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My Dog Took Me To Dinner For My Birthday!

Last year on my birthday, I was in a relationship with an extraordinary Black Man who loved me and whom I loved deeply.

He took me to Vegas to see the Michael Jackson show. Because the show was at night, I had to board Happy. It was the first night without Happy in over three years.

I did not do well.

Vegas is loud, busy, smoke-filled, and has a lot of stimulus. Not only do I have PTSD and social anxiety, I’m also on the spectrum of autism. Over stimulus wears on my central nervous system.

Simply put: just BEING in Los Vegas is triggering. 🤣

Long story short, I got triggered and started to spiral. I did my best to self-sooth in an overwhelming and new environment but failed. I became jumpy, sensitive, and defensive. My ex didn’t and couldn’t understand. To his credit, he had never dated a person with PTSD. So he took my sensitivity personal. He felt like I was making mountains out of molehills and decided to sleep on the couch.

Without Him or Happy in a strange bed, alone, I lost it.

Chest pains.
Panic attack.
Racing thoughts.
Dizziness.
Throat contraction.
Inability to talk.
Sweating.
Shaking.
ALL the things.
I needed certainty.
I needed the familiar.
I needed my dog.
I needed to go home.

As soon as the dog boarding place open at the break of dawn, I packed my bag and went to get Happy.

I told Him I was going home. He said fine, go. Looking back I wish I could have said more, but this was the best I could do in that moment.

I got Happy drove and cried all the way back to LA from Vegas. Happy cuddled me curled in my lap, and I felt safe.

Once home in my familiar surroundings, I started to settle down, on the inside.

Happy cuddled, played, and INSISTED we go out for a walk. And we did.

Happy did the same thing this birthday.

I chose to stay home for my 51st birthday and spend the day praying. I’m traveling out of the country in the next few weeks, so spending the day with God felt like the right thing to do. I only talked with Nanna. Happy and I napped and cuddled until late afternoon.

I did my Bible study, worked on a project, and took a long scented bath. It was sacred. I felt peace in my spirit and thankful for dwelling in God.

Happy decided it was time for a walk.

When Happy and I walk, he gets to determine the direction. I figured since the walk is primarily for Happy to relieve himself, he should have the right to follow his nose.

We walk. Happy started pulling on his leash.

I had to pick up my pace.

Happy walked us to this beautiful high-end restaurant and sat down at the door.

I became embarrassed.

Happy was blocking the door and people on the inside could see me trying to cajole a stubborn 15lbs Bison to move out of the way.

He wouldn’t budge.

I picked him up and briskly walked to a bench near a waterfall fountain a short distance from the restaurant. Happy laid down on the ground and STARED at the door of the restaurant. The sound of the water was soothing. Peace was present. Happy watched the door and I prayed while letting the sound of water falling serenade my prayers.

30 minutes later, I get up and start to walk Happy home. Happy darted to the restaurant door nearly pulling my arm out of its socket!

Again, he sat his stubborn self in front of the restaurant door. This time I looked in. It seemed like a nice place. I coax Happy to walk around the restaurant. He aligned.

I went in and looked at the menu while Happy flirted with the host. I then decided to take myself out to dinner for my birthday.
Happy and I were seated in a lovely nook outside to enjoy the breeze and I could pray.

Happy was given water, and I had tea.

As we waited for my entree , a group of journalists came and filled the terrace with joy!

It was great to see them enjoy each other’s company.

One journalist struck up a conversation with me. He was a journalist in charge of Diversity. He was funny, witty, and smart. I told him today was my birthday. We laughed a lot. When the server came to ask about desert, he told the server my desert was on him! The server (who was also the manager) said he was planning to buy my dessert for me as a gift for my birthday.

The Diversity journalist, who just happen to be a Black Man said, “While your offer is appreciated, the gift will have more meaning coming from me than you.”

BOOM!

I was not prepared for this. Neither was the server. He bowed out graciously while I picked my mouth up off the floor!

The Black Man Diversity Journalist smiled at me deeply and I want to cry in a good way.

He WAS right. It DID mean more for this Black Man, a stranger, to gift me my dessert on my birthday.

He “saw” me and show me kindness for no reason at all.

It was healing.

When my dessert came out, this extraordinary Black man started singing Happy Birthday and encouraged the other 300 journalists to sing until the ENTIRE restaurant sang me Happy Birthday.

I thank him and everyone for this.

