Boy do I have a #MotivationalMonday story for y’all today!! As I like to say to my homegirls, ‘Guuuuuurrrrrrrl, lemme tell ju!!!’ So, I am in midst of reconstructing EverythingShaquana, by hand. I am building up my own, self-hosted website, all on my lonesome.

Since technology in general, in addition to web and graphic design, are not my specialty areas to say the least, everything I do, is self learned and taught. In such, it has not been easy to say the least. It has been quite the struggle, leading to daily battles of Old Me vs. New Me.

Who am I to do such a thing? Something quite simple to many, but so different and quite confusing to myself? Who am I, to go outside of another box the world has committed to locking me into? Who do I think I really am? I know nothing about web design. People go to school for years and thousands upon, thousands of dollars, to learn how to master the art of what I am aiming to self teach myself to do!

Where the hell do I get off?! Haha! Boy, am I a daring soul or what? Particularly because, my need to create my own, self built, self-hosted website, is exactly that; a need! I need an official tissue website, so as to begin monetizing my site. I have a baby on the way, for goodness sake! A girl has got to make a living. Like yesterday.

I’ve been doing this starving artist thing, with pride and self-confidence, for quite some time now. And that’s all good and such, when you don’t have a mouth to feed, other than your own. What I do on my own wherewithal, is on me. What I do on my child-to-be and I’s wherewithal, is an entirely other story. Now of course, I have no one to answer to but God and myself. But lemme tell you, that’s all the judge and jury, I need. Anyone that has gotten a mouthful of Shaquana’s “tough love,” knows damn well I don’t play games. When it’s time to get yo’ sh*t together, it’s time people! #EnoughSaid.

 “As the apostle Paul, from the Bible likes to put it, ‘mind your own affairs.’”

Such may not seem like it’s the same deal, when it comes to me checking my own self. That’s just not the case, though. I am most certainly my harshest critic. I am most certainly harder on myself, than anyone else in the whole wide world. Which is why, I don’t take kindly to other people’s opinions, or as I like to call it “curiosity”, masked as fake “concern,” coming my way.

The last thing I need is another judge and jury in my circle. What you don’t hear or see, going on behind the closed doors of my mind and thoughts, is me tearing myself to shreds every chance I get. I’ve come a long way, in correcting such self-destructive behavior, but Lord only knows, I still have a way to go.

In such,  just for the record, while we’re on the topic today, share more love and encouragement people. We all know what we’re doing wrong. Whether you feel like we’re doing a good enough job of correcting it, or showing that we know better or are willing to do better, is beside the point. No one knows what you’re doing right or wrong, better than you. You are the sole person with yourself 24/7, 365 a year. #Word.

So, chill on the chastisement, folks. All that is, is you projecting yourself onto others. If you spend more time focused on what other people need to fix in their lives, you’re conveniently relieving yourself of the sole duty given to you by God/ the Universe, which is to focus on you. Govern your own affairs. As the apostle Paul, from the Bible likes to put it, ‘mind your own affairs.’” #EnoughSaid. I digress.

So, back to my new website. If I had money, I’d probably pay someone to do it for me, or at least teach me how the hell to do the basic stuff. I’m a quick learner, I can do the rest. But, I don’t have money. And that’s for a reason. God wants me to learn what the world told me was not meant for me to learn. I was an African American Studies and Political Science major in college, poised to work in law, politics and public office when I graduated.

“Only God knows this plan. As, it is in fact, His plan.”

I am most definitely still going for Mayor of New York City. God willing, during the election year of 2017. That’s a fact. I am still planning on paying my school debts off, so I can pursue my grad school ambitions of getting a masters and J.D, so as to pave my way as a lawyer, and more educated and experiential actor in the policy making of this world. That’s a fact.

Yet, here I am, wearing a writer hat. No so far, and yet quite far at the same time, from what I expected to do and pursue upon entering Syracuse University in the Fall of 2007. Shoot, this is pretty far from what I expected when I walked across the stage of Syracuse, in Spring 2013. This is as new to me, as my existence is to the people reading my words for the first time. Only God knows this plan. As, it is in fact, His plan.

