Guess what I’m talking about today on Episode 32 of the Don’t Call It Small…Business Podcast? Recruiting. Yep, but I’m getting into the nitty gritty of it; into the often overlooked stuff.

We’re sharing how to find and select the right team members for your company.

If you’re thinking of starting a business or you already have one, and you’re struggling with finding and selecting the right candidates to join your growing team, then you need to listen to Episode 32 today at 5 pm ET today.

I will also be shouting out two Atlanta-based companies and the entrepreneurs that run them, making sure that our listeners recognize and support local businesses. We’re highlighting Keron Spencer, the owner of Keron Kan Painting LLC. We’re also shouting out Cartez Fountain, the owner of Fountain & Fountain Painting Co LLC, who we highlighted in Episode 12.

You can listen to Episode 32 at ForemanLLC.com/podcast

We’re also broadcasting on:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Podcasts
  • Spreaker
  • Spotify
  • iHeart Radio
  • Deezer
  • Castbox
  • Podcast Addict
  • Podchaser

If you have any questions or comments about Human Resource Management, feel free to contact us here. If your questions or comments are for our podcast, direct them to our show email.

I look forward to receiving your feedback and comments concerning today’s show!

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Foreman & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.

This prayer was sent to me early this morning from my beloved former sister-in-law, Arleen. I call her my sister-in-love. She always has been and always will be. This prayer brought a smile to my face. I received an extra dose of joy.

I pay it forward to you. May these prayers manifest into overflowing blessings. May you bless others even before you realize your blessings. Give thanks before the gift is received.

I love you all!

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman

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.

Today I want to celebrate my friends and associates. I want to celebrate all that they have done, are doing, and aspire to do. Hopefully it will inspire you to support their efforts, where and when possible, and most importantly—encourage you to celebrate and uplift your friends and associates.

We spend a great amount of time on social media clicking on 👍❤ and other symbols to express our sentiments towards the achievements, dreams, and goals that our inner circles have publicly announced. We may even repost their messages so that our social network can be made aware of these victories and aspirations. But in what ways can we do more, go higher, and provide greater opportunities for those we call our friends? Let’s do some shout outs!

On July 3, 2019 I launched the Don’t Call It Small…Business podcast in honor of my father and my past dreams of being a broadcast journalist, and my desire to educate and be educated on business and by those in business. I also wanted a platform where I could celebrate my friends, associates, and complete strangers. Every week I devote time to highlighting the efforts of people that I know intimately, somewhat, very little, and not at all. It feels awesome to share my growing and evolving world with them, and vice versa.

So far through this podcast I’ve highlighted over 46 people with the following backgrounds:

  • published authors
  • psychotherapists, psychologists,
  • entrepreneurs
  • film, TV, and music industry professionals
  • Visual arts

I still have so many more people to highlight and interview. As the podcast is shared with strangers, they too reach out for that connection, and I gladly accept the relationship. Life is about relationships. Business is about interconnected relationships. We form, strengthen, weaken, break, and mend relationships on a daily basis. I don’t have the billions of dollars, yet, to invest in friends and strangers businesses, projects, and ideas as I would like, so I’m discovering and embracing other ways to lend my support.

Episode 22 aired this Wednesday and it featured my right hand, Eboni Brown. Listen to our conversation here Be sure to like and share it with your network of family, friends, associates, and social media pals!

Then ask yourself, how are you celebrating and showing support to the people you know and want to know?

You don’t have to wait until 2020 to start. Take the first step today!

Be sure to follow Foreman & Associates on IG and FB at @ForemanAndAssociates and on Twitter at @ForemanLLC You can read our company blog here.

I’m excited about future announcements that I will be sharing in the coming days and weeks. Be sure to set a reminder on your calendar to listen to Episode 23 of my podcast, next Wednesday, November 27th at 5pm ET. I will be interviewing my friend, Billie Harris, a Vinologist and the woman behind The Vino Van, LLC. You can listen in at ForemanLLC.com/podcast to hear us discuss all-things WINE!

