Queen Whitney + Queen Mariah Linked Up

Friday Night Lights

When Queens Link – Ep. 5: “Be Ready” is up!

Poems are short stories. This one needs a title

Choose kindness.

Morning Prayer. 🙏🏾

2 Timothy 3:16, MSG version 🖤

Put him on ice, babe.

Running Errands

It gotta be family to get an answer these days. #otf #mine #thelife

When Queens Link: HerbHabitue

So, story time:

(Note: Click here, to listen to this episode of When Queens Link)

Two weeks ago, as I was preparing for my trip to ATL, I slid over to Office Depot to see what was up with my new retractable banner that I ordered + it wasn’t ready. 🤯

If you’ve seen her work, @HerbHabitue you know I was salty asl. 😩

BUT—the next day, I ended up missing my flight (in the most unusual way, in fact… but that’s a longer story for another day)…

So, I drive all the way back home.

It’s late + I’m weary by the time I pull up to the house. 😩

I get to my front door + guess what’s waiting for me? 😌

Yep! This beauty! We were clearly destined to be together this weekend. 🥰

I have designed visual aids like brochures, event fliers, program/policy handbooks—even my first website this summer.

I’d never done a retractable banner + didn’t have the time (or patience 😕) to teach myself before this most recent event.

But because I’m God’s favorite child, someone I follow on Twitter was tweeting about a sale she was having RIGHT AFTER I had made my mind up about not doing it myself. 🥲

Now, Jai, the owner of Herb Herbitue + I only know each other via social media.

BUT, she treated me (+ my brand) as if she knew me for years, chile.

It felt like I had worked with her before just off the intentionality of her correspondence.

Then, there was the VISION she presented! 😍

She designed the banner to look like a blog post. 🥰

As a new entrepreneur, I can understand not trusting other people with your entrepreneurial baby. But, she was very attentive to making sure I liked the final product.

This is what I mean when I say she “does not miss.”

I see so many stories bashing Black/women-owned businesses for being unprofessional…

TBH, I don’t know any examples, because all of the small businesses I shop with are dope—ESPECIALLY those owned by Black women. 💸😍

They most definitely #SlayTheDream.

My motto is “celebrate something about yourself.” So, as a black woman, it’s important to me to share the counter-narratives to all the hate I see toward Black-women in business.

So today, I’m lifting up the Black-owned, woman-owned business: HerbHabitue.

If you’re thinking about a new or updated banner for any kind of brand, take a look at the website/portfolio in her bio: @HerbHabitue.

This series is long overdue + I have so many more Black women-owned businesses to highlight and interview.

More to come…

—Sincerely, Tyra

Made My First Website 👩🏾‍💻

Quick Moment of Truth:

The post below is what growth looks like. I never thought to call myself a graphic designer almost ten years ago when I started playing around with all those apps that I used to add a visual to my quotes. Or even when I was building my MySpace page, but I digress. 😂

Photo of one of Tyra’s first graphic designs made on the now nonexistent Tweetgram app.

What’s crazy is that now I’ve created a website for a nonprofit organization simply because their leadership observed me trying to perfect my craft—and then actually liked what they watched me produce.

But even that isn’t what makes me a graphic designer in my mind. Now, I can confidently call myself a graphic designer because I can look at where I’ve come from—okay with the level I was at then—assess where I am now, + still know that God has bigger in store for me.

This “Tweetgram” photo is almost ten years old. It took time for Him to develop what I can now comfortably call my craft (one of ‘em). I have grown from my starting point because I believed God wanted more for me. And, we know that He wants more for me because I want it so much + He loves me like that. (That’s longer post for another day 😌).

When I talk about what it means to #SlayTheDream, I’m really talking about:

• the continuous growth of your dreams.
• the many small goals you accomplish that get you closer to your wildest dreams.
• + how you choose to achieve those dreams with expectation that the end result is already yours (but in God’s time, not yours).

My dream didn’t originally include being a web designer. But because I love creating + organizing information to be shared, it makes sense that I enjoyed this part of my journey. I gained some experience with Squarespace while creating/uploading content to help a friend/fellow project manager at the end of 2020. So when Quiet Storm asked me to design their new website in time for their nonprofit launch, I was able to use it again to complete this most recent project. My next design goals include: a) creating another website using a different, drag + drop host; b) to level up by building websites from scratch.

On the graphic design side of the house, my next goal is to make gains with the Adobe Creative cloud products. I’m loving Photoshop + Fresco + InDesign currently. In fact, I have always respected + been in awe of people that use it effortlessly. But, BABY, I have so much more to learn! I’m grown, but still growing. 🥰

What are some qualities or skills about you that God is saying keep working on; keep bringing to Him to perfect?

Are you satisfied with the idea of letting Him take His time to make you greater in those areas?

Get comfortable in the comments, if you’d like.

Have a joyful day,
—Sincerely, Tyra

Prayer for the City

Good + Faithful Father,

Help us to model our hearts’ desires after Your will for our lives. Let the sin of old (greed, coveting others’ possessions, back-biting, killing, lust) be struck down immediately. Heal our land + make it Holy ground again. We are desperate for Your trial of those that wish to punish the righteous, the chosen, the obedient. For we are not judges + executioners.

But You, oh God, can destroy strongholds and mountains alike. Turn our hearts back to You, Lord. Forgive us for every step taken without consulting You—leading us back into the wilderness. Face us, Father, with all Your light. Remove this veil of dishonor. Pick us again to show up as an example of Your kind + forgiving love. You, Lord of second chances, slow to anger with those that seek You + quick to blot out anything wicked in its ways; You are our only hope. You are our reason to rejoice.

We look around + see only devastation + rotting because we have forgotten Your command to purge the evilness. Forgive us for that which we allowed to consume our hearts + the hearts of our families without consequence, remorse, or even a whisper. Correct our vision + our hearts, God. Make us like Phinehas, Father God: ready to immediately disrupt that which displeases You. Our next generation depends on our current wisdom. But our disobedience will send them into ruin. Fix our lives + secure our futures, Most High. Create spaces for us to shift + thrive. We are deprecated by You for loving all things You see as detestable. Can You change our minds, mend our hearts, + help us to rebuild what we have destroyed?

We love You, Father. We just don’t know how to show it. Some of us are lost + need You to leave the herd on our behalf; seeking everything because we don’t realize what we really want is You. Have mercy on us, God, and thank You for Your never-ending love.

In Jesus Christ’s Name.

Amen.

Tonight, I’m reading: 1 Corinthians 15:55-56 and James 1:15

Dude, Where’s My Blog?

