Tuesday, October 14, 2014

MEN TAKING A STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE



Across the world, October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  The focus upon the harsh realities of domestic violence on families and communities is often brought to light, from an incident, fundraisers, vigils, community events, or the display of purple ribbons in the honor of the lives of victims and survivors.

All too often, the individuals standing on the front lines, educating and utilizing their voices to raise awareness for domestic violence are women, but that is not enough.  As women, we need men standing beside us, prepared to join the fight, by educating other men in our community, especially our young men about the proper ways to display respect for women and declining from using violence in their display of anger.  

Our boys need men teaching them, being an example, and holding them accountable for deplorable acts against women.  As women, it can no longer be us doing all of the work, our men need to step up, be vocal, and make a change; and that is exactly what a program called “A Call ToMen,” has been doing.  As explained in their description, they are the leading national violence prevention organization providing training and education for men, boys, and communities, aiming to shift social norms that negatively impact our culture and promote a more healthy and respectful definition of manhood. 

Not only do we need to empower our young women, but we also need to educate our young men on respecting women and deviating from societal norms.  We must engage this approach holistically, while bringing up the next generation of youth.  Many of our boys do not have positive male role models in their lives and their images of males are often found in the wrong individuals.  

So men, WE NEED YOU!  As women, while we’re in the world raising a generation of empowered and sophisticated young women, we need for you to work on raising a generation of young men educated on exerting the dignity and respect that we as women deserve.

Why not work together, in ending the systemic cycle of domestic violence.  It only makes sense. 

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Dream Deferred

What are your dreams?  Are you living them?  Do you remember them?  What are you doing today to place you once step closer to achieving them?

A little over a year ago, I sat down and asked myself these same exact questions.  It is not uncommon to reach a place in our lives when we become focused on everyone and everything else, without taking notice of ourselves and if we are walking upon the right path.  There are circumstances, situations, and challenges that stand as the common denominator in deviating us from living out our dreams.

Well, I declare that now is the time to walk through the doors and meet your dreams.  Life is to be about more than working, coming home, cooking, cleaning, and raising a family.  Life is meant to be lived with zest and enthusiasm.  Life is meant to be lived with thousands and thousands of memories to last a few lifetimes.  So why aren’t you living your dreams?  Why aren’t you trying to do something to place you in line to grab your dreams right out the sky and claim it?  

If you’re having a hard time answering these questions or find yourself questioning what your dreams really are, here’s some help:

-Find a quiet space, think back to those things that you’ve always wanted to do or become when you were a child

-Write them down, no matter how silly or unconventional you think they are

-Next to them, write down what brings you joy about them

-Place your dreams in numerical order of achievement

-Pray over your dreams and ask God for guidance and direction in achieving them

-Create a vision board         
·       On your vision board separate it into three sections labeled, 6 months, 1 year, and 1 ½ years
·       Cut out images on the board for each section of items needed to achieve your first goal at 6 months, 1 year, and 1 ½ years, as well as writing your goals needed to achieve them in each section near the bottom

-As you achieve your written goals on your vision board, mark them off and celebrate by doing something just for YOU

-Once you achieve your ultimate goals and begin living your dreams, look back on your accomplishments and CELEBRATE

You can do this and you can be one step closer to living your dreams TODAY!  Depending on your dreams, it may take you much longer than 1 ½ years and that is just fine, continue on planning out with your vision board and watch your dreams unfold before your very eyes.  What do you have to lose?

So what are you going to do TODAY to place you one step closer to living your dreams?  Let me know, so that I can celebrate you.  

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tell It







Regardless of where we are in our lives as women, each of us share similar stories.  It’s just that some of us are too proud, too ashamed, too stuck, too careless, or too self centered to share our truths, leaving us in an abyss of powerlessness.  Our daughters, nieces, cousins and future strongholds are left to questions their very existence in this complex and bias centered world, because we chose to remain voiceless.  What’s the use of our freedom and tongues, if we’re going to do nothing more than taste what is familiar?

There is much in life that we have to offer as women, so why don’t we?  Why do we hold onto the very things that made us into who we are today, without sharing them?  Even if they happen to be failures, I'm positive that something was gained.

It’s time that we fellowship about more than the latest television show, community rumor, or video.  Whatever your story is, I challenge you to tell it!  Tell it privately, publicly, intimately, and/or openly.  Remove the selfish veil and think about who might need that story, just to believe enough to make it another day.

Peace and Blessings,
Edquina

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stop Weighing Yourself Down!




About one year ago, I embarked on a journey to improve my health holistically, by improving my eating habits, physical fitness habits, social environment, and spiritual health.  Honestly, it was time.  I felt sluggish, tired, weak, and depressed.  I felt this way, not only about my personal life, but also about my physical appearance.  Feeling this way was affecting my attitude and activities with my children, my work performance, and my outlook on the promises of my future.  I felt flat out uncomfortable in my own skin, so I decided to make some changes in my life, not only for me, but for my children as well.  It was time!  So I grabbed my spoonful of courage, looked in the mirror and promised myself that it was my last day of weighing myself down and my first day picking myself up and it has been a riveting ride since!

