I had the pleasure of meeting Kim Coles at the 2013 Black Women’s Expo in Chicago. If you don’t know Kim Coles, you must have been living under a rock for the past two decades. She is an actress and comedian who starred on the hit 90s African-American sitcom, Living Single for five seasons. And now, you can find that show in syndication all hours of the day and night. What I really enjoyed about Ms. Coles’ presentation was that she was so open. She gave us a bit of her life story and how she, after leaving that show, hit sort of a low place. Perhaps “low place” is not the right phrase. Maybe we say, she hit a place where she had to redefine and rediscover who she was. Kim took us down memory lane on her journey to self-discovery. She took us through some of the highs and lows of her life and shared how she overcame them. She had us laughing the entire time (even on the sad parts).
Kim’s new mantra is “open the gifts.”
“Open the gift that is inside of you, so that you can share it with the world. Each one of us is a gift and each one of us has a gift. What if the world is waiting for you to open your gifts and share?”
Her gift, she shares, is love and laughter.
GIFTS, is also an acronym which stands for: G=Gratitude, I=Intention, F=Forgiveness, T=Triumph, S=Self-love.
After presentation, she asked members of the audience to raise their hand and share what they feel their gift to world is and a takeaway from the talk. Well, I found myself entertaining fear, wondering, “What’s my gift? Should I raise my hand?” Then a friend sitting next to me nudged my arm and whispered, “You should talk about your blog…” Then it clicked, “Oh, yeah! I do have this really cool blog, called Love Your Naps. And, yes I believe my gift is encouraging and supporting others while sharing my gift of creativity.” Of course, by the time I “got it” it was too late and Kim had already moved on to her closing. I didn’t feel bad about it. My blog is one of the platforms through which I share my gifts with the world, and for that I am thankful.
|Posing with the Traveling Naturalista Meetup Group|
This experience left me thinking about the “T” in GIFTS, and that is “Triumph.” Kim’s concept of triumph is that we need to celebrate ourselves. Once we identify the “gifts,” celebrate them! Celebrate yourself and your achievements no matter how big or small. Let the world know how awesome you are. Many times we dull our shine because other folks aren’t shining or we are afraid people will think we are arrogant. When we dull our shine, we are actually doing a disservice to ourselves and to others who may need what we have to offer.
I made a pact with myself a while back to bring all of myself to the table and to not hold anything back. I heard Marie Forleo say, “Courage is a muscle and you build it by doing something you are afraid of.” One thing I’ve learned about fear is that it’s stubborn and it usually doesn’t leave. However, you have the power to choose not to entertain and engage with it. The more you focus on your fear, the more power it gains over you.
Thank you Kim Coles for sharing your gift of laughter and love! Be sure to check out her new book, Gratitude Journal.
Please, share with us, what did you takeway from this post? What is your gift and how do you plan to share it with the world?