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.

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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.

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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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Possession Consciousness Is Dangerous With Things And People

Are you setting yourself up for unnecessary heartbreak? Or allowing others to position you for unnecessary drama?

Possession consciousness starts out quite innocently…

“My Clothes – My Shoes – My Jewelry – My House  – My Car”

But then there’s this level of possessiveness…

“My Father – My Mother

My Son – My Daughter

My Man – My Woman”

UH-OH! People Possession! (More on that a little later…)

Geore Carlin QuoteFor the most part, all material possessions lose their value. A big part of our society’s barometer for success is how much one has, so people place value on stuff.  It’s why many people get up every day: To work harder so they can get more stuff.  Nothing is wrong with having stuff, but if the stuff has you, it’s a setup. The reasons behind heart ties (emotional attachment) to stuff are multiple, and they create so much drama for people in their quest to satisfy internal desires with external stuff. It’s dangerous!

People stay in unhealthy relationships because they don’t want to lose material possessions or pay money to get out of them, even when divorce is the healthiest option for all involved.

People buy more house than they can afford to furnish, more car than they can afford to maintain and rack up credit card bills trying to impress people they don’t even like. And when they lose any of these things they lose their minds!

I’ve been divorced twice; in one case leaving everything and certainly ending up financially worse off. But nothing I loss compared to the peace I gained. And although the processes were painful, both divorces were exactly what I needed to do. Since them, I’ve grown so far past either of those experiences that upon reflection, they are mere moments in time.

Then just when it seemed life was back on track, I loss it all again to Hurricane Katrina. It took everything except the three days of clothes I brought with me (3 shirts, 3 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of panties, 2 bras, the earrings I was wearing, and a pair of flip-flops) and a CyberSonic toothbrush.

The event itself was devastating in many ways, but unlike many, because I had a healthy relationship with (not an unhealthy attachment to) things, my resilience kicked in. For a half a second I thought about all the new stuff I’d just bought to go in my new place and the lovely wardrobe I’d built, but then I shook it off!

While it took a while to build another wardrobe and acquire more things, I’m in no way attached to stuff and there is nothing that I cannot part with.

That’s a healthy relationship with stuff. In so many ways, I’m grateful for those experiences of loss.

People Possession

THIS is NOT Okay!

THIS is NOT Okay!

Healthy emotional ties to people are never wrong, but here’s an uncomfortable reality: most relationships are not healthy ; we’re all tied to people, and it’s each of our responsibility to govern our relationships. “Healthy” is available, but the only way to achieve it is to fully understand and apply the idea that we relate to people, we do not possess people.

Human development teaches us that relationships change, yet it’s human nature to want relationships to stay the same, and that’s why personal development should never stop. You should expect every relationship to change because every person, regardless of your relationship to them, is on their own individual journey. The reasons that we are here are to learn and to grow. You can’t grow if you are somebody’s possession because you’re only allowed to do, be and have what they want for themselves, and that’s not love.

Too many people misinterpret possessiveness for love. If s/he is controlling your every move: who you communicate with, what you wear (clothes, makeup), what you do, how you act – they are attentive, but do not mistake that for love.

Love allows. Allows you to be without requiring their permission. Allows you to grow and develop into more of yourself. Allows you to learn more so you can do and  be more. Love considers, cooperates and collaborates. It does not disrespect or demand, nor does it dictate.

Healthy Relationships Matter

Stuff is just stuff – we get it, we give it away, we lose it, we get some more.  The sooner you see stuff as temporary and practical the less you’ll allow it to stop you from making decisions you ought, healthy decisions that lead you to becoming more of yourself and the best of yourself.

People, not stuff are of true, lasting value!

To truly love is to be clear that we’re all playing roles in each others’ lives and few of those roles will last a lifetime. So play your role as long as it’s healthy, with a willingness to move on or let go – appreciating the opportunities to have known and learned from each person, and grateful to have contributed to their lives. Roles are usually for a reason or a season, rarely a lifetime.

Things and people are for our enjoyment, but it’s imperative to keep this at the forefront of how you live in order to build healthy emotional ties:  No thing and no body is yours!

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

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Have You Been A Doormat? Here’s How You Courage Up

I’ve been known to call people “punks” because they won’t stand up for themselves. Punks are like screaming doormats. When you lay down and let others walk on you it’s supposed to hurt!

In the Grown Zone, before anything, we’re about self love.  People who love themselves don’t allow others to treat them with disrespect. You teach people how to treat you. Before you demonstrate love for anybody demonstrate it for yourself. That’s one way to always know that you will not be disrespected more than once.