I first began with indulging in my higher power and taking time alone to truly come at peace with my life, my situation, and my future, while trusting the direction in which I was being led.  At first it was hard to just let go, but it has been so worth it! Then, I evaluated my personal and social environment and decided if certain people, places, and things were purposeful to me or not.  If they were not, I released them, to make room for what can be and what will be.  Lastly, I began to improve my health, by eating healthy and becoming more physically active.  I joined a weight loss program, gave it my all and began to take seriously what I chose to consume.  The physical weight lifting off, not only improved and increased my self esteem, but increased my stamina and excitement to be involved with my children.

I feel free, I feel happy, I feel encouraged, and I feel like life is my playground.  I know that I’m taking back everything that the devil has stolen from me and it is an empowering feeling. 




One year later, 30 pounds lighter and EMPOWERED


None of this has happened overnight and my journey is not over, but I can say that TODAY, I am much farther and happier than I’ve ever been.  Your happiness is waiting right around the corner for you, remove what’s weighing you down, turn that corner and GRAB IT!

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Woman's Pain With Prescription Drug Abuse




I’m sure that we know many women in this situation.  Maybe the main woman that we know in this situation is the one that we see in the mirror every day.  She’s hiding a huge secret from everyone.  She has a problem, or maybe she is unaware that she has a problem at all.  She has become accustomed to utilizing prescription drugs (pain pills) as her mechanism to cope.  She believes that it is numbing her pain, but in all actuality, it’s numbing the reality of her life.  She’s not dealing, she’s not coping, and she’s not focusing, because unbeknownst to her, she has become dependent on a substance and she can’t stop.  

Her Physician continues to write the prescription, the Pharmacist continues to fill the prescription, and she continues to take the pills. This is a repeating cycle that has recently led plenty of our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters to death.  To paint this truth more vividly, 18 women die every day from prescription drug abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
So what are we going to do about it?  How are we going to make sure that more of our sisters are living, rather than dying?  This reality is striking, sad, and ridiculous.  Why are the Physician’s writing the prescriptions not being held accountable?  There are many components to this obstacle that I will have to come back to, but the focus of this post is how to help a sister in need of liberating herself from the chains of prescription drug abuse.

Know the signs of prescription drug abuse:  Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions, taking a higher dose than prescribed, excessive mood swings and hostility, increase or decrease in sleep, seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor, appearing to be high, revved up, or sedated, and continually losing prescriptions so more can be written (Mayo Clinic).

Intervention/Treatment:  Talk with the person and explain to them how their use of prescription drugs is affecting their lives and the lives of their loved ones and that you are willing to help, with the direction focused on them receiving treatment.  Offer to help them find adequate counseling and treatment for their addiction and make sure that they get there.  It may be wise to speak with a drug and alcohol counselor or therapist prior to doing this.  

Let’s stop this alarming number from increasing.  Not doing anything about it, is just as bad as giving them the prescription drugs to take when you’re aware that the problem exist.  Choose to empower!

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Detox Time: Removing toxic people from our lives




Being healthy, not only involves our food consumption and physical activity, it also involves our company consumption.  I strongly believe that as women, once we’re gracing across the trail of maturity and begin to move forward at achieving our goals, we begin to take notice to certain people in our lives that happen to cause us undue stress.  These are people that push us over the edge, thrive on negativity, or always has something out of control going on in their lives.  They can be identified as family members, lovers, friends, co-workers, or just those people that happen to be in our company.  We’ve all experienced them and seen them in action, while thinking to ourselves, “Why did I put myself in this situation again?” 

In the case that you’re having an issue identifying the presence of these individuals in your circle, here are a few examples of their behaviors that surface regularly:

·       They constantly put you down, instead of lifting you up.
·       They consistently invite you to be in the company of individuals that do not mean you well, in an effort to intentionally sabotage you.
·       Your stress level instantly moves from 1 to 10 while in their company.
·       Their level of conversation is always negative and never offers any kind words about anyone.
·       Everything has to be about them and their issues.
·       They are always bringing drama to your doorstep, regardless if the situation has anything to do with them or you.

Has anyone of these examples sparked an image of someone in your life?  If so, it’s time to detox yourself from being in the presence of that individual; either entirely or as much as possible.  In all honesty, the actions of this individual clearly shows that their level of interest is not in being a part of your happiness, but being the key leader in your sadness.  They are interested in the glorification that they receive from being the bearer of chaos in your life, which in all actuality translates into meaning that they are having some serious issues within themselves.  

If you are at a crossroads with their behavior, it is you that must determine if you are ready to take the step to detoxify them from your life.  It is not an easy step to begin the detoxification process, but it is well worth it.  I recommend taking some quiet time to re-evaluate your present situation and future goals, seek your higher power in prayer not only for yourself, but for the toxic individual to receive some much needed help, and to seek the help of a professional therapist or life coach, if needed. We must remember that as Liberated Sista’s, if we expect to take the next step to pass over the threshold to our future, it is not going to be wide enough to welcome everyone from our past.  

If you’ve dealt with the removal of toxic people from your life or happen to be in the process of doing so, I welcome your comments, concerns, and questions.

Peace & Love
Edquina