How to Win Like A Woman
I am highly committed to bridging the gap between Women of Color and Caucasian/Women of European descent.
Great, Now that I have your attention. Let’s dive in.
First, for those of you who know me; you’re probably nodding your head ready for what you know is coming next. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting me in person, yet- then the words that follow this will be a brief but accurate introduction to who I Am as well as who I Be on the planet and beyond.
Now some of you may be asking yourself, what gap is she referring to?
I’m so glad you asked. Because women of any and all colors, races, sexual preferences, bra size and pant or skirt lengths know full well the gap I am speaking of.
It’s the gap that has us all say we’re committed to same things: Parity in Pay, Gender Equality, A Future that is Female, a desire to see THE GODDESS return, the rise of THE QUEEN and so on and so forth. But has us saying these things from different corners of the room. You know, like the color and preference of our vaginas somehow puts us on opposing sides.
Yup, I said that.
The reality is; AS WOMEN we have segregated ourselves.
Now for the sake of keeping an already long post as short as possible, moving forward, I’m going to use terms to describe a collective scenario ( I am well aware NOT ALL WOMEN ARE THE SAME NOR DO ALL WOMEN BEHAVE THE SAME), to drive up whatever truth lies buried in our hearts as individuals and has us not living our authentic truth out loud.
If you choose to take this post personally – good. I’m a transformational success coach and transformation is effin' uncomfortable to say the least; and it produces growth.
My intention is to speak the unspoken and foster our growing together as women – in a space of unconditional love and authentic acceptance of our unique paths, processes and purpose.
You see I am a mixed race (Native American & Jamaican) American woman and thanks to my melanin, I am simply seen as ‘black’. Contrary to the depictions of our modern media of black women and how we are raised- I grew up quite ‘privileged’. I’ve checked, and that really is the best word to describe my upbringing in a way that is easy to understand. “Good neighborhoods” “Great schools” – in fact, I’ve enjoyed a private education from my primary to university years (I had scholarship offers to Yale, USC and other high profile schools but in the end chose Wingate University- and I’m so glad I did but more about that later). My family took 3 vacations a year, I participated in extracurricular activities such as ballet, volleyball, and track and field and even learned how to play the piano as well as the cello. In my teen years, I was scouted for modeling and had fun with that life until I figured out it wasn’t the best fit for my personality. Before choosing entrepreneurship, I had “great” jobs ( you know the kind- Fortune 500 companies that pay well as long as you keep your mouth shut and follow the leader) thanks to my educational background and the fact that I am highly intelligent. You get the picture by now right? In the words of one of my friends…I grew up ‘white’.
Funny thing about privilege though, it doesn’t guarantee ease, and my childhood was by no means easy. I come from a blended family ( I call this the New American Classic), and struggled to understand ALL of my parents, after all 4 parents can be a bit much for a 4 year old. Like so many young girls, I had experienced sexual attention from a male family member by 5 years of age. By the time I was 8 years old, I was frequently encountering supernatural phenomenon as well as being excluded from the girl groups as school. This was confusing for me and I grew up being more comfortable around boys than girls and thanks to my distinct way of speaking more comfortable around whites than blacks. That is until I went to high school and discovered that my skin was too dark to be included in the white circles, but my speaking was too clear and I was too articulate to fit in with other black girls. So …I became a party of one. I found that I was readily accepted into the fringe groups during high school and became a part of the goth group, the stoner group, the witchy group- really any group that would let me sit with them at lunch. Then came my college years.
