I am WOMAN! Hear me roar! And better yet — see me soar! Today has some very significant meaning for me, as it is International Women’s Day! Why is this day of significance to me? Well, as a woman — I work twice as hard as most men in my field — without half the recognition! And we women have to admit, that it’s been an uphill battle for ALL of us — in an effort to make equality — EQUAL!
I’ve been through some very serious trials over the past 2 1/2 years — and seem to be on overload when it comes to sacrifices. And in reality, I’m not looking for praise, hand out or even a pat on the back! In fact, I can do all of those things myself! But I’ve grown to love my natural born Goddess-ness, curves, talents, trials and triumphs included!
But this feature — is not to share my sob story…instead, it’s purpose is to celebrate my womanhood! All of our womanhood! To sit back, relax — and raise your champagne glasses — to your remarkable selves .
This International Woman’s Day, I am dedicated to highlighting the advancement in Woman Power — and my favorite achievement (for us females) is the signing of the Violence Agains Women Act — by President Barack Obama. And as a survivor of Domestic Violence — this is a huge step through the glass ceiling!
This is your day. This is the day of the advocates, the day of the survivors. This is your victory,” Obama said. “This victory shows that when the American people make their voices heard, Washington listens.”
And how about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 (for women). I will be following the progress of the National Women’s Law Center!
How about you lovelies — what will you being doing on this marvelous International Women’s Day?
Can you imagine — having to miss school or work — because you it’s that time of the month, when mother nature makes her routine visit? Well, every 28 days, millions of young women — including girls — miss work or school, in developing countries. That’s a whopping 50 days per year — and the reason, is because of the limited access to affordable maxi-pads.
Did you know, that:
• Premium priced imported brands cost more than a day’s wages – a pack of imported pads cost $2.25 vs. $1 in Rwanda, SHE’s pilot country.
• Sub-optimal alternatives such as cloth rags, tree bark, and even mud, fail to prevent leakage and put girls and women at risk for severe reproductive health consequences, mostly as a result of the lack of a clean and accessible water supply.
Thank goodness for SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises) — a social venture, who’s mission is to invest in people, as well as ideas — that are often overlooked (taboo) as social and economical change.
The SHE28 campaign is its initiative to address this pressing and silent problem through innovative product design and sustainable economic opportunities for women and their communities. Take a look at its campaign video:
SHE has creatively innovated a patent-pending, low-cost and eco-friendly menstrual pad — the SHE LaunchPad — which makes an absorbent core for pads from agro-waste (banana fibers), that is free of any chemicals or super absorbent polymers. The SHE28 campaign originally launched in Rwanda in 2009. This makes it possible for girls and women — to access their much need menstrual products for only 5 cents per pad.
SHE is coupling its LaunchPad with a sustainable business model that will create economic opportunities all across the value chain – from the banana farmers who will sell their banana fiber to SHE to the women entrepreneurs that will be equipped with business skills training and education to sell the LaunchPads in their communities. For every women-led and operated business that SHE invests in, approximately 100 jobs are created and approximately 100,000 girls and women have access to affordable menstrual pads.”
On the advocacy front, SHE has been successful in busting taboos about menstruation. The SHE team hit the streets of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, in 2010 with its “Breaking the Silence on Menstruation” event. SHE, along with 10 other leading Rwandan organizations, marched down the streets in Kigali and held a public discussion with girls, women & men about how to break down menstrual taboos that serve as a barrier to girls’ education. As a result, the Rwandan government placed a new line item in the national budget for a $35,000 procurement of menstrual pads for the poorest girls.
Join Media Maven and the SHE28 campaign — to help SHE revolutionize access to maxi-pads!
1. Give $28. Support SHE.
2. Break the silence and go viral — share the SHE28 campaign video with everyone you know!
3. Get the word out – tell your friends to support SHE on Twitter – donate your voice (link to Thunderclap)
4. Follow SHE on its website and blog or find them on Twitter and Facebook.
The weather outside — will soon get frightful, but GIVING BACK…is oh, so delightful! As a Global Team of 200 & Mom Blogger for Social Good Ambassador — I often find myself floating on cloud 9! It brings a deep sense of satisfaction — whenever I am using my unique collective of quintessential talents and skill, to help bring awareness to the harsh and unbalanced “realities” — of the world we live in! My family and I, will indeed be celebrating #GivingTuesday, this November 27, 2012! So far — I’ve partnered with #GivingTuesday, United Way – as well as other invaluable nonprofits — to continue my coalition to bring social change to the forefront! But I am not alone…as my lovely triad (Jazz, age 17, Starr, age 16 & Ayden, age 21 months) will join me on the front line — as we battle injustice and poverty — worldwide!
