Tag Archives: mind

They Don’t Want Us To Be Woke

Let’s start with this, so that we’re clear from the onset.

I am a survivor of rape and domestic violence. I am also both woke and aware that sometimes women lie about being victimized by men. Therefore, what I’m about to state isn’t based on my biased emotions because of what I’ve survived. I don’t hate men and I know how to be objective.

If you are a person of color, and you don’t go to see Birth of a Nation, you’re playing yourself and robbing our children of an important moment in American History that is not sugar-coated or watered down.

A jury of his peers found Nate Parker not guilty of raping a woman, whom he had a relationship with, when he was a young, black man (without millions of dollars in the bank) on a sports scholarship in college. Now, as a grown man, Nate Parker is being vilified for that same crime because he successfully made a movie that could have a positive impact on our legacy and the minds of people in this country.

This is not a “I slipped something in her drink/I gave women drugs regularly” situation by any means. Nate Parker has spoken about this incident and never changed his stand on his innocence. Recently he was interviewed by Robin Roberts about the incident. After the interview, The Grio published an article about said interview with a very misleading title in an effort to (obviously) gain readers’ attention.  During the interview with Robin Roberts, Parker was expected to apologize for the rape controversy that recently reemerged and exploded due to the spotlight put onto Birth of a Nation. In my experience as a rape victim, a woman, and a citizen, innocent people, who are proven innocent by a jury, don’t often apologize for a crime they didn’t commit, if they didn’t commit the crime. It is my opinion that mainstream media is attempting to hang Parker with his past, in hopes that no one will go see the movie.

The reality is this: the biggest demographic of movie goers is women. With an estimated annual buying power of $5 trillion dollars, women rule in many areas of importance, regardless of what you may assume.  Therefore, if women are led to believe that Nate Parker committed the crime of rape, even though a jury found him innocent, women will sympathize with the alleged victim, if they too have been violated, or empathize, even if they haven’t, and thereby boycott Birth of a Nation instead of supporting it. Someone somewhere is hoping that on this opening box office weekend, that will be their victory.

Ask yourself this one question if you think I’m blowing smoke:

If Parker were in fact guilty of the crime of rape, why bring it to the forefront after he’s already starred in several movies, along with the likes of Denzel Washington?

I’ll tell you why. Birth of a Nation isn’t just going to be in movie theaters across the country or the world. There’s an educational curriculum developed around the film to put it into school districts as well. If our next generation isn’t led to believe that slaves were happy being enslaved and are instead taught the truth about what slavery was, introduced to more stories about how slavery impacted the country the live in, they are more likely to have a higher sense of self, civic responsibility and concern about civil rights as it relates to themselves and other people of color. 

The rape case that ended with a not guilty verdict is being used as a distraction. If Nate Parker was a White man, putting out this same movie, the crime he WASN’T found guilty of committing, wouldn’t be a topic of any conversation at all…. anywhere. I urge you to make a decision to educate yourself about a pivotal figure in African-American history instead of allowing yourself to be influenced by the spin being put on Nate Parker’s past. If you were in his shoes, that is what you’d want.

They don’t want us to be woke. So we need to stay woke.

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight
Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Enjoy Your Success Today

Sometimes I wonder if people want to be successful, or if they just want to be famous.

There are times in someone’s life when they can’t have one without some of the other. However, I observe people who are very successful and they don’t seem to realize it at all. They are seemingly chasing fame instead of celebrating the success they already have and the added success coming their way. The level of success they currently have is spectacular and impressive, and they are already accomplished and awesome, but they are constantly minimizing it themselves and their success because they desire to have fame and a lot fans. Having fame and fandom on any level isn’t at all what it’s cracked up to be. Being famous involves a lot of responsibility that many people truly can’t handle. Sometimes being famous can actually destroy your success.

Success requires work, sacrifice and maintenance. Remember all of those college classes you took and that student loan debt for those degrees? That was work. Remember all of the friends you lost and relationships that failed because you were studying or working? What about the long days and nights you spend striving towards meeting a deadline? Those are sacrifices. Think about your continuing education or leadership classes, conferences and networking events you attend. That is maintenance.

Fame is fleeting and unpredictable; it can help, but it can also hinder. Fame also has limitations. Everyone has different gifts and talents when they come into this world that makes them unique and contributes to the quality of their lives. When you are aware of what your gifts and talents are you can use them towards being a success, instead of trying to emulate others. Everyone won’t be a famous author. I know this because I receive phone calls and emails from people who haven’t completed a manuscript. Everyone won’t be a YouTube sensation overnight or at all. Yet daily people invest a great deal of time in doing so. Every woman with curves won’t become the next Kim Kardashian or Amber Rose, but on a daily basis women strike a pose on Instagram in hopes of being discovered. Becoming famous for most people who do isn’t about their gifts or talent. They are dependent on societal trends and timing. Without that fame formula coming in to play for them, we’d never have heard of them at all. Years from now we won’t remember most of those famous individuals for anything meaningful, if we remember them at all.

