Book Review: Author Robert Uttaro Share Powerful Stories Regarding Sexual Assault In ‘To The Survivors’

Featured Image Courtesy of  fauxels from Pexels

Disclosure: This book is 100% my views, I was not compensated in exchange for it.

Author, Robert Uttaro didn’t decide to become a basketball or football player, neither did he choose to become a doctor, lawyer, or even a musician when he grew up. The only thing Robert knew was that he wanted to help people. And by helping people, who would have thought that it would have been as a Rape Crisis Counselor at a center, he refers to as “The Healing Place.” 

In the childhood section of his book “To The Survivors,” Robert discusses him taking a knife to a bathroom, getting in the tub, and putting small cuts starting from the elbows all the way down to his wrist. When asked by a friend what happened, he informed her that he fell into some thorns, and sadly she believed him. Without even questioning the whereabouts and/or what happened to make him fall in the first place. This incident had me thinking about various people whom I’ve come into contact with over the years who were maybe not looking so well one day, or they’d come to work, and you notice a strange bruise or even perhaps that something’s off with them. You ask, “Are you okay?” they more than likely will say, “Yes, they are,” or they’d say something like, “You know I was doing such and such and slipped.” And as a society, we take their words as solid truths and not say anything else about the matter. This makes me wonder… 

Could those people have really been in trouble and I not didn’t take notice?

Did I miss the signs or the red flags? 

Photo credit: Bing

Robert’s book is that of true stories (identities and places withheld for personal reasons) and the influential individuals he’s worked with over the years. Heroic individuals who wanted to share their vulnerability and traumatic stories of violence and sexual assault. 

This book is a valuable guide to read, as well as understand the different effects a survivor may be feeling. To me, while this book is regarding survivors of sexual violence. I believe the twenty-three mentioned impacts on an individual’s emotions, such as shame, guilt, loss of control, shock, embarrassment, suicidal tendencies, and many more. It can also be used for someone who experienced a terrible loss or tragedy. These symptoms are sure signs that anyone should be able to look for in an individual and offer help. 

While some people may find the stories within this book hard to read due to its nature and content, others will find it inspiring and motivating. It helps you feel as though you’re NOT alone, as you may even resonate with some of the individual stories. 

I feel everyone should know that there is HOPE and a LIFE after a sexual assault or tragedy. It may not seem like it because when you’re going or have gone through such a traumatic experience, it can feel like you’re the only one facing it or like the walls are closing in on you all at once. I know those feelings all too; well, I’m a sexual assault survivor myself. Moving forward wasn’t easy, but I had to see it as me surviving so that I may help someone else survive. I’m a firm believer that EVERYTHING we go through in life is not just our experiences, but we go through them to help others get through theirs, and in return, maybe they’d turn and help someone else. There’s a purpose for everything, even in damaged goods. You CAN and WILL live a healthy LIFE. You just have to chose if you’re going to allow your past or it’s negativity to KEEP you in a jail of bondage, regret, and shame over it. 

You have to determine when to put an expiration date on it and move forward. 

Photo Credit: Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels

And this next word is the icing on the cake that’s going to help you move forward, and that’s FORGIVENESS! I know it’s cliché, but as we know and have heard, “Forgiveness is not for them, but it gives you Peace” Now I know forgiveness is hard, as this is another chapter in Robert’s book that really spoke to me. It’s easier said than done, trust me, I know. But forgiveness is so you can move on and let the chips fall where they may when it comes to the perpetrator. I’m also a believer in seed planting. Plant a bad one, you reap the benefits of whatever grows up from that seed. 

 ‘To The Survivors’ is a perfect example to show that you don’t have to be from the same place as someone else. Neither do you have to have experienced the same thing they’ve experienced? As Robert stated in his book, “Often our lives go in different directions than we plan or expect.”

A road or call from God, I should say, lead Robert Uttaro to a healing place to help bring blessings and healing to others. He answered the call, and because of it, many survivors have shared their stories and have helped others become heroic in sharing theirs. ‘To the Survivors’ is a book of hurt, heroism, and healing. The heroes are the ones that felt compelled to share their stories, but the main protagonist is the man, who felt the call, listened to the request, and acted upon it. Thanks, Robert, for allowing these influential voices to be heard.

If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted, maybe it’s you, perhaps it happened many years ago, and you feel it doesn’t matter now. Well, let me tell you, IT DOES! Your voice matters, it matters for the many women and men that are afraid to SPEAK UP. Your voice could just be the chain reaction that helps someone else get the healing they desperately need.

