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Ep 29: Evolving with your dreams with Juliana Luna

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You don't want to miss this beautiful episode. My dear friend Juliana Luna shares her story of growing up as a marginalized woman and carving her own unique path as a creative that has taken her all over the world...Hint: She traces her journey through her ancestry and sees how it all cosmically connects. Such an incredible story. 

If you want to connect with Juliana you can check her out on Instagram: @julianaluna 

If you want to connect with us check us out on

Instagram: @jwilliamsesq & @artistswithoutdayjobs

Website: jo-nawilliams.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/jwilliamesq & facebook.com/artistswithoutdayjobs

Twitter: @jwilliamsesq

You also check email the show at artistswithoutdayjobs@gmail.com 

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The difference between Beyoncé and the rest of us.

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Today's episode is all about the single key to accessing our inner greatness. It's the key to Beyonce's success and countless others. Hope this episode inspires you to go for it! 

If you want to connect with us check us out on

Instagram: @jwilliamsesq & @artistswithoutdayjobs

Website: jo-nawilliams.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/jwilliamesq & facebook.com/artistswithoutdayjobs

Twitter: @jwilliamsesq

You also check email the show at artistswithoutdayjobs@gmail.com 

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Ep 27: Building stability and sustainability with Danny Simmons

  Today we're talking to one of my absolute favorite artists and good friend, Danny Simmons! He shares how he went from a being a social worker to owning a full-on art empire and how you can too. So many gems in this episode!     Daniel “Danny” Simmons, Jr. is an abstract-expressionist painter. Older brother of hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph Simmons (“Rev. Run” of Run DMC), he is the founder and Vice Chairman of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Rush Arts Gallery. In addition, Simmons converted part of his loft in Brooklyn into the Corridor Gallery. Along with his brother Russell, Simmons established Def Poetry Jam, which has enjoyed long-running success on HBO. In 2004, Simmons published Three Days As The Crow Flies, a fictional account of the 1980’s New York art scene. He has also written a book of artwork and poetry called I Dreamed My People Were Calling But I Couldn’t Find My Way Home.    Simmons is the son of Daniel Simmons, Sr., a truant officer and black history professor who also wrote poetry, and Evelyn Simmons, a teacher who painted as a hobby. He earned a degree in social work from New York University and a master’s in public finance from Long Island University. He began painting after he realized how much he hated his job with the Bureau of Child Support.    Simmons, an abstract-expressionist painter, has had his work shown nationally. Chase Manhattan Bank, the United Nations, and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture all show his work as part of their collections. He is also an avid collector of African art and comic books.    IF you want to connect with Danny check him out on  Facebook.      

Today we're talking to one of my absolute favorite artists and good friend, Danny Simmons! He shares how he went from a being a social worker to owning a full-on art empire and how you can too. So many gems in this episode! 

Daniel “Danny” Simmons, Jr. is an abstract-expressionist painter. Older brother of hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph Simmons (“Rev. Run” of Run DMC), he is the founder and Vice Chairman of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Rush Arts Gallery. In addition, Simmons converted part of his loft in Brooklyn into the Corridor Gallery. Along with his brother Russell, Simmons established Def Poetry Jam, which has enjoyed long-running success on HBO. In 2004, Simmons published Three Days As The Crow Flies, a fictional account of the 1980’s New York art scene. He has also written a book of artwork and poetry called I Dreamed My People Were Calling But I Couldn’t Find My Way Home.

Simmons is the son of Daniel Simmons, Sr., a truant officer and black history professor who also wrote poetry, and Evelyn Simmons, a teacher who painted as a hobby. He earned a degree in social work from New York University and a master’s in public finance from Long Island University. He began painting after he realized how much he hated his job with the Bureau of Child Support.

Simmons, an abstract-expressionist painter, has had his work shown nationally. Chase Manhattan Bank, the United Nations, and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture all show his work as part of their collections. He is also an avid collector of African art and comic books.

IF you want to connect with Danny check him out on Facebook. 

 

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Ep 26: Standards are an inside job

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Today we're talking about standards. It's not just about curating your environment so you feel good. It's about creating standards that you hold for yourself. That's when the world will follow suit. Be that which you seek! 