A few people said that I’ve been a little quiet lately. So, here goes:

I’ve been working. Working on various projects… Trying to make sure what’s for me is for me…Focused on alignment…

So, here’s a quick update on what we’ve been working on! Of course, we’ll be back with more #GRWM prayers, relationship updates, + poetry soon! In the meantime, pick your favorite project below and interact with us on your preferred social media platform! 🖤

A few of our projects that our readers may like to support include:

✍🏾 Sincerely, Tyra is my Facebook business page for my books and blog. We are on Instagram and Twitter, too. Now, let me be clear: This blog isn’t going anywhere. Social media simply helps us stay connected to you in a different way. Follow us on your favorite platform to keep up with our day-to-day journey + more writing updates!

👕 EbonySun Chicago is my Facebook business page that promotes my clothing line. ((☺️ That’s a sentence that the fifth grader in me (who used to draw/redesign our cheerleading uniforms, btw)—never imagined I be able to say.)) We are building this project out more and more each day and working on the actual website version. But, you can follow our other social mediums (Instagram and Twitter) to stay up-to-date, too.

🎉 While I’m talking about website creation, I just got my first paid opportunity to create a local organization’s first website. …Yes, their FISRT-ever website! This is big for the company as we expand our services!

📰 Community Connection is a Facebook page that I created + manage for a community information-sharing/peace-building initiative to connect residents in Grand Crossing and South Shore to positive events, mutual aid, and helpful information. The page is tailored to information for SS + GC residents, but I’d love to start one in other neighborhoods that need this positive energy/information sharing. I have a few youth that help create content or collect Community info. It is a sustainable, replicable model that she created to get them involved and add some paid experience to their resumes. Oh, and we are on Instagram, too @connectsouthshore. Follow us, beloved!

🎙Youth Development, What’s Working & What’s Not is a podcast available across all streaming platforms created by Jacquelyn O. Eadie + myself to provide a safe space for youth development practitioners, youth, parents, + village-minded folk to discuss topics that concern our youth and their needs. We’ve discussed everything from mental health to intergenerational conflict/miscommunication.

We love having guests on the show like Joseph Butler + Anthony Townsend and appreciate when our audience joins the conversation in our Facebook Live sessions. You can find us on IG, too!

🎤 And, of course, I cannot forget The Art of Transparency 2021 Tour! This platform has given speakers access to audiences across the globe! It is a stage that welcomes speakers to talk about their trauma, pain, and the healing journey for the purpose of helping others. There are a few more tour stops before the end of the year. Next up is Atlanta! To purchase tickets, visit the AOT website.

Comment below with projects (or even goals) that you’re working on. This is a safe space built for encouragement + accountability! 💛

Continue to #SlayTheDream!

–Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

Dear Accountability Partners

I don’t do well with cluttered spaces.

That’s physical and mental space alike. But, in my line of work, I don’t often have much time to myself—so life tends to get really cluttered with things to do and people to talk to very quickly. (Anyone else ever looked up at 3 or 4 in the afternoon and realized that you failed to eat lunch? C’mon! I know I’m not the ONLY one).

So I’ve decided to plan 30-minutes in the middle of my to pray Monday through Friday, just so I can have time regroup and gather my thoughts. I’m posting to this to make you all my accountability partners. This is just a tiny step in the right direction.

I’ll come back at the end of May with a report on how I did and other techniques to carving out time for self-care that I gather as well.

What are you making room for?

How are you planning to make room for what your soul needs?

Tell me in the comments below.

Oh, and no, I don’t own the rights to this song. Jonathan McReynolds, please don’t sue me. 🙏🏾

—Sincerely, Tyra

ICYMI: Milwaukee was MIND-BLOWING!

If I had to try and describe it: Last weekend was really interesting, dope, eye opening, and just overflowing with love.

I can’t say how thankful I am to be able to tell my story on this platform. It is teaching me so many things about love (of every kind), support, business, family dynamic, legacy, how different people are coping with trauma, and how similar we are when we actually look at the types of experiences we need to heal from.

I performed a poem entitled, The Conversation, from my book A Smothered Scripture. I met some more amazing people. I wore my mask (doubled-up actually). I got my Grandma out of the house (with her mask on, of course). I learned something new about EACH of my tour mates that spoke about their individual healing process. (Seriously, when someone tells the same story twice and it’s as attention-grabbing as the first time… the storyteller in me loves that!) Oh, AND ya girl sold out of the EbonySun merch I brought along! Thank you, Milwaukee! 🥰

—Sincerely, Tyra

To learn more about the Art of Transparency Tour 2021 updates, click here.

WVON Interview | “Uplifting Our Youth During the Pandemic”

Last weekend, I was invited to for an interview on WVON 1690AM – The Talk of Chicago’s Community Health Focus segment for “Uplifting Our Youth During the Pandemic!”

It was a dope experience to have someone I respect asking about my work alongside some exceptional co-guests whose work I follow. Shout out to host Dr. Doriane Miller, Dr. Sonya Dinizulu and Ernest Sanders!

To hear the entire interview about ways we are uplifting youth and parents in our every day work, click the following link: https://fb.watch/4Q2mAlBSNK/

To view more on Dr. Doriane Miller of Urban Health Initiative: https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/find-a-physician/physician/doriane-miller

To view more on Dr. Sonya Dunizulu of UChicago Med: https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/find-a-physician/physician/sonya-dinizulu

To view more on Ernest Sanders of @ssworkschgo: https://www.southshoreworks.org/

To learn more about Gary Comer Youth Center’s work with 6-12 grade youth: http://www.comereducationcampus.org

What “Turned It Around for Me?”

There was a time when I was so fed up with myself and my surroundings that I actually considered…

…It’s a “turning point” story in all of us! To hear how it turned around for me and each of the speakers on the 2021 Art of Transparency Tour, grab your tickets and meet us in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this weekend on Saturday, April 10th!

FOR TICKETS: https://artoftransparency.org/…/turned-it-around-for-me…

Remember to bring your mask or stay home if you’re feeling under the weather! We will be socially-distanced. See link above for full details!

Sincerely, Tyra

A Moment of Gratitude

After a long night of filming, I realized I should say thank you! So, I went live on Facebook… at 12:00 a.m. …Yep! That’s how much you meant to me! In this video: 🎥
• I say THANK YOU to you! 🥰
• I talk about why I started my blog! 💻
• I share the meaning behind Shange! 🦁
• I say THANKS some more 🙏🏾!
—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

#SlayTheDream today!

To view the entire video, head over to the Facebook page or click here!

Chicago’s Pain.

