A few people reached out to me in the last couples of months, seeing things that I wasn’t sure were being exuded through my behavior. I have something. That something, not quite sure what to identify as of yet, is an aura that makes people want to move, do, and be. I’m aware of it, but most of the time I admittedly dwindled it down, because I fear people getting upset and uncomfortable. I carry myself a certain kind of way. It’s not something I consciously do, it just happens. A regal attitude that comes from training my mind, “I am beautiful and I do deserve the best, therefore I am”, a mantra I developed over the years of transforming from just plain I’esha to I’esha GaptoothDiva. I own it, and now I want people just like me, who once felt inferior to own their as well. I want to be a service to my community and motivate women, young and old, to never listen to the background noise of people calling you out your name and saying what you should do or be, but that internal voice of God. That feeling inside that you were loved before you knew what love was, that your destiny is bigger than you can ever imagine and if you just reach for it, you will eventually touch circumstances that will blow your mind. I have that now, and it’s my life’s dream to make other people feel that exact way. The grace of God and love of oneself and others is so unimaginable; I yearn to reach so many before it’s all said and done.
A few months ago, talking about this very passion led to me developing another internet radio show with a friend of mine, Daitron Winston (RVALien). However, he informed me about some adversity that I never realized existed. I prayed on it and I kept it moving, I knew this was a journey with purpose and God was going to make it with us. Despite a few hiccups and some “internet thugging”, I still maintain that I wish the best for all people. I truly believe that everyone has a voice, what you use it for is your business, but my overall mission is anointed.
I’m excited to introduce R3 Radio: Real Ratchet & Raw, because our show touches on those very perspectives. You have the truth, a real way of looking at life, culture, and our circumstances. You also have the raw way of dealing with it, no love, and no heart, just black & white. In addition, because it sells and is so prevalent in our community, people are floating toward the ratchet because it’s easier and more popular right now. I pride myself on never selling out, so I wanted a show that celebrated that perspective of keeping things wholesome but entertaining.Down the line, I want my kids to be proud of my behavior and the things I discussed, so I don’t call women “b*tches”, I don’t disrespect people because its funny, I truly keep it love and awesomeness, because that’s what I want the world to return back to me. Daitron feels the same way. So tonight at 9pm thanks to Soul Cypher Productions, we deliver that to you every week. I’m so excited!
With the radio show, the clothing, modeling, and writing, what else, could I add to my plate? Well, someone saw something in me and felt other people should see it as well. I praise God for the moves He is making because motivation came from an unlikely source. Someone that I have always admired and thought was very hard working, Joe’I Chancellor will be executive producing my very own show on Comcast 95 / Verizon 36 this Fall, October 2nd 2013. The GaptoothDiva Show will highlight issues that either I believe we shy away from or we downright don’t understand. Again, this venture will be on the positive tip, but with lots of entertainment and fun. Women need to see exactly what we are doing to each other, how we break our own gender down but expect respect from men. It’s a contagion of disrespect to each other and ourselves, and I’m on a mission to change that by any means necessary. I hope you all tune in for that as well, because it’s going to be an experience.
I had the pleasure of going on the Joe’i Chancellor Special Edition show with her this past Friday. She is funny and I enjoyed myself so much. It made me see that although a lot of detail goes into it, it really is an easy thing to do, I’m excited to jump right in and get to work. Because Joe’i and I discuss issues with women regularly, I know that I’m not alone in feeling that there is genuine disconnect. If no one tries to fight this issue and bring solutions to the table, then we will never overcome any obstacles and will forever be doomed to warring with one another rather embracing each other. I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where women hate each other. I don’t want to live in one either. Therefore, with these new projects, I plan to shed light on these issues and more, bringing positivism back to your media and in your hearts.
We Start Taping for The GaptoothDiva Show next month, so be on the lookout for more details on that as well. We are rolling here… God got the wheel… let’s ride.
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow and support me @GaptoothDiva
Plus Size Beautis (@PSBinc) is a organization here in Virginia dedicated to uplifting and empowering women of all sizes, mostly curvaceous, to love themselves and take care of their God-given temples. This organization, based out of Richmond holds several recruiting sessions throughout the year, participates in community events, and mentors to younger girls ages 8 and up with their subsidiary YLOB (Young Ladies of Beauty). The idea is to uplift the spirits of women, tackle sensitive issues in the plus size community, and mentor members young and old. It’s an opportunity for those full figured, plus size and curvy girls to bond with a sisterhood of like-minded individuals and make a difference in the world around them.
This past weekend, Plus Size Beautis had their first ever Women’s Empowerment Symposium at the Holiday Inn in RVA. The event was well attended by groups of individuals, all seeking the same thing… to be empowered and inspired. Plus Size Beautis did just that, by featuring Motivational Speakers, Inspirational leaders and Coaches like Kita Martin, Cecily Hickman of SassC Creations, and Coach Metra of Love Life Enterprises, LLC. These women took the stage to discuss their experiences while providing a message that everyone could relate to and become encouraged. Plus Size Beautis brought women of diverse backgrounds to speak on subjects relating to self-love, faith, and being true to oneself. Several people in the room admitted to being emotional, captivated, for they understood the dynamic, and could resonate with the speakers and their testimony.
I missed the opportunity to catch the testimony of Ms. Kita Martin, Empowering Women on Purpose. She is a Host, Motivational Speaker, Poet and Writer in the 757 area. Her message related to “B the Best “You” can B!” a mantra eloquently placed on the back of her business card. Make sure you get in touch with her for empowerment and motivation, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I caught the message from Cecily Hickman, of SassC Creations . Knowing Cecily to be a kind hearted and gentle spirited entrepreneur, I was intrigued by her testimony at the event. Talking to Plus Size Beauti members and their supporters, Cecily touch on issues regarding her self-esteem and the feelings she had growing up. Like me, Cecily had to busy herself with her passions and creativity to eventually find value in herself, thus discovering a new sense of self-esteem. Cecily encouraged event participants to write strong positive affirmations everyday. She listed individuals who have failed in one aspect of their lives, but went on to succeed beyond what they, themselves may have expected. It was motivating to hear some of my own favorites listed, among them Oprah… solidifying the belief that if you keep going, your dreams can and will come true. I appreciate Cecily sharing those aspects of her life. Her presentation was very inspiring. Please be sure to check out her beauty and styling work, as she specializes in versatility in today’s women with SassC Creations at (804) 822-1236.
During our intermission, prizes and raffles drawing were being conducted. Vendors such as Melanie Wade of Modgyrl Cosmetics were in the building. Modgyrl Melanie was displaying and promoting Plus Size Beautis newest partnership with Modgyrl, their exclusive lippies and glosses. Exodus by Design by Brenda Powell was in the building. Her vendor table was being manned by former WEA Member and Hinton Consulting CEO, Tamera Hinton-Bulger. Plus Size Beautis were also selling their branded t-shirts to supporters and their families as well. Among the other vendors were also Hands On Massage Therapies and Palms of Passion. It was great to see all the PSB members rocking their official PSB white polo shirts, looking fabulous and cohesive for the day’s event.
