Today, we learn that former NACA/NASA pioneer and hidden figure, Katherine Johnson has passed away. Many of us grew up not knowing Mrs. Johnson and the phenomenal work she did for NACA/NASA from 1953 to 1988.

Thousands of people admitted on social media and in interviews and private conversations that the first time they learned of Mrs. Johnson was when she and several other African American women were depicted in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures”.

Mrs. Johnson was depicted by Taraji P. Henson. The film sparked countless conversations and admissions by women, such as myself, who felt so close to the women depicted, and how we wished that we knew about them growing up because they could’ve served as the visual role models we needed to see when other people discouraged us from pursuing degrees and careers in fields that are predominantly led by men.

If you haven’t read Mrs. Johnson’s biography, a brief overview provided by NASA can be found here. I normally don’t cite Wikipedia, but there is extensive coverage of Mrs. Johnson here.

Thank you Mrs. Johnson!

Mrs. Johnson and other phenomenal women laid the foundation for other girls and women in STREAM areas. I hope that parents, schools, and great mentors begin to and continue to expose, and encourage, girls to pursue their passions in science, technology, robotics, engineering, architecture, mathematics, and other related fields.

As we still see low numbers of African American women represented in these fields, let’s be sure to not sabotage our girls by steering them to other fields that have historically been deemed “more appropriate” or “better aligned” with “girls strengths”. If they want to pursue engineering, then help open the doors to get them there.

Parents As Supporters

The engineer/technologist in me should’ve listened to my mom and dad who encouraged my love of science, technology, building and deconstructing, etc. My parents bought me books and kits on science, space, robots, technology, etc.

My dad bought me my first microscope and science kit, a computer in 6th grade, and he paid for me to take computer classes at a center that only had adult learners. He would let me work with him on the family cars, teaching me the various tools, parts, and what did what and how. My father drilled me on math as soon as I came out of the womb, always telling me the importance of math and that I was better at it than I believed.

My mom used to help me with ALL of my science projects, I mean all of them! She even played a major role in helping me design my 6th grade invention—that my parents and I didn’t think to patent, called the “Doorbell Butler”. It was then an early iteration of what is now the modern day “Ring” technology that millions of people use. Uugh every day we are reminded that we should’ve patented the idea. The iterations that led up to the modern devices all utilized elements of my invention. But no one will ever know, because I never patented mine.

Imagine your child having an idea that you help them design, you can patent it or just continue on to the next idea. We talk about patents all of the time now, but back in the day it wasn’t every day talk at the kitchen table and definitely not as it related to a child’s idea. It would’ve been cool being a 10-year-old patent holder!

Maybe you and your children have some patent-worthy ideas.

I appreciate my parents for encouraging me to try anything and everything, and pursue my passions. They exposed me to books, the arts, music, acting, sports, and much more. I fell in love with track and field as a child, and my parents never missed a track meet. Even attending my track meets in college.

Because of my parents I’m a book worm, lover of the arts, a passionate writer, athletic, and have fond memories of playing the piano and violin as a child.

My mom bought me my violin and would listen to me practice all over our home. She attended all of my piano recitals. My dad bought me a baby grand piano in 6th grade. He had visions of me playing in concerts as a classical pianist. I thought that was a far-stretch, but I still enjoyed it.

At my request, my parents would take me to acting school every single Saturday in Hollywood, CA when I was in 6th grade. Until of course my social life was begging for my attention and I started missing out on hanging out at the skating rink with my friends. Then, with my passion for skating intensifying, my parents shelled out about $200 so I could get these amazing speed skates—white with pink wheels and laces. I continued skating, almost weekly, until high school. I’m grateful for having the parents I was blessed with. Positive exposure is priceless!!!

Teachers As Instrumental or Destructive Gate Keepers

My parents invested in my passions but sadly, in high school I began to believe more in what teachers said to me. And that shaped the decisions that I made academically and professionally.

Instead of listening to my parents, I listened to teachers who “advised” me to focus my attention on being a writer, because that was my strength. They said that I wasn’t good at math so I could never work in the industries that interested me.

I even had a science teacher in high school say that the fields I was interested in were better suited for men. I should’ve repeated his words to my parents. Instead I internalized those words and began to believe that the teachers were right. We tend to believe the people who have degrees in the fields we’re interested in.

My parents majored in Business, so I chose to believe the people at my school teaching my science and math classes. Why is it we only listen to our parents as newborns and once we’re adults?

