Farewell 2011

So here we are again on the verge of a brand new year.  What will you be doing when 2012 rings in? Sharing a kiss with your significant other, wearing your party hat backwards letting old acquaintance be forgotten or maybe even in church thanking the Almighty for letting you see another year. Have you made your new year resolutions? Better question…did you keep last year’s?  What is a resolution anyway? Are we promising ourselves to do something that for what ever reason was impossible to accomplish the prior twelve months? I find myself on resolution boycott because if I want to change something I hope I start changing it the moment I accept that it NEEDS to be changed. Losing weight, going back to school, getting out of a bad relationship or into a good one…who says January 1st is the perfect time to implement these processes?  So this year I challenge you, yes you, to change the way you look at change. Change the way you FEEL about change. Know that change comes in three parts. Part One – Recognize the need to change.  Part Two- Accept that the change STARTS inside of you.        Part Three- Move consciously in the change.

Truth is everyday we wake up we are given an opportunity to adjust the way we live our lives. We can eat healthier, stop smoking, start losing weight, began dating, lay the foundation for a new business venture, enroll in school, go to church, call our kids or parents..all starting today! We can laugh longer, smile more often, dream bigger and soar higher than we did yesterday.  There is no reason to keep waiting. So as we bid farewell to 2011 let us also say goodbye to that frame of mind which tells us we have to wait for the “perfect” moment to begin to live our very best lives. The moment is NOW!

Here’s to you and yours a safe, happy and abundant NEW YEAR!!!

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Same Ole Love – Really?

“Sometimes I wonder do I really want that dream love I always speak of when I seem to fall for the same ole kind of lover time after time.” Do you ever have that conversation with yourself? I mean hey we read all the books, watch the movies, share our stories and see the patterns in our sister-friends and their relationships and still we do it again. We date the person who doesn’t know how to give of themselves, but wants our all. We imagine ourselves in this happily ever after even though that frog we been kissing really never becomes our prince. So now the question becomes do you truly believe that you ARE the princess in your story? I dream myself standing on a beach, holding hands with the love of my life, pregnant with our child. I feel the love all around us then I wake up to an opposite reality. Where do you see yourself in your world? Are you walking the path to your happiness or are you stuck on the treadmill of destruction? Is the person you’re loving even able to love you back? When you mention marriage, kids, career or moving does he/she share your passion? Do you find yourself dreaming out loud for both of you? Love is a blessing..rather giving or receiving. There is nothing wrong with loving someone who is still finding themselves in love. However, as the seasons of your needs change you must be brave enough to move with your season! I try to imagine that my love is like a great oak….strong, resilient, everlasting. One bad season in love can’t destroy me. “Same ole love” just isn’t for me.

Do you have a positive social support system?

Support systems can give us advice, help us to learn new skills, keep us on the right track, and hold us accountable to do what needs to be done.

 I love that fact the people on Facebook I have never meet or verbally talked with over the  phone but they support our activities of isista, rather on blog talk radio, or reposting my status. The more supportive people you have in your life the more effective your support system will be.

 

How Do you Build a Stong Support System?

Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Lead to Your Success

These should be people who know you well and are able to notice when your behavior becomes unusual or unhealthy. They should be positive and encouraging and help you experience more hope, courage and strength.They are the ones that are feeding your mind on a regular basis. Having self-confidence that will never fail is a manifestation of a strong mind. Anything we want to be strong in the future needs to fed in the present.

I realize I have those people, you would think they are your family members or closest friend but they are the people who are striving for success just as I am.

Everyone you invite into your life should make you better.

Have a support system that will hold you accountable without YOU being offended. These are the people who will tell you what you need to hear, no matter how much the truth hurts.

You need people who will be with you, no matter what. When you win, they are happy without reservation. If someone is doing the same thing you are doing and getting noticed or excelling, don’t be upset, jealous, disappointed, and a hater. Haters have decided that their best hope for happiness is to sabotage your attempt to be great rather than stage an attempt of their own.

Avoid enablers those people that tell you want you want to hear, but following their advice always seems to get you in trouble.

Lastly, Be your own best friend, position yourself for success.

Who do you have in your life that can serve as a support?

Tanisha Simpkins, iSista

Why we should all care about Amber Cole

Some of you reading this right now may be wondering who Amber Cole is, and some of you may be very familiar with her story. But what we all have in common is that while we may not know this young woman personally, we all have an Amber Cole in our lives. To bring you up to speed here is a summary of the story:

 Amber Cole is a 14 yr old girl in Baltimore who was performing $exual acts on a young man while someone recorded it. That person or persons then went on to upload the video online and it went viral. The story became a trending topic on Twitter and the video has been hosted on several websites and blogs. Because of the ages of both parties involved it is considered child pornography. While the federal authorities have gotten involved, Amber’s name and reputation has been torn apart.

