D i f f e r e n t.

Let’s GO!!

I hit the snooze button a FEW times this morning. Got a late start but still getting my work out B4 work in. WHY?! ‘ Cause a sista got GOALS.

Yes. The thought of the end result can be inspiring BUT overwhelming so I had to break in down in bite size pieces. You feel me?!

BREAK IT DOWN BABY!!!

Whateva YOUR personal goals are emotionally, mentally, physically, financially or professionally:
#SometimesYouHaveToEncourageYourself

Because of Him,

e

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credits: Unknown. No copyright infringement intended.

THE HEALED VERSION OF YOU

Can you see her? Can you see him? The healed version of you? Truth be told…it’s very difficult at times.

As a believer, I’ve been to dozens of conferences over the years and have heard thousands of sermons. In my online writing community, I’m surrounded by several positive and/or inspirational people. But when fiery darts and or triggers come my way, I have to pull from an internal reservoir of sound thinking.

Most of the time, it’s easier to believe God for someone else’s breakthrough or miracle. It’s easier to cheer for another and send best wishes their way. But what about you? Ever wonder what the healed version of you is like? And why wouldn’t you be deserving of that?

I pray that your fear of dreaming big ceases today. I pray that you begin to believe again that blessings can still come your way!

I see the healed version of you. Healed in your mind, emotions, attitude, actions, reactions, heart, body, soul, finances and sleep pattern.

I see the healed version of you.

Won’t you?

Because of Him,

e

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo credits: Pixnio and VideoBlocks. No copyright infringement intended.

It’s been a minute…eh?

A MILLION THANK YOUS to my readers!! I can not believe the incredible amount of interest expressed. Thanks to those still checking for new posts as well as a few new faces! I see YOU!! God bless you and thank you so much for being here. I’m humbled by your kindness and unwavering support.

I wrote a dedication piece to our 17 yr old. daughter months ago. Never finished it. Dozed off in the middle of writing it. Thought I saved it to my drafts because it was sorely incomplete – only to learn that I had accidentally posted it. So nonetheless I deleted that soon after. But just for giggles….here is our first born MIRACLE:

I love her with every ounce of my being.

To be fair – I also have to shout out our second MIRACLE – our 15 yr old. son! He is now in charge of holding the phone during selfies because his growth spurts give him great angles!! LOL! I love him with every ounce of my being.

These pics were taken this past Saturday.

In the middle is one of my best friends and our son’s Godmother Rev. Dionne Bossiere and of course on the end is my daughter!

Ok…..

So way. And I mean waaaaay too much has transpired in the last few months. So instead of boring you with the details – here’s a quick update on the last 21 days.

DAY 21

I am thrilled – no THRILLED to be DONE w/ my #21DayJuicingChallenge TODAY!! Sooooooo to answer a few questions I keep getting:

1- Nope. Not hungry at all. Seriously like by day 3 you’re straight. but yes i missed eating – esp veggie omelettes & the feel of my favorite fork lol

2- Why? I’d been on the “straight & narrow” since my bday (clean eating/working out 6-7 days a week which I still do) to push myself through agonizing hip pain & PTSD triggers.

So when this challenge came up, it was just that. A challenge. Nothing deep. Not a fast, consecration or levitating in the parking lot on my lunch breaks…

3- It was actually a lot of fun. Me & 5 homegirls did it together, 2 of them, including my mom – only did nights & weekends. Doing it w/ others helped me not get bored w/ trying different juice combos.

4- How much weight did i lose? Not really comfortable sharing that ’cause it wasn’t that kind of party.

When I first started exercising again I would lose nothing some weeks. One week I lost 2 stankin’ OUNCES & that ish hurt me to my heart yo! So had to stop worrying about it. ‘Cause it was stressing me.

But obviously my overall health has improved due to the changes I’ve made. Prayerfully that’s enough info to inspire someone!

Special shout out to the sisters who opted not to do the challenge but checked on me a few times a week. Meant a lot. Love YOU!

New here? Welcome! Feel free to introduce yourself!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog |http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and photos without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Happy 21st Anniversary Husband

Together for 25 years and married for 21 years today…I can honestly say I see love and marriage so much differently than when we first exchanged vows. It was a much simpler time and WAY before cell phones and social media either ruined lives or as some would dare say expose them for what they really were😉!

