Fashion

Fashion design Life Ep 4: First Year of Fashion School

Today’s post I wanted to share what my first year of college was like. I created a video filled with different clips from vlogs I created documenting my freshmen year. I hope you enjoy!

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

Why I Chose Kent State’s Fashion School |Fashion Design Life Ep 3

Today I wanted to share why I chose Kent State University’s Fashion School.

For those who don’t know my name is Halimah. I’m a student and designer of fashion and I want to use art to spark change- Change in myself. Change in my community. Change in the world.

Styles gives me an outlet to express myself. I love creating work that means something. I want to build a brand that speaks to the desire and hearts of young women. That produces clothing that allows them a means to dress themselves how they desire to and not how they feel they have HAVE to. I want to show the potential, beauty, impact and power of modest fashion. I want to tell stories. One day I dream of having children of my own and I like to think that I would be conscious enough to tell them things like, they’re certain decisions you will make in your life that feel as if they will change everything. The type of decisions that ignite something in you no one is capable of dimming. That propel you forward in a way that make you feel in the zone. That remind you that you have a purpose.
I told myself my junior year of high school. that I wasn’t going to go along with the plans I had to study law and go to college with my friends. No. “I’m going to go to fashion school. I don’t know where, and I may be a lone. but this feels like a calling… it feels like destiny feels like God. Feels like a call I don’t have a choice not to answer”.
So on this journey choosing Kent State was one of those life changing decisions. I wanted to go to a school that specialized in my major. Hey, college would be a sacrifice and if I was going to go for fashion. I wanted to go all out and make all the support, sacrifices and overtime hours invested worth it. I wanted it to be close to home. I’ve always dreamed of traveling but the farther away the more expensive.
and hey why give your Dad a heart attack if you don’t HAVE to. Cost was very important. Cause where I come from college is a privilege, financial aid is expected to apply for and scholarships are not a bonus but a necessity.
Once I started researching fashion schools I realized that portfolios were important things and talent and skill in drawing and construction were important. I felt very uneasy and frustrated. I asked myself, “how are you going to do this? You can’t draw or sew.” I wanted to sulk in the memory of how early I knew I was passionate about design. I wanted to sulk in all the moments I could have learned the skills necessary to be ready for these fashion school applications but, I couldn’t get sucked into all that. Regardless of the lack of experience or preparation I knew I could be a fashion designer! I knew I could do this! God told me that!
But no matter how many times I told myself that it seemed like everywhere wanted a portfolio. A portfolio I didn’t know how to make and would probably set me back at least a year to gain enough skill to figure out how to even complete.
Then I came across Kent State University it was really close to home, it was on the less expensive side, because it was a public university and it simultaneously managed being a public university with an incredible fashion design program. So it afforded this best of both worlds college experience with a “real” fashion school art experience. I loved the curriculum of the design program. I appreciated how your freshmen year you jump right into your design classes. The application process didn’t require a portfolio and I loved how that consequently afforded a girl like me with a dream but not a breathtaking portfolio the opportunity to train and study their a shot. I was in awe of the fashion library in high school. I would spent countless hours in my local library scoping and finding fashion books to read and study from so the idea that they had a library on campus solely devoted to JUST THAT gave me goose bumps I was so excited. It was a fashion museum where my love of history and fashion blended right next door. There was a fashion school store where design students got to experience producing merchandise for sale and merchandising students could experience selling merchandise. They had several study abroad programs in places like Hong Kong, Paris, Florence and New York City.
Having campuses in Italy and New York allowed an accessible international or NYC fashion school experience even while attending a school in OHIO.  I was excited about the serious nature of their required internships and how the students are supported in preparing for their professional career with great connections and a specific internship liaison. I loved the products coming from the school.
Then I finally had the opportunity to visit the school. My junior year I went for a multi-cultural visit day. I think the stars must have been aligned or something like that because of course my tour guide was a black girl like me, she was a fashion major like I wanted to be, and she was even from my home state! I learned that although I was willing to go to a completely unfamiliar new environment, no matter what challenges that would bring there was a community of people who were willing and able to support me. Once I stepped foot on campus I knew I was going there. I didn’t need to visit any other school on my list. I was in love and when I say in love I don’t mean it was perfect. I don’t mean that I didn’t think I would encounter lots of challenges. I just mean that I had a sense of confirmation that this experience was FOR me.That whatever would come as a result of this decision good or bad was FOR ME, that it was ordained, that it would grow me in all the right places I specifically needed. I took off all my other choices. and for the remainder of my junior year and all of senior year of high school. I set out to prepare myself as best as I could for my dream school. I couldn’t wait!
and 3 years later this school still never ceases to amaze me. Last year we were ranked 3rd in the country for fashion merchandising and 4th for fashion design and while I’ve learned that numbers are a limited definition. It’s a very simplistic reminder that I attend a school that is constantly innovating, growing and striving to provide not only the best opportunities in the country but the world. Kent State’s fashion school’s success and story resonates with me because it reminds me a lot of myself. The school is a reminder to me that spectacular things can definitely come from underrepresented, unexpected, slept on places. That you can make the absolute most of what you have, despite the odds and still be competitive. That you should never allow factors that you can’t control to define you. That you can shape your own narrative and accomplish whatever you will. I’ll always remember this decision. I wanted to go somewhere that had an environment where the subject of my passion was center stage, somewhere that would challenge me tremendously and bring together the type of talented students I felt were like myself. With no portfolio, no middle/high school prep, access to programming for my major, and no outlandish money to be in New York…the dream of attending a fashion school like I had in mind, began to seem far off until I met Kent State…. and the rest is history!
Thank you for tuning in and if you’re interested in watching the visuals that correlate with this piece click the link below!