If you want to connect with us check us out on

Instagram: @jwilliamsesq & @artistswithoutdayjobs

Facebook: Facebook.com/jwilliamesq & facebook.com/artistswithoutdayjobs

Twitter: @jwilliamsesq

You also check email the show at artistswithoutdayjobs@gmail.com 

Check out the show on ItunesGoogle PlaySoundcloud, or Stitcher! (click on each word to take you to that platform) or listen below. 

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Ep. 25 Turning your passion into a world class calling with Nick Onken

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We're so excited to speak to Nick Onken, photographer, podcast host, and creative entrepreneur devoted to inspiring the world to create their moments and create their life. Nick has photographed personalities such as Justin Bieber, Usher, and Jessica Alba. He has photographed print campaigns for international brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, and Adidas. His work has also been published in magazines such as Conde Nast Traveler, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire.

This episode we discuss how he went from graphic designer to photographer and all the ways that he used his talent and hustle to make it to the top of the photo world. You can find his work at Instagram @nickonken, his podcast Nion Radio, his site nickonken.me, and his awesome hashtag: #createyourmoments.

Check out the show on ItunesGoogle PlaySoundcloud, or Stitcher! (click on each word to take you to that platform) or listen below.

 

 

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Ep. 23 Thriving after your divine storm with Alyson Charles

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Alyson Charles is our magical guest for this episode. This conscious lifestyle expert had a divine moment that led her from being a National champion athlete and television host to becoming a shaman and fully-embodied spiritual leader. We learn so much from this gracious human as she discusses the steps to gently guiding yourself from recovery to thriving in this episode. What an incredible journey. We hope you enjoy! Check her out Instagram @iamalysoncharles or her website alysoncharles.com

Check out the show on Itunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or Stitcher! (click on each word to take you to that platform). 

 

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That bold move: How to take it & smash it!

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That bold move: How to take it & smash it!

So you know last time I we talked I was stroking your fire to make a bold move? Yeah, the reason being is that I know that it’s in you. There’s something that you want. Something you want badly in your life.

Maybe it’s a whisper right now.

Maybe it’s LoudAF

But it’s there.

We all have it.

I can only speak from my experience but my passion lies in empowering people with the tools they need to access their power for themselves. That takes place in spirituality and business (more specifically, the law). It’s my greatest gift, being a spiritual advisor and attorney.

Now, I can’t say that I have ALWAYS felt so bold and powerful in owning the spiritual side of my work. It would always seep out because it’s in everything I do and who I am.

However, after building a successful business ONLY identifying myself as a lawyer and coach, making the transition publicly has been a process. Mainly, because this is the most sacred part of my being.

I knew I had to make a bold move or live in the shadows of who I truly am for the rest of my life. Or go down kicking and screaming...to rise up again into this anyway. I figured I’d save myself some time and cut out the breakdown and go straight to the breakthrough. HA!

Best move I’ve ever made. Ever.

IF you don’t embrace your true calling the voice will just get louder and louder until you can no longer hear anything else. Your spirit wants to be happy and it can’t be fully until we follow our bliss. That’s the choice.

So I chose. It was scary. It was vulnerable. It was human (not the superwoman I’ve always identified with. #wakandaforever).

However, it was also warrior. It was also embodied. It was also sacred. It also made me fall in love with myself and help people in the way that truly aligned with the joy in my soul with deeper, bigger, faster results.

It took courage. It still does every day. Every new move I make in this direction I have an AHHHHH!!!! Freak out moment inside.

I tell you this story because there’s no way of getting around it. You have to do this if you want to be happy and fulfilled. The bold move is necessary. It will lead you to your truth.

The joy is waiting for you. The abundance is waiting for you. Who you REALLY are is waiting for you.

Everything you want is on the other side of that bold move. Ever heard the saying, “Your dreams are on the other side of your fear”?

Well, it’s true.

I know it can be scary, so here are some tips on making the bold move AND smashing it (with grace of course)!

