“Love Yourself” Susan L. Taylor

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I began my subscription to Essence Magazine whenI was 15.  This was at a time when there was no real way of checking if you were old enough to take on that responsibility.  I so looked forward to receiving my monthly copy, just so I can read what the Editor in Chief had to say.  I remember looking at her photo and seeing a Black Goddess.  Her long cornrows, going straight down her back.  The “Essence” of Black Beauty.  Susan L. Taylor, a journalism beast! Susan L. Taylor (born January 23, 1946) is an American editor, writer, and journalist. She served as editor-in-chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000. In 1994, American Libraries referred to Taylor as “the most influential black woman in journalism today”.

Susan Leaves Essence Magazine

“I will be leaving Essence to do what at this juncture in my life has become a larger work for me—building the National Cares Mentoring Movement, which I founded as Essence Cares and today is my deepest passion.”
–Susan L. Taylor, December 28, 2007)

When Ms. Taylor left Essence Magazine, I was devastated.  I sat in disbelief as I read her letter.  Who was going to be my source of inspiration?  see Susan had become my “Judy Blume” at a time when I was not only coming into my womanhood but also my awareness of who I was becoming as a Black Woman.  I grew up in the era of “Black Power” as a child of the ’70’s.  The images of “Black Is Beautiful” was overshadowed by my generation’s need to be all that we can be as an African-American Community, breaking free (or so we thought) from segregation and enjoying the freedoms established by the Civil rights Movement.  Susan, in my eyes, represented the images of the ’70’s, the breaking of barriers, my mirror.   The magazine was never the same.  I let my subscription lapse.  In New York Times article, dated December 28, 2007, it lists all of her accomplishments, especially the reason why she left the magazine- to pursue her desire and passion for helping disadvantaged children.  She is an avid supporter of a host of organizations dedicated to moving the Black community forward. Her passion and focus are on creating equity in education and turning around the nation’s failing schools, which, she says are “the pipeline to prison.” Susan founded the CARES Mentoring Organization to address these issues, that plagues the Black Community.

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So this Women’s Month and International Women’s Day I celebrate Susan L. Taylor! #BeBoldForChange

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BeyGoals- Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

“Historically, black women’s bodies have been utterly disrespected. We nurtured and fed other race’s children from our breasts. We were raped and bore children for slave masters. And yet, were made ashamed of our bodies, our curves, our blackness…-Adeea Rogers, The TrendySocialite-

 

In this blog post, I want to honor one of the strongest Black Female Artist of this generation.  Say what you want about Beyonce, but even fellow female artist Adele, had to give respect where respect is due.  During her Grammy Award acceptance speech, she stated: “…the way that you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering.”  She (Adele) was talking about the Album “Lemonade”.  I have to admit that, indeed that album was by far the best call to the world that Black Women are a force NOT to be reckoned with.  With “Formation” she served notice to ALL that she loves her family exactly as they are… And herself, too. Radical. Self. LOVE.

With that said, Bey came under fire (again) about her Madonna-like image and the display of her very much pregnant body.  So clearly they did not get the message in Lemonade.

Psalm 139:14 says: “I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders -I know this very well. (Complete Jewish Bible Version); the King James Version says “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well..  Either way, Our Creator designed us as Black women so well, that other ethnic groups and race, go through changes to achieve what God gave us naturally.

“Historically, black women’s bodies have been utterly disrespected. We nurtured and fed other race’s children from our breasts. We were raped and bore children for slave masters. And yet, were made ashamed of our bodies, our curves, our blackness.
We were treated as concubines and receptacles for a man’s seed–and frankly, sometimes we still are. Other races are consistently celebrated and heralded for motherhood. Black women are not–definitely not consistently.  
Beyoncé’s performance was a declarative statement. Black women carry and give life beautifully. And that is NOTHING to be ashamed of.
I am a Christian. I am fearfully and wonderfully made–in God’s image. And that includes my blackness. And that includes my femininity. Psalm 139:14 can’t just apply to whom and when you want. I celebrate all the parts of who I am–not just the parts that feed others’ needs or makes them comfortable. *walks away*” –Adeea Rogers of TrendySocialite-

And I concur!

