Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Covenant of Sisterhood Series: Who You With?

I believe that our relationships are designed to enhance us and enrich our lives. The Bible tells us that “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” Proverbs 27:17 (NLT). If you do not have people in your life that you consider friends, you are missing out on a great treasure. Even more special, are our sister-friends. There’s a saying, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” The people that we attract into our lives are actually a reflection of who we are. If you’re finding that the relationships with your sister-friends are lacking, you might want to take a self-inventory and see what’s really going on.

Suppose you notice that you have more “takers” than “givers” on your friendship roster. Or, you have a group of friends who always end up gossiping or man-bashing when you’re together. You may ask yourself, “How did they get there?” Well, sorry to say…you probably attracted them. Even in your “small” encounters, like the way you talk to the server at the restaurant or how you interact with your co-workers, you have to be diligent about what you’re putting out there because you’re going to see it again.

We’ve all heard of the saying that says that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It’s important that we discern the categories our friendships fall into. The people that are in your life for a reason may be there to teach you something, while the sisters that are there for a season, may be there to support you at a certain stage in your life. Neither of these friendships are lifetime connections and you need to understand that and be okay with it. The fallacy comes in when we try to hold onto people who should have been let go a long time ago.

Your goal should be to allow everything in your life to reflect the truth of who you really are: From the clothes you wear to the activities you engage in to the people who you’re connected with. Endeavor to have healthy, positive friendships with other sisters who support your greatest good. So I just have one question: “Who you with?”

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Covenant of Sisterhood

The concept of Sisterhood is near and dear to my heart. I didn’t grow up with any biological sisters, but I always cherished the friendships I had with my girlfriends. But like a lot of women, I began to take on the attitude that other women were too catty and petty and not worth the bother. As I began to mature, however, I started to get an understanding of relationships and started to focus on making sure that every new encounter I had with another sistah lined up with the core of who I was or who I was trying to be. If those connections didn’t line up, then I did not spend a lot of energy on them. You see, what I learned is that we attract people to us based on the energy that we put out. When I was attracting gossiping, back-biting, jealous, hatin’ sistahs into my space, it was because I was sending that spirit out before me. Once I started working on me, then the friendships I attracted were with people who, not only lined up with who I was, but also who I needed to be.

Last year I did a series on Mean Girls where I discussed some negative traits that sistahs sometimes possess. As a follow up to that, I’d like to do this series that will help us to understand how truly enriching the Covenant of Sisterhood is. The goal of this series is to bring you to a place of awareness as it relates to your relationships, in general, but specifically your relationships with other sistahs. By the end, I want you to be able to fully embrace the power that lies in the Covenant of Sisterhood.

Next time we’ll discuss what our friendships say about who we are in a blog entitled, “Who You With?”

Be Inspired,
Inspired Sistah

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Blog Series Starting Soon...

Hey, everyone! I will be starting a new blog series entitled The Covenant of Sisterhood. It will be sort of a sequel to The Mean Girls Series. We talked about the bad girls. Now we're going to extol the good ones.

Looking for the Marriage Ain't for Wimps! Series? No worries, due to overwhelming response, I have created a blog dedicated solely to the promotion and advocation of love and marriage. Look out for great things resulting from the Marriage Ain't for Wimps! Series. Follow now at

Check back soon for the Covenant of Sisterhood Series.

Be Inspired!
Inspired Sistah

Friday, May 7, 2010

To the Daughters of Mothers with Clay Feet

Mother’s Day is usually marked with a lot of sentiment for the women who shepherded us into the world, and rightly so. And as I was perusing through the Mother’s Day Card Section, I took note of all of the sentimental cards expressing unending gratitude for the sacrifices made by mothers or how their mother was their best friends, and so on and so forth. Because most of the cards were along the same sentiment, I found it difficult to find one that expressed my feelings.

