On Iron Fists, Individual Paths and Inner Child
The madness of my March schedule has yet to cease (just made it home at 1am 😩), but I’ve been energized by the spaces I’m in. I just got back from the Leading Women Defined summit, founded and curated by Debra Lee, and lemme tell you. A time was had!
We got some gems from Tabitha Brown, got schooled with life lessons by LL Cool J, and got to see Doug E. Fresh perform as our closing performer. In between all that, I laughed endlessly, continued learning that Black women are life’s security blanket, and remembered that our villages are our safest places. 🥰
The highlight, doe, was when me and my girls (Kimberly Blackwell, Eunique Jones Gibson and Gia Peppers) performed at the lip sync/karaoke night. “Crush on You” is a classic and we CRUSHEDDD it. Whew. Watch the video here. We did = THAT. 💁🏾♀️
What’s on my mind this week is something that came up in my FB memories from 2 years ago. And is very relevant at this moment, as I’m prepping to launch my children’s book…
Parents who will rule their children with an iron fist need to chill.
Since making the decision to write my first ever children’s book, Little Troublemaker Makes A Mess, I’ve been thinking more and more about how our parents either free us or cage us. How they make us more of who we are, or stifle the trueness of us. 🤔🤔🤔 I think about how I have always been this girl, partly because I’ve been allowed to be.
So when I think about parents who think their jobs are to control their children in all ways, not simply guide them, I think about how they are often their kids’ first bullies. 🥴 They dictate everything they do, from what they want to be, to who they date to what they study in college, to how they live. 😵💫😵💫😵💫
How many people have lost the loves of their lives because their parents didn’t approve? How many people have pursued careers they had no interest in because it was the plan their parents had for them? How many people are miserable today because of choices their parents made for them? 🙁
This is a reminder that your children did not come here simply to fulfill the dreams you had, but didn’t see realized. 🗣️They are not your second chance at life. You do not get to live vicariously through them as if their life gives you some kind of do-over for your own.
As if life isn’t hard enough. Now imagine thinking you have to live your own life AND make up for the ones of those who raised you.
Listen. I’m so thankful to my Mom for trusting me with my life, and not thrusting her failures on me as expectations I had to fulfill. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 It was such a gift that every kid should be able to receive.
But for those who don’t…
Disappoint whoever you have to in order to honor yourself more and betray yourself less.
No matter what, you must not choose others if it means you are betraying yourself and your Orí. 🙅🏾♀️ In Yorùbáland, our Orí (head) is our destiny, our being, our goodness. Our Orí is watched and protected by our angels and ancestors. We cannot go back in time to change our childhoods or the way our parents raised and ruled us. But we can choose how to move forward, freer and less tied down by others’ expectations for us. What do we want for ourselves?
We want the validation of those closest to us, especially our parents. We are programmed to want their YES, but what if that comes at the expense of your well being? 🤨🤔 What if the price to pay is your peace? What if their YES only comes if you make a choice that makes your spirit wilt?
It might be time to…
DISAPPOINT YOUR PARENTS if it means you are choosing YOURSELF.
DISAPPOINT THEIR EXPECTATIONS if they aren’t aligned with your own.
DISAPPOINT THEIR DREAMS FOR YOU if they don’t match yours.
This is easier said than done, of course. It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable. But it’s necessary for us to live a life that makes us proud. Because at the end of your life, YOU will be the one contending with a lifetime of self-betrayal and misery for THEIR validation, which may still never come. 🤷🏾♀️
Life can be challenging and unjust. And it can be even harder to safeguard your sense of wonder, creativity, and joy when the parents that should be helping or protecting you, feel just as harsh or unforgiving as the rest of the world. 😪 But I believe that even after the best parts of us have been bullied/shamed/ridiculed, we can still exist fully in the world with our big hearts, big mouths and big dreams.
The GIFT of breath means we owe it to ourselves and to our Orí to do what we can to thrive. When we leave this plane, may we rest knowing that we didn’t just take breaths, but we LIVED. Lived in joy, lived in our truths, lived in harmony with ourselves. Authentically. Happily. Unapologetically. 🗣️🗣️🗣️
I hope that today, wherever you are, you can choose YOU. Choose your joy. Choose to honor your Orí. May this be a year where we CHOOSE US, HONOR OUR SPIRIT, and THRIVE BECAUSE OF IT.
Join me on the Little Troublemaker Tour!
This year, I get to honor myself through the book I wrote for my inner child. The one who stayed bold even though she had many reasons to shrink. Actually, I did shrink for a bit, between the ages of 9-12 when I was still feeling like a new girl in a new land (because we moved from Nigeria to the United States). I then reclaimed the tiny rebel spirit that I carry with me.
That’s why I wrote Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess. 😌 To capture that big spirit in a tiny body, with a big heart. When I’d get in trouble, it was for my mouth, but that boldness defied what felt scary so often.
Some of us may have had our spirits broken or taken out of us because of life’s circumstances and situations. But I want to remind everyone of who we used to be, and that if you have a kid who is or was a little troublemaker, then you know that their energy should be harnessed and affirmed because those little troublemakers can become big world changers. If it were not for my privilege of expressing myself and having room for error as a child, I may not have grown into the Professional Troublemaker I am today.
And that is the crux of the conversations I’ll be having on my TROUBLEMAKER TOUR, which I’m excited to announce!!! 🥳🎉
In May (and at the end of April), I will be sharing space at 3 events with 3 women who I KNOW were little rebels with a cause, cuz they grew up to be fierce world changers! 3 women who inspire me, affirm my existence and are doing work that is healing for all of us. 😁😁😁
💛 Chicago, IL – April 28, 2023 – 7:30 PM CT – In conversation with Eunique Jones Gibson at Park West
💛 New York, NY – May 1, 2023 – 8 PM ET – In conversation with Brittany Packnett Cunningham at Gramercy Theater
💛 Virtual – May 15, 2023 – 8 PM ET – In conversation with Tabitha Brown
Y’all, I’m so excited to have these conversations and share space and laugh and find joy and sign books and all of that. 😆 Every ticket you buy for my tour stops also comes with a copy of Little Troublemaker Makes a Mess! I hope you can come through to these events! 🤗 It’s gon be A TIME!
Comment below and let me know if you’re coming to any of the stops. And tell me: What did you used to get in trouble for when you were a kid? 👀
Disclaimer: I receive commissions for purchases made through some of the links in this newsletter. All thoughts and vouching are mine. I keep it true