Do We All SLAY?

Addressing The Elephant In The Room: Do We ALL Slay?
A few months ago, Ameerah, the founder of Brunch and Slay, reached out to me to invite me to attend the Brunch & Slay event in Dallas.

I remember first getting the email and thinking, “Brunch and Slay? THAT’S a new one!”
It really got my attention, and I hadn’t heard of her work before. Interestingly enough a few months prior, I had written a piece for my own audience with the title, “So What Does It Really Mean to Slay?”

I want to share some of those nuggets of wisdom with you today, but first I want to address the biggest question we all might be asking each other when we hear Beyoncé’s song:

Do we all Slay?
I think the response depends on how you personally define it. If you see yourself as a woman who slays on a regular basis by your own definition, then, by all means, I want you to stand in that power and continue to do so!
As strong women, we can tend to create these phrases and words that somehow separate us from others or make us appear “better,” and that’s something we really should be careful of.
That said, every one of us has the capacity to slay in our own way.
The purpose of this article is to simply bring to the surface how the word has been used and what it encompasses. Moreover, I want us to really be clear about what it’s NOT.
So this isn’t a prescriptive list to make any woman out there feel bad about herself – we’re all growing and doing our best. If you’re in the Brunch and Slay community, the chances any one or all of these apply to you are high.

You’re…
A woman who works – however she defines it. Motherhood, housewife, volunteer, boardroom, manager, full-time employee, part-time employee, you name it. She works. This woman is by no means lazy, in any sense of the word.
A woman who has her crap together. For real. She knows what’s in her bank account, works hard, loves hard, and is a resource to all around her. Somehow she juggles it all with grace & dignity.

A woman who serves loves and gives. She’s no one’s doormat, but she’s sacrificial and loving to a select few. And I mean few. She’s learned how to whittle her circle to only the appreciative because most people take advantage of her giving spirit. She recognizes this and prunes her connections accordingly.
A woman who dresses true to herself & expresses herself through her personal style. She doesn’t have to be a “fashionista” – NOPE. She just dresses the way she feels comfortable, whether it’s in 5-inch heels, Tory Burch flats, or jeans & clogs, she knows what looks and feels good on her body and rocks it out. This is about expressing authentic style, as opposed to trying to fit in; a very important distinction.

A woman who explores her own questions and self-awareness. Self-awareness is a topic I wish was hotter with women and even could become labeled sexier to explore. To me personally, a woman who slays is a woman who knows herself intimately. To be honest, they’re few and far between. Why? Because it takes work, dedication, and open vulnerability to know and learn you. It also takes an immense amount of courage to be completely honest enough with yourself to even discover and answer your own questions concerning personal fears, desires, and thoughts. A lot of women think they have self-awareness when they really only have a lot of self-observation. There can be no self-awareness without inquiry, so that’s the difference between awareness and observation. Self-awareness asks actual questions and is open to responding to them. Observation is the first step and simply a noticing – the women we typically see as women who “slay” have gone deeper than self-observation to explore their own motives, questions, and visions.

Now, you might notice some things I didn’t assign to the term “slay” in my list above:

1.How much money a woman has, makes, or is given by someone else. Money can sometimes be a result of sheer hard work & success, but it’s not always. There are exceptions, so looking at a woman’s money can be very misleading. When we use the term slay, let’s look beyond a woman’s seeming monetary success to the other facets that are deeper. It’s okay to praise a woman for her efforts & success – but slaying is so much more than money.
Materialistic possessions or belongings (for the same reason).

2.What position she has at her job – because there could be many reasons she’s there that aren’t necessarily always because it was earned. I’ve learned this one the hard way throughout my career. We can’t assign the term slay to a woman just because she holds a certain position at work.

What got her there? That’s the slay element.

3.Who she knows or “associates” with; her network. This one is a little tricky. I teach and believe that your network is your net worth. That being said, a woman’s network usually does say a lot about the quality of her character and spirit, but not always. Some people are able to maintain certain relationships through money or other levels of success. It becomes important then to look beyond the network to her personhood and how well she’s maintaining those relationships.

These things are all “nice-to-haves,” but they neither explain nor define a woman’s worth or slay level.
This considered I want to say that there are several ways a woman who slays could possibly be defined, including you.
Maybe this definition then, will help guide you as you stay focused and passionate about your own life & endeavors; staying away from competition with other women or your own internal dialogue that, trust me, I know is loud:
Slay is the internal honesty and development of a woman’s confidence manifested externally through her own genuine expressions, causing her to attract the right relationships & opportunities she so deeply needs for growth, expansion, & service.
That’s right, my dear. You have your own personal slay factor, so own it!

Written By: Tamisha Ford