I have shared many times before that I went to therapy while in undergrad and it was a life altering experience. Honestly I wish I had received some type of therapy right after graduating from undergrad, while in law school, after law school, before we got married, and I wish that I was receiving some right now. Therapy is not a bandaid or a sole solution to any problem, but a process that helps you categorize and properly place experiences in a comfortable place in your mind. Many times we overemphasize a situation in our life that may hold little value or minimize a situation that needs to be held in a different light. Therapy helps you step outside of your silo and see how each experience has played a role in your life without judgment and external pressure.
I am so open about my experience because I truly believe therapy saved my life. My anger sent me on a destructive path and caused me to mistake realness with being hurtful and mean. Much of my anger was displaced and targeted people who had characteristics of the person who hurt me the most. My coping strategies were ineffective and unhealthy. I found myself in a cyclical process that I wanted to escape from, but I did not know how to reach the exit.
During my assessment for clinical services the director interviewed me and asked me one question, “Tell me about your parents.” I immediately began to sob and cry. I could not formulate my thoughts or my words. She looked at me, looked down at the paper and agreed that I needed services. I walked out of the building in disbelief. This woman broke me down in less than 5 seconds. I was fragile and broken. I needed more help than simply believing that everything would get better. My sanity required more than someone to listen to me, but someone to help me.
I have always been very open and honest so I told all of my friends that I was in therapy and they were happy for me. Over time they started to see the changes in me and that encouraged me to continue with the process even when I felt that I no longer needed help. I knew that being in that building held a stigma, but my future could not be derailed because of the fear of being judged. I do not know where I would be if I never took the final step to seek help. I do not even want to think of where I could have ended up.
I want everyone to know that there is someone qualified to listen and help you organize your thoughts and emotions. Life is hard and will never be without bumps. We have to accept that life will come and we need effective coping methods to properly deal with those overwhelming things. Although I had two amazing experiences while at Howard, I had a not so great one when my husband and I went to sort through our issues. Despite her failings, I know that there are some amazing therapist out there who will help us refocus our perspective. Do not let one experience define your future in obtaining the things that you need.
We need more than coaching, we need therapy. Take a moment and find time. Get a referral and follow through with an appointment. Get the help you need. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms. #BeExcellent
I have started so many amazing projects and allowed my focus on them to fizzle out. I picked up new projects and explored new ideas before I completed my other ones. I know that I don’t have the time or money to finish all of them, so I am going to sit back down, map out my projects, and decide what I can devote my time to. This is such a hard task for me because a new idea pops up and I am behind it until I start to hit roadblocks. Such is life. But that is no longer going to be my story.
I learn through my mistakes and I try to avoid those pitfalls the next time I encounter the same or a similar situation. Yesterday I could not sleep because I was energized to work on a project. I have been piddling around with this project for years, and I know that once I get the structure in place, it will all make sense. As I started working I realized that I was doing it again. I was picking up one project when I have so many other pertinent ones that need to be focused on today.
So, I am going to prioritize all of my projects and the steps that I can work on for each. I am going to follow through. I have completed many things, but I keep reaching a limit that is self-imposed. I am going to start my days by saying, “There is nothing that I can do. Stay focused. Follow through to the end.” Sometimes you simply have to motivate yourself and keep yourself focused. I hope that everyone can see the greatness within themselves and will take the limits off of their dreams and desires.
Be blessed. Be excellent. Follow through. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own story. On your own terms.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling my life had completely spiraled out of control. The job I moved here for is not working out as expected, I’m struggling to find balance to sit down and study for the Bar, and my son misses his father so much that I feel guilty for moving here before everything was perfect. Then I watched the Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete and I cried.
I cried because I am trying to give my son more than what I had, keep him safe, and ensure he has the opportunities that he deserves. I cried because I have been in a position where I had to fend for myself and figure life out without my parents. I cried because although that is my story, I had amazing support from so many people who remain in my life to this day.
In life we go through periods of time where our faith is tested. We endure hardships to see how much we can live what we talk. Being a child of God is not just a title, but an example to the world. We have to show that we are conquerers, victorious, and over comers. We can’t speak these words, and fall apart in moments of adversity.
So I prayed and God said, “Trust me.” I can trust Him and learn or run from this uncertainty and end up right back here in a few months. I am standing on everything that I believe and speak over other people’s life. My life is greater than this one moment. My faith will carry me through this time and I will have a story to tell.
This is a faith walk. No one said it would be easy. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.
