Thanks Florence, for such a great conversation!
Florence Edwards is a prolific self-help writer who excels in storytelling, branding and publicity. Ms. Edwards is an in-demand ghostwriter whose work has appeared in major publications including Heart & Soul Magazine. Visit Publicity911.com to learn more.
Essence Magazine’s Intimacy Intervention Columnist, Abiola Abrams, Reveals Divine Secrets to Achieving Self-Love & Spiritual Empowerment & Gives Self-Esteem Advice to Women by Florence Edwards
She’s the epitome of strength, confidence and self-love.
Fierce, bold, and unforgettable, Abiola Abrams’s radiant smile, magnetic personality and captivating presence has made her one of today’s most inspiring transformative life coaches and lifestyle gurus of our time. Her advice columns in Essence.com, Match.com and other sites have helped countless women achieve more blissful relationships — with themselves, their partners, and their businesses. Dubbed “America’s Self-Love Coach,” Abiola is on a mission to helping women soar beyond their wildest dreams, and create an exciting life they love.
If you’ve seen her on popular TV shows like The Bill Cunningham Show expertly schooling millions on relationships, family communication and empowerment, or if you read her debut novel, Dare: A Love Story, or more recently, The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love, (Winner of the African American Literary Award for Best in Self-Help Book), you may have wondered who the woman is behind the “spiritpreneur” brand or what makes her tick.
Revealing some of her personal struggles and how she was able to access the goddess within and reclaim her personal power, the famed TV host and media personality, Abiola Abrams, comes clean and discusses some of her secrets to attaining success against all odds and creating a passionate, juicy life in the bedroom, the boardroom, and beyond. Her next mission? Now, she is teaching other “spiritpreneurs” how to do what she has done.
Q) What has been one of your biggest life lessons that you want to share with your readers that you haven’t revealed in your books?
AA: One of the biggest life lessons is one that I had to relearn this weekend. That lesson is that just as it is powerful to step up to the plate and say “yes”, it is as equally as powerful to set boundaries by saying “no.” When we are answering our callings, following our dreams, and finding our voices, very exciting and opportunities may come your way. We feel that we have to say yes to every opportunity, but it is also powerful to know you have to do what you can handle.
If your schedule is overtaxed and something seems like a great opportunity on the surface, it is perfectly ok to say, “thank you for thinking of me, but no thank you.” I relearned this lesson this past weekend. I was a keynote speaker at a conference, and I was invited to a speaker’s dinner after a very long day including a book signing, speech etc. I wanted to do (it) but my body was telling me…nooo… (Laughs). It wasn’t until I saw that another writer/speaker wasn’t going to participate, that I thought, “Wow! Wait…You can do that?” And I reminded myself, yeah… good self-care is sometimes saying, “no thank you.” I teach self-care and I still have to remind myself.
Q) You are a self-love guru who teaches women all over the world how to cultivate and embrace their authentic selves. What were two major issues you faced in your adult life that helped you celebrate the real you?
AA: My hair has always been natural, pretty much because I am allergic to relaxers. I have eczema and I get it on my scalp, so I can’t use chemicals on my hair. I love weaves and wigs, so I always wore straight weaves and wigs all the time. I honestly didn’t really remember what my hair texture was because I just fried it so much with flat irons, so my hair would just basically be fried straight all of the time. I fried it so much, or cut it off that it fell out. Deciding to wear my natural kinky curly coily hair, embrace it, learn how to style it, take care of it and see it grow and flourish- all of those things were really exciting. It helped me to celebrate me.
I will add to that that I support women doing whatever they want to do to their hair-weave it, grow it, or don’t weave it…(laughs). Wear it natural, color it…whatever works for you. For me personally, embracing my natural texture was something that was really transformative. Another thing that helped me celebrate the real me was when I started working out. It’s still not something that is as easy for as I would like it to be at this point, but the fact that I know how to do things that are healthy for my body and healthy for my heart makes me feel good in my skin and helps me to celebrate the real me.
Q: What are some empowering spiritual tactics women can use immediately to transform negative emotions and feel powerful in any situation?
AA: As the daughter of a minister, I consider the work that I do to be my ministry. If you don’t have to be in an uncomfortable situation, excuse yourself. Feel free to opt out (laughs). If it’s the kind of situation where you need to excuse yourself, just say, “I have to go to the restroom.” Excuse yourself and you can go and take some time for yourself to be able to calm yourself down. Breathing techniques are also incredible. Kathleen Booker is a breathwork coach who I’ve worked with and she’s amazing.
I also teach guided meditation! I launched two guided meditation albums in the past year. Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT Tapping, has been very helpful for me in transforming emotions and fears. I have free EFT videos on my YouTube channel. Another thing is, if you’re at a party or meeting and feel anxious or insecure and you kind of need to remind yourself of your greatness, it’s always good to look into a bathroom mirror, look into your own eyes and remind yourself how beautiful, brilliant, safe and loved you are. Count your blessings then re-emerge into the situation.
Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration and what teaching of theirs have you implemented in your own life?
AA: I’ve had many incredible inspirations. It is hard to choose one person. Let’s go with Dr. Wayne Dyer. The biggest teaching of his I’ve implemented in my life is don’t die with your music still in you. Live your life full-out while you have it.
Q: What are 5 actions you’d like women to add to their daily lives that will deeply enhance self-love?
