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!”
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.”
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…
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!
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…