DON’T BE THAT PERSON

There is always that person who throws your mistakes up in your face. The moment you are doing well, and life is going great they will do all they can to steal a moment of joy from your day! We all know or are even related to that 1 person.

“Ohhh, Johnny looks just like his Daddy!” (Knowing you and Johnny’s Daddy do not get along.)

“I saw such and such the other day.” (Knowing you and such and such fell out.)

“Oh, you bought a car? Hope you don’t crash it like you did the last one.”

“How long is this little girlfriend gonna last?” (Not knowing the last one cheated on you.)

Don’t be that person that lives in everyone’s PAST! When you’re busy living in your OWN future, other people’s past won’t even be your memories. Bringing up hurtful things to others is a direct reflection on yourself! Not that person you think you’re being coltish with. It’s very telling of your spirit and where you are in your own life. You hurt! Don’t be that hurt person who goes out of their way to hurt people. Heal yourself and lead with love. You will be a lot happier!

And for those of you who read this and names of people in your life popped in your head, LET THEM GO! As you are tryna live better, do better, be better, often you have to let the people you love GO! They can’t go with you where you deserve to be. A river never goes in reverse! Live like a river, PERIOD!

NOBODY SAYS CAUCASIAN AMERICAN!

Don’t call me African American.

In the 70’s, we were Blacks

in the 50’s, we were Negros

Before that, we were coloreds.

You do not get to call me what the fuck you want to every 20 years to duck political loopholes. LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR, I WILL NOT CHECK THE BOX!

When my daughter was born, they didn’t even bother to ask her race they simply put on her paperwork what they saw. Same thing they did with the Natives back in the day. Mark them as Negro or Mulato or Mullato, depending on who wrote it. It had many different spellings on my families’ paperwork. Then, don’t have to pay them reparations. I think it’s really sick that “the powers that be” can change people’s identities to what they would like it to be anytime it benefits them. My people are from North Carolina dating back to the 1700’s.  Guess the fuck what, I am MORE AMERICAN than those fuckers who want to change my people’s identity! They associate with their identities and where their people migrated from. Then they try to feed us this shit that everyone here was from somewhere else. A lot of people can’t find their family history because they are looking for African Roots when in fact, their roots started RIGHT HERE!

Immigration has always been a beautiful thing, as long as your skin is white. For our Brown immigrants from the beginning of time, it’s been nothing but hell. We have the power to change this and the boxes they want us to check if we start thinking, speaking up and voting. Give America the hell they been giving us for years. This time through contracts, lawsuits and paperwork. Hit them in their pockets. MONEY is all they respect!

ADVICE FOR PARENTS OF YOUNG ATHLETES

UPDATE: 7/29/2019, 11:11 PM EST – To contact B2G Sports, reach out via Instagram: @official_b2gsports

I was sitting down talking to one of my lifelong friends, Ron Allen who trains student athletes and I thought about you, my readers and how a lot of you are raising young athletes yourself. Below are a few tips he shared with me.

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  1. Go to every game if you can, even if their team sucks.
  2. Stay relentlessly positive with your child when it comes to their sport and teach them to do the same.
  3. Let the coach do their job. They have to worry about every player on the team.
  4. Encourage your child to compete with themselves so they can be the best version of who they are.
  5. Allow your child to choose the sport he/she loves but encourage them to try multiple sports.
  6. To be a winner, athletes have to want it more than who’s coaching them and who’s raising them. Keep them in successful environments and surrounded by peers who are driven and pray it rubs off.
  7. Exercise patience and focus on the long game with your child when it comes to their development.
  8. Unless they ask you, wait a day or two before you tell your child what they did wrong after a loss or a bad game. Their emotions are already fragile enough.
  9. Most kids don’t have the drive their parents expect of them. Be ok with that if yours doesn’t. There are so many other areas where we as parents pressure are kids to be better. Let them have sports on their own speed.
  10. As soon as possible, seek out professional trainers or camps to work with your child instead of yourself. This will allow you to maintain a healthy parent / kid relationship.

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“Developing All-Americans Since 2000!”

