Motivate Me Mondays: Breaking BarriersĀ 

Mahershala Ali, born Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore in Oakland, California on February 16, 1974, was raised by Willicia and Phillip Gilmore. He was raised Christian but later converted to Islam and graduated from St. Mary’s College of California in 1996 with a degree in Mass Communications. His interest in acting came about after taking part in the staging of Spunk which helped him land an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theater. After a sabbatical year where he worked for Gavin Report, Mahershala enrolled in New York University’s graduate acting program, obtaining his masters in 2000. He is married to Amatus Sami-Karim and on February 22, 2017 they welcomed their first child, a beautiful little girl by the name of Bari Najma.

Mahershala Ali is known for being seen all over our TV screens, on the “BIG SCREEN”, and on stage in quite a few plays. Some of his works are:

House of Cards

The Hunger Games

Luke Cage

The Wronged Man

The 4400

Blues for an Alabama Sky

Smart People

Moonlight 

These are just a few works where he showed his brilliant acting skills but make no mistake there are many many more. The rewards he has recieved show the many accomplishments he has and continues to make in his career. One of his most recent accomplishments is becoming the first Muslim to win an Oscar for his portrayal in Moonlight

Mahershala most recent and awesome accomplishment speaks to ones level of determination to never let anything hold you back. It also speaks to being patient and trusting the process because often times we want success and money right away without putting in real time and effort, while remaining dedicated to the ultimate goal. Do you know what your ultimate goal is? What are the things that you want to achieve that will make you feel like you’re on your way to breaking barriers? These are important questions to think about and refelect on because we all view success differently and we all have ways we can and want to achieve that success. Let Mahershala Ali be all the proof you need that having the right level of determination can get you very far in life!


Photo Credit: Gq.com

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

Motivate Me Mondays: Never give up on your dreams!

