Sister Check-In

Happy Friday Fearless Females!

How are you?

No……. That is a real question. How are you feeling? Anxious, stressed, ok, uncertain, relaxed, cool, happy, indifferent, lost, or unsure? Some of us have experienced a combination of emotions within the last week. Some more negative than others. However you are feeling, it is quite alright. We are in unchartered waters. No certainty. No real answers. No definites.

But, I want to share two things with you today to help offset some of the uncertainty and negativity. Number one- Inject as much positivity into your daily routine as possible. Do whatever makes you happy. It does not have to be anything major. For example, I normally burn a candle a day. Well, I have been extra all week. I have burned 4 candles a day. I wake up and open every blind in the house to welcome in sunlight and drive away darkness and fear. I limit myself to 30 minutes of news in the morning and 30 minutes at night. I normally do not watch the news. However, I think it is wise to be informed and aware on what is going on. Watching the news and updates all day would drain me emotionally.

I love eating out. Fine dining is my guilty pleasure. All the restaurants are closed. I only enjoy dining in. I’m not a fan of takeout. I’m also fasting during lent. When I realized we would be at home, my first thought was to break my fast. I said to myself, honey you need to fast and pray now more than you needed to two weeks ago. So I decided to hang on in there.

The highlights of my week thus far have been spending more time with the kids, binge watching series on Netflix, investing in Carnival Cruise Line and purchasing 50 shares of their stock, and going to the grocery store for the first time this morning. I bought everything that makes me happy. Flowers, margarita, and a birthday cake. It is not anyone’s birthday either. But, Sundays we are allowed to break our fast. I am celebrating making it through week one of being home bound and still being sane. We have to celebrate the small victories. 

Number two is the most important take away from this message. GOD STILL REIGNS SUPREME. He is Ruler over all. He is not a man. He cannot lie. I am holding on to all of His promises. I am trusting and believing in His word more now than ever before. So this means I have to talk to Him more, refer to scripture more, and trust Him more. Am I afraid of the unknown? ABSOLUTELY! I do not know what lies ahead. I do not know how many will contract the virus. I do not know how long there will be chaos. I do not know how my finances will look in 3 months. I do not even know how much longer I will be able to work. 

I do know this…

Psalm 27, King James Version

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3 Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.

5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock.

6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in His tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

9 Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.

11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

13 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Remain faithful and be encouraged.

Prayer Challenge Check-In

Happy Friday Fearless Females!

I have some great news that I would like to share with you. Three weeks ago, I challenged you to pray for a female for 30 days without telling her. I hope you have been diligent and consistent. Praying is a gift that we all are privileged to. It is free and does not cost a dime. Sometimes it is the only thing you are able to do for a friend and loved one. 

The great news I have is that one fearless female’s friend’s mass was not cancerous and her coworker’s baby that has been in the hospital since November has been released. Another fearless female’s sister has been experiencing a rough patch. She has been praying without ceasing for her sister. This week her breakthrough manifested! She has been offered a new job and a promotion. She was happy to share this awesome news with me on Monday. 

Today, I am excited to share it with you. Hopefully, these testimonials will encourage you to finish the challenge and possibly keep it up after it is over. If you have not started yet, it is never too late to share your gift of prayer.

These testimonies are the perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Women who make moves are women who make history. Women who pray are women of victory and power. 

Mamba Mentality

Happy Friday Fearless Females!

Can we address our sentiments and thoughts today? Fearless Friday is designed to uplift, encourage, and address the realities of life with a push to move forward or continue to. This is hard. I knew immediately I wanted to talk about what we all are thinking about this week and likely will for some time- Kobe Bryant. I also did not want to end our week solemnly the way we began it.

We all felt the shock of the news. Some of us were resting on that Sunday, just left church and were headed off to brunch, or maybe you were like me and were already at an event. I actually was in attendance at PUSH Girls Academy Brunch hosted by CleRenda McGrady, wife of Tracy McGrady. As we all learned the news of Kobe’s passing and then confirmation of his daughter Gianna’s passing along with the other passengers, sitting in a room at an event hosted by another retired basketball player and his wife was nearly like being there firsthand.

I do not want to relive the moment second by second, yet I must acknowledge my feelings and ours collectively. Kobe Bryant was a man of distinction that exerted his status and power in a way of positive influence. He lived his life purposely to defy opposition and present allied work and cohesiveness. He strived for more than excellence and attained that.

Family was more valuable to him than basketball. Basketball was his outlet to provide legacy and experiences for his family. #GirlDad was all him. He and his family both took pride in his presence off the court. He began utilizing a helicopter to be more present in the lives of his daughters and their everyday lives such as school drop-offs and pickups, school events, home dinners, and such. His wife, Vanessa, was the glue of their family and much more than just Kobe Braynt’s wife. She was his friend, lover, confidant, and mother of his living legacy- his children.

