Spirit of Oya

Energizing Through Music & Art

Get to know OYA with the FREE single “LOVE,” from her debut album Spirit of Oya. This groovy original shows OYA’s gifts as a songwriter and mixes together ingredients from R&B, Pop and Reggae into a flavorful treat. You’ll also be entered into a monthly drawing to win the

post title background Grow into Your Greatness with Positive Thoughts

考える女性Stop what you’re doing, and clear your mind.

What are you thinking right now?

What were you thinking right before you clicked on this?

What were you thinking about when you woke up this morning?

What do you think about throughout the day?

Our thoughts have great power. Thoughts can lift you up, or they can bring you down. And they can encourage you to be a mover and a shaker … or to stay stagnant and paralyzed, inactive.

With that in mind, think about this powerful idea:  What we tell ourselves can change our lives.

Try to put that idea into perspective:  As soon as you wake up, what do you think about?

Perhaps you’re one of those lucky people who are always filled with positive thoughts:  “It’s going to be a beautiful day!”

But you may feel like all of us do from time to time, and you might be thinking, “Oh Lord, let me get through this day … I am not looking forward to this day … I cannot wait for this day to be over” the second you open your eyes.

If this describes how you view most of your days, let me get real with you:  You are not giving the day a chance. If you are filled with dread the moment you are conscious, you have already put out dark energy for your day’s journey instead of sending out protective, loving light filled with possibility.

Why are you making it so hard for yourself?

I know, I know. It is not always easy, but as I always say, it doesn’t have to be hard.

Schakelaar negatief naar positiefThe truth is, we have a choice about how we decide to think. We can think in whichever way we choose, no matter what anyone says to us and no matter what chaos is going on around us. We get to work with our thoughts for the better, and this means we can change our negative thoughts into positive thoughts.

You have the power to see yourself for who you really are instead of be the person your negative thoughts are trying to turn you into.

Negative thoughts can tell you lies.

“I can’t do this.”

“I am ugly.”

“I am not good enough.”

This day is going to be horrible.”

“I am not worthy.”

But positive thoughts can reveal who you truly are and support you as you shine your light into the world.

“I can do this.”

“I am beautiful.”

“I am great and have all the resources I need.”

“This is going to be a wonderful day filled with opportunities.”

“I am worthy.”

believe in yourselfIf changing the way you see your day scares you, or if you fear the possibility of disappointment, let me tell you, this shift in your thinking WILL change your life.

And changing your thinking is this:  When you have a negative thought, at any point in your day, go in there and figure out how to flip that negative into a positive.

It might take some practice, and you might have to spend some time convincing your mind that these new happy thoughts are true, but just go with it! Everything new takes some time to get used to. Knock out those negative thoughts and tell yourself the truth of your greatness. Even if you don’t believe it at first, you will eventually grow into it. You ARE worthy!

Now let me ask you:  Which negative thoughts are you going to wipe out today to boost you up and allow you to grow into the greatness you deserve? Which positive thoughts and affirmations will you fill yourself up with?

Tell me in the comments!

Wishing you the very best today and every day!


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post title background Life is a Miracle

Jackpot with stars on white background - High quality 3D RenderI am always fascinated by human life and the science of anatomy. And you know what? Science proves just what miracles we all are. Just the fact that you are here means you won the lotto!

Think about it:  Hundreds of millions of sperm are released, and each sperm tries to go for the egg, but only one can win. Some sperm die, and others get lost while swimming the equivalent of several miles to the egg.

Finally, one lucky sperm penetrates and fertilizes the egg. And life has begun … your life.

The egg and the sperm join to make you the human being you are. Those two small cells come together, and a miracle begins. 23 chromosomes from Dad, and 23 from mom combine to give you the gift of DNA that will give you life. This is the fragile place where you once began before you turned into the little human being you once were.

Красивая беременная девушкаAs the months pass inside your mother’s body, so much could have happened — so much could have gone wrong. Yet, still, you developed into a healthy, thriving embryo.

Even before all your organs developed, your heart was beating. You had the pulse of life! (And I often think we connect with our hearts first in life because it is the first organ we get in the womb.)

And as an embryo, you began to develop into a fetus. Where there once was nothing, there was now a fetus — alive and kicking in the mother. You became something special that could be felt and seen.

And even as your mother hit the last trimester, and you got ready to emerge into the world, there were so many things that could’ve gone wrong. But guess what? You are reading this! You survived! You are here.

Certainly, when you were first born into the world as a baby, you were fragile. But you made it through those delicate baby years, and then you even made it through your childhood. You learned to be alive and to live in the beautiful world.

Sperm and EggAnd then, after all you’d been through, you gained your independence and began to express your personality, your purpose, your light and all you fought through to come into this world — those important and unique pieces of you that you still carry with you right now. As I say in my song “Pledge to Love You”:  Share, create and express. You came to do this. You have the chance and the gift of life.

Knowing what an amazing and miraculous thing it is that you are here, what are you waiting for? What is holding you back from living a beautiful, blessed and powerful life?

I’m not saying we don’t all have issues. But I am asking you to think of all the strength that has been inside you since your conception. Think of why you came here and about your life’s purpose. Are you really going to give that up now, after all you’ve endured?

I believe with all my being that we all came here for a reason, and I, for one do not want to waste my breath of life. Because, the harsh reality is that just as we are fortunate to be given life, so shall we perish. And at the end, I always say I would like to have tears of joy for what I did in this life instead of tears of regret. And we all have an opportunity to experience this joy every day!

Because, it’s true:  You’ve won the lotto, because you are here! Now, find something magical to do with your winnings!

What do you want to leave behind? What is your legacy? It is different for everybody. But, what do you want your name to represent? What is your light, and the light you will leave for your children?

What do you want to do in this world?


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post title background Respect Yourself

RespectI have been thinking a lot about the definition of respect lately. What does that word mean, exactly? The dictionary tells us that respect is “a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important.” It is also “a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way.”

