Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Is Social Work Month: I Said Yes to Being A Social Worker

It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. -Whitney Young

Chile... I have failed many times in life, but I am not a failure. As long as you have breath within you, failure will occur continuously.  I remember being an undergraduate student majoring in Nursing, failing (my anatomy class) which is mandatory to go on to the professional phase which was the clinical stage. I thought my life was over until I realize that Nursing probably wasn't my true passion. I went into nursing because my Dad *Hey Dad* thought it was going to bring me prosperity and "status" because he worked as a surgical technician at Mass General Hospital for eons and was surrounded by medical professionals. (Insert Side-Eye)

*Disclaimer* Please parents for the love of God and life, please stop living vicariously through your children. We are under immense pressure as students, as a Native Black or whatever you identify yourself with living in Amerikkka and trying to navigate a holistic life.

Back to the Topic...

I remember my Mother consoling me because I broke all the way down and did the most epic ugly cry in Drea's history. You know that ugly cry in which you fall out, bang your head, probably have brain trauma, that ugly cry when you were delivered the awful news while grieving at the same time? Yeah, that ugly cry!  In true Josie Mae fashion aka "My Mom", she said, "Ok, get it out, keep crying but this is not the end of the world and you are not a failure." We all need a Josie Mae as Mother, friend, and Sistah-friend.

I remember sitting on the stairs in my house in full-blown tears.  My Mom suggested that I should make a list of everything I love doing, would do it for free, and fulfill my life purpose. She kept telling me to become a Writer and major in English but I passed because at the time I wanted a more "hands-on" experience with the people! *Hey Mama, thanks for sparking the BGFB Blog! *  I did not realize at the time that writing brings people and their experiences together. Writing/Blogging provides a different voice and perspective.  Did I just choose Social Worker or did Social Work choose me? Chile we are in a mutually elusive lifelong relationship. We said Yes!

Honestly, I wanted to advocate for the people, especially for the people who thought they have failed in life or someone told them that they've failed due to making a few mistakes or co-existing in a system that is designed to break your mind, body, and soul. I wanted to provide wisdom, knowledge, sustainability, and advocacy. Being a Social Worker, you have to understand that you are a warrior. You are unpopular and hated by some and adored and a hero to some. Being a Social Worker is understanding that you can navigate spaces that the average global citizens cannot because you are versatile and culturally competent.  You are the one who speak truth to power because you have an understanding and discernment that ish is crazy and dysfunctional out here in these streets and within families. Social Workers are the ones who find themselves in uncompromising situations because you know you have to go beyond the red tape and barriers to actually get the resources for your clients, community, and the world. You will have to throw on some army fatigues to go to war on a micro, mezzo, and macro level. You will have to go to war on a Macro level, such as speaking truth to power, calling out unjust, racism, toxicity, inequality in holistic care, and doing the work to change policies, and procedures at the same damn time.

Fast forward to ten years later, licensed, certified, and seasoned... I never thought Social Work would provide me with a plethora of personal and professional experiences. I don't believe that nursing would have provided me with the similar experiences. From interning at the Tuskegee VA Hospital my Senior Year at Tuskegee. I got paid in full as well. To being Miss. Social Work, Vice President of the Social Work Student Alliance to serve as a Program Coordinator as an undergrad at the Macon County YMCA to help create service projects for the youth and their families in Macon County.

I have studied abroad in Jamaica as a graduate student at The University of Southern Mississippi to be a Class Rep for the Social Work Alliance Club. I have worked as a Foster Care Social Worker, Hospice Social Worker, Advocated at the Alabama State legislation, help started an initiative for Hurricane Katrina victims in Hattiesburg, MS, spoke truth to power about racism on the campus at The University of Southern Mississippi, supervising Social Work Students, being a consultant to with non-profit agencies, Director of Social Services at a non-profit, started a holistic health business to help heal the whole person and their environment, potential Professor and more. The list continues.

Everything happened for a reason and I am certainly honored and privilege to be on this journey. I am exhilarated that I am able to serve and advocate for the people every day and all day.

I want to give a major S/O to all the Social Worker out there on the Frontline healing people, providing resources, tirelessly advocating for those who are unable to do so, being change agents and catalysts, and more. You all are the undefeated and unanimous MVPs!

Lastly, Social Workers we need to advocate for a Universal Social Work licensure exam! Some of us are International Social Workers and move around a lot. Trying to pay for a license transfer or retaking parts of the exams is utterly absurd.

