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Approaching the Elephant in our room.

DSC_0919Here I am trying to breastfeed my 2 month-old-baby, MY GOODNESS!! She’s making such a fuss! It seems like she’s having difficulty latching on or even not sure how to work my nipples! I smiled and said to myself, “Oh, it’s my third baby, so I should be a pro at this” (inward consolation thing). Phew!

I’m admiring this beautiful full curly black-haired baby, her tiny cheek so soft and round like one drenched with precious memories of the sweetness of a baker’s delight; A sugar-covered-jelly donut! Her little black eyes twitched as the bright morning reflection of sunray brushes over her face.

Ah! My post-cancer baby! So squishy and velvety, radiating the most enchanting features of love and beauty.

But there was a problem.

I wasn’t getting enough direct eye contact from her.

Is it that those around me didn’t recognize it or had decided to ignore it? Am I the only one seeing the mighty footprints? Or was I getting paranoid for no darn reason! After all, that’s what I do 5 days a week for other families.

My heart skipped a beat! And when it finally found its way back to my body, it broke into a million pieces when she wouldn’t trace my finger across her face! I quickly went shopping in my brain and bargained for all the best nursery rhymes I could find. Fetched all the Early Intervention child developmental milestones books I could read! As a therapist for child-development myself, it was harder for me to accept the intruding delay that could be, but so much easier for me to bring in all the best child developmental services in Delaware county into my room.ele 1

Even though it was my own child needing early childhood intervention, my commitment was stronger than that of Lady Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. #GOT

So, Elephant in the room is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth of chaos that is going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to talk about, discuss or address.ele 3

In the real world where you and I live, it is regarded as our state of mind! It is that nicely swept problem that forcefully resides with us; based on dis-approval, denial and dis-illusion.

But, in the make-believe world we feign, it is an abode for that hush-hush marital insecurity issue, it is that heavy feeling of pain and anguish when one is being used and betrayed, it is that status-quo inadequacy, it is that child still wondering if the term ‘bastard’ is a middle name! It is that sexuality problem never discussed and still un-resolved/that beautiful young lady wondering if true love really still exists after a horrid heart break!

It is that delayed passage of breakthrough or diabolical hunger and quest to make it big and fast in life! It is that infertility no-go area discussion! The nights of free-flowing tears on the loss of a baby or pregnancy, those complicated medical results, un-resolved family drama, carried on from generation to generation! All those frightening controversial issues which is so obvious to everyone who knows about the situation, but which is deliberately ignored because to do otherwise would cause great embarrassment, or trigger arguments or is simply a taboo. What’s the fear? That we could be judged? that the issue ought to be discussed openly, or it can simply be an acknowledgment that the issue is there and not going to go away by itself!

Aren’t some of the things we go through today similar to an Elephant in a room that’s impossible to overlook? like seriously!! ‘Hello…’Am still here!ele 5

Issues that involve social taboo, discussion of race, religion, gender equality or even suicide. Should the people who might have spoken up decide that it is probably best avoided?

I don’t think so. How else would the elephant make an exit? Or am I wrong?

Could it be because our infirmity has now become our identity or because our crisis now defines who we are and forms the familiar guidelines of our life?

With the entrance of an elephant in their room, some people use their weaknesses to get the attention they crave or to keep from assuming any responsibility in their own lives, but not with a huge animal like an elephant starring you in the face day in day out!

What about our own situation that’s so glaring, yet we cover it up with nicely packaged-fragrance, expensive line of make-up with ambiguous price tags to suck in the scars or marks? Or that sensual erotic 6-pack image that attracts only what the eyes can see as the soul bleeds and begs to run far away from its misery!

Isn’t that a cover up for obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about?ele 4

Our helplessness can be our most powerful offering – Only if we are willing to be honest and transparent. Admitting the obvious. Sometimes it is a lot easier to just stay in the room and wait than to struggle toward the light without acceptance.

