Our Need to Hate or Love Beyonce


Superbowl 50, she made the biggest move any entertainer of her caliber has made since Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddamn”.  Before the media could begin roasting her or setting her on a pedestal, we began our usually routine of tearing her down or exalting her. This last move was clearly praise worthy. She put a long, illustrious career on the line as she stood with Black Lives Matter and proclaimed her blackness. While no one in my family keeps hot sauce in their bag, (we’re from California) she represented us well and all of our sub communities should’ve rose to clap.


But we didn’t. We began the most revealing and “your slip is showing” debate of Beyonce history. Can she do anything right? Of course the Beystans stood to worship and war. They are legitimate thugs, Michael Jackson’s fans were’t nearly as mean. The Hoteps began their assault because she’s a winner and black folks can’t win in America without the illuminati, or because she wore  clothes revealing her face or her thighs or whatever. Then there were the moderate folk like me who found ourselves caught in the middle. We weren’t sure what to think. There was joy and disbelief… And so began the slip showing of the new millennium. Lets walk a bit through her career to find the root of our need to love or hate Beyonce.

She’s been on the radar since I was 15. When my biggest problem was how to clear acne from my skin, Beyonce was at the top of the Billboard charts. We had just watched Lauryn Hill blow up the Grammy’s. She was our beloved, an underdog and she sang for the underdogs and she won for the underdogs but then here comes Destiny and her children. As Beyonce’s [Destiny’s] celebrity skyrocketed and eclipsed that of Lauryn Hill (commercially) she made us look at the system wondering why she was so successful? She was the antithesis of Lauryn Hill. She won playing by mainstream rules. She was already using her sexuality to sell records and her mama couldn’t make her anything decent to wear. She wasn’t the neo soul type we’d grown to love and she was beating Pop artists at the charts, making her beyond R&B and unknowingly, aligning Bey with the powers that be, polarizing the African American audience into two camps.

Now reason with me, I think we can all agree that Beyonce is a good artist. She’s an interesting mix of Vanity, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner and Rupaul. I’m not a fan but I have a few songs that I can lift my hand to and shout. No one can tell me, “Me, Myself and I” was not an anthem for us fed up women, nor can they tell me “Mine” with Drake wasn’t the shit. She’s got some hits and some misses. I remember thinking she must be hooked up to some powerful people cause, “Irreplacable” was a crappy song that was shoved down my throat in English and Spanish. And let’s not address “Creole” I think even she knew that song was crap and insensitive to Black (Negro) women everywhere. Either way, what she always manages to do is win. We love and hate Beyonce for one reason and one reason only,

She’s a bonafide winner.


The question becomes are you a winner or are you an underdog? It seems most who feel the world is theres for the taking or who simply want to believe it is, are card carrying Beystans. They love to see her succeed, they don’t care how or why, they simply love a winner. Some sincerely love her music and her dance skills, how she commands the stage and commits to excellence from all around her. The back story is irrelevant, she’s winning and that’s all that matters. She’s likable, and seems to really care for those in need. Underdogs  (I am a recovering underdog) think, How can she win everything? I mean, she married Jay- Z when most other ambitious women of her age couldn’t find a man whose knees didn’t buckle at their sight. We’ve seen her fall heels over head down a flight of stairs and get up like nothing happened. Even in the face of great controversy, her silence allows her machine to work out the kinks. Whether her father is kicking sick kids off a tour bus, her clothing company is being accused of racketeering, she’s stealing Ledisi’s song on the Grammy’s, she wins.

There’s a slight sting that comes along with how she wins. There is definitely a slap in the face for all of us who think there is a power out there bigger than our determination.  “The Man” is an all encompassing powerful being that can truly stomp out black liberation .. but Beyonce. Men stop us women from achieving our goals… but Beyonce. Be a modest woman so you can be respected and successful… but Beyonce.

f709ca7582a6d6d01a052e8db76bc614.754x751x1Then she brags about it…She’s like Muhammad Ali, constantly telling us she’s “the greatest”… I think once she actually said, “Bow Down, Bitches!” as she showed us how she has always been the winner.

She sells out venues like the American Airlines Center with nose bleed tickets costing $300. Her business judo is on fire and has no comparison. Whether releasing an album in the middle of the night or a single on a Saturday afternoon while everyone is buying wings for the Superbowl. The woman’s marketing team is on fire. If you can step out of your worship, hateration or obliviousness and look at her objectively, she’s a great example of the perfect symmetry. She has the right look, the right family dynamic, the right approach to work, the right record label, the right clothes etc. Not to mention, she has us, her true Marketing Team.


