No is not final


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.


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!


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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Get Uncomfortable Part 1

Boundaries Plaza

Sister, welcome to Boundaries Plaza! How are yoooou? It has been a long time coming. Writing this post has been difficult and so real. Real because my boundaries have been tested these last week fews… Anywho!

Let’s get into this! Boundaries Plaza is part of the Get Uncomfortable series. The purpose of this series is to become comfortable being uncomfortable and truly learn how to show up for YOUrself!

Growing up, we are groomed to be a certain way. Almost all children are taught to be nice. As a child, if someone hurts your feelings you may have been told, so and so did not mean that. In this situation or others, you may have heard “perspective is everything.” There is truth to that AND all of the above words of encouragement can also teach you to ignore your feelings and boundaries.

And still you must set and enforce your boundaries! Below are a few steps to help you do so:

  • You may feel guilty or anxiety for establishing your boundaries and expecting individuals to respect them. Still speak truth to them. The goal is to ensure you always feel safe and if you don’t, you must remove yourself for that situation. We are not staying anywhere we are not celebrating! PEEEERIOD!
  • What is it that you need in order to feel safe, heard, and free? This is why we set boundaries. Your boundaries may change depending on the relationship and the person you are interacting with.
  • Boundaries can be physical, emotional, sexual, based on values, and whatever else.
  • When speaking to them, you may want to use I statements. You are more likely to be heard and the person listening is less likely to be defensive. This is dependent on your goal. I go back and forth about I states. Check out this teeny tiny paragraph about the power of I statements.
  • When discussing your feelings/boundaries keep it brief. Check this post out for more information. Again, it is teeny tiny. People do not have the capacity to hear much. IJS! And the goal is to be heard so share three points or less regarding your feelings and needs.
  • THEIR REACTION IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS OR RESPONSIBILITY! Do not own it! Let them sit with their feelings. Say your peace and move on!

Have you had any experiences with setting and enforcing your boundaries? If so, how was your experience? Do you have anything to add to the list?



Get Uncomfortable!!!

For That Glow Up!

Hey Sis! Welcome! I am so excited for the Get Uncomfortable series. This is going to be a goodie! So grab your pen and paper!

The Get Uncomfortable series will give you tools to level up, discover new things about yourself, and encourage you to remain true to you!

In this series, we will discuss:

Our uncomfortableness brings some of the best rewards! You got this, Sis!
  • Boundaries: Let’s talk about the importance of setting, speaking to, and enforcing our boundaries.
  • Saying no: No is healthy! No is important! No needs no explanation! NO is a complete sentence! Period, Poo (I know you rolled your head when you read that. I sure did)!
  • Trying New Things: This allows you to expand your horizons, grow, and discover new passions. I will never forget the time I traveled to Atlanta alone to attend Myleik’s live podcast show. I was stretched in all areas of my life, a little concerned, and overall, I had a phenomenal time!
  • Dating yourself: Have a picnic alone. Get clear on who you are, what you enjoy, and your dislikes.
  • Taking up space: As women we shrink entirely too often. It is time for us to not only show up, but to take up all the space we need.
  • Goodbyes: Some people, things, thoughts, and beliefs need to exit stage left. It is time for some new hellos.

The goal of the series is to become comfortable being uncomfortable. No one grows in their comfort zone. Growth takes being uncomfortable – sitting with, growing from, and bossing up from it.

See you on Boundaries Plaza.