Archives for posts with tag: empowerment

When our kids were young, we took them to Orlando—you know the Mickey Mouse vacation—just like many of you have done. We were staying on International Drive, so my husband and I thought it would be cool to take the kids to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Ripley’s—for those of you who don’t know—is what they call an ODDITORIUM.  It’s a 10,000 square foot building that actually looks like it is falling into a Florida sinkhole. Cool right?! There are 16 unique galleries that pay tribute to the odd and strange, and weird artifacts and displays from across the globe.

So here goes the Keitt family through Ripley’s exploring and looking at all the stuff packed into this building—hoping to get every dime’s worth of entertainment that we can. We have baby’s and strollers, and little hands in tow–2 adults for four kids—going through area after area. As we climb the stairs, round the corner and proceed to enter into the next area of the exhibit, suddenly our oldest daughter Morgan broke free and bolted back down the stairs the way we had just come! It happened so fast, it took me by surprise and I was stunned for a brief moment. Morgan ran so far, so fast that when we finally caught up with her, she was in the corner of the gift store near the exit—Refusing to go back into what she called the scary building.

She was barely seven years old. How did my child even know what scary was? I asked her about that incident this week—she’s 25 now—and she said she still remembers the dark, red room and that she ran when she saw axes and torture equipment—It scared her and she ran.

At 7, she recognized scary—and evil. Morgan never did Disney movies either. You know there’s always a scene or character in every Disney movie that’s the evil villain, we even had to take Morgan out of “Bambi” because she was so sensitive toward anything dark or scary or evil.

Do you think that we all instinctively know evil?

 
I’m wondering, what do we do when we encounter evil in our everyday lives? Michael Welner is a forensic psychiatrist and he argues that some acts of evil aren’t even against the law. He says a boss who boosts his ego and gains stature by publicly humiliating his employees is evil. He says even stalkers or those who exploit the physical, mental or emotional vulnerability of others are evil.

The fact is, we can’t bolt and run away like my daughter Morgan did that day in Ripley’s when we see evil. So what do you do with the evil in your life? The evil people, places and things that you see and experience every day?

Virtually everyone knows what it’s like to feel really scared—a pounding heartbeat, faster breathing, nervous perspiration—but I wonder, as a society, because we see so much bad, EVIL stuff everyday are we desensitized to it? Do we just except and live with EVIL?

Is evil just a figment of Hollywood’s imagination or do you believe that evil is a being—the devil—who’s real and plagues mankind? For the first time ever, today, I’m going to explore the topic of evil, the really gross, bad and horrible that we see in our lives every, single day.

What’s evil to you? Is it a scary movie? Go to my FACEBOOK PAGE or TWEET me what you think. I refuse to see HORROR movies—I can’t sleep, I can’t eat! I’ve seen three horror movies in my entire life—CARRIE—which I promise did a number on me as a teen—I saw the original HALLOWEEN movie—why? I had nightmares about Jason for weeks and I saw THE EXORCIST—stupidest thing I’ve ever done! See, I believe the supernatural is very real and I don’t like jumping off into that realm “for fun!” What about you? Do you think that horror movies are harmless? Can houses be haunted by real evil spirits? What about tarot cards, psychics, horoscopes are all of these things just harmless fun, or is there a real force of evil behind them? What does everyday evil look like to you? Tell me on my FACEBOOK PAGE or TWEET me.

This was one of the most provocative conversations ever, listen to the entire show HERE.

 

