Women's History Month Spotlight: Dr. Felicia Clark – Body Acceptance Coach & Author

IMG_1917Name and Occupation:
Dr. Felicia Clark, Body Acceptance Coach and Author

What do you love about being a woman?
I love that I have choices, supportive connected relationships with friends, and I love that I am both creative and logical.

What do you hate about being a woman?
I used to hate that we live in a sexist society. But, since I learned the power of my feminine energy, I no longer feel victimized by sexism.

Who influences you?
Presently, I am influenced by Michelle Obama, Dr. Cornell West, and Tim Wise. From the past, Carter G. Woodson, Fydor Dostoyevsky and many other writers who understood human psychology well..

Something about you that would surprise people?
I was a model at the top agency in the United States and also supervised and led the top achieving mathematics reform initiative team in the United States.

Anything else you`d like to add?
I am a life coach who works with women to claim their femininity in powerful ways while keeping their success.

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Black History Month Spotlight: Odette Hooks – Inspirational Speaker, Life Coach & Author

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Name and occupation?
Odette Hooks, Inspirational Speaker, Life Coach and Author

What do you love most about being a Black woman?
If the question were asked what do you love about being a woman than the answer would have been simple. However, in order to tell what I love the most about being a black woman, I would have to speak to you about the black woman’s past in order for you to appreciate my answer. If I simply told you what I love about being a black woman without the back-story, one would probably think that my answer was average and unappealing. So allow me to stir an image in your mind. The black woman: extracted from her native country and brought to a foreign land to be enslaved as a servant and used to breed more slaves. She was raped, beaten, and physically separated from her children due to slave trade and financial gain, not allowed to show forth her beauty and essence, nor to be educated or given the right to vote, but rather judged unworthy simply because of the color of her skin. This leads me to why I love being a black woman. I love being a black woman because I can apologetically be me – a wife, mother of three, entrepreneur, sister and friend. I can live my dreams, hopes and ambitions; love, laugh and truly be happy. I have the opportunity each and ever day to be a positive example to my 23 year old daughter teaching her that as a black women you can achieve an education and own your own businesses. Happily married for 21 years, I can show my daughter that a black woman can have a successful marriage and raise her children to be anything they can dream to be. I am honored that God chose to endow me with the color of strength and I do not apologize for being who I am because I love being me, a woman of color.

Who or what inspires you?
Living in a world filled with so much turmoil, senseless killings, lying and cheating to get ahead, stealing, and so many other saddening statistics, finding a source of inspiration can be challenging; I like to focus on the good. Those good things are happiness, joy, laughter, times of peace, love, family and friends, helping and empowering others. Therefore, I read a love letter everyday to inspire me to choose to enjoy the good things this life has to offer me. This love letter is inspiring because it’s written to me therefore it is very personal. In these beautiful letters I gain strength, find new joy, greater peace, and longer happiness. I learn better how to love myself and how to love others. The intimately warm feeling that comes daily while reading my love letters makes me wish that all individuals could feel like this everyday. These love letters come to me from the uncompromisable words of God in his Holy Bible. They are the most inspiring words I have ever read.

What advice do you have for other Black women or men?
In the society we live in there are so many expectations of what we should like, how we should look, what we should wear, who we should date or be friends with, etc. The greatest advice I can give to anyone, not just black men and women, is to love yourself unconditionally. There are so many people in this nation, especially people of color, which demonstrate actions that would lead one to believe they do not love themselves. When love is not nurtured within ones being how then can love be given out to someone else, not to mention receiving love back? Love is the strongest force on earth in my opinion and we have to give it to ourselves first in order to give some to others. It’s like karma; what you put out comes back. Therefore, love yourself so you can love others and they can give it right back but in abundance

Anything else you`d like to add?
Live life to the fullest. Know who you are and your worth. You are worth more precious than diamonds, rubies, pearls, silver and gold; you are priceless.

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Dangerous Lee Interviews,Tina Nies, Author of “40 Day LoveFest”

What prompted you to write this book?  

I worked as a life coach for a few years and helped a lot of people as I shared about positive thinking, owning our choices, and tools to be happier. Yet, while I was pretty happy most of the time, I often felt like I was on a roller coaster. I wanted to find something that would make it easier to be happier without having to work at changing negative thoughts to positive… to get me off the roller coaster.

What I discovered was that I wasn’t really loving and accepting myself completely – mistakes, flaws, and all! No one had really taught me to love myself, I had been told to love others, love God, love my parents, etc. but not much about loving myself. So, during Lent last year, I guided to practice loving myself every day for 40 days… the 40 Day LoveFest. So, I used some tools from my coaching practice and added in specific love practices and it worked! At the end of the 40 days, I had changed, my thoughts were naturally more positive and I naturally made better choices.

40 Day Love Fest is a bestseller. Congrats! How has your career changed?  

WOW! Developing the 40 Day LoveFest program and becoming a bestselling author has swung open doors that I’ve been knocking on for years. Luckily, during those years, I had kept on knocking, kept on helping people and developing relationships, but now more people listen.

Those open doors have allowed me to focus solely on sharing my message and teaching others how to love themselves, how to build a foundation of self-love that will increase one’s happiness and success.

Why is it so hard for people to love themselves? 

There are SO many reasons why it’s hard to love ourselves and I’m already writing additional books specific to some of those reasons. But I believe the most significant reason is that we are simply not taught and encouraged to love ourselves. Self-love is often confused with egotism and selfishness; self-love is almost discouraged! Another major issue is that we look for some future event to happen, then we’ll be happier such as when we make more money, lose weight, get married, retire, when the kids are grown, etc. etc. There is always an excuse why we don’t take time to love ourselves and create happiness now.

It may be corny, but I believe that what the world needs now is love sweet love. Why is it so hard for people to love others?  

I completely agree – what the world needs now is love! It’s hard to truly love others in an unconditional way when we don’t love ourselves first!! If we are constantly looking for fault in ourselves, that is what we also look for in others.

We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves, so that is what we do… the problem is that most of us don’t love ourselves much. How we treat others is a reflection of how we treat ourselves.

My mission is to help people with a practice of self-love that takes just minutes each day!

Where can we buy your book?  

Locally, Pages Bookstore and Family Christian Bookstore, both in Flint. Online they can find it at Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle, and at Barnes & Noble in paperback.