An all out war follows every Beyonce release, show or performance. Thousands of memes about haters and thousands essays from the Black Intelligencia show up after every performance. Those of us who worshipped Lauryn Hill (such as myself… I used to at least, now I’m just a fan) usually want her to go deeper, show some substance.  Beystans begin their all out war against anyone who utters a mumbling word. If she were Shakira doing the exact same thing, no one would care but she’s Beyonce and Black America either wants her to slay or “sah down”.

The true phenomenon that is Beyonce is in how her success agitates Black America so personally. She passionately shakes up our collective issues, those who feel they are free from them and those who feel they still struggle with them.

Colorism: Every time she performs a dark skinned girls says, “she couldn’t do that if she was chocolate.”  Classism and privilege: She was raised upper middle class with maids. Her father was as tough a Businessman as any Rockefeller a. Her mother is the epitome of the slavery laden beauty preferences of most of Black and White america when it comes to African American women, not to mention, she specialized in hair and fashion and was a great business woman in her own right. Influence and education: The Ph.Ds and Ed.Ds, JDs, black sorority and fraternity folk sit around dissecting her every move and how she has the power to directly affect culture even though she doesn’t have a High School diploma. Black Women’s Sexuality: We were all raised to keep it covered and concealed, to save ourselves for marriage just for basic respect from a man and he she is popping her cootie at the camera every chance she can get. Black excellence: How can she possibly be better than the white man at the white man’s game of business? Illuminati? Expect debates on her and these issues to ensue for days on end.

After all these years of watching her career, not always understanding why she can while others can’t and never being in full agreement with her hows and whys, I must say that it’s refreshing to see a black woman winning. And I’m glad “formation” allowed her to show her alignment with her home-base and her work for Black American justice no matter how long it took her to “get woke”.  I look forward to the day when we can all praise our success and be critical of the hows without our slip showing. Whether the figure head is Beyonce, Oprah, Will Smith or Barack Obama I look forward to the day when we can all see triumph without being intimidated by it’s process. I look forward to the day when overcoming isms no longer seems suspect or unlikely. Beyonce is not the perfectly crafted version of each of our sub-communities of Blackness. she is a domination oriented, embodiment of us, all of us, together. All of our splendor and all of our shit, working itself out on the largest stage in the world. She is a mix of it all.  And all I can say is, with our good, our bad and our ugly, just as we always have in the past, WE continue to SLAY.

Happy Black History Month.



You’re Doing Too Much… (Products of Now)

I lost my cousin a few months ago. She was a vibrant woman with a laughter that echoes in the collective ear of our wounded family. She was hearty and full, all the time. Her loss has quickened us all. We’re reevaluating everything. We’re taking stock of our lives and for me, I’ve been introduced to myself again. The person created by a reaction to outside stimuli and the push to manifest, had to take a seat. The person I’d released in an effort to make my way has been brought to the front and I see so many brilliant colors… I breathe a perfume holy…I savor blessed food and sit still in the bliss of how life feels. I am Present. I am my raw self. I’ve had my eye on a prize for so long, I’ve missed a lot of the now. The cliché of life being a journey and all about the process was surface level for me. Losing my cousin, “Pooh” awakened me to the gift of now and that there is no process just products of now. I come from a community of ambitious alpha women. We discuss growth, accomplishments, healing, past pains and future plans. We are women who push boundaries and fight valiant battles against limitations of all kinds, but what most of us fail to do is be, here, now. There’s a song by Ray Montagne called “Be Here Now” and it blesses my soul.        “Don’t let your mind get weary and confused             Your will be still, don’t try             Don’t let your heart get heavy child             Inside you there’s a strength that lies” We try so much. We sacrifice our peace at the altar of growth. If we remove the reaction, whether it be a reaction to what someone else has done, whichever -ism is being applied to you, whatever lack you struggle with, if we let that go, we can have the wealth of now. Each moment of now is the building block that those highlight moments are made of. Those dormant, what-am-I-going-to-do times, which we lumber through with disdain, they set us up for birthing in spring. We live in a unique time where most people will at least try their dream out. We can ALL be OPRAH! So possibility beckons most of us, and if allowed, it can eat your presence, shadow your now, burn your stillness and bark during your quiet times. The gestation that’s required to turn a young student into a master teacher seems like purgatory in today’s culture. So many doors have been opened by the internet and so has the chance of overnight success. This possibility has turned time into a work horse. Sitting still, listening and waiting are all assets that we devalue by scrolling through our phones. My appeal today is that we rest in those inactive moments. Allow the quiet, the stillness, to unravel the day’s work. Let quiet backdrop the sound of your spirit asking for attention. Take a long look at your child’s face, at your husband’s posture. We’re missing subtle messages making too much noise. The peaceful hum that clears the mind can’t be heard. So much of what we are “accomplishing” in our day-to-day lives soak up our attention. We miss delicate opportunities to do work that truly matters. The other day I stopped running around my house, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, doing my hair, just doing and I took a deep long look into my daughter’s eyes. Ten seconds in, her shoulders dropped, her face curled into a warm smile, she pulled me close and sweet. I relished in how much I love her and she responded by turning into a marshmallow. She whispered, “We need more time together, not doing anything or being busy but just enjoying each other.” I smiled, agreed, and then soaked her into my arms. I needed to hear that, I needed to see her and rest in my love for her for just a moment. What hidden treasures lie in your stillness? What faint cries are you missing in your haste? What joys and pleasures are being muted by an over indulged reaction to someone else’s belief? What flavors and fragrances are you taking for granted? What are you losing in the quest to have? What product are you truly creating with your now? My request is that you stop, just for a moment. Allow the power of trust and peace to feed and fuel your ambitions. Expand each peaceful moment with your full presence and create a now so beautiful that its product surpasses your ideals. Be here, right now and allow now to be more than enough.