“A Rose for a Rose” What would the world be like If, for every rose given Another would be received What would the world be like If every person who passed you by Greeted you with a smile What would the world be like If we returned a wrong done to us With forgiveness What would the world be like If, instead of attacking those opposed to us We tried to understand them And compromised instead of argued? A wise Prophet once said “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” So let us all believe atleast in our Humanity And give a little In order to receive… By Aphrodite
According to a new study — fewer Americans plan to spend less money on holiday gifts, in the wake of the current economic climate — many are less likely to give a “charitable” gift as a holiday present. Last year — according to the World Vision Holiday Giving Survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive:
About half of US adults (51 percent) agreed they’d be “more likely” to give a charitable gift as a holiday present as a result of the current economic climate. This year that percentage dropped six points to 45 percent. This is the fifth year World Vision has commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct research on holiday charitable giving.
This survey also shows — six in ten (59 percent) say that “as a result of the current economic climate” they will spend less money on holiday presents this year. This is a huge 12% point drop from 2011 — when about seven out of ten (71 percent) stated that they’d plan to spend less money on holiday gifts. World Vision Gift Catalog Director Sarah Renusch says…
We have gone through these tough times and it’s surprising that instead of being more sympathetic, Americans are spending more on holiday gifts and giving less to charity. If there is a silver lining”, Renusch adds,” it’s that more than eight out of ten (83 percent) say they’d prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else instead of a traditional gift like clothing or electronics.”
A gift given from — for example, the World Vision Gift Catalog– can significantly improve the life of a child or family in need by providing tools and opportunities to overcome extreme poverty, while at the same time honoring your friends and loved ones,” says Renusch. For each World Vision gift, the giver can make the donation in the name of a friend, family member, or business associate. At the donor’s request, World Vision then sends special cards to those individuals, describing the gifts and their impact.
Chic Giving Ideas for #GivingTuesday:
World Vision U.S. Gift Catalog raised over $33 million and provided assistance to more than 825,000 people around the world in 2012 — as 67,000 goats were purchased by donors. World Vision launched the Gift Catalog in 1996. And while a goat ($75) may be World Vision’s number one seller, there are more than 100 gifts to choose from (more than 30 gifts in the catalog are $35 or less, including items like chickens, job training or fruit trees)..
You can also donate some time — to help with social media (FACT – Social Media Makes Americans More Aware
One in two (49 percent) say social media affected their charitable giving), outreach, advocacy — or anything your time or skills allow! Giving doesn’t have to include a monetary contribution! Every little bit counts — and makes a big difference!
As the many requests — continue to pour in, my family and I — continue to formulate creative campaign to help deliver our efforts to the people! My junior ambassadors are working with their high school and day care — in hopes of going from local to global! We are very excited to be partner with #GivingTuesday — even donating 20% (for the holiday season) of our income (from purchase made via Media Maven’s Diamond Diva Deals (which delivers the best deals in fashion, beauty & lifestyle – at exclusive discounts and deals. As a Beverly Johnson Brand Ambassador — I send special thank you gifts to those who purchase over $50 worth of goodies, courtesy of Beverly Johnson & myself) & Goddess Getaways & Elite Socialistas‘ Fashion & LifeSTYLE sites. My girls donate their allowance to fund causes! Our favorite charities have welcomed us with open arms, and thanks to beautiful people like Jennifer James and the amazing members of Global Team of 200 & Mom Bloggers for Social Good — we are far from alone!
Donate clothing, food & other valuable resources to your local Good Will, Salvation Army or nonprofit/church — which goes to families in need (like women and children, as well as men — in shelters and other impoverish conditions). FACT - Most Americans Still Prefer Meaningful Gift
83 % in 2012 – 80% in 2011 – 80% in 2010 – 76% in 2009 – 84% in 2008.
