Inspirational Quotes, lifestyle blogger, Monday, Motivation

More to Life Monday’s: Realign Your Mind

There are times when negativity seems to be the easiest thing to embrace. Parts of our lives are constantly going in what we believe is the wrong direction. In other words a lot of us may feel like “we are falling apart.”

The reality of this mindset is that we are never actually falling apart. You may be in physical, emotional or mental pain but you are still here. Therefore, something along the line has gone right.

While it may be convenient to be down or sad, it’s not worth it in the long run. A lot of us are used to vibrating on a lower energy and that’s why I say it “may be convenient.” We are not used to good things or good things happening consistently. So before we even try to embrace the good, we fall into the trap of expecting and even embracing the bad. It’s as if we say to ourselves “well this may hurt but it’s familiar.”

It’s time to realign yourself with positivity. Readjust your focus on the beauty of life and less on the ugly of it. There are splendid moments happening all around us everyday and more days of splendor are on their way. However, you’ve got to be open to these opportunities without a doubt because doubt can shut those doors closed.

Don’t allow your faith to waver or you fear to overcome it. As you begin to readjust your focus and realign your mind with a higher vibration, then you will soon realize that you were never falling apart but in fact pieces of your life were falling right into place.

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

Ms. Royale

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How-To, Inspirational Quotes, lifestyle blogger, Monday, Motivation

Make 2018 Your Year of Splendor

It has officially been one whole week of 2018. I hope that you all are feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle another 365. All over social media and even in day to day conversation there’s a widely shared opinion that 2017 was straight up B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  *cue Gwen Stefani please*

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Nevertheless, for those of us who struggled, stressed, and suffered immensely whether it be mentally or physically, there is still hope. I know it sounds cliche or hell it actually is very cliche but for me a new year often provides this feeling of being washed over with the purest of waters. Perhaps that is why my favorite holiday is the New Year. I know the numbers changing on a calendar doesn’t necessarily reset your life’s conditions but you can do so by making that change yourself.

Now, while I am no longer one for resolutions I do stand firm in the idea of creating reasonable goals for yourself with real action plans set behind them. I won’t knock those who start the new year hitting the gym hard or stocking up on low carb foods from their local grocery store because that was once me. However, there were years when I actually stuck to those resolutions. The major key for the years that I did stick to my goals was that not only did I envision myself in that new space, I first embodied the person I wanted to be mentally. That mindset along with a gameplan led me to my success.

A few years back in 2011 I decided I would go full throttle on a weight loss journey which resulted in my shedding of nearly 30 pounds. Now throughout college and life post grad that weight (and then some) did return , BUT that initial success came from a few things that I would like for you to apply to your own daily routine.

First things first, discover your desire.

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What is that thing you’ve been putting off FOREVER? Yeah that thing. Yup, I know you’re thinking about it. The book you’ve been wanting to write. The credit card you’ve been wishing would be paid off. Sidenote: wishful thinking cannot and will never make bills disappear, you’ve gotta do the work. Nonetheless, I want you all to take into consideration just one thing you’d like to accomplish for 2018 and work at it like it’s your day job. Hell so many of us have jobs we don’t even like but we work at it so hard we eventually lack the desire to do what we actually want to do. Let’s begin to redirect our energy to our true desires and perhaps we can began to build wealth off of that desire.

Second thing, *ahem* GET HELP. 

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I know it sounds scary for my fellow prideful folks out there who also happen to be very fearful of appearing dependent upon others. However, let’s be real here, there comes a point in life where doing it alone isn’t worth it. One of the major keys to how I lost that weight back in 2011 is that I had accountability at home and at school. My mother helped me buy foods that were healthier and even prepared the random recipes I had found online. At school I had my best friend who was also on a weight loss journey to keep me encouraged. Right after school we’d both workout in our rooms but in order to keep ourselves in check we would call each at the start of the workout. This happened consistently on a daily basis.

“Let’s begin to redirect our energy to our true desires and perhaps we can began to build wealth off of that desire.”

You see, it’s quite simple actually to find help. It’s everywhere. As a matter of fact, even if you don’t have family or friends to keep you accountable you can find an online community. There are so many groups on Facebook that I am sure you can find one that relates to whatever it is that you are working towards. Of course not everyone is on Facebook which is why there are other platforms we can utilize to find our own tribe (i.e. Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr etc.). So please, I urge you to find yourself a reliable accountability partner.

Third thing, create a realistic action plan.