Can you see yourself in this room, with an invisible elephant? Have you been trapped or paralyzed by the pain of loss or rejection or the weight of an intruder in your personal space? Are you taking care of a child with special needs and feeling overwhelmed? Have friends betrayed you and left you lying by a pool of crushed hopes and dreams?

God sees your helplessness. He knows your heart and hears your desperate cry. Stand up today to that intruder in your room, and let God direct your path.

Yours in HOPE as I share ‘Am I Wrong’ by Nico & Vinz.

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

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Ready or Not, Here I come… ‘Should I drop the MIC?

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ready 7Have you ever approached a new birth year (birthday) with some kind of mixed feelings about some beautiful or bitter experiences you’ve carried through to-date?

Does your birthday celebrate your progress or make fun of your weakness? When you finally decide to mentally flip through the events of yester years, do you either marvel or sigh at the thought of certain happenings?

I-D-O-N-T-B-E-L-I-E-V-E-I-T! ‘Kind-of-feeling?

I know I do. Often, I wished I was still that innocent 10-year-old birthday girl adorned in my Peter Pan collar blue and white polka-dot sun dress dancing away to the rhythm of Evelyn King’s 1982 ‘Love Come Down! With not-a-single-care-about-tomorrow or even aware of whatever love was coming down! Until I was asked to take the MIC! ‘And then…

So, I just finished celebrating my 44th birthday (say “Whaaaaat!”)… Yeah ’All-of-me-is-organically 44 years and still growing! (Lol). ‘And am loving it! Fate has been feeding me with un-avoidable memories as a special delicacy, one forbidden to chew. Don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, or more of a déjà vu kind of feeling.

Could it be my medication or hormonal changes? or the so-so-busy schedule I have entwined my life in? whatever it is, I am so ready to take it on and move forward with new hopes. Even as am not so close by to my childhood home and missing all the bells and horns I would have received for another celebration, thank goodness for true and genuine friendship ever-present!

ready 2I am so thankful for silly little things like…singing off tune  with my 4-year-old daughter in the shower, wet toothbrushes serving as our pretend-mic!, OR discussing puberty tolerance with my sprouting oh so-grown tween! (Phew! Teenage dramatic years here-we-come!) OR trying to understand the sudden mother-son bond with my dimpled-face middle child-son! OR playing star war’s Dart Vader with my adorable Autistic students or just being silly and child-like!

Those moments. Priceless and Irreplaceable.

The days of… Am I ready for another treatment? Another blood work? Another scan? Another therapy? Another celebration? It was as if I always just needed a reason to celebrate life to remind myself that I was still living!  But really? Why not? Who wouldn’t? Why not celebrate life when we have it? When our tomorrow is not given.

Today, it doesn’t matter anymore if comedians invented the mic drop, they have arguably played a larger role in popularizing it than their hip-hop counterparts. Like when the character steals the microphone from the emcee, screams into it, holds it out, and drops it to the floor. Isn’t that how our life’s journey is? We pick us, start-up then drop it off…out of?…ready 3

Nowadays, the unknown stretches before us and all we can see are the mistakes we have made and the opportunities we have missed.

Fear has brought us to our knees and we are more desperate than we have ever been in our life.

If you made it to the next birthday each year, be more thankful. Are you ready or not for what’s next? Not really. Still wondering why the MIC should be dropped? Maybe we all need to refocus and adjust our perspective. Don’t you think so?

Life is never going to be perfect this side of town. Never! If you are waiting for every problem to be solved, every circumstance to be just right, every issue to be resolved, you are in for a long wait. Set aside your comfort. Forfeit your convenience and embrace change.

The movie 8 Mile (2002) brought an explosion in interest in rap battles and free-styling, but Rabbit never drops the mic: When he finishes his climactic freestyle and prepares to walk off the stage, he just passes the mic back to his opponent. Are you ready for that? I know I am. So help me God with my personal baton.

Yours in HOPE as I share The Fugee’s “Ready or not”.

