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Photo Credit: Garrhet Sampson

Be honest with me here, have you at any point in your life heard these words: “love the hustle,” or “fall in love with the process”? Better yet, have you heard “the hustle is sexy”? Yes, you heard that right, the hustle is something to be sexually attracted to. Where do people come up with this stuff?!

OK remember, we are being totally honest here. When you heard these statements, what was your response? Did you snarl with a loud “shut up!” or did you quietly roll your eyes? If you did either of the two, or both, I am not judging you. In fact, I think we might secretly be best friends.

Hustle. I hated that word.

I heard it everywhere! Rapper Ace Hood repeatedly told me to “hustle hard”, Rick Ross proudly declared “every day he was hustling” and don’t get me started on when Beyonce defined diva as a “female version of a hustler.” It was glorified and romanticized and I fell for it. I interpreted praise of the word as something to intentionally pursue and find pleasure in.

I’m sure you are not surprised to find that as I began stepping out in faith to pursue my purpose, I discovered the word to be the opposite of glamour and glory. To my utter shock and dismay, I found hustling to be difficult, painful, grimy and messy.

I found the following to be true about the hustle:

The hustle is rolling up your sleeves, getting on your hands and knees and getting the dirt under your nails.

The hustle is painful waiting. It is endurance. It is planting your seed and waiting for days, months, and even years before you actually see any fruit.

The hustle is constantly engaging in a battle to give up, as temptation itself breathes heavily down your neck providing you with every possible logical excuse.

The hustle is filled with many moments of doubt, uncertainty, and skepticism.

The hustle is filled with moments of loneliness and isolation.

The hustle is filled with cycles of anxiety and depression.

The hustle is filled with opposition even from the ones you love the most

I could keep going but I trust you get the point…

After discovering what REAL hustling entailed, I began to hate the word and defiantly opposed every person that dared to even mention the word. Yup! I took it there. I was childish.

But as I continued in my hustle, I realized there was a reason it was and still is so glorified. I came to learn that the hustle had a purpose — that it was actually my servant and my teacher if I allowed it. I found that if I embraced the hustle and stopped complaining about it; if I stayed the course and refused to give up, I would find something remarkable — a better me.

So I did and continue to do just that. I made up my mind that there was no turning back. That come what may, I will see this through to the end because the difficulties I face in this hustle is not about me. Rather, it is about the lives I get the honor of impacting.

So, if you’d have me, I would like to share three ways the hustle is radically changing my life.

3 ways the hustle is radically changing my life:

1.) The hustle is teaching me.

The hustle is teaching me to stabilize my faith in something much greater than myself, God. It is teaching me to reject doubt and fear and believe that with God on my side, anything, absolutely anything, is possible.

The hustle is teaching me discipline. Truthfully, I was the queen of staying in bed, snuggled up in my big golden comforter, watching netflix or scrolling through my social media timelines. Comfort was my home. The hustle is teaching me that the dreams I long to be fulfilled is on the other side of my comfort.

The hustle is teaching me how to be unapologetic. I am learning that in my quest to see and live in my promised land, people will rise with their unsolicited opinions. This has been a major problem for me because I grew up learning to value the opinion of others even to my detriment. The hustle is shedding me of that. It is teaching me to walk boldly in my truth and letting those who are offended by my confidence stay mad. Their offense has more to do with them than me anyway.

2.) The hustle is helping me.

The hustle has revealed that there are certain things I must overcome in order to see my dreams fulfilled. These things are mental barriers that hinder my personal growth and development. Lack of overcoming these obstacles comes at a high cost. The cost? Seeing my dreams left unfulfilled — a cost too high for me to pay. Thus, the hustle places me in situations where I am forced to deal with these mental challenges head on. Here are just some of the challenges the hustle is helping me overcome:

The hustle is helping me overcome my fear of rejection.

The hustle is helping me overcome my fear of success.

The hustle is helping me overcome my low self-esteem.

The hustle is helping me overcome my fear of failure.

The hustle is helping me overcome my anxiety.

The hustle is helping me overcome being easily intimidated.

3.) The hustle is transforming me.

As I am on this journey, I am being transformed. The hustle is transforming me into the woman I always longed to be; A kind, loyal, caring, tender, compassionate, thoughtful, patient, strong, loving, powerful, disciplined, and unapologetic woman.