Last, but definitely not least was acclaimed motivational speaker and life coach, Coach Metra of Love Life Enterprises (sharmetrapittman.com/). Metra shared detailed aspects of her life that I think may have hit home with many people. Her honesty and energized spirit was charismatic and engaging, which made her testimony even more motivating and easy to relate to. What hit home with me the most was the experience of having her daughter tell her that she couldn’t wait to get older, so that she could attend nightclubs like her mother. That is something that I think many women don’t realize being prevalent in their child’s mind. That is not the memories I want my child to have of me, and neither did Coach Metra as she admits during her presentation that that incident was one of the catalyst in transforming her life. As she discusses being a better woman, mother, and wife, it’s the down to earth feeling that I get from her that makes me know; this woman isn’t speaking anything but the truth to me. Her speech “Size Does Matter” isn’t dripping with corny phrases set to entice the curvaceous community at all. Her message speaks to the soul that faith, heart, dreams and communication are the most important aspects to living a fruitful and blessed life. The issues discussed were magnetic in their own way; nevertheless, this was an awesome way to wrap up an extra special event orchestrated by the women of Plus Size Beautis.
“The size of your faith, the size of your heart, the size, of your communication, the size of your dreams. Be Loved, Be blessed, Be You!” – Coach Metra
Ladies, if you are looking to join an organization that supports the plus size community here in Richmond or the 757 area, contact Plus Size Beautis today (http://www.plussizebeautis.org/). Even if you aren’t in Virginia at all, and believe that you can head your own chapter wherever you are, feel free to give them a call. Also, check out volunteer opportunities with YLOB (Young Ladies of Beauty) as well at youngladiesofbeauty.com, because mentoring young women to be amazing grown women, should be a priority for all of us.
I’m excited to see what comes down the pipeline for this group next. I hope their work is blessed and they continue to inspire throughout their journey. It was an awesome event, so the next one is promised to be greater.
Be sure to check out and support…
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It’s that all too familiar conversation, you see someone online and their following is steadily growing, their popularity is picking up, and people begin to want to have that conversation, “Are They Going Somewhere?” The truth is, we live in a generation of people that assume that if it’s not on their timeline, on their IG account, and Twitter trending topics, that it’s not news and it’s not real. Unfortunately, because of people like this I strongly feel like the world is going to sh**! There are far too many myths, half truths, and straight lies floating around about what an internet celebrity is, what social media fame means, and who is the sure enough most popular, lucrative, & greatest in Entertainment, Networking, Media, Writing, etc. In Reality, most of the lifestyles that people actually have, are actually sensationalized and made to appear more glamorous, important, and productive, than they really are. This is a scheme to intimidate the weak, peek the interest of the ill informed and lazy and to manipulate the insecure and ambitious who just want to make it.
We don’t have fans. We have supporters, lurkers, and potential clients. No one on Twitter, especially in your local scene can attest to being internet famous with followers in the range of less than 6 or 7 digits. Most of the people on our list are people trying to push their stuff on us, not paying attention to what you’re doing. In addition, some people stoop so low as to buy followers, create other twitter accounts and follow themselves, so truthfully basing your entire career on how many people you follow and who follow you in return, is almost as stupid as when hood dudes fight over government funded project territory that they don’t own. If the internet crashed today, would you still be relevant?
A boss pulls you into the office and tells you that you’re lacking, you’re slipping, and you’re fired. A boss calls a meeting with the competition to discuss issues. A boss never shows that he/she is affected by the moves of those that object to him/her. The problem with social media is that, you can always tell who is a boss. You look crazy if at noon, you’re discussing how you’re making so many moves, you are hustling, “grinding”, and building your empire, but then you are easily affected by post, comments, and humorous photos that speak things people can’t say in real life by the end of the day. When has the telephone become extinct? Passive aggressive one-liners aren’t the norm for the people that I look up to and are inspired by. People that say that they are busy working, are really busy working. They don’t have time to scroll through and see what other people are doing and indirectly commenting about it. You got questions or comments about someone use this: @TheirName, otherwise that comes off as weak and submissive, and what BOSS wants that? You can’t say you don’t have time to do that, because you’re using that time to be indirect, just saying. Your team should hip you to that, I mean they are your friends, right?
As I mentioned before, you have supporters, lurkers, and potential clients all following you and seeing your behavior. You cannot assume that just because you have certain people under your list of followers, that they are required to click your links, share your info, and Retweet your bodies of work. It doesn’t work that way. I remember doing a spoof video that was about beefing with people online. The video had a message, but it had strong language as well. I knew a few of my friends and supporters watched it and enjoyed it, but some of them couldn’t share or Retweet because of the curse words. Did I take offense to that, no I didn’t. It’s understandable, because we are all building a brand and we need to be careful how we are perceived to those we are trying to work with in the future. If you post something, some of us may click on it and some of us may not, that’s life. If you really want us specifically to see it or it pertains to us in some way, of course feel free to tag and attach us to the message. However, what you won’t do it just plaster stuff on people’s personal Facebook page, get in your feelings when I don’t Retweet your post, and try to gangster somebody into supporting you. If that’s what you came for, you can kindly leave; nobody has time for that! How do I look having your adult saturated material next to a picture of my kids? Like a fool, so get that and wrap that up nicely in a bow, we don’t do stuff like that around here. Send a newsletter, an email or just wait for me to click the link, stop acting like a spam troll, thirsty for people to see what you are up to.
Internet Celebrities, Locally Famous, and everyone in between… Many people are all trying to make their dreams come true. What some of us do it with respect and humility; they call that weak, wack, etc. Some of us do it with aggression, ratchetness, drama, etc. and they call that “go hard” and grinding. Smh. The truth is, many of you aren’t seeing a clear picture of the real lives. We all have struggles and tribulations, but overall its how we overcome them that set people apart.
Some of the people that are trying to make it, have some of these issues going on, that you may have no idea about:
Unpaid bills and potential evictions
Receiving government assistance
Warrants and cases against them
Owe money to other “local” celebrities
Have false and fake limbs and prosthesis
Are sexual deviants
Fund their businesses with food stamps and unemployment checks
Live at home with their parents over the age of 25
Loss of relatives and/or jobs
Neglecting their children and/or spouse is cheating
Own broke down jalopies and/or have no transportation
Copies ideas from actual famous people and make it their own
Are insecure, suicidal, and self-destructive
And much more…
Therefore, if you look at someone’s followers, their Klout score, and all the things that they are doing… you may not see the above-mentioned things. Of course, you wouldn’t see that, it would mess up the painted picture of success. You have to discern for yourself, based on attitude and humility, those that are truly blessed and successful.