B2G Sports is an authentic football training resource designed to dramatically improve game performance in pressure situations. Best known for providing athletes with top competition and practical football skills, B2G is contracted directly by a number of BCS universities to scout college prospects.

Prepare student-athletes for their challenges and responsibilities as a college ball player. Use football camps to instill self-confidence, work ethic, and personal accountability into our future leaders.

Provide a network of positive role models to help student-athletes develop character, wisdom, and excellence.

B2G Sports, a sports marketing company specializing in football skill training, player development & event production since 2000.

Skill Evaluations

A player Evaluation system measuring the overall athletic ability and football IQ of playmakers. Calculated during live competitive football environments including: training clinics, showcases and game film sessions.

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Designed to provide an authentic training resource – revolutionizes the way players prepare for game time situations – gaining an edge on their competition.

You can reach B2G Sports on Instagram (@official_b2gsports).

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I DON’T LOAN PEOPLE MONEY…PERIOD!

What my 20s and 30s taught me was that loaning money was a huge mistake. I expected people to think as I did. I believed every sob story and excuse and overextended myself to people because I cared! When it was time to pay me back, those same people never cared about me.

Now my answer is simply “No.” With NO explanation behind it! (Thank you, Jacelyn, you taught me the power of No and to stop feeling bad.) I have this lifelong friend whose name is Jacelyn and she is fiery! Afro-Latina with a heart of gold and the mouth of a sword! I love her to pieces. One day she said, “Fuck them C.J. Think about it, they don’t give a fuck about you and if you needed some shit from them, would they do it for you?” Those words have rung in my ears for years. I don’t think she even understands that was a major turning point for me and some of the best advice I have ever been given because she was soooo right! I had a large amount of people around, family included, as long as I was useful to them in some way. Once I was NO longer an asset or useful, I stopped hearing from them completely, even cut off….but Jacelyn saw what I didn’t and we still rocking what she taught me.

Don’t go into details about your finances, and don’t make long excuses justifying your decision.  It’s really none of their business. Just be direct and keep it simple. If you feel the need to be extra sympathetic and nice. Try the following:

  • “I’m not really in a position to lend you money.”
  • “I really don’t feel comfortable doing that.”
  • “I’m sorry, but no.”
  • “That’s really not feasible for me.”

These are direct statements that aren’t rude, but don’t provide an opening for future requests down the line.  When asked to expand, simply repeat one of the phrases.  Remember: It’s your money.

HOW TO CO-PARENT

So many emotions are stirred up when someone decides to leave a relationship. The hardest thing for some of us to do is to accept the fact that things will never be what they once were, but while the universe has changed your focus can’t. Once we become parents our life is no longer fully ours. It’s about creating a healthy environment for our children to flourish.

The most important thing you can do is to set a business-like tone. Remove emotions and replace it with what’s rational. Collectively, the first conversation you need to have should be about the intention to have a compassionate and supportive co-parenting relationship. Believe it or not, the person that was once your “everything” does not have to suddenly become the enemy. Remember the big picture and that’s your child’s mental health. If you can’t be great together as a unit, then you’re going to commit to be the best co-parents you can be.

One of the biggest issues is people fail to create an extended family plan. It’s bound to happen that someone will start dating again maybe even marry. Often, it happens too soon for one of the parties involved. Energy transfers… this is where checking emotions is important because children shouldn’t have to carry either parents’ feelings or burden. They have enough going on within themselves when their parents break up. It’s important to agree on the roles extended family members will play and the access they’ll be granted while your child is in each other’s charge.

Keep the lines of communication open. Never use your kid as a messenger. It is not their responsibility to become the go between both parents. This makes a child feel stuck in the middle. I guarantee you not only will they drop the ball at times and completely forget information they were supposed to share but things will get lost in translation.

Communication about co-parenting is extremely vital for your child’s healthy development. You don’t have to remain quiet if something about your ex’s co-parenting is troubling you. Just remember to approach everything with love and respect. Watch your tone and your approach. No finger pointing or “you-keep-doing-this kind” of talk. The best approach when communicating is to make your child the focal point: “I see the kids doing this-and-that after they return home from their visit. Any ideas of what we can do?” Notice there’s not one “you” word in there. No accusatory tone or finger-pointing either.

