Archive | August 2012

IMAGE is EVERYTHING!

 

I know that many of you may have heard that image is not everything. Sorry to burst your bubble but it is! When I speak of image I am not only talking about how pretty you are, how well you dress or how long your hair is. The image that I speak of is the way you represent yourself in all aspects of life, especially social media. A few months ago actress Gabrielle Union tweeted something that I will never forget. She stated that “The pics, tweets, comments you post on social media can influence, change, limit or eliminate your opportunities”. I couldn’t agree more with this. As I scroll down my Twitter & Instagram news feeds the things that young women are saying and displaying of themselves are unacceptable. Do we not realize that everyone has access to see what we are displaying, even with private pages? Do we not realize that the jobs and opportunities that we go after are in some cases able to see what we are displaying on social media? What we display about ourselves says a lot about our character. Even if you are working in corporate America or on Wall Street, the fact that you would even display something unacceptable about your lifestyle says a lot about your character. I never understood the need to constantly use profanity or post pictures of your behinds, breast, piercings or you smoking marijuana and drinking on websites. I am not knocking you if that is the way you live your life, but if you are pursing purpose or any form of greatness, it is best that you use discernment in the image that you create of yourself.  Many of us think for right now. We long to fit into what seems “poppin” right now. How about we let go of right now and work toward our destinies. Create your image based on where you want to be in life. Align your image with your purpose. Therefore if want to be successful, dress like success, act like success, and portray yourself to be on the route to success.

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2012. 3 Comments

When Pursuit aligns with Purpose

 

EVERYONE, no matter how much you refuse to believe has a skill. The more an individual becomes familiar with his/her interests, hobbies and skills, they become closer to identifying their purposes. The thing that many of us lack is PURSUIT. We underestimate our skills and abilities and allow insecurity, intimidation or just plain laziness prevent us from pursuing. Many of us begin pursuing certain things, but end up giving up on it because we don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Others of us become discouraged when we have achieve a certain level of our purpose, but do not know the other steps to take in order to reach total fulfillment. This appears to be where I am now. Believe it or not, I found myself doubting my purpose because of my current circumstance. Yes, I have achieved many things in my 23 years of life. Yes, I got the opportunity to work in one of the most prestigious hospitals in NYC. Nonetheless, I still feel as though I at the bottom of the barer because I have yet to fulfill my promise. It does not feel as though I am reaping the benefits for my labor. This can become very discouraging, and make an individual neglect the promise that is over their lives. Although I’ve felt discouraged over the course of the last few weeks, I had to encourage myself and you guys too! Never neglect your promise, I don’t care how it looks. God has something extraordinary planned out for your life. Although it may seem as if you are stagnant and things will not work out for you, hold on to your promise. WORK YOUR GIFT! Display your skill. Even if you feel like you are at the bottom, do such an immaculate job at the bottom that there’s no other choice but for you to be promoted. You were given certain abilities and talents for a reason. Don’t let them go to waste. We were not meant to be broke, busted and disgusted. Our abilities were meant to make us very prosperous people. So if your ability is doing hair, master that skill, gather a clientele and work toward starting a business. If your skill is your intellect, go to school, go after a profession, and teach those after you the route of doing so. If your skill is dancing, take lessons, audition for shows, mentor and teach other upcoming dancers (but be sure to always have a back-up plan). Let’s dump fear, intimidation and laziness and PURSUE! When pursuit aligns with purpose, there’s no other outcome to achieve besides SUCCESS. It will not ever come easy, but if you have made up in your mind that you will not let go of your pursuit, you will fulfill your purpose.

 

–Be PurposefullyPretty!

This entry was posted on August 31, 2012. 2 Comments

Being a Lady vs. being a Bad B**ch

“Pretty little thing, I’m glad she’s mine And I mean no disrespect by this next line (I gotta) dope b*tch” –The Dream

