"I'm 100 percent sure I used the big white platter on Christmas!" I repeat for 10th time as my husband looks again through the kitchen cabinets. I get upset, he gets uncomfortable and quiet, I get louder and more determined to find the platter.
I had prepared the food, set the table, bought flowers and candles... but I can't find my platter and I'm falling apart. I NEED that platter.
But of course, it's not about the platter. My mom was supposed to be with us for Easter, but because of some complications her trip got delayed. I haven't seen her in a long time and I miss her. Last week I worked through all of my designated "walking" and "meditation" time slots and so my body aches and my mind is cluttered. It's not about the platter. It's about me and my deeper feelings.
I am acutely aware of all this even as I make my husband look through the boxes in the garage (where he finally finds it, still wrapped from our move BEFORE Christmas). I want to cry, but it's Easter and my kids are ready for the joy and glory that we taught them this particular holiday promises.
I'm human, and I'm messy, and it's going to take a lot more work on self-examination, self-awareness and mindfulness to really be the best version of myself when my platter is missing. Hopefully I can do that before my kids grow up and my husband gives up on me.
Enter Brandy Word Stanton, CEO and program director of Blu Ambition. She is the woman I need right now. She gets to the point and gets things done "quick, fast, and in a hurry." I need to hear her say "we are human and we are messy," point her finger at me and with her beautiful big brown eyes filled with compassion say: "Mind your own business. Permission granted."
For Brandy, my business is not my singing or my show, it's not my marriage, not anything that I DO. When she says "mind your own business" she means mind YOU.
I sat down with Brandy for our Waking Up In America interview, excited to experience in person what I had already gathered from her online presence and her bio: that she is a force. She's beautiful, confident, and unapologetically herself.
Brandy's courage is what inspires me right off the bat. She didn't wait for a major catalyst to decide to make a change in her life. She actually listened to that "pull" inside, what I recognize as a "whisper" in the depths of our soul:
"Your soul is always going to communicate with you whether you realize it or not," she says. "It's always going to try to pull you to where you need to be."
Brandy was raised to work hard, and she did. She had good grades, went to college, became a single mother and after graduating entered the workforce in social services, finding forever families for foster kids. She was good at it, got paid well, and she was making a difference for "precious children," as she calls them with gentleness and caring in her voice. But her soul's pull was strong, and she listened.
And this is where her courage blows me away. She has a child, she lives with a roommate, she can't afford anything better, and yet, she has the courage to honor the whisper in her soul and make a huge leap of faith to change her situation.
"I was 30-something years old and I didn't know who I was ... I needed to meet myself. I needed to become best friends with myself and I realized that nothing else was going to come until I dealt with [my] self."
I get it. Courage is what we need to wake up, to really make the intention to do what's going to be hard and meet ourselves -- the good and the bad, the shadows and the dark corners.
But then what? What comes next?
Self-awareness is where, she says, it's all at. She stopped watching television, stopped "ripping and running" and "going here and there and everywhere," and she "just took care of her" -- mind, body and spirit.
She makes it sound very doable, and not at all trite. "Life is too short," she says again, and I nod in agreement. God knows I am tired of ripping and running and going here and there and everywhere -- like chicken without a head... or a hostess without a platter.
"If you aren't going to become aware, and accept, and be accountable for where you are and the part you played to get yourself there, and to take that blame from everybody else and have some accountability for yourself, then you're not gonna go any further."
I ask Brandy to sing, because music heals and speaks to our hearts in ways that words alone can never do. She sings Heroes (We Could Be) by Alesso, and when I hear the words, "We could be heroes me and you" and see the light in Brandy's eyes, I feel a tug in my soul telling me that where I need to be is here -- right here, right now. I decide to listen.
I don't really need a platter. I just need permission to mind my business and take care of me -- my mind, my body and my spirit. That, and the permission to remain human... which sometimes also means "messy."
Brandy Word Stanton is a mentor and life strategist. She is currently CEO and Program Director of Blu Ambition where she works with clients to find, develop, and 'mind their business.'