Love and light to all the Social Workers!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Why I Am Sick and Tired of Fluffy, Phony, and Overpriced Empowerment Conferences and Brunches

From time to time, I go off on a tangent on social media, especially when I come across expensive, fluffy, fake, straight cash homey, empowerment conferences and brunches. I love brunch. I brunch so hard. I will wake up early as hell for brunch because I am a foodie let's face it. Back to the topic... I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of just discussing the same ole same ole.... Girl Boss, Black Girl Magic Boss, "How to X amount of dollars even though I haven't made those dollars", rah-rah and blah-blah empowerment workshops and brunches. I can admit that I have fallen victim to this kind of empty empowerment brunches and conferences once upon a time until I woke the hell up and realize that it really didn't solve the root of the issues. I realize at these empowerments, we didn't talk about the realness. The realness such as the severity of mental health, medical apartheid within the Black Community, infant mortality rate, miscarriages, postpartum, poverty within the Black Community, food deserts, environmental racism, lower level socio-economics, self-esteem, and more.

When are we going to have those conferences on physical health, mental health, socio-politics, economics, spirituality, quality of life, self-esteem, confidence, and healing?

We need these things intact as a community before we can get the coins, look fly, and be a BossBae. Honestly, I’m burnt from empowerment conferences and brunch, and I’m a speaker! I’m tired of the feel-good-ism/rah-rah for 72 hours and back to the suffering in silence until the next highest price and nonsensical workshop/conference/brunch!

We must think in terms of Community because too many of us are suffering as a collective. As Fannie Lou Hamer states "Nobody's free until everybody's free."

Since we are on this topic, I would like to discuss the cost of these said conferences and brunches. Many of these conferences are for women of color or Black Women per say. Black Women net worth is only worth $5. Yes, you read that correctly $5 Effin Dollars! You don't have to believe little ole me... Check out this article: "Median Wealth For Black Women at $5 and We Don't Care". Some of you might say, well "those" women aren't part of my demographic because they cannot invest x amount of dollars. What? Don't you understand you too are part of that demographic, Beloved! Please don't don't you are excluded!  African American women are only worth $5 but we are the most educated, underpaid, broke, and hard-working people who deserve full health! Some of those women would love to attend a life-transforming conference, but you tell them to find the money from somewhere or somebody. Some don't offer scholarships or payment plans because you are all about getting straight cash money. I am often disgusted when I hear people state that folks should find the money from somewhere to invest in said programs and conferences. We are in the State of Emergency as a collective. We are living paycheck to paycheck and one mishap away from homelessness or unemployment. How dare anyone of us to tell anyone to pull themselves by the bootstrap and find the money from somewhere and folks are out here trying to survive? I live in reality and it is real in the field out here.
Yes, being in business, you are want to make a profit, but stop trying to guilt trip and manipulate your attendees into "investing" into mediocre products and services they cannot afford. Yes, many of your attendees cannot afford these products and services, especially if your target is Black Women, who are trying to make something out of nothing.  If you are going to provide a product/service, make it affordable, life-transforming, and investment worthy. We all have something to offer, especially resources, but stop selling hope and dreams to people who are already in debt and one paycheck away from homelessness.

Question to the tribe: How do you feel about empowerment brunches and workshops? Do you attend them? Has your life transformed from one? What topics would you like to see discussed at said events?

As always, thank you for reading the blog post. Thank you for rocking with Brown Girl From Boston Tribe!

Peace, Love, and Light!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Brown Girl Branding: Pay Black People

Please stop asking Black people to work for free99. You wouldn’t work for free so please don’t expect me to do the same! Please stop it! Please stop asking to pick our brains, please stop saying you are going to invest in services and get ghost when that invoice and contracts are drawn and emailed to you! Just stop with the flattery. Stop gassing people up because we know we are dope and know our worth!
Just be honest and admit you aren’t ready to put the work in, you can’t afford to invest in the services, or insert your favorite excuse. I refuse to accept the excuses because it is a waste of time.
*My parents, grandparents and ancestors worked too hard for me to accept low level frequency and no pay!*

If you are reading this understand that I know my worth and have been building on my worth for a very long time. Please understand what your worth it. Don't give people the run around! Communicate effectively and efficiently if you are unable to keep your word. Be impeccable with your word and actions. 

Article of Reference: 

Black Americans Are Working More—With Little to Show for It Despite working more every year, earnings gaps aren’t improving.

