“I always feel like…somebody’s watching me”

By: Kristi Love | Blogger

@uprisingwgc

Y’all remember that song right? It’s a real thing, but not in a paranoid way. Do you ever feel like individuals are watching you, no matter where you go, you can feel somebody watching you move throughout the room?

That happened to me MLK weekend at a volunteer event with Thursday Network  @thursdaynetwork and Serve DC @servedc  They were hosting their 18th Annual MLK Blanket and Toiletries Drive. I sensed people were watching me especially these two individuals.

Honestly, I was not in the best of spirits that day (initially). The volunteer event was awesome, however, I was not completely present with a positive mindset when I walked in (plus it was crowded and I’m not into crowds for real).

Even in my not so good mood, I did a self-check and changed my mindset. I also had to get it together because I was representing With Great Care, LLC (WGC) an organization I’m a part of so I could not have a negative attitude.

I immediately started to be useful and begin working with my teammates because we were there to serve. As the morning went on a young woman and I kept passing each other. We would smile, halfway acknowledge each another, and keep it moving. I am naturally an observant person, therefore I was already detecting how the members of the lead organizations were navigating and managing the huge crowd (including me) that came to help and give back that day. So, noticing her walk back and forth always had me wondering, “Who are you?”

Then, the last time she and I crossed path’s she finally stopped and said, “What is your name?” “My name is Kristi,” I said. She then told me her name and went on to say how she noticed my shirt (the shirt in the picture) and my positive energy/vibe. I told her about my shirt and With Great Care, LLC WGC and we chatted some more.

In case you missed it, she stopped me after we passed each other on several occasions because of my spirit and energy I decided to have that day. I was initially in a funk but made a decision to give of myself and serve. My spirit became kind, loving, welcoming, and my non-verbal communication made others feel comfortable- I was approachable.

Towards the end of our volunteer shift, another young woman approached me. She did the same, asked about my With Great Care shirt and how she noticed me in the room and wanted to know more because of my spirit. We also discussed our occupations and she shared how she wanted to make more of an impact on individuals directly and not behind the scenes. We laughed, encouraged each other, and ended with “It was nice to meet you”. We connected simply because of my spirit and energy.

I share this not to boast about me, but more about who I represent. Not only do I represent my personal brand, I represent my family, God and specifically on that day I was representing With Great Care, LLC @withgreatcare.  Just think if I had kept my negative attitude sporting the WGC Brand; instead of being approached by two individuals who felt my positive energy, I could have been talked about amongst others in an undesirable manner.

WGC team

With Great Care Team members                @equanimous_soph @yushaassadmusic @loveceejay @klovejoypeace

In the spirit of doing all things with great care, purpose, and intention I must walk in purpose and walk in love, joy, and peace.

I left there feeling grateful to be in that space because ultimately, the light in me was shining, I served those in need and I possibly made a difference in those lady’s lives (from our conversations). They made a difference in my life- realizing how important it is to let your light shine (for others, not self). I knew it wasn’t me that made the impact, it was the God in me.

You never know who’s watching you

Be careful and mindful of your spirit as you go about your day and pay attention to your thoughts. Who do you represent when you leave your home? Be sure to leave the house every day, living life, With Great Care.

Peace and Blessings

 

*photo cred @ceemoments_p

Reading and Winning in 2018!!

By: Kristi Love | Blogger

@uprisingwgc

Another way to win in 2018 is to KEEP READING!

I am guilty of not reading all of the books on my 2017 list but, this year, I will and I mean it!

Reading can literally change your mind. It will open your eyes to a world you’ve never imagined and your view of the world will change.

Today, I am excited to share a list of books to consider in 2018. Because I admire the circle around me, I went to my network to gather a list of 3-5 books that have impacted or will make an impact on their life. One book in particular that recently changed my ideology about the criminal justice system is, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (Mark Zuckerberg also recommends this book).

Get ready! Screen shot it, write it down, visit the Library, Amazon, or the Book Store. Below are books to consider in 2018.