So, as per the plan of my Father, I am to learn, most particularly through determination, stubbornness, and the art of self teaching (like my mentor, Malcolm!), how to design my own custom and exclusive website, from almost scratch (minus, building the CMS, myself→ S/o WordPress!). Now, this is when I get to the juicy part of the story. A million and one times, during the past few weeks/ 2 months or so of this website learning process, I’ve thought I had it all figured, only to realize I am sooooo far from the reality of what needs to be done.

Frustrating cannot explain the emotion I’ve felt, over and over. Last week, I was seriously on the brink of a meltdown. God bless my momma! ‘Cause, I would have been such an emotional wreck, so many times the past year, and especially the past month, if it were not for her. She really is my rock and she always keeps me going. Her belief in me, is so powerful that no matter how much and how often I sike myself out, she can get me to push past it. God bless you, little Momma!

Back to last week (hope you all can stay with me today, because my mind is racing from frustration, excitement and simply put, God fueled adrenaline. Hence, my post may seem to be all over the place, to a few of you out there). So, I find this video on YouTube, and the problem I’ve been having, starts to make perfect sense. While reading the video’s comments, I see a person write about the same problem I am having. That person asks the maker of the video for guidance on fixing the problem.

“I needed to give way to the Spirit’s generous anointment of grace and love upon me, and end my submission to the flesh that was locking me into foolish behavior and feelings.

The video maker responds, giving the person the feedback I’ve been looking for, for an entire week and change! It took me a whole 3 hours, just to figure out how to ask the right question, so I could finally get desired results! Omg! As much as I wanted to be grateful, I was feeling too defeated and exhausted from the circle I’d been running in for what seemed like forever, in that moment.

Haha! That’s where Satan wants you to be, though. The wicked one wants you to be so exhausted, frustrated and what have you, that you’re too focused on what isn’t, to blind you from seeing or appreciating what is. I failed my test, last week y’all. The thing is, I was vigilant enough, to know in that moment, that I’d failed my test. I knew in my heart, that I’d made a major accomplishment, albeit taking 3 hours or 2 weeks to figure out.

For God’s sake, I figured it out! That’s what matters. But, I’d gotten so wound up into my negative energy. The one thing I’d promised myself not to do. And I’d done it. So well, might I add, that no small or big victory could shake it. That’s when I got to praying. I got to affirming. First, out loud to myself. Then out loud to the world, via Twitter and Facebook.

I asked God to allow my eyes to see, my ears to hear and my soul to feel, whatever it was that I was blocking out. I needed to give way to the Spirit’s generous anointment of grace and love upon me, and end my submission to the flesh that was locking me into foolish behavior and feelings. I needed it! And, I knew it all too well. I could feel it in my bones. My soul craving for some good energy. So, I got wise, and turned my anger into joy.

At first, it was fake joy. I wasn’t really feeling it, but I was emitting it anyway. I said, ‘Shaquana, don’t get mad. Get glad! You may not be able to feel the joy God has bestowed upon you today, but you know it’s there. Keep faking it, till you make girl. It’ll come. It’ll come.” To God be the Glory! It came! It really came! By the end of the day, I had my joy back! Amen! I said, ‘Devil, you can’t have my joy! Screw, ‘give it back.’ I’m taking it back!!!”

“But, me being in that funky spirit, opened myself up to the foolishness of Satan’s galore. I went against my own better judgement.”

Which, is what leads me to my jittery, anxious and gladly pissed off mood, right now! The person who made that video, offered the commenter the option to contact them for more information on how to move forward with the issue they were having. I thought to myself, ‘Ahh! What a Godsend.’ So, still in my ugh mood, I contacted the video maker via email, asking for help with the same problem. I pointed them in the direction my blog, and hoped for a miracle of a response, that would give me all the answers I needed.

