Why You Should Drink From Every Cup

29 Jun
Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” — Paulo Coelho

Monday Blessings, to all women of substance! So, although I like a nice chilled pinot grigio or chardonnay, I’m definitely not a wine connoisseur, but I thought Paulo Coelho analogy for doing what you love and tackling your passions full on, was appropriate for today’s post.

What wines are you indulging in these days? Are you drinking the whole bottle? I’ve been super busy since returning from my family reunion and I’m attempting to write smarter as opposed to harder. I invite you to indulge me in my newest wine tasting ventures that I share in appreciation since my last posting. In the mornings when I rise, I always thank the lord for another day of life’s blessings, in that I’m doing what brings me joy.

I’m blessed to feel aligned with purpose, possibility and opportunity. I’m humbled and excited to share that my work to empower the voice in women (men as well) has been accepted as a monthly column in ME! Magazine. I serve as one of the magazine’s lifestyle strategists. So cool :) 

This is my second column for their June issue. All issues of the magazine are free, so when you visit the site, pick up the May issue with my column debut. The July issue is out on the 16th of the month.

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The  economic decline of 2006-2009, took a drastic toil on nearly every household in America. But, I was  devastated to learn that the demographic most affected were single black mothers head of households. The median wealth divide between women of color versus their white counterparts, was vast and disheartening, which in turn, caused me to write an article about the dire situation and offer practical tips to wealth gaining that might have been overlooked by the those suffering the most- African-American women.

You can find that article here: http://www.mindyourblackbusiness.com/mybb/black-women-money-matters/

Finally, I get to add a face to The Essence of Romance, the relationship guide for Christian singles and couples, I co-authored with Chicago Author and friend, Ms. Evelyn Cogdell: The Essence of Romance

Our blog-talk radio interview about the book is here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/dub-wyze-talk/2015/03/03/dub-wyze-talk-with-eve-cogdell-and-clara-freeman

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy in support of our first author collaboration, shoot me an email.

So tell me about your wine. Are you tasting, sipping or drinking the whole bottle?

Stay Golden!

Stop Holding Your Dreams Hostage!

23 Jun

“If you’re not seeing in your life what God promised in your spirit – be grateful and keep going.” Joel Osteen.

25317575-what-is-your-dreamHello, wondrous women of integrity and spirit! I’m back from my family reunion where we enjoyed peaceful slumber in a gorgeous hotel, a Friday fish-fry and a sunset barbecue on Saturday, held on a massive deck in back of my brother’s(the farmer) beautiful property. We played memory games, shared coming of age stories , stimulating conversations about trending topics and just relaxed in the ambiance of our Southern family tradition. I think everyone traveled back to their respective homes with feelings of gratitude and happiness. And no I didn’t embrace the Confederate Flag!

I’m so glad to be back with all of you and I appreciate every single one of you for finding your way to Authentic Woman, to leave a comment, share your authentic voice or follow us in sisterhood. Authentic Woman is on our 7th year mission, where we share in sowing seeds of authentic truths, purpose and possibility. On a spiritual path to reawakening, we hold steadfast to our dreams, even in the midst of challenging times.

Oftentimes, when our deepest desires and dreams doesn’t appear as we envision them, we tend to give up and give in to defeat. Life is too short to deny yourself the pure joy of achieving your dreams. It really is okay to walk in your authentic truths, accept the pain of rejection that will come before success, and still continue to work your dreams. When you step out in faith and believe in yourself, you’re more apt to accomplish your dreams.

What’s your dream? Do you dream big? What color are your dreams? I encourage you to dream in technicolor and commit to opening the door that holds your dreams hostage. You owe it to yourself and to those of us in the world who might benefit from your creative inventions or intuitive insights.Stop holding your dreams hostage. They are longing for release! Never deny or give up on your dreams, no matter who tells you differently.