Originally published at: http://www.plaidforwomen.com/read-post/youre-missing-the-good-part-products-of-now/


Bitter Baby Mamas and Why You need to Getcho Life!

You can feel it when we arrive. There’s something in our eyes, aura or stride. There’s a question on our invisible T-Shirt that asks, “How do you plan to take advantage of me today?” We are Bitter. Perhaps we were perfect wives and girlfriends or maybe we were Bitches with attitudes. Either way, when our relationship ended, we were left with the children and the lion’s share of the work. Most mothers end up with physical custody of the children, so dating changes, economic ability changes, her body changes.. We have a beautiful child or children who have more needs than most because of their other parent’s absence however extreme.

And let’s keep it 100, child support is rarely enough, no matter how emotional he gets about it. It doesn’t pay for sleepless nights, no one around to help with dinner, homework, extra-curricular activities, illness, PTO for sick children, having to attend EVERY field trip you can, Parent Teacher conferences with just me or the reality that no one is coming to help unless my family feels like stepping in. We’re tired, we’re over worked, we’re overused, and we’re underappreciated.

Most of us are bitter and you know what, we should be. Damn.

The impact of single motherhood is a fact. According to Working Poor Families Project, “the share of working families headed by a woman that are low income increased from 54 percent in 2007 to 58 percent in 2012. The share is even higher among African Americans, as 65 percent are low income.” In addition to that, Pew Research reports that 62% of Married women with children make over $50,000 a year while 61% of Unmarried women with children make less than $30,000. Before we blame the poor for their personal choices, let’s look at a couple more facts. Professor Stephen Jenkins,  Director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and chair of the Council of the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth found that, “When a father separates from the mother of his children, his available income increases by around one third. Women, in contrast, suffer severe financial penalties. Regardless of whether she has children, the average woman’s income falls by more than a fifth and remains low for many years.” He also found that separated women have a poverty rate of 27% which is double the rate of their male partners, regardless of whether or not they have children.

The bitterness is not only due to financial hardship but to the challenge of finding new love after becoming a single mother. Let’s be frank, dating kinda sucks. Here are a few reasons:

  1. You have higher standards. You clearly made a mistake so you’ve upped the ante.
  2. You can’t go out, network or socialize as much as you’d like because you can’t afford it, money or time.
  3. You have emotional baggage and challenges that stem from the demise of a family. You trust no one.
  4. You’re bitter and it’s not hot. Men don’t find you especially attractive anymore.

Unfortunately, no matter how much you deserve your anger, bitterness is ugly. Everyone can see it, smell it and no one wants to clean up that mess or date bitterness. You have to let it go if you want to live a whole, free, healthy life.