  1. Ask yourself, “What’s the whisper?” - Let me be clear, you already know the answer to this. However, asking yourself and waiting for the answer is what’s going to ground you in this process. Ask yourself, “What do I truly want?” Don’t try and answer this in your brain. Just wait for the calm, settled feeling and listen for your soul’s answer.
  2. Resolve to make the bold move - Once you hear the answer, then it’s time to resolve in yourself that you’re ready and committed to making your bold move. You’re committed to your happiness. You’re committed to having your own back. You’re going to make the bold move, done and done. Write it down if you need to. Place it in a sacred place.
  3. Call on support from your spiritual team - After you commit, now it’s time to make the move and ask for support. This is a big step and you can’t do it alone. You can ask for support in the form of an intention or prayer of support while you make the bold move. Call on who you feel connected to (angels, ancestors, Buddha, Universe, God, etc.) whomever your spirit feels guided to call on for you at this moment.
  4. Take action from the bold place - Any actions that you feel inspired, excited or even expansively nervous to take, take those. These are not the anxious actions you take because you’re internally freaking out. These are the actions that feel damn right. The “Hell yeah. This is scary but, I’m going to do it anyway!” actions. Or “This feels oh so right! Yum.” Those. Do those actions.
  5. Support your contraction - After there’s a large expansion like a bold move there is a huge contraction. You may feel depressed, anxious, exhausted or try to fill your calendar up with other things so you’re too busy to do the things in #4. That’s common. We expand so wide then we crash. However, the crash doesn’t have to be so hard. Take immense care of yourself. Go celebrate your bold move. Do some sexy, fun self-care activities. Call a friend or family member and ask them to hold space while you freak out (caveat: do NOT talk to anyone who’s not supportive of your bold move. This is a very unstable time and you don’t need anyone else’s “neck rolling” and judgment on your dreams).

Now, this is just the starting point. However, your dreams are worth this bold move. You’re worth it. I’d love to hear how this goes for you. Reply below and let me know how it goes when you make your bold move. You’ve got this and I’ve got you.

With Fierce Love,

Jo-Ná 

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All of you is welcome here

I was thinking about Solange’s album title, “A Seat at the Table” and the work that I am doing with my current clients and one thing that constantly holds people back is the fact that we not only judge parts of ourselves, we also shut them down now allowing them to have space in our lives.

This leads to deeper issues of resentment (of ourselves and others) or even self-hatred.

It causes us to hold back out of fear that we won’t be loved, accepted or appreciated. Oftentimes, we aren’t doing that for ourselves so how can we expect it from anyone else?

This also holds us back from taking the leaps we should take, saying NO when we know we should and ultimately leads us down a path of darkness when our soul truly wants to live in the light.

When I went down that path myself, of full appreciation and acceptance, the world opened up to me...not just in opportunity, but within myself. I felt the flow with the Universe. This sense of trust flows through me now that I’ve never consciously felt before.

I trust that I am being connected to the right people, in the right places at the right time for what I desire in my life and how I want to live out my gifts and expression to help others.

Ultimately, radical acceptance and appreciation for all I am and bring that into my work.

Now, you may be thinking, “That’s awesome Jo-Ná for you, but how the heck do I do it?”

I totally feel you and here’s the answer….

It’s a moment to moment process.

It’s a daily practice.

There’s no magic guru, exercise, book or pill that can bring you there (Even though many of those things can be helpful).

It’s making a decision that all of you deserves to be loved and expressed.

It’s conditioning yourself when you WANT to shut down a part of you, instead, saying no and bringing that part to the forefront for more love.

It’s allowing the little kid inside of you to come along for the ride, but NOT be in the driver’s seat.  

It’s a daily surrender and commitment to loving yourself. No matter what while still acknowledging your mis-steps and making amends for them.

It’s in those moments when someone shuts you down or attacks you that you don’t respond by joining in on the “beat up on you” party and instead respond to yourself with love.

It’s being aware of those thoughts that lower your vibration and actively shifting them.

It’s hearing your mother or father’s critical voice in your head and responding to that voice with radical kindness for yourself.

It’s an ever-unfolding journey that takes time but it’s so worth it.

Ultimately, it affects the type of business owner you are, the type of person you are and the joy your life develops (or not).  

I recall watching RuPaul on Supersoul Sunday and Oprah asked him, “What is the meaning of life?”

His response, “To live in joy.”

*Mic Drop*

That’s it.

This is what Joseph Campbell said in his famous quote, “Follow your bliss.”

When we do this, we are better, life is better and we are better to each other.

Then internal suffering we have and what we inflict on others as a result of that conditioning would subside. Hot damn.

While we ALL may not have perfect circumstances that allow us to access joy easier than others, you don’t have to. Joy is a state of mind.

