You Are Built For The Next Level

There are times in life that we want to go to the next level but the way there seems more difficult than we think we can handle. It’s at these times that it’s most important to get grounded, center yourself and remember that you are built for the next level.


How Are You Moving Through Your Meantime?

Getting through the discomfort….the meantime is hard. Especially when there’s so much expectancy, possibility, and becoming awaiting you on the other side. “Becoming” is all about pushing past the discomfort…..the difficulty and making a decision that you’re determined to have your destiny. Be intentional yall!

Aiyana’s Message: You Cannot Change What You Will Not Confront


Aiyana Ma’at Speaks at Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ for Women’s Day 2014. Her message….You Cannot Change What You Will Not Confront. This message is so appropriate for this time of year as we go within…into the dark and beautiful stillness of Winter……into the dark and beautiful stillness of our minds and spirits to intuit and hear from God about what is important and essential for us as we travel our life’s journey. We understand that transformation is not easy…but it will be impossible to change if you do not confront what needs to be changed. You can do it. We can do it. #StopPlaying #StartPushing

Are You Committed? 3 Steps To Achieving Your Personal And Relationship Goals

Commitment….Commitment……Commitment. That’s the mantra in our household these days. Actually, commitment and discipline <—-that’s a big one. Why are we focusing so heavily on commitment right now? Because you’re dead in the water before you even begin—when you don’t have commitment.

Simply put. Commitment is Crucial. Listen in as I explore why commitment is so integral to your success.


Stop blaming everything outside of you and start asking yourself what is it that you can do differently to improve your situation.  Remember…wherever you go there you are.  If you want things in your life to show up different….YOU’VE GOT TO SHOW UP DIFFERENT.




Don’t be a Sunday Saint.  You need reinforcement everyday of the week.  In order to get reinforcement everyday you need to be held accountable.  Share with a friend, neighbor, child, or parent your goals.  The fact that others know will help to reinforce what’s required to achieve your goals.  Seeking reinforcement 1 day out of the week ain’t gonna cut it.

Mommy and daughter excercising



Did you bring your A game or your F game this week.  What did I avoid that I know I shouldn’t be avoiding?  What did I do this week that was a true success?  Don’t fool yourself and lie to yourself about your progress on your path.  Look real hard at your self in the mirror.  What you see is where you’ll gain your strength.


Again we ask the question Are you committed?  If you’re not committed and you’re expecting change in your life….you’re pretty much acting like a dumb ass.  Sorry…but it’s true.  In order to see true change you’ve got to

1. Take Ownership

2. Seek Reinforcement

3. Be Honest With Yourself

If we were to add a #4 it would be TO TAKE ACTION!  If you’re interested in elevating your commitment and taking action toward your goals CLICK HERE and let us help you go to the next level.  Joining us can help you reach your personal goals, relational goals, or business goals.  All we ask is that you commit.

3 Reasons Why Black Folks Don’t Go To Therapy…

By Tonya Ladipo

There are many different ideas about why we don’t seek therapy. Some believe that it is only for wealthy, White people, others believe that you don’t go outside the family with your problems. Some of these thoughts keep us struggling more than we need to. Here are some of the more prevalent ones.

“But I’m not touched”

Many of us think you have to be “touched” or “crazy” to go to therapy.” While it’s true that some people with mental health issues seek therapy, it’s really a service for anyone. Therapy is a paid service that connects you with a trained professional who provides you with the support you need to live a healthier and happier life.

When I first met “Andre” he was apprehensive about seeking therapy. For many months, he questioned whether or not he should be in therapy. Overall, he felt that his life was manageable and that he did not have enough problems to go to therapy, after all he had a job and people who cared about him. He certainly was not “crazy”. After several discussions about the purpose of therapy and its benefits to him as a rationale person, Andre accepted his desire for therapy. In fact, in a recent session Andre said that the healthiest people he knows are all in therapy. He realizes that therapy is a place that can benefit everyone, not just a small segment of the population. Andre further explained that the people he knows who have the most problems aren’t in therapy. Of course, as a therapist, this makes perfect sense to me. Recognizing that your life is not how you want it to be or that you need additional support takes a lot of courage and self-reflection. These are not the thoughts of a “crazy” person. Rather, this is the thought process of someone who has a sense of who they are and wants more from their life and themselves.