I started to think about all of the daughters who were abandoned by their mothers and all of the daughters who were abused by their mothers and all of the daughters who felt that they were somehow discounted by their mothers. Where were the greeting cards for them? What section were those cards in? One reality I know to be true is that, no matter how your relationship with your mother was or is you still want your Mommy. You still want her to hold you, smooth your hair down and tell you everything is going to be okay. Those of us who are in Christ know the power and healing in forgiveness. As an adult woman, I now understand the choices my mother made. I now understand the type of strength it takes to turn him away when you know he’s no good for you. I now understand the frustration that sometimes occurs when you do what you gotta do and not what you wanna do…for the sake of the kids.

In the Bible, there is a description of a “great image” in the 2nd chapter of the book of Daniel , which was made of silver, brass, gold and iron, but its feet was partly made of clay. And as indestructible as other parts of that image was, its feet were able to be broken into pieces. The analogy of a person having “clay feet” is taken from this passage. It reminds us that, regardless of how great a person may appear, they are still human and still have human weaknesses and frailties. Understanding that my mother has clay feet makes me appreciate her more. She was just another sistah doing what she had to do to provide for her kids while trying to find a slice of happiness in between.

So, I wanted to take a minute to write a note of encouragement to all of my sistahs out there who, like me, struggle with the mushiness of Mother’s Day. Our situations may have been different, but we can give our ashes to the Father who specializes in making beautiful things out of those ashes. So, this is my Mother’s Day tribute to the Daughters of Mothers with Clay Feet. Be encouraged. Love on your mother if she’s still around. And know that, you, too, have clay feet and are in need of the benefits of that same grace and mercy that you extend to her.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inspired Sistah's Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #5: Live Dynamically!

There are several definitions for the word “Dynamic,” but here’s my favorite: To live dynamically means to live a life “full of energy, enthusiasm, and a sense of purpose as well as the ability both to get things going and to get things done” Encarta Dictionary. The word Dynamic also relates to being vigorous and being in motion. I love it! As sistahs on the move, we have been called to live dynamically. Mediocrity, indecision and sad songs are a thing of the past. We are moving forward with a clear vision and we’re clearly focused. Obstacles, critics and haters only fuel us and are used as manure to fertilize our dreams.

We’ve done the work in January and worked on living Authentically. In February, we talked about living Deliberately and Intentionally. In March we learned how to live Boldly with Grace. In April, we found that living Joyfully gave us the freedom to live life without limits. So now is our time to rise up as the beautiful, Dynamic women we were created to be. Your time is now! Spring has sprung! The days of shuckin’ and jivin’ are over. Come on, let’s get it together, girl! The world is waiting on you!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Inspired Sistah's Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #4: Live Joyfully

Joy can be defined as "great happiness" or "something that brings happiness," while happiness is defined as "a feeling of pleasure." While those definitions are correct in their connotation, I’d like to offer another perspective: Happiness is a feeling subject to your circumstances, your mood or your hairstyle, while joy comes from what you know rather than from what you feel. Happiness can be fleeting, while joy is unwavering. Happiness says, “Roderick smiled at me today and that makes me feel good about who I am,” while joy says, “Even though Roderick did smile at me, his attention does not define my worth.”

I believe the secret to living joyfully is to live a life full of passion and purpose. The deep sense of pleasure you receive from operating in what you’ve been created for, trumps any feelings you get from those new stilettos or that piece of chocolate cake. To live in confident assurance of a life well-spent brings peace and satisfaction that is unparalleled. Unfortunately, that type of joy is illusive to a lot of people. They spend their days, either in a mediocre existence waiting on their ‘ship to come in,’ or chasing fruitless activities one after the other. Having real, bona fide joy, to them, seems like a fairy tale.

