Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Misplaced Anger!

This morning I ended up in a not so good mood before I left out the door. I asked someone to do something for me and they laughed on top of that they didn’t do what I asked. Initially I was upset, as I write this I am still a little upset but my anger is now in the right place. I thought about all the things I do for this particular person, sacrifices I make of my time, money, and resources and couldn’t believe they denied my request.

Admittedly I have a problem with the word NO but at the same time I don’t ask for much and when I do I truly need or want it at the time. I am highly self-sufficient and don’t mind doing things on my own. However I had to give myself a pep talk and remind myself…Just because we choose to go out of our way for others, respond to their request at the drop of a dime, make sacrifices and do things for them doesn’t mean they have to do it for us. Most of the times they are doing these same things for us, just not always when we want them done.

When I do things I truly do them out of the goodness of my heart. I never expect anything in return but mutual respect and consideration, reciprocity. So, I couldn’t be mad because the other person knew they didn’t want to do something and chose not to do it. However, there have been numerous times when I hear NO! and then think of all the times I’ve sacrificed and feel like I’ve been slighted, as if I am owed anything. No one in this world owes me or anyone else anything except for a thank you. I realized that I had misplaced anger.

I was angry with someone for exercising their right to choose and do what they want to do. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done for them in the past or vice versa. In each instance of our lives when we are faced with a decision we have the right to choose and whatever our choice we are doing what we want or what we don’t want to do. I know I am not the only one that has been angry with someone for something like this.

If you find yourself upset with your children, parent, sibling, friends, lover, or anyone for that matter because you can’t believe they did or didn’t do this or that after all that you have done for them, I am here to tell you your anger should be pointed toward the man in the mirror! Whether we are doing something to help someone out, because we want to see them smile/happy, because we feel we will get something out of it in return (never a good reason to do something by the way), or because we felt they really needed us at that time; we made a choice and did what we wanted to do. Just because a favor or request is denied or not returned, doesn’t mean they don’t love or care for us any less. It simply means at the time they were exercising their right to choose and do what they wanted.

Let’s be real, if there is something we absolutely don’t want to do, no matter if the other person cries, yells, gets upset, stops talking to us for a while, tries to manipulate or force our hand, we are not going to do it. So how can we be upset with someone else for creating boundaries and knowing their limitations? The answer is we can’t. All we can do is create our own boundaries and stick to them no matter what. Recognize if we choose to go outside of our boundaries it was only because we wanted to do it.Let’s make sure we are getting to the root of our anger and placing it where it belongs!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, January 30, 2012

Diets Aren’t For Me But Healthy Eating Is!

Diets Aren’t For Me But Healthy Eating Is!

I have been writing about being healthy, eating right, and staying fit. Let me be clear, I don’t do nor do I believe in “diets” but that is just me. While I do believe in having a well-balanced diet I don’t believe in restricting anything from your diet. If I want cookies, cake, ice cream, chips or anything else deemed unhealthy I eat them. The trick is I do not eat them every day. I can go an entire week without eating any sweets, fried, or processed foods.
Too much of anything can kill you, if you consume too much water in a short period of time you can die from water suffocation. So even things that are good for you shouldn’t necessarily be over indulged in again balance. My healthy dietary habits work for you, you have to find what works best for you and be sure to incorporate a cheat day.

I realize I usually only give bits and pieces so this blog is going to go slightly more in depth.
Daily, we should all consume water, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, milk (I’m weaning myself off outside of ice cream), and meats (don’t have to be consumed daily or at all). See the new food pyramid below. Considering that they have changed the pyramid again do what is best for you just make sure your diet is balanced and you are getting the vitamins and nutrients you need.

Vitamins - I do believe people should take vitamins however I believe that your vitamins should not supplement the nutrients you are missing but be an extra. By all means if eating fruits and veggies daily is not yet in your plans, by all means load up on vitamins as your body needs them.

Weight Loss/Weight Gain – Ironically this is the time many people are trying to lose weight, my sister is trying to gain 25 pounds and I would personally like to gain 5 pounds. A lot of people look at me cross eyed when I mention losing weight or gaining weight. Many people larger than myself tell me, I am fine and they wish they were my size. Funny thing is there is someone out there wishing they were the size of the person that is giving me the side eye. My personal goal is a smaller waist line, I don’t want to be a size 2 at all, and if I am a size 12 with a flat stomach I would probably be ok with that as long as I was healthy. One thing that I do know about weight loss is if you are overweight the less you eat, the less your chance of losing weight. Every woman I encountered that is trying to lose weight I ask what do they eat. Usually my reply to them is they don’t eat enough!!! Again I get the side eye. My thing is this if I have maintained the same weight for the last 10 years why not take my word for it? Weight is 80% what you eat and 20% what you do. Working out and eating donuts and other fattening foods regularly will not garner the desired effect you desire. Again it’s all about balance.