I’ve learned that you can’t reach the next level of anything in your life or career if you don’t appreciate where you are currently at. Appreciate the success you have today, no matter how small you may think it is. There’s something to be said for having gratitude in your current situation. There’s a lesson in this moment of your life that you need to learn in order to elevate to the next level.

Even if your name is never in lights on a marquee, strive to be success in your life, not famous. Success comes in various forms. For many people success is being able to pay their bills on time, feed their children and help others in their communities. Success for some people is never going before a judge or having their children go to college. Success for some people is having an opportunity to go a job they love everyday. Success is what the people who matter in your life will remember you for when you are gone.

Gratitude is extremely powerful and pushes you closer to your purpose in this world. Be grateful for what you have in your life and career today. Change your perspective and begin working towards improving upon the success you have without expecting to become famous for it. Your life will be more fulfilling and you will be happier when you do.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” Robert Brault

Experience; A True Teacher

We have all experienced disappointment, rejection and loss. I myself experienced a tremendous amount this year alone. My mother died, I lost friends and I lost opportunities. All of these experiences forced me to make adjustments, changes and sacrifices. What I thought was going to be one of the best years of my life, turned into one of the most difficult. I was hurt, sad and even felt depressed throughout each experience I weathered. In spite of the negatives, I learned from each situation and as a result I also experienced positive growth.

While I was going through hidden pain, I was still having positive experiences. This year I became a correspondent blogger for Six Brown Chicks and I got to meet a woman I admire greatly as a result; Zondra Hughes. I was in featured in several articles written by talented journalists and bloggers, one of which was published in Italy. I finished my second book and (to my surprise and delight) it reached number 34 in the world on Amazon’s Urban/Regional list of eBooks. In a couple of weeks that same book Breaking Through the Black Ceiling will become available in paperback for purchase.

I had a lot of obstacles come up against me this year, some that were truly unthinkable and others that were completely frightening. Details of one of those obstacles is actually the topic of one of my next books. We won’t even begin to discuss my nonexistent love life. I no longer date. It just doesn’t work out well for me, so I’d rather avoid it than endure it. I still learned from the lack of romance in my life this year as well. I learned that it’s better to be happy and alone, than be miserable trying to force your love on someone who doesn’t want or deserve it. This year I opened up about my past experience with domestic violence for PURE Magazine, I mourned the loss of my friend and mentor, Mark England, and I made some very difficult decisions for my family. I also had to say ‘no, thank you’ quite often for the sake of my own sanity.

This year, I also learned the importance of forgiveness, not for others, but for you. I learned how much I truly value certain friendships, but that I don’t need the ones I lost. I learned that loyalty is often expected, but rarely received. I learned that it is often difficult to be your authentic self, but doing so gives you strength and takes away any negative power that others may have over you. I learned that I have the ability to shape my destiny and purpose, while still living the life that is written for me in the Master’s Plan. I learned that sometimes I won’t be happy, but I will be strong. I learned that my apprehension related to fame is hindering my success, and I decided to change that.

Experience is a true teacher. I truly believe that even the negative things that have occurred to me, not just this year, but throughout my life, served a purpose and were meant for me to learn from. Experience shapes us as individuals. We can’t always control what we go through, and everything we endure in life won’t be pleasant. However, we can make an effort to learn from every experience, good and bad, so that we can become better than we were before. I hope that all of the experiences I had in 2014 will strengthen me to become more resilient, stronger and more purpose driven, so that I can have more wealth, better health and happiness in the days and years to come. I want to continue to make a difference in the world using my voice, my creativity and my words, leaving behind a legacy that will influence others to do the same. I hope the same for you as well.

Next year already holds a great deal of promise and opportunity for my life and career. What I lost in 2014 will be replaced with more abundant and positive experiences in 2015. The obstacles, fear, pain and disappointment from 2014 will no longer exist.

All that will remain is me

Better than I was before.

 

Look For Inspiration In Everything

People often seek inspiration in the hope that something will hit them like a bolt of lightning and catapult them into greatness. When people don’t find the inspiration they seek, they then become defeated, never realizing that inspiration was all around them the entire time, but they were too focused on seeking it somewhere particular. When I’m interviewed or even sometimes in general, people will ask me what has been my inspiration. I don’t recall all of the answers I may have given over the last five years, but at the core, I’m inspired by life. I’m inspired to live a purposeful life, whatever that may be. I don’t have a definition for it. And there honestly isn’t a deep explanation either. But because I’m inspired to live purposefully, I don’t seek to find inspiration in a magic pill or miraculous experience.

