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We’re Better Together

When I originally started this post, weeks ago, I wanted to make this a women’s empowerment piece. After attending an event called Battered 2 Beautiful, I immediately felt the urge to write about women’s empowerment. However, as I began to think, I see a generation as a whole that needs empowering. There are too many people wandering without any sense of purpose or direction.

Recently, I’ve been attending networking events. I’ve been trying to take advantage of the moments. Not only was it beneficial to my career, but it helped me realize more, just how important networks and support groups are.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve encountered various people who are going down or have been down the path that I desire to. It’s was great to be able to hear and see the different avenues they went down and what ways they thought were best to get there.

The day of Maya Angelou’s death, one of my friends asked me how I felt about it being that I too am a writer. As we began to talk about her, he said he feels bad for this next generation. He shared how there’s not as many people around for the next generation to look up to and somewhat pave the way. I then said, “so it has to be us.” We have to be the ones to help lead and direct this next generation to success. If we see the need, we have to be the ones to meet the needs. Whether it be something we created or recommending something that someone else created.

As I join networks that cater to helping me in my writing career, such as NYC writers network, we too can help those around us find their niche in their desired field.

When we have someone else to call who’s doing what we’re doing, it gives us that extra boost that we need to keep going. Or even having positive people around us who are moving towards greatness.

It’s so important to join as well as create different social/support groups and networks. Not only will it benefit you by having like minded people around you, but it will help push others to greatness.

So I encourage you today to look beyond yourself and see the needs of those around you, and the next generation. Let’s help empower and grow them to the next level as others have done with us!

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Ladies Power Circle: Female Entrepreneur Networking Mixer

On Saturday, May 31st, two business owners, Kash and Oneka came together and created Ladies Power Circle networking mixer. An event where women in business, entrepreneurs, as well as aspiring business owners; came together to network, educate, empower, and be a support to one another.

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This was a free event, open to all females. From the moment you walked into the room, you immediately felt amazing energy from all the of the other wonderful females that were present. Running a little late, I came in during the speed networking portion. Although I was late, I was welcomed at the door by Oneka who immediately found me a spot so I could join right in.

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This event was hosted by one of the most energetic and engaging woman, who’s known as the ‘hostess with the mostest, Rain. She kept the ladies laughing all day.

There were amazing raffles and vendors in the building. Vendors from, Diamond Deijor, Kashmir Rox Boutique, Evonne’s soapsation, Shop Alesha, Pink Cuptails, and many more. Every lady left with something.

The first speaker told the ladies how to pitch their businesses. She allowed the women to role play different scenarios to promote their businesses and get service.

Some of the ladies then got the opportunity to give a 2 minute pitch of their business. Explaining what they do and what services they offer. Or even share a poem that they’d written.

The last speaker, Kimberly Blythe-Benson. Her warm southern presence was felt from the moment she got up. She shared how she always had speaking engagements, but had a fear of traveling. She stayed within the confines of her area. This was her first time traveling for a speaking event. While she was driving in New York during rush hour traffic and every car tried to come in. No one gave eye contact and just kept moving. Things began to get “real” for her. Although it was her fear, after awhile she just went on out there. She made the decision to go and take the risk. This led to one of the themes of the day, “Take the risk. Drop every fear.” When we want something bad, we have to leave our fears behind and take the risk.

And when we’re able to let go of our fears, we can build and connect with the females that were in the room to go further and further. A great day of educating, supporting, empowering, and networking with incredible females! Check out the Facebook page to find out more information, https://m.facebook.com/LadiesPowerCircle?_rdr. You won’t be disappointed!

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Letter from Miss Jones [Update]

First, thank you all for following and taking this journey with me. Your support is greatly appreciated!

I just wanted to update you all on what’s been going on with me. As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, I was asked to do a web radio interview to talk about my writing and my blog. I contemplated posting the link because in my mind, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to. As I thought about it, I realized I had to share it. This is what I do. Not only did I have to show my gratitude for the opportunity, I had to realize someone may receive something from the simple words I shared.

I really am extremely grateful for every opportunity that I’ve received to share with others in hopes to encourage and inspire.

