Happy Friday: The Purge

brown eyed beauties - BEBFor the past few weeks I have been having this intense urge to purge. A real need to donate things, recycle old stuff, and get organized. I woke up one morning and decided that was the day and I would give as much as I could. As I looked around the room, I passed over a bunch of stuff and set my eyes on a futon mattress that was still in good condition but had been in storage for years. I argued with my brother because I wanted to toss it, but he insisted that someone somewhere needed it. I still argued I just wanted it gone and right now! He stood firm and I pushed back, but something told me to move on, so I walked away.

The next morning I woke up and decided to purge my plastic bags (I know EVERYONE has a cabinet or drawer full of plastic and/or paper grocery bags. You are supposed to be able to recycle them at the grocery store, but who really has time for that? I never remember to bring them with me…I know, I know, I need to use my reusable bags. I must do better). I pulled them all out of the cabinet and started thinking about a time when I volunteered at a soup kitchen with a few of my lovely sisters of BEB. They were giving out the same type of bags — tons of them — and they were like gold to the guests. They filled them up with cookies, bread, fruit, even clothes. I was assigned to bag distribution and I had to make sure each person only took one bag. There had been incidents where one or two people would take them all. This gave me the idea to stop by the soup kitchen that I pass every morning and see if they could use the bags; I also wanted some info on volunteering. As I left the house, I immediately forgot and my mind wandered to all of the things I had on my plate that day. I drove right past the soup kitchen. Then I heard a voice say: “Wait, you said you were going to go to the soup kitchen today and get some information.” Another said, “No, there is no time for that right now, keep going, we will go another day.” Then a voice yelled, “Go back there now!” (See, I feel comfortable telling you this because I KNOW that you have heard the same voices in your head. You are supposed to. If you aren’t hearing them then you NEED to start listening; it is your soul talking to you and it knows EVERYTHING! Always listen to the voice that speaks from love and growth.)

I turned at the next corner and found a parking spot right in front. The place was buzzing with people, all getting free meals: kids, babies, elderly and all ages in between. I was directed upstairs. I found three very nice women that took my information and were about to write down an address for me and I thought, what the hell, let me ask them if they know anyone that could use a mattress. The women suggested a thrift shop down the street, and then her colleague pulled her to the side and started whispering to her. When she came back she said, “We actually do have someone that was just here yesterday. She just got out of the shelter and doesn’t have a bed. She was just here yesterday asking if we could help.” It literally brought tears to my eyes; it was an amazing display of our power as a collective. We exchanged numbers and I arranged a drop off. Shout out to my husband for the assistance with that, and shout out to my brother for hearing that woman’s request. See, the fact of the matter is, if you don’t speak it into existence it simply will not be. You can visualize and silent prayer all you want, and while that is very important and you should definitely start every day with it, I am realizing that at some point you MUST verbalize your wishes. Words travel far beyond earshot and they carry a unique energy that is able to span unlimited wavelengths of data. The answer to every question you have, every desire you feel, and every requirement that is necessary for a prosperous life, is out there. But in order for it to find you, you HAVE to verbalize it, say it, speak it, shout it, and sing it so it can be heard, then release it with FAITH that it HAS been heard. Say things that give you goose bumps just at the thought of them because those are the ideas that fly the farthest.

Think Big, Be Bold, Stand Proud and Speak with Intent and Desire.

Live in your blessings and be a blessing to someone else everyday.

Happy Friday!

Words to live by from Ky!
Ky is the BEB photographer and regular blogger

Happy Friday: Divine Order

#CharlestonShooting #BlackLivesMatter

#CharlestonShooting #BlackLivesMatter

Sometimes we are faced with situations, confronted with circumstances or come in contact with people who really make us take a moment to question our faith. While you don’t have to be a devout member of any denominational religious institution or even a television tither you can still have a belief in something bigger than you; in a power that is the driving force of your daily steps, reflections and encounters. The belief can, for some, be almost supernatural to the extent that you allow it to be. Those of us who are rooted in Divine Power and Divine Order understand that all things happen for a reason. Some of those things make us question our sensibilities, like the church shooting in South Carolina and the host of other killings that birthed the hashtag #blacklivesmatter, and made those Americans of color who believe that this country is colorless and racially muted turn their volumes up and pay attention.