This was taken in the Summer of ’94 when we had been “talking” for a couple of months and he had asked me to be his girl.

We get asked ALL the time for relationship advice but marriage is not the type of test you can study for! You can’t copy off someone else’s paper in this thing called love and commitment. Every relationship & household is different…so you must do what works for YOU!!

I’m rarely online anymore. Not sure when that will change. But since I have been doing a ton of posting on my personal page in honor of our children’s musical accomplishments in the past 24 hours….

there was no way I could let this night go by without acknowledging our wedding anniversary!!

Thanks to EVERYONE who hit us up – I didn’t realize so many remembered. Soooo very thoughtful! And as I ALWAYS say, “Love – been hurt by it, been healed by it. I STILL believe in LOVE”!

New here? Welcome new faces! Thank you so much for being here…feel free comment below and introduce yourself! Be sure to scroll down to catch up! Perhaps you will find a piece that speaks to you – no matter where you are on this journey called Love 😘💫e

#oldschool #husbandandwife #musician #throwbackthursday #positivevibes ONLY

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“What are you reading?”

“Are you still writing?”

Hello Authenticitee Speaks Family!

I am incredibly grateful to those of you who reach out to check on me, when my blog goes mute. Yes; I’m still a reader with a voracious appetite and a consistent writer.

As I’ve said before, sharing in this space is inherently different than any of my other platforms. It’s more intimate and incredibly close to my heart. I’m constantly amazed that new followers are still joining me in this space almost everyday!! Thank you for being here. I’m humbled by your presence.

“What are you reading?”

I’ve been reading the book Dying To Be Free – A Healing Guide For Families After A Suicide by Beverly Cobain (cousin of Nirvana’s late lead singer Kurt Cobain) and Jean Larch.

It’s an extremely heartfelt and at times a graphic portrayal (trigger warning*methods) of those who’ve lost loved ones to suicide.

I definitely without hesitation recommend this book for those who have personally lost a loved one to suicide or to others like myself called to raise awareness.

“Are you still writing?”

Absolutely!

I definitely don’t post as much and consistently delete and archive my Instagram posts as usual because I bore very easily. It’s my personal preference to prune what I post quite frequently actually. Here’s a few recent pieces:

Love. I still believe.

Thanks for stopping by today and showing love, reading, sending messages and covering me in prayer!

If you or a loved one are suicidal, is in crisis or having a hard time coping at this very moment; PLEASE know that you matter and are not alone! If you need someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to the resources below!

The National Suicide Hotline

800-273-TALK (Veterans Press 1)

TEEN SUICIDE CRISIS HOTLINE- 800-852-8336 (Trained Teen Counselors)

The Trevor Project (LGBT Community) 866-488-7386

Trans Lifeline (Transgendered Community) 877-565-8860

Crisis Text: Text HOTLINE to 741741 ***If outside the U.S visit http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for assistance.

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

As my Writer Crush Series comes to a close this 30th of September 2018, I take a moment to pause and reflect on the priceless moments experienced during this journey.

I have been so overwhelmed by the love and support of the Instagram Writing Community and fellow WordPress bloggers; that creating a platform where writers can meet other writers through this series just felt natural.

Engaging with countless poets, writers, artists, authors, photographers, entrepreneurs and fellow creatives has been an integral part of my life for almost 4 years. My words have literally traveled across continents and kissed the earth of places my feet have yet to trod. It’s been an unexpected blessing and honor to work with some of the best talent in the world.

My final featured poet in this series is an absolutely breathtaking writer.

I genuinely believe that her gift of writing is divine. Her words have encapsulated some of the most precious and richest moments life has to offer. And in addition to her complete understanding of the complexities embedded in the heart of poets, she is full of love.

Her love is further empowered by her desire to see the manifestation of love’s healing properties in the lives of others.