 

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Peacefulness- Day 7 (One Day My Soul Opened Up)

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What do we do when we are stuck in a troubling situation with nowhere to run? Maybe, like the disciples who were stuck in a life-threatening storm, we run to Jesus (Mark 4:35-41). Sometimes, however, we may try to bail ourselves out of trouble by seeking revenge, slandering the one who has caused our problem, or just cowering fearfully in the corner as we sink into despair.

We need to learn from the disciples who fled to Jesus as their only hope. He may not bail us out immediately, but remembering that He is in our boat makes a difference! Thankfully, He is always with us in the storms of life, saying things like “Peace, be still!” (v.39). So, look for Him in your storm and let Him fill you with the peace that comes from knowing He is near.

Lord, teach us to run to You in the midst of trouble.
Forgive us for trying to bail ourselves out, and lead
us to the peace of trusting Your wisdom and ultimate
deliverance. Thank You that You will help us!
Make Jesus your first option when the storms of life threaten you.

 

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Willing to be Creative… Day 5 & 6 (One Day My Soul Just Opened Up)

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Sometimes when on a journey, we become weary because when we look ahead, the end of said journey appears to be unattainable.  I got to day 5 of “One Day my Soul Opened Up” and got stuck.  On what exactly, I am not sure.  But I am continuing this journey because I know what lies ahead and the voice that needs to be heard.

Willingness

“Thy WILL be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven…”  “Whatsoever you loose on Earth,  will be loosed In Heaven, Whatsoever you bound on Earth will be bound in Heaven…” WILLINGNESS… The controlling and directive faculty of the mind that determines consciousness and character. (One Day My Soul Opened Up, Day 5 p. 51).  in 2008 when God asked me to be transparent before His people, I flat out told God NO! My reason was that I was not willing to be vulnerable, to allow people behind my veil, to show a sign of weakness before people who thought I had it all together.  God began to reveal to me my life in a way I had not seen it before.  It was not until August of 2015, that I began to get a glimpse of what was holding me back from my purpose.  I often think of Jesus, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane and in a moment, He asked God the Father “Take this cup from me…Not my will but your will…”  To be willing to do something takes courage.  Jesus Christ was willing to endure all of that pain so that we may have life everlasting.  At the time I was not courageous enough to tell people that I was broken person inside living under the shadows of my childhood.  In one of my previous blogs “Broken Crayons Still Color”  I was reminded that out of my brokenness, God had multiplied something… now I have something to be able to share with others, a truth, a testimony about what is now an empowerment movement, a Women’s Empowerment Movement called Tear the Veil Inc.

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“That word is ‘willing.’ It’s an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations. It’s like a palm tree by the ocean that endures the greatest winds because it knows how to gracefully bend.” -Stephen Kendrick

 

Creativity

The invisible force behind all things seen.  Ponder on that for a moment. In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth… And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the water-Genesis 1:1-2.  The Invisible Force behind all things seen.  That is Creativity defined.  Creativity comes from the inside and then comes out.  It starts with a thought; going back to the Book of Genesis, when God created the Earth, He realized that the Earth He had just created was without form and void..And He moved upon the face of the waters and said ‘Let there be light…And guess what? There was light.  If we are all created in the image of God, ad we have the likeness of God, then we are just as creative as God.  But we fail to tape into that creativity at times because our thoughts are a reflection of our experiences.  What does that mean? I was unwilling to be creative because I was in a broken space. I was not allowing my thoughts and word produce results, because I refused to act on it.  Iyanly Vanzant says the creation process is: Thoughts + Word + Action= Results.  Without those three, there is no result.  Period.

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What are you WILLING to CREATE Today?