As I weep for the families in South Carolina and all of the families who have been faced with having had their loved one snatched from them without reason, I pray and know that even with these horrific tragedies and even in this unsettled state of race in our country, I still believe in Divine Order. In fact, everything happens for a reason, albeit heart-rending, God makes evolutionary decisions that allow us to face the certainties of our existences and promote change.

This tragedy, like all, make us aware of the importance of treasuring every moment that we have with family, friends or acquaintances. It, in all of its grief, brings us together. Say “I love you” to someone today, get introspective today and get back to your true self. Realize the presence of your Divine Order and live your life wholly, happily and with love and gratitude. Life is a gift!

I often autograph my books with, “Create moments that make amazing stories!” I believe that because whether you’re telling it, or someone else is telling it for you, those moments are irreplaceable.

With Love,
Moni

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Happy Friday: Prepare to Win

Happy Friday BEB blogThe idiom, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” is drilled into our heads from a tender, young impressionable age. But how in the world can you wholeheartedly hope for the best while simultaneously preparing for the worst? It is the epitome of contradiction. In order to truly manifest your dreams and desires you have to believe without a shadow of a doubt that they will be yours. You have to prepare to receive them and have faith that someday your wishes will be fulfilled. Think about it: do you think that Serena Williams goes into a tennis match hoping that she will win but preparing in case she doesn’t? Hell no!

When you set out to get something done, you have to do it with full confidence that you will succeed. Of course we will suffer defeat and disappointment from time to time, but you can’t prepare for it. That makes no sense at all to think about losing when all of your energy should be focused on winning. The natural laws of attraction tell us that whatever you are truly prepared to receive is what you will receive. Nobody wants to be disappointed, so it is easy to prepare for defeat and when something does not go your way you can easily tell yourself, “See, I told you that wouldn’t work,” and you feel a certain sense of comfort in this defense tactic. What if we took a different approach toward achieving our goals and treated our Plan A as if it were the only possible plan and outcome? With every goal you are striving for, take a “by any means necessary” approach and only prepare for success.

When those times come and you find it hard to achieve a certain goal or find it hard to keep faith in your heart, stop praying on it and start preparing to receive it. Your entire mindset will change and the emotional energy that you create will shift and create a magnet of attraction for whatever it is that you want. If you are trying to have a baby, start to clean house and prepare for its arrival. Now I am not saying to go out and spend a bunch of money on baby clothes and furniture, but clean out the room that you intend on turning into a baby room. Clean it with intention. If you are looking to move into a larger place or just a different place, start to pack up things that you do not use often and with every box that you seal up, envision your new place and embrace that joyous energy that you create by thinking about it. Do what is needed to achieve the goal and whenever your faith waivers, take some time to create your vision and plan.

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Happy Friday!

Words to live by from Ky!
Ky is the BEB photographer and regular blogger

Wednesday Wisdom: I Am Not My Hair

11174814_10206946934940303_6201952797479478825_nFresh out of college, I was hired by a company that needed to “diversify” their employee roster (read: hire some black people NOW!). I wasn’t mad because I was fully qualified and passed several screenings tests and interviews to get the job. Being one of two black women in an office of maybe 50 people, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. I wasn’t from the town and I was one of the youngest people in a department of mostly caucasian men; I was a living breathing alien. They did welcome me with open arms and worked to make me feel as comfortable as possible, but one day it was made clear to me that they were not looking at me.

After about a month or two of being there, my friend that got hired along with me went to a different department to handle some business and one of the women asked her, “Who was the new girl that just started?” Confused, she inquired about this new person and they said it was another young black girl. I thought to myself, “the building is not that big where could she be hiding?” After a bit more probing, they said she has long, curly braids and that was the extent of the description. They got the immediate side eye because I had just changed my hair style to long, curly braids, and just like that, after “looking” at me for an entire month or two, I was unrecognizable.

I was not offended at all, in fact I thought it was funny. Back then when I was young and free and had exorbitant amounts of me time, I would change my hairstyle as many times as a teenager changes their Facebook profile pic. Curly, straight, long, short, highlighted, braided — whatever mood I was in at the moment, I did it, and in my eyes I could pull anything off and had no problem trying. But in that moment I realized, while I did not think my hair defined me, it was obvious that it actually was what defined me. They were not looking at me, they were looking at my hair. And before you start to think that I must have been coming to work with helicopters made out of Brazilian silky attached to my bun, I was not getting that crazy; it was all professional and work appropriate. No one ever made any remarks to me about my hair, or at least I don’t remember, but I am sure they talked about it at home or thought about it. Which leads me to my questions: Has anyone ever made any assumptions about you based on your hairstyle? Has an employer ever asked you to change your hairstyle? Has a friend ever suggested that you change your hairstyle to get ahead? Do you have any preconceived notions and assumptions when it comes to hair? When you see certain hairstyles, do you formulate opinions on that person’s lifestyle? Would you change your hair if it was suggested that it would get you to the next level?

