2 of my favorite lessons from my Daddy

White banana seat, pink trim, shiny handle bars…I was too excited to learn how to ride my new bike.  My Daddy had one hand on the left handle bar and the other on the back of my white banana seat at the top of a slight hill. I remember him saying…”ok you ready? when I let you go you gotta look straight ahead and keep peddling…you got it?…ready?”  He pushed me and he let me go and I did exactly what he told me to do…I looked straight ahead and kept peddling.  I can still hear his voice…you got it…you got it…go’head you got it.

On today I choose to remember the push, my Daddy letting go, and his voice so loud saying YOU GOT IT…GO’HEAD YOU GOT IT…keep going YOU GOT IT!

On this Father’s Day weekend I am so thankful for that lesson that day on the bike and so many more. Another favorite lesson…my Daddy told me “when I go don’t hold on to that day…it’s gonna be a sad day for you but I want you to hold on to all of the other days. We will always have more great days than the day I go. Remember all of the other days”. And so I counted “all of the other days”…all of the other days leading up to his appointed time to go be with the Lord and it was 44 years, 7 months and 2 days and I even had a bracelet made with 4472 to remind me when my mind wants to drift to the one day I guide it back to “all of the other days”

And so I offer these 2 lessons from my Daddy to you:

  1. push, let go, and keep going
  2. don’t hold on to the day that changed everything…hold on to all of the other days

 

Thank you GOD for all of the other days.

Thank you GOD for the wake up call that we come here to eventually go.

Thank you GOD for the grace on this Father’s Day weekend to do what my Daddy did so many times for me…push, let go and keep going.

 

#alloftheotherdays4472

#Daddysgirl

#stillhavejoy

#mygooddaysstilloutweighmybaddays

 

Share some of “all of your other days” this Fathers Day!

 

 

How to stay safe dating online

My heart is heavy hearing about the young lady who lost her life with an encounter with allegedly an online dating incident.
 
I did online dating for several years prior to getting married and I want to share some strategies I used to keep myself safe:
 
1. I always took a selfie before every date and at that time sent it to my Dad. I sent it to him because he was a person VERY tuned in to potential criminal behavior so he would know what I was wearing
 
2. I always told at least 2 people who , where and what time I was meeting the person. 1 of those 2 was always my mother because she is incredibly gifted with listening to details and I knew she’d remember
 
3. I always LIED about how long it took to get to where ever we agreed to meet. If it was down the street from my house I said it’ll take me about 45 minutes from my side of town
 
4. I always WENT HOME THE WRONG WAY once I left the person and would often go to the grocery store or the mall(basically HEAVILY POPULATED PARKING LOTS) to do an errand. This was to throw potential madness off track or at a minimum frustrate them over the time it would take to follow me
 
5. I had an online name and it was “Cam”. Because of my online presence I didn’t want them to be able to look me up on social media immediately and with a name like “Cledra” I can’t hide from google. “Cam” was also my way of knowing where they were in my process. If they never knew “Cledra” then they were on the short list to be shown an exit.
 
6. I didn’t hesitate to block from my phone. People ask me all the time did I run into ‘crazy’ and the answer is the same answer I say about what I’ve run into in person…YES…’crazy’ exist ON AND OFFline HOWEVER what’s important is your personal ability to manage ‘crazy’
 
7. I’ve been in sales since my Dad bought his grocery store in 1982 so I’ve had YEARS of experience in getting others to talk more than I do to learn what I need to learn. I share this to say…focus on being interestED more than being interestING. Look great of course however BE SMART about internalizing excessive flattery & letting it take you out of your logical frame of mind. Excessive flattery is often a tactic to weaken your defenses. BE CONFIDENT in who you are and how you look and don’t allow flattery to be used as a weapon. If someone is enamored by your looks to the point that it’s all they talk about RED FLAG
 
8. The red flag brings me to my last point. I created a dating spreadsheet. I’m an engineer so to me you manage well what you track well, so I had a “red flag” column to snap me outta “he so fine”. You know ladies you can meet some really charming and really attractive men that on a bad week you can be really vulnerable to the “fluff”(or at least I knew that was my history that I needed to compensate for and thus the spreadsheet…know YOUR HISTORICAL “data” weaknesses when it comes to dating & compensate and have your OWN SNAP OUT OF IT method). I was CLEAR about what didn’t work and the personality type that didn’t work with my personality and so the red flag column also helped me maintain that clarity independent of the incredible game that he might bring to the table.
 
9. Keep going and one day you’ll take the last online dating “selfie”, send it to your Dad/confidant, share it with your Mom/great listener and you’ll post on facebook…I met THE ONE!
 
I know because this is my “one day” I met THE ONE selfie and THAT is when I told him the truth about where I lived, my real name, and by the grace of GOD we day by day help each other unpack our real baggage(another topic for another day)
 
Be safe ladies!
ps….women ask me would I date online knowing the potential danger and to that I respond…I drive knowing people have been killed in cars, I fly knowing planes have been hi-jacked, I took the risk to get married AGAIN knowing the statistics about my chances are worse than the first time to stay married…I trust GOD, I trust HIS timing, I trust…myself !
God Bless,
LOL
CledraFB_cledra_firstdate_firstdateEddie

I knew…but I didn’t want to believe

I knew…but I didn’t want to believe it—Karrueche Trankarrueche-tran

That’s what Chris Brown’s ex-girlfriend of 4 years( roughly 33,408 hours of her life) said after she was sitting in his condo and he said he had somewhere to go only for her to see him and Rihanna at a game on TV. She took him back…AGAIN & AGAIN until she was sitting at home looking on social media and the words “I’m a Father” came up and that’s how she found out he had a baby by someone else.