Fashion Design Life Ep 2: High School Reflection

What is judgement but the manifestation of disappointment?

Projecting insecurity onto others relentlessly?

Catapulting your heroes to places they never asked to be?

Holding them on a pedestal so high you steal their humanity?

Judging their walk?

Thinking that the world is crumbling down over an image you can’t maintain?

That you thought defined you?

You think you’re “the smarter girl”

You go to one of the best schools in the city.

You think that you ARE “pretty”

Have it all together

Go about things the “right” way

Want popularity

On your way to school everyday you pass another high school.

In your mind this school reeked of rejects of your school who couldn’t keep up.

Because everyone knows that when a students gpa drops and they get get kicked out many go right down the street to this school..

It reeked of ugly uniforms and lack of opportunity to you.

Because obviously environment equals talent.

Clearly resources equal skill and people should absolutely be judged for what they  have, where the go vs who they are?

You dreamed of getting to this magical world of high school and becoming all that you thought you “should” be

Because growing up in a conscious and familial type environment can get frustrating for a wannabe.

Being surrounded by teachers who sound of mama and baba who only want you to manifest all the light that’s inside you.

The light that keeps spilling out to your demise. The light you feel keeps getting in the way of your “coolness”.

Being in an environment where your getting in trouble sounds like, Halimah you’re acting other than yourself.

“Hey well, if it takes acting other than myself to get what I want.. I’m cool with it. I’ll play my role.”

But what happens when you realize none of this actually even feels good to you?

When you think the put together happy black family image is taken away?

When 9th grade biology and the thought of being engulfed in so much science and math kill your acceptable doctor goals?

You then choose lawyer as a goal.. thinking it can equate.

You choose to transfer your 10th grade year to a different school then because of personal complications had to leave again.You wanted to return back to your original high school….but of course you  couldn’t because of full enrollment.

You’re stuck– but isn’t that how life goes?

What is a story of God shaping you without you having to go right down the street to the school you ridiculed, the school you thought was less than , the school that YOU THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVER GO TO?

What builds humility other than looking as if you flunked out and could only turn here? Putting on that uniform, enrolling in classes… “you’re graduating from here” your mother says. Tears of shame drench your face. Embarrassment. Anger.