Since I was a little girl, I can remember my passion for helping others! Today — I am committed to living my life and career — with this goal in mind! Being a blogger/editor has allowed me to tap into many resources — that once seemed impossible before! I make it my business, to donate clothes, money and other vital supplies — to the less fortunate! I devote my time and energy — to raising awareness and fund raising, or to even volunteer my expertise to help EMPOWER, entertain and educate! As a woman — a divine makers and shapers of life — I aspire to motive and inspire! Giving doesn’t have to have an expensive price tag attached, and personally — I view negativity as an excuse for ignorance! Giving — simply means — to DO something that might mean a little to you personally, but is PRICELESS to someone else! I hope that you are encouraged to go the extra mile — for someone less fortunate than yourself, or even to cheer up a fellow friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker (your fellow human) — turning a faithless frown — into a hopeful smile!
Is there a nurse, doctor or any other health care professional who inspires you? Do you know someone who gives 100% of their compassion, dedication or devotion — to saving lives? Then you would be happy to learn about The REAL Awards — which honors healthcare professionals who enlighten, entertain and save lives!!!
The REAL Awards are looking for the best health workers in the U.S, based on your nominations — honors and nominees in local community are true considered heroes and pillars — who work effortlessly under extraordinary circumstances around the world. These amazing men and women often work with limited training and support, yet they strive at saving lives — building stronger, healthier communities every single day!
Meet the frontline health workers receiving REAL Awards honors around the world nominated and selected by staff from members of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition.
The categories are: Nursing Team, Nurse, Midwife, Doctor, Community Health Worker, Nutritionist & Maternal Health Counselor!
Every single person has had the pleasure of dealing with an inspiration within the health arena, in the United States. If you are interested in nominating your health hero(ine) — whether it’s your doctor, family member or a friend — click here!
Nominations will run until 11/29/2012
Voting takes place between 11/30/2012 to 1/7/2013
Honorees will be announced on 1/15/2013
If your would like to help spread the word via Social Media, here is 5 messages you can share with your network: FACEBOOK 1. We are for REAL! Join us in celebrating health workers around the world by visiting www.theREALawards.com to nominate a health worker who has made a difference in your life. 2. We’re so proud of our [staff/members/nurse, etc]. We think they deserve an award! Go to www.theREALawards.com to nominate your favorite [health worker/midwife/physician/nurse, etc] for a REAL Award. 3.What would an awards show dedicated to health workers look like? Find out at www.theREALawards.com/video and nominate a health worker in your life for a REAL Award. TWITTER 4. #HealthWorkers around the world are saving lives! Learn more and nominate a health worker in your life for a REAL Award http://bit.ly/TxaC9h #therealawards 5. What would an awards show for #HealthWorkers look like? Take a minute to meet some REAL people who deserve an award! http://bit.ly/TxaC9h #therealawards
115 million child laborers are involved in hazardous work conditions!
61 million children are shut out of primary school!
34 million adolescent girls are not in school!
16 million children with disabilities are not in school — and 1/4 of these children are blind!
Malala Yousafzai, a 14 year old Pakistani girl – is currently fighting for her life — since that tragic day when she was brutally shot in the head by the Taliban — because she wanted to go to school!?!?!? When she stood up for the first time since that horrible day, where she laid low by the dreadful attack — the world bared witness to her standing up for 32 million girls — around the world, who are DENIED the right to learn!
Image courtesy of the Tribune
This November 10th, the world unites to declare a global day of action for Malala and the other 32 million girls! On this day, which makes it exactly one month after the assassination attempt — Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Education — will personally travel to Pakistan to deliver to President Zardari — the “million-plus petition” — in hopes of making education a reality for all Pakistani children! You can find out more and sign the petition by visiting www.iammalala.org.
Malala was prevented from going to school because Taliban ideologues favor discrimination against girls, believing girls’ education is an obscenity. As Malala recognized, discrimination takes many forms, some of which are close to exploitation. In Bangladesh, for example, girls of ten years of age are snatched out of schools to become child brides, denied their childhoods. Across the globe nearly 100,000 girls are conscripted as child soldiers, robbed of their childhoods, while millions of others are forced into child labor and either kept out of school entirely or made to sacrifice their full learning potential. Change is possible. Indeed it is not only possible — it is the only alternative. We must continue the momentum from the UN Secretary-General’s Education First initiative to show that for the first time in history, the world will no longer let education be a privilege for the few — but instead a right for all. On November 10th, we need to show our solidarity with Malala as global citizens.” — UN Special Envoy for Education, Gordon Brown.