If Only I Knew

Imagine if I knew of the dynamic women at NASA! Imagine if I knew of the work they were doing. I then could’ve said, “but Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson have and are doing it, they paved the way so that I can too!”

When I was a child we didn’t have the Internet to turn to, at least not in the format that we have casually been using it since the 1990s. Growing up, you went to the library and researched using books and straining your eyes scrolling through microfiche.

So if there weren’t any books or articles published and later supplied by the school or public library, you wouldn’t read and know about the amazing people doing amazing things around the world. I would spend hours reading and collecting books to check out and take home from the library. I can’t ever recall reading a book about women, and especially not African American women, in these various industries.

Even when I think of Florence Nightingale, it is always in the context of training nurses and caring for soldiers during a war. It was never heavily stressed that she was a statistician. We only regard her as being the founder of modern nursing. And even then, the magnitude of that honor isn’t propelled as high as it should be. I will say, I’m too squeamish to have ever pursued a career as a nurse or doctor. So I would’ve thought she was cool, but never dug deeper into her story.

Heck, I don’t ever recall learning about Ada Lovelace until I was an adult, and that was because I was reading a book for personal enlightenment. Why is society so hush hush about this woman’s contribution to the world of computing? She was one of the first computer programmers and the first person to see the potential of a computing machine.

In the 1800s!

Maybe because it was the 1800s. And mathematics technology, and computing was considered “man’s work”. Heck, some still think it is.

Exposure to and of Black Women in STREAM

Maybe, just maybe during Black History Month, Marjorie Lee Browne, Evelyn Boyd Granville, Katherine Johnson, Melba Roy Mouton, and others were mentioned as being pioneers in mathematics, but it was clearly a rush job during trivia contests. It had no stickiness in my mind. It was most definitely not a part of my school’s curriculum.

I don’t know, maybe had I attended a predominantly Black school, maybe there would’ve been greater intentionality of exposing students to pioneers in this field and other industries. Maybe seeing ourselves in these women would’ve helped us appreciate mathematics more.

Maybe had I known about Mary Jackson, Christine Darden, and others then I would’ve known about the multitude of paths I could have taken in engineering. Had I known about Annie J. Easley, maybe I would’ve had greater interest in computer science.

But then again, we know of countless children who attend predominantly Black K-12 schools who are just as or more clueless about the accomplishments of thousands of Black scientists, mathematicians, engineers, architects, inventors, etc.

We have hundreds of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that would struggle answering trivia questions about Black women in the industries mentioned.

Do we somehow see it as the responsibility of the student to seek out and find this knowledge independently? What we don’t know that we don’t know is hurting and holding us back.

Society’s Role

Society needs to do a better job of encouraging our children to pursue whatever path they desire. So what if they fail. Failing teaches you how to succeed, it builds grit and character, and it’s quite humbling. I would rather fail at trying something I’m passionate about than sit by wishing I had taken the step to pursue my passions. Woulda, coulda, shoulda is an awful place to be.

You Can’t Be Great Again Without Girls and Women

Just about every nation around the world wants to be great, they want to be recognized world leaders. Well it’s already been proven that if girls and women are not empowered and factored into that winning strategy, as major contributors, in the industries that generate the power and influence that those in government desire—then those nations and those leaders will fail miserably.

Look at how the US is suffering and has been suffering for the past 25-plus years. We better invest in our girls and women, and do so in a positive way. If not, we won’t be holding on to this number one spot for long, and our education scores and rankings will continue to spiral and plummet.

Let’s help to raise and nurture more girls to pursue their passions, whether in STREAM-related fields, or other areas of interest. Not just some girls, all girls. Don’t block their blessings, open the doors to countless opportunities! Help them to see and be futuristic so that they can make a lasting impact, be agents of change, and build honorable legacies.

Thanks NASA

Thank you NACA/NASA for unknowingly and at times begrudgingly opening doors of opportunity for women, and specifically, African American women. I know that initially, the roles for women in NACA were thought to be mindless positions. The 1950s were an interesting time and a woman’s place was a huge debate. I know that the extra flames were fanned when the topic of race was included. The thought of Black women being as smart and smarter than their white male coworkers, definitely had to be a combative environment at times.

But soon you were forced to realize the true gems you had hidden, and you had no choice but to let those gems rise, shine, and do what they do best. I thank you for realizing that risking failure of NACA and later NASA just wasn’t worth it. You wisely bet on these women.

