Have you ever let the “How Dare You?” voice get it the way of pursuing your dreams?
I sure have! That’s why I’m so excited to share this enlightening episode that shines the light on how sometimes “tough love” can be the spark you need to get out of your own way, the power of asking for (and receiving) help, the work/life balance myth, what it means to “be the S.P.A.R.K.” and so many more gold nuggets that’ll enrich your day with the currency of kindness. Enjoy!
Connect on Instagram @TheLulyB
Hi PARKer, I’m Marly Q. welcoming you to Episode #26 with Luly B.
I have so much in common with our guest today that we became SPARK sisters from the moment we met well over a decade ago. For starters, we’re both Cuban-American mom of boys with enough spark between us to cause a wildfire of kindness!
Luly B. is a family first speaker, consultant and author who helps women who wear a ton of hats get over the guilt, self-doubt, and fear that stops us from truly creating the life and business we love.
She believes that everyone is born with a responsibility to share their gifts with the world and she empowers women, specifically, to unwrap their gifts so they can experience more joy in life.
In today’s episode we talk about the “how dare you?” voice that gets in our way, the importance of being aware of and appreciating our Gifts, the elusive work/life balance so many of us seek and the 5 Pillars of Defining Success on your Own Terms – which is Luly B.s acronym for the word SPARK, which I absolutely LOVE!
Stay through the end for a special invitation to her upcoming SPARK with Luly B event in October, because whether you’re a PARKer who lives in Miami, FL or not … trust me, you want to know about it! Let’s listen!
Ladies and gentlemen, you are in for a treat today! Please help me welcome to the show my spark sister, Luly B, thank you so much for making the Time to be Kind.
[01:40] Luly B: I am so excited to be here with you, Marly.
[01:43] Marly Q: So, I think I want to start with the story of how we met because I think personally, it’s an awesome story and I know that you remember it too. Would you mind sharing how we met?
[01:52] Luly B: Oh my god, yes, I remember it as if it was yesterday and it was years ago, maybe even 10 years now Marly. We were both at a women’s empowerment event and I was in the back-right corner, and you were in the front left corner. I mean, I remember it so vividly. And you got up and you asked a question, I don’t even remember what your question was because I was so taken aback by your energy, by your enthusiasm and you were just so magnetic. I looked at my colleague and said, “I’ve got to get her name, I have to meet her”. And she researched you, we figured out who you were and next thing we know, you were in my marketing agency at the time, I had Chispa Marketing, we were in a meeting, talking about, just getting to know each other and connecting and figuring out ways to support one another.
[02:49] Marly Q: I just started my business, just started my nonprofit, and I remember your outreach to me, and I was like, “Oh, I didn’t meet you at the event. I got meet you after.”, and right away I responded. I’m like, “I got to meet this person”, first of all, because you were an FIU alum so, we went to the same alma mater, right? And just your energy was, just shined through your email, and even our phone conversation, I’m like, “I’ve got to meet this woman.”. So, I go over there to your marketing agency and I tell you all about my mission to spread kindness, at that time, we were planning our first 5K event to honor and celebrate and remember our servicemen and women, it was the 10th anniversary of 9/11 so, this was 2011. And you so graciously, were on board with supporting our mission, and not just the philosophy of what we’re doing, but really an active PARKner. Like, “I want to support you. We have to spread the word about this.”, and mind you when we got started, we didn’t even have an email list or a social media following! And here you are this like super successful marketing agency backing us up this little itty bitty nonprofit and I was just so grateful, so taken back by your generosity, so taken back by you, not only making the time to be kind, but really in such a magnificent way and so many beautiful connections and relationships and experiences have come from that spark so, I’m just so eternally grateful for you.
[04:16] Luly B: Thank you, right back at you.
[04:18] Marly Q: So, I also wanted to share with our PARKers listening, you know, another thing that you helped to spark in my life was actually in an indirect, maybe incredibly direct way, sparking this podcast. You know, you have a mastermind group that you lead every month that I was a part of, one of your first ones, and sitting around your coffee table, we were sharing kind of our goals and what we wanted to accomplish and I, you know, worked up the courage or just kind of word vomited out, “You know, I want to start a podcast.”, you’re like, “Yeah, you should.”
