The Adequate Child

The Adequate Child

Somewhere along the way, we as parents have stressed not only ourselves out chasing this “Exceptional” child score but we have stressed out our kids as well. In many states standardized testing, gifted testing and selective enrollment processes have turned us into number counters on a mission to make our kids THE BEST. We encourage them from the time they can walk to be great at a sport. We drill them with flashcards and charts on walls to make sure they can read before they can even stand up so they will be ahead of the game. We tell them they have to be the best and get up early to catch the proverbial worm so they do not get left behind.

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Seasons Change

Seasons Change

Living in Chicago, you are lucky if you get to experience all 4 seasons. Normally you just get winter and summer with an about a month of fall and spring. Fall is in the air now and I’m noticing what an incredible metaphor for life each change of season has. It’s a period of transition…much similar to what has been happening in my own life.

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When Sisterhood Goes Wrong

When Sisterhood Goes Wrong

These are a core set of my friends. My true friends. The friends who, when I am at my worst……they point it out, tell me to get my shit together because I’m better than whatever I’m doing or being, and feed me afterwards like a real friend should. The friends who will show up and out for me if I need, or want, them to. The friends who love me, despite me. The friends who will fight for me……like, LITERALLY fight for me. The friends who will fight me when I’m wrong. The friends who will fight FOR me when I’m right. The friends who, beyond my blood family, have been my support system since I was 15 years old. The friends who I trust with my life…..who would never betray me…….or lie to me……or dishonor our friendship in any way. Friends don’t do that…………right?

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Anatomy of a Breakup: Pt.3-The Healing Power of Time

Anatomy of a Breakup:  Pt.3-The Healing Power of Time

We don’t take time to heal in relationships. We are so focused on moving on and getting over the end of a relationship we find ourselves in messy situations or other relationships that could have been avoided if we had just recognized and acknowledged our feelings and taken the time to process and deal with them. We are trying to microwave our emotional healing.

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Why We Need Safe Spaces of Sisterhood

Why We Need Safe Spaces of Sisterhood

Recently I spoke with one of my oldest friends and we were talking about how difficult it is to be married and the challenges that come with it and how there are so many times we feel alone in our issues because we don’t want other people to know we are going through the things we are going through. We laughed, we yelled, we joked about the things we were both going through and when I hung up I felt like I had just left her house. The invaluable advice on how to survive and the confidential ability to release all of the otherwise unspoken emotions that were bottled up in our hearts and minds is truly priceless. When I exhaled and realized my shoulders weren’t as high up as they were before we spoke, it hit me just how important having a safe space of sisterhood truly is.

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The Problematic Empath

The Problematic Empath

I walk around life with more emotions than most.  I always have.  I’m loyal to a fault and tend to take on the problems and emotions of my friends and loved ones.  If my friend is going through a divorce, it’s as if I’m going through it to. If another friend was cheated on in her relationship, I hate the guy just as much as she does.  If my friend is struggling with her child, it’s as if it’s my own child. I feel things deeply…like too much.  If my girl is broke, I’m trying to help her as if my own lights are going to be cut off.   If my friend has found a new love, new job, new opportunity, I’m excited as if was me! It is more than compassion; it’s literally the ability to feel someone else’s emotions as strong as if they were my own.  As I get older, I’m more in tuned with the empath that lives inside of me.  The person that lives inside of me that really just wants “my people to be ok” in every sense of the word. It’s a huge reason why “The Sum of Many Things” was birthed.  It was birthed out a desire for women, particularly women of color, to be affirmed, heard and well. My heart is my greatest asset because it’s gives freely. 

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#ThursdayThoughts: Anatomy of a Breakup: PT.2-HOLD UP! (Denial and Anger)

#ThursdayThoughts:  Anatomy of a Breakup: PT.2-HOLD UP! (Denial and Anger)

It’s important to recognize where you are and take impeccable care of yourself during this time. If you let it, your anger can be exactly what you need to push you right out of sadness and into a clear mental space.  You begin to realize what you wanted was not what you received. You begin to understand that the universe is loyal to you because it will remove things in your life that don’t honor you, making way to better things.  Coming out of denial and anger is just another step in your re-awakening and re-discovering who you are after heartbreak.

