What does it mean to slay?
I’ll admit—I’m still figuring it out.
But, I know this single mom with three kids, who survived a tsunami of bankruptcy, divorce, and welfare. Eighteen months later, she was an executive of a software company: Sarah Centrella.
I also know this Professor Emerita of neurochemistry at California State University. She rewires the brain for happiness. Dr. Loretta Breuning.
There’s this other boss-woman, she’s a friendship expert and the founder and CEO of GirfriendCircles.com who’ll chime in. Shasta Nelson.
Last, but never least, there’s Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat Pray Love” and “Big Magic.” She knows a thing or two about pretty much everything.
These women live on my bookshelves and I know them inasmuch as I know their labored revelations, that which has been peeled from their minds and souls, and deposited into the pages of their books.
From each of them, I’ve sourced 1 tip that will help you learn how to slay. To these 4 tips, I’ve added 1 of my own, as a woman and student still figuring things out.
Tip 1.The Writer Tip: Make Room for Fear
A woman who slays is doubtlessly a courageous woman. And, talk of courage always comes back to fear – banishing it, mastering it, overcoming it.
Elizabeth Gilbert takes a different approach to fear in her book, “Big Magic”. She welcomes fear as the “conjoined twin” of creativity. Gilbert believes “Fear and creativity shared a womb,” and their familial lifeline means there’s fear you need, and that you should make space for it, “heaps of space”.
She calls for us to talk back to our fear not with anger, but cordially, because if you “can relax, fear relaxes, too.” Gilbert shows us by talking to her fear directly, and to me, emulating this is step 1 of learning how to Slay.
She says to Fear:
“Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused… You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to vote. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio.”
So we have our first slay lesson from one of the Greats: Invite fear along. Be kind to it. But as Gilbert warns, never ever let fear “drive the car.”
Tip 2.The Executive Tip: Say it & Slay it
Sarah Centrella charts an 8-step plan to success in her book “Hustle Believe Receive.”
These are the steps: Dream it. Think it. Say it. Write it. See it. Do it. Believe it. Live it.
Of the zillion gems in her book, for lesson 2, I’ve chosen this one for you: Say it. Sarah reminds us that owning your dream begins with verbalizing it.
She says, “Instead of saying If I become X, you say WHEN I become X. It’s really that simple… You talk about it in detail as if it’s a GIVEN. You know it’s coming. Not if, but WHEN.”
For Sarah, hers was a big dream to speak into being. She first vocalized her dreams on a bad date. She told him she was going to be on TV, meet Oprah, write a book, and change the world—all of which she did and is still doing.
To me, that’s a woman that slays.
Follow her footsteps by replacing “IF” with “WHEN” in your own life. Then find someone to share your biggest dream with. Don’t be realistic when you tell them about your dream. Be brave. Say it & Slay it.
Tip 3. The Friendship Expert Tip: It Takes a Village
It’s easy to let the word slay become a synonym for success. They evoke the same images: pantsuits, award ceremonies, ethereal gowns, finger-snapping.
But, my definition of slay is girded with community and friendship. It is through others, with others, and for others—it takes a village to find happiness and to stand in it, or in other words, to truly slay.
And, that’s why the friendship expert, Shasta Nelson, makes an appearance here. Shasta has written a book entitled, “Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness.” Shasta’s book teaches readers how to be a better friend, and by extension, a better person.
Stay tuned to Part II of this blog, launching Sunday June 26th, for one of Shasta’s core lessons and our third slay tip.
In Blog II: We’ll also learn from Dr. Breuning’s book, “Habits of a Happy Brain”.
And, you’ll finally hear my very own slay tip. 🙂