“The Loudest one in the room, is the Weakest one in the room” – F.L
Can you honestly say that what people do doesn’t matter to you? Truthfully. Well, if you are actively trying to find information, having entire discussions around someone and their work, it’s safe to say that it does indeed matter to you. The biggest myth of all is that someone can literally have a monopoly over anything anymore. New personalities, businesses, and ventures popping up all over the place, there is no way to “takeover” anything. When you’re doing great work, somebody can sell his or her work right next to you and it wouldn’t matter… You’re still doing great work. I recently had a conversation with someone who didn’t want to throw a certain type of event, because somebody else was doing one two months later. That is most absurd thing, I’ve ever heard. You can’t get money, live your dream, and be amazing in your purpose, because someone else is also doing that as well? Stop allowing people to intimidate you from seeking your fullest potential. If they are bothered that you want to do XYZ, it’s because they feel threatened. They feel as if you have embarked on their territory and there is some evidence of fear and uncertainty. Otherwise, why would it matter? It’s enough clientele and blessings for all of us, when we stop acting like crabs and hermits, we will start to feel that. You cannot expect everyone to like you or appreciate what you bring to the table, therefore there will always be that person who will fill the void for those people you can’t reach. It’s not realistic to assume you can take over a market, a community, and a generation if your message isn’t pertaining to every single person within that realm. Stay in your lane and do what you have been called to do, don’t worry about other people. Don’t feel threatened by anyone else, because as I proved earlier… most of them dealing with their own stuff anyway. As we all know, “hurt people will hurt people”, so don’t allow anyone else’s insecurities and lack of talent dwindle your shine. They are only discussing you and seeking to destroy you because YOU MATTER.
I close this in saying, if you truly have a purpose in mind, a goal you are trying to reach, and work that needs to be done… do it! Stop allowing people to pull you down with them, distract you with their nonsense, and pull you into their ratchetness and drama. No one who is seriously busy has time for that. The folks doing the most shouting about how you can’t do what they do, how you will never be on their level, they are the best, blah, blah, blah… are the folks most concerned that we don’t know it and haven’t seen that yet. People who are talented and secure in their position in life, don’t need that confirmation and reassurance. What’s for you is yours, God will see to it that you have it regardless of what those regular people say and do. It’s just a matter in you having faith in yourself and Him, that you will eventually see that flourish right before your eyes. Debunk the myths that people can take from you what you have set up to win, if it ain’t anointed, it’s not going anywhere… believe that. It’s about time to lift these smoke screens. I want to see more winners and less whiners.
Love and awesomeness,
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
She was my Spanish teacher in High School, a time that probably was the most confusing in my life. I didn’t really know who I was or what I wanted to do, all I knew that I needed to get out of my house. Everyday, I would come into her class with some crazy drama after another, most of the time taking attention away from the day’s lesson. She would shake her head at me, laughing behind her chic framed glasses, saying, “I’esha, you’re a trip!” I loved her, probably one of my favorite teachers ever. She was young, fun, and just the coolest person ever. I admired her so much. Her style, her confidence, her short hair, and her spunk, was something I wanted for myself when I reached her age. She held a sense of freedom and laughter that most of the teachers at that school seemed to have lost down the road. Her youthful spirit and her love for the kids that she taught made her standout among the other staff, which made her our favorite. Although she was great at her job, she didn’t hold back from being real either. She talked to us like the young adults we were and never pretended to be perfect. That characteristic alone made me realize the kind of person I wanted to be growing up.
Little did I know that she suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She mentioned it briefly back then, but as a kid, I couldn’t even imagine researching it, let alone already knowing what it was. According to WebMd.com (http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/default.htm), “Multiple Sclerosis affects the brain and spinal cord. Early symptoms of multiple sclerosis include weakness, tingling, numbness, and blurred vision. Other possible warning signs are muscle stiffness, thinking problems, and urinary problems. A multiple sclerosis diagnosis is made by the history of symptoms and a neurological exam, often with the help of tests such as an MRI or a spinal tap. No one’s sure what causes multiple sclerosis, but it may be hereditary. There’s no cure for multiple sclerosis, but treatment can relieve worsening of symptoms.”
I didn’t see any signs of it back in 2003. She appeared fine to me. She danced in class, she play fought with us, she jumped up, laughed, and had a ball every period we were sent there to learn the Spanish language. Fast forward to present day, many years have past, two marriages between us, and my two little boys in the living room watching us converse. She is limited physically, her body not moving as frequently and youthfully as it once did. Her speech is different, but her smile remains. Only in her thirties and this disease is trying to make her appear older than what she is, what I know her heart feels.
I think about my life and the lives of all the people that I know. To lie and say that we don’t complain would be foolish. To pretend that we don’t get frustrated with our day to day, with the hustle and the grind, is blasphemy. While Joy, my beautiful friend and former Spanish teacher is confined to her home most days due to this illness, we have the ability to go outside and to be mobile. While she struggles to walk and often depends on her loving husband to assist her, we can do whatever our hearts desire. How shameful am I to have ever complained! God still manages to put a smile on her face, no tears or pity saturate her eyes and she often lacks the very thing that most of us take advantage of daily. The ability to move and be free.
When I think about how hard life is, and the struggle that even my own people seem to want to put me through, I have no choice but to fight. While she inspired me as a child, she still inspires me this very day. I think about how something we don’t even think about like MS can take the small things away from her like that, and how it could happen to anyone of us. Despite losing basic freedoms like wearing heels and going out, driving to the beach and having fun, running around with the children, she still smiles and still laughs. She still loves with all her heart and still cares. I tell myself everyday…
I must because Joy can’t
I must get up, I must keep going, I must not stop, I must not fall, I must love every minute of this struggle and enjoy the abilities that I have. I must because she can’t.
She is my inspiration. I saw her when she was different, I knew her before MS took over and I love her. I love her today, because when most of us would’ve been too in pain, to hurt, and too embarrassed to smile and laugh and reach out to friends. She keeps going. She keeps striving. When even the strongest of us would’ve given in to this disease and used it as a crutch, she is a fighter. Joy proves to me that if she can, I better! I had better strive, I had better fight, and I had better win… for JOY!
More than 400,000 people in the United States have MS.
An estimated 2,500,000 around the world have MS.
About 45 percent of the people with MS are not severely affected by the disease.
Diagnosis of MS is usually between 20 and 40 years of age.
MS affects more women than men, with a ratio of 2:1.
About 85 percent of those who are newly diagnosed have the relapsing-remitting form of MS.
Without disease-modifying therapy, about 50 percent of those diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS will become progressive at 10 years.
Without disease-modifying therapy, about one-third of those diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS will be using a wheelchair at 20 years.
MS does not significantly affect life span.
The course of the disease is unpredictable and no two people will experience the same set of symptoms.
There are four types of MS: relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, primary progressive and progressive relapsing.
Among young adults, MS is the most common disease of the central nervous system.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS.
MS is not contagious.
MS is a progressive disease for which there is not yet a cure.
Increased understanding of MS has led to the development of many new treatments that target both the disease process and its many symptoms.
In countries further from the equator, the incidence of MS increases.
Sclerosis is a Greek word meaning hardening of tissue or scars.
MS is not inherited or genetically transmitted, although there does seem to be some genetic susceptibility to the disease.
This weekend, March 16th at A2, TAG (The Alliance Group) will be holding a day party and charity event to benefit MS. They have collaborated with Jamia Thomas Crockett, an advocate for MS who travels the country sharing her story on life with MS and inspiring many. Check out Jamia’s story here: (http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/myMSheels). Although Joy and I can’t attend I encourage you all to be there and support. The details are here on their Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/578271065518182/
You might have been laid off, or struggling with a job situation. You may have been given a notice that the rent is seriously overdue or the lights are going off. You may have seen a shift in your relationships with certain people, and you’re wondering what in the world in going on. It may just seem like you are being attacked for one reason or another, and you just can’t get up.
