Episode 121: My Favorite Curly Hair & Skincare Tips

In today’s episode, I’m going to be sharing my curly hair and skincare tips. If you want to learn more about natural hair, be sure to check out Episode 119.

Neem Hair oil recipe

I use this Neem oil recipe as a pre-shampoo treatment. Part your scalp and work the neem oil through your hair.

  • 1 cup of Coconut oil
  • 1 cup of Neem leaves
  • 1 cup of Aloe vera plant leaves (cut it into tiny squares)
  1. Mix everything together
  2. Heat the mixture on the stove for 2 minutes
  3. Let it sit for 5 minutes Repeat the aforementioned pattern (heat for two minutes/sit for 5 minutes) for 20 minutes
  4. The goal is to melt down the Aloe vera After the 20 minutes, thoroughly mash/blend the mixture
  5. Pour the mixture into the preservative jar.
  6. You can keep this mixture for up to 3 weeks.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to take the How Well Rounded Are  You in Life quiz and check out  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating, purchasing a  Hustle in Faith journal  or an  item from StarenguCrew in order to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Episode 120: What will your dash look like? Part 2

Sidenote: I never intended for this to be a two part series. However, his death got me thinking about my “dash” and figured that these episodes really belonged together (hence, the gap in the timeframe). Here is part one, but you don’t have to listen to that one first in order to understand this episode. 🙂 https://hustleinfaith.com/what-will-your-dash-look-like/

Before I jump into today’s episode, I want to take a moment to thank you for your support. I actually did something that I hardly ever do…I took a look at the analytics for this podcast. It’s crazy how much this podcast has grown. Oftentimes, it felt like I was talking to myself, but clearly I’m not.

I started this podcast solely out of trying to inspire and motivate people to never give up and to keep going, so it’s really humbling to see how much this podcast has grown despite the fact that I’ve NEVER spent money on advertising. It’s been purely by word of mouth. So if you’re enjoying this content, if you don’t mind, I would really appreciate it if you can pay it forward by leaving a rating and a review on iTunes because it will help other people to discover this podcast as well. I’d truly appreciate it and thanks again for your support.

All right. Whew. Where do I even begin with how to describe this past week…Yet, more protests have been happening. Athletes literally said enough is enough and did not play any of their games in hopes to draw more attention to the obviously clear double standards that exist in this country, by the way, more power to every last one of those athletes for using their platform. 

They are in a unique situation to drive change. These billionaire owners literally can’t do a single thing without the players. More power to these athletes in forcing the owners to pay attention by messing with their bottom line. I have always felt this way and loved it when I saw Jemele Hill’s article called, “ Why should a country that doesn’t value black lives get to be entertained by black athletes?” Team owners shouldn’t continue to benefit from your talent if they aren’t willing to fight for your right to exist in peace. 

Then on Friday, as if all of what I mentioned wasn’t enough we lost actor Chadwick Boseman at age 43 to colon cancer.

Learning about the news of his death really felt like a kick in the gut. He was the exact same age and had the exact same cancer my dad died from. He portrayed Jackie Robinson in the film 42 and literally the day of Chadwick’s death coincided with the day that Major League Baseball commemorated legend Jackie Robinson.

The thing that struck me the most was that this man filmed Civil War, Marshall, Black Panther, Infinity War, Endgame, 21 Bridges and Da 5 Bloods, that’s 7 films all while he was fighting stage 3 cancer. Chadwick truly was a real-life superhero. How he was able to film all those movies is truly remarkable. I remember accompanying my dad for the surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments. Everything that I just named leaves your body feeling incredibly exhausted and it takes every ounce of strength that hasn’t been zapped from you physically to keep you mentally sane.

I haven’t seen all of those movies that I listed, but you better believe the one film that I, like every Black person has seen Black Panther. I remember being so excited because I love comic book movies and when I heard that they were doing Black Panther I could hardly contain myself. 

I know a lot of people who are not Black may not understand this, but to see an all Black cast not in playing the token role of a sidekick, a slave, or any of the other demeaning stereotype roles we’re normally relegated to and incredibly tired of seeing reflected on the big screen was just so refreshing. I genuinely felt like a child watching that movie. 

I know many people held watch parties, people dressed up as their favorite characters, and everyone under the sun would jokingly greet each other the way they did in the film. When I was watching the film, I and countless other Black people that I would talk to about the film kept wishing that a place like this existed. Seeing a place like Wakanda on the big screen, allowed me for a short period of time to actually feel seen and represented.

Needless to say, Black Panther went on to make more than a billion dollars and proved to the movie industry something that we already knew…we can produce box office hits if given the opportunity and resources to do so. 

We have been fortunate enough to witness how talented and kind Chadwick was on and offscreen. He was visiting terminally ill children while he was fighting for his own life. Chadwick did more in his 43 years of life than some have with 100 years.

One of the stories that really touched me is Chadwick’s acceptance speech at AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Denzel Washington on the TNT thanking Denzel Washington for paying his tuition to attend the British Academy of Dramatic Acting in Oxford. Phylicia Rashad told Denzel that she had a couple of students that were accepted into the program but they didn’t have the money to pay the tuition. Denzel Washington anonymously paid all of the students’ tuition and years later Chadwick found out it was Denzel Washington who paid his tuition.

