The Grown Zone Has Moved

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Oh, what a difference a year, consistency and a commitment to serve makes! The Grown Zone has grown and now, the Grown Zone is moving! This will be the final post from this URL and soon it will be going away, but don’t worry, the content is moving too.

We started the Grown Zone with just a Twitter page in November of 2012. In January of 2013 we started Grown Zone Radio, a half-hour show that we do LIVE every Sat at 12 noon, EST. The same month we started a monthly LIVE Grown Zone Discussion Series in New York City.

We’ve since taken LIVE Grown Zone on the road which led to a media/content partnership with JET Magazine and, in addition to our own blog, the Grown Zone has a blog on JETmag.com that we post to every Monday morning.

We’ve been busy and our Grown Zone baby is growing, and we couldn’t be happier, prouder or more excited about it’s future!

What’s next? There’s a lot of demand for it so the first Grown Zone book is actively in the works and it’s shaping up beautifully; it will be published this year!

Grown Zone’s New Home:  www.GrownZone.com; a new site, new things burgeoning and we’re buckling down for the ride.

We’re grateful for you and we thank you for joining the Grown Zone army, and for your continued support and encouragement. Stay with us as it grows and lets keep loving ourselves more than ever, making our Next Decisions Better™ and intentionally creating healthier relationships! Let’s continue to Live In The Grown Zone!

This is the last post from this blog, but get ready for even more! And when you visit our new site, please help us refine it! If you see anything that will make it better please give us your feedback.

Sincerely,

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Love and Money: Stop Giving Them To Strangers and Dependents, Part 2

Stranger Dependent PartnerToo many people pay dearly, both emotionally and financially because they insist on treating love as a form of currency, like the yen or Euro, with an exchange rate convertible to U.S. dollars. We share examples of this in Love and Money: Stop Giving Them To Strangers, Part 1. To graduate from exercising your adult right to engage in financial and romantic foolery, to making Grown decisions as relates to love and money, requires you to ask and honestly answer two questions, and operate accordingly: Is this person a stranger, a dependent or a partner? And would I make the same financial choices if this person were not a love interest?  If the only or primary reason you’re considering making a financial decision or commitment is your desire to get or keep a relationship, don’t do it. And if your love interest is a stranger or a dependent, you absolutely shouldn’t do it. And if he or she is not ready, willing and able to accept full, joint responsibility for a financial purchase or commitment, again, the answer is no. Let’s explore these concepts further.

Strangers. The reason you shouldn’t be giving, spending, investing or otherwise allowing access to your money to strangers is the same reason they shouldn’t have access to your body, home or heart: no matter how cute, sexy, funny, smart, fine, “Godly”, well-dressed (yada-yada-yada) he or she is, you do not know them. Paying the bills, taking on joint financial obligations or buying overly expensive gifts for people you do not know is not Grown.

Dependents. If an adult is unwilling, disinterested or not yet capable of supporting him or herself, he or she is not Grown—period. Only Grown people—complete, self-supporting, whole, healthy and happy all by themselves—are capable of sustaining healthy relationships. Grown people do not need to be saved, rescued or believed in to achieve their potential, make progress toward their goals and to be generally productive. (They’re not working toward any goals? They’re definitely not Grown.) Adult dependents are not qualified to engage in healthy, sustainable relationships. Furthermore, Grown people do not financially support dependents other than their minor children.

Look at their track record. If they’re happiest when someone (mom, dad, their ex, the government, whoever) is financing their wants and needs, and they view actually having to earn money to support and advance themselves as a grave injustice, do not get involved with them, especially financially. Ladies, if he is not committed to taking care of his children by other women, don’t allow your ego (or your belief in your own sexual wiles) to convince you that he will turn into a different person and take care of you and yours. Dependent men can’t support other dependents when they can’t depend on themselves. Gentlemen, if she is accustomed to love interests who pay her car note, rent, and other expenses as proof of love, back away—unless you really want to support an adult dependent over which you have no parental authority. (And if you’re the one with the dependent mindset, you need to get serious about your personal growth, before you do real damage to your life as well as to the lives of others.)