This is why I no longer hate the word but rather, I am thankful for it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t quite love it yet, but I don’t hate it anymore either.

Now it’s your turn…

How the hustle can change your life.

This is available for you too. The hustle is designed to break you and then to make you.

It is designed to show you what you are capable of. It is designed to show you your strength. But you can only experience this if you don’t quit.

Yes, things are painfully difficult, I understand that. But if you learn the art of diligence — meaning, if you make up your mind not to turn back — no matter what — you too will see yourself begin to change. As YOU begin to change, so will the world around you.

 

With all my love,

Emem

“This is who I am and I make no apologies for it.”

There comes a point in life when you realize you must let go of the things that weigh you down in order to become obedient to who you really are. This is freedom. Becoming unapologetic is vital to this process.

In this latest podcast episode, I talk about the following:

1.) Learn to let people go

2.) Surrender to who you are becoming

3.) Affirm yourself often

Lastly, I remind you about the monthly letters I send entitled Your Personal Letters. It is a letter personally written by me; a chance to communicate on a deeper level. If you are interested. sign up below.

Listen, Subscribe & Review on Apple Podcasts

Listen in Anchor

Social: @EmemJoyEmah

 

Thanks for taking a shot with me!

Emem

Well hi there!

It’s been a while hasn’t it?! I am so excited to be back with season 2 of my podcast. I took a much needed break and I AM BACK! I am genuinely excited to bring you fresh weekly content.

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Recently, I share this tweet (pictured above). It was inspired by a show that I was watching with my sister. In the episode, I detail the events of the show that lead to the tweet and I further break down what I meant by the tweet. Additionally, I talk about what mentorship really means and how to know if you are ready for it.

Lastly, I remind you about the monthly letters I send entitled Your Personal Letters. It is a letter personally written by me; a chance to communicate on a deeper level. If you are interested, sign up below. 

Listen, Subscribe & Review on Apple Podcasts 

Listen on Anchor

 

Social: @EmemJoyEmah

 

Thanks for taking a shot with me!

Emem

Hi Friend,

Happy Happy Happy fourth of July week. Oddly enough, I enjoyed this fourth of July holiday. I say it’s odd because I didn’t do much of anything. I honestly spent much of it with my sister and eventually just myself and I LOVED it. Truthfully. I cooked, I watched movies, and I relaxed. It took me a long time to get here but I am here. I FINALLY enjoyed my own company. I finally acknowledged that I am never alone, that God is truly always with me annnnddddd I watched some pretty cool movies. It felt really good.
How did you spend your fourth of July? I hope you had a blast! I hope you got to see some amazing fireworks. Chances are, if we follow each other on social media, I got to see them too. So thanks for sharing 🙂 And if we don’t follow one another on social media, we should change that 🙂
Moving on…

On a very lazy Wednesday evening I was laying in my bed, absent-mindedly perusing twitter, when I stumbled upon the Rob Kardashian & Blac Chyna debacle. Now, I am not one to speak publicly on situations I know nothing of, but I felt there was something here. I felt in the midst of the “juicy” drama, there was a lesson that needed to be emphasized. So of course, I grabbed my handy-dandy recording tools and I got to work. The result is what you hear on the most recent episode of my podcast.

Take a listen and share your thoughts.

Listen, Subscribe & Review on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Anchor

Social: @EmemJoyEmah

 

Thanks for taking a shot with me!
Emem

Okay it’s getting real. This is the part of the journey that I soak up EVERY encouraging word I can get. I desperately need it.

When I set out to pursue purpose, I was so enthusiastic. I was ready to take on the world and I just knew everything was going to line up in my favor as I continued to work hard.

As you have probably guessed, things have not quite worked out the way I expected.  Truthfully, as of late, there has not been a day that I have seriously not considered quitting. If you are taking a shot then you know this crap is HARD. It just is. And NO ONE prepares you for how hard it is when you begin pursuing purpose. But God will just not let me quit. He is that small voice in my heart telling me that I need to carry on, that this is MUCH bigger than me.

So here I am again, with another episode of my podcast. 

So let’s begin again…

Hi friend,

You’re here! You’re doing this thing! You are FINALLY taking a shot. Unfortunately things aren’t panning out the way they should and your once enthusiasm is beginning to wane.

Maybe it’s time to look at things from a different angle. Maybe it’s time to redefine success.

