I’m smiling because I’m blessed and no one, and nothing can ever change that. It’s me and God rolling through life together each day!
I’m smiling because I’m blessed and no one, and nothing can ever change that. It’s me and God rolling through life together each day!
Life is like giving birth. We sometimes have the most excruciating pain that we could ever imagine, and we’re not sure if we will make it through– but then after it’s done we have peace, joy, and a gift–whether it be wisdom or something tangible, or both. We must remember that even the worst experiences are only temporal. So take life head on, face your fears, and fight your best fight ever! – Natasha L. Foreman
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved
“The best revenge is living well. I don’t need to focus my attention and energy on ‘getting even’ with anyone– because I’m already ahead of them. It would require me to turn around, go back, and invest time and resources trying to hurt them. I’d rather carry myself with grace all the way to victory. I don’t need confirmation of my greatness. I don’t need someone to tell me I’m special or brilliant. I don’t need validation. I know who I am, whose child I am, what I’m made of, and what I will and won’t tolerate in my life. I also know that the eternal will stick around while the temporal will eventually fall to the wayside, so I don’t need to hold on to things or people. As my Dad always told me, “you can’t lose what’s rightfully yours”. Everything has its purpose and place in life. So heal and let go of the past. Heal and move forward in your life. Heal and live with dignity. Seek greatness and not revenge in your life so that your remaining days on Earth are well-spent and legacy-defining.”
– Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman.
A coward is a hilarious yet pitiful sight to see and experience. A coward hides behind aliases, anonymity, avatars, masks, lies, and other people. A coward yells loudly behind mommy’s dress and daddy’s coat, but never stands out and speaks up for the world to see. A coward spits venom like a serpent but is too scared to face those they attack. A coward has little to no self-esteem, self-worth, dignity, or grace, so lacking a spine they sneak around trying to drag others to their level. A coward will hide behind a title but never live up to it. A coward is never dependable, reliable, or consistent…except in their cowardice. They simply exist, but never live, and even in their existence they don’t leave much of an impression.
I’m not too sure if I should feel sorry for the cowards of the world, sympathy, or nothing at all. They are a sad group of people. They can never stand on their own, they can never fight their own battles, they can never truly lead, they always make excuses for their inadequacies, and blame others for their shortcomings. Cowards are always the victim, always the damsel in distress, always the ones needing saving, always the ones complaining about what’s wrong and why they can’t do something. The words, ‘can’t’ and ‘impossible’ begin and end their sentences, and sometimes their days.
Cowards live for revenge, wanting to pay back those who hurt them, but they don’t have the courage to actually face this person head on. Cowards like to pick fights, but never stick around for combat, or they find a way for others to join the fight so their weaknesses are never revealed. They are the ones who spread rumors and cause drama, but in a sneaky, cleaver kind of way–that always make them look innocent. They pretend to be someone they aren’t because they don’t have the courage to be who they were created to be. They are weak-minded, weak physically, weak morally, and weak spiritually. They live in constant darkness; for only in light can one find true strength. It’s no wonder why cowards always prefer playing devil’s advocate, because for them it is too great a mountain to climb reaching up towards hope, possibility, and excellence, when they can use less effort kneeling down towards mediocrity.
I have encountered many cowards in my time, some as recently as today, and I am amazed at how much time they have on their hands to focus their energy on doing absolutely nothing of relevance in our world–except in their minds. It is pitiful that these insecure people spend so many hours of their day thinking about me, plotting and planning against me, and envious of what I have that they wish they had. We all have had our run-ins with cowards like this. See, cowards have plenty of time and energy to spread lies and hate, try to destroy other people’s reputations, families and businesses, yet they don’t invest the time and energy to bring goodness and love into our world. They don’t have the time and energy to make a positive contribution to society, yet they can waste all of their resources trying to drain someone else and destroy their dreams. They don’t have the time and energy to build, create, innovate, inspire, embrace, uplift, and shine. Yet they have the time and energy to tear things apart, destroy, manipulate, deceive, and play childish games. They have time to send stupid messages and make phone calls to others hoping to make them feel as miserable as they do; post idiotic things on the Internet for even the tiniest bit of attention; make claims without supporting evidence; and just take up much-needed space in the world. They eventually leave this world as they entered it and lived it…clueless!
