Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number!


Age is not a deadline it is the beginning of a new era! ~Stylicia~

It is funny how we live in a world that gives us a particular age limit to have kids, get married and all the other superfluous stuff. However, I believe putting limits on yourself due to your age can literally handicap your future. I do understand age is important when it comes to the regular things such as driving, drinking and understanding the fundamentals of life. However, we should not put an age on our dreams, success or living the life we desire.

I remember when I told God if I am not married and have another child by 35 then it was a wrap for me. Now at 36 going on 37 I laugh at my ultimatum that I gave God. I realize there is beauty in embracing every stage of your life at every age. I am not married at this point in my life and I definitely don’t desire another child. I never knew that my 30’s was a time for me to explore my authenticity, heal from my past and embrace newness. We live in a society that can sometimes be caught up in the numbers but as we progress America is realizing age is simply a number!

After 36 years of living I realize I can be who I want to be and I can do what I want to do at any age. The only thing that will limit me is my mindset. You can get married at 50, have kids at 42 or go back to school at 60. Age is not the determining factor in your life from succeeding…..your mindset is! When you put a deadline on how much you can accomplish due to your age then you limit your potential. We all have the potential to be great but some of us choose to wait until a certain time to achieve the things we want to do.

Have you ever thought about retiring at 30, 40 or even 50, if so what is stopping you? Absolutely nothing! It is time to get rid of the deadline in your head and start living again, start dreaming and pursuing the life you desire. Yes, it’s true with age comes responsibility and wisdom but also with age comes grace to appreciate life a lot more. I can attest to this because the older I get the more I appreciate life and all it has to offer. If you started to put deadlines in your head I want you to take a step back and erase those pesky things. Watch and see how amazing your life can be if you start to embrace the moment at any age because in reality age ain’t nothing but a number!

Am I Feminist?

The word feminist can sometimes have a negative meaning depending on who is defining the word. I never thought I would even questioned the fact that I really believe deep down I am a feminist. According to Webster’s Dictionary a feminist is a person who believes in organized activities in support of women’s rights and interests. It also defined feminist as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. I never have been focused on the word feminist because I believe we live in a society that put labels on things but create a bad stigma behind the labels.

In this case, I believe the word feminist consistently has been misconstrued to society. I recently took a quiz that identified whether you were a feminist or not and to my surprise it stated I was a full blood feminist.  I am not the type of woman who likes to be defined by labels and I never let labels make me or break me.  Labels are used to categorize things which can sometimes limit our ability to be more. Labels are used to minimize who we truly are to put us in a box. I never like to be put into a box because as we grow we change and continue to expand. However, as I further decipher the word feminist I realize it is nothing to run from but embrace. I am truly a woman who loves things that are centered on women empowerment, uplifting women and inspiring women to be more than what society says they should be.

It is our duty as women to make sure we are upholding the right image of what a lady should be due to the responsibility to the younger generation of girls. As a mother I constantly express to my daughter to be her own person, never try to fit in with the crowd but blend out. In society we constantly try to make others fit into a certain category but it takes bravery to step out the norm. And being a woman who believes in equality I guess I am a feminist in my own right. Feminism for me is about embracing your inner strength as woman breaking societal validation and being true to yourself. If this is what makes me a feminist well I can proudly say that I am. Every woman I believe is a feminist if we take the time to embrace our inner feminism and love ourselves completely. A woman is powerful when she knows her power uses it wisely to educate other woman about their worth and bridge the gap of tearing down the wrong images of women. So am I feminist, according to my definition I can embrace the word wholeheartedly.


Rising In Your Queendom

As I grow more into the woman I always wanted to become I realize that being a woman is such a powerful concept. I truly believe we sometimes condense our power to make others feel more adequate but in essence, we are hurting ourselves. When we do not live up to our full potential we diminish the queen we really are on the inside. I realize as I journey through the abyss of my authentic road I cannot diminish the queen qualities I have lying dormant. The queen on the inside of me is raging to be released to the world unadulterated. When I suppress the roaring that brews internally I begin to stifle the queen that needs to rise up. Every woman has the ability to rise up in her queendom but we let our own insecurities, others negative words and societal validation stop the growth of who we are really supposed to become. Recently, I decided to purchase Queen Latifah book Put On Your Crown this book has been a game changer in my life. Her book has open my eyes to what it truly means for me to put on my crown with confidence and wear it boldly. For a very long time in my life I would shy away from the lime light due to my own insecurities and low self-esteem. I walked heavily in the people pleaser spirit making everyone happy while I remained miserable. I constantly put everyone else needs before mines which cause me to be depleted mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. I would give everyone else the diamond status treatment while I treated myself to the cubic zirconium level.

