On the RAW podcast, we talk about the challenge of showing up authentically as a leader and the impossible standards created by social media to show only the carefully curated version of our lives. Tomayia shares how her divorce helped her drop this mask and start showing up as she truly is. We also dive into a recent health scare that helped her shift her mentality and priorities about what is truly important.
The first time I met this powerhouse, I was SO intimidated by her. I thought, “We cannot be friends.” She’s too smart, too big, too phenomenal of a human, I just can’t approach her! Fast forward to today, and Tomayia has become one of my friends and greatest supporters. She’s one of the hardest working women I know, a tremendously attentive community leader, the creator of Cookout (the first photography conference dedicated to black photographers), and her most important title – mom of two kids.
Tomayia is one of the leaders in our field who is truly open to her community and embodies the authenticity and rawness of her life at any given time. It wasn’t always this way, though… She opens up about her long-time fear of what “they” would think if she made a mistake and how that led her to live a fake, perfect life. One surprising turning point for her – her divorce – was when she was finally able to drop the mask and start being who she truly is.
Showing Up As You Are
We talk about how people only see the carefully curated version of our lives on Instagram and how difficult it is to show up as the flawed and real humans that we are. We also swap stories of the hardships of event planning (it is NOT as glamorous as it looks!) and the personal sacrifices it takes to bring a community together.
Shifting Your Priorities
Finally, Tomayia opens up about a recent stressful health scare and the mental shifts and prioritization changes resulting from it. Some of the shifts she is making include:
- Being intentional about who she spends her time with, knowing that time has an expiration date
- Evaluating her business and getting back to being community-driven versus sales-driven
- Knowing her capacity and being willing to say “I don’t have the capacity for that right now”
- Being in the moment. We may not know what we’re doing this week, or even a few hours from now. Instead, she is focused on being in the moment and showing up for the moment in front of her the best that she can.
Connect with Tomayia
There are so many juicy pearls of wisdom in this episode, and I’m so grateful to Tomayia for being willing to open up and share her truth and have a real heart-to-heart. Stay in touch with Tomayia by visiting her website and follow her on Instagram and TikTok.