Give yourself a break, You are doing GREAT!

When I first looked at this image of myself I literally said yuck… Aleka you haven’t lost any weight you actually look bigger. So much negative talk and doubt ran through my mind. You’re not trying hard enough you’re not making enough change you need to do more, do more, do more...

Then I realize change takes time and lots of effort. So be joyful in the small wins. Celebrate for not giving up on yourself. That is a major win within itself.

So this is my encouragement for every woman and girl who is suffering from weight issues especially related to medical conditions:

Give yourself a break, You are doing GREAT!

#NaturallyACT
Photog: @c3talktome | @letcsayit
Hair: @therisesalon | @iam_cindyj
MAU: @radiantenrichments | @gottaletitshine

Voyage ATL Interview

Life and Work with Aleka C. Thrash . Today we’d like to introduce you to Aleka C. Thrash.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Aleka. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My purpose is to inspire individuals to live authentically, as a result, Naturally A.C.T. was launched as a lifestyle blog and event hub for how-to workshops. I have been a professional portrait and lifestyle photographer for over a decade. I am privileged with the gift of noticing the inner beauty in others and portraying that beauty through my company ACTPhotoMedia. In 2015 co-founder of Kinky Hair Connection an annual event created to connect, support, and encourage naturals as well as those considering the transition and actually transitioning. The goal is to help women and young girls embrace who they were born to be – naturally.

In 2019 Wrapped by A.C.T. was birthed. Wrapped by A.C.T. is the expression of Naturally A.C.T. through fabrics and headdresses. The head-wrap line empowers those who choose to adorn themselves with a sense of pride and provides an outlet for creativity.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The beginning of my journey was very difficult. I struggled with self-doubt. I knew I had good ideas yet felt that no one cared. After I hosted my first workshop and people actually showed up, I realized what I had to offer people not just wanted but they needed.

My journey to self-confidence and entrepreneurship has been a challenge. I have stopped and started more times then I would like to admit. I have learned the importance of having people around you who will remind you of your why even if they don’t understand. Yes, there are many things you can do on your own however, you will soar when you have the right people in your corner.

Moving forward I am determined to be consistent. I have seen the rewards of consistency and not giving up, it’s worth it to get up and try again after you have been knocked down. My advice for others – DO NOT QUIT! If you need to pivot, pivot just do not quit.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Wrapped By A.C.T. – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
With three businesses ACTPhotoMedia which focus on photography and other media, NaturallyACT focuses on sharing my experiences via blogging and how-to workshops and Wrapped by A.C.T. which is the expression of Naturally A.C.T. through fabrics and headdresses.

I have learned to be a master multi-tasker. What sets me apart from others is knowing I can’t do it alone. In addition to amazing family, friends and the best customers, Corinthia E. Croom serves as the creative director with ACTPhotoMedia. While Connie’s Fig Leaf Shop serves as the lead seamstress for Wrapped By A.C.T.

I am most proud of my newest venture Wrapped By A.C.T. Many women want to wear headwraps as a fashion statement yet don’t know how to tie them. Wrapped by A.C.T offers a variety of satin lined headwraps with how-to tips and tricks to keep you looking fabulous.

Wrapped by ACT has a limited-edition approach, with ten fabric options and four design choices in stock. The fabrics are sourced from London and the patterns are handpicked. We used a local seamstress to make each headwrap. A unique option you’ll find is the satin lining to protect the hair from friction. In addition to pre-recorded how-to videos, we offer a one-on-one online sessions for an additional fee.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Before you seek out a mentor, coach or career sponsor, you need to know what your end goals are. Each serves a different role. Write out your goals both tangible and intangible. The same goes for networking ask yourself some questions.

I like to use the 5Ws” guideline in just about everything (Who, What, Where, When and Why). Example: Why am I attending this event? Who will be there? Why do I want to connect this person? Why should this person connect to me? What do they have to offer that I need? What do I have to offer that they need? Where can this go from here?