There is nothing for your pride  to feed on here.

Look how large the expense is for seeking validation? Look, how you have to turn against yourself to even strive for it and even after paying there is no guarantee it will get to you. There is no confirmation email. There is no tracking number. This type of thing is a gamble of one the greatest kinds because even if it comes it will wobble, it’ll will be broken, it won’t be what you expected, won’t look like the picture the customer service will be absolutely terrible, there is no return policy.

All you can do is take the pieces and make them your own and make them useful.

We love the idea that there is someone or something else outside of ourselves that is the answer to our hearts longing-that will validate us in a way only our creator can. But YOU have an essence that which has been with you from the beginning and nothing is satisfying about playing your role when you were created to live your purpose.

But just as new freshmen hallways turn into senior locker clean outs healing comes and these days, I realize the only thing constant in life is change..-that “I DON’T WANT TO GO HERE’S” can turn into life changing experiences if your heart is open.

That reality has a way of being much kinder than the lies we make up about it. That when you feel like all of your false senses of validation are gone, you lean on truth in a greater way. You resolve to commit to only that which makes you happy. That you don’t have to know it all and there is much solace to be found in “I don’t know”

and that every experience you have is meant to serve your soul and help evolve you.

That you’re as beautiful as the sunrise, as powerful as the ocean tides, and as strong as the mountains. When you live in and on purpose…submitting to the truth of who you are. The essence of your being defines you. When you have this knowledge, you realize that everything you will ever need is inside you. That outward validation has nothing on inner confidence.

I remember at graduation as we took pictures my mom had this moment where she looked at my dad, them both looking at me. so proud and joyous…and she said, “we did it!”. It was at that moment, I felt like I realized my face wasn’t a graveyard, my body wasn’t the manifestation of a failure. It was a testimony. It was love in human form. I’m the essence of everything they’ve ever done right, and the manifestation of the prayers of my ancestors.

I don’t need anyone or anything outside, to be WHOLE.

Let’s Start Over|Fashion Design Life Ep 1

May this be an oasis of love in the middle of a storm. May June 2, 2017 1:42 am be the moment a symbol of revival garnered form.