Have a super awesome day and weekend!

~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 would be my maternal grandfather’s 95th birthday. His name is Elisberry and he passed away in 1995, transitioning to his next spiritual assignment. Here’s a picture of him and my grandmother, Maxine, on their wedding day. I absolutely love this photo. They were married over 43 years when my grandfather passed away.

My cousins and I call him “Poppa” (paw-paw), his children call him “daddy”, my grandmother (his wife) called him Elisberry or “E.L.” for short. He was “E.L.” to other family members and friends, and then to his fishing and hunting crew he was “King Fish”.

When I was a small child he gave me the nickname “Yellow Belly”, partly a tie in to a fish reference, and the other part due to my lighter skin complexion. My cousin Princess still calls me by my nickname. It always makes me think of our grandfather.

He was a devoted husband and a proud father of three children—pictured in the collage below and also pictured above with my grandmother and my mother when she was a toddler. Poppa was a super duper awesome grandfather, and a committed provider and protector, who would do anything to help a loved one.

Matter of fact, the asthma attack that he succumbed to was triggered from working on a family member’s property. He ignored the symptoms, not wanting to leave the work unfinished.

Poppa was a hard worker, who sacrified a lot—as he never attended high school because he had to tend to the family farm and help provide for his mother and siblings. Heck, his asthma was a result of poor working conditions doing paint and body work for a Ford Motor Company subsidiary/affiliate. Lousy ventilation, inadequate safety equipment, and probably a lack of knowledge about the health risks as we know now. But he worked in those conditions to provide for his family, and to give them a life better than he had growing up.

That job made it possible for him to ensure that his children could focus on their education and not on working at a job, and he bought all three of his children brand new Ford Mustangs during their senior years in high school. His children never grew up facing the harsh realities he knew as a child and young man.

He and my grandmother worked hard so that their children didn’t experience poverty growing up. They were a part of the middle class. For him, the sacrifices he made were worth it.

Here’s a picture of Poppa, my grandmother Maxine (known as “Mamacine” by her grandchildren), and three of my cousins: Tia, Shalwan, and Michael (the toddler at the bottom). They, along with their youngest sibling Steven (who was born several years after this picture was taken), spent almost every weekend with our grandparents growing up.

Poppa didn’t have formal education, but my grandfather had a PhD in common sense and life. I’ve learned and recall more from this brilliant man than books or teachers ever provided. I continue to reflect upon and apply the lessons and skills that he taught me growing up. He taught me how to just be myself, how to laugh at myself, how to enjoy the quiet and hectic days, and the importance of family.

My grandfather taught me how to fish, hunt, plant and harvest food, survival skills, discipline, humbleness, patience, and forgiveness. Heck, my grandfather forgave his family members that stole land from him. I’m sure that in his mind he probably thought that if they needed it that much to con and steal it from him, then they could have it. He would leave the details to God.

In addition to all of these remarkable things, my Poppa taught me how to always be mindful of my surroundings and to take the life skills of country living and apply it to city life.

You don’t know how valuable those skills have been for this city girl. Growing up using out houses, running through wild country fields, eating the weirdest foods, climbing through bobwire, being almost elbows deep in dirt digging through his amazing garden for the best fruit and vegetables, learning about cars, and experiencing the joys of life with only the bare essentials. All of this equipped me to travel the world and embrace amazing experiences in environments most people would cringe to be in.

Some other things that he taught me— but I didn’t realize it until recently—was he taught me about being a responsible home owner, and how to rewire after retirement. My grandfather made sure that he and my grandmother’s home was paid off and well maintained, and he also ensured that my grandmother (who was an entrepreneur) would be financially cared for if he passed before her. Heck, my grandfather passed in 1995, and he was still taking care of my grandmother financially until she transitioned in 2017. How awesome is that?!?

