Exploring Mondays with Mara Prose: Embracing Your Flaws So You Can Embrace Others…

Happy Monday, Prosers!! Cheers to another wonderful, productive and exciting week. I cannot believe we are almost into the month of April; where does the time go?

April Showers Brings Forth May Flowers ~ Proverb

First and foremost, I would like to take care of a few Mara Prose announcements before we dive into this week’s blog topic.

  • Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 Mara Prose Virtual Book Club: I will announce the winner for our April Book of the Month. You still have time to join our group and cast your vote by clicking on the following link Mara Prose Book Virtual Book Club
  • Saturday, April 6th, 2019 Prosey’s Corner Returns to Blog Talk Radio from 9a-9:30am: Nicky and I will be returning with a new show format, new featured guests and tons of inspirational anecdotes. Our first guest of the season is none other than the incomparable Speaker|Motivator|Artist|Poet Jeffery L. Miller. Please follow us at www.blogtalkradio.com/maraprosenetwork

This week I want to discuss the value that can be found in embracing your flaws and all that is you. In an effort to add more depth to this discussion, I want to encourage you to embrace your sinful nature; correction, please embrace it and correct it. It is my opinion that the majority of judgmental, intolerant and self righteous individuals fail to embrace and acknowledge their imperfections. As with any other topic, there are levels to this mastery, so let’s explore them.

Flawesome – (adj.) describes an individual who embraces their ‘flaws’ and knows they’re awesome regardless.

Let us not waste time continuing to spout the same common catch phrases about loving yourself, taking care of yourself and not judging others. What I actually want to explore is the act of allowing forgiveness, understanding and compassion towards others to redirect your life. We all are guilty of making a mess of our lives at one point or another. Yet, we continue to allow the small snippets of time captured on social media to influence our existence and guide our next steps. Even when people post ‘no filter’ to accompany their social media posts, they are still only allowing a glimpse of what they want you to see – which is still filtering the situation. We hide behind filters because people love to shame others, and we do not want to feel exposed. It is so much easier to look at other people’s lives and soothe our own insecurities by exposing the flaws of others in order to keep the spotlight off of us. It makes us feel better to know others really do not have it as good as they portray and that we are not alone in our ineptitude. Compassion is often lacking in many, and we like to pride ourselves on being able to relate to society’s misrepresentation of what life is supposed to look like.

THE MASKS WE WEAR (A Mara Prose Poem)

You smile, you grin and no one sees your sins
You laugh, you play with no one there at the end of the day
The masks we wear are uniquely prepared
To keep the world guessing and hide our despair
Black, white and all alike experience life’s crushing blows
Young and old, we are all the same because we all fear the untold
At the end of the day, no one can say that we are not all meant to live bold

Embrace the Change – Bishop T.D. Jakes

I spent many wasted years in my youth, working hard to project the image of having it all together. My deep set insecurities would not allow me to conduct myself any other way, and this often led to the exhausting habit of constantly allowing other people’s perception of me to become my truth. The problem with this method is that everyone only understands you from the level of perception they are capable and the version of “You’ they are allowed to see. This disparity led to depression, anxiety and a whole slew of other problems that made life unnecessarily challenging for me. I was also often guilty of judging others harshly and dissecting their lives based on my own assumptions and my own misery. It was not until I caught wind of friends and family members doing the same with my life, and noting how their assumptions were so far off base, that I realized a change was in order. But if I am truly honest with myself, the false assumptions were my own fault because I was projecting a false image of myself.

Therefore, when I say embracing your flaws so you can embrace others, I am not speaking of embracing superficial imperfections such as cellulite ridden thighs – I am talking about authentically admitting that you have made mistakes and you will continue to make mistakes. It is a simple fact of life. And you know what, it is OK! Until you learn to deal with your mistakes, disappointments in a balanced, accepting manner, you will always carry a heavy burden.