Dates that possess memories holding uneasiness seem to be my greatest finds”
why did you believe in me?” it felt like I was asked to to explain how I breath?
Then I remembered how what comes natural isn’t always what’s normal. How that aspiration has us neglecting the beauty of submission, clenching this whirlwind of damage called regular guised as a warm embrace.
What is a “loss” but a symbol of an aim worth loving worth fighting for? What is “getting lost” but proof of sheer will to embark on a journey’? Heartbreak and nerves album and performance born. Rough experience, great book- comfort torn awkward moments, beautiful friendship defined. The feelings that can’t always be captured and shined.
Why isn’t process seen as aesthetically pleasing? To me those feelings light my soul like I’m the earth and the sun is rising. I love and believe in their power like the universe believes in the stars its enclosing. Like bees believe in the flowers they pollinate. Like the trees believe in us and our weight. They don’t know how to go astray.
As a girl I felt neither did my mother. My mother was my first fashion icon. Enamored by the way she walked in their womanhood. like on 10 -Head up, shoulders back, face with the light of endurance glistening. She walked with grace like she knew her body was home. Willing to define a new culture, ignoring beauty trends and submitting to the truth of who she was like it was the only thing she knew how to pray for her.
She taught me how to pray. As she finished she told me this was a time I could talk to God personally- ask or thank him for things. Honestly, I couldn’t believe this power. I would sit alone and pray for every issue or good thing I could ever imagine. “How’re people able to be answers to prayers?”I asked. I would pray until my body couldn’t hold up anymore -vast amount of passion, my father always said we could be by focus and purpose? He made a calling or mission sound like a super power.
Who are you? What makes you who you are? Is it snatching scarves for fabric out of closets you couldn’t reach to drape together as clothing? Lisa Landry and Raven Baxter allowing you to think girls like you you could be whatever you chose? hallways turning into runways? Diary journals turned into doodle pads for days? Body becoming canvas to express a style? Learning your mother isn’t the only one who can teach because you you get older and the world fights to teach girls like you different lessons.
Lessons like how to make fear the filter under which you believe whats possible, like how to be so knee deep in the fear- not being conscious that you’re even scared. Like- how to give up artistic dreams for sensibility and practicality. Like- how to get to events and change to fit in places that don’t feel like home. Like- how to wear skinny jeans so tight they actually hurt just because “they’re in”. Like- how to desire attention you don’t actually want just because it’s “in”. Like- lying to yourself about how you much you wished who you really were was were was just “in”. Everyone has their own yellow brick road finding it and staying on the right path is the hardest part generally.
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeen what is a journey I mean-Is it being teased for dressing differently? Is it that same difference being your attracting power–consequently? Is it starting with what you got? Is it feeling like yourself Is it feeling like yourself? Is it feeling like loving you ain’t as complicated as you felt? Is it having a belief so deep in where you’re going that it don’t even matter how embarrassing your start may be? Is it feeling like you ain’t gotta be the cool kid cause you got purpose.free Is it only applying to the school you want to go? Competitions that make you grow? Fashion show, internship, homesickness? Is it learning how to balance goals, starting a business? Is it travel? Is it pain? Is it stopping? Rerouting? Is it standing, bending, kneeling?
I’ve been creating stuff here for years and the work that always appears to means the most is the stuff where the creation process felt like a conversation with God. I don’t want it to simply be about me. I think to create means to be using my hands and my body, my skill and my talent as a means to embody content that the creator desired to see when he created me. My life as a fashion design student can become a manifestation of something greater. Yes it’s about me pursuing my dreams but it has other themes. College life, fashion school, building skill, learning, building courage, manifesting love inside and out. It’s about young womanhood and all those things that come with it- fashioning the life you desire.
So welcome to this series, welcome to my channel. I hope clip by clip bit by bit you can see the beauty of fashion, the opulence and elegance of style, the inside scoop on the fashion industry and honestly the story of a little girl who just wanted to dress ppl, who wanted to make people feel like they mattered. This is an introduction for some. a reintroduction for others. and for all of us a new beginning this is Fashion. Design. Life. ep 1

I’ve been on youtube for 5 years and after all this time of creating, living life, and learning about myself. I feel as if I’m finally starting to actually hit a breakthrough in terms of what my vision for my content is and my personal aesthetic is. Artistry takes time. Having a message with meaning takes time. Knowing how to create content and branding that expresses what you mean takes time. I’m not saying I’m there but this is a new beginning of something great. Thank you for following me on this journey and I’m excited to embark on this process of episode by episode telling my story. I pray that in vulnerably acknowledging my truth that it can free you of yours.

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

♡ Other Places To Find Me!
TWITTER-https://twitter.com/Halimahnia
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/HalimahNiaM
INSTAGRAM- http://instagram.com/halimahnia

Traveling the Country in 18 Days!

In 2016 I had the honor of going on an 18 day road trip across America with a powerful organization named Mishkah. Here’s my reflection after finishing the trip.

Travel is incomparable to any other experience. Travel has this unique way of changing you. It allows you to learn the otherwise unteachable. It causes you to look outside of yourself in a very real and honest way examine who you really are.

You begin to ask a course of deep questions. You start asking the real defining questions. The questions thats answers will only truly be revealed at the end of ones life.

Where, who and what did her identity lie in? Where did she come from and where did she ultimately go? When she was given to was she grateful? When things were taken away was she grateful? Were her eyes and heart most fixated on the positive or negative. Ugliness or beauty? Did she love more, than others hate? Wherever she went did the beauty of what she experienced become apart of her or a fading memory, picture or story? Did her absence of certainty look like faith or did it look like doubt? Was her heart attached to worldly things that which could never give her life? When she was given to and blessed did she transform her blessing to another for someone else?