“There’s a lot of bad b*tches in the building, Amen” –Meek Mill

  “I hate callin’ the women b*tches, but the b*tches love it” — Drake

Although our favorite songs and artists are referring to us as b*tches, we still listen, dance, sing along with and support their music.  Many young woman consider this word a term of endearment, especially when a positive word such as “bad”, “dope” or “perfect”  is used as its prefix. We think that it is good to be considered a “bad, dope or perfect b*tch” because of the way that music and society utilizes the term. We overlook the fact that they are really referring to  themselves and women all over as a females dogs. When being referred or related to a female dog, we possess all of its characteristics. These characteristics include a being that is sexually promiscuous, loud, aggressive and violent. Moreover, in addition to being a disparaging and offensive word, it also describes a person (in most cases a female) who is malicious, selfish, unpleasant or lewd. Lupe Fiasco recently made a song entitled “Bad B*tch”. In this song he sheds light on this derogatory term.  He also highlights the issue of “misogyny” in hip-hop music and how it affects its listeners and society as a whole. For those of you who do not know, misogyny is the act of supporting, glorifying, justifying, or normalizing the objectification, exploitation, or victimization of women. Furthermore, misogyny in hip-hop perpetrates negative stereotypes of women, lowering both our standards and value. We all, including myself enjoy and support the music that displays misogyny. We are not realizing that we are giving these artists permission to degrade us, not only by supporting their songs and singing along with the lyrics, but also by calling ourselves the negative terms that they call us in this music.

    As young women we have become so consumed with the superficiality of society, that we believe that is better to be called a “bad b*tch” than a lady or woman. Lupe highlights this idea in his song. Young women today would rather be called a bad b*tch, because many of the women that this generation idolizes (Rihanna, Kim Kardashian etc.), are referred to as bad b*tches. Furthermore, our favorite male rappers and singers are constantly referring to women as b*tch to express their love, desire or admiration for them. Nonetheless, we become unnerved when men consider us to be b*tches. How can you expect a man to call you a lady, woman, or anything else positive for that matter if we do not consider ourselves as such? Many women believe that being called a “bad b*tch” is a good thing because they are not educated on its true meaning. I don’t know about you but I’d much rather be looked at as a lady or woman. One who is well-mannered, considerate, virtuous, possess high standard and is able to be the head of her household. Which one would you rather be? In the words of a good friend of mine, “there is a bandwagon of intelligent, ambitious and successful women going around, hop on that and let the bad b*tch train crash and burn.”

 I have hope that after reading this blog, you understand that being a bad b*tch is nothing to be proud of.  

P.S- I have attached a link to Lupe’s Bad B*tch song, please really listen to the lyrics!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3m3t_PxiUI

This entry was posted on August 30, 2012. 1 Comment

Taking Leaps of Faith

 There are many instances when we allow our apprehension of the way something will turn out to prevent us from going after things. Little do we know, by doing that we may be missing out on one of the biggest blessings and/or breakthroughs of our lives. There have been many situations in my life that the fear of rejection or not being good enough prevented me from going after things that I really wanted. I will never forget as a senior in high school I registered to take the Sophie B. Davis Biomedical Program test. For those of you who do not know Sophie  B. Davis is a prestigious program associated with City College, that consists of a medical school program, as well as a physician assistance program. I had so many mixed emotions about taking this exam. Although I excelled in high school and probably could’ve passed the exam, I allowed fear to overtake and cause me to back out at the last minute. I was next on line to get my scantron and other paperwork, when I told my mother that I didn’t want to do it. Although things have worked out for me since then, there’s no telling how much further I would be in my career, had I taken the exam. I allowed insecurity, fear and intimidation to cause me to back out of one of the biggest opportunities of my life.

I shared that experience to encourage you. Do not let the feelings of inadequacy cause you let great opportunities escape you. Go after whatever it is that you have in mind. Even if you feel as if you will not succeed at it, you are worst off not giving it a chance. Take leaps of faith. Have faith that whatever you decide to do in life, will work out for you. Since my experience at Sophie Davis, I never allowed fear to outweigh my faith again. I began just going after things. Even if I thought I wouldn’t get it, I allowed my faith to navigate me in all that I ventured out to do. Believe it or not, this blog was even a leap of faith for me. Creating a form of outreach for young people has always been a dream of mine. However, I never went after it because I didn’t think that anyone would want to hear what I had to say. After all, I allowed my faith to take charge, and decided to go forth with it. Even if I don’t have a thousand viewers, as long as I can encourage one, I feel accomplished. Always remember; NO FEAR, ALL FAITH, GO AFTER EVERYTHING THAT YOU WANT!!