get-over-it-and-move-onYou know I’m finally at the place where I think we need to LET GO of changing the time forward and back here in the U.S. and just leave it alone. Same time year round.
But I realize, that sometimes it’s hard to let go of things—especially when your whole life has been wrapped up in something.
This past week, I had a really trying day. A day that started straight from hell. I was traveling out of town. First, I thought I knew how to get back to the airport from my hotel. I didn’t. At 7:45 am, I was 30 MINUTES away from the car rental facility and my flight was leaving at 9:00! Thank God I WASN’T in Atlanta and the traffic gods were on my side…made it to the car rental place, boarded the car rental mini-bus and headed to the airport. I started to breathe…looked around at my belongings, made a mental note NOT to leave my laptop sitting next to me and enjoyed the five- minute ride.
When the driver stopped for my terminal, I grabbed my stuff and hurried to check-in. I walked through the glass doors of the terminal and felt that something was missing. I felt “lighter” and realized that I didn’t have my laptop! It was on the mini-bus that I saw driving away as I turned around.
The tears started welling up instantly. My life is on that laptop!
I quickly went into a tailspin because it was 8:35 and my flight was boarding in 25 minutes and I didn’t even have my boarding pass yet! I started dialing the rental car place…couldn’t get past that STUPID computerized system! I couldn’t think, I couldn’t calm down…I saw everything crumbling because I was faced right then and there with a choice—get on the plane and let go of the laptop with my whole life on it—DOCUMENTS and INFORMATION that I couldn’t easily replace—or chase down the laptop and miss my flight. The next flight wasn’t ‘til later in the afternoon, we had our small group meeting in our home that night, I wouldn’t be prepared and the whole day would be a complete disaster.
I called my rock—my husband Tony.
You’ve been here in your life more times that you can count. Not in my airport mess…but in your own LIFE MESS. You’ve been walking through life with issues that continue to derail you. The pain from that bad breakup, abusive family members, or childhood taunting that STILL impacts your self-confidence today. You’ve lived in the domino effect of when one thing goes wrong—like dominos—everything starts going wrong in your life. You get laid off from a job, can’t find work for a long time, bills pile up, you loose the house, relationship can’t take the break…you loose it and domino after domino falls. Or one HOT night of sex, leads to an unwanted pregnancy, which leads to the decision to abort and now you feel empty—domino after domino. Just like my day on Friday.
Life deals us some pretty nasty scenarios and ladies and gentlemen sometimes we need HELP getting over stuff.
Back at the airport on the phone with my husband he took control and yelled at me to calm down! Don’t think that was bad, it wasn’t. It was EXACTLY what I needed. INTERVENTION! He’d call the car rental company to track down the laptop, I would miss my flight, take a cab and go get my laptop. As I ran to the cab stand on the other side of the terminal, I slowly let go of all the dominos that would fall by missing the flight and I GOT OVER IT as I ran on the moving sidewalk.
Just then, I looked out the window and saw the car rental mini-bus! OOOOWEEEE! It was sitting outside the terminal. I bolted down the escalator, out the door and ran up to the mini-bus. The driver let me in and there it was sitting where I left it. I thanked him, grabbed it and ran back to check in.
I made the flight, with the laptop and learned that letting go and getting over stuff really works. It helps to bring clarity.
But what about REAL SERIOUS ISSUES. I know losing a laptop may not sound big to you—it is to me—and that’s the interesting thing about GETTING OVER STUFF. No matter how it appears to everyone else, if you’ve got something that’s holding YOU back, it’s huge. It’s big. It may seem insurmountable. It’s real for you, and it needs to be taken seriously by you.
How do we GET OVER miscarriages, or death of a loved one, or discrimination, never reaching our dreams, being a single parent, being shunned from church or not trusting anyone? Can we get over our PAST, grudges that we’ve held onto, getting fired or not getting a promotion? That’s what this show is about tonight GET OVER IT ALREADY! This may just be the most important conversation you’ve ever had. There’s power in telling our stories and hearing other’s stories.
LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE.
I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT and The Jennifer Keitt Show is heard on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B, every Sunday from 7-8 pm. Be sure to visit my website at http:/www.jenniferkeitt.com to download your free ToolKEITT from this show. It’s packed with tools, questions and resources to help you “get over it” in your life.

 