 

Coming out of my Comfort Zone

my life and my mind are struggling to line up with my spirit, fighting with the spirit in me to keep me bound (Romans 7).

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The time has come the and the hour is now, that the Father seeks those that will worship Him in Spirit and in TRUTH. John 4:23

Truth… It is the Absolute, that which reveals and is in accord with the will of God as the governing principle of life. -Iyanlya Vanzant.

Truth 1- God is Life, God is Spirit, God is Mind, God is the only power that is in control of life, spirit, and mind.

This has always been a challenge for me, even now as a Woman of God, no longer a “babe in Christ”.  I have always been of the belief that we are put on this Earth to “do”, and then you die.  I was taught that God is this unattainable being, that only the worthy, titled men of God can communicate with.  Growing up Catholic, my spirit never believed that.  I never embraced praying to saints, though I did because that is what I was taught. My spirit knew that it had a direct connection with God the Son. It was not until later in life that I came to realize the true meaning the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. And still, my life and my mind are struggling to line up with my spirit, fighting with the spirit in me to keep me bound (Romans 7).

Truth 2- There is a Godly order to everything in life.

I am exactly where God purposed I should be.  No matter how it looks. A hard pill to swallow.  Especially when things are not going right, or at least in accordance with what I believe is not right in my life.  God has me exactly where He wants me according to His will and purpose for me. Sometimes I believe that, sometimes…

Truth 3- Everybody is born to fulfill a divine purpose and God has given us everything we will ever need to fulfill that purpose.

That was something I was completely unaware of.  Which is why, when the words of “Prophecy” was spoken over my life concerning helping women, and being wealthy, and being in business, it was unthinkable as I scrutinized my life and who and where I was at that time.

CHALLENGE: Learning to live what I know is Truth every day, no matter what I think I see.

What I have come to realize is that I am aware the Truth but I am having a hard time applying the Truth to my life, because my life is not seemingly reflective of what God has predestined for me.  I am learning that there is a process that I must trust. And in trusting that process, I must not waver in what I know is the TRUTH.

I must remember that Everybody is born to fulfill a Divine Purpose, and God has given us everything we need to fulfill that purpose. God Believes in ME!!!!

Removing the Veil, one day at a time.

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One Day My Soul Just Opened Up- Removing the Veil

“It is the kind of insanity that keeps you in a struggle for control of your life and everyone in it.” (p.12 One Day My Soul Just Opened Up)…

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Removing the Veil

I thought I was ready. Perhaps motivated by someone else.  “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” -Matthew 26:41. The poem, written by Gemmia L. Vanvant, daughter of famed life coach Iyanla Vanzant spoke volumes to me.  So much so, I blogged it. Ironically, I had purchased the book in 1998. As I began to read it, I realized that I am in the same cycle, feeling the same way I did almost 20 years later.

When I saw the subject title of the introduction page, I was really excited for that is the slogan for this blog.  I knew God was talking and saying “it is time daughter to step into what I have called you to do, but it starts with you.”  The spirit is willing…As I read the pages, I noticed, that I had highlighted a paragraph that had to have touched my soul back then and is doing the same now.

Insanity

Someone once told me that I need the come out of this “whirlwind”.  I remember being offended…But I never forgot it. what she called a whirlwind, was what Iyanla called “Insanity”. She says in her book, “It is the kind of insanity that keeps you in a struggle for control of your life and everyone in it.” (p.12 One Day My Soul Just Opened Up). This “insanity had me doing things, pushing myself, wanting to do more, be better and get ahead.  She was right. That is what I was doing.  I wanted to be the best at everything.  As a career I am a paralegal. NYU graduate, NALA certified. Not enough.  I went for my advanced certification in Contracts Administration and Management. I am a Liturgical Dancer. So I went and got m Masters and PhD in Religious Fine Arts in Dance. Not enough. I hold a leadership position at my church, took on the responsibility of garment ministry, administration, and at times choreographer. Not enough. In my personal life, I was wife, husband ( I am married by the way), head of household, decision maker, mother, sister, friend, foe, volunteer, helper, PTA Executive Board Member. Not enough. Unfortunately, because I am insane, when I got ahead, when I was better, when I got more, it was still NOT ENOUGH. “The insanity that is being identified here is the kind that made me forget, who walks besides me and who lives inside of me and as a result shut down my soul.  I could not have articulated that any better. I shut down. All of the things I described above, didn’t matter anymore. Nothing mattered. I was in a state of existing, all the while trying to live. A part of me knew that there was something bigger than me waiting to be born. I felt it, kicking, moving… It is time to enter into my  soul. At last!

