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"journey to discovering the true you"

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Be the Voice; Let’s talk about the Aftermath, Sacrifice & Cost of Domestic Violence



As the month of October ends; so does Domestic Violence Awareness Month. That means no more purple ribbons to display, no more banners with statistics, no more rally’s, talks, events or walks, no more buttons, pins, or safety plans, no more hearing brave victims stories etc., etc., etc. No more Domestic Violence right…WRONG!!! The month may be over but Domestic Violence occurs 24/7 – 365 days a year and so should the discussion.

Some statistics indicate that every 9 seconds someone is experiencing domestic violence or intimate partner violence. These statistics also state that 1 in 3 women are impacted. Therefore, this means that if it is not you, then guaranteed it is the people on either side of you to your left & right. So why don’t we continuously talk about it beyond October? I will tell you why because of the shame, the stigma, the undermining of the real impact it has on the person. You see the incident may only occur within those 9 seconds. However, the impact often last a lifetime and effects more than just the victim but everyone around him or her. Their family, their kids, their co-workers, and their community the list goes on.

The time-period after the abuse has stopped is called the “Aftermath”. This is the time when the person is merely trying to survive. They are trying to piece their life back together again. Dealing with protection orders from abuse, the court system, trying to keep safe, keep a job, income etc. This aftermath comes with a “Sacrifice” and a “Cost”. The sacrifice and cost may pertain to their kids by either losing them to the system of fighting to keep them. The cost may come with the triggers from the memories, constant reminders, and the continued suffering in silence long after the abuse has ended.

That last one is important because not only are we kept silent during the abuse but we remain silent afterwards too. This is why domestic violence needs to be talked about all the time. The examples given are just a few of many that have a lasting effect on the now survivor and her family.  Nevertheless, no one wants to talk about it. Well, it is time to “Be the Voice” and speak up about all aspects of domestic violence. Speaking up is not about the abuser rather it is about setting you free so other people can are aware 24/7 – 364 and can then learn to speak up too.

Years ago, I decided to speak up. I chose to talk about what happen to me because I knew it would give people hope. I chose to Be the Voice and tell my story until someone gets the courage and is no longer embarrassed or afraid to tell theirs.

When we can talk about Domestic Violence, the things that happen afterwards, the sacrifices that are made to stay safe and the cost to our mind, body, and spirit we create a new narrative. It doesn’t become so taboo, frowned upon, or ignored anymore. Just imagine when we speak about it people will no longer have to suffer in silence or at all.

If you or you know someone who is experiencing domestic violence please get help, create a safety plan, seek professional advice/counseling, provide or get a support system and most importantly speak up.


The National Domestic Violence Hotline 
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

Safety Plan:

Safety Planning

Additional Resources:


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Delayed not Denied

Sooooo, I sent an opportunity to my son the late Monday afternoon for him to apply for and he sent it back to me like mom you should do this. I was like yeah right…okay. So, after some twisting, bending and pouting, I let him convince me to do it. It was to be an Obama Fellow.

All day I looked at it an still had some reservations but I still did it. So with a few hours to spare and with his help we worked on the package up until the deadline of midnight. So as the time was rapidly approaching the stroke of 11:59 pm I had computer issues, I couldn’t type, copy and paste fast enough, I received system errors, it was like a marathon getting to the finish line.

I met all the requirements, I answered every question, I submitted all the information requested, I saved everything each step of the way, and then i finally got to the last page and hit the submit button exactly at 11:59 pm, aaaannnd drum roll please….I received a message that the application is closed and no more submissions will be taken.

So there you go I missed the deadline. Bummer right well not really because that taught me to never give up and fight all the way to the finish even if you don’t advance or win. Trust and believe that this is just the prep work for something else. For starters I received confirmation today that I have be accepted to take part of a global event taking place next month. And, I know like I know that this is only the beginning.

So, my message to all of you is to keep pressing, do it anyway, never give up, and belief thought who belief in you. And Remember,when God has a plan, He has a plan that may be delayed but will never leave you denied!