My life before many of you knew who I was, was often filled with experiences that were sometimes devastating. I’ve had more than my fair share of near death experiences and drama. Where some of those situations would have driven other people completely crazy, they strengthened me to want to do better, live better, be happier and not rely on other people to help me get there. Not to say that I don’t have the occasional obstacle, but I have a lot less of them than I would have had otherwise. I’ve embraced my inner strength and made it an essential part of my life and my career. As a result I now have more options that I can use.

My journey has also brought me to a place where I see inspiration in everything. Everything?! Yes, everything. I don’t seek inspiration solely from other people. I find it all around me on a daily basis. Inspiration is in the sunrise every morning. Inspiration is in Jill Scott’s “Golden“. Inspiration is sometimes even in a color palette of eyeshadow on Sephora.com. I’m serious. I look for inspiration in everything I see, hear and experience on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, inspiration is present and sometimes it isn’t. When it isn’t I don’t get upset, defeated or worried either. I acknowledge that instance was a second in time that will pass and life goes on. I’ve been inspired to reach out to different people to express interest in business with them. Sometimes I get a positive response from that person and sometimes I get a completely negative response such as a rude email. If it’s the latter, so what. Life goes on and I keep it moving. It doesn’t diminish or tarnish my inspiration. I just know that is one person I will not consider for any future possibilities. They go on the “do not associate with” list. I’m not exaggerating either, I really do have such a list. I have that list because it inspires me not to put myself in uncomfortable or compromising situations with individuals I know I can’t do business with.  Which also eliminates the potential for drama. See, inspiration can be in everything.

I encourage everyone to start looking for inspiration in everything around you, where you go, the color of the sky, that day’s experiences…everything. Do it for about two weeks and see if it changes your life even a bit. I’m not saying the all the inspiration will feel good. Some of what you begin to see inspiration in will cause you to see some things differently or make some hard choices about your life, your relationships or your career. But hard choices that you are willing to make to improve who you are as a person are never a bad thing, no matter how hurt you may feel in that moment. But first you have to recognize inspiration in different forms instead of hoping for it to come down from heaven like a dove. God puts messages in small places. We have to just be open to them.

I recently added Super Woman Productions and Publishing to Pinterest. As I was pinning and creating boards for current and future public viewing, I found images that were inspirational to me for different reasons. This prompted me to create a board titled Look For Inspiration In Everything. I hope you will check out my boards, and that you will begin to look for inspiration in everything too.

 

Super Woman Brand On Pinterest

 

This Is SO Cool

I zip through my life so fast, making plans, working hard to execute them, saving kittens, helping lost little old ladies, defending the defenseless and other super heroine activities, that I rarely get to take time off. I must plan vacations almost six months to a year in advance (when I get to take one) let alone actually enjoy any of my accomplishments. The dust has been flying fast around me for the last several months leading up to September 12, 2012. Now that the dust has settled for two seconds, I can exhale and appreciate the moment.

Yesterday, September 12, 2012, I was recognized as a Media Professional in the Real Time Media’s sixth edition of Who’s Who In Black Detroit. The book is the size of the White Pages and I’m on page 237 of the thick, beautiful book. Last night, as I listened to Cathy Nedd, Associate Publisher say that Who’s Who isn’t about the most popular or those who have name recognition, a small sense of pride began to pour over me. Then she spoke about how they want to put copies of Who’s Who In Black Detroit into the schools, so that young Black men and women can see people who look like them and came from where they are, who aren’t necessarily celebrities, yet do good things as leaders in business and in the community. Cathy Nedd was talking about all the people listed as honorees…including me.

I don’t get very excited about the things I do. It was a year ago this month that a full-page article was written about me in the Front Page Detroit, another Real Time Media publication. From where I sit, what I do is a lot of thankless work that most people will never know anything about. I don’t do it to impress people; I do it because it’s my dream – to get paid for using my talents so that I can leave corporate America, provide jobs for others and leave a legacy that Super Son and his children can be proud of. I don’t really get to think about how other people perceive what I do. There have been so many times when people minimized my work and talents, that I’ve started to exclude people’s opinions from my thought process. I’m aware that I will not be able to please the masses, no matter what I do, and I’m very well aware that many people perceive me a lot differently than I really am. Yesterday, I was also told that I’ve very humble about my accomplishments. I can honestly say that I don’t really know how to “brag“, although some may consider what I do in this blog “bragging“. I believe in doing the work.

When I got home last night, I unwrapped my copy of Who’s Who In Black Detroit, not knowing where I was in the book. I went to the Entrepreneurs section and didn’t see myself. I didn’t even think to look at the alphabetical listing by name in the back. I picked up the book and ruffled the pages with my thumb. As if I were a magician, the book stopped right on page 237 and there I was. I stopped, looked and said aloud, in my kitchen, occupied by no one else, “That’s me… This is SO cooool.” Then I called my mom. And she told me that she is proud of me. Then I went to bed.

