Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today marks the 365th Day After...

I left my job of 6 and a half years!

I can't believe it. Last year on April 24, 2012, I officially left the NYS Banking Department. I was the Director of the Community Affairs Unit. I was no longer fulfilled. I felt like I did all I came to do. It was time to move on. This choice came with many factors (fear, concerns about income, concern from family, the unknown and ego). I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it was TIME. I wanted to pursue my non-profit full time and my self-love movement full-time.

Have you ever had that feeling? Where you just knew it was time? There was nothing you could do to try to convince yourself otherwise, it was just TIME.

Well 365 Days later I have experienced a WORLD-WIND of stuff. All of which have made me stronger and still clear that it was the best choice I've ever made in my life. I want to share my wins and my losses over the past 365 days with the hope of inspiring you to move forward/on when you are clear that it is TIME.  I know I have missed some things and I will add on when I remember but in the meantime and in between is a part of my life over the past 365 days!


The Timeline:
April 2012

  • After being with the NYS Banking Department (now the Department of Financial Services) for 6.5 years, I left to focus on growing my for profit business, Let's Pursue You and my non-profit organization, the Gye Nyame Empowerment Project (GNEP). With not a whole lot in my savings account, I looked forward to what was ahead.
  • My family was concerned about my choice and didn't understand what the hell I was doing. They didn't know if they should send my sisters to rescue me or send in the big dogs because clearly something crazy was going on with me in NYC!!! 
  • My dear friend offered to pay for my rent for a year to support me with my transition. (Don't I have really amazing friends)? I was unwilling to really be with her contribution at first because I usually take care of myself. I had been working since the age of 14/15 and NEVER had to ask for support, let alone financial support. It was very humbling. Then I surrendered to her offer and remained eternally grateful.

May 2012

Can't remember...

June 2012
  • Completed a business relationship with a dear friend because something didn't feel right. It was a difficult conversation but I had to be honest and speak to my truth. We are still really great friends! And as a result of the investment I have a maxed out credit card that I am paying off. 
  • I applied for food stamps. On my way to the office to apply, I had all types of thoughts in my head, primarily - what the hell happened that I am receiving support from the government with I worked for the government. I was embarrassed and didn't want anyone to see me. Well, people saw me, no one I knew, but people saw me and I applied. 
  • After leading 3 or 4 free self-love challenges to over 800 people across the globe, I hosted my first self-love challenge officially under Let's Pursue You, and it had a price tag. 

July 2012

  • Food stamps kicked in! $200 a month to supplement food is a big deal and makes a huge difference. For the first couple of months I was shameful about my government support, hiding my card when in line when there were too many people around so I could avoid being judged. It was really sad what I would do to make sure YOU didn't see my card. SMH. 
  • Hosted my second self-love challenge. 

August 2012
  • Went to Jamaica to volunteer for the 5th year as the Assistant Camp Director for the Lil Raggamuffin Summer Camp.
  • I chose to cash out of my state deferred compensation plan (state equivalent of the 401k) to support me with my living expenses.  
  • I got notification from Food Stamp program that I needed to attend a Back to Work session.
September 2012
  • I went to the required meeting for Food Stamps and was required to take a test so they could see "where I was at" with regards to competency because there was a component of the program that was required if you weren't bringing in any income - Back to Work program. THIS is when I had a phucking breakdown. I got the test booklet and just sat there for a second, then excused myself to got to the bathroom. In the bathroom I broke down because I really questioned whether I made the right choice to leave my job. I graduated from one of the top liberal arts colleges, Mount Holyoke College, I had a Masters degree in Urban Planning, Design and Development. I left a job where I was the Director of Community Affairs - a job where people reported to me and called on me for my expertise, and in that moment, I was taking a test to prove to the government "who I was and what I was capable of". That did NOT feel good. After gaining composure I went back in the room and took the test, making sure that I answered almost everything right. I figured I had to uphold my honorable degrees (ego all day). I scored almost perfect and the person facilitating the test acknowledged me. That sufficed. :)
  • I applied for medicaid to support with my health coverage. The process was hell in a handbasket and the offices of my local agent was a lil shady looking and I didn't feel taken care of, however I made sure I had all of the information I needed to have it work out, with integrity. 
  • After this experience of feeling like I "needed the government", I was confronted and felt like I needed a challenge, so I decided to train for my 1st half marathon, with only 6 weeks to do it. 

