Posts Tagged ‘successful black women’

Lose Weight: Tip 3

Tuesday, May 1st, 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 we sometimes confuse “thirst” with “hunger”. I also share how you can combat this small problem by always keeping yourself adequately hydrated.

Nomalanga: The Truth about Black Women

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

I was just watching Oprah, on OWN TV, talking about how her grandmother was telling her, at the tender age of four, that she needed to pay attention to how laundry was done as her grandmother was doing the laundry. Even at four years old, she knew that what her grandmother was telling her about her future was not true. Her well meaning grandmother was trying to show Oprah how to do laundry so that one day she could find “good white folk” to work for as a maid.

Looking at Oprah now, I am amazed at how the acceptance or rejection of just one simple thought can change a person’s life. Imagine what Oprah’s life would have been like if she had accepted what her grandmother told her as the truth. The lesson that I draw from that is that we must not accept other people’s opinions of us as the truth.

Any time you hear about the “successful black woman” in the media, there is usually a negative cloud hanging over that image. Black women have to constantly refute those negative characteristics that are attributed to them. We have to constantly defend ourselves and at times we even allow ourselves to be squeezed into that image, usually because we’ve been poked, prodded and disrespected so much, for so long, that we finally REACT!
So, again, here is the simple lesson that I’m reminded of today, as I watch Oprah in all her magnificence: Don’t let other people’s limited and distorted opinions of you define you. Do not accept other people’s opinions of you, no matter how well meaning, as the TRUTH of who you are.

Audre Lorde, a Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist, put it best:

“If you didn’t define yourself for yourself, you would be crunched into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.”

The question that I will leave you with is: Do you want to be “Oprah” or “the laundry lady”? The choice is yours; what you accept as the truth of who you are is your choice.

Boyce Watkins: Why Black Women Can’t Find a Man

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

by Dr. Boyce Watkins

I watched an ABC News special the other night featuring Steve Harvey, Jacque Reed, Sherri Shepherd and my homeboys Hill Harper and Jimi Izrael. The show covered a tried and true topic that is sure to get sky high ratings from the black community: The topic was, Why successful black women can’t find a good man. I am not going to risk bringing on the wrath of black women by saying things that some of them may not want to hear, but I have to be honest about what I saw on this show. Let me just cut to the chase and lay the issues out one-by-one:

1) Why are black women taking relationship advice from Steve Harvey? Not to disrespect Steve’s ability to drop knowledge, but isn’t he a comedian? If we are taking relationship advice from a comedian and our relationship turns into a joke, who do we blame in the end? Bottom line – perhaps learning how to love another person means that after you put aside the book by the comedian, you should go out and buy a book by a relationship expert.

2) Most good women have little trouble getting married to decent men: One has to be skeptical of the beautiful, intelligent, fully capable woman who simply says that she can’t find a good man anywhere. Most women I know who are well-balanced and who also appreciate the idea of respecting men in the same way they would like to be respected, have no trouble finding suitable mates. Sorry to break this to you, but the only constant variable in your relationships is a person called YOU.

Rather than pointing the finger at the world, a bit more introspection might be called for: perhaps you have to reconsider your laundry list of expectations or wonder if you’re not doing a good job finding men who are open to commitment. It’s easy to find a man, just not easy to find a man who is willing to be with you and you only; a lot of brothers simply play the field and allow you to buy an emotional lottery ticket, hoping that you’ll be the one he selects in the end. You may be fishing in the wrong ponds in the first place or using the wrong bait to catch the fish you’re bringing home.

3) If you want something bad enough, take a class: There are classes on relationships and marriage out there that don’t cost much money. If you are determined to be the best mate you can possibly be, it might make sense to take a class that explains all the subtleties and challenges of making a relationship work (not just the counseling you get from your pastor). A relationship is not about a mate fulfilling your long and detailed list of needs and expectations. The bottom line is that if you hope to receive more, you must first fully commit yourself togiving more. Some of us are taught that we should expect the world and not offer anything in return: that’s a perfect recipe for getting dumped.

4) Big mistake – always chasing the alpha male: I know a lot of “regular guys” who are unable to find a woman that is interested in being with them. This is especially true in their mid-twenties, when everyone is single and living fancy-free, with little expectation for long-term commitment. Some of the women these ”regular guys” are interested in are not paying them much attention to them, mainly because the woman has become enchanted with the dream-like alpha male in her life: the guy who fits every single portion of the checklist (height, income, education, toe nail length, swag, etc.), but who may not be available for a monogamous, long-term relationship. What many women seem to forget is that there are some men who always have room for another woman on the roster. If you’re wasting all your time with the lying, cheating, super dog, you might miss out on the chance to be with the man who will love you forever and father all of your children. He may not come in the same package, and by comparing the two without considering the differences in what each of them offers, you may be passing up on your opportunity.