Chadwick’s death, hearing this story about how Denzel paid for Chadwick’s tuition, all of the chaos currently happening in this nation got me thinking about how we can be here today and gone tomorrow, that phrase, by the way, is also one of my favorite songs by Aloe Blacc.

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

The Bible also says in James 4:14 states that our life is like a vapor. I’m well aware that tomorrow isn’t promised, which is why I’m constantly asking myself, “What will your dash look like?” Many times when we look at an obituary or headstone, we look at their birthdate and date of death, but what about the dash?

That dash is more than just a line between our birthday and date of death it’s our life. Now, in case you want to learn more about how I shifted my mindset so I could position myself to get on the right path to achieving my dash check out episode 58: What will your dash look like?

Honestly, if your goal is to live an extraordinary life you’ve got to do the things that mention in Episode 58, but then after that, you’ve got to be willing to put in the work by addressing the following:


People ask me all the time, “T or Tosha how can you find the time to do all the stuff that you do? When do you sleep? Here’s the thing, I’ve always been very protective of my time, but when my dad passed away even more so. Time is a scarce resource. Everything in life has an opportunity cost.You can’t get it back. This is why I’m fiercely protective of my time. If I spend my time with toxic people or working on projects/activities that do not add value to my life, I just wasted my time.  Everyone that is currently in my life and the activities that I choose to participate in are there for a reason. 

If you want your dash to matter then you’re going to have to carve out time to determine what it is you want out of life. I know many so many people stuck in dead end jobs. I totally get that feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day where you just want to go home and watch TV, but how is that TV show contributing to your future? It’s not. 

I’m not saying, you gotta work, work, work, work, but carve out at least an hour to teach yourself a new skill that you think will allow you to create an opportunity for you to experience success. Throughout my entire career, I have always carved out at least an hour for myself to learn something new and/or continue developing a skill set. My background is marketing, but I’m a techie at heart. I pick up software pretty quickly and decided to develop this skill. This is literally how I taught myself to build websites and create and edit audio and videos which enabled me to create a nice little side hustle doing something that I love. 

Successful people don’t watch a lot of TV and aren’t super active on social media. Why? Both of those activities are huge time sucks. This is precious time that you can spend networking with other like minded people who share your vision and may be in a position to help you achieve your goal. I make sure to donate my time to share the knowledge that I’ve acquired with others less fortunate than me.


I’m a firm believer in acquiring knowledge that is going to enable me to create my own opportunities and not solely rely on a 9 to 5  to provide for me. I then go out of my way to share this knowledge with other people. Life is hard. We have enough hurdles as it is in life that we have to clear. My goal is to help you reduce the time that you spend doing so by offering solid advice. It brings me joy to be the shortcut someone needs to help them succeed. This is why I’m so passionate about education. Whenever I volunteer in the schools,  I make it a special point to connect with the Black and Latino students.

Many times, these students are dismissed, forgotten or worse forced into accepting society’s standard of what success looks like for them. Let me tell you…it ain’t pretty. School conditions many students to be worker bees. You can only achieve success if you have a 9 to 5 and climb the corporate ladder for the rest of your life. If you dare even attempt to fly away from this mindset then you’ve got to fight through an angry mob of bees that don’t want to see you succeed.

 I want these students to see that they can flip the script just like those NBA athletes. Stop playing someone else’s game. If people refuse to listen then take that as a cue to go create your own opportunity because people will not fight for your best interest.

(White people) need to be coached up and they need to be educated about what the heck is going on in the world,” Carroll said. “Black people can’t scream anymore, they can’t march any more, they can’t bear their souls anymore to what they’ve lived with for hundreds of years because white guys came over from Europe and started a new country with a great idea and great ideals and wrote down great writings and laws and all of that about democracy and freedom and equality for all. And then that’s not what happened, because we went down this road here and followed economics—rich white guys making money—and they put together a system of slavery, and we’ve never left it, really. It has never gone away.

“And Black people know the truth, they know exactly what’s going on. It’s white people who don’t know. It’s not that they’re not telling us; they’ve been telling us the stories. We know what’s right and what’s wrong, we just have not been open to listen to it. We’ve been unwilling to accept the real history. We’ve been taught a false history of what happened in this country, we’ve been basing things on false premises, and it has not been about equality for all, it has not been about freedom for all, it has not been opportunity for all, and it needs to be. This is a humanity issue we’re dealing with. This is a white people’s issue to get over and learn what’s going on and to figure it out and start loving everybody that is part of our country, and that want to our country, wherever they want to come from.”

Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach https://sports.yahoo.com/pete-carroll-seahawks-white-people-real-history-racism-speech-nfl-032543213.html

The only thing that the corporate world has to offer is a mentorship program that are nothing more than an illusion to make someone like me *think* that I have a shot at making it to the top of the ladder, but I really don’t. In every company that I’ve worked at that had a mentorship program not a single one of them had anyone of color in senior management. It’s been this way throughout my entire career.

Why is this the case? If we’re being completely honest oftentimes many of the business deals that are made are made in places that are not frequented by people who look like me (i.e. golf courses, country clubs, etc). 

I’m not trying to say this to be malicious or desire pity, trust me I don’t need or want it, I’m simply stating this because it is a fact. I figured out fairly early on in my career that I wasn’t going to continue climbing a ladder that wasn’t meant for me and nor  did I want to find out that my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. 

