The Who What When Where and Why that you may want to concern yourself with

Woman Wearing Grey Jumpsuit Standing Beside Brown Metal Gate

When, Where & What:

In the spirit of being our own constant reminder that we are valuable, purposeful and destined for greatness, we must have what I refer to as a safe space. A safe place can be of physical form (a park, a body of water, your closet, a hobby) or mental form (meditation through yoga or being still) and it is a place that you retire to in any moment where you feel torn apart, broken, stagnant, confused, hurt, defeated, berated and belittled in your life. It’s a place where you go to find peace, relax, relate and release through talking out loud, thinking things through, practicing breathing techniques, being alone to recharge or rejuvenate, calm down and re-center yourself to emerge like the phoenix.

Woman Wearing Gray Short-sleeved Shirt at Daytime

Why:

The reason we must cultivate an atmosphere in our lives for such a space/place to exist is because if we rely on someone to do this for us, they may not be available for us one day. Not because they don’t want to be, but perhaps because they can’t be for one reason or another. (They are sick themselves, going through and processing their own set of issues, on a trip, extended vacation, at work, not able to talk, in their own safe place where they cannot invite the troubled of the world in while they are taking time to themselves. etc.)

While you are there, you must keep in mind the importance of your health and well-being, being the single most important thing for your survival.

Photo of Woman Holding Her Lips While Sitting

Also keep in mind that this place does not replace the need to talk to another individual who may be able to aid and offer guidance to us through our troubles, along with perspectives, advice and wisdom. It’s merely a place that we can rely on, in the absence of that individual that will sustain us. In my Christian Faith, they will say… it’s where you “have a little talk with Jesus.” This conversation transpires internally. Reach deeply within, where that seed of faith is and nourish it. This is where your confidence, safety and security rest. Bring it back to the forefront in this time and trust yourself with your life. Knowing that you can and will overcome these thoughts and situations which have tried to steal your joy and seal your fate.

Shifting Gears completely on the WHO:

Who:

We cannot allow the people who are around us to constantly tear us down, beat up down, bring us down, push us down and keep us down. Sometimes we must rise above, by cutting those people off who are wired with “fuggery” (in my Redd Foxx voice) as they have no good intentions. This is all stuff that we know but just need to speak it, hear it or be reminded of it from time to time.

You are headed in a direction where those people cannot go, so again I say THEY WILL NOT UNDERSTSAND AND YOU HAVE TO STOP EXPLAINING IT OR TRYING TO PROVE YOURSELF.

Woman Wearing Orange Pullover Hoodie Sitting on Chair's Arm

Sometimes growth is forced upon you and it requires you to move out of a place where people are keeping you down. They are not in your shoes. No one is saying that you are to walk around with delusions of grandeur, but it is ok to feel that you are moving in a direction that someone else is not equipped to go, based on the things they are doing to you. It’s ok to say that you are better than your circumstance. It is ok to say that you are not about a life where you constantly seek approval through proving yourself to the people around who don’t believe you anyway. And it’s perfectly ok to know that you are better than people who constantly live in a state of jealousy, envy, spite and malice. You are not that person and you don’t understand them just as they don’t understand you. This is what makes you “different” perhaps if not better. Its ok to have the revelation that for what you are trying to do and where you are headed does not allow for people like that.

Woman With Black-and-white Sweater With Pants Sitting on Black Leather Sofa Beside Red Painted Wall

Stop looking back:

Sometimes people reach out just to be nosey. And because we have this natural desire to stay connected or to remain “loyal” to our roots, (old friends) we reach back with a response. However, their intention is just to make sure you are not doing better than them. It’s to get an “update” on your life so that they will have something to talk about. It’s not a sincere concern to see how good you are doing and it’s not to motivate, encourage or to inspire. Toxic people reach out when they know you are doing better but they want to say something to you that will have you doubting yourself. It has nothing to do with you. They are dealing with where they are in life and because they are not happy about that, they want to bring you down. And sometimes their contacting you, is to give you an update on themselves because they need to feel sufficient. Again, nothing to do with you. It’s their insecurities.

It happens. It happened to me recently. Someone asked me a personal question. I answered it – even after answering, they took that opportune time to slide in an unsolicited assumption on what they thought the truth was and completely ignored the answer I gave because they were determined to take that jab. This tells me that they have been sitting around worrying about what I am doing and had already come to their own conclusion which was more satisfying to their state of misery. When they heard a truth different from what they presumed, because they are conditioned the way they are which is anchored in an ugly spirit; they insisted on with their assumption. This was something that they just had to get out, in order to feel better about themselves.

