April 2013 was a great month for me. My life has taken some awesome, positive, encouraging turns. I completed the A to Z Challenge with 26 new posts in one month! Here’s a few other highlights:
- I ran a free promotion on my first book with Amazon Kindle. It hit #1 that week.
- I reached my 25 lb milestone on Weight Watchers, after battling a plateau for the past few months. (I’m less than 2 lbs from my goal weight.)
- Turbokick has taken a temporary backseat as I’ve taken up running into my workout routine. I completed a 6K, and felt unstoppable. I believe running 3 to 4 times a week has helped me break my plateau.
- My forthcoming book cover is complete. The book is in editorial now–still on track for a summer release.
- Made some great connections while networking, which I haven’t done since last year. One of those connections resulted in a spotlight on People You Need to Know Women’s Magazine. I’m expecting more fruit from additional contacts as well.
- Reconnected with two people I’ve loved, and made peace with them.
- Had an awesome, fun visit from my sister, whom I last saw a few months ago when I surprised her for her birthday. I love my family!!
I’m feeling really grateful about something else that’s pretty promising, but I’m going to hold my tongue for a bit. Can you guess what it is?
What are your plans for May?
Xavier Simmons and his famous father, rapper DMX (“Dead Man X”) were recently featured on an episode of OWN’s “Iyanla Fix My Life.” DMX admitted that he has done drugs most of his life and cheated on his wife numerous times, having 7 children with other women (in addition to theirs).
His oldest child (with his estranged wife) is now a man in search of a healthy relationship with his father. Unfortunately Xavier’s wish was not fulfilled–at least not yet. DMX was unwilling to accept Xavier’s request to get off drugs in order to have a healthy relationship with him. His attitude and speech was (I am paraphrasing)- “You can accept me as I am [an unrecovered addict] or else forget it.” DMX also cursed Iyanla numerous times and walked out on the interview repeatedly. He’s facing a lot of demons, and it was hard to watch.
Posted in Encouragement, health, personal growth, relationships, self-help, slice of life
Tagged addiction, codependency, DMX, drugs, estranged family, Iyanla VanZant
What follows is a guest post from a man who is playing a tug of war in his relationship with his firstborn daughter, which is being threatened by her mother. If you can relate, please feel free to comment.
As a non-custodial parent, I can attest to the battle that rages every day in courtrooms and living rooms around this country over issues of child support, child custody, and more. These private wars take on a life of their own when you add in lawyers, judges, counselors, evaluators, case handlers, etc.; all people will little to no interest in the actual outcome of the decisions they make or the lives they affect.
Source: Ontario Family Law Blog
I don’t like having third parties involved in matters affecting my child, but there’s something I dislike even more. That’s coming to the realization that my child’s mother has been mentally poisoning my child to believe that she is a victim of some kind and that daddy hates mommy. I was shocked when I realized that matters handled at the courthouse were being discussed and shared openly with this child.
When asked why she would be sharing this with a pre-teen, the mother’s response was “well, she deserves to know what’s going on with her. Since this affects her, she has a right to know.” Really? I don’t think so.
I read Vanessa Williams’ book You Have No Idea last year, which is a memoir she co-wrote with her mother. It’s kind of unique in that for many stories “Ness” tells, her mother also gives her view of how it went it down–usually in terms of Vanessa’s romantic relationships and the infamous Miss America/Penthouse scandal in 1984. Because I’m just a few months away from my own book on relationships (from the male POV), I thought I’d highlight a few things Ness said in her book, from and about the men she loved the most. Continue reading
When dealing with people in your life (whether it’s an acquaintance, your life partner, or a category in between) you must set boundaries. And if you don’t know what your boundaries are, you’ll find out when someone crosses one of them.
Sometimes my daughter wants to play with a neighbor or “friend” so badly that she
forgets their rude behavior makes excuses for their rude behavior. A lesson I have to hammer with her over and over again is that if she continually allows someone to treat her badly, she is telling that person, “It’s ok to mean to me or to disrespect me. I don’t mind. No matter what you say or do to me, I’ll keep coming back to you.” Sound familiar? Whether tacitly or overtly, you give people permission on how to treat you.
It’s similar to raising strong-willed children, one-sided romantic relationships, toxic relationships (including those where where one person enables another), and overcommitting to projects.
Where (or with whom) do you need to set boundaries in your life?
This post is a primer of sorts, adapted from notes I took from my pastor, Joel Gregory, from a message entitled, “The 12 Steps to Parenting” in October 2011 (I had to make the blog title fit the A to Z Challenge!). The points are his, but the commentary is mine except where noted. (Note: These are in a random order- not necessarily in order of most importance.)