Turns out there were a number of dog loving journalists in the midst. So Happy had a receiving line of journalists who wanted to love on him. He graciously accepted all the ohhhs, ahhhhs, and pats.

It was a beautiful peaceful birthday.

The contrast between last year’s birthday and this one is profound.

I was able to go out by myself.
I felt good being alone, in peace with myself, my dog, and my God.
I didn’t get overwhelmed when all these strangers starting singing to me.

Last year I was healing.
This year I’m whole.

God sent a Black Man to let me know that there will be a Black Man who will see what I need and supply it. Who sees me, comprehends my world, and honors all of me.

No rush.

I’m doing God’s work right now.

No need for distraction.

I now know I will love again.

In the mean time, I’m appreciative that Happy took me to dinner on my 51st Birthday.

It was truly blessed.

Passport Renewed—Will Travel!

I was feeling some kind of way about my birthday coming up on September 23rd. 

I will be 51 and all I could see was that I was NOT 25!  🤣🤣🤣

So, I took it to my tribe and my God. 

The support brought tears to my eyes. 

I’m not the only one who feels—and sees—the effects of aging.
 
Women worldwide, reached out and let me know the BEST is yet to come! Just reading the funny stories from my sisters in success made my heart smile. And I realized something that set me free.
 
 
One only “feels old” when one feels alone.
 
 
Left to my own humanity, all I can see is cellulite—never mind the hard muscle under it.🤦🏾‍♀️
 
 
As I ground in God, it’s becoming crystal clear that the antidote to feeling old is participating in life!
 
 
It’s been YEARS since I left the country.
 
 
COVID shut down the world. It’s now opening up and I’m choosing to live again!
 
 
I renewed my passport this summer. It expired during COVID and I didn’t realized it had. I thought I was going to Paris, but God had something BETTER.
 
 
I’m not only going out the country but I’m going to TWO DIFFERENT countries invited by two different people just DAYS in between the two trips!!!!!
 
 
And get this: the first trip is a birthday gift and the second one is a speaking engagement.
 
 
In truth I almost said no. My anxiety kicked in and I ran into roadblocks for Happy. I didn’t want to piss on a blessing.
 
 
I prayed.
I called my Nanna.
I came up with a solution.
 
 
So Happy & I are going international!!!
 
 
I love how God loves me.
 
 
I feel like God uses people to let me know I’m not alone and I don’t have to do this life alone.
 
 
I feel loved.
Cherished.
Included.
Valued.
Blessed.
 
 
I did NOTHING to earn this favor.
 
 
The more I trust God, the more ease, joy, and favor just FALLS on me!
 
 
God is my safe space.
God is strength.
 
God will never leave me or forsake me.
 
God works wonders, and always has in my life.
 
God keeps letting me know that He is my provider, protector, friend, father, vindicator, champion—just EVERYTHING.
 
 
Yeah… my everything.
 
 
And I am so very thankful.

Reckoning with Aging

I stare in the mirror at my aging body.
 
Lines.
Wrinkles.
Cellulite.
 
I touch my belly, that looks like I’m 5 months pregnant, and wonder what it would have felt like to have life grow inside of me.
 
I’m tired.
 
Tired of fighting gravity.
Tired of phantom aches that the doctors’ can’t explain.
Tired of seeing Momma in the mirror when I look at me.
 
I workout.
Eat clean.
Drink water.
 
It makes no difference.
 
I can see my once taunt thighs becoming Pillsbury soft.
 
I see tiny varicose veins creeping up behind my right knee.
 
I see the faint beginning of double chin and the “spread” of a wide ass.
 
My gray hair refuses to be hidden without permanent dye.
 
I’m reckoning with aging. 
 
I’m looking life unflinchingly in the eye and coming to terms with this truth: in a few weeks I will be more than a half century.
 
Which is a miracle.
 
When I look back on my life I marvel at the miracle it has been.
I wanted to make God proud with my life.
I wanted to reach the world.
 
My life is a miracle.
God has always been proud of me.
I reach millions of people monthly.
 
So in a very real way, I’ve made good with my life. And if I never exercised again, my body looks better then women in their 20s.
 
I pray I age gracefully with dignity and panache.
 
I no longer have ambition.
Now, I have purpose.
 
I want God to use me.
I have no idea what that looks like at all.
I don’t know what God wants of me for the rest of my life.
 
Whatever it is, I’m here for it.
 
