Negative Emotions: How To Get A Grip Before They Get A Hold Of You

By Aiyana Ma’at

Are you emotional? Are you a pessimist? Are you a downer?  Better yet do you feel negative, upset, or down more often than you’d like to admit? I’d be lying If I didn’t say that I am absolutely 100% an emotional person. It serves me well in some ways and in other ways…not so much. My problem used to be (and still is sometimes) that I would let whatever I was feeling become bigger than life and take up all the space in my head. Whatever I was feeling would be magnified so much in my heart and mind that there was not room for much else.

And when I let my thoughts run wild and get out of control my emotions would soon follow which was then followed by irritability, perpetual frustration, and plain ol’ negativity. What I’ve learned over time is that negative feelings will not just go away on their own. I won’t start to think and feel more rationally just because. No, rather If I want to feel better I have to be intentional about shifting myself into the emotional space that is best for me and my family.

Just the other day I had to do it. I’ve got a lot on my plate and sometimes it feels as If I’m about to drop (or throw) the damn plate.

Some of you may know that my son is in the hospital right now. He started out in the ICU and is now on the regular floor (thank God!) and that was hella stressful. My husband and I have been tag teaming between being at the hospital and taking care of our other children. Let’s just say having family dinners to the sound of hospital machines beeping, obsessively watching my son’s oxygen levels, and telling my 3 other children to use their inside voice 50 million times while my husband and I discuss family business matters, new projects and partnerships on the table, and who needs to follow up with who….is not exactly a recipe for calm. Meanwhile, life doesn’t slow down. Bills still need to be paid. Our clients still have to be contacted/rescheduled. Contracts still have to be signed. Homework still has to be done and my son’s birthday is on this coming Thursday! Lawd! 🙂

So, my point is that I started feeling overwhelmed and I felt those negative emotions creeping in and before I let them take hold I went and sat by the water not far from my house, wrote in my journal for a little while, and read some more of an awesome book I’m reading right now by Wayne Dyer titled Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling, and literally felt myself shifting back into the positive emotional space where purposeful possibility lives. Had I not taken the time to do that—I would be one pretty mean 5 letter word right about now. Negativity just attracts more of the same. And, 9 times out of 10 it all starts within us–in our minds and we then project our mental state out into the world and perceive/get more–you guessed it–negativity coming at us. But, it’s US!!! When we let negative emotions get the best of us it impacts more that just us. Our husbands, wives, children, friends, and co-workers wonder “What is going on??”

And, that is precisely the question. WHAT IS GOING ON? Take a minute to get some more insight around ideas that cause negative emotions and habits that make negative emotions worse excerpted from writer & editor, Ben Rubenstein’s, piece on negative emotions.

Ideas You Need To Change that Cause Negative Emotions

1. Change your perspective.

If you want to experience fewer negative emotions to begin with, change the way you see the world. If you learn how to be optimistic and laid back, you’ll find that negative emotions make fewer appearances to be reckoned with.

2 Eliminate many of the underlying core beliefs which give rise to your disturbing thoughts and negative emotions.

There are many irrational ideas that repeatedly upset us. They are all false, but many of us are inclined to at least some of them part of the time. You can get rid of these ideas by debating within yourself until you have cast them out…

3. “I must be perfect in all respects in order to be worthwhile.”

Nobody can be perfect in everything that we have to do in life. But if you believe that you’re a failure unless you are perfect in every way, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of unhappiness.

4. “I must be loved and approved of by everyone who is important to me.”

Sometimes you just can’t help making enemies, and there are people in the world who bear ill will to almost everyone. But you can’t make your own life miserable by trying to please them.

5. “When people treat me unfairly, it is because they are bad people.”

Most of the people who treat you unfairly have friends and family who love them. People are mixtures of good and bad.

6. “It is terrible when I am seriously frustrated, treated badly, or rejected.”

