Great Leaders: What Makes Them Special?

“Today a reader tomorrow a leader” Margaret Fuller

Great Leaders What Makes Them Special?

Many who should be leaders are afraid to step up and become what they know in the bosoms of their existence, is their supernatural calling. It’s so much easier to remain followers. I don’t believe leaders are born, I think they are created to see things differently than others. I think leaders ‘see’ beyond what others can’t even fathom.

What makes an effective, trusted and respected leader? What makes them special? There are the obvious dynamics of course; learning from life experiences, discipline, a strong work ethic and a core belief system. These core values stem from parental upbringing, environmental and behavioral observations and institutional learning, some of which are carried into adulthood.I learned morals, empathy, perseverance, faith and compassion from my mother. I learned to appreciate value of hard work and the almighty dollar from my dad. Daddy used to say as long as you work, you’re never broke. If daddy was alive today, he’d get a loving adult daughter rebuttal on that one:) We all have an affinity for learning from our parents who are our first teachers and more often than not, we tend to accept these lessons as truth.

As leaders age, there’s a tendency to not go along with the status quo as easily. Where the degree or certification is viewed as a prerequisite to great leadership advantages by most, those who  become leaders know that book sense and common sense are not always interchangeable, and so they might consider an alternative that bring awareness to the discovery of their own truths. If you’re a team player who is a follower in medicine, technology, the arts or any area of your living, with an overwhelming desire to educate and inform; a desire to create something from nothing or, to make an impact in the lives of others, the time to believe in yourself is now. Step out from the sameness and forge your own path. Do that great thing you’ve always wanted to do. Trust and believe someone is waiting for you to lead the charge.

Leadership Qualities:

When you practice the golden rule of treating people the way you want to be treated, in business and in your personal life, you earn trust and belief from those looking to be a part of a winning team. To be an effective leader you must leave your ego at the door. Leaders don’t use their power to lord over or to belittle others. A true leader doesn’t use their power to abuse or demean; but to uplift, encourage and invoke creative solutions to challenging problems.

Don’t be aggressive in your leadership or quick to anger. Instead practice assertive decorum and lead by example. Don’t mix business with pleasure or give your employees ammunition to disrespect your leadership. Steve Harvey wrote a scolding and scorching letter to his employees recently, berating them for approaching him, whenever. Perhaps if he’d initiated a policy and procedure manual upon hiring, mandated to all of his employees, they might have gotten the memo that Mr. Harvey wasn’t their ‘ride and die’ but their employer. You show people how you want to be treated.

The more you know, the more you grow in the role of a leader. The visionaries, motivators and innovators in leadership positions are often led by their desire to see greatness in others and are willing to teach others what they have learned. If you have been sabotaging your leadership abilities because you are afraid of failure or even success in your new role, now’s the time to stop the madness of negativity and fear. Step out on faith and keep going. If you fail, try again and if you fail again, keep trying until you’ve given it all you got. Nothing hurts worse than never giving ‘U’ a chance.

Sometimes You Don’t Want The Responsibility

I spent over 30 years in a leadership position during my nursing career. There were many times I felt that I didn’t want the headache. Through trial and error of coping and strategizing on how to handle people attitudes and sensibilities, I got better at what I called my lot in life. I settled into my calling and people took notice. Over the years, I’ve spoken to patients and their family members, women and male co-workers seeking advice or a listening ear. I became someone I never asked to become…mentor, advisor, confidant, encourager and motivator.

I’ve always been sensitive to the needs of children, not only because I’m a mother, but because children are innocent and look to adults for their protection and unconditional love. I’ve advocated for the safety of children on the school grounds and in gang infested neighborhoods… I’ve sat in awe of the elder wisdom as I’ve bathed them and dressed their wounds, sat at their bedside to hear their stories of happiness and regret. I’ve heard about their childhoods, marriages and their love for nature and music. I’ve heard the unspoken yearning for human connection in their aged voices. No woman is an island and so we have to love ourselves enough. We have to choose our battles wisely, where our voices reach the furthest.

Women of a certain age were the catalyst for Authentic Woman in 2008. I wanted a place where women could share their stories and speak their truths. It was a mirror to the reflection of our younger selves who were quickly growing into our older selves. In writing, talking , hosting and connecting with women, the dynamic of the woman voice changed. Women from all over the world, every ethnicity and every age stop by here, either to read, comment, or grab an email address to share concerns and seek help in making an informed decision. I’ve welcomed every voice!

