The Dumbing Down Process, Goes Something Like…

photo above courtesy of vigilantcitizen

Different - drums

You see those drums above? Yeah, me too – those drums have played a significant part in my life – all my life actually; As I watched year after year after year of those drums just sitting, waiting on someone to give them a good “BANG!” I couldn’t play them because I never learned how. Can you believe, I just learned how to play them in my very late thirties and oh, how I love the sound – why hadn’t I learned how to play them all along?

Let me explain…

While those drums are very real, they aren’t ones that I actually own. You see, I believe in life we all have our very own set of drums that sit in front of us each day, waiting on us to give it a good “BOOM!” Those drums represent our voice, our personality, our characteristics in which makes us totally different from others; those drums represent our life and determine if that life is ran by our own motivation or lessened by the un-motivation of others.

When I was a little girl, my stepdad hated the way I talked….he would tell my mom “Make her quit talking like that!” this confused my mom as she was trying to figure out “Talking like what?” According to my step-dad I talked too proper, in which he later referenced as “White-folk talk” and felt like this little black girl, shouldn’t talk like them.  I mean, I didn’t know their was a differential “this is the way you talk” language for whites or blacks, or any other race for that matter. I didn’t understand what he meant, all I understood was that it made me feel bad and for a long time….at that point I dumbed down and wouldn’t hardly speak to anyone….if I got criticized for using my voice, then why use it at all.

As I got older, I began to realize that I was different from other family members – I loved to read and found it very comforting, a hobby that not everyone found fond. But reading took me away from the abusive world in which I had come to know, like when my step-dad would get drunk; he would come home and let’s just say “All hades would break loose” it was a very difficult time; so getting lost in a book and being taken away by someone else’s “perfect” world was my escape. I loved to spell and could spell anything…one day, my uncle got the dictionary and began to call out words to me and I would spell those…I was curious about the reproductive system and found reading, writing and poetry fascinating…but when people got jealous because they felt as if, I knew more than they….I dumbed down, soon those A’s and B’s became C’s and D’s.

different4“Are You Serious?” was the question my aunt asked me one day when I volunteered to go to the grocery store with her. She had just gotten her food stamps and told me that I could get anything I wanted out of the store for coming with her – well, after browsing the store I decided that I wanted some cereal, but not just any kind of cereal – I wanted a box of “Frosted Shredded Wheat” which are still my favorite cereal today. When I took the box off the shelf and brought it over to my aunt to put in the basket, she looked at me with this puzzled look on her face. “Nikki, are you serious?, this isn’t’ what you want – go and pick out what you want, I said you could get anything! she said laughing, but I didn’t budge – because those were what I wanted – after going back and forward with trying to convince her of my choice, she abruptly stated  “Those are white people cereal, you ain’t white!” – Really? because I didn’t know certain cereal were made for certain races/cultures. After we got home and hearing her mock me, laugh and basically call me weird…..I dumbed down, maybe it was best to just be like someone else – after-all, there was obviously something wrong with me.

Different1Because of those incidents and many more similar or like them, I have to be honest…being “me” was not on the good list of things that I wanted to work on or through. I always desired to be someone else, someone new, someone popular, someone cute, someone special, someone…….other than Roshonda and I dumbed down to that for many, many years. When I turned 30, it was like a light bulb went off and I had did this 360 over night; call it what you will but for me it was liberating, I suddenly didn’t care what anyone thought – I wore what I wanted to wear, no matter how unmatched or weird it was and did my own thing – those drums were getting a good dusting off and I was geared up to give them their first concert. My “let’s do this” personality and award winning smile (so I’ve been told…lol) were getting me noticed and I liked it, but just like it was when I was a kid/teen/young adult – not everyone did. Soon, I found myself going back into the dumb down hole of mediocrity like everyone else, ever heard the term “When you’re in Rome, You do as the Romans” yesss…while that may be true, it’s not always good to be like everyone else just because EVERY-ONE else is or chooses to be….sometimes it’s good to veer off course and just – do – you.

