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The Ultimate Women’s Empowerment Event – The Other Festival 

Now is most definitely the time of year for festivals. The festivals that you would usually hear of only consist of musical artists and bands. However, there’s a festival this weekend (Saturday, June 11th) in TriBeCa NYC that is like no other! Hence the name, The Other Festival. 

The Other Festival is all about “connecting, building, and supporting  entrepreneurial spirits in the face of an ever changing world.We are the best, the strongest, the boldest of our generation. We are a squad of renegade businesswomen in the form of artists, musicians, chefs, photographers, entrepreneurs, activists, inventors, storytellers, designers, and we are here to make things happen.” – The Other Festival 

This event is brought to you by Women Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE), which is a social enterprise that works to provide emerging women leaders with the tools to succeed in their careers. WIE is founded by Dee Paku-Spalding, who is a social entrepreneur born in the UK and raised in London. A former Hollywood studio exec, Paku has now begun a career in brand marketing and promotions. 

The Other Festival showcases the makers and creators of this generation, the women who are redefining how to do business, setting their own rules, putting new systems in place, pushing their own agendas. Inventors, storytellers, founders, artists who can’t be boxed in.

This festival will showcase a group of elite women; their background and their career work. Through this, many females will have the opportunity to glean from their journey. It’s about embracing the other, but also embracing you. Embracing who you are, what you offer, and your journey towards success. There will be workshops, discussions, along with a concert. A full day of sharing and gleaning. 
Speakers include: 

  • Naomi Campbell (Model)
  • Rosario Dawson (Actress, Activist, Entreprenuer)
  • Reshma Saujani (Founder, Girls Who Code)
  • Lindsey Stirling (Musician, Vlogger)
  • Melissa Ben Ishay (Founder, Baked by Melissa)
  • Beverly Bond (Founder, Black Girls Rock) 

And many more!

Musical Guests Include:

  • Justine Skye 
  • Brooke Candy 
  • Vashtie Kala
  • Grace Weber

And more!

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sulk in all that you can from these very powerful women in business. Women who have owned who they are and will be able to share and showcase their journey, their sound, and their careers. This is a festival you want to be sure to attend! 

LovelyMissJones is all about sharing ones experience to benefit the lives of someone else, so you know we will be on the scene! And we want to see you there! Purchase your tickets today by visiting theotherfestival.eventbrite.com. 
  

  

The Insight in The Fallback

Over the past weeks or so, I’ve experienced a great fall back. Between everything I’d been going through family wise and personally, it caused me to take a break. Part of the break I needed and another part I feel I allowed myself to take more time than needed. As I began to bounce back in certain areas, I realized the insecurities that were attached to my fallback. Insecurities that I’m sure others have experienced. So I knew it was necessary for me to share my experience with you all. 

Being in a position where you’re required to be in the forefront and complete tasks that others will immediately recognize can sometimes cause nervousness or a little shyness about the work you’re going to produce. However, there can be times that insecurity comes in. Whether on the job or in any type of leadership position, we may take a backseat because we feel as if everyone is coming to the frontline and overshadowing what we’ve set out to do. Whether this is true or not, one may still begin to feel this way. Particularly those who struggle with accepting their place in the frontline. Sometimes it makes you feel as if you’re less than, or you’ll make an excuse using the statement, “I’m not really needed. I can step back.” However, I had to learn that it’s not always meant for you to step back. If God placed you somewhere, please believe it was strategic. God always does things strategically. He placed you where you are for a reason. He’s given you what He’s given you for that specific place. We must always be ready. We have to learn not to shy away because of what’s in front of us. They’ll be no fight, no struggle if we do what God has called us to do. If we stay in tune with the instructions He’s given us, things will be well. 

We can’t allow anyone or any situation to make us feel insecure or less than who you truly are. Know and be proud of what you bring to the table. No matter what others may have to offer, know that you have something valuable to offer. 