Meet Sana A. Rashid…

My name is Sana Akhtar Rashid and I am a 26 year old female British Pakistani. I am a primary school teacher, teaching children (who are 10-11 years old) a range of subjects. My career as a teacher has allowed me to progress quickly and for a few years I have been an English Leader at my school too. This job is wonderful and includes; ensuring a range of reading books are available in classes, English lessons are engaging, and eventually children feel they have the skills to continue their interest in writing professionally when they move to secondary school, college, University etcetera.

In addition to my career as a teacher, I have a love for writing, which is demonstrated in my professional life- but also my personal life too. The art of writing for me progressed in July 2015 when I began my Instagram page ‘@sana.a.rashid’. The purpose behind the account was really simple- I simply wanted to express my thoughts on a range of things. My best friend at the time encouraged me to present my thoughts through this platform; as I was filling most conversations with my deep thoughts and (after a great deal of hesitation) I finally plucked up the courage and went for it. Over time, my writing style became more distinctive and my interest in poetry grew. Writing multiple times in the day, and reading encouraging comments after I posted my material, was crucial in continuing my writing journey. Therefore, after 3 years of writing on my Instagram account, I continue to post my poetry online to this present day.

My poetry content and style varies,and I believe it is constantly shifting because my emotions change. For me, poetry requires feeling and it is a perfect way of channeling the words of the heart. When I write, I don’t think too much about the length of the poem, or the rhyme, or the stanzas, I let the mind and heart sync so that the feeling, whether it be happiness, sadness, guilt, excitement, sorrow etc is relayed onto a blank page. It is feeling the poem should convey, so I avoid the technicalities of the poems’ structure and let the feelings take precedence.

I have noticed that my poems relate to love, empowerment, feminism, dreams, belonging and personal identity too. The latter is as a result of my ethnicity as a Pakistani. Growing up in England, I was not Pakistani enough when I visited Pakistan and I wasn’t English enough when going about my day- to- day life in England. There were occasions when racist incidents occurred over the years, aimed at my parents, which made me question ‘belonging’ and who I was. I realise there will always be some (what I hope are) in minority groups who will always demean others based on their colour, race, religion, but what is important is that positivity remains with the belief that hate towards others because of skin will cease to exist… One day in the near future. This moves me on to hope. Sometimes my poetry sounds dreamy, my writing refers to things that may not be, but it would be wonderful if it could be.

I have always wanted to be a teacher, and this dream has been achieved. Another dream of mine was to write a poetry book. This is another dream which is drawing near completion. I am in the final stages of re-drafting and editing my book. I want to release something that I am proud of and which represents me. However, I am my greatest critic, which is why the editing change is taking alot longer than I had anticipated. Soon, I will be contacting a few publishers and then the process of book publishing will begin.

The only active social media platform I use is Instagram. I am hoping my poetry book will be out in 2019.

e speaks…

You are absolutely fascinating Sana. How has being a teacher impacted your style of writing?

Sana speaks…

Since I was young, especially a bilingual teenager, I struggled with grammar. As a result of that, I wasn’t exactly presented with opportunities to build on my skills, and develop my understanding of grammar. It is only when I decided to become a teacher that I developed a love for writing. I had to read books, which would engage the children I taught, and eventually (through teaching), I was able to teach the art of the English language. Regularly, for the last 5 years of my career, I had to write passages, either in the form of short stories, diary entries, poems as example texts to support the learning of my students. Through regular writing in lessons, and reading, I have continued to consistently write in my own time, and trial different styles of writing too.

e speaks…

How have you found your voice in the midst of life’s most difficult challenges?

Sana speaks…

I think as individuals we tend to put aside things that sometimes hurt us. We tend to pretend it never happened, or that it doesn’t affect us, when in actual fact it affects us more than we realise. Running away from certain feelings and emotions, could be considered as a way of ‘dealing’ with the problem. However, I believe it is important to address it.

I have not always felt like I had a voice, or even a voice that mattered. I have felt an inferior, and therefore overcoming this mindset has taken years. Writing has allowed me to channel thoughts freely, because when a person reads words, they read for meaning. The reader never sees a colour, race, religion in front of them, but words. Poetry provided me with an outlet to address my feelings, my experiences, and my hopes for the future. Eventually, my poetry highlighted how I had a yearning for equality.  Equality, regardless of colour. Equality, regardless of gender. Equality, across the width and breath between each fold of humanity.

e speaks…

What would you say to writers who struggle with being consistent in both writing and sharing their writing?