If I had listened to naysayers early on, on my personal path to reawakening, I might not be in this serene and peaceful space in my life, where I’m holding steadfast to who I am and whose I am, even in the midst of trials, troubles and tribulations. When I encounter roadblocks that threaten to hinder my dreams, I seek ways to resolve the challenges and carry on with intent and purpose. When you understand your divine purpose, you have the self awareness and wherewithal to challenge your challenges.

When you live in awareness, you know that it takes time and work for your dreams to manifest. It takes persistence and prayer, a sound mind and able body, belief in yourself, belief in your God and the power of spirit to guide your heart and your hand.. Believe in yourself. Pray to God for the spiritual guidance you need to keep going, even when you fail. If you stay focused, keep getting up and doing the work you’ve been called to do, you will see your dreams to fruition.

Had I listened to those negative voices inside my own head or heeded those outside naysayers who tried to prevent me from accomplishing my dreams, I probably wouldn’t be in this beautiful, blossoming space of authentic purpose that I’m in today.

Andre West wrote, “Don’t let the sun go down on your dreams, unless you choose to be a star!” Well, I’m no star, but I continue to live a gratifying life of blessings and humility.

Live you truths. Chase your dreams. Never give up… and always treat yourself special:)

Be Yourself!

1 Jun

FREEMANC_LZ059-o1GATA7_02Happy Monday, visionaries! So, today, I was in a zone, trying to tune out any and all distractions, while focusing on completing an article for my column in ME! Magazine, when I glimpsed a congratulatory email from LinkedIn. It’s a wonderful note from one of my LinkedIn connections, congratulating our 7 years here at Authentic Woman. Wow, it’s my Anniversary!

The one thing I want women to take away from Authentic Woman is to be yourself. Don’t allow anyone else to tell you how you should handle your dreams. Some folks like to take credit for the work you’ve always known you could do, but don’t let them. If you’re in need of guidance on your journey to greatness, there are qualified folks who can help you.

Make use of all of your gifts and talents, in every genre that you feel you want to explore. You are going to have many passions and one of those most definitely will lead you to your purpose.

I’ve written, published and been paid for penning poems since the 90s. One website, to this day, continues to publish my tired ole poems year round. I’ve had short stories and personal stories published in several books. I’ve co-authored a relationship book. I’ve written for and been paid by celebrity websites. I’ve been a nurse advice columnist, A features writer for a local newspaper and I’ve had my song lyrics win as Selected Artist and as Runner Up in the Songoftheyear songwriting competition. 

I’ve interviewed actresses, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers and bestselling authors and served as an American Correspondent for a London news and entertainment website. The accolades are the icing on the cake for these genres that I love to write for and it’s all been a labor of love wrapped in Carmel.

What I’ve been called to do with my purpose work, is Authentic Woman, and I hope to continue inspiring and empowering women voices for many seasons. My prayer is that we reach a bigger platform and that, too, seems imminent. When you do what you love, the love you put out will be returned in positive ways you could only imagine.

anniversary-2x

After 4 decades of living and learning from life experiences, I feel like a wise old bird:)
My daughter recently confirmed my dedication to be of service to other women when she said “Mom, I’m so proud of you. You just keep going.”

Well, this old bird is about to make plans for some much-needed R&R. I’m connecting with loved ones on our annual family reunion/vacation. See you right back here in 2 weeks.

Always treat yourselves special and stay golden.

I Got You…

25 May

thhonorHappy Memorial Day, women (men) of the world! It’s trying to rain on our celebratory day here in the Midwest, but we ain’t going out like that:) Please have a safe holiday set forth to honor and remember the service and sacrifice of our brave soldiers.

I’m intrigued by the promise behind the latest people phrase, “I got you”, because I think it says a lot about the human spirit and compassionate heart.

When we’re going through something, hearing from another person who is essentially saying, “I hear you and I got your back”, can only serve to make our heavy load lighter and fill us with renewed hope and possibility.