After hearing these two definitions, can you say you respect yourself?

Many people are so wrapped up in not feeling like they are getting the respect they deserve. And they point fingers at their boss, boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, children, friends and associates, blaming them for not respecting them. Before you point those same fingers, let’s look at how you respect yourself.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Wait … I respect myself!”

But, consider this:  Is it really all these other people who are rude, abusive and disrespectful? If you still feel like they are to blame, I encourage you to step outside of the things that are being said and done to you for a moment and meditate on yourself a bit.

Say someone is abusive to you. What do you say? “How dare you! You have the nerve to curse at me, say mean things to me and belittle me!” Your reaction is to get upset because someone is saying negative things to you or about you.

But think about it:  Are these things true? Likely, they are not! So, why are you allowing someone to hurt you by making judgments about you that are not true? If these judgments are untrue, does it really even matter that they are making them?

Perhaps the reason their words sting so much is because you think these thoughts about yourself. Are you hurt because they are judging you out loud the way you judge yourself in your own head?

If you are having these negative thoughts about yourself, what is the real issue?

The real issue is you think you are not worthy. And then, when your boss says you don’t deserve the raise, you totally flip out in anger. But is it just because they told you exactly what you are thinking?

Respect is a form of loveOr consider this scenario:  Maybe your partner told you that you are not a responsible person, and that they can’t trust you to handle business. You fought and fought about it as if you couldn’t believe it. But have you been constantly late on your share of taking care of the bills, dropping off rent and the tuition for your kids? Have you been neglecting to pick up the dry cleaning or that package you said you would pick up? The truth sometimes hurts.

As the saying goes, “In order to get respect, you must give it.” While respecting others is very important, life is not just about “doing unto others as you want them to do unto you.” But how about you do unto yourself as you want others to do unto you?

In other words, the actions we take, the thoughts we think, how we take care of ourselves and how we RESPECT ourselves will determine a great deal about our lives. It will also determine how people treat you.

In my own experience, I have found that the more respect I give to others and to MYSELF, the more respect that I get back on all levels:  personally and professionally.

When I respect the musicians who support me and treat them well by paying them promptly and properly, they give even more.

When I respect myself and ask for the rates I deserve for the time, talents and energy I am going to put into a show or a speaking engagement, what I am asking for flows to me.

If people know that I respect myself, they treat me with a lot more respect. How we feel about ourselves and and how we treat ourselves makes a difference!

Don’t get me wrong:  There is such a thing as slander and defamation of character, and it happens to even people who respect themselves and put out positive vibes to the world. When this occurs, the best defense is to respect yourself enough to live your life like the wonderful, talented person you know you are.

So, here’s my challenge to you:  Start to respect yourself… REALLY respect yourself! Know your light is worth shining, and share your many gifts with the world. If you do, I guarantee that others will respect you, and you will see the fruits of your labor come to you abundantly in your personal life and in your business.

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post title background The Real and Authentic You

"who are you"a cloud word on sky over clouds.“Who am I, and why am I here?”

So many of us get caught up in our busy, everyday routines that we never stop to ask ourselves about our mission in this life. We don’t stop, touch our chest where our heart beats, connect to our spirit and feel the glowing warmth within.

So, who are you?

This might feel like a big and crazy question to stop and think about sometimes, but you are a human being who gets to live and connect with the beauty of the spirit that resides within and is blessed to live through your body and make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others. Therefore, it is important to stop and connect with yourself and figure out why you are here and what truly gets you up in the morning.

I meet so many people who say they feel “stuck” in jobs that are not an expression of their authentic selves. They get up each day going to do work that does not allow them to freely engage in creative expression of their true selves. They are stifled and unable to shine their inner light fully. Is this how you want to live out the rest of your days? If you aren’t following the dreams in your heart now, when will you?

And think about this: When you are meeting someone for the first time, what do you want them to see? Do you want them to see a false, fictitious character just going through the motions of living, or do you want them to see the bright, inner you that is itching to get out and shine your light in the world?

It can be scary to dig deep down inside ourselves and shine a light on our dreams, but we all need to spend some time truly looking at ourselves to see how we can lead joyous, happy lives, sharing our inner gifts and making sure that every day we are alive we are living with purpose and making a difference.

I know “connecting” may not feel easy, but honestly, it is also not that hard. It may feel strange and even unnatural at first, but that’s just because you’re not used to it! And once you start connecting with your authentic self, you won’t want to stop! Because, there is just nothing like the feeling of connecting to the truth of YOU and living as exactly who you are. Living at the authentic self level makes everything beautiful, graceful, happy and peaceful!

I feel so present in my own life that sometimes the emotion makes me misty eyed. Of course, it was not always like this, and sometimes even I still have to push through challenging emotions in order to move to a new level. But once I push through the fear and anxiety on one project, moving onto the next project and the project after that gets easier and easier.

Getting through the major fear, anxiety, judgments and negative self-talk or fear of what someone will think about your dreams or vision is a major part of living authentically. But once you learn who you are, why you are here and to stand firmly in your own light, overcoming these roadblocks will come easily to you, and you will be able to move forward with confidence.

be-who-want-beThe glow I feel in my own day to day and when helping others enjoy the peace of living an authentic life rooted in their dreams is what motivated me to write my book, The 5 Star Points for Success:  Manifest your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose. I see so many people who want a “quick fix” for their lives, not realizing that any major life change is a process that requires some work. I continue to share my 5 Star Points system to help provide a structure for this work, because I want others to feel fulfilled, stay on top and reach even beyond that top to greater things for their soul and for the world.

So, I invite you to take the opportunity today to speak, meditate and connect with your true self. Look into that mirror and say, “Who am I, and why I am I here?” And answer yourself honestly! There is no better day than today to be you and live YOUR unique, special life. And when you lead this blessed life, you will inspire others to do the same with their own.