I have been so silent because what was once clear is now not so clear. I thought I knew why I was in Houston and how things were going to go over the next few months, but nothing seems to be going that way, so I am simply observing. I am the woman with the master plan. I do things because they make sense and I can see the bigger picture. That is who I say that I am, who I think I am, who I want to be. But in reality I am simply apart of a bigger story I have no control over.
It is very difficult to balance planning and being prepared for anything versus being free-spirited and open to everything. You need some of both, but too much of one can lead to unwanted outcomes and unnecessary guilt. I am searching for balance. I am here in Houston without my husband, so my schedule revolves around my child and his needs. Although that has given me some structure, my evenings are no longer periods of free time to think, plan, and execute, but one that involves a solid routine for my son’s sake. We get up early, grind all day, get home and I look up and 10:00 pm has rolled around.
I am trying to find my balance. Trying to balance working full-time and wanting to start my own business. Trying to balance being a dreamer and being realistic. Trying to balance being necessarily selfish and gifting my time to various ventures. Trying to balance advocacy and not being an enabler. Trying to balance finances and ensuring that opportunities do not pass us by. There is a struggle between all of these worlds all at the same time. I feel like I am being pulled in so many different directions, but I have to move forward no matter what.
My only solution is to pray harder, meditate more, release any feelings of guilt and uncertainty and embrace my journey. Life is not a well written movie with a perfect ending, but an experience riddled with ups, downs, and unexpected joy and sadness. I do not know what is next, but I am going to enjoy the present. I am here now, hear me roar. There is no going back.
I am lost, not looking to be found and misguided but looking to find my way with help from the universe. Keeping my energy positive and free of fear. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.
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Brands Sold in Stores
- Batter and Berries
- 2748 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60614
- The Coast Cafe
- 233 River St. Cambridge, MA 02139
- Darryl’s Corner Bar and Kitchen
- 604 Columbus Ave. Boston, MA 02118
- De’Soul Cafe
- 7651 Matapeake Business Drive Brandywine, MD 20613
- Pa-Nash Restaurant and Lounge
- 144-14 243rd Street Rosedale, NY 11422
- Savoor Restaurant and Lounge
- 180 Lincoln St Boston, MA 02111
- Litehouse Wholefood Grill
- 1373 E 53rd St. Chicago, IL 60615
- Michelle and Gerald’s Southern Cuisine
- 7138 N. 57th Dr. Glendale, AZ 85301
- Nouveau Tavern and Grill
- 358 W Ontario Chicago, IL 60654
- Taste the World in Cincy
- 8375 Colerain Ave Cincinnati, OH 45239
- Sub City
- 17811 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44112
- The Mall at Peachtree Center Food Court
- 231 Peachtree St. NE Suite #B02-B Atlanta, GA 30303
These additions came from Black Girl Long Hair’s Blog
2501 1/2 S. Shepherd Drive, #1
Houston, TX 77019
From the owner: At Tendrils and Curls™, we are committed to providing a one stop shopping experience, both in our brick and mortar boutique in Houston, TX and our eBoutique. Our goal is to ensure that those with naturally textured hair have access to high quality products and accoutrements which highlight and nourish the texture and splendor of their naturally wavy, curly and tightly coiled hair from the inside out. We provide consumers with opportunities to compare and contrast brands in order to make educated decisions about what products will work best for the health, maintenance and styling of their unique hair textures and at addressing their specific concerns
- Trina’s Beauty Supply & Salon
4854 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
- Tru’Mane Natural (Grand Opening 12/6)
332 S. Market Street
Inglewood, CA 90301
- Black Girls Divine Beauty Supply & Salon
3904 Church Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11203
- Hairizon Beauty (online shopping available)
341 W. Main Street Ste. 104
Durham, NC 27701
From the owner: At Hairizon Beauty, we believe that hair care’s best ingredients are found in nature. Our goal is to provide products derived from earth yielded agents, leaving your hair healthy, vibrant, and fragrant. We select products that avoid any unnecessary chemical additives and instead incorporate essential oils, herbs, flowers and minerals to protect and strengthen hair. Our products can be applied to all types of hair whether natural and/or chemically treated hair.
- Pampered & Twisted Natural Hair Boutique (online shopping available)
15015 Westheimer Parkway Suite L
Houston, TX 77082
From the owner: Providing healthy and natural hair care supplies and products to the Southwest Houston / Katy area, as well as the online community is the focus of Pampered & Twisted. We strive to assist our customers in achieving healthy hair by supplying natural hair care products for all textures of natural hair. The products we offer are designed for naturally curly hair, but are effective on transitioning and/or relaxed hair textures. The brands we provide aim to serve customers who not only care about the look and feel of their hair; but also about the knowledge of hair maintenance and management.
