Angry BLACK woman?

Angry black woman?

I have heard this phrase since I entered corporate America several years ago. It bothered me then, and now it bothers me even more.

Angry black woman?

As I watched the commentators speculate if Democratic Vice President nominee, U.S. Senator, former District Attorney, former Attorney General, Howard University graduate, University of California, Hastings College of Law graduate, wife, mom, Kamala Harris would be able to professionally debate Pence without “coming across as an angry black woman”, my rage increased.

Mrs. Harris, like so many Black women, has earned her seat at the table. Yet, she is still questioned about being an angry black woman. Well, why in the land of the free, home of the brave, would she even be angry? Why would any Black woman in America be labeled as angry?

Is it because she is judged by the color of her skin versus the content of her character? I AM BEAUTIFUL!

Is it because she makes .79 for every dollar earned by white men? I AM PRICELESS!

Is it because she makes 21% less than white woman for the same job and same skills? I AM EDUCATED!

Is it because she knows that less than 10% of women are promoted into leadership roles? 1.4% for C-suite positions? I AM EXPERIENCED!

Is it because she worries about her son being shot by police every time he leaves her presence? I AM WORRIED!

Is it because she worries about her husband being shot by police every time he leaves home? I AM AFRAID!

Is it because she works twice as hard to prove she is worthy of her median income job? I AM TIRED!

Is it because she was told her locs are unprofessional? I AM PROFESSIONAL!

Is it because she was told that she could never be a leader? I AM AN INSPIRATIONAL LEADER!

Angry black woman?

Maybe? But if you care to look deeper, you will understand exactly why she may be angry. In the face of the many obstacles described above, there may be days and times where she can’t smile through her pain, frustration and constant disappointments. Today, I am an angry black woman. But I am also so much more…

Strong.

Confident.

Passionate.

Determined.

Tired.

Frustrated.

Intelligent.

Successful.

Eager.

Focused.

Goal Oriented.

Inspirational.

You can label me as you see fit. I no longer care.

I am Unapologetically Me – Shana!

Run and Do Not Be Weary

Recently, I have found running has been an amazing way for me to clear my mind and relax. It’s funny because a doctor told me that I would never be able to run again due to rheumatoid arthritis. I remember how defeated I felt when he shared his opinion with me. But I serve a bigger and more powerful Doctor, God Almighty. He said, “Run!” So I decided I would do just that (like I had a choice). 🏃🏾‍♀️ I started off walking to increase my strength. Slowly my pace increased until I could run with absolutely no issues. With my returned passion, I found a new peaceful 5-mile path that I could run and clear my mind near the river. It’s absolutely beautiful and for just a little while I get to disconnect and forget about all the “stuff” going on in the world.

Of course, I could not run/walk 5 miles at first. But the competitiveness in me kicked and I set a goal. I would complete the journey before August.

As I began my journey, I always had an excuse to quit. I need to do XYZ. I’m tired. It’s too hot. I’m hungry. It’s too woody. Somebody could kidnap me. 🤷🏽‍♀️ But today I decided to not give in to myself, when I got tired I decided to rest for a few minutes. Then I got up and pushed just a little bit harder. Well, what I didn’t know was the end was around the corner and down the hill. I reflected on how many times I had quit yet the end was less than 5 minutes ahead. I was so excited to have completed the full journey. Running for me is really parallel to life and I’m learning so many lessons.

When situations arise, do not become weary and just quit. The end could be right around the corner and down a hill. Pause and reflect on your situation and ask God to help you push through. Ask yourself, “what is God trying to teach me in this season?” That allows you to focus on the “why” not the “it” and frees your mind to press forward.

Don’t focus on the goal, focus on PROGRESS. Enjoy the moment and celebrate along the way.

It’s takes the PROCESS to get the goal. 

Change your PERSPECTIVE on how to accomplish more. 

Your PACE, your race. When you’re tired, rest, then get up, focus and keep it movin’. You could be so close to the end and not know it.

Stay focused on YOU.

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

#IamUnapologeticallyMe

#ItsaProcess #BecomingMe  🏃🏾‍♀️ 

Crazy or Courageous? You Decide

I’m bent but not broken! That was the title of a meeting I attended a couple of weeks ago. My first thought was who are these CRAZY leaders sharing their very personal stories about mental health, depression, and work-life struggles AT work. I thought to myself, “I wonder if they forgot we are at work. Are there leaders on this call? How will this impact their performance ratings?” As I continued to listen to the many heartfelt stories, that my mind shifted . These leaders weren’t CRAZY they are COURAGEOUS. And I was even prouder to know one of them is my direct report. Then I started to do a little self assessment and think about how I was I really feeling at that moment.

