Part of me is nervous to write what I am about to write. Some people feel as if some things shouldn’t be written about. Considering our society is full of Social media and we post on Facebook and Twitter just about every thought that goes through our minds. Once we invite people into our minds we open ourselves up for critcism , busy bodies, judgment etc…. The way I view it is if I am spreading your business in regards to what you post on FB or any other social media . Yes call me out!!! However if the business I post is my own. I have done this by choice, Its my business to tell if I so choose to. I share what I feel would inspire , help, or make someone’s day. IF I so choose. With that being said. I am going to share the beginning of my 2013.
Last year 2012 after Thanksgiving I discovered that I was once again pregnant . It freaked me out because I just had my 2nd daughter January of 2012. After the shock I moved forward to prepare to welcome this new life. After the alloted time I went to the doctor for my first ultrasound. To my surprise the doctors told me that they didn’t see a baby. Instead of saying I may still be too early to detect they started throwing around words like. Chemical Pregnancy , Miscarriage etc…. I had to wait until Christmas Eve to do a 2nd ultrasound. When done everything checked out the baby had a strong heartbeat and all was well. As the new year came in my family was excited my daughter was to celebrate her 1st birthday January 2nd. A day after she got terribly ill with the stomach flu. Which in turn I caught. My husband and I were off work for a week caring for my baby and myself. That following week I had to go for my 4 week appt. I took my oldest daughter who is 5 years old with me. She wanted to see the baby in the sonogram. She was so excited.
When the doctor did the sonogram she looked concerned. She sent me in a room with a larger ultrasound machine. Instead of good news I got the news no one wants to hear at 3 months pregnant. “I’m sorry Mrs. Newbill, but the baby does not have a heartbeat”. I went into a tunnel. My thought process was What do you mean ? I just went numb. Instead of emotion at first, I turned to my 5 year old daughter and told her . The baby didn’t make it ! There is no more baby. When I spoke those words I began to cry as I dialed my cell to let my husband know and the family members who were aware of the pregnancy.
The doctors told me I have to pass the baby with something called a medical abortion. I didn’t know what that was. Did it require surgery? No.. 4 little pills that you insert into you and it aborts the baby within 4 hours. I couldn’t even believe that there were such pills that existed . I went home. I cried. My husband was at work. I thought to myself this is the 2nd time that my body became a tomb . I had something that was once a growing baby now a lifeless mass that had to come out of me. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. When I inserted the pills. I sat and waited with my daughters playing in the family room. I began to cramp as if though I was having contractions. This was more intense than I expected. I didn’t want to go to the bathroom I didn’t want to see it. I put it off for as long as I could but the pain of the cramps were becoming unbearable. Once I saw all the blood I kinda tapped out. mentally I wasn’t there. Within 24 hours my 3 mth belly that was visibly pregnant was now flat . I mourned for 3 days not washing , or changing my clothes. I prayed, fasted, prayed. I didn’t ask God why? I accepted it. I came to the conclusion that GOD has every right to change his mind as to how he wishes to bless me . I didn’t understand while going through but I get it now.
After this experience I thanked GOD for allowing me to experience bringing life into this world. I decided that I was blessed with 2 daughters and I will never give birth again. I was traumatized by my experience that it was instrumental in my decision to get tubal litigation. I went back to the doctor for a follow up and they were able to tell me that if the baby had been born it would have had Down Syndrome due to genetic deformities that were present in the ultrasound.
Of course I was blown away by that declaration. I have to say without my faith I would not have been able to move forward from this. Some people were telling me that I don’t have to be strong etc….. I know that I don’t have to be strong but strength finds its way into you and you move forward. My mother said it best We are made of strong stuff. Women can handle much more than we think. be encouraged when a trial comes up whether its minor or severe. Strength Finds its way into u! Embrace it and don’t be afraid to move forward.
It’s hard to believe that an idea that I have been pining over for 5 years took 5 months to be born and launched online. I am in awe of how well SheaMa is being received by the people. It just goes to show me that anyone can do anything with a thought if they are consistent, motivated and passionate. However without the customers we would have nothing. So I learned a few things over the past 5 months in launching my own business.
1. Pace your yourself: Many people received samples of our product through our sample campaign. This was needed to see if people would purchase this product. However the response was so overwhelming that I was being pressured to put out product before all the needed business elements were in place. Don’t rush it. You don’t want to go half assed for a few dollars. The anticipation and build-up of the release made me want to perfect the product before releasing. Anyone can make a quick buck . I’m trying to grow a business.
2. Be Generous but not too Generous: We do not mind sending free samples in the mail to inquiring minds who want to try our product before buying. No problem, all we ask is that you let us know how you liked it. If you didn’t like it we want to know that too in order to improve what it is that we are doing. However everyone’s motive is not honest. Some people want you to send free product while promising to make large order’s just to see how you operate. It may be a competitor etc…. if you want to see how we package things make a purchase. No more freebies. We do understand the desire to know that you are not wasting your money on bum product but we have to protect our business and inventory.
