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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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! ;-)

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A Grown Lesson From The Blogalicious Conference

You’ve got to be smart enough to know when you’re the teacher and when you’re the student. Really successful business people are often students, especially with those in their inner circles and on their payroll; they engage and hire people who are smarter than them! And they recognize any thing and any body can teach when you’re a willing student.

2013-10-10 14.33.48I went to Stacey Ferguson’s (@JusticeFergie on Twitter) Blogalicious Conference last week in Atlanta, Georgia and WHAT AN EXPERIENCE! She is brilliant! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more collaborative group of people.

Interestingly this was my 2nd year attending. Last year I was there as my beau’s (Alfred Edmond Jr) guest while he represented Miller/Coors’ Business Pitch Competition. It was at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas and I had a ball! Not because of the conference. I love slot machines. It’s something about those damn lights, ding-ding-dings and my Sanguine nature that make me happy! I was not thinking like a blogger then – had NO IDEA what I was missing.

This year Alfred was invited back to judge the Wells Fargo Business Competition, but I paid to go and went ahead of him – there every day as an eager student.

Zara, why aren’t you on that stage? People need to hear what you have to say. You should be up there!” said a sweet dear talented young woman who knows my brands.

Me: Girl, you’ve got to know when you’re the teacher and when you’re the student. I need to be my behind right here in the audience – taking notes, asking questions, networking – learning!

The Pros Attitude
I know what I know. In my space of understanding and teaching personal growth I belong on platforms, but that’s not all I need to know to be successful. Alfred and I have created an amazing space with the Grown Zone from our individual platforms on social media, and based on how the community is growing we will have one heck of a story to share one day on how we did it, but today we’re still learning.

Always An Amateur
Really smart people know that they’re always an amateur at something, which means they’re always learning.

I’m in awe of some of the people I met at Blogalicious last week. All are younger than me, but I’ve learned from each of them and even if only from afar I consider them mentors because I’m watching their every move!

BMWKRonnie and Lamar Tyler (@blackandmarried on Twitter), founders of Black And Married With Kids.

I crashed a private dinner they were having for their writers and partners – best wayward action I’ve taken in a long time (LOL! I didn’t REALLY crash it. I wasn’t exactly invited either, but I did get permission via a 3rd party). They don’t know it yet, but we’re now connected at the hip! I see them as poster children for the creative economy – not waiting for permission, rather innovative and leading the way in the blogosphere.

Jessica McFaddenJessica McFadden (@jessicamcfadd on Twitter), A Parent In America.

Jessica was on a panel and gave tips on vlogging. I asked a question and her advice resonated with me so much that my editorial calendar turned right-side UP! I’d been struggling for a while trying to figure out how to differentiate between what needed to be a blog, a video, or as part of our podcast. All of a sudden I saw how to make the best use of all of my talents. Jessica and I connected later over a libation in a green bottle which turned out to be both of our fave! 😉

With Diana Ramsey

Diana Ramsey (@siswithbeauty on Twitter), Sisters With Beauty.

This little cutie-pie is a rising star shining brightly. She recognized me as co-founder of the Grown Zone and Alfred Edmond Jr’s partner which sparked conversation, but then we clicked over natural hair! I learned more from her in one conversation than I have over the past 3 years of growing my natural hair. She’s a huge promoter of doing it yourself and through her website she shows you how. Not only is she talented, she’s a dancing machine (a dance-off between her and my beau is inevitable), and I usually reserve that term for Alfred; few can get down like he can. Hugs ‘n Love, Butterfly! 🙂

In a very short time I learned a lot from each of them and picked up lots of stuff from others throughout the conference. I’m often “on”; teaching, guiding, validating and sometimes (lovingly) chastising, but I know when it’s time to turn it “off”; to be a student because there’s always something to learn.

Although I have expertise, I’m not always the expert. Sometimes I’m the novice, and I’m smart enough to know when I’m the teacher or the student. Are you?

That’s living in the Grown Zone! Here we GROW…Grown IS Sexy! ;-)

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Sex Gets Too Much Credit As Basis For Loving Relationships

Everybody, not only wants love, but needs it. There are times throughout life when you may be more focused on school, career, parenting or your own personal growth – all great reasons to not be boo’d up –  but there will come a time when you’ll want a consistent romantic relationship; somebody to share your life with.