So I simply view my job as a means to an end—to fund the projects that I’m most passionate about in life. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the folks I work with have been pretty cool so far, but again my motto is  I work to live, not live to work. I channel my energy and time by sharing my knowledge so other people don’t feel like they have to play the game.


You can’t create your own game if you don’t have a strategy. After all a goal without a plan is just a wish. What does success look like to you? Does your idea of success enable you to be a conduit? Meaning, are other people going to be blessed by you achieving your goals. 

So for example, one of my goals is to create an afterschool workshop to help Black and Latino kids get the business skills they need to create their own opportunities. My definition of success is to help out as many people as I can to achieve their dreams. I know for a fact that my time and knowledge is going to help out future generations. 

Phylicia Rashad and Denzel Washington had no idea that their willingness to go above and beyond in donating their time, expertise and generosity was going to produce a future king that would be admired throughout the ages.

I’ve been truly blessed. It’s an honor for me to be in a situation to help as many people as I can but especially those within my community. 

If you’re like me and you want your dash to matter it starts with making sure that you reclaim your time, gain knowledge to help you create opportunities and determine ways in how you can be a conduit in sharing your gifts and talents with others. When people see my dash I want them to know that my life represented Proverbs 11:25 “The generous soul will be made rich,

And he who waters will also be watered himself.” 

I already know that I’ve already watered quite a few souls and if you can’t say the same it’s not too late. Don’t overthink it and take the shot.

I want to end this episode by sharing two poems with you. With all the chaos in this world it seems like they both can be a good reminder to never lose focus on our dash.

Both of these poems were included in my dad’s obituary. 

Medieval Times

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep.

I am not there; I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow

I am the diamond glints on snow,

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there; I did not die.

You’re the Cats

By  LaTosha Johnson 

You have always been there for me, and now it is my turn to be here for you, 

because you need someone to care for you too.

When I was small, you were always there to help me, 

Whether it was homework (I am past the “Alligator” situation), problems, and questions.

You are always there to give me advice, 

And since I am stubborn, I always need it twice.

You are the epitome of what a REAL father is and should be, 

I hope you realize how very special you are to me.

Please do not hesitate to ask me for help,

There is nothing too big that with prayer cannot be dealt.

You are always providing for us and our needs above your own,

With your love and guidance I wan to show you how much I have grown.

We are always buddies, and buddies help each other out, 

Especially when they are dealing with a troublesome bout.

You will be fine rest assured because we’re here to help you, 

And we will be with you through and through.

I wish I could repay you for everything you have and continue to do for me,

But there is nothing in the world that would amount to this you see.

I love you so much that my feelings cannot be expressed, 

I am so proud of you and appreciate everything you do which is why you are such a success.

You have accomplished so many things that many people only dream

But what separates you from them is that you made your dreams a reality.

You work hard and deserve to have us take care of you, 

So please relax and get some rest, 

Your love selflessness is what makes you Daddy the absolute best.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to take the How Well Rounded Are  You in Life quiz and check out  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating, purchasing a  Hustle in Faith journal  or an  item from StarenguCrew in order to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Episode 119: Working from home and mask pet peeves

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Episode 119: Random Thoughts: Working from home and my mask pet peeves

We’re approaching month 7 of living in this pandemic world. During this time, my company along with many other companies has made the decision to allow their employees to work from home until next year. Companies have noticed they are saving a lot of money and seeing an increase in productivity. Honestly, my company has not lost a beat with everyone working from home.

I find it interesting reading articles that have been talking about the issues working from home causes for employees. Working from home is nothing new to me. I’ve been working from home for years. In fact, I was working from home before the Coronavirus hit, so nothing changed in my routine. Out of all the companies that I’ve ever worked, hands down, this place, so far has been one of the BEST. Honestly, working from home has allowed me to live my best life! If you want to learn more why check Episode 116 It’s My Birthday.

In any case, I have to laugh when I come across articles talking about the “issues” working from home causes for employees. Surely, this was not written by a real employee. Most likely these articles are written by executives who want to get away from their family environment. Considering the fact that they are trying to get back to the office and away from their “family” proves that these individuals are living a checklist life. Their family or “loved ones” are just items they can check off their list so that they can appear that they are worth imitating. 

Also, when I come across articles that discuss the issues that working from home poses for employees, I often picture a lonely micromanager who lacks the self-discipline they need to work from home. Instead of dealing with their personal problems (i.e. being lonely, needing to be surrounded by other people to feed their ego, etc.), this lonely micromanager insists on projecting their personal problems onto everyone else (aka their subordinates). Again, I’ve been working from home for years.

Here’s the thing, the majority of the folks that I know, obviously myself included, absolutely love working from home. Where you work should NOT dictate how effective you are at your job. If you have a corporate job and you had to work late on a project, you would most likely do so from your house. Therefore, there is NO difference than when you work from home all day everyday. Those people that want people to come back into the office are dealing with personal issues that they want to project onto others (i.e. their subordinates or  co worker).

I know lonely micromanagers are the same fools that voted for offices to embrace an open layout. OK, sorry just had a bad flashback to the days when I had to sit in that ridiculous layout… Anyway moving forward, working from home is a win-win for everyone involved (the company and employees). Since everyone has been working from home, companies are seeing a thrive in Productivity. Again, working from home is a win -win for everyone; especially the employees. A home environment gives employees the Creativity outlet they need and last but not least, working from home enables employees to keep a Work/Life Balance.