show me the money3Can I ask you something? Have you ever had a sleepless night worrying about money? Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how much I worried about money! Raising four kids, I promise you I never thought we had enough. Honestly I was raised with a “not enough” mentality. My Dad taught me from a very young age to get in and stay in debt. His motto was “this country is built on credit and debt”—and what you don’t have, you can always borrow. My father got into as much debt as he could. When he got in over his head, he defaulted and kept it movin’.
He always, always had a get rich quick scheme up his sleeve. I remember one time when he returned from a trip he had all of these blueprints. He pulled them out and spread them all over the dining room table. He then showed my brothers and me the plot of land that he bought on an island to build a HOTEL. What?! We were a very, very average WORKING family. We didn’t have the money to build a hotel, no less a hotel on the beach on an island in the Caribbean. Questions like, “Dad how are you going to run a hotel down there . . . what about us?” Or, “Dad, do you know any builders on the Island who can build a hotel?” Or this OBVIOUS one, “Dad, where are you going to get the money?” Of course for this one, he did have an answer . . . he had talked to the bank down there (of course they said no) so he was trying to devise some way of convincing family, friends or banks here in the States to LEND him the money for his dream. But he’d bought land…a tiny plot, with a falling down shack on it, miles from the beach.
My Dad always wanted to be rich. He just didn’t have a clue how to do it.
And so when I got married I brought my broke, robbing Peter to pay Paul, borrowing, poor mentality STRAIGHT into my marriage! My husband Tony—on the other hand—grew up in a family who saved, ALL THE TIME, so you can imagine what kind of trouble we had… oooo weee…the fights! I wished we did fight about where to invest or how much to save. NO WAY. We fought about who was going to answer the phone for all the bill collectors calling…or which bill WASN’T going to get paid so that we could pay our mortgage. FOR YEARS we lived with huge amounts of credit card debt, revolving loans . . . and we struggled to save. But every Sunday in church we heard how God wants us prosperous, rich even. So checking the mailbox for checks or believing that somehow magically money was going to rain down from heaven became my weekly plight.
It was the worst time of my life.
An article that I read online, at creativemoney.biz, talked about the TOP money arguments for couples. Couples argue about merging money—should you have one joint account or separate HIS and HERS accounts.  Couples also argue about dealing with debt. And couples also argue about managing spending.
But folks, let’s stop a second and ask, WHAT ARE WE DOING FIGHTING ABOUT MONEY? What’s the real issue? I believe it’s that we ALL in some way want to be RICH—in whatever way RICH looks like for you.
For me, I always wanted to be a baller. To have a really nice home, well-dressed kids, driving nice cars and vacationing in exotic places. I got all those desires from my Dad who tried to be baller—even if he didn’t have the money. The only problem with my desire to be RICH was that I didn’t have a clue on how to handle money! Newsflash, you can’t become rich without money!! AND…the savvy to know how to handle money is CRUCIAL for success. We are literally KILLING ourselves on these jobs trying to make a dollar. We are chasing get rich quick schemes…or we’re heading deeper into debt, taking out PAYDAY LOANS to make ends meet. I have been in the grocery store line with a CREDIT CARD praying the transaction goes through. I don’t wish that on my worst enemy. But you know, ladies and gentlemen we have become our worst enemy when it comes to MONEY—particularly in the Black community. Do you know that a poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 63% of consumers admitted that their money problems were their own fault—self-inflicted! We admit privately that we’re overspending, and that we’re financially unorganized. That’s putting it nicely.
It’s time that somebody SHOWS US THE MONEY! Why aren’t Black people making more? Why aren’t women further ahead financially? Wait…here’s the big, ginormous question, “HOW DO I BECOME RICH?”
That’s what I’m talking about in this show: SHOW ME THE MONEY! And my guest takes us right to places where FEW get to go, straight into the lives of Black America’s wealthiest. Secrets of Black millionaires. LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE. I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT, and the JENNIFER KEITT SHOW is heard every Sunday, 7-8pm on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B. Visit my website at http://www.jenniferkeitt.com for more life empowerment resources, articles, radio shows and my exclusive ToolKEITT.

 

african american coupleDid you have a great Valentine’s Day? Opinions differ as to who was the original Valentine, but the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome. Since the beginning of time humans have been committed to the concept of marriage and love as demonstrated in this story:
One day, a young guy and girl fell in love. But the guy came from a poor family. The girl’s parents weren’t too happy.
 
So the young man decided not only to court the girl but to court her parents as well. In time, the parents saw that he was a good man and was worthy of their daughter’s hand.
 
But there was another problem: The man was a soldier. Soon, war broke out and he was being sent overseas for a year. The week before he left, the man knelt on his knee and asked his lady love, “Will you marry me?” She wiped a tear, said yes, and they were engaged. They agreed that when he got back in one year, they would get married.
 
But tragedy struck. A few days after he left, the girl had a major vehicular accident. It was a head-on collision. When she woke up in the hospital, she saw her father and mother crying. Immediately, she knew there was something wrong.
 