A couple of years ago I was at a breaking point because I got sick and tired of people manipulating me. I knew three years ago in order for me to walk fully into my queendom I was challenged to defy the odds. Rising up in my queendom meant that some people feathers would be ruffled and some people would rotate out of my life. Three years later, I can truly say that this evolution has been worth all the love, peace and joy of finding myself—my authentic self. Queen Latifah book has truly helped me identify  some internal things I need to face in this season of my life. I believe this year is the year for me to rise high and go to another dimension as a woman. I refuse to miss out on living my best life and not maximizing my gifts to their full capacity. When you realize that you were always a diamond you no longer accept that cubic zirconium quality. As you begin to desire more for your life you will connect with the queen on the inside of you. You will begin to rise up and call forth the queen that you were already meant to be. Masterpieces are not just thrown together but they take calculated time to come together; as a queen you are the calculated masterpiece. I charge you every day of your life to bring forth the queen in you and let her rise up boldly. No longer quench the rising of your inner queendom. Rise Queen, Rise!
 
Reference:
Put On Your Crown by Queen Latifah
Photo Credit: Pinterest Images

Respect Your Haters!

The reality of life is everyone will not accept you, love you, respect you or want to see you succeed but those people really never matter in the first place. However, people who have no self love for themselves will always be jealous of someone else success. They will always be in competition with someone who is living the life they are not brave enough to live. The type of people I am describing can be better identified as haters. Haters are people who talk more about who you are than CNN. They spend their days and nights with you on their mind wondering when you will fall from your pedestal. However, they are never aware that they are the ones who built your pedestal. They are the reason you are shining bright like a diamond because their haterism gives you motivation to continue to do what you do so well. I have also experienced haterism on many occasions in my life I recently encountered it on my job. The hater plotted to defame my character however, just like the yeast in bread I still continue to rise above the hate. Hate hurts but it only hurts the person who decide to operate in it. I am learning that if people do not like me I am doing something right. In order to be effective in life we have to be brave enough, confident enough and authentic enough to ruffle some feathers. As an ex-people pleaser I lived my life to please everyone while making myself miserable. As I continue to grow through the process of becoming a more authentic me and putting myself as a first priority I realized that more people will  show haterism. In spite, of negativity I am understanding the importance of loving everyone, forgiving and moving forward. I believe everyone needs a job even the haters because if not they would be unemployed. Haters make the world a more successful place because without them we would have no reason to work harder. Confidence in yourself will offend those who have no self-confidence or self-love which creates the ugly monster of jealousy. If you want to rise above the ordinary people in order to be extraordinary you have to be willing to go after what you really desire and be true to who you are no matter what other people may think. Everyone will have an opinion of who they think you are but when you know who you are and whose you are their opinions never matter. So I encourage you as I encourage myself, respect your haters with a smile. Kindness is the best weapon for those who hate you for being the “AWESOME” person you are…..So baby shine so bright so the whole world can see you!

Blending In Is Overrated, Blending Out is Underrated!


We live in a society where everyone wants to blend in just to fit in a box. The box implements boundaries and limitations that decrease the level of originality. No one wants to be different because of the paralyzing fear of being rejected. Rejection is the sore that festers from hurt and pain inflicted by others. However, rejection is a part of life and it is the climax of growth. No one who ever strives to be great dodged the bullets of rejection. Rejection is not something you want to embrace but it is a lesson that is worth exploring. Society teaches us the game of being mediocre instead of reaching higher. Mediocre people do not mind blending in and doing just enough to get by day to day. However, mediocrity can cause you to slip and slide into a world of regret and complacency. Mediocrity will keep you stagnant or stale where mold will destroy your creativity, your dreams, your tenacity and much more. People who want more out of life never get caught in the box of mediocrity instead they become busy creating their own path to success. If you fear success then you will never have the motivation to succeed. Failure is the catalyst of learning how to succeed. We never really understand that failure fuels us to have faith to go the extra mile. Do not let circumstances, stigmas, rules or limitations stop you from reaching your full potential. The world will use tactics to stop you from accomplishing all the things that you need to do in life in order to fulfill your God given destiny. It is important you strive to rewrite your script and get back in the driver’s seat of your life. Many times we allow others opinions, ideas and experiences define our own life path. Therefore we have to learn how to blend out. Blending in has become socially acceptable for those who have no ambition to grow higher and move forward. Blending out is about having the courage to speak your truth, stand up for what you believe in, and being honest with yourself. Deception is a silent killer that robs you of your authentic moments in life. The only way to walk in truth is by embracing the person you really are within. Below I will give a couple of tips on how you can be more effective of blending out.

