When I was interviewing my most recent guest for my YouTube series, The Butterfly Effect: Conversations for Black Women to Soar, I asked her what she would recommend for women who want to reach higher levels in their lives. She said to get a mentor. Since I haven’t had traditional mentors in my life, my immediate response was, “how?” A couple of weeks later, I listened to the first episode of the Michelle Obama Podcast on Spotify. I have been toying with the structure for my own upcoming podcast for a while. When I heard Michelle, I thought, that’s it! I’ll use her podcast as a model for my own. That was my light bulb moment – I may not have had mentors, but I’ve always found models.
I would never build a house without a blueprint or sew a dress without a pattern, any more than I would create a business without a vision. When I decided to write my self-help memoir, Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman’s Guide to Spreading Her Wings, I modeled it after The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, a beloved classic. I’m currently working on a companion journal that will be available in time for the holidays modeled after the Live in Wonder journal that I adore. When I worked as a financial advisor, I modeled Warren Buffet and Dave Ramsey. We all stand on the shoulders of those that came before us, and many of us don’t have people in our lives that are doing the work we want to do. We may be walking on dirt paths looking for road signs.
This is why the loss of our heroes often hurts so much. We may not have an auntie who owns her own brand, but we have Oprah. We may not know anyone who is a successful politician, but we have Barack. We may not know anyone who can show us our history or our potential, but we had Chadwick Boseman. And we still have his legendary benefactor, Denzel Washington. We all walk a unique path full of resounding potential if we slow down long enough to notice.
Information is so ubiquitous nowadays, we don’t need to have Michelle, Barack, Warren, Chadwick or Denzel in our families. We can read their books, watch their interviews or listen to their podcasts to examine their templates. Even with the loss of Chadwick Boseman at the young age of 43, our technology renders him immortal, forever available in films and interviews. We have so many resources, it’s up to us to either study wise models that expand our hearts and minds or focus on the things that contract and divide us. We make the decision to expand or shrink every single day.
We are all on this earth to grow. Everything in nature works in the rhythm of this simple knowing. The soil and water transform the seed into the rose; the chrysalis prepares the caterpillar for life as a butterfly, and our models pull us toward our full expression as humans.
Whether we model famous people, our loved ones, ancient wisdom or the teachings of our ancestors, we all do it whether we know it or not. I choose to seek the template for my life with the highest intentions. I hope you will join me, choose your models wisely, lean forward and spread your wings.
I wish you all Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. The photo is me with my black lipstick and fluffed-up afro on my way to go see Black Panther in November 2018. I will never forget how Black people around the country showed up and showed out for Wakanda that day, and for our pride in being descendants of the African continent. If you’d like to connect with Black women for relaxation and rejuvenation, join me for my Black Vegan Life ™ Virtual Retreat on Saturday, September 26. For womxn who self-identify as Black. We will connect, release stress and gain clarity for the weeks and months ahead. Visit https://trishahjelroberts.com/events for details about my Virtual Retreat and all three sessions in my Fall Retreat Series.