"The most challenging part of being a woman is being an emotional roller coaster at times. But in the same breath, I would say that I accept that I’m an emotional being & wouldn’t change that about myself. My life is my story written by the ink of my soul, and I read it all. The good and the bad, the beautiful moments and the ugly truths! Often people run from the pain, but I inhale it. It gives me power against my enemies, it feeds my strength. I am in tune with the highs and lows of my journey, which has contributed to the makings of who I am as a woman and as a human being."
I would say that my “a-ha” moment occurred after the birth of my first child. She was born Thanksgiving day, 2013 and has completely transformed my life. Looking at her, I realized that I needed to make a change. I wanted to be the best mother I could be; I wanted to be able to love her with my WHOLE heart, from a healthy and restored place of genuine joy. In order to do that, I needed to completely transform the way I loved myself, I needed to know what it meant to really LOVE Sonia! In order to be the best me possible, I had to be honest and transparent with the I AM within me who had been asleep for so many years.
When it came time for me to love my daughter with my whole heart, it was like “A-ha”, Sonia, you need to be able to love you with your whole heart; and with the same effort and tenacity. For the first time, everything I wanted for her and her future, I began to want for myself. She gave me permission to be vulnerable; to accept the things about myself that I could not change, and to take a stand to completely renovate the inner makings of my soul. My mind needed to be restored, my will needed to be strengthened and those negative emotions lurking within needed to declare a cease-fire. It was time for Sonia to take care of Sonia!
Since the birth of my daughter, I’ve been doing my best to fall in love with me all over again. I’m now giving myself permission to feel confident and secure in being the woman that I was created to be, without feeling the need to apologize for it. I now know that I deserve the best in every area of my life, and I’m excited to be taking steps towards becoming whole and one with my calling; fulfilling my purpose as a woman and as a mother to my baby girl.
*Tell us something about your personality that used to bother you, but you've now learned to love and use to your advantage?
Well, as an introvert, I’m not one for mingling or big crowds, especially when I’m around people I don’t know. I’ve just always preferred my alone time. For some reason, it’s just difficult for me to make small talk and force myself to be outgoing, when in that moment I may not be in an “outgoing mood”. Now, if I’m with people I’m really close to, then it’s not a problem. But new people just make me uncomfortable sometimes. I’m the one who prefers to sit on the outskirts and observe, taking it all in. But to some, I can come off as “standoff-ish” or “stuck-up”, which is far from the truth.
But I’ve come to accept that everyone has a personality that is uniquely their own, and that’s OK! I now embrace the quiet and reserved side of me. I’ve learned that if I do go out, I’ll just need time to myself to re-boot and re-center. It’s in those quiet times that I’m alone with my thoughts, a book/a pen & pad and a glass of red wine that are some of my most enjoyably relaxing moments.
*What’s your best piece of woman-to-woman advice?
I would say “Be the woman that you dream up on the inside, and be it on purpose! I’m speaking to women who like me, have a vision of who they aspire to be - confident, successful, faith-filled and fearless - but they become paralyzed by fear, stuck in time & immovable, not making the moves required to accomplish what they want. They harbor the fear - fear of failure, fear of actually making it, fear of not being good enough, fear of not having what it takes to succeed and achieve the greatness that they know they’re entitled to.
I recently read something T.D. Jakes said on one of Oprah’s Life Classes. He spoke about the fact that even successful people feel fear. It’s not the feeling of fear that’s the problem, he says, “You’ve got to feel the fear…and do it anyway…If you are waiting for your feelings to line up with your decisions, your life will always be on hold. You don't have to ask your emotions to give you permission to be who you were created to be…Even successful people have self-doubt, but they don't succumb to it...Everybody has some angst, some fear, some negative voice saying, 'Who are you?', But some people rebuke it and other people birth it. The difference between rebuking it and birthing it is how long you nurture the thought."
So rebuke those negative thoughts, encourage yourself when no when else will and decide that you will do whatever it takes to be ALL that you were created to be, ON PURPOSE!
*What has been your favorite mistake?
My favorite mistake! Hmmm, I would have to say questioning my worth. Growing up, as a girl and even into young adulthood, I was very insecure. I didn’t understand my value as a woman or see the potential in my beauty. This caused me to make some unwise choices & at times led me to silence my voice.