What words would I use to describe how I was feeling if someone was to ask? And I would respond honestly and not my normal, “I’m good let’s talk about you.”

Exhausted.

Stressed.

Anxious.

Unfocused.

Conflicted.

All came to mind.  So, now what? I have had a feeling for a few months that I needed to take a real break from work. To be honest, I needed a break from life and just focus on Shana. No work. No cleaning. No cooking. No obligations. CRAZY right? It would not make sense to take time away from work in the busiest most unprecedented chaos in the history of the company and definitely in my life. Now, is not the time. My team needs me. Some of them are struggling with adjusting to this unUsusal time too. They have personal problems that make mine seem so trivial at times. They need me. Right?

When the call ended, I sat in my office and cried for a couple of hours. It was time. I was going to do something CRAZY. I was determined to do something for Shana that I desperately needed. I was going to take some real time off of work. It’s easy preaching to others about self-care, rest, eat healthy, exercise and take time off for yourself no questions asked. But I realized I was busy impacting the lives of others and neglecting my very own. Even the strong gets tired. I’m tired!

My mind was made up that I needed to leave but how? What would this CRAZY decision do to my career? I’ve sat at the table when so-called leaders BLACKlisted (pun intended) leaders for promotions, high profile projects, and higher raises who had valid reasons for taking a leave from work. I have only been with the company a little over two years and I’m not sure about the culture and hidden values(if any) exists. Nor can I care more about a job than myself. And then my mind shifted to… what if I take a break and am able to receive a full restoration: healthier physically, mentally and spiritually! That would truly be an inspirational story to others! Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” And at that moment, I decided June 1 I would take the next step in my journey to #BecomingMe!

The discussion with my leader was tough but mostly because I had feelings of guilt and embarrassment. Yes, I felt embarrassed to explain that I needed to take time away from work at a time where everyone’s role is essential to keep the engine running. But I was simply out of gas. The conversation was well received and supported. No, it was encouraged. I had unnecessarily applied stress and pressure to my request that wasn’t warranted.

I felt compelled to have a conversation with my team to explain my CRAZY decision. Again, they were nothing short of compassionate, supportive and understanding. One of them even said, “Shana it’s not CRAZY it’s COURAGEOUS.”

As I sit on my porch watching the sun rise this morning, I am grateful that I may have been bent but I am definitely not broken. The journey to becoming me is uncomfortable yet exciting but I am not alone. Who is with me? Comment below #IamUnapologeticallyMe

 

In full restoration and trusting God,

Shana

‭‭

quar·an·tine Time

It’s quarantine time! 😄 I know you’re asking why is Shana smiling because this is such a serious and emotional time for so many. Yes, I understand some of us may be going through probably one of the worst times in our lives. Being in quarantine is a state of isolation and can be very lonely, frustrating and depressing. I personally have felt all kinds of emotions – stress, anxiety, boredom and grief just to name a few. However, there can be lots of great things that can happen during isolation if you ACT now. Pause and think for a moment. Is your house in order???

Really, is your house in order? It’s quarantine time!

There is the obvious – your physical dwelling. Take the time to organize and truly clean your home. Dust, mop, clean and bleach everything that you can safely disinfect. It’s almost impossible not to have any contact with anyone or anything from the outside so take every precaution (and then add to it) to keep your home as clean as possible. As the seasons change and my boredom was high, I decided to pack away my winter clothes and transition to spring and summer. But as I removed items, I realized there were some many articles that I had not touched in years. If I’m honest, there were even several items that still had tags attached or I didn’t recall purchasing. My first thought was to sell as much as I could and buy some of the things that I wanted now. Then I started to think how there were so many others that could benefit from these items not to mention there were really no things I wanted during my quarantine time but to hug my family and friends. My desire shifted from packing away to packing to give away. Proverbs 21:26 reads, “All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” It’s truly time to get my house in order.

Is your house in order? It’s quarantine time!

Now let’s take the f-word – financial. Every year my sister sends an excel document to every family member to update their respective financial information. The document includes bank account info, passcode’s, insurance info, doctor’s contact info, location of important paperwork like wills, social security numbers etc. If you can think about it, it’s probably there. Well earlier this year, I was very sick and as I laid on the floor of my office where I had slept for 3 days I thought to myself I am going to die. (undiagnosed Covid-19!) Then images of my husband and family looking through file cabinets and trying to guess my passwords to find information flooded my mine. I definitely am not ready to die and my house definitely is not in order. I prayed to God to heal my body because I have work to do. And He did – fully restored my health. Well I realized today and its now May and I still haven’t updated my info! (Shhh!!!) I know I’m not the only that promised God something then acted a little slow. But now it’s a goal that will be completed during quarantine time. Ok, that’s a dream. It will be completed by May 31, 2020 – not that’s a goal.