“I can talk to my friends and family”

Why do you need to go outside of your family/church/friendship circle to get the help and support you want? Sometimes, you don’t. But sometimes, going outside of that comfortable and familiar circle will propel you to make the changes that you want to. When people talk with their family or friends, many times they don’t tell them everything that’s going on in their head or in their lives. This isn’t to be deceptive, but because you care about your family and friends and you care what they think about you.
Keisha came to see me because she was thinking about leaving her husband. She recently found out that he had an affair. Her family adored her husband and she was afraid of what they would say. She hadn’t made up her mind about leaving, but she needed someone to talk to, someone who wouldn’t immediately tell her what to do, whether that meant leaving or staying.

When you’re concerned with what the other person is thinking and feeling, you cannot focus on yourself and your own needs 100%. That’s the benefit of therapy. You can share all of your thoughts and feelings without being concerned about the therapist. In doing this, you can focus on you, what you need, what you want, and ways to accomplish that. Sometimes people are more honest when they go outside their circle of family and friends. As backwards as it may sound, it can be easier to talk to a stranger, easier to share your feelings, fears and pleasures with someone who you do not see everyday.

Keisha was relieved to talk about her marriage, what her husband did wrong and what she did wrong with someone who did not judge her or tell her what to do. This freedom allowed her to be honest with herself and decide what she believed to be best for her. Ultimately, she decided to stay and work on her marriage. Keisha said that she was glad that she used therapy to help her sort this out. Had she gone to a friend, they might have told her to leave “that no good . . . .” And her family may have told her to stay in the marriage, to stick it out “for better or worse”. Keisha realized that she needed to come to her decision on her own, not to be told by others what to do.

Does this mean that your family and friends aren’t helpful to you? Absolutely not. Instead, it means that therapy can add to the support that they provide, by giving you support in a very different way. Therapy can provide you with an objective person who can help you review your options as you decide what is best for you.

“It’s just another racist system”

As African-Americans, we are aware of the persistent racism in our country. This is true on a large scale as well as in our daily interactions. We have many reasons to be suspicious of outsiders, to be distrustful of their motivations and actions. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment is a perfect example of why we are wary of outsiders.

Our schools consistently peg our children as aggressive, out of control, and low achieving. We have to fight to receive the same service as our White counterparts, whether it’s in our schools, hospitals or office. Going to therapy poses another opportunity to encounter racism and discrimination if you’re met with an insensitive or ignorant therapist.

When I worked in an agency, I often saw African-American clients who said in the first session, “I’m so relieved that you’re Black.” Some said that they felt more comfortable with an African-American therapist because they could talk about life and their culture without having to teach or explain the basics. Others did not like the racism they encountered with White therapists.

“Ayanna”, an African-American woman in her 30’s with two children, previously met with a White therapist before coming to see me. She was put off when the therapist began asking questions. The therapist wanted to know about her educational history and was surprised when Ayanna said that she went to college. She then asked how many years of college Ayanna completed, rather than assuming that Ayanna had a collegedegree, as she does. When the therapist asked about Ayanna’s children and family, she asked if the children had the same father and where was he? At this point Ayanna knew that she wouldn’t be comfortable with a therapist who assumed that she was not formally educated and had children with different men simply because she is African-American.

Why African-Americans can benefit from therapy?

“So why bother?” With all of the struggles and oppressions that we face on a daily basis we need an outlet. We need a comfortable environment where we can talk about the impact oppression has on us and talk about healthy and productive ways to deal with it. Holding in the pain, frustration, anger, and sadness eats at you, leaving you feeling angry and dissatisfied, not a rewarding way to go through life.

