You Are Going To Make Some Folks Uncomfortable…Deal With It!

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“Sometimes life seems uncomfortable and that’s actually when life starts.”
M.H. Rakib

Since the last time I blogged many things in my life have changed. My visions have increased, my network has expanded, one child has left the nest and another is on his way to flying out next year. I’ve shared my journey via speaking engagements with more people and I have created more live events for my online community The Dreamers Circle. My ex-husband and I have become better parents and friends and some friends have now become strangers. I resigned from my job to work 40+hours a week for myself and decided that I needed to live instead of exist by investing my time and energy into my own business Youth Vision Runners.

It’s suffice to say that many of these decisions made me and the people around me very uncomfortable. I will even go out on a limb like Teena Marie and say some folks think I am foolish or crazy for doing half of the things listed above. They cannot understand how this reformed professional high school skipper now Master College Prep Coach,  who was once a teenage mama, with 3 children, 2 divorces, 2 college degrees and a whole lot of resolved and unresolved baggage can be so comfortable with change and challenge.

Here is my message to all of you: Life is full of highs and lows. Life is full of people who get it and those that don’t. If you go through life trying to stay in the box that society has so pleasantly put you in eventually you out grow the box. If you continue to live by fictitious mind bondage and the narrative created you will never be comfortable. It is only by stretching, bending, and contorting your ENTIRE life that the discomfort eventually becomes comfort. When you have had as many JUMP moments as I’ve encountered you welcome the newness of the unknown.

So the next time you decide to judge or question someone else’s newness ask yourself this one question “when was the last time I added some newness and unconformability to my life?” If you can’t remember, shut your pie hole and go find you some.

I’m BAAAAACCCCKKKKK somebody cue the Tootsee Roll Music!

Let Me Be Honest: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

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Guess who took a summer sabbatical from writing? This chick! But guess who is back ready to shake up the world with my thoughts on love, life, business and anything else this 40-year-old Detroit ’til the day I die brain can think of? This chick!

I was encouraged by a very good friend of mine to write about the elephant in the room. This elephant comes across many social media feeds, Facebook groups, homegirl conversations and anywhere else single women reside. The elephant’s name is HONESTY. And tonight, I want the single 40 & over-with children-who have been through some stuff-but still desire a healthy relationship-but it seems like it’s taking forever crowd to get honest and transparent about how you feel right now.

Too many times we profess to be A-OKAY with the single life for fear of looking thirsty, being too forward or out to get a daddy for our children. One persons perception is not always another’s reality. The reality is that while we are out here patiently waiting to be pursued and boo’ed up at times it SUCKS! Yes, it ain’t all peaches and cream. But I can say for myself that I came out of the womb impatient. I want to be very HONEST in how I feel while waiting. Some may be freed by this and others may feel like it doesn’t apply to their process. I’m okay with both ends of the spectrum. But this must be said because there are a lot of people not being honest with themselves, their friends or potential mates for fear of how they are perceived. Ladies, it’s time to take the scarlet letter off and have a REAL conversation.

Here are the things I am leaving on the table. Pick them up or leave them as you see fit:

  • We want to be in healthy happy relationships and we do enjoy life, but waiting:
    • Is tiresome
    • Is lonely at times
    • Is uncomfortable and frankly you can get mad at God that Boaz ain’t coming quick enough
    • Will at times cause you to question your sexy, if your standards are unreasonable, or if marriage is really a part of God’s plan for your life
    • Is a time for self-reflection, internal and external work

We should not just be sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, the next text or the next inbox message! However we should be working on our craft, hopes, dreams and goals. But let’s be honest we want someone besides our good-good girlfriends, children and family to share IT with. Whatever your IT is.