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A lot of us go on the deep end when it comes to goal setting. We create this abundant list of what we want to do but then in the end nothing gets accomplished. Then we kick ourselves while mentally imploding in a C sharp note of “Why me?” or “I can’t do anything right.”

STOP! Just stop that dry ass pity party and self loathing celebration by jumping right into real goal setting. This can be as simple as opening a word document and writing down your goal with one step that can lead you closer to actual results. (i.e. I want to eat less sugar- Have one meal a day without any sugar in it). I picked sugar as an example because most of us are in fact addicted to it. I also chose it because that’s actually a new goal of mine.

“Just stop that dry ass pity party and self loathing celebration by jumping right into real goal setting.”

Nevertheless, start with simple tasks that can eventually add up to even more complex ones that will then lead to your goal (s) being accomplished. You can find some examples of how to create your action plan sheet by clicking here.

Whatever you do, please start slow.  Also, make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Set deadlines). Don’t rush into it or feel as if you aren’t doing well simply because you’ve just begun. I want you to keep this in mind: Success never invites the elevator to its events, but the stairs on the other hand is always its honorary guest. It takes time to flourish, and it takes to time truly elevate to the next level.

Fourth thing, be kind to yourself.

Yes there will be times when you don’t feel like sticking to your goals but you’ve got to always go back to why you started in the first place. What made you want to have that desire in the first place and why would you stop now when you are so much closer to the end than you were yesterday? Regardless, be kind to yourself and know when a break is necessary. Understand that it is okay to pace yourself. It is about finishing the race NOT rushing through it.

“Success never invites the elevator to its events, but the stairs on the other hand is always its honorary guest.”

One more thing before I go, according to numerology as well as the bible the number 8 holds great significance. Now, I’m not going to get too deep because this isn’t some sort of spiritual lesson but I do find the meaning of names/numbers to be quite intriguing. In the bible the number 8 is considered a sign of new beginnings. Others believe that the number 8 is a representation of infinity including everything good. The number 8 is also seen as a balance which represents what you’ve sown and what you will receive as a result.

Overall, 2018 can be  whatever your heart desires. This can be your year of new beginnings, infinite blessings & accomplishments. 2018 can also be your year of sowing seeds of greatness that will soon turn into goals accomplished, doors unlocked and fears defeated. At the end of the day like the rap duo Black Sheep said “The Choice Is Yours.”

 

Featured Image Source

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

 

 

Ms. Royale

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Featured, Monday, Motivation

More to Life Monday #4: Your Super Power

Alright let’s play a quick game, I’m going to say a word and you are going to think of the first thing that comes to mind when you see it.

Doctor

Superman

Wonderwoman

Dentist

Mechanic

Professor

Garbageman

Annnd time! Okay so I assume that for some of these the first thought that may have occurred in your mind may have easily been fear. For me it went something like this…

Doctor- Healing

Superman- Flying

Wonder Woman- Bad Ass!

Dentist- SCARY!!! Cavities 😥

Mechanic- Fixed cars

Professor- Educated

Garbageman- Helps clean

All of these titles resonate with us in different ways. For some doctors and dentists may evoke negative emotions due to past experiences. Superman and Wonder Woman are most people’s childhood super heroes so we already know that will remind us of someone who is powerful. Professors while educated can sometimes give off a negative vibe to students depending on their personality in the classroom which stands true for any educator. Mechanics and garbagemen get shit done! Usually the things we can’t or don’t care to do.

The first thought for you when seeing the word garbageman might have been “dirty,” or “smelly,” but think about it, we’re the ones who contribute to their job being so dirty and smell. So in essence we’re the smell dirty ones. Garbagemen help keep our neighborhoods clean and they don’t get the recognition that they deserve.

While all of us are going through life nit picking every possible opportunity, there are people out here taking advantage of what is already available or creating their own opportunities. You see, each one of us has the motivation to be just like all of these great people aforementioned. But, none of these achievements will simply walk up to us, tap us on the shoulder, and cradle us until we reach our success. We’ve got to reach down within our own selves and pull out that super power that keeps our dreams alive.

What is your superpower?

What keeps you up at night or crowds your mind as you are working your 8-4:30?

What is that one thing that if you weren’t paid for it, you’d do in a heartbeat?

Thought of it yet? Yes? Awesome!! Well guess what, you’ve just taken the first step of being your own superhero. Congrats to you! That thing you are so passionate about in life is your key to unlock your future, the very hoop you need to shoot ya shot in and most certainly that super power you’ve been blessed with. So what if others have a similar talent, goal or dream MAKE THAT SHIT WORK! No one can be you no matter what they do or try.