“The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me” – Ayn Rand
In life we come to a point where we are almost told which directions we should take to live a life that we find comfortable and not really a life that involves us really doing the things we love. We become comfortable with doing what is considered normal and we end up not chasing after our dreams. Often times it is refreshing to me to meet people who are genuinely chasing after their dreams with such high levels of determination. There are not too many people who really chase after their dreams no matter what people may think or say; it takes a lot of courage to keep yourself motivated to do what you know you are meant to do. Todays motivational feature is the story Quayshaun Weston, also known as Kain, has shared about the journey he is currently on in his life. He is an up and coming artist who makes music we can relate to so I asked him a few questions to get a better understanding of his journey. Here is his story……
Who is Quay? Tell a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m Quay Weston. It’s Quayshaun but people mess it up a lot so I shortened it to Quay. Saves a lot of time and confusion haha. I’m from Pantego NC which is about an hour east of Greenville. I’m from a small town with a small country family so like most I was raised by my grandmother and had to grow up relatively quick. I went to UNC-G where I graduated in 2013 with a Bachelors in Political Science/Pre-Law and minored in Sociology. I’m a member of the ADZ GHOST Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, a mentor, activist, social artist (rapper), and avid reader.
Why do you call yourself Kain?
Kain came along as a second rap name for me. A friend from Philly suggested it and I rolled with it. Now as far as my Enoch brand and my overall journey through life, it’s very relative to the story of Cain in the bible as far as finding myself and being isolated/wandering until I could create the empire that I wish to create.
When did you really start getting into music?
I’ve been writing music since 9 years old but I’ve been professionally pursuing and creating music for about 8 years now. I was creating mixtapes and everything during high school with my group , GHOST Ent, and now I’m creating everything solo for the most part.
What motivates you?
My motivation comes from the energy around me honestly. I can say that I am inspired by the idea that my walk in life and my journey would be an inspiration to someone else. I don’t do what I do for others, I do it because I’m passionate about it, but at the end of the day our works and gifts should bring glory to the kingdom of God. As long as you’re not leading people into the dark, your work should at least show the love of god or your faith in it. That’s what I push for. I’m motivated by family of course and wanting to keep them happy and bring peace to their issues, but I can only do as much as I can. I’m also motivated by the problems of the world. They give me the fuel to realize that as much craziness is going on, there can still be positive energy out there to help people and help myself to get through it.
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What type of message are you trying to convey through your music ?
My music before is all about my journey through life. I speak from the moment or head space that I’m in right now. My most recent project, black: a story told by kain, is all about political issues and social injustice that have been felt by black folks across the world. That’s where I was mentally when it was created. Before that, The Foundation, was a musical journey through my life and the changes I’ve made as a person. So the message I’m trying to convey is for people to realize their journey is different from everyone else’s and that you have to have faith in that process. Embrace that fear that comes with your growth and overcome it. You have to leave something here for the world to remember…what is that going to be for you?
Which one of your songs is your favorite and why? (If you can’t name just one, name at least 2-3)
My favorite song of mine is probably…Insecure. I mean everybody loves Doggin and American Pimp and Transcendence and Hunger Games or Sandra but Insecure was like the truest song that I’ve ever written. Where I was during that time was trying to explain to a girl that I was insecure too, and guys, we don’t say that often. We’re taught to not express things, which hurts more than it helps. That song is lit though.
What obstacles have you faced and how did you handle them ?
In my entire life my biggest obstacle was the normal…money, support, acknowledgement, network. However, after all of that the REAL obstacle that I was having an issue with was confidence. Once I became confident in my own work and believed that rap was my manifest destiny (EXACTLY what I was supposed to be doing)…things started manifesting themselves right in front of me. I had to accept my path and realize my process and my work is nothing close to anyone else’s and I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others because I’m a very unique being. So, most of my own issues were overcoming myself honestly. The other things can be figured out.
What is the end goal?
My ultimate goal is to create a creative arts complex that is designed to shape and mold youth into brands, businesses, and social entrepreneurs. They will come in, create, market, and brand their own products. After they create these things whether it’s music, tech/coding, video, plays, photography, writing, publishing, marketing, or coordinating, they will put together a fully functional event that will demonstrate their abilities. They will plan it, book it, schedule it, set up the entire program, create the promo materials, advertise, and hold the event. It would have to have a outreach factor to it, so we would help them with finding the charity or organization they’d like to donate to or partner with. Ultimately I want to be able to have a team that molds and shows our youth that there are creative processes out there and in order to reach your maximum potential you have to have a space to do what you love. While showing them that, they will be able to generate income for themselves, have income to support them through/during college, and they can employ others/give back to their communities.
What advice do you have for someone whose trying to get their music started?
Don’t make music if you don’t love it. If you’re doing it for money save us some time and stop. Straight up. My main advice would be to love what you do and use your platform to help the overall good of the people. Make good music then give back to your people that are putting you on. Simple. It’ll come back ten fold.
Do you have your hands in anything else besides music?
I’m very active in the community here in Greensboro and neighboring areas. I’m an Omega so service comes first. I am a mentor, we have a mentorship program started at an elementary school here in Greensboro. My team, LGi Dope, book our own shows and hold our own tours. I network and coordinate with activist groups such as Artist4Justice, UmojaLife, UNCG NAACP, Soul Society, and I have my own organization coming soon, the Enoch Coalition.
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Where can people go to learn more about you and hear your music ?
Everything is available right from my website, www.callmekain.com – I have music, videos, photos, you name it (haha, is that still a thing?). You can follow me or reach me and connect on Twitter, IG, Facebook at @callmekain. I follow back and all that so don’t worry about that. I hope you all can check out my latest project black right on the homepage at http://www.callmekain.com – DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT ON BANDCAMP, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Tidal etc. You can also listen to everything Kain on my Pandora Radio channel!! Thanks you all! Peace.

 

We all want to live a life doing something we truly love to do. If you are able to do what you love go for it, stay consistent, and always remain motivated. Anything is possible!

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women

Why do we as women allow a man to string us along?

Often times, as woman, we forget that a man who wants to truly be with you, will simply BE WITH YOU! A man won’t allow anything to stop him or hold him back once he has it set in his mind that he wants to be with only you. You won’t have to question whether or not he wants to be with you, you won’t have to ask him, you won’t have to argue about it, stress about it, and you won’t have to convince him that he should be with you and only you.

