5 life lessons for women from Iyanla Vanzant

I attended Radio One Detroit’s 2nd Annual Women’s Empowerment Expo held at the Cobo Center in Detroit on August 15, 2015. The event drew a great crowd of women looking to empower themselves and receive words of wisdom from event keynote speaker Iyanla Vanzant.

The expo also featured seminars ranging from “How to Successfully Promote Your Business” to “Keeping the Relate in Your Relationship.” Iyanla Vanzant dropped valuable gems on us and lit up the stage with her presence. SLA shares with you what we’ve learned!

1. Beauty is subjective

Iyanla explained that being a dark-skinned woman with kinky hair was not part of accepted societal beauty standards. As a result she compared herself to everyone else.

She had to make a conscious decision to love and accept who she was and to find beauty in that. Had she not found beauty in herself, she would not be the successful speaker she is today.

2. Every stage of life has a purpose

The purpose in life of a 20-year-old is vastly different from that of a 50-year-old. That is OK. Embracing your life in stages allows you to understand your purpose through your experiences.

Allow your wrinkles to set in, love the rolls around your belly and embrace your stretch marks. Forgive. Understand that your life is like constructing a house. Everything starts with a plan —floor plans, lighting plans, plumbing plans— before the first brick is laid on cement.

If you do not plan for your life or your business you will become bitter from failure, and there’s nothing successful about being bitter.

3. You matter

Women matter. Until you comprehend the power in your value, you will never become conscious of the fact that you matter. When you don’t believe that you matter, you tend to do things that prove what you think is accurate [that you do not matter].

You may not realize it in the present, but when you look back at your life and see your behavior and choices, it will show whether you believed that you matter. This can manifest in relationships, business and even finance.

Your choices will not reflect growth or change for the better unless you believe you matter enough to change them.

4. Understand your personal journey

Comparison is the number one killer of achievement. Comparing yourself to other women only allows you to look down on what they have and not to look up at what you want to be.

If you are solely focused on your own achievements you will not lose sight of your vision and the path to realizing it.

5. Pause

Life happens – for better and sometimes for worse. If you go through your 20s to 80s without a pause, you will end up angry and confused about the happenings of your life.

Every stage in your life requires a pause to find clarity and to learn the lessons. You cannot carry the burdens and mistakes from each stage in your life to the next one and expect to achieve anything.

 

Less stress, more VIM: 5 daily activities for a healthier life

Studies show that African women are the most enterprising and hardworking people on the planet. While we fully embrace this title as Motherland Moguls, we know this work takes its toll. While some pressure can increase productivity, sustained emotional and mental strain causes stress, which distracts us and makes us sick.

It’s time for professional African women to take self-care seriously! These five activities are time tested to keep the blues and pain away.

It’s time for professional African women to take self-care seriously.

1. SweatAunt Vivian - Fresh Prince of Bel Air

There’s more to working out than getting a ‘bikini bod’. Exercise has been proven to stimulate the release of endorphins —that good stuff that makes you happy. Some people find long-distance running cathartic while others feel empowered with strength training.

From kickboxing, to dancing, to tennis, physical activity is a great way to release tension and increase self-confidence. No wonder Queen B. is always happy!

2. Set GoalsKermit typewriter

Goal setting  is a proven way to reduce stress. Spend ten minutes reflecting and writing your goals each day. When you know where you are going, you are less likely to stress the small.

Think about your goals – short and long-term. Evaluate your actions towards your goals and celebrate small and big wins often!

3. Control your thoughts and perspectiveShakira Meditation

Meditation is a great way to train the brain. Many people falsely believe that meditation means sitting still. Any activity that allows you slow down and take stock of  life, events, and people is meditative.

Try this five minute meditation technique called The Heart of the Rose; it will also increase your concentration.

4. SmileVeronica Bozeman

You know those annoyingly positive people who say “Turn that frown upside down” when you are upset? Well, sorry to break it you, but it turns out they are actually on to something.

According to studies, smiling reduces stress levels. When we get stressed our hearts beat faster; simply can reduce heart rate and calm us down.

5. Be your own cheerleaderGabrille Union - Bring It On

The journey to lead the pack is tough. At times, there will be no one to cheer you on. But do not lose hope or give up.   Knowing the power of a hopeful spirit, we share a positive mantra with you each morning.

You can also create your own. Remember, to keep your mantra truth; that you are strong, resilient, and powerful.

So Motherland Moguls, which of these activities do you already do and how do they help? Which acts of self-care do you want to implement this new year?