Meet Amanda Muhammad of A Peace of Yoga

A couple of Sunday’s ago, I had the pleasure to experience Yoga with a great friend of mine for the first time. It was an absolutely AH-MAZING experience. For once, I was able to relax. My phone was turned off and it was just me and my breathing, and of course my instructor, my favorite “flower child” Manda! I challenge EVERYONE to try a session with her at least once. I promise you will not be disappointed. So please do me a favor and help me introduce to the world, Amanda Muhammad of A Peace of Yoga. 🙂

Tell me a little about yourself.

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My name is Amanda Safiyyah Muhammad, I am 26 years old and was born and raised in Overland Park, Kansas. I attended the University of Kansas for my Undergraduate Degree in Management & Leadership with a Concentration in Human Resources and recently wrapped up my Masters Program at Baker University where I received my degree in Organizational Leadership. I moved to Dallas in October 2013 and it was the best thing I could have possibly done for my future. I have an incredibly odd obsession with sharks, conscious hip-hop music, love all asian foods, and have a thing for helping others maximize their potential. I am a 2nd Grade Reading Teacher by day and yogi/transformational consultant by morning, day and night.

IMG_7720Now tell me a little bit about your business. How did it start? Where did the vision come from?

My vision for A Peace of Yoga began about 6 years ago while taking Wally Meyer’s Entrepreneurship class at the University of Kansas. At the time, my mom (fellow yoga instructor) and I had began taking yoga classes as an avenue for stress relief while we dealt with multiple tragedies that suddenly directly affected our family. Initially, I was going to start a studio in the downtown Kansas City area with hopes of sharing my practice with our community. God had a different plan and I moved to Dallas and lost sight of my vision for APOY for quite some time. I battled with trying to find passion in something from the moment I crossed the stage at The University of Kansas. I held a couple different positions with great companies but never could fill this void I felt deep in my heart. Anyone who knows me knows that I am an incredibly passionate person and I wanted to do something that would allow me to directly impact and serve others. After diving deep back into my yoga practice and continuously getting this rush I didn’t find anywhere else at the end of every single class, I decided to dust off my business plan and make my vision a reality. I realized that yoga, meditation, and empowerment was my vehicle to helping others transform their lives and to create healthier and happier communities.

BIGHave you reached out into the community? If so, what have you done?

I’ve been providing private/small yoga sessions in the DFW area along with Vision Board Consulting and Empowerment/Law of Attraction Coaching. I have partnered with a homeless shelter in the DFW area and teach the clients about yoga, stillness, and the power of positive thinking. I am also putting together an athletic clothing drive as an initiative to promote health and wellness in underserved communities. My ultimate goal is to create safe spaces, make yoga accessible to everyBODY (literally), and to help others with their journey to self acceptance and peace.

What advice would you give a young Queen trying to start their own business?

My advice to a fellow Queen is to start before you’re ready, fail fast, be your own number one fan and be cautious of your surroundings. I know it sounds crazy but hear me out. If you wait for the perfect time to take a risk, you will never take it. Your dream will literally be the dusty statue on that shelf you clean one time a year. Go for it. If it doesn’t work out exactly the way you wanted it to, good, you just learned something new for the next journey when you pick yourself up and try again. Experience has hands down been the best teacher for me in learning how to run a business and maintain professional relationships.

It is so important that you cheer yourself on and surround yourself with people who are proud of you and support you in your endeavors… only. My Line Sister doubles as my accountability and vent partner where we lay it all out on the table and help each other to get through the rough days and celebrate the great ones. The reality that you will find is that some people simply want you to be the caterpillar that they met and want nothing to do with the butterfly you are evolving into. That’s the beautiful thing about becoming the butterfly.. you can fly away. Dismiss yourself from negativity and distractions and stay focused on the big picture. No one but you can see your vision and create your reality. My general rule of thumb is to assess the five people that you are hanging around or communicating with the most, are they adding or subtracting from you reaching your goal(s)? Recognize that these five people make up the person that you are and determine the type of relationship you desire to maintain with that person if any.

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How important do you think it is for us as blacks to support other black owned businesses?

I’ve always known the importance of supporting black owned businesses because I grew up watching my father develop and run one. However, I didn’t FEEL the importance of it until I actually began developing my own. If you know a fellow King or Queen that is trying to do something on their own, support them. Whether it is liking or sharing a post, purchasing a good or service, or even advertising by word of mouth – trust me; it means a lot. There needs to be a higher level of respect and appreciation for entrepreneurs and their businesses in our community. Money circulates zero to one time within the black community, compared to the more than six times it circulates in the Latino community, nine times in the Asian community and unlimited amount of times within the white community, according to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. Stop looking for handouts and find ways to partner or collaborate with businesses versus devaluing our people’s efforts. I think it is incredibly important to bring diversity of all kinds to your businesses, of course, but there is something profound and very beautiful when it comes to watching our people come together and support each others visions.

