The Misconception of Womanhood

Over the past few weeks I have met some amazing women who are doing spectacular things.  The further I go in life, the more excited I am to be around successful women who are living out their dreams and creating their own lanes.  Society has focused on the conversation “Can Women Have It All?,” while women are out there having it all and some.  I have rarely walked into a room full of powerful women who were ever complaining about not having it all.

Yesterday I had the deepest revelation of my role in my marriage.  Despite the fact that I feel like I do so much, I realize I am able to do it and still enjoy everything in life.  I am able to balance motherhood, being a wife, cooking, cleaning, handling our finances, thinking for the future, all of my personal endeavors, and a few fun activities every now and then and never miss a beat.  Instead of resenting my ability to juggle it all, I am accepting my power and taking pride in who I am.

I have come to accept that who I am as a woman is not a burden or a strain, but how I was designed.  One of the faults with societal pressure is that all women are forced to feel that their lot in life is to do certain things, but in reality everyone was not created that way.  I applaud and admire any woman who decides not to be a mother, to not get married, or to live life outside the box of social norms.  That is their choice and they took control of their narrative instead of walking down an assumed path.  That does not make them less of a woman than me.  We are both as powerful individually and even more powerful together.

I am releasing the pressure to live within a box or to see the women around me as different because of the choices they have made.  Motherhood is amazing, but so was life prior to motherhood.  Being married is amazing, but so was the summer when I moved back to DC single and free.  We lived that summer honey. Juggling life is amazing, but so are quiet moments in the bed doing nothing.  No one writes the agenda for women, we are writing our own and taking pride in our decisions.

Women have been marginalized in so many areas of life, but as we break through barriers, glass ceilings, and kick down doors, everyone is starting to realize we always belonged in the room in the first place.  We are no longer asking for a seat at the table as a minority, but creating our own circles of power with women of like minds and spirits.  We have our own table. You can’t sit with us.  We are reclaiming our power and doing whatever we want.  There are no limits to who we are as women.  We were not made in a shadow, but in an image of greatness, excellence, and power.

I am who I am because I rejected the guilt of not being someone I was never designed to be.  I am where I am because I love myself for who I am.  I am going to another level because I am working with women who are fearless, flawless, and fierce.  We are woman, hear us roar.  This growth and connection is so natural.  We are not taking over, but stepping into our rightful places.

We are the history makers of tomorrow. Let’s make history. Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

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This Little Light of Mine

When I was going through a huge moment of spiritual growth, I began to learn about the inner light.  The inner light is the glow of your spirit that shines even when you do not speak, illuminates a dark situation, and radiates and attracts people to you in ways you cannot understand.  That light can be so powerful that it attracts great things, but at times it can attract people or situations that want to steal or dim your light.  Your light is your power.

I always loved people and being around people, but learning about my inner light allowed me to permeate into the lives of strangers without them even realizing that they let me in so quickly and so deeply.  As a healthcare provider, it puts families and patients at ease when they are in your care, your colleagues trust you, and you leave an impression no matter how long or how short you are in a place.  Your light is your power.

It is hard to put in words how I discovered my light, but once I understood it, embraced it, and used it naturally, I had to learn quickly that I had to protect my light.  Light does not only attack good things, but it also attracts negative things and people.  I went through a rough period where it seemed that life was trying to dim my light.  It was one bad situation after another bad situation, and yet even if it dimmed for a minute, I centered myself and allowed my light to shine through my situation. Your light is your power.

I have interacted with people who have tried to dim or turn out my light, but I learned how to detach from those who sought to snuff out my light and recognize those characteristics early.  Many times it is hard to detach, because the light thieves are the ones who should be protecting your light or teaching you how to protect your light.  Relationships, jobs, and financial situations can all come as darkness and overshadow your light, but when you know your power, purpose, and position you remove those things or you remove yourself from those situations to ensure that your light is always illuminating at its full capacity.  Your light is your power.

I have met some of the most amazing people in the past 3 months.  I have reconnected with many amazing people I met growing up and all that remains between us all is that they don’t overshadow or attempt to steal my light, and their light is shining just as brightly as mine.  The power of presence is within your light.  Everyone has a light.  How brightly you allow it to shine is up to you.  What you put out in life will always return.  Light will produce light.  Darkness will produce darkness.  Enhance your light by putting out light.  Protect your light by disengaging with darkness.  Your light is your power.