I was praying the other day-I am a firm believer that all problems have solutions- I asked spirit, “What is the solution for this bitterness in my heart.” I have been angry for quite a while. The message I received was…. (Are you ready?):


Shocked and appalled, I muddled through the idea of giving to a taker. Someone who left me hanging high and dry… someone who left me struggling caring for “OUR” child? GIVE TO THEM???!!! …….Ah Hell Naw! (To the naw, naw, naw). Give???

Then it hit me. Our bitterness stems from the idea of being robbed. Robbed of time, of trust, money, our youth even. You feel like you’ve lost something and you can’t get it back. And if your co parent is not the most responsible person, you may feel like you’re still being robbed. However, you can’t be robbed of something you give. No one can take something you have inside. Besides, what does it mean to love someone who hurts you? To actually give to a thief? It makes you merciful and gracious. What if it’s a misunderstanding? What if he isn’t a thief at all. He may have some life lessons to learn that you have to be a part of simply because you share a child.  Perhaps your mercy and generosity can help him grow and thus help your child grow. Bitterness is a web. You deserve it, it’s not fair, and you’re right. You’ll never be wrong. What does your bitterness say about your beliefs. Can someone truly rob you of what you are due? Regardless of what religion you choose, all suggest a belief that God is good. Would God leave you victimized and ruined? Are you aware of the blessing of being able to give? Not to mention, Do we stay angry? Do we let every relationship we have be seasoned with bitterness for someone who doesn’t even want you any more? Again, “Hell Naw…..”

When you give, you affirm within yourself that you have enough, you may even have more. You’ve moved on! You accept the result of that interaction but you still have life! You give from your abundance and you can appreciate yourself for being so giving. And YES you have more and more will come! Surrender that gift knowing it will come back as the golden rule states. Instead of being bitter because someone took something, admire yourself for being so giving. Watch your child thrive and be proud of your philanthropy. They would have less if you didn’t give. Don’t spoil them, but give consciously without using your giving to heal them of the pain of a missing parent. That pain is theirs to bear and you can’t fill the void with things. Choose not to operate as if you are paying a debt you don’t deserve, or like each dollar and hour are being stolen. Surrender that time with peace because you know you will always have enough. Give more than your share with love because it simply feels better. The vibe of being someone who has enough to give, who gives with love and faith is far more attractive anyway. Bitterness is ugly, being giving is beautiful. Giving removes the frown lines of bitterness and make you gorgeous with love. ;-)


Stephen Jenkins, “Marital Splits and Income Differences over Long Term, No 2008-7, Feb 2008, Economic Social and Research Council.


Kim Parker and Wendy Wang, “Modern Parenthood: Roles of Mom and Dad converge as They Balance Work and Family, March 2013, Pew Research Center. http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2013/03/FINAL_modern_parenthood_03-2013.pdf


Deborah Povich, Brandon Roberts and Mark Mather, Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future, Winter 2013-2014. Working Poor Families Project Policy Brief


Faith, Oprah and Honesty

This talk is food for the soul. It takes an hour and it’s worth it to play it in the background or stop what you’re doing and watch.

Oprah Winfrey on Career Life and Leadership by Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Learning How to Punk Out.

I’ve never had a shortage of heart. Growing up in the Hood, Richmond, California to be exact, “Having heart” was essential to having peace. I remember walking into large crowds, say at a festival or a game, knowing someone there would laugh at me, talk about me, and threaten me if I looked soft. You could easily get into a fight if you stared at someone too long or bumped into someone too forcefully. We were sensitive, strong people. People who’d endured suffering and who were now competing for confidence during the war on drugs and the absence of Fathers. See being soft was most likely the result of having both parents, money, privilege as far as my hometown was concerned. Most people were fighting some war, be it in their minds, family or even community. I wasn’t. I was . . . at peace, a.k.a. soft. I didn’t have to struggle and claw like some people. I never saw a food stamp or even knew what Section 8 was until I was a teenager, which inspired jealousy, anger even violence from a few young people in Richmond. Simply because I was different and had an easier life.

In spite of this easier, two-parent, middle income household, my hair was rarely done well and my clothes were rarely trendy. I was a nerd and a theater geek. Let’s pair my “softness” + my lack of style + my nerdiness=I was an easy target. Between 8th grade and 10th grade I got into three fights and was jumped once on a bus. HOWEVER, I was no punk. I had heart. So when other nerds would fall back, I stood up. When someone else allowed a bully to insult them, I snapped back. In my family it was collectively understood that we never backed down from a fight. Whether it was a boy, girl, big person or a group of people, we stood our ground and if we lost a fight, we lost it with honor, and so goes my life.