These are the exact words I heard from God as I sat in my Sunday morning service last week. He literally just dropped it in my spirit and I began to write. This particular part blessed me the most. This is what He said to me, word for word. “Use the gift that I’ve given you. Use the gift that you desired me to give you. Believe in what I’ve given you. Believe in the power behind the gift. Allow your fear to dissipate, so that I can get the glory. So that my people can get what I have for them. There’s breakthrough and blessings that will come through what I have placed inside of you. Stop making excuses and standing still, when it was I that have begun that good work inside of you.”

 

It was ironic that my daily message from Saved In The City read, “God wants to use you right where you are. No more excuses. It’s time to step up and be who He’s called you to be. John 15:16” 
Often times we make up excuses because of the insecurities that rise up within us. But it’s time to rise up and lush the insecurities and the fear to the side. Knowing that God is the one that has placed these gifts inside of you and will lead and guide you every step of the way. 
Allow this season to be a season of work and continuos preparation. A period of isolation (to an extent) as well as work. Isolation to the point that you’re able to prepare yourself without the opinions of others, and without what others may bring on you. Get to a place where you hear from the source and execute accordingly. 

As I go through my journey and I’m continually learning, it’s my duty and obligation to pass it along with others. And as my journey continues to unfold, sharing my experiences will never stop. My hope is that someone will be blessed by these words, and receive that extra boost that’s needed to continue to work regardless of what comes up against them. 

-xo Miss Jones

The Crippling Effects Of Fear

These past few weeks, I’ve had incredible writers block. It was a struggle to produce simple articles. Articles that would normally take me an hour or less. It was difficult to think of topics, and difficult to complete anything. I thought it was simply writers block, but I recently noticed that it has a lot to do with fear. 

I can be honest and say, I’m not satisfied with my life. I feel like there’s so much more, and I haven’t been able to tap into it. My career, writing, business, family, relationships, church; all of the things that are important to me, are not in the place that I’d hope it would be in. Although, all things happen within the right timeframe, one still has a responsibility to do something in order to make things happen. There has to be some type of action or movement in order for there to be success. 

I’ve been able to admit my fears in the past, along with overcoming stories. However, I now realize, the fear that I’m currently facing is a little different. It’s on a different level. I realized that I’ve subconsciously been afraid to go beyond what I’ve been currently doing. Not satisfied with it, but afraid of more (in a sense). I sense there’s more, but there’s still fear of failure.
Afraid that I don’t have enough money, afraid of the opinions, afraid that maybe my thoughts are a little too big. Maybe it’s not realistic. Afraid that it’ll all come crashing down. But in all actuality, what do I really have to lose. This is the perfect time in my life to take a risk. Although things may have fallen apart in the past, what do I really have to lose now? 

After a conversation with a friend, I really had to sit and ask myself that question. If I’m not in the place that I know I should be in, what is there for me to lose. I can’t be so concerned with why I wouldn’t be able to get to where I should be, more than the possibility of never getting there. My fear literally had me in a dark place. Writers block for a writer who loves what they do, is a place you don’t want to visit. You’re literally stuck. And it’s the same for any passion or dream. Fear literally cripples you. It keeps you in a place where you’re not sure which way to turn. I absolutely love what I do, but I became stuck because there’s so many ways that I want to expand from this blog. I struggle with how I can reach more people, how I can fully monetize from it, and how I can ultimately build my business and complete my book. And that’s where all of the fears I mentioned comes into place. But over the course of the past few days (The ending of last week) when I began writing this post, I realized that I needed to pull myself from that place. Fear comes from ourselves, our own thoughts. Therefore, making the choice to shift, comes from within. We can’t allow our fears to overpower the possibility of us reaching the level of success we were destined to reach. 