Stranjae’ Ivory, MPH

Entrepreneur | Graduate Student | @_stran2theiv

  1. ‘Boss Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career’ By Nicole Lapin
  2. ‘Difficult Women’ by Roxane Gay
  3. ‘I Am Number 8: Overlooked and Undervalued, but Not Forgotten by God’ by John Gray III, Joel Osteen
  4. ‘Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships that Matter’ by Scott Gerber, Ryan Paugh
  5. ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki

 

Latroy Caesar, MBA

Speaker | Trainer | Coach |Consultant | @latroycaesar

  1. ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
  2. ‘Psycho-Cybernetics’ by Maxwell Maltz
  3. ‘The Science of getting Rich’ by Wallace D. Wattles

 

Yusha Assad

CEO | Hip- Hop Artist | Motivator | @yushaassadmusic

  1. ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ by Wallace D. Wattles 
  2. ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho
  3. ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
  4. ‘The 4 Agreements’ by don Miguel Ruiz
  5. ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale

 

Shaquana Abner

Blogger | @infinitequana

  1. ‘All The Joy You Can Stand’ by Debrena Jackson Gandy
  2. ‘You are Bad Ass; How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
  3. ‘Think Better Love Better’ by Joel Osteen
  4. ‘The I Factor’ by Van Moody

 

Mae Mills

Motivational Speaker | Empowerment Coach@msmempower

  1. Rules of the Red Rubber Ball by Kevin Carroll
  2. SOAR by T.D. Jakes
  3. Translated by Gerald T. Dolphus
  4. Beyond Race and Gender by R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr.

 

Derrick Ellison

Fellowship of Christian Athletes | NOVA/DCMulti Area Director

  1. Bible (time tested and proven)!
  2. ‘Ideal Team Player’ by Patrick Lencioni
  3. ‘Under Our Skin’ by Benjamin Watson

 

Expand your mind and explore the world. Be empowered and gain knowledge…all through reading. Wherever you are in life, there is a book out there that will take you to the next level of your life.

If you want to WIN in 2018 and beyond, take a look, it’s in a book (or a nook), a reading rainbow.

*Stay tuned for a list of more books that my friends are reading

7 Ways to Guarantee YOU Win in 2018

chess-1483735_960_720By: Kristi Love 
Friday, January 5, 2018
IG @Uprisingwgc

Do you want to win in 2018?! Of course, we all do and we are in this together. We are all working on self and we do not have to do this alone.

Not only is it a new month, a new week, more importantly, it is a new year and this year feels different already. This feels like The Winning Season. It feels as though everybody around me is going to win in bigger ways and that includes me.

New Year’s resolutions and setting goals are not foreign to me. I’ve done it in the past, however, I have not always believed in it. This year I believe in the goals I have set for myself and it will happen.

Even if 2017 was an awesome year or a tough year for you, 2018 is truly a year filled where all of us Win!

It doesn’t have to be filled with only huge wins because small wins throughout the year mean an overall gigantic win in the end. Transformations are in order.

Below are 7 ways to guarantee a WINNING SEASON in 2018.

7 Ways to WIN this season

  • Write in your journal/dairy

“I write in order to emotionally release so that I can mentally be at peace. Writing has allowed me to maintain a healthy emotional balance in my life.”

-Luronda T. Jennings

Just write. It can be for 3 minutes or 30 minutes. Write to you and about you. Stay focused on you. Writing allows you to be the real you. No edits needed when you are writing in your journal. So much of your thoughts, fears, dreams, and goals come through when you write. Writing allows you to win because you feel comfortable being you- when you are yourself you learn more about who you are and how you can better serve the world.

  • Create a vision board

“It is important to envision what you want first before it can come to pass.”

 -Raji Rankins

We often tell ourselves (in our head) what we want to do and time goes by and we still have not done those things. Your vision board is your vision’s roadmap. Say it. See it. Believe it and receive it. Daily, look at your vision board and months down the road you will be able to say, “I did that”. Your vision becomes your reality.

  • Meditate daily

“One very basic reason to mediate is to increase self and emotional control, while also enhancing critical thinking skills. Second- it allows us to unplug and create a space for MINDFULNESS to plan our life, confront our weaknesses, and work on our strengths.”

-E.R. Johnson

Sit still and be quiet. This is hard for many of us. I am a work in progress. My mind is always on GO! Think of one thing (i.e. Peace or gratefulness) or of nothing at all and be still and know…. When you are still it allows space for clarity. We are bogged down by stress, work-life balance, friends and family, and hobbies. When we relax our minds, we win in the end. Start off with 5 minutes and increase your time when you feel comfortable. It takes time. Try It!