I thank the few astronauts who cared more about their life and returning home safely, than being caught up in the sexist and racist trap of thinking a Black woman couldn’t possibly be smarter than the man-made computers, and the men overseeing the department.

The Future is Now

We’re at a rocky time in history right now. Some men are scared of the power and force that comes from letting women do what they were born and taught to do. Some men are afraid of being seen as less superior, smart, and accomplished. Some men (including some Black men) can’t fathom seeing a Black woman in a role equal to or above their own.

What we fear we try to suppress, correct, and destroy. Let’s break this cycle. It’s destroying us as a nation, as a people.

We should be nations empowered by parents who tell their children, “yes you can!” We should see fathers creating, building and deconstructing things with their daughters, just as they would with their sons. Let’s stop this foolishness of “man’s work” and “woman’s work”. My dad told me when I was a child that all of that was pure ignorance. He said that work is work and we should all take part in getting the job done.

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update on me and my life, so let’s do this…

My Podcast

If you haven’t been tuning in and listening to my weekly business podcast, “Don’t Call It Small…Business” then what are you waiting for? This week was Episode 25 with Celebrity Cake Designer, Tracey Wright. She’s the founder of Black Diamond Edible Creations. I had a great time interviewing Tracey. You can listen to that episode or any of the 24 that preceded it by going to ForemanLLC.com/podcast

Next week will be the interview with Antwon Alsobrook, the Founder and CEO of A2D, Inc. He will be joined by his amazing wife, Monica Alsobrook, and I can guarantee that this is a two-part episode, because we will not only discuss Antwon’s business but we will also talk about the ups and downs, and highs and lows of trying to juggle entrepreneurship, family, and the nuances of life and marriage. Antwon and Monica have been through some things that would break most couples. Tune in next Wednesday to hear their story and why I’m so inspired to have them share it!

If you would like to be featured or interviewed on my podcast, please email us at DontCallitSmallBiz@gmail.com

My Book

My book is coming along great. I actually shed a few tears the other night as the title and cover art was finalized. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This has been a journey that has left me energized and exhausted, almost at the same time. I’m extremely grateful to the team of readers who have contributed feedback and suggestions to help make this and future projects something that I can be proud of. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and the writing and publishing processes. Heck, I should’ve written about this journey, as that is itself a book! What’s crazy is my writing schedule has me cranking through this process all over again in about 6 months. But it will oh so be worth it!

I’m excited that we’re in the process of scheduling book events for 2020 so that I can meet with many of you and thank you face-to-face for your support. I will keep you posted on all of the details about my book and how to get your hands on a copy, or three. Remember my thinking: a copy for you, a copy for a loved one, and a copy to donate!

Travel

I’m currently on the road, enjoying this vast country and the people in it. I had a great conversation with a woman on the plane the other day. She said she couldn’t wait to get home and enjoy being in her own bed. It’s interesting how excited we get to go away somewhere, but at some point we yearn to return to the comforts of home. I like my getaway time, but I know that I will smile brightly once the familiar smells and sights of home are before me.

New Year’s

I’m not really focused on the New Year and 2020 quite yet. It’s awkward for me to say because in the past I used to be obsessed with focusing on a new year new experience. However, this month I’m focused on investing fully into each day and getting the most out of each day, so that I can finish this month and year strong.

Break From Social Media

I’m going to take another break from social media for the remaining weeks of December. I want to focus focus focus. At the same time I want to reconnect with self, family, and friends. Life is about relationships and I truly believe that so many of our relationships are suffering because we think that a social media post like is the equivalent to an actual phone call or letter. I want to be intentional about my level of engagement in my relationships. No regrets!

So my personal social media will go light’s out until January. I will post announcements on my IG, FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn this weekend. If we’re not already connected on social media, follow me, so we can connect in the New Year.

Stay Tuned

Check back soon for more updates from yours truly!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Earlier this morning my mom shared these five simple words that form a very powerful message: Never Stop Living Your Dream!

live-your-dream

Mom said she heard the words in a Gladys Knight song and she thought they would help to serve through my blog. I wasn’t sure which blog she meant, so I figured that I could share on all of them. As I type this, I can’t help but to smile because had I only focused on sharing to one group of people (one blog community) then I would’ve ignored other people who may need to read and hear this message. Thank you mom for blessing me today with prayer and this suggestion for my blogs!

Since I just typed “hear this message”, I feel moved to speak and not just type the words that are coming to me. So let me switch over to video and let things flow. Just click on my Instagram video below and take a listen…

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Tuesday!