I can’t throw shade on this beautiful young lady because I too can say “I knew…but I didn’t want to believe it” and that is why I’m so committed to helping you save yourself some time if you are currently in a situation where on a deep level you KNOW…you KNOW my sister that this isn’t the best for you but because you love the idea of loving him more than the idea of waiting for new love you stay.

Here are 3 ways to know that you’re caught up in a “I knew…but I didn’t want to believe it”

(1)You ain’t too proud to beg. You are always pleading, convincing, searching for more reasons to get him to see that YOU are the ONE. In fact even your prayers are for God to get him to see that he should be with you. He doesn’t see it and consistently shows you he doesn’t see it but you…you aint too proud to beg.

(2)There’s always a reason but your heart isn’t one.
There is always a reason he can’t commit right now. It’s work, his children, his Mother, his ex, his “fill in the blank” with anything other than the fact that it is hurting you to continue to sit in this uncertainty but that hasn’t made it to the top of his list of priorities. Your heart isn’t a priority to him and the hard truth is my sister your heart isn’t a priority to you.

(3)There’s shame in the truth. You don’t tell anyone what he REALLY said or how you REALLY feel because on some level the truth makes you feel shame. You feel shame because you are in conflict internally because you know that what you’re accepting and what you deserve are light years apart. You are accepting behavior from him that you know isn’t right.

Hear me when I say this my sister, I have been there and understand how painful it is to love someone who will not commit, repeatedly disrespects you, betrays you and still… you want him. I too spent 33,408 hours of my life in a toxic dance and it cost me having my own biological children, thousands of dollars in therapy, and refills of anti-depressants that made me feel like a walking mummy. I don’t want you to invest 33,000 hours of your life because you just don’t know how to leave what you know you need to leave. I don’t want you to pay the price of biological children, therapy to work on issues you have because you’re choosing to stay, and let’s not even talk about the tears.

It’s a toxic dance that moves to the beat of a heart that is in so much pain. Trust that better is available for you but you first have to end this toxic dance and that begins with you healing your heart so that the music of a wounded heart required for the toxic dance stops playing.

Don’t go back again…make this the day you try ONE-MORE-TIME to move forward.
Get help by clicking HERE.

ps…Pass this on to a girlfriend who keeps going back.  We all can Rewrite OUR Story but we have to try ONE-MORE-TIME!

pps…I’m cheering for you Karrueche Tran

I see more than one & she’s FEARLESS

Ever notice when a woman is having multiple babies that there is a large team to support the birth?

I don’t know about you but the “sonogram” for 2015 is showing that there is more than one birth about to take place in my life and in the lives of the women I serve.

There are businesses, new careers, new relationships, books, celebrations, and more “growing” on the inside of women who are no longer willing to live inferior to their calling and purpose.

I’m SO excited to share my “birthing team” for The Fearless Living Experience. I get to stand alongside 29 other powerful women who know how to give birth & who know the importance of being clear on when to breathe through the pain, when to rest, and ultimately when to push hard ……..giving it all you got!

Our first “baby” shower will be in Maryland June 27th from 2-5pm
I hope to see you there as this powerful team of women will demonstrate what fearless living is all about!

ps……you’ll even get to hold the baby!!
Updated flyer CLEDRA GROSS

A SISTER you SHOULD KNOW!

It’s Sisters Supporting Sisters Saturday!!

When I was new to Atlanta almost 5 years ago almost every reference I got from where to get my hair done to where to go for my annual OB appointment came from a woman….a sister! So this is my way of giving back. Every Saturday I want to feature a “sister you should know” & to also show that we as women CAN support each other in spite of the unfortunate ways we are often portrayed on television.

Today I’d like you to know Daree Allen, MS

I especially want you to check out her book..”Ending the Blame Game…Single Black Fathers on Relationships”. WHEN do we hear from ACTIVE Black Fathers in a POSITIVE light? Not often but thanks to this sister she has broken the sound barrier….there are black fathers who are taking care of business with their children.

Ok here’s a little about Daree

Website: www.DareeAllen.com
dareesinsights.wordpress.com [blog]

Book: Ending the Blame Game….Single Black Fathers on Relationships…. This is just ONE of her 3 books but all are available at DareeAllen.com, Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes [iTunes for my latest book only]

Major challenge you overcame
I got divorced when my daughter was 1 (10 years ago). Around the same time I gained the most weight ever in my life (max was 220 lbs), struggled with depression and parenting a small child alone. I have overcome all of these situations over time and with lots of investment in myself. [I’ve discussed all these things on my blog, which I started in 2007.]

Why do you run or some fun fact about you
I was born with 2 webbed toes, and one extra digit on either hand, as was my daughter. I’ve only met 1 other adult with extra digits

Daree….thank you for investing in yourself and becoming a Sister we should know!!