Rock Bottom…

Isn’t ALWAYS a bad thing!

However, people pleasing is!

You are not living your life if you are constantly worried about what someone has to say about you and your doings! Plus, that is stressful. *This is coming from a former people pleaser.*

In my late teens, I had a mugshot plastered all over the internet. I remember being embarrassed, angry, and ashamed. I paid websites to take the image down. I didn’t want people to see the photo or know about the situation. 

After the second round of mugshots, I left them up for several reasons… I was being punished for a crime my biological mother committed. I was naive and didn’t report her. Truthfully, we were not on good terms and I wanted us to be. I wanted her to love me and for us to have a “healthy” relationship. 

My legal experience was out in the public and out of my control. There was nothing I could do about it. If I was going to lose community (friends and family) over this the community wasn’t for me. I did lose some people and I was devastated. My life drastically changed after this.

Thinking about this time, which was 9 years ago, still doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t know if it ever will. Maybe when the situation is completely behind me… I don’t want to go on a tangent. If you have questions I have answers. 

I can proudly say I am no longer ashamed of this situation.

This is why I refuse to please people. It’s impossible. You will lose your mind and self doing so. 

This experience is why I am a mindset coach. I want us to get unstuck and unapologetically thrive in our own unique ways. I did it and believe you can too!

Below are five tips to help you stop pleasing others and please yourself. I want you to enter 2021 caring a lot less about what one has to say about you. 

  1. Are you your UNAPOLOGETIC self with your friends and family? If not, why? What’s causing you to shrink? Can you have a conversation with the person? Is it time to end the relationship? Do what is best for you!!!
  2. You have a choice. You are made to believe you have to say yes to one’s request and you don’t. You can say no, which may be difficult. However, you are teaching that person how to treat you and creating boundaries for your well-being.
  3. Set clear boundaries and stick to them as much as possible. You may backslide and/or change them. It is okay. Get back up and try again. The goal is to create safe and healthy interactions and environments for YOUrself! 
  4. Is the experience life giving? You can no longer afford to do things out of obligation. You have one life. Live it up, Friend!
  5. Do not apologize!!! PERIOD! Your needs are important. Therefore, you should not apologize for protecting them.

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Live your best life!

Janine

No is not final

PERIOD!

I am kicking down the no doors.

One thing about me is no is not final.

I will find another way. I will keep going until I get what I want.

Sis, were you recently told no? Did you tell yourself no?

DO NOT give up!

Find a way!

*How can I help you?*

Remember,  we NEED your voice, ideas, and gifts!

I love these Columbia Sportswear boots (linked is to some of their boots. Mine are from last season). It’s cold out and these boots allow me to enjoy the outdoors and stay warm. Next week, I plan to shop and find more gear so I can continue to warmly enjoy the outdoors.

Oh and this Fashion Nova sweater (linked is the sweater) is sooo cute. It’s the color blocks. I am thankful for my sister for putting me on.

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Remember no is not final.

Janine

Are YOU Tamed?

Finding Your Truth!

Last week, I started reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. The first few pages were amazing. I had to stop and share this with you, Sis.

Free YOUrself

I think of the ways I’ve been tamed. It started with my biological mother’s parenting style. She was a mother of 4 at 21 years old. Owwweeee the challenges! It was my responsibility to care for my siblings and take them everywhere with me.

Early on that taught me to put other people’s needs before mine.

Many of us were conditioned to:

Please other people

Keep it cute and mute

Not discuss politics, money, or religion

Not have sexual desires

Become a lawyer, doctor, and RICH.

The list continues.

My 20s were spent learning how to live for me. At 29, I felt completely comfortable doing what was best for me.

Here are five tips to becoming untamed based on my lived experiences:

1. Date yourself. You need to spend time alone to truly understand what it is you like. This means trying things alone and deciding if they work for you or not.

2. Listen to your inner spirit. Your gut knows. Trust her. Follow her. There’s no need to abandon your spirit.

3. I am a Christian and believe God is always speaking. What is God telling you? What messages are being repeated to you? Are you talking to God? Are you seeking God’s guidance? Spend some quiet time with God. Allow God to speak and use you.

4. Surround yourself with life giving people and experiences. Your circle must speak truth, encourage, and love you unapologetically. Find people you can learn from and teach.

5. Show up authentically and unapologeticallythrive you. Remember you were fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14). Live in that!

Are you tamed? If yes, what are you going to do to change that?

Are you untamed? If yes, how did you do it?

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Sis, take your power back!

Janine

This is For Them Thirty Somethings

Schoolin’ Life...

I am feeling this 30s lifestyle! God brought me a mighty long way and I am thankful.

Here’s to 30 goals for the decade I am entering!