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

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Are you SINGLE, SEARCHING & DIS-ENGAGED? This goes out to all the SINGLE LADIES out there…”You may be Broken, but you’re Not Bent” – Come learn how to LOVE again! @www.totalwomanmovement.com

5 MORE DAYS TO GO!!! (Excitement mode activated!)bent 3#TWC 3. 

If you are reading this and fall under that specific age where those sugar-coated tongue-guys are spreading their tentacles, making false deliveries of exaggerated non-existent fantasy-like promises! And suddenly, POOF! ‘They disappear into thin air! Oh no! ‘Whatever happened to those promises and aspirations?

Nothing to worry about! ‘Cos there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you, babes! But everything amiss with that man who’s taking you for granted! Or you’ve been through a series of roller coaster-kind of relationships for a while and now given up on going into another one! But really, who wouldn’t crawl back into their shell to regain their sanity after such emotional distress?

You look at your image in the mirror, and what you see is a beautiful well-formed, strong and dynamic lady! Even those around pass glowing compliments! Oh goodness! What do you see? The type of girl any sensible guy would gladly take home to Momma! And dance jubilantly to the altar…pink 1

‘But you just keep wondering… ‘When will it be my turn? NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY!!

You may be broken, due to certain circumstances, but also you need to understand that there can’t be any healing without first being broken. Come figure out how to start the healing process, let’s put the pieces back together just like the “potter” would, aligning the fragments in such a way that when the “bond” (the healing, fragrant balm is added) you have a splendidly well-put together piece that will speak volumes of what was shrouded in that brokenness.

What are you waiting for? Come join other singles as we gather around seasoned speakersspring 3 like The Mercados, Rev. Adetuberu, Terri Matthews and more… Come learn how to set realistic goals in building strong relationships! Come join us as we listen to teachings on how to apply Godly principles while waiting. Together, we can learn to understand that just as you are not perfect, there is no perfect guy out there, but dare I say, there is a guy out there who loves all your perfect imperfections, accepting you just the way you are!

Need more information? Visit www.totalwomanmovement.com  to be plugged into the movement that will Heal, Enlighten, Liberate and Position you for a better tomorrow!

Yours in HOPE,

Yinka.

***WATCH OUT for #TWC 4 “Are you GOLDEN, MATURED & SEASONED? –‘Here’s a glimpse of what to expect at the upcoming TOTAL WOMAN CONFERENCE! (For the Graciously Ripe and Germane OLDER ADULTS @ 55+.

 

 

 

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Are we comfortably numb in our denial? ‘Time to speak up on ABUSE!

Connecting with “The Total Woman Movement” – A Refuge of Comfort in Brokenness.

I once attended a sorority party about 2000 miles away from my college in 1992. Our Destination: University of Calabar! Excitement mode activated! Trust me, I had carefully packed away my popular orange halter-neck dress, with matching brown lace up mules, and my hairstyle? Aha! I’d travelled all the way to Onne villa (outside Port Harcourt) just to patronize the best hair braider in the whole of Rivers state! Phew! Such youthful exuberance! Silly painful vanity!abuse 7

Halfway through the journey, I began to feel feverish and tired! Oh no! It can’t be happening to me… I was aching all over, ah!  It must be M-a-l-a-r-i-a! Oh great! How can this be happening to me? I had so prepared for this day! This wasn’t in the plan!

My temperature was spiking, this fever has no respect for my opinion! In fact, ‘it has come to stay like a desperate housewife! My travelling team was terrified! “How can it be (I was getting helpless).

Anyway, without much ado, as if that fever was a red flag, the party was cancelled due to serious vigilante watch as opposing rival confraternities were in the midst of a serious war. We all spent the night off campus, in a rented hostel.abuse 3

Six other girls and I shared 2 adjacent rooms. It was a night I will never forget. Amongst being confined inside our rooms, noises of gunshots blasting throughout the night, as we became more frightened we looked to each other for support.

