Motivate Me Mondays: Overcoming your struggles

‘The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

It is not secret that in live we sometimes struggle but it is all about how you overcome the struggles you are faced with. Often time we are ready to give up before actually finding a way to make things better for ourselves. Sometimes we bring things on ourselves based off how we speak about the current situations we find ourselves in, in life. We also seem to forget that what you deal with can be worse, someone else would trade their life for yours with no hesitation. It is important to remember to not allow yourself to stay down for too long. Deal with it, pick yourself up, come up with a  plan, figure things out, and accept the blessings along the way. This is exactly what Joia did and she was willing to share her experience with others, here is her story:

Who is Joia Swanson? Tell a little bit about yourself

I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and a person with a big heart and desire to please others. I used to think that having these types of qualities would lead to me never being happy, but so far I have learned that they have also been my biggest blessings in molding me into the woman I am, and still becoming today. Ive learned to embody the sensitivity and heart that I have for people in everything that I do.
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How old were you when you had your son?

I was 19 and a sophomore in college when I found out that I was pregnant with my munchkin. I was on the track team and never imagined my life with a kid, and as cliché as it sounds I definitely couldn’t imagine my life without him now.  He is the epitome of love for myself and my family.
Joia

How did you and your husband meet?

I met my husband when I worked for a call center in Hampton after a horrible break up with my sons father. I found out my sons father was cheating, and my husband was there to comfort me just as my friend and was willing to wait for me to be ready to be in a relationship; no pressure, just a natural progression of love and friendship and he is also awesome with Jaylen. He grew up with a step father and was very sensitive to the fact that being a father is a journey that he doesn’t take lightly. Being married has come with many challenges, he is the biggest teddy bear yet one of the strongest people I have ever met. He loves hard and fierce just like everything else he does in life, and he is a pusher, he has never let me quit on anything , and that was such an important quality that I admired about him when we first got together because my self-confidence was in the trash. He was very reassuring verbally with his intentions, and his love and he followed through on everything, and that consistency was what eventually won my heart over. He showed me that true love looks nothing like I thought it would because he is definitely not my “type” but the Lord knew exactly what I needed when he sent him to me.
How has your relationship with your husband and your marriage helped you on your journey of becoming a better woman? Did this help you change your outlook on men and relationships?

My relationship with my husband has really been about learning. Learning acceptance, forgiveness, picking your battles, and prioritizing relationships. These are things I can carry over into my everyday life, that have helped me push myself to become a better woman which in turn makes me a better wife. My husband is a pusher, he had a rough time growing up, and he has always had that “go get what you want” mentality. I have had the mentality but never quite as much drive as I do now which happened once I got with him. I see him working hard to follow his dreams and support our family and it makes me want to work just as hard if not harder to keep up. We push each other and support each other in weaknesses and strengths; it is an amazing balancing act, and I am so grateful to have him to lean on. So far through our relationship and and marriage he has helped me see that I am capable of so much more than I give myself credit for, and with the right support and encouragement I can do anything I put my mind to.
Being loved correctly has changed my outlook on relationships. It has shown me that effort, and consistency go a long way into breaking down barriers that we’re around my heart and allow to me to be vulnerable and rest in my femininity in a way I didn’t know was possible. I didn’t know that men were capable of such compassion and drive, while still maintaining a masculine vibe and being true to their selfs. He is a great example of the type of man i would like my son to be as well. My dad has always been my example of what a man should be and he is the sweetest man alive, and also very soft hearted. My husband has shown me that you can have that soft heart, and not give people the ability to push you around without loosing out on being your truest self.
God keeps me motivated, on the days when i want to give up on myself he definitely gives me strength. My husband and family are a great support system as well, but i always know i can lean on the lord for strength and guidance.
What else keeps you motivated ?

My faith, my husband, my son, and my family keep me motivated I have an amazing support system.
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What is one thing you have accomplished in life so far that you are most proud of?

I am most proud of starting my own business. I have taken the leap of faith and partnered with Mary Kay I am now an independent beauty consultant. I really want the flexibility to be able to support my family, to be able to work my own hours, and to be my own boss. I never felt like I was built to work for anyone else and I also want to show others how to achieve their dreams especially women with children.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years ?

