Friday, August 3, 2012

Don't Miss Your Miracle...

I have officially been an Alpha Delta Pi employee for almost a month now. Training has begun, and has flown by. I have gone to Atlanta for Leadership Seminar, home, and back again. I have met amazing leaders; women of gifts and talents. 

While I still cannot believe I am here - and have so much to share concerning this amazing opportunity, a post about LS or my time spent at Memorial Headquarters just doesn't seem quite right as the official "kick off" to this journey. 

Instead, I'd like to share a story that means a lot to me. 

In 2 Kings 5, we learn the story of Naaman. Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army. He was rich and well respected and all those around him knew who he was - he has been successful in battle many times. While very successful, Naaman was a man like any other - not immune to the discomforts or sickness of the earth. Naaman suffered from leprosy.   

Now, what does this have to do with being a sorority woman, you might ask. Just stay with me.  

Naaman has exhausted his resources and there was no hope in sight. Just then, a slave - a young Israelite who had been captured in battle - told her mistress that Naaman should go to Samaria to visit a prophet who would surly be able to cure him.  

Desperate, Naaman and his men set off.  

Naaman went to the prophet, Elisha. Elisha, too, was a well-known and important man. But Naaman arrived, Elisha did not answer the door, but instead sent a servant. The servant told Naaman to go to the Jordan River and wash himself seven times, and that upon the seventh wash, his skin would be healed.  

In a rage, Naaman shouts to the Lord. Angry that he was greeted by a servant instead of the important man he had traveled to see. While in fits of shouting, one of his own servants who accompanied him from Damascus, came to him and said - "Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, you would have done it. Now why can't you just wash yourself, as he said and be cured?" 2 Kings 13

Naaman went down to the Jordan river, and did as his servant suggested, and washed his body. Sure enough, upon the seventh time washing his body, his skin became anew - his leprosy washed away and new clean skin exposed. Naaman was healed. 

Now, if you're still with me, I share this story for a few reasons.   

In some of the most difficult times in my life - this story has served to remind me: don't miss your miracle 

Naaman was strong and proud - as we can all be, far too often. Yet, with all his wealth and all his fame, his saving grace came from those most unlike him: the three servants. It was the poor, and the captured, and the tired, together that gave way to his miracle. 

And this is related to sorority how?!  

In our organization, and in our life, we will meet many people. We will share each path of our life with others.  When we are closed off, or judgmental, when we exclude others. We just might be missing our miracle.  

People come into our lives for a reason. Everyone of us is brought together for a purpose. When we disallow relationships to cultivate - personal, friendships, professional - we might be missing our miracle. We might be closing ourselves off to the person who was meant to give us something, to teach us something, to tell us something, to guide us to our miracle. 

When we only look to interact with those who look like us, and act like us, and dress like us, we may be closing ourselves to the chance of a lifetime.  

To the sisters with whom I have already shared this with, I hope you always remember what a blessing and miracle you all have been to me. And as this year begins, I hope that I too can continue to learn what it means to open myself up to others and to allow those I meet to teach me, just as I hope to teach them.  

<3 Love & Loyally 

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes...

I feel so absolutely honored and blessed to announce that I have been hired for the 2012 - 2013 academic year for my dream job! I will be serving Alpha Delta Pi as a Leadership Consultant and I could not feel more blessed!

Alpha Delta Pi has already given me so much and now I have the opportunity to serve others, sharing the sisterhood that I love so much, and pay forward the many gifts that have been given to me! These past four years have certainly been quite the ride - and now I've officially signed on for the opportunity of a lifetime!

My my my little ADPi.....

<3 Love and Loyally

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

National Ritual Celebration Week 2012: All Day Everyday, Let Ritual Be There

Happy National Ritual Celebration Week!

Ritual is a part of every fraternity man or sorority woman's experience. While this may be true, the extent to which it is differs greatly. Some collegiate members see their Ritual on a regular basis, some talk about it, some learn it, some lead their chapter in Ritual study or practice. To others, Ritual happens once a semester or once a year - it's a book, or a phrase. It may have been edited down to be a short as possible, or pages and dialog have been lost or forgotten.

