Friday, January 1, 2016

Be The Change: Why my New Year's resolution will be the same every year.

The end of every year unites humans all over the world.  Reflection.  There is something about a fresh start that sparks deep reflection among mankind.  The final weeks of every year not only bring celebrations, home-goings, but also self actualization.

What did I do right this year?  What did I do wrong?  What did I learn?  How can I grow?  What do I want to be different?

All questions many find themselves asking then based on the answers, he or she sets a goal, a resolution, for the upcoming year.  The goals range from losing weight, to starting a business, paying off debt, or spending more time with family.  Many anti-resolution individuals have decided not to set a resolution, but instead "will strive to be a better person" in the upcoming year; essentially a goal nonetheless.  I on the other-hand will set the same goal every year from now on.  I will be the change.

To often we are focused on what needs to happen rather than putting energy into changing things.  See, to change the world all we have to do is change ourselves.  After all that is change right?  The change can be subtle or dramatic it all depends on the impact you want to make.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Being Black

Beauty and The Black History Extravaganza

February is Black History Month.  Once a year for the entire month "everyone" celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans or as I prefer the accomplishments of Blacks in this country.  I love this National recognition of my ancestors and I do my best to celebrate this year round.

However this year was different for me.  I wanted to expand one small town's celebration.  In my mind, this was a great idea, and I was completely thrilled at the opportunity.  Of course I have spoken during Black History month numerous times, but this task was different.  This "Black History Extravaganza" would be the "talk of the town".  I planned to expand this program beyond the boundaries of the U.S.  "My Black History Program" would be a full production including food and music from other cultures outside of the U.S.

So when my dream became a reality, my dream was more like a nightmare.  The event was set to take place on a college campus.....a private, Christian campus where black students are few.  To my heartbreak none of the students wanted to participate.  Sure they gave me a solid yes when I initially asked them to participate, but when it came down to it, all of them backed out except four.  With each student that backed out, my soul ached.  My souled weeped.  I did not understand why they would not want to celebrate the lives of those who afforded us the social freedoms we now enjoy.

My aunt, Lottie Bell, dropped out of school in the second grade because she had to start working in the fields.  I grew up in a town where everyone with the same last name as me was white because my last name was the name of my family's former master.  I carry this weight with me daily.  This weight is heavy, but I carry it with pride because I know that freedom is not free.  I carry this load with a smile because I know the value behind the load.  But apparently everyone doesn't, not even aspiring college graduates.

This pain I felt began to swallow me whole.  One night while I was in bed I began to cry from this pain.  It hurt to think that my ancestors blood was being taking in vain by my own.   While in bed I thought about Dr. King, and the journey he took.

I grew up in a town near a place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made several trips.  Sadly though, his final trip there he said he would not return because the people of Albany did not desire the change he wanted to bring.  You see Dr. King in his day disrupted the normalcy of the south.  And not all blacks were thrilled to see him because of that.  Granted I am far from being a Dr. King or any other great civil rights leader, but I can now relate (to some degree) of their inner frustration.  Not everyone is ready now.  Eureka!  Here is where I found my peace.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine's Day Special

Jade Ladson, owner of The Special Occasion, Gives Valentine's Day Advice
Overview: The easiest way to ensure you get what your mate wants is to communicate with them and actually listen to what they say.

Tips for romantic gestures on a budget:
·         Have a romantic picnic at home
o   Spread out a blanket, light a fire, prepare finger foods for your meal, champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries
·         Find a cozy breakfast spot and enjoy a romantic breakfast
o   You beat all the hustle and bustle from the V-Day Dinner Crowd
o   Let us decorate your table with centerpieces, custom menus, flowers, etc.
·         Scavenger Hunt
o   Leave specific clues leading to a romantic destination and each stop along the way has a small token and a clue that gets them closer to the next destination
§  Be creative, work with some of your neighborhood vendors J
·         Romantic Dinner at Home
o   Prepare your favorite dinner earlier in the day, decorate the table, light candles turn on your favorite songs
o   Once he/she comes home go upstairs and get dressed for dinner
o   Come down and have your own waiter/waitress serve you both
§  You can hire local talent to handle this part
·         Buy her flowers {one for each year you’ve been together}
o   Give her these flowers in the morning and at the end of the night give her the missing flower in honor of your next year together

Tips for an upscale romantic affair
·         Give her a private spa day
o   Start with breakfast in bed
o   Once she’s eaten and dressed, she can proceed to another area of the house for her mani/pedi
o   Next bring her back upstairs for a facial and private massage
o   Cuddle in bed with her while watching her favorite movie
·         Hire a private chef to prepare/serve a 4 course meal