People will question what you do because it seems so impossible for them or it’s not possible for them from where they are standing.  This is a sign that you are entertaining the wrong group of people and when you are doing that, you cannot be living your best life.

Woman Wearing Black Sleeveless Top With Green Hardtail Bicycle at the Back

Sometimes people force on you the feeling that you should show and prove something to them and that shouldn’t be your burden. It’s not your lot in life to make miserable people happy. If someone asks you something and your answer is yes, but they say no it’s not … just say OK. If they say you are anything other than what you know you are, just say ok, walk away and cut them off. They have shown you who they are, and it is now your responsibility to take charge of what you allow and accept in your life. If they say anything at all that speaks against who you are- you absolutely must know that this is the point where you cross the bridge without them.

Why even entertain this kind of mind trash OR this trash can individual? Wish them well and keep it moving. Be selfish in your right to move through life without carrying with you those people who do not mean well.

Generally speaking, “People will second guess the truth and wouldn’t think twice about a lie” so you can not stop to address every, single thing that a person has said, heard or thought about you. Leave it alone.

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The Rules Book and Regulations on Changing your life

In a previous article, we talked about setting the tone and stage for your new year, new performance and all that it would require. We talked about how you want to present and represent yourself on your red carpet. Here’s something else you need to consider…

Like the Dr. might say, just before they prick you, “This might sting a little, but it’s not going to kill you.” I just want you to know that sometimes the truth hurts, but never should it kill you. Sometimes the truth is the antidote to the poisonous lies you’ve told yourself and that you have believed, which may have kept you from making a remarkable difference, by making a remarkable change in your life. The antidote can save you from yourself and from others. Read the following rules with an open mind:

alone, boulders, idyllic

You don’t need anyone’s approval to change your life.  This is one thing that people around you as well as the voice in your head will steer you to believe, is that you need an approval to change. They will have you believing that you are not supposed to change without their consent. You, in turn process that and tell yourself the same when you ask yourself if you will continue to be accepted, if you make a change. When you really should be telling yourself that you don’t care about being accepted, and that you are ok with someone not being ok with it, because the point of the change is to move away from the condition that the state of your life is in.

You will have to walk away from some things that tie you to the past: This includes old habits or things such as bad energy and your obsession with clearing up incorrect information which may have been shared about you, which has you up in arms. In your change, your attitude will shine through and those who will matter will recognize. You’d have to travel too far backwards to undo some things that happen and it’s time consuming. It won’t allow you to change. You cannot move forward, with one foot stuck in the past. Things as such, are designed to hold you hostage to your past. This might be love, lost love, infatuation, obsessions, addictions, lost time and reflections of the past, to include emotions. These things and thoughts will not serve you in the change you want to make, if they are apart of the problems you are having with remaining stagnant.

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You will have to walk away from some people that tie you to the past: These are all the people who are just hanging out on the street corners of your life. They have no real meaning, they don’t really care about you. They don’t even care about what may happen to you if you remain in a place that is tearing you down. These are the enablers, the ones who the sole suppliers of the mess that you have been trying to get out of, Beit: sex, drugs, alcohol, emotional turmoil, and instability in a relationship. They have been leading you along or dragging you along because it was easy for them to do. They will never be the ones who will tell you to get your life together, because they enjoy too much of the convenience that you provide them, by not having your shit together.

You will have to walk away form old ways that tie you to the past: This includes your attitude toward things, your inability to compromise when needed and your inability to understand because you talk too much. This includes how fast you would have closed the door on a conversation without allowing someone to share their view, because it was your way or the highway. Old ways also include your promiscuity, your lust for random sexual desires outside of a marriage or committed and monogamous relationship. In doing this, you absolutely must remember rule number 1! You do not need approval to do this. If you wake up and decide that you no longer want to be someone’s weekend, weekend lover, side chic, Netflix and chill chic, or Saturday lover, that’s your prerogative. Fans don’t spin without an energy source, so stop feeding it the energy. You can decide at any point during the year, day, month to change or stop anything you are doing, and it doesn’t require a permission slip. So, what if they call you names? It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.

Woman in White Bodycon Maxi Dress Posting in Between White Concrete Wall

You will have to walk away from some places that tie you to the past: This might include nightclubs, strip-joints, bars and beds that you have found yourself in after a long night of drinking etc. You must abandon those places or abandon your idea of changing. Our environment has a lot to do with what we end up doing. I thought I wanted to be a bartender at a strip club at one point in my life, because I thought I could make a lot of money. It took a real gentleman to tell me that this is probably how all the girls started out. But that strip clubs are a breeding ground for money, drugs and sex. He said you may go there to be a bartender, but before long, you will come out a stripper. I shared that, not to knock anyone’s hustle, but to say that I was personally only interested in being a bartender. So, I had to think about what he was saying. If all the rest is something that I did not want to get caught up in, then the strip club was the wrong place to be. And so I never went.