Well if you happened to be on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter late last night, then you may have seen my post announcing that I changed my Instagram handle to match my other social media handles. See the post below.

Earlier in the day I also made an exciting announcement…I received notification that I was granted copyright permission to use various Bible translations in my two books that I’m writing. One is slated for release this year and the other one next year. This is great news because now I can proceed with the next steps. Here’s the announcement that I shared on social media yesterday afternoon…

I can’t wait to finally deliver to you the books that many of you have been waiting years for me to commit to write. It has been a journey indeed. Some people started asking me in 2013 to write a book and I just laughed off the requests. I then took the requests seriously and started writing in August 2016. I stopped and started a few times in 2017 and 2018. Now, after yesterday’s copyright approval, I’m one step closer to crossing the finish line.

So I keep marching, praying, pushing, hustling, and believing!

Be sure to tune in and join me for episode 14 of the Don’t Call It Small…Business podcast at 2pm ET. You can listen at ForemanLLC.com/podcast or at Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Castbox.

Oh yeah, and one last thing…

Yep, text don’t call…and only people who are serious about positively contributing to our podcast should invest time in texting questions and suggestions. I thank you now for your contributions!

Well folks, as I say on my podcast, that’s a wrap. Until next time, have a super awesome day and week!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Hi family!

I am checking in. Here’s the latest with me…

My Health

I’m feeling better than last week. I still have a slight cough, but it’s mostly when I’m in AC or under a ceiling fan. My cool air humidifier is helping big time! Thanks to everyone who sent prayers and well wishes. I appreciate it and you!

My Business

I’m all over the place trying to wear many hats, while trying to get things done. Feeling loopy at times. Do you know that feeling?!?

I’m sometimes pulling all-day-all-night sessions cranking out curriculum and videos for upcoming business courses through my company, and doing work for clients, and of course doing what I love as a college professor. It’s 2am as I type this. I just finished grading my college students course work, after teaching a 10pm online class.

I said I would break from work, go relax and read my friend DL White’s new book, before falling asleep. But before I can relax I needed to write this message to you. If I put this off, I will forget, like I did last week….😁

My Webinar Trainings

I’ve learned a lot from the last webinar trainings that I hosted through my company. Thanks to those of you who attended and provided feedback. Thanks to those who are registered for my upcoming courses.

Don’t Call It Small…Business

I’m having a blast with my weekly podcast. My broadcasting dreams made a reality. It’s also helping to challenge and stretch me creatively, while giving me great content for books and courses. If you haven’t heard one of the episodes, check them out here. They air every Wednesday.

You can also listen on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Castbox. Just search for “Don’t Call It Small...”

My Books

I’m currently outlining two business books, one of which is slated to be released late 2020.

Here’s the latest with my Spiritual books that I’m writing:

  • I’m waiting for copyright approval for using verses from various Bible publishers.

If you didn’t know, most translations that are published, are not public domain and free to use however we see fit. There’s only a handful that are, like the King James Version. However, if you want to freely use NIV, AMP, NKJV, HCSB, and many others—you better check the copyright restrictions before you run amock.

Since my books will be for sale, I’m not going to risk any legal and financial hiccups on my part. So I’m making sure to cover my bases as fully as possible.

  • I had wanted to start the promo this month, but until I gain all clearances, I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.

I want everyone to have the first book in your hands, to use January 1st. There’s optional bonus content that comes with it, and I’m excited to receive your feedback.

  • I’m on my next round of edits.
  • After this round it will be handed over to a group of pre-selected readers to provide feedback on flow, ease of use, formatting, and readability.
  • Since Book 2 picks up where this first book leaves off, I get the opportunity to make moves for the second book sooner, because now I know the process and what to expect.

I can even submit my copyright requests for Book 2 out sooner because I have a rough idea of how many Bible verses I’m using from each translation.

  • I still don’t have an official title for the book.

I’m using a working title, just for quick reference, but it’s a no-go title to place on the cover of a book. I will be turning to my designated readers for assistance, and then turning to my Breaking Bread readers, and all of you to vote on the titles.

That’s All Folks

There’s some other things going on in my world, but I will share some (that I’m comfortable sharing) another time. In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

Of course, I hope you will check out the Don’t Call It Small… podcast. It’s accessible at my company website and almost everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Let’s connect soon!