If you would like to make a difference, you can follow these steps:
Step 1: Add your name to the petition so that millions around the world can unite to declare their support! “Governments across the world must know that in the 21st century we will no longer tolerate keeping children out of school.”
Step 2:Tell your friends and family members to lend their voice by tweeting and posting “I am Malala” on all of your social media pages/feeds! In these moments, we support Malala and show her we are all her to continue her fight! Create mobilized campaigns with local events and social media to show that “we all are Malala!”
The last day of 2015 is our deadline to ensure that all children are in school. The campaign has been renewed because of the public outcry at what happened to Malala. And now the campaign can only be realized with your action. Malala may lie in hospital and she may have been silenced for now — but millions who now carry her message can find in the run up to Malala Day on November 10th an opportunity to speak for her and ensure that action on girls’ rights and children’s education is no longer delayed.” — Gordon Brown.
There’s always something special about this time of year! As everyone gears up for Black Friday, Super Saturday and Cyber Monday — it’s my pleasure to shed some light on #GivingTuesday! This unique event will take place on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — and with your help, we can all make it a fabulous moment in history! The goal behind #GivingTuesday, is to launch a day dedicated to giving — at the beginning of the official holiday shopping season — in efforts & focus on “giving” back.
Charities, retailers, online organizations, families, individuals — will all unite with one common purpose — to help others, as incentive (ways to give and to give back, smarter…and to celebrate the “American” spirit of contribution).
#GivingTuesday is a call to action — celebrating giving, while encouraging better, smarter giving –during the holiday season. But its success depends on a collective of efforts — from each unique group of partners and participants!
“In order to receive, one must GIVE”
This November, the #GivingTuesday campaign provides a framework for Americans to contribute via their communities to help make this holiday season, the biggest giving season yet! As your Global Ambassador — I hope that this feature inspires you all to take a collaborative action — in effort to improve your local community!
Who is involved?
Here is a list of respected “Team of Influencers” who helped conceive and shape the concept for #GivingTuesday:
Charles Best (CEO, DonorsChoose.org)
Matthew Bishop (The Economist)
Kathy Calvin (CEO, UN Foundation)
Sharon Feder (COO, Mashable)
Adam Hirsch (Advisor, Mashable)
Patty Huber (Head of Groupon Grassroots)
Libby Leffler (Strategic Partner Manager, Facebook)
Rob Reich (Professor, Stanford)
Selig D. Sacks (Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP)
Tom Tierney (Chairman, Bridgespan Group)
Henry Timms (Deputy Executive Director, 92nd Street Y)
Colleen Giles Timms (Co‐Creator, GivingTuesday)
Andrew Watt (President and CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals)
Hank Goldstein (Principal, The Oram Group Inc.)
Troy Carter (Founder, Chairman and CEO, The Atom Factory)
If you would like to get involved — here are some chic ideas:
Launch a special campaign to support your favorite cause.
Partner with major philanthropic media channels and aggregators.
Invite your company to match employees’ donations on that day.
Create a dynamic online giving initiative for #GivingTuesday.
Invite your organization to commit a portion of proceeds on #GivingTuesday to your favorite cause.
Create a volunteering initiative.
Invite your local retailers to add a donation to purchases for a charity for #GivingTuesday.
Announce a donation or new initiative of your own on your blog or social media channels.
Partner with shops to donate a portion of sales to a charity on #GivingTuesday.
Organize a local toy drive, consignment sale or holiday goods sale to raise money and goods for charity.
Organize a holiday bake sale or pre‐order for baked goods on #GivingTuesday which will be ready for the holiday.
You can also help spread the message by following #GivingTuesday:
Facebook ‐ www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday
Twitter @GivingTues or and use the #GivingTuesday hashtag
Share your favorite giving quote or image on our Tumblr
Share our all of our social media channels in your organizational and personal social networks
Participate in a “Thunderclap” of social media to announce #GivingTuesday has begun (see next section) Announce your participation in #GivingTuesday to your networks and email lists 6
My plans for the holidays (besides being your FAB Global Ambassador) — is to deliver the best deals in beauty, fashion and lifeSTYLE (in time for Black Friday & Cyber Monday) — and in return, donate 20% of all proceeds to non profits via The Goddess Project! Plus, as your official Beverly Johnson beauty ambassador — I will be gifting luxury gifts to those who spend $50 or more for their loved ones this holiday season…courtesy of Beverly Johnson & myself (Sapphire Kharyzma) !!! So I guess you can say — my #GivingTuesday is every day!!
