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.

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