Life will take you through some things and they will not always be pleasant; how you embrace them will determine how you evolve. I for one, have been through quite a lot. Immaturity and selfishness wreaked havoc on my existence for many years. It has taken me quite some time to come to terms with and embrace the fact that the lack of a comfort zone is actually in my best interest. It is the only time I am focused, motivated, determined and operating at my most optimal. In my self imposed comfort zone, I become lazy, easily distracted and stray from the path of my purpose. It has taken a lot of harsh lessons to finally embrace this truth.

Harsh Lessons (A Mara Prose Poem)

It took something extreme
to bring me to my knees
It took a great fall
and losing it all
for me to stall
and simply crawl
My ego took blows
and I completely froze
Everything I had taken for granted
left me stranded
due to being reprimanded
by Life, by God, my own Foolish Pride
I looked back at this time last year
and accessed all my fears
and took note of all my tears
and somehow I persevered
They say God will humble you
and boy, did He ever
I don’t know why I thought I was so clever
I don’t know why but I know I will never
Let myself return to those silly ways
I have set the bar higher and must continue to blaze
The lessons were harsh
but they made me smart
and gave me a new start
They helped me set myself apart
and I was forced to depart
From people who meant me no good
From those who always misunderstood
From the things that were in excess
From the things that just caused distress
So I could simply evolve and be blessed
There were times I didn’t think I’d make it through
There were times that I was oh so blue
Oh, if you only knew
But I found my inner strength
For my children’s sake
And now I can be an example
since I’ve handled, dismantled and unscrambled
and took lots of gambles
But for now, let me stop this ramble since I am no longer in shambles
I’m proud but in a new way
I’m proud because despite the dismay
I overcame, I slayed and made up for those days
All because of harsh lessons…

Unfortunately for most, the perception of stepping out of your comfort zone is viewed as a negative. It is uncomfortable, messy and it has even been associated with shame at times. I am here to tell you once again, change your thoughts, change your life ~ Joyce Meyer. We have to stop allowing the world to control our perception, and even more so, stop allowing the misrepresentations of society to dictate our lives.

Here are a few steps you can take towards embracing your flaws so you can embrace others.

DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES OF THE WORLD – social media, movies, TV shows and even commercials are fictional accounts of an exaggerated reality. There is no such thing as a reality show and these are not reliable sources to obtain your reality check. We all need to stop looking outwards, and start looking inwards!

EMBRACE ALL OF YOU – yes, there will always be less desirable aspects of people in general. It is not only important to embrace, shape and mold who you are at your core, but you must be compassionate towards others and their parallel life journeys. We all are uniquely created for a reason. We will not learn the same lessons at the same time, nor will we experience the same growth at the same pace. Stop expecting perfection and the mirror image of yourself in others, and start learning to not only embrace all that is you but all that is in others as well.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR SURROUNDINGS – the wrong group of friends and the wrong environments combined with unrealistic expectations are a recipe for disaster. I naturally gravitate towards those that bring me peace. I want to be surrounded by people who accept that I am not perfect, do not expect perfection from me and understand who I am at my best and at my worst. You need a group of individuals who understand that the trials you go through are not only life lessons for you, but for them as well. If they are not willing to grow with you or help you grow, do you really need them in your life?

CONVERT YOUR SHAME TO REPENTANCE – Let Go of Shame and Guilt! Stop shaming and guilt tripping others as well. Learn to repent and set an example for others on repentance. Always remember that everyone has the ability to perpetually evolve, make a comeback from a setback and stop putting a number on the amount of chances we allow to each other. If God put a number on the amount chances He allowed for us, He would have given up on us a long time ago.

Next week, I want to discuss and celebrate all those that gave me a number of chances to redeem myself. The blog post will be specifically for those who never gave up on me and for all those who continued to love, support and be there for me when I was at my absolute worst behavior.

Until next time, embrace you, embrace them and embrace ALL!