This little light of mine.  I am letting it shine.  My light is my power.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

#BlackExcellenceSaturdays: A Lifestyle Movement

We can never go back to where we were before the death of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Mike Brown.  We knew that we were in trouble.  It was evident by the economic stress of many within our communities; the changes in Federal regulations that disqualified many minorities and low-income families for Parent Plus loans, the amount of debt that students are graduating with, along with the leveling of pay for professional careers despite inflation increasing the cost of everything.  The lack of trade schools or opportunities to learn trades in high school.  The cost of early learning programs for our children have skyrocketed.  Our mental health and substance abuse resources continue to be defunded, closing programs that are vitally needed in many communities.  The writing was on the wall and it was only a matter of time before the pot boiled over.  So here we are, in the middle of an uprising with a heart for change with the need for sustainable plans to continue the path to progression.  Hence the birth of #BlackExcellenceSaturdays.

My goal is for us collectively to take control of our narrative and stop waiting on someone outside of our communities to tell us how to rebuild our communities.  We know how and we can do the work together.  Here is a way in which we are going to work together to support and connect with Black businesses:

  1. The 50 people that I have ultimately connected with will help me find 3 Black owned businesses in their city.
    1. An eating establishment/bar/lounge
    2. A business that provides a good or service
    3. A cultural/health focused activity
  2. We are going to use our social media connections to promote these 3 businesses/activities and encourage participation on that designated Saturday of the month.
  3. We are going to do this for 12 months.
  4. We are going to show up on that designated Saturday and support that businesses with our dollars.
  5. We are each going to bring our family and friends and ask them to bring their family and friends.
  6. We are going to network with each other and share our personal business ventures.
  7. We are going to rebuild our community connections in person and have knowledge of the businesses in our community and those who may be able to help us in our own ventures.
  8. We are going to build the movement by posting pictures on our social media outlets using #BlackExcellenceSaturdays

The goal of this initiative is to eventually subconsciously patronize Black owned businesses and local businesses in our community that support our community.  We hope to inspire and encourage other entrepreneurs to open and establish businesses in our communities because they know that they will have our support.  This is not an organization but a lifestyle.

Suggested Attire:

Whenever possible, we encourage those attending to be dressed to the 9s, including our children.

Purpose:

  1. To bring positive attention to the movement
  2. You are more likely to compliment and easily connect with someone who is dressed up
  3. To honor our ancestors who used every opportunity to celebrate our beauty

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Here are some suggested looks but we encourage you to celebrate with us however you feel comfortable:

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MY Plan to Change the World

Over the past few years I have been trying to hone in on the direct changes that I want to see and how I am going to make them happen.  I am very passionate about so many things and I know that I cannot change everything, but I can make a major difference somewhere.  So today I decide to write down my list and work on them constantly.  This is my plan and I do not expect anyone to join me, but I know along the way I will find kindred spirits who can help me build on this foundation.

Here are my goals:

  1. Educate the community on their legal rights. 
  2. Engage and encourage the community to participate in local politics.
  3. Support Black owned businesses that invest in their local communities and eventually build an association that has the power to control the Black spending power in America. 

Writing down your goals and plans helps the universe center the resources you need to make those things happen.  I know that everything will not happen overnight, but eventually I will find opportunities that align with my goals.  When I set my focus on something, there is little that can stop me from achieving positive results.  I cannot tell you how I am going to get it all done, but I will.

I am not asking anyone to adopt my agenda but to create one of your own that empowers, educates, and encourages a generation to be DOERS! Many hands makes for light work. We need all hands on deck at this pivotal moment in our lives.  We need everyone to use their talents, gifts, and passion to change the course of the current path we have been on for a very long time.  If you are passionate about art then take a weekend to teach some children how to express themselves artistically.  If you are into fashion, volunteer at organizations that help the less fortunate to prepare for job interviews.  If you are into math or science, find an organization to tutor with and inspire children by example.  Whatever if is that you have to give, please share with the world.  You cannot take anything with you and your talents will be better used here and now.

Fight the good fight.  Fight the power.  Power to the people.  Be you. Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

The Art of Storytelling

There are so many ways to tell a story.  Some people are loud and animated.  While others are softer toned and rhythmic.  And yet some are a hybrid; they will flow from one comedic belly aching moment into a serious and powerful historical testimony of the upmost importance.  This artistic ability is one to truly be admired.

