When the Light Bulb Goes Off

As the days pass
I wonder where you are
I have been through so much
The aspiring corporate guy
The forever educator
The one I see potential in, but he does not see it in himself

But today I saw…
A man that caught a piece of my soul (sigh)
My attention like no other
The one that just has
An ora about him
Call it as you may…
His swag, smell, and clear passion to be a better person

It has been so long since
This feeling has come into play
The moment of looking up and seeing someone
A person that made me think twice about the decisions I make in life
A man that stands out no matter what he is in, people have respect for him

Everything about him
Says I should be able to be relaxed
I tend to find myself a little nervous and hoping I give him the same feeling
He makes me wonder when I will see him again
If I am writing on his soul the way he just did mine
The insight to a future I can’t be sure will become truth
He brings me an easy smile with just
Seeing his name pop up on my phone
The morning messages that show he is thinking of me
He inspires me without trying

The communication piece of being able to discuss anything
There is no moodiness, no topic left uncovered, or hidden fears
What can I say… I support his dreams as hard as I support my own
His soul speaks to mine and offers a calming mechanism like no other
I just might have had my light bulb go off…


Hold Me Accountable

This subject is one that does not come natural to us. It is something that is either taught at a younger age or something you hope to learn along your growth path in life. Accountability can be hard to come by as it is not the easiest to take that route. It happens to be something that some seem to latch on to faster than others. We all view being accountable differently as well as how we correct it.


Many have said that if you don’t start teaching the little blessings right from wrong early on, it is harder to get a grasp on or correct later. You can’t teach this universally as all views differ, however, there are a few things that hold true. I believe that there is a moral compass when looking towards being accountable. At the young age of a toddler learning to share to the date you age to a point that you may not care what you say and who it impacts, can make all the difference. If we teach our kids how to be kind, considerate, and open to learning new things versus straying away from them, they are on their way to a good start. At the tender ages, children look to their parents and environment to learn what is acceptable and what is not. They learn what is right and wrong by watching our actions and the circumstances that are a result of or the discipline that follows. Keep in mind all discipline does not consist of physical contact. You have to learn what fits your child. My nieces and nephews tend to do better with a good talking and a discussion versus physical contact. If we can teach the little ones that learn so much from observing us and listening to us, it limits hope that you can work with or convince adults to look at their behavior. Children’s cartoons and music also discuss these factors.

I believe by the time we are young adults we start to form our ideas of what we hold ourselves accountable for and others. It may change along the years but we start to mold in some very crucial ways. We start to realize what others do not accept accountability for and what we think they should be held accountable for certain actions and outcomes. We realize that this subject is not only important in our personal life but in our careers. It is generally a factor people look at when they define our character. Accountability in my opinion shares some insight as to how self-aware you are. However, I do believe being accountable is more than just the party at hands to recognize. At times being held accountable takes those around you to remind you that you need to scale it back or could choose to handle things a certain way. Let’s rest assured that the kids that have shot up schools, everyone asked where were the parents, what did their friends know, did other students see them as a threat? They ask these questions because many times the tragedies that impact us and our country could have been stopped if people would step forward and speak up. Folks always say they don’t want to get involved or they wouldn’t want to be wrong. I think you have to ask yourself what level your relationships are on if you can’t be honest with one another. I EXPECT my folks to tell me when I am going overboard an issues that don’t require that. If I see people spiraling out of control due to whatever the reason, we should say something. I think it is so weird that some of yall are comfortable calling out certain people on things that are a stretch of the situation, but with others it is something you stray from. What kind of families and friendships are we building that are supposed to be subsurface if we can’t hold peoples feet to the fire. I am not speaking of being rude, or disconnecting from them. It is called effective communication. We pick and choose in those when it is ok. I can understand with acquaintances or people you don’t know, but for folks that you care about. I tell you… I’ll keep it polite and say it sucks and makes me shake my head.


Folks, this is not rocket science. Just stand up for something like they say or fall for everything. If you feel my passion behind this… it is because it burns my fire. We need to learn how to address being accountable in situations versus acting out. We aren’t children and there is a way to handle all situations. Rest assured I am that family member and friend that will call those on this. It has led to people not speaking, wanting to be around less, and anything else you can think of. The thing that makes that ok with me is knowing my reason and my purpose. I don’t move in the way of being deceitful or making people feel bad about decisions. If we have a hard conversation due to any situation it is because I feel we can grow from it. Holding folks accountable should never be about pointing fingers. Pointing fingers and blame only leads to people being defensive. Many times when holding a person accountable it is about the delivery, it isn’t even always what was said. I was notorious for that conversation with my father. I loved him and he loved me. However, many times when he discussed things with me he was not happy about, his tone and delivery took over the message. My father and I discussed things from A to Z. So these conversations happened here and there. Holding someone accountable is about the learning process and the growth. It is not about making them feel bad or some type of way. If you find yourself wanting to discuss accountability with someone and don’t think you can focus on what is most important then I would say wait to have that talk unless it is a life threatening situation. I say that because it is about the person you are wanting to discuss things with, it is not about you. Don’t make this about you, let them be the focus and be able to clearly explain why this is a concern. Feel free to expand on the positives or the way things could be different when taking accountability.

