MN Podcast 1 – Let's Talk About Love

Hello, Nomaads! Here is my first attempt at creating a podcast. I know that usually an “Intro” episode is appropriate, but I figured we should just jump into it! The intro and explanation can come later. Let me know what you think! Thank you for tuning in and roaming with me. As always, I am grateful.

Originally Featured on Medium :: How to Transform our Silent Millennial Identity Crisis into our Greatest Strength

There’s an elephant in the room, and we need to talk about it. No, I am not talking about the Republican party. No, I am not referring to the logo I use for my Millennial Nomaad interviews. I am talking about the inner conflict and cultural shifts that the Millennial generation seems to be silently battling.

We assume that with all the noise on social media, we suddenly have a more transparent group of peers expressing themselves. But, there is more to be understood from what is left unsaid than what is publicly shared.

I remember the first time I had an anxiety attack. I was in the shower and listening to music when all of a sudden the walls felt like they were slowly caving in. The steam suddenly felt like an invisible plastic wrap around my face, and my chest felt heavy. I had been stressed before, but never had I experienced this sensation. All I could think to do was crouch like a child under the water coming from the shower head and let my tears fall with it. I mean it works in the movies, right? I cried and cried and then felt relieved. Back then, I didn’t understand these emotions or where they came from. I just felt weak for not being able to control them.

Control. Fear. Resistance to change. Self-doubt. These became the themes of my life for a period of time. I was uncomfortable moving forward and taking risks. I was even more uncomfortable feeling stuck in my rut. I turned to friends and family for guidance, yet left our conversations feeling like they did not fully understand how to guide me. So, I deflected and ran away from myself –searching for external signs rather than trusting my own intuition. I chased the ideas of what well-intentioned people thought would be best for me and spent all my time trying to configure myself into that image like a human Rubik’s cube. I didn’t want to fail by making the wrong choices, but more importantly, I didn’t want to disappoint.

I don’t like appearing weak. I mean, who does? We often think that vulnerability makes us a moving target, and so did I. I had a surplus of confidence, but a deficiency in true self-esteem. I was lost and thought I was the only one feeling that way. So, I threw myself into self-help books. Yes, some were super cheesy but a few did change my life. I watched interviews of public figure “comeback” stories— more intrigued by their ability to navigate a downfall than the actual outcome of their rise.

Slowly, I started connecting all these dots until one day it clicked. I realized every successful person that, in my opinion, embodied strength and leadership had experienced a breakdown moment. A moment of no turning back, because the old Self was simply –gone. This made me wonder whether feeling lost or vulnerable is really such a bad thing?

When I started to interview my peers for my website, I decided to focus on this transitional phase — the self-discovery of the rise and not just the reward of the result. And wow, I was so incredibly wrong about being alone in my emotions. I spoke with brilliant minds ranging in age from early twenties to early thirties –individuals from various nationalities, cities and industries. Only then, did I see that beyond the surface of these genuinely confident, intelligent, creative and accomplished people, there was some internal odyssey. A quest for greater truth, for greater knowledge and self-mastery all masked under the fear of feeling isolated from others.

I listened to each individual closely and observed their facial expressions. Suddenly, their words carried greater weight. Their stories landed in my heart and resonated with me. These were young, everyday people who were striving for something greater than themselves. Their insight excited me, because I noticed a pattern.

Now, I am not a psychologist. Nor, am I guru. I am a human connecting with other humans and listening to their stories –some of the most beautiful and raw stories. The four main things I have gathered so far from these interviews are:

  1. Every human is, well, a walking story. Some are like non-fiction –more direct in their approach to life. Some are like a novel –more layered and complicated. Others, like poetry –elusive at times, yet touch your heart.
  2. Feeling lost is the beginning of coming home to yourself again. It’s an invitation for growth.
  3. On the other side of fear is what you’ve always wanted. Fear is not the end of the road; it is the bridge.
  4. True visionaries and artists understand that vulnerability is a strength, compassion is a gift, and that power comes with responsibility.