- Jordan’s Beauty Supply & Professional Product Distributions
1911 E 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60649
- Desired Beauty Supplies
1174 Big Bethel Road
Hampton, VA 23666
Old Oyster Point Rd.
Newport News, VA. 23602<
From the owner: Desired Beauty Supplies welcomes you. We are a family owned and operated beauty supply store located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Our mission is to offer hair and beauty products that are affordable and reasonably priced in a warm and customer friendly atmosphere. We believe in individual hair style and creativity, therefore we carry hair care products for all hair types from relaxed, to natural and in between! We would love for you to come visit us today!
- Majestic Beauty Supplies Victorville, CA
14580 7th St.
Victorville, CA 92395
- Diva Beauty Supply
3237 North Pleasantburg Drive
Greenvile, SC 29609
From the owner: Diva Beauty Supply was established over 7 years ago as a small 1,200 sq. ft. store in Greenville, SC. Thanks to our great customers and hardworking employees, we have grown to over 4,200 square feet as one of upstate South Carolina’s leading beauty supply stores! Customer satisfaction is paramount here, at Diva Beauty Supply. Let us help you beautify yourself and live life to the fullest!
- Epic Curls
Regency Square Mall
1420 North Parham Road
Richmond, Virginia 23229
(Located on the 2nd Level across from The Body Shop)
From the owner: Epic Curls was founded by three sisters on a mission to find hair care products to treat there tresses for their specific needs. At the birth of Epic Curls one owner was natural, another transitioning and the other relaxed. Our mission to find products without chemicals, to find products that truly worked and that did not require us to go to more than one location to get them inspired us to create Epic Curls. Having used natural hair care products for many years we decided to bring what we’ve researched, learned and what we love to you. Epic Curls is your one stop shop for all the products you need to maintain, treat and style your hair. We believe hair should thrive, and be as lively and lovely as the person wearing it!
- Head Games Beauty Supply
671 N. Pleasant St.
Amherst, MA 01002
- Healthy Hair Dimensions
The Shops at Heritage Place
4450 Hugh Howell Road Ste. 13
Tucker, GA 30084
- Nyenzo Natural Botique (online shopping available)
918 Rock Quarry Rd. Ste. 103
Raleigh, NC 27610
From the owner: Nyenzo Natural Boutique is THE preferred choice for quality natural haircare and skincare products. Unlike many haircare and skin care stores, we actually use the products that we retail and therefore are able to share our personal experiences. Since 2009, Dionne Blanks, the founder of Nyenzo Natural Boutique, has assisted countless customers with successfully selecting products based on their specific needs. Experience the Nyenzo difference for yourself by shopping our detailed webstore. We thank you for visiting our site and hope that you enjoy the carefully selected natural products that Nyenzo Natural Boutique has to offer.
- Truly Natural Boutique Chicago (online shopping available)
1926 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
From the owner: Shine, dine, wine, and gain knowledge of the world’s best natural beauty products at truly natural boutique in Chicago. Spend $75 or more and qualify to book your Curl Coaching session with a licensed stylist. Learn how to get the best use from your natural product purchases and learn to perform the natural hair styles of your choice. We are here to deliver unique solutions for your daily wavy, kinky, curly hair care regime. Say goodbye to unnatural frustration. Pamper yourself with our truly unique Magnificent Mane session and add makeup/ professional photography to your Curl Coaching Session. Celebrate your natural style at Truly Natural Boutique Hair Care + Accessories!
- Mine, Naturally (online shopping available)
4875 W. 56th St Suite E
Indianapolis, IN 46254
From the owner: Mine, Naturally is an Indianapolis based beauty supply store dedicated to providing products to those who choose to live a chemical-free lifestyle. We provide the highest quality of customer satisfaction through excellent service and quality products. The creation of Mine, Naturally is in direct response to the growing demand in the community for a local natural beauty supply store. Our mission is to establish Mine, Naturally as an important brand that represents quality in natural skin care & hair care. We are dedicated to providing quality products and maintaining high customer satisfaction by rendering excellent service and furnishing an enjoyable, friendly atmosphere.
- Simply Wholesome
4508 W. Slauson Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90043
From the owner: Simply Wholesome is dedicated to providing the proper resources to living a healthy lifestyle. We believe in promoting and celebrating our cultural diversity, combined with exceptional customer service in a warm and comfortable setting. Our motto focuses on “keeping you looking good and feeling good.” Simply Wholesome commits to serving you best. We believe that our business is a genuine reflection of this community & we serve the greater Los Angeles area.
