Photography by www.elizabethashleyco.com

BALANCE.  It seems like such a simple word, yet, for me and my busy life it means something different every day.  It can be so easy to get overwhelmed with the daily task list of things to do.  This is how my day went yesterday:  I got up, got the kids ready, packed lunches, dropped them off to school, got to work and had back to back conference calls in the morning, personal business client meeting at lunch, back to back meetings in the afternoon,  left work, went grocery shopping, headed home, cooked dinner while helping the kids with their homework, ate with the family, headed back out for a local chapter meeting for which I am president, returned home in time to say prayer with the kids before they went to bed, washed clothes, recapped the meeting for my client, followed up on more emails and administrative details for the business, got paged for work and had to assist with an issue and then finally went to bed at 12:30am.  Today will be different and so will tomorrow.  Does any of this sound familiar to you?

We are all so very busy being any combination of a wife, mother, professional, entrepreneur, care giver, chapter member and/or officer, PTA president, Sunday School teacher, Girl Scout leader, etc. that we often lose ourselves in the midst of the madness.  When we finally get an opportunity to exhale for a minute, all we want to do is sleep!  Can I get an AMEN?  I realized a few years ago, that although this is the life that I created and wanted, I was run down, worn out and needed to find an outlet to do something for myself.  I realized that I had to prioritize my priorities, start saying no and focus more on me.  How was I going to be there for my family, my friends, my church, and all of my other commitments, if I wasn’t taking care of me?  That is how Project SHE was born.  Out of the chaos of life, I decided to create an organization that provides women with the resources and outlets to give themselves permission to be better, first for themselves, and then their families and their communities.

Last year, Project She launched its first event entitled The SheTreat!  The SheTreat is a retreat experience for women to step away from the everyday grind to REFLECT, REFOCUS and RENEW herself towards her purpose.  Purpose – that word can be intimidating to many, however, for me, purpose is three fold.  First, what is your purpose (goal) for the day?  It may be to make sure that you go by to visit with your elderly family member.  If you are able to complete that goal/task, then you will have fulfilled your purpose for that day.  Next, each of us goes through various seasons in our lives.  Perhaps in this season of your life, you are focusing on health, family, your career, school, etc.?  Once you move through that season, inevitably, there will another, such is life.  Finally, it is my belief that everyone has a divine purpose and gift that God has bestowed on each of us to fulfill and to share with others.  This may be the most challenging because one must really be self-introspective and in tune with their inner voice, to be able to listen, understand, define and identify their true purpose in life.

So now, let’s walk through the cornerstones that make up the SheTreat experience:

REFLECT – We all have a story to tell.  Experiences that are uniquely our own, all of which make up the person that we are today.  Not all of those experiences, however, may be positive or encouraging or uplifting.  They may be full of trials and pain and mistakes and regrets.  But, they still make up who we are; they are still part of us.  We must take the time to reflect on all of our past life experiences, embrace them, accept them and build on them in order to move forward towards our purpose.

REFOCUS – Once we have taken the time to revisit, embrace and accept the past chapters of life, it is time to identify our true purpose.  We each have one that only we can fulfill. As previously discussed, there are various levels of purpose that will continue to influence every day, stage and overall life’s journey.  We are all on a never ending journey to identify and honor our life’s purpose, not for ourselves, but with those around us.

RENEW – We have reflected on the past and refocused on our priorities and our purpose.  Next, it is them time to renew ourselves towards those priorities and that purpose.  If a priority is to lead a healthier lifestyle by incorporating healthier food choices and by exercising 4 – 5 times a week, you must first mentally commit to that said goal.  This, for me, has always been the hardest part.  Our minds can sometimes control our actions.  I am the best at making an excuse for myself on why I cannot do a certain thing at any given time.  This cannot happen.  You must first mentally commit to the goal in order to accomplish the mission.  Share your goal with others so that they can provide you with motivation and hold you accountable.  Establish an executable plan and celebrate the small milestones along the way.

