The BE! Life: The Key to Loving Life is Self Love

Tiffany Wright, MSWTiffany2

Occupation/Title: Owner of BE!
Age: 27
Hometown: Inglewood,  CA

1. Personal Background, please introduce yourself. Of course your job title, education etc, but also your hobbies, your passions, the things that make you YOU.

I have a passion for change and positive experiences that elicit change. Life is an adventure and an opportunity for all of us to learn and teach. Thus I live my life accordingly and follow my mantra, Live a Life Worth Living! I’m all about outdoor adventures and motorized sports. Skydiving,  Atv’ing, zip lining, jet skiing, race car driving, hiking, water rafting, etc. I feel that adventure awakens the spirit and elevates you to another level, which is what my company is about.

All things Disney, Romantic, and Colorful are all of me. On the flip side I love watching History, Discover and the Food Channel haha. I love being with genuine people that make me laugh, think, and grow and that sentiment overflows into my work.I am the founder of the empowerment brand and movement, BE! In which I promote self love to millennial women.

2. State the name and mission of your organization.

BE! is an empowerment lifestyle brand that promotes self love to millennial women.Through special events and media, BE promotes its ideals, BE Inspired, BE Empowered, BE Well and BE YOU to audiences. BE! illuminates and affirms the self-inspired passions and goals envisioned by women on a spiritual journey to find their place in this world.

Tiffany9

3. How did you get to where you are today?

Put simply, BE! is a life calling because my message, in its purity, is a reflection of my own truth. It’s been a journey. At 7 I decided I wanted to be a child psychologist because I wanted to help and empower children coming from dysfunctional families. By the time I got to college I was set on my majors, Sociology and Psychology. I also minored in African American studies and it got me really interested in learning about the depths of identity development.  Upon graduation I was not confident enough to apply to PH.D programs but I knew I wanted to have my own organization and help people, so I applied to MSW and went to Columbia in New York. NYC was the birthing place of BE!  From 2009 up until 2013 I progressively got interested in yoga, nutrition, personal development and mindfulness books, and finally launched The BE Life, my blog, in November 2013.

Tiffany7It took a string of unhealthy relationships, a layoff, and a physical transformation for me to open my eyes and think, what the heck has been going on? Look how much healing I need to do. I want everything to change but I need to work on me.

Because of my own realization, I became more and more aware of how much power women give up. How much low esteem they have. How much value they put in their bodies and labels as opposed to their visions, desires and purpose. Most importantly, I wanted to impact the nature of how we go into relationships. This right here was the kicker for me because why is ” a good woman like me” attracting the men I’m attracting? It wasn’t the goodness in me that was an issue, it was the brokenness and wounds. That was my aha moment. So much of who we are and what we do and become are affected by our relationships, romantic, familial and platonic. These relationships are often unhealthy spirals leading to further unhealthy spirals. I realized that first exploring the relationship with self, would affect absolutely everything else.

4. Do you feel you’ve made a difference? What changes have you seen/made and what do you hope to see in the future?

The most immediate changes that are evident are amongst my close family and friends.  They use terms like “self love” now haha. They pay attention to what I do, and we fall into a lot of conversations about BEing present, focusing on gratitude, walking through fear, and self serving behaviors and thoughts.  My little sister is the most impact because I don’t have children, she is my legacy. When I teach her about anything, and on her own she responds and reflects it, that it fulfillment.  Breaking cycles of self defeat, self hate, and self sacrificing.

Also I see post of people I know incorporating BE actions in their posts. For example #belove #befree etc. Whereas they Tiffany4may have not done that as much previously.

5. How have you changed since starting your work?

The nature of my personal relationships have dramatically changed. Because I learn to honor myself and my spirit, I’m more adamant and vocal to people about what I will and will not entertain,  likewise in honoring others i am no where near as judgmental as I used to be. I have been able to forgive and let go of a lot of expectations and take people for who they are.