Partners. If a person is not a dependent and no longer a stranger, then this person must show that he or she is partner material. (A dependent, by definition, cannot be a partner.) Not as in marriage, but as in: Can I trust this person with my money? Can we do business fairly with one another? Does this person honor their agreements? Do they pay their debts? Do they pay their bills on time, or whenever it is convenient for them? Are they responsible with their finances, or do they live beyond their means? What did they learn about handling money from their parents, family and culture? You should be looking for the same qualities that a bank or credit card seeks when determining someone as a financially responsible, fair and trustworthy person. Again, the fact the person is attractive, religious, smart and nice is immaterial. Understand: If he or she is a poor credit risk, can’t or won’t pay their bills, see paying back loans as an optional exercise, and is generally unreliable when it comes to money, they are not suddenly going to become conscientious, income-earning, money-savvy and credit-worthy because of your loving ways. If they can’t afford to buy what they want or need, they won’t be able to afford to pay back money you loan to them to get it. If they’ll stiff, cheat or avoid financial obligations to others, they will not make an exception for you, no matter how special you believe your relationship is.

Here’s a real litmus test for financial decision making for any relationship outside of marriage (which is legally a joint financial partnership in most states): One or both of you is unwilling to create and sign a written agreement detailing terms and a schedule for repayment of a loan or other financial favor. If this is the case, such loans or financial favors should not be granted. Grown people do not loan each other money without a written agreement spelling out repayment terms, with signatures from both partners. They accept that any monies shared outside such an agreement to be gifts or part of the shared expenses of the relationship, with no expectation of repayment. If you can’t afford to make such gifts, do not do so in the name of love.

Too many people refuse to deal with these questions until after money has changed hands, loans have been extended, authorized users have been added, purchases have been co-signed for—which usually means drama, conflict, break-ups and broken commitments are in full effect. On the other hand, Grown people never give access to their money to strangers, nor do they finance the needs and desires of dependents other than their minor children. Grown people only allow financial access to partners—as defined by capabilities, habits, values, character and track record, not romantic feelings, hopes and promises.

Women: You do men (and yourself) a tremendous disservice when you move them from their Momma’s (or Daddy’s, or another woman’s) house into your home. A man who hasn’t proven he can provide for himself/make his own living is incapable of doing the same for you. If you move a man into your house from his Momma’s house, who’ll provide for you when your back is against the wall?

Men: You’d do well to take the same advice, because a big butt and a smile may stroke your ego and fulfill your fantasies, but can’t do anything for your soul or be a help to you in periods of challenge and adversity. The P-word you need to value her for is Partnership, not that other word that causes penis-led men to turn off their brains. When you’re financially challenged, you will want to know she won’t bail on you, but can and will support and challenge you to find ways to continue to contribute to your partnership.

Ladies and gents: Two smart, mutually supportive, loving, productive people, working together in partnership (not co-dependency) make the sexiest of all couples! That’s love and money in the Grown Zone. You can’t lease it, rent it, or buy it. But you must accept nothing less if you seek healthy, sustainable relationships.

For a daily dose of Grown, Join us in The Grown Zone!

Connect with us on these platforms:

Twitter: @GrownZone

Facebook: /GrownZone

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Love and Money: Stop Them Giving to Strangers and Dependents, Part 1

Buying LoveAdults are messy enough when it comes to love, sex and relationships. But for real rachetness and foolery, add money to the mix. Too many people pay dearly both emotionally and financially because they insist on treating love as a form of currency, like the yen or Euro, with an exchange rate convertible to U.S. dollars. For examples of the relationship disasters that result, just look at television court shows like Judge Judy (one of our favorites for observing adult-and-messy thinking in a controlled environment). For love, people will make totally not Grown money decisions, including:

  • Spending lavishly on gifts, travel and food (with money that suddenly become “loans” after the break-up)
  • Paying the mortgage, rent, utilities and other bills of healthy, able-bodied, yet unemployed adults (even when those paying have their own children to feed)
  • Co-signing on credit cards and mobile phone service for people who can’t get  them because of horrible credit and/or a checkered employment history. (Meaning the payer is taking a financial risk that a major bank or national cell phone provider wouldn’t take)
  • Buying or giving unfettered access to cars, including paying for insurance and even gas, for another adult (who may or may not have a license) to drive
  • Posting bail and paying the outstanding balance on child-support owed (for the children of another woman) to get a person out of jail

One of our most basic human needs is to be loved and, unfortunately, some people try to buy it. There are many negative relationship consequences as a result. Besides episodes of clothes bleaching and car keying, here are just a couple:

First, using money to lure a person in hopes of getting them to love you, or otherwise change or control their behavior, sets up an unhealthy, sinister, premise: that you have “purchased” the right to own or control another human being. This is what’s at play when a man feels entitled (or a woman feels obligated) to have sex or otherwise commit to a relationship based on how much money he’s spent to be in her company. This possession consciousness is also what’s happening when a woman doggedly holds on to her man because she doesn’t want to lose years of “investing” in him. (And she’ll be damned if the next woman is going to reap rewards of her hard work.) Watch cable TV channels like Investigation Discovery—people kill over this stuff!

