Archive for the ‘I did it and so can you!’ Category

Boundaries; Why We Need Them

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Recently, one of my FB friends was displeased with me because I deleted a comment she made on my wall. I had written a quote and a short statement after the quote and she responded to the post. After I deleted her first comment, she wrote a second one and I once again deleted her comment. The third comment she wrote, in response, was on her own wall and I had no power to delete it and this was the point. You see, what other people do is their business and I have no attachment to it, but what other people do to me…now that’s a different story.

We all have a responsibility to ourselves and to the people around us to make some clear and well defined boundaries. Boundaries let others know what you will and will not accept. In my example with my FB friend, I had written a post and she responded in a way that I felt was not in alignment with the post, so I deleted her comment. She did not like the fact that I deleted her post and she told me that “it saddened” her. My response was to let her know that it was not my intention to “sadden” her.[I think she was half joking; she was not really sad.] My intention was to make it clear to her that her comment was not acceptable to me and by deleting it, I believe that I did that. When she wrote on her own wall, I had no attachment to what she wrote…her wall; her boundaries. 🙂

Sometimes people will not like the boundaries that you set and some may even deliberately cross the boundaries but that does not in any way invalidate the boundary. Again, your responsibility is to set the boundary-whether someone likes the boundary or not is not your business.

If a person deliberately crosses the boundary, you may remind them of the boundary, but don’t take it personally because their inability to respect boundaries is their “stuff”; not yours. If a person is consistently crossing your boundaries and you have been diligently reminding them of the said boundaries, then it’s decision time. People either contaminate or contribute to our lives and boundaries make it easier to see the difference. It is your decision who you allow in your life.

I’m not saying that we should all go around setting unnecessary boundaries and trying to decide if people are crossing them or not. Some boundary crossing is harmless, like the guy [or gal] at work who always gets right in your face during conversation or the boss who loves to touch people while he is talking to them or even my FB friend who from time to time writes silly things on my wall! What I am saying is: be clear about what you will and will not accept. The people who deserve to be in your life will respect that and those who don’t won’t.

Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter

To find out how you can book Nomalanga for your next conference or event, click here.

Lose Weight: Tip 7

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Between September 2011 and December 2011, I lost approximately 35 pounds (16kg). In this series of videos, I share tips that I hope will help you in your own weight loss journey.

In this video I share how you can overcome your cravings by actually giving into them. You can give into your cravings by eating what you are craving but with healthier and lower calorie substitutions.

Lose Weight: Tip 6

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Between September 2011 and December 2011, I lost approximately 35 pounds (16kg). In this series of videos, I share tips that I hope will help you in your own weight loss journey.

In this video I share how important it is to have a work-out partner or an accountability partner. This makes the weight-loss journey more fun and will make both you and your partner more likely to succeed.

Weight loss:I hit a wall!

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

If you’ve ever hit a weight loss plateau, you’ll understand my recent frustration on my weigh loss journey. For the last four weeks, in spite of my diligent exercise and good eating habits, the scale has not budged!

So I decided to go looking for some help and ran into this article by Jillian Michaels, of “The Biggest Loser”. Below is some great advice that I will be putting into effect as of tomorrow. Check back next week to see how it goes!



Have a Weight Loss Plateau? Let Me Help
By Jillian Michaels

There is nothing more discouraging than stepping on the scale after a week of diligent dieting and grueling workouts and not seeing any drop in the number. The plateau is a common problem among dieters and can typically be waited out, but there are measures you can take to keep your metabolism fired up even as you reduce your caloric intake.

The best way to break a plateau is to keep your salt intake below 2,000 milligrams a day and drink lots of water. Make sure you’re not eating any processed carbs, period. That’s right — no chips, sugar, white flour, and so on. And hit the gym hard! The boost in exercise will make your body swell and hold fluids for a few days, but after a week you should see the benefits on the scale.

You can also try playing around with your caloric intake a bit, varying it from day to day throughout the week while keeping the same weekly total. The body can’t slow its metabolism to adjust to a reduced caloric intake if the intake isn’t fixed from one day to the next. For instance, to bust my plateau, I might have 1,200 calories on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then eat 1,500 calories on Tuesday, 1,600 on Thursday, 1,400 on Saturday, and 1,700 on Sunday. Get it?

The plateau effect can sometimes simply be a matter of flagging resolve. If mixing up your caloric intake just isn’t working, make sure you’re not slipping up on your diet or slacking off in your workouts. I’m serious; it happens.

As with any program, there will be highs and lows, but stay with it. Your body is trying to adjust to the weight loss. Don’t get scared or discouraged. Just be patient and know that you are worth it!