As I have stated before, I never present you with information as an expert, but rather I come alongside you to share what I am learning as I am taking a shot myself. While in prayer, ready to bow out gracefully, I got these encouraging pointers that is currently changing and re-framing my thought process and I know it will do the same for you.

Listen, be inspired, and don’t forget to share what you are learning on your journey as well.

Listen Here

Social: @EmemJoyEmah

 

Thanks for taking a shot with me!

 

Emem

And just like that, the week has come and gone!

Hi Friend,

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed your week thus far. I know I have (well.. kinda). Honestly, I’ve had a week of growth. I experienced another lesson life threw at me that quite frankly, I didn’t want to or feel like learning. But I did anyway. I learned that I’ve got some serious trust issues lol. That in order for my relationship with friends, family, loved ones and God to move to a deeper level of intimacy, I need to let go and trust. Trust, even when I don’t understand. Genuinely trusting is such a vulnerable yet powerful place. AND it is THE hardest thing to do when one’s trust (my trust) has been violated over and over again. But again, like I said, I am ever learning.

Ok. Moving on…

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Today I am releasing another episode of my podcast Take A Shot! with Emem Joy Emah. Side note, I am so proud of myself for my consistency thus far. These things are hard as crap to make and put out, ESPECIALLY on a consistent basis and the fact that I am eight episodes in, feels like a miracle (Thanks be to Jesus lol. But for real though).  This time, I get a little personal as I talk about the value of the struggle. I reminisce on a recent time when I got to see the fruit of  my struggle. And I remind you (and myself) that change is coming. Seriously, I can feel it!

Listen and let me know what you think!

Listen Here

You are seriously so awesome for reading and listening.

Thanks for taking a shot with me!

-Emem

Let me describe you for a second..

You are a young adult. You are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. You are maturing, growing and learning. You are on the journey to becoming a better you. You are determined not to repeat past mistakes. You are good. You are solid. For the first time in a long time, things are making sense. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders. Although things are not as you would like them to be, you have made significant progress in your life. You have learned the art of hustling to pay the bills as you are on a mission to find what your purpose in life is. This is adulting folks and you are doing it well. But, there’s this one area in your life… your love life. You have been involved in a relationship for quite sometime now. You are crazy about this guy or girl but he is on the fence about you. One minute they want you, they next minute they don’t. One minute you’re together, the next minute you break up. They say they don’t want to loose you and that they love you but their actions SHOUT anything but love. Your heart has been mishandled by them over and over again but you can’t help but go back. You have heard every excuse in his or her book but you have stayed because quite frankly, you are crazy about this person. You have tolerated all their crappy excuses and now you KNOW it’s time to move on. Deep down you KNOW things are not going to change. You know this person well enough to know that if things were going to change, they would have by now. You are tired, angry, frustrated, over it but still love this person. You want to move on, you know you to NEED to move on, but you just don’t know how. In the words of Chingy, every time you try to leave something keeps pulling you back (if you don’t know who Chingy is, its fine, just keep reading lol).

Hi Friend,

This post is not about telling you that you need to let this person go. You already know that and you don’t need another reminder. The pain in your heart from your last heartbreak sends a clear message. However, this post serves to show you what freedom and clarity looks like when you finally decide to let go and never look back.

I get you. I completely and totally understand where you are (well not literally but I definitely empathize). I have been involved in this type of relationship, not once but TWICE in my life. The first time was really painful, the second time was devastating. I literally didn’t know if I would come out of it. See, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I love easy and I am tenderhearted. When I am involved in any type of relationship, I give it my all and expect the same in return. I gave my all and in both situations, my heart was ripped out of my chest, stomped, violently devoured, and then given back to me with blood dripping from his grinning mouth.

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After my second major heartbreak, I prayed. I needed help and the people I loved -no matter how hard they tried – couldn’t help me. So, I asked God to help me. I asked him to show me what love really was. This for me was the beginning of my spiritual awakening; my love journey with God. I intentionally pursued my healing. I needed to KNOW  that I was loved because I had encountered too many people and circumstances that told me I was not. 

Here is the point of this blog. I want to show you what I have learned so far in my love and healing journey with God. I want you to see what is possible when you are brave enough to let go of what you have now to embrace the greater that is possible for you. I want you to see the imminent danger you are facing by not letting the dead weight go. The truth of the matter is, that relationship is ruining your life and destiny.