For example, let’s take the increase in productivity. 


I cannot stress how much more work I get done at home than when I’m in the office. Working in the office is incredibly distracting. In time past, I was stuck working in an uncomfortable cubicle. In addition to this, it seemed that my cubicle was located in the busiest aisle known to mankind. You know that one aisle everyone takes to get back to their own cubicle, but before they make it back to their desk, they stop in front of my cubicle to have the world’s longest conversation with another co-worker.

Then there’s what I refer to as the drive-bys. When you’re trying to meet a deadline and then someone drops by to talk to you. You don’t want to be rude, so you stop what you’re doing and chat for a bit, and then try to give cues that you’re busy but the other person doesn’t seem to pick up on the cues. Finally, I just have to be the bad guy and end the conversation. The same thing happens when you stop by the water cooler. Again, working in the office is incredibly distracting.

I know this is going to sound cold, but I’m just not big on the chit chat conversations. Especially when it’s with people that I have nothing in common with. It’s nothing personal, but there’s only so many hours in a day. As I get older, I just don’t have the time and energy to engage in fake conversations. Utilizing my time for fake conversations, means that I have to work overtime. I am a person who properly utilizes her time during working hours. Mainly, because I am not into working overtime. Working overtime interferes with my “I work to live, not live to work” mentality!

Working from home allows us to avoid all the aforementioned scenarios. Unlike some people, I prefer to finish my work during working hours.  Plus, after hours, I have a ton of fulfilling projects that I like to work on like teaching English, dance, working on my fitness apparel stores, doing voiceovers, etc. These projects are my passion. They are fun for me and the extra cash I make is icing on the cake.

If you think about it, who in their right mind does not want to work from the comfort of their own home? I will take the home office that I have built for myself ANY DAY over an office cubicle. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to work from home? Home is where the heart is right? It’s been interesting reading studies and articles about how men are more willing to go back to the office than women. To me, it seems like many of these men are going back into the office as a means to escape from their home life.

I have to work really hard NOT to roll my eyes when I hear people complain about working from home and being anxious to get back into the office. These fools would rather sit in an office all day wearing a mask (which by the way I will NEVER do) when they could be working from the comfort of their own home.  That makes no sense! I know the essential workers trapped in retail jobs would love to be able to work from home. These essential workers (especially those who work in retail) would love to switch places with these fools who insist on coming into the office.

What I have noticed is – many of the folks complaining about working from home have never truly worked in jobs that are considered essential.  I worked retail in high school. It was one of the main reasons why I knew I needed to get that piece of paper (aka degree). The way my personality is set up, I know I could not deal with the Karens, Beckys, Chads and Tanners of the world and maintain my sanity.

Many of you who know me, know I don’t have a poker face. Therefore, you can immediately see the irritation on my face when I have to listen to someone say, they cannot wait to get back into the office. I automatically think about how selfish or lonely this person is. They are leaving their spouse at home to take care of the kids all by herself (I said herself because most of the time it is women that end up with the kids) and/or they are just lonely people that are forcing their subordinates or co-worker to be their friend,  and/or they need to be surrounded by other people to feed their ego during working hours.

Another thing, the folks that “enjoy” going to the office oftentimes have their own office. They don’t have to sit in cubicles or worst the ridiculous open layout format. They can retreat back to their office while the rest of us are stuck trying to book a conference room so we can make a simple client call because we’re sitting on top of each other…

Again, working from home is a win-win for everyone involved. It highlights the folks that are producing results as well as demonstrates to employers those who are barely doing enough to get a paycheck. Working in the office, folks who “fake” working have always been able to get away with their behavior.  Mainly because they’re good at talking and running around playing the office politics games. At home, communication must be scheduled, concise, and direct. Outside the office environment, that “fake” stuff does not work.

Working from home exposes these people for the fakes they are and employees like me finally get a chance to shine. Working from home does not diminish our productivity. On the contrary, it enhances our productivity by taking away the stress and giving employees back their time. This is valuable time that can be spent developing our creativity.


The time and energy we waste getting ready for work, fighting traffic to get to work, and once we get there, we need time to decompress from the hassle it took to get to work. This daily 2 or 3 hours a day can be better spent on developing our God given creativity.

Working from home takes away the stress and mismanagement of time.  The mere fact that I don’t have to deal with all the above put me in a win- win situation. My home office is super calming. Since I’m more relaxed I can think of more ideas on how to create more revenue opportunities to increase my 9 to 5 business as well as my own.

 I hope this doesn’t come across as arrogant, but I’m one of the most creative people you will ever meet. When someone tells me their talent, I can come up with all sorts of ideas on how they can make money with their God-given talent. I am just wired this way as to why my mom strongly suggested that I pursue a career in marketing. Needless to say, she was correct in helping me choose my path in life. I try to do the same so others can experience some of what I have.

From a corporate perspective, it’s unfortunate that many employers may not get to reap the benefits of their employees’ creativity. Many companies fail to realize that a lot of those ideas that employees wish to share are being trapped by those that they report into…their managers. I’ve had managers either never share my idea or flat out attempt to steal my idea. Emphasis on attempt because I would never allow someone to take credit for my idea. I’ve also had coworkers attempt to do the same thing without being reprimanded by their manager. 