In the middle of nowhere, we became each other’s trusted companion, well, we had no choice but to wait and see what the morning brings forth.abuse 4

The fear and helplessness we felt that night brought back horrific memories of abusive pasts, stories of years of abusive upbringing, relationships and stolen childhood. Storylines that 7 beautiful, intelligent and oh-so-cool girls have never dared to talk about!

Tales that have been buried for years with those clicking fancy bangles, baggy Pepe jeans, colorful trendy t-shirts, shining pink lip gloss and fake make-believe smiles! oh boy! Did we vent!

“Ah, I was molested by my neighbor when I was 10!“I couldn’t tell anyone”

I was raped by my uncle when I was 12, I’d wanted to commit suicide”

“ I was never touched, but told constantly that I was ugly and a weakling”  

“ My mother’s boyfriend was very aggressive, he would beat me up and rape me, I couldn’t tell anyone, I was too frightened

I was betrayed by a senior in school, she raped me, I can’t trust anyone anymore”

 “I watched my father beat up my mother for years”He told us he loved us, but couldn’t stop hurting us” “His anger was uncontrollable”

I was raped inside my house” “I was ganged raped and molested at a party on campus” 

and on and on and on…we all talked into the early hours of the next day…sleep eluding our consciousness…and we were never the same after that day…forsaking the beauty that material things have managed to conceal, our hearts were on fire!abuse 6

Party forgotten and ignored, we had released everything no one had ever inquired of us… or the story our culture forbids by acceptance or utterance! we released the dark secrets that harbors lingering pain! ‘the substance of our current day frustrations and rejections…’stories we could not confess to priests during penance…or even during deliverance…’stories that family traditions sweeps under the carpet as generation to come wallow in confusion…’these were stories hidden in misery and denial…but, we had to travel all the way out of town, be confided into a hostel with bullets flying outside our windows….just for those stories to surface. We all had closure after confiding and crying out about it and promised to seek help after. The burden is now shared, not to be chastised or reprimanded, but to begin healing and moving forward.

Ok…that was 24 years ago! I have lived past those stories, but currently still living amongst those who are unable to talk about their story…’Abuse stories or even use their experiences to help raise awareness and help someone going through it.

What’s your Abuse story? Broken dreams or failed relationship? Or what’s that Abusive storyline you played a part in? years ago, that is still lingering and haunting you presently? You know why it’s still trailing after you. But to get closure to it, someone else somewhere right now is going through the same ABUSE you encountered…and the circle is continual UNTIL you Seek help, Campaign against it! Create a platform for awareness!abuse 1

Let’s celebrate a season of closure and recovery…’like when a heavy burden has just been off-loaded from our shoulders. A sense of commitment and togetherness…like ‘Wow! I am not alone! I thought I was the only one!

Since that day, I have learned to respect and look at those ladies differently with respect and courage, for speaking up about their abusive past. And today, I am hoping our stories could save a life or two!  Or is it still happening?

So, if you are reading this, ask yourself…’Does my fragrance (that beautiful perfect-picture image, I carry with me effortlessly) have fragments (stains, shame, sorrow, abusive stories)? Am I really truthful to myself? Am I still hiding behind the veil of pretense and still hoping that one day I would wake up and say “It never happened”Ah! If you are reading this and have ever encountered any form of abuse (sexual, verbal, physical or emotional) – don’t let it define you. When we talk about some of our stories, it helps someone else going through it or someone who’s gone through it and still struggling with acceptance of the shame of the aftermath.abuse 5

Our fragrance did have fragments! And it was time to break it open, not to ridicule each other or laugh at each other but a time of total submission, after all, we were all skeptical we’ll make it out of that place, alive. But we did, and now, there’s a story to be told to help uplift someone going through something similar…our Alabaster Jar just got cracked, and the spill is totally healing and comforting, what do you think?

Are we even aware of the comfort in our brokenness? Do we know that refuge from our circumstances and contentment in the midst of mishaps is found in the center of our surrender. Or is it in our brokenness?