It doesn’t matter what your troubles are, it’s important to remember that everyone needs someone when they are feeling down and discouraged. I was heartened to read a recent tweet from a well-known actor, asking his fans for support in something that he was obviously going through and, who felt the need to reach out for help.The response was tremendous and uplifting!

It doesn’t matter who you are, what race you are, what your pedigree is or how spiritually aware you are, bad things happen to good people too. We all need a friendly shoulder to cry on, seek sound advice from and gain a renewed strength to keep going.

On this special Memorial Day and everyday, reach out to sow seeds of encouragement and compassion wherever you see need. Being a bridge over troubled waters is a beautiful thing. When we remember that it’s love that makes the world beautiful, we will be more apt to reach out in support and kinship. stock-photo-candid-shot-of-an-asian-mature-woman-hugs-and-consoling-her-crying-old-mother-at-outdoor-natural-149267576

“I Got You!”

 

 

 

 

Stay Golden…

Three Keys To Possibility

18 May

Prayer

Practice

Perseverance…

Happy Monday, women of purpose! I’ve been going over my notes for today’s’ post and I wanted to write about the  power of possibility. Life offers you a myriad of possibilities and opportunities. But, we have to stay optimistic, even through the setbacks and discouragement we’re bound to face. Remember Rome wasn’t built-in a day. And you will find success in your chosen endeavors. The three p’s I always incorporate into the healing phase of my purpose life, includes the resilience and comforting effects of constant prayer; putting into practice those things I believe in and persevering through the pain of disappointingly hard times.

thlong pIn the years leading up to my decision to end my career in nursing, my heart knew that the time to leave was inevitable and so I asked God every night to show me, in some small way, that I was on the right path to reclaiming my health, my happiness and ultimately, my life.

Needless to say, the way to my personal and professional redemption has been long and laborious, but I could not have the lifestyle that I have now, if not for prayer, continued practice and perseverance. I needed to remain open to the possibilities that my gifts, talents and skills afforded me. I also embraced the opportunity of more education and practice work that reached beyond the field of healthcare. I needed to share my purpose gifts with the world in the belief that my voice would plant a seed and make a positive difference to someone who needed to reap the harvest.

Where there is life, there is possibility. Where anything’s possible, it is for sure that opportunity will come knocking. I think when change comes into our lives, we automatically think of failure and setback and struggle. But, when we open ourselves to the possibility of something good coming from the muck of despair, the universe hears and opens the path leading to greater growth and prosperity.

Learn to separate your needs from your wants and make prayer your safe harbor. My reality of prayer is the knowing that “The Lord Is My Shepherd!” My faith comes by believing in something greater than myself and that when I pray, my prayers are answered.   When you believe in the power of prayer, the universe opens its spiritual wings to guide your steps.

That higher power we are taught to believe and trust in, is God, the father. Jehovah. Allah and Buddha. That higher power is whatever works in your life to make you spiritually aware and receptive to your blessings. I know that I don’t walk alone because my God got me.

thpurBelieve in yourself, in your dreams and, in your Gods’ gifts that are yours alone. In the words of the late poet, Gwendolyn Brooks, in response to some of my early works, “keep-A-going!” The lesson here? You never give up, even when you face hardship and difficulties.

Don’t give up the battle until you’ve done everything in your power to win the war. I am living proof that when you persevere through the trials and tribulations that comes from living life experiences, your life will be golden.

 

Stay optimistic and strong and always treat yourself special!

The Authentic Woman-Who Is She?

11 May

cutcaster-photo-100374963-Tribal-African-woman-with-headwrapThe authentic woman. Who is she? She’s me. She’s you. She’s every woman who has entered into the realm of reawakening to their greatest truths.

Hello women of substance. I hope your Mother’s Day was spectacular!  You know, I often receive Google searches for this site, asking what it means to be an authentic woman. So on today’s post, I want to shine a truth light in answer to what some of you might be asking yourselves in regards to living a lifestyle of authenticity.