If you enjoyed this blog, feel free to read Dating 101 and Friendship 101. Accountability can make and break those situations. You decide how to handle it best based on the people involved and be willing to step back and evaluate it as if you were not the other party involved. Choose to make a difference and have those hard conversations because you love and care about these people, not because of anything else.


The Reflection of Me

Time after time, I hear people complain about others and circle back around to themselves. I wonder how many of us choose to take the time and look at our reflection. We have all seen the memes of looking in the mirror and seeing something fierce or vice versa something weak. How do you determine when and how to work on you? Is it as big of a priority as it is to meet up with friends, do what family needs, or anything else? Many of us struggle to make ourselves the priority.

I can say that making the choice to choose you is not always the easiest. Many of us have the outside noise of others in our head from things and comments that have been shared in the past. I find it odd to hear how friends will speak to one another, family, and others, but don’t do the same things with other loved ones. I sit and listen to the words we decide to say to one another and take notice to the way people respond. It is not about conflict or being bigger and bolder, it is about choosing you. At times we make decisions in our lives that a limited amount of people will understand and support, but keep in mind your journey is not about them. Words can be so painful and leave scares deeper than the eyes can see. Think about what comes out of your mouth about yourself and to others before speaking. All of us have to look in the mirror from time to time. We all have to decide to rise above and realize it is not wrong to take care of me before everyone else. Now that I have your attention, let’s jump into it a little deeper looking at our Spirit and mind.

Your Spirit is more than something that has to be feed every now in then. You need to take care of our Spirit as you do yourself. It is the one thing that will keep you going when you aren’t sure if you want to roll out of bed. Connect your Spirit to a higher power that knows your journey and what you are capable of more than you realize and may have accepted. This is your internal link and opportunity to stay powered through all that the world throws at you. No one’s life is perfect, even those that appear that way. I have been there, I promise. It is not about focusing on that, it is about knowing how to connect and refuel and who to turn to. I am going to need us to stop turning to people for support that will call you weak and challenge who you are because you are not making the choices they agree with. Let your Spirit lead you to the reflection that can grow like a vine into a beautiful tree that will give more life and light than you can think of. You have a purpose, You have a destiny, and You are here for a reason. Some of us come into this later than others that is ok, it is all ordered steps to get to a purpose.
Your reflection in the mirror can say so much more than just what you see physically. Your mind has to be in line to head to the next level. You have to make up your mind that the things you need to do will take time, may take you away from your normal routine, and may cause you to feel a little indifferent. I urge you not to stray the course. Take the time you need to pamper, relax, and grow. Many of us feel taking this time makes us selfish in some way, that is just not the case. Our bodies speak to us in many different ways. Listen to what it is saying to you, headaches, aches, pains, unexplained fatigue can be signs that you need to just take a day for you. I am not a doctor, but many times as you start to make some changes in the direction the ship is sailing to it can be hard to adjust and accept that you are making you a priority. I promise you that most are going to do what is best for them, their families, and anything else. You have to make the decision to put you first.
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I ask you to make the choice today… don’t let your past steal your future, don’t let the words from someone’s lips hold you back, allow yourself to be free and your story to be written by what is more important and that is you and your growth. You need to be at a good point in your Spirit and mind to be able to move forward. The reflection of you should be as positive as the grace God put inside you, as bright as the light shines from the sun, and as daring as you want to be. Trust and have faith in yourself as you do in many others. Be bold and brave and ask God to guide your steps that are designed for you only. Your reflection won’t match your families, your best friends, or people you don’t care for. Don’t let it slow you down, deter you, or stop you.

Stay tuned for The Reflection of Me Part II and if you enjoyed this blog please check out The Past Shook Hands with My Future.


