Who else loves shopping for stationery supplies? Notebooks and filler paper? Pens and pencils? Post-it Notes and index cards? Some of the simple pleasures in life.
As a DV survivor and a Life Coach, I know how important it is to get your thoughts out. I also know how a good to-do list can motivate action and improve self-accountability.
With my appreciation for stationery and my desire to see women who have experienced domestic violence LIVE – and not just survive – after DV, I decided to launch a series of tools to assist. The first tool being our handmade notebook.
A Quick Behind the Scene
Check out this quick video showing how we make our Not Mad. Motivated. Handmade Notebook. We print our lines and covers, we punch the holes and bind it all together. [Please excuse my son’s music at the end of the video💜]
I started noticing my weight gain in 2015. That was a hard year. The year started with my youngest son being seriously injured. Three weeks after my son’s injury, my father was killed by an impaired driver. My sister and nephew came up from Texas and stayed for a few months. Once she left, the binging begun.
It was the very first time in my life that I was not living under adult supervision or with peers. I was the adult. And I was overindulging. In October of 2021, more than 9 years after my youngest son was born, my weight reached an eye-opening peak – 80 pounds heavier than my heaviest pregnancy weight.
Jumping In (and Out) Action
Days after that peak weigh-in, I began to participate in Fit Muslimah’s Ten Day Sugar Detox. Ten days, no added sugar… I thought it would be impossible for me. I did well and lost about 10 pounds.
The progress I made in the 10 day detox inspired me to join her Burn Belly Fat challenge. My participation was not perfect. After both programs (40 days total), I was down close to 30 pounds. Imagine my excitement. I decided to participate in the challenge again and completely disconnected from the support group and eventually the program after a couple of weeks into my second rounds.
Getting Real with Myself
Stop making excuses. You have discipline. You control yourself around food during Ramadan, with help from the Creator. You have stopped eating sugar and you physically felt better doing so. Your goal is much bigger than losing weight. Sure you want to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with what you see – but that is a secondary reward of eating better. The true goal is to live.
You have 3 sons. One of your sons is non-verbal with special needs and he is only 10. You must preserve your life for them. Eat the food that will help – not harm – your body. Make your priorities a priority!
The instant “gratification” of a donut or cake is not the priority. Those donuts and cakes will compromise your physical ability and health, which will eventually compromise your ability to care for your boys. Plus, you are setting them up for complications of their own.
You want to eat better. You want them to eat better. You enjoy many healthy foods. The junk food often makes you feel disgusting. You got this. You’ve done it before and can do it again. Every day, every hour, is a chance to make better decisions. Let’s Go!
If it is safe for you, grab a notebook [get a Not Mad. Motivated. Notebook here], a pen or pencil, and tell yourself the truth (with love) about the excuses you are making for one of your negative habits. Remind yourself of your previous successes and build on those. Do you have regular “priorities” that you are not prioritizing? Remind yourself of why they are important. The real why, not the surface why.
My ancestors were captured and enslaved. They were ridiculed and abused. They were falsely accused and lynched. They were treated inhumanely and many of them planted seeds of their trauma into the generations which followed.
I am a firm believer that impact of slavery, and the systematic racism that followed, continues to negatively affect the descendants of the enslaved. I cry when I hear, read, or see accounts of some of the horrors of Being Black. I cry to know that not even babies were immune from despicable treatment.
As much as my heart aches for the past and present oppression of the Black community, I can also realize the privilege within my own Black experiences.
It is my privilege that my grandparents – and many of their siblings – had the resources to relocate from South Carolina to Pennsylvania prior to my mother being born. It is my privilege that my mother had a support systems of aunts and uncles – even if it was just a visit to get out of the house. It is my privilege to have a childhood that was never void of love.
Growing up being able to recognize and experience LOVE as a child should not be a privilege. However, if you speak to enough people, you will find that knowing love and feeling loved is not always guaranteed. One of my most significant privilege is knowing love. Another is having faith.
I Am Muslim
I grew up Christian and attending a Baptist church. We weren’t the go the church everyday type of family, but we went most Sunday, some Saturdays for the youth programs, and some days for chorus rehearsal. For me, my favorite part about church was the music (and how we sometimes ate together afterwards).
When I was pretty young, my grandfather asked me what I learned in church after returning home one Sunday. I had no idea – if it wasn’t music, I didn’t really care. The question followed me for a long time.