Here are the answers from the Women of BEB:

Monica Michelle: I wouldn’t change my hairstyle for any employer. I say that with conviction now having recently changed from relaxed to natural. When I did my big chop to begin my natural hair journey, my job or what they would think wasn’t even a thought in my mind initially. It was my choice and I knew it wouldn’t make me a lesser employee. Albeit, when I did get to work everyone was completely shocked. Mostly quiet about it though. The few black people who worked at my job gave me reassuring nods while all others simply said “Oh new hairstyle, huh?” To which I gave a stern… SURE DID! Almost daring them to say anything about it. Would it have prevented me from senior level career pathing, I don’t know nor did I think about it. And so far, no employer has asked me to change my hairstyle.

Allison Younger: My general feeling about hair is that it’s somewhat like clothing when it comes to business folk: you will likely be judged; similar to the way a woman is judged if her skirt is too short or too tight. The question then becomes, “How much do you care?” When I first went natural and was interviewing, I would put my hair in a bun or wear it straight. Now that I am on a different level professionally (and mentally), I don’t really care. My hair is what it is and if someone doesn’t like it, they can kick rocks. I am who I am and I make no apologies or alterations. Fortunately, I’ve never been asked to change my hair for an employer, but if I was, I would then ask why. In my mind, there’s no real way of answering that question without avoiding a lawsuit. Hence, I would never change it for my job or anyone else for that matter.

Kia Marshall:  I’m usually conservative with my hair so I don’t think I’ve ever been judged for it at work. Several years ago I was asked by an older woman of another race/culture if she could touch my hair, when I wore it natural (curly). Or I’ve gotten asked how I get my hair like that. But not so much anymore. People at work will just tell me they like my hairstyle if I change it up.

Ayeisha Seawright Moses: Going into Corporate America, it was stated by recruiters, counselors, professors etc. that braids or locs may not be received well on an interview. But once you got the job, it was “ok” to wear those styles. When I started my natural transition, I wore braids for a whole year and my coworkers would ask me, “how long did it take?” “is that all your hair?” What was funny or sad depending on how you want to look at it, after a several months of having my locs, one person thought I still had braids and asked me how do I take them out! I would not change my hair for an employer. Take me AS I AM!

Fatimah: Hair still matter in many industries however I believe that locs and braids are accepted more now than they use to be. I agree hair can be looked at like clothing when it comes to the work place. Anytime you are dealing with the good old boys club you are your hair and what you wear.

Anonymous: I work in a creative industry and I think it matters wayyy less than if I were to work in a corporate environment. My hair is a great representation of who I am and it changes quite often. It’s smart, bold, flirty, demure, it’s ME. I’ve worn it relaxed with long layers: when I want to conform and make my granny happy, and I’ve worn it short and choppy: when I’m feeling bad-assed and want to make myself happy. It has been a little bit of everything along the way, both natural and relaxed: long and short. My hair usually reflects my mood. I believe employers judge and I think it’s the individual’s responsibility to know their audience. Ultimately, when my hair looks good, I feel great! #freetobeyouandme

Neesha Wilson: Sorry for the late response I was in a training for most of the day. I work with New York State Education Department and I have not been asked by my employer to change my hairstyle. Since it is an industry that focuses on serving those with disabilities it really is not an issue at my workplace. I don’t believe this would ever be brought up in the type of work that I do as a Counselor. I generally wear my hair straight during the winter months and wear it curly during the summer. I notice that people tend to compliment me on my hair more often whenever I wear it curly. I do agree with the ladies that wear their hair natural, you should never have to change the way you wear your hair for a job. As long as it is presentable and well groomed it should not make a difference.