I firmly believe he loved all four of his daughters with great passion and each for their own special reasons. He took to becoming more interested in volleyball as his eldest daughter, Natalia, gained an interest. Her birth was the bridge that brought their two families together. Bianka, his third daughter, is the bright and joyous spirited 3 year old. His namesake, 7-month-old Capri Kobe, will forever hold her father close through memories and stories told of him. And then, there is Gianna. His second daughter who was determined to carry his legacy on and their bond of basketball only brought them closer. While no parent ever wants to lose a child, being with her earthly father as she passed on to meet her heavenly Father is a comfort.

What have we learned this week other than life is short and to value family?

Be intentional and go forth in the direction of your dreams. Hundreds of Kobe pictures and quotes have surfaced on social media over the past 6 days. What has resonated with me was his tenacity to be progressive and outshine himself. He trained and put in the work to not only be a better player but a better person.

The link below features Kobe during an interview and right about the 24-minute mark he speaks on fearlessness. He stated, “the greatest fear you face is yourself… It is scary because if you put your heart and soul into it, then how are you going to feel about yourself. So, being fearless means putting yourself out there and going for it.”

We cannot allow life to deter us from our dreams and desires. Rather, we must allow life to be lived as a result of our dreams and desires. The untimely passing of Kobe is a different pain because there was not any illness leading up to it or as a result of a natural disaster. It just happened and shook the entire world. While we are acknowledging we have an obligation to live life to the fullest, we need to also acknowledge we have an obligation to ourselves to press forward with all vigor. In a matter of weeks, the energy around this will slowly fade as in most situations when we are not directly involved. But, we need to keep it front and center to maintain our focus on what is prevalent or should be in our world.

We hurt not because we knew him personally. We hurt because he invited us into his world and he gave back to us without even knowing us. Make a conscious effort to continue pray for his family and the other families as well. We are their strength until they can stand.

Live with a Mamba Mentality. Go after everything with force and leave nothing uncovered.

Perspective with Kobe Bryant

Pipe Dreams

Great Friday Ladies!

Here we are 17 days into the new year and new decade. How are your goals progressing so far? You may be thinking, “Well, it has only been 17 days NaKeitha.” I know, but 17 days without action or effort will turn into 17 weeks and so forth. 

For me, I set 10 goals to accomplish this week and did not even scratch the surface. Rather than looking at it as a failed week, I see this as an opportunity. I recognized my areas that needed more attention to make sure I meet my weekly goals. 

Make a plan. Stick to the plan. Adjust the plan as necessary. Most of all, implement the plan. Go forth with gusto rather than mediocrity. Goals and dreams are meant to be released and accomplished. Do not settle another day, week, month, or year for a pipe dream. Move forward with power and release it. 

Do Better

Great Friday Ladies!

It is the first FEARLESS FRIDAY of the year or should I say decade!!! My goal this year is to DO BETTER. What exactly does that mean? It means do better in every category or facet of my life. Spiritually. Financially. Professionally. Physically. Personally. Emotionally. 

I want to be a better mom, wife, friend, entrepreneur, and person. And I will be. The only way I can achieve this is by intentionally trying to do my best even when it is hard and I really do not have a desire to at the moment. 

Being intentional about the actions needed to accomplish my goals will lead me to releasing the fears of my goals. I have been a wife and a mother for a long time and I have been NaKeitha for even longer. But at this stage of my marriage, motherhood, or life, I refuse to be complacent. I cannot approach either aspect the same way I did a decade ago or even last year. 

Outlining my desires and the fears attached to those desires gives me perspective. How can I achieve being better in these areas? It is all in my approach. I am approaching with faith over fear and resilience over defeat. The shift in the atmosphere starts with the mental shift. 

Cheers to new beginnings, second chances, and mental shifts. 🥂

New year. New decade. New goals. Do better!

Dear Me

Great Friday Ladies!

2020 is upon us and by now we all have an idea of what we desire the year and new decade to look like, right? And even if you do not, that is okay too! Let us all challenge ourselves to write a letter to ourselves. What would you say to yourself for 2020?

Here are some topics to talk about.

  • What are your career goals for 2020?
  • Advanced educational goals?
  • Personal goals as a growing and evolving individual?
  • Financial goals? Increase your 401K or 403B contributions?
  • Fitness/ health plans? More water intake? Eliminate medications?
  • Mental health? Putting yourself first and more self-care?

There is no right or wrong way to start or end your letter. It can be concrete or a working letter. Do what works for you. Just write it!

Put here is the catch. Put pen to paper! Handwriting the letter will have a greater impact,

is more personal, and also motivates your cognitive thoughts to be progressive.

At the end of 2020, let’s revisit the letter and celebrate your accomplishments.

New year. New decade. New goals. Go get them!

High Note

Great Friday Ladies!

This is the last Fearless Friday of 2019. We will be closing out the year within the next four days. There are three action items on my list of things to do that I released two months that will help us all leave 2019 on a high note. Here is the list again.

  • Learn something new.
  • Take a day to unplug. Even if you have to take off from work.
  • Write down everything you accomplished this year. Celebrate your victories.
  • Pause. Sit still. Do not think about anything. Start meditating daily for 60 seconds.
  • Try a new restaurant.
  • Act like a tourist in your city. Visit one of your city’s tourist sites.
  • Write a letter to yourself and state the things you plan to accomplish in 2020.
  • Make the people who inspire you and fuel you feel special.
  • Release resentment. Take charge of your mental health.
  • Say “Thank you” more than “I am sorry” to anyone who needs to hear it from you. Let’s start the year light.