  1. Write a children’s series book
  2. Attend Myleik’s women’s retreat
  3. Hike Mt. Kilimanjaro and go to Kenya (M)
  4. Take a cooking class (M)
  5. Dance my life away at Coachella (M)
  6. Speak at the Essence Festival (M)
  7. Pay off ALL debt (M)
  8. Purchase a house for myself (M)
  9. Purchase multiple properties and rent them out and have a successful planning and development firm
  10. Read a book a month
  11. Travel to Turkey
  12. Take a solo trip out of the country
  13. Expand my family (marriage and twins – speaking those twins into existence)
  14. Start those babies’ college funds – no, they do not have to go to college. It would be ideal for this mama to have some money in the bank for them.
  15. Invest in stocks
  16. Retire by 50
  17. Oprah interviews me. This has been a dream of mine since I was 18. I wrote a letter as a college student and she responded.
  18. Unapologetically Thrive is a thriving business and I am speaking around the world
  19. Consistently workout for three times a week. I cannot wait to return to OrangeTheory Fitness.
  20. Give NY another try. Hahaaaa!
  21. Run multiple 5Ks
  22. Learn a new language
  23. Finish the Bible from beginning to end
  24. Write my goals and dreams down
  25. Start a morning routine
  26. Skydiving
  27. Learn how to swim! (I have a real fear and need to get over it! I have tried multiple times. *whispers* Don’t give up, Janny). I should add get over my fear of cats. But I don’t know about that…
  28. Take a hip hop dance class.
  29. Rent out a villa for my frans and me
  30. Live in Atlanta.

The goals with (M) are inspired by cousin Melissa, who recently lost her battle to cancer! She was such an inspiration. Melissa, you will forever live!

I am excited to cross off my list and live more intentionally! What intentions are you setting for your life?

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Sisterly,

Janine

A Decade of Blessings

Bye 20s

19 year old me.

Y’all, tomorrow, I will be 30. I can already feel the tears. I am entering a new decccccade. LET’S GOOOO!

I remember crying the day before I turned 20. So, let’s keep the tradition alive.

God, you didn’t have to, oh, but you did!! My life is differently than I expected.

I started my 20s fighting a legal battle and I truly thought my life was over... That legal system ain’t no joke! Oh, but God!

God, I give you all the thanks. *I’m crying!* You saw a light in me from day one. A light I didn’t see.

This is a thanks to every person who has ever mentored, talked to, prayed for and with, and/or inspired me! I am where and who I am because of YOU!

Looking back, my 20s were spent learning from the beautiful people God exposed me to. I learned the power of networking, importance of financial literacy, healthy families exist, alone time is a necessity, and Black women and natural hair are GOLD!

Black women taking over wine country! 2019

People believing in me is why this Black woman with a criminal record (I cannot believe I was ashamed of this entire experience *rolls eyes*) got degrees, a beautiful career, wonderful family of choice, and living her best life. I don’t take this for granted. People saw the light in me and continue to show up! I will never forget the love people had and have for me.

This is why I blog and instagram. I want to see all of us W I N and share what I know and have! What is mine is yours!

The road may be tough and with God and your community you are tougher. Remember who you belong to!

The world and *some* people may have written you off. Oh, but God! God can turn water into wine. God qualifies the called. GIRLLLL, tell me what God can’t do?!?

God didn’t and would never write you off! Again, remember who you belong to! You were perfectly and wonderfully made!

Natalie “Janine” Gates, go get what’s yours! 30s, let’s gooooo. 

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Sisterly,

Janine

It’s My Anniversary…

PCOS

Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is R E L A X! – Unknown

I started my cycle today and she did not come to play. My stomach, lower back, and hips are hollering.

It is truly amazing how my cycle has gotten worse.

One thing that is certain with PCOS, which is a hormonal imbalance and a brunch of other symptoms is she is unpredictable.

I cannot believe I was diagnosed 9 years ago today!

Did you know PCOS affects about 1 in 10 women of childbearing age? There’s a possibility that it affects more women since many of us walk around undiagnosed.

Also, we experience PCOS differently.

I struggle with irregular, heavy, and painful cycles, as well as, obesity, infertility, a little acne here and there, and chin hairs. The chin hairs caused me so much insecurity. I would shave, get waxes, and currently, I’ve been waxing myself. The things other women said while waxing my “beard” hurt my feelings. There is no way I will let anyone wax me there.

In the last year, my symptoms have taken a toll on me. My cycles brings out of the world headaches and period pain.

Anywho, happy PCOS Anniversary.

PS – Have you read Untamed by Glennon Doyle? It is soooo good. I am not that far in and every sister needs this book! She is an entire mood. And telling us we don’t have to be tamed! Come on, Glennon! Back to reading and relaxing I go.

Sisterly,

Janine

Resting B*tch Face

Let me live!

All my life someone somewhere would tell me to “smile” or “you seem angry.”

I spent years trying to correct my face. To be liked. To come across nice. To look approachable.

That was a complete waste of my time. If I want to have a resting b*tch face that’s my business.

We need to STOP telling women how to be. 

We don’t have to smile to make you feel comfortable. 

We don’t have to wear makeup to be beautiful.

We don’t have to have children or marriage to be valuable. That rich auntie and/or single vibe is good enough. 