  • We get tired of:
    • Going to family functions without a boothang
    • Carrying 50-11 groceries in the house
    • Not having someone to cuddle with at night
    • Doctoring ourselves when we are sick
    • Cooking for the kids when we are tired (Yes, men can cook too!)
    • Chauffeuring the kids everywhere by ourselves
  • Yes we want someone:
    • We can have great deep conversations with
    • We can travel with and without children (Hey, mama gotta life!)
    • We can bounce ideas off of
    • Who is a beast at Spades, Bid Whist, Phase 10, Uno and any other game that requires strategy and competition (Spades is LIFE for me. Don’t judge.)
    • Who will pray for us when we can’t pray for ourselves
    • Who values family and loves the women in their lives
    • Who will protect our hearts and honor us with their words and actions
    • Who will embrace our children like their own (I don’t believe in step.)
    • We can pray for, love on, support in deed and words, care for and invest our energy and time into their dreams
    • We can cheer for!

I am glad my friend encouraged me to write about this elephant. This messy, murky, sometimes uncomfortable middle. Yes, I guess 40 years old is middle-aged. In all of its guts and glory this is my story. It may or may not be yours. I’ve been married twice (third times a charm) and have had other relationships that for whatever reason didn’t work out. There’s enough blame for all parties to get their share.

But, people will keep telling you to be patient, wait on the Lord. Use this time for yourself. Pray for your husband he’s on his way. Well guess what? I’ve done all of that and I am still here 6 years later waiting, watching and wondering. However, I am also working on my goals, dreams and aspirations. I need to bring something to the table besides an empty plate with nothing on it. I am still raising my children (even the adult one), hanging with homegirls, enjoying my family and going through the motions of creating a life that I want to live and that someone else would want to be a part of.

Love and marriage are 2 things God ordained for us to have in all of its splendor and trials. No, I don’t think marriage will fix the broken places nor is it the pinnacle of all that I can accomplish. Marriage not only grows you but it exposes you. Who you marry is a reflection of who you are at that point in your life. It’s a representation of the inner work you have done before entering into a covenant agreement with someone else. I will however say that having been on both sides of the coin it is much better having someone to share the good, bad, and ugly (think stankin’ morning breath) than to not.

Again, this is just one female, 40-year-old, twice married, with 3 kids, a 9 t0 5 and a business thoughts on love, marriage and honesty, about where I am in life as of 10pm on a Sunday night. YOU may see life differently right now and that’s okay. But if any of this resonates with you holla at cha girl!

2016 isn’t over yet so let’s see what happens. Maybe someone will come correct and take me out on a date, or 2 or 3! I will still enjoy life, drink my chai tea lattes, and tootsie roll through life as I patiently wait. Because that’s just how I live. On my own terms

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Me Tootsie Rollin’ through life at Shonita’s 40th Birthay Party

 

 

Top Four Things I Learned From My Ex-Husband: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

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It takes two to destroy a marriage. –Margaret Trudeau

Over the Memorial Day weekend my family celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday in true black family style. Soul food, music, laughter, and doing all of this while dressed for the occasion. My ex-husband was kind enough to drive my son all the way from North Carolina so that he could be a part of the celebration as well. In the words of my older cousin Carmelita “our family is like the mafia once you are in there is no getting out”. That is unless you my second ex-husband. But that’s another blog for another day.

My son’s father hung with my family the entire weekend and I must say it was refreshing, fun and eye-opening. This was probably the first time in almost 10 years that we spent that much time together. I learned some new things about myself over that weekend. This blog is dedicated to anyone who has gone through a bad divorce, breakup or separation and felt like you could never learn the other person. We must look past the failures and focus on what we can glean from others; even if it’s someone who may have hurt us. You can learn from anyone. Even those who may have broken your heart.

