National Day of Listening

Most days when I sit down to write these posts, I have no idea where to start.


I think about writing something witty, snarky, silly.


I think about using the time to uplift, inspire, educate.


I feel pressure to speak about my work, the business, stuff that makes money.


But if I’m silent enough. And still enough. What comes to me is this…


Sometimes I don’t want to write anything. I want to be in gestation, growing new ideas and thoughts. I don’t always want to produce for production sake, and I don’t want to worry about whether or not it gets a response.


Today is our National Day of Listening, and that’s exactly what I decided to do.


In the silence, I can hear a smaller voice emerge, one that says to take a step back not forward. To sit not pace. To listen, not talk. And if I do listen, I can hear the tiny sounds of new ideas rushing to be formed and my patience rising up like a swell.


I sit and I listen.


And I always end up writing.


But it’s never what I thought it would be.


If you’re looking for something to listen to that will spark your inspiration and help you explore your inner thoughts, tune-in to our Talk To Jess podcast today or sometime this weekend.




Post-Election Emotions: 5 Ways to Feel Angry and Take Action

In the aftermath of the election results, so many people I speak to are still reeling in disbelief. Fatigued by the 24-hour spin cycle from cable news dissecting the results and trying to find various statistics to blame. Some people have taken social media breaks. Others have unfriended family and folks who just don’t share the same views. And still, others shout for us to calm down and “give him a chance.”


Well, sorry, but nope on that last one.


In the first week since becoming president-elect, Donald Trump has proven to be pretty good at making really bad choices for our country and the name of inclusivity and progress. An anti-Semite as your chief strategist, check. A man who couldn’t get approved as a Federal judge in the 90’s because he was SO racist as your State Attorney General, check. And honestly, the list continues, but I just can’t.


So here are 5 few things we can do to make sure we are staying woke, staying curious, and staying active.



  1. Never normalize.  Do you remember the first few days after the election when it didn’t seem real? That uneasy feeling you had about the direction of our country and what this could mean for the future? Hold on to that. This election was not only historically unprecedented, but it also was and continues to be a threat to the values our country is supposed to protect.  A fact that might provide a small piece of consolation is that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by enormous margins. It sometimes helps to remember the majority of Americans did not vote for racism, sexism, and xenophobia.  As the news cycle continues to spin the hateful and bigoted acts of the president-elect into ordinary political rhetoric, #Resist. Don’t turn a blind eye or rationalize that “it could be worse.” There is no gray scale for hate. Don’t tolerate any of it.
  2. Poke and Probe.  You know when children are young and are full of endless questions about everything? It’s exhausting, but it’s the best way for them to engage with the world around them. We need to take a lesson from kids on this one and not stop asking questions. Tough questions, obvious questions, genuine questions— everything is fair game because we are invested in the world around us and we deserve answers. It’s tiring, but important for democracy. Ask the questions enough and governing bodies will be forced to answer. We deserve transparency. Oh, and for everyone saying we are being “sore losers” for asking questions and feeling angry…check out #3.
  3. Drop the Good Girl Act. Sometimes telling women they are “too angry” is really code for “Be a good girl and be nice.” Well, it’s not nice to paint a swastika on a park bench or tag “Heil Trump” on inclusive churches. It’s not nice to openly mock a disabled person or grab a woman by her “p***y”. So you know what, I’m dropping the good girl act and I’m feeling angry. It’s an emotion like any other and it has the power to drive us to action. I am not skirting this emotion because it makes others uncomfortable. Being oppressed but well-liked shouldn’t be the measure of any woman. Be vocal and make your point no matter who is in the room.
  4. Honor the Self. We spend so much time working on ourselves. We learn to let go of the negative. We say we want to accept positive vibes only. But recognize that you can still practice self-care and self-love while expressing opposition. It is my love for humanity right now that fuels my righteous anger right now. When you see an injustice done, you should allow yourself to feel that rage because it comes from a place of love and compassion for others. You can also transmute that energy by taking action. Let the feeling bring you into a place of momentum – which brings us to #5.
  5. Put Your Money Where Your Passion Is:If you want to mobilize the areas of social justice you care about, consider making a financial contribution (of any size). These organizations need your support now more than ever. And if you can’t financially donate, call and ask how you can give some time to volunteer. There are petitions galore circling around (and quite frankly I sign most of them) and lots of articles on calling your reps (which I’ve also done). But I also need to feel like I am aligning my emotions with action right now and so the organizations below are just a few that I’ll be making donations to this holiday season!