The key element in any connection, especially with a mentor, is the follow-up plan. You need to ensure you both are aware of objectives and goals. This can also be applied when networking.

I believe intentionality is important, handing our business card out just because is not the best use of your time or theirs. When you go to networking events it good to take your time to get to know people. Additionally, following up with people will set you apart, many people take business cards and don’t do anything with them. Follow up and follow through growth is key.

Pricing:

Head-Ties Start at $20-40

Contact Info:

Wrapped By A.C.T. Official Launch

Super excited to announce the official launch of #WrappedByACT.

Learn how to style your new head-wrap for every day of the week and shop the NEW #WrappedByACT Collection. Enjoy Music, light bites, and giveaways! Also featuring how to get the right twist-out with Kayon Crosby of Nourish Your Curls Boutique.

Join the Facebook Event Page to stay up to date!

 

Wrapped by A.C.T. is the expression of Naturally A.C.T. through fabrics and headdresses. The head-wrap line empowers those who choose to adorn themselves with a sense of pride and provides an outlet for creativity. With a limited edition approach, each head-wrap will be released in no more than 15 of design in stock. A unique option you’ll find is the satin lining to protect the hair from friction. Accommodations have been made for long and short haired folks by providing 3 length options to include children as well. Wrapped by A.C.T., cloth crowns for King’s and queens

Ultimate Natural Hair Tour – Grand Rapids Hair Expo

Such an amazing time moderating the blogger panel for the Ultimate Natural Hair Tour – Grand Rapids Hair Expo. The panelist shared their personal experiences of overcoming the fear of getting started and the importance of partnership.

Sharing the stage with all these beautiful ladies was a joy. Shout out to Ultimate Natural Hair Tour for hosting the first expo stop in Grand Rapids, MI

 

 

 

Photo & Quote from JustBriYourself. ‪”It was so enlightening to share wisdom and have some reciprocated back. When women come together, the world changes ‬ This is what it’s about. People speaking into others.
THANK YOU @ultimatenaturalhairtour for stopping in Grand Rapids, MI first and having us!”

 

Quick } Get Ready With Me!

Products used:

  • The Mane Choice® | Pink Lemonade and Coconut Super Anti-Oxidant & Texture Beautifier Curl Boosting Sherbet
  • The Mane Choice® | Pink Lemonade & Coconut Super Antioxidant & Texture Beautifier Mousse
  • The Mane Choice® | Multi-Vitamin Scalp Nourishing Growth Oil
  • The Mane Choice® Ancient | Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Oil
  • COVERGIRL | TruBlend Face Primer
  • NYE Love In Rio Eyeshadow Palette
  • MAC Cosmetics | Mineralize-Skinfinish-Natural
  • The LipBar | As If and Hart Breaker
  • Target | Jacket/Vest – Dress | Gabrielle Union Collection at New York & Company

Video Edited by C3 Talk To Me

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: 
☆ What is your get ready routine?

LET’s CONNECT:
☆ FACEBOOK | https://www.facebook.com/NaturallyACT
☆ INSTAGRAM | https://instagram.com/naturallyact/

 

You Have What It Takes to Overcome Anxiety

Did you miss me? It’s been over a year since my last real post, I have allowed negative self-talk, doubt, and even fear to keep me from doing what I truly love. I have wanted to post for a while, in fact, I have written numerous blogs that I have yet to post. Why? Because I told myself no one cares about what you have to say, people only want to read about your natural hair journey. But, after an amazing weekend away I realized I do have something, I have to work on speaking life about me, even if one person reads this it’s totally worth it.  

So for my first post back, I want to share how I have been dealing with anxiety. Since I was a child I would sit in my room and analyze everything that happened that day. Constantly asking myself questions: “Why did I say that?”, and, “Why did they respond to me like that?” I was convinced that everyone hated me. I was reminded of this when I read a post By Holly Riordan, entitled “My Anxiety Convinces Me That Everyone Hates Meby Holly Riordan Just about everything she said I could relate to.