So when people ask you “If you had a superpower what would it be?” You can tell them I already have a superpower…if you’ve discovered it already that is lol…don’t start making things up. But, even if you have discovered it that doesn’t mean you have to share it with them or anyone else for that matter. Share what makes you comfortable.

So moving forward, when you find your passion I promise your purpose will follow. After all, one’s knowledge of their purpose plus activation of momentum equals power. Meaning that once you discover your purpose it is then time to find a way to add some fuel behind and get things moving.

And if anyone doubts you, remember that you are SuperPower(full) and can dispel the evil energies of haters with every step that you take into your purpose! 🙂

P.S. Stay tuned for the second part of this new You Are Super-Power(FULL) Series on this week’s Focus Friday

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

 

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Featured, Monday, Monday: MamaDay Motivation

MamaDay Post #2: Celebrating Foster Care Mothers

The month of May is a time of many national celebrations and among them includes National Foster Care Month. While foster care and adoption can sometimes seem very similar, they are not. In fact foster care is often seen in a more negative connotation than adoption. Unfortunately, there are a lot of horror stories that have been attached to the foster care system. Although some of these cases are very real I think that is important that through this #MamaDay post we discuss the highlights of the Foster Care System. A lot of individuals have gone through this system and received some of the best care possible. So in the tradition of She.Is.Splendid we will focus on the positives.

As women we are expected to do all of what is considered to be the “light,” lifting of the world. All the while, we are still held to this standard of impossible perfection. We are told that we must cook, we must clean, and most importantly we must be that one special “man,” happy. But don’t forget we must also become mothers somewhere down the line. This general thought leaves out women who are unable to reproduce for several reasons and that is not fair.

In the same token there are millions of kids in the world who are in dire need of a home. That is why systems such as Foster Care and adoption agencies are in existence. Sweet children can find homes and parents who desire to have children or simply want to extend a helping hand can do just that. So let’s dive into some of the core reasons Foster Care is important and why we should celebrate Foster moms all over the world, whether they are formal or informally fostering as one’s mother.

  1. A Safe Haven

There are several reasons why children end up living with a foster family. Often times these reasons include abuse, neglect or other severe familial issues within the biological family’s home. Therefore, when the state becomes involved some children are separated from their families. However, thankfully within the U.S. there are numerous foster care homes available for these minors. A lot of times this new environment becomes an instant safe haven or safe place for a child who may have just escaped a horrendous situation.

  1. A Real Home

Now the term real can be subjective here because who is to truly say what that looks like. But, as a society we can mostly agree that for a child a home is a place where they feel/are safe, are well fed, clothed and have the resources to cover their basic needs. Nevertheless, Foster Care moms are amazing in their ability to create a loving atmosphere for the children of someone else and making sure that they feel comfortable. As a requirement there are certain safety precautions that foster parents must adhere to within their home. With that said, foster mothers are able to give their foster kids a house they can call home and that can put them at ease away from their past situation.

Now I do want to acknowledge that not all foster moms are formally within the Foster Care System. Everyday there are countless women who pick up where other mothers may have slacked off at or were simply unable to continue taking care of their child/ren. So we have many aunties, grandmothers, other relatives, and close friends who take on that new responsibility but with love in their heart for that child as their own.

  1. A New Beginning

While this can tie into the first two points, children from the foster care system can be given a new opportunity at life. As many negative stories exist within the scope of the system, there are also several success stories of children who were raised within the foster care homes. Some children may have felt that life was completely over for them or that they would never be able to succeed in life based on where they were prior to their new home. Furthermore, foster care mothers may have a different perspective on life that the child isn’t familiar with which can serve as a motivator for their foster kids to go above and beyond in life. Take for example a few public figures that were raised in foster homes such as Malcom X, Simone Biles, James Dean and Cher. Where would some of us be without some of these awesome individuals?

  1. Learn Key Social-Emotional Skills

A lot of times children who go through the Foster Care System are constantly moving from home to home but fortunately within those moments they are afforded the chance with learning some key social-emotional skills. Perhaps in their biological family home or even in a prior foster care home their guardian may have lacked the ability to teach them these key skills. However, there are foster mothers who can serve as an in home educator for their foster kids to learn what it means to channel their anger into a more positive force or even how to simply express when they are feeling certain emotions. These skills can truly help children later on down the line and life.

