From her heart to yours -women everywhere with lovely thoughts, real talk and amusing and transparent stories, they share their messages with you for your reading pleasure!
This weeks love letters correspondent is Kemi Akinbinu. She is a dedicated wife, mother and entrepreneur who has a special message about motherhood that we all can relate to as moms.
I’m laughing to myself that I was actually asked to write about motherhood. Me of all people….Wow, do I seem to have it together? As I look to these “super-moms” on the internet for advice on how to navigate through motherhood I get inspired. My mindset is refreshed as I start the week with new organization tips, my healthy meals planned for the week, a clean house and so on. I’m on a “mom high” that comes to a halt quicker than it started as I see the room I just cleaned is destroyed in 2 minutes.
As an entrepreneur and mother to three girls (12yrs, 2.5 years and 5 months) I know the life of being a mom all too well. As a young mom I strived for that picture perfect life. I was big on routine, sticking to bed time, providing financially, keeping the house perfect… you know, all the important things. I found myself constantly stressed and disappointed that I couldn’t seem to keep it all together. Third child later I try not to make this mom thing harder than it needs to be. I run around with my kids and try to take time for each of them even if it’s 15 “laser focused” minute on them. It all counts!
As I have gotten older (maybe more tired) I don’t care about the things that I used to. So what if the house is messy and my kids go to bed 15 minutes past their bedtime. The value in motherhood is the time spent and the memories created. Sometimes you have to decide between getting the vacuuming done or taking a moment to yourself. Going to bed on time or taking extra 15 minutes to hear about your child’s day.
Being a mom is by far the hardest thing you may ever do! It’s full of messes, unexpected sicknesses, tantrums, sleepless nights, talking back and much much more but it’s the most rewarding role ever. It is something that is constantly evolving in which you will never “arrive”. Learn from trial and error and adjust. You will cry on the rough days and laugh on the best. Expect the emotional roller coaster that will never end. Love your children in each season and teach them through their mistakes. Being their mom is the number one priority before anything! They need your love at every age. You are shaping who they will become and looking at your child is like looking at yourself in the mirror. Take time for them and take time for yourself. You will fall off schedule, plan wiggle room in your schedule for mishaps. And always remember to create balance that works for YOU!
This weeks love letter is brought to you by Celeste. She shares a personal story about an experience that she had at the gym that reinforces the unfortunate reality of girl-on-girl hate. We appreciate stories like hers because they bring awareness to the serious issue that is, unkindness spread amongst women, and it must be stopped!
I have never had the courage to show my body. If I’m honest I don’t feel comfortable 100% still. However, I’ve decided to bare my soul literally and figuratively because of a recent experience I had at the gym.While practicing a routine strength training drill, a group of individuals gathered to watch me exercise. They proceeded to taunt, make unkind remarks about my body, and my performance as I exercised. It was rude and demeaning and here are my thoughts. When someone is going to the gym do not make fun of them, their body, their technique, facial expressions, what their wearing, etc. You get the point!! NEWSFLASH people are going to the gym to: A- get healthier and B- to transform their bodies!! They don’t need to hear you laughing at them or making fun of them. It takes a lot of courage for that person to step into the gym to start their journey. Be kind and encouraging to one another. Don’t be hurtful to the point where they are left feeling as though they never want to step foot in a gym again. I am a mother of 3 kids and I have the scars to prove it. However, I also have a v-line ️ and a small 4 pack and I’m training hard to reach my goals. With that said I don’t think there’s anything pregnant about the way I look! (That’s what was said by my adoring critics) To the people that tried to put me down, I want them to know, I’m not mad. did it hurt initially? Sure, but I recognize that their behavior towards me says a lot about their own character. If anything I thank them for the extra motivation as I continue to push myself even more regardless of who is watching. #LoveYourself #GrowUp #LovePeople #BeKind #DoesThisLookLikeAPregnantBody
This weeks love letter is brought to you by Zayda. Zayda is a mom, a professional in the educational field, a fitness coach and a women on a mission to empower other women by sharing insightful lessons learned by way of the story of her own life.
My heart was as hard as stone. My mind was scattered. My reality was what I had accepted and allowed in my past. I reaped what I had planted and allowed in my garden—my life. Each of us know our own story well, the heartbreak and the trilogy of the drawn out ending that has drained every drop of our inner being; but, I am not here to entertain broken stories of my past. I want to share how my life is changing for the better today as I am waiting in line.