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#ThursdayThoughts: Anatomy of a Breakup-The Moment of Impact

#ThursdayThoughts: Anatomy of a Breakup-The Moment of Impact

Sometimes it starts with a feeling. Something is off.  Silence, distance, fewer phone calls and text…you know something isn’t right. Do you say something or do you ignore it thinking things will get better? Even when you know a relationship is coming to an end, the actual END of it can cause a range of emotions.  It’s a withdrawal of sorts.  One minute you are accustomed to the phone calls, text messages and date nights and then just like that…it’s over…nothing. This initial “Shock” phase is filled with emotions.

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#ThursdayThoughts: What Kind of Friend Are You Really? (A Life Lesson in the Midst of Loss)

#ThursdayThoughts: What Kind of Friend Are You Really? (A Life Lesson in the Midst of Loss)

We all get busy; it seems like life is moving faster and faster every day.  Death and loss have a way of slowing it down and shifting your focus.  Life really is all about balance and equilibrium and we can always do better.  Tell the ones you care about how much you love them, make time for one another and do it as often as you can.  Life really is short and people you care about can be taken away in an instant.  Sometimes, there isn’t a “next time”.

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#ThursdayThoughts: For the Men Who Stand In The Gap (A Father's Day tribute from a single mom"

#ThursdayThoughts: For the Men Who Stand In The Gap (A Father's Day tribute from a single mom"

Father’s day used to be a weird holiday for me.  When the kids were younger, I was newly separated and was trying to figure out how to spend this day with my children in a way that never made them feel like they “were different” or “missing something.”  It was a difficult and challenging time.  I’d take my kids out to eat for something special, and I’d see looks of pity on people’s faces.  One lady even offered to pay for my family’s meal out of pity.  I would see red on those days.   As I got older and my kids were adjusting to this new family structure, I would spend my holiday as I did most holidays, with my Dad.   Nowadays, Father’s day seems to be split into celebrating Fatherhood and attacking single moms, at least on social media. It’s a sad state of affairs so I usually log off and disengage, rather than see the venom spewed on what should be a celebratory occasion.  So, what does a single mom do on Father’s Day? How do I celebrate when the father of my children is completely absent from their lives?  I could spend my time angry at the world, or I could wallow in sadness and victimhood, or I could choose to celebrate the men in my life who have stood in the gap and been father figures to my children. 

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#ThursdayThoughts: A letter to the first man I ever Loved (A Father's Day Tribute)

#ThursdayThoughts:  A letter to the first man I ever Loved (A Father's Day Tribute)

As a child, he was the man who taught me how to ride a bike, how to drive, the man who terrorized my dates as a teenager and the man who always made things better with Ice Cream.  He’s the dad that would take us on “family trips” to the clock museum and railroad museum.  Those road trips are legendary! LOL.    He is the dad that always had the camera at every one of my school events and graduations!   He’s the man I’ve called my dad since I was 6 or 7.  He’s the only father I’ve ever known

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#ThursdayThoughts: What Have You Agreed To...About Yourself?

#ThursdayThoughts:  What Have You Agreed To...About Yourself?

After reading the book “The Four Agreements”, the one message that stood out to me was the notion that we must be careful about what we put out into the universe because what we put out is what we agree with.  The Author also spoke about the power of words and to be careful how we allow others to speak to and about us, because the words they attach to us can also become things we agree with.  I finished the book and went on with my life. Slowly but surely some of the key messages in the book began to remind me  of some of the things I have agreed with over the course of my life and it definitely explains why my life does not look like it does in my wildest dreams.

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#WellnessWeds: The Art of Disengagement

#WellnessWeds: The Art of Disengagement

I once heard Oprah Winfrey say, “You are responsible for the energy you bring”. It’s something that has stayed with me for years.  The energy I bring belongs to me. I am responsible for it and I’m equally responsible for the energy I allow into my space. Part of my wellness routing involves the art of disengagement. 

