I WAS A SECRET CHOCOHOLIC!

“Mommy, get up. We need to go to school!” I could see from my sleeping fog, the precious faces of my two children looking down at me. Worry had written his ugly signature across their young faces and I felt helpless to erase his message. I did not like my life and they couldn’t begin to understand that I no longer wanted to live.

“Mommy’s getting up babies,” I said as I struggled to lift myself. I felt heavy because I was heavy. I had always struggled with my weight but now, things were getting out of hand. And I did not care; that is, until I took a closer look at their faces and heard the desperation in their little voices. They could see that I was leaving and they needed their mother!

I had my first child, Joshua at 41. I was told that I would never have children so it was a shock when I discovered that I was pregnant. But instead of gaining weight, I was almost 2 pounds lighter the day I delivered him than when I first discovered I was pregnant. Having him liberated me because I had gotten pregnant against the odds. No more behind the back jokes about me being unable to have children. No more whispering about my past from family members who knew my secrets and embellished my pain.

Then it happened. I discovered I was pregnant again at age 42! My daughter Gabrielle was born shortly before my 43rd birthday and I was delighted. I wanted a fellow female to share in my passion of fashion. She has not disappointed, but that is another story! But when she was born, that was it for me. I asked the doctors to “unhook” me so I wouldn’t be back at age 45 with another child.

Things seemed good but I had not learned a vital lesson in all my years on this earth. I had never learned about self care. As the first born daughter of seven children, it had been driven into me that the needs of others always came before my own needs. I had spent my entire life serving others and learning how to “work with” the leftovers. Sure, I understood about getting my hair done, manicures, pedicures and make up. By profession, I am an Image Consultant so I fully understood that world. I have even written two books on image. But what I did not know nor understand was the true meaning of self care. I was about to learn.

What happened that morning when my babies woke me up to help them prepare for school was becoming a pattern. I was very unhappy in my marriage and so I ate chocolate by the pound to ease my pain. I always took something to help me sleep. All I did was create a revolving door of self destruction. I ate chocolate in the morning, noon, and at night to give me a sugar rush; along with breakfast, lunch and dinner. I ballooned up to a size 20 W. My back and knees hurt and I had very little energy but because of the caffeine in the chocolate, I had trouble falling asleep. I was a walking, talking time bomb of self neglect. All I did was care for the family and set in motion an unhealthy rhythm that was destined to take me out…early!

My father passed away from complications from diabetes and hypertension. He was a dialysis patient at the time of his death. As he was passing away, he called my two younger brothers to his bedside and told them to “take care” of themselves. He said nothing to their five older sisters. Within just a few years of his passing, both brothers were on dialysis. I am the first born of seven and my brothers are numbers six and seven. Simple reasoning would say that this health thing was going to circle back around and I was next in line. It did not hit me but it did hit my younger sister. I’ll explain why.

My children waking me up that morning hit me hard. I could see and smell their fear. I was like a drug addict; addicted to food and a sleeping supplement and there appeared to be nothing to stop my vicious cycle…not until that morning. I let my babies stay home with me that day. I jumped up from my fog, showered, made breakfast and loved my children. I just had to figure out how to love me. I understood that nothing was going to change unless I changed. I did not want another woman raising the children I had hoped for and prayed for. I had to make a decision.

I decided to cut back on eating chocolate and to limit my sugar and carbohydrate intake. Six months later, I was in a size 12! I have maintained this for over ten years now. Sure, I have played around and gained and lost the same ten pounds a few times but I always get back on track.

I am so thankful for my children awakening me from my neglectful slumber. They are now young adults and we have so much fun together! Their precious faces helped me to learn the true meaning of self care. Yes, I still eat chocolate but it is not longer tied to a self destructive pattern. I eat a few pieces and then stop! I love myself enough to change my world through what I say and what I think about myself. I look in the mirror every day and talk to and love that woman called me. I’m glad she found her way out of the fog. I’m glad she decided to stand up, take her place in the world and listen to her new voice.

Glorious Gratitude!

Gail Hayes Headshot 2019 - small web

What is gratitude? It is simply being thankful for something. It is being able to appreciate every experience; every touch; every word; every thought and every thing that helped to create your life’s mosaic.