The Day Texas Changed Part II

As the time passes and the tears come less frequently

I think back on the smiles and moments that were created

The times of hugs and cooking and when talking was a not a past time

A father that was dedicated in every way to make sure

His children knew his love and that he was there for them through the long haul

Time has seen to fly by since you are no longer physically here

However, there are those moments of longing to just fill you in on

The new changes, choices, and next steps in my life

I find myself inspired to do more because I know you knew I had so much more I wanted to do

I wish I had the answers for how things occurred and where if anything could have been different

I’ve come to accept that all I have left are the imprints you left on my heart and soul

A man that adored me from my first breath to his last

Who would tell it to me like it was and not sugar coat it just to appease me

I hope you know how much I loved you and adored you

I always prayed that my husband would possess your hard working qualities, the love of children you had, and the openness to discuss and communicate about anything

If I paid attention to my visions then, I would have known long before my engagement ended that my husband had not crossed my path… as you weren’t present at my wedding

I thank you for being a father that others could appreciate

Wanting to help me become the best person I could be

As well as not shying away from me in those teenage moments where I may have gotten a little beside myself
What can I say Pops… Jaws… Daddy… I will love you always and you live on in my memories and thoughts


Communication, Communication, Communication

I find myself wondering why communication has become so foreign to so many these days. They say it rules the nation, but to me it seems to be one of the number one lacking skills of people. I find it so odd that so many don’t seem to realize that we communicate with way more than what is traveling from our mouth to peoples ears. Verbal and nonverbal communication is something many of us can work on. It is the way we speak to one another without saying a word.

So much is to be gained through communicating with like-minded and non-like-minded people. Diversity is not just important in the workplace, but even when learning to communicate with people. So many people communicate in different ways. One way is to necessarily better than the others, but there are definitely ways that are more effective than others.
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Communication through tone, eyes, hand gestures, body language also shows a lot about if you are receiving what is being communicated. If you are having a conversation and you can’t make eye contact, you may appear that you are disinterested in the conversation depending on the context of the conversation.

Although people like to think that while communicating with different ethnicities that you need to communicate differently. I disagree. The dynamic does not change. Learning how to communicate better helps not only in personal relationship, interviews, and everything you do in life but also generally makes the party more confident in discussions. I don’t know how aware people are about their lack of communicating in a positive manner, but I think it is one of those things that we could all stand to evaluate. Take time to grow and expand in this area so there are not issues with people understanding what you are saying.
Humans have so many ways to communicate but seem to also struggle at times with knowing how to do this. It shocks me as we start communicating at such an early age and should generally be pretty well at it by our adult age. I guess we have to take into account the environment people grew up in as many times that is the communication skill we may gravitate to. Most will do that until they have had a chance to live some on their own and recognize there are some areas that can be polished. It doesn’t always come naturally and I don’t think we should shame ourselves for that. It could have a lot to do with mindset and maturity in my opinion. My question is when or if you find that you need to hone this skill, will you? Can you ask for help? Can you tell people you are in relationships with that you know you need to work on this and are willing to do so? People feel that discussing a weakness at times doesn’t benefit anyone. I strongly disagree, it shows you are aware and that is the first step to so many things. I have been one of those that have stuck my neck out with some and said, you just don’t communicate in a manner that works for others you deal with. Some will say it isn’t my place, but the few that I have discussed that with were family or like family and we are able to speak freely.
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Don’t do this for anyone…do it for you and yours and I can bet you will start to see some benefit to this. If you work on this and your circle or support team does not seem to make strides in communicating, know this will be more of a struggle. I urge you not to shy away from this, instead embrace it. I do not mean becoming hostile or starting arguments. Just know that with any growth comes with stretching yourself and at times others around you. Be patient with yourself, be patient with them and allow yourself time to work on this skill. Don’t stunt your growth to feed someone else’s ego.

Keep in mind, if this is something you want to grow in or work on with public speaking as well… I am available to assist in this area now as a tutor.

Hard Core Beauty 2nd Annual Health Expo

Extra, Extra, Read all about it…In an age where obesity is at an all-time high and health has become a large focus of most businesses for their employees, I believe we need more events like this. This was the 2nd Annual Health Expo for Hard Core Beauty that is run by Bridgette Pridgen.  Bridgette is a stay at home mom, a blogger, the radio show host of Hard Core Beauty, and the creator of Eccentric Beauty. Eccentric Beauty was birthed from a desire to provide awareness to people on what we apply and take in our bodies. The brand provides a great balance and insight into her personal life and her personality.

This event is something that is a near and dear cause to Mrs. Pridgen. In speaking with her about the event and what it means to her, she shared that the health fair idea came about as her way to give back to the community. Her radio show Hard Core Beauty is built on the premise of the C.E.L.E.B lifestyle which means Community Education Legacy Empowerment and Business. She wants to give people a platform to help others, to receive quality help and information, and area businesses a chance to gain exposure and expand their business through vending. I recall speaking to her last year and this year prior to the event and to say she was excited and had a high level of enthusiasm in reference to planning the event, would be an understatement. It was a priority of hers to try and involve more of the community, offer a family friendly event that the entire family could come out and learn and enjoy.