When you find an effective therapist, therapy can be a place to gain support and find more satisfying ways to live life. It is the one place, perhaps the only place, where you don’t have to have all of the answers and you don’t have to worry about the person sitting across from you. It is a place where you only have to worry about yourself and your needs. Therapy provides an objective perspective from a trained professional. The therapist’s objectivity comes from not having a personal relationship with you. The therapist knows you now, as you are, not as you were. They can provide feedback based on what they see now, not based on how you used to be. Although our family and friends may love us and provide us with support, they cannot be objective like an outsider. Unlike personal relationships, a therapist has no ulterior motives; the only motive is to make the changes in your life that you decide to make.

How can African-Americans find a therapist?

First, figure out what is important to you. Do you care what race your therapist is? What about gender? Would you prefer a couple? If you think that seeing an African-American therapist is necessary for you to be open and honest with them, then look for that. If you’re not sure, then try a few different therapists out and see what feels right to you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Remember, this is a service that you’re paying for; you are the client. As a paying customer, you have the right to ask for what you want. From there, the therapist can tell you if they are able to provide that service. If they cannot, ask them to give you referrals until you find what you’re looking for.

Before scheduling an initial session, determine the therapist’s fee and make sure that you can afford it. Therapy is a useful tool that helps people in times of crisis and fosters growth in times of reflection. However, it is not as useful if you are not committed to it. So make sure that you can afford the therapist you choose. If you have to alter your budget to afford it that’s fine; if it obliterates your budget then look for someone with a lower fee. If you have to cut out dining out 3 times a week or paying for your morning coffees, that’s altering your budget. If you cannot afford to pay your rent/mortgage, that’s obliterating your budget. Finally, don’t forget what you already know. You get what you pay for. Do higher prices mean better service? Not necessarily, but a quality and effective therapist will charge within the average range for the area. When you’re ready to enhance your life or get help with a current crisis, a therapist might be just the one to call.

Shout Out Sunday!!! LADIES: If You Want To Be A Boss We Must Connect & Support Each Other!!!

By Aiyana Ma’at

I am becoming. You are becoming. We are all becoming. So many of us women have visions, dreams, goals that we carry around inside of us…..that we quietly work on  day in and day out.

But, we don’t always SHARE. We don’t necessarily make it a point to connect with each other and share where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.

This is not good. We miss so much when we don’t take the time to connect and create. Listen in to see what I mean…


Learn more about Jessica and her work at

You can contact Carolyn via the webpage related to her most recent production:

StopPlaying. StartPushing.

5 Life Strategies You Should Apply To Your Relationship

By Peg Streep

Whether you’ve quit something of your own free will or you’ve been forcibly ejected, starting over always requires a leap offaith.  Yes, there’s the exhilaration of new possibilities and the open road ahead but there’s also that moment of free fall and the fear that, somehow, you won’t land on your feet.  To echo the Jerome Kern song, here are some tips on what you can do for yourself as “you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”
1.  Manage your regretsAll of us will, inevitably, experience some regret in life; it just comes with the territory of being human.  Regret can either sink you at times of stress or, if it’s processed, can actually act as a floatation device, helping to shape your decisions about your future.  There’s some debate about whether, to paraphrase Robert Frost, human beings tend to regret the road taken or the road not taken more.Famously, Amos Twersky and Daniel Kahneman found in one experiment that when participants considered the situation of two people, both of whom had lost the potential of making $1200 under different circumstances — one through inaction (not buying stock) and the other through action (selling the stock that became valuable)— 92 percent concluded that the person who had acted by selling the stock would feel more regret than the one who lost the money through inaction.  But the work of Thomas Gilovic and Victoria Husted Medvec challenged that view, finding in surveys that more people regretted the actions they hadn’t taken.