You must re-write memories for places of the past: (If and only if this applies) … So, you’ve been saying that you can not go back to a certain city or place, event in which you went with someone from the past. You have built up a mental block for that time and place, in which you have filed it away under their name. It brings back too many memories. Those memories are attached to too much pain. But you love that place. It is possible to rewrite, just like you can rewrite a disc or a tape cassette and even a digital recorder. You must record new memories over that track if you want to hear a different song. If you want to hear different music, write another melody.

hand, notebook, outdoors

You cannot take non-believers with you: These are the people who want to get on the bus with a few other people who will sit close up, but will be gossiping about you the whole time and secretly hoping for your fail, fall and or stumble. They are waiting, just to say, “I told you so” They are also there to tempt you because they don’t believe you have changed or could change. They need you to be the same person for them, so they are there to constantly remind you of your past and to keep you tied to your past. They can not stomach that you could have possibly been able to move on without them or to move on and change your life not giving attention to the things you used to do in your past.

Changing your life may be the one thing that you have total control over. Use that power and control wisely. You must do better, if you want to be better. You have must be better if you want to feel better. Later for all that stuff about being the change you want to be in the world. How about we start with being the change we want to be in our lives.  You have to say this to your old life: “What I am saying is, the way my new me and new life is set up…. It does not include you.”

I’ll Drink To That! In 2018, what are you drinking to? Reader comments encouraged. Share and Re-tweet

I’ll Drink To That! In 2018, what are you drinking to? Reader comments encouraged. Share and Re-tweet

It’s time for a little fun and reader engagement! Don’t you just love when there’s an activity that gets everyone involved! Here’s your chance to participate.

We are drinking to success in the new year, success from previous year, goals in the new year, achievements and milestones in the new year. We are drinking to dreams coming true and for blessings and a prosperous year ahead. We are celebrating by raising our glass victoriously, to what we’ve accomplished in the past as well as to what we anticipate accomplishing this year as if it’s ALREADY done. It’s an exercise about speaking things into existence or to visualize it so that you can achieve it.

It can also be what you are doing in the present moment that you have been waiting to do, in which you will drink to. You are free to be as humorous, as serious and as sarcastic as you’d like to be with this exercise. I just ask that you keep it clean and G-Rated. Keep in mind, this is something that YOU are speaking into existence, if it’s not something that has already been done or being done in the present moment. If you think about it, you probably have more to drink to that you could imagine. Whatever you’re excited about having done or doing, lets share!

It’s not about being unrealistic and forcing people to get their hopes up just to be let down, its an exercise about the power of life and death resting in the tongue. If you see it as real, then that’s what counts! If you have done it, celebrate! You must speak over yourself sometimes, be encouraged and say give yourself an applause when done. It’s an exercise about speaking positivity and light into your life, seeing dreams manifest into something real and being excited about what you have done.

Take it a step further if you like and play this game while you’re entertaining guest at your home or while you’re out with your friends this weekend. Go around in a circle and rattle off things you would drink to. See how long the game goes on.

So, pull out your wine, whiskey, cognac, coolers, beer or sparkling grape juice. Below are a few responses I received already. This is what we are drinking to!

Just closed on my Dream home – I’ll drink to that

Just opened a homeless shelter – I’ll drink to that

Passes my Physical Exam – I’ll drink to that

Just refinanced my house- I’ll drink to that

My son just passed 11th grade – I’ll drink to that

My son got a job – I’ll drink to that

I am in great health – I’ll drink to that

Just completed budget for 2018 donations to various Charities – I’ll drink to that