1 – Make sure your children are taught to respect authority. You have to model this yourself as well–it’s not just for the kiddies. You like to run every yellow light you encounter, talk back to cops, and speak to other adults in authority in a rude or impatient manner, it doesn’t matter what you tell your kids to do in school. They will learn from your behavior more than your words. “Be careful to be respectful even when you’ve done right and authority seems to be wrong. [In such cases,] God will deal with that authoritative figure.”
Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of several books, including The Five Love Languages and The Five Languages of Apology.
I sought this book after my latest breakup where I got a text saying “You didn’t deserve that last night. I’m sorry but you…” Once I saw that, I immediately tuned out because to me, that message was worded as if he was justified for hurting me the way he did. Either you’re truly sorry or you’re not. I got over it and we briefly resumed our relationship, but sometimes you have to let bygones be bygones… and then BE GONE.
The five languages of apology described in the book are:
1. Expressing regret: If the person you’ve hurt has this language, they want to know “Do you understand how deeply your behavior has hurt me?” You need to say you are sorry and what specifically you are sorry for.
2. Accepting responsibility: If the person you apologize to has this apology language, they want you to accept responsibility for what you did or said and acknowledge that it was wrong.
3. Making restitution: If someone has this apology language, what they really want to know is “do you still love me?” Your behavior seemed so unloving to them that they wonder how you could love them and do what you did.
4. Genuinely expressing the desire to change your behavior: When this is someone’s apology language, if your apology does not include a desire to change your behavior, you have not truly apologized. Whatever else you say, they do not see it as being sincere.
5. Requesting forgiveness: If you offend someone who has this apology language, the words “will you please forgive me?” are the words they want to hear. Requesting forgiveness is the way to touch their heart and is the way that feels sincere to them.
In 2011, my cousin asked me if I would write a book that gives black men a voice in relationships and allow them to speak out, uninterrupted.
Ending the Blame Game is compiled from interviews from of educated black men who are single, divorced or remarried with one thing in common: they have experienced single fatherhood and desire to lead a loving black family, and they want to share their voice. Their stories give women insight into the minds of single black fathers who want to be a part of a cohesive family unit, and just want to tell their side of the story. Who says men don’t want to talk? Whether its infidelity, lack of father figures, child support, divorce, breakdown in communication and overall attitudes about the black male-female dynamic, they’ve got it covered.
In their own voices, each single father featured shares and discusses what they perceive as obstacles to healthy, committed relationships; instilling their own confidence as men; ways that black women can be supportive of them; how to foster better communication; and how to create a nurturing environment for healthy relationships. But that’s not the end-all-be all: at the end of each chapter is an expert’s analysis, tips, and suggestions for solutions.
Special thanks to all of my friends who gave me input on various book cover mock-ups last month. I’ll give you all updates and what to expect over the coming months.
As usual, I’m recapping my highs and lows from last month.
Valentine Anniversary – I celebrated the first anniversary of my first published release, What’s Wrong With Me? (the book and the journal).
Taxes Done – Following my usual tradition, I used TurboTax as I have for the past 13 years, and filed in February. I’ve already received my state refund and am awaiting my federal refund. I would rather have my money during the year than at tax time, but it’s hard because I already claim a high number of exemptions on my W-4 for my employer, AND I itemize annually as a business owner. I think there’s only been one year that I’ve owed money, and it was about $500. I’d love to get to a happy medium.
Missing My Mojo – Usually, I take TurboKick class on Tuesdays (I’m not teaching it yet). But this month I had to sacrifice because on most Tuesdays this month, I was with my daughter taking advantage of outings (field trips) with other homeschool families. When I returned to my TK class last week, another class member who is an acquaintance told me that I had been missed. I missed being there, too! Now I know that I can’t miss 3 weeks of TK in a row anymore. Since I became a certified instructor, I have access to the workouts on DVD, but working out at home is not the same as working out with a room full of other TurboChicks. I doesn’t even matter if I have a conversation with someone while I’m there or not. There’s just something about being around people, with all of us in sync with the choreography, that brings me great joy. What can I say–it’s the dancer in me.
My daughter K had one week in particular this month that was pretty awesome. She attended a live show with Nickelodeon characters, she went to a birthday party/sleepover with a friend who has a barn, and she met not one, but three stars from the Disney channel and Nickelodeon (the latter was a complete surprise). Continue reading
Source: EUR Web
I like the number 23 simply because it’s my birthdate–it has nothing to do with Michael Jordan’s number or the Brothers Johnson classic song, Strawberry Letter 23. But when I am in the car around 8 am on a Mon-Thurs, I have enjoyed the Strawberry Letter portion of The Steve Harvey Morning Show on the radio–even though it seems that many of the writers of those letters have no common sense.
During part of my road trip for the holidays, I listened to a couple of audiobooks. One of them was The Strawberry Letter by Shirley Strawberry, a radio vet and one of Steve’s co-hosts on his show.