April is National Poetry Month. During the month of April I will share some of my favorite poems with you.
First here is a little background about National Poetry Month:
Inspired by the successful celebrations of Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March),the Academy of American Poets established National Poetry Month in 1996. The academy enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help. April was selected because emed the best time within the year to turn attention toward the art of poetry—in an ultimate effort to encourage poetry readership year-round.
increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media
encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
encourage support for poets and poetry.
Langston Hughes is a poet that makes my heart smile. I am so grateful that Mr. Hughes shared his words with us. Here are a few poems of his that I love:
Mother to Son
Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare. But all the time I’se been a-climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’ corners, And sometimes goin’ in the dark Where there ain’t been no light. So boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps ’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now— For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
This poem is one I think all parents can relate to. Life gets tough for our kids at times but we need to encourage them to keep on working on those things that may be challenging. Yes it is tough to see our kids struggle. Being realistic and encouraging is needed to help them get through those tough times.
Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams For when dreams go Life is a barren field Frozen with snow.
It is always important to keep dreaming. I think too often especially as we get older we tend to forget to keep on dreaming and working on making some of those dreams a reality. Please keep dreaming and no matter how wild, goofy or out of reach you think your dream may be keep working at it.
I love to see the big white moon, A-shining in the sky; I love to see the little stars, When the shadow clouds go by.
I love the rain drops falling On my roof-top in the night; I love the soft wind’s sighing, Before the dawn’s gray light.
I love the deepness of the blue, In my Lord’s heaven above; But better than all these things I think, I love my lady love.
Who doesn’t like a poem about love. Poems about love remind us that love is not a one size fits all. We all tend to describe our love in different ways. Love is beautiful.
Reading poetry is like reading lyrics to a song you love and just vibing out. I hope you enjoyed these Langstong Hughes poems. The collection of works Mr. Hughes has is beautiful if you have time to do so please check out some of his works. Do you have a favorite poem or poet?
March is Womens History Month. At the start of the month if you were on the socials at all I am sure you saw a post or two or three about some women making herstory. I absolutely believe in women supporting one another all the time not only when it is a trendy hashtag.
Supporting one another does NOT need to be just because of a big accomplishment. In fact I think celebrating each others small accomplishments is more important; those small accomplishments help get to those big wins. Women making herstory is not always someone getting recognized in the public eye. Women making herstory can be the ones doing work and getting things done matter who is or is not watching.
As we wrap up the month of March lets continue to give the women making herstory their shout outs. Lets also keep celebrating these woman every month of the year.
A few women making herstory this March of 2021 who have sent some sunshine my way this month are:
My freind Roze shes on instagram as @dearyoungerself . If you’re on instagram you gotta hit the follow button. She has the funniest insta stories and she will keep you smiling and encouraged. Sometimes she goes on these funny karaoke spurts and Lawd have mercy they are hysterical. Roze also is a person who is always supporting other women.
Another friend making herstory is Caitlyn. Caitlyn is a writer/blogger and she has the biggest infectious smile. Caitlyn wrote her first book recently it’s called “Mother Mule”. Mother Mule is a sweet reminder of all things mama and how mama’s too sometimes need to be sure to make it known that they too can use a little help.
She Happy Homemaker is a crafter and her creations are absolutely beautiful. If you have a cusotm piece you’d like made she can help you out. The original pieces she has made are also fantastic. You can not make a bad choice at all shopping with her. Definitely check her page out.
Sarah Bessey who is an awesome writer. I am currently reading her latest book ” A Rhythm Of Prayer”. This book is a beautiful collection of prayers that will make you cry, laugh, smile and leave your heart happy.
I hope you get a chance to check these herstory makers out and I would love to hear who some of the women making herstory are that you know.
We are at the midweek point and I am already needing Friday to be here. How are you doing? Has this week been rough or easy sailing so far? If you are struggling a bit or just need a little boostlet me tell ya I am right there with you. This week has been a little rough: bad news in our world and busyness of family and work.
