college?)

I love these!

 

I was prompted to think about what happens when you’re bilingual and your relationship with language. I found this nifty article from NPR. Completely worth a read. But, the short of it is: language shapes your view of the world and when you are bilingual you can have different view points or remember different things.

Then I began thinking – well, if you’re bilingual and language is automatically shaping your perception, my monolingual self is making some huge assumptions. This, for me,  highlights the importance of dialogue with others and using your word to create a world for others. I guess that is why we are so big on Acknowledgement at WHO?Bags. In acknowledging someone you get the benefit of having your world recreated and creating someone’s world bigger than it was. I mean that’s the juicy bit!

(By the way we’re acknowledging over at our Facebook page. Come over and share!)

So, if words create your world. And acknowledgment creates two worlds. Why don’t I share more?

For me, it is fear. Fear that I will seem stupid. Fear that I’ll get the crazy look. Fear that I won’t say it right.  And in writing that I see how silly it is. So I’m making a new commitment. I’m not sure what it is yet but it will be around acknowledgement. Maybe a 30 day challenge or a blitz of acknowledging everyone within a 2 ft radius?

Thoughts? What do you think?

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Creating your Future through the Visual.

It’s why Pinterest works. It’s why we have traffic signs in picture form. It’s why we all understand what  food-35164means.  We process information the fastest when it is presented to us in a picture. Why is why having a vision board is so important to any woman, business, or entrepreneur. By placing it next to your door you are reminded about what you are up to and what you are creating every time you leave.  And by seeing that everyday you can’t help but work towards it.

So, the gauntlet has been through and WHO?Bag’s vision board is below.

WHO?Bags Vision Board

Though I have a confession to make.  I get distracted by my limitations sometimes and don’t dream big enough. If you think there’s anything that would be awesome to have on there, please share! What’s on your vision board? Share the link below!

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What we’re proud of! (Even though we stumbled)

Celebrating accomplishments let’s us understand how far we’ve come. You only realize you’re halfway up the mountain if you look down. At WHO?Bags we are proud and excited about these 10 things!

 

1. We sold bags and didn’t have bags to sell.

We were very excited about doing an arts festival and everything on the list was checked – except for the bags. As a small business you make a lot of mistakes and our biggest was outsourcing the bags. Not only did we not have them in time for the festival but we did not like the quality when we finally received them. However, we rallied the team and made it happen. Not only did we have a crazy amount of fun but we also learned some big lessons.

2. We have a patent!

Through lawyers, misunderstandings, and refillings we finally got our patent and are extremely excited.

3. We were on TV!

We appeared on Univision with our master tailor and were very excited!

4. We created a database in Access.

Yes, in Access. It was so wonderfully useful and difficult at the same time.

5. We have a legit inventory system.  

We upgraded and got an inventory system that runs in the cloud so our virtual team can access it!

6. We consistently get together for our annual Big Adventure.

Think of it as a stock holders meeting + vacation.

7. We have consistently supported nonprofits every year since our inception.

We are consistently put in contact with organizations that support our ideal which is: When women and girls thrive, communities thrive.

8. We got a logo!

Our logo has evolved from a simple Word created logo to a professionally done logo.

Our old and new logo

Our old and new logo

9. We found a stateside manufacture that creates our bags beautifully.

He represents the quality and pride we take in our bags.

10.  We were a vendor in Goldman Sachs

During the holiday season they invite companies in with products they think their employees will like. We were one of them and it was a blast!

Bonus 11!

We had fun doing it all and maintain open communication with the team!

 

Through our years as a startup we have learned a lot and made even more mistakes. But we’re still here loving the thrill of what we do. What makes you happy to be a business owner?

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Food Glorious Food!

Hot sausage and mustard!

That is a great musical and certainly speaks to the love of food we all have. Whether you are a steak and potatoes or some combination of paleo vegan we understand that what goes in our body becomes our body. But what I really most about food are the memories.  Whether it reminds you of the food you ate in college, the food you ate when you were pregnant, or the food you had as a child – Food is a powerful reminder.

