A Pretty Face with Nothing to Back it up is Null and Void

Purposefully Pretty You Me NYC“A pretty face with nothing to back it up is null and void”, according to PurposefullyPretty Inc. a nonprofit organization seeking to reach, teach and inspire young women to identify and pursue their purpose in life. Their goal is to teach them about beauty and the importance of having a purpose, by helping them become the inspirational and determined individuals they are destined to be.

Like any other teenager, many deal with insecurities and obstacles in their life.  PurposefullyPretty founder, Diamond Craig and the PP team are women who have struggled with some to many of the same issues that young women face today.  It is their desire to mentor, guide and inspire them to reach their personal and professional goals as well as overcome the various struggles that confront them.

Purposefully Pretty You Me NYC

PurposefullyPretty implements its mission through mentorships, community service, empowerment events, and the #IAmPurposefullyPretty workshop series. Through this workshop series, the PurposefullyPretty team travels to schools, libraries and other organizations that cater to young women; providing all the tools that they need to become the next generation of leaders and dedicated women.  This workshop series gears itself towards young women between the ages of 11-18; to help them achieve their confidence and character necessary to pursue their goals and to acquire the tools needed.  Therefore, by the end of the series, they have a better understanding of what their purpose is.

Conclusion

Some of the workshops apart from this series include ‘Identifying My Purpose’, ‘Radical Self Love’ ‘Social Media’, ‘Conflict Resolution’ and a host of others.  They can also join the PurposefullyPretty organization, by becoming a registered member.  Members benefit by establishing relationships and networking with all of its members.  Purposefully Pretty has such great opportunities from prom makeover contest to summer leadership programs.  They also collaborate with other organizations to focus on what young women are interested in!

Shortstack: Breaking the Rules and Setting New Standards

They go by the slogan “Breaking The Rules and Setting New Standards.”  Starting out as a small fashion show straight to a mission, Shortstack is a nonprofit modeling agency for young teenage girls.  Their objective is to create opportunities for the teens, by encouraging them to embrace their inner and outer selves and helping to achieve their aspirations of becoming a model.  According to program directors, Patricia Budhan and Frannelys Frias “Shortstack is not just a modeling program, it’s also a self-esteem program. We want to help girls overcome their struggles.” This nonprofit program is a space for young girls to blossom into young women. It is also a sisterhood where anyone can reach out for advice or have a shoulder to lean on.

Throughout the program, the agency renders life lessons such as time management, networking, and how to communicate with others. Many have come out of this program finding their lifetime friend. Together the girls go through auditions, workshops, and segments, while simultaneously creating a bond with each other. Hal Eisenberg is the CEO of Windows of Opportunity Inc., which is also the parent umbrella that Shortstack 501©(3) is under.  Eisenberg, the Executive Director of Shortstack, Tracy Mangan Mignone, along with program directors Patricia Maria and Frannelys Frias steady the course of the curriculum.  Considering it takes about nine months to prepare the girls for the runway show, the Shortstack team works very hard to provide the models with their outfits, photo-shoots, sponsors, the production overall and the audience. 
As people hear the word about Shortstack, this leads to a conversation.  According to Tracy Mangan Mignone “We walked through Roosevelt Field mall and sent out packets giving people a chance to see their clothing on our runway.” As the years went by, it was easy for people to reach out and get their clothing line into the fashion show.

Conclusion

Shortstack is the vessel that advises a young girl on how to use the power of confidence to their advantage.  They want the best for these teens by showing them, they can be whatever they want to be in life.  They still continue their mission for many that were in the program.  Once a Shortstack always a Shortstack. We wish much-continued success with their mission in helping young girls build their confidence and self-esteem.

Piasha Barua College Student Petite Model and Activist

Piasha Barua You Me NYCWake-up, go to school, then to work on certain days, go to the gym, hang out with friends or come home to a cat and watch television, sounds like an ordinary day for a full-time working college student.  Now couple that day with modeling and an “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign, you have full-time working college student,  petite model, and activist, Piasha Barua.

