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My Scars Chat Tour

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Throughout the year, I make an attempt to bring awareness to domestic violence, whether it is through blogging, sharing articles that I have read or showing my scars. But the time of year has come that I get involved in communities, partner with organizations and discuss this problem face to face with those that have been affected by it.

I’m so excited about the upcoming My Scars Chat Tour. We will kick off our panel discussion in Sacramento, Ca at Underground Books, then we will move on to Oakland, Ca and more Cities and States are still being added to the tour weekly.

My Scars Chat is a live panel discussion on the impact of domestic violence on families, children and the community; a conversation between men and women about verbal, financial, sexual and physical abuse. We explore effective prevention methods, the road to healing and using one’s scars to bring awareness.

SCARS are those lessons that we learn in life that seem unbearable and come at a greater cost. But the scars let us know that we survived it and healing is possible.

How you can get involved:
If you are located in these Cities, please join us, bring a friend and help us get the word out.

If you are not in these cities and would like a My Scars Chat in your city email rn at rhachellenicol (dot) com and let us know.

If you haven’t already, purchase a “My Scars” Tee the proceeds allow us to bring these panel discussions to Cities like yours for FREE. That’s right, these panel discussions are FREE.

You can also help, by donating at least $2 to our Tilt campaign your donation will help us secure out next venue for the upcoming Oakland, CA My Scars Chat.

UPDATE: We have reached 65% towards our goal and we still have four more days to go!!!! Once we hit our goal we will be working towards securing a location in San Diego, CA to bring awareness. Thank you all for the support it truly means a lot.

UPDATE:We have 87% towards our goal and with only 2 days remaining we are confident that we will not only meet it but exceed it. Thank you all!! Oakland, CA here we come and San Diego you’re next.

And as always…Keep showing your scars!!! Someone needs to see your scars.

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.christiantees.storenvy.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

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2015 Stellar Awards Go West To Las Vegas, NV

After living in Las Vegas, NV for 7 years and attempting to attend the Stellar Awards for the past 2 years, I am a little excited that Las Vegas will be hosting the 2015 Stellar Awards.  Earlier in the year, Stellar Awards founder and executive producer, Don Jackson announced the date change and has now released location and ticket details.  If you are planning to attend like I am, keep reading for more details.

“I am excited about moving the Stellar Awards to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in a bigger, more elegant venue,” said Don Jackson, founder & executive producer of the Stellar Awards. “The 30th Anniversary of the Stellar Awards will mark the longest running Black awards show in television and we wanted to commemorate this historic occasion in a first class venue that we know our Gospel music stars and guests will enjoy.”

Annually the Stellar Awards recognizes the accomplishments of Gospel music icons and individuals instrumental in advocating for Gospel music.  The show will air in broadcast syndication on 150 stations in over 125 markets around the country during the Easter holiday season from April 5 – May 3, 2015.  The telecast will be taped in front of a live audience at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with a new Spring production date, shifting from January to March 28, 2015.

The show is open to the public, with hotel and ticket packages on sale beginning August 4, 2014.  For more information, visit www.thestellarawards.com.  To join the conversation on social media and receive up-to-the minute updates on this year’s show, “Like” the Stellar Awards on Facebook and follow the Stellars on Twitter.

Will I see you in Las Vegas for the 2015 Stellar Awards?

 

What Happens In Vegas Shouldn’t Stay In Vegas

7 years ago, I arrived in Las Vegas, NV with a suitcase, my 3 oldest children and one on the way. I was broken, feeling hopeless and at the point of giving up. I was trying to move away from all of my emotional baggage but I soon discovered it had joined me on my journey. In those 7 years, I dealt with homelessness, being terminated from not one job but two, lights being turned off, losing my car and the list goes on. However, in the midst of all the pain, heartache, shame and loss, I found and established a relationship with God.

I didn’t realize when I boarded on that bus that I was embarking on not just a physical journey but a spiritual journey. I was away from everything and everyone that was familiar; it was just my children and I. I could no longer point the finger and make someone else responsible for the pain that I was experiencing. I can remember one day just crying out to God. I said “Lord show me my heart, show me those things that are causing me to continue to self-inflict pain”. Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. God began to show me the condition of my heart. Not only did He show me the condition of my heart but He began to teach and show me His truths and through the teaching my heart began to heal.

