Reclaiming Dopeness

Thank you @messinabottle for bringing this shirt to the people…. My sentiments exactly!

A word on dopeness. I had a hard time coming around to defining a word that expresses admiration and gives props all at the same time. Dopeness is an energy that manifests itself when the stars align and one’s ability to be exceptional is giving them a glow.  It’s easy to acknowledge in art or music because creative arts evoke emotion, music can teleport me to a time and place many years past. In that moment every sense is reliving the smells, tastes, sights, sounds, and vibes I felt when the memory and that song were bonded together and tucked into my memory bank. Music gives me all the feels. Like when you hear a song and you have to know who the artist is immediately so you can put it on repeat and start looking for tickets to the live show.

There is another place that dopeness lives, often hidden and unacknowledged.

Dopeness resides in the friend who knows when to be your hype (wo)man, gives you life with all the right photo angles, and knows when to you tell you that you’ve gone too far and proceeds to check you out of love.

Dopeness is the administrator or academic advisor who allows you register for a class that’s closed because it’s the only one that fits your already packed schedule and keeps you on track for graduation.

Dopeness lives in the people who have suffered their own loss or ego blow but still find a way to push through their hurt to be genuinely happy for you when your shine moment comes.

Dopeness is an entrepreneur developing a business that serves an under represented community while building wealth for themselves and others.

Dopeness is a trail blazer who doesn’t see anyone that looks like them in their field but with talent, passion, preparation and advocacy reach the top and pave a way for others.

Dopeness is within you. Let it push through so you can own it in every room you are in. Start with a confident smile followed by words and actions layered with depth and substance and let the dopeness flow.  

Dopeness is two steps above great, more sincere than fantastic, and spot on to acknowledge the emotion evoking person, place, or thing in your life.

I only ask that you don’t waste using the word “Dopeness” on things that have not earned it, like anything from a chain restaurant or built on a foundation of exclusion.

We all have what it takes to be dope! I’m dope because… I am self-aware, honest, generous and savvy. I own when I am wrong and apologize. I want the best for people and from people. I refuse to dim my light, I’d rather inspire people to shine brighter.  I represent a threat to the incumbent because the system has kept them protected while my entire story is laced with people under estimating what I am capable of!

Women are often encouraged to make themselves small and stand in the shadows so that others can stand in the spotlight. We are told that humility will make people more comfortable. Humility has a place but so does owning your dopeness. You will thank me later, say the words I am dope because… and tell me why you are dope in the comments section. I can’t wait to personally respond to each of you.

#youaredope #reclaimingdopeness #gemsforthejourney

This post may have spoken to you directly or someone may have come to mind who needs to recognize or be reminded of how dope they are. Share this blog with them and point them in my direction. DM me @_GemsfortheJourney_ on Instagram or Email me at gemsforthejourney@gmail.com

Now that you have a few new gems let me help you apply them to your unique journey in life or career. Each of us has what it takes to be great. Let’s connect, so we can work together to build your capacity to unlock greatness within you.

23 thoughts on “Reclaiming Dopeness

  1. Tashia Martin, LLC March 14, 2019 — 12:15 AM

    “Women are often encouraged to make themselves small and stand in the shadows so that others can stand in the spotlight.” That really resonated with me. We typically teach our boys to be confident but teach our girls to be competent causing girls and women to question themselves, seek to be perfect and often being overly critical. Cheers to a new way of rearing all of our young people to believe in their dopeness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tashia. These seeds of self awareness are planted early. I’m so committed to seeing young girls flourish beyond the limitations that existed just a generation ago and I know you are too. We are influencing a new generation of boys and young men who will be great because they are confident enough to be supporters of strong women. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    2. I am dope…..because I learn from my mistakes, and pave my own path regardless of people’s opinions or perception of me.

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      1. Hi Kristen. I believe someone who is reading your words needed that push today. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Al-Lynn Symmons. March 14, 2019 — 12:16 AM

    Thank you for the reminder because sometimes it’s easy to forget one’s dopeness. I am dope because I always try to be the best version of myself.