For more of Jillian’d great tips on weight loss, fitness and wellness, click here.

HOW I WON AT MRS WORLD 2011

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

1. I became a pioneer for my country as the first ever Mrs Botswana
In the history of Botswana, no married woman has ever taken the courageous and bold step to enter the Mrs World pageant and represent the beautiful married women of Botswana. I am proud and honored to have opened this door and it is my hope and desire that we will continue in this new and unique way of recognizing the hard work, accomplishments and beauty of the married women of Botswana.

2. I achieved a lifelong dream of representing my country at an international pageant
In 1997, I entered the Miss Botswana (World) pageant and was honored to attain second place and be crowned the first princess of Miss Botswana 1997. Mpule Kwelagobe won that year and a couple of years later she was the first ever contestant from Botswana to enter the Miss Universe pageant. Mpule went on to make history as the first ever Black African woman to win the Miss Universe pageant. Mpule’s win brought all us Batswana a great deal of joy and pride and I believe she represented us exceptionally but my desire to compete at an international pageant never left. By competing in the Mrs World 2011 pageant, I finally fulfilled one of my big dreams.

3. I raised awareness and brought attention to issues that I’m passionate about.
Those that know me know that I recently designed, piloted and taught a college level course designed for young black women and other women of color. I believe that personal development is the bridge that takes us from where we are to where we were born to be and my passion and purpose is to instill this one principle in as many young women as I can. Mentorship and good roles models affect us in such positive ways and the more women of substance that stand up and lead by example, the more of a positive impact we can make in our families, our communities and society as a whole.

4. I reclaimed my health, beauty and vigor.
When I decided to enter the Mrs World pageant, I decided to be the best that I can be. I walked in looking my best and feeling my best. It was about being the most beautiful, healthy, fit and positive ME that I could be and going after this goal injected some passion back into my life and I channeled it into doing better with my eating and exercise habits!

5. I made lifetime friends.
I was loved, affirmed, validated, encouraged and understood and it did not just stop there, I met women who I instantly loved and appreciated and I poured into them in the same way that they poured into me. I laughed and cried and connected with such phenomenal women and my life is forever changed by that beautiful experience.

6. I brought “Noma” to the Mrs World pageant
One of the things that I heard most consistently before and during the pageant was “just be yourself” and that is exactly what I did. Some people loved it, some liked it and some…not so much :-). The victory here is that I accept myself as I am and that opens the door for others to do the same and that is one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned in my adult life.

7. I took my very first “solo” and much needed vacation ever since I got married and subsequently had children.
Since I got married and had children, I have never been away from all of them and my job all at the same time. What this experience has done for me is that it gave me time and space to reflect on my life and my life choices. It gave me a new sense of appreciation for my wonderful husband and my beautiful children.

8. I carried myself with grace and dignity.
The low moment in this pageant experience was the announcement of the top 14 the judges selected and sadly, there was not a single African woman or black woman or a woman of African heritage or descent amongst them-not a single one. At a point during the final night, there was talk of the all black women boycotting the pageant and just walking off. I was instrumental in negotiating with those that felt strongly enough to do it and asked them to maintain their grace and dignity even in the moment of such blatant disrespect and disregard. We all walked back on the stage and supported the winner, Mrs America; a beautiful woman with such a big heart that I felt the crown was in its rightful place.

9. I realized just how much my friends and family love, admire and support me.
During the week leading up to the pageant, I got so many messages of love, encouragement and motivation from friends and family from all around the world and I am forever grateful for that. I am so humbled by the amount of faith that “my people” had in [God] and what he could do through me.

10. I failed to get the crown but every failure takes me one step closer to my ultimate success.
At the end of the day, I did not walk home with the crown and that is okay because as I said, every failure (even though this was ultimately not a failure) leads to my ultimate success and my success is that of my husband, Ezra Moses, my children, my parents and family, my community and my country, the diamond of Africa-Botswana.

Ke a leboga bagaetsho. (translation: Thank you my brethren /my countrymen)

African American Women and thier families

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

This morning I read an excellent article that reminded me why I decided to raise the standard of my behavior and why I continue to do my best to become a better woman, wife and mother.

When my baby boy was born two and a half years ago, my life changed and it has never been the same. Considering that I had already had my now five year old daughter, I couldn’t understand why having a baby had such a transformational effect on me.

Upon reflection, I’ve come to realize that the reason why the birth of my son changed me so much was because I live in America and my son is one day going to grow up to be a “black man”. Being a black man in America, I believe, is one of the most complex of existences. Currently, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate of black men is at 18% while “white” male unemployment is at 8%. I generally don’t watch the news anymore, but when I used to, more often than not, I would see a mug shot of some black man while the news commentator said something along the lines of “wanted” or “armed and dangerous”. And now I am raising a future “black man”.