I felt like a new creature. The weights were being lifted, my peace was being restored and I finally had joy within my heart. But I had no idea that God was preparing me for something greater than me. My story of transformation became Sunday Mourning which some of you may be familiar with but it didn’t stop there. I began signing each copy of Sunday Mourning with “I show my scars so that others know they can heal”. Each time I signed those words it was like an affirmation that God was going to do more with my pain than I ever could by holding on to it. Those words soon became a shirt and have connected me with so many men and women across the Country that are willing to allow God to use their scars to encourage and minister to someone else.

Today I can say, I’m leaving Las Vegas lighter than ever and no emotional baggage will be following me on this next leg. I’ve learned so much about myself, allowed God to heal the wounds that were threatening my life and purpose and now I’m freer than ever to “Show My Scars”. I am excited about what God has in store for me. You never know where God is going to have me “Showing My Scars”.

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.christiantees.storenvy.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

Big Hats High Tea

Hats

hat is a head covering. It can be worn for protection against the elements, for ceremonial reason, religious reasons, for safety, or as a fashion accessory.  In the past, hats were an indicator of social status.  In the military, they may denote nationality, branch of service, rank and/or regiment.

I remember growing up and my mother wearing hats to church.  I always told myself “I will never wear hats like my mother.”   My mother was serious about her hats.  Each hat had its own hat box, suit that it was designated to be worn with and she knew if one of her hats were missing or had been moved.  Her love for hats even led to her opening and operating her own hat store.  She was known for hats and those that wanted a hat knew she would have what they desired.

I also paid close attention to how she took care of her hats.  Inside each hats’ box there was paper that could be used to stuff in to the hat so that it wouldn’t lose its shape until the next time it was worn.  In the hat store, there were hat stands and mannequin heads used for this same purpose.  But extra care had to be given to those hats in order to prevent dust from accumulating and the color fading.  They were frequently rotated in and out of the front window and on and off the floor.

From watching my mother in business, I learned a lot about hats.  I learned that hats are seasonal, you can’t wear every hat during every season.  There are summer hats, winter hats, fall and spring hats.  The materials change and even colors but the intent or purpose is typically the same.  And the condition of a hat is determined by how it is cared for.

Often times, in our lives we wear hats, some by choice and others out of necessity in order to ensure that things are covered.  I myself wear quite a few hats, mother, provider, teacher, nurse, cook, employee, business owner, housekeeper and more.  Most of the hats that I/we wear are not seasonal but at times we have to find a way to take them off, allowing time for reshaping and regrouping.

There are some hats that I would have never stopped wearing if the wind hadn’t gotten up under them and blew them off.  But it was necessary so that I could maintain the condition of the other hats.  It was also necessary because I had held on to them and continued to wear them beyond their season.

If you are in the Las Vegas, NV area join us tomorrow as I share more about Hats.

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.christiantees.storenvy.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

Alissa Jones: The Stones That Built Me Strong

Built Strong Virtual Book Tour

 

We have all experienced something in life that may have caused us to ask “Lord why me?”  Alissa R. Jones releases her memoir today titled, The Stones That Built Me Strong.  At the age of 11, Alissa was raped.  Read how she was able to overturn the stones of her past, rape, unforgiveness and abuse into stepping stones towards healing, forgiveness and being whole.

Are you holding on to something you need to let go of?  Have you ever felt like all the odds are against you to succeed?  Have you ever felt like you fell in love with the wrong person?  If you have ever asked yourself these questions The Stones That Built Me Strong is for you.  Alissa learned that was once a negative and hurtful stone, could turn into a positive one.  With each stone thrown at her, Alissa has come to know peace, understanding and forgiveness.

Built Strong TeeRN Brand will be a hosting a virtual blog tour beginning May 26th – June 24th.  If you would like to participate, blog host are needed for guest post features (You choose a topic and Author Alissa will write a post for your audience), giveaways (T-shirts), reviews and informationals or if you are a host of a blog talk radio show feel free to email rn@rhachellenicol.com.  Dates are filling up fast.  If you are interested in being a host during the #builtstrong tour please provide the date that you would be available to host.  Interview questions must be submitted at least 3 days prior to the date you would like to host.

Alissa R. Jones is the Founder and Director of S.W.V and S.W.V. Publishing, Author, Motivational Speaker, and Woman of God; but most of all she is a survivor. When asked about the mission and purpose of Survivors With Voices, Alissa says ” It is our mission to help women embrace these seen and unseen scars, find a voice, and heal. With hopes of inspiring and motivating one another. We not only provide a platform for those abused to commune, we provide an outlet in which their voices may be heard; through written and spoken communication. There is a life after abuse. We may be used and abused, but never used up.”

Order your copy of The Stones The Built Me Strong today visit Survivors With Voices.