I know the feeling. Many people know the feeling. The insurmountable agony of trying to overcome one obstacle and another, all without catching your breath sometimes can wear you out. I wouldn’t dare lie to you and say, it doesn’t get hard sometimes. I lose it. I cry. I vented to people that I probably shouldn’t have, knowing all the time… all I needed to do was pray. Therefore, don’t feel bad… just have faith.
It’s struggle trying to be a better human being. Life is full of temptations, easy routes, and shortcuts that look so good to you. You’re trying to make things happen, you want a blessing or two, and everything around you is saying if you only do this, it’ll come to pass. It’s easier to succumb to negative ways; it’s easier to rely on negative people, its so darn easy to just talk about it, rather than be about it. Pretending the struggle isn’t there doesn’t make it go away. Pretending that you can hustle your way out isn’t going to make the struggle less painful. This is something I’ve learned the hard way.
My husband, children and I were just in a car accident, I never said a word. My health started to take toil on me; I kept smiling the whole way. I kept getting offers to do things that the “old I’esha” would’ve jump at for the chance to make some money, but I turned them down. Why did the “weed lady” from six years ago call my number, asking me if I wanted to cop? I sent that woman straight to voicemail and deleted the message. Another individual broke my heart, and I still extended love and respect. I’m in a war at this very moment, as even as I write this I’m battling. It would be so easy for me to revert to old ways and old behavior, because back then when I was “that” chick, life didn’t seem to attack me. Back when I was not praying, not reading, and not being anything close to a virtuous woman, life was gravy.
That’s how I know… I’m doing well. I know I’m walking right, because the enemy doesn’t attack someone who isn’t a threat. I know I’m pleasing God, because the dumbest things will happen to try to push you into being that awful person, that negative thinking individual, but I kept saying “Thank you God!”
In the accident, I said, “Thank God we’re still here and the car still works”. As my health started to affect me, I said, “Thank God I can still move and I have my life”. After the drug dealer called, I said, “Thank God, I’m able to handle my issues without smoking”. When my heart was broke, I said, “Thank God for the time spent and the lessons learned”. When the bills piled up and temptation came with opportunities for money, I said, “Thank you Lord for confirmation that my work is being recognized”, despite the fact I said no.
I’m in a war! They want me for something, but they can’t have me, because I belong to something greater. I can’t go back now.
Through all this fighting, I had to tell you just how awesome He is. I had to share that I am being blessed beyond measure, with more than I deserve. It’s a fight though, but I’m staying prayed up. I just hope that you are as well.
What’s for you is yours. However, no matter your circumstances, believe that it’s just preparing you for something awesome down the road. We’re in training for greater things. Say “Thank You Lord” for all things, big and little, in times of hurt and of plenty. It’s amazing the moves He makes, when we just believe. I wasn’t supposed to update today, but I needed to get this off my heart and into yours. God has something so spectacular for you… just wait.
With Love and Awesomeness,
I feel funny writing this, because as off the chain as I can be at times, people don’t realize that I do strive daily to be a better woman, servant, wife, and mother. It’s hard when you have people provoke you, you allow yourself to be stressed and fazed, or you feel overwhelmed. It’s easier to go crazy, to snap, to drink or smoke, and to lose sight of why you’re here in the first place. However, lately I’m finding that my only sense of peace comes from knowing that I diligently pursued happiness by any means necessary. I’m only content when I believe in my heart that I pleased my Creator in some way by being the best person I could be to the people around me. I keep saying that I’m not perfect; I do have my “ratchet” ways at times, please don’t make me mad. Lol. Nevertheless, growth and progress comes from knowing that as you go all-out to be a better woman on a daily basis, similar to exercise, you will see that “ratchetness” occur in your life less often. I think that’s all God wants anyway, for us to at least try, not judge, but try to be better people individually. So, while we attempt to improve our own lives, hopefully people can be inspired by that and make every effort in their own lives as well.
Earlier I came across 31 Status (http://www.31status.com/) a movement created to show women how to live a Proverbs 31 kind of lifestyle. I found this to be one of the most inspiring things I ever seen. These women collectively decided to motivate other women, to be better women. It’s not a race, a competition, or a battle; it’s a unified pursuit to improve each other. I want something like this in Richmond, Virginia. It seems everyone is hustling to get that business started, trying to blow up, attempting to be the next big thing out of RVA. However, if we collaborate to improve what’s internal, I know for a fact that everything on the outside and all around us, will undoubtedly become better. I’m living proof. Talk to anybody who knew me prior to last year. They’ll say I was off the chain, but as I read more, got closer to God, and I started to value my time and myself, I’m not that woman anymore. Proverbs 31 teaches us to become better individuals. I don’t want to preach to you, because you can read it for yourself. However, you have no idea how much faith plays a big part on the blessings we receive.
1. Faith - A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15
2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)
3. Mothering - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)
4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
5. Service - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)
6. Finances - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)
7. Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)
8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)
9. Time - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )
10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)
Now which one of you wouldn’t want to be this type of woman?
Exactly! I’m working on trying to inspire myself and other women to be more of an example for other women. People will get angry and say we’re stuck up and bourgeois (bougey) but we know whom we are. Inspiration can come in all forms, so as people talk crazy about for living as if we are worth more and we’re blessed, they’ll eventually start to conform and see that blessings are coming our way. Therefore, they will begin to convert in the Proverbs 31 type of woman as well.
I’m excited to go on this journey and allow you to rock with me. No judgement! We are imperfect human beings, but our love and desire to please God is unyielding.
Love and Awesomeness,
I’esha GaptoothDiva Hornes
For more of The Baddest Creative Motivation, follow me @GaptoothDiva
I’m sitting in my office, GaptoothDiva.com up on the screen of my desktop computer. I have light bill, gas bill, and a money order for my car note in my hand. Thinking to myself, something has to change. I’m looking at the second love of my life, my son watching television and coloring on my living room coffee table, all the while wondering how we are going to make it until the end of the month. The struggle for me is real.
There will be hindrances and roadblocks on the journey to your dreams. Bills will continue to pile up, you may have to humble yourself and ask for help, even when you know you may be rejected. The world doesn’t just stop revolving around, because you decided to pursue your life’s ambitions. Frankly, the “world” doesn’t give a damn about your ambitions. You have to face all of the problems head on, regardless of what’s going on in the background. I remember having a deep conversation on Facebook, with one of the businesses women I praised so heavily on my website. She’s an amazing artist and designer, so focused and meticulous in her craft. However, like so many of us she suffered from some slight depression, piling bills that overwhelmed her, and a little self-doubt. While I tried to encourage her and motivate her to continue on, I realized that I was in fact, encouraging myself. I also wanted to give up at one time. The pressure of supporting people freely was weighing heavily on my pockets and hurting my heart. I want to help, I want to spread the word, but while my interviewees were making money, I was struggling to keep it together. The woman I was talking to said she felt inspired by our talk, like so many of you that direct message me your problems and concerns, I will always take the time out to encourage you and give you a good word. That I will do for free until the day I die. Nevertheless, I choose to take some steps to help me overcome some of the obstacles I faced. I hope this is something we can work towards together. Let me know if this helps you, and I’ll share with you regularly how it’s helping me.