Tips To Blend Out

1) People Pleasing is Overrated. If you are living your life to please others please understand you are doing yourself a great disservice. No one will every truly appreciate you for who you are if you live to make them happy. You will lose your self worth, self love and most of all self respect. Live to please God and yourself.

2) Happiness is momentarily but joy is everlasting. Everyone is on the road to happiness but happiness is just for a moment. You have to make it up in your mind no matter what comes you way you will be content and joyful.

3) Becoming Authentic. You cannot discuss authenticity until you first go through the journey of how to be authentic. Everyone use the word authentic but I wonder if they really understand the significance of the word. Blending out is knowing who you are and becoming your true self. Authenticity is the key to this life journey.

4) Self Fulfillment. We live in a world where it is taught that putting yourself first is wrong but if we are striving to blend out you have to learn to figure out what makes you happy, what are you passionate about and make your dreams happen. Self fulfillment is part of taking the time to get to know what fulfills you and gives you passion.

5)  One Of A Kind. A person who dares to dance to their own rhythm becomes the creator of understanding what makes them unique. When you embrace your unique quality God can use this to change the world. Stay in your lane, expand it and continue to create opportunities instead of waiting on opportunities.

Never be scared to blend out, blending out is the adrenaline you will find on the road to becoming free and becoming you!

I Am Not My Hair!


A couple years ago India Arie came out with a song entitled “I Am Not My Hair” which is a song I can embrace and relate to as a woman. My hair was never something I used to define who I am as a person. Whether my hair was short, long, weave, curly, straight or natural my hair is a form of expression not a form of who I am. I wonder why in the African American community we put so much emphasis on our hair and attach it to who we are as women. Recently I had a discussion with a lady that was natural and she was trying to convince me about going natural. I told her I am happy with the way my hair is now. I express to her that my hair does not define me it is just an extension of how I express myself. I believe going natural has nothing to do with a movement but should be something you want to do because it is an extension of expression. As a woman we express ourselves through our hair whether the woman is African American, Caucasian, Chinese or another race our hair is what we use to transition through our moods or changes in life. I believe my short hair is not a definition of who I am but it is my expression of my authentic self at that moment. I have came to understand that if we learn not to be attached to things such as hair we can truly be free within ourselves. I love my short relaxed hair but when I want something new I may add extensions to it or even become bald headed. It is our role as women to teach our young daughters that hair does not make you or break you but it has the ability to grow back.  Women who choose to go natural I encourage you to do this for yourself not to be part of a movement. In 1980 black women wore their hair natural as well in the 1960s when Afros were a big trend. I am convinced that just like any other trend being natural is just another trend or fad that will die out until another one is birthed. I remember when Solange Knowles stepped away from being a representative for Carol’s Daughter she simply stated for Lurve Magazine, ““I was constantly fighting for the right message to be heard. The message that the way we wear our hair is a personal choice, there’s no right or wrong way.” I simply agree with Solange there is no right or wrong way to wear your hair. Your hair is an extension of expression. We have the freedom to rock our hair the way we want when we want to as women. So now I encourage you to not be defined by hair, clothes or other things that keep you in a box. Be true to who you are by breaking the box that society tries to squash you into. I am not my hair, I am not my clothes, I am not what society says I should be I just choose to be my authentic self.

Until next time…Live Bold, Live Loud & Live Authentically!

References:
Clutch Magazine (2012). Solange Knowles on Leaving Carol’s Daughter and Addressing Her Natural Critics. Retrieved on July 13,2013 from http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/09/solange-knowles-on-leaving-carols-daughter-and-addressing-her-natural-hair-critics/

Embrace Your Curves!

I realized today no matter how old I get every bump, stump, lump
On me I have to appreciate the perfect physical
Structure of me
 It doesn’t matter what people say
Everything about me is beautiful
And it’s okay
It doesn’t matter what I say every part of me
Is beautiful. ~Stylicia, (excerpt from the poem entitled “Beautiful”)~
 