But as I’ve matured as a woman, having partaken in different relationships, having slipped & fell, suffocated & endured, tolerated & forgiven – I’ve been able to learn so much about myself in the process. I’ve learned that I am stronger than I ever imagined. I’ve learned that what I have to offer the world is indeed valuable and shouldn’t be taken for granted. I’ve learned that my journey has not been a mistake, and serves a greater purpose beyond my comprehension. Now, my personal experiences and first hand views concerning self-worth, self-esteem and self-love can possibly help other girls or young women in the process. And for that, I am grateful!
I am grateful for the strength in my spirit to overcome. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned. And most importantly, I am grateful for the new love I’ve gained for the girl within my soul; the girl whose heart I will strive to protect and nurture all the days of my life.
*So far, what has been the most challenging aspect of being a woman?
The most challenging part of being a woman I would say is being an emotional roller coaster at times. But in the same breath, I would say that I accept that I’m an emotional being & wouldn’t change that about myself.
My life is my story written by the ink of my soul, and I read it all. The good and the bad; the beautiful moments and the ugly truths! Often people run from the pain, but I inhale it. It gives me power against my enemies; it feeds my strength.
I’ve accepted the fact that I’m an emotional creature. I am in tune with the highs and lows of my journey, which has contributed to the makings of who I am as a woman and as a human being. As an introvert, I tend to isolate and have a tendency to become intimate with the pain & discomfort in my life; it’s my way of trying to really understand why I feel a certain way, how I can heal from it and learn how to avoid comparable discomforts in the future.
In the midst of the storms, my emotions may be flooded with “why me’s”, “when will it end’s” or “I’m tired of being tired”, but looking back, I’m always grateful for the lessons learned & seeds of wisdom planted within the soil of my soul! When I look back, I feel proud to be a woman. Proud that I am able to endure, learn and grow from my trials and challenges.
*What do you not want us to know?
Haha! Well, when I was a little girl, I used to play my mother's or sister's Patti LaBelle CD (I can’t remember whose it was) on blast; I would put a black skirt or t-shirt on my head (pretending I had long, flowy locks of love…lol) and I would belt out in song like I was the -ish!!! LOL!! Makes me laugh just thinking about it! But you could. not. tell. me. NOTHIN’!! The 7-8 year old me thought she could saaang chile!!!
*When do you feel most creative? What inspires you?
It may sound strange to some, but I feel most creative during the most trying or emotional seasons of my life. Whether that emotion is joy or pain, love or anger, happiness or bitterness; emotional highs and lows seem to inspire some of my most potent writing.
*How do you soothe yourself when you are upset, disappointed, angry, jealous?
I WRITE!!! Writing helps me clear my head, it aids in dissolving the fog; it comforts the aching beneath the firm exterior of my soul. Whatever I’m feeling, I transform those emotions into words and rhymes.
It’s great being able to look back at my writing and see the areas where I may have grown or occasionally lingered in a perpetual state of stuckness…LOL! But, writing is my way of creating active light; crafting genuine life on a plane of seeming irreversible darkness.
*What does it mean to you to be a soulful beauty?
A soulful beauty understands and embraces the fact that her journey is like an accessory, an adornment made to enhance the underlying beauty that already exists; it is not a life sentence to sorrow & misery.
A soulful beauty has the courage to embody and express her authentic self to the world that surrounds her. She doesn’t allow potential judgments or critics to distract her or from being her true self with all who are open to her embrace. She is confident in who she is and dedicates her whole heart to creating life.
*Please share two of your poems.
*Please share two of your poems.
My beauty is complicated
Dense like a rainforest
Thorny even – like a red rose in full bloom
Having trekked through the storm
My heart has made it to the peak of Everest and back
Yet it remains warm
My beauty is resilient
Like a diamond
My beauty forms from high heat
And extraordinary pressure
You See –
The commotion contributes to my strength
And my strength is stunning
As I gaze into the eyes of memories past
Calmness overtakes my spirit
I can feel the dimple forming on the skin of my left cheek
As the breath beneath my tongue utters
I. Am. Beautiful.
I. Am. Beautiful.
Lady of Substance
She is confident. Secure.
Aware of her purpose.
Rooted in her destiny.
She is valuable.
In love with the woman God created her to be
Rather than looking for man to complete superficial needs.
Here she stands – Content – Free
A prisoner no more to the repugnant voices in her mind
Contradictory even – to the true nature of her design
She is firm.
Not easily influenced by naysayers.
She is the epitome of strength.
She believes in her dreams
Working to create life with her whole heart.
She is a woman of faith.
She is a woman of substance.