We have discovered new places, tried new adventures and foods, taken a few breaths, and even planned our 2020. What’s left? Taking complete charge of our mental health by inviting in more gratefulness into our hearts rather than regret, ridding ourselves of harboring bitterness, and celebrating special people through acknowledgement and appreciation.

Our mental health is an inner and emotional part of us that often shows up outwardly and physically. How we operate and function is usually centered around a balanced and leveled mental state. Does this mean we cannot be down at times and have to be like Mary Poppins every day? Absolutely not! It means we experience low moments just as much or less than high moments and have control over the effects. Stop apologizing so much by not doing things that need to be apologized for. Be more cognizant of your actions in positive and uplifting ways. Do things that require you to display a more appreciative heart of gratitude rather than regret.

You may have been abused mentally, emotionally, and maybe even physically. Seek assistance in releasing feelings of anger, bitterness, and unforgiving thoughts. Your progression and advancement is dependent upon that. Not only is 2020 is new year, it is a new decade. Walk into the new era of your life free from what has been holding you down for years and hold your head high and walk with confidence and relief. 

We all have people in our lives that give us that extra feeling of being loved or make us feel special. Acknowledge that and let them know their value of you is not unnoticed. Repay them by returning the favor and giving them the feeling of being special too. Here is the catch… Think of two of the most unlikely people in your circle or life that make you feel valued. Maybe it is someone who you are not very close with or the guy or even coworker that really admires you and you have no interest in them, yet they never miss your birthday or randomly message you to check on you. Your best interest is always a priority for them. Recognize those people for being a support system for you even if they are not one of top favorites because you know what? You are one of theirs. 

It is my prayer, rather than wish, that 2020 will be a year of victory in every area of life for you. Writing these weekly emails is not an one way communication of my thoughts to you. It is your thoughts I have heard or seen in passing, on social media, at dinner, or via responses to the emails (yes, you can reply back. I read and respond to each reply.). I follow the same words of encouragement, admonition, and declaration in these emails.

2020 will be a year of power and authority over our fears and taking charge of ourselves holistically. 

Happy New Year and abundant peace and joy to you all.

What’s in Your City

Great Friday Ladies!

After Thanksgiving we all could use something fresh, right? How well do you know your city? Sure you know your neighborhood like the back of your hand, but what about what is happening on the other side of town? This week let’s explore something new and unusual about our cities.

Take a staycation either at a hotel or even at home and make true efforts to step outside the norm. Listed are some things and places, including restaurants, I have tried and also a few of my favorites.

  1.  Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern- Built in 1926, the cistern was once a 15 million gallon drinking water reservoir. Tours are available to see the 25 feet tall pillars in a gorgeous geometrical pattern under the Houston surface.
  2. Lankford Grocery- Amazing local burger joint dating back to the 1930’s as a grocery store. It is quaint and has a very casual and relaxed feel. Here’s the catch… Cash only.
  3. James Turrell Skyspace- Head over to the campus of Rice University to view this majestic view of the sunrise and sunset through LED lighting.
  4. Taste Bar & Kitchen- Debuting in Spring 2019, this restaurant certainly has lived up to the hype of its name. A two-tier restaurant with two bars and am outside patio, Taste has brought an urban chic feel to Midtown Houston. Get the chicken and waffles. That dish is good good.
  5. 19th Street in the Heights- The Heights is rich in vintage and eclectic shops, restaurants, and activities. Take a stroll down 19th street and shop small and experience big!

Life is about experiences. Experience and live it!

Pause

Pause. Sit still. Do not think about anything. Start meditating daily for 60 seconds.

After Thanksgiving, we all could probably use a moment of pause. Family, friends, and dishes can really be excited and exhausting at the same time. The world around us can be overwhelming. Our positions at work, home, and organizations can be demanding and much like a spider web, in all directions. We sometimes are on a constant move with any relief. Create the relief. It is a must.

Pausing and taking a step back allows for us to clear our thoughts and reshift our energies to be more effective and productive. Start small and take 60 seconds of your day to shift your energy to pause, not stop, but pause.

Turn your attention to breathing and just for a moment abandon your responsibilities and focus on the inner self. Release your tensions through silencing the noise and notice the difference in your heartbeat. It is calmer and slower and more even.

Click the link below to listen to “The Power of Pause” podcast by Cara Bradley.

Episode 50: Bossy Rossy

Milestones are important regardless of the occasion. This week, the 50th episode of the Fearless Female podcast was filmed. I have interviewed individuals, pairs, and groups. This time I took a different approach.

 

The creator, innovator, and visionary behind The Fearless Female Podcast switches positions this episode. Instead of being the interviewer, I am sitting in the hot seat. Twelve studio audience members have the opportunity pick my brain and discover what drives me. Tune in to learn more about the force that propels The Fearless Female movement.

Episode 50: Bossy Rossy