How does a person find you and connect with you via social media for questions regarding your business?

My Instagram and Twitter Handle are both @sfmako1908. I can be directly reached at APOYpractice@gmail.com or through my website, APeaceOfYoga.com

Any upcoming events?

As mentioned before, This fall I will be launching an athletic clothing drive to encourage health and wellness in underserved communities. More information regarding that initiative will be available soon. If you are interested in donating or partnering, please feel free to reach out to me at APOYpractice@gmail.com

Thanks Amanda for the wonderful interview! 🙂

If you know someone or would like to be featured on week on Sister’s with Vision please email me at Sisters.With.Vision2015@gmail.com

Sisterly Love,

B

Meet Amber Williams of “Le Rouge Cuisine”

Wow! I can’t believe we have already made it to our 5th member of S.W.V. I’m super excited about that! 🙂 I’m even more excited about introducing this young, beautiful, driven Queen to you all. It was an absolute honor to interview her and learn so much more about the person behind her business and you will see why once you take a look.

Every please meet another Sister With Vision….Amber Williams of “Le Rouge Cuisine.”

amber2Tell me a little about yourself.

My full name is Amber Williams. I am 26 years old, born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I am a 2011 Graduate of Grambling State University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management. I am a hugely active person. I cheered from the 4th grade to all 4 years at Grambling state on the collegiate level, I love dance, music is a great passion of mine and basically anything pertaining to the arts, but of course, my first love is cooking.

Now tell me a little bit about your business. How did it start? Where did the vision come from?

Although I was born and raised in the metroplex, where my father is from, my mother is from Baton Rouge, LA and we have huge roots in southern Louisiana and Mississippi. On each side of the family, our common connection was the kitchen and From Grandma and Papa, to aunts, uncles and cousins, everyone had their specialty and when we joined together, everyone had their spot in the kitchen and/or grill and magic would happen. So being in the kitchen is huge pass time for me and it’s always where I feel at ease. With this love, I began making small dessert bites, cakes, brownies, etc in college and selling them. From then, people started to order more, then I began studying the art of decorating cakes and practicing on my own and my passion grew. As time went on, I knew that serving people was what I wanted to do and I set my eyes upon going to culinary school after obtaining my Bachelors. Well as God ahead other plans for me, I did not attend culinary school but I did not let that stop my journey. I continued to work at my craft and practice, using my friends as guinea pigs and finally I just wrote down a few business names and prayed over them and one stuck out-this is how Le Rouge Cuisine Food Company is born. ‘Le Rouge Cuisine’ simply translates to “The Red Kitchen” in French, which culminates my Créole roots. Red is the color of passion, power and zeal and with the kitchen being My Domain, it just stuck.

Have you reached out into the community? If so, what have you done?

There are so many places I want Le Rouge Cuisine to go, but it has to start at home first. Currently, I assist my culinary ministry at my church and I help feed our Pastor and staff for meetings and special events, while also preparing food for our Seniors and the men and women enrolled in our Adult Rehabilitation program. But there is so much more to come.

What advice would you give a young Queen trying to start their own business?

Just 2 weeks prior I made the daunting decision to leave corporate America and take on my catering company full time. No, the stars didn’t align up, No, I didn’t have a large sum of money stored up, nor did I have a calendar of clients lined up as well-it was all God. To the Young Queen with a vision, faith, support and vision will be your greatest tools. You must always Keep God first for He should be leading you along the way. This walk is a hard one, so make sure you have at least 1 person, if not more, you can keep in your corner ands honest, good support-you’ll need it. And stay true to your vision, that’s one thing that no one can take away from you. Believe in your vision, invest in it and be the best boss you can be.

How important do you think it is for us as blacks to support other black owned businesses?

Now, more than ever, the Black dollar is so powerful yet so undervalued. In the DFW metroplex alone, they are projecting thousands of people to move here every year and the Black business community is steadily growing. One of my main focuses is Networking. I think it is so important to link together with like-minded driven people in your realm to promote unity, support and mutual promotions for all. I think once we support ourselves and each other, our voice can be heard, our businesses can thrive and society will take us seriously and we can be in a positive, thriving light.

How does a person find you and connect with you via social media for questions regarding your business?