Sana speaks…

I would say reading is really helpful. Over time, you will realise the style of writing you like, and you will start experimenting with such a style yourself. When it comes to writing, there is no right or wrong thing–you write what you feel. You write a message you want to convey. There are stories, poems, lessons, bursting in every single one of us, and I completely believe that anyone can become a writer if they believed in themselves.

In regards to sharing writing, there are a few things I have recognised over time. It is good to share your writing on a social media platform daily, or every few days a week, as it allows new readers to reach your content. This also acts as a reminder to write too, because after all–with no written material, you can’t share writing exactly, right? Over time, your readers can share what they liked or interpreted from your writing, and eventually when it comes to publishing then you already have a ‘fan’ base.

Sharing content carries risks too. When material is shared online, there is a risk of plagiarism. Moreover, poems might be shared, but not credited to you. Sometimes readers may find inspiration from your writing, and write a poem very similar to your own, and change the odd word. These are a few drawbacks of sharing content that I have noted, as I have personally experienced them.

I think the most important thing to remember is that writing is an art. There are times you will want to share your work, other times when you will want to withhold your writing. Social media doesn’t always value art, and artists therefore followings, and likes shouldn’t detract from your love for writing. Always write for you. Write from your heart. More importantly, believe in your writing.

e speaks…

You mentioned how your best friend encouraged you to join Instagram and how encouraging comments played a role in inspiring you. How important would say community is and what are your thoughts on the Instagram Writing Community as a whole?

Sana speaks…

Encouragement is so crucial. If a person is reminded everyday of how they can succeed then this fills them with determination to achieve. The Instagram writing community has been very supportive for me, and I can’t stress how much I appreciate published writers, and poets who read my work regularly. Seeing their love, and their understanding of my content, as well as the message that underlies it, makes me smile.

e speaks…

When I learned you were writing a book I couldn’t stop smiling I was so happy! As writers, our words are our legacy. Sana, what do you want your legacy to be?

Sana speaks…

I want Pakistani women to feel that they can do whatever they want to. Cultural expectations sometimes limit women, and therefore careers can’t always be perused, which is a huge shame.

I would like my work to add to the rising growth of female BAME writers. There is an under representation of female writers from this community, and as a British Pakistani, I think it is because there haven’t been enough opportunities presented to these women. It is important that books are written from a range of perspectives, from a range of cultures and backgrounds – otherwise books become limited and restricted in a sense, and don’t offer a portal to so many other worlds, which are still going unheard today. These voices, these words, these stories are so important to be heard.

e speaks…

My heart is so full. It is brimming with joy and a deep well of gratitude to Sana and every single writer that has blessed this series. To every person who has read, shared and taken the time to support myself and those featured in this space, THANK YOU FOREVER.

Remember to visit Sana A. Rashid on Instagram by clicking here and thank me later!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Sana A. Rashid and the photographers who took the photos. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Couldn’t wait to partake in what she was serving. Extraordinary poetry. An air of mystery. Passion. Fortitude. Fire. Creativity. Transparency. Love. Lots of love. Love for life. Love for humanity. And more than anything a deep love for words.

Christina Strigas has blessed more than my social media timelines. She has breathed life into them. Reminding me it’s ok to hurt. Inspiring me to remember I deserve to heal.

Inviting me to freedom and my words to dance…sometimes on the most difficult days….

And she’s incredibly kind….

In her own words…

Christina Strigas, a trilingual, raised by Greek-Canadian immigrants, has been featured by CBC Books in “Your ultimate Canadian poetry list: 68 poetry collections recommended by you.”

Christina Strigas is an author of five novels, three poetry books, and one self-help/poetry book based off of her popular quotes that went viral on Twitter. She writes romantic love poetry in a stream of consciousness narrative prose. Her influences are Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Mary Oliver, the Romantics, and Pablo Neruda. Christina Strigas holds a BA in English Literature from Concordia University and a Teaching Certificate from Universite de Montreal. She teaches English and French in an elementary school, and at McGill University. She created the popular @ArielPoets along with Alexandra Meehan, where they inspire writers and poets to believe in the power of poetry.