Since the birth of my son, I have become more aware and maybe even sensitive to how young black men are perceived and treated. I’ve become more aware of how I treat my own husband because he is the model that my son is looking at to shape his perception of how a man should be treated as well as how he should behave. I cannot control my husband or what he says and does, but I know that I can control myself and how I behave. My son (and my daughter) is watching and for that reason, I will never stop being the best role model that I can be.

You can check out the article here.

Oprah is Powerful… and so are we

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus which will come to an end at the end of August but today I wanted to interrupt it to share a powerful message that I just read.

One of my greatest errors in my adult life has been believing that I can do EVERYTHING by myself. That’s what being a successful, strong, independent black woman is about-right? Wrong! I now know that real strength comes from admitting that you can do a lot, but not everything. Real strength comes from recognizing that we were not created in isolation and trying to exist in that mindset can be very destructive.

I watched Oprah’s Master Class on the OWN channel not too long ago where she shared that the reason she has been able to do such great things with her life was because she meditated on one very simple scripture verse:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

The day that I heard her say that, I had an “aha” moment. I began to understand why my life, although very progressive and very successful, tended to feel so overwhelming; I had spent so much time believing in and focusing on my mental and physical ability and not nearly enough on my spiritual power; yes, POWER.

Below is the message that I read this morning that inspired me to suspend my blogging hiatus. Be well and be POWERFUL.

What Oprah Knows for Sure About Real Power
What I Know for Sure
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the September 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

I’m always fascinated by lists of “Most Powerful People,” and by the ways they use external things—fame, status, wealth—to define and rank power. It’s curious how a person can go from the top of a list one year to unlisted the next—all in the blink of a board meeting. Was that person’s power real, or was the power only in the position? We often get the two confused.

For me, there is no real power without spiritual power. A power that comes from the core of who you are and reflects all that you were meant to be. A power that’s connected to the source of things. When you see this kind of power shining through someone in all its truth and certainty, it’s irresistible, inspiring, elevating. I can feel it in myself sometimes, mostly when I’m sharing an insight that I know will have an impact on someone’s life and I can see that they “get it.” I get real joy from helping other people experience aha moments. That is where my power lies.

Gary Zukav writes in The Seat of the Soul, “When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning… When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.” Fulfilling your purpose, with meaning, is what gives you that electrifying “juice” and makes people stand in wonder at how you do it.

The secret is alignment: when you know for sure that you’re on course and doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, fulfilling your soul’s intention, your heart’s desire, or whatever you choose to call it (they’re all the same thing). When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful. And you may stumble, but you will not fall.

I know for sure that in every challenging experience there’s an opportunity to grow, enhance your life, or learn something invaluable about yourself. Every challenge can make you stronger if you allow it. Strength multiplied = power.

For real.

Lessons from Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

I just watched a re-run of the Oprah Show in which she and Iyanla Vanzant had a conversation for the first time in eleven years in front of a studio audience. My greatest take away from watching these two women is so simple and yet so life changing.

Iyanla, after leaving the Oprah Show where she had been a frequent guest expert, went on to have her own show, the Iyanla Show. The lesson that I got from what she said came when she described how badly she was treated at the Iyanla show. Rather than say that people treated her badly, she rephrased what she started to say and then said “let me tell you WHAT I ALLOWED…” Wow!

Starting today, I will never have another “pity party” talking about how someone treated me badly and not at some point give some consideration to the fact that whatever they did, no matter how bad, was not only done by them but by me as well because I ALLOWED it.

So, my friends, let this be a lesson for you as well. Think back on your life and all the people who you, to this day, believe treated you badly. Remember that one boyfriend (or girlfriend) who “did you wrong” or those people at that job who you just know belong in hell for what they did to you? Well, the lesson here is that some portion of that blame (if blaming is what you’re doing) belongs to you…because you ALLOWED them to do whatever it is that you say they did!

Iyanla concluded by saying that she believes that in every experience, even if that experience is someone treating you in an unacceptable manner, there lies a lesson that you need to learn. For me that lesson has been simple; as Dr. Phil puts it: you have to teach people how to treat you.

Oprah packs a lunch to work every day, say Gayle King and Stedman Graham

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I just watched a two hour Gayle King show special dedicated to a celebration of Oprah’s exit from the Oprah Winfrey Show. During the show, one of the guests interviewed was Oprah’s long time life partner, Stedman Graham. They reminisced about the Oprah Winfrey Show’s many highs and even higher highs over the past 25 years.

