#MeToo

me too

Within a couple of hours, as time passed, he entered my room, silently and secretively as a lion would his prey. I tried to play like I was sleep, but he woke me. He asked if I was ok and apologized for the way my mother spoke to me earlier. I just replied with a smile because truthfully, I didn’t’ even understand her statement as a 7yr old. Then he proceeded to tell me everything was ok and that I could trust him.

At that moment, I began to feel the same confusion I did when my mother disciplined me for the way I interacted with her “man.” He than began to hug me and touch me softly on my face. The thoughts of fatherly love softly warmed my heart. The feelings of concern drifted away as I knew he was there to protect me… so I thought.

What happened after that innocent moment was that thing that haunted me for many years afterwards. That moment of disgust later became the result of childhood nightmares, the fighting in school, loss of self-worth, confusion, hatred, and adult male trust issues. These all propelled and played a part of my life of ridiculous faith.

Yes, the ugliest moments in my life became one of the forefront reasons I had ridiculous faith in knowing God had more in store for me, and I wasn’t going to stop believing until I saw it come to pass.

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Photo Credit: LA Johnson/NPR

Wait List

This excerpt from my upcoming book is just a piece of my unreported story as a survivor of sexual abuse from the hands of my stepfather. I state “unreported” because it was never reported to authorities and with the death threats made by my accuser, I feared my life. With this, I never (until adulthood) shared the things he did to me repeatedly.

The molestation began at the tender age of seven and grew to abuse over the years. For many years I struggled with self-worth, anger, and trust issues as a result of these horrific incidents. It wasn’t until I was forced to seek psychiatric help at the age of fourteen due to multiple failed suicidal attempts, that my thought process began to change. My early twenties would be where I no longer had the thoughts of “ALL MEN” being defiled creatures. And it wasn’t until my latter twenties where I completely released the pain that scarred me throughout my childhood.

Now I stand unashamed of the incidents that occurred as I know it too served a purpose  for my good. Through my pain, I am able to help other persevere.

Through my Teen KICK Ministry, I teach young girls how to not allow labels of hurt, shame, or even social media to define them. I lead through teaching their identity is found through Christ.

I share to state, You TOO can overcome. Know you are not alone and that with Christ… all things are possible, including overcoming sexual abuse or harassment.

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(**Thank you Tarana Burke who started the movement #MeTOO 10 years ago and to Alyssa Milano for helping gain more awareness by using your platform.)

Show it Through Actions

God is Love

Be Influential!

TGIM!

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Think. Grow. Prosper

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Your thoughts control your destiny. Be sure to only allow positivity to enter and utilize it to allow yourself to grow and the prosper. God has given YOU a specific gift that only you can do. Those dreams you have are not just thoughts… use them to propel you to bringing them to life and watch how you prosper.

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Tuesday TEN

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Happy Birthday To ME!!!

Check out 10 reflections from my past year!

1. Launched and completed #thesmileproject 

Last year I decided on my birthday to share a reason why I smile EVERYDAY for one full year and I did it! I had so many supporters around the world and so happy it impact many peoples lives!

2. Launch of KCL App!

First time to do an app and loved everything about it. Although its no longer active, trying it out was a good experience. Who knows what the future may hold… Maybe I’ll reactivate it or revamp it!

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3. Free trip to Hawaii! 

My hard work pays off! With the help of a wonderful team I am rewarded with a free trip to Honolulu, Hawaii! So many great experiences… To many to recap but thankful for it all.

4. Took the leap and left retail!

Decided to finally follow my dreams, pursue my passion and allow my talent to be turned into a business! Launched Keepin Chic LLC!

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5. Moved from the crazy weather of NY back to home state of Texas!

I was so over the weather… although I enjoyed the moments and the opportunities… It was time to return home.

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6. My book is published!!!

Texas and The City“! I followed my dreams and wrote a book in a years time then published it and launched it!

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7. I’m hired for speaking engagements!

From social meet up groups to colleges, people are asking for my services and I’m enjoying every moment of it. SO BLESSED!

8. My book tour!

So after the launch of my book, I planned a Texas and The City Book tour and sold out 3 out of 5 stops. Very exciting for first published book and there is more to come next year.

9. Partnership with Blend in For What?! Campaign that I feel passionately about! Join the Movement!

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10. He came along…

So this happened… I opened my heart to the possibility of love and it came like a wrecking ball. I’m so excited to what will come this year with who I know I’m destined to be with.