It’s what Nelson Mandela said allowed him to get through is horrific imprisonment. The state of joy and peace in his mind.

And we can’t access it if we are in a constant state of self-blame, self-criticism, disapproval and a general malaise about our lives. If we don’t allow all parts of who we are have a seat at the table in our lives and businesses.

This isn’t just about being profitable or being “seen.” It’s about truly living and loving without suffering. Thriving in life, living in joy.

You can’t suffer your way to happiness. So how about we start now with a little appreciation of the miracle that is you and let it snowball into a full out “wholeness” fest?

Now, I’d love to hear from you. In the comments, let me know which part of yourself deserves a little approval and appreciation right now and how you’re going to do that today.

And if you know anyone else who may need this, please send it to them. We all need a little reminder to be a little kinder to ourselves and each other.

With Fierce Love,

Jo-Ná

P.S. If you missed my workshop this month, so sorry. More to come in the future, stay tuned. And if you’re interested in knowing more about my work you can find that here. Lots of love.

 

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The REAL issue with getting paid for your creativity.

Now more than any other time in history, we have been able to get paid for our creativity. It’s amazing.

When I first started my work as a coach 6 years ago (before Instagram and before the YouTube blow up) I felt like I was standing on a stage yelling into an empty forest with a bullhorn, “ARTISTS SHOULD BE COMPENSATED FOR THEIR WORK!” and no one was listening.

It felt like it was a constant battle to get creatives to see their worth, the importance of advocating on their own behalf and to get them to care about business. Even worse it was definitely an uphill struggle to get organizations and companies to invest in creative capital.

Now? Things have gotten so much better in a lot of ways. With the constant barrage of stars like Issa Rae and Franchesca Ramsey going from YouTube to creating shows on major networks like HBO or writing for ShondaLand, or artists being plucked from obscurity and hoisted onto main stages to open for Beyoncé because of their Instagram following, and signing deals with companies like L’Oreal, creatives are understanding that to be an artist is to have value and that value can lead to opportunities that were once just stuck within the throws of their wildest dreams.

Those dreams are really coming true in some instances.

It’s exciting to watch and quite honestly, gives my heart some relief because now I see creative people taking the business of their art seriously. It’s refreshing.

However, it also creates a new problem.

Now that access is available to technology, the playing field is more level and the gatekeepers are no longer present. To get around them all you have to do is buy a camera and flip a switch and you’re reaching your audience. That being said a new paralysis has developed.

Now the problem is, “Well if “so and so” can do it, why haven’t I yet? What’s wrong with me?” Then stories of“No one likes me.” I’m not good enough” ensue.

Maybe it’s the same problem we’ve always had, but it’s just dressed differently; the need to be loved, accepted and feel like we are enough.

Whether you consider yourself an artist, creative, entrepreneur, or some combination of these, in this day and age, you want to and/or expect to be compensated for your creative output. Good for you.

But what happens when you don’t?

Is your self-worth wrapped in whether people buy your work, spread your message or pay you?

Would you create anyway even if no one liked it?

Is your value wrapped in how many “likes” you received on your Instagram post today?

Would you go down the hole of self-hatred if no one came to your show, purchased your latest product or if your launch didn’t receive the numbers you wanted?

Here’s the thing, we can’t source our value from the outside. People are fickle. They want creativity, entertainment, magic all in less than 10 seconds.

Seriously. Think about that. Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram stories are 10 seconds max.

Not to mention, just as much information that is flying at you in a day, it’s doing the same for other people.

If you create only to GET something from the world verses GIVE something to the world, you’re always going to be miserable…and you’ll end up resenting your creative expression to boot.

IF we are to truly thrive as people in this wild, magical but incredible FAST world, our self-worth and our creativity can’t be wrapped up in what attention we receive from others.

We can create because we NEED to as creative beings.

We can create because we need to release our divine expression and put our art in the world because we want to give and share something with the world AND we can also expect to be paid for it. These things are not mutually exclusive.

However, if we are not paid for it, we can’t take that to mean there’s something wrong with us as people. That we are unworthy, unlikable and not enough.

This goes back to releasing the outcome of what happens the MOMENT after you create that thing.

You have no control over what the world thinks or how they feel about your work, whatever it is.

You do have control over how you feel about yourself in every moment.

Be an artist.

Do your great work in this world.

