So I am a year older today. I intentionally went into #flotationtherapy today to reflect on all the blessings God has afforded me. I love people...genuinely. More than you’d think made sense. God uses my alone time and people to enlighten and bless me #ambivert. So i dedicate this next rotation around the sun to the people who have helped me rotate this far and to the people I’ve yet to meet who will help it keep going. I love myself...all by myself, AND I love who I am with the fantastic humans I’ve been blessed to live my life with. Thank you for going on this journey with me. To my God, thank YOU for life, love, grace, and mercy. I promise to make you proud. Here’s to 28.
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I am grateful for...
1. God never letting me go, even when I momentarily let Him go.
2. #SaintJules, my mother, my confidante for the life she lived in her past that taught me so much about the present and future.
3. My Daddy for always having an encouraging word, rapping the 15-minute version of "Rappers' Delight" with me and passing on his cool on to me.
4. My younger brother MKG for surpassing my cool (therefore our dad's cool) and keeping the whole family on our toes with his creativity and curious personality.
5. My extended family in Maryland, DC and Welch, WV that love and support me through the distance; the line dancing and karaokee performances complete with beatboxing and air guitars; the storytelling and pointless arguments that pick up right where we left off whenever we are together.
6. My best girlfriends who inspire, motivate and keep me grounded... and listen to my fits :)
7. My best guyfriends who challenge my perspective, break guy code for me and are willing to protect me like the older brothers I never had.
8. North Carolina A&T State University for instilling pride in my biological history, school culture and responsibility to those who will come behind me.
9. My students and mentees for teaching me just as much as I have taught you and for being a guiding light to my life's purpose.
10. My mentors who have poured their wisdom into me (and connections into my phone contacts) and for being the voice of clarity in my whirlwind of ideas.
I am grateful for all my experiences, the people who contribute to them and lessons learned from them.
My birthday is here and I'm reflecting over what is most important to me as I enter into another year of life and get a jump start on the upcoming calendar year.
I've been listening to podcasts for about 3 years and it's now a daily ritual for me. I do not have cable and rarely turn my TV on, so podcasts have become my main form of entertainment, outside of social media. I love sharing what I find to be good for the brain &/or good for the soul, so here you go. Let me know if any of your faves are listed or what podcasts I should add to my roster!
**All of these podcasts can be found on iTunes; most, if not all, can also be found on Google Play, Spotify &/or Soundcloud...do your research :)
- Making Oprah
Making Oprah is a deep dive into how Oprah became the woman she is today. The title alone made me listen because, I mean...it's Oprah...but the behind the scenes stories and interviews reveal the team and decision that helped mold the media mogul we know as Oprah and her OWN empire.
Jas's Favorite Episode: "Skinheads & Scented Candles" (Episode 2)
- The Minority Trailblazer Podcast
Black and brown excellence in every arena can be found on The Minority Trailblazer Podcast. Hosted by author and speaker Greg E. Hill, the show spotlights minority movers and shakers excelling in the unexpected.
Jas's Favorite Episodes:
- "Ep. 2: From North Carolina A&T to Harvard to Educational Change w/ Master Educator Emilee Christopher"
- "Ep 5: 'Work While You Work':How Comedian Darren Brand went from working at Target to MTV's Wild 'N Out"
- The My Taught You Podcast
Myleik Teele is the CEO and founder of CurlBox, but beyond this, she is a serial entrepreneur delivering loads of business, personal and relationship wisdom. She's very genuine and honest in her delivery, serving as the "mentor in mind" or "big sister in spirit" to her listeners.
Jas's Favorite Episodes (can't pick just one):
- "What to Leave in 2013!" (Dec. 31, 2013...and the EOY episodes for 2014 and 2015)
- "Now That I'm 30+ What I Know For Sure!" (Oct. 8, 2014)
- "Two Types of 'Hustlers': One Isn't Hustling at All" (Aug. 17, 2015)
- "The ART of the HUSTLE with Karleen Roy (Jan. 15, 2017)
- "Ego is the Enemy: A Chat with Ryan Holiday" (Jan. 28, 2017)
- "Ninja Kuykendall: The Path to Becoming One of the Highest Ranked Black Women in Film" (Aug. 1, 2017)
- The Tony Robbins Podcast
Tony Robbins is a force. Beyond being the personification of a "gentle giant" with a very distinct voice, he is a multi-millionaire serial entrepreneur, author and speaker that openly shares his 30-plus years of business and financial wisdom, while also interviewing other leaders and experts, gaining insight into various topics ranging from food sciences and health to wealth building and entrepreneurialism to technology and social psychology.