If you call me impromptu, please do not be offended if I don’t use my video.
When I say, “I’m not camera ready,” that means I’m looking like the photo on the left. 😉

I’ll never forget the first time this happened to me. I created a brand new report but I needed one piece of data that I needed to include in the report. I was going on vacation somewhere I wouldn’t have Wifi, so I asked my coworker if they could include the data and then send it to my client. My coworker decided to put his name on the report and act like he created the report and took the compliments on my behalf. I found out only because the department head complimented this person. Now I could care less about the accolades. The thing that upset me was this dude had the audacity to steal my idea like  I was someone he could walk all over. 

So I called a meeting with my manager and this thief and expressed my frustration.  Since this thief was on the other side of the situation (receiving compliments for my work), he didn’t understand why I was so upset. Of course, my worthless manager just wanted me to get past this without “reprimanding the thief”. Mainly because the thief performed one of the best White tears performances I had ever seen (guys this was before the Amy Cooper and the Black bird watcher video). So anyway, when we left the conference room the thief was visibly upset. Everyone was looking at me like I was the bad person despite the fact that this person had flat out stolen my idea and lied.. 

Honestly, it was moments like this and others that followed that caused me to seriously question how much of my energy I wanted to spend climbing that corporate ladder only to find out later that my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.  My hope during this pandemic is that companies that aren’t thriving in the innovation area need to take inventory of their company’s leadership staff. Due to bottlenecks, companies could be missing out on great ideas that can generate more revenue.

As I stated before working from home is a win-win for everyone. The company and I both get to save money. The company saves money because they no longer have to pay for travel and expenses. They can save even more money because they don’t have to pay for company infrastructure. If it is a reputable company, then hopefully those savings will be redistributed to the employees. Even if the aforementioned never happens, an employee can still save money because he/she no longer has to pay for transportation costs and/or work clothes.

In addition to all these benefits, working from home gives employees a great work/like balance.

Work/Life Balance

Just sitting back thinking about my work/life balance, can be attributed to me working from home. The two hours I used to spend getting dressed and commuting to work can now be spent on exercising. I love exercising in the morning. The only way I can exercise during this time is because I don’t have to waste my time and energy going into the office.

There’s no way in the world I could exercise in the morning if I had to go into the office. The time it would take for me to get dressed, do my makeup and hair, I’ve got natural hair so that will take forever to style (scroll down to see the video I created to learn more about natural hair) I would never get out the door. Of course, I’ve got to leave time to commute. I’m exhausted just thinking about that schedule…

There are so many positive aspects to employees working from home. As I have stated before, this pandemic has not been all bad.  Working from home is definitely an approach that more companies will continue to embrace. 

My Mask Wearing Pet Peeves

On the other hand, I will never embrace how people treat wearing masks like Linus wore his blanket. Some people’s approach to wearing a mask demonstrates that common sense is not all that common for everyone.

I’m not going to get into all of my thoughts regarding the Coronavirus and the mask. In case you’re interested checkout Episode 108.  Anyway, I feel this whole mask-wearing thing is getting out of hand. It’s driving me insane to see these advertisements that state that wearing masks is saving lives. It’s not true! You can still get sick if you’re wearing a cloth mask.Unless you’re wearing the N95 mask you’re not saving anything.

I have seen so many instances of cross contamination.  I’ve seen people wearing masks on their chin, underneath their nose, on their ears or wrist then they touch different surfaces only to put back on their Linus blanket (aka their mask). The thing that I’ve seen that’s puzzled me the most is when I see kids at the playground with a mask on, playing on equipment that is not disinfected but then touching all over their face to keep their mask on. It doesn’t make sense. You might as well take the mask off… You will have a better chance of not getting contaminated.

Here’s the thing, if you want me to wear a mask in the store; that’s cool! But I will never wear one outside when social distancing is clearly possible. There is no reason in the world that you shouldn’t be able to social distance outside. I value my health and safety so trust me, I was a social distancing champ before the pandemic.

The bottom line, it is NOT good to wear a mask all day and especially if you’re exercising. You’re literally breathing in your own carbon dioxide and trapping bacteria in your mask. You’re increasing your chances of getting dizzy and fainting. Wearing a mask while exercising is one of the main reasons why I and many other fitness instructors opted not to return back to the studio to teach our classes. We KNOW how dangerous it is to teach a fitness class with a mask on.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are those who are teaching under duress under this condition, because they really need the money. I am not talking about them. I am simply pointing out that mask wearing in the great outdoors is an overkill.  I feel like people are just blindly following rules without questioning their validity. 

Maintaining a social distancing environment is all we need. I love to run and bike by myself. Therefore, maintaining a social distance is not a problem for people like me. I have been doing this way before the pandemic came into existence and I have been in very good health before and during this pandemic.

My whole pet peeve is those people who are buying into this whole “I’m saving lives when they wear a mask.” You’re really not saving lives! Seeing people wearing a mask when they are literally sitting on their own porch away from people is silly. This is equally disturbing when I see people wearing masks to mow the grass without a single soul near them. If the media believes in fair play, they should report on the folks that are getting sick from wearing their mask.