  1. Some Things Are Just a Matter of Time
  • There is a difference between being healed and being made whole. When something is healed the scar still exists but it is covered. People can tell that something happened in that area although they may not know the specifics. However, when you are made whole there is no scar, no evidence of injury and people can’t tell that anything happened. This weekend taught me that even though I asked God to heal me of past hurt the ability to retell the story of my divorce in all of it’s guts and glory prevented me from coming forth and asking to be made whole.
  1. Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Own Your Part
  • It takes two people to tango, ballroom, cha cha, fox trot, Chicago two-step or perform any other dance you can think of. You need one person to lead and another to follow. Move too quick and you are stumbling over each others feet. Move to slow and you lose count. Being loud, strong and wrong lead me not be the best wife as a young twenty-something. I needed to own that. I knew it in my heart. The original narrative made me feel better when he was the villain and I was the damsel in distress. These big girl panties feel way better than those young girl thongs. Own it. Say it. Forgive it.
  1. Allow People The Opportunity To Grow.
  • Just like seasons change so do people. Like the leaves of a tree some habits die off during certain seasons and new leaves/habits sprout. Allow people the space and grace to grow, change and shape into who they truly are. Most people cannot be judged by one moment in time. No matter how short or long that moment happens to be. People learn new skills, knowledge and techniques to cope daily. Allow them the chance to rise to the occasion. You just might be surprised at the experience.
  1. Help Comes From the Strangest Places.
  • Now, I must be honest and transparent. Having an extra pair of hands to help me was a wonderful feeling. Someone driving most of the time was an awesome feeling. Carrying a gabillion grocery bags in the house becomes annoying and using all of my gas to chauffeur my children around is not my idea of fun. But nevertheless these are all things that a single mother must do. It’s not that I didn’t think my ex-husband would help me; however it was a feeling that I had to get used to. Single mamas have a hard time asking for help and an even tougher time receiving it. I am learning daily that vulnerability does not equal weakness.

My motto in life is that you can learn anything from anyone. People either teach you what to do or what not to do. You determine in each situation whether you are the student or the teacher.

The Power of Connection: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

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One of my best friend’s, Andrea, gave birth to a gorgeous bouncing baby girl, Zoe, two weeks ago. I decided to surprise her and be there right after she gave birth. Watching my friend become a mother after years of waiting, fasting, and praying was nothing short of a blessing and miracle wrapped into one sweet-faced brown baby package. As I watched the nurse place the baby directly on my friend’s skin an idea crossed my mind. There is so much power in hearing a person’s voice and being close to them before you even meet them in person. That baby girl knew her mom’s voice instantly and it was the only one that could soothe her. As my friend cradled her to start the breastfeeding process, Zoe latched on quickly. It was at that moment I realized the power of connection.

Zoe never saw Andrea’s face or felt her skin until the day she arrived out of the womb. I liken this to the whole online process of doing business with people. There are many people and causes we become close to in business and in our personal lives simply via the power of connection. Because we are in a social media day and age we share many of our lives tragedy, triumphs and tribulations with folks we have never met in person. The power of connection has the ability to move mountains. Shake foundations and establish strong bonds.

Our connections must be authentic just like the love between Andrea and Zoe. As kingdom-minded business people we must remember our “why”. Why did we fast, pray and wait for our divine business and connection the way Andrea did for Zoe? Only you can answer that question. But if you dig deep enough into your heart I am sure you will find the answer.

If you are looking for a way to make divine connections with women who are dedicated to their purpose, vision and gifts please join us in the Dreamers Circle on Facebook. If you need help discovering your “why” please email me at giftedvisionsunlimited@gmail.com. I would love to assist you in uncovering your purpose in life.

Uncivil Disobedience: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

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Image Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net and cooldesign

Last week on my personal Facebook I stated the following: “What’s really prolonging our blessings is disobedience. People don’t want to hear it but it’s the truth. You better put yourself on punishment before God does….ijs..and I ain’t exempt! ‪#‎appliestometoo.

That statement came from a very real place for me. For the longest I had been Tootsie Rollin’ around the perimeters of uncivil disobedience. Now you may wonder what exactly is “uncivil disobedience”? I am so glad you asked.

The definition of civil disobedience is belief in the need to obey a higher authority and to be cleansed of self-interestedness. (Lopach and Luckowski, Uncivil Disobedience). Uncivil disobedience is the exact opposite. It is reckless abandonment of a higher authority and it satisfies the fleshy carnal side of who you are.

When we make decisions that don’t involve God; that’s uncivil disobedience. When we decide to take matters into our own hand; that’s uncivil disobedience. When we hear go say “I have made an escape route for you to avoid temptation”, but we still open the door, pick up the phone or go to that place; that’s uncivil disobedience. It is taking us far too long to have conqueror and slay some of these bad habits of ours.