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Cheers to last year and to what will be an even more amazing year this year!

~Kisha

KCL Thought of The Day

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Tuesday TEN ~ Enrich your life!

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1. Take a moment and Give Thanks for Today! – Humility will enrich your life daily.

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2. Stay active! Keeping the blood flowing will increase longevity, creativity and this will flow into better living.

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3. Read something good! From funny to inspirational… any reading even for 20 mins will enrich your life. And if you’re interested in a good read try Texas and The City

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4. Give something of yourself to someone else. Share your gift with the world.

5. Turn off the distractions for at least one hour! Social Media, Cell Phone, TV… all of it. Shut it down for one hour of your day and you will be amazed how much you will accomplish and how great you will feel.

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6. Be true and honest with yourself. Be true about what’s working or not for you in your life, and be honest about whatever change is needed.

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7. Write about it. Keeping a daily journal is a great enrichment choice. It allows you to reflect on the greatness of your day and is also used as a tool to review in the future to reflect back on what you’ve overcome!

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8. Treat your body well. Drink lots of water, eat well and keep yourself healthy. This will keep you energized to live your best life each day!

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9. Be creative! Paint, take photos, decorate your home, draw, color in a coloring book or even take up pottery making… Doing something creative each day will enrich your life!

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10. S M I L E There is always something to smile about! Share it with the world… it will make a difference in your life! Join the movement and share why you smile: www.chicsmileproject.tumblr.com

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Do you have other ways you enrich your life daily? Be sure to share!

~Kisha

KCL Thought of The Day

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KCL Thought of The Day

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What they are saying about Texas and The City

It’s now been 3 months since I introduced Texas and The City to the world. I kicked off a book tour throughout Texas in August and so far it has been going great.

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In less than two weeks I will conclude the Texas and the City Barnes and Noble Book Tour throughout Texas in Houston and I’m so excited to round it up in H-town at the Barnes and Noble on Westheimer.

BN BOOK TOUR Houston

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To hear the stories from different readers on how my book inspired them is completely amazing! I feel overwhelmed with joy because this is exactly what I sought out to do. Check out some of the comments here:

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Some comments from Amazon readers:

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Some pics from book signings:

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More amazon posts:

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Have you gotten your Texas and The City copy yet? If so… share what you love about it. If not… purchase TODAY at discounted price HERE!!!

~Kisha

Check out Interview by GG Renee

Hello all!

I’m excited to share interview and feature about me and my book on allthemanylayers.com by GG Renee. She is one of my favorite writers! Please check it out and share the link!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Kisha’s Chic Lessons // Texas and the City

 Original post HERE!!!!
“Once I gained the power to know that I am not defined by the environment I was born in, I gained the power to enjoy the beauty of living.”

*When did you discover your passion for writing?
At the age of seven I experienced much trauma at home. During the time of abuse and neglect I found a way to release my pain through writing. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.

*What books/authors have influenced you the most?
Maya Angelou has always been an influence to me. The way she wrote was completely captivating.
I love inspirational tales and all seven of her autobiographies are just that. I also enjoy reads from Marianne Williamson, T.D. Jakes and fun inspirational reads from Emily Giffin, Elizabeth Gilbert, Gary Vaynerchuk and Kim Gruenenfelder.

*What inspired you to write Texas and the City?
When moving to New York I had a complete plan of what it was going to be like for me. From enjoying broadway shows to creating a following of fabulous forward thinking fashionistas, I knew this would be where I would make it big. But, I found myself living in the mountains of upstate New York far from the actual City. I experienced a bear crossing my back yard and crazy snow storms which made me realize although I had a specific plan, God had a different one and with that I began to write about it.

*How is your personal vision for your life reflected through this book?
Texas and the City is my journal entries turned into an inspirational true tale about my life as a Texas girl moving to New York. My personal vision for my life is about enjoying the moments, sharing the life lessons and always finding something to smile about. This book shares all of this. It shares how I’ve always taken any lemons thrown at me and made lemonade.

*Can you share a couple of your favorite excerpts from the book?