My anxiety makes me question everything. When someone compliments me, I question if they are being honest. If someone tells me they love me it’s hard for me to believe them. I question everything, it’s hard for me to understand why they would want anything to do with someone like me.

Recently, a friend said to me “I don’t understand how you can be a negative person and a believer?”  This stopped me in my tracks, I had no response. I never thought that my anxiety reflected so poorly on my faith. I am still navigating how to reconcile my faith and letting go of my anxiety.

I wanted to share some of the lessons I have learned in dealing with my anxiety. Check out a few coping Strategies. Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.

  • Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
  • Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
  • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
  • Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
  • Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn’t possible, be proud of however close you get.
  • Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
  • Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
  • Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
  • Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help!!!

I am still learning ways to overcome my own insecurities. This year I have been more intentional about managing my emotions. If you have tips to share I would love to hear then leave a comment below!

Like and share this post with someone who can benefit.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: 
☆ If you have tips to share I would love to hear then leave a comment below!

LET’s CONNECT:
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☆ INSTAGRAM | https://instagram.com/naturallyact/

 

It is finished, Degreed up!

2012 – Graduation Ceremony

Let’s start from the beginning I graduated High School in 2001 after being told by multiple teachers that I would never earn my diploma let alone a degree. So, I’ve I had no plans to attend a college then I received multiple scholarships that covered my first year at a Community College. After two years of Community College I was preparing to attend an Art School in Georgia then my mom was diagnosed with MS so I didn’t feel comfortable moving away!

Fast forward to 2007 I moved to Grand Rapids to attend Cornerstone University. I was working two part-time jobs (45 hours a week) and taking 16 credit hours. At one point I had a 3.4 GPA this is significant because I was told that I would never be successful in college because I’m dyslexic.

I remember being in the 9th grade in front of my English class a teacher told me to drop out of high school get pregnant and go on welfare because I would never make it in the real world. My amazing mother’s removed me the school, and I connected with Mrs. Tami Wilburn who served as my advisor. She not only helped me go from “special Ed class” to mainstream classes, but she also helped me learn how to learn! Thank you, Mrs. Wilburn, for all you did for me in High School.

📷 C3 Talk To Me | CC

My last semester at Cornerstone was the worst! I was doing two internships, working like crazy and taking a theology course. I was scheduled to take two summer classes that would have allowed me to walk in the May 2012 commencement ceremony. Shortly after graduation, I learned that I failed my classes! I gave up, I just didn’t have it in me to go back in the fall. So, I took an unintentional 5-year break! I kept saying I would go back and just didn’t want to deal with failure again…

📷 C3 Talk To Me | CC

In 2016 I got a new job that was contingent upon me finishing my degree. I felt like it was Gods way of saying, ‘finish what you started’! I returned to school to retake my last 3 classes. Praise God I passed theology then failed my math class for the 4th time. Had a withdrawal from my stats class to avoid failing again. In 2017 I retook both the math class and statistics and passed with C+ I was praying for a D so God really came through! Although my GPA was not what I wanted to be nor did I finish on time but I finished what I started!!

This is just a part of my story! I can finally say I completed my undergraduate degree. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Journalism: Visual Communication; its been a long, exciting, and at times very very frustrating journey. I want to encourage you to keep fighting the good fight, finish the race, and kept the faith.

📷 C3 Talk To Me | CC

Even as I write this post I think of all the times that I failed, some were public failures somewhere private and I’m sure I will experience failure in the future, yet, that doesn’t mean give up. I encourage you to use it as an opportunity to learn, cry if you have to, seek out help, and try again I’m telling you it’s totally worth it!

Words can’t express how thankful I am for each and every person who encouraged me throughout the journey whether it was asking how homework was going, offering to help, or just reminding me that I simply can finish what I started!

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU: 
☆ What goal do you what to complete and what is your plan?
☆ Do you have a degree? If yes what it’s it in? If no do you what one?

LET’s CONNECT:
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☆ INSTAGRAM | https://instagram.com/naturallyact/