We prided ourselves on productivity
until “produce despite a pandemic”
became our reality.
Into the dawn like bird songs, now
pangs of insomnia beckon us.
Mistaking insanity for invincibility
causing us to be more reckless
during the day.

“Black folk the new robots.”

All the while paving the way,
for heavier workloads.
They’re writing the code on our souls.
Imputing and uploading mixed messages
in our minds making it hard to surmise
whether I should pick up a pen and write
when all I really wanna do is fall
asleep before sunrise.

“They’ll kill themselves off.”

Programmed to hate each other too easily.
Stench of every fatal attraction still seeps
deep into our psyche.
Secretly wishing we could reek less
havoc sitting on the public safety ad hoc.
But ain’t enough committees for
mother’s too tired to cope
with white sheets laid in the streets
or cops protesting our presence
on every sidewalk touching our feet
and choppers riot overhead searing the bluest sky.
Somebody must’ve died.
Today, CPD searches the perimeter
for the shooters despite
hiding a few in plain sight
and screaming Blues Lives…
While grandmamas and sirens cry,
we bleed out laid out
on a cracked and wholly pavement
and not even an ambulance ride can save him
so an older woman screams
“Help him, Holy Savior!”
How do we sleep in a time such as this?

“They say sleep is the cousin of death.”

Fold the map on Vincennes and Lawrence.
Tell us just another way to keep
Black people opulently oppressed
and outta Lori’s downtown
long enough to forget
the riots that came before us.
We are the descendants of Red Summers
and MLK-motivated marches
in Marquette and Trumball Parks and—
well, who fights for poor people’s rights now, huh?

“City been on fire. COVID, just carjacked the flames.”

Chicago, the city built on a hill—
not to be hidden, but driven into history
as too separate and too ready to kill.
Kill our joy, kill our peace, kill our boys
as they fight for fame and recognition
—for anything but being looted slaves.

—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

I guess it’s National Poetry Month… I started this almost a year ago. Back in May 2020… tried to finish it today. In fact, it feels more abandoned than finish. #poetry #nationalpoetrymonth

HerStory | Connecting Her Past to Her Future

On this last day of Women’s History Month, it thrills me to share an event hosted by my church Quinn Chapel AME Church to celebrate five dynamic women in our community. I was honored to be one of them (🥰) and got to learn so much about a few women I greatly respect!

The Paul Quinn Women’s Missionary Society of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church presents: HerStory | Connecting Her Past to Her Future featuring: Sis. Carolyn Thomas, Sis. Monique Williams, Sis. Tyra Owens, Sis. Melanie Boyd, Sis. Judy Williams, and Sis. Zelma Jarvis.

To view the show, visit Quinn’s YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/lOrkJWG592k or their Facebook page: https://fb.watch/4AqNgvykrX/

Quinn Chapel is always hosting relevant ways to fellowship, network and share community resources! So remember to like, comment, and share Quinn’s video and get connected to other events!

Visit: https://quinnchicago.org/ for all the tea! 😊

YouTube: https://youtube.com/user/QuinnChapel

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/QuinnAMEChicago/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/quinnchicago?igshid=18qv3ez6ukq5a

I Have An Announcement! 🎉

I live a pretty private life. So making public business moves is really something foreign to me. It’s been a learning process!

So, of course, when I was looking at a friend’s social media page and saw their title for their brand/company underneath their photo, I thought… “Why have I never added that to my Facebook profile?” (Insert a 🤦🏾‍♀️+ a 🙄) But, I’m thankful for the people (family, friends + complete strangers) that have supported me all this time despite this slip!

What’s something that seems intuitive but people forget to do for their business? If you have another “simple-enough” tip that could help someone, please share in the comments. We like supporting each other on this site. So, don’t be shy!

…Guessing now this means, at some point, I need to do a proper launch party, huh?! 😏

—Sincerely, Tyra

The Announcement on Facebook.

The Announcement on Facebook.

Send this poem to a Black Woman 🖤

Is there someone in your life you who could use a reminder about how strong/creative/blessed they are? If you are a Black woman reading this, what are you speaking over yourself this morning, Queen?

Here’s a poem I wrote years ago to speak over myself when I needed an extra bit of encouragement. My only request:

If you share this at all, share it with a Black woman—first.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Dear Queen,
Look in the mirror and repeat:
You are beautiful. You are Black. You are woman. Divinely created to bring peace to a world of chaos; perfectly molded to solve any problem with your intelligent mind. Go forth and give rise to the day you wish to experience.

—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

Oh, But After This!

I stayed up a little late last night finalizing my monologue for this weekend while on the Art of Transparency Tour stop in Memphis.

It’s a gritty take on my life story.

Raw, real… and I hope I don’t ugly cry at the end… 🥴😂

For tickets: bit.ly/aotmemphis

—Sincerely, Tyra

**COVID protocol will be followed during each show/activity. See link for full details.

In-Person or Remote Learning? A Solution-Focused Conversation

I like to call my full-time job, the “not-so-9-to-5-9-to-5.” I know it’s a bit clunky, but it’s true since I work in the out-of-school time/youth organizing realm. As the Community Resource Manager for Gary Comer Youth Center on the Southside of Chicago, I have been able to plan, organize and facilitate some dynamic events focused on the safety and wellness of our community’s youth. Yet, also serving as a parent in this field, I have a unique vantage point of gaps and growth areas.

I realized a few months ago that our city leaders, Dr. Janice Jackson CEO of Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, had not designed adequate parent engagement before making decisions about when to send our children and teens back into neighborhood schools. So, I decided to ask my colleagues from other community organizations to to help me plan another event. “In-Person or Remote?: A Solution-Focused Conversation” was an event held this past Tuesday with parents and caregivers in mind as our target audience.

In April of 2020, the Gary Comer Youth Center hosted the first COVID & the Community discussion with several community partners, our neighbors, and a few young adults. It was a powerful conversation and generated many ideas for new and enhanced mutual aid projects, resources, and youth opportunities to help sustain often forgotten communities like Grand Crossing, South Shore and Woodlawn. In hindsight, none of us could have predicted that almost a year later we would need to have a follow-up event.

As organizers, our ultimate goal is to help our community’s youth and families stay safe, healthy, and thrive. One way we do this is by making sure parents have adequate information and support from other trusted adults. So this year, our focus was assisting parents with finding solutions to their in-person and remote learning struggles.