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Ky is the author of the Happy Fridays series and as well as the BEB Director of Photography

Photo Credit: Kyeisha Kelly

Happy Friday: Flying High

20150424_094220-1G5’s or better I fly higher than weather …..OK, so I am not exactly in a G5 it is more like an Airbus, but hey a girl must dream!
Thinking about this statement that Jay so eloquently boasted about years ago, I think about the fact that in order for a pilot to get you to your destination safely they have to fly above the bad weather and maneuver around the storm to deliver us safely to our final destination. This takes skill and experience, hours and hours of training and once they are on the job a series of conscious decisions are necessary to preserve the lives of all on board. Takeoff and Landing are not done on autopilot and turbulence has to be avoided along the way. What if you took this same approach with life? So much of our lives are spent on auto pilot and we do the same things every day so much to the point that many habits we aren’t even conscious of. What if we took a day and (especially in the beginning and end) we thought about our every move listened to the moments in life and made calculated decisions instead of doing the normal things we do every day. Maybe take a new route to work (but hold on don’t blame me if you run into traffic it ain’t my fault), eat something different for breakfast, stretch, meditate, take five minutes and breathe.  Plan your day as soon as you wake up and not the mundane things that you have to do, not the to do list. See it in all it’s fabulousness and splendor, that person you have a problem with in your office or in your own home see yourself getting along with them or see them taking the day off or being pleasant for a change then go forth and be great. I know life is not all fairy tales and smooth sailing, there are definitely rocky roads and obstacles and when you are in the thick of it navigating through it can be tough; It can be hard to see that perfect ending but take a second to take yourself out of the storm and analyze the situation. Look at the situation as if it were happening to a friend and think about the advice you would give them to correct or cope with the circumstance.
When you are able to do that you are flying higher than weather.
Happy Friday it’s almost time to put that 9-5 up on the shelf and just enjoy yourself!
Words to live by from Ky!
Ky is the BEB photographer and regular blogger.
Photo credit: Kyeisha Kelly

Happy Easter: God, Spirituality and Me

HappyEaster_thumb3Growing up, I was a once-a-year church-goer — I only went to church on Easter Sunday and on a very rare Christmas Eve. The day consisted of a trip to church, followed by a great family meal and candy; it was just like Thanksgiving, except with church. It was fine by me, after all it was only an hour (Catholic service was exactly an hour; no more no less) and I had a new outfit, so all was good. It wasn’t until I got older and we no longer had to go that I started to question this behavior. As is turned out, my Dad, who is more of a spiritual man and never subscribed to any one religion, did not want to force any religion on us. My Mom, who was raised in the church and went regularly, agreed but still wanted us to be exposed so we could have some sort of understanding about religion. But all in all we were left to find our own way. Religion was never discussed unless we had questions. The idea was to allow a religion to find us, or for us to find a religion that we believed in and that we could relate to.

It wasn’t until my 30’s that I really started to think about religion and what it meant to me. I was still so lost because there are so many religions, but they all seem to worship the same God (just with a different name). The Bible can be interpreted in a million different ways; after all it is a book of stories and each person can take something different from it. I never felt like it was necessary to visit a church to worship the Lord. I did believe in God, just not the image that, to me, seems forced on us. So much about the church seemed hypocritical  — from the Catholic Church sex scandals to the Baptist Church’s financial controversies ranging from preachers running off with the congregation’s money to pastors spending extravagantly while their parishioners struggled to feed their families. A church could be everything from an extravagant 100 year old plus Cathedral to a dusty basement apartment. It just didn’t seem right and I didn’t want any parts of it, so I just ignored it and walked my own path of righteousness.

But I was feeling incomplete and I still had many questions. I lived a life that I believed to be righteous, but I wouldn’t consider myself as God fearing  — I mean, after all, I didn’t fear God. Why should I? I was always taught that God was a kind and gentle God, a forgiving and loving God. What does that term “God fearing” even mean? In my quest for wholeness I discovered spirituality. I came to the conclusion that I am a living spirit having a human experience. Years ago when I was having my home blessed, the Bishop asked me what was my idea of God. No one ever asked me that, but surprisingly the answer just came to me and my answer was that I believed there was not just one God, but that there were many and that they all served a different purpose. I read it somewhere and it sounded good, so I went with it. Many years later, I found myself thinking about it again and I came to a different conclusion — there is just one God, one being, and it is the universe: everything around us, regardless of if we can see, touch, taste, smell or hear it, it was there and it was God. My idea of God is that we are all cells living in the body of God. Maybe I am in the arm, maybe the foot, but I am in there living, breathing, working and helping supply life to the universe.