  1. College Benefits

In most states, there are college benefits such as tuition assistance or even free tuition for students who have gone through the foster care system. According to research, most of the time this free tuition can only be applied to community college which is a great way for students to kick of their higher learning experience. In addition, there are several scholarships available for students who are from foster homes or have been adopted. In some cases, emancipated youth are even eligible for funds to help cover their costs of housing, transportation and other necessities as they are emerging into the stage of young adulthood.

  1. Health Insurance Benefits

According to childwelfare.gov “the majority,” of youth from foster care homes are eligible for Medicaid through state programs that fund health insurance for citizens with the lowest or no income. For some states, such as California foster care children and youth are given Health Insurance until they are 21.

  1. Emancipation Programs

Last but certainly not least, there are specific programs setups locally for children and youth from foster care programs to learn necessary skills as they are growing into adults from their adolescence stage. Take for example the Independent Living Program or IPL that can provide youth as young as 17 years old with an apartment to learn independence skills with a case work and care provider. Within programs similar to IPL children from the foster care system are afforded with services that can educate them on how to find jobs, housing, scholarships and other ways to live a productive adult life.

We are thankful to the all the foster mamas and foster papas out there who welcome foster children into their home. As aforementioned, women are expected to keep the home together in more ways than one. So it is no surprise when countless women go above and beyond in their daily life to give up their homes to the children of others to give those same children a new chance at life. To all the foster mamas, whether or signed up for it or not, who take good care of their foster children, we thank you for selflessness, dedication and warm heart. Also, I especially commend those foster mothers who are also women of color and specifically Black women. There is a large number of black and brown children who are in the foster care system, and are often left behind. But with you they are not only given a home but a chance to live in a space that they may feel more connected to.

For those of you who might be interested in becoming a foster care parent, here are some resources you can access for that. Also, some of these resources discuss ways to get involved with foster care even if you aren’t able to take kids into your home and you would just like to help in other ways.

Resource 1

Resource 2

Resource 3

Sources:

http://www.kidsdata.org/pages/fostercarewhytopicimportant

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/health_care_foster.pdf

http://www.fosteryouthhelp.ca.gov/10facts.html

Featured Picture Source:

http://www.connectingheartsva.org/foster-care-month

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Featured, Inspirational Quotes, Monday, Motivation, Quotes

More to Life Monday Post #2: Don’t Stay Stuck

You ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself, “Man this bed feels so good. In fact, this is the best bed I’ve ever been in. The sheets so comfortable, so inviting. The pillow comforting and supportive.” By the time you are done obsessing with the beauty that exists within your bed, boom your internal alarm blares, “Get ya behind up! It is time for work.” Or perhaps your actual alarm blares *beep* *beep.* Now you think to yourself, “Ugh,” or you internally scream. I’ve had those moments throughout my entire life and until recently that was still me waking up in the morning.

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As a young 20-something year old I am constantly bombarded with these messages through media, social media, peers, and society as a whole that there is a certain image that I must uphold. So with that said, the first that thing I did before I even reached my senior year of college was seek out and find a job.

While my peers were scrambling to find work during the last few months of their 4th year of undergrad, I was literally sipping free drinks at various events through my newfound membership within a particular organization. Through that organization I was able to find work and also travel to a place I had never thought I would before. Eventually that place became my new home. My experience with that new home, while exciting to say the least, was also very troubling.

Throughout the duration of my being there my eyes and heart were opened up to what it is that I was truly destined to be doing. Upon my entry to the organization I was bombarded with several opportunities. While these prospects were and are still in fact a blessing to say the least, I felt that I scarified a lot of myself simply to remain intact while being a member.

With all that said, if every morning one wakes up to their alarm blaring and the first thought that comes to mind is “Oh sh*t, here it goes again,” or “I hate this job.” There comes a moment when that same individual needs to find an outlet of some sort. While I won’t go into too much detail within this post, I want to share one thing in particular. As a member of the organization that I was a part of and in my former position, I went through some of the most difficult moments that I have ever experienced. Throughout the entire time, I reached out for support from friends, family, colleagues and fellow members alike but nothing seemed to work. In fact it came to a point where others would pose the question, “What can I do for you?” My response had become extremely concise, “Nothing,” is what I could be heard saying. At that moment, I needed to full control of the situation which eventually became the need to resign.