Love and Light, 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Jan 13th| Another year. 35th. Capricorn. The GOAT. Forever Infinite.

"Thought I wouldn't elevate I took the stairwell
Watch em stare well, yeah I'm very well
See these pretty wings, I maxed well
I'm Fortunate, I'm the sexiest
Imma tomboy, you love a tomboy" -Sassy by Rapsody

On January 13th, 2018, ya girl, turned 35 years young! I'm thankful to Jehovah! Giving thanks to the good, the bad, and the ugly because my 34th year was an ongoing saga filled with transitions. 

While the love was pouring in from my family and friends who truly know and love me, I had to reminisce and pay homage to my teenage years that are long gone. I thoroughly enjoyed being a teenager growing up as a Brown Girl From Boston, in Mattapan, to be exact. *S/O to all my 02126ers and my Hollingsworth St. Squad! 

First and foremost, in the 90s, we had Blackplanet! Yes, Blackplanet was our first social media website and we didn't even know it. My username was BabyPenny33. Yes, I was madly in love with Anfernee Deon "Penny" Hardaway! *Hey, Penny! * No Wifi, but we had AOL Dial-Up to access Blackplanet and Ask Jeeves.  We had pagers/beepers, we actually had face to face conversations, landline phones, in which your Mom Dukes would embarrass your whole life if she found out you were on the phone after hours.  

I just remembered when life was all so simple. *Cues Wu-Tang Clan, "Can It Be All So Simple"*

A Letter From Teenage Drea: 

Drea, don't trip about people challenging you by asking you: "Who Do You Think You Are?" People are intimidated by your greatness, sassiness, boldness, and unapologetic nature. You are a leader and lone wolf and sometimes that is a lonely road, but it is necessary for your purpose. Stay focused and discipline. Those qualities will take you far. Yes, you will experience exhaustion, doubt, failure, and delayed gratification, but it will be worth it at the end. Yeah, it sucks that you may have to work ten times harder to get what you want but you deserve it. Remember, everyone doesn't have the same drive, vision, and goals as you do. Don't give up and don't expect things instantly. If it was easy, everyone will be doing the same thing. 

It is okay to be a sassy tomboy who understands and love sports especially Basketball and Football. Love your Hip Hop music, embrace the way you go from wearing dresses to sneakers to Army Fatigue Camo pants, your hoodies, your bamboo earrings, conscious tees. It is cool to have guy friends and homegirls because you understand that you need, both masculine and feminine energies get through life. Understand that some people will persuade you to switch your style up because they may not think it is ladylike to be you. They don't understand that you can run a boardroom, be featured on your homeboy's Hip Hop album, and drop knowledge at a conference. It is called balance and some people want to bottle that Sassy, Tomboyish, Earthy, Blackness, and FLYness magic. Unfortunately, it can't be duplicated because it is part of your essence. You understand that balance is everything! 

Drea, chill! People are going to love you, some people are going to dislike you. That's okay. It is important that you love, like, and value yourself.  Don't you change! You will learn how to adapt, be flexible and align yourself with greatness. Just adjust your crown from time to time. Don't stop believing in what you believe in.  Don't stop speaking your truth. Don't stop being assertive. Don't stop standing up for yourself. Don't stop spreading the love. Do actively listen because we all need and want to be heard.  Do walk away when the vibes off and when love is no longer being served. Do understand that everyone doesn't need a response back. Make sure you speak with conviction and let your word be your bond even if people disagree with you. Make sure you set an intention of being heard, seen, and treated with respect. Make sure you treat yourself with the utmost respect because you teach people how to treat you. 

Do understand some people will disappoint you, especially, your nearest and dearest loved ones. Some people are not trustworthy. Some people will not have your best interest at heart. Some people are users and want access to you because of who you are and your resources. Don't allow anyone easy access to your life. Some people don't deserve your magic and light.  Don't forget to listen to your intuition.  Have an open heart, but don't second-guess the nature of people's intentions. Red flags are red flags and hurt people hurt people. 

Drea, you will get your heart broken a few times by intimate relationships and friendships. That's okay because that isn't the end of the world. Make sure you are doing your best in each relationship. Make sure you are serving love, graciousness, class, respect, loyalty, and authenticity. Make sure you are doing your part of being the best version of yourself and some days you will fail at that and it is cool. Breakups of any kind suck, but you will survive. You will move on, mature and become a better person. Just don't become codependent and move on quickly to a new partner without self- healing.  Don't turn into some psycho ex because that isn't cute, Boo. Let people be who they are. Let your exes go, if they truly don't appreciate your holistic self. Your exes and ex-friends will realize that you played an important part of their growth and life journey. Learn how to forgive yourself and forgive others. Forgiveness is the highest form of healing.