While Ritual should be a part of our lives daily, this week is a time to draw special attention to it. What does Ritual mean to you? How is it a part of your life?

I think one of the biggest problems we have as collegians is really understanding what it means to "live your Ritual." "Live your Ritual" is a phrase that's becoming more and more popular - I use it all the time... #LTR for short - but can we really live the promise and practice of our Rituals if we do not understand what they mean?

As members of our organizations we make many promises - we promise to go to meetings, be on committees, go to events, raise money.... the list goes on and on. But, the most important promise we make is that of our Ritual. No matter our organization, when we go through our initiation rite we are given an expectation - one set forth by our founders - and challenged to live our lives in the path they've laid out.

No. Living our Rituals is not always easy, and no, it is not always simple. But, YES it can be done. It can be done today, and tomorrow, it can be done at chapter meetings and philanthropy events, it can be done in our classes and yes, we can even live our Ritual when we're out at a bar or surrounded by friends.

When we take the time to learn about our Ritual we learn the lessons of excellence - brotherhood and sisterhood, academic achievement, the pursuit of a higher purpose.... those things don't have to live within the confines of Sunday chapter meetings - they can be there all the time....Saturday nights included!

Take the challenge with me this week to carry your Ritual with you everywhere you go. Live your Ritual by learning a little more about it. Live your Ritual by showing compassion and sincerity. Live your Ritual by reaching out to others and sharing your experiences. Live your Ritual by going the extra mile, or showing the extra effort.

While this week might be National Ritual Celebration Week - let's celebrate the gift of our Ritual everyday, starting today - GO!

<3 Love and Loyally

Monday, February 27, 2012

I Love the Pin...

The song says "Diamonds are a girls best friend..." to sisters of Alpha Delta Pi, the diamond is more than a piece of jewelry, it's a symbol of our commitment to our sisters throughout time and space.

While the first Adelpheans wore blue ribands scripted with "We Live for Each Other" today's Alpha Delts wear the black diamond pin. Some pins are studded with pearls, diamonds, or other precious stones, and some are plain and simple - no matter the additions, they are carry the same value. Two stars and hands clasped in the Adelphean bonds of friendship guard our Greek letters, Alpha Delta Pi.

This is my badge. Between the pin and our chapter guard are dangles - like an ADPi charm bracelet, these dangles remind us of our experiences, our achievements, and our hard work. During my opportunities to travel to international meetings of Alpha Delta Pi I've loved talking with Pi sisters about their badges and their dangles - what their experience with our sisterhood has been, and what are the memories recorded by the dangles on their badges.

As sisters of Alpha Delta Pi we wear our diamond-shaped badge as a symbol and reminder of our values. The diamond has four points and so too, we as sisters have four areas to which we commit our lives to.

The Creed of Alpha Delta Pi gives purpose to each point on our badge:
"I believe that I must strive to become a well-balanced person by following the dictates of the four points symbolized by our diamond-shaped badge: first, strengthening my own character and personality; second, watching my attitudes toward my fellow-beings; third, recognizing the value of high educational standards; and fourth, developing faith and loyalty." From these words we are given the four points: Self, Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Sorority.

When we wear our pin we give call to these promises and commitments for others to see. Our badge has been worn by women across the country who share the values of our 161 year old sisterhood. When we wear our pins we carry all of this with us - all of the history, all of the sisterhood, and all of our promises. When we wear our badge we re-commit ourselves to our sisters and the tie that binds us all together becomes a little bit stronger.

As Caralee Strock Standard concluded in our creed - "I BELIEVE that these four guide-posts, guarded by the stars and friendly hands clasped in the Adelphean bonds of fellowship, will lead me to achieve a rich and useful life."

<3 Love and Loyally

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Our Potential. Your Move.

Fraternity and Sorority Life is clouded by rumors, and horror stories; by judgements and negative perceptions. Everyday I defend my affiliation, my sisterhood and my community to everyone from peers to professors.




Sexual Assault.



Yes. These are the images of Fraternity and Sorority Life cast by the news, by the media, and at its worst, by members of chapters.

No, this is not me.