Exercise – My personal favorites right now are Gaiam Pilates for Abs, Gaiam Yoga with Rodney Ye (AM, Daily, and Abs workout), as well as Ballet Stretch. I use free weights and resistance bands for my arms. To get some cardio in I have Yoga Booty Ballet and Kim Kardashians Fit in your jeans by Friday. Again from my blog I personally like to work out at home. If you are gym person knock yourself out. Running on the treadmill or hitting the elliptical for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a day will do your body good. Ladies, do not shy away from weights. Weight lifting can help your bones and you will love that in your old age. Most importantly in any exercise regime is stretching. Keep your muscles long and lean and increase your flexibility, again your older self will love you for it. Of course, when exercising find a regime that works for you, that you enjoy, and that keeps you motivated. Whatever you do, do something, even if you just start walking. Every little bit helps and makes a difference.

Drowning – I am guilty of this, I drown my food. I have to taste salad dressing on every piece of my salad. My mother says that I have syrup with pancakes instead of pancakes with syrup. When we drown our salads, if you do like I do, it’s not a good thing as there are a lot of ingredients in the salad dressing depending on which you eat that aren’t necessarily good for us. It’s like the dressing cancels out the salad. There is a fast food chain that will remain nameless but eating their salad with dressing has the same amount of calories as eating one of their burgers. Drinks, drinking certain things with your meal while still eating may change the digestion process of your food. So if at all possible, eat your food and then drink your beverage after you are done, that includes water. Let your food go down naturally and allow your stomach acids to break the food down and distribute it.

Sample meal plan, I can only remember what I ate yesterday and today so

Breakfast – Blueberry muffin and Green Tea w/ Pomegranate
1stSnack – Mandarin orange, a few black, blue and strawberries sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey
3rdSnack – handful of trail mix (cranberries, walnuts, pecans, dark chocolate, raisins)
Drank 32 oz. of water by noon
Lunch – ½ Chicken Breast piece (Chicken Parmagiana) w/ steamed carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower
3rd snack – ¼ of a Grapefruit
4thsnack – pack of chocolate donuts
Drank 32 more oz. of water by 3:30P
Arrived home and complete Daily Yoga by Gaiam with Rodney Ye
Dinner – 6 spicy wingdings from KFC with BBQ sauce
Took a B12 vitamin with 4 oz. of water

Workout – Pilates for Abs
Breakfast – 2 Boiled Eggs and 2 oz. of OJ
1stSnack – Pack of chocolate donuts (don’t judge me I am trying to gain a little weight) and Green tea with pomegranate with ½ of freshly squeezed lemons juice
2ndSnack – ¼ of a Grapefruit
16 oz. of water before noon
Lunch – Chicken Parmagiana w/ Fettuccini &Spinach in a tomato basil sauce
16 oz. of water
3rdSnack – Black, Blue and Strawberries with a Banana sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with honey
Dinner – Mexican Style Tacos, Guacamole & Chips, and Margaritas :-)

As you notice there are more healthy things on my daily meal plans that unhealthy. Truthfully I don’t know why I wanted chocolate donuts this week 2 days in a row but I am not going to beat myself up over it.

Diets aren’t for me, If you do choose to diet that is great but if you’ve tried diet after diet and you haven’t been able to take weight off and keep it off, it may be time to re-evaluate your overall eating habits and exercise regime. Like the post from Friday, you must start inside out!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, January 27, 2012


Everything that we do, think, feel, are and see starts on the inside. When we look to treat, improve, or change anything in our lives we should start with ourselves and look within ourselves to create what we want to see on the outside.

I am getting more into health, fitness, and natural remedies. Admittedly, I have never been a fan of cough medicine and many over the counter drugs since my youth. So yesterday, I googled the health benefits of lemons. Lemons have vitamins and antioxidants and they can help with arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, dandruff, sore throats, colds, fever, flu and a wealth of other ailments many people suffer from.I read that if you drink water and add lemon and honey it helps gives your skin a glow. Healthy glowing skin from the inside out. Now of course I am going to try that. I already add lemon and honey to my hot tea sometimes. I also read the benefits of raw organic honey this week as well so adding them to my water, no brainer.

I personally could be a spoke person for cocoa and shea butter. I love them and swear by them use them daily. I even have a daily face cream with SPF that I rub on daily and also apply to my lips so I am not against any beauty products.
I do however believe that more people need to start with the inside.

I suffer from extremely dry scalp. The 1stthing my stylist asked me was how much water do I drink. She was concerned with what I was putting in my body as that effects what comes out of the body. Many people want healthy hair, nails, and skin, who wouldn’t? However most people flock to the stores and load up on creams, lotions, serums, and other beauty products to achieve their goals.