Please reach out to a counselor, trusted friend, or family member, or call or find a rape crisis center near you. Robert Uttaro’s book “To The Survivors” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.  

Get Inspired to tell your story, Pick up your copy today!

Guest Post: Having it all – An Inspirational Journey to Becoming a Superwoman by Ritu Sethi

Featured Photo: Ritu Sethi

Every decision we make leads us down a different path – it is up to you to decide which one. 

You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can enact change within yourself if you are willing to accept personal responsibility and guidance.

Ritu Sethi – Author “Having it all – An Inspirational Journey to Becoming A Superwoman”

There is an age-old question that plagues so many young women today and it is not a new one. It is one that has been around for decades; ever since women in the workplace became a common sight. However, as increasing demands continue to beg on everyone’s time, this ever-evolving question proceeds to grow.

The question began from whether there was really such a notion as a happy work-life balance for women. This meant addressing the conversation that women often had to choose between their personal responsibilities vs going to work and being the financial provider for their family. 

In this current society, the spectrum of technological advancements accessible to us at our fingertips has meant that women are finding it increasingly hard to merely switch between each area of life unscathed. On top of this, Social Media apps do a great job of constantly reminding us of this presented requirement to have an enviable social life going spare to feel accepted, or to download the newest fitness apps as a pre-requisite for reaching a peak state of health, digital banking apps that must be mandatory if you want for a healthy bank account, or meditation as a spiritual reminder to encourage time out, self-care, and mental health awareness. Not to mention searching for added space and time dedicated to intimate relationships and family time too. No wonder so many women are exhausted all the time!

As a Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Mother, and Wife, I share my strategy for ‘having it all’. It is based on the idea of compartmentalizing all areas of your life into eight accessible sectors and understanding how to balance all these areas. My suggestions are a guide to self-improvement and I want the experience to be a personal journey for you and to encompass all there is in life, as a working woman.

‘Having It All Now’: An Inspirational Journey to Becoming Superwoman’ is my own interpretation of advisory and solution-orientated guidance for women. 

You will feel empowered and equipped  to take charge of each area of your life, including:

1} Self-development. Are you truly happy in yourself or should you step away for a moment and re-evaluate life objectively, just for you.

2} Finance and wealth. How much money do you need to reach financial security and increased financial freedom? How will you do this? One small saving every day (even skipping each morning’s coffee on the way to work) will help you save.

3} Have you experienced the power of intimacy and love? The passion that comes when you least expect it, one that consumes your senses? If you need a bit of guidance here, this book explores the reasons why you are good enough, the uniqueness and qualities within yourself and how to best bring them out and how to be seen. 

4} Stuck in your career? After all, how do you break through an invisible glass ceiling within your professional life? You have the ability to make a conscious decision to break with the imaginary boundaries that are products of years of false conditioning and then the rewards are yours to be had.  We guide you on how to exude the confidence to make it to the next promotion and reap those rewards.

5} You are your own definition of health and beauty.  There cannot be just one definition of beauty in a world so vast and different, but we do know that there is a plan to enjoying total peak health. That one does not just happen on its own.

6} Love is all that a child really wants from their parents, so take 5 minutes to hug them every day, to feel the heartbeat of your child puts the world back into perspective. That support and nurturing is also a steadfast way to encourage them to embrace the world. Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect parent, so why strive to be one?

7} Your social life can only be a reflection of the choices you make, on how you choose to spend your free time, and your ability to be a good friend. We explore how you can surround yourself with like-minded friends who will boost you in your search for balance and happiness.

8} Lastly, spirituality and creativity are your subjective choice, and once you have read through how to dispel many of the demons you may now face, there will be one important light and eye-opener that will be your guide. 

The results you will get is an insight into NOT putting off the  ‘luxuries’ that life has to offer you for another day, and instead to make today the day to stop and reflect on your life balance and Life choices resting in the realization that you can make the subtle changes you need so you too will begin the journey to ‘having it all now’. 

About the author

Ritu Sethi is the Founder and Senior Partner of The Sethi Partnership Solicitors, recently winning the Lifetime Achievement Award in Law 2019. She is also a public speaker, and her book ‘A Woman’s Guide to Having it All now’ was voted ‘Best Inspirational Book’ by IBBF. For further information and to order your copy; visit www.ritusethi.com   Or www.sethi.co.uk 

So, What is “Gal-Entines” And Why Should It Be Celebrated?!

