A few days ago, my bestie looked at one of my recent vlogs and said she had feedback for me. I bristled a bit. I’m a big girl, but I still don’t really like criticism. I know I have to accept constructive feedback to get better, and I welcome it, but my body still tenses up. Like, uh-oh, what did I do. Then she dropped it on me, “You’ve got to stop saying ‘shameless plug’ when you’re talking about your book.” As soon as she said it, I felt the earth shift inside of me. It was as if a tectonic plate was out of position and a seismic event realigned me. I knew I felt awkward smiling and presenting my book to my viewers in that way. It seemed cute the same way wearing Chinese slippers felt cute when I was dating my first boyfriend in middle school. I was taller than him, and I was literally trying to make myself smaller. It didn’t feel right. Out of the two of us, I won the height lottery, but attempting to be shorter wasn’t actually helping him in any way. It definitely wasn’t helping me. But, it wasn’t until my friend spoke those words that I realized I was in Chinese slippers all over again. Damn, I thought I got rid of that habit years ago. I’m a grown-ass woman standing in my truth. Meanwhile, I was dimming my own light and I didn’t even realize it.
I wrote my self-help memoir, Thinking Outside the Chrysalis: A Black Woman’s Guide to Spreading Her Wings to help other women. I wrote it to share what I’ve learned over many years so others might have an easier journey. I put love into it. I put my whole heart into it. I believe it is Divinely inspired. I’ve worked tirelessly on it. How could I flippantly refer to it as a shameless plug? It makes me wonder when girls learn to dumb ourselves down. When do we learn to make ourselves small so others can be more comfortable? I don’t have an answer to that, but what I do know is this: I WON’T BE DOING THAT SHIT AGAIN.
And, if I do, I hope to have another good friend call me out. It’s remarkable how certain behaviors can be ingrained in us.
Staying humble is important, but so is shining our light and tooting our horn.
There’s a Muhammad Ali quote that I love, “I am the greatest. I said that before I even knew I was.”
Words have power. We can’t become what we’re unwilling to say out loud.
If you’re on a path toward growth and evolution, be wary of the slippery rocks. There will always be old habits ready to set you back, whether mental like dumbing yourself down or physical like skipping your workout. The greatest blessing you can hope for is a friend to grab your hand and pull you up and say something brilliant like, “What the fuck?!”
I wrote my book to change the world, one beautiful Black woman at a time. I will never apologize for that to make other people comfortable.
I wish you Freedom, Alignment and Effortless Abundance!
P.S. If you’ve never heard of Chinese slippers, they are super-flat, fabric Mary Janes. If you’ve never heard of Mary Janes, you’re probably too young to be reading this with all the bad words I dropped this week. The photo is a meme I found online. It expresses 2020 perfectly, as well as how I felt when I realized what I had done. I swear, I could stare at this picture for hours. If you want to check out my Vlog on YouTube, click the link here.