Piasha is a Queens-born native of Bangladeshi descent and before modeling, she was heavily involved with the “Queens Library Teen Radio Podcast” two days a week.  Working at the podcast taught her valuable skills on how to interview people.  As her skills progressed, she landed a gig to interview the author of “Black Girls Rock”, Beverly Bond.  It was her first interview and although she was extremely nervous Piahsa did an excellent job.  Ever since her first interview, Piasha’s team gave her more people to interview for the popular podcast.  Jaquae from “Love and Hip Hop”, Puma from “Black Ink Crew”, Julito McCullum from “Brotherly Love” and Angela Yee from “The Breakfast Club” are just a few of the celebrities Piasha interviewed.

When asked why she chose to concentrate on modeling and if she received any adversity from her family and friends about her decision, her family was surprised yet embracing regarding her decision.  Piasha’s family is very conservative and no one in her family has ever been able to do this. Piasha chose to pursue modeling because it’s one of the ways she can promote the “Anti Skin Bleaching” campaign.

Piasha Barua You Me NYC

Skin bleaching creams are sold all throughout South Asian countries including Bangladesh where her family is from.  According to Piasha, being fair skin is a common beauty trend which displays a “higher class”.  “I want to be a part of that change, where having a dark complexion, is acceptable and beautiful and be a role model for others,” says Piasha.   It’s not just about walking and showing off, it’s about walking with power and purpose.   She wants to set an example to young South Asian girls and all girls of color, that they don’t need to bleach their skin to feel beautiful and to embrace the beauty that comes from within themselves.

When asked what she likes and dislikes about the modeling industry, Piasha loves the diversity amongst the models in the industry.  However, there are certain high-end shows that still portray a certain physical type.  She believes that models should be seen in a different way.  Every model seen has a pretty face, with one unique feature.  According to Piasha, models should be allowed to showcase, their own individual traits so people can start to recognize their own unique features, along with how their traits were made for them.

In addition to modeling, Piasha also works with the non-profit organization “Purposely Pretty” which teaches young girls how to identify their purpose in life.  The objective is not about a pretty face, it’s more than that.  It’s all about self-love, overcoming doubt, conflict resolution, money management, recognizing relationships and the impact of social media.  “Purposely Pretty” provides mentors to young girls to look up to and learn how their mentors have become strong successful women.  Piasha is the social media manager of “Purposely Pretty”, which is one of the most important roles in the organization considering how influential social media is today.  Diamond Craig, the program director of “Purposely Pretty” gave the position to her and she is proud and honored to be working with such an amazing organization.

Conclusion

Piasha Barua You Me NYCWith all that being said, we asked how Piasha balances school, work and her social life.  Her schedule is a balanced one, with work twice a week and school four days a week.  When she actually has a moment, she likes to hang out with her friends, usually over a plate of Chicken Alfredo, that’s her favorite dish.  However, when she has a moment alone, Piasha likes to watch a lot of “Disney-Pixar” movies along with a plethora of cartoons that she can watch all day.  However, right now she is binge-watching “The Real Day Time” show on “YouTube”.  They put a lot of emphasis on “Girl Chats” and the show’s theme is purple which happens to be Piasha’s favorite color.

When asked if there are any other career paths she might be entertaining down the road, Piasha has a genuine interest in companies, brands or organizations that have a purpose and be part of a great movement.  Considering that she is a young adult, she is discovering new things about herself and what she is capable of doing.  She has a passion for television, film, and pop culture as well as an eagerness to learn about marketing and advertising on multi-media platforms.  Either way, whichever direction she chooses, we at You Me NYC are absolutely positive it’s going to be the right choice.

 

 

 

Shit, if You Can Make it Here, You Can Make it Anywhere!

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. People have always used this as a coping mechanism when the city overwhelms you. But what about the people who have been here their whole lives? What are our mechanisms? The ones that survived what people couldn’t do for six months. What are our words of encouragement to keep going? 

New York is advertised as the fun, loud, entertaining city that never sleeps, filled with assholes too caught up in the hustle and bustle to say hello. When that’s not taking place, it becomes an episode of “Law and Order.” But when you take away all of that bullshit, what’s left to entertain you? If those things didn’t exist, would you guys continue to come here? Would you continue to see this as a stepping stone if it didn’t come with those things? When people come here they think we’re just used to it. People have been known to enjoy cold weather, but no one likes being cold. No one gets used to the wear and tear this city can have on your physical and mental well-being. 