Poppa remained active in retirement. He showed me the value of keeping your mind and body engaged and active, exercising both your physical and mental muscles. I truly believe that had that asthma attack not gotten over on him, my grandfather would’ve lived another 20-plus years.

I’m so grateful to be the grand daughter of this amazing spirit, this remarkable man, affectionately known as “E.L.”

I love and miss you dearly Poppa!

~Natasha your “Yellow Belly”

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

Yesterday, I shared a post on my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog about some unsettling news that I’ve been trying to process for several days. When you already don’t feel well, getting bad news doesn’t help. It takes a toll on you. Let me share here some of what I shared yesterday, and then a little more. My loving celebration for a beautiful person, inside and out.

One of my paternal cousins passed away last week. Her name is Felicia and she was my big cousin, even when (in elementary school) I surpassed her in height, I still looked up to her.

There she is, at the bottom center of the photo above. That’s her, circa 1978. For the longest, I was the baby cousin in the family, until Valarie (top right) and Felicia had children, and then I got to be a big cousin.

Felicia was always oh so cool to me. As a child I looked up to her. The way she walked, spoke, carried herself, and her smile—let’s just say, this little cousin wanted to be like her big cousin. It was really special that Felicia and Valarie would let me and their younger siblings, Sharmika and Damion (pictured above on either side of Felicia) hang with them even though they were much older than us.

How many teenagers will let their little cousin and siblings hang with them? Not many.

Clearly, Felicia and Valarie didn’t think it cramped their style too much. They entertained us for awhile, especially when our parents would go out somewhere. When it was time for them to go do their teenage thing, the three of us wanted to still hang with them, but we conceded the fact that we just weren’t old enough—or maybe we just understood that arguing with our parents was senseless, so we opted to do what most little kids do, run outside and play, or find something to get into in the house. But that didn’t mean we didn’t yearn to go with Felicia and the crew.

Felicia had this air, this presence about her, growing up and even in adulthood. Quiet but a force. Still but powerful. Subtle but strong. Always a mystery, so you had to get to know her. Her eyes and smile just draw you in. She was, is, and always will be a dynamic woman.

Thanks to social media we were able to reconnect after losing touch for a few years. This then allowed me to reconnect with two of her children, my younger cousins, and peek into their lives while they peeked into mine.

It’s difficult to hear that someone you love has transitioned; even when you know it’s the natural cycle of life. I know I should be celebrating her life and legacy, and the fact that she’s reunited with family and loved ones who transitioned earlier. It’s still difficult to embrace the reality that I can’t just click on her social media profile and say hello. She is missed. She will be missed.

The last time I saw her, in-person, was at our uncle Archie’s funeral in 2017. Here are a couple of pictures at the repast.

Do you see her? She’s easy to spot. Still a ray of light!

I send love to my family, and to Felicia’s extended family and friends. May God comfort and strengthen them. Please say a prayer for everyone that knows and loves Felicia. Thank you.

Love,

Natasha

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.

Almost daily, I chat with my former sister-in-law Arleen. She and I have always had a close and special bond. A bond that would and will never be broken. We are connected spiritually, so marriage nor divorce, had a say in the matter of whether she and I would be family. She will always be a part of my family.

I awoke this morning to my daily text from Arleen. It included a quote that moved me and made me emotional. I felt compelled to share it. So I did and I am. I hope that it speaks to someone, maybe you. I also hope that you will forward this message to someone who may truly need this as a reminder each and every day.

Some may question the title of this post. I wrote it to speak to those individuals who share common beliefs with me. I don’t assume that everyone who reads my messages are believers of God. Matter of fact, I know that I have athiests, agnostics, and even conditional believers (when things are going great they believe) who are subscribers. I want them to make a choice to read my message, or not. I’m not here to trick or blindside people. I believe in choices. So with that, let’s delay this no further…

Sending love and light to all of you!

~Natasha

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