What are you waiting for?

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post title background Shine Your Light through Education

I was recently asked to speak about my book The Five Star Points for Success at a high school. They were about to take their year-end finals, and the administration called upon me to encourage and inspire the students by sharing with them how important education has been to manifesting my dreams and achieving my life’s purpose. I was thrilled, because education has been absolutely critical to my personal growth and my life’s successes.

Many people in the entertainment industry believe that you don’t have to go to school in order to succeed. While I do not think that everyone absolutely has to go to college, I believe what my high school economics teacher, Mr. Mitzenberg told me: “Ms. Thomas, I believe you will make it in this world on a large scale whether you go to college or not. However, I firmly believe that if you go to college, it will open many doors for you.”

Why do I believe this? Because he was absolutely right!

Finishing college instilled me with that fulfilling sense of pride that comes from completing something very challenging and important. Of course, college was often extremely difficult! I was up late hours and had to live off four hours of sleep at times due to studying and working on papers that I sometimes did not want to do. But being able to endure those challenges instilled me with the skills to endure those same rough days and nights that I have come across working on my companies.

Now, I love being on stage, singing and speaking. And I love writing and producing my music and a wide variety of projects for clients. I also love running workshops and coaching other creative spirits. But you just cannot do all of that without advance preparation and the ability to truly work hard and have the mindset of finishing what you start!

The years I spent in school taught me so much. They made me mentally strong, and they helped me realize I can truly do anything. When challenges rear their ugly heads, I never say, “I can’t,” because I know I can! I remember my time spent working hard to complete my degrees and just think, “Been there, done that!” And then the challenges do not seem so daunting.

Whenever I have to face deadlines now, I know I can meet them under any and all circumstances. While I am college educated and have a master’s degree, and I enjoyed many classes I took and used a lot of the information I learned along the way, there were still some classes I took that made me wonder why I was there and what the point was. But even those classes were part of my evolution as an artist, performer, business woman and coach. They played a part in my personal development and helped make me, me!

This development is so imperative; that is why I am sharing this post with you. I especially want the teenagers reading this to understand that there is a purpose to learning and to education. Even though, because I work in entertainment, some of my life is so-called “glamorous,” there are other times I have to do a lot of paperwork and what others would call “busywork” for my business. I do not want to, but I have to! It is part of the work I have to do to keep my company, my career and my dream alive and well!

I am going to get real with you: You are going to experience some growing pains as you work towards manifesting your dreams. But you can’t give up! There will be hours you have to put into everything, and these hours will start in high school and continue on into college and with your first jobs and projects. When these “hard times” hit, they can make you or break you!

Getting good grades opened doors for me that I could not have imagined when I was a teenager. As the old saying goes, “If I knew what I knew now …” Certainly, you can look back on anything in your life with an older and wiser perspective and think of what you could’ve done better or just differently. This is just what happens! Many students do not think school is important, and this causes them to let go and lose focus, unaware they are making one of the biggest mistakes of their life. Many of these students will drop out or get bad grades. Even if they graduate, they will be left behind as their friends move forward. They are left behind and either get stuck with the others that either did not push to work hard, or end up on their own without support, working in jobs that neither pay well, fulfill them, nor allow them to fully shine their light and achieve their goals.

Let me ask you this: What kind of person would hire someone who did not strive to do their best in school or in life, who did not go on to an institution of higher learning or push themselves to the limit in order to pursue something they are passionate about and to achieve great things?

Now, who would hire you if you had good grades and were on the college track? Who would assist you if you had your own company or even just a great idea for a company that you were pushing to bring to fruition? I started my first business in high school, and I have never regretted it! It was hard work, but it put me on the right track and helped me get on the path towards manifesting my dreams.

I implore you to thrive, soar and exercise your mind so you can allow it to grow! Education is key. And now I recognize that when my economics teacher said that education would open more doors for me, it was 100-percent true! It has indeed opened big doors. I am not even sure I would’ve gone to college had it not been what Mr. Mitzenberg said to me. Now, there are people who hire me to this day because of my achievements as an author and speaker — achievements I would have not been able to accomplish had I not gone to college and graduate school.

As a teenager, you are being bombarded by new experiences, and you might feel like your emotions are all over the place as you navigate the road to adulthood and independence. The outcome of your decisions during this time will have an impact on your entire life, but it can be a real struggle sometimes to make these decisions when you are faced with pressure and criticism from your friends and even the adults in your life. All this pressure might make you feel like you can’t truly shine – like you might not be able to do something fantastic with your life.

The type of education you pursue depends on what you would like to do with your life and which career you choose, but no matter what you choose, pursuing education will make you even stronger and better than you ever imagined you could be! It will help you make those tough decisions even when you feel there is too much chaos, so your light and spirit can shine bright!

And I’m here to tell you that with the right tools — including education! — you can cultivate your dreams and dare to make a big plan for your life. You will feel empowered enough to seize all the opportunities and possibilities that are going to come your way!

So, to all you teenagers: If you did not do well last semester, I want to encourage you to do some thinking over the summer about your dreams and what you would like for your life, and get into a place where you are ready to commit with all your heart in the fall.

For those adults who left school or never went at all, I want to motivate you to go for it! Get your GED, go to college (no matter what your age) and find your passion — something to study and work towards that makes your heart sing!

And I would also like to encourage parents of teens to talk to their kids. Encourage them! Get them involved in workshops that inspire them or connect them with mentors — whatever it takes! Because, high school is really a big deal. Take it from me: Going to college can be the key that unlocks the door to a happy, prosperous life!

One of the things I enjoy most is helping teens find the strength to connect with themselves so they can find their life’s purpose and live out their dreams. I even have a “Teen Dream Makers” workshop that I designed especially for them! There’s a video of me below speaking in front of a group of young people. I hope my words can make an impact in your life and inspire you or someone close to you to keep shining bright!