Featured Image – Bing

Let me share what Gal-Entines is ALLLLLLLL about take it away Leslie!

Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation

Thank you my Gal pal, Leslie. I’ll take it over from here.

Yes, there is such a thing as Gal-Entines! WHICH is to be celebrated today! So happy Gal-Entines to ALL of my ladies out there. As you can see per Leslie (Amy Poehler), it’s a celebration with your gal pals whether you’re married or NOT! Now I know V-Day is officially tomorrow and it’s a day where all the single ladies are either celebrating themselves or a little pa-turd that they’re not getting the roses and the chocolates. I get it, I used to be that way too but hey, why not celebrate ourselves right? After all we deserve it, whether you’re boo’d up or NOT!

Check this post out 👉👉👉 Beware of Coupling Season! Are You A Victim?

I don’t know about you but for the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve always treated “V-Day” like any other day. However, to celebrate the occasion, I’d always go and grab my favorite dish from the Olive Garden, get me a piece of cake from my other favorite place (Confection Connection) and go home to watch a good movie. And there you’d have it, Valentine’s Day was over…

This year, I wanted to do something a little different. After talking to other single gals, I realized that I wasn’t the only one that celebrated this way. There were a plethora of “single” ladies who weren’t boo’d up just like me. So why should I have to stay in the house? My sentiments, EXACTLY!.

I’m unsure how it’s all going to go down, but I’ve planned an event for our singles ministry this year all themed around the “Gals” – there will be arts and crafts, games, food, spoken word and hopefully a lot of laughs and a lot of good times. So, we’ll see how it pans out. I am asking for a small fee for this event (i.e $7) but you’d pay more than that eating out! The event is tomorrow although I know the official “Gal-Entines” day is supposed to happen the day before V-Day I just couldn’t let a Friday go to waste.

Another Good Read 👉 5 Common Mistakes Women Must Give Up, To Get The Man of Their Dreams

As women, we need to celebrate each other, even if you do have a boo. Gal-Entines is all about celebration and good times, something that women don’t do enough of, especially in regards to one another. I don’t know what your plans are for this Gal-Entines day or even tomorrow, but whatever you do, make sure you show the special “Gals” around you, some love and appreciation!

Plan a party, an outing or go to the movies….they have this new movie entitled “The Photograph” starring Issa Rae (Insecure) and Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out) that looks amazing and it comes out tomorrow on Valentine’s Day! (Can someone say, GIRLS TRIP!!) Anywho, no matter what you decide, make sure you get out with your best gal pals either today or sometime during the weekend to check that out or just have a really good time. Andddd It’s not too late to plan…

Listen, us gals just want to have FUN and why not do it together!! – As that’s what “Gal-Entines” is truly ALL about!

Marietta Sangai Sirleaf, better known as Retta – Parks and Recreation

The Tale of Two Journeys – Going Completely NATURAL and Working Hard in Prayer & Exercise…

Whew!!! Okay, so the title is a little long; Well, really long….even for me but I have a lot going on and I want to share it with you today, maybe it’ll inspire you to do something out of the ordinary or take a leap of faith and finally do that thing that you keep putting off. So without further ado, let me tell you about the tales of my two journeys.

First, The Backstory:

Mid 2015, I had beautiful hair – noticed I said I had. I remember getting my hair done August of that year and leaving the beauty shop feeling so good about how far my hair had come and being in love with how soft, silky and shiny it felt. I, of course like anyone else who just got their hair did; took care of it, made sure I washed it once a week and gave it a deep condition when needed. All things were good, at that time. By the time October came, I noticed my hair had taken a shift – it no longer looked healthy, as a matter of fact, it began to shed extremely bad. What was I doing wrong?. By December of 2015, the beautiful hair I once had – was now washing down the drain of my shower and clumped in my hand, so much hair came out until it looked like I had a glove on my hand. What happened was STRESS! Without going into details, I had started a new job and the turmoil I went through with that, finding a place to stay and “life happened” moments, caused my hair to come completely out. I was devastated…so, when I went back to work in January of 2016, I went back wearing a wig – A wig that had become my new look, my new signature style, my new me….

Fast forward to July of 2017 – I had worn that wig and a couple of others (because they were now my new mantra) up until about almost two months ago. I no longer wanted to wear the wigs anymore but because they had become such a part of my lifestyle, I was sorely afraid to go without one. My hair up under the wig was in no better shape than it was months and months prior and no matter how much I washed it, it still shed like crazy and continued to come out. So, on July 8, 2017 I woke up that morning (without giving it a second thought) took off my scarf, picked out my hair and CUT IT!