In the next 5 years I see myself with at least two more children living somewhere close to the beach and making sure that I travel at least 3 to 4 times a year with my family exposing them to the culture and different parts of the world
What are 2-3 goals that you would like to accomplish ?

Things that I am going to accomplish specifically in the next two to five years would be trying to becoming a millionaire; I want to be a national sales director which is one of the highest honors in the Mary Kay business. I want to open my women’s shelter specifically for single moms I would also like to finish my master’s degree
What are some things that you have achieved that make you proud ?

Something that has made me proud would definitely be my son. I wanted to make sure that he grew up to be a productive member of society and even though he is five and a handful he definitely knows how to behave in has a very caring heart for people all of his teachers all of his friends his karate instructors say how big of a hard he has how awesome he is with his friends how polite he is house mannered and that makes me very proud something else that I’m also very proud of is sharing financial literacy with people my age I realize that something that we are very lacking in in general and in the black community so everything that I’m learn I make sure that information is shared whether it’s just with family and friends or their ladies I come in contact with or my Mary Kay Associates because that is something that you can steadily improve on and always grow in. I am also very proud of my marriage, I know as a semi newlywed we’ve only been married a year and a half that is really hard to say but I’m proud of the fact that we still stick by each other through everything and we have been through just about all of it from custody battles with my ex to being separated more than we’re apart to having jobs and not having jobs and just being really supportive of each other no matter what I think that’s strength will carry us through for the next 40 50 year however many years God blesses us with.
How would you define success ?

I think the way that success is defined is a very personal measure for each person. For example, I am trying to improve my health and fitness so for me a successful day is if my jeans fit better and I felt better about myself in general just for exercising; that was a very small success in a larger picture. Success could be getting out of bed in the morning for someone if you’re depressed or making sure that your children are taken care of so success is going to look different in the eyes of each person so you have to personally define success for yourself. I would say it’s the daily wins that you give yourself whether that is self-care or making sure that you are advocating for yourself or opening your mouth when you hear something that you don’t like because it’s very hard for us, especially as women and as nurturers who care about people, to make sure that our needs are also taken care of so I would say success is putting your self care first so you are the best version of yourself which will then allow you to take care of others.
What advice can you provide for someone who may be on the same or somewhat similar path that you were on before being kicked out of school ?

The best advice I would give for anyone in my particular situation especially someone who gets pregnant young. Find a support system, find your tribe, find a group of people to surround you, to uplift you, to encourage you, and to hold you accountable. If it was not for my immediate family, my husband, and my son looking up to me everyday and the group of ladies that I call my friends, I don’t think I would be as successful as I am now. I’m not a millionaire, I’m not even a thousand-are but I am on my way and making steady progress everyday. Don’t give up, if you believe it you can achieve it. Make sure you set goals for yourself and make them happen, find the way to achieve those goals even if it’s a small goal, achieve that goal, move on to the next bigger goal, and keep building on those goals and count every goal as a success. Count every step to that goal as a success because you are steadily making progress towards what you want your life to look like and that is something no one can take away from you, that progress and that passion and that drive then dig into it and remember to re motivate yourself and take care of yourself in everything that you do and you can be the best mother the best wife the best coach the best teacher the best the best version of Who You Are
Let Tay Tell It

Motivate Me Monday: Staying true to who you are

Raynell Steward aka Supa was born in New Orleans, LA. Supa is a very well known social media icon. If you know about her then I’m sure you have seen her funny videos and the various ways she helps other people. I remember the first time I came across her from seeing one of her funny videos and I automatically became a fan. As time progressed and I continued to keep up with her post I started to notice that she was more then just some videos. Supa is real, genuine, passionate, an amazing mother, friend, sister, cousin, daughter who is using her platform to not only make us laugh but help us advance in life! She allows the world to get a glimpse of her life and that isn’t always easy.

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Photo Credit: @supa_cent

As long as I have been following Supa, she has ALWAYS stayed true to herself and who she is. She has allowed the world to watch here grow as a woman and the growth is undeniable. People who are in the public eye are always judged and talked about by people who have nothing better to do with their time and it is sad. It is amazing being able to watch how Supa deals with people who question her or are out to challenge the type of person she is, the type of mother she is, and how she handles situations.

