parenting

The Ministry of Sisterhood: The Ansari Girls

img_0425If you haven’t been paying me any attention then you missed the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! Want to know what it is/was?! My sister, Ayesha, and I have launched a show on Facebook LIVE, IG LIVE, and YouTube to discuss the ministry of sisterhood. We are giving you a behind the scenes look into our lives. How are we handling success, balancing family life, being social, and keeping our groove, all while maintaining our sanity and our close relationship with each other and our devotion to God? That’s a lot to view. So what made us think that our lives were so special that we needed a show. Let me take you on a little journey…

It’s no secret to the people who know us that my sister and I DID NOT get along growing up. We were like oil and water, if and when we did agree it was probably to agree that we didn’t agree with each other. This is how our relationship was for most of our childhood and on into our teenage years. My parents were so annoyed with us, but the older we got, our bond began to form. Now we didn’t stop arguing or fighting, we just didn’t have to do it in front of our family or friends, we each had our own homes and our hang up game was strong. So when did our relationship finally turn around. I really can’t tell you, one day I just looked at my sister differently. I no longer saw her as the brat that was driving me crazy, I saw her as another woman, someone I enjoyed being around. I didn’t just love her because she was my sister, I actually liked her as a person, someone I WANTED to hang out with. As others began to see us together they noticed the difference in our relationship and wondered what changed us. Our conversations were now inspirational and encouraging, our phones calls ended in laughs, we began to appreciate our time together.

So what change? Our faith! As our own individual relationships with God began to develop he granted us access to see each other differently. I began to see where I’d slacked as a big sister (yes, the secret is out, I am the oldest) and I allowed her to see the vulnerable parts of my life I’d kept hidden. It was in these moments our bond was solidified and we could actually see each other. As we began to share our story, our struggles, our journey, people paid attention and they wanted to hear more. If you tune into Just One Hot Mom the podcast (available on Itunes) some of my favorite shows are with my sister. But Just One Hot Mom is my baby, and I can’t share it, so what could we do that would allow people to hear and learn from our stories. Nothing but get in front of the camera and share. So on Tuesday, October 2nd, we shared our first story on “The Disciplined Art of Essentialism!” (check it out on our FB page/YouTube channel The Ansari Girls) Every other Tuesday at 8pm, we are opening the doors of our lives and sharing them with you. Our hope is that by being transparent with you about our lives, you will become confident in who you are, inspired to share your story, and encouraged that you are not alone in this life. I wouldn’t want to do this with any other person.

So your assignment, go like or subscribe to our pages and share in our journey!

Facebook: The Ansari Girls
Instagram: thensarigirls
YouTube: The Ansari Girls

parenting

It’s A Shame! Part 2

IMG-0190So let’s just say in the last few weeks shaming has been at an all time high. I’m not sure why others take such liberties to tell you about how you should feel bad, but they do. I often wonder what do these people tell themselves when they look in the mirror or when someone corrects them about being who they are. How do they feel? Apparently not bad enough to stop doing it to others. In this week’s shaming story, it’s just me and this body that I am in, that I love but apparently someone felt I should not be so crazy about.

I was in my office minding my business, on this day my hair was wrapped up like a Nubian goddess, I had on a perfect floor length sundress, face was au natural, and my scent was a hint of coconut. I was feeling good, not just about my look but I was having a good day. Then I felt the room get dark and an evil presence enter who wanted to take my happiness away. I’m joking no evil presence just someone else who does not work in my office decided to tell us about the detox she was on. As I try to shy away and head to my office she notices. Excuse me, I wanted to tell you about the detox what’s going on with you?! Who me?! She then proceeds to question my head wrap and explain how a real lady does not wear that type of adornment outside of her home. She assumes that underneath my scarf my hair must be a mess and I should really take the time, just a few seconds and do something besides the scarf. She’s an older woman and I respect my elders so I respectfully nod at her suggestions. You would think it would have stopped there, but I guess because I didn’t completely lose it on her about the hair comment she thought she should continue. Next, apparently I need to detox because my face was super red and it was probably red because of the toxins in my body and not enough water. Again I just nod and try to respectfully move toward my office. 15 minutes later a discussion about how my spirituality was reflected in my look and I need to get right with God, I finally tell her to be blessed and to have a good day. Now I failed to mention earlier she wasn’t just having this conversation with me, but my other co-worker was present as well. Yeah, she was trying to shame me in front of someone else.