There is just one catch to this experience.  This process is a continuous journey because we are all a work in progress.  I have yet to meet a perfect person or someone who has nothing left to accomplish in life.  We are ever-evolving, ever changing and so therefore, this is not a simple check the box test.  The main key is to stop the cycle of insanity, where we wander aimlessly day after day, yet experience no true level of fulfillment or happiness.  We must take back and RECLAIM our lives and personal identity, thus the theme for our 2017 The SheTreat – RECLAIM YOUR SELF.

Come share this journey with me; I hope to meet you and encourage you when our paths cross.  I will offer a word of advice and support along the way.  I will share my past experiences so that they can hopefully help you with your walk.  When you really think about it and ask the question, Who is the “she” in Project She?  She is you, but she is also me.  We are in this together.  Here’s to you and your journey towards your purpose.

To learn more about Rhonda Smith Hicks and Project She, and The SheTreat, visit www.projectshe.com

 

 

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Rhonda Smith Hicks is a wife, mother of two, IT professional, entrepreneur and cancer survivor. She is originally from New Jersey, however, has called North Carolina home for the past 25 years. Rhonda holds a degree in Business Administration Management from Meredith College. Her corporate career has been in the fields of telecommunications and IT, primarily focusing on project, account, and personnel management. In November, 2009, Rhonda launched her first entrepreneurial venture, Amazing Grace Event Management. Over the past six years, she has had the opportunity to plan and manage events spanning from milestone celebrations and weddings to small business and large corporate trade shows on both a national and international scale.
Rhonda is an active member of her community. She is the president of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter for the National Association for Professional Women (NAPW), which is the largest women's networking organization in the country, with over 600,000 members nationwide. The NAPW, whose president is Star Jones, also includes a nonprofit organization that supports four organizations - Dress for Success, The American Heart Association, Girls Inc. and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation - all of which are important for today's women. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, whose main thrusts are Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service. Rhonda is also a Sunday school teacher and member of the Youth Ministry Leadership Team at her church. When Rhonda is not busy taking her daughter to Girl Scouts or cheering on her son at his basketball games, she loves to travel and spend time with her family. She enjoys hosting gatherings at her home to bring family and friends together for food, fun and fellowship!
Her latest venture, Project She©, is her personal passion. Because she lives the life of a busy wife, mommy and business woman, Rhonda understands the challenges and stressors that can be overwhelming on a daily basis. This project was born out of those experiences and it is her hope this forum will serve as a place for women to support one another in the name of encouragement and positivity through the powerful bond of womanhood.

About The Author

Rhonda Smith Hicks is a wife, mother of two, IT professional, entrepreneur and cancer survivor. She is originally from New Jersey, however, has called North Carolina home for the past 25 years. Rhonda holds a degree in Business Administration Management from Meredith College. Her corporate career has been in the fields of telecommunications and IT, primarily focusing on project, account, and personnel management. In November, 2009, Rhonda launched her first entrepreneurial venture, Amazing Grace Event Management. Over the past six years, she has had the opportunity to plan and manage events spanning from milestone celebrations and weddings to small business and large corporate trade shows on both a national and international scale. Rhonda is an active member of her community. She is the president of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter for the National Association for Professional Women (NAPW), which is the largest women's networking organization in the country, with over 600,000 members nationwide. The NAPW, whose president is Star Jones, also includes a nonprofit organization that supports four organizations - Dress for Success, The American Heart Association, Girls Inc. and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation - all of which are important for today's women. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, whose main thrusts are Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service. Rhonda is also a Sunday school teacher and member of the Youth Ministry Leadership Team at her church. When Rhonda is not busy taking her daughter to Girl Scouts or cheering on her son at his basketball games, she loves to travel and spend time with her family. She enjoys hosting gatherings at her home to bring family and friends together for food, fun and fellowship! Her latest venture, Project She©, is her personal passion. Because she lives the life of a busy wife, mommy and business woman, Rhonda understands the challenges and stressors that can be overwhelming on a daily basis. This project was born out of those experiences and it is her hope this forum will serve as a place for women to support one another in the name of encouragement and positivity through the powerful bond of womanhood.

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