So, what are you saying Roshonda you may ask – well, I’m saying you were given one life and in this life you sometimes have one shot to make a difference or live your life the way you want too. Don’t let someone make you feel bad about your bubbly persona or your sunshine smile or even your positive personality. My mama used to always say this about cliques/friends and/or people  “Either they are going to pull you towards them or you’re going to pull them towards you” but mama left out the part… can just leave the group =)

You my friend were born to STAND OUT! you were never meant to FIT IN! or Dumb Down to someone’s level – you were created to make them rise to YOUR level. Don’t ever be afraid to be you because those drums are waiting on a player, will you be the one to book it’s next gig?

This is for you finger pointing

u are lovely

Because if you’re not being YOU, you’re not being TRUE! And who wants to leave this earth being a copy! 


Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager


#Sunday’s Thought: My Time vs. HIS Time

Okay, so first let me start off by saying – this is definitely not a post to make anyone feel bad about their current “God” status because we all have fallen, made mistakes, still trying to get it together and so forth, however; there might be a couple of tips within the post that could help you pencil God in on your daily schedule….so, let’s go….

Now I know it sounds funny to say “We have to pencil God In” – because in reality I guess we really shouldn’t have to do that or feel as though that’s an awkward comment to say about the “creator of the universe” but unless you’re totally unplugged from the world and the things that are going on in it, then finding a time to pencil God into your busy day, doesn’t sound so bad at all. Let’s face it, we’re all busy and have a ton of things going on as well as a whole bunch of appointments to keep in mind that we all have to make it too.

Sometimes life for me can get so busy with the everyday mundane until all I can do most days is give God a quick “Thank you Lord” in the morning while rushing out the door or going down the highway to work or gym class. I always propose to spend time with him at night, but by the time I get home from a long day – cook, clean, sign a bunch of papers from school, entertain my kids conversations and check homework it’s already 9pm! I get in the bed with every intention on at least reading a scripture but always get stung by that sleep bug…..every….single….time…

Girl sleep with bible

Soon, something had to give – It’s not like I don’t realize how important God is in my life and yes, I do love him but….I just couldn’t find the right time in the day to spend the most valuable time with him, outside of going to sleep or having any and every other busy thing to get in the way. I never had a problem with making time with friends whom wanted to do lunch or even going to the gym; I even make time every week to have a fun night with my two kids, so what was missing and how come I couldn’t seem to find the time to do this with God? That’s when I suddenly had an epiphany….I need to put God on a schedule just as I do everything else….I have to be honest though, I really never liked doing that because I always felt like God wouldn’t value my time because it almost felt like I was “giving” him a specific time with every other busy thing in my life but I knew that if I wanted to get that time in with him, I had to come up with a solution to get it done.

So, listed below are a couple of tips that I use to get that valuable time In:


1. Set A Good Time:

Set a time aside for God when you’re energetic and energized. This totally depends on the time of day, some people are morning people and some are night owls – choose which time of day works best for you and stick with it. My time of day is the early morning hours (4:30am – 6:30am) because that’s when I know I can give God my best.

2. Have An Agenda

Plan your work and work your plan! You want to have a set system when you go into God’s presence, I’ll elaborate…You wouldn’t enter a boardroom to give a presentation off the top of your head and you sure wouldn’t go into it unprepared, it’s the same way with God, knowing what you’re going to do is great, in other words – will the first 15min be prayer? 15min of worship and the last 30 minutes will be for reading/studying? The last thing you want to do is sit there and pray, only to fall asleep.

3. Don’t Be Selfish – Pick A Topic

Trust me, God already knows your need, desires and wants and yes, it’s good to share those things with him but you don’t want your whole time to be about YOU! Think of the many things that are going on in the world today, pick a topic to pray for and focus on it, you don’t want to get overwhelmed with all the concerns of the world. God may lead you to pray for the sick children and their parents whom are in the hospital at this time, so allow that to be your prayer focus. You might have a different topic the following day.

