Posts from the ‘Life’ Category

What is your PASSION statement?

Last week a friend and I were leaving the “You Can Touch My Hair” social experiment in Union Square (separate post coming about that) and we decided to just hang out. We found our way to Argo Tea and had some delicious tea and great conversation. As we were chatting, I noticed this on the wall:


I’ve seen many companies list their mission statements for customers to see, but what stood out to me was that Argo chose to call their’s a “passion statement” and that got me to thinking.

Whenever you write a resume, the first item after your contact info is always your objective, or mission statement. What is your mission. What do you plan to obtain. But what about your passion? What would you do for free without complaining? We are so caught up with just surviving and making sure bills are paid that we forget to actually sit down and ask ourselves:


There is nothing more rewarding than doing what you’re passion about. We often times wonder how someone can be so rich yet so miserable, and yet the broke filmmaker is the happiest person in the universe. That’s because the broken filmmaker is satisfying a part of their soul that money could never touch. They may not have to dopest shoes or brand new jeans, but they are fulfilled and are doing what THEY want to do, not what someone else is telling them to do.

Take some time out this weekend to sit down and figure out your passion. When students tell me they are having trouble figuring out what they want to do in life I ask them, “what is the one thing you would do for free? That one thing that will never feel like work.” That is your passion. Figure out how to do it and make a living off of it and you will be surprised at the amount of joy you will feel.

To be clear, following your passion isn’t always easy. It will be difficult, but nothing worth having comes easy. And that hard work you put in makes your success that much sweeter. If you want something, TRULY want it, then you’ll do what you have to do to achieve it. It’s human nature.

So what’s your passion statement?


Ring in the New Year Positively!!

First things first:


I hope everyone enjoyed whatever festivities you got in to!!! šŸ™‚

This time last year I postedĀ New Year = RE-New You about setting your goals for the coming year. I still suggested the tips from that post, but I want to focus on going into the New Year with a new attitude. A new way of thinking. I’m a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. Your outlook on life and situations within can affect how you handle those issues and what you learn from them. Here are a few tips that I use to increase the flow of positive energy around me:

1. Start your day off with positive thoughts.

Every morning when you wake up, have 3 or 4 affirmations that you say to yourself. “Today, I will smile more than yesterday.” Failure is an illusion.” Whatever you like to say to yourself. They can and should be unique to you. Put them somewhere you can see them everyday, i.e. your front door, your refrigerator, you desk at work. Make sure you see and read them everyday.

2. Surround yourself with other positive individuals.

Nobody likes a Debbie Downer, and misery truly loves company. If you have individuals in your life who constantly complain, never have anything nice to say, and who just always kill a good vibe, maybe you need to distance yourself from them. We tend to forget how much we influence each other and vice versa. Surround yourself with positive and watch your mindset begin to change.

3. Stop trying to do it and DO IT!!

When Morpheus and Neo had their sparring match in the beginning of The Matrix, Morpheus said to Neo, “Stop trying to hit me and hit me!!” We should apply the same principle to our lives. We often spend so much time planning and analyzing a goal that we take away from the action of actually completing the task. Now I’m not saying just jump into something head first. By all means, plan out your goal. But once you’ve done that, stop staring at the plan and get out there and do it!! Sometimes stalling in carrying out a goal is a defense mechanism that we switch on because we are afraid of pursuing our goal. But that’s where your positive friends come in. The uplifting and optimism you get from them may be just what you need to get the ball rolling.

I pray you obtain whatever goals you set out for yourself. 2013 will be a great year for you!

Here is a little inspiration to get your year started off right:

Health Nut Wednesdays : Couch 2 5K



I’ve been working on getting back on the healthy road. A friend of mine suggested I look into Couch 2 5K. C25k is a mobile app in which you can train for a 5k marathon with out paying for a trainer. I had recently rejoined my gym and thought this would be great to try out. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it so I figured why not give it a try. I wasn’t necessarily the running type so I figured this would be a great way to get me moving.