Jas's Favorite Episodes:
- "The Unhealthy Truth | Robyn O'Brien on how food is making us sick & what we can do about it" (Oct. 29, 2016)
- "3 Steps to a breakthrough | How taking control of your strategy, story and state can fuel lasting change" (Nov. 18, 2016)
- "Are you a giver or a taker? | Behavioral psychologist Adam Grant on personality dynamics and how to hire a winning team" (May 16, 2017)
- Radical Personal Finance
No financial topic is unturned on this here podcast! Joshua Sheats has 450+ episodes on every topic you can think of and has the incredible ability to break it down to the simplest of terms for easy comprehesion and retention.
Jas's Favorite Episodes:
- "How to Build a Plan for Financial Freedom in 10 Years or Less" (July 1, 2016; Episode 355)
- "The Health Insurance Series" (6 episodes between Nov. 3-Dec. 16, 2016; Episodes 393, 395, 397, 403, 404, and 405)
- 2 Dope Queens
Hosted by two hilariously awkward black comedians Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson, 2 Dope Queens spotlights some stand-up comics you know and many you don't...so you never know what you are going to get!
Jas's Favorite Episode: #37 - "Sitting Too Close to Queen Latifah" (just wait until you hear what Regina Hall says to Jada Pinkett Smith about Jayden Smith...EYE cackled!)
- The Friend Zone
Every Wednesday, I treat myself to a "look at all things mental health, mental wealth and mental hygiene, because" EYE do not want a "musty brain." This is the statement that kicks of each episode with the hosts Francheska, Dustin and Assante. This unexpected yet dynamic trio jumps from wellness/health tips to new music to vibe to to the latest in popular television. I don't watch reality TV, but Dustin's "TV Land" recaps are the only reason I may recognize a person's name *Kanye shrug*. He's more entertaining than the shows for me! I love the "Black Business of the Week" and the wellness discussions with Fran.
Jas's Favorite Episode: "New Levels New Devils featuring Shameless Mya" (Oct. 5, 2016)
If you watch the hit HBO show "Insecure," then you'll love the official recap podcast hosted by Fran of The Friend Zone and Crissle of The Read. Insecuritea is just like the girl/group talks that happen across the country after each episode of Insecure, undoubtedly, and I never get tired of hearing the hilarious opinions, relating to our mutually "triggered" moments and reminding ourselves to withhold judgment on the poor decision makers Issa Rae puts before us for six, consecutive Sundays. Yes...I realize I inserted myself into the podcast as if I am contributing to their show. That's what listening feels like!
Jas's Favorite Episode: S2 Ep.1 - "Hella Great featuring Yvonne Orji & Jay Ellis" (July 25, 2017)
- Still Processing
Produced by The New York Times, Still Processing is where the hosts Jenna & Wesley discuss a variety of social, cultural and political topics and their effects on modern, every day living. From music to movies to social event to new technology, the intellectual discourse (with a shot of tequila) is in no shortage.
Jas's Favorite Episodes:
- "Season Finale with Jordan Peele | Episode 26" (March 2, 2017)
- "We Go To S-Town" (Episode 27 / April 13, 2017)
- The Read
The podcast that introduced me to podcasts! Kid Fury and Crissle have been dishing the "hot tops" of entertainment news, answering misguided listeners' often ridiculous questions and reading deserving miscreants to filth for over five years now. Entertainment, relationships, self-worth, mental health, poLITics...nothing is off limits. I live for the one-liners and anecdotes these two concoct. Also, as fellow Beyonce stans, I truly appreciate how they capture all my Beyonce-related emotions and share them with the world.
Jas's Favorite Episodes:
- "Da Hee" (Nov. 19, 2015) - fast-forward to the last 18 minutes and 39 seconds of the show to hear Kid Fury educate the kids on the greatness that is Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott.
- "BEYmergency: Formation" (Feb. 9, 2016) - if you were tuned into the surprises of "Beyonce Makes History Month," you'll enjoy this (NOTE: turn your volume down a bit for the first 2 minutes approximately...save your eardrums #thankmelater).
Social / Political News:
- The Black Joy Mixtape
I just discovered The Black Joy Mixtape a few weeks ago, but I binged the episodes as soon as I heard Jazmine aka "Da King of the South" and Amber J. Phillips. I was hooked. Our humor aligns and their unapologetic black womanhood fills me up.
Jas's Favorite Episode: "#2 White People Would Make Awful Slaves" - with a title like that, you know you want to listen.