Please click to watch video 🙂


Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 7.56.06 PM

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post title background Stop, I repeat, STOP calling yourself and other women “Bitch”! – A Post for All You Powerful Women: Stand in Your Own Radiance!

A Post for All You Powerful Women:  Stand in Your Own Radiance!


I have been super busy with some exciting new projects (including pre-production on The 5 Star Points for Success audio book and loads of new music!) as I continue to transform the Spirit of Oya brand, so I have been away from my blog for a while. But I had to stop everything to write this post, because there is a phenomenon going on among women that really concerns me.


I have been talking about this subject for some time and expressing my opinion about it on the radio and in interviews. So, here it goes:


Stop, I repeat, STOP calling yourself and other women “Bitch”!


It seems like everywhere I go, I hear women referring to themselves as a “bitch” as if it is some kind of term of endearment. I was just in Las Vegas for the crowded Mayweather-Pacquiao fight weekend, and it seemed as though there was some kind of selfie video war going on. Women were taking videos of themselves saying, “Hey bitch,” or “What up, bitches?” or “I’m the baddest bitch up in this bitch!”


What?! It left me confused and dismayed.


Let’s take a time-out and clarify some definitions and terminology, so you can better understand where I am coming from and why the attitude of these women concerns me. Here’s the technical nitty gritty behind the word “bitch,” according to Merriam-Webster.








  1. the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals

  2. a :  a lewd or immoral woman

           b :  a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse


  1. something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant

A few other meanings of bitch many of us know:  the term a pimp uses when referring to his prostitutes; someone with strong sexual desire comparable to a dog in heat that will jump on anything she can.


Now, especially if you frequently refer to yourself or others as “bitches,” think about those definitions of the term and ask yourself …


“Am I still a bitch?”

“Do I really want to be the ‘baddest bitch’?”

If someone said, “Let me see the real bitches out there! Stand up” … would you really stand up?


I am not trying to take any fun out of your day, nor am I a super conservative person (not by a long shot!) … but unless you are, by definition, a bitch, I implore you to stop using that negative word when talking about yourself or other women. Why are you demeaning yourself, your female friends and sisters around the world? Then next time someone asks, “Where are my bad bitches” I hope you will join me in keeping your beautiful soul in your seat!


As a woman, why are you allowing people to treat you as anything less than a queen? Being a “bitch” is not cool, so let’s all honor and love ourselves. When someone, whether a man or a woman, walks into a room or stands up on a stage and says, “Where are my real queens?” I hope you will stand up proudly and scream!


Society brainwashes us to hear words like “bitch” and think nothing of it. This negative language is in our music, our films and in the air all around us, swirling around in casual conversation. I am not insinuating that there are not people who embody some of the negative definitions of the word “bitch” through their actions (even though I do not like using that word at all the definition of the word is the definition of the word that describes something specific). But, if you do not embody what that word represents, why are you throwing that term around and thinking it is cool? It is not fun or fashionable, and unless you are turning tricks for a living or suddenly turn into a different species, you shouldn’t stand for anyone using “bitch” to describe you.


I realize my words on this subject may sound harsh, but I feel that staying silent about it is more destructive. The use of the word “bitch” is a worldwide epidemic, infesting the minds of boys, girls, men and women and taking away from all of us letting our lights shine bright.


You are probably wondering what got me so riled up about this topic, so I’ll tell you: 1. Constantly hearing women use this word outside of the definition demeaning each other and lowering their vibration 2. Someone posted a comment on a picture I posted on my Spirit of Oya Facebook page from a celebratory event the boxer Floyd Mayweather threw after his big win, during what was a very fun and fabulous weekend. This gentleman commenter said, “F$%k with him, bitch.”



When I read it, I thought, Wow. Now, I do not think he meant any harm or thinks I am a “bitch” by definition (especially with all the positive and uplifting messages I post on social media). So, the fact that he played so fast and loose with his language in the comment really shocked me … but it also made me realize that he felt at liberty to say this to me, a virtual stranger, because so many people think this type of language is acceptable and cool.


The comment made on my photo is indicative of a larger problem:  There is a general lack of respect for humankind among many people. And this particular comment implied a few things:  first of all, it implied that a woman (in this case me!) would be dishonest or in general “screw” with a man just because he has money.


Note that I said woman, because I am a woman! I am a queen (and so are you)! And I am certainly happy for him and his big payday. But, I also know that while it is fantastic to have it, money does not buy happiness so this public comment and numerous private messages that were saying all kinds of things about what they would do for and to Mayweather if they had the opportunity encouraged me to do this blog. There were many comments left about what they would do to get a little bit of that money that he just made and how happy they would be. This is not cool and it really concerns me.

I know many people with money that are not happy, because I have personally coached them. What did they discover? That their happiness had nothing to do with money. Money can certainly help you have  a blast and do great things, but if your soul is not right, and your spirit is not happy, you will not feel fulfilled or be able to manifest your dreams and live your life’s purpose. Selling your soul for money is not going to make you happy!  So needless to say getting with a man solely because he has a lot of money is not worth it.


In addition, while I am talking about this picture let me address this. After I posted the picture in question, a lot of people sent me private messages asking me why I would take a picture with such an “egomaniac,” and a number of other negative words and phrases.


Because I respect his work ethic, I took a picture with him at his party. I was and am happy for this man who was once again victorious in the ring and accomplished something no one else ever has in the history of the sport of boxing regardless of what you think of his fighting style or his opponents. The truth is, he set out to accomplish a goal, and he attained that goal.


The fact of the matter is, a fighter with a record of 48-0 is a hardworking athlete and man. If you experienced any part of his workout, you would likely fall out and be rushed to the hospital. As someone who follows her own dreams and encourages others to do the same, I personally appreciate his determination, his belief in himself and the fact that he has taken the action steps to achieve his goals.