I’m like, “I hate the sound of my voice and I just, I don’t want to do like video and I don’t want to put myself out there and then I have to commit all this time.”, and I gave you all these like, you know, vomit of excuses as to why, you know, I wasn’t going to do it; I wanted to, but I couldn’t. And I’m like, “And how dare I –“, I mean, like, my message is so simple, “How dare I just like get out there and do this?”, and you stopped me and you kind of you, I like to say you–
[05:18] Luly B: I yelled, I remember, and I think I even slammed the table.
[05:25] Marly Q: In your fiery spark, you’re like, “No.”.
[05:28] Luly B: Yes, with a lot of love, but yes.
[05:31] Marly Q: You slammed the table and you’re like …
“How dare you? How dare you NOT Marly Q? How dare you not be afraid and do it anyway? How dare you not share your voice and your message and your spirit and your spark and your energy and your positivity and your kindness with the world? How dare you NOT?”.
… Yeah, she just told me off in front of all these other people.
[05:52] Luly B: I sure did.
[05:53] Marly Q: And I felt the love, I just want to thank you for that.
[05:58] Luly B: Yeah, you’re welcome.
[06:00] Marly Q: It took me years to get from that conversation to the point that I actually, you know, worked up the courage to do it, but I did take action from that meeting and I want to thank you because I always, always remember that experience. I always remember your advice, and I hear your words in the back of my head whenever I am dancing around the, “How dare you?” conversation, “I dare you not be afraid and do it anyway.”, and I’m just really, really grateful for that tough love; I see that as such great kindness from you.
[06:30] Luly B: Thank you. And I think that that’s true for all of us.
I really do believe that we were born with gifts, gifts that come in the form of talents and abilities and skills, and it is our duty, not our choice, to share them with this world.
And many times, as we got to witness with you, Marly, we ask ourselves, “How dare I?’, or,” I’m not old enough. I’m not young enough. I’m not skinny enough. I’m not enough of something. I don’t have the credentials or the certification or the experience.”, and I always argue that what you’re really doing is hoarding your gifts, and I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody who would ever have a gift and not give it to somebody who was celebrating a birthday. And so, if we just kind of think about that, about a birthday gift for a loved one, what would it be like if that person said to us, “I don’t want your gift today.”, or we said to them, “We’re not going to give you this gift and honor you this day.”. And I think all too often in our lives, that’s what happens; we either choose not to receive the gifts that are being granted to us or we are choosing not to share our gifts with this world out of fear, which is really so silly because we’re focusing on the one or two people that might not be ready for our message or our energy, but what about the hundreds or thousands or even millions that are?
[07:56] Marly Q: I think part of that is not being aware of or acknowledging that it’s a gift. The gift of your voice and your message and your story and your unique perspective on life is a gift to others and it is our responsibility to share that with the world so, so much of it comes from just self-acknowledgment and self-appreciation for your life’s experiences and seeing the value in them and sharing them with others. And you definitely were someone in my life who just helped me become more aware of and more acknowledging of and more appreciative of my message, as simple as it is and as powerful as it can be to inspire and ignite, you know, some change in this world through others so.
[08:44] Luly B: Well, because sometimes we also think just that Marly, right? Like, “Oh, it’s simple.”. Well, simple to your point can be really powerful because something as simple as kindness, now more than ever is needed in this world.
[08:59] Marly Q: Yes, which is why the name of this podcast is Time to be Kind. I start with my why, I know you talk a lot about “Start with Why”, and when I start this podcast, every single time, what’s the purpose of this?
It’s because the time to be kind to ourselves, each other and the world is now and it’s always now.
But for me, this year, it just really clicked and the more that I show up with my gifts every week to share through storytelling, through connection, through inspiration, and advice and tips for others, the more I realize how important and powerful it is to make that time to share your message, no matter how simple you might think it is. The simplest things make the greatest impact, right?
[09:40] Luly B: For sure. And that would be my argument is, if it’s so simple, then you get to do it, you get to do it too, right?
[09:49] Marly Q: You know, you were also the spark of something else, I don’t know if you know this one. So, when I was a part of your mastermind, this was back in I believe, 2014, I was just getting my certification as a yoga teacher, my first certification and you were my very first private client; first private yoga client. Do you remember this?