When I held Love & Vodka in my hands, I loved the feel of the book and it’s design. The font was warm and the spaces felt like safe places to rest. I could feel her heart and greatly appreciate her mind throughout each piece. I was almost brought to tears because with the turning of each page, I began to hear her voice strumming within each verse.

She spoke to me as she poured

There’s an inner strength that sustains writers that have embraced the fullness of life.

Moments lived that releases wisdom and depth…

The invitation remains and is extended to you as well. From the library of her life, Love & Vodka is just one of several offerings for the mature palate. Christina recently introduced her latest book Chrissyisms which also available on Amazon!

Be sure to show her some love by visiting her Instagram page here as well as her other sites!

You can find her on Twitter: @christinastriga

Facebook: Christina Strigas Author

Tumblr: Christina Strigas Poetry

Website: http://www.christinastrigas.com

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Christina Strigas and the photographers who took the photos. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

In a time where positivity is almost trendy and catchy hashtags prevail, it’s a blessing to come across genuinely inspiring souls. Determined to streamline the at times habitual “scroll, scroll, like” syndrome of social media in my own life, I periodically reassess the accounts I follow to see what really speaks to me. Without fail, Dyon Davidson is one of the few that continue to stand out.

Some time ago I launched a mini series featuring volunteers from all over the country and I was thrilled when Dyon answered the clarion call!

Dyon Davidson is one of those gifts to humanity that God has chosen to reveal His love, strength and creativity through…and I can’t wait for you to meet her!

e speaks…

Tell me the name of the organization you volunteer for and how often do you volunteer?

Dyon speaks…

The organization that I’ve volunteered with over the past few years is Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes.  I volunteer with them once a month because they’re filling such an important need in that community.

e speaks…

What led you there?

Dyon speaks…

I was introduced to the organization’s President while I was putting together a breast cancer fundraiser. I had signed on to donate part of the proceeds to another well-known breast cancer organization. A high school classmate was very adamant about me meeting Shay Sharpe. She said Shay and I had a lot in common and would do great things together.

It was 2011 and I wasn’t diagnosed with any health issues yet. As a matter of fact, I seemed pretty healthy. I was carrying out a vision God gave me in a dream to give Breast Cancer Survivors a platform to share their stories. Shay came to the event and we clicked instantly. She invited me to her event the following week and I got to witness her and her team grant a wish for a young lady with terminal breast cancer. My heart changed forever. That young lady passed a few months later.

Each event gave Breast Cancer Survivors a platform to share their stories. I also made jewelry and auctioned it off along with other items donated by local businesses.

The events were a great combination of Beadly Speaking Jewelry and Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes doing community service together. My high school classmate was right. The crazy thing is that it took a few months for me to realize that we’d met briefly as teenagers at a football game when our high schools played each other. Life brought us back together for a reason.

e speaks…

What are some of the ways you serve?

Dyon speaks…

I organized fundraisers and raised money for the organization to help carry out their vision for 2012, 2013, and 2014. I’ve even helped pack items for the homeless over the years for annual campaigns.

e speaks…

How has dealing with your own health issues impacted your ability to serve, if at all?

Dyon speaks…

When I was diagnosed with Lupus in 2013, Shay didn’t nag me with a bunch of questions.  She understood that I was scared and trying to figure it out. She held my hand and sent me information about it. She still texts me Lupus and Sjogren’s related article from time to time. There are symptoms that gross other people out but I can talk to Shay about them. Most of the times she can relate being a young two time Breast Cancer Survivor at age 26 and 36. She has been my doctor on call, prayer partner, my chef, workout partner, and accountability partner.

It was devastating to tell the organization in 2014 that I was no longer going to do an annual breast cancer fundraiser on their behalf. I needed to focus on healing. To honor them, I donate 10% of the proceeds from my pink handmade jewelry back to them. So when customers buy any pink Beadly Speaking Jewelry, Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes receives a portion of it.

Breast Cancer and Lupus are very different but the fighting spirit in the two women, (Shay and I), they chose is the same. We are Warriors!

e speaks…

What’s been the most challenging moment?