Warmest wishes,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Today I say “so long” to my Purdue University Global (PUG) students, as it’s their last day in my class. Next week I will welcome my new group. I always get sappy during the last few days of class, especially when I have a great connection with the students. This particular class was super awesome. They shared and they allowed me to share. They taught and were highly receptive to my teachings. I enjoy learning from my students. It’s an intense 10-week learning experience.

Any teacher, instructor, professor, who says that they don’t learn from their students, needs to reconsider why in the world they are doing this day in and day out. Our students have diverse backgrounds and experiences, and through sharing, we can learn a lot from them. I learn about industries and fields that I’ve never worked in, companies that I’ve never worked for, positions that I’ve never held, family experiences I’ve never had, cultures that I don’t know much or anything about, and places that I’ve never been. For them, I share my experiences, adventures, skills, and strengths. I pour into them as much as I can for the time that we have together, hoping that some of what I invest in them has some long-term stickability.

Yes, I invest in them. That’s why I give them as much of me as I can.

I know that some of my students will be finishing their Bachelor’s degree soon, and they are either pursuing a Master’s degree, positioning themselves for a promotion or raise at work, leveraging this knowledge for the entrepreneurial goals, or just equipping themselves for whatever the future holds. I also have some students who pursued this degree because it served as a challenge, and achieving this goal will catapult them to the next big goal, even if they don’t know what that is right now.

In life, we are all teachers, sharing with the world our unique experiences and perspectives. There’s a small percentage of us who are blessed to have virtual and physical classrooms with 10, 25, 30, and over 100 eager students, waiting to learn, be challenged, and to challenge us.

So I’m both excited and nervous about welcoming my Fall semester, Atlanta Technical College (ATC) students to my classes this week. When you teach year-round (basically), you only have about one week before your next class, sometimes I get a two-week breather. There’s not much time to plan and prepare for the next group of students. So you have to be disciplined, create fluid and automated systems, be innovative and creative, and challenge yourself to do something new, bold, and exciting. Every semester I challenge myself to do something different. I don’t want my students recycling my lessons across campus. I don’t want incoming students thinking that they know what to expect from their time with me. Life isn’t predictable. I like for my classes to mirror life.

I look forward to the next 16 weeks with my ATC students. Every semester I challenge myself, and this semester is no different. I’m not sure if I’m prepared and ready for the ideas that I have outlined. I’m always experimenting with ideas. Some things work and other things don’t. It depends on the method of delivery and the format of the class—if its on campus, online, or a hybrid. Some students are more receptive than others, it has a lot to do with their backgrounds and previous experience. I find ways to bring in technology while also forcing students to think and research without first Googling it. If we’re supposed to prepare them for now and the future, then I have to do my part to bring them the now and the future. When I hear them say, “my other instructors don’t do that” then I know I’m on the right path.

Some of my students have goals of transferring to a 4-year college or university. Some desire to pursue their entrepreneurial or managerial goals. A few are angling for promotions or raises, and these courses, degrees, and certificates help them to get one step closer. Others are soaking up knowledge to be better, think broader, and see more. Some aren’t quite sure what they’re doing or where they’re going. That means that they need the types of learning experiences that will help them to see what feels right for them and their future. I’m glad to be of service.

In less than two hours I will stand before one of my classes, see their nervous faces, and give them a peek into the next 16 weeks, that will hopefully have a lasting and positive impact on them for years to come. That’s what many of my college professors did for me, and that’s my goal for my students. I may be teaching a student who is just like I was. I can’t let them down. So let’s do this!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

This morning I shared a message on my other blog #BreakingBreadWithNatasha

I decided to share here the reflection I had written there. I’ve edited it to focus solely on the thoughts and declarations about faith and fear. I hope it resonates with someone, maybe you. I hope it has the level of stickability to help you overcome that which serves as a barrier and hindrance to you. You can read the entire message here.

If you aren’t a spiritual person, simply change the word(s) that don’t align with you, for that which empowers and gives you greater confidence.

Here’s Today’s Reflection:

Faith is believing in the unseen, the unknown, the immeasurable, and the inconceivable.

Faith is walking even when you don’t see the path ahead.

Faith is believing in and opening yourself to seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching using your spiritual senses—and not with your human senses (which are limited).

Faith is knowing that there is a “there” even when you aren’t sure where “here” is….

Fear is a distractor, a blocker. It rears up to distort your vision and perfect reception to God. The greater your fear the less you rely upon God to solve your dilemma. The more you give in to the fear, the more you pull away from God….