[10:10] Luly B: Of course, I remember this.
[10:11] Marly Q: You were like, “Oh, I don’t practice yoga, you know, I can’t touch my toes.” and all this, “Oh well, let me just go over to your house and I’ll just teach you a couple things, I need to practice, if you know for nothing else, you’re helping me out here.”. And I just always remember that experience, I don’t know what you remember from your–
[10:30] Luly B: It’s crazy that you’re talking about this because as I was getting into state for this podcast, I’m praying and reflecting before I joined you, that actually came up for me was, what a beautiful moment of kindness because I know we’ll probably be talking about asking for help in a minute, but that was, you know, people know me as being really good for asking for help and it’s funny how you see it as me being your first private client and I see it as me expressing my vulnerability and asking for something that I wanted for such a long time because I didn’t think I was worthy of sitting in a yoga class because I couldn’t do certain things and you helped me remember to be kind to myself and to my body and to be okay with where I was at. So, I of course, I remember that; that was actually a really special moment for me Marly.
[11:24] Marly Q: Oh my goodness, I remember leaving your driveway and driving home, there’s about maybe a 30 minute drive between where you live and I live, I just had a smile on my face the entire time because I hadn’t really started teaching, just gotten my certification and I just felt so humbled to have been allowed to give a little bit of what I had learned to be helpful. And I felt so honored that you had stepped into that vulnerability and allowed yourself to learn something new, especially when it comes to yoga. I have found, I specialize in teaching beginners, I’m very passionate about teaching people that are just starting out in their practice or maybe went once or twice, didn’t have a good experience, the people that are like, “No, I can’t.”, who are like me. I never thought I would be a yogi in my life, I’m like, “I can’t sit still. I’m way too energetic. I can’t, my mind doesn’t stop. I’m not flexible at all. I can’t do a push up to save my life so, doing a handstand is out of the question., and here we are, six years later, 300 plus classes later, two certifications later, and I always go back to that very first experience that I had with you and how important it is to give ourselves, like you said, permission to be kind to our body and our mind and our spirit and be vulnerable enough to accept help from others, first to ask, and then to sit with yourself and honor your body and its limitations, wherever you are that day, to me, that is the epitome of self-love and kindness; to be able to say, “You know what? I can’t touch my toes right now, or I can’t even cross my legs in “easy pose” comfortably.”, and it’s okay.
Because the hardest part of the practice is showing up, the hardest part of life is showing up.
And the more that we can be kind with ourselves and acknowledge and appreciate ourselves for the simple act of asking, receiving and showing up in kindness for ourselves, I think that that’s motivating and that’s empowering and it encourages you to take the next step in your self-care journey, whether it’s yoga, whether it’s, you know, meditation, whether it’s, you know, going to the gym, whatever type of self-care that you choose, just having that courage to make the time to be kind to yourself and appreciate wherever you are in your journey.
[13:45] Luly B: That’s right. And isn’t that true for every aspect of our lives? I mean, Tony Robbins says, “How you do one thing is how you do everything.”, and I think what you just said is so true, and I just got to reiterate it, is like, just showing up is a big deal to every aspect of our lives, showing up and focusing on that energy and how we’re showing up. If we come from a place of kindness and gratitude that energy is not only felt through, but you get to command so many other aspects of your being as a result of that.
[14:16] Marly Q: That’s what I try to remember every time I sit behind this microphone, in my weekly podcast is like, “You know, just show up; that’s the hardest part, show up.”, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be the spark of kindness, which is, at the end of the day, really my mission, I just want to spark kindness.
And my definition for “SPARK” is different than your definition for spark and I don’t know if you’d be willing to share your insight and your awesome acronym for what it means to be the SPARK.
[14:45] Luly B: So, my SPARK acronym Marly, is all about defining success on our own terms, specifically as women. So, I’ve found that many times what we tend to do is we tend to create this unrealistic goal of where we should be and what success would look like, and what I found is that, we don’t always take the time to really reflect on what’s really important to us.
So, for me, S.P.A.R.K. is the Five Pillars of Success.
And the first one is, “I Serve others without Sacrificing myself.”