My journey — to M.POWER.ment — was not always an easy road! I’ve fought countless battles with myself — as I struggled to believe in myself — as others did! I couldn’t see — what they saw — in me!
Whenever I am asked — why I’m so passionate about causes that affect women & children — I simply reply, “I just am.” But then I realized — someone has too! As a global ambassador — I am very concerned — six out of ten girls — will stop doing the things they love, because they feel bad about their looks! I myself — can see these tendencies in my precious daughters! I have the power — to make a difference in a young girl’s life — boosting her self-esteem. As a mom and mentor — I am equipped with the ability to help young girls — develop positive relationships — with beauty! And it all starts with a conversation or in my household — a talk!
These inspiring convos — can take place daily — as you spend time with your little lady, walking to school, listening to their have songs in the car, or watching TV together! My favorite time — is as we walk every evening or while we’re shopping. These priceless moments of shared laughter and bonding — can make a huge impact — helping your mini you to reach her full potential.
Takie a moment — to connect to her to herself — in beauty, confidence and self-esteem. Keep it honesty. These easy steps should easy the process:
1. Ask — ask her about her relationship with beauty. Everyone comes to their own belief about their beauty values differently!
What does beauty mean to you?
What makes you feel most beautiful?
Do you feel beauty is a big source of pressure — amongst your friends?
Has your beliefs about beauty — ever stopped you from doing something you love?
Do you have any questions about beauty — or have something to share?
2. Share — instead of giving her advice or telling her what to do — pay attention to her responses, and share some of your own — speaking openly and honestly! Sometimes — it’s okay to leave the expert at work — and just be mom…
Regrain from saying “she I was your age” — as girls typically turn off at that comment. Instead, connect to her emotionally and intellectually — letting her know if you have any solutions that worked for you.
3. Listen — taking in her responses. Pay attention to her reaction to your comments — asking more questions if necessary — but don’t bombard her! Allow her space to talk about possible solutions. Sometimes — she will only need to talk it out…as she needs to feel safe, listened to and connected with!
4. Act — follow the conversation with some actions, putting together follow up ideas — sparked by the conversation, making sure:
She wants to talk to you (her mom/mentor) or friends about her relationship with beauty
How does she view the images in the media?
Does she want to write an email or blog post (like my Jr. Elite Socialistas — who love working with mommy) about her feelings?
Dove® research shows that it is still important for us to address girls’ anxiety about looks, as there is a universal increase in beauty pressure and a decrease in girls’ confidence as they grow older. Key findings from our latest research include:
• Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
• Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable using the word beautiful to describe themselves
• 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
• 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
• More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic
SOURCE: Dove Research: The Real Truth About Beauty: Revisited”
Created with Jess Weiner, Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador, this is a great resource for all women on starting a conversation in a simple way. Ask, Share, Listen and Act — you’ll find unintimidating ways to do make these a natural part of your talk about Self-Esteem.
Join me — and women across the county, October 5-7, when Dove will be holding a nationwide rally to talk about beauty, confidence and self-esteem. Commit to talk to the girl in your life during the weekend and beyond – it all starts with a conversation. Follow Dove on Twitter, check out the Dove Facebook Page and Send a Note of Confidence.
Lovelies, Did you know — Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability? This dilemma, impacts approximately 1 in every 5 adults, affecting about 4 million people in the US and ‘hundreds of millions’ worldwide. And I believe — “no one deserves, to spend every waking day — in pain. Period!
Even though there is no cure for arthritis, The Arthritis Foundation wants to encourage you lovelies — to take simple steps, to prevent/decrease pain and disability, associated with arthritis.
In partnership with the Ad Council, the Arthritis Foundation is launching the Take Action Against Arthritis initiative in support of World Arthritis Day on October 12, 2012. Observed every year on Oct. 12 since 1996, World Arthritis Day is part of a global awareness initiative by the United Nations-endorsed Bone and Joint Decade.