3. Competitor does not mean Enemy: SheaMa is a unique company. We do things differently and although our product may be similar to some other products out there we have our own identity as well as the other similar businesses. I love to network with people. If I attend a vending event and see someone selling a similar product my intent is never malicious. I want to learn from you . If you have been in business longer than I have I am a student. I will never treat you like an enemy we are small businesses on the same path. Lets be nice :)
4. Process Of Elimination: When we started we had so many scents and flavors and when we launched all of those scents and flavors went on the website. After a few months I realized that some were selling and others were not. If a product is not selling eliminate it from the inventory. Not saying that you cant bring it back but whatever is your top selling items promote the hell out of it. you can reintroduce the eliminated product at a later date with better marketing strategy.
5. Love what you Do: A Customer told me that she can feel the love in my product. Its just feels like love. Let’s face it we are all in business to make money. However Money shouldn’t be the only driving force keeping you in business. I created SheaMa out of love for my daughter. I am reminded of that when I see those late hours , or when I spend money on quality ingredients. I would not give my child anything but the best. My customers are like my children . You deserve the best. My family is usually the first to test out all my products. If I use it on my babies you know its good because I would not put any part of them in danger with toxins or ingredients that would be bad for them. I have a passion for what I am doing and that love and passion drives me every day. I pray and walk in my authority to be the best in whatever it is that I am doing.
The scriptures says “God has not given us the spirit of fear but the lord has given us POWER!. Sigh! So why am I overcome with bouts of fear. I have to be honest with myself at all times. I am not one who likes to fool myself, there is no point in that.
So being that I am one who likes to get results and I like to dissect myself . I threw myself into this fear thing. I have come to the realization that my fear is based off of things that I cannot control. I do not consider myself to be a control freak but releasing control over certain things gives me that funny feeling in my chest. Also the unknown. I get fearful of the unknown. But not just any unknown’s but things I believe I should know and feel I don’t know I get all yucky inside. I am fully aware that I control nothing. Things will be as they are . The more I say that the more I feel better. I speak positive affirmations and work out my feelings on paper, blog or FB. Purposely because I am a person who is willing to receive messages of substance that can help me improve my life .
I know I got a ways to go . But I am growing everyday. The only one that can hold me back is me. The one that can impair my relationships is me. The one that can sabotage my future is me. I tell my daughter all the time when she is tattling on her little sister. “Don’t worry about her .. You worry about you !” I guess I need to take my own advice :)
Moving Forward in Freedom Freedom = NO FEAR
I say that title in my Black Dynamite “Bull Horn Voice” ! I had an interesting conversation with my cousin the other night . He informed me that I take on too much as a wife, mother, business woman etc… and that I need to ease up. I manage well but I thought about it later. Am I taking on too much?
That’s a question that alot of us mothers as ourselves. We do what we were wired to do . We make miracles happen. If we don’t who will? Since I started my own business recently SHEAMA (www.sheama-butters.com) I have been terribly busy. Still working a full time job. I am active in my church ministry , I help out other women with their small businesses,trying to keep my marriage balanced, auditioning for plays, taking singing and speaking engagments all while balancing a 5 yr old and an 8 mth old. My daughters see me do it all. My husband is in the trenches with me. But is it too much?
I don’t feel like it is. I do what I am physically and mentally able to do . I do what fulfills me spiritually and artistically. I used to go till I burned out! To stop me usually required an intervention of some sort. Now adays I say
I need Help
I need a mental health break
I need a weekend trip
I need me time.
When I speak these affirmations I stick to them. I state the need and do everything to get that need met. That doesn’t take away my Mom-In -Chief Stripes. It just shows me that no matter how much I wish to achieve for financial reasons or fulfillment I cannot sit idle.
proverbs 21:5 says The plans of the diligent lead only to plenty, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
I do my best to plan out everything. it may look like I’m all over the place but there is a method to the madness. Here are a few steps that keeps me balanced
Calendering : I learned to do this out of necessity when I started to double book appointments . When u have 2 active parents in the house u must not only keep up with your own schedule, you need to manage your children’s schedule and your husband’s. Just so we all know where we are supposed to be.
Saying NO: We sometimes feel obligated to do alot of t hings but if I cant do it I cant do it . I am entitled to say No and don’t feel guilty when I do . Tomorrow is another day.
Sleep : This is tricky sometimes. I am grateful enough to have help in the house so I normally do not have the night shift. However when daddy got a gig ( drummer) Mommy has to hold it down . I keep the girls on their night time schedules usually in the bed by 8:30 pm . SO whatever I have to do to be in bed at a reasonable hour I get it done.