I don’t want to change my blog’s message. I wanted to extend the longevity of Authentic Woman and so I wrote Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices as an invitation to all women who want to share in the woman journey. This is a book from authentic life lessons, interactions with other women voices and from my heart on life challenges and its triumphs. I hope you consider reading Unleash Your Pearls, while I’m away. Contact me at-unleashyourpearls@yahoo.com. My Authentic Woman Story eBook is available at https://www.amazon.com/author/clarafreeman. Do pick up a copy as a preamble to Unleash Your Pearls.

I send blessings to all of you and hope that you live your happy. I look forward to reading your comments and encourage you on your mission journey. I know you will make a positive impact in the minds and hearts of others. Because my journey has brought me to other avenues to explore in the phase of my living, I will be taking an indefinite leave from my blogs. I won’t leave social media entirely, but , for now, this is my final posting at Authentic Woman. My goal is to continue to do work that bring awareness and demand accountability on my purpose path to empower the voiceless.

May you all find your happy

Clara B, Freeman

xoxo

 

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Mother Earth~”Medicine For Your Soul”

The medicine for my suffering I have within me.” Bruce Lee.

Good Monday Morning, women of the earth! It’s been too long, but I’ve been living in a whirlwind since my new book came out. Marketing, promoting, sending out signed copies and thanking folks who became buyers. I’m basically spreading the good news about the book’s message, championing women voices. When your book finally launches, trust and believe, your work is just beginning. I’ve also been serving on a few other book projects that I will share with all of you at a later date. Trust me, I’ve been doing meaningful work:)

I hope people gave a nod to the need to protect their environment on April 22nd in appreciation of Earth Day. It was a beautiful Saturday for birdwatchers, bikers, spring gardeners, music lovers and lovers strolling hand in hand in the park. It was a great day to celebrate the vast magnificence that is Mother Earth. I always find healing in her beauty, fierceness and tranquility. When you are stressed from the busyness of activities in your daily living, embrace nature.You  will feel refreshed, replenished and refocused on your purpose for being.

The view from my balcony…

Mother Earth is medicine for your soul.  She awakens you to spirit and keeps you grounded. Listen and she will reveal the truths of who you are. In the presence of nature, you can envision your best and most productive self. When my mind is quiet, I’m open to the intuitive messages from the universe. It’s awesome to be in this space of serene presence, the awareness of something greater than ourselves. When I lived in the suburbs of Chicago, I  would watch raindrops splattering on city sidewalks outside my windows. The fresh smell of a country rain, connecting with the soil of God’s green earth were the happy endorphins playing tag in my brain when I was a young girl, growing up in the South.

Birds. Bees. Flowers and Trees. Oh My!

I love the serenity that permeates from sitting on a lone dock  somewhere, staring out at the sun-glistened waters of a brooding lake, its silent waves shimmering ripples of magic before my eyes. I love walking in the early mornings on a quiet city street while a world sleeps and mother nature’s fresh coating of pristine snow blankets the ground, welcoming my steps as the first footprints to the day. Yes, I really walked to work in the city after the snowstorms of 2012 as a world slept. It would be just me, the silent skies and white snow blanketing the streets and sidewalks leading to the facility where I worked as a nurse.

The view outside my window… 

There’s a saying, “You can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.” So true! I love that I was introduced to the simplicity of country living as a girl. There’s so much good that comes from the experience that insulates from the bad (which led to another point of my advocacy) Living country life humbles you. You take notice and revel in the trivial things. You know that real beauty comes from Mother Nature and you’re not bothered about the artificial things people accumulate to make themselves happy. Happiness is simplicity that can be found around you and within you and by spending time and making lasting memories with loved ones and close friends; by doing work you love and by giving back to those less fortunate. Sowing seeds of compassion and purpose is like feeling rich soil of the earth trickle from your bare hands.

When You Are Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired:

On those days, when you find yourself feeling defeated and powerless and just sick and tired of being sick and tired, I urge you to seek understanding from a beloved elder or spiritual mentor. Pray. Step out on that beloved Serenity Prayer and know that we must accept the things we cannot change, change the things we can and be wise enough to know the difference. We must understand that no man, woman or child is an island…that we need to reach out in love and compassion… build a bridge, become a village, unleash your pearls, find your voice and speak out against injustice. Bring to the forefront the hatred and stereotypical behaviors borne of ignorance and preconceived notions. Bring awareness and hold people accountable. Ultimately, we must recognize that we have a purpose for being.