Fear is a punk. Faith is a warrior.

Fear keeps you in the state of lack. It keeps you struggling to survive. Faith fills and overflows your cup with abundance of greatness. Faith plus works equals a life of thriving, not just surviving.

We “can’t” with fear. We can with faith. It’s impossible with fear. It’s only possible with faith. Fear keeps “can’t” and “impossible” and “it’s too difficult” and “there’s no cure” as the barriers in our life. They become the forests that we think we can’t see past. Faith gives you the vision to see everything, everywhere.

Expand your thinking and vision.

Look beyond the weeds and trees, and beyond the obvious things surrounding you. Connect with your spiritual foundation and then hold on for the ride, because it’s going to be exciting and euphoric.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

I’m excited about tonight’s webinar. It’s so awesome to have the opportunity to hear about your dreams, goals, and experiences, while I share with you my insights about starting, revamping, and revitalizing businesses.

I’m passionate about business and managing all that makes up and supports a business. I believe that we are all learners and all teachers. I want to learn from you and I want to teach you what I’ve learned—through trials and tribulations, through successes and failures, through study and application.

If you haven’t registered yet, here’s your chance…

Join me. Let’s have some fun!

~Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

This Thursday I will be leading a webinar, simply titled: How to Successfully Start, Revamp or Revitalize Your Business.

During our time together I will help you to:

  • Answer some bold and important questions for you and your company
  • See how to leverage your strengths and resources
  • Seize opportunities
  • Identify and understand the failing and failures of business
  • Gain access to a new course that I’m offering through Foreman & Associates
  • Much more…

To register for the webinar you can click on any of the images below or click on this link. I hope to see you Thursday at 7pm ET. Space is limited so register now and arrive 5 minutes early (if possible). Thank you!

http://foremanllc.gr8.com

I saw this and had to share.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It hits extremely close to home for me. I’ve had at least 4 family members pass away from heart attacks, and a few others who were thankfully rushed to the ER in the nick of time. Here’s the link to the article shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Men

Men, please don’t ignore these symptoms. My physically fit dad transitioned at the age of 48 (weeks shy of turning 49), almost one year after having what was clearly a heart attack, but he told me “it’s just indigestion. I just need a little accupressure” yet I knew he had just finished having an argument on the phone over a botched business deal.

My instincts said it was more than indigestion. But I deferred to my dad. He turned to accupressure instead of going to the hospital.

One year later, after a heavy training session at the gym and achieving his goal of benchpressing 400 lbs, my dad had a heart attack a few hours after returning home. He was on the phone chatting and laughing with a business associate and the associate told me days later, “your dad was laughing and then I didn’t hear anything. The line just went silent. I thought we had a bad connection so I hung up and tried calling back.”

I’m the one who found my dad, on the floor of his study, phone also on the floor. I can’t help but to question, “what if I had forced him to go get checked out in 2000, would he be alive today?” The truth is, only God knows the answer to that, and at this point, the only thing I can do is make sure that I’m mindful of the signs and symptoms, and that I share the information with others.

My ex-fiance had two strokes in his 40s and eventually passed due to the toll this trauma placed upon his body. He went from playing basketball to being confined to a bed. If you knew this man you know that he had a zest for life, was always on the go, extremely competitive, and wanted to live a long long life. He hated that he was convalescent. He lived for his freedom. He still had so much to do and see, so many goals and plans, and he was a father—and grandfather. He wanted to be there for his family. He wanted to help open doors for them that took him years to break through. His life here was cut short.

Men, you have family, friends, associates and neighbors who will miss you terribly. Go to the doctor! You don’t want to be poked, prodded and probed. But guess what? You won’t have a say or choice in the matter when your cold body is on the autopsy table. Once or twice a year of doctors examinations is waaaay better than suddenly taking your last breath and never getting to hug, kiss, and laugh with loved ones—in that same body that you keep taking for granted!

Women

Women, as you can see, we have more symptons than men commonly do, and these symptoms are oftentimes ignored as being “something else” when they could be the very thing that can end your life as you know it. Even some doctors ignore the symptoms, so be your best advocate and demand that they scientifically rule out heart-related factors. And when a doctor suggests testing, say yes!

I remember in 2011, after collapsing while cycling with friends, a cardiologist at Emory Hospital (then Crawford-Long), who kept me overnight for testing and observation, because he said he wouldn’t be able to “handle the burden of knowing that I sent you home, you went to sleep, and never woke up. Natasha, we’re seeing this happening more and more with women especially in their 30s…and you are at greater risk because there’s history on your father’s side….let me rule it out and then we can both have peace of mind….