Now, I am speaking directly to followers of Christ. We say we have all power. God is a deliverer. Jesus can turn our situations around. And all of the other feel good stuff. But let’s be honest. There are things that feel good to us and we are still doing them. Because it’s not at the top of the sin ladder. If it’s not murder, steal or kill then it’s okay. All other forms of uncivil disobedience are non-fat skim milk sins. In other words I shouldn’t have this latte but since I ordered non-fat skim milk instead of regular whole milk it’s okay. Yeah, well that’s a WHOLE LIE!

Businesses aren’t being birthed, lives aren’t being changed, blessings are being missed and gifts are going to waste because of our uncivilized-willful-prideful-not wanting to give up a good thing to get a great thing-disobedience. We must put an end to this epidemic. We must hold each other accountable and just like The Mayor told Spike Lee “always do the right thing”.

If you need help refocusing, recommitting and ridding yourself of “Uncivil Disobedience” come on over to the Dreamers Circle on Facebook. We are a group of women dedicated to supporting, uplifting and networking to leverage our gifts and talents for the greater good.

Quit Quitting: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

youwinHalf of the year is already gone. It is now the beginning of June. What did you declare, commit or resolve to do on January 1st that you are not doing today?  Did you declare that this was your year to lose that extra 20 pounds? Did you commit to planning the work and working the plan? Or did you make a resolution to simply quit quitting. As a child I was allowed to quit most activities when I either lost interest or my friends no longer showed up. Violin, tap, girl scouts….you name it I quit it. This behavior then carried on into my teenage and early adult years. I quit school, jobs, and people when the slightest bit of adversity crept into my life. Yes. I. Quit. Quitting never feels good. It makes us feel ashamed, embarrassed and guilty as hell that we never finish what we start.

Let me be real transparent for a second. As much as I encourage, support and motivate other folks I almost had a moment of quitting last month. I wanted to throw in the towel. And go back into my honeycomb hideout and just be old regular Vanita who worked with youth, ate $5.00 sushi on Tuesdays and drank green tea at night. I wanted to shut down the part of my brain that loves to create, write and strategize for myself and others. I felt like I wasn’t making any progressive. My finances and life were getting the best of me. I know how to pray. I know how to journal and I know how to reach out to others. But I still wanted to quit. The young girl inside of me wanted to retreat back to old habits, sit on the bench and watch the game as a spectator and not a participant. I would just live vicariously through others.

There are two things that forced me to suit up and get back into the game. First, was a note my 7 year old daughter wrote. She likes to read and write like her mama. I know she is watching my every move because of messages like this:

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“Sometimes it can be hard to work but you have to keep trying”~Alexa, age 7

The second was something that God whispered ever so sweetly in my ear about three years ago “the blessing is in the book”. That message has two meanings. All blessings seen and unseen can be traced back to the Bible aka The Good Book. But my ability to write books is what will bless my life and help with legacy building.

In order to quit quitting sometimes you have to remember the reason you joined the team in the first place. Other times you have to constantly tell yourself that my purpose is bigger than my adversity in this moment. At what point will we quit quitting and make our hopes, dreams and visions a reality?

Tell me in the comments why and how you will quit quitting. I would love to hear from you.

 

The Fat Suit: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Me and Ms. Agee
My grandmother aka Ms. Agee and I at my surprise 40th birthday dinner.

In honor of Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Month my blog will feature stories, lessons, and narratives focused on both subjects for the month of May. I think there is a connectivity between the two subjects and if you know me you know that I don’t believe in coincidences. Mothers are probably the most in need of mental health self-care and we make the least amount of time available to check up on it.

Tonight’s blog is in honor of my grandmother aka Ms. Agee. My sense of comedic timing, my love of cantaloupe, my ability to be a human jukebox and so many other characteristics can be traced back to her DNA. May is also the month we celebrate her 90th Birthday.