Sex and loveBut too often, women who desire somebody to love them all life long are settling for those who only want to love them all night long. And make no mistake, loving you all night long multiple nights is not the fast track to being loved all life-long.

Men are not exempt! They too get caught up in one-sided relationships based on sexual compatibility and later realize that he’s given far more than he’s gotten because they are not compatible in areas that actually keep couples together (NO, it ain’t sex!). Only then, he’s in deep (money, property, children) all because the sex was good; he didn’t get to know her before committing to her.

Nobody should EVER accept #f-ed up, unloving choices and/or treatment as part of “being in love.” Because in these cases love has nothing to do with it. It never does.

Ladies and gentlemen: don’t confuse sexual availability with a long-term desire FOR you and certainly not a commitment TO you. And don’t confuse one’s willingness to allow you to financially rescue them (sponsor/benefactor/pay a bill/buy a purse/trips/…) as love for YOU!

You are invited to ENTER and LIVE in the Grown Zone where we help folks to make their Next Decision Better.

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

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Parents Protect, Prepare and Some Pimp

teen sexUnder NO CIRCUMSTANCE is it acceptable to let your teenager’s girlfriends or boyfriends visit UNSUPERVISED and certainly to NEVER, EVER spend the night.

Hormones are active. It’s a FACT and it’s NORMAL but they are NOT READY for the ripple effects of having sex. They might still figure out how to get some if they want it but if you’re not PROTECTING your children, you’re NOT PARENTING them! Don’t make it easy for them.teen pregnancy

And Mothers (more than fathers but sometimes they do too): you have to STOP coercing your daughter’s love interests with money, lodging & treating them as your own to keep him with her. That’s not parenting, it’s PIMPING and that’s FAR FROM GROWN. #LiveInTheGrownZone

When YOU live in the Grown Zone, your children will grow up in your shadows and make grown decisions too – even if it takes them a while you will have provided reference points for them when they get in trouble. THAT’S YOUR JOB!

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

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To Mothers of Fatherless Sons And Daughters

WARNING: I am not tap dancing around this subject because women have to start devoting real planning and forethought–and set real standards–when choosing their children’s fathers, if there’s going to be a dent in the number of fatherless sons and daughters.

I am not blaming women, but I am clear and unequivocal in my message to women: Your PooNannie is Your Responsibility.

It’s rare that a man who commits to a relationship, marries a woman and then has children with her, will suddenly leave and act as if the children do not exist. It’s not rare for a man to leave his wife, but to drop from his children’s lives completely – that’s rare. So there are different categories of Single Mothers; all don’t have fatherless sons and daughters.

Free Love: Slave To Your Passions

FatherlessWith few exceptions, unplanned pregnancies are the result of two people, usually adults exercising their right to have sex with no concern for ripple effects.

They have the adult right to sex whomever they want, whenever they want, however they want, and may even reproduce, without reason, explanation, nor commitment. However, that kind of screwing is irresponsible and it’s certainly not grown decision-making.

Friends with Benefits

Here’s the problem with this: Women are putting more emphasis on the “friend” and penis-led men are putting more emphasis on the “benefits.” The reason penis-led men don’t support their children is because they didn’t screw with the consideration, and certainly not with the intent, of parenting in mind.

Men are penis-led by nature. When the average man engages in sexual activity, he’s not thinking beyond his immediate gratification. And Momma, although they wanted you when you were making the baby, many of them resent you for having the baby.

Lady, you may not have thought beyond the act either, but you are the one whose life is altered; you are the one most likely to be left with the responsibility of a little person – a lifetime commitment.

The time to realize that a man “ain’t shit” is before he’s your baby’s daddy.

Don’t Be Quick To Lay!

Know who you’re sharing yourself with. Make sure he’s emotionally equipped and prepared to co-parent with you for the long haul, even if the two of you don’t work out. Here’s a hint: If he is not actively parenting the children he’s already sired, it is extremely unlikely that he will make an exception for any child he could potentially sire with you. Any post-pubescent male can sire a child; grown men ready, willing and able to actually father one are far less common.