It is so easy to forget those things once we get caught up in how much we like someone. We start seeing ourselves with them and imagining how great a relationship would be with them, not even realizing that the person is showing signs of not wanting the same thing we want. I’ve been in situations with guys, who I now know, did not deserve my time, energy, and attention; I ended up staying in situations longer then I should have because I kept allowing them to string me along. I allowed guys to give me a little ounce of hope, when in all honesty, they were really only saying things to keep me around just a little longer. They did not have it in them to tell me that their intentions were not to be with me, even though they had made me feel as though things would develop into something more. 

Often times men will meet a woman and they will do all of these wonderful things to make that woman like him. A man will get so caught up in doing this, that they themselves don’t realize the damage that they will cause once that woman realizes that he does not have the same intentions as she does. Often times a man will not come right out and be honest about the fact that they have been stringing a woman along; often times they aren’t going to sit you down and tell you that they don’t want the same things you do. This is the reason why we as women have to pay attention to the signs; we have to stop staying in situations longer then we are supposed to and make sure we make ourselves fully aware of a guys intentions with us. 

I encourage every woman to be careful about who you give your time to. Allowing a man to string you along is time wasted and that is time you won’t ever get back. 

Let Tay Tell It

Motivate Me Mondays: Breaking Barriers

Katherine Johnson, whose incredible contributions to the space program were displayed in the film Hidden Figures, born August 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, WV, to Joshua and Joylette Coleman and she was the youngest of 4 children. At the young age of 13 Katherine was attending the high school on West Virginia State College campus and graduated at the age of 14.  Years later at the age of 18 she enrolled as a student at West Virginia State College, a historically black college. Katherine, who took every math class the college had to offer, had quite a few teachers taking her under their wing including professor W. W. Schieffelin Clayton, who is the third African American to earn a PhD in Mathematics.

Katherine Johnson graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics and french and then took a teaching job at a black public high school. In 1939 she became one of three African Americans and the only female selected to integrate graduate the program at West Virginia University. She made a decision to leave her teaching job and enroll in the graduate program at the University. Katherine decided to take a career path in mathematics as a research mathematician which was not easy for many African American women to enter. In 1953 Katherine accepted a job offer from National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which later changed its name to NASA, at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, VA.

Katherine Johnson made a lot of things possible for women in mathematics! She broke barriers and took risks and no matter what road blocks she hit along the way she never let it get in here way.

To read more about this amazing women and the rest of her contributions: https://www.nasa.gov/content/katherine-johnson-biography

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Photo Credit: NASA

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Photo Credit: https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/blogs/stories/pioneering-nasa-mathematician-katherine-johnson-hidden-figures-movie-poster-everything

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women continue to do the same things and expect different results?

A lot of the decisions you make in life shape the way things will turn out for you. No one can ever force you to do anything and sometimes some people have to make the same mistake multiple times before they fully grasp the fact that it is time for a change. As a woman, we know when we have reached our breaking point and we know when we are fed up but no changes will be made until we reach that point on our own.

In 2013 I accomplished a lot in my life; I became a member of the best sorority in the world, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., I graduated from college, I received a job offer a week after graduation, and I moved and started taking care of myself. While I had all of these great things going for me there was still something that I kept allowing to cause me a lot of tears, anxiety, and sleepless nights and that was a man; a situation with a man that wasn’t even putting forth effort to be in a relationship with me. Time after time I would accept apologies for things I should have never put up with and stuck around even though I knew this was not the man for me. This was a man who supported me when it was convenient, missed out on a lot of my accomplishments, and blamed me for things that were never really my fault. I even went so far as to try to be just his “friend” at one point, even though I knew that was not the answer to a situation I no longer had control of.

I will never forget the day I sat in my closet crying and praying because I was so fed up with the situation and on that day, in January 2014, I decided to stand strong and cut off all ties with someone who did not appreciate me; I decided to stop doing the same things because all I was getting was the same results, which ended up causing me to get hurt. I also decided to take my mothers advice and read a book that she mailed to me and to this day I still tell people that this book changed my life.

January 2014 LaLa Anthony released her book, The Love Play Book, which talks about how she found love and success on her own. I started reading that book February 2014 and I promised myself that I would give any of the suggestions offered in this book a fair and honest shot. One thing that LaLa offers in her book is a 60 day challenge where you spend the next 60 days not looking, thinking, or even trying to get a man. She goes further into detail about it and how it helped her, of course, but for me, coming across not only the book but the challenge its self was the start of me taking back the control I lost over my feelings and emotions.