I did not always realize that the opportunity to grow existed in every experience -big, small, fortunate…and even in the unfortunate times too that is until recently. After years of being in an unhealthy relationship and trusting in the lies that labeled me as an inadequate woman who was incapable of loving -some significant psychological damage had been done. Even after separating from this unhealthy relationship, I still believed that the negative words spoken to me by my past partner about the woman I’d become were perhaps true. This broke me in the sense that I felt unfixable like damaged goods. In turn, I grew cold, emotionless and I reflected a woman who was emotionally withdrawn. During this phase I was standing in the waiting line of life watching my days pass painfully as I tried to distract myself from my reality by keeping myself aimlessly busy.
As I grew tired of standing in the waiting line of life with no goal other than to simply survive, I decided something needed to change. I began reading personal development materials and empowering content that positively impacted my heart and mind. Exercise which was already a part of my natural routine, it now became a goal driven activity. Engaging in hobbies, which were improving the quality of my life, opened the door to the idea that there is beauty in the power of starting over. Dating was now on my mind.
So, I started dating a few men; but, I kept things platonic. I knew I wasn’t ready for anything too serious because I wasn’t entirely healed from the damage done on my heart via my last serious relationship. Remember, I did not know how to love -yeah, that lie was hard to get out of my head. Then it happened. I met a man who showed me the stars, we shared the same passions. He was alive and fun! My heart began to beat again and when we were together I started to feel invigorated –but only to be crushed by this same fellow a few months later. Things between he and I didn’t work out and it hurt because I truly wanted them to. I would say this was an extraordinarily trying time for me because of the way I hurt in response to our breakup. I took a huge leap of faith by entrusting my healing heart into the hands of someone who played a pivotal role in my emotional restoration; but, that very same person hurt me in an extremely vulnerable way; however, the universe has a funny way of teaching us the greatest lessons and in this case my lesson served to reveal that my heart was indeed soft and I was capable and emotionally open to loving again.
Out of this experience a women’s group was birthed and it was my personal challenges while facing the ins and outs of love that inspired me to share a message of encouragement with other women who too face the same challenges that are a natural part of the single lifestyle. My desire for growth, breakthrough in stagnant waters of conformity, and a shift in mindset in how I saw myself was present; and I needed to share everything I was learning in this slow progressing but steadily moving waiting line of life. For instance, I began to see dating and the single life differently. Dating for me evolved into an opportunity for growth instead of outcome -because let’s face it outcomes can often times be disappointing. However, when I started dating for growth, no matter how it all ended I didn’t feel rejected. Yes, I’m human and I’ve felt bummed and hurt when things didn’t go as well as I hoped when engaged in romantic encounters; but in recognizing that I always gained something valuable at the end of each dating experience I received that even in great loss there is positive gains.
I’m learning a lot of beautiful lessons about myself these days and I love it! I have never felt more alive in the last five years than I do today. When it comes to discovering my mate I believe there is someone out there amazing for me, I know it. Life has many amazing and wonderful things in store but I must be patient and trust in the waiting process. So, I am waiting for the gentleman who is waiting for me so we can complement each other. This is a good wait and from the waiting line, I am learning about who I am and what I want to manifest in my life; I am planting seeds for my new reality to unfold and I am believing that good things are coming undoubtedly!
So, whatever you have gone through, take note that you are not alone. We all have a story, a past, and an opportunity to move forward towards a happy, fulfilling life! While you wait in line for your turn to shine I encourage you to take this time to discover who you are. Put the work in and put it in full gear so that you can reap your greatest reward; but, most importantly, be good to others, be their biggest cheerleader, encouraging them from wherever they may be standing. In closing, from the waiting lines I say to you… “Keep going! You will get there.”
Happy Easter (A message from SWAG’s EIC)
Happy Easter: here’s my gift to you on this blessed Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ: A message of empowerment, a right of passage to be yourself and a reminder that joy always comes in the morning. A year ago I was broken. I died spiritually, I lost almost everything that I loved and suffered a betrayal deeper than any water gyre’s love affair with toxicity. But after a year of suffering through immeasurable pain I am resurrected in joy. I don’t know, something just clicked. I decided I didn’t want to be sad anymore, I made a choice to start investing in the things that made me feel whole instead of investing in the things that made my soul extend long suffering and I feel free. This Sunday as I celebrate the resurrection of Christ I am also celebrating being a woman who is free to make good and healthy decisions for my life! I’m celebrating my right to walk upright and resurrected in the freedom that is my joy! I am choosing love, respect, forgiveness and to do my best to keep my own moral compass in check! I encourage you all to the same! Love you guys and have a blessed Easter.