 The purpose of my post today is not to get into the details of the story…there are several different versions of how Ms. Cole got to be in this predicament. However the one verifiable fact is that she is 14 years old.  Legally and in the world of common sense, she is not old enough to consent allowing the video to be made or posted online. What have we become as a community when this type of video of a minor is posted publicly and ridiculed by what are supposed to be adults? What I find more disturbing than the video is the reaction and comments that I have read from what are supposed to be adults. By labeling her a whore, fast, making jokes, and creating YouTube rap songs that further denigrate her sends a message to all of our girls that they have no value to the world. Behavior that should be shunned and corrected has become entertainment. The internet is not a bathroom stall, the images and words posted cannot be erased with a good coat of primer. This will follow her all of her life, long after the wisdom from this lesson is prayerfully deeply ingrained in her mind.

 

What we all need to accept and come to understand is that more children are born into single mother households than ever before. Studies show that girls that have strong relationships with their fathers wait longer to have their first sexual experience and tend to make better choices. The rampant lack of consistent, positive male role models in our daughters’ lives leaves them vulnerable to making poor choices, and easy prey for people with everything but the best intentions in mind. It is very easy to click on a link and shake our head at today’s trending topic then close the window. But if you look around at the young girls in your own family it is important to realize that this can happen to them.  And if by chance it is not your daughter, sister, or cousin understand that it could be her best friend. Between mainstream media and popular culture, our children today are oversexualized and desensitized. What was once taboo and scary has become the new normal. Social mores and lines have faded. Where truth once gave boldness to our actions, immaturity has stepped in.

As a community we should be collectively surrounding her and outraged that two of our children who clearly are not fully capable of making any life altering choices were blasted across the internet for all the world and pedophiles to see. The images have been posted on blogs that make money from advertising and amount of traffic to their site.  Two of our children are being exploited and one of them branded for life by people who are only interested in making money.  

 

This story should be used as a teachable moment for our sons and daughters. Use this as an opportunity to begin a dialogue with your teens and preteens about sexting, online persona, accountability, and the importance of standing up when someone is being wronged.


How to Make Brown Sugar Body Scrub….At Home

What you will need:
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup oil (coconut, olive or the oil of your choice)
  • 10-15 drops of an essential oil
  • Gel caps of vitamins E, A or C
  • Mix 1 cup of brown sugar, ½ cup oil (coconut, olive or the oil of your choice) and 10-15 drops of an essential oil.

  • Pour the mixture in a small plastic container with a lid. Store any extra scrub that you don’t use.

  • Add vitamins E, A or C to nourish your skin. This is not necessary but will provide a supply of vitamins essential for healthy skin. Simply break open a gel cap and mix the oil with the scrub mixture.

  • Stir the mixture before using, since the oil rises to the top. Place a small amount on the palm of your hand and with your other hand, rub it on your body in circular motions. Use this scrub on your whole body, with the exception of your face and sensitive areas.

Gossip Girls, Backstabbers, Haters, She Said….They Said

I would love to say that this is truly a NON ISSUE but truth is ladies…IT ISN’T! In my lifetime I have witnessed so many friendships, relationships and even whole families torn apart behind malicious gossiping and “half truths”. The question I pose to you today is why? Why is it that when someone comes to us with “oh girl you won’t believe what I heard” or “girl, I got to tell you what they said about you” we never find the strength to calmly go talk to the person being sited as the “she” with the problem? How many times have you been minding your own busy just to be ambushed by someone with a story to tell?  And how many times has the news totally disrupted that good feeling you were having? I am raising my hand because I have always thought of myself as a pretty easy person to get along with. You know funny, friendly and glad to help. I am not a the type of woman who gets all heartfelt when perfect strangers take issue with me but when someone I care about does…that’s another story. Question is: should it be?  What if I found my way to the person..my sister, my friend, cousin, co worker and simply asked “hey, what’s going on? Did I do something to offend you? Is it true you are feeling some kinda way about me?” I would like to believe that we are adult enough to at least have a conversation with someone we once shared our secrets with. I know we have all heard the term “Hater” and we have pretty much bought right into the idea that there are spies all around each and every one of us hating on everything we do. Some people in our lives have proven that concept to be true. But let me ask you…have you ever been the person being accused of HATERISM? Has something you said been repeated and twisted into something ugly? Would it had made any difference if your friend had come to you and asked instead believing what someone else told her instead? I know it would have made a world of difference to me. So I ask you…who’s really the hater? From where I am standing, when we give the messenger all the credit for being the honest, upstanding citizen and never offer the same courtesy to the other party we are, in fact, HATING ON OURSELVES! Popular belief isn’t always equivalent to truth and as we take steps to change the idea that women can’t get along, don’t care about one another and are in a never ending competition…we must first change how we see ourselves in the grand scope of things. ~Your Sista, My Sista, iSista!