In my book, Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices, I share a story about how as children, my siblings and I believed from stories our parents told that if we opened an oyster shell found nestled in along the shallow edges of the riverbank, not from our home, we’d discover a beautiful pearl nestled inside. You can bet my siblings and I carried out this mission for a long time:) always believing we’d find that pearl. It was a lesson in motivation and persistence from our parents that I use in my personal and professional life today. The world in these trying times should take heed from that tale and keep looking and working for the positives in life and persist in the convictions to make life better and inclusive for all.

When the road on your journey to sharing your purpose narrows and becomes too overwhelming, remember the above quote from Bruce Lee, “the medicine for my suffering I have within me.” Immerging yourself in the ambiance of god’s earthly offerings is the icing on the cake to your continued good health and wellbeing.

If you’d like a signed copy of Unleash Your Pearls, contact me via the blog or email unleashyourpearls@yahoo.com

Always treat yourself special!

Unleash Your Pearls:What Some Readers Are Saying-

Happy Spring, women warriors! So, I finally unpacked my new computer. It’s been languishing in a box since Christmas and I’m experiencing a few bumps in the road getting it set up. I was also having separation issues about abandoning my old computer. It’s been my trusted companion for the last 8 years. Okay, so it’s a bit dated, people:) but, very reliable up until a few weeks ago when it began to drag, cough and sputter; losing its oomph right before my eyes. Sadly, it was time for both of us to face the reality of change; can you say retirement?

My trusted computer friend and I have been thru the thick and thin of it, and it’s still hard to say good-bye (sigh)

The Good News!

Most of us know the anxiety of making that publishing transition from “writer” to “author” upon completion of our books. It’s the full on awareness that we have to put on this unfamiliar hat where we call the shots in the marketing, distribution and sale of our products that can be daunting.  Shortly after the release of my book, the experience of finally getting to another level of my work and getting published set the tone for feelings of accomplishment, joy, worry and instances of second guessing myself.

My joyful moments were becoming marred by worry and it was frustrating. I lamented over getting good reviews and wondered if my book was going to sell. The one thing a new author should never worry about is their book’s message, however, because what you want to convey to your readers should be apparent before you release your pearls.

In all of this author madness, my woman empowered message remains clear because I am clear on my purpose mission for writing Unleash Your Pearls…you gotta read it to get that!

The reality in the book world is that not every reader is going to sing your praises and what you, the author have to do, is let go, let God and keep-a-going; per the late Ms.Gwendolyn Brooks evergreen writing advice. I was elated and humbled when I read some remarks from early readers about Unleash Your Pearls. I was also motivated to continue marketing my book from a place of authenticity and truth.

Recent Reader Responses:

“Loved the encouragement to have faith in yourself and learn to speak up. I had to do that myself.” K. Woods.

“Makes good points; regardless of sex.” From a male’s perspective who gave the book a thumbs up.

“Oh, my god what a good book! I am so proud of you. I hope many women get a hold of this book. It is as if women have been waiting for a book like this.” (life mentor) J. Eubanks

“I’m sure this will be a great book.” CONGRATULATIONS! (another male voice)

“This Is A Book That Every Woman of Purpose Should Have.” C. Miller

Clara’s story is one that deserves a far wiser audience.

While she will likely never achieve fame, or win the National Book Award, it is precisely her being, and therefore giving real voice to the underdog, that makes this worth reading.

Every person (male or female) who thinks that they cannot make a difference, that they have no Great Gift to give to the world, needs to read this.

Bless you, Clara, for your inspiring life of leadership! Norlyn Dimmitt, CompassionateCitizens.us

I’m feeling encouraged as I encourage all women (and men) to honor your calling, become the champion of your own authentic voice and Unleash Your Pearls. In the next few days I’ll be honoring purchase requests, following up with distribution resources and researching other book promotional avenues , while grooving fully in the moments of becoming a new “boss” author on the rise:)

To purchase or reserve your copy of Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices, email unleashyourpearls@yahoo.com or visit https://www.amazon.com/Unleash-Pearls-Empowering-Womens-Voices/dp/0998577375

Next month, I’ll also be addressing avenues for book distribution, promotions and sales on Clara’s writers blog. If you’d like to join me in this discussion, email me your thoughts. (both seasoned and new authors input welcome) because we’re all in this publishing thing together:)

Always treat yourself special.

 

 

Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices Is Finally Here!

Good Monday Morning, women of purpose! I’ve been busy this last week, sending out signed copies of my new empowerment book for women. Yes, people, after a long year in waiting, Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women’s Voices is finally released. Yay! I’m on great grandma duties as well, while trying to get this post out. It’s a feat that truly takes a bit of creative maneuvering because right now the child, who is fighting a cold, has toppled her toy box, refused to eat her breakfast and requests apple instead of orange juice because OJ hurts her three year old tummy.

