Brave, Bold and Strong…

Sometimes you have to be strong when you don’t feel strong.
If you’re going through something right now, know that it is because
the opposition knows your potential. Do you?

Hey there again Legacy Lovers,

Hope you had an awesome week.  I admit it’s been a bit trying for me… but more on that in a second.

Last week, I expounded on the idea of #thelove2lead – having enough self-love to love those around you and benefit the world in which we all live.  I used the example of Moses, a biblical prophet and his work with water.  I noted that though Moses is indeed a great biblical figure, there were some things about his legacy that often go overlooked.

True, he was so favored that God spoke to him face-to-face, something he’d never done with any other prophet before nor has He done since.  And yet, Moses – for all his favor – was not permitted to enter the promised land, the land of milk and honey. For all his favor, Moses didn’t get it exactly right – but you know who did?  Joshua.

When Moses was old and graying, he appointed Joshua to succeed him as leader of the Isrealites.  It was Joshua who would take them through the Jordan (on dry ground) into Canaan. It was Joshua who would have the Isrealites march around the city of Jericho seven times until the walls fell down.  It was Joshua who would lead them in battle to annihilate the Amalekites to near extinction. And it was Joshua who would lay the foundation for many years of peace in this new land.

For all Moses’ favor, it wasn’t Moses… it was his protege.

Like Moses, Joshua would part waters – but the people would camp in houses they didn’t build and eat from vineyards they didn’t plant… unlike their parents and grandparents who would wander in the desert after crossing the Red Sea.  Like Moses, Joshua would wage war – but he would lead the men into battle, fighting valiantly alongside them as their general. And like Moses, Joshua would doubt himself and his ability.

Though it is primarily implied in scriptures, we can presume that Joshua doubted himself because of how often God has to tell him “Don’t worry. Be strong. Be of good courage. Fear nothing.” I mean, come on, it’s likely Moses didn’t infuse the kid with confidence considering he was often lacking it himself.

And yet, even afraid and likely concerned, Joshua still managed to do incredible, improbable, implausible things.  Somehow, despite the fact that he needed the reminder that he was capable and qualified he still managed to make it.  Quite likely, given God’s consistent pep talks, Joshua didn’t feel strong. But he was strong!

Sometimes we have to be strong even when we don’t feel it.

Remember earlier when I said I had a trying week?  I’d been displaced from my home with son just before his scheduled operation. I’d been passed over for a contract – income I needed given our newly emergent emergencies.  Being me, I started hustling immediately and managed to find myself some housing and some quick income.  However, when my sitter told me that her kids were drastically contagious, there not only went my childcare but my most recent money-making opportunity. To top it off, my tornado weather swooped in on the day of his procedure so my out-of-town support never made it due to grounded flights.

The stress of it all began to wear on my health.  For a minute, I wondered if I was bouting fatigue or depression.  It wasn’t just that I couldn’t get out of the bed, at times I genuinely didn’t want to.  I was worried, weak and worn. Why was all this happening?  It seemed like every time I got one thing under control something else would crop up.

I felt done.

But you know what? I had to be strong.

I had to get up out the bed because someone was depending on me. It took me longer than usual, but after I’d done it a few times it became easier. I would get up before him instead of being shaken (or incessantly poked) awake. I got on the phone and the computer, I made phone calls, marketed workshops and organized future opportunities for collaboration and contracting. Though we weren’t in our own space, I made it as much like home as I could with what I could salvage, and gave my son extra “mommy time” after waking and before bed.

I didn’t feel well, but nonetheless I had to be strong. And I was.

I meant I had to pull deep.  Like I told you last week in The Love to Lead, you have to focus on something beyond yourself and draw from something greater than yourself.  The result?

When I tell you that my son thought these were amazing adventures, smiled and sang his way into surgery and made friends at the local medical facility that housed us until he was cleared from recovery!!!

I don’t share all this to brag but rather to make my point.  Sometimes you have to be strong when you don’t feel strong.  Since my son was old enough to understand fear we’ve been discussing the importance of being “brave, bold and strong.” What I look like telling him to do something I’m not willing to? And yes, that point was so good it warranted bad English. I’ve said before, and will say again, a good example is better than the best advice.