The mask-wearing that thoroughly confuses me is when I see people wearing a mask alone in their car or the majority of the family members are wearing a mask and one of the members is not. This is silly! You all are going home together. If the one without the mask gets sick, he/she is going to spread it to everyone in the family. So, you might as well stand in solidarity as a family by everyone wearing the mask or everyone not wearing the mask. Another rule that drives me insane is with the restaurant situation. You walk into a restaurant with the mask on only to take it off when you get to your table. It doesn’t make any sense! 🤷‍♀️

There’s just way too much fear going around. For example, when I’m running or biking on the trail I make a point to leaving plenty of room when I go past people. Yet, I see fearful people freaking out trying to hurry up and put a mask after I have already approached them. I’m literally long gone before they accomplish putting on their mask.

My point is, if you’re going to wear a mask outside, make it make sense people. I can’t wait to share an interview with one of English students who works in the science field in Germany. The way they are doing things over there makes WAY more sense to me than the mess we have going on over here in America.

I truly do believe that the Coronavirus is going to end up being like the flu. As a result, the thing that makes the most sense is to teach people how to focus on building up their immune system. Pharmaceutical companies focus on treating symptoms because it’s more lucrative than creating a cure. Instead of giving people information about building up their immune system, the media has been trying to brainwash people into getting a vaccination. Vaccination isn’t going to be effective because this virus strain mutates way too fast. By the way, for those folks who think that they need to get a flu shot vaccination, the CDC doesn’t heavily advertise the fact that the effectiveness rate is only 40% so there’s no point in getting one of these either.

The bottom line is everyone needs to do their research and make sure that they don’t forget common sense in their quest to stay healthy. There’s just way too much fear going around. I understand people are getting sick, but we still have to find a balance of maintaining some semblance of sanity and being sociable.

Articles/videos referenced in this Natural Hair video:

Black Women with Natural Hairstyles Are Perceived as Less Professional: Black people can’t catch a break…LOL This is not news to any of us, but this is yet another type of discrimination faced on a daily basis.

Hair Relaxer Use and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata in African-American Women: In an attempt to reduce our curl pattern, many of us (myself included) used to use relaxers. Of course, no one told us about the dangerous chemicals that these relaxers contained nor the fact that they cause an increase in fibroids or cause cancer. Hence, why many Black women STOPPED getting relaxers. No one wants to die over their hair.

The Crown Act: A law that is supposed to address the issue of hair discrimination in the workplace. By the way, super insane this is even needed because if you have an issue with our hair… that’s a personal problem. Take it up with God…🤷‍♀️

Sharmen J Beauty: I LOVE her headwraps. They are super stylish and comfortable. I would buy the entire store if I could. They make fantastic gifts!

Grace Eleyae (Slap): There’s no way I would ever go to bed and/or outside during the wintertime without wearing these satin-lined slaps (aka beanies) that she makes. They have a satin lining on the inside that help keep your hair moisturized. Another fantastic gift for your favorite curlfriend.

YouGoNatural: Beautiful African satin lined headwraps.

Unan Import (site coming soon): If you’re in Chicago, stop by this store. He sells headscarves along with beautiful African art, skincare products (African Black soap, Mango butter, Shea butter), earrings, etc.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to take the How Well Rounded Are  You in Life quiz and check out  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating, purchasing a  Hustle in Faith journal  or an  item from StarenguCrew in order to help offset the cost of producing this show.Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Episode 118: How Do You Find God’s Favor in Life?

I’m sure you have heard the saying that when it rains it pours. There have been several times in my life where I literally felt like there were storm clouds following my every move. No matter what route I chose to take to escape the rain, it was inevitable that I was going to get wet. Life boxed me in a no-win situation without an umbrella in sight.

I was reviewing some of the stormy periods in my life, I noticed one recurring theme…there wasn’t a single sign insight that let me know that I was on the right path. During this stormy season in my life, I felt like I was in one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure books”, but I couldn’t cheat and look ahead to see which road would end in my victory.

In this case, my decision would have to be made without having all the pieces to the puzzle. Despite this fact, my life turned out great. The interesting thing is that the only way I ended up where I am now is through prayer, faith, and my mom yelling, did I say yelling,  I mean very forcefully persuading me in the right direction. Those of you who know my mom, you know how she is…😂

I literally shudder when I stop and think about how my life would be if I made a different decision. Honestly, in every instance, if I gave up or made a different choice because I didn’t have a physical sign telling me I was on the right path, my life would be lousy. I would NEVER have had the energy to push through the storms so that I could achieve the goals buried in my heart.

The reason why so many people live a complacent, settled for life is because we fall prey to Satan lies. Satan takes away or distorts our physical indicators that inform us that we’re on the right road. I’m pretty observant and I’m always on the lookout for situations or someone to give a sign or some sort of indication that I’m on the right path. Sadly, in life we do not always get these crystal clear signs telling us which path to take.

I do understand why many people give up looking for success because they can’t find the right street signs to lead them there. What we fail to realize is that Satan purposely takes away the street signs to make us feel like we lost God’s favor (aka blessings) in our life. Wherever we take ownership of Satan’s lies, we need to learn the concept of turning our focus to God. In doing so we will receive the guidance, strength, wisdom and whatever else we need to push us in the right direction.

Since our mind dictates our actions, everything Satan does to us physically is done so that we will internalize his negative acts. When we allow ourselves to give in to the barriers/obstacles that Satan places in our (soul) it destroys us from the inside out. Whenever Satan can get you to accept his negative thoughts, he then can control the physical aspect of your life.