That experience scared the bajesus out of me. But guess what? Until that moment, I had never had full-scale testing on my heart, lungs, brain, etc. The final prognosis was I was extremely dehydrated. Like, I could’ve died, I was that dehydrated. From the tests it showed that I had been dehydrated for several days. Had I not gone to the ER, well you can guess the result. But I want to thank the cardiologist who didn’t just accept this initial diagnosis and send me home with orders to rehydrate. He understood the other less-commonly known symptoms of a heart attack, and he sprang into action. His proactivity has led to my greater awareness.

My paternal aunt, Cheryl, transitioned in her 30s, after a workout at the gym which included weights and laps in the pool. Just like my dad, she was physically fit and loved working out. She wasn’t feeling good when she left the gym and felt worse when she got home. Ignoring the symptoms she decided to take a nap. Long story, short, my beloved aunt passed away that day.

Ladies, I’m not trying to intentionally scare you, but maybe it will encourage you to take this seriously and stop being like we’re conditioned to be—too busy caring for others to care for ourselves. Guess what? You can’t care for others if you’re no longer here. Charity starts first with YOU and for YOU.

Everyone

Don’t dismiss and be casual about your health because you’re not of a certain age. People are having heart attacks as teenagers and in their 20s. When it comes to heart attacks and strokes, age ain’t nothing but a number.

Don’t dismiss this because you’re physically fit. So was my dad and aunt. Heck, I was cycling for goodness sake—and doctors didn’t dismiss the symptoms simply because I was in shape and young.

Don’t ignorantly say, “well there’s no family history, and I don’t drink, smoke, or eat fast food…” because our bodies don’t give a damn about your history and what you do and don’t consume. We’ve learned that just like we don’t openly share our medical history with our family, they too aren’t sharing all of the details of their medical history with us. You only know what you know, and you don’t know much—especially if you have family members like my dad, who never went to the doctor, because either they felt good and rarely got ill, or because of religious beliefs. So that means your family medical history has major gaps in it. Don’t rely upon history to chart your present and future course!

Also, let me add this point: You can have an itty bitty waist, eat a bland diet, and a low body fat percentage, but your mental stress could be taxing your body, causing it to also stress.

If it stresses out over the added stress that you are placing on it: from your ambitious goals, overexertion from working out, and not getting enough quality rest—guess what? Your body is going to sound the alarms and start showing signs that it’s taking on too much stress. If you aren’t paying attention to the alarms and flags, then you significantly reduce your odds of surviving the attack your heart undergoes when it can’t keep up with you and your lifestyle.

We all have dreams and goals. Let’s take the small steps to ensure the odds are in our favor, so we can possibly achieve those goals and see those dreams come true. Let’s do what we need to do to be here for our family and friends. I don’t know about you, but I love spending time with the people that I love. I want to enjoy these moments for as long as possible.

Don’t be embarrassed or prideful about rushing to the doctor, ER, or urgent care, if you feel these symptoms then speak up and get help!

I love you all!!!

~Natasha

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/signs_symptoms.htm

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman.

Tomorrow at noon I will be broadcasting Episode 5 of the Don’t Call It Small…Business Podcast. We will cover business news, about various companies, including mine.

We will also discuss a few business topics that you may deem useful. So tune in at Foremanllc.com/podcast.html or check us out on:

  • Spreaker
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Podcasts
  • iHeart Radio
  • Castbox
  • Spotify

Thanking you in advance for your support!

~Natasha

I don’t know your religious beliefs, who and how you pray, or if you pray. You may not believe in a power higher and greater than you. Whatever, however, and whomever you lean upon each day for strength, courage, and inspiration—modify the words, as needed. No judgment from me. All I desire is your internal peace and that you share that positivity with the world.

Say it until you believe it and live it. I needed to read and speak this prayer today. It will be part of my daily prayer.

I’m grateful for my former sister-in-law, now sister-in-love, Arleen, who sent this to me. We chat almost daily, sharing words of love, empowerment, and healing.

I thank God in advance for all that comes my way—for the lessons, blessings, and any redirection. 🙏🏽
~Natasha

Four years ago I participated in an amazing #SisterCircle at Georgia Tech, with the Atlanta-based nonprofit, Sisters of Today and Tomorrow (SOT)—who hosted the event. Here are some pics:

Well, their founder, Carla Morrison, invited me to return this year. Carla knows that I love and live to serve, and if I can make the time, I will never say no. So, I immediately checked my calendar and replied “sign me up!”