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Photo Credit: @supa_cent

 

Not only does Supa allow you to see her being a mother and a friend but she ALSO allows you to see things about her love life, she gives advice, and she shares things through the promotions she does. Often times we see a lot of people on social media who are heavily in the public eye doing things that aren’t always positive or putting on a front instead of being their true self. The reason why I am such a fan of Supa is because of how authentic she is and always has been. She never turned away from being who she is and she doesn’t apologize for it either. She has created an entire brand for herself and her following has increased tremendously but that does not stop her from giving advice, taking care of her family, and always showing love to those who truly support her.

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Photo Credit: @supa_cent

If you can learn ANYTHING from Supa it is how to stay true to who you are no matter what! Often times in life we allow things in our life to stop us from being who we really are. We allow what others say about us change us and its not a change for the good either. We have to stop doing this because there is no one in the world like you and to get the respect you deserve often time requires you to stay true to who you are. DO NOT let anyone or any situation stop you from being you; you’re true genuine authentic self.

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women say things we do not mean in relationships?

Ladies, just try to hear me out on this one, okay? It has become a natural and pretty much normal thing to hear guys talk about what a female really means when she says certain things. For example as a female when my man asks me “What is wrong with you” I will typically say “nothing, I’m fine” but my man knows deep down that if he just says okay and does not ask me again or try to get me to talk, it becomes a problem. How about when you are having an argument and you say to your man “leave me alone” but in reality we do not literally mean for you to leave us alone. These are just a few examples of us women saying things we don’t really mean; it is almost as if we want to test our man to see how far he would go to make sure we are okay. This is good and all, SOMETIMES, but then you have other situations where you say mean things to a guy because you’re hurt or because you’re dealing with a good guy and you don’t know how to handle it.

You play a tricky game when you say things you do not mean, you have to be careful. If your man is asking you what is wrong, tell him; he’s asking because he cares so don’t make him beg you every time. If you are in a situation and you want to tell your man to leave you alone just to see what he will do, don’t get mad if he actually leaves you alone; guys take things literally so most of the time they will not automatically think that you telling them to leave you alone, doesn’t actually mean that. With that being said, there are some times where I am all for making your man work hard to figure out what is going on especially if he is the cause of problem and knows what he did wrong; sometimes guys will “act” as if they do not know but they do.

We also have to be careful saying mean things in the heat of an argument. Ladies it should come to no surprise that our words can cut a man deep especially if it comes from a woman he truly loves; he may not show it how effected him like we as women do but it definitely does. An argument and/or disagreement should not the time where we try to hurt each other because nothing gets accomplished and feelings get hurt off of things being said that a person probably didn’t even mean. You do not want to loose someone you love from saying something that you didn’t even mean. I have seen women use their words to try to tear down a good man because lets be honest; dealing with good guys these days seems rare. If all you have ever known are lying, cheating, dishonest men why wouldn’t you expect a good to be putting on a front? Why wouldn’t you start to doubt the situation after while? Why wouldn’t you start to question things? I understand but to tear down a good guy by saying things that aren’t true can cause more harm then good so don’t push that good man away, embrace him.

From testing your man to tearing down a good guy plus any and everything that falls in between that, all results in saying things we do not mean. Things should flow pretty easily in a relationship so do not make it a permanent habit of saying things you do not mean or you may cause more problems then necessary. Also, always remember that your words hold more power then you may know.

