parenting

I’m Hungry!

Have you ever tried to figure out what you are in life? Most recently I met with my business coach who asked this question. I wrote out this big plan I planned to go over with him, only for him to destroy it and have me start over, to get to the root of what I am.

I am a lot of things! I’m a mom, daughter, sister, blogger, host, significant other, motivational speaker, mommy coach, I mean I carry a lot of titles. Apparently this wasn’t the answer he was looking for because he kept pressing the issue. I remember sitting there and being extremely frustrated that he kept asking me what I was. So what did I do when I was backed into a corner with this questions I yelled, “I’M HUNGRY!” Now I wasn’t hungry in the physical sense that I wanted to eat, but I was hungry to see my vision come to life, to grow my brand, and to be successful. I’m hungry and I’m sure you are too.

So what does it mean to be hungry? Well according to dictionary.com if we break down and apply it outside of needing food, being hungry is to have a desire or craving. I have a desire, a craving to help maternal figures take care of themselves and their families, I have a yearning to see parents providing happy homes for their children, where they can have open and honest communication. The hunger I have to see these things come to pass, would be causing me to starve if I wasn’t working on feeding that hunger. So why don’t we feed that craving, that sound coming from our belly? I think it’s because we are scared. 1. We are scared to voice that we have a desire to do something greater with our lives 2. We are not sure what we are hungry for.

Let’s talk about it. When you step outside your comfort zone it can be really scary. I mean heart stopping, sweating palms, wanting to hide scary. If you are going to live your God-given purpose you must conquer this fear. There is something in this world that only you can do, that select people need to see you do. I am a firm believer that we all can be doing the same thing, but there will be that one unique thing that makes us different and that is what that person needs to see. Fear will destroy any chance you have of exploring your greater good. Now I know saying that and actually being able to achieve it are two very different things. But has what you’ve been doing as of late working toward your purpose, has fear been helping you to feed that hunger? I doubt it, so why not get uncomfortably, comfortable and take a chance on yourself.

Then there is the other end of the spectrum. You have a desire but you can’t pinpoint exactly what it is you want to do. You are all over the place doing things, without doing anything at all. You are starving because the menu is too big, you have too many options. If this is your case my advice, GET REAL WITH YOU! Sit down look yourself in the mirror and say “I’m out of control, I need help, I need focus!” Then get to the business of getting all of that. For me, I decided to meet with two business coaches and get perspective on what I actually wanted to achieve. I know what I have a passion for, but I’m easily distracted by trying to please everyone. I was doing more harm than good to my brand trying to go into a market not meant for me. Once I was able to sit down, write a very detailed mission statement and objective, I was able to focus. Find what help you to get focused.

We all have talent! We all have purpose! What is your talent? What is your purpose? Don’t be afraid to admit you are hungry to learn the answer to those questions. Your challenges 1. Be fearless 2. Focus. Let me know how you plan to feed the beast within you.

To hear more tune into Episode 2 of the Just One Hot Mom, Maternal Self-care podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe!

black women, health, women

Being Nanekia…GirlTrek A Walk To Self Discovery!

nik girl trekA little over a week ago thanks to #BlackGirlsInCle I had the opportunity to attend Girl Trek Cleveland Edition. I was excited 1. to find out more about Girl Trek, 2. To get out of the house on a Friday night for a little me time. Go on over and read my review of the event on www.blackgirlincle.com. The space, the vibe, the sisterhood was overwhelming and as with each experience I get to learn more about myself. So what did I learn this time around…Keep reading!

I’ve been living this outside my comfort zone lifestyle for a while. I’ve been many places alone, which no longer bothers me, this experience was different, it took me to a new level of being uncomfortable and I was completely there for it. I’ve had to do a lot of self reflecting and soul-searching lately, this was a decision I did not take lightly as in order for me to become better, to be available to encourage others to be their best selves, in order to live by example, I can’t be bullsh*tting myself. If there was any of that left, the #girltrek experience pulled it all out.