We know that the Chicago Board of Education held a week of community forums earlier this school year that were widely attended by concerned parents. In late fall 2020, CPS distributed a district-wide survey to gauge how many parents would send their students back to schools for in-person learning. Despite serving 330, 000 children and teens, CPS reported that only 77, 000 kindergarten through eighth grade parents selected in-person learning. Chicago Teachers’ Union leadership argues that Chicago Public Schools created an inequitable process for parents to participate in the survey and obtain information throughout this process. Months later, we can see that neither in-person or remote learning has equitably served our community’s youth. We also realized that the majority of our parents’ voices (those who do not represent CPS or CTU) have simply been absent from the conversation. So, we decided to create a safe space for parents to not only voice their concerns with both options, but to generate solutions as well.

As service providers and community organizers, we plan to use what’s shared in Tuesday’s solution-focused conversations to inform our out-of-school time programs so that we can better support the families that rely on us. Next week, I’ll be reporting back with the notes and data that the parents in attendance shared with us.

Do you have solutions for making either in-person or remote learning better at your children’s school? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments and share them with my colleagues, community partners, and other parents! Overall, my greatest hope is that we are able to bridge the gap and create an atmosphere of unity for our community’s youth.

🎙Our Clubhouse Debut

🎙🎙UH… HELLO!!! …IS THIS THING ON?!

The talented Jackie Eadie, Executive Director of Project Increase and yours truly are hosting a Clubhouse talk on all things youth development TONIGHT @ 7:00!

Join us and a few other dope youth practitioners from across the Chicagoland area, if you want to add to the conversation, network, or just gain perspective!

See you at 7:00 PM CST!

—Sincerely, Tyra

Prayer of Preparation

Dear God,

Your mercy amazes me. We have such little time on this plane and yet we consume ourselves with trivial things + mere minuscule seconds compared to the glorious permanence we’ll find at home with You. Why do we use our time so frivolously? Why do we have so many temporary lapses of judgment when it comes to what is pure, noble—just even?

And yet, while we put You on the back burner as a people, allowing culture to overturn our very hearts from what is right… You still care about us. How are You so loving + so kind; so forgiving + so slow to anger when it comes to us?

God, my only petition is that You would show us how to become content with the cross you’ve assigned me to carry. Create in me a heart that desires what You desire, Oh God. Prepare me for the days ahead, Father. Make obedience + repentance my breakfast + lunch. Help me eat Your word for dinner, Dear Lord. For we know the day is coming that You would return—make us ready, Heavenly Father.

In Your Son’s Most Loving Name,
Amen.

*Tonight, I’m reading Philippians 4.

2021 Overflow Challenge

We have experienced so many highs and lows this year. The rollercoaster that 2020 tried to keep us riding had most of us feeling tired one day, excited the next day and completely blessed the following day.

Some of us experienced the fear of death lurking behind daily COVID-19 reports or the updates of each high-profile police-involved murder that plastered Black bodies across the internet like strange fruit.

*Give me a minute: I’m taking another moment to remember the loved ones that we lost this year.*

But if 2020 taught me anything, it was this: You are not in control of this life!

Don’t get me wrong—there are definitely choices and consequences that we make and experience on a daily basis. But, even with each of those, God controls the final outcome. Sometimes we can understand why He chose to let things happen the way they have and other times, we simply cannot. But, when I tell you I found freedom in just acknowledging—again—that He is control of my life, it literally made me feel lighter and more at peace.

Then, I realized that although 2020 has been a crazy year—it’s also been a year of blessings! Many of my friends have gotten promotions, raises, transitioned to more fulfilling jobs and great career opportunities, AND most of us have started new “passion” projects and legally registered our businesses. I was even blessed with new consulting contracts and an invitation to participate in my first speaking tour. Oh! And, how can I forget laying the foundation for my first clothing line! Thankfully, we will have made it to this time next year with even more increase and provision.

@SincerelyTyra on IG/FB

In the Bible, Matthew records Jesus as He’s teaching us how to pray. Jesus says, “for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”(Matthew‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NIV)‬‬. But what would happen if we did ask Him?!

One of my favorite Psalms reads: “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (37:4). It’s an ever-present reminder that God wants us to live our best lives. (Note: And He will oblige us when we are putting His desires first. See also: Matthew 6:33.)

So, here’s the challenge: Let’s us to go into 2021 with a mindset of overflow and watch God show out.

Wondering where to start? Try taking twenty minutes out of your schedule every day to sit and hear a word from God. Think about all the ways He has blessed, helped, or sent encouragement to you. If you are consistent in this, I truly believe that your desires begin to align with all the goodness that He desires for your life. Also, in that time, you will a) grow stronger in your ability to see that only He knows the outcomes of our lives and b) realize that He’s taken His time to design each experience uniquely for us based on what our individual needs include.

Next, be intentional about writing down your goals. As I always say, take the time to “dream your best dreams!” Really sit still and give yourself enough time and space (and yes, freedom, too) to process what would make you happiest in life. Erykah Badu said it this way:

Third: Put those intentions on display!! I cannot tell you how many times I have penned a great To Do list for my personal goals, or household goals, or business goals and then lost track of which notebook I wrote it down in (or typed it, if perchance, I didn’t properly organize the list in my Evernote notebooks)! To avoid this, a simple trick that I have started using is huge post-it paper (I know it’s a little Being Mary Jane-ish, but IT WORKS!) Maybe having giant post-its thumb-tacked in your bedroom doesn’t work… Completely understandable! Try putting your list of goals on display anywhere that you know you will see it frequently.

Last, but definitely, not least: Be okay with not completing tasks/goals in your timeline. Despite having the idea years prior, so many of my goals were able to happen “just now” because my trust in God was stronger. (If I’m being completely honest, my obedience was more on point this year than ever before as well. But I’ll save that blogpost for another day.) Again, 2020 has been a lesson in learning to trust God’s direction as I completed the goals He’s set before me. His timing is always better and produces more fruit than I can anyhow. In fact, everything that I’ve needed to learn about running a sustainable business has either shown up by His handiwork when I least expected, (because God consistently exceeds my expectations) or because I was intentional about asking God to order my steps toward the exact opportunity I needed.

We have less than a week until 2021 arrives with new problems that need solutions and God-sent opportunities alike. Let’s get ahead of the year by starting on a positive note!

Can we commit to doing the #TheOverflowChallenge together?! Tell me something you’re excited to ask for God’s help with in 2021 in the comments below!

New Quarter = New Goals Accomplished

You know, I think I’ve always wanted to start a clothing line. I vividly remember sketching designs for our cheerleading uniforms in grammar school and re-designing all the hottest Nikes I couldn’t afford. I was customizing Nike’s before it was ever an option on a website.
So earlier this year when I decided that I would design and make a few t-shirts, I knew I wanted them to be innovative. Like any entrepreneur, I’m pretty particular about what I put my name on. So the excitement that comes with putting the EbonySun logo on these designs is next level.

