About a month ago I had the pleasure of speaking at an event hosted by the Just Be Kind Project called, Live Colorfully. Just Be Kind is an organization who hosts gatherings and small events with the intention of bringing women together in New York City. The talk centered on the theme of success and doing things in our own different and unique way.
Speaking alongside me was Erica McCarthy, editorial copywriter for Saks Fifth Avenue and Courtney Warford, an NYC-based singer. Each of us shared our experiences of paving our own path to success while staying true to ourselves in our respective industries. Erica and Courtney are two amazingly talented women and I’m honored to have been able to speak alongside them as well as to hear them share their insightful experiences about doing what they love and what success means to them.
It was wonderful meeting all the lovely ladies who attended Just Be Kind’s Live Colorfully event. By sharing our stories and talking to one another, it only reinforced the principle that success isn’t about having the “perfect job” or the “perfect salary”, but rather about being happy with the direction life is taking you. What better post to start 2017 than with the message of being unapologetically yourself, spreading positivity, and yes, just being kind, full stop.
To share more information about The Just Be Kind Project, its founder, Mary Margaret Flaming was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and here’s what she had to say…
Tell us a little bit about the Just Be Kind Project.
Just Be Kind is an organization inviting all women of NYC to meet and create authentic friendships with one another. We encourage women to take off the mask of perfection and share their vulnerabilities in a safe space while developing deep and meaningful friendships. Just Be Kind hosts events specifically for the women of New York City, where women of all backgrounds can come together and turn a new page, change the way women treat each other, and change ourselves in the process. We are in this together, so why not Just Be Kind?
Why did you start Just Be Kind and how did it come to be?
Just Be Kind Project was created because of needs that I have seen and personally experienced while living in NYC. Many women in this city initially struggle finding friends, and though it’s a huge city with extra people, it can feel extra lonely sometimes. Of course there are networking events for career advancement and connections, but nothing for finding and establishing authentic friendships with other women. Without solid friendships, women close themselves off and wear masks, while struggling with self-doubt and loneliness. We believe that positive community allows a woman to reach her full potential, and we seek to share that through our mission.
What is the main thing you want women to come away with after a Just Be Kind event?
I want women to come away feeling that Just Be Kind is a place they can be authentic, a place that is free of judgement and a place they can find support and connection. A community where women empower other women. I believe that women who have a tribe of women behind them have that much more potential to live more vibrant and radiant lives. I hope that women see that when they experience the community and heart of Just Be Kind.
I absolutely love that Just Be Kind events are a positive and encouraging environment for women to reach their full potential, especially since NYC can be quite a tough and lonely city to live in for many. What sort of advice would you give to someone who is struggling to find a positive environment to go to in their community?
First of all, I would say that I’ve totally been there! When I first got to NYC, I attended SO many different womens groups trying to find an atmosphere and group of souls that I could be totally transparent with. And it was freaking hard! And honestly, I didn’t find a community of people that I felt were genuine and who were willing to dig deep and talk about the uncomfortable sticky stuff as well as the celebrations and successes, which is why I felt called to create JBK. Finding your tribe takes time, and it will happen for you. Just be open, and your truest self, and you’ll attract the people that you ultimately want to be in community with.
Follow Erica on Instagram here.
What are your future plans for the Just Be Kind Project?
Just Be Kind is working to create a Weekend Mastermind which will take place in upstate NY in the upcoming months. I envision taking a trip with a group of women, setting ourselves up in a cozy cabin, drinking wine while making long dinners, and just being intentional with our time and talks together. Of course, there is a lot more to be said about the event, but all that info will follow soon! Stay tuned and keep updated on our social media accounts, @justbekindproject.
Don’t forget to follow Just Be Kind on Instagram for more information. Thanks so much to Mary Margaret for inviting me to speak at December’s Live Colorfully event and for sharing her positivity and warmth with us all!
Lots of love and here’s to 2017, everyone!!
Photos by Jessika Zachary, www.jessikazachary.com