The interview aired on Monday morning and I waited until Wednesday to share it on other social media networks. I’m so glad I did. I received a few great messages regarding it.
Sometimes we beat ourselves up about something we could’ve done better at and stop someone else from getting something from it. Had I not posted the link, someone wouldn’t have been encouraged.

Remember, all that we do is a learning lesson. We’re not going to be an expert at something the first time we do it. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t substance in what we’ve produced.

I had to realize that for myself from this interview. So check out the interview on Top of the Morning Radio Show. Here’s the link; http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pastor-maureen/2014/05/26/top-of-the-morning-weekly-inspirational-show.

There’s still more to come!

-Miss Jones xo

Balance is Key

Although I’ve made great progress in the direction that I’m headed in life, I found myself in a place of frustration.

Busy. But I had to ask myself, are all the things that have consumed my time and my thoughts of great importance or am I putting the allotted time into every obligation that I have. I’ve never been as social as I’ve become. So I began to do more of the more enjoyable things in life than the things that are most important. I’ve also put more energy into one project rather than give all the equal energy that’s needed.

Between my relationship with God, work, wanting to further employment and education, my home life, my writing, more than one leadership position, social life, and other responsibilities, I somehow got lost in balancing each aspect of my life. I created a plan where I could be able to balance it all, but I somehow got distracted and became overwhelmed.

I say this too often to find myself in this position, but in all things there must be a balance. In life we have to learn to balance our priorities as well as the enjoyable moments in life. Allowing one to outweigh the next knocks us off. It can put us in an uncomfortable position. However, it isn’t unusual for one to fall off balance. It happens. But we can’t allow it to keep us there.

When there’s no balance in our lives, we can become stressed. And I’ve found myself in a place of stress. Things in my life have been in disarray. And I’ve begin to realize over the past few days that it will never be in order if I don’t make the choice to try to balance it all a little better. Putting those things that are of greater importance is the start of a healthy balanced life.

It’s great to have fun and enjoy life, but taking care of responsibilities is just as important. We have to make space and time for it all without one of the two overtaking us. Making a plan and a schedule is a way to help keep a healthy balanced life. Writing out your responsibilities as well as the fun and exciting things in life that you enjoy.

And if you find yourself becoming distracted, try your best to find where the imbalance is and fix it. I’ll be honest and say, I didn’t do that right away. I allowed it to overtake me. But I had to realize that there would be no change if I didn’t make a decision.

So I encourage you to try to live balanced life to avoid unnecessary stress. If things seem to get out of order, find it and nip it in the bud. Create a way to better balance your time and most importantly your life.

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Get out of the Way: you Never Know who you’re Reaching.

When you begin to step out on faith and get pass your insecurities, it’s not only good for you, but it’ll help someone else.

My intentions of writing as I’ve shared in blogging for the past nine months or so, have been to encourage someone. To help them to take a look at themselves, where they are, and how they can grow and move forward.

I’ve shared many times about my fears when it came to my writing. This is a passion of mine, but has also been one of my biggest struggles. Writing was something that has gotten me through, but it took me a while to realize maybe it can help and get someone else through.

I have many ideas of where I want to go with my writing, so I’ve decided I need to branch out and start my own website. I thought about buying my domain name a while ago, but I kept saying I needed to wait. I’ve had several conversations about where I want to go with the site. I’ve been talking and putting it out there. But a few days ago during one of my many conversations, I decided to just take that next step and buy my domain name. And although it may seem like a small thing to some, it shows my faith and progress.

I know this isn’t going to be an easy process, but I know that I will be able to fulfill what I’ve been called to do. Now this is just for me, my personal growth.

But the next day I received one of the most encouraging texts I’ve received since I’ve began sharing my writing. It was from one of my friends. She said she was proud of the work that I have been doing and how encouraging I’d been. She then went on to express how she’d been thinking about doing the same thing with her video blogging but talked herself out of doing it. After seeing that I’d did it, it inspired her to go for it. This blessed me because I really admire this friend of mine. She’s a college graduate, with a good job, her own place, and her own car. And she obtained all of this struggling with health issues. She’s now come to the place where she’s decided to share with the world what she’s gone through and continues to go through with Myasthenia Gravis. To be able to inspire someone who has encouraged me with her incredible strength and has so much to share is amazing. She will be able to use a new avenue to do the work that she has been called to do.

