"You are no good to anyone if you don't take care of yourself first. Don't lose yourself and who you are by always putting other's needs before your own. There is nothing selfish about living your life. If you have a dream, PURSUE IT WITHOUT CEASING! If you have a vision, SEE IT THROUGH! Whatever you secretly wish, tell your fears to SHUT UP, and follow your heart's desire."
*Describe your a-ha moment.
My a-ha moment occurred when I returned to wearing the natural hair of my youth. I wore my hair long and relaxed for years as a security blanket. Underneath my long tresses was a horrible secret I had kept since 9th grade: I suffered from tension alopecia that left me completely bald on both sides of my head. I never wore my hair up; my closest friends had no idea. One year after my Big Chop, I decided that to love myself meant I had to stop keeping secrets and accept the things I can not change. My sister encouraged me to shave the few hairs that were left and rock the mohawk in a more intentional style, clicking on the light bulb above my head (ding ding ding). That was the most liberating moment of my life!
*What’s your best piece of woman-to-woman advice?
In my flight attendant voice: "In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. Secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person."
You are no good to anyone if you don't take care of yourself first. Don't lose yourself and who you are by always putting other's needs before your own. There is nothing selfish about living your life. If you have a dream, PURSUE IT WITHOUT CEASING! If you have a vision, SEE IT THROUGH! Whatever you secretly wish, tell your fears to SHUT UP, and follow your heart's desire. There is no time like the present. If you step out on faith, your feet will either walk or trip. If the latter happens, get back up and keep it moving. If the former occurs, walk it out...oh, and share what you learn with others. I AM NOT A SUCCESS IF THE PEOPLE BEHIND/UNDER/BESIDE ME FAIL.
*What has been your favorite mistake?
I joined Match.com last year when I moved to Georgia because my married sister wanted to relive her dating years through my experiences. She said it would be a great way to meet new people and get back on the dating scene. I went on the WORST dates of my life! One guy didn't like my mohawk (next) and the next guy lied about his height (we saw eye-to-eye, literally). Another guy said he would only date women with pretty, um, err, kitty kats, so he requested a picture before he would agree to meet me (NEXXXT). This went on for my six month trial period and just when I was throwing in the towel, I met a pretty awesome dude who lives in Atlanta who peeked my interest.
The jury is still out on the possibility, but I learned a very valuable lesson from this experience: Judging a book by its cover may be too superficial, but no one said I can't just skim through the table of contents! I'm too "seasoned" to waste time flipping through the pages of books I know I'll never read. :)
*So far, what has been the most challenging aspect of being a woman?
Being loved by other women has been my biggest challenge. I've spent a significant part of my existence feeling as if I didn't fit in. The epic "Oh, you think you're better than me because you have light skin and long hair" was my plague. Beauty for me was a blessing and a curse. Men would tell me how beautifuL I was but women would put me down in every way possible. My nose was too wide, butt too flat, legs too skinny, breasts too big, voice too high-pitched, and the list goes on and on. Their negativity caused me to act in very ugly ways as a mechanism of defense.
It took me to reach age 35 to dissolve the negative comments from my brainwaves and begin to speak life into my own thoughts and energy. My experiences of feeling ugly propelled me to encourage women to create their self-definition of beauty, just for themselves. The challenge now has become to help them adjust to their newfound wisdom and to maintain a positive self image despite what they have been hearing/seeing/internalizing for many years. My ministry is empowering women. I hope my message encourages them to pass on what they discover to other women and girls in positive ways. I believe my purpose on this Earth is to help women turn inward and find the beauty within their souls.
*What do you not want us to know?
I LIVE for commercials! I turn the TV on and usually tune out the show, but as soon as it cuts to commercial, my ears perk up, my eyes widen and the little hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention! Currently, my favorite is the State Farm ad with the ladies in the boutique. When the little old man pops up with the fishing pole, I LOSE my marbles! lololol
*When do you feel most creative? What inspires you?
I am most creative when the sun is sleeping and the moon is high. I am awake late into the night, crocheting, painting, gluing, researching, doing anything that allows me to create beautifuL things with my hands. I'm inspired by my mother, who does the exact same thing. I used to think she was quirky, but she is really creative and crafty. She encourages me to think outside the box, no matter what the idea or outcome.
*What does it mean to you to be a soulful beauty?
My father knew what he was doing when he named me Lufituaeb and because of that, I always spell beautifuL with a capital L on the end. My soul radiates beauty truly from the inside out and I want people to see it and feel it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If what you see by the eye doesn't please you, then close your eyes and see from the heart. Because the heart can see beauty and love, more than the eyes can ever wonder.
*What is your favorite quote, scripture or affirmation?
I greet every woman by telling her she is beautifuL for two reasons: because she is AND because she needs to hear it. ~Lufituaeb A. McCray
Facebook: Twists Naps Locs (That's No Lye)
Facebook group: Natural in the Boro