After she left, my co-worker asked why I hadn’t responded with a swift, you need to be checked demeanor. My response, I’m confident enough in myself to know that what her thoughts are, are not my own. Why would I take the time to explain that I’d been wearing my hair in a nice flat wrap waiting for it to dry before I removed my wrap, but that I was proud of myself for finally learning how to correctly tie the wrap up on my head ( I watched a billion YouTube videos), that I was in the midst of a rosacea flare up, that instead of covering it up with make-up I decided to let my skin breathe and for the first time in days my skin felt cool. Or why would I explain that me and Jesus are super cool, that we talk on a regular basis and all is well with my soul. I knew that she had already made up in her mind to judge what she didn’t know and she didn’t want to get to know. Why waste time and effort trying to get her to see beyond her own thoughts. And checking her would just feed into her already negative thoughts, so instead I just nod.

But what if I wasn’t confident in myself, what if I was at my breaking point and one more comment would have sent me over the edge? People┬ádon’t often think before they speak and sometimes they don’t realize that their helpful advice isn’t so helpful. For me I’ve been in love with who I am for a long time, but a lot of women I work with or speak with are just learning this, what damage is being done my others to take them off the path to self-love?!

I challenge each of us to not assume we know what a person has going on based on one glance and our opinion, but if you really care to get to know that person and if you don’t ZIP IT! Have you been shamed? How did you handle it?

parenting

Tune in!!

Here are a few of my favorite guest and podcast episodes from the last year. I appreciate all my guest giving me the opportunity to share their story. Tune in! Click the links!

No Longer Powerless Featuring Sharone ThomasNo Longer Powerless Promo

Policing Our Communities Featuring Jamaal Ansaripolicing our communities

#BOSSMOM Featuring Sherita Carthonbossmom

Dating After Divorce Featuring Clotea Mackdating after divorce

Donnie Lynee Artist SpotlightDonnie Lynee Promo

parenting

What A Man?!

It’s been about 2 weeks since my son officially ended his junior high career and is now ready to embark on a new journey to high school. This was a tough time for me. He is my ONLY son and being the main parent in his life brings me joy and a bit of sadness.

jamiel post 1I love watching my kids grow up and advising them as needed. They are all strong-willed individuals (got it honestly) and I know it’s my job to help them grow into productive, creative members of society. All the girly conversations I have with my daughters my mom had with me, the territory that I am unfamiliar with, the one that causes me anxiety are the conversations I feel a dad is supposed to have with his son. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of men in my son’s life who can have these talks with him, but I feel as though he is cheated because he can’t have these conversations with the one person who should be thrilled to do so, HIS dad. (Some background, my oldest two children have the same father, due to circumstances out of my control, he is unavailable to co-parent at this time, I’ll just leave it at that.) As I picked out his suit, helped him get dressed for the events that marked the end of this chapter of his life I often wondered how he felt about his dad not being present. Well why wonder when I could just ask, so I did! My son with his tall, lanky, poised face said, I’m good mom you’ve got this! He kissed my forehead (he now towers above me) and gave me the biggest hug.

jamiel post 2
jamiel postAs I watched him look at himself in the mirror I was beyond proud, WHAT A MAN! My son despite his situation is growing into the most amazing, compassionate, strong, bold man I know. I would take credit for all the great things about my son, but I know without the help of the men who constantly and consistently stand in the gap for him, he might have turned out differently. I am humbled by how without breaking a sweat they show up for him on a regular basis.