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To all of you who have followed me on the journey I say thank you…to all of you who have come to my many workshops i say thank you…to all of you who have come to my conference i say thank you…to all of you who have purchased a copy of Magnified Thoughts i say thank you…Words can not express how appreciative I am of each and everyone of you near and far. So as we here on the 1 year anniversary of my amazon best seller Magnified Thoughts I just want to show may appreciation. So all this week I will be giving away some pretty cool stuff. But you have to enter to win! Giveaway ends Friday, September 21, 2018 @ 11:59 pm

Click here to Enter to Win


appreciate you

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Service Above All Else

candles flame

If anyone know the old cliché, it is better to give than receive. Knows how much validity this statement actually has. In fact, the more you give the more you actually receive in return. The most import thing one can receive is the gratification of being of service to another. When I think of people like Mahatma Gandhi, who gave of himself because it was a calling and not just a job or something he had to do. I know personally service is essential to my soul because it fills my spirit more than anything else.

In my travels and encounters with amazing men and women some stand out more than others. And, there is this one phenomenal young lady that I met as an exhibitor at my Celebrating You Women’s Conference & Expo. Since then, I have come to learn so much more about the “candle lady”. And, guess what from what I have been able to witness her light shines brightly. Not only was I impressed with her bold moves to make things happen to follow her dream but what truly stood out was her gift of self. Her gift to support grieving families who lost a love one under the age of 21 to violence. Not only did I take notice of this gesture, but so did the local media.

Magnify Your Essence (MYE) is proud to announce the next “Magnified” feature will be:

Ms. Carolyn Pendleton

I was able to catch up with Carolyn to find out what makes her who she is and some insight on how we can be bold and fearless like her. This is what she had to say….

(MYE)   There are 5 core things that we as women at some point want to either change or do such as: start a business, change career, go back to school, volunteer, and/or health & wellness. Which fab 5 can you relate to as a women on the move, and why?    

 (CP)     All of them because 1. Wish I had started sooner; 2. Definitely going back to school; 3. Will make more time for myself and family; 4.Take the time out to nurture myself, my weight, eating habits, etc; & 5. Become more spiritual

(MYE)   As a Women on the Move, how do you recognize when to take risks and make bold moves?

(CP)     I recognize when to take risks when it feels good in my heart. 

(MYE)   How do you overcome challenges when they come?

(CP)     I overcome challenges by focusing on my purpose and remembering the reasons why I do what I do

(MYE)   What advice would you give to someone who wanted to make a change but was fearful?

(CP)     The advice I would give someone would be WHAT BETTER TIME THAN NOW!! While your ideas are fresh

(MYE)   What motivates and drives you to be the best you? 

(CP)     What motivates and drives me is the confidence in knowing that I serve a God the created the entire world, and has instilled creativity in me that is meant to serve a purpose for his people. He has equipped me with every tool needed to be successful

(MYE)   What is the most inspirational experience you’ve had?

(CP)     My most inspirational experience was definitely was seeing the smile on the 6yr old’s face after receiving a copy of his twin brother’s comic book themed )Obituary/ Memorial booklet. I don’t think I have every felt as inspired as I did in that moment

(MYE)   What’s the one thing that brings you the most joy?

(CP)     Bringing a smile to a grieving mother/ family through my work. The in spite of their circumstances they can smile

(MYE)   What is your proudest accomplishment in life thus far?

(CP)     I actually have 2. 1. was sharing my life’s story with the world. 2. Making the decision to be my own boss

(MYE)   What was your ah-ha moment when you discovered _____________? 

(CP)     When I discovered that I can do ANYTHING that I set my mind to do

(MYE)   What positive affirmation keeps you grounded?  

(CP)     Challenges should serve as steps to strengthen, sharpen and mold you. They are NOT setbacks, they are the stairs that must be climbed and once you have reached the top, reach down and pull someone else up

(MYE)   If you had to pick your own theme song or personal motto, what would it be?

(CP)     Black Butterfly by Deniece Williams

(MYE)   What does being “magnified” mean to you?