Second, to be Grown is to be clear on the difference between being loved for what you look like, what you can do or what you have, and being loved for who you are. When you use money or other financial incentives to drive or define a relationship, you condition others to value you for what you have, not for who you are. Once this idea takes root (even if they really don’t want you for your money), the emotional security of your relationship is compromised, usually by suspicion, jealousy and possessiveness, because of fears that any decrease in your financial capability, or chance meeting between your love interest and anyone with more money than you, can result in you losing him or her. And if he or she really is “all about the Benjamins”, you’ll be right. When your money runs low, they’re out—or you may wish they were!

A Grown person would never allow him or herself to be bought; the adult who would allow it deeply undervalues their own worth and, therefore, is ill-prepared to engage in a healthy relationship. A Grown person, without question, expects to do for him or herself. Even when Grown partners decide for whatever reason that one will be the main bread winner, the other is not at home couch-surfing with remote controls or out shopping at the mall (or out entertaining outside relationships); he or she remains financially accountable to the relationship.

To graduate from exercising your adult right to engage in financial and romantic foolery, to making Grown decisions as relates to love and money, requires you to ask and honestly answer two questions, and operate accordingly: Is this person a stranger, a dependent or a partner? And would I make the same financial choices if this person were not a love interest?  We explore these concepts further in Love and Money: Stop Giving Them to Strangers and Dependents, Part 2.

For a daily dose of Grown, Join us in The Grown Zone!

Connect with us on these platforms:

Twitter: @GrownZone

Facebook: /GrownZone

Blog Talk Radio: /GrownZone

Instagram: @GrownZone

Google+: +GrownZone

Build Resilience: It’s The Only Way To Grow

Breakthrough cardThe difference between those who thrive regardless of conditions and those who fold under most conditions has everything to do with how they handle life’s circumstances. I’m not talking about surviving. People survive all kinds of things to no credit of their own; cancer because of treatment, disasters because of FEMA, and abuse because of stupidity. I’m not talking about doing what you’re told, tolerating conditions or getting through them because of others’ good will.

I’m talking about when you find yourself in a space (familiar or not) that is uncomfortable and/or detrimental to your well being/progress and won’t change until you decide to thrive – make the decision to be free.

Here’s what happens in that moment: an almost unbearable churning in your soul! Everybody who’s ever considered doing something they’ve never done knows that feeling, but only those who step out regardless of the fear know what comes next.

Resilience is not about bouncing back or recovering, rather forging through. -Zara Green

When you respond to that scary, uncomfortable churning with action that takes you from the familiar, your soul (your very being) is being transformed. You are becoming more of yourself – learning how to live in what will become your new normal – you are rising above that situation, a new creature. In this space you’re not concerned with what won’t go well, only with what you need to do to make sure it goes better – that’s your responsibility whenever you’re in a tough spot; Next Decision Better™!

It’s YOUR life!
Choose it – just as it is.
Own it – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Change it – as long as you can breathe and learn it can get better. -Zara Green

Building resilience takes courage. You were created with the ability but you must CourageUP™ and follow your churning to increase your capacity.

Here we GROW…Grown IS Sexy! ;-)

For a daily dose of Grown, Join us in The Grown Zone!

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Twitter: @GrownZone

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It’s Healthy To Challenge Your Beliefs

Religion can be a BEAST; it saves and imprisons. Beliefs are purposeful but they are not intended to remain the same. If your beliefs aren’t changing/evolving, you’re not growing.

Prays Well With OthersIf you’re still stuck on the spiritual beliefs of your parents we challenge you to intentionally learn something new. Challenge your beliefs.

If you believe that your religion is the only way, we challenge you to intentionally learn something new. Challenge your beliefs.

If conversations about what others believe make you uncomfortable, we challenge you to intentionally learn something new. Challenge your beliefs.

If you believe that there’s a hell, an opposing force or that you are somehow favored by “The Creator”, we challenge you to intentionally learn something new. Challenge your beliefs.

We’ve learned to not only embrace, but to appreciate it when our beliefs are challenged. It’s how we grow.  We believe that it is AS important to UNlearn something everyday as it is to learn something new.  

