February 14, 2022

You might already be a fan of Luvvie Ajayi-Jones.  She has been around for a while.  I was introduced to her because I was looking for a new podcast interview with my go-to source for inspiration (Elizabeth Gilbert) and this episode came up.  

And from there, I was hooked.  I immediately got the book, Professional Troublemaker and not only is it hilarious but it is filled with really helpful ideas.  

In this book, Luvvie Ajayi-Jones teaches you how to write your oriki.  The instructions are in the book, but are also on her website under #orikichallenge.   Or you can watch the video from her Instagram here.   You can read her explanation of an oriki here: 

An Oriki is a Yoruba word that combines two words to mean "praising your head/mind." Ori is "head" and Ki is "to greet or praise." An oriki is a greeting that praises you through praising your kinship and speaking life to your destiny.  It is your personal hype mantra, and can be spoken or sung. 

Luvvie  Ajayi-Jones
Professional Troublemaker


Why I love this exercise:

  • She gives you very specific instructions so ANYONE can do it!
  • It does exactly what is promised.  You can't help but feel awesome after reading it.
  • It's like the "Wonder Woman" pose of the journal world. 

It's really best to get the instructions directly from her.   As a reminder...the template is on Luvvie's website here

Here is an example:

Jen of House Taylor. First of her name.   Organizer of Awesome-ness.  Princess of Planning. Goddess of Gatherings.   Emperor of Experiences.  Wizard of Words.  

Now, try writing your own and then speak its power in your most awesome Oprah announcer voice or like you're stepping into a wrestling ring.  Boom...confidence boosted!

Other helpful prompts from Professional Troublemaker

Throughout the book, subtitled "The Fear Fighter's Manual" Luvvie Ajayi-Jones talks about using your voice and claiming your grandness.  She says, 

"if we are doing the work, we are writers.  If I'm writing every day, I'm a writer. When we don't own these titles, we don't honor our gifts."  Luvvie Ajayi-Jones, Professional Troublemaker."

And this concept comes up all of the running training blogs too.  People say, "if you run, you're a runner."  There's no required speed, distance or test. You just declare it. And it is so.  

As a therapist, we don't have that same power in our careers.  You must pass a test to be licensed.  You must submit an application to be approved by the board.  You can not just announce that you are a psychotherapist.  

But for creative work, for our personal lives, for our hobbies and our innate gifts, you really can proclaim it to be true.   And something really interesting happens when you do....

People start treating you as that thing! 

People invite me to running events (because I am a runner). They ask me to teach workshops (because I a teacher).  And I write blogs and other things because I decided that I would write what I wanted whether people asked me or not.  Because, I am a writer.  

In your journal, reflect on this question:

What titles are you afraid to claim?  What gifts do you have that you are not proclaiming? 

Explore what titles you will start using.  Write them down here.

I am a...

I am a ....

I am a ....

And finally, a prayer of petition that I find helpful. 

The other thing that I really enjoyed about this book, Professional Troublemaker, is this prayer of petition.  Luvvie Ajayi-Jones uses this prayer when going into new places or situations.  It's very simple. 

Luvvie Ajayi-Jones says, "let my helpers find me." 

I love this because she acknowledges that you can announce your gifts, you can declare yourself a runner, a writer, a leader, a whatever AND still be afraid! You can still be unsure of the next steps.

And this little phrase reminds me that there are always people willing to support your dreams and goals.  

Oprah Winfrey says, "What you put out is already on its way back to you."

I have experienced this feeling that my helpers are already on their way back to me.  Time and time again, just when I needed it, someone came along and offered their expertise, offered my a job that I had been secretly hoping to do, or were simply kind when I was afraid. 

In your journal, reflect on times when you received help unexpectedly or when you least expected it.  Ask for additional help in an area where you need a mentor or a guide.  Write the phrase, "let me helpers find me" when it comes to this area. 

How did this work for you? 

Let me know if these techniques worked for you by leaving a comment below. Be sure to hashtag #orikichallenge and send some love back to Luvvie Ajayi-Jones for her inspiring words and work. 

If you found this helpful, subscribe to the journaling mailing list for more tips and prompts and get another simple, but effective technique that will help you get the most out of every month of the year. 

About the Author

Jen Taylor, LCSW-C, RPT-S is an EMDR Approved Consultant and Certified Journal to the Self Instructor.  She is a therapist specializing in complex trauma, an international play therapy teacher and a published writer of multiple play therapy chapters.  Jen is the creator of the original 2017 Play Therapy Summit and many other innovative programs for mental health professionals.  Jen uses writing therapy, play therapy and expressive arts for her clients and for other mental health professionals so they can lead more joyful and meaningful lives.  Jen encourages people to try new things and create daily habits that allow for incremental progress towards previously unimaginable results.   Jen is a travel enthusiast, an avid reader, and a girl who lifts weights and runs for fun.  

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}


Book [Your Subject] Class!

Your first class is 100% free. Click the button below to get started!