Trying to stay on the path to living a life of positives and authentic truths is not without its challenges, but because you have made the choice to live a centered life of spiritual awareness, purpose and possibility, you will face and defeat your challenges as they occur.

When you are authentic, you’re living your life straight up, without “fake” certificates, where you bend with the wind when you’re trying to live up to some other person’s perception of who they feel you should be. When you’re being real with yourself and with others, you show that you are not a perfect being and own your stuff!If you don’t agree with something or someone, you will voice your opinion with respect and assertiveness. You are not a liar, backstabber or someone’s shadow. You are your own person and you’re happy being you.

Authentic women try to avoid the ‘clique’ mentality and fare better being true to themselves in a group of pretenders. Authentic women will keep it real with you and keep your confidence in a circle of gossips. When you’re living an authentic lifestyle, you live in awareness where you’re knowing that it’s not all about you,but it is about helping to make life better for someone else. Authentic folks don’t kiss and tell, as in sowing seeds to the less fortunate and then taking out a front page ad in the community newspaper, to boast about the great deed they’ve done.  Trust and believe that when you do good, the good you do will make itself known.

You are an authentic woman who lives a life of integrity and purpose. You’re compassionate and passionate about the rights of every human being, young and old. Black and White. Asian or African. You are a child’s advocate, an elder’s guardian and a woman’s voice of reason. You’re not immune to pain and sorrows of life, but, you’ve learned that it’s never good to settle into a place of misery. You know that bad things happen to good people and you trust and believe through faith, that God got you. You don’t judge others for their religious or spiritual beliefs. You know the value of forgiveness and letting go.

I’m always happiest when I’m helping women use their voice and walk in their “purpose” truths. Many emails have come to me from women on their path to experiencing an authentic change. They have questions and concerns about the choices they make. Questioning the unknown on an inevitable journey to re awakening is a normal reaction to change happening from within.

Believe in yourself and know that your path to ‘becoming’, is the journey that leads to your greatest ‘Self’.

th embrace

 

 

You Can Retrain Your Brain And Change Your Life

4 May

thbrainHappy Monday, women warriors! Men are not excluded from this post because what I’m called to share can be beneficial to their emotional, physical and mental well-being as well, and it all begins with how you train your brain.

We all know that the mind is a terrible thing to waste, right? but did you also know that by training your brain to think positive thoughts instead of negative thoughts, you can obtain a clear attitude adjustment and live a more self affirming and fulfilling lifestyle? Well, you can and I’m living proof of that.

In 2012, as some of you may know, I ended my 30 decade (and counting) nursing career. What you might not know is that I had no choice. I went to work every day, feeling overwhelmed and deflated by what I knew to be a lack of people “caring” in Healthcare; knowledge that would cause me to suffer physically, mentally and emotionally.

I’ve always prided myself on being a strength in times of trouble. Now, I was in trouble, but I refused to give up. Call me stoic and old-fashioned, but for me, taking a nurses oath to care for patients with empathy and compassion, kept me anchored in the performance of my duties, which I carried out with respect and dignity throughout my career. My work ethic endeared me to my patients and them to me.

As a perceptive person, with the intuitive gift of knowing, I became bewildered by how some doctors and nursing supervisors viewed their positions, in regards to their patients. For all intent and purposes, the duty of caring for and returning patients to their best maximum health, seemed to take a back seat to chasing patient assets and keeping a sharp eye on the paper trail of supply and demand; while trimming the fat where applicable.

Let’s be clear, Healthcare is a business. At the end of the day, people have to be paid for their services.  Hospitals and healthcare facilities need its revenue to remain viable. That fact aside, I, as the nurse felt that the patient had somehow become the cash cow and healthcare and its employees had taken a nose dive. I’m not diminishing the value of nurses and doctors who are truly caring, compassionate souls, but, for me,  being in the hostile environment I was working in, the feeling that those compassionate people were quickly becoming null and void, rested uncomfortably in my heart.