Here are a few things I do when I need a mid-week pick me up:
Take a leisure walk and take time to enjoy the scenery especially if the weather is nice. Walk and put on your headphones and take your time. Even if you can not take a long leisure walk a nice 15 minute walk can help you recharge will do the trick.
Listen to some of your favorite tunes. Put your head phone on and let the music take you on a journey. Make a playlist and this will help you to always have your favorite tunes ready to go.
Take a bubble bath, like really when is the last time you just laid back and enjoyed a relaxing bubble bath. So relaxing and you can take a nice nap afterwards. I mean hopefully you can get a nap afterwards or take the bubble bath right before bedtime.
Take some deep breaths, sit down in a quiet space and breathe in and out. Breathing exercises can help relax your mind and your body. I use the Calm app for breathing relaxation. You can find a mediatation app in your phones app store.
Finding a few minutes or even a hour to relax your mind and body is always a good idea. Make the time to do it.
What are some things you do for a mid-week pick me up?
My goodness it has been some time since I have checked in and chatted with you guys. I have no real big excuse or exciting reason why. All I can say is: 2020 craziness, life, trying to find balance and all that good stuff. Yes good stuff because I think along the way f all the chaos we can learn a little something. Right now if you were to ask me what I have learned in 2020 and the first few months of this year it would all be jibberish. There has just been too much going on to latch on to a big “learning lesson” or aha moment to share with you all.
With that being said my plan now is to make sure I am writing at least once a week. What will I be writing about? Heck right now I do not know, but I am getting my pen, I mean keyboard ready to go and will write about whatever comes to my mind and my heart.
I hope you are doing well. I look forward to catching up with you all.
Diversity: the condition of having, or being composed of, differing elements; the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.
I’m sure that some people hear the word diversity and roll their eyes while thinking: “Here we go with this topic.” Why does the word diversity make some folks uncomfortable? When you read the definition above, it doesn’t sound like a “bad word” or a topic that you wouldn’t want to discuss. However, there are still many who do not have discussions about diversity.
Being “color blind” is a term some use to explain that they are not prejudiced or racist. We should celebrate the reality that we are all different. People are comprised of lighter skin, white skin, brown skin, dark brown skin, and black skin. Some people have different hair, eyes, and may wear different styles of clothes and eat different types of foods.
Teaching children about diversity is extremely necessary and important. Children are curious about diversity. Small children do not judge the other kids they play with based on skin color unless someone has taught them to do so. Children may ask you why their friend is a different color than them, they are asking out of curiosity. When that question is asked most parents tend to give the stock answer: “We’re all different” and move on.
Teaching children about diversity and learning to celebrate diversity is a necessary thing to do.
Here are a few things you can do to get the discussion going with your children:
(Some of these things may not be able to be done until the current COVID-19 situation improves)
When your child asks a question about a person’s skin tone or culture, take time to answer them. Let your child know that you are glad they are asking questions. Explain to them in simple terms why people are different colors or why some people wear certain clothing.
When events are going on in your area that celebrate other cultures, take your children to these events.Enjoy the food, dancing, language, and education about a different culture.
Visit museums with your child.If you live in an area that’s not very diverse, try to take day trips to nearby cities and/or museums. Make diversity fun to learn about. Celebrating others should not be a chore.When your child asks a question about a different race or culture that you cannot confidently answer, be honest. Let them know that you do not know, but you will look it up and find out for them. These days we have so many resources available to us online that can help us have the talk about diversity.
Diversity is good. Inclusion is good. Our world is filled with many different cultures, races, religions, etc. Let’s celebrate diversity and be willing to learn about those who are different than us. Please do not worry about getting everything right, the important thing is to start having the conversations and being willing to learn.
I’d love to hear how you’re having conversations about diversity with your children.
