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Monday, August 30

Goddess of the Week: Renita M.

Name: Renita M.
City: Charlotte, NC
Hobbies: spending quality time with family and friends, trying and creating new recipes (Top Chef here I come!), running, yoga, writing (poetry & spoken word pieces mainly), natural hair and healthcare, listening to live music, wine tasting and reading when the mood hits.
What makes you a fly goddess?: I'm a fly goddess because I genuinely love the reflection that stares back at me in the mirror! I respect and cultivate her intelligence; I laugh the hardest at her on a regular basis; and I love hard so that there is never a question! Instead of trying to completely change any characteristic about her, I can I simply make her the best that she is designed to be?

I am overjoyed to rock my tresses exactly the way God intended for them to sprout out of my scalp. I also appreciate the dialogue my hair brings....I realize that I make several statements upon entering a room before I've even said a word. Positive or appearance alone is sure to garner a level of intrigue and wonder. I acknowledge that imperfection is a relative I'm constantly making an effort to turn my "imperfections" into my preferences!
What advice do you have for women looking to free their goddess?: I like to keep things thine own self be true! Allow yourself to question EVERYTHING! This is the only way you will arrive at your own personal truth. Perhaps it's what you've been taught. Perhaps it's the exact opposite. Perhaps it's somewhere in between. But whatever it is....know that at the end of the day it's YOURS and you can rest in it! Surround yourself with folks who encourage your "goddess development." Keep at arms length those folks who seem to always have a problem with your questions or 'aha' moments! LIVE~LAUGH~LEARN~LOVE!

Sunday, August 29

The Story Behind The Blog

I was only supposed to be blogging for a year. That's what I told myself, when this whole blogging thing started. Here's the story.

Once upon a time, I wrote an article called Casualty of War, which was published on a networking site for women called A social media entrepreneur named Deon read my article, and we later connected on facebook. In a few conversations, Deon encouraged me to start a blog. He said that a blog could give women a personal perspective into Goddess Zuri and ultimately help them connect with my products. I listened to his suggestions, and honestly considered them.

About two weeks later, I decided I was going to start a blog. The only caveat was that this thing would be a one year project. That's it. When I took an inventory of my life and considered what I was already involved in, I rationed that I would only be able to dedicate a year's worth of time to a blog. I even stated in the About Us copy on the site that this was a "one year blog project." I figured that twelve months of writing would be more than enough to give people an inside look into the makings and direction of Goddess Zuri.

So, I thought of a name for the blog that easily tied into my company, asked a few people to help me format it and started writing.

In the beginning, the blog was a burden. I felt like I needed to post something everyday, and when I didn't, I was hard on myself. I was also confused about what I should write and how personal I should get. Then I wondered if my words were being written in vain because I had no confirmation that people were reading my posts.

About three months into it, though, I found a rhythm, and I determined that my writings would be focused on releasing the inner goddess. I also decided that posting three times a week was reasonable and manageable.

So, over the year, I wrote about goal setting, natural hair, relationships, books, Goddess Zuri specials and myself, among other things.

March 2010 should have represented the last chapter of the story because that marked the one year anniversary of the blog. But by then, I was having too much fun and writing felt too good to stop. So I didn't. And I don't plan to.

I don't get many comments on my posts, but I know I have readers. And I just want to say thank you so much to the women who have read my blog from the beginning. Thank you to the people who repost my articles on facebook and other social networking sites. Thank you to everyone who recommends my site to friends and family members. Thank you to the women I meet at vending events across the southeast who tell me they read my posts and find inspiration in them. And thank you to Deon for encouraging me to blog.

In the spring, the About Us copy was changed from "one year blog project" to "blog project."


Goddess Inspiration: Glade Byron Addams

Friday, August 27

Finding Your Passion

One of my friends is moving to Los Angeles in a few days to nurture her passion for music. After years of sitting idle on her passion, she finally decided at age 33 to get moving. She's trading in her quiet and spacious apartment for a friend's couch and her full-time job for temporary contract work. Some people characterize her move as foolish while others label it as faithful.

