New Year: Need Hope? Read This

“We spend January 1, walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance this list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.” – Ellen Goodman

Here we are in a New Year and while some of us got it, many of us are still looking to get it, get it together and get it right.  I believe that when we dwell on our potential instead of our problems, we increase our chances of getting to the greatness that we expect of and for ourselves.  A lot easier said than done right?  Right.  But to help, I’ve outlined a few steps that might get you to a more positive and purpose-driven life in 2011.

  1. Revisit Your Old Self – Take a trip back to a time when you were in love with yourself and when you were least affected by the realities of life.  Extract that great part of who you were and put that back into whom you are now.
  2. Release Your Regrets – You cannot edit and altar your past so let it go.  The power of forgiveness is so incredible that is has proven to lead to an all-around healthier life.
  3. Relish In Your Good – Despite what you or others believe, I’m willing to bet that you’ve had some good moments and you’ve done some good things.  Stop wasting your life focusing on what you’ve done wrong, pat yourself on the back and push yourself forward.
  4. Reinvent Your Current Self- If Diddy can do it so can you!  Change what people know you for if it’s not what you want to be known for.  If people can’t respect your evolution, then they don’t need to transition with you to the new you.
  5. Realize the New You – When I was a child, I thought as one.  Well you’re not a child anymore and once you accept and realize that you define what you stand for than nothing else matters.
  6. Represent- Whatever happens in 2011, DO YOU and look good/live good doing it!

It’s a New Year, a new day, a new opportunity and chance to start over.  Look back as long as you know the real story is in moving forward.

-Ashley Charisma is the author of School of Black Love. For more info on Ashley Charisma and the novel

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Bad Love: Don’t Stay Too Long

“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” –Erica Jong

I caught J.Lo’s Behind the Music the other night and while I’m not really a fan, I definitely enjoyed watching the evolution of her love life.

One part that certainly stood out was her interpretation of her relationship with Puff, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy (whew).  She said she knew it would never last but she stayed with him anyway.  That’s probably the only common ground we have.

I thought back to my last relationship.  On the surface he had everything I wanted in a man.  He was tall, attractive, confident, successful, stable, educated, family-oriented and spiritually grounded.  It didn’t hurt that we built a great friendship to start it all off.  But something was missing.

I sought the council of my closest friends, who thought I was crazy and still in love with my ex before him when I kept saying to them “something is missing.”  Instead of listening to that voice inside of my head, I allowed myself to believe that it was me and my issues.  So I stayed with him.

Months passed and despite my growing suspicions, I had nothing to prove my argument that something was wrong.  I stayed because he had “the” package.  I stayed because when something went wrong in his life, it was the right thing to do.

It took him months before he sat me down to explain he’d been cheating. He explained that much of the overtime and travelling was filled with the attention of another woman.  So it made perfect sense when he came home tired.  It made perfect sense that he was too overwhelmed to send flowers on major days or to arrive on time for dinner the first time he met my dad.  He was wearing himself thin running around the city with “friends.”

SMH at myself because along with the woman’s intuition I had a God given gift to recognize game when I saw it but I didn’t listen to myself.

Neither did J.Lo.

What I learned from that relationship and what J.Lo seemed to have learned from her time with Puff is that the only person you owe something to is yourself.  Far too often women make a sacrifice of a need, not a want, to stay with a man who doesn’t appreciate or recognize that she did it to love him.

Women will play wife, mother and home-girl to a fool who she knows doesn’t deserve it.  But she’ll remain patient hoping that him or something will change.

It’s not until Shyne is popping caps in a club and we’re finger printed that the J.Lo’s of the world are like, “Wait! What the hell am I doing here?”  I mean it’s not that drastic for most of us but it shouldn’t have to be.

It’s time we start seriously listening to what our wisdom tells us.  Trust your gut.  You were given instinct for a reason; it’s to help you survive.

It’s nice to have friends to run ideas by but at the end of the day, no one knows your truth better than you.  Embrace it.

It may leave you single longer than you hoped but at least you won’t be sleeping with one eye open.

Get my drift?

-Ashley Charisma is the author of School of Black Love.  For more info on Ashley Charisma and the novel visit

You can also follow Ashley Charisma on:
Twitter and Facebook

Did Diddy Give Naomi The Boot?

