Almost 24 years ago, a six-year-old girl learned that her mother had been tragically murdered by her father (a well-renowned pastor at a local church). Soon after, their father would be sentenced to 28 years in prison, she along with her four sisters would be taken from their home and thrown into foster care, and her life would never be the same.
Later, that little girl would go on to earn a degree and become an accountant, only to be fired from her job and ultimately create one of the most popular platforms in the media world, amassing millions of followers and subsequently securing a serious bag.
We now know the woman in this story to be the creator of The Shade Room, Angelica Nwandu, a boss who now knows that every roadblock in her life has been a blessing in disguise.
The media mogul and star of the latest episode of UMC's Behind Her Faith(available to stream April 9), a faith based-series executive produced by Insecure's Jay Ellis that features stars like Niecy Nash, Aisha Hinds, and Essence Atkins, recently sat down with xoNecole for an intimate one-on-one conversation about the secret behind her success, and according to Angie, it was nothing but God's love. She explained, "When I was wrong, when I was right, when I was indifferent––He was there throughout it."
On the show, Angie opens up about how her mother's death changed her life, getting to know Jesus midway through her entrepreneurial journey, and how she learned to adjust when she felt like her vision and her values didn't align. We got a chance to catch up with Angie to talk more about her faith, facing her fears, and how to find purpose in your pain and, honey, it was a whole word.
Fear Is Poisonous
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will, and Angelica explained that this was a lesson she learned firsthand.
While you may think you're in the self-doubt struggle alone, our good sis revealed that she can totally relate. The Nigerian-American creative told xoNecole, "I'm going to tell you right now, I've experienced it all. I've experienced doubt, thinking, 'Oh, you know what, who was I kidding? God didn't say this is going to happen for me. I'm not up for this. I can't do this, I don't have the work ethic. I don't have the intelligence––the creativity.'"
"[Fear is the] biggest opponent that I have," she continued. "Because fear, for me, and its impact on me is crippling. It makes it so that I don't do anything. Either I don't do anything or I consider things failures before they've even started."
Angelica explained that while analysis paralysis can become addictive, it's a cycle that she's learned to break by pulling the weeds before they even have the opportunity to grow. She shared, "I've noticed it, that monster of fear just growing and growing and growing, and I've noticed that it is so poisonous to a lot of areas in my life. Fear doesn't just show up in one area. It kind of seeps into all areas. You'll notice it just creeping in, creeping in and growing and seeping into different types of relationships, coming out in different ways."
"You gotta hit fear with technique. You got to figure out how fear gets you––what triggers you and then start breaking that down. Address the triggers. Triggers are places where you need healing. Why am I so scared of failure? Why? Why am I so scared of being alone? Where are the roots of these feelings coming from?"
Coming face-to-face with your trauma is never easy, but Angelica wants you to know that it's always worth it, sis. And as painful as your past may have been, when it comes to discovering your purpose...
Hindsight Is 20/20
Unfortunately, life doesn't come with a built-in rearview mirror, but if it did, it would likely reveal that hindsight is 20/20 and Angie wants you to know that many of life's roadblocks are only blessings in disguise. Despite facing legal woes, business breakups, and moments of disappointment, the TSR creator remains adamant that faith will take you places hustling won't.
"When I put out that prayer, 'God take things that you do not want me to have––that you don't have a plan for––that are in my life. Anything that's not supposed to be there, make it fall, make it collapse, just cancel the deal, get it away from me.' And when I have prayed that I've seen so many things fall through."
She continued, "I think I've seen big deals fall through with big companies. I've seen things just canceled, get ripped from under my feet. Right? And in hindsight, I look back and I see why those things were taken and I prayed the same prayer."
Angelica told xoNecole that this is a prayer that she's also prayed over her company, but instead of blocking her business, He has allowed it to thrive, "We get hit with these big things and it's like, how did we survive that? Why are we thriving in this time, how are we getting through this?"