Some people have such a short fuse, that they are constantly losing jobs or endangering friendships because they are unable to endure the slightest frustration.

7. “Misery comes from outside forces which I can’t do very much to change.”

Many prison inmates describe their life as if it were a cork, bobbing up and down on waves of circumstance. You can choose whether to see yourself as an effect of your circumstances, or a cause.

8. “If something is dangerous or scary, I have to worry about it.”

Many people believe that “the work of worrying” will help to make problems go away. “Okay, that’s over. Now, what’s the next thing on the list that I have to worry about?”

9. “It is easier to avoid life’s difficulties and responsibilities than to face them.”

Even painful experiences, once we can get through them, can serve as a basis for learning and future growth.

10. “Because things in my past controlled my life, they have to keep doing so now and in the future.”

If this were really true, it would mean that we are prisoners of our past, and change is impossible. But people change all the time — and sometimes they change dramatically!

11. “It is terrible when things do not work out exactly as I want them to.”

Could you have predicted the course of your own life? Probably not. By the same token, you can’t predict that things are going to work out exactly as you want them to, even in the short term.

12. “I can be as happy as possible by just doing nothing and enjoying myself, taking life as it comes.”

If this were true, almost every wealthy or comfortably retired person would do as little as possible. But instead, they seek new challenges as a pathway to further growth.

Ideas & Habits that Make Negative Emotions Worse

1. Learn to avoid the cognitive distortions which make things look worse than they really are. Most of us have heard the expression, “looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.” But when you use cognitive distortions, you tend to look at the world through mud-colored glasses! Here are some ideas that you should stop from rolling through your head if you catch yourself thinking them…

2. All-or-nothing thinking.

Everything is good or bad, with nothing in between. If you aren’t perfect, then you’re a failure. You procastinate doing stuff because they are not perfect until you have no other choice than doing them.

3. Overgeneralization.

A single negative event turns into a never-ending pattern of defeat. “I didn’t get a phone call. I’ll never hear from anybody again.”

4. Mental filter.

One single negative thing colors everything else. When you’re depressed, it sometimes feels like you’re “looking at the world through mud-colored glasses.”

5. Disqualifying the positive.

If somebody says something good about you, it doesn’t count. But if somebody says something bad about you, you “knew it all along.”

6. Jumping to conclusions.

You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.

7. Mind reading.

You think somebody is disrespecting you and don’t bother to check it out. You just assume that he is.

8. The Fortune Teller Error.

You think that things are going to turn out badly, and convince yourself that this is already a fact.

9. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization.

Imagine that you’re looking at yourself or somebody else through a pair of binoculars. You might think that a mistake you made or somebody else’s achievement are more important than they really are. Now imagine that you’ve turned the binoculars around and you’re looking through them backwards. Something you’ve done might look less important than it really is, and somebody else’s faults might look less important than they really are.

10. Emotional reasoning.

You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

11. Should statements.

You beat up on yourself as a way of getting motivated to do something. You “should” do this, you “must” do this, you “ought” to do this, and so on. This doesn’t make you want to do it, it only makes you feel guilty. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.

12. Labeling and mislabeling.

This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. When you make a mistake, you give yourself a label, such as, “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, “He’s a louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.

13. Personalization.

You believe that you were the cause of something bad that happened, when you really didn’t have very much to do with it. And ask a friend to help you realize your emotions or worries so that you can have someone to rely on.

No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to continue acknowledging the emotion. Just because you’re not reacting to an emotion doesn’t mean that emotion doesn’t exist.

Learn to recognize and anticipate “triggers” that set you off.

Some experiences like watching a film, hearing a sound or tasting a food (sensory input) can trigger or bring about good emotions. The more good ones you can recognize, pay attention to and be aware of, the easier it is to put your self in that kind of a recognizable mood. It’s far easier to get out of an angry or sad state of mind when you can know what happy or joyful state of mind is like.