I want to end this post with a story that I heard Sunday morning during the sermon. The preacher told a story about a woman who was given a gift to write. God gave her the idea for the book, but her focus was on other things (being busy, why she couldn’t do it at the moment, time, money, etc) rather than what she knew God had placed inside of her. She never did it, and someone else wrote the exact same book she had been given. She later decided to write the book, but it didn’t have the same effect that it could’ve had had she written the book when God called her to do so. She missed her moment. I don’t want to miss the moment focusing on everything besides the goal. And I don’t want you to miss your moment focusing on everything besides the goal. We have to take the risk and jump head first into fulfilling our dreams. Others are depending on it. If we don’t do it, someone else will. Don’t miss your moment. Don’t remain stuck. Don’t allow your fear to cripple you. If you’ve been given a gift, it’s usually bigger than you could’ve imagined. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, that’s how God works. If He’s given it to you, He’ll provide the resources that’ll help make it happen. But you have to trust Him and the gifts and abilities that He has placed inside of you! Be encouraged, don’t stop putting in work. Keep your eyes on the goal! 

  

Vow to Empower: Interview with Author Shanikqa Canty

Shanikqa Canty is the author of a book entitled, Their Vow. She has now committed her life to empower others. Shanikqa intends to empower others through her writing and public speaking. It is always a pleasure to meet people who are motivated and determined to reach others through their gifts. And this is no different. Shanikqa has been a supporter of Lovely Miss Jones for quite some time, and shares similar goals of empowering others through writing and through experience. Below you’ll get to know a little more about this blossoming author, along with what you can expect in the near future. 

Miss Jones: Tell us a little about yourself?

Shanikqa Canty: My name is Shanikqa N.Canty, I am 24 years old and I currently reside in Brooklyn, New York (In the Crown Heights Section). I am a Best Selling Author, Writer and a Promoter Of Empowerment. I have a passion for empowering and connecting authentically with those I come in contact with. 

MJ: Was becoming an author something that you’ve always desired to be, or was it something that just happened?

SC: Becoming an author was something that honestly just happened (LOL). Like seriously, I didn’t even expect this to happen. And not just an Author, a Best Selling Author. God is just amazing! 

MJ: How long have you been writing?

SC: I used to write when I was younger, in the 3rd and 4th grade, and I stopped; but in the Fall of 2014 the creativity of writing came back to me.

MJ: What experiences led to where you currently are today?

SC: Letting my past struggles empower me to create a life that I desire. I truly believe that each and everyone of us holds the power to create what we want. I let my testimony become my empowerment.

MJ: What were some of your biggest struggles during this journey?

SC: Some of my biggest struggles during this journey was keeping myself motivated and not letting fear and rule overtake me. But I’m grateful that I am on this journey of being more grounded in my Faith, that helps me overcome.

MJ: What were some of your biggest highlights or positive movements during this journey?

SC: My biggest highlights would have to be, connecting with some awesome and amazing Kingdom minded Men and Women. Just being able to fellowship and have a real support system. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. 

MJ: Who are some of your biggest influences, and why?

SC: Some of my biggest influences are: of course my mother because she supports me no matter what I pursue in life and just loves me as I am. My Spiritual Father Apostle Steven Newton, My Spiritual Mother Pastor Christian Newton, My Kingdom Sisters and Brothers, also Dr Myles Munroe & Steven Furtick (through their videos and books). Each and everyone of these individuals inspire me to be a GREATER woman that GOD has called me to be. 

MJ: What was the process while writing this book? 

SC: Writing “Their Vow” was fun and a little scary because I thought “Who wants to read a fiction book promoting celibacy”? But the feedback has been awesome.

MJ: How were you able to overcome those things that came up against you?

SC: Just remaining focused and keeping my eye on the prize. 

MJ: What/who kept you motivated? 

SC: Myself, and allowing the Holy Spirit to just move right through me. 

MJ: How long have you been working on this project?

SC: Honestly I finished the book in 2 days, by typing it on my iPhone while at work. The words just flew right through me. 

MJ: Tell us a little about your book?

SC: It’s the story of two individuals who decide that it’s better to keep Their Vow and not let the temptations of the world rule them anymore. 

MJ: What else are you currently working on?

SC: At the moment just focusing on getting myself out there more, and my line of Tele-classes I’m about to launch. 

MJ: What are a few of your biggest accomplishments?

SC: Just being able to share my gifts with the world. 