Now, if you know anything about black grandmothers you know for sure that they will comment on one of three things: your weight, your relationship status, and your clothes. In the case of my sweet humorous Ms. Agee I was batting 3 for 3 when I visited her. My grandmother thought I was cute as a button in my thigh hugging lycra dress pants (us thick chicks love stretch whenever we can get it) and lady with the gold afro and red glitter t-shirt. She adored my hair and wanted some So Yummy hair products for herself. And she didn’t ask me about a certain someone who is really just my friend. However, when it came to me getting more junk in my trunk and a little round in my mound her message was clear, “girl you picking up some weight there”. The only thing I could do was laugh and say “hey I like to eat and I don’t like to exercise, I bet Eve had the same issue back in the garden of Eden”.

As I walked through her apartment her mind raced to a suit she had hanging up. The conversation went like this:

Ms. Agee: Nita, what size do you wear?

Me: 14

Ms. Agee: I have a suit with a leather shirt I want you to wear.

Me: Okay, let me see it

Ms. Agee: Shows me the suit

Me: Ms. Agee! This is a 10!

Ms. Agee: Then use this as motivation to lose weight. I want to see you in it before I die.

Me: Well, I have at least another 10-20 years to lose the weight. You aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Ms. Agee: Who wants to live that long? People that old are ugly. Take this suit and go lose some weight so you can wear it!

Me: Ok, girlfriend if you insist (laughing hysterically and shaking my head).

This is what I love about my Ms. Agee but especially older women. They have no filter and give ZERO damns about your feelings. Whatever comes up comes out. Whatever comes out comes up. But I know it’s coming from a good place. Within our conversation she reminded me that she used to be fat. I do remember this as a child, but she was more like a 14/16 which I don’t really consider fat. Seeing her through my child-like eyes I just remember her being large and in charge and I loved it. Her lap was always a place of comfort and rest. Her full face always wore a smile. And I remember wanting a behind like my grandmother’s. She had it going on baby!

But for now I have a size 10 black and white striped, leather shirt and lapel suit to get into. I guess I better get off of this computer and get on this treadmill.

Hell, who am I kidding where are my Nestle Tollhouse cookies and almond milk?

 

Brave Face Mamas: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Photo on 4-14-16 at 10.57 PM

The month of May is connected to growth and spring. Today is May 1st and I can tell you right now for the last four months I have had the most growth and the longest spring that I have ever experienced in my life. My life’s been filled with highs and lows over the last couple of months. There have been times that I felt like the pressure would surely overtake me. Then there were times when the blessings just overflowed. However, the more I take time to reflect, the more certain I am that this is just the way of life. There are no shortcut to greatness. You have to walk through the wilderness and the garden at the same time.

So tonight, I want to briefly talk about brave face. Now you probably are wondering “what the hell is Vanita talking about?” Yes, it is true I do have my #ownbrandofcrazy. And yes, I know there is a fellow blogger, editor or writer somewhere cringing because I put an italicized-bolded hashtag in the middle of this blog. But guess what? My blog. My rules. Okay let me get back to the definition of brave face. If you are a woman who is remotely responsible for other people, places or things outside of yourself you know brave face well. Let me give you a few examples:

  • The face you make when people ask how many children you have. You say none. Then they ask why. Knowing in the back of your mind this issue is causing tension between you and your mate.
  • The face you make when your children ask what is wrong as you try to balance your bank account with the feelings of anxiety, frustration and worry in the pit of your stomach.
  • The face you make at work to your colleagues after you have been up all night working on the master plan to create a better life for your family.
  • The face you make at church when the pastor is driving down your lane in a sermon, but you don’t want others to know you are suffering in silence.

Yes, that face. The brave face. I am here declaring that as we grow up and spring forth in the month of May that we, especially us mamas stop with the brave face. That face holds pain, hurt, toxins and crows feet. We need to get real about asking for help. We are not weak. We are not needy. We need help. We do a disservice to ourselves and others when we try to fake it ’til we make it. If we keep putting on the brave face we may never make it to the promise land. Or at least be too damn tired and worn out to enjoy it.