Dyon speaks…

The most challenging moment was when Shay Sharpe was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time. She was 36 years old. She’d been through it before at 26 years old. I was scared. She fought hard. Seeing her make the decision to remove her breasts was the probably the most challenging.

e speaks…

How did you overcome it?

Dyon speaks…

At the time I was newly diagnosed with Lupus and was depressed. Watching her recover and seeing her fight made me fight harder to get better. It was life changing. When she got better we challenged each other with workouts and monthly weigh-ins. We healed together. We lost the weight we gain from medication together. We extended the challenges to other Cancer and Lupus Warriors. We are still changing lives this way years later.

e speaks…

What’s been the most rewarding moment?

Dyon speaks…

The most rewarding moment happens every year at The Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes Black Tie Fundraiser. Each year the organization grants a wish of a terminally ill Breast Cancer Survivor. It usually is a surprise to that person. The organization receives hundreds of wishes each year and it warms my heart to see a wish being granted.

This year’s fundraiser is Sunday October 28, 2018. Visit www.shaysharpespinkwishes.org for further details so you too can witness this!

e speaks…

That is fantastic! Dyon what would you advise new volunteers?

Dyon speaks…

I would advise new volunteers to get involved. Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes is filling a major need for young women diagnosed with stage four breast cancer as well as helping their children when these women die. It’s fulfilling work to serve in any capacity with the organization.

e speaks…

Thank you so much for stopping by Dyon!

You can support Dyon’s movement the following sites:

@BeadlySpeaking on Twitter & Instagram

Beadly Speaking Jewelry on Facebook

http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadlyspeakingjewels

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Dyon Davidson and the photographers who took the photos. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Thorn in the Flesh

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to [a]buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I have often spoke of the beautiful connections I’ve fostered through the Instagram #WritingCommunity since joining in October 2015; but there are a few who started with me 10 months prior right here on WordPress. Min. Sean Mungin is one of them!

While appreciating each other’s similarities and respecting our differences, Sean and I have consistently supported one another’s work from the onset. I even had the honor of being featured as a guest blogger on his website in August 2015 during his consecration series. My raw & very transparent piece Holiness? Have It Your Way did not in any way conform to the traditional devotional format; but Sean was gracious enough to make room for the transparency of my authenticity. His doing so within the Body of Christ, ought not be, but at times is, a rare trait.

Having had the pleasure of introducing him to my Inspiration With E radio show audience as a guest cohost last year; featuring Sean during my Faith Edition episode was most fitting. It was at that time I shared his official bio:

Sean Mungin is a public figure who has embodied the spirit of individual and corporate success. Sean graduated from Lee University in 2005 with a Bachelors in Theology. He also earned a Masters in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2010. He also completed the Masters in Religious Education program from the Mason Kelly Washington Religious Training in Long Island, NY. Sean was ordained as a minister in 2009 under Integrity Fellowship, Inc. (Toledo, Ohio), Bishop Daniel Johnson. He has since served in the roles of Associate Pastor (2000-2002), Youth and Christian Education Director/Youth Pastor (2006-2007) in the Palm Beach area in South Florida.

Sean began his most recent journey by relocating to the Greater New York Area in July 2010. Since relocating to New York, Sean founded The Joshua Generation Ministries on June 19, 2014 to reach the unchurched via virtual media ministry. On February 24, 2016, The Joshua Generation Ministries was officially rebranded as Sean Mungin Ministries. This move was an effort to begin to move in the new direction for 2016 and beyond. It also allowed additional room for expansion into what is now known as, Kingdom Living, SMM’s daily devotional website.

In December 2016, Sean relocated to the Greater Los Angeles area with his current employer, Carlos Lopez & Associates LLC as the Associate Director of Operations for the Greater Los Angeles area. His current positions as an administrator and minister align him with his previous positions as an individual genuinely concerned about the holistic well-being (spiritual, mental, physical, and socio-economical) of all people.

Sean is currently working on focusing on developing and implementing several entrepreneurial projects. His goal is to create multiple opportunities for a higher quality of living for all within his area of influence.

e speaks

I was thrilled to learn that Sean had released a new book entitled The Thorn In The Flesh! I was most impressed by his immediate follow through when he was thinking about self publishing. I found his tenacity, courage, preparedness and commitment to self publish very inspiring!