Now, in closing let’s think about this word “bitch” again. How can you expect men, women or anyone else to respect you if you call yourself a “bitch” or answer to that word? If someone said, “What’s up, bitch?” to me, I would look around for someone else or not acknowledge the person; this is not my name, nor is it who I represent.


Try this:  Look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am a woman. I am a lady.”


Now, let’s look at some definitions of the word “lady.”






  1. a woman who is refined, polite and well-spoken

  2. a woman of high social position or economic class

  3. a man’s wife


How about for the word “queen”?






  1. a woman eminent in rank, power or attractions

  2. a goddess or a thing personified as female and having supremacy in a specified realm

  3. an attractive girl or woman

  4. the fertile fully developed female of social bees, ants and termites whose function is to lay eggs

Now that I’ve been able to vent a bit to you … where are my beautiful rays of light? Where are my queens? What definition fits you? On a similar note, where are my KINGS? Please share this with young girls and boys that think using this word is super cool. Let me hear your thoughts!  What do you think about how everyone casually and fashionably using this word bitch? What can we do to support our young men and women to think of themselves as Queens and Kings? Come forward and comment!


Peace and Blessings,

Oya 🙂

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post title background Love Your Work by Being a Professional

In my book The 5 Star Points for Success: Manifest Your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose, I talk about believing in yourself and your dreams and why you should command top dollar for your creative work, so you can continue to get clients who will pay you appropriately and support yourself by living your dream. And, you should! But I’m going to kick off this blog post by saying something a little shocking: No matter how awesomely talented you are at what you do, nobody wants to deal with your BS. The fact of the matter is, if you are not showing up for your projects on time and with a professional attitude, people are not likely to continue to want to hire you for very long.

You are probably asking, “Did Oya just say BS?”

Why yes, I did! While I didn’t type out the full word, I mean it! I am saying “BS” for your own good, and because I want to keep it real. People may fall in love with you as a creator and performer. You may have the very best in your field — be the best singer, the best dancer, musician, photographer, writer … but if you keep showing up to jobs and gigs with the attitude that you are “the best,” but then do not do a professional job, people are going to get tired of you, and fast!

When you are truly talented and passionate about the work you do, you deserve to have people lined up at your door to pay you top dollar! However, if you give off the vibe that you are “all that,” but then are late over and over again, do not follow through with your commitments and are not willing to listen to anyone but yourself how do you expect others to continue to hire you and put out the good word about your work?

Do you think you are amazing and no one can fill your shoes? I am certain you are brilliant, but I ask you …

Are you courteous to others, even when they disagree with you?
Are you reliable? In other words, can people who hire you count on you to show up on time, take their project seriously and really stick to it until the work is done?
Are you respectful, and do you listen to others’ suggestions and ideas readily and try your best to accommodate clients’ special requests?
Are you honest, and can people say that your word is gold?

If you can enthusiastically answer “yes” to the above questions, fabulous! But if not, you may need to take a moment and regroup. Even if you are supremely talented, if you are consistently hard to work with, rest assured, eventually people will get sick of dealing with your bravado. And next time, they may even go with someone who might be less of a genius but is a consummate professional just for the peace of mind of knowing that artist will show up and be a breeze to work with.

I have talked to quite a few creators who seem surprised to know that clients or collaborators do not have endless patience for an artist simply because he/she has astronomical talent. However, though I am an artist and performer myself, I am also often in the position of booking musicians and others to work with me on projects, and when I book talent, I like to know I do not have to worry about them. I want to know the musicians I hire will know the music, show up on time for rehearsals and gigs and provide me with information I need before or after the show. And when I hire a photographer or videographer and need pictures or footage by a certain day, I need to know that person is capable of turning in the work on time.

Even when you are manifesting your dream and fulfilling your life’s purpose as I am on a daily basis, getting paid to do what you love the most, at the end of the day, this is your business; you must be able to earn money! A little while ago, I wrote on the topic of money and the importance of getting paid appropriately for the work we do on this blog (and believe you me, I touch on the often touchy subject of money in my book!). And I confess, I was a bit surprised to get quite a few messages from artists saying they sometimes do not go out of their way when taking a job because clients are not paying them that well.

Time out!

When someone does not pay you very well, it gives you license to be unprofessional? This does not compute! Here is the truth: You are the one who agreed to do the job for less than what you are worth. And while that was probably not the best idea, once you agree to a rate, even if it was too low, as a professional, you have made a commitment to do the work you were hired to do to the best of your ability.

Here is a rule that all professionals live by: Do not make a promise to do a job if you cannot fulfill that promise. And I know all too well how frustrating it can feel to under bid on a job, then have to stay true to your word to finish it. And it can make you feel like showing up late or not showing up at all, leaving the client hanging until you are good and ready to finish … but you must put your best foot forward no matter what! Whether you took a job for $1, $100, $1,000. $10,000 or more, you took the job, and you must honor that, no matter what price you negotiated.

While we are on the subject of money, I want to mention that many creators set their rates too low or let people take advantage of them because they feel strange asking for money. Talent aside, you must know your worth! Time is money and money is time, so you need to go into every negotiation with a potential client knowing how much you want for your time and believing you are worth the rates you are commanding. Sometimes clients are testing you by suggesting low rates, while others simply just do not have it and may be better off hiring someone who is just starting out in their career, is less experienced than you are, just looking for exposure.

To solve this problem of feeling frustrated by accepting low rates and having that frustration lead to doing a less-than-stellar job for your clients, do not take $20 to perform a show, design a website, write an article or do any other project that takes you hours and hours or even months and months. And if you do accept $20, know that you still made a commitment to do your best, and just vow to yourself that you will not ask for too little again!

The major point I am making in this post is, plain and simple, under no circumstances should you ever tell anyone you are going to do work and then not do it. Even if your talent makes you shine like a star, if you behave unprofessionally, potential clients will get tired of hiring someone who is not professional and pass based on a bad reputation.