It is important to be aware of & manage your emotions, but suppressing them or denying that they exist is entirely different. Suppressing your emotions can cause physical disorders and more emotional symptoms.

Many emotional problems are so complex that they require the additional professional assistance of a licensed psychologist, counselor, or social worker.

Aiyana Ma’at is the wife of Ayize Ma’at, mom of 4, and co-founder and owner of this website,, as well as Aiyana is a Seeker, Motivator, Risk Taker, Explorer, & Overcomer. She is a self-described PurposePusher and does her best to live her life with self-awareness and intention. Some of her official titles include licensed psycho-therapist, certified marriage educator & relationship coach and speaker. She is clear that a part of the call on her life is to help bring insight and awareness to others so that they can “get out of their own way” and create the lives they want to have.

Tired Of Being Stuck. Tired Of Being The Victim.

By Briana Myricks

There’s some people who tackle problems head on and there’s others who try to ignore it and hope that it goes away. I’ve been both of those people. Right now, I’m really kicking myself for being the latter. This year has been the absolute worst for me financially for obvious reasons. But I’m drowning in debt. At this point, I have to rob Peter to pay Paul, and then here comes Joseph telling me I owe him money too. It’s so frustrating and it gives me anxiety, which triggers my depression, which shuts my entire productivity down.

My problem is I know better. I’ve always known better. I’ve never been able to play dumb about what was right and what was stupid. But for some reason I just continued to play stupid. It wasn’t smart, and now it’s catching up to me. Along with my personal loan from Lending Club, combined with my credit card debt, on top of my constantly overdrafted checking account, not to mention my always empty savings account, there’s a nice new debt that I owe: I owe my stepdad $500. Why? Because I got a ticket for speeding (which later ended up in an emotional breakdown) that I didn’t go to traffic school for. So the insurance went up an extra $500! Safe to say nobody’s happy with this. As if the $400 ticket wasn’t enough at the time. I have no one to blame but myself. I can use the excuse “I didn’t know how traffic school worked” and I really didn’t but it’s not good enough.

I’m not accepting any more excuses from myself. I’m tired of feeling like this. I’m tired of being the victim. I’m tired of making bad decisions. I’m tired of saying “I wish I wish I wish”. And honestly, this is more than about debt. I’m tired of saying how fat and unhealthy I am. I’m tired of not liking who I am or where I am in life. I’ve never wanted to become this person, yet here I am, a week away from my 21st birthday and no where close to where I want to be as a person. I can’t keep being concerned about other people and not concerned about myself. How am I supposed to be a role model when I’m at this point in my life?

So here’s to doing what I should’ve done a long time ago: getting my friggin life together!

I’m Briana, a 20 year old newlywed and freelance writer/blogger. I was engaged to my high school sweetheart when I started my blog,, and we married after being together for almost 4 years. We decided to ditch the expensive “dream wedding” and opted for a courthouse ceremony instead. After being laid off, I started an online business of freelance writing, sites and services called Engaged Media.  You can check out more of my writings at

Don’t Be Afraid Of Your Struggle: Why Joy & Pain Are Needed To Grow

By Aiyana Ma’at

Struggle. Alot of people don’t like that word. Just look at it ——> STRUGGLE. Just to see it in hard print screams hard times, sadness, tears, uncertainty, sorrow, going without—you get the point. Nobody in their right mind wants to struggle. We’d much prefer the safety of dependable predictable circumstances. We’d much rather focus on the light and happy than the dark and dreary. I’m not totally sure why that is. On some level I think that we don’t want to talk about or focus on things that we’re going through or struggling with because we are afraid of looking too closely. We’re afraid of what we might find.

What if we need to change? What if we’re not as strong as we think we are?