  • Pray continually

“Nothing is going to protect you more in life than staying in remembrance of God. That’s what prayer does…along with fasting and serving others.” -Anonymous

Whoever you call on (Yahweh, Allah, God, Jehovah) be sure to pray. It releases you from your inner thoughts. It allows you to take off the pressure life brings us daily. God gives us the desires of our hearts and free will. Talking to God is simple and it is easy. We win when we pray because we are not in this alone. Give thanks. Ask. Seek. Knock.

  • Speak positive affirmations to yourself daily

“Believe in your imagination. Say only what you want to happen. Think happy thoughts. Work and fly.”

-Yusha Assad

Simply put, the universe is listening to you. We must pay attention to what we are thinking about. Les Brown once said, “Think about what you’re thinking about”. Negative thoughts have to flee our minds. Be careful about what your inner self is saying.

  • Surround yourself with like-minded people

“I hang with people who are working and winning because it provides a positive outlet to grow. It gives us the strength to always give hard work and dedication.” -A. Route

Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Are they encouraging you, building you up, holding you accountable? Are you doing that for them? In this winning season, we are in a place of growth. Individually and collectively your team has to win and you will see the fruits of your labor.

  • Make yourself a priority

“Love yourself first- because when you put YOU first, you begin to see the greatness in yourself and what you deserve. It can also be a guide for what you will and won’t accept in future situations.”

-F.N. Jones

Learning how to love yourself can be one of the hardest things to do for some. We can give and love others easier than we love ourselves. In order to win in 2018, we have to take time to get to know ourselves because without self-care we are no good to others.

When you win, we all win. 2018 is different from other years because you (I) will make it different from before. We will be intentional, purposeful, doing everything with great care. The opportunity is available to you each day- just don’t put it off another day.

Don’t give up. One more thing- Read A Book (or an article or a blog). Whatever you do, don’t stop doing the right things well to get your win in 2018!

 

Reclaim Your Voice

I wasn’t sure how it would look….suspicious maybe. Surely I was somehow to blame. 

I actually considered his feelings and how it would look if he had to explain his actions to his girlfriend, now wife.

I didn’t put up a fight – couldn’t put up a fight – because I didn’t want the neighbors getting involved.

 

My innermost places did not understand that I was being violated. My body reacted instinctively, which in its own unique way protected me from more extreme physical trauma which would have only compounded my inevitable emotional scars. 

 

Before I was assaulted, I was clear about not wanting any sexual contact with him.

Because of his demeanor, I felt pressured to explain, even though he was in a relationship anyway. 

I was not interested. 

 

My reaction the next day still baffles me. I carried on a normal conversation as if he had not violated me the night before. 

I acted as though everything was OK, when in fact I was terrified. Filled with disbelief. Confused as to why I was behaving as though everything was the same.

I wanted to hit him, strangle him, tell his girlfriend, and NEVER speak to him again.

 

#MeToo I didn’t fight. #MeToo I felt I was to blame. #MeToo I remained silent. #MeToo Me. Too. 

 

You are worthy and deserving of respect. Their insecurities and lack of self-discipline have NOTHING to do with you.

My story. Your story. Our story.

Reclaim your energy. Reclaim your sense of worth. Reclaim your voice. Reclaim YOU. 

Love. Joy. Peace. 

 

-K. Love

Sewing into Self-Confidence & Entrepreneurship: 10 Years Strong

By: Kristi Love
SONE group fashion show-1

Sew N Know Scholars, Directors, family and friends

For more than 15 years Sewing Opportunity Never Ending (SONE) has supported the Sew N Know Program serving over 2,500 students in the District of Columbia. Recognized as an official DC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) program the Sew N Know program has effectively operated in more than a dozen DPR facilities, many of which are located in some of the most economically challenged areas of the District. SONE’s mission is to change the nature of economic conditions for disadvantaged and minority individuals through the establishment of community based tutoring, training, and skill-development programs. Continue reading →

“The Look” of an Entrepreneur

Kristi Love | Blogger                                                                                       2017

@uprisingexperience

Growing up, the only entrepreneurs I knew were folks selling Noni Juice, Mary Kay, and Avon. They were talking fast and inviting me to their life changing meetings.