You don’t have to see the finish line approaching to know that you are winning the race. As long as you believe in yourself and your creator, everything will work out. The enemy wants you to panic and trip out without thinking logically and spiritually. That’s why we blow the handle and snap at the slightest thing. Stop, pray, and meditate. Have faith that you will be victorious always.
People always tell me that I don’t ask for help as much as I should. It took awhile, but now I understand what they mean. I’m so protective and passionate about my vision, that I treat it like a pot of gold. You wouldn’t leave it with anyone and trust that he/she won’t steal it? However, I had to remind myself that what is for me is already mine, so there is no need to worry. Ask for help, tell people what you’re trying to do, then you will be better able to discern who wants to help you and who is out to get you. Better to know now that later.
I laugh at one of my closest friends because her hustle cannot be matched. She goes hard, she hands out her cards, she is networking and connecting the dots like she never sleeps. However, even though its amazing to watch, it is also inspiring. People fear going hard because they don’t want people to talk about them. They don’t want to step on people’s toes and come off like they are better than. I was one of those who thought that as well. However, why we’re sitting here hungry not wanting to ruffle feathers, other folks are eating and not caring what you think. Go hard in everything you do, don’t worry about losing people. Success can almost guarantee that people will fall out of your life. That’s not your problem. Think about those bills, those kids, the dream to inspire you. Those who matter don’t mind…. You know the rest.
I just recently stopped dealing with somebody because I felt that they didn’t have their own ambitions. I felt that they just wanted to “get on” by any means, even if it meant copying other people. It made me so angry to see someone with so much potential, just take the easy route and swagger jack other folks. We have to do what comes natural to us. Be ourselves, whatever that means. We can’t try to fit in, because then we are setting the wrong standard. When you pursue your dream, it’s your dream… a vision with you in it. If your dream has someone else as your face, then stay your a** sleep! It’s ok to be inspired and/or influenced by someone, but don’t try flat out do what he or she do. Take your influences and make them your own in your own way, or take the recipe and tweak it to represent you. In order to succeed your vision/dream should have purpose. If you’re only purpose to have what someone else has, then you failed before you even started.
Don’t portray something that isn’t your reality. A fraud can be spotted a mile away. If you aren’t about that life on the daily, than don’t pretend to be that kind of person for popularity. I know first hand a few jokers who post things online, but their life is a very different way. You see celebrities all the time ousted for the simplest things, because they care what other people think. If you willing to front about something for fame and popularity, neither which pay the bills, then what else are you willing to do when the money starts rolling in? Don’t sell your soul. Be yourself and forget all the nonsense.
I’m excited about what’s to come in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to share everything with you. I hope that you all can continue to overcome the struggle, and rely on your faith and yourself to get through. If you don’t believe, then who will. We’re in this together.
The Baddest Creative Motivation,
I’esha GaptoothDiva Hornes <3
Most of the time when it comes to family, you’re surrounded by people who’ve known you your whole life. Some of them watched you grow up from infancy into adulthood. Some of them were with you during all of your important milestones. Some of them were somehow married in, dated in, or just inducted into your family by means beyond your control. However, even though you may have known these people for what seems like forever, you may not share that warm glow called loved and appreciation for them all.
I can honestly say I loathe many of my family members. I know “loathe” may appear to be a strong word, but it was the only one that I was absolutely sure most of my family members wouldn’t know the meaning. This is a sad fact, but very true. My reasons for despising certain family members aren’t due to their employment, education, financial, or relationship status. I don’t judge people like that. I am utterly repulsed by some of my family members because of their inability to be anything outside of negative. They’re the ones that ask stupid questions, just because they want to hear their own voice. They are the individuals that don’t celebrate great things about other people’s lives, but congregate to gossip about the bad. They call all the time looking for some juicy news, they always throw a monkey wrench in your goals and plans, and they somehow manage to embarrass everyone who shares their last name. Thank God for marriage, because I can now pretend I don’t know most of them.
There used to be a time where I thought that despite all their negative characteristics, I should still devote one hundred percent to loving them and being there for them no matter what. A sick notion I must have picked up from some Hallmark card or something, for sure. Nevertheless, after many years, much maturity, and a dose of healthy common sense, I realized that being around them would serve no purpose but to remind me of how awful growing with them up once was. I discovered that sometimes, you just have to deal with people with a long handled spoon or not at all. I think it was all those family dinners ruined by drunken relatives looking to stir up a fight, or maybe it was just God. Either way, I find myself avoiding certain relatives often. My up bringing wasn’t the most conventional or safe, mostly because of the relatives I’m mentioning. Nowadays, after becoming an adult and having a family of my own, I still see no progression or change from them in any way that displays that I should still be associated with them.
I have a lineage full of addicts, drunks, child-molesters, womanizers, pathological liars, instigators and plain idiots. While most young women rely on a helpful aunt, grandmother, cousin, or parent to guide them through life occasionally, I was short-changed with a few reckless characters on my family tree. Although not everyone in my family fits the mold of “waste of skin”, many of them are an embarrassment in some way or another. What is a girl to do? I recently had a conversation about dealing with those that I can honestly say, “mean to do harm” to me or are just pathetic, and how my children will need to know them some day. I think that is where my mother made the mistake while I was growing up. She hoped that her strained relationship with her in-laws wouldn’t affect their love for her daughters, and that they would keep disputes among the adults. Although we were young, her in-laws wasted no time in sharing torrid rumors about my mother, all the while allowing us to partake in alcohol and such as children. It wasn’t until we grew into young women, that my mother learned of their intent to sabotage her children and her reputation. I do not plan to introduce my children to people who wish harm on me, with the hopes that they will not treat my children the same as they have treated me. We all pray people will do right by our kids, regardless of their feelings toward us. However, why gamble with the chance that your children will receive the consequences of someone’s hatred toward you? Even if they don’t hate you, and are just plain bad news, why allow your children to be subjected to the same nonsense that you had to endure? Children don’t know the back-story and you are not required to fill them in. You also aren’t required to build a connection with those that make you uncomfortable. As an adult, we should be able to say, “I don’t want to deal with you” and not feel guilty about it. Our lives aren’t dictated by some unwritten rules that say we have to deal with people who bring no positive value to our lives, just because they are our relatives.
I’m not advocating that you deny your whole family and never speak to them again. I’m just stating that there comes a point in one’s life where they should rid themselves of useless relationships that wear them down. Often times these relationships are with our relatives. Relationships filled with turmoil, confusion, disputes and sometimes violence should not be tolerated just because you’ve known someone your whole life. Like the old saying goes, “God brings people in your life for a reason and a season…” I don’t think there was a special clause for relatives and their issues. I rather remember the good old days of growing up and enjoying my ignorance with these relatives while steering clear of them, than to endure stress and disappointment now while I’m grown. I once looked back at a few of my relationships with some of my relatives, and realized all we have are the “good old days”. There is nothing for us to talk about now, that doesn’t include gossiping about another relative. We aren’t going in the same directions in life and most often, the pain from past disputes and arguments never quite healed on either side for it to be ignored. It was when I realized that family is what you make it, that I was fully comfortable with dissolving those decayed relationships with my relatives.
