All posts by Sandra Miles

Blooming Excellence! BFDC in Washington, DC!

Words cannot express the joy I have as I reflect on our conference this weekend! We started on Friday with a fun opening session, great food at the reception, the crowning of our new National Miss Woman of Excellence, Courtney Powell, and a pajama/onesie  party!

On Saturday, we were educated through amazing workshops facilitated by National Board members Johora Warren and Brittany Daniels, BFDC Alums Charlyn Stanberry and Jaamal Jennings, as well as Dayana Bernavil and A’Lisha Williams. The workshop topics ranged from Professionalism to Grieving and all of our members thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Following those informative workshops, Bereolaesque graced us with his ideas on male and female etiquette, took relationship questions from the audience and personally signed books for each of our members!

On Sunday, we closed it out with our Spirit Led, Spirit Fed Breakfast featuring Ms. Angela Donald. We were challenged to consider what seeds we have planted to make sure we are indeed “Blooming Excellence”! I then had the privilege of presenting the FIU Chapter with the Most Improved Award, and the FSU Chapter with the National Philanthropy of the Year and the National Chapter of the Year for the 3rd straight time! I was then honored by the National Board and given the opportunity to offer my final farewell from the position of National Director. Finally, we all celebrated as our new National Director, Shirelle Wright, MBA, was announced!

Overall, this conference was fun, informative, motivating, and inspiring, and I could not be more proud of how this organization has grown. As I transition out of leadership, I want all our members to know that I will always be here for you, and I look forward to continuing to witness BFDC Blooming Excellence!

BFDC Love and my own,

Sandra Miles








New Year, New You… or Nah?

It’s that time of year again where we try to pretend like the last year didn’t happen and we look forward to a new year and all the hope and promise that it brings.

Well this year, I’m doing something different – this year I’m reflecting on everything that occurred this past year and thanking God for my successes and failures. I’m reliving the good times in my mind and appreciating the lessons learned (and cringing a little) from the bad choices I made.

So why the reflection? It could be because I know my time as BFDC National Director is coming to an end and I’m considering my legacy. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched my mother go in and out and back in the hospital and the past is starting to feel more meaningful than the future. Or maybe it’s because the Earth’s life cycle doesn’t actually restart until March (i.e. Spring), and, as I get more in tune with nature I’m just not ready for “new” yet (that was deep, right?).

Truthfully, it’s a combination of all those things. Everything that happened in 2014 and prior has made me the fan-freakin-tastic person I am today. I’m not where I want to be, but as a Black Female constantly in a Development cycle (Circle), I know that will continue to evolve – and for the first time, I don’t feel the need to place parameters on it. Do I have new goals? OF COURSE – but it’s the preparation of yesterday and today that will get me there.

So this New Year, I say nah – there won’t be a new me. I’ll still be amazingly awesome but with a little more Excellence blooming on top.



See you at the BFDC National Conference in Washington, DC!! #BloomingExcellence

Love always,


Are You Worthy?

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.

When People Show You Who You Are…

There is a very popular quote by Maya Angelou that says “When people show you who they are, believe them.” But what happens when people show you who YOU are?

I was recently involved in a disagreement with someone and it was a scenario I’ve encountered before. Person says something; I react; person reacts; I make a decision that this person “has shown me who they are” and I decide not to engage with them further… ever…. for any reason… ever.

I was telling a friend about the scenario and they said “you sure do like to burn bridges”. What?! Me?! So of course, I defended myself “my actions were justified”; “I don’t like to burn bridges”; “I will not let people disrespect me”; “maybe I overreacted, but if I don’t stand up for myself who will?”.

And it was in that last statement that I caught a glimpse of who I am. As much as I hate to admit it, I am a person who tends to “over” react. Even though I feel completely justified in my actions, if I’m being honest, there are times when, if I would have done something even slightly differently, there may have been no altercation at all.

You know, it’s a hard thing to be honest with yourself, but that’s what development is all about. We adapt, we learn, we grow, we change. If the change is based on an internal desire, we change for the better. If the change is based on external stimulants, it could be good, but most often it is not.

So here’s my truth. I don’t enjoy burning bridges. Since I don’t enjoy it, I will commit to trying not to “over” react. I will actually put effort into it, where I never have before.

When people show you who they are, believe them. But, when people show you who you are… you have a choice. You can deny the truth, or if you don’t like it – you can change.



Cheer Up! And Other Mean Things People Say…

Over the weekend we learned the very sad news of the passing of Karyn Washington, founder of “For Brown Girls” and the “Dark Skin, Red Lips” project. At the tender age of 22, she decided to take her own life as a result of her battle with Depression. Sadly, while she was a beacon of hope and motivation for others, she did not have that same support for herself. Trust me, when dealing with depression, it’s really important to have people around you who have enough sense not to shrug off your feelings with a simple “pray about it” or “you’ll be fine”.

Depression and other forms of mental illness are uncontrollable diseases, so while it’s great to encourage prayer, why wouldn’t you also encourage someone to seek professional help? A person suffering from depression is less in control of their illness than a person with hypertension, but we don’t judge and shun persons with hypertension. We must continue to encourage and support those around us who suffer from this painful disease.

Do you tell a Diabetic to pray about it, or do you encourage them to eat the right foods and take their medicine?

Do you tell a person with Asthma that they’ll be fine, or do you pass them their inhaler when they have an asthma attack?

What is Depression? (1) :  a state of feeling sad :  dejection (2) :  a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.

Myths about Depression:

Myth 1. A depressed person has low self esteem. Fact: Depression is not simply suffering from low self esteem. One of the things that makes it so powerful is that it actually has nothing to do with your perception of yourself. Triggers or outside influences are what cause depressive episodes. Which means happy, well adjusted people with depression, anxiety, or other forms of mental illness can experience severe sadness seemingly for no reason at all or can react with extreme emotional distress to a seemingly small occurrence.

Myth 2. All depressive episodes are the same. Fact: Depression, like other illnesses have different symptoms and different treatments. People who suffer from severe depression have very distinct periods of sadness that can be so overwhelming that the only thing that will help them is medication. Those who suffer from milder forms of depression have varying degrees of sadness and symptoms and often do not require/qualify for medication.

CLICK HERE for more myths and facts about Depression. Signs/Symptoms of Depression are listed below. If you or someone you know are exhibiting one or more of these symptoms, then please consider/recommend a consultation with a licensed clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. One appointment could save a life.

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.