Currently, you can find Le Rouge Cuisine on Instagram at @Lerougecuisine and all inquires or questions can be sent to me via email at Lerougecuisine@yahoo.com. My Facebook is being worked on and website will come shortly thereafter. I am currently working on a blog as well entitled “FOODIES UNITE”. It will include How-To instructional for easy recipes, Tips & Tricks on easy cooking shortcuts, and I will be highlighting the hottest, restaurants and eateries known specifically to Dallas.

Le Rouge Cuisine services include, but are not limited to:
Wedding cakes and dessert table
Corporate and special event catering
Private chef services
Private or group Cooking fundamental lessons
Meal prep services and more

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Meet Nell Coleman of The Bald Movement

I remember walking the campus of UAPB with this young lady and the band trips with M4. Ahhh those were the days. 🙂 What I remember and admire most about Nell is her beautiful, bold, personality and spirit as ive watched her build her brand and make a name for herself in this world. So it’s my honor to present this weeks “Sister With Vision”…..Nell Coleman. 

Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Nell Coleman, born and raised in Little Rock, AR. I currently reside in New York pursuing my career as a model and managing an online movement called The Bald Movement. The movement is designed to help women regardless of their reason or desire of being bald to realize that Hair is like an accessory, whether you have it or not, it doesn’t determine your beauty or your worth, you do.

nell2Have you ever dealt with insecurities? If so, how did you overcome them?

This movement was built based on my past insecurities that were developed due to allowing others opinions of me to define me. I was very insecure about my skin color, my teeth, but mostly, MY HAIR. I overcame these insecurities by realizing that I was beautiful because I SAID SO but of course, I made some changes. I got braces to fix my teeth, shaved all of my hair off to free myself from the stress that it brought, and embraced the skin that I’m in because my skin is beautiful. I gained confidence in myself that I thought I could never obtain but with applied faith and much help from loved ones, I reached my main objective which was to love and accept myself regardless of what others thought.

What does being “perfectly imperfect” mean to you?

Being perfectly imperfect simply means being me to the best of my ability regardless of my circumstances or flaws. I’m happy with me, I accept me, I embrace me and that’s what matters most.

If you had the chance, what would be one thing you would tell a young girl dealing with low self esteem or insecurities?

While living in Little Rock, AR, I worked with a small group of teens who were all insecure for their own reasons. My goal was to teach them that regardless of where they come from or what was told to them, what mattered most was what they thought of themselves. I’ve learned that whatever you allow to occupy your thoughts, it will magnify in your life, so I had to figure out what they thought about themselves and then help them to change that negative thought into a positive one. Though it was a challenge, with much practice of positive thinking, overtime they would begin to realize just how amazing they were simply b/c they trained themselves to believe this. This is the same thing I do with The Bald Movement. For more info in regards to the movement visit www.TheBaldMovement.com

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Anything else you would like to add?

Bridgette, I appreciate you for allowing me to share a little piece of my life with you. I hope in turn this will also help others to realize just how beautiful and amazing they are too. As I always say, There’s nothing more beautiful than a woman who’s unafraid to be herself.

Peace & Love

Thanks for reading loves! Make sure you check Nell’s movement out! It’s simply Amazing! 

Love, 

B

Meet Jessica Ayers

Ever meet someone and instantly feel inspired? The way they walk, talk, and everything in between just draws you to them? Well that happened to me about a year ago when I joined Uplift Concord, the Young Adult ministry with Concord Church in Dallas, TX. So I want you all to meet Jessica Ayers; my 2nd Sister With Vision….

Sooooo….Tell me a little about yourself.

Ha! That’s a loaded question. Let’s see…I’m a wildly, passionate creative spirit who enjoys living out loud. My goal in life is for someone to hear my story and either learn from my mistakes or to be encouraged by them. I will (and do) share some of the most intimate parts of my life with people in hopes that they are inspired and in turn decide to live the best versions of their lives, whatever that may be. The arts are like a drug to me. I’m insanely inspired by people and their creations. Whether it be spoken word, a song they wrote or them just going after their dreams. I draw strength from their passion and it is my hope that I return the gift.