Examine your diet and your water intake. Our you filling up with foods rich in vitamins and vital nutrients that your body needs and are you drinking more water than any other beverage daily? If the answer is no, that is the place to start. No matter what we put on the outside, if the inside is not right, it will just be a temporary fix. It’s like putting a piece of tape on a leaky pipe, it will work for a while but eventually you will have to replace the entire pipe. Unfortunately we only get one body and I don’t want anything replaced I want to keep everything original and in proper working order.

This goes for our relationships as well with our family, friends, and children. We need to go inside of ourselves and ask are we coming from a place of peace, love, joy, kindness, and self-control when dealing with other people. What thoughts are consuming us and filling our minds? Those are the things that cause us to react the way that we do. There is a scripture that says out of the heart the mouth speaks. No matter what someone says or does to you, your reaction is based on what is inside of you. Whatever is inside of you is what comes out of you. So no matter how much make-up you wear, hair cuts/styles you get, suits, shoes etc. that you buy to give your outward appearance that extra boost…

If you are not filled with confidence, pride, joy, love, peace of mind, kindness, and compassion others will eventually if not immediately see through your outward appearance. "Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it." -Yves Saint Laurent That’s one thing that can’t be faked, our core essence, our spirit. Sprits recognize spirit before words are uttered. You may wonder why you are attracted to certain people, it’s all about the spirit that is within you as well as within them. Now outward appearance and proper grooming are important as first impressions are lasting impressions. However a pig in a Armani suit is still a pig!

Once all of the make-up and outward enhancements are removed, who are you? When people ask to describe you what will they say? Will they mention the way you dress, look? Or will they mention how you help others, care for ourselves, are giving and supportive? Will they happen to mention a little bit of both or just one or the other?If you choose to work on your heart, your mind, your thoughts, your inner being, your outward being will begin to shine. This means feeding yourself the right things; mind, body, and soul.

So when you think about change and making changes to improve yourself start with what you can do from the inside and the outside is sure to follow.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday, someone I followed was tweeting about people that do what they want to do. She referenced a time when she was a little girl and her cousin had done something wrong. Her aunt was spanking her cousin and at the same time asking the cousin why she did what she did. My follower responded auntie I know why she did it. Her aunt asked why? Her response, “because she wanted to.”

Because I wanted to! I think about my own son, he does things that make me angry at times and I ask why did you do that,? Ironically, often times he tells me because I wanted to or because I didn’t want to. That is the best, most sincere answer one could give. Now I will appreciate him more for being honest.

In the grand scheme of things everything we do is because we wanted to do it, point blank period. Anything said outside of that is a concocted reasoning, explanation for why we did something e.g. and EXCUSE!

Questions & Answers

Why are you dating such and such but you are unhappy?
Usual excuses: Well (s)he looked good, I was lonely, I don’t like sleeping alone, I don’t want to go out to eat, the movies etc. by myself. I love them, it’s hard to walk away. I’m afraid to be alone. I can’t afford to pay my bills by myself
Real Answer: I stay because I want to.

Why don’t you save money?
Usual excuses: I can barely afford my bills now. No one taught me how to save.
When I get money I can’t help but spend it. There’s always something that needs
to be paid or done.
Real Answer: Because I don’t want to.

Why haven’t you come to visit?
Usual excuses: I’ve just been so busy, I haven’t had time. There is so much going
on the weekends are packed full of errands and running around.
Real Answer: Because I don’t want to.

Why don’t you make more healthy eating habit choices?
Usual excuses: Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive. I don’t have time to
cook. I don’t like cooking. I don’t like many vegetables.
Real Answer: Because I don’t want to.

We ALL I mean EVERYONE 95% of the time does what they want to do when they want to do it. We make time for what we want to make time for. We find money to make purchases that we feel that we need even when they are not a basic necessity. We do what we want and what we don’t want EVERYDAY. It bothers me to hear people say so and so made me do this or that. Or when people say I didn’t have another choice I had to. No, you always have a choice and whatever you choose, you chose it because you wanted to. Whether fear, anxiety, stress, or anything else played a part in your decision it doesn’t matter, in the end you did what you wanted to or what you felt was best for you.

Even going to work, yes that is your job and that is how you get paid but you get up and go because you want to. You could very well stay at home, eventually get fired but you don’t because you don’t want to you also don’t want the after effects that come with that. Nevertheless as I wrote in a post early this week we all exercise our right to CHOOSE.

Please believe when I write this is therapy for me. I am not sitting on my soapbox pointing my finger or looking my nose down. As I know that I do what I want when I want. I had to break myself from a lot of bad habits. I used so many excuses, I’m tired, I just don’t feel like it, I had a hard long day, it feels good/right etc. Really, again WE DO THINGS BECAUSE WE WANT TO OR BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TO.