  1. All the ladies in the room were told to stand silently against the wall and leave all judgements including judging ourselves outside the room, there were a lot of ladies but we manage to do it. Then we were told to really think about ourselves and be honest with the answers we were giving. Step forward if you have improved your healthy living lifestyle, step forward if you have left an abusive relationship, step back if you remain in an abusive relationship, this went on with multiple questions until we were uneven. As I gazed around the room I saw women who were just like me, standing on my own in life figuring things out. I’d experienced some gains and losses and I wasn’t alone.
  2. As we remain in silence we were brought to a circle to do a rhythmic dance exercise. Honestly I had no clue what we were about to do, but the spirit in the room was refreshing and inviting. There were so many melanated faces in the room as we looked at each other the music began. First there was a slow beat, which we swayed to, then the build up and as the music began to heighten we were instructed to dig, scooping low (floor) then releasing at the top (above our head) as we scooped the sound was one of great pain from each person, but then the release was a roar, like we had found freedom and we needed everyone to know. The more we scooped the greater the release until you could feel the humming in the room get louder and louder with every release. Not sure if my description is giving you the full picture, but imagine being weighted down and you feel like you can’t get up, but then you manage to get up and now you can’t even feel the weight of what you were carrying. I felt all the pressure of that day being removed from me, the issues with co-workers, kids not cleaning up, missing date night, loss of friendships, too many meetings, goals not reached, the weight of all the issues I’d been having I could no longer feel. What did I feel? I felt my sisters carrying me, I felt with each hum of their voices they were helping me release. This was magical because let me tell you, a girl was extremely tired of carrying that weight!
  3. The Wonder Stories of Wonder Women! This part of the evening was amazing. You all know I like a good story and these were stories of women right here in my community, sharing defeat and triumph. With each shared story I felt closer to these women I did not know. We experienced joy, pain, laughter, anger, so many emotions and so many divine connections made. Once the stories were over we were told to grab a sister, hold her hands and look her directly in her eyes. No smiling, just studying her face and seeing her story in her eyes. Have you actually ever looked at another woman? Not her outfit, make-up, shoes (we know I love shoes), not her smile, but what’s in her eyes. Staring into this strangers eyes I began to notice things I hadn’t about her and we had been sitting next to each other for at least 2 hours. If you are so inclined really look at someone, and you will see their story. This was magical for me and I’m not going to lie the tears began to flow, because I knew my story, that behind my smile, behind the jokes, I was crying my eyes out tired and I didn’t see rest in site. That sister hugged me so tight I felt my body go limp and finally rest!
  4. Finally we get to the walking part, LOL! I mean all this emotional stuff and now you want me to walk. If you read my #blackgirlincle article then you know that 137 black women are dying each day due to preventable diseases. For me personally I know stress correlates directly to some of my health issues. Being able to relieve some of that stress and set myself free was amazing. So what does walking have to do with this? It’s a form of self-care we should start taking advantage of. When I’m angry, take a walk, when I’m sad, try taking a walk, when I’m happy take advantage of that boost and take a walk. Our ancestors found freedom in walking and you can find it too just take your first steps.

Girl Trek is on a mission to get a million African-American women to join the movement by 2020, I’m one of those women! My road to travel in getting me together started when I decided to take that single step, to live a life that defines me and no one else. What will your walk look like? Will you join us?
onika jervisOnika Jervis, Chief Engagement Officer. Girl Trek

Veronica VeryVeronica Very, President & Founder, Wonder of Women

Morgan DixonMorgan Dixon, Founder & CEO, Girl Trek

parenting

The Blame Game!

Blame-01-758x342So…I received a video from someone I consider a “friend”. The video was titled “Single Black Mothers Created the Modern Day Ghetto,” catchy title right. Normally I would not entertain such ignorance but because, remember I said I received this from someone I consider a “friend” thought it might have a message he felt I needed to hear. Needless to say IT DID NOT!!! I won’t post the video because the profanity and ignorance that shines through makes me physically ill. I will however address it.

Throughout the video the narrator degrades black women calling them all forms of profanities, and the black children we raised are apparently profanities and apes as well. Every now and again you get one of these so-called angry militants who instead of coming up with a solution will just lay blame and take no responsibility, I took his video as just that, but what disturbed me was the comments. WHY DO WE AS A PEOPLE HAVE TO BLAME SOMEONE FOR WHAT WE ALL HAVE DONE! We are all guilty of not being willing participants in forming constructive ways to parent, build up our communities, give back, mentor, and trust each other. This was something we learned and instead of changing our mindset we blame each other. Thus the cycle of not owning our part continues and rants like this get viewed and like, arguments get started with no real resolution. My suggestion STOP BLAMING EACH OTHER!!!!!! We’ve done enough damage with the blame game it’s time that we offer some apologies and get to fixing our communities.

As a black woman raising a black son I’m offended that we all get lumped into one category, BITTER B*TCHES! Forgive the language but it’s the truth. Or at least my truth. I can’t possibly raise a man because I’m not one and how dare I not give my son access to men like this who claim they can make him a man. Let me address two things, 1. I am not a man so therefore have no knowledge of what it is like to be one, I am however a decent human being and I know how to raise a productive member of society. 2. Just because you are a man doesn’t mean you are any better at teaching my son to be a man. But guess what I’M NOT BLAMING YOU!!

In my opinion instead of blaming each other let’s take the initiative with all the young people in our lives male or female and show them how to lead, how to contribute, how to change society, how to build, how to exist with each other. What a wonderful world we would live in if that were the seed that was planted.

So my people what are you going to do? You have two options, 1. take the cowards way and blame someone else, 2. stand up and become someone in your community these young people can look to for guidance. The choice is yours!