The term “family” doesn’t necessarily mean, “people with the same blood line, last name, and family tree” as you. Sometimes family can be our great friends that we love and trust, our significant others, and even … our own children. Of course, it’s traditional to go to Mom and Dad’s or Grandma’s for the holidays, but there is no law that said this is required. Yes, it would be great to allow your children to play with and grow up with their cousins, those of which were born to that relative that you know sells drugs or is always in trouble with the law. News Flash: You don’t have to!
We are all in control of our own lives. Our lives are not pre-determined by other people, so there is no need to feel compelled to deal with those that you much prefer not to. Even our own family members can be unsavory characters in our book, those of which we don’t need to be associated. Feel comfort in knowing that although you may run into them at the next cookout or birthday party, your interaction can stop there if you choose. It’s ok to feel like you don’t want them too close to your kids. It’s normal to feel like ending your relationship with them, because of their life choices, their behavior, or their attitude for the sake of your family and sanity. You don’t have to deal with people that you feel don’t bring happiness, solitude, or positive aspects to your life. Even if those people are relatives, you don’t have to deal with their issues. I like to say that I choose to love them from afar.
I was unyielding about seeing her, knowing good and damn well I should be in the bed. With a little over three weeks on the count down, I ignored comments from friends about me trucking through the heat to hear her speak. I don’t go to concerts often, I’m not too keen on paying money to listen to some trendy artist just because. Therefore, when a literary bombshell comes within a few miles of my home, I plan to make it my business to see what she discusses. I love Nikki Giovanni. It may be a cliché’, but she is right up there with Maya Angelou, Oprah, Iyanla, Michelle and all those other bad-ass black woman I’m dying to meet. A friend of mine mentioned that she is right there at UVA so it wasn’t a big deal, but I didn’t care. In my eyes, she was not as attainable and I didn’t want to miss my chance at seeing her.
My sister was kind of enough to drive me to the Main Street Library, considering my feet were swollen, and my stomach was making it very hard to reach the steering wheel. I dragged little Prince A’veri with us, doing that old school “I’m going to tear your ass up, if you embarrass me” speech. I was serious and everyone knew it. We parked a block away, never considering the distance I would have to walk as we hurried inside. I immediately ran down the stairs and into the auditorium, filled with kids from 4 years old and up. There were small sprinkles of adults, some sneaking to watch during their lunch breaks. I remember those days, and laughed to myself that I had the freedom to stay as long as I liked. Thinking about it now, I probably would’ve stayed anyway regardless if I was still at that dreadful 9 to 5, but I digress.
I prayed that the presentation was going to be fulfilling, never seeing her live in person before. I didn’t know if the presence of the children was going to water down the effect, considering I heard she was as “off the chain” as I would have loved. This elderly woman had a “Thug Life” tattoo on her forearm, so I was looking for the most. Fortunately, the children being in the room didn’t matter one bit. She had a message and she delivered it, never wavering from her reputation of being straightforward and direct. She even cursed a little, something that tickles me when it comes from public figures (I know…I’m sick). Her message hit home like arrows piercing water balloons. Just when I thought I had heard enough, she came even harder than a Church Pastor in Sunday Service.
This event was meant for the kids, but lets be real… some of them were sleep, most of them were bored and not paying attention, and the ones that looked alert were dead-faced and unresponsive. My own offspring was knocked out sleep on my right, as I thanked God for this equivalent of good behavior. Nikki “preached” about self-acceptance, never looking for validation from others, and told stories about the times of Jim Crowe, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. She drilled into our minds the importance of “doing you”, remaining true to what you believe and feel. I couldn’t dissuade my eyes from this tiny woman as her tone sent palpitations through me. She was a pint-sized genius in a bottom up shirt and grey TWA (teeny-weeny afro) and I wanted to adopt her as my grandmother as soon as possible. She spoke on writing life down, on traveling and seeing more than just our backyards, getting an education (whether paid or self-taught) and being free to be yourself.
When the presentation was over, I felt alive again. It was as if I held my breath while getting new life pumped into me, and I could now settle in relief. My time was not wasted, and I yearned to sign up for a class or something. She took questions from audience members, but that line was excessively long for my pregnant belly to get on. Besides, I had the little man with me and my sister had places to be as well. So reluctantly, we left the building discussing the lecture the whole way to the car. I told my sister, “I want to talk to people like that when I get older and drop gems on them about life and my experiences”. My sister looked at me with her big cheesy grin and said, “You mean… More”. Confused I looked back and questioned her…“Uh?”
Shanice said, “You already do, I’esha. But if you ask me, I think you should do it…More!”
She was right. Nikki Giovanni inspired my pregnant ass.
“Fuck This Shit!”
A phrase I so easily could have said, looking down at the monster I created. I’m sitting here wondering why I continue to do this. When your heart isn’t into it anymore, why keep going. If you feel uncomfortable, stifled, limited, or taken advantage of… what is the point?
There comes a point when you have to be honest with yourself and with that, more honest with the world. You can say you’re going to do it, but when do you really start? Do you want to know what honesty gets me? Honesty brought me to today. Today where I have realized while bringing in child number two, I have managed to lose more “friends” than I can count, have not spoken to my parents since Christmas, and I’ve almost spent half the year of 2012 in bed due to health complications. Honesty made me say what I felt, rather what I thought people wanted to hear. Honesty made me stand up for myself, something people assume I do all the time. Honesty was sitting on my shoulder screaming in my ear, “B*tch! You don’t deserve this.” While I contemplated whether or not I was just tripping, or were people truly taking advantage of me.
On the other hand, being honest with myself has helped me see the snakes in the grass (Good Lord, there were so many!). It has helped me to find out who I truly am, got me closer to God, and finding purpose, fulfillment and life in the little things. Doing what is not “me” is so uncomfortable today; you can almost see the hives form on my skin when I lie. I must admit this is scary for me. The drama, the excitement, and the abundance of money, friends, and flashy things made me think I was on cloud nine. However, after a year of letting all of that go, it’s clear that all those things meant nothing after all.
I now require certain things from every relationship I have, things that I am prepared to provide to someone myself. If those requirements are not met, it’s nothing for me to bid farewell, no matter who it is. I no longer sit and ponder, “Will they hate me if I say/do…?” I don’t minimize the blessings in my life anymore, proudly flaunting the goodness that my creator has provided. I no longer fear whether people will hate and attempt to destroy what is mine, because that is no longer my business. Whatever happens, I realize I am protected, because what is for me is already mine.
Most importantly, I have decided to make some changes with my business. What I crave, what I love, and what brings me so much joy (enough to leave everything I worked for since I was 20 years old), almost seemed to make me sick. The idea of feeling pressured to do what was not my style, to be someone else, and to stick to what I despised made me not want to touch the keyboard at all. Fear was a common feeling, not wanting to be boxed into any one category. Nevertheless, I conducted interview after interview, putting emotion into it only half of the time. Did I care? Yes, I did. I hated myself for working on projects I didn’t like, not wanting to stifle my opportunities. I loathed posting conversations that I could care less about having, because of hope that someone would gain something from it. Let’s be honest, some of these people were about as inspiring and motivating as the ads on the GRTC. I hated it! I decided I will no longer push my self, healthy or not, to do anything that I don’t love.