Speak Out & Share if You’ve Been Touched by Arthritis:
If you, your parent/s, or someone you know — have been affected by arthritis, I’d love to hear your story.
Whether you are fighting arthritis pain or simply want to take preventative steps to reduce the impact on your joints, I ask you to share your ‘weapons‘ against arthritis. The Visualization Tool allows you to share your weapons against arthritis and learn what others do in their fight against the disease. I also invite you to share your experience by posting — help others see that they are not alone in this battle, or give a shout out on Twitter with this unique hashtag #WorldArthritisDay, as well as stop by Facebook.
Check out the Pain Tip App where you can learn tips on how to manage osteoarthritis pain!
Brian Teacher, a tennis pro — fights his arthritis by playing the sport he loves!
Did you know that breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women? It’s an alarming reality! And even with so much warnings and requests — for women to get tested early — you will still find that many of us, still aren’t! In today’s world — diseases aren’t discriminating anymore! You are never to young or too old!!! I want to motivate and inspire each and every one of you beauties – while at the same time, try to raise funds for breast cancer research! I introduce to you, a new foundation called The Pink Pumpkin Patch — who is currently promoting an amazingly chic, natural pink-skinned pumpkin, which is set to debut — nationwide – this October, for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This national campaign is called… “Pink Pumpkins on Your Porch – Let’s Unite Against Breast Cancer.”
“Pink Pumpkins on Your Porch – Let’s Unite Against Breast Cancer.”
The campaign is designed to encourage everyone to join the fight against breast cancer by placing pink pumpkins on their porches and in their homes as part of their annual Halloween and fall décor.
“Pink Pumpkins on Your Porch – Let’s Unite Against Breast Cancer.”
For ever pumpkin purchased, partnered pumpkin farm owners and growers across the country — have agreed to donate $.25 per pumpkin to the Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation, where funds will then be donated to breast cancer research.
FACT – breast cancer is one of the top most common cancers in women! And together, we can improve this heart breaking statistic. Unite with us to find a cure by sharing your pink pumpkins with your family, friends and fellow GlamRUs society mavens, by posting to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest (social media) accounts! Shoot me the links, so we can shout loud and proud…together as one massive force of Goddess power — “we won’t be defeated.”
For more info, visit The Pumpkin Patch or www.facebook.com/pinkpumpkinpatch. Or contact me directly with any questions below in the comments section of this feature, or via the form!
The Pink Pumpkin Patch Foundation
Check out these two chic beauty must-haves — for him & her – to help you to put your best beauty forward, while raising awareness for research!!!
SEPHORA COLLECTION Breast Cancer Awareness Lookin’ Flawless Brush Set
Lab Series Skincare for Men Daily Moisture Defense Lotion Breast Cancer Awareness Special Edition
The Goddess Project will donate 5% of any purchases of the recommended his & her beauty must-haves to breast cancer research! As a special thank you, Beverly Johnson & I (Sapphire Kharyzma) will send you a Goddess gift — from the new luxurious lifestyle collection by Beverly Johnson! Contact for more deets!
Pen takes to paper, as the furry of deep emotions – reminiscent of a life I prefer to forget – rushes through my mind! Where do I start, what do I say? Should I speak on the ill feelings I have for Chris Brown’s desperate attempt to lure his beloved Rihanna? Is it fair – to look down on all men?
After witnessing FLOTUS’ amazing speech – I realized…Now is the time! Time to speak up for what I believe in, and to demand the recognition that I’ve worked too darn hard – to let someone destroy, because of their selfish need for greed! No longer, can I entertain the possibility of surrendering (dumbing down) any part of my Goddess self, to anything that belittles or makes me feel less than ME!
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? ….
Photo Credit: Chic Movement
My family and I – are survivors of domestic violence! Now, please bear with me – as many of my close friends and family, are learning the deets of this – at this very moment, as all of you! I was planning to release a tell-all novel, but decided – I needed to do something even greater (than just sharing my story worldwide) – I needed to save lives!
My compassionate nurturing nature – has been both a blessing and a curse! My need to become more divine – more me, was at the focus of my life, as I was set to finally launch one of my most coveted dreams! I was always entranced by the ideal of magazines – and vowed to own my own one day! I wanted to use all of my creative aspects and passions (PR, photography, design, writing) – to help me make it all happen! And with the digital age of blogging – I saw my outlet!