Ok, I may be exaggerating a little, but you get my point.

The word or the thought of an entrepreneur was not used regularly in my household. I grew up knowing the word “work”. That’s what people did- they go to school, get that good education, and go to work. Make sure it is a good company where you can stay for 10 years or more and get that “good retirement plan”. I may be telling my age, because nowadays, people only stay in jobs for 3-8years (with the average being 5years).

So, what does an entrepreneur look like? Who is this person? What is their style, their race, age, and educational background? People in the media have shown us their version of an Entrepreneur. Just Google “Top Richest Entrepreneurs”. The same group of people will show up on any list. Want to guess who’s on that list?

Yes, you guessed it- Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, the co-founders of Google, and the list goes on? The common thread- they are all (usually) men…white men. Literally a list full of white males.

Funny thing is however; as an adult, I am surrounded around African American men and women entrepreneurs more than any other race/ethnicity. That is my reality. It doesn’t matter what images are portrayed in the media. We are all capable of creating the images of what an entrepreneur looks like. We are the look.

Non-Profit Organizations like Black Girl Vision in DC (where crowdfunding meets pitch competition) is a perfect example of creating the image of an entrepreneur. Black Girl Vision is a community of women for women of color entrepreneurs who receive networking opportunities, learning experiences, and crowd funding. Black Girl Vision is on a Mission to support Women of Color Entrepreneurs

There is no one look of an entrepreneur. We all come in different sizes, shades, ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The media is wrong with their idea of a “successful entrepreneur”.

entrepreneur2

Now that it’s clear that “The Look of an Entrepreneur” doesn’t really exist, let’s discuss the qualities and characteristics needed to be an Entrepreneur.

*Stay tuned

Black Girl Vision is on a Mission to support Women of Color Entrepreneurs

By: Kristi Love

Logo BGV

Black Girl Vision brings a twist to the typical pitch competition. They have created, ‘Pitch Competition meets Crowd Funding’. Women of color (and others) register for the monthly BGV event which generates funding for pitch competitors. On the day of the Eat, Pitch, Vote, event, 8 women of color pitch their idea. At the end, participants vote for their favorite business idea. The winner receives funding which allows them to grow their business.

As a business owner of 3 companies and entrepreneur herself, Shelly Bell knew that women of color start businesses at higher rates than everyone else, nonetheless lack the support needed to sustain a viable and profitable business. S. BellProviding access to capital for women of color business owners and entrepreneurs was Shelly’s vison when she created Black Girl Vision in August of 2016.  “With so many women of color entrepreneurs and all the Black Girl Magic happening, we also need support, networking, and funding to work,” Shelly told Uprising.

After attending a few BGV events, the members of DICE were eager to participate in BGV’s Pitch Completion. They won on March 18th and that was the first time founders of DICE pitched their idea and they pitched their way to winning 1st Place!

The founders of DICE, Amber Watson, Tasha Lo Port, and Michaela Hall first connected with Black Girl Vision (BGV) via Instagram (@blackgirlvision). They founded DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Collaborative Engagement Leadership Group) to create a better world by celebrating the differences of all people through conversation and collaboration.  “We develop workplaces where discussions and problem-solving are more inclusive, collaborative, and successful in discovering collective solutions that work,” founders tell Uprising Experience.

As winners of the pitch competition, DICE members received $500 in funding, T-shirts for their business, an accounting consultation, a legal consultation, a network of supporters, and business coaching.

“As a successful entrepreneur, Shelly Bell’s guidance has been instrumental in helping us take advantage of opportunities and avoid pitfalls. Having an experienced mentor pushed our business to the next level. We are more competitive, more strategic, and more equipped with the knowledge needed to be successful,” said DICE founders.

DICE women

The seed funding helped DICE advance their goals in several ways, “We created a community of practice around diversity and inclusion engagements, we updated our products to provide better training experiences for our customers, and we secured advertising that increased our social media following and produced client leads,” says, Ms. Hall of DICE.

Since the Black Girl Vision Pitch Competition win, members of DICE have advanced to the second level of the DC EBay Startup Cup and they were chosen as one of the top 26 companies from among 100. “The support we’ve received from Black Girl Vision undoubtedly gave us the competitive edge,” DICE tells Uprising.