The way the app works is it builds your resistance up. You only run 3 days a week and it alternates between walking and running. So the first week you run for 60 seconds and then walk for 90 seconds. Week 2, run for 90 seconds, walk for 2 mins.

This week I started week 3. I admit I was extremely hesitant because this week it got intense. Run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, run for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes.

Yes 3 minutes.

I’ll admit it. I doubted myself. I’m not the smallest person and I didn’t think I’d be able to do it. I was really nervous. So what did I do?

I went to the gym, got on the treadmill turned on my music and started the program.

And guess what? I ran for 3 minutes without stopping! TWICE!!

I believe that 50% of exercise is physical, the other 50% is mental. When I was running, my legs were hurting. It was hard. But I had my music pumping in my ears and I just push myself.

“Keep it going, Malikah. You got this.”

So happy right now!!

So happy right now!!

After I finished, I felt so GOOD!! I had the biggest smile on my face. Running for 3 minutes straight was a personal threshold for me. I would have never thought I’d be able to run for 3 minutes non-stop. After I got done, I felt like I could run for 30 more minutes. My mind set completely changed at that moment. Physically it was tough, but mentally I loved it. My inner runner has been born.

I’ve made the decision to not look at exercise as just something to do. It’s a lifestyle. I’m incorporating it into my life. Since I’ve adopted that mindset, exercising has become much more fun. I used to say “Running isn’t for me” not because I didn’t like (I never did it) but because I was afraid. Now that I have overcome that fear, I love it. Can’t wait to do it more.

What are you doing for exercise? Leave a message below!!

*sidenote: Both times I ran, J*DaVeY was playing on my iPhone. Go figure!!

Doing What You LOVE!!!

Cuba after Sandy. Pic from The Telegraph

By now we all now of the devastation Sandy left on the East Coast and Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and other islands in the Caribbean as well. As a result, New York’s Public Transit was a complete and utterĀ mess. The 1st few days after the storm, there was no transit except for a few limited buses. Gradually, bus service was restored as was limited train service. However, no trains where running between Manhattan and Brooklyn as a result of the East River flooding and the area around 34th Street having no power. To compensate, MTA offered free shuttle buses between Manhattan and Brooklyn, from Atlantic/Barclays Center to 54th and Lexington Ave, and from Jay St. – Metro Tech to 54th and Lexington as well.

It sounds nice and simple, and it did flow well. MTA did the best they could with what they had. However, many New Yorkers rely of public transportation therefore they depended on those shuttle buses. Granted there were other modes of transportation; drive if you have gas and 2 other people in the car, bike it (which I need to seriously start considering) or stand at the bridge and try to be the 2nd or 3rd person in the car to cross the bridge (I’m not joking, Bloomberg made it a temporary restriction). There were also dollar vans charging $5 and $10 to get across (if you’re ballin’ like that). Still, for thousands or NY residents like myself who didn’t want to spend $20 round trip, or jump in a strangers car, or have a stranger jump in their car, free shuttle buses where the only option. And they where a time-consuming option.

Here’s what my trip looked like:

  • Catch the bus from home to Atlantic/Barclays Center
  • Catch the Shuttle bus from Atlantic/Barclays Center to 42nd and Lexington
  • Walk to Times Square
  • Catch the 2 train to 125th Street

Sounds relatively simple right? Let me add the time to it.

  • Catch the bus from home to Atlantic/Barclays Center (1 hour)
  • Catch the Shuttle bus from Atlantic/Barclays Center to 42nd and Lexington (If you lucked out like I did, 45 mins, if not, 2 1/2 hours)
  • Walk to Times Square (10 mins)
  • Catch the 2 train to 125th Street (40 mins because it ran local)

That was going TO work. Coming BACK? Make that shuttle bus trip 3 hours.

And there you have it. My Thursday commute came to a grand total of 8 hours of travel for 4 hours of work (I work part-time).

I spoke with my Director and he agreed to let me work from home (or the library in my case) because the travel time in correlation to my work time made it useless. Friday came. I get to the library, get on the PC and an hour later they all go offline. So guess who ended up making that journey to work?