Was she a member of her community… taking, taking, taking, or a valuable contributor striving to allow what was given to be given back ten fold? Did she hold a genuine unconditional love for her people or did it waver leaving and coming as swiftly as a quick wind. Was she striving to grow into the manifestation of the soul God created her to be or was she walking in fear to pursue her purpose? Allowing the phone of destiny to ring and not answering the call? Was she a humble person constantly learning and being open to others experiences or lifestyle? or did she think she knew everything?

Did she understand that any praise she was given for a talent or gift or skill wasn’t given as simply a symbol of her greatness alone but rather a symbol of her responsibility? Did she embrace the unexpected with open arms realizing she was walking into the beauty of God’s plan and not her own? Did she walk in confidence and certainty as God’s creation bearing witness to the beauty of the mountains, ocean, desserts, plants and animals and realizing that out of all of those beautiful beautiful magnificent creations that in a way he made the human being the greatest? That he bestowed her with the privilege of free will. Did she understand that as the mountains, ocean, plants, and animals were gorgeous and constantly in a state of submission acting in accordance with their nature that she could too? That she could be gorgeous and magnificent too?

Was she gorgeous? Was she magnificent? In a world where unhealthy living was the
norm did she personally aim for a healthy life? was she an advocate for health, wellness and holistic living? In a world where the environment is treated
with the absolute lowest of disregard, sanctity, and sacredness where environmental harm, racism and injustice running rampant was she mindful of her actions and relationship with the environment? Was she an advocate for change?

In a world where racism is a milli-second to second constant reality was she found constantly fighting for the liberation of her people? In a country where we walk on the blood of the genocide of an entire group of people and culture did she act as if she didn’t know of the Native American plight? When she witnessed oppression did she turn a blind eye?

As a fashion designer did she color inside the lines? Did she submit to the culture of the industry good and bad out of fear? Or did she embrace the good and boldly embrace a new standard?

Did she love? Was she a loving daughter? An encouraging and trustworthy friend? Did she marry? Was she good to him? Did she grow with him? Did she treat love as a noun or verb? Did she help make him a better man? Did he rise and grow into a manifestation of who God created him to be with her? Did she truly love him? Did their love change the world?

Was she a mother? Through her mental and physical womb were ideas, realities and servants of God and his people brought forward? Was she good to them? Did she nurture them? Did she reflect the beauty of her mother, and her mothers mother and mothers mother’s mother’ and her mothers mothers mothers , mother and so on…. and did she in her own way do more than they did?

Did she allow herself to become overwhelmed with the work, finding it so cumbersome that she did nothing at all or did she live and walk with an understanding that miracles can happen if you simply take it one moment at a time? did she do her best?

I encourage us all to ask ourselves our own deep questions and become intimately acquainted with the work and faith necessary to allow those answers on that final day and on to be ones of power and beauty. I encourage us all to live for causes greater than ourselves. I encourage us all to find meaning, and power in God and his word and not that which is contrary to him and leaves us chasing, chasing, chasing and broken broken, my so broken every single time. I encourage you to live like there is no tomorrow, because it isn’t promised. I encourage us to believe in the seemingly
impossible, because miracles happen every day. I encourage us to reach for that which our fear allows us to believe is far too big, far too tall, and distant to be feasible. I encourage us to not be fearful of hard work. I encourage us to love, love love with our whole heart never being fearful of what a brutal world can do to a soft and vulnerable heart because nothing is stronger and powerful than the strength God has the ability to provide. I encourage you to give and to give and to give until you think you don’t have anything left and then to grow and give more. I encourage us to live light and to be unbothered and untouched by material possessions and attachments that value is constantly fleeting and isn’t everlasting. I encourage us to be committed to what it means to be ourselves, your true self and to walk in peace. I encourage us to live like the most heroic people of our time lived…. like a traveler…..

If you would like to see many of the great things I saw click the link below!