4. Turn Off all Devices

In this tech savvy world, I know that’s a difficult thing to do in most cases but hey, look at it this way – if you were eating dinner with one of your favorite celebrities and it was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity that you were only going to get once; would you be on the phone talking, tweeting or so forth? Just as we give our time and attention to people we feel like have value, that’s the same attitude we must have for God. I once told my Sunday School class that Jesus was actually the first celebrity to grace the earth = )

5. Start Small and Work Up!

I think the number one thing that trips people up is the fact that they feel like they have to spend an hour to 15 hours with God; let me tell you – it doesn’t take all that and it’s not necessary. Think of the widow woman in the bible (Mark 12:41-44) that only had two cents to give to God, while every rich person came around and was giving out of their wealth, she gave what she had – which was from the heart. Her two cents became more valuable than those that put in much. It’s okay, you may not can do an hour or two and don’t be intimidated by people whom tell you that, that’s what they do – Do you and do it from the heart because that’s what God judges anyway…the more time you spend with God, the more you’ll enjoy it and increase your own time.

To Sum it Up! Whatever you do, you want to make sure you give God your best YOU which is your offering to him…did you know that the book of Malachi was about this very thing?, For years I always thought Malachi was about tithes and offering because the only scripture I ever heard and read from Malachi was (bring your tithes and offering into the store house) in which is a preachers delight message…wink,…

While in church one day my pastor made it known that Malachi was more than about tithes and offering it was about people and their dealings with God and their “not so good” sacrifices they presented to God – Malachi 1:6-14. These people were presenting anything on the altar to God – from blind animals, to ones that were crippled and diseased – I mean, would you fix a bad dinner for a royal and expect them to eat it? I think not, we would go out of our way to make sure they get the best of the best, even if it cost us our last…why? because as a people we are more eager to please people we don’t know and don’t have our best interest at heart as opposed to someone who does and that is God.

Do you set time aside for God, When you go before his presence, are you putting your best you on the altar before him? If not, then say this simple prayer…

God, forgive me for not giving you a part of my day. You deserve more than the scraps of my life. You deserve more than the crumbs that I throw at you. You deserve ALL of me. My mind, body, spirit but mostly MY TIME belong to you! Help me to give place to you before I give that time and space to anyone else. Amen


Because, You Make Time For The Things You Love ❤️❤️


Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

The Incredible, Strong, Bold & Beautiful Kristi Data

photo above courtesy of Kristi Data Facebook

Kristi Data
photo courtesy of Kristi Data FB 

WHAT YOU SEE…Hair done, make up done, a big bright smile, beautiful background, bright eyes, and a look of happiness, excitement, and possibility.

WHAT YOU DON’T SEE…is the fear of disappointing others, lack of self belief, body image issues, people pleaser-itis (just made that word up), anxiety filled, and the constant fear of not looking a certain way which would lead to people not likingme. Sad isn’t it 😔!

I’ve really taken a look at both of those lists, and the biggest take aways from it all is, “How do I want to feel?”, “How do I want others to feel?”, and “What can I do, be, and give to help others?” Here are my answers… I want to feel love, joy, bliss, excitement, laughter, strong, healthy, and empowered! I want others to feel what’s most important to them!

*** *** *** *** ***

I was born Jan 25, 1973 in Middletown, NY which is about 60 miles NW of NYC. From a very young age I was very active and began playing organized sports probably around age 8 or 9. I loved everything about sports and playing on a team. That excitement and enthusiasm for sports lead me to start playing volleyball in 8th grade that I became very passionate about. It was a goal to earn an athletic scholarship, and with a lot of sacrifice and discipline I achieved my goal and earned a full ride to Clemson University.

College was the most challenging 4 years of my life. I developed a pretty severe eating disorder that lasted past my college career. The number on the scale had become the meter to measure my self-worth and dictated what I ate and what I would keep down. After some scary moments of being hospitalized, I quickly realized the damaged that I was destroying myself. I went to some counseling, and eventually walked away from it. I was learning to let go of the control and to love myself.