Needless to say, my departure from nursing wasn’t a pleasant memory. I might have gone on holding a negative distrust against the state of nursing and healthcare in general, had I not taken a look into my soul and re-trained my brain to stay on the positives of life saving skills that doctors and nurses perform on the daily/24/7 in their professions-all over the world.

As with any profession, there’s bound to be those whose objective for being present is based on their own agendas and not those they serve. I was one of those nurses who felt helpless and powerless at how compassion and caring no longer seemed the impetus for operating a great place in Healthcare. The time came where I no longer wanted to be associated with people who seemed oblivious to what really matters in life.

Let me state for the record that what transpired in the medical facilities where I worked, eventually became catalysts of change that caused me to leave the profession. I cannot say all hospital’s doctors, administrators and nursing personnel suck at what they do, or perform their duties in a perfunctory manner. I cannot even fathom that to be true, overall. I can only tell you about my nursing experiences during the last ten years of my life. Those years left me feeling helpless, drained and weeping tears of sorrow, disbelief and disillusionment.The Florence Nightingale nursing persona had truly left my beloved career choice.

thfree mindToday, my life is good. I live a life free from unbridled anger, hurt and disillusion. Because I’ve retrained my brain to stay on the positives that living life experiences brings, my mental and physical health is brighter. You have to believe that good always triumphs over bad.

I share my truths in hopes that you find the strength to let go of bad stuff that can eat at your heart and make you cold. Stay positive and stay prayerful. Make a change if you must, but, know that you can make yourself better by retraining your brain to let the negatives go and usher in positive thoughts of healing…

Always treat yourself special:)

Your Anger Management…

27 Apr

29268308-monochrome-anger-management-public-information-sign-isolated-on-white-backgroundHappy Monday, women of valor! Okay, let’s be frank about our truths:) When I was younger, I was prone to angry outbursts! I would react at any given time when something occurred in my life that made me see ‘red’ or ‘black’, depending upon the level of my anger and I would pounce with verbiage and fist ( in HS my principal gave me the title “Cassius Clay” while he was busily writing out my suspension) and I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

As a twenty something, relegated to the status of the working class, I no longer fought with my fists, but, I still gave a tongue lashing to co-workers, doctors and supervisors if I felt the need to do so. Of course, many times, my anger got me written up or suspended, more times than I care to remember.

When we grow into our truths (with age come wisdom) that comes from living and learning from life experiences, if we are truly compassionate people, have been raised with morals and values and have been taught the value of life, we will choose how we respond to things that cause us to get mad or experience anger issues.

Thank God I began a journey that allowed me to understand the difference between “reacting” and “taking action” for those things that are unsettling and just not fair in the world. At some point, I learned to stand for something and I will never fall for anything! I have learned the power of voice, the reason for taking a stance and how to get my point across and make an impact without feeling the need to lash out or cause physical harm to someone.

thfreeIf you recognize that your anger is irrational and you continue to react to situations instead of acting in a more positive and sound way, then you might need to seek professional help. When I decided to channel my anger in a more positive way by using my voice and professional platform to address the ill wills of the world, I was set free from the debilitating and emotional turmoil that being angry caused.

Don’t allow your anger to get the better of you, or turn you away from being a loving and warm person. Don’t allow anger to cause you to feel “cold” inside. A young mother and music production major told me recently how she felt cold toward society because of her desire to protect her baby girl from the dangers of the world. She is trying hard to get back to a place of being that kind person she’s always been.

Violence in the streets of Baltimore just erupted after six Baltimore policeman only received suspensions in relation to the death of yet another young black man, 25-year-old Freddie Gray! Apparently the young man died from spinal injuries sustained while in police custody. Injustices continue to emerge where it speaks to the eyes of the world, saying, in essence, that Black lives doesn’t matter.

My timely response to the new mother that I want to share with all of you, is that life continues on and we do the best we can with what we have to work with. We cannot save the world, but perhaps by using our voice, we can make a positive difference. One can only hope.

