Thursday, March 22, 2007


It's a rainy day in Chicago, has been for the past two days, dark and dreary as if the heavens were crying for us mere mortals - struggling - just trying to survive each and every day.

It's on days like this that gratitude lists are so important to me. It refocuses my energy on positive things. Despite the challenges that I have faced, rough spots I've hit and negativity that swirls constantly - I am blessed. If I died today, it would be ok because I have truly experienced all the goodness that this life has to offer. And if for nothing else, for that I am grateful.

I am also grateful for ....

family! More specifically a mother who still talks to me in the middle of the night no matter how tired she is, a father who still remains my rock regardless of how far my world spins out of control (thanks for the reality check), a sister who is always ready to get down and dirty for a good cause AND my children who never fail to have a hug and some SUGAH for dey mama - sometimes a hug and kiss is all it takes to make everything right again.

childhood memories. It takes talking about them to remember how innocent growing up can really be. I was talking to someone about my mother's father the other day and it left me with a delicious feeling. I've had some wonderful male figures in my life.

a job that never fails to entertain me
. Everything in life has it downsides and no doubt so does my gig BUT it has been a HUGE learning experience. I have grown and become a better person because of it. I am more tolerant of others and myself. I know how to push myself but also except my limitation. I also learned how to let go and let GOD. I've found that you don't have to agree to get a long and not every one is going to like you. But if you do your best, then that is enough.

a great pair of jeans.
Nothing feels better at 3:30 in the morning on a rainy day in Chicago than my broken in pair of Levis and a cute sweater when all I want to do is stay in bed and snuggle.

my new ZUNE.
I uploaded all of my fav videos that I've taken of my kids (neices and nephews included). I watched this one just a few minutes ago. Can't help but smile. Next I'll post one of my three year old bowling. HIL-A-RI-OUS!

bubble baths. I took one at 12:30 this morning because I couldn't sleep. Nothing relaxes me more than a few bubbles, a lot of heat, jets on high and a good book. I stayed in there until it was almost time for me to go to work. I think I make a pretty cute prune!

health insurance.
DAMN! Do you know how much it costs to get some tests done these days?!?!?! My heart goes out to those who struggle with adequate health care /insurance for their families.

my creative mind power. I truly understand that everything starts inside of me and that I only have to change my thoughts to change my circumstances.

I've had a lot of it. And continue to be overwhelmed by it's generous nature. That's why Corinthians 13:4 is one of my favorite verses.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant.
Wouldn't the world be a different place if people truly believed and practiced this?

There are a TON of other things that I could list but these are the ones that are sitting at the top of my list for today.

As always, I offer you my best ~ and for that I am also grateful! I'll be taking a bit of a break to finish up some projects. Be blessed!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


*INSIDE* by Me
So many people today
don't stop to see the
beauty on the inside of a person
they only see what is
on the outside
they judge, point, stare
but the outside is just the
the best part of someone is hidden from
the eyes of those who refuse to see
all that is inside is really what counts
the big heart
the kind gestures
the sweetness of my life
your smile is not only
on the outside but ...
in the inside as well
the beauty of you can not be put into words
it's not a handsome face, sexy arms or strong legs
even though you have that and more
the beauty of you can not be put into words because
there are none to describe
the true essence that beats inside
and nothing is more beautiful
then being held close
held tight
inside of your beautiful heart

*REVIVAL* by Bianca Mitchell
Impassioned by a passionate plea
The very strong desire to Flee
To remove the safety net and cross over
Walk the tight rope spread taught over Sky Scrapers
Not looking down or having fear but looking up
Take the dare and like the Army be all you can be
Or better yet like Nike, Just do it! Just do it! Just do it!
Aspire to the higher highs after living in the lows
Rolling with average Joes who don’t want to see me to see me soar, Fly, touch the sky
Sweating out the scent of failure through my pores
Washing off the grime of regrets
Letting the hot water melt the ice of fear that leaves me immobile
Toweling off the remnants of negative thoughts
Dressing for success and walking away from the closed door
Attach my cape and leap bravely through opportunity’s open window.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March Is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Colon cancer claims a third rank in the list of most common cancers diagnosed in the United States (skin cancer excluded). American cancer society estimate that this year a total of 106,370 people will be diagnosed with new colon cancer with more women (55,970) having a new diagnosis of colon cancer in comparison to men (50,400).

Factor in all of the other types of cancer and the numbers practically quadrouple.

