Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Interviewing the #UndauntedWoman: Keisha Harold

Welcome back for this month's addition to my Interviewing the Undaunted Woman series! I've been having the best time for the last several months, interviewing women who have lived through and survived life's challenges with strength and grace, and as we move toward the Christmas holiday, I'm excited to introduce November 2017's Undaunted Woman, Keisha Harold.

Keisha was nominated to be featured here by my cousin Dana, who was inspired by Keisha's story and thought she would be a great fit for this series - and I'm so thankful to have had a chance to chat with Keisha and share her story of faith and hope here on my blog.


Tell me about yourself - what's your story, and how did you become an undaunted woman?
I am a single mother of two amazing strong sons, Desmond (18) and Keshawn (9). I am a Hair Artist an I love everything about it from the art I get to create to the people I get to interact with. I am Blessed. I am a Sober and Delivered Strong woman of God. I have fought addiction almost my whole life. Then I fell in Love with God and He has changed my whole life, my whole way of thinking. I have a life filled with love, encouragement, STRENGTH and most important Faith and Hope. I am an Undaunted because I refused to give up on myself, my kids and life. Also because of my Faith in God.


I love your perspective of how powerful having a strong faith can be! I can attest to that too, actually - getting closer to God has changed me as a woman for sure. So, have you ever struggled with confidence and/or self-worth? If you have, how did you overcome that struggle - and if you haven't, how did you avoid it?
I found my self worth in May of 2014; that's when I was baptized and became a new person in Christ. I never knew who I was until God showed Himself to me. I was mean, rude and had no self confidence. Now I know how to act in public, conduct my self as a woman. I know how to Love myself and others.


What is the one thing you've survived that makes you feel most like an "undaunted woman?"
I was not always so strong; I have been in abusive relationships, emotional and physical. I grew up watching my mother get beat up on and watching her struggle with her own addictions. My dad was a God fearing man. I didn't live inside my dad's home, but I did see God working in and through his life.


Even that can be a powerful influence - watching God work for the good of other people (such as your father) can be just as impactful in some ways as having Him working in our own lives.  And I think this works with other faiths as well. Now that you have that kind of influence over you more personally, what aspect of your current life do you find most rewarding?
My job as a Mother is the Best ever, scary but so rewarding. Also as a Hair Artist, the way that I can make people feel just by doing their hair, or maybe it's sharing my faith in God with them or the struggle I have overcome.


I can imagine you've had some great conversation with the women sitting in your chair! It's great that you can use your experience to shape your life as a mother as well. Which brings us to this: What is your favorite successful strategy or coping mechanism for dealing with challenging people or situations, and how is that strategy impacted by what you've survived?
My successful strategy is to always try and remain calm, try and not let the situation control me. Talk in a cool calm voice. I like to think in a Christ-like way, what would JESUS do. People respond best when I am calm. Also PRAYER is very important.


Prayer is important to me too - it changes so much about my day to day life, so much so that I can clearly see a difference between when I'm closer to God and when I'm not. Let me ask you this, then; what other woman do you most admire, and why?
I admire all the women who never give up, who through the challenges of life continue to fight. My Mamaw Pearl, my sister Holly. My boss Vickie. Vickie has taught me so much about my business and life. And Frances, my Angel, because she took me in and showed me love when I had no idea what it meant. She is a blessing.


Sounds like you've had some amazing strong women in your life - I imagine they had their own sense of Undauntedness. What one quality serves you best as an undaunted woman?
I never let anyone or anything control my mind or thoughts BUT GOD. Never give up. We may get down BUT never give up.


A woman with her own mind - I like it! On the flip side of that, what one quality are you most looking to improve in yourself?
I would like to be more Fearless ... I would love to not over think everything.


Funny you should mention that - the concept of fearlessness. I wrote a blog post about fearlessness once, exploring the idea of myself as fearless. It was a good exercise in accepting my sense of fear, actually - although I'm with you on overthinking things. I do that all the time myself. But progress takes time and our growth is an always changing process, isn't it? So if you could do any one thing right now to help other women become undaunted, what would you be doing?
Right now my sister's family is living with me due to a fire in their home. I am trying to give hope when they are down, I am speaking positive when they say negative things. So I guess I would be their encouragement. I refuse to let this defeat us. We will be united. We are Family. With God all things are possible.

That's amazing. Family doesn't always mean people who stay beside each other and look out for each other - I'm glad you're making sure that it does mean that for your family and for your sister especially. If you could stand in front of every woman on the planet right now and speak into their hearts, what would you most want to say to them?
Wow what a question. I would say, "Hello Beautiful Queen." I would say, "Always put God first. Always set boundaries, always love yourself. Never let anyone take from you. Always invest in yourself, be kind always. Love others."


Thank you so much for being here Keisha! I loved that you were so willing to share your story, and I love that you've allowed God to be such a strong influence on your life. My cousin was right to recommend you, and I'm glad I got over my own anxiety to reach out to you - your story has blessed and inspired me already. Thank you for allowing me to share it here.


If you liked this post or you've enjoyed following this series for any reason, please share the link with the undaunted women in your life! Let them know you appreciate their strengths and if you're inspired by their resilience. Or you could even take it one step further and nominate a woman for next month's interview; you can find details on how to do it here!

Subscribe to this blog by filling out the "subscribe by email" form in the sidebar while you're here, too - it's a great way to make sure you never miss a post. And Keisha and I would love to hear from you; feel free to leave a comment below to share some of your story or to thank Keisha for sharing hers!

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My patrons directly sponsor my various writing endeavors by choosing their favorite reward tier (starting at as little as $1 a month), and that sponsorship gives them access to all sorts of content: the $1 tier gets access to one new romance chapter a month, two brand new poems from my upcoming poetry collection, the weekly L.A.F.F.S., and occasional content polls! But the best part of Patreon is that as my patronage grows, so do the benefits for every patron! Our goal right now is 25 patrons, and when we hit that goal, I'll start dedicating each of my blog posts to one special patron - which means YOU could be getting public shoutouts right here on the blog, just for being one of my Patreon subscribers!! Even better ... when we get to 50 patrons, I'll double my monthly fiction chapters, which means twice the writing from me in exchange for the same monthly contribution from you. (PhLogs are public though, so go check those out for free - a really hilarious one went up over the weekend, and it still makes me laugh every time I think of it.)

However we stay connected, whether it's through my books, this blog, my social media profiles, or even Patreon, you can always rest assured that my brand is built on the concept of what I write and who I'm writing it for. "Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman" isn't just a slogan or a tagline - it's a purpose and a goal. Click here to find out more about what it means to be an undaunted woman - maybe you'll find that you already know the perfect nominee for our next Undaunted Interview!

And as always, whether you're a first time reader or a long-time loyal follower ... from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being here.

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