We* officially debuted two original designs last week at our very FIRST pop-event (pictured below). That means we officially slayed two goals this month! We already had the “Distinguish Yourself” design and the “#ProtectUs” shirt which made its debut on Juneteenth. So releasing the “Don’t Fold” and “Mind Your Business(es)” shirts next felt like a step in the right direction.

Our warehouse is small but mighty.

The catalyst for all of these designs are, of course, centered around personal lessons or and social issues—many of which I’ve written about on the Sincerely, Tyra blog or our social media platforms. So there is an intentional level of brand connectivity happening between the writing that we feature and these designs. Even the EbonySun logo and motto looks like something we would don on the Sincerely, Tyra side of the house. 

image.png
EbonySun logo and motto.

Our next goal is to facilitate a collaborative of women-owned small businesses in the creation of a scholarship fund focused on teen mothers. The “#ProtectUs” shirt (originally titled the Rekia shirt) is a not-for-profit sale item for this very reason. Until the collaborative group is formed, this shirt is our healthy reminder to protect every facet of Black womanhood. This design will likely become the flagship for funding the scholarship fund. If you know of any organizations or small businesses that we should partner with for this endeavor, please email details to info@sincerelytyra.com


Each shirt can be found on our Etsy shop  (https://www.etsy.com/shop/EbonySun) and custom orders can be placed using the following Google Form. Of course, we’d love our subscribers’ feedback on the designs! So hit reply and tell us what you think! Or let us congratulate YOU by sharing any goals you’ve accomplished this year with us!

—Sincerely, Tyra 

*Right now, “we’re” a design team of one (perhaps, one and a half if you count assistance from my five-year old daughter). But prayerfully EbonySun and Sincerely, Tyra will be able to hire an administrative assistant and a design assistant before Quarter 2 of 2021. The best way you can support us with this next goal is through prayer. Thanks in advance!

**We = trusted team members are being spoken into existence. 

Last Sunday’s POP-UP event display.
EbonySun’s Creative Director, TyraShange, wearing the “Mind Your Business(es)” shirt.
Prepping the “Mind Your Business(es)” shirts for the Pop-up event.
The “#ProtectUs” shirt gets a new colorway!
Getting the “Don’t Fold” Shirt prepped for special delivery.

ISSA POP-UP EVENT!

We’re excited to announce that our mother company, EbonySun Chicago, is partnering with this dynamic group of Black-owned businesses next week to offer you all NEW merch (like new NEW… not even on our website… exclusive NEW) and of course, boxes of Sincerely, Tyra-authored books!

Join us and share the good news! Happy Sunday!

—Sincerely, Tyra

EbonySun is a lifestyle brand created to showcase positive images of Black life.

Love: A New Inquiry

Yes, I’m that mom that sings to the babies in their sleep! 🥰 Judge ya mama 😂

So I’ve been listening to a lot of Drake and Anita lately. But somehow in between them, I was able to come across this song, Sacred Space, by India.Arie. Honestly, between her and Anita’s Tidal playlists, I’m rethinking the type of love that I need and want in my life.

There’s a lyric in this song that India sings: “When this life becomes a fight. You are where I put my gloves down.”

…Honey, that hit my spirit in different way. Those lyrics expressed a type of love that exudes peace, comfort, and sanctuary.

Listening to it made me think about whether those things could exist naturally between two people or whether a couple would have to work toward finding and maintaining that type of love.

There are so many ideas and suggestions about love within our culture. An obvious example can be found in love songs. Anita’s and India’s repertoires are even better examples. I’d like to say that Drake might have one or two ideas about love that are actually solid. Maybe…

But it’s difficult to determine what to require from love these days. The dominant theory of our culture doesn’t even seem to value love much. So it’s definitely not effectively teaching us what to REQUIRE from love for it to be long lasting and beautiful.

Are there prerequisites or demands of love for it to be one’s sacred space? What are some things that you require from love for it to feel right and good? Share in the comments! I’m learning! So help me out! 🥰😩

—Sincerely, Tyra

What About Self-Awareness?

I want to hide… Literally just want to get under the covers, ball up like a baby and hide. Why? Because of this feeling of rejection—and how I chose to respond to it. Disclaimer: This post is going to share my flawed reactions to a recent male friend’s choice to be in a relationship with someone else. No details about his identity will be revealed because, well, that just wouldn’t be fair.

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you probably remember the following quote:

Posted in January of this year, the photo reached just shy of 2,600 individuals and sparked 41 profile visits on Instagram. Cool, right?

Well, it probably would’ve been dope—if I actually would’ve taken my own advice. You see, I entangled myself intimately again (this time, building what I thought was a stronger friendship) with the same man this post was about just three months AFTER I wrote about being content with us not being in a relationship.

Now, let me be honest this time around, I have not really been self-aware these past few months. I thought that I could be intimate with him and not catch feelings. Honey, I had it mapped out so clearly in my head.

…Until, we started acting like real friends toward each other. Because of this new pattern of interactions, my feelings grew exponentially faster than his did. When I realized he had become interested in someone else, again lacking self-awareness, I thought “okay, cool, we can still just be friends.”

Big pause here: Show of hands. How many of you think I was ready for us to just be friends?!

Seriously, what was I thinking?! Deep down, I knew I wanted more from the beginning and should have been honest with myself enough to create boundaries to let him know that as well.

But that wasn’t the choice I made. So when he decided that he did NOT want a relationship with me again—one would likely think: Oh, she knew it could end this way. She’ll be fine.

I did know that it could end this way and yes, because I’m an adult who made the choices I made, I SHOULDA been fine with his decision. But, for the sake of my own personal growth, let me tell you why I wasn’t:

I do not handle rejection well.

…There I said it.

I’m honestly just not used to it. I was one of the top students in school all throughout my life. Got rewarded left and right for my intelligence, work ethic, and ability to help others. I was popular in college and am still very much the person everyone has a good time around. Other guys are vying for my attention. So why wouldn’t he want to be in a relationship with me?

That was the million dollar question that I didn’t realize I was even struggling with this time around. When I say struggle… it took TWO good friends to sit me down on TWO separate occasions over the course of this past week for me to realize that I have been giving this man hell over a choice he FULLY has the right to make. (Note: 🥴🤦🏾‍♀️ is how I feel admitting to this and realizing I’ve been acting like crazy person. I’m supposed to be cooler than this.🙄)

Last Friday, without knowing about my situation, one of my best guy friends was venting to me about a woman he’s been involved with recently. Hearing his feelings about her actions confirmed that I had been irrational with my expectations of the man I was only intimately involved with. So, it was then that I decided that I was over it. At least, that’s what I thought.