My life is God’s life.
Lord, let your will be done.
 
 
Dr. Venus Opal Reese

The Greatest

She’s been winning since she was a teenager.

Serena Williams has competed in and won major tennis tournaments in her teens, her 20s, her 30s, and 40s.

While she gloriously (seemingly) played her last game of tennis after her third round loss, at the 2022 US Open, many still consider her the greatest athlete in history.

The stats backup this belief.

According to First Post:

— Serena has the most Grand Slam wins (23) among active players. While she has won seven titles each at Wimbledon at the Australian Open, she has won her home Grand Slam six times starting all the way back in 1999. She has also won the French Open thrice.

— She’s also a six-time doubles champion at Wimbledon and has won the same at the Australian Open four times and twice each at the US Open and French Open.

— Serena won Olympic singles gold at the London Games in 2012, while having won doubles gold thrice (2000, 2008 and 2012).

— Serena is one of the four players to have a Career Golden Slam in singles, the others being Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, and Rafael Nadal. She’s also one of the nine players in the history of the sport to achieve the same in doubles. Additionally, she’s the only player in tennis to complete a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles.

— She has a total of 73 WTA titles, the fifth-highest in the all-time list.
— Serena’s also third in the all-time list with most time spent at the No 1 spot. She had eight different No 1 reigns from 2002 to 2017 for a total of 319 weeks.

— Serena finishes with an overall match record of 858-156, with a Grand Slam W/L record of 367-56. The same for the US Open reads 108-15.

These facts stand for themselves.

AND there are two other factors that earns Serena the title of the greatest athlete of all time:

1. She had a C-Section and CONTINUED to compete professionally. 🤯
2. She created a lane in a sport that punished her for being herself.
3. She became what her father said she would become.
I am clear Serena’s mother is at the root of ALL of her daughters’ success. Be clear: her👏🏾momma👏🏾did👏🏾that👏🏾!

Here is a video of Serena acknowledging her dad, mom, and family: https://fb.watch/fjo_BNKPJM/

(break out tissue box)

I’m pointing to Richard Williams advocacy, vision, and “plan” for his daughter’s life.

If you haven’t check out the movie “King Richard” I invite you to give yourself this gift. Pay attention to his talk with young Serena the night before Venus plays her first big game. It is profound.

I know it’s a movie and I’m clear it was approved by the Williams Family. Even with accounting for dramatic license, the seed this father planted and watered publicly for his daughters shows the power of a father’s love.

In all honesty, this scene hit me in the gut.

As an unprotected poor Black girl child, seeing a father love and cast vision for this Black baby girl showed me the loss of not having a father. And it made my heart break in a beautiful way to know some baby girls were protected and loved like this. It was healing to watch.

Serena is evolving.

She is committing her time and attention to being a mom and other interests.

Regardless of what she does next, she will undoubtedly under take it with her full passion and work ethic she brought to tennis.

Serena makes me proud to be a Black Woman.

She lets me know that in my fifties, it’s not over for me.

I can be great too.
I can evolve as well.

That’s what Serena does.
She inspires us to be ourselves.
And to believe in ourselves.

In the face of no possibility.

Perhaps that’s what makes her the greatest to so many.

I know it does for me.

Time To Make Millionaires

God and I have been talking.
Deeply.
About you.

Well actually, about us.
As a People.

What is my role?

I did a video about this matter last week. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/yvqsEkkRc74

When George Floyd was publicly executed in front of the world, the visual of his executioner’s brazen direct stare into the eye of the world via the video, changed me.

I stopped being a marketer and turned all of my platforms over to social change, specifically, justice for George, Ahmaud, and Breonna.

I wanted to give us language to speak back to the enemy who kept painting racial violence as law and order of Black bodies. So I broke out my PhD books from my dissertation from Stanford, and took to social media to equip us against racist attacks because we had the gall to say “Black Lives Matter.”

I stood for justice for George, Ahmaud, and Breonna. It’s taken over two years and each one of these precious souls have been awarded justice—however imperfect.

As I educated us about speaking back to Racism and White Supremacy, I realized Black America has a spending power of over 1.6 TRILLION and yet we are at the bottom of nearly every social economical statistic in America.

How can we spend 1.6 trillion but be broke as a people?

Two ways: non-conscious spending behaviors and an unwillingness to work together.

Historically, when we worked together, we thrived economically. When we haven’t—cultural genocide.