If you are unwilling to challenge your beliefs then by default you’re resistant to change, and without change you can not grow. If you’re not growing it’s impossible to have a healthy mindset as life delivers it’s unavoidable challenges.

If you can’t look over the course of your life at the things you’ve thought, believed and done and see a damn fool, you’re still one! And if you think you have all the answers you need for the challenges ahead of you and that you don’t need to learn anything new you’re affirmatively, a damn fool! But there’s hope, even for you. Enter and LIVE in the Grown Zone!

Here we GROW…Grown IS Sexy! ;-)

For a daily dose of Grown, Join us in The Grown Zone!

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Twitter: @GrownZone

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Why I Watch Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court

Aside from the fact that I respect its Judge, I watch Paternity Court because it makes rachet, REAL!

Oh, you haven’t heard of Paternity Court? Well, let me tell you about it.

Judge Lauren Lake

Judge Lauren Lake

The judge presiding is the beautiful, feisty, multi-talented Lauren Lake, University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, educated. I’ve watched Lauren since her home make-over show days in the 1990’s and she is a Renaissance woman!

When I first heard of Paternity Court I thought: REALLY?!?! Do we really need to further pollute the airwaves and the idle minds focused on daytime television.

You see, I thought it would be another block of television attracting the rachet and feeding more rachetness. Well, part of that is true: Paternity Court by nature – on daytime television feeding perpetual idle minds attracts the rachet, but it’s a glimmer of hope because while it deals with rachetness, it promotes responsibility. It uses rachet behavior to teach responsibility.

You see, irresponsible screwing has consequences! There would be no need for a Paternity Court if people weren’t screwing irresponsibly!

“If you’re not swimming in the pond you can’t get caught!”

-Samuel Green, Sr.

My father has been saying this for as long as I can remember. Back in the day a woman could pick whichever man she’d slept with and decide who would be her baby’s daddy and there was nothing he could do about it, especially if married to her. Women have been lying on men about being their baby’s daddy forever! But today DNA tests expose her behavior.

Nobody should have to live with a lie about who their biological parent is. In certain cases it is not possible to know but when it is every child deserves to know from whence they came.

Paternity CourtI believe that Paternity Court makes REAL the consequences of screwing whomever you want whenever you want without regard for ripple effects. These are lessons in critical thinking that many of those tuning in would not otherwise get.

“Most men are just looking for an available, warm hole and for them, any hole will do.”

-Sam Green, Sr.

It’s making REAL the pain people feel when they’ve been lied to about their biological parent, or been denied by a man who was ready to screw their mother but not ready to parent them.

You have the Adult Right to screw irresponsibly but that behavior is far from Grown. And women need to understand the difference between being wanted and desired vs. being valued and loved. That is YOUR responsibility!

Keep doing your thang Judge Lake and I’ll keep supporting you because we’re on the same mission: to heal and help people to embrace truths and make their Next Decision Better.

You’re invited to Enter and LIVE in the Grown Zone.

For a daily dose of Grown, Join us in The Grown Zone!

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Twitter: @GrownZone

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PERSONAL GROWTH SPECIALISTS ZARA GREEN AND ALFRED EDMOND JR. TO HOST GROWN ZONE WEEKEND RETREAT NOV. 22-24 IN CHICAGO

Alfred & Zara

Alfred & Zara

Personal growth specialists and social-media power couple Zara Green and Alfred Edmond Jr. will be in Chicago to host the Grown Zone Self Love and Healthy Relationships Retreat, November 22-24, 2013, at the Welcome Inn Manor, a sumptuous urban bed-and breakfast inn. The weekend retreat will provide in-depth teaching and interactive guidance, in a relaxed and intimate setting, to those seeking a framework to recognize, prepare for, attract and maintain healthy relationships, romantic and otherwise.

The Grown Zone Self Love and Healthy Relationships Retreat kicks off on the evening

Cameka Smith, BOSS Network

Cameka Smith, BOSS Network

of Friday, November 22, with a reception/mixer hosted by Chicagoan Cameka Smith, founder of The BOSS Network. A full day of seminars and workshops led by Green and Edmond will begin on Saturday, November 23, including “Self-Love: The Foundation of ALL Healthy Relationships,” “Making Better Decisions” and “What A Healthy Relationship Looks Like.” The retreat will conclude with a wrap-up session, including open discussion and Q&A, on Sunday, November 24. Registration, which is limited to 45 participants, includes a Friday evening reception/mixer; breakfast, lunch and evening cocktails on Saturday; and a Sunday brunch. For more information about the retreat and other Grown Zone offerings, go to www.GrownZoneA2Z.com. Register for the Grown Zone Self Love and Healthy Relationships Retreat at www.gzchicago.eventbrite.com/.