Author Mara Prose

Prose Is The Path I Chose

Explore Mondays with Mara Prose! How to Apply the Right Discernment in Relationships…

Mara Prose Promo Pic

I’m back and sending a warm welcome home to all my Prosers!  My hiatus is at an end and it is time to return to the roots of Mara Prose Mondays.  I have spent the past couple of years experimenting with different formats, topics, and styles of prose. Today, I find myself returning to the initial inspiration, candor, testimonial filled blog posts that initially called me to create www.maraprose.blog.

Walking Towards Purpose

I have spent the past several months learning, growing, studying and establishing a healthy balance in my life. I needed the silence that only comes from what I have so fondly termed my’hibernation’ period. This time of peace and reflection allows me to make decisions about my path forward. I began to pray more and develop a stronger relationship with God. In my solitude and meditations, my vision and purpose became clearer to me and I was able to map out a new plan for my life, my family and Mara Prose.

The ability to see things for what they REALLY are and not for what you WANT them to be.

One gift that I was granted from this period of self-reflection, was the gift of discernment. It was not an easy gift to accept or master, but the life lessons it is helping me to overcome are invaluable. I feel as if the younger Mara walked around in a self-induced fog; my reality was skewed, to say the least. I had a lot of trouble discerning who deserved a place in my life and who did not. For example, in the past, I would allow myself to be manipulated into sustaining relationships with family members, friends, and co-workers who were actually toxic. I am now able to discern immediately the toxicity of others, and disassociation myself without guilt. I have even outgrown the act of simply cutting off toxic people without an explanation. The level of discernment that I now possess has taught me to communicate with others in a more adult and Godly manner…a ‘What Would Jesus Do’ manner. I recently addressed this very topic with someone I felt would prove to be a distraction and possibly cause strife in the balanced life I am working so hard to maintain. My intent was never to hurt the individual, it was to help them understand who I am as a person, who I am becoming and respect all that is me. At the same time, by embracing discernment, it allows me to also empathize with the needs of others and not expect anyone to adjust their beliefs or ideas to fit mine; while also accepting that I am not equipped to meet their needs either. I just knew this person needed to understand that our ideas of sisterhood and friendship were too different to continue to try and force a friendship.

How to develop Discernment?

As always, I want to share the steps I have taken to develop the discernment that I am now blessed with.

  • First and foremost, be patient with yourself. Discernment is not easy to master and I honestly feel we should all be prepared to work at it the rest of our lives. Therefore, you must be DEDICATED to achieving better discernment.
  • WALK WITH GOD. Immersing myself in the Word of God, prayer and simply asking God to help you discern who and what is best for your life.
  • SURROUND YOURSELF WITH DISCERNING PEOPLE. Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with the wise men will be wise…” I have always championed eliminating naysayers and people who enjoy creating strife and conflict.
  • BE VULNERABLE. We will never develop discernment if we try to shield ourselves from hurt, pain, trials, and tribulations. Life experiences are the only real avenue to true discernment. So live your life and live it to the fullest without regret.
  • BE STRONG IN YOUR CONVICTIONS. Understand that not everyone will understand or agree with your journey towards discernment. However, remain STRONG and trust that inner voice that guides your steps. You must silence the noise of the world in order to achieve discernment!
  • ACT. There will be many times in your walk towards discernment that you become confused and begin to overthink. Always remember, there really is no right or wrong decision because everything (and I do mean everything) is a lesson to learn. Do not allow fear, anxiety or the past to hold you prisoner – step out on faith because no matter what happens, as a great friend used to always tell me “IT ALWAYS, ALWAYS WORKS ITSELF OUT!”

Evolution is the key to a happy life; at least for me. Discernment is just one of the many stepping stones I am taking in order to evolve into the best version of me. Next week, I will share how my forgiveness and letting go of the past has allowed me to repair relationships that were once irrevocably broken. I cannot change others, but I can change how I respond to others.

Until next time, be encouraging, be inspirational, and be motivational!