My clothing line is in several stores across the country – I’ll drink to that

He liked it and he put a ring on it – I’ll drink to that

I was able to give to those in need – I’ll drink to that

My business is a total and complete success – I’ll drink to that

My largest Bill is paid off – I’ll drink to that

You’re not paying me what I am worth, Bye – I’ll drink to that

My credit card % usage is less than 30% – I’ll drink to that

Confirmed my trip to London – I’ll drink to that

Just furnished my new home – I’ll drink to that

Started a new job who pays me well – I’ll drink to that

My blog just went viral – I’ll drink to that

I’ve been asked to be an Ambassador for the ABFF – I’ll drink to that

I just got a phenomenal raise – I’ll drink to that

Just got invited to Turks Island – all expense paid – I’ll drink to that

Just made my first million – I’ll drink to that

The judge awarded me custody – I’ll drink to that

Headed to Dubai with my son – I’ll drink to that

Getting married in Monaco – I’ll drink to that

Just got married – I’ll drink to that

Just sold a house – I’ll drink to that

You must pay me alimony – I’ll drink to that

Pay my momma Bills, I go no time to chill – I’ll drink to that

My son made the A- Honor-Roll – I’ll drink to that

My son just got a full scholarship – I’ll drink to that

Won my lawsuit – I’ll drink to that

Paid off my school loans – I’ll drink to that

He finally paid his child support – I’ll drink to that

Lionsgate just requested my manuscript – I’ll drink to that

My Move across country was the best move I made – I’ll drink to that

My son is the teacher’s favorite – I’ll drink to that

Debt Free for the first time – I’ll drink to that

Hit the lottery – I’ll drink to that

My son just wrote a book – I’ll drink to that

Got Master’s Degree, finally at 62 years old – I’ll drink to that

My mom is looking stunning, standing next to the ride I just sent her – I’ll drink to that

The Battle Is Over – I’ll drink to that

My son gives a dam – I’ll drink to that

My son doesn’t get in trouble in school anymore – I’ll drink to that

My sex life is revived with my husband – I’ll drink to that

I am on the Best-Selling Author list – I’ll drink to that

I completed another book – I’ll drink to that

My screenplay just hit it big – I’ll drink to that

I have a sex life – I’ll drink to that

He made a promise and he kept it – I’ll drink to that

I said yes – I’ll drink to that

My health is renewed – I’ll drink to that

Cancun is looking lovely from where I am sitting – I’ll drink to that

I paid all my back taxes and got rid of the IRS – I’ll drink to that

The IRS got hacked, all records lost – I’ll drink to that

Headed to the Netherlands with my son – I’ll drink to that

My son has his own side quarters in our new house – I’ll drink to that

New Home construction finally complete – I’ll drink to that

Pulling The Plus On Your Own Life Support

Wellbeing

Is there ever a time where you say, I need to get away from everything and everyone that I know to get back to myself? Yes. There is. Finding yourself in a place where you’re not allowed to be an adult, because you must follow everyone else’s rules, is the time to get away. Run away, go away, stay away.

Do you feel like you’re fulfilling the life of someone else? By which you must do exactly what they say, or else? Or else meaning that they will cut you off financially, or give you the silent treatment, or dis own you or anything else along these lines, if you don’t do exactly what they say or if you express a difference in opinion?

You don’t get to make your own mistakes, and you don’t get to make your own decisions because you’re following someone else’s rules and demands…. So, then you never know where life could have led you if you followed your own path or submitted to the divine intervention that you feel that you have been subjected to because against your better judgement, you did what someone else demanded you to do because they had control over you. You had to do what they said to do because they felt as though they had all the answers to your life and because they thought they had all the answers- you had to do it, because you’re in no position to not do what they tell you to do.

However, you’re the only person who will suffer from the circumstances/consequences that come on after the demand to do something you didn’t want to do, but only did because someone else demanded that you do it.

The demand comes in several different outfits. It can be that the person who is telling you to do something, will change their demeanor toward you if you don’t do it. It can come in the form of that person discontinuing an affiliation or association with you. It can come in the form of someone treating you differently after you refused to heed their command.

For instance: A parent tells a child to take the trash out on Tuesday afternoon, but the child knows that vicious dogs are out on Tuesday afternoon and insist that they take it out on Tuesday night instead. The parent tells the child, “No, I said take it out right now…” and when you fail to move… the parent spends that time ignoring you or giving you the silent treatment and making you feel that they will no longer be your friend/confidant/parent/mother/father… until you take the trash out like they told you to. Never considering the age of the child being an adult in this instance. Never considering how it may affect their child.

The only principle they are practicing is that if they tell their child to do something, that the child does it. Or, they feel that you should just do it period, because they are the ones who are supporting you. You must do whatever they say, even when you know it’s not good for you. You must heed their command because they are the ones who call the shots. You do not have the right to make your own decisions about what you feel is the right thing to do in life or your situation- because they are looking at you as if you’ve made bad decisions in the past and that’s why you’re in a situation where you need them. And because you don’t want to point the finger or go tic for tac, about details of those decisions, tarrying into the past and opening old wounds, you accept it. That adage which says, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Or the scripture, “Honor thy mother and they father” … you just grin and bear it.