The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex, and Happiness

I would encourage every woman who has reached a point where they feel as though something has to change, a point where they are ready to take back control over things that should have never been controlled by another person, to read LaLas book! I truly hope that reading this helps someone else and if you just so happen to pick up that book, I hope it brings you to a better place in life like it did for me!

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women assume that all men are the same? How many times have you heard a woman say “all men are the same”?

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard women say “all men are the same”, which is ultimately us blaming all men for the actions of one man. It is my personal belief that women usually deal with heartbreak a lot better then men do BUT one of our flaws is putting all men into this negative category because we’ve been hurt. I too use to be guilty of this; after I experienced heartbreak for the first time I allowed it to completely change the way I view men. In my eyes all men were the same and no matter how good they seemed to be, I knew at some point they would prove to be just like the last guy; at that point I wasn’t even giving them a chance to show me better.

When you experience heartbreak for the first time it causes you to want to put your guard up and figure out ways to prevent it from ever happening again. One way we as women go about doing this is going into a situation with the next guy expecting him to either do what the last guy did or do something even worse. This is something we have to learn to STOP DOING! It is not easy but it is important and necessary to do because the more you treat every guy as if he is the same, is the more time it will take for the right man to come into your life. The first step we must take is to realize and accept the fact that heartbreak is something that is unavoidable.

Another thing that we have to do, to move to a place where we stop categorizing men as all being the same, is to take a step back and realize the type of men we go for and the type of men we allow to step into our lives. Pay attention to the type of men you attract and don’t attract, the type of men you give chances too and the ones you don’t! I would meet a guy and the same things I would allow, ignore, and overlook with the last guy, I would turn around and do the same thing with the next guy because I was either getting too caught up in how much I really liked him or thinking I could get him to eventually become serious. When I started to realize this, it started to click that its not that all guys are the same, its the fact that I keep giving the time of day to guys who weren’t on the same page as me as far as where we wanted things to go between us.

At the end of the day, we have to make a conscious effort to not categorize men as being the same. Ladies, in order to get the results you want you have to accept that heartbreak is something we can’t prevent, stop assuming all men are the same, and  focus more on paying attention to the type of men you allow to step into your life.

Let Tay Tell It

 

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women allow the words from others to affect our self esteem? Why do we as women start to question our worth and our abilities because of what someone else said about us? When will we start to realize that the things other people say do not define who we are as a woman?

This is something we as women go through too often. It is important, as a woman, to really take the time to know who you truly are. This requires some alone time and some growing pains; so it is necessary to embrace this. If you know who you are as a woman, then the words from another person should not have you doubting yourself.

Growing up, I use to get talked about all the time and I could not understand why. I was allowing the words from other people to alter my self esteem and for awhile I was very insecure. As time progressed I started becoming a woman and learning more about myself and realized that I am not what people say I am. I reached a point in life where I learned what changes I needed to make as a woman so that I could continue to be the best version of me. I worked on gaining confidence, building my self esteem, and letting go of all the insecurities that I allowed to hold me back. I have gone through a lot of personal growth and because of this there is nothing anyone can say that can strip me of the confidence I have.

Women, let me tell you, that making changes is not an easy task to achieve. It will require you to not only build your confidence but to accept the change that is needed. Do not depend on others to build that confidence you need, it is on you and do not change for others, change for yourself! Make changes because you want to continue on the path of becoming a better you. The more you change because of other people and what they say about you, the further you are from being happy. It is also important that we allow GOD to help us through these changes because they will require a certain level of patience. Once you make the right changes, it will give you what you need to stand strong in who you are as a person no matter what other people say about you.

The goal is to be better then you were yesterday right? At the end of the day we want to be happy with the type of woman we are right?

 

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women try to change a man that is simply not ready to change?

