When given the opportunity to be highlighted on “Tough Mother Tuesday,” though ecstatic initially, I started to second guess if “I” was even worthy or deserving of such an honor. These self-defeating thoughts arose right after receiving the invitation, when I became face-to-face with many challenges that I had to overcome in order to write this piece. Please give this article a “thumbs up,” if you know the struggle I am speaking of, while reading these words. Whenever we are about the commitment to being and doing and completion in our lives, and crap happens to where we begin to feel like we are not deserving or worthy of any opportunity; we have to remember the moment is perfect and “all is well,” as Louise Hay would say.
So, who is Tomeka Napper?
At times, I don’t even know who “she” is…she being me. I can tell you that I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a loyal friend, colleague, and a wonderful mother to a fifteen-year-old who deals with autism. I can also tell you that I am a strategic business development and management entrepreneur, who graduated from the University of Miami, with a Bachelors of Music in Music Business and Entertainment with a minor in Business Law; and who also graduated from Full Sail University with a Master’s of Science in Entertainment Business. My next schooling was to be in someone’s law school. Either Hofstra, Pace University, Loyola University, George Washington Law School, or Boston University; but a hysterectomy, thyroid cancer, and a degenerating spine condition has put those dreams on hold, for now. Though my four best friends: Michelle Moore, Cassandra Cassidy, Michelle Shirley, and Nicole Rainey; my mentors Marvin and Meira Langsam, Susan Tabin, and Mitch Weiss; and my social media friends: Dabney Porte, AJ Rogers, Sherrie Adele, Luisa Otero, Debbie Mancini, Bobbi Hughes-Millman, One Tough Muther Karen; and my mother Paulette Napper–have never let me forget my dreams of law school and my commitment to completing this goal. I am grateful to be writing and sharing myself with the “Tough Muther Tuesday,” audience. It is so very important for all “Tough Muthers” out there to never give up on you or your dreams when life happens.
However, what we must all remember is to give up things that no longer serve our higher purpose in life when it comes to self-care. One Tough Muthers, self-care is so important. This is what these debilitating surgeries, diseases, and medical conditions have taught me, in the last two years. Many are uncomfortable with self-care because perhaps, we never truly learned in life how to care for ourselves, aside from society’s conditioning of who, girls and women, as caregiver of others “should be;” and no amount of Oprah, Dr. Phil, or even Louise Hay can truly teach or reach us on the topic, because application is the key. As “Tough Muthers,” we must apply self-care to our space to be effective and for it to work on our behalf. But remember, as I stated above, when you become committed to “being” self-care and “doing” self-care, life will throw monkey-wrenches in the way, because “that which does not serve you will start to surface,” as I am known to say often. So, ladies (and gentlemen), pay attention and know within that, it is all a distraction to deter you from your goals, whatever they maybe.
In addition, we must also remember that the body nor the Universe can go against itself. Meaning, consciously if you say, “I don’t like peanut butter.” Even if you’ve never tasted it before or have some negative childhood memory surrounding it, there is no way your mind nor your body will allow you to like peanut butter. The mind nor the body will be open to the possibility of liking peanut butter, until you make the conscious choice to “change” your thoughts on it and give yourself permission to “try” it. As with the Universe, we have all heard before, somewhere that it does not know “right from wrong” and that “it–the Universe–just is.” Therefore, consciously and subconsciously, if you’re recycling thoughts of “I don’t like peanut butter” (or whatever you recycle) repeatedly, the Universe will continue to present that reality for you; and now in the physical realm you’re having “made up” reactions to peanut butter and you don’t even know why. The Universe will never go against the very thoughts we are thinking. It will give us exactly what we are thinking and speaking out loud, to ourselves and others, from a place of being, until we wake up and become aware enough to stop these conscious and unconscious patterns. Now, you may be thinking…what does this have to do with self-care? Simple! We must acknowledge and be responsible for what self-care means to us, and take ownership of when we neglect self-care in our own lives. We are responsible, not others, for how we take care of ourselves. We are also responsible for choosing not to act on behalf of our own self-care: and our body, nor the Universe will go against these choices. When we do not acknowledge or honor that “I MATTER,” in our articulation of our needs in any present moment when breakdowns are happening, the possibility of a “point of no return” is imminent.
In closing, please know that committing “to being” about self-care in our lives might be challenging at first. I suggest you enlist a few good “trusted” friends to support you on this journey. As the adage goes, we cannot be for others what we cannot be to ourselves, as I was recently reminded. In the middle of a self-care crises this past week, one of my trusted friends asked “why are you allowing this [situation] to get the best of you?” To which I replied, “I’m tired.” She went on to say, “I know you’re tired. Go and complete the task. Then leave and get some rest.” Best self-care reminder, ever!
My name is Tomeka Napper. I am deserving. I am worthy. I am One Tough Muther and so are you!
I am a Creator, a Brand, a Strategist, a Personal Manager, a Coach (at times), a Speaker, and a Lover of Life and Laughter. My personal Mantra is, “Whatever! You’re responsible for your life now. Make your days count for something good.” I am also about business and professionalism. However, my biggest job in the entire universe is being a Mom to my beautiful son, Joshua, who deals with Autism. He rocks my world. I am so grateful for him. All that he is…I am.
Contact info: Social Media: Instagram/Twitter: @tomekanapper // firstname.lastname@example.org