She later found out that she suffered brain injury. The part of her brain that controlled her face muscles was damaged. Her once lovely face was now disfigured. She cried as she saw herself in the mirror. “Yesterday, I was beautiful. Today, I’m a monster.” Her body was also covered with so many ugly wounds.
 
Right there and then, she decided to release her fiancé from their promise. She knew he wouldn’t want her anymore. She would forget about him and never see him again.
 
For one year, the soldier wrote many letters—but she wouldn’t answer. He phoned her many times but she wouldn’t return his calls.
 
After one year, the mother walked into her room and announced, “He’s back from the war.”
 
The girl shouted, “No! Please don’t tell him about me. Don’t tell him I’m here!”
 
The mother said, “He’s getting married,” and handed her a wedding invitation.
 
The girl’s heart sank. She knew she still loved him—but she had to forget him now.
 
With great sadness, she opened the wedding invitation.
 
And then she saw her name on it!
 
Confused, she asked, “What is this?”
 
That was when the young man entered her room with a bouquet of flowers. He knelt beside her and asked, “Will you marry me?”
 
The girl covered her face with her hands and said, “I’m ugly!”
 
The man said, “Without your permission, your mother sent me your photos. When I saw your photos, I realized that nothing has changed. You’re still the person I fell in love with. You’re still as beautiful as ever. Because I love you!”
 
NOW THAT is true love! HOW DO YOU KNOW that you’re really in love? You know it when external circumstances don’t change your decision to love. How do you know if it’s love or lust? Well love isn’t indecisive, sometimey, saying, I love you today but not tomorrow. If its lust the feelings eventually burn out, fade away. Love’s not based on how someone looks, or how much a person makes. Love is NOT sex. Love isn’t about what you can get from someone it’s about what you can BUILD together. Love goes the distance.
That’s what this show is about tonight: THE LOVE CODE. A code is a system of principles or rules. There are principles and rules associated with loving someone. How you treat the person you love and how they treat you. So, how do you know you’re in love? Do you follow the rules of love? It’s not HARD to love but it does take work. And we’re a workaholic nation—so what’s the big deal? Is loving too hard? What do you think? Tell me in the comment section and be sure to listen now to the show HERE.
I am your chief empowerment officer and my radio show, The Jennifer Keitt Show can be heard every Sunday evening from 7 – 8 pm ET on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B. Be sure to visit my website at http://www.jenniferkeitt.com and come to see me in person at my upcoming POWER BREAKFAST 2013: Reinvent You! Register and find out more information here: http://www.tbwpowerbreakfast.com. 

I had the opportunity recently to interview author, activist, Mother and thought-leader, SISTER SOULJAH recently. In this interview she shared her personal thoughts about relationships, the state of our world today and about love .

I asked Souljah, “What would you say your definition of love is and how do you write about that concept (of love) through your work?”

Souljah: “Well I believe that love is a topic that is probably as vast as the ocean so I think it’s something that you could put in a neat, one or two sentences. I believe that love is a feeling, an action, an attitude, a foundation. I think that without love everything else is in chaos. I think without love you never have peace, and I think the reason why we have so much chaos in our families is because we have  crisis in love. I also think the reason why we have so much chaos in our male-female relationships is because we have fallen out of love with one another.

I think that even in our friendships we have forgotten how to love and therefore our friendships are competitive and spiteful. There’s a lot of betrayal and there’s a lot of distance and these are things that should not be a component of friendship.”

JK: I recognize that we are all looking for something Souljah, what do you think we are looking for?

Souljah: “Ultimately, I think all of us are looking for love and acceptance, but that can be dangerous without guidance and clear examples of the thing we are looking for.”

Sister Souljah’s new book “Coldest Winter Ever” is available in bookstores and online. Visit my website at http://www.jenniferkeitt.com for more empowerment articles and information.