“September 4, 2012

This is the day set forth for me to go on my journey—the journey of a lifetime… the journey led with inspiration, questioning, excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty! I’m leaving at 6:00 a.m. on my twenty-eight-hour drive to New York! I can’t even believe I just said that. And although I was set to leave at 6:00 a.m., I actually didn’t depart until around 9:00 a.m., thanks to me sleeping in! It was hard for me. My soul was smiling grandly while my body shivered with anxiety. The “what ifs” attempted entering my thoughts but were instantly overtaken by the “you can do this” thoughts, and eventually, the “you can do this” won the battle that lived within. I’m doing this drive alone! I’ve never really done this before. But so what, Kisha? I say to myself. There are a lot of things you’ve never done and will do if you continue to follow the bucket list you’ve written for yourself. So instead, I chose to look at it as a conversation starter and positive releaser. I guess when they ask “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I can respond with this! 

I’m driving cross-country on a road not taken, alone and in question. Nevertheless, I’m elated. My second mom stayed over the night before, assisting me in cleaning my condo before I departed and getting rid of what she considered unnecessary—items such as my ninety-seven pairs of shoes, which she said I will never wear and will more than likely buy more due to me moving to a fashion state such as New York. She also said in her loving yet condescending tone, “You ain’t gonna have no damn space for ninety-seven pairs of shoes! Leave that shit here along with those plastic containers you have them in!” I laughed loudly as I tried to bargain with her on why I needed them, even though I hadn’t worn most of them but once and some never at all.

This five-foot-five lady, thick in the hips and breasts, forever wearing her curly coiled wig, and with a personality like no other, is someone never to be forgotten or bargained with! She is what the Puerto Rican culture would call La Dona’, which is the female powerhouse that’s highly respected, in control, and running things. “I remember being ten years old and how I would mimic her every move—the way she sashayed into the room and demanded attention without even speaking, her loud laugh and matter-of-fact tone, and her being always the woman in charge that everyone respected. Her daughter and I would play superstars where she would choose to be Whitney Houston and I never failed to choose to be Linda Steward, my second mom!

She’s a character you wanted to be! But every time I chose her, I remember that Shemica (her daughter) would quit the game, stating how I didn’t know how to play right because I was supposed to choose a superstar, and my rebuttal would always be “But your mom is a superstar! [Well, to me.]” Oh, how I love this woman. She drives me completely crazy, but I could never imagine my life without her. I call her my second mom because although she didn’t give birth to me, she’s been a mother figure that has shared unconditional love as if I were one of her own. She’s been what I needed at the times I needed it most. I thank God for her and all her craziness. And for those wondering, I call my granny mom, and my mom, my biological momma. It’s a bit complicated, interesting yet all serving a purpose, and it’s… a story for a different book!

Anyway, on September 3, my second mom helped me transport twelve boxes to FedEx, which she considered, and I quote her, “Twelve boxes of a bunch of nothing,” but she helped me nonetheless and shook her head while I paid the bill. Then on the morning of my journey, she was there to see me off, trying not to shed a tear while she hugged me and prayed over me quietly for traveling grace. She smiled, shared loving words of how proud she was of me, and said, “Don’t look back, and remember, this move is way bigger than the job you are transferring with.” How interesting. This is now the third time I’ve heard this and from three distinctly different people that have not conversed with one another. It has to be true, and I can only speculate what this journey will bring.

My Infiniti FX35 is filled literally beyond its capacity, and I feel as if I’m suffocating! I’m trying to breathe, but it’s not flowing smoothly. I’m sweating. I have all the windows down and the sunroof open, and it is not enough. Even my passenger seat is piled high. The claustrophobia in me can’t take it! So what do I do? I drive to the nearest Goodwill and dump almost everything off! This is too funny. I pull up through the drive-through area of the Goodwill in what seems as a panic. A guy comes out to assist me, and I’m just taking stuff out like a madwoman. I’m moving much faster than he is, and the startled facial expression of the assistant stops me in my tracks, only to laugh hysterically. I then apologize and tell him, “I just need to get this stuff out of my car!” He laughs along with me and says no worries. He says he is just confused on how fast I was moving while breathing so deeply. He asks me, “Do you need a receipt?” and oddly I say no! My response is more that I just need to move along on my journey. Now, when I look back at this situation, I laugh even more when I realize what I was dumping off were my sheets, pillows, comforters, all bed linens along with towels, some clothes, dishes, and everyday needs! Then when looking at what remained in my car, it was two boxes of nonsense, books, and a damn industrial steamer! What the heck was I going to do with that! This is funny beyond words, especially when I don’t realize it until a month later!