5) Relationships should not be a pissing contest: One of the by-products of many black children growing up in single parent homes is that their relationships become highly contentious. I once saw a neck swinging, energized woman say, “I need a man who can handle me!” What I wanted to tell her is that your man should not have to “handle” you as if you are a wild bull with his testicles sewn together. The act of love is a process of being open, feeling and sharing, not trying to dominate one another. So, if you need to be “handled” in your relationships, realize that you are likely going to only attract men who are mean, rough and insensitive enough to handle you effectively. In fact, you’re not searching for a mate, you may be actually looking for a pimp. Fighting and domination is not the same as love – let’s not get it twisted.

6) There’s nothing wrong with a few gender roles: Sherri Shepherd, during an especially volatile segment of the ABC News show, swung her hands around in the air saying, “I don’t have time to validate you every day!” – referring to the fact that she doesn’t feel that it’s her job to make her man feel good about himself on a regular basis. What’s interesting is that most women want their man to make them feel beautiful and to feel like a woman. So, why is it not acceptable for a man to expect his wife to make him feel like a man? A man doesn’t want to marry another guy – or rather, a woman who feels that any and all gender roles are an insult to her feminine independence and also expects the man to be willing to be regularly emasculated. It’s O.K. to make your man feel like he’s THE man, a king and a leader. A good man will surely return the favor and make you feel like a beautiful woman.

7) Let’s be real- many men aren’t as excited about marriage as women: As much as we want to believe that men grow up fantasizing about their wedding day the same way that many women do, the truth is that this is not the case. Many men see marriage as a frightening commitment that will cause them to be vilified for actions they can engage in without consequence when they are single (notice the millions of dollars that Shaquille O’neal and the rapper Nas have paid to get out of their marriages – every man gets petrified when he reads these stories).

A woman who gets her husband is the one who makes the man WANT to be married: she let’s him feel free, strong, needed, loved and supported. While this may seem to be a primitive concept, the reality is that the reverse is true for sex: Men and women both want it, but men know they have to work just a little bit harder to “get some.” They’ve got to buy flowers, take the woman to dinner, and make her feel comfortable. It would be silly for a man to think that a woman should buy him flowers and beg him to have sex with her. The converse is true for marriage – where getting a man to overcome his anxiety is a great way to get him to give you what you want.

I love black women: My mother, daughter and grandmother are black women and there is not a more precious group of women on the planet. But the truth is that this “woe is me, black men ain’t sh*t” attitude has to be replaced with something more constructive. If not, we’ll be having these same forums 20 years from today.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and the author of the book,“Black American Money.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

Kevin Hart’s message to “Strong Black Women”

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Funny man, Kevin Hart, has allegedly  taken to cartoon illustrations to get his message across to black women about their attitudes. In the cartoon, he shows a group of black women rejecting a black man’s friendly greeting and then goes on to show the same black man walking with a white woman. The funny part is that the same black women who rejected him are then angry to see him with the white woman. The following words are written at the top of the cartoon: Being a “strong black woman” does not mean have an attitude.

What is interesting about this cartoon is that even though Kevin hart is being funny, there is an element of truth in his joke. I have often heard the angry ramblings of black women when they see a black man who has chosen to date or marry a non-black woman. He is often accused of hating himself or hating black woman or some variation of a negative opinion of his choice of partner. Of course, not all black women are angry or even care when they see black men with women of other races but it can’t be said that Kevin Hart is entirely wrong for pointing it out.

What Kevin Hart’s cartoon did fail to illustrate, however, is that there are black men who have such a deep seeded loathing for black women that they will date anyone except a black woman! Most of these men do not date non-black women necessarily because they have been rejected by black women, but instead because they have taken the worst stereotype of black women and draped it all over ALL black women.

At the end of the day, we can keep accusing each other of “selling out” or suffering from self loathing but the numbers still speak louder than any of us can. There are too many broken homes in the black community and a lot of our children are not being raised in happy, healthy and functional two parent homes. An open dialogue needs to take place about how we can begin to bring those statistics down and maybe people like Kevin Hart, although doing it through humor, are doing their part in opening the doors to the dialogue that needs to take place.

Mindful Mornings: Choose what you want

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

I’m so excited about life! Not for any specific reason. I woke up about three hours ago and have been intentional about thinking good [God] things (sowing) and as the day goes(time), I am aware of how Good I feel (reaping). Imagine how good your life can be and feel if you were intentional about every thought that you allowed and every word that you spoke. Imagine if you could choose only what you want to think and what you want to say and could discard the rest! Well…you can. I’m choosing Good things-what about you?

You don’t deserve it…YET!