Southern Poverty Law Center

Planned Parenthood


National Resources Defense Council

Everytown for Gun Safety

Trevor Project

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Black Lives Matter

Stand with Standing Rock


Yours in Anger and Action,



10 Free Ways To Pay-It-Forward

Kindness is a universal language and November 13th is World Kindness Day. Take the time to celebrate an entire day dedicated to inspiring individuals to be kind to each other. It costs little-to-nothing for us to pay it forward and small free acts of kindness can lead us to even bigger ones. Here are 10 ways to start


  1.  Share a smile – The simplest, least-expensive way to give kindness to a stranger. Also, check out one of my favorite Instagram blogs, @SmileADay. Smile a Day is filled with beautiful smiles and stories about happiness.


  1. Give a compliment – this can be given as an addition to the shared smile. Compliments truly can brighten a person’s day. And I don’t know one person who doesn’t get a boost of energy from giving or receiving an exchange of compliments.  giphy
  2. Go volunteer at your local shelter – There’s never a shortage of volunteer work! And there are many options for volunteering: homeless shelter, animal shelter, children’s hospital, and more. If you’re already volunteering somewhere, invite a friend to join you.tumblr_myphfi5ufk1s4a7cao1_500
  3. Instead of forgetting about them and eventually tossing in the trash, take leftover food from your fridge and offer it to your neighbors or community.image08
  4. Help someone carry bags to their car – We all struggle with this when grocery shopping alone. Spend 2 minutes to lend a helping
  5. Let someone cut you in line – Especially if you’re not in a rush. That’s a sure way to make someone feel like a VIP (just remember to show courtesy to anyone waiting behind you).  e9db06cfa0af849839fdccda97761f79018cc2b9
  6. Share your extra coupons with the person behind you in the checkout line.image00
  7. If you’re running errands, offer to pick up a few things for your neighbor.image02
  8. Offer to write a letter of recommendation for someone – Tap into your network and see if anyone is in need of a recommendation. It can even be as simple as writing one on their LinkedIn profile. image07
  9. On crowded public transit, give up your seat to someone in need. This should be a regular act, but if it’s not make it a point to be considerate today.image03

BONUS: Pray for someone or send them good intentions. This is one of my favorites. I believe there is power in prayer and good intentions and even more power when intent is sent in numbers. Join someone in manifesting their wishes.image10


Meijer Eliminates Plus-Size Section

The fashion industry has a history of making Plus-Size women feel more like the “other.” Go shop in the “other” section. Select from these “other” styles and designs, and pay these “other” prices.

From my own experience (and the 200+ comments on my Facebook post), treating plus-sized women like the “other” can make something as ordinary as shopping a real self-esteem downer. It comes with many inconveniences and, if you LOVE fashion like I do, it can make you feel unworthy of being stylish in your own skin.

When one of my favorite actresses, Leslie Jones, couldn’t find a designer to make something for her to wear to her “Ghostbusters” premiere, she took to social media to express her frustration.


You are not alone @lesdoggg!



Anyone who has ever had to separate from friends at the mall while on a shopping trip knows how frustrating it is. You just want to shop for the same cute styles as the next girl—in YOUR size. Yet, we have to part ways and enter the section of over-priced and under-fashioned clothing (and why on earth is the Plus-Size section always by the appliances anyway?).




Did you know that the average American woman now wears between a size 16 and a size 18? The industry calls us “plus-size women,” a term that fashion consultant and television personality Tim Gunn would like to erase. He says the fashion industry needs a makeover “because plus-size women deserve fashion – and we deserve the same amount choices offered to straight sizes.”

I couldn’t agree more, and Meijer agrees too.


Meijer recently announced that by 2017, they’ll have eliminated the “plus-size department” — combining all sizes on the same rack across 230 stores in the Midwest. Finally, an open-door invitation for all people who love fashion to enjoy a positive shopping experience — and that’s good for business!




This will completely change the shopping experience at Meijer, creating a space that allows all women shop together based on fashion trend, not size. They are also selling all clothing in all sizes at same price — THANK YOU!!! 🙏🏼

Check out this video from Meijer’s “Plus-Size” elimination and inclusion announcement.
You can really feel the happiness and joy in JoElla’s heart in this video – I feel it too! This is a great example of what brands can do to make consumers feel connected, included and SEEN.  Love it! More please!