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

♡ Other Places To Find Me!
TWITTER-https://twitter.com/Halimahnia
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/HalimahNiaM
INSTAGRAM- http://instagram.com/halimahnia
http://lookbook.nu/halimahnia

 

First Short Film: The Day My Life Changed Forever

In a matter of seconds my life was turned upside down.

Alright maybe that’s a bit dramatic but all I know is it was just like any other day. I had got home from college after ending spring semester with the intention to stay for a week and then go back to school for summer classes. A few days into being at home I wake up, cut the alarm off, something said check my email so I did and just like that I was notified that my summer class was canceled.

What? no no no no no no no no not canceled? no not the drawing class I need to stay on track for graduation. no no. not the class that was allowing me to take
draping to get a head start on sophomore year no no no not the class that caused me to get housing to stay in Kent. No I had fun exciting plans in Kent I was going to have a kitchen and my own bathroom. I had goals there, my whole summer was planned there what? wait? so what am I supposed to do now?

It made me think about change and how much control we think we have, when what we think is happening or will happen is constantly changing constantly fleeting from our grip.

Flexibility.

Why does change scare us? We run away. We get uncomfortable. We get angry….but why not just get still and adjust? Why don’t we just embrace it? How about we
breath in, breath out and set a new goal? We often forget that God know us better than we even know ourselves. We forget that there are different forms of prayer, that there are things we actively, traditionally pray and ask him for and there are things we want but never converse with him about and then, then, then, then there are those deep seated desires, those things we have prayed for so many times in our hearts so much so that the prayer kind of just becomes apart of our being we don’t even realize we want it oh but we do.

So what we do is we forget that God hears and sees all. He knows it all. So when we are faced with situations of confusion or discomfort rather than asking God why me? with an attitude why not humbly ask him “hmm why me?”

He is constantly working for the greater good. GOOD not the good we think is good not your good, not my good he’s always working for the greater good…. just THE good.

He’s always answering our prayers. If only we paid attention enough to the intricate details of our soul, life and relationship with him to see it.

Stop being scared. Don’t be scared of when and how you will make up that class. It’s in divine order so you are on track. Don’t be scared of heavy course work . God sees you and he will get you through be it his will. Don’t be scared of what the future holds when you weren’t able to properly plan and curate it.

There is a beautiful saying in the Holy Quran it says we plan and Allah plans and surely Allah is the best of planners. Indeed he is. The only question is will we have the faith to believe in the beauty of a thing before we can see it. Will we have the faith to choose love and I mean always always choose love over fear? If so there are nothing but miracles that await us.

“That you face nothing alone anxiety stems from asking the wrong question. If such and such happens can I handle it? The true question is not whether you can cope
with whatever happens but whether you and I together can handle anything that occurs. It is this ‘you and I together’ factor that gives you confidence to face the day cheerfully.”- Reading from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young

These words were used in a short film I made about the concept and beauty of change all sparked from my sudden major change in plans at the beginning of the summer of 2016. If you would like to check it out click the link below!

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

♡ Other Places To Find Me!
TWITTER-https://twitter.com/Halimahnia
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/HalimahNiaM
INSTAGRAM- http://instagram.com/halimahnia

MEETING OPRAH| The Life You Want Weekend

I had the opportunity to meet Oprah when her tour “The Life You Want Weekend” came to Michigan. This wonderful weekend was all about showing people how you can get the life that you desire and what steps you can take to change your life and move in the direction that you would like it to go. She was on tour with different life coaches like Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Ron Bell. It was an absolutely amazing opportunity to meet Oprah and I’m happy I can share the experience with you guys. Here are a few quotes from the weekend that stood out to me.