October 2012
  • Ran my 1st half marathon, the Divas Half Marathon with a friend and one of her mentees in under 2 hours and 15 minutes. It was so amazing and I never thought I could do it. I always thought I was 
  • I started my first of a series of 21-day NO MORE COMPROMISES challenge. I wrote out a list of all of the things I was compromising and for 21 days I tackled items on that list and tracked what opened up as a result. I captured everything on a big post-it pad that I kept on my wall. It was PROFOUND. 
  • Signed up for the Money Club program with Money Coach, Monica Shah with the intention of taking Let's Pursue You to the next level. I didn't know what I was thinking because I used money from my savings that was supposed to be used for my living, but I KNEW there was something there for me, however it played out. 
  • Created a 30-day self-love challenge booklet (can serve as a DIY self-love challenge)
  • Hosted another self-love challenge. 
  • My 3rd niece was born!

November 2012
  • Did my 2nd 21-day NO MORE COMPROMISES challenge.

December 2012
  • Did a 14-day juice cleanse that transformed my life!! GET YO LIFE! Ended up losing 13-15 pounds that I didn't even know I had to spare and have a new found appreciation for Raw foods. I discovered that my body operates best with raw foods and began the conversation of transitioning into a 50% raw diet and 50% cooked diet.

January 2013
  • After 5 years, launched new website for non-profit
  • Launched 2 new programs with GNEP - Candid Conversations
  • Did a 7-day juice cleanse just because
  • Brought in the new year with a dear friend and we saged our entire vessels, allowing the energy of 2012 to be released. It was so powerful!
  • I got my health insurance!
  • Got a relationship coach because I realized I wanted to be in a relationship but that I wasn't doing the work, nor would I if I wasn't being held accountable because its much easier for me to allow other things always get in the way- thanks Kazi!
  • Hosted the 1st Unreasonable Action Marathon which was offfff the hizzy!! I can't wait to present the next one! If you want me to host one near you let me know and we can work something out! 

February 2013
  • Told a man who initially wanted me to be his coach, to stop texting and calling me because he was NOT ready to receive my support and I do NOT have the energy to entertain supporting people that don't want to be supported. I don't care how much you are willing to pay me. My sanity (and my gifts) is worth so much more. I got all of that after feeling really tight and confronted when he communicated with me and I couldn't put my finger on it. I just knew I didn't like it and my spirit didn't like it. His communication came with a lot of confusion. I am CLEAR that when someone is ready to be supported by me, they are just ready. 
  • Purchased my first REAL, GROWN WOMAN wallet in over 5 years. I was using a change purse and crumbling my bills during the process. I was not respecting my money. I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to deal with it. My new bright pink michael kors wallet is my reminder that I am abundant and that I can be and deal with money powerfully!
  • Led my first official workshop on self-love at the Schomburg Center in partnership with the Caribbean Cultural Center. 
March 2013
  • Informed 2 days before the 6th Annual Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit that we may not be able to be covered with the required insurance unless we performed background checks of ALL volunteers (which cost money) and created organizational sexual abuse and molestation policy. With the support of DOPE S2S volunteers, Monica Dennis from SOW, GNEP President Mekaelia Davis and soooo many others, we did all of that within 24 hours and received coverage.  
  • Hosted 6th Annual Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit, with Misty Copeland as the Keynote Speaker. The attendees sang happy birthday to my mom, and my parents stayed with me for the 2nd time since I've been in NYC (almost 8 years). (They usually stay with my sis in CT, but owww they stayed with me)
  • GNEP launched new program - Digital Conversations.
  • Discovered there were some things out of integrity with my non-profit and promptly turned in the paperwork
  • Had a spiritual awakening that allowed me to see that there is NOTHING wrong with me and that my candidness, straightforwardness, no-nonsense, hard-working, determined, spirit, sometimes ice-cold, busy-body personality is just perfect and I don't have to resist it. If I was supposed to be any other way right now, God would have pulled me out a long time ago. THIS gave me so much freedom.
  • Co-led a workshop on self-love and gratitude with Ashley Mui at NY Institute of Technology for Candid Conversations
  • Babysat one of my 3 year ond nieces for 2 days and we had such a great time, and she peed on my floor. SMH. 