If that is true, then why are so many women still living lives with little or no joy based on their past? I’m afraid that we have bought the lies of the enemy (the abuser), allowing him/her to steal our joy. Discouragement, weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams, and unrealized goals are some of his/her favorite weapons, but the truth is that the enemy can only use what we allow him/her to use, “Our destructive abused past”

It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground. Do you sometimes think you are fighting the same old battles you have been fighting for so many years? I do. Clinging to familiar pain because we find our identity there. Consumed with our own agenda, while  our joy is buried under a mountain of self loathing.abuse 2

Today, there’s HOPE! There’s a better tomorrow and it can be brighter than the past, the abusive past! Join the movement that comforts the abused today. The Total Woman Movement. Come as you are (BROKEN) learn how to release your inner fragrance (STORY) and let the scents relieve your life’s dents. (HEALING).

For more information about this movement, please visit www.totalwomanmovement.com

Yours in HOPE as I share Gloria Estefan’s “Coming Out Of The Dark”

Yinka.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Presenting Total Woman Conference ‘FRAGRANCE 216’ – A peek into a new jar.

My late maternal grandfather, Pa Jacob was such a witty orator. His sense of humor and disposition about life was out of this world. He told us stories about marching tortoises going to war and parched water jars that needed their thirst quenched!alab 4

Every visit from his home-base in Delta state to see his children and grandchildren in Lagos was always a task and an adventure. ‘Oh, if He had his way, every one of his daily utensils will be packed into the car taking him out of town. When denied, he would give strict instructions to the house keepers in his village to daily refill the mortar jars and pots with fresh water from the stream! ‘oh-Grandpa!!! 🙂

As a child, I just never understood why such an old and outdated huge mortar jar served as a reservoir for my grandpa. Haven’t all his children (my uncles and aunts) done well enough for him by installing a running tap and functioning water tank for him? Why does this old man still trust in the fresh water from the stream and the excitement that comes from offering his guests water from his humongous-seen-better-days-almost-cracked-jar!alab 5

Come to think of it, the mouth of this jar is so small that on several occasions my cousins and I on some visits would mischievously challenge each other on whose tiny hands could fit into it, (of course, when not watched!). Lol.

That jar, situated at the corner of my late grandpa’s house in Ebu, Delta State (land of a homely and endearing tribe located in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria) lived long even after he passed on, until it was moved to the back of his house, now collecting dusts, housing insects and all the wonderful creeping and crawling creatures in the nearby bush. Gone, but ever existent in my memory, every time I think of an alabaster jar.

Interestingly, Alabaster jars are made of a beautiful white mineral, sealed in such a way that they could be opened only by breaking them. Once broken, the contents would have to be used immediately since there was no way to reseal the container.

It symbolizes our refuge.

In reflecting on the theme for the upcoming 2016 Total Woman Conference – “Fragrance 216” ( Fragrance two sixteen – adapted from 2Cor. 2 vs. 16). I was prompted to ask myself a pointed question: “Literally, what’s in MY alabaster jar? What’s the purpose of its contents? And what’s it worth?

I began to search my heart to see if there was anything hidden there that I wanted to treasure for myself. Would I be willing to pour it out and share with others so they could learn from its contents? I discovered two things in my “jar” that I was holding back, and also found that I struggled to relinquish these to God, even though I love Him dearly and want to pursue Him with all my heart.

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World’s Most Expensive Perfume: The No1 Passant Guardan is covered in 24 carat gold and encrusted in diamonds…

Each of us has an alabaster jar filled with costly fragrance. Sealed up with life’s mysteries (stories of betrayal, abuse, pain, agony, anger, depression, sickness, incompetence, broken heart, bitterness, loneliness and rejection) that inhibit us from revealing that sweetness we carry inside. We can only get to it by breaking the jar and we must be ready to allow a spirit of total abandonment and complete sacrifice.alab 3

What about you? What precious perfume is locked inside your heart that could be lavished on others? The little treasures you and I struggle to hold on to may hold back opportunities to bless those around us. Especially those in need of a new scent in life’s dents!