It’s funny how the lessons we learn as children stick with us as we age. Today, I’m a fighter, courageous and “ready” all the time. When my parents divorced I felt I needed to step it up even further. I’ve gained a lot of knowhow and power from standing up for myself, in warranted and unwarranted situations. This gift and curse, bothers some, because they don’t see themselves that way and it awes others because they see the possibility that they can overcome. But as a gift and curse, it helps and hurts me.

I find great pride in telling my story. The story of how I made it through trials and troubles only God could get me through. I take great rest in my relationship with God; the fact that I can ask for help and help arrives, that I can root myself in the strength of a God of infinite power and withstand a storm. However this “gift” is the other side of the coin. When you stand against all battles, you must dig in to power and strength but what does it mean to fail? To be weak? Is it ALWAYS a fault?

I had to ask myself ‘What if God’s power is in surrendering to this opposition?  What does it mean to yield or admit that you don’t want to fight, you’re afraid or you need help?’

Strength thickened my skin and digging into the wrong type of strength, hardened my heart. Could I have been better off folding and perhaps losing?

Recently my Mother was diagnosed with Dermatomyocitis, an auto immune disease that operates like Lupus and a collection of different autoimmune diseases, such as Fibromyalgia, RA, Connective Tissue Disease and Congestive Heart failure. I came home to help and found myself behaving as the anchor for a family of siblings and children suffering through our own life struggles and the challenge of trying to reclaim the life of my Mother. I made it my job to be strong, to be the embodiment of faith and endurance. While this helped my family feel stronger and gave them someone to lean on in their time of need, it damaged me in ways I am still discovering to this day. The choice to deny the sadness I was feeling, to exemplify sufficiency when I needed someone to lean on, to be there for others when I needed someone to be there for me, left me feeling cold inside and lonely. I didn’t share my pain or my fear. I held it in and protected my family from the fact that I was afraid too. While having heart, standing up to the predator which was losing my Mother looked good from the outside, it ate me alive.

My love life soured. Most potential lovers and friends found me too stand offish and disconnected. When someone would come to me needing an ear or a hug, I’d give them a pep talk and a pat on the ass, “Get back out there!”. When some would see me in my worst pain, my armor of “Everything’s okay” made them feel that they and their help weren’t needed or even wanted. And honestly, for fear of being vulnerable, I didn’t want them and I didn’t want their help.

See, vulnerability would’ve revealed my anger with my parents. It would’ve shown my disappointment in my daughter’s father. Vulnerability would’ve revealed that I was sad with my own life and uncomfortable better yet angry about being needed while I was still in need. Vulnerability would’ve pulled my armor off and left me open and made all my fountains of tears visible. It would’ve left my family to their own feelings and left them looking for another source of strength. That source should’ve been God, not God in me.

I grew up believing when times are hard, when opposition arrives, when faced with a “bully” of any kind, the only option is to “Have heart” and fight but the moment I allowed myself to admit my weakness and eventually give love to that weakness, things changed. The few moments of vulnerability that I allowed revealed beautiful friends who bought me cake and took me to the lake to cry. Family who let me vent and speak my anger without judgment. Many people who loved me who were just waiting on my permission to enter. What I didn’t realize is “losing”, admitting a battle may be too big for me, opened the door for help. It gave others a chance to love me and gave me a chance to be my true “whole hearted” self.

While growing up in Richmond taught me to be tough, it didn’t teach me the power of vulnerability. The strength in connection and the encouragement of empathy were lessons I had to learn on my own. Vulnerability opens the door to the heart and allows you to be seen as a whole, strong, tender and fallible person. It took me years to unlearn what it meant to “Have heart”. “Having heart” is not solely being brave enough to stand up to your enemies, it’s also being brave enough to scream out for help and being human enough to receive the love that comes to your rescue.



15 Signs that You are Hating on…. Yourself.

Some of us are born with the goods.

No matter how much money they have, degrees or no degrees, attractiveness or charm, some of us were born with the gift of self-love. And no matter how bad the world gets they can always separate themselves from what they see and hear. They can always say, I love me!

Then, some of us had to work on it, work hard, overcome and fight indefinitely. There are so many levels to self-love and so much secrecy behind the true self esteem you may never reach the end of the journey. My word today is to STOP!!

