Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Just Checkin In

Has anyone ever called you just to say hi? Not wanting anything, they asked how you were doing and was genuinely interested in your well being. Well, that's me right now. I'm writing just to say hello and let you know that I've been thinking about you. I'm wondering how you've been doing and what amazing ideas or happenings you have going on in your life. I'm curious to know what's going on with school? Your love life? Your health? The thoughts inside of your mind? Your life in general?

I hope that you're doing something fantastic for yourself or your future. Like planning or engaging in activities that are healthy, mind-renewing and fun. I hope that you are being productive with your time and making decisions and plans that will celebrate your beauty and enhance your life. This means that you might be working hard and long to reach your goals. You might be putting in the extra hours at work or studying longer just to make sure you are prepared. You may be exercising more consistently or saying no to your favorite comfort foods. You may be trying to finish high school while caring for a baby or getting information on a job readiness programs to help you learn some employment skills. The point is that you're doing something GOOD FOR YOU.


As for me, I am eagerly anticipating the day when I get the call from my agent telling me that my debut young adult novel, Pretty Me has been purchased by a publishing company. In the meantime, I am writing even more, blogging about how much I love being connected with teen girls, preparing to start a non-profit and trying to establish an exercise routine.

The vibe I'm feeling right now has me preparing for the new year which will mean new opportunities to shoot for the top. I am thinking in terms of success, happiness and moving forward and I hope that you are too. Whatever happened during 2013 (whether good or bad) will only be a springboard for great things in 2014.

I want to leave you with a song. Jill Scott's, Cross My Mind. Now hold on, wait a minute... I know that the song reminisces about a love from her past. But the song is cute and the melody is simple and a small portion of the lyrics really capture how I'm thinking about you right now. If you take just the chorus for what it is, she wrote;

You're just runnin' across my mind
You're just runnin' across my mind
You're just runnin' across my mind
I was just thinkin' about you
And wonderin' what you're doin'
I mean what you've been up to?.....

Now the song goes on from there and she sings some details about a romantic encounter that I won't mention on this blog. But like Jill, I want to say to you----- "you're just runnin' across my mind.... I mean, what you been up to? Leave a comment and share with me what's good.

Because I care,
Develyn

Friday, November 15, 2013

CELEBRATE

Today is a day for celebration! It is my 35th birthday and I am celebrating all of the positive and wonderful attributes that makes me special. I am smiling as I look in the mirror and admire my new kinky twist hair style. I am happy to hear the silly laughter and goofy jokes of my sons. I am loving the new black pants and shirt with the gold buttons down the middle. I am happy that I have the motivation, drive and determination to fulfill my goals and live out my dreams. Wheeeeew, thirty-five feels awesome and all I can do is give thanks. Today, I also celebrate you. Each and every one of you are special to me and bring me joy. I can't say that I know you all by name or that we've ever met face-to-face, but I feel closely connected to you through our unspoken girl power bond that allows us to be able to understand each other though we may be miles apart with several years between us. Speaking with you, listening to your secrets, sharing in your successes and being strength for your struggles empowers me and gives me purpose. Because of you, I have someone to serve and someone to make me better. And I give thanks. I love to inspire and motivate you, encourage and guide you and help you become the best YOU. I celebrate all that I am today because many women took the time to sow goodness into my life and that's what I want to do with you. Can you join me in my celebration today? Find one thing to celebrate and type in the comments section below: Today I celebrate myself because ______________. It doesn't have to be a BIG thing or something that others have said about you. It can be something simple or something personal or something you have never shared. Let's celebrate together and let the world know about the AWESOMENESS we possess inside. So, cheers to us and cheers to everything good. I'm going to turn up and do my happy dance all day long while reading your comments. Here, I'll go first. Today I celebrate myself because: I have my health, my mind, my family, my purpose, my God and yes, I celebrate YOU. Pass the mic. Your turn.
xoxo Develyn

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lift! Build! Educate! Action!


As I watched and learned more about the Trayvon Martin Case, I asked myself; what is the message for our young girls and younger ladies? What can we learn from this trial and from the violence that is plaguing our communities and killing our African American males? More importantly, what can we do to make a difference in our communities and impact our future for the better? Immediately, the words: LIFT, BUILD, EDUCATE and ACTION came to mind.


It's easy to have a opinion about what we see taking place in our schools, communities and the judicial system. Protests, riots, angry citizens divided, growing bigotry, inhuman humanity and racial division is what I continually hear about through the media. But I refuse to believe that those negative actions and attitudes are all that we have happening around us.

