One of our core principles continues to be people are the main ingredient to our business, our communities and our lives. So it was with great pleasure that we have started to work with Frederick Rhodes Jr., a talented writer, musician and human. Frederick also happens to be an HR professional who has vast experience in building inclusive workforces that promote and embody an organization’s mission and vision to achieve organizational success.
As we started our journey collaborating on creating some unique content for Adoratherapy the beauty industry and the world have as their backdrop Covid 19, Black Lives Matters and the birth of our nation. Frederick and I started having these delightful and deep conversations about all of it. From that dialogue this beautiful piece of writing on freedom was brought forward. Fred explored what it means to have freedom, to build self confidence and trust in one's journey of doubt to get to self love and acceptance. I can't wait to share it with you.
You Owe It To Yourself
ADORAtherapy advocates for women and the human race to find their independence and helps them along that journey by providing an accountability partner and products that promote mental health and well-being. Like most, I was introduced to the ideal of independence in grade school. I was given a concept largely shaped through a lens created by the school system and educators of southern Alabama. Historically, I think about the meaning of independence and well-being from my own perspective. Over time, with experience, and context I’ve developed my own thoughts and perspective on the subject, and my definition has simplified throughout the years.
I believe there are millions, possibly billions, of freedom ideologies across the globe, as there should be. Every person is born with the right to choose who they want to be and what they want to pursue in this world. That’s freedom’s essence - the power to choose who you want to be and what you want to do with your existence. For me, it’s that simple.
I’ve had this power my entire life, as have you, but up until recently I’ve yet to test the extent of its ability. Why? I’ve been afraid to use it. If you think about it, true independence can be terrifying. The world is an enormous place with so much possibility and while people would die for the opportunity to do whatever they want, I have that power and it frightens me. Reason being, I’m afraid of the consequences that result from choosing incorrectly. The thought haunts me. I feel this way because in the vastness of possibility, I’ve made poor choices that have cost me in many different ways and I’ve seen the ultimate costs of others who chose poorly. Don’t get me wrong, I think I’ve made some really good choices in my life but, given my entire history, I’ve made some extremely poor ones. In doing so the negative results of a poor choice have had more of an impact than the outcomes of a positive choice which is damaging to my mental health and well-being. The thought and feelings of a perceived “loss” causes anxieties and insecurities that build up and attack my psyche and body in chorus. How about you? I wonder if this thought crosses the minds of other people and, if so, how it affects them in their everyday life.
As I reflect on those poor choices and the ripple effect, I now see they’ve helped me to become a better person. Without them I don’t know if I’m the man I am today. I realize they’re the stem of my fear, but the source of my evolution. Although they've proven costly, they’ve taught me valuable lessons. Freedom carries an immense power and like Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben taught us, “with great power comes great responsibility”. I’m doing a disservice to myself and to those who have fought for me to be free by not exercising the full extent of liberty through thought and action. My takeaway is independence takes discipline. We are the sum of our choices so each one should be made deliberately with good intention. When we make disciplined choices about how we treat ourselves, we’re better equipped to make better choices that concern others. We can’t help others until we attend to ourselves and our own well-being.
The shift begins with self-evaluation and self-care. What deliberate choices could you make today to improve your quality of life? I realize when I’m operating as my authentic self, I feel more independent; I feel healthier and I make my decisions from a position of clarity. Although the destination doesn’t change overnight - when we choose to challenge ourselves - when we choose to battle the entropy that hopes to overcome us, it’s a step in the right direction. Moving into the state of independence, mental health, and well-being is a collective number of steps in the right direction. It’s a reflection of ADORAtherapy’s mission: transformation. Freedom is a privilege to be used for the betterment of self and to create the space for others who don’t possess it in full. There’s a simple price to pay for the independence we possess: use it wisely and pay it forward.
Frederick Rhodes, Jr. has spent the last 12 years working as an HR professional, writer, chef, and entrepreneur in Houston, Atlanta, and Encampment, Wyoming. He has writing experience that extends across a spectrum of industries. Frederick has written for music publications, created and authored HR best practices and policy, and has served as a technical writer in the software and consulting industries. Frederick is currently writing content for beauty, wellness, technology, and startup companies, creating compelling and brand-consistent stories for his clients. His personal projects include blogging, photojournalism, and songwriting. Frederick is the founder and managing director of Flightbulb, a culture design company focused on the cultivation of healthy, supportive, and inclusive workplace environments. Frederick is also an alumni of The University of the South: Sewanee, with an MBA from Lenoir-Rhyne University.