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Have you ever worked really hard at accomplishing something or prayed really hard and had your mother, aunties and the whole church praying for you and still, NOTHING happened that you were working towards or hoping and praying for?
I was just reflecting this morning and I realized that some of the things that I “have” today, require a great amount of maturity, strength and faith to either have or to endure. If I had, for example, gotten married any sooner than I had, the marriage probably would have failed. It was not until I had learned some important lessons about me and about life and [God], that I got married and I’m so grateful that my prayers were not answered any sooner! Some of the lessons, I have had to learn along the way but I’m so grateful that I had the right foundation.

Marriage is just one example, but even in the last year or so, I have faced some very challenging circumstances and I realize that if I had faced them any sooner in my life, I probably would have crumbled. I’m saying all this to say this: If you’re not getting what you think you deserve or what you want, don’t look at it as something being withheld from you. Look at it as an opportunity to continue to prepare because if it is for you, it is for you! The only “thing” between you and what you want and or deserve is time. Consider that maybe you’re just not ready or you’re not adequately prepared.
I have such a wonderful life that if it were not mine, I would probably envy it! I’m not just bragging, but instead, I’m saying that to make this point: Getting what you want is the easy part; (even if it seems difficult), it’s maintaining what you have, whether its joy, a great job, a great marriage etc., which require the strength, wisdom, fortitude and faith that you may still be in the process of building and acquiring.

Imagine if you got your dream job and then a few days into it, you realized you were completely incompetent! Or, you married your dream man (or woman) and then realized that you were so broken that you were destroying the relationship, along with your spouse and yourself! The alternative is this, you may not get what you want when you want it but in the meantime, you cultivate, in yourself, the skills, wisdom and strength and whatever else it takes to handle “it” when you finally get “it”.
What I’m ultimately saying, my friends, can be summed up in three points:

1. If you feel that you have done everything you need to do to get what you want and have still not gotten it, you probably haven’t done EVERYTHING that needs to be done. Maybe you still have some growing to do…
2. Take time to appreciate where you are and what you have NOW. Total and complete acceptance of who you are, where you are and what your circumstances are is often the bridge that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.
3. If you want something, don’t ever give up. My life is a testimony to that! Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you should or should not want or have. You deserve every good thing that comes into your life and if you don’t get it, it may just not be the right time…YET. Again, don’t EVER give up!

Be well my friends and remember, sharing is sexy! Tweet or share this post on Facebook if you agree that sharing is sexy!

Viola Davis Won!

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Viola Davis was nominated for an Oscar and she did not win, this year. Last week, before the Oscars, I watched the interview below and realized that even before she knew whether or not she won the Oscar, she had already won. I had the same experience at Mrs World.

There is a point in every woman’s life when she realizes the truth about who she is and from that moment, she is a winner.


Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker: How to Have a Happy Marriage

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Check out this interview that Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker did with essence.com. I love seeing marriage work and I love it even more when the happy couples share their “secret to success”. Enjoy!

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The Meaning of Whitney Houston’s Life…and Death

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Last night when I heard about Whitney Houston’s death, the first thing that I experienced was disbelief and then slowly, as I began to process it, I settled into acceptance. Why acceptance? Well, Whitney Houston’s life has come to an end but it did not end until she changed millions of lives. It did not end until she fulfilled her purpose here on earth.

Anyone who does not think that Whitney Houston’s purpose on this earth was tied to singing has not heard her sing. At the height of her singing career, when Whitney Houston sang, some of us were so taken by the beauty and the power in her voice that we would stop breathing. She took our breath away.

I don’t know how Whitney spent the last few moments of her life here on earth, but I hope that even though she may not have lived the “perfect” life, that she recognized that she accomplished something that many die never having accomplished. She did not die with her music still inside of her. Literally.

“Don’t die with your music still inside you. Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs your soul. Listen to that inner voice, and don’t get to the end of your life and say, ‘What if my whole life has been wrong?” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

The lesson that I am taking from Whitney Houston’s life and death is, as Dr. Dyer puts it, to listen to my intuitive inner voice and find what passion stirs my soul. At the end of my time here on earth, I will not wonder if my whole life was wrong. I won’t wonder because listening to that voice is listening to God’s soft whisper and no one and nothing is more powerful than that.

Rest in peace, Whitney Houston. No matter what anyone says about you, I love you. I admire you. You taught me a lesson. You literally, did not die with your music inside you and now even though your body has left this earth, you will live on through your music.
PEACE

Mindful Mornings: Other People’s Opinions

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

I’ve learned that as you become more and more of a “public figure”, you must be skilled in focusing and also eliminating distractions. You must be able to define yourself for yourself. If you do not do these two things, you’ll be pulled in so many directions that you won’t even know who you are anymore.

People will always have opinions and most of them are irrelevant but the most important opinion is the one that you have of yourself. What is your truth? And are you living it?