“Gram, Gram, I said no!” Bear with me people, as I try to juggle caregiving duties to this beautiful girl child, while attempting to work out the kinks for online purchases of my book. If any one would like a signed copy in real time, hit me up via my email or use the convenient contact form with your contact info attached.

16864732_1811490049068448_5434373568282161503_n We’re off to such a great start here, thanks in part to the support of my lil sister,Connie Faye Miller, who sent out an SOS on her fb page. She received such wonderful and loving support from her tribe of followers; including church peeps, sistah friends and even folks from our hometown. I see you Florine 🙂 I’ve just sent copies out this morning and I thank everyone for their interest and support. My one wish is that women and the men who love and support them, will read Unleash Your Pearls and receive from its pages a bit of encouragement, inspiration and motivation that allows them to unleash their pearls!

There is a story behind the title of the book that was my original intent to share with y’all, but because I’m led to write from the heart today, I will leave that particular book spoiler ( I relate the story in the book) for another monthly post. But, hopefully, y’all will have secured your copy or several copies to share, or gift to your sister friends!https://www.amazon.com/Clara-Freeman/e/B00GQC8IH8

I hope everyone looking to champion their voice and make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of other, empower their journey by reading this book. Feel free to share your thoughts with me via unleashyourpearls@yahoo.com or clarawriter@att.net. I value your voices:)

More perks from the pages of Unleash Your Pearl Empowering Women’s Voices:

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“Gram-Gram I’m hungry!”

“Coming!”

Remember to always treat yourself special.

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Sowing Seeds Of Holiday Cheer!

Happy Holidays, women of compassion! With Christmas just over the horizon nearing the last week of 2016, I hope you all can appreciate a great year of perseverance, hope and resilience. I also want to wish all of you an abundance of joy, peace, good health and prosperity the coming new year and beyond! This post is a bit different because I’m asking everyone to join me in sowing a bit of holiday cheer to my good friend and colleague, Ms. Evelyn Cogdell, who has been a bit under the weather these last months. Some of you might not know this, but Evelyn reached out to me in 2014 to ask if I’d like to collaborate with her on her new book. I gladly accepted and we had a blast.

On a recent conversation, however, I learned that book sales were a bit disappointing for this prolific author, which happens from time to time, but I know Evelyn is not as productive as she’d like to be. I believe in this book. It’s one of those undiscovered diamonds in the rough. The Essence of Romance is a little book of value that is gravely undervalued. It is in parts, witty, serious and informative and it holds some of “my” best work 🙂

If you’re in a serious relationship and you want to keep the flames burning brighter or even if you seek to start a flicker of a flame this holiday season going forward, you must grab a copy of this book! Help me to encourage Evelyn and bring a smile to this spirit filled warrior woman’s face this holiday season by purchasing a copy of The Essence of Romance at https://www.amazon.com/dp/0966489845/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_AmawybQ37MWVB or feel free to send tidings of joy and recovery to Evelyn in the comment section.

Always treat yourself special and remember,”Tis the season!”

The Essence of Romance

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PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE ~ by Pauline Haynes

“Use your influence to help others”

Good morning, women of purpose! I’m happy to reconnect with all of your amazing voices. I appreciate, honor and heart you all! Today, I bring you an empowering, authentic and trans-formative message from one of the most influential life coaches in the universe. Please welcome back to Authentic Woman, my authentic camaraderie in arms, Ms. Pauline Haynes!

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PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

Every one of us is unique and totally irreplaceable. We have all had connections with people, places, things, and experiences. No matter how much we try, each individual has his or her own take on the story or stories, even if two people were present at the same occasion/occurrence.

 

The word authenticity has been so seemingly over-used, but it is a beautiful word that aptly describes who we are. It helps to differentiate you from me and vice versa.

Or, as in “I am the Walrus,” the popular Beatles song

 

“I am he as you are he as you are me

And we are all together.”

 

We are together, and we are different. Singular. Unique. One of a kind gem. No two alike. Our claim to authenticity!

 

As I celebrate a birthday, embarking on another chapter of my life, I am flooded with memories. Some clear, some lacking in details, while others flow like a montage of unconnected experiences in my life.

 

Certainly I am more than pleased to be at the ripe age of maturity (some would say old). In fact it wasn’t so long ago that I thought of this age (my age) as old. Old is a state of mind, a way of being. My chronological age is keeping tabs on my psychological, mental, physical and emotional age, and the winner is a draw, depending on the day.

