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A reflection: What’s behind my smile

This smile is unbreakable. In the words of Ktut from Eat Pray Love I’m smiling with my liver. As I bounced around my local park taking self-portraits with Sara Dalrymple, I took a moment of reflection about all the places these photos were destined to go.

I reminisced on where I had been and where I needed to go to be able to show others the way.

This is the smile of someone who has been:

–   Bullied at work
–   Paid less than my male counterpart
–   Lied to and finessed
–   Underpaid and undervalued
–   Experiencing a panic attack in Aldgate station due to burnout
–   Diagnosed with depression instead of living her happiest freelance life
–   On jobseekers allowance
–   Made redundant
–   Pivoted industry twice
–   Worked 14-hour shifts for minimum wage
–   Gas-lit and discriminated against

Yet and still I smile because this is also someone who has been:

–   Promoted
–   Valued
–   Building a business supporting and transforming others
–   Being paid to be her full-self
–   Treated fairly and leaves the tables where respect isn’t being served
–   Enforcing boundaries
–   Being confident in what she brings to the table
–   Aware of her intersectionality, oppression and privilege all at once
–   On a mission to change lives in a meaningful way
–   Amplifying others’ voice and solutions
–   A proud black woman in tech who was crap at maths and science
–   Giving keynotes to hundreds after reading in her grandads’ church

I am all these things and I smile. This is who I am and why I do what I do.

A wise man once said, “Tough times never last…tough people do!” and I want you to know that and take heart.

To read more about how important it is to make space for reflection look at this blog post. If you want to take the first step toward reflecting AND taking action, take a look at my 1-1 coaching

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A reflection: What's behind my smile - Just Jaz

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