HOUSTON — As we wrap up Women’s History Month, we are profiling a group of Houston women, who want to uplift others through crowning conversations.
They hope to break the cycle of women suffering in silence.
Women wear several hats, or, in the case of these four ladies, crowns.
“From the hip-hop world about the king and queen, who's got the crown on,” said psychotherapist Yvette Cornish, also known as hip-hop artist "Genesis Blu."
This inspired the book Crowning Conversations.
“These conversations that we're having, we're telling women, 'Come into your own, put your crown on, girl. It's already paid for,'" said Cornish. "You must have the courage to put it on."
Those conversations started pre-pandemic, through self-help workshops for women in Houston in 2018.
“You are good just the way you are. You're not alone,” Cornish said to herself in a mirror.
These friends invited KHOU 11 news reporter Ugochi Iloka into their sister circle to show her confidence-building exercises, like the ones they did in their workshops.
"You are not a bad person. Someone should've done something about the person who did those things to you,” Minister/teacher Patrina Randolph told herself.
That was an example of a self-healing exercise.
“As a psychotherapist, I subscribe to cognitive behavioral therapy, teaching you that your thoughts are the driving force behind everything,” said Cornish.
When the workshops came to a stop due to COVID, Genesis Blu came up with the idea for a book.
“You can rest, but you can't quit,” she said.
She focused on mental health.
“One thing I simply do is just have you grade where you are in life right now, mentally, spiritually, physically,” said Cornish.
Minister Patrina Randolph targeted the spiritual side.
“Every day that I wake up and set my feet on the floor and do something new, do this project, approach new things in my life, I'm making history,” she said.
Personal trainer and life coach Felisha Brown honed in on physical health.
“I just wanted women to be at the turning point and for them to know that there is a turning point where you love yourself and choose to move forward,” said Brown.
Real estate agent Deidra Ewing executed the plan to help Crowning Conversations become a tool for women to reach their goals.
“I really want us to zone in on what's stopping you from reaching the next level," she tells the circle.
Ewing told the group to grab a pen and paper and write down something they believed was holding them back.
"One of the ones I see often is procrastination," she said.
Each women then folded their paper and ripped them.
Only you can decide if you're truly going to let this word that you wrote down go," said Ewing. "You'll remember that action of just tearing up that thought."
“Even though it's just paper, it means a lot when you use this exercise to symbolize an action you’re going to take,” said Ugochi Iloka.
These four writers say the tear drop crown on the book cover represents women processing whatever trauma they've been through to help re-program their mind.
“Your pain does not disappear if you do not heal it right,” said Cornish.
Many women do what she calls putting on a face. This is something she believes the late Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst might've did before she jumped to her death.
She took her own life, after family members said she suffered in silence.
“You’re talking about a woman who's not only Miss USA but also a lawyer, entertainment correspondent but she's a boss," Cornish said. "You've got to be on all time. But is it real to be on all the time? It's not real."
“Even her last post was something positive. But inside you had a hurt individual. That's what we want to do with Crowning Conversations. We want to say, 'Stop hiding your pain, girl, cause you're not the only one with it.'"
The group also said a portion of the Crowning Conversations book proceeds will go towards mental health organizations like The Loveland Foundation.