What if that was the only reason we gave when asked why did you do this or that? Although it’s the truth it’s a bold statement. People are looking for some reasoning, some drawn out explanation. Not a simple because I wanted to, because I thought that was the best thing to do, because I made the decision and that is what I decided. I did it because I wanted to do it.

Now the goal is to make sure we are doing what we want to do but also what is best for us. For example, last night the little woman on my right shoulder told me I didn’t want to work out, the little woman on my right should told me I did. I went with the little woman on my left shoulder. Why? Because I am training myself to do what I need to do when needed even when I don’t want to do it! Why? It seems so easy to do what we want to do yet so difficult to what it is we truly need to do. My goal is to have a paradigm shift when it comes to wants, needs, and necessities.

All the bad choices/decisions we’ve made, EVERYTHING we have done. We exercised our right to CHOOSE and did it because we either wanted to or didn’t want to after it’s all said and done.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Confessions of a Recovering Shopaholic!

Recovery is a process LOL! I must admit that I have 2 vices, shopping and eating. I love them both equally and they are essential to my survival. I’m just going to keep it real here, but seriously, I do enjoy both a lot.

As you already know I am a proponent of budgets, however, there are times, few and far between that I throw caution to the wind say screw my budget and indulge myself. And, as much as I believe in budgets, saving and being wise, I also believe that life is to be lived and without fun and enjoyment what is the purpose. There is no purpose in hoarding all of your cash and living a miserable life. Just as there is no purpose having too much fun and blowing all your money either, life is all about balance. Find a healthy balance for every aspect of your life without guilt or regrets. The most important thing is to know your limitations and respect your weaknesses.

I admit my weakness is a mean pair of boots, hot sandal, and form fitting dresses (if there is an event I always feel like I need something new, I’m working on it)!!!!!!!

A few months ago, I received a Victoria’s Secret catalog and they had some booties that I was absolutely in love with. Now the first thing I do when I see something I like, I rarely buy it immediately, I sleep on it. If I am still thinking about the item the next week, I figure I really want it and I buy it. So the booties that I was in lust with were priced $129 in the Victoria’s Secret catalog. I went to buy the shoes but they didn’t have my size. So being the resourceful person that I am, I googled the brand and found the same booties in my size on
www.endless.com for $114. $15 savings but spending the $114 on the shoes I decided not right now. This year I was still thinking about those booties more so because there is a party coming up. I googled the brand again and found the booties I wanted at www.6PM.com for $39.99 flat, no tax, no shipping and thanks to www.upromise.com I purchased the shoes and saved money for my sons college fund!

Proceeds of my sale going to a college fund for my son isn’t a green light to shop because I could have very well saved the $39.99 for him! At the same time in my mind I saved $90 on a pair of booties that I really wanted. In essence, it is like the sales trap. When things are on sale we figure we should buy them automatically without a second thought. That’s a dangerous thought process as I know many people with homes full of items that were “on sale” that they have absolutely no use for. So if that is you be careful and change a.s.a.p.! For me the price was right and I had been sitting on the purchase for 2 months or more so it was a no brainer.

This is one of the reasons that I am a recovering shopaholic. I purchase things that are cute and hang them in my closet; I look up its 6 months later I haven’t worn them. That is absolutely not good and I’m making no excuse for it. I can say if someone calls me about a vacation or something I have clothes ready to pack up and go though.

My weakness, the emails that I get about a sale or a must-have item; my remedy I usually read my emails on the train which means I can’t see the pictures. If shopping is not in my budget or doesn’t align with my goals at the time, I delete the email off my phone and my inbox. That is a problem solved for me. As I think about it, I don’t need another item of clothing or shoes; I just want and like to buy something new for the new season.

I could very well be content with what I have and save more but let’s be real, I like to look good. I do wear items though that I have had for years and years as if they are brand new with no hesitation.

So, my weakness is shopping, your weakness maybe Starbucks or coffee in general, cigarettes (hard habit to break I know, well not personally), lottery tickets (the allure of winning), dining out, movies, etc. Whatever your weakness is, recognize it and figure out ways to overcome it!

My way of overcoming is the DELTE button :-).

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


What’s Your Passion?

Today’s blog is starting off a little differently. I received a comment from a faithful reader. Actually she emailed and told me she was waiting on my blog post for today. My response to her was that I was tired and slightly behind. I actually did not intend on writing one today but she e-nspired me to stay on top of my own business with this comment:

“It is because of you I have started to work out a least 3 times a week, change my eating habits, drum roll........................................... and now I am wearing my natural hair. I have no chemicals in my hair and I love it. Most of all the men love it. It's a lot of work but it's worth it. Jo you have inspired me to love me by taking care of me. Love you girl. Keep up the good work.”