What’s in YOUR alabaster jar? And what do you intend to do with it?

So, allow me to introduce a-much-highly anticipated brand of this newly created divine incense-filled event! – TWC Fragrance 216! Indulge yourself in the benefits of this new fragrance-themed retreat! Don’t let it be buried with you. Break it open. Let the sweet smelling fragrance fill the void in your life and let it radiate and touch the lives of those around you.

The treasures that you and I struggle to hold onto, once released, can become a blessing not only to us but to all those around us. Let’s be aware that the treasure is not the jar itself, but what it holds. Let’s be confident in breaking that jar and allow the treasures of our life be poured out.alab 2

Be Indulgent. Be resourceful. Be sacrificial. Be blessed as you let go of what you think your life is and find out what life can really be when you finally decide to unleash your inner fragrance.

Don’t be left out! Sign up to be part of the new generation of women who have the power to re-direct the potency of their aura. Be part of the Fragrance 216 Woman! Join the Movement! …’To be continued!!

For more information about signing up for the upcoming women only yearly retreat/conference – “TWC Fragrance 216”. Please call 215-474-4301 Or visit: http://www.totalwomanmovement.org

SAVE THE DATES: 2 nights, 3 days Retreat @ ACE Conference Center, Lafayette Hills PA. April (Thursday) 21st, April (Friday) 22nd and (Saturday) 23rd 2016.

Yours in HOPE. Yinka. TWC Fragrance 216 Team Member.

***coming soon – Sweet Aroma Out of Brokenness – TWC Fragrance 216

 

 

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Turning Our Brokenness into a Support Channel for Others!

We have all been broken or bent. Cracked like clay, crumbled like a free doughnut and crushed by spoken words sometimes taken too personal. We have been bruised when something outlandish, far-out, unusual or peculiar happens to us. And I mean to all of us!

What do we do, when Life throws at us: Cold blankets of unexpected deals? After praying and waiting…what do we do? We stand? Who do we stand with? Who’s going to hold our hands and stand with us? And every time we clamor within our minds, trying so hard to fix it alone, we end up living in denial. Am I reaching someone?

For a moment, let’s pull aside the heavy luxurious curtain of pretense (our mindset) tie it back neatly with a new tassel (feelings) and confirm our spirituality is in place (balance). What’s left?

 

When we are broken, we feel like a foreigner in our own native land. Part of the reason why we shy away from getting help and latch on to a “hush-hush world” is basically because we are still afraid of either discovering ourselves through other people, and I mean, other people’s short-comings or strengths, our ability to comfort other people, and also ability to allow others to comfort us when we need it.

For some, it’s an act of weakness or pride, to show it or give it. But we all need it. Everyone needs to be comforted, one time or the other! God may very well send someone your way who needs a person who understands.

 

Who else can help a woman who is struggling with delayed motherhood or a wayward child other than the mother who has welcomed a prodigal child home? Who can encourage a woman going through a rough patch like the woman who has come out of that same darkness and into the light?

Who can help a woman struggling with marital discord like the woman who has seen her marriage transformed from decayed clanging cymbals of contention to a beautiful symphony of love? Who can help a woman struggling with the pain of a shameful past like the woman who has exchanged her tattered sackcloth for a princess’s robe?

 

Today, I am hoping that someone will say…” because I have gone through something’s (brokenness) that makes me comfort-able, I will be encouraging someone, who in turn will also encourage someone else. This week, I pray that God will show you someone who needs to know the comfort that He’s given me. Not to be ashamed to tell about the struggles we have had in our own life, but to be an encouragement to someone who needs to know that there is hope for a better tomorrow.

 

‘For WALKING (comforting me) and showing your support towards cancer awareness, I am truly grateful. Thank You! May we always find reasons to celebrate victory and survivorship with each other, and also remember those we lost along the way.

 

‘Yinka.

 

 

 

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