The expo tripled in just a year’s time. The event was from 9AM to 2 PM and had snacks donated from Roots to the Soul and On the Boarder. At an all new location in Grand Prairie, it was a perfect fit. The expo was located at IT Fitness Gym located at 2625 Aviation Parkway Grand Prairie, TX and ran by Michael T Booker. This location allowed for space, 27 vendors, volunteers, live remote radio sessions, live mini class sessions, a kid zone, and a concession stand that was beyond reasonable. This atmosphere not only had a personal touch, but I noticed how comfortable people felt, from the volunteers warming smiles to the friendly vendors and the hostess herself moving around and greeting people and mixing and mingling.

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The volunteers had on Hard Core Beauty shirts and were very pleasant to work with. The expo offered a raffle that gave away water bottles, blinders, t-shirts, detox teas, workout gear, etc. They offered a segment that got the kids involved in working out for prizes. Michael T Booker had the kids show us how to do push-ups and sit ups as well as shared a little about the classes he offers for adults and children. A DJ was onsite as well and played old school and appropriate new school music.


This year consisted of community partners Parkland Hospital, Walgreens, and Carter Blood Services. The sponsors were Ford, Belk, Grand Prairie city council, AT&T, UPS, Vita Coco Water, Roots to the Soul, TMI media network, Honey Be Natural Magazine, BLI media Group, Illustrious Optics. Carter Blood Care was on site and available to take blood from donors.  Miss Texas also came by the event as well.

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The creator of the event shared advice for those considering putting on an event like this, “I would advise if someone is looking to plan an event like this to have a clear concise plan. You should definitely learn the laws and legal aspects of your area with planning or conducting a nonprofit event. You can encounter issues with permits, licenses, etc when you deal with sponsorship, food vendors, etc. So it’s good to do your research!”

When asked what else she would like to share about the event, she said, “overall this was an awesome event and I am so impressed with the vendors, demonstrations, and the support this year! It was challenging at times with balancing the planning, running a radio show, and being a mother and wife but I made it through it! I couldn’t done it without my awesome team and partners. This year I partnered with Rock Performance Gear (Larenda Ross) and IT fitness former NFL player (Michael Booker and Manager Nicole Vasquez) to make this event a success! They were very diligent and assisted me with meeting this year’s goals!  I also am so grateful for my TMI Media Network family who helped me keep things together, encouraged me and kept me on track the day of the event! Kevin Hopwood, Bolanle Alade (Dr.Bo), Kandace Johnson, (Kjoi), Tera (Lady T) Karl Michael Jones were all awesome and I was happy to have them on my team!”

Thank you Bridgette for turning your passion into reality and reminding us how important it is to take care of ourselves and loved ones. It isn’t often that these kinds of events can be family friendly, but you were able to offer this in a central location and at a great time of year.

The World without Bullying


We all recall this saying above from when we were younger and growing up. I think I recall hearing it most when I was in elementary. Too bad, it isn’t true. Words hurt just as much as actions do and these days bullying is on a rise. I know it occurred in my adolescent days in the 80’s and 90’s, but now a days it has become so much more prominent. We are seeing kids shoot up schools, commit suicide, and become introvert over it. They are making Lifetime movies behind the story lines and true stories based on the way students are responding to the bullying and the battle of trying to overcome it.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a bully as a blustering browbeating person; especially:  one habitually cruel to others who are weaker. I just want to make sure in case someone reads this and isn’t sure what we are discussing they know the context in which I will be discussing this. So in an effort to break it down a little more the website www.stopbullying.gov/kids/facts/index.html sharing that it ranges from teasing, spreading rumors, leaving kids out on purpose, and attacking someone by hitting them or yelling at them. It goes on to discuss the rise in cyber bullying and how this occurs. We have seen a rise in this as well over the last few years with the increase of social media and children and teenagers being able to create pages on sites.

I find this to be a major issues in today’s society and not just with children. I see it happen amongst all age groups. I think we hear about it most in children because of the actions of some of these kids and their actions. I find myself most amazed by the stories and the effort it takes them to make someone else feel bad. I want to say that I first wonder what their parents are like and if they have anything to do with the behavior. I am not saying blame parents, I am saying I am curious as some of these kids are picking up the behavior they are seeing adults do and get things they want. On the other hand you will have the kids out there that are taking out the lack of dealing with other issues not resolved by bullying or belittling someone else. It has never been any secret that kids can be cruel at times and I am not sure that is really it or they can be more candid than anything. However, after a certain age, they understand fully what is not nice to say to another person or party. When you look at stats like approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying and over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year per www.dosomething.org you can’t help but know it is a growing issue in America.