Take stock of your regrets; in fact, if you need to, write them down so that you can really look at them.  Do they fall into the category of action or inaction?  What can you learn about yourself and your future intentions by looking at what you regret?  A study by Colleen Saffrey and colleagues showed that regret can be used productively to make sense of where you’ve been, inform the decisions you’re going to make, inform your future actions and, of course, help insure you don’t make the same mistakes again.

2. Deal with your rumination

The adage about crying over spilled milk is true enough but, for many of us, getting off the carousel of repetitive thoughts is hard, if not sometimes impossible.  The work of Daniel Wegner on “white bears”—the thoughts we try to suppress but can’t —has illuminated the process by which the mind unconsciously searches for the very thoughts we’re trying not to think about.  It turns out that the more we try not to think, the more we’ll actually be thinking those thoughts.  Rumination is fed by being alone, so one plan is to surround yourself with some folks you trust and talk through your worries.  Another suggestion, offered by Wegner, is to assign yourself a “worry time.”  It can be as long or short as you wish, but devote yourself to worrying during that period alone.  Consciously focusing on a worry seems counterintuitive but it too can help, as can meditation.

3. Think about your new goal in abstract terms

This strategy is offered by Charles Carver and Scheier in their classic book on self-regulation and is, I think, brilliant in its simplicity.  They write that “If one path is barricaded, people need to be able to jump to another.”  Thinking about your goal in abstract terms, moving away from the specifics of the situation to a more nuanced and deeper understanding of your wants and needs can help push you forward.  I’m adapting here from an example Carver and Scheier give.  Say you are starting over from the ending or loss of a close relationship or marriage.  While finding another partner or spouse may seem impossible in the moment, recognizing that what you really want is the experience of closeness shifts your vision and opens up new possibilities for action.  Similarly, if you’re starting over in the area of career, focusing on what you really want in the future (work in a supportive environment with lots of collegial contact or, alternatively, work independently and make your own hours) will help you clarify your goalsand make it easier to figure out the best strategy to achieve them.

CLICK HERE to read more.

3 Truths That Will Transform Your Relationship TODAY!


These 3 Truths will transform your relationship today if you internalize them and operate as though they are your norm. The Mrs. and I have been happily married for a long ass time and these 3 truths are consistently present in our reality. If you’re struggling with this…I challenge you to release the need for it to make sense and simply receive. It has worked in our relationship and in the relationships of the thousands of couples we’ve worked with. As always…Stop Playing and Start Pushing.

To Get our FREE GUIDE Inside The Head & Heart Of The Opposite Sex:


4 Revealing Reasons Why People Settle For “Good Enough” Love

By Mike Bundrant

Why do people settle for the wrong relationship partner?

It’s proven. People do settle. In fact, in one survey of 6,000 men, 31% of them openly admitted that they would settle for someone they didn’t love. And 21% even claimed they’d partner up with someone they found unattractive.

How many additional people settle, but would never admit it? How many people knew they were with the wrong person, even as they walked down the aisle?

Diving into this question takes us straight down the path toward the deeper issues in life, so let’s get to it. Here are four reasons why people settle, according to experience and research.

1. People settle due to fear of being alone.

recently published study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found that fear of being single is a major predictor of settling for bad relationships. According to lead author Stephanie Spielmann, people who have stronger fears about being single tend to be willing to settle for less in their relationships.

This may lead them to stay in relationships that they aren’t happy in, and sometimes they may choose to date people who are not good for them. In fact, people’s anxiety about being single plays a key role in these and other types of unhealthy relationship behaviors.

The researchers from the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology surveyed samples of adults from across Canada and the U.S., including University of Toronto undergraduates. The samples covered both men and women across a wide range of ages.

The study found that both men and women experienced the same concern and anxieties about being single, and that these feelings create similar behaviors. This directly contradicts the popular stereotype that only women experience a fear of being single.

Loneliness is a painful experience regardless of gender; and according to Professor Geoff MacDonald of the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychology, fear of being single does not discriminate on basis of gender.