I may have screwed up as a girlfriend and sometimes as a sister, a daughter or as a friend, because I don’t always say or do the “right things”. I have a smart mouth, I have secrets, I have scars because I have a history. Some people love me, some like me, and some people don’t. I have done good in my life. I have done bad in my life. I go without makeup, or shaving my legs sometimes. I don’t get dressed up half the time. I am random and I am silly. I will not pretend to be someone I am not. I am who I am, you can love me or not. But if I love you, I will do it with my whole heart, and I will make no apologies for the way I am. I AM ME!!! – Kristi Data

I have battled body image issues for quite some time. Yes, on the outside you would see someone who had it all together with her physical appearance, relationship, career, but was absolutely screaming on the inside for help. But that never let them see you sweat mentality was what I chose. And that’s when the Universe gave me an incredible gift about 7 years ago. It was this earth angel of a woman that I am now best friends with. We very quickly found a common passion of health, nutrition, and wanting to help others feel their best from the inside out.

Kristi Data5
She needed A Hero, So that is what She Became – Dr. DelRae Marie Messer


We had been through quite a few challenges in that time, and have grown and learned so many lessons. Some I am still learning. For the last 3 years I have been in the best shape of my life mentally, physically, and emotionally. I have consistently chosen to fuel my body with incredible nutrition, my mind with things that challenge me to grow personally, and surround myself with an incredibly energetic and loving tribe. One of my most recent goals that I achieved physically was a fitness competition. This competition was one of the most incredible experiences as it challenged me in every way possible. The biggest win was that I can now look at my body as a vessel that houses my soul. It’s a gift, and I want it to last for a very, very long time.

Kristi Data3
How am I going to live TODAY in order to create the TOMORROW I’m committed too. Tony Robbins 

Kristi, thanks so much for the encouragement and inspiration you provide to women all over the world. The world needs more super women like you, women whom are not afraid to speak up, tell their truths – reveal their flaws and keep it 💯 all the way! You really are Incredible, Strong, Beautiful & BOLD!

If you would like to follow Kristi and I believe you should – You can find her on the following social sites below. If you would like to inquire more about her fitness routine/regimen with Isagenix. I have provided a link to that site as well, please reach out to Kristi as she has some amazing people whom have tried Isagenix and are in the best shape and health of their life! She can tell you more about It!

👉  Facebook – Kristi Data 

👉  Instagram: Kristi Data (@kristidata)

👉  Kristi’s Fitness Regimine: Isagenix 

Hey, Ya’ll today is Kristi’s Birthday – Leave a comment below and give her a shoutout! I’ll let her reveal her age; just let me say – my jaw dropped when I found out!!! All I can say is that she looks absolutely A-Mazing.


Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

A Gallon A Day? No Way!!!

photo above courtesy of pinterest

First I want to say, that of course I’m no expert on this subject. Months or even a year ago, I would have laughed in your face if you told me to drink a gallon of water a day. Butttt….this year I’m on a whole new bandwagon and I’m loving it. I read an article one time about Gabrielle Union and how she drinks a gallon of water a day, I began to think; how in the world does she do that on her very hectic, yet busy schedule – but if she’s doing it the way I’ve been doing it, then I can see how it would be possible, not just for her but for anyone – you just have to be a little creative with it.


First, not that you probably don’t already know or have heard…let me give you just a little background on water and it’s benefits of drinking it, especially in the morning:

  1. Water helps to balance your lymph system; these much needed glands help us to balance our body fluids and help to fight off infection.
  2. Have Skin Problems? While a dermatologist can help us figure out some things going on with problematic skin, drinking a gallon of water a day can help purge toxins from the blood, which keeps our skin glowing and clear.
  3. Need to drop some extra pounds? Water can Help! Did you know that drinking at least 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning can boost your metabolism by 24%? & it also helps move your bowels as well.
  4. Drinking water consistently helps to increase the production of new blood and muscle cells.
  5. Drinking water on an empty stomach helps to purify the colon, making it easier to absorb nutrients which again, helps you to go to the bathroom….regularly….if you know what I mean.

I have to say, drinking water first thing in the morning was NOT one of my strong suits or something that I had on my to do list, but after reading the benefits of what just a 16.9oz bottle of water does to your body, I thought I’d give it a try and let me tell you, its been a life changer for me; I actually try to drink 24oz of water in the morning before I put anything into my body. I noticed my digestive system is on track to the point in where I can actually track when I’ve been and when I haven’t……I feel as though my energy has increased tremendously and for the first time in my life, I honestly feel as though my body is doing what it’s supposed to do, especially since I’m giving it what it needs to do it’s job.