Many will act like this is not an issues in schools and in workplaces, but it isn’t just the future of America that is in jeopardy by these children talking to one another as Donald Trump often finds it ok to speak about his opponents. I share this as he has been known at times to avoid answering the question and address someone’s appearance or lack thereof based on his judgement or opinion. I have to ask myself, who is he to judge and make any comments on anyone else’s features. I bring him up as his numbers in the polls indicate there are actually people considering him for President and if we are looking at someone who can’t have a fluid conversation without slandering someone’s looks… I wonder if bullying would rise with a leader like this in office, after all he is and would continue to be a figure in the public eye. Kids don’t always know when seeing adults act like this and parents not taking time to remind them this kind of behavior is not ok, that we can’t behave this way. I wonder if the Trump has considered what he would do if it was someone else talking to his children the way speaks to fellow counterparts or makes comments about women. I am not picking on him, I say this as so many of us watch television with our kids in the room and may even tune into the debates or news channels and see these recounts of his or anyone’s actions. We may comment and condone it before thinking about the impressionable person listening and watching how we respond to those comments.


So, if we were all to stop and Look at the Man in the Mirror as Michael Jackson so nicely graced us with his tunes, where this world would be. Bullying hasn’t risen because this type of behavior is acceptable. Cyber bullying hasn’t been able to increase due to the lack of attention being given to it. Cyber bullying just brings me to another point. Do children really need to be on social media?? Many adults don’t know the do’s and don’ts of social media; so do children? We have opened this platform up for our children and it has become a mainstream avenue to easily be derogatory with other children, heck some adults use it for the same thing. I want you to think of this one step further as someone will read this and say, kids will be kids. I believe there is some truth in that statement, however, keep in mind that without them understanding to handle themselves on social media opens them up to more things then what they deal with right now. Jobs, colleges, etc are not researching peoples social media sites at times reviewing people’s behavior. We all know that what is put online can always be found. Do we need our adolescents posting things that may not indicate who they are or will be in the future that can damage their future? Some colleges are looking at recruiting and following students with talent from middle school all the way up. I am just wanting us to get out of this mind frame that, because they are young it won’t impact their future. We need to be addressing these issues head on. Do you think that kids come up with ideas about not liking their hair, shape of their nose, roundness of their chin on their own? Some in time will, many will gain insecurities over what they have been harassed on overtime. I want our parents to be vigilant and willing to combat it head on with your child or children in your village per say. If you are a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent and you are a bully, you need to recognize the fact that you are helping aid in molding this little one’s future and consider changing the way you handle things. I know, I know… I will have some people asking. Who does she think she is with this? What I do know is I have seen adults do the same thing, outcast someone they don’t even know due to something they aren’t sure they can relate to or with. Folks, we all have to exist on this earth as one. We all have differences and things that are unique about us, those differences shouldn’t pull us apart, but make us stronger. In the Corporate world, there is a reason they discuss focusing on each person’s strengths to grow and working to build on weaknesses to turn them into a strength.

I ask you to think of how different our world would be if students and adults weren’t considering taking their lives and hurting one another because their egos are bruised and they weren’t accepted. I ask you to take a look on how you start making a difference with who you are and how you conduct yourself. We all have Monsters under our bed as Rhianna and Eminem sing about in their song, but can we take someone else by the hand and help them through it. Can we offer a prayer up for the one we don’t understand as you don’t know what their battle is? Can we pay attention to our children and the ones you have an impact and not sugar coat the real issues. Have those hard discussions to make see where there head is and what is going on school and at social events? Can we consider saying no to social media as they don’t know how to properly use a cell phone at times, let alone social media with predators, and other things on it that many times is outside of their scope anyway?

I urge you to report bullying and open your eyes to make sure it isn’t your child that is bringing destruction on someone else as well as yourself. I know self-evaluation and self-awareness is not the easiest thing to do at times. I just wonder what our world would be like if we really all attempted to start with ourselves and or households to make a difference in such a large and horrible cause. If every child was excited about going to school and seeing the sun shine because the environment is or was different. If adults didn’t want to stay in their office or cubicle or classroom at break time due to not being accepted or rejected.

I feel strongly about the cause and therefore I will release a video soon on Facebook and YouTube.  Please stay tuned and thanks for stopping by.