Years ago at work I was having a conversation with an older co-worker. We were talking about the company we worked for, life, family and future plans. She mentioned to me that one regret she had was staying with the same company for so long. She was nearing retirement and would receive a great retirement and pension but she still wished she had tried other things career wise. When we were done talking she said sweetie “Life is a journey enjoy the ride”.
After that I would always say that same phrase to her in a joking way. When she retired I got her a mug with that phrase on it. Her words have always stuck with me. At the time my 20 year old self thought there is no way I’m not retiring from this company. Little did I know my journey would change direction. Yes it was a bit scary but I’m grateful for the change. Being able to try a few different career paths before moving from California to the Carolina’s was beneficial not only career wise but also with a huge cross country move.
I had no idea that at the time her advice would stick with me. As I try to figure out certain things in life I keep reminding myself: this is all part of my journey and I need to enjoy the process. The journey may not always be sunshine and roses but that is how life is. Not all can be glitz and glamour. Has someone ever dropped a gem of wisdom your way and at the time you had no idea how it would help you later on? What is the best advice someone has shared with you?
Fitness and keeping moving is IMPORTANT. For me it is a daily struggle and whenever I find folks that motivate me to keep moving and help me keep up with my daily step goals, I am happy. Shay is realistic, funny, AND motivational, she has some of the best dang recipe suggestions.
Here is my chat with Shay the “Fitness Strategist”:
Have you always been someone who is into health and fitness, if not when did you start to be interested in health and fitness:
I have always been into fitness. As a Soldier in the Armed Forces, it’s important to be in tip top shape.
What is the biggest obstacle that you find most women face regarding staying fit/healthy:
The biggest obstacles I see is that most people don’t have the time to exercise or meal prep.
How much time does meal prep take you:
I usually do it on Sunday and it takes about 3 hours.
Mental health and awareness surrounding the topic are extremely important to me. This woman making her-story is doing a great job bringing awareness to a topic that deserves more attention. Ashleigh thank you for sharing part of your experience with us.
Why is mental health awareness important to you:
Mental Health Awareness is important to me because it’s the foundation of our very being. If we aren’t in tune with our minds and attentive to our emotions , triggers and responses to certain situations, our ability to function in society goes down. Educating others through personal experience and research-based tips is my way of furthering mental health and pushing mental health awareness.
Where did the name the black gold series come from:
The name The Black Gold Series came to me while I was a junior in high school. I was sitting in history class and we had to watch one of those long history videos and take notes. The video was about the start of oil, and I noticed how they nicknamed it “black gold” because of the color and because it was profitable, in high demand, and helped individuals reach a certain level of success. I wanted to start a blog on mental health at the time, and decided that would be the name. I wanted it to not only be for mental health awareness for everyone, but to also have aspects that focus on mental health for minority men and women.
What does the book “The Perks of Being A Wall Flower” mean to you:
That book is my all-time favorite book! I first read it when I was in high school and at the time, I had just been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety disorders. Feeling misunderstood and lost because the responses of my peers to my diagnoses was either not taking it seriously at all or hearing the word “disorder” and overreacting. I felt totally misunderstood and struggled to find my voice not just as a person, but as a person with a whole new diagnosis I didn’t know I had before. Charlie the main character in the book, was in a similar situation, and the book showed him finding his voice as a person with anxiety and depression, but also as just a person. It helped me find my voice.
What do you do for self-care / mental health:
I’m a big believer in having a morning routine. This is for both self-care and mental health. A lot of studies show it increases productivity and happiness and I can attest to it, for sure! Meditating in the morning and setting my intentions for the day helps me clear my mind and prepare for the day. I also like to set aside time during my day where I put my phone on Do Not Disturb, just to have a mini break from social media.
What can we do to help the mental health stigma in the black community:
Educate, educate, educate! Many of us are either uneducated on mental health and want to learn or either uneducated and unwilling to learn. Those who want to learn, help them! Give them resources to learn and educate on their own time and be open to asking and answering questions. I also say to know how important our mental health is to our lives and functionality, and how serious it is and should be taken. It’s not just a demon to be prayed away, or a cry for attention. It’s a serious imbalance or illness that deserves attention and treatment.