AA: Of course I talk about this in The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self- Love. Number one, is eating well. Treating your body like you love her and eating food that loves you back. That is a big, big, big one! Number two…eliminate the negative people from your life. Surround yourself only with people who make you feel good to be alive and that doesn’t mean “yes men”; it means people who are supportive and who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself.
Most of the time we’re busy asking people to believe in us who can’t even believe in themselves. We’re asking people to like us when they don’t even like themselves. It’s just not healthy. Number three…if there’s a dream that’s been put into your heart, go for it. My work is all about helping us to find our self-love and self-worth and then take that self-love to self-launch by answering our callings. If there is a dream that is in your heart, whatever it is, go for it. It doesn’t mean you have to leave your whole life for it unless that’s your dream, but whatever it is, go for it.
Number four… As a lifelong writer, I would say journaling is very, very helpful to really just get out what is going on in your mind, body and spirit. It doesn’t have to be for anybody else, it can be just for you. Number five… every night, just like Oprah Winfrey recommended, the gratitude journal, which is a helpful practice, I would add to create a little show-off journal just for you-five things that you can point to every day and say, “Wow! I am so proud of myself! I love that I did that!” A little show-off journal so that you can toot your own horn (toot-toot! Hey girl! You did it!) (Laughs).
Q: What has been your biggest a-ha moment to date and how did it change your life?
AA: My biggest a-ha moment is when I couldn’t find a whole deck of positive affirmation cards that reflected my culture and women who looked like me. My family is from Guyana, the “land of six peoples.” Then I had a lightbulb moment that I could create it! That’s how my African Goddess Affirmation Cards were born. They feature women of all skin colors, hair textures, and celebrate the goddesses of the African diaspora.
Q: Beliefs play a huge role in everything we do, and impact every area of our lives-even our sex lives. What are some toxic beliefs women still have about sexuality that’s ruining their sex lives?
AA: I love this question! I write the Essence Intimacy Intervention advice column, which is the most popular advice column on Essence.com. I talk to women about self-love and their sexuality. This is a really important topic. This past weekend I was a speaker at the Chicago Ideas Summit, and I gave ‘the talk’-the sex and self-esteem talk that I wish all of us had been given. Number one, I think that we feel that our bodies need to look and act a certain way because we’ve seen it in movies, read about it, we’re comparing ourselves to celebrities, or whatever the case may be. Whatever your body is, whatever your body does, that’s what it’s meant to do. Love it and embrace it. Be glad you have a body. Comparison is the thief of joy, as President Theodore Roosevelt said.
Number 2: I think we need to be more discerning about who we allow into our bodies, our minds and our spirits. The more that we love and adore ourselves, the better we will make those choices. If it’s a casual relationship you want to have, then be honest with yourself and your partner. If it’s a committed relationship you want to have, enter it as a whole person. Being celibate is also an extremely powerful choice. Coming from an empowered place is always the healthiest way to go, that’s why I created the upcoming Sacred Bombshell Wombcare Kit. It is self-care and soul care.
Number 3: I think that we as women are very, very concerned about what people think of us and we are very externally focused so a lot of women don’t have pleasure because they are focused on only pleasing. That’s a toxic belief. It’s very important to know that we need to give and receive in everything, including our love lives and including our sex lives.
Q: One of your favorite spiritual mentors, Dr. Wayne Dyer, believed that our thoughts create our reality. Has this been true for you? What was the most destructive thought you had in the past? What steps did you take to overpower it?
AA: Yes, I absolutely believe 100 percent that thoughts become things, and that our thoughts become reality. Some people say, “Why doesn’t everyone just think up a great reality?” The truth is we don’t have access to that. I don’t have access to that and I teach it as a spiritual teacher. It’s because we are all works in progress. We all start with baggage and luggage-huge suitcases that we need to unpack to get closer to where we need to be. Life is about the journey and that’s the joy of it.
The most destructive thought I think I had in the past has been about me thinking I need to please other people in order to be happy. Being a people pleaser and then having a belief system wrapped around being who everyone else wanted me to be rather than being who I wanted to be. What that did was I created a life or several different lives that were reflective of what would make other people happy versus what would make me happy.
Q: If you had one message to give to the world, what would it be?
AA: Dream bigger and love yourself. Those are two different messages, but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it. (Laughs). Lately, it’s been my pleasure through my coaching programs and classes to see women step into their greatness as they live their dreams. Don’t just stop at dreaming bigger and loving yourself. Actualize those dreams and take a tiny step…whatever it is today-toward that greater vision.
Q: What are the top myths women have that hold them back from success and finding true love?
AA: Thinking that we can’t have success and true love at the same time. Surround yourself with proof that that is not true. As an adult, we’re never too old to need role models in different areas of our lives. Another myth is we need someone to rescue us or save us. The truth is that we’re not meant to live this life alone. I feel we need people to partner with us, but you don’t need someone to rescue you. You can definitely save yourself and that doesn’t mean that you don’t need help. That’s another big myth-that strong women shouldn’t ask for help. Ask for help; ask for support, ask for guidance if you need it and welcome it into your life. Realize that life has seasons. We reap and we sow, we ebb and we flow, that’s how nature goes.
Favorite inspirational tools include: African Goddess Affirmation Cards, the Spiritpreneur School podcast & Spiritpreneur Brand University, the upcoming Sacred Bombshell Wombcare Kit, the Sacred Bombshell Self-Love Meditation Album, and Manifest Your Miracles, Magic & Mojo! Chakra Abundance Meditations.
Get Abiola’s free self-worth kit now at OwnYourBombshell.com.