Conclusion

What helps is the perspective of this place. The city is so unique people forget it’s a whole state. It’s not even the capital but it plays such a major part on how New York is viewed as a whole. It’s easy to get caught up and one of the ways to get out is to take in some nature. Trees literally help you breathe. If I were surrounded by skyscrapers and trains and “New York” life all day long, I’d have a panic attack all to myself…: which has literally happened to me. Being native to this surrounding, I’ve learned to drown out certain things and internalize others. It’s one of those things I’m still working on myself. Just don’t forget to breathe. Shit… this society; in this day and age, if you choose to keep going in this life, choose to wake up this morning without complaints. You already made it! You already won. For my native New Yorkers, just keep doing what we do best, keep moving and grooving!  

5 Ways To Prioritize During The Holidays

Tis the Season to be Jolly…. Bah Humbug! Are you looking forward to this holiday season? I know I am not…I used to love holidays, now I dislike them mainly because of the commercial aspect of it. I do love the spiritual side of it and what it means to be of service in the age of giving. There are so many people who are homeless this year. It hurts my heart that they don’t have a place to live and be free to celebrate in their own way. Do your best to give back to someone less fortunate than you. You will be surprised at how blessed you are.

Many of us are overwhelmed with trying to please family, friends and more. Now with so much going on in our daily lives, how do we have balance and not go into debt during this holiday season? Our rents and mortgages are extremely high, food prices have gone up and the kids are growing faster than a speeding bullet.

So, what can we do? I want to share with you five ways to prioritize during the holiday season! Here are few methods to get you through those holiday blues:

Step 1 – Pay all household bills first like Rent/Mortgage, telephone, utilities, and car & life insurance. Look for sales and start your shopping early like in July, (Back to School sales) August, and September (Labor Day sales).

5 Ways to Prioritise During the Holidays You Me NYC

Step 2 – Create a holiday budget. If you spent over $1500.00 last year, cut that in half and pick two items per child or person (get something they really want or need). Don’t spend excessively when you know you have bills to pay first. Bring in the New Year with a few dollars. Cha-ching $$$

5 Ways to Prioritise During the Holidays You Me NYC

Step 3 – Create a food budget, find fun new items to make with the family. Try baking holiday cookies or cupcakes. Do your home & holiday grocery shopping all in one. There are always plenty of sales on food during Thanksgiving week. Have your menu handy and focus on buying everything you need all at once. Tell your family and friends to bring a dish. Why should you be the only one cooking? Share the love.

5 Ways to Prioritise During the Holidays You Me NYC

Step 4 – Learn to shop at discount and department stores that have creative ideas for holiday decorations, games, toys and fun products. The following stores like Five Below, Marshalls, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar General are shops that have 25% to 75% sale offers. They usually start before the holidays, like Christmas in July. Don’t forget the stuff you bought last year that’s up in the closet. Get the family to design their own Christmas stockings and buy stocking stuffers. You can spend less than $10.00 per stocking. You can find quality items for as low as a $1.00 to fill those stockings like nail polish, cute combs, candy bars, “Hot Wheels” cars, gloves, hats, and gift cards.

5 Ways to Prioritise During the Holidays You Me NYC

Step 5 – Organize a few weeks before. Set up your holiday table. Have fun with the family, play Christmas movies or music. Get creative, let the kids make holiday decorations. This is a fun way to keep the family together. Remember do not go broke trying to impress people in order to show them you love them by spending excessively.

5 Ways to Prioritise During the Holidays You Me NYC

 

Mythical Dances of the Shakti Wellness Workshop

Event Description

Celebrate the power of your Divine Feminine Shakti energy in a 2-hour workshop that is dedicated to guide you to realize and actualize your dreams through Sacred Movement, Cosmic Sound and Universal Breath. Together we will create and cultivate a loving space to embody self-awareness and creativity.Mythical Dances of the Shakti Wellness Workshop You Me NYC

Date & Time

Sat, October 13, 2018
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM EDT

Location

Mark Morris Dance Group
3 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Register

Eventbrite

Organizers Arianna Al Tiye & Dianne Scott

Arianna is an International Ethnic Folkloric Dancer of East Afrikan descent who has taught, studied and performed here and abroad for over 20 years. She specializes in the sacred art form of belly dance as a healing modality to empower women of all ages. Her teachings of pelvic spirals, ribcage lifts, hip shimmies and undulations help to strengthen the natural feminine essence.