 

That is why I have to dig deeper to find, honor, respect and appreciate the essence of this woman. This authentic being – me!

 

There is such a rush as I write those words. It makes me humble to be alive. Right here, right now. Yes. I have stories to tell!

 

I may share some of the memories, but this is not strictly meandering down memory lane. There are some memories I still prefer to keep to myself (and will). If you’ve lived as long as I have, you better have some experiences you want to keep”mum.”

 

What surfaces as I consider my life, is not the details of my teenage and young adulthood, but the occurrences on a worldwide scale and its impact on us right now.

 

My personal life does not have worldwide interest or impact. I  have no claim to fame. Sharing some of my personal experiences have  (in tiny ways) touched some, and maybe as you read this, you also may feel or experience some slight impact.

 

One does not have to be speaking before an audience, or command the ears/attention of millions to have impact. Presence is enough. Integrity and intentionality. The impact is what you choose to do with that presence.

 

I have developed a certain grace and humility, even though that can also exhibit anger and outrage (depending on the circumstances). The humility allows me to connect to my breath, which allows me to connect to my body, which connects me to my thoughts, my surroundings, my behavior;  and so the ripple continues. The connection of me to the earth, to you and on and on.

 

When I am in my presence, and I am aware, I can have an impact. I speak differently. I hear differently. I respond differently. I behave differently. I am in reverence of all that is alive, true, perfect and sacred. I respect me more and I respect you more.

 

I honor life! I am authentic.

 

There are some “firsts” for me that are memorable in a nostalgic way, while others are purely sentimental. Neither is good or bad. They simply are.

 

In bringing two children into this world, they are both firsts. My first-born was a boy, and my second born was a girl. The first. The only. They are memorable and nostalgic all rolled into a bundle of everlasting love.

 

Seeing the birth of my first grand child was overwhelming, exciting, magnificent and awe-inspiring. Giving birth is not the same as seeing a birth.

 

I remember the first time I was kissed by a boy, It was uneventful, and I’m not sure why I remember it. The memory is vague, but present.

 

I remember the first time I set foot in England. It was cold, dreary, foggy, and it was a new experience, coupled with the old. I was reunited with my mother. I also remember the first time I arrived in San Francisco. It reminded me of the TV series “The Streets of San Francisco.” I was awed by how large everything was. The Golden Gate bridge was luminous through the fog, and it made me smile.

 

I could go on for a while, but these are my memories, and I appreciate your indulgence.

 

We are currently embroiled in political bantering, narcissism, grandstanding, holier-than-thou-ism, deplorable and despicable words and behavior ism. Lies and half-truths, and more lies. This is a part of the present as the two-party system pits Hilary Rodham Clinton (D) and Donald John Trump (R) against each other. They vie for the hearts, votes and respect of the American people – to become the next president of the United States.

 

The shenanigans are not pretty.

 

This time in politics, is following on the historical footsteps of the creation of these United States. The true colors of hatred and dissent are more visible and pronounced than the caring and concern that individuals who gave their lives in the Civil Rights movement fought for. This country came about through some unsavory actions.

 

The turning backwards is giving us the opportunity to examine our souls and our intentions. Perhaps it’s even allowing us to get to know the real history of this country and its people.

 

Singularly, authentically and collectively – serious examination is called for.

 

Barak Husain Obama has been the first elected black president of the United States, and his eight-year tenure has not been an easy one. President Obama and first lady Michele Obama have governed with dignity, grace under fire, and have endured the insults, slurs, disrespect and  every imaginable obstacle that has been thrown their way. They have certainly not done everything right.

 

As two people with their hearts rooted in our African culture, they have not only survived, they are thriving! I share Langston Hughes’ “Lament for Dark Peoples” which gives a little perspective on the foregoing. It is as pertinent now, as when it was penned by Mr Hughes years ago:

 

I was a red man one time,

But the white men came.

I was a black man, too,

But the white men came.

They drove me out of the forest.

They took me away from the jungles.

I lost my trees.

I lost my silver moons.

Now they’ve caged me

In the circus of civilization.

Now I herd with the many —

Caged in the circus of civilization.

 

My hope is that the Peoples of every culture, every nation will have a life that is worthy of our history, or sacrifices, our dignity, our caring. Our unique strengths and weaknesses have meaning and make a difference when we think and behave collectively. It is the only thing that will save our humanity.

 

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My New Book Cover Reveal!