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this moun- tain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” –Matthew 18:20 KJV

This entry was posted on August 27, 2012. 1 Comment

SUCCEED1

Success is something that will not come easy. It will take a lot of hard work, dedication, focus, preserverance and patience. You may even become weary and want to give up while in route to fufilling your dreams and/or purpose. Nonetheless, your level of success is solely determined on how bad you want it. #ChaseYourDreams
#FailureisNotanOption

Praying for our Young Black Men

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/08/21/loved-ones-remember-teen-gunned-down-in-crown-heights/

As the years go by, summers become more and more dreadful to me. It seems as if every summer I get news that another one of our young black men have been taken away from us; usually by means of gun violence. Today, I got the message that yet another one of our black men have been taken away from us. The son of my mothers’ longtime friend was gunned down last night, only 17 years old. Although we only met on a few occasions, I became deeply saddened by this. Not only because it hit so close to home but because we have lost another black man to the ignorance of society. Today, it seems as though the number of black men in our communities are scarce. A majority of them are behind bars or living lifestyles that will lead them behind bars. Others of them have allowed society to break them down so much, that they have lost the desire and drive to do aything productive with themselves. The rest of them are being murdered or killing themselves by means of drug abuse and acoholism.  As young women we sometimes don’t realize the harships that black men go through. We don’t understand why they act the way they act, make the decisions that they make and hurt us the way they do. We fail to realize that being a being a black man in America is one of the hardest titles to possess. I would not advise to baby or pacify our black men (because they are men and we are not their mothers), but I would advise to build them up. Encourage them. Pray for them. They are bashed, judged and discriminated against by almost everyone in society. They do not need to experience any more negativity from us.  Within the months of July and August NYC has had over 1058 shooting victims.Young children are also amongst these numbers. If you feel led to participate in a rally or activity to prevent gun violence, do so. Keep all of our black men in prayer. We all have fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, boyfriends, husbands and friends. It could’ve been them. I send my condolences to the Castellano-Robinson family. I am praying for you.

When Moving On Seems Impossible

I am sure that everyone tuned into the interview that Oprah had with Rihanna the other night. Personally, I really enjoyed it. I was impressed by how transparent and willing she was to express her innermost feelings about such touchy topics (Chris Brown, her father and her grandmother).  One thing that really captivated me in the interview was what she said about moving on.  She expressed the anger and resentment that she had toward Chris and how she allowed it to overtake her mind, body and spirit. The fact that she did not forgive Chris and held animosity toward him, prevented her from enjoying her life and being happy with herself. Her anger even reflected in her music and style. She became very dark and her music very depressing. In fact, the first album that she made after the incident did not even sell as well because of the dark and depressing message that it promoted. I am sure that everyone can relate with Rihanna in this area. We have all held onto some sort of grudge, animosity or resentment to someone that effected us negatively. Many of us hold animosity toward our parents. We fault them for some of the decisions that they made while raising us. We blame them for the issues that we possess. We fault them for not being there during times that we needed them most. We use their absence as an excuse for why we are not further than we should be.  Many of us, who have seen our parents relationships and/or marriages fail use that as the excuse of why we can’t be in a successful relationship. We accuse our fathers for being the reason why we cling to men, or go after those who are not good for us. We claim to have trust issues because someone in our life neglected, deceived or disappointed us. We claim that “all guys are dogs and players”  because we let our guard down with someone (or some people) who were undeserving of us. We are not even realizing it we are making ourselves bitter. We are angry and afraid of taking a chance in life because we refuse to forgive and let go of the situations and people who hurt us.

     I too have held on to many negative situations in my life. I caused a lot of these things to prevent me from opening myself up to people. I’ve allowed bad relationships and friendships to make me keep my guard up and prevent people from getting too close to me.  I blamed other people for the trust issues that I’ve had. I’ve blamed them for the defense mechanism that I always have up. I blamed those who came before me for not setting the example of  what a successful African American relationship/marriage was supposed to be. I remained angry and bitter toward people who have hurt and disappointed me, not even  realizing that I was hurting myself more than I could ever hurt them. Without even realizing it, we are allowing these people to control our decisions, lives and overall happiness. We are allowing those guys that hurt us to prevent us from trusting and finding the person that God has for us. We are allowing our parents mistakes to dictate our fate, growth and development. In some cases, we are even repeating the same cycles that they experienced by holding on to and not learning from their mistakes. I said it once and I’ll say it again the things that we have gone through, were born into and experienced, were not nice but they are necessary. Do not allow bad situations to keep you from living your best life. Just as Rihanna did, come to terms with the people and situations that hurt you and eventually free yourself of it. You will not be  truly happy with yourself or satisfied with your life until you do so. At some point you will have to forgive, but don’t forget. Learn from your situations and look at them as fuel  to become a better you. Never allow a situation to make you feel stuck.  You will not be able to live your best life until you LET IT GO!!