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Bye-Bye Hair – 7/8/2017

I felt liberated, relieved but scared all at one time. Okay, so I’ve never been that great at doing my hair – I failed miserably at the task. I was the one that by the time I went to the beautician, they would have to cut all my hair off and I would have to start from scratch all over again. After multiple times of this happening, I gave up on trying to style, curl or do anything to my hair. So when I cut it off….I was thinking, okay – so now what do I do. After, I cut it – I washed it and used a couple of products that I had. I could do this, I said to myself as I looked into the mirror….I really could DO THIS!!

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After the Big Chop – 7/8/2017

But that was short lived, I didn’t wear my hair like that to work because I was afraid of what people would say or think. (I have a story about that) so, let’s just say my first BC (BIG CHOP) didn’t go over so well with everyone as I was labeled as liking women…another story, for another time – let’s keep trucking along…

So, that was the stigma that I was facing and because of that – while I felt liberated in the bathroom behind closed doors – I felt trapped by the thoughts of others. And then, from the help of my daughter – while the front of my hair was looking good, I had totally shattered the back (see below), this was another reason for me wanting to keep the wig handy.

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Uh-Oh, YIKES!! 07/17/2017

But, while I was feeling self-conscious – my daughter said “Mama, do you like it?” after I told her Yes, she then proceeded to say “Well, who cares what other people think” Now while I know this for myself and preach it to other people, I had to get that little lesson from my 13yr old daughter whom made me realize, It’s okay to be me. Within 3 weeks of taking the picture above, my hair had began to grow back a little. (see below).

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Okay?, I See Progress!! 8/08/17

Let’s just say YOUTUBE, is the bomb and has helped me with my styling techniques. Some things worked and there were some that didn’t but Hey!, it’s all about experimenting, finding your own niche and making it work for you. Going Natural is hard work because you have to complete styles for your hair that are not “chemically” based. It’s sort of like taking your natural hair on a journey of discovery and finding out what works best. So far, I’ve come up with some pretty nice styles (see below)

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I will post every other month “maybe” about how this hair journey is going – It’s definitely a process but this time when it grows out, it’ll be healthy as well as strong.

So, now onto my other journey of exercise and prayer…..

Back in 2015 (seemed like the year of unfortunate events), I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. I had developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my son, I was told by doctors that because of that; my chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the future was very likely. So when I was told that I was pre-diabetic at a check-up, it didn’t come as a surprise. However; I still continued to eat what I wanted. This year, I was still diagnosed with pre-diabetes (Short Lesson: this means you’re not diabetic yet but a cupcake or a cookie from becoming a full blown one – okay, back to the story) and while I had the goal to exercise and do great things – I completely feel off the horse….BUT! for the past month, or well almost month (he he he, wink) I have been eating good things and have decided to do what I call the “Treadmill Chronicles” – This is where I get up at 5:45am in the morning and walk on the treadmill (that I literally begged God to give me, but really never used it) along with prayer. So while I’m walking it out for 30min, I’m also talking to God and praying for others in the process. Well, that’s my other journey….to get in good health and put the right things in this almost (clearing my throat) 30-something yr old body. PRAY FOR ME PLEASE!!! LOL!

Now that’s the tale of my two journeys – What new journeys are you on? Have you tried anything new? Are you currently thinking about doing something? Well, whatever it is and wherever your journey takes you too – Just remember, it’s your journey. You can’t do it for anyone but yourself and WHO CARES what people think or say. We only have one shot at life, so why aren’t we living like it.

#TakeAChance

#BeBold

#YourLifeIsCalling

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

5 Common Mistakes Women Must Give Up, To Get the Man of Thier Dreams

Relationships are hard work alone & Dating with all of its rules, guidelines and catch phrases is another monster, all it’s own. So, how do you obtain a good relationship, less known get a date?, I mean what is it that you could be saying or doing that seems to not be attracting the right person. If you’re wondering if your looks or appearance could be the reason, think again! Most dating mistakes happen the moment we open our mouths, Yes! our mouth could be the very reason most of us, Fall short in Dating and Fail at Relationships.