The idea that you can’t serve water from an empty pitcher. So, if we’re not refilling our own cups, and we’re giving from an empty cup, we’re not giving anything. And so, what is it that we can do in our lives and what is our state of being in our lives, so that we can serve, but never without putting ourselves first? Not because we’re selfish, but on the contrary, because we love ourselves and others so much, we’re going to put ourselves first. So, that would be the S.
The P is, “I Pursue Perspective rather than Perfection.”
This idea that even you went through a little bit with, the thing about your voice and video, I remember when you started doing your Facebook Lives and the lighting and the, I don’t know what, and the shot and the idea of, “Well, I’m just doing it.” and I get to pursue perspective, which is, “I’m making it happen and I’m getting closer to my goal and more importantly, I’m sharing my gifts with this world.”, versus, “The lighting is exceptional, the sound is perfect.”, because at the end of the day, how much does that really matter? Now, we don’t want to confuse perfection, we don’t want to confuse that with excellence. So, we get to have a standard of excellence; we don’t make our standard perfection, because I don’t know about you but think about a little girl in your life coming home and telling you that she got a 98 on a test. I don’t know that you would just be disappointed with her if she got a 98, however, all too often in our own lives when we get a 98, we get really disappointed, don’t we?
And then the A is, “I Accept love and support with grace.”
This idea that we are so loved and there are people that are going to show their support and their love in different ways. Some people may want to call you, some people may want to fix it, some people may want to run an errand, right? There’s this great book by Dr. Chapman called The Five Love Languages, that I know he’s recently now translated for the workplace. So, this idea of like, we all express our love in different ways, and we get to accept the way that people want to show us their love and their support in a graceful way. Now, that also doesn’t mean that we can’t set boundaries and say, “This is what I need.”, especially when we’re going through a hard time, “This is the kind of support I need right now. This might not be serving me.”. But many times, we deny people the opportunity to give to us because we see that as a sign of weakness. And I get to remind everybody, it’s actually a sign of grace.
The next one is, “I Recruit the right people for my life.”
And I think at the beginning of our chat, we spoke about how we met and basically, I’ve been doing this my entire life without even realizing it was a strategy, which is, I literally recruit people for my life; I hire and fire people all the time. And when I fire people, it’s not necessarily because I’m better than them or they’re not worthy of being around me. that’s not the point. It’s, “Are we giving each other value? Is there value in exchange in our lives? And are we right for one another at the season that we’re at in our lives?”. And recruiting the right people in my life for me looks like, I have somebody that I can call for every aspect of my life, whether it’s business or personal or physical or spiritual; I have my people, and that’s important to me. That could look differently to you; that’s how it is for me, but it’s for me, it’s really important to surround myself with those kinds of people, people that are going to call me out on my BS, people that are going to remind me of my awesomeness, people that are going to support my crazy ideas, right? Just recruiting those right people.
And the last one, which I think is interesting that it’s the K and it’s kind of the whole topic of our conversation; it’s about kindness, my friend and it’s about being kind to ourselves. So, this one is…
“I am as Kind to myself as I am to others.”
…because we tend to be really kind to others, we aren’t as kind to ourselves, right? So, this idea again, of the things that we– the negative things that we say about ourselves, to ourselves, and just really focusing on being a little kinder and being more gentle with ourselves. So, that’s it. So, that’s my SPARK, my five pillars of defining success on your own terms and what success could look like for you.
[19:50] Marly Q: Round of applause, standing ovation! I was all over it, you know …
S.P.A.R.K. for me stands for Someone who Performs And Receives Kindness
… that acronym, you know, evolved where I’d started off to inspire people to PARK, just PARK at first, Perform Act of Random Kindness, all focused on others, which is beautiful and I still embody and believe that in every cell of my body as an important thing.
In my journey of you know, service I was raised to believe, you know, you follow the philosophy of service above self, better to give than to receive and these are, you know, very noble, beautiful philosophies but what I found in my journey of service above self and it’s better to give than to receive and only focusing on Performing Acts of Random Kindness for others, is that, I was not following your first pillar of success; Service without Sacrifice.
