Growing up on an estate in Brixton, taught me to be Street smart and Book smart enough to tell the difference between those who smile at you, and those who smile with you. The danger of being watched, instead of watched over, and the distinctive 'hiss' a Snake in the grass makes.
It taught me to read body language and the room very quickly, and trust my instincts when I felt a shift in energy.
I was a teen runaway who started running away at around age eight. Yet never, not once, was I ever harmed while out in the streets or sleeping in an abandoned building. I met many strangers, a few who took me into their homes, and once, while asleep in the home of one family, I woke early in the morning (I was allowed to sleep in the daughter's room who was away from home), I woke with an urgent urge to climb out of the window and leave, immediately.
To this day I cannot tell you for certain what woke me, but with a matured mind and adult experiencing, I now believe while sat with her, her young son who was smoking at around age eleven, and her partner, something rang an alarm within me.
I trusted the woman and her son, although surprised he was allowed to smoke, but the male presence reminded me of my vulnerability as a female child in the unfamiliar home of strangers. I noticed the difference between the woman and her son smiling 'with me', and his smiling 'at me'.
Now this maybe because he was sat at home minding his own business and his partner and son returned with a young black girl runaway... but something within said "Leave now", and I trusted myself enough to listen.
That day taught me to always trust myself.
Another lesson I learned was to never chase those who suddenly distance themselves or become hostile, because often rather than not, they are showing you that jealousy, envy or a plot, has thickened.
So I say this to you, learn to be Book Smart, Emotionally Intelligent, and Street Smart, with a deep trust of your intuition - The combination will carry you through the deepest tunnels, and within the darkest back streets, to standing on glass ceilings.
I fought and won to become the woman I am today, and because of that, the title can never be taken. Never be ashamed of where you started or where you have been, it has carved you into a masterpiece.
With that said, I am wishing you a blessed and productive day ahead; one that truly exceeds all expectations.
From Novena-Chanel, The Equilibrium Coach® - The Goal Architect to Mind, Body, Spirit, Life Balance™ - www.theequilibriumcoach.com