For personal advice on what to do for your special someone on Valentine's Day or any other day of the year contact Jade at

Monday, January 14, 2013

Don't Be Scared To Fight

Thought for the Week:  Don't be scared to fight

What are you afraid of in life?  For many years I was afraid to be myself.  I am not exactly sure where this fear stemmed from, but it took over my life at some point.  And what I mean by it took over is that it disabled my destiny.  I was not living my purpose.  This made me extremely unhappy, so I began doing things to fill that void….unhealthy things.  However, no matter what I did, nothing made me happy or filled the void.  After a brush with the law I decided I could no longer live my life for other people’s happiness.  I could not afford (mentally afford) to be afraid to live my life.
I wanted to move and write.  Leaving the small town I grew up in was always a dream of mine.  However, whenever I mention moving I would allow people to talk me out of it for one reason or another.  Now do not misunderstand, I love my hometown; it’s just not the place for me to live my entire life. 
Another dream of mine was to become a writer.  For as long as I can remember I enjoyed writing.  First one act plays, then short stories, then later in life I began writing poems.  Unfortunately, becoming a writer was not something I was able to foresee considering my circumstances.  This all changed when I saw the advertisements for the motion picture, The Secret Life of The Bees.  The author of the book, Sue Monk Kidd, was from my hometown.  I thought if she can do, then so can I!
You cannot live your life afraid to live it. After all you only have one...maximize it!

When someone tries to kill your happy, give him/her a fight! I'm talking about tape up your fist, remove your earring, pull your hair back, rub on some Vaseline, look the challenge in the eye and say "Let's Go!!" Men put on your war paint, pick up your sphere, let out your battle cry, and run full speed towards the beast! Be fearless in your fight! Kill the naysayers, happy stealers, and dream crushers!! They have no place in your life! You have no space for them! This is your life, fight for it!
This week I DARE you to be BOLD and FEARLESS!  This week I dare you to chase your dreams!  Make your dreams a reality!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Everyone Gets Sad

It’s Okay To Be Sad Sometime
I have days when I am sad, I think most people have days like that.  Even though we all have our sad moments or days, society leads you to believe there’s something wrong with it.  Believing this myth I would force myself to pretend to feel a way I did not feel.  I would smother my sadness….force it back down.  I can no longer do that in 2013.  By smothering my sadness it never truly went away, instead it began to fester.  I've heard many individuals say that happiness is a choice.  This is a bittersweet statement in my opinion.  It basically says that if you’re sad it’s by choice, but it’s not that black and white.  Yes happiness is a choice, but how do you make that choice….how do you heal?
What do I have to do to become a happier person?  That’s the million dollar question!  Here are my thoughts.
First, I have to acknowledge that my pain/sadness exists.  Ignoring it will not make it disappear.  Secondly, I have to come to the realization that though it exists, it does not have a place in my future.  There is a reason this womb did not heal, so lastly I have to make peace with my sadness/pain.  So whatever is keeping me sad I have to find a way to resolve it and make peace.  This will not necessarily be an easy thing to do, but it MUST BE DONE.  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Theme for 2013

Theme for 2013: Go Get It!!!
I’m a reality TV junkie.  Granted it’s not really reality, still it’s my thing; I love it! Don’t judge me.  So while enjoying my guilty pleasure I decided to treat myself to a few episodes of Mary Mary via iTunes.  While watching the show, I heard their latest single “Go Get It”.  Yes, I've heard the song before, but this time it was different…it was like hearing it for the very first time.  My entire body woke up!  It was like a fire began blazing inside (the good kind).  Every year I find a song to inspire me, and instantly I knew this was my theme song for 2013…Go Get It!

2013 is a new year which means new opportunities.  I love new opportunities!  New chances to right wrongs, new experiences to build character, and new chances to accomplish your goals…turn your dreams into reality!  2013 is a time to become a Proactive person!  Yes my God can move mountains, but I at least need to push on the mountain.  Be proactive!  The only way you will not achieve your dream is if you quit trying.  December 31, 2012 is the time for you make your bucket list…yes physically write it down.  Study your list.  Then choose your first task/goal and write out the steps necessary to accomplish the goal/task.  Be proactive!

2013 is also a time to let go of negative things/ways and negative people.  It’s time to quit putting off for tomorrow what you can do today.  People say let your haters be your motivators.  Well I say let those “motivators” motivate you from outside the circle.  Negativity could also include grudges and feelings of hatred.  Forgiveness is not for the person who hurt or crossed you, but forgiveness is for you.  Forgive those individuals so you can have a clear heart and mind.  You have goals to accomplish; you can no longer carry that negativity with you.