I have more respect for the person who tries and fails, than the one who never tries. I have more respect for the person with bumps, bruises, cuts and burns from falling down in life, because in their walk I see that they found a way to get back up. I have more respect for the person who comes to me directly, without masks, anonymity and code names, and just speaks their mind. I have more respect for the person who comes right out and confronts me with the goal to fight, than sucker-punch me in the dark. I have no respect for a person who isn’t brave enough to stand up and speak their mind. I say what I want to say, and clearly say my name when I’m speaking. I don’t post to my blogs or anywhere else as “anonymous” or with some made up alias, or using a picture not mine, because I have the courage to speak up, speak out, and back up what I say. My parents didn’t raise a punk, so I don’t cower over like one. I’m no bully and I won’t be bullied–never have and never will!
So I have one last thing to say to the cowards of the world…you can say what you want and do what you want, because just like your anonymity, you really don’t exist!
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA
On April 15th I was honored to lead a Dignity Day session as a HOPE Corp Volunteer through Operation HOPE (HOPE) at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) in Atlanta.
What is amazing is how the majority of this class of ninth graders were initially completely turned off to the idea of having to listen to yet another speaker that day as they were just returning to their classroom from an assembly that focused on the theme of 100 days of Non-Violence…so they were shifty and closed off. But about 15 minutes into our conversation some of the girls who had crossed arms were soon raising their hands and answering questions.
I started off by talking about the concept of legacy and that that day we were laying the foundation and road map for them to create and eventually leave behind a strong, dignified legacy. I had them define the term legacy in their own words and then share some of their dreams, goals and aspirations. Then as our conversation deepened I shared with them the history of how HOPE was founded, the services and programs that HOPE offers, and I started to weave a story where life included them and their legacy.
I think helping them share the names of empowered and dignified women they see in their family, community, and elsewhere who had similar or worse lives growing up helped them to see that they too could be those same type of women- that they are these women but in-training and with the potential to do more and help more in the long run because they are being equipped with the tools at a young age; and our adversity isn’t an excuse to let life pass us by or a crutch to coast through life doing and expecting the bare minimum, but a reason and motivation to excel and succeed.
These young ladies were shocked to hear that the civil rights movement as it pertained to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Ambassador Andrew Young was sparked, motivated, and pushed along due to their wives Coretta Scott King and Jean Childs Young- two women who endured and overcame adversity and strife. Hearing this information made many of these girls sit up straight in their chairs and listen intently.
When I spoke about not holding grudges, and that forgiving people is not to benefit the person they were forgiving but to help themselves heal, grow, and overcome- some girls shifted in their seats their seats, a few others rolled their eyes in disbelief; but then when I mentioned Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Iyanla Vandzant and their ability to forgive their abusers and using strife as a launching pad towards success- some of the girls started naming other people like Fantasia and Tyler Perry who was sexually and physically abused and how he also overcame and pushed himself to success.
We discussed the concept of family and that it isn’t just our immediate family we need to be concerned about but our neighborhoods, cities, state, our country, and our global family. Because I know that girls can be equally as cutthroat as boys, I made sure that we had a heart-to-heart chat about trash-talking and “clowning” people and how although initially it can be lighthearted and funny, it can also be crippling and tear apart our “extended” family.
We discussed being relevant not only in this country but globally, and that true wealth (spiritual, financial, etc) can only be maintained long term by leading a dignified life, not by living up to the negative stereotypes that are projected globally about Black females. We discussed self-empowerment and not waiting on the government or specific programs to help us, that we have to help ourselves. That we shouldn’t be waiting for someone else to pick up trash on our sidewalks- we should pick it up ourselves.