I believe that the young people of today are being inspired to take action. Our generation is being forced to get involved and are becoming a part of the process to enact positive change. No longer can we allow the movements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and a host of others to fire the fuel for progress. We've got to take action and stand united on the forefront for change NOW.

Injustice has taken on a new face. It's systematic now with injustice prevailing through our laws. So just because someone is not overtly calling you a derogatory name or restricting your access into a certain place doesn't mean that the fight is over and the playing field is even. Now, laws are being passed that will make it harder to vote, civil liberties that our forefathers fought for are being taken away with much of this happening right before our eyes --snatched up from under our noses. It is not the time for short-timed emotionalism or angered rants of non-productivity. It is time for powerful, tactful, systematic demonstrations for progress.

I think it's safe to say that as young ladies, we are not as discriminated against as our young boys. We don't have the heightened level of threat, anxiety and fear that others feel towards us just because of the color of our skin and our gender. But this doesn't mean that we are safe. Because the same laws and attitudes that are being used to see African American males and many others to their demise, can and might be used against us one day. I believe we have to stand in the gap and show support, understanding and commitment to our males. We have to help them make decisions that will keep them safe and support and protect them so that they can have the just deserved chance at a prosperous life. Don't we all deserve a chance?

The message is simple. As the young girls and younger ladies of our generation, we must LIFT up our males and BUILD up their greatest attributes. These are the attributes that can and will bring us together. Furthermore, nothing is more valuable than knowledge because once the mind is strong, action is the only solution. Gandhi said it best. "We have to become the change we want to see in the world." His words are often overused and devalued. But now is the time for serious revolution. Things have got to change. And if it doesn't start with them, it has to start with ME......and hopefully YOU. Let's make a difference and show this world what we can do, together.



Together we stand,
Develyn

Monday, June 17, 2013

When PRIDE knocks U Down!

I recently had an experience where I was denied for a writing job that I wanted so bad. I took my time and wrote about interesting topics and then researched the company just to be sure that my articles would interest their target audience. And right before sending them off, I took one quick minute to proofread my work and then pressed send on the computer, confident that those articles would secure my next opportunity. I was so proud and excited that I beamed with anticipation.

Time passed and my confidence grew. I just knew this company was going to allow me to write for them. My articles were fresh and I was ready-- at least I thought. A couple of weeks later, I received a short and simple email that kindly read, "Develyn, these writing samples are not proofread. You should never send writing out like this!" Needless to say, the answer was a NO!

If the computer screen was a mirror, I would have cracked it with the surprised expression on my face. "Huh, my articles, sloppy?" I asked with a twisted expression. Then I played the sympathy card."But I tried hard and felt so passionate about what I was writing. Besides, they couldn't have been that bad?" I asked, begged and reasoned with my bruised pride, too ashamed to even open the articles and reread my poorly edited stories. My pride was knocked ALL THE WAY down and I was feeling like I wanted to hide under a rock for a year or two or at least until the fifty nagging voices in my head stop screaming, "Loser! Failure! Duh!
I bowed my head and felt sorry for myself for a short time and then the revelation came. I realized that the email send to me was a growth opportunity beckoning me to grow and get better. Though I had failed at this opportunity, I was growing in another. Because the truth of the matter was, "Yes, I did need to improve." I mean, I can't expect to be taken serious in a industry where you've got to be the best if my work was sloppy. Plain and Simple.

As soon as I got over feeling knocked down, I got up, brushed my dirty knees off and headed straight to the library. I checked out all of the books they had on my craft and studied them. I completed practice exams and tried to commit the common rules to memory. Now, I take my time and do research when I'm not sure about something. Most of all, I proofreading my work and take the time to make sure it's at its best. This experience in failure ended up being a blessing in disguise because it taught me three important lessons.

#1- YOU have to be willing to fail to GROW.
Anytime that you're walking in your purpose, you're going to be faced with rejection, denial, criticism, doubt, moments of unpreparedness and flat out NO's! But you have to be willing to stand strong, learn the lesson, shut down the nagging voices (including your pride) and keep stepping. The Life Coach, Iyanla Vanzant, always says, "Don't be afraid to DO THE WORK!" And if that means that you have to slip and fall first-- so be it.

#2 ALWAYS Send your work out LEGIT.
Anything that represents you or your craft needs to always be at its best. Take the time to check, double check and triple check your work. There is no such thing as checking it over for a minute. Being thorough is the right thing to do.