This reconstruction of identity I see my peers grappling with daily is not unique to only the Millennial generation. Yet, we are confronting these growing pains as our external society is undergoing dramatic changes. We have less time to process and even shorter attention spans than before. But, we are unique in that our attempt to understand our conflicted internal worlds actually makes us more relatable to others in our external worlds. Globally, these cultural shifts are unravelling as people try to bridge the polarizing gaps in perspective and to empathize.

I reflect on my first anxiety attack and flip through pages of notebooks filled with my jumbled thoughts. With time, the cracks in my self-image began to make more sense. And as Millennials all over the world begin to confront themselves and their belief systems, there is a special opportunity for creating greater harmony among others. First, we must begin human-to-human.

There comes a time when nothing will ever feel the same. But, who is to say different cannot mean better? We can help each other move forward.

4 Inspirational Blogs Created By Lady Bosses You Need to Check Out

In the blogging world, competition can get real. I mean, it's not gladiator level serious. No one is dressed in metal skirts fighting in front of a riled mob. Yet, with the over abundance of information sprawled out all over the internet, getting your message across without sounding redundant, cliche or bland in comparison can be challenging. It's like everyone wants to be a guru now-a-days.

That being said, there is a big BUT to all of this. Blogging is a form of storytelling and expression. Ultimately, each blogger is either providing you with info, value or an experience. And Millennial Nomaad is all about sharing experiences. So here comes the BUT... Every writer, artist, entrepreneur, etc wants to be recognized. But, if you are worried about some healthy competition than that means you are doubting your value. In honor of sharing knowledge, sharing passion & building a community of understanding, I have selected a few fellow bloggers & entrepreneurs who have created their own niche with a unique dash of charm. I've always believed that if you provide good content (backed with good marketing) your audience will find you. And if what you provide further resonates in an authentic way, then your audience will support you.

As creative artists, sometimes we need guidance with practical living & strategic planning. (It's okay to ask for help!) Hope you enjoy this selection from some brilliant minds providing you with just that. Let me know what you think & share any insight in the comments below!

1.) http://www.nikkinovo.com/

Photo credit: @nikkinovo Instagram

Photo credit: @nikkinovo Instagram

Nikki Novo is a seasoned writer having been the creator of Refinery's Miami chapter, as well as a published author. (Check out her book --> Will I Be Alone Forever: And Other Love Questions You Wish a Psychic Would Answer) I met her while at a South Florida Bloggers Networking event in Miami. I love how she simplifies ancient words of wisdom into direct and practical advice to help you lead an authentic life. She's like the go-to friend and/or cool aunt that every girl would want.

2.) http://www.loveshayda.com/

Photo credit: www.loveshayda.com

Photo credit: www.loveshayda.com

Shayda is sassy and glamorous, but don't let the polished photo shoots fool you. In addition to some healthy living tips, product reviews & glam photography, she has plenty of real and intimate advice on mindful living. Having recently received a dual Masters degree in Marriage, Couples & Family + Mental Health counseling, she's an exciting mix of compassionate meets assertive, beauty meets soul, and businesswoman all around. Shayda is all about balancing the good life + boss life.

3.) http://www.theyoungprofessionalist.com/

Photo credit: @theyoungprofessionalist Instagram

Photo credit: @theyoungprofessionalist Instagram

Meet Antoinette, a.k.a The Young Professionalist. Based out of Philadelphia, she is a force to be reckoned with. We all know many millennials are turning away from the corporate world. But, Antoinette is here to help our generation improve our professional relationship in the corporate field, while encouraging companies to better appeal to millennial job seekers. In her own words, she is all about "bridging the gap between millennials and older generations to create awesome young professionals and future CEOS!" If you are a creative mind, yet are still interested in the corporate lifestyle, Antoinette is an example of how you can live the best of both worlds.