“You’re disappointed, your disheartened, but you’re here. You feel like you lost your way, you never imagined some of you that your life would turn out like this but you’re still here. You’re still here. It doesn’t matter if you thought you failed, you thought you didn’t deserve to have the life you want. You wanted so much more, you thought you weren’t smart enough, you thought you weren’t pretty enough, you thought you weren’t good enough, you thought you were unworthy. That’s the bottom line for everybody. You think you’re not worthy but I’m here to tell ya that whatever has happened to you has happened for you and God is ready, the universe is ready, the forces that created you are ready to move your life in a new direction, nothing that’s happened to you is wasted, nothings wasted, so the times you felt alone,
and the times you felt abandoned and the times you felt tested and the times you felt that you were in turmoil.I’m telling you. You were building strength and strength times
strength times strength times strength times strength times strength equals power.“-Oprah Winfrey

This weekend get ready to claim your power, consider yourself in a different direction. Stop looking back, holding up the past, look ahead in a new direction and as far as the eye can see, the author of the universe can see beyond and that is where you’re going so take your power and run.” -Oprah Winfrey

“You have to give yourself the time to be still because you can’t know what your calling is if you have let the voices of others drown out the voices of your soul.”-Oprah Winfrey

 “What you focus on expands.”-Mark Nepo

“There was no luck in that story she wrote it herself.  There was no luck in that story she wrote it herself.”-Elizabeth Gilbert

“Pause, breath and then ask yourself, ‘it’s all a miracle isn’t it?'”– Ron Bell

“I was like ‘Iyanla do what matters’ because it comes a moment when we all just want to be a better person have you got to that moment yet? See I was born in dysfunction. Every single body in my family was crazy as hell. They didn’t call it dysfunction back then they just called it purely crazy. You know crazy ole uncle Leroy that was….. It’s not that I lived in dysfunction but that I became addicted to it that I became loyal to it and that because it was familiar I expected dysfunction. I expected a fight. Hell, if it wasn’t no fight I would pick a fight. I’m looking for the fight, anticipating the fight. I would pick a fight with people, things, for anything because that’s what I had become used to, and it comes a moment when you have to be willing to unlearn the patterns that you’ve seen and that were given to you, you’ve got to believe beyond that and do something different and what life taught me was ‘Iyanla do what matters to you. do what matters to you. That matters to you and serves other people.'” -Iyanla Vanzant

“I didn’t want it. I just did what I thought I was supposed to do. How many of us go through life doing what we think we’re supposed to do because of what we heard or what someone told us the dysfunction that we grew up in. Right on the other side of doing what you think you’re supposed to do, is the courage and the power to do what matters to you”– Iyanla Vanzant

“You see we’re so busy sometimes trying to outlive our past that we don’t realize if you made it through the past you passed.”-Iyanla Vanzant

If you would like to see my vlog from the weekend click the link below!

HalimahNia,
The Modest Fashionista

Relationship Advice with Iyanla Vanzant

“Iyanla Vanzant through the late 90s blazed a trail with her no non sense advice, She became televisions go to relationship expert, starring on emmy winning reality series “starting over” and even her very own talk show. Iyanla has traveled the globe, sold more than eight million books and topped the new york times best seller list five times. Today she’s the host and executive producer of “Iyanla, Fix My Life” on OWN.” -Oprah Winfrey

I was blessed to be able to attend Oprah’s “The Life You Want” weekend. During this weekend I had the honor of meeting Oprah Winfrey as well as spend time with Ms. Iyanla Vanzant. I grew up watching Ms Iyanla’s work on television, being surrounded by her books and at the age of 12 even attended her workshop for teenagers. That workshop along with all of her other work I believe has really helped shape me as a young woman. It was truly a blessing to have the opportunity to be around a women of such grace and poise. Anytime you can surround yourself with people like that is an honor. I wanted to sit down and ask her a few questions about young womanhood and relationships. See below for our Q & A.

Halimah: It’s very important to reverence your womb and to respect yourself and to respect that space and to not let anybody come–

Ms. Iyanla: Did you say reverence your womb?

Halimah: Yes.

Ms. Iyanla: How old are you?

Halimah: Um 17.

Ms Iyanla: Do you know you have a womb? How beautiful is that? Reverence your womb. Wow.

Halimah: So with dealing with that people can understand that but still find it hard to you know resist that urge, you know to deal with their sexual urges, and things of that nature, so like how what are some things, tips or steps we can use to deal with that when that arises?