Stop pushing, pulling, attempting to love yourself. Stop staring in the mirror saying you love yourself, that you’re beautiful… etc. Simply refuse to hate yourself. I know, I know, affirmations work, well. The exercise of looking at yourself in the mirror and deciding to love what you see is very positive, but here’s an idea. I believe that self love is your nature. Loving yourself is not always an action but a state of being. Loving oneself is as natural to the human being as feeding yourself. The work that needs to be done is to stop the tendency to hurt yourself. That includes the following:

15 Signs You are Hating on Yourself

(a.k.a. 15 targets to defeat)


  1. Criticizing Yourself

Do you mull over every mistake you make? Do you beat yourself up for not being a perfect ______. Do you watch your every move, word. Are you seeking perfection or some type of finale? Do you keep your expressions to yourself out of fear of criticism? Do you deny compliments and brush off praise? Stop! Everyone has an inner critic but if you aren’t careful, it can grow from a thought that kindly looks for space to improve, into a monster that keeps you up at night, or a hateful thought that picks you apart in the mirror. Often the standard you hold others to, is a reflection of how you treat yourself. Are you demanding of others? Do you lack forgiveness? Be kind to yourself and tell that inner critic to have several seats.

  1. Downplaying Your Accomplishments

“Oh it was nothing.” When someone says “Thank you!”, you say, no big deal. One of my greatest challenges to this day is receiving applause after I sing a song. The audience could be full of tears and I know in my soul that I’ve given something beautiful but I nod and walk. No, stand there and take the applause. Receive the gratitude for giving your gift.

  1. Harshly Judging Your Body

Do you constantly work out for fear of getting fat? Do you poke at every dimple, pinch every fold? Eat extra food trying to be – what we call in my hometown- “thick”?  Your body is a blessing that is listening to every thought you have, every word you speak. Tell her you love her, tell her thank you for getting me up those stairs. Tell her thank you for nursing my children, being huggable, being beautiful because newsflash! women are naturally beautiful. Just as men are given more strength per square inch, you are given beauty. In Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, inanimate objects are called he and she based on their beauty. If a chair is pretty, it’s called she. If it’s boxy and plain, it’s called he. Think on that…..

  1. Constant Fixing, Picking and Pruning

Are you addicted to self-help? Therapy? I am a recovering self-help addict. I have issues, we all do, but I can love what is good, pray for what is less than and say thank you for it all. Read the books, speak with your therapist, pray as often as you need but remember, you are human and you will always be a work in progress. Those tools will help but the perspective you have on your enoughness will change because you decide to be your best every day. That’s all that’s needed to grow and heal at a healthy rate. I’m not saying call your Therapist and cancel (I’m not) but I would suggest trusting what, “The Lord has made.”

  1. Spending Essential Money on Beauty

Are you maxing out your credit cards on beauty products and fashion? Are you a “Product Junkie” ? Do you miss bills buying things that will make you more attractive? Girl stop. You’re kicking yourself in the you know what. You’re beautiful when you’re healthy and happy. The inner glow you’re looking to create with those external items will never show. Until you look inside, you will continue to miss that glow. Doing what makes you truly happy is what makes you beautiful and unless you’re a make up artist at heart, all the money used to cover your inadequacies should be used to reveal your spirit.

  1. Spending ALL Your Money on Essentials, Saving & Investing

You are going to be ok. Don’t be afraid. You can spend a couple dollars on yourself. You should absolutely not be last on your list. Try a dance class, massage, pedicure, hair do… you have to do something for yourself! Whether you buy the supplies and do it yourself because you have a tight budget or whether you go all out and have a nice, “I Love Me” weekend ever so often, you must do for you. Fill your tank so you can carry yourself, maybe even a couple others from time to time.

  1. Self-Sabotage

You’re always late and ill prepared. You procrastinate and “forget”. You act on suspicion and create problems out of nothing. You think no one gets you or no one likes you when a relationship doesn’t go as you will it. You deserve to succeed. What separates you from someone who does? You. Prepare early, meet your own expectations first. Keep yourself in the light of worthiness. All the time. Even when you’re low and blue. You are always worthy.