When others try to Bogart you in any way or you give into pressures from others more than once on the same issue, don’t blame them! The first time you get a pass because you didn’t see it coming. But after that you have to Courage UP in order to stop it!Doormat sign

Find your voice – your truth; that authentic sweet spot:

  • What makes you, you? Know your traits: good bad & ugly like you know your name. Start listing them – refining the good ones, safeguarding the bad and doing your damnedest to control the ugly.
  • Embrace that you’re worthy of respect! When you believe that you are you’ll prove it by protecting your mind, body and spirit with better decision-making.
  • Be willing to teach others how to treat you; what’s acceptable and what is not.

Get off the ground and commit to growth; that’s where peace lives!

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

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Embrace Time Alone Because Returning To Your Ex Is Like A Dog Returning To Its Vomit

Take My Broken HeartShe/He is your EX for a reason! I’m not a bible-thumper but for these reasons this passage of scripture is so apropo, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly“:

  • The act of the dog eating its own vomit is potentially poisonous
  • Foolish acts/behaviors are often out of fear not intentional folly

And if they left you, you’ve got to question why you’d allow them back. “I love him/her” is NOT a sufficient answer. People go back to what they knew, even when it wasn’t good because they don’t know how to be alone and fear it. Time alone is purposeful. If you’re allowing them back then you’ve likely not used the time alone properly.

Time alone is to review the last relationship for patterns in your selections and then to understand WHY you chose them to begin with. Not just what you liked about them, but also what voids in you they filled? When you can answer that you’ve identified YOUR deficits. And when you are aware and FIX THAT IN YOU, you can make your Next Decision Better.

That process won’t usually lead you BACKWARDS!

For your information: The scripture leading into Proverbs 26 says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.”

And then the verses in Proverbs 26 leading up to the 11th & 12th verses are all about foolish behaviors (“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.  Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him”).

NEXT it's time to move forwardDon’t be a fool! Be wise. Personal growth should never stop! Learn from every relationship. Take time between each one to learn more about you so that you can get better as an individual. Otherwise you run the risk of attracting and choosing the same kind of person, thus the same kinds of experiences and instead of getting better (with your choices and experiences), by default you’ll grow bitter.

You deserve better than that but you won’t get what you deserve necessarily, you’ll get what you choose and accept!

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

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Fidelity Is A Decision Not Based On Persuasion

Couple at bar.“A real man gives up one-night stands for a woman he can’t stand to spend one night without.”

Saw this in Social Media this morning and every time I see something like it I want to shake the women behind the posts. Women really need to THINK! Put your egos aside (yes, women are ego-driven too) and THINK because women who believe this end up jockeying for men, hurting one another and that’s not okay.

Hear this ladies, meditate on it and don’t ever forget it:

A man not committed to fidelity on general principle will NOT make an exception for you!

Stop believing that there’s something you can do, be or become that can change another person.

Women have given men a pass for being players. I’ll prove it. You accept statements like, “I’ll settle down when I find the right woman.” That’s a load of crap! It’s BULLSHIT! And women accept it. Men are players because women allow them to play. In the Grown Zone, we repeat: You don’t get what you deserve you get what you accept!

A man stops going to smorgasbords because his appetite for “all you can eat” has changed not because one of the dishes at the smorgasbord was so good that it’s all he wants to eat for the rest of his life.

Woman, you may have swaying ability; the ability to sway a man’s attention from another woman. You may be very aware of those powers, but if you were as aware of your worth, you’d never accept a swayable man.

A smart woman knows it’s a misuse of her powers and she knows that a swayable man will soon sway from her too. He’s susceptible to the bait used but not really interested in you.

When you attract a man by swaying or persuading him the pressure is always on you: to keep him satisfied and to keep his attention on you because you’ll forever know that whatever  you did to get him, the next woman who wants him only needs to do it better because you KNOW he’s baitable, thus swayable. What a miserable existence you will have created!

Hear me ladies: In the words of my father, Sam Green Sr, “There’s only one winner when you enter a man’s rotation – HIM – and no man is worth the price you’ll have to pay to compete.”

You can’t build a healthy relationship with somebody whose attention is divided. If you don’t have his undivided attention when you start you won’t gain it as you grow. Don’t you deserve sole focus? Than act like it!

man fidelity and wordsYou’re invited to Enter and LIVE in the Grown Zone.

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