I wanted to go someplace far, far away for college. The parents said no. So I went where they wanted me to go: Wingate University just outside of Charlotte, NC. The year is 1997 and there are about 2000 students campus-wide my freshman year. I was a scant 3 hours away from my Atlanta home and joining my older sister and best friend from high school who were a year older, and already in attendance at Wingate. I was a Pre-Med major and so didn’t really have much time for anything but studying-which suited me fine because I was already clear that I wasn’t going to fit in at Wingate; let alone like being there. My plan was to lay low, finish my undergrad and then get the hell out of the South. But something funny happened. Like my high school, Wingate was private, parochial, and predominately white. Like 99% white my freshman year. Unlike my high school however, my melanin and open-mindedness made me popular. Very popular. I was uncomfortable with how many girls and guys wanted to befriend me. It seemed…strange after my childhood of not fitting in anywhere. Even more surprising was the night I was extended an invitation or bid to meet the Sisters of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. I was both baffled and thrilled. These girls (all of them white), seemed genuinely interested in having me join their sorority. So I did. At the time(1997), I was the first WOC to accept a bid to Tri Sigma on the Wingate Campus. They had invited my sister, but she declined. I so enjoyed and cherished my experience as a collegiate sister that I participate to this day as an Alumni and am so very grateful for all that Tri Sigma has given me. Which brings me to this past weekend, when I returned to Wingate after having been gone 18 years, to discover a diverse campus that literally made me cry. Even more moving was meeting some of the current collegiate and new Tri-Sigma alumnae, and hearing their stories of excellence, leadership and integrity. There are now several WOC in the Zeta Lambda (Wingate Univ.) chapter of Tri Sigma and to know that I had the honor and privilege (there’s that word again) of being the first leaves me speechless with gratitude and wonder.
It also brings me back to the woman that I am today. The woman that I matured into thanks largely in part to all of the ‘misfit-ness’ I described earlier in this post. Although I couldn’t see it at the time, my childhood and teen years forged me into who I Am today. My mixed cultural background may have left me on seemingly uneven footing in my formative years, but I now know that was intentional and perfect as those same experiences have trained and developed me into a woman who is willing to stand and speak for ALL WOMEN.
We as humans stand at the precipice of a great future. The Goddess energy has returned to the planet, and we are all empowered to stand up for ourselves, our sisters and our daughters in the face of this new future. Looking into 2020, I see the very real possibility of the US celebrating our first female president. But this possibility is a pipe dream if we are segregated amongst ourselves. I want you to consider that our inability to stand united as women that has us still struggling to topple the patriarchy. What if the only reason the powers that be continue to get away with paying us less, working us more and firing us faster is because is our lack of solidarity is leaving us weak and vulnerable? As women we own 40% of US businesses but receive 45% less funding when we apply for loans to start and run those businesses. What the actual?
Again, for those of you who already know me, you know my life mirrors my passions and beliefs and that I actively empower women with my words, my wallet as well as my wisdom. To that end I am so honored to be a featured speaker at the upcoming 14th annual Women In Business Summit in Hartford CT on May 3rd. . I will speaking on How To Win Like A Woman. The core of my presentation is what I hope you’re ultimately left with after reading this post; and that is we are stronger when we stand together.
There is something we can learn from each other, if we will stop and listen with the intention of learning. Women of Color have a deep seated sense of themselves and their spirituality that provides them with a solid foundation of power and confidence in an ever changing world. Women of European descent have a refined sense of the frequency of the Divine Feminine: Receptivity.
(it's important to remember I'm using generalities here for brevity) Historically, Women of Color have been marginalized even more so than their white counterparts and so needed an unshakable core of spirituality to guide them through centuries of turbulent waters. Many of the white women I work with are earnestly looking to create this same kind of spiritual centered-ness for themselves, but find little to no support in their community. On the other other hand, this same sense of solidarity amongst black/brown women has us able to stand in the midst of the storm- yet we struggle as a collective to shift our frequency to 'Receive' or the vibration of the Divine Feminine. Many of the black/brown women I work with want to make a difference for their sisters of color; but often leave out or overlook their white counterparts as they take on empowering a future that is female. Our cultural paradigms and programming has us doing and look for where we can provide far more than where we can receive. There is a balance available to us all if we will work together and learn from each other. Right now we are all ready to claim what's ours as women- but we're playing the patriarchy's game of exclusion and segregation as we do so. While it may be true that white women and black women come from and live inside of different cultures and contexts, we are all still women. And for that matter being a woman of any color and loving other women- doesn't make you not a woman. The truth is what affects one of us, affects all of us. Right now the disparity in the Maternal Mortality rate in the US is appalling; women of color are 40% more likely to die in hospitalized childbirth than white women. Yes. You read that right. If this is news to you please do some research and find out how you can make a difference in that number ( I recommend Dr. Neel Shah's work). Imagine for a moment that nothing changes and women of color are systematically left to die during childbirth in hospital scenarios- how long before white women are subjected to the same overt lack of care and negligence? Let's not find out.