So take a minute, a day, a week, or as much time as you need to evaluate where you are on the spectrum. If you find yourself on the illusive end of joy, it’s time to really soul-search and pray about what brings you the greatest sense of fulfillment. Let me give you a hint: It probably has nothing to do with you. I believe our true joy comes from serving others. You see, it’s in the serving that the joy comes. That joy is unnerved by the economy, who’s doing who, or your dress size. I live for that type of contentment every day. What about you?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Inspired Sistah's Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #3: Live Boldly: Living Out Loud with Grace

There comes a point in your life when you need to be comfortable with who you are and where you are in your life. No one should try to make you feel bad because of your accomplishments, nor should you play “small” because others are uncomfortable with your station in life. Having said that, I believe there is a way to totally embrace the essence of who you are boldly and unashamedly. Now, let me be clear: When I speak of living boldly, I’m not talking about ranting and raving and being obnoxious. You know how you meet people who are just “too much?” Meaning, they are so overbearing that you can’t really appreciate any talents or gifts they have because they’re always up in your face. The truth of the matter is that they may, indeed, be talented, but it’s difficult to receive from them because they don’t know the art of expressing themselves gracefully. Being brash camouflages the true essence of what you may have to offer and it cheapens your gift.

When I speak of being graceful, I’m not talking about walking around on your tiptoes singing lullabies. What I’m speaking of is an inner confidence that oozes out of your pores in such a way that everyone you come in contact with has been uplifted, empowered and improved by your presence. That grace commands respect and admiration from others. It comes from understanding the art of meekness while not diminishing your true worth. I believe it is a learned quality that comes from a time of reflection in understanding exactly who you are and what you have to offer. It’s not arrogance or conceit; it’s confidence. When you are in a profession, it takes time to move from the novice stage to the expert stage. So it is with learning how to possess your worth. You have to learn to go from, “Hey, look at me! I’m all that!” to “I know who I am and I’m okay with who I am and I’m very sorry if you’re not okay with who I am.”

You know this graceful sistah when you meet her. She doesn’t even have to say 10 words. You see it in her demeanor, her attitude and the graceful way she interacts with all that come in contact with her. Can you picture her? I can. Maybe you see her every morning when you look in the mirror or maybe you’re still on the path of becoming her. Wherever you are on this journey, stay the course. Being confident and bold and graceful will attract only the most fulfilling, purposeful things into your life. That’s my journey. Will you join me?

Until next time, be inspired!

Inspired Sistah

Friday, February 12, 2010

Do You Love Me?

Since this is the time of year where love is professed so freely, I thought I'd propose a question to you: Do you love me?

When you ask yourself that question, how do you answer? The inclination would be to yell a resounding, “Yes!,” but our actions speak louder than our words. You see, what you do on a daily basis answers the question. What do you do to support your love (or lack thereof) for yourself? What does your attitude, your conversations, the way you interact with others tell others about how much you love yourself? Each day do you make a conscious effort to treat your body in a loving manner? For example, if you’re overweight or have high blood pressure, do you make positive choices to counteract those negatives? Do you speak words of affirmation to yourself so that you can be strengthened to make it through the day? Or is your head riddled with negative self-talk? Do you interact with others in a courteous, graceful manner? Or are you spewing venom out to anyone that comes in contact with you? Taking the opportunity to soul-search and ask yourself these questions will give you a clue as to if you really love yourself. You see, talk is cheap. I can’t hear what you’re saying because your actions are screaming so loud. So, during this season of love, sit down and have a heart-to-heart and ask yourself, "Do you love me?"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Check Me Out!

Hey, everyone! I'm in the February Issue of Alive Magazine. Check me out & tell me whatcha think!



Sunday, January 31, 2010

Inspired Sistah's Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #2: Live Deliberately. Practice Living a Life of Intention

Dreams. Hopes. Visions. We all got ‘em. So what’s the difference between those that are doing and those that are not? Some people are making things happen and others of are a-wishin’, and a-hopin’, and a-prayin’. Seriously? This is the season to get going! How long are we going to continue to keep peeking over the edge of the swimming pool wondering how deep the water is? I don’t know about you, but I get sick of hearing myself talking about doing something for too long. I tell myself, “Why don’t you just do it already?!”