People will talk, and they can either say amazing things about you over and over again because of your professionalism and talent, or pass along their bad experiences when you show you cannot follow through to others who don’t even know you but will end up being too scared to hire you because they will be unsure of whether or not they can rely on you.

When it comes to creative work, it is not talent that separates the big boys and girls from the little ones; it is professionalism! There are no excuses to be had when you want to be respected and honored for your talent.

So, please accept this tough love from me: Don’t let people grow tired of you because you are a nightmare to work with. Instead, let them fall in love with your talent and your work ethic. Be a man/woman, be an artist, be an entrepreneur and be a person of your word! Your word and reputation will go a long way.

When you have both talent and professionalism, you have a winning combination. So, think about this the next time an opportunity comes your way and make sure you are honoring both yourself and your clients!

As you think about loving yourself, loving your work and honoring your clients, take a moment to listen to my song “Love,” delivered with lots of love, from me to you! Also, I hope you check out my new book on THE 5 STAR POINTS FOR SUCCESS: Manifest Your Dreams Live Your Life’s Purpose where I dive more into BUILDING YOUR FOUNDATION and REVAMPING YOUR MONEY MINDSET.

SPIRIT OF OYA CD Avail on Itunes, Amazon Spirit of Oya Site
5 STAR POINTS FOR SUCCESS Avail on Itunes, Amazon and Spirit of Oya Site

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post title background Manifest Your Dreams! My Very First Book is Coming!

You may have noticed I’ve been away from blogging for a while … but I have a wonderful and exciting reason! I have finally written my first book! The 5 Star Points for Success: Manifest Your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose is about my experiences and my very own “5 Star Points” system, which has allowed me to find success in my career and helped so many other beautiful people grab a hold of their own purpose on this earth and manifest their dreams.

After years of study, and after establishing my own system for achieving my goals and living heartfelt dream as a creative artist while starting my own businesses, speaking at events and being a spiritual mentor to others, I have now written a guide about how you, too can find the happiness you so greatly deserve and start to believe that nothing is impossible. My dream of being an entrepreneur and an artist officially began in high school with my first successful entertainment business, and now, here I am, not only living it, but sharing it with you through this book, hoping it will help you shine your light for all the world to see!

The 5 Star Points for Success: Manifest Your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose outlines my own “5 Star Points for Success” system designed to help anyone with a creative mind build a rock-solid foundation for living an exceptional life grounded in the five core components of self: MIND; BODY; SPIRIT; EMOTIONS and ENVIRONMENT. Through this book, I share the deep knowledge of human spirituality and the Arts that I have gained from years of immersion and study.

The book is loaded with my own personal stories and positive, practical advice! Each chapter reveals how I have tapped into my own harmony using the 5 Star points system and outlines real-world action steps to inspire you to dive head first into your power as a human being. The book provides best practices for those that strive to take pure delight in every day (just as I do!) and want to align with all the interconnected components of their authentic selves, so they can lead fulfilling lives energized by their wildest dreams.

I have always believed in pursuing my goals with gusto. My Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology and my many years spent growing personally and professionally through my own experiences in business and the Arts have now put me in the wonderful position to be able to deliver practical strategies that encourage people to truly embrace the gift of manifesting their dreams through The 5 Star Points for Success: Manifest Your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose.

If you have been keeping up with my blog, you probably know I use the “5 Star Points” system with great joy as a road map for my own life while teaching it to my coaching clients and at professional development seminars and events. Of course, this system is not just another quick fix or a simple recipe for “success”; it is about raising your level of consciousness, so you can clear away the clutter, find your own authenticity, accept yourself for the person you are and shine your inner light, regardless of your chosen professional field or your personal goals! You will fall in love with your true self, begin to honor that self and start to believe you can do anything. And when you are operating from a place of harmony and love, your glow will be contagious.

Most importantly, you will feel the love and flow in your own home, with your family and friends, at work … anywhere you go. Your life will seem to come to you effortlessly, because you will be in your flow, living your life’s purpose fully, and also an inspiration for someone else to shine their light and make the world a brighter place. When you get in touch with your mind, body, spirit, emotions and environment, no matter where you go, you will feel whole, happy, peaceful and joyous.

I can’t wait until I can share my book with you! I truly hope it will give you a personalized strategy for harmony and creating a flow of fresh, well-balanced energy that circulates in all areas of your life, from career, to romantic relationships, to family, to the quest towards building a life overflowing with wealth, happiness, wellness and prosperity.

In the meantime, what are some of your biggest challenges when it comes to accomplishing your goals? Feel free to share them in the comments section!

The 5 Star Points for Success: Manifest Your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose is coming very soon, so please stay tuned!

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post title background Pushing through the Creative Overwhelm

I am scared.

(Yep, I really just said that!)

I am feeling anxious … nervous. As I take a break from writing my book The 5 Star Points for Success: Manifest Your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose, I feel overwhelmed. I think, “Why did I do this to myself?”

“Why did I give myself this deadline?”

“How on earth am I going to get this done?”

“I need more time!”

I even think, “HELP!”

Goodness gracious, my creative rays of light: Have you ever felt this way? You probably have! Sometimes you might almost want to just give up, because it feels like too much to handle. That totally overwhelmed feeling makes you want to stop and do something else. You’re not alone! While I can, thankfully now shake off those negative feelings, I remember having those feelings of not being able to move forward — they are completely human!

Once I exhale and come back to my Spirit of Oya senses, and I remember why I set a goal of finishing this book now: Because I am going to get it done, “by hook or by crook,” as they say. So, then the positive thoughts take over (and they just keep rolling!):

“I am feeling courageous, collected, composed, brave and bold.”

“I have more than enough time with my outlined schedule.”

“I have all the support that I need.”

“I am great, and this is happening with ease and grace. I am honoring my decision to complete this book, and it is going to be fabulous!”