Punta Cana Live

Aloha and Magnifico were the words to know. I don’t splurge much, but glad I did for this trip. It was the tip of the iceberg to come back to some changes and allowed me some much needed rest and relaxation. October has tended to bring about change for me over the last few years and this year rings no different. The trip allowed me to get my first stamp in my passport. Yep, that is right. It was my first trip out of the country. I believe it is an experience everyone should aim for, just to know and see what is out there. I wrote before about pampering yourself and this is one of those things.

The trip was booked at almost a year in advance which made it affordable to be able to pay out over time. It was booked through a travel agency to ensure that all was legit and would be provided. I went to the all-inclusive route as it seemed most cost efficient. I must say to travel like this takes a bit out of you. You spend your first and last day traveling most the day. The day I left, my flight left at 7 AM had plane change in Charlotte for about an hour and we landed in Punta Cana at 3:15 PM. The flight back was at 2 PM and stopped and changed planes in Miami and we made it home at 8:30 PM. I will say that going through Customs was not like I thought it would be. I guess I can say that as I am pretty by the book and was pretty safe on what I brought back with me. The travel agency set up for travel to and from the resort from the airport which was very helpful.

Most of the population was very helpful, spoke English as a second language, and smiled most of the time. I exited the plane once we landed and the heat there was different then it is here. The place is just a site to see. The airport had an area where you could exchange money for Pesos which is their currency there. They do warn you that it is cheaper to do the exchange at the airport due to them not charging a commission fee. They give you a form that verifies the conversion and where the exchange took place. The amount of the Peso to dollar conversion changes daily, not sure I understand how or why that is and didn’t get a chance to discuss it with anyone. When I arrived it was 37 Pesos to 1 dollar and during the days I was there it varied from 45 to 47, etc.


The all-inclusive resort that I stayed at was called Breathless, it was an all adult resort. It was beautiful and the room had a walk out patio with a swim up pool in front as well as a Jacuzzi on the balcony. The room had vibrant colors like orange and green in the colors in the room. The room came stocked with a mini bar that had Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Dos Eques in it. They offered 5 different restaurant’s and had room service that was available 24 hours a day. I was a little disappointed in the fact that all of them served American food. They don’t quite do American food the same way we do. I was hoping to get a taste of the Dominican food while there. However, it was all included with drinks and entertainment offered on the resort grounds. The resort grounds offered entertainment on the grounds with live music to different shows ranging from Belly Dancing to Sensuality Shows. The resort ended at the beach. So… depending on what you wanted to do, you really didn’t have to leave the resort to enjoy yourself.

Along the way, I learned that they prefer to be tipped in American money versus their currency. I found that odd, outside of the fact that US money is worth more. I would say that some just about frowned when given a tip in Pesos. They never asked for American money, but someone mentioned that to me. Some were very friendly and others seemed like they could care less if Americans came back. I thought this was odd as so many areas seemed to be run down or thriving due to the resorts and excursions that are bringing money to their country. The people there were beautiful and ranged from all shades and eye colors. Many handsome men and their accent just added to that.


They offer a ton of excursions that would satisfy anyone. They all seemed to be very cost effective. They offered multiple activities and being gone for a few hours out of the day. They offered designated drivers that made it clear who was picking you up and did cut down on confusion. One that I tried was called Ocean Spa. It was $154.00 for a 3 hour Ocean Spa literally. When we arrived we were able to have a fish eating pedicure which felt like someone was tickling your feet. They gave you a brochure to read on this while you are in process. The fish don’t have teeth, so you just feel a suction feeling. We had a small yoga class to start the relaxation process. The tour then offered a detox bath for your feet and a sheet and a person to read the color and flakes of your water. This was interesting to see as your water starts to change colors, you don’t know if you feel embarrassed or just try and relax. Heck, I figured no one knew me and we are all there doing the same thing so I was just going to take it all in. It went on to take you on a float in the ocean for about 20 minutes to relax and enjoy the water. Next was a massage and a body scrub followed by a quick shower and then to enjoy lunch while watching people swim with sting rays and sharks. Yep, I said sharks. I don’t know about yall, but I had never heard of friendly sharks. I will say they weren’t great whites, so maybe that was it. I can’t say if I would have been able to do it. Lol. After lunch, we were on the ocean for a while before returning. Needlessly to say, I was more than relaxed when this was done. I was no good after this, lol. I was like we need this in Texas and I am shocked no one has it going or maybe we do and I just don’t know. The next one I tried was a Cigar, Rum, Coffee/Chocolate tour. This was one superb as well. The cigar tour talked about the history of cigars, the difference between Dominican and Cuban cigars, and why you can’t come back in the states with Cuban cigars. The rum portion provided more options than I had ever seen in Rum. It was very tasty and the tour offered tasting in shot glasses. The coffee/chocolate tour had different flavor coffee liqueurs and chocolate. I don’t recall every making it to the chocolate part as I got side tracked with trying the tea and the looking at the natural coco butters, lip balms, etc. I couldn’t resist getting a few things from this tour *wink*