The person responded, much faster than I ever expected, giving me instructions on everything but, the primary problem I was having. Now, this is when intuition and being in tune with spirit comes in. This is when the vigilance, I speak of, comes into play. What this person was telling me to do, didn’t make any damn sense. Whatsoever. And I knew it didn’t make any sense. But, me being in that funky spirit, opened myself up to the foolishness of Satan’s galore. I went against my own better judgement. More perhaps, in a fit of unnecessary desperation, than actual respect of this person’s opinion.

I won’t get into what most of you might consider to be the boring deets of coding, web building and so on. To say the least, the past 4 days, my blog has been unsearchable, online. I pointed the direction of my blog, toward a nonexistent site, making it impossible for anyone to see my website, that wasn’t looking at it directly via the WordPress blog. For 4 whole days, I have had stats that reflect 0 views!

Mind you, the craziest part is, as much as I was aware of this weird occurrence, I was too up in the sky to even ponder it. That’s the good part, though. Though, I lost 4 whole days of traction on my site, I won the deliverance of God, to make sense of what the heck I was doing wrong, that was blocking my path toward achieving my goals and creating the success I seek.

I made powerful peace with my older brother. Opened up to him, in a more loving and truthful way, than I’d ever known possible, let alone tried. And it worked. That was the greatest weight off my shoulders. It had me crying. I took my foot of the wheel of this blog, my goals and my need for an income, long enough to put my foot on the wheel of perfecting Godly love between the people I love most.

“I got down, off of my high horse, to tell myself, God and the world, that I too, was human. A work in progress. That, though I am not beyond imperfection, I do seek to be better.”

I had most of my family blocked on Facebook, for Lord knows how long. I unblocked them. I posted a Facebook status, acknowledging the fact of my ego and meanness, being in the way of me fostering the most loving and blessed healing possible, between those I love most. I opened up to God about how I hadn’t been doing the best job of exemplifying His love, as I knew readily I could.

I apologized to my mother for being mean and emotional toward her, and using pregnancy as an excuse. I got down, off of my high horse, to tell myself, God and the world, that I too, was human. A work in progress. That, though I am not beyond imperfection, I do seek to be better. And I’d like as many people who seek the same, to be a part of my life, as possible.

That wonderful level of peace and forgiveness that I reached within myself, and with the people I love, allowed me to do what I hadn’t been able to do all this time. To see the damn, white light. To have what I like to call, “my lightbulb moment *Despicable Me voice*!” I went over to my brother’s house, spent some beyond quality time with him, and through him, God sent me the message I’d asked for. My brother literally told me, “Quana, you’ve done it all. You’ve done everything that needs to be done. The only thing left, is to make money. Stop waiting to be perfect. And just do it now.”

Son! I was an emotional mess, after I left him. His words spoke so much life into me. And he knew exactly how to say it. How to speak to me in a way, where my pride and ego wouldn’t close him out. I love my big bro soooooo much! And I told him that too! Can you believe it?! Egotistical Shaquana, told someone how much they meant to her! Haha! I’m getting there, folks!

Today, when I woke up in my usual pregnancy slumber, working to get the energy to get up and wash, feed this demanding butterbean inside me, and get my day started, the one thing I hadn’t been wondering, just clicked in my head. That suckah of a video maker, fooled my behind. Me following his “advice,” was the reason I wasn’t getting traction to my blog. I’d been in such a daze these past 4 days, getting back to God and spirit, and coming back down to earth in all pretenses of the phrase, I hadn’t even checked my site. I had no idea people were getting an error message!

“In all my wisdom, intuition and just basic common sense, I went against my better judgement. In desperation. In weariness. In foul mood decision-making. I blocked Spirit, and listened to Old Me.”

To say I was pissed, would be an understatement. Now, why would this guy give me knowingly false information? Why would he send me in a direction, he knew would lead me nowhere? Why hadn’t he responded to my email, since I foolishly followed his instructions? What would make, this seemingly more experiential and established blogger and website designer/ owner, throw such shade my way? And yes, for the record, that was definitely shade! Was my blog that popping? That much of a threat? That much a something, anything, worth hating on so much so, you’d give me advice that would screw up my stats?