Thank you to all who faithfully read Epiphany Essentials Blog. If you have been inspired, encouraged, engaged, enformed, or enlightened in any way please feel free to share your comments with us on our website http://epiphanyessentials.blogspot.com or via email epiphanyessentials@yahoo.com.

I learned early on that one of my gifts was gathering information, sharing it with other and ultimately helping people. I will say that is my top gift or natural ability With that said in October of 2009, I started Epiphany Essentials blog as a way to pursue my passion. Today as I was writing this I took a break to examine my very 1st blog post. I see that my blog has evolved over the past 3 years which is great but there are key fundamentals that made me start this blog that I need to get back to as well. . So I ask, what is your gift?

What is your gift or natural ability? What is something that you do without having to be asked twice and that you willingly and gladly do for free? Whatever your answer is that is your passion. Your passion is related to your purpose and whether being compensated or not pursue your passion for the fulfillment of your purpose.
Many people feel unfulfilled in life I believe it is mainly because we are not in the career/profession that we should be in. Until your passion can produce a profit you do need to have something in the pipeline to generate income but remember to focus on your goal. By all means be realistic but do not forget to have a measure of faith as well.

While many in the 99% are upset at the 1% and have sparked an Occupy Movement around the world, being a part of the 99% there is something we can do. I met a man who said the problem with our economy is that 10% of the people employ 90% of the population. So imagine 10 people own business with 5 open positions, and 90 people need a job. 40 people are going to be unemployed. Now the 40 people have some choices, they can collect unemployment, they can wait for someone to retire or be fired, or they can start their own business.

In this economy right now, millionaires and billionaires are being created. There are people who are fed up with the status quo and instead looking for a job are creating their own businesses.

Why? I believe one reason is because desperate times call for desperate measures. When you are fed up enough, you find a way or make one and refuse to settle for failure or mediocrity.

So again, I ask what is your passion? Turn that into a side hustle or a way to generate a different form of income. The wealthy know that multiple streams of income is the key to wealth and sustained wealth building.
Before you tell me that you don’t have time to follow your dreams and pursue your passion. I ask, how much television do you watch, what do you do on your “free time”?

Again it is not always about money. Receiving that email today warmed my heart. To think that my blog has impacted 1 person and changed their life is all the reward I need because that is why I do what I do.

To E-nspire, E-ncourage, E-nform, Engage, and Enlighten!

As I share with all of you, I am also encouraging myself to do better, be better, work harder, and strive for the greatness I deserve!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Monday, January 23, 2012

Preserve your Joy!

Preserve your Joy!

“This joy I have the world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away!” Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Happiness is an intrinsic trait, it comes from within and the thing is you should already have it. Whether you have all that you want or not, you should have internal happiness as well as joy.

So at all cost, Preserve your Joy!

You woke up late this morning, Preserve your Joy!

You were cut off in traffic, Preserve your Joy!

The restaurant messed up your order, Preserve your Joy!

Your child(ren) are acting out, Preserve your Joy!

You don’t like your current job, Preserve your Joy!

Your bank account is negative, Preserve your Joy!

You encountered a disgruntled customer service rep, Preserve your Joy!

At all costs, Preserve your Joy! No matter what it is you're facing, your attitude and your response is everything and as stated in a previous blog, you have the power to choose. You always have a choice. We are all human and things will upset us and bother us. I like the way Pastor Joel says after 15 minutes let it go. There is no reason to ruin the rest of your day or whatever it is you are doing over one instance.

I remember in college, me and my friends were headed to a party. We went to enter into the gate and it wasn’t working, in the process of backing up, I rubbed my lovely car on one of those big orange poles and created an ugly dent. I examined the damage, we proceeded to go get whatever we were getting and went to the party. My friends were shocked at my reaction. My thought process, the damage is done, I have insurance, I have money to fix it lets still go out and have a good time.

Now I could have gotten upset, decided to stay at home and ruin everyone’s evening. Had I did that, my car would still be damaged, so what would have been the point? Life goes on, things happen.

A friend of mine met a gentleman that was up in age and looked good. My friend asked him what his secret was. The older man’s response “don’t sweat the small stuff.” My friend asked what is the small stuff? The man replied, ‘EVERYTHING!!!!!’ Preserve your Joy!

How do you preserve your joy? By choosing not to let ANY external factors determine your internal mood. That’s it; it’s that simple, you choose. The thing is you are walking around angry at someone, ageing yourself, creating stress, and they are none the wiser and could probably care less. Preserve your Joy! At all cost.

Be blessed and be a blessing,
Epiphany Essentials

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Thick and Fit!

This is for all of my sistahs out there J. It is possible to keep your plump round booty and still work out!