Author Mara Prose

Prosey’s Corner Special Guests Digital Artist Dwayne Jones & Actor Lane Lovegrove (05-19-18)

It’s Mara Prose Monday!  And now, Mondays will bring our followers the replay of the guests we have on Prosey’s Corner each weekend.  But first, let’s get some basic announcements out of the way.

Mara Prose Announcements

  • Book 1 of the Davenports goes on sale again May 31st.  All purchase links will be posted on social media for your convenience.  *All Pre-Orders should be received well before that date.  If not, please email maraprose@maraprose.blog asap.*
  • June 2018 – Prosey’s Corner will become a bi-weekly broadcast.
  • May-August 2018: Come participate in the Summer of Romance.  Each month in the Mara Prose Virtual Book Club, we will vote on and select 2-3 romances to discuss throughout the month.

Prosey’s Corner May 18th, 2018

If you missed our Saturday morning broadcast, you missed out on two great interviews conducted by Nicky W.  Lucky for you, I have the replay link:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/maraprosenetwork/2018/05/19/proseys-corner-sat-may-19th-2018-930am-cst1030am-est

Dwayne Jones – Digital Artist
www.spoylerz.com

Dwayne is a rare combination of discipline, dedication, and self-education in regards to his artistry.  He began his career as a fun past time, practiced in stolen moments of free time from his growing personal training business.   With more and more demands for his digital artwork, Dwayne knew he had another business in the making.  He finds inspiration in his everyday life and spends countless hours perfecting his craft.  His art is unique and he enjoys delaying the gratification of each piece by waiting a few days after a project is completed before releasing it to the public.  The pieces that do make it to the public eye are ones Dwayne wholeheartedly believes in and only ones that prove eye-catching.  This method obviously works since it was one of his designs that initially caught the Art eye of Mara Prose in a Facebook group.

If you have any interest in purchasing his stellar work, please visit his website to submit your request.  Thank you, Dwayne, for being a part of Prosey’s Corner!  We love your talent!

Lane Lovegrove
lanelovegroveactor@gmail.com
IMDb: Actor Lane Lovegrove

Actor Lane Lovegrove is a jack of many trades – but his biggest passion in life is being a father.  This is probably why he gravitates more towards the “Dad” roles and has been able to make a successful acting career.  Residing near Charlotte, North Carolina, Lane began to pursue acting in his mid-thirties.  Once he decided to treat it more as a business opportunity, he began to book several commercials, movies, and tv shows.

Lane has been fortunate enough to work with Channing Tatum, with the cast of Homeland and on the hit tv series Banshee.  When he has spare time, he enjoys mentoring other actors and encouraging them to pursue their goals in the industry.  In the very near future, he plans to start his own blog specifically for fathers.

With an indie film and a new episode on Investigation Discovery, called Silencer, Lane continues to pave his own way towards success.  We enjoyed having Lane on Prosey’s Corner and we cannot wait to have him back on the show very soon.

Until next time,

Mara Prose

Wakanda Forever!

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*Keeping this brief until the movie has been out a little longer.*

I was fortunate to be able to see the “Black Panther” movie the very first opening night.  This movie is so captivating from beginning to end.  It is so much more than simply a superhero movie, it delivers so many messages, ideals and traditions.  It is not only shattering movie records, it is shattering negative stereotypes.  I will not go into a lot of detail about the movie’s premise because I feel everyone needs to see the movie for themselves and form their own opinion.  However, I will discuss the messages I derived from the movie.

First, let me state how proud this movie has made me.  It was refreshing to see our black community depicted in such an elegant and regal manner.  The movie managed to entertain while educating without preaching; and that is a rare achievement.  The overall message to me is about Unity – unity in our community , unity between our black men and women and unity among different races.

There was honestly so much I wanted to say but with the movie being so newly released, I did not know how to say it all without giving spoilers (enough reviews have already done that).  So let me just pay homage by sending a clear message to Hollywood – “All you have to do is look at the opening weekend numbers, and you will clearly see we are starved for my diversity in our movies.”