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to travel here is to make sure anything you plan to bring back is allowed. Things as simple as the sand and sea shells are not allowed back in the States. Many souvenir shops sold hats or baskets that were nice to look at and use while there, but depending on what they were made of, they were not able to be brought back due to certain regulations. Our travel agent handler at the resort explained this being a concern due to different bacteria that lives there and is on live and non-live cultures.


Punta Cana is known for its drink called Mamma Juana. It is said to be an aphrodisiac and very strong. I had to try it while I was there. They served it in a tall shot glass and when I say I had to sip it, I had to sip it. It was pretty potent. I didn’t feel the aphrodisiac characteristics afterward, but it was nice to try something from their culture.

All in all, it was a good trip. Had a few run in with people coming in the room that weren’t supposed to be there, but after all maybe that is why they put a safe in your room that only you have a code to. Once incident was security who later found out he was looking for someone and the other incident was apparently part of their protocol that they forgot to mention. I had a blast and was able to reflect and clear my head. It  was a great first experience out of the country and I know what to expect the next round.

Let’s Get Vulnerable

The word alone seems to make some people cringe. What is it about getting down to the nitty gritty and sharing our bare selves and souls that makes it so scary or a reason for flight? It is defined as easily hurt or harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally or open to attack, harm, or damage per Merriam Webster.  I see so many of us attempt to run from this avenue versus embracing it. What is it that concerns us most about this action or state of being?


I am going to say the number one cause of me not being vulnerable with a person is the concern of being hurt or not accepted. The question is how we get past this to allow ourselves to get to know people on a deeper level. Is it through accepting ourselves? Is it by better evaluating those relationships to see if there is a need to allow yourself to open up on a deeper level? I wonder what most of us stand to lose. I am going to go out on a limb and say that most of us don’t reveal that side of ourselves due to not wanting to share our story. As the Christian based song goes, you don’t know my story… The things that I’ve come through. When I envision the idea of being vulnerable I admit, I don’t allow everyone into that part of me. The reason is that I am not always ready to allow someone into that part of me.


I believe that when we open ourselves up to be vulnerable, the true us is released. It is hard to live with a wall of concern always up. You find yourself constantly worried about what someone will think or repeat and unsure how you will be viewed. I have noticed the people that don’t appear to be so concerned with being vulnerable are the ones that have dealt with past issues and are willing to share their story to help someone else. They understand that shedding a tear with someone while they discuss their fears doesn’t make them weak, in fact it enhances the nature of that relationship. Folks the moment you have to protect yourself from being vulnerable, you are having to cover daily, every minute, every second of who you are. I am saying all of this to say… breathe and enjoy life. One day sooner or later your lungs will fill one last time and you will never have a chance to connect to another soul. I would say that being vulnerable allows you to be free to follow what your path is. I don’t know who you pray to or if you believe in a higher power, but whoever or whatever that is… how much deeper does your connection come when you just let it all out. It makes me think of a time in college after overcoming some things with an ill parent, losing my grandparents, and facing the concern of crossing that stage being overwhelmed with emotion. I got home and fell on my bed and must have cried harder than I think I had allowed myself in so long. I prayed like I hadn’t in years. I was so tired of being put together and taking on things that weren’t for me to figure out… Don’t let yourself get there folks. Drop to that knee and say a prayer and be vulnerable with that higher power. God doesn’t judge us for crying, sharing our weaknesses, fears, confirming we are tired, and/or admitting we are unsure of where to go next. I know you can’t do this in all relationships, but when you think about friendships, partnerships; how do you get to know people on a deeper level without this? Are you blocking yourself from those connections and opportunities to grow?

I recently had a meeting with someone about my next steps for Roots to the Soul and I recall as she was talking with me and asking to get to my core tears came to my eyes. Imagine how embarrassed I was to be tearing up in front of someone I was meeting for the first time and asking for guidance from. She never batted an eye or came off opposed as she was listening to my story and my reason for blogging, writing, wanting to grow in certain avenues. Instead, she said it was good and that it gave her an idea of why I am trying to move forward in the things I am. If you know me at all, you know I apologized for this over and over. She never insinuated that it was an issue or a problem. However, what I can say is that the advice she gave me was different from the direction others had given me. She gave me some homework and steps to take to work on that path and even asked me to keep her updated from time to time. She had no idea how much it touched me for being able to be just met while talking and sharing ideas with her. If she had reacted in disgust or become uncomfortable then I can’t be sure that I would be able to share my story as I am learning to do.