Dianne Scott is an African Dancer and Certified Yoga Teacher for over 20 years who has taught, studied and performed dance throughout the African Diaspora. She specializes in embodying movement, Reiki and sound vibration with gentle yoga practices to develop body-awareness, build self-esteem and improve overall heath and wellbeing.

The Busy Person’s Guide to Getting Back on Track

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with work, school, your relationships, family, friends, and business? Are you busy with helping your sister or girlfriend with her problems? Are you busy with driving around your best guy friend? Are you busy just doing nothing with your life? You never find time for yourself. Well join the club. As individuals, we tend to put everything and everyone before us. We put our families, the job, and our mates before us and we tend to leave ourselves last. As if we don’t matter, I am hear to tell you that you do matter!The Busy Person's Guide to Getting back on Track You Me NYCThere are so many painful experiences that can lead to a severe breakdown.  When you constantly focus on all the things that don’t make you feel whole. When you don’t focus on your true inner self. You will begin to feel it physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I have a few friends who always put every single person they know ahead of them. They never focus on their career, their goals, their health or any type of aspiration. I tell them all the time, you have to focus on “YOU.” They all say the same thing, I know, I know. If you know, then why won’t you. They say everybody needs them. I told them NO everybody is taking advantage of you, even their families, coworkers, bosses and even our own children from teenagers through young adults. They walk all over them. When my friends and Associates tell me that they are exhausted. I tell them that they need a wake up call or a reality check.The Busy Person's Guide to Getting Back on Track You Me NYCOne of my Associates had a stroke, one had a mental breakdown, the other was in a abusive relationship and another tried to commit suicide. Many people are in estranged marriages that developed some unworthy feelings of low self-esteem, self pity, self doubt and no self love. I was astonished of what was happening to my friends. They felt as if they never  had a voice in this world except for over the phone. They realized that they needed to make some  major changes in their life. Trust me it was coming sooner than they anticipated. When it finally happened, they had no recollection that it would come to this point and it was affecting their health. Now my friends don’t know what else to do with their life.

Let me tell you, when you start to feel unworthy, depressed, suicidal, negative thoughts can creep in. You have to take control and learn how to contribute to pain and frustration. You as an individual have to get up, stand up, grow up and open up your soul. You have to take responsibility for your own actions. And when you don’t, It causes major health and mental issues. We have to learn how to get back on track and find out what fuels our fire.The Busy Person's Guide to Getting back on Track You Me NYCHere are few things that can help you get back on track with your life. When you are feeling down and out, depressed and stressed, unloved and unworthy. Take some time out to get to know YOU and harness your own personal power!!!

  • Listening to music is soothing, I love jazz, neo-soul and old school R & B
  • Go fishing, I heard fishing is one of the most relaxing hobbies
  • Yoga and meditation are soulful ways to open up your spirit
  • Dancing, is also a fun way to unwind and loosen up those muscles
  • Journaling is a poetic way to explore your creativity through writing
  • Exercising is a good way to relieve stress
  • Take a class you’ve been meaning to explore in your career field
  • Are you a sports lover? Get some tickets to your all time favorite ball game
  • Last but not least travel to an exotic place you never been to before

The Busy Person's Guide to Getting back on Track You Me NYC

“Remember in order to change your thoughts, you can learn to change the world.”

Love & Light

MAE

Keeping Your Hormones in Balance

Keeping hormones in balance, when being a woman, is a sticky activity.  Throughout the female lifespan, many women endure symptoms related to excessive estrogen, especially PMS.  Hormone adjustments around pregnancy and menopause can also create comfort challenges as well.  There are a few key approaches and supplements that can help women reach the ultimate goal of hormonal-balance.Keeping Your Hormones in Balance You Me NYCAccording to Dr. Lauire Steelsmith, ND, LAc, and author of “Growing Younger Everyday”, too much estrogen at the wrong time can cause hormonal disruption.  A good workout and diet, can also help the liver detox your body, including estrogen.