Let Tay Tell It

Motivate Me Mondays: Experiencing true LOVE

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

No matter what LOVE may look like these days, I still believe that true, passionate, undeniable, crazy, exciting love is still possible with the right person. You can meet a person and know right away that they are meant for you, as if GOD hand picked that person just for you and nobody else. Robin and her fiancé share a strong love that genuinely shows through all that they do. Sometimes you meet a couple and you can feel the love and that is exactly what I have experienced being around this wonderful couple. I wanted to give them a chance to share their love story with others in hopes it will motivate someone to never give up on love because the person meant for you could be coming sooner then you expect. Here is their love story:
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself and your fiancé
My name is Robyn K, Harris and I’m 25 years old. I’m currently a Social Worker at Union County Department of Social Services as an investigator, CPS (Child Protective Services). My fiance’s name is Dontavius Mobley and we will be getting married on, April 15, 2017. I graduated from North Carolina A&T with my BSW. Donta graduated from Charleston Southern University with a degree in Biology. He is currently employed through Carolina Medical Center as a Histotechnologist.
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2. Where are you and your fiancé from?
I’m from Bridgeport Connecticut however was raised in Charlotte, NC. Donta was born and raised in Rock Hill, SC, where we currently reside.
3. How did you meet?
We met June 2011 at Wendy’s. We used to work together. We both have our own stories on how we met, lol. He says I stalked him and I simply disagree. Lowkey, he’s right, lol. We went on our first date July 10, 2011 and the rest is left unwritten. Stay tuned!
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4. What is special about your relationship and what makes your love story unique?
Everything about our relationship is special. It may sound cliche’ but God made me for Donta and Donta for me. We are complete opposites. I am bold, loud and outgoing while Donta is quite, calm, cool and collective; however we are the perfect balance. Donta treats me like a Queen and he notices things about me that I don’t notice about myself. He encourages me to reach my highest potential and believes in me, more than I believe in myself. I give him the confidence to be unapologetically him. I bring out the crazy, fun Donta that only a few people have seen. We compliment one another.
5. What type of role has GOD played in your relationship?
Without God, there would be no us. We are far from perfect but know without God, we are nothing. I am a big prayer and I pray about everything. Donta and I pray together as well as fellowship with one another and one of our goals is to build a stronger relationship with God as one. We found a church home that we both thoroughly enjoy and agree that God is the foundation of our relationship. Pray our strength in the Lord!
6. What are 3 key things that are important in a relationship?
Loyalty, Respect and Honesty
7. What encouraging words of advice would you give someone who feels like love is just not possible ?
God is love. Love comes naturally and shouldn’t be forced. Love yourself first and when God is ready, your happily ever after will come when it’s least expected. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is beautiful.
8. Additional comments/add-ins/things you would like to include that is not covered in the questions above?
Thanks for allowing me to share our love story : )
Robin and Donta, I wish you nothing but love and success. Congratulations on your wedding that is coming up on April 15, 2017 and remember to always keep GOD first no matter what!
Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women choose to be defensive and mean before choosing to tell someone how we really feel?

As a woman who is learning more and more about herself everyday, I can honestly say that I have had my fair share of situations that have caused me to put up a wall when it comes to letting people in. I have become use to being mean and defensive because I learned at a young age that nobody will protect me the way I can protect myself and really telling someone how I feel was not always an option. Unfortunately this stuck with me and now, at the age of 26, I am working on changing these things about myself but IT IS NOT EASY. The most important thing I have learned while working on this is that you can loose out on having some good people in your life if you choose to be defensive and mean instead of choosing to be honest about how you really feel.

I honestly believe that sometimes as women we are so passionate about protecting ourselves and our feelings that we forget how that can effect the people around us who honestly want to love us and be friends with us and care for us. Being passionate about this usually comes from being so hurt and damaged by people we expected to love and protect us. We have to stop letting people who hurt us make us mean and situations that almost broke us make us defensive because that hurt doesn’t last always and almost doesn’t count; you’re still here because what could have broke you didn’t ! My last relationship is when things really got worse for me as far as how I handled dealing with telling someone how I felt. I was in a relationship where I had to be defensive and I had to be mean because it was the only way to defend myself because trying to communicate how I really felt wasn’t taken seriously. It was not until the end of that relationship that I promised myself to change how I handled things because I knew that I could not continue doing things the same way.

Ladies you will be surprised how relieved you will feel when you properly communicate how you are feeling instead of choosing to be defensive and mean all the time. My friends help me to stick to this path that I am on with changing myself and now my current relationship is helping me stay on track as well because for the first time in a long time I am with someone who does not make me feel like I have to be defensive and mean. AGAIN, this is not an easy thing because I catch myself being defensive and mean when there is no need for that but I am with someone who understands the change I am trying to make so he is super patient with me. We have to make a conscious effort to change these thing about ourselves whether it is in our friendships or our relationships because loosing someone all because you chose to be defensive and mean instead of speaking up about how you feel the proper way is not a good feeling; trust me I have been there, done that, and had it happen to me. Do not be like me, be BETTER then me, and learn from me.