2013 is a time to not only sow seeds, but to bring them in to harvest as well.  We are done making excuses!  We are done being afraid!  We are done with everything keeping us from reaching our full potential!  Like the song says, "It's your time!"


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happily Ever After Club

The “Happily Ever After” Club:
How to Make Your Last
Nearly fifty percent of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.  According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers the most common reason for divorce is a “lack of commitment to the marriage.”  Here are 8 things to keep you and your spouse out of divorce court and committed to your marriage.
Key 1: Courtship:  Too often couples believe that once they have said “I Do” there is no longer a need to date.  This is not true.   It is not uncommon for couples to spend very little time alone together on weekly bases. Courting your spouse at least twice a month will help put your marriage back on track or keep the fire of love burning strong. 
                 Dating will give you and your spouse other precious alone time to reminisce on old times, pondering on things to come, and bask in the love you feel today.  After all marriage vows (traditional vows) “forsaking all others.” So give each other the undivided attention that is deserved.
Key 2: Stills:  All of the things you did special for the other when you were dating, continue to do after you’re married are the “stills.”
                If you used to write love letters to your spouse continue writing them now.  If you use to send flowers or just make the “I was just thinking about you calls” continue doing it now.  All of these things are a form of affection.  Frequently displaying love and affection will certainly keep the flames blazing in your marriage.
Key 3: Friendship: Marriage does not automatically mean you and your spouse are friends.  However, friendship is a vital element any lasting marriage.  Friendships, commonly, are the longest lasting relationships we establish outside of family.
                Friendship, like marriage, is a relationship of choice.  Also, like marriage, the friendship will last if you both contribute to the relationship.  I am not saying that your spouse should be your only friend, but he or she should be on the list.
Key 4: Compromise: Marriage is not a game of “Tug of War.”  Think about the game, Tug of War.  Two sides pull and pull at each other until one side has been drug through the mud.  Why would you pull at your spouse until he or she has been drug through the mud? 
                Compromising does not make you less of a man or a fool of a woman.  Compromise shows confidence and maturity.  So what if you only hang with your buddies once a week?  If they are “true” friends they will understand that your family is top priority.  And remember making certain decisions because you are a prideful person generally means you are only thinking about yourself.  Marriage is not about keeping score or winning the arguments.  If you want to win at something, how about winning by making your marriage work?  What’s a bigger prize than having a lasting marriage with the person you love the most?
Key 5: Be Grownups: Being an adult does not automatically enter you in the grownups club.  Immature actions and thoughts separate the two.  A common immature action in marriage is to say or do something hurtful simply out of spite.  You hurt me so I am going to hurt you back.  Holding a grudge is also an immature action.  That way of thinking is completely childish.
                As a married grownup you know your marriage is top priority, point blank, period!  Immature actions cannot exist in a healthy marriage.  Let’s all be grownups in our marriage. 
Key 6: Respect:  On your job you show clients/customers, colleagues, and your boss respect.  When tempers are flaring and voices are starting to get loud; are you still respectful to your spouse?  Simply saying I was mad then does not justify nor excuse your actions.
                Frustration, like the interest rate on a loan, is one of those things you could do without but unfortunately comes as part of the marriage package.  In fact you should expect to get frustrated at times.  However, frustration is no excuse for being disrespectful.  Perhaps some of you or your spouse’s actions are a little different now than when you were dating, but that can be expected.  It’s okay that you’re a little more “yourself” now; after all there is a certain comfort that comes with marriage.  Accompanying that comfort though, should be mutual respect.
Key 7: Communication: Simply yelling and using profane language is not communication.  Marriage is hard work which includes having the tough conversations.  Communication is not only about talking, but it’s about listening as well.
                When something is putting a wedge between you and your spouse you have to both talk and listen.  Selfish, foolish, immaturity, and pride all have to be checked at the door in order for communication to be effective.  Both sides have to be heard.  Remember the key is to be honest not hurtful.  Being hurtful will hinder future attempts to communicate.  This ultimately damages your marriage.
Key 8: God:  God has a place in all our lives.  His wisdom exudes our own.  God is the first guidance you should seek when trouble arises in your marriage.  Consulting with family members and friends about your marital problems is a bad idea.  After you and your spouse have reconciled your family members and friends will still mad at him or her.
                 “A family that prays together stays together.”  It may sound cliché but it is so true.  Falling down on your knees and crying out to God will do more for your marriage than you could have ever imagined.
                Marriage from the moment “I Do’s” are exchanged is hard work.  Many are surprised at the amount of work it takes daily to make his or her marriage last.  However, as a devoted and committed spouse, the required work is worth a lasting marriage.  Incorporating these 8 keys into your marriage will help you and your spouse celebrate many decades of wedded bliss.