So be brave, be bold, be strong. Know that if you are going through something right now it is because the opposition is well aware of your potential. The question is, are you?  Do you know that this is temporary?  Do you know that where you are is not a reflection of who you are, or even how you are right now?  Do you know that there is an X-factor in your life that undermines your every effort be better, have more and do good?  Do you know that the only way to defeat it is to arm yourself? It’s time you learned this because it’s not just for you; heck, it’s not even about you.

But here’s the best part, when you TRY, when you keep going.  When you are strong even when you don’t feel like it, when you move boldly knowing that there is also a Supreme God that has your back and is fighting alongside you (and even fighting/winning battles before they can make their way to you), you start to see the outcomes of your efforts. What’s happening around you begins to align with what’s going on inside you. What you do (and even what you don’t do) generate success!

Now, this is not me saying, “Oh, I’ve heard about this and how it work. My cousin’s sister’s boyfriend’s groddaughter’s hairdresser’s niece did it. If she can, you can too.” This is me telling you I know because I have walked in these shoes and – even rundown, run over and leaning – they’re still functioning just fine.

In other words: I’ve been here.  I am still here. Right now! With a recovering little guy an all, and we’re still making it. So I urge you, if this is where you are:

Be brave. Be bold. Be strong.


The Family Factor
Looking beyond yourself, drawing upon something bigger than you, doing what’s necessary despite your feelings about it – that’s maturity.  We need mature leaders in the family not only to show others how it’s done, but to lay the groundwork.  Joshua laid the groundwork for the Isrealites in the Promise Land. Your children, siblings, mentees…parents, the people in your life need to see how you handle adversity; they need to see how you weather the storm.  Building an empire is no easy task. People need to know that. When you’re done, they’ll want your glory… so make sure they know your story.  They’ll want to share your testimony… so show them how you aced the test. Share your experiences.  Don’t shelter people from your process. This crucial component is practically non-existent in families today.  People are buckling, so families are crumbling.  If you want to leave a legacy you have to be different. Be the builder and the bridge. Lift as you climb. You can tweet that!



Live, Laugh, Love & Legacy,
Akima Aiken Brown


Brave, Bold and Strong… Read More »

Visions and… Revisions

People change – so while this may be you today, tomorrow you could find that your direction differs,
along with the hurdles you’ll face and the actions you’ll need to take to overcome them.

Hello there again Legacy Leaders,

I hope you all are doing great.  We’re a little off-schedule, but we love that you’re here.

I am so glad for the week I’ve had, but there’s nothing like the weekend, am I right?  I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation before I get back to planning and prepping for the week ahead.  It’s always great to stop and process what you’ve learned so you can streamline it into your process.  Hopefully, these posts are blessing you with that a little bit.  Stay tuned as we’ll be changing up the format a bit, to serve you even better.

We’ve been talking about clarity and consistency for a while and how it can come to help you live an abundant life. I believe those two keys are critical elements to everything else you want to achieve in life. In fact, I take the time to point out in Clarity and Consistency – Part 2, just how the two coming together enhances your chances for success.

Now, that we understand what we do about them, I think it’s time to move on to the creation process. What do we need to do to cultivate clarity and consistency in our lives and manifest success?

In my opinion, this happens in three parts:

  1. Know yourself and what you offer.
  2. Know what you need from others.
  3. Leverage your relationships (the exchange of giving what you offer and getting what you need) for mutual optimizations; think win-win.

Knowing yourself is about knowing what you were put here on this earth to do and having some idea of how you are going to do it.

purpose driven life image - fm land

Previously, I discussed four different types of people, how they interact with the world around them. I even touched a bit on how certain personality types benefit those who beat them, as well as others around them – even the world at large.  These are the Visionaries, Analysts, Builders and Implementers.

In this post, I will go into a bit more depth about Visionaries and Analysts.  In the coming weeks, we’ll discuss the Builders and Implementers.

Through it all I’ll do my best to offer insight into how you can overcome the obstacles often associated with the respective personalities to ensure that you find yourself manifesting the best for your life.

Granted, people change – so while this may be you today, tomorrow you could find that your direction differs, therefore so do your hurdles and the means you’ll need to take to overcome them.  With that said, let’s jump right in with…

The Visionary
Optimal Function: Visionaries are at their best when they are surrounded by their other three personality counterparts. Visionaries need the others if they’re actually going to get anything done.  They need Analysts to reel them in and scale back those big ideas so they can managed and achieved TODAY.  They need Builders to help them devise an actionable plan. And, of course, Implementers get the job done.  At their best, a visionary is like a body of water with many arms; they receive their pecking orders from the Source then delegate the responsibilities to the various parties; and of course there’s always backflow because Visionaries learn best from those around them.

