The Black Female Development Circle is a 501(c)3 organization that was established in 1994 to serve as a support system for black women. The organization's mission is"To Educate, Explore, Enhance, and Celebrate Womanhood" and has chapters at UCF, FSU, TSU, and FIU. Read more...

Think Before You Speak

by Brittany Daniels on September 15, 2014

There has been a time in all of your lives that we have heard the phrase “Think Before You Speak.” With all the controversy in the news and in our personal lives this week I want to reemphasize the importance of observing your audience. This week wait 5 to 10 seconds to respond to your audience when having a conversation. Really take the time to listen and decide on a response. When given the opportunity to share your thoughts observe your audience, remember the steps below, and hopefully you will not have to apologize for something you meant to say. Have a great week.

Observe Yourself

Recognize Your Situation

Observe the Conversation

Observe the People

Formulate Responses

Consider the Information

Is the Information Effective, Necessary, Accurate, Timely, and Appropriate?

Gauge the Reaction

Be Thoughtful About Your Tone

Communicate

BFDC Love

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Outgrowing the Old You

by Jazmin Jones on September 8, 2014

Have you ever woken up one morning and just knew you were not the same person as the day before? I know figuratively we always say development and growth is constant but have you literally felt different? Maybe it was after some triumphant or tragic event. Maybe it was after a conversation you had with a friend or significant other or maybe you just got up one day and said “I am not the person from yesterday.” I can tell you that it is quite a weird feeling however if we pay close attention, we outgrow our former selves a few times over the course of our lifetime. The question is can we let go?

One of the hardest things I have ever had to do as an adult was to be just that—an adult. The decisions I would make as a teen would no longer satisfy the needs I have as an adult. Slowly but surely I felt myself changing, outgrowing certain things, vices, and people. My mother would always tell me “Every level has a new devil.” I didn’t understand as a child but boy did it hit me as an adult. At each phase of my life I had to deal with some new issue and it was up to me to take care of it. The most difficult “devil” was letting go of certain people in my life. I was such a people-pleaser, always wanted be everyone’s friend but I had no idea how much it was taking a toll on me. I had outgrown the people that took me for granted, those that used me, and those that really didn’t wish me well.

At this very moment, as I write this blog, I am again having that feeling of being different. My life is going through several changes and I understand that in order to successfully get to the next phase, I will have to outgrow my former self. I encourage you, my sisters to pay close attention when your life go through these inevitable transitions. What/Who can carry along with you? What/Who will have to remain?

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
–Socrates

BFDCLOVE,

Jazz

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Are You Worthy?

by Sandra Miles on September 1, 2014

Why is it that so many people have a strong desire to make a difference and be important (often for all the right reasons), but very few make it to the level of acclaim that they desire?

There is a school of thought that teaches that you can be and do anything you believe you are capable of being or doing. Some have interpreted that to mean that as long as they tell themselves it’s possible, then the hard part is over. But, often, there is a huge difference between what we tell ourselves and what we actually believe.

Do you really believe you’re worthy, or do you just wish for your big break? Watch this Ted Talk featuring Brene Brown and ask yourself if your actions indicate worthiness or wishful thinking.

 https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability#t-426465

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Lean on Me

by Ionia Knott on August 25, 2014

It’s wonderful to know that we as black women can come together to build such a beautiful connection with one another. That is one thing I love about the Black Female Development Circle. We are there for one another to help whenever needed yet I find that sometimes we forget that we have this wonderful resource. We can’t all be super woman all the time and try to handle everything on our own. Sometimes we just need to realize that life can be overwhelming whether you’re planning an event or dealing with the stress of a class. That is the best time to lean on your sister and allow them to help you. Don’t worry about getting on someone’s nerves because there will be a time when they will need you too. You will be surprised to learn how willing most people would be to help you. So lean on me and I will lean on you and we can achieve something greater together than we would alone.

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Live It Out

by Brittany Daniels on August 18, 2014

purple power 14The 7th Annual Purple Power Seminar

“Obeying the Traffic Signs of Life”

Who’s Going to Stop Me?

As all the chapters return to school I hope you all remember some of the principles from Purple Power.