MJ: What can we look forward to in the future?

SC: Live in person “Empowerment Sessions”, more books, videos and an empowerment product line. 

MJ: What encouraging words would you like to leave with us?

SC: Your Testimony Is Your Empowerment, Because You’re Empowered By Your Struggles. 

Wise words from a wise woman. Not only is Shanikqa a bestselling author (her book can be purchased on Amazon.com), but she is also launching ‘A Movement Of Empowerment’ that will be held every second and fourth Wednesday via conference call. Check out the flyer below. Also, stay up to date by following all of Shanikqa Canty’s social media networks: Facebook.com/BeEmpoweredWithShanikqac and Instagram/Periscope @iamshanikqac. 
 

 
   
   

There’s Power in Being Unapologetically Black and Beautiful 

As you all know, my pieces are all for the most part inspirational. I started this blog with the intent of sharing my experiences and sharing who I am in order to create positive change. These past few months, I’ve realized that I haven’t done that fully. As a black woman, I haven’t touched on certain topics and/or issues that deserve being touched on. As as black woman, it is my duty to discuss things that pertain to me and people who are just like me. I can be honest and say, I’ve struggled with posting or highlighting things that may be seen as controversial. However, over the past few months, I knew that I needed to step outside of that box. It isn’t that I’m just learning to embrace being black. Not at all. I love being black and I absolutely embrace my culture. I may have conversations about different issues that effect the black community, but I haven’t fully utilized the platform that I have to do so. Being unapologetically black, despite the backlash that may come along with it, is powerful. And it’s time to tap into that. 

As my thoughts continued on this topic, and I planned this post, I was reading this months issue of ESSENCE Magazine. In Vanessa De Luca’s (Editor In Chief) article, she wrote “there’s power in being unapologetically black and beautiful.” And I knew immediately that this would be the title of this article. When we can all come together and stand as black people, embracing who we are and our culture; we desire to do our best to help create the change that we wish to see.

One thing I was reminded of as I prepared lesson plans for my students to perform in the black history showcase, was how important research and education is. I am introducing writing to them for this particular project. Last year,I was able to introduce high school students to black history through literature. And this is something I’d like to do with my first graders. As a writer myself, it’s important that I do my research on great writers who have made great impact on the lives of others and created some type of change in our society. One who has brought various topics and issues to the forefront. It’s also imperative that writers research what’s going on in today’s society. The same goes for the black community. It’s important that we research and educate ourselves on those who have paved the way for positive change within black communities. There are many who provoked great change, and made a huge difference. And it’s up to us to learn about them, and continue on in their footsteps. It is our duty to continue to contribute to the changes that need to be made in society today. The only way that we can do so, is being aware and raising awareness of the issues that we and our community face. Once we become knowledgeable about our surroundings, we can do what we can to help make a difference. 

It’s important that we embrace who we are as a people, and as a culture. We must be proud to be black. To realize the strength of our people and how far we’ve come, no matter what has come up against us. When we embrace it, see our beauty, and just be us, unapologetically; there’s no way we’re comfortable when we see social injustices. How can we be comfortable or sit in silence about the lives of people like, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, and others. How can we not bring to light situations that plague our communities and our people; such as, what’s currently going on in Flint, Michigan. It just shouldn’t sit right with us. Which should cause us to pay more attention to what’s going on, concerning our communities, in society today. We must also educate ourselves on these topics and things of the past. 

The most important thing to understand is that we are better together! Powerful things can happen when we link up with one another. If we all embraced who we are, unapologetically, so many amazing things can take place. Things that we’ve been able to witness overtime. The more unity, the more change we will begin to see. 
There’s so much greatness within our people. We’re intelligent, strong, creative, thinkers, inventors, artists. We’re gifted. Therefore, we can use our gifts with the platforms that our gifts made room for to help bring about the change that we so desperately need in our communities. Not only our communities, but in society as a whole. And it won’t end here! 

