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    Monday
    Aug242015

    You're Still You... A Gentle Reminder

     Photo By: Kelley Raye

     

    Remember how it used to be?

    Before the heartbreak+ the bad decision + the financial disaster + the abuse + the addiction + the unfulfilled dream + the illness + the weight gain + the doubt + the fear + the broken promises + before you lost the connection with who you are and who you could really be- how did it used to be? 

    Before life got the best of you, were you focused? Did you take risks? Were you a leader? Did you have big dreams? Were you a go-getter? Did you make good choices? Were you inspired? Did you handle your business?

    Who were you when you were at your best?

    The confident you. You were sure about things. You hustled with grace – and got the job done. The sexy you. You walked with a strut. You were the one- and everyone looked to you for answers. 

    Imagine being that version of you again. It may hurt to look back and see how far you’ve strayed. But you’re still you. The confidence, hustle, and strut are still in you. You just need a gentle reminder.

    Do this:

    Go somewhere you used to go.  Take a weekend trip. Walk around the mall. Browse a book store. Just go somewhere that makes you feel good whenever you’re there.

    Do something you used to do.  Do what worked. You had a routine, a schedule, a way of doing things… If you don’t do what you used to do (when you were at your best) you won’t get what you used to have.

    Connect with someone you used to know.  When you were at your best, you weren’t the only one who knew it. Get with someone who knows you, who shares your vibe, and encourages your hustle.

    ...And then:

    Release who you used to be.  Grab what you need, let the rest go, and honor who you are today. Your past no longer exists.  All you have is who you are today.  Show yourself some love. Take better care of your present.

    Your best doesn’t have to be a thing of the past.

    Your best follows you where ever you go.

    After all... you’re still you. 

     

     

    Until next time, Love...

     

    "Pursue something you freaking love!

    And the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."

    Tuesday
    Aug182015

    4 Reasons Why Not Being There (Yet) Is OK...

    Photo By: Kelley Raye

     

    Married by 26. Kids by 30.

    Millionaire by 35. Travel the world by 40.

    10 pounds lighter by next week…

    We all have a to-do by ____ list that reads more like a 5th grade word problem.  It’s what you do when you’re preparing to be a grownup (I’m pretty sure I started mine in 5th grade.) You set goals, give yourself a timeline, and go for it. And then…life happens… for real.

    It’s the real life stuff we forget to factor in, during the planning stages.

    Real life stuff you should’ve factored in: the process of actually becoming a grownup, time, money, lost time, lost money, other people, other people’s time, the moments you’d be unsure about, the decisions you’d be afraid to make…

    You’re not there (yet.) Life happened… for real.

    But, you’ll get there, eventually.

     

    Here are 4 Reasons Why Not Being There (Yet) is OK:

    1. You’re not where you used to be. You’re not there. I know. But, remember where you were last year? 2 years ago? Look at your progress…

    You’ve come a long way.

    2. You have more time- to get better, stronger, and to get it right. You could make good use of this time. You’ve come a long way; but be honest. You have more work to do. Remember how you just recently messed that last thing up? You know the thing…

    3. You can assemble your squad.  No one wants to be there alone.  You need support. Get your best friend, advisor, stylist, babysitter, and go-to-girl/guy, assembled. You’re going to need them.

    4. You’ll have the advantage there. Take all of the lessons you’re learning while trying to get there, pile them up, and keep an eye on them.  You’re going to need them when you get there.

    What was once a hard lesson will become your best strategy. 

     

    So you’re not there, yet. Life happens…

    And, you’ll get there if you don’t give up.

     

     

     

    Until next time, Love...

     

    "Pursue something you freaking love!

    And the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."

    Monday
    Aug032015

    Don't You Dare Settle: Interview With Chivon John

     

    I am blessed to be inspired by and connected to women all over the country.  This week, my friend, Chivon John is joining us in the Don’t You Dare Settle, interview series- all the way from Toronto, Canada.

    Chivon is a Wellness and Business Strategist, Mental Health Advocate and Speaker. No matter what role she steps into Chivon is a multi-passionate entrepreneur that works tirelessly to empower individuals to live their best life and make wellness a top priority.  

     

    Nakeia: Hi Chivon! I was excited to introduce you, but who do you say that you are?

    Chivon: I love this question because for a long time I thought that this could simply be summed up by my job titles and thankfully I know that this goes so much deeper.

    I am Chivon John. I am woman, sister, daughter, friend, advocate and entrepreneur. I am a woman who fights for her mental and physical health and inspires others to do the same. I am a cheerleader who lives by the philosophy that you don't need permission to take actions on your dreams and above all I am on a journey of self-discovery. Everyday I challenge myself to learn something new and fear-less so I can live more.

    Nakeia: Whoa! That answer made me pause for a few seconds. I had to reevaluate who I am. Love it! So, who were you before knowing all of that?

    Chivon: I was someone who thought that trying to be perfect and working all of the time equated to being successful and happy. I struggled in silence with depression and anxiety which clouded my ability to recognize my strengths, and to see that I deserved to live an awesome life. Although I still have moments of anxiety from time to time, I’m a stronger person now than I was before and I use my experiences and reach to help others- not only to encourage them to have big dreams, but to take big action.

    Nakeia: Was there a moment in your life when you made a conscious decision NOT to settle?

    Chivon: It sounds cliché, but the saying “with every breakdown there is a breakthrough,” is true. After experiencing my lowest lows I made the decision to demand more from myself and my life. The first step in changing your life is making the choice to change yourself. I began with overhauling my self-care and health and gradually eliminating things that were not in alignment with the life I desired. But please know that this process doesn’t happen overnight. I believe that I’ll always be on a journey of self-discovery and personal development because I don’t want to live on autopilot and check out ever again.

    Nakeia: Your message of self-care is how we connected. It’s so very important. Where would you be had you NOT made that decision?

    Chivon: I honestly don’t think I’d be here, right now, if I didn’t make the decision to fight for my life.

    Nakeia: What advice would you give to someone who is tired of settling or on the verge of settling?

    Chivon: If you’re unhappy with your situation, make a commitment to change it. I promise that you are strong enough to make the first move. You don’t need to know the entire blueprint of actions to take but just commit to take action.

    Each of us, whether we have already figured it out or not, has divine purpose and we deserve to live a life where we feel inspired, happy and liberated. Settling can feel like bondage because it cages our spirit.

    The best parting advice I leave you with comes from Nelson Mandela’s wisdom:  “There is no passion to be found settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

    Nakeia: One of my favorite quotes from him… Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much Chivon!

     

    Chivon regularly lends her voice to mental health awareness initiatives and is the Founder of Secrets of a Side Hustler - a community for individuals that want to start or have a business in addition to working full-time. She’s is also the creator and moderator of #sidehustlechat, a Twitter chat created for side hustlers, freelancers and solopreneurs. I am excited to be joining her on that soon. Chivon’s  Side Hustle Week event will debut in Toronto in September 2015. For more information on all things Chivon, visit Chivonjohn.com.

     

     

    Until next time, Love...

     

    "Pursue something you freaking love!

    And the process that it will take you to get it, will be worth it."