I will follow up with an additional blog to really dive into this movie after a couple of weeks have passed.

~ Author Mara Prose

Touchstone (A Mara Prose Poem)

Dedicated to my best friend and touchstone, Nicky W., in celebration of not only our friendship but her birthday month.  Thank you for all you do and your willingness to go where I go.

It started with a little girl in tears and it’s been thirty years
A bond was formed that day and remained despite some strays
No matter where we are in life, you are always willing to sacrifice
To go where I go, help when I need and encourage when my heart bleeds

You are the wind beneath my wings
You encourage me to flourish and grow
You keep me grounded and on my flow
You accept all that is me, and help to make life more carefree
You have nursed me through some hard times and celebrated the best of times

Thank you for being you
Thank you for being true
Thank you for being not only my friend
Thank you for being a Godsend
You are truly my sister from another mister

We will be best friends no matter the distance
And our bond will carry on even after our existence
To the woman who has dried many tears, squelched many fears and always sends cheers
Never change, God bless you, thank you and much love to you…my Touchstone!

~Author Mara Prose

#LevelUp – Are more women single because they walk in a ‘Girlfriend’ spirit?

There is a current mixed emotional disucssion taking place on social media, concerning the musicial artist Ciara’s recent instagram post about women learning their true value and not settling.  Her post was based off of a John Gray sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFpHCBubf_E.

I have included the article below for more details.

Here is what Ciara posted and I am not sure how it can be misinterpreted as her trying to shame single women.

ciara

If this message causes a woman to become offended and assume they are being belittled by a married woman, they obviously have some soul searching to do.  There is nothing wrong with encouraging women not to settle, focus on their relationship with God and become secure in themselves as a person before becoming a “WE”.  Too many of us rush into relationships without thinking it all the way through; this only leads to regrets.  You do have men preying on the loneliness of women and that is not male bashing, that is a simple fact.  Therefore, we as women have to use our discernment, go with our gut and pay attention to the red flags.

pexels-photo-226166Who has not made the wrong decision at one time or another in their love lives?  Who is without regret for past relationships that are seen as failures?  The point Ciara was making in my opinion, is that women need to learn from their past mistakes, learn to love themselves more and make better choices for their life.  Besides, why attack her for supporting a sermon she agreed with that was delivered by Pastor John Gray – why not attack him?

Once again, if that encouragement causes you to feel bad about your life, then I believe it has simply hit a nerve you have been trying to ignore for some time.  I find it exhausting the way people get offended over every little issue.  No one wants to take accountability and accept the hard truths.  We have to do better, ladies!  We need to stop bashing each other and support one another more.  #LevelUp

Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Getty Black Twitter is pretty upset with Ciara. So…what exactly did she do? Apparently, the mother of two posted a clip co-signing with pastor John Gray, who insinuates that too many women act like a girlfriend instead of wife. The “Goodies” singer captioned it, “#LevelUp. Don’t settle.” Take a look: Interesting, depending…

via Ciara Dragged On Social Media For Instagram Post About Marriage — Black America Web

~ Author Mara Prose

Reflections for 2017

Happy New Year Prosers!!!  I am so excited about 2018, you have no idea how anxious I am to see how this year pans out.  As per my usual tradition, it is time to reflect on the past year.

NEW ME

downloadI have to say that 2017 saw a whole new Mara.  My confidence came back, my determination returned and my peace of mind finally came into play.  Mara Prose Publishing grew by leaps and bounds, and it went places I never even imagined.  But we shall talk about that in a moment, back to the new me.  What has changed aside from what I already stated?   I healed and I think that is the most important aspect of 2017, is that I healed, let go and forgave.  2017 was the official year of my divorce.  In 2016, I truly believe I was trying to hold onto something that I had outgrown, that no longer existed and was terrified of the major changes taking place in my life.  I can honestly admit that I truly believed we would repair our marriage, but this past year I realized and accepted that those two people who fell in love so very long ago no longer existed and that love was gone – but that it was all ok and just part of life.  In 2017, I let it all go, accepted what was to be and started focusing on the path that God was laying before me.  Words cannot express how happy I am at this point in my life.  I also stopped doubting the God-given talent of writing and started to embrace it, develop it and hone my craft.  Lastly, I rekindled relationships with estranged family, friends and co-workers and built a network of support that was so loving, nurturing and empowering, I had no choice but to grow and flourish.  Life is good Prosers and I pray that 2018 is an even better year.  I have to give thanks to God, my Mom, My Sister and My Best Friend Nicky W. , for bringing me back to life and encouraging all that is Mara Prose.