Vegetables related to cabbage help the liver break down estrogen.  Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, contain compounds like indole-3-carbinol that convert unfriendly forms of estrogen to friendly.  Beets and dandelion tea are also good to increase your liver function.  Dandelion is an herb known to assist your liver to produce bile, according to Dr. Steelsmith.Keeping Your Hormones in Balance You Me NYCAs far as supplements go, Dr. Steelsmith likes like vitamin B6.  It helps the liver breakdown estrogen and also acts like a natural diuretic.  Therefore B6, can aid in enhancing mood, by activating serotonin which is one of our brain’s “feel good” chemicals.

According to Dr. Steelsmith, increasing the body’s ability to produce progesterone is another good way to keep hormonal balance.  Chasteberry is an herb that can increase progesterone and relieve PMS Symptoms.

New mothers are at the mercy of hormonal inequality, after they deliver.  It could take several months for balance to be restored.  Mood swings and headaches are symptoms a new mother experiences, during this imbalance.  Skin conditions such as acne also can develop.

Increasing your fiber intake helps rebuild hormonal balance by enhancing estrogen excretion.  Furthermore most women don’t eat the necessary amount of 25 grams a day.  You should increase your fiber over a couple of weeks.  Any sudden surge of fiber intake, can consequently lead to gas and bloating.

Since the liver processes hormones, we need to keep it in top shape.  Milk thistle is a good herb for a well running liver.  The compound slymarin is also  considered responsible for the herb’s detox power.

PMS, mood swings and headaches are all common symptoms due to hormonal imbalances.  Menopause brings an end to the PMS symptoms and a host of new discomforts.  Hot flashes, headaches, muscle aches, and weight gain are just a few of the troubling symptoms associated with menopause.Keeping Your Hormones in Balance You Me NYCHot flashes create a lot of displeasure for women around menopause.  There is an herb from Peru called Maca.  This herb offers promise for the hot flash sufferer.  Maca has also been linked to female hormone balance in the Andes region for centuries.  A scientific review concluded that this herb showed favorable treatment for reducing hot flashes.

Pycnogenol, is an extract from the bark of French maritime pine trees, rich in antioxidants.  This extract may also help with symptoms associated with perimenopause.   A study of 170 women taking 30 mg of Pycnogenol twice a day for three months, experienced fewer hot flashes and better sleep.  Other research on postmenopausal women, experienced a reduction in hot flashes, irritability, vaginal dryness and their sleep also improved.

Perimenopausal women who intake a good amount of omega-3 fattay acid DHA, appear to be at lower risk of receiving hot flashes or less severe.  These results are scene after using omega-3s for four months or longer.Keeping Your Hormones in Balance You Me NYC

Sources

“Effect of Low-Dose French Maritime Pine Bark Extract on Climacteric Syndrome in 170 Perimenopausal Women: A Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial” by T. Kohama and M. Negami, J Reprod Med, 2013
“Herbal Preparations for the Menopause: Beyond Isoflavones and Black Cohosh” by H.T. Depypere and F.H. Com-haire, Maturitas, 2/14
“Omega 3 Versus Isofavones in the Control of Vasomotor Symptoms in Postmenopausal Women” by S. Palacios et al., Gynecol Endocrinal. 2017
Personal communication: Laurie Steelsmith Interviewer: Victoria Dolby Towes, 3/18
“Supplementation with Pycnogenol Improves Signs and Symptoms of Menopausal Transition” by S. Errichi et al., Panminerva Med, 2011

The Power of (Black) Women

After seeing the Black Panther movie and being part of the whole “Wakanda Movement”, Black Women are back on the map!  I know many people don’t think so…I am here to tell you, we are.  That movie showed impeccable strength, dedication, power, illumination, sense of character and family.