Not to say that all sistahs want to be thick but let’s be real, many of us are. Heck half of America is overweight. According to the body mass index (BMI) that is currently used, the last time I was weighed technically I am overweight for my height although I can fit a 4/6. So it’s not all about what society says you should look like but more importantly what you are comfortable with.

Growing up I ate whatever I wanted, entire pizzas, whole gallons of Eddy’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream and I didn’t seem to gain any weight. I was always skinny but I desired to be thick. I guess I was watching too many videos and got wrapped up in Sir Mix-A-Lots baby got back. Anyway, it wasn’t until after I turned 22 that I began gaining weight. That was attributed to me going out to the clubs drinking modestly but eating afterwards late night. The thickness came, then I had my son and the thickness went. Don’t get me wrong no complaints here as many women have children, pack on pounds and have a difficult time getting it off.

Let me clarify something, I no longer eat like that. I drink 8, 8oz glasses of water daily, eat fruits and veggies, bake all my food, rarely eat fried foods. More so for my health and my heart than my weight, however. Nevertheless, I am not on a diet in the least bit if I want chocolate cake, brownies, ice cream etc. I am going to eat it and not feel guilty about it. So I am grateful right now for my size and weight just want to trim my mid-section and strengthen my core.

Ladies, our core is vital to our health; that goes for men as well. The larger the waist line the greater your chance of heart disease and other illnesses. So what am I saying, forget about your hair, forget about the thought of losing your derriere and get the moving, get active.

However, as the title says, you can be thick and fit. I admittedly have fallen in love with yoga, Pilates, and I now have a ballet stretch workoutthat I do for increased flexibility. All of these exercises will keep your thickness and give you more fitness and flexibility too. Note: I rarely sweat when doing any of the above mentioned workouts, so you don’t have to worry about your hair, but I do see the benefits.

Flexibility is key especially as we grow older. Weight training is also important. No you don’t have to look like a bulky weight builder but trust me your bones will thank you especially in your 60s, 70s, and 80s. With all that said, don’t forget to stretch regularly. Stretching helps avoid bulking and keeps your muscles long and lean.

To get fit, no you do not need a gym membership or expensive gym equipment. You can do crunches, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, squats etc. at home. There are no excuses. I am a huge fan of DVDs I work out in my bedroom, the gym is not for me. Now if you want to go to the gym or invest in gym equipment by all means. I myself want an elliptical to add more cardio to my workout. The point is again, no excuses.

While my hope is that we are all eating more healthy foods than non-healthy foods. Diet is the key to weight loss. So if you don’t want to lose weight you don’t have to, you can exercise and simply tone, keeping your thickness but getting fit.

So in a nut shell whatever type of exercise you do, walking, running, hitting the gym, and working out in your home doing traditional moves or with a DVD. Do something, at least 3X per week for a minimum of 20 minutes. If possible at least stretch every day, trust me your body will love you for it.

No matter what your size, weight or shape, be fit and fabulous and love yourself!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


On Sunday, Creflo Dollar blessed me with a powerful message on abundance. He defined abundance as prospering in every area of your life. Consequently he defined poverty as lack in any area of your life.

Now some may consider Creflo Dollar as a prosperity preacher but who doesn’t want to be prosperous in life? Well, I know I do and I pray that you do as well. Although he is termed a “prosperity preacher” he made it perfectly clear abundance is not just simply about money. I heard someone say, Michael Jackson had amassed great wealth but he couldn’t sleep at night. So having money and needing help to sleep is not an abundant life because there exist lack. There is no price for peace of mind and the ability to close your eyes at night and sleep peacefully.

Our desire should be abundance in every area of our lives; health, finances, mind, body, soul, spirit, relationships, career, job, business, etc. All at the same time not one, the other, or some but ALL.
3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (NIV)

Yahweh wants you to prosper as your soul prospers. Your financial situation shouldn’t be on the rise and your spirit is in disarray, or you are suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, anything. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (to the full, overflowing). With every organ intact, free of sickness and disease, healed by his stripes.

So, what was Creflo’s formula for the abundant life, outside of the obvious obedience to the Word of Yahweh, our words! Speak abundance in every area of your life; call those things that are not as though they were. Don’t tell it like it is, don’t speak what you see, speak what you want things to be.

Thank Yahweh that your business in prospering, you are able to pay your employees a hefty salary, and end up in the black at the end of the year while your business continually grows. When you receive your paycheck, thank Yahweh that you have more than enough to pay your bills, save, invest, and spend on frivolous purchases as well as give to others. As the entire purpose of being blessed is to be a blessing to others when we can. We are not to hoard our money but to give to the needy and share what we have. This includes are time, resources, and knowledge as well. Again, it is not all about money. Don’t get me wrong absolutely save and invest but don’t shy away from giving.