You never know who you’re reaching when you step out on faith and leave your insecurities behind. Not only will you began to benefit from what you’re putting out, but someone else will. Whatever your gift is, I encourage you to continue to work at it regardless of what the circumstances around you may look like. Learn to push pass all the fear, insecurities, and issues. Not only for your own personal development, but for the growth and development of others.

Visit my friend, Vanetta’s YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/butimstrong to find out more about MG, her experiences, and help spread awareness. Be on the look out for what’s to come with her videos and the official launch of lovelymissjones.com. It’s coming soon!

-Miss Jones xo

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Success Starts When you Step Outside of your Comfort Zone

We as a people love a place of comfort. A place where we feel safe. A place of security. Although it’s understandable, I’m at a place where I’ve learned that so many things become possible when you step out of your comfort zone.

Staying in a place of familiarity can keep you from so much. When we chose to stay in this place, we are deciding that we don’t want anything better in life.

Going outside of the place that we’re safe can be very difficult. Fear is the number one reason we chose to stay in the position that we’re in. We may feel as if we will fail if we take that step out.

As I’ve somewhat shared in previous posts, I’ve allowed my insecurities to keep me closed into the place I felt most comfortable. I was comfortable with people not knowing my name, or the things that I desired to do. I was afraid that I’d fail if I put it out there.

However, my passion became greater than my doubt and I went ahead and stepped out. I began to share my writing. When I did, I began to reach others. Opportunities also began to open up for me. I was able to connect with other writers who were going the same route as myself, as well as others who had gotten to the place I desired to be. I was given the opportunity to write for someone else’s blog, as well as be interviewed for a web radio show. All of these things are leading me to a place of success. I haven’t always been comfortable being as social as I’ve become, but I’ve learned to believe in what I’ve been given and trust that it’ll take me places.

So I encourage you to believe in your gifts and abilities. Take a step outside of your comfort zone and see will it’ll take you!

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Letter from Miss Jones

Hey guys, just a quick update for you!

So a couple of months ago, a female blogger followed me on Instagram. As I looked through her page, I saw great things. I commented on one her pictures that I wanted to repost and told her how I’d look forward to reading her work. I received an immediate response. And to my surprise, she had already read my blog and told me that it’s inspiring. She also shared a few kind words with me. This is really only the beginning for me so I was so encouraged and inspired to hear such nice things from someone who was in the place I hoped to be in the future.

After a few months, I received another comment saying that she sat and read my blog for 30mins and loved it. She then asked for my email address. Not too long after, I received an email asking that I contribute an article to the Black City Girl website! A great opportunity and stepping stone for where I’m headed from someone who’s gotten there. I definitely appreciate the creator, Yvonne, for even taking the time to read my work. She’s a great person doing great things to inspire and encourage others.

With all this said, make sure you visit blackcitygirl.com to see my article, ‘6 Reasons why some people become Successful and Others don’t” in the success section.

Not only do I encourage you to read the article, I encourage you to keep working. No matter what it looks like. There were times I questioned whether my work was really reaching anyone. But because I continued, the opportunity presented itself. So even if it doesn’t look good, keep working and opportunities will begin to arise!

Stay tuned for more!

-Lovely Miss Jones xo
Twitter: @lovelymissjones
Instagram: @lovelymissjones

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African American Transition: Celebration of History, Change, and Movement

In light of black history month, I felt it necessary to pay homage to all of the men and women that came before us. As well as remind us to keep in mind what these people created during challenging times. It’s impossible for me to write about all, but I would be remiss if I didn’t write anything.

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We usually always hear of such leaders as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. But one day at work, my students were learning about Ruby Bridges. And immediately I felt the need to write a little about her. She was a young girl from the south, who excelled in her class. She was then offered an opportunity to go to an all white school, when schools during that time were segregated. Her father wasn’t sold on the idea, but her mother knew that it would be a great opportunity for her daughter to receive a great education.