6. You’ve told us the mission for your organization, but what does your work do for you personally?

Accountability.  To know people might be looking for the inspiration or insight of a blog or social media post means I must be selfless and do whats necessary to honor others and myself. Also, one of my aunts says I’m the first student of BE which is true because most content is reflective of personal epiphanies, experiences and conversations. I often am transparent that journeys never end, including my own, So I get to teach and learn cyclically.

7. What advice do you have for women wanting to start their own organization or non-profit?

Do the research,  make a plan, and just go. You don’t always have to “wait for the perfect time,” do what you can with what you have, and whatever is meant to be will unfold.  You will evolve as well as your organization, and sometimes that evolution is appealing to even your first followers. FAITH is the most important,  passion comes next, vision and effort go hand in hand.

Tiffany88. What is a message that you believe every woman should hear?

That self love is the key to loving a life worth living. When you connect to yourself and the idea of self love you will live more fearlessly,  attract healthy platonic and romantic relationships, will be able to give more to the world,  and will fall in love with yourself in and out.

Want to reach out to Tiffany?

youtube: Live the BE Life

Ig: the_be_life

Fb: whatsyourbe

Twitter-@bebebelife

Beyou@livethebelife.com

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December: Women Who Give Back

Hi readers!

I know its been a moment since I’ve posted but a lot has been going on! I’m working full time now as a preschool teacher and I’m back in school to get my teaching certifications. So, needless to say I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle everything, bear with me!

I just wanted to take a quick moment and introduce this month’s theme: Women Who Give Back. One of my favorite things about the holiday season is that family and community are brought to the forefront of our conscious. Whether you get it from exchanging gifts, driving past decorated houses, doing community service, or your mom’s mac and cheese: everyone is enveloped in a warm fuzzy feeling. It is a time where you embrace love and inspiration and I just wanted to continue the trend by sharing the stories of some women who inspired me in how they have created non profits in service to their communities. I definitely hope to follow in their foot steps.

Stay tuned and I hope you enjoy!


Happy Holidays 🙂

For Karyn Washington, and For Myself

Karyn washington

This past week on facebook, my timeline was flooded with news about the death of Karyn Washington, the blogger behind For Brown Girls. As I clicked on the different links reading about how this one soul touched so many, my heart sunk as I learned about her depression after the death of her mother and how she ended her life at 22, a milestone that I’ll be reaching in 2 months. Letting her story really sink in, what saddened me was that such a beautiful person was lost so early…and I wondered how many other women could relate to her story. How many of us beautiful, brown girls have lost something so dear, or felt so low that we’ve contemplated the worst? And as much as it scares me to admit it, I am one of those girls.

Growing up, I always struggled with self-confidence. A black girl going to a predominantly white private school, I battled with so many different complexes: I wasn’t “white” enough for my white friends and wasn’t “black” enough for my black ones, All the boys I was interested in never liked me back, I wasn’t filthy rich but my family was by no means poor. I wasn’t a straight A student, but I didn’t need extra help either. I was ugly, average and invisible as far as I could tell; not special in any discernable way. My presence didn’t seem to make a difference. I had mentally degraded myself to the point where I had no concept of self love or value. Sophomore year of high school was my lowest point, I was playing at normality while on the inside screaming to be noticed. While battling anxiety and depression, I denied those feelings, scolding myself because I had no reason to feel the way I did. I had two parents and a stable, middle class upbringing, I had friends, I had privilege…what the hell was I crying about? So on top of my depression was self-hate for feeling depressed. I felt like I was losing my mind.

I had convinced myself that this would be the easiest way. I had planned what I was going to do…had even started planning when would be “a good time.” But one night sitting on the couch with my mom, paying more attention to the swirl of thoughts in my head rather than the movie we were supposed to be watching, on an impulse I whispered “I need help.” Of course caught off guard, my mom turned to me and asked what I had said. It took me a few minutes to gather up the courage to say it aloud again. But I looked her in the eye and told her I had thought about killing myself. Some might say it was bravery or strength, reaching out to her. But in that moment, I would call it desperation more than anything.