PROSEY’S CORNER

2017 was the beginning of my very own radio show!  I have to admit that a radio show was never a part of the Mara Prose vision, but I cannot imagine life without it now.  Once again, my best friend has joined me in this new endeavor.  Bless her heart she was just kind of thrown into it with me and went along willing without question, lol.  Everyone should be so fortunate to have such a best friend like mine.

Proseys CornerBut let me tell you about Prosey’s Corner and the premise of my show.  It is the same premise as my blog, my brand and my image: Inspiring, Motivating and Empowering people to FIND THEIR VOICE – just as I have found my voice over the past several years.  My guests range from authors, CEOs, musicians, fashion designers and relationship specialist just to name a few.  I have to give a shout out to Valerie Denise Jones, Phelo the Great and the entire 4E Media group, and thank them for providing me with this platform.  Valerie immediately saw something in me from our first meeting and I will be eternally grateful for all the support, guidance and encouragement she has provided the past few months.  I have made a lifelong friend in her and that friendship came with the birth of Prosey’s Corner.  So be sure to tune in every Saturday 9am CST/10am EST on 4ERadio.com or you can call the studio line 323-642-1391 and be a part of the show.

4e media group

LOVE

how to find love2017 was an emphasis on LOVE for me.  As I healed, I started to believe in it again.  Love comes in so many forms and I have so much love in my life, it would be a shame not to embrace it.  As I stated before, I have an enormous support group filled with nothing but love, encouragement and happiness for me.  I tear up as I write this because it feels so good to be so loved and to be able to return that love to all my friends, family, and Prosers.  I started this year being open to all that Love can bring me this year, and everyday my cup runneth over with LOVE, LOVE, and more Love.

PEACE

2017 brought me peace of mind.  I had been searching for it for so long and to finally have it, feels simply amazing.  I pray that everyone finds this type of peace in their life.  What does it feel like?  It feels like heaven, like walking on cloud nine, and feels like I am constantly embraced by a positive energy so strong, I simply radiate with it.  So many want to know what I changed in my life to get to this point.

peace-e1352246783623You simply have to let go and let God.  Whatever your spirtuality is, embrace it.  You cannot have a victim mentality.  You have to own your flaws, your mistakes, people you have hurt and acknowledge the fact that you need to constantly work on being the best YOU that YOU CAN BE.  I cannot stress enough to OWN your mistakes and move past them.  Let them go, accept the learning experience and grow from it.  Life is beautiful and ugly all at the same time.  Just always remember that everything is temporary and nothing lasts forever.  Enjoy the good, remain strong through the bad and do your best to enjoy this thing we call Life.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The Davenports: A Battle of Wills: Pre-sales start February 3rd, 2018.  Official release is March 2nd, 2018!

The Journey to Mara Prose (An Anthology of Poetry): Officially releases May 17, 2018!

Look out for Mara Prose new material to be submitted to several contests this year!  It is time to be award winning!

Mara Prose Publishing Clients:

Southern Belles Cook book: Coming 2018

You don’t know me (A Memoir): Coming 2018

Musicianaire Biography: Coming Soon!

I’m SHINING!  Thank you to all my Prosers for your continued support.  I pray you will continue with me on this beautiful journey and that you have a wonderfully, blessed and proseperous 2018!

Until next time,

Author Mara Prose