2015 Recap: Growth, Promise, Freedom

As we approach an end of a year, and the beginning of a new year, I contemplated what my end of the year post would be. I had many thoughts, different ideas I wrote in my notes, but I couldn’t formulate an actual article. As I sat to work on another post, I sat and waited for my thoughts to hit the screen, but I began to have writer’s block. Nothing, besides a title had been written. This afternoon, as I began to complete the post I was originally supposed to publish tonight, I was led to open a new document and get started on this one. As I began to write the title, those three words spilled onto the page; growth, promise, and freedom. I hadn’t received a particular theme or place I wanted to come from with this post. Last year, I broke it down into two different posts, and it came to me early. This year was different. And as I now begin to think, I like that it happened this way. It wasn’t planned, it just happened. Many times we wait in anticipation for a sign or for something to come our way, but when we just make a choice to just do, things begin to happen. This not only depicts the way things happened this year in a sense, it’s also confirmation for this year to come. 

So because these words so happen to have come to me, I believe this is where my thoughts for the year will come from. This year has been a year of complete growth. As the previous years have been as well. I’ve experienced some things this year, I never would have imagined. I’ve felt my weakest this year. I almost felt like I experienced some of my lowest points. Many of my insecurities came rushing back. I’ve had many feelings of inadequacy. But I’ve also been able to show myself my strength. I refused to be held down. I made a decision, after one of my biggest setbacks, that I would seek out counseling from a therapist. I haven’t found one as of yet, but often times, we (especially the black community) feel as if seeking help in that manner is a form of weakness. I did at one point, but these situations I’ve experienced this year taught me that it’s a sign of strength. I strongly believe that it’s commendable when a person realizes that they need help in a particular area. We can’t always do things on our own, and it’s okay to admit that. It’s unfortunate that I’ve placed myself in situations that I probably shouldn’t have. But I’ve been able to bounce back. Even in my struggles and insecurities, my weaknesses and low moments; I knew that God had a plan for me. And that plan was bigger than me. It went beyond just my name or brand being whispered. It meant more than a blessing for myself, more than personal growth. It’s for the benefit of others. I can’t stop knowing the countless people I’m meant to reach. I can’t stop knowing there’s a young girl that needs me to share my story. To share my journey. Now that’s growth. When you realize your purpose is bigger than you. When you realize your purpose goes beyond being recognized. When you realize your purpose will serve others. When you forget about you and just do it, that’s when you continue to grow. 

This year has also been a year of promise. Again regarding 2015, as well as the year to come. As this year began, I knew there was more than just my writing that needed to displayed. I knew my voice had to be heard in some way, aside of through my writing. I was contacted to help someone out with an up and coming talk show. Now, everyone know based of my previous posts how shy I was. However, I took this as an opportunity. Not only am I being of service to someone else, it’s giving me a jumpstart on what I know I will eventually have to do. This was a promise fulfilled. There have been a few other opportunities this year that I believe will be manifested in 2016. My biggest goal reached, and promise fulfilled this year was actually having the scholarship benefit event. It was my goal to be able to help someone who has gone through the very same thing I’ve gone through. College finances were one. Therefore, the idea to give away a scholarship was one. I knew I had to do it. But since this summer, things just wouldn’t come together. Without seeing how it would, I decided to just do it. And it came together. We were able to pull it off. 

The word freedom is very significant to me. I was caged in so many ways. I was stuck behind my own fear. I was stuck behind my own insecurities. I was stuck behind the opinions of others. This year, more than any, I was able to break free from most of these things. It’s most definitely a growing and learning process, but I’m experiencing true freedom. Freedom that causes me to just do, regardless of what’s in place. 

Overall, despite the low moments, it’s been a great year. A year of growth, promise, and freedom. Regardless of the things we experience, it’s important that we shed light on the positive sides. Step outside of your comfort zone, and allow yourself to grow beyond the things that you can see. Walk in your purpose and promise. And free yourself from your own negative thoughts and opinions of others. Then you can flourish and be who you were called to be; that blessing you were meant to be to others. Wishing you all a happy and successful new year!