Don’t hear but listen…listen to understand, not to respond. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for that moment. Leave your own feelings and emotions out of what they are trying to communicate to you. I know it’s hard but it is beneficial to all parties involved.

Showing restraint is vital. Train yourself not to overreact to your ex. This is especially important in front of your children. Realize that communicating with one another is going to be necessary for the length of your children’s entire childhood, if not longer. Teach yourself to be numb to those buttons he or she is trying to push, and over time your ex will be forced to communicate in a more effective manner.

Last but not least, always be considerate. Share those milestones with the other parent, let them know about school events, big projects and accomplishments. It’s not about whether they are there daily or not, it’s about celebrating and encouraging your child.

The picture in an artist mind is not often what’s translated on canvas, but it doesn’t make it less beautiful. Happy co-parenting!

WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT

We are seeing a lot of these Women Empowerment Movements but what does it really mean? Women and girls make up the majority of the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty. Women’s Empowerment is about educating and empowering women with the resources and confidence necessary to secure a job. Not just any job but often their dream career. It’s about equality and leveling the playing field. Reaching back into the community and giving a sista the helping hand she needs. Where otherwise she may had been overlooked.

We all have heard this is a man’s world. Truth told… only because women allowed it to be. I believe in the next 30 years we will see a major shift! More women now than ever before are CEOs, doctors, lawyers, attorneys and scientists.

There is an edge that men have over women that we should take notice to and take notes from.

First, men run off rational thoughts while women run off emotion. Where men have pride, it’s our emotion we have to overcome to win. When you allow anger or apathy to get in the way of the things you set out to do, you do a disservice not only to yourself but also to those around you. The biggest disability you can have is being a person with a bad attitude and allowing it to control you. Don’t allow your attitude or how you feel to control you, you have to control your attitude if you want to win.

Secondly, women spend too much time worrying about what you stand to gain instead of taking responsibility. Emotion tells us to look after our personal bottom line but seeking out responsibility is a test of our self-mastery. When you let go of acquisition and exercising your rights, you are free to accept the responsibility that leads to genuine respect. Stop living in the now and look at the future. Pointing a finger at someone else doesn’t solve the problem, it just hinders getting the problem resolved.

Men really support each other, there is a brotherhood and mentorship that happens where they rise together. Women tend to feel this threat and fake competition between one another that hinders us from really supporting each other’s mission. We want to see others do well just not better than us. We really need to let that go!

Lastly, we need to stop second guessing ourselves. Women need to learn to trust that gut instinct and run with it. It’s okay to recognize your win, while learning from your loss. We are all so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We often just don’t know it until after we have resolved an issue and obtained our goal.

While many of us are taught to be humble I am telling you if you want to be a real boss you have to be confident and be bold, it’s okay to be border line cocky, just never catty!

A CONVERSATION BETWEEN SISTAS

A lot of you may know I am homeschooling my 4-year-old daughter. I am not an educator, so I often reach back to my village for advice. Some are moms, others are educators. After having a conversation with Brandy about whether I was going to give spelling test or not our conversation ended like this.

Blue is me. the other is Brandy and I am not being messy. I got her permission before sharing as you can see in post.

 

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Thank you so much, Brandy for making me really think. Ladies, we have to do better! A sista took me to church today!

TEAMWORK MAKES A DREAM WORK

The most successful people did not become successful alone. The one thing all of them have in common is a great, strong team. Whether the team consists of 2 people or 300 people, each has important jobs to make their unit thrive. Having a good strong team consists of many important components.

First is communication. This doesn’t mean that there is constant chatter or barking orders. This means everyone has a clear-cut understanding of their duties and responsibilities. There is a due date set and the lines of communication are open for input.

Secondly focus on goals. With every business a monthly goal should be set and shared with the team so that each member can work on completing their tasks.