  1. Staying in a Culture of Deprivation

Are you refusing to acknowledge that its time to leave this place, this way of thinking, behind. You know you’re in a culture of deprivation when everyone around you is a victim. When everyone is proud of pain and sorrow. Have you ever heard someone brag about pain? This is especially true for African Americans who descend from enslaved Africans. Our identities as victims of heinous crime is only PART of who we WERE. Some of us bought their own freedom or escaped. Some moved on to become professionals or landowners. Many of us took our lives into our own hands and fought for dear life and won (Google: Haitian Revolution). Why are you any different? The pain and psychological damage of our past is not who we are. We are victorious survivors. We are a people who survived and in some ways thrived in a state of institutionalized insanity. Leave that culture of sorrow and strife behind.

  1. Hating

Seeing her makes your blood boil. She’s got this, that, something else that you dreamed of. Stop it now and go get it. Stop being envious, look at those feelings as a sign of your hunger for something and acknowledge the fact that YOU are responsible for manifesting your SELF. Your hating is not about family who have more _____than you, your cousin who has more ____ than you or your Uncle is is more _____ than you. It’s about your hunger and your passion to be in a better, more desireable place. Go for it. Your kids will sacrifice but they will admire your drive. Your family will have to miss you at a few dinners but they will respect your accountability. You want more money? Create another job. You want more beauty? Create more health. Stop hating and start participating in your own creation, your own rise to success.

  1. Putting Others Before You, ALL the Time.

Helping others should rarely involve hurting yourself. We all make sacrifices for people we love but when you are depleting your own resources, when you don’t even think before giving your last, you’ve lost something, your sense of separation. We love the proverb Ubuntu, “I am because we are” but when “we” stop “I” from being able to survive, “I” needs to take a step back. There is no “We” if “I” is dissolved into oblivion, there’s only “you guys” or “them”. Yes, help your family, give to your community, contribute to the larger body but remember, YOU are the body as well! YOU are a part of the community. YOU are a part of the family. YOU have to be healthy to help someone else. A wise woman told me when you enable people they will resent you. Why? Because you did not empower them. You saved them but left them in the same condition that brought them to that place in the first place. They will be back for more help and if they can’t reciprocate the favor in some way or another, they will grow angry with you because they haven’t changed and now they owe you something they haven’t learned how to produce. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

11. Refusing to Stand up for Yourself

Do you let people tell you who you are? Do you allow them to talk over you or tell you what to do? Do you allow a “group” to define you, determine your movement and value? STOP! You are not a mean person if you say, no. You are not going to lose love from anyone who truly loves you. You are not going to be annihilated if you have to spend time alone. If you’ve surrounded yourself with people who “push you around”, you have to go through the process of reestablishing yourself. This may be with a new group, or you just might be surrounded by people who love you and not the dynamic of your relationship. They just might be waiting for you to speak up. Be brave and be strong.

  1. Believing No One Will Like You, Accept Your Input, “No one cares what I ……”

Newsflash: You don’t need permission! No one has to tell you  you’re awesome. Van Gogh died poor. Edgar Allen Poe died in a mental institution. Their greatness was never validated by people on the outside. Even without validation, someone will love you! It’s the nature of human existence. You, as you, authentic and self loving, will be loved by others. It’s natural law. Love yourself.  You were permitted to “be” when you arrived on the planet. They say , if someone invites you to a meeting, it’s permission to speak and contribute. You’ve been invited to life on the planet. Permission Granted.

  1. Using a Lover as a Badge of Acceptance

We all love being loved but what happens when having a lover, or being with a certain type of person, validates you? What does it mean when it gives you your sense of belonging or worthiness. What happens is you give this human being- flawed and perfect- power over your worth. They become the market and their demand for you determines your value. You fear being alone because when you’re alone, you’re nothing. You fear being with someone who is less than ______ because then you are less than. What a burden for a lover to be responsible for how you feel about yourself. Free them and free yourself. Accept yourself!

  1. Attributing All your Accomplishments to God.

This is a sticky one. This is sticky because I thank God for everything but God gave me, me. My abilities, my gifts and I use them. While thanking God, acknowledge the part that you play in the plan. When God blesses you with an opportunity, you still have to show up. That’s you. That’s what makes God proud of you! You are worthy of praise. Perhaps not grand praise as The Creator, but you are something more than an empty vessel. You are the vessel!