Either way, we recently got together for dinner, along with a few other friends, to celebrate her next chapter. Somewhere between appetizers and dessert, the curious journalist in me began firing off a series of questions to my friend who is leaving. "Why now? What is the number one thing you hope moving to LA will help you accomplish? Are you looking for love? Will you ever come back to visit?"

Some questions were asked more gently than others, but my friend answered them all with composure and grace.

This line of questioning led me to pose a question to the other ladies sitting around the table. "What is your passion?" One of my friends answered, "cooking, crafting, and dancing, among a few other things." We talked for a few minutes about how she should probably narrow down her interests and dedicate herself to one or two.

Then I turned to our other friend and asked her the same question. "What are you passionate about?" Her simple yet astonishing answer was, "nothing. " I probably wouldn't have been so put off by the answer if I was talking to a teenager or a 20-something emerging adult. My friend, however, is a 38-year-old woman who has held down successful corporate jobs, travelled the world and dated ex-NFL players. I thought that her amusing life would have uncovered something that she could be passionate about. So, when I heard that it hadn't, I was somewhat bewildered.

Everyone at the table felt sad upon hearing her answer, so we started offering up passions for her to attach to. One friend said, "What about fashion? You love fashion." Her response was, "No. I don't." The other friend said, "What about people? You love talking to people." Her response was, "I don't know if I love talking to people or if people just love talking to me." I said, "You've got to be passionate about something. Think about what you loved to do as a child." Her response was, "I don't remember."

The conversation, as you can imagine, got slightly depressing. And soon after the probing began, we pronounced the dinner "over."

I thought about my friend with no passion a little more after I got home, and I came up with a few things (which have probably been stated before in some kind of self-help book) that might help her or anyone else trying to uncover her passion.

Look to your childhood for clues. Our childhood usually marked the time in our lives when we were most honest with ourselves and did what we honestly enjoyed. We didn't have worry of bills, the responsibility of children or the headache of a spouse :-). We were free to be. Try to recall what you most enjoyed doing during those years or ask a parent if you can't remember.

Think about what people tell you you're good at. Another sign that may point towards your passion is what other people praise you for. This could be your ability to put together fly outfits, your cooking, your writing, or your ability to offer sound advice. Think about what others see in you that you might not see in yourself.

Try to answer the question "I'm most happy when I_________________." Give it some thought, and attempt to fill in the blank. It's ok if you can't answer it today or tomorrow or next month as long as you are considering the answer.

Think about the things you do without effort. I'm not talking about the activities you do as part of a daily routine like brushing your teeth or dressing the baby. I'm referring to things like creating a fly hairstyle or decorating your living room. Recognizing the things you do with little or no effort can help point you in the direction of your passion.

Don't be afraid of trial and error. Finding a passion is easier for some people than others and may require a bit of trial and error to discover what you're truly passionate about.

Once you've looked to your childhood for clues about your passion, talked to your parents, considered what others admire about you, figured out when you're most happy and made a list of the things you do without effort, start exploring. Everything probably won't lead to a burgeoning future, but something might. And you owe it to yourself to find out.

Thursday, August 26

Little Bee

There's nothing quite like a good book to distract me from my busy life. I just recently finished reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave. In a word, amazing! In two words, tear jerker!

This novel is full of unexpected twists and turns, none of which I will go into detail about. I will say, though, that the book (despite it being a work of fiction) serves as a great reminder that it matters not how difficult your life experiences are but how committed you are to overcoming them.

Little Bee was a little warrior.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book.

"However long the moon disappears, someday it must shine again."

"Yes, I thought. This is the moment. Even for a girl like me, then, there comes a day when she can stop surviving and start living."

"If your face is swollen from the severe beatings of life, smile and pretend to be a fat man." (Nigerian Proverb)

I would highly recommend this book. It's a definite page turner, so it shouldn't take very long to read. And once you do, you'll find yourself recommending it to all of your friends.

Wednesday, August 18

Give or Take?

Maybe I’m a fool for thinking that most people aren’t inherently bad. I just think people get caught up in making bad decisions—driven by greed, jealously, revenge, stress, pride or whatever.

This week, I was reminded how important it is for me to trust my intuition and make good decisions—not only for my sake but also for everyone else’s sake who surrounds and loves me.

It’s amazing how one bad decision is enough to make you broke, taint you with a disease, lock you behind bars, or leave you lonely.