Thank Yahweh daily that you have abundance in your health. That you are healthy, of sound mind, your spirit is at ease EVEN IF IT IS NOT!

This morning Joel sent a powerful message about how our mouths determine the direction of our lives and where we are in life. It is a message you will see me mention over and over again because it is true and there is power in the spoken word. The words we speak have the power to give life to a situation or to kill a situation.

I have said this before but I will say it again, be mindful of what you speak over your life as well as someone else’s. You cannot bless yourself and curse someone else for you are cancelling out your own blessings!!!!!!!!!!!

Whatever area you have lack, poverty, speak abundance over it right now and often. Whatever area you have abundance in, continue to speak abundance over it and live the blessed life!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Talk Is Cheap, Be A Doer

Over the weekend many in our nation celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many businesses in the private and the public sector closed for the day. The NBA had numerous games on yesterday and used the day as a platform to educate viewers on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I am a twitter fanatic and someone posted an interesting tweet loosely quoted, “don’t just remember Dr. King during this time, do something whatever it is you can do to keep his legacy alive.” A lot of times we forget to be doers. There are many people that talk and reflect about the injustices that happened to African Americans during and after slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and now.

People assemble in round table discussions, town hall meetings, and even in simple gatherings in the privacy of homes and talk about what needs to be done. Talk, talk, talk, talk, all a lot of people do is talk.

  • The youth these days need direction

  • Music these days doesn’t talk about anything

  • So much is going on in our communities something needs to change;

and other things to that effect. Yes, it is great to talk about these things but action is necessary. I watched a documentary this weekend Crips and Bloods: Made In America. The documentary started back before the Watts riots. A gentleman on the documentary said that it was not a riot, but guerilla warfare, the youth was fed up with how things were in LA. Blacks weren’t allowed to go past certain streets, men/boys pulled over by the police for no reason, and countless other wrongs/injustices that were going on. So they came together and took action. Their weapons, they used the bricks from the dilipated buildings in their neighborhood, they felt that the stench alone would drive the National guard and police insane, their weapons was their own worn down raggedy neighborhood. Now they could’ve just talked amongst themselves about how bad things were but they didn’t. After they talked, they devised a strategy and took action. [Shortly thereafter the Black Panther party arose, then came Malcolm, Martin and other influential leaders. Once these leaders were jailed and or murdered, the Crips arose and then the Bloods formed as a rival gang.]

It is time for us to be doers. Many people say this isn’t the olden days we don’t march any more. It warmed my heart that a group of teachers and people in Chicago marched this weekend to protest the closing of a school in the Marquette area. They were marching against the injustice of the school system and their decision to turn the school over to a private company, fire all of the teachers and administrators and start anew instead of giving the current school the resources it needs to flourish and be successful.

So with the passing of Dr. King’s birthday and holiday, it is important for us to remember his legacy but to also carry it on. Volunteer, mentor, give back (money, resources, time, services), stand for a cause, join the occupy movement (if you agree with it) do whatever you can but whatever you do, don’t be a talker be a doer, do something!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I was watching Black Enterprise Business Report this morning and one of the first ways mentioned to create wealth was to have a credit score of 700 or higher.

Most people don't understand credit and how their credit score is calculated. I watched an episode of Washington Watch with Roland Martin about credit score and it was determined that no one can truly tell you how your credit score is calculated.

Let me be clear when you have money $$$$$ you don't need credit. What do I mean by that. Roland Martin spoke on how he paid cash for his car, pays his credit cards off immediately and doesn't have any revolving credit or debt therefore his credit score is low. However, he pays cash for everything!

If you are not in a position to pay cash for your new car, home, investment property etc. It is important that your credit score is as high as possible, as the highest the credit score the lower the interest rate, usually.

So what is my advice:

Pay yourself/Yahweh 1st
Invest (IRA, insurance, stocks, bonds)
Pay your bills on time
Avoid store credit cards
Use credit cards for emergencies only
Have an emergency savings fund
Live below your means
Keep your debt to income ratio low

If you do these things you should have a nice savings, good investment fund, and good credit.

Keep in mind this is just a general post, a starting post, by all means do your research and dig deeper.


Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


I was reading this month issue of Black Enterprise magazine and I was once again inspired, inspired to do more and to be more. I shared with a co-worker this inspiration and he told me, “You are already motivated to be a business owner/entrepreneur.” He was 100% correct, I went back to my desk and I sent him an IM that stated I realized I am a great starter however I need to be a great finisher. HE then responded that I made him look in the mirror himself as he felt the say way.