The parent feels as though their instruction is law. The parent feels as though the child should do what they tell them to do, because it’s what they should do. The parent has no regard for what the child may feel is right, because it may be contradictory to their instruction. The parent has no regard for the feeling that the child has about the assignment and they have no regard for the divine instruction that the child says he/she may have received about what should be done, because all they can see is that they have a child who they are taking care of. As if GOD only communicates with the parents and not the child, because the child is not worthy of communication with GOD if he/she is in a position where they need help.

Mom knows best and if mom says do it, you do it. That’s the underlying factor. And even though the parent has witnessed the attacks of the vicious dog on Tuesday afternoon, they still tell you to take the trash out-and they stand on the belief that the dog will not attack you. (because they are uber religious) never-mind the nature of a vicious dog.

So, next week you decide… OK, I am going to take the trash out on Tuesday afternoon because this is what my mom/dad says, and I know that they are the ones who are supporting me, so I better to exactly as they say or else… (because that’s the feeling they give if you go against your better judgement) So, you take the trash out and you get viciously attacked by the dogs.

I pause to say…You can have all the empathy and sympathy in the world for a person who has been viciously attacked by a ruthless dog, but if it wasn’t you who lost an arm, a leg, and you have not been hospitalized for the wounds… or paralyzed from the waist down, you cannot under any circumstance relate to the pain. But the child is stuck with it. So, what now?

Now your child resents you and doesn’t want to take any instruction from you at all. They see you differently, because of the way you move. They cannot trust that you have their best interest at heart. They are not as willing to make information readily available about their life and life choices. They truly want to exclude you from anything that they do, because it seems better that way. They don’t really want your support anymore because your support comes with the caveat of you telling the entire world about their problems with no discretionary discernment. They see that you will deliver them right into the hand of the enemy (the dog) only because you believe that no weapons formed will prosper but you don’t understand that if that was true in totality, that good people would not suffer. (beyond saying that everything happens for a reason. Because the point is that if the dog never had the opportunity to attack, the child would not be a paraplegic.)

Parents, Christian parents especially, sometimes feel that it’s their natural born right to discuss the affairs of their child, with anyone that they feel comfortable with. But sometimes, especially in old age, they put their trust in people who are not deserving. Mostly, the pastor of their church, who they may praise or see as “the good guy” since he’s the pastor…He must be the upright, honest, sinless, perfect, without fault, born again do no wrong man of GOD. They do not do a critical analysis of an individual’s motives and intent, when discussing their child. (Throwing them to the wolves)

Listen: Doing exactly what someone else says to do is not always the best thing to do. Even when is your mother or father, big brother or big sister. And especially when you hear that voice deep within speaking to you about what to do. Some decisions you must make in your own. Being in the position where you feel like you must, knowing it’s not the best, is toxic. Get to a place that’s edifying to your spirit. If you are in a place where you feel that you cannot make your own decisions and you are being told what to do or forced to things you don’t want to do, it’s not a good place by no stretch of the imagination. You will have a deeper battle ahead, in which you will need to create a means of financial stability if this is the strain you’re under, but you can. I don’t want to make it sound easy because I know that it’s not. It’s the hardest thing to do if you ask me. I am just saying that it can be done. Whatever you need to do to get you out of this kind of situation, just do it.

Originally Published on SheSavvy.com

Follow Niedria on Twitter and check out her blog for more.

Why Moving Out Of My Home Was Bitter Sweet and Why My New Situation Is Sweet As Pie

I moved into my home, in the Sienna Plantation Subdivision of Sugarland, Texas; in April of 2012. I had every intention of making it home for at least the following 5 years. I wanted a place for my son to grow, to call his own and to run around with all the freedom a One-Year old could want. I wanted a community, where extra-curricular activities, in a family-oriented environment and a family-friendly neighborhood; were in plethora. I wanted the security of knowing that my son was in a safe neighborhood (as safe as it could be anyway – little to no crime) and in a home where he had a large backyard, to run wild in the grass. I thought of that land that our home sat on when I was in grade school, and how we could go outside in the backyard and have the time of our life, without being in harm’s way. I wanted this for my child.

I accomplished that when I picked out the house, April of that year. Even though the move was a sudden and quick move, only looking at two other homes before deciding on this one, I was completely satisfied. I found the house on a Friday and I had moved in within a week. When I looked at this house, I saw myself in the kitchen being able to see the entire backyard, as my child was playing outside.

