Going Deeper In…


Going Deeper Into My Journey

I can’t begin to impress upon you how being a part of Her Nation and reading the book When I Am Her has impacted my life but I am going to try.

I have always been a very shy person and ALWAYS worried about what people thought of me. As a teenager I allowed my insecurities to hold me back. At my heart I wanted to try out for dance team, I wanted to sing a solo in choir, I wanted to try out for the lead role in the school play; but I never did. Every time I thought I had the courage to do it that little voice of negativity would sneak in. Self-hate became my life. That voice always there reminding me that I wasn’t good enough, I was to fat, and everyone would laugh at me.  I spent many days in tears, so confused and feeling alone.

The people I went to school with would probably tell you I was a happy, upbeat person, if not a little irritating with how hyper me and my best friend at the time could be. What they saw though was a first class, A performance on my stage of life. What people didn’t know about me was that I felt so lost and alone that I felt like I was falling deeper and deeper into the darkness and I was scared as hell that I would not find my way out. It was at this time in my life that I started seeing a counselor.


My counselor saved my life. When I first started going to see her I was in such a state of depression I just didn’t want to be alive anymore and I honestly didn’t think anyone would really notice had I disappeared. But this beautiful woman showed me away out, she listened, she didn’t judge, and she showed me love.

So you can see I was not that stable when it came to my emotions, my self-esteem, or how I handled things. As I got older I went from wanting to kill myself to hiding behind my weight and my children. I hid from life. Actually no I stopped living period. I stopped working, got married, and started having kids. I wrapped myself up in my family so I didn’t have to deal with the outside world.


I began to avoid anything that involved the possibility of running into people I used to know. I pulled further and further away from the things and people who made me happy. I started wearing frumpy clothes and not really caring what I looked like. I simply was not happy.

At some point in my 30’s I finally started to make little changes. I started wanting to claim my life again but I was still hiding, still not really letting go and living. Then my Mom’s cancer got worse and we were told she only had a couple of months to live. That jogged something inside of me and made me start working just a little harder for me. I wanted her to see I would be okay and she didn’t have to worry about me anymore.

During this time of dealing with my mother’s coming passing, my marriage was also slowly falling apart. I was fighting tooth and nail to keep my head above water but I was slowly drowning again. This time though I had no counselor to turn to and I couldn’t talk to my Mom cause she was already going through so much. So I suffered in silence and prayed that God would light my path and lead me out of this darkness that was encompassing me yet again.

Okay so let’s fast forward to present day. My Mom has now passed away and with that came more change for me. Her passing was an eye opener to me that if I didn’t start living I would die with nothing. I started taking more baby steps to rebuild my life and find myself again. I was on my path, my journey to finding myself again, when I met Chivon Morris. I instantly liked her but it took us awhile to actually build a friendship.


I remember the first time we actually hung out outside of church, she invited me to lunch and we talked forever. She had all these ideas and dreams and in talking to her I could tell she was going to make something of herself. At the time she hadn’t written a book or started Her Nation, she was working on another business of hers. I will admit, I remember being a little envious of her dreams and passions because at the time I didn’t have any. I didn’t even know what I wanted.

But as we developed a friendship, she began to plant seeds in my life I’m not sure she even realized she was planting. Funny thing is she is younger than me, so really I should have been planting the seeds in her life. But God put Chivon in my life just when I needed her and she poured herself into me without hesitation.

Now this is where you realize that for me Her Nation is Chivon Morris. Our friendship is where it started, her natural desire to build people up wasn’t something she could hide or not do. She did it without thinking. She evoked thought in anyone she talked to, she asked questions, and she showed genuine interest. To me this is a rarity this day and age.

One day we were sitting in a Starbucks talking, we had actually met because we were going to write together, but she started asking me tons of questions about me. How I saw myself, how I envisioned my life, what I looked like when I closed my eyes, what my character was like. One question after another until she had created this vision of the life I dreamed of. Something I had been unable to do all these years, having lost the passion and lacking the desire to really dream. But after one cup of chai tea and a very lengthy sit down talk with my girl Chivon I walked out of Starbucks feeling hope and believing that I could become something more. Okay I might have thought we were a bit crazy at the time too but we all need a little crazy in our lives. J

After that day life changed for both Chivon and I. In that little coffee shop she had created her first exhercise for her book. Now I’m not going to tell you her story or how the book came to be if you want to know that you need to pick up a copy of When I Am Her and read for yourself. What I will tell you though is that the best thing about this journey with Chivon is that we are not alone, we have each other. As we grow, as we become more of our HER we have each other to lean on and to celebrate with, to cry with, to encourage and that my dear friend is what Her Nation is about.