As mentioned above, when I heard about Gabrielle Union drinking a gallon of water a day, I thought that would be my next goal. However; not only her but there are countless other people whom are also drinking a gallon of water a day and reaping great benefits in doing so. Now let me tell you, there are people that say you’re supposed to drink half your body weight in water a day, while I’ve heard other people state that you’re supposed to drink an ounce of water for every pound that you weigh – personally I think that’s too much water and could lead to water poisoning, because there is a such thing as drinking too much water, let’s just say I prefer to do half my body weight in water and call it a day.

Now I know you must be thinking, how in the world do you drink a gallon of water a day? Well, this is my secret – see below.

My Everyday Gallon of Water Routine


The blender bottle on the left is how I break down the gallon of water a day. It’s 20oz, about 25oz when you fill it to the top. This is my break down of the day:

  • Drink 20 ounces 10min after breakfast
  • Drink 20 ounces 2 hours later, 10min after morning snack
  • Drink 20 ounces 10min after lunch
  • Drink 20 ounces 2 hours after lunch, 10 min after evening snack
  • Drink 20 ounces 10min after dinner
  • Drink the rest of the 28 ounces prior to bed.

And yes, I go to the bathroom all day long – which is the small downfall to all of this, however; if I know I have a meeting or will be extremely busy during the day and not able to go to the bathroom every second, it seems – then I slow down on the water drinking because let’s face it, I can’t always do it everyday as I want – but I do get in enough water maybe not the whole 128 ounces of the gallon but I try to get close, sometimes I can only do 80 ounces.

Another thing I do, because the taste of water can get boring on most days – I’ll cut up some lemon or add a sugar free packet to it, especially if I feel as if I’m having a hard time getting through the gallon. My favorite sugar free packets are below:

Water - Sugar Free Packets
With only calories for half a pack, caffeine and green tea – you’ll get through that jug in no time.

Yes, it’s only 5 calories for half a pack (read the labels) but I use the whole packet and this helps me get through those challenging days of chugging the gallon and it helps. To be honest, I don’t do it everyday but only use the packets as a motivator – I don’t want to depend on the packs to get me through each gallon of water as the goal is to just drink the plain water, which to me is more beneficial.

If you decide to do the gallon a day, it’s totally up to you in how creative you want to be in getting your body and mind tricked into drinking it everyday. You can choose to write notes or short affirmations to yourself on the jug – just as the picture in the header or come up with your own way of getting it in and down your body a day; just as I did. Another tip is: You can choose to drink 8oz of water every hour or drink two 16.9oz bottles with every main meal and one bottle with every snack (which should be one or two a day).

Whatever you do, start slow and work your way up as it won’t happen overnight. Hey, the creative juices are in your hand – make it work for you, just get your daily recommended amount of water in. If you have any questions about the amount of water you’re supposed to drink, I would talk with a “certified” nutritionist or doctor because everyone’s needs and limitations are different.

untilnexttimeHappy Water Drinking (2)

Written by – Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager


Don’t forget!! to come back this Thursday and read the Inspirational story of Kristi Data! Kristi will be sharing her ups of being active in organized sports to her downfall of having an eating disorder in college, so how did she bounce back? – you don’t want to miss her inspirational story.

NO! Is the New Sexy for 2018

photo above courtesy of bing

Hey You! Happy New Year!!!

I don’t know about you but I could have used another week of rest, 2017 came in as fast as it went out and honestly it went so fast until there are only a couple of things or months I should say that I really remember, let’s hope and pray that this year goes by a little slower because I can’t do Christmas again in 2 months….get it?…LOL!

Okay, so here we are in 2018 – Isn’t it exciting when a new year rolls around? It’s a fresh time in which we all declare for the 18th time that we’re going to finally get our life right! We make our list and promise to really stick to it this time – more than we did in years past and while we’re working on finally loosing those extra pounds, getting our finances in order and actually SAVE money this time around or get up the nerve to go back to school to get that degree, there’s one more thing that I am adding to my “resolved” list this year and that’s to exercise my right in saying NO!….let me explain..