Regardless of what I thought about church, I felt that my Faith was strong. There was something about my family that taught me to have Faith. When it came to religion, I remember thinking, “What I Believe doesn’t change the Truth!”
In my hardship with domestic violence, I started learning about Islam. I was open-minded, raised with love, and fell in love with Islam. It took me many, many years to practice, but now it is obvious to most people who see me that I am Muslim.
Being Muslim is another part of my identity that many people have been taught to hate. It is a too common practice for Muslims across the world to be killed, tortured, falsely imprisoned, or forced to live in deplorable conditions.
And just like Black people were made the “enemy” in America, Muslims have become a “worldwide enemy”. When people are convinced the “enemy” is being destroyed, it’s easier to accept the mistreatment. I have cried many tears of sorrow in regard to oppression of the Muslim Community. I have also found privilege.
It is a privilege to have a non Muslim family that didn’t blink an eye about me accepting Islam. Some reverts to Islam are never accepted by their biological family. Some families are so consumed by the hate that has been instilled in them that they choose hate over family. But I had a foundation of love and that makes all the difference .
It is a privilege to be fulfilled by my religion – there is always more to learn and to be comforted by. It is a privilege that my religion shows that there are so many ways to worship God and to be pleasing to Him. It is a privilege to worship a Forgiving God. It is a privilege to be inspired to be better, to do better. My Faith is my most needed privilege.
I Am A Black, Muslim Woman
When I step out my door and into any room, being a Black, Muslim Woman is very evident. Of all things I identify as, these three are front and center. As many difficulties and hardships that each identity can present, the love, strength and beauty of them all is to what I hold on. When I explore my identity, it is easier to see the love, strength, and beauty that resides in me.
If it is safe for you, grab a notebook [get a Not Mad. Motivated. Notebook here], a pen or pencil, and explore the aspect of your identity that most impact you. How can you be empowered how you identify? Check out the identity wheel above, or find one online. Can you find “privilege” in identities that have been historically oppressed? Share what you would like in the comments, tag us on Facebook or Instagram with #NotMadMotivatedLife, or email us your comments or feelings about exploring identity.
Did you know that writing/journaling can be used as a therapeutic tool? Writing can help you process and understand your feelings. When you give yourself permission to reflect and feel, you give yourself the opportunity to heal!
This notebook was designed by a survivor of domestic violence because surviving is just the beginning. There is life after domestic violence – not just surviving. And writing is a great way to get back to living!
This eye catching design incorporates:
1) camouflage: since in times of danger, camouflage helps keep you hidden, increasing the chance of surviving
2) the color purple: for domestic violence awareness and the bravery needed to escape and start living again
3) the color green: for the needed growth, renewal of self, and peace
4) the color gold: for the earned success and wisdom and
5) a teacup: to relax and build healthy connections with self and others.
When you purchase this spiral notebook with ruled line paper, that is a perfect companion in everyday life, you help support a community of women who have experienced domestic violence.
.: 118 ruled line single pages .: Front cover print .: Black back cover
One Size: Width, in0.59 – Length, in5.98 – Height, in7.99
Join Our Facebook Group
If you are a woman who has experienced domestic violence and you are currently an entrepreneur (or future entrepreneurs), come join our Facebook group, The Other Side of Abuse. Let’s network and collaborate!!
As I researched groups for woman entrepreneurs who have experienced domestic violence, I came across Argrow’s House.
Argrow’s House offers free services for women in their community (Davenport, IA) healing from violence and abuse. Their services range from domestic violence support groups, yoga, spiritual direction, massage therapy, art therapy, and more.
What sets Argrow’s House apart from others? They started a bath and body business where women healing from abuse can create all natural bath and body products. This business helps provide a living wage for the women and in a safe space that celebrates who they are.
Argrow’s House was founded by Dr. Kit Evans-Ford, in honor of her grandmother. When I checked out Dr. Evan-Ford’s Facebook profile, I was surprised that 1) she is from about 30 minutes where I currently live and 2) she also owns Autistic & Loved – which is interesting to me because my youngest (currently 9 year old) son is non-verbal and autistic.
If you are looking for bath and body products for personal usage, gifts, or for wholesale, give Argrow’s House a try. I plan to💜
Join our Facebook Community
If you are a woman entrepreneur who has experienced domestic violence, we would love for you to join our new Facebook community, The Other Side of Abuse. Our goal is to build connections and make transformative relationships!
If you have experienced domestic violence but are not yet an entrepreneur, you are still welcome💜