Welcome Inn Manor

Welcome Inn Manor

The Welcome Inn Manor (www.WelcomeInnManor.com), the host venue for the Grown Zone Retreat, is located at 4563 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago and co-owned by husband and wife Mell and Angie Monroe. Located in the Lakeshore South neighborhood, the Welcome Inn Manor is about a 1 mile walking distance to Lakeshore Drive and a few blocks to several El train stops. Street parking is free and garage parking is available.  A Queen Anne historic home built in 1893, with cozy and uniquely appointed rooms, themed in tribute to the likes of Nat “King” Cole, the Welcome Inn Manor is an ideal location for an intimate and luxurious weekend getaway. Named a 2012 Top Vacation Rental in Chicago by TripAdvisor’s FlipKey online reservation site, the Welcome Inn Manor also enjoys a top TripAdvisor Traveler Rating, based on traveler reviews. Those registered for the Grown Zone retreat can secure special room rates at the Welcome Inn Manor by calling 312-493-2953 or e-mailing to mell@welcomeinnmanor.com with the promo code: Grown Zone.

Life and business partners Green and Edmond are co-principals of A2Z Personal Growth Enterprises, a media company focused on the creation and delivery of personal development products, communications, content and events. The company is best known for the Grown Zone, the mission of which is to teach the difference between adult choices—what people have the right to do—and “grown” decisions—those choices that honor the Grown Zone principles of “Self Love, Better Decisions and Healthier Relationships.”

“The Grown Zone is our response to repeated requests from our social medGrown Zone, Header croppedia friends and followers, particularly over the past year, to share our principles of self-love, better decisions and healthy relationships in order to achieve a happier life,” says Edmond. “As much as we both love social media, live events allows us to do this in a deeper and more engaging and personal way than we can on Twitter or Facebook. So we were thrilled when we were invited to bring the Grown Zone to Chicago.”

“Our goal is the same whether live, social media or traditional media,” Green adds. “We are both excited by and committed to the mission of helping people make better decisions that lead to better outcomes for their lives and relationships. We want to help people learn to distinguish, embrace, accept and respect their individual differences, and to require the same of others. By accepting self and others for who we are, and taking responsibility for our choices and outcomes, we can achieve our true, common purpose in life: to love and grow.”

Green and Edmond are recognized, especially on Twitter and Facebook, among social media’s most popular and respected power couples, known for their unique combination of “heat and light” and “cool refreshment.” They are host and co-host, respectively, of the weekly Grown Zone on BlogTalkRadio, every Saturday at 12:00 noon EST. Green and Edmond also host a Grown Zone Live discussion series in New York City, and have garnered the attention of other media, including the Tom Joyner Morning Show, which featured the Grown Zone “Love and Money” series during Financial Literacy Month in April 2013.

Green is an author, speaker, trainer and former broadcast journalist specializing in personal growth, resiliency development and individuality advocacy. She is best known for helping others to understanding individual temperaments as a key factor of healthy, productive life management, in order to empower them to make their Next Decision Better™.

She is also known for her popular Grown Is Sexy™ and PooNannie Principles™ content and products, which focus on teaching healthy relationship choices founded on love of self, respect of others, and taking personal responsibility for securing both. For women in particular, Green has garnered a passionate and local following for her teachings on helping women to proactively make H.E.R. ™—Honor, Esteem and Respect—a non-negotiable priority in order to secure happy and fulfilled lives.

Edmond, best known as an award-winning journalist, editor and media executive with Black Enterprise and host of the nationally syndicated radio feature Money Matters for American Urban Radio Networks, is a widely recognized expert on personal finance, entrepreneurship, mentorship, leadership development and the practical application of faith in daily living.

A highly sought-after public speaker, Edmond is also known for his A Grown Man Knows™ content on the values and behaviors of responsible, life-affirming manhood. Well known for his sense of personal style, Edmond is also co-designer of a signature line of bow ties, the Alfred Edmond Jr. Collection, in partnership with Nashville, Tenn.-based Windsor Neckwear.

For a daily dose of Grown, Join us in The Grown Zone!

Connect with us on these platforms:

Twitter: @GrownZone

Facebook: /GrownZone

Blog Talk Radio: /GrownZone

Instagram: @GrownZone

Google+: +GrownZone