I was exhausted. Not all mental illness is visible, especially when you’re trying your hardest to suppress it. I had friends, I went to school everyday, I was “functioning.” But it was a front. Everyday was a battle to keep this facade together. No one was supposed to know about my depression because I wasn’t so supposed to feel that way. I didn’t have the right. But the best thing I did was finally own it. Acknowledge it but not surrender to it. My mom immediately found a therapist for me to go to. And she encouraged me to start a journal. And I started talking to the people closest to me about it. And the more I wrote and spoke, the more reflective I became. About my feelings, my triggers and my insecurities; I had to realize the things about myself that I should accept and embrace and take control of the things that I could change.

And the first thing that I had to accept, was that there was no overnight fix. It was constant work, through the rest of high school and into college, I still battled with bouts of depression. And 6 years later as I’m finishing my last year of college, I can’t say that the battle is done. There are still days or even weeks at a time where my mood sinks and I feel like I’m reverting back to the “old me.” But the key difference between the Me then and the Me now, is that those feelings don’t scare me anymore. They’ll come, but then they’ll go. Depression does not have to be permanent. And today I can say that I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been: physically, mentally and spiritually because I reached out and asked for help.

In January, the theme for the blog was Emotional Health and in my piece “The Myth of the Strong Black Woman,” I wrote about how many black women are socialized to equate emotionality with weakness. Feelings of anxiety and depression are not problems that black people are supposed to face. But we do. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you have or who you’re supposed to be, you are perfectly validated in your feelings, both the positive and negative ones. I know this month is dedicated to Black Musicians, but I wanted to make a post dedicated to Karyn Washington. Herself and her loved ones are all in my thoughts and prayers and I can only hope to reach as many people as she did. After reading her story and sharing my own, I hope that anyone who sees either of them realizes that they are not wrong, they are not crazy, and they are not alone. That reaching out can be the best thing you could ever do for yourself and that there is a future that can be very, very bright.

Praise to the Introverts

For the longest time, I was convinced I had a low self-esteem. I wasn’t the girl that

commanded attention upon entrance into a room, I had stage fright and the thought of approaching a guy gave me butterflies. I was the quirky shy girl who’d rather have a movie night at home than be dancing at the club. I wasn’t the most outgoing, outspoken or bold, I was an introvert. And because I shied away from attention, rather be in the background than in the spotlight…I must lack confidence, right?

Because confidence meant always putting yourself out there and commanding attention, right?

 

Not necessarily…

 

After having a conversation with a friend, I realized that might not be always be the case. We assume that confidence equates being bold and extroverted, because thats what we read and see in movies and books. But confidence is defined as self-assurance. Confidence doesn’t only have to do with how we act towards others. Real confidence translates into how we treat ourselves. Appreciating ourselves, recognizing and utilizing our gifts, acknowledging what we bring to the table and not accepting anything less than what we deserve. To me, that is true self-confidence.

In our society, we prize extroverts: celebrities who adore the spotlight, politicians who know how to work a room, etc. They’re the popular kids in schools and the heroes in movies. Introverts are conditioned to envy extroverts, because who wouldn’t want to be the life of the party? But you can be understated and reserved and have as much confidence as the person who loves being the center of attention. And who’s to say that super, outgoing personality isn’t a front? You never know…

I always criticized myself, why don’t I do this?…or why can’t I be like her? I was so focused on what I wasn’t doing that I overlooked everything I brought. I was a good listener, I was the person all my friends turned to when they needed help or advice, I was the rock…and above all, I had a really strong sense of self. I just always downplayed my assets because no one could see them in a crowded room, but doesn’t make them any less valuable.

This post isn’t about bashing extroverts, its just to say that us introverts don’t have to beat ourselves up over the fact that we’re not extroverts 🙂