Good Monday Morning !  I hope you guys have been enjoying your summer. I can’t believe it’s the last week of June:) Well, great things have been happening while I’ve been away from Authentic Woman. First off, we celebrated 8 years of woman connection this month….I’m so happy and humbled by your continued support and cheers along the way. We must be doing something right over here, because we have grown to well over 2000 followers and like the every-ready battery, our voices keep growing and growing.

I also want to offer words of encouragement to those of you who sent emails to me, in search of sound insights to living your purpose journey. Thank you for your confidence in my services! I hope you were led to clarity and possibility. Reawakening to becoming will stir within us; negative fears, anguish and lack of confidence in our ability to choose wisely. I feel that it’s important for women to form a relationship with someone they can trust; be it a mentor, a life coach or authentic friend who has been there and done that and is available to help you get to a place of understanding your “why.” Everyone needs someone in their corner who will help them discover their unique and God given gifts. Trust and believe, we all have GIFTS!

Here’s more exciting news I’m sharing today. It’s the cover to my new book, Unleash Your Pearls Empowering Women Voices!

WzW-Unlease Your Pearls CoverI want women (and the men who support and love them) to have a tangible and easy access guide they can leave at their bedside for night reading or carry in their purse for an instant reminder of  who they are and why they are. This book was written to champion the authentic voice in you and in me. I wrote it to always remind us of the power we wield in speaking our truths and standing in our ‘woman” purpose, without fear of any negative backlash. It’s time women worldwide, take accountability and stand for something that could impact the life of another.

In the following weeks, I will share changes that’s about to happen with Authentic Woman and provide you with more information on the release of Unleash Your Pearls

I hope you all experience a joyful summer and always treat yourself special.

A Life Toward Authenticity~

Happy Monday, women of courage! Today I’ve been contemplating on my service work and my thoughts centered on my beginnings. Most of you who follow my work on the blogs or gained insights from my freelancewriting.com articles and magazine and newspaper columns, know a bit about me. But, you don’t truly know, Clara, the woman or Clara, the advocate and activist, who feels called to champion the voice of the “underdog.” Many of my beloved readers and social media connections do not know how I came to live a life of authenticity. You don’t know the path to my becoming, unless you’ve read my first attempt to share my WHY with you through my 2011 self published e-book, A Life Toward Authenticity-My Authentic Woman Story.

Today, I’m sharing excerpts of my story captured in my Authentic Woman eBook. I have to warn you, some of the earlier writings are raw, but it’s most definitely for real:)

“Hello, my name is Clara and this is my story.” Enjoy!

“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are we not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are meant to shine, as children do…and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson

In 2000 I was caught up in a whirlwind of doubts, confusion, longing and disgust. I wasn’t satisfied with the way my life had turned out. I had married and divorced. Bore two wonderful children who would become my reasons for being present. Yet, there was a recurring and nagging wariness and feelings of unworthiness in my chest.

I didn’t feel like I was living up to my full potential. Why couldn’t I be happy with my children, family, friends and career? Why did I feel as if I was tossed in a sea of choppy currents screaming out for a life-preserver and no one could hear…or care? I wasn’t living. Just co-existing. Why, then, wasn’t I living up to my full potential and becoming the woman I’d always wanted to know?

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was on a journey to “becoming”.  And I was fighting this change every step of the way. What exactly do I mean by “on a journey to becoming”? Simply stated, I was on a mission of change, and I was afraid of the unknown. I was reluctant to reawaken to my true self, denying the path I was destined to embark upon – the road leading to self-awareness and total authenticity.

To celebrate my journey toward authenticity, I created Authentic Woman, a motivational and personal development website that’s all about “The Woman” in 2008. I felt compelled to offer a platform for our voices, where we share life experiences, inclusive of our hopes, our dreams, our passions and desires.

 

Authentic Woman is the manifestation of my passion and ultimate purpose, which is to embrace, explore, empower and reawaken our woman “truth.” Reading these women’s stories inspired me to write this personal side of Clara. I’ve lived and learned from life experiences, and now I’m living my passion and purpose. I wasn’t always so clear on how this “becoming” thing worked. So, let me share with you how I became the woman I’d always wanted to know!

“With age comes wisdom.” I’m sure you’ve all heard this quotation before. But how many of us truly believe it? As we age, we enter into this solstice of life where we’re either embracing or denying the obvious. We are more aware of our intuitive selves and sense of knowing. We’re no longer hungry for the acceptance of others. We are “becoming” comfortable in our own skin. We are “becoming” truth seekers. It is our journey to authenticity.

“Walk out on faith. Don’t let fear of the unknown stand in your way.”
Nelson Mandela~

Do You Know Where You Are Going To?