We all have heard of the colloquialism “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” which has meant different things to many people. This colloquialism has been a universal saying for years but yet we still have not gone deeper into the significance of this meaning. Beauty is a diverse subject that is translated through the way we dress, act and behave. No one can put a definite interpretation of what beauty is, not even the Webester Dictionary. For many years in my life I would struggle with my own personal insecurities about my body and it affected the way I viewed my own physical beauty. I believe we all have personal insecurities with the physical structure of our body. Many of us have complained, cried and hidden the parts of the body that made us feel inadequate.
 However, in my authentic journey (especially in this year) I am learning to face my physical insecurities. I have learned the greatest power of beauty is embracing who you are no matter how many physical deficiencies you may have at the time. Some people go to great lengths to get cosmetic surgery done to their body but I believe the work of being insecure has to start from within. The more I dig deeper into my authentic journey I have learn the beauty of getting to the root of my insecurities. When you begin to get to root of the problem you can see the light more clearly.
Last month, I decided I needed to face my physical insecurities about my body so I recommitted myself to the gym and I invested in a personal trainer. If we are not facing our insecurities then they will continue to haunt us and make us feel inadequate. The process has been a slow one but I realize I am the captain of my own physical health, I can sink or swim. I realized how important it is for me to stop making excuses of why my body is the way it is and find a solution to make it better. My personal goal is to invest in my body, soul and mind in order to be a happier person. I know this is another journey I have to partake in but it’s worth it. I understand when I cheat on myself I hurt no one but myself. So today I am embracing my curves, realizing I am not 20 anymore and get my body in shape for where I am now. I cannot go backwards but only move forward.
So, the challenge for you on this day is to look in the mirror be raw and honest with yourself; stop complaining, whining and wondering why your body is not where it should be…It’s time to deal with you insecurities and embrace your curves, work on your deficiencies so you can become more confident in who you are. The time is now to Embrace Your Curves!

Challenge: This month make a list of the body parts you want to work on and get serious about the work. Write up a contract of commitment to have a reminder of what you will commit yourself to for this month.

Rewrite The Script To Your Life…..

In life we are the directors and producers of what we want our life to be so we might as well write a script of what we dream our life to be. ~Stylicia~
 
 
Recently I watched a 7 day webinar on Ustream entitled ” 7 Secrets of A Dreamer”. The host of the webinar, Shanel Cooper Sykes did a fabulous job in tapping into the things that hold us back from allowing our dreams to manifest. I realized alot of the points she made throughout the 7 days made sense to the journey I was on in the past. I wanted to live my dream so bad but my actions, words and everything else was not lining up. I felt I had to get approval or validation from others to live my dream. After taking a two year hiatus to step back and reevaluate myself I realize I was not being true to myself and needed to live in my authenticity. Now I realize my words, actions and thoughts about living my dream have to be in sync with each other. Ms. Cooper discussed the language of a dreamer on Day 4, learning to be aware of what you speak and your thoughts concerning your life. She stated “Your words, your thoughts are shaping your life”, which is true & powerful. The assignment Ms. Cooper assigned to us was to be bold and rewrite a different script to our lives. So, I decided to take a leap of boldness and put it on my blog. I am a dreamer, I believe in my dreams and I know they will come true by me putting forth action in making them reality. Here is the rewritten story of my life, just watch the manifestation…Soon To Come:
 
As I sit looking out my hotel window I see the beautiful breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. I am quietly writing away another script of my life, another New York Best Time Seller is coming forth out of my womb. I am in awe of how God has allowed me to travel profusely across the international border to speak on authenticity, business and do book signings. I have even been able to expose my life to my daughter who loves to travel with me while I am working. It is a precious gift to work for myself and own my own company. When I am not traveling I am busy lecturing at colleges as a college professor on subjects pertaining to marketing, branding and business. I realize how blessed I am and I thank God for all he is has done. It was such an honor to speak poetically at Black Girl’s Rock and NAACP Awards. Sometimes I reflect on how far I have come in my life from Detroit to the military to living in SC and now a business owner. It is my desire to leave behind a legacy to encourage, uplift and inspire women to be authentic without social validation. I cannot wait to go to London to work on my fashion clothes line entitled The Authentic Woman. Fashion has been a passion since I was young and never knew it would grow into something as major as my own clothes line. I have many more speeches, lectures and books to write but right now I am basking in the glow of the moment. I have dreamed of Paris for so long but to sit here and write here is unbelievable. It started with a seed of faith, faith with works and belief in myself and who God created me to be. If you dare to dream, dream big and dream with your eyes open, you need to see your dream come to fruition. My dream has come true and everyday I have to make it a reality!
 
I rewrote my script and now watch it come to manifestation, it’s time for you to be bold and rewrite the script or story of your life!

