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"But How Do you Cope with Living a Life Circumscribed by Racism?” Reverend Cecil L. "Chip&

I have learned that the key to a rewarding life is to be the best you, you can be. What has helped me in my personal journey of being my best is reading self-help books. However you have to find what works for you. Three books I read, which have prepared me for writing AAA were Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw, The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary and Instinct by Reverend T.D. Jakes.

In February of 2013 when Dr. Phil released his book Life Code, he said, “The world has changed, people have changed and Life Code gives you the tools and new rules for winning in the real world,” and in my opinion he delivered. Dr. Phil studied the characteristics of “BAITERS – B-Backstabbers, A-Abusers, I-Imposters, T-Takers, E- Exploiters and R-Reckless.” My favorite quote from Life Code is, “A goal has a timeline and an action plan,” as I have turned my dreams into goals through B-RELYT and AAA. The best thing I ever did after reading this book was I gave Life Code as a birthday gift to someone I suspected was a BAITER. And when she finished reading her book, she proceeds to tell me how she didn’t like Life Code and it was not that good in front of a group of people. It was at that moment, I knew she was a BAITER and I decided to never let her back in my life. Life Code was the book where I learned how to protect myself from “BAITERS” and see them coming from a mile away.

The Conscious Parent was the next book I read and it was extremely healing for me. What I love most about this book, is that my husband, Stan and I read this one together and it made us get deep into how we were raised and more importantly how we are raising our children, Tyler and Joel. My favorite quote from The Conscious Parent was “You will only accept your child to the degree you accept yourself,” because this brings parents to, “accept the kind of parent we need to be for a particular child.” When I tell you that because of The Conscious Parent I reached back and dealt with my childhood, which made me free to become a better mom. I give The Conscious parent credit for making me a better mom, a better wife and a better human being.

I used to ignore that little voice in my head that would guide me through situations until I read, Reverend T.D. Jakes book, Instinct. However, as a result of reading Instinct I know, that little voice is God, guiding me to my unique path. My favorite quote from Instinct was, “Allowing your instincts to guide you will be lonely at times,” and this is so true. I do not get a lot of likes on my social media posts yet. However, “social media likes” will not stop me from achieving my goals, because I know instinctively I am called to be an author and touch millions of lives through B-RELYT. Therefore, while the haters, baiters and sabotagers are all quietly criticizing and being negative. Reverend T.D. Jakes says it best, “The people ahead of you, living in the liberty of instinct-guided uniqueness, will welcome you, encourage you and mentor you. They will inspire you to be a pioneer and not a poser.”

While I was writing AAA (2014-2016), I was reading Reverend Cecil L. Chip Murray’s book, Twice Tested by Fire. I feel Reverend Murray’s book should be in every household as a must read. Twice Tested by Fire authentically details Reverend Murray’s history and life lessons, as it is a memoir of faith and service. My favorite quote from Twice Tested by Fire was, “Looking back on my youth, I wonder how our generation managed to escape the hazards that accompanied institutional racism and the centuries of its effects upon our minds.” The final chapter of Twice Tested by Fire, entitled, “Under the Skin All People are Kin, 20 simple things we can do to eliminate racism in the U.S.,” Reverend Murray details his brilliant and achievable plan. In the final chapter of AAA, I parallel Reverend Murray’s “20 simple things we can do to eliminate racism in the U.S.” with a plan for the Black Community.

Knowing your history is not just the key to success it ensures bad history does not keep repeating itself. Unfortunately, in the Black Community our history is not as strong as it should be and I have personally been watching history repeat itself for the last 20+years of my life. Therefore, not only did all four books prepare me for writing AAA. They all made go deeper into myself, to become more Authentic, more Accountable and severely Ambitious about life and the lives of others.

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