We also wrongly believe that solely focusing on the positive in our lives and the things that we have going for ourselves is the best way to go. This simply is not true. Have you ever heard “The sunshine comes after the rain”? How can you truly appreciate real peace, joy, or victory if you’ve never looked anxiety, pain, or defeat squarely in the face—and then come out on the other side? Of course, we want to primarily look at all that we have to be grateful for in life. That’s a given. So, please understand I know that. BUT, that doesn’t mean we don’t look at and examine the places and things that we struggle in.

How can we grow if we’re not honest about where we need to stretch ourselves? How can we go to the next level if we don’t take an assessment of the level we’re on right now.  How can we truly Stop Playing & Start Pushing if we don’t allow ourselves to feel hurt, sadness, and pain AND THEN IN THE PROCESS BE TRANSFORMED BY THAT SAME PAIN??? The answer: We won’t grow if we’re not intentional about looking at and changing our lives where  we need to. Growth is not automatic. Wisdom does not come with age—it comes with intention & experience.

I, myself, am no stranger to struggle.

I’ve struggled with….

– deep feelings of abandonment created by my, now deceased, biological father’s “on again, off again” status in my life growing up

– forgiving that same father so I can be free to become all that God has created me to be

-accepting how powerful I really am

-trusting men including my hubby in the past (because of my own stuff)

-low self esteem and a need to be approved of and okay with people

-comparing myself to others

-controlling the impulse to judge others (which says more about me than it does other folks)

-being a late-a-holic C.P.T. (ya’ll know what I’m talking about)

– fear of pursuing my biggest and brightest dreams that reside deep within my soul

-being selfish in my marriage

And I’m sure I could think of some more stuff If I tried.  BUT GUESS WHAT????

I just painted a little picture for you of some of the places where I’ve struggled (and in some places still do)…..But, if you persist through your struggle and commit to staying the course you can have some sweet sweet joy.

I, myself, am no stranger to joy.

I’ve experienced perspective, life changing, and mind altering joy…..

-the day I realized that no matter how cracked and broken some parts of me are my husband really sees me. He sees all that I truly  am and have yet to be versus viewing me through the lens of my broken places.

-when I finally understood how to truly listen to people and figure out how I can serve them instead of serving my own agenda or needs.

-when I realized that deferring in my marriage and lifting my husband up in my marriage only adds to my growth and maturity and in no way takes away from me.

-when I’ve given to someone seeking nothing in return.

the moment I accepted that there is nothing I can do to make myself “good enough” and that I AM already enough just because I exist!

– when I push(ed) past fear and doubt and really looked at what God has uniquely placed in me to share with the world. When I did/do that there is no more room  for me to compare myself with other folks. Nothing can compare with what I’m called to do…just as nothing can compare with what God has called you (and only you) to do.

-when I learned that the biggest part of learning to trust someone else is learning to TRUST MYSELF FIRST.

-when I released myself from my own judgement of myself which automatically made me more compassionate and less judging of other folk

-when I allow myself to be completely vulnerable despite my fear

What I’m trying to get you to see, if nothing else, from this article is this: A whole lot of the deep satisfaction, mind blowing happiness, and sweet successes we get to experience in life come ONLY as a result of our allowing ourselves to talk about and learn from the hard times and the stuff that sucks. One of the things people say they really appreciate about is the fact that not only are we committed to transforming the image and understanding of marriage and commitment in our community but we’re also not afraid to talk about the painful things that we as a people need to look at—we will never shy away from looking at both sides of the coin when it comes to black men, black women, black children or our relationships. That is the only way to experience true growth, insight, joy, and peace.

So, don’t be afraid of your struggle. It is here to transform and liberate you.

Stop Playing. Start Pushing.

Aiyana Ma’at is the wife of Ayize Ma’at, mom of 4, and co-founder and owner of this website,, as well as Aiyana is a Seeker, Motivator, Risk Taker, Explorer, & Overcomer. She is a self-described PurposePusher and does her best to live her life with self-awareness and intention. Some of her official titles include licensed psycho-therapist, certified marriage educator & relationship coach and speaker. She is clear that a part of the call on her life is to help bring insight and awareness to others so that they can “get out of their own way” and create the lives they want to have.