We can be sassy and bossy. We getting the job done, correct?

Sis, am I missing anything?

Bottom line stop telling us what to do. Go tell your Mama what to do. 

**Yea, I didn’t think so. Yo mama ain’t playing that. And me neither.**

**This applies to women too. Stop being hard on your sisters!**

Janine

A Mustard Seed

Faith

On Sunday, I gave the sermon at Ainsworth United Church of Christ.

The night before I couldn’t sleep. The morning of I couldn’t eat and my stomach was doing gymnastics.

This isn’t an unusual feeling when I am giving a sermon. I have a completely different experience when I am speaking at a women’s/girls’ empowerment event. The anxiety just isn’t the same. *Something about getting in the pulpit makes me want to throw in the towel or question why I said, yes. #FeelTheFearAndDoItAnyway*

One may wonder, “why don’t you say, no?” Good question!

“Regular” public speaking is something I love. Preaching is difficult and my sermon isn’t completed until the 11th hour. God wakes me up in the middle of the night and BOOM, there’s my sermon.

I love that the process makes me dig deep spiritually, pick apart and research the scripture(s), and think about how I balance my energy with the audience’s. The last one I can’t control. When I am in the pulpit, there is another person giving the Word. My delivery truly surprises and inspires me. #NothingButGod

I am very energetic, involved, and ready to snatch everyone’s edges. Every(clap)one’s (clap) edges (claps), including your granny’s. Ha ha!

I wrote a message only God could have written. It seemed out of my wheelhouse. The title was A Mustard Seed Faith.

Here is the video to my sermon. If you do not have a lot of time to watch the entire service, scroll to 39.32 and watch me deliver a Message!

You don’t need a lot of faith to make a significant impact!

Thank you thank you for listening and making it this far!

God, thank you for using me. I appreciate you, everyone who listened, and reached out. #Blessed

Janine

Get Uncomfortable Part 4

Date Yourself!!!

Live your days knowing and loving thyself. What better way to do that than to date yourself. I have a little story to tell you.

8th grade summer, my “best friend” and I stopped being friends. She kicked me to the curb. FRFR! At that time, she was my longest friend and helped me through some difficult times. Any who, she decided to move on… And I needed to readjust to life without her.

A mentor advised me to “go be your own bestfriend. Go shopping, to the movies, and out to eat by yourself. You do not need anyone to do those activities with you.”

Ya’ll, I looked at my mentor like she was BooBoo The Fool. I objected and told her, “I cannot do that.”

Traveling to Cancun alone to meet 30 strangers for a Black girls trip! 7/2029

Long story short, I started dating myself. I would take myself to dinner, the mall, park, and on trips to name a few activities. It was an absolutely amazing idea and the reason I was able to go to away for undergrad, move across the country, and travel alone. I was built for this! And so were you!

Here are some benefits to dating thyself:

  • You have an opportunity to learn who you are, what you value, and enjoy doing.
  • You get clear on your why.
  • You have a chance to dream big.
  • Most importantly, you develop a relationship with your inner voice without influence from others. This is important because most likely you were taught to care about what other people thought. And you know you really shouldn’t, so don’t! You have to live your life! Soooo live it up, Sis.

Have you ever gone on a solo dolo date? If yes, where did you go? How was it?

If no, would you ever try it? What is holding you back from thriving, Sis? Remember, Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway!

Do your solo thang!

Janine

Get Uncomfortable Part 3

Try New Things!

Hey hey hey, Sis! How are you?

Welcome to part 3 of the Get Uncomfortable series. The purpose of the series is to become comfortable being uncomfortable and to truly learn how to show up for YOUrself!

When was the last time you tried something new?

Trying something new brings a lot of feelings: anxiety, excitement, and nervousness to name a few possible emotions. And you feel like a baddie boss once you’ve completed the task. Also, it allows you to expand your horizons, grow, and discover new passions. Sis, let’s try something new.

Feel the fear and do it anyway! Fear shouldn’t stop us from living our *best* lives.

I will never forget my first solo trip from 2019. I traveled to Atlanta for Myleik’s live podcast show. I was stretched, a little concerned, and overall, I had a phenomenal time! It was worth it! I cannot wait for my next solo trip!

Have you tried something new lately? If does not have to be zip lining or starting a new business. Let’s start with something “small.” How about trying:

  • A new food – Wanna know what made me stop eating Costco’s samples? As a child, I went to a stand and the server told me she was serving chicken. Instead, I tried some under fried gushy squid. That person played me and I stopped trying their samples. I gave squid another try and oh my, yuuuummy!
  • Hot yoga – I tried this and enjoyed it immensely. Please drink lots and lots of water 24 hours prior to your session and some leading up to it.
  • An outdoor activity – hiking, tennis, walking in a new neighborhood, laying out at a park, or whatever excites you.
  • Karaoke – yeah, I gave this a try. OWWEEEE! I tried to sing Beyonce’s Singles Ladies.

Now, that we have listed a few ideas, what new activity are you going to try?

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

Janine