Is your house in order? It’s quarantine time!

Last but definitely not least is spiritual. In my book, IT IS WELL, I write about some amazing things that happened to me during isolation. No, I wasn’t in a government mandated quarantine but a God ordained isolation. I felt alone with nowhere to go, depressed and had thoughts of suicide. My life felt like it was in shambles, I heard a voice say I should just kill myself and it would all be over. I was lost. I cried out, “Lord, please help me, I need you!” I realized that there was something missing in my life and I had to find it. Well through journaling, prayer, and just living, I discovered exactly what was missing- A PERSONAL relationship with God and my life has changed forever.

So I ask again, is your house in order???

If the answer is no, it’s quarantine time!

I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

Need a little more inspiration, well order your copy of IT IS WELL now with thought provoking questions and journal. Come join me on the journey to become Unapologetically You subscribe to my YouTube Channel .

Shana

Founder, I am Unapologetically Me! THE Experience

My Mind Playing Tricks on Me

Oh, I am sick.

I am depressed.

I’m tired.

I won’t make it through this…..

I can’t pay my  bills.

Why me?

This week was filled with seeing and hearing others talk about things that were on their minds. The discussions and observations were heart felt, sad, and absolutely draining.

And I started to think about ALL of those things and then I actually went looking for things in my life that I could join in on the pity party.  My mind playing tricks on me. The enemy has no control over our minds but will try to trick us and plant seeds of doubt, shame, and negativity.  My anxiety started to creep in and as quickly as it did, I decided I would have an attitude adjustment.  

I remembered a time in my life when I would worry about not being able to pay my bills, when would I get a promotion, my weight, my clothes, my husband, my kids….. EVERYTHING. My mind was playing tricks on me. And then I read an article or book about changing your perspective (Sorry I don’t recall which one). The book challenged me to have a different perspective and look for something positive in the situation or change my attitude about it. Or simply think about what you want the situation to be.

There is a battle in your mind that only YOU can control. Of course things ARE going to happen in your life but you do not have to OWN them.  YOU control your thoughts. 

Philippians 4: 8, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Fill your mind with the word of God. You don’t have to be a bible scholar to know the word of God. Just read and He will recall exactly what you need, when you need it.

I am sick…. I’m alive and will be healed. Isaiah 53:5

I am depressed….. I am happy and filled with love and joy. Psalm 30:5 

I’m tired…. But I can still get up and do all things.  Philippians 4:13

I won’t make it through this.…But you made it through before.  Psalm 46:1-3

I can’t pay my bills…. But I have food, shelter and clothes on my back. Philippians 4:19 

Why me?….Why not me? I am fully equipped for a time such as this. 2 Timothy 3:17

Every morning I take the time to pause, reflect, mediate, pray and renew my mind on such things. No more mind tricks! I control my mind. Today, I challenge you to fill your mind and spirit with the word of God. And you will have a complete attitude adjustment.

Ephesians 4:23 ,”And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”

Post a comment on your attitude adjustment thoughts for today. 

This is NOT normal!

Not worrying about what to wear every day is NOT normal.

Waking up to watch service online is NOT normal.

Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together as a family is NOT normal.

Frequent game nights filled with tons of laughter is NOT normal.

Weekly virtual meetings with your family is NOT normal.

Taking afternoon strolls in your neighborhood is NOT normal.

Working from home and enjoying your house is NOT normal.

Talking (not texting) to check in on how people are doing is NOT normal.

Working on your OWN business is NOT normal.

Spending quality time and teaching your kids is NOT normal.

Completing your honey do lists is NOT normal.

Clean house, no laundry is NOT normal.

Organized and purged closets and drawers is NOT normal.

Exercising and eating healthier is NOT normal.

Picnics in your backyard is NOT normal.

Watching the sunrise and sunset daily is NOT normal.

Resting and sleeping as needed is NOT normal.

Watching all the latest TV shows is NOT normal.

I heard a message watching online service this morning and the pastor said, “The goal is not to go Back to normal but look FORWARD to normal. ”

Who said the old was where God wants us to be!! You prayed for God to give you more time, to allow you to focus on YOU, your family, your business , take class, do needed work around the house etc….

So I ask, do you want to go back to normal?

I’m looking forward to a NEW normal!

400 Years A Slave But After This…

While I was studying and reading this morning, I had a revelation that I must share. 2019 was the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first slaves sold. Last year, many people gathered to celebrate and recognize the many ancestors that survived the passage chained and bound. We have suffered for 400 long, long, long years. But today, I challenge everyone to celebrate what is about to happen after this – HEALING AND RESTORATION!