We shouldn’t be waiting for someone else to cover the graffiti on our walls and buildings- we should paint over it ourselves; we shouldn’t wait for someone else to beautify our streets and parks with trees and flowers- we should plant them ourselves. I explained that they should be volunteering in their community through church or some other organization taking pride in restoring, building, maintaining, and beautifying their neighborhoods.
We had a pretty good time. We laughed and talked about boys and expectations of being respected by males and all people when you carry yourself with respect and dignity. We discussed the language of money and being financially literate, and how this literacy will empower them. It was refreshing to see that many of them have savings accounts and that two of the students had traveled abroad- one to London and the other to the Bahamas. Two young passport carriers living in an underserved and underrepresented area of Atlanta- doesn’t that give you hope? It gives me hope and encourages me to continue my work in the community, and my work through Operation HOPE.
I hope more men and women find it in their hearts to invest one hour of their time at least once per month to volunteer in a church, in a class room, or in a youth center through Operation HOPE. One person can make a difference!
Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
The poorest person in the world is not the one without a nickel, it’s the one without a dream!
To dream is to want, to desire, to acknowledge the need, to hope for something…better. When you stop dreaming you give up on yourself, on life, on something bigger than you. When you stop dreaming you’re saying that you have no faith in greatness playing a role in your life, you’re saying that nothing better can come your way; you’re saying that God is done doing all He’s willing to do for you, and that He’s moved on.
Every day you open your eyes is another day that God has planned for you to seize the moment, to chase your dreams and make them a reality, to grab ahold of the gifts He has in store for you. Your needs and wants did not just become ‘hot off the press’ news to Him, He’s been preparing you for each day a dream came true. He has placed people in your life to help you see the clear path. It is up to you to believe that path is there waiting for you, or you can walk aimlessly around, stumbling and tripping over debris on another path not meant for you.
Don’t stop dreaming…no matter your age or circumstance! Let the child in you come out and believe the unbelievable dream!
Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
Quote source unknown
>Wow this feels more like a journal entry than a blog. I wrote this entry exactly one week and two days ago today. I kept putting it off, looking at the sheet of paper I had written on…not sure. Not sure if it’s too revealing, too personal. Not sure if it will be taken out of context. Not sure if people or God will think I don’t have trust in Him. I don’t want my fear in any way to displease Him. I am not questioning or rushing you Lord. I’m just ‘feeling’. I guess all of these moments of not being sure don’t matter one way or the other. If it helps someone else then it serves its purpose. Uplifting others warms my soul and brings a smile to my face; I know this creates a domino effect…so I continue my passionate work even on days when it hurts!
When reading this post please don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not desperately waiting to ‘pounce’- let’s not forget that I walked this path, it didn’t land in my lap. Don’t attempt to rationalize or try to bring logic…just feel it…I am not a rare case. I speak because there are many others too ashamed to do it. They hide in secret; creating clever screen names on Internet support sites hoping to lean on other shoulders- sometimes never learning how to stand upright alone.This is something that has been going on for years; it is just becoming more alarming as the reality of life sets in globally. Developed nations are realizing with a sense of irony that we are actually behind (in some ways) our so-called undeveloped neighbors, and missing out on life’s sweetest pleasures.
No, I will not stop talking about it even when it no longer becomes my personal issue…because it is an issue…because it affects thousands of women and men daily…because it is not a game we can pause and come back to…because one of my purposes in life is being gambled with and I know that other women and men are experiencing this very thing. So as long as I have air in my lungs, a warmed beating heart, and a functioning mind I will speak on this. Now prepare yourself because you may have experienced this (or presently experiencing it) or you may be the other party in this conversation and simply not realize the impact of your words. Hopefully after reading this you will think before you speak and consider the shoes you’re not walking in.
