Posts Tagged ‘Successful African Americans’

Nomalanga:What we can learn from Martin Lawrence’s Divorce

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

It is being widely reported that after less than three years of marriage and 13 years “together” , Martin Lawrence and his wife, Shamicka Gibbs are getting divorced. Apparently, the couple had been together for 13 years and had two daughters together before they decided to tie the knot in 2010 and now it’s all over!

This is a very interesting trend that I have noticed does not only plague Hollywood couples. We see it all the time; two people who date for a very long time and are seemingly happy together decide to get married and end up getting divorced soon after-the relationship that they had before they got married lasted longer than the marriage.

I was just having a Facebook discussion in which I suggested that the lesson that can be learned from a lot of these unfortunate “train wrecks’ that they call marriages is that when people get married, especially after dating for a long time, it is important not to suddenly come up with a new set of expectations.

The way I put is was this: When people get married they change their expectations but the truth is you can’t live with a “dog” for years and then hope that after the wedding it will stop barking and start purring like a cat. It is a dog and it will continue to bark. If you wanted a cat, you should have married a cat.

Now, just to be clear, I’m NOT saying men are dogs-okay? What I am saying is that when you date a person, the time that you spend getting to know them, should also be time spent setting up realistic expectations for a long term relationship. Obviously, there will be small, maybe even major changes after you get married. A great example is that you will start to live together, assuming that you were not already. These kinds of changes in expectations are normal and reasonable. You cannot, however expect that a person will morph into a different and maybe more “responsible” life partner just because you both said “I do”.

Maya Angelou has been known to say, “When people show you who they are, believe them”. So, when you date a person, this is the time that they will show you who they are and that is the behavior upon which you should set your expectations. If their behavior while you are dating is unacceptable, marriage will only compound the degree to which you find their behavior unacceptable.

Again, the lesson is simple; if you want to marry your “honey”, understand that the way your honey is when you’re dating is basically the way that honey will be when you’re married.  If you marry him (or her), don’t ask him (or her) to change and certainly, don’t expect them to.

It would not surprise me to find out that this is precisely what went wrong with Martin and Shamicka. I reckon that Shamicka married Martin and thought that when they got married, he would change and she was disappointed to find out that he didn’t and probably wasn’t going to. And now…Divorce.

Walter “BlackBond” Cobb: What Men Like in Women

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Do You have the time is an age old pick up line that is hardly used in this manner any longer, but I think I will start using it when getting to know a woman. Today, women are in the work force accomplishing more than they ever have and many often have to juggle running a home and a family on their own. I commend them for this, but so often they are not making time for life. To me, there are very few traits that are as attractive as a woman having a zest for life. But where has that zest gone??? I hear about women who hit the snooze button a few times in the morning and roll out the bed in just enough time to get dressed and head for work. No breakfast being made. Many just grab some junk in the morning as they hit the drive through for their morning coffee. An even worse phenomenon happens in the evening. Women are saying they don’t have enough time to cook dinner for themselves or their kids as they are putting extra hours in at the office and are too tired to cook when they get home. So take out it is, or even worse, fast food drive through.

Okay, we know this and now you are asking what does this have to do with male/female relationships. When a man starts thinking that he wants to get to know a woman seriously, he considers a lot of things. To me, a woman who cannot seem to carve out enough time in her daily routine for herself, will have you competing for time with her. Even if she likes you! Now I am all for earning your attention but if we have to compete with life we will lose every time. Women always say men have short attention spans and this is a sure fire way to lose our attention. It is endearing to me when I hear a woman telling me how she makes time to hit the gym and take care of herself. It makes me think she will also make the time to take care of me. Right or wrong this is how we think. Read the rest here.

Sex before Marriage

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I just read a post that really got me thinking…

“You appealed to his lower nature. You had sex with him and didn’t make marriage a requirement. You continue to have sex with him and still don’t make marriage a requirement. You decide that you’re going to have his baby, and again you still aren’t married because, again, you didn’t make it a requirement, he leaves you. But everything is “ALL HIS FAULT!”

The words above are a simple question that a lot of black woman who call themselves “baby mama” need to ask themselves. I completely understand and sympathize with the fact that “it takes two to tango” and that some men need a little nudge (like a court order) to take responsibility and contribute financially for their children’s needs. Anyone who pays attention to most of the things that I say/write, knows that I believe in personal responsibility. Before you ask or require other people to take responsibility for anything, you first have to ask yourself if you are taking responsibility

Read the post here and let me know what you think. [email protected]

Again, my friends, can I please not get an influx of angry e-mails about how judgmental I’m being! 🙂 Some truths need to be faced and we need to have dialogue so that we can begin to move into a better way of thinking and behaving. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge-right?