As my friendship began to fall apart – I fought hard to hold on to my dreams, while simultaneously trying to put my life together – post heartbreak! But instead, I found out I was pregnant! And just my luck too, in just the first 5 months of my pregnancy, I suffered (and baffled the doctors) with hyperemesis (severe morning sickness) and couldn’t keep anything down (not even my own saliva) and had to be constantly rushed to the hospital for IV fluids and medication! I would later go on to have my appendix removed – while I was 4 months preggers with my lil miracle (and also went through this ordeal alone)! As I continued to fight for my life, I noticed that I was on the battlefield alone! Despite our differences, I thought we were at least friends – first and foremost…but the series of events that took place in the wake of this – totally shocked me, forever changing my life!
For months, I was ridiculed, attacked and violated by one of the people I trusted with my entire family’s life! Now this was obviously because of my refusal to abort my son! As I continued to take each day at a time, bearing witness to the cruel intentions (like watching him take a hammer to my room’s walls while I laid helpless in bed), I continued to put whatever energy I could into finding a way out of my situation (so to catch you up, I was sick so therefore couldn’t earn an income, but received no type of financial assistance from Mr. Baby Daddy-to-be)…
His family continued to turn a blind eye to the devastating conditions of his actions, and I continued to research anything that could make sense of my experience! Here I am…college educated, and still couldn’t connect the dots – to domestic violence!
My son was born (3 hours from labor to delivery) and once again, I found myself alone! But in my loneliness, one of the nurses sensed my grief, and we got to talking! She confirmed that my situation was indeed DV and that Safe Horizon could help me! I called 1-800-621-HOPE and was opened up to a world of invaluable resources. I got connected with a lawyer (for free), was able to speak to Detectives (who were on stand-bye), get my cats to safety (my rapid movements couldn’t afford me to locate a temp home for my cats ;( but was happy to come across the Mayor’s Alliance, a no kill shelter for pets of dv survivors) and receive counseling – all through Safe Horizon! I was also able to spend 9 months – getting to know other survivors who were living in domestic violence shelters! This is where I got enlightened! I knew – from this experience, I was supposed to share and save lives!
I am sharing my plight, because I cannot expect any of you – to break the silence, if I myself am silent! It was my desire for change, wanting more – knowing that there is more to life than being someone’s anger outlet – that made my the surviving GODDESS – I am today!
Since my ordeal, I have worked hard…everyday – struggling to raise my 3 lovely children, by myself – completely secluded from the New York I’ve spent my entire life – loving and hating! When I look at Rihanna – I can often see some parts of myself, as far as having an open heart, loving and forgiving! A lot of people have so much negative things to throw her way, but has any one of them, ever stopped – and realize, we can’t help who we love? Love has a way of blinding us, especially to the pathetic apologies (or lack thereof)! In time, you will come to see – no matter what, you will find people who hate you (for no reason other than you being amazing) – seeing you as a threat! Some will even go out of their way to try to control you, keeping you caged…stopping you from being the best YOU!
With Safe Horizon, your safety is the number one priority. It is definitely a change of lifestyle – which will take a LOT of inner strength and courage to see it through! It is a very hectic and transforming experience, that will shape you for better (or worst, depending on YOU). I am happy to add Safe Horizon – to my ever growing lists of partners! As an ambassador, I am very privileged to be a part of the Junior Counsel. I am also planning a series of campaigns – set to launch in time for DV Awareness Month this October, and hope that many of you will join me!
Instead of using my addiction to beauty and fashion – to hide and conceal my scars…I use it to highlight my plight! I AM A SURVIVOR and can’t be any prouder! I hope to be a pillar of inspiration – to motivate and empower anyone who is affected by domestic violence! In fact, I invite you to share your experience (anonymously of course, to protect your identity) – directly or indirectly, with domestic violence! I want you to break free of the suppression and instead, seek liberation!
If you are reading this, scared , confused and eager to make that change — I beg you to please contact me via the form below! I have chosen to use this form as it goes directly (and securely…not traceable to any email accounts) to my inbox! I am available to answer any question you might have, or to even shed some light on the process! Just know that you are not alone, and are indeed loved and valuable!