In 1975 the movie Mahogany, starring Ms. Diana Ross, graced big screens all across the country. Ms. Ross played Tracy, a young African-American woman set on following her dreams to break into the modeling and fashion business. As she’s headed out from her hometown to follow her dreams on a seemingly slow-moving train, the theme song of Mahogany, written by Michael Masser and Gerald Goffin and produced by Berry Gordy starts by asking the questions:

“Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know?” The most daunting line of the song with which I could totally relate was “Do you get what you’re hoping for when you look around and there’s no open door. What are you hoping for? Do you know?”

I never intended to become a well-known designer, actress or household name when I set out to follow my dreams at the age of 18. There were two things I definitely knew at that age: First, I didn’t want to attend the local colleges or universities like most of my friends. Secondly, I had no intention of settling down and marrying one of the local clerks at the country deli or living on the outskirts of the small town where you saw miles of dirt roads, overgrown riverbeds and beaten down old men, who spent their entire lives working for the man, in the white house on the hill ,with the immaculate green lawn protected by a herd of shrewd Dalmatians.

My single thought at the time was to come up from that environment where Jim Crow remained law, and start living the life I knew was out there…

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To read more of my compelling life journey to authenticity, go to my author’s page at https://www.amazon.com/author/clarafreeman and download a copy to read at your leisure. And stay tuned for my new book, Unleash Your Pearls~Empowering Women Voices, awaiting publisher’s release date.

I end every post by reminding you guys to always treat yourself special. Well, I’m taking my own advice and will be away for a few weeks. Hope to see you right back here in June. If you’d like to reach me, send a message via my contact page.

Have a fun and safe summer everyone!

 

Don’t Let Others Take Your Kindness For Weakness

picture-452 pond Happy Monday, women of truth! But, wait, did y’all happen to notice how warm today is? Know what that means, right? Yep, time to escape the busyness of life and make those vacay or family reunion plans. This picture is one taken of a prior family gathering where we tackled cabin living. Now, there’s a challenge for even this country girl. I enjoyed the trees, trails, water, fish and the long fishing dock extending over the lake. Experiencing the ambiance of Mother Nature close up and personal is awesome. Just not so much when the little uninvited creatures and neighbors of the woods want to come over to introduce themselves:)

My message today is about having compassion and kindness for others; your fellow-man woman and child. It’s also about being of service without feeling taken advantage of. I want people reading this post to come away armed with the  knowledge that you can be kind and show compassion and empathy for others, but you should never allow anyone to take your kindness for weakness! In the words of Tupac Shakur; “You feel me?”…

(Aside) Sista Afeni Shakur, have got to be spitting out lyrical messages of love and light, accompanied by the hip hop rapper that is Tupac Shakur, her only son~ the two of them grooving together somewhere in the heavens. May they rest in peace.

Don’t Let Others Take Your Compassion And Kindness For Weakness

Okay, so, How you living? Are you being kind to others? Are you a compassionate person? Contrary to popular belief, kindness and compassion for your fellow-man/woman doesn’t mean you’re weak or that you allow others to use your kindness and generosity to their advantage. If you feel that you’re being used because of who you are or what you know and what you’ve been called to do, you must step up and nix that user’s preconceived notion in the bud! Let folks know you are not going to tolerate their callous expectations. Whoever your offenders are and they could be siblings, your children,  mom, dad or even your significant others; you have to stop the madness by letting them know you’re not the one!

Self–preservation is one of the rules of life. And there will come a time where your kindness in the service of others will leave you feeling overwhelmed and depleted, whether financially, physically, socially or emotionally. When you recognize that folks have made your kindness their agenda for their own advancement, it’s your cue to cut the ties that bind.

When I think of compassion, I think of my mother. She had such a kindness about her when it came to making others feel welcome and important. This need to make things better for another person and somehow set things right by doing what she could to put them at ease and not feel different or less than, understandably, endeared me to my mom.. My mother offered compassion and kindness without expectation. This was an empowering and mirrored reflection in the eyes of a child. My mother’s compassion remains one of the biggest influences from my childhood observations. In our compassion for others, we know “There but for the grace of God…

I believe that a child’s compassion for humanity is taught through observation. I saw how my mother treated elderly folks-the respect and offering she held for a homeless man whom she took in, cooked for and feed at her table.

With compassion comes an inner knowing that all people are special in the eyes of God and no one should be treated unfairly, just because they’re different in gender, age, color or religious beliefs. It is not for us to judge. I am driven by my beliefs that involves caring for the rights of others. I thank my parents for raising my sibling and me with a foundation built on faith, equality, morals, values, humility, respect and compassion.