As I walked through the downstairs, admiring the open kitchen and bar area, the entertainment living room, which had floor to ceiling windows that stretched over 16 feet, allowing natural light to illuminate the entire downstairs area; I settled at the fireplace. I gazed over the backyard, from corner to corner, while standing indoors, at the fireplace. The whole back of the home, was wide-open. I envisioned a flat screen TV above the fireplace, accompanied by fancy art, which would anchor both sides for symmetrical purpose. I am a person who often seek balance, and it penetrates each part of my life. The living room was just one. I fancied the idea of raw paintings, that would adorn the collar bones of the home.

The walls had yet to be painted. Just the way I like it… A blank canvas. I knew that I wouldn’t paint them either, because there’s something about the look of clean, white walls, throughout a wide-open home. I took noticed the multiple options that I had, for placement of family portraits and moments, which would be captured between my son and me, for the duration of our stay.

I moved beyond the living room, into the downstairs Master Bedroom, which had a window seat and another large, open window area. It was just the right size, just what I was used to. The Master-Bath was to my liking, as well as the walk-in closet that would support alllll the clothes, shoes and purses that I would be bringing. From there, I moved throughout the breakfast area and dining room, just before heading upstairs. Once upstairs, on the catwalk, I had a choice to go left or right to decide which room would suit my son. But I took a pause, for that breath-taking moment, as I looked down, over the living area. The tall windows allowed me to see beyond the fence in the backyard, into the bayou. The privacy was just what I needed.

I took the right… Headed right to the room that I knew would be perfect for the little one. It was just off the open play area, where if I were downstairs in the living room, I could look up and see him always. The other side of the house, seated two additional bedrooms and a full-sized bath. So, there I was. 4 bedrooms, large walk-in closets, plenty of room, open kitchen, entertainment living-room, dining area, breakfast area, large laundry, open floor plan with lots of natural light, large, fenced-in backward, 2 car garages and the home was located at the end of the street, last house in the circle… on Story Book Trail. I was good. I was home.

Fast forward 5 years later, after I had hung my coat, and settled in over the years, making this home my resting place; I wondered through some old photos. It reminded me of the first day that I moved in. I sat in that timeless moment of nostalgia. I cried, I laughed, I danced. I thought about the reality of it being March 2017, and how the close of my custody trial had also brought a close to my story, on Story Book Trail. I would be moving out of the home in a week. I needed to get away. I thought about some not so great moments that happened in the home, which caused me to view to home a little differently, 1-year into being there. I loved the home, but shortly after I moved in and only after I revealed my address, some random acts of vandalism began to occur. At that moment, I wanted out of the house, but I had to make the best of the unpleasant situation and remain put, until the time was right to leave.

I was getting so much negative energy about being able to live in such a lovely home, (how could she afford it, that’s not her home, who’s paying for her home, it must be a rental or did she purchase it, she doesn’t have a job, she needs to get a job). (And the best one of all, “she’s using child support money to pay for it” ALTHOUGH, I wasn’t getting child support, I was paying child support) and all of this was creating a ball of hate, which was beginning to grow legs, arms, eyes and vicious teeth. It was hovering over my life unwarranted. It was crawling through my home, disturbing my peace. It was killing the spirit of joy throughout the walls of my home. Every time I looked around, something else was occurring.

It was almost like watching an apple decay. A beautiful apple, turning from red to black. From plump, to a soft and fetal position. A series of events were tarnishing my home. From break ins while I was out of town, to tampering with my phone lines and security systems, to people showing up disguised as delivery services and phone company representatives, who only wanted to get inside my home to plant wires… to the home being rummaged through while I was away. Even installing a security system didn’t work, because through the phone lines and my computer, my space had been invaded, violated and my privacy was destroyed.

But then I thought to myself, this is the 5th year, and all that I had planned for. Everything that was pushing me away from that home, was pushing me into the direction of something so much greater. I did not understand while it was happening. But I understand it now. I understood it while I was packing up and getting ready for greater. I had my last dance with the home, entertaining my son and his friends as they ran about outside, playing in water wars and washing the cars. I had my last rendezvous with the home the last night over a bottle of wine. I had my last affair with the home as I sat in the soaker. I walked the home corner to corner, as I had done when I moved in, taking in all the precious moments that were spent there- from room to room. I sat in each room and prayed. I walked upstairs and downstairs closing all the doors, as you would, a book once finished. I turned off all the lights, disconnected all services, closed all the blinds and locked the door for the last time. I was smiling and I never looked back, as I drove away.

Had I moved, prior to the season for me to move, I would be in a repeat situation. I am convinced, that it was by purpose, that I remained in that house until all the court hoopla came to a head, where I was then able to move at my leisure, unbothered and unfollowed. GOD is still good.