We had an excellent time and I hope everyone is fired up for the semester ahead. The opening activity gave us a chance to reflect on “The Power of Now.” Through this activity we are encouraged to live in the present, not let the past or future define your today, take time out to smell the roses, learn what life is trying to teach you in this stage in your life, and do not over-think it.  Our workshops were both informative and spiritually edifying.  I hope each of you will share your personal experience with the other members in your chapter.  The speakers inspired us to use the traffic signs of life as a warning to prepare for what is ahead, adapt the 5 factors of success, and think outside of the box. We have been encouraged to define ourselves for ourselves.

Let us pay close attention to the Traffic Signs of Life.

1. I hope you all eliminate things approaching a dead end.

2. Remember, when making big change you may not be able to bring all of your stuff.

3. Don’t allow yourself to be boxed in; when you look in the mirror try to see yourself as God sees you.

4. We are all wonderfully created, and successful beyond measures.

Have a great semester, until we meet again in Washington, DC for the National Conference!!!!!

 

BFDC Love,

Brittany

 

 

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It’s that time of year again!

Yes! Purple Power has come upon us once again!

There are 6, (count ‘em) 6 DAYS until Purple Power!

On behalf of the National Board, I would just like to say how EXCITED we are to bring to you the 7th Annual Purple Power Seminar “Who’s Going To Stop Me? Obeying Life’s Traffic Signs”.

This year’s seminar will be hosted at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, which is also home to our newest BFDC chapter!

Join us as we take a deeper look into our organization as a whole, listen to THREE guest speakers, participate in a workshop facilitated by one of our very own and most important of all, bond with our sisters from other chapters.

We look forward to seeing you there! Let’s paint Tampa Bay PURPLE!

Johora Warren
National Director of Special Projects

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Empower YOU!

by Shirelle Wright on August 5, 2014

“A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” -Vernon Howard

To be self-empowered, “one must have the strength to do something through one’s own thoughts and based on the belief that one knows whats best for oneself.” How about asking what do I want?  Is this meaningful? Does this have purpose and value to me? What do I believe?  The opinion of family, friends, coworkers, etc shouldn’t be a factor when seeking your goals. A person aiming for self empowerment must make positive choices and set goals. Developing self-awarenss, the process of identifying your strengthens and weaknesses. What are you limitations? Limitations are key to personal empowerment.

Self-empowerment is liberating because taking full responsibility for your life means you:

  • make your own choices and decisions;
  • live according to your own personal operating system and values;
  • are free from the anxiety of living up to the expectations of others;
  • experience the joy of being authentically yourself.

However, it’s frightening because you:

  • can no longer blame others for your failures and disappointments;
  • can’t cling to childish, dependent security from others;
  • have to let go of the “old you,” even if that person was holding you back.

Through empowering yourself, those fears no longer exist because you are now taking personal responsibility for your decisions and actions. Things are easier and life is more enjoyable because you are creating it on your own terms rather than reacting to it.

So what’s the secret to living a self-empowered life? The real secret is awareness. Once you are aware that you are giving away your power through fear and blaming, you are more than halfway there.

Take a step back and analyze whats before you. You’re no longer to play this victim, your no longer here to please others. Understanding YOU and taking care of YOU is the goal and priority.

 

#BFDClove

-Shirelle

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Challenge Accepted

by Alexis Rhames on July 28, 2014

When was the last time you willingly pushed your boundaries and did something outside your comfort zone? Truth is, many people live boring, monotonous daily lives simply because it’s safe and easy. Seldom do individuals actually enjoy, let alone seek out, uncomfortable situations. This has been the story of my life for the last 22 years……until recently. I took a chance and applied to a graduate program that I not only felt was “out of my league” but also 900 miles away from the only home I had ever known. Well, I got accepted and surely would not think to pass up such an amazing opportunity. So here I am. A living witness of what can happen when you decide to expand your horizons. Although it’s only been a short time, I am convinced that I have learned much more about myself than I ever could by staying in my comfort zone. I’ve learned about my strengths and what I can do without. I’ve explored new places and soaked up new experiences. Never in my life did I stop to think about what I could be missing out on by staying in a familiar place.