I am not delusional or ignorant, I understand the horrors that occur within the Greek System, but I also understand what my Ritual means and what my community means. I also understand that I am a better person because of it. Get to know me and take your impression of Greek life from me, from my sisters, from my friends.

The Greek system is like religion - violence and conflict are all the result of misinterpretations, of misguided readings and understandings. Lives are lost because leaders of religious communities are in denial of medical practices or institutions that are there to protect us. It can be mean, and hurtful, and oppressive.

But, when it's done right - it's good for the community, it's good for the neighborhood, and the members of the congregation. It has the power to connect and encourage, it brings strength and inspires faith in people. We can be lifted up to the heavens. We learn how to become better people and want to help others do the same.

While I am proud to belong to an amazing community I know that we still have the potential to get better, to improve, to live for each other more, to seek the heights together, to aim high together.... I know that we have the potential, but it takes your move. Come get to know us, and let us get to know you! Speak to a Sorority woman today; hear her story, ask her questions. Let's see what can happen!

Thanks to NPC for such an amazing and inspiring video!

<3 Love and Loyally

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Facilitation: A New Stage of Leadership

This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to YMCA Camp Tecumseh in Central Indiana to serve as a mentor for the Alpha Beta Session of the NIC program Futures Quest! I arrived on Wednesday and met my fellow mentors at the airport. It seems funny to me now that those first few hours together were spent in relative peace and quiet since only four days later I'd sadly be leaving a group that had become its only crazy little family unit. While my new friends made my time at Futures Quest absolutely amazing, this experience also really opened me up to the next phase of leadership in my life.

During one of our first sessions we asked the members of Alpha Beta what it meant to be a leader or what leadership was. One of the brothers said that a leader is someone who allows other to lead. I took that away as being the most true definition. For most of us our opportunity to "come of age" or "set up" is when we develop our leadership skills, when we hone in on the character components we need to someday, be a leader. Our leadership styles and skills are shaped by a series of opportunities which eventually lead to officer roles or committee positions. The ironic part about leadership, is that by the time we are often deemed and recognized as leaders, our leadership style is no longer active. Our role as leaders is to create a path in which others may follow to their own successes.

At this year's Quinnipiac Leadership Conference, the keynote speaker said that the best leaders "don't pull, they push." Which brings me back to the point of my Futures Quest brother - a true leader in many ways in fully developed, they know their strengths and have worked to better develop their weaknesses. They know how to encourage, and organize; they know how to lead by example and speak to a group. A true leader can do all of these things, all while knowing they cannot lead forever - that they must allow new leadership to grow and develop and bloom.

Leadership in any form is progressive. We meet goals and expectations and then must find ways to move forward. I have been truly blessed with so many leadership opportunities during my time as a collegian but I know I must move forward from the officer-oriented leadership I have become so familiar with.

Having the opportunity to facilitate something I truly believe in was a complete blessing. I will be the first to admit, I love validation - who doesn't? - raising your hand and giving an answer to a teacher, coach, or mentor, to have them say "Yes, that's correct" or "Perfect" was something I long considered and sought out. But I have to tell you, as I have gotten older there has been no greater validation than seeing that "lightbulb" moment happen for students and peers I've gotten to work with. WIthout giving anyone any particular answer - seeing the men in my group answer questions and receiving that praise was absolutely amazing! Knowing that these young men were thinking in a new way, and seeing through a lens that I helped to provide and created for them was one of the most fulfilling leadership experiences.

There was one instance when one of the brothers in my small group practically read out of the mentor guide - giving specific examples that my partner, Taylor, and I were supposed to touch on. (Shout out to Justin!) He got it! And, nothing could have made me happier!

I can not wait for the next opportunity to facilitate these types of conversations, I've already started looking! Facilitation is so incredibly important in our community because we hold such power. Young men and women have the ability to make a huge difference in our local and global communities while at the same time, they can be at risk for making negative choices that affect us all. When leaders are able to affectively facilitate these discussions, our community leadership and emerging leaders can take ownership of the issues we are facing today to propel us forward in a way that being told what to do never allows.

I am so grateful and blessed to have gotten to work with such amazing people as I make my own Quest up the leadership summit!

<3 Love and Loyally