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As the first African American girl to go to an all white school, the transition was more difficult than they had anticipated. From Ruby being looked down on, called horrible names, parents of the white children pulling them out of school to be away from Her, and even having her life threatened. No matter how hard the situation was, Ruby was still in school every morning. This very challenging time brought about great change in America. This was the beginning of something great. This took great persistence. Although it was her parents decision for Ruby to go to this school, it took great persistence to keep going having to endure all of this. Her parents could have seen what it was doing to her and decided to take her out of the school, but they didn’t. Ruby could have completely shut down, not wanting to reach out to those at school when the other children returned, but she didn’t. One night Ruby walked into her mothers room crying telling her that she was scared. Her mothers response was, go pray. And she did just that. Every morning Ruby prayed for those people who treated her terribly. They continued anyway until it was no longer out of the norm for black and white people to be together.

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Along with Ruby and her family, there are many others who created change and such a movement. So we thank them for what they had to endure in order to pave the way and make things better for those behind them.

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Now how do we celebrate what these people have done on our behalf? We walk in their footsteps. We take what they have done and relate it to our lives. We take what we’ve been given and use it to create a movement just as huge as theirs. We have a responsibility to carry out their legacy. All that they’ve done was not done in vain. When things become difficult, we consider all those that have gone before us and keep moving. Allow those people to be inspiration and motivation to keep striving for better. Keep praying and believing God. If they could do it during those times, we too can create the change we want to see.

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2013: Growth, Transition, Process.

As we come to the end of the year, why not take a little time to reflect and share. This year if anything at all, has brought great growth. The fact that I’m able to share my thoughts and experiences through my writing is growth in itself.
This has also been a year of transition and process.

Transitioned from one job to another, transitioned into leadership positions, transitions within relationships with those around me, as well as personal transition. Although the process may not have always been easy, it’s all learning lessons and stepping stones for where I’m headed.

My employment journey has been quite interesting. The job search process after graduating from college was not pleasant. But I can honestly say, I’m grateful for where I am. My transition from college, to one job, to the next, was rather difficult; but I believe it was to teach me a lesson. It’s preparation.

When it comes to my relationships (friendships), I’ve become distant with some people and closer to others. But by the end of this year, I can say I’ve made amends with a few people. Some of those people I can see us being very good friends while others will be kept at a distance. We have to use wisdom in our interactions with others. Not every relationship has been great, may have been hurt, but I’ve been able to take something from each of them. I’ve been able to forgive people. Even when I wasn’t given an apology. In this year, I refused to become bitter by harboring ill feelings toward someone else. What sense does it make to be sad and moping while the person who hurt you goes through life unaware and living freely? None, none at at. One of the most important things though, I’ve learned to be wise when it comes to people and their motives, but to still be open to new relationships.

I’ve been put in leadership positions that I probably would not have accepted had this been a few years ago. I’ve began to share my writing and been able to reach and touch a few people. I’ve been given the opportunity to help others make positive changes in different areas of their lives. This has always been a desire of mine, but I haven’t always thought I was capable of doing it. I’ve now been able to take risks. That leap of faith.
This is all to show how much I’ve grown. I used to be the shy quiet girl who never wanted to be in the forefront, and always had a wall up to keep people shut out from knowing who I was. But now that’s all changed. I’ve found true freedom. I’m completely free to be myself. And I absolutely love who I’ve become. I’m at a place where I can willingly and openly display my thoughts through my writing as well as open behavior without being afraid of who won’t like it or who won’t like me. I’m no longer concerned whether people like me or not. I know the right people will. And I realize if I’m not myself, the people I’m supposed to reach won’t get what they need.

My faith has been increased through all of this. My faith in God as well as my belief in myself.

When you’re open to it, you can grow as much as possible. When you’re willing to take risks, it’ll take you places. I’m not where I want to be, but I’ve definitely grown. And I know that my openness and freedom will take me a whole lot further.
So I encourage you to be willing to take risks. Be open to growth. Trust your process.