 
 

Hidden Beauty

No longer hiding what is naturally been beautiful about me; my truth to myself.
 ~Stylicia A. Bowden~
 
 
It’s official 2013 is now here and as quickly as it was ushered in it will quickly roll pass too. Alot of people have jumped on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon saying “This year will be different”. I often ponder wondering what will be different about this new year for me. I choose not to do resolutions but set goals, create a plan and effectively strategize to live the life I deserve. I am tired of speaking things without putting the action behind it so 2013 for me represents “Just Do It” motto coined by Nike. In this phenomenal journey I believe it is also time to unveil hidden parts of me to embrace the authentic self. In every women’s life it comes a time where she has to be real with herself because the lies start to drain her energy. When you lie to yourself you set yourself up for disappointment, wreckless behavior and falsifying who you are. It is not appealing to live your life in manipulating yourself and pretending. I have came to the conclusion that being real with me is the only option I deserve because it helps me embrace every aspect of myself. I no longer want to hide my true emotions or accept things that are below my standards. So many women hide their true self in hopes of maintaining false relationships. Sometimes we bargain our happiness to trade it in for lies. I understood how important it was for me to start being real with myself so I can get what I deserve. I got tired of living in my disillusional world and fairytale life. I had to be willing to say what I really desired in my life and what I was allowing to hold me back from love, life and happiness. 2013 is a year for me to live life in no regrets, unveil my hidden beauty and just do it. Whatever your allowing to stop you from living then be honest about it and face it. Stop accepting life as it is and say how you really feel, what you really desire and what is blocking you. The greatest accomplishment in your life is being true to yourself because “honesty is the best policy”. Honesty is the only solution to accept who you are to bring forth a natural you. A natural woman is a woman who can say No and mean it & say “I really desire or want this…” “I do not want this or that”. This natural woman will not compromise her truth to live a fabricated life because she will never be happy. When she is truthful she will be willing to miss out on some opportunities because she is waiting on the opportunity she desires and will not settle. She choose not to fill the voids in her life with temporary nonsense just to prove to others she has someone or something. Instead she waits patiently in her truth because her truth has set her free. 

The Upgrade Experience

The most powerful thing about being a woman is understanding upgrading is a luxury that comes with the maturity of age. ~Stylicia~


2013 is soon to make head way into our lives while 2012 will be a far and distant memory for us. 2012 will be apart of an epic moment but it will be known as our past. The thought of who you are or what you were in 2012 should not be a thought at all. The only thought that should penetrate in your mind is “how will I upgrade myself in 2013”. In this last defining month of 2012 I have really embraced myself on a different level. It seems as if everything around me has been upgraded from hair, clothes, style, and all of thee above. God has taken me on an authentic journey for the last year in a half and next year in April I will celebrate my two year authentic journey; the moment I became a free woman. This month I learned how important it is to embrace living well, feeling well and the finer things in life. We were taught only rich people understand what it means to live good and be comfortable. However, living well is not about money it is a mindset. It is a wealth thing not a rich thing. This month I was able to experience the upgrade which included me crossing over to a new level of class, style and embracing the aging process. An epiphany happen this month I tap into the finer things in life like being grateful for what I have, where I am at and where I am going. I decided to do a 10 day gratitude fast speaking sounds of gratefulness to life, love and to the Lord. God has been very good in my life but I took it for granted and did not give thanks for what I have in the now. Once I started to speak words of gratefulness my life has begun to multiply. I had a great desire to look for quality and not quantity anymore in my life. The upgrade experience started in my internal being which has spilled out like an oil leak to the outer parts of my life. This month I went from Coach purses to Michael Kors purses, from rules to my wardrobe color palette to mix match bright colors, shopping at Express (which I love this store & will always shop there) to shopping at White House Black Market and from a chic short hairstyle to a funky do. I realize in the upgrade experience I started to look more mature as I walk boldly into my womanhood. The upgrade experience has just begun this month which has manifested outwardly, lying dormant inwardly.  I can now embrace my sexiness on all levels not being afraid to be a woman who embraces sexiness yet understands elegance is key. It has been such an empowerment for me to allow God to take me through this season of upgrade. I have even upgraded my finances by becoming a better steward of my money and started to save it. It has made me feel so good to at this point in my life to prepare for my future. I prepared for everything else in my life but never for my future. The upgrade experience is an exploration of my whole life transitioning to a new level. 

Ask yourself am I ready to take my life to another level in 2013, is it time to upgrade myself internally and externally and if the answer is Yes, spend the last couple of days of 2012 detoxing your mind  start fresh in 2013. It’s time for an upgrade experience and 2013 is a great year to start the process.

Cheers To A New You, Well Defined You and Embracing the Finer Things Life has to Offer You!