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In my early dating stages, I can tell you – I was a wreck and my mouth posed to be an even bigger risk. I felt as if I had to tell a guy everything about me, my past, my future, my expectations along with my goals, dreams, fears, hurts, habits and hang-ups and this was just on the phone; we hadn’t even gotten to the first date yet. I used to wonder why I would either never get a call back or if they did call back, it wasn’t talks of going out on a date, it was because they were bored and I just seemed to be tfish and hookhe person they either wanted to vent too or just talk too. Yes, I was a good friend; but not a good partner for a relationship. I even had one guy to tell me that I reminded him of his grandmother – LIKE, REALLY???, I had to take a good look in the mirror on that one – was it my words of wisdom that had him traumatized?, whatever it was; it  didn’t garner a date and then again, I don’t think I would have wanted one with him after that comment. I also had an issue with not totally being myself; I tried to fix myself up to be whom I felt like the guy wanted me to be, I lost weight; dyed my hair; bought creams to make my skin lighter and even wore hair extensions to obtain a longer length of hair and I’m not going to even talk about other crazy things I would do and/or did just to obtain a guy’s attention….Trust me, as I’ve gotten older, those things weren’t worth my sanity nor time. I never fully let my hair down to be me, because I was trying to be with them. Over time of not “catching too many fish on the hook” I realized that there was one thing that was holding me back from getting a chance of having a date;  outside of not being myself,  I realized that MY MOUTH! was the ultimate hammer that nailed the coffin shut.  Yes, here I was talking marriage, babies, future and goals to someone whom I didn’t even get a chance to see if they were that interested in me or not; however, they knew I wasn’t’ the one for them.  So as a woman who was in limbo with dating, those experiences have garnered me to write out a couple of mistakes I made and that you may be making too. So, let’s get started with a couple of Do’s and Don’t s:

Dating TipsTip #1:  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THYSELF: I underlined & capitalized this for a reason. Please ladies, let’s show love to ourselves first. Love your curves, your mind, your choices. Just love you. I can’t tell you how many times, I jumped into a relationship looking for love but didn’t love myself. When you love you, then you take the pressure off of a guy having to force himself to love you back. When you love you – then everyone else will love you too and even if they don’t; guess what! Who Cares! because you love you and that’s the first and only thing that matters anyway.

Tip#2: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself:  Yes, that was a popular song in the 90’s but it’s even popular for us ladies. Listen to your gut, we know if we’re really ready for a relationship or not. Most of us still need a little fixing on the inside of us first before we are able to invite someone else in. If you have low-self esteem or are not comfortable with your weight, then I would suggest you try to fix those things  before entering into a relationship. Men like confident women and if you’re not displaying that, then the relationship will plummet before it takes off the runway.

Tip#3: No Need To Pack The Bags: When you’re on a date or before you even go on a date determine to leave the bags of the past in the past. A guy doesn’t need to know that you were once depressed, was suicidal, was married (unless it’s a topic of discussion) he doesn’t need to know about baby daddies and all those issues. Shh!, Keep those things to yourself (at least until you feel like the relationship is going somewhere after you’ve had enough dates with the person) A first date should be about you, career goals and aspirations. Not Drama! So keep that bag at home.

Tip#4: Knight In Shining Armor…Not!: Okay, so sometimes we ladies tend to get a little movie struck. We sometimes look at how relationships are played out in a movie and desire for that to happen in our own lives, let’s get real. It’s a Movie with actor and actresses whom are or were paid to act that way. They were reading a script. Just because the guy comes in with a cane, doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy or just because he doesn’t look like your favorite actor, doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. Give everyone an opportunity. They just may surprise you.

Tip #5: Keep The Cookie In The Cookie Jar: Make sure your hormones are in check before you go on a date. There’s a number of people whom have sex on the first date and what’s even more common is the fact that it’s unprotected. Let a guy fall for your mind first, not what’s in your pants. Building a relationship based off of sex; usually does not last. When sex supersedes a conversation and becomes your first foundation; it’s hard to get back on track with a good convo. So keep the cookie under lock and key. Whatever decision you make regarding the individual you want to make sure it’s based on true emotion and not a sexual one in which could cloud your judgment immensely concerning the person, especially if he has a lot of red flags that require your full undivided attention.

And guys, I didn’t forget about you – the same effort you put into getting the “cookie” can also be the same effort you put into having a good, healthy relationship. Here are some tips for you to look over in order to get the Woman of your dreams and keep her long enough than a one-night stand: 5 Things Men Must Give Up, To Be With the Right Woman!

Do you have any dating tips you would like to share? List them in the comments so we can get a conversation going.