#3- Check your pride at the door. Pride is a hammer that will beat you over the head and make you want to forfeit your dreams. But don't be too hard on yourself. Failure is a part of the process. Everyone is going to fail at one time or another and it doesn't mean that you have to fail every time. But when you do, get back up and get focused on the next task.

MC Hammer 80's hit sang, "I am 2 legit 2 QUIT! That's the way I feel. And I want you to feel the same way too.

See you at the top!
Develyn

Monday, June 3, 2013

LAYERS

Life experiences, trials that come to test us, situations that make us have to be quiet long enough to figure out
our next step,
our next decision,
or our next word to say
are some of the situations that takes place when life begins to peel back the layers.  The experience can be likened to a person’s skin peeling. At first, peeling skin looks irritated, scaly, dry, cracked and abandoned. It might hurt, or be sensitive to touch or burn. That’s metaphorically peeling off the first layer. It requires a lot of attention. Sensitive care and intentional decisions. You might have to cry or be in a state of confusion for a while. This is the stage when people usually cry out, “why me,” and want to give into defeat rather than staying strong. BUT DON'T GIVE UP!

 In time new skin begins to break through. It’s soft, tender and not yet ready to be revealed. This is like the second layer. During this time the attitude can be like, “Okay, things are looking up for me. I see the sun breaking through the clouds. But it’s not the time to let down your guards and celebrate just yet. Careful attention is still needed. You have to remain steadfast, focus and disciplined. The same things that you were doing at stage one must be continued except with further planning. Now it time to think about the plan further, stretched out . What do you need to do different? Have you learned the lessons in stage one? Are you taking care of your soul more carefully, cautiously and contently?

 Finally, the big reveal comes and new skin breaks through. It looks effervescent, strong, and beautiful. It represents the real you and leaves no traces of the process you had to endure, no matter how difficult the circumstance. And then the 'aah ha' moment comes.The layers, equivalent to the experiences we go through came for this moment, this purpose, this breakthrough in your life. The shine, the glory, the exposure of the greater you was what was behind those layers. Was it worth it?

Life happens in stages similar to this. Each situation, relationship, circumstance that we successfully overcome is a layer being peeled back in our lives. The shedding of these layers reveal a greater, more resplendent person inside.  If we take the time to understand the value in each lesson, the reward leads to a greater sense of self.

Too bad television doesn’t allow us to see strong women as they’re going through peelings. We either see them at the height of their success or at their fall down. But everyone, each one of us has layers that we will shed. It won't be a punishment, we can't be made to feel ugly and it certainly won't be recognized as odd, unusual or weird. Its seasonal, necessary and a healthy part of our maturity. So peel and let the old layers shed and be gone.YOU'RE GONNA SHINE REGARDLESS.....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Princess and a Queen

You don't have to live in a castle to be a princess or a queen
But when you carry yourself with the highest esteem
 and hold your head high no matter how things seem
There's no other choice than to give you the respect that's due
and honor the royalty that is within you

So be assured and allow nobody to change your mind
you were made to reign and yes, that makes you divine
you can dance, sing, live life and be free
No one else can determine your destiny

Each person is different and our journeys are not the same
it doesn't matter the process as long as we reign
So, design your crown and share your story
wear it proud as your testimony

Above all,
Find that place of inner glory and SHINE
There is NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU
a rare jewel, PRINCESS, QUEEN .....divine

Friday, February 15, 2013

WaLkING!

I am so determined. I feed and fuel my faith daily with the promise of my purpose. I have not seen the manifestation of my dream, a book deal, a successful writing career, a professional and personable literary agent, but it's coming. I believe therefore I know I will receive. (Praise break!)

In the meantime, God has been sooooooooooo ooooooooo good. I spent some time soaking up the seasons, both literally and spiritually. I've learned to use a warm coat and layers during the winter and to let the leaves fall where they may in Autumn. Above all, I've gotten closer to God and closer to myself, which will only make me better when the my time comes.

I am so thankful for life and this opportunity. God has allowed me to grow, to grassroots my purpose, hone my writing, learn patience, trust, resilience and love. I have learned.......you have to love the dark places. The places where there is no light. The places where it appears unsafe. The places were it seems like little movement. THOSE ARE THE PLACES WHERE I HAVE GROWN and learned to give more of myself to vulnerability and to faith, which has always secured me. I could go on and on. GOD has really been that good. But I'll end now and just say thank you... because I'm WALKING!!!!!