Lessons Learned…

Please note that when I am using the singular pronoun (he), I am referring to both of the failed relationships I stated above. I choose to use a singular pronoun because ultimately, I was attracted to the same type of man boy.

Let’s begin, shall we?

It was not him, it was me

Don’t get me wrong, both of the guys I was with had their own issues. I am not saying they didn’t. However, part of growing up is choosing to look within to examine the areas you fall short in. You can control no one but yourself. After all, it takes two to make a relationship work. As I examined myself, I realized I was settling in crappy relationships because I didn’t  think I could get any better. Both of the guys I was involved with were very handsome and deep down, I was shocked that they would be with someone like me. I had low self-esteem.So I held on tight, thinking this was as good as it was going to get. As you are already thinking, this is not a good foundation for a stable and healthy relationship. And because I was starting off on this foot, the relationship was doomed to fail.

I didn’t love him, I loved love

I have a love/hate relationship with romantic movies. I love them because some tell a really good story and who doesn’t love a good story?! But for the most part, to be brutally honest, they are unhealthy and deceptive. They leave us with unrealistic expectations of what love should be. And because as women, we already have an innate longing to be loved, romantic movies goes straight to that place in our hearts and fills us with a counterfeit love that simply doesn’t exist. Again, as you have guessed, I watched too many romance movies and fell in love with an idea rather than the real thing. This caused me to put expectations on boys that didn’t know how to love, much less live up to this unrealistic expectation.

I needed someone to love me

Simply put, I was desperate for love and would get it by any means necessary. If that meant staying in a relationship with a boy that couldn’t see my value then so be it. I treasured the scarce golden moments we had in the relationship. These scarce golden moments showed me what the relationship could be. They gave me a false hope that things would get better. But it didn’t and the wound in my heart from lack of love only worsened.

I didn’t know what love was

You cannot know something that you have never experienced. I had never experienced unconditional love, so I didn’t know what it looked like or what it was supposed to be. My only frame of reference was romance movies. Hence, I learned that what I was calling love, was only a strong infatuation.

Heartbreak was a blessing in disguise

Like you, I couldn’t let him go. I knew I should. Every person I knew told me I should, but I felt like I couldn’t. My insecurities were wrapped up in the relationship and if it failed, it meant I was a failure. If it failed, it meant facing the fear that I would never be able to attract someone like him ever again. It meant facing the fear of being along. But on the other side of fear is everything I dreamed and hoped for. On the other side of this fear was love waiting to embrace me, heal me and never let me go (no matter what I did). Waiting on the other side of this fear was God.  So, when he chose to let me go, it was God’s gift to me. He (God) knew that I did not have the strength to let him go. He (God) knew that although it would break me, it was a good breaking because out of that place came a strength, a knowing of my worth and a revelation that I am indeed loved.

There are good men out there

Not every man is a boy. There are men out there that are growing, learning and maturing — JUST LIKE ME. My goal is not to seek them out. My goal is to better myself. It is to focus on myself and concentrate on my healing. It is to know my value and worth so that when I am ready to explore relationships again, I have healthy criteria  and if it isn’t met, I am not afraid to ask him to leave or to walk out.

He was sent to distract me

I could not wholeheartedly focus my energy on bettering myself and finding purpose if I was wholeheartedly devoted to a relationship that was bent on extracting instead of adding to my life. When he was gone; love, clarity, life, and purpose flooded in.

These seven lessons are only a snippet of what I have learned so far. But, this is what freedom and clarity looks like. It is having your eyes opened to finally realize  why you were holding on so tight. It is taking the time to acknowledge that you are broken and your soul needs surgery. It is re-emerging smarter, wiser and full of confidence knowing what you can and will not tolerate. It is gaining clarity to begin to assess your life to see where you are going and how you will positively affect this land. You simply cannot be and do these things with him or her in the picture. They are too much of a distraction and are not pushing you towards greatness but pulling you back. Let the dead weight go. I pray you find the strength to get up, pack your bags and move forward. I pray you allow yourself to hurt, to go to the dark places and ask yourself the deep questions. I pray you go on a journey to find out who YOU really are. Lastly, I pray you enjoy the taste of freedom so much that you never want to be bound again.

I hope this post has nudged you one step further into making the decision that will turn your whole life around and set you on course for your greatest breakthrough. But ultimately, it is YOUR decision.

 

You are stronger than you know!

 

Until Next Time,

Emem Joy Emah