Who are some mentors that you have:
One mentor that I have is Michelle Williams. I love that she is so open with her journey with mental health and how it should be taken seriously, even as Christians. I also look up to Dr. Kelsei LeAnn, she is a millennial therapist who literally does it all. She does affordable therapy, has a best-selling book, and offers daily advice through her twitter. She’s paving the way for women like myself, and she is my main inspiration for what I do.
What do you have planned for this year to help people with mental health:
I have so many things planned for this year! I’m planning to do more interactive things with my followers so I definitely want to do a mental health/self-care-based giveaway sometime soon. I also have different series planned for furthering mental education such as my Healthy Love series going on right now. A communication series will be coming soon. I’m planning to help with different communication skills for different audiences. In addition I will have a mental health education series for describing different disorders and their symptoms and treatments.
In February you are talking about focusing on Healthy love where can folks get more on this series:
My Healthy Love series is geared toward all ages and genders. The series can be found on my Instagram @theblackgoldseries . I will also have a few in-depth articles coming up on my blog soon so be sure to check it out. www.theblackgoldseries.com
Why do you think so many folks stay in toxic relationships:
My favorite novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” has a quote that I love: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” I think people stay in toxic relationships because a part of their subconscious believes that it’s what they deserve. Their insecurities along with their toxic partner can lead them to believe that this relationship is all they can get and that this relationship is love because it’s all they will have, and it’s not true. If you’re in a toxic relationship, you deserve a love that fits and compliments you. Coming from experience, You are worthy of that. They aren’t worthy of YOU.
Ashleigh THANK YOU again for discussing such and important topic. I especially liked that you talk about mental health issues not just being able to be prayed away. A motto I myself like to say is “I believe in Jesus and therapy”. Be sure to check out what Ashley sites, you will not be disappointed.
I am excited to introduce you all to Maisha Rush. She is another woman making her-story. Maisha owns a consulting firm, she blogs and home-schools her children. As you can see her plate is full but she is always ready and willing to help others achieve their goals. Here is my chat with Maisha:
What was your motivation to go into business for yourself:
My motivation was (is) the desire to help black people succeed in business.
What obstacles do you see that most black business owners face when starting out:
Usually the biggest obstacle I notice is the lack of knowing where to start. Sometimes even when knowledge is given, it is the lack of discipline to stay the direct course on building their brand. Most times people want to do the easy stuff like logo, website, social media posting. However without the business fundamentals, automation’s, and processes their businesses don’t go much further than a great idea; meaning they never see significant revenue.
Is your consulting firm your full-time job or do you also work an additional job:
It is my full-time job.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working for yourself/owning a consulting firm:
Time. I get to choose what and when I dedicate my time to.
How do you stay motivated:
What motivates me now is breaking the family curse of “just making it” and knowing my children will do more than me.
What is some of the research you did prior to starting your business:
I am a numbers person. I researched statistics on the Black American population vs Black American wealth. The numbers are astounding and that moved me to study those who are and did make it and to pass that knowledge on.
What advice would you give a mom who is planning to start her own business:
You have to have passion and audacity. Without passion, you will grow to hate what you do. Without audacity, you will fail. You cannot be afraid to GO. Add a plan to that and you will be unstoppable.
When a client reaches out to you for a consulting request what is the first thing you do to assure them your firm is right for them:
I am always open and honest with what we can and cannot do. I am an open book and you can pretty much google any aspect of my life. People choose me because I can relate to them and they can trust me. I aim to always be this way.
Do you have a mentor:
Yes. I have a millionaire mentor. He has been my mentor since 2009.
Can you elaborate a bit more on what your mentor has helped you with:
The main thing my mentor helps me with is staying focused on the upward trajectory not the right now circumstances. Business is about growth. If you aren’t growing you just have a hobby.