When I get an idea, I am on fire, I do research, create presentations, tell others about my idea and what I am going to do and then somewhere I lose steam, the gas runs out and instead of going to refuel I abandon the car on the side of the road.
Am I the only one who has abandoned cars on the side of the road? Are there any cars that you have abandoned in your life for whatever reason? If the answer is yes, I encourage you to go to the gas station buy a gas container go back to your abandoned car and fill it up get in put the key in the ignition and get back on the road.
It is great to be able to start something as there are many people who don’t even do that. Yet, starting is not enough finishing is the most important thing. Oddly, we learn a lot from our parents and pick up a lot of things from them that we don’t realize. My mother herself is a great starter, a woman full of wonderful ideas; however she needs to become a great finisher.

So I choose to be the change in my family and start following through and finishing things that I start. I know what I want in life, I am well educated, and I know a lot of the right people, the only thing that has kept me from finishing and reaching my true potential is I.

It could be fear, laziness, complacency, lack of motivation etc. Whatever it is, on this day, I choose to push that all aside, follow through and finish!
How do you finish you may ask? You choose to finish, you make the conscious decision to do better. I read a blog post from The Daily Love the greatest force in our lives is our power to choose. You may say, you didn’t choose your parents, your family, where or how you were born, you didn’t choose the tax bracket you were born in be it poverty, working class, middle class, wealthy. You are 100% correct but everyday now in your adult life you have the power to choose where you will go, what you will watch/read/hear/see/be/do. You choose, you choose, you choose!
Make the choice to be a great starter and a great finisher today. Let’s stand together and hold each other accountable.

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


One of my readers wrote in, in response to my blog last week on Financial Fitness for the New Year; they don’t have a budget they don’t believe in budgets. I happen to know this person well and I told him, you may not believe in budgets but I know for a fact that you keep track of your money/spending and you know where you money is going. He replied back that I was correct.

So for those who may not be good with budgets, don’t believe in budgets, don’t want to create a budget the most important thing is to KNOW WHERE YOUR MONEY IS GOING! Know what you are spending where and how much, know what you are saving etc. My consumer economics teacher in high school wrote down everything that he spent down to a $.30 pack of gum. That was a bit excessive to me and that is something I personally would not do but that worked for him. So do what works for you to ensure you are financially fit. If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else. Remember: If you don’t know where your money is going it will disappear!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials

Friday, January 6, 2012

Financial Fitness for the New Year!

Well, 2012 is here, now what? I saw a lot of tweets saying if you said 2009, 2010, and 2011 were going to be your year and nothing happened in those years what makes you think it is going to happen in 2012?

It won’t happen just because you say so and positive thinking will not make it happen either although a positive attitude is a great start. How so you ask, say you are on a sinking ship and you think positive thoughts, the ship is still sinking! You need to say something and do something to ensure that you don’t go down with the ship, get my point? I hope so….

So one of your goals/resolutions is hopefully to be in a better financial position at the end of 2012 then you were at the end of 2011. As I would hope everyone’s goal is to do better and improve each year.

The first and most important thing to have is a budget. You must have a clear understanding of how much money you bring in and how much money you shell out. That means a written budget by the way, keeping track in your mind and having a round-about idea does not count! Now that you have your budget, stick to it to the best of your abilities.

Savings, I read a great snippet about saving in Black Enterprise. The article was directed toward women. So ladies, think about the purse you are carrying right now, how much did it cost? Now consider the contents of your purse, your cell phone, make-up, gadgets, etc. that you carry around daily. How much did they cost? Add it all up, once you add it up ask yourself did you save that much money last month? Hell did you save that much money last year?, if the answer is no, you are hustling backwards!

It is so easy for people to say, I can’t save I don’t make enough money, I am barely making ends meet. Everyone, I repeat, everyone can save. My grandmother is on an extremely fixed income and manages to save money regularly. It is all about budget, moderation, and right now denial for later gain thinking. I don’t care if you save a penny a day, save something.

Now for those of you that save and invest already, keep up the good work, continue to review your investment portfolios and make changes where needed, think long term investing and don’t be moved by the current changes in the market.

Most importantly above all else, enjoy your life. Don’t get so caught up on saving, investing, and pinching pennies that you are trapped in the house for fear of spending too much money. Simply, be wise, for “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

By the way, I am a huge believer in Upromise
www.upromise.com initially they allowed people to register their credit cards, grocery/gas cards etc and earn money from qualifying purchases on-line, in restaurants, and grocery stores to save toward their children’s college tuition. Now the program is open to anyone you can save for yourself or use the money to pay down your student loans. Whatever it is, if you enjoy shopping on-line, dining out, and you go to the grocery store regularly the program has something for you.

So let’s all become and/or maintain our financial fitness for 2012 and beyond!

Great Articles to read:



Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2012 IS FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Be a blessing and be blessed,
Epiphany Essentials