This is why I’m really big on keeping a journal. It allows you the ability to see how far you’ve come and easily identify what mistakes not to repeat. This is why we are not to allow anyone or anything to derail our blessing, goals, or desires.

Satan cannot enter your mind (soul) and delete the blessing(s) God gave you, so he puts up physical barriers in your life hoping you will give up and quit. For example, I graduated college with good grades, but yet, I’m a horrible test taker. I don’t know what it is. It’s like my mind goes blank because I focus on the fact that I only have a short period of time to get the right answer. I’m always second guessing myself or worse I come down with a case of analysis paralysis. 

My professors knew I knew what I was doing because it showed on the homework. However, that knowledge was often not reflected when it came to the exam. When I took exams, I never scored nearly as high as I did on the homework or even worse…I failed.  Even though this ended up happening, I found the classes to be very beneficial because I understood the material. I just couldn’t regurgitate it back exactly the way they wanted me to do so within the specified time frame. Mainly due to the unnecessary pressure I was inadvertently putting on myself.

Guess what? Even though getting the perfect exam score eluded me, I’ve got the knowledge I need to do my job. Gaining this knowledge enables me to have confidence. I can use this knowledge not just on my current job, but anywhere I choose to work. 

This demonstrates that the class was beneficial even though Satan put physical barriers, like poorly performing on tests in my way. I didn’t allow this to stop me. Every job I ended up kept getting better and better. It’s really hard for me to take compliments, but I’m going to attempt to give myself one right now. I worked really hard to get to where I am right now  and I feel like I do a pretty darn good job in my role. 

Again, Satan CANNOT take away your God-given blessing. However, Satan can put physical barriers in your way to cause you to think that God is NOT with you; which causes you to give up and quit pursuing the blessing God gave you.

The bottom line is to always view the situations you encounter in life from a spiritual perspective. If all you see is what you see, then you’re not seeing all there is to be seen. Do NOT focus on the physical obstacles that Satan put in your way. Using physical obstacles and barriers is how Satan steals, kills, and destroys your blessings, goals, dreams, and joy. These physical barriers are given so that you can turn them into spiritual obstacles to cause you to fail. 

Allowing Satan to control your mind with his obstacles will make you feel like God is not with you. This defeated mindset will cause you to doubt the talents and gifts God’s given to you. That doubt will cause you to give up and quit your pursuit of the blessings God put in your path.

Worst of all, allowing Satan to control your mind with his barriers and obstacles destroys your faith. Your lack of faith then pushes God away from you. Separating you from Christ is the real reason why Satan puts physical obstacles or barriers in your way.

Satan’s goals for putting physical barriers (people, things or situations, etc.) in your life is to steal, kill, and destroy your blessings. He wants to deter you from finding and developing your God-given purpose. Satan wants you to buy into the lie that God abandoned you.

Never allow anything or anyone to derail your blessings, goals, and desires. I cannot stress despite all of the chaos currently happening in the world how happy I am. I wake up happy and ready to tackle the day. I learned a long time ago never to tie my happiness to my circumstances. Flipping through my journal made me realize that it is possible to make it through life’s storms without an umbrella or a map. 

It is possible to reduce the time it takes for you to finally arrive at success, you just have to be humble enough to admit that you’re lost so you can stop and ask God for directions.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Be sure to take the How Well Rounded  Are You in Life? quiz and don’t forget to check out StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating, purchasing a journal, or an item from StarenguCrew in order to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Episode 117: How will you profit from your circumstances?

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Episode 117: How will you profit from your circumstances?

You don’t need me to tell you that the Coronavirus situation continues to wreak havoc on the world. This virus has brought death, destroyed economies, and dare I say, permanently changed how we live our daily lives. What we need to realize is that the Coronavirus is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Despite the chaos this virus is causing in our lives, we can still live the extraordinary life Christ came to give us (John 10:10). The one “bright spot” that I have been noticing lately is that this virus has forced people to tap into their hidden talents. These are God-given talents that many of us did not know that we possessed. Dare I say this, due to the Coronavirus situation, many of us are not only able to pursue our God-given passion but turn them into lucrative businesses.

Although the Coronavirus is affecting everyone, I can truly say, thanks to Christ, this year has been one of my most profitable year; both mentally and financially. The purpose of this episode is to encourage everyone that you can still live the extraordinary life Christ came to give us. 

Again, despite the Coronavirus creating trouble in the world, if you put Christ first, you can be profitable in the midst of this pandemic. In case you want to learn more about what I consider to be an extraordinary life, check out my podcasts. What is an Extraordinary life?  And What will your dash look like? 

My point is, although the Coronavirus is affecting everyone, it does not have to be in a negative way. For some of us, this virus has created opportunities for many of us to pursue and showcase our talents.  Again, the Coronavirus is affecting everyone in different ways. Once again, these different ways are NOT necessarily bad for everyone.

For example, I’m a part-time group fitness instructor. I teach dance and boxing/kickboxing. Up until this point, many of my fellow instructors who teach fitness full time, were running themselves crazy working at multiple gyms to make ends meet. 

What’s interesting is when the virus hit all over the world, this virus forced many of these talented instructors to be creative with their talent.  Some way, somehow, many of these savvy instructors were able to get in touch with their students and started hosting virtual classes.  As you can imagine, these instructors are living their best life.