During this time, a true friend came to me and asked what I thought about certain things. Not realizing the point, I went on a tangent about various topics that truly concerned me. Then I was interrupted with that light bulb, the effect my friend wanted me to get. This website is named after the very person who is meant to inspire. No it’s not about hip-hop 24/7, no it’s not about fashion labels and the latest in mediocre “let’s keep up with the joneses”, but it’s real. Why don’t I ever talk about what I know, what I love, and what makes up who I am? Occasionally I find artist, retailers, and business that I would be proud to stand by. It’s so rewarding to discuss their journey and their skills. However, if every other day I water that down with an independent artist, who for the most part doesn’t even appreciate the time it took to talk with them, then what the f*ck am I doing? Nothing.
I’m tired of GaptoothDiva Radio. Period. I’m tired of feeling like a groupie for a bunch of people who are just waiting on someone else more established for an interview, so they use me as practice. I’m tired of listening to the same artist, only with different names who all are fighting to be that one crab that gets out the barrel. I’ve lost my mind with this craziness. It’s not every artist, but most independent and underground artist have put a bad taste in my mouth that I can no longer chase with that same old feeling of “we’ll support anyone with ambition”. I will just continue to be a fan of the ones I like/love, but no more wasting time with online radio. If it’s not related to fashion, art, or creativity other than their freaking songs, I just can’t.
I don’t want a bunch of fake friends in my network, just sucking up ideas and gems. I can’t stand it. If people truly don’t like you, you would think they would unfollow you, lose your info and move on. That is not the case. They follow you and see what your doing, then try to tell people that you know negative nonsense. I see them. When the time comes to address it, I will not hold my tongue. Professionalism is important, but standing my ground is not a character trait I will let go. I will strike when I’m ready, until then I allow them to have fun.
My personal life is no exception. I remember a while ago, people saying this thing about having a hand full of close friends. I’ve gotten to that point and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve included family in that bunch as well. I have a strict policy now: I don’t deal with ratchet ass people under any circumstances! I don’t care how long I’ve known you, if we’re related or what. It’s important to me that every relationship is mutually beneficial, so if I’m lacking – I’m packing, simple as that. I felt like a rude b*tch at first, some described it as having my nose in the air. When you’re fed up, what are you supposed to do? I had a phone full of contacts of people I didn’t care to talk with. I was throwing parties and inviting people to my home that I didn’t trust. I was giving good advice to those who wasted it. Life shouldn’t be that complicated.
I don’t know if it’s the new baby, the year off from everything I thought I was, or the freedom/solitude of realizing that my real family was what I made it, but I’m removing the proverbial gag order. I’m speaking up and speaking out about what truly sits in my heart, what boils my blood, and what I think people deserve to hear. I’ve already faced people talking behind my back, artist writing diss tracks about me and my features and exile from the only relatives I have in this state. What more can I lose? My website should be my sanctuary to open up about what I really want, not a catalog about who’s who in Richmond, Virginia. Although I will talk with some creative people and feature those I love, I don’t want it to be solely based on anything but me. I’m putting myself first, after all that’s why I paid for the domain name. I am fashion, culture, and commentary, so why do I allow other people to motivate my audience. I’ve loved, lost, gained, found, sought after, and completed things that only a few people have come close enough to realize. Should I waste precious space talking about what everyone else is working on, or should I share some of my own testimony? I think I want to share, I believe that’s my right.
I thank God for the realization and the close friend that helped me get there. It’s not enough to be an amazing person, if you only keep that part of you hidden behind closed doors.
Look at this as being me…. Truly uncensored.
During our interview with Lord Infamous, we had an abundance of comments related to why he chose to call himself “Lord Infamous”. It wasn’t about the music, his testimony, or the interview as a whole, but something as trite as the fact that he named himself identical to a former Three 6 Mafia artist.
What’s in a name? I understand first hand the importance of being original and always checking before creating to ensure that no one else has said, done, or created what you are about to. However, with billions of people in the world, how can we really be sure? An idea is generated in our head. We are apart of a small community of people where we are, despite what the internet will make us believe. If someone decided to name him or herself that, I always ask about the significance behind the choice.
He is a truly talented individual. He has educated himself on several instruments (Drums, guitar, percussion instruments, piano/keyboard, organ, etc.). He has learned to master songwriting, production work, engineering, directing, and rapping/singing. In my book, that could qualify him to be described as infamous, especially if you consider his age and back-story. Something we discussed in the interview, and what no one who commented seemed to mention, was that he mentioned he has mastered these things, still having a thirst to learn more. Having mastered his craft and being willing to open his mind to new opportunities, has made him realize he is a LORD at his passion. This means he has mastered it and is great.
Who are we to judge him by his name?
Was it the interview that left you boiling with hate, was it the music that disturbed you, or was it the fact that you have a problem with anyone being named after someone else. I though the focus was misplaced. With everything this young man said he goes through, with all the work he puts into his dream, and how much people adore him, it doesn’t matter what we call him. His name is Brandon to those that love him and truly know him. How many of those are walking around?
I was taken aback by the amount of anonymous emails and comments left, because it goes to show that although our aim is to motivate, we still attract ignorance. I wish him nothing but success and pray that the people who check us out get that we are beyond this.
No matter what you decided to call yourself, it’s what you answer to that makes you who you are.
Tuesday’s interview with Nikki D. Made me think about so many things. I thought about how so many people use their environment as an excuse. They want more out of life, want more out of their dreams, but they allow their family, their living situation, and their friends convince them into another direction. Nikki D. is probably from one of the most rural areas of Alabama, a place more country than any guest we ever had on our show. No one can legitimately say that they have made in the entertainment industry directly coming from Daleville, Alabama. However, through all that she is determined to get her music heard, and live her dream. It’s also inspiring to know that she wasn’t born into a family doing anything closely related to music. She is overcoming, she is pushing on and despite the obvious obstacles, and she still wants to do what she can.
I know that Nikki D. isn’t one of the most popular people doing music, and I know everyone isn’t too excited about Alabama or its independent music scene. My intention is for you to hear her story and be motivated. We have people to our left and right, who may be satisfied with what life, is throwing their way. Nevertheless, when you have dream or aspiration, it’s imperative for you to press on diligently and live your best life. I can’t stress enough how hard it is being surrounded by people who dreams don’t exceed earning that bi-weekly paycheck. How hard it is to be related to people who have given up on the hope that their adolescent ambitions can still be achieved because they’ve lost faith in themselves. However, when you rely on your own faith, nothing can deter you from what is rightfully yours.
This particular interview has some distorted audio, sorry about that. Even so, you can still hear it and be motivated by it. Thank you so much for your support.
There is a diverse group of plus size women who walked in the Divas in Designs Fashion Show in Richmond, Virginia. This video touches on a few of those testimonies as to why they decided to get into modeling and how it makes them feel.
For the purpose of inspiring other women to join a sisterhood organization that promotes full figured beauty from diverse backgrounds.