So more than likely during your life time you will either have a personal experience with cancer or know someone that has.

If you have already been there then you know that Cancer can be a very invasive diseaese]but it does not define who you are. It CAN however be a defining chapter in your life. As a friend, family member or loved one of someone diagnosed as cancer, the same rule applies. Articles have been written, statistics compiled and support groups formed but when going through such a traumatic experience – for all parties involved – it can sometimes be a very lonely journey.

I am by no means an expert, but there are a few things that I can offer to others who may be in the situation of supporting someone faced with a life threatening medical condition.

Listen, Learn And Talk!

Keep the lines of communication open. Sometimes all your loved one wants to do is articulate how he or she is feeling. Actively listen and be understanding of the various moods and myriad of emotions your loved one may be experiencing.

Be proactive and educate yourself because education is key to dispelling myths surrounding cancer. It also helps if your loved one want to discuss various treatments and/or options if you have some understanding of what they are dealing with medicallly.

Talk about your frustrations and possible feelings of helplessness. As much as you would like, you are not going to be able to take away the cancer or the pain from it. Just as your loved one is not going to able to take away your feelings of helplessness. But by talking about it, the opportunity is there to support each other as you work through your individual feelings.

Laugh A LOT

It’s hard to feel bad when laughing. It’s hard to feel self-pity when giggling uncontrollably at a funny movie. It’s hard to be depressed when your sides ache from being tickled. Humor is proven to be healing to the mind, body and spirit.

Continue To See Your Loved One As WHOLE and HEALTHY!

This is very important, especially in an intimate, love relationship. Some people begin to define themselves by their disease instead of seeing the person that you are so desperately in love with. They may want to pull away, and “spare” you from seeing them at less than their best. Reassure them that they are the same person that they were before the diagnosis and that everyone has their own issues and challenges. This just happens to be theirs. At the same time, give them the space they need to work through their own issues and negative feelings. In addition, healing starts in the mind. Not reducing yourself or a loved one to simply a disease can go a long way to overall healing.

Say “I LOVE YOU” Often!

Your loved one needs and wants to hear from you. Actions may speak louder than words, and you may take all the right actions, but speaking words brings comfort, reassurance and knowledge of your inner feelings. Words have meaning. And the three most important words in the English language at this time, at this moment, are: "I love you."

Last but not least, be patient with your loved one but also be patient with yourself. Somedays the journey will be harder than others but .... it will always be worth it.

As always, I offer you my best.

My Sistahs .... Can We Talk?

I don't often post emails that I receive but I thought the following two had some merit and/or made me laugh.

The first is as follows:

1. Talking about each other
- You are really not her friend if what you have to say about her is so bad you can't say it in front of her. If you are a real friend you should be able to tell her your concerns for her life to her face. If you have the need to tell others, but you haven't found the time to tell her - red lights should be flashing. Believe it or not, gossiping is not an intrinsic part of being female. Women who gossip do it not because it's a woman-thing, but because they want to elevate themselves and put other women in a place of inferiority. Gossiping is just another symptom of deeper insecurities.

2. Fighting for men - One of the most undignified things that any woman can do is to fight, argue, or curse another woman over a man. It's a disgusting trend that used to be a school girl thing, but today adult women are doing it too. If both of you are in conflict - because his choice is not clear - then that means that he's really not into any of you. He's probably playing both of you. That man really does not deserve love or attention from either one of you. Let him go.

3. Joining female gangs - Women who make you feel unwelcome and unwanted within their circle of friends are not to be trusted. Women cliques have become common in the workplace, at church, in the neighborhood. Cliques are the dwelling place of insecure women. Women who join cliques are
seeking refuge from their own lack of confidence by cocooning themselves within this circle of supposed exclusivity. Again, the need to belong to, or be part of a clique is also a sign of deeper insecurities. Beware, cliques are usually encouraged and thrive on a type of gang mentality.

4. Undermining each other - Beware of any woman who can never celebrate your accomplishments with you. It could be a new boyfriend, a promotion, an award, a new job, a new acquisition, weight loss. If she has nothing positive to say to you about it, does not show emotional support, or chooses to remain silent she is not a true friend. Real friends know how to recognize and genuinely rejoice for our successes with pride.

5. Competing against each other
- You need to get this straight. There will always be another woman with nicer hair, a more caring husband or boyfriend, better behaved children, a better paying job, a bigger house, a more fashionable wardrobe - there will always be some woman with more of what you don't have. Consequently, the only person that you need to compete against is yourself. Strive to be the best that you can be - for you. Competing against other women to prove yourself superior is a financial and emotional drainer. Because of this mindless competition we become mean, envious and hypocritical. It is pointless.

