Friday, March 15, 2019

Loss + Grieving = Healing by Syreeta Talbert


On August 29, 2017, while celebrating with family my father’s 75th birthday, my son, unbeknownst to him, was being lured into a remote area in the farthest suburb of Chicago and shot to death. He wasn’t in a gang, he didn’t know his victims. He was simply targeted, set up and killed. He was 3 months shy of graduating with his BA in Audio Engineering and Recording. Unfortunately, I wasn’t new to this type of traumatic loss. 20 years earlier, I lost a brother, the same way. Talk about losses of great magnitude.

I knew immediately that I needed to get into grief counseling before I lost my mind and sense of being. I questioned myself constantly, as to why I wasn’t grieving the way I was “accustomed” to seeing those on television grieve. Once I started grief counseling I learned everyone grieves differently; some quietly, some become despondent, many don’t even know how, so for me, I wanted to learn how to grieve healthy.

In my grieving and healing process, I’ve learned I grieve out loud, I am very transparent with my feeling. I like to remind others that though I am grieving and healing from a traumatic loss, death is not the only trigger of grief. Grief can occur after any kind of loss — the loss of a job, foreclosure, a divorce, a relationship or even from bad decisions.

As a woman, we, unfortunately, make everyone in our lives a priority and have a tendency to suppress our feelings. This causes people to label us “strong”, and we have unconsciously learned to “just get over it”. We do not take the time and allow ourselves to grief whatever unfortunate “situation” we may have experienced. I urge you to start including some non-negotiables in your life, one being, allowing yourself to recover from a life “loss”, by truly feeling the pain, anger, and sadness inside you.

There are many different forms of mental illness that most of us don’t feel like we identify with. However, at some point in our lives due to a “loss”, we may have experienced a bout of depression, anxiety, change in personal habits and/or social withdrawal and we suffer silently. Unknowingly, if you don’t allow yourself to grieve, it will have some negative repercussions in how we handle other aspects of our lives.

If you really want to thrive in your job, your business, with your family and in your life, take time for you. I encourage you to make an appointment to talk with a counselor, and doing so doesn’t mean it is a sign of weakness. Its a part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you need to do to stay healthy: mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually.

Until next time, stay blessed and healthy healing.

Learn more about Syreeta at Twitter: itsrhee360

Quitting for the Sake of Winning by Alexie Young

Soon I will be known as the woman who put Chicago’s Westside arts and culture scene on the map in a new way. While using this opportunity to affirm what is becoming of my art career, I’d like to share my artrepreneurial journey.

After I gave birth to my son in 2010, party time quickly came to an end. While I had much time on my hands, I hadn't figured out how to relieve stress. My love for art influences me to paint. I simply went to the art store and bought supplies. I had no clue what I was doing but it felt right. I shared the paintings with my boss, and she was ready to purchase. Not before long, so were others. I never thought about selling art but it was bringing in some extra cash.

I continued to work in the educational field and youth development. That is where I learned the art of facilitating and creating workshops. Over time, I learned to use the fusion of art and workshop facilitation to step into the sip and paint industry. While it was my side hustle, it brought in some steady money that was at least a weeks pay.

After having clients all over the city, I decided that I was ready for a storefront. Girl, I was not! However, I saw the MLK Exhibit Center and was fixated on how I could take ownership of a space that I wanted others to see and enjoy. Meanwhile, I kept working but was implementing phase two of my business. I began offering workshops to organizations and bigtime clients using art for team building workshops. It rendered more money in two hours than I made from my job in two weeks. Whoa!

Eventually, I decided that it was a good idea to quit my job and go after a position that doesn’t exist. I first had to evaluate what my job description would be, what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it and who would support this effort. Through my network, I found a funding source that would pay my salary for a director position. I was then able to make more money than I’ve ever made from work thus far.

The moment, I knew it was time to quit my youth development job was the moment my proposal to become the director of the exhibit was approved. The comfort that I once prayed for was no longer for me. Imagine leaving a job with benefits, freedom, work-life balance, a great team, and it’s only a few minutes from home. Quitting for the sake of winning has now allowed me to impact the arts and culture scene in my community but the next chapter involves the entire Westside of Chicago. I’m unsure of what kinda money I could potentially bring in but I am almost certain that this level of fulfillment is priceless. 

Learn more about Alexie  Twitter @invizioncolorzinc