May 20th – I Forgave, I Healed and I’m Good (I’m Good Campaign im-good.com)

May 23rd – #BuiltStrong Tee Giveaway (BOLD Life Journal)

June 12th – #BuiltStrong Interview (Breath Of Life Daily)

June 17th – After The Altar Call

Road To Essence: I’m A Colgate Brand Ambassador (Sponsored)

Note: This post is sponsored by MMG for the Colgate Total Campaign. All opinions are my own.

So I’ve been sharing health and wellness tips for the past few weeks.  I kind of mentioned that I was a Colgate Brand Ambassador as well.  But I left out the good parts.  Well for the past few years, I have wanted to attend the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana but to no avail.  I fell in love with New Orleans during my college years, attending the Bayou Classic every year with my best friend.  This year will not only be my first year attending the festival, but I will be attending as a Colgate Brand Ambassador (there are definitely perks to being a blogger).

Colgate Total is an official Essence Festival sponsor and will be facilitating health and wellness discussions daily throughout the festival 4th of July weekend.  As a health and wellness advocate, I am excited to be a part of such an amazing opportunity.

Essence has also been hosting events from City to City as they make their way to New Orleans.  If you are not attending the festival in New Orleans, here are some ways you can get involved:

  • Follow the hashtag #ColgateTotal for health and wellness tips and share some of yours
  • If you are in the Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia areas make plans to attend one of the last stops on the Road to Essence Festival  tour this Saturday, May 17th.  Some of the performances that you can enjoy include: Marsha Ambrosius, Avery *Sunshine, Kimberly Melton and more

My official duties as a Colgate Brand Ambassador will end in November at the 2014 Blogalicious Conference in Austin, TX.  Yes, not only have I been sponsored to attend the Essence Festival but also one of my favorite conferences for bloggers.

ImGoingBADGE1

 

Madelyn Bass: Tarnished Dreams

BookI am so happy to have had the opportunity to interview Madelyn Bass, author of Tarnished Dreams.  When I first came across the title, it made me think of some of my dreams and goals and how life has a way of bringing you full circle.  Take a minute to read what inspired her writing and the importance of having and pursuing your dreams.

RN: What inspired you to write Tarnished Dreams?

What inspired me to write Tarnished Dreams…I had Lost custody of my son Quincy on the same date as my 1st born son Casey died 4years prior. The judge separated my Son Quincy and daughter Gabrielle in a 2yr custody battle. We prayed about it (my church family and family/friends) That God would Keep them together even if it meant losing the both of them. I just want to keep them together.  Well… God said NO! I didn’t know what to do.. So I did what I had always done when I didnt want to Question GOD! I wrote in my journal. I wanted to Encourage Women/Men who were in my situation to Know GOD does know what HE is Doing we just have to TRUST HIM! In all thy ways Acknowledge HIM and HE WILL direct your Path!

RN: Have you had any dreams that you feel like you let get away?   

Not one Dream has been gone unsought after!! Lol! I’m Still pushing Forward in Pursuing them ALL! Although my parents did stop me from trying out for the Michael Jackson Dance CREW in 80! (SMH)

RN: What would say to someone who may feel as though they are losing sight of their dreams? 

Take a deep breathe and allow your mind to catch up with what Vision GOD has given them.  Write, Write, Write ~ Put your Ideas on Paper so that your can see the BIGGER Picture of what you are trying to achieve.

RN: How did you get started with your radio show?

I got started with “So Real with Madelyn” in 2012 I was finally home from Hospital I have an Unidentified Nerve Disorder that causes Seizures leaving me Paralyzed or unable to walk alone. I am unable to speak or see at times during and breathing is a challenge. This has cost me much loss (job, friends…etc) So I needed an outlet ~ as a writer of my feelings and not able to hold a pen or type without it taking me an eternity because of the palsy state at times. I used my VOICE! I wanted to help whoever was going through the same thing I was to be encouraged.

RN: Do you think it is important to have a dream? Why?

I Believe it is very IMPORTANT to See beyond ourselves to DREAM/VISION! Dreams give us Drive, Energy and Hope of a Greater. It gives you a Reason to Press forward in your Life!

RN: How do you recapture a dream that has yet to be realized and stay focused?

You Recapture a Dream by Keeping WHY it is Important to you in the front of your mind ALWAYS! (Picture, Post-its, children, Family, etc) STAY Determined and you WILL stay Focused! Always PRAY and Ask GOD TO Direct you, Keep your ears open for HIS VOICE and keep your heart OPEN for HIS WILL!