Finish What you start : Normally projects run together. We are blessed with many talents and gifts and if you are like me you attempt to utilize them all regardless of what you have on the table. I am learning to finish what I start. If it takes months then so be it. I will not dive head first into another project until the one I started is up and running and maintaining itself
Make Time for Love : me time is important but so is couple time. You can get so ambitious and so engulfed in your children that you forget your spouse. Take a mini vacation if u cant afford it take a staycation. Take the kids to grandma and just spend time together ( just don’t make another baby LOL )
When the media erupted with news that Zoe Salanda has been chosen to play Nina Simone. The firestorm has fallen and burned through just about every Facebook status and twitter account expressing the displeasure that people have with Hollywood’s choice. However there are a lot of people who don’t really know who Nina is. They seen pictures and can possibly only name one tune they heard her sing . Everyone including myself has formed an opinion about who should play her. I have been jokingly saying ” Why Not Me”? I can play her. For some people a statement like that is unrealistic or is it? I had the opportunity to play her in a theatrical piece but my knowledge of Nina began when I was in 1st grade. “Young Gifted and Black ” that song was danced to every year while in elementary school for the Black History Month program as well as the Christmas program etc… My school wanted us to know and believe that we were indeed Young Gifted and Black. Nina’s story is a unique one. A passionate one . If Zoe can play her why not me? Shoot that’s just like Aretha Franklin wanting Halle Berry to portray her.
The point is this the upcoming movie on Nina is unauthorized. When the Nina Simone estate approves a movie on her life then I am sure the right choice would be made for the role. Think about it . Ray Charles was in talks for years to do a movie on his life but the timing was all wrong until a young comedian turned actor showed up and showed out! Jamie Foxx may not have been the right shade or some of us may have looked at him and said aww he look like Jaime Foxx but he embodied Ray. And although blind Ray approved. The same was true for Tina Turner. Angela Basset looked nothing like Tina but that didn’t affect her powerful portrayal of her.
Nina is no longer with us and doesn’t have a say so in who depicts her life but she does have a daughter who I’m sure will know when she know. I wish people would just research her. Read about her life . Listen to her music before making statements about who should play her. We all know off the break Zoe Salanda just doesn’t fit and the previous candidate Mary J. Blige wasn’t approved by Nina fans either. However there is someone out there that does fit. An unknown or a Newbie in Hollywood. They are out there. I believe If Nina were alive today she would be a little blown back by all of this. The way America treated her and her music. She would have given everyone the proverbial middle finger. I am however excited in this new curiosity that people have for her. Maybe it would shed some light and inspire someone.
As for me … My first dream was to collab with her on a song before she passed but that didn’t happen. I may not play her in Hollywood but hey we create our own destiny and dreams. I will continue to honor her in my music , poetry , and style. She is amazing . Who knows I may do a one woman show !
I speak my dreams into the atmosphere and I’m not surprised when they become reality. ;)
“What’s free to me .. No fear !” Nina Simone
Mama Moon-Breaking Free
I already have my feelings on Zoe Salanda portraying this great woman but after reading Simone’s statement and listening to her share her heart . I am further not in agreement with the whole thing.
Greetings Nina Simone Lovers, Simone here.
I have read many of the comments am happy you all took the time to share your thoughts and feelings.
When the announcement initially hit the press with MJ Blige cast as Nina (about 6 yrs ago) I heard it along with everyone else. The story was written as a love story between my mother and her former nurse, Clifton Henderson and primarily
Nina is awesome and it would take a really talented individual to bring her essence back to life on the screen … Somebody like … Me :) LOL LOL
I have heard this statement so many times, and recently I have noticed alot of black pots calling the kettle black. The response most of the time from the kettle is “Well you’re black too”! The pot then response with ..” Well actually I’m a dark smoky charcoal, or I’m really a bi-racial pot my mother is actually silver… The point? Once the realization of what you are, who you are, what you’ve done is pointed out to you ,the excuses to down play or weigh the strength of the Kettle’s obvious blackness to hide your flaws becomes a billboard.
In this life accountability has been lost with a lot of people but boy do they love to assassinate the character of someone else without taking responsibility for their own actions or contributions to a wayward situation. I am one who has been on both sides of judgment. Individuals perception of who I am from what I have done in the many seasons of my life and self imposed judgment;who I really am and what I allow people to perceive. You are who you are and I have to say this NO ONE is void of mistakes in their life. So remember if someone hurt you , did something to you to make u cry, broke a promise. Be angry , but remember Grace. Combating hurt with hurt creates a situation that can ruin someone’s life . If you have the mindset of “Well my life was ruined pay back is Bitch !” Trust I speak from experience. Hurt begats hurts. The satisfaction from revenge is seasonal. The skeletons in your own closet may not be large in numbers as most people and they may not be as public as most but there are skeletons. Once those skeletons are exposed (and they will be exposed) , you would want grace and mercy on your side.
Those sitting in the seat of judgement of a wrong doer one day you will be on the other side of that, or you have been on the other side of that. Use your experience to educate and lift someone up don’t break them down. Those who made the mistake, go through the long suffering. If you created the situation you have to deal accordingly with the consequences of that but don’t stay there. Once asked GOD has already forgiven. Forgiveness of yourself is the most important. The people that u hurt go to them and make amends if they forgive then that’s great If they don’t that’s OK too. Just come from a place of humility and love,do not take their forgiveness for granted and for the sake of karma don’t repeat what you did. We all are black so just accept the things in your life as they are. Life is too short for you to shorten it more with what you cannot change. Spend time changing the things that are changeable. Leave the rest up to GOD!