“There is always a sign that Precedes the move of GOD” That was the sound of those doors locking, one last time. That was the sound of me driving away from Story Book Trail, as that story was over.

Walking out of the house, I could hear only “One Sound.” That was the sound of “The Anthem” featuring Gospel Singer, William Murphy and the Full Baptist Church. Halleluiah, you have won the victory. You have won it all for me. Death could not hold you down, you are the risen king, seated in majesty, you are the risen King! I am grateful that GOD kept me in the valley, hid me from the rain… forever, he will reign.

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What if The Word Why? Came With A Dollar? I would be rich off my one child alone.

One thing’s for sure, and that is, I am tired of hearing the word Why? So much, that I have considered telling my child that he has a one why maximum on the usage of the word why, per day. Or, if he uses it more than twice in a day, I am entitled to have the exclusive right to say, “I don’t know” even when I really do know. Plus, I should get to say, I don’t know, at least one time per every two why’s. Yea, that sounds like a plan. I think when you are over a certain age, your why’s should come with an Excel spreadsheet and payment on every third why in a day. Maybe, us parents can conduct a WHY Convention, where we answer all the children’s why’s in one day…. Headline: Bring your children on Friday to the Summit Beach House, and don’t ask us why. Boom! That’s it

Truth be told, I love my son’s thirst for knowledge, and the fact that he always asks me; even though it challenges me to channel my inner 6-year-old child, in which most cases, I find out that I am not smarter than a 5th grader. Juuuust kidding. But I really cannot remember anything from 5th grade. Does that make me less smart though? Hummm… I will have to think about that one before fully deflating my ego. At least when he asks why, I am forced to go into those rooms that have laid dormant in my body’s northern hemisphere, in the brain region. So, it’s not all bad. I do get a kick out of seeing if I can beat him to an explanation that will cancel all the following why’s. Just searching for something good enough for him, without having to tell a lie… and of course before resorting to saying that I don’t know. I think we should limit the times we tell our children that we don’t know something, to prevent them from growing up thinking we are dumb as a box of rocks. Or, to prevent them from asking other people and getting the wrong answers all together. I think if we do not know, we should try to find out WHY.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins

As moms, we have all heard the expression that children are like sponges. All to say that they soak up a lot of knowledge as they grow into their personalities over the wonder years. It’s never a terrible thing that our children have so many questions about how things work, what they do and what they are used for. I am happy that my child wants to know if there are people in the back of the television. I am not so happy that he wants to take the TV apart just to find out. I am also happy that he wants to know exactly why he can jump up and down on the bed and bounce high. However, not too pleased when he tests just how high he can bounce, when it’s followed by a big fall off to the side of the bed.

I totally get it, that it’s extremely annoying to hear the word why, when it’s in response to something where the only answer is: Because I said so! Because there may not be an answer other than that to: Mom why can’t I go outside right now. Well, maybe it’s too late in the evening, maybe he’s already had his bath, maybe you are too tired to go outside with him and watch him, maybe you’re too busy to go out at that moment, maybe you don’t feel like getting him dressed appropriately to go out in certain weather conditions…. These reasons will still be responded to, with a why. Therefore, when he asks, why can’t I go outside, the answer is simply, Because I said so.

See, you must be smart about your response to the questions of why, because they have already planned their next why. You need to find ways to beat them to the punch and shut it down or it can go on for hours. Some children, like my own, will sit and deliberate on the answer, and use the Scientific Method without even being taught that in school just yet. He will began thinking it all the way through, forming a hypothesis, making an educated guess. And here we go again. Most recently, he asked to go outside and it was hi-noon in Houston. It was 58 degrees in the shade. It was a dry heat and no wind was blowing. Even your breath blew stifling air. If you saw anyone holding hands, it just made you hot because you are already sweating, shirt sticking to your back, your shades are even hot while they rest on your noses to see someone hugged up, was like scratching a chalk board. Yes, that hot. So, when he asked, I told him that it was ‘fainting weather” He asked what’s fainting weather. I explained and told him that it’s too hot, and it’s the kind of weather that you are liable to pass out in (faint) heat stroke. I told him that we needed to get some water so that we could stay hydrated while out in that kind of weather.

The next day, as a consolation prize for being indoors for the afternoon, on the day before; I took him to the park. It was just as hot. On the way, he asked, “Mom, is this fainting weather.” Me: Yes, baby. 40 Minutes later after silence in the car, he asked, “Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? Why would he want to kill the people he created?” I literally felt my mental elevator crash somewhere between my heart and head. I was totally defeated. I answered, He did not do it to kill anyone baby. He made it hot because the trees and grass need it. So, he asks, “Why?” By now, I am in the front seat banging on the dormant doors to my brain. No one would answer. I just told him that the trees and grass can take it. We can’t. But if we stay hydrated, we will be fine. He then asked, “Well, why can’t the trees and the grass stay hydrated?” All I know is, I was so happy to be pulling up to the park right around that time!