It is in a womans nature to want to change a man because often times we see his potential way before he even sees it. But when are we going to start realizing that the time we spend trying to change him is time wasted?  There are plenty of men in this world who have reached their potential and made changes to become better men, so why not give these men a chance? The answer is simple, love. Love makes you do things you would never expect yourself to do including waiting around for a man to change and see his potential. It is okay to be the woman who helps her man be a better man but that man has to be at a place in life where he’s ready to reach his potential or he’s already reached it and is continuing to do what is necessary to be the best man he can possibly be.

In life you have to be able to know what type of man you are dealing with; a man who has changed and reached his potential, a man who is trying to change and taking steps to reach his potential, a man who can’t see his potential yet so he has no plans to change right away, and a man who will never really fully change. If you think about how hard it is to change things about yourself then it will start to become a little easier to accept the fact that you cannot force someone else to change. Things that do not become easier is a relationship coming to an end after you have gave a man all of your love, time, and support because you whole heartedly believed you could change him.

You cannot change a man that does not want to change and a man will not tap into his potential until he’s ready to do so. It took me awhile to learn this and unfortunately all of my past relationships involved me focusing more on the potential instead of the actual relationship. The potential clouds your judgement and after while you start to ignore the things about yourself that need to change because that mans potential becomes your main focus. This is why it is important to take everything you do to GOD in prayer; we must ask GOD to provide us with clarity. The heart wants what the heart wants but sometimes that’s not what is best for us. Sometimes you have to walk away and if that does not motivate the man you love to change and become a better man for you then take it for what it is. Deal with the hurt by allowing GOD to heal your heart, remember the things the relationship taught you, and work on being a better woman.

At the end of the day, the goal is to be able to grow together and make each other better but how can you do that if you’re focused on trying to change a man?

Let Tay Tell It

Why Do We As Women?

Why do we as women take the “but he is a good guy” stance when trying to convince ourselves to not give up on a relationship we should have walked away from months ago?

Relationships are hard work but, often times we already know when a relationship is no longer good for us but, lets face it, who wants to be alone? Being alone is something a lot of us fear. But, in all honesty, it is better to be alone than to stay in a relationship that no longer contributes to your happiness, prevents you from growing and where the bad out weighs the good.

In 2015, while dealing with being laid off from my job, I was also dealing with heartbreak from my relationship not working out. I was truly devastated to have to let go of something and someone I was not prepared to let go of. GOD presented me with a lot of signs and I ignored them all but, eventually, he wore me out. After awhile I became so tired of getting hurt and forcing myself to ignore the signs because he was a “good guy” that I stopped fighting what he had been trying to tell me. The relationship ended and I realized that just because he was a good guy doesn’t mean I was supposed to stay in that relationship for as long as I did. I am truly grateful for the relationship because I learned a lot; I know what I will and will not accept from a man, I know how I want to be treated, I know what I need to change and work on to be a better woman for the next man, and I know how important it is to make sure GOD is fully present in the relationship. I do not regret the relationship at all because the woman I am today and the growth I have experienced would not have happened had I stayed, but it took A LOT of courage to walk away.

We never know what GOD’S plan is when it comes to relationships. GOD could be preparing you both to be together later but to experience some growth separately first, or he could be pulling you away in order to have you experience the growth that is  for the relationship with the next man. The one thing you have to do is listen when he’s trying to tell you something. Sometimes that means walking away from something or someone that is currently not providing you with the things you need to grow. GOD has a funny way of trying to reel you back in once he sees that you are pulling away from Him. He will allow things to happen so that you get to a point where you have no choice but to turn to him. We have to stop allowing the “but he’s a good guy” thing to keep us in relationships that are only meant to last for a certain length of time. The more we ignore the signs the worse the signs will get. We can avoid so many tears and so much unecessary pain if we simply listen and pay attention to what GOD is trying to tell us. The more you hold on the longer it will take for the right guy to show up.

GOD wants to see you happy and in love with the man he has for you but you must trust him, be diligent and be patient. You must be willing to completely let go of the expectations you have and welcome in what GOD has in store for your life. You must understand that some relationships are not meant to last forever. Be sure to reflect on what it has taught you and what mistakes you can learn from it. GOD has a way of protecting you from what was not sent by him. So when GOD tells you it is time to move on, do so willingly.

Ultimately, the goal is to be ready to receive love from a good man sent by GOD, right?

Let Tay Tell It