When I first got the inspiration to create GaptoothDiva and work towards my dreams, it was an unexpected occasion. I was so used to doing things a certain way and I never believed I would do so much in my life. I really don’t feel like I started living until I found my purpose, a fact that I’ve always shared with people I want to motivate. However, it may not come as “easily” to others as it did me. We get so accustomed to living out our daily routines, that we don’t even consider changing things and making your life more fulfilling. Listed below are some ideas I have about changing your life dynamic and feeling more happiness and accomplished in your life.
Who needs a Makeover? – So many beauty and fashion sites suggest that you purchase something to make yourself feel better after a rut. The truth is, new clothes and makeovers do boost your self-esteem. It doesn’t have to be brand new. I get off on thrifting and finding creative items that fit my style. I also like to make some things, which to me means so much more. It’s not about being materialistic at all. It’s about putting something on that compliments your style and makes you feel more positive about your external appearance, which will reflect internally. That’s a fact.
Do Your Research – It may sound like common sense, but you won’t believe how many people get an idea or thought and just run with it with no homework behind it. They don’t research other people doing what they are doing, mostly because everyone thinks they came up with that idea. They don’t reach out and ask for assistance, consultation, or training because they don’t want to invest in the time and energy to learn how to do what they want properly. It’s a waste to pursue your dream without first knowing what direction to go in. When you are trying to reach a goal, you need GPS to find your way to the next milestone. Who drives without knowing where they are going? Dumb ass people that’s who.
Build Relationships – Now that you decided what your goals are and how to do it, it’s time to network with like-minded people. Find people on Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In who are doing what you are trying to do, know about resources you can use, and can introduce to people that will help you go further in your dream. Be honest and upfront, never pretend to be more experienced or more lucrative than you are. It’s important to show how valuable your skills are to the people you are networking with, but eventually the truth will show its ugly head. It’s always important to keep it real, so that you and your new networking partners can build and grow together.
Learn Always – No matter how great you are at what you do, you still have to constantly educate and train yourself on new and more interesting ways to be successful. I look at how an athlete has to practice, condition, and train. Look at your dream as an athletic competition that you must be on point for. Everyday should be about pushing yourself more and gaining new knowledge on your expertise. If you aren’t learning new ways to keep yourself relevant in business or to capture the attention of the potential fans, then you will be doomed to eventually fail. Some old school entrepreneurs and creative minds do the same things repeatedly for years, not ever realizing how technology and new ideas have passed them by. Their clientele slowly dwindles, because everyone is looking for new and fresh ideas. Wouldn’t you prefer the shiny new style that is innovative versus the old-fashioned creative who is stuck in his/her ways?
Be Yourself – The internet has made it easier to keep up with your favorite personalities and business minds. However, it’s not their intention for their fans to become their clones. You can’t adapt someone else’s style or craft and call it your own. You will never be that person, so just be you. It’s harder for some people to accept themselves as they are and work with what they got. We live in a world where “If only I had…” seems to make everything better. Consider your life and memories, your journey, and all that you had to overcome. How many times have you felt alone? Now think about someone on the other side of the world going through that exact same thing. Wouldn’t it be cool, if someone could relate to your story, by you grasping that your own style and story deserves a platform? Everyone is already taken; try playing the role you was born with.
Enjoy The Ride – When people start to recognize your name, it’s time to go even harder to keep it in their minds. Don’t just chill on publicity and ride it out. This is the time to amaze them more, time to shine and show what you are capable of. Embark on new opportunities, relinquish all your fears, and jump into your dreams. You met the right people, you developed the confidence, but now it’s time for you to make more opportunities for yourself using the work you already put in. While everyone is partying and bullsh**ting, it’s time for you to grind.
Do It for the Right Reasons – Your purpose is yours and yours alone. Your destiny and your journey are what define you as a person. If your overall goal is to be rich and famous, that attitude will reflect in your work. If your goal is to be a martyr or trailblazer, people will see that in your efforts. Discover what is motivating you to go hard in your dream. If your motive and intentions are not in the more positive of lights, be honest about that and re-evaluate your journey. Everyday in your quest, your reason should push you harder each day. Being an artist and creator, I’m constantly thinking about my true reason for doing what I do. If it doesn’t inspire or motivate, most likely I show little to no interest. Your “Why” should captivate you daily, giving you the fuel to keep going.
Although, it seems like everyone and their mother wants to start a business, write a book, create an album, etc. there is still room for your legacy. Just keep in mind why you want to do what you plan to do, have a plan of course, and stay around people that will support you and propel you. Everyday won’t be easy, sometimes you may feel like giving up, but your dreams die with you, your work can last forever. Don’t just talk about be it.
For more inspiration and motivation, follow me on twitter @GaptoothDiva
GaptoothDiva chops it up with Ms Proper a female rapper in Virginia. Ms Proper talks about how she excels in talent and business & why people should be themselves no matter what. RVA is music artist should be inspired by her brand, her fans, and her ability to make the haters aware of their own shortcomings. This is The Creative Motivation! Show your support for Ms Proper and her team at So Proper Entertainment and Rated R Radio.
For more inspiration follow me on www.Twitter.com/GaptoothDiva
My mother used to tell me, “If you don’t want to be talked out of an idea, don’t tell anybody your idea”. I took years to master that lesson, but finally I got it. I had some great ideas in the past but like an idiot, I shared them with any and everybody, wanting some type of cheering squad behind me to applaud at the finish line. However instead of getting that, I would get a bunch of people (most of them in worst situations than me) telling me how, when, why, and what I SHOULD be doing. It was frustrating to say the least, but I digress.
This time around, I knew that I wasn’t talking to anyone about what I planned to do, even to this day after everything is already said and done, I’m still not talking. I look at it this way. Some people will pray for your success and your good health. However, there are people in the world who will pray for your downfall and your demise. When you are a constant reminder of the lack of ambition in others, in the past when they believed everything was possible, or the regrets of their life, they will want to destroy you for their own peace of mind. Even worst, when you decide you want to walk out on faith and believe that no matter what you do, Your Creator is going to see to it that you are a winner, and then they’re even more upset. See, they lack faith and they never stepped out on anything, not even those sorry people in their lives that held them back from their ideas and their dreams. So naturally, if they couldn’t do it, neither can you.
When you step out on faith and you believe in that power you have in you, you are asking for drama. The enemy doesn’t want you to inspire anyone; he doesn’t want you to be as good as God knows you are, so he’ll use that older person you look up to, to influence you not to move, or that best friend you thought you could trust to hate on your suggestions before they even exist. It’s so hard, it would be a lie to say it’s not, but that’s what stepping out on faith is, it’s scary and it’s hard, but believing doesn’t have to be. I know that I remind myself about all the bad I did in life, and how easy it was for me to do it. I think about all the craziness and drama I used to create and how I never had obstacles to overcome in order to accomplish those bad deeds. When you step out on faith to do something amazing and good, you will have hurdles. I remind myself everyday that the bigger the hurdles and the more obstacles, then the bigger the blessing and the more profound my journey will be.
I can’t tell everyone what I’ve done. However, I know those that believe in me and see my vision, know that I’m up to something amazing. We just have to have faith.
Follow on Twitter @GaptoothDiva