Let the Universe work out where it lands. Whether an offer, customer or big studio comes your way or not,  

You are needed. You are worthy. You are enough.

Now, get to creating.

With Fierce Love,

Jo-Ná

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Feeling triggered? Here's a simple solution.

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“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” - Wayne Dyer

Yes it’s easy to have a sexy mindset when the bills are paid, you look hot, you’re killing it in your chosen career and your love life is on an upswing.

But what about when it’s not all going right?

What happens when life hits you and knocks you on your butt?

What happens when he hasn’t called, you get fired, you have a crushing financial blow or discover you have an incurable or maybe even fatal illness?

What then?

This quote is so simple but sometimes it feels so hard to do right? Especially when the proverbial ISH hits the fan.

For example, I’ve been seeing so much discussion about the #metoo campaign. If you’re unaware it’s a social media hashtag people are using to share their stories of survival from various forms of harassment, abuse and assault.

As a result of this campaign many people are feeling a sense of relief, solidarity and increased desire for discussions and activism.

However, other people are feeling sad, triggered, shame, anger and various levels of depression.

Not to mention,  there’s natural (or unnatural depending on who you ask) disasters, terrorist attacks, various -isms and phobias, violence and a host of other challenges right now. Fear is present and wild right now mixed with many people feeling a malaise about their lives in general. Especially given everything that’s happening all over the world.

How do you deal?

It’s important for our own survival to be alchemists. We have to be able to transform all this energy into something that can truly serve us all. However, most people can’t go from 0 to 100 overnight.

This month, I’m working with my Mastermind clients around strengthening their mental resiliency. How you snapback to a positive mindset (which is a form of activism and self-care) all while taking care of yourself, creating and supporting the causes that you feel aligned with.

IF you are having a challenging time reaching higher, I get it. You need the space to feel all of this. However, at some point in the words of Meryl Streep, “you have to take your broken heart make it into art.”

Art can be who you are, how you show up and the ways in which you serve humanity with your gifts.

We have a choice. We can choose to let the momentum of the bad thoughts keep us out of our life or we can choose again and allow this darkness to take us higher.

While it may take time here’s a quick formula that can help you gently raise your vibration and increase your own mental resiliency in these very active times:

 

  1. Feel it - Give your feelings space. Allow yourself to feel the heartbreak, sadness, rage. Whatever is happening within you needs space to come out. It’s necessary because those dark feelings are a part of you. No judging. Approve of them by giving them space for expression. Be aware of your feelings and express them. I recommend doing it in ways that will move it through your body. Yoga is a great way or turning off the lights and playing dark music and dancing to feel it all is a great start. Cry, scream, whatever. Just give it space to be expressed. The latter is a variation on a technique I learned from Regina Thomashauer (aka “Mama Gena”) called swamping.
  2.  Choose it - Once you’ve got the emotion out, It’s time to take back your power. Recognize YOU are in control of your life and how you want to feel inside it. This can be as simple as saying to yourself, “I am in control of my life. I choose again” or “I choose to see this differently.” You’d be surprised how this simple statement creates some internal shifts if you are in space of WILLINGNESS to let the feelings go. I did it the other day and it totally shifted my perspective about how my day was going.
  3. Raise it - Now here’s where you step into a higher state. Start focusing on what’s good in your life or good about the situation in general. Now with the latter, you may not be ready to see the gift of the situation. That’s ok. You can however see what’s good in your life overall. Reach for something that feels just a little better. Something you can believe. Usually, you can’t go from “I feel like shit” to “I feel amazing” in one swoop and that’s ok. No judgment there.

However, you may be able to reach for something slightly better like, “I am grateful that I have the ability to feel my emotions” or “Even though the faucet has a leak, I’m grateful that my landlord is responsive.” Either set of emotions (positive or negative) will gain momentum. It’s where you choose to focus. So from there, just keep choosing slightly better feeling thoughts until you feel better.

I want you to try this. I know that sometimes it feels like something even this simple doesn’t feel like it will work. However, what do you have to lose by trying it other than those icky feelings?

Once you do, let me know how it went for you by leaving a comment. I want to hear from you.

It’s time for us to decide how we want to live this life and move towards it. It starts with how we choose to see it. Let’s shift our perspective and maybe just maybe, what we see will change too.

With Fierce Love,

Jo-Ná

 

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