I once believed that negative things happened to me because I had done something wrong.  There seemed to be a trail of things that I had difficulty overcoming. I would cry, pray, and even tried to ignore things but to no avail. Crying never solved anything. Praying, for me was a temporary fix and hiding my head in the sand didn’t help either.

Once I cried, the situation still stared me in the face as I wiped my tears. Once I prayed, I still held onto the situation because I did not put action (or faith) into my prayers. Once I ignored it, the situation became bigger because there was no action. I felt overwhelmed and discouraged.

But one day, I discovered something. As I encouraged others to watch their words and change their thoughts, I realized that I was NOT taking my own advice. I made a conscious decision to look in the mirror and talk to me!!!

I soon learned to practice what I preached! It wasn’t long before I saw what appeared to mountains, shrink into hills. What appeared to be oceans were actually babbling brooks. I soon realized that I had the power to change my existence and I became grateful.

I wrote new affirmations over my life; the same affirmations I was sharing with others, I spoke and wrote over my own life. I found a key to transformation and embraced gratitude. I am still walking this out and the changes are nothing short of amazing for me.

Gratitude is simply being able to recognize that you are still here so you can still live your dreams. You can still help others to live their dreams. You can still make a difference in the present and make an impact on the future.

Gratitude is glorious…if you allow it to have its way. So bathe in the power of gratitude and watch the miraculous appear!

 

School Bells Are Ringing!

When I hear about school starting, it brings back memories of my children growing up. One such memory is of my then 5 year old (she will turn 21 next week) daughter Gabrielle.  This 5 year old taught her mother a valuable lesson she shall not soon forget about savoring life’ moments. #drgspeaks #handleyourbusinessgirl #schoolbellsareringing

 

SCHOOL BELLS ARE RINGING

I was working on a critical project. With the printer humming and papers shuffling, I hardly noticed my then 4 year old daughter’s gazing eyes. When she asked for something to drink, I told her to wait and I went back to work. After a few minutes and what probably seemed like an eternity to her, she asked again. I let out an annoying breath, went into the kitchen, and poured her some juice.

Years ago, when she was just 2 years old, I told Gabrielle that she was important to God and to me. She and her brother were miracle children. Doctors said that I would never have children unless I had surgery. I had no surgery but conceived in my 40’s. I had Joshua at 41 and Gabrielle at 43. I wanted her to know how special she was to God, so I daily quoted Psalm 45:13-14, which states, “The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace. Her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors.” I told her she was that royal daughter.

While I watched her sip her drink that afternoon, I couldn’t imagine that she understood what I taught her. Although I quoted the verses to her every night at bedtime, I wasn’t sure she understood.  When she finished her drink, I picked her up and twirled around the kitchen floor, while whispering in her ear how precious she was to me. I told her that Mommy was not looking forward to her going off to kindergarten that year and jokingly said I was thinking of keeping her at home with me. Her response sent shock waves through my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

“But Mommy, I have to go school so I won’t bother you anymore,” she said. I nearly collapsed. I held her tightly as I wept; telling her that she never bothered me. Time suddenly reminded me of my response to her when I was on a telephone call and she needed me. I remembered asking her to be quiet as she walked in with her dolls. I remembered my response when she asked me to read to her when I had an “important” project that needed my attention. I remembered each sharp look; each impatient response; and each forgotten request. Now, she was ready to leave me because she thought she was bothering me.

That day, as I held her, my baby looked up at me with sparkling eyes and wiped away my tears with her tiny hands. Her words tore down the wall of important projects. They smashed the mountain of critical phone calls. They melted the glacier of accomplishment. That day, I pushed aside every distraction that kept me from sharing these last precious weeks with her before she went off to school. I realized that the school bells were ringing. They rang so loudly that they awakened me from my slumber. Without them, I surely would have missed moments with my child that I could never recover.

I hugged her, painted with her, read to her, and loved her. After we finished, with painted hands and faces, we laughed and twirled together. When we stopped dancing, to my delight, she quoted the familiar words of Psalm 45:13-14 and said, “Yes, Mommy. We’re both daughters of the King!”

Seeing her face light up with joy, I decided that I would listen more closely for the bells and would not forget the lessons she taught me that day.

Making An Impact!

JULY 15 2019

During the months of June and July, I had the awesome opportunity to visit Memphis, TN. The Tarik Black Foundation invited me and my daughter Gabrielle to be a part of their summer Girls Life Academy Memphis (GLAM). We were delighted but nothing prepared us for what we experienced. Unlike many summer programs that focus on education, summer GLAM focuses on life skills, leadership and entrepreneurship.

The Foundation has been hosting this summer event for a few years, but this year, they made some changes. They invited young men to join the camp. Because of the change, I received the awesome opportunity to speak to both groups.

This camp actually helped to me to achieve a dream. Gabrielle is only 20 and she is still in training as far as writing and speaking is concerned. Because of this opportunity, we co-authored a long overdue book, The Galaxy Journal. Gabrielle grew up in an environment of writing and the principles in this book served as a foundation for her. Each young woman received a copy and Gabrielle got to speak to them on her own. This was the first time that we did not team teach and something that I knew needed to happen.

While Gabrielle was working with women, I had the honor of speaking with the men. I taught on my book for men, The Conduct of Kings. I do not have words adequately describe what happened except to say that we learned a great deal from each other. they were pleasantly surprised and even requested that the foundation bring me back a second time.  Here’s a quote from the president about the presentation:

“Without a doubt Dr. Gail Hayes changed lives these past two days. Her session with our young men had them on the edge of their seats as she talked to them about the expectations, fears, desires and motivators of both genders. She shared the principles of her book, Conduct of Kings and we could not get these young men to break for lunch. After two straight hours they still wanted to hear more. The only time I’ve seen 16 -19 year old guys listen as attentively is when the coach calls a time out and the players run over to listen to the next play. She empowered these young men with such wise counsel and you actually witnessed their transformation.”

Talk about making an impact! While these words blessed me, it cannot compare with the impact these young men and women had on me. Because of them, I am now focusing on my next book on relationships. They provided a miraculous place for me to delve more deeply into the realm of male/female relationships and see things I had never seen before. Even as a wordsmith, I cannot grasp words to describe the experience.

Their willingness to be transparent and open helped each one of them to change their views, shift their focus, and will most likely help them to make better choices. That was the REAL reason the Tarik Black Foundation and I came together. We want to make an IMPACT that lasts a life time.

So, what’s your next move? What impact are you leaving on others. Message me and let me know! I’m listening…

I am FINALLY doing it!

Facebook Page BannerI am finally starting the Handle Your Business Girl Facebook Group and I want you to join me!

It’s been a long time coming. There have been so many challenges that I’ve faced and I did not want to put them out on Social Media but in this group, I will be more transparent. Why would I do that? Well, there are so many women who want REAL answers to REAL questions.

If you’re just looking for ways to make money, this is NOT the group for you. If you are just looking to find ways to expose and shame other women, this is NOT the group for you.

This group will be one where we can openly discuss things to help build each other up; support each other in ways that we never thought possible without wounding each other. In the end, if you want to do business, you can but you can’t do REAL business until you accept, love, and cherish that woman called you.

Once you get that piece, the rest is easy. You won’t have time to talk negatively about others because your business will become a healing place where you can dance in the light of you power! So, if you’re ready…join me in the Handle Your Business Girl Empowerment Zone! Here’s the link!

Dancing The Dance!

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     “Right foot first Gail,” my mother’s voice cut through the soulful music. I was so caught up in the rhythm that I was not following instructions. I didn’t even feel it when I stepped on my mother’s foot. It was interesting watching her hop on one foot as she made her way to our sofa.

I had never seen my mother smile and display such passion as when I asked her to teach me to dance. Now, this was not the wiggling and twisting dancing of my day. It was the “hand dancing” of her day. She was a teenager of the 1950’s and during that time the men would swing, twirl and lift the women off the floor as if they weighed only 15 lbs soaking wet! I loved watching the “swing” dancing on old television programs and I was determined to learn.

What I didn’t know was that my mother was not only teaching me to dance, she was also teaching another vital life lesson. As the first born of seven children, I was born into leadership. I followed her instructions well and she often left me in charge when she had to leave us. I was accustomed to leading and helping her to care for my younger siblings.

