Category Archives: inspirational

Starting From NOW: Recovering from setbacks


Let’s see if I can write this post without crying. I was running along at first half the year 2012 like a young gazelle in the African savanna. I was making moves. Big ones. I had plans to take this blog and my design business to a whole other level. Then it was as if someone came along with a poison dart blower and shot me in the butt. In an instant I was down. The pain of my heartaches was almost unbearable. Staggering and woozy, I spent the latter half of the year playing catch up to my dreams.

2012 stretched me in ways beyond what I could have ever imagined. Husband hospitalized twice due to a chronic illness. Baby son had a terrifying accident and had to be rushed to the hospital. Mother and two uncles and husband’s grandmother passed away within months of each other (Actually, grandma died three days before mom, two funerals in the same week.). Went through the stress of buying our first home. Gained new friends, lost others. Throw in some of the normal stresses of life, and what do you have? A recipe for a breakdown, perhaps? No, what you have is an opportunity to claim victory! Why? Because I made it. I’m stronger, I’m wiser, I’m better, much better (If I can steal a line from Marvin Sapp).    
Starting from NOW
How do you pick up the pieces of your life? For me, it started with the decision that quitting was not an option. In this moment of “NOW”, I may not be at the momentum I want, but I can at least make a step.(How do you climb a mountain…one step at a time.) I can get up in the morning and thank God for another day. I could ask for guidance and grace. Regardless of what your situation may look like, keep reminding yourself that there is greatness in you. Every action you take reveals just a little bit more of that greatness.
Make yourself accountable. You cannot seize the moment of your “NOW” without being accountable. When I first started Love Your Naps, I had no clue about blogging or how much work it would be. All I knew was that I was having success with my natural hair and I wanted to inspire others to do the same. I also knew that in order to stay natural I needed accountably.  It became too easy for me to just throw on a wig if I was having a bad hair day. However, every day should not be a bad hair day. I had to make a decision to confront my hair and deal with it on a daily basis. I am accountable to myself to make sure my hair looks nice and I’m accountable to my online community.
What’s New?
Love Your Naps is about self-discovery. It’s about falling in love with our hair and ourselves. We plan to deliver content that makes us feel good. More color, more positivity, more enlightenment, more styles and trends. Be on the lookout for a new look and some awesome projects that we are cooking up. Come along for the ride. Subscribe and stay connected. We also want to hear from you. What would you like to see more of this year from Love Your Naps? (Please comment below.)
And no, I couldn’t get through this post without crying. However, I can end it with a smile. I’ve learned to take life one day at time. I am full of hope and faith. I know if God has carried me this far, he will see this through to end. So take the first step, whether in your career, hair goals, personal development, recovering from a bad relationship, etc. Start from your “NOW”, whatever it looks like.
What steps are you taking to start at “NOW”? Please share in the comments below.
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On Natural Celeb Janet Hubert, Gossip, Wendy and Whitney

“Hey! That’s the mom from the Fresh Prince!” Those were my first thoughts when I ran across this story about Janet Hubert’s open letter to Wendy Williams which called her out for being a bully to Whitney Houston over the years and other celebrities as well. Her letter to Wendy states, “How do you sleep at night knowing that you are one of the biggest bullies in the world disguised as HOT TOPICS? Celebrities are not topics we are people, just like everyone else, we hurt and we hear and we bleed real blood, not fake blood, just as you do.”

My second thought was, “Hmmm, wasn’t Janet Hubert just in the media for negative comments about Will Smith and how she was not going to attend the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion?” But, I digress…Ms. Hubert has been receiving both praise and backlash for her comments in the letter. Many have questioned her motives for writing the letter. I don’t know what Janet Hubert’s motives are. This story has certainly gotten my attention for two reasons. For one, she is a beautiful, dark-skinned (yea, I said it), middle-aged African-American natural beauty who is WORKING IT! As an actor, mother, entrepreneur and out-spoken naturalista, Janet is a woman after my own heart. This blog praises that. The second reason this story caught my attention is the issue of gossip and negativity in our society (especially amongst women) which must be addressed.

Source

Somewhere along the way in our society, our moral compass has taken us off-course, and we feel that gossip and slander is okay. Not only is gossip okay, it’s also okay to money off of it. Gossip is defined as: “idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.” Idle is defined as: “of no real worth, importance, or significance.” So, one might conclude that gossip has no real worth, importance or significance, and therefore we should not waste our time indulging in it. Don’t get me wrong, we are humans and gossip is very titillating. The Wendy Williams Show, TMZ and the like can be very entertaining at times. Plus, sometimes it’s hard to resist listening to a good, juicy, “Girl, did you hear____?”

In my post, What Whitney, Michael and Don Remind Us, I touched on the fact that celebrities are robbed of process of dealing with one’s issues to create inner healing. This process of inner healing is a private process which cannot be done in the public-eye. We, the public do not allow celebrities the opportunity to adequately deal with life situations when it’s plastered on the front page of the Enquirer or discussed irreverently on gossip talk shows.