Rededicating yourself back to you

There are times in our life when we lose who we really are. This can be done through relationships, telling lies, or even through online profiles.

Recently seen a young lady say “ she is reborn” I know reborn meant to be accepting the Lord as your savior, but her reborn was reclaiming her identity.

Have you ever felt like, I don’t know myself or I’m losing myself? This happens when we give ourselves to people and allow them to do what ever in our lives or treat us in any form they feel.

Rededicate is to redeem ….. Redeem yourself back to you …say to the person who treating you like crap, I am not that person you think I am…… say I’m not going to continue living my life as a lie…….Take back your identity ….…Self examine your priorities…..enjoy the things you like to do…..stop catering to others and never yourself…..ask your self the question who am I?

Who ever you truly are be happy being you.

Here’s a declaration

Self,

I choose this day to rededicate my life to Me. I commit my heart, my mind, my words, my actions, everything I have, and everything that I am to Me. I purposely draw close to myself. I ask that You forgive me of all things unlike me. Likewise, I now receive self love, comfort, and guidance. I thank Me for receiving me and for this new fresh start in Me

Tanisha Simpkins, iSista

Homeless Veterans – How Can This Be?

Most of you have been introduced to the newest branch of iSista which is Guiding Light of South Florida, Inc. One of the main components of GLSF is to provide transitional housing to homeless women, many of which are ex-offenders. Today I watched Oprah and learned of another group of underserved women that has left me wondering where our priorities lie as a nation. Today’s show spotlighted homeless female veterans…yes you read that right. HOMELESS VETERANS! I wonder how could this be? How could someone who has pledged their very life to stand and protect the freedoms we take for granted return home to find themselves living in a car or worse? I firmly believe no man or woman who has risked their life, separated themselves from their loved ones, lived in conditions I can only imagine to ensure our continued freedom should EVER be homeless or come home to debt.

I, for one, never aspired to join the military but I have family members and friends who have served and are currently serving. Let’s face it, most of us don’t want the job they have committed to. We quit for less! What if tomorrow you went to work and your boss dared to say “hey we are going to need you to lay in this hole for the next few weeks..day in/day out..no matter what the weather..oh and by the way you may never see your family again” I see you reaching for your car keys already (I’m already in the parking lot). At the end of my workday I go home, fix dinner, check homework, check facebook and get ready for the next day oblivious to what our soldiers are doing to make sure I can always be so lazy. We have to do better for them, they have EARNED that much.

I’m Every Woman…..So Are YOU!!

Ladies this message has been exploding in my heart all day and I want you to know that the enemy is so treacherous and afraid of the truth that he tried every trick in the book to keep me from sharing (internet connection, FB would not open, password problems and then the first draft of this posting mysteriously disappeared) but that just confirmed for me that I am exactly where I am suppose to be at this moment doing exactly what I am suppose to be doing. I can proudly say to the enemy “U are a liar!” You know you are on the road to a breakthrough when everything seems to be getting in your way sistas. Please know that!

This past week I have spoken to so many of my sistas and have been broken hearted for each of them over what they shared with me. Even though none of their stories were the same they all shared one thing…defeat. Made me wonder do any of us truly know that our personal perception of life starts from the inside and manifests on the outside?

Ladies, let me say that I too am pressing through an issue that is not easy to accept and continues to challenge me. I find peace in the knowledge that this is yet a moment in time and that I have already been placed on a path to the victory I deserve. It bothers me, yes it does, but it does not consumme me. I am a believer that just when we think that our problem is the biggest, toughest, most impossible obstacle in this world we can be reminded that this battle, just as so many before it, is not ours. It does not define your life’s purpose. Sistas we are survivors! We overcome! Truth is we are being polished and we shine brighter everytime.

I hear my sistas say “I know things will get better. God is working it out” However, they are walking around with their heads hung low and their body slumped over in defeat. How an we say we KNOW greater things are coming but carry ourselves as if all we have to look forward to is more pain and suffering? Kinda like wearing a Vera Wang gown with some dollar store chinese slippers. Can you picture that? Do u KNOW the commitment our Father has made to us? He can do all things…except fail! He gives us one another to lean on when our strength runs a little low.

Why, then, do we silently suffer? If our husbands cheat…our children become disorderly….our finances are a mess….our health is is failing…can we not say “sis I need you?” Sistas…can we reach out and take that needing hand and not judge? Can we show compassion?

I challenge each of you to do exactly that…..EACH ONE…REACH ONE!