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Category Archives: soul purpose

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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“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.

 

www.paulinehaynes.net

(916) 452-5278

info@paulinehaynes.net

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulinehaynes?

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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.


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 to 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!

 


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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Evergreen

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!

 

 


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Nature Heals

Good Morning, women of purpose!…Immersing myself in the healing powers of Mother Nature always guide me through my suffering.

I captured the blue skies in this picture at the turn of an early spring morning and felt its ethereal essence. I captioned it Nature Heals. I ‘m in no way a photographer, just a nature lover:) This picture helps me focus on the beauty among the ashes.

It’s okay to mourn. There is healing in your mourning. There is recovery in your grief” CF

You don’t have to know someone personally to mourn their passing. Compassion and empathy for another human being are ethereal qualities that come with being human and being a part of this wide spectrum called ‘humanity.’ With the passing of Prince Rogers Nelson on Thursday, I became part of the world who grieved his transition. I, like all of you, felt an overwhelming and consistent sorrow. I felt a void beyond tears and the grief held me captive, to the point that I pushed back the expected post at Clara’s writer’s blog.

The timing wasn’t right and I felt an odd sense of allegiance to the memory of Prince. I also didn’t want to be that callous person who would not take time out to pen condolences to the fallen musician, who had become a household name in the industry of music… and to his fans. Also, I didn’t want to short change my expert and special guest at the blog for that day, by mindlessly posting our beautiful interview.

On the days that belonged to the memory of Prince, I didn’t answer the phone or engage in conversation. I watched many newscasts and testimonials about his life, until I couldn’t bear to watch any longer. While the world went purple in respect and honor of the man, his music, his penchant for fashion and his overall genius, self taught and could play 27 instruments by the age of 12, my thoughts turned to all the other musical visionaries whose passing still leaves a void.

When Michael Jackson died, I was asked to pen a tribute by the editor of The Chicago Bulletin Newspaper. I was reluctant to do so because Michael’s death caused the darkness that was my grief to rain down to such an extent that my voice was mute and “I had no words.” In my tribute to MJ’s memory, I began by writing~ “I have no words.”

The unexpected loss of Whitney Houston caused the editor of a London magazine to add a footnote to an article I’d penned about Whitney, likening her comeback from a troubled drug addicted path to the rise of the phoenix.  The world was pulling for Whitney and later, for the survival of Whitney’s grieving and troubled young daughter, Bobbie Christina.

Musical visionaries like Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, David Bowie and countless others; all gone too soon. The world will mourn their passing and keep their memories alive via their music, telling their stories and recounting fond accounts of~ “remembering the times.”

There are unknowable things that occur in the world that we have no control over. And when someone dies or suffer horrible and irreparable physical damage, we feel deeply. We are spiritual being living a human existence and so, every time a person dies, be it family, friends or celebrity, we are forced to come face to face with our own mortality. And so, with the death of one of my favorite musical entertainers, standing right alongside Michael Jackson, the “King Of Pop,” I join all who mourn; “Gone too soon.”

Prince’s passion, dedication and love for the music teaches me to stay my course and not be swayed by other folks opinion in the creation of my art. Prince Roger Nelson didn’t try to be anything, to anybody, but himself.  This was a man who remained true to his creativity that fueled his outstanding body of musical works. The man loved his music, loved penning songs for himself and for others; all while living life on his own terms.

GLORY!

Always treat yourself special and live your life doing and being the one and only you!



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