This can be the Year of Yes  and the Year of No. We can choose to have a Daring Greatly mantra and a I  Am Scared As Hell moment. Who told us we had to choose? When did society, your narrative, or your family help you develop the brave face? Can you remember the first brave face you saw as a child?

After reading this I want you to follow these instructions. Close your eyes. Take in and let our three deep breaths. Say the phrase brave face. Whose face do you see? Release yourself and any other faces you see of this burden.

Your future self will thank you!

In honor of Mother’s Day please drop a message in the comment sections about how or why your mother, grandmother or signifcant woman in your life put on the brave face. 

Change Your Narrative w/Que Jackson: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Que Jackson 100k Housewife

Have you ever had a friend that no matter how much time elapsed you would pick up right where you started from? Tonight’s #ChangeYourNarrative participant is very near and dear to my heart. She is less like a friend and more like a sister-therapist-comedian-adventure-seeker all rolled into one. Que Jackson and I have been friends since the third grade. We have cheered for each other in the best of times. We have cried for each other during the worst of times. Her story is one that will go down in history as to the power of praying without ceasing. From 7Mile to Belle Isle Que’s life has taken her on a journey to places seen and unseen. This Detroit Girl is now a Praying Women. When we seek God’s face there is no limit to the places He can take us.

Que Jackson was born and raised on the westside of Detroit, MI and now reside in Grosse Pointe, MI. She is an Interior Therapist for Behind Closed Doors. Que believes that your house tells a story. And before the work is done on the inside of the home, you must first do the work on the inside of you. Let’s take a look at how her narrative unfolds.

 

Tell us about your childhood. 

Thinking about my childhood I realized I was lonely. I was the only child for over 13 years until we welcomed my brother into the world. I grew up in a middle class family and was raised by both of my parents. They held “good” jobs and invested in real estate. Although they were financially secure, they were emotionally bankrupt. I would often go with my father to rehab a house or we would ride for hours looking for the next one to buy. This was our bonding time. He was direct, stern and not short on words…..harsh words, with a sarcastic sense of humor. But I loved him dearly. My parents were private people. They worked and kept to themselves. Friends for them was nonexistent and family was kept at bay. My relationship with my mother was nurturing although she was not affectionate. Hugs and kisses were not passed around daily in our home, not even between my parents. My mother was a class act. She was educated and confident. When she left for work she was dressed from head toe. She believed in keeping your house clean, dinner on the stove and having your own money. I wanted to be just like her and desperately wanted to make her proud. I always excelled in school and was accepted to one of the top high schools in the city. But by my 11th grade year I begin to struggle. The excitement of being around others fueled me. I wanted to hang out with my classmates and enjoy after school activities and weekend shenanigans but was often told, “NO”. I was sheltered at home and in private schools for years where rules, policies, procedures, drills and dress codes kept me bound. I replaced my curriculum during school with extracurricular activities outside of school. I felt free! But that freedom came at a price. I traded my home and education for friends, boys and parties.

 

What would you say was the narrative that was expressed to you based upon where you grew up, how you grew up and the messages you received?

What was expressed to me growing up was that as long as a man took care of me financially it didn’t matter how he treated me emotionally. Friends were in fairytales, they do not exist. I was taught that a woman was to look her best and take care of home. And, when you are in public, you are to hold your head high and never let people see your weaknesses. I was told if you work hard you won’t have to beg. Lastly, I learned that what goes on behind closed doors stays behind closed doors because it was nobody else’s business but yours.

 

How did that narrative play out in your decisions, actions and feelings about yourself?

This narrative almost killed me. I made decisions based on my emotions and not my situation. My actions caused me to drop out of high school and lose countless jobs. I’ve been homeless, had multiple repossessions and faced foreclosure. I’ve been a victim of domestic violence, attempted suicide and kidnapped. Self destruction or destruction by the hands of others was a constant staple in my life. I was alive but dead inside. But because I was taught that this was your business to own, I kept quiet. When I left home I was cute but behind closed doors I was a mess. Even though I was a Gifted Educated Diva, on paper it was still a G.E.D. This made me feel less than around others that had graduated and moved on to higher education. I was strong but weak for men that showed me attention. I took care of my house but it was never a home. And because I never saw my parents interact with others I never knew how to be a friend or what to expect in a friendship. My social circle was small and often friends were wolves in sheep’s clothing that tried to blow my house down. By the way, I was battling being a single parent and motherhood.