(CP)     Magnified to me means to ENLARGE, FOCUS, SEE THROUGH, TRANSPARENCY 

I don’t know about you but I think Carolyn is simply amazing. I just love featuring amazing women like her because we can all learn from one another’s strength, determination and compassion. Carolyn clearly believes in her GOD given gifts and talents and unselfishly shares them with the world. She has put others before herself and because of this her reward is that her gifts are making room for her. Thank you Carolyn for showing us how you can display service above all else while following your dream without sacrificing one over the other. You are truly making a real difference and therefore your Essence has been Magnified one flame, one candle, and one obituary at a time!

If you know of another Magnified Woman who should be featured by all means let us know. In the meantime, like Carolyn…Let’s Be Empowered, Be Inspired, & Be Magnified!!!!



(Carolyn Pendleton is the Owner & CEO of Pendleton Candle Company where her mission is to create each candle as unique as our customers, while providing customized scents and labeling to the personal style and taste.  She has provided custom candles for notable clientele such as Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhymes, Hillary Clinton and Lauryn Hill.  In addition, Carolyn was featured in the Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer and for her contribution to the community by providing free Obituaries to slain families. She has donated proceeds from her candle sales to be able to create beautiful Memorial Booklets/ Obituary programs. Even as a busy mom and business owner she selflessly donates her time to create these booklets as a keepsake for families. If you wish to contact Carolyn or learn more about Candles by Carolyn or Candles for a Cause contact her at: or Phone: 267-908-5348)

candle cause

(obituary made possible because of Carolyn’s Candles for a Cause click here to read more) 

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A Time for Healing

be the voice awareness

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month “A Victorious Story of Healing” is the title of an article that featured my story of Healing and overcoming Sexual Child Abuse.  I’d like to share that article that I contributed too.

Every eight minutes, child protective services substantiates, or finds evidence for, a claim of child sexual abuse. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every survivor needs a time to heal. I hope that the following story of Carolyn Wilson encourages and empowers someone else to speak up, get help and allow the process of healing lead you to complete victory!

For Sexual Assault Awareness month, I decided to share my story a couple of weeks ago of being a shy, creative little girl who loved art and who was being molested by my father. This was my norm many days and nights for most of my childhood until I became a teenager. Although, there were brief moments when it stopped the long lasting damage was already done.

The damage that a child endures as being sexually exposed, sexually assaulted, and sexually raped causes an effect that lasts a lifetime. This is an experience that can unfortunately never go away. There is no pill to cure it. There is no magic spell to make it go away. The only thing you have is yourself to keep yourself going.

Just like many victims of sexual child abuse, I have lived many years with shame, guilt, confusion, depression and uncertainty. It becomes routinely easier to become numb and not deal with what has happen to you. Because, the pain is way too much to handle. But, unfortunately, what you ignore and burry will eventually resurface.

This is what happen to me when I found out my perpetrator was still molesting a little girl who happen to be my little sister. Because of this, I decided to tell what happen to me once more and now he is serving 20 years in prison. I did this initially to save her but ended up saving me in the process.

This was the beginning of my healing. My healing that was long overdue. I began this process by staying in prayer, surrounding myself with friends and family, attending a support group for incest survivors, attended therapy with a licensed counselor that specializes in childhood trauma and kept busy by giving back to the community.

The work that was put in was far from easy but it was necessary. Many things came out of this process, I am no longer plagued with shame, guilt, and all the uncertainties that come along with being sexual abused. Instead, I freely know who I am, what’s my purpose, and why i exist.

What has been birthed out of this pain was my blog turned ministry Magnify Your Essence, my Power Hour Empowerment Series, my Beacon’s Light Women’s Retreat, my book – Magnified Thoughts – A Transformational Journey to Reveal Your Amazing You, and my annual Celebrating YOU Women’s Conference & Expo held every third Sunday in May.

If you were sexually assaulted, you can call this hot-line number for confidential support and service providers in your area 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

printed: April 27, 2018 by Arnita DeShields



Reflection of ME

When you look in the mirror whose reflection, do you see? This should be an obvious question right? Well, not exactly. There are times when the image that is staring back at you is not even you. On the other hand, your mirrored image is so unrecognizable it is almost an imageless image with no reflection at all. I know I am not the only one who can relate to this. The reason why you no longer see your reflection is that at some point you have become blind to your reality. Something significant going on in your life is probably the reason for your distorted image. Well, I definitely know that I have been visually impaired a time or two before. I definitely know what it is like when you look towards someone else to help you see your own reflection. Nevertheless, we all know how that turns out. It does not; it becomes shattered because it is not your truth.