And that to me, I had to learn that the hard way, multiple times, multiple burnout experiences, you know, moments of just complete energy exhaustion, emotional exhaustion that took me months to recover sometimes after, and that’s really where I started– I had my epiphany and came up with my SPARK acronym. Like, “No, you know what? If I really want to be the spark of the change that I wish to see in the world and stop burning out and do this forever, I need to find a way to consistently fill my cup, I need to find a way to be of service without sacrificing my own needs. I need to find a way to be of service while receiving my own self care.”, and that’s how the SPARK acronym for me, you know, was born.
Really, to “be the SPARK of kindness”, you need to be Someone who Performs And Receives Kindness and I see that in what you teach, in your ability, not just to give so generously but also to ask for what you need and to accept the kindness from yourself and others. Just takes great courage and is something that we are not taught.
[21:59] Luly B: No. And you know, Marly, I’m thinking now about the great book called The Go Giver, and in that book, they talk about, the two authors speak about, in order to be a great giver, you have to be a great receiver first. So, there was an activity, there was like this little something that happened in the book, I’d love to do it really quickly with you right now, which is, they ask you to breathe out first, right? So, let’s just breathe out a second. And if you noticed, a lot of us before we breathe out, we breathe in first, right?
Because you can’t breathe out of your lungs if there’s nothing in your lungs; there had to be breath in your lungs in order to breathe out. And I loved this activity, this simple thing that they mentioned in the book because I have that visual of …
“I cannot be a great giver without being a great receiver first.”
I have to breathe in first in order to breathe out, I have to receive first before I can give. And again, it’s not this tit for tat thing of, “Well, I need to get because…”, you know, it’s no, it’s, in order to be a great receiver, in order to be a great giver, you get to be a great receiver first.
[23:20] Marly Q: Yes, yes, yes. I’ve got the biggest smile on my face Luly because well, first, that’s why we’re spark sisters, first, that’s one of my favorite books.
[23:27] Luly B: That’s a great book.
[23:30] Marly Q: And in my first online course, that I launched this year, just recently, last month actually, called The B.E.S.T. Way to Stress Less™, I share that in my first lesson. I share how, “You know what? No, it’s not better to give than to receive. Why don’t you give me the best exhale that you can.”, and I go through exactly what you just shared right now, exactly as it is in The Go Giver, and it’s like, no, when you were born first thing was receive, and then you exhaled and you cried. You cried it out and brought great joy to everyone around you.
[24:01] Luly B: Yeah. Bob Burg and John D Mann did an incredible job in that book, and I think that visual is just so powerful Marly. And you know …
John Maxwell says, “In order to learn, you have to unlearn first.”
and for so many of us, we get to unlearn this idea that we always have to be giving selflessly in order to be kind. Being kind has so many different shapes and sizes, and being kind sometimes is being kind to ourselves.
[24:29] Marly Q: Leading by example, and I’m eternally grateful, not just for that book, I mean, all of this, you know, personal growth and development that I have invested in myself into unlearning, and relearning and reprioritizing and I’m just so grateful that I did all of this before I brought my child into the world. I named him Jude Parker, yes, I made his middle name an acronym, because if it’s one thing that I am committed to teaching him is how to be a PARKer, how to be someone who performs and receives kindness, and I’ll do that by modeling it by him seeing, you know, parents that are kind to themselves, to him, to their little brother, to each other because I really believe that the biggest lesson that I’ve learned in my life, the biggest gift that I have received is learning that and I try to teach it and model it as a speaker, as a teacher, even as an event creator, even though that role has kind of changed into the virtual space this year, I can still, you know, be that spark of kindness and share this great lesson that I’ve learned.
Thank you for bringing that up because I love that book, too. So, I’d love to be able to share with people, I know you have a philosophy about, you know, achieving this “work life balance”, what have you learned, I think that in the pursuit of perfection and of balancing it all and being all things to all people, we tend to have this goal that we’re going to balance it all and be great at every aspect of our lives, and I just love your take on balance.