During that time my anxiety levels were at an all time high. In fact I experienced several instances of severe stomach pain nearly every single morning before work. In addition, depression and self-doubt had gotten the best of me. On the daily I would attempt to convince myself by repeating what others would say to me, “You got this. Keep pushing.” But just how much can one push when they know in their hearts that they have pushed themselves to the grain? I became a shell of myself, the once bubbly and wide eyed young lady with hope disappeared for quite some time. I exhibited my internal feelings by adopting a bad drinking habit (or at least to me it was bad), spending far too much money on comfort foods, and spending my nights crying myself to sleep. As a result I finally experienced what I am sure was my second panic attack, stomach pain and chest pains took over my shell of body.

Why am I sharing all of this with you all? Well, for one there are many of us who suffer in silence with the fear that no one else will quite understand what we are going through. I am definitely one of those people. I remember when the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why first premiered, there was an uproar about how other people aren’t responsible for your feelings or what you do. While this in some form is true, in another light it is not. Our outside world has a lot to do with how we feel on the inside and unfortunately not everyone handles pain like the next person. I can attest to that for sure. I knew from the minute that I started the program I was once a member of that something wasn’t right.

During my summer training I told myself and some friends that I was going to quit. I didn’t mean “quit,” as in just drop it because I’m lazy. Rather, something inside of me knew it was not compatible with my life’s purpose and mission. However, being the adventurous person that I am, I figured it would be better to try it than to not. Also, I began to feel that if I didn’t continue I would be letting my newfound friends, peers and superiors down. I even considered how it would look to my old friends and family as well. So instead of leaving from the jump, I suffered in silence convincing myself I would make it.

You see there is way more to life than just sitting around waiting for opportunities to come to you or remaining in a situation that doesn’t fit you. While I sought out this opportunity, I had the choice to seek out more but I did not. I blame no one else but me for that decision. However, I am not afraid to say that during my bouts of major anxiety and depression I could not see past my current circumstances at the time. It was literally as if my vision for life was completely clouded.

As humans we focus so much on negativity and that is not entirely our fault as individuals. The way society has programmed us through the media, for example, is a major reason why we react to issues in the way that we do. The news sells negativity and wins every time. Our initial reaction is often the “fight or flight,” alert because innately we want to protect ourselves and also we want to have control over all of our situations. We know we can’t control it but we long to.

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If there’s anything I want you all to keep in mind for today, it would be three things:

  • Allow yourself to experience what life has to offer

  • It is okay to walk away from something that is painful even if it might cost you

  • Remember that none of us can actually control every little thing that happens in our lives

We’ve got to be okay with these three factors of life. There is so much more for us out there than we can even imagine. If you are stuck in a situation that is quite literally killing you on the daily, whether it be a job, relationship (familial, platonic or romantic), or even an organization, you are free to leave. The one thing that we have is free will. Regardless of what others may have setup within in the world to block our blessings, at the end of the day everything you do is ultimately up to you.  So let’s focus on the things that we can control which honestly is our mindset. Make each day count by going out and doing something that helps impact your life and the lives of others in a beautiful way. Do not remain in places that you have outgrown or were never for you to begin with.

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

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Creative Writing, Featured, feminism, feminist, History, Monday, Monday: MamaDay Motivation, Motivation

MamaDay Mondays #1: Dr. Esther Afua Ocloo

Happy MamaDay y’all!

In honor of our first MamaDay Monday’s post, we will be featuring one of Ghana’s most influential women in the business world, Dr. Esther Afua Ocloo. Last week, she was premiered as the cover of Google’s logo in honor of her birthday, April 18th. Today, here at S.I.S. we dedicate this Monday to discuss how much of an impact she had not only on her native land but all across the world.

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Dr. Ocloo is the perfect fit for today’s post because not only did she help to bring more life into this world by way of motherhood but she became the driving force of creating a plethora of business women throughout Africa. As women, there are glass ceilings set up in nearly every sector of our lives, especially for Black women. Thus, our contributions are not valued as much as they should be in terms of what we are paid, or even simple recognition in history books. This lack of recognition becomes even worse for Women of Color. Yet in the same breath we are also expected to hold the world on our backs.

Nevertheless, women who are mothers whether biologically often put their own happiness on the back burner to nurture their children and often times their significant others. Auntie Ocloo, as she is affectionately known, was one of those women and more.