Life shouldn’t get the best of us; it should bring out the best in us. But life only responds to our decisions, which means we ultimately decide whether it gives or takes.

Monday, August 16

Goddess Zuri Has FREE SHIPPING!

Goddess Zuri has free shipping on all ground orders thru Sunday, August 22nd at midnight.

To take advantage of the offer, enter coupon code: FREESHIPPING at checkout.

If you've been eyeing a product, now is the time to get it!

Sunday, August 15

Goddess Inspiration: Susan L. Taylor

Saturday, August 14

I'm What I'm Working With

If you recall from an earlier post, I mentioned that my morning routine included listening to Steve Harvey's opening remarks on the radio and praying. We'll I've altered that a bit. I still pray. But instead of listening to the radio, I turn on the iPod, get on the floor and stretch.

The other morning, I decided to play "I Am....Sasha Fierce" by Beyonce. When I neared the end of my stretching session, "Ego" came on. I really like this song, so I started grooving and singing along...."I got a big ego...such a huge ego..."

Now, I've heard this song plenty of times, and I pretty much sing along from beginning to end. This time, however, I stopped on the line "I'm what I'm working with."

I thought about how I try to keep myself fit and together. Legs right. Booty tight. Weight light. So when I recalled the line in my mind, my initial reaction was, hell yeah, I'm what I'm working with! Then I paused because there was no way I could limit my flyness to a nice frame.

I'm intelligent. Compassionate. Hard-working. Focused. Silly. Authentic. Inspiring. Sophisticated. Confident. Sassy. Honest. Determined. Beautiful. Unstoppable. I'm amazing. I'm Candace Avont. (snap!)

After I ran through this list, my reaction to the line was still, hell yeah, I'm what I'm working with! But it had a different meaning. Everything about me is what I'm working with. And everything about you is what you're working with.

As goddesses, sometimes we forget just how bad ass we are. But it never hurts to remind ourselves. I just did, and it felt good!

So, hey....turn on some Beyonce, look in the mirror and remind yourself that you're the shit!!!!

Tuesday, August 10

Align It Up

At the beginning of each year, my manager asks me to write down my goals and submit them to her. We then have a discussion about my goals, revise them if necessary and etch them in stone. At the end of the year, my performance is usually evaluated on how close (or far off) I come to achieving those goals.

Years ago, I would create pretty lofty objectives that looked really good on paper and sounded even better when I read them aloud. What I noticed, however, is that I would usually find myself scrambling mid-year to find activities or craft projects that related to my goals, which by mid-year weren't goals anymore. They became empty aspirations that I was only trying to check off for the sake of my end-of-the-year review.

Fast forward to just about two years ago when something clicked. I don't know what it was, but something told me to try to align my personal goals with my professional ones. So I made a list of things I was trying to accomplish personally and professionally. A few things overlapped.

I mentally filed away the list of goals that fulfilled both categories and recalled them at the beginning of the year when it was time for me to repeat the exercise with my manager.

Here's the value I found in doing this:
I became more invested in achieving my goals because they had the ability to satisfy and benefit me in multiple ways. I also got smarter about using my resources. My job earmarks professional development dollars for each employee to help with accomplishing the goals he/she lays out. So, I've gotten my manager to approve things like Spanish lessons and improvisational comedy classes. These sound like very personal activities (and they are), but the professional goals that they fall under are: "...better communicate and engage with Latino consumers in the community to drive traffic and sales within this audience..." and "....improve public speaking skills to more effectively deliver key messages and spread brand awareness throughout the community..."

Aligning my goals has actually made my job more enjoyable and has created a win-win situation for my employer and myself. As the years progress, I hope to get even better at doing this so that there is little distinction between my work and my play.

I would encourage all goddesses to try this the next time you are asked to submit your goals for the year. Like me, you might get your employer to pay for some really cool stuff. At the very least, though, you will be working on your personal and professional goals simultaneously.

Sunday, August 8

Royal-Tees Permanently Reduced!

Goddess Zuri's Royal-Tees (Wisdom, Queen, and Goddess) have been permanently reduced to $15 from $23.00.

Get yours now before they're gone!Visit