Third, make sure work is evenly distributed among your team. Everyone does their fair share and holds their own weight. There is nothing worse than being micromanaged by someone who barks orders and does very little. People will work a lot harder when they see their leader busting their ass for the greater good of the whole team.

Fourth, when your tasks are completed it’s always a great gesture to offer support to anyone who may need the extra help. Maybe looking at things with your fresh eye can bring a whole new prospective to a daunting task.

Diversity is important and my favorite. Working with people who come from different backgrounds can teach you so much. People from different cultures can look at the same thing and see it differently depending on their life experience. This is where your company can really grow and thrive. Diversity invites a whole new demographic of consumers to enjoy our product.

Leadership starts at the top! A lot of bosses forget the whole lead by example ideal. I will personally work a lot harder for the boss who comes in early and stays late over the one who schedules a meeting then shows up a hour after it was supposed to start expecting me to jump at their beck and call because they decided to show up.

Last but surely not least organization is everything. This is one of my biggest issues. As a writer, I have a ton of content. Some is on my laptop, my phone and spread through different emails. What has helped me tremendously is designating an email where I simply send everything I write so it’s easy for me to find. No matter what device I write it on, it gets sent to the email. Find what works best for you! Everyone has different systems.

Have fun and enjoy every day. It will make a difference.

FOCUS ON THE CHILDREN

June is graduation month and while we should focus our attention on the accomplishments of those that worked hard to achieve their goals, I am sad to hear some of the stories from blended families.

I had conversations with different friends. In one situation, the birth mother was pissed that the stepmother told the parent, “We are here celebrating our son.” (She’s been in the boy’s life for 10 years.) A stepfather was pissed that the absent sperm donor was invited to graduation because he had never been there before.

Note to parents, it’s not your day period. You’re there to celebrate the accomplishments of your child! The mental health and happiness of your child is more important than adult feelings. Celebrate this new chapter for your baby and put those adult feelings aside. You made a choice to join this blended family. The children are stuck in the middle. Raising mentally healthy young people is what it is all about. I wish more parents knew how to at least pretend to be mature for the greater good of their children.

(Some of y’all need family therapy NO SHADE.)

Bravo to the parents who have figured it out! Once you become parents, life is about them.

THINGS WHITE PEOPLE DO THAT WE DON’T THINK ABOUT!

O.k. why is it that when kids graduate from junior high school, we (Black people) reward them with a shiny new stereo instead of something that has to do with what he accomplished? Something that might make their future brighter. I grew up in a place called Westlake Village, the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. I definitely noticed a big difference in the way I was raised, and the way my fellow classmates were raised. See, I was one of the only African American children in my school. At most, there were 5 African Americans at my school at one time, but it only lasted a year. I have always been very observant, so I noticed that my friends were getting bank accounts, stocks in their father’s company, mutual funds and bonds, even inheritance. I also remember saying to myself, “That sucks all they got was a piece of paper.” If my mom had handed me a piece of paper saying when I turned 18, I would have a certain amount of money I would have been pissed. I would not have understood that she was doing me a favor, because that was not the way I was taught. But now I realize what those other people were doing is investing in their children’s future. As an adult I understand, because no one had anything to invest in my future and because my mother did what she was taught. Needless to say, I did not grow up rich. By the way, just for the record I’m still playing that stereo!! So, thanks mom I can’t complain.

It is very important to teach your children healthy money habits. This is a lesson that should start at least by the second half of elementary school. Don’t just hand them money, see, easy come, easy go. If they earn it, and they are taught they have to work for money. Not only are you teaching them an important life lesson of responsibility but you are also teaching them how to appreciate what they get, and the harder they work the bigger the reward. I understand parents want to give their children what they never had, but when you hand them things too easily, they don’t learn the value. Take them to the bank. Teach them how to withdraw money and make deposits. Also, how to put money away in a savings account, and to invest. Help them to put a percentage of their money in a savings every month, then twice a year invest 50 dollars. Teach them to read their bank statements and watch their money grow. Believe it or not, get them interested in their money and they will value what they have more and what you do for them more. It is important to understand the value of money.