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    1. Thanks Al-Lynn. Your best is all it takes to inspire someone else to be their best and then the cycle continues. I offer what I like to call capacity building support. I work with people 1:1 to understand their goals and define a path to reaching them. Let me know if you are interested in a consultation. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Tashia Martin, LLC March 14, 2019 — 12:26 AM

    I am dope because I take every opportunity to share my contagious smile with others. I’m dope because I am breaking cycles. I’m dope because of my relationship and my faith in God. I’m dope because I have room in my heart to cheer for myself and others. I’m dope because I enjoy doing things that I’m awful at just because it makes me laugh- like freestyling and karaoke. I’m dope because I’m still and always will be discovering!

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    1. Hello Tashia. I love how you own your assets right beside your flaws. Breaking cycles is a blessing to the current and future generations, I am sure that you will be blessed because of the impact that you will have! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. I am dope because even after birthing two whole humans and growing into my role as mommy to them, I still feel compelled to grow myself in all the ways I should in order to reach my full potential!! Mommies often put themselves on the back burner but #iamdope because I remember that I still have purpose that is yet untapped!🙌🏽

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    1. You said it all Nicole. As mothers we must give ourselves more grace. I think it’s also worth mentioning that motherhood can only be a part of one’s identity. We must find ways to nurture and grow the other parts of who we are as whole humans ourselves. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. I am dope because… I have so many great, intelligent, and vibrant women who inspire me. Dopeness layered with more dopeness manifests within me…and it is limitless!

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    1. Hi Bianca. I can totally relate. I have a great family she-tribe and I am constantly inspired by my friend she-tribe. The energy and elevation that these women provide for me is irreplaceable. I’m thinking of dedicating a post to them would you read it?

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      1. Yes!! Absolutely!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. “Dopeness resides in the friend who knows when to be your hype (wo)man, gives you life with all the right photo angles, and knows when to you tell you that you’ve gone too far and proceeds to check you out of love.” This couldn’t be truer! I have become so very grateful for my dope friends. I am dope because of them; their prayers, support, and their ability to fix my crown without telling anyone it was crooked.

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    1. Hi Natalie. I am so with you. Were would we be without our dope she-squads? Thanks for sharing.

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  7. This is spot on! Thank you for writing it. The part that spoke to me the most was about the administrator adding you to a class so that you can graduate on time. When I was in my senior year at Del State, I was a new mom determined to graduate on time. I needed a natural science course, but all of them were full. I kept getting rejected by each instructor, until I went into the departmental office and pretty much balled my eyes out. Then suddenly, an instructor who I never saw before approached me and stated that he teaches a course at the Wilmington campus at night. If I was willing to commute, he would add me to it. I was so thankful. Long story short, I took the drive from Philly to Dover, stopped in Wilmington for class, then went back to Philly. I did this almost daily. Needless to say, I graduated with honors a few months later with my baby on my hip. All because that instructor made a breakthrough for me. He had no idea what I was up against. No idea that some of my family and friends wrote me off and said that I couldn’t do it because I had a baby. He didn’t know where that drive came from and that I would be forever grateful for that one gesture. Now here I am years later able to share this story of perseverance with my almost 13 year old daughter. I am dope because I didn’t allow negative outside noise deter me from my goals and mission.

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    1. Hello Shanae!.This is such a powerful story. None of us arrive at our destination alone. We carry all those who have pushed and advocated for us as we claim the victory that God has for each of us. I know your story will be just the word that someone needs. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. I love this! And I want the mug…

    I am dope because I own my light, shine it bright and strive to amplify others’ light! Thank you so much for the inspiration, Leah. My words will never adequately convey just how dope I think you are!

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    1. Cheers to amplifying your light and others. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  9. I am dope because, I chase my dreams God implanted in me. It’s the only path I know and it allows me to be my best self while impacting others. As you stated being in industry there aren’t many along the same racial and cultural lines, but I look to God and my dope supporters to keep going!
    Great post and thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing Mike. It’s always good to hear from the fellas.

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  10. I am dope because even when I feel like I can’t , I do ! I am dope because I am a fighter ! I am dope because I am a rose that grew through concrete . I am dope because I am breaking the cycle and creating financial security for my family . I am dope because I am secure enough to talk about my opinions and feelings (which is new) !

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    1. Hello Lauren. This is all so great. Unsolicited advice, print this out for yourself and put them somewhere you’ll see regularly or make these words your lock screen on your phone. I see what you have shared here as affirmations! If you are like me there are days when you can use a reminder of these facts! Thanks for sharing.

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