What I’m trying to do is admonish you to live a Deliberate Life, a life of Intention, a life of purposeful activity that will actually mean something at the end of the road. What you may have to do is sit down and have a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting with yourself and evaluate how you’ve been living your life up until this point. Are you just meandering along only to find yourself at the end of a day, week, or month no closer to your goals? Perhaps you have a plan, but are lacking the energy to move forward due to stress, distractions or just a lack of direction. Whatever the hold-up, make a decision to deal with it so that you can get on the path to Intention.

I’ve come to a place in my life where I just want more. Not more stuff, but more fulfillment, more joy, more peace. And I believe the path to getting there is to live a life with deliberate intentions that will ultimately get you to your goal. Sure, there will be some wrong-turns and missteps along the way, but such is life. As the old saying goes, “Nothing beats a failure, but a try.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to end this life with my purpose bundled up in my bosom. I want to live a life well-spent, a life of purposeful intent. Shoot, I want to live a Deliberate Life! What about you?

Until next time, be inspired!

Inspired Sistah

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Little Girls' Games

I experienced something interesting today and I wanted to talk about it.

You know it’s the beginning of the year and a lot of people have made commitments to get in shape. Most gyms are usually packed out this time of the year only to find themselves running "specials” to entice new members by mid-year. As a result, the classes are often full for several weeks and then only the ‘regulars’ remain. Well, I went to my cycling class today at the gym and I noticed an all-too-familiar phenomenon that rubbed me raw. There are a group of regular women that come to the class and like to reserve their bikes early and sit together and they have sort of a “cliquish” way that they behave in the class. I noticed today that whenever a ‘new-comer’ tried to sit in “their” area, they shooed them away and began to giggle and comment and affirm their “territory”. I thought to myself, “Wow! Grown women are still playing little girls' games.”

I’ve learned in my interactions that age has nothing to do with maturity. And as women, we can be so vicious to other women when we feel threatened. For some, just being cordial is a strain. It seems that their first nature is to attack and attempt to protect what they perceive as a threat to what they’ve laid claim to. We see it all the time when a woman starts a new job and is just trying to find her place and learn her duties. But she becomes distracted by attacks of gossip and sabotaging by other women who feel threatened by her because she’s smart and articulate, and God forbid, attractive. You know, the unfortunate thing about that whole scenario is that the women who are on the attack are only further demeaning themselves by their behavior. What they are inadvertently screaming to the world is that they are insecure and are afraid that no one will want to play with them anymore if they let the “new girl” into their circle.

Sounds petty, right? But it’s a reality that’s being played out in corporations, social groups, and even gyms! How about trying a little experiment? The next time you and your girls are somewhere and The New Girl comes on the scene, why don’t you speak to her (without that hatin’ look in your eyes), invite her to have a seat and practice being nice? You’ll be surprised at the result. You may just gain a really cool girlfriend along with some brownie points in the maturity department. Who knows? You may prove yourself to be a stellar graduate from Little Girls' Games.

For more on this topic, visit my blog at and check out the Mean Girls series or stop by my website, and pick up a Mean Girls CD. You may not need it for yourself, but you can give a copy to one of your girls. ;-)

Be Inspired!
Inspired Sistah

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lessons from a drought...

I, like a lot of people, feel that 2010 is my year to prosper, thrive and win. I feel that this year I will be taken out of the shadows and into the light. I was quickly reminded, however, that there is often a process of pruning and preparation that goes on in the shadows to ensure that you are prepared for the light.