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women believe the first thing we hear when someone is trying to tell us something about our man?

Have you ever been approached on some “Im coming to you woman to woman” or “I know something about your man” or “Your man isn’t as faithful as you think he is” ? I know I have and I know I’m not alone when I say, that when that happens, it is the worse feeling ever. It’s like your heart has dropped into your stomach and you start questioning your entire relationship right away. Sometimes you get so caught up in what you’re being told at the moment that it becomes hard to make rational and sound decisions on top of responding to what you were just told, the proper way.

I understand how hard it is to deal with situations like this but this is when it is important to know the person you are with, be aware and alert of the level of happiness that exists in your relationship at the time, and DO NOT believe the first thing you hear. If a woman feels the need to come to you about a man you sleep with, talk to everyday, see all the time then be sure to do all your research, the same way I’m sure the other girl has done hers. Is she providing you with proof? Are all of her ducks in a row? What does your gut tell you when she starts telling you things about your man? This is the time to really dig deep and find out what your intuition is trying to tell you.

Often times we as women take the first thing we are told about our man and run with it because we allow all the emotions it brought us, to cause us to make irrational decisions. We have to handle these off guard situations better then that because often times, the other woman whose brining you this information is waiting to see how you will handle it but you must remember to “never let them see you sweat”. There are three sides to a story, his side, her side, and the truth but in order to find out the truth you must remain calm, level headed, and do not make a decision until you gather all the facts. Also, do not forget to TALK TO THE PERSON YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN THE RELATIONSHIP WITH before automatically assuming they are guilty of what they are accused of doing. Trust me when I say, that when you approach them with what you have been told you will be able to tell if it is the truth or not but whether or not you accept it, is your choice.

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women ignore all of the things we keep allowing, when these men end up hurting us?

Ladies how many times have you been told “that man only does what you ALLOW him to do”. Probably too many times to count right? I know that would be and is my answer. I have people from friends to family tell me this all the time yet I would still continue dealing with things I had no business allowing to even occur.

Please understand that I am in no way saying that these men are right for what they do to us and put us through but eventually you have to ask yourself why it continues to happen. It seems so simple especially when all you ask is for these men to do is be faithful, loyal, loving, respectful, and 100% committed. We do not get into these relationships expecting to be treated in ways no woman should be treated but it is life; its these situations that make us the women we are today. However, at some point you have to step back and look at the situation to see the part you are playing; realize the things you have been allowing.

These are times where we have to keep a constant reminder of what people have been telling us since guys were even a thought because we are so quick to blame the guy but after the 3rd, 4th, and 5th time of the same thing happening we need to start asking ourselves what are we allowing to take place that makes these men feel like they can continue doing what they are doing. Why do these men continue to hurt us is a questions that sometimes we already have the answer to and don’t even realize it.

The start of 2017 for me was the beginning of finally letting go of a situation I had been dealing with for longer then I should have. For me, cutting someone off and letting go involves taking a extreme measures from blocking on all social media to blocking phone numbers and emails to loosing all contacts with friends and family until I have reached a place of peace. This situation I was in was filled with ups and downs, tears, low self esteem, and a lot of things being allowed on my be half when I knew that I was better then that. There is no better feeling then cutting off a man you’ve allowed to have too much control over things like your feelings, emotions, and decision making. As women we try to become the type of women we say we would never be like but often times we become those women and that is because love makes you do crazy things.

So to all my ladies reading this, we have to move forward by making a conscious effort to not allow things that we shouldn’t even have to deal with in the first place. Stop allowing things from a man who would never allow it if the tables were turned, do not allow these men to have total control over your emotions; take that power back and continue working on becoming the right woman for the right man!

I would suggest reading this book which was recommended by a good friend. It is called Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst. This book is a great read that will help you to make decisions that aren’t not so heavily based off the raw emotions we sometimes deal with and can’t always control

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

Let Tay Tell It