Your decisions always have ripple effects. Most pregnancies aren’t planned, yet most relationships don’t last. You have to get better qualifiers for choosing who you’ll allow in your life, to sex, and to procreate with.

A man who doesn’t take the time to get to know you, but is willing and eager to sex you, is only thinking about the nut he’s about to bust in you, not the rest of you and certainly not the child he could be producing in that moment.

RAISE THE BAR!

So, maybe your baby’s daddy “ain’t shit.” Then you need to get serious about doing a better job of vetting who you lay with! UP your criteria! RAISE THE DAMN BAR! No, you didn’t make the baby by yourself, but it’s YOUR PooNannie, so it’s YOUR responsibility and in the end, for better or worse, YOUR baby, even though he helped you to produce it.

Growth is a choice; choose it now – Next Decision Better!

And until you figure it out, NO POONANNIE FOR DEADBEATS! That’s the immediate way you start to reduce the numbers of fatherless sons and daughters!

*Footnote* Not all men are penis-led. #LiveInTheGrownZone

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What Is Behind The Angry Black Woman?

NO, We're NOT!

NO, We’re NOT!

So misinterpreted, so misunderstood thus so mishandled, we are.

So many things that we have the right to be angry about, but it’s not really our nature to be angry. Most are just hurt and scared; want to be accepted and loved.

Anger is for a Time; Hurt can be Forever

The reality is that hurt people, hurt people. And without the tools to deal with emotional hurts people make agreements with themselves to do whatever it takes to not feel that pain again. Out of fear walls are built, language to protect those hurts is created, and a way of being – established from that place of fear – is born. So what looks like an angry black woman is a woman who has more faith in the hurtful places of her life than joy she is currently experiencing, but that is not a life sentence.

So If It’s Not Anger What Is It?

Anger is not the problem. In fact, it’s a lie; a crutch even! Because when you really get angry you’ll stop acting out like a resistant child fueled by hurts and do something. Anger says, “I’m fed up”, “No more”; anger invokes!

When you really get angry something shifts inside that says, “I deserve better”; you change. You change how you relate to the thing that’s made you most angry: the things that have hurt you, including behaviors you’ve tolerated, what you believe about your own worth, things you do, conversations you have and the way you see the world. When that slight, but powerful shift happens you’ve tapped into a different consciousness; an awareness that you can now benefit from because you’re now forwardly focused – moving beyond the pain.

Here’s the real problem: Your environments are producing stankin’ thinkin’ and feeding your fears about being hurt and you’re attracting the same kinds of experiences – validating your beliefs.

Your experiences are indeed facts in your life, but facts don’t equal truth. The truth is that you can change what you get by shifting your consciousness – one thought at a time.

Bitter or Better?

You can’t change your past neither should that be your desire no matter how horrid, but if you don’t change how you relate to your past, bitter is what you’ll become and I’m telling you that you deserve better; a better consciousness of mind, a peaceful spirit and a joyous life.

Better is Available to You, but Only You Can Choose It

How?

1) Allow love to abound starting with you. 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, it can get better!

2) Acknowledge and embrace all that is.  INCLUDING ALL OF THE GOOD that exist in the world. If you haven’t experienced much good it’s because you’ve ignored it; not welcomed it in your life. “Good” won’t force itself on you.

3) Stop defining yourself by your old experiences. As long as you keep your past in your current experiences and allow the emotions of those experiences to operate in present day the way they did when they happened you’ll remain hurt and grow bitter. Allow yourself a new experience. You are not what happened. IT happened. You lived to tell about it and to have more, different, better experiences. That moment (those moments) passed when the experience was over. You have to learn to (not get over it), but fold it in.

You won’t have “better” by forgetting your past, rather by embracing, expecting and allowing a future that you once could not imagine for yourself.

When you believe you deserve more, you really do stop allowing (in thought and in life) less.

Here’s to a new consciousness, a joyous tomorrow and a better future. Here’s to living in the Grown Zone. #NextDecisionBetter

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

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