Just like everyone else, I feel like the walls are closing in on me sometimes. When I try to pull all the information I need together for my book and the other creative projects I’m cooking up in an organized way, my thoughts and ideas are here, there and everywhere! They are in my computer, on my digital recorder, on my notepad, on post-it notes …

Let me encourage you to fight that urge to stop! Work through it! In the past, I would distract myself by doing something else, because I felt like I’d bitten off more than I can chew. But now I realize I need to stay focused. Because, there is nothing more rewarding than getting that big, meaningful project done. I know I am going to work through any temporary “overwhelm” with writing my book, because, although I’m going a little nutty right now, I know I have to finish what I started. I made a promise to myself that I would finish, and it’s now or never!

I just know that now is the time to finish my book. When I decided to finally make my CD, I had this same feeling of overwhelm, but nothing that is great “just happens;” it requires hard work and discipline. As much as I love to flow in the energy of grace, sometimes creativity isn’t easy! Writing, recording or putting together any project you are working on just does not come simply sometimes. No matter how talented you are, it happens to the best of us: We look at a blank paper and try to get a hold of scattered ideas, some of which are great … some of which are not so great!

But I’m here to tell you, if you are in this same place of overwhelm, do not fret! Everything is a process. And once you recognize that and accept it as a part of the act of creating, you will feel the flow, and you will find grace.

If you can embrace what I’ve said above, you’ll save so much time during the frustration stage! It will give you permission to take a break, take a walk around the block, take a nap, or just chill out. But even as you do that, stay on top of it! No matter what, you have to promise it is going to get done. Once you make that promise, it will happen. You can do it! When you feel overloaded, you’re just having a little moment, and that’s okay!

Right now, I am definitely having a “moment,” but I know this book is in me. I know it’s time to take the program that I have been sharing with others for so long through my coaching practice and deliver it to the rest of the world.

The truth is, our minds need to complete projects so we have the confidence to succeed. Beware of starting and stopping things, because finishing a big goal and fulfilling a dream will give you courage that will help you continue to be someone who is successful at creating and fulfilling all your dreams rather than just a person who has a bunch of great ideas that never reach fruition.

We all know those people whose heads are full of great ideas, but they lack the follow-through to turn ideas into a reality. And then, when someone else capitalizes on their idea, they throw up their hands and say, “I had that idea ten years ago!”

My response to these people is always, Well, then why didn’t you do it ten years ago?

I’m not trying to be harsh, but we all need a little tough love in our lives. As a life coach, I believe in the art of coaching — so much that I have others hold me accountable for finishing my own projects. Sometimes, as focused as I am, with so much going on, I can get off course. I can feel extremely overwhelmed and anxious and need someone to keep me in check! Even if deep down you know you can succeed, words of encouragement or a nudge to get back on task can help you push through the tough spots.

And when I am working on a project with someone else, sometimes just the thought of knowing I told someone I would have something done by a certain date is enough to keep me moving! No one wants to be the one who didn’t do his/her part. When I get that email that says, “Hey, did you organize those notes/write that chapter/finish that section?” I want to be able to reply with a big, “Yes!” I don’t want to let the people I’m working with down, but most importantly, I don’t want to let myself down; I want to stay true to my mission!

If you do not follow through, you are actually telling your psyche it is okay if you do not follow through. You are allowing the fear to take over and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. And you know what? When you allow this to happen, you might never do what you set out to do.

So here is my advice to you (and the mantras I am repeating to myself right now):

Do not let the fear fiend grab a hold of you.

Do not let the anxiety animal take you over.

You must push through the fear. If your heart is pumping about a project, do it now! You must follow through, no matter what it takes. You will thank yourself for it, and it will give you the resolve to finish not only the project you are working on, but any other projects in the future.

I have the faith to push through now more than ever, because, after finishing the huge Spirit of Oya CD and making something I am really proud of, it showed me I can finish things! That was one of the hardest things I’ve ever completed, but I did complete it. Now my mind knows what I can do if I set out to do it, even when there are challenges! I felt the same sense of accomplishment when I graduated from college and from grad school. And whether you prove to yourself you can or can’t do something, that energy persists.

So here’s a question for you: What kind of energy do you want to carry with you in your life?

I’m here to tell you, you can get through anything. And if you really connect with what your heart says you are here to do and just set your mind to manifesting that dream, you will do it!

Of course, I fully believe that all of us need a support system, so just make sure you put that in place. You’ll need it for those challenging days when you feel like quitting — when you need to be pumped up and encouraged. Get those dream supporters to surround you, believe in yourself … and go for it!

And take heart that overwhelm, anxiety, nervousness and feeling a little crazy is all a part of creating something wonderful. As I send you good vibes to complete what you are working on, please send me good vibes and energy to give me additional strength to reach this goal of finishing The 5 Star Points for Success: Manifest Your Dreams, Live Your Life’s Purpose so I can share it with all of you. We can do this!

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post title background The Gift of Gratitude

How often do you tell the people that have inspired, encouraged and moved you what a powerful impact they have made on your life? There are so many times someone says or does something that saves our lives or sparks us to make a major change, and we forget to tell the person that they made such a huge impact.

Of course, it’s not possible to constantly explain to people in detail how every little thing they do for us affects our lives. Still, often a simple “thank you” will do the trick. There are many times when a person who changes your life doesn’t even realize how their actions or words have touched you; by expressing your gratitude, you could change their lives!

For example, how about those who are natural motivators, always thinking positively, promoting happiness and encouraging others? I’m not just talking about professional life coaches or motivational speakers; I’m talking about mothers, fathers, sports coaches, aunts, uncles, brothers and friends. Even these naturally-upbeat folks need to hear you helped them. Your support and words of thanks will certainly make them feel fulfilled and help inspire them to continue doing what they do best for others! You really just never know what effect you could have on them by showing your appreciation.

I know when someone tells me that one of my songs or blog posts inspired them, it is wonderfully encouraging! It makes me feel like I want to keep right on doing what I’m doing.