They do not have to run themselves crazy from gym to gym; they can teach in the comfort of their own homes. Even better, these gyms that callously mistreated their fitness instructors and took their talents for granted are basically begging these instructors to allow the gym to promote their classes for them. Again, the Coronavirus is affecting everyone in different ways and these ways are not necessarily bad for everyone.

The dilemma of these instructors reminds me of a Bible principle. The Bible teaches us that we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). I know this way of life takes more effort, but the benefit is well worth the outcome. Much of my success is due to me learning this principle of not becoming weary in well doing.

My hope from this episode is that you do some soul searching and find out who you really are and what God-given talents you have in your possession. In order to accomplish this endeavor, you must put Christ first in your life.  You do this by daily reading, meditating, and properly applying the word of God to your life.  In doing so, you will find out who God made you to be and what talents He put in your possession. The story of Gideon is a good example of what I am talking about (Judges 6 Chapter).

To make a long story short, Gideon was hiding from his enemy when the angel of God approached him. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”  I can only imagine Gideon’s expression when the angle of God said this to him.  Nothing about Gideon’s personality screamed valiant warrior. In fact, it was the complete opposite. 

Gideon was fearful and hiding from his enemy. I can only imagine him saying “What you are talking about . . . mighty man of valor!” I can see Gideon looking around to see who the Angel was really talking to. It’s easy to understand where Gideon is coming from because he like many of us don’t see ourselves the way that God sees us.

If you read the story, you will see that Gideon had gifts and talents that he did not know that he possessed. Like many of us, Gideon had settled for living a settled for life.  He saw himself as the world saw him, powerless and without recourse. In other words, Gideon did not know that God created him to be a victorious leader, not a victim.

Again, like many of us, Gideon did not know who he was from God’s perspective.  Due to his lack of knowledge, Gideon did not know what talents and gifts God had already given him. This is why I encourage people to study the Bible. By studying God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will show you your God-given talents as well as how to pursue them. All of which will help you to live the  extraordinary life Christ came to give us (John 10:10).  

Once again, the Coronavirus situation has not been bad for everyone. I know firsthand that many of the fitness instructors are out there living their best life. They are literally making more money now than they did before the Coronavirus. They have been able to teach students not just from their local gyms, but ALL over the world virtually by live streaming via Zoom or other online platforms.  I for one have been attending many of these classes.

In fact, I had the wonderful opportunity of connecting with one of my favorite dance fitness instructors who teaches overseas. When I don’t create my own choreography, I can rest assured that they have choreo I can use. Needless to say, this virus situation has taught people that they do have other resources.

I know many people are faced with the dilemma in how to stay safe as well as pay their bills. Teachers on a larger scale are facing a similar situation as the fitness instructors. The business side of me sees all sorts of opportunities these teachers can leverage. I hope these teachers do as my fitness instructors did and harness their power by tapping into the gifts that they possess. Many of these amazing instructors realized that teaching virtual classes allowed them the opportunity to not only save money, but still have the ability to do what they love.

Sadly, corporations and institutions have proven time and time again, that they believe their employees are disposable.  Although we may not be able to control our circumstances, we can control our reactions to them. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and believing the lie that you are doomed without that dead-end job, you need to seize this opportunity to channel your time and energy into seeing your life from God’s perspective. All of which will help you to carve out other career paths to help pay the bills.

This is what I did. Seeing how corporate America mistreats people, I channel my time in energy into developing my God-given talent. I am happy to say, many of my passions (side hustles) have been very, very lucrative. In fact, this year financially has been fantastic! The bottom line is, I learned to see myself how God sees me. Only in this perspective can you truly see what talents and gifts you have at your disposal.

By Gideon embracing who God made him to be, a valiant warrior, Gideon was able to defeat the Midianites and protect his people. The reason Gideon was defeated all those other times, is because he saw himself as a coward even though God made him to be a valiant warrior.

With this being said, so many of us walk around with defeated mindsets because we buy into society’s narrative of who we are. Some of us have even bought into the lie that where we are born and/or the families we were born into determine our success in life. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know that some of us were born into this life with more hurdles to overcome than others.

Nonetheless, this does not determine your level of success.  If you recall, even Christ, our Lord and Master were not born in the best of areas. Neither was He born to rich and famous parents. In other words, Jesus did not have the best of circumstances. Evidence of this fact is why Nathanael said to Philip, “. . . Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth. . .” (John 1:45-46).

My point is that you can be profitable despite your circumstances. My hope is that you learn from Gideon as I did. Roman 15:4 teaches, “. . . For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope . . .”.  Gideon’s tribulation is one of these things.

His story was written so  you and I can learn to accept ourselves as God made us  to  be. In this world, in order to be successful in life, you have to master the art of embracing who God says you are, not how the society sees you. Seeing myself from God’s perspective is how I became successful. 

Here are some thought provoking podcasts to help you along the way to your journey are my interview with the Hustle in Heels podcast and What has the Coronavirus taught you about your brand?

Regardless of how many hurdles that you have to overcome,  run with all of your might so you can gain enough speed to clear over every last hurdle in your path. You may get tired along the way, but if you focus on God, He will give you the strength that you need, until you cross the finish line. 

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to check out Hustle in Faith’s Prayer and Gratitude Journal for Men and Women of Faith  and StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating, purchasing a journal  or item from StarenguCrew in order to help offset the cost of producing this show.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!