Median Function: A Visionary is great at finding other Visionaries and Analysts. With a host of people captivated by their ideas, old and new, and to pare them down as needed, the median level Visionary feels invigorated and energized, but still gets the sense that something is missing. They know that other things need to happen in order to get their dreams off the ground, but they’re uncertain what that “something” is.  More often than not, the median level Visionary has to stop looking at “everyone else” as “them” and “they”.  Visionary at this level fare better when they understand the value everyone brings to the table; for instance, seeing Implementers as vital contributors rather than “the help”. If you’re an MLV (median level visionary), learn  to (appreciate and) play well with people different than you and you can surpass even your own grand standards of success.

Frustrated Function:  A Visionary without a vision isn’t alive. But a Visionary with a vision and no outlet for bringing it to pass… is a powder keg! Often narcissistic and entitled, the frustrated Visionary doesn’t understand why everyone else can’t see their brilliance. Their magnetism and charm will often draw folks in, only to have them pushed away just as fast with their sharp tongue and bitter wit. More often than not, the VFF (visionary of frustrate function) lashes out because of fear. Fear that she isn’t as good as she once thought; or that he isn’t as good as others have claimed him to be. If you’re a frustrated (and fearful) Visionary I urge you to spend time getting out of our head; preferably getting your hands dirty.  Garden, paint, play in clay, play with your kids, volunteer, dance naked around your house (or outside, just know your local laws about that).  I’ve found the time you spend thinking and the more you spend moving, you invite new ways to clear out the junk and let the sunshine in.

The Analyst
Optimal Function: Analysts, unlike the Visionaries, Builders and Implementers, can thrive working with one or all of their counterparts. So long as an Analyst’s opinions are respected and valued, s/he can thrive at any stage of the goal-getting game.  Analysts can help visionaries by outlining what’s working and what’s not in the overall scheme of things.  They prove useful to builders as a plan is being laid out, or even once it has been enacted.  Implementers can benefit from Analysts’ sage advice by receiving real time, quality feedback about how to make things PRACTICALLY better.  An optimal Analyst knows how to provide an honest, constructive assessment that will ensure results without making people feel picked on, put down or called out.

Median Function: At the median level, Analysts are often brimming with ideas for improving things, but lacking in tact. Median level Analysts are often considered cheeky, snarky, curt and even rude. These are the people who leave a bad taste in folks mouths not with what they say, but how they say it. While they are quick to offer a solution, their delivery is far from favorable. It’s like wrapping diamonds in a poop-filled pamper.  Sure, if you’re willing to do the work, you’ll get the gems – but you’re likely so turned off by the smell you never knew the jewels were there.  In many cases, the Analyst is right and has a sound idea of what needs to happen, but change is hard enough without complications and hurt feelings.  If you’re a median level Analyst looking to bump yourself up a notch consider enrolling in some free online communication courses or brushing up on some engaged listening techniques.

Frustrated Function: You know them well, the people who can see everything that’s wrong but never what’s right.  They have an answer (make that complaint) for everything with nary a solution in sight.  Frustrated Analysts have no filter and no boundaries. Often because they say the first thing that comes to mind, people don’t take them seriously and rarely seek their support for the one thing an Analyst wants to do more than anything – make stuff better.  My recommendation for the AFF (analyst of frustrated function) is this: Be your own project. Take classes, survey family and friends – people who’ll tell you what they really think even if you don’t like it.  Take their suggestions to heart and apply them in the field. This is what you do, you make things better – so start with you. In the meantime: Zip. Zap. Zeal. (ZIP your lips when people tell you their ideas. ZAP your thoughts onto paper. This helps when people want an immediate answer, you can read off your notes. Be ZEALOUS about making self-improvement your top priority).


Now that we know a bit about visionaries and their revisionary counterparts, the Analysts, we’ll need to look at those who help them bring it all together – the Builders and Implementers, which we will do next time.