When I finished reading the book I turned to my husband and said, “Well done Sean, that was dope! Yo my friend’s book was goooood stuff!” Lol! I loved it.

First of all it’s not what you expect. A relatively short read The Thorn In The Flesh is an inspirational piece of fiction with plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention. Sean’s style of writing felt personable, believable and engaging. It’s a highly recommended read that I envision evolving into a series or even a screenplay!

If you’re not already familiar with Sean’s work in any capacity, I encourage you to get to know him. Currently featuring Daily Affirmations that encourages himself and gives inspiration to others; Sean speaks life into the mundane by FAITH. In a world of many an impostor, he is without a doubt the real deal. Imperfect and perfected enough in Christ to humbly recognize the fabric of his human frailty, Sean is intentional about standing in the gap for others, just as much as he strives to stand on the promises of God as his anchor.

Thanks for being here Sean! You can find Sean’s works and social media links by visiting the following:

https://kingdomlivingmagazine.org/

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

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Remember YOU MATTER!

All excerpts and photos used in this piece are the sole property of Sean Mungin. No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I think the most difficult conversation to start is one where we don’t know what to say. It weighs heavily on you and you know something is off but you can’t quite put your finger on it. A loved one, friend or acquaintance is struggling to cope. You notice they’re down, withdrawn, depressed or even angry all the time. You want to approach them but don’t know how. You fear opening a can of worms or saying the wrong thing…

There are times when we may notice but are too overwhelmed by our own problems to extend a helping hand.

Nothing is worse than addressing the issues after tragedy has occurred. It often causes even more distance between though who need help and those who can help.

Taking a moment to ask someone if everything is alright takes courage and there is nothing wrong with offering resources. I encourage you to keep the phone number of the National Suicide Hotline and Crisis Text Line in the note section of your phone so you can pass it along.

If loved ones or social media friends live outside the states; having the following info saved can be helpful:

The International Association for Suicide Prevention is also a great place to start.

You may know someone battling depression, self harming or engaging in maladaptive coping mechanisms. It’s important to not ignore them. When I served as a volunteer suicide crisis counselor, there were times I would get calls from people who weren’t suicidal but lonely. I can remember an influx of calls on Sunday afternoons from people who had been in church earlier that day but still felt alone. Some felt they couldn’t share with those closest to them for fear of judgment or being exposed. Isolation is crippling to someone who already feels alone. However it’s important to be lovingly honest about what you can and cannot do for them and then share resources.

Finally, guilt must be addressed.

Now perhaps you’ve already lost a loved one to suicide or know of someone who attempted. The guilt of surviving. The guilt of “was there something I could’ve said or done?”. The guilt of not keeping in touch or distancing yourself when you didn’t know how to help or when their sadness made your sadness worse. The guilt of not answering that last text or call. Not dealing with your emotions, pain, guilt or grief puts you at risk as well!

It’s ok to not be ok but don’t stay in that space. Reach out. Get help. Look for grief support groups in your area. Whatever we internalize will eventually materialize if it’s not dealt with.

You deserve healing and support too.

And also…

if someone threatens to kill or hurt themselves if you don’t stay in a relationship with them, please know that is a weight no one deserves to bear. There are genuine cries for help and then there are sordid tactics of manipulation. However to avoid misdiagnosing someone’s emotional and mental state or if you lack the ability to truly discern if someone’s in crisis: LOVINGLY OFFER RESOURCES. Direct their attention to trained volunteers and professionals who are willing to help.

I pray this piece is helpful. Won’t you share? You never know who’s going through or someone who has already gone through. Live Through This is a fascinating movement chronicling the lives of real suicide attempt survivors.

Be encouraged and remember:

As you Hold On To Life!

Blessings!

e of @authenticiteespeaks

IG | FB @AuthenticiteeSpeaks

Twitter | @Authenticitee

Blog | http://www.authenticiteespeaks.com

Remember YOU MATTER!

All photos used in this piece are the sole property of the original sources . No copyright infringement intended.

© Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ericka Arthur and authenticitee speaks with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.