The Exodus Journey

I am ready to come out of this. To truly open up my soul so that I what it is is God needs to use me for, I am ready. As I journey to remove the veil, I will hold on to what the Spirit of the Lord has been compelling me to do, the “thing” that people see in me that I am struggling to see in myself.  Laughing at times at how God Himself is showing me “ME”, and I am still questioning the calling. My soul shut down, but it is about to open up.

I will “Remain Open. For there is truly something bigger than I know going on.”

 

On the journey to “Tear The Veil.” 40 days to a Brand new me.

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The Unveiling Begins- Beautiful Black Butterflyz™

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In September, I wrote a blog about the Genesis of the “Veil” behind which we, as women of color hide behind, to mask the realities of our lives that have plagued us, going as far back as childhood.

On January 17, 2016, Beautiful Black Butterflyz™, an organization established to inspire African American Girls and young women to live in and love the beauty of their natural skin, will launch its empowerment movement is Queens NY.  As the founder of Kiss Me Nature and Unveiled By Dominique, I will partner with Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ to help spread this empowerment movement of promoting love for the skin we are in, and healing of the deep wounds in our community for women of color both young and wise.

The Founders of Beautiful Black Butterflyz™, Traci Spencer and Aisha Harris understood the need of teaching our young girls of color about loving the skin they are in.  Their slogan, “Every SHADE has a Story…I Love the Beautiful that I am!” is the force behind the mission to build self esteem and encourage positive self images by creating a foundation that fosters healthy inter/intra-personal relationships. They believe that it will lead to productive and fulfilling lives.  The young girls and young ladies of Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ will be encouraged to explore their feelings and understand and develop their inner beauty.

Unveiled by Dominique: Removing the Veil…Revealing the Beauty   is on track with this movement.  I believe that this will be the foundation of the whole woman these girls are destined to be.  We are a race of people of the African Diaspora, divided by “whose pain is greater”, yet facing the same feelings of non-acceptance in our own culture. On the one hand, its the “Dark-Skinned Girls” saying “I don’t want to be called Black” and on the other “Light-Skinned Girls” feeling “not Black enough”.

I am all to familiar with this “Dark Girl Syndrome”.  The liberating moment for me came when Mr. Barack Obama became the First African American President of the United States of America.  But for me, it so much more that him being president, it was his wife, the First Lady of the United States of America. She is a beautiful Woman of Color and dare I say “Dark Skinned.”  When it was announced that President Obama won the election in 2008, the first thing I said was “SHE LOOKS LIKE ME!!!!!!!!!!” “SHE LOOKS LIKE ME!!!!!!!”  I was yelling all through out the house.  Though I didn’t express it, subconsciously, First Lady Michelle Obama dispelled every wrong thing that society saw in “my skin”.  She was not the “accepted” color to fit the ideology of Black acceptance in the United States.  In her, I saw me.

So the real question bears answering: is America that damaged by the devastation of slavery that even centuries after its abolition, we are still not able to see ourselves as beautiful beings?

In response to this, Beautiful Black Butterflyz™ has positioned itself to meet the challenges and recognizes that the empowerment of women does not start at womanhood, but in childhood.  Kiss Me Nature and Unveiled by Dominique, joins them to empower and instill in our little girls the beauty they possess.

Will you join us as we celebrate these girls and young women?

Subscribe now!

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