 

What was the catalyst or main event that made you say that narrative needed to change?

My narrative dramatically changed in 2005 when God said “ENOUGH”! I was laying in the middle of the floor and cried out to Him because no one else was there. I mean no one!! Every friend I had……gone. My boyfriend at the time left home and never came back……..yes, never! Gone! My closest family members…..gone! God had completely stripped me of everyone I knew in some shape, form or fashion. He removed all of my distractions. It was just Him and I. He began to replay the events of my life that brought me to my knees. I always knew God and attended church but I had never formed a relationship with Him. At that moment he said, “TRUST ME”. Let me give you what you need, so you can have what you want.” God had been so good to me and despite my trials and tribulations he kept me. I surrendered and begin to press into Him. I would talk to him and wait for Him to answer. He showed me there is no fear in love and I can’t be afraid to love myself. He told me that I am enough! Just the way I am. And that even though I was broken, I can be healed.

 

What is the new narrative in your life?

I understand that no matter what God is faithful. He provides ALL of my needs. That He knows the desires of your heart.  When you trust Him you will not fail. He is not man, He does not lie. I know that the devil uses distractions of any kind to keep you from fulfilling your purpose. Everything and I mean everything that was used against me has blessed me. What was used to destroy me, employs me. Having a relationship with God will help me in my relationship with man. Understanding the foundation of a home is the key principle in how people act when they walk out of the house. In order to be with someone else you must be able to alone with yourself. Imitating others is an insult to God because you were created in His image……be yourself. Therefore, I am unapologetically me.

 

How does this new narrative show up in your everyday life?

Everyday I wake up I walk in my purpose just like He promised. I am a housewife. EVERYTHING I lost God gave back to me! Now, I get paid to walk away.

 

What advice would you give someone who wanted to create a new narrative but didn’t know how to do it?

Get still. In order to hear from God you must silence the noise,  close off the chit- chatter, the gossip, social media and social circles. Pray without ceasing and fast. Write down your distractions, attractions and expectations. Whatever does not line up with the will of God get rid of it. Have patience so that you do become a patient.

WOW!!!! What a way to end this #ChangeYourNarrative Blog Series. The story of Que Jackson could be a motion picture. But it is her reality. She has created a new normal for her and her family. I am excited for the trajectory that God has for Que’s life. I am also excited for the number of people that will really be free and elevated by reading this story and the stories of the other women during the #ChangeYourNarrative Blog Series.

I want to leave you with my favorite quote from Que Jackson. Whenever I get in my feelings about the 2 Notorious F’s in my life Faith and Finances she reminds me of this one thing: “You can always rebuild two things in your life: your relationship with God and your credit.” Someone reading this needed to hear this tonight. I hope your narrative changes for the better. Most of us have already been through the worse.

Que Jackson can be reached on the following social media platforms:

Facebook   Que Jackson  

Periscope   Q.Jackson

 

 

Change Your Narrative w/Tequila Myers: Not So Random Thoughts Before Bed

Tequila Myers

 

Living in the midst of chaos and dysfunction can take a toll on the most positive experience. My actions as a parent show my children two narratives.  I teach my children everyday to either parent the way I parent or go in the opposite direction. Tequila Myers made the decision very early in her life that her narrative needed to change. Resiliency is rooted in adversity. In her own words Tequila tells us about a life of struggle, instability and uncertainty. But, the beautiful part of the “beautiful struggle” is that she is now on a path to show others how to thrive instead of survive.

Tequila Myers is a native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She is the owner of the Perpetual Growth Institute where she focuses on business consulting, marketing, and personal brand management. Tequila is also a motivational speaker. Let’s take a deeper look into her narrative tonight in our #ChangeYourNarrative Blog Series.

 

Tell us about your childhood.