Take care of your emotional, mental, physical health! Your health is everything. Health is wealth and you only get one body. Make sure you inner beauty matches your outer beauty. Healthy Black Don't Crack. Make sure you are very cautious of what you ingest orally, visually, mentally, and verbally. Get healthy, unprocessed, and real foods. Drink plenty of water. Workout. Lift weights. Do yoga. Meditate. Pray. Breathe. Also, remember that coconut oil heals everything, chile. No it doesn't but invest in quality coconut oil, therapy, learning,  shea butter, and essential oils.

Don't box yourself in. Don't allow anyone to box you in. Don't allow anyone to think for you. Ask questions. Be an independent thinker.  Don't box your education. Don't block your blessings and opportunities. Do block haters, bigots, racist, and all imbalance and unhealthiness from your life. 

You got this,  Queen Drea! One day you will realize how essential and valuable you are. Remember, your purpose and life assignment. Protect yourself. Protect your magic. Protect your FLYness. Adjust Your Crown!

Peace, Love, and Light!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Young, Black and Broken: A Colorful Journey to Healing

"I've been on the low key grinding
Learning on the low key, shining
Tryin' to keep to myself
But you bring me out of character
Every time again" -SZA, Go Gina

Happy New Year! What can I say about 2017? Well, it was filled with trials, tribulations, and triumphs. I've managed to survive and thrive. I became the poster child for the "Young, Black, and Broken" because I was that person in 2017! How Sway?

I was diagnosed with Chronic Anemia. Anemia is a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body's tissues. Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak. On top of being diagnosed with anemia, I was also dual diagnosed with Uterine Fibroids. Yikes. Uterine fibroids are benign lumps that grow on the uterus. Symptoms may include heavy periods, cramping, painful sex, and an urge to urinate. Over 80% of African-American women by the age 50 will suffer from fibroids. 

YoI felt as if my life came crashing down at the same damn time. I had to cancel numerously speaking engagements and outings because I was that ill and broken. I had to schedule things around my menstrual cycle because my cycles were uncontrollable. My illness debilitated my whole life, to the point I suffered from depression and anxiety. I couldn't get out of bed. Some days I would just cry my heart out. There would be days, weeks, and some months that I couldn't look myself in the mirror because I was broken and traumatized. When you can't enjoy, love, and trust the eyes looking back at you, that's brokenness Flyness. 

Besides being broken, you also have others who take advantage of your brokenness. I had to go "hot ham hoe here we go again" on a few people who have taken advantage of my broken nature during this junction of my life. I just had enough of dealing with people, especially women who violated the sisterhood code. I was sick and tired of the f^&kery, thievery and the dishonesty. 

Literally, everything around me was falling apart. In February, my husband lost his job. Agh! When a man loses his job, he loses his confidence in his ability to provide for his family. The bad news kept on coming which including being denied into a program for 1st home buyers. We took the Ls and kept it moving. I figured we weren't meant to lay our foundation down in New England. Why force something when things are supposed to flow?

While our world came crashing down, my husband and I made a difficult decision to get the eff outta Providence and relocate Down South! Let's recap, shall we! My husband became unemployed in February. The surgery took place on March 31st, we packed our apartment and relocated April 30th. Yeswe are still sane. 

notified ten people about our relocation. On the other hand, my husband went and broadcast all of our business on the Book! (Insert forever side-eye) Guess what? Everyone, including the fakers, snakes, and fair-weather folks and their Mama reached out to be nosy! Mind you. These folks don't care about us! All of a sudden you have a change of heart. Nah!

Dear God, I'm Here!

What Did I Learn During the 2017 Transition:
Healing Hurts, Healing Sucks"  Since I've been on this journey of healing internally, I have realize how full circle life is? You have to be vulnerable and ready to heal. Sometimes, healing includes sitting silently! Healing involves honesty with yourself.  We are never ready to hear the truth and often try to find an alternative way to heal instead of going through the pain. I got to reconnect with some dope people. I still cry from time to time. My marriage almost went to hell, but we are working on being better people and more divine spouses. I had to regain my strength, independence, and my holistic life. God is taking the wheel. I am letting ish go. I had to let my life crumble and rebuild. I am rebuilding and trusting the process like the Philadelphia 76ers. 