6. Disrespecting boundaries
- To survive peacefully every relationship and every friendship must have clear boundaries. Good relationships operate within margins of respect. Within this level of respect, privacy and intimacy are keywords. Yes, you are my friend, but that doesn't give me the right to walk into your bedroom or your kitchen, unbeknownst to you, and help myself to your stuff. I don't do this not because you won't allow me to, but because I respect your privacy and your things. Consequently, we both need to know and respect each other's levels of privacy and intimacy.

7. Crossing boundaries
- This is similar to the above, the only difference is that my respect of your boundaries should never depend on my friendship with you. We need to respect women for the simple fact that they are women. If she is a woman she is a sister. Period. Therefore, from that understanding I will have the utmost respect for her children, her man, her opinions, her choices, and for her as a person. It amazes me how women are quick to disrespect another sister's boundaries, but feel offended if another woman does to them the same exact thing. Honestly, that type of inconsistent behavior can only be credited to some form of mental illness.

8. Exploiting our friendships
- This is a major one. Why are you friends? Do you only remember her being around whenever she could get something from you? It doesn't even have to be material. It could just be your time or your positive energy. Does she happen to be always on the receiving side, with you dishing out ton loads of yourself or your stuff? Or is she your friend because of what you represent? It could be that your husband's position or yours, your possessions, your talent, whatever, represents some form of achievement. Is she a friend because that link to you places her on a higher platform? In a real friendship appreciation, support, and loyalty must be reciprocal.

This is the second one (thanks Fee for the smile):

"True Friendship"

Are you tired of those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship. You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card- just the stone cold truth of our friendship.

1 When you are sad -- I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry bastard who made you that way.

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you finally got laid.

4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

6. When you are confused
-- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick -- Stay the hell away from me until you are well again. I don't want to catch whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy butt.

Friendship is like peeing your pants: everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth. And remember....when life hands you Lemons, get some tequila and salt and call me.

Just some things to think about!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Are you a CARROT, an EGG or a COFFEE BEAN?

Interesting question, huh? The answer is even more revealing but before we get to that. Let me back up.

I had an AMAZING day yesterday. Wasn't really looking forward to spending my entire Saturday working: I had some writing to finish, plus had four interviews scheduled for another edition of Women On The Go when what I most wanted to do was curl up in my grandmother's rocking chair and read a book or go outside and twirl under the sun while my boys ran off some of their abundant energy. THEN we would all take a nap. Talk about miracles!

But some days you do what you have to do. So with a (slight)smile on my face, a cup of coffee in one hand, laptop in the other and two of the cutest little boys I've ever seen trailing behind me ~ we went to work.

Things started off slow: my engineer was late so we couldn't officially start the interviews but I did find out from Chef Blackmon of Blu 47 fame how to keep my Crab Cakes from falling apart and my sistahgirl therapist Jinnie English brought an armful of positive energy AND controversial relationship theories. (believe me ... that is a blog unto itself.) I also learned the depth of my assistant Kim's patience as she successfully configured my computer for an Internet radio show I will be introducing shortly, coordinated and supplied me with the information I needed to conduct interviews while balancing my three-year-old on one leg and answering my five-year-olds never ending stream of questions without once raising her voice.

Meanwhile, I was ready to pull my hair out.

But then a blessing by the name of Niambi Jaha blew my way. She was slated to be interviewed for the Woman of the Month segment but as we got to talking AND talking AND talking, I realized she was my own piece of divine intervention. See Niambi is the founder of Project Butterfly - a phenomenal program designed to support young women and girls of African descent through the transitions of life. Like me, she is the mother of a young male child. AND like me, she has realized the her way of helping her young male child is to devote her life to nurturing young female children that may one day cross the path of her offspring. I formed The Nikki Woods LeadHerShip Academy with the same thought and passion; a dream that I am still waiting to birth has been fully realized in Niambi's Project Butterfly. So at the end of our interview when Niambi, took me by the hand and looked me straight in the eye and told me, "Young beautiful black woman, my sister .... I got you and I'm not letting go. WE have work to do", my heart bounced in my throat. It is what I had been waiting for, someone who understood and was ready to support my dream. Honestly, it's scary enough to traipse back through the dark recesses of your adolescent girl years but then to try and help someone else do the same without making all the mistakes you did is almost as frightening as watching Steven Spielberg's Pet Cemetery while home alone while a thunderstorm raging outside.