Then, yesterday, after sending a text to the man that explained how I felt—about him not choosing me—I called another good friend for validation when he told me I was wrong. How could he say my feelings were wrong? But, because my circle keeps it very real with me: she told me I was DEADASS WRONG for some of the things I said to him. Ultimately, I apologized to him because of that conversation and her ability to help me see a different perspective.

So this morning when I get another like on the Instagram post above, I realized that this feels terrible because I’m not used to feeling “rejected.” I wanted something from him that he didn’t want from me. Hence, the REJECTION.

If I was more self-aware or problem-solving this for one if my own friends, my advice would be that:

1) I could have chosen to not fool around with this man.

2) I could have been real with myself—and chosen to correct my attitude toward our time together.

3) We were just two people making decisions about what we wanted in the heat of each moment.

4) Despite how much you disagree with their choices, you don’t always deserve an apology.

5) Sex and friendship does not equal a relationship.

Everyone has choices to make in life and we’re not always going to like what other people decide. These past few weeks have helped me to become more aware of my own choices and although I still feel bad for how I was treated and how I decided to react toward the man, I’m thankful that this experience has granted me insight. Next time, I know to be more upfront with myself.

How do you know when you’re not acting like yourself? Have you had an experience that caused you to act differently than you normally would act? What lessons did you learn about self-awareness? Full disclosure: I’m still learning and your comments may help me grow!

Sincerely, Tyra

Self-awareness? How do you know when you’re not acting like yourself?

Protecting Us…

Warning: The following video is footage of a memorial that was built to honor Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau, a 19-year-old Black Lives Matter activist from Florida who’s body was found dead one week after she went missing.

Chicago, IL

What does it mean to protect the Black woman at all costs??
Physically…
Spiritually…
Emotionally…
Can we finally have a conversation about this? What am I to tell My Joy when she sees Black women’s bodies deteriorate and mangled as consequences of being on the front lines?

I’ve been trying to get active and get rid of this 2020-Stress Body. One particular Saturday morning after My Joy and I are walking/running/playing soccer on the track, I notice a faint crying sound. As we get closer, I realize a tiny little girl is hunched over crying, another (older) is about five feet away standing under a tree (looking lost). So I asked the child crying what was wrong and where her parents were. She pointed to a man who was across the field walking on the opposite side of the track and said he’s walking and said “he’d needs three more (laps) and I’m hot!!”

And homegirl is boohoo-ing, okay! But to her credit, it was like 80 degrees at 10am. So I look to confirm that the man is indeed across the field and tell her everything is going to be okay. Of course MyJoy walks over and gives her a hug (🥰🤗). Then a few mins later she says she’s hot and thirsty, too. So I walk her to the car to get her water, trying to watch the two girls the whole time. I end up asking Sameyah if she wanted to get her ball to play with them.

Ultimately, I don’t know his story, he could have been frustrated, trying to blow off some steam or perhaps clear his mind. (I didn’t ask). And when I spoke to him, he seemed generally nice—even thanked me for letting MyJoy okay and for talking to them. But, when we left the track, I was still disturbed by the entire scene.

That led to a rabbit hole of other questions:

How are we supposed to raise our girls to feel protected and cared for in this climate? What message does it send to these small girls if not even their father can console them when they’re emotionally distressed?

How am I as a woman supposed to be open and honest with the men in my own life if they are constantly battling demons of repressed anger from injustices seen and unseen?

How is it that there is no official number of Black women missing in America? Did you know that there are an estimated 64,000-75,000 Black women and girls who are currently missing in the U.S. Not only is that a huge number of open cases and families in pain, but that’s a huge gap in our estimate as well. It feels… unacceptable.

How do we solve this? I don’t mind saying so don’t have the answers. So I’m looking to this village for some viable solutions.

Leave a reply if you’ve ever had a similar experience or if you have solutions to some of the questions above.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Prayer for Inner Peace

Here’s a question: What does it mean to “match energy?” The other day I was writing and reflecting on a few things and a thought came to me: “Vow to never again reciprocate anyone’s negative energy….”

It’s no secret to the people that know me the best: I don’t “match energy” well. When someone does something or says something offensive to me, I normally ignore the action. It took me awhile. Whew, Chile! Talk about growing pains. But I realized that if you’re not in my personal circle, what you and say and do doesn’t hold much weight with me. 🤷🏾‍♀️

Moreover, trying to match that person’s negativity always makes me feel worse in the end anyway. Quite honestly, my conscience eats me alive when I do lash out at other people, because I know better. I know that I’m supposed to strive to follow Jesus’ example and even He could ask for the forgiveness of the very people who crucified Him. Jesus’ connection with the Father and desire to please clearly overruled His desire to “match energy.” His example is leading me to learn how to practice matching God’s Spirit—despite my flesh.

The word came to me and I’m sure it won’t be easy, but I have to “vow to never again reciprocate anyone’s negative energy.” So to help me with this, I’ve been reading Ephesians 5 and listening to a song called “Bliss” by Jubilee Worship.

Have you ever had to grow in this or a similar area? Share your experience in the comments below. I’d love to hear your story!

—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

Dear God, today, I say your will, not mine…‬
.
Father, take my heart as an offering. Take my mind, my body, my dreams and my thoughts—You can have it all.
.
Mold my heart to love You even more. Shape my hands to serve Your people without complaining. Fix my mind to always remember that You are my help. ‬
.
‪Wrap us all in Your loving arms so we feel protected wherever we may go. Cover us, Heavenly Father. Mind, body and spirit is Yours for the taking. ‬There are areas in our lives that only You can see what the outcome will be. I extend those as offerings as well. We have been grieving too long for things that are not like You. We commit to letting You be in total control of our situations and our circumstances. Work on our behalf as You have been doing. You can handle it better than we can anyway.
.
And while You’re doing that, we will praise Your Name. We will sing of the magnitude of Your presence. We worship You. Reign forever and ever and ever. Capture our attention again with Your Holy Spirit! We invite You to rain down everything that You have for us. As we continue to give You control, grant is the patience to be at peace with this next season, with the people in our midst and with ourselves.


In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen!

Know Your Worth: A Self-Care Update

So, “The Goddess of Self-Care” looked up and realized I’d been taking care of everyone else’s needs first. I love to help others and am usually the person friends and family run to when they want something done. I also really struggle with saying the N-word, at times. You know, “no” is not as easy to say as it seems.