What if, after all is said and done, the only reason toxic masculinity, patriarchal politicos and the marginalization of women worldwide persists is because we’re divided. What if all we need to do to BE THE CHANGE is unite in a global sisterhood? What if being a Woman, any woman, of any color, orientation, ancestral heritage, belief system is enough? What if we loved each other as sisters? Recognizing we are fighting the same battles, living the same lives, challenged by the same outdated rules, marginalized by the same system. What if?
Ironically, if you were to ask me who my role model was growing up; who did I look to as an empowering, supportive force in my life as I began to accept and embrace my own unique identity as a woman- I would say my father. Hands down. My father was raised in rural south Georgia by his grandmother, my great-grandmother ( a full blooded Cherokee), and left home at 12 years of age. He became a Freedom Fighter, a Black Panther and put his power and voice into whatever conversation he felt was uplifting for humanity in general. I learned from my father how to have my intelligence work for me rather than be stifled by it. I learned how to welcome people of different races, neighborhoods and sexual preferences into my life as well as into my home. In short, from my father I learned how to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. Right now, my father is losing his battle with cancer. We’ve been fighting for his life for the past 5 years. With medicine women on both sides of my family tree, I have been gifted with the power and ability to heal on a quantum level, and have had several healing sessions with my father over the years. I have brewed potions for him, rubbed him with oils, distilled elixirs, rolled herbs, procured CBD gummies as well medical cannabis – all with the intention of honoring his choice to remain in physical form on this planet. This past week, he received a new diagnosis, the cancer has spread from his prostate, to his bones, and is now in his throat and growing very aggressively. For those of you wondering …did we try everything? No. We did not. We tried all the remedies my father was willing to try. Do I feel sad that I cannot heal my father, even though I’ve had great success beating cancer in other patients. Yes. I most certainly do. Have I made my peace with my father? Are we complete? Yes. I did. And Yes. We are. I love my father, he is one of my heroes, and although I am saddened by his present condition, I am also choosing to honor that it is, and has always been his choice to live.
And that the same goes for all of us. After having worked with countless cancer patients over the past 15 years, I am clear that the willingness to do whatever it takes is paramount to reversing and healing the body from cancer and the side effects of aggressive cancer treatments. Cancer is an aggressive dis-ease in the body and so any therapies to combat it, including spiritual and energetic ones must be just as aggressive. Current numbers say 1 in 4 of us will have cancer in our lifetime. So chances are you or someone you care about has lived through what I’m sharing. My desire for all of us is to love ourselves enough to fight for our lives as long as we choose and to gracefully release our attachment to this dimension when we are ready for a different existence.
And that’s what I’m asking of you reading this. Not for your sympathy for my father, although it is greatly appreciated. I am asking you to intentionally choose a different existence. One where women stand together, shoulder to shoulder, side by side. One Voice. Our Voice.
Challenge: When was the last time you had a cuppa with a woman who didn’t look like you? If your answer is ‘sometime in the distant past, or never’, then I humbly ask you to choose a different existence and ask a woman out on a coffee/tea/smoothie date. Tell her you don’t know what her life is like and you want to find out. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Tell her rather that you want to take 30 minutes and listen to her about her life, what makes her happy, what makes her sad. Listen for what makes her feel powerful, and what makes her feel vulnerable. If you feel awkward asking another woman on date; tell her it’s a part of a challenge from a success coach. Tell her you’re taking on learning How to Win Like A Woman.
For every woman reading this, I know something in this post has touched you, resonated with you. Please share this with as many women in your life as possible. All it takes is a spark…
And if you’re reading this and nothing resonated with you. Share it anyway. You never know who in your circle may be moved by the words I have shared.
If you’ve made it this far into the post and you’re still with me…I love you. I mean it. I’m not for everyone and just your reading this means the world to me.
So hey, my girls and I are doing a thing. We're calling it "Many Faces of the Goddess". Picture a Transformational Retreat for Priestesses, High Priestesses, Queens and Goddesses. Yes, we are being like that about it. Our commitment is to care for those women that in turn care for so many in their respective communities.
I promise it will be transformational, refreshing, rejuvenating and of course magical! If you’re interested (or you know a woman who should join us) drop a ‘crown’ emoji in the comment section below this post on Instagram and I will DM you with the details.
I Love You Madly and I Honor Your Presence on the Planet.