Ms. Iyanla: When you be tryna reverence your womb? laughs. Well I think the first thing is to be very mindful. first of all to know it’s not wrong. Ok. To have a natural, organic, response to physical encounter, physical stimulation to know it’s not wrong.That’s number one. Then number two you get to choose. You choose moment by moment. Is what your getting ready to engage in whether its heavy petting or sex or whatever it is. Is this in alignment with the vision I’m holding for myself. Yes. Young girls have to have a vision. Young women have to have a vision and if they have a vision you get to choose moment by moment and it is very tempting. So the third thing I would say is don’t put yourself in those situations. You know I come from a time when courting took place in the living room with everybody present. Momma, daddy, grandma, the dog so if a young man were courting you he had to come and he had to be presented to your entire family. I know that we live in the 21st century and people don’t do that anymore but it’s still very helpful. So in the case that you’re courting someone or seeing someone or interested in someone don’t put yourself in a situation where you can’t get out easily.

Halimah: Because then nature takes over.

Ms. Iyanla: Yeah, nature takes over and you know human bad behavior.

Halimah: What does a good guy look like? What is he going to be doing?

Ms. Iyanla: First thing about a good guy is he’s willing to wait, he’s not going to force you or manipulate you, or coerce you into doing anything you’re not ready to do a good guy would not do that. The other thing about a good guy is he wants to know what your vision is and what you’re heading for and what you’re looking forward to and he wants to support you in doing that. So while he may want you all to sit around and neck in the living room he will say “have you done your homework?”, “have you studied”, “don’t you have practice today?” He will support you in doing what it is that you want to do.  I think that the other way that you can really tell a good guy is to listen very closely to how he talks about his mother and his sisters. If he has respect for his mothers and his sisters. If he’s protective of his sisters, if he is  you know looking out for his mom, her feelings, her needs and stuff chances are he’s a good
guy.

Halimah: Thank you! Okay so the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that a nation can rise no higher than its woman now when you say that a lot of times people get upset about that because they view it as “well its not all my fault, you know it’s men too. I can’t. It’s not just me” but you know we do have personal responsibility and I do have charge over my life but you know what are some ways to explain that or to really better express and prove that this is true that a nation can rise no higher than its woman.

Ms. Iyanla: Because the woman is the teacher, the woman becomes the mother and the mother is the first teacher and so the mother has to be solid and clear within herself. She has to have experience to share. She has to have um patience to teach, she has to have a vision to grow into because men can make a child but women are the ones that teach that child and guide that child and nourish that child. So the more solid, the clearer, the more grounded, the more spiritually aligned a woman is, the chances are her children will be the same way. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that a nation can rise no higher than it’s women and the great writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said that a man is who his mother makes him. So any way you look at it as the first teacher, the woman has a great responsibility in what happens to her son who grow into men and to her daughters who grow into other women who become mothers, who teach.

Halimah: Wow, absolutely. Thank you!

Ms. Iyanla: You’re welcome.

Halimah: So last question. What advice do you have for girls, women who
want to motivate people, who want to inspire people who want to encourage people to do good, who just want to change the world, what advice would you have to be successful in doing that.

Ms. Iyanla: You know I never give advice. What I can do is share what I’ve learned.
and the greatest I have been able to give people is the demonstration of how I live
my life. People see how I live my life. How I show up in the room. How I stand within myself. How I teach. How I-with everything. I’m a demonstration of what I believe and
it is consistent. It’s consistent across the board. So I think that for young women who want to inspire other young women and inspire young men is to be a demonstration of the things you want to teach, the things you believe in, the things that you learn, just demonstrate it, in your kindness, in your nice, in your gentleness, in your wisdom, in your presence, in the world, and I think that people will just want some of what you have.

Halimah: Be the change you want to see. That’s right. Thank you! Thank you.

Ms. Iyanla: You’re so welcome. I really appreciate it.

To watch the video you can click below!

Best,

HalimahNia