4.) http://mavenly.co/

Photo credit: mavenly.co

Photo credit: mavenly.co

Spearheaded by founder Kate Gremillon & co-founder Tallia Deljou + their team, Mavenly is something we all wish we had about 5 years ago. (That's when I was a little freshie entering the candy store of knowledge called college.) Maybe having these mentors would have better guided my career decision making. But then again, I've always been the type to kind of just follow my intuition & figure it out from there. Nonetheless, Mavenly is a powerhouse of some incredible women & intelligent go-getters. I love their emphasis on building a community of lady bosses + a network of peer-to-peer support.

MY MINI-GUIDE TO HAPPINESS

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Smile. Breathe. Hakuna Matata. 

Alright, we get it. We have all probably heard enough from people telling us to calm down, stay positive, and to keep moving. But, that’s okay. Because to be honest, we forget half the positive advice we hear anyway when we are drowning in our own pool of self-doubt.

Over the past few years, I’ve come to realize there are different kinds of happiness. There is that state of pleasure and excitement that we experience when something great happens. There is that silent, inner happiness that arises in a smile when we least expect it after we have overcome any emotional challenge. And then, there is that stable happiness- the state of mind in which we learn to balance the moments of euphoria with the more subtle instances of inner contentment.

In the process of experiencing it all, I’ve often thought about the concept of happiness both on my own and through conversation with those around me. A while back, my friend Paris and I actually made a list of things/moments that made us happy. And so, I stumbled upon this list that I had written in high school and compared my thoughts from then until now.

And while I still agree with the majority of my list, there is one main difference I have realized. It is not always about what makes us happy. Sometimes it is more important to focus on how we can be happy. This prompted me to create my second, basic list in hopes of stumbling upon it in a few years and once again examining the result of time and experience.

So, here is my Mini-Guide to happiness:

1.)  Know that happiness is not a permanent feeling. It is an evolving state of mind that requires balance.

2.)  Be honest with yourself. Know what values you stand for and respect them.

3.)  Give yourself something, anything to look forward to each day. I have been doing this since I was a kid. No matter how trivial or significant it may be.

4.)  Give yourself at least 5 minutes to adjust to waking up in the morning rather than jolting out of bed and rushing to get ready.

5.)  Music, Music & more Music. One song can completely shift the mood and ambience. Likewise, I’d like to think that there is a song to fit almost any mood.

6.)   Be curious enough. Allow yourself the freedom to grow and to explore. Branch out, but don’t forget your roots.

7.)  Be open to meeting new people, but embrace true friendship and family. Don’t confuse them with bandwagon friends.

8.)  Get to really know someone beyond just his/her presentation.

9.)  Ask someone how he/she is doing and actually care about the reply. Kindness is underrated.

10.) Know there is a time to talk and a time to listen. A time to pursue and a time to let it be. It’s all about timing.

11.) Never close your heart. Welcome love and give love so that you can embody love.

12.) Define yourself. Figure out your own definition of happiness and how to obtain it.

– Elnaz <3

FEELING DOUBTFUL? INSPIRATION FOR CREATIVE SOULS

A must watch TED Talk from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, as she talks about the process of creativity and the difference between the creative spirit and the individual.

“You know, is it rational? Is it logical that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this Earth to do. And what is it specifically about creative ventures that seems to make us really nervous about each other’s mental health in a way that other careers kind of don’t do, you know?”

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“That’s not at all what my creative process is — I’m not the pipeline! I’m a mule, and the way that I have to work is I have to get up at the same time every day, and sweat and labor and barrel through it really awkwardly. But even I, in my mulishness, even I have brushed up against that thing, at times. And I would imagine that a lot of you have too. You know, even I have had work or ideas come through me from a source that I honestly cannot identify. And what is that thing? And how are we to relate to it in a way that will not make us lose our minds, but, in fact, might actually keep us sane?”