What stood out to me the most was when they laughed about how, right up until her last day of “work”, Oprah packed a lunch. Gayle joked that most people don’t know how frugal Oprah really is. Right there and there, I had an “Aha! Moment”. Wealthy people, like Oprah, don’t get wealthy by frivolously spending their money; they get wealthy by making good financial decisions even with such seemingly trivial things as spending money on lunch everyday instead of just packing a lunch.
Imagine if for 25 years, you took $5 to $10 everyday and put it in a savings account and never touched it. With conservative calculations, that amounts to about $50,000! And that is without calculating interest… Food for thought- right?

I’m really going to miss seeing Oprah every week day at 4pm but what I’ll miss even more is the little “Aha! Moments” such as the one I got today even without her there.

Here is my declaration: Every time I have the thought to buy lunch at work, I’ll take $7 and throw it into my savings account. What’s your declaration? Let me know at [email protected] Here’s to the next 25 years!

ME TIME: What every woman needs and every woman should have

Friday, April 29th, 2011

A few weeks ago, as I sat in my office at the college at 6:30 in the morning, I began to have a nose bleed. *Gruesome story Alert: Naturally, I jumped out of my chair and raced to the bathroom. I leaned into a sink, hoping that the nose bleed would stop in a couple of minutes. It didn’t! It got worse! I have never seen so much blood in my life. It was out of control.

After about 15 minutes of waiting for this out of control nose-bleed to stop, I realized that maybe it wasn’t going to stop so I took a huge wad of paper towels and held it to my nose. It took only a few minutes to soak through and then I needed another one, and another and another…

Eventually, another woman who happened to be in the vicinity became aware of my predicament and she being in administrative role at the college, knew exactly what to do. A few minutes later, I was sitting in my office with two paramedics and a whole lot more attention than I wanted. They took my blood pressure and it was the highest that it has ever been in my life! I’m so grateful that I was sitting in my desk chair because I was now also feeling a bit light headed and could not think clearly. Even in my foggy haze, all I could think about was my lecture at 8:30am and my long list of “things to do”! I never made it to the lecture because I was in no condition to teach anybody anything!

A few hours later I was sitting on a hospital bed nodding my head as the doctor told me that, according to his examination, and based on what I told him, there was absolutely nothing wrong with me. The only prescription that he gave me was to “take it easy” for a couple of days. And so I did…

This is what I have learned,or more rather, been reminded of: “ME time” is not a luxury, it is an essential part of a balanced life. In the weeks leading up to my dramatic episode, I had been looking at my “ME time” as a luxury that I could not afford to indulge in. After all, I have a husband, children, hundreds of college students, I’m writing a book, I have an Audio program in production, I’m writing a new course for Black Women at the college, I had to go to a seminar to get certified for one of my courses, my website and blog needed updating, I had to make plans for the conference in Atlanta, get my National Speakers Association membership processed and on and on and on! All these list items are very important and yes, they needed to be done, but so did “ME time”! In leaving out just one vital thing, ME time, almost everything else was almost jeopardized by the breakdown of my physical body.

My body spoke to me in three ways:
1. An out of control nose-bleed
2. Unbelievably high blood pressure
3. Light-headedness resulting in an inability to think clearly

Here is what I was forced to hear: out of control, high pressure and foggy thinking. Operating this way could not sustain the level of Excellence that I hold myself to.

As I look back at the last four months of my life, there has been such a whirlwind of activity that I can’t believe that one person (me) accomplished it all! The accomplishments are great, but I find myself wondering if it is all worth it. If we push ourselves, physically and emotionally, so much that our physical body starts to get weary and our emotional well-being starts to decline, it is time to stop!

I firmly believe that without taking time away from our busy work and home lives, we do ourselves a huge disservice and we also hurt, rather than help, our loved ones and those that we have professional relationships with. Most women, me included, wear so many hats in their lives that they never take the time to just take off all the hats and attend to the person under all those hats.

I woke up early this morning and while my family slept, I had two full hours of quiet and peace and it has soothed my soul and satiated my spirit. My thinking is clearer and my whole being is at peace. I’ve, once again, been reminded just how vital and valuable “ME Time” is.

So, my friends take some time for YOU. It is not a luxury; it is essential. If you don’t, please don’t hesitate to call me when you need a ride to the clinic or the hospital-that’s what friends are for! But on a serious note, take time to relax and rejuvenate. You’ll be glad (and at peace) that you did.

PS: If your friends, employers, husbands and other family members complain or ask why you need this (and they will), just tell them because “Noma said so!”

Selah