I was asking all the wrong questions! I was not minding my own affairs. People are going to hate. That’s a fact. Since Bible times and beyond. No lie. People will mislead you and send you astray, for what appears to be no darn reason. That’s a fact. The question was not why this person would knowingly mislead me. The question was, and still is, why would I listen to him?

Then, when I get to thinking about it, I knew better! I knew what he was saying didn’t make any freaking sense. So much so, that I included my confusion with the suggestion given, in the response email I sent back. Yet, I still did it. In all my wisdom, intuition and just basic common sense, I went against my better judgement. In desperation. In weariness. In foul mood decision-making. I blocked Spirit, and listened to Old Me. Which is never, a good thing.

Nonetheless, on the other side of all of that foolishness, is my joy! The joy that I’ve reclaimed! I came up with the most detailed plan of action for not only EverythingShaquana, but for my business Gardner Creative Consulting, and my final arrival of my upcoming Official Blog Launch event! It’s been epic! As Judge Lynn Toler from Divorce Court reminded me today, “an idle mind is the devil’s playground.” All that idleness of my mind, so focused on one thing, on one basket, had the wicked one in all sorts of fun affairs with me.

However, when I put my mind back to work these past few days, I went to work! I am soooo excited, y’all! I’mma BOSS! In all senses of the word! I am ecstatic to begin showing off to myself, first and foremost, and then the world, just how much! In midst of figuring out this darn web building thing I got going on, I am going to redesign/ update my business website. Which by the way, you all should so check out in the next few weeks. I have some amazing services and business to offer to the world, with beyond competitive prices.

“For sure, when the devil come knocking, don’t get mad folks! Get glad! You know Satan ain’t looking for anyone who isn’t doing well, by God’s standards.”

From basic web design (custom sites will be added to the list, in due time as well), to in-depth goal planning for a business or organization that includes a detailed business plan, to grant writing, tutoring services and even sexual reproductive health workshops, I got it all!! If you like what you see on this website/ blog so far, imagine what I could do to help you bring your own vision alive! So, check me out! Holla at me for free consult!

Hit my inbox for info on how you can can even get started without money, by using the very significant and lost art of, BARTERING!! Ahh! Remember that?! Okay, I’m done plugging myself. For now. Keep a look out for upcoming information about my services and upcoming live and online events, via press releases, promotional deals and social media blasts (*hint hint* you should follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or whatever else it is that you’re on, because duh ;-)).

So, that’s my #MotivationalMonday saga, for you all today. Just writing this post, has made me feel way better. Even though, it might take up to 24 hours for folks who aren’t on WordPress, to see it. It’s all good in the ‘hood son, as we might in the PJ’s of NYC. Haha! Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing, my dude! Word to! It’s all good. I ain’t even mad at homie, anymore. He did what Satan likes to use his followers to do. For a reason, perhaps. Or for no reason at all. Yet, instead of being mad, I’m gon’ be glad. He taught me a beautiful lesson! A few beautiful lessons, to be exact! I thank him for that.

Moreover, it gave me some inspiration to share with y’all on this #MotivationalMonday, which also doubles as the American holiday of Memorial Day. Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Amen! For our soldiers who sacrificed their lives, well-being and even sanity. For those men and women who didn’t and won’t make it home from active tours of duty/ war, let’s rejoice! Let’s LIVE folks! For our loved ones who won’t wake up today or didn’t wake up in past yesterdays! Let’s rejoice! Let’s pray for folks who fall in Satan’s trap, often without knowing how or why. Let’s live, even for the haters!

For sure, when the devil come knocking, don’t get mad folks! Get glad! You know Satan ain’t looking for anyone who isn’t doing well, by God’s standards. That’s when distractions are at their highest. When you have the most to gain, and thus, even more to lose. So, remain vigilant. Mind your own affairs. Most of all, get glad! There’s a blessing on the rise! And that’s a fact! A’se!