With this new found understanding of who I am and what my relationship to God is, I realized that everyone has a choice in this life to either be a healthy productive cell that works with all the cells around it in an effort to keep the body healthy, vibrant and alive, or you can be a cancerous, destructive cell that infects all the cells around it and creates a diseased and dying environment. And with this understanding, I walk through life free to be me. I still don’t go to church; my world is my church. But today, like every day, I will celebrate family, life and love, and my hope is that you will do that same.

Happy Sunday and Happy Easter to you!

Words to live by from Ky

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Don’t be afraid of your feelings…

African-American-Woman-Crying-Tears-sylvia-browder“Sometimes the girl who’s always been there for everyone else needs someone to be there for her.” ~Author unknown

You don’t go tell White people nothing” is a study about African American women and depression and how seeking treatment is influenced by racism, violence, and social context.

As I was coming to the end of my classes for my PhD and getting ready to start my dissertation, I was really excited about the topic I chose, strength of African American women with depression. Little did I know, I would learn more about this topic than I expected. As time passed and I took breaks from school to deal with family issues, I became one of the subjects I wished to study.

According to a number of studies, depression was found to be a stigma among the African American community. Because black women are taught to be strong, many having no other choice, depression is seen as the women being either weak, crazy, or even seen as being made up. There are a number of reasons why African American women continue to suffer from depression without seeking help. These reasons range from embarrassment to lack of medical coverage and finances.

There’s a plethora of black women who have witnessed their mother struggling to take care of the family, many whom were single mothers, never breaking down or seemingly always having it together. This is not to say she was perfectly fine. It could be that she never said anything because she had no choice but to be strong. This trend has been shown to trickle down many times over. Black women tend to find their own coping methods for dealing with their depression, but these methods are not always effective. Not seeking help and trying to deal with this illness on your own can result in not only the deterioration of ones health, but also contribute to our children’s lack of understanding about their own emotional distraction. Hence, the cycle continues.

Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, many black women tend to deal with this disease on their own, never seeking help. Those that are courageous enough to seek help often hide this from family and friends. Counseling or therapy is one thing, but adding medication into the mix is a whole other issue that many black women consider to be a no, no.

Even today, depression among African American women, and treatment, remain to be an uncharted or nonessential issue. Although there has recently been a little more light shed on this topic. Nia Hamm wrote an article in the Huffington Post about black women and depression, and the lack of treatment. It is incredible that even in 2015, black women are the least likely group to seek treatment. Teri Williams, an African American publicist and author, in her book, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, gives us an in-depth view to her struggle with depression, and reasons why black women hide this illness.

Before two years ago I never thought that I would face the dark places of depression, but when I lost the most influential person in my life, that all changed. However, I was not afraid, nor ashamed, to seek help. This was mainly due to the fact that I had already read many studies about this issue for my research, and became quite familiar with the consequences of not getting help. Like many black women, I was never taught about or saw depression growing up. During my grieving, I learned to understand my feelings. It really wasn’t until the second year of my loss that I had become my own study. When I realized that I felt like I was in a dark place, wanting to stay in bed, crying instantly and out of nowhere, I went for help. At first I spoke to my primary doctor where I had my first major melt down. I believe that pursing help was the best thing I could have done.

Please know that depression doesn’t make you a weak person, it doesn’t mean that you are crazy, and it is something you should not be ashamed of. Depression IS another struggle that we as black women have to deal with. As an African American community, we need to become more familiar with depression, and teach our sisters and daughters about this debilitating disease. Sometimes knowing that you have people in your corner who understand, or try to understand, can make it a little bit easier. I have a number of friends who are on antidepressants for one reason or another. We help each other and we allow one another to be in their moment while each of us stand by their side. The misconception is that you can deal with this thing alone. By having others by your side, and with treatment, you can be pulled out of that dark place. Sometimes letting someone know could save your life.

Be Blessed

Fatimha Love, MS is a motivational speaker and ABD for her PhD.

“Scars tell the story of where you’ve been, They don’t dictate where you’re going.” ~ Author Unknown

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Wednesday Wisdom: SexEd 101

how_babies_are_made_someecardI will never forget the time I was on a family vacation and my 5 year old daughter saw a pregnant woman and asked, “How did the baby get into her belly?” I gave a very clinical answer that went something like, “The Daddy gives the Mommy something called sperm, and then the eggs that are inside of Mommy’s stomach join with the sperm and form the baby that starts to grow.” I thought I was done and then she asked, “Well how does the Daddy give the sperm to the Mommy? (and gestured to put something in her mouth) Does she eat it?” I was not ready to have any type of sex talk at that moment and especially with a 5 year old. I said not exactly and then I was saved by the bell when the rest of the family came back and she forgot about it and she never asked again. I was off the hook for the time being.

A few years later, it seems like there is an unrelenting fascination with sex and it is everywhere I go. With every media outlet I come across, sex is the topic, and not a good, healthy education about sex either. On prime time television, it is rough, angry, I am going to rip you apart and you will love it sex. On the radio, it is polyamorous, bring all your friends and them because I am the freak of the week and I have an asshole that tastes like cupcakes sex. On the news it is all gang rapes and horrendous sexual violations. Hell, I can’t even watch an episode of Family Feud with my daughters without the word sex or some vague eyebrow raising reference of a sex act mentioned. There is no escaping it and I don’t see it changing anytime soon, and now I think it is time to start the talk but how to you broach the topic? At what point in your child’s life do you think is the right time? What signs should you look for? Do you wait for them to ask questions? Sex talk and references are everywhere. Do you try to avoid certain things to protect them or use that unwanted exposure as a teaching tool? Tell us what you think. Here are some words of wisdom from our BEBs:

  • “We had sex ed in 5th grade in MD. I recall the teacher (Ms. Adewale…yes, I still remember!) asking us to write our questions down anonymously and placing them in a jar so we wouldn’t be afraid to ask ANYTHING.” ~ Allison Y.
  • “I have no children, but I would probably discuss it at 11 or 12. It seems that children are far more sexually knowledgeable and advanced these days with media, internet so the conversation needs to happen a lot sooner, I think.” ~ Monica M.
  • “Well if I have to throw an age out there, I think 10 is good age. Unfortunately my kids were exposed at young ages by inappropriate information from other children so I had no choice but to explain things to them correctly. But most of our conversations on the matter stem from issues that arise in the media or occurrences in their everyday lives. Having classmates with same-sex parents, gay rights issues, advertisements, etc. leads them to ask questions so then I have to educate them on the whole gamut…heterosexual sex, homosexual sex, all kinds of reproduction, you name it. I am more explicit with the older child as I try to give out the information in an age appropriate fashion. Most importantly, I’m as candid as I can be and try to keep the lines of communication open so they aren’t afraid to ask questions. Also my dad made me watch The Miracle of Life at age 10 (5th grade) and think I remember getting sex ed in school around 5th/6th grade.”  ~ Kia M.
  • “Ky, this is great because I am faced with this now with my 9 year old daughter. She keeps talking about this one boy and I’m like, “I’m not ready!” I have only discussed the inappropriate touching with her and not sex per se but she is aware because of media and she caught Daddy and I once (oh the horror!) I need age appropriate language to use with her.” ~ Ayeisha M.
  • “In my opinion, there really is no “right age.” As you noted, you can’t escape the exposure; don’t try. Whatever age a child begins to notice, ask questions and demonstrate any awareness is the “right stage” to discuss it. And the discussion that follows should of course be “age appropriate.” I remember when my son was 5 or 6. I was picking him up from school after a school trip. As we went on telling me about his day, he told me about a boy on the bus who kept air humping behind girl’s butts. He thought it was HILARIOUS! So, I just asked him, “Do you know what that action means?” He said, “Yes!” and busted out laughing. I just smiled and said, “Tell me what it means.” “It means he is ‘doing it’ to her butt,” he laughs. I chuckled and said,  “I can see how you find that funny, but what if someone was doing that to me, how would you feel?” He didn’t think THAT was funny. I used it as an opportunity to discuss the proper ways of treating women.” ~ Davida M.
  • “I’m having that talk early. These kids are advanced now.” ~ Roxanne C.
  • “I completely agree with all that was stated above. There are a few factors to consider; the meat and potatoes conversation should be had no later than 3-5 years BEFORE you think your child would ever consider having sex. (They usually start before you thought they would.) For my children, we had the discussion at 10ish. I think environment plays a big role — we have not had the “official” talk with my 11 year old son. We’ll deal with it this summer, after we get him to remember to put his underwear in the hamper. When they were early elementary age — I gave them simple, short and sweet answers to their questions. I didn’t want to get ahead of them and I certainly didn’t want them to be “those” kids who gave out demonstrations on the proper way to put on a condom. Creating an environment of open, honest discussion is paramount to communicating with your children.  A “no judgement” zone is a must. When I finally presented the information, it was in a comprehensive manner which included family values, risks, STI/STDs, considerations, and we spent a lot of time talking about “the right time.” One should never feel pressured and just for an extra dose of caution, “look at each potential partner as if this person might end up the mother/father of your child. How will you feel about having to co-parent with this person?” I stressed quality over quantity. Hope this helps!” ~ Anonymous

Ky is the BEB Photographer and author of the Happy Friday Series.