While I was calling my Director to let him know I was coming in after all. I had an epiphany. Actually, I saw a picture on Instagram of a person smiling after traveling 5 hours to get to work. Then it hit me…..

If you love what you do, then having to travel 5 hours will may be a small inconvenience, but you’ll gladly do it because you are invested in what you do and are fulfilling your goals and/or ambition. You do what you love and nothing will stop you from doing it.

How many of us have jobs that we need in order to get by? Because we have bills? I know I do. I don’t hate my job. I actually like it, but I know this isn’t what I truly want to do. As a result, while I was making my treck to Harlem, I made the decision that I need to do what I love. But how am I going to achieve that goal? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Sit down and write out what you want.Ā 
I am a visual person. I comprehend things andĀ remember things better when I see it. So writing what I want helps me visualize my goals. Make a list of everything you want. Don’t worry about organizing it. Just get it out your brain and on to paper. You want to own a car? Write it. You want to start you own business? Write it. You want to go back to school? Write it. You’ll be surprised how much comes out your head once you get those juices flowing.

2. Re-read your goals, define, organize and assign due dates.
Once you’ve gotten all your goals out your head, begin to organize them by what’s more important to you and what can be accomplished quicker. For example, let’s say your list looked like this:

  • Get financially stable
  • Start working out
  • Apply for grad school

Short and sweet. Once you’ve gone back over your goals, defined, organized and assigned due dates, your new list may look like this:

1. Start working out
– Join my local gym
– Begin working out 3 times a week minimum
Join gym by: November 21, 2012

2. Get financially stable
– Re-do my budget
– Identify which expenses can be eliminated
– Pay $100 on credit card monthly
– Save $100 monthly
Have credit card paid off by: April 2013

3. Apply for Grad School
– Research 2-3 schools that offer my program of interest
– Contact admissions office for more information
– Research Scholarships and grants
– Contact possible references
Completed Application by: May 2013 for 2013 – 2014 School year.
– Begin classes September 2013

This is just a basic example. You can be more thorough if you like. I actually recommend it. Be specific about your goals and when you want them done so you can focus and work on them. You can make this into a Honey-Do list. I also recommend making a vision board. Whatever you create, make sure you place somewhere that is readily visible i.e. the fridge, your bedroom door, the apartment/house door.

My vision board. I’ll probably re-do if for the New Year.

3. Put your plan into action!
This may be the most difficult part. We may say we’re going to do something yet not follow through. I’ve fallen victim to that pesky trait known as procrastination. That’s why it’s important to post your goals. It serves as a constant reminder to yourself that you’ve made a commitment to yourself. Sometimes it helps to have a really good friend or family member who can act as a stakeholder. This person can join you in creating a plan of their own and you all can hold each other accountable. You may have similar goals (i.e. working out) that you all can accomplish together.

We’re nearing the end of 2012 so this is a perfect time to start figuring out how you’re going to do what you love. Good luck on those plans!!!

Congrats Gabby Douglas!!!

All Around Champion Gabby Douglas


Reclaim Your Queendom would like to congratulate Gabrielle Douglass on making history!! Gabby is theĀ 1stĀ African American All – Around Champion. The 16 year-old Virginia Beach Native flashed the hugest smile towards the end of her performance, knowing that she had nabbed the top spot. Congrats Gabby!! We are all proud of you little sista!!!!

Happy Mothers’ Day!!!

I would like to wish all the mothers out there a great, beautiful, and wonderful Mothers’ Day!! Even though today is the “designated” day to show your mother you love her, please don’t neglect to tell her during the other 364 days of the year. Our mothers show us love every day. We should do the same.

Me, Mom, and Lil’ Sis

Jada Pinkett-Smith, daughter Willow, and mom Adrienne Banfield-Jones talk Live and Love

On May 13th, Jada Pinkett-Smith, daughter Willow, and mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones sit down and talk about life, love, relationships, and the industry. In the Red Table Talks presentation, Adrienne admits to Willow that Jada’s childhood is not as easy as hers as well as admits her own lack of parental support for Jada when she was a child.Ā 

Watch the trailer below: