I said a special prayer before I even began to write this post. That’s how important–how meaningful this new SS venture is to me and the mission of the Sincerely Syreeta brand, blog and business.
After my meditation and prayer, I was drawn to a scripture that I’d briefly like to share with you:
“If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought; and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.” – Isaiah 58: 10-12
The vision to take the Sincerely Chosen column from the SS blog and turn it into a recorded live interview series–a talk show essentially–came during a troubling time that I experienced earlier this year. I was dealing with the pain of having to prepare for the assured passing of my uncle while still trying to continue to come to terms with the lost of my god daughter; struggling with the renewed realization of my purpose and where I was headed in life; and just general frustrations that come with the complexities of life and our roles in it.
I was searching for answers, help, inspiration, motivation…hope.
I wanted what I was experiencing, and knew that I would experience time and again (because, let’s be real, that’s life) to count for something, not just for me but for all of those who get some type of positive nourishment from the SS journey. I couldn’t bring myself to just write about it though; I was too entrenched in what I was going through. Reflection didn’t come so easy. Social media helped greatly–being able to document and share my experiences and feelings as they were happening–but I want and needed more.
Writing just wasn’t enough anymore. It was time to move into new territory.
I had played around with the idea a few times before but never really settled on a decision or plan of action. Finally, that push came from those troubling and seemingly dark months–after my uncle passed and things just seemed to turn upside down in life. My soul and mind were hungry and afflicted. I was able to get through that time thanks, first and foremost, to my faith but also to positive and powerful people, such as my loved ones, role models, mentors and spiritual leaders–people who were willing to “feed” and comfort. I was strengthened and like a garden being watered, their love poured into me and activated the germination of the Sincerely Chosen seed that lay inside.
The mission for Sincerely Chosen became clear: to inform, inspire and illuminate others on their journey to the fulfillment of their purpose and happiness. I contacted my team, ran the idea past some of my trusted advisors and got to work making the vision a reality, nurturing the seed to grow.
On June 19th, 2014, Sincerely Chosen: The Live Interview Series made its debut at East Eden Restaurant and featured Andrea Lawful-Trainer, a phenomenal education consultant and youth advocate. The audience enjoyed great soul food courtesy of East Eden Vegan Catering, a cash bar that exclusively featured Aliyah Seven Wine, music courtesy of DJ G33k, casual networking, live entertainment and R.A.W. (Ready and Willing) discussions that covered a vast range of relatable lifestyle topics. Nichols Makes Sense Productions was on hand to capture it all through photographs and, of course, video!
I had originally met Andrea at Reason 4 the Season, a holiday event presented by the non-profit organization, Risings Sons. We were
scheduled to speak at the women’s empowerment segment with two other women. I remember being so invigorated and empowered by her story and presence. I connected with her on Facebook—where she influences and entertains people of all ages—and was instantly drawn to her daily happenstances, but more so to her fiercely passionate spirit for family, love, education, giving back, youth and writing.
As a young woman forging my way in this world, finding my voice a little more every day, Andrea’s light provided a little more clarity on my own path. This diva never attempts to diminish her shine. Instead she humbly shares—rather, exchanges—it with all who are willing and open to kindness, respect and forward movement. She’s a go getter and a game-changer. She’s an asset to our region and an inspiration to many. And for that, Andrea Lawful-Trainer is Sincerely Chosen.
Overall, the event was everything that I hoped it would be. We’re moving forward with the series and I’m personally looking forward to seeing each and everyone of you there.
Thank you to all of those who made the first show possible, I couldn’t have done this without you and I’m so thankful to hear that all of you were enraptured by the empowering vibes in the room and left feeling so much better than when you first came. Our team appreciated your wonderful feedback; it confirmed that we are moving in the right direction to fulfilling our purpose and the show’s purpose!
Performance: Charmane Martin | Communications Support: Lauren Tilghman | Graphics: My Blessed Hands
And to God I give thanks for taking a dark period in my life and using it to bring light, love and encouragement to others.
On Thursday, July 17th, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM the second Sincerely Chosen show will feature special guest Melanie Yvette Martin, Associate Beauty and Style Editor of Ebony.com.
Melanie, a native of Largo, Maryland, has local ties to Philadelphia by way of Temple University where she earned a B.A. in Communications. Melanie has always been in love with beauty, style, and female empowerment which was manifested early in her college career as the host of her own radio show, Fabulously Focused. Her devotion to female empowerment continues to be seen and felt as the written voice behind Beautifully Brown. Beautifully Brown is a weekly EBONY.com column that serves as a hub where Black women of all hues are celebrated and beauty is adored from the brown girl’s perspective.
Melanie will be interviewed about her personal journey, trends in beauty and style, being a brown girl in the media industry, building a beauty/style based media brand, and her thoughts on a plethora of hot topics.
Tickets are currently available online for $10 at www.SincerelyChosen1.Eventbrite.com as well as at the venue the day of for $15. Online ticket sales end on July 16th, 2014.
Trust me, loves, you don’t want to miss this…
FINALLY…TO YOU, LOVES:
If you ever find yourself submerged in the darkness of life, remember: YOU ARE THE LIGHT.
See you on July 17th for the next show and every third Thursday of the month thereafter! xoxo 😉
– Sincerely Syreeta