Have you ever dealt with insecurities? If so, how did you overcome them? jessfullbody

I most definitely have and continue to do so. Life is an evolution of self, so I don’t think that there will ever be a point in my life that I’m not insecure about one thing or another. As you mature through time and experiences you are either freed from those insecurities or bound by them. The deciding factor is how you and/or who you choose to handle them. If I hadn’t made the choice to seek a relationship with God, I could never have been loosed from the grips of certain self-esteem issues. I was carrying around insecurities from my childhood like my height, my weight, my shoe size, etc. All of those things, I have no control over (well maybe my weight but that’s a whole nother battle). They are forever a part of me. However, after reading God’s word and recognizing the complexities and the beauty that goes into making the human body; it has helped me to not only repair my esteem but to be proud of who I am. Every lump, bump and curve. Knowing that my big feet are “beautifully and wonderfully made” helps in the self-love process. He chose everything from my DNA strands to the hair follicles on my head. Who am I to say He got it wrong? And if everything is working together for His good, then I know that who I am both physically and spiritually is serving a purpose greater than anything I could every perceive. With all of that said, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I still have to make a concerted effort in choosing to love myself daily. I literally chant to myself every morning that I am beautiful. It helps. I even thought about being Mary Jane Paul and sticking post-it notes all over my house. LOL. The struggle is real.

What does being “Perfectly Imperfect” mean to you?

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Perfectly imperfect means being the most authentic version of you. “Flaws” and all. Loving every inch of you. Your crooked teeth, your knocked knees, your lisp, your “nappy” hair. All of it. Imperfection is the most beautiful sight to see when you own it. I love to see a confident woman. She doesn’t have to be a 10 or be dressed a certain way or drive a certain car etc. Because the exterior is not the draw. It’s her soul. And you know when her soul’s right because it just radiates. It’s those times when you can’t put a finger on it; it’s just something about her. That is what I strive to be daily. So comfortable with who I am and in living my truth that I just become contagious. I want to infect people. I want them to be so affected by the God in me that they are never the same. Being perfectly imperfect means that you’ve allowed God to fill the voids. It’s a beautiful thing.

If you had the chance, what would be one thing you would tell a young girl dealing with low self esteem or insecurities?

1) Take every thought captive. What you think, is what you do, is who you are. Don’t let it get that far. 2) Spend time with God every chance you get. When you’re having those thoughts, call on him. It doesn’t have to be anything formal. Just talk to Him. He will answer. 3) Evaluate your circle and get a mentor. Someone who inspires you. Allow your mentor and your inner circle to pour into you. Let them know your weaknesses. Talk to them about your struggles because talking things out helps. The best form of ammunition for malnourished thoughts is alone time. Because when you’re alone and not talking to God…it’s as if you’ve stepped onto the devil’s playground. And he doesn’t play fair. Don’t let him win.

Anything else you would like to add?

Don’t ever let anybody else define you. You are not even who YOU think you are. You’re more than that. The only person who can define you is the one who created you. God. Do yourself a favor and get out of your own way. Let God do the driving. Be comfortable in the passenger seat of your life. Let God mold you into the woman you were born to be. You are beautiful. You are worth it. You can do it. Vigorously chase your dreams and allow failures to propel you into the greatest successes of your life. Be present in every moment. Surround yourself with beautiful souls and feed off of each other. We were not meant to do life alone. Live with purpose and live on purpose.

Social Media:

FB: http://www.facebook.com/InHerOwnWrite
IG and Twitter: @_inherownwrite

After the Storm 8.18.15

I stood outside my doorstep as the last drop of rain hit my brow.

I kept questioning…is it over? Has the storm really passed or am I just dreaming.

Or will I be sleeping peacefully, pinched by reality, and woken up to realize that the storm has not yet ended?

I realized that it’s true. No more rain. No more clouds. No more storm. It’s just me. And I was perfectly fine with that. I knew one day it would come back, but I was actually ok with the sunshine and the rainbow out yonder.
It’s just I was never too fond of hardships. Even though I grew up with little to nothing and basically had to struggle my entire life..I hated it. People would say, “Oh everything you’re going through will only make you stronger”…well if that’s the case, I should be bench pressing 350 by now. 

Ever felt that way before? I know I find myself time and time again, expressing those same emotions. I believe that I’ve never quite learned how to “deal” with the storm. Or just the different seasons in my life. This past Sunday, Pastor Carter spoke a sermon about “The Seasons of Life”. He made a point that we must learn to embrace the season that we are in. Even with the ups and downs, the highs and lows, we must make sure that we are content. We have to trust God’s plan regardless of our current situation in order to do so. It doesn’t mean that the season will be easy, doesn’t mean it will be over fast. But it does mean that no matter the outcome, we just have to remember that God will be with us through it all. We also have to know that sometimes when we go through a season in our lives that we will be stretched further than what we believe we can handle.  