So many women, have no idea, of the power they instill in themselves. I can reassure you, that this is only the beginning of a new end.  When I say the beginning of a new end, I am referring to those women who think there lives are over, due to dead end jobs, family obligations, lifeless relationships and more. You can become POWERFUL.
(Willie Mae Williams my Great Grandmother)
Willie Mae Williams You Me NYC
(Powerful Black Woman Passed at 105 years old)
Not only is it Women’s History Month, we should  be celebrating every day of our lives as to how powerful we are.  I mean power of the mind, body, and soul! What do you want from your life?  Are you afraid to go out and get what you truly desire? I know I use to be afraid to let the world see how talented I am.  I was hiding in the shadows because I didn’t have a degree, I was allowing my  peers to treat me as if I didn’t matter.  Many of them had all these so called great careers, I was making more money than they were and I never said a word.  When people brag and boast about what they have, they lose it quickly.

As a powerful woman, you must stand your ground and figure out what it is, that you want out of life. I’m a “Silent Warrior”, I kill people with kindness but I also back away slowly.  I was in the literary field for over 10 years before going over to Civil Service and now I am a published author, life coach, empowerment speaker, and giver of life.  I use to put my family and friends first and when I realized that they weren’t doing the same for me, I decided to change my life.  I woke up one Sunday morning and said “What in the world are you doing to yourself?” I was exhausted and grew to resent them.  I was unhappy because they didn’t respect me.  That’s when I said “I have to learn to respect myself and stop letting other people take advantage of me.”

As a powerful black woman, we endure so much pain.  We deal with horrible bosses, who don’t know or value our worth.  We stay in dead end relationships hoping our mates are going to change for the better.  Our children are all over the place, driving us crazy, by not succeeding in school or unwilling to participate in after school or weekend activities that we pay for.  It can wear and tear on a woman’s soul.  They say “We are at the bottom of the totem pole.”  I refuse to believe that old saying.  I think we are at the top of the totem pole.  We are just fearful on how to get to the top because we allow individuals and groups to stop us from shining.

Among my research, I found this remarkable tribe, called the “Umoja Village.”  They are a Sisterhood that believes in protecting their own.   Umoja, means “unity” in Swahili. They are an all female matriarch village founded in 1990, located near the town of Samburu County, in the capital of Nairobi.  It was founded by Rebecca Lolosoli, a Samburu woman, as a sanctuary for homeless survivors of violence against women and young girls running from forced marriages.  The women of the Samburu people, do not agree with violence and the traditional subordinate position of women.
(Umoja Village)
Umoja Village You Me NYC
(Umoja Village)
Their story moved me so much, it is similar to what I believe in.  I am a strong believer in teaching, guiding, and protecting my village.  Thanks to my Associate Myra, after a couple of weeks of researching on powerful black women.  She assisted me in finding this tribe.  If a village there in Africa can do it, then why can’t we here in America?  All my life, I heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” So where are all the villages? There is a majority of black women who don’t care about assisting other black women, that’s scary, yet they are the first to complain when something doesn’t go their way.

I want you all to remember that black is the most powerful color in the world. No other color can outshine it.  No matter what, you mix it with…the black and brown are going to show up in some form of fashion.  As a black woman, I want other women to become more dynamic and look for ways to help other women become influential.  Taking baby steps is the key to becoming great. As my best friend Sinatra, always use to say to me “You are destined for greatness.” That statement is so compelling!  You see, women are powerful no matter your economic status, cultural background, neighborhood or education.  We all have something unique inside of us that is destined to soar.

I am going to give you some quick tips to become even more powerful!

Tip #1 – Stop being a people pleaser!
Tip #2 – What is your dream, aspiration or goal?
Tip #3 – Do you have a hobby or something that you are good at?
Tip #4 – Focus on one goal, dream or aspiration at a time?
Tip #5 – Learn to say NO to people and work on you!
Tip #6 – Give yourself a timeline of 30, 60 or 90 days to accomplish one goal.
Tip #7 – Don’t forget to show gratitude, to how far you’ve come in reaching your goals.

When you get the chance, check out my book “Ready Set Go, 30 Days of Motivation To Get You To The Next Level.

Blessings,
Ms. Mikki A. Ealey