About the Author: Madelyn Bass is a single mother of 3 children, 2 adults and 1 deceased.  She is the daughter of a Pastor and grew up in church.  Neighborhood life was average and married young to get out of the 197601_186650758038893_7825922_n-1house.  Her story is a masterpiece God planned for her and only her.  She has experienced love, divorce, pain, disappointments, betrayal, sickness, heartaches, abuse and prejudice.  All of that was a challenge, but preparation for where she is now.  In 2011, her faith was tested when she was struck with an unknown illness.  She is thankful that she is able to walk again, dress, feed and simply take care of herself.  She encourages others to grow closer and not away from the Lord when storms take place and even closer to Him when things are well.

Connect with Madelyn Bass and purchase your copy of Tarnished Dreams:

Twitter

Amazon

So Real With Madelyn (Blog Talk Radio)

 

Balance: Disconnecting To Reconnect

phone_off_hook_arsNote: This post is sponsored by MMG for the Colgate Total Campaign. All opinions are my own.

This past weekend I made an executive decision to disconnect.  I didn’t answer my phone all weekend and it felt so good.  I realized that after working a full time job Monday – Friday, I need time to unwind, reflect, replenish and just relax.  I had gotten so accustomed to just being available that I was not available to myself, my children or projects.  It definitely had an impact on my focus.  Well disconnecting definitely won’t be a one time thing, I am taking back the reigns over my weekends. I am going to make it a point to set out some time to just be.

Allowing myself to disconnect, I was able to reconnect with those that matter most, my children and I found myself having more energy when Monday came around.  How do you disconnect to reconnect?  Do you disconnect from social media?  Do you go on an outdoor adventure?

Here are 3 ways that you can disconnect:

-Plan a road trip: Easter weekend, my children and I hit the road and drove from NV to CA to spend time with family.  Not only did we have some quality family time but I was able to relax.  My sister was on kitchen duty the entire weekend.

-Sign out of social media: Social media has a way of pulling you in and never letting you go.  You end up vicariously living through the lives of those you are connected to and forget that you can too can make those same memories in your own special way.  If signing out is not enough, delete the apps from your phone or tablets.  You can also schedule post if you must.  I like using Hootsuite and now Facebook pages also allow for scheduling.

-Leave a message at the tone:  I chose not to answer the phone.  I didn’t record a special message or anything but I made myself unavailable.  I also noticed that since I intentionally was not answering my phone, I didn’t feel the need to have it within arm’s distance.

With Mother’s Day approaching, it would be great to take some time out and disconnect.  Enjoy your children and families there will be plenty of time to turn the noise up that surrounds us daily.   Health and wellness is a lifestyle.  What are you going to do differently?

Colgate Total Kickoff

Note: This post is sponsored by MMG for the Colgate Total Campaign. All opinions are my own.

May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month.  I always try to do my part to increase awareness, provide resources and tips to living a healthy life both mentally and physically.  I also do not limit myself to one month out of the year to share about health and wellness.  So when I was presented with an opportunity to be a Brand Ambassador for the Colgate Total Campaign, I didn’t have to think twice about it.  Today is the kick-off for the Colgate Total Campaign and the start of 6 months of writing on the topic of personal health and wellness.

Over the next 6 months, I will be sharing with you not only tips that I think you should incorporate into your journey to health and wellness but tips that I am also making an effort to make a habit in my day to day life.

Creating Balance:

I sometimes struggle with consistency in this area.  However, I am realizing that I get more done, experience less anxiety and have more energy when I have balance.  So I will be sharing some activities that I will be engaging in to create balance.

Getting Active:

So I have not technically worked out since I was in college.  I don’t have a gym membership.  I don’t take morning or evening walks.  My extent of being active is walking from my car to the front door.  In my defense, I do chase my 5 and 6 year old around quite a bit.  But I am going to consciously make an effort to get active.  I may not rush to get a gym membership but I am definitely going to start taking some evening walks.  I actually signed up for a 1k walk on May 17th.  I will let you know how that goes.

Silencing The Negative Talk:

I am typically a positive person but I am also very aware of the obstacles that I face.  I have learned to work through them and not allow anything to stop me.  But every once in a while I allow the volume of the negative talk to get turned up louder than I would like.  Over the past two days, I have been listening to some motivational podcast.  Les Brown has been my motivational speaker of choice and I plan to continue to listen to his messages.

Do we have any areas in common that need some working on? What is an area that you need to work on?  Although, May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness month, living a healthy life takes a 365 day a year commitment.  Join me on my journey.