Sisters There Is A Code: Special Message in Honor of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2013

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What a difference a year makes!

This time last year, on this day, I was honored to be speaking at Kimberly Clark Corporation in Atlanta, hosted by one of my mentors and sponsors Sue Dodsworth who hails from Great Britain (actually from Wales). Then I headed off to do a women’s empowerment conference with a sorority sister of mine in Houston, TX. (See my March 2012 Essence.com article titled, Sisters Stop the Clock).  As I reflect back on the past year of my life, I cannot help but smile at the role women have played in my success, growth, ascendancy, healing, transformation and possibilities for the future ahead.

2012 was an amazing year of growth for me as a woman and understanding of how very unique we as women are.  I have made a great part of my life’s work focusing on the upward mobility, advancement, retention, and wellness of women of my generation (GenX) and of generations to come.  I can think of no more important thing any of us can do as women, than to support, lift, encourage, nurture, and build other women. However, doing so is not easy. It is complicated. It can be tricky. And at times it can be heartbreaking to see the way we treat, mistreat, and disrespect other women.  Today, I took a day of rest. It was greatly needed but I wanted to celebrate the women in my life who make my life possible.  These women, like the women in your lives, bless you with their very presence, and they push you to greater heights.

As I was in the Salon today “getting myself together” (laughs), I took note of the beautiful women around me. They were Asian, Persian, Indian, Latino, Caucasian and African. I actually paused for a moment and just took in the shared “sisterhood” we all have in common, and the ways in which we so readily share our stories, share our woes, lament about our men, and no matter what color, what country, we all nod in agreement and laugh. We get it. There is something in the female DNA CODE that links us together across the span of time, culture, and experience. We are women after all and that makes us intuitive, nurturing, compassionate, and sisterly. At our core, we women have an innate link, a kindred fellowship that heals us when we hurt, and lifts us when we are low. I love being a woman!

Today I want to say thank you to the women in my life who bless me. I cannot possibly name them all but I must name a few: My mom–Sandi, you are the light and the wind beneath my wings. To my BFF TJ–you always teach me how to be a better woman. To my Psi Rho Omega sorors of AKA (and everywhere)–I love you skeeweees! To my admin & soror Monica–how do you put up with me?  Thank you. I appreciate you.

To my sponsors like Andrea, Michelle, Barb, Kim, Tina, Barb, Joy-Ann, Jaci Clark, and so many more–thank you for believing in me, my dreams, my capabilities. To Claudia my long-time literary agent--you are the best. I cannot wait for all we have ahead.

To true blues & Titus 2’s like my neighbor Sarah, soror Dawn, Andy, Michelle McKinney, Dr. Joi, Sheryl Tucker, Mrs. C, Angela C, Rhonda, Mikki, Elder Cathy, Dean Norma Burgess, Pastor Mary, Talaya, Yvette, Robin, Val, Soror Roz, Christal, Jacque, Jacquie, Richelle, Mira, Dani, Lisa, Lori, Amy, soror Adriane, Nikki, Michel Wright, DiShan, Soledad, Sherrie, Michel Martin, and countless others: boy what would I do without you?? Love you sisters!

To the newer friends/mentors who I am just getting to know like: Sorors Sonya, Stephanie, Tera, Soror Chandra, Parthenia, Soror Gizelle, Pastor Riva, Lady Alethia, Precious, Lady Trina Jenkins, Lady Bridgette Hilliard, Lady Sheree and on and on.  To my Aunts (6)–you gals rock! Love you.  My hairstylist: Jeanette & ladies at KLS. To my attorneys: Trish & Terry! To my Essence, Daily Beast, & Grio sisters thanks for allowing me to write & shine!

To all the women who are in MY LIFE. FOR REAL! YOU STICK. YOU STAND! YOU CARE!

Lastly, to the next generation of sisters: Kia, Alexis, KeKe, Andrea, Shaun, Bridgette, Jasmine, Sheena, Erin, Angela, Alexis Fly, Stephanie, and to my beloved nieces (15 & 10)–you bring warmth to my heart and hope to my soul for all that is possible in your lives because of women like myself who are fighting for you to have a better path, a smoother journey, and a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Yes you can have it all–just not at once!  As Andrea Agnew of Comcast likes to say: There is no life-balance–just life integration!

Have a great day ladies. And remember there is a CODE–it’s the woman’s CODE!

Sophia

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