According to multiple sources, Dr. Ocloo began her first business with no more than $1 to her name. Now that’s one helluva way to stretch a dollar! Can I get an Amen? Not only did she barely have any money to her name but she also started her company as teenager. Yeah, so when most of us were too busy going boy crazy, Dr. Ocloo was going the ways to be business savvy. This is why we must invest in our youth at an early age. Furthermore, Dr. Ocloo made sure to stick to her roots, by naming her company after her maiden name in which it was then known as Nkulenu Industries.

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So in the spirit of MamaDay let’s break down just why Dr. Ocloo is deserving of today’s feature.

1. Motivational /Motivated 

As aforementioned, Dr. Ocloo’s business venture began at a very young age. Not many people can say that their globally recognized business started during their adolescence. Auntie Ocloo was a very motivated woman who also served as a motivating force for other women around her. She is known for having stated

“Women must know that the strongest power in the world is economic power. You cannot go and be begging for every little thing, but at the moment, that’s what the majority of what our women do.”

While her efforts did in fact contribute to her own direct financial gain, her efforts also motivated other women to work on gaining their financial independence. Ocloo advocated for independent vendors or street merchants that others viewed as having simple jobs that did not contribute much to society. Ocloo saw the greatness in the women who sold their goods on the roadside, for these were the women who indirect provided food for the homes of the local people.

“We found that a woman selling rice and stew on the side of the street is making more money than most women in office jobs – but they are not taken seriously.”

She understood the importance in their work and therefore saw to it that their voices were heard through the programs she organized. In fact, she understood their value so much that Ocloo empowered poor women through teaching them skills needed to move their street merchant businesses into even bigger companies that could attract greater financial gain. Thus, according to one source  she  became known as the pioneer “of micro-lending after setting up a bank to assist those on low economics.”

2. Aspirational 

Ocloo’s overall life was an aspirational example for individuals who come from impoverished backgrounds on how to take the little that they have and expand upon that. Although born into poverty in the Ghanaian town of Peki with a father and mother who both worked menial jobs such as a blacksmith and potter. Regardless of their low socioeconomic background, Ocloo’s family was able to send her to a boarding school and during the weekends she would cook enough food there to bring back home.

After she graduated from high school Ocloo received a few Ghanaian shillings from her aunt. With those few shillings, Ocloo went on to buy sugar and oranges. She also bought 12 jars in order to make and begin to sell marmalade.

Eventually her efforts were made known at an even greater scale by way of a contract through her high school which allowed her to sell her products to them. Later, she was granted the opportunity to form a contract with the military in order to service them with her supplies as well.

Ocloo soon took out a bank loan which was one of the stipulations of her contract and in 1942 she founded the business which we now know as Nkulenu Industries. Today, Nkulenu Industries is still thriving by creating jam and exporting those goods to foreign markets. Sticking true to its Ghanian roots, Ocloo’s company still operates out of Accra, the capital of Ghana.

3. Marvelous

Her contributions to womankind and the people of Ghana were recognized throughout the many awards bestowed upon her. As well as, the fact that she held the title of first in a few arenas. Prior to her much acclaimed success she was the first Black person to graduate from the Good Housekeeping Institute in London. After graduating from college, she went onto to create a food canning business on Africa’s Gold Coast. The products sold included orange juice and marmalade (jam/jelly). While others sold products in more local areas, she saw to it that her products were sold right outside of government buildings and the West African Frontier Force.

nkulenu-products

She eventually founded the Federation of Ghana Industries which is now known as the Association of Ghana Industries. Ocloo even became one of the main people to help create the first Made-in Ghana goods exhibition starting in 1958. Further, she was then elected as the first president of the federation from years 1950-1961. Ocloo also served as the first Ghanaian woman to be the Executive Chairman of the National Food and Nutrition Board of Ghana in 1964. Later on down the line, Ocloo became the first woman to be a recipient of the Africa Prize for Leadership.

4. Ambitious

Dr. Ocloo lived a life full of ambitious actions which can be seen in many examples of the legacy she left behind. Take for example, in the 1970s when she visited Mexico for the very first United Nations World Conference on Women. Following this meeting she became the co-founder and chair of the board of directors of Women’s World Banking. In fact, she even became one of the founding members of the Women’s World Banking (WWB) which is an international micro-lending organization. Her ambition to assist women with obtaining small business loans in order to use their own ambition to start up their own companies.

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Since then, WWB has propelled the dreams of millions of women forward. Ocloo even went as far as setting up a farm in Ghana that was dedicated to teaching women about agricultural cultivation.

