“Love Yourself” Susan L. Taylor

quote-in-every-crisis-there-is-a-message-crises-are-nature-s-way-of-forcing-change-breaking-susan-l-taylor-57-22-27

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.

staticBanner

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

my-signature

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

BeyGoals- Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

 

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!

 

my-signature

Honor Yourself Part II Day-9-13 (One Day My Soul Just Opened Up)

Yes, I am playing catch up.  I have been reflecting and still searching for that thing that will break me free from the bondage of lack of self worth.  So I got to Day 4 of the Journey and allowed myself to be busy with things, people and situations that was not honoring me.  There was a pause on the prayer that I was so excited and eager about.  I lost focus.

Today as I was walking home from work, I asked myself a very important question: What did I ever truly dream of doing or being…I drew a blank.

Awareness

“You cannot fix what you cannot face”-James Baldwin.  Deep!! As I am reading the book One Day My Soul Just Opened up by Iyanla Vanzant, I am beginning to realize that I have not been the only person in this world who felt the way I felt or did the things I did.  This book is as if Iyanla herself had peeked into my past and wrote a whole book about it.  People would tell me I looked angry all the time and I was unapproachable.  Defensive…Stand-Offish…Living in a whirlwind…Little did I know, as the the book states that Life was trying to tell me something about myself.   I was intimidating…Funny because when people said that about me, I would chuckle and tell them, “Girl, I am the least of the problems…” What I was unaware of is that I was not being representative of the the God I serve, but being a complete idiot.  There are so many things, and relationships I can’t take back.  People I offended because I was in a state of self hurt.  I was in on auto defensive mode. Jobs lost because I was perceived as “threat.”  Iyanla said it best: “They were saying that I was defensive and combative.  Whenever these things were said to me, I would become offended and would go into a long tirade about people not knowing me, what I thought or how I felt.” Real talk.  I could not have articulated it any better.  I am working on changing me, finding the “me” behind the veil.

Acceptance

My whole marriage was a farce from the beginning.  A rebound relationship at best, but if found myself pregnant with my second child, his first.  Abortion was not an option because I had promised God that if He ever gave me the chance again to carry life, I would not throw it away except in the case of a sexual assault.  Now see, that is power.  When did I loose the strength to come boldly before God and “bargain”.  He accepted the covenant because He knew I was serious and blessed me with three beautiful children.  I gladly accepted the life of being a mother.  However, being a wife was a whole different story.  Our story was built on dishonesty from the very beginning.  I did not want to accept the fact that I was going to be a single mother like all of the women in my life; I wanted to be married. I knew going in who this man was, a good father, a horrible mate.  He cheated, time and time again.   But because of my failure to accept the reality of the situation in that moment, I denied myself he power to make the conscious decision to leave him, regardless of the fact that I would have been a single mother of three.  For that reason I was really living be default.  I prayed to my God that He dissolve the marriage.  I wanted out.  I have two adult children and a teenager who is soon off to college. In my mind, the co-parenting is over.  I am accepting the fact, that all things work together for the good of those that love God and are called according to His purpose.  Everything is by design. I accept that what is coming to me is coming at the right time in the right way.

Affirmation:

The truth of who I am cannot be altered or changed

Image result for Affirmation

 

Choice

The willingness to make a conscious choices is another way of demonstrating that you are ready to find new ways of living and being before your are forced into it.-Iyanla Vanzant One Day My Soul Just Opened Up

Image result for choice

 

Conservation

It is a state of mindful relaxation.  My prayer for me and an affirmation for some is: ” Teach me to CONSERVE my self, my gifts, my resources, so that I may always do your perfect work.  Guide me in the way I should go.  Lead me in the perfect path according to Your perfect will for my life.  Give me the wisdom, the ability to discern, and the vision to know your will and perform it with grace and ease.  For this I am so grateful!”  Amen! Iyanla Vanzant.

Stay with me, I promise Destiny is on the other side of this!

img_2713

Honor yourself! Phase II (One Day My Soul Just Opened Up)

Image result for Honor yourself

Whoa! Honor myself? What does that even mean and where do I begin? I had to reference Iyanla Vanzant’s book to put in writing what is locked up inside.  Honoring myself has been a challenge.  To honor yourself mean that you have to SEE yourself the way God sees you.  I don’t care how much Bible you know, or how many people see the “gift” inside of you. If you cant see it for yourself. then I believe you can be completely healed.

The biggest regret in my life was the day I rejected my Grand-Mother’s need for forgiveness from me.  She wanted me to forgive her for the things she had said to me growing up; I just couldn’t, I wouldn’t.  She was my Grand-Mere, the big person.  How dare I allow her to ask for forgiveness.  “It’s OK Grand-Mere, don’t worry about it” I said.  All the while, I am reliving the pain of her asking me “why did you have to be so stupid and take after your father? (My father is a darker skin tone than the rest of my family).  I never told her I forgave her, and I never got the chance.

Affirmation: I am Black, I am Beautiful.  I am worthy of all things that God has given me.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made…wonderful are the works of His hands and my Soul boasts thereof.

I took me a long time to get to that point.  To see my self as pretty.  Even when other people would say that I am beautiful,  I would not embrace it.  Did you know that the subconscious mind retains everything you hear? A seed is planted that takes root over time.  What it produces, is reflective of what we hear, both good and bad.