This Is My New Mantra: “Stop Playing. Start Pushing.”

By Neysa Ellery Taylor is a website that I visit daily. Not just because they publish my work (although that is a great reason), but because I love their mantra – “Stop playing, start pushing.” I also love the name of their company – B Intentional LLC. I love that! Everything you want can be summed up by that mantra. You want to lose weight? Stop playing, start pushing. You want to go back to college? Stop playing, start pushing. You want to write a book? Stop playing, start pushing. And if you want a happy, healthy marriage? Stop playing, start pushing.

This mantra registers with me because it removes the “woe is me” mentality. It removes “the man is holding me down” mindset. It removes the “I can’t” thought process. It moves you from someone is holding me back, to I am pushing forward. It firmly puts the ball in your court. And I love it! Having the ball in my court is stressful and a ton of responsibility, but I trust me (and God) with my plans more than any outside force. Don’t you?

I know some people who would rather go passively through life, because they believe that it is easier than taking charge. And I partially understand their point. Being the “captain of my ship” means that when my ship runs aground, that it is my fault. That scares some people. Heck, that scares me. It really does. Failure scares me. But while that fear paralyzes some folks, it spurs me forward. I know that if I want bigger and better for my life and my lineage, then I have to be bigger and better everyday.

So I am going to take the Ma’ats’ motto and make it my own… well, with a bit of a remix.

Stop playing, start pushing, keep praying.

Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at

Stop Trying So Hard! YOU Are Already Enough!

By Aiyana Ma’at

VIDEO: This message is so critically important that we had to run this here again today. It was originally made for and there is no way I could ever fully express how much this issue runs through American culture and each and every one of us. Please take a minute to really ponder these words and know that you are not reading or listening to this by accident. Pay attention to what hits you while listening—and then intentionally sit with that, write about it, tell a trusted friend, and then think about it some more—this is what you need to heal.

Unworthiness. Lack of Self-Worth. Low Self-Esteem. Just plain old “I am not good enough” issues. This is what many Americans are walking around with every single day tucked away deep down in their hearts and minds. Unworthiness. Most of us don’t know it. The symptoms can be tricky to see and understand. So, many of us walk around unconsciously trying to be more, get more, do more, and have more………..all in an effort to measure up. Measure up to what? Some pie in the sky, elusive place that is nothing more than a distraction from why we’re really here.

I believe we are spiritual beings FIRST. But, man being human can have us forgetting that so easily! So, instead of approaching life and ourselves with love, peace, and compassion we choose to put on worry, fear, and anger instead. We think that by trying hard enough to be more, get more, do more, and have more we will somehow get rid of those feelings when it’s actually the other way around.

Learn to BE. Learn to LOVE who you are. Learn to ACCEPT what you cannot change and focus on how you respond to those things. When you can truly under (and inner) stand that YOU ARE ALREADY ENOUGH love, compassion, and peace automatically come out of hiding from within you and you’ll know that the day you were born you were enough and there is nothing that can ever happen to change that…..nothing.

Know It Or Not…You Always Have A Testimony

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By Team BLAM

It’s easy to go through life and fail to pay attention to the small steps of progress we make on our journey.  We’re conditioned to think that the “impossible” leaps are the only movement worthy of recognition and applause.  This simply isn’t so.  Everything that you’ve done has led you to this point.  You’ve overcome obstacles, you’ve confronted minor and major challenges, in so many ways you’ve won.  Because you are here… because of your experiences…KNOW IT OR NOT….YOU DEFINITELY HAVE A TESTIMONY.  Someone in the world is waiting to hear your story.

How Do You Stay Lifted?

