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!

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.

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

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!

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 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 🖤

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

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.