I showed the book to some friends and acquaintances who congratulated me and spoke of how impressed they were with the quality of the book and how I had done a good job by being recognized in it. Two of my best friends called me to ask how the event went the night before. I was still not gloating about it at this point. Super Woman was thinking “now I need to step my game up so I can be worthy of recognition next year for the seventh edition“. But the little girl inside of me, who was always told she was too tall, too skinny, was a nerd and was only pretty without her glasses on, was smiling really big and saying “They are talking about me…This is SO cooool.

Today, I started to reflect on the people in my life who aren’t here anymore, but would really be proud of me, like my grandfathers, my aunts and my uncles. I started to think about the people in the media and entertainment industries who are no longer among the living like Don Cornelius and Chris Lighty, and left blueprints for me to follow and created space for me to thrive. I hope they are proud of me as well. In spite of the achievement, accomplishment, accolade, honor or whatever you choose to refer to it as, I still have much more work to do. I don’t do it for the acknowledgement, although it is very cool. I’m glad that someone thinks I’m worthy of acknowledging. For me, that’s what makes this SO cooool.

 

~ The flower doesn’t dream of the bee; the flower blooms and the bee comes. 

Written on September 13, 2012

The Question

I hear it all the time. It’s the proverbial question that everyone asks me; men, women, older people, younger people. It’s the one question that I can’t escape no matter what I do. I’m not able to dodge this question regardless of the environment I’m in; day job, networking, the club, the grocery store, the hair salon. It is everywhere and when it is asked, I can’t not answer the question because it leaves a poor impression. I’m sure a lot of you are often asked this question also. “Why are you single?” I don’t know if you’re able to answer the question when some asks it of you, but I can. I know exactly what is wrong with me. I am not in denial about the person I am in any way, shape, form or fashion. I’m honest with myself above anything else. That is what allows me to be honest with the world.

Well, here is the honest answer to the question of why I am single. I am single because I am very particular about the type of person and relationship I want and need to have in my life and I have yet to meet a man that can meet or exceed those standards. I’m less superficial about physical appearance (men get older, lose their hair, gain some weight, but if he was good looking when I met him he will always be good looking if I love him) but I’m very particular about what I want from a man as a partner in life; spiritually, sexually, financially, and emotionally. He must be my friend, my lover, my confidant, my support system and my biggest fan. He must not be fearful of commitment, must be loyal and have a good work ethic. He must be willing and able to do for me the things that a man should do for his wife and know that as his wife I will return to him the same things. But that’s not the type of men I meet.

I meet men who want to be my lover, but have no interest in being my friend or confidant. I meet men who do not want to have a committed relationship with me, but have the audacity to think they can make demands on my time and energy. I meet men who don’t want a wife, but they want the benefits that should only be for a husband (The Goodie Bag). Then there are the men who have considerably less going for them than I have going for me. Their entire goal is to try to minimize me to make themselves feel better. They know that they are lacking, but instead of becoming better men, they try to make me think I’m less of a woman. NOTgoingtohappen.com. I know my worth, strengths, weaknesses and limitations. No person can ever make me feel like less than what God made me to be. At my age, I just refuse to settle for the BS that someone else wants to give me because they don’t think I deserve more. I want it all or nothing at all. If I can do things for myself, a man can’t come into my life and want to give me less.

Now, I may be nice in my dismissal of a man, because I am comfortable with myself so it’s not always necessary for me to “dog” a man out to get rid of him. There are other ways to make a man go away. One way is to be myself. I’m not the easiest person to get along with. I have high expectations of others (as I do of myself) and men often don’t measure up, so they run away. That is perfectly fine with me. If you can’t handle Super Woman, admit it and move on to someone you can handle. The first step to growth is to admit that you need it. Then, of course, I can get rid of a man by simply pushing the button.   

Now I know that I’m not perfect. But I do know this. I am a wonderful woman, for the right man. Some men have thought they were Mr. Right, but they were wrong.  If there is one man on this planet that is capable, able, willing, and strong enough to accept and love me as I am, with all of my personality quirks and idiosyncrasies, without trying to mold me into his Stepford wife or mindless concubine, he is my Superman. Where he is, I don’t know yet. I don’t even know for sure that he truly exists. But I do know that I would rather have a great love affair and relationship that I had to wait for, than settle for having a hot mess of a relationship because I didn’t want to be alone.

So until  my Superman arrives, I will continue to be the fabulous woman I am and work on making myself better for him.  He’s probably somewhere right now, wondering where I am, and working to make himself better for me also.