|PHOTOS BY: NESTLE SNIPES|
You may realize by now that I'm not just a makeup artist. You will notice that I'm not just a 'Dream Chaser' but I'm a "purpose fulfiller". I May have just made that phrase up but it's the only way I can express exactly what my mission is. We all have a purpose but are we actively seeking it? My happiness journey that I speak about on my social media pages is what has showed me my purpose as well as revealed how much bigger my purpose really is.
I recently had the chance to jump into a field I thought I left behind years ago and that is Coaching. No, I'm not life coach and no I don't coach track. These are both amazing genres of coaching but the sport I have chosen to coach is cheerleading! Cheerleading is a sport and anyone who wants to debate me will be in for a battle :-). With my long history in cheerleading which includes competing since the age of 7 years old and also being able to lead my cheerleading squad in high school as captain it's safe to say Cheerleading is a big part of my life. Cheerleading isn't just about Pom-poms but it's about the spirit behind it. Cheerleaders aren't just a pretty face with big jumps but young ladies with BIG HEARTS! It takes a lot of heart to pep someone up that is losing or cheering on someone that you don't even have direct relation to in the freezing cold while they play football in the rain! We go hard for what we believe in at all times because that passion and spirit runs deep.
Being able to instill such values into a group of teenage girls is not only rewarding but the most high honor I have ever had. People tend to talk about what we need to be doing for our community but what action are we really doing? Are we taking a young woman or young man under our wing and showing them the way? Are we looking down on our youth as opposed to uplifting them because they are our future? There are some very important values that I place in my cheerleaders that I believe could help anyone who is working with the youth.
Cheer Gifts are my way of teaching gratitude. When the season starts once a week we give cheer Gifts. I set the tone by giving a cheer gift of gratitude. What this will do is show each and every cheerleader how special they really are. As a coach we observe our players athletic ability but I try to go a little deeper and explore how they interact with each other and what value they even put on themselves. The first cheer gift is a thank you card to each and every cheerleader on the team with a special note from me as well as an inspirational quote for them to hold on to. The objective is to help them sift through what their purpose is on the team. What their strengths are and how they can capitalize on that.
Cheer affirmations is an exercise that I implement into practice. I assign each girl a day when they have to share a quote or affirmation with their squad. These quotes must be positive and breathe love into themselves as well as others around them. When introducing the importance of affirmations I like to lead with ones that will make them giggle but also teach them something. The first one in my Arsenal is "Show up, slay and make people mad"! This affirmation I came up with when my girls were having difficulty with learning that just because you don't like someone doesn't mean you quit the activity or bow out. You have to learn how to play chess. Teenage girls have a tendency of saying to themselves "I don't like her so I'm not going to work with her... I quit" and that's no way I want my girls to look at life as adults. So this affirmation teaches them that when you don't want to be somewhere because your ex best friend or ex boyfriend will be there that's when you show up in your best with a big smile because when people expect you to be unhappy your happiness makes them uncomfortable. Once that happens you have already won. Instilling this practice in them through cheerleading is a practice they will take with them into adulthood!
"Cheer sisters" on our squad is what we refer to as "Big sister, Little Sister". The upper class-men are the big sisters to the younger cheerleaders. They are responsible for each other and each other's success. Through this process they can also find their purpose on the squad. The best way to compare this to adulthood is using the phrase "my sisters keeper" because in the grand scope of things we are all responsible for each other. If we spent more time uplifting each other and making sure we all succeed TOGETHER we would have much more forward progress. We also ultimately have more people living in their purpose then not.
As a coach I place high value on these three things. Through these teachings my ladies can find a higher purpose for what they initially signed up for which was to shake Pom-poms. Through them finding a higher purpose I found mine! So ask yourself how big is your purpose and what are you doing to actively pursue it?
Head Wrap: Ankara Cloth
Neck Scarf: Tommy Hilfiger
Shirt: Ralph Lauren