Mindful Mornings: When things don’t work

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Anytime YOU get involved in something, before YOU throw your hands up and say that it did or does not work, you have to first consider if YOU worked. This applies to all things from entrepreneurial ventures to relationships and marriages. The only constant in your life is YOU and what YOU believe, think, speak and do. Anyone who has knowledge of this one truth can never blame anyone or anything when things don’t work out the way he or she wanted them to.

Peace.

MINDFUL MORNINGS:Find your Greatness

Monday, October 31st, 2011

We must all have intimate knowledge of our own power and greatness. It is only in knowing our own power that we can appreciate that of another person or gender. It is through a lack of knowledge of our own power that we become threatened by the power of another person or gender. If you know your own power you’re secure and if you don’t you’re insecure. This applies to both men and women equally.

Have a POWERFUL day!

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.

What Weiner, Schwarzenegger and Eddie Long have in common-Marriage!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

At a glance, it seems that Eddie Long, Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger really only have one thing in common; they are public figures who were publicly disgraced for their alleged and in two of the cases, admitted inappropriate sexual behavior. What has been on my mind every single time one of these stories has flooded all the media outlets is their wives. All these men are married and as such, have not only publicly humiliated their wives but have possibly exposed them to deadly sexually transmitted diseases.

The department of health in Massachusetts recently announced that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women in the state; most of whom became infected by their intimate partners. I bring this up to bring attention to an area of these sensational stories that most media outlets don’t seem to be interested in talking about. Women, especially black women are being infected with deadly diseases at an alarming rate and the people who are infecting them are their husbands and partners.

While the news reports talk about whether Eddie Long should step down from the pulpit or whether or not Anthony Weiner should resign from public office, no mention is made of what they have exposed their wives to. It’s time for us to shift the focus on all these stories! Yes, these men have an obligation to their congregations or constituents but what about the vows that they made to love and protect their wives? It’s time for us to stop asking if they “used public (fill in the blank)” during the course of their affairs and ask if they used “protection” because failure to do so not only put their lives in danger but it put the lives of their wives in danger as well.

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!

“Who run the world (girls)” by Beyonce is a turn off

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Beyonce’s new single “Who run the world (girls)” is the biggest turn off I have seen Beyonce release since destiny’s Child released “can you pay my bills”.

Let me be clear; I’m not “hating” on Beyonce. In fact, I actually like Beyonce. I find her to be a very beautiful and talented young woman. What I love about Beyonce is her humility in spite of her wealth and fame. That being said, I have to speak out against her new single “Who Run The world (Girls)”.

Let’s read between the lines here-if girls (presumably, black girls) “run the world”, where are the black boys? Let me guess; jail, drugs and the down low-right? Why can we not see that this is a time when we should be affirming and uplifting the boys and the men in the black community? Yes, black women are strong and independent but that is not a reason to now sing about running the world. Why can we not support each other (men and women) and recognize that we work best when we work together. We are different because each gender brings something to the table that the other does not.

So, my darling Beyonce, I really appreciated it when you told young women to tell brothers to “put a ring on it”. This showed that you encouraged us to ask brothers to step up to the plate and make honest women out of us rather than turn us into “hit and run” victims. I even liked it when you told us that you could see the beauty and divine magnificence in your man by singing “I can see your halo”. With this last single, “Who run the world (girls)”, I’m afraid you lost me. I don’t want to run the world with a bunch of other women. I want men and women to unite and then maybe we can talk about running the world.

Peace

Star Jones on The Gayle King Show to discuss new book, Satan’s Sisters

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Today, I gave the Gayle King show a shot and I was not disappointed because it was actually pretty good! The most interesting part of the show was when she interviewed former co-host of ABC’s The View and current contestant on Celebrity Apprentice, Star Jones. Star Jones has been doing the rounds on some television shows promoting her latest novel, “Satan’s Sisters”, which I believe will be an interesting read.

Inevitably, the topic of Star Jones’s rivalry with Nene Leakes of The Bravo show, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, came up. I was very impressed with the way in which Star Jones handled herself during this conversation and on the show, in general. She refrained from reducing herself to petty insults and name calling and instead shifted the focus of the conversation to her reasons for going on Celebrity Apprentice.

According to Star Jones, the reason why she went on Celebrity Apprentice was to promote her charity, which focuses on bringing awareness to the seriousness of heart disease.

In my opinion, Star’s shining moment was when Gayle asked her if she was worried about her reputation with regards to her rivalry with Nene and she gave the best answer that I have heard to that question:

“I am the author of the ONLY dictionary that defines me”

Yes, indeed, we are the only authors of the only dictionary that defines each one of us. I think that we could all learn from Star Jones; let’s stop focusing on what other people think or say about us and focus on our own thoughts and actions. There is so much opportunity for growth when we start to be mindful of how we want to define ourselves and then take the necessary actions to make that vision a reality.

I’m about to hop online and order “Satan’s Sisters.” I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve finished reading. At the very least, I look forward to being entertained and intrigued!
Selah