But I have been experiencing some sleepless nights and feeling a little less focused lately. Of course, feeling depleted and run down all the time is not how I want to live my life. So I knew something had to change.

Yesterday, I went to a family cookout and all I did was laugh out loud, enjoy my family’s company and eat (of course). When I got home and reflected on my day, it made me re-evaluate my own behavior and ultimately understand that I need to start modeling how others treat me by how I treat myself.

—Spending time with family will do that.—

So, in an effort to be accountable to myself, I’m noting three things I want to do more of (for me) to refurbish my self-care practice:

1) Write more. I have been putting it off lately.
2) Be intentional about saying no—sometimes.
3) Dedicate time each week to spend with people who make me feel appreciated and whole.

What are some things you need in this moment in life to invest back into yourself? I’d love to hear your updated self-care plan in the comments below!

Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us

Good morning Family!

I pray that you are all healthy, happy, and adhering to the Shelter-in-Place guidelines in your area. #StayAtHome (as much as possible).

There has been so many movement-building moments happening in the past couple of weeks. I have been participating in marches, reading up on the Black Panthers and Toni Morrison, researching how some of my favorite sociologists would respond to the recent murders of innocent Black people, and praying for justice and peace everyday.

This week, I participated in a dynamic panel discussion produced by Bianca Cotton, founder of Behind the Confident Smile. Today, she will be releasing Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us. This conversation was inspired by (In)Visible Portraits: A Love Letter to Black Women recently released on Juneteenth! Bianca says: “While I was watching the panel discussion I was so inspired by hearing other black women’s stories across generations and wanted to further the conversation by creating a space to do so.” She’s another example of what it means to take an active stance on the way society views Black women and I am excited to highlight her work! Our conversation left me feeling whole and supported and understood! You can view the conversation on her YouTube channel: biti.ly/btcsyoutube!

You can also help us spread the word by sharing the flyer and the bit.ly/btcsyoutube link.

There will definitely be more of this type of content coming from the SincerelyTyra brand and I hope that you continue to this journey with us!

—Sincerely, Tyra

P.S. If you missed any of the “Wine & Words” Facebook Live Series, click the following link to watch me premiere new poetry and awesome conversations about our culture, poetry, and politics!

On a Positive Note

Five positive things that happened last week:

  1. My Joy (daughter), knowing about “the germs,” said we should dress up like pirates when we went out in our new masks… I’m still considering it.
  2. I went to get gas yesterday and it was less than $2.50/gallon.
  3. I went to get gas yesterday—AND I hadn’t had to put any gas in my car since early March because of shelter-in-place.
  4. I realized something new about my dreams.
  5. The sun came out today and kissed my face.

—Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream

Make Us Better | Prayer

Dear God,
Sometimes I wonder
what You think of me.
Am I pleasing You?
When look at me,
do You smile? Is Your
heart satisfied? Teach me
how to live out life like You.
Hold my hand, order
my steps, and set a fire
in my soul for Your ways.
Consume me, filling all
the cracks and crevices
of my being with Your Spirit.
Make Me Better,
in Jesus’ Name.
—Amen.

No Cap. | Only a Prayer.

God, this afternoon, I want You to know that You are appreciated. There are so many times in my life when I have been distracted and forgotten who You are, have been, and continuously will be.

So, in this moment, I am making time in my day and making room in my mind to put You first.

You have been so gracious to me this year. You have taken good care of my family and friends. You have protected us and covered us and kept us and built a fence around our lives that we might not fall prey to the world’s traps.

You have provided for us. There are people that don’t understand where their help comes from. But God! You have settled here. You have figured out what we needed right when we needed it most. We have not gone hungry this year, Father. We have not been homeless this year, Father. We have had clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet by the work of Your hand, Heavenly Father. And You have even given us the desires of our hearts in some areas. We have accomplished goals this year, by Your grace and mercy—and despite our neglecting You on some days!

You are better than good to us. Can we just tell You how much we love You? Can we just live for You in these next years of our earthly lives? Father, can we wait for You a bit longer? We want to see Your face but are content and proud to say we will wait for You. Can we bless Your Name by living out the purpose that You have so uniquely chosen for us?

How can we please You today, Father God? How can we make You smile on this day? Make Your desires known to us. Use us for Your will. Dwell in us. Breathe Your Holy Spirit on us. We are only asking for Your presence on this day.

Thank You for being a good Father. Thank You for being there for us at every turn. Thank You for never abandoning us. Thank You that when Your Name is called, You answer. Show up for us yet again in this day, Lord.

This I ask in Your Son, Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.

Today, I’m listening to “Settle Down” and I’m reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Peace in His Presence Edition)

No cap. | Only a #prayer.

COVID & The Conference Call

We’re on these conference calls and you can literally hear the fear and angst in people’s voices.

I know we all have obligations and deadlines (in spite of/during) this pandemic….

But I just want to remind you that it is okay to not dial-in or to dial-in and stay on mute if you are not well or in the best head space.

Let me be the first to say: “I am not okay.” So I’m not being judgmental.

But, after this last call, I’m wishing I could share my PTO hours and EPA with a few people.

Please remember to rest.

Please remember to do at least one thing that brings you joy—DAILY.

Please put your oxygen mask on first, beloved.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Go Vote—with Your Children!

Listen, sometimes what looks like an obstacle is actually an opportunity!

If you can, take the babies with you to vote today.

It’s a reason they are out of school and we are off work at the same time!

It’s the perfect opportunity for them to see the process and learn something.

My Joy had so many questions.

But don’t get it twisted, we definitely had the Black mom’s “don’t touch nothing… don’t ask for nothing… don’t breathe on nothing” talk before we left out the house.

And I Lysoled (I now declare this a verb… It took auto-correct six tries before it decided to let me be great) all of our outerwear when we came back in.

Then we prayed over mommy’s vote, our health and the health of the seniors that live in the building where my precinct is located (and, of course, 5-year-old-life things like play doh and her crayon colors).

Yeah it sucks that we have to vote (and actually work while we’re at home, might I add) during this period of chaos and confusion… But there is definitely a small bright side.

—Sincerely, Tyra

The Black Woman | Poem

This womb

was created to create life

These hands

made to make magic

These feet and legs,

stand stronger than a pyramid,

immovable during struggles

This heart

pumps blood of Ghanaian warriors

and American freedom fighters

This hair

grows closer to the sun

each day, vivid reminder

of my royalty

She sustains a legacy

far greater than just 28 days.

The Black Woman exceeds what

most modern minds can comprehend.

She is a master of ancient ways.