So tonight, I will join a jam-packed room of queens and princesses, as we kickoff the Sisters of Today National Leadership Conference.

Tonight’s event, the #LevelUp Fundraiser/Reception is going to be fun. I highlighted the event and my confirmed attendance on my social media…

Then tomorrow, July 19th, I will be facilitating the #SisterCircle with an SOT alum, Idalis. I know it will be fun, deep, engaging, emotional, constructive, and impactful— because I’m still reflecting on the one that I co-facilitated four years ago, so as SOT said on their social media feeds the other day…

I think our circle tomorrow will most definitely be 🔥🔥🔥

To learn more about SOT, to support them through donations or volunteering, or to involve your daughter (age 11-18), please visit

SOT2Girls.org and tell them that I sent you!

Warmest wishes and love,

Natasha

This week I’ve been tuning in to my social media networks, and having an ongoing conversation about the need for focusing 100 percent on our health and wellbeing. We’re only born with one brain, one heart, one stomach, and one body. Yet we abuse the heck out of them. Let’s not even go there with the other organs that we neglect and mistreat.

Shouldn’t we take care of them? We usually think about them when we’re in excruciating pain or facing hospitalization. We think about mental health when we see someone else suffering with issues.

How can we achieve goals, visit far places, and spend quality time with loved ones—if we aren’t here to enjoy all of it?

Stress is nothing to play with.

Let me correct that. Bad stress is nothing to play with. Good stress, like winning the lottery, competing in a game (or sport), or having sex—those are pretty cool experiences. Bad stress, that comes from trauma in our life, like: injury, illness, death, high consumer debt, crappy credit score, joblessness and homelessness (or the risk of either, or both), or anything else that causes our life to be so disrupted, that we can’t help but to think that it’s a sick, twisted joke—or somehow our punishment for being a fool in the past.

So, that means, a recovering workaholic like me—has to be mindful that although I have HUGE goals that I want to achieve, I need to be alive to successfully claim them. That means, being more productive with less hours in the day. I was experiencing too many bouts of burnout—and close-calls to the hospital—trying to maintain a 90+ hour work week. Last year, I actually thought that I was about to collapse and die. I was under so much stress, trying to deal with personal issues, my desires for my career, and not having the billions of dollars that I need to serve all of the people that I want to help. Okay, the last part wasn’t a stressor for me. I just wanted to lighten the mood. Did you visualize the billions of dollars? Good. So did I! But seriously, there were a few times last year that I was scared that I wouldn’t make it long enough to one day see my great-grandchildren. I didn’t think I would live to see 2019. I felt worn out!

Honestly, there have been some moments, this year, that I’ve had to tell myself to slow down, regroup, and get the heck out of my head. My mind doesn’t ever slow down. It never stops chiming in. My confidence began to wane—drastically. I felt depression trying to rear up and take over. It took everything in me to double-dutch myself out of the trap that was coming.

Children double-dutching in Chicago (1973)
Source: John H. White, 1945-, Photographer (NARA record: 4002141) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

I’ve recommitted to working out at least 6 days a week. I’m learning to say “no” to more people and to more things that will require more energy than I have to spare. I’m speaking up and sharing my reality, my pain, my fears—with some of my family members and friends. Not everyone can handle the load that you carry, so you have to be mindful of what you share and with whom. I learned that the hard way.

Something else that I’m working on, is accepting that I can’t rely on anyone or anything—other than God. For me, He is my absolute. There’s no doubt. There’s no question. He’s kept every promise made to me. I can’t say that about His creations. Go ahead, laugh. You know that was funny, and the truth. The only guarantees I have is with and in Him. No one and nothing else. So that is what I’m choosing to roll with. That way I can stop being disappointed when the dirty diaper hits the fan, and splashes all over me. I mean, isn’t that how it feels when life blindsides you? That’s how it feels for me. It’s a gross but effective visual.

Check Me Out. Chime In.

Check out my Instagram videos that I posted this week. Chime in. Let me know how you re-balance, decompress, readjust, and realign. How do you make the most of work days, when you’re bound to set schedules and small windows of time? How do you change your environment to clear your mind? How do you refocus, so that you’re not overwhelmed with the periphery, or with the stuff that you know you can’t handle or solve right this very moment (or no time soon)?

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.