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Wednesday Wisdom: Blessed is ________________.

Wednesday has always been a day of reflection, better known as Hump Day. It is a day to reflect on what you have or have not accomplished this week and also on what you want to accomplish before the week is over. It is a day that you solidify plans for the coming weekend and laugh about the funny things that happened in the weekend that passed.

For this reason, I thought Wednesday would be the perfect day to share a weekly series called Wednesday Wisdom. It is intended to be a group post where you can hear from all or most of our members. We would also love for you to join us and post your blessings also.

To kick off our weekly series I want to rejoice in our blessings this week. They come in all forms and are considered anything in your life that brings you great Joy, Love, Abundance, Hope, Faith, Inspiration and so on.

We hope that you enjoy reading our blessings and it helps you find and appreciate yours.

Blessed is waking up every morning next to the man I love. ~ Mica S.

 Blessed is having the vision and the faith in oneself to see something you love come to fruition. ~ Moni C.

 Blessed is the feeling I have every day of my life! #iamthankful ~ Allison Y.

 Blessed is finding the most amazing pair of shoes and realizing they are on sale! ~  Moni C.

Blessed is cooking dinner for my family as I listen to my daughter practice her flute. ~ Kyiesha K.

Blessed is having friends that make you laugh during stressful times. ~ Neesha W.

Blessed is living out your dreams. ~ Ayisha E.

Blessed is being loved flaws and all. ~ Mica S.

Blessed is loving what you do and doing what you love. ~ Kyiesha K.

Blessed is being a first time mom at 42 and loving every moment. ~ Roxanne C.

Blessed is smiling through the struggle and seeing the pay-off in your children. ~  Rashieda B.  

Blessed is taking a moment to enjoy the journey of life. ~ Mica S.

Blessed is having a partner who is not only a husband but your best friend. ~ Neesha W.

Blessed is knowing your purpose and fulfilling that throughout your lifetime. ~ Kia M.

Blessed is being able to still fit into jeans you’ve had for 5 years. ~ Rashieda B.

Blessed is having wonderful family and friends. ~ Ayisha E.

Blessed is coming home after a long hard day at work and having your little man waiting up for you to put him asleep.

~ Roxanne C.

Blessed is being a first time mom at 42 and loving every moment. ~ Roxanne C.

Blessed is having friends that can make you laugh until you can’t speak, or breathe! ~ Kyiesha K.

Blessed is knowing that your life has purpose, and living in the realization of that purpose daily! ~ Davida M.

Blessed is knowing that God takes care of it all. ~ Ayisha E. 

Please join us by posting your blessings below!

Until we see you on Friday

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Ky is the BEB Photographer and author of the Happy Friday Series.

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Happy Friday: Window of Opportunity

woman-looking-out-a-windowAs I left the house this morning, I thought about the fact that if I leave the house before a certain time to take my daughter to school we will be too early and the school won’t be open. If I leave the house after a certain time, I get caught behind school buses, garbage trucks, double parked cars, construction, changes in traffic light patterns; anything and everything to slow us down and we are late. It occurred to me that we have a window of opportunity for success (in this case success is getting to school on time with two girls that are the farthest thing from morning people, WINNING!!!), and it is about 10 minutes. If you think about it, everything in life has a window of opportunity — every move you make determines where you will be in the near or distant future. Think about the major events in your life and what created them. There was a window, and if you had moved in a different direction things might be drastically different. Don’t fret though, you have to learn to live with regrets too. No worries, you made some great decisions along the way.

So as you take this journey called life, ALWAYS  make plans with a definite and intentional outcome in mind and move towards them with confidence; knowing, that it belongs to you and once you get it, ‘Babeeeee’ (in my Monique voice) everyone around you will prosper right along with you. Give thanks for your vision and don’t worry, be happy!

Move through your day today alert and awake, paying attention because there is a window open somewhere waiting for you to turn that bitch into a door. Strike! Because that iron is not going to be hot forever!

Happy Friday! Mwahhhhhh

Words to live by from Ky

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