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VIDEO: How are you staying lifted? Are you being intentional about taking your life to another level? What are you focusing on? What is inspiring you? Anytime I ask a question of you it means I’m currently asking myself the same question. So, the words that have been imprinted across my brain lately are: “Aiyana, how are you staying lifted? You gotta stay elevated! Don’t stay stuck!! Keep it moving!” That’s where I’m at right now family. With a company to run, a new website launching in a matter of days, a business partner (that would be my husband…smile) to work with, a hubby to please, 4 children to care for, and my own spirit to nurture…..there are a whole  lot of balls I stay juggling.

But, you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have to keep pressing, keep moving and stay on purpose. This video today is a reminder to you (me) that the only way to do that is by staying lifted. Keep it intentional ya’ll!

Janet Jackson’s New Book Is All About Knowing & Loving The “True You”

by Aiyana Ma’at  I am so happy that Janet Jackson is finding the strength and courage to truly know and love herself these days! Not only is she on the path of of love and self-acceptance but she’s sharing what some of her journey has been like with the world. For that I am grateful. I think that so many of us see a celebrity like Janet and think she’s got it going on, has no reeeal issues (like making ends meet, etc.), and she certainly can’t have self-esteem issues…as beautiful as she is.

But, Janet’s courage and recent words reinforce for me that we are ALL perfect imperfections. We are ALL hurt and broken in some way. We are ALL trying to make sense of our lives in some way. Some say the goal of adulthood is to get over and make sense of our childhood….no matter what your childhood was like. We are ALL in need of growth, insight, and in my opinion the love that only God can give that can heal like no other. Hats off to Janet for sharing her story! Everyone has a story to tell but many go to their grave with their story still untold. Will you tell your story—in some way or another. Somebody’s waiting for YOUR words and YOUR words only. ‘Cause I don’t have what you have and you don’t have what the next person has. We’ve all got our unique truth to tell. Don’t keep yours locked away!!

Check out an excerpt from Janet’s new book here:

“It’s important that I present myself just as I am. So I must tell you right away that I’m no expert. I have no psychic powers and I sure don’t possess any secret wisdom. I’m just Janet. I have strengths, weaknesses, fears, happiness, sadness. I experience joy and I experience pain. I’m highly emotional. I’m very vulnerable. And, as anyone who knows me well will testify, I’m extremely sensitive. I have lifelong patterns of behavior that have caused me difficulty—patterns tough to break. Like everyone, I have talents, but with those talents have come challenges.

This book is about meeting the challenges that face all of us.

For more than three decades, I’ve struggled with yo-yo dieting. Some of my battles with weight have been very public. But most of them have been internal. Even at my thinnest, when my body was being praised, I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror or how I felt about myself.”

“I’m loved, I’m valued, and I’m capable of achieving balance in my life. I can learn to eat well. I can exercise. I can express gratitude for the simple act of being able to breathe in and breathe out. I can move away from darkness and depression to light and hope. I can be happy with who I am, not what I should be, or what I might have been, or what someone tells me I must be.

I am me, the true me; you are you, the true you—and that’s good. That’s beautiful. That’s enough.”

Janet was interviewed about True You by HLN’s Richelle Carey. That interview will air on HLN Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 7 and 10 p.m. ET. Mark your calendar! Buy her book HERE.


Is Your History Holding You Back? Examining Black History & Black Love In YOUR Life.

by Aiyana Ma’at Today is the first day in February, a month that traditionally focuses on the rich and vibrant past of black folks and the often misunderstood but, oh so powerful, concept of Love. As I sat this morning in my quiet time I began to think about the whirlwind of events and happenings that will be taking place this month…Black History Celebrations, i.e., reports on Harriet Tubman (you know you did one when you were little) :-), recitations of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech , African drumming & dancing performances, and on and on. Let’s not forget about all of the “Love” focus that will be taking place this month…Sweetheart Dances, gifts of chocolate & roses,  children begging parents to get the perfect Valentine cards (with the lollipop stuck to it) to give to friends at school. These are but a few of the small and big traditions that we as African Americans engage in during the month of February. And, it’s all good…