Sometimes I can be a people pleaser and I’m easily pressured into doing things that I wouldn’t normally want to do….BUT!….because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or make someone feel bad or have someone not like me; I say YES. I constantly have to catch myself at times because I’m known to do things out of impulse because I feel that’s what people want me to do or I’ll stall on giving a complete answer and when I do say yes to something and my yes doesn’t work out, I hide in a corner or duck and dodge around to keep from facing the individual or the truth of the matter – all because I’m people pleasing.


Recently, I asked a young man (he’s no more than 12 or 13yrs old) to wash my car. He washed it once before and did an amazing job, I mean he’s really good to be his age and if he keeps it up, I really see a bright future for him in business. However; when he came by the house, I asked him to come back the following Saturday and he could wash the car then; well as my luck would have it, I had the money but something more important took precedence over me getting my car washed that day. I didn’t know what to tell him because I knew he was coming, it was close to Christmas and he was looking forward to working to earn money, needless to say he didn’t come to the house until much later that day, I heard him knock on the door but I couldn’t open it to face him to tell him the truth. He came back a day later and knocked again and the following day after that and knocked again. With each knock, my heart pounded and I grew sorrowful and weary. I just couldn’t get up the nerve to face him to say “Look little guy, I can’t afford to pay you right now” simple words huh?, no – they’re really not. A couple of days later, I had a credit come into my account of a purchase that I had cancelled, it wasn’t much money and again, I had something else that I had to do with it, but the Lord began to deal with my heart and said “Follow peace with all men” even this young man.

While I didn’t have the money to really give him, I asked the lord to bring him by the house as I didn’t think he would come due to seeing my car sitting in the driveway but not receiving a response. He didn’t even have to wash the car, I just felt obligated to give him something for his time and that’s exactly what I did. The look on his face said everything and the yoke on my shoulder suddenly melted away. The lesson I learned in all of that is that things could have been a lot easier, had I just had the courage to tell him No or No, not right now.

Do you have trouble with telling people No? Why is that?

Listed below are just a few tips to consider when you have to say the treacherous “N.O.”

NO - 1

1. Who are you trying to Please?

The first thing you have to ask yourself is “Why am I saying Yes” If this is to please someone or if you feel that individual will like you if you less if you said No, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your relationship with them. There are many people whom would love nothing more than for us to do what they want but you have to consider the person that means the most in this situation and that’s YOU & YOUR WANTS!

2. NO is Empowering!

You know what?, you have to protect yourself. Saying “Yes” all the time is not a good thing, don’t allow your mind or emotions to play tricks with you in thinking that saying No is a bad thing because it’s not. There’s only one you and if you don’t want something or are not feeling something or someone for that matter – it’s okay to say NO! This is your life, think of it as you being the president of your own world and you have to make the decision on what will pass and what won’t. What are you willing to allow and what are you willing to let go.


Fear is the number one thing that keeps us from doing the things that we really want to do. I’ll tell you, I wasn’t always good about standing up for myself – I’d rather just sit and let the chips fall where they may, whether they were right or whether they were wrong because for so long I allowed myself to have a silent voice. If you don’t stand up for yourself, then who will. We live in a world where partially everyone is out to get what is rightfully theirs, so what’s stopping you from getting what’s yours including your voice back, it’s just waiting on you to open up and take charge.

This year, go after what you want for your life. It’s time out for allowing people to step all over you, It’s time to speak up and take control of your destiny. The word NO holds so much power in it and you have a right to use it, who cares if someone gets mad and who cares if they talk about you. You only get one shot to make a difference and that little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, could be held in two little words…..NO!

Now go get your NO, Sexy Back!

NO - 2

Thank you Martha Brown for this thought!


See ya in the next Post!!-1

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager


Next Week-1Do you want to take your lunch to work more this year, than last year? Well, make sure you come back next week, I’ll be giving you some grocery shopping tips on how to meal prep for cheap and provide a delicious meal prep breakfast recipe from a certified trainer.