162_The_Coldest_Winter_Better_Book_Cover

In High School I was under the naïve impression that men and women COULD actually be friends. In fact I had lots of guy friends. Truth be told being the only girl with two brothers I preferred to hang with guys! Football players, band members, baseball players, guys in my classes, I was so o.k. with just being FRIENDS. Men bring a certain kind of energy—that YIN, YANG thing—that I love.
happy coupleOne guy in particular was my BEST friend throughout 11th grade. He was the first person I told about my boyfriend drama, or my family drama…we had class together, ate lunch together…did what best friends do. The beach was close to where I lived, so one day we drove to the beach to hang out.  We grabbed a couple of glasses, something to drink and strolled along the seashore. The beach is my absolute FAVORITE place on the planet to be . . . so I was darn near in heaven! Chillin with my friend until he turned and asked me, “have you ever seen us as more than friends?”
Whoa…what the?! My internal brakes slammed on…before I could stop myself I was saying EWWWWWWWW!!! NO! You’re my best friend…like a brother!! I saw his face ever so slowly start to contort and then I saw the hurt and disappointment show through his eyes.
Another male friend bit the dust. The relationship was never able to recover AND that’s when I figured out there is no way on the planet for men and women to be JUST FRIENDS! Yet all the advice out there suggests that couples should be friends and lovers.
But exactly how does friends work? Is it a given to have to move into the friends with benefits category? Hold up … Does a man even really want a friend? Or maybe he just really wants a freak? And how does he choose his FOREVER LADY? What if you ain’t giving up THE COOKIES before you get married? Are you doomed to always be just THE FRIEND?
It is apparent to me that MEN WANT BAD GIRLS. But just who are the bad girls? Carole Lieberman is author of the book “BAD GIRLS: WHY MEN LOVE THEM & HOW GOOD GIRLS CAN LEARN THEIR SECRETS.” She says there are 12 types of BAD GIRLS:
• The addict
• The sex siren
• The sexual withholder
• The gold-digger
• The married woman on the prowl
• The commitment-phobe
• The husband hunter and trapper
• The husband stealer
• The ultimate damsel in distress
• The cougar
• The ball-buster
• And The bad girl scorned
Whatever category she fits into, Carole says a bad girl is sexy, attractive, alluring, bold, seductive, fun, wild, exciting, flirtatious, cunning and smart. No wonder men are attracted to BAD GIRLS. They know just what a man wants to hear and just what he wants her to do to make him feel cared for. But if we’re honest, as women we grow up knowing that it’s expected that we are to have a split personality: GOOD GIRL public image; BAD GIRL private life. But what happens when you can’t reconcile the two demands? What happens to your self-esteem and your emotions if you can never seem to move out of the FRIEND category or FREAK category? If you’re a best friend or a booty call can you ever hope to be THE ONE?
Well that’s what I talked about: FRIEND, FREAK OR FOREVER LADY?! LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE.
I am your Chief Empowerment Officer JENNIFER KEITT and The Jennifer Keitt Show airs on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B every Sunday evening from 7 -8 pm ET.

 

 