Except today, I want you and I to do something a little different. I want us to take this “Black History” & “Black Love” thang to another level.  Let’s do a little Self-examination. But, first let’s be clear on exactly what self-examination is. Self- examination is introspection and contemplation of one’s own state, conduct, motives, and desires. At least, this is how the dictionary defines it. I like that definition. But, just in case that’s a bit too wordy for you, here’s my definition: Self-examinationTo get real and stay real as you look at your “real” self and not your “made up” self. “So,What’s the point?”, you ask. You see, we don’t want to look at ourselves just because we can. No, the point is to gain insight into who we’ve been, who we really are now (as in are you really living your life in the way that you like to present to the outside world?), and who we are destined to become. It just amazes me sometimes at how many people do not take time out to just sit down somewhere and look at themselves. But, hey I understand it….because I’m guilty of not doing it too.

Ok, so now that we’re clear on self-examination let’s get back to looking at your personal Black History & Black Love Lessons. The title of this article is: Is Your History Holding You Back? How would you know if it is or isn’t? When you take a moment to think about what it was like growing up in your house with the people that lived in your house what comes up for you? Were there beautiful, balanced, and affirming images of love between your parents, other adults, and between you and your caretakers. How were you treated? Did everybody scream  in your house? Did everybody stuff their feelings down and make sure they were “appropriate” all the time?

And, what about the legacy of relationships and marriage in your family? Were most folks happily married? Were you and all of your cousins and nem’ (smile) raised in single parent households? Or were there folks in your family married….with the husband having a family on the side that nobody ever talked about? Here’s what I’m getting at ya’ll…. What is the legacy that your family has built over time? This legacy impacts you more profoundly than you realize—for good or for bad. More importantly, what are you doing to continue patterns that need to STOP? What will you do right here and right now to change the course of history in your family? YOU can be the change your family needs. YOU have the power to do some self-examination and make a decision to do better. YOU can chalk where you (and your family) are in life to a comment like this: “Hey, it is what it is…” as you shrug your shoulders or you can start charting a new history in your life & in your love relationships with a statement like this: “It is what I say it is and I say My family will do better and be better—starting with me.

Today, find some quiet time wherever and however you can find it and ask yourself: “What behavior, habit, or pattern am I continuing today that started with my family? That’s all you need to do today. Identify it. That’s the first step toward changing it. Take your personal history and use it to transform you and push you forward instead of imprison you and hold you back.

This is true Black History. True Black Love. Some might even dare to say it’s true…Black Power. 😉

Motivation: Moving Beyond What’s In It For Me

by Lisa You can’t go anywhere these days without some kind of incentive being shoved in your face for just about any and everything. Spend $20 get a $50 gift card, buy 1 get one free, the offers are endless.

Just the way of the world you say? Well, in actuality it is. Let’s face it, just like the business owner that is trying to attract your attention with subliminal messages, we too sometimes have hidden agendas to be successful, to earn power, and recognition. The truth is, almost nothing is done without some kind of motivating factor behind it, an incentive. These motivational behaviors can be a good thing if kept in check. Motivation is what we need to stay focused and competitive in the workplace, in society, and in our personal lives.

But, remember this, in all that you do be true to yourself and your moral beliefs, and your light will shine through. And, when we dig deeper we begin to find a multitude of incentives that go beyond simply “what’s in it for me”.

Such as…

  • My son’s smile
  • A clean kitchen
  • The warm smell of vanilla and cinnamon
  • Seeing Confidence
  • Faith

What motivates you?

“Just for today, be devoted to being the light. Give of yourself without the expectation of receiving light or recognition or rewards in return.”

–Iyanla Vanzant

Lisa is the founder of Sistaspace, a blog site all about the little things in life that make you go hmmm and are usually left unspoken. Looking for some end of the week commentary that is sure to spark up a conversation? Check out her Top Five Friday posts at