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Updated: Jan 2

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I didn’t want the month of May to come and go without acknowledging it as Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s an important observance because while we are likely to pay attention to our physical health, we often neglect the simplest things that we can do to improve and/or protect our mental well-being. Even more than that, we often ignore the onset of symptoms that tell us that we are struggling and that we need to seek help because it’s taboo and we don’t want to feel stigmatized and type labeled with the ugly names our society cast on those suffering with mental health conditions – psycho, nutcase, schizo, etc. So we suffer in silence.


We’ve all been there before. But please, let’s not do that anymore. When you feel run down, depressed, anxious, or all of the above, take some time for you. Stop the madness, rest, lie in the sun, walk on the beach, listen to jazz, neo soul or whatever type of music you enjoy. And if you experience these symptoms for more than a week or two, please make arrangements to consult your doctor. If you don’t have a doctor, take the time to find one. And remember, the results for mental health are the same as with physical health…early diagnosis and treatment yields better outcomes.


Now let me ask you, are you doing the work? Are you broadening your perspective about yourself and getting out of the box of insecurity and self-doubt? Do you recognize that you are deserving and that your presence on the planet is indeed welcomed? Are you creating a village of supporters who will keep you on track on days when you’re just not feelin’ it?


It’s not money, education or position that provides us with confidence, but rather, self-perception and belief in oneself to live in purpose on purpose. That means that you are loving and respecting yourself with humility as your backdrop. Please don’t be tied to a job. If you love your work, continue with your career. If you’re an entrepreneur, don’t get trapped in unproductive stagnation. Keep moving forward by continuing to learn each day. Recognize the pit of time spent unwisely which makes us robotic, habitual and mundane. The formula for success for business women and women entrepreneurs is the same…Time is creativity is purpose is money.


Ladies and leaders, please don’t allow age to be a factor in living your story and telling it. At any time, you can speak or write your truth as lived, or create a new chapter on your journey. Google women who have started businesses over 50. They are out there doing their thing! This Friday, some of you will receive an invitation to join me on my Patio In The Trees for a brunch and taping as our special guest of honor, photo griot Sue Ross, shares her story as an artist and photographer documenting the stories of our community through the lens of her camera. This event is part of an overall documentary/collective entitled, Storytelling: A Mix Of Genres. Please be on the look out!


Below are 5 helpful tips necessary to tell your story, and they are significant in launching your new brand called-YOU!

  1. Treat all people with respect and as your equal. Allay the ignorance of thinking that position, status, education or money deems you better than another. More often than not, the person who is determined and forms appropriate relationships succeeds in life more quickly. He/She is definitely happier and surrounded by a village of genuine supporters.

  2. Push yourself to think about what you really want. Take the time and/or make the time to face your truth head on. You will feel incredibly fulfilled if your purpose includes something that you will give back to others.

  3. Do not sacrifice your peace for time spent working with difficult people or people who simply can’t understand and appreciate your value and style.

  4. Be a peace maker not a peace-taker. See yourself in your own equation. Do you make others feel at peace and heard, or do you cause chaos and irritate? Consider carefully how people who really know you respond to you and use that knowledge to change or grow where necessary. If we are not growing in positivity, we are dying. Our own toxicity will kill us.

  5. Love yourself, but don’t be selfish. Trust the process, but above all…trust yourself to live in the light of fairness, understanding and peace.

On your journey of self-branding for the better, make sure you create some time for yourself to spend with friends as you reciprocally uplift, encourage and empower. Yesterday I had the pleasure of having former work associate and friend, Rhonda Honegan, and her BFF Robin Rice, join me for lunch at my home. It was absolutely wonderful. We talked and bonded over Jamaican food as we reminisced on the past and created possibilities for the future. Before they left, Robin shared this powerful message that she had pulled from an Instagram account - @artofpoet. I thought it was most appropriate for business. It read:


What is Boundary?

Be aware

Of what is

Unacceptable and

Normalize saying no.

Do what is best for you

And know that it’s not your

Responsibility to sacrifice

Yourself for others.


The next day Rhonda called to thank me for lunch and time spent in my home. In that moment, I realized this truth, no matter how good or excellent we may think we are at our craft, we need our village of supporters to energize and rejuvenate us along the way and to remind us that what matters most is love on every level and friendship…and chocolate. Shout out to Rhonda and Robin!

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