I was talking with some friends the other night—young married women and you know I was really touched by how much MONEY impacts relationships.
breadwinning wivesAs they say, money makes the world go round, but I’ve discovered in LOVE relationships money can STOP your relationship from moving forward. Who makes the money —that question can set things on fire. Let me ask you, does it matter how much your significant other makes? C’mon be honest, what impact do paychecks have on your love life? Wait…what about if SHE makes MORE than HE does? Then what? Do the same age-old rules still apply?
Let’s find out.
Here’s a marital problem that I was reading about recently: this man said, “We’ve been married for 5 years plus and we have 2 kids. A few months after our wedding, my wife got a job with an oil company while I have always been a banker.” (SO BOTH PEOPLE IN THIS RELATIONSHIP WORK) He continues, “We were earning about the same salary when she started the job, but after a while she started earning more and now she earns almost twice my salary. With time (he says) she started disrespecting me and even talks any old way to me. We started having quarrels now and then and one day, out of anger and frustration I slapped her. (OH NO he didn’t!) Immediately after that I regretted ever raising my hands no matter the provocation. I begged for her forgiveness but she still holds it against me.  And to be honest, at the peak of the quarrels and insults, I was driven into the hands of another woman but I have confessed to her and promised her that it’ll never happen again, but she holds that against me too. When I finally got her to sit down and discuss our problems with a view of finding a lasting solution, she made it known to me that she’s NOT happy that she’s bringing more money home. In fact, she came right out and told me that I’m not doing enough to improve my career. I was surprised at that because I’m earning a very decent salary that most people can only dream of, I still tried to explain to her that what I have is a dream job . . . I’ve done my MBA and also have a PMP certification. But suddenly she claimed she doesn’t love me anymore and stopped me from touching her. This is really affecting me and my job  . . . I’m frustrated at the situation in my home as we live like two strangers. What do I do?”
What does he do? Physical abuse, adultery, arguing, no sex, and a gulf between them as wide as the Grand Canyon ALL BECAUSE SHE MAKES MORE MONEY THAN HE DOES! They should stop the nonsense, be grateful they are making money and get the CAHONAS to really talk about the role MONEY is playing in their supposed LOVE relationship.
I don’t love my husband Tony BECAUSE of how much he does or doesn’t make. I love him because of the KIND of person that he is and has always been. Yet, if I were to be honest DOLLARS at points in our relationship did make us loose our SENSE! In 1988 after the birth of our first child I gave up my TV and RADIO career to become a stay-at-home Mom. Yep, I know what it’s like to be the one who depends on your spouse. I trusted that my husband would provide for our growing family and it was one of the toughest things that I ever did because I’m an INDEPENDENT WOMAN taught not to rely on NOBODY. I was scared for years that if he left me high and dry I was gonna be out of luck. Thank God 26 years later he wasn’t that kind of person. So I know how important who makes the money is in relationships.
Should it matter who makes more? NO. But does it matter who makes more? YES IT DOES.
Ralph Richard Banks is the author of the book IS MARRIAGE FOR WHITE PEOPLE? And he states in an article “As a consequence of increased education and greater access to high-paying jobs, wives are more likely than ever before to earn more and to be better educated than their husbands. Among African-Americans, the group most likely to have role reversal marriages . . those relationships are often conflict-ridden and more likely to end in divorce than marriages where the partners are more economically and educationally compatible.”
Whoa! So does that mean if we don’t have the same degrees, and similar paychecks we can’t stay married. Come on Black folks! Is this true? Ladies, if your man makes less than you, for real, is that a problem? But what about LOVE? Or are you asking like TINA TURNER, “What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?” Gentlemen, is your ego so large that you can’t handle a woman who makes more money than you do? Does your paycheck define you as a man?
You know we’ve got to talk about this! Why? Because how we’re behaving is impacting our children and we’re raising a generation of kids who are CLUELESS about having long-lasting, meaningful, loving relationships.
So, how do men handle dating or marrying women who make more? YOU HAVE GOT TO HEAR THIS SHOW! My phone lines were ringing through the end of the show! LISTEN HERE.
I am your chief empowerment officer, JENNIFER KEITT and you can listen to THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW exclusively on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B. Online live on Sunday’s 7 -8 pm ET: http://www.jenniferkeitt.com

I was reading a blog this week in which the author told of his recent visit to a 5th grade class to talk with the kids about money. And as kids do, one little girl asked “How much money do you have?” And the author said, “I’m not going to answer that.”  And then another kid chimed in, “Nobody answers that! How come?”  The kid’s questions left the author and me wondering well why not? Why don’t we talk about money like that, you know the real deal, how much we make? How much we have? How much we’re worth?

Is it just that we’re uncomfortable talking about money, well, our money in particular? Or is it because we don’t want to be judged or ridiculed? Why is money the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM that nobody talks about?

When my husband and I had kids, we decided that we wanted them to know everything possible about money and to this day, our kids know our salaries, what our home costs, how much we have in savings and investments. But honestly, I can remember when my kids were young, I would hush them when they commented on someone else’s financial status. It always came up when they would visit friends who had nice things, or large houses, or what appeared to be lots of money. You know how we do, we whisper about people behind their backs, “I wonder how she affords those shoes or that car?” Or “How much do you think their house costs?” We talk about how much we think they have or think they make or how much we think they don’t have or make, and be honest, we’ll attempt to keep up with our peers regardless of whether we really know their real money deal!

So what’s our real discomfort about talking about money?  I’m asking because every survey that I’ve looked at says that Americans think and worry a lot about money! AARP did a study of young adults ages 18 – 34. It said that 57% of young Americans consider their financial situation to be the biggest concern in their lives. Take 100 young adults and 57 of them consider their finances to be the BIGGEST concern of their lives. And we don’t talk about it? Why?