During the first full week of January, Atlanta was hit with record low freezing temperatures. During that time, we also experienced a little snow and ice. Also during that time, the water abruptly stopped running into my house. Although we retained power, we had no working plumbing. So that meant no showers, no clothes or dishwashing and no ability to flush the toilet! We endured this horrid situation for 10 days. Over the course of the 10 days I went from disbelief, to rage, to despair, to pity and then finally, to rejoicing. I could not believe this was happening. I was in the midst of preparing for my first solo IS Workshop and not having running water in my house was a tad bit distracting. Every time I opened my mouth up to complain to God, He would allow me to know, in one way or the other that I was, indeed, blessed. He would allow me to see the homeless man sitting on the corner shivering as I passed by in my nice, warm car. I got news of a former co-worker who died of cancer suddenly. Also, during that time, Haiti was hit with a devastating earthquake. I got to the point that I was ashamed to bemoan my situation because I had warmth and food and the ability to buy bottled water. I belong to a gym where I could take showers everyday and I had MONEY to stay in a hotel if I wanted to.

Once I got over myself, I began to seek God for the lesson. One of the lessons I learned is that diamonds are formed once they are exposed to intense pressure. Metals are perfected once the dross is burned off of them. On the journey to greatness, there is no escaping the Potter’s wheel or the Refiner’s fire because; it is only when you are tried, that you come forth as pure gold. Although the ordeal was still uncomfortable, once I got the revelation, I was able to rejoice. I rejoiced in the fact that I knew that if I passed this test with grace, promotion was sure to come and elevated is where I want to be. I’ve had enough of mediocrity, going along just to get along and singing sad songs. I’m ready to soar with the eagles. So I’m grateful for my lesson. Oh, and running water ain’t half-bad either!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Inspired Sistah’s Get-It-Together, Girl Tip #1: Live Authentically

Authentic: Genuine. Real. Accurate. Faithful. Dependable.

Do any of those definitions define your character? If I asked one of your girlfriends how she would describe you? What would she say? Would she say, “Tam is my girl. She always has my back. I can always depend on her.” Or would she say, “Well, you know how Tam is. She’s up one minute, down the next. You never know what you’re going to get from her.”

My point is that we should all strive to live a life with the motto: “Whatchu see is whatchu get. Good, bad, or indifferent!” Some sistahs tout this motto when they want to use it as an excuse of being that Neck-Snapping-Eye-Rolling-Finger-Snapping-Tell-It-Like-It-‘Tis Sistah. She’s the one that always has something to say about everything and everybody and calls it ‘keepin’ it real.’ And if you don’t like it, you know where you can go! Naw, I’m not referring to her. Who I’m referring to is a sistah who is genuine to da bone. She doesn’t put on heirs to try to fit in. She’s comfortable in her own skin whether she’s rockin’ a Louis Vuitton or a bald-head; Makes no difference. She is who she is. Can you picture her? I can. Her authenticity is attractive and people want to get to know her and be around her to glean some of her grace.

Now, being authentic may characterize itself in different ways for different people. But the point is that no matter how you display it, you should strive to be a person that ‘says what she means and means what she says.’ Your character should be genuine and you should be a person that people can depend on to stay true to who you are in the midst of disingenuousness and Fake n’ Phonies. That’s the journey that I’m on. Will you join me?

For the next several months, we’ll explore some Character-Building Attributes that will help us transform into or maintain a life that oozes a special kind of grace that only an Inspired Sistah can possess.

So, next month we’ll explore another Get-It-Together, Girl Tip. Until next time, be inspired!

Inspired Sistah

Inspired Sistah’s Get-It-Together, Girl Tips

I believe we should always be on a journey of self-improvement. What I find is that many of us want to make some changes in our lives, but are clueless as to how to implement those changes. Another common observation is that some sistahs are just clueless, period, and need a “mirror” to reflect some of the deficits in their life.

The Get-It-Together, Girl Tips are tools that we can use as a nav system to assist us on this journey of being our better selves. I use the words ‘we’ and ‘our’ because I’m on this journey, as well. I realize that if I’m going to encourage you to ‘Live on Top of the World,’ I need to be actively working on living there myself. Smile.

As always, I will present the information in true Inspired Sistah-fashion to make it real, relatable and attainable. So, I encourage you to take this journey with me and let’s make some real differences in our lives and the lives of the people we engage with—Inspired Sistah Style!

Be Inspired!

Inspired Sistah