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#ThursdayThoughts: The Necessity of Anger

#ThursdayThoughts:  The Necessity of Anger

“You are dead to me”!  If anyone knows me, they know that’s a statement I use when I’m pissed off!  It takes a lot to really enrage me but when it happens, I usually go from 0-10 and I’m not easily calmed down.  I tend to hold things in and then they come out in an explosion of anger. It’s something I’m trying to work on.   If someone has angered me to the point where I’m at a 10, I proclaim them dead to me. That usually means they no longer have a place in my life. I literally cut them out at the root.   It’s a double edged sword and a side effect of me being a black and white individual. I don’t like grey areas. You are either with me or against me.  Removing people from my life who do not honor or value me is not an issue I have difficulty with.  However, I don’t like becoming angry because I become a different person.  I’m cold, and my words sting. I’ve been that way since I was a child. My mom used to say, I had a tongue like a knife.  My words have always had power and I knew that very young.  That’s not always a good thing however and lately I’ve been looking at ways to handle the emotion, Anger

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The Love Series: "Loving Through Adversity"

The Love Series: "Loving Through Adversity"

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and I wanted to continue my series on “Love and Relationships” by addressing the question:  Loving through Adversity:  How do you love someone who’s broken?  Is it possible? Is Love enough?  This portion of the Love and Relationship series begins with a guest post from writer, author, and poet, Nikki Rucker. I consider her a friend and lovingly call her one of my “little sisters.” She’s a phenomenal mother and wife who writes with such authenticity and transparency.  Today on the blog, Nikki shares her story of loving someone through adversity and brokenness.  Nikki courageously lifts the veil around mental illness in the black community and gives us an inside look into what it feels like to love someone in the midst of adversity. Her story is one of so many in our community, and I thank her for her openness and willingness to share.  –D. Sanders

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The Love Series: "Stay In Your Lane"-The twists and turns on the Dating Highway

The Love Series: "Stay In Your Lane"-The twists and turns on the Dating Highway

The dating game feels like a drive on a highway. At some point each one of us finds ourselves on the dating highway trying to head towards that desired destination…Love Street.  For some, it seems like our drive becomes a cross country road trip, others rush into the express lane and BOOM…we are there. There are many who have decided they need a break and pull over to the nearest rest stop or side of the road.   Then there are the rest who seemingly have forgotten their Dating G.P.S. and relationship roadmaps at home. They just keep driving aimlessly lost and looking for directions because of the numerous wrong turns and detours along the way.

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The Love Series: Do We Know How to Date Anymore?

The Love Series: Do We Know How to Date Anymore?

Remember when you were a teenager and a guy would ask you out? I remember being giddy when a guy I liked asked me out. I would make sure I had the perfect 1st date outfit, and put together my cute girl look for the evening and wait for my date to pick me up and take me out. Our dates were much simpler then…movies…an amusement park or a walk along the lakefront.   My date would hold my hand or give me that look that would make me smile.  I remember that initial “first date” feeling; spending time with a man who was as thrilled to be on a date with me as I was with him. As an adult, things seem very different.  

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The Love Series: Titles don't ruin relationships...People do

The Love Series:  Titles don't ruin relationships...People do

It seems that nowadays, we don’t have too many “defined” relationships. It’s been a topic of many a conversation amongst my friends, both male and female. How important is a title to you when it comes to relationships? Could you stay with someone exclusively that made you happy in every way but just wouldn’t claim you “Officially”? Do you think this person is playing games, scared or a combination of both? Is the title a sign of commitment in a relationship? Do you need the title to validate your relationship?

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The Love Series: To Serve and Protect? (Well...Maybe)

The Love Series: To Serve and Protect? (Well...Maybe)

"To serve and protect" is the motto used by most in Law Enforcement and it got me to thinking, “isn’t this what we want when it comes to our intimate relationships”? As a woman, it is my heart’s desire that the man I love will serve and protect me.  Now before you get hung up on the “serve” part allow me to explain.

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