Every Single Mother Will Benefit From Hearing This

2016 began a year of transparency for me. It came after recognizing that there was room for a change in the direction I was taking to approach new challenges. In being told out right, that I was not as transparent as people would like, and that because of this, they don’t “know who I am” I decided to delve more into it. Initially I didn’t take to that very well, as I thought I did good at being an open book, if I should say so myself.

However, in this season and along this journey, I’ve come to the realization that being an open book about my life and happenstance, wasn’t exactly the transparency that they were referring to. It’s awesome to show people a strong courageous girl, after detailing some of the things that life throws at you…. but sometimes, it’s even more awesome when people can relate to your testimony, by knowing the tribulation as well, so that they will know that the things they may be burdened with, are also things that someone else has been burdened with. They are then able to seek refuge in knowing that there is a way out. IE: “XYZ happened to me, and I made it out.” V.S. more Transparency: “These are the things I endured, when XYZ happened. And this is what I had to do, to get beyond the things which happened to me. It wasn’t a cake walk, but I made it.

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…. We breeze right past the hard part because we’re anxious about telling the good part…and we are so happy to share the good news. Or because we do not want to dwell on the bad part, we skip right to how we triumphed, and it comes across as, all good. As women, working mothers, single moms….we make it look so easy sometimes, because no one really hears the part about where we fell down a few times during the trials and on the journey to make it through and out. However, that’s what they need.

For some reason, and one that I am sure will continue to reveal itself to me more over time, as I become familiar with why people want to know about the bad days, I understand that it’s important that you share that you had some hard decisions to make; which came with some pretty hefty consequences from choices or even moves you did or didn’t make when the time was necessary, and that you struggled in the process.

I understand that people want to know about the battle and they want a birds eye view into some of the pain, without hearing the sound of a victim. This takes some crafting, because there’s a tiny little line, in which if crossed, the dynamic and tone of the story will change to reflect bragging or even boasting. On the flip side, someone who’s constantly talking about “what has happened to them” instead of talking about the process of how what happened, brought you to a brighter place, the message tends to get lost in translation. While we should be happy in our own right- and celebrate our victories, as well as be proud of the fact that we made it out of a rough patch, we don’t want the testimony to get trapped in a maze of affirmations about self.

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“With reference to those times that you hear someone say, that someone has put a bad taste in their mouth, think of this: The taste you give someone about yourself, comes from the soil that you mature and grow in.” – Sincerely, Niedria Kenny

When we speak of the victory all the time, without balancing and filtering into the story, the things that make us normal- to show people how they too can overcome something, they don’t believe they can. Such as: How we managed to move through the ranks, what we did in between jobs and we transitioned in careers, what we faced when we were fired from our jobs, what happened to us when we did not get the raise we needed, what we did in the meantime, while we waited on the promotion, how we came to the conclusion to leave a job, in order to create a better life, or how we had to make a life-altering decision to loose in order to win again. If you do not share these things, people begin to see you as super human, and no one wants to be around a super human or someone that makes them feel inferior. If you always make it look easy, you contribute to a person’s sense of failure, in that if they can’t do something that’s being described as so easy… they began to ponder the question of, “what does that make them, what’s wrong with them?”

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Be not mistaken. I’m not standing in the gap for people who constantly need ego stroking or people who are generally always down and looking for someone else to pull them out of the slumps of which they won’t do their part in helping themselves. I am not standing in the gap for those who relish in knowing that someone else is miserable. Both are toxic people and can end up pulling you back into the place that you are so happy to have escaped.

This was also something that I had to learn to decipher between: Someone who wants to know about your fall before success, so that they can encouraged themselves and speak life over themselves to move into a place for change. .v.s. someone who just wants to know that you fell down, just so that they can say, aha!

I would like to encourage Mothers, Single Moms and Work Moms, who are successful or finding success by navigating through the trenches; to not be ashamed of sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. If it is a victory that you want to share, share the trial as well. If you messed up somewhere along the way, or did not get it right the first time, or it took longer than you anticipated, it’s OK. There is someone, somewhere, who will benefit in knowing that seasons change, and they can too..

“You know, I don’t think any mother aims to be a single mom. I didn’t wish for that, but it happened. Charlize Theron

As Seen On Working Mother