Since becoming a part of not just Chivon’s life but a part of Her Nation my life has taken unexpected turns. I’ve grown. I’ve shed insecurities. I’ve learned to dream again. I’ve seen what I can be and I’m reaching for it. I invite you to join me. Your first step is to buy the book, read it with an open heart and have a willingness to see a better life for yourself. I believe whole heartedly that together one woman at a time we can become a Her Nation.

If you are interested in knowing more please check out or

I will keep you updated on my journey, I hope to see you there!

Xoxoxo TJ


Tuesday! Ugh!

Some weeks are so much longer than others, even though they all have the same hours in a day. Do you ever just want to crawl back into bed and hide all day long. That is where I am at today. My body is tired, my mind is tired, heck my soul is tired. Dang and it’s only Tuesday!!!

I’m normally a pretty positive person I think but today, I am going on close to a week of this stinking headache, I’m grouchy from this fast cause I’m HUNGRY lol, and someone forgot to hire me a maid!!!!! UGH!!!!

Okay, enough self-pity.

Hmmm well without the self-pity I’m not sure what to say today. Oh that is so sad. Y’all pray for this girl today cause I have a feeling I’m going to need it.

Have a great Tuesday! I’m going back to bed. 🙂

Monkey and the Banana

There is this story that talks about this country where they trade in live monkeys. To trap these monkeys, they put out cages that are closed all the way around and they put a banana in the middle of the cage. Now the slats on the cage are big enough for the monkey to put his flat hand through to reach for the banana, but just small enough that the monkey can’t pull his hand back out of the cage with the banana in it. Normally this is how the trappers find the monkeys, trying to pull their hand out of the cage full of banana but not willing to let it go, even when they see the trappers coming.

This story is very interesting to me because I think many of us can relate the scenario to our own lives in many ways.

One of the ways that is most prevalent in my life is my weight. I’m like that little trapped monkey with its hand stuck in the cage not willing to let go of certain foods, certain habits, certain excuses and certain distractions. My hand is stuck, and like the monkey who was probably making a bunch of racket, I’m bitching and moaning and making tons of noise about it. But why won’t I just let go?

I know I’m not alone is this journey of going back and forth, one minute on fire for a change of life and the next defeated and ashamed to be failing again! I know that life throws one curve ball after another and just when we think we are on top of our game BAM!!!! We get knocked down.

Have you ever felt like that trapped Monkey?

Wanting with all that is in you to run when you see that trapper coming towards you, but unwilling to let go of whatever it is you are holding onto.

What are you holding onto that is holding you back from being free of the trap?

Is it excuses? money? a bad relationship? What?

For me, It’s fear! Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of not finding what I’m looking for when I get there, fear of change, fear of my own success, my own happiness, fear of what’s next and fear of life in general. Fear is my banana; it’s what I hold onto with all my might no matter what is coming at me. I just can’t seem to let go of it!

I struggle to release the fear, open my hand and break free of the cage.

I’m kicking and screaming to get away from the trap, but my voice isn’t heard because my hand won’t let go of the banana.


I must admit though, fear is only one of many of my banana’s, but I am working at them one at a time.

We have got to let go of what we are gripping so hard in our hands that its keeping us trapped in the same place year after year. We don’t have to do it all at once, just one finger at a time until our hand lays flat again and we can pull it back through that slat in the cage and reclaim our lives.

I want my life back! Do you?

Sad News!

I find myself in deep thought after receiving some very sad news. My heart is heavy, yet convicted. I recently learned of a friend (my hairdresser of 10 years) who became very ill just before Christmas. She was rushed to the hospital after her water broke at 19 weeks pregnant. At the hospital, she learned she lost her beautiful baby, which would have been her first child, but not only that she had an infection that was spreading quickly. Sadly, the infection was shutting down her liver and making circulation to her hands and feet basically impossible. They took her into surgery to amputate both her feet and her fingertips. As you can imagine this is devastating to her and her family.