What awesome opportunities are you missing out on by only sticking to what you know? Imagine the relationships you could form and transform and the quality of life you could have simply by challenging yourself to step out and do what TRULY makes you happy rather than what’s comfortable. Besides, good things in life come to those who take risks. If you want to grow, take the time to challenge yourself. You will never be able to reach your full potential by staying in your comfort zone. Furthermore, your decision to challenge yourself gives you the confidence to continue on a journey to achieving your wildest dreams. This is not to say that you will never fail. Failure is inevitable, and because of that, you cannot allow it to hinder you from taking steps to accomplish your goals. For the last year of my life, I have faithfully lived by this Bill Cosby quote “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” So take a chance. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to grow and push you to succeed. Allow yourself an opportunity to go beyond the limitations you may have unknowingly set for yourself. You have so much to learn, and there is so much more that you can be. Accept the challenge to challenge yourself.

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The Eternal Tribute

by Johora Warren on July 22, 2014

Just 6 days before my 21st birthday, I lost my father to cancer.

That was nearly 4 years ago.

The loss of a parent or other very close individual is indescribable.

Grief is a curious thing. Sometimes you go through the day, thinking fondly of your loved one or even joking around about them (good-naturedly of course) and other days you feel an overwhelming sadness… A literal ache in your chest that soon overcomes your entire body as if your emotional pain must reach a certain equilibrium with physical pain.

Whenever I think about my dad (which is multiple times throughout the day), I keep it to myself. It’s awkward telling a random story to a friend (more so for them than it is for you) about someone who is deceased.

Or is it?

A friend of mine on Facebook recently lost her grandfather. She had recently deactivated her account but came back after hearing the news of her grandpa’s passing.

Her message was simple: Cherish those who matter to you NOW, rather than later.

I liked her post to show I supported her and was terribly sorry for her loss.

Then she began to do something I had never seen on Facebook.

She wrote a story about her grandfather.

Then another.

Then another.

And another and another and another and another.

There have been 15 posts thus far in the past 9 days.

Some of these stories were absolutely hilarious. Some made you think. Some moved you to tears. But all of them gave you a glimpse into the man her grandfather was. After having read those stories, I feel like I sort of know him, too.

Her stories were/are intriguing. I began to look forward to them. Although they are about a man I’ve never met, after reading these stories, I feel a kind of closeness to her, the closeness you feel to another human being who has suffered a great loss.

My friend did this (or should I say is doing this) as a way of sharing with the world who her grandfather was and how much he means to her. She continues to post about him whenever she feels the need as a kind of heart-wrenching yet beautiful relief of her grief and hurting.

I would like to do the same. I have all these great memories of my father. Why shouldn’t I share them as frequently as I can?

I encourage you to do the same if you have lost a loved one.

Funerals give us one opportunity to memorialize our loved ones. Who says we can’t (or shouldn’t) make it an ongoing experience? Continually share stories of our experiences with them… An eternal tribute, if you will.

Let’s continue to keep our loved ones in our memories… But also strive to share about them whenever we feel like it.

They deserve it.

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This past weekend six Beautiful ladies took on the city of Houston, TX and left feeling refreshed, encouraged and confident in their ability to continue their journey through this thing we call life. Our first bi-annual Alumni Getaway started off a bit rocky as we enjoyed a “lovely” boat tour of landfills, cargo ships, abandoned buildings and cranes :/ but things quickly changed for the better. We took pleasure in being with one another as we sipped wine and painted a lovely canvas of women dancing and having fun, improved our health with a 90 minute Bikram Hot Yoga session, shopped our hearts out at the Galleria Mall and took pleasure in Gods underwater creatures at the Houston Aquarium.

All in all, after reveling in the activities of the weekend we sat down with one another for group therapy. Here lies the problem: Encouraged Black Women! We left equipped with the tools to face the struggles and trials of life which will allow us to continue trekking towards success! One of the many meaningful quotes that were shared during Group Therapy was “when you think positively, your life becomes much easier.” When you think that you are able to overcome ALL that life has to offer,  your journey through the various obstacles will become smoother. Without the negative thinking, including fear, inability and feeling defeated, one is less stressed, overwhelmed and better able to trek towards their fullest potential!

For those that were unable to go this time, do not fret! For this time will come again in the summer of 2016! Don’t miss out again!

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