Seeking out the Eye for Temporary Relief from the Storm
January 31, 2010
She means well. Never purposely intending to cause harm on any level, but earlier today something she said struck a chord; it stung painfully to my core as the reality of her words rocked my very essence. It was her apparent fear that reconfirmed my own. Her words marked my mortality, highlighted my closing window on those beloved and treasured reproductive years more and more women are seeing slip away.
Crazy thing is I can’t recall specifically what she said, it is really of no importance…it is how I felt. It’s how I internalized things until they flowed from my eyes many hours past, while sitting on a plane headed to Chicago as the passenger to my left steadily perused through a couple of bridal magazines. The slow creeping feeling of pain grew from my feet and stomach simultaneously, gradually consuming my body- placing heaviest pressure on my chest and shoulders. No where can I turn. Where do I walk, to the lavatory? I can’t stay in there long; it will only bring attention to me. So I sit here with tears occasionally streaming down my face as I glance every so often at the brightly colored images within the bridal magazines.
Two failed engagements equals two called off weddings, two engagement rings stashed away, one wedding gown hanging patiently, and a wedding binder sitting on the floor of my office. If it could it would ask, “what the heck happened?”
It’s amazing how a comment about someone’s chances at marriage, family, and feelings of completeness can grab them so tightly that it feels like all of their organs are convulsing at the same time while tied together with a jumbo rubber band. I thought school would be a distracting force. I thought church would bring me added purpose and patience for God’s will and grace. I thought an attempt to revive the career I put on the back burner to help the ego of another would bring me peace and resolve as I remained…focused. None of these things serve as a band-aid to the open wound that is causing me so much grief. None are the anti-inflammatory pill needed to simply COPE.
I share this openly only because I know I’m not the only woman in her 30s experiencing this; matter of fact I know there are women in their 40s who feel as though they are on that last stretch of the marathon where they can have both marriage and family.
I know I’m not the only woman tired of hearing people say, “girl you better hurry and find a man” while at the same time I’m frowning at those who say “you’ve got plenty of time…there’s women getting pregnant at all ages after 35….” I understand that the latter comment especially, is not meant to pacify me and other women. I know it’s said to give hope, to restore the faith that God’s plan is the only plan. It still casts a mirror in the faces of us that put our careers first; that entered into dead relationships with men who passed time and played house as our precious time ticked away.
If it’s merely a wait for marriage then sure you have plenty of time. If however your wait is for marriage and children, every 25 to 34 days you lose one more petal from your flower. You realize that you’re getting one day closer to being too tired to play with the kids or to take them this place or that place. Or worse you’re getting one day closer to being told, “I’m sorry you simply waited much too long…ever consider adoption?” Yes, but not as my only option.
It’s like a tornado and I’m looking for the calm within its eye just so I can cope, breathe, and cry silently with a smile on my face…just in case some storm chaser catches a glimpse.
Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved; excluding some images.
Tornado Image Source: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.freewebs.com/cropcirclelanguage/A131%2B11.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.freewebs.com/cropcirclelanguage/&usg=__sNZ06SMfOZyp0uDv4v-hSHajg6I=&h=398&w=600&sz=21&hl=en&start=7&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=f9jRy3Qd2QYCCM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Deye%2Bof%2Bthe%2Btornado%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1
Woman with Clock Image Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mBqv5-11iEQ/Sspjh5u0wnI/AAAAAAAAAKo/PBeT7OKjfb8/s400/refi_clock_ticking.jpg
Negative Pregnancy Test Source: http://www.electrical-res.com/EX/10-17-17/pregnancy-test-after-use-negative-single-blue-line-no-cross-indicator-on-instruction-leaflet-background-1-DHD.jpg
Image of Natasha L. Foreman Source: Natasha L. Foreman
Engagement Ring Boxes Source: Natasha L. Foreman
Wedding Binder Source: Natasha L. Foreman