- On One with Angela Rye
If you are tuned in to politics, then chances are you've heard of Angela Rye. CNN commentator, attorney, activist, and entrepreneur Angela Rye is the no holds barred, educated, big sister you've been wanting to see on TV since 45 announce his candidacy. Just google "Angela Rye highlights" and I'm sure a recap video of her commentary will appear for you to catch up. She just launched her podcast in July 2017, but has already had interviews with Representative Maxine Waters, award-winning journalist April Ryan and rapper-actor-activist Common, among others. This politically charge show breaks down various issues going on with our government, its officials and its effect on society and communicates very important information for those who may not get to watch the news often or grasp the content that is received.
Jas's Favorite Episodes:
- "OG from the Chi feat. Jesse Williams" (July 26, 2017)
- "Girl Code feature Gabrielle Union and Lisa Ling" (Sept. 13, 2017 - hosted at MY alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University #plug #ad #butnotsponsored)
- TED Talks Daily
TED Talks are probably the best source for condensed lessons on an endless variety of topics from proven experts and critics in the relative fields. By now, you've probably caught on that I like to learn, and there is no shortage of new information coming from the TED series.
Jas's Favorite Episode: "Nationalism vs. Globalism: The New Political Divide | Yuval Noah Harari" (August 2, 2017) - This episode is overflowing with gems on Gems on GEMS.
- Facts Only podcast
Another new addition to my feed, Facts Only features three friends, Dani, JB and KB, who all live in New York City. They discuss their personal experiences and opinions about many interesting topics, sourced from their audience, regarding womanhood and relationships. Smart, witty and funky AF - these ladies are a very real reflection of a girlfriends group.
Jas's Favorite Episode: "Hatfish" (Episode 6) - yes..."hatfish" like the male version of "catfish"...now go listen to it (LOL)
- hey, girl.
Hosted by wellness mentor Alex Elle, the hey girl. podcast features intimate interviews with women from all walks of life on topics ranging from self-care to entrepreneurship to marriage to divorce to parenthood to miscarriages. These vulnerable interviews share some of the emotions and thoughts that often go hidden or overlooked for many people, especially women. So the hey girl. podcast, for me, is a "check-in" with myself on multiple levels.
- Oprah's Super Soul Conversations
In the beginning, there was Oprah and toward the end, here she is again! Don't question it. Oprah has been hosting her SuperSoul Sunday conversations on OWN for a few years now, but in August, she began posting the audio from the episodes in podcast form. This is my version of my mother's daily 4pm experience with Oprah in the 90s and 2000s. With a focus on spiritual growth, similar to the direction she took her show as learned in the Making Oprah podcast, each episode is an interview with a savant in their own right. Don Miguel Ruiz, Sheryl Sandberg, Cookie Johnson, President Jimmy Carter, Tracy Morgan, Howard Schultz, India Arie, and Tony Robbins are just a few of the people who Oprah dives into the discussions of their best life lessons and practices for growing mental, emotionally and spiritually.
Jas's Favorite Episodes: honestly, all of them...but to "narrow it down" for consistency's sake...
- Pastor A.R. Bernard: Four Things Women Want from a Man (Sept. 11, 2017)
- Tony Robbins: Overcome Suffering and Live in a Beautiful State (Aug. 11, 2017)
- Deepak Chopra: Meditation 101 (Aug. 10, 2017)
- Paulo Coelho, Part 1: What If the Universe Conspired in Your Favor (Aug. 10, 2017)
- Paulo Coelho, Part 2: Your Journey of Self-Discovery (Aug. 10, 2017)
- Tracy Morgan: What His Near-Death Experience Taught Him About How to Live (Aug. 9, 2017)
- Brene Brown Part 1: Daring Greatly (Aug. 7, 2017)
- Brene Brown Part 2: Living with a Whole Heart (Aug. 7, 2017)
BONUS Podcasts' Favorite Episodes:
- OneChurch LA: "Bishop TD Jakes: Call to Action" (Dec. 12, 2016) - Bishop Jakes is not playing with us. He gives the most practical advice for birthing the dreams God gave to us. It's a long episode, but it is worth listening to on a quarterly basis to ensure you're on track with your goals and their deadlines (emphasis on deadlines).
- The Tim Ferris Podcast: #168 - Dissecting the Success of Malcolm Gladwell (June 21, 2016) - Tim Ferris, entrepreneur, investor and author of The Four-Hour Work Week, analyzes the journey of renowned author Malcolm Gladwell, who also has a podcast, Revisionist History. NOTE: Both authors are included in my online library.
I may add to this list or create a new one when the time comes. Until then, let me know which shows are new to you, which ones you like/love and any new show I should give a good listen. Like, comment and share the wealth with your friends, too!
Until next time...
Y'all be great!
Children are impressionable and naturally want to make their parents happy. What you get excited about is what will motivate them most.