 

I grew up the eldest of seven to a single mother who tried her best to make ends meet. There were times we had no electricity, water, or gas, but we still managed with what we had. We even helped other struggling family members at time. My childhood wasn’t easy and I had to grow up very fast. I saw more than I should have and had to take on adult responsibilities at an early age. Our living environment was very hostile most of the time and affection was not present.

 

 

What was the narrative that was told instilled or expressed to you growing up?

 

Growing up I didn’t have an example of what a functioning family looked like. I never knew what it looked like to create a life and be in a secure, comfortable environment. Encouragement whether academic, school activities, or even what I wanted to be when I grew up was never the topic of conversation. Something in me felt there was more for me and as long as I took my education seriously, I would see it one day; so I embraced learning and used it as motivation. However, nothing around me affirmed this. In fact, everything confirmed the opposite. Society (magazines, TV shows, images around me) made me feel like I would have to use my external beauty and feminine wiles to elevate myself beyond that environment. The messages I received from this was that everything but my gifts and talents would open the doors I needed to get to where I wanted to be. That message made me feel like being beautiful was more of a curse than anything. Like it was all I had, as if I wasn’t smart, creative and a fast-learner. It was as if, those things didn’t matter because no one would ever pay me for having gifts and talents. I would never be good enough. For the majority of my teen life, I was under the impression that I had one option and one option only.

 

How did this narrative show up in your actions, decisions and feelings?

 

As I grew into my late teen years, I started to hate being pretty and would feel awkward when receiving compliments. I engaged in self-destructive behavior that I thought was helping me, but only added to the existing mental and emotional issues that I struggled with. Being raised in such an environment where I had to be an adult before my time, I made decisions that were not so smart and could have gotten me into a lot of trouble in hindsight.

 

What was the catalyst or main event that made you say that narrative needed to change?

 

At the age of 13 my siblings and I were taken into DHS (state) custody and my youngest brother was taken to a foster home. Because I saw so much at such an early age and experiencing the things I had, I decided that I wasn’t going to be that pretty girl who only had one thing to offer. I wanted to do what was in my heart and always on my mind. I wanted to live a better quality of life and experience what it felt like to have a family in a comfortable living environment. I felt a yearning to create some sort of success in my life that I could be proud of and that my mom would be proud of too. My sister and I even went as far as making a pact with one another to change our circumstances and do everything we had to remove ourselves from this generational cycle.

 

What is the new narrative in your life?

 

Elevate and Amplify. Reach one Teach one. I’ve always loved serving, volunteering, and being active in the community. As an empowering women’s business coach I strive to not only show women how to leverage their gifts and talents to create more financial freedom and flexibility in their lives, but I also work with youth and motivate them to let their circumstances inspire them instead of victimize them. I love to talk about the power of choice, because we all have a choice in the type of life we create for ourselves. The decisions we make today are the choices we have to live with tomorrow.

 

 

How does this new narrative show up in your everyday life?

 

I consistently work on myself, improving my knowledge of self and education. I work to be a better version of myself everyday. It helps me to remain focused on my ultimate goal, creating a greater impact globally and being the example for someone who knows they have purpose, but cannot see beyond the fog of their current circumstances and environment. I work daily to cultivate and nurture the relationship with my daughter to keep our lines of communication clear, to encourage growth and create a legacy of love by showing affection and expressing my love for her and our family (something I didn’t get as child). I have also learned that although I’m very strong willed and independent, my husband plays a huge role in my life and I respect, love and appreciate him more and more everyday. I learned that duality is the universe’s way of creating balance. This is something else I lacked as a child.

 

What advice would you give someone who wanted to create a new narrative but didn’t know how to do it?

 

Reject the download. I release what you’ve been told about yourself in the past, release what society tells you, release your own negative self chatter and channel that into an energy that motivates you toward your goals. Encourage yourself through affirmations and start small. Find ways to acknowledge the things you like about yourself and the talents and gifts you bring to the world. Take one step at a time and don’t try to run before you walk. Change is not an overnight process, you can’t rush it. Change takes time, but the decision to make change only takes a moment.