“You have got to learn to follow. When you dance with a boy, he has to lead. I know that may be hard for you to hear, but it’s just the way it is. You’ll learn. I promise,” she said. As she sat down and rubbed her sore foot, she laughed until she wept. I remember tears rolling down her cheeks as she beckoned for me to sit beside her. Her hug was my comfort but she was right. I didn’t particularly like the fact that I couldn’t lead.

I did learn to dance with my mother. And I also learned another lesson. Not only could I lead, but I learned to follow. I stopped stepping on Mom’s toes and followed her as we danced the dance in beautiful rhythmic steps. Together, we were poetry in motion; switching between leading and following each other!

 If one is to become successful, one must also learn to follow. Success requires balance. One must learn and be open to new ways of doing old tasks. There are times when you lead. There are times when you must follow. If you want Success to abide with you, then you have little choice but to learn how to dance the dance!

©2018 – Dr. Gail Hayes – #drgspeaks #handleyourbusinessgirl

 

Move Those Mountains!

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Although I’ve seen mountains on three continents, they never cease to amaze me. Even though their beautiful snow-capped peaks beckon my eyes to drink in their magnificence, I have no desire to adorn myself with warm clothing; grab spikes and rope and perform an arduous climb to the top.

But there is a type of people who not only climb mountains but they also do something more miraculous. They move mountains. They move mountains daily and they do it without spikes, ropes and warm clothing. They do it without equipment. They do it without the help of others. They perform miracles every single day. How do they do it?

They step outside of themselves and infuse the atmosphere with powerful, positive energy and ask nothing in return. They don’t have special equipment or talents. They just do what they do the way that they do it. They do it with spirit.

If you stepped outside yourself and helped another, you moved a mountain. If you honored your word, you moved a mountain. If you’ve spoken a kind word, you moved a mountain. If you honored a promise made to another, you moved a mountain. Mountain movers are not fazed by the harshness of human judgment or the criticism of the ignorant. They just do what they do! Does that describe you?

Then you are a mountain mover!

 

©2018 – Dr. Gail Hayes & the Handle Your Business Girl Empowerment Zone, LLC

 

Hind Sight Is 20/20

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Many things have happened in my life that appeared to be negative but now I see that they were necessary for my life’s tapestry. They were less than what I deserved. The cut was not tailor made for me. The texture didn’t flow with my movements. The color didn’t suit me and the length was out of proportion and unflattering.

 

As negative as this sounds, these happenings painted my present with glorious possibilities and I see my future filled with luminous, delicious color. I am grateful I experienced every moment.

Remember this…You cannot drive forward looking in the rear view mirror. If you do, you can miss your exit to destiny. Yes, there are times when looking back can help us, but we must accompany our looking back with wisdom. When we glance into our past, we cannot have regrets about what we believed we missed. If we missed it, it was probably not something we  needed in our lives. Our “coulda, shoulda, woulda” blues cannot help us navigate our future and walk in destiny.

Hindsight is 20/20 when we use the information to produce wisdom. So, handle your business because destiny awaits you!

Dr. G

Visit me on the web in the Handle Your Business Girl Community!

Join the conversation on my Facebook Page

 

The Conduct of Queens – Ruling Principle #2

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If you are to be a wise ruler, you must understand one of the fundamental principles of reigning. You must accept the real and authentic you and all the beauty and power that comes with it. Authenticity, although an asset, is not easily won. Mines set to sabotage you from wholeness fill Life’s battle ground and there are times when you must fight to collaborate this elusive ally.

The best way to win this battle is to understand the power of self control and self acceptance. When you understand and embrace who you are, focus becomes an integral part of your landscape. It invites Authenticity to hold you in his arms and guide to you a place called Queendom. It then becomes easier to guard your borders and to “rule yourself” without excuse. And that my sister…is a great place to be!

The Conduct of Queens – Ruling Principle #1

RP1

The first ruling principle from the book, The Conduct of Queens is understanding who you are and learning to accept that awesome woman called you. When you don’t accept who you are, that insecure behavior will show up in EVERYTHING else that you do. It will show up even if you try to control it. It will come out in your language; in your actions and even in your attitude. The harder you try, the more it will show up! It will spill over into every area of your life…without your permission!

If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, you will take your insecurity out on other Queens. And when you do, other Queens will see this as a declaration of war!!!

So, it’s time to discover your identity and embrace it!

#theconductofqueens #drgailhayesspeak – ©2