5. Dedicated

As we now know, Ocloo dedicated her personal and professional life to uplifting her fellow woman. Rather than seeing other women as steps in the ladder of success, she viewed them as her fellow champions in the fight for women’s liberation. With such a dedicated professional life, Ocloo also became a member of several financial organizations.

According to her website, during the 1970s and “onwards she was involved at a national and international level in the economic empowerment of women. She was an adviser to the Council of Women and Development from 1976 to 1986, a member of Ghana’s national Economic Advisory Committee from 1978 to 1979 and a member of the Council of State in the Third Republic of Ghana from 1979 to 1981.”

6. Admirable

Why should we admire such a woman? Dr. Ocloo is proof that regardless of your prologue, your epilogue can be absolutely epic. Starting off as a young girl who more than likely was unaware of the success that was to come, she invested in her dreams and saw to it that her company expanded. In the same breath, she did not keep the fruits she bared to herself, instead she shared it with the world. She is quoted for saying

“My main goal is to help my fellow women. If they make better marmalade than me, I deserve the competition.”

7. un-Yielding

Even in the face of possible defeat, Ocloo’s efforts were unwavering and unyielding for sure. She stood in the face of any roadblock and still crossed that road to accomplishment. All the while making an effort to accomplish her goals, others around her would sometimes doubt her vision. Regardless, she pushed on to educate, empower, and uplift her country, as well as other independent business women. Let’s not forget that Mrs. Ocloo was able to do all of this even in spite of being a mother of four children, three sons and one daughter. Now that’s one helluva mama!

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Sources: 

1. Nkulenu’s

2. Aljazeera

3. Heavy

4. The Guardian

5. World Trek

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Creative Writing, Featured, feminism, feminist, History, Monday, Motivation, Quotes

More to Life Mondays #1

Today, I am kicking off More to Life Mondays which is a part of my Weekly Wisdom Series. If you didn’t get a chance to see what More to Life Mondays are all about, click here for more info.

I am proud to start this part of the series off by sharing with you all this quote by one of my favorite writers, Alice Walker.

I truly love the stance that this quote abides by because we as humans have so much power. However, if we allow ourselves to continuously wallow in self doubt or pity it is easy to give that power away to others. But, I want you to take these 3 tips and apply them to your life.

1)Stand in your STRENGTH.

Now this might sound strange but strength and power are not the same thing. In fact, strength is defined as the amount of force a muscle or group of muscles, can exert against an external load. Strength is also known as a quality of a person or thing.

So essentially our strength lies in how much we can take based off the physical or mental muscles that we each have as individuals. Having different strengths from others does not make one weak or weaker than the next. This is why we must learn, understand and accept the strengths that we all have. It is unhealthy to try and apply what someone else has to your life without first realizing your own strengths. Your homework is to create a list of your top 3 strengths.

For example, I would make my list go something like this: 1) I can make people laugh, 2) I am a pretty decent cook (nervous lol still learning) and 3) I am really good at keeping calm

2)Stand in your POWER.

Power is our ability to influence the behavior of others or the course of events that a place at a given time. Now this one gets a little tricky. As a Black woman I can easily say I am strong, no not because of the stereotypical of “Strong black woman.” Rather, I can say that because I as a woman who is also Black and other Black women, we have endured some of the harshest treatment in this country since its inception. Now can I say I am powerful? I mean based off of what American society would have you believe, I cannot be powerful because not only is my race oppressed but so is my gender.

Regardless of what society might assume, I do believe that I am and we as Black women are in fact very powerful. I also believe that power can sometimes be misconstrued as an entity reserved solely for those who are commonly in positions of “power.” This is what causes many of us to feel as if our voices cannot be heard in front of the masses, and therefore we begin to feel powerless. Then we end up giving this power away like Walker stated in her quote because we believe we don’t have any.

For Black women, and anyone out there who has ever thought this way, I want you to take some time to do some reflecting on why this is actually detrimental to our very lives. If you constantly feel as if you have no power simply because others have deemed you powerless or an entire system has you are doing yourself a disservice. It is not an easy mindset to remove by yourself and trust me I am not saying you are to blame for having this mentality. There are many reasons why people feel they are powerless and those reasons are very valid/real. But, what I want you all to understand is that there is power within all of us. If you search you will find it.

More homework: What is your power? Write that down under your list of strengths. (i.e. my power is my singing, writing, or my education)

3) Lastly, but most importantly, stand in your GREATNESS because trust me it exists within you. It is simply waiting for you to free it into the physical realm of the universe.