Remember, everyone has a bit of all these in their blood so don’t be shocked if you can’t peg yourself.  You may find in our next post that you are more Builder or Implementer than either of these.  Just be sure to consider them all and see which best suits at this time in your life so you can act on it and get the most out of it.

And as always, I would love to hear where you think you fall on the spectrum and how you’re using your gifts, skills, talents and abilities to create an amazing life for you and your loved ones – and bless the world. Leave a comment below.  Until next time.

Live, Love, Laugh, Legacy…

Visions and… Revisions Read More »

Sometimes you just gotta tell your kids about themselves…

Hello again Beloveds,

It has indeed been a minute. With school, a baby, a business, and just life in general I haven’t sat down to write like I wanted. But when there’s something you’re meant to do, God will make sure you do it. LOL!

on the East coast the snow has barricaded us indoors for the better part of the last couple weeks, so needless to say not only have I been on Mommy-mode like nobody’s business (which this blog is all about), but I’ve managed to accomplish a few things, so now I can write about those mom-me-adventures.

I’m not complaining; not by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, quite the opposite is true: These past two weeks indoors with my little one have shown me just how much of I had been taking our time together I’d taken for granted.

We’d started homeschooling just before the snow, due to a decline in health and regression in behavior. Chronic infections of the ear, nose and throat made what used to be one of our most peaceful times, a hassle (that I started dreading by 4 p.m.).

About a week ago, it got really bad – with him screaming, kicking and crying for hours (which had me alongside him on the verge of the same). Prayer was the only thing I could think of to keep me sane.  I’m a firm believer that children pick up on the energy of their parents, and I know when I pray I am calm, cool and collected. Since that’s exactly what I needed him to be, I prayed….HARD.

I was mostly praying that my son would stop being a crybaby. My son has always had an incredible vocabulary and impeccable communication skills. He can articulate his feelings (sometimes to my dismay) better than some adults I know. But in the last few months he’s whined, whimpered, pouted and even thrown himself on the ground kicking and screaming when something is bothering him. (That last one only happened twice, he learned VERY quickly we don’t do that here).

So I prayed, I asked God in every conceivable way to help my child not be a crybaby. And then I thought of Samuel and Hannah. Samuel was a great prophet in Israel; he ordained Saul king and anointed David after him. Saul was raised in the temple by the high priest, Eli. His mother, Hannah, sent him to live there after she’d weaned him as a way to keep her promise to Go if He would allow her to conceive. Not only did Hannah conceive Samuel, but she had six more children after him. But still she loved Samuel and poured into his life until the day she died.

Every year, when Hannah went to the temple to worship, she brought Samuel a new epah – the robe of a High Priest. There is no indication that Hannah knew of her son’s future as a prophet and judge. Nothing suggests that he was going to be led to any highly acclaimed position within the temple. Yet, every year, from the time his mother sent him to the temple as a TODDLER, she brought him a robe fit for a high priest.

I believe Hannah told her son what he could be. I believe she didn’t know if he would be a high priest or not, but it’s likely that when others saw him walking around the temple with his robe on, they began to envision in their minds a future for Samuel that included him as high priest. Interestingly enough, when Samuel was called by God as a teenager to surpass the position of high priest, Eli – the high priest – was happy to guide Samuel on his journey.

Hannah may not have lived at the temple with her son, but she certainly sowed into him – even in her absence. I opened my eyes and looked at my son, who was still all tears. I stopped praying. I made him look me in the eyes and I took a page from Hannah’s book. “You can do this,” I told him. “You are a smart, strong and brave little boy.” I never uttered the words cry-baby aloud. I never said a lot of what I was thinking. I spoke life to my son.
And you know what? He was asleep within minutes.

I (re)learned an important lesson that night: speak life.

It sounds simple enough, but it isn’t always easy for parent. I know my son is young, and it supposedly gets harder as they grow up (I say supposedly because I’m speaking life to that now already, too) but speak life. Always speak life. Never mind what friends say or what they’re fighting. Never mind what has come against them. Still speak life. Tell them what they can do and who they really are, so they can see what they’re meant to be.

Speak life. Speak life. Speak life.

I’d love to hear from you. Where are you on your legacy journey?  Already seasoned? Just starting out? Are you leading a tiny dynasty or building your base solo for now? Let me know. Leave a comment.

Sometimes you just gotta tell your kids about themselves… Read More »