The only reflection that you should clearly see is of you. You should see the GOD in you. The one that created you with a divine purpose. That is the only reflection that should be starring back at you. I never really thought about this until I took some me time and went to a conference in Maryland called God’s Confident Women Conference. It was so good to be on the receiving end instead of the giving end for a change. The theme for the conference was Mirror-Mirror. The intentional design for this retreat like women’s conference was to have you take a real good look at yourself in the areas of Fulfillment, Family, Forgiveness, Faithfulness, and Finances. What a great five-fold way to dive into some honest, thought provoking, introspection about self.

This was the time that I needed at that moment to take a real good look at myself. Because at that time my own reflection was blurred. We all have moments even me. However, I have learned that it is ok to have my moment just not to allow my moment to have me. During those times, I will admit it takes a while to recognize the person staring back at me in the mirror. However, eventually I can clearly see the beautiful reflection of me. One that is amazing on purpose, one that is resilient, one that is courageous, one that is a conqueror, one that is a beacon, one that has love for others including herself, one who is magnified in everything that she does, and one who even has fabulous flaws. Yes, I have flaws so why not make them fabulous.

I am sharing this with you because I want you to see the beauty in YOU just as I see the beauty in ME. It is important to understand and know thyself by knowing the person that you see in the mirror. Because, the reflection of the person you see definitely is not defined by someone or something else unless you let it. You have to see the person that GOD has created you to be. Someone in His own image. One who is wonderfully and beautifully made!!! Knowing this, I hope you can learn to love and smile at the reflection of YOU. Because, I know that I can truly say that I love and appreciate the reflection of ME!!!!

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Fragile, Handle with Care


Fragile, Handle with Care

Lately, I have been thinking about how one can be strong yet fragile. I wanted to understand and shed light on the beauty of both. Let’s take a look at the definition of fragile according to which states:

fragile – adj

1 – Easily broken, shattered or damaged, delicate, brittle, frail

2 – Vulnerability delicate as in appearance

So based upon the definition, something that is fragile is easily damaged.

After breaking many objects in my lifetime I can say that once an item has been broken it can be put back together by gathering all the shattered pieces. However, there will always be a possibility that it can be broken once again. Our lives are no different from a broken vase. We can be put back together but at any time we can be re-broken. On the vase you can use glue, and tape etc. For ourselves, there are many bonds to use to restore us back to new such as prayer, family, friends, faith, and time, etc. Although, these bonding agents make you strong and possibly sturdier than before there will always be a weakest point. This is the point that when under pressure will most certainly break once again.

Keep in mind that once something is broken it is even more fragile than it was before. This is especially true for people who have endured some sort of trauma in their lives such as domestic violence, sexual child abuse and / or sexual assault. The damage has already been done. The pieces of their lives has been broken and putting themselves back together takes lots of time and a tremendous amount of patience. Sometimes you’ll discover that there may been missing pieces or that the pieces may not even fit back together properly. Even if every single piece was put back and seemed back to normal, you must always be handled with care. Just like that broken vase that was glued back together. You will be extra careful with it because it was once broken.

How do I know this because not just because I broke a vase but because I was once broken.  Although,  I have been able to gradually put my pieces back together there are pieces that are missing and some that don’t fit back as they did before. In addition, there is always the chance that I can be broken once again.  The truth of the matter is that even though I am strong I am also delicate. Just like that vase there is beauty in my broken pieces.

Broken doesn’t always have to mean damaged. When something breaks we have the tendency to want to either throw it away or save it. If we choose the latter we wrap it and pack it up to protect it from being broken once more. But when you do that we miss out on the new intrinsic beauty it now has cracks and all.  Remember that light can only shine through the cracks. So if you are like me be amazing in your brokenness as your beauty is far more than what anyone else can see. Don’t hide it or protect it let your light shine through all of your unique pieces. And, if you know someone who is like me and has been broken remember they are just like that precious vase, fragile yet strong. Enjoy how beautiful they truly are and always handle with care.