—2/20/17

Support Your Friends (…Yes, for Free!)

Happy Tuesday, Family!

Supporting your friends’ small businesses doesn’t require spending all of your money.

Gotta a minute? …Yes?!

Okay, awesome! There are two ways you can support this blog and my future business goals!

FIRST: Connect with me on my blog, SincerelyTyra.com/contact. You’ll get a monthly update email with invitations to dope events that build community. I have a featured a few in the pictures below!

Share those emails with your friends and family every now and then.

Voila! First way to support us, accomplished! ✅

SECOND: Click the link: Sincerely, Tyra. Then, LIKE 👍🏾 and FOLLOW 🎯 the page.

Scroll across the top to “COMMUNITY.”

Click “INVITE FRIENDS.”

Click “ALL.” ‼️

Wait 10-15 seconds for the invitations to send.

— Simple enough, right? —

Comment “DONE ✅ ” and I’ll do the same for your FB Business Page or website. Let’s create our own promo! 🙏🏾

I know it’s seems too easy right?! Has to be a catch?! Not this time…. We tend to think that the only thing entrepreneurs want is our money.

But for many of us, genuine support is as simple as sharing, liking and helping to promote our endeavors!

It means a lot to us when we see those ❤️ buttons being pressed.

#SlayTheDream

—Sincerely, Tyra

Say it with me: “Worships can build community! Workshops can be entertaining!” …Now, ask me what they’re doing! 😉

I design flyers and marketing materials for community experiences.

Promises to My Joy, The Princess

I promise to show you how extremely talented you are.
I promise to listen before I say no.
I promise to hear your point of view.
I promise to make room for your heart’s desires.
I promise to remind you that you are the princess (and yes, I’m The Queen—although it sounds softer when you remind me).
I promise they can’t tell me nothing about you.
I promise not to stay humble when they praise you.
I promise to praise you before they ever do.
I promise, if you ask, to tell as many bedtimes stories as I can imagine.
I promise to only allow healthy people in your presence.
I promise to increase your wealth before you graduate high school.
I promise you will never lack or need to feel less than.
I promise to love you unconditionally until the end of time and then some.
—Sincerely, The Queen

Chicago Peace Project Revisited

(Politickin: The Chicago Peace Project participants discussing future goals, ancient societies, and their favorite cartoons while creating art in trauma-informed breakout sessions facilitated by the Teen Arts Council members.)

(Drop Me Off at the L: Teen Arts Council members facilitate an icebreaker called Mr. Taxi Driver for The Chicago Peace Project participants.)

Is it still Friday? Cool, this “Flashback Friday” is dedicated to the Chicago Peace Project and our awesome day with local artist Karen Perkins and the Teen Arts Council youth. Chicago Peace Plan is a curriculum that I created to foster meaningful exchanges between teens and youth from different neighborhoods.

As the youth talked about their future career and entrepreneurship goals, ancient civilizations and favorite clothing, I thought about the meaning of trauma-informed care. When Black boys talk about ancient history and Black girls laugh and find happiness in the moment. I kinda feel overjoyed.

Were there experiences like this for you as a young person? Share how you benefitted from it in the comments below!

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream #chicago #peace #project #blackboyjoy #blackgirlmagic #osc #chicagobility #chipeaceproject #art #traumainformedcare

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story

Pictured: Audrey Petty, author of High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing

I was invited to sit on a panel for the community discussion of this woman, Audrey Petty’s, book entitled “High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing.”

Not many people know, but I grew up in the Harold Ickes homes; like anybody else, I have experienced good times and struggles.

I realized a long time ago that when you start wanting better for yourself, people might want to tear you down or destroy your vision.

But tonight, I got to share a small piece of MY story, teach other people, and even learned some history from my elders.

This event only confirmed that, in spite of any naysayers, I will still aspire to enlighten myself then help educate the younger generations.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Today’s blog is actually a repost from my Facebook Memories feed. The pictures and the recap of the experience were written on Friday, January 17, 2014 before the development of the Sincerely, Tyra website, before #SlayTheDream was conceived. For more work like the ‘Catalyst Stories’ series, visit the About Tyra page.

#SlayTheDream #myfridaynight #feelinginspired #nevertire #tytaughtyou #productofmyenvironment

Diggin’ in the Crates…

“Revolutionary Love” is a poem featured in the book, A Smothered Scripture. I created this video on Windows before any of the fancy social media apps we have now.

You ever have a dream that just keeps nagging you? I remember wanting to write poetry for as long as I can remember—but…

“That’s not a real job.”

“You can’t support yourself off a dream.”

“Can’t eat poetry.”

Words I’d hear and some if tell myself. As I look back over the past ten years, I realize my dream would’ve made a way—if I would have kept feeding it. And, I can literally kick myself for not sharing this passion, this dream, these words with the world sooner.

The video you’re watching is one that I created about nine years ago for a poem entitled, “Revolutionary Love.”

You can find it—and much more—in the books on my website. #linkinbio

I hope you like it and that it encourages you! Remember the journey to #SlayTheDream has to start somewhere!

—Sincerely, Tyra

Disclaimer: I don’t own the rights to this song. These are not my images. (Don’t sue me, #Adele and #WAK ! But buy the books!)

Tell a Friend!

Yo! We gained 70 new friends on our Facebook Page yesterday!

SEVENTY! 7-0! The big SOIXANTE-DIX!

I’m super excited! Welcome!

I hope that each experience with the Sincerely, Tyra brand empower you to think about how dope you are, inspires you to share your talents and resources, build community with each other, and pushes you to #SlayTheDream this year!

Free ways you can support the #SlayTheDream movement:

✅ Go to the Community tab on our Facebook Page, hit “Invite Friends,” and smile!

✅ Check out the entire website: www.SincerelyTyra.com

✅ Join the conversation by posting comments and feedback!

✅ Share your favorite content with friends!

…Now, in the great words of Puffy, “invite your friends to invite their friends” or whatever he said.

—Sincerely, Tyra 🖤

Update: The final count is in! Since the original post was published, we’ve gained almost 200 followers. (Hey y’all!) On Facebook, we’ve reached 4K people this month!

Invite your friends to the party from our Community page. Remember: Its always a great day to SUBSCRIBE to SincerelyTyra.com!

#poet #blessed #favor #design #shopping #shopsmallbusiness #love #passion #compassion #community #blessings #business #businesswoman #capital #entrepreneur #goals #quoteoftheday #creative #work #content #blogger #chicago #writer #Black #community #FOLLOW for #quotes #styleinspiration and #motivation #FacebookWatch

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