2. People settle because they don’t know how to create solid relationships.

In essence, we:

• Don’t date enough people before committing to one.

• Share intimate information too readily early in the dating process (missing the chance to just have fun together and establish a friendship).

• Have sex too soon.

• Get married first, then attempt to solve problems in the relationship.

• Don’t measure compatibility in terms of values, life dreams, communication styles and often chemistry.

• Are unwilling to end a relationship that clearly doesn’t work because they are driven by unresolved psychological issues.

When you don’t date around, become intimate before you know the character of the person you are with, get married before you’ve had adequate time to learn to solve problems, then you are set up for failure.

Given that so few people fully understand the rigors of creating a relationship intentionally, many may settle because – well – they simply give up trying to figure out how it is supposed to work.

3. People settle due to external pressures.

• Mom and dad expect you to marry and have their grandchildren. They approve of the person you are with now, so….you just do it.

• Mom and dad HATE the person you are with and this appeals to your rebelliousness, so you just do it!

• You need a way to support yourself and your partner makes good money.

• All your friends are getting married and you want to attend the barbecues.

• And so on.

4. People settle due to the compelling nature of self-sabotage.

 CLICK HERE to read more.

Your Perception Is Impacting Your Relationship

By: Linda Cattelan

Why is it that two people watching the same accident have two totally different accounts of what just occurred? They both saw the same accident-yet, they processed two very different versions.

According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the book Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience, we take in 2 million pieces of information per second, yet we can only process 134 bits per second. How then do we determine which 134 bits of information to focus on? We choose those 134 bits of information based on our values, beliefs, attitudes, past experiences, memories and how we process information.

To illustrate this point, let’s have some fun.
• Look around the room you are currently in and notice all the items in the room that are colored white (for some of you this might be easy, for others you may have to really look carefully for “white” items).
• Now, close your eyes and try to remember all the items in the room that were the color “black”. Notice how challenging this task is given that I directed you to look for the colour “white”.
• Now, open your eyes and look around the room and notice just how many “black” colored items you missed when asked to recall them. There are just as many “black” items now that you are noticing them as there was when you were only searching “white” items. The only thing that changed was the focus you were giving to the two different colours.

This is just one example of how differently two people might see their respective worlds.

How do you see the world?
• Are you a glass half full person or are you a glass half empty person?
• What is the first thing you see, hear or feel in any situation?
• Are you looking for and noticing the positive side of things or do you gravitate towards the negatives, the risks and what is wrong with the situation.

Both scenarios are present – the positive and the negative-you, the observer, gets to choose how to interpret the situation.

Oh sure, you have your reasons for seeing things a certain way. We all have baggage we carry around with us that affects how we view the world. To quote Dr. Phil, “how is that working for you?” If it’s working and you are truly happy in every area of your life, great. However, if there is any area of your life that isn’t working, look at how you might change your perception of the situation so that you are experiencing the most positive 134 bits out of the 2 million bits of information available.

Here are 5 steps to help you more positively focus your attention:
1. Ask yourself… What perspective you are currently holding as you evaluate a particular situation.
2. Ask yourself… What other perspectives are possible that you may not have considered to this point.
3. Ask yourself… Which perspective would offer you the best and highest positive potential for an optimal outcome.
4. Holding the best and highest positive potential perspective… What are some actions you could take.
5. Go ahead and take positive action!

Your world is a mirror that reflects back to you what you are seeing, hearing, feeling and sensing. Your perception truly is a projection of what is going on in your inner world. Here’s the good news-you get to choose how you interpret any situation. So choose wisely.

Linda Cattelan is a Professional & Life Coach, Certified Trainer & Master Practitioner of NLP and a Contributing Author of The Power of Women United an inspirational book on networking. If you are interested in learning more about closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in any area of your life, join our mailing list at Receive valuable information on these topics and regular updates about upcoming events and workshops.