A young woman who had lost a child once told me that every day when she wakes up she listens to my song “Hold on Be Strong,” because it reminds her that there are better days ahead. Because of that song, she is able to get out of bed and keep hope burning. And whenever I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I think about this beautiful person who took the time to tell me what something I created meant to her — that this song I made gives her the strength to go on. It is people like this that help me stay true to my mission. As strong as I am, it feels so good to hear someone acknowledge and encourage me!

We all need this wonderful, positive reinforcement. And to that young lady: I will not say your name, but if you are reading this, I want to say, “Thank you” for taking the time to share your story with me and taking the time to tell me what my song meant! And to all those that have ever sent me an email, letter, tweet, Facebook message or a gift, I thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. You are absolutely a part of Spirit of Oya and why I do what I do!

And now, it’s my turn! I want to use this post as a special way to finally say my own “thank you” to a man who has helped make me the artist I am today, but would probably never believe I would still be thinking about him: actor and producer Gabriel Casseus. He is best known for movies like Fallen with Denzel Washington and John Goodman, Black Hawk Down with Josh Hartnett and Tom Sizemore and has written, acted in and produced many other great projects.

So, to Gabriel Casseus, I want you to know that I have spread your name around the nation to many actors and creators because you moved me so! Many years ago, when I met you, I had a way about me as an actress: I was raw and real, but you brought something out of me in the quick scene we shared that you probably don’t even realize.

It’s so true when they say, “One moment can change your life,” because this moment I shared with Gabriel changed me as an actor. I appreciate him simply for being the fine actor he is and for sharing his talent, energy and time with me on this one night.

It was an evening I could not have previously imagined. I was on set for a film called One Bad Habit, produced and directed by the brilliant producer/writer/director Preston Whitmore II (Fled, This Christmas). I had been shooting all day, and it was going wonderfully. I knew my lines and I was really in the groove of my character. In fact, I was this character. I was not Oya; I was Lovely, the young Jamaican girl who was in a place of confusion, hurt and pain with a sick mother who was dying, and the world that I thought I knew turned totally upside down. I was going through everything that Frankie was going through in that moment. This young, vibrant character became dull and dark, and life was almost unlivable.

Lost in the swirl of cigarette smoke, I sat there thinking about my life and what I just did — feeling like I wanted to connect with the character played by Mr. Casseus, but so disconnected from life that I could not bring my heart or mind to think it was possible to find love.

Then, I heard footsteps. With each step Gabriel took, it felt like death and love all wrapped up together. He took his time. His steps completely broke me, and I didn’t even want to face him. What kind of energy did Gabriel have to bring this out of me with just his walk?! Amazing! Each step he took made me cringe. My back was turned, and as his steps halted, it happened. I didn’t have to think about the emotion I was going to have when he looked at me, because the emotion was real.

He kept taking his time with me. As he stared at me, he waited on his line, speaking to me through his eyes and energy. I was totally lost in space and time. And while I had put myself in the artistic and emotional space I was in, Gabriel brought so much more out of me than I thought I had! And he was in that space with me and beyond.

He looked at me as though he felt sorry for me. He had love for me, but hated where I was at right then and, filled with frustration grabbed me and threw me up against the wall. I felt fear, passion, compassion and what we once had but could never have again due to the state of my behavior and his behavior.

Before that moment with Gabriel, I always knew I was a method actress, able to become the characters I was portraying. As a young actress, it really hit me deeply, and I thought, “This is what it’s all about. Acting is not about acting; it’s really about being and living truthfully in a world that could be.”

I still believe that art is not just expression, but something that is real to someone’s life and thus has to be respected. What we are sharing is real. The evening I shared with Gabriel was a real moment — something that a real man and woman had been through.

I have carried that one scene with Gabriel with me through my life of acting, even though I know this brilliant man is probably not thinking about it in the same way. He probably did it, then moved on not realizing that I thought anything special about him. It was a scene in a movie, a job we did together. It was a very powerful scene, and we all acknowledged that at the time! Still, I can’t imagine he realized he sparked something in me that helped me grow significantly as an actress.

So, today, I am writing to let Mr. Gabriel Casseus know, “I appreciate you!” Of course, I also thank Preston Whitmore II, who had faith in me as a new actress and believed I could do this role opposite such a fine, seasoned actor. I am incredibly grateful, Preston, for bringing this man into my professional life so I was able to have that mind-blowing experience.

In acting, they say you are only as good as the person you play opposite of. And as I continue to hit the stage with different actors, it is so true! You feed off their motivation and what they give you, as well as off what you give them. When you put two people together with this energy, magic happens.

So, once again, thank you Gabriel for bringing more magic into my life! You are a fine actor, and I appreciate you just for being you and letting it flow. You showed up in a professional, real way. And Preston, you allowed the real emotion to come out through an organic approach, which taught me about what good direction could bring out of me.

I am proud to say that I continue to take all my experiences in life and nurture them. So many people offer so many fruits of wisdom through words and action as I grow as an actress, singer and writer, but I really wanted to take a moment to share this particular experience with Gabriel and Preston. Simple as it may be, I take that “realness” with me on every stage and set.

I hope you, my dear reader, will feel inspired by the stories in this post and take the time to tell someone in your life that you appreciated them. Tell them you learned something or how they helped you … or simply say, “Thank you!”

Our lives can get busy, and it’s easy to take experiences for granted or get so caught up in the next big thing we have to do that we forget to the time to acknowledge what we have done or how someone else contributed to our success and growth.

My scene with Gabriel was filmed so many years ago, but I believe it’s never too late to show appreciation. I thank all the people that give me encouragement and receive it, because it really matters and fuels me. You are all my blessings!

So, I encourage you: Take the time today to tell someone, “Thank you!” Send flowers, a card, a thoughtful email … or just pick up the phone! Give the gift of gratitude!

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