Which is why I {now} love cooking. It was not always that way. Actually it wasn’t that way for most of my life.

I love old food ads.

 

True story. The first time I cooked….. well, it wasn’t pleasant.

My parents believe that everyone can contribute to the family. When my brother and I were older one of the ways they saw our contribution was making one meal a week.

 

Me as a Cat disliking cooking

I did not like this.

I decided to make pasta.

I boiled water and threw in the pasta. I didn’t stir it and boiled it until it was a step before baby food. I stomped to the counter where the pasta sauce was. This pasta sauce was actually just the base you use to add your own spices, vegetables, and meatballs. I did none of these. I yanked out the drawer containing the can opener and angrily opened the can. (Yes, you can do that.) I stomped back to the stove containing the barely recognizable pre-baby food pasta and dumped it in. I took the pot to the table and said dinner was served.

I think we ended up eating out that night.

Needless to say – that was no longer part of my family contribution.

It is certainly fun when I look back on it now. And my parents and I still have a good laugh about it. What is your first food memory?

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The Power of Acknlowedgement

There is one thing I have found that spans all beliefs, non-beliefs, religion, practices, etc. What that is acknowledgement. Point blank period.

It is the one thing that opens us up to the magic in this world.

Acknowledgement is the one thing that opens up up to the magic in this world.

It is why we are so passionate about practicing it at WHO?Bags. For example, I have four friends and we call ourselves “The Family”. It that tight group of friends that if you need them they are there. We got together in Atlanta about four years ago and before we met up my mother said we should play the “Acknowledgement Game”.

Now, its not a game it just acknowledging someone for who they are in your life. However, it sounds a lot less heavy if you tack on “Game” at the end of it. So we’re at dinner and are about to get desert and with a heavy heart I say “Ok, I have something I want us to do.” Now, it was with a heavy heart because I was shy. I knew it was good to do in theory but it sounded incredibly woo woo and sappy. And being the woman that I am I shy away from woo woo.

I tell my friends that I want us to go around the table and just share who we are for each other. They are game because they are my family and even if they give me the *side eye* they will do what I ask. Literally when my first friend gets to the second person we are balling. Balling at a restaurant. Have you ever tried to eat dessert while you can’t see because you are crying too much? Give it a go. It’s easy, I promise.

What I got from that incident was Power. Power in knowing why I am on a whole ‘nother level for people. Power in opening myself up to the contribution that others are for me. Power in knowing that without me there is a missing. That exercise moves me to today because I relove those people all over again. It takes the autopilot out of our relationship. Acknowledging someone for who they are gives life a vibrancy that cannot be gotten any other way. So I challenge you. Who are you going to acknowledge today? And you don’t have to think of a script share whats from the heart, even if you don’t know what that is. You’ll be surprised at the results.

I’m going to acknowledge my SO. He deserves it and it’s been a long time coming. Who are you taking on?

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Who we are.

We know who we are and talk about it so much we often forget to share! WHO?Bags International is about bringing women together and acknowledging the grace and beauty they have though bags. We embroider inspirational quotes and expressions that keep you moving forward every time you look inside your bag. In fact, my favorite is below:

WHO?Bags Expression

One of our founders (a military vet) noticed that no matter where she traveled, no matter the country she was in, no matter the religion that was practiced, women are connected by bags. We carry them to get groceries, go shopping, carry babies and more. As we are the heart of the community so to is the bag. Without our faithful bag of tricks how would we carry the snack for being in a long line? How would we carry the band aid for the random cut? And how would we have the random rubber band that saved someone’s day? Our bags give us what we need to keep our communities thriving.

Bags are our sidekicks and WHO?Bags give them their capes. What expression would you give to your bestie in her bag?

You can visit us at http://whobags.com

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