I have learned over the years that telling a story is not about just being heard, but it is about captivating the audience and making them yearn for more.  It is about creating an electric atmosphere full of an emotion that you continue to charge with your stylistic “and then,” “I said,” “she said” electrodes of power.  Some people are born with this talent, while many others learn it by watching some of the greatest storytellers around.

You always know who the best storyteller is in the room because everyone who was there always turns to that person and says, “Girl you tell it!”, while they hold themselves together, waiting for the anticipated punch lines.  Storytellers are an energy that attract many, a light that draws in the crowd, and a magnet that people can hardly pull away from.

Then you have those historical storytellers who know the history of the entire family or the diaspora.  They began to spit the facts about great-grandpa, and a great-aunt and a cousin who went to war and never returned.  Or they begin to tell you about the warriors of forgotten African Kingdoms.  They resurrect the spirits of men and women you may have never met but are proud to be connected to.  Those type of storytellers make you feel so proud to be you, proud of your name and proud of the shoulders on which you stand on.  Those storytellers are gems of the family and academia.  They remain connected because they have a charge to continue to tell the story.

I have always loved to hear a good story.  Whether from a friend, a family member or the verbal vision created by those who are deemed professionals in the art.  Somehow the story strings pieces of your own imagination with the imagination of others and you have a powerful moment full of emotion.  Just thinking about the electrical energy gives me the chills.

We have to reclaim our position as storytellers.  Storytelling builds community, builds connections and builds a human coalescence.   When you tell the story, you are in control of how everyone around you views the narrative.  In order to restore, empower and progress, we have to regain that control.  The next time you are around a group of people, take a look at the story being told.  If you see that the story is not one which will uplift and inspire, take control and infuse the room with the emotion that will make that moment memorable.

Take control of the story.  Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Roses and Fairy Tales

I don’t wear a lot of make-up, or a lot of jewelry or invest in too many material things because I have never seen my life as a story of roses and fairy tales.  I have grown up on the defense, prepared to fight many battles, many times alone with no one by my side to help me fight or to protect me.  I have tried to keep my life simple, because I was not sure what would happen next, good or bad.  I have lived, even in my happiest moments, cautiously, awaiting an imaginary gavel to fall and for the things I love to be taken away at any moment.  I am always ready and prepared to stand against any enemy because I have always felt under attack.

Throughout college I worked hard to maintain financially and emotionally.  I look back and regret never taking the time to experience and embrace the beauty of my present because I was so focused on the past and the unknown future.  I missed out on many opportunities because I did not feel that I was worthy.  I second guessed myself many times and lost out because I was afraid of succeeding.  I ran from things that I really wanted.  The only person that short-changed my experience was me, myself and I.

When I look back at all of the pictures that I took over the years, I captured many great moments.  Our first celebration of a group birthday, our first homecoming, my roommate walking in the fashion show, seeing my idols on stage and meeting celebrities in the cafeteria on random days of the week.  It appeared that I had finally received my roses and was living in a fairytale and that I had accepted that role wholeheartedly.  These pictures failed to capture the moment I found out that my grandfather had passed away and how my friends were there for me as I walked across campus to turn in my papers and get my business in order.  The images failed to capture my emotional instability, my anger and my lashing out at others because I was hurting so much inside.  There were no pictures of me in the counseling center knowing I needed help but unsure of the exact reason.  The pictures showed roses and fairy tales but that was not my truth.

My life has never been roses and fairy tales but I had to learn to let go.  Let go of my past and stop allowing it to control my present and incorrectly predict my future.  I had to learn to enjoy the moment, to stop beating myself up for taking a trip or enjoying a concert with some friends.  I had to learn to cry even when everyone else was smiling.  I did not have to fake the funk for the sake of others comfort.  I had to learn to never put on a mask but to always be myself at all times, whether the world liked, loved or hated it.  I had to learn to stop and smell the roses and dream about fairy tales because it was fun and worth it.  I had to learn that no one’s life is roses or fairy tales but that does not stop them from living out their wildest dreams.

Now my life is full of roses and fairy tales not because it is perfect but because I declared it.  I surrounded myself with beautiful people and love myself for my outer and inner beauty.  I have my King, a prince and a dog.  We live in a kingdom that is full of light and love.  My life is far from perfect.  I cry, I get frustrated, upset, I disappoint myself and others.  I aim for an unattainable level of perfection as a mother and wife and push myself too far at times.  Despite the ugly, my life is full of roses and fairy tales and I would not trade it for the world.  Live the life that you want, not the one that you think you deserve.  Be you.  Do you.  Live in your truth.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.