So single moms if you are doubting whether you can raise a man…let me leave you with this- You may not be equipped for every talk, or every walk, but you are equipped with the love you have in your heart to raise an individual who will go out into the world and be who God destined them to be. What more could you ask for?!
jamiel post 5

 

parenting

I Am A Pink Sister: When Women Unite!

Saturday, May 26 was a BUSY day for me. My son was going to junior prom and I had been invited to attend the event United Women in White Goes Pink: Setting The Expectation! Now me being the superwoman that I am, had a plan mapped out to be at both places at once! Don’t judge me I’m not the only person that thinks they can duplicate themselves. What seemed like an impossible mission, had its ante upped with a wardrobe malfunction. You gotta love life happening! As I panic and rush to find something white to go with my hint of pink, I reflected on the theme of this event “Setting the Expectation!” which meant I needed to set an expectation for myself. So I did, I accepted the fact that I was going to fail miserably at trying to pull this off, but I still had to try. So here it goes…

*I decorate my house, set out the tux, give Symone (my oldest) clear instructions about transporting her brother, beat this gorgeous face, and don a perfect white dress with my blush pink shoes.

nik pink party

As I enter into the Tinkham Veale Center (which I am familiar with as I work across the street), there is an air of peace that fills the entrance. Now that peace could be from meeting two of my favorite pink sisters at the door or it could be that I felt like I did the very first time I entered a #pinkpartyretreat, like I was home. As I walked the hallway to find others there was a sense of love and joy as I passed each lady, making sure to give compliments and receive some graciously. There were hugs and laughter as ladies connected after not seeing each other for a while and then there were new introductions made. I am a people watcher. The most amazing thing to watch is other women enjoying the company of other woman and this place had plenty of that. As I walked up to each vendor table I felt welcomed, that is a huge thing for me, I really like a welcoming feeling. I explored the offerings available by each vendor and made some awesome connections which will be featured soon enough. I look down at my watch and decide I better make my way closer to the main event.

Have you ever hugged someone and felt like all the heaviness of life has been lifted?! This is what it is like to hug Tenora Edwards, founder of The Pink Party Retreat. She has an amazing spirit and a soft gentle voice that makes you feel accepted. There are more vendors to see and more pink sisters to love on. Not only was I able to connect with my pink sisters I made new sisters/connections and laughed so hard til I had to make sure my spanx was still in place (LOL!) We are getting ready to walk in and then BOOM a text comes through I have become the designated chauffeur for my son and his date due to a miscommunication. CRAP! What am I going to do I need to be here to tell you all about this event, but I am his mom so now what! This is where I learned the true meaning of sisterhood. My friend sees the distress on my face I explain the issue and she says no worries, I GOT YOU! Those three words offered more than comfort. So what was the set up, one friend would take picture and the other would video so that I wouldn’t miss a beat while dropping this cute little couple off.

*I unstrapped my shoes, run as fast as I can, hop in the car, run a few lights and there I am to take my son to the junior prom. While enjoying the beginning stages of the event. Prom was magical, you’ll hear about it soon.

Although I missed being there in the physical for a portion, I made notes as to what expectations I will set for myself:

  1. I will expect myself to forgive me! Don’t allow the mistakes of your past to set the stage for your future.
  2. I will expect to love other women and for those other women to love me! Embrace other women, even if they are not ready to embrace, you set the tone for your relationship with them
  3. I will expect to LOVE ME!
  4. I will expect to take time and be with myself. It’s okay to be selfish and take care of me
  5. And the most obvious I set my own expectations in all areas of my life, mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, THIS IS MY LIFE!

While I was super disappointed that I had to cut out early and barely made it back for the ending, I’m thankful that I had my sista girls there who were willing to make sure I was able to be a part. I am forever grateful to be a pink sister, united in love, laughter, and magic!