April 1 - April 24, 2013
  • Welcomed in the 2nd quarter of the year with a jam session in our apartment with Honey LaRochelle and members from Hiatus Kaiyote, while celebrating my little cousins bday. This was soooo amazing. I mean really, live music in our crib? 
  • Interviewed on ABC's Here and Now as a contributor to Syreeta Gate's book Just Be Cause
  • After slowly paying off my maxed out credit card, I am almost within the credit limit. It has been a long ride and there is more to go.
  • Saw fireworks at Central Park while drinking a slamming smoothie and catching up with a dear friend at a juice bar
  • Started one-on-one speaking coaching program with THE Toni Blackman
  • Launched "You're In or You're Out" 60-Day Integrity Campaign with Ashley Mui
  • Applied for Dream Director position with The Future Project (and although I didn't get the job I had an amazing time during the application process)
  • Began supporting a new friend with the development of a girls conference
  • Filed my taxes and got a nice chunk back! Thanks Marquette :) 
  • Met THE Steven Burks
  • Started Phase 1 Planning for the 1st Brotha-2-Brotha Youth Summit for the 3rd time!
Today, April 24th, the exact date I officially was off of the NYS payroll, so much opened up its unreal:
  • Ashley, my roomie, and I did some serious cleaning (and it isn't done yet) and I feel like I can see my dresser again! Whew that's a big deal - go ahead clap for me!
  • I hosted an all-male focus group on self-love that wowed the bejesus out of me! (Men actually have quite a bit to say about the self-love journey. Powerful!) 
  • I got a reality check from my Money Coach, that I have been tolerating the fact that my business isn't taking off the way I KNOW it can. OUUUUUCH. 
  • Realized that for the past year, I have just been being, simply put, DEFIANT as hell! I have NOT been doing all that I know there is to do, to take Let's Pursue You the Gye Nyame Empowerment Project to the next level. I am clear that my focus needs to be on building my for-profit business so a sista can eat and continue to give through my non-profit work. But if I don't sustain myself, no one wins!!!!
  • Realized that I have been single for 4.5 years and it doesn't mean a dayum thing other than the fact that I haven't been intentional about creating a relationship the way I've pretended to. 
My Acknowledgement:
I want to acknowledge myself for having the courage to walk away from a very comfortable, well-paid position; for spending more time with my family; for always getting back up; for allowing others to support me; for choosing to love me; for remembering that all is perfect just the way that it is and the way that it isn't; for remembering that what you resist, will persist. I want to acknowledge myself for continuing to stand and for being gentle with myself during the process.

What's Next:
Take Let's Pursue You and the Self-Love Movement to the next level, getting paid to do what I love; creating the relationship of my dreams and doing both of these without trying and simply being.

How You can Support me:

6 EASY ways you can support me during my pursuit – :) Just Choose 1!

  1. Refer someone that could benefit from my services (self-love/self-sustainability)
  2. Refer speaking opportunities my way (self-love/self-sustainability)
  3. Schedule a complimentary I Love My Life Breakthrough session with me or share with someone else! 
  4. Sign-Up for A Male or Female Self-Love Focus Group
  5. Attend GNEP’s Monthly Events: Candid Conversations (NYC area folks) and Digital Conversations (all you need is internet access)
  6. Refer people/orgs to me interested in Non-Profit Consultation or Integrity/Leadership Development Workshops.

That's all for now.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Self-Love Challenge - day 2 (Oct 2012)


Today marks Day #2 of the In Pursuit of Self-Love: A 30-Day Challenge that I offer through my company Let's Pursue You.

While this is my 6th Challenge, I always experience something new during the process. Self-Love really is a journey. There are hills, peaks, valleys, sunsets, storms, all of it.  And truth be told, we will always be met by the circumstances of life - every single day. Moment to moment. There will always be something to do.