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Get Ya Life!

We may all come to a point in our lives where we realize we’re not where we should be. We sit back, observe, and notice we need to get our lives. And get it quick. Sometimes in order to do this, we need to take a step back from everyone and everything. I was recently in this position and thought, why not write about it and share a little of my experience with you.

So about a week ago, I knew it was necessary that I get a few things in my life organized. I also knew that I couldn’t do this without isolating myself a little. Knowing all of this, I made the decision to go on a little hiatus. I committed to giving my phone a break. In other words, I made a choice to stop talking on the phone, texting, and give up all social networks (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Now for a person like me, who’s on their phone quite a bit, that’s really a sacrifice. Even the people that are the closest to me, the people I speak to religiously on a daily basis, I wasn’t in contact with. This wasn’t something that I was necessarily overjoyed about, but I knew it was something that I needed to do. I only used my phone during this time, if it was something important. I must say, I did a relatively good job, kudos to me! Lol. But on a serious note, these few days were so beneficial.

So when starting or going through any process, there should always be a goal set in place. Some of my goals for this hiatus was to get my relationship with God back to where it needed to be (spending more time with Him), get my finances in order, create a feasible budget, do more reading, dedicate more time to writing, and become more aware of some things about myself that I needed to work on. I decided to create a game plan for these next few months so that I could go into the new year a little better. So I pretty much wanted to grow. And although I know this sounds like a lot to get done in a matter of days, I would have been satisfied just getting a start on it. Because obviously things don’t just change overnight, it does take time.

One of the most important things to take away from this, is that I was open to change before I began. I was open to hopefully coming up with methods to change certain areas in my life. I was pretty much open to making a better life for myself. When you make yourself open and available to change, that’s just what you’ll get.
So as I started my week, I started off with prayer and reading, something I don’t always do. Some days I would start my morning with a phone call. Although my day didn’t go bad when I started them with a phone call, it was a bit of a difference starting with prayer and reading. It gave me the fuel I needed for the day. It allowed me to stay focused and on task.

I then made some phone calls about these ungodly college loans and rearranged some of my bills. I also made a monthly budget, considering how much I wanted to spend and how much I wanted to save.

I wrote what I benefited from on a day to day basis, things I noticed about myself during the day and what I needed to work on and change. I also wrote down what I planned to accomplish in the next few months.

Another important thing I noticed, is how much time I actually spent on my phone. With the amount of reading, writing, and personal organization I did, it showed me that I wasted too much time on a daily basis. Although after coming from the hiatus, I don’t plan to continue to completely give up time spent on my phone, I do plan to limit it. I was able to come up with a plan where I could get all that I needed to do in on a day to day basis and fill in some of the things that I wanted to do as well. Win win situation. But I had to become aware of where the most of my time went so that I could change what I needed to change.
Going into this I knew that there were some decisions I needed to make concerning my life, without the opinions of other people. I needed to get some things squared away on my own. This time away from people helped me to get my thoughts down on paper and reason some things out. I made up in my mind that I didn’t want to allow anyone’s thoughts or opinions to determine how I move. Being in hibernation helps build your confidence as well. When you’re constantly reminding yourself of who you are and what you’re capable of doing through positive affirmation, you begin to grow.
I was aware of my attitude and behavior as well, within those few days. And this was because I took time to reflect and see if there was anything that I could change. Again this was only possible because I was open to it.

There were a few other personal things I was able to accomplish as well. Without getting into detail, I did all of this to become better, so that I would be able to grow. I wanted to get closer to the person that I’m supposed to be in life.
I ultimately wanted to solidify a game plan before the year was out. There are certain things I refuse to go into the new year with. I’ve avoided too much for way too long, mostly because of fear. So I made up in my mind, there would be no more planning without action, as I’ve done so often in the past.

What we must realize is, hibernation and quietude can be very beneficial to our lives. In order to “get ya life”, there are some sacrifices that you will have to make. You have to evaluate and manage your time. It’s important to assess where the bulk of your time is going and see if it’s taking over your priorities. Once you’ve done this, you can begin to make any necessary changes. So be open to change!

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