Keep in mind that being vulnerable is not a charity piece. You don’t need to do this with everyone. Evaluate the situation. If you are newly dating someone, it may not be the best time to share every skeleton in your closet. If you are just starting a friendship, you may not want to dump the heavy stuff on them. Give it time in your relationships and allow them to grow based on their purpose, be mindful who you allow yourself to be vulnerable with as it is not for everyone and every situation. Stop trying to share a piece of yourself with someone else that has shown they are not open to that. As I have witnessed, men have to be careful not to show a women she can’t be vulnerable with them as once she is aware of that, she won’t be and he may be left trying to figure out what changed. Some women adapt to the situation and handle people the way they put out there they prefer to handled. If you proclaim to be for everyone and when the opportunity presents itself, you fight it tooth and nail… you aren’t being vulnerable, you seem confused in who you are. Stop forcing yourself to open up and being vulnerable with someone who has shown no interest in small talk or you. In rare situations you being vulnerable with these parties will make a break through. True enough some of them are just suffering and need to know someone understands. However, some really don’t have your interest in mind it is ok to admit and acknowledge that.

For those of us out here making an impact, sharing views, promoting products keep in mind that us being vulnerable is different as we are expected to be able to get down to it and open up. It is like a female getting off from work, getting home and washing the makeup off her face and changing into something comfy and putting her hair up in a ponytail. That is the person you want to get to know. Who is the person underneath the corporate layer, the dad layer, the sister layer, the radio personality layer, etc.






Being a Leader

Being a leader is more than knowing how to lead. You have to know how to motivate, speak, be a follower at times, and create solutions to impromptu changes. Often times people struggle on what this word really means and what all comes with the job per say. I would beg to differ and say, don’t see it as a job, a title, or a work formality; view it as your gift and talent. Everyone is not cut out for leadership nor do they want the stresses or highs and lows that come with it. This quote by John Quincy Adams spoke to me “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” After reading over articles and thinking of the many leaders I know, most of them don’t necessarily see themselves in that role. Most see themselves more in a coaching role to assist and help create. It is why when I saw the quote from John Quincy Adams, it spoke volumes to me.
It is not always about being heard and many times it is the action behind the proclaimed words that show your leadership ability. Everyone wanting to be a leader may not be viewed or recognized as one, so make sure you evaluate why you are doing it.  It is not about the notoriety, it is about the ability you have to help others transform, the legacy you leave behind, and understanding what comes with being a leader. As a leader you may be a relationship counselor, mentor, a campaigner for others projects, and not understand all moves when they are made.
I have found, however, that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: They all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence per the article shared on Harvard Business Review titled what Makes a Leader. They go on to share in the article that there are 5 components of emotional intelligence at work: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill per the site at https://hbr.org/2004/01/what-makes-a-leader. As Rosalynn Carter shared, “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” Think of where a leaders standpoint is. As a manager leading people you should be able to jump down and get some elbow grease with your workers versus watching and barking orders. You have to gain respect by more than just laying down a title that may have been given to you by or for other reasons than you actually being what others feel a good leader is. As part of the self-awareness piece realize you won’t be right to lead everyone just as one pastor is not the right one to spiritually to lead all people. Be able to learn how to relate to the ones you are developing versus overseeing or micromanaging. Nor will all see eye to eye on everything, but they will be able to help most succeed that are willing to take in an ear full and put the actions in motion.
The Washington Post shared an article on May 21st this year called A Great Leadership Reading List – without any business book on it. They discussed speaking with Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey (one of Twitter’s founders and current CEO of Square), Costco founder Jim Sinegal to name a few on what they have read lately and none of them named business books. They did however, have some ties or take a ways that a leader can gain from. I truly believe that being and becoming a leader is not necessarily learned, but skills that can be honed. Some don’t know where or how to find the tools nor the instruments to put them into play. Most of the great leaders I know have a good balance of some spiritual belief, self-awareness, uncanny motivation, and will work on a problem until they see light at the end of the tunnel.
I saw a photo about leadership and it showed it as though it was under construction. I loved that because as a leader you are seeking new ways to connect with who you are leading and all connections won’t be the same. I always love it when people want to discuss who makes better leaders, men or women. I really just shake my head at this as it has nothing to with gender or other things that you see on the exterior. It has to do with their ability and willingness to help birth other leaders and nurture followers.