The question is, in the moments when life comes at you, do you react to what's right in front of your face and choose the priorities of others or do you choose yourself? Do you choose your needs? Now I am not saying to not react to an emergency, but you and I both know what a real emergency is and sometimes the emergency of someone else's is NOT OUR EMERGENCY. Yet, we acquiesce a lot of times to appease the needs of someone else. Why do YOU do that?

I am not saying to be "selfish", which is quite different from being one who embodies self-love because being selfish is completely disregarding the needs and concerns of others. However, when you are embodying self-love, you are honoring what your vessel needs to operate fully on this planet.

Have you been honoring yourself lately? What 1 action could you take right now to shift that?

For more information on my Self-Love Challenges, visit:!

:) Akua

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5th Annual Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit

This year's theme for the 5th Annual Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit is Celebrating the Sista Within! Who do YOU want to celebrate???

Visit and donate

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 2 of Reloaded: Self-Love Challenge (Phase 2)

Helllllllo world!

Can I just say I am having the most amaaazing time doing the challenge the 2nd time around!? We currently have 80 ppl signed up this time around and we span 17 to 57 years old! That's bananas!!

Day 2 of the Self-Love Challenge: Honoring Me. Look in the mirror and tell yourself 5 things you love about yourself.

Sooooooo I looked in the mirror and I honored: 1) my smile and ability to light up a room 2) my big heart 3) my commitment to self growth 4) my current way of being & the growth/transformation I have encountered since last June and 5) my ability to create movements - like this self-love challenge! What do YOU love about yourself?

Are you part of Akua aka the Activators Reloaded: Self-Love Challenge (Phase 2)!? You only have until 11:59pm tomorrow to sign up! Don't miss out! We are out to get 100 ppl on board!

:) Akua

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Marsha Ambrosius - Unraveling her Story around being British in the U.S.

We have received soooo much support and positive feedback around our Unraveling Stories Video Viral Campaign...check out Marsha "the Songstress" sharing her story and supporting the Gye Nyame Empowerment Project's Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit!

So thankful. So blessed. So humbled.

I am clear of my purpose: Creating a movement around Unraveling Stories...

Self-Love Day #8: Honoring the Music Within & Reflecting on Day #6 which was done on Day #7 (lol)

Happy Self-Love Day #8!

Wowwww what a night – so I took myself out to dinner yesterday because I didn’t on Sunday….and I had to do a wholeeeee lot of self-talk as to why it was OK for me to take myself out to dinner at 10pm at night when I had madddd things to do for the Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit we are putting on – on Saturday. A whole lot of talking. The meal was aaaaamazing (orange dusted shrimp, sweet mashed plantains, and a fresh salsa salad with avocado, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, oranges and more)!  It was heaven!  It ended up being really beautiful, and it also became very clear to me when I tend to NOT choose myself.  

I don’t choose myself when I feel like so many others are depending on me. 

So today, I will take time to reflect on this because I know this is just a story I am making up.  People are not necessarily depending on me at 10pm at night to do something for them, they are simply counting on me to keep my word. So, I just need to commit to things that are realistic. If I scheduled to take myself out to dinner, regardless of the circumstances that may occur, I must remain committed to my original intent - at all times - always.  We are not committed to ourselves if we are only committed some of the time.  Its all or nothing. There is no grey.

Thank you all for being in this challenge with me - it makes it that much easier for me to commit to myself!

Today I pulled out of my jar: "I am pleasant to be around"......okkkk let's take on the world today! 

Move powerfully today and get your dance ONNNNNNNNNN!!!! I am going to rock out on my train ride to work…I am thinking PINK will be the album of choice – powerful woman and she gets me hyped! And of course...gotta put on India Arie....

How are YOU going to honor the music within?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Self-Love Challenge: Day 2

Happy Self-Love Day #2!

This morning I reached into my jar and pulled out "I love my ability to show people/let ppl know that they matter".   So, this is who I am going to be more of today.....this woman.

Did you pull something out of your jar? Who are you going to be today?

The other thing we are charged with doing is looking at ourselves in the mirror and stating the 5 things we love about ourselves.  I did this and it was soooo empowering! I actually felt how powerful I was by simply stating the things that I love about myself. I was also able to see how those very things I love about myself, are beyond me because they allow me to inspire other people. 

I am in Love with me for the first time!