- Naturally Me Hair Store
3535 Sherwood Forest Blvd. Ste. 142
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
From the owner: Naturally Me is an independently owned and operated natural hair products store locally serving Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the surrounding areas. We understand the importance of embracing your natural hair texture. We offer a wide variety of specifically selected natural and organic-based products designed to nourish, strengthen, rebuild and maintain healthy natural hair. Naturally Me provides customers helpful information on caring for natural hair, which has been gathered from outside educational resources.
- African Naturals
4511 S. Kingshighway Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63109
- Go Natural 24/7
4721 SE 29th St.
Del City, OK 73160
From the owner: The owners at Go Natural 24/7 believe in taking a holistic approach to care. “It’s simply not enough to look beautiful…our goal is to inspire our customers to take proactive measures to adopt a healthy lifestyle to feel beautiful from the inside out.” At Go Natural 24/7, we offer a diverse selection of health supplements, organic essential and carrier oils, raw ingredients for formulators and natural & organic hair and skin care products. Go Natural 24/7 also manufacturers their own line of fair trade organic and natural hair & skin care products. We have also recently opened a non-chemical hair salon at our Del City location. We have received so much love and support from natural enthusiast throughout Oklahoma, across the United States and abroad and we would like to take this opportunity to say, Thank you!
- Shades of Afrika
1001 E 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90802
114 E 6th St.
Corona, CA 92879
From the owner: Shades of Afrika began with a concept when we noticed that there were too few places that offered affordable Afrikan Art, Afrikan made products, and even fewer book stores. There seemed to be a pressing need to tell our story, establish ourselves in the community, and provide a positive environment for businesses in our community. There were lots of Afrikan writers, artists, jewelry makers, seamstresses, and entrepreneurs, in the area and they helped bring Shades of Afrika to life. To those then and now, we give thanks. We are dedicated to the betterment of our community, and it’s the community that we have seen grow just as we have grown. Shades of Afrika has evolved from being a small retail store to being a cultural center that hosts a variety of social and educational events, lectures and study groups.
Many times we say that we want to change, but our actions continue to contradict our words. We ask for wisdom, guidance, and second chances, but with all of those things we still go against what we know may be best for us. After getting tired of being in the same place every year, I decided that I had to do something different. I began to work on my character flaws one by one. I received life lessons through mentors, counseling, and by reading books.
All of these things helped me to see how I could be better. After dealing with the issue for a period of time, I would suddenly notice that the flaw that I was trying to overcome was suddenly in front of me in the form of a test. I had a choice to make that I am sure came up many times before, but I missed it because I was blind to the mess I was in. I noticed the test this time, and picked the right way and I immediately felt relief. This is how I dealt with my anger, past pain, bad relationships, poor choices, and a host of other things that I dealt with and continue to deal with daily.
I truly want to be a better person tomorrow than I am today. Although I have come a long way from the 20 year old college student that would pop off and show out, I still have much further to go. I realize that many times we get entrenched in the “woe is me” mindset instead of being introspective. Look at yourself and see why things continue to go the way they are going. If you continue to go down the wrong side of the road once you reach that fork, you will never get out that destructive cycle.
It is very easy to see others mistakes and poor choices, but it is so hard to see our own. The time spent on the lives of others will be better spent on yourself. If you are stuck in a cycle of life that you cannot get out of, decide that you are ready to break free, pray and meditate, and look out for that fork in the road moment. The test will come, but you have to be prepared.
Break free. Be excellent. Change your life. Change your mind. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.
Before I moved, my husband and I spent the last few days prior to my departure looking at beautiful homes all over Houston. Many of them were over $400,000, but they had everything that we ever wanted in a home. My husband started to name the things that he wanted in a house and I just listened and smiled. He would text me random listings or toys that he wanted when we finally moved into this futuristic new house. Although I was equally excited about the move, I was apprehensive about drooling over new homes that we may not be able to afford. These past few months had turn me into a practicalist and very rigid. I had stopped dreaming and because I was not dreaming, I did not want him to dream either.
After a few days of this excited exchanges, I stopped him and said, “We aren’t going to be able to afford this anytime soon.” The look on his face and sadness in my voice made me wish that I had never said those words. I realized in that moment that I had stopped dreaming of the impossible and began existing only in my current reality. That was why I was so depressed and stressed out. I allowed my life to be driven by the right now instead of the what if. I decided from that day forward that I would dream again and my entire atmosphere shifted.