Being self-employed how many hours per week do you spend working on your business:
About 2 hours a day. On random ideas and ah-ha moments about 4 hours a day.
Do you enjoy being a business owner:
Absolutely. I don’t know what took me so long.
How do you go about networking to get your business out there and recognized:
I am sure to speak at least once a month and I make it my business to show my face at events at least twice a month.
How do you find events to to attend to keep your name out there:
I keep an eye out for getting in circles I am not currently apart of. Dare I say, more prosperous circles. I always aim NOT to be the smartest person in the room. I am always looking to take.my knowledge up a notch. Its beneficial for me and my clients.
How’d you come to the decision to home school:
My children were not being challenged in their curriculum. In addition I did not agree with the way they were being taught as they struggled to “catch on” to things like common core math. Also, as black children, I felt it was imperative that they learned who they are along with their capabilities. Our curriculum is based on how they learn and what interests them.
Can we get a glimpse into your home-school schedule:
Our schedule is pretty flexible since we have 10 (soon to be 11) children. Some of the children like to do their assignments in the morning, some in the evening laying in bed. We do a good bit of un-schooling which allows us to be flexible.
Maisha is indeed busy making her-story. The passion and drive she has towards her family, goals and business is refreshing. If you’re looking to expand your business and need some guidance definitely reach out to Maisha for some resources. As she said business is about growth and to reach that growth it takes hard work and resources. I can’t wait to do a follow up with Maisha about her home schooling. In the meantime you can find this woman making her-story on Twitter at @Rush_Consulting or Facebook .
If you know me then you know that I am always looking for a good podcast to tune into. As I have mentioned before I like all sorts of podcasts. Sports, entertainment, inspirational, funny the list goes on and on. I especially like to start my day off with a podcast that is inspiring.
A few months ago I found a podcast on social media and I hit subscribe but didn’t have a chance to listen to right away. What caught my attention was the name of the podcast “Brunch With Bri” I mean who doesn’t like brunch. When I hit play I was happy to hear such an upbeat voice that was genuine. She was not trying to be overly enthusiastic and it was just like chatting it up with friends over brunch.
Brunch With Bri is a podcast that is always dropping gems of knowledge and motivation. So when I decided to do this series on “Women Making Her-Story” I knew Bri was someone I wanted to chat with. I hope you enjoy our chat and be sure to check out the Brunch With Bri Podcast.
How long have you been podcasting:
The Podcast launched not too long ago, in May of 2019. I come from the radio world before I even began podcasting. Hosting and producing my morning radio show on iWorship 96 FM (The Bri Lee Radio Show), has given me the confidence that I could even podcast. Radio really prepared and groomed me to be comfortable in front of the mic, although podcasting has a very different format.
How did you come up with the name of your podcast:
When God first gave me the idea to start a podcast, it was like ‘Podcast…but make it Personal’–
That meant my name had to be included in the title somewhere, but I wanted something with some “bop in it.” I went the alliteration route, playing off the letter ‘B’ in my name. After a few tries, I thought about where I have had the most amazing conversations about anything and that was during brunch with my girls! And there it was…Brunch with Bri – The Podcast was born.
What is your vision for your podcast now and what was the vision when you started:
In my best Keke Palmer voice, I hate to sound ridiculous but when I first started Brunch with Bri, I did not have a clear vision. I knew I wanted it to be a space to share freely experiences and thoughts on life with other women who would listen. This is why I came out the gate telling alllllll of my business from being a creative to parenting and relationships. I had no clear direction on where I wanted it to go. At first, the podcast was more of a “free” space for me creatively, different from anything I have done in the past. I needed that.
During season one, I came out the gate challenging myself and just “figuring it out.” Listening to some of the first episodes, I think it shows! Haha!