The solution is simple: work together.
Except we don’t trust each other.
And rightfully so.

From slavery to president day America, we are pitted against each other for survival. So in order to get a head or stay alive we have had to throw each other under the bus. It’s a historical wound, rooted in oppression, undistinguished as such.

It just looks like attitude, crabs in a barrel, or pathology.

The access to working together is healing. Again, one has to be willing. I have discovered in the last two years that while people KNOW healing would make ALL the difference, some people are not willing to do so.

Then what am I to do?

How do I empower us to heal the emotional and economic trauma, on worldwide display as George’s murderer staring in the eye of the camera, if we are not willing to heal so we can stand and prosper to effect change?

So God and I talked it through.
And this is what we came up with.

Focus on the money.

If we had a collective of millionaires who were committed to the emotional and economic emancipation of us as a People instead of Individualism, a percentage of that group would become billionaires.

Billionaire status is not about money.

It is the gateway to infatuating the infrastructure of America.

This is where change happens.
It has to be bought.
And it can be.

So I’m taking it on.

I’m shifting my focus back to money and I’m taking on making millionaires.

I will be focusing on entrepreneurs instead of the general audience because entrepreneurs have skin in the game. They will do WHATEVER it takes to become millionaires, be it healing, learning new skills, investing in themselves, developing team, etc. Entrepreneurs ENJOY the hunt. And they are willing to work together to achieve an outcome that is bigger than them.

So I’m focusing my energy, time, and resources into making millionaires. I’m designing a brand new program to do just that. Stay connected www.venusopal.com to know when it’s done.

Please know that I’m building this for you.

I know that may sound crazy to you right now. I know. Every cultural shift began when one person was willing to stand and take action for what they loved.

I. Love. You.

And I know how to make millions, touch millions, and reach millions. It’s pretty simple, really.

So I’m taking it on.

I thank you for loving me and walking with me as I evolve.

I love you,

Dr. Venus

Grace begets miracles…

Grace begets miracles…

Dana Chanel https://instagram.com/danachanel?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
shared that she was terrified about being with a man who could not provide financially.

The fear came from her childhood being raised by a single mom. The lack of financial support had an emotional impact on her mother’s ability to nurture her.

Why?

Her mom’s need to provide for two children, without financial support from her father, used up all her resources.

Here is the three-minute reel: https://www.instagram.com/reel/ChNWkAblFwK/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

As I listened, my heart broke in a beautiful way. This three-minute reel gave me compassion for my mother. It also spotlighted the loss of not having my father in my life.

Often we see our moms and/or dads as “parents” instead of “people.” Human beings without a manual, adapting and providing for us at the cost of emotional intimacy and support.

This phrase from Dana touched my heart in a tender, aching place:

“She deserves my grace.” Wow.

I believe strongly we access the God of our understanding through grace.

Grace.
Grace.
Grace.

How often I have withheld it as a form of petty payback.

Villainizing people I loved for acting out their wounds on me.

As I’ve healed, I see now how tragically wounded people are.

Until enough of us heal to the point grace wins over righteous finger-pointing, payback, or justification for petty malicious behavior, we will continue to blame and tear each other to shreds.

I say no.

I love you too much to be right about how wrong you are.

What if we shifted our way of relating from “you’re wrong” to “you’re wounded?”

We want compassion, empathy, understanding—but do we give it?

Or do we make people pay for their sins?

I know I have.
It got me nothing.

I had to realize that my righteous anger didn’t take the pain away.

It only kept me trapped in the past.

But when I found grace I was clearly able to see the lesson, but more importantly the BLESSING from the pain!

If Momma hadn’t put me out, I would never have gone to high school to eat.

Had I not gone, I would never have met the teacher who saved my life.

Had I not met my teacher, I would have never graduated from high school then college.

Me going to school created a new trajectory for my bloodline.

My brother went from hustling to getting a Masters degree.

My nieces and nephew have professional careers.

My mother received a citation from the city of Baltimore for starting a community garden.

Be clear: I did NOTHING directly to cause these results. Because I can identify the blessing from the bad stuff, how can I resent it? When I can own the blessing, grace is a natural fall out.

Much like Joseph and his brothers who tried to kill him, it all served a greater good. But you will never see it if you don’t have grace.

Question: who deserves your grace today?

I encourage you to give it.
Grace begets miracles.

I love you,

Dr. Venus