I Am Learning How to Love Drea Once Again! Loving yourself is long-suffering, everlasting, cold, warm, FLY, humbling experience. Yo, self-love and healing is scaryAF is exciting, carefree, ugly at times, sassy, FLY, rhythmic, Divine, spiritual, and Godly. Self-love is vital but complicated.  Self-love is a learned behavior rather innate. You would think it is innate but somehow down the line, we often unlearned how to love ourselves because we are thrown into this abyss of self-sacrificing and putting ourselves last. 

People don't truly trust themselves because they don't recognize themselves, they don't trust themselves, they don't love themselves. We get caught up with the controlled content of social media, chasing the bag, chasing an illusion, and chasing nonsense. Loving myself looks different on a daily basis. Loving myself consists of going to a Rapsody concert and allowing the boom bap rap to uplift my spirit. Loving myself consists of walking away from negativity and toxicity. Loving myself standing on my square and speaking my truth to power. Loving myself consists of rocking me, accepting me, validating me in a cold world that often diminished, degrade, dismiss, and disrespect the Black Woman, the Black Man, and Black Child. Loving myself consists of living an unapologetic, compassionate, and purposeful life. 

I also want to give flowers to the following people because they were instrumental in my healing process and I bet they haven't known until now! Giving flowers to My Mom, JaquettaBarbyShemikaMarkitaMichelle B., Michelle D., Chantal, Walter (My Mentor) and his wife Josefina, and Ms. Marilyn. 

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me via email and social media to offer light, support, and encouragement during a grim time during my life. I see you baby and keep shining. 

I want to thank you for reading this honest, raw, and unapologetic blog post. I hope you will take the time to tap into some unhealed spaces within to heal the pain. Remember to trust your colorful progress and process. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Goals, Goals. Goals Tribe

The Goals Tribe is a collective who are seriously ready to set, smash, and achieve realistic goals and action steps! Goals, goals, goals we ain't never taking off. 

Welcome to 2018! Many of you are trying to figure out this goal setting and New Years Resolution thing out. Many of you are trying to figure out your life but find yourself frustrated, annoyed, angry, or just depress. Well, now is the time to go ahead and reclaim your life. Reclaim your mindset, reclaim your goals. 

Did you know that a staggering 92 percent of people that set New Year's goals never actually achieve them? That's according to research by the University of Scranton. What does the 8% possess in order to achieve their goals? A few things, consistency, passion, commitment, vision, challenging but realistic goals, accountability and responsibility and action steps. 

So...are you ready to manifest and achieve your goals? If so, come join your tribe of goal setter, goal diggers and start your Glow Up. 

Goals, Goals, Goals is a self-study private group facilitated by Andrea Imafidon, founder of Brown Girl from Boston. You will have your own private Facebook book. 

In this group, you will be surrounded by individuals who are hungry to set and achieve goals as individuals and collectively. You will have access to support, videos, encouragement, and coaching. 

Goal Setting Tribe

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The FLY Girl Effect Group Coaching

Make sure you join us for the 4-week personal, professional, and holistic group coaching program starting on January 10th! 
The FLY Girl Effect Group Coaching:  Finding Your FLYness, Journey to Self-Love, Self-Care, and Personal Development & Growth FLYness is your birthright... Have you ever asked yourself what is my life passion and purpose? Why was I created? I am on the verge of personal career, professional and overall burnout. I need to turn my life around, I need some direction in my life! Why do I put everyone's needs first and forget all about needs and I am angry about that? Here is what you will get while participating in The FLY Girl Effect Personal Development Course: Daily lessons and growth work on self-love, self-care, and personal development Daily affirmations especially focus on self-love, self-healing, self-care, and growth Four live group coaching calls with me along with recordings Private Facebook group to access lessons, growth work, networking, and coaching The FLY Girl Effect 30 Days Personal Development Course will start on your time!
Topics we will cover:
Week 1: Establishing Healthy Habits and Consistency
Week 2: Self-Care for FLY Girls-Taking Care of Our Physical, Emotional, and Mental Health
Week 3: Money Making FLY Girls-Get Money, Manage Money, and Learning Money
Week 4: Getting Our Entire Lives in Order-Freeing Ourselves From Chaos and Establishing Order
You will have daily assignments, weekly live video group coaching sessions, and a private Facebook group to hold scared and safe space for your growth, struggles, and triumphs!
Look forward to having you in the FLY Girl Group!

We have various payment options to suite your needs. 

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