Genesis 15:12-15 reads , “As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.” These scriptures revealed God prophetic word to Abram.  He said his people would have a difficult future before they would reach the Promised Land.  I would think 400 years of being enslaved, mistreated, disrespected, beaten, hanged, killed because of the color of skin, overlooked  are just a few ways that describe a difficult future. 

Let’s reread this verse Genesis 15:14,”But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” 

God made a promise to Abram and his descendants (that’s me and you!) This is the part we can all rejoice in!!! But the WORD of God clearly states we will come out with great possessions. Great possessions = love, life, family and the best relationship of all – God Almighty! Is there any thing more you need? Shift your thoughts from your declining 401K, lost stock, no toilet paper, and uncertainty about the next day to declaring that the vision is still the same. The things that God put on your heart as we entered 2020, the year of vision and focus, that you remain focused. The business you want to open – keep  planning, enroll in school even if it’s online, continue to pay off your debt – even though the company said you can skip a payment or two. Do not get distracted with these tricks – STAY FOCUSED ON YOUR VISION!

As we are all quarantined and implementing social distancing, start praising God that after this, we will be rewarded. God’s word is ALIVE. He will never leave or forsake us. God will restore EVERYTHING that has been stolen from his children. Rest today knowing that IT IS WELL!

Check out my book, IT IS WELL for a guide to getting the best relationship ever!

2020 Resolutions Check-In

Last night we discussed why so many New Year’s Resolutions fail within the first three weeks. I woke up this morning with that in my morning thoughts, and I have concluded that “low” and “no” carb diets are to blame. Without consuming any or enough of our Daily Bread, we simply can not have the strength to do many of the “all things” that only a daily dose of Heavenly Manna can “strengthen” us to do. We fail so often because we continue making annual resolutions to add things that can not be found apart from the Bread of Life (joy, peace, forgiveness, love, etc. 🤷🏾‍♂️) “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need”…today!

🙏🏽❤️🤗

“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

🥖❤️🤗

#matthew633 #exodus164 #john635 #breadfromheaven #breadoflife #everythingyouneed #morningthoughts #faith #hope #Love #joy #Peace #positivity #repentofunbelief #believe #Loveoverall #forgive #forgiven #thankyou #ministryofreconciliation #kingdomofLove #dailyresolutions

By:Roderick Phifer

Mas Christmas

A small cloud, a mustard seed, a baby in a ghetto manger are all small and seemingly insignificant, and perhaps even undesirable. So, if you are waiting for something large and grandiose from God; He may have already given it to you, but in a form that in no way resembles what it shall become, and in a form that is seemingly undesirable. Be careful of the things (and people 🤷🏾‍♂️) you discard this Christmas and get to know them better. Mas Christ…today!

😉

“A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”…“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”…”That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;”

🙏🏽❤️👑

#1kings1844 #isaiah532 #philipians210 #Kingofkings #masChrist #morningthoughts #faith #hope #Love #joy #Peace #positivity #repentofunbelief #believe #Loveoverall #forgive #forgiven #thankyou

By Roderick Phifer

I Can’t Breathe

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

Eric Gardner pleaded 11 times that he could not breathe before being suffocating to death by the very people who took an oath to serve AND protect. As I watched the movie Queen & Slim, I sat in anticipation and feeling as if I couldn’t breathe. No worries, no spoilers here. Please watch the movie for yourself. Even as the movie ended and I left the crowded theater to return home, the tightness in my chest and tears continued to flow. I Can’t Breathe.

As a woman of God, I know the Word of God. Deuteronomy 31:6, ” “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” But I am still human and flesh that lives in a world where we often have the sensation that reflects how Eric Gardner felt. I Can’t Breathe.

Every day, I wake and pray to God to protect and cover my husband and all of my boys. When my phone rings, until I know who is on the other line the feeling returns. I Can’t Breathe. It doesn’t matter if the callerID shows the number of my family or UNKNOWN number, the feeling is the same. I Can’t Breathe. A sense of temporary relief rushes over me knowing it’s nothing but a scam caller or my son simply asking what I am doing.

I know everyone that reads this post may not understand how I feel everyday of my life. I Can’t Breathe. Everyone doesn’t know what it feels like to try to live a holy life but have feelings of fear because we are often judged, discriminated against, or even killed just because of the color of our skin. I Can’t Breathe. Some will never understand telling your kids the goal everyday is to just make it home. I Can’t Breathe.

As I look at the innocent face of my grandson, I fear the world he must grown up in. I Can’t Breathe. What can I do? What can you do? How can we help others see our value and worth? How can we create a world where we are all treated equally? How can I stop getting the double stare when shopping while black? How can my son drive my Lexus in a nice neighborhood without being stopped to ask whose car are you driving and why are you over here???

Normally, I have a reason to blog. Today, my reason is simple….

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.

I Can’t Breathe.