Now, there have been times in my life where others have taken my kindness for weakness and have taken advantage of my soul services. That is why I’m so fortunate to have people in my corner to remind me that saying “no” sometimes will keep me strong, focused and perceptive in my sowing seeds in the service of others. Compassion can be exhausting when you’re being taken advantage of.  And no one wants to feel used. Make sure you use your gift for those who truly deserves and need it.

Always treat yourself special.

If you feel the call to share with us at Authentic Woman, please do. There is healing in the sharing…

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A Mother’s Day Manifesto For The Motherless Child

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Good Morning, women of courage! It’s such a beautiful rain day:) Mother’s Day is Sunday and I wanted to encourage the love and appreciation we have for our mothers in a special tribute that speaks to all… especially to the motherless. Do you like my photo? I caption it “Evergreen“, in honor of our mothers~

A Mother’s Day Manifesto For the Motherless Child

May 8th is Mother’s Day, a special day for sons and daughters to celebrate and honor their loving moms. It is befitting that our selfless and loving moms get a day off to be pampered and shown just how much their children care for and need them in their ever-changing and busy lives. It’s a beautiful day set aside for worship, gratitude and making lasting memories with mom.

My mom passed in 2001, on the same month as her birthday. When that month comes around, I’m honoring her birth and remembering her passing. It’s hard-pressed for motherless children, of any age, to have a happy day on any given day, in the absence of moms, but it’s especially trying during birthdays and holidays. I’m far from being the only motherless child who will be missing their mom on Mother’s Day. So, today, I’m sharing the special way I’m remembering my mom. You can remember and honor your mother by creating your own mom manifesto in a beautiful tribute that keeps your memories of her evergreen.

I’ve decided to pen a Mother’s Day Manifesto that honors the memory and legacy of my mother. What I remember most about her, based upon her teachings, beliefs and actions, I continue to incorporate into my on life, in some aspect of my living.  My mom’s living life values system might appear a bit outdated in these times, but what she demonstrated to my sibling and me, in some ways, helped shape the people we are today. I  hope that while you maneuver life as a motherless child, that by deciding to create your mom’s manifesto, either alone or with loved ones, you will feel better equipped to show up and be present in the lives of your family, friends and loved ones when celebrating Mother’s Day and every day that you live and breathe life.

What I learned from mama:

Love and sacrifice for family

Show compassion for the less fortunate

Do the work and don’t complain

Protect the children

Quietly showed me the immeasurable strength that women can muster when times are hard

It’s okay to laugh, cry and pray

Extend your hand in friendship when introduced to a stranger

Honor the land and the provisions it provides

Respect your elder wisdoms

Faith as small as a mustard seed will sustain through trials and tribulations

Grief comes and grief passes in its own time

Appreciate the beauty and the power that is Mother Nature combined

Be kind.

I’d like to think that by teaching me independence, my mother taught me to make my own path and to guard my mouth, so as not to bring unintended harm to others…

Creative Suggestions for the Motherless on Making a Mother’s Day Manifesto:

Not everyone is a writer, but everyone can write. Not many of us are carpenters, but, we know the basics of using a hammer and nail. Having cleared the way for doubt in whether you can create this loving project for your mother, here are a few suggestions you might want to consider when creating your special Mother’s Day Manifesto:

Get in your feelings and pen a special poem from your heart. Make copies and send to friends and family or have it framed for mounting on your wall where all can see.

Create a montage of your mom as pictures in action, where she’s posing, playing or being present in quiet moments.

Write those special mom quotes that keep ringing in your ears!

Share your mom’s favorite foods, movies or books.

Share handwritten letters exchanged between you and mom before internet and emails and publish them as memoir or keepsake to share with loved ones. I basically penned a letter every two weeks to my mom before the surge of emails and internet. By 1999, I’d slacked off from writing mom every two weeks and she wasn’t pleased about it. I remember when she didn’t get a letter, she would write back to ask me why. I hadn’t the heart to say, “Mama, that’s why we have the telephone.” 🙂

How about immortalizing those gardening tips, dating and relationship advice or favorite foods your mom was adamant about?

It’s your manifesto, your tribute that’s composed of loving moments from memories spent with your mom.

Write it

create it

Print it

Frame it and hang it in full view of your coming and goings, as a beautiful reminder of a reciprocal love between mother and child.

However you choose to honor your mother in your Mother’s Day Manifesto, I guarantee you; it will make your memories of her so much easier on those birthdays and special mom days, where you’re missing her physical presence…

Happy Mother’s Day…All!