So yes, I have work to do ~ on myself and on my program. Stay tuned as the dream unfolds. I am going to post my conversation in its entirety soon but in the meantime check out this powerful woman on her website.

A three hour break was just enough time to feed my babies and then take them on a walk that led to downtown Chicago's Millennium Park. We watched people ice skating and laughed at the sculptures that Tyler, my oldest said he could make easily with his batch of Legos once we got home. We enjoyed the sun on our faces and the wind at our backs but most of all we enjoyed each other before it was time for all of us to get back to work.

Next up, was an unexpected coming together of universal forces under the guise of 10 minute interview. {{{{Big Hugs}}}}to Nancy Gilliam for working her magic and securing an interview with Lisa Nichols - a dynamic international motivational speaker and powerful advocate of personal empowerment - but most recently known for being recognized as one of the most prolific teachers of the Law Of Attraction. Her inclusion in the best selling phenomenon, "The Secret" was only the cap of more than 15 years worth of practicing and passing on the foundations of the Secret. After reading, watching and admiring Lisa since the release of "Chicken Soup for the African American Soul", I was scheduled to talk to her. From the very beginning, Lisa was warm and engaging. She talked freely about the path that led her to the comfy sofa on the Oprah Winfrey Show Stage - her triumphs and tribulations, her passion not only living an abundant life but helping others to live one as well.

I expected inspiration. I expected instruction. I expected an interview.

But what I got was MAGIC.

In fact, when I was telling my man about it later that afternoon, I giggled with excitement and said, "I want Lisa to be my new friend!" He laughed too. I knew I sounded like I was in the third grade but that is the kind of feeling she invoked during our conversation ~ one of warmth and friendship ~ exactly the kind of person you want in your immediate circle.

I will also post very soon my conversation with Lisa. I think it is one that every one who is struggling with discovering their authentic self should hear. Between Niambi and Lisa, there is no doubt that God was bringing some powerful threads together, intertwining them and weaving miracles.

But when you talk to someone who has struggled and not just survived but gone on to amazing heights of success - you can't help but be inspired and begin to expect miracles.

Sooooooo ... to bring me back to my original point: when thinking about the commonalities between Lisa, Niambi and all of the other powerful women that I have encountered along my journey the most dominant one was their ability to conquer challenges and become stronger because of them. I was reminded my a story that I read along time ago.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked. "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside now I am bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. And as we know, the longer it boils the coffee will become stronger.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

So ask yourself: when the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level? How do you handle Adversity? Will you survive and triumph as did Niambi and Lisa or will you let life beat you down and keep you in a place of unhappiness and lack.

In short ~ are you a CARROT, an EGG, or a COFFEE BEAN?

Saturday, March 10, 2007


A new edition of "WOMEN ON THE GO!" is now available.

This month we have lined up a group of excellent feature editors from across the country to give you advice and insight on relationships, health, cooking, finance as well as a very special woman of the month and more.

As your host, I will introduce you to several features and specialists, who can help you with everything from making the family dinner easier and healthier, to speaking with inspiring Women On The Go, just like yourself. This week's Women On The Go's Woman Of The Month is Dr. Laura Berman - creater and host of Showtime’s television series, “Sexual Healing,”!

In addition to the Word on Entertainment feature, check out our exclusive website feature (new this month) Women In Music. We are sure you will enjoy this artist spotlight as well as her music.

The audio magazine is available for download from our website or from a variety of pod cast sites, like iTunes, and

Cruise by the website and we're on MySpace as well!

As always, thanks for your support!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Life is not always a smoothly paved-road

some times it's pretty damn rough - in disrepair - rocky from heartbreak. marked by potholes overflowing with disappointment, and often impassable from loss, grief and misunderstanding.

but even in the worst of times, I can still through my hands up and scream, "I'm STILL HERE!"

I can still offer my love - free from judgement, my faith - stronger in the midst of the storm and my hope - that remains unwavering, to those who may seem a little short of their own.

it is also the time when writing ushers in the tranquility of understanding that within the universe everything is as it should be.


(during this last writing period - poetry was my weapon of choice. here are two haiku offerings)

life's fragility
dew on freshly cut grass
pain of a lover's heart

the storm simmers down
I still stand, hope, love, dream, smile
with arms wide open