Where I thought I was weak, the Lord showed me I was strong. When I was ready to give up, he gave me reasons to keep pushing. So I’ve learned that instead of crying about the rain and waiting for the storm to past…that I will just get myself together, put a smile on my face, dance in the rain (splashing and playing in puddles and all lol) and thank the Lord for the good and the bad. 

The road I will take in life will never be easy, but I know it will be worth it. 

Love, 

Meet Janitha Lawson 8.12.15

So I had this bright idea to feature amazing women of color weekly on my blog. With all this negativity going on in the world, it’s very refreshing to get hit with some positive energy.

The first person that came to my mind to feature is someone I am blessed to call one of my very best friends. But not only is she that, she is much more…she is my sister. I have seen her grow for many years now. She is and will always be an inspiration to me. When I look at her, I see so much strength. So it’s only fitting that she is the very first member of SWV-Sisters with Vision. Meet Janitha Lawson. 🙂

Tell me a little about yourself?

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My name is Janitha Lawson, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma. My passion is uplifting women and young girls. My dream is to use my story to minister to others through public speaking and writing.

Have you ever dealt with insecurities? If so, how did you overcome them?

Yes I have dealt with insecurities. I was picked on from a very young age for not having hair and it left me with little to no confidence at all. I always felt that I was not good enough and I struggled to make friends growing up. I felt that if I didn’t even like me, why would others like me. I was extremely sensitive and cried all the time. To experience feelings of loneliness and being by yourself is hard for anyone to break through especially a child in elementary.

What does being “perfectly imperfect” mean to you?

Perfectly Imperfect means to me that there is no pressure to get it right. It’s ok to own your imperfections because those “flaws” are what makes up you. So accept it and release the burdens of perfection and the standards set by yourself and society

If you had the chance, what would be one thing you would tell a young girl dealing with low self esteem or insecurities?

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I know it’s hard to love yourself right now. No one may have shown you love or felt you deserved it. But don’t allow anyone or anything to dictate how you feel about you. How you feel about you will ultimately set the standard for how others will feel about you and treat you.

Anything else you want to add?

I have found that surrounding yourself with people that are uplifting and that are positive can help change your mindset. Speaking over yourself combined with supportive people speaking over you cancels out all negative feelings of yourself. But remember it first has to begin with you.

What a wonderful interview from my lovely friend. Do me a favor and follow her on her social media account and check out her blog. 🙂

www.KrowningGlory.blogspot.com

IG/Twitter: @jrenee49

Love,

B

Through the Eyes of a Black Woman 8.7.15

When I look at you, I see greatness. I see strength even when you feel weak. I know it’s hard to believe, but you are definitely going to make it to where you want and need to be in life. You have so many odds against you. The biggest being, the color of your skin. The beautiful smooth melanin that you wear that makes my heart melt is the same thing that makes a white woman clench her purse a little tighter when you walk pass. You’re always looked at as the “bad guy”, “the criminal”, “the perpetrator.” You’re never really enough once standing by the side of a white man. To fear for your life during a simple traffic stop, a walk down the street or a walk to the store is extremely scary and unfortunate. I won’t go into a rant about racial inequality, but I will make the point to you that even though so many odds are against you, I see nothing but success in your future.

Sometimes you don’t believe in yourself. You don’t believe that you have the necessary tools to make it in this world, but you do. It’s so unfortunate that you can’t look in the mirror to see it for yourself though. Nothing about making it on God’s green earth will be easy. Getting to your dreams will be a long, stressful, strenuous journey. You will want to throw in the towel and you will want to give up more times than one. But think about it. How far can you go in life, without moving at all?

I want you to show everyone that has ever doubted you that they were completely wrong. You have to be better than them and show them that that they only need to fear you because you’ve excelled in education and your career and they realize there’s no limit to the impact that you will have on this world. Let’s show them that you are worth more than the lazy”thug” that they want you to be. Walk around like you have a point to prove, because whether you like it or not, you do. You always have to stand out, be smarter, 10 times better, work 10 times harder and strive for so much more. Unfortunately, it will be hard to show them if you don’t believe it. So walk with pride. With your head held high. I want the world to see you through my eyes. I want you to again, look in the mirror and see one of God’s most beautiful creations; The Black Man.

Listen to me, You have the ability to make a huge difference in this world and the community you live in. I see so much strength in you. So much promise. Even in the midst of adversity, you continue to prevail and as long as you continue to stand strong, there is nothing or no one that can stop you. I love you and I will always cherish and advocate for you. And even when you don’t believe in yourself, know that I will always be here, in your corner, rooting you on.

With love,

A Black Woman named B