If something in your life isn’t honoring you, then it simple doesn’t deserve a seat at your table. It is healthy to let go. –Sherrie Campbell

There is no better time than RIGHT NOW to start honoring yourself. Start with how you talk to yourself. Say good, nice, encouraging things to yourself. Support yourself with healthy relationships, get counseling, join a support group–do whatever it takes to get yourself to the place where you honor everything about yourself. I deserve it!!!  And so do you!

Stay with me on this journey to the Resurrected me.

img_2713

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

Image result for creativity and Willingness

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.

Image result for willingness

“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.

Image result for creativity

 

What are you WILLING to CREATE Today?

 

Coming out of my Comfort Zone

escape

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.

my-signature

One Day My Soul Just Opened Up- Removing the Veil

1

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.

new signature logo

 

 

 

 

 

The Unveiling Begins- Beautiful Black Butterflyz™

Beautiful black butterflyz-1

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!

Unveiled by DominiqueBlog logo

 

 

Who is the Woman behind the Veil?

 

Allow me to re-introduce myself! My name is D-O-M to the Nizzah!!!

I love that part of the Jay-Z’s rap. In fact I am truly re-introducing myself to the world by unveiling the wall, the mask the veil that I used to shield me from the ME within.

So who is Dominique? This is a question that has been asked of me, and yet I still don’t have a clear answer. Now I can tell you what I am to other people, that’s easy! For now, let me just start with the basics:

Ten Random Facts About Me:

1.My full name is Patrice Dominique Kemp-McCullough (Too long to put on my Drivers License so DMV shortened it to P.D. Kemp-McCullough) 😂😂😂😂😂😂

2. I am my mothers only child, but I am 3 of seven of my father’s children.(Poppa was a rolling stone, wherever he laid his hat was his home..no really…it was) 

3. I was actually born in Thailand where my father was stationed during the Vietnam War. (I think the Nanny brainwashed me into loving Elephants)

4. I speak, read and write fluently in French because…(albeit I don’t use these skills often) 

5. My mother was born in Martinique (a French Republic) and I lived there for four years. ( a little Brooklyn girl on De Island… Oh! Wait! Wrong language..Sur l’Iles de la Martinique!

6.  I am married with children–2 adult daughters and 1 teenage son. (College can’t come soon enough…can I start packing his stuff?)

7. I’ll start from the top: I hold a Doctorate in Religious Fine Arts in Dance, a Masters in Religious Fine Arts in Dance, a professional degree in Paralegal Studies, An Advanced Certified Paralegal, Bachelors of Science in Accounting, and a High School Diploma in Liberal Arts. (I am really freaking EDUMACATED!) I am a momprenueur that means I have my own business. http://www.kissmenatureshop.com—- what?!?!? A plug-in never hurt nobody!

8. Chocolate is to me what crack is to a crack head. The only thing I will not eat is a chocolate bunny and York Peppermint Patties!  Go Figure! 

9. I am a Gemini. I use the principles of that astrological sign to hide behind the veil.(Some may call it MPS-Multiple Personality Syndrome)😂😂 So Yeah! It’s either BLACK or WHITE cause I ain’t got time nor patience for SHADES OF GREY!

10. ??? Like I said, I am everything to everyone or thing, BUT WHO AM I?

I would be remiss not to say that as it is the core of this blog. Getting to the root of why the veil was put up. Addressing the issues that plague me in order to empower others, help others heal as I heal. 

I am a Christian, a child of God, a Princess to the Holy King, of that I am sure. It is not a random fact, it is THE FACT!

In the words of Steve Harvey “Don’t trip, He ain’t through with me yet!”

Until then, let the unveiling begin!

What are some things people don’t know about you? Do Tell
Dominique

In Search of The ME within

Self Identity
In my last post,  A Look Back…The Genesis of the Veil I took a look back at how the “veiling” began.  The documentary, Dark Girls, the controversial film show on the OWN network, explored the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world.  It also explored the root, among other things, the lack self-esteem and the lost of self-identity.

I remember as I child, an only child, some one gave me a “white” doll.  It was one of those walking dolls.  I clearly remember looking at that doll and thiking it was the ugliest thing I had even seen, scary even.  I hated that doll.  I didn’t take it out the box for sometime after receiving because, to me she was hideous. I am by far not a bigot, but I remember that her blond hair and blues eyes and peach skin was ugly to me.  I am not sure why.  One day, I decided to take her out of the box. It was was supposed to be a walking doll. She didn’t walk. I threw her against the wall. I didn’t care at first and then I felt bad, so I picked her up and put her back in the box.
I don’t think this was the beginning of my self identity. I don’t recall not liking the doll because of her skin tone. Or maybe I did. All I know, is when I got my “black” wee wee doll for Christmas, I WAS IN LOVE! She was me and I was her.
So the question is when did I look in the mirror and decide that I was not pretty? That my chocolate brown skin made me undesirable? I grew up in the era of “Black is Beautiful” with images of smooth chocolate skin adorned with big black Afros.
The Genesis for me was the constant reminder of black vs. white. The adult ideologies of the civil rights movement planted in my head. The stories of the “brown bag” test, something I was not even born yet to experience. The subtlety of my grand-mother demanding me to smooth my nose and squeeze my lips; only to later find out that it was her feeble attempt to reshape my face to European features. Her telling me not to marry and have babies with a man my complexion or I will produce Albino babies. That was the moment I began the journey of self-hate. Yet still, my wee wee doll reminded me of a place in time where my innocence was pure and untouched.
As an adult, those experiences still plague me. As I fight to find myself, I remain encouraged that slowly and carefully, the veil is coming off.
I am unveiling the beauty within.