But here’s here how money shows up in our daily lives, listen to the comments some people posted on a website I was browsing, regarding money issues:

  • Today, my boyfriend told me that he wanted to break up with me but it had to be after our cruise together because he doesn’t want to lose out on money…Can’t wait for the Bahamas!
  • (This one was sad) Today, I was so broke I went to Costco, not to buy anything, but to eat their free food samples.
  • And one more…today, I found out that my girlfriend has been paying her half of the rent by taking my ATM card and getting money from my account.

And we won’t and don’t talk about money? What in the world?!

I’ve been doing my own survey this week and here’s some of the top concerns of my listeners:

  • I am concerned about maintaining the emergency fund
  • I’m concerned about my husband’s employment (I don’t work outside the home)
  • I’m concerned about college savings
  • And I’m concerned about when will we have MORE than enough

People have told me about some of their worst financial experiences…being laid off for 10 months and having NO income…or going through a divorce, and losing one income. And yet, WE DON’T TALK ABOUT MONEY? C’mon now! Today, can we begin to change this? Why? Because you and I are worried about not having enough for retirement, young adults have debt up to their eyeballs and we shouldn’t continue to ignore the ELEPHANT in the room.

So, tell me, what do you think? Why don’t people talk about money? Is it just to avoid discomfort? Or are there more practical reasons to avoid money discussions? More to the point, in your own life, with whom do you have money discussions? What sorts of things do you talk about regarding money? Listen to what my listeners said on the air! CLICK HERE to hear The Jennifer Keitt Show Podcast.

Personally I think we’re scared to tell the real deal because we’re afraid of being judged or looked down on or even looked up to as the source for others, but what do you think? LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW and be sure to visit my website at www.jenniferkeitt.com. I am your chief empowerment officer, Jennifer Keitt and you can listen to The Jennifer Keitt Show every Sunday on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B!

Today I’m talking about a topic that, as women, we think about or talk about EVERY SINGLE DAY. The subject: HOW WE LOOK! And here’s where it starts, from the moment we’re born people comment on our ‘beauty:’

“Oh…she’s so cute. Look at those “chubby cheeks and hair!”

Then as we grow into toddlers and young kids and more comments:

She’s a little chunky, she didn’t lose that “baby fat” yet?

Her hair is so nappy, whatcha gonna do with that?

And then we go through the awkward puberty stage and it’s full-blown war!

You ain’t gonna never get a man looking like that!

Put a bra on!

You’re flat-chested!

Wear a dress so you can look like a lady!

Don’t wear that dress you look like you know what!

We are told over and over and over again HOW WE LOOK and it’s based on everyone else’s opinion. It is no wonder women today are TIRED, CONFUSED, FRUSTRATED and SICK of folk telling us WHAT BEAUTY IS!!

A recent PEOPLE Magazine named BEYONCE the MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD! My goodness, how do you get to be labeled the MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN WORLD?? What pressure! Is it her eyes, her lips, her curves, her singing ability—what makes BEYONCE the most beautiful woman in the world? Here’s what she said in the article when asked HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING NAMED WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN?

She answered, “It’s overwhelming! But it is such an honor. I feel more beautiful than I’ve ever felt, because I’ve given birth. I have never felt so connected and never felt like I had such a purpose on this earth.” She feels beautiful because of giving birth and having purpose (not because of her hair length, eye color or body shape)

So what makes you feel beautiful? Are you comfortable in your own skin? For me, IT TOOK A LONG, LONG time to deal with this beauty issue. So many women—grapple and wrestle with this thing called beauty every, single day. And for many of us, if we’re honest, we’re losing the battle. Many women don’t like what they see in the mirror. Many women don’t like the texture of their hair, or the size of their butts, or their skin color.

You know, one of the biggest influences on beauty images comes from the toy and movie industries. I can remember one Christmas, I wanted a Black baby doll that I saw in a store. My Mother had to search high and low to find that ONE Black baby doll for me. When I opened her that Christmas morning, I was in heaven! Seeing my color on a baby dolls’ skin was HUGE…and she took center stage for a long time in my doll collection laying on top of all the other dolls. When Mattel finally got it and started making BLACK Barbie Dolls that weren’t just white dolls spray painted Black but Disney did take their sweet time before FINALLY giving us a BLACK PRINCESS!

Anika Noni Rose is the wonderful actress who played Tiana, Disney’s first Black Princess, and she told me that she’s thrilled that she got the chance to help shape young girl’s beauty and esteem!