Just like the power that exists within us, there is also greatness. It may take the people who are in your close circle to see it first or maybe even for you to see it in someone else first. Now when I say for you to see it in someone else, that does not mean you go around comparing your current situation or life in general to others. (BIG RED FLAG) What I mean is that you may notice you also have a desire to sing, act, dance, hell go to the moon and you see someone else doing it, and now you are inspired. Regardless of how you find it, trust and believe me it lives inside of you. Your soul is always trying to give you the steps towards unleashing that greatness into the world but only you have the key to open that gate of great.

With that said, Alice Walker is definitely the perfect piece to fit into this puzzle of More to Life Mondays posts. She embodies the power and passion that it takes to push past life’s misfortunes. Often times whenever we hear the stories of successful public figures, there are certain pieces to their success puzzle that is left out. Thankfully in the case of Alice Walker this is not the case.  After doing some research I was shocked to find out what led to her love for literature. While my connection to literature also started as a child, what drove her towards it was totally different than my own experience.

Anyhow, in several interviews Walker has expressed that at the age of about 8 or 9 years old she was accidentally injured with a BB gun while playing with her brothers. The injury resulted in blindness in one eye which led to emotional issues due to the physical impact following the accident. As a coping mechanism, Alice found herself enamored with a new found love for reading and writing. She later insisted that this moment of “isolation,” was a contributing factor that led her on the path to her passion for literature. She spent a lot of time away from the world which helped her to develop a more introspective view on life and in turn helped to build her muscle in terms of writing.

While that incident took place much earlier on in her life, I would like to use that as an example to help encourage those of you reading. Since that incident, Walker’s books went on to be awarded several best sellers, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and other literary accolades. Now, imagine if little Alice had determined from that one incident that she would no longer try in life.

While that situation in itself could have caused death, it didn’t. Rather it caused immediate physical damage and later emotional damage as well. That same damage became converted into positive energy which helped her land a partial scholarship for college. Just as she stated in the video, “You can’t even be mad at your misfortunes because it led you somewhere.” Y’all I’m telling you, sometimes you biggest blessings comes out of your biggest setback. Also, a quick side note Walker also graduated as Valedictorian of her class AND was voted prom queen. I’m sure she never imagined those two factors would come to fruition when she was going through her season of insecurity as a child.

Nevertheless, it would be wrong for me not to acknowledge the fact that as humans we all deal with emotional baggage differently. So in this moment, I want you all to understand that all coping comes in different forms. Sometimes coping comes in the framework of negative behavior such as acting out, taking your anger out on others or self-harm. However, there are times when people cope in a more positive manner for a number of reasons. I won’t get too deep into that because I can dive deeper into that in a later post.

The point that I am aiming at here is that our mindset has to be set on success and the techniques that it takes to get there. If we are solely focused on the negativity going on in our personal life, or what else can go bad in the world, 9 times out of 10 something will go bad. While this may not apply to every situation due to external variables such as racism, sexism, classism and all the other isms; we do have more power than we think we do.

Energy is a very powerful tool, and we must learn to use it wisely. So tell me, are you going to remain in a negatively energetic mentality or a one full of positive energy? Regardless of what negative thought dares to pop up, you have to get a hold of those thoughts and remind them that you have the POWER. Then use that reminder to remind the world as well. Exert your strength to exhibit the power that exists within you in order to release the greatness that you also have inside of you!

Serenity, Smiles and Positive Vibes to all,

Ms. Royale

Shout out to all the sources used for this post:

  1. http://alicewalkersgarden.com/about/
  2. http://www.biography.com/people/alice-walker-9521939
  3. http://www.fembio.org/english/biography.php/woman/biography/alice-walker/
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Featured, feminism, feminist, Love, Monday, Monday: MamaDay Motivation, Motivation, Self-Care

More to Life Mondays/MamaDay Motivation

Along with the other weekly posts will be More to Life Mondays and MamaDay Motivation. These days will be interchangeable for every other Monday. For the days called More to Life, posts will primarily focus on giving people hope, motivation and inspiration to take life to another level.

MamaDay is meant to be a play on the holiday Mother’s Day which, as we all know, comes once a year. Technically everyday should be a day of celebration for dedicated parents and especially mothers. However, we understand how holidays work so this will be a bi-weekly reminder that mamas should be celebrated more often. All MamaDay posts will center around women who are mothers, both biologically or not, who have helped shaped the world through their humanitarian efforts.

Serenity, Smiles and Positive Vibes to all,

Ms. Royale

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