Brunch with Bri, slowly organically developed into what it is today. I felt it on my heart to be an intentional platform to empower women in being their multidimensional selves. Now, at 27, I am unapologetically operating in my full multidimensional self (took me a while), which is why I enjoy being an entrepreneur so much. It is where I can be who I am called to be. Naturally, the podcast followed that and now with a clear vision, it is a personal development and entrepreneurship podcast for women seeking to walk in their purpose through business.
That is my passion. To empower other women to be who they are created to be and to help them get there. The podcast and now blog (brunchwithbri.com) encompasses this mission and I am glad it has the impact it does on the women I’ve met who listen.
What have you done to make sure that vision comes to fruition:
Phew! Girl, first and foremost prayer, because the strength has to come from somewhere. Planning is also a big part of making sure the vision comes to fruition. Writing the vision down helps me to stay on track; Not just writing the goal but writing actionable steps that need to be taken to get there. Writing the vision, also helps you stay the course when life throws things at you.
How did you come up with this years theme especially “breaking generational curses”:
Season Two of the podcast I had much more direction and began interviewing amazing entrepreneurs in the marketplace, sharing their stories, different backgrounds, industries, expertise etc. When planning Season 3, I knew to get women to the place in their business similar to the women they have heard thus far, we would have to go even further back and really teach where to start from the beginning. This is why season three, of Brunch with Bri – The Podcast is entitled the “Biz & Basics” series.
On the business side we learn how to write business plans from scratch, the difference between types of business entities, how to build multiple streams of income within your business and scale etc.
What I have noticed in my own experience, that while much of business ownership is about the numbers, and paperwork, and marketing, a lot of that will fail if we don’t have a strong foundation within ourselves.
On the personal development side, we are really digging deep within ourselves, discovering why we want to be business owners in the first place, what that means to us, how that is impacting our families. A lot of us are entrepreneurs to build a legacy for the future and to undo what we know from the past and break chains, cycles and generational curses of lack.
We are really not coming to play in Season 3.
I love that you include your faith in the podcast can you tell me how much your faith means to you:
My faith in God means everything to me. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. I mean God has really gotten me through some things and discovering my purpose through Him is the number one reason why I do what I do.
What advice would you give a new entrepreneur/a new podcaster:
To the budding entrepreneur, I would say, do not measure your “success” in comparison to someone else’s. Comparison is a dangerous game. Don’t worry if someone else is doing the same thing you are. Definitely do not measure your “success” in comparison to others. Pace yourself and celebrate your achievements at every stage.
For a new podcaster, find out what works for you. Worry less about numbers and more about good content. Before anything else, podcasting should be something you enjoy, and then you can build around that.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your podcast.
When it comes to Brunch with Bri, I am most proud of the women in the community. The women we hear back from are really out here living their best lives, making their dreams come true and overcoming personal obstacles while doing it! It makes me emotional every time a woman tells me her story and how they’ve been inspired by an episode or a show topic really resonated with them. I love the Brunch besties and the community that has been built through this platform. God is good!
What are your top 3 favorite shows you have done over the last 2 seasons:
This is a tough question! I am not sure I can even answer that. My most vulnerable moments might have to be my favorite because it is where I pushed myself the most. I share some really personal things and yes…I have cried on the mic. A few of those episodes happen during season one on episodes entitled ‘Father Figures’ and the ‘You are Not The Father’ parts I and II. These are where I share my relationship, something I have never spoken about publicly until then.
If you could interview a famous person who would it be and why :
Thats funny! I have been around media most of my life and “celebrity” is a weird concept, but to choose someone who is very well known, I would love to interview Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts! I love her work, her transparency, how she has stepped into her calling and are helping women walk into theirs as well.
On top of that she is killing the game as a business women and has allllllll the fashions! In my head we are best friends, that just kick it all the time!
As you can see Bri is indeed a woman making Her-Story! I love that she mentioned not measuring your successes based on what others are doing. We must follow our paths and journeys. Sometimes we get caught up in all the noise and forget to do just that.