  1. Looking for your Compliments and Accolades from other People.

After receiving a good grade on an assignment, my daughter at times asks me, “Mom, are you proud of my work? Are you proud of me?” I want to say “YES! I’m so proud of you, honey! Mommy is so so so proud of you”, instead I ask her, “How do you feel? Are you proud of your work? Are you proud of yourself?” She always says yes… of course I then pour on all the reasons why I agree with her, validating her pride in herself. We all seek approval from our peers, family and friends but first, value and treasure your own approval. I’d even go so far as to say, work for it. If you don’t approve of your attire, change it. If you don’t approve of your command of the English language, study harder. If you feel you aren’t attractive, take care of yourself and get healthier.

We blame ourselves for the world we were given, for statements others made that had nothing to do with us, for a culture we were born into that told us, you are supposed to look like, be like, think like, act like, etc. We learn self-hate just as we learn language. Depending on your family, you grew up with varying levels of love and acceptance. Well today, you are yours and you can decide what you allow in your heart from here forward.  I challenge you to refuse the self-hate.


List 5 things your inner-critic says to you and 5 snap-backs to destroy her logic.



We Are! Right Now!


I was born, “in pursuit”. It takes my Dad to tell you how I didn’t crawl or how I cried at 2 years old because I couldn’t speak like an adult. Frustration or a sense of being behind, is part of my gift and curse. No matter what I was doing, I was never where I wanted to be. If you’re even a little like me, there’s this wall between who you are every day and who you want to be. There’s this thought that attaining our “carrots” (a degree, an ideal size, a relationship status or a financial status) is the only way to validate our belief in who we truly are inside.

Fortunately, I read some good books and met some good people who helped me to see, yes, ambition and drive may be my nature, but those personality traits should not control my identity. Becoming the woman I want to be is rooted in who I am, right now, as I am. The thing is, the inner self creates its external self. I had to learn that although I don’t have the ______(insert carrot here) I want, my dream is me, in utero. Every day, I am birthing myself into the external world.

The possessions, the outside gratification of it all, is always last to arrive. You are a lover, long before you meet your mate. You are a great business person far before you reach your first million. Your ability to sing and create new ideas comes forth far before you release an album or write a book. You have to be it to do it.

Our culture puts a tremendous amount to focus on external wealth rather than internal health. The pressure to have often eclipses our passion for being. We focus on attaining or looking like a million bucks before we focus on feeling like a million bucks. This “lead with the tail” mentality has caused so much illness and confusion. The key now, is to turn that philosophy around. Be what you dream, today. In our collective past, the goals were the carrot dangled before us, the work it took to get that carrot is what made many who they became. Let’s turn it around. Let’s fully believe in and act as who we dream to be, the carrots will come.

My challenge to you (and me) is to let your goals follow your greatness. Writers, write. Dancers, dance. Nurturers, nurture, Business Women conduct business. Let the accolades follow the performance.

Whatever you’re doing at work, at home… whatever you’re wearing or whatever is wearing you, is part of your process. The journey of you should not be lured across time by trophies, notoriety, goals and external wealth. The woman who is on the journey should live a healthy, whole, assured life, no matter how many tiny statues she wins.

Choosing to believe that the woman of your dreams is you, now, is up to you, but I promise if you’re here, reading this, so is she.


I’m a believer in homework so here you go: (I’ll show you mine if you show me yours)


Do your “carrots” follow you or do you follow your carrots?

Let’s pretend you never attain your “carrots”. Who are you without them?

Can you love yourself if you never attain them?

What is your greatest vision of yourself? How close are you to being the woman of your vision?

What can you do today to release more of her?

Are you living a “carrot” free life and loving it? If so, comment below and tell us how you’re doing you, right now!

Stop what you’re doing right now and love yourself for all that you are, today! ;-)

849 - Version 2

Welcome! So Glad You’re Here!

A Welcome Letter from Me!

Welcome to BWBHBF. Women of purpose, women of valor, women of love, women of substance, welcome home. We’re changing the game, bursting through glass ceilings, defying old archetypes, raising futuristic children, crafting a new world that allows our daughters to thrive and our sons to live longer, fuller lives.  This site was born out of the understanding that driven women face more challenges during the day than most.  BWBHBF is here to offer new power, new focus, and fresh energy every day!  We give you inspiration that matches the challenges women like us have in life. We offer concentrated inspiration to help love you where you’re weak, protect you from the day’s offenses and fortify you where you’re strong. Our vision is to make the world a better place by freeing the spirit and genius of women and girls.

Look for affirmations, articles, motivational videos, workshops, communion, constant conversation and the chance to dialogue with men who love women like you -some may even be available ;-).

Sweet Living,

Liza Ellen