Which led Angelica to drop yet another noteworthy gem…
Your Purpose Is Promised
In the docu-series, Angelica revealed that although she has come a long way from being that seven-year-old girl whose life was uprooted and transformed forever, she has to remind herself that God has been at her side, pushing her further into her purpose every step of the way.
She told xoNecole, "I really do believe that my belief in God is the only thing that's keeping me. When you think about it, what else can I rely on that won't change? That is always the same? That is true to the word that I know for a fact because of not just the Bible, which I love, but because of my past experiences, I know God is real."
While Angelica says she still experiences moments of doubt and unpromising pitfalls along her path to success, she now knows that the valley is where you gain perspective. "I know he's 100 and I know His promises are true." She explained, "And so because I know he has a promise on my life and I know that He's promising for me, when [bad] things happen, yes. Don't get it wrong. There are times where I'm doubting it. But I have to take it back to, well, God has a promise to me. It hasn't come true yet, [but] it's going to come true. His word is true. He will protect me until the fulfillment of that promise, and then He'll promise more. "
"To me, it's about having faith that things are gonna be OK even when they're not. If I lost everything today, I have to have faith that He'll bring it back together. But, see if I don't believe in Him, then what faith could I have? I could have faith in myself. But life is fragile. I have to believe in something bigger than myself and that's big for me. And I think that's what's getting me through."
Featured image courtesy of UMC.
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Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If there’s one part of the face that seems to be the most vexing to correct, it’s the under eyes.
This delicate area has a way of being tipped off by our irregular sleep patterns, stress, and the straining that comes from our computers and phone screens. From puffiness to dark circles, it can be irksome to find the right products to soothe our under-eye concerns. Thankfully, there’s one solution that delivers a brighter and more awakened look over time, and that’s under-eye masks and eye patches.
Eye patches are giving our under-eye bags an eviction notice because they can’t hang our glowing faces rent-free. The beauty of these patches is that they are designed to bring your eyes targeted results through concentrated doses of active ingredients directly to the skin under the eyes. Typically made of thin, gel-like material and infused with ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and even green teas, these small but mighty patches depuff your puffiness, brighten your dark circles, or tighten fine lines.
While every under-eye differs in its needs, every eye can benefit from an under-eye mask or patch that suits its concerns. And to help, we’ve put together the best under-eye patches to hydrate, soothe, and brighten your eyes.
The KNC Beauty All Natural Retinol Infused Eye Mask, 5-Pack, is a retinol-infused, all-natural product designed to rejuvenate your eyes. It promises to provide hydration, smoothness, reduced puffiness, and brightness without the use of chemicals. With ingredients like retinol to refine skin texture and stimulate blood flow and aloe to soothe and reduce redness, it's like getting 8 hours of beauty sleep for your eyes.
These cooling hydrogel under-eye masks from Topicals promise to fade the appearance of dark circles and discoloration in just 15 minutes. The set includes six masks and offers benefits that brighten, hydrate, depuff, and cool your under-eye area.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Grab these eye contour gel patches to brighten the eye area and combat signs of aging using a powerful form of vitamin C called THD Ascorbate, which is 50 times more potent than traditional vitamin C.
BeautyBio's Bright Eyes consists of 15 colloidal silver-infused eye gel patches designed to provide instant depuffing, brightening, and revitalization to the delicate eye area within 10 minutes. They also contain natural collagen to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, which we love.
These viral hydrogel masks offer moisture and nourishment to rejuvenate tired-looking skin. Their Snail Secretion Filtrate contains "Mucin," an effective moisturizing ingredient that soothes damaged skin and delivers deep hydration, making it suitable for dehydrated and damaged skin types. Your under-eyes will thank you.
Try these caffeine-infused patches to reduce puffiness in the under-eye area. The product features clean, vegan ingredients such as caffeine, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration and moisture delivery.
The Forever Eye Mask is designed to be the “last eye mask you'll ever need.” This thin, lightweight, and reusable eye patch can hold gels, serums, and creams close to the skin for better absorption, helping your skincare products work more effectively.
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Featured image by blackCAT/Getty Images