[26:04] Luly B: Yeah, I think balance is BS but I actually wrote a book about that in 2012, Marly, about this concept and you know, we hear all too often, “You just need to balance, you just need to balance.”. And while I respect, many times what people mean to say by balance, I think what they might mean is really more harmony and integration than really balance because what balance means is that you’re taking this pie and you’re dividing it evenly to everyone all the time. And I know for myself, in my own experiences, in all the different roles that I play as a woman, I can’t be everything to everyone. And for so many years, I didn’t include myself in the list of the people that I got to serve, and I forgot who I was and that makes me sad to even say that because I thought that I had the awareness and I thought I was paying attention to it. And, you know, life taught me the beautiful lessons and of course, the lessons usually come through some really painful experiences but I have the discernment and wisdom to know that it is through these excruciating experiences that we get to learn.
And for me, the things that I’ve been through, the restructuring of my marketing agency, going through a divorce, becoming a single mom, continuing to do this work, even when I was tired or exhausted or not feeling inspired, has helped me grow as a human being. And I think most importantly, has helped me be kinder to myself, and being really gentle with myself because I defined so much of my value with what I achieved and what I did, and this was all stuff at subconscious level, right? It wasn’t stuff that I was even aware of. So, this idea that we have to be everything to everyone and I have to be dressed a certain way and pick up my kids in a certain car, my kids have to look a certain way, and I have to bake a certain thing and again, you know, we want to say that that’s what society portrays to us, but who is society? We are. And so, why give into that?
And with kindness and with respect, and with a lot of love, I choose to live my life a little bit differently and I don’t want to pursue balance, I want to pursue harmony and integration and I want to define it on my terms, in the new role that I play now, as a single mom of two teen sons. I’m really proud to say that if you took my two sons into a room and asked them about their mom’s career and what they’re proud of, they would say it to you and they wouldn’t be talking about the dozens of events or things that I “missed out on” because I was working, because I focus so much on creating what I call super moments, on creating those special moments, whether it was making my homemade popcorn and sitting with them to watch a recap of the Grand Slam that I missed because I was working or whether it was taking a ride around the block or watching the latest video from one of the YouTubers they love.
I get to create these “Super Moments” and more importantly, I get to create my own definition of success, I get to create what that looks like for me in the stage that I’m at in my life and it is very different from even just a year ago. I think the key, Marly, one of the biggest lessons, the biggest reminder, is to be kinder to myself and to be gentle with myself.
[29:48] Marly Q: Allow that to change because the vehicle for kindness, the way that kindness looks, different chapters of your life are completely different.
[29:58] Luly B: Absolutely.
[29:59] Marly Q: I’m being kind to myself by taking some time off to transition into the role of being a mom of two boys, and I gave myself the time to be kind to schedule out all of these interviews so that I can focus on being present with my sons as I transition and I’m just so grateful for you saying, “Yes, I’m making the Time to be Kind.”, you know, and having this episode release while I’m home, trying to be that SPARK for my kids as well, because that’s what they’re going to remember, is that presence, not everything that you miss, but you presently creating those super moments.
[30:35] Luly B: Absolutely. Yeah. Because it’s about quality, not quantity, and we get caught up in the quantity sometimes.
[30:41] Marly Q: Oh my god, we’ll talk about quantity! I think we’re going to have to wrap it up because we have just so much more to share, there’s so many more stories to unpack, just so much more that you would have to give to our PARKers listening but I hope that everyone got to just, feel a little bit of that SPARK from you and your energy, I hope that they did and are as fired up as I am right now. I have not stopped smiling, so grateful to you for who you are in my life and who you are for so many other people. Thank you for being the spark of kindness, Luly.
[31:12] Luly B: Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here, what a blast I just had my friend. And congratulations on sharing your light with this world and answering the call to do what you do.
[31:22] Marly Q: Thank you.
[31:24] Outro: I hope you felt our spark of kindness more than the few sound challenges we had while recording. At one point the thought, “How dare you release a less than perfect sounding episode?” crept up on me, and then I remembered Luly’s brilliant advice; “How dare you NOT?”.
How might your life be different if you ask yourself this question more often? I know my life has changed significantly thanks to that question and I am forever grateful to Luly B. You can connect, learn more and register for the upcoming SPARK with Luly B event directly on this episode’s show notes and transcription page at marlyq.com/26.
[31:59] Thank you for listening. If you’re inspired to make a little more time to be kind, please subscribe, leave a kind review and share with a friend who’d appreciate this podcast too. Thank you for being the spark of kindness. See you next time! [32:11]