Nevertheless, I’m on the road again, and my first stop is Dallas, Texas. This is where I did a brief stop, only to give my very best friend and mentor a hug in the parking lot as he was finishing a store visit. It’s funny. I held back the tears when saying good-byes to my very best team ever at San Marcos store 471. I held back the tears when my second mom hugged me. I held back the tears when hugging and saying good-bye to my sister from another mother, Neely, but when I hugged Steve Arocha and he made jokes as he always did about my big hair, along with sharing some words of wisdom and encouragement, I drove away crying more than ever! Seeing him choke up while telling me how proud he was of me and that I will conquer anything I put my mind to still to this day bring tears to my eyes. I tried figuring out why he touched me so, and after many thoughts of analyzing it, I’ve come to the realization that he was a godsend. I was blessed with the mentorship and work relationship that turned into the best friendship anyone could ever receive. He was one of my biggest cheerleaders. He believed in me even when I didn’t. He encouraged me during the times I needed it most. He allowed me to be simply me and called me out if I were to ever try and be something else. He had a great way of developing, nurturing, and genuinely loving another person while never compromising his true self. This is what I admired about him most. Whew, mushy enough, Kisha?”

*What role does writing play in your self-discovery or spiritual practice?
Writing is therapeutic for me. Anything I am feeling inside comes out through my writing. At age seven I started writing letters to God as a spiritual practice and I found this to be the best way for me to release my anger, questions and thoughts.

*When do you feel most creative? What inspires you?
I am inspired by life! Experiencing verbal and sexual abuse as a child, having a mother addicted to drugs for the entirety of my childhood, not meeting my farther until 18, and battling suicidal thoughts through my teen years turned me into an adult that treasures every moment. Once I gained the power to know that I am not defined by the environment I was born in, I gained the power to enjoy the beauty of living.
It seems I find creativity in everything but I’m most creative when I’m jogging in my neighborhood while listening to music. It never fails… I get some of the most creative thoughts during that time or right after.

*What advice would you offer to women who are uninspired in their work and want to create a business or project of their own? 
If you are looking to create a business my advice today and forever is to do what you love. Take your hobby and turn it into your hustle. When you are doing what you love, the money will follow. Start while you are still working your day job and create a six month vision board for where you want to see it go. This should include those who inspire you in your specific hobby, by month financial expectations, and photos of how you see yourself as your own boss. You also need to create an exit strategy that is completely detailed. This exit strategy should include your financial details for living expenses, savings, business expenses and sacrifices you can make now to build your savings even quicker so you can then leave your job to pursue your creative career.

*Where else can we find your work?
I am a contributing author on http://cafetruth.com and also post regularly on my personal blog http://kishaschiclessons.com. My book is available via www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com

You can also follow Kisha on twitter @KishaSpeaks.

Follow her work!

TEXAS and The City BN Book Tour!

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Tuesday TEN

I LOVE Dallas, TX!

With June creeping around the corner, I thought I’d share my summer list as I did last year. Here are just a few of the things I plan to accomplish this summer in Texas! And I always make sure it’s not all about work but enjoying pleasures as well.

Check out my TOP 10!

1. I’m hosting my first Happy Hour Book Launch!! If you’re in Dallas on June 12th, be sure to stop by! (Bread Winners on McKinney Ave 6/12/14 at 7pm!)

 

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2. Enjoy The Spring/Summer Cool Thursday Concert Series at Summer At The Arboretum 

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3. Yoga in the Park. Partake in all free activities at Klyde Warren Park 🙂

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4. Skyline Trapeze! This is something I have on my bucket list and must mark off this summer!!

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5. Hike a trail at Cedar Ridge Preserve

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6. Be the I in B.I.G!

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7. Bike ride at White Rock Lake

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8. Rent a Ski Boat or Jet Ski and enjoy Lake Ray Hubbard!

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9. Kick off “Chic Talks Brunch Series“! (Coming soon:-) )

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10. Hustle the hell out of my craft! Keepin’ Chic LLC

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What’s on your list?

~Kisha

Texas and The City VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH

The book is here!!!!

Texas and The City By: Kisha Simmons

My book can be purchased on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.

Be sure to share via social media and tag me. I will return the support to you:-)

TWITTER @KishaSpeaks            9781499005301_p0_v1_s260x420

INSTAGRAM @KishasChicLessons

FACEBOOK.com/KishasChicLessons

 

Thank you for your support!!

~Kisha