I can’t begin to comprehend the emotions she is going through. One day perfectly happy, ready to start a family, making plans, laughing, moving through her day with no knowledge as to what would become of her life and the next day completely devastated.

What would you do?

Ugh! I don’t know why it is that it takes moments like this, when something terrible has happened for a person to really evaluate their life. We start to ask ourselves questions we never would have thought of. It really is scary to think about.

What has come from all this deep thinking and the many tears I’ve shed for this young woman and her family is that we have to stop taking life for granted! I know, you’ve heard it before, we all know we aren’t promised tomorrow. Knowing this though is not enough. When do our dreams, our thoughts, our discussions, our words, our goals, whatever you want to call them, WHEN do they turn into ACTION?

It took the death of my Mom to shake me enough to start making changes in my life, but I still haven’t done all I could. I’ve still held back. One of my deepest regrets was not spending more time with her, but if I look at the relationships most important to me now I can’t really say I have done anything to make sure that same regret doesn’t pop up when I lose someone else I love.

It’s time to start turning words into action. Stop procrastinating! Oh yes, I know, don’t worry I’m not talking to you, I’m sure you wouldn’t do that. I’m preaching to myself. Just let me get it out and I’ll be done.

STOP procrastinating! STOP whining about things you have the power to change and change them! STOP feeling sorry for yourself and get up off your booty and do something to be the change in your life! STOP making excuses and JUST DO IT!

Life is so precious; we have to put into action what our heart keeps yelling at us to do. Why are you waiting to do all the good stuff when you retire? What happens if you don’t make it to retirement? Why are you waiting to tell that one person you are sorry? Why? Are you waiting for them to come to you? Hmmm in the mean time you are losing days, months, and years with a person over something probably not that serious! Why are you waiting to go back to school? Wait! I know! The excuse is you’re too old. HELLO you aren’t getting younger! Enroll!

We are not promised our tomorrows! Don’t waste another day putting life on hold no matter what the reason. Cherish your family. Cherish your friends. Cherish YOU! Put the value back into your life by pouring yourself into the things and people who are valuable to you.

Spend Time With The Nice People

One thing that is often forgotten in our day-to-day lives is that we have the power to eliminate, negativity, and stress from our lives. We choose who we take along with us on our journey and who doesn’t. Okay, yes granted it is not as easy as removing someone from your friends list on Facebook, there is no delete button or block button (wouldn’t that be nice). However, we can make a choice and stand strong in that choice. Life is over in a blink of an eye and at the end of it, do you want to look back and see the energy sucking vampires you’ve allowed on your journey, or the loving, driven, like-minded people who help to bring out the best in each other. It’s your choice. Kick the energy vampires off your bus today!

I read this quote recently and loved it.

“Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and like-minded. Relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.”  Author Unknown

And like the song goes…FREE YOURSELF and the rest will follow!

Finding My Inner Thin Girl

Good Morning all you beautiful people, I just wanted to let you know that for those of you who are interested I have posted my first post on my weight loss journey. You can follow my progress and we can encourage each other under the Finding my Inner Thin Girl Page at the top of this screen. I look forward to going on this journey with you.

Press Through to the Change

Press through to the change!

I don’t remember where I found this little picture with that amazing saying but I’m glad I did.
It is human nature to get to a point in whatever we are doing that is either extremely challenging or painful and then we stop. Have you ever done that? I have, every time I try to get on track with my workouts I get to a point that the effort and the pain is just too much. But it’s time to start pressing through the mess and just do it.
I don’t want that little voice inside my head to win out anymore, I’m ready for the change, I’m ready to take life by storm and show everybody what I’m made of. So starting right now I am making a commitment to myself and to you to push through the pain and get my butt in gear. It’s time to get this girl in shape.
In order to hold myself accountable I will post my goals here for all to see and update you every now and again on my progress. This year is going to be about making the change instead of talking about it.
Keep your eyes open for my goals. As I’m pushing through I hope that you are challenging yourself to push through as well in whatever area of life you let the pain defeat you. I’d love to support each other in our journey’s so if you’d like to post your goals or your journey here with mine (or you can email me at put in the subject line my screen name so I know to open it) we can help hold each other accountable and give that encouraging word to each other that we all need from time to time. I look forward to hearing from you. Be blessed.