Continue to stand for justice. Free your mind from anger, hate, jealousy, standing in judgement of others and just live the best life you can…and always treat yourself special.

 

 

What Do You Want?

21 Apr

thcareerHello, women of substance! I hope your Monday was productive in some small way. I went to my dental appointment to get a cleaning and oral cancer exam. Happy to report  all is well:) I had been contemplating on posting the question, “What Do You Want?”for some time, but always thought I’d better not, thinking how that question has been asked often enough. But, I came home from my appointment and checked my emails, only to find this long letter from a woman who assured me she wasn’t a hoax or spammer, as she indicated to me by her attached resume.

It seemed Rena (not her name) had recently been let go of a long time job in accounting  where she was in a management position. Rena said she’d lost her passion for what she’d done  for so many years, but that she always loved helping people with their money, finances and business related problems.

Rena sought me out because she’d read some of my authentic woman story and she, too, had a passion for writing and wanted to give it a try. Rena asked how she should proceed. How many of us can relate? We spend the first half of our lives working in a sustainable job, only to lose it when the company goes bankrupt or make an economic decision to downsize and lay off their employees.

Rena no longer have a passion for the job and is about to embark upon a journey to reawakening to her truths; a journey that requires change and change can be scary. Rena is passionate about wanting to explore her love for writing, but she wants to hear from someone whose been down that path. She wants reassurance from someone (Me) to tell her it’s possible for her to make good on her passion.thlife change

Rena is not just about to change her career, she’s going to begin a path that will lead to a life change. I’m sure she is doing a lot of research on writing related topics. I’m hoping she makes a decision to use her gifts that includes offering services in financial matters to others who lack the skills she has when dealing with money matters.

Women who are about to embark upon a journey of change must ask the hard question, that only she can answer.”What Do You Want?”

“I want to do good in the world and make a sustainable living doing it!” C.F.

“To Thine Own Self Be True.” And always treat yourself special.

Why You Need To Check Your Tendency For Complacency

13 Apr

thcat cHappy Monday, warrior women! Are you ever reluctant to do something for yourself that you know you need to do? Do you rely heavily on friends, family , spouses and even your co-workers or colleagues to perform a task for you, that you’re capable of doing yourself? Are you stuck in your complacency mode?

Everyone who stops by to read my blogs (3 blogs) know how much I don’t like shopping for groceries or hitting the malls to purchase myself a new pair of something or another:) The point being, I’d much rather stay where I am, in the comfort of my own home and use the technology of the computer to get me what I need.

Well, that’s complacency folks! I just got around to making a much-needed dental and doctors appointment, actually knowing it’s been a necessity for a while. But, the idea of waiting, seemingly forever, until my name is called and I can see the doctor/dentist or going up and down aisles in the produce department in search of that vibrant head of lettuce in the grocery store, just never appealed to me. I suppose if I could have, I’d ask somebody to take those doctors/dentist visits for me:)

But, in order to get what we need, we know we have to do what we need to do. Same with people in business for themselves. You can’t keep asking other folks to do what you should be doing to promote your business brand. At some point, when you’ve infringed upon the kindness of another person one too many times, that person might began to feel overwhelmed by your neediness and might even start to harbor feelings of resentment toward you. Sometimes being complacent can cause you more trouble than you bargained for.

seize dayI recognize when I’m in avoidance mode.  And when I’m fed up with my own issues of complacency, I do what I need to do. In order for me to do me,  action is required. I don’t expect other people to do for me what I can do for myself. If you’re one of those folks who knowingly take advantage of the kindness of others, just because you’re in your complacency mode- happily accomplishing next to nothing, it’s time you recognize your dependency issues and correct them before you lose a valuable colleague, friend or family member.

Why ask other people to do for you what you know you can do for yourself?  Do not take for granted the kindness of others too many times.  Otherwise, you will become like the boy who cried “wolf.”

thcomplacency“Take Action!”

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