Janet Hubert is on point with her observations. She states in the letter,

“We need to stop, and the world needs to stop. I need to stop as well. There will be no more quotes from me to be misquoted.” Good for you, Janet!

She also asked the question, “Where are my sisters out there who feel as I do?” I’m waving and screaming, “Over here! Over here!” To paraphrase the Bible, in Romans 14:19, “Let us do and say things that will bring peace and harmony. Let us seek to build each other up not tear one another down.” No one is perfect, and we may not get it 100% right. But, the next time we come in contact with a piece of information about someone let’s think about whether not sharing it will add any value or will it just tear them down.

Please share your thoughts.

Three Principles for Embracing Martin’s Dream

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

-Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream, 1963.

Finally. I get a day off work. I get time to spend with my family, maybe do a little shopping, watch some TV, and just bum around. That’s what most people do on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. While there will still be some of that, I decided to make today a day of reflection. How far have we come in the last 50 years since the “I Have a Dream” speech? By comparison of then and now, Blacks and minorities today are doing more than they have ever done. We have our own homes, businesses and even the United States presidency. Yet, thre are still inequalities and injustices everywhere you turn. I want to take three principles from Dr. King’s speech that I feel will help us make his dream a reality.


The Tranquility of Gradualism
1. “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened in the 1970s and 80s. Many Blacks became apathetic toward the civil rights movement and satisfied with minor victories against social injustice. After King’s death, we went from a state of activism to gradualism, accepting minor reforms as they came. Throwing a program at a community ridden with poverty and violence is like putting band aid on a stab wound. We have allowed the current welfare system to rob us of our dignity, self-worth and passion. King advocated that all would have access to the American Dream which is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In many ghettos across America that pursuit of happiness turned into pursuit of the materialistic. “By any means necessary” as quoted by Malcolm X, turned killing your brother in order to gain respect or robbing your grandmother to feed to your addiction. Let us do away with the gradualism that nullifies our soul and resurrect the passion of change deep within.

A Return to Dignity and Discipline
2. “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”

When injustice occurs there always the propensity to become angry and that anger often results in violence, hatred or bitterness. In the struggle, we must maintain our dignity and self-respect.  Furthermore, discipline for the journey ahead is necessary to secure to victory. We can’t cry injustice were there is no discipline. We must stay focused and consistent even in the face of adversity.
“The Greatest of These is Love” (1 Cor. 13:13)
3. “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

Above all, we must commit to love each other and all God’s creation. We must not become so bitter that we cannot reach across racial lines to work with and help our brother. Martin’s dream was not just that we would have Black-owned this and that, but that we would be able to work alongside other races for the common good.  We need to appreciate the diversity of humanity and the diversity within the Black race. Therefore, we should stop pointing out the differences in skin color, eye color, hair texture etc. Let us embrace Dr. King’s dream to judge one another by the content of our character and not our appearance. 

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At Peace with Self for the Holidays

The holidays can do one of two things in our life. They can give us a warm fuzzy feeling as we connect with family and friends while extending generosity to others. Or, the holidays can remind us of the situations and circumstances that can make our lives miserable. Perhaps, you have lost a job, or a loved one. Maybe your kids are acting crazy, or you are waiting for a spouse or your car got towed. And to top things off, your hair is doing crazy and unexpected things… Maybe it’s just a matter of not being satisfied with where you are in life right now. You have dreams and visions, but you just can’t seem to get a break. Trust me, I know the feeling! It can be overwhelming at times. We either respond with gratitude or we shut down emotionally.


Self 
Your self is comprised of all the things that make you who you are. It is comprised of your body, mind, thoughts, emotions, desires–basically everything pertaining to you. When situations arise, self is the first one to react and sometimes the last one to let go. Even after the storm has calmed, our self is still not satisfied. Part of being at peace with self is being satisfied with what was and what is. It’s about having gratitude for life.

Taking care of self
A good friend of mine called me the other day and asked, “When’s the last time you did something just for your self?” I was like, “Ummmmm…” It’s so easy, especially during the hustle and bustle of the holidays to neglect self. We sometimes feel like “self” activities, like pampering, eating healthy, exercising or just doing things by yourself, are a waste of time. What we fail to realize is that when self is neglected, it will eventually begin to shut down. Your body will react with health issues, fatigue, skin and hair issues. Your mind and emotions will react with poor concentration, moodiness, depression and low self-esteem. Neglecting self will cause you to not be able to effectively care for the people who depend on you or execute the things you endeavor.

At peace
So, at the end of the day, when the festivities are over and you are alone with self, it’s important to release the good and the bad. It’s important to release and move on because tomorrow is a new day. In everything give thanks. Choose to be at peace.