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST OF THE ENTIRE SHOW HERE

Mirror, Mirror on the wall are we really the most beautiful of them all? Tell me what you think!  I’ve been questioning and polling on FACEBOOK and I want to hear from you. How do you define beauty?

THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW FACEBOOK PAGE

What truly makes a woman beautiful? Long hair, short hair, skin color and GENTLEMAN I especially want to hear your take on this! Tell me about the first time you came face-to-face with your looks when did beauty become real for you? My show HOTLINE number is always open, 404-906-7720. I am your CHIEF EMPOWERMENT OFFICER, Jennifer Keitt and you can listen to THE JENNIFER KEITT SHOW on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B every Sunday, 7 -8 pm ET or you can hear my Today’s Black Woman Radio Show Vignettes daily nationwide.

VISIT MY WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO HEAR THE RADIO SHOWS.

Just think about it, EVERY HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET has a Mother! Over 7 billion humans—that a whole lot of MOMMIES in the world!  Well here in the US here are the stats: 85 million Mothers; 5 million are stay-at-home Moms, while 55% work outside the home. And there are 10 million single Moms.

There was a recent USDA report that said the cost of raising a baby for the first year, for the average middle-income family, is roughly 12, 000 dollars. Now I’m sure it’s debatable as to whether or not that number increases as they get older (I for one KNOW that it does), so conclusion: KIDS ARE EXPENSIVE! Not to mention the emotional and mental cost Moms pay every day. Here’s a recent post that I read:

“Rough start this morning. Tried to do the mommy thing and actually take my kids to school. The plan was to drop kids off and then write all morning. Well, (my son) wanted me to walk him in and refused to get out the car. I finally got him out but then he didn’t want to grab his book bag. So here I am yelling and screaming for him to hurry up because of all the cars behind us. I ended up throwing the book bag out of the car and then he wouldn’t close the door. To top it off my husband was on hold and when I got back on the phone, he was like, “honey, don’t yell …. be patient…. when he does that, I get out and help him out of the car…he’ll be okay…the other parents can wait….” Of course, this doesn’t help. It took me 30 mins and a chickfil A burrito to calm me down. And I was going to have lunch with them?!?! Whew…. Being a mommy is not easy.

If I could have a DOLLAR for every time I felt like she did, I’d be RICH right about now! Motherhood is the most FABULOUS gift we have as women, and yet sometimes it can feel so scary.

Jill Smokler writes the popular SCARY MOMMY BLOG. Listen to some of these Mom confessions:

  • I am so lonely. I am actually considering renting a friend.
  • I hate it when my emotional first reactions come back to bite me in the ass. I’m so sorry I misjudged the situation.
  • I hate shared custody! Afraid that I won’t bond with my daughters if I only see them every other week. How can you parent like that? But what other way is there? Neither dad or I could go more than a week w/o them.
  • The baby just pooped really loud and it scared him! I laughed so hard he started to cry. ( Mom of the year here)

There is NOTHING else like being a Mom! That’s why this special show is just for you—today’s Mom. I KNOW how important it is TO NOT FEEL YOU’RE ALL ALONE with the thoughts and emotions running around inside your head. As we take the time to celebrate our Moms today, let’s also take the time to find out—for real—what’s going on inside her heart.

PlumDistrict.com polled over 19,000 women and eight out of ten said they would prefer to sleep in on Mother’s Day instead of watching the sunrise with their kids. One out of three admitted that they secretly want to be alone on the holiday. When CafeMom readers were asked to contribute to a Mother’s Day wish list, the theme was overwhelmingly the same. “A day off from EVERYTHING.”

It’s time and it’s so important to LISTEN to our Moms. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do on today’s show. Step Moms, Single Moms, Mother’s who stay-at-home, Moms who are entrepreneurs—even MICHAEL JORDAN’S Mom are on the show today—all here to discuss what’s REALLY on Mom’s heart—Mom Confessions…a special Mother’s Day Show, just for you.

CLICK HERE to listen to this very powerful show and breathe…YOU’RE NOT ALONE! Visit my website at www.jenniferkeitt.com for more information. Be sure to listen to The Jennifer Keitt Show every Sunday, 7 -8 pm ET on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B!

 

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