Model Naomi Campbell was celebrating her 38th birthday in Cannes on Saturday night when things apparently took a turn for the worse. TMZ is reporting that Naomi dropped in uninvited to Diddy’s yacht party causing the pair to get into a a creaming match, leading Diddy to throw Naomi out, where she was then photographed by the paparazzi. The UK Mirror claims the tears had nothing to do with Diddy. “They were tears of joy! Naomi was so overcome with emotion from seeing her friends she burst into tears and ran out”. Whatever the case, these pics of Naomi “overcome with emotion” are pretty disturbing. The sista looks like she’s about to snap.
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Random Pics: The Carters In Cannes

Hip Hop’s first couple, Beyonce Knowles and Sean Carter, were in Cannes this weekend to take in the sights and sounds of the city, as well as Diddy’s Memorial Day party which he through aboard his own private yacht. The couple was first seen partying it up with Diddy and other guests like Lindsay Lohan and Kerry Washington and then were later on spotted by the paparazzi strolling through a shopping center.
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Ashanti Pushes Album Back To 2008

Ashanti Album push backs are becoming extremely popular as Ashanti can now add her name to the growing list of female singers having their album release dates either pushed back or postponed indefinitely. Appearing on the Doug Banks Show today, Ashanti confirmed that her “Declaration” will not see the light of day until sometime in early 2008. No actual release date was given however. Ashanti also confirmed that no video for her first single, Hey Baby, has been shot as previously reported. And though Ashanti probably won’t admit it, I think her label is re-evaluating their decision to release Hey Baby as the first single and rightfully so. The song is too similar in sound to that of Diddy and Keyshia Cole’s “Last Night”, and because of that radio will most likely not play it. By new years a new single will most likely be chosen, and fans will have long since forgotten about Hey Baby.
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Weekly Wrap Up 9.28.07

Regina Hall 1. Actress Regina Hall, who was last seen on the small screen playing a lawyer on the hit Fox comedy, Ally McBeal, will be heading back to a television near you, as the sista has been tapped to play Cedric The Entertainer’s wife in a new ABC pilot. The show will revolve around a family man (Cedric) who has always been the proud breadwinner and has difficulty adjusting when his wife’s (Hall) hobby turns into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.Keyshia Cole 2. Keyshia Cole continues to make the rounds of all the music stations promoting her new CD, Just Like You, which is heading to the top of next week’s album charts according to Hits Daily Double. Keyshia stopped by The Fuse in New York City on Thursday afternoon and showed up for the interview looking quite spiffy. I haven’t always been a fan of Keyshia’s ultra blond short bob but somehow it has managed to grow on me. And while many sistas are opting to go darker, at this point I really cannot imagine Keyshia with anything but blond hair. Thomas Jones & Meagan Good 3. Actress Meagan Good was spotted out on the town sporting her signature nameplate earrings, drawn on eyebrows and the best darn accessory any woman can have- her man. Meagan also seems to be showcasing a new do which I really like. Thanks to Rihanna, dark hair seems to be making comeback with celebrity sistas and not a moment too soon if you ask me. Sanaa Lathan 4. Last up is my girl Sanaa Lathan who made a rare public appearance and showed up for Us Magazine’s Hot Hollywood Party. Sanaa recently wrapped up a spectacular season on Nip Tuck, playing the vivacious Michelle Landau. Look for Sanaa next to make television history playing opposite Sean “Diddy” Combs, Audra McDonald and Phylicia Rashad in the televised version of A Raisin In The Sun which is being produced by Oprah Winfrey and is scheduled to air directly after the 2008 Oscar telecast.
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Unforgivable Woman

Are you an Unforgivable woman? Apparently Beyonce, Eartha Kitt and Aretha Franklin are, as they were the only sistas to show up to help Diddy launch his new fragrance for women. Eartha Kitt showed up for the unveiling looking fabulous, as did Aretha, who is quickly approaching her fourth decade in the music business. Beyonce however showed up looking a little out of it. The pic below is the only one of her at this event, as just like at the GQ Anniversary party, she seems to be trying to keep a very low profile.
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