Success is not living in today but working towards tomorrow. Dreaming keeps you from being so hard, callous, and stagnant. From my own experience dreams do come true. I am much happier now that I am dreaming again. Our list of DREAMS are already turning into a reality.
Keep dreaming. Dream about the impossible. Write it down and watch you check it off your list. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.
This week has shown me that I am where I am supposed to be. I started my new job and met some amazing people, cared for some resilient patients, and sat across from remarkable families. I am happy because there is so much room for growth and many opportunities to learn from my co-workers, patients, and the organization. Despite me desperately wanting a job, I prayed and was very specific about what I wanted in my next position. As I drove up to my job on the first day, I realized that all of my prayers had been answered.
Over the past few months I started to discuss how much I missed being involved in patient care. I have so many great memories from my experiences with my patients and co-workers. The camaraderie that comes with trying to save a life every day is indescribable and life altering. I loved the spontaneity of my day and being able to meet so many different people. I do admit that the hospital environment was not perfect, and lacked much of the autonomy and respect that experienced nurses deserved. So stepping into a position in which I have extreme amounts of autonomy, a self-set pace, and the flexibility that most desire is a direct gift from God.
There is no perfect place, position or person to work for or with. All life gives are opportunities that you have to make the best of, learn from, and grow beyond. As a true millennial, I desire to create my own parameters, my own lane, and make things better for the next generation. I have accepted that I am here because I am supposed to be here, but I have not accepted this place as my final destination. On the road to your destiny are growth points and tunnels that you have to go through to see the broader picture of things that have always been working together. You have to believe that every lesson that you are learning is necessary for your future success.
Many times we become frustrated because we are not where we want to be, but if we reflect on our choices it is only because we were not ready. The path to our destiny is not straight or free of any detours, bumps, or bridges. We have to go through it all to appreciate our destination.
Be confident in your journey. Stay the course. Stay focused. Stay encouraged. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.
People used to have to tell me that I acted inappropriately or ugly when I used to blow up and go off on people. Many times with reason, but wrong nonetheless. Even though I still cut up, not as often of course, I immediately know that I lost control. The ability to self-reflect has come with age, experience, and accepting that one of my flaws is my temper.
Much of my anger came from many of the issues I dealt with growing up and feeling so out of control. Once I got professional help to process those issues, I was able to grow as a person and learn how to control my emotions. I would react negatively in a situation and immediately reflect on how I could have handled the situation better.
This process has made me understand my triggers and be honest with myself about myself. Many of us live in a state of denial of who we are and how our habits, attitudes, and outlook control our progress. We want to lose weight, but refuse to admit that we eat too much. We want to be prosperous even though we brunch too much and save less. We want to be in healthy relationships, but haven’t dealt with pass issues that are barriers to being a whole person. I have or am guilty of many of these things myself.
You have to see the worst in you just as much as you see the best in you. Your ability to self-reflect accelerates your progress. Everything is a learning process, but you shouldn’t have to learn the same lessons over and over. Life is so much like school. You learn the lesson, you take a test, you pass or fail. If you pass, you move on to the next level. If you fail, you go through the lesson again until you get it.
Self-reflect. Be introspective. Look at yourself in the mirror. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.
I thought I knew what love was. I do not even know what I thought, but I thought I knew something at every point of my life when I proclaimed to love someone. As the years go by and I evolve each day, I realize that I know nothing about love and I have so much yet to learn. Learning what love is and how to love is key to maintaining long-lasting relationships that surpass distance and time.
I have friends that I have known for years who are all very different, yet our relationships have withstood distance and time because we love each other. Many of them were my first friends in college and we never let go of each others hands as we walked along our separate journeys. Because we have been friends for so long, we eventually learned AND accepted how each person wanted or needed to be loved.
Some people need to be told that they are loved often, some people need that intimate connection, while others know the genuineness of your bond, and the only thing that matters is that you are present when needed. Although we enter into intimate relationships with this knowledge, we make the road difficult by expecting love to be present and automatic. Love is not a feeling, but the bond that is built between two people.
Looking back on my long-term friendships, I see that we did not love each other in the beginning like we love each other now. We learned how each person wanted to be loved and learned to respect that persons love language over time. As a wife I am learning that how I loved my husband year 1 may not be how my husband needs to be loved in year 4. The most important thing is to allow your love to be fluid and encompass your partners current needs, instead of simply loving the same way because that is all you know.
Change is uncomfortable, but it is necessary for growth. I am learning so much and accepting that I have so much to learn. I won’t be the same person tomorrow as I was yesterday, because I am progressing in every area of my life, including learning how to love.
Love is our superpower. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.